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What if.. Britain decided to join Germany in WW1

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

I think..

..the world would be a better place
28
42%
..the world would be a worse place
13
20%
..Hasselhoff is originally German, surely
6
9%
[redacted]
2
3%
..I, for one, welcome our new Anglo-German world order
13
20%
..other
4
6%
 
Total votes : 66

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Bombadil
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What if.. Britain decided to join Germany in WW1

Postby Bombadil » Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:46 pm

The 20th Century was a quirk in that after fighting the French for centuries Britain joined up and fought with the French in WW1 and WW2 making Germany the perceived baddies of British culture.

Simply, they forgot it's the French they don't like, not the Germans. Britain and Germany share a lot, from language roots to a love of beer and football, the original name of the Royal family is House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. George and Wilhelm were cousins.

The French have always been a pain in the ass.

So, for one, I imagine WW2 wouldn't have happened. One might argue the Communist Revolution would still happen although the White army may have had better success reinstating the Royal family if it was a strong GB and Germany.

Ultimately we wouldn't have this stupid Brexit and Europe as a whole might be a lot stronger.

However there's dozens of history buffs on this site with fancy History degrees and etc., so what think ye!
Last edited by Bombadil on Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Neanderthaland » Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:15 am

I think we can safely assume an Axis victory, in this case.

There are too many threads to try and tie together to say much of anything far-reaching, though. It's hard to say, for instance, if America would even join this war. And I couldn't guess what the impact of any answer to that question is. Japan probably would, but on the side of the Axis, and would want French colonies in the Pacific, just like the wanted German ones in our history. Is Belgium in this war? Italy? Whose side are they on?
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Postby Aclion » Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:20 am

I can't imagine america joining on the German side against France. If we did get involved it would probobly be 1812 2 trench warfare boogaloo.
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Postby Bombadil » Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:24 am

Neanderthaland wrote:I think we can safely assume an Axis victory, in this case.

There are too many threads to try and tie together to say much of anything far-reaching, though. It's hard to say, for instance, if America would even join this war. And I couldn't guess what the impact of any answer to that question is. Japan probably would, but on the side of the Axis, and would want French colonies in the Pacific, just like the wanted German ones in our history. Is Belgium in this war? Italy? Whose side are they on?


Well I can imagine GB says to Germany that if they maintain Belgian neutrality then all's good, Italy I suspect would be somewhat shitting themselves as Austro-Hungary would use it to consolidate power. I imagine there will always be trouble in the Balkans regardless but I guess the main effect is Russia is highly constrained, so no Eastern Bloc for example.

It would also mean the Ottomans would stagger on for a while.

Aclion wrote:I can't imagine america joining on the German side against France. If we did get involved it would probobly be 1812 2 trench warfare boogaloo.


I think we can safely say the Americans would not join.
Last edited by Bombadil on Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Neanderthaland
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Postby Neanderthaland » Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:27 am

Aclion wrote:I can't imagine america joining on the German side against France. If we did get involved it would probobly be 1812 2 trench warfare boogaloo.

The Germans weren't really hatted in the US at this point, though. And it was solidarity with the British, more than the French, that brought American into the war.

But unless the US joins immediately, I'm not sure that it would matter. Because I don't see how France could defend against an attack on multiple fronts for very long. Even if we assume that nobody is moving through Belgium.
Last edited by Neanderthaland on Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Bombadil » Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:36 am

Neanderthaland wrote:The Germans weren't really hatted in the US at this point, though.


Lies, they had among the finest hats in the country.

They weren't particularly hated though.
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Postby Neanderthaland » Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:38 am

Bombadil wrote:
Neanderthaland wrote:The Germans weren't really hatted in the US at this point, though.


Lies, they had among the finest hats in the country.

They weren't particularly hated though.

Nobody considers the Pickelhaube "fine."
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Postby Stellar Colonies » Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:41 am

Japan would probably go after any French colonies that are in the Pacific, and smaller nations that stayed neutral or even fought against the Central Powers in OTL might join up with them or just stay neutral.

For example, I'd imagine that Entente nations like Italy or Romania that joined opportunistically would stay neutral throughout the war, unless they were otherwise forced in on one side or the other by circumstances.

The US doesn't really have a reason to join, so they probably just stay (officially) neutral and use the war as a market to sell their goods to interested (or desperate) buyers.
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Postby Gormwood » Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:43 am

The Nazis admired British aristocracy and a few members tried to emulate them. It would have set a trend in Germany if Britain had sided with the Nazis.
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Postby Neanderthaland » Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:44 am

Gormwood wrote:The Nazis admired British aristocracy and a few members tried to emulate them. It would have set a trend in Germany if Britain had sided with the Nazis.

No Nazis in WWI.
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Postby Bombadil » Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:46 am

Gormwood wrote:The Nazis admired British aristocracy and a few members tried to emulate them. It would have set a trend in Germany if Britain had sided with the Nazis.


Wrong war..

Stellar Colonies wrote:Japan would probably go after any French colonies that are in the Pacific, and smaller nations that stayed neutral or even fought against the Central Powers in OTL might join up with them or just stay neutral.


Yes, and I think the US would be far more involved and focused on the Pacific than Europe.
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Postby Costa Fierro » Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:10 am

In order for the British not to be against the Germans, there'd have to be a series of events prior that wouldn't have had to happen in order for this scenario to take place, chiefly Germany not being determined to challenge British naval supremacy and set out building its own colonial empire.
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Postby The Blaatschapen » Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:50 am

Bombadil wrote:The 20th Century was a quirk in that after fighting the French for centuries Britain joined up and fought with the French in WW1 and WW2 making Germany the perceived baddies of British culture.

Simply, they forgot it's the French they don't like, not the Germans. Britain and Germany share a lot, from language roots to a love of beer and football, the original name of the Royal family is House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. George and Wilhelm were cousins.

The French have always been a pain in the ass.

So, for one, I imagine WW2 wouldn't have happened. One might argue the Communist Revolution would still happen although the White army may have had better success reinstating the Royal family if it was a strong GB and Germany.

Ultimately we wouldn't have this stupid Brexit and Europe as a whole might be a lot stronger.

However there's dozens of history buffs on this site with fancy History degrees and etc., so what think ye!


The Dutch, not having to worry about losing either homeland or Dutch East Indies(Indonesia) like in the OT*, can safely join on the German side as well, to gain Dutch speaking Belgium (and Brussels), and the Union of Utrecht can finally be accomplished.


*
In the OT, the worry was definitely there. If we joined with Germany, the UK would take over the Dutch East Indies, if we had joined on the British side, the Germans would simply invade.
Last edited by The Blaatschapen on Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby The Archregimancy » Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:59 am

The war really would have been over by Christmas. France and Russia couldn't have won against the UK, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottomans. It's also most likely that Italy would have remained aligned with Germany and Austria-Hungary rather than jumping alliance, adding a second front for France.

But if I don't speculate on the outcome of that conflict, it's because it's more than likely that the war never would have begun in the first place.

The strategic calculations undertaken in St Petersburg and Paris in the wake of Franz Ferdinand's assassination were heavily dependent on an assumption of British support in a conflict with the Central Powers. That support was often implicit, and Foreign Secretary Edward Grey wasn't frequently gnomic and opaque about what that support entailed, but it's highly unlikely that Russia and France would have reacted to Vienna's ultimatum against Serbia in the same way without the belief that British support would be forthcoming.

So, assuming the same catalyst point - Franz Ferdinand's fatal visit to Sarajevo - the most likely scenario if Britain is in alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary instead of France and Russia in the summer of 1918 is that Russia and France intervene diplomatically to smooth out the harsher edges of the Austrian ultimatum in order to guarantee continued Serbian independence, while also forcing Serbia to make serious concessions and perhaps even purge Dragutin Dimitrijević's Black Hand organisation from its position of deep state influence within Serbian government structures.

Bombadil's scenario isn't outrageous, by the way. I recommend Christopher Clark's book The Sleepwalkers here. One of Clark's key points is that the alignment of alliances in the summer of 1914 was temporary rather than inevitable and long-term, and there was no reason why a realignment - with the UK engaging in a rapprochement with Germany, for example - might not have occurred in 1915, especially given ongoing British concerns about Russian ambitions in Persia and Central Asia.
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Postby Page » Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:04 am

This alternate history scenario requires a point of divergence long before the start of the war as the countries involved were entangled in a complex web of alliances and defense obligations.

IRL: Austria-Hungary asked Germany if they'd have their back if they invaded Serbia, Germany said yes, Austria-Hungary invaded Serbia, Russia declared war on Austria-Hungary, German declared war on Russia, France declared war on Germany, and then Germany decided that rather than attacking France's heavily defended border directly, they'd go through neutral Belgium and that caused Britain to declare war on Germany.

A more realistic alt history scenario would be that Germany did attack France directly and that would have kept Britain neutral. Germany would have a much more difficult time initially but would have been better off in the long run, although probably would not "win" on the Western Front. But the Central Powers were winning on the Eastern front. The likely outcome is an armistice in which the Central Powers keep their gains in the Balkans and status quo antebellum on the Western Front. The Russian Revolution likely still happens. I can see a scenario in which Britain and Germany uphold a separate peace with one another while Britain still wages war on the Ottoman Empire. When all is said and done, Britain and Germany a
together with Austria-Hungary are the two great powers of Europe. Germany keeps its colonies in Africa, Austria-Hungary gets the Balkans, and Britain gets the Middle East. No Sykes-Picot in this world, a weakened France means Britain won't share the Levant.

At this point it's unlikely Germany and Britain will undo the Russian Revolution as both countries will be depleted from years of war. They will be hostile to the USSR but not invade them as invading Russia is a death wish in any universe. Plus, it's only a matter of time before the European powers have to deal with revolutions in their colonies.

It's hard to say if the world would be better off. The horror of World War 2 and the nazis would have been avoided, the Holocaust would not happen, but in this reality the stage is potentially set for a second world war sooner or later, and European monarchies with actually powerful monarchs would persist longer. It's even plausible that Germany, France, and Britain all have to contend with socialist revolutions down the line.
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Postby Bombadil » Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:19 am

My premise rests on war having broken out, so GB pull a volte face on the condition Germany uses Belgium as a highway only with no long term occupation with the goal of protecting monarchies, reducing Russia in Central Asia and grabbing some French territory in Asia.

Point being that wars broken out and, slightly further, that the Anglo-German alliance wins and what that means for Europe given likely no cold war - good - continuation of monarchies - possibly bad..

..I do agree that there'd likely be another European war shortly.
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Postby The Blaatschapen » Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:25 am

Page wrote:This alternate history scenario requires a point of divergence long before the start of the war as the countries involved were entangled in a complex web of alliances and defense obligations.

IRL: Austria-Hungary asked Germany if they'd have their back if they invaded Serbia, Germany said yes, Austria-Hungary invaded Serbia, Russia declared war on Austria-Hungary, German declared war on Russia, France declared war on Germany, and then Germany decided that rather than attacking France's heavily defended border directly, they'd go through neutral Belgium and that caused Britain to declare war on Germany.

A more realistic alt history scenario would be that Germany did attack France directly and that would have kept Britain neutral. Germany would have a much more difficult time initially but would have been better off in the long run, although probably would not "win" on the Western Front. But the Central Powers were winning on the Eastern front. The likely outcome is an armistice in which the Central Powers keep their gains in the Balkans and status quo antebellum on the Western Front. The Russian Revolution likely still happens. I can see a scenario in which Britain and Germany uphold a separate peace with one another while Britain still wages war on the Ottoman Empire. When all is said and done, Britain and Germany a
together with Austria-Hungary are the two great powers of Europe. Germany keeps its colonies in Africa, Austria-Hungary gets the Balkans, and Britain gets the Middle East. No Sykes-Picot in this world, a weakened France means Britain won't share the Levant.

At this point it's unlikely Germany and Britain will undo the Russian Revolution as both countries will be depleted from years of war. They will be hostile to the USSR but not invade them as invading Russia is a death wish in any universe. Plus, it's only a matter of time before the European powers have to deal with revolutions in their colonies.

It's hard to say if the world would be better off. The horror of World War 2 and the nazis would have been avoided, the Holocaust would not happen, but in this reality the stage is potentially set for a second world war sooner or later, and European monarchies with actually powerful monarchs would persist longer. It's even plausible that Germany, France, and Britain all have to contend with socialist revolutions down the line.


A losing France would indeed very likely fall victim to communism. Or to fascism, it can be close. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/6_February_1934_crisis

(much later also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_1968_events_in_France )
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Postby Bombadil » Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:31 am

The Blaatschapen wrote:
Page wrote:This alternate history scenario requires a point of divergence long before the start of the war as the countries involved were entangled in a complex web of alliances and defense obligations.

IRL: Austria-Hungary asked Germany if they'd have their back if they invaded Serbia, Germany said yes, Austria-Hungary invaded Serbia, Russia declared war on Austria-Hungary, German declared war on Russia, France declared war on Germany, and then Germany decided that rather than attacking France's heavily defended border directly, they'd go through neutral Belgium and that caused Britain to declare war on Germany.

A more realistic alt history scenario would be that Germany did attack France directly and that would have kept Britain neutral. Germany would have a much more difficult time initially but would have been better off in the long run, although probably would not "win" on the Western Front. But the Central Powers were winning on the Eastern front. The likely outcome is an armistice in which the Central Powers keep their gains in the Balkans and status quo antebellum on the Western Front. The Russian Revolution likely still happens. I can see a scenario in which Britain and Germany uphold a separate peace with one another while Britain still wages war on the Ottoman Empire. When all is said and done, Britain and Germany a
together with Austria-Hungary are the two great powers of Europe. Germany keeps its colonies in Africa, Austria-Hungary gets the Balkans, and Britain gets the Middle East. No Sykes-Picot in this world, a weakened France means Britain won't share the Levant.

At this point it's unlikely Germany and Britain will undo the Russian Revolution as both countries will be depleted from years of war. They will be hostile to the USSR but not invade them as invading Russia is a death wish in any universe. Plus, it's only a matter of time before the European powers have to deal with revolutions in their colonies.

It's hard to say if the world would be better off. The horror of World War 2 and the nazis would have been avoided, the Holocaust would not happen, but in this reality the stage is potentially set for a second world war sooner or later, and European monarchies with actually powerful monarchs would persist longer. It's even plausible that Germany, France, and Britain all have to contend with socialist revolutions down the line.


A losing France would indeed very likely fall victim to communism. Or to fascism, it can be close. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/6_February_1934_crisis

(much later also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_1968_events_in_France )


Ooh a ring of fascism checking from France through Spain and Italy with a form of Serbian alliance up through Ottoman and Russia cutting off oil.. Decent scenario.
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Postby The Huskar Social Union » Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:36 am

France would probably get fucked and then Russia would not last long facing the central powers on its own, so i would reckon a central powers victory.

I'd say WW2 will probably still happen, just... radically different i would imagine. Bit hard to believe Britain would buddy up with Germany tho considering they were in a colonial and naval arms race with one another and were very antagonistic towards one another, ideally the preceding few decades would have to be quite different to facilitate this alliance and that would probably mean a very different myriad of alliances and pacts in europe.
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Postby Thermodolia » Mon Sep 23, 2019 4:02 am

It would be impossible. Remember the only reason the Brits joined was because the Germans invaded Belgium to get to the French. That’s why they joined in against the Germans not because they liked the French or anything but because the supported the Belgians independence.

If Germany hadn’t invaded Belgium it’s highly likely that the UK never would have gotten involved which would have most likely led to an earlier ceasefire
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Postby Ethel mermania » Mon Sep 23, 2019 4:03 am

In much less fancy talk than Arch used. The war doesnt happen.

If we are playing the what if game I would wonder, what if germany attacked france without infringing on Belgian neutrality. Iin theory England does not come in.
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Postby Ethel mermania » Mon Sep 23, 2019 4:05 am

Thermodolia wrote:It would be impossible. Remember the only reason the Brits joined was because the Germans invaded Belgium to get to the French. That’s why they joined in against the Germans not because they liked the French or anything but because the supported the Belgians independence.

If Germany hadn’t invaded Belgium it’s highly likely that the UK never would have gotten involved which would have most likely led to an earlier ceasefire


They were pretty sure Germany would.go through belgium. British involvement was preplanned "down to the last horse". To quote Barbra tuchman.

But as above, I agree that is the one I wonder about.
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Postby Thermodolia » Mon Sep 23, 2019 4:08 am

Bombadil wrote:My premise rests on war having broken out, so GB pull a volte face on the condition Germany uses Belgium as a highway only with no long term occupation with the goal of protecting monarchies, reducing Russia in Central Asia and grabbing some French territory in Asia.

Point being that wars broken out and, slightly further, that the Anglo-German alliance wins and what that means for Europe given likely no cold war - good - continuation of monarchies - possibly bad..

..I do agree that there'd likely be another European war shortly.

Ya that’s literally impossible. Nobody anywhere would ever want to enter in a treaty with the Brits ever again if they pulled that with Belgium
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Postby The Archregimancy » Mon Sep 23, 2019 4:20 am

Bombadil wrote:My premise rests on war having broken out, so GB pull a volte face on the condition Germany uses Belgium as a highway only with no long term occupation with the goal of protecting monarchies, reducing Russia in Central Asia and grabbing some French territory in Asia.


Ah, well; that's different.

I don't think Grey, the cadre of Liberal Imperialists supporting him in the Foreign Office, or Asquith would have let that happen.

I can see scenarios where Britain decides to withdraw from a full commitment to the Triple Alliance earlier in 1914, or where Franz Ferdinand is assassinated a year later in 1915 after Britain has decided to seek a rapprochement with Germany in order to constrain Russia, but I can't see any scenario where - assuming all other conditions exist as they did in July 1914 - Britain abandons France and Russia and decides to switch sides entirely to become an active belligerent on the side of the Central Powers.

I know that's not perhaps the point of 'what if' scenarios, but I do prefer them to be reasonably plausible.

I can just about see a scenario where Germany's ultimatum to Belgium is less cack-handed, and/or France handles a request to enter Belgium as an ultimatum rather than a request, and Britain decides to - at least initially - remain neutral. But even this is unlikely given that by this point Britain and France had agreed that the French fleet should be concentrated in the Mediterranean with the British Royal Navy then protecting France in the Channel. The latter deployment isn't an abstract consideration; this naval commitment was key to Grey convincing the waverers in Asquith's cabinet that the UK had to honour its commitments to the Triple Alliance in the lead-up to war.

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Postby North German Realm » Mon Sep 23, 2019 5:16 am

I'm not actually sure how it's possible for the first World War to even come into place if an Anglo-German rivalry wasn't in place to be quite honest.
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16 June, 1912
Norddeutsche Morgenpost: Christian X of Denmark meets with Heinrich of North Germany, Napoleon V of France on May 23 as Swedish parliament debates pursuing claim to Danish throne. || North German forces arrive in St. Petersburg on June 12 after artillery destroys 23% of the city, begin raiding Winter Palace. || Frederik VIII of Denmark passes away on 14 May, Gustaf V of Sweden claims Danish throne.  || Delhi becomes the new capital of the British Raj after Government of India bill passes on June 16. || Massachusetts passes law authorizing a guaranteed minimum wage on June 4

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