• Post made for three hours last night (9pm-12am EST) have been deleted. This was necessary due to some problems with server maintenance. Anyone who had problems logging into their account during this time should be fine now.
I think we can generally accept that in the even of a Central Powers Victory, France will take a serious hammering (depending on the POD, of course). Assuming the Americans never get involved and the French lose in 1914-15 with Paris being taken (maybe First Battle of the Marne POD), and Germany gets its free hand in France, how long would it take for France to get back on its feet?

I think Britain is the key player here. Once Paris goes and France surrenders, the British will still rule the seas, but they likely won't want to continue the fight. Let's say that Britain arranges for a separate peace with Germany on the condition that Belgium is restored to its former glory. Some colonial rearranging occurs (Germany still loses most of their colonies, but maybe swaps East Africa for Togoland (the latter was more profitable by far)), and Germany then gets to dictate terms to France.

We know what they wanted, to a degree. They wanted to curb France's ability to wage war, first and foremost, and would have likely annexed the Longwy-Briey region for its coal. I don't see them maintaining an armed presence along the Normandy coast as it would threaten Britain, but they might still occupy large portions of France to extort reparations.

So, in the peace, France has lost Longwy-Briey and a German army is encamped in their territory. Over the next few years, revanchists begin barking about Alsace-Lorraine, and irredentists about Belgium and the Rhine. Can France rise again, or is it destined to be crippled, barring some kind of apocalyptic event in Germany, forever more?
 
In OTL, after winning their war with Germany, French culture and politics was filled with despair and the conviction that another war with the Germans was unthinkable and unwinnable, especially by the 1930's. Here, I feel like that existentialist breakdown would occur immediately. They'd still have significant debts to Britain that would need to be repaid, plus whatever reparations Germany would demand, minus the reparations they got from Germany IOTL. I don't think they'd challenge Germany again, period.

All of that said, if they did manage to avoid another war, they'd probably still come out ahead compared to OTL.
 
They probably won't. A defeated France won't have the demographic or economic muscle to overturn a German dominated Europe.
 
The goal for France is to become strong enough to hold out until the rising star of Russia can crush Germany up the rear. They'll never be much higher than Italy rank after a WWI loss.
 
Interesting.

A follow-up question then; under what circumstances, if any, could a post-CP win Germany become riddled with internal dissent in what we know as the Interwar Period? And would this be enough to allow France to pose some sort of challenge?
 
If the war lasts the same time, I think that Germany will have problems at first as of the reduction of kaiser power, some equal but not so much. In the line that they lost they had serious problems but the massive debts and the political isolation that will not happen if they win.
 
I think a defeated France and Britain will try to do something akin to the post WW2 coal and steel community to attempt to cover each other's strategic economic vulnerability, France's lack of coal and steel and Britain's lack of food and other raw materials. If these two tie each other and their respective empires into a big trading bloc both could come out of their defeats in reasonable time with some measure of (misplaced?) confidence for the future.
 
I think we can generally accept that in the even of a Central Powers Victory, France will take a serious hammering (depending on the POD, of course). Assuming the Americans never get involved and the French lose in 1914-15 with Paris being taken (maybe First Battle of the Marne POD), and Germany gets its free hand in France, how long would it take for France to get back on its feet?

I think Britain is the key player here. Once Paris goes and France surrenders, the British will still rule the seas, but they likely won't want to continue the fight. Let's say that Britain arranges for a separate peace with Germany on the condition that Belgium is restored to its former glory. Some colonial rearranging occurs (Germany still loses most of their colonies, but maybe swaps East Africa for Togoland (the latter was more profitable by far)), and Germany then gets to dictate terms to France.

We know what they wanted, to a degree. They wanted to curb France's ability to wage war, first and foremost, and would have likely annexed the Longwy-Briey region for its coal. I don't see them maintaining an armed presence along the Normandy coast as it would threaten Britain, but they might still occupy large portions of France to extort reparations.

So, in the peace, France has lost Longwy-Briey and a German army is encamped in their territory. Over the next few years, revanchists begin barking about Alsace-Lorraine, and irredentists about Belgium and the Rhine. Can France rise again, or is it destined to be crippled, barring some kind of apocalyptic event in Germany, forever more?

My guess would be that a second French Revolution could take fold. Seeing as Russia succumbed to Lenin's forces, it's not implausible to believe that similar events could happen in France. The French could potentially lose their faith in democracy and shift towards the left for ideas. The democratic government would be discredited in a similar fashion of King Louis XVI and communism would likely rise in France. Maximilien Robespierre and the National Convention of the 1790s was certainly more communist than democratic in the modern sense. And in Hearts of Iron 4, the communists possess 30% of popularity in France, and that was when they WON the war. Either the communists would win by civil war or by influencing the people to overthrow the Democrats and establish a new government. Social Democracy would no longer cut it. France and the Soviet Union would likely bond tight because of their significant alliance established before WW1 and because of socialist success in both. It's not certain if Germany and Britain would get closer because of this, but it's not implausible. The French colonies would likely be given independence in due time, but not before being deeply educated in Marx's ideas. France could possess a significant role in Europe if this all played out, but that's up for speculation.
 
My guess would be that a second French Revolution could take fold. Seeing as Russia succumbed to Lenin's forces, it's not implausible to believe that similar events could happen in France. The French could potentially lose their faith in democracy and shift towards the left for ideas. The democratic government would be discredited in a similar fashion of King Louis XVI and communism would likely rise in France. Maximilien Robespierre and the National Convention of the 1790s was certainly more communist than democratic in the modern sense. And in Hearts of Iron 4, the communists possess 30% of popularity in France, and that was when they WON the war. Either the communists would win by civil war or by influencing the people to overthrow the Democrats and establish a new government. Social Democracy would no longer cut it. France and the Soviet Union would likely bond tight because of their significant alliance established before WW1 and because of socialist success in both. It's not certain if Germany and Britain would get closer because of this, but it's not implausible. The French colonies would likely be given independence in due time, but not before being deeply educated in Marx's ideas. France could possess a significant role in Europe if this all played out, but that's up for speculation.
Foreign countries would intervene in France to prevent a communist takeover and France is nowhere near remote enough to prevent that from being decisive. You could easily see British and German cooperation in an intervention.

And in a world where Germany wins in 1915 there is likely no Soviet Union.
 
Foreign countries would intervene in France to prevent a communist takeover and France is nowhere near remote enough to prevent that from being decisive. You could easily see British and German cooperation in an intervention.

And in a world where Germany wins in 1915 there is likely no Soviet Union.

Russia would still likely still have it's revolution.
 
Russia would still likely still have it's revolution.

February, maybe. October, almost certainly not. Without the war issue, there isn't even a Petrograd Soviet, let alone the radicalized one that fell to the Bolsheviks. At most, you might see Menshevik representation in a reinstated Duma, but that's about it.
 
February, maybe. October, almost certainly not. Without the war issue, there isn't even a Petrograd Soviet, let alone the radicalized one that fell to the Bolsheviks. At most, you might see Menshevik representation in a reinstated Duma, but that's about it.
A communist Russia is unlikely with a much shorter WW1. It took years to get Russia to a breaking point where even a liberal revolution happened.
Very well then.
 
The goal for France is to become strong enough to hold out until the rising star of Russia can crush Germany up the rear. They'll never be much higher than Italy rank after a WWI loss.

I am not even sure if Russia is necessarily very revanchist. OTL USSR had mostly quiet good relationships with Germany to 1941. Whatever regime there is, it hardly is very intrested conquer lost territories back. And it would be enough doing with its domestic issues.

I think a defeated France and Britain will try to do something akin to the post WW2 coal and steel community to attempt to cover each other's strategic economic vulnerability, France's lack of coal and steel and Britain's lack of food and other raw materials. If these two tie each other and their respective empires into a big trading bloc both could come out of their defeats in reasonable time with some measure of (misplaced?) confidence for the future.

How bad situation UK would have? I think that the country doesn't suffer badly. Germany hasn't muscles and intrest to take British colonies. Germany is lucky if it can keep most of its own colonial empire.
 
A communist Russia is unlikely with a much shorter WW1. It took years to get Russia to a breaking point where even a liberal revolution happened.

And even communist Russia is avoidable after February Revolution. If we take some POD on 1914 there will be very different revolution.
 
Communist. Without Italian participation in the war and its influence on D'Annuzio and Mussolini, fascism as we know it is unlikely to emerge.
 
February, maybe. October, almost certainly not. Without the war issue, there isn't even a Petrograd Soviet, let alone the radicalized one that fell to the Bolsheviks.

Why not? There had been Soviets in Moscow and St Petersburg during the 1905 Revolution. They weren't suddenly invented in 1917.
 
Communist. Without Italian participation in the war and its influence on D'Annuzio and Mussolini, fascism as we know it is unlikely to emerge.

Wouldn't a Communist revolution plunge France into civil war - and almost certainly lead to German intervention?
 
Top