Some CP victory pods that arent: Italy neutral or Cp, Germany wins Marne, Spring Offensives suceeds, US doesnt join WW1. Also preferably make the POD on the CP side or something that isnt made by an Entente change.
 
Well, there are Austrian PODs on here, "Conrad Waits", i.e. things involving the Austrians doing 1914 different, often 4 armies initially to Galicia, deploying forward in Galicia, basically Austria rallies behind the San, and holds Premzyl, avoids the Carpathian Winter.

Maybe no 1914 Ottoman attack in the Caucasus. Not sure if that really changes things enough incrementally for the CP to win in the end. But the Ottomans remaining on the defensive everywhere helps them.

Of course there is a million Germany goes east PODs on here, which may be war winning for the CP but there is debate about that.

Not necessarily Marne but Germany wins the race to the sea taking Bethune coal mines and Dunkirk, incremental effects leads to an ultimate German victory.

After Coronel Spee receives orders in Valparaiso, to gather up as much fast German merchant shipping as he can, fully loaded with cargo, and avoiding high traffic areas, Don't attack Falklands, just try to get home. With the long Winter 1914-1915 nights and maybe some favorable (bad) weather, he gets home, not sure if 10 loaded merchants, and a few cruisers with their crews would make much difference. But maybe fit out some of the good merchants as commerce raiders, Moewe style. (The Germans suffered from a lack of suitable types in their home harbors OTL).

The code book lost on the cruiser Magdeburg doesn't happen leading to an accidental German naval victory of some sort. Not sure if the loss of a few British BB or BC would be decisive if the British can still do a distant blockade.

(IMO. It is really hard once 1916 rolls around to change the destiny of central powers defeat, changes have to be early and most likely incremental, but...).

There was a post on here about Germany goes east in 1916 (instead of Verdun), not sure anything war winning came out of it.

A POD I have seen before is no Hindenburg Economic Program, they just do the working incremental increases in production without breaking everything. It certainly would help the home front at least. Maybe combine this with no 1918 offensive, maybe hold the Stosstruppen in reserve for Cambrai style counter-attacks. Shore up the Balkan and Italian front with a few German divisions. Negotiate a compromise peace over Winter of 1918-1919. Even a somewhat crappy compromise peace is really a German victory, with Russia no longer a factor.
 

raharris1973

Gone Fishin'
But the Ottomans remaining on the defensive everywhere helps them.
I've seen this retrospective recommendation a few times. And yes, the Caucasus assault was a disaster.

But if you aren't attacking anywhere, it raises the question: "why declare war at all?" To close the straits? Declaring war actually would not have been necessary for that, since the Ottomans closed the straits six weeks *before* declaring war?

What else did declaring war free them to do besides ground offensives, which you're saying are a bad idea? Support Turko-German *naval* assaults on Russia?

In OTL the Ottomans also attacked in Sinai towards Suez. Like the Caucasus, that failed and was reversed, but I don't think it was the same kind of blunder and disaster the Sarikamish campaign was. Is there any evidence it made a likely British Palestine campaign any easier than it would have been otherwise?
 
But if you aren't attacking anywhere, it raises the question: "why declare war at all?" To close the straits? Declaring war actually would not have been necessary for that, since the Ottomans closed the straits six weeks *before* declaring war?

What else did declaring war free them to do besides ground offensives, which you're saying are a bad idea? Support Turko-German *naval* assaults on Russia?
Yes. I think it would have been best for the Ottomans to not declare war (but still close the straits). OTL the Allies might have forced the straits but didn't get the luck, it could have gone the other way and the Ottomans just losing early anyway. I can perhaps see Enver thinking we just can't live in a Russia victorious world. And I think there is a story of a subordinate asking Enver "why did we declare war" and he responded to "to pay your salary" so maybe Germany was giving that much money.

Regardless I think the logistics are too poor to assume large scale offensives are going to work (there were no railways east of Ankara, and the Baghdad and Syrian railways had that gap in the Tarsus mountains). Just being at war has some diversionary advantages. The Ottomans just can't afford to get into attrition poor situations with the great powers.

Of course this is hindsight, the Germans and Ottomans were lured by the whole holy war, we just invade and the people will revolt, numbers and supplies don't matter. Big stakes if you could actually set India ablaze, Great game colonial stuff for the Germans. Of course that backfired on the Ottomans.
 

Grey Wolf

Gone Fishin'
Donor
I've seen this retrospective recommendation a few times. And yes, the Caucasus assault was a disaster.

But if you aren't attacking anywhere, it raises the question: "why declare war at all?" To close the straits? Declaring war actually would not have been necessary for that, since the Ottomans closed the straits six weeks *before* declaring war?

What else did declaring war free them to do besides ground offensives, which you're saying are a bad idea? Support Turko-German *naval* assaults on Russia?

In OTL the Ottomans also attacked in Sinai towards Suez. Like the Caucasus, that failed and was reversed, but I don't think it was the same kind of blunder and disaster the Sarikamish campaign was. Is there any evidence it made a likely British Palestine campaign any easier than it would have been otherwise?
Yeah, "We've decided to declare war....and no nothing" isn't a valid outcome
 

raharris1973

Gone Fishin'
Did the Ottomans bother to occupy Kuwait at the beginning of the war? Did they control Hasa province south of Kuwait?

I can perhaps see Enver thinking we just can't live in a Russia victorious world.
I think Enver *was* thinking this. There was a bit of an undercurrent among this among all Ottoman leaders.

Alongside the idea that being neutral and *outside* alliance blocs was not a safe place to be. As indeed, it had not been, in any of their previous four wars or so: (Crimean War - Ottomans had implicit allies turned into real allies, they won; Russo-Turkish war, Ottomans had no allies before the war - the Russians won; Italo-Ottoman War, Ottomans had no allies before the war - the Italians won; 1st Balkan War - Ottomans had no allies before the war - the Balkan League won; 2nd Balkan War, Ottomans joined a Greco-Serb alliance alongside Romanians - Ottomans won.)

Sure Enver was ahead of his peers in pro-Germanism and others were reluctant or opposed, but he had arguments from experience to argue in favor of German alignment versus Entente, and if there was doubt about the Russian danger, the Ottomans had within the 12 months before August 1914, *offered* the *Russians* an alliance, and the latter refused.
 

Riain

Banned
My go to CP victory PoD is the Germans winning the race to the sea; by transferring the 6th and 7th armies from the left wing to the right wing rather than allow them to undertake on offensive on the left.

Another ther PoD that improves CPs chances but doesn't provide a clear path to victory is to sort out the Naval command structure, provide a single Naval officer in command of both fleets and all 3 naval stations. Multiple commanders of the HSF refused to send any idle destroyers to Flanders where they could fight the enemy because it would diminish their own command.
 
Interesting do you have any sources? I'd like to learn more..
It's a theme on here. @Riain preaches it a bit. Just that strip of land is important with lots of French industry in Bethune, and taking Dunkirk making it another nest of submarines would make it easier for the Germans to contest the straits. In his world war 1 book, Liddel Hart blames the German generals for losing it not pushing units to Germany's right. The industry lost by France is the big factor, Britain has more problems as well with more effective German naval bases.
 
Interesting do you have any sources? I'd like to learn more..
Our local library has a complete set of marshall Cavendish world war 1, it's like 20 volumes, quite brilliant. Liddel Hart talks strategy alot in his general ww1 book, but he has agendas. Churchill talks about the possible loss of Dunkirk in his world Crisis book, as he was worried about losing it and having Calais under artillery fire.
 

Riain

Banned
The two best sources about the naval war in the narrow southern end of the North Sea are Admiral Bacon's The Dover Patrol and The Naval Flank of the Western Front: The Development & Operations of the German Marine Korps Flandern 1914-1918 by Mark D Karau, there used to be large excerpts of this book on the internet. These sources spell out the threats and opportunities, that has to be extrapolated out for the Germans winning the Race to the Sea.

While the shooty shooty gets all the attention holding the French channel coast is important because it lengthens the supply lines to the BEF, lengthens patrol distances for the RN, increases risk for a whole gamut of British activity that needs to be mitigated and a whole host of boring stuff that makes things harder for the British and easier for the Germans.
 

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Some CP victory pods that arent: Italy neutral or Cp, Germany wins Marne, Spring Offensives suceeds, US doesnt join WW1. Also preferably make the POD on the CP side or something that isnt made by an Entente change.
Austria-Hungary not stripping down its Eastern Front forces for the Battle of Asiago could be a good POD, imo. Russian victory during the Brusilov Offensive was in no small part possible because the Austro-Hungarians only left the bare minimum of troops, artillery and supplies in the East.

Let's say Hötzendorf's plan to "punish" Italy is torpedoed by Supreme Commander Archduke Friedrich and Hungarian Prime Minister Tisza István once it becomes clear that the Germans are unwilling to provide assisstance for the offensive or to reinforce the Eastern Front. Like that, the Italian Front remains unprioritised and ample reserves remain available in the East. Perhaps a smaller attack with minimal objectives (aiming at improving defensive positions) could be authorised, but nothing more.

When the Russians launch their attack against Austria-Hungary in 1916 June, they still achieve some initial successes, however the quick rush in of Austro-Hungarian reserve forces and the concentration of Austro-Hungarian artillery against the Russian main points of attack allows Austria-Hungary to avoid disaster and to minimise the loss of territory and of men. Meanwhile, the Russian suffer greater casualties yet achieve less than in OTL.

Like this, the Germans don't have to transfer units away from the Battle of Verdun, which allows them to put greater pressure on the French. That in turn might lead to diminished French contribution to the initial phases of the Battle of the Somme, making the British situation more difficult there.

In an optimal scenario, Germany captures Fort Souville in late June and eventually captures most of not all heights East and Northeast of Verdun. The French are desperate to retake the lost ground since they are stuck in an extremely vulnerable position, completely exposed to German artillery attacks. In the end, the French bleed themselves white to no avail and are eventually forced to withdraw from Verdun to the defensible Argonne Forest. The cases of mass disobediences in the French Army might begin sooner ITTL.

At the same time, the Brits have even less French support at the Somme and maybe they even have marginally more Germans to deal with compared to OTL. I don't think this would change the outcome of the battle that dramatically, but maybe the final position of the frontline could end up being slightly more favourable to the Germans.

So 1916 on the Western Front concludes with high casualties on both sides, but notably higher ones on the Entente's side. Meanwhile, the frontline shortens because of the elimination of the Verdun Salient. Both of these outcomes favour Germany, which have less manpower reserves available compared to Britain and France combined.

Back to Austria-Hungary. Avoiding OTL's disastrous losses, Austria-Hungary is in a much better shape from all possible viewpoints. Since the army's manpower is not depleted, there's less need for new call-ups, which leaves the Home Front less burdened and the economy healthier.

Another thing that helps Austria-Hungary's and the Central Powers' position is the continued neutrality of Romania. Aside from having one less foe to fight, and a shorter frontline tocdeal with, Romania was an irreplaceable supplier of oil of the Central Powers before it joined the war on the side of the Entente. Even after the CP occupation of the Romanian oil fields, the flow of oil never again reached the previous levels.

On top of this, the victory at Verdun and the continued Romanian neutrality also ensures that Falkenhayn remains the German Chief of Staff, keeping Hindy and Ludy away from power.

In the second half of October, A-H launches a counteroffensive against Russia, which reverses the Russian gains made in the previous 4 months and potentially also liberates all of East Galicia. This move not only hurts Russia, but also deters Romania from straying from neutrality or ending exports to the Central Powers.

Without the Dynamic Duo in charge, there's no Hindenburg Program, so the Turnip Winter is likely less severe (especially since foodstuff can be imported from Romania too).

Another very important thing is that there would be no need for an Operation Alberich ITTL. The elimination of the Verdun Salient already sufficiently shortens the German lines in the West while the neutrality of Romania also makes the Eastern Front shorter than OTL. Perhaps a slight correction of the lines could be done at the Somme Salient, but nothing as grandiose as IOTL.

And here comes a pretty crucial thing: With the seemingly favourable conditions on land and with Falky in charge, the supporters of USW are likely to be edged out by its opponents. This consequently pretty much guarantees the continued neutrality of the US.

Revolution soon kicks off in Russia, plunging country in turmoil (although not collapse yet), meanwhile the Brits begin to find acquiring US dollars (necessary for importing from the US) increasingly difficult. The Entente suddenly finds itself in a less than favourable situation to say the least.

The war is decided in 1917 after the coordinated all-front, all-out offensives of the Entente fail to crush the Central Powers' defences. Both the French and Russian militaries are just husks of their former selves, although the former still retains the strength and organisation to offer stiff resistance against attacks, the latter less so. Russia even loses Riga, the Estonian Islands and Rovno.

Meanwhile the Breakthrough at Caporetto is achieved ITTL as well, however the subsequent Battle of Monte Grappa is won by Austria-Hungary this time. As a result, Italian defences on the Piave have to be abandoned and the frontline finally settles on the Adige River and the Soave-Tregnano line. Britain remains the sole power (beside Japan) to have some real fighting strength left.

This setback is the one that probably breaks the Camel's back. The Entente initiates peace talks while they still hold some cards. The US, Spain and the Netherlands likely get requested to mediate. At this point, the peace initiative could probably die in its infancy due to British refusal to lift the blockade on Germany and Austria-Hungary. Alternatively, it can fail because of too extreme demands made by the Germans.

If the talks fail and the US still retains neutrality at this point, the Central Powers likely Panzerfaust Russia and Kaiserschlact France. Even if Paris doesn't fall, the Germans would be at its gates, which would put enormous pressure on the French. France, Italy and Russia either abandon Britain here and sign peace separately, or Britain agrees to peace as well (but do their utmost to maximise their leverages).

If the talks don't fail like that however, then the Central Powers attain more moderate gains thanks to US efforts to save the debt servicing ability of Entente nations.



Or idk, there are way too many things to consider to realistically guess what would happen a year past the initial POD.
 
How about pre 1914 Ireland having fallen into a civil war between the Ulster Unionist and the Nationalists and the British Army tied up trying to maintain order? No Expeditonary Force will leave the French on their own for the first nine months of the land war.

OK that would leave the Royal Navy free for some blockade duties, the rest deployed to stop gun running to Ireland.

A weaker response in the West could lead to France being knocked out as planned.
 

Riain

Banned
Leaving aside the OP stipulation about the Marne, I don't understand what people mean by victory by the Germans and how it would be achieved? IIUC the tactical situation on the Marne was the result of all manner of events in the previous weeks, setting up a situation where the Germans were outnumbered and bound to be stopped at the very least.
 
Austria-Hungary not stripping down its Eastern Front forces for the Battle of Asiago could be a good POD, imo. Russian victory during the Brusilov Offensive was in no small part possible because the Austro-Hungarians only left the bare minimum of troops, artillery and supplies in the East.

Let's say Hötzendorf's plan to "punish" Italy is torpedoed by Supreme Commander Archduke Friedrich and Hungarian Prime Minister Tisza István once it becomes clear that the Germans are unwilling to provide assisstance for the offensive or to reinforce the Eastern Front. Like that, the Italian Front remains unprioritised and ample reserves remain available in the East. Perhaps a smaller attack with minimal objectives (aiming at improving defensive positions) could be authorised, but nothing more.

When the Russians launch their attack against Austria-Hungary in 1916 June, they still achieve some initial successes, however the quick rush in of Austro-Hungarian reserve forces and the concentration of Austro-Hungarian artillery against the Russian main points of attack allows Austria-Hungary to avoid disaster and to minimise the loss of territory and of men. Meanwhile, the Russian suffer greater casualties yet achieve less than in OTL.

Like this, the Germans don't have to transfer units away from the Battle of Verdun, which allows them to put greater pressure on the French. That in turn might lead to diminished French contribution to the initial phases of the Battle of the Somme, making the British situation more difficult there.

In an optimal scenario, Germany captures Fort Souville in late June and eventually captures most of not all heights East and Northeast of Verdun. The French are desperate to retake the lost ground since they are stuck in an extremely vulnerable position, completely exposed to German artillery attacks. In the end, the French bleed themselves white to no avail and are eventually forced to withdraw from Verdun to the defensible Argonne Forest. The cases of mass disobediences in the French Army might begin sooner ITTL.

At the same time, the Brits have even less French support at the Somme and maybe they even have marginally more Germans to deal with compared to OTL. I don't think this would change the outcome of the battle that dramatically, but maybe the final position of the frontline could end up being slightly more favourable to the Germans.

So 1916 on the Western Front concludes with high casualties on both sides, but notably higher ones on the Entente's side. Meanwhile, the frontline shortens because of the elimination of the Verdun Salient. Both of these outcomes favour Germany, which have less manpower reserves available compared to Britain and France combined.

Back to Austria-Hungary. Avoiding OTL's disastrous losses, Austria-Hungary is in a much better shape from all possible viewpoints. Since the army's manpower is not depleted, there's less need for new call-ups, which leaves the Home Front less burdened and the economy healthier.

Another thing that helps Austria-Hungary's and the Central Powers' position is the continued neutrality of Romania. Aside from having one less foe to fight, and a shorter frontline tocdeal with, Romania was an irreplaceable supplier of oil of the Central Powers before it joined the war on the side of the Entente. Even after the CP occupation of the Romanian oil fields, the flow of oil never again reached the previous levels.

On top of this, the victory at Verdun and the continued Romanian neutrality also ensures that Falkenhayn remains the German Chief of Staff, keeping Hindy and Ludy away from power.

In the second half of October, A-H launches a counteroffensive against Russia, which reverses the Russian gains made in the previous 4 months and potentially also liberates all of East Galicia. This move not only hurts Russia, but also deters Romania from straying from neutrality or ending exports to the Central Powers.

Without the Dynamic Duo in charge, there's no Hindenburg Program, so the Turnip Winter is likely less severe (especially since foodstuff can be imported from Romania too).

Another very important thing is that there would be no need for an Operation Alberich ITTL. The elimination of the Verdun Salient already sufficiently shortens the German lines in the West while the neutrality of Romania also makes the Eastern Front shorter than OTL. Perhaps a slight correction of the lines could be done at the Somme Salient, but nothing as grandiose as IOTL.

And here comes a pretty crucial thing: With the seemingly favourable conditions on land and with Falky in charge, the supporters of USW are likely to be edged out by its opponents. This consequently pretty much guarantees the continued neutrality of the US.

Revolution soon kicks off in Russia, plunging country in turmoil (although not collapse yet), meanwhile the Brits begin to find acquiring US dollars (necessary for importing from the US) increasingly difficult. The Entente suddenly finds itself in a less than favourable situation to say the least.

The war is decided in 1917 after the coordinated all-front, all-out offensives of the Entente fail to crush the Central Powers' defences. Both the French and Russian militaries are just husks of their former selves, although the former still retains the strength and organisation to offer stiff resistance against attacks, the latter less so. Russia even loses Riga, the Estonian Islands and Rovno.

Meanwhile the Breakthrough at Caporetto is achieved ITTL as well, however the subsequent Battle of Monte Grappa is won by Austria-Hungary this time. As a result, Italian defences on the Piave have to be abandoned and the frontline finally settles on the Adige River and the Soave-Tregnano line. Britain remains the sole power (beside Japan) to have some real fighting strength left.

This setback is the one that probably breaks the Camel's back. The Entente initiates peace talks while they still hold some cards. The US, Spain and the Netherlands likely get requested to mediate. At this point, the peace initiative could probably die in its infancy due to British refusal to lift the blockade on Germany and Austria-Hungary. Alternatively, it can fail because of too extreme demands made by the Germans.

If the talks fail and the US still retains neutrality at this point, the Central Powers likely Panzerfaust Russia and Kaiserschlact France. Even if Paris doesn't fall, the Germans would be at its gates, which would put enormous pressure on the French. France, Italy and Russia either abandon Britain here and sign peace separately, or Britain agrees to peace as well (but do their utmost to maximise their leverages).

If the talks don't fail like that however, then the Central Powers attain more moderate gains thanks to US efforts to save the debt servicing ability of Entente nations.



Or idk, there are way too many things to consider to realistically guess what would happen a year past the initial POD.
Nice write up, in this TL A-H, is healthier, not so much a German client but partner still in 1918, what would Austria want out of a CP favorable peace? I can't imagine she wants more Italians or Serbs in the empire.
 
Nice write up, in this TL A-H, is healthier, not so much a German client but partner still in 1918, what would Austria want out of a CP favorable peace? I can't imagine she wants more Italians or Serbs in the empire.
Mainly the economic-political vassalisation of Serbia, Montenegro and Albania, ejection of all Russian and Italian influence from the Balkans, heavy reparations from Italy, demilitarisation of Eastern Veneto, etc..

One of their demands however could trigger some German resistance: the annexation of Congress Poland. The Austrian solution to the Polish question was quickly abandoned IOTL, but there could be some elements still advocating for it during the peace negotiations of TTL. Ultimately, it will only amount to a bargaining chip, imo. The outcome of this would probably be a Habsburg being put on the throne of a newly independent Congress Poland, and Austro-Hungarian commercial-economic interests being recognised in the new country.

On a sidenote, German resistance to the Austrian annexation of Poland probably also gets the German "Border Strip" annexation plans axed as well.
 
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