Ghastly Victories: The United States in the World Wars

I never said Germany wasn't going to be left devastated, just that things might be better enough that the german people don't flock to someone as extreme as the Nazis.
 
The only type of peace treaty that will give this is the one that permit Germany to not give up a single inch of territory, don't include military limitation and don't include reparation...so i doubt it
A highly cynical and unlikely statement that ignores a lot of context surrounding the rise of the Nazi party and goes contrary to most assumptions normally made about alternate history. The rise of the Nazi party could have been prevented in OTL as it could be ITTL.
 
A highly cynical and unlikely statement that ignores a lot of context surrounding the rise of the Nazi party and goes contrary to most assumptions normally made about alternate history. The rise of the Nazi party could have been prevented in OTL as it could be ITTL.
On the nazi party in specific? Yes it can be prevented, but a revanchist dictatorship that will kill any democratic developement and want a second round to avenge the previous defeat and retake his place in world? Nope, they have lost too much in term of blood and treasure and as the other pointed out they have a better hand than OTL to not develop a 'stab in the back myth' or a ' we come to win by an hinch' mentality and as OTL the military will immediately try to blame everyone else except them of the defeat.
 
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Part 3-1
Ghastly Victories: The United States in the World Wars

A TL by RamscoopRaider

Part III: Upon Both of Your Houses



A Plague o’ both the houses!-William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet Act III Scene i

It must be a Peace without victory…Only a peace between equals can last. Only a peace the very principle of which is equality and a common participation to a common benefit-Woodrow Wilson, January 22nd 1917

Even War is better than a wretched peace-Tacitus, Annales

A peace may be so wretched as not to be ill exchanged for war-Tacitus, Annales

It was rather a cessation of war than a beginning of peace-Tacitus, Annales

A severe war lurks under the show of peace-Claudianus, De Sexto Consulatu Honorii Augusti Panegyris

This is not a peace. It is an armistice for 20 years-Ferdinand Foch

Why can’t they both lose?-Anonymous




…It is popular in mainstream histories to speak of a postwar disconnect between the United States and the other victors of the First World War. The narrative of having won the war the idealistic United States immediately finding itself clashing with the cynical power grabbing of the other victors has a powerful attraction. It places the blame for the Second World War squarely on the shoulders of the European nations for having not learned their lessons from the First World War like the United States had.

This view is however unnuanced and as will be shown in this paper is a product of events of the sixth, seventh and eighth decades of the twentieth century. At the close of the First World War the American public, and especially the political elites, were in agreement with their counterparts in Britain and France on most matters. They too blamed Germany for the war and wanted them to be punished. What differences there were between the two were primarily matters of form, degree, severity and priority, rather than of substance. Had the United States truly been as opposed to the other Great Powers as is popularly believed, then the Second World War would have likely been averted, however that is not how it was.

That is not to say that there were not severe points of contention and friction between the United States and the other Entente powers. And certainly there were very heated arguments over even minor points. However as a whole the United States, at least in the immediate post First World War era, was in large part in agreement with the other Entente powers…

-Excerpt from Revisionist Viewpoints in History Volume XX, University of California Press: Berkley, 2010


…The Seeds of the Second World War, it is said, were planted in Paris. Beginning on June 28th 1919 delegates from 27 nations met to discuss the end of the First World War. Of these however only five, arguably four or even only three actually mattered, with the majority merely able to listen to what was decided by the important members and providing suggestions to the subcommittees that wrote most of the treaty provisions. The Big Five were the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Japan. Japan was excluded on many matters, leaving the remainder as the Big Four. The occasional absence of the Italians left the United States, France and Britain as the Big Three who decided the most important issues…

…The United States delegation was led by Secretary of State Robert Lansing. Along with Lansing four senators, Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts (Rep.), Hiram Johnson of California (Rep.), Gilbert Hitchcock of Nebraska (Dem.), and James Reed of Missouri (Dem.), representing both the internationalist and isolationist wings of both parties. The delegation was under instruction from President Marshall to seek a peace treaty under the guidance of Wilson’s Fourteen Points. Lansing however had reservations about the elements of the Fourteen Points, and with the presence of the senatorial delegation was inclined to take a more pragmatic view of things…

…In general the objective of the US delegation was to achieve stability and self determination in the post war world, without either infringing on American Sovereignty or at the risk of embroiling the United States in another War in Europe…

…The British delegation was led by Prime Minister David Lloyd George. Their goal was the maintenance of the interests of the British Empire. However, George had made a list of specific goals in order of priority. First was ensuring the security of France as an ally on the European continent. Second was removing Germany as a naval threat to Britain and weakening the ability of other powers to replace her. Third was settling the territorial disputes created by the war so that they would not cause another. Fourth was supporting the creation and maintenance of a League of Nations…

…Lloyd George’s position was complicated by the matter of the Dominions. They had not been given separate invitations, but rather had been expected to send representatives as part of the British delegation. This was unacceptable to the Canadian Prime Minister Robert Borden, who demanded that Canada receive separate representation, a position supported by Australian prime Minister William Hughes. This was opposed by George, who saw it as undermining his authority, and by Lansing who saw the Dominions receiving separate delegations as Britain receiving extra votes. In order to preserve harmony within the British Empire Lloyd George conceded to the Dominions receiving separate representation, and convinced Lansing to accept it in a secret agreement brokered by Clemenceau to keep their representatives off the important sub committees…

…Lloyd George had another issue in his delegation. Namely the presence of Lords Sumner and Cunliffe. Sent by the cabinet in order to exclude the Treasury’s chosen representative, John Maynard Keynes, they were there for the sole purpose of extracting as much as possible in reparations from Germany. Lloyd George, who wanted German finances intact so that she could continue to be a valuable trading partner could not remove them due to their influence with the newly elected MPs in Parliament that were baying for blood…

…The French delegation was led by Georges Clemenceau. Clemenceau had seen the Germans attack France twice in forty years and had no intention of allowing the Germans to be in a position to do the same. He wanted to weaken Germany militarily, strategically, industrially and economically. Among his goals was moving the Franco-German border to the Rhine, to give France a natural barrier similar to the one the Channel provided Britain and to absorb important mining and industrial areas. Furthermore he wanted the creation of strong states bordering Germany in Poland and Czechoslovakia, detachment of as much territory as possible and prevention of an Anschluss between Germany and Austria as was already being proposed in Berlin and Vienna.

Clemenceau also supported the League of Nations, however he felt that was not enough for France’s security. As such he wanted more formalized defense treaties with Britain and the United States to go along with that…

…Clemenceau however had a second plan in the works in case the first failed. In case the first failed he sent a diplomat, Rene Massagli to Berlin to conduct secret meetings with the Germans. Massagli was to leak details of the negotiations and offer revision in favor of Germany. In exchange he would ask for practical Franco-German cooperation against the Anglo-Saxon powers that the French government claimed were the primary threat to both countries…

…Italy’s delegation was led by Prime Minister Vittorio Orlando. His goal was simple, implementation of the Treaty of London in full. Beyond that he was under pressure to wring out whatever additional concessions could be managed from the other powers, as was demanded by his constituency…

…Japan’s delegation was led by former prime Minister Saionji Kinmochi. The Japanese had little interest in European Affairs so voluntarily abrogated their role in the Big Five for most of the conference. However they were active in pursuing two goals, acquisition of the formerly German territories in the Pacific, and ensuring that a Racial Equality Clause entered the League of Nations Covenant…

…The former Central Powers were pointedly not present at the Conference as it begun and conducted its work. They would be invited when the relevant treaties were completed and ready to be signed. That would be their only contribution to the Conference, which was something that sat well with none of them…

…Also excluded from the Conference were many delegations that showed up uninvited. Delegations from Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltics, the Caucuses and Finland were rebuffed, as the Entente continued to recognize the provisional government in Omsk as the sole authority for Russia. Similar occurred with delegations from Lebanon and Arabia, who were excluded as the French and British had already decided the fate of the Middle East. Also excluded were representatives from Korea and Vietnam, which were recognized as belonging to Japan and France respectively…

…Along with national representatives, meeting in Paris were the 1st Pan African Congress, the Inter-Allied Women’s Congress and the World Zionist Organization. The groups intended to use their meeting to bring their issues to the attention of the Conference members…

-Excerpt from Unfinished Business: The Making of the Second World War, New American Press, Chicago, 2007

 
Among his goals was moving the Franco-German border to the Rhine, to give France a natural barrier similar to the one the Channel provided Britain and to absorb important mining and industrial areas.
Yeah, adding tens of thousands of hostile residents to your country, I'm sure this will end well.
 
So, alt-Versailles starts taking form. There's going to be a disconnect between what they want and what they can enforce, I bet. Speaking of which, I wonder what's going on in Eastern Europe- no doubt there's Polish uprisings against Germany, how are they doing compared to OTL.

…It is popular in mainstream histories to speak of a postwar disconnect between the United States and the other victors of the First World War. The narrative of having won the war the idealistic United States immediately finding itself clashing with the cynical power grabbing of the other victors has a powerful attraction. It places the blame for the Second World War squarely on the shoulders of the European nations for having not learned their lessons from the First World War like the United States had.

This view is however unnuanced and as will be shown in this paper is a product of events of the sixth, seventh and eighth decades of the twentieth century. At the close of the First World War the American public, and especially the political elites, were in agreement with their counterparts in Britain and France on most matters. They too blamed Germany for the war and wanted them to be punished. What differences there were between the two were primarily matters of form, degree, severity and priority, rather than of substance. Had the United States truly been as opposed to the other Great Powers as is popularly believed, then the Second World War would have likely been averted, however that is not how it was.
Much foreshadowing here. Do you plan to keep this timeline going until these "events of the sixth, seventh and eighth decades of the twentieth century"? The implication here is that something about them, moreso than the 2nd world war itself, is what makes the American zeitgeist really try to backpedal hard and pretend they were never OK with the entente's attempt at vengeance against Germany.
…Clemenceau however had a second plan in the works in case the first failed. In case the first failed he sent a diplomat, Rene Massagli to Berlin to conduct secret meetings with the Germans. Massagli was to leak details of the negotiations and offer revision in favor of Germany. In exchange he would ask for practical Franco-German cooperation against the Anglo-Saxon powers that the French government claimed were the primary threat to both countries…
Holy shit what? Is Clemenceau proposing a secret alliance with Germany against England and America motivated purely by spite? Did anything like this madness happen OTL?
 
Holy shit what? Is Clemenceau proposing a secret alliance with Germany against England and America motivated purely by spite? Did anything like this madness happen OTL?
I'm not sure that it did, but with a longer war and what little I know about Clemenceau (so take this with a grain of salt), I could believe that he'd try. Not sure how the Germans would feel about it, but having one of the victorious powers as a post-war ally might be tempting for them. It depends in part on who the people Massagli talks to are most angry at by then.
 
Ironically here Italy hold good enough cards, at least much better than the other, as she already conquered and occupy the territory promised and alone within the entente had beaten his direct adversary (and if they want put some pressure on Germany they need her to move troops for a possible assault on south Germany)
 
Lebanon arriving is shocking but not surprised they were rebuffed.

For a bit of background in mount Lebanon over two hundred thousand people starved to death, roughly 50% of the population in the OTL by 1918, here with a much longer war, well I would be surprised if Lebanon is not just apart of Syria, given if they added parts of Syria to create a Greater Lebanon like they did in the OTL then it would a Syrian majority place, something that already almost happened in the OTL in the 1930s.

EDIT Palestine would also be messed up given the Ottoamns started deporting the Arabs and Jewish inhabitants, over eighty thousand were expelled.

The kurds would not be much better In 1916, about 300,000 Kurds were deported from Bitlis, Erzurum, Palu and Muş to Konya and Gaziantep during the winter and most perished in a famine.

Yeah by the end Enver was trying to destroy any large ethnic minority in the empire that he felt posed a threat.
 
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Sounds a lot like OTL Versailles, but even stupider on the part of the Entente. So things will totally go great for everyone 🤣

Excellent chapter.
 
Part 3-2
…The most prominent question to be discussed at the Paris Peace Conference was that of territory, namely what territories would Germany lose. The Japanese excluded themselves from most of these talks, having no interest in European borders or African colonies. The Italians spent a greater degree of time, but primarily the matter was settled between the big three…

…Georges Clemenceau at the opening of the conference presented a plan to partition Germany into between 4 and 7 states in order to ensure it could never threaten the European order again. The other members of the Big Five refused to even consider the proposal and it was quickly forgotten…

…The easiest questions to settle on was that of Alsace-Lorraine. All the big three agreed that it was legitimately French territory that had been taken by Prussia in 1871. Furthermore under the terms of the ceasefire it had already been occupied, with administration turned over to the French military, who suppressed the few outbursts of communist revolt in the area. The local Landtag, supported by members of the Reichstag from the region, voted for incorporation of the territory into France. The matter was effectively an established fact that merely needed official recognition.

This alone of the European territorial concessions involving Germany evoked no great dissatisfaction in Germany. The area had long been part of France and many did not see it as really German. The territory had only been annexed to simplify the defense of the Reich by putting the entire Franco-German border area under direct control of Berlin, rather than having to delegate most of it to Stuttgart and Karlsruhe, and the French produced documents from Bismarck and . Its loss was considered a reasonable price to pay for losing the war…

…The Big Three were in agreement that Belgium should have some territorial compensation for its devastation during the German occupation. This agreement was almost derailed by Belgian demands that the compensation should include territory from the neutral Netherlands, demands that were solidly rebuffed by Lansing and George. However there was enough public support for detaching territory from Germany, that they agreed with Clemenceau that the area of the districts of Eupen and Malmedy, along with formerly neutral Moresnet, should be awarded to Belgium. At Lansing’s insistence on the principal of self determination this would be conditional on a plebiscite voting for union with Belgium.

Clemenceau further proposed that Belgium enter union with Luxembourg, as the larger state would be better able to resist German aggression. There was not any interest in that matter in Luxembourg or Belgium and it was quietly dropped…

…The plebiscite in Eupen-Malmedy was probably the most peaceful of all the Paris Plebiscites, even if it was no more representative. It was conducted under direct supervision of the Belgian Army, with public ballots and required no voters to publicly register their objections with Belgian authorities. As such an area which was considered foreign by most Belgians was accepted into the union with a mere 1% voting no…

…Clemenceau presented a case that France needed a natural border against German aggression, and that the Rhine was the only possible solution. Lansing refused to consider the matter, the territory was indisputably German and doing so would violate all principals of self-determination. Lloyd George was more sympathetic, but still saw it as a step too far that would force them to wage further war on Germany at an unacceptable cost.

A suggestion of an independent Rhenish state was likewise shot down, as Lansing had intelligence from American occupation troops that there was no prospect of such a state working out.

Clemenceau was however adamant that France get something and in the interest of French security it was agreed that the Rhineland would be demilitarized. Furthermore Britain and the United States would sign treaties to defend France if she was attacked by Germany again. In the event this did not happen however, France would be allowed to occupy the country for 15 years as a guarantee of good behavior on the part of Germany…

…Failing to secure the Rhine Clemenceau at the very least tried to secure the Saar, as compensation for the damage to French coalfields by German occupiers. Lansing quipped that this was not 1813 and that ship had sailed, viewing the territory as undoubtably German. The two men almost reached a loggerheads, until Llyod George came up with a compromise, France would be allowed to occupy the territory for 15 years under the auspices of the League of Nations and receive the output of the Saar coal mines as additional reparations. At the end of 15 years there would be a plebiscite on whether to return to Germany, stay an independent territory, or join France. This was acceptable to both parties…

…Clemenceau suggested that the territories of Schleswig-Holstein be given to Denmark. Despite the personal sympathies of the Danish King towards the Entente feelers to Denmark were rejected. The Danish government had no interest in potentially getting on Germany’s bad side, and the public sympathy was with Germany, after all it was not the Germans who starved their children….

…During the conference word came of attempts by the new governments in Berlin and Vienna to unify. While Lansing was ambivalent on the matter, being something he viewed as a matter of self determination, the other members of the big 4 were not. France was doing their best to weaken Germany, and the admission of Austria would more than reverse all that they did. Britain likewise saw it as a potentially destabilizing factor. As for Italy, they were promised territory from Austria, and felt that had a much better chance of keeping that territory if it was a small Austria that had the claims to it, rather than a larger Germany. Outvoted 3 to 1 Lansing agreed on adding a prohibition on an Austro-German unification to the Treaty…

…It was agreed by the Big Three that a Polish State should be created. They were able to twist the arms of the Provisional Government in Omsk to cede the area known as Congress Poland as the basis of the new State, something that had already de facto happened with a German puppet government. However that was not viable as a state on its own, and the Big Three demanded more.

The end of the war saw an uprising of oppressed Poles begin. With the armistice forcing Germany to withdraw troops outside areas immediately threatened by the Soviets, Polish insurgents were able to take over large chunks of the Province of Posen. Based on this it was decided that 90% of the territory, with 93% of the population would go to Poland.

However the French did not think this was viable, they wanted a large powerful Poland as a counterbalance to Germany. They wanted to transfer most of West Prussia and a large chunk of East Prussia, along with Upper Silesia to the new state to make it viable and give it sea access. Lansing however wanted nothing to do with this, fearing it could draw the United States into having to fight Germany to force it to accept this. Instead he proposed plebiscites, which he was well aware would mostly go to Germany.

The two delegations remained at loggerheads for quite some time until Lloyd George proposed a compromise. Poland would receive a corridor to the sea from Pomerelia, though smaller than France intended and based on the 1772 borders. Furthermore the city of Danzig would be under LoN control as an independent Free City, and Germany would receive and extraterritorial highway to connect with the disconnected territory. Prussia’s southern border would also be based on that of 1772, with minor modifications to allow for giving the Polish access to rail lines necessary for the polish state. Upper Silesia and other parts of Prussia would be subject to Plebiscates.

George’s compromise would be the basis for the treaty based borders of Poland…

…The Prussian plebiscites were completely rigged by German authorities and none voted in favor of Poland. The Plebiscite in Silesia turned into a small scale irregular war, which eventually resulted into matters going to the League of Nations. Based on the lines at the end of the fighting, about 80% of Upper Silesia remained German, while 18% went to Poland and 2% had been seized by Czechoslovakia…

…The German colonies were easier to dispose of. All were classed as League of Nations Mandates. After minor negotiation Belgium received the Districts of Ruanda-Urundi from German East Africa while Britain received the rest. South Africa was to receive German West Africa. German Togo and Cameroon were divided between France and Britain, with France receiving the larger share of both.

In the Pacific Britain received Nauru, Australia German New Guinea, New Zealand German Samoa and the Carolines, Marianas and Marshall Islands to Japan. This proved somewhat thorny as Japan had secretly been promised more by Britain, however the Dominions were insistent…

…Most thorny of the German colonies was the German concession at Tsingtao, which went to Japan. China fervently protested, backed by the United States, however Japan had conquered the territory and was occupying it, and had the support of Britain and France. China and the United States were forced to concede the issue, but they would not forget…

-Excerpt from Unfinished Business: The Making of the Second World War, New American Press, Chicago, 2007

…Many of Clemenceau’s more infamous demands, taken as a sign of the disconnect between France and America were not actually his own. Rather he was pressured by advisers and elements in the French Parliament to make harsh demands. Clemenceau recognized that a France allied with America and Britain was in a better place than an isolated France with borders on the Rhine. However he had to press for the latter or failing that a Rhenish buffer state. Likewise he had to present a partition plan, even though he thought such a thing was foolish. It is a similar story behind many of his decisions at the negotiating table…

-Excerpt from Revisionist Viewpoints in History Volume XX, University of California Press: Berkley, 2010




Okay just to warn you no update next two weeks, will be updating my other TL as I have to cover on Friday for the guy in Ecuador and that one is higher priority
 
I forgot that the conference would as much a play for the internal public of each nation than foreign policy.

Still the ''easists'' bits are now done now the real issues.

I don't think a independent Lebanon will given over 50% of the population starved to death much earlier in 1918, here if they got the land of Syria added to it it would be a Syrian state by sure population and would seek to rejoin it as soon as possible, less land which make dependent on Syria for food or remains mount Lebanon a a Christian majority state close a city state in it's current borders.

Then again their a strong argument that both Britain and France might actually might combine their Arab states (Jordan, Palestine, Iraq, Kuwait ) (Syria Lebanon) into their own mega states as a force to suppress and ensure their rule over Anatolia given it's extremely valuable, a very large population and lots of mountains and guns that it will be a nightmare of insurgencies.
 
…Many of Clemenceau’s more infamous demands, taken as a sign of the disconnect between France and America were not actually his own. Rather he was pressured by advisers and elements in the French Parliament to make harsh demands. Clemenceau recognized that a France allied with America and Britain was in a better place than an isolated France with borders on the Rhine. However he had to press for the latter or failing that a Rhenish buffer state. Likewise he had to present a partition plan, even though he thought such a thing was foolish. It is a similar story behind many of his decisions at the negotiating table…
There'll be home-grown fascists in the Assembly. Mark my words.

Franco-German fascist bloc?
 
Seems similar enough to OTL so far...

How much does Poland's western border differ from OTL, if at all?
Yeah the only real major difference I can see so far is Schleswig-Holstein looks to be staying completely under Germany's control. Alongside the comment about the Danish public sympathizing more with Germany I'm wondering if that means Denmark ends up an outright German ally during WW2.
 
Yeah the only real major difference I can see so far is Schleswig-Holstein looks to be staying completely under Germany's control. Alongside the comment about the Danish public sympathizing more with Germany I'm wondering if that means Denmark ends up an outright German ally during WW2.
I could see that, though it depends on many factors going along (mainly how Germany treats them, how other nations that might ally with Germany do, and how Germany's enemies treat the Danes, along with internal factors). Things could get very messy in European politics over the intervening years, after all.
 
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