Most plausible WW1 German Victory?

Bomster

Kicked
WW1 seems to have been a fairly even contest. It seems like the war could have gone either way. What would have been the most plausible victory for the Germans in WW1?
 
WW1 seems to have been a fairly even contest. It seems like the war could have gone either way. What would have been the most plausible victory for the Germans in WW1?
The most plausible victory imo is for Germany to win the race to the Sea.

Various people on this forum hold out hopes for a German victory at various points but imo I feel that an early victory in the race to the sea would be the most likely place to create a big swing in the result.
 

marathag

Banned
Stay on defence in the West, go East.
That delays British entry, while chews up French troops as they march to their doom to regain Alsace–Lorraine
 
Most plausible?

Apart from the Race to the Sea being won, or if not won the Germans performing slightly better and at least taking the Coal Mines at Bethune, which which would kneecap the French war effort, there is the possibility of not screwing up the Serbian campaign. Kill governor Potiorek so someone competent can take charge, either via the bomb working or Gavrilo Princip hitting him with his second shot (which he wanted to do, hitting the Archduchess was an accident he regretted), and the Serbian campaign is not a disaster, and troops will be available to mitigate the disaster in Galicia, if that happens Italy probably stays out and the CP win. Having Marshal Putnik interned in Austria-Hungary might do that as well, if he isn't there to command the Serb war effort it could be screwed up and he was in Austria-Hungary at the start of the war

You can also mess with Italian domestic politics, entering the war was not exactly uncontroversial for them, and if they stay out the Russians are in for a bad time and the blockade leaks like a sieve, resulting in a late CP victory

You can do a plausible victory with a POD as late as early 1918
 
East first. It either averts or delays British entry, and even if the Brits do enter the war, there's a good chance it butterflies away American support for the entente cause.
 
1. East first. It at least days British entry and probably results in a negotiated peace favorable to the CP in 1916.

2. No American entry, though this is hard because even without unrestricted submarine warfare and the Zimmerman telegram, I find it hard to believe that the USA won't enter the war eventually to prevent a British/ French defeat. This would probably happen after the Bolshevik coup, with the reasons given to prevent Europe from falling to communism or something. But even delaying US entry by a year may be enough.

3. Its more of a stretch, but yes they could win the 1918 campaign in the West. Going on the defensive and winning a defensive campaign in 1919 might work, though you may also need to have stronger German and Austro-Hungarian economies.

Once the gamble of concentrating against France first mostly failed, the Central Powers actually did pretty well in digging out of the strategic hole they got into in 1914.
 

Bomster

Kicked
The most plausible victory imo is for Germany to win the race to the Sea.

Various people on this forum hold out hopes for a German victory at various points but imo I feel that an early victory in the race to the sea would be the most likely place to create a big swing in the result.
How could the Germans win the Race to the Sea?
 
How could the Germans win the Race to the Sea?
The easiest suggestions I can make are

1. Plan better for railway sabotage in Belgium.
2. Supplement the logistics of the German forces on the Eastern hook of the army with a few hundred mobilised motor vehicles.
 

Riain

Banned
How could the Germans win the Race to the Sea?

Reinforce 8th Army from units taken from 7th Army on the French frontier, leaving the 4 divisions from 2nd and 3rd Armies used IOTL on the right wing.

Transfer 6th Army from the French frontier to the right wing rather than undertake the unsuccessful offensive Battle of Grand Couronne that started 5 September. IOTL this transfer didn't start until September 15.
 

Riain

Banned
I'm a believer in the Race to the Sea being a war winner for the CP, but would point out that it would still be a long war. Holding the channel coast would tilt the strategic balance in favour of the CP and allow them to win the war.
 
I can see the Central powers winning with any of these PoDs:

Italy stays neutral or its bigger brother

Italy joins the CP

Germany does better in the early Race to the Sea, changing the logistical balance in the attrition snowball

Germany goes East first and does well. British involvement is delayed and has a lower casualty budget because of lesser mandate from the population. Settlement in the East is like the original Brest-Litovsk not the later one and the Tsar survives. Peace in the West is mostly a white peace. Germany loses a colony or two. Italy sensibly stays out.

Germany hires some diplomats that suck less and some advertising efforts in the US to keep the US out of the war. It's hard to overstate how bad they were historically on this point.
 
Ottomans perform better in Libya 1911-12, there are several very easy ways to do it. Turks actually removed troops from the area before the Italian operation - and it was imminent very openly.

I believe there is a thread on the sciara scatt battle. After the landing fails the British force the Italians to stop. Ottomans gather strength and it ends there and then. This means:

1-Italians firmly in German camp
2-Ottomans much stronger and Balkan situation much different.

The Balkan War will still blow up but Ottomans perform slightly better. Ottomans hold on to Edirne and Kavala, maybe Salonika. No 2nd Balkan War though but the Balkan allies are bitter amongst each other over the perceived lack of success.

WW1 starts over the same issue. Weaker Serbia gets further backstabbed by Bulgaria. Ottomans join later but with Italy and Serbia resolved there is no disaster in Austrian Galicia. 1915 Romania and OE join, Russia loses in the Caucasus and the eastern front. Greece neutral... A Gallipoli does not take place but the troops dont make a difference in the Western front. 1916 Russia is out and German might is brought to the West, as well as the Suez Channel and Iranian oil. 1917 French are knocked out and Britain is unable to hold on to the Empire's Middle Eastern holdings.
 
Keep the British Neutral

If not they have to win by 1st ‘Wipers’ Yypes and as others have said win the race for the sea

Not sure how as they were pretty well maxed out as it was.

But best bet keep Britain neutral and I mean properly Neutral.

Again how…???? I don’t know.
 

marathag

Banned
Again how…???? I don’t know.
Privately and publicly stating in July that Germany will be upholding the Treaty of London, that Belgium be Neutral and Independent, and warn France against any violation of their territory- and that if that should occur, Germany would gladly work with the UK to keep them independent.
Privately to the UK, that they will respect British concerns over the Channel, and will not engage French Naval units there, or transit without a previously alerting RN liaisons- but will defend against any French naval incursions.
 
Germany plus Austria-Hungary vs France and Russia were fairly evenly matched on paper, with France and Russia having bigger manpower reserves, but the Germany central position, the high quality of its army, and its railroad network means that the Central Powers eventually wins that one, even with substantial British support for France and Russia short of war. The British army was small, and if the POD is no German invasion of Belgium there is really nowhere to deploy it on the Western Front anyway. But after two years of war and recruitment, the British army was much bigger and a real factor, and needed after the French losses in Verdun. Also after two years the blockade started to really bite. This all implies that without Britain, and no German invasion of Belgium, the French and Russians are fine trading blows with Germany and Austria-Hungary, since they get the British munitions anyway, but things start to fall apart in 1916, and they have to make peace in 1917. If the British government, which will be Liberal only up to January 1916 at the latest, can't get the public reasonably unified behind openly joining the war against Germany, they will focus on arranging a peace settlement that doesn't weaken France and Russia too much.

Without the American army, maybe the British and French can defeat the German 1918 western offensives on their own (remember they had to ask the Italians for assistance!), but I don't see how they can throw the Germans out of France, British propaganda claims about that year to the contrary. By the Armistice, the Americans actually had more troops in France than France or Britain. Once the Americans were in France in force and conducting their own offensives, OHL concluded quite reaonably there was no way for Germany to win.

So more Central Powers operational success could do it, but they had a good deal of operational success IOTL. The best approaches seem to keep Britain out and keep the USA out or find a way that the war ends in a CP victory before the Americans can get deeply involved, which was the German calculation in early 1917.
 

David Flin

Gone Fishin'
Without the American army, maybe the British and French can defeat the German 1918 western offensives on their own

OTL, they did defeat the 1918 German western offensives without the American Army.

The coming of the American Army ensured that the offensive went ahead, but defeating it was done without the significant assistance of the US Army.
 

Coulsdon Eagle

Monthly Donor
Privately and publicly stating in July that Germany will be upholding the Treaty of London, that Belgium be Neutral and Independent, and warn France against any violation of their territory- and that if that should occur, Germany would gladly work with the UK to keep them independent.


Exactly what Bismarck did in 1870.
 

raharris1973

Gone Fishin'
2. No American entry, though this is hard because even without unrestricted submarine warfare and the Zimmerman telegram, I find it hard to believe that the USA won't enter the war eventually to prevent a British/ French defeat. This would probably happen after the Bolshevik coup, with the reasons given to prevent Europe from falling to communism or something. But even delaying US entry by a year may be enough.
Wilson would need to re-tool his rhetoric quite a lot to use this anti-Bolshevik justification as the main interventionist rationale. Not saying he wouldn't be capable.
Italy stays neutral or its bigger brother
what's this mean?
 
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