MotF 52: Weird World War I


Weird World War I

The Challenge
Your challenge is to make a map depicting a world war from an alternate timeline which is radically different to our own in some manner.

The Restrictions
You may show the situation before, during, or immediately after the war if you wish. The world war you show must be the first of its type, i.e. there cannot have been a comparable, worldwide war before it.

The point of divergence in your timeline may not be before the beginning of the Congress of Vienna in 1814. Your map may be set any time between this point and the modern day, but it must be plausible; ASB maps are not permitted.

If you're not sure whether your idea meets the criteria of this challenge, please feel free to PM me.

This round shall finish on Saturday the 4th of February.


Any discussion must take place in the main thread. If you post anything other than a map entry (or a description accompanying a map entry) in this thread then you will be asked to delete the post. If you refuse to delete the post, post something that is clearly disruptive or malicious, or post spam then you may be disqualified from entering in this round of MotF and you may be reported to the board's moderators.

Remember to vote on the previous round of MoF!
(Well, I guess it's about time to kick this off. This will probably end up ranking pretty low on the "weirdness" scale, but I guess we'll see...)

So, the basic idea in this one is that Bismarck doesn't become a diplomat; he goes into law or something instead. Without him, Prussian politics proceed somewhat differently. There ends up being no conflict with Denmark over Schleswig-Holstein, but war still breaks out between Austria and Prussia in 1866. This war ends up going on longer than it did in OTL, without Bismarck's moderating influence, and some of Austria's allies in southern Germany are forcibly incorporated into the new German Federation. This, in turn, averts the Franco-Prussian War: the French are on their guard and the Prussians are busier holding together their new country. The French buddy up with the Austrians in a sort of new "Diplomatic Revolution," while the Germans build ties with Russia and Italy. A Russo-Turkish war does occur, though along somewhat different lines than OTL--with Austria-Hungary more focused on the west and less well-inclined towards Russia, it doesn't end up taking over Bosnia, though Serbia and Rumania gain their official independence.

As described in the map text, a major war breaks out in 1900, between the Triple Alliance of Germany, Italy, and Russia and the Franco-Austrian Concert. The Ottomans and the British both end up joining the Concert, as the map colors suggest--the former to get back at Russia, the later partly because of the Great Game and partly due to worries about Germany. British intervention on the continent is limited to a few token forces, but the British navy has a grand old time against the Italians in the Mediterranean, and there's fighting against the Russians in Persia and Afghanistan as well as against the Germans in their couple of African colonies. (Almost anything is preferable to the trench warfare that engulfs much of the continent--it's pretty much like our WWI but without tanks and only a few primitive airplanes towards the end...)

In this World Bismarck drowned on the 22. of August in 1862, during his stay in france as german ambassador and was not saved by a basque townsmen.
Without him the Prussian king Wilhelm I abdicated in favor of his son Frederick III during the constitutional crisis over the reform of the army. The new king was much more liberal than his father and would transform Prussia in a constitutional monarchy.

This liberalisation brought Prussia at odds with the other main power of Germany, Austria. The fact that many german nationalist started to view Frederick as their best chance to unite Germany only exacerrbated the tensions.
Over the following years Prussia would form an alliance with Italy who also had territorial claims against it and also with Russia who was convinced that the Balkan would look much nicer if Austria and the Ottoman Empire would just disapear.
This in turn lead to the formation of the Entente between Austria and France.

As the century ended tensions on the continent were on an all time high and in 1907 the explosian came at last: The bavarian parlament tried to gain additional powers as the prussian had half a century before. However unlike in Prussia the king refused to give in resulting in an uprising against him. When Austria tried to get the german conferderation to move against the new government Prussia blocked their attempt and started to support the new government outright, ignoring an austrian ultimatum not to do so.
Shortly after this Prussia, Italy and Russia were at war with Francem, Austria and the Ottoman empire.
The german confederation was spilt with some states supporting Prussia and some siding with Austria and again other declaring their neutrality.
This neutrality however did not last for long. The french war plans had always assumed that they would quickly size the prussian Rhineland and link up with Austria. When the south german States refused to let the troops trough, Baden was invaded, causing the other states to side with Prussia.

Of course one can always make a war bigger: Reaussured by the British failure to do anything during the outbreak of the war France decided to enact a blockade against Prussia depriving it of nitrate imports and consequently gunpower.

Great Britain may have seen no reason to abandon its spledid isolation over a continental war, but French ships sailing through the chanal and establishing a blockade in the north sea was a different matter. An ultimatum demanding the retreat of all french ships from the north sea was delivered.
Unwilling to back down and loose face France refused and the first world war had begun.

The first months of the war saw huge movments. Italy finally was abel to conquer the Papal state (without the Franco-Prussian war Napolean III never withdrew his troops) and liberated Venetia, but from there on the war became literally an uphill struggle at the slopes of the alps.
France concquered the Rhine valley only to be stopped at the black forest.
The Prussians had planed to rapidly advance over the ore mountains into bohemia and the to vienna, knocking Austria out of the war. The first part of the plan worked fine, but someone had forgot that south of bohemia there was another mountain range.
Most of the small german States were conquered by Prussia.
Russia rapidly conquered Galicia but was soon distracted by an uprising in Poland, while the attack into Anatolia quickly was stopped by the ottomans.
In the Balkans the Austrians and Ottomans managed to conquer Serbia but failed to make gains against Romania.

As the winter came all fronts settled into trench warfare which would remain for the next three years.
The colonies on the other hand saw more action has the british and french moved against each other. The massive use of colonial troops in those theaters is thought to have greatly contributed to the developments of independece movements after the great war.

Put one together at the last minute: since it was my idea, I feel a bit
responsible for the poor showing this time. At least this makes it three maps.

In this TL, Europe avoided the suicidal blood bath of OTL, thanks in part to
France and Austria joining forces to take the starch out of Prussia before it
got too big for its britches. So, the Long 19th Century continued, and the old
verities were less shaken - and some ugly post-Darwin "verities" if anything
became more firmly established. But there are those who think the Long 19th
has gone on far too long, and a day of reckoning approaches...



One could say that the seeds of the Anglo-German-Batavian Triple Alliance so frequently seen in the 20th century – most notable in the Global War of 1901-1903, lay in the London Treaty signed in 1839. While neither the Prussians nor the British had quite come to terms by that time, they saw a mutual enemy in Catholicism, being the religion of the Irish, French and Austrians. The rapprochement between the two in the period 1840-1889 ultimately ensured the North Sea Alliance that was founded in 1889. By then, the Prussians had unified the German nation under their own crown after a short but bloody war against the Austrians. This also led to the Batavians to ally themselves with Germany, as the Austrian loss in the war had tied that nation closely to France and thus also the Netherlands, Batavia’s traditional enemy.
Meanwhile, the Russians had signed their own pact with Germany, with the interest of repressing the Polish rebels and separatists in both nations. During the early years this pact also included Austria, with their sizeable Polish minority in Galicia. However, Austria officially left the pact at the end of the Prussian-Austrian war, having de facto shut down diplomatic relations with them at the outbreak of the war. Austria and France signed an alliance in the late 1890s, shortly after the Triple Alliance.
France and Germany never officially clashed with each other before the Global War, though they remained on bad footing with each other due to nationalistic issues. Namely the Prussian (German) annexation of Luxembourg in 1860, German interests in north eastern France, along with some colonial disputes in Africa.

The War

It was however not the French or Germans that would start the war, it was the British. The British invasion of Venezuela in 1901 called for an American intervention by means of the Monroe Doctrine. As a ceremonial gesture Germany sent a small number of ground troops to help with the defence of Canada and a few ships for the blockade of USA. France on the other hand, being misinformed about the German intentions, saw this as their chance to strike at them with the goals of annexing Luxembourg and the Rhineland while the Austrians would attack from the east with their goal of seizing Silesia. What they did not expect, however, was that this act would make Russia declare war on France, Austria, and the Netherlands. It appeared no single continent would be spared from this Global War.
While the British forces were forced on the retreat early on by the Americans in Canada, they soon stabilised the front in Ontario and Quebec with the help of reinforcements from the Home Islands. In addition, the American mainland was blockaded by the Royal Navy and the Kaiserliche Marine. In Europe, Russia and Germany quickly ran over Austria and stood at the gates of Vienna within mere weeks. A brutal occupation would follow for the next 1½ years while the bulk of the army was sent west to liberate Batavia and invade the Netherlands and France. The French would not fall so easily however, and it took about a year before the Germans came to a breakthrough. After about 3 years of being blockaded, the Americans sued for peace and thus the war came to end.

My entry for MOTF.

*Germany withdraws into isolationism, after a failed invasion of Bavaria. As a result, Bavaria is drawn into Austria's sphere of Influence. Austria begins moderate reforms. Austria reverts to the Premier German powerhouse.
Hungarian Nationalism has grown ravenous after Austria repeatedly puts down hungarian revolts with armed force, and revolutionaries eagerly ally with Russia.

Russia launches another Russo-Turkish war in place of the Crimean War, and absorbs Moldova. A series of relatively liberal Tsars leave the Polish and Romanian minorities more content than OTL.

Girabaldi ITTL is off in South America, galavanting around Argentina. His abscence causes a much larger rift between the Italians who wanted to be united under a republic and the Kingdom of Peidmont-Sardinia. In the 1860s, republicans begin a revolt in Naples snowballs into a new nation which overran both the Papal States and Naples. Now the Rep. of Italy and The Kingdom of Italy (Piedmont-Sardinia assumed the name to attain an air of legitimacy) are waiting to march over the ceasefire line.

In America, an alternate French Campaign in Mexico succeeds, and America's foreign policy becomes Interventionist-in-the-Americas (much like OTL, but earlier). America diplomacy with Europe becomes bitter in the process, and Anglophobia grows.

Great Britain, France/Mexico de Napoleon, Austria, Republican Italy
Kingdom of Italy, The United States, Russia, Wallachia, Serbia, Republic of Mexico

World War I begins in 1888, when it is unveiled that America has been sheltering and aiding a mexican terrorist group whom had plotted for the assassination of several Mexican dignitaries. France and Great Britain issued an ultimatum to America. *Nicolas Roosevelt felt his nation could stand up the the two powers, and dismisses the dignitaries.

The USN begins an impromptu assault on Halifax, ending an a horrific bloody stalemate. The RN begins shelling NYC and Boston with the USN distracted in Halifax and Mexico. While the US Army is successful in cutting Canada in half by siezing Winnipeg and Canadian Pacific Railway, Militias are successful launching raids of Detroit, Buffalo, Albany, and Several Forts in OTL Washington.

In Europe, Thing seemed bad for the Axis. Germany keeps a Neutral stance. Austria had made moderate advances into Galicia. France, Austria, and the Godfatherland gang up on the Kingdom of Italy. It seemed to be a quick war, over by Christmas.

Then the Miracle of The House of Sardinia/The Stuttgart Incident occurs; France promises Württemberg to Austria if they invaded Germany. France herself would recieve Baden. When it was intercepted by German authorities, The Kaiser became enraged,and declared war on the Allies. Attacking through Alsace-Lorraine, Bavaria, and Bohemia, The Germans continued un challenged until the French settled into trench warfare.

Because of this development, The Sardinians are now allowed to consolidate forces against the Republicans. The Sardinians then hunker down in treches and wait for the War to be over in France.

A Hungarian revolt occurs in coincidence with the entry of Germany into the War. Sabotaging supply lines through Hungary and diverting troops from the all fronts, the Maygars impeded the Austrian War effort with such force, they sued for peace in 1891. Galicia was secceded to Russia, and Germany took Bohemia and Bavaria, whilst Austria faced a horrific civil war

Germany pulled it's soldiers from the Eastern front and pushed the Front in the West all the way to Paris.

In America, The Mexican front had all but collapse with Americans and Mex. Republicans running amok in the Emperor-less Mexican empire (they fled back to France after Americans landed in Veracruz). A Treaty between the Republic of Mexico and America added Taumalipas, Nuevo Leon, and Coahuila to the Union. The Americans burst through the lines and took Ottowa and Motreal in 1890.
However, The British were blockading the East coast, aiding Confederate terrorist organizations which formed after *American Civil War, and occaisionally shelling A large city. The Americans sued for peace within the same week as France.

Peacetalks began in January of 1892, and France seceded Corsica to The Kingdom of Italy. The KoI herself had to give up Tuscany to those wily Republicans. Germany sealed her gains in Austria, and added Alsace-Lorraine to Royal Prussian lands.
America was to lose gains in Canada, seccede all of the Oregon territory above the Snake river, and to have a limit on it's Army and Navy.


Tom Thumb

The Triple War:

Three sides when the war breaks out. Balken Entente ( Romania Bulgaria Serbia and to protect it's intrests Portugal and Italy .), North Sea Pact( France, Denmark, Galacia,Great Britain and Ottoman Empire) and the Berlin Pact(Germany, Austria, Venice, Spain, Second Byzantine Empire and Russia.

The Berlin Pact nations win a narrow victory in the war. Communism sweeps across western Europe in the ensuing years with an Iron Curtain along Germanys border.

Map is on the eve of war in 1923.

The assassination of Franz-Ferdinand occurred, but Germany did not go to war with France and did not invade Belgium. Russia, alone, suffered a quick defeat and released the Baltic Duchy. Austria-Hungary also annexed Serbia. In 1916, Polish rebels rose up. Austria-Hungary was reformed and became the United States of Greater Austria. In March 1916, a Republican government came in power. Three months later, a Civil War began, opposing the Russian Republic and the Fascist Leader Alexander Traïvanov.
In 1917, tensions occurred between France and Germany about Alsace-Lorraine. The war seemed to be imminent, but at the Milan Peace Conference, a solution was found : the creation of the Free State of Alsace-Lorraine, a state without army, under a dual personal union with the German Kaiser and the French President.
In 1920, a new war happened in the Balkans. Austria and Greece were the main victorious nations. In Russia, Traïvanov won the war and Russia became the Union of All the Russias. The United Kingdom, scared by the Austro-Germano-French alliance, created tensions between the two systems.
1923 was a very hard year for the people. As a consequence, communists and fascists revolutions happened in Europe. Communists took over Spain, Sardinia, Sicily, Crete, Cyprus and Malta. Fascists or ultra-nationalists took over Poland, Bulgaria, Denmark and Portugal.
Five years later, after a lot of international tensions, the "Regrettable Episode" occurred. The Greatest War was on.


Credits for the flags : US of Greater Austria : from deathgod, here
Fascist Russia : from Cazaril, here
What could be weirder than France and Germany being allies... with an 1870 POD?

Base map is not my own, but the main concept is. That is that Bismarck manages to convince the Prussian aristocracy and the king not to demand Alsace-Lorraine from France, but ask for French Cochinchina instead. The result is a less hostile France and Europe thus remaining friendly to everyone for a while... until the Congress of Berlin, when Germany and Austria manage to anger Russia, which is multiplied when Wilhelm II gets the reins. The end result is that Italy (hates Austria, and can't really fight France ITTL as it remains neutral), Russia and Britain (German dominance on the continent, you know) bond together against the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria and the Ottoman Empire.

Peace reigns for years until the Moroccan Crisis of 1910 - After some provocation by the Moroccan sultan, France moves troops into Morocco, confident Britain won't intervene. Britain sends ultimatum. French discuss about a withdrawal, and eventually concede... but by then, British warships are already bombing the French. Only after the war it turns out there was some time zone confusion.

The war does not go over easy for Britain, or at least not as easy as they expected - France is a pretty formidable foe, and through some lucky break they even manage to conquer the Channel Islands. The British decide, "hey, we don't need to do this alone", and ask Italy for help. Italy declares war on France and mobilizes. Austria, terrified the Italians might attack them too, mobilizes as well. Russia demands that Austria backs down, they don't, everyone mobilizes, Germany is terrified of being caught off-guard and decides to initiate her war plan, they declare war on Italy... and the rest is history.

Germany rapidly invades Italy while keeping the Russian army occupied on the border. They defeat the Italian army, but find out that keeping the Italian people down is not that easy. After little over two years, they manage to defeat Russia, leading to Britain holding out on its own for a few months before finally yielding to an 'honorable peace' in late 1913.

This map shows the world in July 1914, after the last peace accords have been signed.


1. The war in Ireland is more brutal (if possible) IOTL, partly due to a British desire to compensate for their loss in Europe.
2. Random butterfly: Norway stays Swedish ITTL. Even if it is highly autonomous.
3. Russia manages to avert going communist, but has to pay the price: a bigger Finland that incorporates most of its basic territorial claims.
4. The Baltic Grandduchy, part of the German Empire. Come to think of it, they really should've asked the Estonians and Latvians what they thought about it.
5. A few French batallions keep Poland strong enough to avoid becoming a German puppet entirely - the French can't really trust Germany, after all. Their economy is basically dominated by the Germans, though.
6. Romania lost the war, but Germany and France didn't want to give Bessarabia back to Russia. If the Romanians behave, there'll be a plebiscite here in ten years.
7. A different Berlin Congress means different alliances. Serbia is a puppet of the rapidly weakening Austro-Hungarian Empire, who in all honesty can't sustain all these conquests.
8. Greece lost the war, but that's the last of the concerns in Athens right now - Socialist Italy looks much more threatening.
9. The Social Republic of Italy, comrades! Our proud republic was founded when the vile treacherous government decided to make peace after half of our army was imprisoned when the Germans and Austrians charged for Venice in the early weeks of the war, cutting off most of our armed forces. A few local defeats elsewhere did the trick. The Italian government needed to sue for peace, but the people didn't like that - nor the enormous reparations that Germany and France tried to impose even as the war was still on-going. A few lucky breaks for the socialists later, and the Social Republic of Italy is established and has managed to frighten the Austrians into withdrawing their occupation forces. The Germans think the socialists will collapse anyway, but they're wrong. Fortunately, though, the socialist ideology preached in Italy is a lot more moderate than Leninism or Stalinism.
10. The government in Turin thinks they represent Free Italy, but in reality they're just a buffer for the French.
11. For starting the entire war, Morocco got off pretty easy - they've only become a French protectorate.
12. Malta was seized in the general quest against imperialism during the later stages of the war, and the Brits are a bit too distracted to ask it back.
13. Libya was never conquered by Italy ITTL (they got a bigger East-Africa instead, or at least they had one until the Germans seized it in the war) and is one of the Ottomans' most loyal provinces. And they could use a little loyalty every now and then, considering their other puppets...
14. ... including Armenia. They're a little unsure whom to hate more: the Ottomans, the Russians, or perhaps the puppet government the Ottomans installed?
15. After some financial compensation, the bisshop of Urgell was more than willing to give up his half-principality to the Papacy-in-exile, as a French puppet. Like in the Baltic Grandduchy, no one really bothered to ask the Andorrans what they thought of it.

Europe 1915 France Germanywithnumbers.PNG