WI: Germany in 1914 gets the 24 divisions required for the Schlieffen Plan

Where are they going to fit them, and how are they going to supply them on the already burdened mess of roads?
Germany's Railways were fine it's Belgium and France we're the problem soldiers had to find other means of transportation when they made it to those countries

in this scenario the German general staff do not have to worry about the Bavarian Army refusing to March East they'll have plenty of soldiers in reserve when Russia invades they'll have plenty of soldiers to send to face Russia as well as France and replace losses easily the German lines of the battle of the Marne were spread thin in this scenario they are not and so the British and French forces will probably be pushed back and Paris will fall and with France loses a major rail Junction not to mention losing a lot of morale.
 
Germany's Railways were fine it's Belgium and France we're the problem soldiers had to find other means of transportation when they made it to those countries
‘The infantry came in in files of five, two hundred men to each company; the lancers in columns of four, with not a pennant missing.’ They passed in one unbroken steel-grey column, 55–65 kilometres long: ‘You returned to watch it, fascinated. It held the mystery and menace of fog rolling toward you across the sea.’ The passing Germans sang ‘Fatherland, My Fatherland’ in perfect rhythm. Then came the ‘rumble of siege guns, the creaking of wheels and of chains clanking against the cobblestones and the sharp bell-like voices of the bugles’. Still they came, well into the afternoon, a deep, sombre mass of men in grey.​

Source: Ham, Paul. 1914: The Year the World Ended .
 
Germany gains the extra 24 through completely cancelling their naval programmes. It all goes into artillery, since the effective fighting power of a division in this time is determined by firepower.
Taking the money from the Navy and diverting to the Army would probably result in just conscripts with more money - and consequently higher incidents of VD. You'd shrink Krupp so it would just be a Skoda rival. A bigger German army sooner and the bombastic rhetoric that would follow would probably result in a cold war of Europe united against Germany with GB aloof of it all. Perhaps even the Austrians as they had also been a target in the German wars of unification just like all it's other neighbors except Russia.

The HSF as designed and built was quite balanced and a reasonable force for Germany's needs. Building the HSF also demonstrated German efficiency and political will as Germany spent less on the navy than the French did on theirs and yet managed to overtake the French navy.

The navy took the conscripts the army didn’t want, besides, the army was regional, the navy was federal. The navy was a nation building exercise and a way of uniting the German diaspora across the world that numbered in the millions. You need a German brand promise for the new nation to buy into not a Prussian one. Eschewing a navy means Germany places all it's foreign investment, imports and exports at the trust of GB. Treitschke would roll in his grave.

Army vs Navy industrial benefits
Artillery manufacturing: pipe making and some peasants learn maths.

Naval ship building: bigger pipe making and a business case for computers.
Also: extensive electrical systems, motors, hydraulics, engineering pressure vessels, boiler making, fuel systems, pumps, turbines, internal combustion engines, batteries, electric motors, riveting, welding, forgings, castings, advanced metallurgy, high tensile steel, plate bending, precision optics, mechanical analogue computers, communication systems, wireless, furniture making, refrigeration, woodwork and decking, galvanised fittings, painting, cutting edge engineering, advanced chemicals in anti fouling paint, drafting, project management, industrial scale organisation etc. All usable in the wider marine and broader economy. 40% of warship costs go into the pockets of yard workers who pay taxes and so the whole thing goes around again.

Note that no army invented the tank - it took a navy to do that. It required brains, insight, planning, high engineering skills and a mature military industrial complex to achieve. To an army, tanks just frighten the horses and detract from the 'spirit of the bayonet'. The genesis of the heavy bomber also came from the navy with the spec for 'a bloody paralyser of an aircraft' - the Handley Page Type 0 coming from the RNAS.
 
Also people forget the context of schlieffen, in 1906 right after the Russo-Japnaese war. Where it was assumed that the Russians were weak (ignoring the 10 years since or the limiting nature of an incomplete trans-siberian railroad.) That Schlieffen used the excercise as a rhetorical aid for a bigger army first, then plan second.

At the same time as a plan it was a purely military exercise that ignored politics as "we'll dictate the terms in Paris, so who cares about all the horrible things we do up to that certain victory? It's not like that'll piss off anyone" and the economics of war (we'll run out of men and be unable to mobilize fast enough anyways, so the war must be short, no need to plan for anything else) ignoring that the French fought on post-Paris last round.

It was fundamentally flawed plan and adding more men isn't a solution. And as the war showed, it was artillery, coordination, small-squad tactics, aircraft, tanks, and trucks that won battles, economics and political will the war. Just like the legendary slaughter of the "innocents" in 1914 more German conscripts won't help when the problem was doctrinal and economic.
 

Coulsdon Eagle

Monthly Donor
My initial thoughts on the Navy being sacrificed for the Army.

First thought is, as others have postulated, that the relationship between Germany & Britain will be different - to what degree I'm not sure. Whether the absence of Navy Laws would result in Britain having a cooler reaction to an accommodation on colonial matters with France (which drove the Entente to a large extent) I'm not sure, but certainly Lloyd George's social programmes will be more affordable with a slowing down in the building of dreadnoughts (the ship itself & its progeny will still appear). My personal opinion is that Britain will reach a colonial agreement with France, which could lead to future Anglo-French friction with Berlin (Algerciras & Agadir) but have little interest in coming to terms with Russia that might drag London into a continental war.

So what to do with those 24 divisions? Schlieffen's supposed last words were "keep the right wing strong" but others have already commented on logistical matters. I would also add that an enlarged area of deployment & need for room to manoeuvre would almost certainly entail an incursion of Dutch territory, certainly the Maastricht appendix. Would the Netherlands join the Allies (France & Germany) or accept force-majeure and allow it (being under no treaty obligations to defend their own land)? Either way, if it is going to be a long war, the removal of Germany's "windpipe" due to an enemy or an annoyed neutral could be fatal. An invasion of Holland & Belgium might upset any cosy arrangements between Berlin & London.

Other options: -
  1. Try to break through the French centre, seeking what most Prussians considered the most orgasmic result of a double-envelopment ala Cannae.
  2. Devote all or the bulk of those extra forces to the East and smash the Russian army.
  3. Spread them out over the whole continent for a little (false) security anywhere.
My preferred option, with 20/20 hindsight, based on pre-war ambitions and not the blood soaked victory programmes of either side, and assuming Britain is not an "Entente" power, would be to stand on the defensive in the West, crush the Russian armies in Poland (easier said that done but, hey, I'm not a member of the Prussian General Staff) and ensure the Habsburgs have enough support to wipe Serbia & Montenegro off the map. Germany can then suggest to the Allies that, excluding Serbia & Montenegro, we all go back to a white peace, having achieved what was their original war aim, the retention of Austria-Hungary (their only relatively-reliable ally) as a Great Power and the crushing of the Serbian viper.

Simple to write, not simple to do, and when I step down as Supreme Warlord the whole structure will fall apart (the Balkans seething with nationalist hatreds, the Russians & French biding their time for revenge, the British suddenly aware of who is dominating Europe...) but that's my successor's problems.
 
Q

C.Z.A.R

Donor
My initial thoughts on the Navy being sacrificed for the Army.

First thought is, as others have postulated, that the relationship between Germany & Britain will be different - to what degree I'm not sure. Whether the absence of Navy Laws would result in Britain having a cooler reaction to an accommodation on colonial matters with France (which drove the Entente to a large extent) I'm not sure, but certainly Lloyd George's social programmes will be more affordable with a slowing down in the building of dreadnoughts (the ship itself & its progeny will still appear). My personal opinion is that Britain will reach a colonial agreement with France, which could lead to future Anglo-French friction with Berlin (Algerciras & Agadir) but have little interest in coming to terms with Russia that might drag London into a continental war.

So what to do with those 24 divisions? Schlieffen's supposed last words were "keep the right wing strong" but others have already commented on logistical matters. I would also add that an enlarged area of deployment & need for room to manoeuvre would almost certainly entail an incursion of Dutch territory, certainly the Maastricht appendix. Would the Netherlands join the Allies (France & Germany) or accept force-majeure and allow it (being under no treaty obligations to defend their own land)? Either way, if it is going to be a long war, the removal of Germany's "windpipe" due to an enemy or an annoyed neutral could be fatal. An invasion of Holland & Belgium might upset any cosy arrangements between Berlin & London.

Other options: -
  1. Try to break through the French centre, seeking what most Prussians considered the most orgasmic result of a double-envelopment ala Cannae.
  2. Devote all or the bulk of those extra forces to the East and smash the Russian army.
  3. Spread them out over the whole continent for a little (false) security anywhere.
My preferred option, with 20/20 hindsight, based on pre-war ambitions and not the blood soaked victory programmes of either side, and assuming Britain is not an "Entente" power, would be to stand on the defensive in the West, crush the Russian armies in Poland (easier said that done but, hey, I'm not a member of the Prussian General Staff) and ensure the Habsburgs have enough support to wipe Serbia & Montenegro off the map. Germany can then suggest to the Allies that, excluding Serbia & Montenegro, we all go back to a white peace, having achieved what was their original war aim, the retention of Austria-Hungary (their only relatively-reliable ally) as a Great Power and the crushing of the Serbian viper.

Simple to write, not simple to do, and when I step down as Supreme Warlord the whole structure will fall apart (the Balkans seething with nationalist hatreds, the Russians & French biding their time for revenge, the British suddenly aware of who is dominating Europe...) but that's my successor's problems.
It's impossible for 4-5+ armies to deploy to the East, mostly due to logistical challenges. However, Queen Wilhelmina's husband was extremely pro-German, so the maneuver through Maastricht could've been possible.
 
erhaps even the Austrians as they had also been a target in the German wars of unification just like all it's other neighbors except Russia
The Prussians in charge did not want another large group of Catholics with a well established, popular Royal House.
They had enough trouble with Bavaria.
The 1866 event was to block their influence with other German Confederation members.
They wanted to run the Show from Berlin, not worry about another PowerBase from Vienna
 
It's impossible for 4-5+ armies to deploy to the East, mostly due to logistical challenges. However, Queen Wilhelmina's husband was extremely pro-German, so the maneuver through Maastricht could've been possible.
Except the Dutch prepared the demolitions beginning July 26 and the orders given to blow the bridges the second the Germans crossed the border.

@Coulsdon Eagle
On Anglo-German relations without the HSF:

The British began negotiations with the French in 1903 on the Entente. At the time, the Germans had the fifth largest fleet behind Britain, France, Russia and the US. It's hard to believe that the British made peace with the 2nd largest fleet out of concern about the 5th largest.

Far more likely to have been part of the effort to isolate Russia. Before the Japanese War, the British were hard pressed against the Franco-Russian Alliance.

The Entente was concluded by ignoring German rights in Morocco. The British were happy to stir up Franco German tensions as a way to distract the two from the British Empire
 

Coulsdon Eagle

Monthly Donor
Except the Dutch prepared the demolitions beginning July 26 and the orders given to blow the bridges the second the Germans crossed the border.

@Coulsdon Eagle
On Anglo-German relations without the HSF:

The British began negotiations with the French in 1903 on the Entente. At the time, the Germans had the fifth largest fleet behind Britain, France, Russia and the US. It's hard to believe that the British made peace with the 2nd largest fleet out of concern about the 5th largest.

Far more likely to have been part of the effort to isolate Russia. Before the Japanese War, the British were hard pressed against the Franco-Russian Alliance.

The Entente was concluded by ignoring German rights in Morocco. The British were happy to stir up Franco German tensions as a way to distract the two from the British Empire
The Second Navy Law was passed by the Reichstag in 1900, before moves toward the Entente began. Britain was starting to look at what the Germany Navy was legislated to become, not what it would be in 1903.

I did say the British may look to a colonial-only agreement with the French. The closer military ties started after Algeciras and a factor in fueling the flames was the naval arms race - especially after the Third Navy Law was passed in 1906.
 
I think the Army vs Navy argument is driven by how little the Navy achieved during the war, which itself was driven by it's abysmal command structure. The Navy had the resources to achieve something and once the Belgian coast was captured had the strategic position to achieve something, but never did. If the Navy had fought and achieved things, even if only in the Baltic and southern North Sea with light forces, I doubt people would see the merit in reducing it in favour of the Army, especially given the Navy didn't really compete with the Army during peacetime.

the Bavarian Army refusing to March East

I'd just learned of this recently, it turned out to be a real problem in the execution of the Moltke plan although I don't think an insurmountable one.
 
I think the Army vs Navy argument is driven by how little the Navy achieved during the war, which itself was driven by it's abysmal command structure. The Navy had the resources to achieve something and once the Belgian coast was captured had the strategic position to achieve something, but never did. If the Navy had fought and achieved things, even if only in the Baltic and southern North Sea with light forces, I doubt people would see the merit in reducing it in favour of the Army, especially given the Navy didn't really compete with the Army during peacetime.
Yeah - Given the way the Navy made sense from a German perspective (as in hard to butterfly), it's much easier to have it make an impact, even if by so little as having some sort of Joint Army-Navy planning:
Like,
Army: hey, what use are you planning to be?
Navy: Like if you get us some Belgian coastline we can harass the channel shipping with light forces and interrupt French supply lines.
Army: well i don't know about that -
Kaiser: No, no I insist you get my navy some Belgian coast.
Army: Okay.
Navy: But like we don't want to detach light forces from our commands -
Kaiser: What use are those commands supposed to be? I insist you detach the light forces necessary to actually be useful.
 
Yeah - Given the way the Navy made sense from a German perspective (as in hard to butterfly), it's much easier to have it make an impact, even if by so little as having some sort of Joint Army-Navy planning:
Like,
Army: hey, what use are you planning to be?
Navy: Like if you get us some Belgian coastline we can harass the channel shipping with light forces and interrupt French supply lines.
Army: well i don't know about that -
Kaiser: No, no I insist you get my navy some Belgian coast.
Army: Okay.
Navy: But like we don't want to detach light forces from our commands -
Kaiser: What use are those commands supposed to be? I insist you detach the light forces necessary to actually be useful.

It's amazing how many of Imperial Germany's problems could be addressed with lines on an org chart. That said, when it comes to the Navy the Kaiser pretty much was the problem, as he took personal operational command of the Navy in April 1899, partly due to the machinations of Tirpitz. This meant that it was the Kaiser who decided if a unit was allocated to the Baltic or High Seas Fleet or Baltic, North Sea or Flanders naval stations, and the operational limits of what seagoing commanders could do. What was needed was an officer between him and these equal ranked fleets/stations to move stuff around on a strategic level and OK or deny operations by these commands. This officer's staff could then have a 'dotted line' liaison link to OHL in order to harmonise Army and Navy operations.
 

Coulsdon Eagle

Monthly Donor
There was also - well, not quite a "class" divide - but something similar between the Army & the Navy. The Army was still pretty much dominated by the Prussian Junkers class - Protestant, conservative, landowners. The Navy called to the mercantile, industrial, town folk. Mind you, even in the Navy, the gap between officer and other ranks was a chasm, far greater than that of the class-riven British. The exception, of course, being the U-boat crews, which by 1917-18 was where the ambitious officers were leaving the dreadnoughts for.
 
There's also the different requirements of building a navy and building an army.

Building a navy from such humble beginning as as the Prussian Navy is a task requiring decades during peacetime but grinds to a halt in wartime, whereas the Army is the opposite, it can be expanded from small beginnings to a huge force in a couple of years during wartime. Germany kept its Army the same size for decades but from December 1912 increased it by 135,000 men in less than 2 years and during the war enlisted some 13 million men. In contrast while a lot of light craft and uboats were built capital ship construction virtually ceased in wartime.
 
Ther is also (assuming nothing else is changed thanks to butterflys) the erly part of the war were a extra army could easily lead to the destruction of the bef or the 5th French army (both of wich nerly happened as is in OTL) wich would make it really hard for France to stope this inlarged german army even with all the logistical issues it had.
 

NoMommsen

Donor
It's impossible for 4-5+ armies to deploy to the East, mostly due to logistical challenges. However, Queen Wilhelmina's husband was extremely pro-German, so the maneuver through Maastricht could've been possible.
... if you might have a look into the quite extensive and rather well sourced discussion started mainly with this post and finally ended with a notion of what was possible and what not by the one responsible for the logistics Groener ...

... you might be able to find that the often invoked logistical restrictions to a mayor 'East First' deployment ... are a myth.
 
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Ther is also (assuming nothing else is changed thanks to butterflys) the erly part of the war were a extra army could easily lead to the destruction of the bef or the 5th French army (both of wich nerly happened as is in OTL) wich would make it really hard for France to stope this inlarged german army even with all the logistical issues it had.

I don't know if any extra army would enable to encirclement of the 5th French Army or BEF, as in 1914 it was difficult to impossible to arrange on the offensive without the enemy's 'cooperation'. The offensive Army just can't march fast enough to get around or behind another which is on the defensive.

In theory there existed an opportunity to encircle some or all of the 5th French army between 20 and 24 August, but it wold have required the closest coordination between 2nd and 3rd Armies, indeed it would have required an Army group command level to execute. Even then it would have been difficult to do and might have only bagged a Corps or two, that said bagging a Corps would have been a massive success in the context of the German offensive and would have lead to somewhat better results overall.
 
The Second Navy Law was passed by the Reichstag in 1900, before moves toward the Entente began. Britain was starting to look at what the Germany Navy was legislated to become, not what it would be in 1903.

I did say the British may look to a colonial-only agreement with the French. The closer military ties started after Algeciras and a factor in fueling the flames was the naval arms race - especially after the Third Navy Law was passed in 1906.
In 1898, Nicholas approved a massive naval expansion as well.

More importantly, the French under Lannessan's ministry revolutionized both their doctrines and their navy. The French Navy was to be concentrated against Britain rather than Italy, measures taken to force the British to spread their navy far and wide, and face modern ships everywhere.

The Entente put an end to the program but 38 submarines, 52 destroyers and 260 torpedo boats for commerce raiding would be hell
 
My question is how well the additional 24 divisions or more properly 12 corps would have been trained & equipped. OTL the reorganization of the older classes of reservists into combat worthy field corps had some deficiencies. Formost they lacked the 15 & 10.5 cm howitzers the 21 first line corps had. Only the 7.7cm field artillery in the division artillery regiments. Similarly the 'reserve' corps still lacked some other service units. Then there is the question of how well the command staff in these formations were trained. Even with weapons being equal, & numbers of men matching in infantry regiments and service battalions a less capable HQ staff can reduce combat efficiency significantly. 20, 30, 40 % less capable in inflicting loss on the enemy.
 
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