A World War One ‘What If’

100 hundred years ago this month, 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour……hostilities ceased…..World War One was over.

Come Sunday we will celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the end of hostilities…..after millions of deaths the conflict came to an end.

From time to time I enjoy a historical ‘what if’……and I found one that sez ‘what if’ Germany had won World War One…..

In a way, this is a more interesting hypothesis than the more commonly asked question about what the world would be like if the Germans had won World War II. Several historians have noted that both world wars should really be considered a single conflict with a long armistice in the middle. If this viewpoint is valid, then the official outcome of the first phase of this conflict may have been important for reasons other than those usually cited.

As a preliminary matter, we should note that the actual outcome of the First World War was a near thing, a far nearer thing than was the outcome of World War II after 1941.  While it is true that the United States entered the war on the allied side in 1917, thus providing vast new potential sources of men and material, it is also true that Germany had knocked Russia out of the war at about the same time.  This gave the Germans access to the resources of Eastern Europe and freed their troops for deployment to the West.  The German Spring Offensive of 1918 actually succeeded in rupturing the Allied line at a point where the Allies had no significant reserves.  (At about this time, British Prime Minister Lloyd George was heard to remark, “We are going to lose this war.” He began to create a record which would shift the blame to others.)
This war turned many things around….for one it made the US a world power for the first time since its inception in the 18th century.
History is fun….especially when you try to imagine a different outcome than the one you have been taught.
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14 thoughts on “A World War One ‘What If’

  1. It’s a good article, chuq.
    I always felt that WW1 was less about Serbia, and more about industrial and colonial expansion. One area rarely discussed is that if Turkey had been on the winning side, that could well have resulted in a Muslim Balkans, and a very different outcome for the Arab nations in the Middle East.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. I think there were Europeans that wanted Turkey destroyed….the US was trying to push that self-determination thing and most of the “allies” ignored the idea….chuq

  2. The German soldiers on the front line thought they were winning. They were surprised when called home. They never got a good explanation for why they stopped fighting. They soon found someone to blame for their alleged betrayal.

  3. Dont think so bad, Chuq! If Germany had won WWI the world had got the Nazi regime much more earlier. If you dont know but interested in, you should read something from Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi, the so called secret founder of the “EU theory”. Very important is: “Der Adel” (The Aristocrats). But only available in German: http://archive.org/details/CoudenhoveKalergiAdel
    This is were the EU will go, if …
    Best wishes for the weekend! Michael

      1. Hello Chuq! Dont worry. No problem! I think its only in German. ;-( But i will look to get a English version of it. It really worth to read, found it first time some month ago. Michael

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