Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

What if Germany rejected the Armistice terms in 1918

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • What if Germany rejected the Armistice terms in 1918

    After a 'gentle reminder' that this is the correct place to discuss alt. history, I thought I would start this thread to carry on a tangent discussion from the following:

    http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=155891

    Anyone who's interested (and hasn't already been participating) can read it for themselves to catch up. To summarise, there was a claim that in being granted the armistice in Nov. 1918 Germany scored the greatest diplomatic victory in the history of sentient life in the universe (well, ok, maybe only that they won a diplomatic victory ).

    IMHO, in order to decide the extend of the 'victory' they won, one must to some extent compare the results of accepting that armistice vs. what might have happened if they hadn't accepted it. IMHO Germany accepted the armistice at a bad time from a military perspective. They had already suffered a decisive military defeat earlier in 1918 (and note, this thread differs in assumption from the other peace in 1918 thread, in that here I'm assuming Germany launches their ill-fated 1918 offensive in the west and is defeated as they were historically). The Entente counterattacked and achieved an advance seldom seen in WWI, certainly not on the western front since the initial German advance in 1914.

    However, in the short term, the Entente had already realised most of the fruits of their effort. Logistically they weren't capable of sustaining their advance. Germany still held Alsace-Lorraine and most of Belgium. In Belgium they could have withdrawn through the Ardennes back to the Dutch-German border, at which point the length of the western front would have shortened considerably (assuming the Entente declined to violate Dutch neutrality). They still held their pre-war fortifications in Alsace-Lorraine. The terms of the armistice required them to surrender their heavy weapons, aircraft and naval forces, withdraw from all occupied territory (including eastern territories which the Entente were nowhere near liberating) and allow the Entente to occupy the Rhineland plus 30km bridgeheads across it. Militarily, it would have required a considerable military effort, and time, to advance from the historical armistice line to what they gained under the armistice terms at no cost.

    So the question is, what alternate course existed for Germany at that point. If they had rejected the armistice terms, what would have happened? Could they have continued to fight for a time, and if so for how long? Would the Entente have been willing to grant some definite terms, even if harsh, if they had bloodied themselves on the Alsatian fortifications and then forcing the Rhine? Or would they have collapsed shortly thereafter and would the Entente then have imposed even harsher terms? Was Germany really better off laying down their arms and leaving themselves in a position to have to accept whatever terms the Entente eventually laid down in the peace treaty?

  • #2
    What about "Plan 1919:" Fuller's scheme for mass tank assaults to smash the German lines? We already know what effects tanks had on the Germans, psychologically, and militarily (such as when they achieved an impressive advance at Cambrai). If large numbers of tanks could be grouped into armored fists, as Fuller imagined, and cracked the German defensive lines, then Berlin may have realized the futility of resistance and agreed to an armistice in 1919, on much more unfavorable terms.

    It depends on whether or not the Germans were fighting to the end, as in WWII, or whether or not they were continuing resistance to the point where it became apparent that they would be soon defeated, then suing for peace. Either way, I personally don't see the war lasting much longer than 1919, maybe 1920 if the Germans can pull off a miracle.
    Divine Mercy Sunday: 4/21/2020 (https://www.thedivinemercy.org/message) The Miracle of Lanciano: Jesus' Real Presence (https://web.archive.org/web/20060831...fcontents.html)

    Comment


    • #3
      Yeah, to my understanding the Entente tank production was really just coming online and they could have churned out tens of thousands if need be.
      Wisdom is personal

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by BobTheBarbarian View Post
        ... Either way, I personally don't see the war lasting much longer than 1919, maybe 1920 if the Germans can pull off a miracle.
        I don't see Germany holding on until 1920, unless there was some sort of falling out amongst the Entente members and / or there was some sort of 'blockbuster' deal with the Soviets to cooperate or something. I can see the Germans stringing it out until 1919, but that's about it. The point wouldn't be to avoid defeat in any case, which was no longer possible. It would have been to surrender with terms, rather than laying down their arms and hoping for the best.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by deadkenny View Post
          I don't see Germany holding on until 1920, unless there was some sort of falling out amongst the Entente members and / or there was some sort of 'blockbuster' deal with the Soviets to cooperate or something. I can see the Germans stringing it out until 1919, but that's about it. The point wouldn't be to avoid defeat in any case, which was no longer possible. It would have been to surrender with terms, rather than laying down their arms and hoping for the best.
          Hence the "miracle."

          But yes, you're basically right. The Germans could not have lasted for long against the Entente's tanks. If they were going for a favorable armistice over the historical 1918 one, it only would have gone downhill from there had the Germans continued fighting. Perhaps a better option would have been to sue for peace at the height of the 1918 Spring Offensive, when they could at least negotiate from a comparative position of strength vis-a-vis Versailles.
          Divine Mercy Sunday: 4/21/2020 (https://www.thedivinemercy.org/message) The Miracle of Lanciano: Jesus' Real Presence (https://web.archive.org/web/20060831...fcontents.html)

          Comment


          • #6
            By late 1918 Germany was collapsing into economic ruin. They were digging up the water pipes in major cities to get the lead for bullets!

            The population was close to revolting over the deteriorating economic conditions at home. This is a major reason Hitler tried very hard for much of the war to ensure that economic conditions in Germany didn't collapse like they did in WW 1. He had seen the results first hand.

            Comment

            Latest Topics

            Collapse

            Working...
            X