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  • Armistice refused

    In the 1918 mid term elections the Republican platform included a plank which urged that Foch be pressurised not to accept any armistice deal with Germany but to demand total surrender. In the event on Nov 4 the Republicans had made substantial gains but not enough to force Wilson to adopt this approach, Foch went ahead and the Armistice was signed and came into force on Nov 11th

    What if Foch had demanded total surrender and no armistice had come into effect? The German army had continued its retreat and by spring 1919 Allied and American armies were in Germany occupying the Rhineland and with bridgeheads over the Rhine. British HP V 1500 and American crewed Vickers Vimy bombers had started the planned round the clock bombing campaign. The British diplomatic pressure on Sweden to fully adopt the rationing system had finally paid off and Germany's last external supply line was cut off. Food riots were breaking out all over Germany and workers soviets springing up in many cities. The German army is unable to both defend against forces coming across the Rhine and restore civil order and collapses. Germany has to be occupied by the Allied and US forces for order to be restored and some form of food distribution organised. The German economy is in ruins and the country run by a joint Allied and American administration. Ludendorf and Hindenburg are imprisoned and awaiting trial. The Netherlands reluctantly yields to pressure and extradites the Kaiser to join them.

    The Weimar Republic is never formed. The whole German nation is all too aware of their total defeat and the "stab in the back" theory has no credibility. Would anything like a Nazi party have had any traction?
    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

  • #2
    The widespread unrest could quite likely lead to a Communist takeover.

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    • #3
      German army would collapse before Christmas. The reason they asked for the armistice was because they knew they couldn't continue.
      "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Surrey View Post
        German army would collapse before Christmas. The reason they asked for the armistice was because they knew they couldn't continue.
        Not if they brought back the 900,000 Ukraine garrison. But in any case all this does is accelerate the process.
        Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
        Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by MarkV View Post
          Not if they brought back the 900,000 Ukraine garrison. But in any case all this does is accelerate the process.
          Read Sheffield's 'Forgotten Victory'. The German army was pretty much finished with mass surrenders going on during the 100 days. Heavy casualties, collapsing moral, revolt at home. The navy had already mutinied when ordered to put to sea.
          Never mind Christmas, the Allies would have been in Berlin by December.
          "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Surrey View Post
            Read Sheffield's 'Forgotten Victory'. The German army was pretty much finished with mass surrenders going on during the 100 days. Heavy casualties, collapsing moral, revolt at home. The navy had already mutinied when ordered to put to sea.
            Never mind Christmas, the Allies would have been in Berlin by December.
            Agreed...

            German Western Front bayonet strength on 11 Nov was around 600K and dropping rapidly, collapse was imminent. The Entente/US outnumbered them almost 4-1 with the daily strength moving in opposite directions at an increasing rate.
            "Amateurs study tactics; professionals study logistics"
            -Omar Bradley
            "Not everyone who studies logistics is a professional logistician, and there is no way to understand when you don't know what you don't know."
            -Anonymous US Army logistician

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MarkV View Post
              The Weimar Republic is never formed. The whole German nation is all too aware of their total defeat and the "stab in the back" theory has no credibility. Would anything like a Nazi party have had any traction?
              That's hard so say, the Nazis never gained traction until the late 20's when the economic situation swelled their ranks with disgruntled and hungry people. The Nazis gained supporters due to their economic promises and anti-communist and anti-Weimar stance. The anti-Weimar stance was only credible after the economic failure of their policies. If the post war Allied commission was successful in building a German government that fed the people and kept them employed, then there is no room for communists or Nazis. However, if conditions are bad as in the OTL, anything (and anyone) is possible, Nazis included IMHO.
              "Amateurs study tactics; professionals study logistics"
              -Omar Bradley
              "Not everyone who studies logistics is a professional logistician, and there is no way to understand when you don't know what you don't know."
              -Anonymous US Army logistician

              Comment


              • #8
                Getting back to the overall senatio of Alliea marching into Berlin and the complete destruction of the German army.
                I don't think the Allies had the stomach in 1919 for the kind of terms that were imposed after ww2. There would be few, if any significant war crimes trials and no executions of German leaders.
                Things would have gone on pretty much as they did in real life.
                "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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                • #9
                  The hatred in Germany would have been much greater than in the OTL,and after the allied withdrawal, what would hapen would have been what happened in the OTL .

                  Besides,this ATL is a non sequitur :the chance that it could happen is inexistent .

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ljadw View Post
                    Besides,this ATL is a non sequitur :the chance that it could happen is inexistent .
                    You can't say that here without proving it, come on!

                    However, I can see the whole thing being over in a matter of weeks, probably before Xmas and it would have simply have been a matter of movement.

                    Through Austria.
                    I guess the OP forgot about that.
                    Not only were Turkey and Bulgaria done for, the A-H Empire had collapsed and the entire southern front, from the Swiss border to the Carpatian Alps, was wide open to the Allies.

                    They wouldn't have had to fire a shot, just put a Field Kitchen with a pot of marinara sauce warming up at the head of each column.

                    I also doubt the Communists would have taken over just because of that. It really depends on how well the Allies handled he occupation.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Javaman View Post
                      That's hard so say, the Nazis never gained traction until the late 20's when the economic situation swelled their ranks with disgruntled and hungry people. The Nazis gained supporters due to their economic promises and anti-communist and anti-Weimar stance. The anti-Weimar stance was only credible after the economic failure of their policies. If the post war Allied commission was successful in building a German government that fed the people and kept them employed, then there is no room for communists or Nazis. However, if conditions are bad as in the OTL, anything (and anyone) is possible, Nazis included IMHO.
                      Just giving Strassuers government some substantial concessions on the Peace treaty could have done the trick. A couple more items he could have taken to the electorate. That could have worked for any German government in the era. Its ironic that the French tried to hold firm through the 1920s & early 30s when concessions could have made a difference, then weakend against the nazis when they should have held the line.

                      NSDAP propaganda still influences peoples views of the Weinmar era. Fact is they were building on largely unfounded hysteria vs reality. True starvation had occured in Germany during the great war & it was fear that caused people to overlook that there was no famine 1929-34. Ditto for the Communist threat. votes for the communists had been declining for several years. Ironically many former communists had drifted to the NSDAP. But, propaganda aimed at fearful middle class voters painted a different picture.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Surrey View Post
                        Read Sheffield's 'Forgotten Victory'. The German army was pretty much finished with mass surrenders going on during the 100 days. Heavy casualties, collapsing moral, revolt at home. The navy had already mutinied when ordered to put to sea.
                        Never mind Christmas, the Allies would have been in Berlin by December.
                        I've just completed an MA under Gary he marked my dissertation (and of course I've read Forgotten Victory). Yes the German Army was doomed but it was not that near total collapse and still capable of some resistance. You're also forgetting just how comparatively slowly unmechanised armies moved even as late as 1918 and the sheer logistic complexity of moving and supporting an army that size even without opposition. And there would have been opposition. Reading contemporary accounts of the last month - yes some units were surrendering but there were others prepared to fight to the last round - much like 1945
                        Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                        Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          What happens when the fighting moves onto German territory?

                          Are there large masses of refugees, organised evacuation by the Germans or civilians told not to move from their homes?

                          Do the Germans continue their scorched earth tactics? Do they conscript German civilians, give them an armband and tell them to snipe at the Allies?

                          How careful are the Allies about civilian property, or is it all considered fair game?

                          There is the possibility of something far worse than a 'stab in the back' legend in Germany.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Aber View Post
                            What happens when the fighting moves onto German territory?

                            Are there large masses of refugees, organised evacuation by the Germans or civilians told not to move from their homes?

                            Do the Germans continue their scorched earth tactics? Do they conscript German civilians, give them an armband and tell them to snipe at the Allies?

                            How careful are the Allies about civilian property, or is it all considered fair game?

                            There is the possibility of something far worse than a 'stab in the back' legend in Germany.
                            The Freikorps would have been active and I expect fighting in the streets. This would inevitably give rise to civilians fleeing the fighting area - leaving the cities. It would be interesting to know what the reaction of the revolutionary socialists would have been. Would they have joined in in resisting the Allies, used the opportunity to consolidate the breakaway soviets or aided the Allies to bring down the old German regime even faster?
                            Looting happens in all wars but traditionally different armies have taken different attitudes. The last time a British Army had fought on enemy territory in Europe (France 1814) there had been a clamp down on looting and everything was paid for in promissory notes that actually got honoured. This produced the situation where the French civilians actually preferred having the British around as opposed to their own army which paid for nothing but shot you if you resisted. Possibly a similar policy would be adopted in Germany
                            Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                            Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MarkV View Post
                              The Freikorps would have been active and I expect fighting in the streets. This would inevitably give rise to civilians fleeing the fighting area - leaving the cities. ...
                              Masses of refugees in the winter of 1918-19, plagued with influenza and other disease , and the existing food shortages....

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