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  • WI: no WWI

    Would anything different happen if WWI never happened?
    "You can tell a lot about a fella's character by whether he picks out all of one color or just grabs a handful." -explaining why Reagan liked to have a jar of jelly beans on hand for important meetings

    CO for 1st S.INC Shock Security Troop

  • #2
    Yes but it is difficult to predict in a meaningful manner how thing would changed. World War 1 was a truely pivotal event in almost every countries histroy.
    FoxNEWS "The World is unfair and we are running scared"

    Comment


    • #3
      Considering World History is full of leaders building up armies and conquering other territory, I think some great conflict would have happened eventually. The Battle of Leipzig was fought about 100 years prior to WWI which was a coalition against Napoleon, and the Crimean War was another war fought with a coalition, so just by looking at what was happening in Europe, my guess is even if WWI hadn't led to the large conflict, sooner or later something else would have triggered a massive conflict in Europe. I think at the time of WWI that Germany was gaining in strength, so who knows what they would have decided to do with that strength, and how the rest of Europe would have reacted.
      As an American, I would say no WWI means no WWII, which means the United States doesn't become the same Super Power. Without WWII, then there is no Cold War, Korean War, or Vietnam War.
      PatBC makes a good point in that we could look at any country and see what would happen with their future history.

      "I've always been crazy but it's kept me from going insane.
      Nobody knows if it's something to bless or to blame.
      So far I ain't found a rhyme or a reason to change.
      I've always been crazy, but it's kept me from going insane" 'I've Always Been Crazy'

      Comment


      • #4
        Assuming, and it's a big assumption, nothing happened after the Franco-Prussian War of the 1890s, you'd possibly have nothing except for colonial brush wars until the Depression begins. As economies start slipping and leaders look externally to distract the masses and assign blame, old rivalries will flare up in the absence of a dominant continental power in Europe.

        I think you might see an aggressive Japan still given their win over the Russians. I don't see anything that would suggest Japan would back off the material resources of Manchuria and China.

        You also have a failing Ottoman and slowly dying Austro-Hungarian empires and the Red Revolution in Russia... all three could be the catalyst for civil wars and outside intervention.

        Colonies end up being the most likely flash-point for something to start between industrialized nations sans some other socio-eco nationalistic trigger.
        If voting could really change things, it would be illegal.

        Comment


        • #5
          If the 1914 Sarajevo crisis was defused as skillfully as the the preceding crises earlier in the 20th century and peace would have continued well into 1915, I imagine that quite likely that another war would have occurred as result of a later crisis. The atmosphere in those days was such that many actually wanted (or thought they wanted) a war, 'to clean the air' was an often heard expression.

          This 'war instead of WW1' would not necessarily have been as horrible, prolonged and as mass industrialised as the one the world actually got. The real WW1 was the blackest scenario possible, straight out the Apocalypse, quite unlikely what most people, fed by authors describing future wars in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century were led to expect; but more like the earlier wars of German unification. And why not?

          So in my opinion, if there had not been a WW1, there would likely have been a European war after 1914, but not necessarily as all encompassing and prolonged, though I would expect this 'other' war to be very very intense and ferocious.

          Taking it further: After the short and intense fighting an armistice would be signed with all Great Powers intact, Europe and its empires still supreme and the American giant on the sideline a while longer. It is even possible that these Great Powers of Europe would have realised what had stared them in the face and would have taken measures accordingly: fortifying a continuation of European supremacy through both domestic and international improvements of existing systems.
          BoRG

          You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

          Comment


          • #6
            Cap has made some good points. I'm inclined to think that any Continental war, at least in Western Europe, would have bogged down as it did in late 1914 simply because of the technology of the era. Had the conflict been confined to Eastern Europe, where there was much more scope for mobile operations, things might have been different. However, given the instability of the old empires, the increasing burden of the colonies for the others, the tensions between the Great Powers (exacerbated by the alliance system that had grown up post-Bismarck) and the growing force that was Nationalism a pan-European conflict on the scale of WW1 was inevitable. It might have been shorter and less costly but not by a great deal imho. Europe would still have emerged seriously weakened, Communism would probably have taken hold in at least one former Power and less than magnanimous peace terms would have left the loser(s) seething.
            Signing out.

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            • #7
              I am not sure communism (especially in the Bolshevik form) would have appeared without Russia suffering the huge loses of WWI. As to the to Depression I think huge debts from the war in europe causes inflation which caused unemployment.

              I agree warfare still would have taken place. I think it could even be more deadly with more countries involved. What if Spain had got involved to recover territory lost to the US in the Spanish-American war, maybe getting Mexico involved by promising them part of Texas. Argentina try to seize the falklands for england with German navy susport. Columbia to get the Panama back. Japan decide she want in China. An assassination of Ghandi, Jinnah deciding instead supporting a united india sub-continent calls for partition in 1916.

              There is so many possibilities, it is endless.
              FoxNEWS "The World is unfair and we are running scared"

              Comment


              • #8
                Well if the later war is shorter would the U.S even enter the war and stay neutral or help hold back events that are happening in the N. America and S. American regions?
                "You can tell a lot about a fella's character by whether he picks out all of one color or just grabs a handful." -explaining why Reagan liked to have a jar of jelly beans on hand for important meetings

                CO for 1st S.INC Shock Security Troop

                Comment


                • #9
                  And what if a European war had broken out essentially as WWI did, but had been much shorter and much more limited in terms of the combatants drawn in - suppose, for example, Germany had followed the variant (which did exist)of the Schlieffen Plan which assumed a defensive posture in the West and a quick offensive against Russia?

                  With Belgium not invaded, it's highly unlikely that the British Empire would have been drawn into the conflict, which would then not have spread to the Middle East, nor, probably, have developed into a major naval war. Nor would the US have been enriched and militarily expanded by such a conflict, though Britain's economic ills might have been temporarily remedied as British industry supplied the French.

                  It is doubtful whether the Russian imperial regime would have survived the inevitable defeat - but this does not imply that a Bolshevik regime would inevitably have followed. Germany would have cast itself in the role of liberator of Poland and the Baltic states, and doubtless set them up as minor allies but more importantly as a buffer against a resurgent Russia.

                  With France not invaded, and hundreds of thousands of French soldiers dying, no doubt, on German soil (but only just), would the French public have supported a prolonged conflict? I suspect that there would have been a negotiated peace, and that it is likely that historians would now describe this war as the European war of 1914-15.

                  And beyond this peace? Here we would be wandering increasingly from the realm of analysis into that of fantasy - which I will leave for others to explore.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by chrisvalla View Post
                    Assuming, and it's a big assumption, nothing happened after the Franco-Prussian War of the 1890s, you'd possibly have nothing except for colonial brush wars until the Depression begins. As economies start slipping and leaders look externally to distract the masses and assign blame, old rivalries will flare up in the absence of a dominant continental power in Europe.
                    Theres a core dynamic. The economic problems of the 1920-30s had many sources & they created a aggregate that made a severe exonomic slump inevitable. Some of these factors are well understood by economics students or historians, Others are more theoretical. When plotted out on a graph the downward trend for each of these occurs in the same set of decades in the early 20th Century. Indivdually none are decisive in tiggering a maor economic collapse, but in the whole they created conditions that the leaders of industry and government could not understand, let alone cope with.

                    Population growth.. From the begaining of the 20th Century growth in Europe & the world had been steadily accelerating. Some time in the first or second decade the growth exceeded the ability of the economys to adjust and asorb the larger number of people.

                    Transfer of population from rural/agricultural to urban/industrial enviroments. The early 20th century saw the mid point for this, where more that 50% of the population in a nation resided in the urban/industrial areas. In Germany & the US this seems to have occured in the 1920s. In Britan and France it appears to have occured earlier. This tranfer takes workers from jobs where they have skills to jobs where their skills do not apply. The pesant farmer who can judge preciely what week to plant a crop, or what hour a animal will give birth is far less productive inthe city.

                    Decline in capitol investment. This peaked out between 1910 and 1930. A thirty to fourty year run up in capitol investment was over. Industrys like railroads, steamships, coal energy...had matured and were not expanding as fast as in the 19th Century. Mature industrys require few laborers for maintinance than for expanasion. New industrys like oil energy, aircraft, automobiles... were not far enough along to asorb the difference in labor, or investment capitol.

                    Originally posted by chrisvalla View Post
                    As to the to Depression I think huge debts from the war in europe causes inflation which caused unemployment. .
                    This aggravated the fundamentals. The inflation also derived from food shortages, housing deficits. Refer back to accerlating population growth. Also derived from diversion of wartime production.

                    The gobal banking and tax system fell apart. Large systems such as the Russian and Austrian Empire vanished from the global scene. Others Like the Imperial German tax and banking structures were grossly altered. The new organizations that replaced them did not do well in coping with new conditions. However the war was not to only agent of change here. Population transfer, urban & industrial growth, a changing agricultural economy, relocation of industrial centers, maturation of older industrys all had been causing fundamental economic changes for over a decade. The leaders of the banking system & government tax policy had learned their business in the late 19th & early 20th Century. Few even recognized the changes let alone understood how to change with them.

                    Even without WWI a series of deep running financial problems were inevitable in the 1920s & 1930s.
                    Last edited by Carl Schwamberg; 10 Feb 08, 08:34.

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                    • #11
                      If WW1 didn't start, we might have seen Franz Ferdinand complete his pet project and make Austria-Hungary into the United States of Greater Austria (one of my favorite slices of 'What if?' history).



                      Originally posted by Wiki
                      Franz Ferdinand had planned to radically redraw the map of Austria-Hungary creating a number of ethnically and linguistically dominated semi-autonomous "states" who would all be part of a larger confederation renamed the United States of Greater Austria. Under this plan language and cultural identification was encouraged, and the disproportionate balance of power would theoretically be righted somewhat. The idea was set to encounter heavy opposition from the Hungarian part of the Dual Monarchy, since a direct result of the reform would have been a significant territorial loss of Hungary.
                      Might such an event have helped stabalize the very volatile S. Eastern Europe, or was there no real way to hold those 11 different ethnicities together in a long term manner?

                      And how might the other nations of Europe seen the liberalization of their neighboring monarchy?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by daemonofdecay View Post
                        DoD, nice map but I notice that Bosnia (essential part in the run up to WW1) is missing as part of the Empire. It was occupied by Austria since 1878 and unilaterally annexed in 1908. Did the Archduke plan to hand it over to someone or just pull out?
                        BoRG

                        You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by captainsennef View Post
                          DoD, nice map but I notice that Bosnia (essential part in the run up to WW1) is missing as part of the Empire. It was occupied by Austria since 1878 and unilaterally annexed in 1908. Did the Archduke plan to hand it over to someone or just pull out?
                          I cant recall the German word, but I thnk it translates as 'protectorate'. Not a formal part of the protecting state but controled by it.

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                          • #14
                            Woulnd;t it just b ecalled 'The Great War'if everytihng happened differenly that would effect a second world war..or anytihng to that equivant?
                            I am a simple man. I am by no means smarter than the average man. I am average...yet genius.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                              I cant recall the German word, but I thnk it translates as 'protectorate'. Not a formal part of the protecting state but controled by it.
                              Probably his best course of action, although he might have considered letting Bosnia go because the costs of controlling that region could be too high and destabilizing for the country in the long run (especially when he's already building a semi-democracy).

                              He wouldn't want to **** off the people he's giving represenation too, thats for sure.

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