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  • #76
    Originally posted by lk_sidestep View Post
    Actually I was using the 1914-1916 timeframe, because like someone had suggested, that period would have been the best opportunity for Germany to defeat the French. Also since Germany would've defeated the Russians at one point or another (it really was only a matter of time IMO), with French collapse what is stopping them from pushing further into the Russian motherland than was historically possible?

    However if I were to follow along your scenario then the Soviet Union would probably have existed, but during the Russian Civil War didn't the Western Allies intervene on the behalf of the White Russian forces? If that was the case, then Germany with a perfect launching pad (using the land seized from Russia during the peace agreement) would've been able to forcefully intervene if it had to (and I highly doubt it would've been in support of the Red forces).

    Of course this is just speculation on my part, but then again, that's what this thread is for.

    ya i understand agree that 1914-16 was the best time.. my alternate timeline however was a what if germany had won using its spring 18 offensive.. this topic is my favorite and in my opinion the most important when examining "what if's".

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    • #77
      Originally posted by texanhoops23 View Post
      ya i understand agree that 1914-16 was the best time.. my alternate timeline however was a what if germany had won using its spring 18 offensive.. this topic is my favorite and in my opinion the most important when examining "what if's".
      Well the Germans had a chance in spring '18. The Germans had no love for Lenin,he was just a means to an end,IMHO the Germans would help the White Russians in the civil war that followed,I believe the Germans would be a little exhausted after 4 years of war in the west. The most likely scenario,imo,is a stalemate with the German backed "whites" contolling the UKraine and possibly the Baltic states as well. The "reds" would contol the rest of Russia. This could very well set up a "white" victory in the next war. It is also possible that states like Georgia,Armenia,etc could become independent or join up with either faction. Good post,I hadn't really thought about what would happen if Germany won in 1918.
      If the art of war were nothing but the art of avoiding risks,glory would become the prey of mediocre minds. Napoleon

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      • #78
        Could the Germans really have won in the 1918 offensive or was it an early version of the Bulge?

        Even if the British Commonwealth line had briken, I don't know that the Germans could have exploited a gap to any strategic end.
        What would Occam say?

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        • #79
          Originally posted by billscottmorri View Post
          Could the Germans really have won in the 1918 offensive or was it an early version of the Bulge?

          Even if the British Commonwealth line had briken, I don't know that the Germans could have exploited a gap to any strategic end.
          If the offensive had suceeded,the channel ports would have fallen into German hands. Imho the BEF probably would have been either destroyed or so demoralised that it would be an ineffective fighting force. However the introduction of American troops would eventually help balance the front. I dont see the offensive knocking France,but as the Germans would have made major gains,France and Britain might have sought peace talks,which with Germany also being exhausted as well,might have been more equitable for all sides.
          If the art of war were nothing but the art of avoiding risks,glory would become the prey of mediocre minds. Napoleon

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          • #80
            Originally posted by Legate View Post
            If the offensive had suceeded,the channel ports would have fallen into German hands. Imho the BEF probably would have been either destroyed or so demoralised that it would be an ineffective fighting force. However the introduction of American troops would eventually help balance the front. I dont see the offensive knocking France,but as the Germans would have made major gains,France and Britain might have sought peace talks,which with Germany also being exhausted as well,might have been more equitable for all sides.

            Not with a million fresh troops of the AEF being deployed in France between 1918-19 and the numbers of American Manpower and material would have continued to grow exponentially from there. The Germans could have never made up their numbers lost during that last, great offensive. It was a case of too little, too late.
            "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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            • #81
              Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
              Not with a million fresh troops of the AEF being deployed in France between 1918-19 and the numbers of American Manpower and material would have continued to grow exponentially from there. The Germans could have never made up their numbers lost during that last, great offensive. It was a case of too little, too late.
              The Germans had a million troops in the East,as the peace treaty with Russia was being finalised at that time,these troops would have transferred to the Western Front. This would have offset the American manpower advantage.
              If the art of war were nothing but the art of avoiding risks,glory would become the prey of mediocre minds. Napoleon

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              • #82
                Originally posted by Legate View Post
                The Germans had a million troops in the East,as the peace treaty with Russia was being finalised at that time,these troops would have transferred to the Western Front. This would have offset the American manpower advantage.
                No. the remaining German Troops on the Russian Front were largely second class formations. The best units that were sent west for Operation Michael had largely already been destroyed by the Allied counterattacks throughout 1918. That was the major reason that the Germans started withdrawing in France. The war in the trenches had become a war of mobility that they could not hope to equal, given the Allies greater mobility and the disparity of numbers between the Allies and the Germans.
                "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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                • #83
                  Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
                  No. the remaining German Troops on the Russian Front were largely second class formations. The best units that were sent west for Operation Michael had largely already been destroyed by the Allied counterattacks throughout 1918.
                  I thought Legate's point was "what if the spring offensive was succesfull", which would have meant that the Germans wouldn't have lost as many men in the 4 operations (Michael, Georgette, Gneisenau, and Blücher-Yorck), and would have concievably pushed the Allies back further than they did historically, which might have forced the Allies to delay their counter-offensives later in the year because they would have to reinforce the channel ports, etc.

                  Yes, if the offensive had been a suprising success it might have been a last minute reprieve for the Germans, but unless they were able to secure at the very least a White Peace with the Allies, they would still loose in the end (even if from the domestic problems at home).

                  However, I seriously doubt the Ludendorff Offensive would ever have succeeded. The whole plan was one of desperation, like Operation Wacht am Rhein 26 years later, and even with the gains made by the Germans it was too little too late. The Germans could ill afford more casualties while the Americans, while not as experienced as the other allies, still possessed fresh reserves.

                  The best the Germans could resonably have hoped for would be a diplomatic victory and a negotiated peace. Even just a return to the Status Quo would be a victory for the Germans, because they still had their territorial gains in Russia and had removed Russia as a threat to their power.

                  The German victory over Russia was a major one, but only if Germany were able to gain a peace with the Allies that would not interfere with the situation there. Consider that the treaty of Best-Litovsk "took away a third of Russia's population, half of her industry and nine-tenths of her coal mines." (Wikipedia).

                  That would be a disaster for the Russians, and I doubt they would be able to recover and return to great power status after that. With Germany placing friendly governments in the Baltic states, the Ukraine, etc. and the Ottomans recovering territory from the Russians in the Black Sea, the Central Powers would come out ahead with a return to the Status Quo.

                  Way to go off on a tangent there, DoD.

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                  • #84
                    Originally posted by daemonofdecay View Post
                    I thought Legate's point was "what if the spring offensive was succesfull", which would have meant that the Germans wouldn't have lost as many men in the 4 operations (Michael, Georgette, Gneisenau, and Blücher-Yorck), and would have concievably pushed the Allies back further than they did historically, which might have forced the Allies to delay their counter-offensives later in the year because they would have to reinforce the channel ports, etc.

                    Yes, if the offensive had been a suprising success it might have been a last minute reprieve for the Germans, but unless they were able to secure at the very least a White Peace with the Allies, they would still loose in the end (even if from the domestic problems at home).

                    However, I seriously doubt the Ludendorff Offensive would ever have succeeded. The whole plan was one of desperation, like Operation Wacht am Rhein 26 years later, and even with the gains made by the Germans it was too little too late. The Germans could ill afford more casualties while the Americans, while not as experienced as the other allies, still possessed fresh reserves.

                    The best the Germans could resonably have hoped for would be a diplomatic victory and a negotiated peace. Even just a return to the Status Quo would be a victory for the Germans, because they still had their territorial gains in Russia and had removed Russia as a threat to their power.

                    The German victory over Russia was a major one, but only if Germany were able to gain a peace with the Allies that would not interfere with the situation there. Consider that the treaty of Best-Litovsk "took away a third of Russia's population, half of her industry and nine-tenths of her coal mines." (Wikipedia).

                    That would be a disaster for the Russians, and I doubt they would be able to recover and return to great power status after that. With Germany placing friendly governments in the Baltic states, the Ukraine, etc. and the Ottomans recovering territory from the Russians in the Black Sea, the Central Powers would come out ahead with a return to the Status Quo.

                    Way to go off on a tangent there, DoD.
                    Thanks for making my point,DOD. The main reason the attack failed was that Ludendorff did not properly plan on following up the new "Hutier" tactics that were sucessful,he instead concentrated the breakthrough units on attacking encircled units,thus wearing out his best troops.
                    If the art of war were nothing but the art of avoiding risks,glory would become the prey of mediocre minds. Napoleon

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                    • #85
                      Originally posted by Legate View Post
                      Thanks for making my point,DOD. The main reason the attack failed was that Ludendorff did not properly plan on following up the new "Hutier" tactics that were sucessful,he instead concentrated the breakthrough units on attacking encircled units,thus wearing out his best troops.

                      I don't know fi that is accurate. His offensive failed because it there was a mismatch between his objectives and his resources. The Germans were strong enough to attack, but not to have a big enough win to impact the otcome of the war. Had he gone further, faster, he would have suffered the same fate but in a different part of France.

                      I have never seen much evidence produced that the French would have folded in the face of this attack even if it had been significantly more successful and with the promise of a million Doughboys joining the fight it was only a matter of holding on.
                      What would Occam say?

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                      • #86
                        Originally posted by billscottmorri View Post
                        I don't know fi that is accurate. His offensive failed because it there was a mismatch between his objectives and his resources. The Germans were strong enough to attack, but not to have a big enough win to impact the otcome of the war. Had he gone further, faster, he would have suffered the same fate but in a different part of France.

                        I have never seen much evidence produced that the French would have folded in the face of this attack even if it had been significantly more successful and with the promise of a million Doughboys joining the fight it was only a matter of holding on.
                        I still think that Germany's best chance was early in the war before the British and French were able to skillfully exploit a German weakness and stop their advance.

                        If the Germans had kept on advancing then, they might have succeeded in securing Paris, which would have been a severe blow to the French. Its still an unlikely scenario, but it is possible.

                        And it is much more likely than a German victory in 1918.

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                        • #87
                          Originally posted by daemonofdecay View Post
                          I still think that Germany's best chance was early in the war before the British and French were able to skillfully exploit a German weakness and stop their advance.

                          If the Germans had kept on advancing then, they might have succeeded in securing Paris, which would have been a severe blow to the French. Its still an unlikely scenario, but it is possible.

                          And it is much more likely than a German victory in 1918.
                          Was German strategy defined by their earlier victory in the Franco Prussian war? Were they preconditioned to expect French collapse and a negotiated peace to such an extent that when the French stopped them dead at the Marne they were simply lost as to what to do next?
                          What would Occam say?

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                          • #88
                            Originally posted by billscottmorri View Post
                            Was German strategy defined by their earlier victory in the Franco Prussian war? Were they preconditioned to expect French collapse and a negotiated peace to such an extent that when the French stopped them dead at the Marne they were simply lost as to what to do next?
                            Quite possibly. I bet going into it the German high command was quite sure of victory.

                            But one must consider what would have happened that if at the Marne the Germans had not exposed their flanks to the Allies: might they have kept falling back?

                            And might the bad blood between the French and British commanders have grown worse too?

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                            • #89
                              I agree with the idea of large sea battles through out the colonies areas but if that did happen their were still other fronts.
                              two things cpuld have happened
                              1.with one front gone germany moves troops to all other fronts expands territory.
                              2.Allies move some troops around and they invade while most of the central powers troops are in france.

                              very different endings

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