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Forum LockedCould the Germans have Won the WWI?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote gramberto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Could the Germans have Won the WWI?
    Posted: 04-Nov-2006 at 22:52
Or was there no chance from the start due to their geographic location, the brittish blockade, and just running out of resources.
 
What if they did not build submarines(which lead to the US entering the war) and instead used those resources building tanks. The 1918 spring offensive was pretty inovative by WW1 standards, however, I believe the Germans just ran out of men and material correct?
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mamikon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Nov-2006 at 23:45
In 1917 Germans actually were winning the war, and they were by no means losing. The Eastern allied front had collapsed, which left France vs. Germany on the western front. The Germans were in far better position in 1917 then the French were. The government that overthrew the King aimed for an armistice, the population was not even aware that their government signed a "losing" peace agreement and thus felt betrayed. Many historians see that the treaty was nothing but an armistice, a temporary truce.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Kapikulu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Nov-2006 at 04:01

Social explosion and mutiny inside Germany is another crucial reason and element to why Germany lost the war, the most important one according to Ludendorff.

Now,about submarines...Submarines were the only way Germans can bring the British Empire to her knees and compete against the Royal Navy.
 
Although convoy system later largely crippled the effectivity of submarines, they had been a great success for a time period..
 
I don't think that the sunken trade or passenger ships is the real reason for US entrance to the war..The sunken ships only increased public support for war.This way or that way, USA was gonna intervene....Why? Because, USA had set up his very own system and became the only major power in whole America in late 19th century.Moreover, it had a Monroe Doctrine...And in the current status quo, France and England were respectful to the American influence on the continent, but when Germany came upon the drivers' seat of the world after a war which would disrupt the status quo, USA couldn't be sure of what to happen, as German victory would come with an overwhelming change in whole world's colonial system and power of balance.
 
Now, ask yourself, why was Germany seeking an ally in Mexico? Of course the reason is not provoking USA to war, the reason is to find themselves an ally to detain USA in case of the very real possibility that US declaration of war on Germany.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gramberto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Nov-2006 at 09:45
"Now,about submarines...Submarines were the only way Germans can bring the British Empire to her knees and compete against the Royal Navy."
 
They did not bring the Brittish to their knees. The brittish changed to a convoy strategy and that mitigated the effect of submarines.
 
You are wrong about the US entering the war. The US was an isolationist country. There is no way that the US would have entered the war without provocation.
 
Try to get Mexico to attack the US was the most idiotic move of WW1. There was no WAY that Mexico would commit suicide by attacking the United States.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Majkes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Nov-2006 at 11:02

Monroe doctrine was saying that US don't intervene in Europe and Europe can't intervene in America Southern or Nothern. So joining war was like braking this rule. Don't think Mexico would have chances against US and they weren't kamikazeLOL so they wouldn't help Germans. So monroe doctrine wasn't in my opinion reason of America entering the war. I agree with Kapikulu that sunk ship was only a good reason to enter the war. The real reason was close ties US had with England and fear before German domination in Europe. Just like in WWII it was the same reason in WWI.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dampier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Nov-2006 at 11:11
Hmm;

Well the main cause of the German defeat was the British blockade (which is why the 1918 offensive eventually fell apart; because they lacked the resources). Had the Germans broken this then there is a chance they could have won.

Alternatively if the French army had fallen apart at any of the points where it nearly did then most of mainland Europe would have been lost. (Britain couldnt fight a European war without France but just as in WW2 a German invasion of Britain would be impossible. A equal peace between Britain and Germany would have been the most likely outcome).

Germany of course was almost always the leader. Whilst it was the British pioneering planes and tanks the Germans were the first to use gas, developed "Defense in depth", used concrete bunkers, created the Stormtrooper tactic and developed it the most successfully and had (after the peace on the Eastern front), the men to win.

American intervention in WW2 was entirely due to the president (much as in WW2). The American people were unwilling to fight and it took the Germans unconditional submarine warfare and the Mexico plot to bring the American people round, just in time to be used to plug the gaps in the 1918 offensive.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Kapikulu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Nov-2006 at 11:58
Originally posted by gramberto

 
They did not bring the Brittish to their knees. The brittish changed to a convoy strategy and that mitigated the effect of submarines.
 
 
I also mentioned about the convoy system in my post and said it protected the Brits if you read my post..
 
Convoy strategy worked well, but before convoys, British losses were really huge, came to a certain extent that if it had lasted for several months more, the Britain could have to get out of war.
 
So Germans tried and went for it, been very successful in the first part, only convoys, which was still an expensive method(Imagine all those small warships and destroyers going on and back with the merchant ships).
 
Originally posted by gramberto

You are wrong about the US entering the war. The US was an isolationist country. There is no way that the US would have entered the war without provocation.
 
Yes, it was isolationist, but it was isolationist to a certain extent...US aided Allies during the whole war in terms of military equipment and finances.When they saw Central Powers got the upperhand after collapse of Russia, it was the time to intervene...Lusitania, the main reason shown behind, had been sunk in 1915, now then why did US show patience till 1917, you think?
 
It is too simple as an explanation and wrong if it is thought that US just entered the whole war because a few ships were sunk..That's clearly one of the reasons, but not the only major one. 
 
Try to get Mexico to attack the US was the most idiotic move of WW1. There was no WAY that Mexico would commit suicide by attacking the United States.
 
The revolutionists had taken over Mexico and US Marines had intervened to the situation by landing on Veracruz...
 
Germany wanted to use the new revolutionaries out there..
 
It was destined to be a clear failure, but Germany had gone with it in means of flipping the coin to see out it coming perpendicular to the surface, and it failed...It was a risky attempt and didn't worth pissing off US, they clearly couldn't calculate that American intelligence could have solved the Zimmermann Telegram.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TheDiplomat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Nov-2006 at 05:24
The Germans could have surely won the waw, had they had a navl power that could compete with The British Royal Navy.

The British blocade of German waters did really strike this country. The reason behind Social explosion was hunger whuch was manily due to The British blockade.

It is worth noting downthe fact that The Second Reich did not lose one single battle within the German territory.
This also unfortunately paved the way for  the German public being fooled by The Nazis on the stabbed-in-the back myth years later.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote gramberto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Nov-2006 at 17:07
Germany didn't really stand a chance of competing with the brittish navy. I think they would have stood a better chance of abandoning their navy and putting the resources into tanks and winning a ground war in europe, then forcing France to terms.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Nov-2006 at 19:53
The german navy was built up for over a decade, tanks weren't even invented, so there was never a choice tanks vs navy like the Japs in wwii. Also tanks warfare was not effective in wwi so it would have been a pointless exercise to build them.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jayeshks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Nov-2006 at 10:36
Originally posted by gramberto

 
They did not bring the Brittish to their knees. The brittish changed to a convoy strategy and that mitigated the effect of submarines.


Convoys helped but on the whole Uboats were far more effective in sinking merchant tonnage in WWI than in WWII.  Focusing on Uboats only may have even been a smarter way to go than the money draining Hochseeflotte which was never going to be able to compete with the RN (too large a deficit in number of ships to make up in time)
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Nov-2006 at 00:01
Originally posted by Kapikulu

Social explosion and mutiny inside Germany is another crucial reason and element to why Germany lost the war, the most important one according to Ludendorff.

Now,about submarines...Submarines were the only way Germans can bring the British Empire to her knees and compete against the Royal Navy.
 
Although convoy system later largely crippled the effectivity of submarines, they had been a great success for a time period..
 
I don't think that the sunken trade or passenger ships is the real reason for US entrance to the war..The sunken ships only increased public support for war.This way or that way, USA was gonna intervene....Why? Because, USA had set up his very own system and became the only major power in whole America in late 19th century.Moreover, it had a Monroe Doctrine...And in the current status quo, France and England were respectful to the American influence on the continent, but when Germany came upon the drivers' seat of the world after a war which would disrupt the status quo, USA couldn't be sure of what to happen, as German victory would come with an overwhelming change in whole world's colonial system and power of balance.
 
Now, ask yourself, why was Germany seeking an ally in Mexico? Of course the reason is not provoking USA to war, the reason is to find themselves an ally to detain USA in case of the very real possibility that US declaration of war on Germany.
 
Among the major reason why Americans joined WWI is because a telegram regarding German's plan to drag Mexico to war and keep U.S. away from European war. America was outraged, due to German's plan to threaten America (As Japan did by raiding Pearl Harbour)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Nov-2006 at 00:08
Originally posted by Paul

The german navy was built up for over a decade, tanks weren't even invented, so there was never a choice tanks vs navy like the Japs in wwii. Also tanks warfare was not effective in wwi so it would have been a pointless exercise to build them.
 
Tank was, in fact, produced after Britain produced them. However, WWI ended by the time when mass production of tanks were rolled into factory. Germans did have some tanks near the end of WWI, but small production of tanks, their ineffectiveness (Tank was nothing more than a moving bunker to break the trench lines. Due to their slow speed, their frequent mechanical failures and other problems caused tanks to be ineffective until WWII where tanks were used as calvary to break enemy formations. They were effective when Britain first deployed because it brough psychological fear upon Germans since they never seen a tank. Heck, tanks at that time did not even have main turret. It was just a couple of machineguns in front)
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Joinville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Nov-2006 at 06:59
As for tanks:
France built more of them than all other countries involved.
The best design, with a future, the turreted renault FT-17, was French and deployed en masse quite succesfully.

There was Mangin's 1:st division breaking through at Villiers-Cotteret in 1918 at the second battle of the Marne, the battle that put the German army on the defensive from then on.
The tanks cut through all the way to the back lines of the German army where the astonished French crews found German soldiers engaged in bringing in the harvest.
Here was this bucolic scene of German infantry in their shirt-sleeves carrying scythes and rakes in golden fields of French wheat. So the Frenchmen machine-gunned the hell out of anything that moved.

What people tend to discount is the fact that WWI ended as a war of mechnics and material, and the winners of it was France.
France may have started with the most useless doctrine for fighting the war (massive bayonet charges), but ended it with the most technology heavy (massive arty, then send in the tanks).

France alone was outproducing Germany by a considerable margin in artillery, tanks and air-craft by 1918. The initial German advantage in heavy artillery was overtaken by France in 1917. And France always had more and better field artilley.

The RN can be thanked for the naval blockade hampering the Germans, but as long as it was there the numerical mechanical and fire-power advantage for the French army was steadily increasing.

Moral might have been a problem for the French army, as it would for any army taking that many casualties for that long.
But the French response was to go hell for leather towards machinery and fire power coupled with tactics to mimise casualties. By war's end the Franch army in the field numbered 1.6 million. 1 million infantry and 600K artillery, and growing. That's proportionally a hell of a lot of men needed to man the French guns.

In the end those factors are as likely to have settled the war if French favour as a French moral failure might have done in German favour.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Nov-2006 at 21:31
Yeah. France already knew that Germans will conduct a massive invasion. French people, in fact, threw tons of money and resources to build a grand army to defend herself from German invaders. This, as many of us know, failed and German troops marched into Paris.
 
Why?
 
France (Third Republic, to be exact) was suffering a political disunity. Conservatives, Liberals, Socialists, Supporters of Old Regime (Back to Absolute monarchy), republicans and many other political parties were struggling for power. The French government was very inefficient due to the fact that each political parties wanted to achieve their goals and refused to cooperate. France should have lost WWI. They were as unprepared as they were in WWII. But France's Third Republic endured the first German invasion in WWI because French resistance was able to regroup and hold the invaders and buy enough time until French radical ministeries forced the divided government to unite. Furthermore, the slow German advance (It was quite fast compare to WWI standard, but Blitzberg tactic in WWII allowed even hasten the German invaders. Furthermore, Blitzberg tactic required more efficient and faster mobility and communication which allowed Germans to destory almost all French defense and strategic points before the allies could make another long trenches.
 
I'd also like to add that most of the French aircrafts and tanks were not mass produced like Germans, but were produced by skilled individuals. French tanks had more quality. 
 
Notice that due to divided government, most of the wealth of French government was not used to strengthen French armies until too late. Germans brought much of the unused money and resources to strengthen their armies. Clap Germans are smart.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Timotheus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Nov-2006 at 00:09
Germany had the dilemma. They could not compete with the British Navy (or Kaiser Wilhelm was too much of a coward to try) and they were being starved to death. They were doing a reciprocal blockade of England with their submarines, but that raised the ire of the Americans. Taken independently, the Zimmerman telegram would not have been a major diplomatic incident, but the sympathies of the Americans were clearly with the English by 1917 thanks to the antics of Kaiser Wilhelm.

Had Wilhelm not been so much of a coward and actually carried out the Schlieffen Plan in its entirety, the result would have been exactly the same as what happened in WWII, except that Russia would not have been a menace.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Nov-2006 at 12:47

Originally posted by Timotheus

Germany had the dilemma. They could not compete with the British Navy (or Kaiser Wilhelm was too much of a coward to try) and they were being starved to death. They were doing a reciprocal blockade of England with their submarines, but that raised the ire of the Americans. Taken independently, the Zimmerman telegram would not have been a major diplomatic incident, but the sympathies of the Americans were clearly with the English by 1917 thanks to the antics of Kaiser Wilhelm.

Had Wilhelm not been so much of a coward and actually carried out the Schlieffen Plan in its entirety, the result would have been exactly the same as what happened in WWII, except that Russia would not have been a menace.

 

Kaiser being too coward? I am not so sure about that...

 

To some extent, I agree that if German made any aggressive move in German navy... some interesting result may have occurred. Britain no longer held a lot of sea supremacy anymore by the time of WWI. Many major powers, with exception of Imperial Russia (Ex. Russo-Japanese War), realized that Gripping Hook tactic no longer could compete with modernized sea warfare.

 

See http://www.allempires.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=15853 about what's "Gripping Hook" tactic, and how great admirals such as Lord Nelson and Yi Sunshin won a stunning victories against the numerically advantaged enemy...

 

Anyways, German navy was quite impressive. If not for Britain's long history of naval supremacy... Germans would have dominated the European seas. (Damn those Germans, how come they are so good in military warfare...  You need evidence? Just look at submarines.

 

But Kaiser was worried about several factors. He was worried about Russia's true strength. Thanks to Tsar Nicholas II, Russia was unable to mobilize to their full potential. If they were fully prepared, they could rebuild the infamous Baltic Fleet that Royal Navy feared of. German intelligence was suspicious of Russia's weakness... and did not dare to attack too far to Russia. Yes, they did invaded and captured some lands... but Germans simply drew the Eastern front for defense and Western Front for offensive. They were worried that Baltic Fleet could be built in secret and commence a surprise attack in German coasts.

 

Furthermore, Germans could not afford a single major loss in sea warfare. Royal Navy literally dominated the world since no other powers were able to beat Britain’s triumph card anywhere. German just made major reform in Atlantic, and they sent submarines because Britain had no capability to sink the submarines.

 

Battleships, however, was a totally different factor. Kaiser, in the beginning, did not even wanted to send the subs. He was so concerned of keeping his fleets intact to defend German seas and preventing another front in sea coastlines. And really, that's a reasonable thought. Germans were so worried about having two fronts... imagine what would happen if there were three fronts. And don't compare with Nazi Germany. At least they conquered entire Europe and had dependable food supplies.

 

If German fleet lost a major sea battle, it means the end of German's security in their coasts. Trade between German colonies is completely out of question, and all the dependable food supply would be cut off. Germans, regardless of how smart and strong they are, can not win a war without food.

 

I'd like to chat more, but I got chemistry homework to finish. Have fun debating.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Kapikulu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Dec-2006 at 03:51
Originally posted by Timotheus

Germany had the dilemma. They could not compete with the British Navy (or Kaiser Wilhelm was too much of a coward to try)
 
Had Wilhelm not been so much of a coward and actually carried out the Schlieffen Plan in its entirety, the result would have been exactly the same as what happened in WWII, except that Russia would not have been a menace.
 
Both of these have nothing to do with Kaiser.
 
It was actually the Kaiser who encouraged the growth of German navy contrary to the suggestions of Bismarck. That later created the friction between Germany and Britain, who have been in friendly terms before.
 
An open sea clash with the superior British navy would bring nothing but a disaster; especially for Germans...This example of open sea war was only seen once between the Brits and Germans; The Battle of Jutland.
 
Schlieffen Plan, has even less to do with Wilhelm, the operation was carried out by German command with Helmuth von Moltke Jr. as the chief of staff, not Wilhelm.


Edited by Kapikulu - 30-Dec-2006 at 03:52
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Dec-2006 at 19:37
If not for Americans, Germans may have won the war.
     
   
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TheDiplomat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jan-2007 at 06:02
Originally posted by pekau

If not for Americans, Germans may have won the war.


what about the allies of Germany? None of Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria or The Ottoman Sultanate had to deal with The Americans...

The Social uprest had alreayd started...


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