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Old 11-11-2012, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
8 posts, read 6,997 times
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Default If Britain had stayed out of WW1

In honor of Armistice Day...

What if Great Britain had stayed out of WW1? Granted, they would have had to dishonor their treaty with Belgium when Germany invaded. But, what if Britain decided this was a Franco-German affair and just stayed out? I predict a repear of the Franco-Prussian War; the German Empire would have rapidly defeated France. The millions of Europeans who were killed or maimed in WW1 would have been saved. Also, likely Hitler never would have risen to power, which means no WW2, no holocaust and no wholesale destruction of historic German cities by allied bombers.
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ztwhite View Post

the German Empire would have rapidly defeated France. .
I would very much imagine that France's fate after such an event would have mirrored what happened in Germany. A right wing "revenge" or "restore our honor" movement would have arisen, they would have had street battles with the French communists, probably would have scapegoated the French Jews just as the Germans scapegoated the German Jews...

What happens next depends upon whether the right wing or the communists prevailed in their struggle for control of France. If the right wingers, then they would have been the ones helping Franco win in Spain, followed by some French/Spanish alliance against communism in general, and the Kaiser in particular. England would have been wary of allying itself with a fascist combination, but their own interests would eventually lead to some cooperation. The reason is that a victorious Germany would not only have what Britain always feared...domination of the European continent, but they still would have had their immense navy intact to rival Britain on the seas.

If the communists had won, then I would imagine a Russian/Franco alliance dedicated to destroying Germany and making it into a socialist state. In such circumstances we might have found a strange bedfellows alliance between Britain and Germany.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ztwhite View Post
The millions of Europeans who were killed or maimed in WW1 would have been saved.
What about the Eastern front?
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:27 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
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If Great Britain had not participatedin WW1, Germany likely would have rapidly defeated France. Thus, hundreds of thousands of German soliders would have been deployed to the eastern front, enabling a German victory in perhaps 1915, not 1917 as happened in our history.

Of course, this is all speculative and no way to really know what would have happened. Just an interesting topic I think.

I see WW1 and WW2 being largely pointless wars that accomplished very little, at an incredibally great cost. Millions dead, millions wounded (physically or emotionally), historic Europe destroyed, and a terrible legacy. These wars did not need to happen.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ztwhite View Post
enabling a German victory in perhaps 1915, not 1917 as happened in our history.
Russia didn't lose - after the revolution bolsheviks capitulated. Russia has never lost any serious conflict - except when it was destroyed with 2/3rd of its people by Mongols.

I'm afraid that there would be quite a massacre - with Centrals sending millions after millions into Russia, dying steadily, and killing even more Russians.

Quote:
These wars did not need to happen.
Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, Afganistan, and everything in between... And the threat of WW3 that was very real, and is not over yet. Why does US do this? Probably for the very same reasons.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:58 PM
 
2,715 posts, read 2,326,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ztwhite View Post
In honor of Armistice Day...

What if Great Britain had stayed out of WW1? Granted, they would have had to dishonor their treaty with Belgium when Germany invaded. But, what if Britain decided this was a Franco-German affair and just stayed out? I predict a repear of the Franco-Prussian War; the German Empire would have rapidly defeated France. The millions of Europeans who were killed or maimed in WW1 would have been saved. Also, likely Hitler never would have risen to power, which means no WW2, no holocaust and no wholesale destruction of historic German cities by allied bombers.
It hard to say, yet even if Germany did win the war Britain and Germany would still be rivals and eventually there would be a war between Germany and Britain as they were competing against each other in world empires as Germany strive to compete against the British empire.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by russiaonline View Post
Russia didn't lose - after the revolution bolsheviks capitulated. Russia has never lost any serious conflict - except when it was destroyed with 2/3rd of its people by Mongols
I suppose that little dust up in 1905 doesn't count as serious.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:38 AM
 
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Now the Russo-Japanese War didn't happen, ROL? Oh, geez...
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:42 AM
 
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Has anyone considered that without Britain, there might not have been a war at all?
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:09 AM
 
13,569 posts, read 14,786,130 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ztwhite View Post
In honor of Armistice Day...

What if Great Britain had stayed out of WW1? Granted, they would have had to dishonor their treaty with Belgium when Germany invaded. But, what if Britain decided this was a Franco-German affair and just stayed out? I predict a repear of the Franco-Prussian War; the German Empire would have rapidly defeated France. The millions of Europeans who were killed or maimed in WW1 would have been saved. Also, likely Hitler never would have risen to power, which means no WW2, no holocaust and no wholesale destruction of historic German cities by allied bombers.
In order to support your thesis, one would need to make a case that the absence of the BEF would have allowed the Germans to achieve their rapid victory. Historically, the BEF had little impact in 1914. There were only around 70,000 (out of 1+ million) British troops engaged at the Marne, which was the real turning point of the German advance in the early weeks. During the subsequent "Race to the Sea" it was again, primarily the French that engaged in these battles as the BEF was exhausted and spent most of this time strengthening and re-equipping. The BEF in the early months also had a distinct lack of heavy artillery that was effective against German trenches. Additionally they lacked even baisc entrenching tools and machine guns.

While the role of the BEF was great in the later campaigns and they came to form the bulk of offensive forces, this was not really the case until late 1915, early 1916. While I think there is a good case for a French defeat without British support, I just don't see the "rapid collapse" ala the Franco-Prussian War that you predicted. A longer war obviously changes the tone and status of peace.

Remember, Germany did not go to war with France for the sake of going to war with France, it was done to prevent a two front war and allow Germany to focus on Russia. As long as France could blunt the initial attacks, which they did and create some level of stalemate, I think France could have reached a negotiated peace with Germany to end their conflict.

The real changes of a lack of British involvement and a negotiated peace/defeat of France would have been the impacts to Eastern Europe where German hegemony would have been secured over large tracts of territory, irrevocably changing the landscape of Eastern Europe and the later conflicts.
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