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Germany Fights On, 1919

ChrisNuttall

Well-known member
Here's something I've been thinking about as the basis for a story.

Let's assume the peace talks in 1919 fall through and Germany resolves to continue the fight, on the assumption that the allies will split and they might just be able to pull off a semi-victory (particularly if they can bring their russian gains online.) So they refuse to end the war ...

What then?

Chris
 

CountZingo

Active member
I'd think that it's inevitable that the Germans would lose the war - I think the question is how bad they would lose the peace. Something comparable to Versailles would likely be viewed as too light - at this point, Germany may be looking at being forcibly disunified into several states again.

This would also give the Communists a bit of a boost - with the Allies and the Germans fighting each other, they're not fighting the Communists. This may lead to more initial Communist victories.

Although there would be devastation from Allied troops in Germany, the various German states would be either democracies or monarchies - any German Communist movement would be quashed by the Allies. In addition, the "stab-in-the-back" myth would be killed before it even really started.

That being said, things might not go too well for the Allies, either. Signing an armistice to finally end the war and then restarting it probably wouldn't be popular in the eyes of the average Allied citizen, even if the Germans started it. We may see some kind of mutiny / communist revolution, and at that point it's anyone's guess as to who would come out on top.
 

Aznavour

Well-known member
Published by SLP
By 1919 there is barely a German state, let alone a German army. Who would even make such a decision? Ebert? Some Putschist generals?

Even fighting in November of 1918 would only result in American and allied troops marching towards the ine, at which point even the most diehards would acknowledge thatbthe end had come, if only because of the Berlin Soviet that would have sprung beneath them.
 

Time Enough

"Enthusiastic Cis Male Partner"
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The Scottish and Saxon regiments for some reason got on very well whenever they were in the line opposite each other.
Of course they did, who doesn't love the Scottish.

Joking aside, yeah Germany's toast at this point. There's also the fact that the Italians would have plowed through the Austrain defences (by this point the Austro-Hungarian Empire was a state in name only) and hovered ominously near Bavaria.

That and the Entente has Naval superiority at this point. Add the other factor of Communists Revolutionaries and Mutinys too.
 

iainbhx

L'enfer, c'est les autres
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I'm not entirely sure there is an entity called Germany to fight on in 1919 if the Versailles Talks collapse.

The Rhineland and the Ruhr are occupied, the Blockade is still in place, the High Seas Fleet is gone (if they collapse after March 1919) or will be in mutiny, much of the army is already disbanded or has just left its positions, you have mass strikes and revolutions everywhere, the old order is gone, abdicated and often left the country.

I wonder who would fight on?
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
Germany fighting on into 1919 means no Germany in 1920 and a lot less Germans to boot. I assume this means no reparations from what was Germany because they wouldn't have any real way to pay it (and the need for revenge is probably sated by carving up a land of corpses).

The utter desolation of what was a powerful developed nation, you'd hope that would have an impact on the post-war world. The cost of a modern war would be made even clearer
 

lordroel

Well-known member
Here's something I've been thinking about as the basis for a story.

Let's assume the peace talks in 1919 fall through and Germany resolves to continue the fight, on the assumption that the allies will split and they might just be able to pull off a semi-victory (particularly if they can bring their russian gains online.) So they refuse to end the war ...

What then?

Chris
This would have happen: Plan 1919

 

DaleCoz

Well-known member
Part of the problem was that the Allies demanded some stuff as the price of the Armistice that would have made resuming the war difficult. Among those demands: Evacuation of French and Belgian territory, Allied occupation of the Rhineland, giving up a huge number of military assets, including 5000 artillery pieces, huge numbers of locomotives and train cars, turning over all u-boats, along with a big chunk of the High Seas Fleet and giving up most of the German bombers. The Allies had no intention of letting the Germans renew the war after a rest period and made sure they couldn't.

If the Germans were going to continue the war, they would have been better off not signing the armistice in the first place. I believe that Ludendorf pushed for that in late October 1918. That probably wasn't a realistic option though, given the state of German morale at the time and the fact that Germany's allies had mostly already dropped out of the war. If you wanted to get the war continuing, you would almost have to go back at least to the spring of 1918 and have the Germans make better decisions there, if not further back.
 

SenatorChickpea

The Most Kiwi Aussie of them all
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Yeah, the war's outcome is not in question here but the nature of the settlement afterwards is.

Much depends upon why the fighting resumes. Unlike Japan in 1945, the military leadership wanted peace, though not the responsibility for it. There's not really a clique of young officers who are fanatical enough to restart hostilities, let alone having the capability to launch such a coup.

I don't think it's at all doable for fighting to restart after the Armistice. That really did hamstring Germany, though as David says it was hardly in good shape by late 1918 anyway.

It's actually easier to picture a full collapse into civil war and revolution before any armistice is formally signed- 1919 sees the Allies advance east to put down various Communes and Freikorps warlords. The Entente war poets write their final verses about the haunting sight of the vast and abandoned defensive works they're just walking into, mighty citadels against whose walls millions died, abandoned and collapsing. I dunno, maybe there's something there.
 

Max Sinister

Well-known member
Assorted letters home from British soldiers, assorted letters home from Saxon troops, IWM records of regimental reports, Court Martial records of the German Army (for some reason, Higher Command didn't take a happy view of such actions).

The Scottish and Saxon regiments for some reason got on very well whenever they were in the line opposite each other.
OK, I had expected some book as a source. Are you working as a historian, or why do you know all of these sources?
 
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