stg 44 wrote: ↑
26 Feb 2016 04:25
OK. Also, though, what about German naval expansion? Would you support that but do it in a less provocative way? Or would you completely oppose that?
It was too much of a popular public program to have any influence on; the naval league lobbied the Reichstag to make it happen, so it was just something you have to sit back and allow and try and manage the political fallout.
What exactly would you replace the Schlieffen Plan with, though? Moltke the Elder's plan for a defensive position in the West and a limited offensive (presumably followed by a defensive position) in the East?
Yeah probably. I'd go with the proposed plan to build up the engineer and artillery corps and create a West Wall in A-L. The Kaiser was for it until his personal military adviser talked him out of it in 1903 (or so, I forget the right date). IIRC it was von der Goltz's plan. Actually I'd listen to von der Goltz about a lot of stuff from 1900 on because it was right about tons of stuff.
OK. Also, though, here is what I would be concerned about--if war doesn't come in 1914, then could it come (due to French and/or Russian actions) at a later point in time when a war will be less favorable for Germany (such as in 1917, in 1925, or in 1935)? If so, then wouldn't it make sense for you to discreetly try sparking a general European war sooner rather than later (which, for the record, is essentially what Germany did in 1914 in real life)?
Well I am armed with the knowledge that the Anglo-Russia treaty would likely not be renewed in 1915 and if the Franco-Russians start a war Britain would join Germany after that because Russia was a bigger threat than Germany in that case. Even with Russian military expansion Germany can't lose with Britain onside because they'd keep the US out, bring their navy and finances to the table, and blockade France. I'd focus on building up the air force and army, especially truck production because of how critical that was given that horse transport was pretty much topped out. I'd also push agricultural tractor production to replace farm labor and work toward breaking up big plantations in favor of a Flurbereinigung style plan.
Care to please elaborate on this part?
Apparently the Czar was looking out the window and Wlly thought it would be funny to smack his ass. The Czar was not happy, Willy refused to apologize, and the Czar went home and cancelled the military contract with Krupp, which was part of a military diplomacy effort, and worked out a deal with Schneider in France instead and set back relations with Germany quite a bit. Had that not happened Bulgaria might have been drawn to the CPs and joined in in 1914 to invade Serbia instead of over 1 year later. If there was no war then having Bulgaria as a potential ally against Serbia and Romania would be pretty helpful.
Couldn't a surviving Franz Ferdinand ironically lead to more problems, though? After all, couldn't the Ausgleich collapse in 1916 or 1917 and thus result in a general European war occurring during this time?
Probably not; they had Plan U to coup the Hungarian Parliament if they resisted the new monarch; last time the Magyar nobles got uppity they threatened to unleash the plan and they backed down immediately. If they get too confident they'd find out that the Honved wouldn't save them. In fact that let's FF reform the Hungarian consititution and breaks the power of the Maygar nobles, which means many of the military funding problems go away and Hungary gets a lot more politically free to spend on building up their economy and working with Austria when the nobles weren't calling the shots and using the entire country as their playground (they leveed taxes on peasants that even in 1914 were required to be paid in unpaid labor working on projects the parliament wanted, which generally benefited the nobility. There is a reason there was a successful communist revolution in 1918).
OK. However, what about if France and/or Russia insist on sparking a war with Germany at some future point in time? Indeed, couldn't this possibility compel you to try sparking a general European war sooner rather than later?
No, not with hindsight. Without hindsight sure, but we know that Britain was falling out with the Entente and wouldn't tolerate them starting the war so would probably come on Germany's side to stop them. Russian military build up scared Britain too, not just Germany. Also its unlikely France would accept a war of aggression from Russia, their alliance was defensive; Germany not starting a war likely means Russia goes it alone and it would not win that sort of war, especially with a hostile Britain against Russia and keeping France of Germany's back.