What is the largest that Germany can realistically become?

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What is the largest that Germany can realistically become?

Post by Futurist » 05 Jan 2019 08:19

What is the largest size that a non-Nazi Germany can realistically become? (I'm specifically excluding the Nazis here given their propensity to engage in genocide, mass murder, and mass ethnic cleansing/mass expulsions.)

Note: I am excluding German puppet states from my calculation here. Rather, I am only talking about direct German annexations here. Also, I am obviously thinking of granting German citizenship to all of the residents of the annexed territories if they are not expelled and not move away from these territories.

Anyway, here are my own thoughts on this:

Germany can try annexing more French territory in either 1871 or in the 1910s if it manages to win WWI in the West. Specifically, I am thinking of Belfort and the rest of Lorraine here--including iron ore-rich Briey and Longwy. I also suppose that Germany could try annexing parts of Belgium--such as the Liege region--though this might be harder for Germany to get away with.

In the East, Germany can probably outright annex the Polish Border Strip, the Baltic states, and Belarus if it wants to get extremely ambitious. Unlike Ukraine and the rest of Poland, these territories have a low population density and thus could theoretically be annexed by an uber-expansionist Germany even if settling Germans in these territories afterwards is going to be extremely difficult (of course, this could change if Germany is able to keep control of these territories for hundreds of years, but what are the odds of a non-Nazi Germany actually successfully pulling this off?).

Also, if Austria-Hungary still implodes after the end of World War I and Germany's leadership isn't too afraid of putting a lot of additional Catholics into their empire, Germany can probably annex German Austria, the Sudetenland, Czechia, the Burgenland, Pressburg (Bratislava), and Slovenia.

Anyway, I think that this is it. I honestly don't see additional German territorial expansion unless Germany is outright willing to annex its colonies--and even then, Namibia is probably the only German colony with a sufficiently small population for Germany to actually successfully pull this off.

What are your thoughts on this?

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Re: What is the largest that Germany can realistically become?

Post by Futurist » 05 Jan 2019 08:25

I forgot to mention Luxembourg! Germany can probably annex Luxembourg if it wins WWI in the West.

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Re: What is the largest that Germany can realistically become?

Post by Futurist » 10 Jan 2019 02:37

@wm and others: Do you have any thoughts about this question of mine? :)

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Re: What is the largest that Germany can realistically become?

Post by Terry Duncan » 10 Jan 2019 15:26

At the time of WWI, a French statesman (possibly Poincare or Clemenceau) said 'The only problem with the Germans is that there are twenty million too many of them' referring to the disparity in French to German manpower. Germany with roughly 60 million people was half as big again as France with roughly 40 million, and under half the size of Russia with 130-150 million. To expand westwards is difficult due to the industrialised nature of the nations there, and to do so to the east risks a long war of attrition that Germany is likely to lose in the end - as it did in WWII. Some adjustments would be possible, such as absorbing the German parts of the Austro-Hungarian empire when it eventually fell apart (and this had been considered by the time of WWI already), retaining the parts of Poland already under German control and possibly adding the Russian and Austrian parts in some sort of puppet state of Polan if Russia could be persuaded to let its portion go due to unrest - not likely but a best-case scenario. However, Germany is far from overcrowded even today, and held far more territory just prior to WWI than it has now! Why exactly does Germany need to expand its territory in Europe anyhow? All Germany needed to do was to keep its economic growth going and develop a better internal political system within the areas it already controlled. If it wants to have other developed areas, the colonial area is about four times that of Germany in 1914 and anyone wanting to expand and develop could look to these areas?

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Re: What is the largest that Germany can realistically become?

Post by Futurist » 10 Jan 2019 22:46

Terry Duncan wrote:
10 Jan 2019 15:26
At the time of WWI, a French statesman (possibly Poincare or Clemenceau) said 'The only problem with the Germans is that there are twenty million too many of them' referring to the disparity in French to German manpower. Germany with roughly 60 million people was half as big again as France with roughly 40 million, and under half the size of Russia with 130-150 million. To expand westwards is difficult due to the industrialised nature of the nations there, and to do so to the east risks a long war of attrition that Germany is likely to lose in the end - as it did in WWII.
The interesting thing, though, is that Germany would have likely won WWI had it kept both Britain and the US out of the war. Heck, even with Britain in the war and only the US being out of the war, Germany could have probably achieved a stalemate in the West and extremely massive territorial gains in the East.

Germany in WWI appears to have been more powerful relative to its enemies than Germany was in WWII. WWII Germany simply got lucky by being able to quickly overrun France due to French mistakes.
Some adjustments would be possible, such as absorbing the German parts of the Austro-Hungarian empire when it eventually fell apart (and this had been considered by the time of WWI already), retaining the parts of Poland already under German control and possibly adding the Russian and Austrian parts in some sort of puppet state of Polan if Russia could be persuaded to let its portion go due to unrest - not likely but a best-case scenario.
Puppet states don't count for this, though; rather, it has to be direct German annexation.
However, Germany is far from overcrowded even today, and held far more territory just prior to WWI than it has now! Why exactly does Germany need to expand its territory in Europe anyhow? All Germany needed to do was to keep its economic growth going and develop a better internal political system within the areas it already controlled. If it wants to have other developed areas, the colonial area is about four times that of Germany in 1914 and anyone wanting to expand and develop could look to these areas?
The level of human capital in Germany's colonies might very well be less (perhaps much less) than the level of human capital in the Baltic states, Belarus, German Austria, Czechia, and Slovenia, though.

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Re: What is the largest that Germany can realistically become?

Post by Futurist » 10 Jan 2019 22:47

Also, as I wrote in my original post here, Germany could have probably expanded further west in 1871 if it would have so desired--specifically annexing Belfort and the rest of Lorraine.

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RE: What Is The Largest That Germany Can Realistically Become? - EUROPA UBER ALLES!

Post by Robert Rojas » 11 Jan 2019 00:15

Greetings to both brother Futurist and the community as a whole. Howdy Futurist (or Alvin Toffler if you so prefer)! Well sir, in respect to your introductory posting of Friday - January 04, 2019 - 11:19pm, apart from excluding the time period encompassing year 1933 through year 1945, does your hypothetical scenario also include the decades that follow the Second World War? Following a similar train of thought, is your topical question EXCLUSIVE to the physical size of the Fatherland's real estate acquisitions OR does it also take into consideration its far reaching geopolitical relationships and its economic wherewithal at it translates into Gross National Product? Your question can be approached from many different angles, least of all from the territorial norms of traditional imperialism. Thank you for your attention on these not so inconsequential matters. Well, that's my initial two cents or pfennigs worth on this provocative topic of interest - for now anyway. As always, I would like to bid you an especially copacetic down in your corner of Orange County that is the Magic Kingdom of Disneyland.

Best Regards,
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Re: RE: What Is The Largest That Germany Can Realistically Become? - EUROPA UBER ALLES!

Post by Futurist » 11 Jan 2019 00:37

Robert Rojas wrote:
11 Jan 2019 00:15
Greetings to both brother Futurist and the community as a whole. Howdy Futurist (or Alvin Toffler if you so prefer)! Well sir, in respect to your introductory posting of Friday - January 04, 2019 - 11:19pm, apart from excluding the time period encompassing year 1933 through year 1945, does your hypothetical scenario also include the decades that follow the Second World War? Following a similar train of thought, is your topical question EXCLUSIVE to the physical size of the Fatherland's real estate acquisitions OR does it also take into consideration its far reaching geopolitical relationships and its economic wherewithal at it translates into Gross National Product? Your question can be approached from many different angles, least of all from the territorial norms of traditional imperialism. Thank you for your attention on these not so inconsequential matters. Well, that's my initial two cents or pfennigs worth on this provocative topic of interest - for now anyway. As always, I would like to bid you an especially copacetic down in your corner of Orange County that is the Magic Kingdom of Disneyland.

Best Regards,
Uncle Bob :idea: :|
If the Nazis still come to power in Germany, then Yes, my scenario where would also exclude the time period after 1945. If the Nazis never come to power in Germany, though, then the time period after 1945 would be included in my scenario (as would the 1933 to 1945 time period, for that matter).

Also, I am looking at raw territorial area here. Specifically, I want to only count territories which have been outright annexed to Germany. Thus, German puppet states don't count for this--and neither do countries which are economically dependent on Germany. In addition, the people in the annexed territories actually need to be given German citizenship--just like the U.S. gave citizenship to the Mexicans and, eventually, Native Americans who lived in the territories that it acquired and annexed from Mexico in 1848.

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Re: What is the largest that Germany can realistically become?

Post by Terry Duncan » 11 Jan 2019 01:44

Futurist wrote:
10 Jan 2019 22:46
The interesting thing, though, is that Germany would have likely won WWI had it kept both Britain and the US out of the war. Heck, even with Britain in the war and only the US being out of the war, Germany could have probably achieved a stalemate in the West and extremely massive territorial gains in the East.
The only reason Germany got close to winning was the Tzarist system was falling apart, largely due to mistakes made by Nicholas and Alexandra, which rather nullified the advantage in manpower. The problem for Germany even with Russia defeated was that she had no method to win the war in the west, and would eventually be crushed by the blockade exactly as predicted by the pre-war studies by the GGS. Germany had just enough strength to win on one front, but not on two in the same war. The reason for attacking France hard first was that it was felt a political settlement with France (and Britain) would always be impossible even with Russia defeated, whilst it would always be possible to come to terms with Russia once France had been defeated before Britain could make its strength felt. This is partly the cause of Moltke's 'We have lost the war' statement from the time of the 1st Battle of the Marne!
Futurist wrote:
10 Jan 2019 22:46
Germany in WWI appears to have been more powerful relative to its enemies than Germany was in WWII. WWII Germany simply got lucky by being able to quickly overrun France due to French mistakes.
In WWI Germany was indeed far more powerful overall, in WWII the Germans were just more prepared than their enemies. As soon as the others began to catch up in developments and mobilisation the German situation became dire.
Futurist wrote:
10 Jan 2019 22:46
Puppet states don't count for this, though; rather, it has to be direct German annexation.
Germany can annex a lot of lands such as Poland, Czechoslovakia, and more parts of France, but it will not make the people of these territories any more German or happy to be under German rule. All you would be doing is importing unrest from Russia and Austria, and having more citizens from ex-French territories that are felt to be untrustworthy - in WWI the troops from Alsace-Lorraine were deployed in the east because they were felt to be unreliable if sent to the west, despite their war records, and were left in the east even in 1918.
Futurist wrote:
10 Jan 2019 22:46
The level of human capital in Germany's colonies might very well be less (perhaps much less) than the level of human capital in the Baltic states, Belarus, German Austria, Czechia, and Slovenia, though.
Maybe, but the people in these nations had active nationalist movements by 1912 and mostly did not wish to be under German domination, and crucially were better placed to cause significant trouble than the people in the colonies. This does not change the fact that the German population density was far lower than it is today and annexing more lands whilst making more enemies was not productive - Franz-Ferdinand is indeed the poster boy for such actions! Germany would likely have dominated within twenty years of peace from 1914, given she followed a sensible foreign policy. Germany didn't need more land, she needed fewer enemies, but seemed capable of only following policies that guaranteed more nations became hostile to her.

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Re: What is the largest that Germany can realistically become?

Post by South » 11 Jan 2019 05:00

Good evening Futurist / Alvin,

The 1839 Treaty of London...involving the perpetual neutrality of Belgium and a fully independent Luxembourg must be assigned some significance. After Napoleon, Belgium was initially part of the Netherlands. There was a secessionist move that was successful by 1830. Follow the aforesaid in re Limburg and Luxemburg.

Reflect on why the UK was pleased with some small countries on the other side of the English Channel.

Your initial question asked: "realistically become?".

You mentioned "iron ore-rich......" (Why the need for iron ore ?)

Re: "Germany in WW1 appears to have been more powerful relative to its enemies";

What criteria are you using to determine "power" ?

What entities are Germany's enemies?

In 1915, was the US an enemy? Did the US steel barons have any care about this new Germany and "iron ore-rich" land acquisitions near the English Channel ?

Power requires a top-notch industrial base.

Power requires a force and the ability to exercise force projection.

Power also requires a top-notch banking and finance system.

High-quality trade routes are a component of power. (What's the toll for German vessels or German cargo transiting the Suez Canal and the Panama Canal?)

A premier population with ideological intensity is also a component of power.

With the new Germany, as of 1871, outproducing the UK in steel production within only 3 generations, ........ and the rest of the economic competition was noticed world-wide..........looking back over 4 generations and I'd say Germany appeared LESS powerful than its enemies.

Power also requires quality alliances.

"He who controls the heartland..." still requires control over the other aspects - or else the Hall of Mirrors where they don't use umlatts.

Not too much is new under the Sun.

~ Bob
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RE: What Is The Largest That Germany Can Realistically Become?

Post by Robert Rojas » 11 Jan 2019 07:46

Greetings to both brother Futurist and the community as a whole. Howdy Futurist (or Alvin Toffler if you so prefer)! Well sir, in respect to your posting of Thursday - January 10, 2019 - 3:37pm, old yours truly was (and is) wondering if you could sum up your titular question in three words: THE EUROPEAN UNION. For all intents and purposes, the Federal Republic of Germany is the first among equals in what I would characterize as the latter day Holy Roman Empire. So, the ever persistent cult of Pan Germanic irredentism notwithstanding, I believe you will have to capitulate to the reality that you are dealing with a multinational German State in a multinational European conglomeration where the ENGLISH LANGUAGE has become the de facto Lingua Franca of European Business and Telecommunications. The World Wide Web and Social Media has irrevocably transformed the parochial nature of Europe in general and Germany in particular. Apart from ambitious real estate speculators, the days of classic imperialist land acquisition in Western and Central Europe are over! And like classic land grabbing imperialism, the days of the UGLY GERMAN are also over - IT'S SIMPLY BAD FOR BUSINESS! If business is bad for Germany, then it's likely going to be bad for the remainder of Europe. In short, Germany has succeeded with commerce where it has historically failed with the force of arms. Think about it! Well, that's my latest two Yankee cents or pfennigs worth on exercise in REAL POLITIK - for now anyway. As always, I would like to bid you an especially copacetic day down in your corner of Orange County that is the Magic Kingdom of Disneyland.


Best Regards,
Uncle Bob :idea: :|
"It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it" - Robert E. Lee

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Re: What is the largest that Germany can realistically become?

Post by Futurist » 12 Jan 2019 06:59

Germany doesn't appear to have the demographics to dominate the E.U., though. Germany makes up, what, 20%, 25% of the E.U.'s total population?

Sure, Germany's economy is the largest in the E.U., but even here it doesn't appear to comprise a majority of the E.U.'s total economy.

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Re: What is the largest that Germany can realistically become?

Post by South » 12 Jan 2019 09:35

Good morning Futurist,

PREFACE: My comments are only dated 20+ years ago; not the current material in re the EU.

Ref: Germany
Re: "total economy" [of EU]

Now along comes the contemporary version of form over substance. The EU's motto "Unity in Diversity" still deceives. Madam Defarge's scarf explained all this years ago.

500 million people cannot presume each and all are equal producers of goods and services.

The collective wisdom of the EU's august governing body added a monetary union to this new version of the Holy Roman Empire. Yet, the member nations were still allowed to keep their central banks.As soon as the EU's political establishment realizes they might need to raise a military establishment (recall the EuroCorps), there goes the holidays at the Italian Lake Country and that extra car and that socio-political stability. Reread Madam Defarge's scarf.

India has a larger population than the EU.

Now as far as a population being a major ingredient of an economy: Yes, it is important - when the population is "productive" and the comparisions are correct.

Note that Mexico has more millionaires than Switzerland.
Singapore has more foreign exchange reserves (FOREX) than India.
Israel is the 8th most powerful country in the world.

Germany sells submarines and boats to Israel in trade for Jaffa oranges so Germany's Ostpolitik can allow for German soldiers to have plenty of vitamin D if disputes arise over propane/LPG supplies, inter alia, amongst other things.

The "total economy" is just too large a term to address here.

I recommend we discuss in person - perhaps in Rome - at the Club of Rome ("The sky is falling. We're running out of food. We're running out of petroleum").

Germany's population of ~ 82 million ...........I'm holding off on mentioning the recent "undocumented", non-documentees arriving.......... has an economic force-multiplier well above 2 times that of other EU-member nations.

At our meeting at the Club of Rome, I recommend we write notes with Mont Blanc fountain pens - but not articulate anything about petroleum and the Nord Stream Pipeline I. Agip and the ENI - Italian Hydrocarbon Authority will laugh at us.

Germany does have the demographics - after some immigration-processing - and the FOREX.

All the other stuff re a viable European Union: the answer can be found over fish and chips at Middlesbrough and Wolverhamton, UK. It's going on here too. Just add the EU as another aspect of the Warring States Era.

I am now in the mood for some German chocolate cake.......but instead of Rome, I need PDR of Southern California now. We have a dangerous ice storm arriving here this Saturday PM.

~ Bob
eastern Virginia, USA

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RE: What Is The Largest That Germany Can Realistically Become?

Post by Robert Rojas » 13 Jan 2019 08:19

Greetings to both brother Futurist and the community as a whole. Howdy Futurist (or Alvin Toffler if you so prefer)! Well sir, in respect to your posting of Friday - January 12, 2019 - 12:35am, old yours truly is of the school of thought that the Federal Republic of Germany does NOT at all require anything resembling demographic superiority to acquire the dominate role of arbiter in THE EUROPEAN UNION. Try to imagine THE EUROPEAN UNION as a transnational business entity with stockholders. As the principal investing stockholder in what I would label as EUROPA INCORPORATED, the Federal Republic of Germany will certainly retain more than its fair share of input on a wide spectrum of policy decision making. In terms of their voting rights with EUROPA INCORPORATED Board of Directors, the Federal Republic of Germany will only need a plurality of votes and not a clear majority of votes to significantly influence the decision making process of the Board of Directors. In short, Gross National Product talks and shit walks. Remember, there is the golden rule of history. THOSE WITH THE GOLD MAKE THE RULES! Finally, do not fall into the trap of ethnic German identity with other ethnic groups who, on auspicious occasions, just might happen to opt to converse in EITHER the German Language OR a Germanic Language. In other words, in today's multinational Germany, you will have many disparate folks that reside and work in the Fatherland who are clearly NOT, by definition, German, but they collectively contribute their skills and labor into the dynamic that drives the Teutonic colossus. Well, that's my latest two cents or pfennigs worth on this topic that is incrementally lurching into contemporary times - for now anyway. As always, I would like to bid you an especially copacetic day down in your corner of Orange County that is the Magic Kingdom of Disneyland.

Best Regards,
Uncle Bob :idea: :|
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Re: What is the largest that Germany can realistically become?

Post by History Learner » 24 Jan 2019 20:08

You've excluded the Nazis, so that eliminates probably the easiest answer. Theoretically, it's possible to imagine Imperial Germany being just as expansionist (and less reprehensible about it in the process than their historical successors) as the Third Reich, extending out to the Urals. If you go back far enough, it's possible to see a Germanic France, Pannonia Basin, and possibly other areas; not a unified Germany per se, but close enough in some aspects.

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