On March 3rd, 1918 the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed with Bolshevik Russia, officially ending the war on the Eastern Front. Germany now had an empire that covered the former Baltic provinces, congress Poland, Western White Russia, and the Ukraine. However, the German generals were now anxious over the condition of the Western Front, especially with the entrance of the United States on the side of the allies. Kaiserschlacht, or the “Spring Offensive”, as it was called, was put on the table and debated over, but in the end shelved for a later date. The reason for this was from an idea presented by Archduke Joseph August to the German High command. He suggested that the focus of the offensives should be in the two smaller fronts in Italy and Greece, thereby freeing those forces for combat at the Western Front and in the Middle East. This plan was soon adopted, as it was also accepted that Austria-Hungary needed pressure removed so that it could effectively deal with rising nationalist sentiments within its many ethnic groups.
By June 15th, about 35 divisions were relocated to the Italian front, five to the Salonican Front, and the remaining ten to the Western Front. About one million men, however, had to remain in the East, until suitable policing armies were raised to keep the territories in the German Empire, rather than move toward independence. With this renewed strength, Otto Von Below launched an offensive near the Piave River that completely disintegrated the allied front lines, capturing about 15 divisions worth of men, and invaluable amounts of equipment, munitions and food. Venice itself surrendered on the 21st, followed by Padua on the 27th, and Verona on the 2nd of July. With its Army now completely routed, Italy sued for peace, and signed the Treaty of Mantua on August 3rd.
At the same time, the five divisions that Germany had sent to Greece had largely stabilized the defenses there, buying time for forces from Italy to be deployed south. By September 12th, an additional 15 German divisions and 20 Austrian divisions had been deployed along the front. The plan, formulated by Oskar Potiorek and August von Mackensen, called for the surrounding of the bulk of the allied forces near Salonika, then proceeding down the mainland to Athens, producing the Greek surrender, and then prompting the removal of allied forces from the Balkans. At first, it got off to a rocky start, due to heavy fortifications around the Salonika area, and lessons learned by the allies in Italy. However, the Central Powers in the end overwhelmed the smaller allied force, and by October 20th were in Athens. After Greece signed the treaty of Corinth on November 4th, the Central Power only had two fronts on which they were forced to fight. This came with its problems, however.
First, Trench warfare still continued to evolve at an alarming rate. The Western Front was now developing more advanced trench systems, and far-superior technologies were now being put to effect. The advantage that the tank originally had given to the Entente was now denied by near German equals, who also now built superior designs based on the Sturmpanzerwagen Oberschlesien. Super Tanks, like the Charc 2C and the Flying Elephant, would see service in 1919. The trenches themselves were now, especially on the German side, becoming fortresses, similar to the Maginot Line in OTL. Though it was never completed before the End of the Great War, the Hindenburg Line was meant to keep all territory that had already been secured, secure, while also deterring any attempt at an offensive by the allies.
Message from Ariosto: If anyone wants, they can add anything. Just add your ideas below this line, and I will organize them later. Been caught up in a lot of stuff lately, and I can only really put attention into the "Florida Votes Blue" Alt-Hist. Also, I have two other projects underway, having to do with the change in history of a Dewey win in 1948 and Stevenson in 52.
How about Britain does an armistice with Germany in 1920 followed closely by France, to prevent any further loss of life. The German Empire is consolidated and strengthened. I would also like to help you on any articles about Britain. Bob 12:45, September 29, 2009 (UTC)
What about Austria being reorganized to respect all nationalities?