An alternate timeline by Althistorian 2005.
What if the Germans realized in the late months of 1916 that they were already winning and decided not to send the Zimmermann Telegram, thus preventing the US from joining the war?
1914-6: World War 1 proceeds the same way as in OTL, up to December 1916. Then, the German high command analyses the situation and the prospect of a German victory is bright, so the Zimmermann Telegram is withheld.
1917: The Russian February Revolution takes place the same way as in OTL, and Russian Tsar Nicholas II is somehow offered asylum in Germany under his cousin Kaiser Wilhelm II. He accepts, avoiding execution at the hands of the Bolsheviks, who launch a second revolution in October. This enables the German and Austrian militaries to be diverted entirely to the Western and Southern Fronts, while the Ottoman military is obviously doomed. Bulgaria decides to leave the war, on the condition that the Germans and Austrians will not allocate anymore war spoils to them besides what they already have.
1918: Italy requests an armistice, followed by France. Britain and Japan then manage to negotiate white peace, except, for Britain, with the Ottoman Empire, leaving their allies to burn at the hands of Germany and Austria. British and Arab troops continue advancing up the Middle East, eventually capitulating the Ottoman Empire. The fighting ends, and the Berlin Peace Conference takes place the following year.
Meanwhile, Germany signs a peace treaty at Brest-Litovsk with the new Bolshevik Russian government, and many German puppet states are established:
Russia is also forced to pay massive war reparations to Germany.
1919: At the Berlin Peace Conference, several treaties are negotiated:
Treaty of Potsdam
- Belgium and some French border territories are ceded to Germany.
- All French colonies will be ceded to Germany.
- The Kingdom of Corsica will be created as an Austrian puppet state.
- All remaining French territory will be demilitarised after a 15 year period of German occupation.
- The French air force will be completely disbanded, with some aircraft being transferred to German command.
- The French army and navy will only be allowed to maintain a size suitable for defense.
- Democratic elections will be held in France to create a new government after the 15 year occupation ends.
- A Franco-German alliance will be signed after the new French government is created.
Treaty of Berchtesgarten
- All Italian colonies will be ceded to Austria.
- The kingdoms of Venice, Naples, Sardinia and Sicily will be created as Austrian puppet states.
- The remainder of Italy will also become an Austrian puppet state, the Kingdom of Northern Italy.
- The part of Serbia not annexed by Bulgaria will be annexed by Austria-Hungary.
- Montenegro is also annexed by Austria-Hungary.
- Romania will become an Austrian puppet state.
Treaty of Weimar
- Britain will gain Palestine, Iraq, and the Transjordan as in OTL.
- OTL French Syria will become German Syria in this timeline.
- Armenian ethnic lands will gain independence as a republic with British protection.
- The remaining territory of the former Ottoman Empire will hold democratic elections after 3 years of British occupation.
With World War 1 over, the British and German governments, under royal cousins George V and Wilhelm II, decide to try improving Anglo-German relations with the help of their monarchs. Germanophobia and Anglophobia are slowly drowned out by propaganda advocating Anglo-German friendship, as well as the sale of German New Guinea to Britain.
1921: Due to the financial burden of war reparations, the Red Army finally loses the Russian Civil War to the White Army, which is supported by German troops in this timeline. Democratic elections are then held in Russia, but with western Russia preferring a republic and eastern Russia preferring the return of the tsar, Russia is divided along the referendum's borders:
- The Kingdom of Siberia, an absolute monarchy led by Tsar Nicholas II. (Capital: Vladivostok)
- The Russian Republic, a federal republic. (Capital: Moscow)
The war reparations of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk are divided between Russia and Siberia.
1922: The Republic of Turkey is established via democratic elections, ending British occupation. The new Turkish government is later slightly challenged by a minor party that tries to stir up resentment to Germany, for supposedly betraying them, and Britain, for obvious reasons. However, the prosperous global economy reduces public interest in them. Meanwhile, an Italian political activist by the name of Benito Mussolini begins campaigning for the return of Italian unification and independence.
1924: The Austro-Hungarian government begins collapsing under the pressure of Mussolini's Italian independence movement and various other independence movements within the Empire. German troops soon begin occupying various regions to improve stability. King George V makes a big step to improve Anglo-German relations by sending British troops to reinforce the German occupation troops in Austria.
1925: The Austrian Empire reaches breaking point, with the army deserting and mutinying while more and more people support the various independence movements across the empire. Finally, the Kaiser flees to Germany, after which he is transferred to Russia, thus ending attempts to restore the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A few skirmishes take place between separatist rebels and occupation forces, but negotiations soon begin to decide the future of the territories of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire.
1926: The Treaty of Prague is signed, finally dissolving Austria-Hungary:
- The region of Bohemia gains independence as Czechia, despite the region's name.
- Austria is ceded to Germany, and Germans living in western Bohemia are allowed to move there to resettle, if they prefer not to live under Czech rule.
- Polish ethnic lands are ceded to Germany's Polish puppet state.
- Slovak ethnic lands gain independence as Slovakia.
- Hungarian ethnic lands gain independence as Hungary.
- Slovenian, Croatian, Bosnian, Montenegrin, and Serbian ethnic lands gain independence together as Yugoslavia.
- The Kingdom of Northern Italy will reunite with the kingdoms of Venice, Naples, Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily to recreate Italy, which will also annex Italian ethnic lands in South Tyrol and Trieste. However, Italy will be recreated as a republic and Mussolini will be installed as its president.
- Romanian ethnic lands will be ceded to Romania, which will regain independence.
- Ukrainian ethnic lands will be ceded to the Russian Republic.
- All Austrian colonies will be ceded to Germany.
Bulgaria then increases military spending to defend against Romania and the newly-created Yugoslavia, but mostly Romania, since they will want revenge on Bulgaria for helping the Austrians in World War 1.
1929: After the First World War, New York became the global financial center, so when the New York Stock Exchange crashes in October, it sets off a series of bank failures which wrecks the global economy, kicking off the Great Depression.
1930: With incomes dropping due to the Great Depression, Mussolini decides to create jobs by starting many public works projects. This helps the Italian economy... and Mussolini's own popularity! He also begins suppressing dissent, claiming that Italy needs unity to overcome the Great Depression, even if it means thousands of Mussolini's political opponents being massacred in death camps. The new ideology in Italy is termed "fascismo", roughly translated in English as "fascism".
1931: Due to the Great Depression, Japanese silk exports suffer, thus causing the Japanese to look for alternatives to now-unaffordable food imports, like invading all of East Asia for resources! They then sabotage their own railway in the Chinese region of Manchuria, claim that Chinese soldiers did it, and invade Manchuria. The British and Germans condemn this action, bringing the two nations closer. However, the Japanese ignore the international condemnation and quickly set up the puppet state of Manchukuo.
Meanwhile, in Turkey, the party that challenged the Turkish government in the 20's suddenly gains an overwhelming majority of the votes in the elections, eventually setting up a fascist dictatorship similar to Mussolini's. They blame the Semites (both Jews and Arabs) for all of Turkey's economic and political problems, and start presecuting them.
Also, the Spanish monarchy is almost overthrown, but stays afloat with German support. However, the leaders of the failed revolution escape and incite a rebellion, starting the Spanish Civil War the next year.
1933: Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected president of the United States and starts many government initiatives to curb the Great Depression.
1934: France is released from German occupation and elects World War 1 hero Marshall Philippe Petain as their new president. He refuses to sign the Franco-German alliance, despite the international pressure to comply with the terms of the Treaty of Potsdam, and soon procceds to criticise Britain for supposedly betraying France. He proceeds to further break the Treaty of Potsdam by announcing an ambitious rearmament program. Meanwhile, with German troops out of France, Germany can only rely on airlifts and naval shipments to supply the German reinforcements in Spain. Britain also begins supporting the monarchists.
1936: The Spanish anti-monarchist rebels fracture, and a separate rebellion forms within the rebellion. These fascist rebels fight against the republican rebels, all while the monarchist government continues pushing them back with German support. The Portuguese government then starts supporting the fascist rebels. Meanwhile, British King George V dies and is succeeded by his eldest son, who becomes Edward VIII. King Edward abdicates later that year in favor of his brother, who becomes George VI.
1937: Japan continues their conquest in East Asia by attacking China once again after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, which acts as a cover story for them to continue advancing further into China after seizing Manchuria in 1931. Meanwhile, the Spanish republican rebels are defeated and the fascist rebels don't have much hope, until French and Italian support begins flowing in, prolonging the Spanish Civil War and possibly turning the tide of the war as well.
1939: France, Italy, and Japan sign a tripartite fascist alliance, which becomes known as the Axis. Later, the fascist rebels finally win the Spanish Civil War despite the government's support from Germany and Britain. Meanwhile, Italy invades and annexes Albania, creating anxiety for the other Balkan States, except Bulgaria, which then joins the Fascist Axis, along with Spain and Portugal.
1941: Japan attacks Eastern Siberia, British and German colonies in East Asia, and American bases in Hawaii and the Philippines simultaneously, starting World War 2. Then, Turkey attacks German and British colonies in Arabia and Mesopotamia, France and Italy attack Germany, Bulgaria and Italy attack Romania and Yugoslavia, and Spain attacks Gibraltar and German Morocco with Portuguese support. The attacked countries come together as the Allies to fight the Axis.
1942: After recovering from the initial surprise attacks, the Allies try to counterattack but fail. The Turks then decide to invade Persia and the Caucasus to seize the oil fields there, causing Persia and Russia to join the Allies, replacing Yugoslavia, which fell to the Axis in a few weeks. Later, Hungary is surprise attacked after Romania falls, and easily falls in a few days due to the lack of time to prepare. Bulgaria then helps France and Italy on the Austrian Front, finally capturing Vienna after much hard fighting, as well as Turkey against Russia. Meanwhile, Japan seizes the Philippines, as well as German Indochina and British Burma. Thailand joins the Axis due to Japanese pressure and is then rewarded with land from German Indochina and British Malaya. Vladivostok is seized, but the Tsar refuses to surrender. Also, a stalemate continues in German Morocco.
1943: The Allies manage to break through the French lines in Western Europe and push their way to the gates of Paris. Suddenly, all French troops are pulled back to Paris, allowing the Germans to retake Vienna and most of Austria. The Russians also push back the Bulgarians and Turks with German support while the Spanish and Portuguese are pushed out of German Morocco. The Turks are also pushed out of German Syria and British Iraq. Meanwhile, Japan attacks the Dutch East Indies, causing the Netherlands to join the Allies. They are stopped at the southern part of the island of New Guinea, and only because the US Navy shows up to help. Siberian troops recapture Vladivostok, but the city continuously changes hands through to the end of the war.
1944: American troops retake the Philippines and help Anglo-Dutch troops liberate the Dutch East Indies. The US Navy successfully blockades Japan, and British Burma is liberated. Meanwhile, German troops manage to liberate Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia while also defeating Bulgaria and liberating Albania from Italian rule. German troops from Africa then liberate British-owned Gibraltar and push into southern Spain.
1945: Paris is finally taken, while German troops storm down the Italian Peninsula and capture Rome. Then, an Anglo-Russo-German offensive defeats Turkey. With the war in Europe over so suddenly, it seems to be no surprise when the Pacific Theater ends just as suddenly with the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
1946-9: The Allies, unlike their OTL counterparts, manage to compromise on some post-war disagreements regarding the defeated former Axis, avoiding a Cold War. Korea becomes united and independent, China remains democratic and capitalist after defeating Mao Zedong, and Russia is eventually reunited under a constitutional monarchy, with its capital in Moscow. German puppet states eventually gain independence as well, but keep close ties with Germany nonetheless.
Nothing significant happens after the end of World War 2, with the exception of a "few" things that also happened in OTL:
- Creation of the UN (1946)
- Saddam Hussein's rise to power (1968-79)
- Decolonization, but more peaceful than in OTL (1947-79)
- Indo-Pakistani conflict (1948-Present)
- Iranian Revolution (1979)
- Iran-Iraq War (1980-8)
- First and Second Gulf Wars (1990-1 & 2003)
- 9/11 attacks (2001)
- War on Terror (2001-Present)
- Great Recession (2008-9)
The world is overall more peaceful than in OTL, with Russia being a peace-seeking member of the international community instead of a warmongering rebel. Also, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict doesn't happen in this timeline because Jews and Arabs suffered together under the Axis, fostering a feeling of brotherhood.