We all know how history plays out. A series of events leads to one side being defeated and the other victorious. However, what would have happened if history could have been changed? This page is about a Central Powers victory in World War 1 and the resulting effects for the rest of history. Feel free to edit this page but if you do please ensure that what you add is not offensive to other readers -Gav

Prelude to war

The Prelude to war began 41 years before with the Unification of Germany and the defeat of France by Prussia in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871). This war would alter the history of Europe for generations to come. As a result of the peace treaty, the Treaty of Frankfurt, the French provinces of Alsace-Lorraine, formerly duchies in the Holy Roman Empire, were returned to the new country of the Empire of Germany and France was forced to pay a massive war indemnity. This caused much anger amongst the French population and a desire for revenge. The Unification of Germany dramatically altered the balance of power in Europe and created two alliance blocks, the Central Powers which included Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy and the Triple Entente which was centered around France, Great Britain and Russia, along with Russia's Slavic allies of Serbia and Montenegro. Tensions in the Balkans resulted in the First Balkan War in which the remaining Ottoman lands were divided amongst Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece. However, the partition lines were very undefined which led to the Second Balkan War which pitted Bulgaria against their former allies of Serbia, Greece, Romania and their old enemy, the Ottoman Empire. The war resulted in a Bulgarian defeat and much anger and resentment towards the Serbians.

The fighting begins

The fighting began on 12th August 1914 when Austro-Hungarian forces attacked Serbian forces in the Battle of Cer and Battle of Kolubara. They were thrown back with major losses, which represented the first major allied victory in the war. Meanwhile, Russian troops were quickly advancing on the German province of East Prussia and the Austrian province of Galicia. The attack on East Prussia resulted in a massive defeat at the hands of the Germans while the advance into Galicia was a complete success, only stopping due to the sudden German advances in Poland. Meanwhile in the west, German troops rapidly overran the tiny Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and advanced into neutral Belgium in accordance with their Schlieffen Plan. Created by General Alfred von Schlieffen. The plan called for the ignoring of Belgian neutrality and advancing through the country in order to bypass the major French forces stationed to the south. After enveloping the French troops the Germans would then advance on Paris forcing the French government into a surrender, allowing them to transfer their troops to fight the Russians. All this was to be accomplished in two weeks, which was the time the German high command assumed it would take for the Russians to mobilise their reserves. However, the plan failed for several reasons the most important of which was the underestimating of the fighting strength of the Belgian army, which was personally commanded by King Albert I, in the defence of their homeland and the unexpected declaration of war on Germany by Britain, in order to protect Belgium's neutrality. Also, the speed of the Russian mobilisation shocked the Germans and forced them to divert more troops to stop their advance in East Prussia. The few German troops in the area were under the command of the soon-to-be famous General Paul von Hindenburg. Despite having fewer troops, the Germans were able to deliver a devastating blow the the Russian troops. Meanwhile in the west, the German troops ran into their first major obstacle, Liège. The ancient town had been heavily fortified and surprised the German troops with its level of resistance. This forced the Germans to bring up heavy artillery in order to defeat the defenders. This battle was instrumental in allowing the French and British to establish a defensive line in France. After marching through Belgium, Luxembourg and the Ardennes, the German army advanced, in the latter half of August, into northern France where they met both the French army, under Joseph Joffre, and the initial six divisions of the British Expeditionary Force, under Sir John French. A series of engagements known as the Battle of the Frontiers ensued, with key battles including the Battle of Cherleroi and the Battle of Mons, where artillery was used for the last time in Napoleonic fashion, with guns firing from in between the lines of troops directly into the enemy. 

Section heading

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.