Alternative History
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Wilhelm II
Official Portrait of Wilhelm II, painted in 1928
Emperor of the German Empire
Reign 15 June 1888- 4 June 1941
Chancellors Otto von Bismarck
Leo von Caprivi
Chlodwig zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst
Bernhard von Bülow
Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg
Georg Michaelis
Georg von Hertling
Max von Baden
Erich Luddendorf
Wilhelm Marx
Otto Wels
Franz von Papen
Carl Friedrich Goerdeler
Predecessor Frederick III
Successor Wilhelm III
King of Prussia
Reign 15 June 1888- 4 June 1941
Predecessor Frederick III
Successor Wilhelm III
Born 27 January 1859
Crown Prince's Palace, Berlin, Prussia, Flag of Germany (3-2 aspect ratio).svg German Confederation
Died 4 June 1941
Berlin Palace, Berlin, Prussia, (BL)EastGermany.svg German Empire
Spouse Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein (d.1921), Hermine Reuss Oct Greiz
Issue
  • Wilhelm III
  • Prince Eitel Friedrich
  • Prince Adalbert
  • Prince August Wilhelm
  • Prince Oskar of Prussia
  • David VII, King of Georgia
  • Princess Viktoria Luise, Duchess of Brunswick
Full name
Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albert von Hohenzollern
House Hohenzollern
Father Frederick III, German Emperor
Mother Victoria

Wilhelm II (Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albert von Hohenzollern, 27 January 1859 - 4 June 1941) was the German Emperor and King of Prussia from 1888 to 1941.

Assuming the throne in 1888, he dismissed the country's longtime chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, in 1890 before launching Germany on a bellicose "New Course" to cement its status as a respected world power. However, due to his impetuous personality, he frequently undermined this aim by making tactless, alarming public statements without consulting his ministers beforehand. He also did much to alienate other Great Powers from Germany by initiating a massive build-up of the German Navy, challenging French control over Morocco, and backing the Austrian annexation of Bosnia in 1908.

Wilhelm II's turbulent reign culminated in his guarantee of military support to Austria-Hungary during the crisis of July 1914, which resulted in the outbreak of World War I. A lax wartime leader, he left virtually all decision-making regarding military strategy and organisation of the war effort in the hands of the German General Staff. After the war ended in a Central Power victory in 1918, Wilhelm II was personified as the “Father of Europe”. In 1919, significant public unrest led to the constitution limiting Wilhelm II’s power and giving it to the Reichstag and chancellor.



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