Thursday 7 July 2016

A ‚what if ‘the Central Powers won the Great War?

The shift of predestination
A ‚what if ‘the Central Powers won the Great War?

Disclaimer: The world as we know isn’t necessarily the only one that exists. We have theories propagated by numerous serious scientists that suggest that our world, universe, is one of many others. So how about a world where the Central Powers won World War One? For the matter of fact, we call this war the First World War, though there is a high chance that in another timeline people could call it the Great War. There are also other consequences, possibly some which I won’t cover or even can’t cover, however the best will be done to ensure an authentic ‘kaiserliche’ timeline.
Professor Eisenmann was invited to give a lecture about a very important topic. It was mainly about the construction of the KMGMB. The lecture would be given in the auditorium of the Kaiserliche Universität der Hauptstadt Berlin (KUHB) which was founded 1918 under a different name. He woke up as usually and read the news on the Weltnetz; the still young Kaiser Wilhelm VII was determined to support further exploration in space, in order to ensure the economic dominance of the KMGMB. Ceremonies about Axis atrocities on civilians during the Second Great War were to be held this time in Paris, with speeches of all monarchs of Europe, especially of the French king. Furthermore the United Kingdom of Yugoslavia prepared huge festivities in order to celebrate 50 years of reunification between their Western and Eastern part, formerly known as Bulgaria.
Professor Eisenmann was of course interested in all these events. As historian, politics and history weren’t exclusive. Philosophy as well was not exclusive to philosophers, according to him. He however objected these great terms or Epochen as the world for him wasn’t black and white; in fact grey was the predominant colour. After the Second Great War, philosophers talked about the Zweite Wilheminische Welle (second Wilhelmian wave) and after the fall of Communism of Postwilheminismus. Nowadays people refer to the Neuwilhelminismus.
These are usual thoughts that flow through his mind in the morning. He normally takes the bus and sometimes drives with his car to work. The bus price is only 2 Mark although it may increase in the next months. The Kaiserliche Reichsinstitut für Preiskontrolle und Verbraucherschutz (KRPV) published a paper were they asked for popular support in order to collect enough signatures for an Antragsschrift. Professor Eisenmann also signed this paper. The inflation is quiet moderate and the Germans enjoy a good life compared to other peoples. The KMGMB an economic as well as political space in most of Europe contributed to it, that’s the wide-spread opinion of many authorities.
The bus was full as always and many people with imperial and handlebar moustaches and with new Pickelhauben. They were not anymore of iron but consisted now mainly of cotton and found their way in fashion. Anyone could get them for cheap prices. Long coats were also in use. Dark blue and grey were the predominant colours. The women used nowadays pants as well; however hats and skirts were had their place. Red and black were the newest trend. Professor Eisenmann didn’t like the Pickelhauben so much and during summer he preferred to use a Kappe, which could cover his face from sun rays. It was slim, quiet long and black. His coat was grey and he used male boots, which were reused very often again and again. The fashion of male boots never died. After some 30 minutes he came now in the campus of the university, which was newly built in the part of Berlin-Wilhelmstadt. It used to be an outskirt of Berlin but through careful planning it slowly became one of few other city centres of Berlin. Berlin is one of the world metropolises to be found. Moreover Berlin was planning to expand their city borders as with 10 Million people they reached a high amount of population and became inflexible in urban planning. Wilhelm VII guaranteed the Stadtverwaltung an imperial decree where in the next months the neighbouring municipalities were to find an agreement; otherwise the Emperor himself would interfere in the regional affairs.
Students, non-students and various academics came from all the Reichsländer. The ones who came from the West such as Elsass-Lothringen, Baden, Württemberg and so on took the Kemperbahn, which we know as Maglev Train. Germany didn’t only advance as economic powerhouse, but most of all as principle leader in science and technology. The Kemperbahn was first only using magnetic technology until it also switched to the Hyperloop system. Travels in this timeline were mostly made by train as they were faster, cheaper and more advanced than planes for instance. Zeppelins were also still spotted, though not as efficient as trains.
Mister Eisenmann hurried to not miss any minute and also to avoid the mass of students and teachers blocking his way. Though the halls were huge, the university was still too small according to him. The university’s administration fought to have the authorization to build huger halls or annexes, but was refused by the imperial government. Eisenmann couldn’t get their decision, wasn’t it this university who brought up the new imperial elite that made Germany so great. He hoped that Wilhelm VII would sooner or later change his focus from extern policies to intern policies. After the lecture he would prepare a letter that would be addressed to ‘Eure Kaiserliche und Königliche Majestät.
The sounds of students echoed in the halls. Professor Eisenmann ran for few meters until he stopped before the doors. When he opened them the bright lights almost made him blind. He didn’t like the lights used at university. The students still continued to talk, whereas the academics prepared some sheets and took them from their folders. Some were also using their technological devices. Professor Eisenmann as well would use his devices while presenting his ideas and illustrating them by key examples on the huge board. There must have been at least 1000 people and most likely the best of the best from the history faculty. The history faculty was heavily supported and could grow in number as well as in research progress. It grew so much, that even parts of economy, politics and law became closely related to the history faculty. Mister Eisenmann opened his suitcase and prepared his material for the lecture. Slowly but surely the hall became more silent, though some voices were still to be heard.
After he packed out all of his things and made everything ready, he started with his most beloved topic, the European construction and the initiators behind it. In this world the European idea has nothing to do with our European Union. An EU was unheard of in that timeline and most likely despised due to the differences.
‘Hello first let me introduce myself I am Professor Eisenmann and I work for this university since many years. I am always proud to ensure that our future generation will have the best knowledge and I will try to give my contribution to it. Now let's see, many things in our world are difficult to understand and even specialists like me struggle to understand them. It becomes even more difficult to explain them. Now this lecture should give you some background information on how Europe works today mainly the GMKMB. We all hear and read about it and it is a reality in our routine life however the simple citizen doesn’t mainly know about it. So let’s get started.
We all know what the First Great War is and if not I beg you to leave’. The class started to laugh as they got the irony of the very motivated scholar.
‘Well it isn’t that easy but I mean it is a fixed term that every one of us came across. And if you want to debate about it; please take the liberty to visit the classes of my esteemed and highly-respected colleague Doctor Otto von Spiegelfeld!
Good most of the time it is around the First Great War where traditional historians say that the construction of the GMKMB started. Some say it was already starting with Bismarck others say it started only before the Second Great War. To be honest the only term, that allows us to make the assumption that the construction started around the First Great War, is the term of Middle Power (Mittelmächte). The Middle Powers were mainly the Second Reich and Austria-Hungary, in numbers, in economic strength, influence, to name only a few areas. The Ottomans and Bulgaria were also part. Portugal was also for a short time yes, but later they sided with the Axis powers. Anyways, the nucleus of the GMKMB was during that time to SOME extent every historian agrees on this point. Now don't think that the Middle Powers were actually an institution.'
'Professor Eisenmann!', a student of the public raised his hand and had a question.
'Pass the microphone to the student please', the assistant went up to the student who sit in the tenth row, which was somewhere in the middle.
After some tumult the micro found its way and the student’s voice was echoing throughout the medium.
'I had a comment to make. Weren't the Middle Powers actually rather a tool of The Reich's supremacy as well as an alliance of convenience during that moment? The Ottomans were on one front against Russia and some British belongings, whereas Bulgaria was more like a mere puffer state? Wasn't it to the mere interest of the Germans mainly?'
'Yes you made a good point, however it is more complicated than that. Historians still debate if Bulgaria was actually a mere puffer state in this war or if they made a clever step. By percentages Bulgaria won a lot for what they contributed, first in 1918 and later in 1925 with the Austrian-Hungarian reform. If it wasn't for Bulgaria being part of the Middle Powers, the United Kingdom of Yugoslavia might have ended up 1) totally Austrian 2) partially Austrian/Ottoman or 3) there would be a Pakistanisation process with smaller states gaining eventually their independence like Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria even Montenegro. We don't really know.
During the First Great War we had the 4-5 powers. Later on when the war ended the situation changed and it did to the favour of Germans but also in particular for oppressed people such as the Irish, Bretons, Corsicans, Baltic peoples and so on. Many Russians could escape thanks to this outcome the atrocities of early Bolshevism, while the Germans spread their understanding of law and order in Eastern Europe. Moreover our relations with Poland could be revised and there was the famous Empire and Kingdom of Germany-Poland. With the coronation of Wilhelm II as king of Poland and the right to self-determination, this union could live without greater disturbances up until 1939. And the interwar period is now the second part of our analysis.
It is during this time where real treaties came to life. It was however merely of economic nature. There were smaller military treaties shortly after the First Great War.'
'Professor?' a fellow academic wanted to comment something.
'Let me rapidly introduce myself, I am professor Elsässer and as my name indicated it from Reichsland Elsass-Lothringen. I wanted to add some facts to our discussion. Actually for the Middle Powers as we now call them, having a Union or some sort of commonwealth wasn’t important at all. Only with the rise of London, Paris, Rome, Lisbon and Athens it was seen as necessity. The Union itself was firstly a reaction to the Axis powers, that's what my colleagues and I found out in recent studies.'
'You are absolutely right that the military aspect became more important later on. However one example in history shows us that the Middle Powers already acted several times as union.
1) The reform of Austria-Hungary, Austria and Bohemia united with Germany-Poland, Hungary was declared as Empire, with Croatia being declared as kingdom. Bulgaria assumed power over Bosnia, Serbia BECAUSE of their participation in 1.Great War.
2) When the Ottoman faced intern struggle the Middle Powers intervened. Germany-Poland sent a contingent of 100.000 soldiers, Hungary some 30.000 Bulgaria 15'000. Moreover there is data available of some 10'000 Baltic soldiers, some 10'000 Belarusian soldiers, 20'000 Ukrainian soldiers and so on.
Now speaking about them, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, Ukraine... They had important economic treaties with Germany-Poland, military ones and also political. Finland and Ireland had some economic treaties with Germany-Poland and were guaranteed independence, as Corsica and Brittany too! Belgium and the Netherlands later on changed their policies and became also closer to the Middle Powers. With Luxembourg, Austria and Bohemia, Germany was united and the Großdeutsche Lösung was finally achieved. With that in mind absorbing Poland wasn’t a problem anymore.
Romania, Albania, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan were not closely related by indirectly, through the alliance system which after Bismarck and after the First Great War was revised. Portugal jumped off the boat.  So the main members were Germany-Poland, Hungary, United Kingdom of Yugoslavia, Ottoman Empire, secondly came the closely aligned countries like Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Albania, Romania and then came the countries in development like Corsica, Ireland, Finland and Brittany. Belgium and Netherlands to some extent could also be counted but that would be too much. Crimea at that moment became independent but co-ruled by Germany-Poland and the local population. In order to prevent destabilization of Ukraine it was preferred to give Crimea this unique and special status, which for that time was actually advanced as I must add. But it is true that Germany-Poland had economic advantages in there, but also other countries, not only Germany-Poland.
Well and when the Axis formed, the Middle Powers gave themselves the name we know today GMKMB. Germany-Poland, Hungary, United Kingdom of Yugoslavia, Ottoman Empire, Belgium, Netherlands, Romania, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Baltic States, Belarus and Ukraine all became members in there. Ireland was nominated protégé; Spain later joined them thanks to the support that was given by the GMKMB.
Now Spain is a very interesting country. Do you remember some details of the Spanish Civil War? There were the republicans, the militarists and monarchists who fought for power. We can count Spain as first proxy war between the GMKMB, Komintern and the Axis. As we know Spain was in a Civil War and the Axis supported Franco, whereas GMKMB supported the monarchists and intervened with free battalions. Often forgotten is the role that the Soviets played and they also intervened aiding the republicans. For the Axis it was a good test, as under the French leadership they could test their new military strength, new tactics, new technology and logistic warfare. France wasn’t interested to win Spain over for the Axis, in fact France didn’t care. The Axis didn’t care for Spain. They knew that Spain was in one way or another already doomed, as they had no money and the reconstruction of their country would take years. The Axis powers were not able to finance Spain and had no interest in wining Spain for themselves.’
‘Professor Eisenmann, I must contradict you unfortunately. I think the Axis had very much a reason to win Spain for them. They even called themselves the new Roman alliance, as reference to the member states, as well their relatively closeness to the Roman Empire,’ commented a student from the first rows.
‘Yes the Axis had of course reasons to win Spain as potential ally. It is true that there was this reference of the old Roman Empire, but the money came mostly from Germany-Poland, the main assistance was done by Germany-Poland and the rest of the GMKMB. The Axis used Spain as test field, yes we could even say as laboratory. They actually wanted the other powers to intervene. In a secret meeting between Italy, Portugal, France and the UK it was concluded that one should intervene to a certain extent in the Spanish Civil war, true. BUT the aim was to provoke the former Middle Powers to spend money, to spread popular unrest and so on.’
‘I see, but the Axis had as we were always taught the main aim to get Spain in their camp, at least we were always told so,’ replied the student, who was standing up for his point, but had no argument anymore to underline his position.
‘I am afraid to say that you were taught wrong or well the old position of academia. Nowadays the tendency goes more to my point. However you are very right to claim your position as the right one, under the conditions that you bring valid proves and sources. So I will be glad to read your next work about it;’ the professor had a little smile in his face and some students were laughing about his remark.

Professor Eisenmann was serious in his job, but always had some kind of humour. He loved irony and it was the irony that made him more different than other teachers. However he wasn’t now the typical popular teacher nor considered as in our timeline it was once said ‘cool’. He was just a good teacher, with a sense of irony following his job.
‘Oh and by the way, sorry for my mistake, but it was at that time called the Greater Middle Powers. It was only after the Second Great War, where they were called GMKMB. You see even I get confused about it, I can be glad I came with my head today,’ exclaimed the teacher.
‘Where was I?’
‘You talked about the Spanish Civil War, Professor,’ said a fellow colleague in the audience.
‘Yes exactly, thank you a lot!
Now about Spain we must recognize as historians that it was in there were the Greater Middle Powers reacted as union. That’s why I also said in the beginning, that some colleagues, especially young ones, trace the construction of the GMKMB back to the Spanish Civil War and not further. They have a good point, but there are as we said before, documents and proofs that show otherwise. Anyways, the former Middle Powers had Ireland as protégé, Germany-Poland signed specific contracts with them stating that if the Irish independence was violated, Germany-Poland would see themselves (and their allies as well!) in the position to intervene by all means, to secure Irish independence and freedom. Now this is crucial. There is a misconception about Corsica, Brittany on one hand and Ireland on the other one. The difference was, Ireland had treaties and Corsica and Brittany didn’t at all. So when France annexed them, there was no possibility for the Greater Middle Power to intervene.
Any mission or any contact was despised by Corsica and Brittany, due to
1) Pro-French elements in society
2) Due to the fear of annexation by the ones who supported the independence
They wanted to go a Swiss way, Switzerland itself failed, as it was proven 1year before when the treaty of Marseille was signed. Switzerland was split according to its linguistic lines. Romandie became French; the Italian communes were to be incorporated by Italy. This was an incredible win for Italy. Not only did Italy acquire Venice region in 1925 but also now in 1938 parts of Switzerland. The hardly defensive country was broken and there was now no way a direct confrontation between the Axis and the former Middle Powers could be stopped.
‘…I have a question…, why did Germany-Poland and her allies allow Switzerland to be split, I mean wasn’t it obvious that the fascist powers would demand more afterward?’ asked a student from some of the last row. She was hesitating a bit, but probably she was afraid that the microphone would be too loud.
‘Excellent question! That’s where I wanted to continue. You may remember that our highly appreciated majesty Kaiser Wilhelm II reigned during the First Great War until 1938? Yes that’s a significant date. Wilhelm III took power and he was quiet inexperienced and labelled as someone who would sell Europe to the Axis without thinking twice. He however had his own personal convictions which were his so-called Friedenspolitik, which utterly failed. This marks us still today, in many aspects. Anyways, he wanted to negotiate with the Axis, but they misused it for their own short-term goals and when Ireland was finally attacked by 1939 Wilhelm III was forced by his generals to declare war! Imagine, you have a treaty with a country promising you protect their sovereignty, but the first moment they get attacked you don’t want to fulfil the conditions and ditch them. This could have bad side effects to Germany-Poland, her allies would turn their backs and the construction of Europe would never have taken place, because the word, the paper of Germany-Poland had the value of emptiness. Senior counsellors really pushed the new emperor to declare war; in fact the generals started mobilizing the army without his permission. After the declaration, all the allies followed and that’s how we know the Second Great War broke out.
Now I won’t explain the Second Great War as well, as this is again off-topic and a field which requires more specialized individuals than me. Nevertheless I will enter into the very end of the Second Great War. This phase was a fourth step and the most decisive one in the construction of Europe. Now in there we have finally the GMKMB, Groß-,Mittel-und Kleinmächtbund; Great, Middle, Small power confederation. What happened in there smaller, middle and great powers were part in there. Luxembourg and Austria became independent, Corsica, Brittany and Ireland were now part, Belgium and the Netherlands became part, but also France, Italy, the UK, Portugal, Czech Kingdom, Spain as well as Westernyugoslavia.
As we know French fascist policies tended to divide and conquer, German regionalisms were enforced and endured for some years and it is also no secret that the US who is still great allies of us, didn’t support a huge German Empire dominating everyone. So that’s why many smaller states just stayed and others weren’t totally unified. It was also not possible in another point, as the Great Line of ideologies divided the former German-Polish Empire-kingdom in the Oder-Neisse. On the East monarchies were abolished and on the West monarchies all had to gather around and join forces in order to survive the next fight. Wilhelm III was also quickly replaced by a more diplomatic and capable emperor, mainly Wilhelm IV. Thanks to his capacities, as well of the influence of monarchism and the abolishment of fascism, the GMKMB could become step by step a military union, political union as well as imperial union. As you know the Emperor of the GMKMB is elected every 5 years by 7 member states that after 5 years change as well? That’s all happening just after the Second Great War.
The Soviet Union somehow was the key for the European construction, that’s what I wrote in my last publication, ‘That’s why Bolshevism saved Europe!’. Without the threat of communism, perhaps we would still have Germany-Poland existing, but there wouldn’t be any union such as the GMKMB. Remember that almost every state is now member in here, that it encompassed the non-communist European states and now all of Europe, except for Switzerland.’
‘But professor, didn’t you say that the GMKMB actually formed because of the Axis?’ the student paused and took a breath. ‘And you also stated points about them forming as early as during the First Great War?’
 ‘Look every evolution has a starting point and then there comes a process where different paths are rejected or don’t evolve further. That would be the case without the Soviet Union, but since the First Great War happened, since there were troubles in the camp of the former Middle Power, since the Second Great War happened and the Cold War especially with the Soviet Union, that’s how we came to the GMKMB. The Cold War, remember took almost 50 years, 50 years that shaped, sharpened but also changed the monarchies and the construction of Europe. Economically the GMKMB was more successful and communism left the countries in a bad shape, which lead to popular anger and frustration. Monarchies were seen as more prosperous and are still indeed a very attractive model for most people on planet Earth.’
‘Dear Professor, I have a more speculative question,’ a student stood up. ’You said without the First Great Warm Second Great War and so on there wouldn’t be this process of the European construction, but what could happen if the Middle Powers lost the First Great War and let’s say the USA would intervene for some economic reasons?’
‘That’s now really speculative, it is hard to say, but I read once a serious analysis which claimed that there would probably be more states in Europe and also the economy would be much weaker as more of Europe would be devastated. Would there be a European process? Eventually? Which one? I can’t tell that’s too far for a historian, maybe a novel writer can give interesting answers’ he smiled and then pointed out at the class with both hands and continued,’ who knows one of you might give an answer to that, please I encourage you! Even you don’t find an answer, but you can get across documents that will lead to other analysis or subjects that you can pursue. We are historians and should always analyse every document and take everything in all its seriousness and not just put it away, that’s unscientific to do!’
The room applauded to that and shared his statements about scientific approach. People were fed up that some documents or some papers were never seen as serious, while they could serve science. This was still due to the conservatism of the post-war time.
‘Anyways let me conclude with the following sentences. The European construction came into place, because the Middle Powers won, because Germany-Poland made contracts with their allies, which in turn tightened the economy, because the Axis rose, because the Greater Middle Powers gathered together, because the Second Great War was won and ultimately because of the Cold War with Bolshevism which was ultimately won as well. Economy was first, military secondly and finally the political aspect came too. Thank you for your attention.’

Applause came like a storm and the professor himself was surprised by it, how loud it was! He thought to himself. The applause echoed most likely to the other rooms of the university. He felt honoured to have spoken to so many students, but also to guests from far, as well as to colleagues from his domain. It was always relieving to have this days, where something different happened. Normally his classes are much smaller and there isn’t everyday a guest from Elsass-Lothringen, expect for exchange students. After the classes Professor Eisenmann likes to sit on his chair in his office and make further researches or just to read up upon new topics that crossed his mind. He remembered an old work of one of his colleagues. His work was about the soldiers of the Greater Middle Powers, who went to the Ottoman Empire and who stayed and founded families in there. Many of them were Germans, Polish or even Estonian. The Turkish communist leader was called Cemil Urbanczyk, which was a surprising yet interesting fact. There are still so many things that have to be analysed and covered, thought Professor Eisenmann to himself. It will never finish and people will never cease to be amazed of how history can turn out to be.

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