Dave AAA wrote:
Agreed. We're all on the same page here.
Which is kinda what we discussed a while back, with Italy being forced to sue for peace from Austria-Hungary, then Austria-Hungary being forced out of the war by its own internal turmoil and economic failure. So we have a pretty solid line of reasoning for how WWI ends in this scenario and yes, it means Austria-Hungary will survive in a reduced form.
I'd think that it would be a much looser Empire, still Hapsburg (they are, we must recall, the most successful ruling family/ clan in human history) and based on an economic free trade and mutual customs zone, with local autonomy for local affairs. So the Czechs run themselves, so do the Slovaks and so-on and so forth, with an 'Imperial Army' to which all contribute on the basis of mutual self defence.
It has to be noted that the Austro-Hungarian Army was well known by everyone to be a major mechanism in defusing communal tensions between ethnic groups. It was more difficult to hate Ethnicity X when the Ethnicity X guy in your squad, Joachim, was a pretty good bloke who pulled his weight, talked about his family and his hopes to marry the pretty girl next door. This was a deliberate and longstanding Austrian policy.
What this means if that you have validated the end of WWI which underlies this (preposterous) Anglo-American war scenario. That's good work.
Now, this has severe ramifications from ~1923.
First Armistice (11 November 1918 – 13 December 1918)
First prolongation of the armistice (13 December 1918 – 16 January 1919)
Second prolongation of the armistice (16 January 1919 – 16 February 1919)
Third prolongation of the armistice (16 February 1919 – 10 January 1920)
1920: Foundation of Inter-Allied Rhineland High Commission (10 January 1920, Versailles Treaty paragraphs 428–431)
1930: under the terms of the 1925–26 Locarno Treaties, Allied troops withdrew
1936: Remilitarization of the Rhineland by German troops under Hitler, on March 7
A Belgian soldier guarding the Ober-Kassel-Düsseldorf bridge in February 1919
This consisted of 20,000 soldiers (five divisions) with its headquarters at Aachen, and with its troops stationed in Krefeld. They were commanded by Armand Huyghé.
The British Army entered German territory on 3 December 1918. The British Army of the Rhine was established as the occupying force in March 1919. Based at Cologne, they published The Cologne Post.
French troops observing the Rhine at Deutsches Eck, Koblenz.
Chicago Daily Tribune, 6 March 1923, announcing French troops killing 5 resisting Germans on its front page
The French Eighth and Tenth armies originally constituted the French forces involved in the occupation. On 21 October 1919, they were combined to form the French Army of the Rhine.
In 1919 France stationed between 25,000 and 40,000 French colonial soldiers in the Rhineland. Some German women married African soldiers from the occupying forces, while others had children by them out of wedlock (hence the disparaging label "Rhineland Bastards") and were considered by right-wing Germans to constitute a public disgrace. General Henry Tureman Allen reported to the US Secretary of State that from the start of the occupation until June 1920 there were 66 cases of formal accusations against colored colonial troops, out of which there were 28 convictions, and admits there were many more unreported cases. Despite these occasional cases, "the wholesale atrocities by French negro Colonial troops alleged in the German press, such as the alleged abductions, followed by rape, mutilation, murder and concealment of the bodies of the victims are false and intended as political propaganda".
Frankfurt occupation, 1920
Main article: French occupation of Frankfurt
French occupation of Frankfurt occurred from 6 April to 17 May 1920. On the second day nine civilians were shot by Moroccan troops in an incident outside the Hauptwache. This incident was used to launch a racist campaign against the French use of colonial troops, linking the incident with allegations of wide spread assaults by Black soldiers in the French occupation army on local women including accusations of systemic rape and other atrocities targeting the German civilian population and attributed mainly to Senegalese Tirailleurs. The events resulted in a widespread campaign by the German right-wing press, which dubbed them as "The Black Shame" (Die schwarze Schande or Die schwarze Schmach) and depicted them as a form of French humiliation of the German nation.
Ruhr occupation, 1923
In 1923, in response to German failure to pay reparations under the Treaty of Versailles, France and Belgium occupied the industrial Ruhr area of Germany, most of which lies across the river on the West bank of the Rhine, until 1925. Many Germans were killed during civil disobedience protests. e.g. against dismissal of German officials.
So from 1923 the US Administration (President Cox) which has continued the 1916 program and built a lot of DD starts to look at seizing territory if people cannot pay off debts, using the French occupation of the Ruhr as a pretext.
This will strongly affect the French, who I think will withdraw early - but the damage will be done.
In the 1924 election who knows, I'd assume Cox keeps the job and builds on that policy.
So, important question 1924-27.
Where will Germany stand politically here? What about Austria-Hungary? What about Poland?
If Germany wants to play both ends against the middle, well, it can't. It cannot support the US policy as much as it might hate the Anglo-French. That's important because Germany is the only source of some of the miltech the USN sorely needs (ammunition, war experience in ship design, aircraft).
But this US policy is anathema to them, and there's the chance to abrogate the debts if the USA tries to implement it.....