1. Hydraphantom
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    Hydraphantom Member

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    WMD or no WMD?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Hydraphantom, Jan 6, 2017.

    http://www.writingforums.org/threads/what-is-your-opinion-of-this-country.149808/
    My previous post.
    After tons of simulation, stat comparing, and research for my alternative WW1, I realized a very bleak truth.
    The Reich and her Allies cannot win against the combine force of Fascist France, Lowland, Commonwealth, Ottoman, Denmark, Russia and America.
    The best outcome I can get is the capitulation of France, Ottoman, Lowland, Denmark and collapse of Russia. After that, chance of winning the war is absolute 0%.
    Fascist French government will never surrender unless The Reich push all the way to Brittany, and French people will literally fight to the last man to repel Imperial forces.
    The Central Power's naval forces cannot compete with British-American navy, what waits for The Reich and Spain is waves and waves of landing forces.
    Mexico cannot stand the might of America without the help from Europe.
    Persia will engulfed by British Raj with sheer numbers, and Greece cannot hold the much larger Ottoman without Persian help, what waits for them will be the landing of Thrace and Abbas.
    After the fall of Greece and Persia, Bulgaria and Wallachia will not hold for long, and Japan will not fight for a fail war and betray the Central power by seizing their east Asian colonies.
    Facing with enemy forces coming from all sides and the internal struggle of The Reich, they will collapse into little Germanys and little Italys long before they sign the peace treaty.

    The protagonist is the chancellor of The Reich, my plan was they won the war with extreme loss, the protagonist shot himself after the war, and The Reich starts slowly going into path of collapse. But after the simulation, I found out that The Reich can't even hold on till then.

    In my setting, there's already some ancient super technology that's been digging out and slowly reverse engineered through out the story. I'm seriously not sure should I cross the line by digging out a WMD or should I test my skill more by try to make them win the war by conventional means. WMD would be too easy and make audience lost interest fast, but I'm facing real problem by making Central Powers win the war.


    Sorry for the pitiful grammar.
     
  2. newjerseyrunner
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    newjerseyrunner Contributing Member

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    Interesting, but I have one concern. The French. How do they repel the Blitzkrieg? Men willing to fight are useless against air strikes. Did the French have their own legion of fighter planes? And ones that could outperform the Luftwaffe? And why Brittany, that's a pretty rocky area and while it's farmed, I'm not sure it could feed an entire country's war effort.

    Also, I'm curious, how did they fell Russia? Russia has a nearly endless supply of men, oil, steel, and food.
     
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  3. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    Hes talking about ww1 not 2 - airpower wasn't really a serious factor, you repel biplanes by shooting them down with machine guns, and they can't carry serious ordnance anyway.

    On the wider point the Machiavellian theory suggests that if you are not the strongest power you win by not fighting everyone at once - you make an alliance with some powers to help beat others into submission whilst building your power base, or you encourage the other powers to fight each other without your involvement weakening all sides whilst remaining strong yourself.

    In this scenario if you could forment war between say Russia, and Britain/America by the time they'd fought each other to a standstill none of them would be able to interfere in you taking on france , perhaps in alliance with the lowland especially if you can manage to come off as the victim of fascist agression.

    having acheived that you then drop lowland at your leisure and turn your attention to dealing with Ottoman (with whom up to that point you've been trading and talking peace) and so on.

    WMD (apart from gas) arent really a solution anyway because you can't deliver them effectively - even if you had an atom bomb you've got no plane capable of carrying it , so you are reliant on very chancy espionage/ smuggling to get it where you need it, all the time hoping it doesnt get captured and used against you
     
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  4. X Equestris
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    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

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    Biplanes weren't the only form of airpower. There were bombers by the end of the war, and before them zeppelins were used, and the Brits had difficulty shooting them down for quite a while. I'm not positive on their maximum capacity, but this alternate scenario gives a fair amount of wiggle room.
     
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  5. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    They didn't have that much trouble with Zepps , especially as the Germans were given to filling them with hydrogen instead helium for reasons of cost and availability (Hydrogen burns lovely when you hit it with a tracer round)

    Anyway the point is that whatever the Germans have in terms of airpower, fascist france could also have... its not like WW2 where the Luftwaffe hugely outnumbered and outgunned their opponents (although even in that scenario the Battle of Britain shows that its not always the heavyweight that wins)
     
  6. Ghost Reflection
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    If you are going to go ancient super tech, may I suggest Die Glocke! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_Glocke I know it's more of a WWII thing, but it does have a good amount of pizzazz. Probably not the feeling your going for, but I've always had a soft spot for that thing.
     
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  7. X Equestris
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    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

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    It took a fair amount of trial and error to actually set them alight, though. Once that was achieved, it was much easier to bring them down, but it took a while to get to that point.

    I'm only pointing out that there is a possibility of air delivery of a primitive atomic weapon, so long as OP is willing to use the alt-history setting to fudge on carrying capacity and/or tech level.
     
  8. newjerseyrunner
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    Oops, I heard Reich and thought Third Reich, not German Reich.

    I agree that I don't see any way for Germany to win a war like that. France being able to withstand them I find unlikely. While Brittany does have farm land, most of France's food would have to come from Southern France.

    A lot of the countries you want to trample over may be easy, at the time, they were simple agricultural nations. The thing is, you'd have to destroy them before they were able to build up. Russia could build up very quickly: they had [essentially] an unlimited supply of workers, food, fuel, and steel. You'd have to cut the head off of Russia before they organized all of that.

    The USA would have been a tougher target. At the time, we were already industrial, and like Russia, we had all of the supplies we needed at home, not to mention an ocean to protect us.

    Fighting a defensive war is much easier and less costly than fighting an offensive one. Head to head, the USA should have destroyed Vietnam in a few hours. On their land though, the most powerful nation on earth lost a war to a bunch of guerrillas and we outspent them by orders of magnitude.
     
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  9. Jaiden
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    I wouldn't go so far with Russia, given how far behind everyone they were before the five year plan, which required a set of circumstances which were not there ten-fifteen years earlier. If only they had lured Weizmann back after being properly educated at Manchester Uni.

    That and throughout the 1910's most of Russia's workers were striking, being massacred, or starving to death.

    Honestly, I'm constantly baffled by how Russia has maintained itself since the turn of the 20th century against all the odds. It's quite miraculous.
     
  10. Hydraphantom
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    France are the one blitzing, fascist government led by Philippe P├ętain are the aggressor after they overthrow Bourbons. France have tons of military cooperation with The Reich before the revolution, so they are not really lacking anything weapon wise. Brittany is mostly a metaphor, just like a certain art-school dropout, they are not going to surrender until The Reich push all the way in. I'm estimating France will holdout for 1-2 years before capitulate.
    Russia in my simulation are actually fairly easy to deal, give them enough pressure and watch rise of Lenin.
     
  11. big soft moose
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    And then what do you do once the communists are in charge - once the russian civil war is over and the white russian forces are defeated you've got the colosus that is the red army leaning on your eastern border and looking for trouble.

    At the end of the day assuming there's actually a book in here somewhere you can do whatever you like in terms of who wins and who loses because more wars have been lost by flaky command decisions than any other reason pretty much, so if you want to write the reich winning write some pore decisions for their enemies
     
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  12. Hydraphantom
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    You are right, but Red Russia doesn't have the power to reenter the war right after civil war, their initial ideology is anti-war. What comes after is mostly secondary problem in Imperial official's mind.
     
  13. X Equestris
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    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

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    In the real world, the Red Army was pretty poor quality for a while after the Russian Civil War ended. Russia lost a lot of soldiers and resources in the war, and they lost some of their populated territory to the newly created states of Central Europe. The Poles managed to defeat the Red Army during their war with the USSR in the '20s. Consider also that in the OP's setting, the Reich is likely to impose something similar to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which saw Russia lose vast chunks of heavily populated land, further eroding the USSR's abailable manpower and tax base. Lenin would likely accept such an agreement for the same reason he did in real life: he believed the Revolution would spread soon after the war was over. That would take Russia out of consideration long enough for OP's plot to unfold.

    Turning back to the OP's question, I've been thinking about the factors at play here. To me, your best bet would be to have the American and European theaters of this war be very disconnected, as the Pacific and Europe were for most of WW2. Let's look at one possible scenario for what I'm talking about:

    The way this war is kickstarted will be key. In the other thread thread, someone mentioned a Prussian claim to one of the Swiss cantons. Let's say the Reich gets tired of their blockade of Switzerland, and intends to use that claim as a pretext for a war of annexation. While they're preparing for war, Spain asks for the Reich's military support in an upcoming campaign to retake their old colonial possessions in the Americas. The Reich says it will provide support if its annexation of Switzerland goes as planned. Believing that after years of blockade the Swiss will crumble, the Spanish and their allies in Hapsburg-ruled Mexico go ahead and put their original plan into action, starting with the Central American nations and some Carribean islands. Because of the Monroe Doctrine, the United States declares war on Spain, and Mexico declares war on the U.S.

    Unfortunately for Mexico and Spain, the Swiss hold out better than expected. Seeing an opportunity for revenge against the Reich, France declares war, with Swiss sovereignty as an excuse. With similar desires for revenge, territory, and/or limiting Hapsburg power, you get the Continental European and Mid Eastern lineup in your OP. Spain goes to war with France in an effort to help end the European war swiftly and get on with their adventure in the Americas. Disturbed by what looks like a coordinated effort for Hapsburg empire building, Britain goes to war in both Europe/Mid-East and the Americas. Desiring to build their empire further, Japan strikes Allied colonies in the Pacific.

    You get a lineup like this (I may leave a few details out; the exact alliances aren't totally clear from the OP and the other thread):

    Americas
    Allies- United States, Britain and the Commonwealth, the assorted Latin American nations feeling threatened by Hapsburg expansionism
    Central Powers- Spain, Mexico, material support from the Reich

    Europe/Mid-East (and by extension these powers' African colonies)
    Allies- Britain and the Commonwealth, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Russia, Ottomans
    Central Powers- Reich, Spain (and through personal union, Two Sicilies), Greece, Bulgaria, Wallachia, Persia

    Pacific
    Allies- Britain and the Commonwealth, France, Russia (through far eastern possessions), the United States (but only against Spain's colonies; maybe Japan's territories if they get involved with each other)
    Central Powers- Spain, Reich, Japan

    The big key I see is keeping the U.S. and Reich out of direct conflict with each other. That will be important shortly.

    Fast forward to the end of the war. Allied naval supremacy cuts off the Central Powers in the Americas. Once Mexico and Spain's colonies fall, American forces invade Spain itself. Under immense pressure on multiple fronts, Spain capitulates. However, the U.S. doesn't go to war with the Reich as the other Allies want. Isolationist sentiment is still high, and the American public doesn't want more casualties fighting an enemy they don't yet have a quarrel with. So this takes the threat of the USN, American industry, and vast waves of manpower off the table.

    Africa ends up a similar story. Thanks to Allied naval supremacy, the Central Powers' colonies are cut off from aid, and most if not all fall.

    No matter who wins in the Mid-East, they'll probably be too beat up to influence the war in Europe.

    Japan has some successes in the Pacific, but they see the writing on the wall, and swap sides as you said, in exchange for keeping conquered Central Powers colonies.

    In Europe, Denmark, Switzerland, and Russia are eventually defeated, though at great cost. Now, we just have Britain and France against the Reich. To get Britain out of the war, perhaps there's a defeat that kills off most of their expeditionary force. With public support dropping, most of their war goals accomplished, and possible unrest in Ireland (maybe even encouraged by the Central Powers) Britain negotiates a peace. They keep the Reich's conquered colonies, and in exchange they exit the war.

    Without British troops to fight and a British blockade, the Reich might have the boost they need to defeat France. Of course, they'll be teetering on the brink of collapse by the time France finally loses.

    Your details may vary, but this general pattern is the only path to conventional victory for the Reich. It's not much of a victory, as you seem to have anticipated, but it should make a WMD unnecessary.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017 at 4:27 AM
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  14. Hydraphantom
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    Thank you very much for your detailed reply, this is extremely helpful for me to re-planning the Great War.

    I'm currently not planning to add Latin America into the war. Personally I think Spain/Mexico would be stupid to try reconquer Latin Americas before their boss The Reich are fully ready to take on both Britain and USA.

    I'm currently thinking of making WWI a surprise for everyone involved. Bourbon France suffer another revolution at end of 1914 and flee to The Reich to seek protection/re-installation, with 90+% of citizens support war with The Reich, France launch an invasion before The Reich even properly mobilized.

    About Russia, I'm actually a bit conflict here, should central powers support the Tsar and continue the eastern front until they reinstall Nicholas II and let him sign the surrender treaty. Or, make peace with Lenin and risk the revolution spread into The Reich, since as a federation (feudal) empire, they cannot tolerate the communist ideology.
     
  15. X Equestris
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    Personally, I think that since the Reich and Spain's stance on the former Spanish colonies is apparently public knowledge, the independent Latin states would be foolish not to take an opportunity to help reduce the power of these states.

    I'll point out that stupidity regularly influences international affairs. See Italy's comedy of errors in both world wars, or Kaiser Wilhelm giving the Austro-Hungarians a blank check for his support. That last one is rather pertinent: Wilhelm didn't believe the Austro-Hungarians would be stupid enough to antagonize Russia and turn a new Balkan war into a larger conflict. They were. This was actually the inspiration for Spain's part in the earlier scenario.

    Going with the French first strike scenario you describe, perhaps the French attack disrupts a joint Hapsburg plan to expand in the Americas. With (from the other thread) a string of unbroken successes, everyone on the Central Powers' side may expect a swift end to the war. If Mexico and Spain are already mobilizing for their previously planned campaign, they may decide to keep on and let the Reich mop up France, then join them. Nobody expects the cascade of alliances that leads to worldwide conflict.

    On a side note, if all of the Central Powers are fairly competent, I'm not sure how they can lose even with the vast forces arrayed against them. In our world, the government and military leadership of every Central Power other than Germany (and to a lesser extent, Bulgaria) were deeply incompetent, yet the Powers still came close to winning the war.

    Recall that Imperial Germany was the one who sent Lenin back to Russia in the first place. They probably assumed he would fail after raising hell, or that they could mop him up after the main conflict was over. A similar notion could plausibly take root in the Reich.
     
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  16. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    No.

    1/ The early atomic bombs were in the region of ten tons in weight, way beyond the capacity of a Zeppelin. - So that's BIG fudge.
    2/ The attacks on Japan at the end of WWII were by a squadron that trained especially in;
    a) Dropping from a great height and
    b) Turning away and diving to build up speed.
    They were using Superforts that could fly at around 350mph, and even at full belt they needed all the help they could to get out of the lethal blast radius. A Zeppelin that dropped an A-bomb would be a suicide mission.


    No, Imperial Germany was losing the war. Their only hope was to take France and Britain out of the equation before America could join in, and then take their chances with whatever turned out to be the Russian situation.
     
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  17. X Equestris
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    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

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    A Hindenburg class probably could've carried one:

    It held 200,000 cubic metres (7,062,000 cu ft) of gas in 16 bags or cells with a useful lift of approximately 232 t (511,000 lb). This provided a margin above the 215 t (474,000 lb) average gross weight of the ship with fuel, equipment, 10,000 kg (22,000 lb) of mail and cargo, about 90 passengers and crew and their luggage.

    One only needs to fudge enough to get its tech into the 1910s or early 20s, depending on how long the war goes on.

    Do you really think the Reich would care in this situation? Strike a blow that could win the war at the cost of one Zeppelin and her crew. They'd probably find it to be a bargain.

    And the OP's Reich is in a similar position. Which was my entire point. It's why I said "then mop him up after the main conflict was over." In other words, after Germany had won the war, at which time they could snuff out Communism before it became entrenched. That notion was probably wishful thinking considering how poor of shape Germany would've been in even if it won, but it likely seemed like the best option at the time.

    To further address OP's question about Russia, the Reich and whatever remaining allies it had in Eastern Europe would probably prefer to redeploy their Eastern Front troops to other fronts, rather than go charging deep into Russia to restore a deeply unpopular monarch. Perhaps they make plans to install a puppet in Russia once the war is over, but I think they'd find it better to toss Lenin in there and let the revolution play out for a while. That would further weaken Russia, and let the Reich draw Communists out into the light before trying to install a Czar after everything has settled down. Two birds with one stone and all that.
     
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