German "East First" Plan in 1914?

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by Futurist » 23 Jun 2020 07:06

ljadw wrote:
27 Oct 2019 11:20
There was a lot of pessimism in Berlin in the winter of 1917 ,but the KM said it had a miracle solution : unrestricted submarine war ;when some people replied that this would cause war with the US,the KM answered that with an average monthly sinking of 600000 tons during 7 months (February-August ) Britain would be forced to capitulate,before US could intervene.
The truth was that the U Boats succeeded to sink 600000 tons monthly during 7 months,but that Britain did not capitulate .
The reason was that Britain was much less depending on imports in WWI than before 1914,and thus that less imports did not mean less food and that less food did not mean starvation .
About the influence of the U Boats in the amount of British imports, it ( losses by U Boats ) was only ONE ( and not the deciding ) of the elements in a very complicated assembly line : things as needs, production, transport,stockage capacity, loading and unloading... in Britain and in the US were as or even more important .
Do you think that the German military's calculations in regards to USW in early 1917 would have been different had Russia's February Revolution occurred just a tiny bit earlier than it did in real life?

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by ljadw » 25 Jun 2020 08:53

There is no relation between both .
The USW had as aim to eliminate Britain which would result in the capitulation of France .
The fall of the Imperial Russian regime had no or only few effect on the war in the west .
1 The war in the east continued with all intensity and stopped only with operation Faustschlag in 1918 .
2 Meanwhile ,in the west, Britain was able to launch third Ypres .

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by Futurist » 25 Jun 2020 20:14

ljadw wrote:
25 Jun 2020 08:53
There is no relation between both .
The USW had as aim to eliminate Britain which would result in the capitulation of France .
The fall of the Imperial Russian regime had no or only few effect on the war in the west .
1 The war in the east continued with all intensity and stopped only with operation Faustschlag in 1918 .
2 Meanwhile ,in the west, Britain was able to launch third Ypres .
I was simply wondering if Germany might have become more optimistic about the course of World War I had Russia already began weakening by the start of 1917 and thus would have decided that bringing the US into World War I would have been too big of a risk.

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 25 Jun 2020 20:50

Timing is everything. If the US entry were held off say six months in the OTL, France and Britain might have had to capitulate and seek terms after the Kaiser's offensives occurred. This would have seen a huge gap ripped in the Allied lines and the Germans within miles of Paris. Even if the US had just entered the war at that point, the French and British would know that it would be months before any significant number of troops could arrive to help them. They might have opted for a negotiated end to the war at that point instead.

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 26 Jun 2020 02:16

T. A. Gardner wrote:
25 Jun 2020 20:50
Timing is everything. If the US entry were held off say six months in the OTL, France and Britain might have had to capitulate and seek terms after the Kaiser's offensives occurred. This would have seen a huge gap ripped in the Allied lines and the Germans within miles of Paris. Even if the US had just entered the war at that point, the French and British would know that it would be months before any significant number of troops could arrive to help them. They might have opted for a negotiated end to the war at that point instead.
The Kaiserschlacht would have gone differently as well. OTL Ludendorff behaved frantically and erratically, shifting his focus multiple times and arguably losing a chance to finish the French army by focusing on it while merely defending against the Empire. The buildup of American force is what motivated him so to act, which wouldn't happen with a significant U.S. delay. It at least allows a more methodical battle approach.

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by Futurist » 26 Jun 2020 09:15

T. A. Gardner wrote:
25 Jun 2020 20:50
Timing is everything. If the US entry were held off say six months in the OTL, France and Britain might have had to capitulate and seek terms after the Kaiser's offensives occurred. This would have seen a huge gap ripped in the Allied lines and the Germans within miles of Paris. Even if the US had just entered the war at that point, the French and British would know that it would be months before any significant number of troops could arrive to help them. They might have opted for a negotiated end to the war at that point instead.
On what terms?

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by ljadw » 26 Jun 2020 11:22

Futurist wrote:
25 Jun 2020 20:14
ljadw wrote:
25 Jun 2020 08:53
There is no relation between both .
The USW had as aim to eliminate Britain which would result in the capitulation of France .
The fall of the Imperial Russian regime had no or only few effect on the war in the west .
1 The war in the east continued with all intensity and stopped only with operation Faustschlag in 1918 .
2 Meanwhile ,in the west, Britain was able to launch third Ypres .
I was simply wondering if Germany might have become more optimistic about the course of World War I had Russia already began weakening by the start of 1917 and thus would have decided that bringing the US into World War I would have been too big of a risk.
The fall of Russia would not help Germany,it would not force Britain/France to give up .The fall of Imperial Russia had as result that the Westheer
still remained defensive and that Haig was able to launch Third Ypres .
To put it otherwise : even without the intervention of Russia and the US, Germany was to weak to defeat Britain and France in a conventional war .
After the Marne ,Germany was forced to remain defensive ,Verdun was only a small exception .

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by glenn239 » 27 Jun 2020 15:48

ljadw wrote:
26 Jun 2020 11:22
The fall of Russia would not help Germany,it would not force Britain/France to give up .The fall of Imperial Russia had as result that the Westheer
still remained defensive and that Haig was able to launch Third Ypres .
To put it otherwise : even without the intervention of Russia and the US, Germany was to weak to defeat Britain and France in a conventional war .
After the Marne ,Germany was forced to remain defensive ,Verdun was only a small exception .
On the contrary. Moving the fall of Russia to before the imposition of unrestricted submarine warfare would have substantially impacted the trajectory of the war. The German Chancellor fell because he could not offer an alternative strategy in the face of a ring of Britain, France, and Russia. Had Russia already fallen, the alternative strategy that Bethmann could have advocated would be to use Wilson's diplomatic intervention to pressure peace talks while using the Ukrainian breadbasket to combat the blockade. Bethmann's logic would prevail, Ludendorff is forced to step down, and another general joins Hindenburg in the role of supreme command.

The British ground offensive you mention ended in total failure for the British - I don't know why you even bothered to list it. Is me bashing my head against a brick wall until I'm dead a strategy? That's what Haig was doing. Haig's position - both politically and militarily - by early 1918 was so weak that he had to remain on the defensive for the first months of the 1918 campaign. The debacle of the German counteroffensive at Cambrai showed that British morale was being tested. French morale was brittle and prone to collapse without US intervention. On the Italian front, without the necessity of major offensives in France in 1918, the Austrian Paive offensive would have been bolstered by German reinforcements and inflicted a massive defeat on the Italians, probably knocking them out of the war.

The timing of the fall of Russia WRT the decision for resuming USW was crucial to the 1918 victory of the Allies.

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by ljadw » 27 Jun 2020 21:05

1 The Ukrainian breadbasket is a myth
2 Third Ypres proved that Britain and France were strong enough to start big offensives without Russia .
3 Wilson's diplomatic intervention was irrelevant ,even without the USW the USA would declare war on Germany .
4 With the number of divisions Germany was able to send to the west after the collapse of Russia at the end of 1917 ,Germany was still unable to defeat the Franco-British armies, even BEFORE the arrival of the Yanks .
5 If Russia had collapsed at the end of 1916, Germany would still be unable to force a decision in the West in 1917 .

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by glenn239 » 29 Jun 2020 17:25

ljadw wrote:
27 Jun 2020 21:05
1 The Ukrainian breadbasket is a myth
2 Third Ypres proved that Britain and France were strong enough to start big offensives without Russia .
3 Wilson's diplomatic intervention was irrelevant ,even without the USW the USA would declare war on Germany .
4 With the number of divisions Germany was able to send to the west after the collapse of Russia at the end of 1917 ,Germany was still unable to defeat the Franco-British armies, even BEFORE the arrival of the Yanks .
5 If Russia had collapsed at the end of 1916, Germany would still be unable to force a decision in the West in 1917 .
1. How did you come to the idea that in 1917 strategy discussions the Ukraine was a "myth" to German leaders because of what you've read 103 years later in 2020?
2. Third Ypres accomplished nothing.
3. The attitude of the United States after 1916 was crucial to the war prospects of both sides.
4. I said Italy might be knocked out of the war in 1918 without the Americans.
5. Germany did not have to force a decision in the west in 1917 or 1918. It needed a neutral US to more forcefully mediate towards a ceasefire, and to confront Britain more on the blockade, even while Germany picked off the periphery allies Greece and Italy.

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by ljadw » 29 Jun 2020 20:37

1 Ukraine was not a breadbasket,and the German leadership knew it ,but they were the prisoners of their self-deception :the only way to solve a potential famine in Germany ( danger which was exaggerated ) was
1 If Ukraine was a breadbasket
2 If the bread from Ukraine could be transported to Germany
The answer on both IFS was negative .
In 1913 Russia exported 10.66 million tons of Grains (source :Agricultural development in Russia 1906-1917,by Klebnikov ),the part of Ukraine is unknown, but as the Ukrainian production was only 8 million tons, the part of Ukraine in the export was low .Thus Ukraine could not solve Germany's food problem.
Most of the 10.66 million ton (7,5 million in 1908 ) was transported by railway to the Russian ports, and, mostly to the southern ports 94.5 million ton ) .NOT overland to Germany/Austria/Hungary .Thus the bread of Ukraine could not go directly to Germany:the railways in the front zone were destroyed and Russian railway system was not compatible to the German one .The railways could not transport 10 million ton of grains to Germany .
There is also the point that in 1916 AND in 1917 Ukraine was not occupied by Germany .Thus how could Germany get the grains of Ukraine .
It was the same in WWII : what the Germans were able to get from the SU was meaningless .The exploitation of Ukraine would take generations, would ruin the German agriculture and the German population .
2 Third Ypres accomplished a lot of things : it killed a lot of Germans and weakened Germany
3 The longer lasted the war,the more and more USA ceased to be neutral and became openly hostile to Germany .
4 What happened to Italy was irrelevant for the outcome of the war .
5 Germany could NOT force a decision in the west in 1917 or 1918 .It had already lost all chances to win the war .Not after the first Marne , as the conventional historiography is claiming,but BEFORE the first Marne.
Germany's war plan ( Schlieffen/Moltke plan ) started from the correct assumption that Germany could only win in a very short war of a few weeks. At the end of August 1914 France was not defeated, and thus Germany had lost .
6 Germany could not afford a compromise peace after 3 years of war with 1 million dead and a broken economy : the Junkers could only survive if the war resulted in the unconditional capitulation of France, Britain and Russia .

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by History Learner » 08 Jul 2020 04:40

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
29 Aug 2019 05:44
IIRC, Germany didn't have any fortifications on its border with France in 1914. So it will still get bogged down in trench warfare, only in a different location than OTL. Britain and the USA will still probably come up with an excuse to enter the war against Germany. Once that happens, Germany slowly starves under the British blockade.

If Germany is dumb enough to try a Napoleonic/Hitler style attempt to conquer Russia, then WWI might end a lot earlier once its armies freeze to death somewhere between Smolensk and Moscow.
Actually, the German-French border featured heavily fortified points and this was critical to the German plan. Terrence M. Holmes, writing in "Not the Schlieffen Plan 1914", explains the situation thusly:
If Moltke had followed Schlieffen’s real intentions for the counter-offensive conduct of a two-front war, the first great battle of 1914 would have been fought in Lorraine in the third week of hostilities, on terms much more favourable to Germany than they were at the battle of the Marne. We can reconstruct this alternative scenario because we know exactly what the French chief of staff Joseph Joffre intended to do if the Germans did not invade Belgium.

French war planning was constrained by two political imperatives. In the first place, France was committed by agreement with her Russian ally to launch an ‘all-out and immediate’ attack against Germany as soon as possible after the outbreak of war. Moreover, the French government had resolved not to encroach on Belgian territory unless the Germans did so first. Joffre was therefore obliged to incorporate in his war plans a variant which allowed for a full-scale offensive avoiding Belgian territory altogether, and that would have come into effect in 1914 if the Germans had stayed on the defensive and not entered Belgium. For this eventuality Joffre decided that three of his five armies, comprising some 60 percent of his first-line troops, should invade Lorraine on 14 August, aiming initially to reach the line of the river Saar between Sarrebourg and Saarbrücken (Doughty 2010, 146-8, 155-8, 168). Ominously, that position was flanked at both ends by the German fortresses of Metz and Strasbourg.

Schlieffen had long before outlined how the Germans should exploit a massive French incursion through ‘the relatively narrow space between Metz and Strasbourg’. The aim must not be to push the enemy back to his fortified border. Rather, he had to be engaged on three sides, ‘from Metz, from the Saar and from Strasbourg’, and brought to a standstill there, which would give the Germans an excellent chance of decisive victory by means of envelopment attacks out of Metz and Strasbourg. The ultimate aim of this ‘attack on the enemy’s flank and rear’ would be to surround the
French invasion forces and ‘not just defeat them, but lay them low and as far as possible annihilate them’ (Boetticher 1933, 260).

Joffre himself was acutely aware of the perils attending a French offensive in Lorraine. He said that the object would be to rupture the German front, but he conceded​ that:​

"In the course of this operation our forces would be liable to be taken in flank by attacks coming in all probability from both Metz and the region of Molsheim-Strasbourg. By penetrating like a wedge into the midst of the enemy’s lines we would be more or less inviting envelopment (Joffre 1932, 74-5)."​

But a German defensive posture in 1914 would have compelled Joffre to embark on that hazardous course of action — that was precisely what he was committed to if the Germans refrained from attacking through Belgium and waited instead for the opportunity to counter-attack. In that event, the war would have started with a great battle of encirclement as soon as the French First, Second and Fourth Armies had completed their short advance into the danger zone between Metz and Strasbourg. Speaking in 1904 of the strategic importance of these fortresses, Schlieffen once again emphasized their role in counter-offensive operations: ‘I do not mean a Metz and Strasbourg that are to be besieged and defended, but rather a Metz and Strasbourg in which armies are assembled and through which they march in order to attack the enemy by surprise’ (Zuber 2004, 160).​
In short, 60% of the French Army in August of 1914 was walking into a trap, which they only escaped thanks to the French re-orienting themselves to respond to the German advance through Belgium and into France itself. It would've been a war winning blow from which the French never would've recovered from. An Eastern Front-first strategy will also allow the Germans to build up four armies-42 Divisions-in the East which will force the Russians onto a defensive stance and thus allow Austro-Hungary to avoid the Galicia disaster that so battered their Army IOTL 1914. Serbia thus is likely destroyed by 2nd Army in October, as OTL their severe munition shortages nearly forced the Serbs to surrender anyway.

Likely, the French seek peace in late 1914, with the Russians to follow suit soon after with the Central Powers probably holding Poland up to the Bug river and half of Lithuania, while Serbia has been crushed and occupied.

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by Futurist » 08 Jul 2020 06:24

History Learner wrote:
08 Jul 2020 04:40
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
29 Aug 2019 05:44
IIRC, Germany didn't have any fortifications on its border with France in 1914. So it will still get bogged down in trench warfare, only in a different location than OTL. Britain and the USA will still probably come up with an excuse to enter the war against Germany. Once that happens, Germany slowly starves under the British blockade.

If Germany is dumb enough to try a Napoleonic/Hitler style attempt to conquer Russia, then WWI might end a lot earlier once its armies freeze to death somewhere between Smolensk and Moscow.
Actually, the German-French border featured heavily fortified points and this was critical to the German plan. Terrence M. Holmes, writing in "Not the Schlieffen Plan 1914", explains the situation thusly:
If Moltke had followed Schlieffen’s real intentions for the counter-offensive conduct of a two-front war, the first great battle of 1914 would have been fought in Lorraine in the third week of hostilities, on terms much more favourable to Germany than they were at the battle of the Marne. We can reconstruct this alternative scenario because we know exactly what the French chief of staff Joseph Joffre intended to do if the Germans did not invade Belgium.

French war planning was constrained by two political imperatives. In the first place, France was committed by agreement with her Russian ally to launch an ‘all-out and immediate’ attack against Germany as soon as possible after the outbreak of war. Moreover, the French government had resolved not to encroach on Belgian territory unless the Germans did so first. Joffre was therefore obliged to incorporate in his war plans a variant which allowed for a full-scale offensive avoiding Belgian territory altogether, and that would have come into effect in 1914 if the Germans had stayed on the defensive and not entered Belgium. For this eventuality Joffre decided that three of his five armies, comprising some 60 percent of his first-line troops, should invade Lorraine on 14 August, aiming initially to reach the line of the river Saar between Sarrebourg and Saarbrücken (Doughty 2010, 146-8, 155-8, 168). Ominously, that position was flanked at both ends by the German fortresses of Metz and Strasbourg.

Schlieffen had long before outlined how the Germans should exploit a massive French incursion through ‘the relatively narrow space between Metz and Strasbourg’. The aim must not be to push the enemy back to his fortified border. Rather, he had to be engaged on three sides, ‘from Metz, from the Saar and from Strasbourg’, and brought to a standstill there, which would give the Germans an excellent chance of decisive victory by means of envelopment attacks out of Metz and Strasbourg. The ultimate aim of this ‘attack on the enemy’s flank and rear’ would be to surround the
French invasion forces and ‘not just defeat them, but lay them low and as far as possible annihilate them’ (Boetticher 1933, 260).

Joffre himself was acutely aware of the perils attending a French offensive in Lorraine. He said that the object would be to rupture the German front, but he conceded​ that:​

"In the course of this operation our forces would be liable to be taken in flank by attacks coming in all probability from both Metz and the region of Molsheim-Strasbourg. By penetrating like a wedge into the midst of the enemy’s lines we would be more or less inviting envelopment (Joffre 1932, 74-5)."​

But a German defensive posture in 1914 would have compelled Joffre to embark on that hazardous course of action — that was precisely what he was committed to if the Germans refrained from attacking through Belgium and waited instead for the opportunity to counter-attack. In that event, the war would have started with a great battle of encirclement as soon as the French First, Second and Fourth Armies had completed their short advance into the danger zone between Metz and Strasbourg. Speaking in 1904 of the strategic importance of these fortresses, Schlieffen once again emphasized their role in counter-offensive operations: ‘I do not mean a Metz and Strasbourg that are to be besieged and defended, but rather a Metz and Strasbourg in which armies are assembled and through which they march in order to attack the enemy by surprise’ (Zuber 2004, 160).​
Looks like the French would have walked into a big fat trap here! Just how much larger would French casualties and especially French deaths at this alternate Battle of the Frontiers have been in this scenario, though?
In short, 60% of the French Army in August of 1914 was walking into a trap, which they only escaped thanks to the French re-orienting themselves to respond to the German advance through Belgium and into France itself. It would've been a war winning blow from which the French never would've recovered from.
Can the French subsequently rebuild their army, though?
An Eastern Front-first strategy will also allow the Germans to build up four armies-42 Divisions-in the East which will force the Russians onto a defensive stance and thus allow Austro-Hungary to avoid the Galicia disaster that so battered their Army IOTL 1914. Serbia thus is likely destroyed by 2nd Army in October, as OTL their severe munition shortages nearly forced the Serbs to surrender anyway.
Source about the severe munitions shortages nearly forcing Serbia to surrender?

Also, AFAIK, what really helped in the CP conquest of Serbia in 1915 in real life was the fact that the Germans began doing military planning on behalf of the Austro-Hungarians. Is this accurate?
Likely, the French seek peace in late 1914, with the Russians to follow suit soon after with the Central Powers probably holding Poland up to the Bug river and half of Lithuania, while Serbia has been crushed and occupied.
But would the CPs actually settle for such measly peace terms? Surely, the CPs could demand iron ore-rich Briey and Longwy from France, no? As for Russia, if France would genuinely make peace, then the real fun for Germany can began in the East. Ostkrieg! So, theoretically, Germany could try advancing much deeper into Russia if it would like to, and if it was smart it would avoid Napoleon's mistake and refrain from doing this in just one military campaign. This could be a golden moment for Germany to make its Mitteleuropa dreams a reality if it wants to.

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by Peter89 » 08 Jul 2020 10:20

History Learner wrote:
08 Jul 2020 04:40

In short, 60% of the French Army in August of 1914 was walking into a trap, which they only escaped thanks to the French re-orienting themselves to respond to the German advance through Belgium and into France itself. It would've been a war winning blow from which the French never would've recovered from. An Eastern Front-first strategy will also allow the Germans to build up four armies-42 Divisions-in the East which will force the Russians onto a defensive stance and thus allow Austro-Hungary to avoid the Galicia disaster that so battered their Army IOTL 1914. Serbia thus is likely destroyed by 2nd Army in October, as OTL their severe munition shortages nearly forced the Serbs to surrender anyway.

Likely, the French seek peace in late 1914, with the Russians to follow suit soon after with the Central Powers probably holding Poland up to the Bug river and half of Lithuania, while Serbia has been crushed and occupied.
I think you misunderstand something here. The A-H Empire was not capable of a large-scale, strategic military operation. Franz Ferdinand and his circles were the main protagonists for peace, because they understood that the Empire was too weak internally to engage in a war with more or less equal adversaries. So basically he understood that if the Empire attacks Serbia, an ethnic Serbian or Croatian might desert, or sabotage the logistics in the immediate vicinity of the frontline.

The same goes for the Italian and Russian fronts, the other fronts where von Hötzendorf (btw a protegeé of Franz Ferdinand) had prepared war plans. (Which were btw compromised and well-known for the Russians and Serbians, and it contributed a lot to the initial catastrophy for the A-H armies.)

Well before the war it was decided already that A-H armies will have an abysmal performance in 1914.
  • The A-H Empire spent a disproportionately low amount of money on the military than her future adversaries.
  • It also did not have a proper system for either a sustained war effort (especially when it came to the food production) or the command + control on every level of command. What do I mean by that? The whole Empire military efforts were compromised from the level of a squad to the level of the grand strategy. Just keep in mind that the commanding languages were not spoken by a lot of the recruits, and that Alfred Redl shared the grand strategy of the Empire with her most fearsome opponent, the Russian Empire.
  • Also please keep in mind that in 1918-1919 the Empire was torn apart mostly by their own citizens. It was a civil war of the most disgusting kind, with the full consent and acknowledgement of the Western Powers (most notably the French).
The Empire's enemies were counting on her internal weakness, and history showed us that they were right to do so.

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by Futurist » 08 Jul 2020 18:30

Peter89 wrote:
08 Jul 2020 10:20
History Learner wrote:
08 Jul 2020 04:40

In short, 60% of the French Army in August of 1914 was walking into a trap, which they only escaped thanks to the French re-orienting themselves to respond to the German advance through Belgium and into France itself. It would've been a war winning blow from which the French never would've recovered from. An Eastern Front-first strategy will also allow the Germans to build up four armies-42 Divisions-in the East which will force the Russians onto a defensive stance and thus allow Austro-Hungary to avoid the Galicia disaster that so battered their Army IOTL 1914. Serbia thus is likely destroyed by 2nd Army in October, as OTL their severe munition shortages nearly forced the Serbs to surrender anyway.

Likely, the French seek peace in late 1914, with the Russians to follow suit soon after with the Central Powers probably holding Poland up to the Bug river and half of Lithuania, while Serbia has been crushed and occupied.
I think you misunderstand something here. The A-H Empire was not capable of a large-scale, strategic military operation. Franz Ferdinand and his circles were the main protagonists for peace, because they understood that the Empire was too weak internally to engage in a war with more or less equal adversaries. So basically he understood that if the Empire attacks Serbia, an ethnic Serbian or Croatian might desert, or sabotage the logistics in the immediate vicinity of the frontline.

The same goes for the Italian and Russian fronts, the other fronts where von Hötzendorf (btw a protegeé of Franz Ferdinand) had prepared war plans. (Which were btw compromised and well-known for the Russians and Serbians, and it contributed a lot to the initial catastrophy for the A-H armies.)

Well before the war it was decided already that A-H armies will have an abysmal performance in 1914.
  • The A-H Empire spent a disproportionately low amount of money on the military than her future adversaries.
  • It also did not have a proper system for either a sustained war effort (especially when it came to the food production) or the command + control on every level of command. What do I mean by that? The whole Empire military efforts were compromised from the level of a squad to the level of the grand strategy. Just keep in mind that the commanding languages were not spoken by a lot of the recruits, and that Alfred Redl shared the grand strategy of the Empire with her most fearsome opponent, the Russian Empire.
  • Also please keep in mind that in 1918-1919 the Empire was torn apart mostly by their own citizens. It was a civil war of the most disgusting kind, with the full consent and acknowledgement of the Western Powers (most notably the French).
The Empire's enemies were counting on her internal weakness, and history showed us that they were right to do so.
Excellent points, Peter! Anyway, was the future Kaiser Karl (Franz Ferdinand's nephew) as much of a dove in 1914 as Franz Ferdinand himself was?

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