They don't need a big successful offensive though, they just need not to be crushed in Galicia as in OTL. (A-H did, btw, have some success attacking with their 1st and 4th armies in August '14).Peter89 wrote:The A-H Empire was not capable of a large-scale, strategic military operation.
If Germany launches a big offensive on its front in August, there's no way Russia can concentrate against A-H the forces that won the Galicia battle.
That means A-H doesn't lose tens of thousands of trained soldiers and officers in 1914, meaning it's stronger in 1915.
It also means that it doesn't have to transfer 2nd Army away from the Serbian front, which could mean Serbia's defeat in 1914. At the very least the Austrians gain ground and don't take the morale hit of an obviously-failed Serbian offensive, plus the Galician disasters.
Austria held it together for 4 years; 3 years will suffice in this ATL if the British stay out or are late-comers.Peter89 wrote:the Empire was too weak internally to engage in a war with more or less equal adversaries.
The Empire's eventual disintegration came only after years of military humiliation and food shortages. In this ATL it could easily begin with military success - at least not failure - and with adequate food supplies due to the absence of a continental blockade. Victory and bread do wonders for political fortunes.
But there is likely no Italian front in this ATL - Italy doesn't join if Britain doesn't and if the CP are clearly winning.The same goes for the Italian and Russian fronts
I doubt it goes quite this well for Germany in the West.History Learner wrote:60% of the French Army in August of 1914 was walking into a trap
The great flaw of German generalship is strategic blindness, especially to economic factors. Here, allowing the French army to cross significantly into Alsace-Lorraine endangers the ore fields, loss of which dooms Germany within a year or so. IMO an "elastic" defense is out of the question.
I would expect the Germans to hold in the West and to stop any French offensive decisively. The French just didn't have the heavy artillery early in the war to storm prepared defenses. It wouldn't be your "Western Tannenberg" scenario but it wouldn't be good for France either.
Oh come on, give them some credit. The French sacrificed an entire generation of men in WW1, they're not throwing in the towel easily even under your Western Tannenberg scenario. They didn't quit easy the first time the Germans destroyed their armies at Sedan in 1870 and captured their "Emperor" - it took another year even with Paris under siege.History Learner wrote:Likely, the French seek peace in late 1914,
IMO a war of Germany + A-H vs. France + Russia plainly favors the CP.
The Germans use 1914 to shore up the East, pushing Russia out of Poland/Lithuania, allowing A-H to take out Serbia, and precluding Italian opportunism against perceived Hapsburg weakness. The CP will have established sufficient strategic depth in the East to afford a weakening German forces there, as even significant Russian territorial gain in summer 1915 wouldn't threaten much of strategic import. With Serbia and Italy quiescent, the Russians won't get too far against an undistracted A-H, plus a few Germans.
With that done, Germany turns West in 1915. Their offensive against France could take the form of Falkenhayn's mincing machine if the Germans aren't able to force a breakthrough. The French can't withstand Verdun-style attrition much longer than OTL 1916 absent something like the British Somme Offensive to relieve pressure. With only ~60% of Germany's population and slightly lower average combat effectiveness, it's only a matter of time for France. The war probably lasts into 1916 but the CP win.
Maybe A-H falls apart immediately her great victory though.