What would European and world geopolitics over the next several decades look like in a scenario where the Central Powers win World War I? For what it's worth, I'm thinking of a scenario where the Central Powers win World War I fairly late by refraining from USW against the US, thus preventing the US from joining the war, and then being smart enough to offer a status quo ante bellum or even to make concessions (such as plebiscite in Alsace-Lorraine, Trentino, et cetera) in the West in exchange for Germany being given a free hand in the East, which would still be a German victory in World War I in substantive terms since Germany would have emerged stronger after this war than before it. I'm thinking that in the East, Germany would get the Baltic states as well as most of Belarus and more than half of Ukraine, with the eastern border of the German sphere of influence in Eastern Europe being based on the Daugava-Dnieper Line other than for the fact that Germany will also control both Livonia (northern Latvia) and Estonia in this scenario. So, it would look like this World War II defensive line (in zigzags here) instead:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panther%E ... Wotan_line
For Russia, these territorial losses are, of course, going to be a huge blow, but they are going to be slightly less severe than Brest-Litovsk was in real life since Russia will be allowed to keep the Ukrainian territories east of the Dnieper in this scenario--though, again, it will lose most of Belarus.
The fate of the Ottoman Empire will, of course, be an interesting question since Britain would have already made a lot of territorial conquests in the Middle East by 1918 in this scenario. The Ottomans might be willing to part with their lost territories if they are allowed to permanently keep Baku, though the question is whether they can actually permanently hold Baku against a resurgent Russia. The Caucasus would make a great defensive line, but it would require the Central Powers to permanently station troops in northern Georgia and northern Azerbaijan. I'm not sure if the war-weary German people would actually have the necessary appetite for this, though maybe the Ottomans will. What do you think?
Anyway, since Baghdad already fell to the British in March 1917, I'm not sure that completing the Berlin-to-Baghdad Railway would have been anywhere near as high of a priority for a victorious Germany in the post-WWI years and decades. However, if the Ottomans will permanently keep Baku, then we could theoretically see an alternate railroad from Berlin to Constantinople to Baku through northern Persia and then through Afghanistan up to the point where it will reach China's western Xinjiang province, where it will go through Xinjiang and then go through central and eastern China until it reaches the Yellow Sea. This seems like a highly ambitious project for Germany but one that it might be capable of eventually doing. The crucial question, of course, would be what exactly Britain and Russia are actually going to think about this.
I expect the Germans to overthrow the Bolsheviks in Russia during the Russian Civil War after a WWI victory, but I would also expect there to be a lot of German-Russian tensions due to border issues. I don't think that anything comparable to the Daugava-Dnieper Line would actually be a satisfactory western border for Russia, though I also think that there isn't much that Russia is actually going to be capable of doing about this. The crucial question, of course, would be whether Russia would try seeking to atone for its World War I loss by aiming to expand elsewhere, such as in China, Afghanistan, and/or Persia. What do you think about this?
Any thoughts on all of this?
European and world geopolitics over the next several decades in a scenario where the Central Powers win World War I?
Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
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