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Stabbed in the Back

by Steve Payne



Author says: what if the German Army's 1918 Offensive had succeeded? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

5th April 1918: an armistice on this day marked the end of the Great War. Notwithstanding the fact that the German High Command had succeeding in playing their "last card" and won, the gathering right-wing republican forces would soon topple the Imperial Government. They did so by fostering the "stab in the back" legend, that the Kaiser had saved his throne by accepting a loser's peace settlement whilst the German Army was undefeated in the field.

The defeat of Russia enabled the Germans to field an army of 2.5 million men on the Western Front. However, 1.5 million Germans had already died and the reality of their troop strength disguised the inexperience of the soldiers chosen for a final offensive.

And yet the Western Allies were seriously worried, because the 191 divisions of the German Army were up against their combined force of only 178 divisions. At this point of decision, Ludendorff proposed the administration of a knockout blow before the US Army could arrive in strength. And so on March 21st, German Artillery fired 1.2m shells at the British Third and Fifth Armies guarding the Somme. Fortunately for the Germans, a thick fog had appeared, allowing the German soldiers to quickly overrun the British positions.

And so history would record that it was Ferdinand Foch, the Marshal of France and Allied Supreme Commander who was forced to confront his political masters, and urgently request that an immediate armistice must be organized. The peace settlement that followed effectively restored Western Europe to its 1914 borders, enabling right-wingers to claim that the opportunity to overrun France, and gain a victor's settlement had been thrown away by the Kaiser.

Author says, considerable amounts of source material have been repurposed from the source articles Watson, Alexander. "Stabbed at the front", published in the December 2008 Edition of History Today Magazine and also Wikipedia.

Steve Payne

Editor of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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