Monday, February 9, 2015

Dub Dub Won

What woulda happened if the American people had prevented Wilson from getting us into WWI?

An intriguing version here

Stockman seems to think that with the US entry it would have ended... somehow... with both side quitting and going home.  This is a bit of hand-waving to me.  And, after that happens the 20th Century would have been vastly different.  No argument from me on that point. 

But I am thinkng the war couldn't just end by a sputter out.  And if it had limped to a different inglorious end how would that end be much different.  Obviously there is no way to know that the peace we imposed on Germany in actual history would have been much different than any conjectural end to that great abattoir of a conflict.  Both sides weren't gonna say "my bad..." and then walk away and be hunky dory.

First of all, there is no guarantee the French and British could have won in the end. The final German offensive, with 50 divisions worth of additional forces freed up from the Eastern Front, was pretty good and only barely stopped. A lot of that stoppage was aided by American men (who were more backstop than participants), and, probably more importantly, American materiel. The the morale boost of a large and fresh new ally arriving on the scene should not be discounted either.

No Americans, no 100 Day Offensive later in the summer of 1918.  In the event the allies did hold on in the spring of 1918 without us.

But they wouldn't have been without us, even if Wilson's stroke had happened in spring of 1917, say, kiboshing out entry while his wife and doctor ran the country til 1920.  We were selling food to France and England.  The Germans still had to eat.  And they weren't gonna get a lotta grub from the East after the Russians dropped out. But no matter.

So, what does the world, a Century, look like with the Germans, nigh exhausted, manage a break through of even more exhausted (morally if not materially) allies in 1918, and a capitulation occurs that way instead of the other way? With the US on the sidelines. Nobody could really dictate terms like at Versailles.

So I think David Stockman is wrong about how the 20th Century would have turned out if not for that asshat Wilson, but he's not that far off.

1 comment:

Comrade Misfit said...

There would have been no negotiated peace. The Russian government still would have fallen to the Bolshevists. Without the U.S., the Germans would have been emboldened to keep pushing on the French and the British.

If the war had "sputtered out", then there likely would have been drastic consequences in France and England, once the populations realized that they had shed so much blood and treasure for so very little.

The Germans still would have felt that they had suffered for so long and endured such privations for little gain. Only that opinion would have been shared by their former enemies. The Nazis still would have risen to power. Only there would be similar fascist, if not communist parties in France and England who would have also gained power.

And there still would have been a resumption of hostilities once the banks of cannon fodder had been replenished.

As for the war being the root cause of the Great Depression, I suspect that Stockman is equally full of shit on that point.