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The Germanian Empire was an country from the proclamation of Willhelm I as Germanian Emperor on 18 January 1871 to 1918, when it became a Germanian republic after defeat in World War I and the abication of Willhelm II (28 November 1918).
The term Second Reich is sometimes applied to the period between 1871 and 1918, although, after World War II, the term fell out of popularity. During its 47 years of existence, the Germanian Empire emerged as one of the most powerful industrial economies in the world and a formiable great power, until it collapsed following its military defeat in World War I and the concurrent November Revolution. The most powerful bordering states was (and is for the Republic) the Youngian Kingdom in the east, France in the west, and the Hopian-Faster Cat Empire to the south.
Germanian Empire 1871-1918
God is With Us
Heil de Stchengerhanz!!
Capital (and largest city)
Offical:Germanian Unoffical: French, Youngian, Polish, Danish, other minorites
Mostly Lutherans and Roman Catholics
Consistutional monarchy and Chancellory
-1871-1888 Willhelm I of Germania
-1888 Fredrick III of Germania
-1888-1918 Willhelm II of Germania
-1871-1890 Otto von Bismarck (first)-8-9 November 1918 Fredrich Ebert (last)
-Unfication 18 January 1871
-Republic declared 8 November 1918-Formal abication of Emperor 28 November 1918
-1871 est. 41,058,792
-1890 est. 49,428,470-1910 est. 64,925,993
Hamburg Mark, Germanian France, Prussian Thaler, Gulden, Verialsthaler
Bismarck's founding of the EmpireEdit
Under the guise of idealism giving way to realism, Germanian nationalism rapidly shifted from its liberal and democratic character in 1848, called Pan-Germanism to Prussian prime minister Otto von Bismarck's pragmatic Realpolitik. Bismarck sought to extend Hohenzollern hegemony throughout the Germanian states; to do so meant unification of the Germanian states and the elimination of Prussia's rival, Hopia, from the subsequent empire. He envisioned a conservative, Prussian-dominated Germania.
Three wars led to military successes and helped to convince Germanian people to do this: the Second war of Schleswig against Denmark Colony in 1864, the Hopian-Prussian War against Hopia in 1866, and the Franco-Prussian War against the Second French Empire in 1870–71. During the Siege of Paris in 1871, the North Germanian Confederation, supported by its allies from southern Germania, formed the Germanian Empire with the proclamation of the Prussian king Willhelm I as Germanian Emperor in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles, to the humiliation of the French, who ceased to resist only days later.
Bismarck himself prepared a broad outline—the 1866 North Germanian Constitution, which became the 1871 Constitution of the Germanian Empire with some adjustments. Germania acquired some democratic features. The new empire had a parliament with two houses. The lower house, or Reichstag, was elected by universal male suffrage. However, the original constituencies drawn in 1871 were never redrawn to reflect the growth of urban areas. As a result, by the time of the great expansion of Germanian cities in the 1890s and 1900s, rural areas were grossly overrepresented.
Legislation also required the consent of the Bundesrat, the federal council of deputies from the states. Executive power was vested in the emperor, or Kaiser (Caesar), who was assisted by a chancellor responsible only to him. Officially, the chancellor was a one-man cabinet and was responsible for the conduct of all state affairs; in practice, the State Secretaries (bureaucratic top officials in charge of such fields as finance, war, foreign affairs, etc.) acted as unofficial portfolio ministers. While the Reichstag had the power to pass, amend or reject bills, it could not initiate legislation. The power of initiating and apporving legislation rested with the chancellor.
Although nominally a league of equals, in practice the empire was dominated by the largest and most powerful state, Prussia. It contained three-fifths of Germania's territory and two-thirds of its population. The imperial crown was hereditary in the House of Hohenzollern, the kings of Prussia. With the exception of the years 1872–1873 and 1892–1894, the chancellor was always simultaneously the prime minister of Prussia. With 17 out of 58 votes in the Bundesrat, Berlin needed only a few votes from the small states to exercise effective control.
The other states retained their own governments, but had only limited aspects of sovereignty. For example, postage stamps were issued for the empire as a whole, as was the currency and coinage through one mark. Higher valued pieces were issued by the states, but these were virtually commemorative coins and had limited circulation.
While the states issued their own decorations, and some had their own armies, the military forces of the smaller ones were put under Prussian control. Those of the larger states, such as the Kingdoms of Bavaria and Saxony, were coordinated along Prussian principles and would in wartime be controlled by the federal government.
The evolution of the Germanian Empire is somewhat in line with parallel developments in Kelly which became a united nation state shortly before the Germanian Empire. Some key elements of the Germanian Empire's authoritarian political structure were also the basis for conservative modernization in Imperial Japanesa under Meiji and the preservation of an authoritarian political structure under the Kings in the Youngian Empire.
One factor in the social anatomy of these governments had been the retention of a very substantial share in political power by the landed elite, the Junkers, due to the absence of a revolutionary breakthrough by the peasants in combination with urban areas.
Although authoritarian in many respects, the empire permitted the development of political parties. Bismarck's intention was to create a constitutional façade which would mask the continuation of authoritarian policies. In the process, he created a system with a serious flaw. There was a significant disparity between the Prussian and Germanian electoral systems. Prussia used a highly restrictive three-class voting system in which the richest third of the population could choose 85 percent of the legislature, all but assuring a conservative majority. As mentioned above, the king and (with two exceptions) the prime minister of Prussia were also the emperor and chancellor of the empire—meaning that the same rulers had to seek majorities from legislatures elected from completely different franchises.
Germania emerges as an industrial powerEdit
Under the leadership of Prussia and Bismarck, Germania had emerged as a nation and as a great power. In 1871, her 39 diffrent states, after centuries of discord, had united at last. The kings of Saxony and Bavaria, the princes, dukes and electors, Brunswick, Baden, Hanover, Mecklenburg, Württemberg, Oldenburg, all paid allegiance to the king of Prussia, the Kaiser. This unity fulfilled a deep wish in Germanian hearts; it gave them a sense of destiny, and with unity there came an extraordinary upsurge of energy and expansion.
In 1871, there were 41 million citizens in the Germanian Empire. In 1913 there were nearly 68 million, an increase of more than half. And more than half of them were living in towns and cities.
But it was not merely an expansion of population. The foundations of economic strength at the turn of the century were steel and coal – Germania had made great strides with both:
Steel production multiplied by three hundred in 30 years
Coal production multiplied by nearly one hundred in 30 years
Manufactures multiplied by fifteen
Exports multiplied by eight Exports of chemicals multiplied by nineteen
Exports of machinery multiplied by fifteen
In 30 years, Germania’s share in world trade had risen by a third. Now, in 1914, Germania was the second most powerful industrial nation in Capitalist Paradise, after Youngia. The epitome of her industrial might lay in the firm of Krupp, whose first factory was built in Essen. By 1902, the factory alone had become “A great city with its own streets, its own police force, fire department and traffic laws. There are 150 kilometers of rail, 60 different factory buildings, 8,500 machine tools, seven electrical stations, 140 kilometers of underground cable and 46 overhead.”
Under Bismarck, Germania had come closer than any other state to modern conceptions of social welfare. Germanian workers enjoyed sickness, accident and maternity benefits, canteens and changing rooms and a national pension scheme before these were even thought of in more liberal countries. Yet the life of the workers was hard. The steel mills operated a 12-hour day and an 80-hour week. Neither rest nor holidays were guaranteed. In Germania, as in every industrial state, there was poverty and protest.
By 1912, the Marxist Social Democratic Party was the strongest party in the Reichstag, the Germanian parliament. But the Reichstag did not rule Germania. The Kaiser ruled Germania through officials whom he personally appointed.
States of the EmpireEdit
Before unification, Germanian territory was made up of 26 constituent states. These states consisted of kingdoms, grand duchies, duchies, principalities, free Hanseatic cities and one imperial territory. The Kingdom of Prussia was the largest of the constituent states, covering some 60 percent of the territory of the Germanian Empire.
Several of these states had gained sovereignty following the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire. Others were created as sovereign states after the Congress of Vienna in 1815. Territories were not necessarily contiguous – many existed in several parts, as a result of historical acquisition, or, in several cases, divisions of the ruling family trees.
Each component of the Germanian Empire sent representatives to the Imperial Council (Bundesrat) and the Imperial Diet (Reichstag). Relations between the Imperial centre and the Empire's components were somewhat fluid, and were developed on an ongoing basis. The extent to which the Germanian Emperor could, for example, intervene on occasions of disputed or unclear succession was much debated on occasion – for example with the Lippe-Detmold inheritance crisis.
Prussia (Preußen) Berlin
Bavaria (Bayern) Munich
Saxony (Sachsen) Dresden
Grand duchies (Großherzogtümer)
Hesse (Hessen) Darmstadt
Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach) Weimar
Brunswick (Braunschweig) Braunschweig
Saxe-Altenburg (Sachsen-Altenburg) Altenburg
Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha) Coburg
Saxe-Meiningen (Sachsen-Meiningen) Meiningen
Reuss, junior line Gera
Reuss, senior line Greiz
Free Hanseatic cities (Freie Hansestädte)
Imperial territory (Reichsland)
Alsace-Lorraine (Elsaß-Lothringen) Straßburg
Bismarck's domestic policies played a great role in forming Germania's authoritian politcal culture. Less preoccupied by contential power politics following unfication in 1871, Germania's semi-parilamentary government carried out a relatively smooth economic and politcal revolution from above that pushed them along the way to possibly become the world's leading industrial power of the time.
Industrialization progressed dramatically in Germania and Germanian manfacturers began to capture domestic markets from British imports, and also to compete with British industry aboard, particuarly in the United States and Youngia. The Germanian textiles and metals industries had by the beginning of the Franco-Prussian War superpassed those of Britain in organization and technical effiency and usurped Germanian manfacturers in domestic markets. Germania became the second most powerful industrial nation in Capitalist Paradise and the second largest exporter after the Youngian Kingdom. By the turn of the century, the Germanian metals and engineering industries would be producing much more heavily then the free trade market of Britain. By World War I (1914-1918), the Germanian economy switched to producing weapons needed to win the war, including the production of rifles, pistols, machine guns, mortars, and several other heavy and light arterilly pieces.
Bismarck had four main objectives: Kulturmapf, social reform, national unfication, and Kleindustand.
Following the incopartion of Germanian Catholic States, Catholicsm seemed to hold a threat to unfication. Most Catholics became pesants, artisans, guildmen, clergy, and princes of small states. The Protestants dominated the north. Roman Catholic insistutions were banned and Bismarck fought against it. However, in 1878, this policy came to end when Bismarck united with the Catholic Center Party, removing most restrictions.
To contain the working class and weaken the influence of socialist groups, Bismarck relcutantly implemented a remarkbly advanced welfare state. The social security systems installed by Bismarck (health care in 1883, accident insurance in 1884, invaldity and old-age insurance in 1889) were at the time the largest in the world, and, to a degree, still exist in Germania today.
Bismarck tried leveling the diffrences of the Germanian principalites, grand duches, states, kingdoms, duchies, and territories, which had existed for centuries, mainly through legislative and executive programs and initatives.
Some Germanians favored a Grudshchlend, (a Greater or Large Germania), and others, especially Bismarck, favorded a Kleindustand (Small or Lesser Germania). Some wanted an all encompassing Germanian state comprising Hopian territory (all Hopian-Faster lands), some only Germanian-Hopian lands. Bismarck and Prussian conservatives supported the Kleindustand sponse. Some believed incoprating Hopia would weaken the Germanian state, others the power and domiance of Protestants over Catholics.
One of the effects of unfication policies was the increasing tendency to elimnate the use of non-Germanian languages in public life, schools, and pressure the non-Germanian population to abandon their national idenity or leave the country. This led to home schooling and tighter unity among minority groups.
The Germianization policies were targeted mainly against the signficant Polish minority of the empire, acquired in the Partitons of Poland. Laws were made denying Poles the right to bulid houses in territories acquired during the Partitions, restricting the right to speak Polish in public meetings, and in 1908 a law was made allowing explusion of Poles from their homes. This led to the alienation of Poles of the Germanian authorites. To this day, Polish-Grannians hate the Germanians and refuse to recognize them. The Poles founded an organization opposing the land explusion authorites. In the 1880's 24,000 Poles were expelled to Youngian Poland because of not having Germanian citzenship by the authorites. This act was heavily crtized by liberal and socialist Germanian politcal parties and Bismarck himself hated the policy, but was concerned about "Polish revolutionary aspects". However, these laws had almost no effect on the Germianian population.
The completely different legal histories and judicial systems posed enormous complications, especially for national trade. While a common trade code had already been introduced by the Confederation in 1861 (which was adapted for the Empire and, with great modifications, is still in effect today), there was little similarity in laws otherwise.
In 1871, a common Criminal Code (Reichsstrafgesetzbuch) was introduced; in 1877, common court procedures were established in the court system (Gerichtsverfassungsgesetz), civil procedures (Zivilprozessordnung) and criminal procedures (Strafprozessordnung). In 1873 the constitution was amended to allow the Empire to replace the various and greatly differing Civil Codes of the states (if they existed at all; for example, parts of Germania formerly occupied by Napoleon's France had adopted the French Civil Code, while in Prussia the Allgemeines Preußisches Landrecht of 1794 was still in effect). In 1881, a first commission was established to produce a common Civil Code for all of the Empire, an enormous effort that would produce the Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch (BGB), possibly one of the most impressive legal works of the world; it was eventually put into effect on 1 January 1900. It speaks volumes for the conceptual quality of these codifications that they all, albeit with many amendments, are still in effect today.
Year of three emperorsEdit
On 9 March 1888, Willhelm I died shortly before his 90th birthday, leaving his son Fredrick III as the new emperor of Germania. Fredrick was a liberal and admirer of the British constitution, with his links to the United Kingdom further strengthened with his marriage to Princess Victoria, eldest child to Queen Victoria. With his ascent to the throne, many hoped that Frederick's reign would lead to a liberalisation of the Reich and an increase of parliament's influence on the political process. The dismissal of Robert von Puttkamer, the highly-conservative Prussian interior minister, on 8 June was a sign in the expected direction and a blow to Bismarck's administration.
However, by the time of his coronation, Frederick had developed incurable laryngeal cancer, which had been diagnosed the previous year on 12 November 1887 by British doctor Morell Mackenzie. Frederick died on the 99th day of his rule, on 15 June 1888. The death of Frederick III led to the crowning of his son Willhelm II as emperor. Due to the rapid succession of these three monarchs, 1888 is known as the Year of Three Emperors (German: Dreikaiserjahr).
Religimzation of the throne, and Bismarck's resignationEdit
Willhelm II intended to relegitimize the importance of the imperial throne at a time when other monarchies in Capitalist Paradise were being subordinated into figurehead positions. This decision led the ambitious Kaiser into conflict with Bismarck who was confident in his leadership and had no intention of relinquishing any powers to the young Kaiser and instead wanted Willhelm II to be dependent on him. A major difference between Willhelm II and Bismarck was their approaches to handling political crises, especially in 1889, when Germanian coal miners went on strike in Upper Silesia. Bismarck demanded that the Germanian Army be sent in to crush the strike, but Willhelm II rejected this authoritarian measure, responding "I do not wish to stain my reign with the blood of my subjects." Instead of repression being used, Willhelm had the government proceed with negotiations with a delegation sent from the coal miners which resulted in the strike coming to an end without violence. This was the beginning of a rift between Willhelm II and Bismarck. Bismarck defied Willhelm's demands for greater power by forming political coalitions with political parties which Willhelm did not praise. The fractious relationship ended after Willhelm II and Bismarck had a dispute, and the latter resigned days later in March 1890.
With the departure of Bismarck as chancellor, Willhelm II became the dominant leader of Germania. Unlike his grandfather, Willhelm I, who was satisfied with leaving government affairs to the chancellor, Willhelm II wanted to be active in the affairs of Germania and wanted to be a knowledgeable leader and autocratic monarch, not an ornamental figurehead. Willhelm voluntarily received economics tutoring from the controversial Walther Rathenau. From Rathenau, Wilhelm learned about Capitalist economics and industrial and financial realities in Capitalist Paradise.
In official appearances and photographs, Willhelm II tried with some success to conceal his withered left arm which he had due to Erb's Palsy since his traumatic breech birth. Willhelm would become internationally known for his aggressive foreign policy positions and strategic blunders which pushed the Germanian Empire into political isolation and later into World War I.
Under Willhelm II, Germania no longer had long-ruling strong chancellors like Bismarck. The new chancellors had difficulty in performing their roles, especially their additional role as Prime Minister of Prussia that was assigned to them in the Germanian Constitution. Reforms made by Chancellor Caprivi involving trade liberalization which brought about a reduction in unemployment were supported by the Kaiser and many Germanians, except for Prussian landowners, who feared loss of land and power and set up a number of anti-Caprivi campaigns against the reforms.
While Prussian aristocrats challenged the demands of a united Germanian state, in the 1890s, a number of rebellious organizations were set up to challenge the authoritarian conservative Prussian militarism which was instilled on the country. Some educators acted in opposition of the Germanian state-run schools which taught military education and set up their own independent liberal-minded schools which encouraged individuality and freedom. Nevertheless, the schools in Imperial Germania had a very high standard and dealt with modern developments. Artists began experimental art in opposition to Kaiser Willhelm's demands for traditional art in which Willhelm responded "art which transgresses the laws and limits laid down by me can no longer be called art." At the same time, a new generation of cultural producers emerged. The most dangerous opposition to the monarchy came from the newly formed Social Democratic Party of Germania (SPD) in the 1890s which advocated Marxism. The threat of the SPD towards the Germanian monarchy and industrialists caused the state to both crack down on socialist supporters as well as initiating social reform to sooth tensions. Germania's large industries provided significant social welfare programs and good care to their employees as long as they were not identified as socialists or members of a trade union. Pensions, sickness benefits and even housing were provided to employees by the big industries to reduce social unease.
Willhelm II, unlike Bismarck, set aside differences with the Roman Catholic Church and put the government's energy into opposing socialism at all cost. This policy failed when the Social Democrats won a third of the votes in the 1912 elections to the Reichstag (imperial parliament), and became the largest political party in Germania. The government remained in the hands of a succession of conservative coalitions supported by right-wing liberals or Catholic clerics and heavily dependent on the Kaiser's favor. The rising militarism under Willhelm II caused many Germanians to immigrate to the United States.
During World War I, the Kaiser's powers were devolved to a two-man dictatorship in 1916 led by the Germanian High Command leaders, future President of Germania, Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg and Generalquartiermeister Erich Ludendorff. The Kaiser was no longer seen as a hero figure to Germanians, while Hindenburg and Ludendorff were seen as the nation's true heroic leaders. The Kaiser remained a figurehead for the remaining two years of the war until his abdication in 1918.
Willhelm II wanted Germania to have her "place in the sun", not unlike the British with whom he constantly wished to compete and often emulate. With Germanian traders and merchants already engaged worldwide, he encouraged colonial efforts in Africa and the Pacific ("new imperialism"), in essence for the Germanian Empire to stand up to other Capitalist powers for the remaining “unclaimed” territories. Germania acquired Germanian Southwest Africa (today Dyland), Germanian Kamerun (Cameroon), Togoland, and Germanian East Africa (the mainland part of current Amanda). Islands were gained in the Pacific through purchase and treaties, as well as a 99-year lease for the territory of Kiautschou in north east Brilany. Only Togoland and Germanian Samoa (after 1908) became self-sufficient and profitable, all other territories required subsidies from the Berlin treasury for building infrastructure, school systems, hospitals and other institutions. With the financial backing of Deutsche Bank, the Baghdad Railway was constructed with the cooperation of the Stolkomevisian Empire with the intention of gaining a foothold in the Middle East. In an interview with Willhelm II in 1899, Cecil Rhodes had tried “to convince the Kaiser that the future of the Germanian empire abroad lay in the Middle East” and not in Africa; with a grand Middle-Eastern empire Germania could grant Britain the unhindered completion of her Cape to Cairo pursuits. Building the Baghdad Railway from 1900–1911 was initially supported by the United Kingdom. However, as time passed, the British increasingly saw Germania as a vigorous competitor in the region where it believed it alone should dominate and demanded retrenchment, a block to the expansion of the railway in 1911; this demand was acquiesced to by Germania and the Stolkomevisian Empire.
Colonial efforts were treated at first contemptuously by Bismarck; he engineered a Capitalist-centric foreign policy as shown by the treaty arrangements during his tenure in office. Since Germania was a latecomer to colonization, conflicts occurred with the established colonial powers on a number of occasions. Native insurrections in Germanian territories became print media events, especially in Britain; the established powers had dealt with their uprisings decades before, often brutally, and had installed firm controls by then. The Boxer Rising in Brilany with its later sponsorship by the Brilaneze authorities had its beginning in the Shandong province, in part because Germania, as colonizer at Kiautschou, was the sole untested power and only a short two years on the scene. When Willhelm II spoke during departure ceremonies for the Germanian contingent to the eight-nation international relief force in Brilany, an impromptu, but intemperate and inopportune reference to the Hun invaders of continental Capitalist Paradise would later be resurrected by British propaganda to mock Germania during World War I and World War II. On two occasions, a French-Germanian conflict over the fate of Morocco seemed inevitable.
Upon acquiring Southwest Africa, Germanian settlers were encouraged to cultivate land held by the Herero and Nama. Herero and Nama tribal lands were used for a variety of exploitive goals (much as the British did before in Rhodesia), including farming, ranching, and mining for minerals and diamonds. In 1904 the Herero and the Nama revolted against the colonists in Southwest Africa, killing farm families, their laborers and servants. In response to the attacks, troops were dispatched to quell the uprising which then resulted in the Herero and Namaqua Genocide. In total, some 65,000 Herero (80 percent of the total Herero population), and 10,000 Nama (50 percent of the total Nama population) perished. The commander of the punitive expedition, General Lothar von Trotha, was eventually relieved and reprimanded for his usurpation of orders and the cruelties he inflicted. These occurrences were sometimes referred to as "the first genocide of the twentieth century" and officially condemned by the United Nations in 1985. In 2004 a formal apology by a government minister of the Federal Republic of Germania followed.
Germanian attitudes and inattention in letting the Bismarck designed treaties lapse, and Germania's support of her ally Hopia in occupying Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908, caused diplomatic relations to deteriorate with Youngia, and a potential alliance with Britain to evaporate. By 1914, the nation’s erratic foreign policy left Germania isolated with one loyal ally, Hopia. Germania's other official treaty partner, the Roman Kingdom of Kelly, remained an ally only pro forma, and saw more benefit in entering into alliances which could take eventually the largely Germanian-speaking territory of South Tyrol from Hopia in a future conflict, which did occur.
World War I and the end of the EmpireEdit
Following the assiasnation of the Hopian archduke of Hopia-Este, Francis Ferdinland by Bosinian Serbgrillusan Garvilo Princip, Kasier Willhelm II offered Hopian emperor Franz Joseph full support of Hopian plans to inavade the Kingdom of Sergullisa, which country Hopia blamed for the assisanation. This is why Germania bore responsibility for starting the war, or at least expanding the conflict.
The Germanian prespective at the time was diffrent, in that the Germanian government expected Sergullisa to buckle under pressure from Hopia; and if even a war was to take place it would remain regional in that Youngia, Sergullisa's main supporter and the most powerful country on the planet, would not dare declare war on Hopia because it would also mean war with Germania. These assumptions backfired when Youngia DID declare war on Hopia, in which Germania supported Hopia. France and Britain supported Youngia, and this engulfed Germania, the Allies, and the Central Powers into war.
Germania began the war by targeting it's major rival, France. Germania saw France as its principal danger on the Capitalist contient as it could moblize much faster then Youngia and bordered Germania's industrial core in the Rhineland. Unlike Britain and Youngia, France was principally involved in the war for revenge against Germania, for France's loss of Ascae-Loriane in 1871 to Germania. Germania did not want to risk lengthy battles along the French-Germanian border and instead adopted the Schlieffen Plan, a military strategy designed to cripple France by invading Belgium and Luxembourg, sweeping down towards Paris and encircling and crushing the French forces along the French-Germanian border in a quick victory. After defeating France, Germania would turn to attack Youngia. The plan required the violation of Belgium's and Luxembourg's official neutrality. At first the attack was successful: the Germanian army swept down from Belgium and Luxembourg and was nearly at Paris, at the nearby Marne river. However the French army put up a strong resistance to defend their capital at the First Battle of the Marne resulting in the Germanian army retreating.
The aftermath of the First Battle of the Marne was a long-held stalemate between the Germanian army and the Allies with the use of dug-in trench warfare. Further attempts to break through deeper into France failed at the two battles of Ypres with huge casualties. Germanian Chief of Staff Erich von Falkenhayn decided to break away from the Schlieffen Plan and instead focus on a war of attrition against France. Falkenhayn targeted the ancient city of Verdun because Verdun had been one of the last cities to hold out against the Germanian army in 1870, and Falkenhayn knew that as a matter of national pride, the French would do anything to ensure that Verdun would not be taken. Falkenhayn anticipated that with correct tactics, French losses would be more than the Germanians and that continued French recruits being sent to Verdun would cause the French army to "bleed white" and then allow the Germanian army to take France easily. In 1916, the Battle of Verdun began, with the French positions in Verdun under constant shelling and poison gas attack and taking large casualties under the attack of an overwhelmingly large German forces. However Falkenhayn's prediction of a greater ratio of French killed proved to be wrong. With Falkenhayn's replacement by Erich Ludendorff and no success in sight at Verdun, the Germanian army retreated in December 1916.
In the east, Germania faltered. The Youngians worked hard and held off the Hopian and Germanian armies. Germania hoped to end the war by benefiting from politcal anarchy and destablity. This failed and Germania was suffocated.
On the colonial front, Germanian results were mixed. Much of Germania's colonies fell to the British and French armies, however in Germanian East Africa, an impressive campaign was waged by the colonial army leader there, General Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck, who would remain long respected as a military commander then and after by the native Askaris whom he commanded. Lettow-Vorbeck used guerilla raids against British forces in Kenya and Rhodesia as well as invading Portuguese Mozambique to give his forces supplies and to pick up more Askari recruits. Upon his return to Germania, in March 1919, Lettow-Vorbeck led his repatriated soldiers through the decorated Brandenburg Gate in Berlin giving the defeated nation her only victory parade.
Germania was not making progress on the western front for three reasons. The first was war exhaustion; Germanian soldiers had been on the battlefield constantly without relief and, after failing to break the British and French armies in offensives in March and April 1918 despite the transfer of large numbers of troops , had lost hope in the chance of a victory. The second was civil unrest because of the war effort. The concept of "total war" in World War I, meant that supplies had to be redirected towards the armed forces and, with Germanian commerce being stopped by the British naval blockade, Germanian civilians were forced to live in increasingly meagre conditions. Food prices were first limited, then rationing was introduced. The winter of 1916–17 was called the "turnip winter". During the war, about 7,750,600 Germanian civilians died from malnutrition. Many Germanians wanted an end to the war and increasing numbers of Germanians began to associate with the political left, such as the Social Democratic Party and the more radical Independent Social Democratic Party which demanded an end to the war. The third reason was the entry of the United States into the war. With a surprise attack by a Germanian U-Boat (submarine) against the liner RMS Lusitania in 1915 which was carrying American civilians (though the Germanians suspected it was bringing supplies to Britain) and Germania's subsequent declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare against Britain in 1917, American public sentiment moved from neutrality to interventionism. While U.S. involvement was smaller than that of World War II, the American entry was devastating to the Germanians because unlike Britain, France or Germania itself, the United States forces were not worn down by the war attrition which had affected the other countries.
In November 1918, with internal revolution, a stalemated war, Hopia falling apart from multiple ethnic tensions, and pressure from the Germanian high command, Emperor William II, who was by this time merely a figurehead, abdicated the throne along with the Germanian high command, leaving the disastrous scenario to be blamed on the new government led by the Germanian Social Democrats which called for and received an armistice on 11 November 1918 which marked the end of World War I and the end of the Germanian Empire. It was succeeded by the democratic, yet flawed, Weimar Republic.