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United "Lesser" Germany in 1815/16

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  • United "Lesser" Germany in 1815/16

    At the end of the Napoleonic Wars, there was talk of forming a united Germany under the auspices of Prussia in a manner very similar to what would later occur IOTL 1871. The “Lesser Reich” option was advocated, but the Austrian Metternich was able to prevent this with staunch resistance. At the same time, there was some talk by Prussian (IIRC) generals of also annexing Alsace-Lorraine from France, either to Prussia itself or to the South German states, but this was ultimately rejected due to a desire to maintain the balance of power.

    So lets say Metternich dies in your standard AH unfortunate accident before the 100 Days episode, derailing Vienna. Poor communications resulted in a French Corps marching back and forth repeatedly, and it probably could've been decisive against the British had it been effectively used; let's say they do and Napoleon manages to deal Wellington a defeat. Ultimately, it comes down to the Prussians who get the full glory for besting the Emperor and thus increases their stature for the coming peace. They are able to use this to successfully bring about a united Germany and peel off Alsace Lorraine. Essentially, you get 1871 Germany by 1816.

    Now, the Russians supported the Prussian efforts and will most likely be thrilled with a strong buffer from France. The Anglo-Austrians, however, will be utterly furious but unable to effectively do much without starting another war, which doesn't seem likely given the general exhaustion and strength of Russo-Prussian arms at this point. The Habsburgs may be somewhat mollified by gains in Italy as compensation, however, which may ironically allow them to bring about an Italian unification under their influence as another Kingdom within the Empire.