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German Empire unified by Austria (alt. history)

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By ZalringDA   |   Watch
Published: March 17, 2017
© 2017 - 2019 ZalringDA

This alternative history map shows the German Empire in 1910, but unified by Austria instead of Prussia.

The main point of divergence of this map is placed long before, in 1809, during the Napoleonic Wars. The battle of Wagram ends in a harsh defeat for Napoleon. This defeat leads to a remarkable twist in the situation and, with the coalition growing with Napoleon former allies, France is finally defeated in 1810.

Austria is considered as the main architect of this victory and will have a great influence during the Congress of Vienna where European borders will be redesigned. For Austria it's the opportunity to make its return in the German area and to claim the leadership in Germany. From this moment, the Austrian policy will focus on the West instead on the East.

During the Congress, Austria obtains large parts of France, formerly owned by the Habsburg-Lorraine for the most part, to protect Europe from every future French aggression. To consolidate the Austrian Empire, many territories are annexed, including Bavaria (Maximilian I receiving the kingdom of Italy in compensation), and the Würtemberg (Frederick I receiving the newly created kingdom of Franconia in compensation). To compensate the loss of the Austrian Netherlands (joining the Netherlands), Austria also obtains the Rhineland.

An Austro-Prussian agreement neutralises Prussian ambitions in Germany : In exchange for the acceptance of the Austrian leadership in Germany, Prussia receives all the Austrian territories in Poland and the Austrian support for taking all Poland. By a promise to abdicate Hungary at his death for a different heir in order to definitively separate Austria from Hungary, Francis II convinces Russia to accept the situation and to renounce the Polish throne. Actually, if Austria turns away from the Balkans it's a very good thing for Russia... Of course the UK isn't satisfied with that, but the UK remains alone on this question.

Also, Moravia is given to Hungary to eventually minimise the proximity between Austria and Prussia.

So, at the death of Francis II, in 1835, Hungary obtains its independence by passing to a different Habsburg than Austria. However, before accepting to keep its promise, Austria obtains from Hungary the transfer of some Hungarian territories to Austria, in order to protect Vienna.

In 1840, Belgians revolt against the Netherlands. They want to be placed under the protection of Austria. Austria accepts, but the UK doesn't. The Belgian question is finally resolved (after tensions between the UK and Austria and a short war between Austria and the Netherlands), during the Conference of London, in 1842 : Austria obtains Belgium but not the Flanders and, of course, not Antwerp, the both becoming a British protectorate. In compensation, Austria obtains Frisia (and especially an access to the Rhine mouth), occupied since the war with the Netherlands.

In 1847, a civil war breaks out in Switzerland. Austria, which wants to enlarge the path linking the eastern and the western parts of the empire, seizes the opportunity and acts to worsen the conflict. This worsening gives to the Austrians a reason to intervene with their allies (Sardinia and Italy), and Switzerland is finally divided between them.

Prussia hasn't renounced to unite Germany under the Prussian rule. 3 years after the Schleswig war, Prussia tries to take the leadership in Germany by declaring war to Austria. Sure about their military strength, Prussians are however frankly defeated by an Austria highly industrialised, with a modern army and the support of most of the German states. At the end of the war, there is no obstacle on the road of the German unification under Austria, and the German Empire is proclaimed in Berlin, capital of the defeated Prussia, in 1868.


Note :

The Congress of Vienna was so harsh with France not only because Austria has played the most important role in the final victory, using this at its profit. Actually, Napoleon managed to escape and to go in America, where he formed a new army and then he exploited the war between the US and the UK to rebuild its empire in America.

During the Congress, allies were terrified by the possibility of his return and being harsh with France was seen as a good protection against him.

So this alternative history about Germany sets in a similar world than my map about Napolia (zalringda.deviantart.com/art/N…)... A similar one, but not the same however because some details don't match (Wagram is a victory in the universe of Napolia for example).

Image size
4289x3300px 24.99 MB
Comments82
anonymous's avatar
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Radogost2019's avatar

A very nice map, but I have a few questions:

- Did the Polish uprising break out (Russia had problems with it all the time)?

- What happened to the Poles or the Czechs, were they Germanized or not?

- Can the United Kingdom or Napoleon use the Poles, the Czechs, to weaken the German empire?

TNTeener's avatar
Austria imho would reinstitute Kingdom of Poland inside this Empire, to weaken Prussia. Prussia seems quite powerful there. 
Aethelris's avatar
Prussia is independent here. (I believe)
Hayaba1's avatar
How democratic is this Germany? Is it an absolute monarchy or a constitutional monarchy?
Toraach's avatar
And in 20th century this country would get at least 3 "Northern Irelands". Poland, Czechia, and French Speaking Regions in the West :) 
Concleror's avatar
I don't know why, but i absolutely love the Flag of the Empire!
rajmondas's avatar
Prussia would be Polish speaking ;)
moerby08's avatar
moerby08Hobbyist Digital Artist
An excellent piece! Would the capital of the entire empire remain Vienna? 
ZalringDA's avatar

Thank you :).

No it’s Frankfurt (which is also in Austria since the defeat of Napoleon). Vienna is too far from the center to be the capital of the German empire… But it’s still the capital of Austria.

four229's avatar
Wouldn't Prague be a more likely choice for the capital than Frankfurt? It's more central than Frankfurt, and Prague has been a part of Austria for much longer than Frankfurt has.
IasonKeltenkreuzler's avatar
IasonKeltenkreuzlerHobbyist Artist
That's very nice, it looks very detailled and professionel :)
Kuusinen's avatar
KuusinenHobbyist Digital Artist
Bravo! I am stunned by the quality of this!
WewLad11's avatar
Wow, another fantastic map! Would you mind sharing how you created or found the paper texture? It looks fantastic!
ZalringDA's avatar
Thank you :)

I use many layers to make the complete paper texture (maybe 10 for the recent maps).
But the most visible of them is always the same :
Greyscale noise => motion blur (or not) => bump map => multiply blend mode on the layer
WewLad11's avatar
Ok very interesting, thank you! How did you develop your style? Do you have a particular tutorial you've worked from?
ZalringDA's avatar
Oh, more by looking other maps (on DA or true old maps on wikimedia) and by trying things by myself than with tutorials. But every one is different and I think these two tutorials are the best on DA : 1blomma.deviantart.com/art/Tut… arminius1871.deviantart.com/ar…
WewLad11's avatar
Ah yes, I've tried those tutorials myself quite a lot. Have you seen the David Rumsey collection?
www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servl…
ZalringDA's avatar
No I wasn't aware about this... but wow ! It's exactly the kind of thing I was looking for :D
Thank you it will be very useful ;)
WewLad11's avatar
No problem! I'm glad I can help you make some more fantastic maps! ;)
QuantumBranching's avatar
Most excellent map there! Although I am a bit puzzled by the annexation of Friesland - that's been Dutch for a long time, as far as I know it's no more "German" than the other parts of the Netherlands. It would be like France winning a war with Britain and annexing East Anglia or Yorkshire.
ZalringDA's avatar

Thank you very much :)


I understand your perplexity : it's unusual to see Friesland – and especially only Friesland – in an alternate German empire. The region isn't German, unless you think that Dutch is a kind of German, but that's not the question ^^.


To take a similar conflict as example, after the Franco-Prussian war, Germans have also taken French speaking areas, not because they thought they were German, but because they were strategic places. So it's not the only element to decide what to annex or not, even if we are in the XIXth century. And on this map there are other regions which were in another country for centuries and which are now in Germany (in France, in Hungary, in Poland), always for strategic reasons.


About Friesland, it was annexed for a very good reason : it was a compensation for the loss of the Flanders, to give to Austria a direct access to the Rhine mouth (via the IJssel river) and the North Sea for their western provinces (the Rhineland and Belgium).

CastilloVerde's avatar
CastilloVerdeHobbyist Digital Artist
Great map! :) (Smile)  One question, is the British monarch still king of Hannover in this scenario?
anonymous's avatar
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