Wappen Deutsches Reich - Reichswappen (Grosses).svg

The emperor (German: Kaiser) was the head of state of German Empire (Kaiserreich) from 1871, the unification of Germany, to 1918, when Wilhelm II was forced to abdicate during World War I. There were three emperors in that time: Wilhelm I, Friedrich III, and Wilhelm II, all members of the House of Hohenzollern. The emperor also doubled as the King of Prussia (and took his numerical title from its kings as well, hence Friedrich III), as well as the president of the federated monarchies (the kings of Bavaria, Württemberg, Saxony, the grand dukes of Baden, Mecklenburg, Hesse, as well as other principalities, duchies and of the free cities of Hamburg, Lübeck and Bremen). The German Emperor was not the only German-speaking monarch to use the title of Kaiser, but was by far the most prominent.

This article lists the known emperors found in the works of Harry Turtledove after the Point of Divergence in any given alternate history. Emperors who died before the POD of a given alternate history should not be listed here. Stories set in the history of OTL may reference past emperors, or even the incumbent emperor, but unless these works are explicitly speculative, they do not belong here.

Curious Notions[]

In "Alternate 3477" as designated by Crosstime Traffic, Germany won the equivalent of World War I, and the Kaiser eventually became the de facto ruler of the world. This arrangement persisted throughout the 21st century.

Monarch Reign House
3 Wilhelm II Wilhelm.jpg 1888-1941 Hohenzollern
4 Wilhelm III
CrownPrinceWilhelm.jpg 1941-1951
5 Wilhelm IV
PrinceWilhelm.jpg 1951-after 1956
6-? Unknown 20th and 21st centuries
? Unnamed Emperor Nophoto.jpg Incumbent at novel's end, 2096

Literary comment[]

Some speculation is required here. Wilhelm II was reigning at the break-point in 1914, and circumstantial evidence places Wilhelm IV on the throne in 1956, suggesting that Wilhelm III reigned between them. Logically, Wilhelm III and IV would be the historical son and grandson of Wilhelm II.

Southern Victory[]

Under the reign of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Germany soundly defeated the Entente in the Great War and emerged as the dominant power in Europe. Wilhelm's death and the ascension of his son helped trigger the Second Great War, but again, Germany emerged victorious, and Friedrich Wilhelm V reigned over a victorious Germany and a more precarious peace.

Monarch Reign House
1 Wilhelm I WilhelmIPhoto.jpg 1871-1888 Hohenzollern
2 Friedrich III
FriedrichIII.jpg March-June, 1888
3 Wilhelm II Wilhelm.jpg 1888-1941
4 Friedrich Wilhelm V CrownPrinceWilhelm.jpg 1941-
Incumbent at series' end, 1945


Friedrich III is not mentioned in the series, so his reign is presumed.

Other Emperors[]

A few other Turtledove stories make references to the Emperors of Germany during or after the point of divergence. Most of these revolve around Wilhelm II and/or World War I aka the Great War.

In "Uncle Alf," Wilhelm II continues ruling Germany after the Kaiserreich wins the Great War, and is referenced frequently but does not appear. He is still in power at the story's end in 1929.

Wilhelm II is fleetingly referenced in "Christmas Truce", which is set over a few hours in December 1914, and directly appears in "Last Flight of the Swan of the East" (a shared universe piece), which is set from late June 1914 to mid-1915. Both stories end with Wilhelm remaining Emperor and the Great War's outcome undecided.

In Through Darkest Europe, an unnamed Emperor, who has very little real power, purports to reign over all of the disunited German nation-states in 2018.

See Also[]