The only way the Central Powers could win would be to remove the British (as opposed to the tactic of removing the French so that the British had no powerful continental ally to give money and arms to that they did historically) and the only way to do that would be to decisively defeat the Royal Navy in the North Sea. Without British and Empire money, industry and armies the French military and government would have buckled fairly quickly under a German offensive.
As Jutland is the only major battle we have to form a basis on such an attempt, the following must be considered:
The High Seas Fleet (HSF
) was superior at night fighting, this advantage must be capitalised on and used to the fullest effect before the Royal Navy (RN) gains experience in the field and can fight equally as effectively in the dark.
is numerically inferior to the RN, which has far greater reserves of ships to call upon from the Empire (infact, one month after Jutland was fought the Grand Fleet of the RN reported a total strength superior
to the strength they had sailed to Jutland with) and has greater experience in fleet manoeuvers(as shown by the HSF
having to withdraw from Jutland despite inflicting higher losses to avoid encirclement).
Taking these into consideration, the only way the HSF
can even hope
to decisively defeat the RN at sea is to cause the RN such heavy losses, whilst losing few enough of their own warships, to mean that gathering a fleet capable of going toe to toe against the HSF
in the wake of this devastating defeat would take the RN months, giving the HSF
control of the seas around the Isles for long enough that serious food shortages occur in Britain.
The only way to do that is to play by their strengths, which is night fighting. The RN must be tricked into fighting a pitched fleet battle in the dead of night and the Grand Fleet must be so badly mauled by sunrise that it must be forced to withdraw as the HSF
is now numerically superior and that superiority must be so great that the RN does not dare risk going to sea until numbers have been greatly increased.
I, to begin with, don't think the RN at the time would have been stupid enough to sail to battle at night. The HSF
can't do much damage floating around the North Sea on their own for a night, and certainly can't escape far enough into the Atlantic as to be unfollowable by morning.
I also think that, had the HSF
managed to force the RN to battle at night, they would have withdrawn before losses became too great as the HSF
had done at Jutland. A decisive defeat of the Grand Fleet would have require a truly gifted admiral whose tactical and strategic sense and ability was unrivalled, and whilst the German Admiralty was certainly a competant body by all acounts, they were not a visionary group at the head of the greatest Fleet ever to sail.
In conclusion, I do not believe the Central Powers could win the war as completely as the OP has suggested. They could
, perhaps, force the French out of the war if they'd concentrated on Verdun rather than redirecting reserves to deal with the Somme, as a single British breakthrough (would've been shallow breakthrough anyway with the casualties suffered on day 1) would've been nothing to worry about compared to knocking the French out of the war.
The resulting peace would have seen minor changes. The French may have had to give up some colonies but the British would have likely been fine, having to give nothing. They certainly couldn't be forced top accept a War Guilt clause whilst the RN was still battle capable. The Central Powers were simply unable, by virtue of the Royal Navy, to win as complete a victory as the Allies did historically without some major miracale in the North Sea.