Founded in 1869 from the wreckage of the Habsburg Empire (after their victory and subsequent collapse in the Austro-Prussian war), the Empire of the Germans is the largest state entirely in Continental Europe, the world's third largest economy, and second most military power. Under the rule of Kaisers Franz Josef, Franz Ferdinand and Charles, it has seen a period of peace, stability and military build-up, however, as far as the 1940's (where this timeline stands) it is held in ill favour by the other Great Powers (the British Empire, France, the USA, etc) as a dangerous threat.
Culturally, Germany has not modernised to the extent of the other Powers, and has remained highly reactionary, with a large military (100 divisions, 50 active and ready for war, 50 reserve, or about 1.80 million men) and increasingly sizeable navy - with no WW1 to derail ambitions of sea-power, the dreadnought and latterly battleship race is intensifying , as they try to beat the british at their own game - for all the power of the Reich, they still feel cheated by France's vast empire, and feel they ought to rule alone.
A unique military arm of the German Army is the Zeppelin fleet - Germany is still the world leader in these massive flying machines, and the only nation to apply them to a military capacity. The absence of any Hindenburg-style disaster in this timeline increased German air-ship production, with 107 Zeppelins and 250 balloon detachments currently in service in the Fleet, mostly of the bomber vareity, but rumours of the time indicate the Germans are developing artillery gun-carrying Zeppelins, which could shell cities from above, but this wildly ambitious project is unverified.
Overseas, Germany, by joining the Scramble for Africa under various leaders, latterly and notably Von Lettow-Vorbeck, has partially assembled Mittelafrika from a few of the territories that OTL would be Belgian or French, but in this extended colonial age is looking increasingly threateningly at Portugal, making African diplomacy (Britain, the largest and strongest World Power, being an ally) decidedly strained. They remain the smallest of the colonial powers beyong Portugal, buut are possessed of a vicious will to expand - politically, it is much like the start of WW1 OTL, but the stakes are much, much higher.