View Full Version : AH challenge: Make these ideas of Lloyd George for Ottoman Empire in 1914 come true
November 16th, 2009, 06:12 PM
In his diaries C.P. Scott, one time editor of the Manchester Guardian, recorded a conversation with David Lloyd George on 27 November 1914.
Lloyd George said he was not strongly anti-German and that he would have much greater pleasure in smashing Turkey than Germany.
He said that Turkish dominion in Asia must come to an end. He assumed that Russia would take Constantinople and Armenia, and Great Britain Mesopotamia. When Scott asked Lloyd George what was to become of the rest of Asia Minor and the 10 million Turks in it, he thought it could be given to Germany as consolation. When Scott said that it might not suit Russia to have Germany on the other side of the Bosphorus, he said that Russia should have control of the straits with enough territory to secure that.
At that time Lloyd George was Chancellor of the Exchequer in Asquith's government.
November 16th, 2009, 06:27 PM
Now that is certainly a challenge! One would need to end the war by '16, convince the French to abandon their Mediterranean desires in exchange for A-L - not to mention several other things. It doesn't seem terribly realistic, so I can't but wonder if Lloyd George mentioned it in an attempt to foment discord between the Ottotmans and Germany. If he was serious . . . well, then can see early inklings of his desire to send troops to fight anywhere but the Western Front.
November 16th, 2009, 07:35 PM
He certainly supported the Greeks enough...
November 16th, 2009, 08:01 PM
Well, if the Russians win decisively at Tannenberg in 1914, I think we have let loose a lot of PoDs and a trizillion butterflies. Why not one letting the Ottomans have a very bad hair day? Follwing basic logics I would expect the British to be an important barrier to letting the Russians roll over Turkey/the Ottomans, afterall the British for decades anxiously had watched the growing potential of Russia as a rival. But if a British like Lloyd George would accept Russian control of the Bosperous, I hardly see what should stop the now self-confident Russians.
November 17th, 2009, 12:03 AM
Well, the question is, would it work if the British tried it? In OTL, the original surrender of the Ottomans (Treaty of Sevres) called for Turkey to be basically dismantled, loosing all its European territory (except the area immediately around Constantinople, which was an "International Zone" occupied by European troops in which the Ottomans exerted virtually no real authority) , and also would have lost the majority of Anatolia to various European mandates and been completely demiliterized (map (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:TreatyOfSevres_%28corrected%29.PNG)). It was signed and partially implemented, until Kemal Ataturk's rebellion took over Turkey and the Europeans renegociated the Treaty of Sevres on terms much more favorable to the Turks (producing the bounderies of modern day Turkey). If Lloyd George's vision is implemented, Ataturk or someone else is going to rebel, and the European powers will have to stop him and hold down the likely guerilla activity that follows. I just don't see it.
November 17th, 2009, 01:17 AM
I suppose my main question is whether the Russians would actually get Istanbul. They certainly would like it, but I wonder if they could get there by force, and I dont think the British would approve. It has been British policy for decades if not centuries that the russian fleet should be contained in the black sea, and they acted to enforce this doctrine (see War, Crimean). Wouldn't the British try to find some other way to keep the city out of Russian hands? International zone, mandate, turkish territory, independent state? And might the turks, perhaps, allow the royal navy passage through to the golden horn if it meant British occupation as opposed to the russians? After all, the british are a sometime ally of the ottomans, whereas the russians have a more... checkered history.
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