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  #21  
Old July 6th, 2010, 06:03 PM
Ridwan Asher Ridwan Asher is offline
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Nice try, although Tanganyika is British and Namibia is too. I think you should make Northern Sudan Ottoman while making the south French. That would be more realistic IMO.
I think it's about time for us to really pay Africa the proper attention she deserves. It has been so hard due to lack of informations, but I happen to know a place which contain many of useful informations, if second handed.

It's from Pasha's site, however. While none of us would want to see your TL becoming identical with Pasha's don't-know-when-will-come-here TL, I think we should note that there will some pretty inevitable consequences to Africa resulted from the PoD :
- Survival of Zanzibar Sultanate, and its expansion towards inland. However, it's not like they're becoming a great power or even in under a comfy Ottoman umbrella. Instead, they are for the most purpose a British semi-colony (something cheaper than a full-fledged colony to run, yes), including their territorial expansion towards inland too, also mostly will serve British interest.
- Much smaller German colonial empire in Africa, obviously. No chance to extort the British their chips of sphere of influence, the Germans will end up with only Togo and Kamerun.
- Ottoman intervention of Egypt when the later collapse into disorder, which will inevitably happen by the late 19th century, and most likely lead to Egypt reoccupied by the Ottomans.

My concern regarding the third point though, obviously related to your plan to divide Sudan into Ottoman and French portion. Thing is, Ottoman position here is much much better than the French to acquire all of Sudan. They have nearer power base, a government that would be beyond supportive towards the campaign (well because it would be initiated by the government. In case for the French it was Army's independent project which received little support from French public, government, and most certainly business men), and much more familiarity with the region. Even in OTL the Ottomans managed to pull a conspiracy to halt French expedition by secretly agitating the Tuaregs to massacre a French expedition in the Saharas, throwing expansion in Saharas into 20 years of hiatus, and it was done by the Ottoman Empire that lost to the Russians.....

Also, how smooth will Ottoman campaign in Egyptian empire be ? Will occupying egyptian heartland mean effectively controlling all Egyptian territory, including Sudans and all of African Red Sea coast ? Or will they still have to direct the pacification troops southward ? Most likely. Will it be successful ? Unless Ottomans will make a very stupid mistake there, yes they will be successful there.

Related to German's inability to blackmail Britain due to lack of latter's occupation of Egypt, this means that British has less diplomatic burdens ITTL. They will be able to keep their Zanzibari satelite intact, and possibly even to acquire Delagoa Bay. Thing is, about the latter I'm not sure how inevitable. In Pasha's TL the British manage to acquire it from the Portuguese in exchange for giving Portuguese land bridge from Angola to Mozambique, and Delagoa Bay will be more important than Rhodes' personal ambition for South Africa as it's related to Boer affairs. Still, I still don't know if British Delagoa Bay will be inevitable ITTL.....


And lastly, I'm not sure German Congo can happen with such a pretty late PoD. But I'm not sure either that by this point it's firmly Leopold or that it can still go to the Portuguese.....
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  #22  
Old July 6th, 2010, 06:58 PM
Onkel Willie Onkel Willie is offline
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Originally Posted by Ridwan Asher View Post
I think it's about time for us to really pay Africa the proper attention she deserves. It has been so hard due to lack of informations, but I happen to know a place which contain many of useful informations, if second handed.

It's from Pasha's site, however. While none of us would want to see your TL becoming identical with Pasha's don't-know-when-will-come-here TL, I think we should note that there will some pretty inevitable consequences to Africa resulted from the PoD :
- Survival of Zanzibar Sultanate, and its expansion towards inland. However, it's not like they're becoming a great power or even in under a comfy Ottoman umbrella. Instead, they are for the most purpose a British semi-colony (something cheaper than a full-fledged colony to run, yes), including their territorial expansion towards inland too, also mostly will serve British interest.
- Much smaller German colonial empire in Africa, obviously. No chance to extort the British their chips of sphere of influence, the Germans will end up with only Togo and Kamerun.
- Ottoman intervention of Egypt when the later collapse into disorder, which will inevitably happen by the late 19th century, and most likely lead to Egypt reoccupied by the Ottomans.

My concern regarding the third point though, obviously related to your plan to divide Sudan into Ottoman and French portion. Thing is, Ottoman position here is much much better than the French to acquire all of Sudan. They have nearer power base, a government that would be beyond supportive towards the campaign (well because it would be initiated by the government. In case for the French it was Army's independent project which received little support from French public, government, and most certainly business men), and much more familiarity with the region. Even in OTL the Ottomans managed to pull a conspiracy to halt French expedition by secretly agitating the Tuaregs to massacre a French expedition in the Saharas, throwing expansion in Saharas into 20 years of hiatus, and it was done by the Ottoman Empire that lost to the Russians.....

Also, how smooth will Ottoman campaign in Egyptian empire be ? Will occupying egyptian heartland mean effectively controlling all Egyptian territory, including Sudans and all of African Red Sea coast ? Or will they still have to direct the pacification troops southward ? Most likely. Will it be successful ? Unless Ottomans will make a very stupid mistake there, yes they will be successful there.

Related to German's inability to blackmail Britain due to lack of latter's occupation of Egypt, this means that British has less diplomatic burdens ITTL. They will be able to keep their Zanzibari satelite intact, and possibly even to acquire Delagoa Bay. Thing is, about the latter I'm not sure how inevitable. In Pasha's TL the British manage to acquire it from the Portuguese in exchange for giving Portuguese land bridge from Angola to Mozambique, and Delagoa Bay will be more important than Rhodes' personal ambition for South Africa as it's related to Boer affairs. Still, I still don't know if British Delagoa Bay will be inevitable ITTL.....


And lastly, I'm not sure German Congo can happen with such a pretty late PoD. But I'm not sure either that by this point it's firmly Leopold or that it can still go to the Portuguese.....
I'll be sure to incorporate some of these ideas into the TL.

EDIT: I made several small changes in the last update in the paragraph on Africa!
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  #23  
Old July 6th, 2010, 07:21 PM
mikegold mikegold is offline
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A thought on Ottoman war aims:

Acquisition of Algeria, and a friendly independent Morocco where Germany also has influence.

Expansion south into the Sahara, Sudan, and Eritrea, maybe Somalia too, with a friendly independent Ethiopia.

Full control of the Arabian peninsula.

Iranian Azerbaijan and Khuzestan.

Russian Azerbaijan and Armenia, a friendly Georgia, where Germany also has influence, perhaps an independent North Caucasus in their sphere, and full contol of Crimea.

Bessarabia to vassal Moldavia.

Greece, if she joins the Entente, neutralized as a threat - perhaps by acknowledging Turkish suzerainty, as the Danubian principalities do, and importation of a Habsburg or (depending on events) Savoy prince.

Depending on events, influence or even annexation of much of Central Asia (pan-Turanism).

Global recognition of the Sultan as Caliph, with spiritual authority across the Sunni world (like to have deep effects in India and the DEI, among other places).
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  #24  
Old July 6th, 2010, 07:56 PM
Don Grey Don Grey is offline
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A thought on Ottoman war aims:

Acquisition of Algeria, and a friendly independent Morocco where Germany also has influence.

Expansion south into the Sahara, Sudan, and Eritrea, maybe Somalia too, with a friendly independent Ethiopia.

Full control of the Arabian peninsula.

Iranian Azerbaijan and Khuzestan.

Russian Azerbaijan and Armenia, a friendly Georgia, where Germany also has influence, perhaps an independent North Caucasus in their sphere, and full contol of Crimea.

Bessarabia to vassal Moldavia.

Greece, if she joins the Entente, neutralized as a threat - perhaps by acknowledging Turkish suzerainty, as the Danubian principalities do, and importation of a Habsburg or (depending on events) Savoy prince.

Depending on events, influence or even annexation of much of Central Asia (pan-Turanism).

Global recognition of the Sultan as Caliph, with spiritual authority across the Sunni world (like to have deep effects in India and the DEI, among other places).
I like these ideas and id love to see some full blown pan-turanism. Its never been done and ive always had big soft spot for it .If for nothing else then giving the ottomans an excuses to annex more territory.

But if the ottomans accomplish all this cant they just annex georgia? I mean its not like it far away or anything.And if the rump state on the map that is greece is foolish enough to join the entente she would just get invaded immediately after major war breaks out. Because there just isnt much of her to put up a fight.
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  #25  
Old July 6th, 2010, 08:20 PM
mikegold mikegold is offline
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I like these ideas and id love to see some full blown pan-turanism. Its never been done and ive always had big soft spot for it .If for nothing else then giving the ottomans an excuses to annex more territory.

But if the ottomans accomplish all this cant they just annex georgia? I mean its not like it far away or anything.And if the rump state on the map that is greece is foolish enough to join the entente she would just get invaded immediately after major war breaks out. Because there just isnt much of her to put up a fight.
Georgia under a Bagration prince is a powerful buffer, and likely to be loyal too: they have more, historically, to fear from the Russians than the Turks (the exact oppositie of their Armenian neighbors).

Of course, the utility of a Georgian buffer is judged by the other side of the frontier: a revanchist Russia or a Bolshevik power is far more needful of sophisticated defense than, say, a Cossack state allied to Germany.

Agreed on Greece, though Britain and France might be foolish enough to come to her defense for sentimental reasons. Venizelos OTL was known as the modern Pericles, and figures as diverse and powerful as Clemenceau and Lloyd George were quite taken with him. I posit this has less to do with Venizelos and more to do with the Western (and especially Anglo-French) obsession with Classical Greece, with the modern state as her direct incarnation. See also the Greek Revolution for an earlier instance of this phenomenon. And Russia, for very different reasons, considered Greece a little Orthodox brother; more so in this TL with the conquest of Constantinople a substantially more remote possibility and thus less cause for tension.

In short, Entente Greece is a bad idea for Greece, and for the Entente. But it could well happen anyway.

ADDENDUM: Since the OTL Salonica front is obviously deeep within Rumelia, migh I suggest Thermopylae or the Boeotian isthmus as advantageous to Greek defense? Should Athens fall, a last stand could also be conceived at the Isthmus of Corinth.

Last edited by mikegold; July 6th, 2010 at 08:27 PM..
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  #26  
Old July 6th, 2010, 09:01 PM
Onkel Willie Onkel Willie is offline
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Guys, guys, don't forget the military situation will be different here. The Austrians aren't fighting Serbia and can focus completely on defending against Russia and there will be several Ottoman armies lined up on the border in Bessarabia too. Germany therefore need not worry about its eastern flank all that much...
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  #27  
Old July 6th, 2010, 09:53 PM
mikegold mikegold is offline
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Well, unless you're somehow going to achieve the total success of the Schlieffen plan and a 6 week victory in the West - what might be called the umentionable mammal of the Great War - Germany will inevitably have to turn East to secure success.

It also strikes me that Turkey is admirably suited - between the infrastructure you've described and the facility many of her inhabitants will have with camels and Bedouin horse - to take the war into the heart of the Sahara against the Foreign Legion.

Now seriously, how kickawesome is that? Let the clash of the kepi and the fez commence.
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  #28  
Old July 6th, 2010, 10:39 PM
Don Grey Don Grey is offline
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Onkel Willie i got an asb idea.
If the british dont enter the great war then ottomans can achive great gains.Because with out the the british manpower and there comonwealth plus the dreaded royal navy the ottomans will have only one major front to fight on the caucasus.Because the french will never do a gellipoli or attack the middle east with out the british (because of the badass germany right on the borders) and if you manage to give the ottomans a decent navy the french can only harras them at best.Since youve given the ottomans a better military and a much need victory in the russo-turkish wars and im sure they can raise atleast one division from arab lands with this freed manpower the ottomans can overrun the caucasus take persian azerbeyjan(if not persia it self) and move deep into central asia.All that oil and natural gas can be usefull inthe future plus a large turkic muslim pop would be a nice loyal base and could be usefull if the arabs decide to break off latter(because maybe no one will make such a fuss about it).Russia will also be fighting germany and AH in eastern europe so it will be 3 to 1 battle.

But this might cause to many butterflies and be to easly.This option can be reserved for if you wana do a ottowank were there ottomans kick ass and chew bubble gum.
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  #29  
Old July 7th, 2010, 03:46 AM
Ridwan Asher Ridwan Asher is offline
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Originally Posted by Onkel Willie View Post
I'll be sure to incorporate some of these ideas into the TL.

EDIT: I made several small changes in the last update in the paragraph on Africa!
Not having to much time to type a long post, I'll just recommend you to take a look at the link leading to Pasha's site I posted previously. Opinions from a man who worked his own ass off to do researches on African history worth more than ones from the one who just took the informations from the former.
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Old July 7th, 2010, 03:51 AM
Ridwan Asher Ridwan Asher is offline
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I like these ideas and id love to see some full blown pan-turanism. Its never been done and ive always had big soft spot for it .If for nothing else then giving the ottomans an excuses to annex more territory.
Don't see it as possible here though, due to technical and ideological reason.

Technical : simple logistic. Sure that Ottomans would love a sphere of influence in Central Asia. That one will be perfectly possible. But a full blown annexation ? Pretty hard it seems.

Ideology : With an Ottoman Empire, you will not dealing with Turanism, but instead Pan-Islamism. Within the context of building relationship with central Asia, cultural and linguistic similarities as well as common heritage do play important role, but the primary reason will be Islam, not Turkishness.

And by the way, this section of forum doesn't allow intentional ASB.
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  #31  
Old July 7th, 2010, 04:28 AM
Arkhangelsk Arkhangelsk is offline
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Here's a redone map of 1911, incorperating OW's corrections:
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  #32  
Old July 7th, 2010, 11:33 AM
Onkel Willie Onkel Willie is offline
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Here's a redone map of 1911, incorperating OW's corrections:
Almost perfect . Only Namibia is British ITTL, but I think our imaginative powers are good enough to pretend its pink .
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  #33  
Old July 7th, 2010, 01:00 PM
Don Grey Don Grey is offline
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Don't see it as possible here though, due to technical and ideological reason.

Technical : simple logistic. Sure that Ottomans would love a sphere of influence in Central Asia. That one will be perfectly possible. But a full blown annexation ? Pretty hard it seems.

Ideology : With an Ottoman Empire, you will not dealing with Turanism, but instead Pan-Islamism. Within the context of building relationship with central Asia, cultural and linguistic similarities as well as common heritage do play important role, but the primary reason will be Islam, not Turkishness.

And by the way, this section of forum doesn't allow intentional ASB.
Good point just had a soft spot for it then pan-islamism it is then. I just figured that the cultural similarities would create a nicee loyal base.The ottomans also need a large loyal pop near russia. Because Russia was about 6 to 8 times the pop size of the ottomans in OTL.With a revenchist or red russia your going to need all help you can get.Because i dont realy think the ottomans can stand up to a massive soviet onslought. They need every card in the deak just to hold them off.

Ideologicaly its not possible but technicaly it is.A reborn ottoman empire means there the dreaded ones again and i think they can have the technical compasity to cross the caspian on mass.Atleast enough so they can stop the russian from completly annexing central asia.From what i can remember it was a walk in the park for the russian in OTL but i could be wrong.

And the ottomans have to employ a successful ottomanism program at some point.Pan-islamism is all good and well for muslims in the empire and creats a potential for more annexation of muslim lands held by europeans but its best lands have lots of christians in them like the balkans.They can be used against the ottomans like in the OTL.Its to late in the game to use islamisation programs the results will be meager if any at all.Some sort of imperial citizenship unity program must be used.

Most importantly the empire must be cohesive.Better railroad and communication systems must made along with well placed administrative buildings filled with officals from istanbul must be built.Laying down some proper infrustructure will always winn the hearts and mind of the people.At the same time showing the powerfull presence of the porte so no one gets any funny ideas.In the OTL regions such as arabian paninsula and north africa were left to there own devices.Making them easy pray for european ambitions.Creating more atonomy in regions will only create a medium for european exploitation pontential break offs and oppertunistic "sherifs".And dual monarchies will just create potential rivals a thorn on your back which you will always need to check.In the otl the ottomans had a hard time controling there territory with this tl the empire is even bigger so unity and cohesiveness will be the diffrence between life and death for the empire.

Wouldnt you agree?
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Old July 7th, 2010, 01:27 PM
Onkel Willie Onkel Willie is offline
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Nice to see the debates here. Btw, the Ottoman Empire's infrastructure has already significantly improved due to the German investment (see previous updates). Anyway, it's time for WAR!





Chapter III: The Great War, 1912 – 1914.



The war that many had wanted and expected to settle old scores and right old wrongs had begun. Now the great powers could defend or gain their place under the sun in a war with a scope unimagined before by any of those who lived and fought through it, many of whom would see the horrors of war for the first time in a war that lasted two years and left the map of Europe fundamentally changed with the cost being some 4 million lives. As the war began, the competing powers started their war plans which had been created in the preceding decades and had seen strong modifications since then for modern warfare and had often been made by means of consultation with allied countries. Germany used the Von Schlieffen Plan although in reality that had been no more than a memorandum which had been adapted into a war plan by the relatively young and aggressive Erich von Falkenhayn who was the new Chief of the German General Staff. The plan involved an invasion through Belgium, Luxembourg and Dutch Limburg to circumvent strong French border defences and surround the French army which, as Von Schlieffen had already prophetically predicted, had centred their forces around Sedan to retake Alsace-Lorraine. The French would then decisively be defeated by the bulk of the German army while Austria-Hungary and the Ottomans defended Germany’s eastern flank. Germany first sent ultimatums to Belgium and the Netherlands requiring them to let German troops pass through their territory. The Belgians indignantly refused, but the Dutch, who were promised that they could annex Flanders and were afraid of German threats of violence, conceded reluctantly. German forces invaded Belgium and the massive right wing of the Germans immediately did damage. The right wing was seven times stronger than the left and the Entente initially massively underestimated its size which was already giving Germany logistical headaches since the Belgian transport network was not suited to accommodating such large forces. The French did not appreciate the significance of this offensive and attacked into Alsace-Lorraine where the weaker left wing fell back. The French were optimistic as they retook Mulhouse and Strasbourg, leading to a patriotic fervour unseen since 1870, but the Germans by now had pounded the Belgian forts around Liège into rubble with 350 and 420 mm siege howitzers known as Big Berthas. The massive right wing pounded the Belgian army which retreated westward while the four division strong British Expeditionary Force arrived and they too underestimated the sheer size of the German attack. Germany had mobilized all of its reserveswhile France and Britain hadn’t.

The eastern front wasn’t going that much better for the Entente powers although at first Russia seemed to be winning. Five Austro-Hungarian armies, one German army and four Ottoman armies faced nine Russian armies. Russia attacked into the Caucasus with a further two armies opposed by two Ottoman armies. Austria-Hungary likewise held two more armies in reserve, the Sixth and Seventh, who were guarding the Italian border should Italy decide to break its neutrality. The Russians made significant gains in East Prussia, scoring some large victories although this ignored the fact that the German defending force was much smaller (one army vs. four Russian ones). Russia almost ran East Prussia over with the German Eight Army in retreat, but Austria-Hungary sent two corps in reinforcements and general Von Prittwitz halted the Russians before Tannenberg and Danzig in a series of serious defeats for the Russian army under generals Rennenkampf and Samsonov. Russian successes against Austria-Hungary and the Ottomans were few and negligible as four Russian armies faced the Austro-Hungarian First through Fifth Armies and the Ottoman Third, Fourth, Sixth and Seventh armies (the Ottoman First and Second armies were in the Caucasus, the Fifth and Eighth in North Africa and the Ninth and Tenth Armies in Iraq which Constantinople considered less important than Europe). Aggressive Russian offensives into Galicia were met with resistance from entrenched and fortified Austro-Hungarian forces while the Ottomans managed to hold a line on the Prut river which separated Bessarabia from Romania and launched successful counteroffensives into Bessarabia. These offensives resulted in little to no territorial gains for Russia. The Caucasus offensives resulted in nothing but bloody alpine warfare for now, a stalemate with many deaths, but that would change. And so all of Russia’s opening moves had been countered and by now Italy was thanking God that they had decided to remain outside of this war, more so since France wasn’t doing much better although the Von Schlieffen Plan itself wasn’t followed anymore. The Race to the Sea had begun.

The Race to the Sea was a period starting after the Von Schlieffen Plan had fallen apart after about one month or in mid-April. The Race to the Sea were the combined attempts of both sides to outflank the other and crush the other in a cauldron battle. The larger German army succeeded at the end of April and decisively crushed French forces in the Battle of Arras which lasted for over a month before the French, who were starved of ammunition and food stocks, surrendered. This was a decisive German victory which left the French crippled while the BEF and the remnants of the Belgian army were not powerful enough by themselves to fill the power vacuum. German forces arrived on the outskirts of Paris in mid-July in spite of vigorous French resistance and a rerun of 1871 seemed inevitable. Parisian citizens fled en masse as they heard the distant thundering of German artillery in a mass exodus from the city. Joseph Gallieni commanded what was now known as Fortress Paris as it was a frontline city again. French forces entrenched themselves for a heroic, patriotic last stand while barbed wire and other obstacles were created in Paris itself, often using trams and busses to do so. The battle was brutal as the French army fought a street-to-street battle which somewhat negated superior German numbers and fighting in the city centre was the toughest with the French almost literally resisting to the last man standing. Whenever ammunition was out, the French would charge the Germans with sabres. In the end it didn’t matter. On August 5th 1912 Paris fell just over forty years after 1871 and by now Dunkirk and Calais had fallen which made the supply situation for the BEF impossible and they evacuated through Dieppe together with the remains of the Belgian army over French objections. Seeing that the military situation was hopeless, the French government in Bordeaux requested an armistice on August 10th. Germany proclaimed victory, but neither Britain nor Russia had the intent to make peace yet even though France was defeated again over a period of a mere five months. The first phase had been a success for Germany and the German general staff was optimistic about the future.

The result of this victory was that Germany transferred the bulk of its forces east in August for an autumn offensive. The First through Sixth Armies were transferred to the eastern front while the Seventh Army served as an occupational force for Belgium and northern France until the war was over. Germany and Austria-Hungary launched a counteroffensive into Poland. Austro-Hungarian troops went up the Vistula river on the left bank while German crossed into Russian territory from the west and the Russian Tsar Nicholas II assumed command himself on Rasputin’s advice which only made the situation worse. He simply ordered his troops to stand firm, not retreat and fight for every square inch of soil. Russian forces did fight hard for now as patriotism was still enough of a motivation. The Germans, however, with their superior artillery battered Russian lines and broke them to surround Russian forces in cauldron battles. German and Austro-Hungarian troops fought against the determined and tough Russian defenders and by the end of the year the whole of Congress Poland was occupied at the expense of at least 600.000 Russian casualties and many prisoners of war as well as the reputation of the Russian Empire as a great power. Belief in Tsar Nicholas II and his German wife Alexandra was also shaken and he gave up command to Grand Duke Nicholas, the Tsar’s first cousin once removed. By the time 1913 started, Russia was in retreat even on the mountainous Caucasus front where the Ottomans conquered Armenia and Georgia.

Britain at this time waged war by maintaining a naval blockade against Germany which kept the High Seas Fleet in port. As large as it was, the German navy was still no match for the British Grand Fleet. German admirals knew that they had to avoid a direct, major confrontation until they could fight on their terms which would take years even with war production. Sending out the fleet on a full sortie now would be like sending it on a suicide mission. The British, in the meantime, expanded the blockade to the ports of the Netherlands and occupied Belgium although the Central Powers imported the goods and raw materials they needed through neutral Italian ports which greatly mitigated the effects of the blockade to the point that it was just an irritation and the British knew it. They also knew that the only way to stop it was to blockade Italy too and Britain was not yet prepared to do this since they didn’t want to appear badly to neutrals. The United States were already making some noise about the blockade as it was now although friendly Anglo-American relations prevented anything more. Around this time British intelligence discovered that Germany had ordered the Panther to cause a conflict which obliged Italy to side with Britain and Russia, but the Italians weren’t planning on doing anything like that since it would be suicidal as Austria-Hungary and Germany would then direct their wrath toward the Italians. This caused a diplomatic falling out between Britain and Italy. Meanwhile, the Germans and Habsburgs were trying to coax Italy into joining the war on their side. The Italian navy had no dreadnoughts, but had a navy of fourteen pre-dreadnoughts which could tie down a significant amount of Royal Navy resources if they were to be employed for the Central Powers, especially if they joined forces with the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman navies who were already a handful by themselves just because they were a fleet in being. The Austro-Hungarian navy fielded twelve battleships by 1913 of which two were dreadnoughts while the Ottomans had four modern German-built battleships. With the Russian army now suffering defeats in the Baltic region, the Russians were asking for British help and the latter tried to find a way to help. The Balkans seemed the obvious answer according to Winston Churchill. The Russians were becoming demoralized and a march to the Bosporus via Greece or Ottoman Albania would reopen the Straits for supplies to Russia’s Black Sea ports.

Invading neutral Greece would be too damaging politically, but Albania was rather close to Italy which the Germans and Austro-Hungarians were bombarding with interesting deals in return for them joining the war. Britain managed to spin it so that the Greeks would let them in. The British promised they would gain Thessaly, Crete, Macedonia, West Thrace, Smyrna, the Dodecanese Islands and North Epirus, and would be allowed to administer a protectorate over the Straits if they let in British forces. Such a massive territorial increase which settled all of Greece’s irredentist claims and even some wildly outlandish Byzantine aspirations was a dream come true for anyone proud to be a Greek. Prime minister Eleftherios Venizelos and King George I acquiesced and British troops set foot in Athens in February 1913 while German forces decisively defeated the Russians in Lithuania. The result was that Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire declared war on Greece immediately and Ottoman forces occupied everything up to the Gulf of Corinth with ease, beating the Greek army into a pulp, and laid siege to Athens where Greek and British forces held out due to supply by sea by the Royal Navy. The rest of the Greek army with support from the British army retreated to the Isthmus of Corinth where they put up a strong defence, using the easily defendable terrain. This front would be one of the bloodiest ever as both sides constructed elaborate trench systems and used chemical weapons to break the stalemate. The Ottoman navy in the meantime launched several raids all across the Peloponnesus and defeated the Greek navy several times although they carefully avoided a direct confrontation with the Royal Navy’s battleships.

The Ottomans also launched a number of offensives into Persia and defeated the Persian army with ease. The British army and British-Indian forces opposed these offensives since the Persian army wasn’t up to the job and because Russia was tied up at home. The Ottomans successfully defeated the remaining Russian garrison forces in the north of Persia and took the Persian provinces of East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan and Persian Kurdistan all by itself. All the military reforms and infrastructural improvements had paid off as shown by these large Ottoman successes. The only place where they experienced trouble in Persia was Khuzestan and that was only because of the very large British force stationed there. After several months of campaigning, the Ottomans would force the British out of this province and into the mountains in the east. Similarly, the Ottomans attacked British possessions on the south of the Arab peninsula and put the British under heavy pressure which forced them to divert forces to this theatre.

In Germany Emperor Wilhelm II, in the meantime, was getting impatient and needed a major victory of some kind. Despite having subdued the European continent, neither Russia or Britain were accepting any kind of peace offerings from Germany even though Germany was in the superior position. Germany was in negotiations with Sweden and Italy for entry into the war to put Britain and Russia out of their misery. After a year of negotiations, the Germans got Austria-Hungary and, more importantly, Emperor Franz Joseph into giving Italy the province of Trento and also Gorizia-Gradisca while remaining Italian minorities would be transferred to Italy in a population exchange. Sweden, in the meantime, was promised that they could annex Finland once Russia was defeated. Both the Italian and Swedish governments had their doubts, but Russia was on the ropes by now and when Russia surrendered (that was only a matter of time) then Britain would be alone. Russia had also lost Latvia by March and German forces were marching into Estonia while Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman forces were tying down Russia in the southwest and the Caucasus and in the latter case some significant headway was made too with Azerbaijan falling to Ottoman forces after successful offensives. The Ottoman then marched further north and took Abkhazia as well while launching a number of naval raids on the Black Sea coast. A now fuel starved Russian Black Sea Fleet couldn’t prevent an Ottoman landing on the Crimea which therefore succeeded even if the Sevastopol fortresses used their artillery in an attempt to stop it. Russia was becoming demoralized with increasing shortages of food and fuel which led to unrest which was compounded by the defeats and the loss of life of hundreds of thousands of Russian soldiers. Moreover, Russia was completely cut off from its continental markets which led to an economic crisis of an unseen scale. Cold, famine, skyrocketing inflation, massive shortages of everything and military defeat would lead to a major crisis for the Russian Empire within the immediate future. The British, by now, had convinced Japan to enter the war too and they seized Shandong province as well as Germany’s Pacific Islands. This, however, had little effect on the course of the war if any. The Swedes, who were now officially known as Sweden-Norway due to their concessions to the Norwegians, were afraid they would miss out on their opportunity to unite almost all of Scandinavia and so they declared war in August which had profound effects on Russian morale.

It was not so much Sweden’s military performance that led to a breakdown of morale in Russia since the Swedish army was small and performed mediocre in most situations, fielding only 20 divisions of which half were sent west to guard against British invasion and which were equipped with equipment two decades old. The issue at hand was that it was now obvious to everyone with a realistic appraisal of the situation that it was hopeless. The shortages, defeats, casualties, economic crisis and stagflation pushed the pre-existing sentiments regarding the Tsar’s corrupt, oppressive and autocratic regime to the boiling point. Unrest exploded after the last major Russian offensive in the war into western Ukraine in November 1913. The sheer size, 1 million men, ironically ensured its relative success, but at the cost of 400.000 killed in action. Several Russian army units started a mutiny over dissatisfaction with the senseless waste of lives, bad food, bad equipment and so on which made them unable to persecute the war like they should. Russian officers tried to quickly suppress it by making these soldiers an example, but the mutiny only spread further which led to a chaotic situation at the front which, had the Germans gotten wind of it, could have led to a disastrous situation although the Russians were still prepared to fight for Russia, just not for the autocratic regime of the Tsar. In St. Petersburg a strike erupted which spread to the entire city and the strikers went to the streets to petition the Tsar for bread, land and peace. The Tsar ordered that the strikers be dispersed and arrested by the police, but they were overwhelmed. Very soon sailors from the Russian Baltic Fleet joined the protests which had so far been peaceful. This changed when the Tsar sent units from the Ochrana to deal with the situation of which he still didn’t recognise the gravity. Revolutionary committees of peasants, workers and soldiers were created and a vortex of looting, street violence between the revolutionaries and the Ochrana, street protests and a governmental crisis ensued. Nicholas II had lost credibility not only in the eyes of his subjects but of the government too. He abdicated on December 5th 1913 in favour of his son Alexei with his brother Michael appointed as regent for the young prince. A few days later, on December 10th, the Russian Empire requested an armistice which left Britain alone. The collapse of Russia and the seemingly pending defeat of Britain finally led to an opportunistic declaration of war by Italy.

Britain was now alone and the question now was whether or not the British Empire should accept Germany’s offerings of a status quo ante bellum peace. Hawkish conservative MPs said no while liberal MPs said yes, leading to heated debates in Westminster. The entire industrial might of Europe was now arrayed against Britain. It was not a question of if, but when Britain would lose its naval superiority. Already the Royal Navy had sent significant assets to the Mediterranean Sea and the arrival of an Italian Expeditionary Force on the Greek front had not improved the military situation there either. The British Empire, high and mighty as it was, stood alone and eventually the peace faction won out based on the fact that Germany couldn’t enforce any territorial claims, war reparations or military limitations on Britain. Britain requested a “fair peace” from Germany through the Swiss embassy on February 17th 1914. The Great War had thereby ended.
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  #35  
Old July 7th, 2010, 02:08 PM
corourke corourke is offline
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nice update. I'd be interested to know more about how the Ottoman war with Russia in the Balkans and Caucasus went. Did they have any problems with Balkan nationalists?
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  #36  
Old July 7th, 2010, 02:58 PM
mikegold mikegold is offline
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Hmph. What does Italy want, I wonder? Most of their claims are against France, but they had nothing to do with defeating France...

All I can think of, off the top of my head, are Malta and the rest of Somaliland. They didn't declare war early enough to be in a great position; though of course if Germany wants to let them have Savoy & Nice by fiat, France isn't in much of a decision to protest.

Early victory in the West was definitely an interesting take. I'd love to hear the WWI experts' thoughts on the matter.

Also: some may say the Habsburg empire is a walking corpse regardless. However, they've just won a tremendous victory, and, thankfully, avoided the disaster of Lemberg. Will they achieve their ambition of a united Poland as the third crown?
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  #37  
Old July 7th, 2010, 03:11 PM
Don Grey Don Grey is offline
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Im sorry Onkel Willie but this update has hardly anthing to do with the ottomans and the military even though modernised with a better economi better infrastructer and more men and land performence was mediocre if not poor.They were only major thing they were fighting was the russian in a 3to1 battle.All the ottomans have down is hold down the russians in easter europe with the help of AH a stalemate in the causcasus for most of the war and what should have been a quick conquest in greece because the franch had no part on the otto front and the royal navy didnt even harras the ottomans and no invasion of its lands.If the conquest of georgia deosnt result in direct annexation they have made no gains onthere own. Because i didnt read anything about armenia or azerbeyjan because that would have been easy given the cercumstance. It was more of a german update then an otto one.All thats left for the ottomans is that to sit like a good little boy on the peace table and look at germanys hands if she is gracious enough to give the otto's some russian land in the the caucasus or some african territories from the europeans.Turthfuly ive learned nothing significant about ottomans or there gains it more like germany almost pulled a napoleon deafeting everything in its path like a god of war.

I have to agree Corourke. Id like to hear more about the balkans and caucasus for the sake of hearing something about the ottomans.

Dont get me wrong im subcribed to this and you wrote wonderfully and it was exciting reading it i realy enjoyed reading it.But i just figured this would be more otto-centric instead of germany pwnes everyone. You know what i mean?

Last edited by Don Grey; July 7th, 2010 at 03:22 PM..
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  #38  
Old July 7th, 2010, 03:19 PM
Saepe Fidelis Saepe Fidelis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Grey View Post
Im sorry Onkel Willie but this update has hardly anthing to do with the ottomans and the military even though modernised with a better economi better infrastructer and more men and land performence was mediocre if not poor.They were only major thing they were fighting was the russian in a 3to1 battle.All the ottomans have down is hold down the russians in easter europe with the help of AH a stalemate in the causcasus for most of the war and what should have been a quick conquest in greece because the franch had no part on the otto front and the royal navy didnt even harras the ottomans and no invasion of its lands.If the conquest of georgia deosnt result in direct annexation they have made no gains onthere own. Because i didnt read anything about armenia or azerbeyjan because that would have been easy given the cercumstance. It was more of a german update then an otto one.All thats left for the ottomans is that to sit like a good little boy on the peace table and look at germanys hands if she is gracious enough to give the otto's some russian land in the the caucasus or some african territories from the europeans.

Dont get me wrong im subcribed to it and you wrote wonderfully and it was exciting reading it.But i just figured this would be more otto-centric you know what i mean.
Well hold on, it's easy to characterise the Ottomans as weak and useless, and look where that got Churchill. The OTL Ottoman army had German equipment and resources as well as trainnig whch made it a match for other armies, and it was only poor leadership and inidecision in the command (as well as underestimating the Arabs) that made their defeat so bad.

Considering ITTL the Ottomans have a more modern army and a stronger political hierarchy, they should do much better, with better commanders and a clearer strategy. Personally, I reckon that if they hadn't transferred 90,000 men to the Balkans then they might have stood a chance of knocking out Egypt early on (although I'm sure many nay-sayers will correct me).

And the WW1 scenario makes sense. The Schlieffen Plan didn't work because the Germans didn't devote enough men-they should have put 95% of their army into it. Instead, they only put about 85% into it and so they ran out of energy. With a stronger AH and Ottoman Emp. then they could send more units west and leave their allies to guard the east (which is what's happened).

Anyway, I'm liking this TL, consider me hooked.
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  #39  
Old July 7th, 2010, 03:29 PM
MerryPrankster MerryPrankster is offline
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DG,

OTL, the Ottomans wasted 1.5 million soldiers in idiotic winter invasion of the Caucasus--the so-called "Army of Islam."

That apparently did not happen in TTL, so the Ottoman position is stronger.
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  #40  
Old July 7th, 2010, 03:42 PM
Don Grey Don Grey is offline
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Originally Posted by Saepe Fidelis View Post
Well hold on, it's easy to characterise the Ottomans as weak and useless, and look where that got Churchill. The OTL Ottoman army had German equipment and resources as well as trainnig whch made it a match for other armies, and it was only poor leadership and inidecision in the command (as well as underestimating the Arabs) that made their defeat so bad.

Considering ITTL the Ottomans have a more modern army and a stronger political hierarchy, they should do much better, with better commanders and a clearer strategy. Personally, I reckon that if they hadn't transferred 90,000 men to the Balkans then they might have stood a chance of knocking out Egypt early on (although I'm sure many nay-sayers will correct me).

And the WW1 scenario makes sense. The Schlieffen Plan didn't work because the Germans didn't devote enough men-they should have put 95% of their army into it. Instead, they only put about 85% into it and so they ran out of energy. With a stronger AH and Ottoman Emp. then they could send more units west and leave their allies to guard the east (which is what's happened).

Anyway, I'm liking this TL, consider me hooked.

I agree with your ottoman analysis except the arab part though that was an annoying problam.

Plus by checking the map arkhengelsk so kindly made for us ottomans already had egypt plus a nice secure chunk of africa.They had a much better army economi infratructure and better leadership with out any of the problams of the OTL.The ottomans should have had a quick conquest of greece, overrun the caucasus (georgia azerbeyjan armenia) and made some headway north.

France fell early with the russians know on there own against 3 strong determined enemies (cant count britian not in a position to help them) with all the internal strife couldnt have held the line so well in the caucasus or anywhere else for that matter.Russia seems to have out performed on the otto and AH fronts but crumbled against every german attack.
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