DBWI: Dogger Bank Incident is Ignored?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Doctor Evulz, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. Doctor Evulz Well-Known Member

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    On the night of October 21, 1904, the Russian Baltic Fleet mistook some British trawlers at Dogger Bank for an Imperial Japanese Navy force and fired on them. This caused a diplomatic crisis, that broke down and ballooned out of control, until we had the World War on our hands. France was forced to choose a side, Germany was eager to expand into Russia, and it ultimately led to the fall of the Tsar in 1907. But what if Russia had been more careful with its response? What if war was avoided? Would there be another trigger for a similar war around the same time? I think so. Europe was a powder keg waiting to blow.

    Regardless, I doubt it would be any less bloody. Something Napoleon knew already, never invade Russia in the winter. The Empire finally fell from inside troubles, and possibly could have withstood the invasion and the Revolution individually. However, when both occurred at the same time, the Tsar and his forces were overwhelmed. If nothing forced an outside war, I could see Imperial Russia lasting at least a couple more decades.
     
  2. BeardedHoplite Gilded Age Progressive

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    I don't know how well Tsar Nicholas could have led the country, sure his popularity ballooned during the war, but before there were reports he was severely out of touch and dominiated by his wife. Besides, the Kerensky government is already much better for the people than the Romanovs ever were

    Also, I honestly don't think Europe could have exploded like it did without that incident. Sure the Austro-Hungarians were pissed some Ukrainian shot at their king, but the shot was a mile off and the would-be assassin was mad anyhoo.
    The armies and alliances of the time were simply too massive and the costs of a war were too much of a risk for the European states to take.

    Hiliariously, the rampant militarism of the time probably coulda kept the peace if there was no incident.
     
  3. Pangur The Cat

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    One thing that I have always wondered about was just what were the Russian officers thinking about? God knows how many thousands of miles from Japan and they expect to be attacked by the Japanese off the Dogger Bank? The reaction in the Britain at the time suggests to me that the entire of Europe was a tinder box, one stupid move and off it goes. If it had not been Dogger bank it was going to be something else. WW1 was unavoidable IMHO
     
  4. wcv215 Well-Known Member

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    Russia and France miscalculated, that's all there is to it. The French banked on the Germans and British not being able to set aside their differences in this particular case. Characterizing the start of war between Russia and Germany as the fault of the German's is absolutely wrong. The Russians were the ones who mobilized despite the clear warnings from both Germany and Austria-Hungary not to do so. If the Russians had acted more cautiously there would have been no reason for the Germans to step in.

    Fighting the most powerful land power and the greatest sea power was a foolish mistake. France was starved and battered out by the end of the year. Russia fell slower simply because it had more men to call on and Austria-Hungary being too distracted in the Balkans to move against them for the first year.

    Without British trade, the Japanese attack on the Russian fleet in the Pacific, and the German invasion the country would have fallen even without the revolution.

    Without this I expect another war inside of ten years. Either occuring because of the Balkans, or more likely in Africa. Tensions were running high between the imperial powers of the day, give them ten more years and it will explode anyway. Though the sides might be different, if the British felt more threatened by the High Seas Fleet for instance they could come down against Germany twenty years earlier than they did.
     
  5. Doctor Evulz Well-Known Member

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    Could the United States break out of isolationism sooner than in OTL without the World War? They managed to stay uninvolved, despite Roosevelt's best wishes.

    This is unrelated, but the post-war restrictions on Russia led directly to the rise of the Stalinists in the 1930's. Kerensky was good and all, but he just couldn't make his situation work. Probably one of the brutal regimes in history, Stalin was so despicable that any mentioning of him or his ideology is illegal in the modern-day Russian Republics. Without the World War, he would remain an obscure revolutionary. Of course, who would rise in his place, if anyone, is the obvious question. So how would Russia evolve in this world?
     
  6. Doctor Evulz Well-Known Member

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    It was late and they had run out of vodka. What do you expect?:D
     
  7. Dalekiller Well-Known Member

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    I heard the captain was under the drinking limit.
    (One internet cookie to the one who guesses the origin of this statement)
     
  8. Pangur The Cat

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    Bad Russian planning then:p
     
  9. sharlin Banned

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    The Russians were poorly trained and it seems their commander was a nervous wreck. From survivors accounts, many of the Officers had been expecting the Japanese to launch an attack on them in European waters and the main thought was that the IJN had some destroyers either newly completed or bought from the UK waiting in ambush.

    There was reports of balloons or zepplins spying on the formation and ships were seen at night following the formations. When the Russians saw the fishing fleet, their poorly trained men panicked and opened fire. It was really that the Russians didn't appologise and even fired on a RN Cruiser that started shadowing them after the incident that was the nail in the coffin and lead to the 2nd Pacific Squadron being all but annihilated by the Channel Fleet. Firing on the HMS Powerful was apparently another case of mistaken identity. Her captain could be to blame, approaching the Russian formation at night before turning broadside on to the flagship and illuminating her with his searchlights, far too provocative and dangerious.
     
  10. MattII Well-Known Member

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    What happened may actually have been a blessing in disguise, at least in some cases. Can you imagine the bloodshed that could have resulted from a more protracted conflict at a later date (most of the nations in Europe were up-arming like crazy)?
     
  11. Pangur The Cat

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    or God for help us a Russian Communist state :eek::eek:
     
  12. sharlin Banned

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    The bloodshed was bad enough, I'd not want to think about the cost being higher.
     
  13. volantredx Well-Known Member

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    Well theories tend to be split, and since most of the officers died before the end of the war no one can really be sure. The official story is that they were working long shifts and made a mistake due to lack of sleep. The one most commonly accepted by history is that the crew was rather young and inexperienced so they acted before thinking. The propaganda answer is that they were full of piss and vinegar and just wanted to shoot something.

    As to the British reaction and the war, what is often forgotten is that Europe has had war more often then peace. Things like Dogger Bank had they happened 200 years prior would have lead to war just as surely as they did. The size and scale of the conflict I think took people by surprise because the size and scope of the empires fighting had ballooned beyond what most people could rationalize.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
  14. Zheng He Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind that they emptied the Saint Petersburg jails to crew those ships. To say the crews were inexperienced and poorly trained is an understatement.
     
  15. wcv215 Well-Known Member

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    It wasn't that bad all things considered. Given the technology at the time casualties of four million wouldn't have been impossible if the sides had fallen differently. Imagine for instance if Germany had started the war with France over say Algeria and Britain ended up either neutral or on the side of France and Russia. Without the British blockade of France there is no reason to think their military will collapse when the Germans smash through their defenses and take Paris in those first three months. Western Front casualties OTL didn't exceed 200,000 before the blockade finished taken its toll. Without the British blockading Fance the war could easily have been drawn out a year or two and killed ten times as many before the end.
     
  16. CaliBoy1990 Iconoclastic Liberal.

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    Only thing is, there WAS a Marxist state in Russia. It was called the Soviet Union, and it lasted from 1912 to 1990. Now, granted, it wasn't purely Communist for very long and became more socialist-lite(think of today's Finland) after WWII ended in the mid '40s, after a period of state capitalism(Stalin from 1925-38, then Kaganovich from '38 to '47.) but it still counts for something, even if it's pure Marxism period only lasted about 12 years or so(compare this to Zambia, which became full-on Communist after it's independence in 1959. It remained as such until 1992).

    OOC: I hate to break it to you, but the OP clearly states that Russia fell to a Revolution, and the only viable Revolutionary movement in 1904 were the Communists, so.....
    (At least the Nazis have been butterflied, though)
     
  17. Dathi THorfinnsson Daði Þorfinnsson

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    Gah, I can never remember these things. How much of Siberia did Japan end up occupying, for how long?
     
  18. CaliBoy1990 Iconoclastic Liberal.

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    They did manage to hold on to much of the far southeast of Siberia from 1905-08(they also had more sporadically occupied areas as far west as what is now Ulan-Ude and Magadan, but could never gain a steady foothold), but they began to withdraw their troops in 1909 and let the Communists have it in 1910, seeing as that Tokyo thought that the area wouldn't have been of much use to them anyhow.
     
  19. Dathi THorfinnsson Daði Þorfinnsson

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    Ooc: is that ooc or ic?
     
  20. CaliBoy1990 Iconoclastic Liberal.

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    OOC: IC of course. ;)