"Tunisian Power" TL, by Nek

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Nekromans, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. Nekromans Mernber

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    Well, here's the first draft of my TL. Please, keep your mocking to a minimum.

    POD: Future Sultan Abdul Hamid II develops a hatred of the French, after he is mugged and left for dead in a Parisian street while on a visit to France in 1867.

    1881: France accuses Tunisia of crossing the border to Algeria, and invades the country. Italy protests, but does not intervene.

    May: French troops have conquered most of Tunisia. However, Ottoman mercenaries (funded personally by the Sultan) continue to cause chaos. The chief General of the invasion force chooses to take a time-honoured military path for dealing with insurgents, and wipes out entire villages for the crimes of insurgents who have already escaped. Tunisian sentiments are decidedly anti-French at this time, and the area remains under indefinite military occupation.

    1882: Triple Alliance of Germany, Italy and Austria signed.

    1884: The Berlin Conference officially divides up Africa between the various powers. France has slightly less territory ITTL, as the Powers view France's ruthless treatment of the Tunisians with distaste. Specifically, the area around Gabon and Congo is granted to Germany as an extension of Prussia.

    1885: French Indochina is formed in the aftermath of the Sino-French War.

    1888: Brazil finally bans slavery.

    1891: Abdul Hamid is deposed by his courtiers, and Mehmed V is installed as Sultan.

    1894: Franco-Russian Alliance signed.

    1895: After the First Sino-Japanese war, China is forced to cede Taiwan to Japan and relinquishes control of Korean affairs.

    1897: Emperor Gwangmu proclaims the Korean Empire.

    1898: The US gains the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Cuba from Spain after the Spanish-American War. The Boxer Rebellion begins.

    1901: Queen Victoria dies. Edward VII takes the throne.

    1904: Birth of the "Entente Cordiale" between France and Britain.

    1905: While on a state visit to Tunis on 31st March, Kaiser Wilhelm II makes a speech in favour of Tunisian independence. The French military immediately attempt to arrest him. His bodyguards protect him, and the streets soon become a battleground between the Kaiser's entourage and the French police.

    The Kaiser returns to Germany safely, and the Triple Alliance is outraged at this "blatant attempt at asserting a Pax Gallica over all Europe". Britain and Russia, on the other hand, question a Head of State urging a colony to declare independence. Britain is especially concerned about the situation in Ireland, while Russia is worried about Polish nationalist sentiment.

    President Roosevelt attempts to mediate, but is rebuffed. On 10th April of that year, France and Germany sign a declaration of war. Their respective allies follow suit within days. The Great War has begun.
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    Comments?
     
  2. Shadow Knight Grand Master of the BAM Order

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    Why is KWII even in Tunis to begin with? Doesn't seem the place a state visit would entail.
     
  3. Nekromans Mernber

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    There's a very good reason for that, he says as he desperately tries to think of a reason for KWII to be in Tunis...

    Europe in general disapproves of France's policies in Tunisia, so Tunis - being the capital city of the region - is more fitting for an important figure to visit.

    Does that make sense?
     
  4. Max Sinister Retired Myriad Club Member

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    Attempt to arrest a head of state? That'd mean breaking all rules of diplomacy. Wilhelm II HAD the foot-in-mouth-disease, but diplomacy is diplomacy. So, that reason for war doesn't work, not that way.
     
  5. Douglas Restored

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    May I humbly suggest an exchange of gunfire between French and German cruisers a few hours after Wilhelm's departure?

    Or perhaps Tunisian militants try to bomb/shoot Wilhelm, and a war-hungry German press "links" the bombers as a French plot?
     
  6. Keenir Banned

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    Sorry, but I can't think of any mocking to do....which means I can't provide a minimum, as none comes to mind.

    Is this before or after Abdulhamid II (and his son) is given the Order of the Garter by Queen Victoria?

    (I think that that Order is Scottish, but it might be enough leeway to allow Britain to back Abdulhamid II and his son, at least against French forces)
     
  7. Abdul Hadi Pasha Banned

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    There are minor points of unrealism here that other people have pointed out, but the general direction could work. You would need some sort of POD that negates the promised to France made by the Germany and Britain at the Congress of Berlin for Tunis. I would suggest Italy, which also wanted Tunis. Historically, the situation began it's slide to French invasion with a dispute over the estate of the former PM of Tunis, who sold it, leading to a clash between Italian and French interests, as it was pretty large estate. The former PM was incidentally serving at that time as Grand Vizier under Abdul Hamid. Perhaps as a POD he sells it to the Sultan instead, and a French/Italian standoff is diffused by joint action by the British and Ottomans seeking to preserve the status quo.

    That leaves Tunis available for German mischief later. I can't see a firefight between the Kasier's guard and French police, but any moves on Tunis could very well lead to war as a large power established at Bizerte could hugely upset the naval balance in the Med.

     
  8. Nekromans Mernber

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    To be honest, the Wilhelm Crisis was just a spark to make WWI come a few years earlier. I hate it when people keep using the same "Archduke Franz Ferdinand assassinated" event when the POD was decades in the past.

    And if you're unhappy with the idea of the Kaiser being "arrested", in OTL, it was almost enough to spark off a war without anyone getting arrested, and in TTL Tunisia it should be plenty to start a war. Here's a retcon:

    1905: While on a state visit to Tunis on 31st March, Kaiser Wilhelm II makes a speech in favour of Tunisian independence. France is outraged, and demands that Wilhelm publically retract this statement. Britain and Russia question a Head of State urging a colony to declare independence. Britain is especially concerned about the situation in Ireland, while Russia is worried about Polish nationalist sentiment.

    Wilhelm refuses to back down, saying that he was entirely justified in making that speech, and is backed by the Triple Alliance, who claim this shows obvious French imperialism.

    Wilhelm makes another speech, saying that "France, not satisfied by her vicious treatment of the native Tunisians, is attempting to impose her twisted Pax Gallica on the nations of Europe. What she does not realise is that Germany is not a primitive village she can stamp put at will, but a world power. We will not bow down to France's ambitions! We will show France that she cannot expect to take our freedom!"

    President Roosevelt attempts to mediate, but is rebuffed. On 10th April of that year, France and Germany sign a declaration of war. Their respective allies follow suit within days. The Great War has begun.
     
  9. Burton K Wheeler Moderator Moderator

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  10. Nekromans Mernber

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    One of the reasons I ended the first part at the beginning of WWI was because I was unsure of how to go on from there. That thread's going to be very useful, thanks!
     
  11. Burton K Wheeler Moderator Moderator

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    I'd suggest bumping it with any questions you have about the alt-Great War, so as not to have this thread overrun by the same sort of discussion.
     
  12. Smaug Devil's Advocate

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    We will show France that she cannot expect to take our freedom!"

    Did you fall asleep watching Braveheart again?:D

    Its interesting, and I think it would work if it was an ambassador that made the statement, with KW backing him up. I honestly can't imagine a head of state visiting such an unstable area. Wouldn't you still get the reaction you're looking for?
     
  13. ninebucks Banned

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    I cannot think of any reason why the Kaiser would not retract his inflammatory comment, you can't just use a historical figure's reputation for foolhardiness as a justification for them doing any stupid action.

    I'd say that the Kaiser would retract his statement, but make it widely known that his apology is not sincere. After a series of further diplomatic guffaws, war could be pushed earlier.
     
  14. Nekromans Mernber

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    I disagree. Wilhelm hated France, and Germany reckoned it was ready for war by this time. Why waste more time appeasing those snooty Frenchmen if you can just shoot them?