A Shift in Priorities

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by rast, Dec 17, 2008.

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  1. rast Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Peace Aims

    At Luxemburg, the new location of the OHL, Vice Chancellor Friedrich von Payer, Foreign Secretary Richard von Kühlmann, General Erich Ludendorff, the factual commander of the German Army, and Admiral Henning von Holtzendorff, Chief of the Admiral Staff, met on May 5th, 1918, in order to discuss the German peace aims for the upcoming negotiations with France, the US and Italy.
    Ludendorff had disliked Kühlmann’s attitude at the peace talks at Brest-Litowsk, but the Brussels Treaty with Belgium had fully restored his confidence in the foreign secretary of state. To achieve the German maximum goals with full and unsolicited consent of the Belgians was no mean feat!

    „Your victory over the English, General, makes Germany the master of the continent. But England is not beaten, they only lost a battle.“ Kühlmann argued. „It certainly was the worst defeat they ever have experienced, but their navy is still the strongest and largest in the world. – Our situation, therefore, is very much simular to that of Napoleon one hundred years ago, with one big difference: We have already vanquished Russia! – We should now try to separate France and the United States of America from England. This we can achieve by generous peace conditions. Once we have peace in the west, we can concentrate on consolidating our position in the east – and eventually eliminate Bolshevism. – So, what do you want from France?“
    Kühlmann knew only too well that Ludendorff was – mainly via Max Bauer – completely under the spell of the Pangermanists and the big industrialists.
    „We need the ore of the Longwy – Briey deposits!“
    „What else?“
    Ludendorff hesitated, then he shrugged. „I don’t know... – Reparations? Colonies? – What do you suggest?“
    „I think we should take the right of exploitation of the ore deposits for 25 years without annexation of any French territory. And we should get the most-favoured-nation clause in our trade with France. In terms of colonies I’m going to demand French Congo, Dahomey and some minor adjustments to the north of Togo. – Together with Belgian Congo, we then have achieved Mittelafrika!“
    Ludendorff contemplated this for a while.
    „Shouldn’t we ask for more?“
    Now von Payer intervened. „Look at the colonies we had before the war: Only 24,000 whites lived there, some of them Englishmen or Boers. The climate is so that Germans don’t go there, our emigrants went to North and South America, but not to our colonies. The colonies only required resources but never produced anything that compensated the costs. – Why should we burden us with huge territories that we neither can administer nor make profitable? Let’s take some small parts, just to prove to the French that they lost the war. But otherwise, let’s stay away from the white man’s burden. England did not become the dominant world power because she owned India but because she led the industrial revolution. India will be the millstone around England neck! Just wait and see! Our true colonies lie in Eastern Europe!“
    With that he had Ludendorff’s full consent.
    „Does the Navy have any wishes?“ Kühlmann addressed Holtzendorff.
    „No, we’ve already got the Flanders bases. That’s all we need for the war with England.“
    „Which war? – We’ll make peace with England sooner or later. They lost the war and they know it. The blockade is dead for all practical purposes since we started buying foodstuffs via France. They tried to encircle us and suffocate us, they failed. We will not accept any restrictions of our navy, but what can we gain from another war with England if we agree that we don’t need and want more colonies?“
    „The Royal Navy still is a serious threat!“
    „Agreed. But they lost the war, nobody will give them money before they have paid back their debts to the US banks. Germany now for all practical purposes owns Europe. We’ll outgrow them completely. Forget England, they were yesterday’s rival. Look at the US! – Do you have any demands on the US?“
    Neither the general nor the admiral had.
    „That’s fine. – My intention is just to let them go home without any constraints from our side. I predict that they will turn to isolationism after this disappointing experience, or perhaps turn their attention to the Pacific Ocean, or both... – Any demands in respect to Italy?“
    Again, general and admiral shook their heads.
    „Good. – I intend to cushion Austrian greediness. Italy had some problems with Austria, not with us. It may become a useful ally again.“
    „But they betrayed us!“ exclaimed Ludendorff. „They must be punished!“
    „Betrayal or not, they lost the war. That’s punishment enough.Why alienate them completely? – Any demands on the Balkans? – No? – Well, we’ve already given green light to the Bulgarians, as you know. We’ll support their Greater Bulgaria, that will solve one half of the Serbian problem. The other half we may entrust to the Hungarians, they are good at suppressing minorities. – I’ll travel to Bucharest tomorrow. The peace treaty with Romania will be signed on the 7th of May. You’ve seen and agreed to the terms.“
    With this the meeting ended.
     
  2. rast Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    The Treaty of Eindhoven

    Article I.
    Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey, for the one part, and France and the United States of America, for the other part, declare that the state of war between them has ceased. They are resolved to live henceforth in peace and amity with one another.

    Article II.
    France cedes part of her colonial possessions in French Equatorial Africa and French West Africa to Germany. The territories to be ceded are marked on the first map submitted as an essential part of this treaty of peace. The exact fixation of the areas will be established by a Franco-German commission. The territories shall be handed over to Germany immediately after the ratification of this treaty.

    Article III.
    The right of exploitation of the ore deposits in the Longwy – Briey area, as indicated on the second map submitted as an essential part of this treaty of peace, shall be granted to Germany for the duration of 20 years. The exact fixation of the area will be established by a Franco-German commission. The exploitation period will start on the day this treaty is ratified.
    France refrains from all interference in the exploitation of these resources. After the end of the 20 years exploitation period, Germany will have the purchase option.

    Article IV.
    As soon as a general peace is concluded and French demobilisation is carried out completely, Germany will evacuate the French territory currently occupied by her forces.

    Article V.
    France will, without delay, carry out the full demobilisation of her army. Furthermore, France will either bring her warships into French ports and there detain them until the day of the conclusion of a general peace, or disarm them forthwith. Warships of the States which continue in the state of war with the Powers of the Quadruple Alliance, in so far as they are within French sovereignty, will be treated as French warships.

    The barred zone around Great Britain continues as such until the conclusion of a general peace. In the Mediterranean Sea, and, as far as French power extends within the Atlantic Ocean and the Channel, removal of sea mines will be proceeded with at once. Merchant navigation within these maritime regions is free and will be resumed at once. Mixed commissions will be organized to formulate the more detailed regulations, especially to inform merchant ships with regard to restricted lanes. The navigation lanes are always to be kept free from floating mines.

    Article VI.
    The United States of America will transport those elements of their armed forces currently stationed in France back to the territory of the United States of America with highest priority. Germany agrees to the use for this purpose of German vessels confiscated by the United States of America. The United States of America will repair and renovate these vessels afterwards on their expense before they are handed back to Germany under the regulations of Article XII.

    Article VII.
    France and the United States of America recognise the validity of the Treaties of Brest-Litovsk and Bucharest. They will also recognise the Treaty of Zürich, once it had been concluded.

    Article VIII.
    The prisoners of war of both parties will be released to return to their homeland. The settlement of the questions connected therewith will be effected through the special treaties provided for in Article XII.

    Article IX.
    The contracting parties mutually renounce compensation for their war expenses, i.e., of the public expenditures for the conduct of the war, as well as compensation for war losses, i.e., such losses as were caused [by] them and their nationals within the war zones by military measures, inclusive of all requisitions effected in enemy country.

    Article X.
    Diplomatic and consular relations between the contracting parties will be resumed immediately upon the ratification of the treaty of peace. As regards the reciprocal admission of consuls, separate agreements are reserved.

    Article XI.
    As regards the economic relations between the Powers of the Quadruple Alliance and France, the regulations contained in Appendices II-V are determinative.

    Article XII.
    The reestablishment of public and private legal relations, the exchange of war prisoners and interned citizens, the question of amnesty as well as the question anent the treatment of merchant ships which have come into the power of the opponent, will be regulated in separate treaties with France and the United States of America, which form an essential part of the general treaty of peace, and, as far as possible, go into force simultaneously with the latter.

    Article XIII.
    In the interpretation of this treaty, the German and French texts are authoritative for the relations between Germany and France; the German and English texts for the relations between Germany and the United States of America. For Bulgaria the Bulgarian text, for Turkey the Turkish text and for Austro-Hungaria the German and Hungarian texts will fulfil the role that the German text has for Germany in the first sentence.

    Article XIV.
    The present treaty of peace will be ratified. The documents of ratification shall, as soon as possible, be exchanged in Berlin. The French Government obligates itself, upon the desire of one of the powers of the Quadruple Alliance, to execute the exchange of the documents of ratification within a period of two weeks. Unless otherwise provided for in its articles, in its annexes, or in the additional treaties, the treaty of peace enters into force at the moment of its ratification.

    In testimony whereof the Plenipotentiaries have signed this treaty with their own hand.

    Executed in sixtuplicity at Eindhoven, 23 May, 1918.
     
  3. rast Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    The Treaty of Zürich

    Article I.
    Austria-Hungary, Germany, Bulgaria, and Turkey, for the one part, and Italy, for the other part, declare that the state of war between them has ceased. They are resolved to live henceforth in peace and amity with one another.

    Article II.
    Italy cedes the Dodecanes Islands to Turkey. The territories to be ceded are marked on the first map submitted as an essential part of this treaty of peace. The exact fixation of the areas will be established by an Italo-Turkish commission. The territories in question have already been occupied by Turkey.

    Article III.
    Italy will cede Lybia to Turkey. The territories to be ceded are marked on the second map submitted as an essential part of this treaty of peace. The exact fixation of the territory will be established by an Italo-Turkish commission. The territories shall be handed over to Turkey immediately after the ratification of this treaty.

    Article IV.
    The Italian province of Venetia shall be occupied by Austria-Hungary for 15 years. A plebiscite shall be held in 1933 whether the province or parts of it will return to Italy or remain with Austria-Hungary. The exact boundary of the province is marked on the third map submitted as an essential part of this treaty of peace. A special treaty between Italy and Austria-Hungary will regulate the details of the plebiscite.

    Article V.
    As soon as a general peace is concluded and Italian demobilisation is carried out completely, Austria-Hungary will evacuate the Italian territory currently occupied by her forces, except for the territory mentioned in Article III.

    Article VI.
    Italy will, without delay, carry out the full demobilisation of her army. Furthermore, Italy will either bring her warships into Italian ports and there detain them until the day of the conclusion of a general peace, or disarm them forthwith. Warships of the States which continue in the state of war with the Powers of the Quadruple Alliance, in so far as they are within Italian sovereignty, will be treated as Italian warships. Italy will immediately begin to remove sea mines in the Adriatic Sea and constantly inform the signatories of this treaty about her progress. The navigation lanes are always to be kept free from floating mines.
    The Italian warships and merchant vessels to be handed over to Austria-Hungary and Turkey are listed in Appendix I of this treaty.

    Article VII.
    Italy recognises the validity of the Treaties of Brest-Litovsk, Bucharest and Eindhoven.

    Article VIII.
    The prisoners of war of both parties will be released to return to their homeland. The settlement of the questions connected therewith will be effected through the special treaties provided for in Article XII.

    Article IX.
    The contracting parties mutually renounce compensation for their war expenses, i.e., of the public expenditures for the conduct of the war, as well as compensation for war losses, i.e., such losses as were caused [by] them and their nationals within the war zones by military measures, inclusive of all requisitions effected in enemy country.

    Article X.
    Diplomatic and consular relations between the contracting parties will be resumed immediately upon the ratification of the treaty of peace. As regards the reciprocal admission of consuls, separate agreements are reserved.

    Article XI.
    As regards the economic relations between the Powers of the Quadruple Alliance and Italy, the regulations contained in Appendices II-V are determinative.

    Article XII.
    The reestablishment of public and private legal relations, the exchange of war prisoners and interned citizens, the question of amnesty as well as the question anent the treatment of merchant ships which have come into the power of the opponent, will be regulated in separate treaties with Italy, which form an essential part of the general treaty of peace, and, as far as possible, go into force simultaneously with the latter.

    Article XIII.
    In the interpretation of this treaty, the German and Italian texts are authoritative for the relations between Germany and Italy. For Bulgaria the Bulgarian text, for Turkey the Turkish text and for Austro-Hungaria the German and Hungarian texts will fulfil the role that the German text has for Germany in the first sentence.

    Article XIV.
    The present treaty of peace will be ratified. The documents of ratification shall, as soon as possible, be exchanged in Vienna. The Italian Government obligates itself, upon the desire of the powers of the Quadruple Alliance, to execute the exchange of the documents of ratification within a period of four weeks. Unless otherwise provided for in its articles, in its annexes, or in the additional treaties, the treaty of peace enters into force at the moment of its ratification.

    In testimony whereof the Plenipotentiaries have signed this treaty with their own hand.

    Executed in quintuplicate at Zürich, 3 June, 1918.
     
  4. rast Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Fighting dies down

    While continental Europe was slowly settling for peace, the situation in Great Britain and Ireland was gloomy at best.
    After the initial trauma of the defeat in France had worn off, a series of strikes - escalating to open riots in Manchester and Liverpool - paralysed business and public transport.
    In Ireland, loud voices called for independence, while in India there were discreet whispers about it.
    American banks now refused further loans and forcefully asked for the repayment of old war credits.
    On June 3rd, David Lloyd George resigned the office of prime minister. But it soon became apparent that his successor, Austin Chamberlain, could not move the nation ahead either. New elections were scheduled for mid-July.

    In Palestine and Mesopotamia, local armistices came into effect in early June, after General Erich von Falkenhayn, the commander of the Central Powers forces in Palestine, had arranged a meeting with General Edmund Allenby, the commander of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force.
    These were the only battlefields where Britain still proudly stood her ground, but Allenby sorely lacked reinforcements to exploit his successes of 1917 after 60 of his battalions had been sent to the front in France – and had just arrived in time to perish in the last ditch defence in front of Calais.

    In Georgia in the Caucasus, the first units of a German expeditionary force arrived in early June. Their objective was Baku, which also was the designation of an Ottoman force headed by General Nuri Pasha, a brother of Enver Pasha. A British force that had been assembled to march to Baku too, but had been stopped by Russian Bolshevik troops at Enzeli in February and returned to Hamadan, now was ordered to stay at Hamadan.

    At Salonika, the Bulgarian flag was hoisted on June 18th. This ended a fortnight of bitter fighting with the Serbs. The Serbian Army was now completely destroyed, the ongoing fighting had not allowed to evacuate them. Bulgarian artillery had set one troop transport ship aflame, after this, the other captains refused to enter Salonika’s port.

    In Athens, royalists arrested King Alexandros and recalled King Konstantin I., while former prime minister Venizelos escaped to Crete where he formed a “Greek Republican Government”.

    On June 15th, 1918, Admiral Ludwig von Schröder, the Commanding Admiral in Flanders, announced that submarine warfare against British ships would end on June 30th and that on the same day the war zone around the British Isles would be lifted.
    On the same day, demobilisation of the German Landsturm and Landwehr commenced. Demobilisation of the Reserve soldiers was advertised to start after the ratification of the Treaty of Zürich.
     
  5. rast Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    ...but not in Russia

    With the defeat of the Western Allies, the Central Powers’ appreciation of the Bolsheviks quickly petered out. By mid-June 1918 the situation was as follows:

    While fresh German troops arrived in the Ukraine to replace the old men, which had remained in the east while the younger soldiers had been sent to France and which were now earmarked for demobilisation, German emissaries arrived at the headquarters of Generals Alekseev and Denikin. They offered German support for the Volunteer Army.

    In Estonia, General Yudenich had just arrived from France where he had been in exile. With massive German aid he now began forming his North-western Army.

    At Cheliabinsk, the Czech Legion had just disarmed the Bolshevik forces and was now in train of taking control of the Trans-Siberian Railroad. The Czechs were in a bad situation. Most of them were former prisoners of war or deserters from the Austro-Hungarian Army. Their pledge for an independent Czechia as promised by the French and the Russians had come to nothing. Now they had received a proposition from the Austrian government, which offered them impunity and repatriation if they fought the Bolsheviks.

    In Helsingfors, the German General Rüdiger von der Goltz, commander of the Ostsee Division, proposed to his Finnish comrade Carl Gustav Emil Mannerheim that Finland should take the whole Kola Peninsula and extend its territory to Lake Onega and the Onega Bay. German support for this move was warranted.

    At Tiflis, now Tbilisi, the German General Georg Maercker, commander of the Kaukasus Division, was impatiently waiting for the arrival of two infantry regiments. He had been tasked by Ludendorff to take Baku before the Turkish force arrived there, but he needed more than the one regiment he already had. The Georgians were unable to provide assistance and constantly required his soldiers to protect them from Bolshevik bandits. Maercker knew that the Turkish speaking Azeris would eventually fall into the Ottoman sphere of influence, but right now, the town was under Bolshevik control and “liberating” it would certainly bolster German influence when it came to regulating the oil flow.
     
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  6. Neroon Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Location:
    Piteå
    Very nice work. Are you going to continue the timeline until after the Great War or end it once the shooting stops?
     
  7. rast Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    The main events are still to come.
     
  8. rast Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Interior View of a Victor – Germany


    When the war started in August 1914, the German chancellor then, Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg, had not believed that the old social order could survive. Now, in June 1918, the old social order was still in place – and victorious…
    Monarchal, authoritarian Germany, allied with powers which had comparable social orders, had defeated the western democracies.
    Kaiser Wilhelm II. called this a splendid victory of the monarchic principle, calmer people called it sheer luck.
    Germany had suffered considerably. 1.3 million soldiers were dead, 0.4 million were missing and most probably also dead, another 3.7 million had been wounded, many of these crippled, maimed or destined for an early decease. The civilian population had suffered another estimated 0.6 million deaths because of the British blockade.
    The war fever was long gone. Since 1916, the majority of the people had only wanted the war to end. The victory in the March Offensive had met this purpose. But a hungry and depleted population, clothed in “Ersatz” and working with “Ersatz” soon realised that the end of the war did not mean the end of hardship.
    The former middle class was practically broke. The war had mainly been financed by war bonds. Only if these were paid back could the middle class hope to prosper again.
    The working class had improved its political position considerably but was suffering nonetheless from paucity.
    The economy had been ruined by the infamous “Hindenburg Programme” and never recovered from this improper interference. But the industrialists were quick in changing to peace time production, new plants were already under construction while the fighting in front of Calais still was going on.
    However, demobilisation brought back more and more working men and production was rising considerably, especially coal no longer was a scarce resource. Massive imports of food via France and Italy eased the nutrition situation, and although the British blockade had not yet been formally lifted, vessels carrying foodstuffs regularly could pass since the Treaty of Eindhoven was in effect. The US had told Britain that they would not tolerate interference in business with a nation that could pay for food imports, something which Britain could not without further loans from the US.

    In the Reichstag, the democratic parties of (catholic) Centre, Social Democrats and Progressives had the majority. 228 seats out of a total of 397 belonged to them. But new elections were due anyway. Chancellor Hertling had fixed them for Sunday, July 28th, 1918.
    Reform of the Prussian franchise still was an open issue. It had been promised during the war. Now the democrats agreed to press for it. Only if equal franchise was introduced in Prussia would it be possible to break the grip that the conservatives had on the power structure of the Reich. In the clear realisation that their majority would only grow in the next election, they decided to wait with their initiative until the new Reichstag met for the first time on August 21st.

    Until 1914, the army had been a tool that could also be employed against internal unrest. The army right now was – in General Ludendorff’s appreciation – nothing but militia, totally unfit for internal use, a true people’s army. Although the professional soldiers were working hard to restore ancient military discipline, it would take some time to achieve this.
    Therefore, the window of opportunity for the democratic parties still was wide open.
     
  9. rast Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Interior View of a Victor – Austria-Hungary

    If the situation in Germany was already difficult, that of Austria-Hungary was even worse. The monarchy had literally been dragged to victory by the Germans, her own drive long lost in hunger, war economy and strife between the nationalities. The Hungarians had refused to supply food to the Austrians, forcing the Austrians to commandeer Danube vessels that carried foodstuffs from Romania to Germany. The 10 years customs union between Hungary and Austria and the 50 years union between the two monarchies had both been due to be renewed in 1917. Because the Austrian parliament was paralysed by the brawl of its nationalities, Emperor Karl I. had asked Hungary for a suspension of the negotiations until after the war.
    When the war had started in 1914, most Austro-Hungarian leaders had expected the empire to die in glory. Now in mid-June 1918, it was still alive but in agony.
    The war losses were considerable. Almost one million soldiers had been killed in action, 1.7 million wounded, the number of civilian casualties was not known yet but believed to be possibly higher than the German one.

    The Hungarians would ask much for the renewal of the union, they were the stronger part. They didn’t necessarily need Austria, but Austria needed them. The Hungarians had designs on Dalmatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, aiming at ruling these territories with the help of their Croatian subjects.
    Their ambitions on Romania had already been spoiled by the Germans, now they were determined to get their way with the southern Slavs.

    Cisleithania, the Austrian part of the dual monarchy, was incapable of action because the nationalties, Germans, Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Italians, Ruthenians, blockaded each other in the various parliaments.
    Transleithania, the Hungarian part, was firmly ruled and dominated by the Hungarians who already had started to magyarise “their” part of Serbia.

    In the north, the fate of the Polish Kingdom had not yet been decided, earlier plans to install an Austrian prince had now been superseeded by German schemes to create a German puppet state. Austrian weakness and Emperor Karl’s indecision had caused the Germans to discard the Austro-Polish solution.

    Austrian designs to repossess Venetia had also been spoiled by the Germans who only had allowed an occupation period followed by a plebiscite. Nobody in Austria had any illusions on how the Italians would decide in 1933.

    Only the swift defeat of the British in France had kept Georges Clemenceau from publishing the secret Sixtus letters that proved Karl’s attempt for a seperate peace in 1917. That would have undermined the Austro-Hungarian position completely.
    On the other hand, the foreign minister Ottokar Czernin had obtained the trust and respect of his German colleague Kühlmann and had – so far – been able to stall all German advances to install their “Mitteleuropa”, which the Austrians viewed as an effort to dominate Austria-Hungary.

     
  10. rast Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Interior View of a Victor – Bulgaria

    While Bulgaria had achieved almost all its war aims – only the silly insistence of the Germans to alienate Romania not too much had denied Bulgaria the northern part of Northern Dobruja – the country was, after three wars in succession, impoverished and run-down. The victory over the Serbs at Salonika had cleared the path for Bulgarian possession of Macedonia, Kosovo and south-eastern Serbia, but it also had almost destroyed the army. In number of losses, it certainly had been a Phyrric victory.
    If the Greeks weren’t so engaged in their civil war, they easily could chase away the Bulgarians from Salonika and southern Macedonia – even after the Bulgarians had captured a large supply of weapons, ordnance and clothing from the Greek divisions that had been under formation for the Macedonian front.

    King – or Tsar – Ferdinand I. of Bulgaria had the distinct feeling that north of his country a greater Magyar Empire was forming.
    His intention was to counter this with his greater Bulgarian Empire. It would be the only independent Slav state in the Balkans. One should beat the Slavic drum, that might help to integrate und „Bulgarise“ the Serbs.

    He had refused to sign the Treaty of Bucharest and still continued to badger the Germans for the rest of the Dobruja, although the treaty would soon be ratified by the Chamber of Deputees and the Senate. The Dobruja was a cockaigne that was needed for Bulgaria – and as the Bucharest Treaty gave Bessarabia to Romania, they still had access to the Black Sea, so what? Why should the Germans in the long term deny such a prize to their most proven, successful and reliable ally?

    Nevertheless, it was most important to enter into a period of peace. The country needed rest from war and time to recuperate.
    Prime Minister Vasil Radoslavov was already busy to sound out the allies about a peace treaty with Greece. Thank goodness that the Germans had no ideas of fostering the Greeks like they had done with the Romanians!

    Ferdinand was intrigued what would happen to his neighbour in the east. Would the Ottoman Empire survive? Or would the spectres of separatism that these foolish Englishmen had aroused in the Arabic part of the Empire shatter it?
    Well, in the latter case, eastern Trace and Byzantium might become available. The possession of Byzantium really would make him the foremost Tsar of all Tsars...

    And in the west, Albania was waiting for an overlord. – The Italians had evacuated the country, the Greeks were busy with themselves, the Magyars not very interested because they currently manoeuvred for gaining Dalmatia from Austria... An empire that extended from the Adriatic to the Black Sea and had access to the Aegean as well? - Perhaps he should start to position his second son, Kyril, for the job of Albanian king?

    Ferdinand really had to pat himself on the back for joining forces with the Central Powers (or had this been Radoslavov’s idea? - Anyway, all’s good that ends good...), although he disliked Wilhelm II. as much as this bumptious swashbuckler disliked him. And of Karl I. he even had a lesser opinion than of ancient Franz Joseph I., that „idiot and old dotard“.
     
  11. rast Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Interior View of a Victor – Ottoman Empire

    The Ottoman Empire, also known as Turkey or Turkish Empire, had only been saved by the German victory in France, that much was clear to its leaders.

    Grand Vizier Mehmet Talat Pasha had little hope that the Arab revolt could be controlled. The damned British were still in the area and influenced the Arab leaders. Talat believed that now with Russia in turmoil, the Pan-Turan – or Pan-Turkish – idea of uniting the Turkish speaking peoples in Asia had more prospect of success than trying to harness the bloody Arabs.

    Ismail Enver Pasha, war minister and chief of the general staff, also favoured Pan-Turanism, yet was unwilling to forgo Arabia. The outworn and starved Ottoman Army might be no match for Allenby’s troops, but once these were gone it would give the Bedouin ragtag short shrift.

    Ahmet Çemal Pasha, known as the “Butcher” to the Arabs, the third of the “Three Pashas”, had no intention to let go the Arabs. The whole of the Arabian Peninsula belonged to the Ottoman Empire, as did Egypt, Cyprus, Mesopotamia and Kowayt!

    The Treaty of Batum with the Republic of Armenia had just been signed, and General Nuri Pasha’s, Enver’s brother’s, “Army of Islam” was now to march on to Baku. The Turks were aware that the Germans were bringing troops to Georgia and also intended to march on Baku. This was the break in the German – Ottoman relations that Enver Pasha had already detected at Brest-Litovsk. Once Russia was out of the war, the peace aims of the Germans and the Turks no longer matched.
    But did the Ottoman Empire have an alternative? Germany had been the only major power that had had no direct designs on Ottoman sovereignty and lands. Britain and France had been allied with the arch enemy, Russia. And today, Britain held occupied already too much Ottoman territory to be welcome. Britain and France had signed the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 that aimed at the segmentation of Ottoman territory into speres of British, French and Russian interest. No, one would have to work on with the Germans, but the going might get rougher.
    Not that the Germans ever had been easy. Arrogant bastards! No patience and no understanding for the oriental way of life.

    Nevertheless, the Germans had helped the Turks to get back the Dodecanes Islands and Lybia against the objections of the Austro-Hungarians. Their help would also be required to get the British out of Palestine and Mesopotamia.
    The Empire needed time to recuperate and to improve its infrastructure. Here, again, the Germans were important. They must complete and develop the Baghdad Railway. Perhaps they could be won for an extension to Basora, as originally had been the plan. Then one could start arguing about Kowayt with the British...
    The British were now firmly established in Persia too, controling the oil wells of Abadan, while the Russians were almost gone. One would have to discuss this issue as well. But the Empire needed time to gather strength first.
    Enver didn’t think that the Germans would contest Pan-Turanism east of the Caspian Sea, one only had to be very careful in the Caucasus, where Georgia was becoming a German protectorate. But he sensed that the Germans were focused on Russia and yet had little interest in Central Asian affairs.

    But Pan-Turanism needed money. Money could easily be gained by selling oil. Oil was the one resource the British had been after in the region of the Persian Gulf since 1908. If the Empire was to prosper from oil sales, the British had to be pushed out of business...
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2009
  12. Jozon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2006
    You're doing a terrific job here, this timeline is wonderfully detailed. Do keep up the good work, I love reading this!
     
  13. clifton Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Location:
    unknown
    nice job. I wish I could make good tl
     
  14. rast Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    The Wind of Change

    Elections for the British House of Commons were held on Saturday, July 14th, 1918. Although the Labour Party scored a striking success and captured 136 seats, it were the Conservatives who won the day. Acquiring 397 seats they could and would form the new cabinet alone, making Andrew Bonar Law the new Prime Minister. Of the remaining seats, the Irish Sinn Féin won 73, while the Liberals experienced a catastrophic defeat and almost disappeared from the House of Commons. This was a clear thank-you of the electorate to the Liberals for leading the nation into war and losing the French campaign.
    The result was also significant because it meant the end of the moderate Irish Parliamentary Party and brought the meteoric rise of the radical Sinn Féin.
    The Sinn Féin elected members immediately refused to take their seats in the British House of Commons but convened the Dáil Éireaan, the Irish Revolutionary Assembly, at Dublin. 47 of their members, however, could take no seat because they had been elected while sojourning in British jails.

    Having lost his two eldest sons in the war, Bonar Law was known as a hardliner and close associate of Andrew Lloyd George, sharing the latter’s views about a „Knock-out-Victory“.
    The victory of his party showed the defiance of the British people. The nation had lost a battle, but not the war. To many Britons it was absolutely unthinkable that Britain ever could lose a war...
    But military affairs were only half of the truth. Britain, once the major financier of the world, today was broke.

    To finance the war effort, Britain had loaned 2.17 billion $ to France, 2.84 billion $ to Russia, 2.07 billion $ to Italy, about 1.0 billion $ to the dominions, 0.43 billion to Belgium and 90 million $ to Serbia.
    Moreover, the US banks had loaned 4.31 billion $ to Britain, 2.85 billion $ to France, 1.59 billion $ to Italy and 187 million $ to Russia.
    There was absolutely no prospect that nations like France, Russia, Italy or Serbia could or would pay back any debts.
    France was left alone with the devastated landscapes of position warfare and her northern districts systematically cleared of everything useable or valuable by the Germans. The Russian Bolsheviks had already declared that they wouldn’t pay anything. Italy was at the verge of political and economic collapse. And Serbia had simply ceased to exist. The sneaky Belgians, for whose liberty the nation had gone to war, had changed sides when it became clear that the Entente was a lost case and couldn‘t help them any more. But at least they were now entitled to get reparations from Germany, so may be they could some day also afford to pay back their debts to Britain...

    It perhaps was best to cut the losses and make peace with Germany. That might allow the nation to recuperate. One must not submit to the Germans, one had not lost the war. There were some German prisoners of war to bargain with, although the Germans held much more British PoWs (almost 1 million in comparison to less than 100.000).
    There were the colonies, the German possessions in the Pacific Ocean (except Micronesia, which was occupied by Japan), German South-West Africa and German East Africa, all occupied by British or Dominions forces (although in East Africa German resistance never really had been overcome and a German force still was in the field).
    There was the Royal Navy, uncontested now by the German High Seas Fleet.
    There were the British Forces in Palestine and Mesopotamia.
    That all should sum up to an honorable peace...

    The situation in Ireland might soon require more attention. It was generally thought that the Dáil Éireaan would declare Irish independence on its first session. The Irish Volunteers were known to regroup as the so-called „Irish Republican Army“.
    If one didn’t make peace with Germany in time, the Germans certainly would massively support the Irishmen, dodging a blockade of Eire with their submarines.
    There was a strong Irish community in the USA. One must not allow for a joint initiative of Germany and the USA. Better eliminate the Germans from the equation beforehand... It had been quite expensive to develop public opinion in the US in the British intend.

    On July 20th, 1918, the British ambassador in Copenhagen paid a visit to his German colleague and delivered a very interesting proposal.
     
  15. rast Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    The Treaty of Copenhagen


    While on July 28th, 1918, the Germans elected a new Reichstag with 133 seats for the SPD, 91 for the Zentrum and 52 for the FVP – thus together 276 seats from a total of 397, the delegations of Great Britain and the Central Powers met at Copenhagen. It took them two weeks to achieve this accord:

    Article I.
    Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey, for the one part, and Great Britain, for the other part, also representing her dominions, declare that the state of war between them has ceased. They are resolved to live henceforth in peace and amity with one another.


    Article II.
    Great Britain will withdraw her forces from Palestine and Mesopotamia and agrees to respect Turkey, hereafter referred to as the Ottoman Empire, in the borders marked in the first map submitted as an essential part of this treaty of peace.

    Article III.
    Great Britain recognises that Cyprus and Kuwait are integral parts of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire endorses that the British administration of Cyprus and Kuwait may continue. A bilateral treaty between Great Britain and the Ottoman Empire will regulate details and duration of this administration and the remuneration to the Ottoman Empire.


    Article IV.
    Great Britain recognises that Egypt is an integral part of the Ottoman Empire under the rule of the Governor (Pasha and Wali) of Egypt. The Ottoman Empire concedes that the Governor of Egypt may act with sovereignty as far as internal matters of Egypt are concerned and may allow foreign presence in the country.


    Article V.
    Great Britain will withdraw her forces from the German colonies in Africa and in the Pacific Ocean.

    Article VI.
    Great Britain will, without delay, carry out the full demobilisation of her army and her navy. Great Britain will immediately begin to remove sea mines in the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea and will constantly inform the signatories of this treaty about her progress. The navigation lanes are always to be kept free from floating mines.
    The British warships to be handed over to the Ottoman Empire are listed in Appendix I of this treaty.

    Article VII.
    Great Britain recognises the validity of the Treaties of Brest-Litovsk, Bucharest, Eindhoven and Zürich.

    Article VIII.
    The prisoners of war of both parties will be released to return to their homeland. The settlement of the questions connected therewith will be effected through the special treaties provided for in Article XII.

    Article IX.
    The contracting parties mutually renounce compensation for their war expenses, i.e., of the public expenditures for the conduct of the war, as well as compensation for war losses, i.e., such losses as were caused [by] them and their nationals within the war zones by military measures, inclusive of all requisitions effected in enemy country.

    Article X.
    Diplomatic and consular relations between the contracting parties will be resumed immediately upon the ratification of the treaty of peace. As regards the reciprocal admission of consuls, separate agreements are reserved.

    Article XI.
    As regards the economic relations between the Powers of the Quadruple Alliance and Great Britain, the regulations contained in Appendices II-IV are determinative.

    Article XII.
    The reestablishment of public and private legal relations, the exchange of war prisoners and interned citizens, the question of amnesty as well as the question anent the treatment of merchant ships which have come into the power of the opponent, will be regulated in separate treaties with Great Britain, which form an essential part of the general treaty of peace, and, as far as possible, go into force simultaneously with the latter.

    Article XIII.
    In the interpretation of this treaty, the German and English texts are authoritative for the relations between Germany and Great Britain. For Bulgaria the Bulgarian text, for Turkey the Turkish text and for Austro-Hungaria the German and Hungarian texts will fulfil the role that the German text has for Germany in the first sentence.

    Article XIV.
    The present treaty of peace will be ratified. The documents of ratification shall, as soon as possible, be exchanged in Istanbul. The British Government obligates itself, upon the desire of the powers of the Quadruple Alliance, to execute the exchange of the documents of ratification within a period of two weeks. Unless otherwise provided for in its articles, in its annexes, or in the additional treaties, the treaty of peace enters into force at the moment of its ratification.

    In testimony whereof the Plenipotentiaries have signed this treaty with their own hand.

    Executed in quintuplicate at Copenhagen, August 11th, 1918.

     
  16. Wendell Wendell

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2005
    Location:
    Lost in what might have been
    This requires a map.
     
  17. MUC Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    excellent work
     
  18. rast Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Making Money


    When the Japanese ambassador to Denmark, Count Maeda Jikiro, received an invitation to have breakfast with the German foreign minister at the German embassy in Copenhagen on August 3rd, 1918, he immediately cabled to Tokyo and asked for instructions.

    Richard von Kühlmann received Maeda with exquisite courtesy. While they talked about general matters and the murder of the Russian Tsar during the breakfast, Kühlmann approached his subject when they lighted the cigars.
    “Well, Count Maeda, you certainly know that we are holding peace talks with the British here at Copenhagen. – Now, our countries are still at war with each other. Shouldn’t we try to end this?”
    “We should always try to achieve a peaceful co-existence – if not friendship – between our nations, Herr von Kühlmann. My government would also be interested in ending the state of war.”
    “You hold occupied our colonies, the Northern Marianas, the Carolinas, Paulau, and our naval base at Kiautschou.”
    “The wish to have them back is understandable.”
    “Well, we might consider to sell them to you…”
    Maeda’s eyes went wide.
    “Really? – Let me hear your price!”
    Kühlmann named a sum.
    “I will have to transmit this to my government.”
    “Certainly. – Tell them that we also might consider to soon offer German New Guinea, the Marshall Islands, Nauru and West Samoa to the highest bidder.”

    It was a very agitated Count Maeda that rode back to the Japanese embassy, already drafting the text of a very urgent and very secret telegram to Tokyo.
     
  19. clifton Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Location:
    unknown
    I don't think that the australians would like a border with japan:eek::eek:.
     
  20. altamiro Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Location:
    Where the streets have no names
    Well, all they need is to outbid the Japanese. With the ensuing bid-war,
    Germany is going to recoup the war costs over and over again :)
     
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