Blut & Water

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Whanztastic, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. Whanztastic BohemianAmerican Defenestrater Monthly Donor

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    I took an idea from another aborted TL and hope that this one will go a bit further when put in this setting. This covers one of the PODs but it won't matter until the next one happens. Basically, this is to add more flavor to the second, make it a bit more original.

    Blut & Water: A Collected History of the Diplomacy War

    Prologue:
    Two Teutonic Titans

    “A diplomat can tell you to go to hell in a way that you actually look forward to the trip." - Caskie Stinnett [1]


    November 30th, 1899 marked the beginning of a new model in Anglo-German relationships, and subsequently a new model of European and world politics. Although Baron Hermann von Eckardstein, First Secretary of the German Embassy, had first contacted Joseph Chamberlain in the previous year, there had been little progress and certainly nothing official. However, in November of 1899, the Chamberlain was given another chance. Following a friendly and promising visit from Kaiser Wilhelm II and Bernhard von Bülow, Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Chamberlain openly praised Germany and spoke of a possible future together, speaking of “a new friendship between the Teutonic race and the two great trans-Atlantic branches of the Anglo-Saxon race which would become a potent influence on the future of the world.” [2] This newly budding friendship would be tested very soon.

    “In attempt to stop matériel from reaching the Boers in the Free State and Transvaal, the Royal Navy effectively began intercepting and inspecting foreign ships. However, the Unionist Government thought it would be unwise to upset Germany and so German ships were only shadowed in as they passed through the region. [3] Anglo-German relations were nearly irreversibly damaged as Admiral Tirpitz attempted to pass the Second Naval Law. However, these flames were suppressed by von Bülow and Friedrich von Holstein, who were able to convince Wilhelm that such an expansion of the
    Kaiserliche Marine would be seen as too aggressive against the Royal Navy, an ally Wilhelm very much wanted. The Second Naval Law did pass but it was weakened from Tirpitz's original hopes, only increasing the number of battleships by seven and instead focusing on a cruisers to support colonial territories. The reasoning for this was that Germany did not want to challenge British authority on the seas, but merely be well defended, both around the continent and in her colonies.

    “There was no official aligning of the British and German peoples until Arthur Balfour's term as Prime Minister. When Lord Salisbury resigned in late June of 1902, the Second Boer War had just ended and Edward VII's coronation would soon follow. Balfour replaced Lord Lansdowne as Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs with Joseph Chamberlain, in part due to persuasion by Walter Rothschild, who was beginning to become a closer ally of both men. [4] What was more important, however, was his connection with Edward VII. The Rothschild family had kept close connections with the soon-to-be King, offering a fair amount of financial advice and Walter himself had been seen with the Prince, who was criticized for openly associating with Jews.

    On February 7, 1903, the Anglo-German Treaty was signed, although it would later be amended several times, in relative secrecy. It was not a lengthy document, consisting of only six brief points, while using vague language such as 'spheres of influence' and a 'promise to communicate'. The full impact of this action would not be fully realized until a decade later.” [5]

    The Triumvirate by Jack Bauer, Harvard University Press, 1978



    Article 1 The High Contracting parties declare themselves to be entirely uninfluenced by aggressive tendencies by either country, having in view, however, their special interests, relating to their colonies, the High Contracting parties recognize that it will be admissible for either of them to take such measures as may be indispensable in order to safeguard those interests if threatened either by the aggressive action of any other Power, or by disturbances arising in their respective spheres of influence, and necessitating the intervention of either of the High Contracting parties for the protection of the lives and properties of its subjects.
    Article 2 If either signatory becomes involved in war through Article 1, it is permissible for a power to declare neutrality.
    Article 3 Promise of support if either signatory becomes involved in war with more than one Power.
    Article 4 Signatories promise not to enter into separate agreements with other Powers to the prejudice of this alliance.
    Article 5 The signatories promise to communicate frankly and fully with each other when any of the interests affected by this treaty are in jeopardy.
    Article 6 Treaty to remain in force for five years and then at one years' notice, unless notice was given at the end of the fourth year.

    Anglo-Germanic Treaty of 1905


    ------------




    [1] TTL's version of the quote. OTL's version: “A diplomat is a person who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip.”
    [2] A minor POD: IOTL Chamberlain said 'alliance' rather than 'friendship' and was mocked for such a premature statement.
    [3] IOTL three German ships were boarded and searched for arms, with none being found. This offended the German public and government. It was in this atmosphere of bitterness towards the British and their Navy that the Second Naval Law, arguably the most critical of bunch, was passed. ITTL this does not happen.
    [4] Walter Rothschild could have been a much more influential man. ITTL he is still interested in zoology and lepidopterist, but to a lesser extent, also focusing on the family banking and politics. The reason he would support Chamberlain, who was more German-friendly than Lord Lansdowne (Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in OTL during the beginning of the Entente Cordiale), for this position would be due to Chamberlain's Zionist sympathies.
    [5] It is basically an entente cordiale, the UK refusing to be truly tied to continental affairs, just like OTL. Some of the issues that OTL's Entente Cordialeresolves are not fixed but France and the UK do not have anything as large as the Fashoda Incedent happen.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
  2. Whanztastic BohemianAmerican Defenestrater Monthly Donor

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    Some damned foolish thing...

    OOC: Some may be curious about the author Jack Bauer in the last post. It is a different Jack Bauer and I'm trying to make the authors TTL versions of OTL authors and historians.

    Chapter 1:
    Some damned foolish thing...


    Bulgaria, that little country between the Danube and the Balkans, is far from being an object of adequate importance... for which to plunge Europe from Moscow to the Pyrenees, and from the North Sea to Palermo, into a war whose issue no man can foresee. At the end of the conflict we should scarcely know why we had fought.” - Otto von Bismark [6]


    It is a point of considerable debate whether or not the Turkish-Italo conflict (conflict is used in an attempt to remain neutral in the argument that it was the first battles of the Diplomacy War or that it should be labeled the Turkish-Italo War, being a separate conflict) should or perhaps could be considered as an element of the greater Diplomacy War that occurred immediately following, and certainly elements, simultaneously. There are some seemingly strong arguments that exist for both sides.

    First, let us review the argument that the conflict ought to be labeled the Turkish-Italo War. First, the defenders of this position argue that the causes are different. The Turkish-Italo conflict occurred due to the expansionist policies of the Kingdom of Italy, under the direction of King Emmanuel III and Prime Minister Giovanni Giolitti. The, relatively, newly unified nation had come late to the rush for colonies in Asia, and more importantly, Africa and was thirsty for territorial and economic growth. The most obvious area for such growth was the deteriorating Ottoman Empire, more specifically, Libya. Geographically isolated from the rest of the Empire, and close to Italy, it was a naturally choice. Any gains in the Aegean, Anatolia or the Near East was an after thought.

    The second argument used for those who wish to classify the Turkish-Italo War as such is the Treaty of Lausanne, signed October 20, 1912. [7] This marked as cease of hostilities between the two monarchies. This designates a separate conflict, making it a precursor to the Diplomacy War. It is hard to imagine with hindsight, but Italy had no idea that just over three months later they would once more be at war with the Ottomans, and even harder so that they would be involved in a global war.

    Against this, there are several arguments. The first is that although the Italo-Turkish conflict did end on October 20, the Diplomacy War officially started October 16, therefore making Italy a co-belligerent of the Balkan League, although there is little historical evidence to support any cooperation between the two parties at this point in history. It is accepted, however, that the Balkan League may not have attacked when it did unless the Ottomans had been in a weakened state due to the Italo-Turkish conflict. This argument is further augmented by the fact that although Italy and Turkey did cease hostilities, Italy did (re)join the Diplomacy War Janurary 27, 1913. This, coupled with the fact that Italy did remain in military occupation of still de jureOttoman Dodecaneseislands in the interim, use used to argue that the Treaty of Lausanne did not mark an ending of hostilities, but merely a pause.

    It is the opinion of this work, and its author, that there is a simple way to finish this argument, which is one of the many goals of this work. The simple way to solve this is to pose a question that nearly any schoolchild ought be able to answer – what was the direct cause of the Diplomacy War? This answer is universally, save for the sporadic conspiracy theorist, agreed upon. The Diplomacy War started when the Balkan League declared war on the Ottoman Empire, from which came a conflict that would spread across the globe. When this question is answered as such, it negates the possibility of including the Turkish-Italo War as an aspect of the Diplomacy War. It was a precursor to, and very briefly, a contemporary of, the Diplomacy War and should indeed be included as a contributing cause of the Diplomacy War but to say that it was a part of it would be improper.”


    The Politics of War: The Diplomacy War by F. R. Stern, University of Munich Press, 1974


    ------


    [6] It may be a bit overused, but its a bloody good quote. Also, ITTL Bismark's prophecy is even more accurate.
    [7] In OTL this Treaty of Lausanne is known as the Treaty of Ochy, to distinguish it from the more famous 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, which shall not occur ITTL.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
  3. Whanztastic BohemianAmerican Defenestrater Monthly Donor

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    Don't poke the Bear

    Chapter 2:
    Don't poke the Bear

    There is no justice among men.” - Nicholas II


    The Balkan League was not a united front but rather an association of secret treaties and plans amongst the nations of Bulgaria, Servia, Greece and Montenegro. Ironically, the League began as a project influenced by Russia. On March 13, Bulgaria and Servia signed an alliance that was seemingly aimed towards Austria-Hungary but involved a clandestine agreement which in fact aimed their territorial aspirations go to the south, into Ottoman territory.

    After this, independently Bulgaria and Servia signed mutual alliances with Greece and Montenegro, respectfully. Each country had their own goals for the war. Servia's only option for expansion was south into Macedonia, given Austria's annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908. Servia and Bulgaria reached an agreement of territorial claims for the war. Servia would receive the territory west to the Adriatic and Kosovo while Bulgaria was to receive territories to the east and south. Bulgaria's intent to expand into Trace and Gallipoli was not known to Russia at this point. Greece made no formal arrangements with the other powers, but given their actions during the war it is obvious that they intended to claim the Aegean as a Grecian sea. Montenegro, by far the smallest of the League, was willing to receive any gains it could. Also aligned with the Balkan Powers was the Cretan State, which was internationally considered to be autonomous and would play an interesting role in the post year wars.

    Unbeknownst to the minor powers of the Baltic League, their plans would cross the plans of a seemingly supportive Great Power – Russian Empire. Russia was a perpetual enemy of the Ottomans for several reasons, one of the greatest being that they had control over all naval passage in and out of the Black Sea, through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles. Russia had always desired to either posses these straights for herself.

    The beginnings of the Balkan conflict was marked by a string of victories by the Baltic League. The Ottomans were not prepared due to recent defeats by the Italians and civil unrest caused by the Young Turk movement. Furthermore, the Ottomans believed, falsely, that the majority of the Bulgarian forces would be deployed in Macedonia. In reality, out of Bulgaria's three army groups, the First and Third, under Lt. Gens. Vasil Kutinchev and Radko Dimitriev, pushed east into Thrace. This meant that Bulgaria had approximately 350,000 troops against the 105,000 the Ottomans fielded in Thrace. Greek dominance of the Aegean made Ottoman reinforcements from Palestine or Syria impossible. A key point in the Ottoman defensive line, the fortress of Edirne, was simply bypassed by the bulk of the Bulgarian forces to be put under siege by reserve forces.

    Although there had been gradual gains on all fronts by the Balkan League, the real turning point came on October 29, outside of Lozengrad. The Ottomans had been attempting to split the 1st and 3rd Bulgarian armies but a counter attack, spearheaded by a bayonet charge, reversed the Ottomans. Rather than sit and admire their laurels, the Bulgarians kept pushing forward, nipping at the Ottoman's heels. The Ottomans attempted to make a stand outside of Lule Burgas on November 3 but the lines broke the next day. The Ottoman forces were virtually in a route as they retreated to the Chataldja Line, merely 30km from Constantinople.

    Constructed, ironically under German supervision, during the Eighth Russo-Turkish War (1877-8) [8], the Chataldja Line was obsolete. The Bulgarians began their offense on November 8. The quick gains made by the Bulgarians surprised the Ottoman forces, and impressed outside observers. Russia warned the Bulgarians that if they attempted to claim Constantinople, the Russians would attack. Ottoman Chief of Staff Nazim Pasha, usually a strong follower of the French Offensive Doctrine, did not send reinforcements to the Chataldja Line but rather began preparing for a defense of Constantinople proper. On November 21, the Chataldja Line broke, the Fight for Constantinople had begun.”

    The Politics of War: The Diplomacy War by F. R. Stern, University of Munich Press, 1974


    [​IMG]


    Bulgarians overrunning the Chataldja Line

    --------

    [8] Honestly, why do we refer to them by their dates and not simply tally them off? Also, the irony will be apparent later.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
  4. stevep Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Whanztastic


    Damn it. Wrote a fairly lengthy reply and lost contact as I posted it.:(:( Anyway try to remember all the details.

    Interesting idea. Like the oddity that Russia is going to end up - if I'm reading things rightly - going to war with an alliance it basically set up in support ;) In turn, since there's going to be a global conflict, that suggests that Germany and Britain will be on the anti-Turkish side, which will be doubly ironic as their both being trying to bolster it against the Russians.

    Read up a bit on the Balkans wars a few years back. Bulgaria had some good early success against the Ottomans but by the time it got near to the Chataldja Line OTL it has overrun its resources and was suffering from a broken supply line accompanied by outbreaks of typhus and the like. Is there some POD that allows them to get through the defences or are we just assuming butterflies. I doubt if they would have the strength to seriously attack a sizeable urban centre like Constantinople, even without any Russian intervention. Not to mention I'm not sure the large Greek minority would be much if any more welcoming to the Bulgarians than the Turks would.

    If as it sounds like it will be Germany, Britain, Austria, Italy and the Balkan powers v Russia, France and the Ottomans then there could be some heavy fighting, especially with the prospects of butterflies but the central powers should win. Unless any more developments.

    With the Anglo-German friendship did the alliance with Japan still get formed? Still makes sense as both powers were worried about Russia. Britain is out of isolation earlier so needs the alliance less and there is recent history between Japan and Germany over the latter's role in the triple intervention against Japan but probably still in both Britain and Japan's interests to go ahead with the deal.

    If so did the Russo-Japanese war still occur and with the same results? If not there will be substantial butterflies.

    Also its going to be important what other developments are occurring differently from OTL before the war starts. Without the naval race with Germany Britain will be concerned about the Franco-Russian powers but their also competing with German/Austria on land and both have other problems of geography so naval forces on both sides may well be somewhat smaller than OTL and probably a little less developed without the same mad rush.

    Anyway, looking good and hoping to see more.:)

    Steve
     
  5. Whanztastic BohemianAmerican Defenestrater Monthly Donor

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    @stevep

    Just a couple things: You are spot on about a couple things. ITTL I have the Bulgarian offensive happen a couple days sooner after the *Battle of Lule Burgas ITTL. The Bulgarians may not have been as ready but the Ottomans are even less ready. Furthermore, Nazim doesn't send reinforcements to the line like he does IOTL. I have an idea for the assault on Constantinople as well.

    Yes there is still the Anglo-Japanese Treaty and yes the Russo-Japanese War goes as OTL. I thought of having butterflies change it but I didn't want to get side tracked.

    And yes there wasn't a naval arms race between the UK and Germany, so Germany remains a weaker power on the seas.

    Next update should answer some questions. Very impressive observations and predictions [​IMG]
     
  6. stevep Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Whanztastic

    Thanks. I would suspect that everybody have weaker navies but especially Germany. [France and Russia will be trying to build up but are mainly concerned about armies to counter Germany and probably thinking they can't match the RN. Hence Britain has to do less at sea to keep ahead. Might maintain a larger home army TTL. [Mentioned in one discussion on this site that after the Boer war the peacetime home army dropped from 12 divisions to 6. With a friendship with Germany, hence more influence probably for those elements in favour of conscription and less threat at sea I suspect the army will be larger. Although what if any plans for a BEF in the event of a major conflict will be interesting.

    Just to let you know I now have 99 threads I've subscribed to.:D

    Thanks

    Steve
     
  7. Bozo Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Anglo German Alliance

    i assume the dogger bank incident still occurs during the Russo-Japanesse war, so the reasoning behind the Anglo German alliance is strenghtened, and the plucky Japanesse getting the better of the Russian bear gets even more press?
     
  8. Whanztastic BohemianAmerican Defenestrater Monthly Donor

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    Shhhh. Yes, Dogger Bank happened, including German outcry, and Japan got a bit more attention. There will probably be more specific references to the past in posts that deal with English-Japanese relationships or different fronts in the war.
     
  9. Whanztastic BohemianAmerican Defenestrater Monthly Donor

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    Infidels and Innocents

    Chapter 3:
    Infidels and Innocents


    The best weapon against an enemy is another enemy. “ - Friedrich Nietzsche


    Nazim Pasha, Ottoman Chief of Staff, was standing on the outskirts of Constantinople. No Ottoman commander had ever known the pressure that he now faced. Pasha's thoughts turned to turned to Mehmed II, who finally snatched the Golden Horde from Christian hands. Once a formidable fortress, the city was now a soft target, its walls decrepit antiques, no use against modern artillery. A fair bulk of the city had sprawled out past them anyway. His people had spent the last decade tearing down the defensive relics, seeing no need for them. Nazim now cursed the policy, desiring any tactical advantage he could get.


    Furthermore, he wished no harm to his Empire's capital. He did not want to see it torn apart by siege, fire or pillaging Christians. Sultan Mehmed V remained in the city, of course he was a mere figurehead, a symbol for the people. His brother Mehmed had been evacuated across the Dardanelles, for succession reasons. Real power was supposed to lie with Kiamil Pasha, but he was no where to be found since the Chataldja Line fell. And so Nazim had full control of Constantinople, the heart of the Empire.


    Rudimentary defenses were made by the reserves he refused to send to the Chataldja, in some places nothing more than foxholes. Work was made difficult by the continual stream of Muslim refugees ahead of the Bulgarian line, fleeing from rumors of terror and sectarian slaughter. Soon the retreating forces from the Chataldja Line reached the hastily constructed 'Constantinople Line'. Nazim decided that rather than fighting in Constantinople proper, the stand was to be made a safe distance outside of the city, to save it from potential ruin. Time was needed.


    So, in a desperate act to buy time, Nazim sent some 40,000 reserves against the Bulgarian army of a near 180,000. They were sacrificed. However, it did buy several days of defense. General Ivan Fichev was caught off guard and barely held onto to the gains made. He was disgraced for his failure to prepare for the counter attack, however, and General Mihail Savov, second only to Tsar Ferdinand, took direct control over the assault on Constantinople.


    Savov had been the driving force behind Bulgaria's quick assault into Thrace. He felt that a quick assault and capture of the heart would lead to a quick and decisive armistice. Going against the traditional thought that when the war was over nations would receive the territory they currently held, Savov wanted to hold the capital ransom in post-conflict talks. However, supply lines were long, cholera was rampant, and the Bulgarians were spread thin. But the Turks did not know this.


    Having the first word on Thracian front, with the Tsar following the drive south to the Aegean, Savov was able to siphon troops off from the siege of Edirne and the small front of the 2nd Tracian division, allowing the Greek troops to apply more pressure to Kircaali detachment as it retreated towards the Aegean. With this collected force started a secret move north and crossed the north to the Black Sea where there was a fleet of 'volunteer' Bulgarian and Tracian civilian ships. From there they sailed east and landed in Beykoz, then headed south to secure the weak underbelly of the Anatolian side of Constantinople. This move went unnoticed by the Ottomans due to the slow, but massive, assault which was occurring on the western outskirts of the city.


    On November 30, after nine strong days of seemingly heavy fighting on the Constantinople Line, Nazim received word that Bulgarian troops were in east Constantinople. When he sued for peace with the Bulgarians, he found Savov extremely easy to find and very smug. He negotiated the surrender of of the western shore of the city, a cease of hostilities, a promise to preserve historical and religious site in the city, and most importantly, safe passage of all Ottomans from Europe into Anatolia. He was seen as a mirror image of Balian of Ibelin, 'savior of Jerusalem', by the city's residents.


    The pashas were furious, claiming that Nazim sold out his country. The residents of Istanbul praised Nazim as the savior of the city, keeping the battle safely away from the city proper. Fearing for his life, Nazim fled to the Dardanelles, where he would remain unnoticed for the remainder of the war, only to return once more after the conclusion of the Diplomacy War. His last, ultimately prophetic, comments made to Savov and Fichev were, 'I shall return.' [9]


    As the Bulgarians moved into Constantinople, the Ottoman government collapsed. Soon the Sultan and his family would flee into exile as well. Then, as warned, on December 2, the Russian Empire declared war on the Balkan League.”


    Turbulent Seas: Political Upheavals in the Aegean by Norman H. Gibbs, Oxford University Press, 1972


    [​IMG]



    Nazim Pasha negotiates the peaceful transfer of Constantinople with Savov and Fichev



    [​IMG]


    Advance of the Balkan League



    --------------------

    [9] In OTL, Nazim was killed by Enver Pasha's lackey, Yakup Cemil, during his Young Turk coup. And yes, this is a slight reference to MacArthur, although Nazim's return will be of a different nature.
     
  10. stevep Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Whanztastic

    Sounds like the Russians have totally misjudged things and will be triggering a major conflict for nothing. If the Bulgarians have seriously only captured it for a bargaining position. [Although over what? If the Ottoman position in the Balkans has collapsed the Bulgarians really need to be bargaining with their 'allies' in Serbia and Greece. - OTL Bulgaria seems to have been involved in the heaviest fighting but lost out because while it was taking on the major Ottoman forces the Serbians and Greeks gained the main contested regions, hence the 2nd war shortly afterwards].

    Also if the bulk of the Turks are going to be leaving Constantinople, willingly or otherwise, that means that the sizeable Greek minority will become the majority population. That will make for an explosive situation without a major war occurring. [Although I suppose Bulgaria could trade the city for lands they want in Macedonia - but that would leave a pretty isolated Greek pocket].

    Anyway all rather moot as the Russian has declared war. Whether their got some agreement with Rumania, although that could make some deal, gaining part of Bulgaria as they did OTL. If not they will have to come by sea but that shouldn't be too impossible.

    Are the Russians intervening to return the city to Ottoman control - which would make intervention by the allies difficult, except on the same side - to take it themselves or is that unclear yet? Presumably not the former as not much basis for a major conflict.

    Anyway, looking forward to see what develops.

    Steve
     
  11. Whanztastic BohemianAmerican Defenestrater Monthly Donor

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    All Violent on the Eastern Front

    Chapter 4:
    All Violent on the Eastern Front


    War involves in its progress such a train of unforeseen circumstances that no human wisdom can calculate the end” - Thomas Paine



    In December 1912, the world truly did revolve around Constantinople once more. Over the past centuries, the city, once deemed the 'World Capital' had fallen from prestige, with Western focus more attuned to Paris, Berlin, London and New York. Details were scarce and rumors were rampant. What was known is that the Sublime Porte was taken, that Savov had seized it and Nazim had saved it. More of a novelty to the world at large, especially compared to the news of Constantinople falling, was the use of aeroplanes in combat, in the multiple roles of aerostrikes, aeroscouting, and the dropping of leaflets behind enemy lines. [10] In fact, it was aeroscouting that informed Savov of the unguarded route he used to surround Constantinople. These tales peaked the interests of only a select few. Soon, aerocombat would become an integral staple of modern warfare.


    Yet, all of that would shortly be forgotten. Throughout November, Russia was secretly mobilizing armies to the south, all in all roughly a force of 650,000 men. Also, the Black Sea Fleet (the only truly remaining one after the disastrous Russo-Japanese War) was to be of crucial importance. Yet, none of that really mattered unless Rumania would allow troops across its border. King Carol was constantly occupied with the prestige of his dynasty, and therefore the Kingdom of Rumania at large. And so when Tsar Nicholas II offered support of Rumanian control of southern Dobruja and promised to negotiate a transfer of territory in Bessarabia after the conflict, Carol could not turn down the chance to increase his nation's prestige. His German heritage and secret treaty with the Central Powers were not conflicting interests with Rumania's declaration of war on the Balkan League. The fact of the matter was that nations from both sides of the Diplomacy War had overlapping interests in the Balkans, and no matter which way the lines were drawn ultimately, there would be conflicts of interest.


    Nicholas II saw himself as the patriarch of all Slavic peoples, and the Southern Slavs who were running rampant in the Balkans as children misbehaving. To him, it was basically an internal matter; the Slavic household was simply having a tiff. The declaration of war was, in a strange way, in the name of Pan-Slavism. Russia had offered a great deal of military assistance to the Balkan League (indeed, a great deal of the aerocombat of the Bulgarians was Russian assisted). Bulgaria did have colder relations with Russia than her partner Sevia. It certainly did not help that Bulgaria's Tsar Ferdinand I was of German birth.


    Upon historical reflection and investigation, it has been shown that Bulgaria never intended to keep hold of Constantinople following the war, merely wanting to be in the superior position over her allies. Also, one can never underestimate the vanity of the Bulgarian officers. They were going to do something that no one had done in 450 years, no matter the consequences. Of course, Nicholas II did not know that Bulgaria only intended to occupy the city, not claim it. Russia had been developing plans to claim it from the Ottoman Empire, a plan supported by her ally France, but if the resulting peace treaty, backed by the Great Powers, awarded Constantinople to Bulgaria, those aspirations would go unrealized. So, in Nicholas' mind, he was merely defending what he saw as rightfully his.


    Russians troops crossed into Rumania in the last week of November, with Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia meeting Crown Prince Ferdinand of Rumania, commander of the Rumanian forces, on December 1, 1914 just prior to outbreak of hostilities with Bulgaria, and subsequently the Balkan League. It is of interesting historical note that there was no formal declaration of war on any of the Balkan League members by either Rumania or Russia, save for Bulgaria. The forces of Servia, Greece and Montenegro were of little consequence to the intervening nations, they merely getting tangled in the meat grinder.


    It is said that on December 2, when the Rumanian and Russian fleets open fire on the cities of Varnas and Burgas, Ferdinand and Nicholas were enjoying a drink of traditional Rumanian tzuika, toasting to their inevitable victory.”


    Return of the Romanovs: From Abdication to Election by R.K. Massie,
    Random House, 1995


    ------------------


    [10] The authors use of the prefix 'aero-' is a bit anachronistic. Also, the terminology is different ITTL because the development of the technologies is alternate as well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
  12. Whanztastic BohemianAmerican Defenestrater Monthly Donor

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    Some photos (obviously OTL, but let us pretend they are of something else)

    [​IMG]


    Grand Duke Nicholas after being given command of the Russian Army



    [​IMG]



    The Rumanian ruling family - Crown Prince Ferdinand, King Carol I, and Prince Carol

    [​IMG]

    Russian troops marching through Rumania

    [​IMG]

    There were over 300,000 Rumanian troops that faught along side the Russians in the Balkans at the outbreak of the Diplomacy War. History has often thought of them as a footnote, but they were marched to war told they were the 'elite vanguard', experts assisting the peasant army of Russia.
     
  13. Whanztastic BohemianAmerican Defenestrater Monthly Donor

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    Flight of Fate

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif]Chapter 5:[/FONT]
    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif]Flight of Fate[/FONT]



    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif]All things are subject to decay and when fate summons, monarchs must obey.” - John Dryden [/FONT]


    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif]The 'Great Man Theory' of history fell into disfavor following the Diplomacy Wars (1912-1916), and understandably so. [11] The disillusionment that followed the titanic conflict scarred a generation. Furthermore, a general sense of weltschmerz [12] had overcome Europe and the world at large. Part of this was probably due to the fact that the leaders who seemingly orchestrated the beginnings of this war had little control over the events that came to be. This is further exacerbated due to damages done to royal families in almost every nation. During the war, and the following years. the entire framework of Europe's politics would change; some of these would mark the most dramatic dethroning of monarchy since the French Revolution. The first royal family to be struck by tragedy would be the House of Hohenzollern, or to be more specific, the Kingdom of Rumania.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif]In December 1912, joint Rumanian and Russian forces were marching relatively unopposed into Bulgaria. Most of Bulgaria's army had been mobilized to the south and was desperately trying to return home to defend their homelands. Rumors, which were largely not true, were spreading through the ranks that the foreign invaders were raping and pillaging as they marched south, although the acts of individual soldiers cannot be accounted for. Rumania and Russia acted separately, independently attempting to achieve their goals. The mass of Russia's army marched down the Black Sea coast towards Thrace while Rumania, save for a token force occupying southern Dobruja, advanced west towards Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, where King Carol refused to abandoned the city, holding faith that it would not fall.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif]Due to the distance between the Bulgarian Army and the new front to the north, the first forces from either Thrace or Macedonia were the aeroplanes that had been involved in the siege of Edirne (modern day Odrin). [13] There had been several bombing runs on both Russian and Rumanian armies as they cut through Bulgaria. The night of December 24 was lit by a full moon. The Rumanian army was camped out around the town of Pravets, about 60km from Sofia. It was Christmas Eve for Crown Prince Ferdinand, but not for his troops. There was still some light skirmishing up and down the line, with occasional fire being returned back and forth.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif]Capt. Simeon Petrov and his fellow wingmen had been preforming aerostrikes nonstop since enemy boots touched Bulgarian soil. They hadn't had much actual effect, merely acting as moral dampeners. The Bulgarians did notice that after a night of aerostrikes, the enemy advanced more slowly and bit more cautiously the next day. Petrov took flight with two other wingmen that night, soaring on the winds of fate. Beneath him, fortifications were being prepared for the Rumanian assault on the city. They had a clear view of the earth beneath them, with enemy positions extremely visible when contrasted with the snow-covered ground. Petrov had personally designed the bombs that he would be dropping that night, being the first to put stabilizing fins on dropped explosives. While the other two aeroplanes dropped their explosives on the front lines, Petrov slipped to the back of the Rumanian lines. He knew that time was needed for Sofia and that the best way to do that would be to target the leaders of the assault.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif]And so it was that Crown Prince Ferdinand would be the first royal blood spilled during the Diplomacy War. Ferdinand was not killed in an epic duel nor heroically leading a charge into battle but torn apart by flame and shrapnel in his sleep. Is this not the fitting image of how the world was changing? The heir to the throne killed by technology and misfortune, a truly cold and meaningless end. Some would also say that Petrov's act is the perfect example of the changes of class. A noble struck down by a self-made man. Of course, no one knew the implications of Ferdinand's death that night. Sofia still fell, but the Rumanians were disorganized enough to allow some Bulgarian reserves to reach the city and when the attack finally came, it would be the most bloody of the war so far. But when the Rumanians finally did take the city, enraged by the 'execution' of their Prince, soldiers stormed Vrana Palace, dragged King Ferdinand of Bulgaria out of the royal palace into Battenberg Square, where he was executed by an unknown soldier on December 30.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif]King Carol of Rumania, already in a weak state due to being advanced in age, fell ill upon hearing the news of Prince Ferdinand's death, beginning the succession crisis that would plague Rumania throughout the war, inevitably leading to the end of the Rumanian kingdom. Rumania's government was in turmoil due to the deaths of Ferdinand and King Carol. Prince Carol was no where to be found, and so, nine year old Prince Nicholas was crowned and a quick regency council, mostly of a wartime nature, was thrown together. Also, the death of King Ferdinand sent shockwaves through Austria-Hungary and Germany. A scion of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Ferdinand was a man born in Vienna with many ties to both of the Empires. 1913 was a year ushered in under a shroud of certain doom. [/FONT]


    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif]On the first day of the new year, Austria-Hungary declared war on Rumania, and transitively Russia and the Ottoman Empire. Germany had promised, following the[/FONT][FONT=Book antiqua, serif] German Imperial War Council of 4 December 1912, to support Austria-Hungary if they were to become involved in the most recent Balkan crisis. [14] And so, on January 2 Germany followed suite, declaring war on Russia, Rumania and the Ottomans. For the moment, Great Britain and Italy remained quite on the matter. Japan, however would declare war on Russia (and Rumania) on January 4. And while a declaration of war could be heard in Palace Castle and throughout Japan, bootsteps could be heard, heading east, near the Mosel.[/FONT]"


    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif]Politics, Class and Religion in Post-War Europe by J.E.C. Hill, Bodley Head, 1999[/FONT]




    [​IMG]


    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif]Capt. Petrov, Bulgarian war hero.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif]-----------------------[/FONT]


    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif][11] I'm finding myself thinking that the Diplomacy Wars sounds better than Diplomacy War so I'm retconning it a bit and saying that in the 90s the use of the singular fell out of favor and the plural became more widely used.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif][12] I am not sure if the use of 'weltschmerz' is exactly right but I think so. Furthermore, this crossover of language is to also demonstrate a closer connection between the Germans and British, therefore leading to some language bleeding.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif][13] Also a bit of a retcon, but this small foreshadowing hints about my postwar plans.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif][14] The scheduled [FONT=Book antiqua, serif]German Imperial War Council of 8 December 1912 is pushed up a bit due to the escalation of the conference ITTL. Furthermore, the main argument for delaying conflict during OTL's Council was that they were not prepared on the water to fight Britain's navy; this would not be a major concern ITTL. Germany either expects the UK to side with them or at least remain neutral. [/FONT][/FONT]
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  14. stevep Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Whanztastic

    Well, the phase cat amongst the pigeons comes to mind. Going to be a hell of a war. Not sure if the French will be striking through Belgium, which should definitely bring Britain in, or if the their going to follow Plan 17 and throw themselves against the German defences in A-L.

    A few queries:

    a) You have a typo "[FONT=Book antiqua, serif]The heir to the thrown killed by technology and misfortune"[/FONT];)

    b) If I'm reading it rightly with King Carol and Crown Prince Ferdinand dead then Prince Carol is the next oldest son and Nicholas a younger son. Presuming there is no evidence that Carol is dead - not quite sure why he can't be found - I think it would be highly unlikely they would crown Nicholas. Some sort of regency council to handle matters but this would be very irregular and also a potential receipt for civil war if/when Carol turns up.

    c) Is Turkey still in the war? I though they had signed a cease-fire with the Bulgarians and their allies? If so I would have expected that the Austrians and Germans would have declared war on Rumania and possibly Russia - although possibly giving them a chance to distance themselves from their allies. However it would seem unlikely to expand the conflict to the Ottoman empire without need.

    The murder of King Ferdinand will definitely enrage public opinion in much of Europe. Most especially in the monarhies themselves because such behaviour would be seen as unthinkable, as well as very dangerous.

    Steve


    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif][/FONT]
     
  15. Whanztastic BohemianAmerican Defenestrater Monthly Donor

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Location:
    Ft. Dearborn
    D'oh - Fixed

    IOTL when King Ferdinand died Prince Carol II ran off and so his son Michael (not born ITTL) was made king at age six with a regency triumvirate so this action is kinda based on this. But you are right that it will be seen as a bit unfair by some Rumanians ITTL.

    The Ottomans did sign a ceasefire but when the Bulgarian forces shift north and with some internal shifts in the Empire, expect them to return to the fray.

    I imagine that no one is quite happy with the news. My next post will be more broad in focus, doing an around-the-world round-up of different nations and so forth up until this point.
     
  16. imperialaquila Aspiring Thru-Hiker

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Location:
    Happy Valley
    I like this! Good work so far. However, any conflict in this time period that has Britain and Germany on the same side will almost certainly end up as a victory for them. The combination of the most powerful navy and army in the world, and the second and third largest industrial powers in the world, is impossible to beat by any conceivable combination of powers.

    I'd like more information on how the world has developed since the POD. I await your update eagerly!
     
  17. Whanztastic BohemianAmerican Defenestrater Monthly Donor

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Location:
    Ft. Dearborn
    A brief history of just about everything different: 1903-1913

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif]Chapter 6:[/FONT]
    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif]A brief history of just about everything different: 1903-1913[/FONT]




    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif]You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war.” - William Randolph Hearst[/FONT]



    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif]In an effort to foster inter-timeline understanding, we have published a concise history of TL-AG03 between its established moment of difference (mod) and its Diplomacy War(s).[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif]This is an abridged version of their world history during this period, covering only changes in this timeline that are of critical importance in its history, when compared with ours.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif]- Editorial Board of The Chrononaut[/FONT]


    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif]Europe[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] United Kingdom[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] Due to there not being a Naval buildup, the “People's Budget” does not exist as it did in our world. As a result there is never enough support for the land tax aspect of the bill and so the House of Lords does not veto the bill, never causing a parliamentary crisis in 1910. The results of this is no Parliament Act 1911, nor is there any need for the Liberals to turn to the Irish Nationalists for a majority, meaning no Irish Home Rule Bill, with the Irish question being put on the side burner for the duration of the Diplomacy Wars. Any differences in the Empire at large shall be dealt with in their respective geographical areas.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] German Empire[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] There were not many major changes in the history of Germany from 1903-1913. The major one, of course, was that there was no naval arms race between Germany and the United Kingdom in the pre-war era. There was also further colonial cooperation during the years, and again those shall be covered in the other sections (one example being no Moroccan crises). Germany did feel like it was in a better position than it did in our time and so the German Imperial War Council of 4 December 1912 fully supported Austro-Hungary during the Balkan Crisis at the beginning of the Diplomacy Wars. Also, with a major war beginning in eastern Europe, Germany began shifting more troops to the Prussian-Polish border.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] Austro-Hungarian Empire[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] The most important change for Austro-Hungary was that the Diplomacy Wars did not start with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. His survival will have a great impact on the Empire.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] French Empire[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] France found itself incredibly isolated. They had been able to negotiate some agreed upon colonial boundaries in Africa and Asia but there was no Entente Cordiale which we saw in our history. Georges Clemenceau's government came to power the same as it did in our timeline but he remained in power past 1909. He realized that military reform and innovation was required. The major focuses of this was naval reform and the development of the French Air Force. France remained the second largest naval power, never being surpassed by Germany or the United States (before 1912) and was the world's foremost air power. France's innovation, under the direction of Gen. Pierre Roques, attracted many innovative minds from other nations. This led to French air technology at the outbreak of the Diplomacy Wars to be far ahead of its competitors.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] Realizing the desperate position that France was in, Gen. Joseph Gallieni was appointed Chief of Staff in 1909, not turning down the position in 1911, as he did in our world.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] Russian Empire[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] Like during our timeline's WWI, Russia had no plan for a partial mobilization and when they moved into Rumania the whole army was put on 'alert'. However, unlike in our world, Germany did not originally think of it as a declaration of war, but [/FONT][FONT=Book antiqua, serif]Helmuth von Moltke did shift an additional two corps, to East Prussia.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] There is no Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907 in TL-AG03. And so “The Great Game” never has the agreed upon restrictions in Asian spheres of influence and conflicts of interest will arise.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] Kingdom of Italy[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] Very little is different in the Kingdom of Italy in TL-AG03. The situations of war have changed, however. The Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy from 1882 still exists but Italy still views it as defensive in nature. The Italian people are still hesitant to side with their past enemy Austria-Hungary. But Italy does not necessarily have to worry about the coming in conflict with the United Kingdom on the Mediterranean Sea. The earlier date of the war means the Giovanni Giolitti is still in power and Italy has just finished the surprisingly taxing Italo-Turkish War and was not in a strong position when the question of combat was raised once more.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] Ottoman Empire[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] The dictatorship known as the 'Two Pashas' was established by the Coup of 1912. When Nazim Pasha fled the Ottoman Empire for Rhodes, he set a precedent for other members of the Ottoman Empire who were seen as the opposition of the Young Turk movement to flee from their posts. One notable person who did not was Kamil Pasha, Grand Vizer at the time of the Coup. He was subsequently executed by the Young Turks for betraying the Empire for the disastrous Balkan conflict and premature cease fire. The Two Pashas, Mehmed Talat (minister of the interior) and Ismail Enver (minister of war), replaced Kamil Pasha with Mahmud Shevket, who was in reality a puppet Grand Vizer.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] Despite being Sultan, Mehmed V remained rather powerless as these events occurred around him. While some of the royal family fled, including his heir Prince Yusef Izzettin Efendi, Mehmed V remained basically under house arrest. His only real action was declaring Jihad on 'all enemies of the Ottoman state, and Moslems, everywhere,' with some from the TL arguing under that he did so under great pressure from the Two Pashas.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] One interesting note was that due to the Anglo-German Treaty, the Berlin Railway was completed all the way to Basra prior to 1913 due to diplomatic cooperation between the two powers, as seen in other places as well. This strategic railway would be of great importance during the Diplomacy Wars.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif]Africa[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] Cape to Cairo Railway[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] In our universe, this railway was an impossibility due to the existence of German East Africa and financial troubles after WWI. However, one the first cooperative efforts seen between the British and German empires was the construction of this railway. Sir Edward Grey, becoming foreign secretary in 1905 made it a top priority to negotiate German assistance in the effort. This was secured in 1906 and the track was nearly complete when the Diplomacy Wars broke out. This effort saw greater financial support by Britain; due to the lack of a naval arms race, a greater amount of funds was available for the construction. One aspect of this connected line was quicker developments in Southern Sudan, being developed much more quickly and on par with Northern Sudan, taking advantage of its agricultural possibilities.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] Kamerun and Morocco[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] With no entente-cordiale between France and the United Kingdom, there are no Moroccan Crises but there was a Kamerun exchange. Theodor Seitz, governor of Kamerun entered into unilateral discussions with French Congo Governor General Martial Merlin in 1908. Seitz and Merlin, both operating under the assumption that the other truly represented the interests of their empires at large, agreed to a transfer of a territory roughly equal to our world's Neukamerun in exchange for German acceptance of that Morocco was truly in France's sphere of influence, with Morocco remaining de jure independent. When word got out, neither Berlin nor Paris backed down from the agreement, but both governors had to resign their posts.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] South Africa[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] During the Zulu Rebellion of 1906, one Mahatmas Gandhi played a minor role in attempting to get Indians involved in the war effort as first combatants and then volunteers in a stretcher bearer corps while at the same time becoming involved in Indian efforts against the new racial Acts. Gandhi died an accidental death in prison in October 1906. [15] He lives on as a martyred hero in South African racial politics. Jan Smuts was had to resign following this embarrassment (some say Smuts had him executed), spending some time in Britain. This martyrdom, coupled with a greater amount of British government involvement in South African developments in TL-AG03, are noted as two principle causes of less racial segregation in South Africa than seen in our timeline.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] Nigeria[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] Norhtern Nigeria and Southern Nigeria are less on track to becoming amalgamated due to Fredrick Lugard's greater success as Governor of Hong Kong, not returning to Nigeria in 1912.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif]Americas[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif]Dominions of Canada and Newfoundland[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] With no naval arms race, the Canadian Navy was never founded by the liberal government under Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier, winning the 1911 general election. One immediate result of this is the successful negotiation of reciprocity (free trade) treaty with the Taft Administration in the United States. Newfoundland was able to form a coalition government in 1908, under mediation by Governor MacGregor, who remained Governor of the Newfoundland until his retirement in 1916. He oversaw the founding of the University of Newfoundland in 1911.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] United States of America [/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] Being a fairly isolated, politically and geographically, little changed internally within in the United States during the decade prior to the Diplomacy Wars. Woodrow Wilson was elected president in November, 1912 when the Diplomacy Wars was a mere regional clash in the Balkans. However, by January the fires of war had spread across Europe and further. That meant that for the first couple months there was a lame duck President and Congress while the international situation spiraled out of control, sparking an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] Mexico[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] Once again, the changes to Mexico between 1903-1913 in TL-AG03 are very little save for one event. For reasons unknown, after the Battle of Ciudad Juarez, Francisco Madero named Boer outsider Benjamin Viljoen as a compromise candidate as his Minister of War instead of Venustanio Carranza. [16] This disgruntled Pancho Villa and Pascual Orozco, but neither was offended as they were in our timeline, leading to different events during the Mexican Revolution. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] Venezuela[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] Castro Ruiz was equally spastic in his foreign relations as he was in our world. Juan Vincent G[FONT=Segoe UI, sans-serif]ó[/FONT]mez, however, realized that the new United Kingdom – Germany bloc could be used as a strong tool against the Monroe Doctrine in the future.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif]Asia and the Pacific[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] Australia and New Zealand[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] The only change of significant note for this period in time for Australia or New Zealand is that due to no naval buildup by the British Admiralty and so there was no separate Australian Royal Navy when the Diplomacy Wars erupted, remaining the Commonwealth Naval Forces. However, the Great White Fleet still visited Australia on their invitation and still commissioned the HMS Parramatta and HMS Yarra, but under a unified Royal Navy.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] British Malaysia and Thailand[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] Since British-French relations are considerably colder, British efforts in consolidating the Malay peninsula were greater and so the Federated Malay States came to represent all of the states in 1911 (the Straits Settlements were still independent). Also because of this the, the Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1907 includes slightly more territory going towards British control on the Malay peninsula, in exchange for protection for further French encroachments.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] Hong Kong[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] As referenced above, Frederick Lugard's proposal to return Weihaiwei to the Chinese government in exchange for a perpetual lease of the New Territories in Hong Kong met with more favorable approval, due to Weihaiwei belonging to Germany's, which is percieved as relatively friendly in TL-AG03, recognized sphere of influence, Shandong. This was secured in early 1912. Due to this success, Lugard does not return to Nigeria but remains Governor of Hong Kong.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] The Great Game[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] The Great Game continued in Central Asia between Russia and Britain, with no entente being established. Britan was finding itself globally sandwiched between Russia and France and so pushed her advantage more so in this timeline. First, with respect to Tibet, Lord Minto, Viceroy of India, established the 'Darjeeling Accord' with the Dali Lama and Tsarong. The British government would recognize Tibetan independence by interacting with it directly, not going through Chinese channels, although he could promise little support at the time. This was done in reaction to Russian influence in Outer Mongolia, something Britain could not directly challenge. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] In Afghanistan, Emir Hibibullah Khan remained firmly under Britain's sway.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif] In Iran, rather than coming to an agreement and working towards similar goals, Russia and Britain found themselves supporting rival factions of the Constitutional Revolution. The Russians unsuccessfully backed Muhammad Ali Shah who had to abdicate due to pressure from the constitutionalists. Morgan Shuster was not ousted from Iran, due to the constitutionalists being supported by the British. The result of this was that economic stability was established by the Iranian parliament.”[/FONT]


    World as of December 1, 1912

    worldUCS 1912.png


    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif]----------------------------------------------------[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif][15] Cruel perhaps, but the butterflies have their way. Also, the unglamorous presentation of such a fact is may way of showing that famous people are just people too who were subject to the same whims of fate as anybody else.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Book antiqua, serif][16] Implausible perhaps, but I am allowed to take a little creative license and I think it will offer an interesting twist to Mexico.[/FONT]

    worldUCS 1912.png
     
  18. Whanztastic BohemianAmerican Defenestrater Monthly Donor

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Location:
    Ft. Dearborn
    Chapter 7:
    Another day's Plan XVII


    Autre temps, autres mœurs (Other days, other ways). - French proverb




    Plan XVII [17]

    Plan XVII was the name of a "scheme of mobilization" that was adopted by the French General Staff in 1911, to be put into effect by the French Army in the event of war between France and Germany but was not ‘a dictated chronology for the campaign’ or a rigid battle plan.


    Background

    Following the defeat of the French armies during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, the French military had to adapt to a new balance of power in Europe. The emergence of the unified German Empire on its eastern border, combined with the loss of Elsass and Lothringen, seriously weakened France's strategic position.[18] This weak position was exacerbated by the diplomatic isolation that was the result of the Anglo-German Treaty of 1903.

    In 1898, the French General Staff adopted Plan XIV. Taking into account the numerical inferiority of the French Army, Plan XIV was a defensive strategy along the Franco-German border. Besides the disparity in population, France had a population of forty million compared to Germany's fifty, so there was also the problem of reserves. The Franco-Prussian War had demonstrated the ability of the German General Staff to make use of the German railroad network to deploy its armies to the front lines and its capability to quickly mobilize its reservists into front-line units. While the French General Staff began to apply the lessons of the use of railways, the question of using reservists in frontline units was not yet resolved. Plan XIV didn't take reserves into account. In 1903, Plan XIV gave way to Plan XV. While still defensive in character, Plan XV focused on minimizing mobilization times.

    Plan XVI of 1906 placed greater emphasis on the risk of a German attack through Belgium, and was modified in 1909 by Gen. Joseph Gallieni following his ascension to Chief of Staff.


    Description

    Gallieni presented Plan XVII in 1911. In actuality, Plan XVII was two different plans in one. It provided a strong but adaptive military strategy for the invasion of either the Rhine Province via Belgium or Lothringen, with both directions having different objectives. If France was to move against Lothringen, its goal would be the straightforward elimination of Germany's armed forces. It was the more costly option but, if successful, it would virtually guarantee an armistice. If France was to invade Germany through Belgium and Luxemburg, the goal would be to (1) outflank the German army's defensive positions and (2) seize the Rhine Province's important industrial and mineral resources, strangling Germany's ability to wage war.



    Activation

    On January 4, 1913 France preempted any German movements by declaring war on Germany and moving against Belgium and Luxemburg, taking the offensive 'edge' (see Cult of the Offensive). Grand Duchess Marie-Adelaide of Luxembourg, with an army of just under 400, personally surrendered to the Fourth Army under Gen. Emmanuel Ruffey. On the following day, France moved into Belgium. The era of traditional summer campaigns was definitely over.

    The German strategy, the Moltke Plan,[19] also included an attack through Belgium, to reach northern France to encircle Paris. However, once the French invaded neutral Belgium, Germany virtually abandoned the Moltke Plan. Belgium did not establish a defensive front along its borders but rather it limited its defense to the key defensive forts of Namur, Liege and Antwerp. The German General Staff had no contingency plan to assist Belgium in its defense. And so, Germany's Second Army crossed into Belgium forming meeting the French at the Battle of Ourthe, while the Sixth and Seventh Armies entered France directly in the south, apparently just so Germany could be on the offensive somewhere along the Western Front.[20]


    Result

    The French forces surprised their German and Belgium opposites, and all outside observers. For the past decade, the French military had been in a state of renewal and innovation. Everything was being reevaluated – from aerocraft to u-boats to the basic service infantry rifle. While the military leaders in other nations rested on their laurels, France had no laurels to rest upon. Certainly, out of desperation, innovation was born. Plan XVII was a decisive tactical victory but a minor strategic one. While the innovations of the French army played a crucial part of France's push through Belgium and into the Rhine, they were not enough to succeed in the ultimate goal of Plan XVII. Harold Thompson argues the ultimate factors in the incomplete success of Plan XVII was that the campaign began in the winter, slowing the mobilization process (an unavoidable political issue), and the heroic actions of the II Seebatalion and its commander, Lt. Col. Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck.”


    Plan XVII article from Koopedia, the free encyclopedia.


    -------------------------------------


    [17] A fair portion of this is lifted from our Wikipedia's article on Plan XVII but I tried to use it only as a template. It helped that only the background really applied, with TL-AG03's Plan XVII (introduced in the last post by a cross-timeline publication, AG03 standing for the noticeable Point of Difference – the Anglo-German Treaty of 1903 – AG03) being fairly divergent. Also, Green is the accepted color for 'intertrails' (hyperlinks) in TL-AG03

    [18] Due to the alignment of the UK in this timeline, in English the German names for shared/swapped places becomes a preferred choice over the French ones.

    [19] Being an 'koop' (wiki, from the German for cooperative) on the 'diginet' (a digital network, aka the internet), Koopedia is subject to not adhering to strict academic or factual lines, with the application of the 'Motlke Plan' not being entirely accurate. This is just my way of correcting our timeline's fact that what happened in 1914 was not what Schlieffen intended. So, although to specific Moltke Plan existed, it has been used to label the offensive that was Chief of the General Staff Moltke's doing.

    [20] The Motlke Plan was not adaptable. So, when France took the initiative, Germany could no longer attack Belgium as well, but it was unsure how to proceed. Rather than just sit around, personal initiative, the idea of the offensive advantage, and the thought that it would be weaker due to France's move through Belgium, all led to Germany's invasion into Elsass.

     
  19. Arachnid Arachnid once more.

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    Interesting tl. Anglo-German co-operation normally ends as a wank but I wonder how this will go.
     
  20. Incognitia Classic plotter Monthly Donor

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Whoo, this is good work.

    Will be following with interest.