East first! Europe after a German / CP victory in 1916

Thank you for your explanation! This gives a better picture of the situation. Taking the Estonian and Aland islands first fits within this TL, but it may not be the best route to St. Petersburg.

I wonder what Finland's status will be in a peace deal with Russia if Finland is not invaded.

You're welcome.

If Finland is not invaded by the Germans or their allies, Finland's position would be dependent whether by the time of the peace Finland is still under Russian control, or whether the Finns themselves have created a country in a post-Russian power vacuum and declared it independent (like happened IOTL). If the Russians still obviously control Finland, I don't believe that the Germans would have good reason or diplomatic bargaining chips to detach Finland from Russia. Finland is a peripheral area, and if the Germans have some "extra" influence to use in the negotiations, they would rather spend it on getting more land out of the Russian empire in the Baltic area, the Polish areas or in Ukraine than in Finland.
 
Very well said - this was exactly the point I was making.

You would have to have either a huge external threat or a very big carrot (like Northern Schleswig for Denmark) in order to get a neutral to join.

In some ways, perhaps the development of the British or French colonial empire would be a better model for Mitteleuropa (as Bismarck supposedly quipped: "my map of Africa lies in Europe").

It would likely be *presented* as a proto-EU to make the concept more palatable both to the subject states and international peers. But the reality would be a dichotomy between "German" and "Other", especially for the smaller satellites.
 
It would likely be *presented* as a proto-EU to make the concept more palatable both to the subject states and international peers. But the reality would be a dichotomy between "German" and "Other", especially for the smaller satellites.

I think we should apprciate that some of the states of the new Mitteleuropa won't be quite so easy to manage as Berlin would like.
 
I think we should apprciate that some of the states of the new Mitteleuropa won't be quite so easy to manage as Berlin would like.
Indeed, but an interesting ATL might involve one of the puppet partner countries with a globally competitive industry as a means of giving the Germans grief, especially if their homegrown equivalent simply isn't up to spec. Or worse, if someone out-Germans the Germans - Hungary in basic sciences and engineering for example.
 
Hungary in basic sciences and engineering for example.
I'd give it to the Czechs for that sort of thing, much as they were OTL. Even if they gain independence from Austria as the A-H union fractures (as I assume it will during the reign of Emperor Charles) I find it unlikely Hungary will want to lose its ability to set trade tariffs, so I'd put Hungary on the list of nations very unlikely to join the German trade union.

All this talk about Middling Europe (har har) has made me think that while the excuse "it's just a customs and mutual defense union" might be useful in the short term to cover German hegemony, as the years go on I can easily see it becoming closer to the truth. After all, ideally it'll become a general free-trade network like NAFTA, only with half a dozen members instead of just three.
 
Russia
The war ends with a major defeat for Russia. Will there still be a revolution? Will the Tsar have to resign? Or will he only lose his power? The Bolsheviks are unlikely to come to power. How will Russia develop?
It depends whether the Germans decide to send Lenin to Russia as OTL. I suspect not, as a destabilized Russia is now a bad thing for Germany. They probably want a weak Russia, not one possibly in chaos. If the Germans DO send Lenin, I feel the revolution will manage to succeed, but the Communists are much more about industrialization and rearmament and less about ideological purity than OTL. (I note nothing in the treaty forbidding Russia from updating their armaments...)

Assuming the Germans keep Lenin tucked away, I predict the Tsar will stay. Alexei is only 10 years old, and Olga (oldest daughter) just 20. However, the Duma is going to become more than a token of representation. Nicholas will still have a lot of power, but won't be an absolute monarch anymore.
 
It depends whether the Germans decide to send Lenin to Russia as OTL. I suspect not, as a destabilized Russia is now a bad thing for Germany. They probably want a weak Russia, not one possibly in chaos. If the Germans DO send Lenin, I feel the revolution will manage to succeed, but the Communists are much more about industrialization and rearmament and less about ideological purity than OTL. (I note nothing in the treaty forbidding Russia from updating their armaments...)

Assuming the Germans keep Lenin tucked away, I predict the Tsar will stay. Alexei is only 10 years old, and Olga (oldest daughter) just 20. However, the Duma is going to become more than a token of representation. Nicholas will still have a lot of power, but won't be an absolute monarch anymore.

And it's no longer necessary, because they've militarily defeated Russia more quickly.
 
Compliments to this time line, like the previous ones I enjoyed it.

I do have question regarding the Armenia.
I do realize that the treaty is a pure real politic affair, and since the Ottoman Empire is in the winning camp, there for it can make some demands. Even it was losing big at their front.
You also mentioned that the Armenian genocide still occurs, which is very plausible.

And this is the problem I have with granting the demand that Ottoman and Russian borders are restored pre 1914.

The Armenian genocide and attacks on Greeks, Christian minorities, are well documented and even photographed by Germans and Americans. Their witness accounts and photographs appeared in the news papers. (OTL)
Again I understand diplomacy seldom take care of humanity, but giving the Ottomans back the largely Christian Alexandretta and Ottoman Armenia would simply give them the free hand, and approval, to continue with their genocide, and this time not only on Armenians but on all non Muslims.
And in a time were photography can produce graphic visual accounts of their atrocities. This must have some repercussions in German public opinion that their government is supporting a genocide on Christians, and if not in Germany in the ( ITL) much larger neutral World.
 
Compliments to this time line, like the previous ones I enjoyed it.

I do have question regarding the Armenia.
I do realize that the treaty is a pure real politic affair, and since the Ottoman Empire is in the winning camp, there for it can make some demands. Even it was losing big at their front.
You also mentioned that the Armenian genocide still occurs, which is very plausible.

And this is the problem I have with granting the demand that Ottoman and Russian borders are restored pre 1914.

The Armenian genocide and attacks on Greeks, Christian minorities, are well documented and even photographed by Germans and Americans. Their witness accounts and photographs appeared in the news papers. (OTL)
Again I understand diplomacy seldom take care of humanity, but giving the Ottomans back the largely Christian Alexandretta and Ottoman Armenia would simply give them the free hand, and approval, to continue with their genocide, and this time not only on Armenians but on all non Muslims.
And in a time were photography can produce graphic visual accounts of their atrocities. This must have some repercussions in German public opinion that their government is supporting a genocide on Christians, and if not in Germany in the ( ITL) much larger neutral World.
Didn't a population exchange occur between Russians and Ottomans (or am I remembering some different thread)
 
Didn't a population exchange occur between Russians and Ottomans (or am I remembering some different thread)
This so called population exchange is in modern terms called ethnic cleansing. This did occurred in the aftermath of OTL WW1 and even on larger scale in Europe after OTL WW2.
However we are in TTL in 196-1917 were large part of Europe and North and South America will react , still in the 19th century mind set, very disapproving, when Christians are forced from their ancestral lands, let alone being killed in death marshes like the Armenians or pogroms.
In OTL the pogroms on Armenians and Greeks did caused considerable consternation and confusion in American and even German news papers.
 
This so called population exchange is in modern terms called ethnic cleansing. This did occurred in the aftermath of OTL WW1 and even on larger scale in Europe after OTL WW2.
However we are in TTL in 196-1917 were large part of Europe and North and South America will react , still in the 19th century mind set, very disapproving, when Christians are forced from their ancestral lands, let alone being killed in death marshes like the Armenians or pogroms.
In OTL the pogroms on Armenians and Greeks did caused considerable consternation and confusion in American and even German news papers.

As for the Ottoman Empire after a CP victory, I find this a very difficult one myself. So many butterflies...

As Russia loses the war, Russian expansion of territory in Armenia is unlikely. Since the Ottoman Empire has been unable to take Russian territory, expansion of territory for the Ottomans is also unlikely. So restoring the 1914 border seems most plausible to me.

As a solution to the Armenian question I have indeed mentioned a population exchange, similar to the OTL exchange after the Greco-Turkish war. It seems to fit into this timeframe. The remaining Armenians will want to flee to Russian Armenia anyway. In exchange, the Turks living in Russian Armenia are deported to the Ottoman Empire. This will stabilize the situation for the future.

What will happen to the other Christians in the Ottoman Empire is of course the question. But since the war is over, I do expect the genocide to end. And if not, it may lead to new intervention by European powers.

By the way, the Germans were not that concerned about the Armenians. They were aware of the genocide but did nothing.
 
As for the Ottoman Empire after a CP victory, I find this a very difficult one myself. So many butterflies...

As Russia loses the war, Russian expansion of territory in Armenia is unlikely. Since the Ottoman Empire has been unable to take Russian territory, expansion of territory for the Ottomans is also unlikely. So restoring the 1914 border seems most plausible to me.

As a solution to the Armenian question I have indeed mentioned a population exchange, similar to the OTL exchange after the Greco-Turkish war. It seems to fit into this timeframe. The remaining Armenians will want to flee to Russian Armenia anyway. In exchange, the Turks living in Russian Armenia are deported to the Ottoman Empire. This will stabilize the situation for the future.

What will happen to the other Christians in the Ottoman Empire is of course the question. But since the war is over, I do expect the genocide to end. And if not, it may lead to new intervention by European powers.

By the way, the Germans were not that concerned about the Armenians. They were aware of the genocide but did nothing.
I agree with your time line, this seems very plausible, and do fit in the, still 19th century, mind set of the diplomats of that time.
Although diplomats rarely seem to care of the consequences their decisions have on the populations of the territories they decide on.
I do understand that German diplomats are looking to the long term and their plans and (economic and geo-politic) interest they envision for Germany in the Ottoman Empire.
How ever after this conflict he 20th century will finally start and with this century a more critical press, this time backed with photography and even moving pictures, who could have a (long term) effect on public opinion even on a German population which will be drunk of victory and national pride for a year or so.
 
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Aftermath

The question is how this TL will develop further. To give you a start:

"Mitteleuropa"
The customs union and military alliance will probably continue to expand under German leadership and eventually lead to a kind of European Union in the long run. Will Austria-Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria join after some years? Probably also Sweden, Denmark and Greece? But does this also apply to the countries in Western Europe? How do France and Britain react to this development?

Poland
In fact, like the other new states, this will become a German puppet state. The Polish minority in Germany, mainly living in Posen and West Prussia, will be "encouraged" to settle in the eastern Polish areas of Wolhynia and Polesia. What will happen to the Ukrainians and Belarusians living there?

United Baltic Duchy
This protectorate is in fact ruled by a German-speaking elite. New German immigrants are likely to be attracted to strengthen this elite. Will they be able to maintain power? Or will this state eventually disintegrate into Estonia and Latvia?

Austria-Hungary
Will Austria-Hungary survive? The status of Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro is likely to cause problems. What will be the solution? Trialism? In which all South Slavs will be included in one new kingdom to be formed? Or will this be an intermediate step towards the independence of Hungary and “Yugoslavia”? Under that circumstance, will Austria join Germany?

Russia
The war ends with a major defeat for Russia. Will there still be a revolution? Will the Tsar have to resign? Or will he only lose his power? The Bolsheviks are unlikely to come to power. How will Russia develop?

Ottoman Empire
The war has brought nothing to the Ottoman Empire, except that the Northeast has become more ethnically homogeneous. The Christians around Alexandretta are likely to flee to France for fear of reprisals. Relations with Germany will have cooled because Germany has not advocated annexations in the Caucasus during negotiations with Russia. Will the Turks be able to continue to dominate Arabia? Or will the Arabs revolt sooner or later? Will France intervene again “to protect the Christians”?
May I give a shot in a possible future?

Mitteleuropa
Mitteleuropa with Poland, United Baltic Duchy will initially start as a custom union, beneficial to German companies, and at the start a union were German politics can force its political power. Although the political influence will decline within a decade as the result of the economic success of the custom union. The economies of all countries will experience an unprecedented economic growth. With this economic growth a self conscious will arise and simultaneously a confident resistance of local political leaders and parties towards too much German political interference.

Germany it self will be over confident due to the very successful result of the war, despite the enormous number of deaths' and mutilated men. German population will be overly pride first of the war result and later due to the economic boom it will experience. However the economic growth and wellfare of common Germans will put pressure on the political system. This will gradually give room to a more democratic society were the Junkers need to give room to the common German in matters how the country is ruled. Initially this will find resistance of the old elite and military leaders but in the end the old guard will lose it of time. Germany was before the war already a sort of proto democracy, which declined in OTL ww1 in to a militarily junta. At the end this will be beneficial for Germany since in the first decade after the war German , many politicians and military leaders think that armed conflicts will solve any foreign problem. ( as they thought after the Franco-Prussian war). The huge success of the army and the rather secondary role of the navy mean the slow and long end of the capital ships of the German Imperial Navy. Capital ships will be replaced for modern versions during the next decades but the battle fleet will not grow any more in size, rather shrink in favor of much cheaper units like cruisers, destroyers and submarines, which are even better suited to protect trade lanes.

Austria Hungary.
After a few years of calm the unrest will start. Hungary and Bohemia will demand more influence as it did before the War. Other Nations within the empire are demanding more independence or are afraid to be over powered by the Hungarians. The Austrian Empire will experience a period of social unrest in some parts of the Empire being a state of civil war, in all but name. In an effort to keep the Empire together it will split in very autonomous countries like Hungary, Bohemia, Austria and Slavic nations. Forming an Empire only in name, as a kind of commonwealth. Or it will fragmented in independent nations were some of them will join the custom union of Mitteleuropa. This will happen during the course of the 20ties until the start of the 30ties

Russia,
Will experience a decade of unrest and some sort of decline, but will recover in a stable, albeit light repressive constitutional monarchy ruled by a conservative but social authoritarian leader. The country is democratic but on a Russian way, were industrial Oligarchs and Nobility find each other and keep the masses happy with an improved economic situation and living conditions. In the short decade of unrest, no doubt the radical Bolshevist will try a shot to power but will fail. Initial they are successful but will fail at the end, both due to their radical nature. This will last from 1916 up to approx. 1922-23
After this decade of unrest the Russian Empire will try again to assure it's place on the world stage. Possible they focus their attention on the Ottoman Empire. Trying to grab apart of Ottomans which they conquered during the Great War or even more, since Oil become by this time a highly valued commodity, which you can not have enough.
This they will do on their onw or in conjunction with other powers. Not necessary in a combined effort.

Ottoman Empire. The ethic cleansing of the former Armenian territories will have a long lasting economic negative effect on the Empire. The Ottoman Empire fail to modernize it self, despite efforts and even progress is made it will be nullified by the progress in Europe.
The unrest in the Austrian Hungarian Empire and the poor performance of the Ottoman army in the war, could encourage Greece and Bulgaria to start a war against the Ottoman Empire. Or the Ottoman Empire will start a war against the Greece in an attempt to show their power. This can happen 1920 or earlier or perhaps as OTL 1922. One way or the other the Greece will be backed by Great Brittan, and possible Russia and France.
Many countries will be eager to tore the Ottoman Empire apart all for various reasons. Publicly to protect Christians or Greeks but in case of France and Great Brittan to gain the oil fields. Oil will be by this time a the most desired commodity. By 1930 the Ottoman Empire will will just a rump state after a long series of very bloody conflicts. In Great Brittan there will be factions who are more than eager to go to war with a weakened opponent like the Ottoman Empire since these faction idea is that hey missed a war with all its opportunities.

Colonialism will see its zenith in the next 20 to 30 years, both in Africa and Asia. Germany will pore money in their now vast African holdings. Albeit as pre war Kameroen it will be for years show a negative balance sheet. This show, as with many other African holdings by European powers that these possessions are more a burden and only held for prestige, of course there are exceptions.
 
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I agree with @Parma about German successes, particularly economically from the customs union, will be to the benefit of the liberal middle classes. While the conservative aristocracy might pat themselves on the back for the 'triumph of monarchy over (French) democracy' the war was a People's War in a very real sense. The whole country participated in some way, the victory was that of Germany as a nation and not just the monarchy.
Still, I expect some fun as Kaiser Bill manages to earn himself another "Kaiser Wilhelm II Award for Making an Ass out of Yourself" (a very big nod to the excellent History of the 20th Century podcast by Mark Painter) on an almost annual basis.

I'm afraid there's going to be little help for the Armenians, even if the Ottomans and Russians agree to a 'population exchange' across the border. The poor Armenians are going to be stuck in a country that doesn't much care about them no matter where they end up I'm very sad to say.
If the Ottomans try anything with Greece though, I can all but guarantee a very strong response from Britain and probably France as well. That will end very poorly for the Ottomans unless there's such a turn of anti-war sentiment at home Britain or France can't muster enough support beyond diplomatic sanctions. I find that last one fairly unlikely though.
 
- no ww1 expenditure - OTL the USA used some 33 billion dollars on ww1 (in 1916 total tax income for the US state was 0.7 billion, so the war necessitated massive tax increases, which significantly damaged growth).
Lessened need for Nationalized Railroads, no Daylight saving time, no anti-German propaganda tht helped push along Prohibition, no Peacetime Draft.
That's some of the positive.
Negative is the Wright-Curtiss Patent War goes on unabated, rather than the Government taking all the Patents, and then allowing all Aero-companies to use them.
 
Lessened need for Nationalized Railroads, no Daylight saving time, no anti-German propaganda tht helped push along Prohibition, no Peacetime Draft.
That's some of the positive.
Negative is the Wright-Curtiss Patent War goes on unabated, rather than the Government taking all the Patents, and then allowing all Aero-companies to use them.
No Espionage and Sedition Acts either, but probable delays on the 19th Amendment (women's right to vote) and probably a lot of Civil Rights laws as well. I strongly suspect this also delays or slows the migration of black Americans out of the south (which depending on who you ask, might not be a bad thing by retaining black majorities in voting districts).
 
I agree with your time line, this seems very plausible, and do fit in the, still 19th century, mind set of the diplomats of that time.
Although diplomats rarely seem to care of the consequences their decisions have on the populations of the territories they decide on.
I do understand that German diplomats are looking to the long term and their plans and (economic and geo-politic) interest they envision for Germany in the Ottoman Empire.
How ever after this conflict he 20th century will finally start and with this century a more critical press, this time backed with photography and even moving pictures, who could have a (long term) effect on public opinion even on a German population which will be drunk of victory and national pride for a year or so.

I agree that as more facts about the Armenian Genocide become known to the (German) public, it will affect German-Ottoman relations. These will get more complicated. But whether it really helped the Armenians ... Ultimately, oil interests take precedence over human rights, as the OTL history of the Middle East has taught us, sad enough.

By the way, I found here an interesting article about the history of the population in the Caucasus, period 1860-1960, focusing on the ethnic tensions. Read from page 10. Also good maps included. It can be concluded that peaceful coexistence between Armenians and Turks has become wishful thinking after the genocide. Resettlement is then the only solution.
 
So what becomes of the Ukraine in this timeline? Would we still see Imperial Germany pursue a Projekt 47, Projekt 47a, and especially a Projekt 50?
 
I'm really struggling to understand where all this doom and gloom regarding Austria-Hungary is coming from.

OTL, the empire was destroyed by the horribly underfunded army struggling to build up to 1914 standards while being repeatedly wrecked in major battles by incompetent leadership. Simultaneously, the allied blockade inflicted the same domestic ruin it did to Germany, but with Austria-Hungary having a less developed economy to try handling it with. Starvation and relentless setbacks on the battlefield pushed pre-war cries for reform into demands for secession and revolution.

In the 1916 victory posited here, none of this has happened. While the debacle of 1914 logically plays out as it did OTL, the lack of Italy means the KuK, even with all its many deficiencies, gets to be fully focused on the Balkans and Russia. Svetozar Boroevic, by far the most competent general the Dual Monarchy produced during the war, will still have his rise to prominence as one of the few non-morons in the 1914 Galicia campaign and likely mitigate (somewhat) the idiocy of Hötzendorf. The spectacular early success of the Brusilov Offensive was thanks to its innovative tactics, but what made it graduate to "mortal threat to the empire" was the fact that Conrad had rotated most of the army to the Italian front for an offensive there, believing that the Russians weren't planning a big push. ATL, it's entirely possible he tried a few other terrible ideas, but having tons of reserves on-hand would likely ward off the absolute worst disasters. The KuK has a fighting chance of surviving the war as an army and not just some neat supporting elements for the Heer; while Vienna would remain firmly in Berlin's orbit, it could still pursue some of its own agenda and not be reduced to a satellite state as in OTL's 1918.

Meanwhile, the monarchy is internally avoiding the scourge of the blockade dramatically lowering the civilian standard of living, meaning politics don't get anywhere near as volatile as 1918 - that there's two whole less years of war also helps greatly. The war ends the same year Franz Joseph dies, and the carnage ends with the liberal and reform-minded Kaiser Karl taking the throne. Whether or not he actually manages to fix the Dual Monarchy, his agenda would be very welcome and benefit from the surge of political capital that comes from winning the Great War.

Even if there'd be popular sentiment that the new emperor could mean a new Austria, "fixing the Dual Monarchy" would still mean some kind of showdown with Budapest, which would be leery of anything that'd threaten its privileged position among the empire's nations. The first and clearest idea would be to create the aforementioned South Slavic Crown, especially considering Karl would be scrambling to find anything that makes Serbia's annexation vaguely palatable to the Serbs and prevent them from requiring centuries of occupation. No matter what, the Black Hand will probably end up achieving an infamy akin to the IRA.

In Poland, the Stańczyks are vindicated. Their loyalty to the Habsburg crown has been rewarded with Poland reappearing on the map; that it's a German puppet is unfortunate but foreseeable, and something that can be slowly and quietly undone. This is still the biggest victory for Polish nationalism in a century, and Warsaw will likely have cozy sentiments towards Vienna that aren't just from the shared royal family.

Some thoughts about the rest of the world:
-Whitehall is probably mortified to find the continent unified for the first time since Napoleon. Worse, it's under a nation with big naval ambitions.
-Italy abandoned the Central Powers and missed the party. Anxious and diplomatically isolated, they'd probably find friends in Paris.
 
In Poland, the Stańczyks are vindicated. Their loyalty to the Habsburg crown has been rewarded with Poland reappearing on the map; that it's a German puppet is unfortunate but foreseeable, and something that can be slowly and quietly undone. This is still the biggest victory for Polish nationalism in a century, and Warsaw will likely have cozy sentiments towards Vienna that aren't just from the shared royal family.

Perhaps more to the point, in OTL German preponderance over Austria-Hungary in planning for Poland increased as the war went on...

Here, the war concludes quite a bit earlier, and, as you say, the Austrians did not suffer the catastrope of 1914 that unfolded in OTL. They have more stick to swing here.

This would not mean that Poland should be an *Austrian* puppet, but it does mean that they will have a very significant role to play in shaping the new Polish polity. Berlin won't simply be able to ignore Karl's voice, I should think.

And, I would also think, Karl will insist on underlining that as the price for surrendering Galicia to the new Polish kingdom, too...

Some thoughts about the rest of the world:
-Whitehall is probably mortified to find the continent unified for the first time since Napoleon. Worse, it's under a nation with big naval ambitions.

I would not say "unified" - France and Russia still exist as major (hostile) independent powers, albeit significantly damaged. Italy is also a rattling loose piece on the chessboard...

I might say that Germany here has taken its pre-war quasi hegemony earned in 1870 and made it somewhat less "quasi." This is not quite Napoleonic France post-Friedland; there are some definite restraints on German power, and some will be internal: massive debt incurred from two years of total war, and massive casualties, too, with a restive and rising SPD demanding a greater voice reflecting major social changes within Germany unleashed by the war. I have to think that Germany really won't be in shape for the time being to undertake another naval arms race. If anything, it will likely scrap all its pre-dreads and older protected cruisers as a money-saving device to make room for the final Bayerns and Mackensens coming online. To repeat something I said on another Great War timeline, I think it is easy to understate just how badly even two years of Great War can run up the red ink and disrupt the economy. Wiki has a decent pull from Economic History Review:

Total spending by the national government reached 170 billion marks during the war, of which taxes covered only 8%, and the rest was borrowed from German banks and private citizens. Eight national war loans reached out to the entire population and raised 100 million marks. It proved almost impossible to borrow money from outside. The national debt rose from only 5 billion marks in 1914 to 156 billion in 1918. These bonds became worthless in 1923 because of hyperinflation.​

Now that's with four years of war. Cut that in half, roughly, for a war that ends in 1916. That's still *horrific*.

And then, you have to pay to take care of a million-plus wounded soldiers....

Reparations is the hope here, of course, but it's not one that can make the Germans whole anytime soon, because the losers will hardly be in a position to pay a lot up front.
 
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