Escalated Russo-Turkish War (1877-78)

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by JurassicSwine, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. JurassicSwine Member

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    In an alternate Russo-Turkish War, is there a possibility that the sides evolve into something resembling this:

    Russia, Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Italy (including minor powers)
    VERSUS
    Ottomans, France, Spain, and the United Kingdom (including minor powers)

    If it did somehow evolve this way, what would the war look like, who would be the victors, and what would the peace treaty(s) look like? Thank you for your time!
     
  2. Tsargrad_or_Bust Ruthless Powermonger

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    Why Spain, out of curiosity?
    I'd lean towards the eastern powers. Russia and A-H are more than a match for the Ottomans, and Germany recently beat up France and probably could do so again. Italy would also be present. Unless there's some critical overseas import the UK could stop?
    As for the peace deal...
    Luxembourg to Germany (nobody else could stop them, so why not), as well as another indemnity from France (and possibly the area around Longwy if they realize how valuable it would be). Bosnia and possibly Albania to Austria, Uber Bulgaria is created, bits and pieces to Montenegro, Greece, and Serbia, Russia gets lands in Anatolia, like OTL (possibly more, up to Trebizond?). I don't know how keen Austria and Germany would be on a Russian Constantinople, but seeing as this is essentially a nineteenth century great war it might happen. Italy could get Savoy and Nice and possibly Corsica, depending how well they do and how generous their allies are. Beyond that there are probably all sorts of deals over spheres of influence and concessions I couldn't even guess at.
     
  3. JurassicSwine Member

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    Thanks for the great reply! I threw Spain in there simply because I was curious what might happen to their colonial empire had they gotten involved in a Great War with the rest of Europe.
     
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  4. Gloss Well-Known Member

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    It's pretty clear that the the Russian side would win tremendously at this point in time.
     
  5. Tsargrad_or_Bust Ruthless Powermonger

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    Well Cuba is trying to break free, maybe they succeed 20 years early with Spain distracted? To be honest I don't know what colonies (if any) would be lost. The two strongest navies in the world are in the western alliance, so its not like their colonies would be in much danger-though doubtlessly the British would live in constant fear of a Russian invasion of India.
     
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  6. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    Not exactly that combination but ....

    In the mid 1870's there Germany was considering a new war with France. Russian neutrality was a prerequisite. As a reciprocity Bismark presumably was ready to support future Russian-Ottoman war and resulting Russian control over the Straits. In OTL Alexander II personally interfered on French behalf. When the anti-Ottoman uprisings started in 1875 - 76, diplomacy had been doing rather pointless diplomatic dances for 2 years before declaring war on the Ottomans.

    To get what you want, in 1875 Alexander II travels to Berlin to make a deal: Germany has free hands regarding France while Russia is free to attack the Ottomans. Issue of the Straits is agreed upon. AH would have no option but to join and to get its reward, Bosnia and Herzegovina (in 1875 both are in rebellion against the Ottomans).

    1876 Serbia and Montenegro declared war on the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria rebels. Russia declares war on the Ottomans. AH either joins or is friendly neutral (for a while). Germany attacks France.

    The Brits at that time don't have too much to contribute on land (in OTL they were prepared to send a single army corps to Turkey). If they can land some substantial force in France (which I doubt), then Germans could be somewhat slowed but not stopped. Not sure why the Brits would get themselves directly involved into such a mess.

    France is going to be defeated by Germany (I have no idea how long would it take at that time) and, without the OTL "diplomatic interferences" by Tsar, Russian war against the Ottomans is going according to the initial Obruchev's plan which means that in 3 months their army is near Istanbul.
    AH would be forced by Germany to get on board, which makes Ottoman situation hopeless (I wonder what may change if Italy declares war on AH).

    A question: Serbs would like to get a full independence from the Ottomans but would they be happy if their liberators are Austrians and not Russians?

    With the Straits controlled by the Russians, British appearance in the Black Sea is impossible. Their appearance in the Straits area is pretty much useless. On the Baltic Sea coastal fortifications of Sveaborg had been brought up to date so the French-British navies can't do any serious damage. Not sure about status of the German and Russian Baltic fleets at that time and their ability not to let the enemy to get in. Anyway, at best, the allied squadrons can do some shelling of the German and Russian coast. After capitulation of France and the Ottomans the British can't continue war in any meaningful way.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
  7. raharris1973 Well-Known Member

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    An answer: Probably not happy at this point in time.
     
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  8. Hrvatskiwi Chakravatin Qayan of the Great Ulus

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    Actually, whether Serbia was pro-Austrian or pro-Russian was dependent on whether the Karadjordjevic or Obrenovic dynasty was in power.

    At the time of the Russo-Turkish War, Milan I Obrenovic was on the throne. He was strongly pro-Austrian throughout his reign.

    As it was, Serbia strongly opposed the union of Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia, and invaded to neuter the enlarged Bulgaria.

    A new uber-Bulgaria in line with OTL's Treaty of San Stefano would definitely not be viewed kindly by Serbian statesmen. It may prove too big to directly attack, but with a giant Russian-backed Bulgaria next door, the Serbs will almost certainly double-down on Austrian support.
     
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  9. Tibi088 Well-Known Member

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    I agree about the winner. IMO a land war after Napoleonic wars and before the end of WWII that has Russia and Germany on same side will alawys be won by that side (bar massive previous PODs).

    However Uber Bulgaria is not created if Austria is in. See the whole debacle that was OTL after the peace of San Stefano and resulted in the Berlin Treaty. The point is that Austria and Russia had prior agreement that said that Russia wont create a great south slavic state after the war - which Russia broke with Uber Bulgaria. If Austria is in Russia has less opportunity to betray the prior agreement.
     
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  10. raharris1973 Well-Known Member

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    If Austria is in and Serbia is its client maybe it could extend Serbia down to Salonica and the Aegean like Stefan Dushan’s empire and Serbia is so overcommitted in the south (and resented by Bulgarians, Greeks and Italians and Turks) that it has no time to make trouble for Austria to the north. Serbia yields any claim to Bosnia and is welcome to entice down any ethnic Serbs living in Austria Hungary to see be as colonists or garrisons in Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania.
     
  11. Hammurabi Well-Known Member

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    Not possible. The war wouldnt start at all without the beforehand diplomatic maneuverings of Alexander II which guaranteed its limited nature in the first place.
     
  12. Tapirus Augustus Coptic Sympathiser

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    So does this just result in the Balkans being even more... balkanized than IOTL?
     
  13. Tibi088 Well-Known Member

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    You will have Romania (I dont think its unification will be prevented but its a possibility), Bulgaria without being Uber, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, and Greece -that far its same as OTL at least in regards of the number of states, borders might be a bit different. The only questions are how Austria resolves the macedon and bosnian questions. Both are on their side of the Balkans so its their call. So at most 2 extra states if Austria decides so or it could be none. The question on the Russian side is what they do with Constantinople. Either directly annex it to Russia or have it as a russian client free city. I dont think they would let anyone else have it and I think it will be the former. It can also greatly affect Austrian decision making in regards of their questins. I mean if Russia annexes Constantinople Austria i think will decide that they have to annex somethink too - meaning Bosnia. Another point which Austria might annex directly is the balkan side of the straight of Otranto.

    In the end I think its about the same level of balkanization than OTL just different. It would still be a powder keg. Bulgaria would want Macedoia and to get out of the russian yoke (like OTL). Austria will have trouble with Serbia sooner or later, maybe a bit less than OTL, but will have a much worse relation to Albania. OTL Albania is AFAIK even today viewing Austria very positivly because Austria was the only power that stood up for them during the Balkan wars and stopped Serbia and Montenegro of annexing even more of the alban populated lands. Of course for Austria this was all about preventing the Serbians getting a port. This will be absent however Albania might be slightly bigger than OTL. Greece and Bulgaria too will want Constantinople and I imagine the city will be much more christian after the Ottomans lost it and especially if Russia has it. Brittain will really not like the arrangement - especially Constantinople - so its likely to stir up some truble. Support anti Russian organisations and rebellions, claims on the city etc.
     
  14. raharris1973 Well-Known Member

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    Here is a what if that may be easier to pull off than an escalated war-

    What if Russia never tried for San Stefano Bulgaria, and stuck with what the Austrians perceived was the spirit of the agreement, which I understand is basically the borders of OTL's settlement, but without the Austro-Russian animus and Russian-British-jingo involved?
     
  15. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    This would be quite logical thing to do, taking into an account that Alexander II and Gorchakov spent couple years assuring everybody that this is what they are going to do, that for Russia it is just "a war of honor" and blahblahblah.

    The most obvious consequences: no Berlin Congress, no deteriorating relations with Prussia and Austria and all only too well-known results.