Feeble Constitution - A Red-and-Green Russia 1917 Timeline

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Salvador79, Jan 8, 2019.

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  1. Salvador79 Well-Known Member

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    Mar 18, 2015
    Thank you! :)
    Bulgariao looks like it's embarking on a more democratic Journey than IOTL, but of course the internal Situation is far from stable. Formerly Habsburg Yugoslavia, OTOH, may well be headed for a civil war against which OTL's 1990s could pale. Or not.
    Indeed, I think it's a shame we offen know so little about the internal Situation, the Aspirations and Views of the people in these Central Eastern european countries. Or at least I did before resrarching for this TL. Panslavism and agrarianism in the Region were probably collaterally damaged by the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, and severely so, IOTL.
     
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  2. lukedalton Well-Known Member

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    Dec 13, 2009
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    North Italy
    That type of civil war can involve basically every country surrounding OTL Jugoslavia as at the time everyone had multiple claims over the territory and there were a big mix of ethnicity...or worse, attract 'adventurous type' like D'Annunzio.
    Knowing the Great powers involved, well Uk, France, Italy and the UoE will try to meddle to support their interest and at the same time contain the conflict with various degree of success (but if the conflict start a series of attacks in italian held territory, i doubt that the retaliation will be very measured and can be used as justification for an enlargement of the occupation zone) while the USA will remain isolationist waiting for the situation to resolve herself.
    Bulgaria will try to court the rest of the entente as a counterpoint to UoE aligned Romania to get a somewhat lenient treaty, same for Hungary but they are in a much worse situation and in direct contact with the UoE
     
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  3. Salvador79 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2015
    Most of this is spot on.
    The update with the end of the war, which will resolve a few open questions with regards to the Balkans, too, and settle the stage for the post-war chaos to unfold, will definitely be posted tomorrow.
     
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  4. Threadmarks: Thirty-Two: The End of the Great War (October 1918)

    Salvador79 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2015
    Here is the authorial overview of the end of TTL’s WW1 – feedback welcome!

    Collapse in the East – The Last Two Months of the Great War

    When Kaiser Wilhelm II and Kaiser Karl communicated their promise of national self-determination, they still hoped against all hope to be able to shape and steer this development towards a new architecture of power in Central Eastern Europe in which their empires still played an important role – or at least would survive the end of the Great War. After all, for all the unrest which brooded, all the scarcities which haunted army and civilian economy alike and for all the panic which the ultimate offensive engagement of US troops on the Western and Alpine Fronts caused, Germany still controlled vast territories East of its borders with over a million troops who had not been significantly beaten by the Russians in open battle since 1916; Austria-Hungary still had not experienced widespread revolution; and Bulgaria was still shielding the Balkan flank. It had become quite clear to the two monarchs and their respective governments that the military leadership had been misleading them with regards to the possibility of pushing inimical belligerent nations out of the war and enforcing a favourable peace treaty on the rest of the Entente through final offensives. Especially Ludendorff was widely blamed for this disastrous strategy. But, the modestly reshuffled leadership of both empires hoped, there would still be time to mend the mistakes one had made: Poland would be built up as an actually independent buffer state. The flabby Russian socialists would be offered the peace without annexations and indemnities which they had clamoured for. The disgruntled tribes of the Balkans and the Carpathians would be appeased with greater autonomy and thus motivated to hold the line long enough for the other Entente nations to realize that a frontal assault on the Hindenburg Line and the Alpine defenses was too costly, and the offer made to them in Krakow was not so bad after all.

    Four breakthroughs in August 1918 would prove them wrong. While the collapse of Bulgaria was the militarily most important of them all, the Battle of Villers on the Western Front, the liberation of Petrograd, and the breakthrough in Romania all were immensely important, too, for a number of different reasons: Villers not only restored the Entente’s supply lines along the Western Front; losing the bulge in the front which had been announced as the final offensive to end the war and which had been paid for with almost a hundred thousand dead German soldiers was a demoralizing blow to the morale of the defenders of the Hindenburg Line. Petrograd was a pivotal point for public opinion in Russia – together with the successes of the Pyotr Baluyev’s Fifth Union Army and their allies in Romania, it helped swing public opinion from the fear that the new revolutionary army would not be able to hold its ground, let alone score offensive successes against its enemies, to a cautious optimism that the Union of Equals could really make its own contribution to bringing about the downfall of the invading Central Powers, and even a feathery hint of republican pride. After these breakthroughs, there was no doubt that the Entente would not accept anything even closely resembling the Krakow Communiqué’s offer, and that they would push on until total victory was achieved.

    This would not take as long as a number of fearful contemporary commenters, who had grown accustomed to the horribly costly stalemates of the entrenched fronts, would anticipate. Throughout the second half of August, Entente forces mounted an onslaught against the remaining Central Powers of a massive scale, which produced very few concrete advances except in South-Eastern Europe, but which caused the war machine of their exhausted opponents to begin to buckle.

    On the Western Front, primarily American, French, and British forces launched co-ordinated artillery, air and tank offensives against the Hindenburg Line and defensive positions in the Argonnes which inflicted such a high blood toll on the German defenders which, when news of it trickled back to the home front in spite of comprehensive censorship, caused such panic and protest against the mildly reformist government that Kaiser Wilhelm II. and Quartermaster-General Groener saw themselves forced to start a political offensive of popular concessions: Chancellor Hertling stepped down, and Wilhelm allowed the Reichstag to nominate the general secretary of the SPD, Friedrich Ebert, as his successor, bringing with him a majority of SPD ministers, along with reform-minded members of Zentrum and FVP. Wilhelm II. octroyed a new Prussian constitution (like his great-uncle had done in 1848), which reduced the Herrenhaus to a merely ceremonial institution and abolished census suffrage for the Abgeordnetenhaus. Without consulting his fellow heads of German states, he announced elections for a national assembly which would put the Reich on a new constitutional foundation.

    What these measures achieved was to weld the MSPD firmly to the government and its desperate defensive military efforts, with its loyal party officials doing their utmost to prevent a general strike, which was now prepared across the entire Reich by the Revolutionäre Obleute, who certainly had closer ties to the USPD than to the MSPD, but who did not see themselves bound in any way by anything which that party would decide, either.

    On the Italian Front, a renewed offensive managed to push as far East as and capture Fiume / Rijeka, from where General Diaz purportedly planned to push as far into practically undefended Istria and then Dalmatia as possible, but he was vehemently urged by his American, British and French allies to concentrate all his efforts on a Northward offensive instead, which, being a much more challenging enterprise, did not begin until the end of September. Both the Krakow Communiqué’s promise of national autonomy and the advance of the Italians contributed to hastening the supporters of Yugoslavism among the Slovenes, Croats etc. in their steps towards achieving independence and then unification with the Kingdom of Serbia. As the last update has shown, though, there is considerably more heterogeneity and dissent among the various anti-Habsburg groups among the Slovenes and especially the Croats than IOTL. Regardless of this lack of unity, Habsburg rule over its South Slavic lands collapses quickly: hundreds of thousands march through the streets demanding this or that new form of state and society, a wave of strikes and even more widespread desertions paralyse the land and leave it defenseless, unrest erupts in the countryside where the Green Cadres are helping peasants to emulate their Russian counterparts and oust their landlords. To all this, Kaiser Karl reacts with what can only be described as depressive apathy.

    In the Balkans, Bulgaria’s surrender opens the path for an unprecedently fast Entente advance. British, French and Serbian divisions are pushing North-Westwards against k.u.k. armies who are merely putting up resistance when their orderly retreat across Serbia is endangered and they are threatened with capture. A predominantly Greek army group, with minor British, French, and Russian contingents, moves across the formerly Bulgarian parts of Thrace and attacks the last Ottoman lines of defense in Europe. On September 2nd, as the thunder of artillery can already be heard in Istanbul, Sultan Mehmet VI. accepts the humiliating terms which a delegation of the advancing Entente armies have offered him: the Ottoman Empire is to demobilize its army entirely, vast swathes of its territory shall be occupied “for the time being” by various members of the Entente, Constantinople and the Straits shall be controlled by a joint Entente mission, all ethnic and religious minorities shall be given utmost protection and freedom of expression, the Ottoman fleet is to be handed over to Entente control, and a long list of wanted war criminals, among them former pashas Enver, Djamal, and Talaat, are to be handed over into Entente custody, to be put on trial for their atrocious crimes.

    As another member of the Central Powers has dropped out of the war, Bulgaria, which had been the first one to fold (like IOTL), is gripped by revolutionary unrest. Immediately after the surrender, Tsar Ferdinand has abdicated, and his son Boris has succeeded him on the throne. He and his bourgeois coalition government exert very little control over their territory, though: all over the countryside and within the armed forces, revolution has broken out, calling for the end of the monarchy, land reform, Yugoslav unification, universal franchise, court-martials against the generals, free bread for all the workers and, well you can imagine… The revolution is led by the agrarian BANU and supported by the Broad Socialists, although many who participate are not affiliated with any political party. Blagoev’s Narrow Socialists initially remained reserved (because they rejected the agrarian agenda as petty bourgeois and did not want to subordinate themselves to BANU leadership), but when their rank and file was swept by the tide of revolutionary fervor, they jumped aboard, too. The military is divided, but with demobilization fully under way, neither side manages to pull it onto their side successfully. Tsar Boris’s government, as Meštrovic has criticized in his last update, literally appeals to his yesterday’s enemy and today’s occupying force, the Serbian government, to assist him in putting down the revolution – and the Serbians comply, seeing as it is the tsarist government which has agreed to surrender to them and guarantees Bulgarian demobilization. They begin to commit a number of massacres among revolutionaries in Western Bulgaria, until outraged protests by their UoE allies – who are covertly sending in ideologically enthusiastic members of the Republican Guards to help assist and build up the BANU’s Orange Guards and socialist Red Guards – compel them to tread more cautiously. By the end of September, Tsar Boris dismisses his government and abdicates, too, and Bulgaria’s short civil war ends with a victory for the revolutionaries, causing an exodus of thousands of opponents of the revolution into neighboring countries or, in some cases, even as far away as France or the US.

    The Romanians and Baluyev’s Fifth Army are breaking through to the Danube in the second half of August, allowing for both armies to send small contingents Southwards into demobilizing Bulgaria, where the Romanians are securing Southern Dobrugea for themselves while the UoE sends in more “aides” to help decide Bulgaria’s civil war in favour of the revolutionaries. The bulk of both armies, though, is pushing Westwards, where their advance is going to be facilitated to a great extent by two consecutive decisions taken in capitals farther to the West: Hungary’s declaration of independence, which causes irritation and moments of outright dissolution among Austrian regiments on the Romanian Front, and a week later the German OHL’s decision to recall the entire Army Group Mackensen upriver on the Danube to secure Germany’s new outer line of Alpine defenses.

    Farther North on the Eastern Front, the line of Central Power defenses mostly holds throughout August, in spite of localized revolts and mutinies. North of the Carpathians, the Czechoslovak Legion and the Polish Corps, Ukrainian Territorial Defense divisions, the Third and Fourth Union Armies and a small number of Republican Guard units have probed the Austro-German defenses in several places with combined offensives, but found them too solid still to risk an all-out offensive. Yet farther North, the First and Second Union Armies, great numbers of Republican Guards and the Baltic Fleet are cautious, too: they are fully restoring infrastructural connections with Finland and establishing a number of bridgeheads in Estonia in the back of Hutier’s army group, but here, too, caution prevails, coming straight from the top, for Supreme Commissioner Kamkov is holding magnificent speeches about the brave citizens redeeming their comrades and liberating the republic at last, but in practice he is not willing to rock the boat by risking hundreds of thousands of new casualties in a massive offensive against a still solid enemy yet.

    All of this changes in September. The SPD minister for Labour and the Economy, Gustav Bauer, manages to get the leaders of the congress of trade unions, Carl Legien, and industrialists, Hugo Stinnes, to agree on a pact which is immediately legally enshrined and encompasses the eight-hour workday, increased paid sick leave, the enshrining of free negotiations between unions and employers and their universally binding nature, co-determination on the basis of parity in the workplace and unemployment insurance financed on the basis of parity, too. (IOTL, this happens immediately after the revolution.)

    But none of these reforms can stop the signs of disintegration on the Western Front when, at a staggering human cost on both sides, Entente forces are breaking through the Hindenburg Line in several places. As the military leadership attempts to reorganize the front, stop the numerically superior Entente troops from advancing too far and their own troops from disintegrating, Paul von Hindenburg concedes in a telegraph to Kaiser Wilhelm II., which leaks to the public almost immediately, that “we have all erred gravely in our judgments” and that “we have no choice now but to look the facts in the eyes”, which has been generally understood as a sign that defeat has become imminent and terms must be sought immediately – a conclusion which does not materialize yet for more than six tragical weeks, bitter truths sometimes take longer to sink in… but primarily yet another blow to the morale of the retreating defenders.

    As the Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, and just as importantly also the Czechs and Slovaks are declaring their independence from Vienna in early September, following Hungary’s lead, and German OHL orders the retreat from South-Eastern Europe, Austria-Hungary practically descends into chaos. This is the degree of weakness for which the generals of the Union Armies, and especially the Advisor to the Joint Command over the Western Front (to the CP, it is, of course, the Eastern Front) Alexey Brusilov, have waited for. On September 6th, Brusilov, egged on by the various ethnic legions as well as by news of an intensifying revolt in Latvia and encouraged by Hindenburg’s fatalistic message, finally gives the green lights for not one, not two, but three major offensives to be launched against the positions of the Central Powers.

    The first one, in Southern Romania, cuts through the last disorganized defenders like a hot knife through butter, leading to the liberation of Bucharest on September 10th and the establishment of Romanian/Entente control over the entire rest of Wallachia only ten days later. (Imagine this as an equivalent to OTL’s Operation Faustschlag, only in reverse.) A sizable number of fleeing Austro-Hungarian soldiers is captured. Now, the Romanians and their Union allies have caught up with the Serbians, who complete the liberation of their home land by September 19th.

    The second offensive, in the Northern piedmont of the Carpathians, does not advance quite as fast, for the German so-called “South Army” under General Felix von Bothmer had not been recalled, putting up spirited resistance to the combined onslaught of various Union, Polish, and Czechoslovak divisions. It took the attackers nine days before local breakthroughs could be transformed into a real walkover, capturing yet more prisoners and causing the remaining defenders to retreat and reorganize at a much deeper line, ceding Galician territory as far as Przemysl to the advancing coalition troops, who need a few days to rebuild infrastructure enough to maintain and extend their lines of supply before, on September 26th and 27th, the next two offensive waves wash against Central Powers positions: the Polish Corps are pushing North-Westwards towards Krakow, while Czechoslovak units penetrate into the mountainous forests of their Slovakian home land. Russian, Ukrainian and other Union regiments are mostly remaining in place for the time being, putting down the last pockets of closed-in defenders, restoring infrastructure and building up the new political structures of the revolutionary republic in Lemberg and its countryside.

    In the third offensive, the Second Union Army and Latvian guards push Westwards along the Daugava against crumbling German resistance by units from the Tenth Army who are experiencing an unprecedented surge in desertions and who are thus soon ordered to withdraw Southwards, allowing the Union Army and the Latvians to liberate town after town along the river and drive a wedge between German Eighth Army holding out in the Estonian countryside to the North and the rest of the German forces. The Baltic Fleet contributed to this offensive through amphibious landings near Ventspils, from where Republican Guards marched almost unimpeded Eastwards to unite with their comrades.

    The month ends with a big beat of the drum as, under the impression of the unstoppable breakaway of the Yugoslav, Hungarian and Czechoslovak lands, the renewed Italian offensive, the fast movement of Serbian and other Entente troops across Croatia, and new strikes and protests in Vienna, Kaiser Karl abdicates on September 30th and transfers his powers to the new Staatsrat elected by the recently convened Provisional National Council for German Austria. Instructed by the three equally footed chairmen of the Staatsrat, the nationalist Franz Dinghofer, the Christian Social Johann Nepomuk Hauser and the Social Democrat Karl Seitz, the Austrian generals Webenau and Straußenberg signed the Armistice of Aßling on October 2nd, with which all Austrian armies officially surrendered.

    While this certainly weakened Germany’s defenses even more, it no longer meant as much as it would have done two months before: the Northern and Western parts of Austria had come, at this moment, under firm German military control, and were, over the next weeks, treated as occupied territory. Hungary, the last part of the old empire which had not surrendered nor aligned itself with the Entente, had been extending its feelers to all sides for over a month now, but had found no mercy, neither with the Czechoslovaks and their Union allies who insisted on Slovak secession and accession to the new Czechoslovak Republic, nor with the Romanians and their Union allies, who insisted on annexing Transilvania and joining it with Romania, nor with the Serbs, the Yugoslav Commission and their Anglo-French allies, who insisted on full secession of all Yugoslav lands and their unification with Serbia.

    In Vienna, in the meantime, the nascent Republic of Deutschösterreich is torn apart from the beginning by ideological divisions concerning the questions of the relations with Berlin on the one hand, and the socialist council movement on the other hand. The German OHL had received news of the Austrian surrender with defiant fatalism; it had been anticipated over the course of the past few weeks. While they continued their withdrawal behind the Alpine Defense Line and its fortification, they also offered support to the emerging Heimwehren – German militia units, mostly officially demobilized soldiers – who prepared to take on Slovene-Croat-Serbian and Czechoslovak groups and organize resistance against a Slavicization of the border territories and their conversion into concentration areas for an attack on Germany’s heartland. In Vienna, and even more so in Carinthia, Styria and Western Bohemia, the Deutschnationals wanted to accept this arrangement and sought, in the middle term, German Austria’s accession to the German Empire. They also supported to employ, instead of demobilizing, loyal army units in a crackdown against radical councils who were beginning to take over factories and who violently opposed the formation of the Heimwehren. The Social Democrats, on the other hand, favoured a clear severing of all ties with the German Empire in its current belligerent state – including the explicit demand that the German Imperial Army withdrew from occupied Austrian territory –, and sought to rebuild a force for the protection and safeguarding of the republic from among the council militia, whom they sought to influence and steer into a moderate course of co-operation with the Staatsrat and the Provisional National Council. The council movement itself was divided between compromising left-wing Social Democrats like Julius Deutsch, Josef Frey, and the recently released Friedrich Adler, who sought to restart work in the factories across the country and supported co-operation with the Staatsrat under the condition of immediate universal, free and equal elections to a Constituent Assembly, and more radical revolutionaries around Franz Koritschoner and Elfriede Friedländer, who supported immediate worker takeovers of the factories, rejected the Staatsrat and the National Council for being based on the representation which had resulted from the unequal parliamentary elections of 1911, and favoured building up new state institutions emerging from the councils themselves. Austria’s third large party, the Christian Socials, were caught between a rock and a hard place: neither did they support submitting to “Prussian” Germany (whose anti-Catholic policies they kept in horrified memory), nor did they wish to tolerate a socialist upheaval of all social relations, and subsequently began to form “left” and right wings who favoured alliances with the Deutschnationals or the Social Democrats respectively, while the party leadership officially supported an all-party coalition of national emergency, officially stood by the full demobilization, while its members joined the Heimwehren, and officially distanced itself from Germany, while not supporting anything which would have made the German occupation of large parts of Austria any less comfortable, either.

    Elsewhere, the first half of October looked terrifying for Wilhelm II., Ebert’s government and the Hindenburg/Groenen OHL, too. Desertions multiplied along the Western Front, where the Entente was advancing slowly but unstoppably and where still thousands died on every single day. In the first week of October, the Czechoslovak Legion wrestled control over Bratislava from Hungarian contingents, from where they could travel by train across friendly territory to Prague and onwards, so that on October 19th, the day which would go down in history as the day on which the Great War ended, they were able to threaten the unprotected Saxon border of the German Empire with invasion. Up to this moment, the Romanian Army had broken through Hungarian defenses and poured into Transilvania, while Serbian and Yugoslav Committee-loyal SHS (Slovene-Croat-Serb) as well as British and French troops had reached the South-Eastern fringes of German-speaking Austria unopposed and, with Greek and Italian assistance, completed taking over control over Albania in the South, logistically aided by the (formally joint Entente, de facto mostly Italian) takeover of the k.u.k. Adriatic Fleet, against which the SHS representatives put up meek protest, in which they were supported only by the UoE and the US, though, and even that only half-heartedly, for the UoE, too, had acquiesced to the Serbs, British, French and Italians sorting things out in the Western Balkans while they themselves had gained a new ally in revolutionary Bulgaria, and potentially another, should the radicals in the Austrian council movement prevail, and the US had their hands full with all the death certificates coming in from the Western Front.

    But the death knell to Germany’s defense sounded in Vilnius / Wilna / Wilno. A few hundred kilometers South of this multi-ethnic historical capital of the Lithuanians, uprisings had broken out against the Polish Regency government in Warsaw. They were spearheaded by the Polska Organizacja Wojskowa, but very soon, the Workers’ Councils movement (for an OTL equivalent, see here) joined in, where the two didn’t already overlap. OHL and Ebert’s government had ordered Eichhorn to divert an entire division of his Tenth Army to the South to relieve Steczkowski’s Regency government and crush the anti-German revolts. Among the German soldiers receiving these marching orders – I have already mentioned how they are, in good part, politically motivated draftees with USPD and other revolutionary proletarian backgrounds from the striking towns of January 1918 –, resentment soon broke out. It was clear to anyone but the most blind that the war was lost and would soon be over, and now they, who had already hoped to be able to await this end of the war in their relatively calm pocket, should risk their lives to kill countless civilians, protesting fellow workers (and peasants), in order to give a puppet government, which would fall in less than a month anyway, a few more weeks in power? And all that while it was clear that Eastern Europe – and perhaps the world? – was turning towards socialism and national self-determination, and that they would soon, with great likelihood, be called to account for their deeds in these last, futile days of the war.

    The first groups to mutiny were stationed in Vilnius. Fraternising with those whom they had oppressed for the past years, soldiers from the XXXVIII. Reserve Corps proclaimed the “Wilnaer Kommune” on October 5th. Their mutiny – helped along by news from Austria, too – spread like wildfire, and within a week, not only most of the Attack Group Arnold von WInckler, who had been ordered to march against the insurgents, but also most of the rest of the Tenth German Army was in open mutiny, helping in the emergence of countless local revolts and revolutionary takeovers all across Lithuania, Western Belarus, and Northern Poland (speaking in OTL’s present-day borders) instead of oppressing them. These mutinies and revolutions on the periphery were soon accompanied by a wave of strikes in great cities in the heartland of the Reich: in Bremen, Berlin, München, Heilbronn, Leipzig, Breslau and other places, protest marches brought hundreds of thousands, if not millions to the streets, and local strikes turned into a general strike. The protesters all demanded an immediate end to the war – but beyond that, they did not agree on much: there were anarchists, staunch radical socialists, moderate trade unionists, unpolitical townfolk and even people from the countryside joining. When attempts to appease them had failed, Ebert’s Minister for the Interior, Gustav Noske, ordered to shoot on protesters who aimed to take over government institutions in Berlin, on October 10th. One day later, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Philipp Scheidemann, resigned in protest, and immediately sought communications with moderate members of the USPD leadership like Bernstein, Haase, and Kautsky, drawing plans to steer the revolutionary movement safely into a constitutional republican direction and away from dangerous anarchist experiments. Ebert and Groener would soon realize themselves, though, that the (in their eyes) worst could only be averted if the war was ended immediately, regardless on what terms. Their last desperate attempt to steer the course of events in a more favourable way was to release Jozef Pilsudski from prison on October 13th and send him to Warsaw with a German capitulation which communicated that Eichhorn had been ordered to stop any attempts to curb the uprising, and in which the German government officially acknowledged the POW as part of Poland’s defensive force, withdrew its support for Steczkowski, and promised to a new Polish government under Pilsudski’s leadership that they would withdraw all their forces from “Poland” – whatever that meant. In exchange, they received nothing more than Pilsudski’s personal word of honour that he would not turn against Germany and invade the Empire.

    But already two days later, on October 15th, it became clear that even this would not be enough to stem the tide of imminent military threats, near-universal general strike, and breakdown of public order within the empire, and Ebert sent a delegation of three generals, endowed with a carte blanche from Kaiser Wilhelm II., to negotiate the terms of Germany’s surrender with all Entente powers. The terms they received were shocking to them, so they sought reinsurance that they should really go ahead and sign them. The shock took more than a day to sink in in Berlin as well, but the reassurance was given, and on October 18th, the Generals Hindenburg and Groener and Admiral Hipper for the German Empire and military envoys from the United States of America, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the French Republic, the Kingdom of Italy, the Kingdom of Serbia, and the Union of Equals signed the Armistice of Absam, in which the German Imperial Army committed itself to withdraw all its troops behind the Rhine in the West, the Bavarian border in the South, and the Oder in the East; to hand over all military equipment currently stationed in territories to be evacuated in an undamaged condition, to hand over its high sea fleet and u-boats, and to demobilize its military forces completely over the course of the next three months. The sea blockade of Germany’s ports would remain in place until a final peace treaty would be signed.

    On Saturday October 19th, 1918, at 6:00 a.m., all guns fell silent along the long fronts between Germany and its enemies. The Great War ended. [1]




    [1] Well, not entirely. Hungary, for all intents and purposes a member of the former Central Powers, is still fighting against Romania, a member of the Entente, in Transilvania. But just like mainstream OTL history, I’ll simply gloss over this…
     
  5. Falecius Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Location:
    Anarres
    Nice wrap-up of the war, very realistic.
    So the Entente forces are largely bypassing core Hungarian territory by going straight toward Vienna from the North (through Slovakia) and South (through Slovenia)?
    Also, where are the frontlines in the East at the armistice, if it possible to speak of coherent frontlines still? How deep did the UoE penetrate Poland, if they did at all? Are there any UoE forces on Prussian soil yet? Also, what happened to Hutier's army in Estonia? Are they pocketed by the offensive in Latvia?
    Alt-Versailles will be very interesting.
     
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  6. Falecius Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Location:
    Anarres
    Further thoughts:
    1) While the UoE is a whole lot less scary to the Western bourgeois classes than OTL's Bolshevism in ideological terms, it is scary nonetheless. It has also a lot more geopolitical reach than the Soviet Union, deep into Central Europe.
    2) This is reinforced by the point that Revolutionary Socialism seems to be clearly vindicated ITTL, much more so than in IOTL, in the eyes of many among the Western working classes. The Left is globally stronger, albeit at the price of even starker divisions. I suppose this will be particularly important for the future events in Germany in the immediate postwar; I also imagine that in Italy there will be an even more bitter post-war conflict. I wonder how this will affect the rise of Fascism; ITTL War Socialists' positions may seem more legimately within the Left than IOTL, but on the other hand, most of the ideological seeds of what would coalesce as Fascism had been long planted and Mussolini's personal rupture with Socialism had already happened.
    3) May a "Cold War" of sorts emerge ITTL post war, with a far-Left UoE and allies (Romania, Bulgaria, probably Czechoslovakia, maybe Austria and Poland, and let's see if Germany as well.. or part thereof; whatever happens to Yugoslavia and Hungary too undecided to know now) versus a Western (Anglo-French, maybe with Japan aligned) bloc? I can see both Italy and the US, for very different reasons, trying to carve their own paths outside the frame of such a confrontation (otherwise, Italy might either experience revolution or align firmly with the Capitalist West). The US are going to be firmly anti-*Communist as well, but I can see them not desiring to get involved geopolitically in that confrontation.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019 at 6:07 AM
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  7. Salvador79 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2015
    Thank you!
    Where possible, I drew on analogies with OTL (e.g. in Austria's transition from monarchy to republic, although ITTL it happens under different circumstances) to enhance realism. Some of the new divergences I'll comment on below.
    I know this and the following questions would be answered a lot better if I could provide you with a map. I'm bad at map-making, though, so this might take me quite a while and I can't promise anything yet.
    But: Yes. Hungarian core territory has been mostly bypassed. There are two reasons for this.
    1) Hungary has a weird status. While other nascent nation states are treated as allies or partners by the Entente (certainly Czechoslovakia, less clearly so the SHS state), Hungary isn't. It has not contributed to the Entente war effort like the Czechoslovak legions, nor has its national council announced the intention to accede to an Entente member (like the SHS council did with Serbia), and Hungarian unwillingness to let the Slovaks, Romanians and Southern Slavs go has not helped things either. But it also isn't seen as a serious threat in the larger picture, either, and throughout September and October, the Hungarian Republican government has kept on negotiating, what military forces it has at its disposal have suffered defeats or simply retreated. Occupying Hungary absolutely isn't anyone's priority, especially when there are easier routes to get at the Germans, the last ones who were still a real problem.
    2) The UoE, French and British contingents are more or less accompanying their local allies here. The UoE's Fifth Army, standing in Wallachia, turns Northwards with the Romanians, for whom grabbing Transilvania while they can is the topmost priority. The French and British troops from the Balkan front are going with the Serbs, who, after having reached the Vojvodina, turn Westwards at the call of the SHS national council, which is incidentally also the fastest route towards German Austria and Germany.

    A map would do wonders here, I'm aware. The frontlines have been more or less collapsing in October, but it should still be possible to show how far the UoE and her allies have advanced at the time of the armistice.

    Depends on where we think Poland is. Lemberg, as has been mentioned, is controlled by the UoE and in the process of incorporation into the Ukrainian Federative Republic. By December, come election time, the Lembergers are going to vote for candidates on Ukrainian lists. The rest of the Austrian Partition of Poland has been "liberated" by the Polish Corps who were part of the Brusilov-advised Joint Command over the Western (=Eastern) Front. Until the armistice, there has not yet been any UoE offensive into Russian Congress Poland. Instead, there has been the POW's insurgency, and since Pilsudski was released, he immediately took back control over it as well as the official Polish government (the leftovers of the Regency Government). There are a lot of German soldiers around, but they're in full demobilisation. No official UoE troops marched in there yet. The Prussian Partition is still fully under German control at the moment of the armistice, but the armistice demands that the Germans withdraw all their forces from it and move them Westwards beyond the Oder.

    No, not yet.

    Yes, they are.

    Yes. To a British politician, who always loves a balance of power on the continent, this doesn't look good at all. But to "the Western bourgeois classes" at large, this is all still a very confusing mixed bag. The war and the flu, domestic conflicts, the economic wreckage of both the war and the reconversion which is due now, the piles of public debt, all of this is also going to be on their minds. As long as this revolution stays geographically limited to the former Russian and Austro-Hungarian Empires, there is probably one current in upper class attitudes towards them which considers that the East has never been "like them" anyway. Especially Russia was seen (and feared by the liberals, and exoticised by the conservatives) as a backwards bulwark of autocracy throughout at least the 19th century, so what happens there need not necessarily be seen as something that could happen in England, France or the US, too. On the other hand, there was a lot of awareness of the concept of "world revolution" and how there were socialists in all of their countries, too. And, what is probably more dominant right now, the socialist view that capitalist imperialism has imploded / cannibalised itself with the Great War and that the world was standing at the threshold to a new and more egalitarian future certainly resonates, and I can imagine - again looking at OTL, too - that not few members of the bourgeois classes are going to share it to some degree.

    Revolutionary socialism has more appeal, yes. At the same time, it has a different content from OTL, or rather: it doesn't have the same kind of Komintern-standardized content in every single country. "Revolution" can be taken to mean anything from "all means of production to the workers" and council control over the economy to a mere "overthrow your autocrat and elect a constituent assembly full of left-wing parties".

    Is it?
    Care to dwell a little more on what you have in mind here?
    So far, I would say that the Left is definitely stronger in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Bulgaria, somewhat stronger in Romania (but in the form of the Partidul Taranesc, which is really moderately centre-left at the time) and slightly stronger (but also in a dangerous position, and again primarily its moderately centre-left exponents) in the SHS state.
    Germany, Austria, and Italy will be complicated cans of worms, as you have hinted at; everything's still possible there. The Left was not exactly weak in either of these countries by 1918/19, yet that didn't last very long.
    In a few updates' time, we also have to take a look at major parliamentary elections in the UK and the US, and yet later in France. Whether the Left (whoever that may be, e.g. in the case of the US...) is stronger in any of these three countries still remains rather unclear to me.

    Oh yes! And I love being able to write that as one of the upcoming updates, since my home country's history is the one I'm, naturally, most familiar with. The most significant divergence from OTL so far is that Willy 2 has not fallen, he has rediscovered his Volkskaiser instincts, important social reforms which IOTL took place during the early Weimar phase have been begun already by His Majesty's Government, and at least a large part of the MSPD as well as the other parties of what IOTL is the Weimar Coalition are standing firmly by this state. The USPD, really a very heterogenous bunch, is alone on the anti-government side, and the only thing that was keeping THEM together was the demand to end the war. Now, the war has ended, and I don't see people like Bernstein and people like Ledebour and the Spartakists continuing to work together... There is a WHOLE LOT of despair, frustration, fear, hunger, misery and anger in Germany over the next couple of months. What it brings forth is a different matter. (Don't worry, I have definite plans for Germany.)

    Here I'm very open for suggestions from, for example, @lukedalton . I subscribe to his view that the general food situation in Italy could be slightly better than IOTL, while maybe there is less ground for a "vittoria mutilata" myth, but we'll have to see. Mussolini will certainly play an interesting role, but if I had to give a very general estimation of the situation and the near future in Italy, I would say that democracy's chances for survival are better than IOTL in Italy.

    Maybe! ;-) Anti-Bolshevism was definitely a big thing IOTL in the 1920s (and so was enthusiasm and interest in the Soviet experiment, too), even with a "small" Soviet Union only. But the seeds have also been sown already to allow for a less clear-cut picture. Interesting that you should mention Japan (I've been reading up on the period there recently), and let's not forget China...!
     
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  8. Falecius Well-Known Member

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    More directly, there's a firmly Leftist Republic among the Great Power winners of the war (as opposed to the isolated Soviet Union, as a successor state of a Great Power which for all practical purposes LOST the war). This entity is in the position to support like-minded movements beyond its (to be defined) borders both through ideological and economic support (to an extent) and, in most of Central Europe and parts of the Middle East at least, also through direct military presence (how much this applies also to parts of China is to be seen).
    This arguably bolsters the appeal of the "Left", broadly intended, in many other countries; after all, unlike the Bolsheviks, the "Russian" Socialists are allies to the mind of, say, the French and British (and Italian, American and Japanese) middle classes, let alone the working classes.
    Of course, the UoE seems far from stable, but the victory, and some measure of initial internal success, would likely strengthen its legitimacy; so, on one side,"Socialism in one country" is unlikely to be an appealing slogan ITTL - the UoE will be from the start a willing partner in the community of nations of the post-war order; on the other hand, probably it will be spared most of the devastation brought by the Russian Civil War IOTL, with the horrific loss of life and assets, dislocation and trauma it entailed.
     
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  9. Falecius Well-Known Member

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    And Bulgaria. And parts of the Ottoman Empire. And maybe the German one, or parts thereof. The Bear may seem to be stretching its paws again... at least as seen from some offices in London with a long history of almost istinctive Russophobia by now (and which also don't have much of culture of liking anything German, Austria included). Not to mention, now that I think of it, a much closer (from London) source of agitation where the Revolutions in Eastern Europe may resonate... and that was really not pretty even IOTL.
    Also, "the East" includes places like India...
    The underlying factors that made Labour grow considerably in postwar Britain seem to be all there, with somewhat less of a Red Scare feeling, so I would expect them to do at least as well as they did historically. Not sure about France, but I can't see anything that makes her Socialist movement any weaker ITTL except perhaps more division.
    In the US... I think the trend of the changes from OTL suggest slightly less isolationist feeling, perhaps a more accepting environment for the Socialist movements, Wilson may be able to do more internationally with a more amenable partner in the form of the UoE, possibly leading to a more influential, though also more quarrelsome, League of Nations analogue. I don't think this would avoid Republican dominance in the Twenties, but the subtle changes may work their way through.

    I imagine that, given the extent of mutinies immediately prior the armistice, it will be even easier for the military elites to fabricate TTL's equivalent of Dolchstosslegende. This, of course, assuming that Germany stays a bourgeois nation-state. (You already showed us that Rosa Luxemburg has plans).

    I was thinking about the "Vittoria Mutilata" as well. The optics of Italian military performance ITTL are a lot better, regardless of the reality, so Italy will desire at least as much as she did IOTL, and is certainly very likely to keep Fiume from the start, since they have it. This means no rash actions by veterans there (and I can't see D'Annunzio making a similar fuss elsewhere, say, in Zadar or Trogir). I leave further comment to Luke as well, since he's more familiar than I am on Italian political history in this period, but I broadly agree with your assessment that, while there is going to be a lot of discontent, unrest and call for reform, the chances of parliamentary democracy in Italy look better here (which also strengthens the Left, but the Italian Left at this point may be too divided to capitalize on that; also, they can't know OTL to compare).

    Well, in Cold War-ish confrontation, Britain and France reaching out to Japan to help "containing" the Eurasian Socialist juggernaut is straightforward.
    China is going to be very interesting ITTL. What is the UoE going to do about Mongolia, for example?
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019 at 2:28 PM
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  10. lukedalton Well-Known Member

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    Oh well, i was called...so here i come:p;)

    Regarding the immediate postwar in Italy:

    - The Vittoria Mutilata myth, well how Italy look at Versailles and feel to have been robbed and mistreated depend more on how will be treated diplomatically by Wilson (and the Uk and French goverment) than the effective gain; after all what obtained with the Treaty of Rapallo in 1920 was a very good compromise, give Italy a nice defensive border, not too much slavs population to integrate and control of some of the best ports of that part of the Adriatic. Still Wilson behaviour, leaving the conference and later go back with our hat in hand really humiliated the goverment...plus the entire situation with the treaty was like OTL Brexit an huge argument that almost monopilize the entire work of the parlamient in a crititical moment.
    Finally, at least in the first years, many saw Jugoslavia as A-H 2.0 in term of menace to the nation and feeled that the situation in the end was the same than pre-war, making all the sacrifice moot.
    Resolving the situation much earlier, with less drama (maybe even getting some more piece of the pie than OTL...but i don't expect too much) will be a big plus for the goverment that will avoid the transformation of the situation in a cancer that devoured the entire will and attention of the nation.
    Italy remaining at the conference mean also having a word when the colonial changes will happen and avoid some slight of hand from France (German coal was to be divided among the entente patners, but when the italian delegation was in Rome, a little note was added that said that France have the precendence and the other get the coal only after she is resolved her situation, meaning that basically she glob eveything leaving almost nothing to Italy).
    Basically a little more out of the conference also mean a better image and support the goverment have and at this stage everything count.

    - The economic situation, well it will be bad, the passage from war production to peace production will be hard and in general the civilian population had suffered a lot of hardships (famine included)...on the bright side, the UoE can sell food at a more economic price than the american and them avoiding to default fromt their debt mean that the French economic situation is a little more stable to the advantage of everyone; not considering that Russia avoiding the civil war and remaining a viable economic patner mean that the rest of the european ecomomies can export something to them, gaining a little of breath.
    For Italy specificaly, all that mean that the economic situation it's in prospective a little better (not in any lifechanging way, but just a little more bearable) and so there will be some positive repercussion towards the social situation.

    - The political situation will be...much more confused than OTL, here the socialist are on the verge of separation between moderate, hardliner and follower of Mussoli and the first will support the goverment (at least there is a strong probability of that) in exchange of reform, both economically and electoral (proportional system, among other things)...and i see things going more or less like OTL, even if Orlando remain as presidente del consiglio, Francesco Nitti (his successor) will remain as Treasury minister meaning that we can the same economic politics of OTL and going proportional was a promise fulfilled in OTL for the tacit support of the moderate socialist and the catholic.
    In all honesty i can see a liberal goverment with the catholic with the moderate socialist external support to implement economic reform, if Orlando remain in charge he can succeed to himself to form such goverment.
    Benny group and the hardliner will probably fight each other as much they fight the goverment and the far right groups, they will try to spur troubles but in this situation with a lot less capacity than OTL...but still very dangerous.
    The big changes are in the right political side, if Benny don't go fascist or a different more leftist fascist type, nobody will be capable of create an unified force and they will remain a separate mish mash of different interest, one of the catholic hardliner (funds will come from the rich landowner and the more conservative catholics) and one for D'Annunzio for the more revolutionary types, that will be the biggest groups for the right and while the second will doubtfoult be more than a politicla one hit wonder unless someone more politically savyy than the Vate will rule it behind the curtain (D'Annunzio disliked the hard work of the day to day politics), the second can transform itselfs in a more serious political party but will not have the same reach and appeal of the Fascisti.
    In any case, political violences, stikes, turmoil, land occupation, riots and protest are unvoidable and will happen in any case, IMVHO i think that ITTL things will be more manageable and the democracy in Italy will have much more possibility of survive...even in a more authoritarian form if things go bad (in the sense that the army with the king blessing and many politicians support, appoint a prime minister for the time being).
    If things go moderately well in the end we can have a proportional system where the Partito Popolare (Catholic) and the PSU (moderate socialist) are the biggest party and with the liberals (in general decline) being the usual tie-breaker, with the PSI (hardline socialist), Benny group and a more hardliner right party having a presence
     
  11. Salvador79 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Yes, but.
    It became a Stalinist slogan because IOTL, the streamlined Left (no, streamlined politics generally) in the Soviet Union came from a position where anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist World Revolution was taken as the absolutely self-evident thing to wait for / work towards. So, from this perspective, it is clear that "Socialism in one country" will not become a slogan ever because anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist World Revolution has not become the self-evident doctrine of the UoE. It is supported by many in the Social Democracy unification bloc and by Bukharin's remaining Bolshevik opposition, but it isn't necessarily something the SRs, for example, endorse. So, yes, "Socialism in one country" will probably never become a thing ITTL.

    But if I interpret your statement in a wider sense, then I have to add that there are a quite a lot more socialists in positions of influence right now who have a national agenda and focus: the largest (but of course not the only) nominally socialist parties of Armenia, Georgia, Poland, and to some extent also Finland, for example, are all very much focused on national agendas.

    Yes, absolutely. Probably with an enthusiasm which quickly goes on a lot of people's nerves.

    If you're thinking about Ireland, this is something I have to dig deeper into over the next couple of weeks. Specifically how susceptible the various nationalist groups were (and would be ITTL) to the various fashionable ideological offers. On a general note, Ireland is slightly more peaceful than IOTL so far, given that there has not been an Irish Conscription Crisis ITTL because the British didn't need (and couldn't put to use) any more fresh troops in Flanders ITTL while they were cut off from the largest part of the Western front by the German's capture of Hazebrouck in the Late Spring Offensive.

    :)

    You have a point here - but on the other hand, the success of the Dolchstoßlegende also derived from the perception that things had apparently gone so well, things looked so great in early 1918 militarily: the Russians hammered and dropped out of the war, the entire haughty list of gains obtained at Bucharest and Brest-Litwosk, the Italians thrown back at Caporetto, the Paris Gun shooting at the French capital and Caillaux publicly arguing for a surrender to the Germans. And then, in a matter of mere months, it all fell apart. Myths and self-delusions of German (Prusssian) military might had a very long tradition, of course, but OTL's course of events contradicted them less starkly in early 1918, to say the least.
    ITTL, there is Caporetto, too, and the Germans do advance against the Russians and take Petrograd. But there is much less hope ITTL's 1918 that any Entente nation will soon drop out; the war does not look like it could soon end with a German victory in early 1918. Therefore, what happens in August, September and October is not so much of an unexpected shock, it's more like the collapse many had feared, but had preferred not to think too much about.
    Also, note how both the Kaiser and his government - and certainly the press to an even greater extent, from the national liberals to the radical left - are publicly blaming Ludendorff for having misled everyone else, and how Hindenburg has descended from his pedestal himself by admitting that the military leadership had made grave mistakes and saw no option but to surrender. IOTL, OHL thought the same, too, of course, but as long as Ludendorff was still in charge, he did his utmost to prevent this insight from seeping out, and what was more, he was scheming and plotting with all his energy to prepare to lay the blame on the socialists - including the idea that parliamentarians should sign the humiliating surrender, not generals.

    Of course I shouldn't succumb to Big Man theory of history here. The old elites stumbled in 1918, and they sought to blame someone else for what was clearly their own fault. ITTL, they may still fall, and then the ground for a vile myth like the Dolchstoßlegende is fertile like IOTL.

    She has. Right now, though, she's still in prison. There's no full breakdown of state authority, and given the dangerous situation with the mutinies and strikes they are faced with, and the utter hatred between MSPD and USPD which had grown over the four years of the war, the Ebert government has not released the political prisoners yet. Somebody else is currently travelling to Germany with bold plans, though...

    We'll have to wait for the outcome of the elections in the UoE here and see if anyone who has even the slightest idea of how a Central and Eastern Asian policy could look like comes to the position of Foreign Minister. With the demission of the Provisional Government in May 1917 and the transition of administrative power to soviet- and later CA-based "commissions", a LOT of political expertise is lost, and that is especially the case in the area of foreign policy. Now of course there has been an Inokom for over a year now, but it has devoted almost all of its energies towards seeking peace with the Central Powers first, then trying to crawl back into the Entente camp and making sure one is accepted again, and the rest was concentrated on the peripheries of the front lines (like South-Eastern Europe and, to a lesser extent, the Middle East). The Bogd Khanate is still in place in Mongolia, and generally the situation there is so much more quiet than IOTL without the Russian Civil War. The UoE's neglect of Mongolia is strengthening the Chinese hands, of course.
     
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  12. Salvador79 Well-Known Member

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    Mar 18, 2015
    @lukedalton,
    all of your ideas sound very plausible indeed. Yugoslavia will not look like a menace to Italy any time soon, I'll assure you that. The political reforms seem likely, and so does the three-way split of the socialist movement. If you're interested in fleshing out TTL's Mussolini a little more in a piece situated in 1919, I'd keep you informed about my plans beforehand... I have some thoughts, but I fear I couldn't give it the authentic feel that comes from depth of detail knowledge which you showed us in your wonderful piece on the PSI congress...!
     
  13. lukedalton Well-Known Member

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    Always happy to help...and thanks
     
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  14. lukedalton Well-Known Member

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    Regarding a possible 'cold-war' situation with the UoE and allies, well why at a first impression seem that the situation is more like OTL post WWII, Romania, Bulgaria and Czech are more willing allies with their interest than puppet and unlike OTL were Moscow basically dictated the politics of the various communist party around the world here the various national parties had their difference and are not into following 100% what Petrograd say.
    But this analys is more for the reader of the TL and ITTL the more apt political analyst, the average person (politicians included) will see just a big red blob covering half of Europe...expecially in the UK as they are still attached to the idea of Balance of power and this mean that Germany will be seen as a bulkwark against the UoE and London will try to not weak her too much...i doubt that the french or the belgian will be of the same opinion; Poland can also be seen as a possible counterbalance for the UoE but much depend on who's in charge and i doubt that one can have Poland and Germany on the same side for long time.
    On the bright side for the British, seem that at least OTL they have avoided the problem in Ireland due to the draft, this mean that a more peacefull solution at the irish situation can be found making the UK general position stronger, at least on the internal side (plus avoiding the OTL intervention in the Russian civil war mean less internal problem for UK and France).
    Italy, if not engulfed by a revolution will side with the Anglo-French...but this also depend on how the situation on Versailled develop.

    The USA, well depending on how it will be the final toll of the war, they will probably go back to their pre-war usual politics cursing the moment they have decided to being involved in the european troubles; the UoE presence both in political and economic term mean that Wilson will not have the same degree of influence of OTL and this can cause trouble as if there is a lesser need to follow what the Woodrow 'new messiah' Wilson the more there is the possiblity of friction (even OTL there were a lot and WW is basically a Trump but with a lot of intelligence). In any case, the american socialist will need to be very carefull, while i doubt that a red terror will happen as OTL here, the Wilson administration will try to use any excuse to attempt it and in any case will try to obstacolate them in any legal way possible
     
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  15. Salvador79 Well-Known Member

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    I would agree that while e.g. countries like Romania or Czechoslovakia certainly can't be called "red" (I'll have to go into more detail at some point here), the perception of a "red wave" need not necessarily be accurate in order to be politically powerful.
    The toll of the war for the US was a little over 100,000 dead and twice that number wounded soldiers IOTL. ITTL, it is probably slightly lower, but not much, because the final assault on the Hindenburg Line in TTL's 1918 is not really any less bloody than OTL's Hundred Days Offensive, only a few weeks shorter. This is WAY less than any other major country, but on the other hand it's the second worst trauma the US has ever gone through in its history so far (after its Civil War in the 1860s). Thus, I see the momentum for a return of isolationism. What I'm asking myself is whether the fact that ITTL, the Congress Elections on November 5th are happening two weeks after the US have won the war, instead of while the war was still going on (although only Germany was left by November 5th and the end was clearly in sight), has any significant effect on the outcome.
    1919 was a violent year in the US, and I don't see why it wouldn't be ITTL, too. The First Red Scare is probably not going to happen exactly like IOTL, but there'll be ideological, social, and racial tensions when such a great number of traumatised soldiers return to a country, a society and an economy caught in the vice of pandemic disease and economic downturn / reconversion.
     
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  16. generalurist Map Staring Expert

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    Let's hope this doesn't escalate into a large schism between the revolutionary and the bourgoise elements of the entente.


    Seems like Austria is going to be in for a bad time with multiple rival factions. And considering...
    Impressive advance. If there are already Czechoslovak forces in part of the Sudetenland, I imagine they won't hesitate to reclaim the rest of the historic Czech land.

    I guess even in TTL Yugoslavia won't get a battleship. Sigh.

    Well this is going to be a mess. "invading the Reich, no no kaiser, we are just cementing our control of Polish land!" Seriously, the combination of the German-Polish border being completly undefined and the UoE blocking any Polish hopes of acquiring land to the East means Pilsudski will probably try and grab as much of Germany as possible. The likely-imminent uprisings in Greater Poland and surrounding areas will give them great pretext.

    Ah, the ever-obscure Hungarian-Romanian War. Have the Hungarians gone Red as in OTL?
     
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  17. Nuka1 Well-Known Member

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    In OTL that happened 5 months later but geopolitical situation has deviated so much that something similar of OTL Soviet Hungary may never came to be or it may happen sooner.
     
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  18. lukedalton Well-Known Member

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    Well, let's say that i doubt that anyone in the entente that's not the UoE will look kindly at them giving warning at the Bulgarian goverment while at the same time sending people to help their 'ideology brothers', it will seen as a open attempt to extend their influence without any previous agreement with their allies and at least there will be some strong diplomatic protest


    The biggest problem is that the strongest faction at the moment is the one that basically don't like anyone there aka the italians occupations troops; in OTL they limited themeselfs at the entirely of Tyrol so Innsbruck was included, but with the rest of the alliance asking to prepare to launch an invasion thrugh Bavaria and the current problem between the would-be Jugoslavian constituent, Italy will occupy much more of Austria...and i doubt that anyone will want there a goverment that's not of their liking at the moment; honestly the italians (and the entente) don't need to do very much as they control the food transport and IRC the situation in OTL was dire.
     
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  19. Salvador79 Well-Known Member

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    In September, this does not escalate too much yet, for there was still a common enemy to wrestle down.
    But as others have noted before, it's a clear symbol of the rifts that are going to appear within the Entente after the armistice is achieved. The big question for the UoE is: Will it always be "the revoltuionaries" vs. "the bourgeois"? Or will it be more complex, will they be able to get on some capitalist countries' sides, too, in some matters, commonly opposing other capitalist empires' aspirations?

    These factions polarised Austrian politics IOTL, too. Will there be armed conflict between them already in 1918/19, which would be an escalation over OTL? I agree with @lukedalton here that the policy of the Entente occupation troops is going to be most relevant here.

    I agree, though it probably will soon be a joint occupation like in the Rhineland (both IOTL and ITTL).

    Yes to the latter. To explain the former: the Czechoslovak Legion can virtually take the train through Bohemia. Czech national council-aligned forces have taken over control over the towns and countryside and infrastructure even before the Legion arrived, just like in the SHS state. In the Sudetenlande, where this was not the case, German-speaking resistance was much less organised than, say, in Carinthia IOTL and I assume the same holds true ITTL, too.

    I won't give too much spoilers on Poland. The general tendency of the divergences between TTL and OTL is the absence of a power void in the East. Poland's Eastward expansions of OTL happened in the context of the post-Brest-Litwosk facts and of the Russian Civil War.

    Hungary has not gone Red as IOTL, not only because e.g. Bela Kun is still a UoE PoW (PoW exchange will only start after the armistice, and how long it takes is anyone's guess at the moment.) But also because IOTL, the Party of Communists in Hungary could come to power by offering a real alternative, i.e. alignment to the otherwise isolated Soviet Union, for the wish to secure or recapture lost Hungarian lands. ITTL, the UoE is firmyl allied to Romania and Czechoslovakia and less firmly but still allied to Serbia, so even if the UoE's leadership would welcome a socialist takeover in Hungary, they could not promsie them much without losing their other allies.
    Therefore, while Karoly's government is quickly losing support, the left wing of the Social Democrats or any other radical leftists are not looking like possible saviours, either.
     
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