France or Russia vs Britain conflict

Is there any chance of a Britain vs France or Britain vs Russia conflict in the 1900 to 1914 period ?

if so under what circumstances

thanks
 
Make Russia more threatening and Germany less threatening and Germany-Austria alliance will look a lot better to the UK than the France-Russia one. Once the alliance system is set you just need a spark. Throw in a more aggressive French colonial policy if want to really push the UK away.

Unless you're looking for a 1 v 1 war in which case, a Russia capable of pushing into Central Asia or colonial dust up with France. It's about the same, but you need an actual act of aggression for this case since the UK, is not about to start a war in this period.
 
Make Russia more threatening and Germany less threatening and Germany-Austria alliance will look a lot better to the UK than the France-Russia one. Once the alliance system is set you just need a spark. Throw in a more aggressive French colonial policy if want to really push the UK away.

Unless you're looking for a 1 v 1 war in which case, a Russia capable of pushing into Central Asia or colonial dust up with France. It's about the same, but you need an actual act of aggression for this case since the UK, is not about to start a war in this period.
yes I'm looking for a 1 vs 1 war between any of these 3 countries
 
The first possiblewar triggers that spring to mind are the Fashoda incident of 1898 ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fashoda_Incident )for Britain vs France, or the Dogger Bank incident ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogger_Bank_incident ) for Russia.

As to the outcomes, well Britain vs France is strongly likely to see the UK triumphant (by this stage France has been more than eclipsed by Britain), and would likely see the British Empire seize colonial territories (probably in West Africa or the Caribbean). An Anglo-Russian war is likely to just bog down to an expensive slogging match with no real winner, as neither side is truly capable of damaging the others core power sources.
 
If Russia wasn’t so backwards and was led better you could absolutely see a war between Russia and Britain in Central Asia.
Russia is not backward, I think the correct term is lagging compared to Britain's scale as Russia is a bigger Scale compared to Germany UK and other stuff, meaning development to the levels of germany or UK would be harder to Achieve
 
War with Russia was being angrily demanded by some newspapers in 1904 after the Baltic Fleet shot up the British fishing fleet. It's not impossible to find ways for this to escalate - say for example Beresford gets too close in the night and some dumb Russian gunners fire on his fleet. Or, if different political decisions are made at a high level. The casus belli was believed to be there.

Or, you could see Joseph Chamberlain's efforts to secure an alliance with Germany at the turn of the century be successful, then the next time Germany precipitates a crisis, Britain is being dragged along facing off against Russia and France

Best Regards
Grey Wolf
 
The first possiblewar triggers that spring to mind are the Fashoda incident of 1898 ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fashoda_Incident )for Britain vs France, or the Dogger Bank incident ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogger_Bank_incident ) for Russia.

As to the outcomes, well Britain vs France is strongly likely to see the UK triumphant (by this stage France has been more than eclipsed by Britain), and would likely see the British Empire seize colonial territories (probably in West Africa or the Caribbean). An Anglo-Russian war is likely to just bog down to an expensive slogging match with no real winner, as neither side is truly capable of damaging the others core power sources.
Regarding Russia , given logistics in Central Asia, neither side is going to be able to bring more than token forces to bear. So its more stirring up trouble by giving potential rebels encouragement/money than anything like an actual shooting war between the nations. So mainly economic and petering out relitivly quickly ( both sides more concerned about Germany's growth ).
 
Regarding Russia , given logistics in Central Asia, neither side is going to be able to bring more than token forces to bear. So its more stirring up trouble by giving potential rebels encouragement/money than anything like an actual shooting war between the nations. So mainly economic and petering out relitivly quickly ( both sides more concerned about Germany's growth ).
Well Russia has its client states Bukhara and Khiva, which are pre-1917 actually protectorates of the empire rather than an integral part of it. I don't know how much it can mobilise their own armies, but there are clearly garrison forces there that could be formed into an army.

Britain also has an army of its own in India and native levies it can call up, if necessary, from the princely states in the North.

I would imagine a British strategy would be to try to stir up trouble in Khiva and Bokhara (and Kokand, which has been absorbed by Russia, but whose identity is within living memory).

Also, Tibet was a clashpoint for both empires, despite nominal Imperial Chinese suzerainty. Britain certainly sent military expeditions into Tibet in this period (Younghusband in 1903) and Russia can do similar

There is also the naval war in the Far East which will take on an order of magnitude higher than the same during the Crimean War

Best Regards
Grey Wolf
 
Well Russia has its client states Bukhara and Khiva, which are pre-1917 actually protectorates of the empire rather than an integral part of it. I don't know how much it can mobilise their own armies, but there are clearly garrison forces there that could be formed into an army.

Britain also has an army of its own in India and native levies it can call up, if necessary, from the princely states in the North.

I would imagine a British strategy would be to try to stir up trouble in Khiva and Bokhara (and Kokand, which has been absorbed by Russia, but whose identity is within living memory).

Also, Tibet was a clashpoint for both empires, despite nominal Imperial Chinese suzerainty. Britain certainly sent military expeditions into Tibet in this period (Younghusband in 1903) and Russia can do similar

There is also the naval war in the Far East which will take on an order of magnitude higher than the same during the Crimean War

Best Regards
Grey Wolf
As I said its all small scale stuff on land, poor quality buffer zones exist which basically mean the core territories are not getting touched. No railways , few roads, little other infrastructure, all mean for both sides a force of a few thousand, not large scale armies. These might skirmish in territory that is not considered vital by either party but its just a minor colonial war in scale. As for at Sea , the Russians are so outmatched once the RN pivots that they are not going to come out to play.
 
If Russia wasn’t so backwards and was led better you could absolutely see a war between Russia and Britain in Central Asia.
It would take a much worse Russian and British leadership than in OTL for this to happen because by 1900 the borders in the CA (Russian-Afghan border) had been set. What’s left was settling the border in Tibet (hardly a suitable theater for a big war and hardly a serious reason for one) and spheres of influence in Persia, which were not conflicting. AFAIK, in the case of Persia both Britain and Russia were on the same course being unhappy with a new Persian political system which they considered too liberal.
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So for a war one would need the ambitious regional military commanders acting on their own initiative, which to a certain degree was the case in the second half of the XIX century. But by 1900 this time was gone.
 
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Well Russia has its client states Bukhara and Khiva, which are pre-1917 actually protectorates of the empire rather than an integral part of it. I don't know how much it can mobilise their own armies, but there are clearly garrison forces there that could be formed into an army.

Probably, before starting mobilization you have to get at least a vague idea about the goals of a war you are planning to start and by 1900 the meaningful goals had been absent for a while on both sides.

The Brits had their buffer in Afghanistan and the last military encounter in the area, Panjdeh incident, happened in 1885 over precise definition of a border in an obscure oasis (and the Brits did not even participate in it). Russia expanded to the practical limits and was not looking for conquest of Afghanistan so what this war would be about?



Britain also has an army of its own in India and native levies it can call up, if necessary, from the princely states in the North.

And they would have to march all the way through Afghanistan. I can imagine how happy the locals would be and how simple logistics of that adventure was going to be.

OTOH, Russia already had Trans-Caspian railroad completed in 1886, extended to Samarkand and Bukhara in 1888, to Tashkent and Andijan in 1898 with a permanent bridge over the Oxus (Amu-Darya) completed in 1902 and the train ferry across the Caspian Sea functioning since 1905.

1634137483626.png

I would imagine a British strategy would be to try to stir up trouble in Khiva and Bokhara (and Kokand, which has been absorbed by Russia, but whose identity is within living memory).

There had been plans for something of the kind in the midst of the Great Game but it was found out that the natives do not exactly consider the Brits as an attractive alternative. Anyway, this time was gone and by 1900 the Russian control of the region was quite solid and the rulers of Bukhara and Khiva did not have reasons for sticking their necks on British behalf.


Also, Tibet was a clashpoint for both empires, despite nominal Imperial Chinese suzerainty. Britain certainly sent military expeditions into Tibet in this period (Younghusband in 1903) and Russia can do similar

But Tibet, by seemingly obvious geographic reasons, was not exactly a theater suitable for a major war or worthy of it. Expedition you are referencing to was just Curzon’s paranoia: he still feared Russian invasion into India even if in April 1903, the British government received clear assurances from the Russian government that it had no interest in Tibet. There was diplomatic exchange between Dalai Lama and St. Petersburg and Russian diplomatic presence in Lhasa but that was pretty much it. A potential conflict could be between Britain and China and so was the agreement of 1906.
There is also the naval war in the Far East which will take on an order of magnitude higher than the same during the Crimean War

Due to a huge disparity of the naval forces, the naval war would not happen and actually there was naval war during the CW by the same reason. OTOH, during the CW the British navy failed in its attempts to attack the Russian ports on the Pacific and situation would be pretty much the same or even worse for the attacker due to the much stronger coastal defenses and much greater military presence.


Best Regards
Grey Wolf
 
My points were not that this would be what caused the war but how the war would play out in Central Asia. If you find yourself at war with Russia, you're not going to not bother to fight them, or not bother to outline a strategy there. After all, Britain might win a thumping victory overall, so stretch goals might be on the table, or gains made in places like Bukhara could be up for negotiation away in return for reparations.
 
My points were not that this would be what caused the war but how the war would play out in Central Asia. If you find yourself at war with Russia, you're not going to not bother to fight them, or not bother to outline a strategy there
Yes, it is generally a good idea to have strategy defined before you are starting a war and it usually includes some political considerations. By 1900 Britain did not have any clear or desirable goals in the Russia CA and Russia was not planning conquest of Afghanistan so the war triggered in the CA is very unlikely and if it happens as an offshoot of something else, it most probably would not be a campaign of conquest on either side.

. After all, Britain might win a thumping victory overall, so stretch goals might be on the table, or gains made in places like Bukhara could be up for negotiation away in return for reparations.
Britain did not have means to bring enough troops for a decisive victory in the CA while the Russian logistics in the region was considerably better so an idea of the British land victory seems to be on a fantastic side. As for the reparations, this is even less likely: Russia did not pay them even after the CW.
 
Sometimes I think this is an anti-alternate history website. Isn't the point of the discussion to look at what might have happened, work out how that might play out, look at ultimate possibilities, and discuss how to bring those about?

Maybe it's moved on from that, and I am just old.

Not a criticism of making valid points, per se, but just of how it seems to end any discussion of alternate history.
 
Sometimes I think this is an anti-alternate history website. Isn't the point of the discussion to look at what might have happened, work out how that might play out, look at ultimate possibilities, and discuss how to bring those about?

This complaint is seemingly based upon a premise that once Britain is getting into the war, it is doomed to win it. Why anybody must take this premise for granted, I have no idea. When, by 1900s, was it last time that the Brits fought a successful land war on their own against European regular army?

OP asking about a war, not it’s outcome. It also kind of assumes an absence of any other wars at the time of a conflict.

The war can be reasonably realistically invented: while by 1900 on the Russian side generation of the adventure-prone “Turkestan generals” (Kaufman, Chernyaev, Skobelev, etc.) had been pretty much gone, in the British India the itch did not fully got away (*).

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(*) Of course, you have to assume that the British government of India is ready to screw the existing treaties and that the government in London is not going to put any brakes on such activities.

If, as you insist, by whatever reason, Britain starts a war with Russia in the CA and tries to launch an offensive in the direction of the khanates, it most probably loses because of the much worse logistics (was there a railroad going from India across Afghanistan all the way to the border?) and very serious difficulties with bringing enough troops to the point of a conflict. I doubt that in 1900s Britain could organize an earlier version of the Red Ball Express so we have supply by the horse- or oxen-driven carts and marching across Afghanistan on foot vs. supply and transportation by the train almost all the way to the front.

So, unless the Russian side commits a major error of going deep into Afghanistan territory, the British chance to win is not very good to put it mildly. Actually, to have Afghanistan at the rear would create, as I understand, extra problems with the logistics.

Pretty much the same goes for a naval war: without an ability to back up the naval operations with a serious land force (aka, finding a sucker who, like NIII, is ready to contribute a major land force) , there are just pinpricks of a minimal strategic value. The Brits can’t attack the neutral shipping and Russia has little of its own merchant fleet so the commerce keeps going on.

So the whole silly affair keeps going on until everybody is bored to death and ends up with nothing of a substance.

 
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