Looking for : Alternate Entry of the Ottoman Empire

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by NoMommsen, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. NoMommsen Donor

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    Some IOTL background :
    • since the negotiation at the Porte are somewhat ... ponderous, on 1st August the german ambassador requested the show-up of the german mediterranian didivion (Goeben and Breslau) at Constantinople for a ... show-up
    • unbeknown to Wangenheim the Pashas decided upon signing the german-ottoman alliance at late night of 1st August with Enver tipping the balance by informing them about the battleships seizure of on the same day, the treaty finally signed at about 16:00 on 2nd August
    • on 2nd August Kaiser Bill and Hugo v.Pohl decided, that Suchon and his ships "had buisness elsewhere". Orders to Suchon were to either attack/hamper french troop-transport from Algeria or break into the Atlantic. Suchon made plans for the former
    • on 3rd August Suchon received info about the DoW against France and set for Bone and Phliippville
    • on 4th August early, while on route he received orders from Tirpitz as well as from Hugo v.Pohl - against the wishes and without knowledge of Kaiser Bill - to proceed to Constantinople
    the rest is ... well : history :biggrin:.

    Whoever used whom, the germans via Suchon the ottomans or the ottomans, notably Enver Pasha Suchon to finally start hostilities and draw the OE into 'action' :

    Goeben and the Breslau were instrumental to it IOTL​


    But ... what ... if ... Goeben and Breslau wouldn't have made it to Constantinople ?

    Let's assume, ... Kaiser Bill does NOT fold at night of 1st to 2nd August and stays with his decision of the former days discussions :
    - no invasion of Belgium
    - retreat from Luxemburg
    - no attack-first on France
    - "send all troops east" ... as far as possible by logistics.
    Part of his decision making on 2nd August - being informed about Wangenheims request - might then be a rather fresh and clear order for Suchon to break into the Atlantic and
    - return home
    - proceed to East-Asia reinforcing Spee against Wladiwostock - disturb russian traffic from the USA
    - simply reinforce the reconnaissance forces of the HSF, as its will be know "redirected - at least in parts - to the Baltics
    - doesn't matter for the matter in question


    So ... how and when will Enver now manage to draw the Ottoman Empire into actuall war and active fighting ?

    Eager to read your ideas about :)
     
  2. NoMommsen Donor

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    Oh, ... C'mon ! Noone with an idea ?

    What might Admiral Andrei Eberhardt do ITTL ?
    IOTL he seems to be quite ... "frightened" by Goeben and Breslau and tried to mainly keep his fleet in port, doing some blockading of ottoman coal shipping mainly with "light" forces"
    Probably/possibly the Goeben was also the reason, why he was rather reluctant to stage some more thorough attacks on the Black Sea side of the Bosphorus.
    Might he ITTL be "more" active ? Maybe causing at some point an icident as Suichon did IOTL ?

    Or ... might the ottomans together with some support of the german staff officer "try" something on the Caucasus-front ? ... That we might see an "Izzet Pasha"-offensive instaed a "Bergmann-offensive" IOTL ?
     
  3. MichaelWest Well-Known Member

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    My understanding was that both German ships were close to or in need of overhaul as they steamed towards Constantinople and there is no yards there to work on them.

    Your scenario has the potential to place the OE in a twilight state of belligerency, not openly yet at war but proceeding towards a hard pro-CP position and poised for belligerency. Despite agreeing with Germany the OE did not go to war with Russia until October. What I do not know is how soon they closed the Straights? Can the OE simply close the Straights to all war material and trade with Russia but otherwise sit on its hands? Without the German ships I see no naval incident from the Ottomans to open hostilities. What activities was the OE preparing for with regard to a land war with Russia? I know the Germans had run the Ottoman army so at least German advisors can move the Ottomans towards a land campaign somewhere.

    Sadly I have scant information on the Ottoman Navy but I understand that a British Admiral was in charge before war was declared and Souchon effectively took over. My first question is what that Admiral does to command the Ottomans with the UK not at war with the OE? I agree that the Russian Black Sea fleet should be more aggressive with the two more modern German units and I assume no Ottoman dreadnought delivered. Will the Russians provide the opening attack to force the Straights? I assume the British Admiral uses his ships to defend and disrupt any Russian attacks but has too little to hope for success? Or will the Russians open a land front themselves? And what can France send? If SMS Goeben and Breslau are active in the Western Med to bolster the Austrians in a more aggressive war upon France are the Russians effectively cut from France?

    Without the two German ships I think the only effective strategy is to use mines and artillery to close the straights, ramp up the Army to defend against a Russian attack and at least demonstrate on the frontier to draw off Russian troops as German strikes a blow on the Eastern front.
     
  4. Wickedultimate Member

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    He could promise the ottomans the eastern Greek islands, Crete, all of the Sinai peninsula, British Arabia and the lesser caucuses.
     
  5. NoMommsen Donor

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    On 27th September 1914.
    They could close them for every kind of trade and they did already so in 1912.
    The british Naval mission (similar to the german military mission of Liman v.Sanders for training and preparing the build of docking facilities for the still-in-construction battleships, no ships involved) was ... "disbanded" from its obligations on 15th August and "pleased" to leave the country until 15th September.
     
  6. MichaelWest Well-Known Member

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    Thank you! I could not find the easy details. So the Ottomans were restricting traffic from 1912? Upon Russia alone or generally?

    In reading on the proposed Greek interception of the OE dreadnaught the British Admiral in Greece is said to have been prepared to resign from the RN and fight with the Greeks. I got the impression that his opposite may have been just as "loyal" if the war was solely Greco-Ottoman. I assume that London recalls the mission in the OE as soon as they lean CP and the Ottomans might not trust them. The question mark is if London will be less heavy handed seizing her ships and offer a better deal in exchange for holding them, if so might the Ottomans be less offended and less willing to kick Britain out of her house? I think relations are going to be tense but we might push off war until the Russians attempt something and that may or may not import Britain as an enemy.
     
  7. FillyofDelphi Well-Known Member

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    Not exactly. The HAD closed the Straits in 1912. It had been reopened to civilian trade in the meantime.

    As for the British, their main concern will be first and foremost events in France and Germany. They'll try to keep the OE neutral (Which means being obstinate in the face of any Russian demands, but given Moscow have thus far been fine with the Straits staying in Turkish hands they shouldn't be pressing too hard. Hell, they might not mind some gunboat diplomacy on Greece to dissuade them from attempts to seize Istanbul in the future), using British credit availability and arms supplies as leverage even if they stay neutral. Such a move to protect the Empire if the Greeks actually do take aggressive naval action would earn quite a bit of good will towards London.
     
  8. MichaelWest Well-Known Member

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    As I try to circumscribe the war and sideline the OE, I think you sum up my thoughts. If Britain is playing an honest game and seeking her advantages, a bout of cold feet in the Aegean serves London far better than yet more war.