Place In The Sun- Or, What if Italy Joined The Central Powers in 1915

The Russian Baltic Fleet focused on fleet-in-being, mine warfare and submarines in OTL largely because Tsushima had shown them what happens if a fleet risks a decisive battle and loses.
 

Coulsdon Eagle

Monthly Donor
I agree, Kiel was base for most major German forays into the Baltic OTL.

Afraid I do think the naval battle is unrealistic. The Russian Baltic Fleet consisted OTL of: 4 dreadnoughts which were not that well armoured and with a Cuniberti turret arrangement; 2 pretty good pre-dreadnoughts; and two old not-so-good predreadnoughts. The Russians were also building 4 fast but lightly armoured BCs - somewhere between an Invincible and a Lion - but they remained unfinished as much of the engines & guns were ordered from Britain & (unbelieveably) Germany.

Even if we argue that the Baltic Fleet was 4 BBs / 4 BCs / 4Bs it is even more outnumbered than Scheer was at Jutland, and outmatched in terms of quality. I doubt the Russians would have been offensively minded and would have held back behind thick minefields, waiting to catch an isolated squadron or two. Recognise the tactic?

IMHO the battle would not be much of a fair fight even if the Russians did not stick their head into the lion's mouth.
 

Coulsdon Eagle

Monthly Donor
OTL Jellicoe outnumbered Scheer roughly 3 to 2 in terms of dreadnoughts.

The Russians were outnumbered 5 to 1 if the HSF appeared in the Baltic.
 
Overall, I agree that the Russians most likely wouldn't engage unless there was a VERY good reason. Fight behind minefields, sure--and they were GOOD at mine warfare. If they saw a chance to nip out and do something of strategic value, perhaps. (Not eliminating a few ships, but bombarding a German offensive. Granted, cutting off and sinking some German ships could be a morale boost.)
The Germans could consider trying to bring the Royal Navy down to size if they could catch smaller parts unsupported, but the Russians were so incredibly outnumbered that, even if they eliminated half of the High Seas Fleet with no losses, they are still massively outnumbered.
The Russians were outnumbered 5 to 1 if the HSF appeared in the Baltic
They are that badly outnumbered for the moment, but not as badly as they will be when the High Seas Fleet gets its repairs done; a lot of the High Seas Fleet, and probably all of the battlecruisers, are in the body and fender shop. I'd say that the Germans should concentrate on getting the least damaged ships back in commission ASAP, and perhaps a couple of the least damaged battlecruisers. The 11" dreadnoughts should be laid up if they need much work at all, and the Helgolands are not a really high priority compared to the Kaisers and Königs.

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König Albert missed Jutland, and Bayern is almost ready for sea, if not ready.
If you want to revise, and still have a naval battle, then perhaps have the Germans trying to sweep Russian mines, with the minesweepers supported by the fleet, or someone trying to bombard land targets and the other side objecting. Or combine them: The Germans want o bombard, so they are sweeping mines, and the Russians try to stop them.
In the battle between the navy and the army, another victory for the High Seas Fleet is highly desirable to set up a better post-war budget for the navy.
 
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Alternate reason for naval battle - Tsar insists navy support army with bombardments,but no-one knows German Navy has moved there - so unexpected conflict ensues?
 
Honestly I'm wondering why they haven't surrendered yet, yes Nicky might not be the brightest bulb but this borders closer to outright bashing.
 
If I had to guess about Germany's demands at the peace table, at the very least, they'll carve Briey-Longwy off of France, and add it to Elsass-Lothringen. The Imperial Territory will then transition over the following years into a full federal state of the German Empire, as the Grand Duchy of Lothringen. They'll also demand Dahomey and Ubangi-Shari, as part of their Mittelafrika ambitions. As part of that, they'll have to demand Nigeria from Britain to link up all their West African colonies together, and together with the (former) Belgian Congo, finally gain their coveted colonial domain stretching coast to coast across the African continent.

From Russia, Poland and the Baltic States will be the minimum demand. No annexations, as Germany wouldn't want to add more minorities to their nation. Instead, Poland will be a client kingdom, probably with a Saxon as king, given the House of Wettin's dynastic link to the royalty of the old Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Baltic States may or may not be divided into their component nations (Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia), but if divided, then each would probably have a duke drawn from the more prominent junker families. If united as a single United Baltic Duchy, I suspect Kaiser Wilhelm II would appoint one of his younger sons as Grand Duke.

If possible, though, Germany would also try to break off Finland from Russia. With the Baltic States and Finland, Germany would have complete control of the Baltic Sea, and trapping any future Russian Baltic Fleet in the Gulf of Finland. It might even be worth dropping demands for breaking off Ukraine and/or Belarus from Russia. Bessarabia, of course, will still get awarded to Romania. Dunno what Austria-Hungary would demand, though. Maybe the lion's share of reparations, as I doubt they'd want even more restive minorities in their empire, especially since from the sound of things, they'll be annexing Serbia after the war.

Back to the colonies, Germany would probably sign off on South Africa keeping former German Southwest Africa, and use it as a starting point for weakening Pretoria's ties with London and instead realign them in the future with Germany. In the Pacific, Germany would probably extract a token payment from Japan, Australia, and New Zealand in exchange for letting them keep Germany's former Pacific colonies. Japan, surprisingly enough, might be willing enough to pay, they're Asians so they'll understand the German need to save face. Australia and New Zealand, though, might make a fuss over having to pay over keeping territory they won in war and which the Germans didn't really contest.
 
If I had to guess about Germany's demands at the peace table, at the very least, they'll carve Briey-Longwy off of France, and add it to Elsass-Lothringen. The Imperial Territory will then transition over the following years into a full federal state of the German Empire, as the Grand Duchy of Lothringen. They'll also demand Dahomey and Ubangi-Shari, as part of their Mittelafrika ambitions. As part of that, they'll have to demand Nigeria from Britain to link up all their West African colonies together, and together with the (former) Belgian Congo, finally gain their coveted colonial domain stretching coast to coast across the African continent.

From Russia, Poland and the Baltic States will be the minimum demand. No annexations, as Germany wouldn't want to add more minorities to their nation. Instead, Poland will be a client kingdom, probably with a Saxon as king, given the House of Wettin's dynastic link to the royalty of the old Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Baltic States may or may not be divided into their component nations (Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia), but if divided, then each would probably have a duke drawn from the more prominent junker families. If united as a single United Baltic Duchy, I suspect Kaiser Wilhelm II would appoint one of his younger sons as Grand Duke.

If possible, though, Germany would also try to break off Finland from Russia. With the Baltic States and Finland, Germany would have complete control of the Baltic Sea, and trapping any future Russian Baltic Fleet in the Gulf of Finland. It might even be worth dropping demands for breaking off Ukraine and/or Belarus from Russia. Bessarabia, of course, will still get awarded to Romania. Dunno what Austria-Hungary would demand, though. Maybe the lion's share of reparations, as I doubt they'd want even more restive minorities in their empire, especially since from the sound of things, they'll be annexing Serbia after the war.

Back to the colonies, Germany would probably sign off on South Africa keeping former German Southwest Africa, and use it as a starting point for weakening Pretoria's ties with London and instead realign them in the future with Germany. In the Pacific, Germany would probably extract a token payment from Japan, Australia, and New Zealand in exchange for letting them keep Germany's former Pacific colonies. Japan, surprisingly enough, might be willing enough to pay, they're Asians so they'll understand the German need to save face. Australia and New Zealand, though, might make a fuss over having to pay over keeping territory they won in war and which the Germans didn't really contest.
Really doubt that the germans could nor would demand Belarus or Ukraine. Even now it is neither occupied nor is there a will. border adjustments besserabia and the baltic states plus finland i can agree Whole heartedly with, though this is already known from previous posts. Either way I do not really expect a complete overhaul of russia here the war has not really gone on long enough and while the loses would be only slightly higher, though they are in a worse position
 
Really doubt that the germans could nor would demand Belarus or Ukraine. Even now it is neither occupied nor is there a will. border adjustments besserabia and the baltic states plus finland i can agree Whole heartedly with, though this is already known from previous posts. Either way I do not really expect a complete overhaul of russia here the war has not really gone on long enough and while the loses would be only slightly higher, though they are in a worse position
IIRC, the Germans occupied Western Belarus in 1915, as part of TTL's Gorlice-Tarnow campaign, to cover their right flank while advancing into Lithuania and Southern Latvia. Also, the Austro-Hungarians seems to have pushed into Western Ukraine as part of their 1916 campaign, which was the only reason why the Romanians finally managed to take Bessarabia, i.e. the Russians had to retreat to cover their flank.

I'd think they might make demands on parts of Belarus and the Ukraine as part of the starting demands, and then give those up as talks proceed to get what they really want.
 
I do find the characterisation of nicky very interesting may i ask why you had him Respond that way? Because from what i have read it doesn’t make much sense.
stubborn as sin
Misguided
Weak willed
And completely unprepared or trained for such a job as czar
Check, check, check and double check
Vain and completely oblivious/unaware or uninterested i do not believe so
 
I do find the characterisation of nicky very interesting may i ask why you had him Respond that way? Because from what i have read it doesn’t make much sense.
stubborn as sin
Misguided
Weak willed
And completely unprepared or trained for such a job as czar
Check, check, check and double check
Vain and completely oblivious/unaware or uninterested i do not believe so
Erm...IIRC, when told about the Bloody Sunday Massacre in 1905, his only response was "Have they killed enough?"
 
IIRC, the Germans occupied Western Belarus in 1915, as part of TTL's Gorlice-Tarnow campaign, to cover their right flank while advancing into Lithuania and Southern Latvia. Also, the Austro-Hungarians seems to have pushed into Western Ukraine as part of their 1916 campaign, which was the only reason why the Romanians finally managed to take Bessarabia, i.e. the Russians had to retreat to cover their flank.

I'd think they might make demands on parts of Belarus and the Ukraine as part of the starting demands, and then give those up as talks proceed to get what they really want.
That i can defo Agree with and see but that would be diplomacy i guess always high ball.
 
Erm...IIRC, when told about the Bloody Sunday Massacre in 1905, his only response was "Have they killed enough?"
Interesting thats a new quote for me should write it down. Though seemingly in character
However i would not say Being Stupidly brutal or more accurately callousness to stupidly brutal actions, i do not believe Would necessitate placing him in either of those categories . It doesn’t really make him a vain person in anyway i can see And well you could make an argument for unaware but too me such a comment is just pure callous rather than oblivious.
 
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