Poland restored at Vienna

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Jackson Lennock, May 13, 2018.

  1. thezerech Український Гетьман

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    The haidamaka revolt of Ustym Karmaliuk.

    I said Austria couldn't take them on alone but it is a possibility with France and Britain, though yes, it is highly unlikely.
     
  2. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    But this one was an, admittedly prolonged, series of the peasant revolts which were not on a scale seriously endangering a regime.
     
  3. thezerech Український Гетьман

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    They were not endangering the regime, none of the revolts after 1700 did. However, it, and the Polish revolt in 15 years, goes to show that the situation in the Russian Empire was not totally stable and peasant and nationalist revolts were an issue. Whereas in Austria they didn't have to worry about any significant revolts for a few decades.

    What I'm suggesting is that is we play around during the Napoleonic Wars we can manufacture a less one sided war in 1814 over Saxony and Poland, maybe getting countries like Sweden, Bavaria, or the Turks involved and weakening Prussia and Russia. This could reasonably create an independent Poland.
     
  4. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    Well, you are seemingly dedicated to pushing your idea no matter what.:) I simply don't understand how Poland could get independence from the side that was AGAINST creating a Polish state of any kind (Austria). As far as your "coalition" is involved, Sweden is ABSOLUTELY out of it: on one hand, Bernadotte hold on power in 1815 was too tightly linked to friendship with Alexander and OTOH, Austria and Bourbons were advocating his removal as one of the byproduct of the French Revolution. Bavaria did not have a sizable army and the Ottomans would not go to one more war with Russia on Polish or Austrian behalf.

    As for the future Polish revolt, as I already said, Russian Empire would be better off if it just incorporated Polish territories instead of making them a vassal kingdom.
     
  5. thezerech Український Гетьман

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    I just think it is an interesting scenario and requires alot of messing around during the Napoleonic Wars themselves to accomplish.
     
  6. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    Well, yes, as far as the mess is involved. But unless you explicitly change stances of the participants on the issues critical to this scenario, the mess does not worth the effort because its results would be opposite to those you are expecting.
     
  7. Jan Olbracht Well-Known Member

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    This insane to insist, that after defeating Russia and Prussia (leaving aside propability) their control over Poland would be restored-"we defeated you, so better you take Poland back, now!". It would be as logical as Stalin restoring 1941 German-Soviet border after fall of Third Reich.
     
  8. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    Schema assumes an extensive involvement of the ASBs :)

    How exactly would Prussia gain Galicia in 1809? It is rather unlikely for Nappy rewarding them with a part of Austrian territory just as it is unlikely for Nappy not to create Duchy of Warsaw in 1807 at Prussian expense: Prussia was fighting against him while the Poles had been coming to his service in big numbers expecting at least some tangible reward.

    Even if by 1807 Nappy is losing to the Russian-Prussian coalition (unlikely, but not a zero chance, especially if his losses at Eylau are much heavier, Bennigsen is more aggressive, etc.), why and how would they grab some Austrian territory and give it to Prussia and not Russia (which would make at least some sense geographically while as extension of Prussia it did not)?
     
  9. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    Well, it is insane to insist on plausibility of a premise to start with: Austrian-British-French coalition fighting Russia-Prussia to prevent creation of the Polish state with the end goal to create such a state. Did you stop for a second to consider your own logic? ;)

    Then, it is (short of ASBs involvement) plain silly to expect that even in the case of some military success the winning coalition would be able to reconquer the Polish territories from Russia and Prussia: Polish territories just happened to be on the wrong side of Prussia (I hope that you are not considering even a theoretical possibility of the Austrian conquest of both Prussia and Russia in 1815).

    Which means that ".... take it back!" is plain irrelevant because it would never be lost. The issues would be (a) Prussian lands on the Rhine, (b) Saxony and (c) status of the Polish territories (as in "no independent state", which was Austrian-British position in Vienna).

    Comparison with Stalin is absolutely meaningless. But your scenario is dangerously close to plausibility of "we would rather be liberated by the Americans" in the terms of related geography. :)
     
  10. Jan Olbracht Well-Known Member

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    Napoleon was indifferent about Poland-Poles loved him, not other way around. Creating Poland in personal union with Prussia would be part of deal between Napoleon and Alexander in alternate Tilsit. Alexander was friend of Prussian King and lover of Prussian Queen, he saved Prussia from anihilation, ITTL Prussians and Tsar found solution to keep even Prussian gains in Poland intact, buying Polish loyality with dual monarchy bait, in 1809 Prussia conquers Galizia opportunisticaly-IOTL Tsar , who disliked Austria, used opportunity to gain Tarnopil
     
  11. Jan Olbracht Well-Known Member

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    Poles in such situation would not sit and wait, they'll support side promising them more, in 1807 Poland also was on the wrong side of Prussia, and Poles actively fight to restore statehood using Prussian troubles as occasion
     
  12. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    This option is lacking any obvious motivations and, anyway, why would Napoleon give Prussia a piece of territory to which it did not pretend and to which it was hardly (if not at all) connected geographically?

    As for the love of Poles, creating Duchy of Warsaw was politically expedient by more than one obvious reason while expanding Prussia was not.
     
  13. Jan Olbracht Well-Known Member

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    We know, that chances of Russia and Prussia being crushed are "snowball in hell", but if it happened by some miracle there would be fail accompli. Neither Napoleon in 1807 nor Entante in ww1 planned to restore Polish state, but Poles simply used opportunity of their oppressors being weakened, as they would do ITTL.
     
  14. marcinL Well-Known Member

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    Maybe more plausible POD would be complete destruction of Prussia in 1807 and Saxony taking its place from then on?
     
  15. JackLumber Mildly belligerent Canuck

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    Saxony was very loyal to napoleon it's hard to imagine the victorious powers not restoring a destroyed power to the benefit of their enemy's close ally
     
  16. Jan Olbracht Well-Known Member

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    There is Polish TL on historycy.org
    http://www.historycy.org/index.php?showtopic=78160
    about Poland restored as result of lack of peace in Tilsit in 1807, war continues, Russians are beaten more than IOTL, successfull uprising starts in Lithuania, Tsar is forced to ceede lands of 3rd partition to Napoleon and Kingdom of Prussia is dissolved, Napoleon then creates Kingdom of Poland with his brother Jerome as king. 1812 invasion of Russia is more successfull for Napoleon (starts from better positions) Central Russia is completly devasted and Alexander goes insane, fell into religious fanatism and madness. Napoleonic France and Russia exhaust each other and collapse, Talleyrand makes peace with Britain and Poland, restored by Napoleon, switches sides, Jerome Bonaparte is deposed and replaced by Wettin. Reemergence of Poland is fail accompli, recognized by other powers in alternate Vienna. Prussia is not restored, because no one have will and power to do it.
     
  17. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    1st, there is a substantial difference between 1807 and 1918. Among other things, in 1807 Russian Empire was still intact and had a strong army, which kills all analogies. 2nd, during WWI Germany and A-H did created in 1916 a puppet Kingdom of Poland with its government and army (Polish Legions under command of Józef Piłsudski) so the Poles did not start from zero. 3rd, Entante's post-WWI policy was creation of the national states and Poland was just one of them (the only thing not in Entante's plans was its expansion beyond the initially designated borders).

    But all of the above has noting to do with the fundamental question answer to which you keep avoiding: what would be the logic for Austria-Britain-France to start a war to prevent creation of the Polish state if their victory means creation of such a state? Without a reasonable answer everything else does not make sense.
     
  18. Histor32 Well-Known Member

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    bingo, then again .. the Russians wanted Constantinople and the rest didn't want them to have it..
    cant say that I blame them.. but the whole thing is looking at how large Russia is.. and saying uh..
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  19. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    The schema is that seems to be a Polish (judging by the language) version of the Russian alt-history dreams about victory at Tsushima. The main problem in both cases is that "it could not be because it could not be". In other words, while being laudably patriotic, they represent a wishful thinking completely divorced from a reality. :) So, if we are talking about a pure fantasy, then the sky is a limit, the annoying facts or a common sense are applicable, argument does not make sense and you can write whatever you want.

    However, if we are trying to operate with a realm of reality (with the reasonable amount of deviations) then the picture does not hold the water:

    In 1807 Napoleon was almost as exhausted as his Russian-Prussian opponents. It is just that a clumsy Bennigsen's maneuver gave him a victory at Friedland (which compensated for less than a stellar Eylau) allowing to make a favorable peace. Even a potential earlier Russian defeat at Eylau would not change too much in the situation.

    Under no realistic circumstances could he get much more than he got at Tilsit and "successful uprising in Lithuania" at that time is from a realm of the pipe dreams: unorganized (and mostly unarmed) civilians did not have a chance against the regular troops. Not that this could be anything but uprising of some part of szlcahta: the serfs would not care and at least part of szlcahta had been doing just fine under the Russian rule. Russian Empire had enough troops in reserve to deal with that problem (few regular and Cossack regiments would be enough to at least keep it under control).

    The whole schema of forcing Russia to cede the territories annexed during the 3rd Partition and for whipping Prussia off the map would require a prolonged war in the region but Nappy had different priorities: French invasion to Portugal started in the late 1807 and a full-scale intervention in Spain in 1808. These wars had been a part of enforcing the Continental System and, hopefully I'll not offend anybody's patriotic feelings by saying that defeat of Britain was much higher on Nappy's set of priorities than independence of Poland. After all, invasion of Russia in 1812 had been more or less forced upon Napoleon by Russian unwillingness to comply with the Continental System.

    As for 1812, practically any reasonably sane historian (from Clausewitz and Caulaincourt to Adam Zamoiski) described, one way or another, a futility of the whole enterprise. Napoleon's military system was NOT well-suited for this type of a war (neither did it work well in Spain) and on the top of this he did not have a clear idea how to achieve a strategic victory, which doomed the whole adventure even before it started. Then, there are some details like physical impossibility even for the Great Army to "completely devastate" the whole Central Russia (but I rather like a part about Alexander's insanity :)): it simply was not big enough and its numbers had been shrinking way too fast. Neither Russia nor France had been (or could be) completely exhausted after 1812, on a contrary, during the following fight in Germany each of them kept raising troops in very impressive numbers.

    Then the schema is seemingly ignoring an obvious fact that during the French-Russian confrontation Poland is not going to be an idle viewer. In OTL, the Duchy of Warsaw raised 120,000 (out of a total population of some 4.3 million people) and had a questionable pleasure to provide food and forage for the troops passing through it territory. A prolonged war would mean a much greater devastation, especially if and when fighting continued on its territory.

    Realistically, the best scenario for everybody involved (including the Duchy) would be Alexander adopting Kutuzov's proposal to stop at the Russian border because in his opinion Russia is not going to benefit from a continued war.
     
  20. Jan Olbracht Well-Known Member

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    Other options:
    1) easiest-Tsar and Prussian King insist on their demands (whole Duchy of Warsaw for Alexander, whole Saxony for Prussia), meanwhile Napoleon fell ill on Elbe. War starts, then Nappy recovered and escaped, deposed Louis XVIII from the throne. France switches sides, Austria and UK are screwed. Alexander get whole Duchy of Warsaw and Galizia from beaten Austria. Situation would not be stable-Poland is now only Russians' problem, neighbours could play Polish card freely, but Alex fulfilled his dream, would not worry about this now. If something like November Uprising happen ITTL, Russia would need to give part of Poland for Prussia's help anyway.
    2) Second partition is the last one, PLC is divided completly between Prussia and Austria in 1793 (could happen easily, if Poniatowski, instead of joining Targowica, decided to fight to the bitter end in defense of Constitution). Question is-how would be PLC divided? Prussia would take OTL Prussian and Austrian 3rd partition and maybe some bits of Lithuania? There we have much more complicated situation in 1806 and more trouble for Prussia.