Sane German response to the Sarajovo murder in July 1914

BooNZ

Kicked
I agree but they knew the risk was there and the miscalculations result was WWI - thus I hold them responsible though personally to a lesser degree than the other 4.
Another consideration sometimes over-looked is Wilhelm was an influential decision maker who felt a genuine loss from the assasination FF. In the circumstances, I don't think it was a realistic expectation for Germany to immediately restrain the response from A-H.

This is again a double standard, when Germany threatens to fight France and Russia on behalf of AH it them trying de-escalate things, but when France and Russia threaten to fight Germany in response to that it's because they sought a wider conflict?
Germany did not threaten to fight France and Russia, it merely reaffirmed its existing treaty commitments to protect A-H from third party aggression. At the time this was confirmed, there was no indication France and Russia would be prepared to start a wider european war to protect a terrorist state from facing the consequences for its actions. In summary, Serbia was initially the aggressor against A-H, followed by Russia being the agressor against both Germany and A-H.

On top of that Germany's actions bring Britain into the war!
The invasion of Belgium was an ill conceived military decision made after diplomacy had failed and a wider war had already become inevitable.

what you writ here reminds me of this

Kaiser Wilhelm II wrote that the Triple Entente had conspired to entrap Germany in its treaty obligations with Austria "as a pretext for waging a war of annihilation against us"

which always sounded like "Oh no we were tricked into unconditionally supporting AH, and other countries have unfairly taken AH's and our actions into consideration when responding to us doing that"
No. Why would Wilhelm believe Germany needed to be 'tricked' into fulfilling its existing treaty obligations? A better interpretation would be the Triple Entente expected the Germans would fulfil its obligations to support A-H against aggression and therefore be drawn into a wider war by beligerent states seeking to rewrite the borders of Europe and the Balkans. I personally don't subscribe to Wilhelm's commentary, because Grey's diplomatic foresight was no better than his physical eyesight.
 

BooNZ

Kicked
Because Austria's policies in the Balkans after 1903 were generally counterproductive towards their aims. Even they began to realize this for example in how they related to Montenegro as while they wanted to prevent Montenegro from getting closer to Serbia they kept alienating Montenegro and thereby pushing them towards Serbia. In 1906 they could for instance not have seen the Serbo-Bulgarian customs union of 1905 as provocative (and perhaps even a good thing as it could have weakened Serbia's desire for sea access via the Adriatic coast since goods would come through Bulgaria's ports tariff free as if they had landed in theoretical Serbian ports (transport costs might have been an issue though), and not started the 1906 Austro-Serbian tariff war on pork. But instituting policies that backfired seemed to be an Austrian specialty after 1900.
I understand the reapproachment between Serbia and Bulgaria included secret military provisions, facilitated and sponsored by Imperial Russia, which later evolved into the Balkan Alliance. Appeasement has its place, but with the benefit of hindsight, putting the foot on the accelerator rather than the brake in 1908, would have resulted in a better outcome for A-H.

I'm not saying that Austria should have simply done nothing in 1914. In fact I think that they missed a golden opportunity for some smart diplomacy to achieve some of their objectives when they didn't seize upon the Serbian response as a basis for pushing for the other Great Powers to get behind him (however reluctantly) precisely on the basis of obtaining justice for an assassination. They wouldn't turn back the clock to December 31, 1902 when there was an Austrian-friendly dynasty in Serbia, but coupled with their moves to back off of Montenegro and Serbia's acceptance of many points of the ultimatum they could in fact have held an upper hand against Serbia for a few years even as Serbia remained Russian aligned and if they were being cognizant they could have taken it as an opportunity to weaken Serbian support for Bosnian Serb activists, terrorists and anti-Austrian organizations. So even if they did nothing differently right up to July 23rd, had they acted differently on July 24th in response to the Serbian reply they might have made some progress without having to bombard and occupy Belgrade.
Serbia had demonstrated a willingness to ignore inconvenient commitments and there would be no way for A-H to enforce those points the Serbs purportedly accepted. Russian and French diplomacy had also taunted A-H that Serbia would never be held accountable for the terrorist actions.

Notwithstanding the above, if A-H had capitulated late in the July crisis it would have been to the advantage of A-H. The decision makers in London and Paris would have likely been repelled by Russian and Serbian aggression and examine the role their own foreign policy actions. I would expect a reaffirmation of British isolationism/ neutrality and a declaration of French disinterest in future Balkan matters. It would be up to Imperial Russia alone to prop up the broken Serbian state.
 
I understand the reapproachment between Serbia and Bulgaria included secret military provisions, facilitated and sponsored by Imperial Russia, which later evolved into the Balkan Alliance. Appeasement has its place, but with the benefit of hindsight, putting the foot on the accelerator rather than the brake in 1908, would have resulted in a better outcome for A-H.

Serbia had demonstrated a willingness to ignore inconvenient commitments and there would be no way for A-H to enforce those points the Serbs purportedly accepted. Russian and French diplomacy had also taunted A-H that Serbia would never be held accountable for the terrorist actions.

Notwithstanding the above, if A-H had capitulated late in the July crisis it would have been to the advantage of A-H. The decision makers in London and Paris would have likely been repelled by Russian and Serbian aggression and examine the role their own foreign policy actions. I would expect a reaffirmation of British isolationism/ neutrality and a declaration of French disinterest in future Balkan matters. It would be up to Imperial Russia alone to prop up the broken Serbian state.
For France im sure that as long as Poincaré remained in office their stance would not have changed. He was anxious on 2 point:
1. The 3 year military service in france - he feared that it would be reduced to 2 years if the wrong government formed which was a very real possibility
2. He feared that Russia was rapidly growing too strong. So strong for the matter that the time will soon come where it would not need France for its security

Both of these consideration made him decide that if there is to be a Great War its better now than later - this is very similar to the attitude displayed by some german leaders though for different reasons. And also if there is a great war its better its starts on the east with Russian involvement so there is no chance of Russia leaving France in the lurch as in a war that starts in the west.

This resulted not only him accepting Russias Balkan entanglements as a valid casus belli for France but of him urging war on russia at times already during the Balkan wars and the Blank Checque to the russians in the Sarajevo crisis. Its pretty telling that at times he urged the russians for war so strongly that it was the russians that had to calm him.

So IMO as long as Poincaré is in office France will uncondiutionally support any agressive moves by Russia in the Balkans.

Also as regards belgium being the casus belli for the british and germany ignoring this:
The problem was that Grey's diplomacy led the germans believe or make the assumption that the british would join France and Russia in a war against them even without Belgium. This in effect made the german decision makers and military planners care little about Belgian neutrality: they thought that the brits would be in war against them anyway - irrespecive of Belgium - so why should they care about british anxieties in regards of belgium? However with hindsight we know that Grey has misrepresented the british position and without the invasion of Belgium the british would have likely decided to sit this war out - or at the very least not jump in at the get go. If the brits have made the germans understand this - which should have been the duty of Grey - the neutrality of Belgium would have been respected - as evidenced by the action of Willy at the outbreak of the war when he stopped the german mobilisation and moves against Belgium because there were rumors of the british staying out - and nearly driving Moltke insane by doing so.
 
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I'm not familiar with this recommendation - can you please provide a reference?
Really, i've been linking to it in posts all thread, the Kaiser upon reading the Serbian response
Wilhelm has second thoughts (26 July)[edit]
On 26 July, after reading Serbia's reply, Wilhelm commented, "But that eliminates any reason for war"[132] or "every cause for war falls to the ground".[133] Wilhelm noted that Serbia had made "a capitulation of the most humiliating kind",[133] that "the few reservations [that] Serbia has made with respect to certain points can in my opinion surely be cleared up by negotiation", and acting independently of Grey, made a similar "Stop in Belgrade" offer.[134] Wilhelm stated that because "the Serbs are Orientals, therefore liars, tricksters, and masters of evasion", a temporary Austrian occupation of Belgrade was required until Serbia kept its word.[133]



But you are right in a way the Kaiser ordered it but what actually happened:



Wilhelm's sudden change of mind about war enraged Bethmann Hollweg, the military, and the diplomatic service, who proceeded to sabotage Wilhelm's offer.[135]

A German general wrote: "unfortunately ... peaceful news. The Kaiser wants peace ... He even wants to influence Austria and to stop continuing further."[136]

Bethmann Hollweg sabotaged Wilhelm's proposal by instructing von Tschirschky to not restrain Austria.[note 21] In passing on Wilhelm's message, Bethmann Hollweg excluded the parts wherein the Emperor told the Austrians not to go to war.[136]

Jagow told his diplomats to disregard Wilhelm's peace offer, and continue to press for war.

General Falkenhayn told Wilhelm he "no longer had control of the affair in his own hands". Falkenhayn went on to imply that the military would stage a coup d'état, and depose Wilhelm in favour of the hawkish Crown Prince Wilhelm if he continued to work for peace.[136]



I've separated the lines out so that each one is clear

and remember this came out of your assertion that Germany was seeking to de-escalate things

Look at the lines above does that look like de-escalation to you?

I'll reply to the rest later (and yes I'm well aware the Kaiser though Belgrade would be occupied since he hadn't actually gone soft on the Serbs it's been in the same link above that I have cited several times, but it would temporary and would be done under the other provisions and international mediation).
 
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Serbian had nothing north of the Danube (Belgrade sat on the river) until after WWI. Montenegro was independent until after WWI (not part of Serbia then independent at the outbreak of the War) and in 1907 the Ottomans still held large parts of European Balkan territory. Romania seems wrong in the ‘1907’ map but better in the 1914 one. If anything, the 1907 map seems more like a bad 1917/1918 map to be honest.

Edit: What the heck is Macedonia doing on the map in 1907? That map is garbage. Where did you get it from? It’s all over the place!
hah fair enough! TBH I only really was interested in showing what AH grabbing Bosnia in relation to Serbia, looked like but you're right!
 

Stenz

Monthly Donor
hah fair enough! TBH I only really was interested in showing what AH grabbing Bosnia in relation to Serbia, looked like but you're right!
Fair enough. It’s a good illustration of the perils of relying on the internet for source material I suppose
 
I agree that Austria handled the crisis badly - evidenced by the resulting great war that led to its destruction. But I dont believe that Russia would have allowed the truth to stand between them and Serbia. I know that this is only my opinion and is based solely on the impression i get from the russian standpoint vis-a-vis the assassination and any allegation that Serbia might be responsible OTL. You assume that they would be ready to deal fairly - and as we are in AH territory i cant prove your assumptions are wrong - but I also havent read anything from you that would have changed my assumptions.
Oh I agree Russia would have backed Serbia in the negotiations for political reasons first and foremost, but I think it better they do that at the negotiation table after a big dinner in some nice chateau, than on the battlefield (its not like Germany wouldn't have been backing AH in teh same way after all)

The point was the distinction between what mobilisation ment for Russia and France. Their agreement stated that on the 15th day of mobilization they would simultanously attack Germany. This is important because OTL both started mobilization without declaring war. So in a sense when they started mobilization both were already bound to attacking germany by international agreement even without being in war with Germany.

AFAIK Germany had no international agreement that required of him anything similar. That ment mobilization in germany did not equal a declaration of war - in france and Russia in effect it equaled a declaration of war.
everyone stated mobilising without declaring war IIRC,

And since Germany's plan was to invade France through Belgium as quickly as possible after mobilisation I'm not sure your point of difference really holds up in reality
 
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hah fair enough! TBH I only really was interested in showing what AH grabbing Bosnia in relation to Serbia, looked like but you're right!
A-H has been occupying Bosnia since 1878 - and as a result of the annexion actually wthdrew its troops from the sandjak of Novi Pazar. This ment than in effect Serbia was less encircled by Austria after the annexation of Bosnia than before it.

Serbia chauvinistic nationalism OTOH regarded Bosnia as a serbian territory that belongs to them and that was the real reason why they were that angry about the annexation - they wanted it for themselves and it seemed at the time much harder to get it from Austria than from the Ottomans.

everyone stated mobilising without declaring war IIRC,

And since Germany's plan was to invade France through Belgium as quickly as possible after mobilisation I'm not sure your point of difference really holds up in reality
If you cant see a difference between an international treaty obligation that the governments had agreed to and are obliged to respect - as indeed they did OTL - and the internal planning of a military - which the government or in the german case the Kaiser can contradict without consequences - as Willy did when the rumour arose that Brittain might stay out of the war - than the problem lies with you.
 
A-H has been occupying Bosnia since 1878 - and as a result of the annexion actually wthdrew its troops from the sandjak of Novi Pazar. This ment than in effect Serbia was less encircled by Austria after the annexation of Bosnia than before it.
The troops in Bosnia prior to the annexation had been curtailed by that administration agreement, i. e they couldn't cut off Serbian Trade amongst other things. The annexation just basically make it more AH in the Balkans.

The withdrawal of troops from the sandjak of Novi Pazar was only done because everyone had a fit about them annexing Bosnia, it was a trade AH was forced to make. The Russians wanted it precisely because of the effect on Serbia of the annexation of Bosnia.

Serbia chauvinistic nationalism OTOH regarded Bosnia as a serbian territory that belongs to them and that was the real reason why they were that angry about the annexation - they wanted it for themselves and it seemed at the time much harder to get it from Austria than from the Ottomans.
I definitely agree with that first line, but AH annexing was still a threat to them. But the point is both sides are trying to extend influence at the cost to the other so let's not pretend AH has no interest and has been making no moves in the area which some here seem to be doing

If you cant see a difference between an international treaty obligation that the governments had agreed to and are obliged to respect - as indeed they did OTL - and the internal planning of a military - which the government or in the german case the Kaiser can contradict without consequences - as Willy did when the rumour arose that Brittain might stay out of the war - than the problem lies with you.
In abstract maybe but in reality in July 1914 there's no difference. Plus Germany had a treaty with AH and so who else where they going fight in 1914?

to your point about the Kaiser contradicting without consequence, once again:



Wilhelm's sudden change of mind about war enraged Bethmann Hollweg, the military, and the diplomatic service, who proceeded to sabotage Wilhelm's offer.[135]
A German general wrote: "unfortunately ... peaceful news. The Kaiser wants peace ... He even wants to influence Austria and to stop continuing further."[136]
Bethmann Hollweg sabotaged Wilhelm's proposal by instructing von Tschirschky to not restrain Austria.[note 21] In passing on Wilhelm's message, Bethmann Hollweg excluded the parts wherein the Emperor told the Austrians not to go to war.[136]
Jagow told his diplomats to disregard Wilhelm's peace offer, and continue to press for war.
General Falkenhayn told Wilhelm he "no longer had control of the affair in his own hands". Falkenhayn went on to imply that the military would stage a coup d'état, and depose Wilhelm in favour of the hawkish Crown Prince Wilhelm if he continued to work for peace.[136]
 
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Exactly what did Britain gain from the war? Without Britain the war likely ends in 1915 with far fewer men and less treasure wasted by all - and before unreasonable war goals have got out of hand.
It got a Germany destroyed, a weakened France dependent on Britain and a Russia in chaos. Not that these were expected results per se, but British policy was always to act to prevent any power dominating the continent of Europe.

Russia started the war in 1914 with an offensive doctrine and is unlikely to do better against 3-4 German Armies compared to the thrashing it got from a single German Army. In 1915 Russia sat on the defensive and then got routed, losing 1.5 million men in the ensuing retreat, before the A-H forces were distracted by the Italians. In 1916 the A-H forces continued to be distracted by the Italians, while the Germans were spending quality time with the Franch and the British in the west. The Russians then won a hard fought victory against A-H while no one was looking and then proceeded to collapse. It is difficult to imagine how the Russians are expected to perform better against far more Germans with far fewer men.
Indeed.
 
It was essentially one of the twin central pillars of British foreign policy - no one power shall dominate the continent. The other being Britannia shall rule the waves.

Many British decisions make sense (more sense?) when viewed through this prism. Why the 'sudden' aversion to all things German? Berlin was seriously beginning to look like the prime power on the continent and was beginning to look like it was aiming to challenge for control of the seas as well. Time to ditch the French antipathy and mend fences with the Russians...
And Germany threatened both of these.
 
Odd that Eyre Crowe was so anti-German, considering he was born in Germany, grew up and was educated in Germany, and would "lapse" into a thick German accent when riled. Almost like a mirror image of Wilhelm, who in his formative years was surrounded by English and Anglophiles. Some "time on the couch" may have done them both some good... or if not at least the psychoanalyst's reports would have made an interesting read.
However his Memorandum on the Present State of British Relations with France and Germany [1907] was certainly anti-German in tone.
 
However his Memorandum on the Present State of British Relations with France and Germany [1907] was certainly anti-German in tone.
Practically everything Eyre Crowe did or said was anti-German in tone...
Another thing I find puzzling is Churchill's volte-face... how he felt about the German Empire in 1914 was certainly different from how he felt in 1906-07...
482px-Churchill_und_Wilhelm_II._%281906%29.jpg
 

Stenz

Monthly Donor
Point taken Sir...
I’m not suggesting Winston was a model of reason and level-headedness, but between 1906 and 1914 you had:
The Tangier Crisis
The Bosnian Crisis
The Kaiser’s Telegraph Interview
The Agadir Crisis and
The von Sanders Affair

It’s fairly easy to see why someone who in 1905 viewed France as Britain’s biggest worry could come round to a view that maybe it was Germany to be worried about.
 
I’m not suggesting Winston was a model of reason and level-headedness, but between 1906 and 1914 you had:
The Tangier Crisis
The Bosnian Crisis
The Kaiser’s Telegraph Interview
The Agadir Crisis and
The von Sanders Affair

It’s fairly easy to see why someone who in 1905 viewed France as Britain’s biggest worry could come round to a view that maybe it was Germany to be worried about.
Or he was placed in a position where one of his main concern has been Germany, or more precizly the german fleet, how it was or could become a threat, how it should or should not be destroyed etc. I have serious doubts that anyone could have spent years during the naval arms race against Germany as the first lord of the admirality and not become a staunch gemanophobe.
 

Stenz

Monthly Donor
Or he was placed in a position where one of his main concern has been Germany, or more precizly the german fleet, how it was or could become a threat, how it should or should not be destroyed etc. I have serious doubts that anyone could have spent years during the naval arms race against Germany as the first lord of the admirality and not become a staunch gemanophobe.
He only became First Lord in October 1911
 
Well, the thing about Belgrade winding up in AH's armpit - it was sort of already there, especially after 1908.
As far as "access to the sea for Serbia"... even Wilson trotted this one out in the 14 Points. Again, whose territory were they going to steal for said "access to the sea"? They had attempted it with northern Albania, despite the dearth of ethnic Serbs there or in Kosovo for that matter. The taking of Vardar Macedonia was itself just part of a grand southward thrust with the intent of taking Thessaloniki... again, no Serbs anywhere in the vicinity. The only "logical" outlet would be Kotor, which had been an old Venetian port... and getting Kotor would depend upon union with Montenegro (which, incidentally, required a bit of bullying and cajoling after WWI to make that happen - after all, the Montenegrins had been more or less independent for what, 500 years?). The Bribe er I mean Treaty of London even promised Serbia some Adriatic coastline north of Kotor... all Croat and all Catholic AFAIK.
The thing is, it was about sea access that wasn't dependent upon Austria (and preferably on the Adriatic). That was Serbia's goal after that thug Apis murdered Alexander and a different dynasty came to the throne. Austria (understandably) preferred the old situation whereby Serbia depended on Austria's ports. However Austria's attempts to deny Serbia independent access to the sea began to colour a lot of their interactions with Serbia and over time, even after Serbia (and Montenegro) began to exhibit rudimentary constitutional democracy in the early 1900s and the political parties that came to power through voting did have it as their goal to gain access to ports that didn't depend on Austria. Hence in 1905 Serbia and Bulgaria entered a customs union *so Serbia would have access to Bulgarian ports tariff free), to which the Austrian response was a tariff war on pork from 1906 to 1908. Then in 1908 Austria annexed Bosnia, which Serbia had designs on (including as a possible access point to the Adriatic, besides its population of Serbs and other South Slavs) which sparked the Bosnian Crisis. Serbia backed down from protesting that move and then looked at conquering Ottoman lands to their south to gain sea access via Albania (besides wanting to conquering what was sometimes called Old Serbia that included lands inhabited by Serbs as well as non-Serbs). Austria didn't like this possibility and pushed for an independent Albania (which was a definite good move in and of itself by Austria as having Albania partitioned between Montenegro, Serbia and Greece would have just been awful for the Albanians given that they deserved their own independence just like any other Balkan peoples and that they ended up being subject to the independent Balkan States, especially Serbia I believe, treating them terribly during the First Balkan War and aftermath). So now with Albania closed off and relations souring between Bulgaria and Serbia, Serbia opted to keep parts of Vardar Macedonia it had previously agreed would have gone to Bulgaria, earning the latter's enmity. While Pasic had wanted Field Marshal Putnik to go for Thessaloniki during the first Balkan War, Putnik apparently opted instead to head into Albania and leave the race for Thessaloniki (with the area of what is now Greek Macedonia being a mix of Greeks, Slavs, Turks, Aromanians, etc) to Bulgaria and Greece. Then we get the Second Balkan War and the borders settle down into what we are familiar with for 1913-1914. At this point Serbia's aims for an Adriatic port seemed to have followed 3 parallel tracks:

1. Gain influence or control over Albania or at least northern Albania (that wasn't really going anywhere except that Serbia managed to make temporary allies with local Albanians in the north who might have held a grievance against other groups of Albanians in the north or against the central government)

2. Pursue unification with Bosnia, including supporting Bosnian Serbs that pushed for independence (sometimes violently) from the Habsburgs and union with Serbia

3. Pursue unification with Montenegro. This was actually progressing in 1914 as Serbia and Montenegro were negotiating a union that would involve a customs union (and so free access for Serbia to the Adriatic via Montenegro). Ultimate unification with Montenegro required cajoling and bullying against the Montenegrin King (who only wanted unification if he became King of the unified state) rather than cajoling and bullying Montenegro generally since one of the leading parties that played a key role in the unification in 1918/1919 (via the Podgorica Assembly rather than the National Assembly) was the pro-unification People's Party which had won majorities to the National Assembly in the free elections of 1906 and 1914 . In the 1914 elections the People's Party gain an absolute majority of the elected seats (25 of the 48 elected seats) against the King's favoured True People's Party (TPP) and they (the People's Party) formed a coalition with a "Unified Serb Youth" party (that had won 2 seats) and group of former TPP members that had won 17 seats. The TPP itself meanwhile had previously been governing since the 1907 election when the People's Party boycotted it over the then Prince's poor relations with Serbia and what they claimed was his hostility to the party. The TPP was then apparently made the only legal party shortly after and naturally won the 1911 elections (though some People's Party members won seats as independents) and then went from having 53 seats in 1911 to only winning 4 seats in 1914 when multiparty elections were allowed again. In fact, since the formation of Montenegro's Assembly in 1905, the pro-unification People's Party won the majority of elected seats in both 1906 (51 of 62 elected seats; there were also 14 appointed seats) and 1914 and only didn't win majorities when they boycotted (1907) or were banned (1911).

Had World War I not happened, it seems likely that Serbia would have entered into at the very least a strong confederation with Montenegro and gained access to the sea via that confederal customs union.

EDIT: Now this is a bit of a tangent to the thread itself, but I've begun to wonder if a better approach by Austria-Hungary following the end of the pro-Austrian Obrenovic dynasty wasn't to recognize that:

1. the dynasty was likely going to end anyway - Alexander was 27 in 1903, his wife Draga was likely infertile and he seemed skilled at making enemies of everybody including his father and mother (over his marriage), his generals (over his marriage), his ministers (over his marriage), quite a few common folk (over abandoning his father's liberal constitution and resorting to the more conservative 1869 one until he finally gave way to some pressure and put in place a somewhat more liberal constitution in 1901) - even if he wasn't assassinated, chances are there would have been a revolution that overthrew his dynasty before his natural death. Alexander had already agreed that if his marriage with Draga produced no children that Prince Mirko of Montenegro (son of King Nicholas of Montenegro) would be declared heir. Alexanders most recent ancestors lived to ages ranging from 32 (grandfather), 47 (father) and 66 (great-grandfather). Let's say that he lives to be 56 and dies in 1932. At that point Danilo, elder son of Nicholas, is already King of Montenegro since 1921 and Mirko becomes King of Serbia. Just 7 years later Mirko becomes King of both Serbia and Montenegro. Apparently Mirko sympathized (or had even joined) Black Hand in 1911 (and in the immediate aftermath of the 1903 coup one of the coup plotters had suggested him for King of Serbia while some others advocated for a republic), so King Mirko of Serbia and Montenegro might not exactly be the kind of ruler they would get along with.

2. you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. So instead of annexing Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908, perhaps they could have turned it into a new Kingdom of Bosnia as a kind of model Obrenovic-esque Serbia? In 1908 they could have set up a Kingdom of Bosnia with perhaps:

A. Prince Mirko of Montenegro (then aged 29) as King (which would almost surely have met with approval from Prince Nicholas of Montenegro and helped with Austrian efforts to pull Montenegro (or at least its leadership) away from Serbia; though if Mirko really did sympathize with Black Hand, then this could lead down the road to the Kingdom of Bosnia agreeing to join even a Karađorđević Serbia, especially as Peter Karađorđević of Serbia was married to Mirko's elder sister Zorka)

B. Alexander Konstantinovic (then aged 60) as King. Alexander being a colonel and the son of Anka Obrenovic, he had to flee Serbia for Austria-Hungary after criticizing King Alexander's to Draga - which might mean Konstantinovic not being distinctly unpopular among the general Serbian public. Only issue with this move is that Alexander Konstantinovic died in OTL in 1914 at the age of 66. He had a son, Vladimir whom it seems had become a captain and married an American woman in 1900 (later marrying a French woman when his first wife died and having a son by this second wife). If his son Vladimir doesn't take the Bosnian throne it then likely goes to.....Prince Mirko of Montenegro via his marriage to Alexander Konstantinovic's daughter, Natalija (or perhaps to their son Michael who was born in 1908)

While establishing a Bosnian Kingdom out of the occupied Ottoman Bosnia would likely still invite Serbian protests (besides protests by the other powers), Serbia would still likely back down and any intrigue against the Bosnian state would be directed against the Bosnian royalty as more immediate rivals more often than against the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Besides which setting up an independent (but Hapsburg-aligned) Serbo-Croatian kingdom in Bosnia would provide a powerful counternarrative to what had been happening since 1903 and right up to 1914.
 
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