Swedo-Russian status quo in 1808, border changes during congress of Vienna?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by LordCalner, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. LordCalner Well-Known Member

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    After re-reading von Adler excellent timeline "A different Finnish war" i had some ideas. Say Sweden manages to fight the Russia to a standstill during the 1808-1809 war, with the rest of the Napoleonic wars continuing largely the same.

    Since Sweden gained Norway only as compensation for loosing Finland i have a hard time seeing them getting in with Finland still a part of the realm. However if Sweden were to regain the counties lost to Russia in 1743 in exchange for giving Denmark pommerania as in OTL (Who traded it to Prussia)...what would Russia be given? More parts of Poland? Balkan territory? 1743.png 1743.png
     
  2. Atterdag Well-Known Member

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    Why would Russia give Sweden territory in exchange for Sweden giving Denmark territory? And why would any of the other powers give up their hard-fought territory to compensate Russia?

    If 1809 is a standstill I think it'll remain just that, Russia will keep their part of Finland and probably still be looking to take the rest at some point.
     
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  3. LordCalner Well-Known Member

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    My idea was that Russia use the loss of these territories as added weight to their claims during the Polish-Saxon crisis at the conference, but this might cause these territories to not be seceeded at all. What then does Sweden gain in exchange for Pommerania? The danish west indies? Guadeloupe and St Barthelemy plus some other french carribean Isle? Just those two? What do you think :)
     
  4. Atterdag Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure Sweden would even have to part with Pomerania in this scenario, seeing as how they don't gain anything from Denmark.
     
  5. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    The whole premise is extremely questionable:

    Standstill in 1809 means that the Russian forces not only already occupying Finland but are on the Swedish territory: on March 19, 1809 Russian vuangard under Kulnev was within 70 km from Stockholm, Barclay took Umea on March 24th and on March 25th Swedish army was surrounded by the troops of Count Shuvalov and capitulated. So even if we assume that at that point Swedes still want to resist AND the Russians are not keep advancing, Finland is already lost. And, taking into an account the earlier history of the Russian-Swedish wars when Finland was used as a staging are for the Swedish attacks, occupied by the Russians and then ceded back to Sweden, it is highly unlikely that within the existing geopolitical situation Alexander is going to repeat mistake of his predecessors: with Nappy on his borders he could hardly afford having his capital within a striking distance from Sweden. And even after Nappy is defeated, ceding the gains of 1743 meant even a greater danger to St-Petersburg.

    An idea that at Vienna victorious Russia is going to cede part of its territory to Sweden is plain unrealistic. To start with, why anybody at Vienna would decide to compensate Denmark if it was one of the staunchest Napoleon's allies? Then, "more parts of Poland" could come only at the Prussian and/or Austrian expense (which would make them opposite to happy). "Balkan territory" was not Allies' to give and would require a new Russian war with the Ottomans to get. Last but most important, ceding Russian territory without a major defeat (or rather after a major victory) would go against the basics of the Russian foreign policy formulated by Peter I (where the Russian flag is hoisted, is Russia forever).
     
  6. LordCalner Well-Known Member

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    I think you May be misunderstanding me, what i mean by status quo is that the russian forces fail to gain any significant headyway at all, much less gettis as far as they did OTL. I apologise if i was u clear and messy, english is not my first language.
     
  7. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    Well, this would mean that the borders remain in their pre-war configuration (unless there is one more war to "fix" the problem) but an idea of Russia giving away a part of its territory at Vienna is unrealistic on more than one account.

    There are, of course, interesting options like Sweden joining Napoleon in 1812 but I'm not sure that without a loss of Finland this schema would be realistically on the table: something of the kind was initially expected from Bernadotte (and IIRC he was making noises to that end to get elected after which he promptly changed the sides) but if Finland is not lost then Gustav IV Adolf is most probably not expelled, there is no succession crisis and Sweden is firmly in anti-Napoleonic camp and can't gain anything in 1812.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
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  8. LordCalner Well-Known Member

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    Getting Gustav IV Adolf into the pro-Napoleonic camp would be an entire POD on its own indeed ;) but an interesting one as you say! What would you say to a better preformance from the swedes that stops the russians from getting as far as they did, keeping them out of post 1809 Sweden? Åland Islands still in Swedish posession? A border further north east of the Torneå at -Mounio-könkämä?
     
  9. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    Getting Gustav IV Adolf into the pro-Napoleonic camp would be ASBs, as far as I can tell. ;)

    Honestly, I don't think that the Swedes could perform better at that war short of some drastic changes (to start with, a completely different set of the military leaders who are much more capable than ones of OTL) because on the Russian side there was a set of very capable commanders including Bagration and Barclay. IIRC, the Aland islands had been taken when the Baltic Sea was frozen and the same goes for Barclay's march across the sea so you need a weather change to prevent these events from happening (actually, this was untypically cold winter because usually the Bothnic gulf does not freeze). And, IIRC, even with the lesser commanders the Russians were usually capable of occupying at least a big part of Finland in the earlier wars unless they were distracted by some other major war so there is no obvious reason to expect them to perform worse in this specific war. Of course, you can add 14,000 (?) Brits who arrived to Sweden but due to the disagreements with Gustav had been shipped to Spain.

    Probably, if the peace is made in 1808 (you'd need to invent a set of conditions for this to happen), then it is a true stalemate because initial Russian operations in Finland were not successful, including Tuchkov's defeat in October but even that means Russian occupation of the Eastern Finland (see map below showing activities of the March - May 1808). As a potential political factor (it is up to you to make something out of it ;)), the war was not popular on both sides.


    [​IMG]
     
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  10. LordCalner Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps then a more mild-ish winter to prevent Åland from being taken, followed by less Russian success? Maybe Svea Borg not falling or becoming a protracted seige causing both sides to come to the table (with Gustav actually giving in for once, maybe he has a feber and is not feeling his usual stubborn self:p... A darker option would be him suffering the fate of his father)
     
  11. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    How about him not trying to play the last "crusader" and accept the ultimatum about joining the Continental System? "To promise, is not to marry" and Alexander himself had no intention to fully implement it: both Russia and Sweden strongly depended upon the trade with Britain. It is not exactly your scenario but Sweden does not suffer any territorial losses.

    OTOH, Russia suffers a significant drawback: in OTL winter march across the Bothnic Gulf propelled Barclay into a hero status with the following appointment as a Minister of War. If he is not around, the OTL reforms may not be carried out (at least in their OTL scope) and in 1812, without him being in charge of the 1st Army AND a minister, the bellicose party could prevail with the catastrophic results.
     
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  12. LordCalner Well-Known Member

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    A dash of common sense, i like it! And The same catastropihc results are good News for Napoleon which is troubling. Do you think there may be a way for both Sweden and Russia to be "equally horrible" so that both sides are impressed with the need to reform? Or are we entering ASB territory?
     
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  13. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    Well, it is not like without Barclay Russia would be completely lost, I was just considering worst case scenario. Actually, he could get his ministerial position even without that war: for a person without any connections he already made a very impressive military career and could be noticed by Alexander. And a need for the military reforms was well understood in Russia so it is just a matter of having in charge a person capable of formulating the needs and proceeding with their implementation (the process already had been started by Arakcheev).

    So we are avoiding catastrophes on both sides (but personally I think that Bernadottes were change to a better for Sweden).
     
  14. Jürgen Well-Known Member

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    It had been a major military goal for Sweden to gain Norway in the 18th century. So Sweden could still go after it, but instead of getting all of Norway only getting North Norway and Trøndelag with Denmark getting Swedish Pomerania instead ( which would still be traded in the Swedish Pomerania-East Frisia-Lauenburg trade) and keeping Southern Norway.
     
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  15. LordCalner Well-Known Member

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    Would it really equal Southern Norway? Swedish pommerania was rather poor from what i gather?