The Fog of War Lifts: 1912 Balkans War

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Malta, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. Malta Kirked

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    The Balkans War of 1912 was for the region a time of rising nationalistic tension and power as the land once ruled by the Ottoman Empire for hundreds of years went to war. In this time the dreams of a new golden age for the Turks, the Greeks, the Bulgars, Serbs, and other peoples were fought to be made manifest.

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    In November of 1912 Bulgarian forces under Radko Dimitriev sought to complete a series of glorious victories against the Ottomans. The Ottoman armies of the Balkans defeated they sought after their great prize: The City of Istanbul. The only thing standing in their way was the fortress at Catalca just 35 km away from the city of Istanbul and Bulgarian dreams. The place was the last chance for the Ottomans to turn back the Ottomans and force the chance of a armistice on the Bulgarians to give space for a Ottoman counter attack.

    At first it seemed that a fog over the area would provide 'cover' for the Bulgarians to take the high ridges of Catalca from the Ottomans, but the fog was short lived and General Dimitriev called off a daylight attack for duelling artillery with the Ottoman's. If the Bulgarians had attacked they would have been slaughtered by the Ottoman guns, their commander Mahmut Muhtar Pasa had learned well from Ottoman defeats and improved Ottoman defensive tactics. Alas the Bulgarians dug in for a siege and instead opted for a night attack and with their superior numbers broke through Ottoman lines at Illeri and swept into their defensive positions. Mahmut Pasa killed in the attack crushes the Ottoman's already low spirits. Taking Catalca from the Ottomans, Dimitriev and the 2nd and 2rd Bulgarian armies secure the local railroad lines and head on Istanbul.
     
  2. General_Finley Liberty Prime

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    Bulgarian Constantinople... I want so badly!
     
  3. Malta Kirked

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    The Russians...so very much do not want.
     
  4. General_Finley Liberty Prime

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    Damn the Russians! Tsargrad belongs to the Third Bulgarian Empire. It has been Bulgaria's right since Symeon the great claimed it.:p
     
  5. Admiral Matt Member

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    Welp, certainly a lot of dying is going to come of that.
     
  6. Malta Kirked

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    Anyone want to guess the arrangement of Great Powers on whose side they will be on following this?
     
  7. Tongera Well-Known Member

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    A new timeline set during the Balkans Wars? I am definitely going to subscribe to this.
     
  8. Tongera Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't Russia attack Bulgaria if it tries to take Constantinople? Also, is there a pod in any other part of the war, like Serbia, Montenegro and Greece succeeding more?
     
  9. Malta Kirked

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    Thats true. Unless the British and Germans get them to back down...or if they don't...well. You can guess what happens
     
  10. General_Finley Liberty Prime

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    A German, British, Austro-Hungarian, Bulgarian alliance against a Russo, Franco, Italian alliance while Turkey cries in the corner as Bulgaria and Russia do battle for Constantinople.
     
  11. Tongera Well-Known Member

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    Why do i think Turkey will get steamrolled in this scenario?
     
  12. General_Finley Liberty Prime

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    because it will have no allies with both factions wanting to take the prize of Constantinople for themselves. Even if Russia is forced to back down and Bulgaria takes Constantinople the Ottomans are screwed. Turkey might be better off with a war for Constantinople because if their is an agreement for giving Bulgaria Constantinople then the Russians will want compensation, likely in the form of Armenia and this could lead to the partitioning of Turkey.
     
  13. Malta Kirked

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    The Young Turks of course would never allow that to happen...
     
  14. General_Finley Liberty Prime

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    They can try, but the Balkans War vastly depleted the number of school-trained officers in the Turkish army and broke the Turkish reserve system. If the great powers decide to partition Turkey the Turks can fight on, but they will lose this fight. This isn't like OTL where the great powers are exhausted from the Great War and unable to enforce the terms. If the great powers settle the matter peacefully and decide to partition the Turkish Empire, the Turks with lose.
     
  15. Tongera Well-Known Member

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    Particularly with the Russians, English and French. And whoever else decides to join the winning powers. Didn't Russia want to colonize the Northern part of Anatolia with Cossacks?
     
  16. General_Finley Liberty Prime

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    If the matter is settled without a war, I do wonder what the Germans will ask for/demand?
     
  17. Tongera Well-Known Member

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    What could they possibly want/need?
     
  18. General_Finley Liberty Prime

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    I'm not sure, but they have been funding the Berlin to Baghdad railway and they won't be entirely happy to see Britain gain Iraq because Germany already has access and ownership of oil fields in Iraq.
     
  19. stevep Member

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    Guys

    I see a number of problems. If the Bulgarians do get to Constantinople they still have to take it. While not the size of today's city its a big one and neither the Turks nor the large Greek minority at the time will be welcoming of the Bulgarians. It could easily see the Bulgarian army destroyed in bitter urban conflict. Not to mention the probable international outrage over such a battle.

    At the time Bulgaria was Russia's main ally in the Balkans. It was after they did most of the fighting but Serbia and Greece got the bulk of the gains and then Russia didn't support them in gaining more lands from their allies that led to the disastrous [for Bulgaria] 2nd Balkan war. As such would Russia have been that hostile if an ally/protectorate had successfully seized the city from the Turks?

    Assorted powers would have been opposed to Bulgaria seizing the straits but Greece, probably backed by Serbia, would also be more than a little vocal about it. Expect them to have say in the exchange.;) This would also be the case if a more widespread war didn't occur. Hence, if Bulgaria somehow took target of the city then, unless they got a lot of Russian support, don't expect them to hold it for long.

    Steve
     
  20. Tongera Well-Known Member

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    I have the feeling the Bulgarians will take it, but won't hold onto it for long. Probably thrown out by the Russians and English, or has to abandon it because of a potential war.