To the Victor, Go the Spoils (Redux): A Plausible Central Powers Victory

Anyway, glad you all enjoyed the update.

As for the lack of mentioning domestic events in the US etc - these things will be touched on in later updates dedicated to them. They are already planned out and considered though, I just don't like to go over too many parts of the world in one update.
That’s probably smart. Keeping the focus on the treaties makes for a more straightforward narrative then you can move outwards for a broader look at the impacts
 
But the treaty ultimately paled in comparison to another treaty in terms of it’s immediate social consequences - that signed in Zurich.
Italy:
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Bulgaria may have the upper hand and the strongest allies, but they have no diplomatic way to prevent combinations of Romania, Serbia, and Greece from wanting to gang up and retake their claims. The Romano-Serb axis could also ally against the Hungarians if they manage to cause the political dissolution of the Dual Monarchy with their intransigence, and the Serbo-Greek axis would have room to strike against Albania as well.
Bulgaria having the strongest allies sounds like a pretty strong diplomatic way to prevent three minor powers from attacking it. Serbia just lost a massive amount of territory and population, and at this point they're basically as irrelevant as Albania (maybe less so). The territories seized by Bulgaria are quite defensible and the three neighbors now have no land connection. Even if they lost Germany's support Hungary and Bulgaria alone would be enough to stop that alliance in its tracks in all likelihood. I really can't see this Bulgaria falling apart unless it loses a second world war with Germany somehow.

Edit: Grammar
 
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Bulgaria having the strongest allies sounds like a pretty strong diplomatic way to prevent three minor powers from attacking it. Serbia just lost a massive amount of territory and population, and at this point they're basically as irrelevant as Albania (maybe less so). The territories seized by Bulgaria are quite defensible and the three neighbors now have no land connection. Even if they lost Germany's support Hungary and Bulgaria alone would be enough to stop that alliance in its tracks in all likelihood. I really can't see this Bulgaria falling apart in less it loses a second world war with Germany somehow.
Bulgaria could lose some territory if the Romanian-Serbian-Greek alliance (a cursed alliance that seems unlikely rn) got a great power sponsor that forced the issue properly with enough resources.

But I think at this point the rest of the world outside the CP has decided - for now - to stay tf away from the Balkans. Which is a smart move.
 
The whole cycle of events that happened are because of Serbia's actions, yes.
Austria-Hungary started the war, not Serbia. That they believed that the death of one heir is worth killing millions puts the blame on them, not Serbia.

Serbia had numerous opportunities before the Death of Franz Ferdinand to stop poking Austria with a stick.
It was Austria who refused to recognize the Karadordevic dynasty and blockaded the country for years, it was Austria who annexed Bosnia and threatened with war if Serbia did anything but comply. The mood in the Austrian government for years prior to 1914 was that Serbia should be crushed, because they viewed Serbia as a barbarous country of monarch-killers whose mere existence is a destabilizing presence to the Slavic provinces they held under subjugation. So as soon as they found the opportunity, they immediately went head-first into war with Serbia, any alliances with Russia be damned.

That Serbia was a hyper-nationalist supervillain plotting the destruction of Austria was one of the most common tropes in Central Powers propaganda and it continues to be repeated a century later.
 
Austria-Hungary started the war, not Serbia. That they believed that the death of one heir is worth killing millions puts the blame on them, not Serbia.


It was Austria who refused to recognize the Karadordevic dynasty and blockaded the country for years, it was Austria who annexed Bosnia and threatened with war if Serbia did anything but comply. The mood in the Austrian government for years prior to 1914 was that Serbia should be crushed, because they viewed Serbia as a barbarous country of monarch-killers whose mere existence is a destabilizing presence to the Slavic provinces they held under subjugation. So as soon as they found the opportunity, they immediately went head-first into war with Serbia, any alliances with Russia be damned.

That Serbia was a hyper-nationalist supervillain plotting the destruction of Austria was one of the most common tropes in Central Powers propaganda and it continues to be repeated a century later.
If it were up to me, I'd say both were at fault. I will admit that Austria's actions after the death of Franz Ferdinand did have some pre-meditation tied to it, but it doesn't exactly mean that Serbia was entirely innocent either. Then again, that was the times those people lived in at the time, where every country believed their country could do no wrong, a feeling that wouldn't truly be discredited until after World War II, and let's be honest, I find just about all the major powers in World War I, would be equally complicit in that affair altogether, both Entente and Central Powers alike.
 
If it were up to me, I'd say both were at fault.
No offense but this seems like an odd trope among Central Powers apologists, where anytime they get cornered in argument they throw their hands up in the air and say 'well everyone was in the wrong anyway'. There is a difference between nations escalating tensions short of war, and actually starting said war.
where every country believed their country could do no wrong
What? Patriotism verging on chauvinism was much higher granted, but most countries were still able to look at themselves critically - William Pitt apologised for Britain's role in slavery long before Tony Blair, and Americans butchered each other over the issue just to use one example.
I find just about all the major powers in World War I, would be equally complicit
Would there have been a war in July 1914, if Austria had not handed Serbia an ultimatum designed to be rejected? Yes or no? No glib please about Russia not needing to defend Serbia or French blank cheques.
 
Austria-Hungary started the war, not Serbia. That they believed that the death of one heir is worth killing millions puts the blame on them, not Serbia.


It was Austria who refused to recognize the Karadordevic dynasty and blockaded the country for years, it was Austria who annexed Bosnia and threatened with war if Serbia did anything but comply. The mood in the Austrian government for years prior to 1914 was that Serbia should be crushed, because they viewed Serbia as a barbarous country of monarch-killers whose mere existence is a destabilizing presence to the Slavic provinces they held under subjugation. So as soon as they found the opportunity, they immediately went head-first into war with Serbia, any alliances with Russia be damned.

That Serbia was a hyper-nationalist supervillain plotting the destruction of Austria was one of the most common tropes in Central Powers propaganda and it continues to be repeated a century later.
... swap "Serbia" with "Austria", "hyper-nationalism" with "hyper-imperialism", "Central Powers propaganda" with "Entente propaganda" and what you've said can be easily said vice versa with the same weight of ... "trustworthiness".

However, it would be nice - by everyone - NOT to dive down this ruinous rewardless rabbit hole of "war-guilt-and-blame" derailing this thread into something ugly.

THX in advance.
 
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EDIT: Right after I clicked post, I rembered I was trying not to derail things with this discussion anymore. Sorry. *removes content*
 
If Italy ends up in a civil or some other highly unstable situation would Ethiopia seize the chance and yoink Eritrea?
 
If Italy ends up in a civil or some other highly unstable situation would Ethiopia seize the chance and yoink Eritrea?
Interesting. If Ras Tafari had clear cut control of Ethiopia I would think it would be highly likely. However at this time there was a power struggle between him and Empress Zauditu whom I doubt would approve of something so bold.
 
The Peace Conferences: The Treaty of Alexandria (November 1918)
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The Peace Conferences
The Treaty of Alexandria
November 1918

One of the first major treaties to be signed at the end of the war was that between the British, acting largely but unofficially for all the Allied powers, and the Ottoman Empire. This followed the earlier negotiated truce between the two parties that among the Allied world had largely been portrayed as an Ottoman surrender when in reality there were a number of conditions attached aimed at preserving Turkish sovereignty.

Meeting in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, chosen for its relative neutrality between both sides and as a means of allowing both sides to save face rather than experience negotiations in a hostile capital, the two sides sat down to negotiate within weeks of agreeing an armistice on October 10th at Kaleköy.

The two sides, in contrast to what you would expect, had relatively agreeable terms from the outset. Aware of their growing rift with Germany over the Baku oil supply, and having already built a vague framework for a negotiated peace in order to achieve a truce, Ottoman and British diplomats had already laid the groundwork for what both sides expected.

In the Arab world the Turks intended to completely cut off their hostile and belligerent neighbours. Interested in a Turanist rather than Arab-imperialist future, the Ottomans were a burgeoning modern state with aims at industrialising and creating a ‘western’ Empire able to stand up to great powers in their own right.

This meant that they had little need for the Arab world, which it should be remembered at this time had very little oil, and very little else other than a lot of angry people of a different ethnic background to the Turks. Despite this, Turkey was keen to retain a border that encompassed much of Turkish civilization, and retain as much of Arabia’s natural resource wealth as possible. In this, they aimed to keep hold most of northern Mesopotamia - particularly Mosul.

Britain by contrast desired as much land as possible to demonstrate that her Imperial might was not yet dead, and to maximise their political authority over Mesopotamia. Having abandoned their back hand agreements with the French to divide the middle east, this meant they now felt able to honour their agreements with the Arabs themselves who had rebelled against the Ottomans in exchange for their own homeland.

Cutting out the French
The Sykes Picot agreement, while theoretically enforceable, in practice was not entirely approved of in Whitehall. While France had been an ally in the war, her surrender had stirred already continuing centuries-old rivalries between the two Governments and in an act of spite and distrust Britain had opted to simply cut France out of the deal. While a debate did kick off among the cabinet over potentially strengthening France through their annexation of Lebanon, which was rich in coal deposits, in practice the British Government saw little gain in doing so.

On the one hand of course, a minor territorial claim may boost the morale of the French people and strengthen the footing of the wobbling French Government. On the other hand, France looked certain to experience significant financial woes following the conflict. While their balance of trade would no doubt be helped by additional coal fields, they would not be able to be exploited in the immediate term and profits from such coal would be minimal. Additionally, the greatest ‘loser’ financially in this conflict would almost certainly be Britain, who had hedged a significant bet upon victory by financially backing most of Europe to continue the fight.

As such, Britain ultimately concluded that France would not benefit enough, nor could Britain afford to lose potential financial gain in the long term through Lebanon’s concession. As such, France would not be involved in the deal - much to the chagrin of the French establishment who felt betrayed once again by Britain.

Bargaining
While an initial sketch of what the final conclusion of the conflict would look like had already been drawn, in practice both the Ottoman and British diplomats had very differing views over what that future Arab homeland would look like. For now Britain intended to simply get out of a conflict with the Turks so that they could resolve the Arab question at their own direction without the military threat of the Turks, and thus the negotiations would not involve Arab delegates. Much akin to the Treaty of Brest Litovsk - Britain would draw a line, the Porte would agree to it, and what was done with said land would then be up to the British.

The main discussion between both parties ultimately fell to the fate of one city; Aleppo. A key rail hub for the part-built Baghdad railway, the Ottomans and British both considered the city vital as which ever power owned it would essentially be owed control over the rail link to Ras el Ain and Nisibin.

These towns were otherwise poorly connected to the Turkish anatolian heartland, and thus would be extremely hard to secure and control should the Subline Porte not control Aleppo, in turn meaning that Mosul Province would ultimately go to whichever state held control over Aleppo.

In the end though what decided the dispute was de-facto control. Britain, having seized the city and advanced significantly further, simply refused to relinquish it. This in effect crushed Turkish aims to maintain broad control over most of northern Mesopotamia, and while the border would ultimately be set south of Aintab, this would still sever Turkish control over the Turkish-claimed Kurdish regions south of the Taurus Mountains, and particularly Mosul province.

For the Turks the issue was simple; they did not have the military capacity to advance, nor could they financially afford to do so. Further, the British had nothing they needed to concede - after all, what could Turkey possibly demand in exchange? As such, when Britain drew the red line they did so knowing it would more than likely define Anglo-Ottoman relations in the future, rather than threatening that the Ottoman delegation may simply leave the talks.

The border ultimately would be drawn along a the northern border of the Mosul Vilayet from the east, before cutting clean in half the Diarbekr Vilayet with a new border set at the town of Amudia, before meeting the Euphrates river south of Bierjik. Here it would cut south west in a straight line to the town of Kilis, where the border would swing south in order to keep the town in Ottoman hands, before cutting across to Antakya (Antioch) and following the Orontes to the coast.

This was a great win for the British, if perhaps an inevitable one. Mosul was the home of a small but burgeoning oil industry that Germany had sought to exploit prior to the war. British surveyors, and in particular David Lloyd George’s ministry, had pressed hard for British forces to seize it in the conflict. Now, for their effort, they had won the oil - while Turkey, for its own efforts, had won the Baku oil.

Finally, one important concession would be that Britain and the Ottomans would conclude some minor territorial amendments to the Ottoman-Persian border.

Persia, a Kingdom heavily under British influence, by 1918 had essentially collapsed as a state. While of course the Government still existed and there was still a ‘Persia’, the country was in all but name a colony of Britain by the end of the war with British forces traversing its territory at will and imposing upon it any political, economic or military decision it saw fit. The Persian army was a backwater non-entity, and the greatest resistance in the state to British occupation essentially came in the form of a small band of Luri tribes in the southern Fars region of the country who rejected British occupation - something that did little to impact the political situation in the country.

Ottoman troops had occupied a strip of territory on the north and western side of Lake Urmia and along the border territory with the Caucuses near Tabriz during the war, and now set on securing easier passage east to Azerbaijan. While the Ottomans had no intention of seizing all of this territory, they did seek to secure several key road passes through the highly mountainous terrain by annexing the town of Khoi.

This being an extremely minor concession, Britain acceded to the demand and thus slightly ‘rounded’ the Ottoman-Persian border, further amending the map of the middle east. This, along with both sides agreeing on a long term discussion on the future of the Bosporus straits and an Ottoman commitment to uphold the London Straits Convention, concluded the Treaty.

Analysis
The signing of the Treaty of Alexandria on November 13th 1918 proved to be the conclusion of what in many people’s eyes was somewhat of a seperate war to the general ‘great war’ seen in Europe. While the Ottomans had proven an irritant throughout the conflict, most of their involvement in the war had essentially been to prevent Britain aiding Russia via ownership of the Bosporus more than engage in any offensive action - excluding in the caucuses.

For Britain, the defeat of the Ottomans proved a solid propaganda victory, especially following Germany’s failure to contest the Royal Navy at sea. While politically at home the country had become extremely tense as social relations between labour and the establishment rapidly weakened, the successful defeat of a foreign power and reassertion of British power at sea demonstrated to many that while Britain had been unable to stop German victory on the continent, she was still undoubtedly master of the seas - and the colonies.

The actual terms of the new borders in the middle east would have to be determined in the future in negotiations with the Arab leadership, but what was clear was that whatever the future held for the Middle East, it would be dictated almost exclusively by Britain who now had achieved if not total but implicit control over the entire middle east, from Aden to Aleppo, and Alexandria to Balochistan.

In the Ottoman Empire itself, the actually quite positive treaty was poorly received by the public. While the country’s political leaders understood that Britain would, eventually, have crushed the Empire and could have done far greater damage - especially if the Ottomans wanted Baku’s oil fields - most people did not understand the intricacies of geopolitics. For Grand Vizier Talaat Pasha this proved politically damaging, but not fatal. While Talaat would struggle on for some time later, the new era of a Turanist Turkey required new leadership, and eventually it would be delivered.
 
I hope the British have enough sense to make a deal with the Arabs that creates a useful ally. If you're burning the French and putting the screws to the Turks, some new friends might be good. Also, it's always nice when the Hashemites are in a position to knock out the House of Saud.
 
wSZs4v6.png

The Peace Conferences
The Treaty of Alexandria
November 1918

One of the first major treaties to be signed at the end of the war was that between the British, acting largely but unofficially for all the Allied powers, and the Ottoman Empire. This followed the earlier negotiated truce between the two parties that among the Allied world had largely been portrayed as an Ottoman surrender when in reality there were a number of conditions attached aimed at preserving Turkish sovereignty.

Meeting in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, chosen for its relative neutrality between both sides and as a means of allowing both sides to save face rather than experience negotiations in a hostile capital, the two sides sat down to negotiate within weeks of agreeing an armistice on October 10th at Kaleköy.

The two sides, in contrast to what you would expect, had relatively agreeable terms from the outset. Aware of their growing rift with Germany over the Baku oil supply, and having already built a vague framework for a negotiated peace in order to achieve a truce, Ottoman and British diplomats had already laid the groundwork for what both sides expected.

In the Arab world the Turks intended to completely cut off their hostile and belligerent neighbours. Interested in a Turanist rather than Arab-imperialist future, the Ottomans were a burgeoning modern state with aims at industrialising and creating a ‘western’ Empire able to stand up to great powers in their own right.

This meant that they had little need for the Arab world, which it should be remembered at this time had very little oil, and very little else other than a lot of angry people of a different ethnic background to the Turks. Despite this, Turkey was keen to retain a border that encompassed much of Turkish civilization, and retain as much of Arabia’s natural resource wealth as possible. In this, they aimed to keep hold most of northern Mesopotamia - particularly Mosul.

Britain by contrast desired as much land as possible to demonstrate that her Imperial might was not yet dead, and to maximise their political authority over Mesopotamia. Having abandoned their back hand agreements with the French to divide the middle east, this meant they now felt able to honour their agreements with the Arabs themselves who had rebelled against the Ottomans in exchange for their own homeland.

Cutting out the French
The Sykes Picot agreement, while theoretically enforceable, in practice was not entirely approved of in Whitehall. While France had been an ally in the war, her surrender had stirred already continuing centuries-old rivalries between the two Governments and in an act of spite and distrust Britain had opted to simply cut France out of the deal. While a debate did kick off among the cabinet over potentially strengthening France through their annexation of Lebanon, which was rich in coal deposits, in practice the British Government saw little gain in doing so.

On the one hand of course, a minor territorial claim may boost the morale of the French people and strengthen the footing of the wobbling French Government. On the other hand, France looked certain to experience significant financial woes following the conflict. While their balance of trade would no doubt be helped by additional coal fields, they would not be able to be exploited in the immediate term and profits from such coal would be minimal. Additionally, the greatest ‘loser’ financially in this conflict would almost certainly be Britain, who had hedged a significant bet upon victory by financially backing most of Europe to continue the fight.

As such, Britain ultimately concluded that France would not benefit enough, nor could Britain afford to lose potential financial gain in the long term through Lebanon’s concession. As such, France would not be involved in the deal - much to the chagrin of the French establishment who felt betrayed once again by Britain.

Bargaining
While an initial sketch of what the final conclusion of the conflict would look like had already been drawn, in practice both the Ottoman and British diplomats had very differing views over what that future Arab homeland would look like. For now Britain intended to simply get out of a conflict with the Turks so that they could resolve the Arab question at their own direction without the military threat of the Turks, and thus the negotiations would not involve Arab delegates. Much akin to the Treaty of Brest Litovsk - Britain would draw a line, the Porte would agree to it, and what was done with said land would then be up to the British.

The main discussion between both parties ultimately fell to the fate of one city; Aleppo. A key rail hub for the part-built Baghdad railway, the Ottomans and British both considered the city vital as which ever power owned it would essentially be owed control over the rail link to Ras el Ain and Nisibin.

These towns were otherwise poorly connected to the Turkish anatolian heartland, and thus would be extremely hard to secure and control should the Subline Porte not control Aleppo, in turn meaning that Mosul Province would ultimately go to whichever state held control over Aleppo.

In the end though what decided the dispute was de-facto control. Britain, having seized the city and advanced significantly further, simply refused to relinquish it. This in effect crushed Turkish aims to maintain broad control over most of northern Mesopotamia, and while the border would ultimately be set south of Aintab, this would still sever Turkish control over the Turkish-claimed Kurdish regions south of the Taurus Mountains, and particularly Mosul province.

For the Turks the issue was simple; they did not have the military capacity to advance, nor could they financially afford to do so. Further, the British had nothing they needed to concede - after all, what could Turkey possibly demand in exchange? As such, when Britain drew the red line they did so knowing it would more than likely define Anglo-Ottoman relations in the future, rather than threatening that the Ottoman delegation may simply leave the talks.

The border ultimately would be drawn along a the northern border of the Mosul Vilayet from the east, before cutting clean in half the Diarbekr Vilayet with a new border set at the town of Amudia, before meeting the Euphrates river south of Bierjik. Here it would cut south west in a straight line to the town of Kilis, where the border would swing south in order to keep the town in Ottoman hands, before cutting across to Antakya (Antioch) and following the Orontes to the coast.

This was a great win for the British, if perhaps an inevitable one. Mosul was the home of a small but burgeoning oil industry that Germany had sought to exploit prior to the war. British surveyors, and in particular David Lloyd George’s ministry, had pressed hard for British forces to seize it in the conflict. Now, for their effort, they had won the oil - while Turkey, for its own efforts, had won the Baku oil.

Finally, one important concession would be that Britain and the Ottomans would conclude some minor territorial amendments to the Ottoman-Persian border.

Persia, a Kingdom heavily under British influence, by 1918 had essentially collapsed as a state. While of course the Government still existed and there was still a ‘Persia’, the country was in all but name a colony of Britain by the end of the war with British forces traversing its territory at will and imposing upon it any political, economic or military decision it saw fit. The Persian army was a backwater non-entity, and the greatest resistance in the state to British occupation essentially came in the form of a small band of Luri tribes in the southern Fars region of the country who rejected British occupation - something that did little to impact the political situation in the country.

Ottoman troops had occupied a strip of territory on the north and western side of Lake Urmia and along the border territory with the Caucuses near Tabriz during the war, and now set on securing easier passage east to Azerbaijan. While the Ottomans had no intention of seizing all of this territory, they did seek to secure several key road passes through the highly mountainous terrain by annexing the town of Khoi.

This being an extremely minor concession, Britain acceded to the demand and thus slightly ‘rounded’ the Ottoman-Persian border, further amending the map of the middle east. This, along with both sides agreeing on a long term discussion on the future of the Bosporus straits and an Ottoman commitment to uphold the London Straits Convention, concluded the Treaty.

Analysis
The signing of the Treaty of Alexandria on November 13th 1918 proved to be the conclusion of what in many people’s eyes was somewhat of a seperate war to the general ‘great war’ seen in Europe. While the Ottomans had proven an irritant throughout the conflict, most of their involvement in the war had essentially been to prevent Britain aiding Russia via ownership of the Bosporus more than engage in any offensive action - excluding in the caucuses.

For Britain, the defeat of the Ottomans proved a solid propaganda victory, especially following Germany’s failure to contest the Royal Navy at sea. While politically at home the country had become extremely tense as social relations between labour and the establishment rapidly weakened, the successful defeat of a foreign power and reassertion of British power at sea demonstrated to many that while Britain had been unable to stop German victory on the continent, she was still undoubtedly master of the seas - and the colonies.

The actual terms of the new borders in the middle east would have to be determined in the future in negotiations with the Arab leadership, but what was clear was that whatever the future held for the Middle East, it would be dictated almost exclusively by Britain who now had achieved if not total but implicit control over the entire middle east, from Aden to Aleppo, and Alexandria to Balochistan.

In the Ottoman Empire itself, the actually quite positive treaty was poorly received by the public. While the country’s political leaders understood that Britain would, eventually, have crushed the Empire and could have done far greater damage - especially if the Ottomans wanted Baku’s oil fields - most people did not understand the intricacies of geopolitics. For Grand Vizier Talaat Pasha this proved politically damaging, but not fatal. While Talaat would struggle on for some time later, the new era of a Turanist Turkey required new leadership, and eventually it would be delivered.
The way I see It the real winners of the war are Germany and the UK; frankly put, further annexations in France would have overextended German resources for no tangible gain.
The only thing Germany lacks is oil.
 
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