WI Incident at Petrich escalates to war

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by gurgu, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. gurgu proud genoese

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    introduction: in 1925 a crisis occurred on the Bulgarian/Greek frontier which escalated with Greek occupation of Petrich in attempt to enforce some demands.
    pod: WI the league of nations( as usual) fails to make a negotiation and Greece declares war to Bulgaria?
    consider that both nation weren't allied neither with the fascists( Italy) neither whit the democratic( Britain/France)and also remember how both France and Britain won't start any new war but were going for the appeasement( revoked only after the continuous provokes from Hitler) while in Italy Mussolini had ambitions on Greece.

    link to the incident description:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incident_at_Petrich
     
  2. Derwit Well-Known Member

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    Greece is at a low ebb militarily. The war with Atta Turks Turkey is effectively over at this time. However I could see Turkey siding with Bulgaria due to the residing hostility towards the Greeks. In such a senario I would expect Benny the Moose to stick his nose in on the Greeks side in the hope of territorial concessions at the peace table and to show Italian strength on the international level.

    I don't think any other major powers would get stuck in. I'm curious how a limited war against decent oppersition would possibly effect Italian millinery performance, doctorine and equipment in the following two decades. Could it make or break Bennie and if the later who and what comes after him in Italy?
     
  3. Michele Well-Known Member

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    I agree it might be a sort of Balkan Wars remake, low-tech and with little if any outside effects.

    Hmm, so soon after the Corfu bombardment? It would be a quick turnaround for Italy to side with Greece now. And Mussolini would more likely go with the obvious "enemy of my enemy" and side with Bulgaria, if he really itches for an involvement.
     
  4. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    Mussolini regarded the Rumanians as a sort of Italian cousin and tried to align his Balkans foreign policy to ingratiate Italy with Rumania. The Italians were investors in the oil industry & other ventures. How does this affect Mussolini picking sides?
     
  5. BigBlueBox Well-Known Member

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    Whatever Mussolini's views on the Romanians were, he ultimately ended up cozying up to the Hungarians and Bulgarians and supporting both the Second Vienna Award and the return of Southern Dobruja to Bulgaria.
     
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  6. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Mussolinis policies were inconsistent, nonsensical even. The DoW on Greece was stupid in the context of the real world. But it happened anyway.
     
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  7. gurgu proud genoese

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    i think Benny's policies where made right but went wrong because he overestimated the Italian power both military/diplomatically also i don't think he's so dumb to not jump on the dog pile over Greece alongside Bulgaria and turkey, with an instant surrender the peace deal might be:
    -Bulgaria: regains it's lost territories in ww1 and the city of Salonika( all territories with some Bulgarian population).
    -Turkey: all the island in the Aegean sea
    -Italy: Corfu, Crete an fascist government in Greece probably controlled
     
  8. Michele Well-Known Member

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    That's not because he suddenly disliked the Romanians. It's because the Romanians fell under Germany's complete influence. He did think Romania should have been his preserve, and Hitler went and snatched it (understandably - think of the oil). So he had to do something, if only out of spite. The things you mention above are nothing in comparison to his main reaction to the German "military mission" to Romania: the main reaction was the invasion of Greece.
    Wooing Bulgaria makes sense in this framework, because Mussolini seriously hoped Bulgaria would invade Greece simultaneously. Ther Bulgarians were wiser than that.

    Wow, Salonika?

    Apart from, one hopes, the Dodecanese, which was already Italian? Euboea too?

    Well, you've turned Greece into Johnny-I-hardly-knew-you. Even without formal alliances, I think the British and the LoN, however toothless, would not accept this.
     
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  9. gurgu proud genoese

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    Bulgaria wanted the city since the first Balkan war, can't see what stops them now.

    England was still appeasing so unless Italy doesn't fully annex Greece they won't intervene, let's say Italy takes the islands splitting some of them with turkey and not overthrowing the Greek government( which would become anyway fascist due to revanchism)

    for the LoN, it proved to be useless since the japan invasion of china( the sanctions were basically ignored) so Benny might take the sanctions which he can ignore and keep trading with the other nations( like some americans that are isolated and want more and more money before the 29'

     
  10. Michele Well-Known Member

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    Probably nothing, if they are unwise enough. My point is that it would be a hard bite to swallow. It's a big and advanced city (for Balkan standards) and it would need to come with a lot of territory. I'd expect significant guerrilla activity in the hills, and covert similar activity in the city. Not exactly a stabilizing factor for greater Bulgaria. Stopping at gaining access to the Aegean with some minor more Easternly port would be safer.
     
  11. Derek Pullem Butterfly Killer

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    Greece had already lost out to Italy in the Corfu incident in 1923. If it went against the League of Nations (it would be mad to) and declared war on Bulgaria I can see Italy sending in peacemakers again to Corfu and other islands as hostage against Greece complying. Note that Italy here is unilaterally trying to enforce Greece compliance with LoN diktat so other major powers are going to be conflicted.

    If Greece still fights on then Turkey will probably join in too. Greece gets reduced significantly and Mussolini has a party over the Greek crazies handing him more land.
     
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  12. gurgu proud genoese

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    actually going east from Salonika the major population was still Bulgarian, in OTL they still speak Bulgarian in a lot of places, so making exception for Salonika there won't be any guerrilla and if it happens they'll do like Turks did with Constantinople, rename it to Solnik( as it's called in Bulgaria) and expel all the greeks which will make even worse the economy for Greece.
    Thinking of it, this could be a could timeline to make for a not that great but for once winning Bulgaria
     
  13. Michele Well-Known Member

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    That's another reason why staying East of it would be better.

    Expelling the Greeks from Salonika you expel most of the entrepreneurs, most of the wealthier class, most of the merchant shipping assets.
    Just like, when the Turks expelled the Greeks, they expelled the skilled workers in their fragile industries, the investors, the entrepreneurs. After the Exchange of 1922, the Turkish exports in dried raisins and figs, carpets, silk textiles dropped (these being the chief exports of Turkey at the time, with the only exception of tobacco), while those of Greece soared. Professionals, traders, brokers, insurers, wholesalers etc. in all of Turkey in the 1910s-20s, not just in Smyrna, were Greek, chiefly; otherwise, they were Jewish, or Armenian, or foreigners. And predictably, it was the Turkish economy that suffered from the Exchange.
     
  14. gurgu proud genoese

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    then they will proceed with the bulgarization plan: less axes for a while if they learn bulgarian languange/heritage and not teach greek to their sons, in 2 generation no greeks
     
  15. Lascaris Well-Known Member

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    That's actually incorrect. Greece had gone through massive, for the size of the country, reorganisation of its armed forces in 1923-26, with deliveries of 468 artillery pieces, 125,000 rifles and 8,000 machine guns going along with the reorganisation. Effectively the equipment that the Greeks fought ww2 with was ordered and delivered in the period the Petrich incident took place.

    Post that Greece did get what it wanted from the raid on Petrich, the Bulgarian irregulars raids into Greek Macedonia stopped after the incident. Why exactly it would care to escalate things any further? As for third parties Greece was still close to Britain and France even if not officially allied and Mussolini at the time was trying to get the Greeks on his side. (Which he had start doing months after the Corfu incident.)
     
  16. Dementor Well-Known Member

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    Not by 1925. After the ethnic cleansing during the Second Balkan War and after WWI, plus a population exchange carried out in the early 1920s, plus the massive settlement of Greek refugees in Macedonia, the Bulgarian population had become a small minority. If there was a significant Bulgarian population, it was only present in western Macedonia, around the towns of Lerin/Florina and Kostur/Kastoria.

    Also the Bulgarian name of Thessaloniki is Солун (Solun), not Solnik.
     
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  17. gurgu proud genoese

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    about the name i don't know why but my grandma keeps saying solnik.... maybe is an alternative or some bulgarian dialect.
    about resistance, let's say there will be. Bulgaria can ignore it: it have an army capacity twice than greece so it can leave some troops behind to suppress until war is over which would happen quickly: greeks won't wait to see athens fall so they would seek fast peace to loose less ( basically bulgaria regains agean sea access like before ww1)
     
  18. Dementor Well-Known Member

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    How does Bulgaria have an army capacity twice that of Greece, when it had a smaller population? And Bulgaria's regular army was limited to 20 thousand by the treaty of Neuilly and conscription was forbidden. This does not make a victory likely.
    It's also very likely that Romania, which shared with Greece the desire to keep Bulgaria down would intervene. Yugoslavia might intervene as well.
     
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  19. Koprulu Mustafa Pasha Sadrazam of the Roman Empire

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    It is, apart from undoable, also a human catastrophy. What are Bulgarians going to do with all the Greek refugees from Anatolia and Eastern Thrace? Deport them to Greece?

    Besides... if Turkey got any Aegean Islabds, which are the islands on the Coast, so no Cyclades, Sporades or so, they may just realign with Greece against Bulgaria (Western Thrace desired by Turkey as it has a large Turkish Population, Salonika desired by Greece). The biggest advantage Greece and Bulgaria has is Ataturk keeping a strict neutralist policy. Can't see him abort that unless Greece is really screwed over with no help.

    The war is going to open a can of worms
     
  20. Koprulu Mustafa Pasha Sadrazam of the Roman Empire

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    A Greek-Bulgarian War will either end in a Status Quo or a Greek victory. Gaining Greek Macedonia on its own is wishful thinking. Western Thrace, I'm not sure of but Aegean Macedonia has like several hundred thousands of Greek refugees.