WI: Willy-Nicky Telegrams stop the Great War?

The Willy-Nicky telegrams were a series of personal communications between cousins (first cousins via Alexandra Feodorovna, 3rd via Paul I of Russia) Tsar Nicholas II and Kaiser Wilhelm II on the eve of WWI. They were rather friendly, and each was accustomed to calling the other "Willy" or "Nicky" respectively. Here are a few excerpts:
I foresee that very soon I shall be overwhelmed by the pressure forced upon me and be forced to take extreme measures which will lead to war. To try and avoid such a calamity as a European war I beg you in the name of our old friendship to do what you can to stop your allies from going too far. Nicky.​

Immediate affirmative clear and unmistakable answer from your government is the only way to avoid endless misery. Until I have received this answer alas, I am unable to discuss the subject of your telegram. As a matter of fact I must request you to immediatly [sic] order your troops on no account to commit the slightest act of trespassing over our frontiers. Willy

Thanks for your telegram conciliatory and friendly. Whereas official message presented today by your ambassador to my minister was conveyed in a very different tone. Beg you to explain this divergency! It would be right to give over the Austro-Serbian problem to the Hague conference. Trust in your wisdom and friendship. Your loving Nicky
The telegrams go on like this in a friendly, even jovial at times, manner. The question is this: At the Tsar's suggestion "to give over the Austro-Serbian problem to the Hague conference," coupled with the friendship between the two cousins (King George V was also their cousin, but was not often included in correspondence), could the Great War, at least on the Eastern Front, have been prevented or altered at all?
 
Even though Germany gave Austria-Hungary a "blank cheque" to pursue whatever policy they wanted regarding Serbia, the German military staff didn't actually expect a war over the matter. If Nicholas convinces Wilhelm that the Austrians were on the warpath, there may be enough time for the Germans to send a communique to the Austrians along the lines of, "blank cheque doesn't mean go to war as a first resort. Calm down or we may back out."

If a peaceful resolution is reached, then life goes on as normal. Europe at large didn't really care that Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, and they certainly didn't think it would lead to war. In fact, the later assassination of French socialist leader Jean Jaures caused more of a stir in the headlines. Chances are that the Great War breaks out over some regional conflict (another Balkan War perhaps), or maybe no Great War happens at all.
 
My feel is that righteous indignation was flaming early on but fading fast as A-H dithered, despite their friendship and I think genuine anger over regicide, Wilhelm had no genuine desire for war on the corpse of Franz Ferdinand. I suspect he was more prepared early on and expected Russia to step in to slap down Serbia, war was to be A-H punishing a guilty Serbia. It still amazes me that these Monarchs had so little grasp of their own nations, that despite their personal meddling they actually did not head off the train that was coming. Perhaps it was their own friendly relations that bedeviled them, they failed to take things serious enough and actually act decisively. Perverse as it sounds, their ability to chat might have doomed them in the end. Given a few more days the two might have hammered out a diplomatic solution agreeable to them, something I think A-H would not like as they worked up to war finally, but have little choice. Likewise I think France would be disappointed but relieved. If Germany and Russia can avoid the escalation to mobilization then I would argue they can avoid the war, the problem is just how swiftly the thing fell upon them once lines got drawn. It would be a rather fascinating story of edging to the brink and never knowing the calamity thus avoided.
 
Historically, the messages saw the Tsar did try to cancel Russian mobilization and prevent the war. His staff basically talked him out of it... at one point wound up (probably accidentally) preying on his personal dissatisfaction with his reputation as a indecisive doddler ("Your Majesty, we know it must be hard for you to decide."). The thing about the start of the First World War is that by the time of the "Willy and Nicky Exchanges", there were so many moving parts in so many countries already in motion that war was inevitable. The movement could be adjusted, but it could not be halted. You'd need something earlier, perhaps the exchanges occurring months ahead of when they did historically, to be able to truly stop the tumble.

Now altering it... maybe.
 
Perhaps Rasputin is not stabbed in June 1914 (as in OTL), and is healthy enough to be in Saint Petersburg during the events of the summer. Helps talk the Czar into peace.
 
Neither Willy or Nicky wanted or expected war. They couldn't stop it because Franz Joseph wanted war.

It was Franz Joseph who:

sent the ultimatum

rejected the response

rejected all settlement offers

made no settlement offers of his own

ordered mobilization

declared war on Serbia

Given this determination, I don't see how any deal between Willy and Nicky could have worked- except maybe Russia gets Austria and Germany gets France
 

NoMommsen

Kicked
Donor
What were the dates of these exchanges?
Up until late night 1st to 2nd August, when the last telegram was sent and received from Berlin to St.Petersburg.
(Sasonov asked in the midth of the night the german ambassador about the last telegram, while the latter was packing for leaving to Berlin)
 

NoMommsen

Kicked
Donor
Neither Willy or Nicky wanted or expected war. They couldn't stop it because Franz Joseph wanted war.

It was Franz Joseph who:

sent the ultimatum

rejected the response

rejected all settlement offers

made no settlement offers of his own

ordered mobilization

declared war on Serbia

Given this determination, I don't see how any deal between Willy and Nicky could have worked- except maybe Russia gets Austria and Germany gets France
IMHO it could be debatable how much was truly determined by the old chap ... and not "prepared" for simple giving in by some others (the foreign secretary Berchtold is the first, who Comes to my mind).

However, even Nikky and Willy were on ... some "rains" and not fully free of their states decisions. But IF they would have been able to determine things :
No "deal" as described necessary
Both emperors simply say to Austria as well as Serbia :
"Do your own thing, we (both) don't bother and see what you might gain - or not."​
And otherwise start where they left discussions in Björkö in 1905;)

Could have saved the world quite a lot.

(Admitted, that might lead at some point in the further future to kind of determing "zones of interest" in Europe with the boundary maybe somewhere at the Wartha, Leitha and maybe the Harbor of Pola.)
 
Only Nicholas probably had the ability to stop his mobilization. That probably averts the war...and saves his life. The Germans were too worried about being caught out to stop their mobilization first.
 

kernals12

Banned
My god, how much better the world would be without World War 1 and all the things that resulted from it. No Nazi Germany or Soviet Union.
 
many people already think Revolution in Russia would happen sooner and later.

and Economic Crash is probably inevitable, it happen regularly, a big one would hit sooner or later. and Fascism/Militarism is powerful populist tool, Italy and Japan (both war winner) succumb to it.

and there always possibility of leader worse than Hitler and Stalin. so many different genocide all over world between 1900-1950 so it historical trend, not just accidents.
 

kernals12

Banned
many people already think Revolution in Russia would happen sooner and later.

and Economic Crash is probably inevitable, it happen regularly, a big one would hit sooner or later. and Fascism/Militarism is powerful populist tool, Italy and Japan (both war winner) succumb to it.


and there always possibility of leader worse than Hitler and Stalin. so many different genocide all over world between 1900-1950 so it historical trend, not just accidents.
Communist revolution in Russia is not inevitable, in fact the October revolution was more of a coup. If it wasn't for the chaos of WW1, the provisional government could've held on until a new democratic constitution was drafted. Fascism, which was a backlash to communism, is also not inevitable.
 
many people already think Revolution in Russia would happen sooner and later.

and Economic Crash is probably inevitable, it happen regularly, a big one would hit sooner or later. and Fascism/Militarism is powerful populist tool, Italy and Japan (both war winner) succumb to it.

and there always possibility of leader worse than Hitler and Stalin. so many different genocide all over world between 1900-1950 so it historical trend, not just accidents.
Winners who felt they were left out in the cold/sold short following the win by the current global hegemons in order to maintain said hegemony and permanently contain them to 2nd class nations rather than the equals they felt they were and dependent on the Hegemons to possess vital resources like food, petrol, steel, ect. Though Germany held a chip on their shoulder towards literal Jews, the Italians and Japanese held it towards getting metaphorically "Shilocked"
 
There always chaos in revolution, you could never be certain who win, it could be anarchist, socialist, peasant group or other. There no certainty that Russia be stable after toppling Tsar, even if they succeed in election, did not mean radical wouldn't launch coup.

Germany, Italian and Japanese show that win or lose war one could still fall to far right war, even if no WWI, radicalism could still win. There simply too many Great Power who want to be hegemon.

Let's not get bogged on detail, the exact reason didn't matter. What clear is there could always be worse world (or better one). Avoiding any historical event is no guarantee history will be 'better'.
 
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