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View Poll Results: Who's side are you on?
The Central Powers 139 29.20%
The Triple Entente 187 39.29%
Neither one of them 150 31.51%
Voters: 476. You may not vote on this poll

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Old August 3rd, 2017, 01:07 PM   #1321
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Originally Posted by Gaius Julius Civilis View Post
Germany and Austria-Hungary went to war in 1914 out of desperation, not out of aggression or with the intent to redraw the map of Europe. Unlike the Entente powers, Berlin and Vienna did not seek territorial expansion or to change the status quo. After 1913, Germany and Austria-Hungary had become disillusioned by European diplomacy and convinced that a diplomatic solution would no longer work to solve their problems. A more sensible diplomacy of the Entente powers could have prevented WW1. Britain and France should have restrained Russia and its Balkan allies, instead of encouraging their expansionism and revisionism. It's what made a general European war inevitable. Of course this doesn't absolve Germany of its responsibility for its actions in 1914.
Austria-Hungary and Germany had been invited to conferences in London, where there was conflict between nations, in the years prior to WW1, and Britain supported them and as a result Russia backed down.

They were invited again in June 1914, but they declined the invitation, and it is likely Britain would have supported them again over the Serbian issue; except this time they made the decision that they weren't interested in diplomacy.
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Old August 3rd, 2017, 05:03 PM   #1322

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I see it in direct contrast to that.

Balkan nations had been fighting for independence for a while, and had not long before rid themselves of the Ottoman Empire. Why should they be swallowed up by a replacement empire?

The fact of the matter is that the Serbian government did not attack Austria-Hungary and as such they had no jurisdiction in Serbia.

The fault, with regard to this particular cog in the wheel, lay with the Austro-Hungarians.
Who said anything about swallowing up? Serbia was a hotbed of nationalism and extremism. It was openly hostile to Austria-Hungary and supported terrorism inside it. Austria-Hungary was looking to clean house with a punitive expedition after the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. It never had any intention of destroying or annexing Serbia.

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I mean, why not give the Germans a free hand in lording it over the Dutch so that we can all have a peaceful life?
What does that have to do with anything?
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Old August 3rd, 2017, 10:58 PM   #1323
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It never had any intention of destroying or annexing Serbia.
https://encyclopedia.1914-1918-onlin...ustria-hungary

On 7 January 1916 the senior ministers met as the Common Ministerial Council in a session chaired by new Foreign Minister István Burián (1851-1922), a Hungarian and close associate of Tisza. Burián began by reminding his colleagues that the decision for war had centered on preserving the integrity the monarchy. As they now considered possible territorial gains, he continued, they had to think of the entire monarchy, not just Austria or Hungary.[5]

Serbia occupied first place in their discussions. Burián posed two choices: its full incorporation into the monarchy or a much-reduced Serbia under Habsburg control. Neither option, he conceded, would end South Slavic agitation and both would complicate possible peace negotiations with Russia.

Tisza, departing from his 1914 strictures, suggested a different approach. He proposed using the Croats to check Serbian agitation while incorporating northern Serbia into Hungary with Belgrade becoming a “Hungarian provincial city.” The remaining “rump” Serbia would be economically dependent on the monarchy. But the Magyar totally excluded one option: any union between a rump Serbia with Croatia and Bosnia. Tisza’s plans met opposition from Common Finance Minister, Ernest von Koerber (1850-1919) who also argued that Serbia’s complete disappearance might create other problems. For his part Conrad wanted the total incorporation of Serbia.

Last edited by Azatoth; August 3rd, 2017 at 11:01 PM.
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Old August 3rd, 2017, 11:16 PM   #1324
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Originally Posted by Gaius Julius Civilis View Post
Who said anything about swallowing up? Serbia was a hotbed of nationalism and extremism. It was openly hostile to Austria-Hungary and supported terrorism inside it. Austria-Hungary was looking to clean house with a punitive expedition after the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. It never had any intention of destroying or annexing Serbia.

In that case, what exactly were they expecting to do?

You could have Austro-Hungarian troops parading through Belgrade, Nish etc every day with their brass bands playing "Gott Erhalte Franz Den Kaiser" very loud. But what would that achieve except to provide local partisans with more accessible targets ?

Even this, of course, presupposes that they could occupy Serbia. But in practice they couldn't have committed all their army. Most of it would have to be kept up north in case the Russians changed their minds and decided to move. And if 1914 is anything to go by, the Austrians would soon have found it very heavy going, and been well content to "halt in Belgrade". They would have ended up with less prestige rather than more.
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Old August 4th, 2017, 01:27 PM   #1325

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Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
Much of your first point is a weak hypothetical.
And saying everything would peaceful with no problems with a German victory ISN'T?

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Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
Regardless of the brutality of the Armenian Genocide the reason for it was that they were suspected of being sympathetic to the enemy. With no war, the reason for this goes away. International community including the Germans would have not stood idly by and allowed this to happen during peacetime. Genocide was not based on Armenian nationalism all of these hypothetical situations like with the Kurds are just that hypothetical. Germans and every other great power in a position to act were also kind of pre occupied at the moment. In peacetime that would have been a different story. Germany would have much influence over the Ottoman Empire who'd owe their survival and the removal of the Russians who'd been dreaming of seizing Constantinople for centuries almost entirely to Germany. My argument is just can't see it happening again during peacetime.
Actually, in the long sad history of genocide and the responses to it... no country has EVER responded to stop a genocidal power. None...

In the case of the Armenian Genocide, the killing actually continued into the 20s when it finally fizzled out and Attaturk gained full control over the Turkish government. The Allied response to the Armenian Genocide effectively amounted to, "the sooner we win, the sooner it will end."

Twenty five years later, you see the Holocaust begin in German occupied Europe, with Jews, Gypsies, and many others falling victim to a dictatorial madman. And despite reports coming from spies and other agencies, the Allies refused to believe a civilized people like the Germans could do such things, and continued to believe that until 1945 when the Allied armies began liberating the Concentration Camps. And as in WWI, often when given options to put a stop to the Holocaust, the response was, "the sooner we win the war, the sooner it will be over."

And the Holocaust would provide the world with the name for the crime... Genocide... but even there, the responses after WWII were still limited by the issue of not wanting to intervene in another country's INTERNAL affairs. And in fact the US wouldn't even sign the UN treaty on Genocide, written in the late 40s, until the 1970s and then with making major amendments to the treaty that effectively state that the US can accuse others of genocide, but despite the fact that American actions regarding Native Americans in the 1800s meeting the treaty's criteria for Genocide, American CANNOT be accused of the crime.

And again, the powers often found some reason to not respond to genocide, and often these countries were "at peace." If one looks at the Crimes of the Khmer Rouge, that's a pretty clear indication. At the time the Cambodian government was not officially at war with anyone... though it had felt the strain of the war in neighboring Vietnam, leading to the Khmer Rouge seizing power. Once in power, they soon began a policy to totally restructure their society and this turned to Genocide, and the only one marked as Genocide in which the killing was NOT on racial or religious grounds (as the killers and victims were all Khmer and the same religion). Yet as people died and news reports got out... the US did nothing, because the Khmer Rouge were CHINESE Communists and the Nixon Administration saw China as a potential typing point against the Soviets as part of Détente. So nothing was done. The Khmer Rouge's genocide of its own people continued on until the Vietnamese declared war and invaded... and even there, the case can be made that the Vietnamese were more interested in their own power in the region and not stopping the genocide.

In the end the saddest issue in the history of Genocide comes down to Rwanda. While there were internal issues... the country was officially at peace, and in the end NO ONE responded. The genocide remains the most cost effective genocide in history, as the method of killing was with machetes that could be used over and over again... and no one did anything. The Rwandan Genocide lasted until the rebel forces finally ousted the government that had been inspiring the killing...

And to this day, the ONLY Genocide that the international community has responded to was the Bosnian/Kosovar genocides in the 1990s, likely because they occurred in Europe... and even there, there was a great effort NOT to call the Serb actions Genocides...

In this, countries will look the other way with regard to Genocide, as there has NEVER been any sign of them doing otherwise in history. And they don't always come as a result of wars. The genocides in Cambodia and Rwanda specifically arose out of internal struggles... Which shows that while the comparison to what might happen in Turkey in a Central Powers victory is "hypothetical," that does not mean that it was without facts that relate...

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Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
Ottomans were pretty good at keeping their empire together for the previous centuries. Syria and Iraq were abstract concepts created by the Europeans rather than actual ethnic factions pushing for independence in Europe. These states all contained different groups who did not see themselves as "Syrian" or "Iraqi" or "Lebanese" these were regions that had been juggled around by non native ruling empires since before the time of Christ. Egypt and Persia are different stories of course. They were different provinces of the Ottoman Empire not Turkey.
The Turks were good at keeping their Empire together up until the 1800s when France, Britain, Italy, Austria, and Russia all attacked Turkey for territory for some reason. And in many cases when these Christian powers attacked, they made public claims to be supporting local Christian populations being "oppressed." By 1900, this had resulted in Turkey losing most of its European possessions and feeling very insecure about their position and still had a Russia to their north that wanted the Bosporus...

And at the same time, you had movements within Turkey that were just as influenced by things like nationalism as the European powers had and wanted to push agendas that reflected those sorts of things...

And between feeling insecure and nationalistically driven... the odds are not good that the Turks are going to respond well to any internal tension relating to groups within their empire.

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Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
Zionism predated WWI but Israel acquiring a state didn't become politically viable until the Holocaust. There's also the fact that with a Central Powers victory the truth of the first statement becomes irrelevant as the British probably don't rule Palestine. What other problems do you suggest would possibly arise if Germany goes after Arabian oil instead of the British and Americans? At the very least there is no 9/11 and American intervention in the Middle East.
Last I checked, the Germans were European Christians. If the Central Powers win and German businesses ultimately replace British businesses in the Middle East... guys like Bin Laden are not going respond well to that presence. He'd be irritated by the fact that these "Christian infidels" are in the Holy Land, where they have no right to be...

You like WOULD see a 9/11 type event occur. The only difference might be that they attack a city in Germany rather than the US...

And regarding the Arab/Israeli conflict, depending on when the Central Powers win, you could well see that sort of continued push and leading towards the conflict. For if the war goes until the 1917-1918, you've still seen the Balfour Declaration issued and the promises made to the Arabs in the Arab Revolt. The Central Powers winning won't change that...

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Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
The Middle Eastern situation is a great deal more complicaed than Sunni v Shia. The Ottomans and Persians had coexisted in this capacity for 400 years in quite a similar way as the Romans and Parthians/Sassanians had, constantly at war, western side clearly superior but the East was never conquered. A great deal better than today's mess with different groups fighting for control in all these 1920's European abstractions of country's.
The fact that there was near constant back and forth warfare between the two would demonstrate that they did not coexist... at least not well...

And in terms of Roman/Persian history, actually the Parthians and Sassanids routinely OWNED the Romans in battle. And while the Romans did win at times, it was usually on the defensive and in compact areas where the Persians couldn't use their cavalry advantages to their fullest. The only time when the Romans won wars where they were on the offense was when the Parthians or Sassanids were busy fighting either civil wars or other Central Asian states and couldn't be bothered with the Romans interested in a small portion of the Tigris/Euphrates River valley. Remember, the Sassanids captured and ransomed a Roman Emperor... the Romans NEVER captured and ransomed a Parthian or Sassanid ruler.

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Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
We disagree on France and recovery. Going 1v1 with a nation with over 50% more people than you that has a larger industrial capacity is a very difficult situation at the very best. In our timeline France got back Alsace and Lorraine and took away Saar and Rhineland from Germany even temporarily occupying the Ruhr robbing Germany for over a decade of much of it's industrial base. Germany had also lost territory in the East. Germany still managed to conquer a France that had UK support after like 5 years of rearmament. In this scenario Germany's population and industrial advantages would be greater and Germany would have no need to recover. In our timeline France had the same concern's as they would in a Central Powers victory and they were not able to close the demographic gap.
But one needs to remember that by the Boulanger Crisis after the Franco-Prussian War, no one expected France to have recovered as well as it had. That's actually a testament to Boulanger's policies with regard to pushing to get France ready for revenge in that war...

There is thus no reason to assume that a revenge minded France could not engage in policies aimed to either narrow the demographic gap or raise the quality of the French army to compensate for their lack in population...

Look at it like this... In 1941, Germany lacked the demographics to take on the Soviet Union in a head on confrontation. When the Axis invaded with over 3.5 million men, the Soviets STILL had more men in uniform and the ability to raise MILLIONS more to replace their losses. In terms of manpower, Germany did not have the people to tangle with the Soviets in a war of attrition. Yet, when they invaded, many Germans held that their training and ability was enough to overcome Soviet numbers, and up until December 1941 it ultimately looked that way...

So, while France would have fewer people than Germany if the Central Powers win... that doesn't mean that France won't either try narrow the gap, either through increasing their birthrate or looking for allies or wouldn't work to improve the army so that they can do more with less.

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Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
UK assistance was needed in WWI to wage a defensive war against the Germans.
Actually the French needed the British more for their navy than anything else.

Had France retained the defensive minded plan before they adopted Plan XVII, they had the field guns to essentially catch the Germans in a death trap as they came through Belgium into France. And while the French in their bright uniforms would still stick out on the battlefield, by being dug in and waiting for the Germans to arrive, they'd essentially have enough protection to lessen the effect of still being in navy blue jackets and red pants. The Germans would march into open fields and would themselves overwhelmed by massed fire from dug in 75mm field guns and with French forces being large enough that they couldn't be isolated at individual points the way the Belgians were isolated at Liege. And since these battles would then relate to armies moving in the field and not sitting still in forts, Germany's big siege guns would be ineffective...

In a sense, it'd be the French doing what the British did at Mons (though the French would probably have to rely on their artillery... but the base concept is the same).

But the French plan in 1914 was just as offensive as the German plan, and there, with the rules of taking positions... the French would need British help... though historically the British didn't have the numbers in the field to do this until 1916.

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Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
There is a reason the German commanders were so confident they could defeat the French quickly and that the Schlieffen Plan Plan hinged on this outcome.
Joffre was equally confident that he could push through the Vosages and restore Alsace/Lorraine to France.

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Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
Anyway you're making an assumption that the French would learn and adapt and that the Germans wouldn't. France being a real threat post central powers victory requires everything in your scenario to go perfectly and even then is pretty questionable. I could be wrong about lots of what I'm saying and I don't think it really changes the principle that France attacking Germany would be an ill fated move that would be far less successful endeavor than the opposite, which is what we're arguing here.
But the French WOULD learn and adapt and the Germans wouldn't, at least not initially. It's an issue that happens with regard to when an army wins there is no perceived need to change things. In fact if you look at the Prussian/German army from the end of the Franco-Prussian War to the Boulanger Crisis, there was NO noticeable change in how the army functioned. The army the Germans had was pretty much the same army they'd had in the Franco-Prussian War. And it was the near scare that the Boulanger Crisis created in Germany that then lead to their own military reforms and changes that made many view the German Army in 1914 so much "better" than its European rivals. They'd had the scare and thus the reason to make changes...

If France loses WWI and is humiliated (especially if the war goes long), there would be no perceived reason for the Germans to enact radical changes or improvements. As they had won and their primary enemies would be perceived to be weak. Thus... no reason to change things... at least not change things radically so. Especially when most often the officers that push radical change tend to be younger officers and the officers in charge tend to be older officers that don't either understand the changes the younger ones push for or outright oppose it. And there are times in history where you see even German officers show a lack of a full comprehension of many tactical changes... As is often seen with temperament of older officers like Rundstedt and the fact that Barbarossa was anything BUT "blitzkrieg." A win in WWI would reinforce the opinions of the older officers in the German army that no change is needed, particularly with the French and Russians weaker...

Arguing that the Germans would enact radical change would be akin to saying that the British with memories of Waterloo would send a MASSIVE number of men to fight the Zulus BEFORE they got destroyed at Isandwana. And even with the changes that Germany made historically, much of Seeckt's theories had similarities to Allenby's tactics in his war against the Turks in 1917-1918 and much of Guderian's theories on armored warfare has some origin in the ideas from JFC Fuller, Estienne, and Charles De Gaulle, who had all made arguments for an increased use of tanks in warfare.

Could the Germans put changes together? Sure, but there would need to be a reason to do so... and so long as they saw France and Russia as weak and their efforts in WWI as successful, there wouldn't be...

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Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
Austria was fighting a 2 and sometimes 3 front war at different times during the conflict. While yes disunity in their ranks was a real thing, Austria was far from the liability to the German Empire as Italy would become for the Third Reich and fought quite well given the circumstances. I'd say they did quite better than the Ottomans.
And yet there is a German officer, I think it was Ludendorff, who famously quoted as saying of Austria's military actions in WWI, "We are shackled to a corpse."

The Germans frequently had to rescue their Austrian allies in WWI. And I'd even argue that the Austrians only did as well in Italy as they did was due to Cadorna being just as big of an idiot as Hotzendorf.

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They collapsed due to the war not their ethnic issues and turning the Hapsburg Empire into a Triple Monarchy with the Czechs could have solved a lot of problems. Also there were winners and losers when the Hapsburg Empire came undone. Croats ended up stuck in Yugoslavia, Hungarians ended up stuck in Romania, Slovaks and Germans ended up stuck in Czechoslovakia. These groups would have preferred the continuation of the Hapsburg empire, same way Transylvanian Romanians, Poles in Galicia, Czechs and Serbs in Bosnia preferred the way things turned out. All I know is that Austrian rule prevents the ethnic tensions and human rights issues in these new states.
But the Croats were FINE with being part of Yugoslavia when it was formed. They were fine with the union so long as it was balanced between the Serbs, Slovenes, Croats, Bosnians, Macedonians, and Montenegroans. Later unrest really came more due to the fact that Serbia wanted greater control within Yugoslavia.

The Hungarians who ended up in Romania were also in the minority of the people in the territory lost. And while one could make the case for perhaps the border areas being drawn better, there were numerous "islands" in Transylvania as well. And if that is to be decried as "unfair" then the only solution is to leave all of Transylvania to Hungary and let a group that made up closer to 40% rule over the population that was over 50% Romanian. Not fair to Romania.

And with Czechoslovakia, while, yes, Germans ended up living there, you'll need to understand that 1) the victorious Allies aren't going to decide to let a defeated Germany grow and 2) the Sudeten Mountains made of a defendable border. Look at when the Sudetenland was given to German... the invasion of what remained came months later, and was so quick that the Czechs were not able to even mobilize.

And Austrian rule would NOT remove the racial tension. The racial tension was there before WWI and that sort of tension is partially what inflamed Bosnian Serbs, who'd rather be with Serbia than Austria, to assassinate Franz Ferdinand in the first place. And the rampaging murders of Serbs within Austrian territory after war started shows how little control Franz Joseph's government had over the ethnic groups inside his own borders. And those tensions were already there, preserving Austrian rule is not going to remove that tension, which then puts the question on Austrian policy after Franz Joseph. If they grant greater autonomy, maybe tensions lower... If not, tensions remain the same.

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My main point that I'm far more confident in is that Fascist France wouldn't have been as dangerous as Nazi Germany and that France was not capable of launching the sort of carnage the Nazi's did, the same way Fascist Italy wasn't.
But that assumes that the only ones that Germany has humiliated would be France and Italy...

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I do not know how you think the Germans would be able to enforce harsh peace terms on all involved as all involved were not in the same position. France, Belguim, Russia and Italy were all being invaded while the US, UK and Japanese homelands were all untouchable.
But if the Allies are forced as a coalition to surrender, its not a question of how strong the German navy is in comparison to Britain. If the coalition surrenders, then the British would have to agree to German terms, which would likely be harsh if the war goes beyond 1917, particularly with the perception of the British doing Germany the most harm...

Look at it this way... in history, no Allied army EVER occupied large portions of Germany in WWI, and the German army had NOT been destroyed in 1918. Defeated and weakened, but not destroyed. Yet, Germany was made to agree to give up having a real standing army and was not allowed to even place what troops it did have in German territory (the Rhineland).

... In history, the Royal Navy NEVER destroyed the Germans in battle at sea. They managed to contain the German fleet, but they never made a suicidal charge into Hamburg or Wilhelmshaven to sink the German fleet, and one could argue that the British had no wish to incur those sorts of risks to try a repeat of the Battle of Copenhagen against Germany. It wasn't that the Royal Navy was bad or that the German fleet was better... but that the German fleet was good enough that the risks were too great. Yet, Germany was forced to surrender pretty much their entire navy to the Allies, with many German ships being scuttled at Scapa Flow to prevent them from falling into British hands.

In this, the Allies did not FORCE the Germans into a position to accept these sorts of terms. In that sense, the Germans could have decided to fight on... But they didn't and accepted those terms...

Had Germany won and forced the Allies as a coalition to surrender, they would try to humiliate their enemies and particularly with regard to the British, who they saw as their greatest threat. And if the British accept, they'd be expected to abide by whatever terms the Germans demand. If not... then the war would continue... but with France out of the war and neither the Americans nor British prepared for amphibious warfare in 1918 on the scale needed in 1944... that could well lead to the war going on and the Germans using France and the Ukraine as a means to escape the pressures brought on by the blockade... And given commentary by Hindenburg to American reporters after the war... I don't think he was really that concerned with the Germans starving at home, as his comment seemed to claim that the Germans could have won regardless of the blockade...

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Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
I do think Germany would have been more capable of deposing the Soviets than the Allies were. The unity of the white Russians wouldn't really matter, the more fragmented the Russia the less prospects for an Eastern war. If a war torn Germany was able to take out a centuries old regime what makes you think they couldn't have taken down the struggling Soviets. Germany had a lot of troops in the East and in the event of a Western victory would have been in much better position to take out the Bolsheviks than the Western Allies were in our timeline. Again I'm not close to certain that German would have been able to do it or would have tried but I do think the prospects for Soviet survival and superpowerdom would be much lower.
Not at the levels to which the Germans were starving at the end of the war in history. If by some miracle they then pull off a victory in the west, the German people wouldn't suddenly jump to a major war of conquest in the Soviet Union. Protecting the gains from the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk might be tolerated, but not a war of conquest in the East... not in 1918. In this, while the Soviets certainly would be weaker, they would survive.

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Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
The abstract point of "you're just saying the grass is greener on the other side and different bad things could have happened" is potentially valid and is a point all Central Powers backers on this thread should think about. However all we can do is look at what's likely based on what happened in our timeline and go from there. Saying for sure things would have been worse with no basis to prove it IMO has less standing than examining what's likely based on what we do know even if that's not perfect either. I think the world would be a considerably better place today in the event of a Central Powers victory because I believe a variety of bad things that happened with an Entente victory wouldn't have happened and that's it a more positive scenario than what we got.
But fixing a lot of the exact problems of today depends more on later events. Just because many of todays problems have origins in WWI doesn't mean that they were destined to happen because of WWI. There are many things that played into them, and I don't see a Central Powers victory removing those problems... merely changing the exact path in which they happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
I agree the UK was always against a dominant continental power and had done more damage to Germany than any other power but at the end of the day the question is what can the Germans do to get a harsh peace from Britain?
In a sense, they'd be depending on the British government deciding to accept terms. They may not be able to force them into these things outright, but at the same time when Germany surrendered in November 1918, the Allies had not yet destroyed the German army and had at best only contained the German navy, and yet in the peace terms they demanded, Germany had to give up both. Tired and exhausted, the Germans agreed, despite not being truly "forced" to, yet. If they can force the British to feel the same sort of strain... they'd expect the British to abide by their demands. If not... the war would then continue on until that situation changes... And again, considering Hindenburg's opinion of the blockade versus American involvement on what lost the war in history, I'd imagine had at least France and Italy been defeated, the war would have continued...

And if the terms ultimately reached DON'T punish Britain, you'd then see the real potential that some extremist political movement pushing for a more fanatical, potentially Fascist, government for the same reasons Italy did in history, not getting everything they wanted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
Austrian empire wouldn't be fine and would still be unstable but would certainly not collapse the way they did in our timeline. Even if Austria lost territory to nationalist rebellions hypothetically they would still keep much of their territory and be a stronger empire for it. Croatia and Slovakia, two of the drivers of the WWII genocides I cited are two such regions that only left the Hapsburg Empire because of the post war settlement after being part of Hungary for almost a millenia. Not all the member states would have broken off or left the Czechs and Bosnian Serbs were the main groups opposed to Hapsburg rule and were rewarded by becoming the new oppressors in new multinational states with the same ethnic tension. I think making the Czechs the third part of the monarchy would make historical sense seeing the traditional importance of Bohemia.
But if the tension remains, you haven't solved the problem. Merely changed it. And if that tension remains... pushes for independence are eventually bound to pop up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
Allied victory is what put the Slovaks and Czechs together and the Serbs and Croats together in a dominant/subordinate relationship. It is almost entirely what caused these events and the Croat genocide then made the Serbs mad and led to more ethnic cleansing down the line. There is a clear cause and effect here and it is far from ridiculous to claim that a Central Powers victory would prevent these things because a Central Powers victory prevents the conditions that led it to happen. I'm not blaming anyone for the crimes of individuals but that doesn't mean people don't do crimes for a reason and that if you take the reason away they probably won't do them.
But the Croats were fine with being part of Yugoslavia in 1918-1919. In fact it was the Croats who made the offer to Serbia to join to form Yugoslavia. In that, forming Yugoslavia doesn't guarantee the later problems. More responsible actions on the part of the Serbs MIGHT have prevented it just as much as arguing to let the Austrians continue to rule the territory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
Munich coups' failure does not say that the central issue in the rise of the Nazi's wasn't the WWI defeat. It was a regional fiasco in a region that had just put down a Communist revolution. If someone has political beliefs that are popular and storms a city's town hall declaring a new government and am arrested, that doesn't mean there is no support for their policies it means they're an idiot. The popularity of sentiments doesn't= regional coup successfully taking over entire country. Hitler did get a very sympathetic sentence based on the severity of his crime in an age where people got shot pretty easily for treason. Ludondorff walked away from the whole event like nothing had happened basically daring the cops to arrest him.
I don't deny that a lot of that sentiment was popular within extremist circles, but not all Germans were extremist. And if it WAS that popular, it would have succeeded, as the Wiemar government really wasn't challenging it and Hitler promised to do so...

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
In terms of Hungary, Croats and Slovaks were basically part of Hungary and had been for around a millenia. In terms of Translvania no matter who got that territory it would be a mess. Have you seen a map the way the Hungarian and Romanian populations are laid out? Usually there's something resembling borders but with Transylvania it's pocka dots of Hungarians and Romanians. No one was receiving that territory without contreversy nor could it be split fairly. Also Transylvania was the eastern part of Hungary before the Ottoman invasion.

Enjoyed the map here's a map that I found describing the complex situation as well!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transy...ary_ethnic.svg
I've seen the map, yes, but again, the Hungarian population in the region lost was not in the majority, Romanians were. One could argue that perhaps at least the borders more adjacent to Hungary be drawn better... but at the same time, appeasing Hungarian nationalist by saying Hungary doesn't lose any land because we're afraid of revenge in 25 years ins't exactly fair to Romania...
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Old August 4th, 2017, 05:47 PM   #1326
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Originally Posted by Gaius Julius Civilis View Post
Who said anything about swallowing up? Serbia was a hotbed of nationalism and extremism. It was openly hostile to Austria-Hungary and supported terrorism inside it. Austria-Hungary was looking to clean house with a punitive expedition after the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. It never had any intention of destroying or annexing Serbia.
What would a punitive expedition looked like? How would it achieved Austrian war aims? What terms would Austria demand that it wasn't already getting with Serbian response to their note, that Austrian could actually enforce without an occupation?

Surely after this punitive expedition Serbia would like the Austrians even less.
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Old August 5th, 2017, 05:31 AM   #1327

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Originally Posted by Azatoth View Post
https://encyclopedia.1914-1918-onlin...ustria-hungary

On 7 January 1916 the senior ministers met as the Common Ministerial Council in a session chaired by new Foreign Minister István Burián (1851-1922), a Hungarian and close associate of Tisza. Burián began by reminding his colleagues that the decision for war had centered on preserving the integrity the monarchy. As they now considered possible territorial gains, he continued, they had to think of the entire monarchy, not just Austria or Hungary.[5]

Serbia occupied first place in their discussions. Burián posed two choices: its full incorporation into the monarchy or a much-reduced Serbia under Habsburg control. Neither option, he conceded, would end South Slavic agitation and both would complicate possible peace negotiations with Russia.

Tisza, departing from his 1914 strictures, suggested a different approach. He proposed using the Croats to check Serbian agitation while incorporating northern Serbia into Hungary with Belgrade becoming a “Hungarian provincial city.” The remaining “rump” Serbia would be economically dependent on the monarchy. But the Magyar totally excluded one option: any union between a rump Serbia with Croatia and Bosnia. Tisza’s plans met opposition from Common Finance Minister, Ernest von Koerber (1850-1919) who also argued that Serbia’s complete disappearance might create other problems. For his part Conrad wanted the total incorporation of Serbia.
The book Dynamic of Destruction, Alan Kramer (2007), cites a number of further sources regarding the disposition of Conrad towards Serbia.

We have no sources from Gaius on this question of the Austrians' intended disposition of Serbia it appears.
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Old August 5th, 2017, 01:47 PM   #1328

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Some of my favourite posters and Kotromanic are active on this thread.

Click the image to open in full size.
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They collapsed due to the war not their ethnic issues and turning the Hapsburg Empire into a Triple Monarchy with the Czechs could have solved a lot of problems. Also there were winners and losers when the Hapsburg Empire came undone. Croats ended up stuck in Yugoslavia, Hungarians ended up stuck in Romania, Slovaks and Germans ended up stuck in Czechoslovakia. These groups would have preferred the continuation of the Hapsburg empire, same way Transylvanian Romanians, Poles in Galicia, Czechs and Serbs in Bosnia preferred the way things turned out. All I know is that Austrian rule prevents the ethnic tensions and human rights issues in these new states.
Some of the ethnic issues within A-H were no longer their internal problem. Serbia and Romania were strong enough to pose challenges. Due to what ended up happening, Serbia's position is more well known. Romania's position is often overlooked.

Quick timeline:

- 1859: The United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia are formed, under the personal union of Alexandru Ioan Cuza. Moldavia and Wallachia were meant to choose their respective Prince. Moldavia chose Cuza. Then, Wallachia also chose him. There was a lot of street pressure to do so.

- 1860: Eugeniu Carada famously says he is: "for a free Romania, anytime, anyhow, with anyone, against anyone".

- 1866: Carol I becomes the new prince and there's a new Constitution (in which the nominal suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire is ignored). The country changes his name to: Romania. The Constitution was very liberal. It was heavily influenced by Belgium's, which was considered to be the most liberal Constitution at that time.

- 1877: Romania allies with the Russian Empire against the Ottoman Empire and gains independence. The Russian troops were under Carol's command. The declaration of independence is one paragraph long. It was part of Mihail Kogălniceanu's speech: "What are we when we are at war and the ties are broken? We are independent, we are our own nation... What were we before declaring war? Were we dependent on the Turks? Were we a Turkish province? Did we have the sultan as our suzerain? The foreigners said so; we never said it. Thus, gentleman, I don't have the slightest doubt nor fear to declare in front of Parliament that we are a free and independent nation."

- 1881: Romania becomes the Kingdom of Romania.

All of that happened in short period of time and the next step was getting Transylvania. In 1848 there was a Revolution in Wallachia and one in Moldova. Both were crushed. Many of the participants were part of the political elite which later managed those successes. Some of the revolutionaries called for the a foreign dynasty to rule over a unified state. During all of this, the liberals were influenced by French intellectuals and successfully lobbied French politicians.

When talking about the 1914-1916 debates regarding the war, Queen Mary wrote in her diary: "Romania has one sympathy: France, and one desire: Transylvania". This also applies for 1877-1914.

The majority of Romanian intellectuals wanted Transylvania to be part of Romania. Transylvanian Romanians would have been better treated and Romania would have been stronger. Public opinion largely agreed.

Politicians were waiting for the right opportunity to come (the international context was crucial for all the previous successes). The more time passed, the more people got anxious, especially since nationalism was rising in Hungary. One nationalism fed the other.

Romania asks nicely for various rights for Romanians in Transylvania, while Romania is allied with A-H. A-H doesn't see a reason to do that, since Romania only asked nicely and they are allies anyway. Romania starts being more assertive. A-H doesn't think giving Romanians in Transylvania those rights would solve anything, since Romania is being so assertive (it will only embolden Romania). A-H thinks Russia is Romania's main threat, so it doesn't see a reason to improve relations. Romania chooses Serbia over Bulgaria, enlarges its territory, gets closer to Serbia and firmly asks for Transylvania Romanians to get those rights (the link I'll give has more details) => Romania is already almost an enemy, so A-H doesn't see a reason to accept its demands.

A more in depth analysis of the threat posed by Romania to A-H: https://books.google.ro/books?id=g9A...page&q&f=false

You can look at how the situation looked like when Romania did enter the war (how large the front was and what the odds were) to figure out how powerful the desire to get Transylvania was. It was a do or die scenario.

Given the previous crises between the two blocks, Russia wanting to improve its position in the Balkans, Romania and Serbia not being pleased with A-H, it's hard to see it having a bright future. When it comes to ethnic rights, it was too little too late and a catch-22:
- if you don't improve the status of Serbians/Romanians in your Empire => Serbia and/or Romania will be more aggressive;
- if you do => Serbia and/or Romania will think you're weak and be more aggressive.

Last edited by Offspring; August 5th, 2017 at 02:03 PM.
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Old August 5th, 2017, 01:56 PM   #1329

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I forgot if I already posted on this thread and blamed the British. In case I didn't: I blame the British.

Every other country had clear interests and acted in accordance with them. Their actions had a decent degree of predictability. They were acting rationally enough. The UK wasn't clear enough about its intentions and that was highly irrational. I'm not using "moral blame" here (A-H wins this), nor am I saying the war would have been avoided, I'm just saying their diplomatic actions were the worst. This was at a time when two of the Great Powers were ruled by Willy and Nicky and Italy was also there.

Tbf, I also think their interwar actions were the worst (among the Allies, of course). Either I'm biased or they had a really bad couple of decades and I couldn't possibly be biased.

Last edited by Offspring; August 5th, 2017 at 01:59 PM.
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Old August 5th, 2017, 02:22 PM   #1330
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Originally Posted by Gaius Julius Civilis View Post
Who said anything about swallowing up? Serbia was a hotbed of nationalism and extremism. It was openly hostile to Austria-Hungary and supported terrorism inside it. Austria-Hungary was looking to clean house with a punitive expedition after the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. It never had any intention of destroying or annexing Serbia.

What does that have to do with anything?
Serbia was a 'hotbed of extremism'?

I think you've been lulled into the Western perception, a misinformed perception at that, that 'the Balkans' region is historically 'volatile'. In actual fact, that region is no more volatile than other parts of the world.
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