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Old June 7th, 2018, 03:04 AM   #1
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WW1: Germany allies with Russia


Would not an alliance of Germany, Austria Hungary and Russia been in the best interest of these 3 empires ?

Why did not Germany use the 1905 war between Russia and Japan when the support from France to Russia was minimal and Britain allied itself with Japan to do all it could to forge such an alliance ?

That war had demonstrated that France was pretty useless to Russia as an ally (even in the case of war against Germany, Russian and French armies could not directly help each other).. Germany on the other hand had common borders with Russia and little in the way of territorial disputes.. German industry and Russian natural resources provided for good potential economic synergies.

Of course there was the matter of Serbia/Austria Hungary, but that was probably manageable, as Serbia would follow Russia

So lets imagine such an alliance.. How would european history change ? Would a WW1 still happen ? (not over Serbia obviously but other reasons were easy to find)
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Old June 7th, 2018, 03:48 AM   #2
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Bismark had tried to make that work with his Reinsurance Treaty. Over the long run it proved unsustainable. Russia and Austria-Hungary could never be allies. They had too many competing interests.


Hitler also tried it with his non-aggression pact, but it, too, also failed in the long run for the same reason - too many competing interests. When Hitler annexed Austria Germany took over Austria's old ambitions in the Balkans.


Then there's the whole 'lebensraum in the east' issue which was not new under Hitler. It had also been an issue pre-WW1.
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Old June 7th, 2018, 04:28 AM   #3
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The problem with the durability of the German-Russian alliance would seem to be that most of the obvious benefits of it would land with Russia.

Russia gets a secure border with Germany, which has now securely tied it's interests to Russia. For Germany this means any conflict with France can be avoided, since France alone, of even jointly with Austria and the UK, can reasonably be taken out in a war by Germany.

That's good for Germany, but mostly means Germany gets to sit passively and play sentry, while it is Russia that really gets game.

If Germany is an ally, then ordering things to Russian liking in the Balkans against the wishes of the Austrians and Ottomans becomes possible. France might have objections, but Germany is there to deal with them. Italy becomes a perfectly good partner, since the irredentist Italian territories of Austria can be promised them.

In fact, the old Russian dream of capturing Constantinopolis comes within reach, and it might even considers putting and end to the Ottomans altogether.

Finaly, it might even give the Russian more spring in their step as regards "the Great Game" in Central Asia, against the British. Even if this won't necessarily mean a bid for India proper, Persia might be in trouble, and that other Russian dream of a port on another warm ocean, the Indian here, might be in reach.

Germany gets to menacingly glower at all the other great powers, while building its economy and getting rich and powerful of course. That's not... bad... for Germany. But the odds become rather slanted towards ending up having to act as the muscle of Russia over conflicts in Russia's interests rather than Germany's.
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Old June 7th, 2018, 09:38 AM   #4

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Originally Posted by Chlodio View Post
Bismark had tried to make that work with his Reinsurance Treaty. Over the long run it proved unsustainable. Russia and Austria-Hungary could never be allies. They had too many competing interests.


Hitler also tried it with his non-aggression pact, but it, too, also failed in the long run for the same reason - too many competing interests. When Hitler annexed Austria Germany took over Austria's old ambitions in the Balkans.


Then there's the whole 'lebensraum in the east' issue which was not new under Hitler. It had also been an issue pre-WW1.
Why the strong opinion about competing interests?

I'm very interested in whether that opinion is about rise of nationalism, which actually becomes a tangible thing AFTER the breach between Wilhelm II's regime and Alexander 3.

It seems that personalities, the "characters" which both Wilhelm II and Alexander presented in their monarchies, were decisive.

The Habsburgs and the Romanovs were the last major houses to claim to rule by Divine Right. That was a key common interest of the two empires.
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Old June 7th, 2018, 07:29 PM   #5
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I can agree with some of the objections re Austria Hungary and Russia competing interests... but in that case, would not Russia be a better ally from the german perspective than A-H... After all german unification had happened on the back of Austria and long term german desires included the incorporation of Austria and some other pieces of A-H into the german empire .....
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Old June 7th, 2018, 08:01 PM   #6

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I can agree with some of the objections re Austria Hungary and Russia competing interests... but in that case, would not Russia be a better ally from the german perspective than A-H... After all german unification had happened on the back of Austria and long term german desires included the incorporation of Austria and some other pieces of A-H into the german empire .....
The "competing interests" issue between Russia and Austria-Hungary can easily be solved by having Germany, Russia, Romania, Serbia, and Italy partition Austria-Hungary between them.
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Old June 7th, 2018, 10:47 PM   #7

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The "competing interests" issue between Russia and Austria-Hungary can easily be solved by having Germany, Russia, Romania, Serbia, and Italy partition Austria-Hungary between them.
A decapitation is a possible solution to a headache. Perhaps not the most reasonable one, though?
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Old June 7th, 2018, 11:10 PM   #8

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A decapitation is a possible solution to a headache. Perhaps not the most reasonable one, though?
It's not your own head that's getting decapitated, though.
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Old June 7th, 2018, 11:13 PM   #9

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Germany gets to menacingly glower at all the other great powers, while building its economy and getting rich and powerful of course. That's not... bad... for Germany. But the odds become rather slanted towards ending up having to act as the muscle of Russia over conflicts in Russia's interests rather than Germany's.
Wouldn't Germany's main purpose in a war exclusively for Russia's interests be to provide financial and technological support to Russia as opposed to directly fighting on Russia's behalf?

I mean, Germany would certainly directly fight if, say, Germany and Russia decided to jointly partition Austria-Hungary. However, if it's a war over, say, the Ottoman Empire, or Persia, or Afghanistan, or Mongolia, or Xinjiang, or Manchuria, why exactly should Germany have to fight?
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Old June 7th, 2018, 11:39 PM   #10

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Getting back to same train of thought I mentioned before, A-H was the nearest entity for governmental form to Alexander III's Russia; so decapitating the Hapsburgs is actually an AWFUL precedent for the Russians. My opinion, but I'm just gauging if you are 30 percent serious or 85 percent serious with this partition trial balloon!

Heck, the history of Yugoslavia in the '30s also indicates that "economic weakling" Serbia of 1890s or the aughts absorbing the Croats would have been foolhardy.
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