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Old June 8th, 2018, 02:46 PM   #1

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Plausibility Check: An Austro-Hungarian Annexation of Romania after a CP WWI Victory?


Would it have been been plausible for Austria-Hungary to outright annex Romania after a Central Powers victory in World War I?

For the record, what I am thinking here is having Austria annex Romania (as in, Romania in its 1913 borders) with the exception of Hungary getting a piece of territory near Constanta so that it could build a Black Sea port for itself on this territory (a port which will be connected by railroad to Hungary proper). This Hungarian port on the Black Sea would be called New Budapest and would be Hungary's version of Gdynia (for Poland). Meanwhile, Austria could be Constanta itself as its Black Sea port.

Anyway, how does this idea sound?
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Old June 9th, 2018, 07:10 AM   #2

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Austria-Hungary was already struggling greatly with its large non-german/Hungarian populations. Adding the whole of Romania would only make this more difficult.
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Old June 9th, 2018, 07:52 AM   #3
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Austria-Hungary's best possibility for a port is south to the Adriatic. A Mediterranean port is better than a Black Sea port whose access to the Mediterranean is though Turkey.
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Old June 9th, 2018, 08:09 AM   #4

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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevev View Post
Austria-Hungary's best possibility for a port is south to the Adriatic. A Mediterranean port is better than a Black Sea port whose access to the Mediterranean is though Turkey.
Can the CP really win without Italy staying neutral? Seems a little far-fetched though our member Futurist who offers the original post often stretches the limits of plausibility.

A CP victory in which the Russian army collapses during summer of 1916 and Germany decides to be magnanimous in the West, and Irish rebellion draws the UK away from the West, then Italy will want to dominate all the ports on the Adriatic.

just my opinion. Speculative forum, haha.
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Old June 9th, 2018, 02:56 PM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Futurist View Post
Would it have been been plausible for Austria-Hungary to outright annex Romania after a Central Powers victory in World War I?

For the record, what I am thinking here is having Austria annex Romania (as in, Romania in its 1913 borders) with the exception of Hungary getting a piece of territory near Constanta so that it could build a Black Sea port for itself on this territory (a port which will be connected by railroad to Hungary proper). This Hungarian port on the Black Sea would be called New Budapest and would be Hungary's version of Gdynia (for Poland). Meanwhile, Austria could be Constanta itself as its Black Sea port.

Anyway, how does this idea sound?
Perhaps, but the Romanians had been fighting Turkey for the last 300 years.. Why wouldn't they fight Austria/Hungary? The prize would be, and was, Transylvania.

Having a port on the Black Sea would be of dubious value offering trade between 2 failed states, Turkey and Czarist Russia.

The Austro Hungarian the city of Trieste was a thriving seaport on the Adriatic giving it access to the entire Mediterranean. In fact, too bad they lost it to Italy making both Austria and Hungary land locked nations.

Nicholas Horthy the dictator of Hungary from 1920 to 1946 was an admiral in the non-existent Hungarian Navy.
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Old June 10th, 2018, 01:05 PM   #6

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Originally Posted by Futurist View Post
Would it have been been plausible for Austria-Hungary to outright annex Romania after a Central Powers victory in World War I??
Austria-Hungary wanted to annex Wallachia, but claiming all of Romania would have been challenging. Germany wanted to keep a Romanian rump state, probably to secure its economic interests. In order for your idea to work, Austria-Hungary would have to fare a lot better in the war. It was competing with Germany and Bulgaria for spoils of war, but its standing in the alliance declined more and more as WW1 progressed. Also, it would have to surrender any claim to Poland and hand over Galicia to compensate Germany and make some concessions in Serbia and Dobruja to satisfy Bulgaria.

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Originally Posted by Futurist View Post
For the record, what I am thinking here is having Austria annex Romania (as in, Romania in its 1913 borders) with the exception of Hungary getting a piece of territory near Constanta so that it could build a Black Sea port for itself on this territory (a port which will be connected by railroad to Hungary proper). This Hungarian port on the Black Sea would be called New Budapest and would be Hungary's version of Gdynia (for Poland). Meanwhile, Austria could be Constanta itself as its Black Sea port.

Anyway, how does this idea sound?
Hungary, not Austria, would have probably annexed Romania. Austria would have been compensated internally by discontinuing the condominium over Bosnia and Herzegovina and transferring it to Austrian control. Also, if Montenegro were to be annexed, it probably would have gone to Austria under these circumstances.
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Old June 10th, 2018, 01:12 PM   #7

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Originally Posted by Gaius Julius Civilis View Post
Austria-Hungary wanted to annex Wallachia, but claiming all of Romania would have been challenging. Germany wanted to keep a Romanian rump state, probably to secure its economic interests. In order for your idea to work, Austria-Hungary would have to fare a lot better in the war. It was competing with Germany and Bulgaria for spoils of war, but its standing in the alliance declined more and more as WW1 progressed. Also, it would have to surrender any claim to Poland and hand over Galicia to compensate Germany and make some concessions in Serbia and Dobruja to satisfy Bulgaria.
So, basically, this is unrealistic because Germany wouldn't have wanted a super-strong Austria-Hungary?

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Hungary, not Austria, would have probably annexed Romania. Austria would have been compensated internally by discontinuing the condominium over Bosnia and Herzegovina and transferring it to Austrian control. Also, if Montenegro were to be annexed, it probably would have gone to Austria under these circumstances.
The risk with a Hungarian annexation of Romania, though, is that Magyars (Hungarians) were already a bare majority of the total population in Hungary to begin with. Add Romania to the mix, and Magyars certainly lose their majority in Hungary.
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Old June 11th, 2018, 06:07 AM   #8

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Originally Posted by Futurist View Post
So, basically, this is unrealistic because Germany wouldn't have wanted a super-strong Austria-Hungary?
No, that wasn't the reasoning behind it. The war effort of Austria-Hungary was poor and as WW1 progressed its position declined opposite Germany. Spoils of war had to be shared, meaning that claiming Romania was only possible if it gave up claims elsewhere, especially in Poland.

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The risk with a Hungarian annexation of Romania, though, is that Magyars (Hungarians) were already a bare majority of the total population in Hungary to begin with. Add Romania to the mix, and Magyars certainly lose their majority in Hungary.
That's a valid point. However, I know for a fact that the Hungarians wanted Wallachia and the same demographic argument can of course be made for the Austrians, which had already lost their majority. The chances of Austria keeping Galicia in any post-war settlement were slim to none, so it wouldn't make a lot of sense to have a distant and non-continuous possession in Romania. The Hungarians were also a bit wary about being surrounded by Austrian imperial possessions.

The most realistic outcome for me would be having Hungary annex Wallachia and most of Northern Dobruja (with Silistria returning to Bulgaria). Eastern and Western Moldova would form a Romanian rump state, controlled by the Central Powers and serving as a buffer between Austria-Hungary and Russia. This way, the Danube Monarchy gained an outlet on the Black Sea and allowed it to control the Danube delta, without the burden of including all the Romanians. Austria, which was already more focussed on the Adriatic and the Western Balkans, would be compensated there by gaining Bosnia and Herzegovina, etc.
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Old June 13th, 2018, 11:18 AM   #9

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Originally Posted by Gaius Julius Civilis View Post
No, that wasn't the reasoning behind it. The war effort of Austria-Hungary was poor and as WW1 progressed its position declined opposite Germany. Spoils of war had to be shared, meaning that claiming Romania was only possible if it gave up claims elsewhere, especially in Poland.
OK.

Quote:
That's a valid point. However, I know for a fact that the Hungarians wanted Wallachia and the same demographic argument can of course be made for the Austrians, which had already lost their majority. The chances of Austria keeping Galicia in any post-war settlement were slim to none, so it wouldn't make a lot of sense to have a distant and non-continuous possession in Romania. The Hungarians were also a bit wary about being surrounded by Austrian imperial possessions.
OK.

Also, if Austria will lose Galicia, wouldn't it also lose Bukovina?

In addition to this, is it really fair to strip Austria of Galicia and Bukovina if Imperial Germany would be unwilling to give up any of its own territory (such as Posen Province)?

Quote:
The most realistic outcome for me would be having Hungary annex Wallachia and most of Northern Dobruja (with Silistria returning to Bulgaria). Eastern and Western Moldova would form a Romanian rump state, controlled by the Central Powers and serving as a buffer between Austria-Hungary and Russia. This way, the Danube Monarchy gained an outlet on the Black Sea and allowed it to control the Danube delta, without the burden of including all the Romanians. Austria, which was already more focussed on the Adriatic and the Western Balkans, would be compensated there by gaining Bosnia and Herzegovina, etc.
Makes sense. Of course, I would imagine Romanian nationalists being extremely angered by this arrangement.
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