A three-way land swap between Austria, Prussia/Germany, and Russia?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,750
SoCal
Was it ever plausible to have a three-way land swap between Austria, Prussia/Germany, and Russia? I was thinking of having Russia acquire Galicia from Austria, which in turn is going to acquire some territory from Prussia and/or Germany, and as a result of this Prussia/Germany is going to get compensated at Russia's expense by acquiring some territories in Poland, Lithuania, and/or Courland from Russia.

The idea for this land swap came from the fact that Galicia and Bukovina were actually relatively indefensible for Austria-Hungary and that a better northern border for Austria-Hungary would have been on the Carpathian Mountains:



IMHO, it was a mistake for Austria to ever expand north of the Carpathian Mountains in the first place.
 
Apr 2017
1,678
U.S.A.
To a certain degree a land swap did occur between Prussia and Russia with Polish territory. After the final partition of Poland Prussia originally took much of central Poland, then after the Napoleonic wars much of this went to Russia.
I can't see any of these powers being on board with this. Russia didn't want to lose any Baltic coastline and Prussia wouldn't cede any of its valuable territory to Austria (the only thing Prussia had on its border with Austria was Silesia and they weren't trading that for anything). The only swaps that could realistically occur is if other territory (outside of these three) was included.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,750
SoCal
To a certain degree a land swap did occur between Prussia and Russia with Polish territory. After the final partition of Poland Prussia originally took much of central Poland, then after the Napoleonic wars much of this went to Russia.
I can't see any of these powers being on board with this. Russia didn't want to lose any Baltic coastline and Prussia wouldn't cede any of its valuable territory to Austria (the only thing Prussia had on its border with Austria was Silesia and they weren't trading that for anything). The only swaps that could realistically occur is if other territory (outside of these three) was included.
Good points! Thus, what about having Austria trade Galicia to Russia in exchange for Russian consent to an Austrian conquest of Romania?
 
Feb 2019
1,014
Serbia
I highly doubt it's even plausible, much less possible for something like this to happen. What use would the Great Powers get with these land swaps unless there is also a guarantee of expansion included. In a sense that Austria gives Galicia in exchange for Russian support in a war in the Balkans or something along those lines.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,750
SoCal
I highly doubt it's even plausible, much less possible for something like this to happen. What use would the Great Powers get with these land swaps unless there is also a guarantee of expansion included. In a sense that Austria gives Galicia in exchange for Russian support in a war in the Balkans or something along those lines.
What about Austrian expansion into Romania and Bessarabia in exchange for a Russian annexation of Galicia?
 
Apr 2017
1,678
U.S.A.
Good points! Thus, what about having Austria trade Galicia to Russia in exchange for Russian consent to an Austrian conquest of Romania?
Maybe but there are a few problems with it. Allowing Austria to annex Romania would undermine Russia's role as a protector/liberator of orthodox Christians. This could cause the other Balkan states to lose faith in Russia and possibly turn to Austria for protection. This would also make it geographically difficult for Russia to achieve its goal of taking Constantinople. It would depend on Austrian cooperation.
Also, as in real life it would leave only Austria and Prussia/Germany for Russia to expand into in Europe (unless some reason for an alliance could be found).
This would however greatly help Austria. It would round out their territory better, being more defensible and give them the valuable Ploesti oil fields. If they get Dobruja as well it would give them black sea access.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,750
SoCal
Maybe but there are a few problems with it. Allowing Austria to annex Romania would undermine Russia's role as a protector/liberator of orthodox Christians. This could cause the other Balkan states to lose faith in Russia and possibly turn to Austria for protection. This would also make it geographically difficult for Russia to achieve its goal of taking Constantinople. It would depend on Austrian cooperation.
What did protecting Orthodox Christians actually provide for Russia, though? Was it actually in Russia's national interests to do this?

As for Constantinople, it could still be accessed through Anatolia.

Also, as in real life it would leave only Austria and Prussia/Germany for Russia to expand into in Europe (unless some reason for an alliance could be found).
Russia hasn't done much expanding into Europe after 1815, though.

This would however greatly help Austria. It would round out their territory better, being more defensible and give them the valuable Ploesti oil fields. If they get Dobruja as well it would give them black sea access.
Completely agreed. Also, what about giving Austria Bessarabia as well?
 
Aug 2014
302
New York, USA
What did protecting Orthodox Christians actually provide for Russia, though? Was it actually in Russia's national interests to do this?

As for Constantinople, it could still be accessed through Anatolia.
That would involve conquering a whole bunch of muslims (pretty much all of present day Turkey...). The Russian strategy was to reach Constantinople through the Balkans.
Russia is a land empire. For Russians land is the sea and their land army is their "navy". Contrary for example to the British, which is a sea empire with a strong navy.
 
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Apr 2017
1,678
U.S.A.
What did protecting Orthodox Christians actually provide for Russia, though? Was it actually in Russia's national interests to do this?

As for Constantinople, it could still be accessed through Anatolia.

Russia hasn't done much expanding into Europe after 1815, though.

Completely agreed. Also, what about giving Austria Bessarabia as well?
Russia was using the façade of protecting orthodox Christians as a pretense to expand into the ottoman empire. This was somewhat curtailed by the Balkan states desire for independence, Russia then changed its goals to making them client states (similar to what happened across the world in the cold war). If Austria blocks their access to the Balkans it won't work as well.
Taking Anatolia to get Constantinople means pretty much taking the heartland of the Ottoman empire, something the rest of Europe wouldn't allow.
Doesn't mean they didn't want to. They naturally wanted Austrian and german territory.
Russia may allow Austria to annex Romania but they wouldn't give their own territory away as well. That's too much.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,750
SoCal
That would involve conquering a whole bunch of muslims (pretty much all of present day Turkey...). The Russian strategy was to reach Constantinople through the Balkans.
Well, if Russia would have been feeling nasty, it could have simply expelled all or at least most of the Muslims from northern Anatolia. After all, Russia did engage in the Circassian genocide in the 19th century. Plus, Russia can reach Constantinople by sea.