An Extremely Different World War I

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,701
SoCal
#1
OK--let's say that, for pragmatic reasons, Kaiser Wilhelm II decides to throw Austria-Hungary rather than Russia under the bus in 1890. Afterwards, Germany signs an alliance with Russia; meanwhile, Italy joins this alliance shortly afterwards due to its desire to acquire some Austro-Hungarian and French territory in a future war.

Also, let's say that Germany, Russia, and Italy decide to go to war in 1917 after Russia's military modernization is completed. Thus, with Germany's and Italy's approval, Russia sparks a crisis by demanding that the Ottomans hand over the Armenian-majority parts of their empire, Constantinople, and the straits. When the Ottomans refuse to do this, Russia declares war on the Ottoman Empire. Afterwards, Britain declares war on Russia due to its desire to prevent Russian control of the straits. Meanwhile, Germany and Italy exploit this opportunity to attack both France and Austria-Hungary (and also promise to hand over Galicia to Russia afterwards, a promise which they fulfill). Eventually both France and Austria-Hungary surrender and are occupied by German and Italian forces. Meanwhile, Russia manages to conquer all of Anatolia, including Constantinople and the straits. During this time, Russia also manages to convince many of the Arabs living under Ottoman rule to rise up and rebel. In turn, this Arab revolt allows Russia to advance all the way down to Palestine, where logistics and the British manage to halt the Russian advance. Meanwhile, Germany's attempt to get Britain to capitulate (as a favor to its ally Russia as well as to try punishing Britain for blockading Germany due to its aggression in France and Austria-Hungary) by pursuing unrestricted submarine warfare on Britain backfires by bringing the U.S. into this war.

Anyway, how exactly would a British-U.S. alliance fare in this war? Remember that both France and Austria-Hungary have already been defeated and completely occupied by Germany and Italy and that Russia has almost completely conquered the Ottoman Empire. Thus, Britain and the U.S. will need to fight Germany, Russia, and Italy alone (unless they can convince some other country/countries to enter this World War I on their side).

My question here is this--exactly how successful would Britain and the U.S. be in this World War I? After all, Russia, Germany, and Italy would probably be capable of making Britain and the U.S. bleed a lot. Plus, this Russo-German-Italian alliance is probably going to have a large numerical superiority over the British and the Americans.

Anyway, any thoughts on this?
 
Apr 2013
138
N/A
#2
Butterflies.
If France is not allied with Russia then they would be allies with A-H and Ottomans since they would be dead meat on one-o-one against Germany.
All French military and economic help for modernisation of Russian army goes to A-H and Ottomans.
Britain would also take a German-Russian alliance more seriously than a German-Austrian alliance. So expect a more capable continental army for Britain.
Rus-Japanese war , Italian-Ottoman war and Balkan wars would be completely different or butterflied away in this scenario.
But for the sake of discussion let's say everything goes same.

Ottomans are safe. No gallipoli or middle eastern fronts. Caucasus is the dead end of logistics. Russians would never reach anywhere from there. Allies could easily supply and help Ottomans to deal with petty rebellions in the ME. They could also make a short visit to Sevastopol, intercept Russian convoys and sink them in Black Sea without problem crippling Russian (already bad) logistics.

Italy had a decent navy but this navy would never be a threat for Anglo-French alliance. They would lose their African colonies immediately. And prior to WW1 %90 of Italian coal was coming from Britain.So Italy could not fight more than 1 year.

Since Britain-Japan alliance is still there Japan could be used to attack Russians by British. There won't be Lawrence of Arabia in this scenario but Polish Lawrence or Finnish Lawrence is possible.Russia probably would still suffer from a revolution or mass rebellions. Britain could also supply Central asian Turkic peoples with weapons for independence via Iran.

So your German-Russian alliance still loses this different WW1.
 
Jul 2010
383
Perfidious Albion
#3
OK--let's say that, for pragmatic reasons, Kaiser Wilhelm II decides to throw Austria-Hungary rather than Russia under the bus in 1890. Afterwards, Germany signs an alliance with Russia; meanwhile, Italy joins this alliance shortly afterwards due to its desire to acquire some Austro-Hungarian and French territory in a future war.

Also, let's say that Germany, Russia, and Italy decide to go to war in 1917 after Russia's military modernization is completed. Thus, with Germany's and Italy's approval, Russia sparks a crisis by demanding that the Ottomans hand over the Armenian-majority parts of their empire, Constantinople, and the straits. When the Ottomans refuse to do this, Russia declares war on the Ottoman Empire. Afterwards, Britain declares war on Russia due to its desire to prevent Russian control of the straits. Meanwhile, Germany and Italy exploit this opportunity to attack both France and Austria-Hungary (and also promise to hand over Galicia to Russia afterwards, a promise which they fulfill). Eventually both France and Austria-Hungary surrender and are occupied by German and Italian forces. Meanwhile, Russia manages to conquer all of Anatolia, including Constantinople and the straits. During this time, Russia also manages to convince many of the Arabs living under Ottoman rule to rise up and rebel. In turn, this Arab revolt allows Russia to advance all the way down to Palestine, where logistics and the British manage to halt the Russian advance. Meanwhile, Germany's attempt to get Britain to capitulate (as a favor to its ally Russia as well as to try punishing Britain for blockading Germany due to its aggression in France and Austria-Hungary) by pursuing unrestricted submarine warfare on Britain backfires by bringing the U.S. into this war.

Anyway, how exactly would a British-U.S. alliance fare in this war? Remember that both France and Austria-Hungary have already been defeated and completely occupied by Germany and Italy and that Russia has almost completely conquered the Ottoman Empire. Thus, Britain and the U.S. will need to fight Germany, Russia, and Italy alone (unless they can convince some other country/countries to enter this World War I on their side).

My question here is this--exactly how successful would Britain and the U.S. be in this World War I? After all, Russia, Germany, and Italy would probably be capable of making Britain and the U.S. bleed a lot. Plus, this Russo-German-Italian alliance is probably going to have a large numerical superiority over the British and the Americans.

Anyway, any thoughts on this?
I'd expect it would be a lot like Napoleonic Wars: Round 2, with the Anglo-Americans blockading Germany and her allies, picking off overseas colonies, and trying to foment rebellion and dissension against them in Europe.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,701
SoCal
#4
I'd expect it would be a lot like Napoleonic Wars: Round 2, with the Anglo-Americans blockading Germany and her allies, picking off overseas colonies, and trying to foment rebellion and dissension against them in Europe.
The Napoleonic Wars had Russia fighting with, rather than against, Britain, though.
 
Aug 2014
1,832
Huntington Beach CA
#5
If Sean McMeekin is correct, Russia was preparing to go to war with the Ottomans when Austria-Hungary threatened Serbia. The Ottomans at the time were British allies (or at least a British client state) and were taking delivery of three British Dreadnought Class battleships. Which Russia was determined to keep out of the Black Sea even if it meant landing in Eastern Thrace to take Istanbul and Gallipoli. Russia and Germany against the Ottomans, then Great Britain and then France. A different WWI indeed. And very likely by this time the British would be preoccupied with the Irish Home Rule Question.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,701
SoCal
#6
If Sean McMeekin is correct, Russia was preparing to go to war with the Ottomans when Austria-Hungary threatened Serbia. The Ottomans at the time were British allies (or at least a British client state) and were taking delivery of three British Dreadnought Class battleships. Which Russia was determined to keep out of the Black Sea even if it meant landing in Eastern Thrace to take Istanbul and Gallipoli. Russia and Germany against the Ottomans, then Great Britain and then France. A different WWI indeed. And very likely by this time the British would be preoccupied with the Irish Home Rule Question.
You forgot the Italians and the Austro-Hungarians here. Italy would obviously fight on the side of Germany and Russia in this war whereas Austria-Hungary will be dragged into this war on the Anglo-Franco-Ottoman side due to a joint German-Italian invasion of Austria-Hungary.
 
Aug 2014
1,832
Huntington Beach CA
#7
You forgot the Italians and the Austro-Hungarians here. Italy would obviously fight on the side of Germany and Russia in this war whereas Austria-Hungary will be dragged into this war on the Anglo-Franco-Ottoman side due to a joint German-Italian invasion of Austria-Hungary.
Might Austria Hungary be overwhelmed fairly early in the war? And what of Romania and Bulgaria and Greece?
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,701
SoCal
#8
Might Austria Hungary be overwhelmed fairly early in the war?
Yes, but probably not until after France surrenders (or is fully occupied by Germany and Italy, if the French government decides to continue the fight from North Africa).

And what of Romania and Bulgaria and Greece?
Romania enters this war on the German-Russian side due to its desire to acquire Transylvania. As for Bulgaria and Greece, I guess that they would remain neutral for the time being.

Also, though, Serbia and Montenegro will enter World War I on the Russo-German-Italian side in this scenario in order to try acquiring some Austro-Hungarian territory for themselves.
 
Aug 2014
1,832
Huntington Beach CA
#9
Yes, but probably not until after France surrenders (or is fully occupied by Germany and Italy, if the French government decides to continue the fight from North Africa).



Romania enters this war on the German-Russian side due to its desire to acquire Transylvania. As for Bulgaria and Greece, I guess that they would remain neutral for the time being.

Also, though, Serbia and Montenegro will enter World War I on the Russo-German-Italian side in this scenario in order to try acquiring some Austro-Hungarian territory for themselves.
So what happens to the Ottoman Empire? Does Germany get a piece of it? Does Russia acquire some of Anatolia, perhaps partitioning the Ottoman Empire with the UK?
Can the British force their way into the Baltic and maybe land in Latvia or Esthonia and Finland? Or will Germany take Denmark and close the Baltic to the British leaving the Japanese (who at this point are British allies) to opportunistically take Vladivostok, Amur and maybe Kamchatka, Chukotka and Kolyma? If the Japanese get the coal and iron of the northern Amur basin, they don't need Manchuria. Even without Culman coal and Aldan iron in southern Sakha (Yakutia).
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,701
SoCal
#10
So what happens to the Ottoman Empire?
Well, that depends on exactly how successful Russia ultimately is on the battlefield.

Does Germany get a piece of it?
Why exactly would Germany want a piece of the Ottoman Empire, though?

Does Russia acquire some of Anatolia, perhaps partitioning the Ottoman Empire with the UK?
If Russia is successful enough on the battlefield, then very possibly Yes.

Can the British force their way into the Baltic and maybe land in Latvia or Esthonia and Finland?
You mean in preparation for a British invasion of Russia?

Or will Germany take Denmark and close the Baltic to the British leaving the Japanese (who at this point are British allies) to opportunistically take Vladivostok, Amur and maybe Kamchatka, Chukotka and Kolyma?
That is probably more likely to occur.

If the Japanese get the coal and iron of the northern Amur basin, they don't need Manchuria. Even without Culman coal and Aldan iron in southern Sakha (Yakutia).
OK. However, would Japan simply hand over all of Manchuria back to China in this scenario, or what?
 

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