If Austria-Hungary experiences a revolution (without WWI), how do the Great Powers partition it?

Edratman

Ad Honorem
Feb 2009
6,468
Eastern PA
#21
The problem for the Ottomans, though, is that they'd have to invade Bulgaria to get access to these territories. I certainly can't imagine the other Great Powers being OK with this.
Who knows how this war would break? It could even have three sides.

England and France are likely to be on the sidelines and could chose the profit only route supplying food and munitions to anyone who pays. Other than getting sucked into the conflict by treaty, I do no see any potential gain to either nation that could result from military involvement.

Germany and Austria likely allies. If Austria does not ally with Germany, it most likely would end up the size of Rhode Island.

Italy has to oppose Austria. Russia probably opposed to Austria and Germany. The Ottoman Empire may sit out, but any involvement would definitely be opposite from Russia. Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and all the Balkan states could align individually to any of the powers, but opposed to Austria would be the highest probability.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
16,800
SoCal
#22
Who knows how this war would break? It could even have three sides.

England and France are likely to be on the sidelines and could chose the profit only route supplying food and munitions to anyone who pays. Other than getting sucked into the conflict by treaty, I do no see any potential gain to either nation that could result from military involvement.
Yeah, I'm unsure that France would have been willing to risk bleeding itself dry so that Russia, Romania, and Serbia could expand. I mean, France would still want Alsace-Lorraine, but sentiments in regards to this are likely to have faded to some extent by the 1930s or 1940s since any French person who would have remembered the events of 1871 (as in, had literal memories of this) would have already been a pensioner by this point in time.

As for Britain, it would primarily be concerned with preserving the European balance of power--though it is likely to be more in the German side by this point in time due to Russia's growing military power. As long as it doesn't look like Germany is going to suffer a crushing defeat, though, Britain might indeed decide that it's best to stay out of this war.

Germany and Austria likely allies. If Austria does not ally with Germany, it most likely would end up the size of Rhode Island.
I suspect that the Austrian revolutionaries are going to want an outright union with Germany in this scenario. The German Kaiser and the Prussian Junkers might oppose this, but the SPD and Zentrum might ironically favor this since it is likely to strengthen their own power due to the additional Catholic and minority (specifically Czech) voters.

Italy has to oppose Austria.
There might no longer be an Austria due to an alt-Anschluss, though. This would make it easier for Italy and Germany to ally with each other.

Russia probably opposed to Austria and Germany.
Yep.

The Ottoman Empire may sit out, but any involvement would definitely be opposite from Russia.
Yep.

Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and all the Balkan states could align individually to any of the powers, but opposed to Austria would be the highest probability.
Agreed for all but Bulgaria. Bulgaria is likely to be anti-Serbian.
 
Likes: Edratman

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
16,800
SoCal
#23
BTW, I've flirted with the idea of a revolution breaking out in Russia first and then spreading over to Austria-Hungary--similar to how revolutions spread in 1989-1990 in Eastern Europe as well as since 2011 in the Arab world.
 

Edratman

Ad Honorem
Feb 2009
6,468
Eastern PA
#24
As for Britain, it would primarily be concerned with preserving the European balance of power--though it is likely to be more in the German side by this point in time due to Russia's growing military power. As long as it doesn't look like Germany is going to suffer a crushing defeat, though, Britain might indeed decide that it's best to stay out of this war. .
If Britain sits out the beginning, it will be a very hard sell to convince the public that involvement is a good or necessary action after profiting from the conflict. I would think that both the British and French would have to commit to involvement, but I am not sure what would constitute sufficient justification and objectives.

I suspect that the Austrian revolutionaries are going to want an outright union with Germany in this scenario. The German Kaiser and the Prussian Junkers might oppose this, but the SPD and Zentrum might ironically favor this since it is likely to strengthen their own power due to the additional Catholic and minority (specifically Czech) voters..
I will go with this, but deep down inside I cannot help but think the the Austrians would need to lose before they stop thinking of themselves as a separate nation from Germany. The shared language was insufficient in the past for unification.


There might no longer be an Austria due to an alt-Anschluss, though. This would make it easier for Italy and Germany to ally with each other..
I agree that Italy should view a pan-Germanic nation as a foe way too formidable to oppose. But Trieste might be an obstacle to alliance with Germany.. Tough call.

Agreed for all but Bulgaria. Bulgaria is likely to be anti-Serbian.
I was not aware that the Bulgarians held so much antipathy towards the Serbians and will
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
16,800
SoCal
#25
If Britain sits out the beginning, it will be a very hard sell to convince the public that involvement is a good or necessary action after profiting from the conflict. I would think that both the British and French would have to commit to involvement, but I am not sure what would constitute sufficient justification and objectives.
The problem for France is that it can relieve pressure on Russia and its allies by attacking Germany from the west, but this also carries a very real risk of severely bleeding France. After all, Germany is likely to be very well-defended in the west.

Also, France could try invading Germany through Belgium but that is likely to trigger British entry on the German side in this war.

I will go with this, but deep down inside I cannot help but think the the Austrians would need to lose before they stop thinking of themselves as a separate nation from Germany. The shared language was insufficient in the past for unification.
They'd already lost in a sense if their empire is collapsing and their monarch is overthrown, though. I mean, the Hapsburgs were the glue that kept the Austro-Hungarian empire together; without them, well, what exactly is there to unite the peoples of their empire?

If the empire is gone, then Austrians really don't have much to lose in asking for a union with Germany. Back then small states appear to have been perceived as being less viable than they are today.

I agree that Italy should view a pan-Germanic nation as a foe way too formidable to oppose. But Trieste might be an obstacle to alliance with Germany.. Tough call.
Germany shouldn't mind it if Italy controls Trieste just as long as Italy is friendly towards Germany. Also, please keep in mind that Germany would already have a lot of ethnic minorities to digest by very possibly annexing six million Czechs.

I was not aware that the Bulgarians held so much antipathy towards the Serbians and will
The Bulgarians wanted Macedonia very badly. That's why the Second Balkan War broke out and also why Bulgaria entered WWI on the CP side in real life.
 

Edratman

Ad Honorem
Feb 2009
6,468
Eastern PA
#26
The problem for France is that it can relieve pressure on Russia and its allies by attacking Germany from the west, but this also carries a very real risk of severely bleeding France. After all, Germany is likely to be very well-defended in the west.

Also, France could try invading Germany through Belgium but that is likely to trigger British entry on the German side in this war.
Delayed French and/or British involvement really muddles this theoretical conflict up. I''m perfectly willing to let both sit it out for the sake of simplicity.

They'd already lost in a sense if their empire is collapsing and their monarch is overthrown, though. I mean, the Hapsburgs were the glue that kept the Austro-Hungarian empire together; without them, well, what exactly is there to unite the peoples of their empire?

If the empire is gone, then Austrians really don't have much to lose in asking for a union with Germany. Back then small states appear to have been perceived as being less viable than they are today.
I am unsure of this. It is my impression that the AH Empire was not an empire in any real sense, rather it was a coalescence of Hapsburg kingdoms and titles. I do not know what investment the average Austrian had towards the concept of this Empire. Of course suddenly becoming a much smaller, weaker entity would possess significant shock value.

Germany shouldn't mind it if Italy controls Trieste just as long as Italy is friendly towards Germany. Also, please keep in mind that Germany would already have a lot of ethnic minorities to digest by very possibly annexing six million Czechs.
I think a Mediterranean port would be way too tasty of a morsel for Germany to willing divest.


The Bulgarians wanted Macedonia very badly. That's why the Second Balkan War broke out and also why Bulgaria entered WWI on the CP side in real life.
Then it works for me.

BTW, it seems to me that Russia becomes the big loser in the conflict. Germany would not be constrained by a naval blockade allowing British, French and American supplies and munitions available for purchase. All Russia could fall back on is winter.

Then Germany could look west in a few years without an eastern threat.
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
16,800
SoCal
#27
Delayed French and/or British involvement really muddles this theoretical conflict up. I''m perfectly willing to let both sit it out for the sake of simplicity.
Personally, though, I strongly prefer accuracy over simplicity.

I am unsure of this. It is my impression that the AH Empire was not an empire in any real sense, rather it was a coalescence of Hapsburg kingdoms and titles. I do not know what investment the average Austrian had towards the concept of this Empire. Of course suddenly becoming a much smaller, weaker entity would possess significant shock value.
My impression was that Austrians wanted to be a part of some much larger entity--whether the Hapsburg Empire or a Greater Germany. With revolution taking the former option out of the running, only the latter option is going to be left.

I think a Mediterranean port would be way too tasty of a morsel for Germany to willing divest.
By that logic, though, why not also go for Fiume?

Then it works for me.
Yep.

BTW, it seems to me that Russia becomes the big loser in the conflict. Germany would not be constrained by a naval blockade allowing British, French and American supplies and munitions available for purchase. All Russia could fall back on is winter.
One would wonder if Britain and France would threaten to intervene in this conflict on the Russian side if Germany will look like it is on the verge of achieving a huge victory over Russia, though.

Then Germany could look west in a few years without an eastern threat.
Briey and Longwy in themselves might not be worth starting another Great War over, though.
 
Likes: Edratman

Edratman

Ad Honorem
Feb 2009
6,468
Eastern PA
#28
Personally, though, I strongly prefer accuracy over simplicity.
The whole exercise is a huge stack of "ifs". The engineer in me has learned (over way too many decades) to implement limits on maybes.

My impression was that Austrians wanted to be a part of some much larger entity--whether the Hapsburg Empire or a Greater Germany. With revolution taking the former option out of the running, only the latter option is going to be left.
That makes sense. I'll go with it.

By that logic, though, why not also go for Fiume?
Trieste would be sufficient. Fiume would be a very nice addition, but not an essential asset. The addition of one Mediterranean port is an immensely huge factor, the incremental value of a second would probably be much less. Rijeka would require incorporating a lot more potentially hostile territory and that aspect would be a consideration.

One would wonder if Britain and France would threaten to intervene in this conflict on the Russian side if Germany will look like it is on the verge of achieving a huge victory over Russia, though.
This could go either way, and I am leaning against involvement (based on nothing). It probably depends entirely upon the individuals and political parties in control at the moment.

Briey and Longwy in themselves might not be worth starting another Great War over, though.
You are right. Of course, this would serve to buttress the argument against French and British involvement.
 
Likes: Futurist