Plausibility Check: A "periphery alliance" to contain Russia without WWI?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,749
SoCal
#11
Even with the German naval build up Britain didn't formally ally them to either France or Russia.
Yep--though weren't France and Russia nevertheless hoping for a British entry on their side in any future Great War?

However if the Russians did attempt to use naked aggression to expand its influence, I see no reason why Britain would not join an alliance to either stop or limit the Russian aggression.
It's something the British had already done before in the Crimean war.
Yes, I completely agree with this. Also, didn't Britain threaten to use military force to prevent Russia from conquering Constantinople in 1877-1878?

In addition to this, I wonder if Britain will refuse to formally ally with Germany before any Russian expansionism but make it crystal-clear to both the Germans and the Russians (as well as to the Austrians, Hungarians, Ottomans, and Japanese) that it would fight on the anti-Russian side in the event that Russian expansionism will trigger a new war.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,749
SoCal
#12
I think such an alliance would have confirmed Russia's worst paranoid fears about others being out to get it.
Yes, but that's what can happen when your country has much more people than its neighbors have.

Done like that, Russia is deterred from interfering with Austrian expansion in the Balkans, Japanese expansion in the Far East etc.
Permanently or only temporarily? For instance, if Russia is sufficiently strong by, say, 1950 (and assuming that nukes aren't successfully developed by that point in time), might Russia be willing to start a war at that point in time even if it means that it would have to fight a large anti-Russian coalition?

At some point Russia could realistically point at this dog-pile of it as an alliance of convenience clearly intended to facilitate the imperial ambitions of just about everyone except Russia.
What exactly is this pointing actually going to accomplish, though?

Also, these other Great Powers aren't going to be interested in expansion at Russia's expense. Heck, they're not even going to be that interested in additional expansion since much of the world was already colonized by that point in time. The one possible exception to this rule would be a possible Ottoman conquest of Saudi Arabia, though.

Maybe Russia+France+US+Italy to counter Britain+Germany+Austria+Ottomans+Japan?
Bringing the US out of isolationism would be an incredibly difficult challenge, though. Indeed, I certainly don't think that Germany would be stupid enough to try using USW if Britain is its ally. Now, the question is whether France and/or Russia would be willing to try using USW--in which case the US is likely to enter the war, but against them rather than on their side.

As for Italy, considering that it was dependent on 90% of its coal imports from Britain during this time, it is very unlikely to enter the war on the Franco-Russian side unless it is already extremely clear by that point in time that Austria-Hungary is about to be defeated and to go down--in which case Italy might very well enter the war on the Franco-Russian side in order to conquer some Austro-Hungarian territory for itself.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,749
SoCal
#13
The problem with widespread alliances is that too many interests end up clashing with allies
would Germany be happy with Japan taking over china ?
No, but was that actually a Japanese goal before the 1930s?

would Austro Hungary be contented with having no Balkan policy , not to rock the boat
What kind of Balkan policy did A-H want?

the Turkish empire was in it's death throe ,
The conquest of Saudi Arabia and massive oil discoveries could help reinvigorate it, though.

Britain had serious political capital in the region and would resent any German or allied interference
In what region?

Whitehall was slowly sliding toward some entente against Germany ,
Yes, but that was before the completion of Russia's Great Military Program--which was scheduled for completion in 1917.

they had no issue with Russia , the "great game" was for newspapers and novelists , diplomats and the royals knew better
Didn't Britain and Russia have significant tensions over territories such as Persia, though?

the larger an alliance the more fragile it is
That's not necessarily wrong, but WWI produced huge alliances and yet these allies were generally able to somehow work together.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,519
#14
There would still ne German naval building in this TL. The Anglo-German naval race would end in 1912 in this TL just like it did in our TL.
Hard to see good relations then.

B
As for Britain's alliance commitments, it would make them on the basis of preserving the European balance of power. Once Russia completes its Great Military Program in 1917 and begins being perceived as much more of a threat to European order and stability (and let's face it, the Anglo-Russian Entente might have very well not been renewed in 1915 without World War I),
.
What's Russia going to do to provoke Russia being seenas a threat to European Security?

Britain would feel more inclined to develop close relations with Germany and perhaps even to ally with Germany (assuming that Germany doesn't do anything stupid at that point in time) in order to combat the threat of Russian expansionism.
Wilhelmie Germany doing something stupid diplomatically and offending Britain, near certinaly every couple of years.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,749
SoCal
#15
Hard to see good relations then.
I was talking in the time period after 1916 when Russia's Great Military Program would already be completed. Also, the likely non-renewal of the Anglo-Russian Entente in 1915 is unlikely to help matters either.

What's Russia going to do to provoke Russia being seenas a threat to European Security?
Well, there would be the resumption of the Great Game with Britain as well as possible Russian territorial claims on parts of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, China, and Japan. Also, there would be the fact that Russia has a much larger population than these other powers here and is gradually developing--unlike China, which was stuck in a state of anarchy during this time and thus was not a threat to anyone back then.

Wilhelmie Germany doing something stupid diplomatically and offending Britain, near certinaly every couple of years.
Kaiser Bill was able to maintain good relations with some countries during his reign, though--for instance, with both Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,519
#18
I was talking in the time period after 1916 when Russia's Great Military Program would already be completed. Also, the likely non-renewal of the Anglo-Russian Entente in 1915 is unlikely to help matters either.
Without actual Russia actions to increase tensions and annoy the British.,

Why do you keep sayting the likely non renewal of Anglo-Russian Entente?


Well, there would be the resumption of the Great Game with Britain as well as possible Russian territorial claims on parts of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, China, and Japan. Also, there would be the fact that Russia has a much larger population than these other powers here and is gradually developing--unlike China, which was stuck in a state of anarchy during this time and thus was not a threat to anyone back then.
Afdter Russia's dfeat in 1905, Russia gave up much of it;s far eastern dreams. Why would they Russia start pressing these claims? Who's driving this aggressive policy?

I
Kaiser Bill was able to maintain good relations with some countries during his reign, though--for instance, with both Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire.
He was unable to do so with Britain and fairly regularly stuck his foot in it. Ad in General Germany was particallry ham fisted in relation to Britian. Germna diplomacy was horribly poor in this period.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,749
SoCal
#19
Without actual Russia actions to increase tensions and annoy the British.,

Why do you keep sayting the likely non renewal of Anglo-Russian Entente?
I keep saying this based on the information here in this book:

The Outbreak of the First World War

Afdter Russia's dfeat in 1905, Russia gave up much of it;s far eastern dreams. Why would they Russia start pressing these claims? Who's driving this aggressive policy?
Didn't Russia give up these Far Eastern dreams because it was weak? If so, couldn't Russia reassert these claims if it became strong?

As for war-hawks, didn't they successfully push Russia into a war with the Ottoman Empire back in 1877-1878?

Also, even if Russia will have no territorial disputes with Japan, it could still have issues with Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire--and this is assuming that the Great Game with Britain isn't renewed, which certainly isn't guaranteed.

He was unable to do so with Britain and fairly regularly stuck his foot in it. Ad in General Germany was particallry ham fisted in relation to Britian. Germna diplomacy was horribly poor in this period.
It might be easier to piss off a country when you are not courting them to be your ally, though. If you are courting them to be your ally, then you might be tempted to be more cautious in your behavior towards them.

Indeed, I think that, at the very least, the Austro-Hungarians and Ottomans are going to be strongly urging Kaiser Bill to behave himself whenever he interacts with the British. After all, A-H and the Ottomans would likely want a British alliance even more than the Germans would.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,850
Sydney
#20
I'm not aware of any Russian claim on Austrian territory ,
The duchies of Finland and Poland were seen as borderland buffers
The Russians were quite satisfied with their lands north of the mountains chains , they controlled the plains up to the Caucasus and Pamir
this was to pacifie the troublesome central Asia nations , much given to raiding
they retreated from Alaska , Hawaii and generally considered they had enough land as things were

They were however very suspicious of Britain who had a ferocious and unbounded appetite for other people lands
 

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