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

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,519
#21
O

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.
A lot of the German bad behavior happened when they were courting Britain as a ally. Can;t see anyone urging the Kaiser having much effect. Lack of self control.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,749
SoCal
#22
A lot of the German bad behavior happened when they were courting Britain as a ally. Can;t see anyone urging the Kaiser having much effect. Lack of self control.
Britain might have still been perceived as being less vital to Germany in a future war in, say, 1900 than it would have been in, say, 1920 in the absence of WWI, though.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,749
SoCal
#23
Also, I know that the Daily Telegraph interview from 1908 and the scandal that this caused might have humbled Kaiser Bill a bit. Indeed, his last six years appear to have been relatively quiet ones.

Back in 1908, there were even calls for Kaiser Bill's abdication in Germany!
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,850
Sydney
#24
the central axis of early 20th European history is the rising conflict between British and German interests
France and Russia were important with their own issues but were basically satellites
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,010
#25
OK--so Japan already wanted to dominate China. However, please keep in mind that these demands were made during WWI--when the various European Great Powers were fighting each other and thus strongly distracted. Without WWI, Japan might have been much more cautious in regards to this.
Japan as of at least 1875 had designs on mainland Asia.
Ganghwa Island incident - Wikipedia
 
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Futurist

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May 2014
15,749
SoCal
#27
the central axis of early 20th European history is the rising conflict between British and German interests
France and Russia were important with their own issues but were basically satellites
Well, yeah, Britain and Germany were by far the most industrialized European countries in 1913. However, due to Russia's extremely massive and rapidly growing population, this was unlikely to remain the case forever. Rather, Russia would have eventually become Europe's top dog and thus caused both British and German attention to shift towards it.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,749
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#28
BTW, might the German elite successfully pressure Kaiser Bill into resigning if he continues to behave like an idiot and thus continues to ruin the chances of an Anglo-German alliance actually occurring? After all, the German elite did successfully push Kaiser Bill out in 1918, but that was after an extremely brutal, four-year-long war.

Any thoughts on this?
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,523
Dispargum
#29
Re: Britain's motivation to join such an alliance:
Britain and Japan had an alliance circa 1900
As recently as the 1850s Britain had allied with the Ottomans against Russia
In the 19th century there were three wars in Afghanistan that resulted in that country being left a neutral buffer state between British India and Russia. Britain had no tolerance for a Russia presence on the Indian border
Circa 1900 Britain was expanding its influence in Persia out of a need to secure oil supplies. A Russian invasion of Persia would have been seen as a direct threat to British interests



I don't see a war between Britain and Germany as inevitable, especially if we remove the naval race from the equation. Most commentaries I've read on the deteriorating relationship between Britain and Germany treat it as tragedy - something avoidable and unnecessary. The real surprise was the growing friendship between Britain and France. They had much more tangible reasons to dislike each other, but the French were very smart in their British policy.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,749
SoCal
#30
Re: Britain's motivation to join such an alliance:
Britain and Japan had an alliance circa 1900
As recently as the 1850s Britain had allied with the Ottomans against Russia
In the 19th century there were three wars in Afghanistan that resulted in that country being left a neutral buffer state between British India and Russia. Britain had no tolerance for a Russia presence on the Indian border
Circa 1900 Britain was expanding its influence in Persia out of a need to secure oil supplies. A Russian invasion of Persia would have been seen as a direct threat to British interests
Yeah, Britain, Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Japan all had reasons to be wary of Russia. Once it's strong, would Russia try calming down these other Great Powers or is it going to continue or resume its political intrigues?

I don't see a war between Britain and Germany as inevitable, especially if we remove the naval race from the equation. Most commentaries I've read on the deteriorating relationship between Britain and Germany treat it as tragedy - something avoidable and unnecessary. The real surprise was the growing friendship between Britain and France. They had much more tangible reasons to dislike each other, but the French were very smart in their British policy.
TBH, I really do wonder if there was a missed opportunity for an Anglo-German alliance in Joseph Chamberlain's efforts between 1898 and 1901. Had such an alliance been created, France and Russia would be been put in a very bad situation--at least for a long time (as in, until Russia would have grown sufficiently strong). In such a scenario, there might very well be no WWI in 1914 even if FF or another A-H official still gets assassinated since France and Russia simply wouldn't be ready for a war with both Germany and Britain at that point in time.

As for France's policy towards Britain, it was very smart. After all, even with Russia as its ally, France was unlikely to defeat Germany without Britain's help for a long time. Indeed, I would think that France would desperately try to be close with both Britain and Russia. Ultimately, though, if Anglo-Russian relations significantly deteriorate (in the absence of WWI, that is), France is likely going to have to choose between Britain and Russia--and it will probably choose Russia since Russia likely has more to offer France in the long(er)-run.
 

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