Which of these three rulers would you have preferred to be?

Which of these three rulers would you have preferred to be?

  • German Kaiser Wilhelm II

  • Austro-Hungarian Kaiser Franz Joseph (or, alternatively, his nephew Franz Ferdinand)

  • Russian Tsar Nicholas II


Results are only viewable after voting.

Kotromanic

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
4,265
Iowa USA
#51
Is "British-British" a typo?

Also, Sam-Nary did an extremely extensive review of a book about the Somme. I haven't read this review yet but I would like to. I don't know if he ever reviewed any books about Verdun, though.

Well, the winter is even longer in S. Dakota than in Iowa.

No, Sam is an excellent resource!
 
Likes: Futurist

Kotromanic

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
4,265
Iowa USA
#52
The last Karl was a good man but appears to have been overwhelmed by events during his reign.

I wonder what Karl thought of FJ's decision to go to war with Serbia back in 1914. Do we have any letters or records which say anything about this?

As for that quote of yours in your last sentence here, "Ouch!"

The Polish or Czech nobility that had been a big part of FJ's government seemed to have "walked away" from Karl. Could a more forceful personality (Ferdinand) have retained the loyalty of these non-Deutsch speaking nobles? At least enough to keep things from really coming apart at the seams as happened in actual timeline?
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
13,495
SoCal
#53
The Polish or Czech nobility that had been a big part of FJ's government seemed to have "walked away" from Karl. Could a more forceful personality (Ferdinand) have retained the loyalty of these non-Deutsch speaking nobles? At least enough to keep things from really coming apart at the seams as happened in actual timeline?
I don't know about the Poles, but I suspect that FF, had he and his wife lived, would have strongly appealed to the Czechs due to his Czech wife.

In fact, in Mein Kampf, I believe that Hitler actually criticized FF for wanting to Czechify the empire!
 
Likes: Kotromanic

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
13,495
SoCal
#54
Here are the relevant quotes about FF from Mein Kampf:

https://archive.org/stream/meinkampf035176mbp/meinkampf035176mbp_djvu.txt

"In parliament, the complete collapse was further pre-
vented by an undignified submission and fulfillment of all
and every extortion, for which the Germans then had to
pay; in the realm this was done by a clever playing-off of
the individual nations against one another. But the gen-
eral line of development was directed against the Germans.
Especially since his succession to the throne began to give
some influence to the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, order
and organization were brought into the Czechization car-
ried out from above. With all possible means this future
ruler of the dual monarchy tried to facilitate and to pro-
mote personally, or at least to shield, the de-Germanization
of the realm. Thus purely German places were slowly but
steadily pushed into the danger zone of mixed languages
by roundabout official means. Even in Lower Austria this
process began to progress rapidly, and many Czechs already
considered Vienna as their biggest city.

The leading idea of this Habsburg, whose family spoke
only Czech (his wife, a former Czech countess, had married
the prince morganatically; she came from circles in which
the anti-German attitude was traditional) was gradually
to form a Slav State in Central Europe to be founded on a
strictly Catholic basis, as a protection against Orthodox
Russia. In this manner, as the Habsburgs had done previ-
ously on several occasions, religion once more was placed
in the service of a purely political idea, above all at least
from the German point of view of an unfortunate idea."

Also, there's this quote from the same book:

"When the news of the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdi-
nand reached Munich (I was in the house and heard only
vague details of the event), I was at first worried that the
bullets might perhaps have come from the pistols of Ger-
man students, who, because of their indignation at the
continued Slavization activities of the Heir Presumptive,
wished to free the German nation from this internal
enemy. One could imagine well what the consequences
would have been in that case: a new wave of persecutions
which would now have been 'justified' and 'motivated' in
the face of the whole world. When, however, soon after I
heard the names of the suspected murderers, and read that
their nationality had been established as Serbian, a slight
horror began to creep over me because of this revenge of
inscrutable Destiny.

The greatest friend of the Slavs had been felled by the
bullets of Slav fanatics."
 

Shtajerc

Ad Honorem
Jul 2014
6,323
Lower Styria, Slovenia
#55
I don't know how sympathetic Karl was towards Slavs but there's an account that he refused to shake the hand of Maks Peterlin (an officer whom he just awarded a medal) and speak a few words with him after he was told by others that the man was Slovene. I don't know if this was an isolated case or something he did more often. FJI didn't seem to be bothered by the ethnicity of his officers as long as they were loyal and didn't push it too hard publicly. Look at Radetsky, Potiorek, Haus etc.
 
Likes: Futurist

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,198
Sydney
#56
Archiduke Franz Ferdinand had a solid reputation as a " federalist "
he had expressed his wish to see the empire give more autonomy to it's nationals components
much to the chagrin of the Germanist core who claimed it would see the Empire monarchy splinter
because the difference nations hated each others at least as much as the Germans
maybe the Austro-Hungarian Empire was doomed , no matter what
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
13,495
SoCal
#57
I don't know how sympathetic Karl was towards Slavs but there's an account that he refused to shake the hand of Maks Peterlin (an officer whom he just awarded a medal) and speak a few words with him after he was told by others that the man was Slovene. I don't know if this was an isolated case or something he did more often. FJI didn't seem to be bothered by the ethnicity of his officers as long as they were loyal and didn't push it too hard publicly. Look at Radetsky, Potiorek, Haus etc.
I wonder what could have triggered a worse attitude on Karl's part.
 

Kotromanic

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
4,265
Iowa USA
#58
Archiduke Franz Ferdinand had a solid reputation as a " federalist "
he had expressed his wish to see the empire give more autonomy to it's nationals components
much to the chagrin of the Germanist core who claimed it would see the Empire monarchy splinter
because the difference nations hated each others at least as much as the Germans
maybe the Austro-Hungarian Empire was doomed , no matter what
Somehow they (FJ's government) kept von Hotzendorf as the nominal chief general despite his own fatalism about the Empire.

FJ really could have done the country a service by celebrating his seven-seventh, seventh-eighth birthday by abdicating in Ferdinand's favor. Ferdinand surely would have swept away von Hotzendorf and that could only have made prospects for the first part of the war with Russia brighter?
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
13,495
SoCal
#59
Somehow they (FJ's government) kept von Hotzendorf as the nominal chief general despite his own fatalism about the Empire.
Who was fatalistic? FJ or von Hotzendorf?

FJ really could have done the country a service by celebrating his seven-seventh, seventh-eighth birthday by abdicating in Ferdinand's favor. Ferdinand surely would have swept away von Hotzendorf and that could only have made prospects for the first part of the war with Russia brighter?
I'm not sure that there would be a war with Russia if this results in FF's assassination being butterflied away.

Also, if the Hungarians refuse to renew the Ausgleich in 1907 in this scenario, Russia will be in no position to help them out. Thus, FF can easily crush the Hungarians--with German help, if necessary--and implement universal suffrage and whatever other reforms he wanted to implement in Hungary.