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Old 11-05-2013, 04:21 PM
Status: "Trump - excepting Jorgensen, the least of multiple evils" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
13,774 posts, read 8,471,438 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
Show me a major war in the 19th or 20th centuries where the country or countries that started the war got what it/they expected. Wars are hardly ever as short and bloodless and glorious as countries think they will be, even when those countries win.
It doesn't quite fit the picture, but you could say that about the Cold War, which could be viewed as the third act in a three-part play. The Cold War represented a clash between the last of the great butcher-states of the 1930's and the tested parliamentary democracies which, with the exceptions of Finland, Sweden and Switzerland, were all united under NATO. We can all be thankful that the good guys finally won.
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:36 PM
 
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There still would have been revolution in Russia. However, it likely would not have taken the same form. What's more, given the weakened state of the Russian army, there's no guarantee that it would have been successful.

The Ottoman Empire would have disintegrated a few years later, followed by Austria-Hungary. The later would have likely resulted in wholesale civil war.

Germany, France and Britain would have continued to compete out in places such as Africa and the rim of Asia. However, the stakes wouldn't have been as high.

Colonialism would have continued to mature as a system.

And, most intriguingly of all, what if the Germans had not begun building capital ships? Had Tirpitz not gotten his way and the Kaiser had remained content to be a European land power, the English would have likely stayed out of any future conflict, as they had during the Franco Prussian War. In fact, England was much more sympathetic to Germany prior to 1900 than France. But because a major naval presence in the North Sea signaled an existential threat to England, it was forced to shift to an alliance with the French and the Russians. As it was, Germany's ship building program pushed England into an alliance with the French, yet gained the Germans very little strategic advantage in return. Outside of a couple of forays at Jutland and Dogger Bank, the German surface fleet sat at its moorings throughout the war. Certainly not worth the hostility of the British.
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:14 PM
 
Location: SoCal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
And, most intriguingly of all, what if the Germans had not begun building capital ships? Had Tirpitz not gotten his way and the Kaiser had remained content to be a European land power, the English would have likely stayed out of any future conflict, as they had during the Franco Prussian War. In fact, England was much more sympathetic to Germany prior to 1900 than France. But because a major naval presence in the North Sea signaled an existential threat to England, it was forced to shift to an alliance with the French and the Russians. As it was, Germany's ship building program pushed England into an alliance with the French, yet gained the Germans very little strategic advantage in return. Outside of a couple of forays at Jutland and Dogger Bank, the German surface fleet sat at its moorings throughout the war. Certainly not worth the hostility of the British.
Kaiser Wilhelm II also screwed up big time by sending a telegram to the Boers in 1896 congratulating them in regards to their victory over the British, as well as by invading Belgium (a British ally) in 1914.
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:46 AM
Status: "Trump - excepting Jorgensen, the least of multiple evils" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
13,774 posts, read 8,471,438 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post

And, most intriguingly of all, what if the Germans had not begun building capital ships? Had Tirpitz not gotten his way and the Kaiser had remained content to be a European land power, the English would have likely stayed out of any future conflict, as they had during the Franco Prussian War. In fact, England was much more sympathetic to Germany prior to 1900 than France. But because a major naval presence in the North Sea signaled an existential threat to England, it was forced to shift to an alliance with the French and the Russians. As it was, Germany's ship building program pushed England into an alliance with the French, yet gained the Germans very little strategic advantage in return. Outside of a couple of forays at Jutland and Dogger Bank, the German surface fleet sat at its moorings throughout the war. Certainly not worth the hostility of the British.
Also, what might have happened if Great Britain and Germany, clearly the most successful among the Great Powers, had come to a state of détente?

France and Russia, clearly the two weaker among the four stable powers, would have had no choice but to assume secondary roles, and the two big winners would clearly have seen it in their interest to intensify the suppression of Marxism.

The Americans had already announced their intention to encourage independence for the Philippines (the closest thing we ever had to a "true" colonial enterprise), and the seeds of he pursuit of autonomy had already been sown in India. So any foot-dragging by the French would have come at greater cost.

The one dark cloud would be the continued unrest in the Balkans, the remains of Austria-Hungary and the less-prosperous masses on the plains between Berlin and Moscow, particularly the large population of less-assimilated Jews living in what used to be referred to as "the pale" -- these people had already been weakened by repeated pogroms, and were the first (and far less-noticed) Holocaust victims.

But overall, the scenario above shows far less potential for disaster than what actually transpired.
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Futurist110 View Post
I think that the loss of Alsace-Lorraine in an unfair way (no referendum(s), no anything) angered France more between 1871 and 1918 than its loss to Prussia in the Franco-Prussian War.

Also, which country exactly began the 1866 Prusso-Austrian War?
The loss of Alsace-Lorraine was a major thorn in the side of the French for a long time.

As for the 1866 Austro-Prussian War, the war was engineered by Prussia, but Austria technically declared war first. It could serve as another example where the "instigator got what they wanted".

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
Also, what might have happened if Great Britain and Germany, clearly the most successful among the Great Powers, had come to a state of détente?

France and Russia, clearly the two weaker among the four stable powers, would have had no choice but to assume secondary roles, and the two big winners would clearly have seen it in their interest to intensify the suppression of Marxism.

The Americans had already announced their intention to encourage independence for the Philippines (the closest thing we ever had to a "true" colonial enterprise), and the seeds of he pursuit of autonomy had already been sown in India. So any foot-dragging by the French would have come at greater cost.

The one dark cloud would be the continued unrest in the Balkans, the remains of Austria-Hungary and the less-prosperous masses on the plains between Berlin and Moscow, particularly the large population of less-assimilated Jews living in what used to be referred to as "the pale" -- these people had already been weakened by repeated pogroms, and were the first (and far less-noticed) Holocaust victims.

But overall, the scenario above shows far less potential for disaster than what actually transpired.
It really is all about the Balkans. There was going to be a huge power vaccuum opening up as Austira-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire continued their collapse. Russia had great interest as the "defender of Orthodoxy" in supporting Serbia. It is inevitable that a collapsing AHE was going to result in an attempt by Serbia to "unite" areas with large Serbian populations into the Serbian state. This endeavor would be supported by Russia. Would everyone else just sit out, or would someone resist growing Russian influence in the Balkans?
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:14 PM
Status: "Trump - excepting Jorgensen, the least of multiple evils" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
13,774 posts, read 8,471,438 times
Reputation: 17854
Had a British-German détente" been achieved, I think its possible that the two dominant powers would have "looked the other way" with regard to Russia's desire to play Big Brother to all the Slavs; a lot would depend on how quickly reforms spread in a Czarist Russia that presumably escaped the efforts of Kerensky and Lenin.

The French would simply have been the "odd power out", and a review of Barbara Tuchman's The Proud Tower leads me to believe she would have had her hands full with her own internal issues, though se would have been spared the huge tragedy of her wartime losses/ One possibility that occurs would be a closer partnership with Belgium, Spain, Portugal and the other minor colonial players.
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Old 11-09-2013, 03:07 PM
 
Location: SoCal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
1. The loss of Alsace-Lorraine was a major thorn in the side of the French for a long time.

2. As for the 1866 Austro-Prussian War, the war was engineered by Prussia, but Austria technically declared war first. It could serve as another example where the "instigator got what they wanted".
1. Yes, exactly. As I said before, a fairer resolution of the Alsace-Lorraine dispute could have significantly helped in improving Franco-German relations between 1871 and 1914.

2. Thank you for this info. Thus, this war appears to be similar to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871 in many ways.
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Old 11-09-2013, 03:34 PM
 
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Britain was a sea power and not a land power. In 1914, the BEF was only six divisions strong. Although highly efficient, the presence or lack of presence of the British would not have stopped WW1.

The historian AJP Taylor* postulated that WW1 became inevitable as soon as one major power mobilized. Because the mobilization was entirely dependent on railways and their timetables, not mobilizing would give the powers that did a huge strategic advantage. In 1914, mobilization could not actually be stopped once started.

Once the armies were mobilized, the various war plans kicked in. The Germans had to execute the Schlieffen plan because they had to knock France out before the Russians could arrive on the scene. They could not actually afford to hold their armies back because of the strategic risk of a war on two fronts. The fact that France and Russia had mobilized was sufficient.

In that sense, WW1 was an accident waiting to happen. The trigger happened to be Sarajevo but it could have happened before or after. And the result would have probably been the same. Napoleonic tactics with 20th century weapons and a rail infrastructure that allowed the rapid movement of reserves.

* A. J. P. Taylor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 11-09-2013, 03:47 PM
 
Location: SoCal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggy001 View Post
In that sense, WW1 was an accident waiting to happen. The trigger happened to be Sarajevo but it could have happened before or after. And the result would have probably been the same. Napoleonic tactics with 20th century weapons and a rail infrastructure that allowed the rapid movement of reserves.

* A. J. P. Taylor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Relative to the geopolitical situation in Europe in 1910 and beyond, you could very well be correct in regards to this.

Also, I've heard that without huge Balkan nationalism, World War I might have broken out in 1917 (or in the 1920s, if Franz Joseph had lived a little longer) once the Ausgleich needed to be renewed and there was no longer a strong enough leader in Austria-Hungary who could credibly do this.
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Old 11-09-2013, 11:12 PM
 
541 posts, read 734,616 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Futurist110 View Post
If you want to successfully avoid World War I, the best move in regards to this might have been to either have Kaiser Wilhelm II be born without a crippled arm/hand or to have Wilhelm die young and have his younger brother Prince Heinrich become German Kaiser in 1888. If Germany abandons its alliance with Austria instead of with Russia in the very late 19th/early 20th century, then World War I might not have occurred, or at least not occurred in the way and at the time that it occurred in real life. Also, a fairer resolution of the Alsace-Lorraine dispute between France and Germany (perhaps holding several referendums in Alsace-Lorraine) might have significantly helped dramatically reduce tensions and enmity between France and Germany after 1870/1871.
I agree Germany would have been served with not having Wilhelm II as Kaiser. He was an over aggressive fool, very much like Hitler decades later. Without him, Europe and especially Germany, might have had a different course. In the 1880s, They were not yet doomed, but after the turn of the century, it seems like there was going to be a war sooner or later.

Last edited by jobseeker2013; 11-09-2013 at 11:21 PM..
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