Discussion:
Wilson accepts Lenin's Decree on Peace
Add Reply
David Tenner
2017-08-07 19:01:16 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
See my posts in the thread
https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/wilson-accepts-lenins-decree-on-peace.423718/

I intended it more as a *tour de force* than as a plausible account of what
Wilson might do (note that I give him a slight stroke as the POD) but it
*is* interesting to note the resemblances--on paper at least--between
Lenin's position and Wilson's. (As I pointed out at
https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/wilson-accepts-lenins-decree-on-peace.423718/#post-15399897,
a Soviet reviewer was very upset at George Kennan for calling attention to
this...)
--
David Tenner
***@ameritech.net
Alex Milman
2017-08-07 20:31:42 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Tenner
See my posts in the thread
https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/wilson-accepts-lenins-decree-on-peace.423718/
I intended it more as a *tour de force* than as a plausible account of what
Wilson might do (note that I give him a slight stroke as the POD) but it
*is* interesting to note the resemblances--on paper at least--between
Lenin's position and Wilson's. (As I pointed out at
https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/wilson-accepts-lenins-decree-on-peace.423718/#post-15399897,
a Soviet reviewer was very upset at George Kennan for calling attention to
this...)
This would bring an obvious question about the French and British ideas
on what peace should look like. Would Wilson's grandstanding be enough to
prevent Brits and French from dismantling the Ottoman & A-H empires (and to
prevent France from getting back Alsace and Lorrain), from the victors getting
the German colonies, etc.? Or, if we are talking about the exact timing of
Lenin's decree, wouldn't it imply that Germany and A-H should gave up their
gains at Russian expense? In November 1917 there was no significant American
military presence in Europe so Wilson's wishes would be thing of the future
and even then filtered out by the Brits and French.

Lenin's decree was a pure demagoguery of an absolutely illegitimate government
that found itself unable to continue a war and proposes to those in a better
position to give up their shares of the spoils.

OTOH, it would be interesting to speculate on post-WWI Europe with the intact
pre-war borders but without 3 emperors and a sultan. Would the whole thing be
sustainable at all? At least Poland and Finland would be problematic and
probably the same goes for the Czechs.
WolfBear
2017-08-08 01:34:45 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Alex Milman
Post by David Tenner
See my posts in the thread
https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/wilson-accepts-lenins-decree-on-peace.423718/
I intended it more as a *tour de force* than as a plausible account of what
Wilson might do (note that I give him a slight stroke as the POD) but it
*is* interesting to note the resemblances--on paper at least--between
Lenin's position and Wilson's. (As I pointed out at
https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/wilson-accepts-lenins-decree-on-peace.423718/#post-15399897,
a Soviet reviewer was very upset at George Kennan for calling attention to
this...)
This would bring an obvious question about the French and British ideas
on what peace should look like. Would Wilson's grandstanding be enough to
prevent Brits and French from dismantling the Ottoman & A-H empires (and to
prevent France from getting back Alsace and Lorrain), from the victors getting
the German colonies, etc.? Or, if we are talking about the exact timing of
Lenin's decree, wouldn't it imply that Germany and A-H should gave up their
gains at Russian expense? In November 1917 there was no significant American
military presence in Europe so Wilson's wishes would be thing of the future
and even then filtered out by the Brits and French.
Lenin's decree was a pure demagoguery of an absolutely illegitimate government
that found itself unable to continue a war and proposes to those in a better
position to give up their shares of the spoils.
OTOH, it would be interesting to speculate on post-WWI Europe with the intact
pre-war borders but without 3 emperors and a sultan. Would the whole thing be
sustainable at all? At least Poland and Finland would be problematic and
probably the same goes for the Czechs.
In regards to Wilson's grandstanding, *if* he threatens to withdraw the U.S. military from Europe and is serious about this, perhaps he can influence British and French behavior in regards to this. The key challenge is actually getting Wilson to do this, though.

As for this Bolshevik decree itself, it is a bit contradictory; after all, it speaks of no annexations but some annexations are necessary in order to adhere to the principle of national self-determination--for instance, the Trentino and Trieste for Italy and possibly Alsace-Lorraine for France.

Also, given the Bolsheviks' championing of national self-determination, I don't think that either the German, Austro-Hungarian, or Ottoman Empire could survive even under the peace terms of this Lenin decree. After all, if Russia's various ethnic groups have a right of secession (as the Bolsheviks claimed), why not the various ethnic groups of the German, Austro-Hungarian, and Ottoman Empires as well?
The Old Man
2017-08-08 19:11:58 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by WolfBear
As for this Bolshevik decree itself, it is a bit contradictory; after all, it speaks of no annexations but some annexations are necessary in order to adhere to the principle of national self-determination--for instance, the Trentino and Trieste for Italy and possibly Alsace-Lorraine for France.
If Italy gets Trieste and the Trentino, does *Austria* get the Italian Tyrol whose inhabitants are mostly German-speaking?

Regards,
John Braungart
WolfBear
2017-08-09 04:38:21 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Old Man
Post by WolfBear
As for this Bolshevik decree itself, it is a bit contradictory; after all, it speaks of no annexations but some annexations are necessary in order to adhere to the principle of national self-determination--for instance, the Trentino and Trieste for Italy and possibly Alsace-Lorraine for France.
If Italy gets Trieste and the Trentino, does *Austria* get the Italian Tyrol whose inhabitants are mostly German-speaking?
Regards,
John Braungart
Why exactly wouldn't it?
The Old Man
2017-08-09 10:24:13 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by WolfBear
Post by The Old Man
Post by WolfBear
As for this Bolshevik decree itself, it is a bit contradictory; after all, it speaks of no annexations but some annexations are necessary in order to adhere to the principle of national self-determination--for instance, the Trentino and Trieste for Italy and possibly Alsace-Lorraine for France.
If Italy gets Trieste and the Trentino, does *Austria* get the Italian Tyrol whose inhabitants are mostly German-speaking?
Regards,
John Braungart
Why exactly wouldn't it?
Well in the OTL, they didn't. And Italy wouldn't even consider it when they were allied with Germany.

Regards,
John Braungart
WolfBear
2017-08-09 21:03:32 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Old Man
Post by WolfBear
Post by The Old Man
Post by WolfBear
As for this Bolshevik decree itself, it is a bit contradictory; after all, it speaks of no annexations but some annexations are necessary in order to adhere to the principle of national self-determination--for instance, the Trentino and Trieste for Italy and possibly Alsace-Lorraine for France.
If Italy gets Trieste and the Trentino, does *Austria* get the Italian Tyrol whose inhabitants are mostly German-speaking?
Regards,
John Braungart
Why exactly wouldn't it?
Well in the OTL, they didn't. And Italy wouldn't even consider it when they were allied with Germany.
Regards,
John Braungart
Fair point. However, in this TL, national self-determination might have a bit of a stronger push.
WolfBear
2017-08-09 21:29:08 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by WolfBear
Post by The Old Man
Post by WolfBear
Post by The Old Man
Post by WolfBear
As for this Bolshevik decree itself, it is a bit contradictory; after all, it speaks of no annexations but some annexations are necessary in order to adhere to the principle of national self-determination--for instance, the Trentino and Trieste for Italy and possibly Alsace-Lorraine for France.
If Italy gets Trieste and the Trentino, does *Austria* get the Italian Tyrol whose inhabitants are mostly German-speaking?
Regards,
John Braungart
Why exactly wouldn't it?
Well in the OTL, they didn't. And Italy wouldn't even consider it when they were allied with Germany.
Regards,
John Braungart
Fair point. However, in this TL, national self-determination might have a bit of a stronger push.
Speaking of which, couldn't Germany try playing a trick on Lenin and Wilson and also *cautiously* endorse this peace push? After all, even if Germany loses a few of its territories (Alsace-Lorraine, Malmedy, the Polish Corridor, Posen Province, et cetera), surely this would be compensated by the possibility of increased German influence in the Baltics, Poland, and Ukraine, no? Indeed, I wouldn't be surprised to see Germany test Lenin's resolve by asking him to withdraw from Poland, the Baltics, Ukraine, and perhaps even the Caucasus and Central Asia so that all of the peoples there can determine their own fates.
Alex Milman
2017-08-10 13:10:24 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by WolfBear
Post by WolfBear
Post by The Old Man
Post by WolfBear
Post by The Old Man
Post by WolfBear
As for this Bolshevik decree itself, it is a bit contradictory; after all, it speaks of no annexations but some annexations are necessary in order to adhere to the principle of national self-determination--for instance, the Trentino and Trieste for Italy and possibly Alsace-Lorraine for France.
If Italy gets Trieste and the Trentino, does *Austria* get the Italian Tyrol whose inhabitants are mostly German-speaking?
Regards,
John Braungart
Why exactly wouldn't it?
Well in the OTL, they didn't. And Italy wouldn't even consider it when they were allied with Germany.
Regards,
John Braungart
Fair point. However, in this TL, national self-determination might have a bit of a stronger push.
Speaking of which, couldn't Germany try playing a trick on Lenin and Wilson and also *cautiously* endorse this peace push? After all, even if Germany loses a few of its territories (Alsace-Lorraine, Malmedy, the Polish Corridor, Posen Province, et cetera), surely this would be compensated by the possibility of increased German influence in the Baltics, Poland, and Ukraine, no? Indeed, I wouldn't be surprised to see Germany test Lenin's resolve by asking him to withdraw from Poland, the Baltics, Ukraine, and perhaps even the Caucasus and Central Asia so that all of the peoples there can determine their own fates.
Lenin's decree was issued in November of 1917. Why would be Germany ready for
the serious territorial concessions at that time? As for the "details": Lenin's
government did not control "the Baltics", Poland or Ukraine and there was
no army (or anything else) that Lenin could "withdrew" from these areas in
any meaningful way (and in Brest-Litovsk he generously "gave away" the regions
he did not control). Why would Germany circa 1917 be interested in the
Central Asia is anybody's guess (personally, I'd recommend you to look at the map) and Caucasus also was out of his reach (government of independent
Transcaucasia was created in November 1917 in Tbilisi).

While Wilson was not completely irrelevant in November 1917, he hardly was in
a position to dictate to France and Britain conditions of peace which were going
against all (or at least most of) their ideas.

OTOH, by 1919, when his position was much stronger, the events to the East of
Germany were pretty much out of the Entente's control and Lenin's view on the
issues like self-determination changed drastically, especially as far as
Ukraine was concerned (Georgia was under British protection until 1920 but in
1921 the Red Army invaded, Azerbaijan and Armenia were annexed in 1920).
Rich Rostrom
2017-08-10 14:05:11 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Alex Milman
Why would Germany circa 1917 be interested in the
Central Asia is anybody's guess ...
Germany's ally Turkey had interest in the
are: so-called Pan-Turanism.

And raising the point would be a way to\
mess with the Soviets.
--
The real Velvet Revolution - and the would-be hijacker.

http://originalvelvetrevolution.com
Alex Milman
2017-08-10 14:33:17 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by Alex Milman
Why would Germany circa 1917 be interested in the
Central Asia is anybody's guess ...
Germany's ally Turkey had interest in the
are: so-called Pan-Turanism.
I'm anything but sure that at that time reaching all the way to
the Central Asia was in Ottoman's power: they were not doing too
well in the late 1917, IIRC, and the Brits started messing in Turkestan
in the very beginning of 1918 with the direct invasion in 1918 - 19
(supporting pan-Islamism and pan-Turkism :-)).

Anyway, by the end of WWI most of the CUP members had been court-martialed
and executed.
Post by Rich Rostrom
And raising the point would be a way to\
mess with the Soviets.
Well, AFAIK, at Brest-Litovsk Germany did not show too much concern about
the Ottoman interests but, anyway, the Soviets did not control most of the
region at the time we are talking about.

Loading...