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?
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.
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).