Discussion:
WI Entente wins WWI before October 1917, most likely postwar alignments?
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Rob
2017-09-26 02:45:17 UTC
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a) Triple Entente persists, Britain, France and Russia stay buds
b) Britain vs France and Russia
c) Russia vs France and Britain
d) France vs Britain and Russia
e) France, Britain and Russia are rivals, all against all

Especially in the case of b, c or d, would either or both sides try to appeal to defeated Germany?

What would Italy's foreign policy preferences be?

Could America be made to care about European alliance shenanigans again?
WolfBear
2017-09-26 18:01:50 UTC
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Post by Rob
a) Triple Entente persists, Britain, France and Russia stay buds
b) Britain vs France and Russia
c) Russia vs France and Britain
d) France vs Britain and Russia
e) France, Britain and Russia are rivals, all against all
Especially in the case of b, c or d, would either or both sides try to appeal to defeated Germany?
What would Italy's foreign policy preferences be?
Could America be made to care about European alliance shenanigans again?
I expect that the answer is B: Britain vs. (France and Russia).

In such a scenario, I certainly do expect Britain to make appeals to Germany. Meanwhile, France and Russia will be too invested in keeping Germany down as well as in protecting the Polish Corridor (Russia's Provisional Government already expressed support for an independent Poland) to make serious overtures to Germany.

As for Italy, given that 90% of Italy's coal imports came from Britain before the war, I expect Italy to side with Britain and Germany in this TL.

As for the U.S., you have to get rid of Wilson in order to make this happen. Indeed, the man blew a golden opportunity for a post-WWI U.S.-Franco-British alliance in an attempt to get the U.S. to join the League of Nations *without reservations.*
Alex Milman
2017-09-26 20:55:59 UTC
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Post by WolfBear
Post by Rob
a) Triple Entente persists, Britain, France and Russia stay buds
b) Britain vs France and Russia
c) Russia vs France and Britain
d) France vs Britain and Russia
e) France, Britain and Russia are rivals, all against all
Especially in the case of b, c or d, would either or both sides try to appeal to defeated Germany?
What would Italy's foreign policy preferences be?
Could America be made to care about European alliance shenanigans again?
I expect that the answer is B: Britain vs. (France and Russia).
Any specific reason that did not exist in OTL? Or "just because"?

AFAIK, in OTL by 1914 there were no obvious conflicts between these countries and after WWI Britain and France did quite well sharing the spoils. In that scenario Russia (Tsarist or Democratic) would claim Armenia (OK with GB & F) and the Straits (to which the Allies also agreed). Clearly, the last item would imply the explicit agreement stating the rights of all parties interested.
So what would serve as a breaking point?
WolfBear
2017-09-26 21:39:33 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
Post by WolfBear
Post by Rob
a) Triple Entente persists, Britain, France and Russia stay buds
b) Britain vs France and Russia
c) Russia vs France and Britain
d) France vs Britain and Russia
e) France, Britain and Russia are rivals, all against all
Especially in the case of b, c or d, would either or both sides try to appeal to defeated Germany?
What would Italy's foreign policy preferences be?
Could America be made to care about European alliance shenanigans again?
I expect that the answer is B: Britain vs. (France and Russia).
Any specific reason that did not exist in OTL? Or "just because"?
AFAIK, in OTL by 1914 there were no obvious conflicts between these countries and after WWI Britain and France did quite well sharing the spoils. In that scenario Russia (Tsarist or Democratic) would claim Armenia (OK with GB & F) and the Straits (to which the Allies also agreed). Clearly, the last item would imply the explicit agreement stating the rights of all parties interested.
So what would serve as a breaking point?
Yes, Britain would be OK with those Russian territorial gains, but it would be wary of Russia trying to expand its influence even further than that.

As for the Bolsheviks, it helped that, after their initial enthusiasm for world revolution, they began focusing inward and didn't try much to meddle in other countries' affairs. Would Tsarist Russia have been as restrained? I'm not so sure.
WolfBear
2017-09-26 21:51:33 UTC
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Post by WolfBear
Post by Alex Milman
Post by WolfBear
Post by Rob
a) Triple Entente persists, Britain, France and Russia stay buds
b) Britain vs France and Russia
c) Russia vs France and Britain
d) France vs Britain and Russia
e) France, Britain and Russia are rivals, all against all
Especially in the case of b, c or d, would either or both sides try to appeal to defeated Germany?
What would Italy's foreign policy preferences be?
Could America be made to care about European alliance shenanigans again?
I expect that the answer is B: Britain vs. (France and Russia).
Any specific reason that did not exist in OTL? Or "just because"?
AFAIK, in OTL by 1914 there were no obvious conflicts between these countries and after WWI Britain and France did quite well sharing the spoils. In that scenario Russia (Tsarist or Democratic) would claim Armenia (OK with GB & F) and the Straits (to which the Allies also agreed). Clearly, the last item would imply the explicit agreement stating the rights of all parties interested.
So what would serve as a breaking point?
Yes, Britain would be OK with those Russian territorial gains, but it would be wary of Russia trying to expand its influence even further than that.
As for the Bolsheviks, it helped that, after their initial enthusiasm for world revolution, they began focusing inward and didn't try much to meddle in other countries' affairs. Would Tsarist Russia have been as restrained? I'm not so sure.
Also, please keep in mind that the West *did* become more hostile towards the Soviet Union once the Soviets controlled Eastern Europe. In this TL, Russia will be seen (by Britain--probably not so much by France) as a more powerful force than it was before the start of WWI and thus in need of being contained in order to prevent it from becoming too powerful and disturbing the European balance-of-power.
The Horny Goat
2017-09-27 04:21:54 UTC
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Also, please keep in mind that the West *did* become more hostile towards t=
he Soviet Union once the Soviets controlled Eastern Europe. In this TL, Rus=
sia will be seen (by Britain--probably not so much by France) as a more pow=
erful force than it was before the start of WWI and thus in need of being c=
ontained in order to prevent it from becoming too powerful and disturbing t=
he European balance-of-power.
So in the non-Bolshevik postwar era you suggest, with Russia having
control of the Straits do you get a rivalry between Britain and Russia
for control of the Aegean? After all Russia claimed to be interested
in protecting the Greeks mostly due to their history of Orthodoxy but
was never taken seriously because with Johnny Turk in charge of the
Straights the Russians had no way of having a meaningful influence.

If they control the Straights as you say they clearly DO have a way of
having influence in Greece.
WolfBear
2017-09-27 04:32:41 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
Also, please keep in mind that the West *did* become more hostile towards t=
he Soviet Union once the Soviets controlled Eastern Europe. In this TL, Rus=
sia will be seen (by Britain--probably not so much by France) as a more pow=
erful force than it was before the start of WWI and thus in need of being c=
ontained in order to prevent it from becoming too powerful and disturbing t=
he European balance-of-power.
So in the non-Bolshevik postwar era you suggest, with Russia having
control of the Straits do you get a rivalry between Britain and Russia
for control of the Aegean? After all Russia claimed to be interested
in protecting the Greeks mostly due to their history of Orthodoxy but
was never taken seriously because with Johnny Turk in charge of the
Straights the Russians had no way of having a meaningful influence.
If they control the Straights as you say they clearly DO have a way of
having influence in Greece.
Oh, sure, a victorious Russia would definitely want to influence Greece, Romania, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, and even Poland.
Alex Milman
2017-09-27 15:06:48 UTC
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Post by WolfBear
Post by The Horny Goat
Also, please keep in mind that the West *did* become more hostile towards t=
he Soviet Union once the Soviets controlled Eastern Europe. In this TL, Rus=
sia will be seen (by Britain--probably not so much by France) as a more pow=
erful force than it was before the start of WWI and thus in need of being c=
ontained in order to prevent it from becoming too powerful and disturbing t=
he European balance-of-power.
So in the non-Bolshevik postwar era you suggest, with Russia having
control of the Straits do you get a rivalry between Britain and Russia
for control of the Aegean? After all Russia claimed to be interested
in protecting the Greeks mostly due to their history of Orthodoxy but
was never taken seriously because with Johnny Turk in charge of the
Straights the Russians had no way of having a meaningful influence.
If they control the Straights as you say they clearly DO have a way of
having influence in Greece.
Oh, sure, a victorious Russia would definitely want to influence Greece, Romania, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, and even Poland.
The victorious Russia would be busy for quite a few years dealing with its internal problems. Its "influence" would hardly go beyond what was already there in the terms of the traditional friendly relations and Poland would hardly be on the list.
The Horny Goat
2017-09-27 18:15:17 UTC
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On Wed, 27 Sep 2017 08:06:48 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by WolfBear
Oh, sure, a victorious Russia would definitely want to influence Greece, Romania, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, and even Poland.
The victorious Russia would be busy for quite a few years dealing with its internal problems. Its "influence" would hardly go beyond what was already there in the terms of the traditional friendly relations and Poland would hardly be on the list.
I have a difficult time imagining a Russia victorious in 1916-17
giving Poland independence. Possibly on something like the Finnish
model where they had quasi independence with Russia running their
foreign policy but the whole point of this discussion was primarily
economic and political.

Even if Poland does get some kind of autonomy, at some point we are
talking about a revanchist Germany and that surely means a
heavy-handed Russian military response assuming the army modernization
plan that was in play in 1914 was allowed to continue to fruition.
Alex Milman
2017-09-27 21:28:00 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
On Wed, 27 Sep 2017 08:06:48 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by WolfBear
Oh, sure, a victorious Russia would definitely want to influence Greece, Romania, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, and even Poland.
The victorious Russia would be busy for quite a few years dealing with its internal problems. Its "influence" would hardly go beyond what was already there in the terms of the traditional friendly relations and Poland would hardly be on the list.
I have a difficult time imagining a Russia victorious in 1916-17
giving Poland independence.
It is all about the timing. Independent Poland would be unlikely if the government is still Tsarist (victory prior to February of 1917) but a possibility for Provisional Government. "Possibility" is not the same as "certainty": in OTL this issue had been decided by the Allies only in 1918 based on Wilson's "14 points" (point # XIII). By that time Russia was out of the Allied camp and there was an active advocacy of the Polish independence (which, among other things, was targeted against Germany) so in ATL the issue
could easily be moot. OTOH, getting rid of Poland would stabilize post-Tsarist Russia so I would not discount such a possibility (realistically, I'm not sure that any Russian government of that period would be sane and powerful enough for such a step).
Post by The Horny Goat
Possibly on something like the Finnish
model where they had quasi independence with Russia running their
foreign policy but the whole point of this discussion was primarily
economic and political.
Errrrrr.... Finland (unlike Poland) was a separate entity united to Russia by the fact that Tsar was also a Grand Duke of Finland. In OTL after the February Revolution (which among other things put Finnish head of state out of the circulation) parliament, controlled by social democrats, passed the so-called Power Act to give the highest authority to parliament. This was rejected by the Russian Provisional Government which dissolved the parliament. While Finnish left- and right-wingers had been trying to figure things out, there was an October Coup after which Finland declared its independence.

Poland was in a completely different situation both politically and militarily: by 1917 it was either in German or A-H hands ("Poland" implied Galicia as well)
and there was no meaningful political entity except for the pro-German puppet "government" which none of the Allies recognized. "Finnish model" was tried in the XIX century and ended up with the Upraising/Revolution of 1830.
Post by The Horny Goat
Even if Poland does get some kind of autonomy,
The 1st thing would be to define what IS "Poland" because prior to the WWI it was split between 3 countries and the big parts of it were questionably Polish as far as majority of population goes. Would it mean that ALL Poland goes to Russia with some political arrangements following? "Autonomy" would mean something of 1830 of steroids while "Russification" was already tried and also caused a lot of problems. Within framework of this ATL it would mean a need to exterminate most of the known Polish political figures and continued "cleansing" afterwards. What would be the practical advantages besides a pure prestige?
Post by The Horny Goat
at some point we are
talking about a revanchist Germany and that surely means a
heavy-handed Russian military response assuming the army modernization
plan that was in play in 1914 was allowed to continue to fruition.
Not sure how this is related to Poland but quite obviously that a serious modernization of the armed forces would be needed after the WWI.
The Horny Goat
2017-09-28 03:33:11 UTC
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On Wed, 27 Sep 2017 14:28:00 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
Possibly on something like the Finnish
model where they had quasi independence with Russia running their
foreign policy but the whole point of this discussion was primarily
economic and political.
Errrrrr.... Finland (unlike Poland) was a separate entity united to Russia by the fact that Tsar was also a Grand Duke of Finland. In OTL after the February Revolution (which among other things put Finnish head of state out of the circulation) parliament, controlled by social democrats, passed the so-called Power Act to give the highest authority to parliament. This was rejected by the Russian Provisional Government which dissolved the parliament. While Finnish left- and right-wingers had been trying to figure things out, there was an October Coup after which Finland declared its independence.
Poland was in a completely different situation both politically and militarily: by 1917 it was either in German or A-H hands ("Poland" implied Galicia as well)
and there was no meaningful political entity except for the pro-German puppet "government" which none of the Allies recognized. "Finnish model" was tried in the XIX century and ended up with the Upraising/Revolution of 1830.
Yes I know all that. A lot of that is why I'm skeptical about how that
could come about - I don't see a plausible chain of events. Perhaps an
abdication followed by the accession of the Grand Duke Michael but
from what little I've read about him don't see him keeping the lid on
an explosive situation which this surely would be.
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
Even if Poland does get some kind of autonomy,
The 1st thing would be to define what IS "Poland" because prior to the WWI it was split between 3 countries and the big parts of it were questionably Polish as far as majority of population goes. Would it mean that ALL Poland goes to Russia with some political arrangements following? "Autonomy" would mean something of 1830 of steroids while "Russification" was already tried and also caused a lot of problems. Within framework of this ATL it would mean a need to exterminate most of the known Polish political figures and continued "cleansing" afterwards. What would be the practical advantages besides a pure prestige?
Good point though we WERE specifying a victorious Russia and under the
circumstances an independent Poland sponsored by Russia could easily
demand the Austro-Hungarian Polish provinces.
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
at some point we are
talking about a revanchist Germany and that surely means a
heavy-handed Russian military response assuming the army modernization
plan that was in play in 1914 was allowed to continue to fruition.
Not sure how this is related to Poland but quite obviously that a serious modernization of the armed forces would be needed after the WWI.
The Russian Army had started on a long term modernization well before
1914 but was not expected to complete it before 1920. This was one of
the reasons the Germany General Staff was so interested in war - they
were afraid that if they waited till 1920 to risk war they might well
find fighting a modernized army the size of Russia's might lead to a
Russo-German war "not necessarily to Germany's advantage" (apologies
to Hirohito) Why this relates to Poland is that if Russia and Germany
were to fight Poland would be the most likely battleground.
WolfBear
2017-09-28 01:05:45 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
Post by WolfBear
Post by The Horny Goat
Also, please keep in mind that the West *did* become more hostile towards t=
he Soviet Union once the Soviets controlled Eastern Europe. In this TL, Rus=
sia will be seen (by Britain--probably not so much by France) as a more pow=
erful force than it was before the start of WWI and thus in need of being c=
ontained in order to prevent it from becoming too powerful and disturbing t=
he European balance-of-power.
So in the non-Bolshevik postwar era you suggest, with Russia having
control of the Straits do you get a rivalry between Britain and Russia
for control of the Aegean? After all Russia claimed to be interested
in protecting the Greeks mostly due to their history of Orthodoxy but
was never taken seriously because with Johnny Turk in charge of the
Straights the Russians had no way of having a meaningful influence.
If they control the Straights as you say they clearly DO have a way of
having influence in Greece.
Oh, sure, a victorious Russia would definitely want to influence Greece, Romania, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, and even Poland.
The victorious Russia would be busy for quite a few years dealing with its internal problems. Its "influence" would hardly go beyond what was already there in the terms of the traditional friendly relations and Poland would hardly be on the list.
Yes, you are quite correct that a victorious, non-Bolshevik Russia would need some time to deal with its own internal problems--something which would make it appear less threatening to other countries.

Also, what I am thinking of are things such as much greater economic and military cooperation between Russia and these various Eastern European countries. Indeed, think of the close economic and military relations that the U.S. managed to build with Western European countries in the decades after the end of World War II in our TL.

As for Poland, Poland would, in large part, be dependent on Russia in order to help it protect the Polish Corridor from a revanchist Germany. True, Poland would also have France and perhaps Britain as an ally, but those countries don't border Poland while Russia does--thus, Russia would be considered to be a more direct and perhaps reliable source of aid than France and/or Britain would be.
Alex Milman
2017-09-28 15:25:57 UTC
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Post by WolfBear
Post by Alex Milman
Post by WolfBear
Post by The Horny Goat
Also, please keep in mind that the West *did* become more hostile towards t=
he Soviet Union once the Soviets controlled Eastern Europe. In this TL, Rus=
sia will be seen (by Britain--probably not so much by France) as a more pow=
erful force than it was before the start of WWI and thus in need of being c=
ontained in order to prevent it from becoming too powerful and disturbing t=
he European balance-of-power.
So in the non-Bolshevik postwar era you suggest, with Russia having
control of the Straits do you get a rivalry between Britain and Russia
for control of the Aegean? After all Russia claimed to be interested
in protecting the Greeks mostly due to their history of Orthodoxy but
was never taken seriously because with Johnny Turk in charge of the
Straights the Russians had no way of having a meaningful influence.
If they control the Straights as you say they clearly DO have a way of
having influence in Greece.
Oh, sure, a victorious Russia would definitely want to influence Greece, Romania, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, and even Poland.
The victorious Russia would be busy for quite a few years dealing with its internal problems. Its "influence" would hardly go beyond what was already there in the terms of the traditional friendly relations and Poland would hardly be on the list.
Yes, you are quite correct that a victorious, non-Bolshevik Russia would need some time to deal with its own internal problems--something which would make it appear less threatening to other countries.
AFAIK, by 1914 neither Brits nor French considered Russia as a threat to them.
Most of the "other" did not exist prior to the end of WWI so less or more simply does not make sense for them.
Post by WolfBear
Also, what I am thinking of are things such as much greater economic and military cooperation between Russia and these various Eastern European countries. Indeed, think of the close economic and military relations that the U.S. managed to build with Western European countries in the decades after the end of World War II in our TL.
Analogies with post-WWII is a dangerous thing. Clearly Russia may have economic and political ties with at least some of the newly-created European countries.
Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia would be obvious candidates, Rumania and Greece were allies in WWI and Bulgaria was not at war with Russia (probably Boris III would be friendlier to Russia than his father). I suspect that out of that list only Czechoslovakia would make a meaningful economic partner.
Post by WolfBear
As for Poland, Poland would, in large part, be dependent on Russia in order to help it protect the Polish Corridor from a revanchist Germany.
Immediately after WWI there would be no "revanchist Germany" and, based on what everybody knows about the Polish leaders circa 1918, they would be as hostile to ANY Russia as they physically could. To start with, there was a territorial issue because Polish ambitions were going far beyond the "Polish ethnic majority" principle (which would create an immediate problem with Russian-held Lithuania).

In OTL there was a regional power vacuum (both Germany and Russia were pretty much out of circulation) which allowed to expand to the areas of the Polish ethnic minority like Western Ukraine and Belorussia and even more controversial Danzig Corridor. If Germany is defeated but Russia is still in one piece and is one of the victors, what are the limits of the Polish ambitions and what are the limits of Russian willingness to settle issue down?
Post by WolfBear
True, Poland would also have France and perhaps Britain as an ally,
You are talking about OTL where Russia was taken over by the Bolsheviks. In this ATL Russia is French and British ally and ally much more important than not-quite existing Poland (you like WWII analogies, this will be a reasonably close one). The alliance of pre-WWII is rather irrelevant because situation is quite different.
Post by WolfBear
but those countries don't border Poland while Russia does--thus, Russia would be considered to be a more direct and perhaps reliable source of aid than France and/or Britain would be.
What you wrote implies degree of a sanity that is much greater than one demonstrated by Pilsudski & Co so .....
The Horny Goat
2017-09-29 02:40:28 UTC
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On Thu, 28 Sep 2017 08:25:57 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by WolfBear
Also, what I am thinking of are things such as much greater economic and military cooperation between Russia and these various Eastern European countries. Indeed, think of the close economic and military relations that the U.S. managed to build with Western European countries in the decades after the end of World War II in our TL.
Analogies with post-WWII is a dangerous thing. Clearly Russia may have economic and political ties with at least some of the newly-created European countries.
Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia would be obvious candidates, Rumania and Greece were allies in WWI and Bulgaria was not at war with Russia (probably Boris III would be friendlier to Russia than his father). I suspect that out of that list only Czechoslovakia would make a meaningful economic partner.
One of the great 'what ifs' is whether Stalin would ACTUALLY have come
to the aid of the Czechs either in Oct 1938 or Jan 1939 if the Poles
had allowed them to cross their territory to do so. He said he would
but Stalin was known to not always follow through.

(The Poles of course were worried that once they let Russia through
"temporarily" there would be a new meaning for "temporarily" that
wasn't what they expected.)
Post by Alex Milman
Post by WolfBear
As for Poland, Poland would, in large part, be dependent on Russia in order to help it protect the Polish Corridor from a revanchist Germany.
Immediately after WWI there would be no "revanchist Germany" and, based on what everybody knows about the Polish leaders circa 1918, they would be as hostile to ANY Russia as they physically could. To start with, there was a territorial issue because Polish ambitions were going far beyond the "Polish ethnic majority" principle (which would create an immediate problem with Russian-held Lithuania).
In OTL there was a regional power vacuum (both Germany and Russia were pretty much out of circulation) which allowed to expand to the areas of the Polish ethnic minority like Western Ukraine and Belorussia and even more controversial Danzig Corridor. If Germany is defeated but Russia is still in one piece and is one of the victors, what are the limits of the Polish ambitions and what are the limits of Russian willingness to settle issue down?
Given the parameters of this scenario I would expect *Russia to be
considerably stronger than in OTL in 1919-20. Thus any move by the
Poles against Russia is almost certainly not going to end well for
them.

(In this scenario if Bela Kun still comes to power you may have the
Russians clamping down on Romania given that in OTL the Romania army
was the main anti-communist force in Hungary)
Post by Alex Milman
What you wrote implies degree of a sanity that is much greater than one demonstrated by Pilsudski & Co so .....
And THAT is the $64,000 question.

We all know that right?
Alex Milman
2017-09-29 19:59:08 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
On Thu, 28 Sep 2017 08:25:57 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by WolfBear
Also, what I am thinking of are things such as much greater economic and military cooperation between Russia and these various Eastern European countries. Indeed, think of the close economic and military relations that the U.S. managed to build with Western European countries in the decades after the end of World War II in our TL.
Analogies with post-WWII is a dangerous thing. Clearly Russia may have economic and political ties with at least some of the newly-created European countries.
Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia would be obvious candidates, Rumania and Greece were allies in WWI and Bulgaria was not at war with Russia (probably Boris III would be friendlier to Russia than his father). I suspect that out of that list only Czechoslovakia would make a meaningful economic partner.
One of the great 'what ifs' is whether Stalin would ACTUALLY have come
to the aid of the Czechs either in Oct 1938 or Jan 1939 if the Poles
had allowed them to cross their territory to do so. He said he would
but Stalin was known to not always follow through.
At the time of Munich the SU (was not present at Munich but had a treaty with Czechoslovakia) indicated willingness to cooperate with France and Great Britain if they decided to come to Czechoslovakia’s defense. Not sure if Stalin offered any help in the early 1939 or if he offered an unilateral help at any point. It is rather difficult to figure out what is and what is not a legend.

Personally, I have serious doubts that in 1938 he was ready to go against Germany alone. If he was, then an intensive search for the French-British alliance does not make too much sense and reverse of the foreign policy (M-R Pact) even less so.
Post by The Horny Goat
(The Poles of course were worried that once they let Russia through
"temporarily" there would be a new meaning for "temporarily" that
wasn't what they expected.)
Of course. Plus they did have their own interest in the spoils: they wanted (and got) a highly-industrialized Teschen (Zaolizie) area.
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Alex Milman
Post by WolfBear
As for Poland, Poland would, in large part, be dependent on Russia in order to help it protect the Polish Corridor from a revanchist Germany.
Immediately after WWI there would be no "revanchist Germany" and, based on what everybody knows about the Polish leaders circa 1918, they would be as hostile to ANY Russia as they physically could. To start with, there was a territorial issue because Polish ambitions were going far beyond the "Polish ethnic majority" principle (which would create an immediate problem with Russian-held Lithuania).
In OTL there was a regional power vacuum (both Germany and Russia were pretty much out of circulation) which allowed to expand to the areas of the Polish ethnic minority like Western Ukraine and Belorussia and even more controversial Danzig Corridor. If Germany is defeated but Russia is still in one piece and is one of the victors, what are the limits of the Polish ambitions and what are the limits of Russian willingness to settle issue down?
Given the parameters of this scenario I would expect *Russia to be
considerably stronger than in OTL in 1919-20. Thus any move by the
Poles against Russia is almost certainly not going to end well for
them.
This is extremely tricky issue.

In the case of the surviving and victorious Russia the whole situation with Poland would be anything but clear. During WWI Germany and A-H created a puppet "Kingdom of Poland" based on the former Congressional Poland but it happened in 1917 (meaning - did not happen in ATL). Judging by Wiki, Polish Legions fighting on the side of the Central Powers amounted to approximately 25K in 1916. Creation of the puppet Kingdom of Poland by Germany happened AFTER timeline of this ATL and, anyway, soon after it was created there was a political crisis (Oath crisis). By that time Polish "army" amounted to approximately 10K. Nothing to talk about if Russia does not disintegrates.

Now, short of the <whatever ATL Russian government> suffering from an unusual amounts of common sense and brain power, the most probable action of a <more realistic> government would be to restore the former border "as a matter of principle" regardless the problems attached. Which means "bye-bye Polish state".
There could be a new one created from the territories taken from the defeated Germany and A-H but it is not clear to me why, in this ATL, anybody would bother to "reward" Poles. Unless, of course, as a way to punish further G&AH. The main problem (unless Russia voluntarily gives its Polish territories away) is that such a state would have very peculiar borders, something like a crescent excluding all modern Central Poland (even if the victors a generous enough to present Poland with the lands it got in OTL by the end of WWII at German expense).

The problem for Russia would be not in the existence of the Polish state but in having Poles as the subjects: with the existence of ANY Polish state they'd be a major pain in the posteriors and I'm not sure that the pain would be much lesser without such a state (if anything, experience of the Russian Empire was illustrative enough).

Now, what if <unusually wise> Russian government decides to give "Russian Polish" territories to a new Polish state? Not sure if this improves relations significantly because (a) there are numerous Poles in Lithuania (especially in Vilnus area), (b) there are Polish minority in Galicia (which presumably goes to Russia) and (c) there is Polish nationalism (as preached by Pilsudski & Co) which considers Russia something of an "eternal enemy" and is looking back to the early XVIII century (in most modest form) for the "proper" borders. It is highly unlikely that any non-Bolshevik Russian government (except for ultra-nationalist dictatorship) will be engaged in a mass expulsion of the ethnic Poles from the Russian territory (like was done after WWII to the Germans who lived on what became Poland) so there is a never-ending political problem and the more liberal government is the greater the problem. :-)
Post by The Horny Goat
(In this scenario if Bela Kun still comes to power you may have the
Russians clamping down on Romania given that in OTL the Romania army
was the main anti-communist force in Hungary)
Rumania was Russian ally in WWI so I don't think that its annexation would be realistic (anyway, it was too poor to make it worthy of an effort).
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Alex Milman
What you wrote implies degree of a sanity that is much greater than one demonstrated by Pilsudski & Co so .....
And THAT is the $64,000 question.
We all know that right?
Actually, this is a purely rhetoric question and the answer is known. :-)
Rich Rostrom
2017-10-01 01:59:22 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
During WWI Germany and A-H created a puppet
"Kingdom of Poland" based on the former
Congressional Poland but it happened in 1917
(meaning - did not happen in ATL).
The process started in late 1916, and was well
underway by October 1917.

The process might be pre-empted by the developments
required for Entente victory in 1917.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
Rob
2017-10-01 03:03:04 UTC
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Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by Alex Milman
During WWI Germany and A-H created a puppet
"Kingdom of Poland" based on the former
Congressional Poland but it happened in 1917
(meaning - did not happen in ATL).
The process started in late 1916, and was well
underway by October 1917.
The process might be pre-empted by the developments
required for Entente victory in 1917.
Or would even more likely be accelerated.
Alex Milman
2017-10-01 11:12:35 UTC
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Post by Rob
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by Alex Milman
During WWI Germany and A-H created a puppet
"Kingdom of Poland" based on the former
Congressional Poland but it happened in 1917
(meaning - did not happen in ATL).
The process started in late 1916, and was well
underway by October 1917.
The process might be pre-empted by the developments
required for Entente victory in 1917.
Or would even more likely be accelerated.
How exactly could it accelerate?
Rob
2017-10-02 03:40:17 UTC
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Why accelerate? A worse situation for the Central Powers (leading ultimately to an Entente victory while Russia still stands) would lead to the CP trying to appeal to Polish nationalism earlier. It would not accelerate Entente moves to appeal to Poles however.
Alex Milman
2017-10-02 18:17:15 UTC
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Post by Rob
Why accelerate? A worse situation for the Central Powers (leading ultimately to an Entente victory while Russia still stands) would lead to the CP trying to appeal to Polish nationalism earlier.
Well, the Polish Legions had been created in 1914 so the CP hardly could start that appeal much earlier. :-)

Creation of the puppet Kingdom of Poland is dated by November 5th, 1916, again, early enough unless in ATL things are already going bad for the CP by that time.
Post by Rob
It would not accelerate Entente moves to appeal to Poles however.
It seems that we are talking about the different things. As far as post-WWI situation with Poland is concerned, whatever is done by the CP is either irrelevant or has a negative effect on the victorious Entente.
Rob
2017-10-02 22:38:29 UTC
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On Monday, October 2, 2017 at 2:17:18 PM UTC-4, Alex Milman wrote:

Creation of the puppet Kingdom of Poland is dated by November 5th, 1916, again, early enough unless in ATL things are already going bad for the CP by that time.

Again, if things start going bad for the CP earlier in 1916, but they are still occupying any Russian-Polish territory, they'll proclaim the puppet kingdom that much earlier. If they are having a worse ATL 1916, why delay any longer than OTL to proclaim it?

In many regards, things were going quite badly for the CP by November 1916 in OTL anyway:

a) Since mid-summer they were unable to take the offensive initiative anywhere, and the the offensive they did in the 1st half was Verdun, very non-glorious.

b) They had to decide in late 1916 to pull back their lines in the west for lack of men to hold their more forward salient

c) blockade was biting enough, and prospects on land seemed poor enough, that the Germans thought the expedient of unrestricted submarine warfare was needed. They had not previously been so desperate.

d) Of much, much lesser importance: They lost Kamerun (Ft. Mora, Kamerun, in Feb 1916)


On the plus side for the Germans, all they could say was:

1. They conquered the Romanians (Bucharest, 6 Dec) &
2. Britain had two fiascos against the Turks at Gallipolli (evacuated Jan 1916) and Kut (surrender in April 1916).
Alex Milman
2017-10-02 23:13:28 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
Creation of the puppet Kingdom of Poland is dated by November 5th, 1916, again, early enough unless in ATL things are already going bad for the CP by that time.
Again, if things start going bad for the CP earlier in 1916, but they are still occupying any Russian-Polish territory, they'll proclaim the puppet kingdom that much earlier. If they are having a worse ATL 1916, why delay any longer than OTL to proclaim it?
AFAIK, they did not proclaim it because they were performing badly so your motivation for the CP is anything but clear. Unless, of course, you can provide some factual proof of your theory. :-)

[Personally, I think that the motivation was quite opposite: Germany occupied Polish & Lithuanian territories that belonged to the Russian Empire and, quite understandably, did not want such a "present" to became a part of the German Empire; a side thought could be getting some Polish volunteers to fight for the CP but, experience of the past couple years was not quite encouraging (neither was OTL experience after the "Kingdom" was declared.]
Post by Alex Milman
a) Since mid-summer they were unable to take the offensive initiative anywhere, and the the offensive they did in the 1st half was Verdun, very non-glorious.
b) They had to decide in late 1916 to pull back their lines in the west for lack of men to hold their more forward salient
c) blockade was biting enough, and prospects on land seemed poor enough, that the Germans thought the expedient of unrestricted submarine warfare was needed. They had not previously been so desperate.
d) Of much, much lesser importance: They lost Kamerun (Ft. Mora, Kamerun, in Feb 1916)
And how any of these bad things was impacting the subject we are talking about?
Alex Milman
2017-10-01 11:11:52 UTC
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Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by Alex Milman
During WWI Germany and A-H created a puppet
"Kingdom of Poland" based on the former
Congressional Poland but it happened in 1917
(meaning - did not happen in ATL).
The process started in late 1916, and was well
underway by October 1917.
The process might be pre-empted by the developments
required for Entente victory in 1917.
That's the point. Not to mention that it is anything but obvious why would the victorious Entente look kindly at the pro-German <whatever> created at the expense of one of the most important Entente members unless the said member wants to get rid of a part of its territory.
The Horny Goat
2017-10-01 08:56:08 UTC
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On Fri, 29 Sep 2017 12:59:08 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
(In this scenario if Bela Kun still comes to power you may have the
Russians clamping down on Romania given that in OTL the Romania army
was the main anti-communist force in Hungary)
Rumania was Russian ally in WWI so I don't think that its annexation would =
be realistic (anyway, it was too poor to make it worthy of an effort).
Good point - but they still had enough to be the primary force
bringing down Bela Kun.

Which in a way is amazing given how decisively they were beaten in
1917.
WolfBear
2017-10-09 19:19:49 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
Post by WolfBear
but those countries don't border Poland while Russia does--thus, Russia would be considered to be a more direct and perhaps reliable source of aid than France and/or Britain would be.
What you wrote implies degree of a sanity that is much greater than one demonstrated by Pilsudski & Co so .....
Are you suggesting that Pilsudski & Co. would be willing to hand over the Polish Corridor to Germany if Germany will help them capture the eastern territories that they want?

Also, if so, this would certainly be interesting; indeed, I can just imagine the Germans saying "We want Danzig and the Polish Corridor back" and the Poles saying "Sure, but first help us fight Russia and acquire Belarus and western Ukraine!"
Alex Milman
2017-10-09 21:06:38 UTC
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Post by WolfBear
Post by Alex Milman
Post by WolfBear
but those countries don't border Poland while Russia does--thus, Russia would be considered to be a more direct and perhaps reliable source of aid than France and/or Britain would be.
What you wrote implies degree of a sanity that is much greater than one demonstrated by Pilsudski & Co so .....
Are you suggesting that Pilsudski & Co. would be willing to hand over the Polish Corridor to Germany if Germany will help them capture the eastern territories that they want?
How what I wrote implies anything of the kind? "...degree of a sanity that is much greater than one demonstrated by Pilsudski & Co" indicates quite opposite.

I'm not sure that these guys had been sane at all even when they acted under the auspices of Germany. With Germany being defeated who can tell what they'd try to push through. OTOH, with Russia being among the victors and not destroyed by the Bolshevik revolution and the following civil war I can't see how defeated Germany would be able to help anybody to grab territories from on of the victors.

In this context identity of "anybody" is not quite clear (see earlier posts): in OTL Germany created a puppet Kingdom of Poland out of the Russian territories it occupied during the war. Military forces of that "kingdom" were negligible but they were fighting against Entente so there is no debt of a gratitude involved. Now, why would victorious Russia recognize that state? The
only plausible reason is a wish to get rid of the Poles on Russian territory but this would require a mass deportation of the ethnic Poles from Lithuania and perhaps Galicia as well if Russia ends up with getting it from A-H. Now, what would be the borders of such a state would be up to the victors to decide and they may or may not decide that access to the sea is a "must" (Wilson is out of the picture). The same goes for the Polish territories which before the war had been owned by Germany and A-H: unlike OTL "Poland" is not in a position to make noises. The same goes for its leadership: I doubt that Pilsudski would be an acceptable person for Russia all the way to insisting on his extradition and imprisonment.
Post by WolfBear
Also, if so, this would certainly be interesting; indeed, I can just imagine the Germans saying "We want Danzig and the Polish Corridor back" and the Poles saying "Sure, but first help us fight Russia and acquire Belarus and western Ukraine!"
Sorry, but it looks like you are somewhat confused: we are talking about post-ALT-WWI scenario in which Germany is defeated, subjected to huge contribution and disarmed and Poland may or may not exist as a state and, if it is created, its borders are defined by the victorious allies (one of which is Russia). In other words, that "conversation" above is absolutely preposterous both politically and militarily.

Not to mention that in OTL the whole brouhaha (also known as "WWII") FORMALLY started after the Polish refusal to make ANY concessions on the issue of the corridor (even to allow construction of a highway with a right of a direct transit). If anything, the whole thing is a perfect illustration of the (in)sanity of the ruling Polish clique: Danzig region had its own NAZI (German) government with a militarized "police" which when war started sided with the invaders.
The Horny Goat
2017-10-10 16:29:59 UTC
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On Mon, 9 Oct 2017 14:06:38 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Sorry, but it looks like you are somewhat confused: we are talking about post-ALT-WWI scenario in which Germany is defeated, subjected to huge contribution and disarmed and Poland may or may not exist as a state and, if it is created, its borders are defined by the victorious allies (one of which is Russia). In other words, that "conversation" above is absolutely preposterous both politically and militarily.
Not to mention that in OTL the whole brouhaha (also known as "WWII") FORMALLY started after the Polish refusal to make ANY concessions on the issue of the corridor (even to allow construction of a highway with a right of a direct transit). If anything, the whole thing is a perfect illustration of the (in)sanity of the ruling Polish clique: Danzig region had its own NAZI (German) government with a militarized "police" which when war started sided with the invaders.
Given the balance of power in 1939 I see no way Poland defeats Germany
in any scenario without Soviet support and the fear of the Poles was
of course that once they had Soviet "assistance" they would go on
having it whether they liked it or not.

That said even if Stalin had said the USSR was neutral no matter what
(!) all of Poland would have been overrun in no more than 3-4 weeks
longer than Hitler took to reach the Soviet partition line. Obviously
this would not have been in Stalin's interest.

I think I'm stating what is the obvious to anyone familiar with WW2
affairs.
Alex Milman
2017-10-10 21:32:47 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
On Mon, 9 Oct 2017 14:06:38 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Sorry, but it looks like you are somewhat confused: we are talking about post-ALT-WWI scenario in which Germany is defeated, subjected to huge contribution and disarmed and Poland may or may not exist as a state and, if it is created, its borders are defined by the victorious allies (one of which is Russia). In other words, that "conversation" above is absolutely preposterous both politically and militarily.
Not to mention that in OTL the whole brouhaha (also known as "WWII") FORMALLY started after the Polish refusal to make ANY concessions on the issue of the corridor (even to allow construction of a highway with a right of a direct transit). If anything, the whole thing is a perfect illustration of the (in)sanity of the ruling Polish clique: Danzig region had its own NAZI (German) government with a militarized "police" which when war started sided with the invaders.
Given the balance of power in 1939
Sorry, the war is over in the early 1917 and the post-war Europe does not look like it was in OTL. Poland may or may not exist as an independent state and so far nobody in this thread formulated in a reasonably convincing way what that Alt-Poland looks like geographically and politically. A hint: Alt-Russia may consider more than one prominent OTL Polish figure (starting with Pilsudski) as entitled to spending considerable time within Russian penal system. Another hint: victorious Russia may or may not be willing to give away part of its territory to create a new state along the same lines (geographically) as was done after the Napoleonic wars (experience was not quite positive, to put it mildly). Neither would it care too much about new state (if created at all) having access to the sea (which in OTL was implemented in a truly moronic way; small wonder taking into an account that it was shaped by Wilson). So what is "Alt-Poland" geographically?

OTOH, it is highly unlikely that non-Bolshevik Russia allows post-war Germany training its military cadres on Russian territory.

So what OTL balance of power has to do with ATL?
Post by The Horny Goat
I see no way Poland defeats Germany
in any scenario without Soviet support
Which "Soviet support"? The whole idea of this ATL is that WWI is over before Bolshevik coup. Are you paying ANY attention? (This is a rhetorical question :-)).
The Horny Goat
2017-10-10 16:25:04 UTC
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Post by WolfBear
Post by Alex Milman
Post by WolfBear
but those countries don't border Poland while Russia does--thus, Russia would be considered to be a more direct and perhaps reliable source of aid than France and/or Britain would be.
What you wrote implies degree of a sanity that is much greater than one demonstrated by Pilsudski & Co so .....
Are you suggesting that Pilsudski & Co. would be willing to hand over the Polish Corridor to Germany if Germany will help them capture the eastern territories that they want?
Also, if so, this would certainly be interesting; indeed, I can just imagine the Germans saying "We want Danzig and the Polish Corridor back" and the Poles saying "Sure, but first help us fight Russia and acquire Belarus and western Ukraine!"
Given Hitler's plans for Belarus and western Ukraine I can't see this
ending well for the Poles...
Alex Milman
2017-10-10 21:34:55 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
Post by WolfBear
Post by Alex Milman
Post by WolfBear
but those countries don't border Poland while Russia does--thus, Russia would be considered to be a more direct and perhaps reliable source of aid than France and/or Britain would be.
What you wrote implies degree of a sanity that is much greater than one demonstrated by Pilsudski & Co so .....
Are you suggesting that Pilsudski & Co. would be willing to hand over the Polish Corridor to Germany if Germany will help them capture the eastern territories that they want?
Also, if so, this would certainly be interesting; indeed, I can just imagine the Germans saying "We want Danzig and the Polish Corridor back" and the Poles saying "Sure, but first help us fight Russia and acquire Belarus and western Ukraine!"
Given Hitler's plans for Belarus and western Ukraine I can't see this
ending well for the Poles...
Given all the differences between ATL and OTL, Hitler may not be in power and Poland may not exist.
The Horny Goat
2017-09-27 18:11:35 UTC
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Post by WolfBear
Post by The Horny Goat
If they control the Straights as you say they clearly DO have a way of
having influence in Greece.
Oh, sure, a victorious Russia would definitely want to influence Greece, Romania, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, and even Poland.
For sure - though I was thinking primarily of the Russian perception
of themselves as the "Protectors of the Orthodox" and "The Third Rome"
which in OTL obviously went out the window in 1917

Obviously 'protector of the Orthodox' had far more to do with Greece
than the others.
Alex Milman
2017-09-27 21:32:49 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
Post by WolfBear
Post by The Horny Goat
If they control the Straights as you say they clearly DO have a way of
having influence in Greece.
Oh, sure, a victorious Russia would definitely want to influence Greece, Romania, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, and even Poland.
For sure - though I was thinking primarily of the Russian perception
of themselves as the "Protectors of the Orthodox"
Mostly dead after the Crimean War and almost definitely dead After 1877/8
(by which time it was more "Slavs" than "Orthodox")
Post by The Horny Goat
and "The Third Rome"
This one was dead by the early XVIII.
Post by The Horny Goat
which in OTL obviously went out the window in 1917
Obviously 'protector of the Orthodox' had far more to do with Greece
than the others.
There were quite a few Orthodox countries besides Greece.
Alex Milman
2017-09-27 15:03:16 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
Also, please keep in mind that the West *did* become more hostile towards t=
he Soviet Union once the Soviets controlled Eastern Europe. In this TL, Rus=
sia will be seen (by Britain--probably not so much by France) as a more pow=
erful force than it was before the start of WWI and thus in need of being c=
ontained in order to prevent it from becoming too powerful and disturbing t=
he European balance-of-power.
So in the non-Bolshevik postwar era you suggest, with Russia having
control of the Straits do you get a rivalry between Britain and Russia
for control of the Aegean?
"Control" is a pretty much meaningless in this context. What would it amount to? Are you seriously thinking that any of the "rivals" would deny another a free access to it or a free navigation through the Straits?
Post by The Horny Goat
After all Russia claimed to be interested
in protecting the Greeks mostly due to their history
of Orthodoxy
In XVIII - XIX centuries.
Post by The Horny Goat
but
was never taken seriously
Actually, it was both in XVIII and XIX but we are talking about the XX
century when the things seriously changed. Among other things, with Greece
being an independent country, "protecting the Greeks" was not a priority.
Post by The Horny Goat
because with Johnny Turk in charge of the
Straights the Russians had no way of having a meaningful influence.
Actually, they did but it was in the XVIII century.
Post by The Horny Goat
If they control the Straights as you say they clearly DO have a way of
having influence in Greece.
Whatever they would or would not have, would not depend on possession of
the Straits. Ditto for the British influence.
The Horny Goat
2017-09-27 18:20:11 UTC
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On Wed, 27 Sep 2017 08:03:16 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
So in the non-Bolshevik postwar era you suggest, with Russia having
control of the Straits do you get a rivalry between Britain and Russia
for control of the Aegean?
"Control" is a pretty much meaningless in this context. What would it amount to? Are you seriously thinking that any of the "rivals" would deny another a free access to it or a free navigation through the Straits?
Merchant shipping absolutely not. With Russia in control of the
Straits I cannot imagine they would welcome naval vessels in the Black
Sea.
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
After all Russia claimed to be interested
in protecting the Greeks mostly due to their history
of Orthodoxy
In XVIII - XIX centuries.
We're talking rhetoric as opposed to core features of diplomacy. After
all the United States constantly proclaims the benefits of democracy
but has throughout the WW2 era been friends with all sorts of regimes
that were anything but.

After all the Soviets at the same time were proclaiming themselves as
leader of the progressive world and creating a new more equal world
order.

While I would argue the Soviets were more cynical on this than the US,
there was a fair degree of cynicism all round.
Alex Milman
2017-09-27 21:40:15 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
On Wed, 27 Sep 2017 08:03:16 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
So in the non-Bolshevik postwar era you suggest, with Russia having
control of the Straits do you get a rivalry between Britain and Russia
for control of the Aegean?
"Control" is a pretty much meaningless in this context. What would it amount to? Are you seriously thinking that any of the "rivals" would deny another a free access to it or a free navigation through the Straits?
Merchant shipping absolutely not. With Russia in control of the
Straits I cannot imagine they would welcome naval vessels in the Black
Sea.
London Straits Convention would be most probably still in place so the fruits of your imagination are rather irrelevant. :-)
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
After all Russia claimed to be interested
in protecting the Greeks mostly due to their history
of Orthodoxy
In XVIII - XIX centuries.
We're talking rhetoric as opposed to core features of diplomacy.
This specific rhetoric had been worn out by the time of WWI.
Post by The Horny Goat
After
all the United Statvvvves constantly proclaims the benefits of democracy
but has throughout the WW2 era been friends with all sorts of regimes
that were anything but.
The main difference is that by 1917 Russia already paid dearly for its "rhetoric" and there was too little taste for continuing in the same direction.
The Horny Goat
2017-09-28 03:35:32 UTC
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On Wed, 27 Sep 2017 14:40:15 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
Merchant shipping absolutely not. With Russia in control of the
Straits I cannot imagine they would welcome naval vessels in the Black
Sea.
London Straits Convention would be most probably still in place so the fruits of your imagination are rather irrelevant. :-)
So you believe that if Russia controlled the Straits they would be
fine with other nations patrolling the Black Sea with armed ships?

I see. Pardon me if I say I'm skeptical that they would be so sanguine
about the prospect.
Alex Milman
2017-09-28 15:45:20 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
On Wed, 27 Sep 2017 14:40:15 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
Merchant shipping absolutely not. With Russia in control of the
Straits I cannot imagine they would welcome naval vessels in the Black
Sea.
London Straits Convention would be most probably still in place so the fruits of your imagination are rather irrelevant. :-)
So you believe that if Russia controlled the Straits they would be
fine with other nations patrolling the Black Sea with armed ships?
1st of all, even in this scenario Russia is not going to be the only state with an access to the Black Sea so the question is technically preposterous.

As for the "patrolling" by the non-Black Sea countries, what exactly does this mean? Any ship can be in the international waters in the time of peace but, AFAIK, the ships are not routinely "patrolling" the international waters far away from their own borders. There could be pre-arranged courtesy visits, joined maneuvers with the regional navies, etc. Theoretically, the armed ships can be hanging in the international waters without any explanation at all.

Of course, in this specific case there would be a caveat: ship(s) can get in but if they start a hostile action there is a problem of getting out: freedom of passage is only for the peace time.

BTW, what would be the reason for the Brits or French to start "patrolling" near the coasts of their ally?
Post by The Horny Goat
I see. Pardon me if I say I'm skeptical that they would be so sanguine
about the prospect.
AFAIK, the Allies agreed to this specific issue in the declaration issued after the February Revolution so your skepticism is neither here nor there.
kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
2017-09-27 15:41:00 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
After all Russia claimed to be interested
in protecting the Greeks mostly due to their history of Orthodoxy
but was never taken seriously
The claim to be the protector of Orthodoxy was taken seriously in
Jerusalem and allowed for Russian interference into internal Turkish
affairs and for that matter anywhere there were Orthodox Christians. It
was not limited to Greeks.
Alex Milman
2017-09-27 15:48:00 UTC
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Post by kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
Post by The Horny Goat
After all Russia claimed to be interested
in protecting the Greeks mostly due to their history of Orthodoxy
but was never taken seriously
The claim to be the protector of Orthodoxy was taken seriously in
Jerusalem and allowed for Russian interference into internal Turkish
affairs and for that matter anywhere there were Orthodox Christians. It
was not limited to Greeks.
And it belonged to the XIX century....
The Horny Goat
2017-09-27 18:21:29 UTC
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On Wed, 27 Sep 2017 08:48:00 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
The claim to be the protector of Orthodoxy was taken seriously in
Jerusalem and allowed for Russian interference into internal Turkish
affairs and for that matter anywhere there were Orthodox Christians. It
was not limited to Greeks.
And it belonged to the XIX century....
At least as far as Jerusalem is concerned one could argue it continues
to the present day given the religious politics associated with the
care of the holy sites there and in Bethlehem.
Alex Milman
2017-09-27 21:42:38 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
On Wed, 27 Sep 2017 08:48:00 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
The claim to be the protector of Orthodoxy was taken seriously in
Jerusalem and allowed for Russian interference into internal Turkish
affairs and for that matter anywhere there were Orthodox Christians. It
was not limited to Greeks.
And it belonged to the XIX century....
At least as far as Jerusalem is concerned one could argue it continues
to the present day given the religious politics associated with the
care of the holy sites there and in Bethlehem.
I'm not following the ongoing Russian politics but my impression was that they don't give a damn about the holy sites in Jerusalem.
The Horny Goat
2017-09-28 03:49:36 UTC
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On Wed, 27 Sep 2017 14:42:38 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
At least as far as Jerusalem is concerned one could argue it continues
to the present day given the religious politics associated with the
care of the holy sites there and in Bethlehem.
I'm not following the ongoing Russian politics but my impression was that they don't give a damn about the holy sites in Jerusalem.
If you mean present day then I agree that their only interest is the
opportunity to make mischief rather than any important national goal.
I would expect the Patriarch cares but agree Putin probably doesn't.

He probably would care more if someone like Cardinal Wojtula (aka Pope
John Paul II) was in the Vatican and able to use the holy sites as a
bully pulpit but as things stand now not an issue.
Alex Milman
2017-09-28 15:53:27 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
On Wed, 27 Sep 2017 14:42:38 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
At least as far as Jerusalem is concerned one could argue it continues
to the present day given the religious politics associated with the
care of the holy sites there and in Bethlehem.
I'm not following the ongoing Russian politics but my impression was that they don't give a damn about the holy sites in Jerusalem.
If you mean present day then I agree that their only interest is the
opportunity to make mischief rather than any important national goal.
As far as I can tell their interest is in supporting their clients.
Post by The Horny Goat
I would expect the Patriarch cares but agree Putin probably doesn't.
Why would Patriarch of Moscow show an excessive care about the places which belong to a different eparchy?
Post by The Horny Goat
He probably would care more if someone like Cardinal Wojtula (aka Pope
John Paul II) was in the Vatican and able to use the holy sites as a
bully pulpit but as things stand now not an issue.
Alex Milman
2017-09-27 02:14:28 UTC
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Post by WolfBear
Post by Alex Milman
Post by WolfBear
Post by Rob
a) Triple Entente persists, Britain, France and Russia stay buds
b) Britain vs France and Russia
c) Russia vs France and Britain
d) France vs Britain and Russia
e) France, Britain and Russia are rivals, all against all
Especially in the case of b, c or d, would either or both sides try to appeal to defeated Germany?
What would Italy's foreign policy preferences be?
Could America be made to care about European alliance shenanigans again?
I expect that the answer is B: Britain vs. (France and Russia).
Any specific reason that did not exist in OTL? Or "just because"?
AFAIK, in OTL by 1914 there were no obvious conflicts between these countries and after WWI Britain and France did quite well sharing the spoils. In that scenario Russia (Tsarist or Democratic) would claim Armenia (OK with GB & F) and the Straits (to which the Allies also agreed). Clearly, the last item would imply the explicit agreement stating the rights of all parties interested.
So what would serve as a breaking point?
Yes, Britain would be OK with those Russian territorial gains, but it would be wary of Russia trying to expand its influence even further than that.
If WWI is over somewhere in the early 1917 (after February Revolution) Russia has so many things to attend to that an aggressive foreign policy is simply not on the table for a predictable future. To start with, the Constitutional Assembly must create and adopt a new constitution, then there should be the elections, then there should be inevitable land reform, then there should be many other things like figuring out who is and who is not stay in Russia (one of the most itchy things would be Russian-Polish border), then a lot of things must be done to revive the economy, etc. ("then" does not necessarily mean a precise sequence of the events). Even IF Russia ends up with the possession of the Straits (to which the Allied seemingly agreed), there would be a need to force the Turks out, to arrange administration and supply of the area, etc.
Post by WolfBear
As for the Bolsheviks, it helped that, after their initial enthusiasm for world revolution, they began focusing inward and didn't try much to meddle in other countries' affairs. Would Tsarist Russia have been as restrained? I'm not so sure.
This ATL more or less assumes that Russia is already NOT Tsarist (unless "1917" stands for "January of 1917"). Neither Democratic nor Tsarist Russia would look for world revolution by the obvious reasons and by the beginning of 1917 Russia was too exhausted for anything beyond the token acquisitions (economic effect of getting Turkish Armenia would be rather negative than positive).

OTOH, your idea that after the "initial enthusiasm" the OTL Bolsheviks "didn't try much to meddle in other countries' affairs" strongly depends upon the definition of "much": the communists had been quite active in many places
(Germany, France and Italy being not the only ones).
The Horny Goat
2017-09-27 04:24:09 UTC
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On Tue, 26 Sep 2017 19:14:28 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
OTOH, your idea that after the "initial enthusiasm" the OTL Bolsheviks "did=
n't try much to meddle in other countries' affairs" strongly depends upon t=
he definition of "much": the communists had been quite active in many place=
s (Germany, France and Italy being not the only ones).
Depending on what you mean by "meddling" wasn't that the whole point
of the Comintern? (Which I do know didn't exist in 1917 but was
founded in 1919)
Alex Milman
2017-09-27 15:08:37 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
On Tue, 26 Sep 2017 19:14:28 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
OTOH, your idea that after the "initial enthusiasm" the OTL Bolsheviks "did=
n't try much to meddle in other countries' affairs" strongly depends upon t=
he definition of "much": the communists had been quite active in many place=
s (Germany, France and Italy being not the only ones).
Depending on what you mean by "meddling" wasn't that the whole point
of the Comintern?
Yes
Post by The Horny Goat
(Which I do know didn't exist in 1917 but was
founded in 1919)
Yes again. With any non-Bolshevik government this organization would not exist in its OTL form.
The Horny Goat
2017-09-27 18:22:52 UTC
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On Wed, 27 Sep 2017 08:08:37 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
OTOH, your idea that after the "initial enthusiasm" the OTL Bolsheviks "did=
n't try much to meddle in other countries' affairs" strongly depends upon t=
he definition of "much": the communists had been quite active in many place=
s (Germany, France and Italy being not the only ones).
Depending on what you mean by "meddling" wasn't that the whole point
of the Comintern?
Yes
Post by The Horny Goat
(Which I do know didn't exist in 1917 but was
founded in 1919)
Yes again. With any non-Bolshevik government this organization would not exist in its OTL form.
Very true - in this kind of world I could see it devolving into
something less effective than the Second Socialist International.
Think of the Trotskyist 4th or 5th "Internationals" for a hint of what
I mean.
Rich Rostrom
2017-10-01 02:06:09 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Alex Milman
Yes again. With any non-Bolshevik government this
organization would not exist in its OTL form.
Very true - in this kind of world I could see it devolving into
something less effective than the Second Socialist International.
There would be no Communist Third International _at_ _all_.

The TI was created by the revolutionary Bolshevik
government to assert its leadership of the world
revolutionary Socialist movement. As the only
"revolutionary" government in the world, they were
in position to do this.

If there is no Bolshevik Revolution, Lenin and company
don't have that position, and will continue as the
hard-line faction of the Socialist International.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
The Old Man
2017-09-26 19:10:46 UTC
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Post by Rob
a) Triple Entente persists, Britain, France and Russia stay buds
b) Britain vs France and Russia
c) Russia vs France and Britain
d) France vs Britain and Russia
e) France, Britain and Russia are rivals, all against all
Especially in the case of b, c or d, would either or both sides try to appeal to defeated Germany?
What would Italy's foreign policy preferences be?
Could America be made to care about European alliance shenanigans again?
Question - Does Russia stay Russia or become the Soviet Union in this TL?
If Russia, then A or B, possibly EVENTUALLY E
Is Soviet Union, then C or E.
E in either case would be Britain blaming Russia and France for starting the main part of the war instead of letting it remain a regional conflict between Austria and Serbia, assuming that Germany didn't field troops (not merely put them on alert) before Russia.

Regards,
John Braungart
Alex Milman
2017-09-26 20:50:38 UTC
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Post by Rob
a) Triple Entente persists, Britain, France and Russia stay buds
b) Britain vs France and Russia
c) Russia vs France and Britain
d) France vs Britain and Russia
e) France, Britain and Russia are rivals, all against all
Especially in the case of b, c or d, would either or both sides try to appeal to defeated Germany?
What would Italy's foreign policy preferences be?
Could America be made to care about European alliance shenanigans again?
Rob, why don't you (just for a change :-)) try to add some substance to the
mechanically created list of the options? You know, just to explain why in your opinion something would stay or break.



In OTL France & Britain remained friendly after WWI. Why would it change if
the war is over few months earlier?

If the war is won prior to Bolshevik coup there is no imaginable treason why
Russia is going to change its alignment: if anything, it'll be looking for a
LOT of money from somewhere and, anyway, is going to be preoccupied with the
internal issues for quite a while so what's the motivation for looking for trouble?

So the answer is (a).
The Horny Goat
2017-09-27 04:18:57 UTC
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On Tue, 26 Sep 2017 13:50:38 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
In OTL France & Britain remained friendly after WWI. Why would it change if
the war is over few months earlier?
If the war is won prior to Bolshevik coup there is no imaginable treason why
Russia is going to change its alignment: if anything, it'll be looking for a
LOT of money from somewhere and, anyway, is going to be preoccupied with the
internal issues for quite a while so what's the motivation for looking for trouble?
So the answer is (a).
Well in OTL Russia's chief bankers were French most of whom lost their
shirts when Lenin reneged on Russia's debts. If capitalist (or 2nd
International type socialists) ruled Russia in TTL, France would
likely remain Russia's greatest credit and over time would likely
morph into something like China and America today e.g. China is
America's greatest creditor chiefly because America is China's
greatest market.

Bear in mind that the Lubyanka was originally an office building
belonging to an insurance company! (That's about as far from being a
prison as it gets....)
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