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World War I, Does anything change if these two leaders live longer?

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  • World War I, Does anything change if these two leaders live longer?

    I am not sure how much discussion I can generate with this topic, seems WWI gets little attention here with the large percentage of subject matter covering WWII, Aliens, and Zulu's.

    Two leaders who died relatively young as far as rulers go:

    1) Frederick III, German Emperor

    Frederick was a liberal minded leader who's wife was the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria (an important fact in itself,) and anti-Bismarck. He died in 1888 at 56 years of age. Had he lived to be 80 it would have kept him on the political scene until 1911. I realize this puts it a bit short but it is highly likely it would have taken a number of years for his son Wilhelm II to change the face of the country.

    2) Alexander III, Czar of Russia

    Alexander was a strong ruler for his time but passed away at 49 during the year of 1894. Had he too lived until 80 years of age he could have certainly changed history, not passing away until 1925. Alexander was not into reforms so there is little chance the likes of Vlad Lenin would have deterred from their goal of ridding Russia of all Czar's. He was however far stronger and dominating than his weakling son, Nicholas II.

    We have two leaders who would have certainly altered history to a degree, World War I most prevalent in my mind. Anyone interested in suggesting what might have been had both of these leaders lived until 80 years of age?

  • #2
    I doubt that Fredrick living longer would have significantly impacted the war's start. There was so much occurring so quickly in the early 1900s that there is little doubt in my mind that the war would have occurred somewhere close to 'schedule'

    Alexander III however, raises an interesting possibility. With him being a stronger Czar, Lenin might not have had the wiggle room to get his revolution off the ground. He also might have done a better job of mobilizing and running the Russian Army, which would have caused Germany more troubles while also keeping morale at home higher. That would have also worked wonders for stopping the advance of the Reds before they reached critical mass.
    Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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    • #3
      The problem was that by this stage of European History if i am correct the Monarchs had very little direct control over or begining to lose direct control over Governments, not only this but regardless of who is the Monarch of the day the European powers were set in a deadly arms race, war was going to happen and it only needed a trigger as which exactly happened in real time.

      Also the Monarchs being related to each other did not stop the wars.

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      • #4
        Fredrick II may or may not have influenced foreign policy enough that:

        a. High Seas fleet not built

        b. An entirely different group in the foreign office

        c. A different course in development of the army & stratigic doctrine

        A Tougher Czar might have had a more effective policy fr nuetralizing revolutionaries like the Bolshiviks

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
          Fredrick II may or may not have influenced foreign policy enough that:

          a. High Seas fleet not built

          b. An entirely different group in the foreign office

          c. A different course in development of the army & stratigic doctrine

          A Tougher Czar might have had a more effective policy fr nuetralizing revolutionaries like the Bolshiviks
          I think that a High Seas Fleet would still be built, Germany was a colonial empire and needed a powerful modern fleet, Germany could not allow itself to left behind.

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          • #6
            Frederick would certainly be more diplomatic man than his son, who managed to sour his relationships with nearly everybody. For example souring relationship with Russia was not necessary by any means and did certainly nothing good for Germany. Also even if Germany started to build high seas fleet maybe more cautious measures would been taken, for example building in more smaller scale not to irritate UK, Germanys traditional enemy was France and building fleet big neough to keep its own against French would not be as irritating to UK as building fleet big eneough to threaten UK.

            Russia's situation then, maybe Alexander would have managed to keep empire going though I think his way of ruling just kept pressure rising. On the other hand if Alexanders first son would have lived to take crown it may had changed situation. Nicholas as we know was not meant to rule, but was forced to position, and he was not regarded either very bright or capable by his father. He allowed himself to be lead by conniving court politicians, he tried to be strict like his father but was not as capable. Tsar like he could have been in power for his days end if war has not happened, but as crisis leader he simply was not capable.

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            • #7
              Kaiser

              Frederic's wife was Queen Victoria's eldest child... it just may have been enough to keep Germany on excellent terms with Britain. A lot of family politics played into the war.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Roddoss72 View Post
                I think that a High Seas Fleet would still be built, Germany was a colonial empire and needed a powerful modern fleet, Germany could not allow itself to left behind.
                Portugal had a large colonial empire. How large was its fleet? Ditto for the Netherlands. Japan & the US had tiny empires, but large fleets. I dont see the correlation.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                  Fredrick II may or may not have influenced foreign policy enough that:

                  a. High Seas fleet not built

                  b. An entirely different group in the foreign office

                  c. A different course in development of the army & stratigic doctrine

                  A Tougher Czar might have had a more effective policy fr nuetralizing revolutionaries like the Bolshiviks
                  Carl,
                  Frederick II (aka "the Great") was a bit earlier in time.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                    Portugal had a large colonial empire. How large was its fleet? Ditto for the Netherlands. Japan & the US had tiny empires, but large fleets. I dont see the correlation.
                    You raise an interesting point. It wasn't the size of the empire but the desire to project power around the globe that dictated fleet size and whether the country would be happy acting as a free rider on the
                    Royal Navy.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                      Portugal had a large colonial empire. How large was its fleet? Ditto for the Netherlands. Japan & the US had tiny empires, but large fleets. I dont see the correlation.
                      Both Portugal and The Netherlands were long term allies of Britain and relied on the Royal Navy for protection, Germany would not and could not see itself as being under the protection of the Royal Navy. Germany was a militaristic nation, it was building up its arms and so the Navy would be part of that.

                      Anyway Portugal and The Netherlands are not Germany, unless i am mistaken.

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                      • #12
                        Frederick I died of throat cancer; he was misdiagnosed by an British doctor as having no cancer. Had he gone by the advise of the German doctors he would have had his voice box removed but probably would have lived. Could have a voiceless Frederick prevented WWI? And did Wilhelm II with a voice cause WWI? Probably - on both counts..

                        The fact is that Frederick and especially his wife Vicky had plans to model Germany after Britain's Liberal constitutional monarchy. "Vicky" was the first born of Queen Victoria and was more Victorian than Queen Victoria. When Queen Victoria met Bismark she said "Bismark is someone we can do business with" much to the horror of her daughter who hated Bismark.


                        Vickie and Frederick might very well have have changed Germany constitutionally and certainly would have maintained good relations with Britain.

                        Wilhelm did hold animosity to wards his Mother perhaps because of his deformed left hand and he sure resented British interference in Germany and was jealous of Britain's world position.

                        Vicky left Germany for Britain soon after Wilhelm acceded the throne. Vickie died not long after her mother in 1901.

                        Had Frederick and Vickie reined for a couple of decades longer then no WWI. almost for sure.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks guys

                          Another thought on Germany, Willy would have had more years to grow up had his father lived longer. Perhaps his character would have improved.

                          Upon Ferdinand's assassination perhaps Germany would have stayed the course of diplomacy and lets consider Russia and Serbia defeating Austria-Hungary. A Russian military victory would have enhanced the Czar's standing and outspoken communists would have been frowned upon rather than embraced by the common man.

                          Then of course their was the Russo-Japanese war, who can say how that might have been handled differently .... this fact of history also played into Bloody Sunday .....

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SteinOfOrange View Post
                            Another thought on Germany, Willy would have had more years to grow up had his father lived longer. Perhaps his character would have improved.

                            Upon Ferdinand's assassination perhaps Germany would have stayed the course of diplomacy and lets consider Russia and Serbia defeating Austria-Hungary. A Russian military victory would have enhanced the Czar's standing and outspoken communists would have been frowned upon rather than embraced by the common man.

                            Then of course their was the Russo-Japanese war, who can say how that might have been handled differently .... this fact of history also played into Bloody Sunday .....
                            Do you really think that Europe would allow a massive expansion of the Russian Empire into Eastern Europe with a defeated Austro-Hungarian Empire.

                            Imagine the Austro-Hungarian Empire being annexed by Russia, this is a fundamental power shift also this would shake up the establishment.

                            This could in effect make allies of Britain, Germany, France and Italy.

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                            • #15
                              ..

                              Its interesting to me to say the least. Maybe Russia would only annex part of the east, though I am sure those perfect little angles in Serbia would want something.

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