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  • Full Monty
    replied
    Originally posted by The Ibis View Post


    I have to say though, I prefer the frying pan argument to the pressure cooker argument.
    Depends on who has gotten hold of the handle.

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  • The Ibis
    replied
    Originally posted by Full Monty View Post


    Depends on whether you believe that smaller conflicts would have 'let off steam' and equally whether it was the lack of conflict that made made the Great War such a terrible thing - the 'pressure-cooker' argument. It's not provable in any way of course and in any case the smaller wars might have actually been more ruinous in the long term by stunting the opportunities for trade and investment.


    I have to say though, I prefer the frying pan argument to the pressure cooker argument.

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  • Full Monty
    replied
    Originally posted by The Ibis View Post
    Without the alliance system and the aptly-described armed camps, the chance of a pan-continental conflict may well have been reduced. To what extent, though, I'm not certain. I'm not sure I'd have much confidence in a small war between great powers staying between those powers only. I could devise a scenar... never mind.


    Depends on whether you believe that smaller conflicts would have 'let off steam' and equally whether it was the lack of conflict that made made the Great War such a terrible thing - the 'pressure-cooker' argument. It's not provable in any way of course and in any case the smaller wars might have actually been more ruinous in the long term by stunting the opportunities for trade and investment.

    Leave a comment:


  • The Ibis
    replied
    Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
    Actually Wolery we're not that far off being on the same page. I think that having a strong and dynamic Germany, especially under Bismarck, helped to maintain the peace between the major powers despite the petty conflicts that blighted Europe's peripheries. Unfortunately this repressed the antagonism between the major powers that might otherwise have been blown off in a series of smaller conflicts .... hence come the end of fin de siecle the armed camp would probably not exist. More wars, but less destruction and a chance for those who regarded war as a good thing to see it close up before a pan-continental conflict broke out (hopefully).

    Without the alliance system and the aptly-described armed camps, the chance of a pan-continental conflict may well have been reduced. To what extent, though, I'm not certain. I'm not sure I'd have much confidence in a small war between great powers staying between those powers only. I could devise a scenar... never mind.

    Leave a comment:


  • Full Monty
    replied
    Actually Wolery we're not that far off being on the same page. I think that having a strong and dynamic Germany, especially under Bismarck, helped to maintain the peace between the major powers despite the petty conflicts that blighted Europe's peripheries. Unfortunately this repressed the antagonism between the major powers that might otherwise have been blown off in a series of smaller conflicts .... hence come the end of fin de siecle the armed camp would probably not exist. More wars, but less destruction and a chance for those who regarded war as a good thing to see it close up before a pan-continental conflict broke out (hopefully).

    Leave a comment:


  • Wolery
    replied
    I have to disagree with you, while acknowledging where you come from. But this is like the debate on whether America would enter WWII without Pearl Harbor. I say no, but that's only because FDR was a sleazebag, but not slick enough to stage a causus belli against the Nazis. Not that he wouldn't have tried, more than one person has said the embargo against Japan was designed more to provoke an attack than preserve the peace. But the problem with you position, that it's over a MUCH longer time period. We cannot fill in all the details of what a world would look like without a unified Germany and a Bonapartist France. World War I was technically avoidable, but in reality the whole game theory of late 19th century made both the camps and the war nigh on inevitable.

    Besides, if Prussia failed to counter Austria, even with Bismark dead, the impetus for German unification is still there. It might have taken a decade of two, and the result would be a slightly weaker confederation, with greater privileges to the minor states, maybe dominated by Austria, maybe not. What dimwits think could happen with the EU is what would have happened in Germany: economic integration, followed by political union. This is because they actually have the key ingredient of a nation state: an ethnic tie. Would this be a weaker Germany? Maybe, but it might also be a smarter one. Moreover without Wilhelm II, the naval race might not ever come to pass, and The German state would be a natural ally of Britain, Russia being an enemy just below France. What happened historically plays out like the Mayor of Casterbridge (don't read it I BEG of you!), fluke after fluke, and depressing to boot. If this world is an AH novel, I must say the author has a lot of determination to make Britain and Germany fight but his changes are ham-fisted.

    And besides, any number things could happen, without Prussian dominated unification to anchor that world to something we could relate to. The disintegration of the Ottomans, trouble in Russia, Austria having to decide to be the leader in Germany or hold onto it's old empire (it would be unlikely, although cool, if they could), and the problem of the Papal State under French protection, I can see a lot of spin off. But I've done a lot of counter-factual thinking, mostly on my own little playground and how to make it sync with ours when the point of divergence is when the devil is made. So many things could happen. And it's not fair to take the most likely because our history is built on so many improbabilities (the Athenian expedition to Sicily was so stupid that I couldn't sell it in a novel if it didn't happen) it boggles the mind. But anyway the armed camp thing could have been caused by any number of things given the attitude of the elites of Europe in that era.

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  • Full Monty
    replied
    Originally posted by Wolery View Post
    If you want to prevent WW1, the failure of German unification would not fit the bill. The nature of the alliance system, as well as it's fluidity, cause hey Britian and Germany almost alighned in 1902, means that in all likelyhood the opening moves would be made in Germany (the traditional chess board of European wars) and the German states would collapse after WWI to form a Germany based on the strongest victor, much like Yugoslavia. To avoid World War I a less romantic view of war and no jingoism would be required.
    Hmmm, I don't doubt there would be conflict, especially with Napoleon III being keen to emulate his uncle, but without a dynamic 'New' Germany seeking to exercise its recently discovered diplomatic 'clout' on the World stage, especially after the fall of Bismarck, a number of crises that helped shape the alliance system would never have happened. The 'armed camp' that characterised European relations at the end of the long 19th Century (as Hobsbawm would have it) would probably not have happened.

    If the Civil War didn't shape up Europe's view of modern war, I don't know what could.
    Trouble is that it wasn't the only war that took place and it was fought by armies almost entirely made up of inexperienced and (at least at first) ill-trained citizen soldiers. As such, 'professional' European commanders and politicians took their lessons from elsewhere, drawing different conclusions about how to fight and generally wage war. That they got it very wrong is clear in hindsight but in 1914 it could not have been clear at all.

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  • Wolery
    replied
    If you want to prevent WW1, the failure of German unification would not fit the bill. The nature of the alliance system, as well as it's fluidity, cause hey Britian and Germany almost alighned in 1902, means that in all likelyhood the opening moves would be made in Germany (the traditional chess board of European wars) and the German states would collapse after WWI to form a Germany based on the strongest victor, much like Yugoslavia. To avoid World War I a less romantic view of war and no jingoism would be required. If the Civil War didn't shape up Europe's view of modern war, I don't know what could.

    Leave a comment:


  • Carl Schwamberg
    replied
    Originally posted by Exorcist View Post

    Let that be a lesson to those who want to get into the business, make your first one a quickie.
    & hope she does not know the difference

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  • The Exorcist
    replied
    Originally posted by The Ibis View Post

    So it wound up being exceptional?
    Did you publish it? If not, can you make it available? Some of us I'm sure would love to poke holes, errr ... I mean read it.
    An exceptional pain in the butt!

    Too long for any publisher to take a chance on, not with a 1st-time author. And breaking it up into a series just does not work for me, it wasn't written that way.

    Let that be a lesson to those who want to get into the business, make your first one a quickie.

    Leave a comment:


  • The Ibis
    replied
    Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
    No, the ingratitude came in 1853, when Austria was neutral in the Crimean war,and managed to offend nearly everyone.
    Contrast this with Prussia's neutrality, which was managed in such a way that won it respect. This is not the only reason I think that Russia would have sided with Prussia. Remember that during the Polish insurrection of 1863, when Prussia was one of the only European powers that did not make threatening noises at Russia. In fact, Prussia sent 5 Regiments of Cavalry to the border, not to counter Russia's moves, but to boot back any Polish Partisans that tries to slip across the border.
    Friendship with the Czar was a hallmark of Bismarck's policies.

    Sorry if that wreaks a neat scenario, but this sort of thing opens up new possibilities.
    Oops, I forgot all about that. Yes, you're right. The Russians had cause to be angry by Austrian conduct.

    Nonetheless, the deal still makes sense for the Russians because it 1) forestalls any conceivable united Germany for the time being and 2) ties Austria to similar aims as Russia had in 1853 and makes the Austrians help pay in blood to re-occupy territory (in Romania for example) the Russians had been forced to vacate (and which were then occupied by Habsburg troops).

    Remember, in hellboy's original post, Bismarck is dead and Prussia was defeated. Thus, Prussia is the easier target of convenience and a nice chunk of territory could help Russia get over the snub -- The Ibis offers as an after-the-fact justification.

    Still, I wasn't thinking about having the scenario be possible - just be entertaining. Any resemblance to actual historical possibilties is coincidental.

    You have no idea....
    I wrote what was supposed to be a unexceptional book about what would have happened if France and Britain had entered the ACW on the Confederate side, and it turned into WW1 in 1863. 230,000 words barely scratched the surface of that timeline.

    Never again!
    So it wound up being exceptional?
    Did you publish it? If not, can you make it available? Some of us I'm sure would love to poke holes, errr ... I mean read it.

    Leave a comment:


  • The Exorcist
    replied
    Originally posted by The Ibis View Post

    What "Germany" are you talking about? There was no such unified political entity in 1866, and the Gorchakov deal would prevent it from ever happening.
    Opps, that's right, the unification wasn't until 1871

    Originally posted by The Ibis View Post

    To the extent Russia didn't trust Austria (keep in mind that Austria's historical ingratitude came after this AT), this scenario (while implausible) is far more beneficial to Russia in the long term and would place Russia in a better strategic position to address any issue that might later arise.
    No, the ingratitude came in 1853, when Austria was neutral in the Crimean war,and managed to offend nearly everyone.
    Contrast this with Prussia's neutrality, which was managed in such a way that won it respect. This is not the only reason I think that Russia would have sided with Prussia. Remember that during the Polish insurrection of 1863, when Prussia was one of the only European powers that did not make threatening noises at Russia. In fact, Prussia sent 5 Regiments of Cavalry to the border, not to counter Russia's moves, but to boot back any Polish Partisans that tries to slip across the border.
    Friendship with the Czar was a hallmark of Bismarck's policies.

    Sorry if that wreaks a neat scenario, but this sort of thing opens up new possibilities.

    .
    Originally posted by The Ibis View Post
    If, on the other hand, they joined Britain and France in resisting the Warsaw Pact, perhaps another expeditionary force could have been sent north. However, Britain and France are committed in Turkey, and depending on the timing, Britain would also be committed in Canada. There are only so many expeditionary forces that can be deployed. In any event, it certainly complicates things further.

    You have no idea....
    I wrote what was supposed to be a unexceptional book about what would have happened if France and Britain had entered the ACW on the Confederate side, and it turned into WW1 in 1863. 230,000 words barely scratched the surface of that timeline.

    Never again!

    Leave a comment:


  • piero1971
    replied
    Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
    Hmmmmm, the Risorgimento was still very much 'work in progress' at this time, with Rome not part of the Italian State and the old Kingdom of Naples not assimilated into 'Greater Piedmont' in any meaningful way. Not only was 'Italy' politically unstable (even more so than now!) but its population didn't regard themselves as 'Italian'. Had Rome, under French influence, remained independent then there wouldn't be much to bind the rich industrial north, ruled from Piedmont, to the poor and agricultural south. Given that neither Cavour nor Victor Emmanuel really wanted Naples, but (effectively) had it foisted upon them by the activities of Garibaldi, the possibility of a division in this timeline is strong imho.
    possible indeed. but then you would need leaders... not many around. and the army, by 1866 was large and ruthless against lightly armed guerillas and banditry... also, most bourgeois and nobles families of the south found a nice and lucrative modus operandi with the north (they kept their landlord priviledges, etc.)... so I'm not sure any leadership was availabel then.

    Austria certainly knew that it coudl get into arrangements with the King of Italy, especially when chastised as it was after the defeats of 1866.. and it had little ambitions anymore in Italy except to keep the german-speaking Tyrol and the happy-not-to-be-part-of-Italy-less-a-few-romantic-fools-Ventians...

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  • Full Monty
    replied
    Originally posted by piero1971 View Post
    I can speak on ITaly for sure.
    having been defeaed on land at Custoza (moderate defeat, turned into political panic) and on the sea at Lissa (major defeat).

    Italy would have sued for peace ignominously. Italy was already united and there is no way it would "dis-unite" as Britain (and to lesser, if more visible, extent) was the main sponsor of Italy would strongly support a strong Italy...
    Hmmmmm, the Risorgimento was still very much 'work in progress' at this time, with Rome not part of the Italian State and the old Kingdom of Naples not assimilated into 'Greater Piedmont' in any meaningful way. Not only was 'Italy' politically unstable (even more so than now!) but its population didn't regard themselves as 'Italian'. Had Rome, under French influence, remained independent then there wouldn't be much to bind the rich industrial north, ruled from Piedmont, to the poor and agricultural south. Given that neither Cavour nor Victor Emmanuel really wanted Naples, but (effectively) had it foisted upon them by the activities of Garibaldi, the possibility of a division in this timeline is strong imho.

    Leave a comment:


  • Full Monty
    replied
    Originally posted by The Ibis View Post
    So if he was a king, would von Motlke be known as Helmuth the Infallible?
    Perhaps he would have made Pope?

    Leave a comment:

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