What if Afghanistan entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers?

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What if Afghanistan entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers?

Post by Futurist » 02 Jan 2016 05:36

Any thoughts on this?

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Sheldrake
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Re: What if Afghanistan entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers?

Post by Sheldrake » 02 Jan 2016 10:40

Well it kind of did, after the armistice and before the Versailles peace treaty.
Check out the Third Anglo Afghan War 1919 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Anglo-Afghan_War and the Waziristan campaign https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wazirista ... 2%80%9320)

The Germans and Turks did try to get the Afghans into the war earlier, which is I guess your question.

There was never any question of Afghanistan capturing India. The only issue is how many troops would have been tied up.

A considerable Anglo Indian force was retained in India to maintain law and order and deal with troublesome areas such as the NW Frontier and Burma. Had the NW frontier erupted in 1914 it might have hampered the withdrawal of regular troops redeployed to the Western Front. (C. four divisions including the Indian Corps) Had it taken place in 1915 it might have saved the British from the folly of the 1915 attempt on Bagdad, which arose from a bit of "the devil finds work" and led to the surrender at Kut al Amarah.

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Re: What if Afghanistan entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers?

Post by Futurist » 03 Jan 2016 05:52

Sheldrake wrote:Well it kind of did, after the armistice and before the Versailles peace treaty.
Check out the Third Anglo Afghan War 1919 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Anglo-Afghan_War and the Waziristan campaign https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wazirista ... 2%80%9320)

The Germans and Turks did try to get the Afghans into the war earlier, which is I guess your question.

There was never any question of Afghanistan capturing India. The only issue is how many troops would have been tied up.

A considerable Anglo Indian force was retained in India to maintain law and order and deal with troublesome areas such as the NW Frontier and Burma. Had the NW frontier erupted in 1914 it might have hampered the withdrawal of regular troops redeployed to the Western Front. (C. four divisions including the Indian Corps) Had it taken place in 1915 it might have saved the British from the folly of the 1915 attempt on Bagdad, which arose from a bit of "the devil finds work" and led to the surrender at Kut al Amarah.
I completely agree with what you wrote here. That said, though:

1. What exactly does Afghanistan acquire in the 1918 Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in this TL?

2. What exactly happens to Afghanistan and its territory after the Entente/Allies win World War I in this TL?

Any thoughts on these two questions of mine?

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Re: What if Afghanistan entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers?

Post by Sheldrake » 03 Jan 2016 11:56

Futurist wrote:
Sheldrake wrote:Well it kind of did, after the armistice and before the Versailles peace treaty.
Check out the Third Anglo Afghan War 1919 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Anglo-Afghan_War and the Waziristan campaign https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wazirista ... 2%80%9320)

The Germans and Turks did try to get the Afghans into the war earlier, which is I guess your question.

There was never any question of Afghanistan capturing India. The only issue is how many troops would have been tied up.

A considerable Anglo Indian force was retained in India to maintain law and order and deal with troublesome areas such as the NW Frontier and Burma. Had the NW frontier erupted in 1914 it might have hampered the withdrawal of regular troops redeployed to the Western Front. (C. four divisions including the Indian Corps) Had it taken place in 1915 it might have saved the British from the folly of the 1915 attempt on Bagdad, which arose from a bit of "the devil finds work" and led to the surrender at Kut al Amarah.
I completely agree with what you wrote here. That said, though:

1. What exactly does Afghanistan acquire in the 1918 Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in this TL?

2. What exactly happens to Afghanistan and its territory after the Entente/Allies win World War I in this TL?

Any thoughts on these two questions of mine?
Re 1. Nothing of any worth that could be delivered or defended. The Soviet government that signed the Brest Litovsk treaty had only limited control over the periphery of the Russian Empire. It might be mildly amusing to think of Afghanistan as a major player in the Russian Civil War, but Terry the Taliban v Trotsky's Red Hordes episode of Deadliest Warriors was not going to happen in 1919.

Re 2. Nothing much. By 1919 the British Empire had learned that the best that could be accomplished with Afhganistan was some form of punative mission it was utter folly to occupy the country. This Imperial policy was handed over to India and Pakistan on independence, but long forgotten in London by 2001. (The British Army commissioned a historian to write a report on the lessons learned from previous Afghan wars in the early 2000's but someone sat on the results and did not release the pamphlet until 2010.)

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Re: What if Afghanistan entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers?

Post by Futurist » 29 Jan 2016 09:41

Sheldrake wrote:
Futurist wrote:
Sheldrake wrote:Well it kind of did, after the armistice and before the Versailles peace treaty.
Check out the Third Anglo Afghan War 1919 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Anglo-Afghan_War and the Waziristan campaign https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wazirista ... 2%80%9320)

The Germans and Turks did try to get the Afghans into the war earlier, which is I guess your question.

There was never any question of Afghanistan capturing India. The only issue is how many troops would have been tied up.

A considerable Anglo Indian force was retained in India to maintain law and order and deal with troublesome areas such as the NW Frontier and Burma. Had the NW frontier erupted in 1914 it might have hampered the withdrawal of regular troops redeployed to the Western Front. (C. four divisions including the Indian Corps) Had it taken place in 1915 it might have saved the British from the folly of the 1915 attempt on Bagdad, which arose from a bit of "the devil finds work" and led to the surrender at Kut al Amarah.
I completely agree with what you wrote here. That said, though:

1. What exactly does Afghanistan acquire in the 1918 Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in this TL?

2. What exactly happens to Afghanistan and its territory after the Entente/Allies win World War I in this TL?

Any thoughts on these two questions of mine?
Re 1. Nothing of any worth that could be delivered or defended. The Soviet government that signed the Brest Litovsk treaty had only limited control over the periphery of the Russian Empire. It might be mildly amusing to think of Afghanistan as a major player in the Russian Civil War, but Terry the Taliban v Trotsky's Red Hordes episode of Deadliest Warriors was not going to happen in 1919.

Re 2. Nothing much. By 1919 the British Empire had learned that the best that could be accomplished with Afhganistan was some form of punative mission it was utter folly to occupy the country. This Imperial policy was handed over to India and Pakistan on independence, but long forgotten in London by 2001. (The British Army commissioned a historian to write a report on the lessons learned from previous Afghan wars in the early 2000's but someone sat on the results and did not release the pamphlet until 2010.)
1. Couldn't Afghanistan at least want a legal claim to some Muslim-majority Russian territories in the hopes of actually being able to exercise this legal claim to these territories in the future, though?

2. Are you sure about that? After all, just like Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire, Afghanistan was and still is a multi-ethnic country which can certainly be partitioned (more-or-less) based on ethnic lines:

Image

Indeed, partitioning Afghanistan (more-or-less) based on ethnic lines certainly appears to fit into Woodrow Wilson's principle of national self-determination. :)

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Re: What if Afghanistan entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers?

Post by Sheldrake » 29 Jan 2016 10:02

Futurist wrote: Image

Indeed, partitioning Afghanistan (more-or-less) based on ethnic lines certainly appears to fit into Woodrow Wilson's principle of national self-determination. :)
Good luck with that idea, which looks better on paper than in the flesh. If Afghanistan was so readily divisible into stable entities on ethnic lines, surely it would have disappeared centuries ago?

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Re: What if Afghanistan entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers?

Post by Futurist » 29 Jan 2016 19:48

Sheldrake wrote:
Futurist wrote: Image

Indeed, partitioning Afghanistan (more-or-less) based on ethnic lines certainly appears to fit into Woodrow Wilson's principle of national self-determination. :)
Good luck with that idea, which looks better on paper than in the flesh. If Afghanistan was so readily divisible into stable entities on ethnic lines, surely it would have disappeared centuries ago?
Couldn't one have said the same thing about Austria-Hungary and/or the Ottoman Empire, though?

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Re: What if Afghanistan entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers?

Post by Sheldrake » 29 Jan 2016 23:39

Futurist wrote:
Sheldrake wrote: Good luck with that idea, which looks better on paper than in the flesh. If Afghanistan was so readily divisible into stable entities on ethnic lines, surely it would have disappeared centuries ago?
Couldn't one have said the same thing about Austria-Hungary and/or the Ottoman Empire, though?
Well, the Holy Roman Empire has indeed arisen, phoenix like, as the EU. Both rather ramshackle and byzantine institutions to accommodate religious, cultural and linguistic differences. One of the leading Bavarian Euro enthusiasts was the late Dr Hapsburg.

The Ottoman Empire was the last of a series of Eastern Mediterranean empires. Over two millennia,the areas has been more often under one empire or anthier than fragmented. Ottoman empire from 1400 - 1918, before then the Arabs, before them the Romans and Persians and before them Alexander the Great and his successors. Daesh/ISIS hopes to establish a new caliphate.

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Re: What if Afghanistan entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 02 Feb 2016 12:24

I doubt it would make any difference.

Afghanistan is an easy country to over run, but a difficult country to stay in.

It would probably suffer the fate of Persia in WWII - a joint British Indian and Russian invasion and temporary occupation.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: What if Afghanistan entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers?

Post by Futurist » 14 Feb 2016 09:59

Sheldrake wrote:
Futurist wrote:
Sheldrake wrote: Good luck with that idea, which looks better on paper than in the flesh. If Afghanistan was so readily divisible into stable entities on ethnic lines, surely it would have disappeared centuries ago?
Couldn't one have said the same thing about Austria-Hungary and/or the Ottoman Empire, though?
Well, the Holy Roman Empire has indeed arisen, phoenix like, as the EU. Both rather ramshackle and byzantine institutions to accommodate religious, cultural and linguistic differences. One of the leading Bavarian Euro enthusiasts was the late Dr Hapsburg.
I was talking about Austria-Hungary rather than about the Holy Roman Empire here, though.
The Ottoman Empire was the last of a series of Eastern Mediterranean empires. Over two millennia,the areas has been more often under one empire or anthier than fragmented. Ottoman empire from 1400 - 1918, before then the Arabs, before them the Romans and Persians and before them Alexander the Great and his successors. Daesh/ISIS hopes to establish a new caliphate.
OK.

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Re: What if Afghanistan entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers?

Post by Futurist » 14 Feb 2016 10:00

Sid Guttridge wrote:I doubt it would make any difference.

Afghanistan is an easy country to over run, but a difficult country to stay in.

It would probably suffer the fate of Persia in WWII - a joint British Indian and Russian invasion and temporary occupation.

Cheers,

Sid.
Except, unlike Persia, Afghanistan would have actually entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers in this scenario.

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Re: What if Afghanistan entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 15 Feb 2016 17:14

Hi Futurist,

How would that make any difference?

Sid.

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Re: What if Afghanistan entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers?

Post by Futurist » 17 Feb 2016 06:26

Sid Guttridge wrote:Hi Futurist,

How would that make any difference?

Sid.
Well, the fact that Afghanistan would have entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers (and thus fought the Entente/Allies) in this scenario might very well mean that, unlike with Persia, the victorious Entente/Allied powers would want to pursue a vindictive policy towards Afghanistan after the Entente's/Allies' victory in World War I.

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Re: What if Afghanistan entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 18 Feb 2016 12:18

Hi Futurist,

Possibly, but it wouldn't have been much of a threat to either the Russians or British, who had already mutually agreed to leave it as a buffer state between them. Whatever side Afghanistan was on, this seems likely to have continued.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: What if Afghanistan entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers?

Post by Futurist » 24 Feb 2016 22:58

Sid Guttridge wrote:Hi Futurist,

Possibly, but it wouldn't have been much of a threat to either the Russians or British, who had already mutually agreed to leave it as a buffer state between them. Whatever side Afghanistan was on, this seems likely to have continued.

Cheers,

Sid.
Couldn't this agreement have been thrown out during World War I in this scenario, though? After all, theoretically speaking, Russia can certainly expand all of the way down to the Hindu Kush Mountains without ever bordering British India :):

Image

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