Russia throws Serbia under the bus in 1914

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Russia throws Serbia under the bus in 1914

Post by Futurist » 06 Apr 2021 00:45

What if Russia would have thrown Serbia under the bus in 1914? Specifically, I am thinking of Russia tell Serbia to fully and unconditionally accept the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum, however humiliating it might be, or, alternatively, to fight Austria-Hungary itself if it will refuse to fully accept Austria-Hungary's ultimatum to it. Granted, such a move might have been a bit out of character for Russian Tsar Nicholas II, but nevertheless AFAIK Russia had no legally binding treaty of alliance with Serbia like it had with France and Nicholas, in a rare moment of sanity, could have concluded that the Russo-Japanese War hasn't exactly worked out very well for him (sparking a Russian Revolution in 1905 after Russia lost this war) and that thus it would NOT be either wise or prudent for Russia to fight another war so soon after losing the last one, especially against a more powerful adversary in Germany, even if it will have France and possibly Britain as its allies by its side this time around.

Such a Russian move would have clearly hurt Russia's reputation and prestige, no doubt about that, but would this damage have been any worse than, say, a hypothetical decision on the part of the US to fully withdraw from South Vietnam in 1965 and thus to abandon South Vietnam to the Communists? If the US would have been capable of seeing its credibility and reputation eventually recover after this, why exactly would the same not have been true for Russia if/after it would have abandoned Serbia in 1914? Russia could, after all--like the Cold War-era US--claim that a *genuine* Great Power requires freedom of maneuver in regards to its actions and decisions, including choosing where and when to pick its fights.

I also wonder what the consequences of this would have been. Serbia might have very well drifted out of the pro-Russian orbit and into a more neutral or even pro-Austro-Hungarian position, feeling that its friendship with Russia isn't worth very much. At the same time, though, Russia can reacquire Bulgaria as an ally and of course can continue focusing on pulling Romania out of the Germano-Austro-Hungarian orbit, which should become easier to do after King Carol's death in late 1914. I'm not sure whether Austria-Hungary or Russia would have actually had more influence in Greece. But Yeah, a Russia that pulls Bulgaria and Romania into its own orbit while continuing to put pressure on the Ottoman Empire would be in a pretty good position in the Black Sea. Austria-Hungary could, of course, take joy in the fact that it will solidly dominate the Adriatic region together with Italy, who might become a maritime rival of sorts to Austria-Hungary.

Anyway, which additional triggers for World War I might there eventually be in this scenario, and when exactly?

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Re: Russia throws Serbia under the bus in 1914

Post by Terry Duncan » 06 Apr 2021 11:53

Futurist wrote:
06 Apr 2021 00:45
What if Russia would have thrown Serbia under the bus in 1914? Specifically, I am thinking of Russia tell Serbia to fully and unconditionally accept the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum, however humiliating it might be, or, alternatively, to fight Austria-Hungary itself if it will refuse to fully accept Austria-Hungary's ultimatum to it.
Serbia fights. Even by the 1930s there was no evidence Serbia planned to accept every demand, and there is also the famous advice given by Berchtold to Giesl that 'no matter what the Serbian reply is, it will be unacceptable'. Austria did not want a peaceful settlement, indeed they concluded that this was the worst possible outcome and only a war offered the what Austria needed to silence its own internal nationalise movements.
Futurist wrote:
06 Apr 2021 00:45
Granted, such a move might have been a bit out of character for Russian Tsar Nicholas II, but nevertheless AFAIK Russia had no legally binding treaty of alliance with Serbia like it had with France and Nicholas, in a rare moment of sanity, could have concluded that the Russo-Japanese War hasn't exactly worked out very well for him (sparking a Russian Revolution in 1905 after Russia lost this war) and that thus it would NOT be either wise or prudent for Russia to fight another war so soon after losing the last one, especially against a more powerful adversary in Germany, even if it will have France and possibly Britain as its allies by its side this time around.
Given the pan-Slav movement in Russia, this is likely the end of Nicholas, he was never popular and allowing Austria (an enemy since the Crimean War period for backstabbing Russia at that point after needing Russian help in 1848) to crush a fellow Slav state is going to probably lead to his removal one way or another. Russian influence will collapse just as Bethmann intended, possibly pushing it into Germany's orbit but as Germany was not popular in Russia due to grain tariffs this is also a strange idea for his long tern future. The original alliance with Germany fell apart when it proved impossible to balance Austrian and Russian policies in the Balkans, as both viewed the area as theirs to dominate.

You are correct that there was no treaty, though most treaties are simply discarded when no longer of use rather than nullified, and as we know, the Italian treaties with Germany and Austria were abandoned - the first manifestation of 'sacro egoismo'. It was national interests that drove the powers, not treaties or individuals.
Futurist wrote:
06 Apr 2021 00:45
Such a Russian move would have clearly hurt Russia's reputation and prestige, no doubt about that, but would this damage have been any worse than, say, a hypothetical decision on the part of the US to fully withdraw from South Vietnam in 1965 and thus to abandon South Vietnam to the Communists?
In a period where prestige was everything the value of Russia as a backer let alone ally would have become almost zero. The US could have withdrawn from a minor theatre with few problems in 1965, you are asking Russia to abdicate its position in the main theatre in 1914.
Futurist wrote:
06 Apr 2021 00:45
If the US would have been capable of seeing its credibility and reputation eventually recover after this, why exactly would the same not have been true for Russia if/after it would have abandoned Serbia in 1914? Russia could, after all--like the Cold War-era US--claim that a *genuine* Great Power requires freedom of maneuver in regards to its actions and decisions, including choosing where and when to pick its fights.
In 1965 there were two great powers able to employ massive force globally, with a few extras who could do so on a nuclear level but not with any great number of troops on the ground, and the two options for alliance were so different as to make one choice or other totally unacceptable for most nations. In 1914 there were many great powers, and all competed in one area mostly. None were capable of disengaging as they bordered other nations would still see them as rivals. If the US had withdrawn from NATO in 1965 you would be looking at a similar scenario, and it is unlikely US prestige would have recovered from such a move.
Futurist wrote:
06 Apr 2021 00:45
I also wonder what the consequences of this would have been. Serbia might have very well drifted out of the pro-Russian orbit and into a more neutral or even pro-Austro-Hungarian position, feeling that its friendship with Russia isn't worth very much.
Serbia will have to fight, and if the actual war is anything to go by, will eject the Austrians in such a manner as to require German involvement, which in turn must involve France and Russia. The moment Germany is involved a great war is inevitable as she borders states she feels she cannot trust to sit out of a conflict.
Futurist wrote:
06 Apr 2021 00:45
At the same time, though, Russia can reacquire Bulgaria as an ally and of course can continue focusing on pulling Romania out of the Germano-Austro-Hungarian orbit, which should become easier to do after King Carol's death in late 1914.
Bulgaria will always return to Russian influence at some point as long as Russia has influence, and she will not if she abandons Serbia. What benefit is there in any agreement with a power that is going to back down as soon as Austria growls.
Futurist wrote:
06 Apr 2021 00:45
I'm not sure whether Austria-Hungary or Russia would have actually had more influence in Greece. But Yeah, a Russia that pulls Bulgaria and Romania into its own orbit while continuing to put pressure on the Ottoman Empire would be in a pretty good position in the Black Sea. Austria-Hungary could, of course, take joy in the fact that it will solidly dominate the Adriatic region together with Italy, who might become a maritime rival of sorts to Austria-Hungary.
Russia is not going to have any influence, she has just abandoned a nation she has a strong connection with in order to appease a nation trying to set up a Balkan League under its domination. The moment Russia abandons one client state, she will lose all the others because she has. Austria will still fall apart due to nationalist aspirations though maybe later than the historical timeline.
Futurist wrote:
06 Apr 2021 00:45
Anyway, which additional triggers for World War I might there eventually be in this scenario, and when exactly?
Some damned foolish thing in the Balkans.

Seriously.

Of all the leaders in the July Crisis the only one to accurately lay out exactly how things would play out the moment one great power went to war was Moltke in his late July Memorandum to Bethmann. Due to the tensions and mistrust the only option to avoid the general war was to not start any war.

Grey and Lichnowsky were the only people who saw the diplomatic way out, and Grey even made the offer of a really good solution 'if the present crisis can be overcome'. Sadly the people wanting war didnt want to hear their ideas let alone go along with them.

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Re: Russia throws Serbia under the bus in 1914

Post by glenn239 » 06 Apr 2021 19:20

Futurist wrote:
06 Apr 2021 00:45
What if Russia would have thrown Serbia under the bus in 1914? Specifically, I am thinking of Russia tell Serbia to fully and unconditionally accept the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum, however humiliating it might be, or, alternatively, to fight Austria-Hungary itself if it will refuse to fully accept Austria-Hungary's ultimatum to it. Granted, such a move might have been a bit out of character for Russian Tsar Nicholas II, but nevertheless AFAIK Russia had no legally binding treaty of alliance with Serbia like it had with France and Nicholas, in a rare moment of sanity, could have concluded that the Russo-Japanese War hasn't exactly worked out very well for him (sparking a Russian Revolution in 1905 after Russia lost this war) and that thus it would NOT be either wise or prudent for Russia to fight another war so soon after losing the last one, especially against a more powerful adversary in Germany, even if it will have France and possibly Britain as its allies by its side this time around.
Russia need not tell the Serbians to accept anything. Rather, they could advise Belgrade that their support will remain diplomatic during the early part of an Austro-Serbian war. If the Russians accept German mediation, the Tzar can pressure the Kaiser to deliver on his promises of a quick war with no territorial Austrian expansion.
Such a Russian move would have clearly hurt Russia's reputation and prestige, no doubt about that, but would this damage have been any worse than, say, a hypothetical decision on the part of the US to fully withdraw from South Vietnam in 1965 and thus to abandon South Vietnam to the Communists?
The Russians badly damaged their reputation by mid-1915 with the collapse of their army and inability to cross the Carpathians. I should hardly think that staying out would see them in worst stead.
I also wonder what the consequences of this would have been. Serbia might have very well drifted out of the pro-Russian orbit and into a more neutral or even pro-Austro-Hungarian position, feeling that its friendship with Russia isn't worth very much.
Judging from the few Serbian I've talked to, I would suggest it is highly, highly unlikely that Serbia would move closer to Austria after a 3rd Balkans War.
At the same time, though, Russia can reacquire Bulgaria as an ally and of course can continue focusing on pulling Romania out of the Germano-Austro-Hungarian orbit, which should become easier to do after King Carol's death in late 1914.
Bulgaria was like quicksilver, diplomatically speaking. IMO, there was scant chance Bulgaria would commit itself to either side rather than continue the dance.
I'm not sure whether Austria-Hungary or Russia would have actually had more influence in Greece. But Yeah, a Russia that pulls Bulgaria and Romania into its own orbit while continuing to put pressure on the Ottoman Empire would be in a pretty good position in the Black Sea. Austria-Hungary could, of course, take joy in the fact that it will solidly dominate the Adriatic region together with Italy, who might become a maritime rival of sorts to Austria-Hungary.
Jostling in the Balkans would go on. The salient feature of an Austro-Serbian war is that Russia's diplomatic hand gets stronger the longer it waits, at least for the first 3 months. The initial Austrian offensive will presumably peter out, the Russians can send munitions and equipment via the Danube. The Austrians will overcommit to the Balkans, leaving Galicia increasingly weak, and the fall weather will pass into winter, at which point Moltke's enthusiasm for diplomacy will increase with the amount of snow on the ground in Belgium. The Germans will pressure the Austrians more and more to shut things down.
Anyway, which additional triggers for World War I might there eventually be in this scenario, and when exactly?
Dunno about WW1, but for Russia the course you suggest would have been highly beneficial to Russia as the pivot towards Germany would naturally reset the balance of power in Europe and cause increased bargaining by both sides in St. Petersburg. Like Italy, Russia was probably better off playing hard to get rather than actively seeking a test of strength with Germany, one in which catastrophe and revolution were the likely outcomes.

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Re: Russia throws Serbia under the bus in 1914

Post by Terry Duncan » 06 Apr 2021 22:17

glenn239 wrote:
06 Apr 2021 19:20
Russia need not tell the Serbians to accept anything. Rather, they could advise Belgrade that their support will remain diplomatic during the early part of an Austro-Serbian war. If the Russians accept German mediation, the Tzar can pressure the Kaiser to deliver on his promises of a quick war with no territorial Austrian expansion.
Austria is not going to accept no territorial changes to Serbia, they always intended to take the Sanjak of Novi Pazar from Serbia, not to mention all the parts they intended to try and give to other states. This is covered under their 'border adjustments' clause. They didnt want much themselves but did intend to parcel out other areas as bribes. Neither Serbia or Russia are going to accept any territory taken from Serbia and Austria will accept nothing less.
glenn239 wrote:
06 Apr 2021 19:20
Jostling in the Balkans would go on. The salient feature of an Austro-Serbian war is that Russia's diplomatic hand gets stronger the longer it waits, at least for the first 3 months. The initial Austrian offensive will presumably peter out, the Russians can send munitions and equipment via the Danube. The Austrians will overcommit to the Balkans, leaving Galicia increasingly weak, and the fall weather will pass into winter, at which point Moltke's enthusiasm for diplomacy will increase with the amount of snow on the ground in Belgium. The Germans will pressure the Austrians more and more to shut things down.
Come the winter there is no need for a peace settlement as nobody is going anywhere fast. This allows Austria a few months in winter against Serbia with minimal outside interference. They can happily overcommit as nobody is coming over the Carpathians in 1914/15 and likewise East Prussia is also pretty safe. My bet is that there would be talks over the winter but that Germany cannot control Austria who is now fully wagging the dog due to the alliance systems.
glenn239 wrote:
06 Apr 2021 19:20
Like Italy, Russia was probably better off playing hard to get rather than actively seeking a test of strength with Germany, one in which catastrophe and revolution were the likely outcomes.
Russia was not trying to test her strength against Germany, she would have preferred no war at all until at least 1917 when the Great Program completes and make a Russo-German war impossible for Germany to win even against Russia alone, let alone with France added into the mix. It was not the Entente Powers that were running out of time, nor was it them with people saying things like the time was perfect and that they would not get such a chance again, but it was the Entente trying to seek a peaceful settlement and avoid any war. The Central Powers were the ones seeking war, even if it wasnt the war they ended up causing.

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Re: Russia throws Serbia under the bus in 1914

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 08 Apr 2021 13:46

Futurist wrote:
06 Apr 2021 00:45
What if Russia would have thrown Serbia under the bus in 1914?
Then we must to listen on 100 years on amerikan peoples was write on topic russia appeaser on germanic agression.
Futurist wrote:
06 Apr 2021 00:45
Anyway, which additional triggers for World War I might there eventually be in this scenario, and when exactly?
Austria hungary was have internal problem on balkan lands. When was attack serbia problem was not be solved but was become most worser.

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Re: Russia throws Serbia under the bus in 1914

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 08 Apr 2021 13:52

glenn239 wrote:
06 Apr 2021 19:20

Dunno about WW1, but for Russia the course you suggest would have been highly beneficial to Russia as the pivot towards Germany would naturally reset the balance of power in Europe and cause increased bargaining by both sides in St. Petersburg. Like Italy, Russia was probably better off playing hard to get rather than actively seeking a test of strength with Germany, one in which catastrophe and revolution were the likely outcomes.
Best solution for all peoples was be for austria on not actively seeking a test of strength with serbia and world. When austria not attack serbia not be ww1 unless germany find some other problem for to make war.

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Re: Russia throws Serbia under the bus in 1914

Post by glenn239 » 09 Apr 2021 13:56

Ружичасти Слон wrote:
08 Apr 2021 13:46
Austria hungary was have internal problem on balkan lands. When was attack serbia problem was not be solved but was become most worser.
Indeed, the Austrians should not have gone to war in 1914 and instead used the terrorist attack to secure from the Hungarian side large increases in military spending such that in a few years Austria would be in a stronger position overall.

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Re: Russia throws Serbia under the bus in 1914

Post by glenn239 » 09 Apr 2021 13:58

Ружичасти Слон wrote:
08 Apr 2021 13:52

Best solution for all peoples was be for austria on not actively seeking a test of strength with serbia and world. When austria not attack serbia not be ww1 unless germany find some other problem for to make war.
By that logic NATO should have fought itself in the 1990's rather than unifying and defeating Serbia. The best solution for Europe in 1914 once Austria mobilized was for the Entente to back Austria against Serbia.

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Re: Russia throws Serbia under the bus in 1914

Post by glenn239 » 09 Apr 2021 14:22

Terry Duncan wrote:
06 Apr 2021 22:17

Austria is not going to accept no territorial changes to Serbia, they always intended to take the Sanjak of Novi Pazar from Serbia, not to mention all the parts they intended to try and give to other states. This is covered under their 'border adjustments' clause. They didnt want much themselves but did intend to parcel out other areas as bribes. Neither Serbia or Russia are going to accept any territory taken from Serbia and Austria will accept nothing less.
You have the cart in front of the horse. The Austrians had already committed themselves by public declaration that they would not annex territory, and the Germans had offered their mediation on that basis. So the Russians could have accepted German mediation on the basis of the Austrian commitment to no annexations. Now, if the Austrians had gone back on their word, then the Austrians have betrayed their negotiating partners in the eyes of Europe and the Russians could mobilize and go to war on that basis.

Come the winter there is no need for a peace settlement as nobody is going anywhere fast. This allows Austria a few months in winter against Serbia with minimal outside interference.
Austria is going nowhere in the mountains during winter. And you are correct, nobody is going 'anywhere fast' during the winter. So if Russia mobilizes in January 1915 Germany could do nothing about it for months because the Schlieffen plan required summer weather. So diplomatically and militarily it made far better sense for Russia to have put off a mobilization decision until December 1914 at the earliest.
Russia was not trying to test her strength against Germany, she would have preferred no war at all until at least 1917 when the Great Program completes and make a Russo-German war impossible for Germany to win even against Russia alone, let alone with France added into the mix. It was not the Entente Powers that were running out of time, nor was it them with people saying things like the time was perfect and that they would not get such a chance again, but it was the Entente trying to seek a peaceful settlement and avoid any war. The Central Powers were the ones seeking war, even if it wasnt the war they ended up causing.
So you're saying that Russia was not seeking a direct test of strength by mobilizing straight at Germany and then publicly declaring in mid-August that it would liberate all of German and Austrian Poland into a new great Poland under Russian leadership. I am confused. I always thought that if a country mobilizes its army for an invasion and then declares that they will annex large portions of their neighbour's territory for themselves that they are willingly accepting a test of strength.

The calculations on future balance of power seem not as simple or straightforward as you are suggesting. Balanced against Russian increases were the fact that both Germany and Austria had room for their own increases. Another factor was the recovery of the Ottomans. Had Russia delayed starting WW1, by 1916 the Ottoman Navy would have two dreadnoughts and a naval alliance with Germany whereby German and Austrian dreadnoughts would be exercising with the Ottomans in the Aegean, the obvious threat being that once this naval alliance existed, Russia cannot control the Black Sea against a Central Powers squadron in wartime. In addition to the naval problem, the Ottoman army by 1916 would have been more than the Russians could handle, if in conjunction with the Central Powers.

And none of that addresses the fact that the French were already at their peak strength in 1914 with nowhere to go but down, while the British might lose interest in the Entente policy and veer back towards Germany at any time if Grey and Asquith lost an election.

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Re: Russia throws Serbia under the bus in 1914

Post by Terry Duncan » 09 Apr 2021 15:16

glenn239 wrote:
09 Apr 2021 13:58
Ружичасти Слон wrote:
08 Apr 2021 13:52

Best solution for all peoples was be for austria on not actively seeking a test of strength with serbia and world. When austria not attack serbia not be ww1 unless germany find some other problem for to make war.
By that logic NATO should have fought itself in the 1990's rather than unifying and defeating Serbia. The best solution for Europe in 1914 once Austria mobilized was for the Entente to back Austria against Serbia.
Any actual reasoning behind this statement, other than faulty hindsight and wishful thinking?

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Re: Russia throws Serbia under the bus in 1914

Post by Terry Duncan » 09 Apr 2021 15:20

glenn239 wrote:
09 Apr 2021 13:56
Ружичасти Слон wrote:
08 Apr 2021 13:46
Austria hungary was have internal problem on balkan lands. When was attack serbia problem was not be solved but was become most worser.
Indeed, the Austrians should not have gone to war in 1914 and instead used the terrorist attack to secure from the Hungarian side large increases in military spending such that in a few years Austria would be in a stronger position overall.
The attack was by Austrian citizens, in an Austrian territory, over the future of that territory, and conducted by a secret Bosnian society. Other than internal oppression, how does it translate into military spending? The Hungarians are unlikely to agree as Austria could use a larger army to subjugate the Hungarians themselves as Franz-Ferdinand had pondered.

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Re: Russia throws Serbia under the bus in 1914

Post by Terry Duncan » 09 Apr 2021 15:57

glenn239 wrote:
09 Apr 2021 14:22
You have the cart in front of the horse. The Austrians had already committed themselves by public declaration that they would not annex territory, and the Germans had offered their mediation on that basis. So the Russians could have accepted German mediation on the basis of the Austrian commitment to no annexations. Now, if the Austrians had gone back on their word, then the Austrians have betrayed their negotiating partners in the eyes of Europe and the Russians could mobilize and go to war on that basis.
The Austrian position used the caveat of 'minor border adjustments as necessary' which was intended to take the Sanjak that they had objected to Serbia gaining in 1913. They already have their 'we need to take that' inserted, so they are not going back on their word, just adjusting the border as they said they would.
glenn239 wrote:
09 Apr 2021 14:22
Austria is going nowhere in the mountains during winter. And you are correct, nobody is going 'anywhere fast' during the winter. So if Russia mobilizes in January 1915 Germany could do nothing about it for months because the Schlieffen plan required summer weather. So diplomatically and militarily it made far better sense for Russia to have put off a mobilization decision until December 1914 at the earliest.
Given the total disaster when the Austrians did meet the Serbian army (Cir Mountain), then there was no point in going to war at all. They could simply have followed what Berchtold said about the Note. It was not an ultimatum, it was a demarche with a time limit. The lack of a clear ultimatum makes the declaration of war against the rules of the day, which required a formal ultimatum. There was a couple of powers pushing to make war take place though, can you recall who they were?
glenn239 wrote:
09 Apr 2021 14:22
I am confused.
I know, but at least I am still trying to help!
glenn239 wrote:
09 Apr 2021 14:22
So you're saying that Russia was not seeking a direct test of strength by mobilizing straight at Germany and then publicly declaring in mid-August that it would liberate all of German and Austrian Poland into a new great Poland under Russian leadership. I am confused. I always thought that if a country mobilizes its army for an invasion and then declares that they will annex large portions of their neighbour's territory for themselves that they are willingly accepting a test of strength.
You mobilise. You do not do it 'at' someone. That is deployment. Russia needs to mobilise all troops on its border with Austria. How can they do this in the Warsaw district without also conducting mobilisation in areas also adjacent to Germany?

Declarations of what is to be achieved once war breaks out are not the same thing as why the decision to go to war was taken. However, I am willing to accept your reasoning of late Russian decisions as signifying intent, but in that case you must also accept my submission on similar German reasoning. It is pretty well documented by a guy called Fischer and know as 'The September Program'. Either both are acceptable or neither is. You pick, I am happy to start with either position.
glenn239 wrote:
09 Apr 2021 14:22
The calculations on future balance of power seem not as simple or straightforward as you are suggesting. Balanced against Russian increases were the fact that both Germany and Austria had room for their own increases.
My position is taken from that of the GGS. They determined any war after 1917 would be unwinnable. Austria and Germany could try to increase their military, but I believe money is a problem for various reasons in both states, as it proved to Germany in 1912 after yet another Naval Law was passed even though no money to build the ships existed. The only way to get more money is to renegotiate the terms of Confederation, something the Prussians were understandably unwilling to risk.
glenn239 wrote:
09 Apr 2021 14:22
Another factor was the recovery of the Ottomans. Had Russia delayed starting WW1, by 1916 the Ottoman Navy would have two dreadnoughts and a naval alliance with Germany whereby German and Austrian dreadnoughts would be exercising with the Ottomans in the Aegean, the obvious threat being that once this naval alliance existed, Russia cannot control the Black Sea against a Central Powers squadron in wartime. In addition to the naval problem, the Ottoman army by 1916 would have been more than the Russians could handle, if in conjunction with the Central Powers.
Russia was building its own dreadnoughts in the Black Sea. If peace persisted then the first of these would be in service by 1916, and the much larger Nikolaev and Putilov ships are due by 1918. The Ottomans may have ships, they have no dockyards though, hence Goeben still having the concrete temporary repair patches at the time of her scrapping. Russia is not a naval power though, and she is far more likely to march overland to Constantinople than to take and army there by sea. McMeekin was wrong.
glenn239 wrote:
09 Apr 2021 14:22
And none of that addresses the fact that the French were already at their peak strength in 1914 with nowhere to go but down, while the British might lose interest in the Entente policy and veer back towards Germany at any time if Grey and Asquith lost an election.
Yeah, the 30,000 troops Mangin suggested could be raised by the French in Senegal could never happen. After all, they only raised 300,000 there during the war! The colonial areas raised a huge number of people during the war, the population of metropolitan France is all that had topped out. I think they managed something like 3,000,000 men in total from colonies during the war.

If Asquith and Grey lose and election you are going to get Bonar Law and the Conservative and Unionist Party in power, far more anti-German to the point Belgium is meaningless as they will go to war with France as they offered at the end of the July Crisis. Grey and Asquith operated a foreign policy they inherited from the Conservatives and maintained with their support, it is only going to get more hard-line if they are in power. Unless Germany scraps its fleet and ceased to consider putting troops into France, they are not going to lose interest at all. You may well see a larger British army though, again, not good news for Germany.

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Re: Russia throws Serbia under the bus in 1914

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 10 Apr 2021 00:16

glenn239 wrote:
09 Apr 2021 13:56
Ружичасти Слон wrote:
08 Apr 2021 13:46
Austria hungary was have internal problem on balkan lands. When was attack serbia problem was not be solved but was become most worser.
Indeed, the Austrians should not have gone to war in 1914 and instead used the terrorist attack to secure from the Hungarian side large increases in military spending such that in a few years Austria would be in a stronger position overall.
glenn239 wrote:
09 Apr 2021 13:58
Ружичасти Слон wrote:
08 Apr 2021 13:52

Best solution for all peoples was be for austria on not actively seeking a test of strength with serbia and world. When austria not attack serbia not be ww1 unless germany find some other problem for to make war.
By that logic NATO should have fought itself in the 1990's rather than unifying and defeating Serbia.
What you was write was make complete no logic.

Was have nato internal problem on balkan lands on 1990 years ? No.

What strange imagination you was have.

glenn239 wrote:
09 Apr 2021 13:58
The best solution for Europe in 1914 once Austria mobilized was for the Entente to back Austria against Serbia.
Strange imagination was become tosh conclusion.

Glen garbage in glen garbage out. :lol:

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Re: Russia throws Serbia under the bus in 1914

Post by Terry Duncan » 10 Apr 2021 11:57

Ружичасти Слон wrote:
10 Apr 2021 00:16
Glen garbage in glen garbage out. :lol:
Please try to avoid personal comments, just address the arguments put forward. It would also be nice if you would call Glenn by his name, courtesy costs nothing.

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Re: Russia throws Serbia under the bus in 1914

Post by glenn239 » 10 Apr 2021 15:42

Terry Duncan wrote:
09 Apr 2021 15:57
The Austrian position used the caveat of 'minor border adjustments as necessary' which was intended to take the Sanjak that they had objected to Serbia gaining in 1913. They already have their 'we need to take that' inserted, so they are not going back on their word, just adjusting the border as they said they would.
How's that a world war issue, out of curiosity? Anyways, the Russians would have lost nothing by delaying on the position of "not one inch" of territorial adjustments while letting the Kaiser mediate. If the Austrians did as you say and the Entente decides that they'd rather have a world war than that, then the Russians can still mobilize, right?
Given the total disaster when the Austrians did meet the Serbian army (Cir Mountain), then there was no point in going to war at all.
Certainly the Austrians were better off not doing so. One of the rare conflict situations where both sides (Austrians and Russians) were better off not marching.
I know, but at least I am still trying to help!
Quality burn!
Declarations of what is to be achieved once war breaks out are not the same thing as why the decision to go to war was taken. However, I am willing to accept your reasoning of late Russian decisions as signifying intent, but in that case you must also accept my submission on similar German reasoning. It is pretty well documented by a guy called Fischer and know as 'The September Program'. Either both are acceptable or neither is. You pick, I am happy to start with either position.
Ok, so you accept the reasoning that the Russians were seeking a direct test of strength with the Germans when in mid-August they made the public declaration of annexations of German and Austrian territory for the purpose of a greater Poland and Russia.

In terms of Bethmann's September Program memo, that was caused by the Russian Polish decree and the September Declaration in London in early September. The Tzar had announced his intention for annexations and the Anglo-French response was, in the September Declaration, to make it a formal Entente war aim. The German response to that was their own war aims discussions.
My position is taken from that of the GGS. They determined any war after 1917 would be unwinnable. Austria and Germany could try to increase their military, but I believe money is a problem for various reasons in both states, as it proved to Germany in 1912 after yet another Naval Law was passed even though no money to build the ships existed. The only way to get more money is to renegotiate the terms of Confederation, something the Prussians were understandably unwilling to risk.
We're not talking the GGS. We're talking the Russian leaders, none of whom were staff members of the German army. The Russian perspective was quite different than the German. The German army saw the emerging Russian 'steamroller' as a threat, but the Russians were more sensitive to the winds blowing in the Balkans and the recovery of the Ottomans. Whereas the French and Russian military spending was running at high gear, the Austrians and Germans could have seriously ramped up their own. The French were already maxed out. The Central Powers - not even close.
Russia was building its own dreadnoughts in the Black Sea. If peace persisted then the first of these would be in service by 1916, and the much larger Nikolaev and Putilov ships are due by 1918. The Ottomans may have ships, they have no dockyards though, hence Goeben still having the concrete temporary repair patches at the time of her scrapping. Russia is not a naval power though, and she is far more likely to march overland to Constantinople than to take and army there by sea. McMeekin was wrong.
The Ottomans were entering the Central Powers camp in 1914. The alliance talks were underway as Russia was starting WW1. Even worse, the Ottomans were recovering from their Balkans defeat and so was Bulgaria. The 1913 Limon von Saunders crisis underscored what the Russians were terrified of; the Ottoman army being trained by the German army and the Central Powers navies joining with the Ottoman Navy.

Left to their own devices the Ottomans would have had something like 4 dreadnoughts by 1918. The Russian program could match that, but the situation was hopeless if the German and Austrian navies became allies of the Ottomans. The treaty on the Straights would prevent CP exercises in the Black Sea during peacetime, but it would not have stopped Central Powers Aegean naval exercises and the concentration of a dominant CP squadron in the Black Sea in wartime. Without naval superiority on the Black Sea, and with the Ottoman Army recovering, the whole Russian position suffers, such that instead of being on the offensive all across the front, the Russians will be on the defensive in the south. (The domination of the Central Powers of the Balkans during the war was no accident). Even Rumania will stay Central Powers once Bulgaria and the Ottomans drift in that direction!

It's more bad for Russia than good going forward. On the plus side, their army is better prepared in 1917. But on the other, the Austrians have gone from 50 divisions to 70 or 80, the Ottomans are fielding 40 or 50 quality divisions, and the Germans could easily have doubled the size of their peacetime army in a year anytime they wanted. The Bulgarians and Rumanians are veering towards the Central Powers, and the Russian army has to garrison the Black Sea coast against CP naval domination in the south.
If Asquith and Grey lose and election you are going to get Bonar Law and the Conservative and Unionist Party in power, far more anti-German to the point Belgium is meaningless as they will go to war with France as they offered at the end of the July Crisis. Grey and Asquith operated a foreign policy they inherited from the Conservatives and maintained with their support, it is only going to get more hard-line if they are in power. Unless Germany scraps its fleet and ceased to consider putting troops into France, they are not going to lose interest at all. You may well see a larger British army though, again, not good news for Germany.
The Russians were not certain of the British in 1914 and nothing about the British in the future inspired confidence. We cannot say what Russian leadership was actually thinking, but the situation seems to lend itself to the theory that in 1914 the British were as pro-Russian as they'd ever been since 1815, and there was no assurance that would last if the Russians did not seize the moment.

1914 is a curious beast in that both sides feared the future in 1914. Hence, why there was a war.

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