Plausibility Check: A "periphery alliance" to contain Russia without WWI?

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Plausibility Check: A "periphery alliance" to contain Russia without WWI?

Post by Futurist » 02 Feb 2019 23:29

Is this scenario plausible?:

If WWI doesn't break out sometime in the 1910s, a "periphery alliance" of Britain, Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Japan is formed to combat the risk of future Russian expansionism. (The "periphery alliance" is a reference to most of these alliance powers being located on Russia's periphery.) The logic behind such an alliance is quite simple--Russia could have territorial claims on all of these countries or their empires and thus it would be smart for these countries to ally with each other in order to reduce the risk of Russia ever going to war with any of them--since a war with any of them would mean that Russia would simultaneously have to fight all of these countries. In other words, such an alliance would be viewed as a form of deterrence.

Also, if this scenario is plausible, does France stick to its alliance with Russia or does it--in spite of its anger over losing Alsace-Lorraine in 1871--try making a deal with the periphery alliance? FTR, my bet is on France sticking with Russia due to all of the investment that French banks have previously poured into Russia--though perhaps with the caveat that France is only willing to fight on Russia's side in a defensive war rather than in an offensive war.

In such a scenario, countries such as Italy and Romania are likely to initially remain neutral in any future Great War and will wait and see how this war is unfolding before deciding whether or not to enter it--specifically enter it on the side that they think is winning this war.

Anyway, is this scenario plausible? Also, is such a "periphery alliance" likely to permanently deter Russia or is Russia likely to eventually feel strong enough to successfully take on this alliance--perhaps sometime in the mid-20th century assuming that nukes aren't developed yet?

Also, what would the strategy of both the "periphery alliance" and the Franco-Russian alliance be in any future Great War in this scenario? In addition to this, what are the war aims of both the "periphery alliance" and the Franco-Russian alliance going to be in any future Great War?

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Re: Plausibility Check: A "periphery alliance" to contain Russia without WWI?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 08 Feb 2019 15:05

Ad hoc versions of this alliance coalesced when Russia seemed on the brink of too much power - Crimean War and Congress of Berlin. It was an effective "strategy" and probably could have prevailed indefinitely if maintained.

IMO France's revanchism blows this up. Once Britain is sufficiently scared of German power to license French revanchism the anti-Russia coalition was kaput. I can't imagine a world in which France just gives up on Alsace and restoring its pride; one of these nations just had to be beaten into submission. In the end it was both actually.

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Re: Plausibility Check: A "periphery alliance" to contain Russia without WWI?

Post by The Ibis » 08 Feb 2019 17:35

Revanchism was essentially dead by 1914, at least as it relates to Alsace and Lorraine. Michael Neiberg wrote about this at length, and his conclusions are bolstered by the more recent works of Otte and even Clark.
"The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided." - Casey Stengel

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Re: Plausibility Check: A "periphery alliance" to contain Russia without WWI?

Post by South » 08 Feb 2019 21:01

Good afternoon Futurist,

Ref: "Is this scenario plausible?";

Would the UK enter into an alliance with Japan to contain Russia - when Japan was a new Asian power and the UK had "holdings" in Asia ?

The 1895 Korean sovereignty issue - Treaty of Shimonoseki - got Japan directly into European diplomacy re China. Does this set the stage enough ?

Also in 1895, Russia, France and Germany intervened and forced Japan to renounce to renounced claims to the Liaotung Peninsula. Some more events occurred and Japan emerged as an equal to the European Great Powers. In 1898 Russia controlled the Liaotung Peninsula. Japanese public opinion supported a war against Russia and ... the formal peace treaty was at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This might serve as a hint of US interests in this area of Asia.

With Russia losing Mukden (now Shengyan), the TransSiberian Railroad lost it's shortcut to Vladovostok, inter alia - amongst other things. Japan closed down the Russian fleet off the Tsushima islands, Korea Strait.

To review: "Is the scenario plausible?"........The September, 1905 Portsmouth, New Hampshire treaty gave Japan the Russian rights/interests to the Liantung Peninsula. No, not plausible. Japan was already well-situated.

~ Bob
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Re: Plausibility Check: A "periphery alliance" to contain Russia without WWI?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 08 Feb 2019 23:07

The Ibis wrote:
08 Feb 2019 17:35
Revanchism was essentially dead by 1914, at least as it relates to Alsace and Lorraine. Michael Neiberg wrote about this at length, and his conclusions are bolstered by the more recent works of Otte and even Clark.
Thanks, they go on my list. Which Clark?

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Re: Plausibility Check: A "periphery alliance" to contain Russia without WWI?

Post by The Ibis » 09 Feb 2019 00:36

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
08 Feb 2019 23:07
The Ibis wrote:
08 Feb 2019 17:35
Revanchism was essentially dead by 1914, at least as it relates to Alsace and Lorraine. Michael Neiberg wrote about this at length, and his conclusions are bolstered by the more recent works of Otte and even Clark.
Thanks, they go on my list. Which Clark?
Its Sir Christopher and the book I referenced is The Sleepwalkers. The Neiberg book I referenced is Dance of the Furies. Thomas Otte's book is The July Crisis: The World's Descent into War.
"The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided." - Casey Stengel

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Re: Plausibility Check: A "periphery alliance" to contain Russia without WWI?

Post by Futurist » 09 Feb 2019 03:47

South wrote:
08 Feb 2019 21:01
Good afternoon Futurist,

Ref: "Is this scenario plausible?";

Would the UK enter into an alliance with Japan to contain Russia - when Japan was a new Asian power and the UK had "holdings" in Asia ?

The 1895 Korean sovereignty issue - Treaty of Shimonoseki - got Japan directly into European diplomacy re China. Does this set the stage enough ?

Also in 1895, Russia, France and Germany intervened and forced Japan to renounce to renounced claims to the Liaotung Peninsula. Some more events occurred and Japan emerged as an equal to the European Great Powers. In 1898 Russia controlled the Liaotung Peninsula. Japanese public opinion supported a war against Russia and ... the formal peace treaty was at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This might serve as a hint of US interests in this area of Asia.

With Russia losing Mukden (now Shengyan), the TransSiberian Railroad lost it's shortcut to Vladovostok, inter alia - amongst other things. Japan closed down the Russian fleet off the Tsushima islands, Korea Strait.

To review: "Is the scenario plausible?"........The September, 1905 Portsmouth, New Hampshire treaty gave Japan the Russian rights/interests to the Liantung Peninsula. No, not plausible. Japan was already well-situated.

~ Bob
eastern Virginia, USA
The question is, though, whether Russia is eventually going to aim for a rematch with Japan in the Far East. If so, wouldn't it make sense for Japan to have as many allies as possible?

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Re: Plausibility Check: A "periphery alliance" to contain Russia without WWI?

Post by Futurist » 09 Feb 2019 03:49

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
08 Feb 2019 15:05
Ad hoc versions of this alliance coalesced when Russia seemed on the brink of too much power - Crimean War and Congress of Berlin. It was an effective "strategy" and probably could have prevailed indefinitely if maintained.

IMO France's revanchism blows this up. Once Britain is sufficiently scared of German power to license French revanchism the anti-Russia coalition was kaput. I can't imagine a world in which France just gives up on Alsace and restoring its pride; one of these nations just had to be beaten into submission. In the end it was both actually.
As time would have went on, though, Russia--rather than Germany--would have likely been seen by Britain as the greater threat to its much larger population.

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Re: Plausibility Check: A "periphery alliance" to contain Russia without WWI?

Post by Futurist » 09 Feb 2019 03:50

The Ibis wrote:
08 Feb 2019 17:35
Revanchism was essentially dead by 1914, at least as it relates to Alsace and Lorraine. Michael Neiberg wrote about this at length, and his conclusions are bolstered by the more recent works of Otte and even Clark.
So, do you think that there was a realistic chance of France eventually ending its alliance with Russia? Or was there already too much French capital invested in Russia for France to ever abandon its Russian alliance?

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Re: Plausibility Check: A "periphery alliance" to contain Russia without WWI?

Post by South » 09 Feb 2019 04:39

Good evening Futurist,

Ref the new question; yes, Russia is eventually going to pursue its "Japan" portfolio in the Far East. This is continuing well beyond the Treaty of San Francisco at end of WWII. The Kuril Islands that are part of Russia are loaded with Russian S400 missile batteries. These missiles are not for fisheries compliance matters.

No, the QUANTITY of allies would not benefit Japan; only the QUALITY would - as per the most mutually-beneficial interests. Neighbor China is perceived as a confrontation state against an expansionist Japan. US interests: they mirrored China's confrontation complexion. Recall in 1910, the US was fully entrenched in the Philippines and the "stepping-stone" Pacific islands necessary for the US-Asia trade: eg Hawaii, Guam, Wake, Aleutian arch.

The northeast Asia potential conflict zone - a classical "shatter-belt" area (until alter when it shifted southward to South East Asia ("SEA") - can be called "non-solvable"; just a wait and see - and hope. As per northeast Asia, this has not stopped.

......

You've got a good question here - and it is still keeping some observers and operatives busy.


~Bob
eastern Virginia, USA

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Re: Plausibility Check: A "periphery alliance" to contain Russia without WWI?

Post by Futurist » 09 Feb 2019 05:26

Are you suggesting that Britain, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire are going to be poor quality allies for Japan?

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Re: Plausibility Check: A "periphery alliance" to contain Russia without WWI?

Post by South » 09 Feb 2019 05:53

Good morning Futurist,

In 1910 ? the "1910s" ? ;

Look at the location of the Straits Settlements, Malaya, Brunei, Hong Kong, BCC,...

Circa 1905, Britain's RN converted from coal to oil. The Ottoman empire was a poor quality entity for itself.

Did you inadvertently omit the US ?


~ Bob
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Re: Plausibility Check: A "periphery alliance" to contain Russia without WWI?

Post by Futurist » 31 Mar 2019 23:14

I didn't mention the US here because I don't think that it would get involved in any World War unless someone will engage in USW against it beforehand.

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