A Last-Ditch Effort to Prevent a War

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Admiral Beez

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Oct 21, 2019
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"As the Austrian army began to invade Serbia, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany and Tsar Nicholas of Russia, who were first cousins, made a last-ditch effort to contain the conflict through an exchange of telegrams"

If only these two leaders had sorted this out. Though I wonder how much power the Kaiser had to roll back the German general staff's planned offensives once the die was cast. Reading the final telegrams, it really falls to the Tsar rather than the Kaiser, IMO. Had Russia not mobilized when Austria-Hungary did the former could have relied on pressure from Germany upon the Austrians to leave Russia's Serbian allies alone.

It's hard to imagine the differences in the 20th Century had the First World War been averted, at least in its historical guise. Britain and Germany will still have their naval race - which was always stupid, considering that by 1913 Britain was by far Germany's largest trading partner. The USA will soon match all of Europe's combined economic and industrial might. Japan and Italy will be looking to expand their empires.
 
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The problem is that despite this correspondence, Germany (the Ministers etc) had already "green-lighted" Austria... telling them bluntly that "if the Russians come in we will take care of them, so don't worry about that".

Germany had even pushed Austria a bit when it looked like Austria was getting cold feet about invading Serbia.

So what the Crowns were talking about bore little significance compared to what the "working men" of the involved governments had already decided to do.
 
According to Tuchman in The Guns of August, the German General Staff were horrified when the Kaiser mentioned pulling back the mobilization. They could see the "order, counterorder, disorder" pileup and figured the Russians would not stop anyway, and meanwhile their railway timetables would be in a shambles, to put it mildly.

Amongst the other bits of fallout, the Middle East would be very different, and without Versailles feeding into German resentment, would Hitler have risen to power? Would the Holocaust have happened? Would Israel be established, with all that implies for the OTL history?
 
According to Tuchman in The Guns of August, the German General Staff were horrified when the Kaiser mentioned pulling back the mobilization. They could see the "order, counterorder, disorder" pileup and figured the Russians would not stop anyway, and meanwhile their railway timetables would be in a shambles, to put it mildly.

Amongst the other bits of fallout, the Middle East would be very different, and without Versailles feeding into German resentment, would Hitler have risen to power? Would the Holocaust have happened? Would Israel be established, with all that implies for the OTL history?
I think one of our Forum members mentioned something about unintended consequences. ;)
 
The First and Second Balkan Wars was core of powder-keg Europe.

Had the First Balkan war been settled differently, then perhaps the Second war would not have erupted.

It was the tensions and ill-feelings in the aftermath of the second war that led to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and the rush to arms.
 
If the Archduke would have stayed home.

Well, the Archduke's chauffeur, after the several assassination attempts earlier in the route, was told to leave the planned route. He got lost, and drove down a dead-end alley -- which just happened to be where Princip was walking home, upset because he hadn't had a chance to do the deed. Now here it was, and he made the most of it, and the rest is history.

So it can fairly be said that WWI started because of a male driver's refusal to stop and ask for directions.
 
Well, the Archduke's chauffeur, after the several assassination attempts earlier in the route, was told to leave the planned route. He got lost, and drove down a dead-end alley -- which just happened to be where Princip was walking home, upset because he hadn't had a chance to do the deed. Now here it was, and he made the most of it, and the rest is history.

So it can fairly be said that WWI started because of a male driver's refusal to stop and ask for directions.

I tried not to laugh at that….honest, I really, REALLY tried.
 
Would Israel be established, with all that implies for the OTL history?

This would have happened regardless, the Balfour Declaration was the first steps toward it, as well as the Sykes Picot Treaty in creating Palestine and British interest in the region.


One thing's for sure, the Middle East is gonna descend into turmoil, regardless of what goes on in mainland Europe.
 
This would have happened regardless, the Balfour Declaration was the first steps toward it, as well as the Sykes Picot Treaty in creating Palestine and British interest in the region.


One thing's for sure, the Middle East is gonna descend into turmoil, regardless of what goes on in mainland Europe.

Yabut, without the Holocaust, how fierce is Israel, and how much American sympathy and support does it have?

Butterflies, butterflies everywhere. We see the resonances of WWI even today even without the Holocaust; look at the mess the Brits made of Iraq, jamming three antagonistic groups (Shia, Sunni, and Kurd) into one lump.

Partitioning the Ottoman Empire one hundred years ago still has fallout today. This is a fact. The plight of the Jews in the aftermath of the Holocaust, and their resettlement to Palestine -- a portion of which soon to become Israel -- only exacerbated the religious and ethnic tensions already present.

But we're still dealing with the fallout today. That's how history works.
 
Yabut, without the Holocaust, how fierce is Israel, and how much American sympathy and support does it have?

Hmmm, I suspect you might have forgotten something...


Israel was doing just fine without US support, but after the Six Day War, the US saw a business opportunity. America had precisely zero skin in the game for years.
 
Hmmm, I suspect you might have forgotten something...


Israel was doing just fine without US support, but after the Six Day War, the US saw a business opportunity. America had precisely zero skin in the game for years.

Nowhere did I say, or imply, that America was the only supporter of Israel. Our support of Israel has, however, brought us some grief at times. My point was more aimed at the irrational division of the Ottoman Empire post-WWI, which has resulted in ethnic or sectarian issues in many of those synthetic countries, especially Iraq.

But we Americans are indeed dealing with the fallout of that dissolution. Others are as well, of course.

As for the reasons behind America's support for Israel, it also relies heavily upon both political and religious components, and as such -- in accordance with forum rules -- I won't discuss those here.
 
My point was more aimed at the irrational division of the Ottoman Empire post-WWI, which has resulted in ethnic or sectarian issues in many of those synthetic countries, especially Iraq.

But we Americans are indeed dealing with the fallout of that dissolution. Others are as well, of course.

As for the reasons behind America's support for Israel, it also relies heavily upon both political and religious components, and as such -- in accordance with forum rules -- I won't discuss those here.

Sensible, Thump, but the division of the Ottoman Empire by France and Britain paved the way toward establishing an Israeli homeland and you might be underestimating the desire for a Jewish place in the world. The holocaust was certainly not the first time Jews were persecuted.
 
Sensible, Thump, but the division of the Ottoman Empire by France and Britain paved the way toward establishing an Israeli homeland and you might be underestimating the desire for a Jewish place in the world. The holocaust was certainly not the first time Jews were persecuted.

You're absolutely right about that, this wasn't the first persecution of Jews, by centuries. But I'd argue that the sheer horror of seeing 5.7 millions killed for their religion/cultural identity galvanized support for them having a homeland, even as antecedents such as the Balfour Declaration had already foreshadowed the foundation of the country.

Before the Holocaust, many folks, including many Americans, could look past the persecution of the Jews. In fact, we here in America turned away Jews fleeing the Reich after Kristallnacht. Many folks didn't care about discrimination against Jews, or the occasional pogrom in some country whose name they couldn't pronounce. After the attempted extermination of the Endlosung, many people the world over were much more sympathetic to the Jewish plight than had been around previously, and much more willing to support the existence of a Jewish state.

Now, without the Holocaust, and the sympathy and support it aroused, how many people would have looked at any of the Arab-Israeli wars with the same sense of gravity? I'd argue, though I have no evidence to support this directly, that the number of supporters of Israel would have been smaller without the mass-murder of millions still being so fresh in everyone's minds.

Again, we're really talking about butterflies, when we discuss "what-ifs" of this magnitude. I could well be wrong in my guess; anyone else could be as well.
 
Again, we're really talking about butterflies, when we discuss "what-ifs" of this magnitude.

Completely, but while the holocaust was truly awful, I suspect it's a bit trite to presume it formed the main impetus for the establishment of the Israeli state. It most certainly sped up the process, but as you mentioned earlier, there are a lot of forces at play in this particular scenario, real or imagined and I reckon it was gonna happen regardless. It might have taken longer though, there was something about several million dispossessed Jews wandering Europe that provided a more immediate need.
 

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