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What If: Kaiser Willie Dies In 1909?


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This would be an interesting alternative history scenario, no?

 

Of course you then have the political implications of the Japanese taking Indo China. From the British perspective that is setting us up for potential problems with Malaya later.

It wasn't Japan that wanted to end the alliance. AFAIK, it wasn't Great Britain itself either. It was the other commonwealth countries and the US that wanted that alliance broken.

 

 

After WW1 the only conceivable enemies of Japan in the Pacific were the USA, France, and Britain itself. The alliance with Japan had ceased to make sense for Britain with Germany defeated.

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It's not a question of what the French had in total (4 battleships, 6 semi-battleships, plus a host of older pre-dreadnoughts and armored cruisers), but what their fleet needed to do in home waters before any surplus strength could be assigned to the Pacific.

 

A piecemeal French answer to that question in confrontation with the Japanese Navy in its own backyard sounds like a recipe for a French disaster nee Trafalgar.

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Yes, provided the French are limited to their own resources. Since French communications at home were their primary responsibility, and the Italian fleet would pose a grave danger due to British neutrality, I would hazard the guess that the French could not muster much in the way of a Far Eastern squadron. Certainly not to deter the Japanese. However, if the British were to bare their teeth at their allies and warn them that the Anglo-Japanese alliance would be defunct in the event of a Japanese war with France, that would radically alter calculations in Tokyo. So here as with everything, the viability of the Entente depends on British participation.

 

Happily, the Japanese could function beneficially in harmony with the Entente by way of attacking Germany. And this is what they did. So, the far more interesting question is, what could Germany have done with its empire in the Far East that would have been better than what it did historically? For example. The United States Navy greatly desired coaling stations between Hawaii and Manila Bay. Should Germany have leased to the Americans anchorages in the Marshalls, Marianas, and Carolines in the pre-war years? I think they'd have done well to have done so. Was the best scheme in 1914 for Spee to run for South America and leave the garrison at Tsingtao to surrender to Japanese assault? What if he'd gone south to Australia with a portion of the Tsingtao garrison and landed them at Darwin, Broome, or Perth with the objective of tying down ANZAC forces?

Edited by glenn239
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This would be an interesting alternative history scenario, no?

 

Of course you then have the political implications of the Japanese taking Indo China. From the British perspective that is setting us up for potential problems with Malaya later.

 

It wasn't Japan that wanted to end the alliance. AFAIK, it wasn't Great Britain itself either. It was the other commonwealth countries and the US that wanted that alliance broken.

After WW1 the only conceivable enemies of Japan in the Pacific were the USA, France, and Britain itself. The alliance with Japan had ceased to make sense for Britain with Germany defeated.

As you know, I don't respond to you :)

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However, if the British were to bare their teeth at their allies and warn them that the Anglo-Japanese alliance would be defunct in the event of a Japanese war with France, that would radically alter calculations in Tokyo.

 

I don't necessarily disagree, but the onus of coming to an overextended Russia's aid in the event of a Japanese decision to rectify the articles of the Treaty of Portsmouth, as well as the declaration of war, would be on France.

 

If Britain should choose to terminate its alliance with Japan rather than live up to it, better for Japan and Japanese to know sooner rather than later what the word of Britain's representatives would be worth.

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This would be an interesting alternative history scenario, no?

 

Of course you then have the political implications of the Japanese taking Indo China. From the British perspective that is setting us up for potential problems with Malaya later.

It wasn't Japan that wanted to end the alliance. AFAIK, it wasn't Great Britain itself either. It was the other commonwealth countries and the US that wanted that alliance broken.

After WW1 the only conceivable enemies of Japan in the Pacific were the USA, France, and Britain itself. The alliance with Japan had ceased to make sense for Britain with Germany defeated.

As you know, I don't respond to you :)

 

 

I don't care who you do or do not respond to.

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However, if the British were to bare their teeth at their allies and warn them that the Anglo-Japanese alliance would be defunct in the event of a Japanese war with France, that would radically alter calculations in Tokyo.

 

I don't necessarily disagree, but the onus of coming to an overextended Russia's aid in the event of a Japanese decision to rectify the articles of the Treaty of Portsmouth, as well as the declaration of war, would be on France.

 

If Britain should choose to terminate its alliance with Japan rather than live up to it, better for Japan and Japanese to know sooner rather than later what the word of Britain's representatives would be worth.

 

Japan won the war of 1904/1905 so there were no provisions of that war for Japan to rectify. If Japan were to attack Russia or France in 1914 because this pair was in difficulty with Germany, then this would be an act of aggressive opportunism. I don't think the Anglo-Japanese alliance would cover the gap between London and Tokyo in that case. The British were fine with Japanese aggression against Germany in 1914. I think that's about as far as it went.

Edited by glenn239
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The French did not have the strength for Europe and the Far East, but the Entente most certainly did, assuming that they did not do Gallipoli. War with Japan was not at all in Britain's interests, but if the choice were the Entente or Japan, I've no doubt that London would have chosen the Entente after trying every possible diplomatic solution.

 

In terms of the situation today, I think the problem was that in 1941 the Americans didn't understand Asia. Japan just couldn't fix that. I don't think Washington understood China at all. Because, if they did, Manchukuo would still exist today. Obviously.

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This would be an interesting alternative history scenario, no?

 

Of course you then have the political implications of the Japanese taking Indo China. From the British perspective that is setting us up for potential problems with Malaya later.

 

It wasn't Japan that wanted to end the alliance. AFAIK, it wasn't Great Britain itself either. It was the other commonwealth countries and the US that wanted that alliance broken.

After WW1 the only conceivable enemies of Japan in the Pacific were the USA, France, and Britain itself. The alliance with Japan had ceased to make sense for Britain with Germany defeated.

As you know, I don't respond to you :)

I don't care who you do or do not respond to.

Was just FYI because you keep knocking at the door :)

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The French did not have the strength for Europe and the Far East, but the Entente most certainly did, assuming that they did not do Gallipoli. War with Japan was not at all in Britain's interests, but if the choice were the Entente or Japan, I've no doubt that London would have chosen the Entente after trying every possible diplomatic solution.

 

In terms of the situation today, I think the problem was that in 1941 the Americans didn't understand Asia. Japan just couldn't fix that. I don't think Washington understood China at all. Because, if they did, Manchukuo would still exist today. Obviously.

I am not as sure that the British would choose the dishonor of not living up to the alliances it signs, but I will agree that the prospect of taking on Russia, France, and Britain combined would not be a happy one.

 

Better to know what the signatures of the appointed representatives of the British government are worth sooner than later in this instance.

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The French did not have the strength for Europe and the Far East, but the Entente most certainly did, assuming that they did not do Gallipoli. War with Japan was not at all in Britain's interests, but if the choice were the Entente or Japan, I've no doubt that London would have chosen the Entente after trying every possible diplomatic solution.

 

In terms of the situation today, I think the problem was that in 1941 the Americans didn't understand Asia. Japan just couldn't fix that. I don't think Washington understood China at all. Because, if they did, Manchukuo would still exist today. Obviously.

I am not as sure that the British would choose the dishonor of not living up to the alliances it signs, but I will agree that the prospect of taking on Russia, France, and Britain combined would not be a happy one.

 

Better to know what the signatures of the appointed representatives of the British government are worth sooner than later in this instance.

 

 

I think the British would bend over backwards to try and make sure there was no collision between the Entente and Japan. But what would be the cause of a war between Japan and Russia in 1914? Russia will have done nothing, the Japanese move would be seen as German meddling or pure opportunism. The Japanese fleet was first rate in training, but not in design or numbers. I doubt it would deter Britain, if all diplomatic attempts failed.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The British and French had sufficient forces to fight in multiple oceans while guarding their home communications.

I was wondering about Capital ships not cruisers, etc. But you could be correct. Didn't the RN have a bunch of older second line pre-dreadnoughts that were still in service in the Asian Theater?

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The British and French had sufficient forces to fight in multiple oceans while guarding their home communications.

I was wondering about Capital ships not cruisers, etc. But you could be correct. Didn't the RN have a bunch of older second line pre-dreadnoughts that were still in service in the Asian Theater?

 

Dardanelles Straits in Turkey. There is a good description of the battle in the book "Dreadnought" by Robert Massie.

From Wiki -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_operations_in_the_Dardanelles_campaign

Edited by Rick
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The British and French had sufficient forces to fight in multiple oceans while guarding their home communications.

I was wondering about Capital ships not cruisers, etc. But you could be correct. Didn't the RN have a bunch of older second line pre-dreadnoughts that were still in service in the Asian Theater?

 

Dardanelles Straits in Turkey. There is a good description of the battle in the book "Dreadnought" by Robert Massie.

From Wiki -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_operations_in_the_Dardanelles_campaign

 

 

More like Castles of Steel. IIRC, Dreadnought covers only the prelude to war.

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The British and French had sufficient forces to fight in multiple oceans while guarding their home communications.

I was wondering about Capital ships not cruisers, etc. But you could be correct. Didn't the RN have a bunch of older second line pre-dreadnoughts that were still in service in the Asian Theater?

 

Dardanelles Straits in Turkey. There is a good description of the battle in the book "Dreadnought" by Robert Massie.

From Wiki -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_operations_in_the_Dardanelles_campaign

 

 

More like Castles of Steel. IIRC, Dreadnought covers only the prelude to war.

 

Your right, my mistake. It was "Castles of Steel."

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The British and French had sufficient forces to fight in multiple oceans while guarding their home communications.

I was wondering about Capital ships not cruisers, etc. But you could be correct. Didn't the RN have a bunch of older second line pre-dreadnoughts that were still in service in the Asian Theater?

 

Dardanelles Straits in Turkey. There is a good description of the battle in the book "Dreadnought" by Robert Massie.

From Wiki -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_operations_in_the_Dardanelles_campaign

 

 

More like Castles of Steel. IIRC, Dreadnought covers only the prelude to war.

 

Your right, my mistake. It was "Castles of Steel."

 

 

No worries. I need to give CoS another read. It's been quite a few years since the last time I did.

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The British and French had sufficient forces to fight in multiple oceans while guarding their home communications.

I was wondering about Capital ships not cruisers, etc. But you could be correct. Didn't the RN have a bunch of older second line pre-dreadnoughts that were still in service in the Asian Theater?

 

 

Yes, they did. Specifically, the British had about 40 older predreadnoughts of which the very oldest classes were at the end of their service lives and the newest 10 (King Edwards and Nelsons) were committed to home defense, (the wobbly eight were actually with the Grand Fleet in 1914). About 15-20 others were in a Channel squadron that could have been (and were) soon sent elsewhere.

 

The bulk of the French fleet was committed to maintaining communications in the Med. This was with the assumption that Italy might ally with Austria and form a coalition fleet of German, Austrian and Italian vessels in Italy. This did not occur when Italy remained neutral and the German ships retreated to Constantinople. With Italy out of the equation, much of the French fleet's heavy surface forces were superfluous to guarding against the small Austrian fleet.

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I know at one point the British had some 10" pre-dreadoughts for the China Station, I guess some of the older classes could have been sent to the Far East.

 

This page has Royal Navy dispositions in this time period up until 1914,

 

http://www.tank-net.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=44157&page=17

 

Here's the French navy's as of 1913,

 

https://www.naval-history.net/xGW-FrenchNavy1914-1918.htm

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  • 3 weeks later...

The history of the crisis suggests that the Kaiser would have been strongly inclined to seek a diplomatic solution, provided that the solution achieved respected Austria-Hungary as a Great Power. This was the numb of it - the Entente essentially wanted to treat Serbia as equal to Austria due to Russia's sympathetic posturing towards Belgrade. The Central Powers, OTOH, had seen the situation in the Balkans sliding the wrong way since 1912 and were not interested in any solution where a small Balkans Power was treated as an equal to Austria-Hungary, lest these small Balkans Powers combine to do to Austria what they'd just done to the Ottomans in 1912.

 

The Coles notes summary is that the origins of the Austro-German alliance was founded as far back as the inception of the Holy Roman Empire in 800 AD, while the Entente was - politically - a façade with no actual, genuine or coherent past or future as a political construct. It's reason for existence was the containment of Germany, an alliance of enemies as it were. Between the two groupings, the Central Powers would not break up because of shared common history going back over a thousand years, and the Entente would start to disintegrate the moment that containing or defeating Germany was not the objective. That is to say, the Central Powers were sufficiently cohesive to survive a compromise solution, while the Entente was politically so unstable that it probably could not. Therefore, the question was not the Kaiser's willingness to compromise, but Britain's inability to do so if the Ententes were the foundation of its foreign policy.

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