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December 13, 2019, 02:34:59 am
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  The True Story of Berlin
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Author Topic: The True Story of Berlin  (Read 319 times)
Kingpoleon
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« on: October 08, 2019, 03:12:08 pm »
« edited: October 10, 2019, 02:16:31 pm by Kingpoleon »

May 20, 1882:
Umberto I and Wilhelm II formally ally with one another and Austria-Hungary, the former two agreeing that Crown Prince Victor Emmanuel shall be engaged to Princess Margaret of Prussia. The two will eventually marry in 1891, cementing the alliance between Berlin and Rome. Prime Minister Bismarck famously states, "With Berlin and Bucharest, with Rome and Vienna, these allies... shall either conquer Europe or be conquered by Europe within forty years."

August 28, 1902:
Archduchess Elizabeth Marie, the only living descendant of Franz Joseph, marries the Crown Prince of Germany, further confirming the alliance of Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Italy, causing many in Russia and France to grow increasingly concerned.

May 3, 1910:

A semi-secret meeting has been called, composed of Germany and its allies. Foreign Minister Petre Carp, representing the new Romanian government of Prime Minister Titu Maiorescu, has agreed to make certain arrangements with their German kin. Prince Carol, second in line to the Romanian throne behind his father, Crown Prince Ferdinand, is to be engaged to the Princess Viktoria Louise, the youngest daughter of the Kaiser. Furthermore, Prince Carol shall be made into an officer in the Prussian military in order to instill him with traditional Prussian values and experience.

Prince Nicholas, Crown Princess Wilhelm, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and Prince Emanuel Filliberto, cousin of the Italian King, represent their respective royal families as witnessing to this engagement. The two will eventually be married precisely a year and two months later, after Prince Carol has served a year in the Prussian officer corps.

.....

July 28, 1914:
After the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Serbia has agreed to nine of the ten demands made by Austria-Hungary. Their refusal for broad Austrian police powers in Serbia causes Austria-Hungary to declare war, believing that Germany, Romania, and Italy will back them. A powder keg ignites...

...

August 2, 1914:
War has broken out - Russia, France, and Serbia are officially at war with Germany and Austria-Hungary, and both sides begin lobbying their allies for immediate support, with Romania nearly immediately agreeing, even as Italy advises Germany it is best they stay neutral to keep the British from protesting against an uneven balance of power. Germany seems to be gearing up for a large offensive against France out of Alsace-Lorraine, as negotiations for military access with Luxembourg and Belgium begin. On the Russian border, however...
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Kingpoleon
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2019, 06:02:28 pm »
« Edited: October 13, 2019, 05:14:37 pm by Kingpoleon »

August 3, 1914:
Alfred von Tirpitz, Grand Admiral of the German Empire, personally leads a squadron of eleven dreadnoughts, three battle cruisers, twelve light cruisers, ten protected cruisers, eighty destroyers, and  fifteen pre-dreadnoughts out to sea. Dozens of torpedo boats and submarines race ahead of this main fleet, ambushing the French navy throughout the English channel. At Brest and Lorient, the great shipyards of France are destroyed, and at Cherbourg, much of the navy is seized. The Germans capture one dreadnought operational, two being repaired, and sink five under construction. This leaves the French with one dreadnought being repaired and only three under construction.

August 4, 1914: The Austrians make a similar raid on Toulon, the last main shipyard of France, and successfully destroy one of the dreadnoughts being built. With five dreadnoughts on the Atlantic side and three in the Mediterranean, France is formally blockaded. It is estimated that on this date and the date before, one tenth of the French navy is destroyed, and another tenth captured. A great fleet of ten dreadnoughts, sixty destroyers, twenty submarines, and sixty torpedo boats begin sailing around the world to destroy the remnants of the French navy and capture isolated colonies.

August 5, 1914: Montenegro formally declares war on Austria-Hungary, as Serbia officially declares war against Germany. A series of French assaults on the German forts begin, and the first battle with heavy casualties is fought at the Battle of Mulhouse, as the French generals order a general advance into Alsace-Lorraine. At Mulhouse, the Germans lead several devastating assaults on the French, killing roughly six thousand and capturing three thousand more before withdrawing. The French kill roughly one thousand Germans and capture several hundred, but successfully take the city of Mulhouse.

August 8, 1914: The main German armies on the Eastern front lead devastating assaults into Congress Poland, altering the Schlieffen plan swiftly after seeing the devastating French losses on the Western Front. The Germans arm several thousand Polish, promising to free them from Russia if they fight for Germany. With no serious Russian opposition, the German Army marches on Warsaw, determined to throw Russia out of the war as quickly as possible.

August 15, 1914: The French Army attacks several German forts on this day, attacking strongly and successfully taking the fort near Mulhouse, but they are repulsed with heavy losses nearly everywhere else. Fourteen thousand French soldiers are dead or captured, compared to just under seven thousand German soldiers dead or captured, as most of the garrison of Mulhouse managed to escape upon seeing they were outnumbered.

August 19, 1914: The Austrians, with a general push into Serbia, are shockingly defeated at the Border Battle, when nine thousand Serbians repulse an Austrian army of nearly twenty thousand.

...

Overall, throughout the rest of the first year, quite a bit of note happens. Alsace-Lorraine is fought for desperately, with land changing hands constantly. Despite one or two aggressive German maneuvers, the French successfully keep the battle out of their lands, with several battles occurring near Mulhouse. By the end of the year, 348,000 French are dead or wounded, and 6,000 more have been captured. 203,000 Germans are dead or wounded, and roughly a thousand captured. The British, Italians, and Spanish retain a policy of neutrality, in large part due to the balance this creates between the three but also because of fears of either side gaining too much power.

On the Eastern Front, Russia successfully took most of Galicia, and Austria-Hungary advanced very slowly into Serbia, suffering heavy losses. Germany took most of Congress Poland, and surrounded the city of Riga, alongside roughly ten thousand militiamen raised by Baltic German nobles. On December 26, in what he called a “Christmas Miracle,” Wilhelm II finally secured Romanian support in a private phone call with King Carol and Prime Minister Petre P. Carp, who was newly appointed PM after gaining Conservative and dissident Liberal support. This was primarily due to a border incident between a Romanian and a Serbian border patrol. Romania would officially declare war on Serbia on December 30, after Serbia refused to pay the family of a Romanian captain who had been killed, or the families of the three other Romanian soldiers wounded.

In the Caucasus, the Ottomans officially declared war and launched an attack in early October. Persia used the opportunity to declare itself free of Russian influence, evicting nearly all Russian advisers, military forces, and businessmen in the country. In the Pacific, Japan has been waging an unofficial war against France, seizing its colonies to "maintain neutrality and peace in Asia and the Pacific." Despite vigorous French and Russian protests, the British silently approve, preferring their Japanese ally gain French land rather than Germany. The French negotiate deals with the Americans and Dutch, with America paying France for its Pacific possessions not taken by Germany, and the Americans and Dutch taking France's Caribbean colonies, at least for now.

In Africa, the British and Germans reach a compromise. Provided Germany stop partway into them, leaving at least half the Angolan and Mozambique Portuguese colonies for the British to "protect," the British will not intervene because of it. With a general negative view of Belgium's neutral possession of the Congo, a similar deal is made, but at least the narrow Western part should also be given to the neutral Dutch. General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck is named Commander of all German Armies in Africa. Following several border disputes with the Portuguese and the Belgians, he is the man who successfully negotiates with the British, conceding a German claim on part of Kenya and promising a soft line on annexation if victorious.

Following stunning victories against the Portuguese in Angola and Belgium in the Congo, the Kaiser dispatches 18,000 German troops to von Lettow-Vorbeck's aid, alongside significant funds and weapons. Furthermore, he was appointed Supreme Military Governor of German Africa, granting him a position alongside the civil Governors of Togo, Cameroon, and Tanzania. This direct military and diplomatic control of German Africa under a competent leader ensured his serious victories against the French in Belgium, especially the Congo, where he focused his attention on uniting the German colonies by land.

Link to my map*:
https://ibb.co/5WJ3h83

*Could someone help me understand why the IMG tag doesn't work?
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Kingpoleon
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2019, 04:12:45 pm »

Daily Events from the First World War, based on The Compiled Letters and Journals Regarding Famous Personal Lives from 1914-1917:

November 6, 1914:
A young man eagerly waits outside the man’s office. The secretary glances at him - he had been waiting nearly two hours, and he spoke: “Sir, I doubt the Chairman’s son will want to see you for too long. There is certainly a reason that the Chairman and the rest of the executives sent you here, and it is not because they like you.”

The young man starts to respond when suddenly, the door marked Mr. R_ opens, and a man with little hair and a goatee walks out, standing at the door. “Mr. Apolant, careful how you treat my clients, no matter how young they are. You never know what they might do tomorrow - after all, you were once a promising young man, and now you’re the secretary for your brother-in-law.” Hugo Apolant, rather flustered at this blunt awkwardness, clears his throat and nods to the strange young man as he walked in.

“Mr. R-“ the young man begins, but Mr. R_ puts his hand up and said, “That’s my father’s name. Please, call me Walter, or, if you must, sir.” The young man replies stiffly, “It’s good to meet you, sir. Please call me David.” The industrialist nods his head. “It’s good to meet you too, David. I must say, I haven’t had a meeting with a client your age that I can recall. What can I do for you, David?”

David nods his head, then realizes it is his turn to speak. “Well, you see, sir, I must apologize if my English is not great. Only two months have I been in the states before I came to you. I am engaged to a woman who is helping me, but it is slow work. I am not a normal client, though. I have a friend named Isaac in New York who is helping me.” Pausing at the name Isaac - Yitzhak - he sees a look of understanding dawn on the older man’s face, and he continues reading his written script.

“It is like this: I am, as I am told are you, a Jew. Forty men I raised for the Ottomans in a week, all Jews, to fight for Jerusalem and for the Sultan. Within two weeks, I was forcibly deported, and I fled to New York and then came here as soon as I could. Already in New York, nine hundred fellow Jews, between nineteen and thirty, have volunteered and joined us. We have new fellows in DC, Boston, Berlin, London, and soon Jerusalem, who have a thousand between them already.

“I know you have influence in the government, and I was hoping I could count on you for funds for this, at least. We intend to fight in this war, and if your government would lean on the Ottomans, we were hoping for at least a Protectorate in the Palestine region, giving those like us a chance for freedom.” Finishing, David sits back exhausted. “Sir, if you would back us, it would mean a lot to us. We cannot offer much in return, but the eternal gratitude of a thousand human.”

Walter pauses for a long moment. “David, I happily would do this myself. However,” seeing the energy leave his new friend’s face at this discouragement, he smiled, “I must gather all of my friends and family and urge them to join me in this endeavor. For now,” and here he grabs his wallet, “take a week’s pay, and come stay with me in this city. It is expensive in this city, and you surely have little left.”

“Sir, I wish I could, but I could not impose. Besides, I do fancy my neighbor at the hotel.” David grins sadly. “Oh? Aren’t you engaged?” Walter replies. “It’s like this sir - she is the American I am engaged to - Paula.” David answers. “She pleaded with her father to let her go, and he only agreed on the condition that her cousins, Louisa and Joshua, came with us to ensure that we were appropriate and did not marry overseas.”

Walter grins at the awkward drama, saying, “Well, bring your fiancée and both of them! My sisters would love to meet you four, and you must stay as long as you can. We’ll have advertisements for this Jewish Legion in the newspapers next week here, and then we’ll see what we can do. No objections!” David, grinning at this, and meekly agreed.

“Come along, then - Hugo can finish up here, and it’s getting late. We’ll go get you settled in at my house at once, and then move you and your friends into the guest rooms. I do insist, David. I have far too much room at my house, and neither wife nor kids nor friends to fill it.”
...
“Now you go and get the three of them to pack and come down here. I’ve called my car to come get us, and I’ll pay your bill. Consider it a sign on bonus, and you go and hurry back now.”

Walking up to the front desk, Walter spoke to the man on duty and told him who he was and the rooms he would be paying for. “Sir, I appreciate that you paid in cash, it is easier, but would you please tell me your name and the man who booked these rooms so I can write it down in today’s record?”

“Yes, my name’s Walter Rathenau and -“ Walter paused as the man recognized his name. “Mr. Rathenau? It’s nice to see a respected businessman like you in our hotel!” Walter blushed a little at the praise, and continued, “I appreciate that. I’m paying for the rooms for a party of four, booked under the name, I believe of David...”

At that moment, David, walked into the lobby with another man, Joshua Munweis, carrying bags, followed by two women, Louisa and Paula Munweis. “Oh, Walter, sir, I never told you my last name. I do appreciate this.” Turning to the clerk, he said, “David Ben-Gurion, sir. Rooms 109 and 204.”
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Kingpoleon
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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2019, 06:32:32 pm »

On June 20, 1900, Clemens von Ketteler was nearly killed when several Chinese militants opened fire on his entourage, killing his charge d'affaires, his American wife, and two others, and wounding him. Von Ketteler would go on to serve as Ambassador to the United States from 1904-09, where he formed a close relationship with Speaker Clark, President Roosevelt and his daughter, Alice, even signing into law certain trade and joint business ventures in Africa. He furthermore served from 1910-12 as German Foreign Minister, whereby Morocco was given to Spain following pressure on France from Berlin, Madrid, and, following the work of himself, Washington.

Von Ketteler was approached in December of 1914 by the German government, as the male line descendant/heir of the last Duke of Courland, to be made administrator over the lands in Russia Germany was taking. Von Ketteler would eventually accept, under the condition he receive an appointment back in Washington DC until then.
...
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Kingpoleon
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« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2019, 09:49:14 pm »

October 8, 1914:

Foreign Minister von Bulow had visited Rome, Madrid, and Stockholm in his second series of foreign visits following his trips to Istanbul, Sofia, Bucharest, and Athens just three weeks prior. The Prime Minister Dato, and his newly appointed Chief of Staff of the Army, Valeriano Weyler, being assured that they would receive French Morocco and French Madagascar, pledged to join the war once the conservative papers built up to it. The Swedish were even more receptive, guaranteeing they would join once they armed Finnish rebel groups.

The Dutch and British had been assured certain large portions of the Entente's colonies would be "protected" by their neutral forces, and, in Rome, Italy was promised certain exclusive trading/economic rights with Corsica, as well as French Tunisia, Algeria, and large portions of the rest of French Africa. The Romanians and Bulgarians were convinced by being promised large grants of land in the Balkans, while Greece decided to remain neutral following intense negotiations.
...
Von Bulow's diplomatic tour, disguised as a German shipping magnate arranging business deals, was vital to the success of the Berlin Alliance. His role was so instrumental that the Kaiser secretly began making arrangements to appoint him as the next Chancellor, but for now? He was declared the new Ambassador to Washington D. C. on October 21, where he began courting the major power brokers in an effort for the greatest diplomatic coup of all...
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