The Ottoman Empire remains neutral in World War I

Discussion in 'World History' started by Futurist110, Sep 16, 2021.

  1. Futurist110

    Futurist110 Chieftain

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    What would have been the effects had the Ottoman Empire remained neutral in World War I? Would this have allowed Russia to avoid one or both of the revolutions that it had in 1917 in real life? Also, if so, could this result in an alternate World War II in the 1930s or 1940s which is sparked by a Russian invasion of the Ottoman Empire? After all, I would presume that a Russia that is on the winning side of World War I might still want to eventually solve the "Eastern Question" through a decisive military confrontation with the Ottoman Empire, no? This would be especially true if Russia was either Tsarist or some other kind of right-wing authoritarian, such as Fascist (please remember that there is no Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in this scenario). Indeed, could such a Russian military confrontation against a surviving Ottoman Empire in the 1930s or 1940s have triggered an alt-World War II in this TL, or what? And just how would such an alt-World War II have went? Who would have won it, what would have been the aftermath of it, et cetera?
     
  2. innonimatu

    innonimatu Deity

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    The Ottoman Empire was cut off from the central powers during the first year of the war, and loosely linked afterwards. Strategically its only value was diverting some british and russian troops away from the european fronts.

    But I don't think that was of much value. Operations on the western front were limited by logistics during the first couple of years, the place was saturated already. More allied troops wouldn't have made a difference there. On the russian front logistics seem to have been the major problem also. Russia had plenty of soldiers it could recruit, it lacked the railroads to move them effectively over a very extensive front. The central powers had far better mobility on their side, and the advantage of interior lines to redeploy forces.

    So for the reasons above I don't think that ottoman neutrality would have made much of a difference.
     
  3. Futurist110

    Futurist110 Chieftain

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    Just how much better shape would the Russian economy be in during WWI if the Straits remain open to Russian and Allied shipping and trade? I was wondering if this specific effect might be enough to prevent one or both Russian Revolutions.

    Also, if one or both Russian Revolutions are indeed prevented as a result of this, could (a non-Communist) Russia eventually spark an alt-WWII in this scenario through an attempt to partition the Ottoman Empire?
     
  4. innonimatu

    innonimatu Deity

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    That's a question I really can't say much about, don't know enough details on Russia at the time. Perhaps a russian here can answer?

    But I will speculate a little. Goods for trade were scarce during the World War, it was a total war burning resources and taking men away from the fields and the factories to be wasted on battle, redirecting the remaining production as much for weapons as possible. The maritime allies were in far better shape, they could still draw products from the rest of the world. But did russian stability depend on getting "colonial goods" such as coffee or cocoa or sugar? Or was russian society agitated because of war drafting and lack of workers for local production of basic stuff? That basic stuff would he hard to import because of cost (France and the UK were also spending their treasuries importing stuff) and shipping tonnage scarcity in the Atlantic (the submarine war). The americas still had capacity to sell food, and industrial products (the US), and Russia could import from there anyway through Vladivostok and the transsiberian? And in the west, through Murmansk. But could it pay for it?

    All these things considered, ottoman neutrality might be more of a benefit if the ottomans sold foodstuffs to Russia than due to the straits being open to trade. Cheaper and easier than importing from the Americas. The open straits might allow the french to ship weapons to Russia, but the french were using up weapons and even buying from the americans.
     
  5. r16

    r16 not deity

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    there was no way Ottomans could have remained neutral , considering the whole Great War was being fought over who would get us in the end . Unbalance created by the Balkan Wars leads to future leader of Austria Hungary to be taken out of the game . Can't remember if he was the one to create more rights for the Slavs . Everybody eager to fight . Actually a lot of pressure from the Allied countries to join the fight , even on the German side .

    and of course Churchill absolutely needs a case for his biggest blunder upto the time he finished his history of the Great Way and how American arms might have been flowing through a secured Straits to a Eastern Front where the Germans had enough trouble in real life .
     
  6. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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  7. r16

    r16 not deity

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    pretty as much as said . Ittihad despite the excrement show they did in the end could have modernized the country , not as drastically Atatürk did but still in some useful manner . Europeans never had trouble with the "Ottoman Turk" , semi-starving , half intelligent animal , soon to be replaced by former Christian owners of the land . Ittihad on the other was just an average , bent on Social Darwinism , interested only in self , just like all those European elites , only wearing a fes . My troubles in the big city always cause a little wry smile or two in the old gang , who used to be abroad and they would regularly get bulging eyes and those who wanted to avoid an open breach right on the spot would conjure miracles . You know , these guys would then get so many remarks on why they should have other types of "blood" in them ...

    then gotta match this with the Great Power competition in the day . Germany and England might have reached a consensus on cutting naval expenditures allright , but Russian steamroller or rather its possible future variants scared Germany and infiltrating and "removing" Austria might fail to compensate for this "bleak" future . Von der Goltz rather vocal about other stuff , Ottoman oil to come which sharply conflicted with Kaiser's vision of having his very own lndia . 3 empires sound such an insult , when one of them would be of Turks , you know . Accordingly as ltaly attacked , because of mental issues of not having enough colonies and the going got rough and that would kinda scare the Arabs in Syria for some reason and this brought a need for diversions . Which coincided with terrific backstabbing in lstanbul and the easy going friendly crusade suddenly gained incredible traction with Europeans who were threatening the Ottomans with military intervention if we won too much , in the name of European Concert and stability and peace , suddenly started watching the Balkan folk advancing everywhere . The US Ambrassador at the time was having rgasms at religious Balkan peoples defeating the secular godless Turks . Or something like that ; ı think ı downloaded his book from a wikipedia link .

    so , if you are still one of those people who think crazy Servians just committed Regicide and the whole Europe was aghast at the murder , but the German blank check destabilized everything , you are kinda wrong in thinking in assuming the Serbians did it on their own crazy wild ideas and plans . The third Balkan War was more likely to be an Ottoman versus Greece thing . Which we would probably win ; somehow ; don't ask ; enough crazy things have happened . The Serbians would likely intervene ; Austrians this time would open a second front ; because that would have prolonged their empire ; Russians would have to come in . Great War in 1920 . See , 1914 suited everyone , before planes and zeplins became a threat to all those jerks in their luxurious offices , making millions out of war .
     
  8. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    I'm not sure where to start. Serbia was part of Austria-Hungary at the time. You could maybe boil the war down to the question of Whether Serbia should be Austrian, but for this war, the Ottoman question, regardless of cruel disposition and racism from Europeans, was not what the war was about. The Ottomans were completely ancillary to the alliance cascade.

    "The whole Great War was being fought over who would get us in the end" is complete nonsense. Victimization has its place sometimes, but here it's pretty much paranoia and overstating importance. Maybe it's easier for me to have a different perspective. As you probably know, I'm from Denmark, and we were both harshly brutalized during the 19th century as we were seen as a troublemaker, while still understanding when our losses were ancillary to central European politics. What you're saying is like me going "oh the Napoleonic wars were about whether Denmark should have Norway because we were forced to cede it to Sweden". Just because you were involved or punished, however unfairly, doesn't mean it's all about you.

    Also, you're making a lot of presumptions about positions I don't have. Our history books are pretty clear that Franz Ferdinand's death was received ambivalently, so your "still one of those people", "aghast" etc is uncalled for and strange to read. It again reeks of paranoia, as if I'm out to get you. The leading great powers really hated Austria-Hungary. That's why the alliance setup was as it was, and why tensions between Franz Joseph and the great powers were so high before the assassination.

    To put it shortly, the cause of the war is usually treated with some uncertainty since it was the result of a butterfly effect, but if you had to oversimplify what it was about to one nation, the best answer is Austria-Hungary's position in Europe. "Who'd get the Ottomans" is ridiculous. Even if they were carved up. The Ottomans were in an ancillary position, got involved, and were treated as a colonial possession during peace. This does not mean they were the cause.
     
  9. r16

    r16 not deity

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    a lot of literary devices and whatever . Some understatements , some exaggerations . And as it is always the case there , is just a little present day wisdom or whatever . The destruction of this country and its goddamn Republic being once again the primary thing behind everything . And the failures and whatnot . The American disinterest in actually facing the music , and the way that proves their power is indeed hollow . A lot garbage ı write , but world capitals no longer see it funny that given the slightest pretext ı will happily give them World War lll . So that they can measure their manhood in lV on an Einstein scale . Everybody will reject this last , because lll will already be decisive ...

    had Dachs been around he would reject Ottoman importance or European scheming for Holocaust before the Austrian corporal and whatever but would still call it Balkan War lll , because ı remember him doing it so . ı do lack his reputation and whatnot but he would post a rather convincing argument that the reason why the Austrians seemed suddenly so vulnerable was that the Ottomans and incidentally the Bulgarians had been knocked out . Which still wouldn't make him support a r16 thing that Heisenberg allied with and was ably helped by Nils Bohr to knock out the Nazi bomb before it picked up steam .
     
  10. innonimatu

    innonimatu Deity

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    You really aren't, if you want to start claiming that!
     
  11. EnglishEdward

    EnglishEdward Deity

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    Spain remained neutral during WW1 and the Ottoman Empire could have done much the same.

    I do not believe that it would have made a great deal of difference to World War 1 itself.

    Where things would have been very different is in Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria.

    That is in so much as those countries would not have been created in and around 1918 and afterwards.

    I suspect that the Ottoman Empire would have slowly fragmented into regional groupings of Turkish, Arabic and Farsi
    speaking areas at a later stage, but without active western intervention that might have taken a long time.

    A key question is how the British, French, Italian states would make arrangements to obtain oil.

    If by recognition of the Ottoman Empire as sovereign and working with that, the Ottomans might have become
    oil rich like Saudi did; but by fragmenting off parts as oil protectorates, the alternate history might be like our reality.
     
  12. r16

    r16 not deity

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    there was no way for Ottomans to stay neutral . When Cemal Paşa went to France or something , in order to become Anglo-French allies to be protected against the Russians , who so badly wanted lstanbul , he was practically told to go German way for a while so that he could be made the King of Arabia , under full French protection when the punishment would be served post war . As Allies were likely to win . (For this you will need to believe there were some Ottoman officers who had proved during the disasters of the Balkan Wars that they had quite successfully acquired Prussian staff traditions .) With a stress on American potential that would surely be brought into the War to come , if London was losing . Oh , really doesn't fit with the discipline of history but guess what ...
     
  13. innonimatu

    innonimatu Deity

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    Persia was never part of the Ottoman Empire. The british got most of their oil from it out of Abadan.

    The french might have put more energy into finding oil in Algeria, or they might have bought it from a turkish Iraq. Not much change I think. Assuming France and the UK won WW1 then the ottomans would not be allied with defeated Germany anyway and french money would be welcome, as were french products.

    Italy... eh, who cares? They'd buy it from someone, same as in our timeline.

    @r16, in the very unlikely case of the Ottoman Empire remaining neutral, I believe the french and british appetites for colonies would probably be quite quenched by the end of the war. Just as it was in out timeline, otherwise Turkey would not exist today, they'd invade and dismantle it if the war weariness among the population and war debt weight on their treasuries was not so high. But it was hence no hurry for new colonial acquisitions, especially acquisitions that looked like more trouble than profit.
    Churchill basically handed over the Hejaz to the saudi desert barbarians rather than spend some more pounds to defend it. The english had the Trucial States ad Kuwait, plus Adem, that provided control over regional trade. No need to expand further. They held the most profitable bits which were cheap to maintain, without having to spend on repressing masses of rebellious populations across another wide area. Sure the british kept Iraq and Palestine but that was them having to have something to show for the war effort. Palestine was effectively handed over to jewish settlement also, and Iraq puppetized.
    The french did seem to have an appetite to cling to Syria and Lebannon, crusader urges in some late romantic revival? But they were the first to back off from carving up the rump ottomans and even handed back a province. No appetite for more war either.

    So the Ottoman Empire would probably endure between the wars. And even get propped up by the post-ww2 europeans (assuming a ww2 happened and ended as it was...) because they'd be a non-european empire showing those amerians and soviets that colonial empires were not just an european obsolete idea. Extremely useful fig leaf? That Ottoman Empire, surely reformed into some constitutional thing, could play the role of a huge Israel... it would mess with the american UN idea and gobbling up of the Middle East, that is when this alternate history would get really interesting...
     
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  14. r16

    r16 not deity

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    like many things it would depend on how the war went . If the Allied troops were bavk home at Christmas , victoriously , we would have been divided and kept under occupation , because Russia would also be a victor and they demanded and got lstanbul , even before the war began . Am pretty sure Sykes Picot deal started as France demanded up to Musul and the British playing along to use the French as a buffer between would-be British zones and the Russians . Then Evangelists . Meanwhile the bloodbath on the West Front and the carnage it created weakened British potential to enjoy the fruits of victory . Meaning the Saud victory over Hashimites was indeed one of Delhi over Cairo , preventing a Caliphate that could have a " negative" influence over the "Moslems" in the Subcontinent .

    and of course ı wasn't exactly surprised to read that the lndian units to occupy Basra were on ships long before the Ottomans decided anything ...
     

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