1914 Royal Navy Baltic Sea or Black Sea squadrons

Prior to World War 1 Germany's navy was mostly oriented against Britain in the North Sea, but detached a battlecruiser, 2 armored cruisers, and many more light cruisers to overseas stations where they could be (and ultimately were) cut off from a return to Germany. What if the British Royal Navy (or French Marine Nationale?) sent comparable forces to Black Sea or Baltic Sea ports? Would the Russians welcome such a development as a tripwire to involve its allies in the event of German aggression? Would the Russians resent the idea as an intrusion into their sphere of influence? Would there be a diplomatic crisis with Germany? Would Germany agree to withdraw Goeben from the Mediterranean if the Royal Navy withdrew one of their battlecruisers alternatively stationed in the Baltic? Would a Royal Navy squadron be able to exert any influence in those seas if World War 1 were to break out as historically, such as by influencing if and when countries like the Ottoman Empire, Romania, Denmark, Sweden, and Bulgaria entered the war? Would more powerful units available to act with the Russian fleet meaningfully alter the tactical situation? Would such a deployment be a pointless attrition to the Royal Navy?
 
Prior to World War 1 Germany's navy was mostly oriented against Britain in the North Sea, but detached a battlecruiser, 2 armored cruisers, and many more light cruisers to overseas stations where they could be (and ultimately were) cut off from a return to Germany. What if the British Royal Navy (or French Marine Nationale?) sent comparable forces to Black Sea or Baltic Sea ports? Would the Russians welcome such a development as a tripwire to involve its allies in the event of German aggression? Would the Russians resent the idea as an intrusion into their sphere of influence? Would there be a diplomatic crisis with Germany? Would Germany agree to withdraw Goeben from the Mediterranean if the Royal Navy withdrew one of their battlecruisers alternatively stationed in the Baltic? Would a Royal Navy squadron be able to exert any influence in those seas if World War 1 were to break out as historically, such as by influencing if and when countries like the Ottoman Empire, Romania, Denmark, Sweden, and Bulgaria entered the war? Would more powerful units available to act with the Russian fleet meaningfully alter the tactical situation? Would such a deployment be a pointless attrition to the Royal Navy?
Britain wouldn't want to lose a Battleship in the numbers game vs Germany by having 1 or 2 assigned in a distant sea and couldn't contribute to a North Sea battle.

But if one was caught out by the start of the war there randomly visiting or repairing at the start of the war it would be interesting if the British ship was at the hands of an agressive captain
 
Britain wouldn't want to lose a Battleship in the numbers game vs Germany by having 1 or 2 assigned in a distant sea and couldn't contribute to a North Sea battle.

But if one was caught out by the start of the war there randomly visiting or repairing at the start of the war it would be interesting if the British ship was at the hands of an agressive captain

I mean it doesn't have to be a battleship necessarily, there were armored cruiser squadrons all over the world, and both German and British navies were willing to send battlecruisers to the Mediterranean.

Interestingly, the French battleships Jean Bart and France left St. Petersburg just a few days prior to the declaration of war.
 
Interestingly, the French battleships Jean Bart and France left St. Petersburg just a few days prior to the declaration of war.
A squadron of British Battleships attended the official opening of the Kiel canal and when they left it was to take up their war stations as the RN mobilised for war. As they left they signalled the German Fleet "Friends today, friends tomorrow, friends forever".
 
Prior to World War 1 Germany's navy was mostly oriented against Britain in the North Sea, but detached a battlecruiser, 2 armored cruisers, and many more light cruisers to overseas stations where they could be (and ultimately were) cut off from a return to Germany. What if the British Royal Navy (or French Marine Nationale?) sent comparable forces to Black Sea or Baltic Sea ports? Would the Russians welcome such a development as a tripwire to involve its allies in the event of German aggression? Would the Russians resent the idea as an intrusion into their sphere of influence? Would there be a diplomatic crisis with Germany? Would Germany agree to withdraw Goeben from the Mediterranean if the Royal Navy withdrew one of their battlecruisers alternatively stationed in the Baltic? Would a Royal Navy squadron be able to exert any influence in those seas if World War 1 were to break out as historically, such as by influencing if and when countries like the Ottoman Empire, Romania, Denmark, Sweden, and Bulgaria entered the war? Would more powerful units available to act with the Russian fleet meaningfully alter the tactical situation? Would such a deployment be a pointless attrition to the Royal Navy?
How would these ships get into the Black Sea if by the London convention of 1841 'the "ancient rule" of the Ottoman Empire was re-established by closing the Turkish Straits (the Bosporus and Dardanelles), which link the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, from all warships whatsoever, barring those of the Sultan's allies during wartime'? With the whole schema being diplomatically impossible, international reaction is rather irrelevant.
 
In the Baltic they might want to raid the ore traffic with Sweden.
If the British ships (of the meaningful power and numbers) are getting into the Baltic prior or during the war, they can be based in one of the Russian ports and conduct some meaningful operations. The obvious problem is the German ability to cut off their exit out of the Baltic Sea.
 
The Russian Baltic Fleet had only 1 modernish cruiser (Rurik) and 1 non-TGB or TB destroyer (Novik) at the start of the war. A couple of the RN's scout cruisers a flotilla of DD's a few subs and maybe a newer armored cruiser in the Baltic would be a great help throughout the war. Maybe throw in a couple of the more modern pre-dreads to reinforce the battlefleet and the Cricket-class TB's for coastal operations and Russia's position is much better in the Baltic without really weakening the GF.
 
The only way the RN would have a force of warships serving in the Baltic during WWI is if they were doing a diplomatic flag waving visit to Russia when war broke out and got trapped. They certainly wouldn't have planned for it.
 
A squadron of British Battleships attended the official opening of the Kiel canal and when they left it was to take up their war stations as the RN mobilised for war. As they left they signalled the German Fleet "Friends today, friends tomorrow, friends forever".
At the same time, to be even handed between Germany and Russia, Adm Beatty and his 1st BCS (Lion, Princess Royal and Queen Mary) was in St Petersburg for port visit in June 1914.

Edit, I forgot HMS New Zealand was also there and that she was used as the dance floor.
 
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NoMommsen

Donor
The Russian Baltic Fleet had only 1 modernish cruiser (Rurik) and 1 non-TGB or TB destroyer (Novik) at the start of the war. A couple of the RN's scout cruisers a flotilla of DD's a few subs and maybe a newer armored cruiser in the Baltic would be a great help throughout the war. Maybe throw in a couple of the more modern pre-dreads to reinforce the battlefleet and the Cricket-class TB's for coastal operations and Russia's position is much better in the Baltic without really weakening the GF.
Well, ... the Rurik was not the most modern russian cruiser in the Baltic being delivered 1908 and still having to work out design and construction problems.
The most modern cruiser was the Bayan having entered servis 11/1911 and her sister ship Pallada. The oldest cruise there was the Gromoboi. However each of the 4 cuisers of the cruiser brigade was far more than a match for even the most modern german "Kleiner Kreuzer" (small or "light" cruisers) as well as german armored cruisers. Though ... comparison between Rurik and Blücher - at the outbreak of war still in the Baltic - might be debatable.
You also seem forget the 3 (one was at the docks for repairs) russian pre-Dreads at service from then Helsingfors military naval harbour. For older ships in the german fleet still a challange like Siegfried and Odin class which were IOTL assigned to the german baltic fleet.

However, I somehow doubt that if any
... British ships (of the meaningful power and numbers) are getting into the Baltic prior or during the war, ...
the german HSF would conduct its operations as IOTL.

IMHO with such precondition the chances that IOTL v.Pohls proposal to first "quickly clean up" the baltic would have earned much more attention with a substantial german fleet ( 1st scouting group or at least 4 more modern battlecruisers, 1st battlesquadron with the Nassaus and Helgoland dreads plus sufficient T-boat and light cruiser coverage, in need quickly to be redeployed through the Kiel canal ?) outnumbering whatever the russians together with whatever british ships might be trapped within the Baltic might be brought to the fore.
 

Coulsdon Eagle

Monthly Donor
The RN did have battlecruisers & light cruiser in the Med in August 1914. Presume their main role was to man-mark Goeben & Breslau in addition to monitoring movements of Austria- Hungary and Italian fleets.
 
From about 1900 onward German and Russian diplomatic effort had been pursuing making the Baltic a closed sea, specifically against the British.
 
Well, ... the Rurik was not the most modern russian cruiser in the Baltic being delivered 1908 and still having to work out design and construction problems.
The most modern cruiser was the Bayan having entered servis 11/1911 and her sister ship Pallada. The oldest cruise there was the Gromoboi. However each of the 4 cuisers of the cruiser brigade was far more than a match for even the most modern german "Kleiner Kreuzer" (small or "light" cruisers) as well as german armored cruisers. Though ... comparison between Rurik and Blücher - at the outbreak of war still in the Baltic - might be debatable.
You also seem forget the 3 (one was at the docks for repairs) russian pre-Dreads at service from then Helsingfors military naval harbour. For older ships in the german fleet still a challange like Siegfried and Odin class which were IOTL assigned to the german baltic fleet.

However, I somehow doubt that if any
Most modern, not new. The Bayan's and Bogatyr's were all pre-RJW designs that the Russians built more of to quickly reinforce the fleet even though they were coming up on being obsolete. I'm aware that the German CL's couldn't take most of the Russian cruisers, but the Russian cruisers were all pretty slow, in the event of some German dreadnoughts popping up they can't reliably outrun them. And no, I didn't forget the Russian pre-dreads, of which there were four. Slava and Tsesarevich were obsolete sink-ex's, the two Andrei's were better but I still doubt their protection. Four pre-dreads isn't that great a battlefleet.
 
How would these ships get into the Black Sea if by the London convention of 1841 'the "ancient rule" of the Ottoman Empire was re-established by closing the Turkish Straits (the Bosporus and Dardanelles), which link the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, from all warships whatsoever, barring those of the Sultan's allies during wartime'? With the whole schema being diplomatically impossible, international reaction is rather irrelevant.

HMS Inflexible and SMS Goeben both visited Constantinople prior to the outbreak of war, so I’m not convinced passing through the Bosphorus is strictly impossible.

The RN did have battlecruisers & light cruiser in the Med in August 1914. Presume their main role was to man-mark Goeben & Breslau in addition to monitoring movements of Austria- Hungary and Italian fleets.

Whole books have been written about how Milne was given bad orders in a tough situation and then did all the wrong things.

From about 1900 onward German and Russian diplomatic effort had been pursuing making the Baltic a closed sea, specifically against the British.

I can see why the Germans wanted to close the Baltic to the British. But was that also true of the Russians in the 1907 to 1914 era? When Britain and Russia are allies, the Russian navy is gutted, and the Germans are expanding their fleet (and the Kiel Canal)?
 
HMS Inflexible and SMS Goeben both visited Constantinople prior to the outbreak of war, so I’m not convinced passing through the Bosphorus is strictly impossible.
Visiting Constantinople is not the same as getting into the Black Sea but London Convention of 1871 contained a loophole:

“Art. II. The principle of the closing of the Straits of the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus, such as it has been established by the separate Convention of March 30, 1856[132] is maintained, with power to His Imperial Majesty the Sultan to open the said Straits in time of peace to the vessels of war of friendly and allied Powers, in case the Sublime Porte should judge it necessary in order to secure the execution of the stipulations of the Treaty of Paris of March 30, 1856.”
So, in theory, the Ottomans could let the British warships through as a potential defense against … Russia.
 
Well the British did have a small flotilla of submarines in the Baltic for three years during WW1, but it was very much a wartime development.

Unless Russia was willing to host a small number of warships pre-war, which depends on whether they had modified their earlier stance on trying to close off the Baltic or not, then as others have written the only way is for visiting ships be cut off. If the Russians did allow it then a flotilla of submarines has much to recommend it: it doesn't divert surface ships from the main effort in the North Sea, submarines can potentially be much more effective in the Baltic, they require less manpower, they're vastly easier to resupply by shipping torpedo reloads overland than the large number of shells a heavy surface unit would need etc.
 
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