If Sweden had joined the Central Powers because of Admiral Essen, would they then have joined the Winter War?

If sweden decides to blocade british shipping its a fair chance that norway is dragged in on the entente side.

1: Sweden wouldn’t be able to blockade British shipping to Norway or Denmark
2: Sweden have every interest in using Norway to trade with the rest of the world
3: Sweden would see Norwegian and Danish volunteers, not a significant number but likely a few thousand.
 
It could. Norway faces massive starvation due lack to grain and fuel imports
If there is something that could cause the US to simply tell the UK to take a hike it would be blockading a neutral to force it to declare war.
The UK was pretty good at not pushing the US to hard, and IOTL, it backed down on some issues relating to the blockade - I can't see the US wouldn't throw a fit over that.
 
If Sweden joins Germany, that means it's being blockaded by Britain, which likely means starvation and revolution down the line. There were hunger riots in otl when Sweden was neutral, could freely trade with Britain/the US and didn't have an active army to feed.

I’m not sure it will make much difference, Sweden was already in OTL de facto blockaded by the British and Sweden will be unlikely to throw large number against the Russians instead ending up with skirmishes in Lapland and the Baltic Sea, so they likely don’t mobilize many more soldiers than in OTL, at least not until late 1916.
 
Morale for Finnish soldiers in WWI was low b/c of Russification, but this isn't going to help. I'm not sure if we see any high profile defections, but Finnish PoWs will be recruited, like Ukrainians were, more heavily.

Russification did great damage to the Finnish Grand Duchy's general morale and loyalty, but in terms of ordinary Finnish soldiers in the imperial Russian forces, the main result of Russification was the fact that it reduced their number to a minimum. The old Finnish units in the Grand Duchy's towns were disbanded in 1905, and then Finland's opposition to conscripting Finns into Russian units practically led to the situation where during WWI Finns were not conscripted into the imperial armed forces. As a result, I think that since the early decades of the autonomy. there had not been as few ordinary Finnish soldiers in the Tsar's service as there was in 1914. By that point, Finnish men joining up with the Tsarist military were virtually all volunteers, and Russification had a negative effect on that process as well.

During WWI, the soldiers from the Grand Duchy in the Russian military skewed heavily towards experienced officers with significant careers behind them, moreso than with other nationalities in the empire. These were men that often had started their careers before Russification, or at least prior to 1905. Many of the men from the Grand Duchy who had embarked on traditional officer's careers in the Russian military came from noble families, and were often Swedish-speaking. Mannerheim of course is a case in point. There were Finnish officers in all branches of the Russian military, though comparatively I think they were sort of overrepresented in the navy, legacy of Finland having more established old maritime traditions than Russia itself had. In the event of WWI, I would argue that the Finnish officers in the Tsar's forces were usually as loyal as one could reasonably expect. The great majority of them, I believe, followed the orders of their superiors loyally well until the revolution upended the Russian government. After the revolution(s) many of them either seeked to return to Finland, or then supported different White or national forces elsewhere in the empire. A smaller number of them chose to support the Reds, this contingent I believe came mostly from among junior officers.

My main point here is that the demoralization caused by the Russification did not really have an effect on the Russian military defence of Finland itself, as Finland was really not defended by Finnish troops during WWI. If during WWI the Russian government did conscript Finnish men into the imperial armed forces, many of these men would definitely been angry and recalcitrant, and often ready to desert their units and change sides rather easily, especially as revolutionary sentiment spread among the Russian forces. But then such conscription did not happen, which avoided issues of this sort. The units that would repel potential enemy attacks into the Grand Duchy would be predominately Russian (and of course often including different minority nationalities of the far-flung empire). AFAIK, the effects of Russification did not make the Finnish men who remained in the Tsar's forces after 1905 actually disloyal or rebellious towards the Tsarist government, either. They would have become more cautious and critical, but usually not angry enough to actually consider treason. There were resignations by officers due to the Russification policies, but then again those men would not have been a problem for the Russian military after they became civilians.
 
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If there is something that could cause the US to simply tell the UK to take a hike it would be blockading a neutral to force it to declare war.
The UK was pretty good at not pushing the US to hard, and IOTL, it backed down on some issues relating to the blockade - I can't see the US wouldn't throw a fit over that.
Britain did enact starvation policies during wwi in 1916 on norway to have them cease all trade with germany and no one considered it a big deal. Norway caved pretty much instantly.
 
I’m not sure it will make much difference, Sweden was already in OTL de facto blockaded by the British and Sweden will be unlikely to throw large number against the Russians instead ending up with skirmishes in Lapland and the Baltic Sea, so they likely don’t mobilize many more soldiers than in OTL, at least not until late 1916.
Trade with Britain and the entente did continue, albeit in a smaller scale than pre war. Especially late in the war supplies from the US were important to end the threat of starvation. As for soldiers, more would have to be active to be prepared for a possible Russian or British Invasion than in otl.
 
There are many things that can go wrong with a Swedish attack into the Finnish mainland, it requires a good plan and significant preparation. That preparation would take time.

The Swedish military would need to attack overland through Lapland, which is not easy terrain at all, or they would have to realize an amphibious attack across the Gulf of Bothnia. That would not be an easy proposition, either. And this is in the summertime. In the autumn, winter, and spring, the difficulties would compound. In the winter, the logistics between Sweden and Finland were not easy at all, due to the ice, snow and cold.

In 1915, the Russian military was still intact and cohesive, and since Sweden officially joined the war, the Russians would have moved more units to Finland and built up more fortifications, etc, moreso than they did IOTL in the same timeframe. As the war dragged on, the Russian ability to fight a war started to degrade, but we can argue that in 1915-1916 they were in the best shape they were during WWI - overcoming their early issues, but not yet suffering from the demoralization and chaos revolutionary incitement would bring along by 1917. What ever you say about the Russians in WWI, they nevertheless were a great power with the resources to go with that. Sweden was a middling power that had not committed its troops into large-scale military operations since the Napoleonic Wars. The Swedish military would necessarily have issues with the early part of its effort in WWI. Things would of course get better through practice and experience, but at this point the risk that they would commit mistakes, even dangerous mistakes, would be significant.

To me, everything speaks for the benefits of Sweden staying out of Finland through 1914 and 1915 at least, to wait and see how the war develops in general and to see what Russia's weaknesses are. This would give them time to properly mobilize the nation for war, to prepare their actions together with the Germans, to gather information about the situation in Finland, to start building connections to possible allies in Finland, to get Finnish volunteers to Sweden and start training Finnish units. Bide your time, force the Russians to keep significant forces in Finland (which then can't be used in the active fronts), and weaken the Russian position in Finland indirectly before you even start seriously considering an invasion.
But can Sweden sit and wait? Remember there was hunger strikes and close to a revolution in 1917
 
Russians wanted the conscripted Finns sent away from Finland, not to serve there as cohesive military units. After 1905 the role of Grand Duchy as a base and refuge of terrorists within the Empire had made the Russian military authorities hostile against the very idea of armed and military-trained Finns of any kind.
 
Britain did enact starvation policies during wwi in 1916 on norway to have them cease all trade with germany and no one considered it a big deal. Norway caved pretty much instantly.
1916 isn't 1914, and ceasing trade isn't war - You are also overlooking the fact that German subs had been sinking Norwegian ships over those two years.
 

Coulsdon Eagle

Monthly Donor
If there is something that could cause the US to simply tell the UK to take a hike it would be blockading a neutral to force it to declare war.
The UK was pretty good at not pushing the US to hard, and IOTL, it backed down on some issues relating to the blockade - I can't see the US wouldn't throw a fit over that.

Britain did enact starvation policies during wwi in 1916 on norway to have them cease all trade with germany and no one considered it a big deal. Norway caved pretty much instantly.

1916 isn't 1914, and ceasing trade isn't war - You are also overlooking the fact that German subs had been sinking Norwegian ships over those two years.
One of the reasons the British decided on a distant as opposed to a close blockade, was to include two significant neutrals who might otherwise provide a trade route for Germany - Netherlands & Norway.
 
Maybe one more monarchy toppling exercise in 1918 if Sweden is on the losing side and loses badly???
Very unlikely since again, it was Russia that attacked them, and more importantly, How badly could they lose?
With Russia on the losing side (BL), what's the worst possible terms imposed to them by the UK/France/US?
A heartfelt apology for being in Essens way? - Sweden in 1919 was 99% Swedish with 0% territorial disputes with Denmark/Norway.
With Russia out, Sweden has achieved the return of Åland (and they'd keep it ITTL) and pushed Russia back by an entire Finland.
There simply aren't any possible terms imposed by the Allies that wouldn't still count as a crushing victory.
 
But can Sweden sit and wait? Remember there was hunger strikes and close to a revolution in 1917

If a Central Powers Sweden is even more heavily blockaded by the Entente than IOTL, this would mean that the Swedish society would see more draconian rationing and earlier shortages than IOTL. This would mean that even without an invasion of Finland, the Swedish left would be likely to be up in arms against government policies even earlier than IOTL. If Sweden goes as far as to kick off an invasion, the domestic left would oppose it by default as an imperialist foreign adventure. Defending the Swedish homeland against foreign aggression is not necessarily opposed by the political left as such, but sending thousands of men abroad is something else. The invasion would also take up resources and materiel, which would only make the shortages worse at home. As a result, the likelihood of strikes and riots would be higher in Sweden ITTL than IOTL, and more early, at that.
 
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If a Central Powers Sweden is even more heavily blockaded by the Entente than IOTL, this would mean that the Swedish society would see more draconian rationing and earlier shortages than IOTL. This would mean that even without an invasion of Finland, the Swedish left would be likely to be up in arms against government policies even earlier than IOTL. If Sweden goes as far as to kick off an invasion, the domestic left would oppose it by default as an imperialist foreign adventure. Defending the Swedish homeland against foreign aggression is not necessarily opposed by the political left as such, but sending thousands of men abroad is something else. The invasion would also take up resources and materiel, which would only make the shortages worse at home. As a result, the likelihood of strikes and riots would be higher in Sweden ITTL than IOTL, and more early, at that.
A lot of this depends on how pissed the Swedes are over the perfidious attack and the Russian response. If we're following the OP and there was a war, presumably the Russians weren't as humble as they could have been.
 
A lot of this depends on how pissed the Swedes are over the perfidious attack and the Russian response. If we're following the OP and there was a war, presumably the Russians weren't as humble as they could have been.

This all depends on the exact circumstances of the scenario. After von Essen's attack, I think the reasonable follow-up would have been Petrograd making a decent effort trying to avoid a war with Sweden. If the Russians took this tack and apologized for the actions of a "rogue" (with some justification) admiral and offered financial, etc, restitution, then the ball would have been in Stockholm's court again. If in such a scenario the Swedes rebuffed the Russian apologies and pushed for war nevertheless, there would have been an opening for the Entente to muddle the waters and cast the "unreasonable, gung-ho Swedes" as equally to blame for the war between Russia and Sweden.

In any case, though, I think we can count on the Swedish left opposing the government escalating the war deliberately on its own account. Mobilizing the nation for defensive measures is one thing, but an invasion of foreign territory would likely be a bridge too far. During the WWII era in Finland, the domestic left was fully on board in the defensive Winter War, but became very critical of the offensive Continuation War, especially after the troops crossed over to pre-1939 Soviet territory. This happened in spite of the Finns being generally enraged about the Soviet attack as well as about losing land in the Winter War. I could see the Swedish left acting similarly in this scenario.
 
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