No GNW (or “Peter goes South”)

What are you talking about Im totally only concerned with events of TTL
Sure you are: in the terms of a believability TTL is located very close to Indo-Brazil and some parts of it definitely belong to this mighty continent (or whatever it is) so everything that comes to anybody’s mind belongs, directly or indirectly, to TTL. 😂
 
Sure you are: in the terms of a believability TTL is located very close to Indo-Brazil and some parts of it definitely belong to this mighty continent (or whatever it is) so everything that comes to anybody’s mind belongs, directly or indirectly, to TTL. 😂
something tells me that as long as I live i will hear about Indo-Brazil
Well someone does need to paint all those bikinis you'll be wearing
I can´t even think of a comeback for this
Are you talking about Salvador Dali? The mustaches-wise you hardly can get funnier. 😜
while Dali is truly a holy man of moustaches I meant Adolf Hitler
 
something tells me that as long as I live i will hear about Indo-Brazil
Like God intended
I can´t even think of a comeback for this
You dont come back from this, you come to Brazil!
while Dali is truly a holy man of moustaches
Indeed
I meant Adolf Hitler
Oh I like him too, he's doing a great job in Namibia
Not very good moustache though
 
something tells me that as long as I live i will hear about Indo-Brazil

I can´t even think of a comeback for this

while Dali is truly a holy man of moustaches I meant Adolf Hitler
Would not work: in OTL he was doing mostly the boring landscapes and to become popular he would have either to do this systematically [1] or to start a new trend of his own, say, something like “Austrian REAR guard” (painting enormous “truly German” women in Indo-Brazilian bikins or without) [2]. In both cases you still need a capable agent promoting your work. Publishing an incomprehensible manifesto explaining why the crap you produced is a new word in the art and everything made before you is actually a crap, will be quite helpful. But the title must be catching. Something like “My Struggle”. 😜


_________
[1] “Systematic” means that you chose some (preferably unattractive) stationary object, like a swamp or a big pile of a manure, and paint how does it look like with light changing, properly recording the time. “Swamp (precise location must be included) at 8AM, Swamp at 9AM, etc.” If you can paint faster, say, a new painting every 15 minutes, even better (you’ll be able to sell more paintings).
[2] In that case you can be really careless with the colors. As long as the size is big enough, even the patches of a color usually associated with a well-decomposed corps will be fine because the viewers will understand that you simply run out of other colors and have to cover the surface with something: the size is the only important thing that truly matters.
 
Crumbling Empire #2
419. Crumbling Empire #2
In contrast with the great powers of the time, Ottomans were fighting continuously not for capital accumulation but for mere survival.”
Kepenek and Yentürk
"A bad general leads a herd of victims."
Pierre Boust
"In front of the herd there is a steep-horned ram with a bell. The sheep are sure he knows where he's leading them. And the ram just wants to be ahead: it's not dusty and a good choice of grass..."
Kozma Prutkov
"How many privates are among the generals!"
"From the general's memories: The fastest way to defuse the situation is with with a machine gun."

K. S. Melikhan
"...Where's the logic, and where's our general?”
T. M. Aliyev
Pray to God - from Him is a victory. God is our general, He leads us."
A.V. Suvorov
"Capitulation is not a shame. A good general will not lure the last surviving soldier with the idea of fighting, just as a good chess player will not continue the obviously lost game."
Karl von Clausewitz
"After all, everyone, even the dumbest general, was once a promising young captain."
Oles Alekseevich Buzina​

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Except for the disagreements among themselves, the Balkan League chose seemingly a perfect scenario for starting a war. France, Germany, Britain and, to various degrees, most of the rest of the Central Europe, were in the midst of the post-war economic crisis and seemingly hardly could afford a major military operation right now while the Regency government in Russia was openly not-sympathetic toward the Three Pashas government and Rumania, while being the only economically prospering Balkan state (or rather the only one with the government having plenty of money due to the fact that the country was sixth among the world's oil leading producers), was “vocally neutral”.

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On a “positive side”, economics of the League members had been in a crisis state for so many decades that they pretty much ceased to be a factor comparing to the rabid nationalism. Of course, the Ottoman Empire also was in a permanent economic crisis and also had the nationalists in power but, as the Greek PM Eleftherios Kyriakou Venizelos (Greek: Ελευθέριος Κυριάκου Βενιζέλος, romanized: Eleuthérios Kyriákou Venizélos, pronounced [elefˈθeri.os cirˈʝaku veniˈzelos]) put it, “One cannot kick against geography!”.

Ottoman Empire.
Geography definitely was not favoring the Ottomans.

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Neither did many other factors starting with their government, which with a great skills had been leading the country along the path of an assured self-destruction. Even the nationalist card, which was successfully played by the leaders of the Balkan League in their respective countries, was not producing the same results in the multi-national, multi-religion Ottoman Empire: of course, the Turkish “patriots” had been rather happy to loot the local Bulgarians, Greeks and Armenians and were actively helped in that task (at least when the Armenians were involved) by the Kurds but the same Kurds were regularly rebelling against the Turks and the official census data putting all Muslims into the same single group was simply secret de Polichinelle. But, anyway, over 10% of the 20,000,000 of the empire population definitely would not be enthusiastic about the Turkish nationalism and the same goes for most of its Arab population. A policy of making the existing ethnic and religious mess into a single nation was not even tried. The Ottoman foreign debt stood at 139.1 million Turkish pounds and the international Public Debt Administration was still overseeing the empire’s finances. The manufacturing was rudimentary and “Possession of the existing industry belonged to non-Muslim minorities and foreigners. These groups were considering themselves outside the community structure and political decision making mechanism, hence feeling a lack of confidence that prevented attempts to raise production.” 75 percent of the (pathetic) mining output belonged to foreigners, 45% of the finances had been held by the Greeks and 57% of the railroads belonged to Germany, there was no domestic iron-steel industry and manufacturing of war materials such as military vehicles, guns and ammunition was very limited and therefore there was a great dependence on imports. The only manufacturing establishments of guns and ammunition the Empire had were one cannon and small arms foundry, one shell and cartridge factory and one gunpowder factory, all located just outside Istanbul. Only in January 1917 when tunnels in Taurus Mountains and Southern Anatolia were completed. Before that, troops and materials had to be unloaded at the last station, unloaded, transported by road, re-loaded to trains at the point where railway begins again. At the same time, land roads were poorly maintained and transportation depended mostly on draught animals.

Well, to be fair, there was a sliver lining for most of these bad things. The financial system was so rudimentary that it practically excluded possibility of a financial collapse just because there was nothing that could collapse an the bad roads, while definitely causing problems with moving troops to the front and supplying them, will create similar or even greater problems for the enemies chasing these troops, especially if these enemies (as was the case at least with the Greeks) were advanced enough to make their logistics at least partially dependent upon the automotive transport.

And, one more good thing, the renamed Goeben and Breslau still were on the Ottoman service making an important addition to two old battleships.

Speaking of Greece, while it did have a king, most of the power was in the hands of the PM Venizelos, a liberal rabid nationalist and a big proponent of Μεγάλη Ιδέα, the Megali Idea - concept that expresses the goal of reviving the Byzantine Empire by establishing a Greek state, which would include all the regions that had large Greek populations [2]. The obvious way to achieve this goal was a war and, as a true liberal, after conducting the education reform and simplifying changes of the constitution, he turned most of his attention to the preparations for a glorious war for the Greater Greece. With Greece not being exactly an industrial (or whatever) giant, most of the weapons had to be bought. The infantry weapons and munitions were coming mostly from Austria and artillery (and the shells) mostly from France so the obvious task was to accumulate enough of them to go through what anticipated to be few months worth of a military conflict and to arrange the reasonably good relations with these countries to count upon more supplies, if the war will last longer than anticipated.

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The army was well-trained by the French and, especially the officers corps, and well indoctrinated along the lines of Megali Idea. As its elite units it had 5 regiments of the Evzones, the tall guys wearing modifying “historic” uniforms (third from the left on picture above). When the war came they’d became quite famous for the insanely brave bayonet charges, which tended to be quite effective in the terms of putting enemy to flight but had been also resulting in high casualties, especially among officers.

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To support the anticipated naval operations he purchased two US pre-dreadnoughts of the Mississippi class renamed into Kilkis class.
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It was also planned to order a dreadnought in Germany but specifications never were finalized and the same was the fate of the second order for the second one placed in France. Of course, the Kilkos and Lemnos were much better than nothing but their only potential advantage in a possible confrontation with Goeben was caliber of their artillery: each of them had 4 12” guns in two towers against Goeben’s 10 11” inch guns with a longer range. Their top speed was 17 knots vs. 25.5 knots and the armor (combination of Harvey- and Krupp-style armor backed by a teak) was inferior to Goeben’s KCA. Add to this training quality of Goeben’s German crew with the Greeks crews of these battleships and a direct confrontation was not looking promising for either or even both of them. But the Greek navy also had a number of the reasonably modern smaller ships and Goeben could not be everywhere simultaneously so the plan of landing in Asia Minor was not fantastic.

As far as Venizelos was involved, the main obstacle on the way to implementation of the Megali Idea were not the Ottomans but King Constantine who had his own ideas on how the war has to be fought and if it must be fought at all. He already was pushed, together with his elder son, into an exile in 1917 and replaced to his son Alexander who was stripped of his powers by the Venizelists and effectively imprisoned in his own palace. Unfortunately for Venizelos, in 1920 Alexander was bitten by a domestic Barbary macaque and died aged 27 of sepsis. The sudden death of the sovereign led to questions over the monarchy's survival and contributed to the fall of the Venizelist regime. After a general election and a referendum, Constantine I was restored to the throne but the army remained strongly Venizelist.

The Ballet “The Big Balkan War”
En Avant [3]
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Actually, this would be boring if it was not bloody. The outnumbered and outgunned Ottoman troops, being attacked from all sides, had been fleeing from Epirus and Northern Macedonia, if they were lucky enough to escape from the Serbs advancing from the North, Bulgars from the East and Greeks from the South. The contingents arriving piecemeal from Asia Minor, often without artillery and always without supplies, at various points between Thessaloniki and Enez hardly could change anything and defense of Thessaloniki was not even considered seriously regardless the orders from Istanbul. The local commanders boarded the ship first, followed by those lucky enough to find the ships for themselves. Some lucky ones managed to flee by the coastal road which the Bulgarian troops forgot to cut off in their rush toward Thessaloniki. Goeben’s presence deterred the Greek navy from cutting off the sea escape route but most of the troops left in the city had to capitulate.


Divertissement [4] With the Greek and Bulgarian troops rushing toward Thessaloniki, situation became rather bizarre. Both Prince Boris of Bulgaria and Venizelos of Greece wanted the city for their countries considering this a top priority. King Constantine of Greece considered destruction of the Ottoman army as a top priority and did not care too much about capturing the city: in his opinion the war will be won by a military defeat of the enemy and possession issues will be agreed upon at the peace talks. As a result of his orders (after all, he and not his PM, was a commander in chief) the Greek troops advanced in a “wrong direction” chasing the Ottomans and entered Thessaloniki, only shortly ahead of the Bulgarians. With the (so far) allies being so close to the city, Constantine did not mind the Bulgarian request to enter the city, which caused a vocal protest from Venizelos.

A small Bulgarian unit, which soon became a full division moved into the city and immediately started an attempt to establish a condominium in spite of initial assurances to the contrary, showing no intentions to leave. After Venizelos' protest Constantine asked him to take the responsibility (as a prime minister) by ordering to force them out, but that was hardly an option since that would certainly lead to confrontation with the Bulgarians. To Venizelos' view, since Constantine allowed the Bulgarians to enter the city, he now passed the responsibility of a possible conflict with them to him, in an attempt to deny his initial fault. To Constantine, it was an attempt by Venizelos to get involved in clearly military issues.

One obvious result was that, no matter what the arrangements regarding Thessaloniki will be, the Megali Idea in its original form was dead: the Bulgarian army was between the Greeks and Istanbul.

Entrée de ballet [5]
The Greek troops had been redeploying to advance toward the North (where the unfortunate Ottoman troops being squeezed between them, Serbs and Bulgars. while the Bulgarian leadership had been moving some of their troops to the Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. Their obvious and well-advertised strategic goal was Istanbul.

Whatever was left of the Ottoman forces had been hastily trying to create a defensive position between Enez on the East and Edrine on the West and, which was quite unrealistic with the time and resources available, from Edrine to the Black Sea: this ill-defended (in the best case scenario) gap 100 km wide would leave the Bulgarian army, when it will finally be redeployed, with plenty of opportunities for bypassing the Ottoman right flank and, with some luck, cutting their center and right flank from Istanbul. Even in the case of a successful Ottoman retreat, defense of Istanbul would be impossible and Bulgaria will be controlling the Bosphorus with the Dardanelles coming as an easy bonus.

This made a serious difference in the Great Powers’ attitudes to what started as a purely regional conflict: none of them wanted Bulgarian control of the Straits. The reaction had to be fast and impressive and what under the normal circumstances would take months of the diplomatic discussions was agreed upon in few days. Bulgaria got a joined ultimatum from Russia, Britain, France, Germany and Italy stating that coming within 30 kilometers from the coast of the Marmara Sea is strictly verboten.
The Ottoman government also got an ultimatum: the west coast of the Sea of Marmara, including Istanbul, will be under protection of the Great Powers and demilitarized. The Ottoman forces may conduct operations outside the protected zone or to retreat to Asia Minor (transportation will be provided). The Ottoman administration will be in charge of the city but the Powers will provide limited contingents to patrol the area and guarantee its security.



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Obviously, declarations like these had to be backed up by an impressive force. At least a naval one to demonstrate seriousness of the intentions. Anyway, for the Ottoman government this was something of a lifebuoy because the dispirited troops did not want to defend a hopeless position and, fully disregarding all orders and threats coming from Enver Pasha, had been fleeing to the capital, which they hardly would be able or willing to defend. Arrival of a “peacemaking” naval force could prevent a complete catastrophe.

Prince Boris (the only member of the Balkan League directly involved) was initially rather hesitant but a sight of the Russian Black Sea fleet off the coast of Varna forced him to choose a more prudent attitude.

With both sides involved being ready to listen to the voice of a reason, the peacemaking warships started to arrive:
  • In a move coordinated with the arrival of the Russian cruisers squadron, Admiral Souchon brought his ships back to the German service re-renaming them to their original names.
  • The French squadron arrived few days later followed by the Italian squadron.
  • It took the Brits a longer time to bring ships all the way from Gibraltar but eventually they came as well.
  • Austria also added few ships.
Strictly speaking, the squadron was not overly impressive in the terms of a firepower and the land force but which of the combatants was ready to oppose it? This would be definitely a very bad idea so the peace conference had been agreed upon.

Coda [6]



Fighting in Europe came to its obvious logical conclusion and it was clear that OE lost. Under supervision of the Powers a peace and partition of the European territories of the empire had been worked out with the victors getting the formal independence and major increases of their territories. However, the OE retained control over the Straits and the Powers’ guarantee on that account.

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None of the winners was happy and the loser, obviously, was even less so. In Anatolia the nationalist movement was gaining the power and denouncing the government which destroyed the country and made a shameful peace.

Formally, the ballet was over. But was it really? Members of the Balkan League did not think so and were ready to start a new performance. OTOH, perhaps it will be something in a different genre? Drama? Comedy? Circus?

Edit. The post-war map is replaced with a new one which shows some of the future territorial disputes (mixed colors). Specifically, Serbia occupied most of Albania without a formal consent from anybody and territory to the North of the Kriva PalankaOhrid line (with both cities going to the Bulgarians) had been designated as a "disputed zone" under Russian arbitration, with the area to the south of this line assigned to Bulgaria but the Serbs got there first and refused to cede the territory.
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________
[1] The difference between being a rabid nationalist and a great patriot is quite often defined only by a side that produces definition. 😉 Of course, from the Greek perspective, he was a great patriot and father of the “modern Greece”.
[2] Being a rabid … oops, a great patriot, does not automatically assumes an impractical degree of an idiocy and the Southern parts of the Russian Empire inhabited by over 500,000 Greeks were wisely excluded, at least from the immediate plans.
[3] “A movement towards the front.”
[4] “implied incidental aspects of an entertainment (usually involving singing and dancing) that might be inserted in an opera or ballet or other stage performance …”
[5] “An autonomous scene of ballet, which brings together several dancers”
[6] “The concluding segment of a performance or suite of dances … A particularly large or complex coda may be called a grand coda. If a large group of dancers participate, the terms coda générale or grand coda générale may be used.”

 
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If only the Turks tried to be a multi-ethnic state where religion and ethnicity did not matter, then there might have been a slightly better chance for survival, oh well, as long as the sultan is still here
 
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