Of lost monkeys and broken vehicles

formion

Banned
With a sigh he start drafting the letter offering the throne to prince Paul of Greece...
I concur, without the Asia Minor Disaster it would be difficult to see a robust republican movement. At least spare Greece from Frederica of Hanover, that horrible shrew. The only reason to have Frederica in greek history would have been to discredit the royalist cause so as to have at last a republic.
 
In OTL Paul had rejected the offer (after the OTL death of Alexander in 1920). Lets see if he will accept ITTL. I agree with @formion , I hope Paul doesn't marry Frederica of Hanover . In OTL they married in 1935 I think.
 
Well, at least Alexander didn't die due to a monkey bite, ITTL.
As I've argued in the past if someone wrote that kind of event here, there would be concerted cries that it was ASB. Reality isn't obliged to be plausible. Or think of it that if there is a multiverse we are living in a low probability branch. :)

Yeah, there is that--although dying through your own recklessness and jeopardizing your country's monarchy would hardly be a way to be remembered...
Alexander's memory will have two big things going for it. First that he failed to offend anyone during his reign and second that he married a Greek...

Or.. near psycho driving a car at those speeds on those roads. ;) :p :)
By all accounts Alexander was a reckless driver, in Paris in 1919 he had killed a pedestrian while driving his car and he had a number of other accidents with his motorcycle as well. I suspect the only question is how fast he'd have another accident and how bad it was going to be had he avoided that monkey...

I concur, without the Asia Minor Disaster it would be difficult to see a robust republican movement. At least spare Greece from Frederica of Hanover, that horrible shrew. The only reason to have Frederica in greek history would have been to discredit the royalist cause so as to have at last a republic.
I wouldn't be so dismissive of the Greek republican movement. There was a strong anti-monarchist undercurrent, particularly after the national schism but also before it and if the 1924 referendum is any indicator the Venizelists voted in their entirety for a republic while most but not all royalists did the same. As Metaxas put it "the number of pro-republic votes might have been inflated but the number of pro-monarchy votes were still too few". Venizelos himself was even in OTL, too cautious about the republican movement... but merely saying he was in person a republican was apparently enough for every single Venizelist to vote for the republic in 1924.

Does that mean it is Ion Dragoumis that is going to meet a lethal case of the monkeys ?
Managing to be bitten by a monkey in a country without monkeys may be a bit of an issue... I'll also merely note that of Ion's siblings one died 86, one 90 and one 101 years old...

In OTL Paul had rejected the offer (after the OTL death of Alexander in 1920). Lets see if he will accept ITTL. I agree with @formion , I hope Paul doesn't marry Frederica of Hanover . In OTL they married in 1935 I think.
1938 actually. TTL... what is surprising or unsurprising not easy to find is when Paul left the Kiel naval academy which he had joined in 1917. Was it with German defeat in 1918 or later?
 
Aspasia was pregnant but unborn children did not count in the line of succession
By Greek law of succession? Because historically, posthumous children have inherited several times. ISTM Venizelos could propose Paul for Regent during the minority of Alexander's child, which sort of splits the diffference.

IASTM that enthroning Paul adds to the disputedness of the succession. Down the road, there could be Paulist, Alexandrist,and Georgeist claimants. Paul and his line would be condemned as usurpers by the Georgists. The Alexandrist line would have more nationalist appeal with its Greek blood.
 
By Greek law of succession? Because historically, posthumous children have inherited several times. ISTM Venizelos could propose Paul for Regent during the minority of Alexander's child, which sort of splits the diffference.

IASTM that enthroning Paul adds to the disputedness of the succession. Down the road, there could be Paulist, Alexandrist,and Georgeist claimants. Paul and his line would be condemned as usurpers by the Georgists. The Alexandrist line would have more nationalist appeal with its Greek blood.
Technically this is covered article 45 of the 1911 constitution that said that the throne goes to the legitimate recognized descendants of George I by right of primogeniture and a preference for the male descendants. Now Alexander's marriage with Aspasia technically was not recognized, it was a morganatic one. Would had required an act of parliament to recognize it and alter the line of succession to any male children of Alexander. This would have been probably done as part of the process of amending the constitution underway, but has not happened yet, noone was in a hurry, after all Alexander was only 30 at the time. So the children of Alexander are for the time being off the picture just like in late 1920 in OTL.

To make things even funnier Constantine when booted out in 1917 had not renounced the throne he had declared Alexander his surrogate. So technically if you are a hard line royalist, George is already the king, Alexander was merely holding the throne on his behalf till the "Senegalese goat" that's Venizelos, was overthrown and George could return.

The line of succession normally would be this

George (OTL George II)
Alexander
Paul
George (the second son of George I)
Petros (son of George with Maria Bonaparte)
Andrew (third son of George I)
Philip (the OTL Duke of Edinburgh)
Christopher

If George II is out, you go to Paul. If he refuses, afterwards technically you should go to prince George, but that's the one Venizelos booted out from Crete in 1906, thus hates Venizelos guts. Petros his son would be a nice choice but is a minor in 1923 so its up to George to decide, although Maria may have a different opinion, Petros had been aired as an option in 1917 after all. Andrew and Christopher aren't all too friendly either, Andrew in OTL 1922 was writing to Metaxas that the Greeks of Ionia were all Venizelists and they should be left to Kemal to massacre and Christopher was paying the legal councel of Venizelos prospective assassins in 1921 and then made one of them manager of his estates...
 
I would like to post here an interactive map that I think the author and readers will like. These are the locations where the OTL refugees from Anatolia and east Thrace were settled and according to color, their percentage of the local population based on the 1928 census.

The obvious TTL difference is that in effect you have no refugees settled south of the Olympus. No 300,000 destitute refugees in Attica for example. Heavy concentrations in Macedonia remain, though hardly to the extend of OTL and large numbers of refugees are also settled in Ionia and Thrace. The situation as of the end of the population exchange is shown in the table below:

Year 1922NativeExchangedTotal% Exchanged
Ionia
569209​
477899​
1047108​
45,64%​
Aeolia (ie Balikesir district)
198331​
158936​
357267​
44,49%​
Macedonia
698713​
241092​
939805​
25,65%​
Thrace
463189​
171551​
634740​
27,03%​

And this is the same from my notes for TTL Turkey (to a large extend a backward projection from 1927 census data, for Maras and Urfa the Armenian numbers were as part of Halep, so used the Ottoman number)

Year 1922TurkishExchangedKurdishJewishTotal% ExchangedChristians 1914 (Christian statistics)Christians 1914 (Ottoman statistics)
Bursa
1150059​
237342​
2046​
4861​
1394308​
17,02%​
237342​
165362​
Sivas
768925​
279104​
48211​
344​
1096584​
25,45%​
279104​
218730​
Konya
1185740​
114349​
27834​
254​
1328177​
8,61%​
95277​
114349​
Ankara
1013911​
221111​
47666​
1026​
1283714​
17,22%​
221111​
139982​
Kastamon
1085544​
38024​
2593​
28​
1126189​
3,38%​
37810​
38024​
Trebizont
1068559​
371578​
3429​
35​
1443601​
25,74%​
371578​
324920​
Smyrna
273491​
4613​
2187​
0​
280291​
1,65%​
4613​
4302​
Adana
431462​
144714​
12475​
76​
588727​
24,58%​
144714​
59531​
Ismid
225746​
114417​
1113​
428​
341704​
33,48%​
114417​
95451​
Erzurum
367565​
130516​
140343​
10​
638434​
20,44%​
207250​
130516​
Diyarbekir
162282​
0​
260010​
2085​
424377​
0,00%​
108689​
57712​
Elazig
224359​
0​
222020​
0​
446379​
0,00%​
125261​
77042​
Van
31558​
0​
68895​
1383​
101836​
0,00%​
110897​
67792​
Bitlis
27913​
18710​
62396​
0​
109019​
17,16%​
218404​
114704​
Halep
64952​
0​
5404​
1661​
72017​
0,00%​
146562​
35104​
Maras
127884​
0​
24761​
251​
152896​
0,00%​
27842​
27842​
Urfa
56406​
0​
64914​
865​
122185​
0,00%​
15161​
15161​
 

formion

Banned
Excellent work @Lascaris! Kudos!

Only a very minor suggestion: what about the name Mysia or Propontis Prefecture for the Balikesir district, since Aiolis ends just north of Aivali ?
 
Really enjoyed reading through this timeline, excited to see where it goes. Wild prediction for WWII, the Balkan front is going to be Yugoslavia Greece, and possibly Romania fighting Italy, Bulgaria, Turkey, and possibly Hungary. In any case, it's sure to be longer and more important theater ITTL.
 
Excellent work @Lascaris! Kudos!

Only a very minor suggestion: what about the name Mysia or Propontis Prefecture for the Balikesir district, since Aiolis ends just north of Aivali ?
That's my own notes, I haven't mapped out Greek administrative divisions in Asia Minor so far. Macedonia was divided into 6 prefectures in 1920 (Thessaloniki, Pella, Kozani, Florina, Drama-Kavala and Serres) while Thrace in 1920 was divided into six more (Rhodope, Evros, Adrianople, Kallipoli, Raidestos and Saranta Ekklisies). That was 34,178 km2 in 6 prefectures for Macedonia and 29,473 lm2 in as many in Thrace. So between 4,912-5,696 km per prefecture. North Epirus was smaller as it was made into the Argyrokastro and Korytsa prefectures in 1915 (and TTL again in 1921) Greek Asia Minor is 36,885 km2. So it would likely be formed into 6-8 prefectures. Smyrna, Pergamos, Magnesia, Aydin, Salihli, Balikesir, Pergamos seem obvious ones. Plus probably Odemis and maybe Akhisar.
 
That's my own notes, I haven't mapped out Greek administrative divisions in Asia Minor so far. Macedonia was divided into 6 prefectures in 1920 (Thessaloniki, Pella, Kozani, Florina, Drama-Kavala and Serres) while Thrace in 1920 was divided into six more (Rhodope, Evros, Adrianople, Kallipoli, Raidestos and Saranta Ekklisies). That was 34,178 km2 in 6 prefectures for Macedonia and 29,473 lm2 in as many in Thrace. So between 4,912-5,696 km per prefecture. North Epirus was smaller as it was made into the Argyrokastro and Korytsa prefectures in 1915 (and TTL again in 1921) Greek Asia Minor is 36,885 km2. So it would likely be formed into 6-8 prefectures. Smyrna, Pergamos, Magnesia, Aydin, Salihli, Balikesir, Pergamos seem obvious ones. Plus probably Odemis and maybe Akhisar.
Where does Tsanakkale and Troas fall into this ?
 
So by all means Phillip could ens up on the throne and if things go like OTL a union with Britain is on the horizon which could be fun.
 

formion

Banned
Since there are somewhat fewer refugee settlers in northern Greece, a potential butterfly is the allocation of bigger plots of land. This will help the agricultural productivity and will result in less misery. In OTL, the refugees had small enough plots that could support a household only by planting cash crops (tobacco mostly). When the crop failed due to weather or disease or the prices crashed, then the family faced famine and great hardship. Now, if they can afford to have even a single acre of wheat as well, it will substantially increase food security.

The other problem of greek agriculture was (and still is) the partible inheritance system. All children get a portion of the family estate. Combined with the hilly and mountainous geography, it resulted in small landholdings that are scattered and not concentrated. A solution for this problem has been redistribution of land and concentration in single plots with road access. I am not sure if there were plans for such agricultural reform during the Interwar. To my knowledge, said redistribution was mostly a 1960s and 1970s policy. Nowadays, the average agricultural landholding in Greece is around 5,6 hectares. I suspect it was smaller back then.
 
Since there are somewhat fewer refugee settlers in northern Greece, a potential butterfly is the allocation of bigger plots of land. This will help the agricultural productivity and will result in less misery. In OTL, the refugees had small enough plots that could support a household only by planting cash crops (tobacco mostly). When the crop failed due to weather or disease or the prices crashed, then the family faced famine and great hardship. Now, if they can afford to have even a single acre of wheat as well, it will substantially increase food security.

The other problem of greek agriculture was (and still is) the partible inheritance system. All children get a portion of the family estate. Combined with the hilly and mountainous geography, it resulted in small landholdings that are scattered and not concentrated. A solution for this problem has been redistribution of land and concentration in single plots with road access. I am not sure if there were plans for such agricultural reform during the Interwar. To my knowledge, said redistribution was mostly a 1960s and 1970s policy. Nowadays, the average agricultural landholding in Greece is around 5,6 hectares. I suspect it was smaller back then.
Small landholdings were of course a problem economically wise but a great thing politically wise, given the class of small freeholders it created. That said TTL you do have relatively fewer refugees but a considerably greater proportion of them are farmers, Smyrna for the obvious one is still very much intact and you don't have 300,000 odd refugees settling in Athens. On the other hand there is considerably more land available, TTL Greece has after all roughly 57,000 km2 more land in Thrace and Asia Minor and the land reforms the Venizelists had begun in 1917 breaking up large estates has continued unabated in the meantime, in OTL it was effectively put on hold in 1921-22.
 

formion

Banned
Small landholdings were of course a problem economically wise but a great thing politically wise, given the class of small freeholders it created.
Small freeholders are indeed a great thing politically wise. The problem is that in OTL the allocated plots were marginal for subsistence if the cash crop failed or the prices were too low. I found for example that in Drama prefecture, the allocated land was mostly 1,3-2 hectares per family. Elsewhere (Petmezas, 2002) I read that the average plot was 3,5 hectares.

Now if according to the changes described in the timeline, the average land holding is increased to 4 hectares as it was in the early 1970s (still puny by european standards) then we may see fewer deaths from disease and less immigration. If anything, if there are still open lands in Asia Minor and Thrace, lots of the OTL immigrants will move there, instead of Egypt and South America.
 
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Part 25 Of plots and kings
Athens, December 6th, 1923

The response from prince Paul had taken a week to come back from Switzerland. Perhaps not unsurprisingly it was flat out refusal. Paul stated that he of course wanted to serve Greece but the legitimate king of the country was his brother George ever since the death of their father, "crown prince Alexander" had been the surrogate left by their father when he had been forcefully expelled from the country in 1917. Following the unfortunate death of his brother, he was assuming the role of crown prince of course, but he would accept the succession only if his brother renounced the throne. Which George of course was not giving up. Why he should after all when it looked like the royal family finally had the upper hand over the hated Venizelos. Or so was the argument of most of the family at least and George despite being more moderate in person had taken the advice of his uncles and mother on the matter.

Athens, December 20th, 1923

The debate on the Greek parliament was becoming heated in the extreme. The Liberals would not accept George to the throne. As alternatives were proposed either, altering the line of succession to the descendants of Alexander assuming, Aspasia had a son or otherwise offering the throne to prince Peter. Both options had their problems of course. For one noone knew whether Aspasia would have a son and there was the matter of her marriage with Alexander not being officially recognized. For another even if a son was borne to Aspasia, the country would have to go through a regency for the next 18 years. The memory of Otto's regency in the 1830s was still strong nearly a century after the fact and none to kindly, with reason it was seen as one of the reasons that had undermined Otto's rule from the start. Making Peter the king would mean a far shorter regency of two to three years and by all accounts Peter was a very promising youngster, very much unlike his father the less kindly minded pointed behind the scenes. There were practical considerations of course. As Peter was not an adult yet his father would need to be persuaded to accept the throne in his name simultaneously renouncing his own rights to the throne. But prince George hated Venizelos with a passion since his time in Crete two decades earlier when the prince had tried to play absolute monarch and Venizelos had revolted against him. And either proposal would need a two thirds supermajority in parliament, the Liberals held a majority but would need the backing of one or more parties of the opposition to get sufficient votes to elect a new king. To make things more interesting the left wing of the Liberals under Alexandros Papanastasiou was by now openly advocating a republic helped by the impasse on the succession.

On the Royalist side things were not getting particularly better. Ion Dragoumis had been a personal friend of Constantine but truth to tell was not much invested on who was going to be the new king, provided the king was a Greek nationalist meeting his standards of course. Nikolaos Stratos, a former Venizelist and always the most conciliatory among the Royalists could be willing to reach a compromise, quiet discussions to that effect were taking place, but run the risk of his own MPs revolting against him. Panagiotis Tsaldaris and Ioannis Rallis were already taking advantage of the crisis to reinforce the Populist party, which had suffered multiple defections after Gounaris death by raising once more the flag of staunch Constantinism, this time in the name of restoring George to the throne. This too run its risks. Constantine himself had been extremely popular but he was dead and Alexander had been himself very popular. But the royalist public was not as emotionally vested over supporting installing George to the throne no matter what, particularly with the war over and Venizelos rolling back the excesses that had taken place in his absence for the past couple of years. The debates in parliament went on just as live went on, the government was operating just as efficiently under Koundouriotis recency.

Paris, December 25th, 1923

Prince George was adamant than bypassing his nephew and namesake would be treason. Worst yet not just treason but helping that devil Venizelos. It did not matter that it would mean his own son becoming king. His wife Maria Bonaparte was trying to persuade otherwise but with rather little success so far. She debated with herself whether involving pince Valdemar of Denmark, George's uncle and likely lover would help persuade him. Of course there was the matter of persuading Valdemar first...

Coast of Messenia, January 1st, 1924

The little cove was deserted, on new years eve. Well almost deserted. The little motorboat start unloading its cargo of Mannlicher-Carcano and converted Vetterli-Vitali rifles, alongside a handful of machine guns. The royalists waiting for them, quickly and efficiently start loading them on the waiting mules, most were veterans of the wars and were gone to their hiding places. It was not the sole boat unloading arms. Time was ticking and it was not in the Ultras favour. Back in November the accidental death of Alexander had looked like an act of providence that made the plans for a more drastic solution to the royal problem much more practical, or even unnecessary in Venizelos accepted George to the throne. But five weeks had already passed from the death of Alexander and life went on under the regency. If a lot more time was left to pass there was a clear danger on the population just growing accustomed to the regency. Or just as worse of Stratos actually reaching a deal with Venizelos, rumours to that end abounded already...

Athens, 02:00 January 6th, 1924

Venizelos left the Deltas estate in Kifisia to return to Athens, it the epiphany was a public holiday in Greece and in the morning he would have to attend the church function along with the government. Two cars suddenly closed on his car and that of his guards and unceremoniously opened up with rifles and a light machine gun against the prime minister's car. His driver sped up immediately while Venizelos jumped down to stop giving a target. The attack continued for several minutes till the PMs car could find shelter to the barracks of the 1st infantry regiment. Only the fact that his car was armoured had saved Venizelos life.

Greece, January 6th, 1924

The country expected to wake up to a public holiday. Instead it woke up in war as a junta of royalist military officers, most of them out of active service rose up in revolt taking over several garrisons. Metaxas, brought to Patras by an Italian seaplane, along with generals Anastasios Papoulas, Xenophon Strategos and Panagiotis Gargalidis, proclaimed that they were establishing a provisional government, in the name of the legitimate monarch George II to oversee his immediate restoration. Metaxas, Papoulas and Strategos were of course all staunch royalists, Papoulas had been just released from prison. Gargalidis was more of a surprise as he was professing himself Venizelist after 1917 but he was an ambitious man and it looked as if under Venizelos he had little chance of ever commanding the army, so had been bought off. But if the coup plotters expected that with Venizelos dead, his government would fall apart and the country bow down to their will, they had seriously miscalculated. For one thing they had failed to kill Venizelos. For another even had they killed him the Venizelists were not going to give up without a fight and they had rushed things in the aftermath of Alexander's death, in several garrisons loyalists had come on top. It remained to be seen which side was actually stronger...
 
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Well this certainly looks like a mess in the making. I'm pretty confident the Venizelists will beat the Ultras in the end, but I wonder what the cost will be and if Italy is going to get more involved than they already are.
 
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