It currently seems that the kicker is a Spain unwilling to surrender. I myself am keeping German victories in Central and Eastern Europe in mind, and the fact that it was already confirmed that Russia will face revolution and exit the war that way
As my professor from the course: "Europe in the Age of Total War, 1914 - 1945" (which I took at uni) always said: before the First World War, defeat meant revolution. And that was more than some governments were willing to bear.
Hmm. Honestly, it would probably be better to try and sort out Spain into smaller chunks. It's been an unruly state for a long time and a lot of people in it, don't want to be.
Even if Germany takes Russia out in a separate peace, they shouldn't be able to take advantage much. They're still locked into Europe. Not much chance of maneuvering, whilst the entente do.
Certainly, Germany doesn't have the freedom of action that the sea gives, but they do have the advantage of interior lines, and they're likely to be able to take advantage of the ability. I'd certainly hope that we don't see Project Catherine courtesy of Cerberus and Churchill...
Yes, I knew of that one, but I know that one was more of Admiral Jackie Fisher's brain child.
There is nothing a late Edwardian thinks cannot be solved with battleships...
Fisher had a lot of ideas and oversaw the development of a lot of others - his tenure did not entirely remake the Royal Navy but wrought more change than any other Admiralty figure I can think of. His greatest contribution (in my opinion) was to shake the complacent mindset, increase opportunity for the talented and try to push the RN into the new, technological and industrial world. Had a more complacent figure like Beresford been in control in the pre-war years the consequences could have been grave.
His obsession with landing the Royal Army on the German coast was... not one of his better ideas. In the first place, without a British Army in France the French might simply have gone down in defeat before the BEF could get ashore and Belgium - the most prominent reason for Britain being in the war in the first place - irretrievably lost.
In the second, the Royal Navy would not have been able to supply and/or withdraw such an invasion - the RN had its narrowest margin of superiority in the early days of the war, no secure base, a healthy fear of attack in confined waters and a relentless need for fuel. Going after Heligoland was a bad enough idea; trying to squeeze the Grand Fleet past Denmark to get to the Baltic is just a recipe for catastrophe. It is the equivalent of shoving your arm into a bear trap.
Third, Gallipoli shows us how long it takes to gather the resources for an amphibious operation of this scale. Warship losses in the Baltic would have been far worse than at the Dardanelles - unsustainably so, I think.
Fourth, crushing such an invasion could have been done without drawing German troops from France - there were enough divisions moving from France to Russia, plus reserves. The Russians might have gotten a little further than the Masurian Lakes, but if that is offset by a German occupation of Paris and the eradication of the BEF, then it's well worth it.
As a best case, planning and preparation for such a stunt would have kept the BEF out of France in the critical early days of the war and possibly led to a German invasion of Denmark. I just cannot see any prospect for success in WW1 and - with aircraft - far less chance in WW2.
I confess that revolution in Spain was something I didn't see coming. After the preliminary comments I half-expected the Spanish to unleash a gas attack and I am relieved that did not happen. As for dealing with it - my belief is that Britain won't much care who runs the place so long as they don't interfere in the war effort. France will care desperately about who controls Spain but won't have much leverage since she depends on her allies for her continued existence. That leaves dealing with the revolutionaries to Roosevelt and the Americans, despite the Catalan revolt being on the other side of the country. The British and French might see American 'mediation' with the rebels as a useful learning exercise. Though the Spanish-American War would make American dealings with the monarchy a bit 'fraught', the rebels might not share that anti-American sentiment. So I propose a tripartite commission for the rebellion with the Americans given the lead.
In your last post I find my emotions the same as when I read of actual WW1 history - a frustrated sense of 'Will you get on with it' driven by the urgency of seeing opportunities slip away. But the armies are large and ponderous, and even when they are transported by sea they move scarcely faster than a man can walk. No Napoleonic strokes here.
I've just been reading up on the peace prospects of 1916-early 1917 and on the frantic juggling the British were doing to escape financial collapse. At one point, Colonel House was advising Wilson not to lay out a peace plan because he thought the British would use the pretext to invade the US! Truth may not be stranger than fiction but in this case it is more hallucinogenic.
I forgot to mention the more likely case. If Britain commits the Grand Fleet to the Baltic, Germany - courtesy of Wilhelmshaven and the Kiel canal - can operate in the Baltic or in the North Sea as they choose. No British politician, admiral or general is going to agree to give the Germans uncontested control of the North Sea for an indefinite period - that idea is PKBA (pre-emptively killed before arrival).
Masterful as ever, @BigBadBob; of course the Spanish Peninsula plays to British (and US) strengths from an intervention and freedom of manoeuvre POV. I have to agree with @Director that I didn't really anticipate the revolution. I agree to a point that the French are the ones with the greatest stake in the outcome and I can see Whitehall washing its hands of this, letting the French take the lead. I fear that for the people of Spain the worst is yet to come. A sort of proto-Franco strongman, anyone?
Having separatist regions on your front lines is not a great position to be in.
Ah...I see that Spain is going for the Spanish Ulcer strategy.
Don't worry, if the café's opened back up over here that would also take precedence over anything I'm doing online
Spain are being very unhelpful, then. Who would've guessed? No doubt what was looking like a fairly mild if humiliating defeat is now destined to be drawn-out, gruelling and needlessly bloody. The things strongmen will do to stay in power, eh?
Enjoy the pubs, BBB!
Cue Herbert Hoover. He was actually a good engineer and a fine administrator, despite being pretty much unable to communicate with the public. A classic example of the Peter Principle, promoted until he failed.Luckily for Chamberlain, his order for the British Ambassador to gently push the suggestion to the White House coincided with President Roosevelt’s own decision to approve the Hunger Relief Plan of 1914. Eventually, the Hunger Relief Administration would follow Entente armies as surely as the extension of their military supply lines, and form the backbone of efforts by the US and Britain to feed post-war Europe, but the plan as announced on 19 March 1914 was limited to three months, and specifically targeted at the areas hardest hit in Spain, which largely consisted of those that had been in the path of the March to Madrid.
Got to take those small wins when you can get them.
Cue Herbert Hoover. He was actually a good engineer and a fine administrator, despite being pretty much unable to communicate with the public. A classic example of the Peter Principle, promoted until he failed.
So - with sunny Spain in flames in our rear-view mirror we now shape our course for Romantic Italy!
Seriously, regardless of what result the game hands out, there's quite a strong chance that taking Entente troops out of Spain would set off a multi-sided struggle that the worst element is most likely to win. I can't see Spain settling down permanently in multiple pieces, so the challenge here is how to get out of Spain without having to go back in later.
I am extremely anxious to see what happens to Spain now. War notwithstanding, as has been said, the worst is probably still to come. The country seems to be a total vacuum of any sort of organisational capacity, and I don’t have high hopes for the sort of person who might look to fill it…
Oh no, it's going to the Italian campaign of WW2 but with WW1 tech, prepare for a demoralizing slog
Spain is a future problem though, so aside from the Portuguese and maybe the French (if it starts to affect the border), the entente will carry on.
Italy is very vulnerable now, and the central powers as a whole can now be contricted by the seas. The Mediterranean is no longer a dangerous battle ground but a entente lake, with some Italians in there pushing their luck.
If Germany doesn't get Russia to collapse soon, the war effort is going to turn very much against them. In two years, they've gotten nowhere, gotten lots of germans killed, starved the nation, and are now losing allies. Why carry on fighting?
Despite victory being declared, I fear that Spain will continue to burn long after the Entente has left; if indeed they manage to leave...
Also, concerning news coming from Russia, has someone checked in on Nicholas recently?
This seems to indicate (to me at least) that the Germans will invade the Netherlands as I can't think of any other type of front related to that city, or it's a somewhat off reference to the 1668 treaty meaning it's about cities in Flanders in some wayThe battles in the Aix-la-Chappelle Corridor in the summer of 1913
This seems to indicate (to me at least) that the Germans will invade the Netherlands as I can't think of any other type of front related to that city, or it's a somewhat off reference to the 1668 treaty meaning it's about cities in Flanders in some way