Author Topic: Suppose that Russia Had Not Entered the War ...  (Read 14465 times)

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belianis

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Suppose that Russia Had Not Entered the War ...
« on: July 16, 2009, 08:51:07 PM »
Two of the most eloquent quotations in NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA are the speech in which Rasputin expresses his fear of the human cost of entering what would become the Great War, and the speech in which Witte tells a diplomat that Russia had nothing to gain and much to lose if it chose to enter the conflict.  That naturally makes me wonder how events in Russia would have turned out if NII had decided against entering the war.

bkohatl

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Re: Suppose that Russia Had Not Entered the War ...
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2009, 09:11:00 PM »
Nicholas proposed that an international tribunal look at the Austrian/Hungarian complaint and address it. The real evil of WWI was perpetrated by the Serbs. Their intelligence service sponsored the Black Hand and authorized the murder of ArchDuke Franz Ferdinand. I know that the Serbs caved in to almost all of Austria's demands, but considering their guilt: they deserved everything, even more, than they got.
Every proposal offered by Nicholas II was the right solution. If the world had only listened to him 30,000,000 lives would have been saved.  Between the Kaiser and the Serbs, stupidity and arrogance cost the 20,000,000 dead of the World War and the 10,000,000 of the Russian Revolution.
The more I learn about Nicholas II, the more I like him. He was an impossible position with no easy answers, but He stood for what was morally right.

World War I was never the "Great War",  it was the horrible, stupid war.

Like the Martinets in his cabinet who decided a war with Japan would Unite the Russian People. The people you need to fear are not the people who know how much they don't know(Nicholas II was well read and tried to understand what was going on in his world), it is the people who think they know everything. They are the really dangerous people(Like MI6 murdering Rasputin, Yusopov claimed credit. MI6 killed him at exactly the point that his death made no difference and saved not one life). Stupidity!
« Last Edit: July 16, 2009, 09:20:28 PM by bkohatl »

RomanovsFan4Ever

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Re: Suppose that Russia Had Not Entered the War ...
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2009, 07:13:13 AM »
I'm agree with bkohatl.

That naturally makes me wonder how events in Russia would have turned out if NII had decided against entering the war.

Actually, the Tsar was against the war, I read that he wrote numerous letters to the Kaiser Wilhelm II to try to reach a peacefully agreement and to avert the threat of war...but sadly, the Kaiser ignored the letters and considered these nonsense...however it was already discussed through the forum many times.

Romanov_Fan19

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Re: Suppose that Russia Had Not Entered the War ...
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2009, 11:50:05 AM »
It seems rather simple to me especially with a Responsible PM : No War No Revolution    maybe im being simplistic

Robert_Hall

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Re: Suppose that Russia Had Not Entered the War ...
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2009, 12:27:09 PM »
The simple fact remains- the revolutiion started long before WWI did.

Alixz

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Re: Suppose that Russia Had Not Entered the War ...
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2009, 01:58:52 PM »
Nicholas tried to refer the Serbian incident and the assassination of Franz Ferdinand to the Hague.

Wilhelm and Franz Joseph wanted no part of that.

Serbs did cave, but again Franz Joseph was on a rant to punish the Balkans.

Robert is right that the revolution began long before the Great War, however, Lenin would not have been sent in to Russia in a sealed train by the Kaiser and his minions because the point of that was to end the war in the east and give Germany breathing room in the west.

Robert_Hall

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Re: Suppose that Russia Had Not Entered the War ...
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2009, 06:20:22 PM »
If I recall correctly, without going back and re-reading the latest accounts,  Wilhelm was against the idea of sending Lenin. He was afraid of what it would unleash [and he was right!]. But, despite  the propaganda, he was not an autocrat and had to go along with the decisions of his politicans and military experts.
 Lenin was an opportunist, and the revolution would have occurred with or without him- actually, it already had. He was very skillful at manipulating the power voids and simply took advantage with a working plan and those to carry it out. Nicholas at that point did not matter in the least.  He had abdicated and the dynasty gone.
 I believe the war itself could have been avoided if Franz Josef had been less intransigent but he too was at the influence of his military and politicians. But, the Romanovs were doomed, no matter what happened.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2009, 06:24:26 PM by Robert_Hall »

Offline nena

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Re: Suppose that Russia Had Not Entered the War ...
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2009, 06:51:45 PM »
The simple fact remains- the revolutiion started long before WWI did.

I must agree.

Nicholas tried to refer the Serbian incident and the assassination of Franz Ferdinand to the Hague.

Again I must agree.

Letter of Nicholas II to Prince regent, Alexander of Serbia (S Tsarem i Bez Tsarya (With the Tsar and without the Tsar), by Vladimir N. Voeikov, book follows events from autumn of 1913 up to Revolution in 1917, great detailed):

While there is still hope and the minimum to avoid bloodshed, all our forces must to be aimed in that direction. However, if, in spite of our sincere desire, if it does not succeed, his Majesty may be assured that Russia will not in any case remain indifferent towards Serbia.

Kaiser Wilhelm declared war to Russia on July 19th 1914.

Many factors toke part in that event, from ministers in Court, Kaiser Wilhelm - NII correspondence, Russian - Serbian relationship, up to Rasputin, who was against any war, but in that time he was stricken, by Guseva, and he couldn't have done any influence to Tsar, even during Balkan wars in  1912/3, Rasputin told to Tsar not to entry into any war.

Sazanov stated that revolution will happen, only if Russia don't entry the war. 'Only war can stop Revolution'. Maybe Tsar had believed him. Sazanov was wrong in this case, but Tsar couldn't have known what might be happen in the next three years. Minister V.Sukhomlinov stated that Wilhelm made trap to Russia.
-Ars longa, vita brevis -
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Robert_Hall

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Re: Suppose that Russia Had Not Entered the War ...
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2009, 07:25:38 PM »
The Kaiser was an interesting fellow in his own right, but not nearly as clever as he imagined himself to be.  He was actually rather paternalistic towards Nicholas, as I see it, even though he was only 8 or 9 years older. I think Wilhelm was manipulated by his ministers and easily led into very stupid mistakes. Whereas Nicholas simply did not act at all.  He procrastinated, took no direct action and  let events take their course. Poor Franz Josef was a fossil, unable to act. All 3 were ripe for picking- that is revolution. These are fatal traits in any system of government, but in a monarchy, especially an arch-conservative one, they are one-way journeys.

Sergei Witte

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Re: Suppose that Russia Had Not Entered the War ...
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2009, 05:45:47 AM »
One cannot simply say what would have happened if Russia didn't enter WWI, that Revolution would have been avoided or it would have happened anyway or that the 3 emperors were doomed. Anything could have happened.

What would have been the natural course of events?

In my opinion it would have been that NII would have abdicated in 1905, go in exile in Denmark by example and let the Dooma take over and form a real constitution. That would be the natural course of events after the drama that happened in Russia. Only because the army still backed him, he could remain in power and oppres the Revolt. It was the army that didn't obey him anymore in feb 1917, and this directly led to his abdication. Were the army still loyal to him, things could have dragged on for years.

Would that have been wise? No. Would that have been cruel? Yes. But it would have happened. You just compare the situation with countries today with a big gap between rich and poor and with a strong military presence, like Brazil, or Argentina. The role of the military is decisive.

The reason to go for mobilisation looks stupid in our eyes. But back then it looked like a measure that effectively could back off Austria. Even even when it would lead to war, it was generally believed that a war would last only a couple of months. No one could have foreseen such a slaughter.
I think no one should be judged for the results of their actions if those results could not have been foreseen at the moment of action.


« Last Edit: July 22, 2009, 05:48:02 AM by Sergei Witte »

Alixz

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Re: Suppose that Russia Had Not Entered the War ...
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2009, 08:15:21 AM »
The Americans thought that their Civil War would end in a few months.  Many times an enemy has been underestimated.

A comparison of the three Emperors:

Kaiser Wilhelm:  disfigured at birth, bombastic and self absorbed.  He had a strong mother whom he alternately loved and hated.  His wife  Dona was not suited to be Empress, she was quiet and mousy.

Franz Joseph:  came to the throne in 1848 at the abdication of his father and through the machinations of his mother.  Arch Duchess Sophie was a strong mother whom he alternately loved and hated.  Franz Joseph married Sissi against her wishes.  Franz Joseph did not prepare his son Rudolph for his future.  Then he lost Rodolph to suicide and Sissi and Franz Ferdinand to assassins.  As Robert said, by 1914, Franz Joseph was a fossil.

Nicholas II:  came to the throne unprepared to rule.  He had a strong mother whom he loved completely.  His wife Alexandra was not suited to be Empress and he married her against his mother's wishes.  He had four daughters and one hemophiliac son.

Alixz

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Re: Suppose that Russia Had Not Entered the War ...
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2009, 08:24:35 AM »
Not one of these men was the quality of Edward VII or Alexander III.

All three were reactionary.  All three were backed by a strong mother figure.  All three had wives who were unsuitable as Empresses for different reasons.

Only one, Wilhelm, had any training for the throne, but this training was warped by Bismark's dislike of his father, Fritz.

All three suffered in their personal lives.  Wilhelm because of his withered arm.  Franz Joseph because of his losses of loved ones.  Nicholas II because of the hemophilia of his only son.

Not one of them had any idea what a modern war would be like.

Only one survived the end of the war and that was Wilhelm who has been seen to be one of the greatest agitators for the war.  Franz Joseph died of old age before the war was over at about age 88.  Nicholas II was murdered with his family.  He was just 50. 

mercman

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Re: Suppose that Russia Had Not Entered the War ...
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2009, 08:33:03 PM »
I understand that Kaiser Wilhelm II was emotionally unstable, but does this alone explain why he declared war against Russia and then later was one of the few who petitioned strongly for the release of NAOTMAA after their captivity?

Robert_Hall

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Re: Suppose that Russia Had Not Entered the War ...
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2009, 09:01:07 PM »
You have to understand that the Kaiser was not an absolute monarch and did not advocate war.  He acted on the decisions of his government Naturally he supported his country's war effort after it did enter into belligerence, any leader would do the same. His efforts on behalf of the Romanovs was only natural, they were his close relations.
 Also, I do not think that he was emotionally unstable. He was certainly bombastic and pompous, full of himself, but unstable?

RomanovsFan4Ever

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Re: Suppose that Russia Had Not Entered the War ...
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2009, 07:17:27 AM »
Also, I do not think that he was emotionally unstable. He was certainly bombastic and pompous, full of himself, but unstable?

I'm agree.
Although I consider Kaiser Wilhelm II an interesting character in history, as Robert Hall correctly said he was bombastic and pompous, but I can't see no signs of instability in him.