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WI: No Kerensky Offensive.

Death's Companion

General Ugg Apologist.
(And snip most of a perfectly sensible analysis).

To be fair, the Germans were on borrowed time. The Turnip Winter, the likelihood that winter 1918 would be worse, starvation rampant in the German cities - Germany was on borrowed time.

The only problem was that so was Russia, and in the race to collapse first ...
The mirroring works even better when you consider a year later the Germans knew more or less they were screwed and should make peace whilst they still had armies in the field but the idea of instead using those armies on a long shot masterstoke to win the war was far more appealing.



Its almost like autocratic systems with powerful military run by small but arrogant and militant elites used to getting their own way in life have similar shortfalls when it comes to making tough choices in similar situations.


The Germans knew all they needed to know to deduce they were going to lose the war by 1916. Instead of doing something about that fact they focussed on tinkering with tactics and waiting for things to get better. You can tie a lot of their shortfalls in World War One with knowing that whether or not something worked it had to work.
 

Death's Companion

General Ugg Apologist.
I must admit, the strategic genius that came up with: "Let's fight the entire fucking world at once" in WWI learned its lesson in time for WWII - oh.
Hey this time he made sure to have a more competent ally with a modern army and a united population who really wanted to fig...I can't do it.
 

Death's Companion

General Ugg Apologist.
Horrible Histories summed up the world wars as machines going to war and men getting in the way. Its simple and obviously deeply flawed but has a lot of truth in it I think but applies to me at least a lot more to the societies involved than the armies.


The machinery of a modern twentieth century total war went to it and the societies still stuck in various points of the nineteenth century were shaken to pieces by the vibrations, even the winners would barely be recognizable. I think the powers that be were fundementally inadequate to dealing with the situation brought on by a century of diplomacy and massive strides in technology and tactics.


Russia, Turkey, Germany, A-H were fundementally not sound enough as states to handle the pressure placed on them. France simply didn't have enough Frenchmen to take the brunt of the war on home terf. Britain simply did not have enough of an aristocracy to get half of it slaughtered and put a population through hell and then just expect things to keep ticking away as if people would accept not being able to vote or not expecting the government to do anything about their problems nor had the finances to keep its Empire afterwards. All these countries should have been able to see all that in black white, that none of them were much interested in avoiding it says something deeply unpleasant about their governments.
 

Nyvis

Token Marxist
Location
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Who would be the leading contender to be in charge instead of Kerensky? I've always struggled to understand how he took a leading role when there were better candidates available.
I think Chernov is a good bet if Kerensky is ousted from the left. He was the most influential figure in the right SR, who would still be the party of the left at the time, at least outside the small urban proletariat.
 

Sylvanus

Member
Russia was losing the war badly even before the offensive, and Germany was going to force their hand. It's going to be a lot less bloody and give them a better fighting chance, but can they really last until the Germans break in the west?
Russia was not losing the war badly before the Kerensky Offensive. The front lines in 1917 remained roughly where they were in late 1915, and while Russia no longer controlled Poland, Lithuania, and Courland, it still controlled most of Belarus and Ukraine as well as the Russian interior.
 

Nyvis

Token Marxist
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Russia was not losing the war badly before the Kerensky Offensive. The front lines in 1917 remained roughly where they were in late 1915, and while Russia no longer controlled Poland, Lithuania, and Courland, it still controlled most of Belarus and Ukraine as well as the Russian interior.
That's ignoring the situation at home entirely though.
 

Nyvis

Token Marxist
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Fair point. That said, though, just what would it have taken to significantly improve the Russian domestic situation?
Uh, going back in time a century to pull their feudal heads out of their feudal asses? That's all I've got, sorry.

Though of course the Germans weren't doing that great at home either and the less said about Austria Hungary's home situation, the better, so Russia could conceivably limp along on the defensive until a peace of exhaustion.
 

Sylvanus

Member
Uh, going back in time a century to pull their feudal heads out of their feudal asses? That's all I've got, sorry.

Though of course the Germans weren't doing that great at home either and the less said about Austria Hungary's home situation, the better, so Russia could conceivably limp along on the defensive until a peace of exhaustion.
I was thinking of something like more railroad construction in the pre-WWI years and decades and/or having Gallipoli be successful.
 

Nyvis

Token Marxist
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I was thinking of something like more railroad construction in the pre-WWI years and decades and/or having Gallipoli be successful.
Hmm, but with what investment? Russian industry is anemic at best, it needs someone pumping up cash into the country if you want better infrastructure.

Which by the way might be the way to go? Find someone willing to develop the country and you could solve quite a few issues.
 

Sylvanus

Member
Hmm, but with what investment? Russian industry is anemic at best, it needs someone pumping up cash into the country if you want better infrastructure.

Which by the way might be the way to go? Find someone willing to develop the country and you could solve quite a few issues.
France? Britain? The US? Italy? Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Japan might be less likely due to them being historical and/or current Russian rivals, no?
 

Nyvis

Token Marxist
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France? Britain? The US? Italy? Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Japan might be less likely due to them being historical and/or current Russian rivals, no?
The problem is why? What are the expected returns and all that.
 

Nyvis

Token Marxist
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A stronger and/or more internally stable ally?
That's really not enough of a reason for the states of the era to pour capital into another state they might not be allied with forever when they could invest it in themselves.

I think you need greed instead. Maybe an American coalition of investors after Russia's resources?
 

Sylvanus

Member
That's really not enough of a reason for the states of the era to pour capital into another state they might not be allied with forever when they could invest it in themselves.

I think you need greed instead. Maybe an American coalition of investors after Russia's resources?
But the US already has plenty of natural resources of its own. What does Russia have that the US itself doesn't have?
 

Death's Companion

General Ugg Apologist.
France was already bankrolling Russian industrialisation which was going at breakneck speed as was.

It was the loss of some key territories but also the stress of maintaining its war economy that broke it. Conditions were bad for many terrible for some and nothing was run that well so as territory was lost, casualties mounted and the focus turned increasingly away from managing the home front things went to hell.
 

Creekmench

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In my opinion for Imperial Russia to survive a thing like WW1, would involve things like Gallipoli being successful knocking out one of the pillars of the Central Powers or like a CP victory in 1916 or something.
 
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