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Going Over The Top: Getting an Early Start

SenatorChickpea

The Most Kiwi Aussie of them all
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Good article. I understand the need to write these things to a reasonable word count, but the Balkan Wars could perhaps have used an extra paragraph or too.

But I'd never heard of the Casablanca Incident! What a neat encapsulation of the high stakes and pettiness of pre-war diplomacy.
 

David Flin

Voila, a viola.
This is an angle I don't usually hear about when it comes to WW1 - that everyone was used to diplomatic crises that involved "YEAH?! YEAH?!?! I'LL HIT YOU" but no war actually starting, international politics as Year 7s, and then one day whoops.
If I'm honest, the start of WWI OTL makes sense if you frame it as a playground dispute.

Austria-Hungary starts bullying little Serbia, threatening to beat him up if he doesn't do what Austria-Hungary wants him to do. Serbia's mate Russia hurries over and tells Austria-Hungary to back off, and Austria-Hungary says that if Russia doesn't go away, he'll call his mate Germany into things. Germany comes over, and agrees with Austria-Hungary, and to teach Russia a lesson he'll not forget, he invades Belgium to attack France. Well, France is friends with Russia, and doesn't like Germany because Germany stole his favourite marbles Alsace and Lorraine. Britain sees Belgium being attacked, and joins in to protect Belgium, because Britain likes a little boy to have Antwerp rather than any of the big boys.

Italy had told Austria-Hungary he was friends with them, and would help them if there was a punch-up, and Italy was also friends with France, and told him he would help him in a punch-up. Because Austria-Hungary had some marbles he wanted, Italy decides to fight against horrible Austria-Hungary. The Ottoman Empire, meanwhile, had been unhappy about losing marbles in the Balkans, and decided to help Germany because Germany gave him two nice shiny toy boats, while the United States stayed on the other side of the playground loudly saying he wasn't going to fight until he decided to give it a go.
 

Redolegna

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Casablanca is indeed mental, and it seems like the Central Powers were at times deliberately trying to piss off as many potential friends as possible. Then there are things like the Saverne incident, which are domestic, so would not lead to an early war but which did much to accentuate the atmosphere of sabre-rattling.

Still in awe of Kaiser Wilhelm signing a letter 'Admiral of the Atlantic'.
 

David Flin

Voila, a viola.
I am so tempted to write a Timeline/long vignette based on the Casablanca Incident starting to get out of hand. Possibly with the main action revolving around a cafe, possibly owned by someone from a country without an interest in the international situation, desperately trying to stay neutral as French and German interests gradually move the world towards war. Toss in a romantic distraction, some shady goings on, outpourings of patriotic sentiment under difficult circumstances.

Maybe written in the format of a film about the incident.

I could call it "Casablanca."
 

Kato

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I am so tempted to write a Timeline/long vignette based on the Casablanca Incident starting to get out of hand. Possibly with the main action revolving around a cafe, possibly owned by someone from a country without an interest in the international situation, desperately trying to stay neutral as French and German interests gradually move the world towards war. Toss in a romantic distraction, some shady goings on, outpourings of patriotic sentiment under difficult circumstances.

Maybe written in the format of a film about the incident.

I could call it "Casablanca."
This could be the start of a beautiful timeline.
 

Geordie

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The Russo-Japanese War is frightening in how incompetent much of the Russian military revealed itself to be.
Tbh, after they'd almost started war with Sweden and the British Empire before even rounding the Breton Coast, the biggest surprise is that the world seemed stunned when the Baltic Fleet was destroyed fairly handily. I'm more surprised that they didn't shell Valparaiso, thinking it was Kobe.
 
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