Second worst major Ally (out of three) that Germany had in a World War.My reading of the Brusilov Offensive was that it (although not the offensives alongside it) was a success, but at heavy cost (some 500,000 casualties). It was reaching the end of what could be conveniently supplied; always, always, always in WWI, there is the problem to supplying any success, because the supply lines into the gained territory don't exist, and the front troops run out of the necessary stuff.
Unless the supporting offensives to either side keep up, what develops is a salient, and the deeper it goes, the more vulnerable it gets.
That said (as we shall later see), the Austro-Hungarian Empire was not in a strong position, and could have been pushed into an untenable position. That could evolve in any number of ways. However, to judge by A-H decision making in the build up to the war, one can be reasonably confident that whatever diplomatic decision the A-H leadership came up with, it would be about as bad as it could possibly be, and would create division among its friends and antagonise its enemies.
Qu’en termes galants ces choses-là sont mises!Naturally, the Tsar ignored these warnings. The competition for the most out-of-touch and dangerously incompetent Emperor was fierce during WWI, but Tsar Nicholas II was a strong contender.
I must admit, I overlooked the 1915 French attacks as a mechanism for drawing German troops from the East. My rough reasoning was that for the Germans to have needed to draw more troops away from the East, then the French attacks had to be more significant than they were, meaning a heavier series of attacks, which would have had ramifications for French casualty lists. The French going more on the defensive (aside from the political and economic implications of not pushing the Germans from the conquered territory) would have led to less, not more pressure on the Germans in the West.For 1915 being easier on the Russians, I think you left out one possibility: the French attacks, OTL mostly but not exclusively in Artois and Champagne, achieving more success and forcing the Germans to draw in reserve troops which would have otherwise gone on the Eastern Front. I can very well imagine why you did not include it: they were first-rate bungles, with the whole command suffering under its delusions that somehow 1914 had not erased.
Not silly at all.A somewhat counterintuitive question/possiblity-would the situation going worse earlier on the Eastern Front force the position of Nicholas II and make his ineptitude so glaringly obvious early enough that he can be marginalized or pushed out by more capable figures in government before revolution breaks out? Or is that silly?