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*Great War: Iberian Front

Ed Costello

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Idle thought: what if Spain and Portugal had found themselves on opposite sides of the Great War, and there had been a front on the Iberian Peninsula? Would we be likely to see British forces channelling Wellington, and would they be successful? What effect would this have on the wider war? And, perhaps most importantly, who would win?

Some notes:

1. Given the long-standing Anglo-Portuguese alliance, one would assume Portugal would be an Entente power as OTL; the main issue would be getting Spain to join the Central Powers. Was there any impetus to do so in OTL, or was the Spanish body politic avowedly neutral, or was the situation entirely different?

2. Obviously, if Spain were to join the Central Powers there would almost certainly be some kind of Pyrenean Front as well; what would the fighting look like there? Would it be another meat-grinder, with the resultant deleterious effect on the Western Front, or would it be more of a diversionary front?

You may note that I stuck a cheeky asterisk in the thread title; that's because I'm also interested in any suggestions regarding Iberia in alternate Great Wars, such as (but not limited to): Entente Spain vs CP Portugal; common or garden Britain vs France *WWI; no Spanish-American War (or indeed a Great War that has Spain vs America).

This post is probably a muddled hellscape, for which I apologise; I am very tired. Thoughts, critiques and shitposts welcome.
 

Mumby

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Idle thought: what if Spain and Portugal had found themselves on opposite sides of the Great War, and there had been a front on the Iberian Peninsula? Would we be likely to see British forces channelling Wellington, and would they be successful? What effect would this have on the wider war? And, perhaps most importantly, who would win?

Some notes:

1. Given the long-standing Anglo-Portuguese alliance, one would assume Portugal would be an Entente power as OTL; the main issue would be getting Spain to join the Central Powers. Was there any impetus to do so in OTL, or was the Spanish body politic avowedly neutral, or was the situation entirely different?

2. Obviously, if Spain were to join the Central Powers there would almost certainly be some kind of Pyrenean Front as well; what would the fighting look like there? Would it be another meat-grinder, with the resultant deleterious effect on the Western Front, or would it be more of a diversionary front?

You may note that I stuck a cheeky asterisk in the thread title; that's because I'm also interested in any suggestions regarding Iberia in alternate Great Wars, such as (but not limited to): Entente Spain vs CP Portugal; common or garden Britain vs France *WWI; no Spanish-American War (or indeed a Great War that has Spain vs America).

This post is probably a muddled hellscape, for which I apologise; I am very tired. Thoughts, critiques and shitposts welcome.
It might be worth bringing @morbidteaparty into this discussion.

From my very vague memories regarding early 20th century Spain, wasn't there something involving putting a Hohenzollern on the throne that got scuppered by the Franco-Prussian War? Maybe if that succeeds, Spain has a German king and a more pro-German policy, drawing Spain into the Central Powers?
 

Alex Richards

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Something over Morocco might be able to draw a pre-Spanish American war strength Spain into a clash with France?
 

morbidteaparty

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Idle thought: what if Spain and Portugal had found themselves on opposite sides of the Great War, and there had been a front on the Iberian Peninsula? Would we be likely to see British forces channelling Wellington, and would they be successful? What effect would this have on the wider war? And, perhaps most importantly, who would win?

Some notes:

1. Given the long-standing Anglo-Portuguese alliance, one would assume Portugal would be an Entente power as OTL; the main issue would be getting Spain to join the Central Powers. Was there any impetus to do so in OTL, or was the Spanish body politic avowedly neutral, or was the situation entirely different?

2. Obviously, if Spain were to join the Central Powers there would almost certainly be some kind of Pyrenean Front as well; what would the fighting look like there? Would it be another meat-grinder, with the resultant deleterious effect on the Western Front, or would it be more of a diversionary front?

You may note that I stuck a cheeky asterisk in the thread title; that's because I'm also interested in any suggestions regarding Iberia in alternate Great Wars, such as (but not limited to): Entente Spain vs CP Portugal; common or garden Britain vs France *WWI; no Spanish-American War (or indeed a Great War that has Spain vs America).

This post is probably a muddled hellscape, for which I apologise; I am very tired. Thoughts, critiques and shitposts welcome.
In the Spanish case with the First World War, netrality had generally been state policy in regards to Europe since the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars. In terms of domestic politics, the aristocracy (particularly those with ties to the Army) and the clerical establishment favoured the Central Powers, as did the remnants of the Carlist movement and Las Mauristas who supported the dominant Conservative politician Antonio Maura (ho ironically favoured the Allies following a 1907 agreement signed between Spain, the UK and France which was aimed at combatting German colonial influence in North Africa.) The majority of pro-Allied sentiment was Francophile, and around 2,000 (mostly Catalans) Spanish citizens volunteered for the French Foreign Legion.

In regards to an actual conflict, an Iberian front (particularly in the north) would likely have resembled a second Italian campaign, though the Spanish Army generally was better trained and equipped than a lot of people have assumed (particularly the troops they recruited from North Africa) but for Spain to feel it would be in their interest to join the war, especially on the side of the Central Powers, you'd need a pre-war POD which ensured the army had a more significant role in Spanish society, or alternatively a more Carlist bent to it's rule.

Hope this helps.
 

Redolegna

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From my very vague memories regarding early 20th century Spain, wasn't there something involving putting a Hohenzollern on the throne that got scuppered by the Franco-Prussian War? Maybe if that succeeds, Spain has a German king and a more pro-German policy, drawing Spain into the Central Powers?
The Hohenzollern proposal was scuppered before the 1870 war. In fact, the somewhat fresh description of how the French ambassador was treated (in the tampered Ems telegram) was part of the reasons invoked to go to war.

Fighting along the Pyrénées. Brr. Nasty stuff. And Morocco would be in ruins by the end of it.
 

George Kearton

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Idle thought: what if Spain and Portugal had found themselves on opposite sides of the Great War, and there had been a front on the Iberian Peninsula? Would we be likely to see British forces channelling Wellington, and would they be successful? What effect would this have on the wider war? And, perhaps most importantly, who would win?

Some notes:

1. Given the long-standing Anglo-Portuguese alliance, one would assume Portugal would be an Entente power as OTL; the main issue would be getting Spain to join the Central Powers. Was there any impetus to do so in OTL, or was the Spanish body politic avowedly neutral, or was the situation entirely different?

2. Obviously, if Spain were to join the Central Powers there would almost certainly be some kind of Pyrenean Front as well; what would the fighting look like there? Would it be another meat-grinder, with the resultant deleterious effect on the Western Front, or would it be more of a diversionary front?

You may note that I stuck a cheeky asterisk in the thread title; that's because I'm also interested in any suggestions regarding Iberia in alternate Great Wars, such as (but not limited to): Entente Spain vs CP Portugal; common or garden Britain vs France *WWI; no Spanish-American War (or indeed a Great War that has Spain vs America).

This post is probably a muddled hellscape, for which I apologise; I am very tired. Thoughts, critiques and shitposts welcome.
You might like to take a look at volumes three and four of my "House of Stuart Sequence" for various imagined conflicts involving Spain in the 19th century.
 

George Kearton

Well-known member
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Scots infantry subduing Barbary pirates and attempting to save Mexico for Spain. Also Spain is battleground for 1850's war between France and Great Britain. Lots more - and future volumes (not yet published) will include Spanish troops in Stuart service fighting the Russians in France during the Great War of 1895 to 1944....
 

Japhy

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Scots infantry subduing Barbary pirates and attempting to save Mexico for Spain. Also Spain is battleground for 1850's war between France and Great Britain. Lots more - and future volumes (not yet published) will include Spanish troops in Stuart service fighting the Russians in France during the Great War of 1895 to 1944....
That doesn't seem helpful to the OPs questions.
 
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