Friday, May 18, 2018

Prussian Generals In Austrian Service and a Tougher Italian Fight for Ethiopia

Awhile back I posted about an alternate timeline featuring our world's Frederick the Great defecting to Austria and having a major impact on world history (early ending of serfdom in Russia, earlier and larger American Revolution, and much more). It was a pretty good timeline and it's still going.

Well, here's another alternate timeline featuring a real-life Prussian general in Austrian service, "The Great Silent One: Moltke the Austrian." In this one, the Prussian military genius Moltke the Elder moves to the Austro-Hungarian Empire as a child. Instead of serving on first the Prussian and then the German Imperial general staff, instead he enters the Hapsburg army and makes his way to their general staff instead. Nothing really significant differs from our world until the Austrians battle the French in the Sardinian War. Then things start getting really, really different. Highlights of the timeline include the humbling of Prussia, the continued survival of Napoleon III's regime in France (and its increasingly anti-British turn), a wiser Nicholas II of Russia influenced by his reformist grandfather and not his reactionary father, and French interfering in the Spanish-American War.

Things aren't looking good for the British as Europe seems to be developing an alternate-timeline version of the Three Emperor's League of Napoleonic France, the enlarged Hapsburg Empire, and Romanov Russia, but given how the French have annoyed the Americans already, it's possible an Anglo-American rapprochement will happen at around the same time.

Moving onward, there's another interesting timeline, "The New Conquering Lion of Judah, Ras Imru!" Ras Imru was a cousin of the Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie and one of Ethiopia's most successful generals during the second Ethiopian-Italian war, at one point menacing the Italian rear before his army was wrecked by aerial bombardment using poison gas. Although many often think of the second war as being a one-sided beating of the Ethiopians by Mussolini and company, the Italians weren't doing too well early on. Heck, even later on the Ethiopians had the chance to inflict a major defeat on the Italians that they lost due to feasting before battle for a week.

(I'm MerryPrankster, although I haven't posted in years because the site--especially the political discussion forums--are time sinks.)

In this scenario, the timeline's author uses my suggested point of divergence that the Ethiopians attack the Italians at Maychew earlier and beat them. Despite winning the battle, the Ethiopians know they won't be able to defend the capital against the Italians once the rainy season ends, so they set up a provisional capital at Gore, more defensible against the Italians, and begin implementing long-run plans for a guerrilla war in areas under Italian occupation. The success at Maychew and Ethiopian diplomacy at the League of Nations convinces the League to end the arms embargo to "both sides" that benefited the somewhat-industrialized Italians (who could manufacture their own weapons) but kept the Ethiopians disarmed. Weapons ordered by the Ethiopians but impounded in other European colonies start flowing in, while foreign journalists have more freedom to cover the war (and thus publicize the Ethiopian cause).

In the last update the Ethiopians have abandoned the capital of Addis Ababa (with the exception of some stay-behinds who bushwhack Italian and Eritrean troops entering the city), but the war's not over yet...

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