MENELIK MARCHES ON ASMARA
Italy took seriously part in African colony race only in 1885, occupying Massaua on the Red Sea, at the time held by the Egyptians. Egyptians had major trouble with the Mahdist uprising in Sudan and Eritrean coast was mostly a bargain for them, so the British encouraged them to let the Italians take their place. In reward, Italy, whose interests in any part of Africa except French Tunisia were mostly theoretical, was supposed to offer a second active front against the Mahdist.
Italy made serious efforts to expand its foothold to the interior from the coastal town, but Massaua was a bad place for that. A handful of kilometres from the sea, Ethiopian high mountains suddenly rise from the desert land. As Massaua is arid and burned by a hot, cruel sun which never a cloud covers, the Ethiopian Highlands are fertile, relatively fresh, blessed with a stable rain season… and en plus are a natural fortress against invasions. The Ethiopian Empire, a feudal state ruled at that time by Negus Johannes IV, had in Massaua its main way to the sea. The city wasn’t a part of the Empire itself, but its gateway… and its was also such an horrible place for the white men, that the first noble desire of the Italians in the town was to bring their superior civilization and the gift of the true Christian faith to the poor barbaric highlanders subjects of Johannes, regardless the fact that they were already Christians and belonged to a civilization as ancient as the Italians’ one. After several years of skirmishes and treachery, Italians occupied what is today Eritrea, signed a quite treacherous treaty with the new Ethiopian Emperor Menelik II, that they helped to get the throne after Johannes’ death, and started to establish their colony, waiting for a opportunity of further expansion at the expense of the Ethiopians. The kind of colony the Italians thought they needed should be populated by Italian immigrants. There was major problem: Ethiopians who lived in Eritrea were already an agricultural people and massively populated and sown the highlands, so to make place for Italian mass immigration would mean making them to end up just like the Koori, the Sioux and the Tasmanians.
Ethiopians WEREN’T Koori or American Natives. First of all they had fifty thousand modern guns, and even a greater number of warriors able to use them. Second, they FELT equal to the Europeans and generally behaved friendly towards them. Third, their leader Menelik was an African Bismarck who had in Ras Makonnen his von Moltke. Fourth, Italy was not Britain or the US. Its eventual war of extermination and conquest would have to be a low budget one. Anyway no Italian leader would have openly ordered such a massacre, at least not at this time (Gen. Graziani will do something similar in OTL, but it was under Fascism). The order was to simply confiscate more as land as possible under any sustainable pretext, and install Italian farmers there. Ethiopian reaction was an open, widespread uprising. In the meantime Menelik had discovered some Italian treacheries in the treaty, and felt strong enough to make the Italians repent of that. Yes, Lobengula of Ndebele, the Chetwayo of the Zulu, Red Cloud of the Ogallala… they all felt strong enough, and the Westerners wiped them out. But Menelik was right. He badly routed the Italians in the battle of Adua and affirmed Ethiopian independence. He let the Italians keep Eritrea anyway, dismissing his Court’s irredentism (the core of Eritrea were three former Ethiopian provinces). He felt that pursuing the war would cost too much. He had won, yes, but losses were high.
But the day after Adua, March 2nd, 1896 other thoughts could have passed through Menelik’s head. In the enthusiasm for the victory, he orders to proceed northward, pursue the Italian fugitive and disbanded and enters Eritrea. (POD).
The Italian government fell on March 5th in OTL, and so it does in this AH. But with Ethiopian troops invading an established Italian colony, the new government does not make peace it regardless the war is unpopular to the point that pacifists openly shouted "Viva Menelik".
Reinforcements are sent to Massaua through the Suez Canal while Menelik besieges the colonial capital of Asmara and sends patrols everywhere in Northern Eritrea, almost without opposition. Eritrean peoples sides with him and Italians forces are small and widespread. He outnumbers his enemy ten to one or more and has an approximately equivalent, if not better, armament. Serious divisions between the Ethiopians are temporarily left apart and most of indigenous regiments of Italian army desert to the other side, with more weapons, training and knowledge of the enemy. Italy has zero chances. When the new Italian army is in Massaua, it has time for a single offensive action before the rain season. Some 15000 Italian youth are sent through a hostile country to break Asmara siege and join the city’s garrison, half of the whole Italian forces in East Africa excluding the new ones.
Guerrilla actions disturb them in the difficult march towards Asmara, which is besieged by half of the Menelik forces, some 40,000 trained and motivated warriors with modern guns defending their homeland. Supply situation of Menelik troops anyway is not good, and some of the units suffer of major illness. But he’s aware of Italian movements in details from the very beginning, so he can dispose his army in the best way to the fight and call for help in the surroundings. When he has notice of Italian approaching, he orders the light cavalry to attack their flanks, and disposes his small light artillery on the hills expecting the Italians to march along the valleys. Three hours later, the first Italian brigade is in sight, just to be massacred by Ethiopian infantry. Ten kilometres backwards, an advanced Ethiopian patrol has caught most of Italian supplies and heavy artillery, so that white men are lost their greatest advantage and are in a severe difficulty. Italian Commander, Gen. Bava Beccaris, is the middle of the marching column and unaware of all this, thinking that he’s now simply facing a minor skirmish. On the contrary, he’s wholly surrounded, over numbered, and short of supply. He’s also not aware of enemy’s positions, while Ethiopians are, and arrogantly believes that no African force could withstand a white one. While some survivors from the vanguard come bring the new that there’s a battle going on and their brigade is almost out, he simply orders all units to go forward, and exterminate all the brutes.
Sensing the battle outside the Asmara garrison attempts a sortie. The battle turns bad for the Italians, the have worse positions, officers are not prepared to fight in African highlands, and they are short of munitions and artillery. Ethiopians have the cannons they captured in Adua. Bava Beccaris orders a disordered retreat, leaving some 5000 bodies on the field and a similar number of prisoners to the enemy.
Asmara garrison is almost destroyed and the city falls. They way back to Massaua is a disaster, guerrilla is merciless. Menelik does not follow the enemy, sparing some of the Italian troops. His last great victory is really costly; some 15000 of his proudest warriors are dead. In a few days rain season begins. Italians can do nothing but retire in the forts they are left to, and wait for the rains to end. Ethiopians besiege them in Keren, Massaua and Zula. The Italian Government falls again, socialist uprisings rise in Milan, Genoa, Turin and Bologna. Gen. Pelloux becomes Prime Minister by a military coup and with the full support of the king Umberto I. The army is employed against strikers and socialists. The socialist party is outlawed.
Keren falls by starvation and peace talks begin. Anarchists attempt to the king’s life, a long strike paralyzes the port in Naples. The Treaty of Asmara is signed on September 4th, 1896. Italy recognizes full Ethiopian independence and renounces to any claim over Eritrea and Somalia. Italy also agrees to pay reparations, which arrive just in time to save the north of the country from famine, and giving Menelik three minor fleet units.
An Italian Navy base is kept in Assab, where Ethiopians mariners are going to be trained by their Italian fellows. A defensive military treaty is also signed between the two countries, to hold the British and the French out of Ethiopia.
The whole Europe is shocked. An African indigenous army has won twice against significant European forces. A European power has had to give up a colony. France has little to rejoice, even if Ethiopia is formally its ally.
In Africa, the echo is even stronger.
The King of Ashanti feels he’s another Menelik and chooses to fight the English till the very end. The Golden Coast becomes a bloodbath for the following years, draining out more British resources. This will have a butterfly effect, as Gen. Baden Powell won’t be at siege of Mafikeng and the foundation tale of the Scout movement, if any, will be another one. Also in German and French territories, native resistances felt encouraged and make harder to the colonists get rid off them.
Mahdist state is slowly splitting down, and the British send Kitchener to take the pieces, as in OTL.
A French expedition is sent from Congo to southern Sudan, a Mahdist territory, to give the French a foothold on the Nile. Marchand, a French officer with great African experience, leads it to the village of Fashoda, on the White Nile, which is reached in August of 1898, and takes possession if the area in the name of the French Republic. The French see this as basis to negotiate about Egypt with the British.
Kitchener, who’s moving along the Nile from the North, won’t have the Italians covering his south western side, so his march is slower.
During 1897 and 1898, Ethiopians are able to take control the eastern bank of the Nile before the British could get there, so they link up with Marchand in Fashoda, which they failed to do in OTL.
Kitchener arrives north of Fashoda in late November. The pawns are set up for the crisis.
Menelik’s Empire is not ready for another full scale war. They wounds left by the Italians are still bleeding.
Locusts have destroyed a harvest. Different ethnics onto the country are in turmoil. The major Rases are neither united nor all loyal to the crown. The most important ones, Mangasha and Tekleh Haymanot, have legitimate claims over the Imperial Crown. They have been loyal during the war on Italians, regardless the enemy’s attempts to push them to treason. Mangasha especially has fought the Italians bravely and got most of Eritrea in exchange. Tekleh Haymanot has been given Harrar, when its former governor Ras Makonnen, the best Ethiopian general, has become lord of the entire Somaliland and Borana. Another important vassal is the ethnically Oromo Ras Mika’el, who is not welcomed by his noble fellows because of his ethnic and religion (he used to be a Muslim). In 1898 he’s appointed Ras of Atbara, a north western area newly cut off the former Mahdist empire, with a mainly Arab and Muslim population. So his forces are northeast of Kitchener’s, putting him in a potentially dangerous position.
The English are unaware of how weak the Ethiopians really are. They just know what happened to the Italians two years before. They are heavily engaged in driving off the bloody Ashanti War, and want zero troubles on the Nile.
Kitchener reasonably thinks that Ethiopian would not stand against the British alone, and decides to force the French to leave Fashoda. He arrives north of the French position on November 23, two months later than in OTL, and sends to Marchand an ultimatum. The French will have to leave the Nile valley.
The news passes through the world quickly. Both Delcassé in Paris and Grey in London use heavy words. The official line of the British is that no European power on the Nile except theirs could be allowed, cost it what it cost… But with Ethiopia involved, Russia makes Salisbury know that a general English attack against the Ethiopian or the French would cause the Russians enter the war too. Some Russian officers are assisting the Ethiopian forces in Fashoda area and further north. So Kitchener is ordered to wait and he doesn’t attack Marchand immediately, for world peace sake. Marchand receives help and troops from Tekleh Haymanot, and Mika’el and Makonnen are mobilising in their respective territories.
Menelik fears a war against the British even with French and Russian support; in any case the Royal Navy is able to blockade both France and Ethiopia.
Mika’el would outnumber and maybe defeat Kitchener, but once Sudan conquered, the English still would keep Egypt. Russians could menace India, but do nothing further West without provoking Austria and by consequence Germany. Both France and Britain look around for allies.
Italy is useless. Pelloux has pushed his military regime too far, forcing even the moderate liberals of the Parliament to rebel, strangely rallying the radicals, socialists and anarchists. With no legal Parliament, constitution is over, and Pelloux feels he’s gone too far. He doesn’t want to be a fully powered dictator and resigns.
The King panics for a while before an anarchist attempt kills him on January 7th, 1899. Constitution is reinstated.
Germany would help France by any mean, if France ceases any claim over Alsace and Lorraine. Delcassé, the French minister of Foreign affairs, feels the price is too high, even for Egypt. Austria would no case rally the Russians without a full warrantee about the Balkans, and anyway the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs is a Polish aristocrat who deeply dislikes the Russians.
British could bet on Russian neutrality if they are able to arrange an agreement with Menelik. At this point, even the French war hawks would make a step backwards. Nor the Tsar or the Kaiser think of sending theirs soldiers to death just to let the French keep some useless marshes on the Nile. The British diplomatic delegation arrives in Addis Ababa to discuss the Nile issue... Suddenly Menelik is given the key of the world peace or world war, and is fully aware of that.
Anglo-Ethiopian talks immediately take a greater dimension than the mere Nile matter. Menelik says that the Nile is the western borders of this empire, and he would agree on anything provided that and Ethiopian unconditioned sovereignty.
But he also doesn’t like the idea of the entire land border if his country be in the British control, while the Royal Navy would dominate the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. If so, he says, the British should allow a permanent French army to stay anywhere in Ethiopia, and give the Ethiopians a huge amount of modern weapons, including naval units, and food in case of famine.
It is too much. The French would still have a foothold on the Nile. Further English demands, like to limit the area the French troops are allowed to stay, are answered to be incompatible with the Empire’s full independence.
In March the 18th, the newly crowned king of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele III, appoints Giovanni Giolitti, a moderately progressive liberal, as Prime Minister, and restores the full constitutional rights. Giolitti gives the Ministry of the Work and Industry to the prominent Socialist leader Andrea Costa. Some socialist youth disapprove that and exit the party, founding the Communist Party. Italy declares it will take seriously its task to defend Ethiopia in case of a war, mostly because, having no territorial holdings in Africa, a strong independent and friendly Ethiopia is the sole way she has to act in the continent. Elections are planned to be held in July, with universal adult male franchise for the first time. A workers rights bill including eight hours, strike right, compulsory work insurance and safe work environments is discussed, conservative groups oppose it harshly but it passes.
Partly except for the Austrians, the British are totally isolated. Japan and the US make clear that they have nothing to do with the whole matter. Well, Japan could be interested in a Russian defeat, as also in taking over German or French possessions in the Pacific. She also looks with sympathy to Ethiopia. In the meantime, Kitchener is running out of supply. If he goes back north, the main strategic advance position of the British would be lost, and the French would have higher rates the struggle on the High Nile.
Germany is mainly worried about Alsace.
Italy is not ready for a war without Germany on her side. Russia would take advantages in the Far East in case of victory, and these couldn’t please the French. Anyway the Russian are not strong enough to help the French so much, and not against the Royal Navy anyway. In fact, the four continental powers together reach hardly a half of the British sea power.
France transfers troops and military equipment from Madagascar to Ethiopia, so Marchand gets even more reinforcements, both French and Ethiopian, in May. The crisis is at a stalemate. No one wants really to fight… no one sees a way to get a compromise. Public opinions are war oriented both in France and Britain, quite less in Austria, Italy and Germany.
Some Germans feel that it would be better to rally the British anyway. In such a case, Britain would declare war and easily wipe out the French while the Austro- Germans fight the Russian. Italy would stay neutral in this scenario.
The British would fight for the Nile, but most of their African armies are engaged in the Golden Coast, and they have to keep their military pressure in South Africa on. They can defeat the French, but not in definitive way, and they are seriously afraid of sending their armies against the powerful Ethiopian ones. Ethiopia of course won’t stand at least, but is able to make the British bleed much.
Italians would take seriously their treaty as the sole way to keep a foothold in Africa, even if the government now is a not imperialist one.
The cautious deployment of Russian troops near Afghanistan makes the British feel like they had landed in Kent. Harsh telegrams are sent to Petersburg. Answers are provoking. Normally the French would help to calm down the Russians, but this is not the case, because France needs Russian help desperately. Von Buelow sees his greatest occasion and decides to be the new Bismarck: he proposes a new European conference. Austria, Italy, and France agree enthusiastically, Russia has no objections; Menelik makes the Powers aware that he would participate in the case. Britain reacts negatively, especially about an Ethiopian presence as an independent state. They would prefer Ethiopia be represented by Italy or France, something that pleases the latter much (it would mean recognizing its protectorate over Menelik’s lands) but is harshly opposed by Giolitti, curiously now the best Ethiopia’s friend.
Then the Third Congress of Berlin begins on November 15th 1899. It will discuss the Nile issue, the matters involving China and, by request of the Tsar, the Armenian issue and naval armaments race.
Delegates are from Russia, Austria, Germany, Italy, France, Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Japan, the US, Turkey and Ethiopia. Ethiopian and Belgian delegations are of the highest level, the first being composed of Minister Afework, Negus Tekleh Haymanot, Ras Mika’el, Ras Makonnen and lijj Meshasha, Ras Mangasha’s son, recently declared presumptive Menelik’s heir to ensure his father’s loyalty, and the latter by King Leopold himself, who also represents the Free State of Congo.
Ethiopians make clear what they want: full independence, western border on the White Nile up to the 15° parallel north, modernisation and massive European investments, controlled by the Crown in any case. A "full" Ethiopian independence is not compatible with British projects in the area, and really not even with the French ones, not in the sense Makonnen is giving to the word. It makes no surprise that the other powers tend to support Ethiopia. Both Italy and Russia have small but well defined interests to defend there, and it is the sole part of Africa where they can act. The Japanese sympathize with a people who have defeated European colonizers and their delegate Prince Ito establishes a deep friendship with Ras Makonnen.
Austria would not object to Ethiopian requests if Britain agrees to them, but Britain doesn’t.
She has to make concessions finally; south eastern Sudan is assigned to Ethiopia while Britain snorting.
France claims full sovereignty in most of Western Sudan, and proposes the rest to be annexed to Egypt and, as such, ruled as Anglo-French condominium. France would also agree exclusive British presence in parts of Sudan to be defined, but pretends a shared rule in Egypt proper, with British prominence only in the Canal Zone. It is many steps backwards for London.
British reply is a request of full control over the whole Sudan except, in case, the Darfur, and further discussion about Egypt, on which anyway, the British won’t give up their supremacy without a war. France changes strategy: it would totally leave the Nile valley and also make concession on the Niger and elsewhere, if Britain supports its claim over Alsace militarily if necessary. Britain won’t of course, but now basis of negotiation are established.
Germany pushes for peace (it could seem strange, but Germany wasn’t war oriented, nor prepared to a war overseas, at least not until 1911 in OTL.).
Well, the treaty of Berlin if finally signed, on April of 1900. Sudan is partitioned between France, Britain, Egypt and Ethiopia. Egypt shall be a British protectorate, but the French "civilization role" is recognized and the French navy gets a base in Damiata.
The spheres of influence in China are defined, leaving Tibet, Henan, and the Yangtze valley to the British, everything south to the French, the Shandong peninsula to Germany, Fujian and Liaodong (except Port Arthur) to Japan and almost everything else to Russia. The Powers agree upon joint influence in the Chih Li and Shanxi provinces. Open door policy will be implemented all over the Empire except the Russian sphere.
Germany gets a chunk of French Equatorial Africa in reward, and recognizes French dominant position in Morocco. Austria is recognized the right to eventually annex Bosnia and Herzegovina, in case of Turkish breakdown, and in reward, agrees upon Russian military support to the Armenians if the case, if they stay out of the Balkans.
Ethiopia is far much stronger and her alliance with Italy has improved considerably. Makonnen signs bilateral additional treaties with Britain, France, Russia, Japan and Germany, implying the Power warrantee over Ethiopian borders, favourable conditions for loans, Italian and German help in training troops and crews, and trade agreements. Britain doesn’t want a stronger Ethiopian army, but it’s the price to pay for keeping the French definitely out of the High Nile.
The Third Conference of Berlin could be seen as the beginning of the end of British Imperial World Power. While the conference was going on, the Boxer revolt bursts in China, and the British forces in the area, lesser than OTL due to major commitments in Africa, are destroyed. The repression is much more a Japanese and German affair, while Russia grabs some districts more in Mongolia and Chinese central Asia.
I don’t believe that situation in China would change much respect OTL. Russian and maybe German positions would marginally stronger, British marginally weaker. Note that Boers are still independent in this TL, and enjoy a much more effective support from the Dutch, French and German. In 1901, Ashanti are finally defeated after a bloody war. Also Samory’s resistance in French Western Africa and Maji Maji rebellion in German East Africa last longer and are more costly to get rid of.
All this would affect the European balance of power, forcing European nations to pour more forces in Africa, and also a much stronger Ethiopia near strategic British possessions forces the Empire to keep many more troops in Kenya, Egyptian Sudan and Equatoria (the southernmost part of Sudan, now a British colony).
The Anglo-Japanese alliance is established in 1902. A slow rapprochement between Britain and France starts to take place in a mistrusting and hostile environment.
The strong relationship between Italy and Ethiopia improves quickly, and the Austro-Germans encourage it as much as their rivalry with Britain grows. In fact, by 1907, the Italo-Ethiopian treaty of mutual defence is integrated in the Triple Alliance: Austria and Germany would regard an attack against Ethiopia as an attack on themselves. Ethiopia has no full membership in the alliance, but de facto is involved in.
The enlarged Ethiopia suffers major tribal, ethnic and religious divisions, as the Coptic Amharas and Tigrays ruling classes are outnumbered within the Empire by Somali and Oromo speaking Muslims, not to say the Arabic huge and important minority along the border with Egypt. Muslim notables are more and more integrated in the ruling group, but with no hope to get the higher ranks, because of the conservative and clerical policy carried out by Queen Taitu, Menelik’s wife. The Negus gets ill in 1906, and ceases to exercise actual power. Court intrigues favoured by several European powers and plots in the view of the succession start.
Once settled the Nile, conquered the Ashanti, and ensured in the Pacific allying with Japan, say in mid 1903, Britain starts her war against the Boers in way quite similar to OTL, but with both sides stronger, and within a different international situation; especially, the Delagoa railway has been completed, linking Johannesburg with Lourenço Marques in Portuguese territory.
Hostilities open while the railway is starting operating: and as the war starts, the British demand the Portuguese to stop supplying their enemies… or be treated as enemies themselves. Portuguese are no fool, but seeing the early victories of the Boers, and hoping (erroneously) in a favourable French and German stance, they refuse to accept requests that seem to threaten their national sovereignty.
Germany instead is eager to enforce a secret treaty of 1897 (it existed in OTL) which established a partition of the Portuguese Empire between her and Britain in case of collapse or conflict. So she surprises the world declaring support for the British and declare war to Portugal, (not to the Boers, anyway) immediately followed by Britain, after creating for such a behaviour some factice pretexts.
It’s a favourable moment for Japan to catch the temporary alliance between Britain and Germany; she declares war to Portugal too and occupies Macau. German and Japanese troops meet in East Timor (assigned to Germany in the secret treaty) and there are some troubles with bordering Dutch forces in West Timor too. The Dutch public opinion has a very strong feeling towards the Boers yet, and is disgusted of British arrogance and German cynicism.
They are not suicidal however. The fact is that the war is getting bad for the Anglo-Germans in South Africa, even if all minor Portuguese colonies are taken over in a matter of months: Sao Tomè and Principe to Germany, Green Cape and Bissau to Britain, Goa, Diu and Daman to British India. France and Netherlands supply the Portuguese, and by them, the Boers heavily. The British attempt to cut the Delagoa railway fails miserably. The Germans decide to teach a lesson and send an ultimatum to the Netherlands, not to interfere in operations in Timor and stop helping so enthusiastically Germany’s enemies.
The Kaiser graciously remembers his beloved friend Queen Wilhelmina that her Kingdom’s longest and less defensible border is with Germany, and the German and British fleets are patrolling the North Sea just off the Dutch shore. The twenty Prussian divisions in Western Lower Saxony show what the Kaiser means. Dutch responses are evasive and try to gain time.
In 1904 the indigenous people of South-western German Africa (today’s Namibia) revolt, lead by the Ova-Herero ethnic. German response is genocide, total destruction of the native nations to a degree rarely seen before, not even in the Cheyenne Wars or in the Free State of Congo. Gen. Lothar Dietrich von Trotha is sent up there with the same orders as OTL, and executes them with the same eagerness, also enjoying full British cooperation.
OTOH, the Herero resistance may be more effective thanks to Portuguese and eventually Boer support. The surviving natives of Namibia would seek asylum from the German rage into Portuguese Angola, where, I guess, they reorganise into an effective an well motivated troop of Portuguese allies with nothing more to loose, just aiming to regain their ancestral land – dead or alive ( They did exactly the same in OTL’s WWI ). They would end up totally destroyed or seeking asylum in North Rhodesia or even FSC (bad place for asylum, but perhaps Leopold could find a black, non local trained force useful in terrorising Congolese… or maybe will kill them all to please the Germans). So the German South-western African war is much more dreadful than OTL, and at least von Trotha’s army, once deployed in South-western Africa, would commit plenty of atrocities against both natives and Portuguese colonists, while proceeding into Angola. Kitchener, fighting the Boers, also would teach the world what is modern total warfare. Lagers would be more common than OTL, the involvement of native peoples on both sides more consistent. Maybe this would lessen the Boers’ racism.
War hawks in Germany, with some Japanese support, ask for a firmer stance towards the Dutch. The British doesn’t want the war to spread further, and the risks were high yet, as the Russo-Japanese tension rising without decisive progress in South Africa. Kitchener adopts more and more Trotha’s methods, but Trotha did mass-murder the Natives… Kitchener is doing so to the white. Johannesburg and Pretoria eventually fall to him in late 1904, but guerrilla is indomitable all over Transvaal, and the Portuguese still keep most of Angola and Mozambique, and have also entered Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
On Sept. 17, 1904, a Dutch border patrol on the hills south Oekussi, in the former Portuguese Timor, opens the fire against a group of Japanese troops that they erroneously believed trespassing through the ill-marked border. Japanese immediately answers, probably thinking to be facing Portuguese reminders. The Dutch patrol retires with two dead and five wounded, and reports that the Japanese were invading, or at least raiding on Dutch soil. Tempers are already lost in the Dutch East Indies commands. Orders are to defend every inch of Dutch soil with firmness. The Japanese report instead that, violating their neutrality, the Dutch are hosting hostile Portuguese forces around Japanese controlled perimeter. Orders are to fire on every hostile force around. By Sept. 22, thirty border incidents had occurred between Dutch and Japanese, five between German and Dutch, one between German and Japanese too. The Dutch governor in Kupang (West Timor) orders martial law. The General Governor of Dutch East Indies calls for partial mobilisation, and the day after, Japan reacts with total mobilisation both of the army and the navy. On Sept. 27, mobilisation is declared on Dutch mainland. Sept. 30, Britain puts blockade on Dutch ports to avoid a Dutch fleet to be sent in Asia against Japan. Oct. 2 Germany declares war under pretext and invades Dutch mainland. Japanese, German and British fleets race to gain as much they can of Dutch East Indies. Britain takes Dutch Suriname and West Indies. France, Belgium and Russia protest highly. Italy invokes article 7 of the Triple Alliance to get chunks of Portuguese or Dutch colonies. She will be deceived. Tension between Russia and Japan stays high, but the Tsar decides that fighting in these conditions is too risky, even with French support.
The Dutch resist as they can, but they have to fight Britain and Germany at the same time, not to speak of Japan. When the New Year 1905 begins, the Netherlands are no more an independent nation but a mere part of the German Empire. France starts considering seriously an intervention and also approaches the US.
Well, President Roosevelt is following the events with attention but sees no need to interfere as long as vital US interests are not menaced. Well, he’s not going to tolerate a too powerful Germany in the formerly Dutch Indies, but it’s not the case. The German trophy is European Netherlands and some of the smaller islands. Dutch New Guinea to Australia. Borneo and Sumatra to British Malaya. The rest to Japan. To make it all easier to accept, Roosevelt himself is offered the three former Dutch Antilles off the Venezuelan shore. He gladly accepts. France is offered the Dutch half of St. Martin Island in the Caribbean, but refuses. She is not going to accept the annihilation of the Netherlands. The US get Dutch St. Martin too.
The Boers are reduced to a few thousands guerrillas, led by competent leaders like Botha and Smuts, but Portugal stands still.
By the first months of 1905, however, both main Portuguese colonies in Southern Africa are mostly under British or German control, and also Azores are lost to Britain. Since the brutal von Trotha’s warfare has largely depopulated both Namibia and South-western Angola, many Boers are allowed to settle there and take the reminder of the native population as serfs, helping the Germans in exploiting the huge area.
Note that even if allied with the British, the German have only fought directly against the Dutch and the Portuguese, letting Kitchener to take all the blame for the ferocious attack against the Boers, to which Germany keeps a relatively friendly stance as far as the situation permits that.
Also the terms of annexation of the Netherlands are rather mild. The part of the Dutch East Indies left to Germany will stay a properly Dutch colony, and so will eventually be most of South-western Africa if a sufficient number of Boers settled there. Netherlands are also allowed to keep separate army and navy in peacetime, and their official language alongside German (Dutch is in fact properly a dialect of German which has developed independently because of recent history) They also have a representation relatively high in every Imperial institution and keep their constitution intact as long as it does not interfere in their membership within the Empire. All diplomatic representatives of Netherlands all over the world are immediately credited as German ones. Every Dutch citizen is given German citizenship, and Dutch colonials from East and West Indies and Suriname who want to leave are given a secure haven in Namibia and Angola.
Most of them choose to leave in final stages of the war and the immediate aftermath, even if Britain grants to everyone of them who wants to stay citizenship and full rights. Japan instead, encourages them to leave.
Anyway, the Dutch tend to mistrust the British because of the atrocities of Kitchener’s army against Boer civilians. The fighting in Dutch mainland has been harsh, but the Germans have shown respect for civilian’s life and war laws, as they are aiming to unite the Netherlands to Germany rather than conquering them. The German attitude towards the Dutch helps most of the other continental public opinions to condemn basically only the British for what happened: their behaviour towards the Boers overshadows in the eyes of Europeans the way the Germans have treated the South African natives.
The US try to assimilate the former Dutch Antilles in their proper manner, but let the local Dutch to keep some privileges. The US are a much friendlier to the local Dutch than the British, partly due to the far Dutch origins of Roosevelt himself. This of course at the expense of the black majority population of the isles.
Meanwhile, the final stage of the war takes place in the summer of 1905, when the Grand Fleet attacks Lisbon and three British divisions land there and conquer the city after a bloody street fight. Portugal surrenders, and gives up all its colonies, yet basically partitioned among Germany, Britain and Japan. Britain gets most of Mozambique up to the Zambesi and Shire rivers, a small part of South-eastern Angola, Green Cape Islands, Bissau, Portuguese India and the Azores. Germany obtains the remainder of Angola (including Kabinda) and Mozambique, Sao Tomè and Principe Islands, Southern East Timor and Oekussi. Japan is given Macau and Northern East Timor but has to give up Oekussi and the island of Roti (near Timor) in favour of Germany. Portugal keeps Madeira. It will pay some reparations, not that much in fact, to the three allies. (The Netherlands and the Boer states have ceased to exist, so they won’t pay reparations, of course)
Japan desperately needs that. She has won quite easily and gained a lot of territories, but her forces begin to be overstretched and the country’s economy is in difficulty. However the bulk of Japanese forces is freehand since January, and has been redeployed to face a Russian offensive. Japan could stand short term war against Russia but has no hope to get substantial gains in this time before going bankruptcy. Even so, Japan has taken from the Dutch the Moluccan Islands, Java, Sulawesi, Madura, Bali, Lombok and Sumbawa. The reminder or Sunda isles except the Japanese part of Timor stays Dutch, within the German Empire.
As the British troops leave Lisbon, the country fells into turmoil and civil war, monarchy is overthrown and unstable republican governments compete to gain control.
After the war, which anyway was characterised by a substantial lack of trust and cooperation between the allies of both sides, anyone pursuing his own aim, the winning alliance immediately begins to split down. In particular, alliance between Britain and Japan holds on, face the Russian menace, even if the British tended to feel that much lesser than in the recent past, while Germany stays into the Triple Alliance notwithstanding the growing grievances of Italy. Italy and Austria, of course, have gained nothing from the war, while Germany is now a true world power and no more a continental one. Austrian expansion is locked by internal dynamics between the two constituents of the Monarchy, with Hungary basically hostile to any further annexation, while Italy is far too much weak by now to try anything alone.
Britain anyway ends up with her strength comparatively diminished after the war. The new conquests require time to be digested, and Germany looks much stronger than before. The war has been a boost to the German Empire’s economy, and the Netherlands provide major richness. Settling and exploiting the bulk of the new acquired German lands is far an easier matter than the British ones, not to speak of the Japanese. The harder enemy to beat off have been the Boers, whose last resistance pockets stands still into 1906, and, from a British point of view, they were the main enemy too. Their weight has fallen entirely upon British shoulders. The Portuguese and the Dutch have been both easier to defeat and faced by the Japanese and the German… okay, the German have had to face the Herero too (sorry… I had to write what used to be Herero. In OTL, less than 20% of the whole Herero population survived the passage of von Trotha’s army. In this TL, no man who declared himself Herero had any reasonable hope to stay alive in any part of Southern Africa. Other population in the area like the Nama or the Damara could have some hope to keep a small group of survivor in the wildest areas. Their dead toll in OTL was "only" around 50% of the entire people. It was proportionally far much more than Holocaust or even East Timor in OTL. A German anthropologist who followed von Trotha and made experiments over captured natives was later a teacher of Dr. Mengele… Just a chance?) .
Butterfly effects are that Kitchener is in South Africa in 1904, not in India. Result, Lord Curzon stays in charge in the following pivotal years, and goes on with his anti-Russian policy in Tibet, Afghanistan and Persia. It’s difficult to think that he would enter any major military action before the Portuguese surrender, even if the Tibet expedition is likely to have happened on schedule, but in 1906 there are things going on in Siam.
Add that Curzon handles the Bengal Partition Crisis in much more intelligent manner than Kitchener and Minto did in OTL. Probably political history of India is starting to differ much yet. Consider that Gandhi is in South Africa during not after the Boer war, and if he would try any political action, he and most of the Indian population there would have been simply shot or interned, given Kitchener’s usual ways to manage internal dissent.
Moreover, the Balfour cabinet in England keeps on, the victorious war boosting his popularity.
In 1906, Delcassé, French minister of Foreign Affairs, decides to counterbalance the increased German and British power in Africa, Asia and Europe simultaneously. He reaches an agreement with Spain about Morocco without the traumatic consequences of OTL Algeciras conference, because the Powers have recognized the French paramount there yet. The partition lines are the same as OTL. Meanwhile, he pushes the border conflict with Siam into a major issue ( there is not a Franco-British settlement on the matter in this TL, the Entente Cordiale is embryonic at this stage) and, instead of adding the Ton Le Sap area to Cambodia and then stop, France does actually invade Siam and annexes most of it.
Curzon orders his Indian Army to occupy the western part of the country.
Both London and Paris want to avoid another Fashoda. Both have begun to fear more Berlin than each other. Siam is peacefully partitioned with France getting the biggest share, but Britain obtains a land link between Burma and Malaya, and the land of the Karen. The two countries grab the opportunity to reach an overall agreement on their respective rivalries, and serious talks begin, sponsored by King Edward. Well, France is much more mistrusting of Britain than she was in OTL, but Germany is just too powerful.
Finally, France gets the New Hebrides in exchange for the Casamance River in Western Africa, a strip of French territory between the British Gambia and Bissau. Fishing rights in Newfoundland are somewhat settled up. Nigeria ends up a little bigger than OTL, and the two agree upon dividing Liberia along the Saint Paul River if the country collapses.
France ceases to cry for Dutch independence, given that the Dutch look like they are satisfied of being German. German South Africa has become a mainly Afrikaans - speaking area, allowing Boer bitter-enders to settle there end exploit the land as they wish; there’s a 30% of white population, and the Imperial government has turned it to the Dutch one as agreed.
Consequently in British South Africa the Boers are a minority even within the Whites, and those who have stayed are more consistently pro-British. Botha, Smuts and de Wet all have trekked with their remaining troops beyond the German border.
The South African dominion, when constituted, will be consistently English speaking and include British Mozambique and Angola, both Rhodesias and Nyasaland as provinces. I tend to exclude that a significant part of the natives are given franchise at this stage in any case.
Curzon boosts negotiation with Russia about Persia, where a revolution has imposed constitutional rule in 1906.
It’s unlikely that the country could be actually partitioned, but spheres of influence are defined in manner similar to OTL with a greater deal for Britain in the Gulf area. Some ports on the coast are garrisoned by the Indians. Anglo-Russian relationship is far from friendly but no more hostile by 1907.
Something like OTL Triple Entente is growing up. And von Buelow in Berlin looks at that with fear.
In 1908 Italy has had nine years of relative stability and a good, even if rather schizoid, government.
However she has a marginal role in Europe and no colonies. Her economy has benefited of the close relationship with Ethiopia without suffering the waste of colonial expenses, which in OTL drowned its development just before WWI. The socialist minority in the cabinet opposes colonial expansion, but other parties do not. The only area where Italy could hope to get gains is the Ottoman Empire, should it collapse. Italian army is by no means able to win an overall war against the Turks unless the country does bankruptcy, and anyway the borders of the Empire are under international warrantee, except for Bosnia. Diplomacy has agreed to freeze the matter of what to do of the Near East as long as possible.
But the South African War has shown that there’s no more room for everyone to expand peacefully, and that big fishes have started to eat smaller ones.
The French War
Between 1905 and 1909 Korea grows unstable and Japan pours increasing forces there, openly aiming at annexation. Russia is not going to allow that. Japan is now ready to face Russians and decides to strike first as did in 1904 in OTL, before Russo-British relationship become too friendly. Russians anyway are not as unprepared as they were in the real Russo-Japanese war and have a firmer control over Manchuria and Northern Korea. Japanese strike simultaneously on land and sea on April 1909 and face immediately stubborn but substantially ineffective resistance.
Add that in this moment Russian military is distracted by developments in Turkey and Persia.
Persia is facing major internal turmoil, while Turkey has seen revolution in 1908 and now counter-revolution, led by the Sultan himself, is preparing to launch its strike; so in this very April Austria annexes Bosnia, which used to be an Austrian-administrated country under Sultan’s sovereignty, in order to lock any revolutionary activity down there. Russia is not going to tolerate that, and the ill-managed Austrian diplomacy fails miserably in the attempt to make the Russians stay quiet: news of an ill-conceived arrangement between Vienna and Petersburg leaks out just before the Japanese attack, and Russian public opinion gets mad against the Austrians. Russia is on the verge of declaring war to Austria when the Japanese strike at Port Arthur and invade Korea.
No one could say what the Tsar’s intimates thought that day, but the idea of an anti-Russian conspiracy should have been their main concern: and after a border fire-fighting in Galicia they declare war on Austria too. This proves to be a tragic error. Germany has shown zero interest in supporting Vienna, but Austria is still her main ally in Europe. The Kaiser doesn’t even wait for confirmation of the news before declaring war on Russia, followed by Italy the day after and by Ethiopia and Romania three days later.
France is bound by her treaties. She declares war on the Russian side, fully aware that this would trigger a worldwide war. France in fact is constrained to declare war on Japan too, and Britain is forced to declare war on France immediately. It’s a mess. No one (except Japan) really wants to fight and everyone begins to arrange a diplomatic solution even after the due declarations are issued. In the very first days Ethiopia grabs Djibouti and launches an ambitious attack on Darfur through Egyptian Sudan; Egypt obviously follows Britain in the war, as the Dominions do. Portugal sides with France in the hope of regaining part of her former colonies. Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece also ally with the Franco-Russians, so that the Ottomans join the Allies
Germany quickly implements her Schlieffen plan invading Belgium while Italians hold Alsace. Belgium doesn’t last two weeks, and the French navy about the same: the Royal navy, German and Italian fleets attack and destroy most of it in the harbours.
In May, the Austro Germans have repelled Russian invasion of East Prussia and are counter-attacking deep into Russian Poland. On the West, they hold firmly Lorraine and are in sight of Paris, while Damiata has fallen to the Anglo-Egyptians and French India to the British. Australian forces have landed in New Caledonia and New Hebrides with huge successful operations, central Siam has fallen to the Brits and the Japanese are quickly conquering revolting Vietnam and Cambodia. Russians are pulled out from Korea and their Port Arthur garrison is starving under siege.
Paris is taken in a bloody street-fight in the first decade of June. The Great War looks like it’s going to be very short and relatively bloodless. French Government in Bordeaux approaches German officers to negotiate an armistice: but the Kaiser wants nothing of that. He pretends unconditioned surrender, disagreeing with the Brits on that. Balfour instead agrees to an immediate ceasefire on June 14th, provided that France does the same with Japan.
Japan asks for French China and Indochina; she will get it, except for Men Am Valley, handed to the Brits. Facing total collapse, the French desperately try to manage separate peaces where possible. Portugal is going to bankrupt and surrenders without any major fighting as France seems doomed and Russia is slowly losing terrain everywhere. Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria are simply rolled out by July, and partitioned between. Vittorio Emanuele III, King of Italy, is crowned King of a rump Greek state mutilated of most Aegean isles and Thessaly, handed to the Turks. Bulgaria is put under Ottoman sovereignty again, and Dobrugia annexed to Romania. Serbia is divided between Turkey in the South and Austria in the North. It does not take a month to rearrange things in the Balkans, with everyone satisfied but the natives.
Russians are effectively pushing through Turkish Armenia, but they cannot exploit these breakthroughs lacking men and supply lines. Their main forces are desperately trying to keep the Germans out of Lithuania and the Austrians of Ukraine while more enemies come from the now quiet Balkan front. French lines collapse along the Seine and the Loire and the Italians are able to unleash an offensive around Nice, whose success is due more to the French low morale than Italian capacity. In August, France surrenders.
Russia makes approaches and the Germans assure mild terms. General ceasefire is agreed upon on September the 1st. But meanwhile, the Sultan has attempted to regain power: in August the troops do mutiny against him and force abdication, while Bulgarians, Serbs and Armenians revolt massively.
Russia grabs the opportunity and hits in the Caucasus, initially just a small offensive in order to get better terms; but this leads the Assyrians to join the revolt, soon followed by the Greeks and the Arab Christians of the Mount Lebanon and nearby areas.
As soon as the Japanese know that, the restart offensive in Manchuria. No one reopens war in Eastern Europe by now, but it could be only matter of time. Diplomacy is at work. Germany wants French colonies to be partitioned saving only Algeria; Britain and to a lesser extent Austria disagree; the news leak in France and ultra nationalists think of retaking the war alongside the Russians. Britain persuades her Japanese allies not to go further in Manchuria after a great victory at Mukden, in the first days of October.
Ottoman Empire is collapsing quickly. Ethiopian troops land at Mokha, formally to help the Sultan against the rebelling Banu Idris and Yemenis; in fact, they effectively destroy Ottoman power in southern Arabia. Banu Hashim sheriffs declare independence in Mecca, Banu Rashid emirs in Burayda, and Banu Sa’ud in Riyadh, these latter also annexing the Ottoman Hasa province. Ethiopians then ally with Rashidites and Hashimites against her Yemeni main enemies. The ottomans sue for peace in the hope of saving the last pieces. They acknowledge Russian rule over most of Armenia and restore a smaller Bulgaria, and give the Austrians the mainly Serbian areas of Novi Pazar and Nish. Italy looks at the ruining Empire covetously but has no strength to attempt further adventures.
Peace preliminaries meetings 1910 are held in Frankfurt and immediately confirm all previous agreements such for the Far and Near East: Russia is excluded from Manchuria, Kurili and Korea but keeps all Sakhalin. Ottoman Empire is precariously kept in existence, Romania gets Dobrugia and Bessarabia, and former Russian Poland handed to Austria and Germany. Russian power is lessened but far from destroyed in any way.
Much heavier are the conditions for the other defeated countries. Belgium, Serbia, Greece and Montenegro are simply cancelled from the map; Bulgaria, reduced, is an Austro-German satellite and has to pay reparations. Portugal is spared, but his amount of payments increases. Katanga is given to Britain, the rest of Belgian Congo to Germany. The whole Belgium annexed to the Reich. Spain had joined the Allies just before the French surrender and is awarded with Roussillon, Andorra and the whole Morocco, including Béchar and Tindouf in Algeria. Britain swallows formerly French Darfur, Ouaddai, Ennedi, Tibesti, Kanem, Central Siam, French India, and Cayenne. Saint Martin is given to the US. New Hebrides, Austral French Islands and New Caledonia to Australia, St. Pierre and Miquelon to Canada, Gambier Islands to New Zealand, Djibouti to Ethiopia. Italy receives Nice, Corsica, Tunisia. Germany gets the biggest share: French Equatorial Africa south of the new British acquisitions, Dahomey and Comoros overseas, and Belfort, Dunkirk, North Ardennes and the whole Lorraine in Europe.
When the French provisional government and higher commands are informed of the foreseeable conditions, the only honorable option seems to be resuming hostilities. Russia meanwhile is torn by internal upheaval and signs the peace treaty in March; she won’t help France in the second round.
The war seems frankly hopeless to the French, but they adopt a wiser strategy; attacking the weakest spots among the Allies, the Ottoman Empire and Spain, with the secret hope that Italy may switch side seeing the Middle Eastern loot.
Italy does not however, but the French attack against the Spanish lines along the Pyrenees is crushing at the beginning: the Germans are forced to leave Paris while overwhelming French troops repel an Italian attempt on Tunis and march into Ottoman Libya, capturing most of it before July. In the Far East, the Anglo-Japanese, New Zealanders and Australians complete the conquest of every French possession in the same time, while South African, British and German troops land in Madagascar and fight hard the French and their native allies in the mephitic jungles of the island. In Africa, the French have more luck and capture most of British Guinea, Spanish Morocco and German Togo. Their main fronts, anyway, are, in summer of 1910, Egypt and Catalonia. They simply hold on the defensive along the German and Italian lines, but this cannot endure. British Expeditionary Forces are deployed to help the Spaniards; the Allied fleets patrol the Med and cut supply lines between French mainland and the North African front.
The French are able to gain the favor of the Arabs, and in September they enter Cairo and go on towards Suez; but how brave the French Asker troops may be, they are isolated just while the French mainland, invaded from every side, has exhausted its ability to resist. People are starving because of Allied blockade, and the Germans are occupying everything beyond the Loire and the troops in Catalonia have been repulsed into French territory.
Furious of the French "treason", the Allies this time won’t even listen to ceasefire proposals. The pincer is closing quickly upon the unfortunate France, even if her troops do very well against Italians and Spaniards, they simply are pushed back by sheer numbers. The Allies have virtually infinite men to replace casualties, the French have not. More than half of the whole country is occupied and most of its population and economic capacity with it.
Their only hope lies in the colonial forces, which take control of the Canal in November, and whose advance guard pushes into Palestine and raises revolt among the Arabs. Meanwhile, Lyon and Nantes fall to the Germans and the Italians put Marseilles under siege. A British force is sent to Egypt, and begins to retake the country and especially the vital Canal.
Revolts spread up across the Ottoman Empire, all over the Arab, Kurdish and Greek territories; both Italy and Britain send troops to crush them.
After a year of desperate resistance, in March, 1911, with a starving, humiliated Bordeaux as background, the French war cabinet resigns its power in the hand of gen. von Moltke, chief of the Provisional occupation authority. Every inch of the French metropolis is under foreign administration, Italian, Spanish and, for the main part, German. The French army in Egypt surrenders in April. Fighting stops all over Africa by the end of May, when even the most remote units are aware of the French fall.
There won’t be any peace treaty this time. The French political leaders are put in a room in Paris and asked to choose for their country. Von Moltke draws a line on a map – These are the new French borders. – He says. – Accept it, and that’s what you will have. Refuse, and the new German border shall be with Spain. – Silence
- And what about our colonies – Asks former Minister Théophile Delcassé – You will have none – Answers von Moltke, calmly – Not even Algeria. You will be no more a threat to pace and stability in Europe or outside it. –
The line Moltke has drawn adds to Spain the French Euskadi and to Germany the Artois, up to the former Spanish Netherlands border prior to 1657 (!). Only British request had saved the remainder of the Pas de Calais from annexation. Along the Moss, on the French side, there will be a demilitarized strip of 50 km. Fortresses on the Alps and Pyrenees are to be demolished.
- You shall pay reparations – Continues Moltke – Whose amount will be fixed in some months. Don’t expect any mercy. Everything will be reckoned. Think of twice your yearly GDP or something. We are not going to limit you military build up. If you ever will look for another round we will be ready; but just think after that one, France shall be erased from the map forever. We have been merciful enough to let France exist so longer. For this time. Forget it at your risk. -
Collapse in the Ottoman Empire has gone too far. The Sultan and the revolutionaries agree upon handing Libya to Britain and Italy, which also gets most of Algeria. They leave Arabic peninsula to itself and let the Russians grab another slice of Armenia yet impossible to hold. They concentrate efforts in crushing revolts all over the Fertile Crescent and in the Greek parts of Anatolia, while the Italians do the job for them in the Western Balkans, worrying the Austrians. It seems that the great sick man is going to die this time and European diplomacy, yet traumatized by the French War, begins to consider the matter in a serious way. With France knocked out and Russia in trouble, it seems that the great rivals are Germany and Britain, with a role for the Italians and the Austrians to play.
No one even considers another war; the last one has been so terrifying that an Anglo-German clash looks like a nightmare. A conference is issued again, this time in London, to discuss the partition of the former French colonies and the Near East matters. The first problem is resolved quickly: Britain inherits almost totally French West Africa, Réunion, Martinique and Guadeloupe, Germany obtains parts of Higher Volta, Madagascar and the Horn Islands, New Zealand annexes French Polynesia, Italy has Borkou, Djado and Algeria, Clipperton is recognized to Mexico.
The near East is more difficult. Everyone agrees upon the present Russian border, except the Russians that now object to the very idea of a partition, recalling the ancient treaty of Hunkyar Iskelesi that gave them the task of preserving the integrity of the Empire.
But that’s hopeless. Things have begun to move up at a worrying speed. Enver, a revolutionary leader, has started to rally Turkish forces under a nationalist banner and crushing the revolts with unseen brutality, getting only more discontent populations to fight against. Even the previously quiet Shqipetars have risen. Italy menaces openly a force intervention to stop this, regardless her alliance with the Ottomans.
Austria mobilizes troops at the southern border to stop the Italians. Both countries enter Ottoman Macedonia, while the Hashimites occupy Jordan and Palestine up to the Golan Heights. The British occupy southern Iraq and soon reach Mosul. Enver shows himself able to restore a bloody order in the Kurdish heights and in Syria, and rump Turkey including Syria and Kurdistan is allowed to survive and begins a deep revolutionary reorganization.
Most of European possessions, except Thrace, are ceded up to Italy (Northern Greece, Epirus and Isles), Austria (including Thessalonica) and Bulgaria (Kjustendil and Pomakia). Iraq is recognized to the Brits. The Ethiopians leave Yemen to their Hashimite allies, which under the Prince Faysal soon defeat the Imam and begin a war against the Banu Rashid and the Saudis.
Lebanon gets independence and is put under Italian protection.
Enver is the strong guy in Turkey. He dislikes Italians and looks towards France to avenge the defeat and retake Italian conquests in the Med.
The last German soldier leaves French soil on June the 1st, 1913. Menelik has died two months before.
Revolution breaks up in China in 1912. The Japanese look at it with a covetous eye.
The Powers build up for the new round.