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In Imperial Glory, the 1914 assassinations in Sarajevo have failed, and speculates what would the world be like if the European empires had a longer hold on their colonies and territories instead of a world war.
This is my first attempt at an alternate history, so please, use "constructive criticism" and try to give me some ideas!
Also, I am sorry, but this is not an open timeline, you may not make any major changes (you can change things like grammar and spelling though). But, you are welcome to give me ideas on the Discussion page. Thank you!
The Assassination Attempts of June 28
On June 28 1914, tragedy gripped the people of Sarajevo as they mourned the deaths of dozens of people killed in an attempt to assassinate archduke Franz Ferdinand. In the morning of that day, the assassins, Cvjetko Popović, Gavrilo Princip, Trifun Grabež, Vaso Čubrilović, Mehmedbašić and Čabrinović arrived in the city with their bombs and their pistols, ready to kill as many Austrian officials as possible before taking cyanide pills and dying. All of the assassins except Čabrinović, failed to act. When the archduke's party passed Čabrinović, he threw a bomb at the lot, but the bomb bounced off the side of the car the archduke was riding in and the timed bomb exploded in a crowd. Čabrinović became hysterical, took the old cyanide pill that only made him very uncomfortable and jumped in the river that was a few inches deep. The authorities dragged him out and he was beaten severely before being taken into custody. The archduke arrived at the town hall and gave his speech along with the mayor, and then got in the car for a small tour of the city. Having learned what had happened, Princip went to get a sandwich in a small eatery. The cashier glanced at his pistol, raised an eyebrow but did not object, and Princip sat down to eat his sandwich in the store. When the archduke passed by the store, Princip was shocked and did not have time to draw his gun and fire. When he ran out the door, the archduke was already gone. Princip shot himself on the spot and fell to the ground. Soon, the Austrians including Franz heard what happened and rush to see. Soon, everyone including Ferdinand and his wife found Princip dead, and believed that he committed suicide. When the other assassins had also learned that the assassination had completely failed, they either shot themselves and died or went on a shooting rampage and then died. Many did get hurt and died in the assassination attempt, but it was written off by the police as a mass shooting rather than an assassination attempt as to not cause panic. The assassination completely failed and all involved were either dead or in jail.
As Germany's power grew ever since the unification of the country in 1871, the balance of power in Europe shifted heavily towards the Germans. Britain took note of this, and quickly made an alliance with Germany after the attacks in Sarajevo, because the Prime minister and the Queen interpreted it not as a mass shooting, but as a plot against the Austrian empire. If Austria were to invade Serbia; Russia, Britain and France would obviously take the side of Serbia, but that would mean fighting the Germans, something the British didn't want to do. France became enraged after their longtime ally, Britain, turned their backs on France. France made an alliance with the Ottomans on the condition that France would help the Ottoman Empire regain areas in Africa (Egypt) from Britain. The Ottoman Empire also agreed to give France Libya (if they managed to conquer it). Italy, concerned about the French-Ottoman alliance and the British-German Alliance, made a formal alliance with Russia, breaking Italy's agreement with Germany and Austria, and Russia's break with France and Britain. Portugal and Spain also allied with each other because of increased turbulence in Europe and out of fear that France or any other empire might invade the weaker states of Spain and Portugal. USA refused to join a single alliance and rather remained isolationist from a single alliance. China and Japan decides that they should be friends for exchange of war, so an alliance was named and both countries tried not to break it. The alliance also helped China to increase its GDP and industry. The balance of world power was restored after 3 years of breaking and making alliances in Europe and Asia.
Black Hand Rebellion of 1917
After the assassination attempt on Archduke Franz, the Black Hand, the covert Serbian organization that was responsible for the assassination attempt, started to die. The government stopped funding it, and it slowly started to lose followers, and eventually, many of the top officers joined the regular Serbian military after they realized that the Black Hand was no more. All of this happened while Nedeljko Čabrinović, the only assassin at the Sarajevo incident who didn't kill himself, was rotting in jail. Right at the moment when he was sentenced to life in prison, he decided to break out of jail, take over the Black Hand, then Serbia, and eventually launch a war on Austria-Hungary. This is just what he did, after only two years of being imprisoned. After Čabrinović escaped, he found many top-notch ex-Black Hand turned military officers and recreated the Black Hand. Čabrinović made himself leader, and with funding from the top officers, started to recruit soldiers and assassins everywhere from Serbia. Within months, Čabrinović found himself with around 500 Serbian military deserters, 25 professional assassins, a nice flow of money from his top military official friends, and enough weapons for everybody. Čabrinović was ready to take on the government and then Austria.
The Black Hand soon planned many assassinations for the Serbian royal family. After all the big names in the family were dead, his new army of supporters and professional troops would mop up the rest. Petar Karađorđević, Princess Helen, Prince George and Prince Alexander were all marked for death during the winter banquet on December 25th 1917. On Christmas night, the assassins killed half the royal family and many top officials in the Serbian government. The military quickly stepped in and chased after the assassins while the Black Hand soldiers moved in on the palace and attacked the military positions. The palace quickly became a battlefield as did the government offices near the palace. The rebels quickly killed many of the soldiers, the assassins got away, and many of the surviving soldiers were "arrested" after the rebels effectively took control of the government offices and palace. Čabrinović declared himself king and denounced the royal family. Many throughout the country were weary of the royal family as well, and quickly took up arms against the royalists. Čabrinović now had control of the Serbian government, but there was now a new threat, the remaining members of the royal family and their supporters bent on killing Čabrinović and retaking Serbia from his clutches.
Serbian Civil War
Just days after Čabrinović took power, many great powers expressed concern over what was happening in Serbia. And while Čabrinović was slaughtering anybody who had connections with the royal family and former government, Serbia's neighbours, Rumania, Bulgaria, Greece, Albania and especially Austria-Hungary were all thinking of fighting in Serbia to get some more territory and advance their own interests in the region. Čabrinović had a huge number of supporters in Serbia, about 80% of the population had his approval and 10% said they would fight for him. In the spring of 1918, 1000 Austrian troops marched into Belgrade holding up the Royalist (the group that supports the royal family) flag. The Austrians were confident and trigger-happy, but they didn't have any intel on the city they are supposed to take. The army marched almost halfway to the palace before they confronted a small group of 50 Republicans (the group that supports Čabrinović) the republicans saw that they were out numbered twenty to one and gave up their arms and told the Austrians that there were only around 500 soldiers and civilians supporters in all in the city. The Austrians believed the prisoners and started to cuff them, but at that moment, the commander of the force slumped off his horse and fell to the ground. The prisoners smiled and started punching their captors, while more and more soldiers fell to the ground and grenades started to rain down on the soldiers. The Austrians fled like little children. The Royalist attempt on Belgrade had failed and they had retreated to the south of the country. Čabrinović pushed south and south and even farther south until the Royalists ran into Macedonia, an area that strongly supports Čabrinović. The Royalists didn't know where to run, into the Republican Macedonians or Čabrinović's assassins and finally gave up to become prisoner and get shot by firing squad. Čabrinović had won, the Royalists gave up and control of Serbia was his.
Third Balkan War
After the civil war in Serbia, Čabrinović took power of the government and started to draft soldiers and hire more professional assassins. They also started to build the new MGVs (Mobile Gun Vehicle, really are just machine guns mounted on cars. Because there was never a western front, nobody needed a heavily armoured vehicle to smash through enemy trenches.) other countries were building. The fact that Serbia had started to militarize itself meant that war was possibly going to break out in the Balkans once more. All the imperial powers except for Spain and Portugal (The Iberian Union is the official name of their alliance) were concerned about the area and all wished to expand their claim in it. With the same objectives were Greece, Bulgaria, Rumania, and Montenegro. Serbia then became concerned after her neighbouring countries started to re-militarize themselves. Serbia quickly stepped up production and started to station fresh troops out of training all around the country. War was inevitable.
Declarations of War
Greece and the Ottomans have long been enemies, but 1918 was the year it would all play out. The war didn't start with Serbia, like most would expect, but instead, it started with a large attack by Greece on Ottoman islands in the Aegean sea. Right after the attacks started, the Ottoman Empire and France (The Anatolian Union) declared war on Greece. Russia and Italy (Treaty of the two Romes)declared war on Greece and the Berlin Agreement (Britain, Germany and Austria). The Berlin Agreement then declared war on The Anatolian Union, Serbia and the Treaty of the two Romes. Bulgaria, Rumania and Montenegro then formed the Anti-S pact and declared war on Serbia. So, here's the situation now: On one side: The Anatolian Union, the Treaty of the two Romes and Serbia. On another: The Berlin Agreement, Anti-S pact and Greece.
It was a day like any other in Smyrna, the kids got up for school and everybody else either went to work or kept sleeping. Tensions have been rising in the last 4 years between Greece and the Ottomans, so the government decided to station a few (1000) soldiers in and around the city in the event of a Greek attack. The Greeks had the Ottomans in Symrna outnumbered two to one, and they had five supporting battleships as well. The Greeks quickly chased the Ottoman army out of the city and established the city as headquarters for the rest of the campaign. Over the next two months, the Greek army crushed the Ottomans at sea with their naval superiority and landed on every single Aegean island and annexed them. The Sultan's advisors said that they should seek peace with Greece and give them the islands, since the attack on Symrna was probably just to agitate them and the only thing they seemed interested in were the islands. The Sultan disagreed and declared war on Greece. The Ottoman navy was already almost destroyed, and after the declaration of war, the last small fleet of the Ottoman navy was crushed off the island of Rhodes. The Aegean Theatre started in June, but for the Greeks it ended before the year was over. The Ottomans though, they still kept fighting with artillery pieces against the large Greek battleships. This stage of the conflict lasted for the entirety of the war and resulted in the loss of one battleship and a large amount of money for Greece (they needed to repair damaged warships very often) and around 300 artillery pieces and 600 men for the Ottomans.
Although the Austrians failed miserably the last time they assaulted Belgrade, this time it was different. Although most of Čabrinović's officials and assassins escaped, their army was devastated by the attack on Belgrade. Losing the Capital was highly demoralizing for the Republicans. The Austrians immediately annexed the city and the areas around it and set up a perimater of defence that included artillery pieces, and a few bunkers and trenches. Čabrinović told his people that they would go south and retake the capital later with the help of Russia. Čabrinović moved his main base to the more stable and farther city of Kragujevac, and instructed his assassins (they now number over 200) to go into Montenegro and assassinate anyone important. In November, an average of 1.7 people were being killed per day, and at the end of the month, around 50 important figures of Montenegro were dead. 125 assassins returned to the new Serbian capital. Although many assassins were captured, Montenegro was rotting from the inside out and barely had any leadership, and if it weren't for the hospitalized leader of the country, Montenegro could have plunged into civil war. In December, Čabrinović and his army marched into Montenegro and took its capital. The people capitulated immediately and Serbia incorporated Montenegro into Čabrinović's new empire. Čabrinović sent horde-like groups of assassins towards all the anti-s pact countries, and collected income by taking the fortunes of the people he has killed and looting their homes. The leaders were shot dead and soon the countries went into chaos, warlordism, murders, fires and repeated looting happened all over, and it finally stopped when Serbia officially declared war and quickly took control of the countries. The Greek troops that had gone in after Bucharest fell to Serbia and Russia didn't really help, and most of them didn't come back alive. Serbia now stretched from the Adriatic to the Black Sea and controlled all the places in between. After sending many troops into the Balkans, many of the world powers felt that it was useless to send troops, because the actions they took didn't really affect their power directly. Also, Serbia was on the verge of taking over the Balkans and there was nothing they could do, so many of the empires pulled out. After the other European powers pulled out, Russia and Serbia assaulted Belgrade. The Austrians pulled out immediately, without any casualties, and retreated into their own territory.
Treaty of Bucharest
The Treaty of Bucharest was signed by all the European powers except Spain and Portugal (we'll call them great powers for simplicity, although in 1922 they weren't really prominent on the world stage) and including Serbia (most historians agree that Serbia could be classified as an empire or great power after the signing on October 22nd 1922) and Greece. The treaty gave Serbia sovereignty over all the Balkan countries other than Greece. Greece gained all the islands in the Aegean, and the strip of land near Dede-agach formally belonging to Bulagria. Serbia gave Galatz to Russia as a token of friendship and thanks, and Austria drew a new border with Serbia, this one being slightly less crooked and was slightly farther north.
All the European Powers (except Serbia) felt a little regretful that they didn't fully exploit the situation, but they were more or less content, except for Austria, who had even more anti-Serbian sentiments than before, Russia, who was very happy, and the Ottomans, who were frustrated over their loss of their islands but didn't show it. Čabrinović was delighted about how the war turned out and moved his capital to Sofia, the former capital of Bulgaria, although this was met with anger from the Serbians, Čabrinović thought that this would help secure Bulagria, and, he sort of liked Sofia more than Belgrade anyway. After the war, when the treaty was signed and the countries involved have started rebuilding, the Wright Brothers finish their airplane and present it to the American Army, who were really impressed and started to manufacture them right away and promised to use them in the next war. (Although it took more time for the Wright Brothers to create their plane, it was much more advanced than their 1914 model and had an incredible ceiling and max speed compared to it). After the war, the European powers were a little weary of war, and the Qing dynasty combined new advanced military with diplomacy and large amounts of money to take back all European port-territories. The Third Balkan War didn't take many lives, but it help create the Serbian Empire, headed obviously, by Čabrinović and humiliate Austria.
Mainly fought in Africa, the Colonial Wars started because of a band of pirates commissioned by the Black Hand attacked and looted a small British establishment in Egypt without consent from the government. Although the fighting was initially confined to Egypt, it quickly spilled over into other colonies and the Ottoman territory of Palestine as the pirates burned and looted African villages, posed as the soldiers of certain countries (Britain, most of the time) to attack others, and had the time of their lives while marching all the way down to Somalia to set up a permanent HQ without losing a single man.
Raid of Sallum
Sallum was a small border town at the time when the Serbian pirates led by Slobodan Korak came ashore. The pirates were commissioned to attack trade ships passing through the Eastern Mediterranean, but the rebellious Captain Korak decided to take his band of 3 ships and 600 men on a raid on Sallum, a small undefended town bordering Libya. The citizens were horrified by the pirates. They looted everything the town had, killed the entire garrison of 100 men, raped the woman and ate all the food. After they were done, Sallum became a burnt ruin lying near the beach. When the British heard of this attack, they immediately declared war on Serbia and said that they regretted the fact that they didn't destroy the Serbians in the last war.