by Demetrios Rammos
To some extend what follows is an exercise on the butterfly effect. Apart from that it tries to address 2 of the main what-if questions of early 20th century Greek history. First avoiding 'dichasmos", the Greek national schism that started in 1915 would play a pivotal role in Greek history and politics as late as the Greek civil war. Second the effects of Greece entering WW1 as early as 1915 instead of 1916 for the government of national defense and 1917 for the rest of Greece. In both questions the then king Constantine of Greece played a pivotal and hardly positive role. A Germanophile Constantine twice dismissed Venizelos government in 1915 in break of the Greek constitution to avoid Greek entry in the war. In 1916 after Constantine's government in an act bordering on treason surrendered the forts of eastern Macedonia to the Bulgarians in 1916 open revolt lead by Venizelos broke against Constantine establishing the "government of national defence" in Thessaloniki that immediately entered the war against the central powers. The incident with George and the Cretan gendarmerie comes from Crauford Price "The Balkan struggles"
Thessaloniki early 1913
The Greek army had taken the city in October 26 1912. Following the Turkish surrender king George of Greece had established himself in the city partly due to Danev's government claims the city should be given to Bulgaria. Given the king's habit of making rather long walks without protection this was putting a considerable strain on the newly established Greek authorities. Thus the 4 Cretan gendarmerie men that were ordered to discreetly follow the king . Quite fortunately he failed to
March 18 1913
One more walk. Then someone jumping in front of the king and opening fire on him. Moments later the would be assasin getting arrested and heavily beaten down by the Cretans following the king. George had taken a bullet in the hand but didn't have any serious injury.
Interrogation of Schoinas right afterwards proved "interesting". Officially Schoinas suicided 2 weeks later. But apparently first he had "spoken" although what exactly he said remained a close guarded secret. What was clear though was George leaning closer on Venizelos and the Entente afterwards while Constantine took a trip to Europe visiting first Berlin and then St. Petersburg were a conferance to solve the problems of the Balkan league was being planned under the auspices of the Tsar. Again officially this was due to Constantine's close ties with both Wichelm and Nicholas. Constantine managed to cause a minor incident with France in Berlin when he claimed the victories of the Greek army, organised by French officers, were due to German training. The causes of Schoinas attempt against George remained a mystery.
June 16th to 17th 1913
Bulgaria is on the verge of war with her erstwhile allies mostly due to the pressure of the Bulgarian general staff and king Ferdinard. The Bulgarian generals seem sure of victory even if the facts on the ground would put their optimism to question. To quote general Savov heading the Bulgarian army and perhaps the main proponent of war on the quality of the opposing armies and the expected timetable "Thessaloniki will be captured within 9 hours and Belgrade within 5 days." while "The Greeks are an army of peddlers and traders" and the Serbs were soundly defeated back in 1885.
Facts on the ground are rather more disturbing. The Bulgarians field 355,000 men against 262,000 Serbs and 110,000 Greeks. The Greeks have 60,000 men more either in Epirus or around Thessaloniki increasing the number of troops that the Bulgarians wold immediately have to face to nearly 140,000 men.
The 254 battalions massed on the Serbo-Bulgarian border give the Bulgarians the numerical superiority in this theater against 199 Serb battalions (even taking into account the latter being about 17% bigger.). Against the Greeks 73 battalions and the garrison of Thessaloniki the Bulgarian II army fields 58 battalions. Savov certain of his opponnents incompetence and disliking the army's commander general Ivanov for becoming a national hero when he took Adrianople considers the force adequate. The calls of Ivanov for 24 more battalions are left unanswered.
The Bulgarian operations are met by some early success but quickly the Greeks and Serbs take the upper hand. Against the Serbs the Bulgarian army captures Istip the first day and Krivolak in the 18th. The counterattacks of the 1st and 3rd Serb armies are of mixed success. While the 1st army is generally successful the 3rd having taken the brunt of the Bulgarians attack found itself in some trouble during the battle of Bragadnitsa from the 17th to the 25th of June. But with the Greeks advancing to the rear of the Bulgarian 4th army and reinforcements from the Serb first army that too ends in Serb victory.
If anything the situation in the Greek front is worse for the Bulgarians. Their attacks were beaten back the same day, the 2 Bulgarian battalions in Thessaloniki supposedly waiting for their comrades to join them within a day were attacked by the 2nd Greek division and forced to surrender and by the 18th the Greek army was on the move against the Bulgarians in the Kilkis-Lahana position which Ivanov had taken considerable care to fortify in the past 9 months. The 3 day struggle that followed was rather messy with both Greeks and Bulgarians fighting with near fanatism and the Greeks clearing Burgarian trenches by the bayonet. By the 21 the defenders were either routed or in rapid retreat and the Greek reserves  completed the victory flanking and routing Petev's 1/10 brigade, Petev gave the example running away first much to the disgust of fellow officers and soldiers, and inflicting heavy casualties to Saravov's division which still managed to retreat in good order. Still the II army's casualties are devastating for a force of its size, 7000 men lost and some 10000 men and 40 guns captured (a fair number of the prisoners being Greek conscripts).  The Greek army losses nearly 9,000 men.
From this point the Bulgarian position rapidly deteriorated. The Greeks captured Doiran in June 22, Kosturino in the 24th and Strumica in 25th. With the fall of Strumica the 4th Bulgarian army found itself with the Serbs on its front and the Greeks on its flanks and rear.  General Kovacev reacted by retreating with his force towards Pecevo but not without losing something close to half of it. By the time of the armistice in July 18th the Greeks were well inside Bulgaria after capturing Simitli and Jumagia and the Serbs held both Pirot and Vidin. In addition Turkey had declared war on Bulgaria in June 29th capturing Adrianople and Romania in June 27th advancing towards Sofia from the north. The Bulgarian army was unable to put up any resistance against either the Romanians or the Turks.
From a military point of view the 2nd Balkan war turned out to be a disaster for Bulgaria with 76,000 casualties and nearly 40,000 prisoners in Greek and Serb hands. Not that the winners had suffered lightly , Greek casualties were as high as 30,000 and Serb 38,000 . Politically the resulting peace of Bucharest wasn't much better for the Bulgarians.With France and Britain backing the Greeks, Russia trying to keep the balance between the victorious Serbs and Bulgaria and Germany backing Greece in Bulgaria was forced to accept the victors terms. Turkey regained Adrianople , Greece the Aegean coast as far east as Mesti and Stromnitsa, Serbia all the previously disputed territory plus some additional minor concessions and Romania south Dobrutsa. Bulgaria was left with only a minor strip of land on the Aegean. 
 Mostly unchanged. Still while Constantine in OTL was more or less a passable general (or rather more accurately Metaxas, Dusmanis and Danglis were good generals) he showed a tendency both for launching frontal assaults on Bulgarian positions and forgetting to keep reserves. Not very practical of him as thus the army after taking Kilkis-Lahana did not exploit its victory to the full missing a very good chance to finish the Bulgarian II army from the start, as both Ivanov and Mazarakis agree.
 compared to a total of around 9500 in OTL.
 OTL Kovacev barely managed to get out as the Greek artillery hadn't catched yet with the army's advance elements Not this time with the Greeks taking Stromnitsa a couple of days earlier. Add the additional bonus of the battle of Bragadnica still going on when 5 Greek divisions get on his rear.
 Same casualties for Greeks and Serbs. Way heavier for the Bulgarians.
 For anyone without a good map think of the 1918 Bulgarian border. Single exception is Stromnitsa / Strumica that ends Greek instead of Yugoslav. (From the Serb pov it was the Greeks covering one of the Bulgarian invasion routes. >From the Greek it anchors their border to the north. And the majority of it's christian population in 1913 is Greek)
The start of 1914 found the Balkans in their usual state of affairs.
In turmoil. Bulgaria was humiliated and held grudges against every neighbour
in general and Greece and Serbia in particular. Unfortunately the idea of
a war of revenge against either of them was for the time being impractical.
Between the two Balkan wars Bulgaria had more than 160,000 men killed or
wounded. The army had to be first reorganized, replace its lost equipment
and munitions before anything else could be done. The Bulgarian economy
was hardly in a good position thus Bulgaria for some time would be unable
to mobilize more than 240,000 men or so. That was hardly enough to have
credible superiority over Greece or Serbia alone much less against both
of them. Either the Greek-Serb pact had to be broken or Bulgaria had to
find allies elsewhere. Or perhaps it should try to recreate the Balkan league,
an idea Greek premier Venizelos would probably support, but which the Bulgarians
didn't like themselves. Thus Bulgaria found itself increasingly closer to
Austria Hungary and with gradually improving relations with the Ottoman
Serbia had been victorious in 2 wars and had made considerable territorial gains. On the other hand the wars were costly and Serbia would like to have a breathing space before engaging in any further adventures. With tensions with Austria Hungary rising this was problematic. and there were also its own nationalists that had to be kept in check. Under the situation Serbia had to maintain its alliance with Greece to secure contact with the outside world through Thessaloniki and make sure it
had enough time to recover and utilize its gains. The state of the Serb economy at the moment was casing additional trouble. Despite plans of increasing army mobilization levels to around 400,000 men Serbia would be hardly able to afford mobilizing half as many before her economy recovered.
The Ottoman empire had its own set of problems. Its economic troubles while considerable were the least among them, after all the empire faced such chronically. The worse problem was the Young Turks at the helm and their interpretation of the unopposed victory of the second Balkan war as recovering the prestige lost in the first fuelling their dreams. The Young Turks themselves had hopes of recovering most of the old Ottoman empire in the long run, or the most extreme ones anything the caliphate once held. For the time being though they concentrated on the Aegean islands which Greece had taken in the wars Turkey wanted back.
Thus the naval build-up with construction of the Reshadieh accelerated, destroyers ordered in French yards, attempts to buy the Brazilian Rio de Janeiro, under construction in Britain as well as the construction more ships of the Reshadieh class. The Ottoman naval plans called for a fleet of some 6 dreadnoughts backed by 4 cruisers and 20 destroyers but even a single battleship if it was delivered ahead of the Greek ships could give the ON a significant material advantage. When the Greeks managed to grab Rio de Janeiro virtually at the last moment  Turkey turned to Germany for a ready ship. Talks for acquiring Moltke and Blucher resumed but were not met with success. On a parallel course the Turkish government decided that its Greek minority was a danger especially in the coasts. With tacit support from Liman von Sanders and certain other German organizations like the Deutches- Palestinien bank  the government took measures to remedy the problem. The results of this were mildly described as unfortunate for the Greeks of Asia Minor and Thrace to say the least.
Compared to its neighbours Greece was in a far better position. Its economy was booming after the wars, it was the big winner of the 2 Balkan wars despite having suffered the lowest casualties among all countries that fought and it had a stable capable leadership under Venizelos and George. This didn't mean it didn't have its problems though. First there was still the need for a balancing act between Constantine and Venizelos even if Constantine had lost influence recently. That was taken care partially by Greek war orders as the contract of a second Greek battleship went to US yards instead of French and in addition to 2 submarines ordered in France 5 more were ordered from Germany. On the other hand army contracts kept going to France and Venizelos didn't fail to promise that the next battleship contract would go to France. After all with the Turkish plans for 6 dreadnought Greece had to play along. Then there was the growing problems with Turkey. Greece had managed to buy first Rio de Janeiro, now Helli, thus avoiding the immediate danger of finding itself facing 2 dreadnoughts with none by August 1914. Still it was getting a lot of refugees from Turkey, over 250000 by the end of the year, and the conditions of Greeks in Thrace and Asia Minor kept deteriorating. It seemed that by 1915 Greece might find itself at war with Turkey. Which in turn meant neutralizing Bulgaria or fighting a two front war.
Meanwhile in London and Berlin the situation in the Balkans didn't go unnoticed. Both Greece and Turkey were building up fast. Greece would have its first dreadnought by July, Salamis by March 1915 and Lemnos by 1916. Turkey expected Reshadieh in August , the restarted Reshad-i-Hamiss in July 1915 and Fatih in April 1916. With numbers comparable to these of the Austro-Hungarian Kriegsmarine and equalling almost half the force of the Regia Marina both the RHN and the ON were becoming significant factors in the naval balance. Thus naturally Germany applied quite some effort on increasing its influence in Turkey while Britain and France did the same with Greece.
Then crisis came from a rather unexpected direction when on June 28th an assassination attempt was made against archduke Franz Ferdinard in Sarajevo. Cabrinovic was only partially successful as his bomb left Franz Ferdinard heavily wounded but still alive.  Still it was just the pretext certain circles in Vienna, the head of the general staff most notable along them, waited for mounting a "pre-emptive" war against Serbia. Quite unfortunately Russia backed Serbia, Germany reacted by declaring war against France and Russia while invading Belgium on the way and Britain wasn't shy to return the favour declaring war on Germany. The first world war had begun.
The first acts involving the Balkans, short of some 400000 Austrians trying to invade Serbia to ending up heavily defeated in the battle of Cer leaving 50000 prisoners in Serb hands, was Britain appropriating Reshadieh on August 4 much to the chagrin of the Turkish government, which incidentally had signed an alliance with Germany 2 days earlier.  Given that the Greek Helli had sailed late in July from Britain the Turkish government was understandably furious. Thus when the Mittelmeer division of the Reichsmarine entered the Dardanelles chased by British warships it was quite enthusiastically received by the Porte which then claimed that it had bought the ships. This in turn made the Entente furious. Still the escape of the German ships did not result in war right away as certain elements in the Ottoman government made a last ditch attempt at neutrality for the time being. But when the Mittelmeer division, now flying Turkish colours, attacked Russian Black sea ports in October 3 together with the Ottoman navy the Ottomans found themselves in the war.
At the same time Greece had entered into talks over joining the Entente in exchange for land in Asia Minor, recognition of its claim in North Epirus and Cyprus. Plans went underway for a joint strike against the Ottomans in order to force them out of the war based on an earlier plan of the
Greek general staff for forcing the Dardanelles.
While this was enthusiastically supported by certain members of the British war council most notable among them Winston Churchill it still presented considerable difficulties to arrange both due to disagreements among the planners. These ranged from Churchill's proposal for a purely naval expedition, to diplomatic trouble from Tsar Nicholas disagreeing over the participation of Greek troops in the expedition. The military problems were solved to a considerable extend due to lieutenant general Metaxas, head of the Greek general staff and spiritual father of the idea of the Dardanelles expedition.  Nicholas objections were asserted by a vow from Venizelos that the Greek fleet and army would be kept at a distance of 50 miles from Constantinople and perhaps by the increasingly bad
condition in which Russia was finding itself.
Thus March 20th 1915 the defenders of the Dardanelles woken up by cannon as the Greek Vth corps , the first Australian division and the Royal naval division totalling 64000 men assaulted the Gallipoli peninsula defended by 2 Turkish divisions with some 25000 men while the allied fleet assaulted the forts from the sea.
Despite bitter fighting on the Turkish part the defenders were surprised, lacking ammunition and heavily outnumbered. Their position would soon become untenable. By the end of March the allies had cut through on the other side of the peninsula. The surviving Turkish forces in the peninsula led by general Mustafa Kemal retreated in the forts only to get pounded by Greek heavy guns  placed in the heights, naval artillery and fresh allied troops. By April 6th the majority of the forts were either destroyed or captured by the allies by then reinforced by additional British and French units.
The naval operations also proceeded successfully if with heavy casualties. The greatest problem for the allied fleet commanded by admiral August Kerr proved to be the minefields German admiral Uzedom had constructed. Still with the forts getting silenced from the land forces and Turkish field pieces getting either destroyed or forced into the forts the minefields were left uncovered for British and Greek minesweepers to clear. Even so Kerr had to reinforce the crews of the minesweepers with personnel from his ships and took relatively heavy casualties with 2 battleships sunk and 2 more suffering heavy damage. Breaking the Dardanelles defences while not putting Ottomans out of the war put them into more than considerable trouble. The Turkish army still had 11 divisions and around 154000 men in Thrace 2 divisions on the Asia side of the straits as well as some 23 divisions scattered in the rest of the empire. News were hardly good from the other fronts as Yudenits had captured Tabriz and Enver pasa had lost 72000 out of his 90000 men earlier in the winter in Caucasus. There was also the British expedition in Basra that seemed about to advance towards Baghdad.  Enver tried eject the allied forces from Gallipoli using a significant part of his Thracian forces only to suffer grievous casualties without much effect. By April 22nd with the straits securely in allied hands and Enver concentrated most of his forces around Constantinople to defend against the coming allied onslaught. Given the situation the Italian declaration of war or the reaction of the populations of the empire to the news of the forcing of the Dardanelles were just nuisances.
Bulgaria faced a dilemma over going to war or not. And if going to war over choosing sides. Proponents of war won. The side on which it would join was an entirely different matter though.
The central powers were quite liberal with spoils from Greece and Serbia. The allies were rather less liberal only offering Adrianople or relatively more limited gains from Serbia and Greece if Bulgaria declared war on the central powers and not just the Ottomans. It seemed that the allies were winning against the Turks but this wasn't necessarily the case against Germany and Austria Hungary as well. With part of the Greek army tied down in Thrace Bulgaria could potentially launch a fast offensive flanking and destroying the Serbs and then turned on the Greeks together with the Austrian army.
The news of prince Constantine of Greece suffering from heavy pneumonia passed almost unnoticed.
 In OTL Greece, Italy and Turkey all were interested in the ship. Turkey closed the deal close ahead from the Greeks as the 500 million franks loan the Greeks were floating in France suffered some minor delays. Here we have George's connections in franks coming to effect.
 Like the bank paying for the circulation of pamphlets to inflame Turkish peasants against the Greek merchants and bankers who were antagonizing it.
 In OTL the bomb glanced off Franz Ferdinand's arm, bounced off the folded car top and into the street behind them. How possible it is for this to happen under even slightly different circumstances? At a guess about as much as taking the wrong turn and stopping to take the right one 5 feet from Princip. And as in OTL the bomb wounded a lot of people but killed none it is reasonable to let Franz Ferdinard survive. Just not in condition to be able to interfere immediately.
 Nice timing of the alliance for those believing that Turkey joined the central powers just due to the British stopping delivery of her ships. As for Helli, former Rio de Janeiro getting out lets call it is a mix of luck as Helli would normally be ready in July and having the right people, namely sir Basil Zacharov, in the right place.
 Early 1914 in OTL. His original plan called for surprise landing an army corps to overwhelm the defences with the declaration of war delivered at the same time with the landings. Given that any landing force will be mostly Greek, he can also exert some influence in the planing of the operation.
 In the start of the 1st Balkan war Greek artillery was roughly 30% heavy pieces. Or about four times that of France.
 And end surrendering in Kut el Amara but the Ottomans can't know as much.
 August Kerr was head of the British naval mission to Greece, personal friend of Constantine and well connected in the admiralty. All in his favour to lead the expedition. That he was a big proponent of the predominance of light craft is only accidental...
Whether Bulgaria's decision to join the central powers was avoidable
or well advised will remain something of a controversary among historians
viewing it in hindsight. In April 1915 it is less clear and the possibility
of Bulgaria joining the central powers with part of the Greek army in Thrace
is one of the main fears of the Greek general staff. And while the French
and British foreign ministries hope Bulgaria will ente on the Entente side,
Greeks and Serbs are rather less trusting. The Greek army uppon mobilization
deploys on the Bulgarian border and the Serbs also keep whatever units they
can facing the Bulgarians. The Serb flank is partially covered by the Greek
I corps in Stromnitsa potentially threatening a Bulgarian advance towards
Kocani and Istip. Still the Serb army would have to cover the Pirot and
Kiunstedil approaches by itself while holding the Austrians at bay.
The Bulgarian war plan calls for massing on the Serbs first and then turning uppon the Greeks after the Serbs destruction. If succesfull it would make the allied force in the Dardanneles would come next.
While riskier than joining the Entente Berlin was quite lavish with land. Bulgaria stands to nearly double in size in case of victory.
In April 4 Bulgaria declares war against Serbia. The Greek parliament reacts voting for war the same
day and Venizelos is quick to live up to it. The western powers and Russia break diplomatic relations and demand from Bulgaria to cease hostilities. Ferdinard answers to this by declaring war against them in April 5.
Serbia apart from the Bulgarians is facing a typhoid epidemic incapacitating 48000 out of 200000 effectives in April. With 6 out of 10 Bulgarian divisions attacking the Serbs and a hastily launched Austrian attack in the north Putnic is forced to retreat leaving Belgrade to Austrian hands. Despite doing so in good order between casualties and typhoid Serbs and Montenegrins lose nearly a third of their army. Putnic sets up a defensive line on the Kragujevak- Morava -Nis only to be forced back to Zap Morava by the combined Austrian and Bulgarian armies by April 22.
Things are more bleak for the central powers in Bulgaria itself . Facing 4 Bulgarian and 3 Turkish divisions are 12 Greek divisions. While the Greek IV corps ties down the Turks, 9 Greek divisions take the offensive against the Bulgarians. In a repeat of the 2nd Balkan war the Greeks drive the Bulgarians from the border and then take the Kresna and Jumagia passes within 3 weeks destroying 2 out of the 4 Bulgarian divisions but taking some 30 thausand casualties themselves. Greek successes coupled with the Italian entry in the war and growing casualties in the Serb front bring the offensive against Serbia to an end. Nearly half the Serb army and the largest part of Serbia have been lost but Serbia is still in the war.
In April 23 Italy acts upon the news of the forcing of the Dardanelles by declaring war on Austria Hungary and the Ottoman empire. While its contribution against the Ottomans is only token the Italian army launches an immediate major offensive against the Austrians from April 23 to May 7 1915.
Poorly trained and equipped for trench fighting the Italians suffer heavy casualties gaining little ground. Despite this general Luigi Cardona launches a second offensive over the Isonzo from June18th to July 4th , a third from September 18th to October 2, a fourth from October 10th to November 1st and a fifth from November 10th to December 2nd losing 300000 men.
Germany was planning a major offensive in the eastern front together with the Austrians when the Dardanelles operation began. Despite this the Italian entry in the war and the strain put on the Austrians from their renewed Serb offensives the Germans pressed on and the offensive opened in Gorlice in April 27. By September 19th when it was over the Russian army had lost 834000 killed and wounded and 895000 captured.
To some extend in reaction to the German offensive the Entente launched its own attacks in Artois and Champagne which were in general unsuccessful costing 425000 casualties to the French army compared with 165000 for the Germans. The massive casualties put to thoughts the French government especially compared to the rather better results in the Balkans. One of the measures taken was increasing the effort put in development of armor. Whether inter allied politics where the British armor project had the support of first lord of the admiralty Winston Churchill played any role as well was something no French politician would openly admit.
Turkey was suffering the aftershocks of the loss of the Dardanelles. The Young Turks were , determined to fight on. That this was somewhat problematic was first shown when the allied fleet bombarded Constantinople in April 25th while the ODK was unable to defend it. Then starting on April 28th the Entente launched offensives against the Turkish army of Thrace both from the west and Galipoli.
The Turkish corps of Adrianople was forced to retreat into Bulgaria while in the south the Constantinople expeditionary force by now fielding well over 90000 men secured Kesani and started advancing towards Constantinople reaching the Tatalza line by May 4. On May 10 the Allied army assaulted the Tatalza positions while the navy bombarded Constantinople and made landings threatening the defenders flanks. Despite beating back the first allied assault the Turkish forces under increasing pressure and ammunition shortages would collapse by May 25th. Four days later the Australians of the I Australian division and the Cretans of the Greek Vth division were the first christian troops to enter Constantinople after 462 years amidst understandably high enthusiasm among the Greek and Armenian populations of the city and a rather colder response by the muslim population of
With the start of June the crisis of the Ottoman empire came to its peak. The Ottomans had started the war with a bit over 900000 men available in 1914. By the end of the same year they were down to 800000 mostly due to the disastrous offensive Enver had launched on the Caucasus losing 86000 out of his 100000 men. . The Thracian campaign had costed 210000 more lost, captured or unavailable in the case of the Adrianople corps that had retreated into Bulgaria under Ismet pasa . The Russian victory in Sarikamysh early in January had cost a whole corps and the rout in Suez in February more. On top of that came further defeats when the Russians took Khopa and Archawa in the Black sea in early March and then successfully renewed its offensive in the Caucasus in early May.  The Turkish army still had a paper strength of over half a million. But with Yudenits on the move, the British advancing in Iraq and finite amounts of munitions available with the Entente navies in control of the Aegean and the Black sea the Ottoman position was looking grim even without the effects on morale the fall of Constantinople had. Desertions, a severe problem of the Ottoman army even under the best of circumstances, started mounting especially among non Turkish servicemen. They were followed by uprisings varying in size from mere banditry in the case of the Kurds, to guerilla warfare in the case of Pontian Greeks, Laz and Armenians, to revolt among the Arabs. Allied landings in the Ionian coast in July proved the final straw for the Ottoman government that had retreated in Bursa. Enver was assassinated in a palace coup , the young Turks were overthrown and the new government asked for an armistice in July 15. Despite terms closer to unconditional surrender there wasn't much choice but accept. Peace followed in August.
Bulgaria faced its own set of problems. It had taken heavy casualties while failing to destroy either the Greek or the Serb army. By mid June to them were added increasing numbers of British and French troops attacking from Thrace thus involving Bulgaria on a 3 front war. With Austria hard pressed in the Italian and eastern fronts it fell uppon Germany to aid the Bulgarians. Germany having its own problems in the western front and not particularly willing to divert forces from its extremely successful operations in the east did still come with aid albeit on a limited scale. Nevertheless in July the allied army of Thrace successfully attacked from Adrianople advancing along the Ebros and Tundza rivers.
The allies on Russian and Italian insistence proposed to Bulgaria an armistice. The Bulgarians while seriously considering it would decline it for the time being under German promises for a large counterattack in the Balkans as soon as the situation on other allowed. 
Meanwhile Constantine's situation became even worse and by June he was close to death. 
 Attacking over the Caucasus in the middle of winter had something to do with it. But Enver was a great general comparing himself to a certain Corsican.
 In OTL known as Ismet Inonu.
 Not a particularly good time for the Ottomans in OTL even worse in the ATL
 Enver came to power by assassinating the Ottoman foreign minister during the 1st Balkan war and restarting the war only for the Balkan league to finish the Ottoman armies.
 Would Russia try dealing with Bulgaria a few months after it entered the war against it? Perhaps not. On the other hand by this point Russia isn't very happy over Greek and British forces in Constantinople which can play in Bulgarian hands, Britain indifferent and Serbia and Greece have their reasons to agree. In the Serb part most of old Serbia being in Austrian hands and in the Greek part turning the promises given them to actual land annexed.
 Heavy pneumonia same way with OTL. In OTL he was saved by a couple of German surgeons specially sent from Germany for this as the available doctors presumably couldn't do the trick.
part 3.1 Treaty of Galata
Terms of armistice between the Entente and the Ottoman empire
1) The Ottoman empire to surrender all artillery pieces and machine guns
of its forces in the Caucasian, Mesopotamian, Palestinian and western
2) The Ottoman armies in Caucasus, west Asia Minor, Syria and
Mesopotamia to surrender personal weapons with the exception of officers
and such a number of troops that would allow the Turkish army to
maintain order. That number to be agreed uppon by the allied powers and
the Ottoman government.
3) The Ottoman empire to surrender all warships above 200 tons to the
4) Ottoman army to surrender Baghdad , Jerusalem and Damascus to the
5) Ottoman army to leave the Caucasus and surrender Trebizont to Russia.
6) Ottoman army to surrender the kazas of Smyrna and Aivali to the Entente.
7) Ottoman army to move within a distance of 50 km from the coasts of
the sea of Marmara, Bosporus and the Dardanelles.
8) All christians serving in the Ottoman army to be discharged and
allowed safe return to their homes.
Treaty of Galata.
Signed August 30 1915 between the United kingdom of England, Wales,
Scotland and Ireland, the Russian empire, the kingdom of Italy, the
republic of France, the empire of Japan, the kingdom of Greece, the
kingdom of Serbia, the kingdom of Montenegro and the Ottoman empire.
1) The Ottoman empire passes control of Arabia, Mesopotamia, Transjordan
and Palestine to the British empire.
2) The Ottoman empire passes control of Syria and Lebanon to the French
3) The vilayet of Adana ceded to the kingdom of Italy.
4) The vilayet of Adrianople ceded to the Entente. It's final ownership
to be determined by the allies.
5) The vilayet of Aydin ceded to Greece.
6) The vilayet of Constantinople and the sanjaks of Balikesir and
Nicomedeia ceded to the Entente. Final ownership to be determined by the
7) The vilayets of Van and Erzerum ceded to the Russian empire.
8) Russia is given a protectorate over Persian Armenia.
9) Russia is given a protectorate over Persian Kurdistan.
10) All fortifications in the Dardanelles to be dismantled.
11) The Ottoman empire is not allowed to permanently base warships in
the coast of the vilayet of Bursa.
12) No country without a coast in the Black sea is allowed to operate
warships there without the consent of the Russian empire.
17) The Ottoman empire cedes its rights over Cyprus to Britain.
18) Russian ships allowed free passage through the Dardanelles both in
peace and war regardless of the final fate of Constantinople.
19) The kingdom of Trebizont is established. Its king is to be chosen
by the Tsar of Russia from the Greek royal family. The kingdom to be
under Russian protection.
Special protocol over minorities
1) The kingdom of Greece and the Ottoman empire agree to a full exchange
of populations involving all muslims in Greek territory and all Greeks
in Ottoman territory. The population exchange to include the vilayet of
2) The Russian and Ottoman empires agree to an exchange of population
involving all Armenian, Georgian and Miggrelian christians in Ottoman
territory and muslims in the vilayets of Van and Erzerum and the kingdom of Trebizont.
3) All population exchanges to be supervised under a committee with
representatives of the allied and Ottoman governments. Full compensation
for non removable assets to be given.
Cyprus protocol between Britain and Greece.
1) Britain cedes Cyprus to Greece.
2) Greece declares war on Germany.
3) Britain to be given naval facilities in the island of Zakynthos for
Special protocol between Greece and Italy.
1) Italy cedes the Dodecanese to Greece.
2) Italy given naval facilities to the island of Leros and the gulf of
Halicarnassus for 99 yeas.
3) The island of Kastelorizo annexed by Italy.
4) Greece agrees to back Italian claims in Dalmatia.
Protocol between the allied powers over Albania
1) Greek annexation of north Epirus recognized.
2) Italy granted protectorate over Albania.
With Bulgaria hard pressed, the Ottoman empire out of the war and Austria fighting on three fronts the Entente found with a considerable advantage in the Balkans. By the end August French and British material aid to the Serbs and Greeks had allowed both to largely recover from the casualties they had taken the previous months, in the case of the Greeks actually increase the overall size of the army. The Balkan front was further strengthened by an Italian and a Russian expeditionary force. When the Entente took the offensive in early September it had over 700,000 men facing roughly 500,000 Austrians and Bulgarians. By mid October the Austrians had been driven back into Nis and Sofia was within range of Greek and British artillery. Germany reacted shifting over 150,000 men under general Mackensen from the eastern front and counterattacked driving the Serbs and French back to their starting lines before their advance could be checked. Sofia was still under the threat of allied guns. Late in October Russian forces from the Caucasus were landed in Varna opening one more front for the Bulgarians to cover.
Goeben and Breslau were sunk by Russian and Greek battleships covering the landings.
The Ottoman empire or what remained of it was in turmoil in the aftermath of the treaty of Galata. Nationalists were understandably against it and a rival government under Etem bey was set up in Ankara. Ismet in Bulgaria gave his allegiance to the Ankara government. Kemal who might have been the leader of the nationalists remained a prisoner of war in Corsica. Kurdistan went up in revolt as well. Unfortunately for the nationalists the powers arrayed against them were too strong to
defeat. Attacked by Russia, Greece and Italy, while fighting against Kurds and the sultan with little in the way of heavy weapons and ammunition was untenable. With the threat of the Russians and Italians forced additional territorial losses and the Kurds breaking away Etem was forced to come to terms with Bursa early in 1916 and Turkey saw the treaty of Galata applied to the letter. The Kurdish revolt left without external support was crushed by the Turkish army by the end of 1916.
Meanwhile the strategic and diplomatic implications of the forcing of the Dardanelles started becoming felt both by the Entente and the central powers. For the Entente the successes in the east provided both a considerable morale boost when compared with the western and eastern fronts and perhaps more importantly strengthened the elements among policy makers that were against what seemed to be useless slaughter in the west.
For Russia opening the Dardanelles was an immense advantage. First it provided provided an easier route for western supplies to reach it than Vladivostoc or Archangelsk. Still the state of the Russian railroad network diminished up to a point the effects of this and considerable western effort had to me put on improving it. Far more important was the effect on the Russian domestic situation. Pre war more than 40% of the Russian trade went through the Black sea. With the straits on allied hands this trade, especially the very profitable Russian grain exports, could recommence. This allowed both the Russian internal situation to improve and gave the Russian government much needed foreign currency.
From the central powers point of view the developments in the eastern Mediterranean were rather more bleak. In the course of 6 months the central powers had lost Turkey, seen the blockade on Russia being broken and had Greece and then Italy entering the war against them. There was some fear in Berlin that Bulgaria might not hold out for long especially if Bulgaria joined the Entente. Coupled with the apparent failure of the central powers to knock Russia out of the war within 1915 this ended up costing Falkenheyn his position late in 1915 when he was replaced with Paul von Hinterburg.
If anything the new head of the German general staff could see the writing in the wall about as well as its predecessor despite belonging to the total war faction. Hinterburg's first decision was to keep on the defensive in the west shelving Falkenheyn's plans for an attack against Verdun. This left three possible fronts for the central powers to try an offensive. The Balkans were ruled out as it was deemed that a victory there would not achieve decisive results and due to logistical difficulties. The east front was an obvious choice. Still Hinderburg accepted Conrad's idea for a knock out blow against Italy first to be followed by turning on the east.
On the allied part late 1915 and the early part of 1916 in the Balkans was spent improving their logistical situation and consolidating their new holdings in the Ottoman empire. The railroad networks going from the Greek ports, mostly Thessaloniki, to the north were expanded and the same was the case for the road network. Strategically the allies hoped that combined offensives on all fronts in the summer would bring an end to the war.
The AustroGerman offensive in the Trentino came first when in May 15 1916, 6 Austrian and 10 German divisions attacked the Italian 1st army under general Brussati with the support of more than 2000 guns. The results were catastrophic for the Italians. Within 2 days Prinz Eugen's and general Bulow's troops had captured more than 50000 prisoners and advanced almost 18 kilometres. Cadorna quickly shifted half a million troops to meet the AustroGerman advances which combined with Brusilov's offensive in the east stabilized the front by early June as Conrad and Lunerdorf had to pull out troops to meet the Russian advance. Still it
was a major setback for the Italian army who lost 230000 men for half as many for the Austrian and German armies.
In Russia the tsar had taken overall command of the army much to the horror of the stavka. This created a minor problem of providing a new commission for grand duce Nicolai who thus ended replacing Evert in command of the central front. Yudenits was subordinated to Nikolai while most of his former Caucasus army found itself either in the Balkans or enforcing treaty terms on the Ottomans.
Entente offensives opened when in May the Russians launched a series of attacks on the Eastern front. First came Kuropaktin's attack in lake Naroch costing 100,000 casualties for no apparent result. The same could not be said for Brusilov's offensive that followed in the 3rd of June introducing considerably different tactics compared to previous offensives. Started with a massive albeit short artillery bombardment and using for the first time infiltration tactics the Russian southern front rapidly broke through the Austrian defences inflicting horrendous casualties ,capturing over 400,000 prisoners and taking 25000 square kilometres by the time the central powers were able to stabilize the situation.
Finally on June 9th came the attack of the central front, some 2 million men strong, against the German army. While nowhere as successful as the operations of the southern front they were still a considerable success as the Germans already forced to divert their reserves to meet Brusilov offensive had to withdraw with heavy casualties. The Russian offensives kept on till September but with markedly less success than earlier. By then total casualties numbered in the millions.
In the west the French and the British launched a massive offensive against Somme early in July involving 42 French and 26 British divisions. It would turn to a bloodbath accomplishing little. By the end of the battle casualties had mounted to 580000 for the French, 420000 for the British and 890000 for the Germans. Tanks made their first appearance in the battlefield during the battle with the French and the British armies but as As they were dispersed among the units the results
of their use were minimized.  The Italians would also resume their offensives over the Isonzo as soon as they recovered from the Trentino setback. Apart from the number of battles reaching 10 and casualties increasing it accomplished little else.
At sea the Hochseeflotte went out to challenge the Grand fleet in Jutland. While it failed to break the blockade it returned to port having sunk more ships than it had lost. This and some reluctance on Jellicoe's part to risk his fleet left the impression of German victory. 
Romania's entered the war in July, in time for the allied Balkan offensive. In Transylvania the Romanians would make only modest gains at heavy cost. When reinforcements arrived the Austrians were able to check the Romanian advance and even gained back some ground. In the Balkans with German forces rushed to meet the Russian advances and pressure on the Somme the weight mostly fell on the Bulgarians and the Austrian Balkan group, which Austria could ill afford to reinforce given her troubles in the Carpathians and the Romanian and Italian fronts. The Entente enjoying a near 2 to 1 advantage in men and an even larger one in material attacked both in Serbia and Bulgaria. The Austrians lost Nis to French, Serbs and Italians but the decisive blows were delivered on the Bulgarians with Greek and British empire forces attacking from the south, Russian forces from the east and now Romanians from the north. The Bulgarian army fought back with determination inflicting heavy casualties on the Entente but by the end of July it had been bled white. By early August it had practically collapsed under the pressure and was in full retreat. Sofia fell to the Greeks in August 6 and Plovdiv fell to the Australian light horse 4 days later. By the same time the Russians had taken Targoviste and Omurtag and were threatening Tyrnovo where the Bulgarian government had retreated. With disaster pending tsar Ferdinard of Bulgaria abdicated and the new Bulgarian government called for a cease fire while it still had an army on the field. At Russian prompting this was accepted and Bulgaria signed a separate peace early in October.
The Bulgarian surrender meant further deterioration of the central powers position in the Balkans. Attacked both from Vidin and Nis in October the Austrians had to retreat from Serbia by the end of the year and Belgrade was liberated for the third time in December 1916. At a quarter of a million casualties the Entente success in the Balkans had come at a steep cost. Still central powers casualties had been worse, results visible and compared to the bloodbaths elsewhere the quarter million lost low by comparison. Philipe Petain the commander of the French army in the Balkans would become something of a national hero back in France.
By the end of 1916 Britain had lost 420000 men in the Somme to no result and saw the Grand Fleet failing against the Hochseeflotte, while suffering from submarine warfare. This resulted in the Asquith government's fall late in the year in favour of David Lloyd George. In the admiralty Jellicoe was replaced by Beatty in command of the Grand fleet. Fortunately for the fleet at large and unfortunately for Beatty's former command certain members of his staff were left behind.
For the French Somme and the casualties suffered was a shock. Comparisons with the French armies in the east or Brusilov's successes even if unfair were made. The government hadn't relieved Joffre in 1915 despite the hecatombs that his offensives had proved. Now he was unceremoniously shacked and joined by some of the most notorious commanders like Nivelle.  In his place Ferdinard Foch assumed command of the French army. Foch initiated changes in both artillery and infantry tactics and his plans for the coming 1917 offensives placed great emphasis on the use of tanks, in view of their relative success in Somme and continued technical developments. The French also benefited from contact with the Russians as the tactics introduced by Brusilov found their way into France. 
Russia had gained the hugest allied victory of the war. It had also lost 5.5 million men between 1914 and the end of 1916 and the shortcomings of the tsar were apparent. The economic situation had improved to a considerable extend when the Black sea trade had resumed but the Russian rail network and economy in general despite allied help was seriously strained by the war. This resulted in a "velvet revolution" in February 1917 as the duma with the help from the army and members of the court taking over power from the Tsar with widespread demonstrations in St. Petersburg serving as a pretext for its actions. Nicholas unable to compromise with his loss of power would later abdicate in favour of Mikhail.  The change in government calmed down what internal discontent there was and unburdened the Russian war effort from Nicholas. Alexandr Kerensky became the new head of the government. Russian morale kept high.
Austria Hungary was coming close to collapse with massive casualties on the battlefields, defeats on all fronts and a worsening domestic situation. Franz Ferdinard coming to the throne late in 1916 understood as much. After failing to get Wilchelm join him in a bid for a negotiated peace Franz Ferdinard decided to send feelers to the Entente for a negotiated peace. Whatever members of his government tried to hinder this were promptly dismissed and Franz Ferdinard started secret peace negotiations with the French government.
Germany was in a relatively better situation than Austria. Still her army had suffered heavily during the Somme offensive in the west and the Russian offensives in the east. The danger of an Austrian collapse made things worse as this would leave Germany alone to the full weight of the Russian armies in the east and the possibility of one more front in the south. Bethmann Hollveg and the reichstaig were in favour of a negotiated peace. The army wasn't yet of the same opinion although certain commanders including the kronprinz were also in favour of peace. The emperor was indecisive.
 Bit earlier than OTL for the French and in greater numbers for the British. In Britain Churchill has more political capital to burn post Gallipoli while the French program gets accelerated both on account of the British doing as much and the non existence of Verdun allowing more resources for the preparation of the Somme offensive...
 Essentially the battle is unchanged from OTL. Still I assume Jellicoe is just a bit more reluctant as he has a few less ships, for example Agincourt. From there to the Germans returning to port believing from top to bottom they have won doesn't takes much. Just Scheer getting similar opinions with his crews.
 Nivelle got his name by...attacking in Verdun no matter how this increased French casualties. As Verdun never existed and Nivelle being Nivelle his results in Somme would probably be expectable...
 Or the French army starts resembling more the late 1917-1918 army earlier on. In OTL the French had developed their own proto-stormtroops tactics by early 1917, at least at the small unit level and the creeping barrage for artillery. In the ATL the French army launched a major offensive in Somme during 1916, which would help evolving the tactics the hard way and in addition can get feedback from the Russians. Couple Somme with developments of tanks already being ahead and when the 1917 offensives come tank development will be well in advance.
 Less discontent seems probable with the better economic and military situation of Russia. Still there is going to be a lot of it. As the duma conspiracy existed it is not difficult to see a less extreme February revolution ending in the duma and the generals on top. In the long term the coalition on the top will probably prove problematic but for the duration of the war the new government is more interesting in winning it, instead of internal backstabbing.
Part 4.1 The Bulgarian peace settlement
Armistice agreement between Entente and Bulgaria
1) The Bulgarian army to demobilize within two weeks.
2) All Entente military personnel captured by the Bulgarian army to be immediately released.
3) The Turkish corps of Adrianople to be disarmed and interned within 7 days.
4) Bulgaria surrenders control of its railways to the Entente for the duration of the war with Germany.
5) For the duration of the war in Europe the Entente to maintain garrisons in Bulgaria. Such garrisons to leave within a month at the latest from the signing of a peace treaty ending the European war.
6) Entente forces allowed free movement through Bulgaria for the duration of the war.
Treaty of Athens between Entente and Bulgaria.
1) New border between Serbia and Bulgaria to be the Bulgarian western border before the 1st Balkan war.
2) Romania keeps Dobrutsa.
3) The area of Dedeagats annexed by Greece. 
Protocol over minorities between Greece and Bulgaria.
The kingdom of Greece and the kingdom of Bulgaria agree to a mutual exchange of Bulgarian and Greek populations in their respective territories. Non movable assets of both groups to be liquidated and in case they are not equal to be compensated.
 Bulgaria gets her Neully borders in effect.
The German army retreated in March 1917 to what the allies came
to call the Hindenburg line. This and the February revolution in Russia
set off the timing of allied offensives as commanders in the west front
postponed their offensives for May, both to wait out the Russians and to
adapt plans to the new front. In the meantime the peace initiative started
by Austria Hungary kept gaining ground. Germany inevitably noticed what
was going on between its ally and the Entente. While not yet actually wishing
for peace the German government at least talked for as much with US mediation.
Still the terms it offered showed that either Berlin wasn't serious about
peace yet or suffered from serious illusions. Plans of unrestricted submarine
warfare were kept back for the time being much to the chagrin of Hintenburg.
Peace initiative or not military operations were continuing. In May 1917 the allies launched a series of offensives on all fronts to put pressure on Germans and Austrians and hopefully force at least Austria to peace. In Italy the 11th battle of the Isonzo ended costing 157000 Italians for 75000 Austrian. While it gained more ground than the previous 10 offensives it was nowhere near a spectacular success.
In the Balkans the Entente army, by now numbering over 60 Greek, Serb, Montenegrin, British, French, Italian and Russian divisions, supported by tanks and aircraft faced 12 German and 16 Austrian divisions. The Entente launched a 2 pronged offensive driving into Bosnia and the Banat and inflicting heavy casualties on the Austrians. Tens thousands of mostly Slav soldiers would surrender to the Serbs and the Russians during the offensive.
In the east came what was aptly called the second Brusilov offensive. While less spectacular than the one in the previous year Brusilov's 80 divisions struck a mixed force of 6 German and 40 Austrian divisions and forced it back in disarray at a cost of 350000 Austrian casualties. In the centre and the north grand duce Nikolai and Yudenits, who had replaced Kuropaktin, were met with more limited success against the Germans but kept them hard pressed nevertheless. Further south the Romanians attacked in Transylvania straining Austrian resources more but suffering heavily.
In the west the British launched an attack towards Arras supported by over 600 tanks used en masse and the French in Cemin des Dames with a bit over 1000 tanks. Large gaps were opened in the German lines by the tanks and the infiltration tactics the French had copied from the Russians. By the time the German army had plunged the gaps the French had gained 2000 square km and advanced nearly 60 km in some places.  The British had done less spectacularly but still quite well. German casualties were exceeding half a million for slightly lower losses on the allied side. The German army's morale was still high and the Germans had fully checked the allied advance in the end but at heavy cost.
The offensives were the last straw for the Austrian government which correctly believed that suffering a repetition of 1916 in the Balkans and the east would mean the end of the dual monarchy, while Germany would not be able to help. Germany after the losses it had taken in the west became also more positive to the possibility of a peace.
Under the situation both the German and Austrian navies attempted sorties against Jutland straits and the Otrando barrage respectively. The central powers did not have much to lose in case of defeat but possible victories would be at least a considerable morale boost. The Hochseeflotte's attempt ended in the second battle of Jutland with 6 of its battleships destroyed for 5 RN ships. The Kriegsmarine was more successful in its sortie against the Otranto barrage losing the Svent Istvan in exchange for Dante Aliyevery and Conte di Cavour before turning back in the face of Greek and French battleships coming to the Italian aid.
With Austria-Hungary about to sign a separate cease fire late in June Germany was plunged into political crisis between peace supporters and the total war faction that was heading the army under Hintenburg and Lundendorf. The solution to the crisis came from the alliance in the Reichstag between Bethman Holveg and the pro peace opposition led by Erzberger and Seideman. Hinenburg was unceremoniously sacked early in July and Lundendorf arrested when he tried to move against the government. Armistice would be signed in July 20th 1917 followed by peace negotiations in Geneva. The final peace treaty would be signed in November 1917.
 The St Michel offensive in reverse essentially.
Part 5.1 Treaty of Geneva
Signed between the British empire, the republic of France, the Russian
empire, the kingdom of Italy, the empire of Japan, the kingdom of Belgium,
the kingdom of Serbia, the kingdom of Greece, the kingdom of Montenegro,
the kingdom of Romania the kingdom of Portugal and the empires of Germany
and Austria Hungary.
1) Alsace Lorraine returned to France.
2) German African colonies returned to Germany with the exception of Namibia. Namibia annexed to South Africa.
3) Galicia and Bukovina ceded to Russia.
4) An independent kingdom of Poland is established to include congress Poland and part of Galicia. Polish kings to come from the house of Romanov with first king being grand duke Nikolai.
5) Novi Pazar, Bosnia and Krajna ceded to Serbia.
6) South Tyrol and Trieste ceded to Italy
7) Romanian speaking parts of Transylvania and banat ceded to Romania.
8) Tsingtao ceded to Japan. German Pacific colonies ceded to powers occupying them at the time of the treaty.
9) Vilayet of Adrianople annexed to Greece.
Treaty over the status of Constantinople.
1) An independent state of Constantinople under the protection of the Russian empire is established.
2) Russian emperor becomes head of the new state.
3) The demilitarization of the straits to be observed by all powers.
4) An international protection force not to exceed 50,000 will be stationed in Constantinople. Participation in the force to be as follows:
5) The forces not to have artillery of calibre larger than 155 mm. Russia has the right to base naval and air units in Constantinople to the extend it considers needed to defend the state. Other treaty powers forces never to exceed 1 capital ship and 8 ships total per power. These forces are not allowed entry into the Black sea without Russian consent.
Part 5.2 War statistics
Combat deaths by nation
Dual Monarchy 853,000
Ottoman Empire 87,000
General total 5,033,000
War costs in millions of 1913 dollars
Dual Monarchy 4,500
General total 47,200
Industrial output of the Great powers in 1918 (Britain's industrial output in 1900 equals 100)
Austria Hungary 18.2
to parts 5-10