One could say that the seeds of the Anglo-German-Batavian Triple Alliance so frequently seen in the 20th century – most notable in the Global War of 1901-1903, lay in the London Treaty signed in 1839. While neither the Prussians nor the British had quite come to terms by that time, they saw a mutual enemy in Catholicism, being the religion of the Irish, French and Austrians. The rapprochement between the two in the period 1840-1889 ultimately ensured the North Sea Alliance that was founded in 1889. By then, the Prussians had unified the German nation under their own crown after a short but bloody war against the Austrians. This also led to the Batavians to ally themselves with Germany, as the Austrian loss in the war had tied that nation closely to France and thus also the Netherlands, Batavia’s traditional enemy.
Meanwhile, the Russians had signed their own pact with Germany, with the interest of repressing the Polish rebels and separatists in both nations. During the early years this pact also included Austria, with their sizeable Polish minority in Galicia. However, Austria officially left the pact at the end of the Prussian-Austrian war, having de facto shut down diplomatic relations with them at the outbreak of the war. Austria and France signed an alliance in the late 1890s, shortly after the Triple Alliance.
France and Germany never officially clashed with each other before the Global War, though they remained on bad footing with each other due to nationalistic issues. Namely the Prussian (German) annexation of Luxembourg in 1860, German interests in north eastern France, along with some colonial disputes in Africa.
It was however not the French or Germans that would start the war, it was the British. The British invasion of Venezuela in 1901 called for an American intervention by means of the Monroe Doctrine. As a ceremonial gesture Germany sent a small number of ground troops to help with the defence of Canada and a few ships for the blockade of USA. France on the other hand, being misinformed about the German intentions, saw this as their chance to strike at them with the goals of annexing Luxembourg and the Rhineland while the Austrians would attack from the east with their goal of seizing Silesia. What they did not expect, however, was that this act would make Russia declare war on France, Austria, and the Netherlands. It appeared no single continent would be spared from this Global War.
While the British forces were forced on the retreat early on by the Americans in Canada, they soon stabilised the front in Ontario and Quebec with the help of reinforcements from the Home Islands. In addition, the American mainland was blockaded by the Royal Navy and the Kaiserliche Marine. In Europe, Russia and Germany quickly ran over Austria and stood at the gates of Vienna within mere weeks. A brutal occupation would follow for the next 1˝ years while the bulk of the army was sent west to liberate Batavia and invade the Netherlands and France. The French would not fall so easily however, and it took about a year before the Germans came to a breakthrough. After about 3 years of being blockaded, the Americans sued for peace and thus the war came to end.
Finished on February 2nd, 2012