So, my alternate timeline, I decided to have it start during the War of 1812. But in order for my alternate timeline to work as planned, I need Russia to become allies with France under certain conditions.

Alternate Timeline

So the War of 1812 is elongated so instead of lasting the 3 years it did in our timeline, it lasts 5 years.

The British are already at war with the French during this time. But part of Napoleon's army is sent to the South. The French are allies with the South. Here is the French empire at the time:

enter image description here

So, no reason why part of Napoleon's army can't be sent to the South since France has dominated Europe at this point. Except the Royal Navy which would likely obliterate Napoleon's army.

The British significantly hurt the North. In fact the North gets so much attention that the British don't really battle with France even though they are technically at war with France. Russia is also this way in the Napoleonic Wars for the most part. France is technically at war with Russia but Russia just acts as an observer state for the most part.

After 5 years, there have been times when the French were dominant in North America and times when the British were dominant in North America. The Americans were primarily against the British but they didn't mind France so much, especially in the South where they are allies with France. France and the UK sign a peace treaty.

This treaty allows the French army that allied with the Americans in the South to stay in the South and spread Parisian French throughout the South. It evolves into American French over the years and becomes co-official with American English. The treaty also promises that the British won't hurt the north as long as they get to integrate Seattle Bay into Canada. There is a special part of the treaty for Napoleon and his family. Instead of being exiled in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, they will be sent to the South. The South, since it is allies with the French, welcomes Napoleon and his family and lets Napoleon become the first King of the South.

By this time, parts of the French Empire were lost and Napoleon has been defeated at Waterloo. But France has pretty much its modern border at this point:

enter image description here

But the North and the South are now separate countries. The capital of the South is Lafayette, Louisiana, the most French city in the South. The capital of the North moves from Washington D.C to Philadelphia, the historic capital of the USA so that the capital is not so close to the other country that it could easily be conquered.

Why Russia is Needed

So I figured Napoleon would probably send around 20,000 troops to account for the Royal Navy and death from natural causes at sea. Russia would, if it became allies with France, probably send around 100,000 troops for those reasons + protecting Napoleon and his army. Now the Russian Navy has never been all that big because the seas it needs for a navy either freeze up(the one by St. Petersburg and the other sea closer to Korea both freeze), or would be controlled by the Ottomans which wouldn't let Russians through(the Black Sea).

So the only feasible way to get those 100,000 Russian troops to protect the French Army would be to send them by land, to France. A feasible route would be something like this:

enter image description here Very few mountains in the way on this route.

France would need to build all the ships for carrying both the Russian Army for protection and the French Army. But what I am wondering(besides the number of Russians who would need to stay behind for 5 years which I will ask about in a separate question) is how close or far the ships carrying the Russian Army would have to be to the ships carrying Napoleon and his army to protect the French Army enough for the majority of it to actually arrive at their destination in North America and would Russia ally with France if they knew the Royal Navy was a big threat to France if the French Army even tried to leave Europe?


Okay, someone asked how the Russian Army could protect the French Army from the Royal Navy. Well I was thinking about having all the ships move as a single unit and being close enough that all that the Royal Navy can see are Russian troops and thus Napoleon and his troops are safely hidden from the Royal Navy.

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    $\begingroup$ You're going to have to address the basic reasons why Napoleon was consistently targeted by the other major powers of Europe. British money bribing other countries to unite against him was one reason: his revolution wrecking the Bourbon monarchy is a very bad precedent in a Europe dominated by absolute monarchs. The big one, though, is geopolitics, specifically the balance of power: by 1812, France controlled too much of Europe. Its mere existence with such an empire threatened all other powers in Europe due to the threat that it could overpower everybody else at once and take it all over. $\endgroup$ – Palarran May 13 '18 at 3:58
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    $\begingroup$ Please edit the question, because it is at the same time too long and quite unclear. For other readers: the 1812 war was a limited conflict between the USA and the UK; it ended with status quo ante bellum. By "North" and "South" the inquirer means the northern and southern parts of the USA. Why would Napoleon (!) and Russia (!!) become involved in a war in North America is not explained. Note that by 1812 the French no longer had a capability to challenge the British fleet; the 1805 battle of Trafalgar had settled that. $\endgroup$ – AlexP May 13 '18 at 8:56
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    $\begingroup$ Wondering why you cannot simply move the war to 1808. Assuming that you handwave the non-existence of a capable French fleet, the French Empire was actually allied with Russia from 1807 to 1810 or 1811. $\endgroup$ – AlexP May 13 '18 at 8:58
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with @AlexP: it needs to be clarified in the question which war of 1812 the OP means and that North and South are those of US. I thought briefly about sending French army to Spain. $\endgroup$ – Oleg Lobachev May 13 '18 at 16:02
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    $\begingroup$ The situation in this alternate history is very confusing, it would help a lot if you clarified the current situation rather than how it came about. But the real head scratcher is how the Russian Army is going to protect the French Army against the Royal Navy? They'd just be men in vulnerable troop transports. France needs a navy, not an army, to fight the Royal Navy. $\endgroup$ – Schwern May 14 '18 at 5:59

So, I am checking up more details on Tilsit peace (of 1807) and its aftermaths that lead to the French-Russian war of 1812.

  • The alliance of France and Russia against Britain was a secret part of the peace treaty that never went public at that time. The Russian society perceived the treaty as not really benefitting their country.
  • 1808 and 1810 Napoleon wanted to marry a Russian princess to cement the peace (and to gain more legality, he was not a long-standing monarch), the offers were declined. Napoleon went on to marry a girl from Austria, which was seen as an alliance against Russia.
  • 1811 in danger of a Polish uprising, Russia moved some troops which was not kindly seen by Napoleon. It is believed that by 1811 Napoleon was planning a war with Russia.
  • Russian wheat exports were severely harmed by the Tilsit treaty.
  • The very existence of Poland as a state was not seen as preferable by Russia, but Poland was reinstalled as a state by Napoleon.
  • By end of 1810 the possibility of a war was discussed by diplomats, by 1811 it was seen as inevitable by Russian ambassador in France.
  • In May 1812 the then-current Russian-Turkish war ends.

So, the window of opportunity is probably closed by 1810. An acceptance of Napoleon's proposal to a Russian princess in 1808 (for whatever reason) might fork a very different development of events. To backup up politics by economy: an improvement of wheat exports and a tighter grip on a blockade of the Britain would surely cement the French-Russian connections even more.

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Russia and France were on very friendly terms right until Napoleon attacked Russia. @AlexP mentions the Treaties of Tilsit. Lev Tolstoy in War and Peace describes how Russian nobility very much respected and admired France, spoke French over Russian, and were very much shocked by the sudden war. So, if Napoleon remembers that Russia is cold, and decides not to attack it, they're allies.

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  • $\begingroup$ Until Austerlitz, you mean. Russian cavalry troops heroically charged French infantry in an act of collective suicide after the battle was already lost - and Russian nobility never forgave loosing so many of their own in that charge. $\endgroup$ – Eth May 15 '18 at 12:00

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