Blue Water

From DipWiki

Any opening sending the Trieste fleet to the Adriatic Sea. The von Metzke Blitz (a.k.a. the Italian Attack) is recognized as a variant of the Blue Water Opening.


Also known as the Italian Attack, this is one example of the many fully committal attacks that can be launched in Spring 1901, in this case by Austria on Italy. As such it is a suitable contrast with the Hedgehog opening. If Italy opens with A Rom-Nap, he's lost Venice -- though the Balkans are for Russia and Turkey to carve up. This opening is invariably popular with Turkey, Italy's perennial rival in the Mediterranean, but is usually regarded as one of the more "bizarre" openings. Being Conrad von Metzke's favourite Austrian opening, it is known as the von Metzke Blitz or the von Metzke Opening. Some claim that the poor statistics for Austria in the early days of the hobby are due in part to Conrad's penchant for both Austria and this opening. The Gamer's Guide to Diplomacy says, "This seemingly suicidal set of orders has on rare occasions given good results. These orders might be used in the special circumstance that Austria is allied with Russia and Turkey. The alliance strategy would call for the rapid destruction of Italy in order to hit France and break into the Atlantic. Even so, Austria is usually foolish to give up Serbia."


Manus Hand's Fall 1901 continuation of the Blue Water Opening has Austria virtually forcing himself into Italy's Lepanto convoy chain by the creation of a perceived threat to Venice that forces Italy to take Tunis by fleet, vacating the Ionian Sea. The Austrian (who opened to the Adriatic) sails to the Ionian in Fall of 1901 to be the victim of an arranged dislodgement by the Italian fleets in Naples and Tunis. Austria's fleet then surprises Turkey by retreating eastward to form part of the convoy chain that carries the Italian army to Anatolia. Described in an article in The Pouch Zine by Manus Hand and in a follow-up article by Derek Pillie.


Named by Iain Forsyth, this Austro-Russian opening sends Budapest to Rumania, followed in the fall by a Russian convoy of A Rum-Ank. The Warsaw army is sent to Galicia as Springtime camouflage.


Edi Birsan's take-charge opening for Austria: in Fall, Serbia goes for Greece, the other army is sent to Serbia, and the Austrian fleet moves to the Ionian Sea. This gives Austria a more forward position for Spring 1902, at the risk of losing Greece.


This Fall Austro-Italo-German continuation of the Blue Water Opening was named by Dan Abbott after Kaiser Wilhelm II's sending the German gunboat Panther to Africa in 1911. The opening presents a combined front by the Central Powers (A/G/I) in an attempt to guarantee control of Africa and the Gibraltar block by controlling the Mediterranean. To do this, the rivals Mediterranean powers (France and Turkey) must be taught a lesson. In Spring, Austria opens to pressure the Ionian, while Italy does a Swiss Lepanto and Germany opens to Burgundy and Holland. The pure Panther sees occupation of Serbia and Kiel in Spring 1901, but other variations are possible, which also put pressure on Russia.

In Fall, the Italian army in Apulia is convoyed to Albania by the Austrian fleet, while Italy takes Tunis, and both Germany and Italy continue to harass France in Marseilles, Burgundy, and Belgium. While France is occupied by pressure on his entire eastern border, Turkey sees two hostile fleets coming at him. The remaining two powers, England and Russia, should be pleased by the opening. Russia is able to not only get in on the Turkish party but also appeased by Germany's lack of Scandinavian force. England is also satisfied with the Scandinavian lines and can help out with France.


Allen Wells' name for the Austro-Turkish opening based on A Vie-Gal, A Bud-Rum, A Con H, A Smy-Arm, F Ank-Bla. The key here is A Con H which, by eliminating Turkey's 1901 risk to Serbia, permits Austria to move safely to Rum. Discussed in issue 29 of Diplomacy World.