2022 Turtledoves - Best Early 20th Century Timeline Poll

The Best Early 20th Century Timeline Is...

  • Osman Reborn; The Survival of Ottoman Democracy; @सार्थक (Sārthākā)

    Votes: 106 26.0%
  • Munich Shuffle: 1938-1942; @Garrison

    Votes: 82 20.1%
  • It's A Long Way to Nagasaki: The Anglo-Japanese War; @SealTheRealDeal

    Votes: 58 14.2%
  • Of Lost Monkeys and Broken Vehicles; @Lascaris

    Votes: 48 11.8%
  • Der Kampf: The Rise and Fall of the Austrian Führer; @Tanner151

    Votes: 82 20.1%
  • The Rainbow. A World War One on Canada's West Coast Timeline; @YYJ

    Votes: 49 12.0%
  • A Better Rifle at Halloween; @diesal

    Votes: 40 9.8%
  • A Day In July: An Early 20th Century Timeline by @Zulfurium

    Votes: 70 17.2%
  • Eassai en Guerre: an FFOL-inspired TL; @spkaca

    Votes: 36 8.8%
  • For Want of A Sandwitch, A Franz Ferdinand Lives Wikibox TL by @MaskedPickle

    Votes: 43 10.5%
  • War Makes for Strange Bedfellows - A Second World War Timeline; @BurkeanLibCon

    Votes: 22 5.4%
  • The Forge of Weyland; @Astrodragon

    Votes: 60 14.7%
  • The Pale Horse: The Northwest Montana Insurgency and its Aftermath (1987-2002); @XTrapnel

    Votes: 38 9.3%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .
So its this time of year again huh? Well, time for a blurb then.......

Osman Reborn; The Survival of Ottoman Democracy

"On September 29, 1911, the Kingdom of Italy declared war on the Ottoman Empire."
"It is imperative that the Ottoman fleet take action whenever and wherever it can to stave off the Italian threat to Tripolitania and Cyrenaica."
"A Tiger, no matter how old, can still pounce and bite."
"If Italy dares back down from an honorable peace, then I, within my rights as the Foreign Minister of the Sublime Porte can ask the Sultan - also the Caliph - to declare Jihad against Italy. And he will respond favorably to me - that I can assure you, Effendi di San Giuliano."

"Europe is at each other's throats, and the Serbs, Montenegrins, and Bulgarians have invaded the Ottoman Balkans!"
"The Lion of the Balkans has broken the Serbs at Kumanovo!"
"Shkoder is our fate and our grave, but it will not be our shame!"
"The Spectre of Communism lingers in Bulgaria."

"Give me the French, or give me death!"
"Millions dead and for what? A few scraps of uninhabited mountains in the middle of nowhere?"
"This is not peace. This is not peace at all. All you have done is recreated the scene for a rematch, greater than any war ever before."

"Not even eight years since the end of the Great War, and Europe is already heading towards another conflict. Italy stinks of Communism, Spain descends into anarchy, France tussles and fights amongst itself, Germany fallen to the irredentists, Bavaria stands precariously, Danubia tries to rein in its internal malcontents, the British and the Ottomans band together against the relentless ambitions of the Russians. It will only take one spark to light it up all over again."

Sick Man, Bygone, Near-Dead........that's what they whispered about the Ottoman Empire, beyond its borders, and indeed even within. But most ignored the potential that lay underneath as the ideals of the 1908-09 Revolution brought forth a glorious democracy for the nation, shedding the decadent autocracy of the past. In that ignorance, Libya was deemed an easy target by the Italians. They deemed wrong, and Italy was forced to humiliatingly sign a treaty of peace, with the Ottomans winning the Italo-Turkish War. What may have been a death spiral for the Ottomans - with weakness against the Italians leading to the Balkan Wars leading to the extinguishment of Ottoman Democracy leading to the horrible Genocides of the Greeks, Armenians, and Assyrians - is avoided, as the Ottomans cement their nascent representative democracy. And suddenly, the entire history of Europe - and consequently the World is changed. Greco-Ottoman Rapprochement? Austria successfully reforming? Sixtus Affair succeeding? Imperial Russia surviving? Irish Home Rule being achieved? The American 2 Party System shattered? Latin America being more successful? South America being more present in the setup for the Great Conflicts? An Iranian Rennaissance? An Early Chinese Resurgence? New Cultural Shifts? And much much more? Its all here.

"Men, I am not ordering you to attack. I am ordering you to DIE."
Captain Mustafa Kemal Pasha, during the Siege of Tobruk (1911-12).


Okay I shall put up a small sample/blurb:
Munich Shuffle 1938-1942
On the 17th Chamberlain was flying back to London from his second trip to Germany. Neither had produced satisfactory results, which was all but inevitable given that a satisfactory result for Hitler was the outbreak of war. What Chamberlain’s intentions were at this point is uncertain, though it seems likely that he was still disposed to try again and perhaps offer greater concessions than those that had already caused some alarm in the cabinet. Whatever the Prime Minister’s intentions they were rendered irrelevant as the Lockheed 14 Super Electra carrying him made its final approach to land at Hendon Aerodrome and suffered a mechanical failure. As is all too often the case in such accidents eyewitness accounts were confused about the exact sequence of events, some claiming to have seen fire, smoke, or something falling off the Electra as it descended...
...Disregarding the cause of the crash the central fact was that the Prime Minister had survived. Chamberlain had a broken leg and most seriously an ugly gash across the face that would cost him the sight in his left eye in addition to a plethora of cuts and bruises. Some at the time saw Chamberlain’s survival as an act of providence. Others, particularly after the war, saw it as a punishment for hubris, what is not in doubt is that fate of Europe was hanging on how London, Paris, and Berlin reacted to this new twist in the Sudetenland crisis...

From this single event the course of WWII is changed, with Britain entering the conflict better armed and prepared than in our history.​
Here is my own blurb, the prelude to Der Kampf: The Rise and Fall of Austrian Führer.

“A plague has been loosed upon the continent and it comes in the form of a failed Austrian artist.”
-George Lloyd, Head of the House of Lords, 1939

"With the outbreak of war between the United Kingdom and the Japanese Empire, I advise we remain steadfast and monitor the situation. Our friends in the Kuomintang are eager for more advisors, machine tools and heavy equipment in the joint efforts to modernize their country and military. It is my belief, Herr Generalfeldmarschall, that we should provide these to ensure they do not fall victim to Japanese aggression, or worse, the Communists. Please relay my suggestions to the Chancellor at your earliest convenience."
-Lieutenant General Alexander von Falkenhausen, advisor to Chiang Kai-shek, 1940

“The Germans were an ever-present threat, especially after the restoration, but little did I know that the true threat to Europe would come not from the Berlin but rather Vienna.”
-Brigadier General Charles de Gaulle, Commander-in-Chief Armée d’Afrique, 1941

"They think they have broken us but this is a lie spread by their silver tongued propagandists. Breslauer and Pavolini tell their people that we are defeated, that we have been "relocated." Lies upon lies. Hear me, my comrades! Today I promise you that our people and our beliefs will survive this war! I promise to you, my brothers and sisters, that we shall march into Belgrade and cast down the Kruckenkreuz and reclaim our homeland!"
-Marshal Josip Tito, Leader of the Yugoslav Partisans, 1944

+ + +

“In history there are the defeated and the victor, the conquered and the conqueror, the vanquished and the triumphant. In the Great War our beloved country was defeated by the poor leadership of the Hapsburgs, the ethnic conflict that divided us so terribly into petty squabbles, and the Judeo-Bolshevik forces that sabotaged our nation from within while besetting upon us from without like locusts.

For Austria to not only return to but supersede its former position of power in Europe it must unite the lands of the former empire under the rule of Vienna. Not as an empire ruled by bluebloods and so-called ‘products of high breeding’, as one’s birth into the aristocratic ranks does not gift one strength or credential as so many have erroneously believed throughout history, but rather one’s blood of superior racial stock tempered by war and the struggle against the forces that seek to undermine our nation and its people. Territory once lost must be returned, whether by force of arms or strokes of a pen.

United under the principles and goals of the Party, this Movement shall seize the reins of power and right the wrongs of the past whilst ensuring our dominance in a Europe currently laden with undesirables and damnable ideologies. Only through the cleansing fire of Social Nationalism can we rise like a phoenix from the ashes and reclaim our position as a great power in the world."
-Preamble to The Struggle, Adolf Hitler
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Ah advertising time.

Of Lost Monkeys and Broken Vehicles

"It is perhaps no exaggeration to remark that a quarter of a million persons died of this monkey’s bite." Sir Winston Churchill The World Crisis, Vol. 4 about the death of king Alexander of Greece, to the bite of a herbivorous monkey in a country where monkeys exist only as imported pets.

So thanks to slight changes a few months earlier, Alexander fails to meet his monkey. Liberals win the October 1920 Greek legislative elections, Venizelos remains firmly in control, Greece remains firmly allied to Britain (and France) and the last conflict of the Great War ends with the defeat of the Turkish nationalists in 1921 and the treaty of Chantilly.

Fast forward to world war 2. The year is 1941. Continental Europe is entirely occupied by the Axis. Well not entirely... Allied armies are still holding out in a small corner of it, Greece below Thermopylae. In Turkey Mustafa Kemal did much to peacefully reverse the losses of the Great War and rebuild Turkish armies for the eventual showdown with the Greeks before his death in 1939. Now that showdown has come, with Turkey joining the Axis and Turkish armies fighting the Allies from the Caucasus mountains, to the plains of Iraq and Syria, to the siege lines of Smyrna.

What happens next? Stay tuned...
Aha! A sanctioned self-promotion thread!

It's A Long Way To Nagasaki: The Anglo-Japanese War is the byproduct of me going stir-crazy during the first wave of COVID-19. It is primarily about the (sub?) titular conflict between between the UK and Japan after an IJA officer does IJA officer things during the 1938 Canton Operation. However, it is a globe spanning timeline with significant butterflies for basically everywhere, yes, even South America. Who will win in the battle for the Indo-Pacific? What will be the consequences of the UK's absense from continental affairs in 1939? Will the IJA and IJN wipe each other out over their petty rivalry? These questions and more form the basis for the timeline. Generally, I've done my best to neither wank either the side or artificially impose some balance between the two. My main intent is to write a plausible timeline that also adheres to the rule of cool. It has a solid hook, battleships, battles, social history, diplomatic power plays, political maneuvering, a cringey anime OP, and revisions! If any of that sounds interesting give it a look, and if you really like what you find... well, I wouldn't mind winning a Turtledove ;)
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My turn I guess.

A Day in July: An Early 20th Century Timeline

ADiJ is a timeline which explores the explosive consequences of Lenin and Stalin dying during the calamitous July Days of the Russian Revolution. It follows the rapid development of shifting configurations of ideology, partisanship and policy as the Great War rages and the butterflies from events in Russia begin to tear across the rest of the world with both great and terrible consequences. New leaders rise to power and old powers face extermination as everyone scrambles to find their role in the creation of a new world order.

A particular emphasis of the timeline has been an exploration of less explored parts of the world, from the political wrangling, coups and intrigues of South America and the reverberations of changing colonial policies in Africa and the Middle East to ambitious Chinese and Japanese ideologues and thinkers seeking to ensure that their states will rise to prominence out of the darkness of the preceding century. In America the rise of the Ku Klux Klan and nativist tendencies threaten to undermine the internationalist, progressive order established first under Theodore Roosevelt, but which has since spread across both Democratic and Republican parties. Ambitious political leaders on the margins now question the hegemony of the two leading American parties. In Russia a welter of political factions from across the political spectrum vie for supremacy while in Europe the horrors of the Great War give way to a broadly constructive effort seeking to create a better, safer international order despite lurking ambitions, hatreds and jealousies.

The timeline explores the ideological, political, social and cultural underpinnings of the new world born out of the Great War and the people who call that world their home.
Hello everyone, I guess it’s my turn to advertise my timeline. Firstly, I’m new to the site and whatever happens, I’m both surprised by getting nominated and incredibly grateful.

Foreign Office

August 1939

I’m afraid I must insist against this clause in the strongest possible terms” said the ambassador.

My word” thought Lord Halifax as he lifted his spectacles and rubbed his eyes, “We’ll be here forever...

Halifax refocused on his visitor, Polish ambassador Edward Raczyński and began to speak, “Mr Raczyński, surely you must agree that in this matter the greatest threat to Poland comes from Germany. For most of the past year, Hitler has made it quite obvious that he wishes to turn your country into another Czechoslovakia.”

And what of Russia?” barked the Ambassador.

Does Stalin not also desire our land? It appears so, or else he wouldn’t have just signed that agreement with Berlin would he?

He was referring to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the surprise non-aggression pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. No one had expected that to happen, not even Halifax.

Look, we know that your country and Russia haven’t had the smoothest of relations. We are well aware of that. But Stalin is presently fighting Japan in the Far East. Surely he wouldn’t be so misguided as to start a two-front war?” replied the Foreign Secretary.

The Ambassador was clearly not satisfied with this reply.

I’m terribly sorry Halifax, but my government has clearly expressed their opposition to this provision. We have prior arrangements with France which do not discriminate as to which aggressor they would aid us against.”

A shocked Halifax rose to reply but was too slow for the ambassador.

Furthermore, my government has every reason to be concerned about Russia. My country, which we are arguing over the survival of, very nearly perished in 1920 by Russia’s hand had the Red Army not been stopped at Warsaw.”

Finally, Halifax got the opportunity to reply.

Surely though, the two states which have spent the past 6 years boasting about tearing each other apart aren’t about to team up within a week? Surely not?

The Ambassador stared back at the Foreign Secretary and replied with:

War makes for strange bedfellows my friend…”

I hope I’ve done this properly.
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First, thanks to everyone who nominated and voted for Essai en Guerre. In brief, this was a longstanding ambition, which got started after I read bits of France Fights On (FFO) and some other some interesting threads here and at Axis History Forum and Sea Lion Press. I assumed the same PoD (more or less) as FFO, but then took it in slightly different directions. In the process I've learned a good deal and made some significant changes to my original conception thanks to the excellent community of commenters we have here. Thanks to all of you also.

A taster, comprising a few of my favourite quotes from the TL:

- M. Mandel added, ‘We knew we might end up shot. But we convinced ourselves to make a trial of the war - of fighting it out to the end.’

- "... back in June it looked as though the French would do the sensible thing. But now the Jews are back in control, they have the Jew Mandel in Algiers, running things. Still they can do nothing to us..."

- ‘I had a regiment a week ago, now I have a company,’ complained Colonel Meindl, the Sturmregiment’s commander.

- At this point Marshal Balbo made his celebrated flight to Rome, landing at Centocelle and driving directly to the Palazzo Venezia where he surprised a Cabinet meeting still in his flying gear. ‘I have come from the battle itself,’ he said, ‘to tell you that if Africa is not reinforced, it will be lost to Italy - a loss that can be due only to folly or treason!’

- "If we must seek to place blame elsewhere, why do we not place it with the Belgians?"

- "Latest proposed operation was called LATCHSPRING. What Frenchman wants to pronounce that?"

- ‘The Light 6B does not look like much,’ noted one British officer, ‘but it looms a veritable beast of doom against men with only small arms.’

- "The bombardment of the French battalion at Arcesine by our Blenheims not only caused casualties, but also an unpleasant argument which culminated in the French Colonel challenging the SAAF squadron leader to a duel."

- "I like where this is going. I hate Christmas too."

- ‘Surely we don’t expect much guerilla resistance from Vietnamese?’ asked one Staff officer.

- ‘Brother Jap has got this far by bluff and air power,’ said General Montgomery. ‘We will not be bluffed and we now fear nothing in the air.’

- "ook?"
The Rainbow: A World War One on Canada's West Coast Timeline

August 1914. The Empires of Germany and England declare war. The west coast of Canada is defended by a single obsolete cruiser, HMCS Rainbow. The Royal Navy handed over defence of the Dominion to the Government of Canada in 1905, but successive national governments were unable to settle on a naval policy or procure any modern warships for the four-year-old Royal Canadian Navy. Admiral Graf Maximilian Von Spee’s East Asiatic Squadron, based in the German colony in Tsingtao, China vastly overpowers any available Canadian naval forces. The war starts with the light cruisers SMS Nürnberg in Honolulu, and Leipzig off Mazatlan, Mexico. The province of British Columbia is in a panic.

In our timeline, the panic proved to be unwarranted, as the two light cruisers were ordered to the central Pacific to meet with Von Spee’s main force, and headed south to victory at the Battle of Coronel, then defeat at the Falkland Islands. In our timeline the closest the Kaiserliche Marine came to Canada was Leipzig cruising just north of San Francisco.

But what if the two cruisers were ordered east and north to engage in commerce warfare on the industrially significant and highly exposed west coast of British Columbia, Canada…

“Fort McAuley reports the two cruisers are approaching Victoria Harbour from the east,” called up the telephone operator. “They are engaging.”

Three booms in quick succession sounded from the east. Donnelly saw the muzzle flashes above the trees on Saxe Point, and saw the number 3 gun of the fort recoil, and swing backwards then downwards into the loading position in its pit.

After a moment the telephone rating called up again. “Fort McAuley reports the cruisers are out of range, at just over 11,000 yards.”

Donnelly made a scoffing noise.

“Fort McAuley reports that the cruisers are heading south west, in company, at about 15 knots,” called the telephone rating, and gave some positions. “The commander suspects they are deliberately staying out of range of his guns. He expects they will become visible to us in a minute or so.”

“Load solid shot!” ordered Donnelly. The gun crew received the 380 pound shell from the lift, rammed it from the trolley into the firing chamber, opened a zinc canister containing the silk bagged cordite charge and rammed that in behind the shell. The breechblock was closed. The crew moved to their firing positions.

“We had best move inside the Command Post,” said Donnelly, and he hopped down onto the concrete glacis. “Well I had better. You should take your men into the crew shelter, and stand by in case Number Two gun takes casualties.” The men cleared the top of the fort. Donnelly entered the concrete Fire Command Post from the sheltered door at the rear. Inside the small space were half a dozen men, a telescope, a depression range finder and the telephone exchange. The artillerymen were working with a quiet efficiency. It had been two minutes since Fort McAuley had fired the opening salvo. The 6 inch guns of the fort sounded again.

“There they are!” exclaimed the young private on the telescope, then he composed himself and reported, “Sir, a German cruiser has appeared from behind Saxe Point. Range 13,000 yards. I identify her as Stettin class.”

“That would be the Nürnberg,” Donnely said. He strode over to the view slit and gazed out at Saxe Point, just in time for the bow of a second cruiser to thrust out where he could see it. The shells from Fort McAuley had been in the air for 16 seconds, and landed just then, raising a trio of waterspouts several thousand yards short of the Germans. Donnelly took over the telescope, and trained on the leading German ship.

“Yes, that is the Nürnberg all right,” he said. He panned the telescope over to the second cruiser. “And that second one is Bremmen class.” A recognition silhouette sheet was pinned to the wall of the post, and the exaggerated ram bow of the second cruiser was a dead giveaway. “Leipzig.” Suddenly the guns on the cruiser flashed, causing Donnelly to jump. Then he laughed. “Get me a firing solution for the lead cruiser. The soldier on the range finder began calling out numbers, and these were relayed to the gun crew.

“Ready!” came the reply.

“Fire!” ordered Donnelly, and the order was passed on. Donnelly plugged his ears and opened his mouth. The force of the blast pressed on his chest, and raised dust in the small space of the command post. When the sound of the blast died away he ordered, “Load solid shot!” He looked through the telescope at the Nürnberg to spot the fall of shot. Her guns flashed again, with a 4 gun broadside. As he waited for his shell to land, he heard shells rumble overhead from Fort Rodd Hill, followed by the boom of the fort’s 6 inch guns. At this angle his battery was on the flight path of the western fort’s shells. Now incoming higher velocity German shells made a different note as they passing overhead from the direction of the sea.

“Over!” called the soldier on the rangefinder. His first shell had fallen far outside of his field of view from the telescope, so he had completely missed its landing. “By 3000 yards.”

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Well joint second, I am more than happy with that and thanks to everyone who voted, regardless of who you supported and congrats to Sārthākā.