A New Balance

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Jim Smitty, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. Admiral Halsey Best damn Admiral in US history

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    I seriously doubt it'll ever approach a threat. The real problem is even if the British and Mexicans somehow swept the Atlantic fleet from the waves any supply route to Mexico is well within range of US based airpower. Basically even in a best case naval scenario any and all convoy's will be threatened. I honestly don't know what the British are thinking in doing anything that could antagonize the US. Even they should know at this point it's basically impossible for them to wage a war against the US. What the hell would the British aims even be? Any territorial changes on the mainland would require direct invasion of the US and unless you get a United South America no nation is a threat to do that.
     
  2. sloreck Grunt Bear

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    A United South America is only slightly less ASB than a united Arab World.
     
  3. Jim Smitty Lost in my mind

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    The Meteor Crisis Part One
    Washington DC
    National Museum of Natural History
    March 25 1938


    The current ongoing Meteor Crisis between the German and Japanese Empire risked starting a war. Germany was pissed by the Japanese attack on its gunboat in the Yangtze and they were currently figured out where the rest of the world stood on it. They knew that the Belgians, French, and Italians were all on their side on this but it was not the reason they wanted to go to war, they would however if push came to shove. But if they really wanted to go to war against the Japanese they would need American to join from the start of the war as this risked a wider war in Europe as well. The Germans have learned the hard way that they could only maintain a presence in the Far East with international support.


    Germany knew that they couldn’t challenge the Japanese without their whole fleet as they would need it to fight a war with Japan. Their nearest major naval base to the Japanese was at Dar es Salaam. Their naval base at Haichow could only host heavy cruisers, and only two of them. And by sending their whole fleet to even trying to challenge the Japanese they would leave their European homeland and their African and Arabian Colonial Holdings totally open to the British. They weren’t willing to do that as the British were Japanese allies. So, where the United States of America stood on this would really effect where the course of Meteor Crisis.


    It was just after the National Museum of Natural History opened at 9 am local time. The Director of the Officer of Naval Intelligence was currently standing in front of the Tyrannosaurus in the dinosaur exhibition of the museum. He was currently waiting for someone. No one would know he was a rear admiral in the USN as he was wearing a civilian suit. After only waiting for a minute or two a man came up to the director and spoke French, “Could I trouble you for a smoke sir?”


    The Director turned around and saw the German senior naval attaché standing behind him who was also wearing a civilian suit. Speaking French, “Sure Hans, I even remember the brand you like.”


    Both were speaking French as they assumed that the bulk of the people here were unable to speak French. “Thank you Mike.” As the senior officer handed Hans a pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes.


    Putting the pack into one of his pockets Hans when on, “Mike, I hope you have good news.” Relations between Germany and the United States had improved since the end of the Great War. They however were still rival powers even through the only place their goals overlapped was China. Then again everyone’s goals overlapped in China. Most everyone wanted to crave off pieces of China for themselves. Everyone wanted better trade deals. But no one could agree to how to do it. Further with the warlordism in China it wasn’t an easy thing to do. Other than China the Americans and Germans didn’t have any other goals that overlapped and its one of the reasons their relations had improved since the end of the Great War.


    “Hans I wished I had better news for you. President Olsen would be willing to help you on diplomatic and economic fronts. But the nation would not support this reason for war. Had it been an American gunboat the nation would have given the support needed to fight a war against Japan.”


    Olsen really wanted to give Germany his full support as the Japanese were giving a new meaning to loot, rape, and pillage with what they were doing in China right now. However, going before congress trying to use the Japanese sinking a German gunboat as a casus belli for the American nation to go to war would not work and Olsen knew it. The Democratic Party had only return to power in 1932 at a federal level. This was after decades of being out of power at the Federal Level. If Olsen when to congress for war over this he knew the Republicans would use it to retake power in 40. This was with Olsen knowing that the Republicans viewed the Japanese was as big of a threat as the British. But the American public would never accept it and both parties knew it.


    Hans took a moment to think as the two men slowly walked in the museum. “Mike besides diplomatic and economic help would your nation do anything else in the event of a war between us and the Japanese?”


    “Unless directly attacked by the Japanese we would stay out of such a war. The American public isn’t ready for another war and short of a damn good reason for war we would have a divided nation going into another Great War. That wouldn’t work and you know it.”
     
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  4. sloreck Grunt Bear

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    I'm a bit surprised the USA would not at least offer to let the Germans use US facilities for repair/refit. resupply, however that still would not be enough. It certainly looks as though the US & Germany are drifting towards a closer cooperation.

    BTW speaking openly in French assuming nobody else in the museum speaks it could be quite problematic. I speak French, even though an (first language English) American, and in my youth on a city bus (at age 16) was sitting next to two girls my age who obviously went to a bilingual French-English school catering to expats. They were having, shall we say, a somewhat intimate conversation about their boyfriends in French and were very embarrassed when I got up to get off and turned to them and in proper French thanked them for making my trip more interesting.
     
  5. Jim Smitty Lost in my mind

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    The Meteor Crisis Part Two
    Washington DC
    White House
    April 2 1938


    President Carl Olsen was currently holding a meeting with Secretary of State Gray Underwood, Secretary of War Karl Kerr and Secretary of the Navy Ed Knox. The meeting was dealing with the closing of the Meteor Crisis. Of the four men in the room, only Underwood had not wanted to join the Germans in a war against the Japanese. Underwood was somewhere in between being a hawk and a dove. During the debate of the US answer to the Meteor Crisis Underwood had let it be known he wasn’t against a war against Japan but he wanted a just reason for war and one the nation would support. Even through the other three men had all wanted to go to war they understood as well the nation wouldn’t support the death of a few German sailors to go to war with Japan. It was with that understand that US public wouldn’t support a war with Japan over what happened to the Meteor that had set the US course in the crisis.


    Underwood was currently speaking, “It looks like this is going to end peacefully. The Japanese had finally accepted to talks being broker by the Brazilians to end this.” The Germans had agreed to these talks that had been offered Brazil three days ago. Yet the Japanese had only just agree to these talks.


    Karl spoke next, “The Germans aren’t about to risk their fleet that far from home. Which speaks well of them.” Privately Karl was thinking they must have really took that defeat in the Island War to heart. “But it still doesn’t explain the British reaction to it.”


    Ed took over, “Mister President, the ONI has reason to believe that the British via the Japanese were trying to goat the Germans into war.”


    Carl almost spit up the coffee he had been drinking. After recovering from the shock Carl spoke, “Ed does the ONI have hard intelligence to prove that? Or is an ONI theory?”


    The only republican in the room looked Carl in the eye, “No sir we don’t have hard intelligence, but what else can explain the British reactions?” There was a moment of silence before Ed kept going on. “We started to pick of signs of the British starting to mobilize their fleet before the Brazilians made their offer to act as an intermediary to broker an agreement to end this peacefully. An offer that Germany took also as soon as the Brazilians made it. The Japanese took till earlier today before agreeing to it. Why wait so long to agree to talks with the Brazilians?”


    It was a few seconds of silence before Karl spoke again. “Because they weren’t getting the reaction they were expecting from the Germans.”


    “Precisely.” Ed took back over. “They were hoping to goat the Germans into sending the bulk of their fleet into the Pacific when the British would close the backdoor and destroy the German Fleet, far from home. The German allies aren’t in a good position to challenge British Naval Strength and with the bulk of the German fleet destroyed, the British simply could pick off the colonies of their choice as the Japanese run lose in Asia taking colonies there. Then once they got what they wanted they could force their terms on to the Germans and their allies.”


    Carl closed his eyes and started to hum. He did that every so often, but only when he was deep in thought. But it only lasted a few seconds generally. This time it lasted almost a minute before he opened up his eyes again. “Just because they failed this time into getting a war, doesn’t mean they will fail again. We need to be ready to join any war against the British and Japanese at a moment’s notice. And here is what we are going to do.”
     
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  6. La Rouge Beret Well-Known Member

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    So the storm clouds begin to gather.
     
  7. Jim Smitty Lost in my mind

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    Yeah they are. But honestly if this would had been the spark to the next Great War, it would been better for the world in general with what is coming. But the British and Japanese missed their chance to destroy the German fleet which they need to do as neither the French, Belgians, nor Italians have fleets that could deal with the British in the Med and defend their colonies. Hell they can't even do one of those. But when the match is finally lit, it will really go up in flames.
     
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  8. La Rouge Beret Well-Known Member

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    Yeah the diplomatic situation ITTL world appears to resemble a tinderbox waiting for a spark. Looking forward to the next instalment.
     
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  9. sloreck Grunt Bear

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    Between the German and US fleets the UK would be screwed. Us and German surface raiders as well as submarines would close the import lifeline to the UK pretty quickly. Of course no industrial supplies/products from Canada (now owned by the USA) and no food from Canada. While food imports from South America (primarily Argentina) and ANZUS are available getting them to the UK would be extremely dicey.
     
  10. Cryostorm Monthly Donor

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    Good thing the US administration, and looks like both parties, understand that they can not let Britain and Japan defeat Germany since it would mean that the US would fight alone next. The next Great War looks to be a real three way struggle.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
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  11. Jim Smitty Lost in my mind

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    Planning
    Berlin
    Schloss Charlottenburg
    April 24 1938


    Chancellor Hugo von Kaspar was currently waiting for one more person before he would start this meeting. He would had liked to have his Foreign Minister Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck here as well as this was mostly his plan. Paul was a crafty bastard who knew how to play the diplomatic game well. Some have even started to call him the second coming of Bismarck when it came to foreign matters as he was that good. But he was currently in Brazil hammering out an agreement to end the Meteor Crisis. However, he did have all of his military ministers with him along with the different chiefs of staffs of the Imperial German Armed Forces. They were currently waiting for the person who lived here to get the meeting started.


    Kaiser Wilhelm III entered the meeting room. All the men in the room rose and bowed in respect to their Kaiser. Wilhelm the Third was a different man than his father was. Even though he had commanded an army during the Great War he was rarely seen in uniform. He instead like to dress in well do to civilian suits over wearing a uniform most of the time. He would wear a uniform when it was called for, but today he was in one of his suits. Further he had made it clear that the days of German princes commanding armies in the field were over just because they came from noble birth. If they could earn it, that was one thing and they would be allowed to advance through the ranks. He had made this clear with his own sons to drive the point home. One son had already left the army to go back to university to study botany as he wasn’t that good at being an officer but did his national service none the less. The crown prince through it seemed had a knack for military matters and was currently assigned to a battalion staff within the 3rd Panzer Division. The other son of Wilhelm the third was currently going through the paces of being a junior naval officer on the SMS Brandenburg after getting his full commission only a few months ago.


    “Take your seats.” He said as he took his seat at the head of the table. Then he nodded to Hugo to start the meeting. At that Hugo got up and viewed to the map that was currently hanging in this room. It was a world map. Even with all of the changes to the world map in the past 13 months it was a current and up to date map.


    “Your majesty, gentlemen, as you all know it seems that the British are set on starting a war with us and keeping NATO out of it.” There were nods all around. How the British acted during the crisis pointed to them being a little too ready to go to war. “This time the British overplayed their hand and we didn’t take the bait. But it is clear they want to go to war as to why we aren’t sure. However they are clearly on the warpath.”


    Germany understood that it was the naval muscle in the alliance they led. It was why even through, they faced a major land base threat from the Soviet Union and lesser from Austria-Hungary they kept putting money into their navy. They learned first hand during the Great War what would happen if they lost control of the seas. The German economy was resource hungry and with the blockade the British used effectively cut Germany off from the world. They know the British would do even more in another war against them to cut them off from the wider world. It was only with their fleet actions later in the war that allow them to reclaim their colonial empire and add on to it. They had to keep their fleet in working order and they knew it.


    Hugo when on, “I think the time for attempting peace is coming to an end and we have to finish this contest we started in 1915.”


    Wilhelm raised an eyebrow at that one. He was the only one in the room who hadn’t been briefed yet on the plan on either side of the coin. The whole reason they were holding this meeting was to get his blessing to put the plan into motion. “Hugo how do we go about this?” Wilhelm asked.


    “The first phase of the plan is diplomatic.” At that Hugo picked up a pointer and pointed to Sweden, “The Swedish have looking for an alliance with us to defend themselves against the Com Block. So far they have been somewhat reluctance to agree to a full alliance that includes going to war with the London Pact.”


    Currently there were four main alliance blocs in the world. NATO covered the US led alliance in North America. Germany led the Quadruple Alliance which was the bulk of Europe. There was the Com Block which was the alliance of all of the communist nations worldwide. Then there was the London Pact. The London Pact was the British led alliance and it included the British Empire, South Africa, the Imperial Federation, Japan, Greece, and Austria-Hungary. The only two alliance blocs that weren’t openly hostile to each other was the US led NATO alliance and the German led Quadruple Alliance. This was primary because neither alliance operated in areas that the other cared about beside China. Further there was an unspoken understanding between the two alliances that they were the lesser of the other two alliances in this world.


    “With the right sweetener, we should be able to get the Swedish to become a full member of our alliance. With this we will be able to keep control of the Baltic and free our fleet up for operations against the British.”


    It made sense Wilhelm thought. “What about the Dutch?” He asked.


    Hugo shook his head no. “They aren’t going to want an alliance with us. They have never been that open to an idea an alliance with us. If they had to choose an alliance they would go over to the Americans over us unless the Japanese decide to crash into the Dutch East Indies.”


    Pointing to the Imperial Federation, “This our ticket to what we want to do.”
     
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  12. Killerflood Corporal Cannonfodder

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    Which countries are a part of NATO? USA, Maritime Territories, and Quebec are those I know of, but are there any others?
     
  13. Jim Smitty Lost in my mind

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    NATO is made up the USA, Quebec, the Maritime Federation, the Rio Grande, Panama, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic.
     
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  14. sloreck Grunt Bear

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    I can see that "NATO" and the "Quadruple Alliance" see themselves individually as "smaller" than the "London Pact". While the "Com Bloc" may have numbers over either of the first two, I can't see them being equal to either the USA or Germany in total power (military + economic). USA and Germany as 2/3 or 3/2 but not 3/4 or 4/3. I can see trying to break the Imperial Federation away, as they and Japan have conflicting interests, but is the relationship between Germany and the USA so strong they don't need to reinforce it? Since they really have no competing interests they are potentially ideal partners.
     
  15. Admiral Halsey Best damn Admiral in US history

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    Honestly I'm surprised there was no attempt by the English at a great rapprochement to the US or at least doesn't seem to have been one. Was the hate towards the two really that strong?
     
  16. Cryostorm Monthly Donor

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    It is mostly because Britain started to see the US as a threat early in this TL and did not go the little bit to keep the US friendly, like taking Hawaii which was only of minor interest for Britain but rather critical for the US. Add in the British being a little more arrogant and trying to manipulate the US and you ensure the US will view the British as a major enemy. After TTL's WWI and both sides will work to break the other.
     
  17. Jim Smitty Lost in my mind

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    The US was willing to have the Great Rapprochement happen ITL. They didn't have any will reason to hate the British after the Treaty of Washington (1871) was signed. That happened prior to the POD. However the British became unnerved by the fact the US had expanded its territorial control a few times but was still refusing to play a larger role in international politics. Even in the aftermath of the Island War which pitted the US against Germany with the British supporting Germany the US was still open to good relations with the British. It would taken some more work but it would been possible. Only the British panicked in the aftermath of that war. They poisoned the well when they told the US they couldn't have Hawaii even through the US was willing to trade away some of their newly won gains in the SW Pacific to allow them to annex Hawaii. It was this point in the TL that radically changed American Foreign Policy. The Open Door Note which was in the works died and they when about grabbing their own treaty port. They became openly anti-British in the foreign policy and sparked an Anglo-American Naval Arms race in the early years of the 20th Century. Things came to a head in WWI where the US basically walked away with the bulk of Canada being annexed along with the British Caribbean save for one island and the rest of Canada were American puppets.

    But the ITL Great War as its currently known didn't really settle anything. No nation ITL suffered the fate of OTL Germany, the one that came the closest was France, but in the aftermath of the war and the raise of the Communist, Berlin saw that a strong allied France was something they wanted. Nap V understood that his nation couldn't fight Germany again decided to work with the Germans. The US really didn't want anything to do with Europe after the war. But the British were panicking again. They turned to Winston Churchill, who is radically different than the OTL Churchill. The British when Fascist and became very focus on revenge. Further the British are still allied with the Japanese ITL. Churchill is trying to get war on his terms as seen in the Meteor Crisis that is still unfolding. The US really has come to hate Churchill and his ilk. Right now the US threat list is the British, then the Japanese, than the Com Block.
     
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  18. Jim Smitty Lost in my mind

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    In terms of economic power ITL its as follow for the top five
    USA, The German Empire, The British Empire, Austria-Hungary, Japan

    Getting into military power its trickier as each nation has different threats to defend from. The US even through having a far larger military really can go much larger during peacetime. Germany has room to grow but not like the US, well in peace time anyways. The British through don't have much room left for further military growth so long as the Empire is at peace. Austria-Hungary is a mess and not that big on putting money into its military. Japan is much more willing to put its increased defense spending on credit ITL. So they still got more room left to grow. Plus they are at war anyways.
     
  19. Ajar Member

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    Why did the British want the Americans to play a role in international politics?
     
  20. Jim Smitty Lost in my mind

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    By not playing a role in international politics the Americans were a wild card. My read of the British in the late 19th century and early 20th century is they saw themselves as the keepers of the balance of power. With the balance of power in Europe the British made sure no one alliance became too powerful. With here you had the US still growing territorially but refusing to take an active role in international affairs. They wanted to know where America stood in the balance of power so they could react as needed. The Americans didn't care about international affairs and it was more leave us alone and we will leave you alone. That didn't sit well with the British, then they defeated the strongest nation in Europe in Germany during the Island War and the British panicked.