AHC: Central Powers USA

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Antonio the Komnenoi, Nov 26, 2018.

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Do you think the Entente could still win the War ?

  1. They could ! (For Historical Determinists)

    15 vote(s)
    8.0%
  2. Maybe ? It would be hard by they still got a shot

    45 vote(s)
    23.9%
  3. No, they were already almost collapsing irl before the USA joined and would stand no chance

    128 vote(s)
    68.1%
  1. Shadow Master Alternate Technologies Fan

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    I know that the USA is not as close to A-H and Germany as Britain and France, I know that the US public is not interested in fighting in a European war, and I know that historically, many things were needed to get the US public riled up enough to go to war, 3 years into the fighting.

    The challenge in this thread, though, is too get the USA into the wrong side of the War, and right off the bat.

    The nature of my POD does that. Still waiting for the OP to return to this 10 day old thread, and tell me yea/nay on my POD that was PM'ed to a small group on friday.
     
  2. Riain Well-Known Member

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    This hasn't been addressed, I have no idea what Canadas heavy industry was like in 1914. I think the Empire would provide some help, in place of OTLs Dardanelles operation, but this isn't going to stop the US when its artillery production meets demand.
     
  3. metalinvader665 Well-Known Member

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    In addition to Winnipeg, the US could also cut the Canadian railway network in two along the northern shore of Lake Superior, north of Thunder Bay near Nipigon. It's about 155 km from the US border, and taking the Thunder Bay area would already be on the US's mind. A combined land-lake approach might be able to take the town by the time Lake Superior freezes in 1914. If Winnipeg still hasn't fallen yet, this would cut the last major link the city has with the east.

    It could make sense with the limited amount of troops and supplies available since it prevents Canadian raids into the Mesabi Range.
     
  4. FillyofDelphi Well-Known Member

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    This was discussed earlier in the thread (to the point I suggested we'd be better served with two separate discussions, but that didn't go much of anywhere). We ran into the problem that we can either discuss a likely POD/buildup in the diplomatic and military front, or the actual technical aspects of conducting the war,but you can't do both because changing the buildup to the war so radically alters domestic politics in the belligerents, the alliance system, initial array of forces and along with that military strategy, ect. that you can only speak of things in the lowest common denominator. The concensus at the time was just to handwave the outbreak, but if we want to change that im more than willing to adjust frames
     
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  5. CalBear Your Ursus arctos californicus Moderator Moderator Donor

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    Play the ball.
     
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  6. Lusitania Donor

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    Yes I understand and I agree but we cannot take iOTL Britain and iOTL USA and suddenly change them to point that Britain become belingerant and warmonger to the USA. Or that an isolationist USA is suddenly morally offended at what happens elsewhere.

    The British would always be aware of US interests or areas of influence that it would not go in and attack US. Any military or diplomatic incident would be negotiated accordingly.
     
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  7. FillyofDelphi Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. But arguably if we don't handwave that we can't actually have a discussion on the details of the war in general,given the OOB of everybody and the way the economy and warplans are structured would be changed behyond recognition if there's an expectation of a war in North America. I'm honestly not sure how else we can go about it
     
  8. Lusitania Donor

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    The POD was stated by thread was 1900. That why it would need a early POD and gradual deterioration of relations for it to be realistic for war to breakout in 1914.
    The problem is thatvthen we have a different military and political situation.
     
  9. trajen777 Member

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    You must be a Ranger -- good comment -- agree completely -- being from St Cloud
     
  10. RodentRevolution Chewer of Wires

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    The essential problem is that any change in Anglo-American relations is likely to profoundly alter the whole global balance of alliances. In OTL World War 1 while there was a lot of overt bitching about the blockade the de facto US policy was such that Teddy Roosevelt publicly moaned that rather than join in the war all Americans wanted to do was hoover up the business contracts left hanging by the enforced withdrawal of the Germans and the increased needs of the Entente.

    America was wary of international obligations and indeed so were the British otherwise their natural allies would likely have been each other. Pause and think about that strategically a moment. Neither is likely the drag the other into an aggressive war against another coalition of great powers and the combined power of their standing fleets means neither then needs to invest that heavily in anything like the same measure of standing army.

    Another point is that as I mentioned above the governing German elite immensely disliked the Monroe doctrine and Germany would with its propensity to stir the pot have happily presented itself as Britain's natural ally following any rupture in the Anglosphere. In fact the far more likely alliance shakedown is probably an Entente USA versus a Central Powers UK with or without the added spice of an Anglo-Japanese Alliance.
     
  11. Lusitania Donor

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    Yeah I see. The fact also is that any deteoration in relations would of meant increased funding for defenses on both sides. The Americans would of felt vulnerable to British / Germans attacks along its three coasts and the lakes would of been heavily fortified even if the limitation on shipbuilding is maintained. Plus troop sizes and placements be changed. The lack of troops and defenses as per iOTL was only possible due to economic and political situation between British empire and US.

    So to speculate on iOTL 1914 us and Britain suddenly changing out of blue and war breakbout has never made any sense.
     
  12. Shadow Master Alternate Technologies Fan

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    I don't know when the OP is returning, (s)he has not posted in this thread since it's creation on the 26th and their stats say they have not been seen for 2 days! I will wait till friday to get a response/go ahead for introducing my POD. If nothing else, I'll just post a DBWI thread on friday, and in that thread I'll introduce my POD. Everyone is jammed up on a POD that has the USA being in the Central Powers in/by Aug, 1914. If folks want to discuss a planned departure from OTL, with years of changes before hand, then that changes things a great deal, and makes it very hard to have a meaningful discussion when we don't know how to get from OTL to ATL.

    That said, my POD begins in late 1913, but doesn't change any diplomatic relations, military forces, military forces deployments, military budgets, or really anything other than setting the stage for the important change, that gives us an unsuspecting USA getting into the CP (by default --- against her will and intentions), and cycles from OTL to ATL in 60 days. As this may not be what folks want in this thread, I'm not going to post it here without the OP's giving me the OK. I shared my POD with a small group on friday, including the OP, but have not heard from the OP yet, either in a PM or by response here in thread, so...

    I'll say this, in WWII the USA had the Panay incident, the reaction too which was like "Meph" and then there was Pearl Harbor. One of the folks I did share this POD with proposed a change that would (IMO) make it a Panay type thing, while my version would be more like Pearl Harbor. The nice thing about this thread is it challenges us to examine an alternate WWI where (somehow) the USA is both in the war, and on the wrong side, right from the beginning of the war! WWII tells us what it took then to get the USA into the war, and so we have the dilemma of either years of gradual changed circumstances, and all the butterflies that these changes unleash, or a sudden, dramatic change brought about by {something} that drags the USA into the mix, without the need to change a thing.

    Will my POD give us an excuse to have such a world/discussion, I believe so, but then we will have a starting point that may or may not be what the OP had in mind.
     
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  13. Lusitania Donor

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    While I support your premise I hesitate to endorse it (that being said before I read it) for any action must be characteristic of the existing diplomatic situation on both sides. I mean that the British valued their friendship, diplomacy, and trading partnership with US above all else. Including the empire, for in several cases the British took action that was opposed to Canadian position but it was better for their relationship with the uS.

    So while in trying to keep US as isolationist as possible as per iOTL then you must strive to keep BRitish friendly with the US.

    I always like the pod of Irish rebels poisoning British parliament water and a crazy government orders the British navy and army to attack and invade US.
     
  14. sarahz Well-Known Member

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    Nov 5, 2013
    yes but neither can the USA, or Germany. If Italy can be brought in the KUK Kreigsmarine is neutralized and Italy itself removed as a naval threat . France and the UK can concentrate on Germany The entente should find it somewhat easier to co-ordinate than the HSF and the USN. Ideally the RN needs to defeat one foe and then focus on the other. Not easy but actually not impossible, The HSF needs to be convinced the GF ha been weakened, when it has not. Now I am not saying this is easy to achieve I merely say that those who allege that an outcome of any conflict between reasonably comparable forces is preordained are wrong. Any significant defeat for either side can tip the scales at least for a while.
    Turning to the USA. In 1914 it has a tiny army, defending the Philipines, Alaska and/or Hawaii could actually be a bit tough with the forces available, let alone mounting an offense. in fact the Canadians have somewhat more chance of invading the US in 1914 than the other way around.. The only reasonably available assets to defend in the Pacific are naval ones. this clearly weakens any USN offensive posture in the first year of the war. Secondly defending coastal waters in Canada is more a job for lighter units, of which the RN is reasonably well supplied than for dreadnoughts.
     
  15. FillyofDelphi Well-Known Member

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    Britain isen't in a position to dispatch heavy war material to Canada in 1914 or early 1915. French and Russian orders along with their own build up is going to tie down their production, and the demands of cohalition warfare mean the UK would be wise not to stiff her Great Power allies in their death struggle against Germany for the sake of a sideshow front.
    Not the most realistic, but it's funny. Personally, my still highly unlikely scenario would involve British meddling in the Mexican troubles to secure their oil concessions following some major accident/sabotage in Persia, but that's because it makes more sense in getting the US activated on Monroe Doctrine grounds
     
  16. History Learner Well-Known Member

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    Apr 13, 2012
    And the HSF has 22 as well as an advantage in modern warships if the Royal Navy decided to counter the Americans. As long as the HSF has the modern warship advantage, they have the strength in the North Sea.

    Undoubtedly, but that's not the point. Britain has 31 BBs and BCs, split in half that's 15 for North America and 17 for home defense against 19 for the Germans who will have the advantage and, if they bring about a decisive battle, it's all over for the Royal Navy.

    Also, another point that's been ignored is that the Royal Navy can't logistically sustain such operations in the first place. in 1917, the U.S. was producing 335 million barrels
    of oil, which was 67% of the world total and a quarter was going to Europe, which means that the US supplied 80% of total Allied oil needs. IOTL by April of 1917 they had about eight weeks of fuel left and the Royal Navy had to reduce ship speed in an effort to conserve what was left; even into 1918 the U.S. couldn't deploy oil powered Battleships to Britain because the shortages remained severe. In ATL 1914, you've immediately cut off the British access to such.

    Sure, if the Entente can somehow bring in Italy that would address their issue of being unable to have parity everywhere. The problem is the ruling Italian elite in 1914 has no interest in doing this and especially considering the entry of the U.S. in the war means Rome knows how this is going to go in the long run. As for the Royal Navy, it has to pull of a 2:1 loss ratio, something it never achieved IOTL, to come out ahead in the Naval War. If they go to North America and suffer a 1:1 loss ratio in BBs, the Germans will have a three ship advantage without having brought about any battle to wound themselves. You can rest assured that, if the British do go after the Americans, they do have to be weakened; they have 22 BBs while the Americans have 10 and the Germans 15. To achieve a 1:1 parity with the Americans, they have to drastically decrease the force available in the North Sea.

    The U.S. has a 160,000 troops mostly in the U.S. itself while the Canadians have about 30,000. There simply is no basis to claim they are in a better position to launch offensives than the United States. As for the Pacific, Hawaii and Alaska are in no danger due to distance and logistics alone; forces already in place are sufficient to deal with any threats. The Philippines are more exposed, but correspondingly have larger forces already in place.
     
  17. RodentRevolution Chewer of Wires

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    No there is no surety the British will be substantially weakened if they go after the US Battle Fleet who as of 1917 still could not shoot straight. A possible scenario is the British gamble on sending a squadron of dreadnoughts and the two smaller divisions of battlecruisers to North America. In the engagement of New York the two sides line up and shoot at each other the British battlecruisers forming at the head of the column and trying to cross the T of the US, they fail because the US Admiral is unlikely to be an idiot but the leading American battleships suffer heavily as the weight of fire is an absolute factor of three to one on their portion of the line and probably a functional two to one due to some confusion as to whose shell splashes are whose on the British side. You may not even see any battleships actually sunk in this engagement but the Americans are henceforth reluctant to put to sea and bleed for the Germans. The Germans meanwhile wait on better intelligence before committing to action and by the time they receive it the British have brought some ships back but they may not be entirely sure which ones.

    There are a huge variety of possible outcomes in the early portion of the war. Now no one is saying the Entente would be likely to be win in the long run but the balance of forces is never as decisively in favour of the German and US fleets here as it was for the RN in World War 1.

    The same with oil stocks the British had them and many of their naval units were still coal fired besides. So it would be a good year at least before fuel became an issue, it will become an issue in time but this desperation for a quick American victory strikes me as simply lacking faith in the American people.

    Also the British pre-dreadnought strength was 38 at the beginning of the OTL war not as a smaller number than that of the Germans as you seem keen to imply.
     
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  18. Riain Well-Known Member

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    As I've suggested, the RN's strategy against Germany will change from seeking decisive battle by offensive sweeps into Heligoland bight to acting on the defensive, staying close to home to defend against direct attacks on Britain. It was the same strategy used by the HSF for most of the war.

    The devil is in the details. The first class of BBs to use oil entirely were the QEs of 1915, which is why the Admiralty bought a controlling interest in the Anglo-Iranian oil company ( not an American oil company ). In 1914 the vast majority of the RN was coal fired with some oil preheating, and while in 1917 (3 years after the events we're discussing) Britain got most oil from the US the RN in particular got most of its oil in Mexico. The logistics issues can be covered, blanket statements don't accurately address the issue.

    These numbers are incorrect, grossly so in the Canadian case. The NPAM and PAM were 76,000 men in total 2 1/2 times bigger than you have stated and if that's what you are working with then all you conclusions with the false. The US Regular Army had 89,000 men in 1914, of those about 19,000 were in the Coast Artillery and another 10,000 were in various non combat roles leaving the Field Army with 49,000. Of those some 20,000 were stationed outside of CONUS leaving the RA field force in CONUS with 29,000. The absolute maximum size of the NG in 1914 was 119,000 men and almost 9,000 officers, for a total force of about 148,000 available for field operations in CONUS un 1914. The US SecWar spelled this out clearly and fearfully in his 1914 report, these are actual historical numbers not figments of anyone's imagination.
     
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  19. Riain Well-Known Member

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    Its the OTL sideshow fronts that would suffer for the sake of Canada ITTL. IOTL resources were found to launch the Dardanelles campaign, Australia even got a heavy artillery battery of a couple of field howitzers and a single obsolescent naval gun. There were small numbers of 5.4" howitzers in the Indian army, 1 battery was used in East Africa, perhaps a battery or two could be sent to Canada.

    Makeshift like this sound shit, and they are shit, but if the chiice is between having maybe 5 heavy pieces in the entire army and having 15-20 due to scraping up guns from all over the place then scrape away.

    Of course the US will outmatch this by late 1915, but its just an example of what Canada would do before surrender.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 2:12 PM
  20. History Learner Well-Known Member

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    There is an absolute surety the British are weakened because they do not have the numbers to do both. They have 22 BBs against 15 German and 10 Americans; to have a 1 for 1 parity for combat in North America they will be reduced to just 12 BBs for the North Sea. For BCs, it's much the same; they could leave all nine in the North Sea to have 21 BBs and BCs against 19 German BBs and BCs but then that means the BCs aren't available for American duty. They're also still in the situation where if they do anything worse than about 2:1 for one against the Americans, they've lost. Even if the situation plays out as you say, the USN becomes a fleet in being. If the British transfer forces out after this undecisive battle, they're back to square one.

    They have 25 BBs to 22 for the British; it's in their favor the moment the war begins and it will only increase as American industry becomes effective.

    The Royal Navy's least modern units were still coal fired, yes. Relying on old Pre-Dreadnoughts to fight the modern German or American battlefleets is a losing proposition. As for the oil itself, it'll be a matter of weeks; IOTL the Germans didn't resume unrestricted warfare until January of 1917 and had them reduced to eight weeks by April. Here, instead of just German U-Boats picking off tankers, the Entente as a whole has just lost their main supplier.

    My only statement on Pre-Dreads was to say that the Germans had them too.