Wait a sec...my man tried not one, not two, but THREE seperate amphibious assaults in the middle of the fucking winter?! And he thought this was a good idea?!

I'm reminded of a quote from "The West Wing" said by a FBI agent when looking for a criminal. I feel that it is fitting here in a military context as well: "In thirteen years with the Bureau I've discovered that there's no amount of money, manpower, or knowledge that can equal the person you're looking for being stupid."
 
Wait a sec...my man tried not one, not two, but THREE seperate amphibious assaults in the middle of the fucking winter?! And he thought this was a good idea?!

I'm reminded of a quote from "The West Wing" said by a FBI agent when looking for a criminal. I feel that it is fitting here in a military context as well: "In thirteen years with the Bureau I've discovered that there's no amount of money, manpower, or knowledge that can equal the person you're looking for being stupid."
“It’s not three separate amphibious assaults, it’s one amphibious assault aimed at three separate places! Checkmate, Yanks!”
 
“It’s not three separate amphibious assaults, it’s one amphibious assault aimed at three separate places! Checkmate, Yanks!”
The Confederacy seems to be giving off "Checkmate, Lincolnites!" energy whenever they try to launch an offensive that invariably fails due to their ineptitude.
 
The Pocomoke Feint was the first time that knives genuinely came out for Scott, both internally and externally, but Smith was still too caught up in the initial successes of Scott's Plan HHH to sack the army chief. In part, he knew there was more loyalty to Scott in the field than at the ASO in Richmond, and he viewed the staff officers there and the War Department as similar to his own bureaucratic and political enemies, sympathizing for once with Scott rather than resenting him. This should be seen in stark contrast to the decision mere days after the failures on the Eastern Shore by President Charles Evans Hughes of the United States to "retire" his own Chief of Staff William Wotherspoon ahead of his own country's planned offensives and instead rotating in a man he had more confidence in, the Deputy Chief of Staff, General Tasker Bliss. This contrast between how each President interacted with their senior military officers and how much leeway those officers had in planning offensives - and their responsibility for their results - is instructive in how the rest of the war would go, starting with the three major offensives by the United States in three separate theaters that came to define the war in 1914
Can't wait for the what if chapter about how the South could have won if Scott was sacked and replaced by someone else.
 
I'll have to look like him up but that sounds like an interesting hook, certainly, and I can try to weave a social critique of this kind into Brazil's postwar experience.

Spain is definitely not that dumb, thankfully for them.

But they're more generally sympathetic to Germany and Italy than outright aligned with them, and despite some tiffs in the early 1880s, France has made it a point to make sure that Spain stays that way, lest they have to face a third front in difficult conditions (the Pyrenees!)

No, they've definitely been on the back foot all along besides Baltimore and Chimbote, which didn't do much other than really piss the US off

It's actually not a terrible prediction, considering the CSA's history with Spain.

Good memory on Carlos Jose's case of the drunken stupids! I'd actually forgotten about that


I'm getting to that, I swear!

It'll be close to that level of bad

The exact reason why Hilton Head is the choice of place for the battle is more a result of Confederate stupidity and the US choosing its battles carefully, and I'll leave it at that...
Honestly, the confederate battle in the Confederate/Spanish war seemed almost Battle of Tsushima bad.

Also, for the Battle of Tsushima, the Russian Navy had some really bizarre things happen on the way there including the Dogger Bank incident and the coaling situation. Also, reading the Wikipedia article, it is *quite* clear due to the British Navy putting its thumb on the scale, that not only did the Russians have problems with recoaling, the Japanese had better technology than the Russians, at least in shells.

As far as I can tell, the Confederate Navy wouldn't have gone as far as the Russians did even if they were helping the Brazilians and if they can't be recoaled that close to the VA coastline, the Confederates are in *horrible* shape. So they won't even have *that* excuse. The Russians sentenced a few of the high ranking naval officers to death (and then commuted the sentences) I wonder whether the Confederacy would get close.
 
"...narrow and difficult to move armies along to its southernmost tip at Cape Charles on the Hampton Roads. The Eastern Shore of Maryland, however, remained one of the few unmolested parts of Maryland, the rest of which lay under occupation, and had traditionally - along with the tobacco farming communities southeast of Washington along the Potomac - been seen on both sides of the border as one of the last culturally "Southern" parts of the Union, and to many Confederate policymakers this suggested an unredeemed territory.

To what extent the redemption of Maryland was an explicit political war goal in the long term - comments in the years since the war suggest that goals were fluid and dependent on circumstances [1] - the capture of the Eastern Shore was an important strategic war aim in the near term. The Susquehanna had become, for the United States, more valuable than any defensive trench. Even at its narrowest points it was profoundly difficult for an entire army to ford under fire, as the ASO had discovered to its horror once it received the data on exactly how many men had been lost there, and thus it provided a terrific buffer for the United States to build its reserves behind in anticipation of a counter-offensive perhaps as early as March that both sides knew was coming. With a pocket west of Elkton the only real foothold the Confederacy had established east of the Susquehanna, a feint and secondary theater opened on the Eastern Shore became an intriguing option, and a debate around where exactly to place it was fierce throughout the winter.

Most of the ASO was in favor of a thrust south of the Delaware and Chesapeake Canal, aiming as close to northern Delaware as possible to force a collapse of Union lines behind the Elk River, with the Bohemia River's confluence with the Elk just east of Elk Head Point regarded as the preferred point of which to aim this offensive. There were a number of factors in favor of such a move - it was at one of the Chesapeake's narrowest points, it was close to the Perryville Pocket, and if aimed at Middletown, Delaware it would threaten a third state for the first time and credibly could place Confederate soldiers on the Delaware River. Realistically, it would grant the Confederacy control of the entire south bank of the D&C Canal, preventing an attempted breakthrough by US soldiers, and also force an evacuation of the rest of the Eastern Shore south of there; ideally, it would cause the collapse of the Elkton defenses and a full pullback of American forces to Wilmington, which would have cascading effects west along the Susquehanna with new room to maneuver on the eastern end of the front.

Had this plan been implemented, it is hard to say what success it could have seen. The Maryland National Guard had largely been evacuated to the Eastern Shore as it was and more than a few regiments of Union soldiers had been ferried over from New Jersey or marched down from Wilmington to guard places like Salisbury or Dover in anticipation of a Confederate attempt to attack across the Chesapeake. It would still have represented a major new offensive, the first of 1914, and likely significantly delayed Philadelphia's planning of the York Offensive that did eventually decisively turn the tide of the war.

But alas for the Confederacy, it was not. Hugh Scott's tactical and strategic acumen has been oft criticized in the years after the war, sometimes savagely and frequently unfairly, but in the case of the trans-Chesapeake operation it is well deserved. Scott overruled his planners and even men like General Dade in the field on attacking the "Delmarva" at its narrowest neck, mostly out of fears of leaving the Confederate rear exposed to attack from the south. The war operations had reached a point where a daring flanking maneuver at the edge of the theater to collapse a line was necessary, but Scott romantically imagined the bucolic Eastern Shore as a Confederate state that simply hadn't seceded and preferred instead a "roll-up" of the territory, starting from the south and thrusting north, much like his Plan HHH. He also wanted to end threats to Cape Charles, and political pressure from Virginia statesman such as powerful Senator Thomas Martin angry that places like Chincoteague Island and the village of Accomac were occupied by small detachments of the Maryland National Guard surely played a part.

Instead of an attack near where Confederate forces were already concentrated and where the bay was narrow at the Bohemia River, Scott ordered three attacks across the bay with landings at the mouths of the Choptank, Nanticoke and Pocomoke Rivers, with southwest-to-northeast scythes of offensives from there, aimed at Denton, Salisbury and Pocomoke City. The last of these attacks was so utterly pointless - conducted in marshy, unnavigable wetlands around the wide, meandering and slow-moving Pocomoke - that the hapless operation was derisively nicknamed "the Pocomoke Feint" even if the majority of the division assigned to its conduct was further north. The entire attack was a debacle; in the frigid February conditions, the Confederate troops found it difficult to march in unfriendly terrain, supply boats were slow to support them from a forward base on Kent Island, and the local population proved an excellent guerilla force. After six days of meaningless skirmishes, a hurried regiment of Delaware National Guardsmen annihilated the Choptank Regiment near Easton and the rest of the Confederates made a desperate evacuation or surrendered. In all, it had essentially wasted nearly a full division for little purpose and left thousands of guns, rounds of ammunition and other critical supplies in enemy hands with zero strategic gains.

The Pocomoke Feint was the first time that knives genuinely came out for Scott, both internally and externally, but Smith was still too caught up in the initial successes of Scott's Plan HHH to sack the army chief. In part, he knew there was more loyalty to Scott in the field than at the ASO in Richmond, and he viewed the staff officers there and the War Department as similar to his own bureaucratic and political enemies, sympathizing for once with Scott rather than resenting him. This should be seen in stark contrast to the decision mere days after the failures on the Eastern Shore by President Charles Evans Hughes of the United States to "retire" his own Chief of Staff William Wotherspoon ahead of his own country's planned offensives and instead rotating in a man he had more confidence in, the Deputy Chief of Staff, General Tasker Bliss. This contrast between how each President interacted with their senior military officers and how much leeway those officers had in planning offensives - and their responsibility for their results - is instructive in how the rest of the war would go, starting with the three major offensives by the United States in three separate theaters that came to define the war in 1914..."

- Mississippi Rubicon: How the Confederacy Went to War in 1913

[1] Much like the Septemberprogramm of OTL's WW1, which was never really an explicit government policy so much as a suggestion occasionally thrown out by corners of the OHL whenever things were going well
Lot of *non* "Delmarva stuff to unpack here as well, but specifically for the Delmarva, looks like the Maryland National Guard went south and have picked up some areas (though not enough to threaten Norfolk without a problem and then the Confederates shot themselves in the foot there. Note, the fact that Wilson is referring to it as the Delmarva doesn't guarantee that any of it is actually in Virginia at the time of the writing of the book. :) Wondering how far South the US could get if they actually *tried*.

And yes, the eastern edge of the Chesapeake really does have *that* much land that is marshy wetlands. Excellent for Crab fishing though. :)
 
Honestly, the confederate battle in the Confederate/Spanish war seemed almost Battle of Tsushima bad.

Also, for the Battle of Tsushima, the Russian Navy had some really bizarre things happen on the way there including the Dogger Bank incident and the coaling situation. Also, reading the Wikipedia article, it is *quite* clear due to the British Navy putting its thumb on the scale, that not only did the Russians have problems with recoaling, the Japanese had better technology than the Russians, at least in shells.

As far as I can tell, the Confederate Navy wouldn't have gone as far as the Russians did even if they were helping the Brazilians and if they can't be recoaled that close to the VA coastline, the Confederates are in *horrible* shape. So they won't even have *that* excuse. The Russians sentenced a few of the high ranking naval officers to death (and then commuted the sentences) I wonder whether the Confederacy would get close.
I guess the only saving grace for the CSA in their naval debacles in the Cuban War was that there were two battles (Key West and Havana) rather than just one, but with Hilton Head there won't be any extenuating circumstances like with the Russians having to literally cross the earth with barely any coal
Lot of *non* "Delmarva stuff to unpack here as well, but specifically for the Delmarva, looks like the Maryland National Guard went south and have picked up some areas (though not enough to threaten Norfolk without a problem and then the Confederates shot themselves in the foot there. Note, the fact that Wilson is referring to it as the Delmarva doesn't guarantee that any of it is actually in Virginia at the time of the writing of the book. :) Wondering how far South the US could get if they actually *tried*.

And yes, the eastern edge of the Chesapeake really does have *that* much land that is marshy wetlands. Excellent for Crab fishing though. :)
The infrastructure for getting all the way down for Cape Charles is pretty meh, the US's main focus is just preventing the Confederacy from having a good way of threatening Delaware... which, of course, said meh infrastructure precludes in many ways.
 
I guess the only saving grace for the CSA in their naval debacles in the Cuban War was that there were two battles (Key West and Havana) rather than just one, but with Hilton Head there won't be any extenuating circumstances like with the Russians having to literally cross the earth with barely any coal

The infrastructure for getting all the way down for Cape Charles is pretty meh, the US's main focus is just preventing the Confederacy from having a good way of threatening Delaware... which, of course, said meh infrastructure precludes in many ways.
Looking forward to it. (Mental idea). The US crosses the Confederate T and *half* of the ships reverse to get out, and end up with quite a few colliding with each other...

And it sounds like the locals are overperforming. Also, in terms of weaponry, this is a place where even the beginnings of the environmental movement (which reminds me, I think we are behind OTL in the concept of National Parks) would support hunting. The area can't support *anything* that is a deer predator, so without human hunting, the deer population would rise and crash without human hunting. It is also an area where knowing the water back channels is *very* useful and if you land troops in the wrong place, the march to where you want to be can be 3 times the direct distance due to all of the peninsulas. They might have been better off landing the troops on the Ocean side of the peninsula...
 
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Looking forward to it. (Mental idea). The US crosses the Confederate T and *half* of the ships reverse to get out, and end up with quite a few colliding with each other...

And it sounds like the locals are overperforming. Also, in terms of weaponry, this is a place where even the beginnings of the environmental movement (which reminds me, I think we are behind OTL in the concept of National Parks) would support hunting. The area can't support *anything* that is a deer predator, so without human hunting, the deer population would rise and crash without human hunting. It is also an area where knowing the water back channels is *very* useful and if you land troops in the wrong place, the march to where you want to be can be 3 times the direct distance due to all of the peninsulas. They might have been better off landing the troops on the Ocean side of the peninsula...
That would be pretty hilarious haha.

Yeah, without a TR in the WH (and, as a result, Gifford Pinchot running the show at Forest Service/Interior) we're well behind the National Parks movement. That being said, conservationism was a burgeoning movement across the board - the Forest Service IOTL dated back to the Benjamin Harrison years - it's just that the vast expansion you saw under Teddy is much slowed.
 
Path of Darkness: Europe's Illiberal Hour
"...such divergence was certainly not contemporaneously intuitive; few if any people would have regarded Denmark as the most liberal Scandinavian state in the mid-to-late 19th century, what with the more immediate influence of German and Austrian reactionary politics and its own bitterness over the Battle of Copenhagen still sitting like an open wound five decades on, and the failure of Scandinavism as an ideology was oft laid at Denmark's own feet, particularly by Norwegian expatriate liberals who traced the failure of their own attempted revolution and war of independence in 1905 to the crisis over Schleswig forty years prior.

But Denmark had, at least in practice, the most fully "responsible" parliament in the Nordic countries, where since 1901 the crown had not meddled openly in parliamentary affairs and had (often begrudgingly, admittedly) accepted governments as they were constituted by elections. The incumbent government in the spring of 1914 was thus that of Carl Theodor Zahle, a radical social liberal inspired by progressive reforms in America [1] who after forming a majority government backed by the Social Democrats the previous year was committed to delivering for the first time in Europe universal womanhood suffrage. That is not to say that women could not vote at all elsewhere in Europe - Finland, of all places, extended similar, stricter property and literacy qualifications on the franchise to unmarried women as they did to men - but to subject all women, married or not, to the same franchise as men without qualifications was beyond radical. King Christian X, nobody's idea of a liberal, was nonetheless pragmatic and acquiesced to the passage of the law; the de facto Parliamentarianism in place since the Deuntzer Cabinet under his grandfather persisted, and with that Denmark was the first country in the world to extend unqualified suffrage to women, a sea-change as major as the end of authoritarian monarchy thirteen years earlier and in many ways a bookend to the Revolutions of 1912, one of the few to be fully successful.

By contrast, the late winter of 1914 in Sweden had a very different tone, one in which the monarchy reasserted its considerable prerogatives once again. As described in Chapter VIII, the War of 1905 had essentially extinguished left-liberalism in both halves of the Union and left both countries' parliaments as contests between right-liberals, nationalists of both the right and center, and traditional agrarian and aristocratic conservatives as they jockeyed against one another but also collaborated amongst themselves to keep social democrats out of power, particularly in wealthier, more industrialized Sweden where the Social Democrats' youth league was so radical and determined to foment an outright Marxist revolution the incumbent, electoralist party leadership had been forced to eject them, a split that had badly effected both halves of the Swedish left.

Beyond mere politics, Sweden-Norway's brief civil war nearly a decade prior had wrecked the Union's finances. Already one of the most rural parts of Western Europe, protectionist politics and high levels of borrowing from British and French banks also made Sweden-Norway one of the world's great debtor states, and in late 1913 a small recession in Europe sparked by the shock of the Americas plunging into a hemisphere-wide orgy of violence in the Great American War had had an outsized impact, particularly on trade-dependent Norway. Unemployment spiked, emigration to the United States accelerated - where fresh bodies were needed in factories for war production [2] - and food riots erupted in Christiana and Gothenburg. Several major banks failed and overinflated property values in tony neighborhoods of Stockholm, particularly Ostermalm, collapsed. [3]

In other words, the tinder was dry for an eruption of tensions in Sweden, both socially and politically, and the Courtyard Crisis of 1914 should be viewed in that context. Suffragist Karl Staaff, a pragmatic liberal, had formed the most recent government and immediately come under fire from his enemies on both right and left, and in the wake of the severe economic crisis roiling Sweden - and with the Norwegian issue long thought to be settled - urged his government to pass massive defense cuts, most prominently cancelling the F-type battleship that was on order. This was met with an outburst of nationalist fervor, with conservatives led by the explorer [4] Sven Hedin helping organize a massive protest march of members of the Farmers League from across the country to Stockholm.

In Gustaf V Adolf, they had a sympathetic ear. The King did not dislike Staaff quite as much as many in the elite did - ashtrays in the likeness of the Prime Minister were not uncommon in right-wing Stockholm - but was always impressionable when the quite conservative circle of advisors around him flattered him. It did not help matters that Staaff's previous tenure in the immediate months as a caretaker after the war had left much to be desired, with the young King regarding him as having been too lenient on the Norwegian rebels whom he held responsible for assassinating his father, or at least creating the atmosphere that led to the murder of Crown Prince Gustaf. [5] Implications that Staaff's cuts could lead to another Norwegian revolt - especially as the Norwegian Storting had not submitted similar budget cuts for royal asset to the Joint Council of Defense - thus found fertile ground at Stockholm Palace. Despite many conservatives, such as the influential former Prime Minister Arvid Lindman, advising against the King addressing the protestors, Gustaf nonetheless made his way out to the palace courtyard on February 8 and addressed the crowd of over thirty thousand, announcing effectively that he agreed with their stance on defense cuts and encouraged them to "make their voices heard." [6] Many of these protestors afterwards marched to the Riksdag, chanting against Staaff and demanding the full funding of the defense budget.

Staaff, who had not been consulted on the speech ahead of time, angrily denounced the King for interfering in politics and accused him of dispatching a mob to intimidate parliament; the King responded icily that he would not be "denied his right to communicate with the Swedish people." Sweden was, officially, in a constitutional crisis, and Staaff subsequently resigned and before the end of 1914 went into exile in Britain. A caretaker government under Hjalmar Hammarskjold was appointed full of conservative civil servants, and in the elections held that July, the conservative and right-liberal coalition won a majority, contingent on some amelioration of Sweden's longstanding protectionist policies.

The Courtyard Crisis was, in many ways, the inflection point of Swedish politics in the 20th century. Staaff's folding in the crisis denied Swedish liberalism one of its most important founders, and the left-liberal wing of the Liberal Party would not lead a government until the peaceful constitutional revolutions of the 1970s. Swedish parliamentarianism had, in theory, survived, but a parliamentary clique of right-wing and center-right parties ranging from agrarians to nationalists to the aristocratic elite would control the Riksdag without interruption through 1972, using a combination of a complex proportional representation system, a restricted franchise (universal suffrage for men and women would not be instituted for decades to come), and an appointed upper house of Parliament dominated by the nobility with a larger role than Britain's House of Lords. The King's gambit had, in other words, worked - the constitutional crisis provoked had seen his opponents wilt, and his position as a powerful voice and influence in Swedish politics had gone challenged but seen that challenge off..."

- Path of Darkness: Europe's Illiberal Hour

[1] I hope everyone appreciates the irony of stolid, old-fashioned and conservative Scandinavia looking to the progressive, vibrant United States as a model
[2] More on this later
[3] Granted I'm putting my thumb on the scale a bit by making things more extreme, but it is important to emphasize just what a backwater most of Scandinavia was even up to the 1950s. Sweden was basically the last country in Western Europe to urbanize, just for starters. This is a long-winded way of saying that OTL, quite honestly from an economic and sociopolitical perspective, probably represents something of a best case scenario for all of Scandinavia, and this TL will explore what a shittier, poorer, less dynamic and more socially backwards Scandinavia up to the present day might look like
[4] Scandinavian politics in the 1910s and 1920s was basically just a contest to see which right-wing polar explorer to accumulate the most power behind the scenes
[5] Remember - this Gustaf V Adolf is OTL's Gustaf VI Adolf, crowned 43 years early with his grandfather Oscar II's death
[6] Real event, and the fallout is similar.
 
That would be pretty hilarious haha.

Yeah, without a TR in the WH (and, as a result, Gifford Pinchot running the show at Forest Service/Interior) we're well behind the National Parks movement. That being said, conservationism was a burgeoning movement across the board - the Forest Service IOTL dated back to the Benjamin Harrison years - it's just that the vast expansion you saw under Teddy is much slowed.
And manage to do something not even the Russian Navy did, I think. Well, Gifford Pinchot could still end up rising pretty high in Pennsylvania politics. Maybe a model State Park program that later gets copied on the National Level? And there will certainly be something equivalent to OTL Gettysburg National Military Park somewhere in Pennsylvania.
 
And manage to do something not even the Russian Navy did, I think. Well, Gifford Pinchot could still end up rising pretty high in Pennsylvania politics. Maybe a model State Park program that later gets copied on the National Level? And there will certainly be something equivalent to OTL Gettysburg National Military Park somewhere in Pennsylvania.
Yeah, that’s sort of what I had in mind. The PA Libs are going to have some major factional disputes and Pinchot will factor majorly in those
 
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