Dominion of Southern America - Updated November 29, 2017

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Glen, Feb 22, 2010.

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  1. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    BTW, I just have to tell you guys that I have been saving having a President Poe and Prime Minister Lovecraft for over a year now, so it is gratifying to see your kind cheers for it!:D
     
  2. stevep Member

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    Cyrano

    Actually you're missing a couple of points:

    a) By OTL WWI the key ingredient, nitrates was being sympathised by the Haber Process in Germany, which enabled it to manufacture the explosives it needed. Even then it was a close thing and the method was just being developed so the capture of stockpiles in Antwerp was very important for the Germans in keeping production going.

    b) Since this is set some time earlier and the eastern bloc probably has a smaller technical base than OTL Germany I doubt that they will have anything like the facilities to repeat this. As such what they will need are large stocks of natural nitrates and I believe the main stockpiles are in the Pacific region of S America. Given British domination of the seas and also British trade influence in the region it is doubtful that any significant measures can reach Siberia.

    Even if they can, unless the Trans Siberian has been significantly advanced compared to OTL, it will be bloody difficult getting any real stockpiles to the main industrial regions of the eastern powers.

    Siberia is important because with the British empire and the Ottomans in the opposing bloc, along with Germany and by the sound of it Scandinavia, its about the only way in for supplies from the outside world.

    There is the possibility of using older gunpowder types. But as well as being less powerful and very smoky, with resulting problems, this is also difficult to get hold of. OTL the main sources of saltpetre for this was British India, which again is not going to be supplying the enemy.

    Other sources can be used but with industrial levels of conflict occurring and on a continental scale the need for gunpowder will be very, very large. It is likely that both sides will have stockpiles but also that they will vastly under-estimate the consumption rates. Especially since the war will probably very rapidly expand in size beyond anyone's expectation.

    Steve
     
  3. Nugax talks in diagrams

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    As stevep points out you have it completely arse-backwards, backwards in time the Eastern nations are more reliant on imports of the substances, moving bulk goods across Asia in large quantities is still pretty fucking difficult, the production regions are closed to them (and even if they weren't Britain and France have the cash to just outbid them). The US is irrelevant on this issue.

    The Haber and similar processes also require electricity production facilities that just don't exist at this time to boot.
     
  4. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    True. On the other hand, recall that compared to the same period OTL in some ways the US is more liberal ITTL. So the 'center' is further left and thus the discourse may not be as far to the right as you might think. Then again, it's far enough to the right as it is.

    Well, they would do that, true.

    I don't know that a far left is necessary to get some of those ideas to come about, though, even if they did in that way IOTL.
     
  5. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Don't take it so hard - at least you found it!

    Thank you, you're welcome, and thank you again!:D BTW, did you like the first name I gave your namesake?;)
     
  6. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    IOTL, perhaps, but here it is formulated as such earlier.
     
  7. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Thanks, and I immediately fixed that when I saw your comment - thanks for the proofreading.:)
     
  8. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    In the decades prior to the onset of hostilities in 1889, all of the great powers had sought to build navies hoped to command their local waters and critical trade routes. While the British Empire remained the largest navy in the world, they were stretched out across the face of the globe. One place where multiple nations vied for local dominance was the Baltic. Russia and Prussia-Poland massed their Baltic forces in the hopes of knocking Germany's Baltic navy out of the war, but the entry of the United Kingdom of Scandinavia into the conflict set the stage instead for one of the greatest naval battles of the war, the Battle of the Four Navies. When the Eastern Powers' joint taskforce found the German Baltic fleet, they were surprised to find the Germans accompanied by the Scandinavians, who they did not think could mobilize their navy so quickly and effectively. The coal smoke and artillery smoke from black powder quickly turned the Baltic into a hazy chaos. While ship engagements in the first salvos were at great distance, by the end of the battle ships lost in the haze were engaging at point blank range. The battle was a draw in many ways, but served as a morale booster to the Western Powers, who saw it as the first time the Eastern Powers had been significantly halted since the beginning of the war.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. stevep Member

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    Glen

    Interesting but seems to be rather a pointless exercise by the easterners. While they might have defeated the German fleet if they were able to catch it isolated what would be the point. The allies have the French and British to back them up, so are likely to see their forces quickly reinforced and the Baltic become largely an allied zone. While the RN might be widely stretched in this conflict it can largely act as backup for its allies in most cases. A squadron to reinforce the French in the Adriatic to keep the Austrians in check, another force to secure the Black Sea and something to safeguard the Baltic and the shores of Scandinavia, as well as possibly threaten enemy coasts and coastal traffic. [In fact, unless this battle was right at the start of the war I would expect British units to be in the Baltic either from the start or within a couple of weeks at most]. About the only place that Britain would probably be fighting on its own would be seeking to dislodge the Russians from Japan and isolate their Pacific ports. [If I'm remembering the right TL Japan is split between British and Russian protectorates? In which case that's somewhere, along with probably N China, where there will be direct fighting].

    The RN and the French will have to hunt down raiders elsewhere and seek to blockade the enemy. They might have to consider potential attacks from other parties, plus keeping down pirates and other problems of the time. However, barring major tech changes or additional entrants to the conflict the allies should have the naval side of things sown up pretty quickly. Especially since despite the more advanced technology I think its still too soon for subs to be practical weapons other than possibly in coastal roles.

    Steve


     
  10. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    [​IMG]

    In the 1860s, a number of multibarreled, rapid fire heavy guns were developed by numerous nations and mostly deployed as a single support weapon for small infantry units operating in the 'uncivilized' world, such as against the wild indians of North America, the tribes of Africa, or even in Asia. These guns were later included as antiboarding or anti-small craft weapons on battleships. They were often nicknamed by troops as 'Coffee-Mill Guns given most used a crank that resembled the ubiquitous coffee-mill. Thus the guns were available at the outbreak of war in 1889, but in limited numbers initially. When fighting in large unit actions in Europe, they proved less devastating than they had against more 'primitive' enemies. The guns often misfired (not really more than rifles, but it was a more dramatic stoppage of rate of fire when a Coffee-Mill Gun needed clearing than one rifle in a group), also black powder made these guns easy to spot due to their copious smoke production and the residue fouled the barrels over time, requiring cleaning intermittantly. This was not an issue in brief clashes, but in prolonged battle it also decreased their utility. Even taking all these flaws into account, they still could act as a rapid reinforcement tool, and only the bravest troops could sustain a direct charge against a newly deployed Coffee-Mill Gun. The Ottomans eventually proved this point with their stalling of the Eastern onslaught just outside of Istanbul. Once the momentum of advance was broken and solid defenses could be formed, the advantage began to swing to the defenders, and newer innovations would aid this.

    The Eastern powers, while always intending to fight nations like Germany and Scandinavia, had gambled that they would be slower to declare war and to mobilize. The hope had been to capture Istanbul and completely knock the Ottomans out of the war in Europe before turning to the west and north. However, the Easterners were now forced to open new fronts against Germany and Scandinavia. Russia particularly was concerned to strike early against Scandinavian Finland and force them away from their capital, St. Petersburg. The Russians were somewhat successful, striking deep into the Finnish countryside. Similarly, the forces of Prussia-Poland struck at Germany, with it's main attack sweeping across the North German Plain with the intent to cut off Jutland and the Baltic from Germany, but more importantly, to take Hanover. Prussia's traditional infantry strength was wedded to Polish fantastic tradition of light cavalry, the Uhlans, to form a devastating combined unit attack form, notable for its aggressive offensive and favoring of turning the flanks of the enemy.

    [​IMG]

    While the Prusso-Polish were able to strike deep into Northern Germany, again the Eastern powers fell short of their immediate objectives, and again much of the reason may be attributed first to the use of Coffee-Mill Guns, but also to the introduction of the first true Self-Powered Machine Gun. While designed before the war, it was not until its design could be wedded to the new smokeless gunpowder that it was made practicable. The Germans had gambled and rushed the gun into production first among the Western alliance, and had enough to give the Prusso-Polish army a nasty shock in the battle for Hanover. Again, as outside of Istanbul, the Eastern Powers found their own gamble failing, and the lines of defense hardening.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Yes, it did appear to be such, didn't it. I am glad that you liked the update. Divided or not divided, the Principalities were going to be a thorn in the Ottoman side....
     
  12. stevep Member

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    Glen

    Sounds from the last two updates that the easterners have made early progress but things are now bogging down in a WWI type situation and from this point it gets very bloody but the greater resources of the western allies will probably win. Could be a hell of a long haul however.

    Steve
     
  13. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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  14. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Well, there will, by definition, be a middle ground - of course, there may be very few who actually stand on that ground...

    And there are such, but they are very little discussed or taken seriously at present. ITTL thus far, the West is considered left, and the East is considered right. Actually, compared to this same time period IOTL, the West is definitely more to the left, and the East is mixed in terms of being more to the right AND more to the left, depending how that is measured (and all depend on how you define left and right). Probably more to the point, at this time, the West is considered decentralized, and the East is considered centralized. In actuality, comparered to OTL, the West is more centralized, and the East is VERY much more centralized, at least for this period of time. The West right now is more socially liberal than it was IOTL, the East is more socially totalitarian (but sometimes in a conservative way, sometimes in a liberal way, depending on the needs of the state) than OTL.

    Nice postulate - I think there is some of that in there. BTW, I would probably say that Korsgaardism is more quasi-fascist than proto-fascist. In fact, probably the best way to describe Korsgaardism in OTL terms is as a totalitarian political philosophy, with weaker strains of traditionalism and nationalism that manifest depending on local conditions. Korsgaardists believe that the West is decadent with its emphasis on the individual and expansion of so-called 'rights' to wider and wider categories of people, but that this bankrupt philosophy is highly seductive to the people. Korsgaardism believes that a strong devotion to the state and the leader of the state will make for a strong nation and one that is able to combat the decadence and allure of the individualism of the West, and that by subsuming oneself to the state it will in fact save the people from degeneration.

    And a reasonable one!

    It won't have exactly the same categories or axes as OTL, though there will be enough parallels that some will try to shoehorn TTL's political spectrum into something more familiar. That's only natural...
     
  15. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    [​IMG]

    As the forces of the Eastern Powers bore down upon storied Istanbul by land, Russia also sought to bring further firepower to bear on the Ottoman's key city by sea. The Russian Black Sea fleet had been built up in an effort to overwhelm the Ottoman navy as well as its potential British ally, at least locally. When war actually did break out, both the British and the French made the protection of Ottoman waterways (both on the Black Sea and the Red Sea) a priority. However, moving enough squadrons to counter the insanely numerous (though somewhat bulked up by numerous smaller vessels than just battleships), proved to be a race that the West barely won. The Ottoman Navy acquitted itself admirably in the early days of the Black Sea campaign, first launching a daring raid on Sevastopol which nearly caught the Russians napping, then fighting a holding action all the way to Istanbul with an innovative combination of ships and a new weapon in the naval arsenal, the submarine. The Ottomans thus became the first nation to sink a ship in time of war with a submersibly launched attack. The brave but outnumbered Ottoman Navy was seriously diminished, but bought enough time for British and French ships to traverse the oceans and enter the Black Sea and inflict on the Russian Black Sea Fleet a decisive defeat that saw their remnants harried back to the Russian shore.
     
  16. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Thanks for the encouragement!
     
  17. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    A fair point. Time will tell....

    Ah, but this is where the centralism spectrum comes in - there are still a lot of issues that need to be resolved (or fought over) on how much centralism there should be.

    While I think it can work as you suggest, I don't think that is the only way it must.

    Complacent more than stagnant, I would suggest, but there is something to that.
     
  18. Lycaon pictus Author of "Locksmith's Closet" Donor

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    The impression I'm getting — please correct me if I'm wrong — is that the key difference between Korsgaardism and fascism is that in Korsgaardism, the state is an end in itself. Whereas in fascism, the state is only a means to an end, and if it fails to serve that purpose it should be scrapped and a new one built in its place. So a fascist can call for revolution (as in the March on Rome and the Beer Hall Putsch) but a Korsgaardist can't, or not without being a bigger hypocrite than one normally sees even in politics.

    It seems to me the biggest danger from a Korsgaardist party in, say, the United States is not that it would try to overthrow democracy all at once, but that it would work within the system while constantly suggesting little ways to make the government more powerful and less accountable.
     
  19. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    I hope you gentlemen are enjoying it thus far....
     
  20. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    True, it could....

    Their opinion carries weight but they rely on the UK for foreign policy.

    Definitely will see a lot of Southerners.

    Yep.

    No, as part of Germany, they are in it.

    Yep.