Miscellaneous <1900 (Alternate) History Thread

Could you recommend any books on the House of Tudor? Something for a total beginner?
You could start by reading a few online articles, such as the ones by the Encyclopaedia Britannica (https://www.britannica.com/topic/House-of-Tudor). Otherwise a search on Amazon or Goodreads for 'History of the Tudors' will throw up a few books which you could either buy or try to find at a library.

I would say, however, that if you are just beginning, then don't get fixated on just one dynasty or period. You would be better served to read something with a wider viewpoint, so that you then know how that dynasty/period fits in to the overall history. Norman Davies' books Europe: A History and The Isles: A History are good books on Europe and the British Isles respectively; alternatively you could try the Oxford History of Britain or Simon Schama's A History of Britain (I found these to be more histories of England with occasional references to other parts of Britain, but that might be what you want).
How long would a sailing ship sailing from London (say 1100's in April) take to reach a) the faroe isles and b) Iceland?
How long would a sailing ship sailing from London (say 1100's in April) take to reach a) the faroe isles and b) Iceland?
Probably about six to eight weeks to the Faroes and maybe another two to three to Iceland.
That's assuming the ship is of a design similar to the ones used by the Danes and Norse at the time (the 'Vikings'). For comparison, the replica longship 'Sea Stallion of Glendalough' made the trip from Roskilde (Denmark) to Dublin (Ireland) in just over six weeks in 2007. (Links: BBC story, Viking Ship Museum document, Blog post about sailing on her.)
However, it would depend greatly on the winds - unfavourable winds could add weeks to the journey (basically trapping the ship in harbour waiting for the wind to change, assuming they weren't in the middle of the ocean and caught by a storm) - whilst favourable winds might shave a week or even more off it. The advantage of a trip up the east coast of Britain then across mostly open ocean is that tides won't have as much of an effect - the only really bad tidal section will be around the Orkneys.
I am curious if anyone know of any books/material about the Netherlands post Napoleon and about the Belgian revolution.
Not an area of my so-called expertise, but this one looks interesting if you can find it

Not an area of my so-called expertise, but this one looks interesting if you can find it

Nice thank you! If anyone else has any more the recommendation would be appreciated
When prince Afonzo of Portugal died, the dowry of Isabella of "Spain" was returned to the catholic monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella. I believe by 1491.

If Afonzo lives, how would spanish finances be affected? Would the reconquist take longer? Obviously Columbus leaves empty handed,
Can someone poke one of our lusophones? Really interested
WI: Muslim victory at Poitiers?
Not much tbh. The Umayyads were already overextended and couldn't have advanced much further in the west. Really, the end to Muslim expansion in Europe came during the Siege of Constantinople in 717. If you just want a Muslim Europe wank, I'd recommend having the Franks collapse into infighting, the Abbasids manage to secure Iberia and the rest of the Umayyad Empire after their revolt and the Byzantines be crippled by civil wars/the Bulgarians. There'll be much less direct conquest but more gradual assimilation.

P.S. Papal power should also never recover from its low under the pornocracy. Try having the North Africans succeed in turning Italy into a new Spain, that should help.
What if Alexander was assassinated before freeing the serfs?

Alexander was carried by sleigh to the Winter Palace[53] to his study where almost the same day twenty years earlier, he had signed the Emancipation Edict freeing the serfs.

Perhaps here: On the evening of 5 February 1880 Stephan Khalturin, also from Narodnaya Volya, set off a timed charge under the dining room of the Winter Palace, right in the resting room of the guards a story below, killing 11 people and wounding 30 others.[53] The New York Times (4 March 1880) reported "the dynamite used was enclosed in an iron box, and exploded by a system of clockwork used by the man Thomas in Bremen some years ago."[54]
Why was the French army in the Franco-Prussian War so bad? This is one of the armies that seems so bad, it has become a meme...
Why was the French army in the Franco-Prussian War so bad? This is one of the armies that seems so bad, it has become a meme...
Truthfully, the French Army wasn't exactly terrible at a tactical level. On a tactical level, although the French Army was outgunned in regards to artillery, it was still capable of giving the Germans a bloody nose, especially with their chassepot rifle. In fact, the French did win battles on a tactical level; but the Germans had several organizational and institutional advantages over its French rival that provided the means for a victory on an operational and strategic level.
The first German strength over the French was their mobilization system. The German's mobilization system was far more efficient than that of the French in mobilizing an army.
To pull a page from "The Franco-Prussian War: The German Conquest of France in 1870-1871" - pg 71 by Geoffrey Wawro:
Compared with the German states, France simply did not have enough "strategic railways": double-tracked or partially double-tracked trunk lines from industrial and population centers to the Rhine. Whereas the Prussians had six such lines — three from Berlin that swept most of northern and central Germany, and three others from Hamburg, Dresden, and Munich — the French had just four: Paris-Sedan-Thionville, Paris-Metz-Forbach, Paris-Nancy-Hagenau, and Belfort-Strasbourg. A vital fifth line, Verdun-Metz, had been left unfinished, as had double-tracked connections between Thionville and Forbach and Strasbourg and Hagenau that, if built, would have linked the four French railways.

Another weakness of the French system was its greater reliance on single tracks that could only handle movement in one direction. Much more of the German network was double-tracked, which meant that the Germans moved an average of fifty trains a day to the French border in 1870, the French just twelve. Because no French train could move more than a single infantry battalion, cavalry squadron, artillery battery, or supply column at a time, it took three whole weeks to assemble an army corps, a task that the Germans executed in three to seven days.

The logistical difficulties of assembling a field army were at least as nettlesome. Trains had to be run into sidings to await their fellow units and supplies had to be unloaded and distributed to needy formations, which were invariably miles from the railhead. So great was the confusion — supply trucks could not be unloaded fast enough to keep the trunk lines open — that France's principal eastern line, Paris-Forbach, had to be shut down for an entire day in the third week of July to collect, count, and rearrange the disorganized loads of men, horses, guns, ambulances, bridging equipment, munitions, and foodstuffs stranded along the line. Even when rail service was restored, the flow of troops to Lorraine was disappointing. On 27 July, a British journalist at Metz reported, "You cannot conceive the difficulty of uniting even 100,000 men. If even 15,000—20,000 arrived each day it would take a week, but even that number is impossible because the cavalry need horses and the artillery need guns. Sometimes thirty wagons roll into the station and, after all the equipment has been taken off, just fifty men step down."

No wonder French divisions that were supposed to have 9,100 men by the seventh day of mobilization had just 6,500, all with Chassepots, but many without cartridges, which were sent separately. Overall, Napoleon III found himself in late July with just 40,000 men at Strasbourg, not the 100,000 expected, and scarcely 100,000 ill-equipped men at Metz, not the 150,000 regarded as a bare mimmum. His reserve at Chålons was even worse off; Canrobert's VI Corps was missing two divisions and as yet had no field-ready cavalry or artillery.

Compounding the effects of an inefficient logistics system is the lack of French reserves. While France had a regular army of 400,000 vs the German's 300,000 front-line strength, the Germans could count on a million reservists and Landwehr troops and the French had nothing to back them up. This pretty much set the scene for the German's to use their numerical superiority to breakthrough the French Army and protect their line of communications as they advanced into France.

On an operational level, the Germans have the French beat. The French had a rigidly centralized command and control system that killed initiative in the army. Everything depended on the commanding general's orders. Furthermore, when war was declared, French corps and division organizations did not even exist. So they had to appoint commanding officers and scrape up staff hastily. Arguably, the most important impact is the resulting command difficulties in the French Army of the Rhine. The commanding officer, Marshal Achille Bazaine, did not know or trust his Chief of Staff General Hugues Louis Jarras, who had been sent by Napoleon III. The secretive Bazaine obstinately refused to inform his chief of staff of his intentions, cutting him completely out of the planning process, preferring to rely instead on his two nephews. Jarras's role was limited to supervising minor details of execution. With no one to direct and coordinate the activities of the staff, it is little wonder that slowness, hesitancy, and indecision marked the movements and actions of the French Army of the Rhine throughout its brief existence.

Furthermore, none of the commanding French generals seem to be very talented compared to their German counterparts, which is critical when their whole command system depended on the commanding officer to know what he's doing. Bazaine seemed lethargic when it came to reacting to the German attacks, allowing the Germans to encircle him in Metz. Frankly, Bazaine's fate was not guaranteed. Despite having orders to withdraw to Verdun, I feel that Bazaine lacked the energy to engage in a fighting withdrawal from Metz. He wasted 12 hours fighting at Borny for Metz (the town he supposed to abandon) and then failed to smash through a disorganized Prussian Corps at Mars-La-Tour. Marshall MacMahon doesn't seem to be much better, almost immediately giving up on Bazaine's trapped army in Metz when he was given the order to lift the siege.

On a tactical level, the lack of initiative in French units meant that units would often be in fixed positions and refused to support friendly units under attack unless an order was given. This was especially since the Prussian way of war was to seek the enemy flank and turn it.