Miscellaneous >1900 (Alternate) History Thread

Why was urushiol (the active chemical in poison ivy and its relatives) never used for modern chemical warfare? Bundles of burning poison ivy/oak/sumac has a long history in pre-modern chemical warfare in parts of the world thanks to the incapacitating effects of the smoke which if inhaled causes blistering of the lungs and spreads throughout the body and seems like a more mild form of mustard gas (or at best severe reactions to tear gas). The blisters and pain doesn't go away for weeks in some individuals. Was urushiol smoke just too impractical to deliver via chemical munitions compared to chlorine, mustard gas, or other modern chemical weapons?
 
Does anyone here have any information on an apparent proposal by RENAMO in the Mozambican Civil War to split their occupied part of the country off into something called the "Republic of Rombesia/Rombezia"? I can only find a few references to it in some books and a single mention on Wikipedia (not even on the page for the Civil War but on the main page for Mozambique) and something about a group called the União Nacional Africana da Rombézia that I'm still trying to figure out whether or not this is the same group. If anyone's capable of helping me with this that'd be great.

I found this mention in a book for their territory as well in case that helps:
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Edit: okay yep did some more reading, this was indeed the same thing:
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Still looking for any more potential info if anyones got it but I think this is the most there is
 
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Would a WW1 where Russia and UK on opposite sides, where UK invaded Central Asia and colonized the region with Indian settlers (as proposed in OTL Iraq mandate) cause a Russian Revolution if Russia had won the RussoJapanese War?
 
What were some more radical ideas proposed during the New Deal era that FDR could feasibly adopt? I'm considering a timeline where by the 1940 election, the Republican Party has effectively dissolved and the two major parties are the Democrats and the Conservatives, an awkward coalition of Southern Democrats and Midwestern Republicans brought together by mutual fear of FDR's dominance. If FDR's conservative critics are now out of the party, what are some of the more radical things he might feel freer to do?

I'm aware of Long's Share Our Wealth obviously, but I don't think FDR would adopt that, out of personal dislike for Long if nothing else. Similarly, I don't think FDR would (or could) go full Farmer-Labor and start nationalizing banks or something.
 
Would a WW1 where Russia and UK on opposite sides, where UK invaded Central Asia and colonized the region with Indian settlers (as proposed in OTL Iraq mandate) cause a Russian Revolution if Russia had won the RussoJapanese War?
Trying to get my head around this one...

Are we talking British Indian Muslims, and from anywhere across British India, e.g. from Hyderabad as equally as from Baluchistan? They would presumably get land grants in order to move that far? What areas are we looking at? Just the protectorates of Khiva and Bokhara, plus Kokand? Or into Turkmenistan and the Kazakh Steppe? Or even further afield? Any such colonisation is going to need a whole range of forts JUST AS RUSSIAN COLONISATION/CONQUEST OF THE AREA HAD DONE.

So, the timeline you are looking at is along the lines of:-

Russia wins the war with Japan
No Triple Entente, and either the Entente Cordiale never happens or does not interfere with alliances? Or what...? I can't see France ditching Russia at all in this period, even if Russia becomes friendly with Germany. You'd need to explain the sides in your world war for me.
Russia LOSES the Great War, and part of the peace settlement is for Britain to annex the areas it presumably occupies at the end of the war

I don't think that the annexation itself is going to cause a Revolution, but if you are talking Nicholas II and especially if you are talking Rasputin, then as soon as a major defeat becomes inevitable there are going to be strong forces to try and get him to abdicate. I understand that general anti-Tsarist forces will be a lot less in this timeline, but at the same time he just got his ass handed to him in the world war, and knowing NIcholas II he copied OTL and assumed personal command of the armed forces, so blame can be placed at his door.

OTL his abdication personally was demanded by people who did not know about Alexei's condition. So the expectation was, AT THAT MOMENT, he would abdicate and Alexei would become Tsar under a Regency. Of course, what happened was that Nicholas II could not abide the idea of this happening to Alexei, given how ill he was, and abdicated in BOTH his and Alexei's name, throwing the crown to his brother Michael. That MIGHT have worked - Michael had ONE opportunity to save the monarchy, if he had accepted it straight away. Units on the front were already swearing allegiance to him, but instead he told those who had come to see him that he would only accept the crown if the Duma, as representatives of the people, asked him to - of course he was asking this in the EXPECTATION that the Duma would do just this, but it was too riven with factions to manage it and the crown effectively lapsed.

In your situation, the monarchy might be strong enough for Michael, if he has survived the war, to accept without equivocation and head off the descent into provisional government. If he is dead, perhaps his cousins are strong enough in his stead.

Best Regards
Grey Wolf
 
What were some more radical ideas proposed during the New Deal era that FDR could feasibly adopt? I'm considering a timeline where by the 1940 election, the Republican Party has effectively dissolved and the two major parties are the Democrats and the Conservatives, an awkward coalition of Southern Democrats and Midwestern Republicans brought together by mutual fear of FDR's dominance. If FDR's conservative critics are now out of the party, what are some of the more radical things he might feel freer to do?

I'm aware of Long's Share Our Wealth obviously, but I don't think FDR would adopt that, out of personal dislike for Long if nothing else. Similarly, I don't think FDR would (or could) go full Farmer-Labor and start nationalizing banks or something.
Possibly the Second Bill of Rights?
 
Possibly the Second Bill of Rights?
I like the idea of the Second Bill of Rights, but how much new ambitious legislation can you really get out of that? Wikipedia says the rights FDR wanted to guarantee were:
  • Employment , food, clothing and leisure with enough income to support them
  • Farmers' rights to a fair income
  • Freedom from unfair competition and monopolies
  • Housing
  • Medical care
  • Social security
  • Education
Most of this is really just a matter of doing more of what's already being done. Like the first probably means an expansion of the WPA, the third just means more aggressive anti-trust enforcement, etc. You could maybe get UK-style social housing and a universal health care system out of 4 and 5, but were people upset enough with their landlords or their health insurance in the 1930s for the energy to be there? That's a good start, but I was thinking something more along the lines of Social Security, an idea that came from outside the administration that got enough interest for FDR to adopt it.
 
I like the idea of the Second Bill of Rights, but how much new ambitious legislation can you really get out of that? Wikipedia says the rights FDR wanted to guarantee were:
  • Employment , food, clothing and leisure with enough income to support them
  • Farmers' rights to a fair income
  • Freedom from unfair competition and monopolies
  • Housing
  • Medical care
  • Social security
  • Education
Most of this is really just a matter of doing more of what's already being done. Like the first probably means an expansion of the WPA, the third just means more aggressive anti-trust enforcement, etc. You could maybe get UK-style social housing and a universal health care system out of 4 and 5, but were people upset enough with their landlords or their health insurance in the 1930s for the energy to be there? That's a good start, but I was thinking something more along the lines of Social Security, an idea that came from outside the administration that got enough interest for FDR to adopt it.
That first ones sounds like Govt work programs, or way to universal credit- some story lines in there
2nd would play havoc with the Big Argri corps of the 70's onwards, which leads to a very different setup for American farmers
Right to Housing does tie ito making work seen in 1
Medical Care- sounds like FDR wanted his own NHS
Social Security- build the welfare state!
Guarantee of Education will ripple into the Southern states and their racially split education system

In an AU you could tack on something about no discrimination in regards to race, sexuality, gender which could also change things.
 
Can the percentage of the various products of crude oil separation be altered? Such as, if you want as much petrol as you can squeeze out of what oil you have, or you want diesel, or natural gas, etc.? If it can be done how difficult/expensive would it be/what would you need?
 
Can the percentage of the various products of crude oil separation be altered? Such as, if you want as much petrol as you can squeeze out of what oil you have, or you want diesel, or natural gas, etc.? If it can be done how difficult/expensive would it be/what would you need?
How Oil Refining Works | HowStuffWorks

Not my work.



How Oil Refining Works | Oil, diesel, gasoline ...

In summary, what distills out at the temperature is what you obtain from that lot of unrefined crude. You cannot change the results much if at all.
 
‘George Bush Never Promises ‘No New Taxes’. Or, alternatively, he actually somehow delivers on that promise even with a Democratic Congress standing in the way.
 
If the Duke of Rutland (say for example) becomes a Field Marshal, would he be "Field Marshal, the Duke of Rutland" or "Field Marshal, Lord Rutland" or "Field Marshal Rutland" and would it differ in writing than in speech?
 
If the Duke of Rutland (say for example) becomes a Field Marshal, would he be "Field Marshal, the Duke of Rutland" or "Field Marshal, Lord Rutland" or "Field Marshal Rutland" and would it differ in writing than in speech?
The format goes 'Rank First-name Surname, #th Duke of Place' so if the current Duke were a FM, his formal title would be 'Field Marshal David Manners, 11th Duke of Rutland'.
Verbally, military personnel would address him as 'Field Marshal' or plain 'Sir' whilst otherwise he'd be addressed as 'Your Grace'.
On a written address (envelopes, etc) and in the salutation of a letter (the 'Dear ...' bit) it would be depend on whether he was being written to in his military capacity or not. If related to the military, it would be 'Field Marshal Manners, the Duke of Rutland' and 'My Lord Duke'. If it were a distinctly military matter, just 'Field Marshal Manners' and 'Dear Field Marshal' might be used. If unrelated to the military, it would be 'His Grace the Duke of Rutland' or just 'The Duke of Rutland' and 'My Lord Duke'. Regardless of the subject, if he had a personal preference, then that form of address should be used.
Sources:
https://www.debretts.com/expertise/forms-of-address/professions/the-armed-forces/ - scroll about half-way down to 'Field Marshal' and also a bit further to 'Army: Forms of Address';
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forms_of_address_in_the_United_Kingdom#Peers,_peeresses_and_non-peerage - top row of the table refers to Dukes.
 
Technical Question: Would a number of high explosive artillery shells be able to set a large mound of coal on fire? Or would the explosions just throw coal everywhere?
Depends. Coal, in "lump" form, takes a good bit to ignite it. Now, if there is a lot of coal DUST in the mix, you could have one hell of an explosion. An incendiary would probably do the trick better than an HE round...
 
What if the Stuka was armed with a 37mm cannon instead of bombs?
I remember having a 1:72 scale model of a Stuka I had made when I was a kid... it was the Ju-87D variant I believe. Had a pair of 37mm cannon, one under each wing in detachable pods.

Stuka is a much-derided aircraft (slow, vulnerable, a bit ugly), but it really had some excellent capabilities, sort of the A-10 of its day. Could be a deadly tank-buster, especially in the hands of someone like Hans-Ulrich Rudel...
 
How popular has the idea of direct elections for judges been during history (20th century more specifically).

Reading up on the Constitution building process in Lithuania in 1920-1922, I found a small blurb stating that the Social Democrats wanted to have judges elected via popular vote, and I'm wondering if this was a trend at the time or whether it was something they came up with.
Sadly enough, popular election of judges is a common thing in a lot of states here in the good ol' USA, and has been for a long time. Seems like a terrible idea to me, but I suppose only marginally worse than political appointees...
 
Small plausibility check: is there any sense in transferring the Serbian Banat to Romanian occupation during ww2? It sticks out like a sore thumb on the map of axis-occupied Europe otherwise, and it has a (small but not insignificant) native Romanian population and could provide further compensation to Romania for their losses in Transylvania and southern Dobruja. Perhaps some form of joint Romanian-German administration, since it also has a significant German population.
 
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