Miscellaneous >1900 (Alternate) History Thread

Why is MacArthur seen negatively on this forum? Was he a bad general? Perhaps I'm just uninformed, but the way he was taught in my school put him in a positive light.
 

Driftless

Donor
US military chain of command during WWI - what is the consensus of opinion on the relative merits/abilities of the following folks at or near the top of the food chain?

President Wilson - (I'm not a fan....) to me the most useful thing he did once war was declared was to limit his input to the military. Prior to the DoW, his actions consciously left the US with our pants down.

US Navy
* Secr. of the Navy Josephus Daniels (to me, a political hack. A meddler)
* Admiral William Benson
* Admiral Henry Mayo
* Admiral William Sims

US Army
* Secr. of the Army - Newton Baker (by comparison to Daniels, surprisingly competent, considering his complete lack of background with the military.)
* Gen. John Pershing
* Gen. Peyton March
* Gen Tasker Bliss
* Gen Hunter Liggett

Anybody else needing addition to this list?
 
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What European countries could be annexed/cease to exist after 1900?

The Ottomans and AH are one example, but even most of their territory is now self governed, just really Romania who annexed significant parts of AH.

Obviously the EU could form a superstate so how about prior to that?

Are there any scenarios where say Portugal can be annexed, or Belgium/Swizterland partitioned, or Netherlands brought into German Empire?
 
US military chain of command during WWI - what is the consensus of opinion on the relative merits/abilities of the following folks at or near the top of the food chain?
My opinion is not consensus; so when I write your mileage might vary, I suggest it "should" vary based on one's interpretation of the evidence available on the individual.
President Wilson - (I'm not a fan....) to me the most useful thing he did once war was declared was to limit his input to the military. Prior to the DoW, his actions consciously left the US with our pants down.
I would regard him as the most overrated and most damaging of American presidents. His incompetence is legendary. Not until the late 20th Century do American presidents approach his level of ineptitude and sheer evil. Yes, I mean EVIL. He was a vile human being.
US Navy
* Secr. of the Navy Josephus Daniels (to me, a political hack. A meddler).
Reviews on him are mixed. His incompetence puts him near Ray Mabus as the bottom of the barrel Secretary of the Navy types. Daniels famously is renowned for the social engineering he attempted in the USN by creating a fleet of teetotalers. That might have been the only thing he did right, because he did screw up the merchant marine program, he fouled up the four stackers programs, and he completely derailed the C and R proposals for the Standards.
* Admiral William Benson
First CNO, he replaced Bradley Fiske. Bradley Fiske is the GOLD STANDARD. Compared to him, anybody short of a Sims, Nimitz or a King is not going to show up favorably. However...Benson's chief defect, I maintain, is that he almost killed the WWI United States Naval Air Service. Fortunately... Franklin Delano Roosevelt, assistant secretary of the Navy, told him not to abolish the service, maintaining the airplane is far too useful a new tool.

Jeffery S. Underwood, The wings of democracy: the influence of air power on the Roosevelt Administration, 1933–1941 (1991) p. 11.

Underwood has nothing good to say about Benson. "Reactionary" is the kindest description.
* Admiral Henry Mayo
My complaint with this "gentleman" was that he was an atavistic 'jingoistic egotistical racist bastard' who made things "difficult" with the British and who first demonstrated his incompetence at Tampico, Mexico; where he practically guaranteed that incident would spiral into a near open war crisis with Mexico. On the plus side, once he saw a British aircraft carrier, he said; "I want that!" American naval aviation regards him as one of their first champions.
* Admiral William Sims
The Percy Scott of the USN, but only much much better. Wrap Jellico, Fiske, Fisher, and the ghost of John Paul Jones and season with a little of Alfred Thayer Mahan and you get a Sims.
US Army
* Secr of the Army - Newton Baker (by comparison to Daniels, surprisingly competent, considering his complete lack of background with the military.)
Competent is a relative term. Remember this man championed that idiot, John Pershing, and he staunchly supported Wilson.
* Gen. John Pershing
I have two words to describe, "Black Jack"; "incompetent idiot."
* Gen. Peyton March
I like him a lot. Competent artilleryman and he hated Woodrow Wilson's guts. Also had little use for Pershing, so I am amazed he became Army CoS under those two idiots. Must have known where the bodies were buried. More importantly, he started implementing the WWI lessons learned he reformed the right way in the American army, before the 1920 National Defense Act and Pershing came in and screwed it all up.
* Gen Tasker Bliss
Old guy was a bit long in the tooth when he was the US representative on the Allied Supreme War Council. Butted heads with Pershing, Foch and Haig and Wilson. SOB. Love the guy. He had no use for:

Pershing
Foch
Haig
and he hated Wilson's guts. (TR man.)
* Gen Hunter Liggett
Solidly competent and universally disliked.
Anybody else needing addition to this list?
Douglas MacArthur... reckless.
George Patton... arrogant.
George C. Marshall... learning the ropes.
Fox Connor... possibly the best of the US Army pre-WWII generals and arguably a general as good as Winfield Scott.
 
US military chain of command during WWI - what is the consensus of opinion on the relative merits/abilities of the following folks at or near the top of the food chain?

President Wilson - (I'm not a fan....) to me the most useful thing he did once war was declared was to limit his input to the military. Prior to the DoW, his actions consciously left the US with our pants down.

US Navy
* Secr. of the Navy Josephus Daniels (to me, a political hack. A meddler)
* Admiral William Benson
* Admiral Henry Mayo
* Admiral William Sims

US Army
* Secr. of the Army - Newton Baker (by comparison to Daniels, surprisingly competent, considering his complete lack of background with the military.)
* Gen. John Pershing
* Gen. Peyton March
* Gen Tasker Bliss
* Gen Hunter Liggett

Anybody else needing addition to this list?
Wilson re-segregated the government, limited the duties and privileges of african american units, and committed u prepared troops to Russia with limited rules of engagement.
 

Driftless

Donor
My opinion is not consensus; so when I write your mileage might vary, I suggest it "should" vary based on one's interpretation of the evidence available on the individual.

I would regard him as the most overrated and most damaging of American presidents. His incompetence is legendary. Not until the late 20th Century do American presidents approach his level of ineptitude and sheer evil. Yes, I mean EVIL. He was a vile human being.

Reviews on him are mixed. His incompetence puts him near Ray Mabus as the bottom of the barrel Secretary of the Navy types. Daniels famously is renowned for the social engineering he attempted in the USN by creating a fleet of teetotalers. That might have been the only thing he did right, because he did screw up the merchant marine program, he fouled up the four stackers programs, and he completely derailed the C and R proposals for the Standards.

First CNO, he replaced Bradley Fiske. Bradley Fiske is the GOLD STANDARD. Compared to him, anybody short of a Sims, Nimitz or a King is not going to show up favorably. However...Benson's chief defect, I maintain, is that he almost killed the WWI United States Naval Air Service. Fortunately... Franklin Delano Roosevelt, assistant secretary of the Navy, told him not to abolish the service, maintaining the airplane is far too useful a new tool.

Jeffery S. Underwood, The wings of democracy: the influence of air power on the Roosevelt Administration, 1933–1941 (1991) p. 11.

Underwood has nothing good to say about Benson. "Reactionary" is the kindest description.

My complaint with this "gentleman" was that he was an atavistic 'jingoistic egotistical racist bastard' who made things "difficult" with the British and who first demonstrated his incompetence at Tampico, Mexico; where he practically guaranteed that incident would spiral into a near open war crisis with Mexico. On the plus side, once he saw a British aircraft carrier, he said; "I want that!" American naval aviation regards him as one of their first champions.

The Percy Scott of the USN, but only much much better. Wrap Jellico, Fiske, Fisher, and the ghost of John Paul Jones and season with a little of Alfred Thayer Mahan and you get a Sims.

Competent is a relative term. Remember this man championed that idiot, John Pershing, and he staunchly supported Wilson.

I have two words to describe, "Black Jack"; "incompetent idiot."

I like him a lot. Competent artilleryman and he hated Woodrow Wilson's guts. Also had little use for Pershing, so I am amazed he became Army CoS under those two idiots. Must have known where the bodies were buried. More importantly, he started implementing the WWI lessons learned he reformed the right way in the American army, before the 1920 National Defense Act and Pershing came in and screwed it all up.

Old guy was a bit long in the tooth when he was the US representative on the Allied Supreme War Council. Butted heads with Pershing, Foch and Haig and Wilson. SOB. Love the guy. He had no use for:

Pershing
Foch
Haig
and he hated Wilson's guts. (TR man.)

Solidly competent and universally disliked.

Douglas MacArthur... reckless.
George Patton... arrogant.
George C. Marshall... learning the ropes.
Fox Connor... possibly the best of the US Army pre-WWII generals and arguably a general as good as Winfield Scott.

Wilson re-segregated the government, limited the duties and privileges of african american units, and committed u prepared troops to Russia with limited rules of engagement.
Over the last few months, I've been reading a number of books on US military history following the Span-Am War. I'm more of a readable "popular history" reader, rather than the deep-detail kind. I read several books on the Pancho Villa Expedtion and the prior Tampico/Veracruz interventions. I'm more recently working my way up through WW1. As I had found Eisenhower's "Intervention" to be interesting as it gave some context for both sides, I read "Yanks" and was less impressed. Eisenhower seemed to believe the de-centralized Bureau set-up for the Army to be a good thing in war-preparation, and that idea made no sense to me... I'm currently reading Coffman's 1968 "The War to End All Wars", which spends a fair amount of the first half of the book on US war prep for WW1. He dances the "don't gore any sacred cows" line, but just listing pluses and minuses of various individuals and the actions they took, I gather he's not to much a fan of Wilson (I'm halfway through and only oblique mentions) and not keen on Daniels. A good deal of print is spent (so far) on how the Army was so woefully prepared for everything: manpower, enlisted and officer training, bases, uniforms, weapons, etc. etc.

The one interesting thing I picked up from "Yanks" is that Pershing's short written instructions about the AEF going to operate as a separate force, as opposed to amalgamation as replacements were written by Gen Bliss and Secretary Baker. Wilson seemingly barely played a role.

That modern General Staff concept for the US Army got it's start with Elihu Root, but the powerful Bureau chiefs and their Congressional backers nobbled that after he left the Secretary of War role. March worked on the concept again, but it got largely side-tracked again after WW1.

Interesting stuff.
 
What If the Americans stayed committed to the Aswan Dam and not only kept their money in, but sold Nassar guns and kit in exchange for his word not to attack Israel?

Without Nassar needing cash, nor Czech weapons, he does not try nationalising the Suez Canal so no Crisis.

How does the Middle East play out?
 
Why is MacArthur seen negatively on this forum? Was he a bad general?
Basically he put his ego about 200 spots above everything else on his priority list, surrounded himself with some questionable people, and knew how to play the press. He changed the solid plan to defend only Bataan to trying to run the Japanese out of Luzon, and we can see for ourselves the results, isn't remembered fondly by the Australians after his time there, led a pretty winnable campaign across the Pacific (that's where the positive light comes from), and ignored all the warnings about the Chinese intervening in Korea, which led to that war being a stalemate instead of an overwhelming victory.
but the way he was taught in my school put him in a positive light.
My most vivid memory of any of my high school classes was when my history teacher said the RAF was about done for before the Luftwaffe switched to bombing cities, then used that and the fact that the Heer had 'kicked everyone else's butts in 1940, so it would take over Great Britain pretty easily too' to tell the class that Sea Lion would've been successful. I also recall a history textbook crediting MacArthur for inventing island hopping. Point being most high school history classes are good for adding some background knowledge but not really as primary sources.
 
So I just learned that the Scott expedition used tracked carriers on their fateful Antarctic exploration. If the expedition had been successful, or the carriers somewhat better, they would presumably provide a good path for a Bren Gun Carrier analogue in WW1- call it a Lewis Gun Carrier.

My question is, how much would the British having an equivalent to the Bren Gun Carrier ready by, say, 1916 have changed the course of the war? Would the ability to move up MGs to break up counter-attacks have been a big enough advantage to change the outcome of any major battles? Or would it just be a minor improvement in British effectiveness, largely washed out by the broader tactical factors of the war?
 
Basically he put his ego about 200 spots above everything else on his priority list, surrounded himself with some questionable people, and knew how to play the press. He changed the solid plan to defend only Bataan to trying to run the Japanese out of Luzon, and we can see for ourselves the results, isn't remembered fondly by the Australians after his time there, led a pretty winnable campaign across the Pacific (that's where the positive light comes from), and ignored all the warnings about the Chinese intervening in Korea, which led to that war being a stalemate instead of an overwhelming victory.

My most vivid memory of any of my high school classes was when my history teacher said the RAF was about done for before the Luftwaffe switched to bombing cities, then used that and the fact that the Heer had 'kicked everyone else's butts in 1940, so it would take over Great Britain pretty easily too' to tell the class that Sea Lion would've been successful. I also recall a history textbook crediting MacArthur for inventing island hopping. Point being most high school history classes are good for adding some background knowledge but not really as primary sources.
Yeah I went to school in the south. So I grew up hearing in history that the Germans were noble warriors fighting under an evil man. And that the commies were the real villains of the war. Oh and that the USA won both worlds wars singlehandedly with a blindfold on.

The British were hardly ever mentions, the commonwealth ignored completely, Italy was a footnote and the pacific war read somewhere along the lines of "those degenerate yellow people cowardly attacked fleet at pearl, then had some fancy magic planes. But once we applied a little elbow grease we won without breaking a sweat. And then to make clear those little guys knew they were beat we used nukes.

Needless to say when I found this site, and got some history books not published in the 1970s I became a major headache for everyone involved.
 
Thinking of writing my first non asb timeline, how close was Germany immediately following WWI from going communist? Also any red Germany timellines from this period would be nice.
 
Is a swift Nationalist victory in the SCW with Franco still emerging as the leader very plausible? If it did happen, would it take the chances of Spain joining the Axis in 1940 from nearly ASB to somewhere in the non-zero range?
 
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