Miscellaneous >1900 (Alternate) History Thread

Could any states of Mexico have become independent during the revolution? If there was heavy involvement by the USA
 
What if Stalin had continued redistributing land to the peasants at an allotment of 40 acres per family instead of the collectivization program he pursued?
 
I meant what Mexican states could become independent from Mexico if the USA got involved in the Mexican revolution
Those adjacent to Texas and those of the Yucatan Peninsula. Zapata and Villa are examples of secessionist regions from the core states. As for the "revolution", that problem has been a permanent feature of Mexican society as the political and economic situation there has never been stabilized or justified in the polity's mind to the point where the people have not sought redress against what they perceive as misrule without "revolution" to achieve better political and economic redresses.
 
Could Russia have won the Russo-Japanese War or was this a shoo-in for Japan?
Russia's ability to win it depended on whether they could intercept the Japanese supply lines, which came down to using the fleet in a way that simply wasn't a bottled-up fleet in being. Makaroff was making good progress in turning the fleet into an effective fighting unit and he had written a book on naval strategy, he certainly wouldn't have allowed himself to be effectively blockaded in Port Arthur and sunk.

This was a war in which a decisive battle could very well have changed the entire course of the war - the Japanese only had six modern battleships, and at one point lost two of those in quick succession. Whilst they had good armoured cruisers capable of standing in the battle line, any battle where Makaroff could have forced the Japanese to fight to the death could have resulted in a loss of control of the sea for the Japanese.

Russia could also have got reinforcements to themselves quicker - via the Suez Canal and send only the faster modern battleships and cruisers, as were available. Even the return of Sissoi Veliki and Osliabia would have made a good impression if the Russians had defeated the Japanese and had effective, if tentative, control of the sea.
 
1. What if Ken Griffey Jr. could stay healthy?
In an era where steroid allegations have been thrown around at every great power hitter there seems to be one man who has stood above it and managed to avoid suspicion. Ken Griffey Jr. retired from baseball in 2010, after 22 seasons in Major League Baseball in which he amassed 630 home runs, good for fifth in MLB history.

What makes this all the more impressive is the fact that Griffey did it in the equivalent of 16 seasons thanks to an extensive injury history that kept him out of 6 seasons worth of games and hampered him for a large amount of others. He never was the same player after the 2000 season, playing less than 100 games per year from 2002-2004.

The real question is; if “The Kid” had stayed healthy, could he have gone down as one of, if not the best player of all time? And while allegations of steroids have never been leveled upon Junior, if he had stayed healthy and become the home run king, would they have been? And would he have held up under the scrutiny?

* * *

2. What if “The Trade” didn’t happen?
“The Trade” was a landmark move in the history of the NHL. In August of 1988, Edmonton Oilers owner Peter Pocklington shocked hockey fans around the world when he traded the best player in the league, Wayne Gretzky, along with Marty McSorley and Mike Krushelnyski to the Los Angeles Kings for Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, $15 million in cash and three future first-round draft picks (89, 91, 93). In addition to the scorn that Gretzky received from Canadian fans who thought that he engineered the swap and even tried to convince the Government to block the move, the trade had long lasting effects on the NHL itself.

The NHL was in a downslide, they didn’t get the publicity that the big three got and had just signed a deal with SportChannel America, a contract that paid the league more than ESPN previously had but reached only one third of the viewers. In addition, with the best players on Canadian teams, the largest American markets had minimal interest in the sport. Sending the leagues top player to a huge market like Los Angeles reinvigorated the sport in the eyes of the American fan. “The Great One” literally brought Hockey to Southern California and the Southern USA as the move sparked the leagues expansion, quickly adding teams in Anaheim, San Jose, Dallas and Phoenix.

In addition it changed the way that players negotiated contracts, with players realizing that everybody was expendable knowing that if Gretzky could be traded anyone could. It’s hard to say exactly what happens if “The Trade” doesn’t go down but it’s very possible that Hockey never gains traction in the West or South, these expansion teams don’t pop up, and hockey drops even further below basketball as the number four sport in America.

* * *

3. What if Jordan succeeded in baseball?
On October 6, 1993, coming off of three consecutive championships with the Bulls and still in the prime of his playing career at age 30, Michael Jordan announced his retirement from basketball. At the time Jordan claimed that he had just lost his desire to play the game but those close to him believed it was a choice spurred by his father’s death just 3 months earlier, a rumor that Jordan himself would verify later in his life.

Jordan’s father always envisioned his son in Major League Baseball and Michael decided that to honor his dad he wanted to take a shot at following that dream, leading him to sign a minor league contract with the Chicago White Sox, a team also owned by Jerry Reinsdorf. Jordan, known for his incredible work ethic, worked harder than anyone on the team and showed immense improvement from day one of Spring Training to the beginning of the Southern League season but he just couldn’t get good enough quick enough.

Jordan never made it to the major leagues, retiring with a .202 average, 3 home runs, 51 RBIs and 30 stolen bases in his minor league career. Michael returned to the NBA in 1995 after a two-word press release – “I’m back” – and led his team to another three-peat from 1996-1998, but what if Jordan had succeeded in the minor leagues, made the White Sox major league roster, and succeeded in the MLB? Does he still go back to basketball? Do the Bulls ever recover? Is he still considered the best of all time? How does it affect the legacy of Phil Jackson and the players who won those championships with him? And how is he viewed by todays fans?

* * *

4. What if there had been no color barrier in Baseball?
This is an issue that no one person in sports could have prevented but it is something that would have changed the history of Major League Baseball and who we perceive as the legends and the greatest of all time. Jackie Robinson entered the MLB in 1947, becoming the first African American to play at the professional level.

The years before integration gave us some of the best and most well known baseball players of all time while in the background the Negro Leagues showcased stars of their own — many of which would never see a professional field until they were past their prime, if at all.

Would Babe Ruth have hit 714 home runs if he had to face Smokey Joe Williams, Bullet Rogan, and Satchel Paige? Is Ruth still the premier star of the era? How does this affect teams like the Yankees in today’s game? Would Josh Gibson, who hit a reported 800 career home runs in the Negro Leagues be considered the greatest of all time? We’ll never know, but just looking at how integration changed the game of basketball when Wilt came in and dominated you have to assume it would have been the same in the MLB.

* * *

5. What if Artest hadn’t gone into the stands?
Everyone knew the Pacers/Pistons game on November 19, 2004 was going to be a hard fought game, a rematch of the previous seasons Eastern Conference Finals between two teams who just didn’t like each other, but nobody could have predicted what would become one of the most memorable events in professional basketball history. With 45 seconds left and Indiana leading by 15, Ron Artest, who allegedly warned Wallace beforehand that he was going to get hit, fouled the Pistons Ben Wallace hard from behind.

A frustrated Wallace shoved back and both benches cleared. Artest laid down on the scorers’ table in an attempt to avoid conflict, which is when the situation got out of hand. A fan in the stands threw a cup of Diet Coke, which hit Artest in the chest. Artest responded by charging into the stands, violently grabbing the wrong man. Mark Boyle, a broadcaster who tried to hold Artest back suffered a gash on his head and five fractured vertebrae. Defending his teammate, Stephen Jackson followed Artest into the stands while throwing punches at fans.

Meanwhile Artest and Jermaine O’Neal were brawling with a different group of spectators. O’Neal later said, “As bad as it looked on TV, it was at least 20 times worse in person.” The end result was 146 games worth of suspensions handed out (86 to Artest alone, the rest of the season), $11 million in total salary lost, and numerous felony charges for five of the players involved. “The Malice at the Palace” immediately became a huge black eye on the NBA and destroyed the public perception of a league that many already thought was populated by thugs.

David Stern and the NBA went into full PR mode trying to convince America that he didn’t run a league of criminals. A strict dress code was implemented the next season and the season after that high school players were blocked from joining the NBA. The league never announced the new draft rules were a direct result of the brawl but it is widely believed that Stern thought it would avoid bringing more immature players into the league.

The fact that the suspensions handed down held up in court and through the appeals process gave David Stern the most power of any Commisioner, and Artest and Jackson were never seen the same way again. It also robbed fans of one of the 2005 NBA favorites in the Indiana Pacers without 3 of their best players. If the Coke is never thrown or Artest brushes it off who knows what direction the NBA takes and how the public’s perception of the league continues to trend.

 
1. What if Ken Griffey Jr. could stay healthy?
In an era where steroid allegations have been thrown around at every great power hitter there seems to be one man who has stood above it and managed to avoid suspicion. Ken Griffey Jr. retired from baseball in 2010, after 22 seasons in Major League Baseball in which he amassed 630 home runs, good for fifth in MLB history.

What makes this all the more impressive is the fact that Griffey did it in the equivalent of 16 seasons thanks to an extensive injury history that kept him out of 6 seasons worth of games and hampered him for a large amount of others. He never was the same player after the 2000 season, playing less than 100 games per year from 2002-2004.

The real question is; if “The Kid” had stayed healthy, could he have gone down as one of, if not the best player of all time? And while allegations of steroids have never been leveled upon Junior, if he had stayed healthy and become the home run king, would they have been? And would he have held up under the scrutiny?

* * *

2. What if “The Trade” didn’t happen?
“The Trade” was a landmark move in the history of the NHL. In August of 1988, Edmonton Oilers owner Peter Pocklington shocked hockey fans around the world when he traded the best player in the league, Wayne Gretzky, along with Marty McSorley and Mike Krushelnyski to the Los Angeles Kings for Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, $15 million in cash and three future first-round draft picks (89, 91, 93). In addition to the scorn that Gretzky received from Canadian fans who thought that he engineered the swap and even tried to convince the Government to block the move, the trade had long lasting effects on the NHL itself.

The NHL was in a downslide, they didn’t get the publicity that the big three got and had just signed a deal with SportChannel America, a contract that paid the league more than ESPN previously had but reached only one third of the viewers. In addition, with the best players on Canadian teams, the largest American markets had minimal interest in the sport. Sending the leagues top player to a huge market like Los Angeles reinvigorated the sport in the eyes of the American fan. “The Great One” literally brought Hockey to Southern California and the Southern USA as the move sparked the leagues expansion, quickly adding teams in Anaheim, San Jose, Dallas and Phoenix.

In addition it changed the way that players negotiated contracts, with players realizing that everybody was expendable knowing that if Gretzky could be traded anyone could. It’s hard to say exactly what happens if “The Trade” doesn’t go down but it’s very possible that Hockey never gains traction in the West or South, these expansion teams don’t pop up, and hockey drops even further below basketball as the number four sport in America.

* * *

3. What if Jordan succeeded in baseball?
On October 6, 1993, coming off of three consecutive championships with the Bulls and still in the prime of his playing career at age 30, Michael Jordan announced his retirement from basketball. At the time Jordan claimed that he had just lost his desire to play the game but those close to him believed it was a choice spurred by his father’s death just 3 months earlier, a rumor that Jordan himself would verify later in his life.

Jordan’s father always envisioned his son in Major League Baseball and Michael decided that to honor his dad he wanted to take a shot at following that dream, leading him to sign a minor league contract with the Chicago White Sox, a team also owned by Jerry Reinsdorf. Jordan, known for his incredible work ethic, worked harder than anyone on the team and showed immense improvement from day one of Spring Training to the beginning of the Southern League season but he just couldn’t get good enough quick enough.

Jordan never made it to the major leagues, retiring with a .202 average, 3 home runs, 51 RBIs and 30 stolen bases in his minor league career. Michael returned to the NBA in 1995 after a two-word press release – “I’m back” – and led his team to another three-peat from 1996-1998, but what if Jordan had succeeded in the minor leagues, made the White Sox major league roster, and succeeded in the MLB? Does he still go back to basketball? Do the Bulls ever recover? Is he still considered the best of all time? How does it affect the legacy of Phil Jackson and the players who won those championships with him? And how is he viewed by todays fans?

* * *

4. What if there had been no color barrier in Baseball?
This is an issue that no one person in sports could have prevented but it is something that would have changed the history of Major League Baseball and who we perceive as the legends and the greatest of all time. Jackie Robinson entered the MLB in 1947, becoming the first African American to play at the professional level.

The years before integration gave us some of the best and most well known baseball players of all time while in the background the Negro Leagues showcased stars of their own — many of which would never see a professional field until they were past their prime, if at all.

Would Babe Ruth have hit 714 home runs if he had to face Smokey Joe Williams, Bullet Rogan, and Satchel Paige? Is Ruth still the premier star of the era? How does this affect teams like the Yankees in today’s game? Would Josh Gibson, who hit a reported 800 career home runs in the Negro Leagues be considered the greatest of all time? We’ll never know, but just looking at how integration changed the game of basketball when Wilt came in and dominated you have to assume it would have been the same in the MLB.

* * *

5. What if Artest hadn’t gone into the stands?
Everyone knew the Pacers/Pistons game on November 19, 2004 was going to be a hard fought game, a rematch of the previous seasons Eastern Conference Finals between two teams who just didn’t like each other, but nobody could have predicted what would become one of the most memorable events in professional basketball history. With 45 seconds left and Indiana leading by 15, Ron Artest, who allegedly warned Wallace beforehand that he was going to get hit, fouled the Pistons Ben Wallace hard from behind.

A frustrated Wallace shoved back and both benches cleared. Artest laid down on the scorers’ table in an attempt to avoid conflict, which is when the situation got out of hand. A fan in the stands threw a cup of Diet Coke, which hit Artest in the chest. Artest responded by charging into the stands, violently grabbing the wrong man. Mark Boyle, a broadcaster who tried to hold Artest back suffered a gash on his head and five fractured vertebrae. Defending his teammate, Stephen Jackson followed Artest into the stands while throwing punches at fans.

Meanwhile Artest and Jermaine O’Neal were brawling with a different group of spectators. O’Neal later said, “As bad as it looked on TV, it was at least 20 times worse in person.” The end result was 146 games worth of suspensions handed out (86 to Artest alone, the rest of the season), $11 million in total salary lost, and numerous felony charges for five of the players involved. “The Malice at the Palace” immediately became a huge black eye on the NBA and destroyed the public perception of a league that many already thought was populated by thugs.

David Stern and the NBA went into full PR mode trying to convince America that he didn’t run a league of criminals. A strict dress code was implemented the next season and the season after that high school players were blocked from joining the NBA. The league never announced the new draft rules were a direct result of the brawl but it is widely believed that Stern thought it would avoid bringing more immature players into the league.

The fact that the suspensions handed down held up in court and through the appeals process gave David Stern the most power of any Commisioner, and Artest and Jackson were never seen the same way again. It also robbed fans of one of the 2005 NBA favorites in the Indiana Pacers without 3 of their best players. If the Coke is never thrown or Artest brushes it off who knows what direction the NBA takes and how the public’s perception of the league continues to trend.

1. Griffey Jr. might have the all time home run record, but I still don’t think he wins a World Series, unless he demands a trade to a team that can win one in the 2000s (Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, etc.)

2. Hockey would have still expanded to the south, but much later. Perhaps Mario Lemieux decides he wants to be a big star in LA?

3. Jordan would likely have spent another year out of the NBA but I don’t think he could ever be good enough to be a regular on an MLB team. He’d rather play the sport he’s the best in the world at than be an average baseball player.

4. Unless you remove racism against African Americans from US society this is ASB. You could break the color line earlier, during World War II perhaps, but the baseball color line was a legacy of Jim Crow.

5. There would have been another incident somewhere in the NBA that turns into a melee like the Malice at the Palace. There was a pretty nasty brawl a couple of years later between the Nuggets and Knicks that almost poured into the stands at Madison Square Garden.

One of my favorite sports what if’s is the Red Sox replacing Buckner with Stapleton at 1st base in that fateful game 6 in 1986 against the Mets
 
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If the IJN avoided its encounters with hurricanes that exposed the massive structural/stability issues with a lot of the interwar ships, and ended up entering WW2 with ships that look more impressive on paper but in reality aren't going to last long if damaged, how much worse would it fare in the Pacific?
 
What were the Qing Dynasty's ship-naming conventions? Or for that matter the early Republic of China which seemed to continue it? Did they have anything to do with traditional warship naming in China? I don't speak Chinese, and if I write about an Imperial Chinese Navy I'd rather not just transliterate Imperial Japanese ship names and their convention into Chinese.
 
What were the Qing Dynasty's ship-naming conventions? Or for that matter the early Republic of China which seemed to continue it? Did they have anything to do with traditional warship naming in China? I don't speak Chinese, and if I write about an Imperial Chinese Navy I'd rather not just transliterate Imperial Japanese ship names and their convention into Chinese.
The Qing didn't have an annotation system like 'HMS' or 'USN' or 'IJN'. They slapped mostly temple names as the name of their ships.
 
The Qing didn't have an annotation system like 'HMS' or 'USN' or 'IJN'. They slapped mostly temple names as the name of their ships.
They did not even have a "navy" as it is understood by the Europeans and Americans. What they had was a system of "regional commands" or route armies afloat. Each regional command or squadron was under the semi-independent command of its own commander and very unresponsive to any central direction or authority. This "independence" went so far as the naming conventions of their ships.
 
Those adjacent to Texas and those of the Yucatan Peninsula. Zapata and Villa are examples of secessionist regions from the core states. As for the "revolution", that problem has been a permanent feature of Mexican society as the political and economic situation there has never been stabilized or justified in the polity's mind to the point where the people have not sought redress against what they perceive as misrule without "revolution" to achieve better political and economic redresses.
Would the Yucatan join a Central American Republic?
 
The Qing didn't have an annotation system like 'HMS' or 'USN' or 'IJN'. They slapped mostly temple names as the name of their ships.
I know they didn't use the prefixes (neither did Japan for that matter, but "IJN" has ended up universal thanks to Western historians), but was it just exclusively temple names? From what I can tell, it looks like that ships in the same class would share one character (i.e. Dingyuan and Zhenyuan) which I know some Japanese ships did too.


This article doesn't have much information before the mid-19th century, but it does show a few patterns. I would think it's more "authentic" that Chinese ships avoid being named after people or places which seems to be a Western borrowing which you can see creeping into Chinese ship-naming conventions (and Korean, only Japan avoids this).
They did not even have a "navy" as it is understood by the Europeans and Americans. What they had was a system of "regional commands" or route armies afloat. Each regional command or squadron was under the semi-independent command of its own commander and very unresponsive to any central direction or authority. This "independence" went so far as the naming conventions of their ships.
I'm aware of that too since the late Qing military was a mess. But my question is still what naming conventions these fleets had.
 
But my question is still what naming conventions these fleets had.
The battleships, Zhenyuan and Dingyuan were named after the two provinces in the original route army afloat's "region". Zhenyuan and Dingyuan were originally named after those southern central Chinese provinces (counties) because they were supposed to serve out of Canton with the mission of fighting the FRENCH when the battleships were bought from the Germans in 1883-1885. After they were named, the ships wound up with the Beiyang fleet to face off against the Japanese.

Chinese naming conventions for torpedo boats is weird. (birds?)
But here goes nothing: some samples;
Ship named after.......................................................................................................................................................................type
江蘇 ...............city (Jiang Wi)....................................................................................................................................................messenger boat.
靖遠................region or person not sure which (police? Jingjing is Chinese slang and a surname.)............ small armored cruiser.
經遠................teaching or experience (akin to Monitor in American usage).........................................................large armored cruiser.

Depending on the type the ship either was named after a function or a province or a number or a penate (Chinese household god) or an animal.
 



POD (20 February 1942): The shell which hit destroyer Oshio in the powder room explodes or the shell which hit the destroyer's bridge hits and explodes in the powder room, sinking the destroyer compared to medium damage in reality. The Asashio, being outnumbered, is sunk after inflicting fatal torpedo damage to the cruiser Tromp. The following 2 Japanese destroyers are fatally damaged by the American destroyers in the battle, in exchange for losing USS Stewart and USS Pillsbury. Later, Sasago Maru is sunk by surviving American destroyers, which proceed to bombard Japanese controlled Bali, reinforced by 2 Dutch cruisers and 6 Dutch motor torpedo boats.

An attempt by the Bali invasion convoy's distant convoy escort (3 destroyers and light cruiser Nagara) results in 6 Dutch motor torpedo boats destroyed, but only after sinking the cruiser Nagara. Later, the 4 surviving American destroyers and 2 Dutch cruisers sink the 3 Japanese destroyers and bombard Japanese-controlled Bali to complete their Badung Strait in exchange for damaging an American destroyer ( USS Parrott, which was later scuttled of Surabaya) early in the morning of 21 February 1942.

The Battle of Badung Strait ends in an Allied victory, although the Java Sea, Sunda Strait and 2nd Java Sea battles (if their outcomes are similar to reality) will result in the Japanese controlling Java in 3 weeks while Bali will remain in Japanese hands until the end of WW2. Nevertheless, the Allies had achieved a desperately needed victory in the Dutch East Indies in February 1942.
 
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Russia's ability to win it depended on whether they could intercept the Japanese supply lines, which came down to using the fleet in a way that simply wasn't a bottled-up fleet in being. Makaroff was making good progress in turning the fleet into an effective fighting unit and he had written a book on naval strategy, he certainly wouldn't have allowed himself to be effectively blockaded in Port Arthur and sunk.
There is activity and there is expertise. The Russians traditionally claim too much for Makarov. What Togo did repeatedly was conduct feints and try to lure Admiral "Stepan" into a trap. Makarov would chase after Japanese bait forces and Togo would be waiting in ambush. Makarov was careful to always turn back at the limit of the Russian coast defense guns so Togo would be frustrated. The one time that Togo succeeded in using fog to mask his trap, Makarov almost steamed into it, but at the last minute discovered the situation, turned and fled as before and upon his return sailed into and was blown up by a new surprise mine field. Probably it was one laid by his own navy that he had not bothered to have marked, though he did order the channel swept before he sortied, which it never was.
This was a war in which a decisive battle could very well have changed the entire course of the war - the Japanese only had six modern battleships, and at one point lost two of those in quick succession. Whilst they had good armoured cruisers capable of standing in the battle line, any battle where Makaroff could have forced the Japanese to fight to the death could have resulted in a loss of control of the sea for the Japanese.
See previous comments. Mine warfare was hazardous for both sides.
Russia could also have got reinforcements to themselves quicker - via the Suez Canal and send only the faster modern battleships and cruisers, as were available. Even the return of Sissoi Veliki and Osliabia would have made a good impression if the Russians had defeated the Japanese and had effective, if tentative, control of the sea.
The British controlled the Suez Canal. They chose to intervene as they saw fit. They did this twice. They blocked Spanish usage in the Spanish American War and they did it again to Russia in the Russo-Japanese War. It must be remarked that neither nation had what it took in naval will and seamanship to get it done. You will not find a USS Oregon or USS Olympia in their repertoire. Stokers died shoveling to get USS Oregon to her post in a speed run by a steam propelled warship that is LEGENDARY. Captain Gridley of the USS Olympia, brain tumor and all, and in great pain, died at his post to fight his ship one last time before the dark took him.

That is the steel of seapower.
 
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