Old Rivals Never Stop: An Attempt at a Timeline

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Blobfish, Mar 10, 2019.

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  1. Threadmarks: Chapter 1: Not Kept Out of War

    Blobfish Shoom

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2018
    Capitol Building, Washington D.C., April 2, 1917
    The presidents voice demanded a certain presence and respect, impossible to ignore. Therefore Congress did the only thing they could do, listen intently. This speech was of no small matter after all, Woodrow Wilson had a grim favor to ask of the men in front of him.

    "With a profound sense of the solemn and even tragic character of the step I am taking and of the grave responsibilities which it involves, but in unhesitating obedience to what I deem my constitutional duty, I advise that the Congress declare the recent course of the Imperial German Government to be in fact nothing less than war against the Government and people of the United States."

    This war would be very real, though Wilson had a specific way he wanted to go about it. Perhaps he believed, supporting the Allied powers against Germany and protecting American trade interests was possible without necessarily fighting in deadlock Europe. The man despised war and attempted to keep relations friendly between the warring Great Powers as long as he felt he possibly could. Though by the Spring of '17 German naval shenanigans had brought him to his breaking point. But he figured the Kaiser's insult to American neutrality was just a high seas scuffle surely.

    Therefore while the "immediate full equipment of the Navy in all respects but particularly in supplying it with the best means of dealing with the enemy's submarines." was certainly imperative and he advocated as well for providing to the Allies "the most liberal financial credits, in order that our resources may so far as possible be added to theirs." he felt that the army could for the most part be left out of the conflict. The war-torn lands of France and Belgium had become truly horrific places, and while he could certainly no longer claim he was the President that "kept us out of war", maybe he could still keep us from the brunt of the fighting.

    Hey everybody, I've been skulking around this site for a good while now and I figured I'd finally give a timeline a shot. Any criticism/corrections/suggestions are all very appreciated as the depth of my knowledge on certain subjects/areas are not very deep. With that said I do have a general plan on how this will go and hope to take it up to the mid-1940's. I hope you enjoy reading.
     
  2. Threadmarks: Chapter 2: Great Power Reactions

    Blobfish Shoom

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2018
    A mere 4 days had passed since Woodrow’s stirring speech, and the verdict was out. The majority of both the House of Representatives and the Senate believed that it was time to declare war on Germany. More important than the declaration of war itself however, was the way it would be carried out.

    The big name leaders and monarchs of Europe received the news. The United States would be fighting purely a naval war, supporting the Allies through material and monetary means.

    The German high command rejoiced. By now Russia had begun to fall apart at the seams, which would free up the armies of the east to be sent to the Western, Balkan, or Italian fronts. The Imperial German Navy no longer had to try and leash their U-Boats when nearby American shipping. The American economy had become monstrous in size, so the funds they send over the Atlantic would prove a legitimate nuisance. On the whole though, the decision is good to hear for the Central Powers to the alternative, which would require Germany to rush troops down to attempt a victory over France before increasing numbers of American troops could arrive from overseas.

    France and Britain proved less jubilant, though support against the submarine menace and the aid was still very welcome. As a third of the original Triple-Entente was crumbling it was known that the war as a whole would prove far more difficult for the Allied powers in the coming months.
     
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  3. Threadmarks: Chapter 3: The Mediterranean Begins to Boil

    Blobfish Shoom

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2018
    It was well known by the Allied military leadership that the end of major German activity on the Eastern Front could seriously upset the balance of the Western Front if they were to be transferred to France and Belgium in large numbers. At the moment Allied forces outnumbered the Cental Powers in France and Belgium by a considerable margin, and they wanted to keep it that way. The question was how to make the Germans continue fighting in the east.

    The answer? They would strike much harder at tiny Bulgaria and the sick man of Europe, the Ottomans. The idea of forcing the Ottomans to surrender via the Balkan route was met with extreme opposition, given the evacuation of the disaster at Gallipoli just a little over a year prior. But the proponents of the plan won out, for this time they had a large foothold in the Balkans already through Greece and German troops attempting a return would hopefully be recalled if the southern flank of the alliance was collapsing, as Austria’s backside would be left wide open. Not to mention that the Royal Navy could find extensive use in this operation, which many in the navy-oriented British military found alluring. If all went accordingly, the Allies would finally be able to squeeze out a attritional victory over the German Empire, it’s people facing serious food shortages by this point.

    As for the Central Powers, plans were being concocted as well. For them the war was indeed on a clock, as the Allies had the means to outlast them using their control of the seas. That pressure for now was manageable however, as no large reinforcements would be reaching the Allies in the west. Therefore their scheme to come out of this war on top involved, rather then continue to bother with banging their head against the western wall, opting for an offensive against the less potent Italy. Aside from being an easier target, a major breakthrough on the Italian front would leave the southern French territory open, requiring France to send precious troops down from the very costly fighting along its northern frontier, perhaps opening up the chance to for a drive to Paris down the line.

    The recent series of events have greatly changed the upcoming war plans of both sides. Current strategy will cause the Mediterranean to heat up dramatically in the near future. The question of who wins now will come down to how the the Italian and Balkan theaters play out and if both alliances militaries can successfully adapt to any new situations that present themselves.
     
  4. Threadmarks: Chapter 4: Brotherhood From Betrayal

    Blobfish Shoom

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2018
    “It is by no means difficult to see why France and Italy grew so close following the Great War. Outside of the immediate connection, their being on the same side of the conflict, a number of similarities are visible. The capture of both Paris and Rome in 1918 by the Central Powers was a mutual humiliation. One that was used to skillfully inspire rage from the populace by the radical parties which arose in both.

    Cultural matches came next. The two nations could each draw direct cultural and linguistic connections to Rome. A comparison drawn more than a few times in the coming decades. Last and certainly not least came shared enemies. For the duo there was three. The communists in Russia for significantly speeding up the end of the Eastern Front. Next came the obvious candidate of Imperial Germany. Finally came the United Kingdom. But which foe to rally the country against? Russian communism was far away and by no means a direct threat. Germany was despised, but simply too powerful. Besides, Germany had simply bested them. However Britain, through their separate peace, had double crossed them.”

    Excerpt from Road to ‘43 by Scott Bumphrey
     
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  5. Threadmarks: Chapter 5: A Great War Put to Rest

    Blobfish Shoom

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2018
    Italy came into the Great War as the sixth most powerful European nation, a position which forced at least some consideration from the big five(United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia) though historically the nation had struggled to establish herself among extremely stiff competition. With a majority-rural population it was by no means an industrial powerhouse however its pivotal location in the Central Mediterranean proved its greatest asset. It was believed that the war could swing in either sides favor depending on which side(if any) it joined. Choosing the Entente the Italian Front was a relatively stagnate affair, but this would change following the surge of German reinforcements that was to come.

    To say the least France was not looking so good as 1917 trudged on. American aid was helpful yes but it did not lead to any significant successes on the battlefield against Germany, and no significant successes didn't ease the army-crippling mutinies. Offensives continued to fair poorly, especially as Britain grew increasingly distracted with its campaigns in the Balkans and Middle East. The toll the conflict had taken on France was truly enormous, and Germany stubbornly still held French and Belgian land captured back in 1914.

    The worst news came down in early-1918. Brest-Litovsk had been signed, Germany and Russia were officially at peace. A steady stream of German forces had been arriving to Italy in the weeks before, despite the tide to the West being limited by fighting far to the East in Anatolia and Bulgaria. Once arrived however the offensive down the peninsula dealt a smashing blow to the Allied cause. An already strained France was now met with Germans and Austro-Hungarians right next to their southern border. Demands to cease the fruitless fighting kept growing louder and more violent as Germany pressed forward.

    France and Italy would surely collapse, leaving the United Kingdom with a difficult choice. Without Allied territory in the West any hope of final victory had seemingly been dashed. At the same time the Imperial Navy lacked the strength or the will to threaten the Isles. Its not like they held no leverage, the Ottomans had surrendered and Bulgaria likely would soon. On the other hand a campaign up Europe seemed more than a little fantastical. What if they could reached an agreement with the Kaiser?

    The German leadership understood the situation all too well. Unlike their other major foes Britain could not be subjugated, let alone the United States. After the Royal Navy gained supremacy in the Sea of Marmara and captured Istanbul it was over for the Sultan. Bulgaria had conscripted an enormous percentage of their populace and couldn't fight on much longer. Austria-Hungary was a shadow of its prewar self. It would take time for breadbasket-Ukraine to mend the worsening food situation at home. With seemingly little left to gain for both opponents, peace talks began as a bitter and defeated France and Italy could only watch as Britain turned their back on the fall of Paris and Rome.
     
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  6. Threadmarks: Chapter 6: The New World in a New World

    Blobfish Shoom

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    Oct 20, 2018
    The war was technically over, yet fighting was not. A ravaged Old World still proved chaotic, yet the New World remained stable. Canada still rested comfortably with Britain, easily the safest of all the dominions. This relative security came from the sheer distance away from the Commonwealth's potential enemies. Inevitable German acquisition of African and Asian lands from France and Italy did little to ease worries of those in say South Africa or the Raj, regardless of whether or not those fears were reasonable. The Americas were left untouched by the Kaiser for obvious reasons, and it was safe to assume no war between the United Kingdom and Imperial Germany would take place soon.

    They certainly were not under any pressure from the south. The United States nearly always had a policy of keeping out of European politics, especially now that Europe had been won by a nation they were technically still warring with. In fact the majority of Americans wanted nothing to do with matters across the Atlantic, feeling that the successful protection of their trading ships was all which needed to be done going into the future. Not that trading with the outside was particularly encouraged during the post-war era. Rather America found itself recoiling from outward exchange in favor of internal development and a sort of self-sufficiency through increasingly high tariffs. Woodrow Wilson continued on with his second term, scorned by many as the man who threw a ludicrous number of dollars towards a now defunct Allies. Most cynical of all was Theodore Roosevelt, famously stating in September of 1918 that "We wouldn't be in this mess if only that damn Wilson had a spine in his back!" There was seemingly only one option for the U.S.A., get paid its due.

    Latin America, as always, proved a complex matter. Numerous European-controlled islands continued to dot the Caribbean. The independent states inside and along the sea were effectively now free of Europe's aggressive demands for debt payment, in exchange for further domination from a paranoid America, a trade off whose impacts would simply have to be seen. Further south Brazil was in a similar situation to the United States, a late comer to the Great War and one that had done next to no ground fighting. It is therefore unsurprising that they too opted to closing themselves off from much of the globe. As for the rest of South America, they proved far more willing to interact with the outside world, often out of economic necessity, and it remained to be seen how exactly they were to fit into a world where Germany was top dog.
     
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  7. fdas Professional Jobber

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    Jun 6, 2015
    This is interesting.
     
  8. Blobfish Shoom

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    Oct 20, 2018
    Thank you, really satisfying to finally see a reply.
     
  9. Laxault2020 ENTP, likes stupid arguments

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    Sep 24, 2017
    This has the potential to go a whole lot of directions. Which makes for the best POD. good luck!
     
  10. fdas Professional Jobber

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    Jun 6, 2015
    So what happened to A-H? Even though they won the war, the country is not in good shape and it is likely that they might collapse anyways. And Germany might not be doing too hot either.
     
  11. Blobfish Shoom

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2018
    The next part is gonna be about the European majors and how they look going into the 20’s. I’m hoping to get it out tonight. Sorry about the wait, I’ve been busy with other stuff but I’m glad you’re invested.
     
  12. Threadmarks: Chapter 7: "Balance" of Power

    Blobfish Shoom

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2018
    Before the Great War began many a European felt that the constant continental conflicts had concluded for good. Surely the Great Powers would recognize that the relative peace which had been in tact since 1815 was a positive for all? Over the course of 4 years that myth was so thoroughly smashed as to be unrecognizable. Europe was not done with war, hardly close. Central Powered-victory reshaped the face of the area and the world. Powerful empires were turned to ruin, leaving room in the future for the rise of certain minor states.

    The first nation to declare war, Austria-Hungary, was more than a little regretful of their decision. Victory had been achieved yes, however it came at such a cost it remained up in the air just how many more decades the country could last in its current state. Tripping over the finish line had cost the Hapsburg's the loss of much of their able-bodied workforce, basically the destruction of the economy, and civil unrest on nearly unmanageable proportions. All this for seemingly little net gain. Puppet states in the Balkans and a small slice of land on the Romanian border were included as some of the prizes Austria-Hungary had fought tooth and nail for. Perhaps the greatest, and most controversial, haul was the territory taken from northeast Italy, part of which being the region of Veneto and with it the city of Venice. Postwar gains were modest for a reason, mainly being that the already divided empire would surely fracture if much more stress was laid on top of it. Despite this Germany remained an ally, meaning the situation might just be salvageable still.

    Their northern neighbor received far more spoils. The Kaiser had successfully acquired a subservient and smaller Belgium, Central African colonies from both France and Belgium, and the cherry on top, domination of Eastern Europe. New states forged by Brest-Litovsk were under German influence even when not directly controlled, often requiring the support of the Imperial German Army to convince the Bolsheviks to back off. Germany was less broken however still felt the scars of battle. The war had not been a waste, but it did prove an important lesson, being that the nation was much too vulnerable at sea. Unrestricted submarine warfare had failed to bring Britain to the table, in fact if anything the Central Powers were the ones who starved. Austria-Hungary had become so famished that an exchange of land for grain was being arranged with newly born Ukraine. Germany never grew quite so desperate, however the inability of the expensive Imperial Navy to break the blockade was a serious issue. Attempts to solve this conundrum involved the production of vessels in the following years, an action the Royal Navy was always quick to follow up on.

    The United Kingdom remained the one stable and powerful European member of what was the Entente nation, a fact which inspired rage from France and Italy. While their capitals had fallen in May of '18, London had not only escaped the fighting, but managed to carve up the slain Ottoman Empire. New lands(technically promised to the Arabs) were gained in the Middle East, leaving behind a rump state in Anatolia. Yet diplomatically the war was a defeat for the Commonwealth. The classic British strategy of allying with the European silver medal holder to contain the gold was no longer viable. Germany held first place, yet every classic great power was a non option. Russia was fractured, France and Italy did not trust the Isles as far as they could throw them, and Austria-Hungary was aligned with the Kaiser. Therefore the British were forced to be a little more creative with their blocs. They got started right away. British actions in the Balkans spared Greece from ceding territory to Central-aligned Bulgaria. On top of this they granted Greece control of much of Asia Minor's Aegean coastline including the city of Constantinople, an action for which the Greeks were ever grateful.

    Postwar France was a broken shell of yesteryear. Though ceding only a small portion of its colonies to Germany the fact remained that Paris had been captured by a government in Berlin for the second time within 50 years. The Treaty of Munich, ratified in late-1918, proved quite harsh. Outside of the expected occupation and military cut downs, the agreement put major reparations on the nation, a fate Britain was not resigned to, for they left before the death knell sounded. Italy fared little better, for the war had set the rising nation more than a few years back. Fortunately for them Libya remained their property, granting what was the new Entente control over the majority of North Africa along with their already extensive Northern Mediterranean holdings. Back stabbed and beaten, the two had little choice but to look to themselves and the rest of Western Europe if they wanted to keep in this ever more deadly game of power.

    Russia was still locked to civil war, a conflict which the hated-Bolsheviks were currently winning. As much as Germany loathed the idea of a large communist state to their east, actually sending soldiers who otherwise would be finished with service back to fighting in Russia was a hard move to justify. A rescue mission for the Kaiser's cousin Nicholas was accomplished in the summer, however outside of that example official German intervention kept on the low. Besides, the new loyal nations which had been produced would serve as good buffers to the red menace. If the situation got truly out of hand it was thought that troops could and would be used to smash Lenin and his ilk, but this was not viewed as necessary yet, allowing the Bolsheviks the quiet they needed to continue fighting against the White Army.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019 at 10:39 PM
  13. Threadmarks: Chapter 8: Imperialistic Games

    Blobfish Shoom

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2018
    The war, though bred in Europe, produced profound effects in the exotic(though mostly European controlled) lands of Africa, Asia, and Oceania. The northernmost section of the "dark continent" had stayed practically identical territory-wise from the prewar days. The same went for West Africa, carved up between rivals France and Britain save for the small nation of Liberia and the German colonies of Togo and Kamerun along the coastline. In Eastern Africa yet another independent African state could be seen, that being Ethiopia. In the past this empire had survived the frantic "Scramble for Africa" via clever diplomatic maneuvering and the receiving of weapons so they could at least compete with an invading force. These principles still held true, however it remained to be seen if a bitter and vengeful Italy could be bested again. Russia had been their primary helper back in 1895, but it now seemed that the British were the only likely candidate for such a task. Further south produced the most noticeable changes. In their victory Germany nabbed the southern portion of French Equatorial Africa as well as the Belgian Congo, which combined with their preexisting colony of German East Africa created a strip of German controlled land in Central Africa that was contiguous from coast to coast. Near the southernmost coast of the continent was the anxiety-infested leadership of the Portuguese and British colonies, including the dominion of South Africa. The “Lion of Africa” had run buck wild during the war despite horrific odds, and the increased establishment of his homeland in the region failed to ease any worries if future conflicts were to break out. On the other hand the Boers, who had suffered defeat at the hands of the British less than 20 years prior, had some of their lost hope rejuvenated. They carried a rebellious spirit which could be compared to the Quebecois in divided Canada, though at the moment the situation in both areas was not opportune for any sort of uprising.

    Just across the Red Sea from the Horn of Africa is the Arabian peninsula, now just about completely encased by the Commonwealth and split between numerous small factions. To the northwest Persia was a region less fractured yet also trapped within a ring of British influence. The buffer state of Afghanistan remained as a barrier between the Raj and Russia. New pieces for the empire were gained, yet British India had stayed the jewel in the crown regardless. But the otherwise smooth gem housed a bumpy piece on its exterior. That being the acquisition of French India by Germany, a move which contained more symbolism than practical use, though it succeeded in making London very uncomfortable.

    British and French colonies in Eastern Asia remained untouched, though the defeat in Europe did little to stabilize Indochina. Siam was yet another lucky nation which had avoided complete European domination, though their location near the center of the action provided them with an interesting choice. If they do side with someone in upcoming struggles, who? Their main options included the United Kingdom, France, or the ascending Japan. The past 60 years saw Japan modernize at an unprecedented rate, and they had firmly established themselves as a major regional power following their trouncing of Russia in 1904-1905. Before the Great War they held an alliance with Britain, one which they honored by declaring war against Germany in August of 1914. Despite being on the losing side Japan had avoided letting go of any territory, and its increasingly ambitious military wanted to begin carving out a spot in the world for a Japan which relied on its self. The Pacific Ocean offered chances for extensive naval operations targeting a variety of different nations, one being the Philippines-controlling United States. The Japanese Navy had expanded in recent years to be a very real threat on the seas and could theoretically go toe to toe with the best the West could muster. Meanwhile the Japanese Army favored campaigns in the mainland of Asia, a major goal being domination of China, who for much of the past century had been routinely forced into submission by outside powers. The last emperor had been deposed only in 1911, with the current goal of the Republic of China being to secure themselves for the years to come, a challenge made more daunting by the independent warlords which dotted the nation combined with the views of will be members of a soon-to-arrive Communist Party.
     
  14. Blobfish Shoom

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    Oct 20, 2018
    Hey everyone. Hope you’re enjoying the timeline so far but I have a question. I’ve been thinking of making a world map to help give the world more context. What do you guys recommend for making said map?
     
  15. fdas Professional Jobber

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    Jun 6, 2015
    There is a maps thread that has world maps for different time periods. You can edit in Paint.
     
  16. Blobfish Shoom

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    Oct 20, 2018
    Many thanks comrade.
     
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