They'd probably just be repatriated to either Germany or Mittelafrika. If anything, I can see South Africa playing nice with Germany, and pushing the boundaries of their ability to conduct foreign affairs without sanction from London to cozy up to Berlin.

I have to agree. Sudwestafrika / Namibia is primarily desert and was never that attractive for European settlement. I'm sure some of the few German colonists in the region are not pleased with now being a part of South Africa, but they are so few in number that I don't see any chance for a meaningful resistance.

From the perspective of South Africa, I can see them treating the Germans in Namibia that choose to stay with velvet gloves. South Africa has always been generally pro white immigration and German and Dutch are sister languages. The Boers have obvious incentives to treat German settlers with kindness.

South Africa also has a fierce independent streak and getting into the good graces of a major industrial power like Germany to act a counterpoint to overbearing British dominance is a no brainer.

Remember that Britain just lost a major war. Even if the terms they had to pay were very lenient, the damage to their pride and image should not be understated. The war has perfectly illustrated just how limited and utterly worthless are many of their "promises" - just ask France. I can see South Africa flexing their diplomatic muscles and daring Britain to say something to the contrary.

If something major happens (like a full scale revolution in the British Raj) then all bets are off.
 
They'd probably just be repatriated to either Germany or Mittelafrika. If anything, I can see South Africa playing nice with Germany, and pushing the boundaries of their ability to conduct foreign affairs without sanction from London to cozy up to Berlin.
Agreed. SA doesn't have to dance to London's tune anymore and they know it. Repatriation to the country of their choice seems most likely.
I have to agree. Sudwestafrika / Namibia is primarily desert and was never that attractive for European settlement. I'm sure some of the few German colonists in the region are not pleased with now being a part of South Africa, but they are so few in number that I don't see any chance for a meaningful resistance.

From the perspective of South Africa, I can see them treating the Germans in Namibia that choose to stay with velvet gloves. South Africa has always been generally pro white immigration and German and Dutch are sister languages. The Boers have obvious incentives to treat German settlers with kindness.

South Africa also has a fierce independent streak and getting into the good graces of a major industrial power like Germany to act a counterpoint to overbearing British dominance is a no brainer.

Remember that Britain just lost a major war. Even if the terms they had to pay were very lenient, the damage to their pride and image should not be understated. The war has perfectly illustrated just how limited and utterly worthless are many of their "promises" - just ask France. I can see South Africa flexing their diplomatic muscles and daring Britain to say something to the contrary.

If something major happens (like a full scale revolution in the British Raj) then all bets are off.
Agree 100%. To be frank, I imagine the situation will go broadly similar to OTL- most people will want to stay put regardless of whose flag flies above. And like you said, they'd be treated as white immigrants on (mostly) equal terms with everyone else.
With regards to the British Empire, I think you're spot-on as usual. While SA isn't about to actually break away from Dominion status, they also know that short of doing something truly crazy, they only have to pay lip service to London right now, and that pissing Berlin off is just as bad a move, if not worse.

Guys, thank you as always for reading and commenting!
 
In OTL Germany just lost the war it was a bad time to be a german so getting "assimilated" was the peoples out of that: ITL Germany won a massive victory and the others are falling apart or have at least problems so why would a German go and assimilate instead of moving into german possesions?
 
In OTL Germany just lost the war it was a bad time to be a german so getting "assimilated" was the peoples out of that: ITL Germany won a massive victory and the others are falling apart or have at least problems so why would a German go and assimilate instead of moving into german possesions?
Well, the Germans of Namibia have lives where they are; families, communities, jobs, etc. The South African government is treating them decently as well.
A distinct German-Namibian identity might be somewhat stronger ITTL, but many people will simply stay where they are because that's much easier than moving to Germany or Mittelafrika. They will speak German, their kids will grow up speaking German and Afrikaans, and their grandkids will most likely be pretty much assimilated into South African society.
 
Curious then what becomes of the Germans in Namibia and SA itself when Apartheid ends, and i have a good feeling it will eventually, in part due to population increase, and (hopefully) changing attitudes towards race.
 
Curious then what becomes of the Germans in Namibia and SA itself when Apartheid ends, and i have a good feeling it will eventually, in part due to population increase, and (hopefully) changing attitudes towards race.
We'll have to see. I have only a very rough idea as to where I want to go with regards to South Africa, so any and all suggestions are more than welcome!
 
Curious then what becomes of the Germans in Namibia and SA itself when Apartheid ends, and i have a good feeling it will eventually, in part due to population increase, and (hopefully) changing attitudes towards race.
It should be noted that a lot of supremacist ideas got a bad rap from being associated with the supremacist-and-genocidal Nazi's. I don't know who the 'big bad' of this timeline will be, but if they're pro-equality-and-genocidal that might set back the cause of racial equality by decades if not more. In such an environment, an Apartheid-like regime might be treated as 'a bit peculiar, but you know, foreigners' rather than 'the obvious evil teammate' (or, for the Soviet side, 'the easy target opponent') of our times.
 
It should be noted that a lot of supremacist ideas got a bad rap from being associated with the supremacist-and-genocidal Nazi's. I don't know who the 'big bad' of this timeline will be, but if they're pro-equality-and-genocidal that might set back the cause of racial equality by decades if not more. In such an environment, an Apartheid-like regime might be treated as 'a bit peculiar, but you know, foreigners' rather than 'the obvious evil teammate' (or, for the Soviet side, 'the easy target opponent') of our times.
Now that's an interesting possibility!
 
Chapter 25: The Fall of the Rough Rider
Chapter 25- The Fall of the Rough Rider

Harold Beaumont was having a rotten war.

This was supposed to have been an adventure. When it had all started, it had seemed like something out of a dime novel. The Third Punitive Expedition had been fun to read about in the papers, but it had seemed like a world away from Richmond, Virginia. It was all thousands of miles away from the bank where he worked, and it made good entertainment but not much else. His attention had been fixed on dodging the wrath of dull old Mr. Reeves at the office, and on Daisy June Lee living two doors down. Some of his mates had enlisted- one had come home on crutches, the others were all fine- but Harold had never heard the trumpet call for him, thank you very much.

Then one day, he had read in the papers that old Teddy Roosevelt was putting together an expeditionary force, and somehow that had been different. Roosevelt’s name was synonymous with adventure, Harold told himself, and there would be glory in fighting under him. So, he gave Mr. Reeves his notice and got on a train halfway across the country to enlist in Roosevelt’s volunteer regiment. He’d passed September in a training camp in rural Texas. It was the hardest thing he’d ever done- Texas could teach Richmond a few things about heat and dust while Roosevelt was a most demanding CO- but it had been exhilarating and rewarding in its own way. Staggering back to barracks after a long day’s fieldwork felt so much better than getting on a trolley after a dull day at the bank. He’d made friends, too- Lance-Corporal David from Ohio, Ernie from Illinois, and Tad from North Dakota. Two people were from New York City- a Jewish chap called Yossel (what a name, Harold had thought!) and a fellow named Paul whose surname had just about every letter of the alphabet, who they universally called Greek. The members of Platoon B grew as close to one another as men can, until they became like brothers. They’d boasted to one another about how tough they were, told filthy jokes, and learned to understand one another’s accents. Once they’d set foot in Veracruz on the sixth of October, Harold Beaumont had anticipated a quick and easy crusade.

Instead, he and his mates had spent a month in the trenches outside Veracruz. It had been hotter and stickier than Texas could have dreamt of, and bucketfuls of rain had poured out of the sky every day. One man came down with pneumonia, and Harold never heard from him again. No one had told Harold anything, but it had been plain to see that Veracruz was ruined by fighting, and not a lot of civilians had come out to greet them. The food had all been shipped in from the States- apparently no one trusted the locals to do any cooking- and it had mostly been stale crackers and tinned meat. Harold wouldn’t shed a tear if he never ate hardtack again in all his born days. Once the novelty of being at the front had worn off, he had grown bored. There was nothing to do in the trenches- no adventure to be had, no towns to visit, and no booze to lay one’s hands on. The only break in routine had been dreadful danger, horrible scenes that kept Harold up at nights. Some kid sergeant- not from his regiment- had been shot in the face after sticking his head up from the trench. He’d lain there in agony for half an hour, screaming God’s name, contorted, before someone had put him out of his misery. Harold hadn’t had much appetite for tinned beef that night… not that he ever did, mind you. A fresh sergeant had arrived to take his place: William Blythe from Arkansas. (1) He’d been an ass, always nagging the men and calling them yellow- Harold had been made to do pushups one day after his helmet wasn’t clean enough. David had returned the compliment, christening their new commander “the Blythering Idiot”, and the men began referring to the Sarge as such whenever his back was turned.

Three weeks into October, a shell had burst in the trench and sent poor Ernie- who was writing at the time- flying in all directions; Harold had buried what little of his mate he could find later. No one had been able to walk past that stretch of trench for a few days afterwards without shuddering, knowing they were treading on their friend’s grave. The high-ups hadn’t ordered the general offensive everyone had expected them to, and so the men had just sat there for weeks on end. Rumours had spread that Colonel Roosevelt- their commanding officer insisted on being called ‘Colonel’, and he couldn’t abide ‘Teddy’- was getting bored and wanted a transfer. The men in Harold’s squad hadn’t known if that was true, but they would’ve bet on it. The trenches outside Veracruz had had nothing to offer but soul-crushing stalemate.

Then one day in the middle of October, news had come that his regiment was to be transferred. Harold and his mates had nearly wept for joy; they’d taken turns spitting on the ground as they left. A Cuban merchant vessel had carried them to New Orleans, and a train had taken them to Arizona. This, Harold had thought, was what it was supposed to be like! The desert had been so vast, it felt as though he could see halfway to the ocean; he’d been able to see all the stars at night. It was a long way from cool, but Arizona hadn’t had the dreadful humidity of Veracruz. Local women had given him their best cooking… and a few other things besides. When his regiment had crossed into Sonora, the first few days had felt like a holiday. Surely, there would be Mexican bandits to kill and adventure to be had here in the desert… no?

Evidently not.

Harold’s company had advanced through miles and miles of miles and miles. The desert was punctuated only by the odd cactus and what the locals called a road- the winding dirt trails certainly wouldn’t have merited the name back in the States. The days were hot as blazes, the nights were bloody freezing. A few people had died of heatstroke, Paul the Greek amongst them, while scorpions and snakes got a few others. Harold had thanked the Lord he wasn’t one of them! Aside from a few bandits, there had been almost no Mexicans in sight, and Harold hadn’t had many chances to use his Springfield. He had gulped water and salt tablets, cursing whichever halfwit had kept the rations for them so low. Hunger had been his constant companion, hardtack and tinned meat doing little to drive it away. Harold had stunk to high heaven, not having bathed since his brief time in New Orleans… he had gotten a laugh thinking what Daisy June Lee would’ve said if she could’ve smelled him! Gradually, boredom had set in. One or two people had tried to desert… what Colonel Roosevelt did to them wasn’t pretty. All kinds of crazy rumours had circulated- that they were next to a regiment full of black people, or that they were trying to make a deal with a local strongman. Harold hadn’t believed a word of it. Black people in uniform, he’d thought scornfully? (2) As to the other, he’d had no idea and cast it out of his mind- it wasn’t as if just staying alive didn’t present enough distractions. However, it must’ve been true, as a few weeks before Christmas, a local had approached under flag of truce. Harold had wanted to plug him, but the Blythering Idiot had stopped him and found someone who knew Spanish. The Mexican had explained that he represented one “Alvaro Obregon”, and that he was to lead US forces through Sonora.

* * *
Now, four days before Christmas, Harold Beaumont was finally seeing some action.

If he’d had his choice, Harold wouldn’t have risked his life over Topolobampo, Sinaloa. It was a pissant little fishing town of a few hundred people with nothing to recommend it- and his Virginia drawl hadn’t a hope of pronouncing it anyhow.

“You isn’t wrong”, Tad said, his flat Dakota accent contrasting sharply with Harold’s, “but it’s got one thing to recommend it.” Harold grunted, hard-pressed to find any redeeming feature in Topolobampo. “Uh-huh. Suppose you tell me just what?” Before Tad could answer, a burst of rifle fire came from a nearby house. The two men instinctively fell flat, swearing as bullets flew above their heads. Whoever was firing was halfway smart, as he’d picked a second-storey window from which to do so. That gave him a better vantage point and made him bloody hard to hit. Someone- hopefully that Blythering Idiot of a sergeant, Harold thought- howled as a bullet struck home.

“Yeah, Tad. This damn place is really worth it, huh?” Harold reworked the bolt in his Springfield- the bloody thing only fired one shot at a time. “S’pose you tell me how?”
“It’s simple. We take this place, the Navy can put submarines here, where it’ll do ‘em a lot of good.” Harold started to reply, suggesting another place the Navy could put their submarines which would do them even more good, but was interrupted by Sergeant Blythe.

“You dumb asses wanna shut it?” Harold couldn’t see the sergeant but knew his voice all too well. “They hear ya, they’ll give you a little somethin’ to remember ‘em by. Serves- damnit!” The Blythering Idiot dropped to his knee, clutching his chest. “Damn it.”, he said through gritted teeth. “One of you… aah!” His words vanished, consumed in a freakish scream. Blood bubbled from his stomach.

“Cover me!” Tad and Yossel blazed away at wherever that bloody Mexican was shooting from while Harold threw himself to the ground. Just like he’d learned to in basic, he crawled over to the wounded CO. One look told him he didn’t have much chance. Sergeant Blythe, poor Sergeant Blythe, wouldn’t live long enough for the doctors to do any good. His face was deathly pale while his torso was soaked in blood. Harold’s stomach lurched, but this was no time for hesitation. The crackle of gunfire filling his ears, he slung the sergeant over his shoulder; he could barely distinguish the Blythering Idiot’s curses from his howls of pain. Harold knew exactly when the foul-mouthed sergeant gave up the ghost as his profane, agonised howls fell silent.

Harold glanced over his shoulder; the men in green-grey were only a few hundred yards away, but he was already in the centre of Topolobampo. Graves Registration was two streets down. Passing American troops and Mexican civilians all gave him the same odd treatment: they glanced at him sympathetically while giving him a wide berth.
“Here y’are, sir.” He dumped Blythe’s body in front of a bored-looking corporal standing in front of a former general store. The sign had been painted over to read ‘Graves Registration: United States Fifteenth Independent Brigade, Third Battalion.’

The corporal turned up his nose. “Name, rank, pay numbah?” Had basic training not given Harold a crash course in understanding different accents, he doubted he would’ve been able to decipher the corporal’s Boston-infused pronunciation. As it was…

Harold gingerly grabbed the sergeant’s dog-tags, which were soaked in blood. He cleaned them on his sleeve, before reading out the Blythering Idiot’s full name and pay number. Won’t hardly be the same platoon without him. He would never have thought that he’d be able to get used to war and death, but he had. What was the sergeant but one more name to be jotted down in the history books? Harold stiffened to attention and dashed off a quick salute. The corporal leapt to attention, wide-eyed, as though he was on the West Point parade grounds under inspection from a general. His salute might’ve been peeled from a textbook. Didn’t hardly think I was that important, Harold thought with a wry grin. He turned around- and there stood Theodore Roosevelt.

“Mist- mist-t-, er Colonel!” Harold’s salute was as stiff as the sergeant’s had been a moment before. Was he standing firmly enough at attention? Awkwardly, he tried unsuccessfully to brush the dirt and blood off his uniform.

“Don’t worry about it, soldier.” Roosevelt had a big laugh which made his whole body shake. He was wearing an Army uniform without rank insignia, and was flanked by two men built like giants. “You’re doing your job just like the rest of us, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.” He glanced at Sergeant Blythe’s remains. “A pity. But he died doing his duty, and he died for a righteous cause. No shame there, by God. Still, don’t let’s leave him lying about. Take him away!”

The corporal turned very pale and gave another razor-sharp salute. “Yes, sir!” Gently, he picked up the body and took it inside, and that was the end of the irascible sergeant’s story. “And you?”, Roosevelt said. “Your name?”

“Private Harold Beaumont, Mr. Pres- er, Colonel.” After a moment’s pause, he added, “From Richmond, Virginia, sir.”

“Bully!” Roosevelt nodded. “Come with me.” Flanked by Roosevelt’s bodyguards, the two men walked back to the front, the rumble of gunfire growing ever louder. American troops stared awestruck at the former President. Harold smiled to himself. This would be something to tell the boys in Richmond about! “We’re doing something worthwhile, you know. This is how it’s supposed to be. The stronger race inevitably seeks to overwhelm the weaker one in a great struggle for survival, just like, oh damnit!” Roosevelt snapped his fingers. “What was the name of that Englishman? The one with the vast theory, you know?” Harold shook his head- his knowledge of England didn’t extend much beyond the fact that they were on the other side of the ocean. “Darwin, that’s it!” The ex-President’s eyes gleamed behind his spectacles. “Darwin! He spoke of the need of animals in the wild to adapt, to conquer, if they are to survive. Well, Private Beaumont, that is what the great American eagle is doing now. It conquers its prey, swoops down for the kill, and triumphs!” The two men paused on the outskirts of town. The fighting had moved up while Harold was at Graves Registration, and the ground they stood on had been occupied by Mexicans half an hour ago. “Hand me my rifle, Al.” One of Roosevelt’s bodyguards took a Springfield off his back and gave it to the president-turned-colonel. “Well, off we go!” Theodore Roosevelt chuckled, checked to make sure the gun was properly loaded, and dashed off to the fray- he ran quite fast for a man of his age. Harold and the two bodyguards followed suit.

“Took you long enough.” David from Ohio had a fresh cut on his lip, but he didn’t seem to notice. “Who were you talkin’ to back there? Some lovely local gal?” Harold leapt down into his friend’s foxhole and took careful aim.

“Not quite, man. Not quite. You’ll see.” A Mexican soldier was crouching behind a cactus- his light brown, dust-covered uniform didn’t quite match up with the green of the plant. Harold started to take aim, but the enemy howled and fell over dead before he could shoot. Above the din of battle, Harold heard a triumphant whoop. “Bully!”

“Was that…?” David sounded incredulous. “No, it couldn’t have been.” Despite the danger both men found themselves in, Harold laughed. “‘Fraid it was. He’s come down to join the fun, Dave.” Harold shook his head and chuckled. “Let’s go join him.” The two men leapt out of the foxhole, Springfields blazing. One of the Mexicans turned and fled- Harold made sure he didn’t get very far. “Bully!”, Roosevelt yelled to no one in particular. “Bull-”

He never finished his catchphrase.

Theodore Roosevelt stopped dead in his tracks, clutching at his chest. An unnatural wheeze came from deep in his throat, and he slowly fell over backwards. Harold gasped and, forgetting the danger, dashed over to the former President. Just as with the Blythering Idiot, it was too late. The old hero had an entry wound under his collarbone and an exit wound just below his left ear. His jaw was literally hanging by a thread- just a little sinew and muscle.

“No.” Harold’s voice was an unnatural rasp. “S...sir?” It was too late, of course. Beneath his spectacles- which, oddly enough, were perfectly intact- Roosevelt’s eyes were grey, unseeing. No howls of pain came from the wounded commander, and his chest was flat. Blood poured from the grisly wound, covering his face and uniform. Harold had to fight to keep his tinned beef down. Roosevelt’s arm twitched once, twice, a dark stain spread across his crotch, and that was it.

Theodore Roosevelt was dead, and Harold Beaumont was powerless to do anything about it.

Comments?

(1) Grandfather of none other than Bill Clinton, who is of course butterflied away ITTL
(2) The character is a Virginian in 1917- his views on race are certainly not my own
 
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So, Teddys dead. I suppose I should have guessed when I read the title of the update.

Is Harold Beaumont going to be a significant character, or is he just a simple viewpoint for this chapter.
 
It should be noted that a lot of supremacist ideas got a bad rap from being associated with the supremacist-and-genocidal Nazi's. I don't know who the 'big bad' of this timeline will be, but if they're pro-equality-and-genocidal that might set back the cause of racial equality by decades if not more. In such an environment, an Apartheid-like regime might be treated as 'a bit peculiar, but you know, foreigners' rather than 'the obvious evil teammate' (or, for the Soviet side, 'the easy target opponent') of our times.
Didn't the Dutch consider the Afrikaners their embarrassing, racist uncle during apartheid?
 
It's sad but I think we all figured this was going to be Teddy's last rodeo so I wasn't surprised when I read the title.

Just for the lulz, you could turn Harold Beaumont into a Forest Gump character where the dude inexplicitly finds himself witnessing several important historical moments throughout his life. He becomes a successful businessmen at some point and you can take it from there:

He meets members of the Habsburg family in the rump state of Danubia in some restaurant as they prepare for a speech later in the evening, drinks coffee with a relative of Sorel's in Red Paris before a huge riot breaks out, shakes the hand of the Kaiser during some significant wedding in imperial Berlin, witnesses a argument between Japanese and Vietnamese merchants in Japanese controlled Hanoi before a important assassination takes place, spends time in Italian Somalia and accidently joins a dinner party between Ethiopian and Japanese nobility, is hiking in the desert of Chad with some Bedouin guides and sees the first successful German oil drill strike black gold with whooping workers making a racket, experiences a tense car ride in Dublin and sees a British guardsmen get shot by a Irish nationalist before being escorted away for his own safety, etc.

I'm not saying to turn the TL into "Adventures with Harold", but he could be a funny recurring character we see now and then. Later, when he gets old and writes his memoirs, it becomes an instant bestseller with historians in particular marveling at how such an unassuming man could have had such an interesting life.
 
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It's sad but I think we all figured this was going to be Teddy's last rodeo so I wasn't surprised when I read the title.

Just for the lulz, you could turn Harold Beaumont into a Forest Gump character where the dude inexplicitly finds himself witnessing several important historical moments throughout his life. He becomes a successful businessmen at some point and you can take it from there:

He meets members of the Habsburg family in the rump state of Danubia in some restaurant as they prepare for a speech later in the evening, drinks coffee with a relative of Sorel's in Red Paris before a huge riot breaks out, shakes the hand of the Kaiser during some significant wedding in imperial Berlin, witnesses a argument between Japanese and Vietnamese merchants in Japanese controlled Hanoi before a important assassination takes place, spends time in Italian Somalia and accidently joins a dinner party between Ethiopian and Japanese nobility, is hiking in the desert of Chad with some Bedouin guides and sees the first successful German oil drill strike black gold with whooping workers making a racket, experiences a tense car ride in Dublin and sees a British guardsmen gets shot by Irish nationalist before being escorted away for his own safety, etc.

I'm not saying to turn the TL into "Adventures with Harold", but he could be a funny recurring character we see now and then. Later, when he gets old and writes his memoirs, it becomes an instant bestseller with historians in particular marveling at how such an unassuming man could have had such an interesting life.
Haha! That would be great. Perhaps I'll do something along those lines...
 
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