The Rainbow. A World War One on Canada's West Coast Timeline

The big question, where's the money to rebuild coming from, and when does it start to appear? 1906 San Francisco (after the devastating earthquake) was a mess for quite a while till the money started to flow back in for the rebuild
It's wartime. During wars governments find the money to do that which they think is necessary. The prewar Canadian budget of $185 million rose to a wartime peak of $740 million with the debt hitting $1.2 billion. (taken from the Canadian War Museum website). If the destroyed infrastructure is deemed essential to the war effort, it will be replaced as quickly as possible. The exigencies of war shortcut a lot of red tape and bureaucratic feather bedding.

Edit: And if it's deemed essential to the war effort, a neutral third party is not going to be allowed to purchase it.
 
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What is the complete list of shipping lost by the UK by now would be nice to know. Especially since a large part were ocean going and that was exactly that was missing in 1917.
Making these into PDFs was the only way I could preserve the formatting of the columns.
Up to the latest chapter in the story, Aug 21 11AM.

Summary:
Nürnberg 44 vessels totalling 120,370 tons
Leipzig 9 vessels 33,500 tons
Princess Charlotte 8 vessels 22,500 tons

Historians could argue about whether the barges should be counted in these totals, but barges were a major component of BC coastal shipping of the era, and now.
Historians could also argue who gets the credit for prize captures, in the case of Lt. Von Spee capturing ships when in the company of Nürnberg, when he is drawn from the crew of Nürnberg. The table gives credit to Nürnberg in these cases, when Von Spee is in company, and Von Spee when he is detached.
 

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Making these into PDFs was the only way I could preserve the formatting of the columns.
Up to the latest chapter in the story, Aug 21 11AM.

Summary:
Nürnberg 44 vessels totalling 120,370 tons
Leipzig 9 vessels 33,500 tons
Princess Charlotte 8 vessels 22,500 tons

Historians could argue about whether the barges should be counted in these totals, but barges were a major component of BC coastal shipping of the era, and now.
Historians could also argue who gets the credit for prize captures, in the case of Lt. Von Spee capturing ships when in the company of Nürnberg, when he is drawn from the crew of Nürnberg. The table gives credit to Nürnberg in these cases, when Von Spee is in company, and Von Spee when he is detached.
Geez. I mean, I think they might have missed a canoe somewhere, but other then that BC has been torn up.

This will likely have a stronger effect on the US then the "rape of Belgium". Canadians are our neighbors, and suddenly then war has come home to our block.

On the other hand, ports in Oregpn and Washongton will probably get a boost economically in th medium term, with a short term hit do to a fall off of trade to Canada.
 
On the other hand, ports in Oregpn and Washongton will probably get a boost economically in th medium term, with a short term hit do to a fall off of trade to Canada.
I think that would depend upon what's being shipped. Don't know the rules on trans-shipping war material through a neutral nation but I'm assuming that its fairly restricted.
 
This will likely have a stronger effect on the US then the "rape of Belgium". Canadians are our neighbors, and suddenly then war has come home to our block.
US did out put Forts to protect the Columbia River and elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest with the Endicott series of fortifications, starting in 1885

Originally aimed at the British, that quickly shifted over a a deterrent to Japan
 

Driftless

Donor
Geez. I mean, I think they might have missed a canoe somewhere, but other then that BC has been torn up.

This will likely have a stronger effect on the US then the "rape of Belgium". Canadians are our neighbors, and suddenly then war has come home to our block.

On the other hand, ports in Oregpn and Washongton will probably get a boost economically in th medium term, with a short term hit do to a fall off of trade to Canada.
A mega-ton of building supplies go into BC, regardless of who's doing the payments. If it's the Canadian government underwriting much of the expense (loans or grants), then I'd bet there would be some considerable effort to buy building supplies from Canadian sources. For those not patient to wait for the ink to dry on red-tape, I'd bet materials would be purchased from US sources immediately (maybe even through some kinship ties there too). Supply and Demand - building materials get scarce and prices go up in the short run on both sides of the border.

I'd also think there would be a fairly loose designation of what gets sold as 'humanatarian relief" and the like. The Canadians would be obtaining re-supply on armaments through their own sources anyways.
 
A mega-ton of building supplies go into BC, regardless of who's doing the payments. If it's the Canadian government underwriting much of the expense (loans or grants), then I'd bet there would be some considerable effort to buy building supplies from Canadian sources. For those not patient to wait for the ink to dry on red-tape, I'd bet materials would be purchased from US sources immediately (maybe even through some kinship ties there too). Supply and Demand - building materials get scarce and prices go up in the short run on both sides of the border.

I'd also think there would be a fairly loose designation of what gets sold as 'humanatarian relief" and the like. The Canadians would be obtaining re-supply on armaments through their own sources anyways.
BC is a net exporter of lumber at the time, and probably has the best structural lumber on the planet. No problem there. Same for cement/concrete. Lots of production. Steel not so much. All the equipment for the various mills will have to be imported or shipped from back east. And quite likely manufactured first.
 
Yes, there would be no ISOT required to have USS Charleston or South Dakota (as she was still named at the time) appear. Charleston was the receiving ship at Bremerton at the time, so semi-active but fully functional. The South Dakota was cruising in the area and could have rushed back to Bremerton if it looked like the neutrality patrol needed beefing up. Although the realization that the Germans were really in BC, rather than wildly rumoured to be in BC, only happened on the 18th.

Sharp eye noticing that the South Dakota/Huron is sunk in the mill pond at Powell River. I did not find that tidbit until after I wrote the previous post.

The US Navy cruiser that appeared previously was USS Milwaukee, also based out of Bremerton.
Thank you, YYJ. That is a powerful US force, with the cruisers and the lighter US ships. I would love to see the US squadron in action, though this is not the story for that.

In this ATL, there are bound to be wargames published that include every possible armed ship that was present, or could have been present. Simulations Canada would even publish a game covering the entire campaign. I might have even played a naval miniatures scenario where there was a big cruiser slugfest among the San Juan islands.
 
Thank you, YYJ. That is a powerful US force, with the cruisers and the lighter US ships. I would love to see the US squadron in action, though this is not the story for that.

In this ATL, there are bound to be wargames published that include every possible armed ship that was present, or could have been present. Simulations Canada would even publish a game covering the entire campaign. I might have even played a naval miniatures scenario where there was a big cruiser slugfest among the San Juan islands.
Not to mention plenty of timelines where the war comes out the other way if they had stayed with Spee and ran for home--whichever side wins the war in this timeline.
If the Entente wins, "Clearly the devastation aloing Canada's West Coast was crucial for getting Canada mobilized and generating strong feelings in the USA."
If the Central Powers win, "The devastation of Western Canada was the first defeat, and those resources being gone hurt the Enente. Perhaps if the Entente had been doing just a little better, Italy would have been tempted to betray its allies for a bit of land."
 
Unprintable
1000 hours, SMS Princess Charlotte. Strait of Georgia, off Porlier Pass.

Von Spee and Radl looked from the Princess Charlotte’s bridge wing back through the pass they had just transited, between Valdez and Galiano Islands. The foremast of the sunken Marama jutted from mid channel, like a navigational hazard marker. And, in effect, it was.

“I had not intended us to end up on this side of these islands,” said Von Spee. “I was planning on taking us through Stuart Channel and behind all the islands in the gulf to arrive at Victoria by the back way. I got caught up in the chase.” He turned to enter the wheelhouse, to look at a chart, then stopped when he noticed Radl did not follow.

Radl remained looking back at Porlier Pass. “That passage is well and truly blocked. It will remain so after the port of Ladysmith is built back. We are at slack tide now, but the tide runs through this pass at up to seven knots, every six hours. They can’t put divers down in that current. The wreck will have to be broken up with explosives.” He stopped to consider the implications. “Until the wreck is cleared, that will add another 40 nautical miles one way for a coal barge travelling to Vancouver. Or a rail transfer barge. That is 5 or 6 hours for a barge under tow. Or more. Ladysmith is the only rail transfer point from Vancouver Island to the mainland. Rather than building back that transfer wharf we burned, the Canadians would be smart to build another somewhere else.”

“We had best travel south now,” Radl continued. “If you wish to get back into the waters between the gulf islands and Vancouver Island, we will have to enter by Active Pass, between Galiano and Mayne Islands. As will every other vessel, now that Porlier Pass is corked. Who knows, perhaps we will meet RMS Olympic in Active Pass and we can scuttle her there and plug that passage as well.”

“Yes, south,” said Von Spee, distractedly. He had noticed smoke from a ship’s funnels to the east. “Take us south,” he ordered the bridge crew. “What is that ship there?” Radl looked through his binoculars. A coastal steamer with three funnels was running south down the middle of Georgia Strait, five miles distant.

“The Canadian Pacific Railroad liner Princess Victoria,” answered Radl. “Something of a rival to this ship.”

“She looks trim and fast,” said Von Spee.

“Yes,” Radl answered. “She is.”

“Will these coastal liners, like the one we are standing on, and that one there be used as troopships?” Asked Von Spee.

“Oh, certainly,” answered Radl “Bringing troops from Victoria and the coastal towns to the rail head in Vancouver. Recall the Princess Sophia.”

“Signals!” ordered Von Spee. “Send a challenge to that ship.”

STOP AND PREPARE TO BE BOARDED, sent the Princess Charlotte.

The reply from the Princess Victoria’s captain is as famous as it is unprintable.

Radl laughed long and hard.

Von Spee, blinked dramatically, and looked a bit put out. “Give us full speed,” he ordered, and the engine telegraph clanged.

“You will never catch that ship,” said Radl. “The Victoria is the faster ship, and her captain knows it.”

Von Spee ordered the Princess Charlotte up to full speed, and angled her course to intercept Princess Victoria. “Range!” Von Spee demanded.

“10,000 meters,” the gunnery officer answered.

“Well beyond the reach of our 5.2 cm guns,” said Von Spee disappointedly.

Princess Charlotte ran south east for 15 minutes, with the trees of Galiano Island lit golden by the mid morning sun to her starboard. The Princess Victoria was steering an almost identical course. The Germans did not seem to be gaining. Radl had never seen these waters so clear of shipping. Not even a fishboat was in sight, anywhere. Some smoke was showing to the south, past the Princess Victoria. The smoke looked to him to be in American waters, but at this distance it was hard to tell.

“Galiano Island,” mused Von Spee, as the minutes passed. “Was our patrol vessel named after the island?”

“Both were named after a Spaniard,” said Radl, “who visited here in the 18th century.”

“Range!” Von Spee asked the gunnery officer again.

“10,500 meters, sir,” the officer replied.

“Are we at maximum revolutions?” asked Von Spee.

The helmsman replied in the affirmative.

“Well,” Von Spee said. “That liner has a full knot on us.”

“I said…” replied Radl. “At her current speed and course, she will enter American waters within 15 minutes.”

“To be interned?” asked Von Spee.

“Unless she is carrying troops at the moment, she is a civilian vessel,” said Radl. “She is actually following her normal route right now, the Vancouver to Seattle to Victoria run. They call it the Triangle Route. So not interned. She can come and go as she pleases. But I suspect that passengers are not as eager to travel these waters of late.”

What is that smoke?” Von Spee asked. Radl raised his binoculars and looked to the south east, and Von Spee raised his own. After a moment he called “Lookout!” up to the foremast crow’s nest.

“Looks to be a patrol vessel, sir, painted white and flying the Stars and Stripes,” called down the lookout. “There is another, five miles further to the south, and more to the south east, close to the horizon, at least one, perhaps more.”

“Helm, five points to starboard,” ordered Von Spee. “We want to stay clear of the border, and we want anyone watching to notice that we are.”

“We will want to turn to the west in about six miles,” said Radl, “if you wish to turn back into the gulf island passages.”

Princess Charlotte continued steaming south east, until she slowed to enter Active Pass at 1035 hours. Looking to the east, the officers could see that the Princess Victoria had now crossed the maritime boundary, and looked to be having a vigorous exchange of semaphore with the American Patrol vessel. Von Spee could now read USRC Unalga on the American ship’s pristine white bow. To the south, a smaller, but no less brightly painted USRC Shawnee was approaching northward, right on the boundary line.

“That lighthouse marks the entrance to Active Pass,” said Radl, gesturing.

“Helm, turn for the passage,” ordered Von Spee. “Mister Radl, you have the bridge.”

Radl instructed the helmsman on his course changes through the S-bend of the pass, which narrowed to 500 metres in places. To the south, Mayne Island was heavily treed to the waterline, with a wide sandy bay midway through the pass sheltering a wharf and small settlement. To the north the shoreline of Galiano Island was also treed, but rockier, with cliffs and outcroppings of grey stone to the water’s edge, and fields of grass turned golden in the late summer heat. Homesteaders watched the German raider steam past, her German Naval Ensign flying high, from the shoreline and from small boats.

“What with the Princess Victoria, the lighthouse, the farmers, and the Americans,” said Von Spee, “I expect our position is being reported to the minute.”

The tide was beginning to turn, and ripples and eddies hinted at the volume of water moving through the narrow pass. With each course correction, a new vista opened up into small bays and coves, each looking, thought Von Spee suddenly, like a perfect spot for a submarine ambush.

“Lookouts!” ordered Von Spee. “Keep watch for periscopes.”




 
RMS Olympic is in the area? Do I remember reading that in an update?

I looked up Active Pass. YYJ, are you working for the BC Tourist Board? I have an urge to visit these places, like Galiano Island. I do have family in coastal BC.
 
RMS Olympic is in the area? Do I remember reading that in an update?

I looked up Active Pass. YYJ, are you working for the BC Tourist Board? I have an urge to visit these places, like Galiano Island. I do have family in coastal BC.
Olympia being in the area was a joke from one of the characters aboard the German vessel, due to them needing such a large warship to block the channel.
 
The reply from the Princess Victoria’s captain is as famous as it is unprintable.
Insert certain 4 letter expletive starting with F and ending with K and have it oriented towards yourself ( in this case the SMS Princess Charlotte and her crew)
 
Economics lecture
Aug 21, 1015. SMS Nürnberg, Howe Sound.

Nurnberg had come up to her full speed of 23 and a half knots, racing up the inlet of Howe Sound. Von Schönberg found the body of water to be much like Observatory Inlet, on the way to Anyox, or the Inside Passage. Another wild steep sided seemingly endless channel. If anything, the mountains to the east were even taller than in the other inlets Nürnberg had visited on her tour of British Columbia. Far down the inlet Von Schönberg could see the purple tusks of what must have been the remnants of volcanoes, rock thrusting skyward through bright white skirts of glaciers.

Trade Commissioner Augustus Meyer stood beside Von Schönberg on Nürnberg’s Shrapnel riddled bridge wing.

“All of my military and sailor’s instincts tell me I should be heading back out to sea at this moment, Herr Meyer,” said Von Schönberg. “It is only on your insistence that we are taking this extra leg of the voyage.”

“You told me your mission is to inflict the maximum damage on the British war making capacity,” said Meyer, raising his hands in a gesture of innocence. “I am just advising you how to do it. Let me paint you the economic picture, Captain. Britain has almost no copper mines of her own, all their copper comes from the Empire and trade. And as I’m sure you know, no copper means no bullets and no shells.”

Meyer seemed to be settling into his element, delivering an Economics lecture. “Canada and Australia produce most of the Empire’s copper, with about a tenth coming from South Africa. Canada alone produces significantly more copper than the German Empire. The copper production in the coastal region of British Columbia is around 17 percent of Canada’s total, and furthermore, those are the mines that are increasing in production, as the inland mines become tapped out. Copper production in the Coastal Region of British Columbia comes from just three groups of mines. The Granby Mines at Anyox, the Marble Bay Mines on Texada Island, and the Anaconda Mines at Britannia Beach.”

“Now I understand that you have taken care of the mine at Anyox,” said Meyer appreciatively.

“That was pure luck,” said Von Schönberg. “We came seeking coal.”

“In any case, well done,” Meyer continued. “If your colleague Captain Haun manages, the mines on Texada Island will be going out of production right about now. And here we are, headed for Britannia Beach. So at a stroke, the British Empire loses a tenth of its copper production, for something like a year until the facilities can be built back. Oh, that will be felt,” Meyer rubbed his hands together in glee. “I can tell you, that will be felt.”

“So we will continue then,” said Von Schönberg. Nürnberg continued steaming due north, passing Gambier and Anvil Islands. Ahead, a steam tug pulling a barge made its way slowly up the Sound. Nürnberg quickly closed on the tug and its tow. The tow was a rail transfer barge, with a dozen railcars densely packed on its deck. The towing vessel was a handsome wooden tug of around 150 tons with a tall single funnel. The name Faultless was painted on the battered stern. As Nurnberg drew even closer, PGE could be read painted on some of the boxcars.

“Where are those rail cars going?” asked Von Schönberg. “To Britannia mines?”

“No, to some other mines, further inland I expect,” replied Meyer. “You could say the rail line runs from nowhere to nowhere, although the owners promise it will reach the Grand Trunk Pacific main line at Prince George, eventually.” Meyer chortled to himself. “Prince George Eventually is a wag’s pun on the railway name. The Pacific Great Eastern Railway is underfunded, and I suspect it is a ruse to mine the Provincial Government loan guarantees. Ahh, the way business is done in this part of the world. You really have to see it to believe.”

“Fascinating, I am sure,” said Von Schönberg. “I am going to sink that barge. I suspect it contains contraband of war. Signals! Send a challenge.”

RELEASE YOUR TOW IT WILL BE SUNK WITH GUNFIRE, sent Nürnberg by semaphore.

“The tug is transmitting our position in clear.” reported a wireless runner. “Should we jam, sir?”

“Don’t bother,” replied Von Schönberg, “Our position is being frequently reported from shore. That tug has not responded. Sound the siren. Repeat the challenge.”

“Sir the tug has changed course,” called the helmsman. “It is crowding us toward the shore.”

“I see it,” said Von Schönberg.

Nürnberg was now coming alongside the barge, and would soon overtake Faultless, passing on the cruiser’s port side.

“Fire a warning shot,” ordered Von Schönberg. But before that could happen, a deckhand at the tug’s winch de-clutched the towline, and the tug turned hard over into Nürnberg’s path.

“Helm!” ordered Von Schönberg. “turn around her!”

“We’re not going to make it!” responded the helmsman.

“Collision alarm!” ordered Von Schönberg.

The winch on the tug’s deck sang as the towline paid out. A cloud of rust and grease spray rose around the spinning drum. With the towline slackening, the tug was able to make this violent maneuver without being impeded by the drag of her barge. Thus unencumbered, Faultless just managed to cut across Nürnberg’s bow. The deckhand re-clutched the towing winch. A man on the bridge wing made an obscene gesture in the direction of Nürnberg’s bridge.

“All Stop!” ordered Von Schönberg. “We can not let the screws become fouled!” The engine telegraph clanged, and the vibration of the engines stopped, but Nürnberg still had 23 and a half knots of forward momentum. The cruiser’s ram bow cut through the water past the tug’s rounded stern, only meters away. A whizzing sound now could be heard, coming from the bow. Von Schönberg looked forward, and could see the towing cable had been hooked by the ram. On the barge side, to Nürnberg’s port, the cable had dipped deep into the water with the sudden extra slack but was now quickly being drawn taut again as the cruiser pulled the cable. Von Schönberg would have liked to get a better view of what was happening with the cable and Nürnberg’s bow, but the situation was about to become deadly if the cable parted and snaked over the cruiser’s deck, and anyway, there was no time. There was no time, even, for him to transfer command to the armoured conning tower.

“Clear the deck!” Von Schönberg ordered. “Brace for impact!”

The tow line to the barge continued to tighten, Von Schönberg, saw the line lift briefly out of the water for its full length, the barge accelerated for a second, then he looked to starboard and saw over the rail, the hull and funnel of the tug make a sudden whipsaw motion as Faultless was yanked backwards. A torturous creaking sounded, like pulling an immense nail from a piece of wood, then a snap, and Von Schönberg saw the winch, with large pieces of the tug still attached, leap into the air, bounce off Nürnberg’s, foredeck, and disappear over the cruiser’s bow into Howe Sound, with a splash that could be heard but not seen. Pieces of wooden decking and debris landed on Nürnberg’s upperworks.

Von Schönberg noticed first that none of his crew seemed to have been killed, then that the starboard anchor capstan was bent well out of vertical. Astern to port, Faultless was drifting backwards. A large piece of her after deck was missing, and the streams of water pouring over her gunwales showed that her pumps were working hard. The barge was losing momentum and beginning to rotate on the current. Nürnberg was still coasting forward on her momentum, engines stopped, and gradually losing way.

“Prepare to put a diver over the side to inspect the screws,” he ordered. “Guns, sink that barge.”

“What of the tug, sir?” asked the gunnery officer.

“They will be busy enough trying to stay afloat, I expect,” answered Von Schönberg. The number 9 and 10 guns made short work of the barge, at a range of 200 meters, and it capsized, the rail cars toppling as the barge rolled over. Echoes of the gunfire bounced back and forth between the mountainous sides of the inlet. Engineers leaning over the rail could see no evidence of the tow cable entangled in the screw or rudder, and soon a diver, secured with a rope, confirmed that no damage had resulted.

“We are very fortunate to have caught that towline, rather than running over top of it,” said Von Schönberg. “Well then, all ahead full,” and Nürnberg again was under way. The cruiser steamed north for about 20 minutes, seemingly towards a dead end in the inlet, but then the channel turned to the north west and a haziness appeared in the previously clear air. Suddenly, past the projecting slope of a mountain ridge, emerged the steep sided valley of Britannia Creek, and on its estuary, the mill site of Britannia Beach. At the same time, three miles across the Sound, another industrial site emitted a white smoke column that dispersed across the inlet.

“Behold, the operations of the Britannia Mining and Smelting Company,” said Mueller the elder. “And yonder, the brand new pulp mill at Woodfibre.” Nürnberg steered towards the copper mill.


 
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