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

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by YYJ, Jun 14, 2019.

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  1. Alanith Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2013
    WW1, they'll actually explode :p

    That said, if anyone says anything about having a fantastic idea for something called a "Magnetic Detonator" save everyone some time and throw him overboard.
     
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  2. Threadmarks: Appreciate most warmly your action

    YYJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Aug 6, Esquimalt Naval Dockyard.

    PRIME MINISTER BORDEN TO PREMIER MCBRIDE YESTERDAY MORNING WE COMMUNICATED WITH THE ADMIRALTY AS TO ADVISABILITY OF SECURING TWO SUBMARINES MENTIONED AND AS TO FEASABILITY OF MANNING THEM AS WITHOUT CREWS THEY WOULD BE USELESS STOP THEY ADVISE PURCHASE PROVIDED CREWS COULD BE SECURED STOP AS THIS HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED WE APPRECIATE MOST WARMLY YOUR ACTION WHICH WILL TEND TO INCREASE SECURITY ON THE PACIFIC COAST AND SEND HEARTY THANKS STOP PLEASE ADVISE US OF THEIR ARRIVAL STOP

    “The Admiralty is certainly right about the crews.”

    Premier McBride and Lieutenant-Commander Jones had made themselves at home in Pilcher’s Dockyard Commander office. They had cleared a space on his desk for the coffee and sandwiches they devoured as the meeting proceeded. Soon they were joined by the Fleet Surgeon, who McBride had asked to look in on Lieutenant Pilcher.

    “The man has suffered a breakdown and is experiencing complete nervous exhaustion,” reported the surgeon. “I have declared him unfit for duty, and placed him on indefinite rest.”

    “What a shame,” replied McBride. “His service to this country is beyond measure. Someone should make sure he gets a medal.” The surgeon left, and the two men paused respectfully for a moment, then dug back into their mid-day dinner.

    “I was considering you as commander of the submarine service Bert,” said McBride. “but in light of events I think it more important to have a Senior Naval Officer, to keep everything together. At least for the time being. Are you willing?”

    Jones raised his eyebrows. “Wherever I would be most useful,” he replied.

    “So in the matter of a submarine commander, I do have a man in mind,” said McBride. “ Tubby Keyes. He is on a train right now from Toronto.”

    “Tubby, yes!,” exclaimed Jones. “Another steadfast old submariner. His brother is the head of the Royal Navy’s submarine service… as you well know. Is there anyone you don’t know?”

    “Good.” Replied McBride. “I think you can help him out by assembling a list of candidates. We will have the services of that American trials captain to help with training, for a while at least. The Admiralty is correct that we can do nothing with those boats without crews. Requisition who you like. There are a lot more sailors on the Rainbow and those two sloops for you to pick from, although God knows if we will be seeing any of them again.”
     
  3. Tonrich Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2016
    Location:
    Near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. USA
    Did the British Navy have 18" torpedoes? I don't know much about how a torp gets launched from a WW1 sub. Did they have to start the props then close the tubes and flood and shoot? Did they have an electric connection to start the props in the flooded tubes?

    If so do the connectors match? Would they have to purchase American torps for these subs?
     
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  4. weasel_airlift Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2016
    Yes.

    Possibly it will still b the easiest thing. An American 18" torpedo may not be the same length as a British one. That would be problematic. Same as a weight differential.
     
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  5. Deckhand Pull hard, she comes easy.

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    The place the Bastards keep annexing.
    Don't forget Macauley Point if the Germans are coming.
     
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  6. Anarch King of Dipsodes Overlord of All Thirst

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    Jan 17, 2015
    Location:
    The heights of glory, the depths of despair.
    Maxim was a British company: "Trust in God, for we have got / The Maxim gun and they have not."

    Fregatten-Kapitan Haun would refer to "a Spandau", after the German arsenal where machine guns were developed and produced. While the Spandau 08 was a close copy of the Maxim, it would never be referred to as such.

    Meanwhie, great TL!!!!
     
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  7. YYJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Thank you, This is exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping for.
     
  8. Zheng He Well-Known Member

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    Aug 3, 2013
    What package are you doing? I’ve done the Disney Alaska cruise out of Vancouver three times.
     
  9. YYJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    1914 OTL Coastal Defence Batteries Fortress Esquimalt
    Black Rock Battery in Esquimalt Naval Dockyard: 2x12 pdr. QF
    Duntze Head Battery in Esquimalt Naval Dockyard: 2x12 pdr. QF
    Belmont Battery at Fort Rodd Hill: 2x12 pdr. QF
    Fort Rodd Hill: 3 x 6" BL on disappearing carriages
    Fort Mcauley: 3 x 6" BL on disappearing carriages
    Signal Hill Battery in Esquimalt Naval Dockyard: 2 x 9.2" BL en barbette.
    Searchlights etc.
    There are also many surviving 6 pdr Hotchkiss guns scattered around museums in the area today that claim to have been part of the harbour defences. But I can find no record of them ever being mounted. They may have been temporarily mounted in some ATB forts while awaiting their 12 pdrs to be delivered. I suspect some were taken from the sloops or the Rainbow and mounted ashore, or just stored and found later. Some may have been later fitted to smaller patrol ships like the Inspection vessel Malaspina.

    Edit Duntze Head Battery mounted 2 x 6 pdr 1897-1904. For coastal artillery nerds, the Victorian era Hotchkiss 6 pdr is very different from the WWII twin 6 pdr 10cwt, which was a semi-automatic gun that could shoot 72 rounds/min with both barrels. Fortress Esquimalt mounted 3 of these from 1943 onward and one survives today, but that is out of the scope of this story.

    http://workpoint.opcmh.ca/images/ArtilleryinBC.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
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  10. Threadmarks: Submarine watch

    YYJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Aug 6, SMS Leipzig, off San Diego

    Captain Haun held station off shore while the picket boat took a trip to San Diego to buy oranges and newspapers. He relied on the German Diplomatic corps and Naval Intelligence wireless updates for his situational awareness, but you always could learn something from the local press.

    While the shore party conducted their business, Haun listened to San Diego marine radio for weather forecasts. An item caught his attention, a warning for vessels to be aware of submarines operating in Canadian waters off southern Vancouver Island.

    “Submarines!” said the XO. “Where did they manage to come up with submarines? That station is very remote.”

    “Perhaps they bought them from the Americans,” speculated Haun. “Perhaps they put them on a train. But it is no matter. If we were in the North Sea, or the Baltic, or the Mediterranean, we would have to keep submarine watch. Now we know we have to here as well.”

    “That seems like a leak in British security, to release that item to the public. I am surprised,” said the XO.

    “I am as well, which means it was deliberate. Which may also mean it is a bluff.” Said Haun.”

    “We shall see,” said both men at the same time.

    “For now, we will continue to San Francisco, and coal. I intend to charter a collier there. German if we can find one,” said Haun. “Have a wireless message sent to the German Counsel General in San Francisco advising.”
     
  11. Dathi THorfinnsson Daði Þorfinnsson

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Location:
    Syracuse, Haudenosaunee, Vinland
    1) just started reading this. Good stuff. D
    2)I gather that the expedition to buy the subs was OTL, just the success wasn't?
    3) so HMBCS McBride, eh?
    4) neutrality rules mean a hostile can only get enough coal to make it to the nearest friendly port. For the Germans, that's, what, Tsingtao? So they coal up in e.g. Portland with enough coal to reach China. Cruise up and down the Pacific Northwest coast for a month or so, then pop back in to Portland for another load of coal sufficient to reach China... That sounds legal. Could they get away with it?
     
  12. YYJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    2) Everything so far is OTL, except the movements of Nürnberg, including the subs. I am being creative with dialogue, but events are straight history, so far.
    3) spoilers...
    4) OTL the US deemed that the Leipzig's closest friendly port was Apai, in German Samoa. So basically what you said. I do not think the ship could come back for a second coaling after they demonstrated they were acting in bad faith. The British and German diplomats would be down on the dock arguing their respective cases.
     
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  13. Tonrich Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2016
    Location:
    Near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. USA
    I will admit I don't understand the neutrality laws but it seems odd that the laws would require whomever is applying them to make a decision on something like 'bad faith'.

    Technically anything you sell to a nation at war helps that nation, so you could make the argument that everything is contraband. I would think that food, fuel and medical supplies would be cash and carry to any belligerent and sell at will. Obviously no weapons or chemicals use to produce weapons should be sold. The restriction should be that the warship cannot enter national waters. That would force the coalier to rendezvous in international waters where they would risk being caught in an exchange. Hense they would raise their price accordingly. This alone would most likely drive the belligerents away as they wouldn't be able to buy coal at 5 or 10 times the market rate for very long.

    Again I don't have much knowledge in this area so I am interested in how this actually worked.

    Really enjoying the TL.
     
  14. Tonrich Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2016
    Location:
    Near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. USA
    The 12 pdrs are basically 3" guns, aren't they? Nürnberg and Leipzig would be protected against this caliber wouldn't they? (Not saying they couldn't hurt the ships but their armor should have been made to protect).

    Now the 6" and the 9.2" should frighten the ships but the 12 pdrs seem to be much less of a deterrent.
     
  15. dmg86 Well-Known Member

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    Jan 9, 2014
    then again they have very little ways to make repairs.
     
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  16. weasel_airlift Well-Known Member

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    May 5, 2016
    The German ships also have exposed gun mounts, and the 12 pounders shoot quickly. They are more of a "Sweep the deck" gun
     
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  17. YYJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    The 12 pdr. Coastal defence guns are anti-torpedo boat guns. Nav Weapons says they have a rate of fire of 15 rds. per minute. An attacking cruiser is unlikely to come within range of these guns. The Rainbow has 4 of these guns as well, on broadside, 2 per side. The German cruiser guns do have gun shields, but not enclosed turrets. Nav Weapons says these guns have a range of 11,000 yards at 40 degrees, but there is no way these guns are on mounts capable of 40 degrees, maybe 15 degrees.
     
  18. YYJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Yes, 12 pounders are 3" are 76.2mm. They would be able to wreck the upper works of a Bremen or Konigsberg class cruiser, but not penetrate the protective armour and maybe not the gun shields. The armour on a protected cruiser (Rainbow and the German light cruisers) started at the waterline and formed a sloped lid over the machinery spaces and magazines, and used the coal bunkers as part of the armour system. Anything above that, other than the conning tower and gun shields, is just regular hull plate.

    The 6" guns would be a deterrent, and would cause damage with a hit, but they are 1890s weapons on disappearing carriages with a rate of fire of one shot every 2 minutes. They also have a range of about 8800 yards.

    The 9.2" guns are long ranged and heavy hitting. But as set up in this era OTL they also have issues.
     
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  19. RelativeGalaxy7 Junior Canada Wanker

    Joined:
    May 20, 2017
    The 3” guns really aren’t much of a threat to any German warships. Given shell reliability of the time period and the small caliber nature, it’s unlikely to do a whole lot at sea or on land besides scratch some paint or do superficial splinter damage. You might end their raiding operations but you are gonna be expending a hell of a lot of shells for any damage.
     
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  20. YYJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    The neutrality laws are technical. I have a copy of the British Declaration of War for World War I. Much of the 4 page document is about contraband goods. There are lists. I am going to post it (spoilers...) when commerce warfare begins, because some things are referenced. I do not understand the Neutrality laws too well myself. Belligerent warships are able to do certain things. like have 24 hours in a neutral port and receive coal to travel to a friendly port (coal that they buy, not charity). Belligerent merchant ships can be seized by enemy belligerents. Neutral merchant ships can be seized, or at least have their cargoes confiscated if they are carrying contraband to enemy belligerents. I think if a merchant ship is acting as an auxiliary to a belligerent warship, it becomes a belligerent warship itself.
     
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