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. YYJ Well-Known Member

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    The line now reads as above. I have changed the movements of Alexandria to avoid this situation.
     
  2. sloreck Grunt Bear

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    The 24 hour rule is true for warships as well. Should a German warship enter San Francisco harbor, the Rainbow would leave first as she entered first, and the German warship would have to wait 24 hours before leaving. Of course here the Rainbow would only be allowed in San Francisco harbor for 24 hours, this could be stretched a little, or such time as needed to make her seaworthy which could not be an extended period and could not allow any repairs to weapons other than what was done by the crew. Only such supplies as food, fuel, medical supplies, etc are allowed to be loaded.

    There is nothing to prevent the first ship to leave from hanging out in international waters close to the port to jump on the next ship to leave (warship or merchant), or other warships to come and wait outside the harbor (as in the case of the Graf Spee). Merchant ships of belligerents, being civilian craft are exempt from these rules, even in the case of a merchant submarine (cf: the Deutschland in WWI). Merchant vessels reprovisioning warships at sea are in a grey area, and a ship like the Alexandria if it is a naval auxiliary is treated as a naval vessel not a civilian merchant. Proving this becomes difficult and can lead to "issues", see the example of the Altmark acting as an auxiliary for the Germans early in WWII and carrying British prisoners to Germany through Norwegian waters (a violation) and captured by the British in those waters - this was when Norway was still neutral.
     
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  3. Tonrich Well-Known Member

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    You mention Warship but how about a German flagged merchant. If a merchie left the port could Rainbow leave right after, intercept once they reached international waters?

    That doesn't seem like 'cricket' to me. there has to be some kind of rule around that as well.
     
  4. weasel_airlift Well-Known Member

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    No. After a German flagged merchant leaves port, the Rainbow would have to wait 24 hours to leave
     
  5. Tonrich Well-Known Member

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    Ok, that makes sense. Sloreck said warship and I thought that didn't seem right!
     
  6. Threadmarks: Get back to business

    YYJ Well-Known Member

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    Aug 7, Victoria, British Columbia.

    HMCS RAINBOW TO NSHQ LEIPZIG AND NURNBERG REPORTED OFF SAN DIEGO STEERING NORTH STOP

    On this day, Premier Richard McBride officially offered to transfer the two submarines to the Royal Canadian Navy. The Government of Canada accepted the offer, by Order in Council, and agreed to reimburse British Columbia the sale price. The submarines themselves were placed under control of the Admiralty. Ignoring the suggested names Lieutenant Pilcher had offered for the boats, the Navy decided on the rather prosaic names CC-1, for the former Iquique, and CC-2 for the former Antofagasta, following a convention where the first C stood for Canada, and the second C stood for the class of submarine.

    Lieutenant Adrian St. Vincent Keyes, who was quite happy to be addressed as “Tubby” by his peers, had arrived in Esquimalt, and was immediately appointed to commanding officer of the submarine flotilla. He was offered carte blanche to do whatever was required to make the submarines a fighting force.

    The war panic had if anything increased, and McBride felt he had to be seen to be taking action. The Premier met with Lieutenant-Colonel Willoughby Gwatkin, a British staff officer acting as Chief of General Staff, and Colonel Alexandre Roy, the District Militia commander. Gwatkin was concerned with coastal raids by the German cruisers, but more about sabotage by German agents and the local Japanese, who he considered to be too numerous and a menace. Gwatkin, proposed a limited mobilization of militia, on top of the one infantry battalion and one artillery regiment that had already mobilized, to guard critical infrastructure like railway bridges, cable stations, wireless transmitters, and coal stocks at seaports. McBride argued that the dispersal of penny packets of militia to remote locations would do nothing to ease the fears of the public. What he believed was called for was marching battalions and parades, to make the population feel secure so they all could get back to business. Gwatkin disagreed. Colonel Roy was not sure what to do.

    Specific actions that were taken, coming out of the meeting were: the shipping of two surplus 4 inch naval guns that had been previously landed from HMS Algerine to Vancouver, calling on the Coberg Heavy Battery, Canadian Garrison Artillery from Quebec City to deploy a battery of field guns westward, investigating what was necessary to re-activate the command detonated submarine minefield the Royal Engineers had operated at the mouth of Esquimalt Harbour until 1906, and as Gwatkin said, “to call out our militia units along the coast to guard the harbours where the Germans might come to demand coal.” Also, the Grand Trunk Pacific steamer Prince George was chartered by the Government and hastily fitted out in Esquimalt to operate as a hospital ship.

    http://acitygoestowar.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/KH0241-e1376032696329.jpg
     
  7. Tonrich Well-Known Member

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    I like the idea of parades. The visible mass of trained men creates the impression of security. Parceling then out to garrison does nothing but increase cost, and make for boring unproductive hours for the soldiers. They should be looking for trucks to make them mobile. Then practice deployments to different remote points and make a show how quickly the force can be anywhere a suspected attack should occur. Much more fun for the soldiers as well.
     
  8. YYJ Well-Known Member

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    Strategic mobility for ground forces in British Columbia in 1914 would be by train, coastal steamer, or fresh water sternwheeler. Roads mostly came later.
     
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  9. kessock Kicked

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    German agents I can understand but why would they be worried about local Japanese when Japan is allied with the Empire?
     
  10. Anarch King of Dipsodes Overlord of All Thirst

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    Because they viewed Japanese as dirty sneaking treacherous Asiatics who unfairly competed with white men? /snark

    (Anti-Japanese prejudice was rampant in British Columbia, as it was in the western US.)

    Besides, Japan didn't declare war on Germany till August 23.
     
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  11. YYJ Well-Known Member

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    Because racism. The Komagata Maru incident is covered earlier in this story. Much of BC history is shot though with anti-Asian racism. (not exclusively BC, but that is the setting of this story.) Often, owners of mills mines etc. would use Chinese labour as strike breakers, so strikes would take on a race riot flavour, and early labour activism involved a great deal of anti-Asian racism. The BC militia in the time period at the start of this story is just winding down from deployment in Nanaimo, Ladysmith, Cumberland, and other coal mining centres on Vancouver island, "keeping the peace" between a striking union of white coal miners and the Chinese strike breakers. I expect this will get a bit of attention as flavour in the background when (spoiler) my story comes to the city of Nanaimo later on.

    (spoiler) I don't have a direct quote form the period, just a paraphrase from a history book (1) " The Vancouver Sun saw fit to note that Izumo's assistance was welcome, but it would not influence British Columbia's long-standing opposition to Asian immigration." Which I translate as "You may have pulled us from the fire, saved our very lives, but that doesn't change the fact that you are just J**s"
    Will the Dyke Hold.jpg
    Racist editorial cartoon from the period
    Source: http://www.vancouversun.com/life/ce...challenged+racist+policies/9868708/story.html

    (1) Elson, Bryan. Canada's Bastion of Empire. 2014 Formac Publishing Halifax p. 200
     
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  12. Tonrich Well-Known Member

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    Yes but the Vancouver area is a great big delta, and having the trucks racing troops around again would be a 'show' to the public on how well they're protected.
     
  13. Tonrich Well-Known Member

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    Yes, part of the animus that Japan felt towards the US was the rampant anti-Asiatic immigrant mentality that permeated the West coast. There were all kinds of government restrictions about Japanese entering the country, even as tourists.

    Sorry - didn't read your next post where you covered this.
     
  14. Threadmarks: So he waited

    YYJ Well-Known Member

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    Aug 8. HMCS Rainbow, Farallon Islands, off San Francisco.

    NSHQ TO RAINBOW YOUR PRESENCE OFF AMERICA HAS SHUT DOWN ALL GERMAN COMMERCE ON THE WEST COAST STOP WELL DONE STOP

    Rainbow had slipped out of San Francisco Bay at midnight. Hose intended to use the Rainbow as a shield, by keeping her between the German cruisers and the Royal Navy sloops under his protection. He also hoped to intercept the German auxiliaries carrying supplies for the cruisers, take them as prizes, and deprive the cruisers of sustenance. Rainbow stationed herself just outside the three-mile limit, and ran a slow pattern north-south off the approaches to San Francisco.

    NSHQ TO RAINBOW AWAIT STORES SHIP TO RENDEZVOUS OFF FARALLON ISLANDS STOP

    “First Lieutenant,” ordered Hose “We have to clear the ship for action. Please have the crew break up all wooden furniture and cabin woodwork and flammables and toss over the side.”

    Rainbow sailed from banks of thick fog, out into bright clear skies, then back into fog, as if passing through clearings in a dense forest. It was hard not to imagine things moving in the fog. Sound travelled strangely. The fog horn on the Farallon Island lighthouse seemed to fade and grow louder, even when the ship was hove to.

    Hose did not want to travel too far from that barren group of islands, in case his stores ship arrived, and missed him. So he waited.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/22/travel/san-francisco-farallon-islands.html
     
  15. Threadmarks: Burn the money!

    YYJ Well-Known Member

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    Aug 8, Esquimalt Naval Dockyard

    “A great many people asked yesterday why The Colonist posted unconfirmed bulletins. Possibly very few people understand how news reaches The Colonist office and that of our evening contemporary… All the papers guarantee is that is that the bulletins are genuine telegrams sent and received in good faith.” The Victoria Daily Colonist, Aug 8, 1914 page 4.

    “ On Thursday evening the evening paper printed the following paragraph in its editorial columns:

    ‘Providence is kind, it gave Germany the Kaiser: also British Columbia Sir Richard, as a sure defence in time of trouble. We might enlarge upon the theme, but out of deference to the circumstances, refrain for the present.’

    Yesterday we asked our contemporary to retract what it said because it was a cold blooded insult to the Premier of this Province in view of the fact that the British Empire is at war with Germany… The Victoria Daily Colonist, Aug 8, 1914 page 4.

    PRIME MINISTER BORDEN TO PREMIER MCBRIDE EXPECT THAT RAINBOW AND TWO SLOOPS MAY BE CAPTURED TODAY OR TOMORROW STOP PLEASE USE CONNECTIONS IN SEATTLE TO LOCATE SUBMARINE MINING EXPERTS STOP

    “This business about the submarine minefields is rubbish,” said Lieutenant Jones.

    “Yes, I know,” said Premier McBride cheerfully.

    “That equipment was built in the 1890s, was questionable in the first place, and has been sitting in storage for 15 years, with no maintenance for the last 8, becoming more obsolete with every passing day.”

    “ I couldn’t agree more,”

    “And the place that it is supposed to guard is the very spot on the coast that is already the best defended. There are 14 guns covering Esquimalt harbour.

    “ I am very aware of that fact.”

    “Then why are we even wasting this moment talking about it?”

    “Because…” drew out McBride “In the absence of the deadly submarine minefield, something else has to shake loose to save the citizens of the province. I am going to mobilize all the militia. I need approval from the District Militia Commander and the Minister of Militia and Defence, the nutter. The Prime Minister has somehow latched onto this nonsense of the submarine minefield, and I am not going to disabuse him of it. I need him to bring the others on board. If the submarine minefield can’t save us, the militia will have to. My colleagues in the advertising racket call this bait-and-switch.

    “But I thought you opposed mobilizing the militia,” replied Jones quizzically.

    “Of course I do, but what I want does not matter. The people want the militia. A presence they can see, who will hold their hand in these troubling times. Who am I to deny them? And by God they need something. They are going off their heads.

    “Have you heard the banks in Victoria are making plans that in the event a cruiser parks off shore and demands a ransom, they are going to burn the paper money. Burn the money! So next thing that will happen is a rumour will sweep through town, the bankers will light a match, and then they will have to say, I’m sorry, we’ve just burned all the money!

    “The Germans don’t need to come anywhere near. If we lose our nerve, we are perfectly capable descending into anarchy all by ourselves.

    “Excuse me, I must go write my speech welcoming the militia.”

    https://archive.org/stream/dailycolonist56y205uvic#mode/1up
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  16. Threadmarks: Utmost sorrow and consternation

    YYJ Well-Known Member

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    Aug 9. Victoria, British Columbia

    WRECKAGE LABELLED HMCS RAINBOW FOUND WASHED ASHORE AT GOLDEN GATE STOP SAN FRANCISCO PAPERS REPORTING RAINBOW FEARED SUNK STOP

    PREMIER MCBRIDE TO PRIME MINISTER BORDEN ALAS NO SUBMARINE MINEFIELD EXPERTS TO BE HAD STOP AM MOBILIZING MILITIA NECESSARY IN VIEW OF PROBABILITY OF RAIDS BY GERMANS FROM PUGET SOUND CITIES AND WATERS AND TO RELIEVE GROWING TENSION AND UNREST VANCOUVER AND VICTORIA STOP SPLENDID RESULTS WILL COME FROM MOBILIZATION BOTH IN OUR OWN AND NEARBY AMERICAN TOWNS STOP

    The news of the Rainbow’s likely demise caused the utmost sorrow and consternation in Victoria. Vigils were held, and more German businesses were attacked.

    McBride engineered a meeting with Colonel Roy, District Militia Commander. Also attending were Ranking Naval Officer Lieutenant-Commander Bertram Jones, the Mayor of Victoria, the Mayor of Prince Rupert and his delegation of small town mayors, and two of McBride’s personal friends, who happened to be militia battalion commanders. McBride also extended a personal invitation to Lieutenant–Colonel Gwatkin but, as it turned out, with the wrong location.

    The outcome of the meeting was that the pro-mobilization slate managed to browbeat Roy into agreeing to mobilize. The Prime Minister, and the Minister of Militia and Defence (“the lunatic,” muttered McBride), quickly endorsed the move and it was fait accompli. Notices were displayed in newspapers and shop windows province wide calling for all ranks of the two cavalry battalions and six infantry battalions to report for active service.

    The streetcars filled with men in uniform travelling to their muster points. Across the province, logging camps and mines and sawmills emptied out as the workers reported to their respective armouries. Farmers had the neighbors bring in the harvest as they left, shopkeepers put their eldest child in charge. Conical canvas tents filled city parks as units set up camp, or were billeted in exhibition buildings. Much of the economy came to a standstill. And in these darkest of days, the citizens of British Columbia breathed a collective sign of relief.

    http://acitygoestowar.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/kh0251.jpg
     
  17. Threadmarks: Not with a heavy heart

    YYJ Well-Known Member

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    Aug 10, 1000 hours. HMCS Rainbow, Farallon Islands, off San Francisco.

    Rainbow had been patrolling off these barren rocks for two days. Hose had become intimately familiar with their grey brown shapes, and the surf piling up at the fringes, with the clouds of wheeling seabirds, and the bellows of the elephant seal colony. He had marvelled at the natural arch the first time he had seen it. Now it was just more grey rock.

    To further annoy him the Rainbow had been dogged by a small steamer, the Mongolia, which had been frequently transmitting the Rainbow’s position. The ship itself was American, and therefore untouchable, but according to the British Counsel General, the president of the company that owned her was a German.

    Hose was uncertain with what was being accomplished on station here. With all the fog the sloops, his stores ship, the Nürnberg and Leipzig and their auxiliaries, indeed the whole German High Seas Fleet could have passed within a mile of him without his notice.

    So it was not with a heavy heart that Hose marked that Rainbow had reached the lowest safe margin for her coal supply and was forced to return northward to Esquimalt.

    https://onlineacademiccommunity.uvi...ontent/uploads/sites/403/2014/03/IMG_1965.jpg
     
  18. r1ncewind Well-Known Member

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    i thought it was already sunk?
     
  19. YYJ Well-Known Member

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    This really happened OTL.
     
  20. r1ncewind Well-Known Member

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    ah, my mistake. thanks for quick reply!
     
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