The Sun, The Stars and The Sickle: Alt-WWII and a Tripolar Postwar World

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by WaterproofPotatoes, Sep 15, 2018.

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What would you like to see next

Poll closed Sep 27, 2018.
  1. Prewar Departures

    7.3%
  2. Technology: Ships, planes, etc

    7.3%
  3. Japan, China & Philippines 1939-1940

    31.7%
  4. Italy 1939-1940

    17.1%
  5. Nazi Germany: Norway Fallout

    34.1%
  6. Other (please describe in reply)

    2.4%
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  1. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    That's something I'm really eager to explore with this timeline- just what do the victors and vanquished learn from this ordeal, and how does it affect them?

    The biggest and most immediate divergences are the surviving French Third Republic, a democratic Japan, and a China split into yet more factions, but other nations are seeing changes, or will see them as well.

    Britain, not bled so white, nor with her pride so wounded- what will she do? Will The Wind of Change blow in the same way that it did, or differently? Will East of Suez still be a thing? And what of India?

    The Soviet Union, beaten up even harder than OTL- how will she project her power?

    On the most macro level, will the Communist bloc survive? Will the Liberty Bloc live up to its own ideals, or settle into imperialism in all but name? Will the nations of the Imperial Bloc destroy themselves to keep their empires?
     
  2. Jaenera Targaryen Dragonrider

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2015
    IMO, the British Empire has to reinvent itself to survive. There's just no keeping it in its current form, it's just too expensive.
     
  3. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    That's just it! The kids have to grow up and move out, so to speak.

    The immediate postwar years will be very important for the Empire's fate. This WWII will be very expensive as well, so that will influence priorities as well.
     
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  4. Britannia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    Canada will be a really interesting bridge between worlds ITTL and how is are preparations for Overlord coming along?
     
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  5. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    Canada will indeed be a bridge between the two blocs- and, if the successive governments play their cards right, being the middle power and acting as a voice of reason if and when the USA and UK are in disagreement can work out very well.



    As for Overlord, it will happen. The death of Pétain has given extra impetus to get going on something, and something soon. The Republic of China is a nuisance, not an existential threat to anyone but Mao or Wu, and while nobody really likes the Soviets, they aren't the same menace to civilization that the Nazis are.


    Then there's the matter of the Soviet Union- Moscow just barely avoided falling into Nazi hands, and fighting took place even within the city, in what was the largest battle of all time thus far. The question is now whether the USSR can repel another Nazi spring offensive, or whether it will destroy if not the country, than the ability to hold onto the European parts. That would be disastrous- the Nazis capturing the Chechen and Azerbaijani oilfields, and disrupting Britain's (and for that matter Japan's) oil supply would not only fuel further Nazi conquest, but severely impact the Allies' abilities to fight them. If the USSR collapses completely, that endangers China as well.

    Thus, the Allied powers realize that an invasion of Continental Europe is doubly necessary, not only to liberate France, but also to relieve pressure on the Soviet Union. There is no soft underbelly here- it will habe to be a strike right into France. The only problem is, the Allies aren't ready yet. France is still rebuilding the remnants of her Army and the Foreign Legion; Britain is spread thin but doing as much as she can. The United States is also undertaking a massive buildup of forces, while assisting Brazil and the Union of China.

    As for France, it's getting harder and harder to sit in Algiers while Metropolitan France suffers so much. The French people need a hero too- De Gaulle has the audacity, and he was the last senior army commander out..
     
  6. cincpac overboard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2013
    With the evacuation of the French gov't to Algeria, I wonder just how many ordinary citizens that followed will end up staying there and how that will affect the future development of that nation. Would an eventually independent Algeria have closer ties to France or would the presence of extra Pied Noirs exacerbate tensions and lead to an even bloodier independence struggle?
     
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  7. ElMarquis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2017
    Totally irrelevant comment, but your name reminds me of an anecdote of one Admiral Kelly (of " 'Has anyone seen Kelly' is not repeat not a popular show tune" fame) when CinC Med Fleet having a boat accident in failing to get into his boat in Grand Harbour.

    Signal from Flagship (IIRC HMS Rodney or Nelson) to shore base.

    "CinC on Quarterdeck."

    "CinC piped overboard."

    "CinC coming aboard Admiral's barge."

    "CinCinSea."
     
  8. Luminous Headwing Consulting

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Location:
    The Piedmont of the Appalachians
    There is that concern, and the Nazis would be seen as invincible causing great panic. But, practically, it'd be quite difficult for the Germans to try and maintain the oil fields. The allies could likely deny them those fields (especially Baku), considering the proximity to Persia and elsewhere.

    The big kicker I feel would be the manpower. So long as the Germans must devote significant forces East, there is an imbalance in the west that the Allies can take advantage of, as in OTL. That might press for an earlier invasion (combined with the poor showing by the Soviets vs OTL and more allied forces in general), as the Soviets would have to be relieved.

    Though, if the Soviets are doing that poorly, maybe the Allies try a bolder strategy in the west. The relief of Poland may still be on the table, even.
     
  9. Yatta Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2018
    Hopefully Warsaw won't go the same as I
    oTL
     
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  10. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    The problem with, say, an amphibious invasion of Gdansk and Gdynia, is that there are still a lot of Nazi troops there, and they're easily supplied, and within the range of air cover. The Baltic is also full of U Boats, which happen to be Großadmiral Dönitz's specialty.

    Granted, the ferocity of Polish partisans is hard to match, and would certainly be very helpful to the Western Allied forces, if they could have made it inland.

    Now, while the Germans have more men, and pushed farther into the Soviet Union, they are taking a real beating too, with nearly 300 000 casualties at Moscow alone. The Luftwaffe's losses are mounting and exceeding replacement now. Worse for the Nazis than that, is that now there is no way to strike at the oilfields to the South until spring. Hitler can rant and rave, and fire Halder, but it won't change the reality of the situation.

    The widespread riots in France have also exposed the cracks in the Nazi new order, and confirmed them, as Norway had already broken the invincibility myth- and now, the Nazi regime has another fire on their hands, and little to spare to deal with it all.

    Now, an earlier intervention in France may have a knock on effect- the Western Allies (and perhaps a Japanese European Expeditionary Force, depending on how China goes) getting through France and then Germany faster will likely push the line between the Soviet and Western sphere farther East than the Elbe.

    I can't reveal yet, but the Poles will fight hard for their capital no matter what. What I can tell you however is that the Polish Government in Exile is established in London and has a sympathetic ear in Churchill. Polish volunteers serve in the British Army and Royal Air Force, and Polish ships such as ORP Grom are attached to the Royal Navy.
     
  11. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    Sorry, I had meant to address your point earlier! I hate to have to answer it with a politician's non-answer though.

    A lot of it will really depend on how soon the liberation of Metropolitan France is, as well as how native Algerian forces are utilized by French command. There will be a whole lot less wounded French pride TTL, so that is another element.

    A conference between now four of the "Big Five" Allied powers (Britain, France, USA and Japan) is scheduled to take place in Tunis in March, 1942 with Stalin not attending due to pressing obligations on the home front. Here, the goals for defeating Germany and the Republic of China will be outlined.
     
  12. Britannia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    What is it with the allies and their African conferences?
     
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  13. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    Especially now, the largest members of the Grand Alliance are from all over the world, and Tunis is pretty much as central as you can get, along with port access. USS Louisiana is being fitted with a bathtub so FDR can make the trip.
     
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  14. Luminous Headwing Consulting

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Location:
    The Piedmont of the Appalachians
    If I have this noted correctly, that's a step up from USS Memphis. Though, I don't think he made the trip on her OTL.
     
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  15. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    Indeed!

    One of the many perks of having more battlewagons around is being able to put one of them to work as as Presidential yacht! The Alabamas aren't finished yet so the President will have to be content with "just" a new Treaty sized battleship.
     
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  16. Jaenera Targaryen Dragonrider

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2015
    Will Prince Konoe be using Yamato as his transport to the conference? IIRC, Yamato and her sister ships were the first Japanese vessels designed with British or indeed, Western levels of crew comfort.
     
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  17. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    And, on the subject of new US ships, here are the ones authorized in the 1942 naval expansion bill:

    Kearsarge Class Small Battleship (1942)


    Ships in Class:

    Kearsarge (BBS-5)
    Monitor (BBS-6)

    Characteristics: Initially specified to match those of the preceding Alaska class small battleships, except with a revised secondary battery, the Kearsarges instead had their laying down postponed after authorization. The short supply of large reduction gears and limited capacity for construction thereof has led to a design revision so the ships can accommodate turboelectric drives. The greater block coefficient necessitated will also require a flush hull rather than the external torpedo bulges of the Alaskas. Final characteristics will be released when available.

    Jacksonville Class (1942)

    Flag: USA

    Type: Heavy Cruiser

    Ships in Class:

    Jacksonville (CA-88)
    Fall River (CA-89)
    Beaumont (CA-90)
    Sacramento (CA-91)

    Characteristics:

    Dimensions: 698' LOA x 80' W x 26.6' D. 19 000 t at standard load.

    Propulsion: Oil-fired boilers, geared steam turbines. 120 000 shp, 4 shafts. 32 kn rated top speed.

    Main Armament: 12 x 8"/L55 breech-loading guns in 3 quad turrets on centreline ends, majority forward. One raised mount superfiring forward.

    Visual Characteristics:

    -Ships have a flush deck, a straight bulbous bow and a large transom stern

    -Two main mounts ahead of superstructure and solid mast, one mount aft. Two slim funnels.

    -12x 5"/L38 DP secondaries, 2 single mounts on centreline, remainder on sides.

    The Jacksonville class cruisers represent the USN's "second to none" approach when it comes to heavy cruisers. Designed to beat any other cruiser afloat while still being smaller and cheaper than a capital ship, these ships still represent a compromise. While the USN's work on auto-loading guns was proving successful for 6" guns, the 8" caliber presented more of a challenge. The increased forces generated by the 8" guns caused the prototypes to perform poorly compared to their smaller cousins, experiencing issues with jamming, due to breakages of key components, and excessive weight. More time was to resolve the unacceptable numbers of jams, as key components were strengthened. The USN looked to the French ship Jean Bart, for which they were supplied drawings, for both engineering and inspiration- instead of this interim ship order being built for unproven guns, it would simply mount more guns to increase the weight of fire. The quad turrets were based on paired twin mounts, a proven and reliable design. The most severe limitation of the class is its thirst for fuel and consequently shorter range than contemporary American cruisers. Nonetheless, they are very stable seaboats and gunnery platforms.

    (AN: @Luminous was instrumental in developing this class, and this final design is a hybrid of a few we tossed around)
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
  18. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    Prince Konoe's transport will most likely be Akagi. TTL's Yamato will not be complete until 1943, having been laid down in 1940.

    Nonetheless, the Amagis received upgrades to accommodations in their late 1930s reconstructions.

    As for Churchill, he is spoiled for choice, but Duke of York is a likely candidate.
     
  19. cincpac overboard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2013
    Given the even worse harrowing that the Soviet Union is experiencing in this war, it will be interesting to see what effect this will have on non-Russian communists in the immediate post-war period. The rebuilding period will be even longer and more painful for the Soviets than OTL, leaving fewer resources (especially money and personnel) to enforce doctrinal discipline in the various communist parties of Europe. In particular the French communists might chart a different course ITTL. With France still in the war, they will be working together with their nominal class-enemies to win back the Metropole. Perhaps their service in this fight will win them political favors that they can then use to influence the writing of a new constitution after the war. In any case, many of these communists will have a renewal of patriotism, so much so that they may resist any Stalinist directives that they see as damaging to their homeland, no matter how much in the interest of the "proletariat".
     
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  20. ElMarquis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2017
    "Prime Minister Churchill, which capital ship is to carry our delegation to Tunis?"

    "All of them."
     
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