Through the Endless Grey: An Alternate TL-191

Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by Tsar of New Zealand, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. Historyman 14 Well-Known Member

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    Wow. This reminds me of a Thread about Teddy doing this, and winning a Third Term. Featherston came into power much earlier, but when he try and stop paying the US, and some other stuff, the Union beats the CSA senseless until Featherston was remove from power by the military. The North takes Tennessee, and the Confederates fell into civil war.
     
  2. CT23 Well-Known Member

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    To be fair, what should the US have done? How much could they have taken (in order to please the folks at home) without being 'too hard' on the CSA?
     
  3. Tsar of New Zealand Temporarily knackered

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    Which is precisely the attitude of the vast majority of Americans in 1916 - even the majority of Socialists. Don't expect Flora Hamburger to be any happier ITTL.

    More that the US took the important parts of Canada by October 1915 (Halifax held out until March, 1916), and Britain couldn't do much to stop the US moving a million heavily-armed men southwards. However, Roosevelt felt that it'd be cowardly to leave America's European allies on their own, and so the war continued at sea into 1917.

    As for Europe, very much so. I'll also cover that in a later update.
     
  4. Tiro Well-Known Member

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    While I must admit to the usual "well I would do things quite differently" quibbles common to one writer reading another's work on the same subject, I must say that your work so far is excellent your Imperial Majesty; may I please ask what you intend to show next?
     
  5. Tsar of New Zealand Temporarily knackered

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    You can ask all you like, just don't expect you'll always get an answer :p

    I'm puzzling over the Western Front at the moment; deciding on how German doctrine should go. I'll also cover the Canadian Settlement and Ireland.
     
  6. CT23 Well-Known Member

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    IIRC, in GW1, Germany took all of Alsace-Lorraine from France.
     
  7. VidaLaVida American-Japanese Bisexual

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    Look forward to it. You mentioned the Western Front, but I'm also curious about the Eastern Front. For what it's worth, if the war is over in Europe in 1916 as well, that means that it's over before revolution breaks out in Russia. Granted, Russia is still a powder keg waiting to explode, so considerable unrest is probably inevitable. Would the revolution still happen soon the way it did? Would it also result in the Romanovs retaining absolute power? Or could butterflies lead to some other faction wresting power in Russia?
     
  8. Tsar of New Zealand Temporarily knackered

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    Wait and see ;) It may have dawned upon people that I'm going to diverge somewhat from established canon. That's not to say the U.S. and, say, Britain are about to become the best of friends, but it does mean people are going to spend substantially less time holding the idiot ball.
     
  9. Darth_Kiryan The Númenorean Sith

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    Wait, you mean they didn't already have that in the TL191 before the war? Considering that OTL they had it upon unification and was also one of the main reasons that Germany and France went to war in the first place.....
     
  10. bguy Well-Known Member

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    OTL the Germans only took a portion of the province of Lorraine after the Franco-Prussian War (most of the Moselle department and portions of the Meurthe and Volges departments). They let the French keep the rest of the province.
     
  11. Tiro Well-Known Member

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    Your Imperial Majesty, will you be covering the entire Interbellum Period or do you intend to hit the highlights?
     
  12. Tsar of New Zealand Temporarily knackered

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    Well, I'd rather you all knew just why someone ended up starting a kerfuffle in 1934 - wouldn't you? ;) I'm not going to necessarily stick to a strictly linear format; there will be darting back and forth.

    Sidebar: feel free to refer to me as 'Tsar'. The excessive formality is kinda fun, but a little bemusing :coldsweat:

    Since I'm up to my knackers in study at the mo, I've got to prioritise my work. So a quick poll on what people would rather see in the next update:
    - The peace settlement between the U.S. and Britain (i.e. the fate of Canada, hints at the state of postwar British politics)
    - The Red Rebellions of 1916-19XX (Scipio and Cassius and the Colletons, oh my!)
    - U.S. politics 1916-1920 (or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Socialists)
    - The end of the Great War in Europe
     
  13. rob2001 Well-Known Member

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    Personally I would like to see the peace settlement between the U.S. and Great Britain.
     
  14. VidaLaVida American-Japanese Bisexual

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    You know which one I've been asking about. ;). Although, the U.S. settlement over Canada with Britain would make a good segue from America to Europe.
     
  15. scourge Californian Patriot

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    The Red Rebellions
     
  16. Not Henry G. Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to see the Great War in Europe. Since you said this was partly inspired by "The Great War Reloaded" it'll be like reading the rest of it. Finally, some closure.
     
  17. Tsar of New Zealand Temporarily knackered

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    Did I say that? Well, even if I didn't, you're right - and please, if you see something that looks like it's been plagiarised from that TL (or Filling the Gaps), let me know - I try my best not to, but it's hard to divorce a good idea from somewhere that gets stuck in your head from, well, plagiarism.

    Okay, so Europe and Canada are top of the list, with the Red Rebellions after. Neat, it's even chronological!
     
    scourge and Historyman 14 like this.
  18. Tsar of New Zealand Temporarily knackered

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    III. ...Now the Hurly-Burly's Done
    Excerpts from Winger et al. War of the World: The Great War 1914-1917. New York: Monticello, 1992.

    Part 4: Battles Lost and Won

    I: Fatigue

    By the start of 1917, the Entente armies were in a precarious position. The British and French armies were still reeling from the German offensives of 1916, especially the cataclysmic Battle of the Somme from February to July and the consequent Battle of Amiens. Despite the victories at Ypres (August to November) and the St Mihiel Offensive under General Petain (September to October), the abortive counteroffensives along the Somme and Aisne over winter had depleted the manpower pool further…to the point that sentiment in the trenches was approaching mutinous. Poor rations, abysmal conditions, and decaying morale were facts of life, with the periodic orders to charge over the top to face the well-fortified Germans resented increasingly passionately…

    …complete disarray following Archduke Eugen’s repulse of Brusilov’s abortive offensive, with the interception of his plans leading to the Russian Army’s deadliest day in battle and the failure of the plan to relieve pressure from the Western Front…

    …peril of the German lack of focus on the Eastern Front after 1915, and the decision to leave the Austro-Hungarians at the mercy of the Russians, would not bear fruit until after the war, but sending the flower of a shaky, multi-ethnic empire’s youth to die to let Germany carry on offloading its obligations would eventually return to haunt the Germans…

    …situation at sea was no more encouraging: Jutland, the Black Day of the Royal Navy, had seen the blockade of Germany effectively broken, with the Confederate capitulation permitting the entire US Atlantic Fleet to deploy south and west to hunt the convoys of freighters bringing food to Britain, and the Battle of the Faroes, with its German-American victory in a skirmish against the Royal Navy, was a harbinger of things to come.

    In Britain, the naval situation was beginning to have grim ramifications. The rationing scheme introduced in 1914 had been cut with increasing frequency and severity over the past two years, with rations for industrial workers dipping below 2,500 calories per day for the first time…

    …did not bode well in hindsight. Despite Kitchener’s proclamations that the Huns were soon to be on the run, the Germans were massing around Amiens in preparation for a breakout from the erstwhile Entente supply hub…


    II. Downfall

    With the devastating defeats at Hazebrouck and Villers-Bocage leaving the British Expeditionary Force isolated and the fallout from the February Revolt halting the stumbling Russian war effort in its ponderous entirety, the French were at a crucial moment of truth for themselves and their nation. Lines of credit had been exhausted. Reserves were low. People were beginning to openly question whether – with the Boches advancing towards the Channel – the war could be won at all.

    In the midst of this confusion, French Commander-in-Chief Robert Nivelle offered a solution, or at least hope. His plan was for a concerted effort along the Aisne, where the Germans had thinned their forces to bolster the attack in the west...

    …Spring Offensive was originally planned to begin in mid-April, though this was brought forwards to March when the consequences of the Russian disintegration made themselves apparent. Forty divisions were thrown at the twenty-one German divisions along the Chemin des Dames on March 18.

    While the French had numbers and artillery on their side, they lacked surprise and morale. This was worsened by the fact that many Germans escaped bombardment by hiding in caves in the ridge, resurfacing to meet the French attackers with massed machine-gun and artillery fire of their own. Although the French took as much as a kilometre of ground in some places, using their own arks [1] (which they referred to as “chariots”) to break through some areas of the German lines in imitation of Morrell’s Operation Coalscuttle, the offensive quickly became bogged down in the face of superior German tactics and an increasingly bleak supply situation…some batteries along the Aisne began running out of shells…infantry was underfed, overworked, and being ordered to charge into a hell of machine-guns, gas, handflams [2], and mud with depressing regularity.

    Before long, something had to give way. Around mid-April, French soldiers began refusing to go over the top, instead sitting in place – not deserting, but refusing to go forwards. Most concerning, the rot spread quickly even where units had had no prior knowledge of their comrades’ refusal…the Nivelle Offensive soon withered and died, with some company-sized units even voluntarily surrendering to the Germans in the hopes of better food and accommodation. Even those who remained loyal began to drop from fatigue…other units began deserting in an orderly fashion, marching themselves back to their cantonments or simply to wherever they could find a warm bed…

    British forces had stiffer discipline (and more importantly had seen a few actual successes under Haig), but the ever-worsening supply situation meant that, although it was met with stiff resistance, the German offensive was flowing towards the sea like the Somme it followed…

    As stories began circulating with soldiers rotated from the front, the morale of the French Army plummeted to practically nothing. Even as Nivelle was cashiered, and Petain hastily promoted in light of Second Army’s maintenance of its strong performance outside Metz, the front began to dissolve after April 18th. Political turmoil reigned in Paris, with Briand toppled on April 20th, Ribot ousted on the 27th, and Clemenceau emerging as Prime Minister after the Socialists withdrew from the Government…

    …the Germans, for their part were all too happy to exploit this chaos, making advances of as much as ten kilometres a week in May against the French and taking St. Omer from the British…

    …When the end came, it was with a whimper, not a bang. The French finally asked for an armistice, which was signed in Compiegne (recently captured by the Germans) on June 8th. The British, already retreating through Abbeville, were ordered to evacuate French territory. With communications and supplies already at breaking point, there was little question of being able to withdraw in any kind of order to the scrap of Belgium still in Belgian-British hands; as the Battle of the Canaries saw the US effectively sever trade ties with British-aligned Argentina [3] and the British war effort began to teeter on the brink of abject collapse, the British and Belgians were forced to seek similar terms, with a ceasefire declared on June 14th, 1917…

    …negotiations were to begin at Potsdam on July 14th, in what was calculated as a further humiliation for the French. It was keenly felt by France, and would largely set the tone of not only the next few months, but the years to come…


    [1] Tanks. Developed from ‘car kiln,’ the codename used by the U.S. Army (the first state to develop and deploy them) prior to their debut in the Seventh Battle of Roanoke in October 1915.
    [2] TTL-speak for ‘flamethrowers’, from the German ‘handflammenwerfer’. Tech development is pretty convergent, if faster than OTL (the world’s largest industrial power being an actively militarist force is one hell of a kick in the pants for R&D), but butterflies have had impacts on terminology and design.
    [3] The Argentine-Chilean War was fought in the passes of the Andes and the seas around Tierra del Fuego as a kind of proxy war between the Entente and the Vienna Pact [4]; the reticence of the UK in declaring war on Chile reflected a fear of overstretching its naval resources, while the US preferred to avoid becoming embroiled in an ‘unnecessary’ war with Argentina to allow it to more easily supply Chile with armaments.
    [4] The Vienna Pact is TTL’s name for the Central Powers.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2016
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  19. Tiro Well-Known Member

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    Your Imperial Majesty I would like to say that you continue to do excellent work with this variant on Timeline-191; I do, however, think that you have allowed the Vienna Pact to beat the Vienna Pact by a little too handsome a margin - unless you are planning to outright eliminate the Second Great War I tend to think that such a series of shattering blows as you have landed on the Royal Navy would leave very little room for any Revanchist Movement in Great Britain (and I do tend to think that the "Undefeated" Grand Fleet would be a lynchpin of British Revanchist philosophy between the Great Wars).
     
  20. Tanner151 Well-Known Member

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    Could you find and link me that please. If you can find it.