TL-191: After the End

Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by David bar Elias, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. Wanderlust I practically AM the military.

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    Hm, I got the impression from book 4 (yes, I read the damn thing. I saw the book in the library and thought, what the hell, I won't be throwing money away :eek:) that Britain was being looked at by the Germans and US as a possible ally against Japan, as they still have some power in the region?
     
  2. Malta Kirked

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    I thought England would still have India?
     
  3. oberdada Präsident des Welt- und Erdenballs

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    Not as absurd as "deutschland über alles" beeing the national antheem of the German Empire.

    Apparently the German army won the Great War, the Navy wasn't that important. So I can easily imagine a power shift in armament towards the army. Getting those colonies back might have meant war with Japan, and therefore a lot of shipbuilding.
    With those colonies gone, there is hardly any conflict of interest between both countries.
    Germany might have gotten something in return in the peace settlement, even if it is not meantioned in the books.
     
  4. Grimm Reaper Desperate But Not Serious

    Germany OTL had 99 capital ships available for Jutland, more under construction.

    Japan OTL had 15 capital ships including captures from the Russo-Japanese War, minus whatever Japan lost fighting the US.

    Hardly sounds like the Germans would need much in the way of shipbuilding to fight Japan, especially with US support and/or basing in Hawaii as, even ignoring Japanese losses in this TL on third of the High Seas Fleet would have outclassed the entire IJN two to one.

    Nor did Japan have anything to offer other than the former German colonies in the Pacific.
     
  5. Snarf Sentient Basset Hound

    There's still Tsingdao (which would allow for a sphere of influence in Manchuria as well as its OTL function of a base for Germany's Far East Squadron), and probably the Philippines as well (although the Germans by this point are well aware that first Spain and now Japan have had to deal with a nasty insurgency in the Philippines that may by now have given rise to TL-191's version of Islamic extremism).
     
  6. Wanderlust I practically AM the military.

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    For that matter, he calls the German Navy the Kriegsmarine ('War Navy', OTL's Nazi German Navy), instead of the Kaiserliche Marine (KLM). Not sure why...
     
  7. Agelastus Member

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    Reaper, I think you are mixing up overall ship numbers at Jutland with capital ship numbers.

    I don't have the figures for pre-dreadnoughts to hand, so this is from memory. IIRC, assuming no losses from the war, the Germans would have had in 1917 -

    24 pre-dreadnoughts
    19 dreadnoughts (+2 if no wartime construction delayed)
    7 battlecruisers

    Judging from the Naval Laws, Germany's absolute peak capital ship strength OTL would have been approximately 50 ships (4 dreadnought battlesquadrons, 3 reserve/flagships and an indeterminate number of battlecruisers.)

    Absolutely overwhelming against Japan OTL I agree; and although not directly comparable to TL-191 considering the date of the POD, relative Industrial strengths suggest that this would still be true in TL-191.

    The only argument I can see in support of Turtledove is "where are all these ships going to coal?". Britain seems to have come out of WWI intact enough not to have to give up basing rights, the Netherlands is neutral, Japan owns the Phillipines so the position of the US is moot, Vladivostok, while a possibility given the defeat of Russis, is too exposed and Indochina's coastal regions would be the first target of the Japanese once France collapsed. Fighting Japan while basing coal powered ships out of East Africa strikes me as a dubious proposition.
     
  8. Snarf Sentient Basset Hound

    But after the Second Great War in TL-191, the navies of the world are probably switching to diesel (if they haven't already) and Germany through its Ottoman ally has control of the Persian Gulf reserves (not to mention the ability to further project power into the Indian Ocean). And Britain was trashed badly enough this time to have to yield basing rights.

    The worst case scenario for Britain is if Germany is able to extort a protectorate over Burma out of the peace deal--not only does this put the German navy in striking range of Japanese interests, Burma as someone else noted also has a small oil reserve of its own. Given that Germany nuked several major British cities, the British are lucky if they get off that light afterward. Germany's ability to project power into the western Pacific suddenly got a lot better.
     
  9. Matt Wiser Well-Known Member

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    If the Germans want to settle old scores with the Japanese, they'll need naval aviation. IIRC from one of the books that the Germans didn't have any carriers by the end of the war, so they'll have to build a carrier force from scratch, unless the USN decides to give them a hand.
     
  10. Snarf Sentient Basset Hound

    I'm sure the USA would offer Germany very reasonable rates on ex-CSA aircraft carriers (if such existed/still exist). Technical assistance or the USA outright building hulls for Germany is another option, along with captured British and French equipment and designs. Even building a homegrown carrier force from scratch is not beyond Germany's capabilities in TL-191.

    Or Germany could decide to go with another option entirely and improve submarine warfare to the point that Japan's ASW measures are useless.
     
  11. oberdada Präsident des Welt- und Erdenballs

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    First carrier in TL-191 was the Remembrence, lunched shortly after the Great war. No CSA Carrier is ever mentioned, not surprising, since bone ever existed.
    We are talking about 1917 here and the question why Germany didn't recapture its pacific colonies.
    It simply wasn't worth the effort.
     
  12. Snarf Sentient Basset Hound

    I thought the discussion was originally how Germany might become involved in a US/Russian/Japanese conflict post-1944.
     
  13. oberdada Präsident des Welt- und Erdenballs

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    Originally we did, but then we talked about how Germany never cared for its old colonies, and this lead to a discussion whether it would have been practcal for Germany to take them back shortly after the great war.
     
  14. Snarf Sentient Basset Hound

    After the First Great War, no. Germany doesn't have the logistics or the technology in its favor as you say. They may outweigh Japan greatly in overall surface tonnage but getting those ships there in fighting condition is a problem (the same problem applies with Japan attempting to project power into the eastern Indian Ocean). But the Second Great War presents a much better opportunity that HT failed to address.

    The German fleet by that point has converted or is converting to diesel, and will likely have at least researched aircraft carriers and advanced submarine warfare. Given that Britain's position going into the Second Great War is weaker than OTL Britain's was going into WW2, seizing an FOB like Burma or Singapore at the outset of the war is going to be easier for Germany (especially if the Ottomans allow them basing rights and access to Persian Gulf oil). The Germans don't even have to land a single soldier to do the job, either: just fund an anticolonial movement and set them up as a puppet government like the US did with Quebec. From there, Germany can pose a major threat to Japanese interests. They can take back not only their original Pacific and Asian territories, but stand to gain much more.
     
  15. oberdada Präsident des Welt- und Erdenballs

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    But why should they do that?
     
  16. Snarf Sentient Basset Hound

    Why build an empire anywhere? Why would they want to do it after the First Great War, or for that matter why did they want these territories in the first place? The same motivations would still apply: control of trade routes and natural resources, containment of potential enemies and rivals, and possibly most importantly here, national prestige.

    Germany as the most powerful nation on Earth in this TL already has plenty of prestige, but losing the Far East to Japan--at the time a second-rate power at best--had to hurt that prestige somewhat, and we're only talking a little more than one generation afterward so the sting is still there. The Indonesian shipping route will be vital to Japan's ability to get oil and other natural resources (as it is in OTL). I doubt seriously that China's been completely pacified (especially with Russia willing to prop up any Chinese leader willing to stick it to Japan) so Japan will need to look to other more secure sources for raw materials.

    If Germany can establish a lasting presence in the Far East, even if it is just setting up a puppet regime somewhere, they're that much closer to restoring their prestige in the region. Containing Japan while simultaneously placating Russia--the only nation on Earth close enough and powerful enough to them to be an immediate threat--is an added bonus.
     
  17. Saladan Member

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    Technically Asia has been apart of the US' interests, so the Germans are likely to only get back their colonies and nothing more.
     
  18. Thomas Member

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    Japan's ASW measures were crap IOTL, and the USN's less than effective submaries managed to totally gut the Japanese merchant fleet and non-combatant vessels by the end of the war.
     
  19. Snarf Sentient Basset Hound

    In that case, if TL-191 Germany is as obsessed with U-boats as OTL Germany was, once the Germans get diesel-electric boats the Japanese are doomed...
     
  20. Thomas Member

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    That's if TL-191's Japan is at bad at ASW as IOTL (which stands to reason, they don't have any foes who are submarine happy) the German Empire would still need to have the striking power to at least engage the Japanese military and industrial base.