TL-191: Featherston's Finest - Uniforms, Weapons, and Vehicles of the CSA and Freedom Party

Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by Alterwright, Aug 31, 2018.

  1. Trotsky Trotsky

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    The Confederate army uniform of the 40s were clearly described as what the OTL U.S. Army wore post-1942: khaki/butternut color from before, but looser and open at the neck. Helmets that issued more protection than the tin hats from the last war, that somewhat resembled the helmets* of their U.S. opponents but weren't quite--so, the M1, in other words.

    *which were described in Morrell's last scene in the first GW novel as steel pots but with a flap extension that stuck out around the neck, so I'd say it's pretty fair to say the U.S. wore stalhelms, and the C.S. altered it to make the M1
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2018
  2. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    I'd take that honestly! The Confederates using a design similar, if not exactly, like the M1. And the M1 certainly allowed for more protection for the head. You know what this reminds me of? For the Confederate helmets, now that you mention it... the French in our timeline developed the M51 Helmet, which was indirectly inspired by and meant to somewhat resemble the US M1 Helmet. Sure its technically a post-war design, but the resemblance is roughly similar enough.

    0006284_french-m51-new-style-helmet_550.jpeg 81CCzW7A+JL._SX425_.jpg IM002581.JPG

    I can certainly see the Confederate Army adopting this helmet, if someone wanted to avoid using the M1 entirely and go for a similar design. Pangur actually referenced a Vickers Helmet too, which seems to be an Irish copy of the German Stahlhelm of all things!
     
  3. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Yooo, what the heck! This helmet is wild! XD

    135.jpg 55660b5442b5c96661fd71c6872b05d1.jpg helmets.jpg

    Of all the armies on earth, I never would have expected the Irish to adopt the Stahlhelm! And look at those uniforms and rifles! Although to be honest I can see this more as a US Army Helmet of the Great War, I'd say it wouldn't be a stretch for the Confederates to issue this to its armies in, say the Interwar war years, or even to rear echelon units.
     
  4. Pangur The Cat Donor

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    The folk selecting the helmet made a good pick technically, it gave far better protection than anything else that was going. The rifles are 303`s, again a good pick. However with the 303 its worth pointing out that they had massive stocks available
     
  5. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    You know I'm glad you point this all out because I actually just had this picture commissioned by a friend!

    h2NxLuV.png

    ^^^ Credit: https://www.deviantart.com/finerskydiver - Finerskydiver on DeviantArt

    Not exactly like what you described, but hey! Anything goes really! And I'm even saying that this is what the Confederate soldiers looked like. The ones in the center and right actually have SS style inspired "runes", although they're pretty simple. The left one is just the St. Andrew Confederate cross in Freedom Party colors, while the right one is a private's chevron turned on its side. The webbing is WWII British.

    Definitely like your descriptions though! Thats super detailed!
     
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  6. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    https://www.alternatehistory.com/fo...edom-party-guards.450965/page-2#post-17540399

    ^^^ Actually that's an interesting point to bring up here: What would the Freedom Party Guardsmen's insignia even look like? Would they be inspired by the SS runes or something similar but more Americanized? I like the idea of George Washington, his horse, the Southern Cross and other Confederate symbols being used in their patches decals and stuff. I mean, the SS appropriated and used Nordic runes and shit to their own ends.
     
  7. Pangur The Cat Donor

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    The snag is that in the TL in question the SS dont exist so where would Featherstone get that idea from? Of the of my head I can see some sort of King Arthur rip off happening
     
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  8. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Can you elaborate? King Arthur stuff?
     
  9. Pangur The Cat Donor

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    Not at sure what I mean TBH. Where I am coming from is that the Nazi had a thing about the whole Norse thing which I dont see to be the case with the Freedom Party and so I wondered what would they have reached for and well Arthur came to mind
     
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  10. Allochronian Well-Known Member

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    Thank you! Someone else noticed this, too! Haha, I was just about to post something similar to this.

    Ehh… They probably wouldn't even use the old seal anymore when the Confederate government goes full Confree.

    If they do keep it, it'll probably become more obscure as new symbols are created and used during Featherston's reign.
     
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  11. Allochronian Well-Known Member

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    Parallelism is very much hit and miss. More so of the latter than the former.
     
  12. Allochronian Well-Known Member

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    What I meant by parallelism being "hit and miss" is that I don't expect every thing to occur in TL-191 to be an exact carbon-copy of what occurred in Real-Life, but with different names. There's only so much you can accept it until you realize that there's no way that it could have happened the way Turtledove did.

    I didn't expect the Confederate Freedom Party to be exactly like the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers' Party) with the same goals, same symbols, same racial/ethnic ideology and same technology, but with a different name.

    I didn't expect Jacob Featherston to be just like Adolf Hitler, with the only relevant difference being the color of their scapegoat.

    I can accept the idea that some ideas, events, and technological inventions would have been inevitable even if they had not occurred as they did in Real-Life. What I don't accept is that the only difference between TL-191 and Real-Life things is just the name.

    TL-191 would have been more unique and perhaps more believable if Turtledove avoided Hard Parallelism.

    When writing AL, there is always a difficulty to make a balance between realistic plausibility and entertainment. Now, to be fair, there are some parallel ideas that I liked, mostly because they are still plausible. When they are not plausible, then my immersion into the story begins to disappear.

    It doesn't have to be perfect; no Alternate History is.

    But I do expect some kind of hard work being put into a story like TL-191 and if there are mistakes, they should be easily forgivable.

    Here are some Non-parallel ideas: https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/non-parallellism-in-tl-191.223629/
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
  13. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    So I've seen a lot of people go back and forth on what the Tredegar Automatic Rifle looks like. From what I can remember out it, the only thing that seemed definitive was its 25 round magazine. As for its look, well, that's been debated. Some say its basically the M14, others say its something else.

    But, if anything is certain, the Freedom Party Guardsmen would most certainly be armed with them.

    Tredegar Automatic Rifle.png

    ^^^ Here's one interpretation you may have seen (I don't remember the source unfortunately)

    AE_WW2_British_Rifles_by_SimonLMoore.jpg

    ^^^ One of my personal favorite interpretations would be the ones circled here, especially the bottom one marked "Rifle No. 7 Mk. II 1947". Impractical? Sure, but it looks nice and still looks like a "Tredegar". (Also don't remember the source)

    bc_1.jpg

    cbsscat.jpg

    ^^^ There is, of course, the possibility that it may just be a Confederate version of the M1918 BAR. Another fav interpretation for me is that it would have a shorter barrel, kinda like Clyde Barrow's custom BAR shown here, but with a larger magazine size.

    13751025_1.jpg

    ^^^ And just for shits and giggles, although I know it was never mentioned in the novels, I think perhaps the M1941 Johnson Rifle (a TL-191 version of it) could have been produced in larger quantities than in our world. For what reason and who would make it? I don't know, but perhaps guns like this somehow can catch on in an alternate world. Who knows.

    Either way, the Freedom Party Guardsmen would be armed to the teeth with some of the best weapons the Confederates could muster.
     
  14. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    I also have no idea what the supposed "Griswold" submachine-gun would look like. I got a few ideas, but nothing substantial.

    CSA Iver johnson enforcer.jpg

    ^^^ It could look like an Iver Johnson M1 Carbine, but I doubt that. Cool design though either way.

    1280px-Model-50.jpg

    ^^^ Could also just be a Reising copy too, under a different name.

    1024px-M3-SMG.jpg

    ^^^ The most likely candidate would probably be the M3, but hey anything is possible.

    d4c1c2acc40b0532bb18cb57c4d96fe6.jpg

    ^^^ My fav candidate though? M2 Hyde. It looks weird and new enough to be an entirely original Confederate design.
     
  15. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Fair point. How would make the jump to the M14 though? I'm not saying can't be done, but just how? Wouldn't a rifle like the M1 need to be made first, early on? Considering the M14's development? Or is that just irrelevant?
     
  16. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    I see now, just thinking about our timeline's M14 development I guess.

    How about pistols and anti-tank, rocket propelled launchers? I definitely remember something akin to a "stovepipe" being used by the Confederates. What do you think they would use?
     
  17. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Interesting! So, how open and vast is this terrain anyway? Its not like the steppes in the Ukraine of course, how large are the prairies in this area of the US? We talking good tank country or what? Can definitely imagine how wide the area is farther west when getting into the Great Plains and Texas, but what about Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky?

    If not the stovepipes then, what would the bog standard Confederate soldier primarily rely on to combat tanks? What about the Freedom Party Guardsmen?
     
  18. Tiro Well-Known Member

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    http://insignias.wikia.com/wiki/Aggressor_(US_Armed_Forces) - one idea that I've played around with is using some of the ideas employed for the Aggressor Forces in various US Army exercises as a basis for Confederate States uniform symbolism (combined with elements from CS insignia of the Civil War); I do, however, tend to think that Freedom Party would be rather less "mythic" than that of the Nazi Party, due to Featherston's general disinterest in flashiness and the lack of an equivalent to Himmler & all of his "Ghostapo" weirdness.

    One tends to imagine the Freedom Party Guards using a minimalist/stripped-back version of pre-existing Confederate insignia (possibly even a variant on US Army insignia as a hint at some twisted "Can't beat 'em, join 'em" mindset).


    For the record I tend to imagine that the Freedom Party Guards would tend to wear uniforms very reminiscent of Confederate States policemen, whole carrying firepower more reminiscent of the Army; I tend to see them as justified by the need for a Police Force that could operate on an Interstate basis (one imagines that, given the States Rights obsession of the Confederacy, very few peacekeeping organisations other than the CS Army would have had the lawful authority to cross State Borders prior to this) and validated by a line of "We're ALL Freedom Party (or Else)" rhetoric (not to mention a line of argument that suggests all these Stalwarts need SOMETHING to do and if they're not chasing banditos, guerrillas, radicals and other criminals then the Devil might find work for all these idle fists).

    With that in mind one imagines that the Party Guards might use some variation on POLICE, rather than Army insignia (since both Party Guards and CSA policemen, at least in urban police forces, are described as using grey uniforms).


    Given how strongly the Eagle-and-crossed-swords is associated with the United States of America, especially in the Remembrance Era, I would expect the Confederate States to avoid featuring that particular Bird of Ill Omen in their National Symbolism; given the presence of a mounted George Washington on their great seal it's quite possible that the Horse/thoroughbred/mustang might be used as their mascot (given it's association with the untamed spirit and rural life).

    When it comes to a specifically Freedom Party mascot, however, I think we can safely say that there's only one surefire winner: https://www.collinsflags.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Gadsden-Flag-for-contest.gif - aggressive, sharply defiant and fundamentally poisonous what could more perfectly symbolise Featherston's Stalwarts? (the fact this is also a flag strongly associated with the American Revolution and more to the point with a South Carolina politician during same, would also tend to count in its favour).

    One also vaguely recalls reading somewhere that, during the American Civil War, some areas of the South took to using the phoenix as a symbol (on the understanding that it was easier to turn a US Eagle into a phoenix than any other sort of bird), although one cannot clearly recall which book that tidbit happened to come from - having said that a Phoenix arising from the flames WOULD make a very logical element of symbolism for the Freedom Party to play with, after the Great War (the fact that such a symbol would also have a nicely double-edged symbolism, given the hellfire Featherston leads his Confederacy into on more than one level, makes it extra appropriate).
     
  19. Tiro Well-Known Member

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    By the way, I've wondered before what the Confederate equivalent to MI5 or MI6 might be called and would like to suggest BUREAU 2 (Bu2) or BUREAU 5 (Bu5); this is derived from the structure of the Grand Quartier Général (the French Supreme Command during the First World War), which one can imagine would be mirrored during the Great War; I like the name "Bureau *" as it has a properly euphemistic ring without being entirely nondescript (It's also a name that inherently poses questions "Bureau for WHAT?" "Second/Fifth Bureau of how many?" that seems suitable for a Secret Police-type organisation ... especially if nobody bothers to actually answer those questions, as a general rule).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Quartier_Général_(1914–1919)#Origins_and_structure - you can find my original inspiration in the table of organisation at the bottom of this page ("Bureau for Special Services" also has a ring to it, but may be a little TOO on-the-nose for a "technically not THE Nazis but pretty Nasty" sort of secret police).

    I tend to imagine Bureau 2/5 (one cannot quite decide which number to go with - Deuxieme Bureau is actually the French umbrella term for their Intelligence services so I'm reluctant to use the direct translation, but have to admit that "Bureau 2" has a better ring than "Bureau 5") as a Military Intelligence organisation that was increasingly turned on the Confederate Population between the Wars (as the Confederate States General Staff colluded with the Whig Establishment to rebuild the Southern War Machine and attempted to settle down a population that had grown violently restive after the Whigs lost the Great War), being co-opted by the Featherston Administration when "The Sarge" entered the Grey House and mostly focussed himself on purging Radical Liberals rather than the bureaucracy.
     
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  20. Allochronian Well-Known Member

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    I probably wouldn't use a horse as a symbol for the Confederacy. It's not scary/intimidating enough.

    Using the Gadsden Flag would be a "better" symbol, alongside a snake for a Confederate National Animal, but I view it to be "too obviously evil". There should be some hint of subtleness.

    The Phoenix would be too "way out there". No one except the small, educated ruling class of Confederates would even know what a Phoenix is.

    I used the example of a clenched fist to symbolize the Confederate Freedom Salute (aka, Nazi Salute) as an analogy, not as a literal symbol on official Confederate Freedom medals, clothing, etc. In TL-191 after the end of the Second Great War, if you were fist-pumping the sky while yelling out "Freedom!" multiple times, you would be in big trouble.

    I chose the name "Overseers" as a call-back to the days of Confederate slavery, when Blacks were under watchful supervision.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
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