TL-191: Filling the Gaps

Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by Craigo, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. Allochronian Well-Known Member

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    Turtledove combined real-life members of the Nazi party and from the Nazi German government into single characters.

    However, I also saw some resemblance of other people from these same characters. Perhaps it was an accidental side effect from Turtledove's writing.

    For example, even thought Jefferson Pinkard was supposed to be a Rudolf Höss analog, he reminded me of Amon Göth.

    I'm actually okay with McSweeney's name, because perhaps it's supposed to be ironic. Not every name has to sound scary. There was a time when the surname Hitler didn't even instill fear in the hearts of men. Oh, and he wouldn't have become Hitler, but more like an American Stalin. If we want to avoid strong parallelism, then McSweeney should keep his name as is.
     
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  2. Greenhorn Well-Known Member

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    But even Stalin changed his name.
     
  3. GDIS Pathe Well-Known Member

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    They also wanted to kill a third of the CSAs total population
     
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  4. Allochronian Well-Known Member

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    All right, then.

    Let's include a little bit more of parallelism.

    Suppose Gordon McSweeney goes down a similar route of what Josef Stalin did. What could he have changed his name to? Strongman? Steelman?

    Nah, I have some better to propose. How about using Biblical names/phrases to replace his current surname/both names, given his zealotry? I found a few: Amnon, Jareb, and El-neqamot. They each mean "faithful", "revenger" and "God of Vengeance", respectively.

    Gordon Amnon? Gordon Jareb? Gordon Yareb? Gordon El-neqamot?

    Amnon Jareb? Amnon Yareb?

    Sources:
    1)https://www.behindthename.com/name/amnon
    2)http://namesforgod.net/god-of-vengeance/
    3)https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/jareb/
     
  5. Greenhorn Well-Known Member

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    No, not American enough. I think Jareb is the best of those options, but honestly I'd imagine something from the New Testament if he did go the Bible route.
     
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  6. LordandsaviorKloka AH.com’s resident Arthur McGregor apologist

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    I’m not doing that in my TL-191 TL,because my 191 US is more noblebright and wouldn’t do something so authoritarian. That’s also the reason I plan to spare Saul Goldman,to start a redemption arc for him.
     
  7. TITUP Member

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    Happy Armistice Day, Ladies and Gentlemen. Never forget!


     
  8. Allochronian Well-Known Member

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    So, is it agreed that the First Great War ended officially on September 9, 1917 with Britain being the final nation left in the Entente Powers?

    The Confederates surrendered earlier than that date, correct?

    I wish Turtledove could have given us complete dates so that it would have been easier to follow.
     
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  9. TITUP Member

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    Concur. President Mahan's multi-part essays on the life of Henry Cabot Lodge (25+ pages) does a splendid job of detailing the 1912-1920 time-frame and has pretty much been accepted as canon by the contributors of this page. If you have not read his entire work I highly encourage you to do so!
     
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  10. Tiro Well-Known Member

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    Well I'd say Remembrance didn't work out so well for the British Empire in Timeline-191, so one makes no promises!
     
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  11. Tiro Well-Known Member

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    I suspect that McSweeney would definitely skew Old Testament (for reasons which should be SCREAMINGLY obvious, with a few lingering flames to help add to a suitably Apocalyptic atmosphere), so might one suggest "Judge" as a possible surname? It is very easy to imagine McSweeney conceiving of his move into politics as an effort to provide the United States with a figure who could do for the North what figures like Samuel and Samson did for the Land of Israel - provide a steel spine, a sense of surety and a terrifying willingness to smite the Ungodly hip & thigh.

    The fact that "Judge" is also an accepted English surname (well, English-speaking) would also reduce the oddity of someone changing his surname to go into AMERICAN politics.
     
  12. Allochronian Well-Known Member

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    Gordon Judge, eh?

    Not bad, not bad.

    I would have chosen "Cain" as a surname.
     
  13. Tiro Well-Known Member

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    One suspects that even a man with a body-count as large as Gordon Mcsweeney would draw the line at "Cain" (assuming the spree killer in question were as pious and Bible-thumping as the man himself; remember "The voice of thy brother's blood cries unto me from the ground and now thou art cursed from the earth, which has opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand ... a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be on the Earth"), given the unfortunate associations of the First Murderer.
     
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  14. SaveAtlacamani Napoleon the Red Donor

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    Do we know of an analogue to Roland Freisler or the Nazi Volksgerichtshof under the auspices of Ferdinand Koenig? Have there been proposals for such a role in this thread?
     
  15. President Mahan Well-Known Member

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    No but that sounds great. I’m sure there are some OTL lawyers that might fit the bill.
     
  16. Allochronian Well-Known Member

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    My version of a Zimmermann Telegram in TL-191:
    The Zamora-Fletcher Telegram
    [​IMG]
    During the years between 1915 and 1916, there was an attempt by the United States to convince the Empire of Mexico to declare war against the Confederacy and be on the side of the Central Powers. In return for their allegiance, the United States promised to force the Confederacy to return Sonora and Chihuahua back to Mexico.

    Despite some inherent distrust by the Mexican government to the American government and still remembering the national trauma of losing nearly half its original territory during the First Mexican War against the United States, Mexico carefully considered the proposition. They had already won a war against the United States during the Second Mexican War, were growing dissatisfied with the unequal partnership they had with the Confederacy, and refused to be involved in a war against the Hapsburg family in Europe.

    However, a coded telegram between the United States and Mexico was intercepted by the Confederates and was published in the press, causing a diplomatic controversy between Mexico and the Confederacy. The Confederate government threatened to cut off all economic aid to the Empire and support the Republican cause in the country unless they publicly renounce the proposal.

    A copy of the text that was written for the Mexican ambassador to the United States, Arturo Zamora, by the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Henry P. Fletcher:

    We intend to begin on the first of February unrestricted submarine warfare against our enemies. We shall endeavor in spite of the Empire of Mexico choosing to remain "officially" neutral, despite some warfare activity occurring south of California. In the event of this not succeeding, we make Mexico a proposal of alliance on the following basis: make war together, make peace together, generous financial support and an understanding on our part that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in Sonora and Chihuahua. The settlement in detail is left to you. You will inform His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Maximilian, of the above most secretly as soon as the Negro rebellion within the Confederate States of America is continuous and add the suggestion that he should, on his own initiative, invite Germany and Austria-Hungary to immediate adherence and at the same time mediate between Germany and ourselves. Please call the Emperor's attention to the fact that the ruthless employment of our submarines now offers the prospect of compelling the Confederacy in a few months to make peace.
    Signed, FLETCHER

    Previous telegrams were also discovered that showed Mexico had some sympathy with the idea, instead of rejecting it outright. Despite being written by Fletcher, the telegram was directly named after Zamora by the C.S. press to embarrass the Mexican government.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zimmermann_Telegram
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  17. President Mahan Well-Known Member

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    The Great War at Sea 1914-1917. Part II 1914 The First Blows

    Opening Phase of the War

    The crises of July 1914, put the world Navies on alert. While in Europe the navies began a policy of wait and see. The navies of the Americas were preparing for a possible first strike. With war becoming an increasing reality, Roosevelt ordered the Pacific Fleet to sea to strike the Sandwich Islands upon declaration of war. The US North Atlantic Fleet was ordered from its base in Boston to its forward position in the Casco Bay by Portland Maine. US cruisers were pre-positioned along Atlantic trade routes to intercept Entente shipping. The Confederate Atlantic Fleet was preparing to hunt down US cruisers. The Confederate Caribbean Fleet was preparing to seize american shipping and its Chesapeake Squadron was preparing to support its drive on Washington and Philadelphia. At moments notice these Navies were ready to plunge the Western Hemisphere into chaos.

    Pacific Theater

    Sandwich Islands Campaign

    Thanks to Senator Lodge’s advice ¾ of the US Pacific Fleet was on hand to attack Pearl Harbor within 24 hours of the declaration of war on August 6th. The US campaign in the Pacific has been called the most successful naval campaign of the war. By putting to sea before the declaration of war the fleet had the time to swing north of the island chain and attack the main British naval base from the south east. Catching the Royal Navy while still anchored in Pearl Harbor. The surprise attack was a stunning defeat for the Royal Navy. While the Royal Navy battleships attempted to escape, the US Pacific Fleet crossed the T of the British Battleships bringing all heavy guns to bear on the fleet to hammer the British Ships. The thin armor of the British battlecruisers were no match for the heavy US guns. Five US dreadnought battleships destroyed four out of five of the British dreadnought battlecruisers, four of the Royal Navy’s most modern pre-dreadnought Battleships and nearly a dozen cruiser and destroyers. Only one British dreadnought escaped, the HMS Lion. The Lions harrowing escape across to the Pacific to Japanese held Guam, with the US Navy in pursuit, has become a Royal Navy legend. The US Navy’s seizure of the Sandwich Islands was a complete success and destroyed British naval power west of Singapore until 1916.

    German East Asian Squadron

    The German East Asia Squadron or Ostasiengeschwader was an Imperial German Navy cruiser squadron based out the German port of Tsingtao and operated mainly in the Pacific Ocean. It was one of only two "blue water" or overseas naval formations independent of home ports in Germany, the other being the west atlantic squadron which operated out of Boston. In 1914, the East Asia Squadron numbered a total of six warships under the command of Vice Admiral Maximilian, Reichsgraf von Spee. When war broke out Admiral Spee immediately found himself outnumbered and outgunned by the Entente Navy. It was clear that the Entente Navies in the region, spearheaded by the HMAS Australia would soon be heading to Tsingtao. At first Spees inclination was to break up the fleet and immediately begin commerce raiding. Then the Admiral Spee received radio messages that the US had surprised the Royal Navy at Pearl Harbour and destroyed its Pacific Fleet.

    With a British Japanese attack likely coming at anytime, Spee ordered the whole squadron to make for US held Sandwich Islands. Nearly all the ships of the East Asia Station were dispersed at various island colonies on routine missions; the with largest armored cruisers the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau anchored at Ponape in the Carolines. The fleet rendezvoused at Pagan Island in the northern Marianas. By September 12th, the Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Dresden, Leipzig, Nürnberg had arrived at Honolulu. Only the Edmen and Greier. The older SMS Greier had missed the initial rendez-vous at Pagan Island and was intercepted by a Japanese patrol.

    Captain Karl von Muller of the SMS Edmen volunteered to take his ship on a lone commerce raiding campaign in the Indian Ocean for the next three months. The Emden disrupted trade throughout the Indian Ocean, intercepting 29 ships and sinking those belonging to Britain or its allies. At the Battle of Penang she sank the Russian protected cruiser Zhemchug and the French destroyer Mousquet, catching the Russian ship by surprise while in harbour. At Madras she destroyed oil storage facilities through shelling. The ship finally met its end on 9 November 1914 after a prolonged struggle with HMAS Sydney at the Battle of Cocos.

    The Remainder of the Pacific Squadron would conduct commerce raiding missions across the Pacific, attacking Entente and disrupting trading. On September 22nd the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau bombarded the French base on Papeete in Polynesia. On September 29 the New Zealand Navy occupied German Samoa. In retaliation, the light cruiser Nürnberg bombarded the British Samoa.

    On 17 October the Japanese laid siege to the German base at Tsingtao.The siege did not start out auspiciously for the Japanese when the German torpedo boat S-90 slipped out of Tsingtao harbor and fired a single torpedo which sank the IJN cruiser Takachiho with the loss of 271 officers and men. S-90 was however unable to run the blockade back to Tsingtao and was scuttled in Chinese waters when the ship ran low on fuel.

    The Japanese started shelling the fort and the city on 31 October and began digging parallel lines of trenches. Very large 11 inch howitzers from land, in addition to the firing of the Japanese naval guns, brought the German defences under constant bombardment during the night, the Japanese moving their own trenches further forward under the cover of their artillery. The bombardment continued for seven days, employing around 100 siege guns with 1,200 shells each on the Japanese side. While the Germans were able to use the heavy guns of the port fortifications to attack the landward positions of the Allies, they soon ran out of ammunition.When the artillery rounds had been finally used up by 6 November, surrender was inevitable.

    On the night of 6 November waves of Japanese infantry attacked the third line of defences and overwhelmed the defenders. The next morning, the German forces, along with their Austro-Hungarian allies, asked for terms. The Allies took formal possession of the colony on 16 November 1914. Japanese casualties numbered 236 killed and 1,282 wounded; the British had 12 killed and 53 wounded. The German defenders lost 199 dead and 504 wounded.

    After the Tsingtao Four river gunboats the Iltis, Jaguar, Tiger, Luchs and two dozen merchantmen evaded Entente capture in the inland waters of China until 1917, when China seized most of them save for two river gunboats, which were scuttled by their crews.

    Atlantic Theater

    Battle of Halifax

    In the Atlantic the US Navy was not nearly as successful as it’s Pacific counterpart. As per the US Navy war plan within an hour of declaration of war; the Northern Squadron of the Atlantic Fleet under the command of Vice Admiral Henry B.Wilson sailed from their rally point near Portland, Maine towards Halifax, Nova Scotia. Its mission was to support the landing of a division of Marines to capture Halifax before it became a port for British supplies. Unlike in the Pacific, the Canadian Fleet was not caught off guard. The area around Halifax had been heavily mined. When US minesweepers moved in to clear a path for US dreadnoughts, they were attacked and sunk by a swarm of Canadian torpedo boats. Many Canadian torpedo boats were sunk by destroyer fire, but the Canadians succeeded in sinking nine out of ten of the U.S. minesweepers. When US dreadnoughts pressed on, two out of the three struck Canadian mines. Though no ships were seriously damaged they were forced to turn back. US marines attempted the landing, but suffered heavy casualties without suppressive fire from the big guns of the US battleships. With the withdrawal of U.S. Marines and a division of Royal Marines landed in Halifax in September. All plans for seaborne attacks on Halifax were called off. For the remainder of the campaign, The Atlantic Squadron supported 4th Armies push up Canadian occupied Maine and Nova Scotia. Halifax would fall, but not until the fall of 1915 after nearly a year long siege.

    Chesapeake Campaign

    In August of 1914 the most important confederate military operation was the Army of Northern Virginia’s capture of Washington DC and advance on Philadelphia. As per Confederate Grand Strategy, the Confederate Navy stood ready to support this knockout blow. To this end the Confederacy constructed two coastal battleships each equipped with six 13 inch guns. Similar to Great Lakes Battleships. These floating gun batteries were stationed at Hampton Roads at the mouth of the Chesapeake. The two coastal battleships CSS John C Calhoun and CSS Alexander Stevens along with four destroyers were tasked with sailing up the Chesapeake Bay. Provide naval gunfire in support of the invasion. The US Navy was believed to defend the bay with a comparable coastal battleship the USS Francis Scott Key and the light cruiser USS Albany. The Key was a converted Ohio class Pre-dreadnought with 8 eight 13 inch guns.

    By the third day of the confederate invasion, August 9th, the Calhoun and Stevens task force had move up the Chesapeake Bay and was joining in on the shelling of Washington. It’s guns proved invaluable inthe assault on Washington’s uter fortifications on day four and five. The standard Confederate 75mm fieldpiece was incapable of destroying the fortifications. With DC captured the task force was ordered north to Annapolis. It’s mission was to destroy its fortifications and then support the Confederate Armies assault on Baltimore.

    By August 14th the CSS Coastal defense Battleships were again underway heading towards Baltimore. Screened by Destroyers and minesweepers the task force was making slow but steady progress upstream. By August 15th the CS guns were in range of Annapolis and it’s defenses. With the Francis Scott Key and Albany nowhere in sight, the CS Navy taskforce made the decision to run the Annapolis- Kent Island channel engage the shore defenses, but were interrupted by 14 inch naval gun fire coming from their starboard side. Unbeknownst to Confederate naval intelligence In the days before the war the president had ordered the Pre-dreadnought USS Tecumseh, which had been placed in reserve to be moved to Baltimore to be scrapped. In reality the ship though suffering from mechanical issues, weapon’s still worked. In the darkness of August 12th the ship, manned by Annapolis cadets, had been run aground near Stevensville on the eastern shore of Kent Island. Not knowing where the fire was coming from the task force attempted to run the gauntlet of naval fire. However both the Calhoun was damaged by mines and the Stephens struck a freighter filled with cement and sunk in the narrowest part of the channel. Having lost two destroyers and serious damage to both coastal battleships the taskforce returned to Norfolk. This failure proved disastrous to the success of the confederate advance towards Philadelphia. US control of the Chesapeake allowed the US to ship troops into the Baltimore pocket. The break out of Baltimore was pivotal in forcing the Confederate retreat back into Maryland in 1915.

    Battle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence

    By October 1914 the US gained control of the mouth of the St. Lawrence. The North Atlantic Squadron comprised of three of the navy’s largest and most powerful battleships, the USS California, Nevada and Wisconsin along with over thirty destroyers and cruisers began patrolling the eastern coast of Canada and Newfoundland. Newfoundland at the time was its own Dominion, separate from Canada. Like Canada it had introduced conscription in the late nineteenth century. It had two native regiments but no naval forces. However US control of the western Atlantic meant they were trapped. US naval general staff quickly wrote of the seizure of the island. As the resources required to seize the island not equivalent to its strategic value. The navy did however use companies of marines to seize the small islands around Newfoundland’s periphery to establish observation posts and radio towers. A brutal war was fought for these positions. As Newfoundland soldiers raided these positions throughout the war but could not occupy them out of fear of US Navy guns. On October 16 the US invaded and captured the two small French islands of St Pierre and Miquelon only 16 miles south west from Newfoundland’s Burin Peninsula. It was the only French territory the US occupied during the war.

    On November 8th US observers on Miquelon spotted British troop convoy guarded by 5 pre-dreadnought battleships steaming towards Canada. Thanks to a newly installed radio tower they were able to alert the fleet. The convoy carrying a brigades worth of British soldiers was intercepted by a Squadron of 3 US dreadnoughts at the Southern entrance to the Gulf of St. Lawrence.The North Atlantic Squadron commanded by Vice Admiral Henry B. Wilson signaled for the Royal Navy vessels surrender but were ignored. Under the command of Admiral Alexander Bethell, an officer with 45 years of service. The four British ships formed a perfectly executed maneuver taking up a line between the US Battleships and convoy.

    In a reverse of the Battle of the Grand Banks 33 years before. US guns now out ranged their British counterparts. The 15 inch guns of the USS Nevada, Wisconsin and California quickly inflicted heavy damage to the Royal Navy ships. Within two hours of fighting all four ships received critical damage. By hour three of the battle the HMS Agamemnon and Russell were sinking and two of the Abelmarle’s turrets were no longer in action. When a US round struck the magazine of Admiral Bethel’s flagship the Lord Nelson, the ship exploded in a fireball. All hands were lost including Admiral Bethell. With the loss of Lord Nelson. The remaining British ships struck their colors. The British had been trying to to buy time for their convoy to escape back to St. John’s but US cruisers and destroyers were already running them down and caught them before they were able to reach St. John’s.

    The British war effort lost more than 12,000 soldiers and sailors as a result of that battle. Including a loss of more than 3600 sailors killed or captured that afternoon. After the defeat the British High Command stopped transferring British Forces to Canada, until A new harbor facility connected by rail could be constructed in Labrador. Plans began for construction of a larger port, serviced by more than 6 icebreakers at Happy Valley-Goose Bay in Labrador.. It was hoped that this would be far enough north and out of range of US patrols to allow the transit of reinforcement and supplies.

    Atlantic Cruiser Hunt

    As part of a pre-war cost saving measure. President Aldrich ordered the construction of thirty fast speed long range commerce raiders. Though disliked by decisive battle enthusiasts such as Mahan and Roosevelt. This order was scaled back by Secretary of the Navy Daniels to only twenty four. By 1914 twenty had been completed. In the days leading up to the war 16 new cruisers and 8 light cruisers were ordered to sail to predesignated places across the Atlantic, Caribbean and Pacific with orders to sink allied shipping and troop transports. In the opening weeks of the war the ship’s had significant successes delaying troop transports from across the British and French Empire. By Mid August troop transports were being protected by Pre-dreadnought Battleships. When the squadrons turned to threaten food and material convoys. The Entente Navy’s ordered their Battlecruiser squadrons to hunt down and these raiders.

    Sixteen Battlecruisers from Britain France and the Confederacy took part in these hunts. With the Royal Navy Vice Admiral David Beatty commanding the North Atlantic force of 7 Battlecruisers, Confederate Navy Admiral Hugh Rodman commanding the Mid Atlantic force of 6 Battlecruisers and Caribbean force and French Navy Admiral Boue de Lapeyrere commanding the South Atlantic Force of 3 Battlecruisers. These forces hunted down and destroyed 18 commerce raiders, sent to starve and isolate the Entente.

    Because most of their operation operations were against the Canadians and Royal Navy, the US sent limited resources against the CSA surface fleet. The US was able to intercept several Confederate surface raiders, but operations against Confederate bases was impossible due to the CSA’s submersible fleet and massive amounts of sea mines. The incredible success of the Battlecruiser squadron helped maintain the relevancy of the Battlecruiser when many Naval experts were questioning their necessity. The failure of the US commerce raider fleet also led to the increased production of Submersibles in Germany and the Confederate States.

    Beginning of the Confederate Submersible Campaign

    With limited opportunities for victory on the surface more and more nations were looking to the possibilities of submarine warfare. At the outbreak of war the Confederate submersible service had 65 boats active or under construction. More than the 62 French, 58 Russian, 55 German, 40 US and only smaller than the Royal Navy, which stood at 77 boats. Thanks to close British Confederate cooperation on naval technology, the most common Confederate boat snapping turtle class comparable to the British E- class.

    Throughout the summer and fall of 1914 Confederate submersibles were tasked with screening fleet movements, entering Yankee waters to track enemy ships and patrolling Confederate waters to prevent surprise attacks. This role met with limited success, because of their slow speed submersibles had to hide and water for their prey. Using these tactics the C.S. Navy submersibles were able to sink two destroyers and two aged armored cruiser, at the cost of six submersibles. Because of these poor results the high command seriously restricted their employment and many were questioning whether they were worth the investment. They did however prove their worth as a defensive weapon when in August 18th two submersibles sunk two armored cruisers sent to test the defenses along the Virginia coast. For the next two months submersibles were deployed primarily in a defensive and screening role.

    All of this changed in November 1914 when the CSS Sand Shark cornered four U.S. civilian ships and intimidated them into surrender with its deck guns and torpedoes near Acapulco Mexico. The Pacific theater was ideal for the use of submersibles against merchant ships. The Confederate surface fleet operating out of Guaymas was small and unlike in the Atlantic the US continued to have substantial trade with South American nations. From November 1914 to March 1915 the C.S. submersible fleet captured or destroyed thirty-two U.S. or neutral merchantmen.

    Great Lakes Fleets

    Like all other theaters of naval conflict the Great Lakes saw a frenzy of immediate action following the outbreak of war followed by period of inaction. Over the last 30 years the US had spent significant time and resource building up its defenses in the Great Lakes. After being caught by surprise by a flotilla of Royal Navy ironclads, the US vowed never to be humiliated again. By 1890 the US had built its own defensive fleet of monitors. However as the Naval Arms race took full steam in the 1890s, both the US and Canadians extended this to the Great Lakes. President Reed lavished money on the Great Lakes fleet in the 1890s to win over former midwest republicans. While The Mahan administration spent modestly, focusing on the blue water navy instead.

    The Canadians maintained high levels of spending on their Navy throughout the interwar period. The Canadians maintained superiority in Lake Ontario well in to the first decade of the 20th Century. However the need to keep up with the growing size of the US Army, severely strained Canadian finances. Even with Great Britain providing some alleviation by not requiring them to contribute to the dreadnought race.

    The US finally overtook the Canadians in all Lakes by 1910, as the Aldrich administration authorized the construction of new modern ships to cement his party nomination among disaffected Midwestern Democrats. By the Outbreak of the war the balance of power stood at ten US battleships to seven Canadian. US had five modern Great Lakes Battleships of the John Paul Jones and Perry Classes, Each with eight 15 inch naval guns. Along with five semi-modern ships carrying eight 13 inch guns. This was in contrast to Canada’s seven battleships each carrying eight 13 in guns. Each side also constructed a flotilla of destroyers and gunboats to support these behemoths.

    While many historians think of the Great Lakes as one contiguous theater in actuality it is four independent theaters.With Only Lake Huron and Michigan allowing for a transfer of Ships. Canals and dredging had linked Lake Huron and Erie, but that was damaged in the opening hours of the war. The bulk of the US and Canadian Fleets were located in Lake Ontario. With the US fielding three Perry Class battleships and two older Niagra class Battleships. Canada had three of its most advanced Hunter class vessels. The next most militarized Lake was naturally Lake Erie with each side having three Battleships. However two of the US were the larger and better armed John Paul Jones class. Canada had only one battleship for both Lake Huron and Michigan, while the US had one for each. Neither side wasted the resources of a full battleship on Lake Superior.

    Like it’s other theaters the Great Lakes saw nearly immediate action. At the outset Canadian Great Lakes Fleet sought to distract the US, to prevent it from bringing all its strength to bear against a single target. With the declaration of war Canada launched a raid against Rochester with two Battleships, hoping to draw the US Ontario Squadron away from Toronto and the Niagara Peninsula. In Lake Erie Canadian forces moved menacingly towards Sandusky. Simultaneously the US squadrons began moving towards the US invasion point. The US Ontario Squadron was forced to dispatch two of ships to deal with this threat. Luckily for Rochester, it’s heavy mines and shore defenses prevented the Canadians from coming within firing distance of the city. The US Fleet was able to catch up with the Canadians thirty miles Northwest of the city. The two forces exchanged fire without serious damage to either side. However as the US chased the Canadians back to port, both a US and Canadian struck mines over some twenty miles east of Toronto. With the Canadians suffering major damage to their newest ship the HMCS Guelph, which had to be towed back to port. It would remain in dry dock until the end of the war. US naval intelligence correctly surmised that the Canadians lacked the resources to repair it. The US intern lost the USS Farragut a Perry class, which sank outright. After these attacks neither side attempted a move towards another’s city or base without a screen of minesweepers.

    On Lake Erie the Canadian feint was met by the USS John Paul Jones and Niagara. The longer range and superior accuracy of the Jones’s guns damaged the HMCS Empire, disabling it’s aft turret. With the HMCS Empire damaged the Canadian Force returned to base. Despite the loss the Canadian mission succeeded in its strategic objective of preventing the US from consolidating its forces around the Niagara Peninsula. As two battleships were kept in the vicinity of Cleveland to defend those cities. Only the battleship USS Porcupine, based in Buffalo, was able to assist the the crossing along the Niagara Peninsula. For the remainder of the year neither side attempted to sortie against the others Battleships.

    Caribbean Theater

    As per Confederate war plans, the CS Caribbean Fleet comprised of pre-dreadnought battleships, light cruisers and destroyers, quickly put to sea from its bases in Habana, Mobile and Galveston to sweep Quadruple Alliance shipping from the region. At the outbreak of the war both the United States and Germany had a significant part of their merchant marine in South America waters and without friendly ports or coal reserves to make it to the U.S. As war seemed increasingly likely Quadruple Alliance ambassadors to Venezuela quickly bought up much of the country’s coal reserves, and convinced the government to create a safe haven for Quadruple Alliance shipping in a estuary outside Caracas. This secret port became a became a rallying point for those ships that escaped the Confederate and British Navies.

    Ambassador Hay, son of the former Republican presidential candidate, struck upon the idea of transferring its armaments to U.S. passenger liners and transforming them into commerce raiders. While the U.S. Cruiser Scranton and destroyer D-432 successfully shepherded eighteen merchant vessels back to the United States, the crew of the dead-lined Destroyer worked overtime to transform two ocean liners the SS Allegheny and SS Susquehanna into commerce raiders. The raiders operating in pairs scored a series of victories against Entente shipping. They shut down much of the shipping out of British colonies in the Caribbean by laying mines and attacking commerce coming out of Jamaica and the British Antilles. After two months of successful interdiction of British and Confederate shipping. The Susquehanna was finally were cornered by a similarly civilian converted Confederate raider.

    The battle began on November 19th, the USS Susquehanna and CSS Nullification engaged in an inconclusive battle off the island of Barbados. Dubbed the Battle of the Ocean liners, it received huge international press but had little overall effect in the balance of power in the region. Three U.S. Cruiser built for commerce raiding were able to slip past Confederate patrols and shipping in the Gulf until they were cornered and destroyed by Confederate Battlecruisers Manassas & Camp Hill. By December the entire Caribbean had been swept clean of U.S. commerce raiders.

    Conclusion of the First Year of the Great War at Sea.

    Despite success on both sides, the situation at sea was beginning to mimic the stalemate on land. Each side was focusing on rearming and focusing their strength for a renewed offensive in 1915. For US naval planners the focus for the coming year was to defend their gains in the Pacific and severing the contact between the European and North Americans members of the Entente.
     
  18. President Mahan Well-Known Member

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    New York, New York
    Uploaded this from my phone. I can’t get the underlining or bolding to work. I’ll fix it from my home computer tonight. Thanks for all the help from people on the thread, you know who you guys and gals are.

    Anything I should add or I messed up? Comments and corrections are appreciated.
     
  19. Tiro Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2015
    Mister President, once again you prove yourself the dean of naval historians on this thread! Please allow me to compliment you on putting together a splendid article and please allow me to say how Good it is to see you post again.

    I don't really have any meaningful suggestions as yet (though the thought occurs to me that VP Semmes is going to be following events at Sea with painful interest, partly from Professional pride and partly - at least according to my working notes - because his own eldest son is serving with the Confederate fleet, somewhat against his own personal inclinations*), but will study your article and see if one can contribute anything more meaningful in future!:)

    Now one thinks on it, it does occur to me that CS naval elements in the Pacific (submarines especially) might do worse than to try hitting US convoys between the West Coast and the Sandwich Islands at some point - there's a great deal of open water between Hawaii and San Francisco, after all, and while the Southern fleet is unlikely to have very much on the left bank of Cape Horn they might have enough to needle the Northern fleet while the Anglo-Japanese force steams towards the Battle of Three Navies.


    *One imagines him being persuaded to follow his father's career track (to help keep the Semmes name polished and keep up ties with the Fleet), but being better suited to business or politics than to the Service; as has been inferred elsewhere, one imagines Semmes the Younger was killed in the Great War (though one has yet to decide if it would be more appropriate to show him Killed in Action before or after his father instituted the Negro Regiments; the former option helps bolster his Father's resolve, yet the latter is less cliched and offers an equally tragic "Sting in the Tale" as it were).
     
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  20. Allochronian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2018
    Location:
    originaltimeline
    I like it.

    It's like you said; it needs some underlining and bolding to make it easier to read.

    I'd add some pictures (ships, battlefields, maps, etc.) from OTL that can help give the reader images, too.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
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