T-191b: The Presbyterian Butcher (Part I) Divergence within a divergence... First, how could the Entente have won the first war? It seems clear that in the beginning of the war, the lack of clear naval superiority was skewed in the Entente's side, with the more numerous and more supplied vessels being able to contain the American and German fleets to relatively contained areas in the North Atlantic, all the while performing with generally unmolested freedom of movement in the rest of the seas, especially with Japan almost certainly tying down any German ships in the Pacific. 1914 can be defined as a good point for a more successful use of modern naval logistics and strategy on the Entente's side for beginning the divergence we need. Only some small differences in battle, and all of the sudden the majority of the German fleet is wiped out, and the American fleet is contained. This leaves the Pacific. But, with the Central Powers all but barred from intercontinental communications, this effectively cuts off the United States from its allies in Europe. The Pacific becomes a problem when one realises how little the Japanese were willing to leave their comfort zones in support of the Entente effort. American ships were not harassed in their formations off the Pacific coast, despite the existence of Victoria Island as an excellent staging point for Entente efforts against the Americans. Lobbying by the British government may have promised the Japanese a leg up on negotiations against the Russian Empire, which may have gone stale after the war began, despite the two powers holding conflicting views of north Asian claims and borders. Tokyo, now confident in Britain's future support against Russia, would move up past the Sandwich Isles to Victoria, where a sizable fleet could force the Americans into their ports. Issues regarding supplies could be solved for the South. Richmond would be free to ship in manufactured goods from Europe in exchange for crops, which would have been the most important export the CSA was capable of. With food feeding Entente troops, most of the Germans would begin to starve. 1915 would turn into a race to break the stalemate, which favoured the Entente simply by nature of logistics. While the CSA's supplies were inadequate when compared to the USA, the nature of the North's war on two fronts, its inability to trade, and its isolated diplomatic place would mean that any ingenuity cooked up could begin to break it. Not to mention, strategically speaking, the lines of supply were much harsher for the USA. Long trails would have to be maintained to keep supply in as distant places as the underdeveloped New Mexico all the way to the moonscaped Ontario Front. While it is likely that the American assault against Canada would be relatively successful, the ability to maintain such a large front appears more and more unlikely. Confederate assaults would not need to pass the Susquehanna to successfully wear down the Americans. The Mormon Uprising in 1915 would have been crucial in isolating the already undermanned Pacific coast of the USA from centres of supply in the east. During this time, it is unlikely that needed repairs and upkeep of ships would have been possible. With full knowledge of the uprising, the Entente would have taken advantage of this, and destroyed what Pacific fleets exist. In a mirror of the Second Mexican War, British troops could land and occupy San Francisco, destroying the morale of the American public in the West, all the while reinvigorating attempts by troops in British Columbia, getting resupply from Victoria, to begin a counteroffensive south, possibly taking Seattle. By the end of 1915, it would have been almost impossible for the US to continue conduct of the war under these conditions unless a major victory came soon. And as promises of Germans reaching Paris and Americans reaching Toronto starting to fade in honesty, the only thing stopping the US was the halt of Confederate forces during the Autumn of 1915 as the Red Rebellions paralysed the CSA. Even with a significant portion of the population rising, some estimates saying between a sixth and a fifth of the population acting at least civilly obstinate during this time, the CSA was able to hold the line against only meager counterattacks and unplanned pushes from a disorganised and panicking American general staff. By Spring of 1916, most of the large Red Republics were simply a memory, with effective leadership destroyed or forced into hiding into strategically unimportant areas. Most of the CSA returned to business as usual. In fact, many blacks in the CSA were then given the opportunity to join up to win citizenship, which many took. The newfound swelling of the ranks, especially in artillery and aboard river monitors, made it possible for the CSA, by the Autumn of 1916, to reach the Illinois river, maintain a semblance of control over the Mississippi, conquer the whole of Maryland and New Jersey, and approach the de facto capitol the USA. With Roosevelt refusing to flee, he finally broke down and agreed to an armistice. Formation of the dictatorship... With most international finance existing in London, it cannot be stated how important British loans to the CSA were necessary to keep the country afloat after the war. While not suffering much fighting from enemies, the domestic war fought during the Red Rebellions were enough to damage the Confederate economy and plunge it into a desperate state. Much of the British loans were paid off either in raw gold or extensions of contracts for shipping crops and cotton to the British, which it could in turn sell to Europe for massive profits. The CSA lost two things after the war: a large amount of international credit, now being in debt to London, as well as the ability to rely on its foremost trading partner to continue its underdeveloped agrarian economy. The USA was completely stripped. Superior and most of northern Minnesota, Washington until Seattle, and all of Maine were taken from it. Deseret was freed as an independent "republic", while New Mexico, the southern portion of Missouri (dubbed Ozark), West Virginia (reintegrated into Virginia), and Maryland found themselves in Confederate hands. The rest of the Pacific coast, while still American, was more or less isolated. Pittsburgh was in crisis. Resigning, along with most of his cabinet, before the final treaties which ended the war could be signed, Roosevelt moved back to Dakota and died shortly after. Remembered as a national hero, the Socialists who now led the country were blamed. For everything. Although they also took credit for the short-lived recovery in 1919-1922, built by Confederate investment and attempted rejuvenation of the Northern economy so as to build up a reliable economy which could buy Southern exports, the financial crash of February 1923 could not have come at a worse time, as the Socialists were reelected shortly beforehand. The strength of the London market was never questioned, but when speculation and investment into the defeated economies did not return the sums expected, everything came crashing down. By mid 1924, the military, cut in funding and blamed for its failure, managed to work with the Soldiers Circle group and take control of New York City, Chicago, Boston, and most importantly: Pittsburgh. General Custer was the head of the junta, known as the Blue Coup, and declared the illegality of the Socialist party, the restoration of the constitution, and the determination of the USA to seek revenge against its neighbours. Confederate troops moved in and surrounded Pittsburgh with the assistance of American Loyalists who disregarded the legitimacy of the Blue Coup. During the event, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington seceded to form the United States of Pacifica. The CSA, Deseret, and Japan immediately recognised them. Other nations followed suit. After only eight months, the Blue Coup was disarmed with only a few fights. Most of the military did not support the newfound dictators of the USA. Many of the SC troops which were rallied with the junta were defeated or talked down. Confederate troops withdrew and the USA's Socialist leadership was returned to power. Custer was put on trial, found guilty, and given life in prison, while other lower level members of the coup were executed or fled before capture to Germany, the South, Mexico, or Brazil. During this time, Gordon McSweeney had killed three Confederates, a pack of Reds, and contributed to the Defense of Pittsburgh, only to have been ordered to stand down by his superiors before fleeing to Cleveland. This helped form the McSweeney that would later lead a successful democratic takeover of the USA. Abner Dowling had during this period been a rather influential character. Initially supporting the Blue Coup, and rising to its upper echelon through his connection to Custer and decidedly anti-Socialist opinions, it can be said that the failure of the seizure and restoration of the Socialist administration can be pinned on him. He met with both Loyalists and Entente forces in Detroit, a Loyalist stronghold, to try and renegotiate the terms of the Treaty of Washington. Given his escort to these areas, it can be surmised that at least to some unspoken level, the goals of the Blue Coup were not a total restructuring of society from the top down in the USA, but rather a violent attempt to give the USA a better chance at recovering after economic woes seized the country. But, unfruitful, Dowling finally turned in his fellow Blues and worked with Loyalists in securing the captured areas and talking down members of the SC. For this, he was allowed to lead the new Northern war department, after most of the talent had fled or been tried. McScweeney, aware of these facts, had a burning hatred evolve in him. One which cast aside huge numbers of his country, including the secessionists in the newfound Pacifica which were trying to stitch themselves back into the United States. California demanded more representation and to move the capital to somewhere more central, such as Chicago or Denver, so that Western needs would be better sought to. In exchange for the rejoining of Pacifica, the capital was de facto and de jure moved to Chicago, where many of the Socialist administration found themselves at home, even though the Defense of Chicago had been the bloodiest and hardest to disentangle, due to the nature of the SC and Blues defending it. The crisis, McScweeney saw, only proved to levee harsher penalties on the USA, and lead to more domestic crisis. Radical leftist groups, some calling themselves Soviets, had begun to seek out and attack anyone who could be called a Blue. McScweeney, hoping to avoid being caught, changed his name to Isaac Langley and moved to Chicago in order to work with other ex-members of the SC and supporters of the Blues in a network known as the Securist Legion. The Securists believed in many different, contradicting ideas. But, McScweeney managed to define the Legion into something specific, digestible, and marketable. Tragedy is a revolution's best friend... The newly made Isaac Langley worked with the SL and the underground SC to help bring back notable Blue Coupers from the South and Germany, with Pershing being one. In 1929 they attempted to assassinate Dowling who had been working with the inspection authorities to guarantee the USA's abstention from anti-treaty regulation, or more realistically, to make sure that they were bribed enough to allowed the USA's military to continue to exist in its damaged and demoralised state. The failure of this assassination lead to a widespread panic across the USA. This showed in the 1930 elections, when the Socialists, who pledged to crackdown on domestic traitors and terrorists, won easily, despite their continued blame for the failure of the war and the economic depravity. While most of the world was on the process to recovery, the USA continued to lag behind. Confederate economics had more or less returned to normal, with the government having bought up excess goods and sold them to Europe, itself in need of restructuring, as well as Russia, after its Civil War ended with the Republicans maintaining power and the Bolsheviks being forced to flee their failed revolution. Tragedy in the USA attracted some of these fleeing revolutionaries. Soviets in America welcomed them with open arms, and the Soviet Community of Portland, in Oregon, proved to be incredibly efficient at fostering and taking care of these Reds. Langley despised this, and began a series of tirades in the churches he attended and SL meetings he attended. By 1932, the Securist Party was winning seats in the House of Representatives. One from Illinois, one from Indiana, and one from Vermont, to be precise. A number of other parties had formed after the Democrats imploded after the war, including the Farmer's Party, the Constitution Party, the Progressive Party, and the Pacific Party. These all had their own meager shares of the vote, while the Socialists continued to dominate. The Republican Party still existed, and Langley's hope was that he and other members of the Securists could hijack it and reform it into something that could save the USA. === Here's some musings on a reimagined McSweeney scenario. I like the idea of him ending up as David Judge, the Chief of America, who leads the country to a war against the Rebs, Reds, and Brits.