TL-191: Filling the Gaps

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

  1. bguy Donor

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    From a Doylist perspective Operation Blackbeard was the TL-191 equivalent of OTL's Operation Barbarossa. And Barbarossa literally translates as "Red Beard." Thus it's just a play on that name.

    From a Watsonian perspective, there's no real way to know since military operation names aren't suppose to follow any logical naming criteria. And certainly Blackbeard is a more impressive name for a military operation than some of OTL's most famous military operational names. (Seriously, who thought Market Garden was a good name for a serious military operation?)
     
  2. Historyman 14 Well-Known Member

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    Barbarossa made sense for the Germans given Frederick Barbarossa legacy status among medieval emperors and for Germany. And although your right that military operation names don't always follow logical naming, Longstreet seem more likely. Why? Because Longstreet the one who lead the Confederates to beat the Americans two times in an row. (War of Secession with Lee and the Second Mexican-American War as President.)

    One thing I think I remember is here on the site an Blackbeard movie was made in the South and it was so well love even Featherston liked it to the point of naming the Invasion of the North Blackbeard.

    The other reason is maybe given Blackbeard's fearsome reputation and terror and infamy, it would be alike of the Confederacy 'terrorizing' the Union into giving up. (Not that it worked...)
     
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  3. Odinson Plus Ultra!

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    It's a reference to Hitler's Opperation Barbarossa: Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union.

    Barbarossa was a German king, famous for his red beard.

    Blackbeard has, well, a black beard.

    EDIT: oops, sorry, didn't see that there were responses on the next page
     
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  4. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Oh! That be an easy one!

    Harry Turtledove wanted to make the Confederate offensive into the United States have allusions to the German invasion of the Soviet Union in OTL - Operation Barbarossa. In Italian, the name Barbarossa means "red beard" - a physical trait the northern Italians that Frederick Barbarossa ruled over didn't miss. The Germans he ruled over popularly named him Kaiser Rotbart, or "Emperor Red Beard". So in english the German invasion of the Soviet Union can be roughly translated to Operation "Red Beard".

    Turtledove, I assume, wanted some allusions to the invasion in OTL, possibly to draw a comparison to how massive and important this Confederate invasion was in this timeline, but also to score some brownie historical reference points with history buffs. Even the start date for the invasion of the United States is the same - June 22nd. Red Beard, Black Beard, same thing.
     
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  5. Allochronian Well-Known Member

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    I am assuming that you want an in-universe answer to this question, correct ?

    I've thought about it for a while, but I'd like to think that Featherston found a book on Blackbeard the Pirate by chance somewhere in a library after becoming president, read it, liked the character, and decided use the name when planning for the Confederate invasion of the USA.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  6. Joshua Ben Ari Well-Known Member

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    It may also have been that Blackbeard relied on his image to terrify his enemies, rather than brute force, so Featherston might have wanted to imitate that since the CS was a lot smaller population-wise than the US. The image of Confederate soldiers breaking through and cutting Ohio in half was supposed to demoralize the United States.
     
  7. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Well, at least the operation to capture Pittsburgh was a little more creative - Operation Coalscuttle. And as that operation was basically a parallel to Case Blue and the Battle of Stalingrad, I suppose it evens out.
     
  8. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Come to think of it when ever I think of Irving Morrell's Operation Rosebud, I always think of the movie Citizen Kane and the cryptic last word of a dying media moghul.
     
  9. Letterman Man of Letters (BS in Geology)

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    Morrell evens says that the Confederates are in for some "tough sledding" at one point as Operation Rosebud is about to commence.
     
  10. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Oh my god. You're not joking, are you? Well, I guess its canon that Citizen Kane is in this timeline now.
     
  11. Tiro Well-Known Member

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    My guess is that Operation BLACKBEARD was given its name as a reference to the "Do or Die" nature of the Second Great War; I'd be surprised if Featherston didn't hear the tale of how Blackbeard died a death that would make Rasputin run screaming, then make old Ned Thatch his personal hero (such defiance in the face of certain death seems very Featherston).
     
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  12. Zoidberg12 Well-Known Member

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    I fixed both of these. I also had Thomas Jefferson on one of the Confederate Federal Reserve Bills.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  13. Allochronian Well-Known Member

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    Since we are talking about Operation Blackbeard, I would like to imagine an alternate version of the operation. This was initially started after I read a negative review of Turtledove's books on the series.

    In Turtledove's original version, the Second Great War started in Europe after Kaiser Wilhelm II died in early June. The USA and CSA stayed out of it until the Confederates invaded the United States on June 22, 1941. An informed fan of the series would know that this is suppose to parallel real-life Operation Barbossa. What many people do not know is that the German invasion of the Soviet Union was planned around May 15, 1941. The reason(s) why it was delayed is/are not clear to historians. There are a few theories here and there, such as preferring to attack in the summer, instead of dealing with a wet spring.

    Whatever the actual reason, I would have liked for Turtledove to have written the Second Great War as a war that begins in North America at an earlier time in May 1941, instead of Europe in Early June 1941. This may not have triggered the European powers to declare war against each other, but it would have at least made them alert and perhaps mobilized their respective armies until someone fires the first shot. Only when Germany (and its allies?) refuse to give back conquered land to France does that actually cause the Europeans to go to war with each other, again.

    Even though I like the idea of the Confederacy invading through the "Neck of America" (Ohio), I wanted to see a more organized invasion in different parts of the U.S.-C.S. border.
    Perhaps the Confederacy also invades U.S.-controlled Sequoyah and "liberates" it. At least for now, Sequoyah would again be under Confederate control. There should have been a description of the CSA also invading small parts of the USA that used to belong to them. I would have liked it if we got a scene or two of the Confederate military invading/attacking the Bahamas, Haiti, and Jamaica. Even if the CSA never controlled it, I like the idea of New York City being bombed by CSA planes based on that alternate book cover of Return Engagement. Another thing that I would also like to add is that, with the help of Confederate forces crossing Lake Erie, a "Free State of Canada" is established in Ontario and fights against Americans and/or Quebecois soldiers.

    Granted, all of this is not taking into account of how industrialized the CSA would be, the number of Confederate soldiers involved, and the amount of fuel needed for all this to be plausible.

    Source:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Barbarossa#Reasons_for_delay
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  14. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    I just wish we got more details on the war in Europe in general, you know? Not saying that what we got was bad, but it wasn't as emotional or closely followed.
     
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  15. Tiro Well-Known Member

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    I can't decide if that's a disappointment or a relief - in all honesty Professor Turtledove might be guilty of having a few too many characters in the SOUTHERN VICTORY novels (especially after he replaces the first generation with a second that does not always prove equally interesting).
     
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  16. m0585 Well-Known Member

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    Those are some very interesting ideas. Still, I always assumed that the CSA only had the manpower and resources for one big offensive (i.e. Operation Blackbeard). Granted it launched operations in the Caribbean, but those were in conjunction with the British. In fact the CSA hadn't really planned on the USA fighting on once Sandusky fell. Hence, when Operation Coalscuttle was launched, the CSA was forced to "request" that Mexican soldiers be sent to conduct security operations on the flanks of the offensive. The CSA shot its bolt in Ohio; as the CSA couldn't have won so long as the USA was willing to fight on.

    Attempts by the CSA to "liberate" lost territory (northeast Arkansas, Sequoyah, or northern Sonora) would only take troops away from theaters where decisive operations were being waged.
     
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  17. Thon Taddeo Well-Known Member

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    Would a clean army myth, like OTL's clean Wehrmacht myth arise in the postwar period? Perhaps to facilitate the reintegration of the south into the union, might the US government promote such a myth?
     
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  18. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Interesting idea there. In this case it might actually be a combination of the "lost cause" and "clean army" concepts put into one.

    Its hard to say for me. Given the nature of the south at the time and perhaps even post war, the "clean army" concept would be hard to push for the US government or even by southerners that accept reintegration into the United States.

    Can you elaborate more?
     
  19. Allochronian Well-Known Member

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    Does the clean myth mean that the Confederate Army was not the same organization as the Confederate Freedom Party Guard?

    Like how the Wehrmacht was different from the Nazi Party/SS?
     
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  20. Alterwright "You were never even a player."

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    Yes, in the sense that the Freedom Party Guardsmen were the military arm of Featherston's political party, therefore technically separate from the Confederate States Army Command, being led by party officials and such, but delegated to army commanders when the need called for it I suppose.

    However, in regards to political or racial beliefs relating to the "clean army" myth for the Confederate Army specifically, the answer to that I suspect would be much more complicated.