tl 191 wi: radical Liberals had won the 1933 presidential election

Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by rob2001, Aug 2, 2015.

  1. rob2001 Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2013
    I don't if has been discussed independently from any other TL191 thread, but what if the radical Liberal ticket of Hull/Long had won the election of 1933? What would that do to the C.S.A? How would the Freedom party react, and what would they do?
  2. Tiro Well-Known Member

    Jul 15, 2015
    I think the most likely scenario in the event of a Hull/Long Presidency would be Civil War in the Confederacy - quite bluntly the Freedom Party has been doing its best to turn the Radical Liberals into the whipping boy of Confederate Politics (as opposed to the Loyal Opposition), all too often quite literally.

    Given that the Radical Liberals are likely to bear grudges as a result, coupled with the fundamental incompatibility of a Party that advocates reconciliation between the Confederacy, Confederate Coloureds and the United States Vs a Party that would quite happily devote itself to massacring the latter two at every possible opportunity it seems unlikely that the leadership at these two political extremes will be planning to bury the hatchet anywhere but in the skull of their opposite number.

    Especially given that Huey 'Kingfish' Long is likely to be the driving force in any Radical Liberal Administration formed as a consequence of the '33 Election (A man whose approach to Freedom Partizans was to treat them the way they treated anyone they disagreed with, something Snake Featherston is unlikely to submit to).

    I can easily imagine the Confederacy split down the middle between Legalists (those looking to uphold the legitimate government, probably including JEB Stuart Junior in the role of Military Commander) Vs Redeemers (those looking to make up for the mistake made by a democratic majority of their fellow citizens).

    It seems unlikely that this conflict would be resolved any more swiftly and easily than the Spanish Civil War and I suspect that the only one to profit from it would be the United States, which would undoubtedly laugh itself insensible on being confronted by a War Between the CONFEDERATE States.

    This, at least, is the idea I've been toying with in the FILLING THE GAPS thread; my article on the '33 Election was inspired by the idea the confronted with a choice between Jake Featherston and a Civil War to put him into or keep him out of office, The Confederate Electorate preferred to set themselves at the right hand of this particular Serpent.
    pattontank12 likes this.
  3. bguy Donor

    Jun 22, 2008
    Agreed, especially since even if Featherston lost the 1933 election, he probably still won a plurality of the popular vote and simply failed to secure an electoral college majority, causing the election to be thrown to the House where he lost due to the Whigs and Rad Libs cutting a deal. Featherston would be angry enough at losing the election outright, but if he feels he was cheated out of the presidency through a backroom "Corrupt Bargain" he'll be apocalyptic.

    Per the novel canon, the Freedom Party won three governorships in the 1929 elections. The novels don't say which states, but it seems most likely they would have been Texas, Mississippi, and Tennessee. (The novels show Mississippi and Tennessee electing Governors in 1921 and Texas doing so in 1925, so assuming their Governors are on 4 year terms, they would all be holding Governor elections in 1929, and those three states seem to be the three strongest Freedom Party states.) Likewise in 1931, the novels seem to have the Freedom Party win the Governorships of South Carolina, Florida, and Chihuahua. Featherson thus probably has control of the state militias of those six states which, coupled with his Stalwarts, gives him a pretty large army, so he'll be able to make a good fight of it.

    (Of course this assumes the Redemption League is still working with Featherston. The most likely way to explain the Freedom Party not winning an electoral college majority in the 1933 election is some sort of split between Featherston and Knight, and if that happens then Redemption League controlled Texas won't be backing Featherston's play, which weakens the Redeemer forces considerably.)

    At any rate the Confederate Civil War will probably quickly become three sided with the surviving Reds seeing this as their chance to topple the Confederate States and rising up against both Featherston and Hull.

    I suspect the U.S. will quietly aid the Hull government. Hoover won't want to see Featherston win, and he really won't want to see a successful communist revolution right next door. With US support, Hull probably ultimately prevails, but it will be a nasty fight that leaves the Confederate States a complete wreck. (Which likely means that North America stays out of the Second Great War entirely as the Confederates will be much too weak to get involved, and the UK is unlikely to declare war on a United States that is not distracted by having to fight the CSA.)
  4. Tiro Well-Known Member

    Jul 15, 2015
    I may actually have the perfect Point of Divergence for such a variation on Timeline-191: If I recall correctly during the Election Campaign of '33 a Freedom Party assault squad raided a Whig Rally at which Mr Hugo Black was a key speaker - now in THE VICTORIOUS OPPOSITION Mr Black was merely chased off with his tail between his legs, but if some Stalwart were just that little bit TOO enthusiastic it's not impossible that Hugo Black might suffer a martyrdom.

    Under those circumstances I can imagine the 'Weathervane Whigs'* withdrawing their support from the Partizans - on the grounds that they're looking for Strongmen, not savages - to a degree sufficient that what might have been a clear majority outcome is instead thrown to the Electoral College to decide with what results we are currently speculating upon!

    (*Those floating voters who've lost their trust in the Confederate GOP and who seem to have fastened on to Featherston as a marginally more respectable alternative than the Radical Liberals)

    "Mad as a cut snake" would sum up his attitude at this particular point quite beautifully; I can see him attempting a Richmond Putsch, which under these circumstances might very well set off a Confederate Civil War even if it is successful - it is interesting to speculate on what might happen if he were cut down in the course of this Push, always a possibility in a street fight.

    I'd bet that Koenig would be willing to work with Knight for a consideration, but I'm not sure that it would be possible for him to exert the same hold on the Confederate Population (given that he seems to be a paper-pusher and a follower, a bureaucrat and not a demagogue).

    I'd guess that Louisiana is likely to be the keystone of any Government (I can't decide whether to call them 'Legitimists' or 'Liberals'); Cuba seems likely to favour a Radical Liberal government and given that Cordell Hull is now POTCS Tennessee is unlikely to be as solid for the Freedom Party as Stalwarts might like to think - I can see it becoming a battleground state, as I'd guess it was in the '33 Election.

    Going by your sketch of the Governorships, that gives the Legitimists some level of control over Sonora, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia - although if Sonora does back the Government (and given Radical Liberal control there it might very well do so) it is likely to be jumped on with considerable ferocity.

    The Legitimists should certainly hope so because this would distract at least some Redemption League assets in the West to such a degree that Government Troops in the West could consolidate their position in the Upper South. If they're smart they'll focus on Tennessee and Mississippi, keeping no more than a watchful eye on South Carolina and Florida.

    This is a war which will be won and lost in the Central Confederacy; keep the Redemption League and the Freedom Party from joining hands across Arkansas (or Louisiana, although I'd imagine this is much less likely) and they might stand a pretty good chance of splitting the Featherston/Knight Axis politically as well as physically.

    In the end this all might come down to who holds Arkansas and if the Legitimists can ship enough troops from Cuba into Louisiana to allow for the latter to be held so securely that some of the local garrison can be dispatched into The Land of Opportunity (because if any Governor has been readying for a War against the Freedom Party it's the Kingfish).

    It seems that our thinking is very much alike Mr B - in the end I believe that "Which side will win the CS Civil War?" is a question which can only be answered on three key points:

    (1) Can Texas be relied upon? (I actually think this might well be the Wild Card in this particular deck; we know that there has to be at least some degree of secessionist sentiment in the Lone Star State, but I think that perversely this section of the populace might be the least friendly to the Redemption League and their Eastern colleagues - if Knight wants to prevent a Homage to Catalonia, then he's probably going to have to be physically present in the State, which makes it more likely that he thinks of himself as a player in his own right and not just Featherston's VP).

    Given that Texas is likely to be the heart of the Confederacy's covert rearmament (there's a good deal of oil, a great deal of empty space and best of all you can take advantage of the Border to pretend all these shiny new toys are Mexican when the inspector comes around) and the gateway to Mexico (which owes favours to the Freedom Party), I'd guess that it's a beating heart of the Filibuster War Effort - but one vulnerable to a stroke of politics.

    (2) How will the US react to an Enemy Civil War? (I tend to agree that there's no question but that the Party of Reconciliation will be shown far more favour than the Axis of Revanchism - especially by the Socialists, or so one imagines - but there remains the issue of exactly what degree of material assistance this favour will allow the Liberals to enjoy and in terms of what form this assistance will take; there HAS to be a sizeable lobby at work in the US in favour of sitting back and popping corn while the Confederacy burns).

    (3) Black, Grey or Red? (Quite bluntly the factor on which victory or defeat may hinge is the degree of support the Confederate Coloureds are willing to show for the Legitimists - Governor or no Governor, if the Blacks are for the Radical Liberals the Freedom Party loses Mississippi at the very least - but ironically the very worst they can do is maintain neutrality).

    - If the Coloured Population decides to show themselves 'Black' (by refusing to take sides and let the White Man set about his brother without taking up arms himself) then it is very likely that the Legitimists are fighting a losing battle - quite bluntly the Freedom Party is likely to be strongest amongst Whites in the Black Belt states (given their attitude towards Coloured Confederates), so if the Blacks don't bother themselves to take up arms then the Stalwarts are likely to have the advantage in the crucial battlefront states.

    As in the Election of '33 the Confederate Coloured population offers a potential counterbalance to the Freedom Party's ascendancy which might well be removed from play by the inability or unwillingness to play their part in an Anti-Partizan coalition.

    - If the Confederate Coloureds turn out to be Reds, then this uprising at least equally impacts both Legitimists and Filbusters; it is quite probable that this would hurt Featherston's mob far more than the Government (given the Freedom Party are likely strongest in very those states where a Red Rebellion is most likely).

    If nothing else this might even the odds in favour of the Government, especially if Hoover decides to take a hand in the whole affair as you suggest he might; on the other hand it risks making the Confederacy ungovernable and setting back race relations back to the most savage point in the vicious cycle at work in the Confederacy.

    - Finally and possibly most unlikely the Coloured population MIGHT be persuaded to put on a Grey Coat (well, Butternut, but Grey sounds better!) and side with the Radical Liberal-headed Legitimists; while this might sound unlikely, the precedent of the Coloured Regiments in the Great War IS there and this might allow the Rad-Libs to recruit some hard-fighting regiments exactly where they need them most (as well as curtail the risk of a Red Rebellion), in return for the mere promise of citizenship.

    The material gains from this course of action are so great that the political consequences might be overlooked - while the Radical Liberals could take it in stride, the most conservative Whigs might well pitch a fit if the complexion of the Electorate were to gain another shot of coffee, leading to the possibility of a fatal split within the Legitimist faction.

    This Civil War might very well be won and lost based on how quickly the Legitimists can sell the idea of sicking Black Panthers on the Snake, as well as just how much consternation this induces in Congress and the Wider Population.
    Historyman 14 likes this.
  5. Tiro Well-Known Member

    Jul 15, 2015
    I've been looking over some maps of the T-191 Confederacy and I really do think that the Confederate Civil War of '34 would on the whole be fought out in the 'Centre States' of the Confederacy (Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee), since if the Legitimists win out there then the Revanchist Axis is physically split down the middle.

    However if the War opens with a Freedom Party push in Richmond (and as I suspect Featherston would wish it to), then this might well be the crucial moment - if the Capitol goes then the balance in Virginia is likely to tilt towards 'Freedom' and the Snake can wrap his coils around North Carolina, probably denying the Legitimists any serious chance of aid from the US (as well as cementing their control of the East Coast, allowing for a flow of aid from the likes of French Ultras and the British Silver Shirts).

    The fact that the Snake would be coiled up in the Seat of Power is likely to be a hideous blow to the perceived legitimacy of the 'Liberal' alignment.

    - On the other hand if the Hull Administration holds onto the Confederate Capitol and Virginia then not only does this cement their position as the Legitimate CS Government but it also puts them in a much better position to negotiate with the United States and ensure a flow of material aid over the border (should one be cause to issue forth).

    At this point I'd suggest the major goal of the Legitimists in the East is to prevent the Stalwarts in Tennessee and South Carolina from joining hands; Florida is likely of marginal importance (if nothing else assets from Cuba can probably blockade the most important ports with some ease).

    The Palmetto State, on the other hand, could potentially cause trouble; it has to be the major point of entry for any assistance sent from European Allies into the Confederacy and if those goodies wind up in Featherston's hands then things don't look good.

    Charleston has to be either blockaded or otherwise pinched off, because otherwise it might build itself up from a foothold on the East Coast into the launching pad for a drive into the Central States.

    Slightly less important but not less useful would be control of the Pacific Ports in Sonora; probably smaller than Charleston but enough to bring in a useful trickle of supplies - enough to keep a legitimist enclave alive for long enough to distract Western Filibusters or enough to make any thrust out of Texas even harder to resist.

    I wouldn't suggest throwing a corps into Sonora, but a good guerrilla chieftain could mount a campaign that could keep the Redemption League worried enough about a stab in the back to divert priceless resources away from the crucial thrust into Arkansas or Louisiana.

    Hey Doroteo, are you ready to finally make yourself a legend?

    - Absolutely crucial for the Legitimists would be securing Cuba; with the Big Island in their camp then the Rad-Libs can interdict all shipping into or out of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, not to mention keep any Partizans in Florida MIGHTY nervous - a full-scale amphibious landing is probably out of the question, but raids and a blockade might be equally useful.

    Being able to ferry reinforcements into Louisiana or Alabama and stab Mississippi in the back would likely to extremely helpful too (so the Legitimists HAVE to lock down the CS Navy, what there is of it).

    Speaking of the Magnolia State, it HAS to be a battlefront; it allows the option of cutting off Alabama and Georgia or a pincer movement on Louisiana or Arkansas. Without Mississippi in the Freedom Party camp, a thrust out of Texas might run out of puff before it hits another friendly State and quite frankly unless either South Carolina or Mississippi being removed from the equation Alabama and Georgia are likely to sit in checkmate, not quite sure where the blow will fall (and quite possibly fatally divided, as Alabamans argue for a strike against the Hospitality State while the Georgians prefer to look to South Carolina, so that nobody can decide on anything).

    - Even if both states can probably agree to launch an assault on equidistant Tennessee, they are still likely to split their forces to a degree that would either fatally weaken their northward thrust or leave the Home Front just vulnerable enough for Florida to act as the pivot on which an attack can hit them in the rear with the force of Stalwarts from Two States.

    One might argue that Georgia and Alabama should therefore knock out the Sunshine State, but I say that this is the worst course of all; again forces would have to be divided and even if the conquest is successful (while forces from Tennessee or South Carolina or Mississippi or ALL THREE make their move) then the Legitimists don't gain much.

    On the other hand if Tennessee is captured, then the Legitimists functionally control the Confederate East Coast and can use it as a springboard from which to relieve Louisiana, even if Mississippi holds out.

    Unless the Snake has swallowed Virginia whole, but even so the Hull Administration's strategic position is better than it has been with Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama in the fold, North Carolina can be supported; in this case the Legitimists are in an excellent position to send troops into South Carolina and leave Virginia completely isolated.

    I acknowledge that I am no military man, but I think my 'Big Picture' Strategic Logic is sound enough; I would very much appreciate it if someone more expert than I in the physical and human geography were to point out my own errors and the fallacies in my arguments.:)
    Historyman 14 likes this.
  6. bguy Donor

    Jun 22, 2008
    I think it would be difficult for Featherston to seize Richmond. Given that Featherston has spent the last two decades calling all the leading Confederate generals idiots and traitors, it's safe to say they all detest him, which means the regular Confederate Army will be supporting the legitimate government. The Confederate Army is pretty diminished at this time, but it should still have at least one division in northern Virginia and that should be enough to secure Richmond. (Especially if Mitchel is smart enough to start moving troops into the capital just as soon as he knows Featherston didn't win the presidential election outright and thus there is likely to be trouble.)

    I like it, though Doroteo as one of the most hawkish Rad Libs might well be needed in Richmond as Hull's Secretary of War.

    Even if Alabama is nominally a Legitimist state, it will probably have a large Freedom insurgency in it so Legitimists forces in the state will probably be much too busy fighting Freedomite (and also possibly Red) rebels to conduct any offensives outside of the state. I would also expect Birmingham (the center of Confederate steel making) to be the target of one of the first major Redeemer offensives. If Featherston takes Birmingham, the Legitimists will be in a lot of trouble, so I expect both the Legitimists and Redeemers to throw a lot of resources into northern Alabama.
  7. Tiro Well-Known Member

    Jul 15, 2015
    Given that by the year '33/34 Featherston is merely a monomaniac rather than a full-blown lunatic it seems horribly likely that he would in fact ensure that the Freedom Party opened this conflict by seizing Birmingham, rather than Richmond - not only would this capture a substantial proportion of the CS Steel Industry but it would also form a contiguous block of territory in the East controlled by the Freedom Party and put Georgia in a box.

    However I think that the Legalists would be smarter to hinge their Eastern Campaign on holding Atlanta while launching a thrust into South Carolina from Virginia and North Carolina; capture the Palmetto State and you can turn the Confederate East Coast into a springboard to launch a thrust into Alabama via Georgia (isolating Florida and making the Legitimist position in the East supportable).

    My guess would be that the decisive battle of the War might well be fought between Birmingham and Atlanta (or slightly east of the latter), especially if Willie Knight plays 'Will He? Won't He?' in Texas rather than pushing out from Dallas to meet a Freedom Party thrust from Nashville somewhere in Arkansas as he ought to (Louisiana is a Rad-Lib stronghold but I doubt the War will be won in New Orleans).

    The key to Legitimist victory in that battle would, I think, be to somehow ensure that the Freedom Party is obliged to disperse its efforts and divide its armed forces - either by an amphibious landing from Cuba in Mobile or an attack out of Louisiana or by just setting the Black Population in Mississippi alight with antipathy for the Freedom Party (if the Stalwarts don't do that themselves).

    If I were President Hull then I would recruit Whigs into my cabinet; it's going to take a Bipartisan effort to beat The Snake and quite frankly having the Whigs marching at the head of our column, rather than raining on the parade from outside the ranks, makes it much easier to sell any controversial decisions as being born of legitimate expediency rather than Revolutionary ambitions.

    I'm not sure whom I would set in which position (quite frankly we'd probably have to make quite a few characters up to fill all the seats!) but I'd suspect that the Secretary of War would have to be a Whig - given their greater experience with waging War and the nature of the Officer Corps.

    On the other hand it would be equally important to ensure that this is a Radical Liberal Administration and not more of the same from the Whigs working through a Tennessee puppet.

    How better to achieve that than with an appeal to the United States that, if properly worded and well-received, might well result in enough material support to compensate for the loss of Birmingham's weight of metal?

    Now the only problem is making sure that Vice President Long doesn't start throwing EVERYTHING the War Effort can spare into Louisiana - one stronghold state won't win us the War!

    I'm quite certain that JEB Stuart Junior would go down on his knees and thank the Lord right kindly for handing him a golden opportunity to scotch The Snake and the chance to have him shot to boot (and my mental image of Burton Mitchel would be right alongside him hollering "Hallelujah, Hallelujah Brother! Praise the Lord - and DAMNATION to that Snake Featherston!").

    I suspect that the Officer Corps is securely in the Government Camp, but my great fear would be that rankers and more particularly NCOs with a chip on their shoulder might not decide to favour 'The Sarge' over the Rad-Libs.

    In fact one of the great concerns facing the Legitimists at the very start of the War would be securing the consent of the United States to expand their armed forces beyond the limits placed on them after the Armistice - at least for the duration of the Emergency.

    Featherston is likely to be kicking every white Tom, Dick and Harry he can find into the firing line, Yankees or no Yankees - but the Legitimists would be wise to at least be seen to be following the proper diplomatic procedures (in order to strengthen the perception of Featherston as the Outlaw, themselves as the legitimate government).

    They would also be very wise to lock down the loyalty of the Navy; control of the Gulf of Mexico would be crucial to helping keep the War Effort alive in New Orleans and Mobile, but more to the point the Legitimists HAVE to keep the Freedom Party from securing recognition and aid from Foreign Governments.

    The Mexicans and the United States are likely to be the most important Crisis Points in terms of diplomatic relations; if the Mexicans can be persuaded into Neutrality then Texas has to keep at least half an eye on its rear (which might provide a highly useful distraction from affairs in the East, where the War is most likely to be settled).

    The United States are important not just because of the potential for material aid, but because without them it becomes almost impossible to sustain an Atlantic or Pacific blockade on Freedom Party movements (and in the Caribbean Jamaica and the Bahamas become mighty big chinks in the barrier keeping the Gulf of Mexico a Legitimist lake).

    The British are also important because if they decide to support the Legitimists then it becomes less likely that the 'Silver Shirts' and the French will be able to send the Freedom Party much more than moral support.

    One final point:-

    It really does strike me as essential that the Radical Liberals revive the Black Regiments; not only would this balance out the likely preponderance of support for the Freedom Party amongst the white working class population, but it also helps sell the Legitimist War Effort as something more than the Old Guard Vs The Working Man - a factor that could be absolutely crucial to diplomacy with the the United States and the United Kingdom.

    Given the likelihood of a Coloured insurgency erupting in the most crucial battlefront states, I'd imagine that being able to point to a nearby Black Panther Soldier and saying "We're integrated!" is going to be mighty useful.

    Historyman 14 likes this.
  8. bguy Donor

    Jun 22, 2008
    Makes sense, and it is consistent with how Featherston fought the Second Great War. (Sending his armies against the US industrial heartland rather than against Washington or Philadelphia.)

    Also seems reasonable though there may be a substantial Freedomite insurgency in North Carolina that will have to be subdued before the Legitimists can launch any major offensives through that state. (In the novel canon the Freedom Party appeared to win North Carolina pretty early on election night in 1933. That suggests they are pretty strong in that state. They will presumably be weaker there ITTL, but there are probably still a lot of Stalwarts there.)

    OTOH Louisiana has substantial oil deposits which will probably be one of the main revenue sources for the Hull Administration in any sort of protracted conflict. That makes it a pretty tempting target for the Redeemers, so Knight may target Louisiana instead of Arkansas. (Especially since if Knight wins military glory, there is much more to win from capturing New Orleans then from capturing Little Rock.)

    I agree that some sort of unity government is necessary. (Especially if Hull won the presidency as a result of a backroom deal with the Whigs.) I was thinking though that the Rad-Libs would let a Whig (maybe even Longstreet himself) be Secretary of State, but that the Rad-Libs would want to keep the War Department for one of their own people so as to help foreclose the possibility of a Whig sponsored military coup. (We as readers know that Jeb Stuart, Jr. will never launch a military coup, but President-Elect Hull couldn't be quite so certain.) If Hull feels more confident of the Confederate military though than a Whig as Secretary of War is reasonable.

    True, though US support is a thorny issue. If it's too overt Hull might come across as a US puppet which could cause Confederates neutrals to start flocking to the Redeemers.

    And the other question is how much support will Hoover be willing to provide the Legitimists? He'll certainly allow Hull to expand the Confederate Army, but beyond that the penny-pinching Hoover may prove rather tight on providing US material support.

    Do we know if the Confederate Army at this time is a volunteer or conscript force? If it’s a volunteer force it is presumably a pretty professional outfit and thus the troops will be unlikely to disobey the orders of their superior officers. If it’s a conscript army, large numbers of troops mutinying becomes much more likely.

    Do you think the Confederates even have a meaningful Navy at this point?

    When did Churchill and Mosley actually take power in the UK? There may still be a Labour or Liberal government in power in the UK in 1934, in which case the UK will at least initially favor the Legitimists. (Though that could quickly change once Churchill and Mosley come to power.)

    Maybe, though enlisting black troops will play very badly domestically. Hull will likely face large scale defections from his Whig allies if he makes such a move, and again he can’t be entirely certain that his Whig Generals won’t coup him if he tries to do that.
  9. Tiro Well-Known Member

    Jul 15, 2015
    I wonder if The Snake would make the same mistake in focussing on a single front to the exclusion of all others? (If nothing else control of Tennessee offers him the possibility of launching raids that would keep Richmond jumpy, but more than that I'd call it criminal negligence if he didn't send the bulk of his forces to Memphis, allowing them to descend on Louisiana or join hands with Knight in Arkansas or even launch a potentially-decapitating blow on Richmond; this move gives The Snake to keep his enemies guessing, if it achieves nothing else).

    I'd say that this strengthens my confidence that the Primary Theatre for Legitimists in the East would be the Eastern Seaboard; if North Carolina is secured for the Stalwarts then it is very difficult to imagine the Hull Administration being able to put together a supportable block of Territories from which to launch a serious War Effort.

    I fear that I may have neglected the strategic possibilities inherent in a thrust through Tennessee, but given that a move in this direction only leads you into the Belly of the Beast it seems more logical to me that for Hull's Forces The Volunteer State should be a secondary theatre (albeit an important one - a thrust from Chattanooga coupled to a push from Atlanta could make an assault on Birmingham; after seizing Birmingham I'd suggest that the next logical move would be on Memphis, which allows for a broad range of Strategic Options).

    We should hope that Willie Knight would aim for the Grand Prize; New Orleans can be sustained from the sea for a time and I'd imagine that Louisiana must be NIGHTMARISH territory for an army to fight over (no Army could be more literally bogged down than one caught in the Bayou!).

    More to the point I'd imagine it would be easier for a Freedom Party Army mustering in Memphis to join hands with their Redemption League counterparts in Little Rock rather than risk using Mississippi as a staging ground (given the size of the Black Population in that State, it would likely become a Quagmire in its own right and might well require more than ONE Army to secure it).

    In any case I'd imagine that it would be quite important for the Legitimists to hang onto Mobile, if only as a fallback position should they lose the rest of Alabama (or for any forces that make it out of Louisiana, should New Orleans fall); it would also make a useful secondary point from which to start arming Blacks in the interior (and I'd bet Clarence Potter would be working on that sort of thing, should he side with the Legitimists - as he is likely to).

    I have to say that I feel it makes more sense to place a Radical Liberal as Secretary of State - so that other nations will understand that this is a new broom sweeping clean, rather than the same old CS Government with a new face; I do agree that a Military Coup has to be a night terror of the Hull Administration, but given the lack of fondness for Featherston in Regular Army officers (after his lengthy career of slandering them) I'd guess that such a coup is more likely to occur AFTER The Snake settles into his grave rather than before.

    My suggestion would be to give the Whigs some position in which they can offer their expertise, reassure waverers in the general population and support the Administration without defining it.

    Which might be all to the good, given the PR Factor you mentioned above - really what I'd look to get from Mr Hoover would be a recognition of my Administration as the Legal Government, permission to strengthen my Armed Forces without evoking the wrath of the United States and an indulgent attitude to non-Governmental Organisations or Individuals offering aid to the Confederate States of America.

    I'd be looking to secure War Materials from private companies (on the understanding that they'll be profiting from the reconstruction that must follow a Civil War in the Confederacy) and support from private individuals (if nothing else then Humanitarian Aid - which given President Hoover's own philanthropic achievements would probably be looked upon with some approval by that gentleman).

    While I would hate to hinge my War Effort, I'd regard enlistment of idealistic young Northerners (or adventurous veterans) into what I like to describe as 'Continental Brigades'* as a decided bonus (in fact I'd probably put particular energy into recruiting them on the West Coast, all the better to put together a Sonora column that could knock on Texas' back door and keep the Lone Star State busied with its own affairs).

    (*I'll bet they'd call the first one the Jackson Brigade! - as in 'Andrew Jackson' not Thomas).

    My guess would be that it's a force of Volunteer Regulars (Long Service), since this would allow the Army to achieve a standard of training and experience counter-balancing its relatively small size.

    This probably wouldn't be enough to fight the War on its own, but it probably has to be at the heart of any Victorious War Effort for the Legitimists - I'd imagine Patton would be a crucial field commander and might do well in the Eastern Seaboard-Atlanta effort I have previously outlined.

    I wonder just who the leading Freedom Party army commanders would be? (I suspect that Nathan Bedford Forrest III would be a bit too young for the job at this time and cannot think of any other candidate, which might point to a fundamental weakness in the Stalwart forces).

    I would guess that it is significant enough to tilt the balance of a domestic conflict, but not enough to win the war on its own (still less fight a Great War); I'd be looking to use it to dominate the Gulf of Mexico primarily, with perhaps the odd amphibious operation to keep Florida out of the fight and Texans in their own back yard (it might also be able to deploy troops in Cuba elsewhere).

    I'd guess that Churchill would be King Edward VIIIs personal pick (given the personal loyalty Churchill showed him during the Abdication Crisis in the course of Our Timeline would likely appeal to His Majesty in Timeline-191 as well), so probably sometime in 1936.

    Now if a Conservative or Labour Government is in power during the CS Civil War, then it might well be the most valuable source of War Materials I can tap - although one would have to be careful not to dip too deeply into this well, to avoid clashes with the United States.

    Especially important would be the chore of ensuring that the CS Government is seen to be winning its own war before it appeals for help from abroad to make Victory CERTAIN and not merely likely (although I think that while the Radical Liberals would be fighting an uphill battle in the War of Words with Jake Featherston, the Diplomatic Games is theirs to lose, given the nature of the Freedom Party and The Snake).

    I can only describe the recruitment of Confederate Coloured as a measure intended to help win the War AND the Peace that must follow.

    It would certainly be controversial and require clever timing, but I think that the precedent of the Black Regiments during the Great War would help sell the idea to the Army (which would likely be eager to secure reinforcements where they can get them); The argument that while the Confederate Coloured community will almost certainly be shooting at Stalwarts in any case, it would be much better if they were trained to take orders from the Confederate Government to STOP shooting first (amongst other things).

    I suspect that gently pointing out that if the Whigs and the Radical Liberals are the ones who expand the Black Franchise then not only will they have created a counter-balance to the sort of Whites who voted for Featherston and fight his battles to boot (in Election and in the Field), but they will also have cut the legs out from under the next Red Revolution by giving those whom it might otherwise recruit a place in the ranks of the Confederate Consensus instead!

    Quite possibly crucial to the acceptance of this measure by The Whigs is the insinuation that they stand to profit at the polls if they support, rather than oppose it!:D
  10. bguy Donor

    Jun 22, 2008
    Strategically that makes sense, but Tennessee is Hull's home state so he might not be the sanguine about writing it off as a secondary theater.

    Unless the Generals think Hull is messing up the war.

    Maybe Simon Buckner, Jr. OTL he was reportedly pretty racist, so if his TL-191 version is similar he would be a good fit for the Freedom Party. Plus if we go with what has been established about Buckner in the Filling the Gaps thread, then he seems to have been a successful general in the First Great War (Craigo has him commanding the Army of Shenandoah which was probably the most successful Confederate Army in that war). Thus Featherston might have at least some respect for Buckner as opposed to all the other Confederate generals. Buckner's career also appears to end with the Army of Shenandoah, so assuming he wasn't killed, captured, or otherwise rendered unfit to serve, he must have been relieved of his command. Being relieved could easily have embittered him and ultimately led him to the Freedom Party.
  11. Tiro Well-Known Member

    Jul 15, 2015
    Bguy, please let me thank you for taking such an interest in this discussion; I've enjoyed it a great deal (really, at this point all that is needed to turn this into a Confederate equivalent to THE PRESBYTERIAN BUTCHER would be for me to conquer my fear of long projects!) and am particularly grateful to you for pointing out any holes in my logic.

    Thank You Kindly!:)
  12. Tiro Well-Known Member

    Jul 15, 2015
    An excellent point and quite possibly one of those personal dilemmas which throw into question the outcome of a War; in all honesty there are considerable strategic advantages to holding Tennessee but I keep coming back to the thought that logistically-speaking it adds very little to the Legitimist position.

    At least compared to the Atlantic Seaboard, where the Liberals can bring in War Material from overseas (and I do think that a crucial part of the War between the Confederate States would be importing arms - Confederate Citrus Company or no, I doubt the Confederate Arms Industry can maintain much of a war effort).

    I DO think that it would be wise for the Hull Administration to make some effort in the Volunteer State (if only to ensure they command the passes into Virginia and create an enclave in East Tennessee that can contest the state with Featherston and serve as a rallying point for recruitment), but I think that advancing too far into the state from Virginia without somehow securing Georgia leaves a Legitimist Army too vulnerable to strategic overstretch (and with too little room to manoeuvre) for it to be the principal focus of their ambitions.

    Hopefully keeping some part of Tennessee as a free enclave would be enough to satisfy President Hull, until the Legitimists are in a position to place any Stalwart forces in Tennessee in a pincer (moving in from the South and from the East).

    Fair point, but to their credit the General Staff launched no coup even while the Whig Administration was losing the Great War - I think a coup is a possibility, but perhaps not quite as probable as the Radical Liberals might fear!

    The thought of the man responsible for turning the Roanoke Front from a mountain pass into a gutter running over with blood, thickened with filth and flesh flowing out of an abattoir in the mountainous uplands of Virginia only makes me even MORE leery of trying to advance into Tennessee from the Old Dominion!:eek:

    On a more serious note I suspect that the conquest of Kentucky, his own Home State, would leave General Buckner with a chip in his shoulder serious enough to fuel a conversion to the Freedom Party - and his War Record makes him a serious contender for the role of Military Commander.

    Another candidate who occurred to me as a possible Field Commander for Featherston (albeit one who might in the end refuse to serve, if possible) would be Amos Mizzel, given his importance to the Tin Hats organisation - as well as the Featherston Axis in general.

    I'm not sure he could command an entire war effort, but I suspect he could boss a flying column at the very least.
  13. Tiro Well-Known Member

    Jul 15, 2015
    You know the more I look at the map, the more practicable a Tennessee Strategy looks for the Hull Administration; if nothing else by seizing the Volunteer State the Legitimists would be able to build a bridge between the Atlantic Coast and the line of the Mississippi River (more to the point if they hold Tennessee then they have a pretty good chance of seizing both banks of Old Muddy, from the US Border to the Sea, which would give them a defensible line against a substantial advance from Texas - should one be made).

    - If the Legitimists DO decide on a Tennessee Strategy then I think they would be wise to launch their attack very early in the War, before the lines have settled into place and the Partizans have had time to build up defensive lines in the big mountains between Virginia and East Tennessee; however I think that the precondition for an attack into Tennessee should be the capture of North Carolina (if only so that the Army can put pressure on South Carolina and set up a Defence in Depth on the Atlantic Coast, but also so that they have a greater number of entry points into the Volunteer State).

    - One suspects that the great strength of the Tennessee Strategy is that it removes any serious possibility of a Partizan attack on Richmond for the duration and opens the possibility of putting the Freedom Party in a box (assuming one can command the Gulf Coast with the Navy); the problem is that this is only possible if one can finish seizing the Atlantic Coast by capturing South Carolina and Jacksonville (which will be very difficult if the Partizans can attack Georgia from three sides, crush the Peachtree State and thereby join up their holdings).

    I'd also suggest that the great weakness of this 'Inland' Strategy would be the risk of strategic overstretch; the Legitimists risk a war on two fronts even if they follow an Atlantic Seaboard strategy (assuming that Willie Knight can fully mobilise Texas on behalf of the Partizans), but if they control Tennessee then it becomes politically dangerous to decline reinforcements to Arkansas or Louisiana even if there is major, ongoing offensive operation elsewhere (since the Hull Administration cannot pretend that there is no way to send such reinforcements if commands a direct overland route).

    I'd also like to point out the fact that a Tennessee strategy makes the Legitimists dependent on road and railroad links, which are acutely vulnerable to sabotage by Freedom Party Stalwarts and other back-stabbers; whereas if one follows the Atlantic Seaboard and then the Gulf Coast, there is at least some small chance of being able to resupply an Army by sea.

    - I believe that both the 'Tennessee' and 'Coastal' strategies have their good points (and I suspect that both President Hull, as well as Vice-President Long would support the former, given that it would be to the advantage of their respective Home States), but I honestly prefer the latter as I think it ESSENTIAL to deny the Freedom Party those Atlantic, Gulf Coast and Pacific ports needed to bring in War Material from the Outside World.

    I would also like to note that possession of Tennessee does not allow the Legitimists to support Georgia or Alabama, thereby slowing the Freedom Party advance to the Atlantic (but then nor does possession of Tennessee allow the Freedom Party a chance to attack the left wing of a Legitimist Army as it descends the Atlantic Seaboard and hooks around to charge through Georgia).
  14. Strategos' Risk Oriental Orientalist

    Mar 10, 2004
  15. Indigo low energy lilac

    Oct 9, 2010
    I think I may do a variant TL on this, based on a very original POD. A certain charming Richmond druggist survives his shooting-and gets a determination to go into politics...
  16. Tiro Well-Known Member

    Jul 15, 2015
    We wish Mr Bartlett all the best of luck in his latest endeavour! (he'd certainly get MY vote). Please by all means employ the ideas here as you see fit; I shall certainly be interested in seeing just what role you intend dear old Reggie to play.

    I have to admit that I'd probably cast him in the role of Obscure-yet-Essential player, as opposed to a full-blown President Hero, but doubtless either would beat his career-defining role as 'Corpse - Murdered Martyr'.:D
  17. Tiro Well-Known Member

    Jul 15, 2015
    Strategos, thank you very kindly for your pointer to a rather interesting thread; I can certainly see Mr Huey Long and Willie Knight teaming up to tick off President Featherston were Mr Long to survive his appointment with that Assassin in '37 and been able to survive long enough to do so (probably by threatening to bring in the United States before Featherston was ready to deal with them).

    Heck, such a development (either following on from or in place of the abortive Knight Coup) could very well act as the Casus Belli for a WAR THAT CAME EARLY-type scenario Timeline-191 style as the United States might well be persuaded to intervene (or just find themselves dragged in against the inclinations of the present Administration).
  18. Tiro Well-Known Member

    Jul 15, 2015
    I've been giving some thought to potential developments in the wake of the CS Civil War but before I get into that sort of thing, I just wanted to offer some clarifications of some of the terminology I've been using to refer to the two factions (and an extra idea or so besides that).

    - Essentially I imagine that from the perspective of the Hull Administration their opponents are criminals, gangsters and outlaws; if it were not for the fact that the Confederate States citizenry is probably taught to lionise 'Johnny Reb' from the cradle up they'd probably refer to them as "Rebels" plain and simple but by doing so they might well risk handing them a small Propaganda coup (by allowing the Freedom Party apparatus to affiliate themselves with 'Rebels' like President Washington and General Lee).

    Therefore the Radical Liberals would probably do their best to paint the Featherston Faction as bushwhackers, back-shooters and in general as a mere political faction of sore losers rather than a genuine Popular Movement - hence 'Partizans' a name that can be as easily associated with a backwoods band of terrorists as it can with a faction creating strife on the cutting edge of a political divide in Congress (it also neatly side-steps the awkward business of coming up with a derivation of 'Freedom Party' that emphasises 'Freedom' but still doesn't cause my spell-check to break out in a rash of red!).

    The name 'Legitimist' is fairly self-explanatory, but I do think that it would be extremely sensible of the Radical Liberals to emphasise that they are fighting for the Laws and Due Process of the Confederate States as the Legitimate Government of the South; it is also a nice way of helping Whigs who may not like the Radical Liberals very much (even if they hate the Partizans far more) identify whole-heartedly with the War Effort.

    Taking the 'Radical' out of 'Radical Liberals' might also be a logical PR move, intended to draw the fangs of the Snake's rhetoric painting the ad-Libs as the Party of Red Rebellion.

    - The Featherston Mob, on the other hand, presumably think of themselves as 'Stalwarts' one and all (stalwart in their defiance of the 'Crooked' deal which has deprived Jake the Snake of his 'Rightful' place at the Head of the Confederate States), if not as 'Freedom Fighters' one and all (although one suspects that Willie Knight would prefer 'Redeemers' in order to avert the likelihood of seeing his own organisation mistaken for a constituent part of the Freedom Party and outright subordinates rather than an ally and an equal); I find it impossible to imagine Jake the Snake dubbing his opponents 'Black Radicals' one and all.

    He might even take some pains to try branding his party the 'Whites' to really drive home just to drive home just who the various White Supremacists should be working to make Supreme in the South; the Hull Administration is unlikely to take this lying down but might well prefer to just work on branding the Partizans with numerous variations on the term 'Gangster' coupled with various epithets associated with the unsavoury rather than come up with a colour-themed title all their own.

    Speaking of colour, given that the Regular Army and the Hull Administration are likely in a better position to re-equip their forces than the Partizans, I could easily imagine that one simple yet effective way of countering the Propaganda Offensive seeking to milk the parallels between the Featherston Axis and the Confederate States during the War of Secession would be to change the Legitimist uniform from butternut back to grey - helping remind watchers that THESE are the heirs of the Army of Northern Virginia, not those bullies in butternut breeches and white shirts.

    It's neat way of countering accusations that the Radical Liberals might as well be the Party of Lincoln without being obliged to invoke strange contortions of logic as one attempts to Hero Worship rebels with rhetoric while suppressing a Rebellion.
  19. Strategos' Risk Oriental Orientalist

    Mar 10, 2004
    It's simple - call the rebels Scalawags. Or Bandits, but I like the former's alternate history irony better, especially since that term wouldn't have had any political connotations in that timeline (until now). Plus the word resembles that of Stalwarts, which just fits.

    You can have Long get Hull to rebrand their party as the American Party, for AH reference potential (his American Union State in Kaiserreich).

    Casting the war as one between the faithful Grays and the cowardly White (flags) would work.
  20. Tiro Well-Known Member

    Jul 15, 2015
    Hmmm … 'Scallywags' has a rather good ring to it, but I think it sounds more like something the troopers would use rather than the PR machine; I actually considered suggesting that the Legitimists might call the Stalwarts "Nuts" partly because of their fondness for butternut trousers (assuming that the Regulars shift back to grey) and partly because … WELL, that's fairly self-evident.

    This is certainly a possibility, but given that the Radical Liberals have in the past suffered at the polls for being a little TOO conciliatory to the United States (to the point of being accused of seeking Reunification) one might think that Mr Hull would be wise to consider other options (so that he might avoid being hit by Featherston's "THEY WANT US TO BE YANKEES!" rhetoric).

    That IS in fact a rather neat propaganda angle which never even occurred to me!:eek: