TL-191: Yankee Joe - Uniforms, Weapons, and Vehicles of the U.S. Armed Forces


A group photo of the Union Army's 2nd Ranger Battalion in Southern Kentucky, circa 1943.

A Union Army Ranger planting an explosive charge on a railroad behind enemy lines, somewhere in Tennessee, circa 1943.
What about these guy's being the Union Army's special forces?
 
One idea I had, inspired by Tiro's post ages back, was that during the inter-war period the Union suffers from what will ultimately be skewed priorities - because they think tey've got the South beat, they begin to look outwards and less at war on the North American continent. The reforms of the Socialist administrations also drain funding away from the military towards peace time development. As a result, the US Army shrinks and increasingly focuses on partisan warfare (from Mormons and Canadians) and less on combined arms combat. The army officer corp shrinks and a lot of its better members to other service branches - while there are still good officers, there are just aren't enough of them and the Confederate officer corp is of more even and generally superior quality. While there are efforts made to rectify this with the rise of Jake the Snake, it takes too long and thus the US Army still isn't ready, either in terms of equipment or training, on the eve of the SGW (hence still using bolt-actions when the Rebs have semi or fully auto rifles). This explains the poor state of the US Army despite US economic potential.

Conversely, the US Navy, Air Force and Marine Corp remain well funded and effective, as it is believed they will take the fight to the British or Japanese or perhaps even the Germans. In particular the USMC is the cream of the crop when it comes to US land forces - it is relatively large for an expeditionary force (though still far, far smaller than the army) and also receives more modern equipment. In particular I am thinking that the first US semi-automatic rifle (or perhaps even battle rifle) is adopted by the USMC (I am inspired by the Soviet Naval Infantry having a lot of SVT-40s at the start of WW2 and giving the Wehrmacht problems) and while they can't hope to stop the Southern tide, their better training and equipment compared to the US Army gives them a reputation as the fiercest troops in the US of A, putting up the toughest fight Johnnie Reb ever had during the first few months of the SGW. Eventually things even out more with the Army but the USMC still maintains this reputation as an "ass-kickin" force due to those early efforts.

This is also because I like the idea of the Confederate Marine Corp being underfunded and having a reputation for relative ineffectiveness (in contrast to the Confederate Army, which develops a mythos comparable to OTL Heer). So you have a army-marines contrast between the two nations.

The decision to focus military funding on fighting overseas conflicts to the detriment of a Second Round with the South would be identified by TL-191 historians a one of the Union's worst mistakes during the interwar period, as it ultimately allowed the South to gain the initial momentum during the Second Great War.
 
One idea I had, inspired by Tiro's post ages back, was that during the inter-war period the Union suffers from what will ultimately be skewed priorities - because they think tey've got the South beat, they begin to look outwards and less at war on the North American continent. The reforms of the Socialist administrations also drain funding away from the military towards peace time development. As a result, the US Army shrinks and increasingly focuses on partisan warfare (from Mormons and Canadians) and less on combined arms combat. The army officer corp shrinks and a lot of its better members to other service branches - while there are still good officers, there are just aren't enough of them and the Confederate officer corp is of more even and generally superior quality. While there are efforts made to rectify this with the rise of Jake the Snake, it takes too long and thus the US Army still isn't ready, either in terms of equipment or training, on the eve of the SGW (hence still using bolt-actions when the Rebs have semi or fully auto rifles). This explains the poor state of the US Army despite US economic potential.

Conversely, the US Navy, Air Force and Marine Corp remain well funded and effective, as it is believed they will take the fight to the British or Japanese or perhaps even the Germans. In particular the USMC is the cream of the crop when it comes to US land forces - it is relatively large for an expeditionary force (though still far, far smaller than the army) and also receives more modern equipment. In particular I am thinking that the first US semi-automatic rifle (or perhaps even battle rifle) is adopted by the USMC (I am inspired by the Soviet Naval Infantry having a lot of SVT-40s at the start of WW2 and giving the Wehrmacht problems) and while they can't hope to stop the Southern tide, their better training and equipment compared to the US Army gives them a reputation as the fiercest troops in the US of A, putting up the toughest fight Johnnie Reb ever had during the first few months of the SGW. Eventually things even out more with the Army but the USMC still maintains this reputation as an "ass-kickin" force due to those early efforts.

This is also because I like the idea of the Confederate Marine Corp being underfunded and having a reputation for relative ineffectiveness (in contrast to the Confederate Army, which develops a mythos comparable to OTL Heer). So you have a army-marines contrast between the two nations.

The decision to focus military funding on fighting overseas conflicts to the detriment of a Second Round with the South would be identified by TL-191 historians a one of the Union's worst mistakes during the interwar period, as it ultimately allowed the South to gain the initial momentum during the Second Great War.
I admittedly had something of an inverse thought: the US Navy actually CONTRACTS during the interwar period, hence why the Remembrance remains their only effective fleet carrier for a good 20 years: even without a Washington Naval Treaty limiting development, one would think the US would still modernize and expand their assets for overseas operations, especially in the face of Japan as a rising Imperial power. The inconclusive Pacific War reinforces this, with the US' inability to secure the Pacific coast: The USN's lack of a "Two Ocean Navy" while of course inhibited by the lack of the Panama Canal is a major cripple on their capabilities. This is brought front and center with the British and CSA retaking Bermuda and the Bahamas despite the best efforts of the Remembrance and the Sandwich Islands.

I'd actually put for that it's the CONFEDERATES who expand their Naval and Marine operations, particularly raiders and assault troops. They'd have all of Cuba to practice such tactics out of sight of US observers.
 
I'd actually put for that it's the CONFEDERATES who expand their Naval and Marine operations, particularly raiders and assault troops. They'd have all of Cuba to practice such tactics out of sight of US observers.
The books mention that the SGW Confederate Navy is a shadow of its FGW self, similarly to the Kriegsmarine. I might even suggest moreso than the Kriegsmarine, since submarines wouldn't at all suffice to impede the United States (which is virtually an autarky), and also because A. Jake Featherston has little regard for a navy, aside from for political points, and B. Building warships is a distraction of resources from the ones needed to make the tanks and artillery and planes that can actually work towards the Confederates only shot at victory.
 
Here are some Semi-Auto rifles for the Union Army during the SGW.

Springfield M1940

A Harrington and Richardson built M1940 from December of 1940.

Designed by Dieudonne Saive, a Belgian emigre to the United States working for Springfield Armory. The M1940 was a result of years of research and development for a new self-loading rifle for the US Military (working the design as early as 1928.) The US Army and Marine Corps were the main users of this weapon, with 761,000 rifles planned to be in US Military Inventory by 1944 in the hands of frontline troops. By the time of Operation Blackbeard however, only 92,000 rifles were in the field, and up to that time, the manufacturers of the rifle were Springfield, Harrington and Richardson, Rock Island Arsenal, Savage, Remington, and Winchester Companies. At the start of 1942, Savage and Harrington and Richardson were only companies making the M1940 as the others were prioritized in making other small arms (such as the older M1903 rifles and the Thompson SMG.) Then in June of 1942, the H&R Company was then ordered by the Union Government to prioritize in manufacturing the BAR rifle and M1919 machine-guns. Savage would continue to the manufacture the model until August of 1946, which the final production figure was around 179,000 rifles. During the SGW, the main operators of the M1940 rifle was the US Marine Corps, US Army Rangers, Squad Marksman, and other select units of the Army. The M1940 would soldier on as a Battle Rifle until the late 1950s when it was replaced by the M1955 Battle Rifle (which coincidentally, was designed by Saive on a modified M1940 system.) As a Designated Marksman's Rifle, it would remain in use for much longer until the early 1990s when replaced by the DMR versions of the M1955.

A September of 1942 Savage manufacture M1940 DMR.

Johnston M1941

A Springfield manufacture M1941 rifle from June of 1943.

A pet project by an engineer named Melvin Johnston, the M1941 Rifle was adopted by the US Military both as a response to the Confederate Tredegar M1937 and as a cheaper alternative to the more expensive Springfield M1940 rifle. The rifle had the advantage of being simpler to manufacture and can be broken down to easier transport. The rifle was built by the Johnson Automatic, Springfield, and Saginaw Companies between March of 1942 and July of 1944 with a total of 133,000 units being built. The gun would be used by the US Marine Corps, US Army Rangers, the Paratroopers, and the US Army. The M1941 would be used by the US Military until being replaced from Frontline use by the M1955 rifle, and would be in War Emergency Storage until either being surplussed off in the 1960s or being given to US Allies such as Liberia, China, Afghanistan, and Alyaska and even a few being sold to US Law Enforcement in which they were used as late as the 1990s.

Fusil à Chargement Automatique Modele 1936

A 1942 manufacture Mle 1936 rifle that was under contract for the US Government.

Designed by Quebecois Gun Designer named John Garand, the Mle 1936 was originally built for the Quebecois Army. In March of 1942, the US Government (who was in a desperate need for semi-automatic rifles), turned to the Quebecois Government for the Mle 1936. In which the local government would accept the order to 35,000 rifles for 3 Million USD. This order would be fulfilled by September of that year and followed up by another order for 20,000 rifles in December of 1942 and then by 25,000 in July of 1943. The total number of Mle 1936 rifles made for the US Government was 80,000 guns, which unlike the Johnston and M1940 rifles, were almost exclusively issued out to Front-line troops of the US Army. The Union Troops who used the rifle would have a liking to the rifle, with one remark by an anonymous veteran "This Quebecois Rifle is for sure way better than the old Springfields that we have been using." Following war's end, a majority of the Mle 1936 rifles in Union Inventory were either put into storage or were given to the new Texan Army. The model would be ultimately be retired in 1957 from US Military service by the Springfield M1955 Battle Rifle.
 
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On the earlier discussion about American stahlhelm, I have this to say in all honesty.

The US army OTL was very close to adopting the stahlhelm actually. The Nazi association led for the m1’s selection though.

Keep in mind many foreign nations favored the stahlhelm, and its design today influences modern ballistic helmets. America not the power it was otl at the start of wwii. It might lean on Germany quite a bit more ttl, so it is likely more than just the stahlhelm will be adopted. The American uniform of wwi and early wwii was very Anglo influenced and used the Brodie after all, which was discarded as the Brodie was outdated, a problem the stahlhelm wouldn’t suffer.

Northern America likely has string Germanic roots felt as a result of being allied in both wars and the immigration. Certainly the German language wouldn’t decline like otl in America. Germany’s vast colonial empire will make it a relevant language internationally.

Actually here is a good poster I found for the TL, keep in mind despite Germanic features on the American, these uniforms are not identical in reality.

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German American relations will remain strong post war. Why? Because for one, America has more difficult string to deal with. Reintegrating confederacy, which likely has separatism, Mormons, and Canadians, and also japan, a far more relevant strategic threat. Japan will not he trusted by either Germany or America, after all, they only joined out of opportunism and went to the party late. Germany will also probably be terrified over the potential for a revived Russia, which is a far more real threat than an otl revived Germany, so it will be more focused on strengthening the Mitteleuropa pact.

The Dewey doctrine will stay the point I made.
 
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The books mention that the SGW Confederate Navy is a shadow of its FGW self, similarly to the Kriegsmarine. I might even suggest moreso than the Kriegsmarine, since submarines wouldn't at all suffice to impede the United States (which is virtually an autarky), and also because A. Jake Featherston has little regard for a navy, aside from for political points, and B. Building warships is a distraction of resources from the ones needed to make the tanks and artillery and planes that can actually work towards the Confederates only shot at victory.
Which is why i put forth that Raiding operations would be experimented with, along with such things as frogmen and midget submarines: the CSA does have a history of sub operations from GW1, and a Sub uses a lot less resources than a Battleship.
 
Well, you did say Naval and Marine operations, not specifying anything particular. Subs I can see. But in general, the Confederate Navy would have just enough to make their coasts generally secure and take the Bahamas and Haiti. Other than that, 600 medium tanks would be far more valuable for the Confederates than something like a panzerschiff or a heavy cruiser.
 
Well, you did say Naval and Marine operations, not specifying anything particular. Subs I can see. But in general, the Confederate Navy would have just enough to make their coasts generally secure and take the Bahamas and Haiti. Other than that, 600 medium tanks would be far more valuable for the Confederates than something like a panzerschiff or a heavy cruiser.
I could also see heavy usage of AMCs/ Auxilary Merchant cruisers. The cost would be minimal since you'd just be converting existing merchantmen (or more likely converting ships that were built for the merchant trade but designed to be easy to convert to AMCs in the event of a war). The South has a ton of ports and especially early in the war the USN blockade would be light or nonexistant. The Confederates could surge to sea dozens of AMCs to raid US shipping and attack small isolated coastal settlements.
 
On airplanes, Wright is stated to be a manufacturer of the fighters Johnathan Moss flies, and to be fair, the US didn't exactly churn out world-beating designs in real life WWI either: American pilots had to fly French SPAD fighters, even after the US' entry into the war. Same goes for, well a LOT of US inventory in WWI: the Ford 6-ton tank is pretty much a bolt-for-bolt copy of the FT-17, and then there's the Chauchat machine gun...
In OTL the US only joined the war in 1917 (three years after it started) and didn't really keep up with domestic development at the time. The US also lacked percieved large scale ground threats pre WW1 with most military funding going to the USN. Here the US is in the war from the start and has been in a sort of cold war with the CSA for decades with the Confederates being an obvious and near threat.
 
Now for some iterations of the Union Springfield Rifle

Springfield M1893.png

M1893 Long Rifle (1893-1903) - A Union adaptation of the Mauser action with elements incorporated from the Norwegian Krag action.
M1893 Carbine.png

M1894 Carbine (1894-1902) - The carbine variant of the M1893, made for support units such as engineers, artillerymen, mountain troops, and cavalrymen.

M1903 (1904-1920) - The standard infantry rifle for the Union Military during the First Great War and also used in the Second Great War.

M1903A1 (1920-1941) - A Post FGW production model for the M1903 family incorporating a redesigned bolt and new stock configuration.

M1903A2 (1941-1944) - The wartime production which is simplified for quicker production, which is by far the most numerous variant of the M1903 family.

M1903A3 (1941-1953) - A Sniper variant of the M1903A2 rifle, which around 21,000 of the A2 rifles were converted into this pattern between 1945 and 1953.
 
In OTL the US only joined the war in 1917 (three years after it started) and didn't really keep up with domestic development at the time. The US also lacked percieved large scale ground threats pre WW1 with most military funding going to the USN. Here the US is in the war from the start and has been in a sort of cold war with the CSA for decades with the Confederates being an obvious and near threat.
True, but it's also worth mentioning that the late-term development of such weapons due to established doctrine not allowing for their use is also a factor: For example, the Development and implementation of fighters generally parallels Reality, as even the War-prepared powers of Europe didn't have them in service before the conflict began, and if you're trying to field a new and experimental weapon system it makes sense to use a machine that is already somewhat proven instead of trying to slapdash your own. Case in point: the US using a domestic copy of the Fokker Eindecker. This setting's US seems far less doggedly reluctant about using foreign designed equipment.
 
If Sikorsky comes over during the Russian Civil War? Sure. Even though the Whites win, they may have viewed him as a traitor for leaving Russia, so he stays in the U.S., and develops the helicopter. You might see the first preproduction examples flying just before the war ends.
 

Pangur

Donor
If Sikorsky comes over during the Russian Civil War? Sure. Even though the Whites win, they may have viewed him as a traitor for leaving Russia, so he stays in the U.S., and develops the helicopter. You might see the first preproduction examples flying just before the war ends.
Or Sikorsky goes to Germany and works there to product helicopters?
 

Here's another not-thought-about weapon for TL-191, the Liaison Plane. In which the Union would be using the Grasshoppers to fill in their role Liaison Aircraft.
 
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