Why the Chinese play cricket: 1870-1899 (an Imperial Federation timeline)

Well, at least spain Made the US bleed before losing.
US army and marines did pretty poorly OTl if memory serves the Americans Krags and trapdoor Springfield got a poor showing against the Spanish Mausers and arty as in this timeline. Heck Naval losses are worse than OTL in terms of ship types and tonnage it will really hurt them on top of possible technical casualties to equipment.

Issue is though the US Military isn’t built for this sort of war if the US went against one of the great powers they would loose.
 
Well, at least spain Made the US bleed before losing.

US army and marines did pretty poorly OTl if memory serves the Americans Krags and trapdoor Springfield got a poor showing against the Spanish Mausers and arty as in this timeline. Heck Naval losses are worse than OTL in terms of ship types and tonnage it will really hurt them on top of possible technical casualties to equipment.

Issue is though the US Military isn’t built for this sort of war if the US went against one of the great powers they would loose.

Pretty much on the nose. The US army particularly had been seriously ignored since the ACW. Those trapdoor Springfield's were basically old ACW muskets converted for breach loading. The US did have some modern artillery, the 3.2" M1897 was designed for smokeless powder. It's just the US didn't have enough ammunition available so didn't use them. Also the Department of War was being run under the corrupt spoils system. The US military had major issues to address.

Basically the US army of the time was designed to fight the Indian Wars. It was very good at that kind of colonial skirmish warfare, but against a well equipped regular opponent it would have got hammered and in the S-A War it did. The US won through overwhelming numbers. When you look at battles like El Caney and San Juan Hill you find thousands of US troops being thrown against a few hundred Spanish defenders (18,000 to 500 at El Caney and 8,500 to 600 at San Juan Hill).

When I look at the S-A War I find it extremely hard to avoid parallels with the British experience in the Boer War. The difference seems to be the US still won the individual battles, albeit at a gruesome human cost in casualties, and therefore it didn't create the same kind of scandal the Boer War did. However there was scandal over the corrupt administration of the army, with things like troops being delivered rotten meat coming to light in public. So there will be changes.
 
US army and marines did pretty poorly OTl if memory serves the Americans Krags and trapdoor Springfield got a poor showing against the Spanish Mausers and arty as in this timeline.

Oddly the Marines did fairly well. Their 6mm Lee was every bit as good as the Spanish Mauser. I've often wondered about what if rather than developing the M1903 Springfield they'd simply switched over to the already existing M1895 straight pull Lee.
 
US army and marines did pretty poorly OTl if memory serves the Americans Krags and trapdoor Springfield got a poor showing against the Spanish Mausers and arty as in this timeline. Heck Naval losses are worse than OTL in terms of ship types and tonnage it will really hurt them on top of possible technical casualties to equipment.

Issue is though the US Military isn’t built for this sort of war if the US went against one of the great powers they would loose.

This is a fairly good overview of the issues with the S-A War navies. I particularly like the comment "Congress was all in favour [of the expansion of the US Navy], until presented with the bill. At which point it was quietly taken round the back of the building and beaten with sticks until it had stopped twitching."

 
This is a fairly good overview of the issues with the S-A War navies. I particularly like the comment "Congress was all in favour [of the expansion of the US Navy], until presented with the bill. At which point it was quietly taken round the back of the building and beaten with sticks until it had stopped twitching."

I’ve seen that one Drac’s it was fascinating to see how it shaped up his stuff is always well researched and funny to watch, his second Pacific squaderon one is funny.

But I have to wonder what lessons the RN, RM and British Army will learn if they watched the war compared to OTL or if they will learn any.
 
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Still though given the USA is throwing its weight around with the S-A war wouldn't Britian be less impressed by their showing?

I mean the UK Govt could have a few squadrons show up to make a point since they are currently negotiating over som SA territory.
 
Huh, so in the end there was no cover up regarding Dreyfuss. I was expecting there would be one this time.

There was, and it did work for awhile. But French politics ITTL are more polarised so by this point the cover up isn't working any more. Everything changed when Picquart went public in November 1897, from that point on its pretty obvious to any impartial observer Dreyfus is innocent, it's just there aren't that many impartial observers left in France by this stage. Things in France will get much worse with some very surprising conseqences.
 
I’ve seen that one Drac’s it was fascinating to see how it shaped up his stuff is always well researched and funny to watch, his second Pacific squaderon one is funny.

But I have to wonder what lessons the RN, RM and British Army will learn if they watched the war compared to OTL or if they will learn any.

They have, but the British (though more correctly it should be called the Imperial Army ITTL by this stage) is undergoing its own internal in fighting. Plus the Boer War will break out roughly on schedule, so there's no time to act on any lessons before they get taught them by the Boers anyway.

However when it comes to the RN, its already taken a different tack ITTL. The survival of Tryon (thanks to him being busy helping put down a revolt in Egypt ITTL when he was happily getting his flagship rammed in the OTL) and his subsequent promotion to First Sea Lord has kick started the reform of the RN at least a decade sooner. By the time of the Great War ITTL the RN's officers will be showing far more imitative and a lot of the issues which showed up in the OTL will have already been fixed.

Still though given the USA is throwing its weight around with the S-A war wouldn't Britian be less impressed by their showing?

I mean the UK Govt could have a few squadrons show up to make a point since they are currently negotiating over som SA territory.

At this point IITL, despite the anti British policies of President Blaine and it impacting public opinion leaving a stronger Anglophobic tendency in the US, relations between the British and US are quite good. Both Cleveland and McKinley have very deliberately tried to repair the damage of the Blaine years and improve relations. As have Campbell-Bannerman and Chamberlain (the PMs ITTL) on the British side. The Alaska boundary dispute was resolved much earlier than the OTL with the US being more accommodating toward the Canadians. The US was more moderate in the 1895 Venezuelan Crisis as were the British. There are other examples as well.

Plus the greater British focus on Asia has given them a common set of 'enemies' in the Far East. Since the Sino-Japanese War, the French (more hostile toward Britain at that stage ITTL), Germany and Russia have been actively working together trying to exclude the British and US from China. This has more or less forced the British and US (and the Japanese) into cooperation to counter this (this 'alliance of convenience' will have a profound impact later).

All this means despite the Blaine years, the OTL Great Rapprochement between the US and Britain has happened and is more or less on track if not a little further along than in the OTL. The British are actually very clearly bending the rules of neutrality to help the US in the S-A War ITTL by providing Dewey's Asiatic Squadron logistical support. ITTL (and in the OTL), the British want the US to decisively win the S-A War, because if they don't, the likely outcome is Germany getting at least the Philippines and very possibly Cuba. Something very much not in the British interests. So with Anglo-American relations having dramatically improved over the last ten years and every indication pointing at them continuing to improve, having the US take over the Spanish possessions is definitely in the British favour.

Whether or not the Great Rapprochement will continue long term is something I'm not sure about yet. John Hay will become US Secretary of State in October 1898, which will lead to a VERY pro British US foreign policy, so by 1905 when he dies and Elihu Root takes over, the US and Britain will be far closer than the OTL at that point. But how things will go after that, I really can't say. There's a couple of very definite slow left hand spin balls coming up ITTL which throw a lot of things out of order, making it hard for me to sketch very far ahead. At the moment the CW-Pacific Alliance rivalry and eventual cold then hot war of the 3rd Iteration would not be predicted by anyone, quite the opposite in fact. But those oddities I mentioned will change things in ways I'm not able to determine yet, to the point where even the Great War is up in the air.
 
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Still though given the USA is throwing its weight around with the S-A war wouldn't Britian be less impressed by their showing?

I mean the UK Govt could have a few squadrons show up to make a point since they are currently negotiating over som SA territory.

To clarify a bit on my last comments. I've got the TL developed up to 1904 with all the major events bar one of 1905 done and a solid sketch to about 1910 with an outline to the start of the Great War (looking to happen somewhere between 1913 and 1915 at the moment). In the OTL if you had said in 1905 there would be war between the US and CW in the early 40s most people would have said it was highly unlikely but accepted it as a vague possibility. In the 3rd iteration (where such a war actually happened) in 1905 still unlikely but the possibility would have been seen as somewhat higher. However in 1905 in this iteration, people would regard the possibility such a war as almost laughable. But those two slow spin balls could easily change things.
 
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Well finished 1905 and it looks like that is the end of a period of massive change ITTL, which started around 1898 (the year I'm currently posting lol). So one final proofing of the four months of 1898 and I'll put it up :)
 
Sept-Dec 1898: Downward spirals
~Sept-Dec 1898: Downward spirals

September 1898: With the Gew 88 Commission rifle having proved to have many issues in service, the German army has been looking for a replacement. After several years of trials, a further improved version of the Mauser M1895 is adopted as the Gewehr 1898. Despite the adoption of the new rifle, production will be limited with an initial order of only 65,000 examples.

September 1898: While work on the Main Trunk Line across New Zealand's North Island Volcanic Plateau has progressed well, the line is now faced with the challenge of crossing the 200m drop from the plateau to the Whanganui River. The problem is solved by engineer Robert Holmes who proposes constructing a route which would loop back then spiral down by utilising tunnels and bridges. The proposed route would reduce the gradient from 1 in 24 to a manageable 1 in 52. The Ruarimu Spiral will be acknowledged as one of the greatest feats of railway engineering of the era.

September 1898: US Secretary of State William Day is appointed to lead the negotiation of a peace treaty with Spain. John Hay, ambassador to Britain is appointed as his replacement. Hay will lead the US to pursue a highly pro-British foreign policy.

September 1898: A new Famine Relief (India) Act is passed, implementing the recommendations of the Temple Report. Not only does the act increase the funding of the Indian Famine Relief Commission, it includes funding to encourage a move away from subsistence agriculture in India. These measures will be supplemented by similar legislation passed by all the Indian Provincial assemblies. As the Relief Commission's funds have been all but exhausted, an immediate cash injection of £1,500,000 {£1,629,573}, jointly funded by the British and Indian governments, is include in the act.

September 1898: The Vickers Canada shipyard in Montreal is completed and the Quebec, first of two Highflyer class protected cruisers is laid down. She will be followed by the first two St Lawrence class destroyers, HMCS Saguenay and HMCS Margaree, to be built in Canada.

September 1898: The Guangxu Emperor announces his most ambitious reform to date, a plan to transform China into a constitutional monarchy. A formal written constitution is to be drafted by 1900, followed by provincial elections in 1902 and national elections for an Imperial Parliament in 1904. Fearing these plans will undermine the fundamental basis of Qing power, the proposals alienate many moderate reformers who had previously supported the Emperor's program.

October 1898: In line with the Liberal Government's policy of regional devolution in Britain, a new Regional Assemblies Act is passed. While the act only extends the six regional assemblies competence to include agriculture, roading and Retail trading hours, it for the first time gives them the power to impose a sales tax on certain items giving them some limited control over their own finances. It also finally establishes a Welsh Office separate from the Home Office. Despite the limited expansion of the regional assemblies powers, these last two provisions again create considerable controversy, with the act only narrowly passing the Lords.

October 1898: With the Lebel Mle 1886 rifle rapidly falling behind the more modern service rifles which have been introduced since its entry to service, the French redesign the 8mm Lebel cartridge in attempt to improve its performance. The new Balle D round will once again be a revolution in small arms design. The Balle D bullet will feature a streamlined pointed tip and boat tail rear, increasing its muzzle velocity from 628m/s to 700m/s giving a flatter trajectory resulting in increased point blank range along with increased wounding potential.

October 1898: The years of reform coupled with the austerity measures forced by Brazil's economic depression have built up considerable opposition amongst the Brazilian elites. This boils over in an attempt by politician Ruy Barbossa to lead a coup to overthrow the government. Unlike the 1889 coup attempt, the plotters do aim to install a republic, rather their intent is to replace Empress Isabel with her cousin Prince Pedro Augusto. While the coup attempt does gain some support in the military, the majority of officers remain loyal. Barbosa's attempt to seize the General Assembly is thwarted by National Guard and Marines. However he is able to gain support in the southern province of Rio Grande do Sul and he able to start an insurrection there with support from Uruguayan mercenaries.

October 1898: The 1st US Volunteer Cavalry Regiment returns from service in Cuba and is formally disbanded. The units activities in the war received extensive press coverage and its commander Theodore Roosevelt is popularly acclaimed as a war hero. Seeking to capitalise on his fame, the Republican Party selects him as the candidate for Governor of New York, a position to which he is duly elected in November.

November 1898: Brazilian aeronautic pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont demonstrates his latest non-rigid airship with a thirty minute flight around the Eiffel Tower. The success of his No. 6 airship gains him considerable worldwide fame.

November 1898: The French Hotchkiss company introduces an export model of the Mle 1897 machine gun. The new weapon will find some success in South America and particularly with Japan, who order no less than 200 guns, though they request it be modified to use 250 round cloth belt as in the Maxim. The Hotchkiss will become the first viable competitor to the Maxim gun.

November 1898: Though the US Navy totally dominated over their Spanish opponents during the Spanish-American War, they still suffered unexpectedly heavy losses with two battleships, one armoured cruiser and two other cruisers sunk, and another four cruisers requiring extensive repairs. Facing heavy criticism over these losses, Secretary of the Navy John Long resigns, while a Congressional inquiry into the Navy's performance headed by Henry Cabot Lodge is begun.

November 1898: Continuing his efforts to turn China into a western style capitalist economy, the Guangxu Emperor grants US and British companies the right to establish modern machine tool factories in Shanghai, Nanjing and Guangzhou. By this stage the Emperor's clear preference for British and US interests is causing considerable alarm amongst the other Great Powers.

November 1898: A boulangist extremist, Pierre Géroux murders George Picquart, claiming he is a 'Jew loving traitor to France.' Picquart's murder serves to further polarise the nation over the Dreyfus Affair, especially when Géroux is only given a five year sentence on the grounds the murder was 'politically motived.'

December 1898: While the British had acquired the lease over Weihaiwei planning to develop it into a major naval base, a survey by the Royal Engineers indicates the site is unsuitable for such purposes. While many suggest simply returning the territory to the Chinese, it is decided to retain the lease and develop a minor base to support operations in Northern China. Agreement has also been reached with the Guangxu Emperor to use the Weihaiwei Regiment to further the training of Chinese officers and NCOs for the Chinese New Armies.

December 1898: Despite having gained wide support amongst radical elements in China, the Guangxu Emperor's reforms have alienated many within the Qing court. This has allowed the Dowager Empress Cixi, with secret French, German and Russian backing, to gather enough support to plan a coup to regain control of the Qing government. While the Emperor does become aware of Cixi's plans, he places his reliance on Yuan Shikai, commander of the Beijing Army to counter it. Unfortunately Yuan betrays him, revealing his preparations to Cixi, allowing the coup to succeed, bringing an end to the Emperor's reforms after just 217 days. With Cixi and the conservatives back in control, most of his reforms are quickly reversed, with only the new universities in Beijing, Nanjing and Guangzhou, along with his unification of the navy surviving. The Emperor himself is placed under house arrest while many of his leading supporters are executed or forced to flee overseas. While Cixi is unable to undo the sale of iron works to British and US interests, the contract for machine tool plants is cancelled and reissued to French, German and Russian interests.

December 1898: The Treaty of Paris bring an official end to the Spanish-American War. Under its terms Cuba, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Philippines are transferred to US control with their ultimate status to be determined later. Pending a decision on their final status, the territories are placed under US Military administration.
 
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First time I heard of Ruarimu Spiral, very interesting.
Simply driving across the region tells you how hard it would be to get a rail line through there. I have taken a train along the main trunk line many years ago and it's impressive, but not sure if they still run passenger trains on the line.
 
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