Alternative World War One scenario.

Non-naval discussions about the Second World War. Military leaders, campaigns, weapons, etc.
Bgile
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Re: Alternative World War One scenario.

Post by Bgile » Sat Apr 18, 2009 4:28 pm

The St. Laurence seaway is very Important to US commerce. As soon as the UK declares war on the US, Canada does so also, since that is the structure of the Dominion. Now the US can't use the Great Lakes until it takes both sides of this area. I agree that offering Quebec independence would be a good idea, and I might go one step further. Offer the entire area north of the St Laurence Seaway to French expatriates and build a naval base for their fleet. Remember, France was largely responsible for US independence in the first place and later sold us the Mississippi Valley in the Louisiana Purchase.

I see Vancouver as the 2nd strategic target because of the importance of Seattle and the northwest naval bases, with some of the seaways shared with Vancouver, and the fact that it is isolated and easily taken. Greater Canada is not really worth a huge effort at this time. It wouldn't have much strategic importance once it's cut off from the outside world, at least not in the near term.

Any naval battle against the US would take place on the US side of the oceans because the US wouldn't have the coaling facilities or even the interest in attempting to project power. Remember in that era the US was largely isolationist by sentiment. That would change somewhat with a Canadian declaration of war against the US, but the first things would involve consolidation of power in North America.

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RF
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Re: Alternative World War One scenario.

Post by RF » Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:05 am

lwd,

I read your comments with interest.

In thinking up this scenario I was mindful of having a situation where the US could not afford to be isolationist, because its continued existence would be at stake. The key problem for the Americans is their relationship long term with the British Empire and British seapower, particulary with Germany and Japan also hostile, and Mexico taking advantage of the situation.
The US cannot withdraw from such a war unless its independence and military security is guaranteed. I would take that to mean that the US President would insist that the British threat from the north be eliminated, namely the British removed completely from Canada. Offering Quebec independence would be a masterstroke, particulary with France allied to the US. It is unlikely that the English speaking parts of Canada would want to join the US, they have never expressed any inclination to do so, so annexation might be on the cards.
The other issues, to the south, lie principally with the Texas oilfields and possession of the Panama Canal. Again foreign interference needs to be eliminated, and here US seapower is vital, to isolate Mexico and Colombia and to do that keep the British and Germans out of the Caribbean.

This is a conflict that would make WW1 truly global, possibly even more so than even WW2, and the multiple threats against the US I think would ensure that any US President cannot afford to do any less than see it through. Particulary as 1916 would be an election year, and the more nationalistic Republicans, with Teddy Roosevelt in their ranks, are the opposition party....
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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RF
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Re: Alternative World War One scenario.

Post by RF » Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:16 am

Bgile,

I agree with yourarguments on Canada, which I have intimated in my response above to lwd.

The British would also be aware of the importance of Canada to them - lose Canada and the British position in India and the rest of their Empire is weakened.
The Canadian eastern seaboard ports, principally Halifax, are the closest points to Britain, and the easiest points to reinforce. The British would concentrate on holding Halifax, together with winning seapower control of the North Atlantic. This is where reinforcement by the HSF becomes important, along with Germany trying to knock France and the French Navy out of this war.

The rest will be determined by the outcome of battle - and those outcomes pose innemerable possibilities.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

lwd
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Re: Alternative World War One scenario.

Post by lwd » Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:09 am

RF wrote:...
In thinking up this scenario I was mindful of having a situation where the US could not afford to be isolationist, because its continued existence would be at stake.....
Then we need more back ground. WWI was primarily a war over European issues that wasn't especially at first aimed at destroying or conquering countries or regimes at least as far as the major players are concerned. To the Europeans the America's are just not that important and to the US Europe and Asia are at least near term just not that important. I'm not sure how far back you have to go to produce a POD that will result in a conflict like this. Especially when one in the Americas coincides with the one in Europe.

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RF
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Re: Alternative World War One scenario.

Post by RF » Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:43 pm

Most wars develop by accident and in my scenario the US is drawn into a conflict because (as in the real WW1) its shipping is interdicted.

As in the real WW1 most Europeans don't regard the USA as relevant as you say. However there are in the background colonial issues involved following from the 1823 Monro Doctrine and also the initially unconnected circumstances of countries, who for differing reasons, also have issues with the US.
The key scenario here is that Britain comes into conflict almost by accident with the US. Germany, a major naval power in its own right, is here allied to Britain, but itself has no issues with the US. But Germany's politicians and the Kaiser are hardly likely to overlook opportunities presenting themselves if they backed Britain in a war with the US, as evidenced by the Zimmermann Letter.
For the British a war with the US would be a very serious matter - Canada is at stake. For Germany, greed and opportunism would be the motive.

I think the scenario outlined in my original post is realistic, in that thy could have happened. In this case the US is drawn in at close to the start, and not three quarters of the way through.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Re: Alternative World War One scenario.

Post by joeblow22 » Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:11 pm

Remember, France was largely responsible for US independence in the first place and later sold us the Mississippi Valley in the Louisiana Purchase.
It is very important to remember that during the American Revolution the French in Acadia and Quebec were under British control and the British they fought against for so many decades were the American colonists. Therefore during the revolution the new france colony of british canada had no thought of helping the american colonists in their liberation and in some instances helped fight the Americans during the revolution and in the war of 1812.

The french Quebec population had no ties with france then and have no ties now and only regard themselves as Canadien. My point is they would have no care for the thought of France helping with the US independence or Napoleon's sale of louisiana back 100 years earlier. Though i do agree entirely with bribing them with independence from canada and giving them ontario.

Though i do think some of you give the US too much credit in its taking over of Canada as during ww1 and ww2 the population really gave much more per capita towards the war efforts then most nations. and i dont see this war scenario being any different especially if it was in defence of their own land

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