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This Day in Alternate History Blog
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Glad you liked the idea enough to steal it, lol, yours
looks better then mine! I like the
characterisation and the in-depth knowledge of the German navy.
Basically, youíve done the same idea as mine; send the entire German
navy out as a combined force.
Incidentally, there was a British spy in Sweden who tipped
of the British in OTL. My main
complaint, however, is the degree of success the British have.
The German squadron has far more firepower, speed and unity than the
British fleet does unless the British are lucky enough to manage to concentrate
most of their fleet to meet the German force.
The German, ironically, would have the tech advantage as well.
After the battle with the POW and Hood, the Germans would be able to meet
a disorganised British fleet in several small battles, destroying a large chunk
of the British navy. More
dangerous, from a long term standpoint, would be the losses of destroyers and
I seriously doubt that there would be a repeat of the
British aircraft hit on the Bismarck. That
was an incredibly lucky hit in OTL, add in more German targets and the British
may not even make the fateful shot.
The long-term effects of this battle might be even more
interesting. The RN has lost five
battleships and a number of support craft, all of which were desperately needed.
This sudden British weakness might tempt the Japanese to jump earlier
than OTL, while weakening the British bargaining position vis a vis the
Americans. On the other hand, the
British would have learned how dangerous aircraft were to battleships and might
avoid the mistake that saw the POW sunk in OTL.
Something that might prove important, if a large chunk of the British fleet were absent from the Med, the Germans can slip supplies though to Rommel.
An excellent first AH.
Welcome to the group. The
main problem I can think of is that you donít mention if the shipís
ironclad. If so, its invincible
until the British build one like it, if not, all the British need is a lucky hit
and kaput! Incidentally, the
privateers did not make that much of a dent in British trade, although a few
more ships might have tipped the balance.
The long-term effects of
this are very interesting and if you could develop this AH further, Iíd be
very happy. What youíve done is
render the entire RN obsolete in a time when the RN needs to be the best.
If napoleon is still in power in France, building a fleet of ironclad
steamers would be a huge task, but Napoleonic France was very good at doing
large projects. If not, the British
have some breathing space, but when the French, Germans/Prussians, Spanish, even
the Turks, start building their own ironclads, the British are going to be in
Keep up the good work.
Why would the Irish accept a parliament with very little real power until
1914? Other than that, excellent
development of the POD. What
happens in Singapore? Does the
fortress fall under attack? Or hold
out? Incidentally, please check your grammer and spelling.
I corrected most of it here, but I donít always have the time to do so
Few problems I can think of offhand.
First, if there are two of you, whatís to stop some gang of robbers
robbing you and killing you? You
really need a full team.
If you start a population
explosion, I donít think that you could build enough shipping to take them to
the new world before a collapse happens, although you could probably ship people
to England. Consider, if we start
on the assumption that Ireland has 1000 people, with a rough birth-rate of two
kids per couple, then the population remains fairly stable.
But, if the level of kids jumps up, say to four kids per couple, the
population doubles by a factor of four, every generation.
If you add modern medicine to the mix, youíll really kick the
population upwards, which makes for interesting problems about the use and
division of resources.
You mention bio-war.
Exactly what year is this? There
may be no diseases to infect the Indians, smallpox and Black Death appeared in
the 12th century, I think.
This might do better if
applied to south Africa, or perhaps involve the 1930ís Smuts in a united
effort to keep Africa white, otherwise youíll have a nation of blacks pissed
at your treatment of their fellows just south of you, armed with nukes.
One possible problem with
the immigration figures if you might get groups that hate each other.
There have been cases of Hindu-Muslim fighting in the UK, so youíll
need to be careful of silliness like that.
Further, if youíre offering a reasonably tolerant home for Jewry, the
UK might start sending Jews your way instead of to Palestine, or, if there is an
Israel in this timeline, youíve got a ready made ally.
Something Iím not clear
on was what the police brigades would be formed from, black or white?
Training blacks to handle weapons might be a bad idea if some equivalent
of the ANC appears, while you may not want to send large numbers of the white
settlers into death ground.
Thereís a timeline
somewhere around where Wallace practically gives away the rest of the world
Ďin the name of peaceí. He
realises his mistake almost to late and it ends on a cliffhanger.
This is the opposite.
I would expect the soviets
to cheat as much as possible on the exchange, reds for nationalists, Stalin
needs warm bodies for the gulags. Not
to mention the possibility of the west using them as puppet armies to incite
trouble in the soviet zone. This is
one case, however, where the west has a real interest in not cheating them,
although DG might use the opportunity to ship east anyone who opposed him,
including ex-vichites. Churchill
might be tempted to send anyone on the fringe, but Attleeís dependent of
people who are at the very least, if I can borrow your phase, useful idiots.
The soviet penetration of the British opinion-shapers was very good and
I donít know if the timingís right, but the soviets
shot at US/British planes that were trying to resupply the Warsaw rising.
Something for Truman to get annoyed at Ė he needs an excuse for
pro-soviet people Ė and cut off supplies until Stalin sees reason.
French are likely to balk in any case.
Perhaps keeping their colonies or handing them over to nationalist
factions (i.e. support of Ho Cho Minh from the start, refusal to allow US
resources to be used in support, etc.) The
idea is to limit the ability of the French to open areas for soviet penetration.
German occupying zone might be the price for French cooperation
I think that the soviets would have tried to seize what
they could of china and the Japanese territory anyway. Failing that, what role will the Kwangtang army play in the
Chinese Civil War? One possibility
would be it supporting Chieng.
US public opinion was quite pro-Israel at the time. What about a joint US/UK mandate of Palestine, equal rights for all, and weapons only in the hands of the mandate forces. I think the soviets were trying to throw out most of the Jews at the time.
The best of the comments section
This is just random comments without a proper order.
I suspect that, had FDR lived longer, he would have faced
far stronger challenges than OTL. The
USSR had started to act like it was going to occupy Eastern Europe in some form;
perhaps including Finland, and that was starting to raise serious concern
amongst many Americans and the British establishment. At least partly FDRís policies led to a situation where the
USSR could do whatever it wanted Ė unless the west was willing to accept a
long war to prevent him. A longer
FDR period means that Stalin might get away with much more before the Americans
manage to tell him to stop and make it stick.
Imagine a cold war with Iran completely in the hands of the USSR and
chunks of Greece and Turkey held by communists, perhaps even communist
representation in France and Italy.
Yes, FDR was a political genius, but thereís only so far
you can go before someone gets tired of you dancing around the important issues.
Some political opponent could make loads of capital out of FDR breaking
apart the old empires and letting the USSR get into them.
Enforcement of the fugitive slave acts is difficult without
major changes in the US political structure from day 1.
The problem was not a small gang of slavebreakers, but much of the
population of the northern states, who were either anti-slavery or neutral.
Stalin DID have a son at some point, who fought in WW2 and
was captured by the Germans. I
canít remember what happened to him, but I suspect that the Germans killed
him. If he had survived, I suspect
that there would have been a conspiracy amongst the other major communists,
Beria, Molotov, et al, to prevent him from becoming general secitary after his
dad shuffled off the mortal coil. It
might be an interesting outcome, or perhaps he might establish a dynasty.
Another possibility is a civil war in the USSR in the 1950s, which could
turn nuclear at some point. I may
consider doing it at some point.
If Britain is actively Ė deliberately or otherwise Ė
blocking immigration from Europe to the US, it may alter the US demographics so
that there will be a larger Irish/Scottish community. This probably means fewer Catholics in the US.
Incidentally, what about a TL where the British
government redirects emigration to the US so that they go to Australia, South
Africa or Canada? A larger
population means that any of those dominions becomes far more powerful, at least
on a local scale.
I liked what you wrote about succession crisis.
As Heinlain remarked at some point, monarchy might work if the poor
people were bred like houses, but most of them just pick wives/consorts on the
wrong basis. At least one possible
solution is to have the crown prince and heir chosen by a parliament, although
the possibility of bribery of corruption might make that difficult.
A test for the heir, as in Ďthe mastership gameí might be possible,
but it would be hard to decide on such a test.
I like what you wrote about overflight rights for
satellites and Iíd love to read that AH.
One thing is that it would be unlikely to result in a ĎGary powersí
incident, as taking a live pilot out of a spacecraft would be VERY difficult
without a far more advanced technology (such as a Star Trek transporter)
and a great deal of luck. On the
other hand, hitting a space shuttle would be much easier and cheaper than an
orbital interception and boarding. Something
you donít mention is the possibility of massive clouds of space debris in
orbit, which might, quite unintentionally, ruin a spacecraft.
A later version of the space treaty might become an imperative.
I think that the existence of genius is largely based upon
what the society is like. I donít
think that thereíll ever be any proof that the island natives you mention
could have become geniuses, simply because thereís less room for them to
expand their genius. Example:
what sort of industry, science, etc can one do in a primitive
hunter-gatherer society? You might
get geniuses at limited astronomy, or one who observes how to make more plants
grow, or one who is a good leader Ė although the possibility of real great
leadership, such as Washington or Mohammed, would also be limited.
Our society, on the other hand, has thousands of possible fields of study
a young person can go into, as we can support a group of theoretical physicts a
long time before their work gets translated into an atomic-sized breakthrough
that everyone can benefit from.
That said, the quality of relative intelligence might well
be decreasing. What sort of society
calls smart kids Ďnerdsí and hits out at them, while the pretty-boy sports
heroís are feted and get all the girls, while the girls are encouraged to look
pretty instead of developing their own intelligence?
Ok, Iím bitter, itís just that we beat the
Ďfinestí school in Edinburgh 3-1 at chess (YAY!!) three years ago and what
happened? We got one mention, while
our sports term, who won ONE game out of TWELVE, got feted!!
It might have interesting effects if one was to attempt a
breeding program for intelligence, but who would determine the intelligence?
What would be the qualifying standard and how would it be done?
What If the First B17 Prototype Hadn't Crashed?
I love it, ten years of major changes from one minor
accident never happening. Iím not
up on US politics and interservice rivalry, although I do wonder what might have
changed Ė if anything Ė if the US had a merged military structure.
There was nothing set in stone to say that the US should copy the British
Iím not convinced that the B17s would convince the
Japanese that the US meant business. The
Japanese would still have local superiority Ė unless the US embarked upon a
massive build-up Ė and the planes might just end up being wiped out, as did
the historical ones. I do agree
that the existence of a major long-range bomber would spur development in other
nations, although I would expect the Italians to develop a plane sooner, as they
did do a lot of airplane research. (Perhaps
an Italo-German project). Britain
and France might try to follow, although the French, at least, have a far
greater need for fighters than bombers.
Iím not convinced that all the effects you describe in
the US politics would happen. Could
German bombers really make what would be a pinprick raid? What would be the point?
(Although if they were combined with atomic weapons or an atomic scare in
the US command Ö) On the other
hand, a defence build-up would probably be popular as it would make jobs and
help pull the US economy out of the doldrums.
If the US was sending more help to the Spanish republicans,
they might well win the war without excessive dependence upon Stalin, perhaps
keeping the gold reserves.
Incidentally, the prevailing view of the US in WW1 in
Europe is that the US came in at the end, had an easy war, set up a possible
peace structure that they then refused to join or assist Ė and did nothing
beyond high-moral, low action, speeches when Europe needed help again.
Its not entirely fair, but the US and Japan were the only ones to benefit
from WW1, so it has a large currency.
Columbus Lands in Florida
An interesting idea, although without an immediate
discovery of gold, the Spanish might lose interest altogether. What I might expect to happen is independent colonies
ĖJews, Protestants, French dissidents, English Catholics Ė to be established
instead of government-sponsored colonies.
Another possibility is the Pope declaring the
Ďworthlessí area to be a papal preserve and sending missionaries to preach
to the natives. Once they found
gold, of course, that edict would break down very fast, causing the foundations
of the papacy to shiver.
No other comments really, sorry.
If France Had Fought On From North Africa?
Curse. I was
writing this idea, but very slowly. Grr.
Anyway, I had Petain be more determined in this TL and act
to evacuate as much as he could under a truce agreement that would be stretched
as far as the French could do. Another
possibility would be a native revolt in Algeria just before the crack divisions
could be sent to France. That would
keep them there instead of France.
Basic results, French stronger in Indochina, Italy more
swiftly defeated, Spain MAY enter the war if Germans press enough, better
Franco-British cooperation after WW2
considered this idea carefully. If
there was a major breakdown in US/Europe relations in 1919 Ė perhaps over the
terms of the peace treaty Ė the British might well decide to stick with the
Japanese, perhaps offering them the Dutch islands (a sort of Ďweíll pay but
weíre taking them whatever you doí agreement) and quietly acknowledging
their predominance in China Ė with protection for British interests.
The British then form a trade block and donít let the US or anyone else
trade in their empire.
Still, that may lead to bad relations, but unless the war
starts by accident, (or by Japanese support for Philippine nationalists) its
hard to see how they will come to blows. As
for the war itself:
on circumstances. If Poles start
the war, they should be able to win with difficult, as until 1937 they had most
of the advantage. Net result is a
stronger Poland forcing Germany to stay disarmed, although the Germans will be
left with an even greater hatred for the Poles.
French and British will stay out of the war.
If Germany starts it, I would expect the French to at least
threatern to intervene and the Czechs as well.
Poles wonít be branded the aggressor so theyíll be able to buy arms
on the world market.
One possibility is a war that lasts long enough for both
sides to be so weak that Stalin/Lenin can invade from the east and overrun
Poland and Germany.
On the other hand, a Germany that stays weak longer would put the British in a better position as they would be longer before they need to start rearming.
Britain Holds the Deep South Ė Comments
First, I consider the POD to be interesting and innovative.
The only quibble is Iím not convinced that the Spanish had the ability
to even cooperate with the French to that degree.
From the seven years war to the Napoleonic wars, Spainís navy was in
terminal decline. However, as even
a British victory could leave them vulnerable, I tend to accept the POD.
British Reactions: The
British did not, in that time, hold back. I suspect that they would launch attacks on French and
Spanish positions in the Indies, instead of reinforcing America.
The news that there would be fewer reinforcements might well deter
Cornwallis from advancing further, which would allow him time to deal with the
partisan problem and strengthen his position.
As the Americans rarely won an open battle, they might attempt to attack
him and therefore suffer a devastating defeat.
If the Spanish continue to lose territory, they may be
unwilling to continue, even without the return of Manila and Minorca.
At some point in a losing war, you reach a point where you donít want
any more fighting, even if you come out worst.
Like France in 1940, Spain here will want to stop fighting.
Without Spain, France will find it harder to fight, as theyíll be
running out of resources and the will to continue the war.
I would consider New
York to be an unlikely target. As
memory serves, New York was a loyalist stronghold and very difficult to attack
from land. Canada is a possible
target, but the French might demand Canada back in exchange for their blood and
treasure, a demand that might cause a split between them and the Americans.
(If you had to choose between the British and French for neighbours, who
would you choose?)
There would probably
be some interest in Britain in continuing the war until victory, however,
opposition would be strong. If
America is in trouble, they would be just as interested in peace, so there might
be a truce in place and the after-war boundaries set as you suggest.
One things comes to mind at once Ė REVENGE!! The US in OTL was willing
to begin a war for Canada that was a land grab.
Here, thereíll be more incentive as the British hold lands regarded as
American. Further, the infant US
will have considerable problems. Without
the southern states, some of the bigger northern states might consider going it
alone, particularly if there have been mutinies in the army and congress is
Also, if Britain
holds the south, it might well spell the end of slavery.
Throughout the war, the British freed slaves and press-ganged them.
If the war damages the people who held most of the slaves, the US might
well ban slavery within its borders, an act that would have interesting
Small Twist on The Road to Quebec
I like this idea and I think it has real potential, but I
think there are a few small problems with it.
I disagree about the conquest of Canada having the same resonance as the
defeat of the British at Saratoga. The
Americans should have won that battle and they lost by sheer British luck, the
refusal of the Canadians to cooperate (unsurprising given their treatment by
American forces) and the expiry of many US fighters terms of enlistment.
I believe that there was also a smallpox epidemic at some point.
Change any of those and Quebec becomes untenable.
Therefore, I see Canada's fall as a Coral Sea battle (at
best), instead of a Midway. The
French might still join in the war or they might look for a rebel victory over a
real British force. Thatís not
impossible in this timeline, of course, but it may be harder depending on
British strategy. Incidentally, the
two best British generals never saw action in the war, Amherst refused the
command and Clive committed suicide shortly before war broke out. Change that and discredit Howe et al, and the British might
have better commanders.
Iím not convinced that the Americans would honour the
land of the Indians or the Canadians. One
of the American grievances was that they were denied access to Canadian and
Indian land, so they may well have problems with illegal settlers, even if the
American government, which may be different from OTL, banned immigration to
Also, why would the US bother to buy the French territory?
What can the French do to stop them, particularly if theyíre in the
middle of a revolution? It would
also help mend bridges with Britain, which might be important to trade and other
matters, while harming the French revolutionaries (and later Napoleon) who might
want Canada and Louisiana back.
This does have other interesting possibilities if the
society does become more racially tolerant.
Might there not be black immigration to states that now have very good
reasons to resist the Ďfugitive slave actí?
What role might they play in local politics? I could see some version of John Brown taking wanted slaves
into the militia and giving them training in how to fight, then allowing them to
be recovered and, once back in Dixie, raising revolts.
Final Note: what happens to Arnold in this TL?
In OTL, he felt that he had been sidelined and started plotting; in this
TL heís won a battle thatís as important at the one in OTL.
If heís still unhappy, will he still try to betray the American cause?
Incidentally, would you like to try a TL in which the north
expels the south or even the worst southern states? Iíve considered it, but your grasp of US politics is better
The Flight into Mordor
I like the idea of an AH based on Tolkinís works.
It always struck me as odd that Aragorn had no knowledge of what to do
with the Ring or even the sense to try and keep the party together.
However, Iím not convinced that the party would have
acted to engage Saruman before heading to Mt. Doom.
Saruman is a minor threat at the time, all he can do is minor damage
compared to Saron, so why not tackle the biggest threat first?
Itís a neat ending to the story, though, to have Sam
force the ring into the abyss.
I do think that there is a missing point from the original
LOTR, however, and that is the theme of growing up. In the FSOTR, Gandalf and Strider/Aragorn are very much the
decision makers, with the hobbits as their dependents.
However, by the TT the hobbits are starting to take responsibility and at
the end of the ROTK, the hobbits (even including Gollum) are the ones who
destroy the ring and, later, put Saruman and Wormtongue to flight from the
This indicates to me that part of the idea of the war was
to allow the younger peoples to grow up, and to be no longer dependent upon
people like Gandalf, Gladrial, etc. That
may have interesting effects later in your TL.
History of the
Interesting Idea. Iím
not convinced that France had the military power to defeat the colonists in
their own home ground, although the Anglo-Americans had proven themselves to be
very bad (at first) in organising attacks against the French.
Although you donít say so, Iím assuming the POD is sending Washington
without a British contingent under Braddock (?).
Iím not convinced that Germany could form under those
circumstances. Prussia depended on
British subsidies to keep in the field and was fighting on two fronts.
If the French are encouraged by the victory in America, they might keep
battering at Fredrick longer, long enough to defeat him for good.
What happens to British naval power?
They should be able to cut off the French colonies from their homeland.
Neat twist on the OTL American Revolution. Iím just surprised it took that long. But why not trade with the British instead of the Germans?
A Splendid Little War
This is a really good AH, particularly for a first attempt.
I enjoyed reading it a lot.
First, I agree with your POD. Itís a good Idea and OTL shows us that it should be
workable. I can see two problems,
however, could the logistics of a larger force still got them to Canada and what
about the enlistment period? Most
of the OTL forces left when their enlistment period finished, so that may still
be a problem.
For Canada, in OTL, the behaviour of the American army
caused many canucks to decide to be pro-British or neutral. That may also impede the campaign and give the Americans a
greualla problem to deal with, quite apart from any surviving British.
Iím not convinced that the fall of Canada, in and of
itself, is a sufficient impetus to get the French involved. Canadaís fall would come on the heels of several small
British defeats, it did not have the shock value of Saratoga, and, given the
French conceit that if they canít do it (or in this case hold Canada), no one
can, they may be wary of still becoming involved.
Worse, they would allow the British to shift the forces that went to New
York to the Caribbean, finish off the French colonies and force the French back
out of the war.
I agree with you about a large success causing American
morale to head upwards. Withier it
would allow more enlistments is more debatable, as the congress had serious
difficulties in equipping and deploying troops. They may also join state militias, which would have
interesting post-war implications.
Canada in the US has some very interesting post-war
implications, but I donít think that it would be as rosy as you suggest.
Canada had been barred to American settlement by the British, so I
suspect that there would be a massive influx of Americans into Canada, who would
engage in land speculation. Further,
the Americans believed that the Quebec Act, which provided some measure of
protection to the Catholic Church, was a device to introduce popery into the
colonies. I donít think that theyíll be inclined to tolerate it
much, which would leave Quebec as an Ireland style place, and immigration of
Catholics, a problem in OTL, would head to Quebec instead of the middle
In such circumstances, the dictum that Church and State are
separate would either be more clearly stated or Protestants would be the main
religion. That would have serious
effects on Americaís reputation for taking anyone.
Under such circumstances, would the US ever form?
If the colonies were based on population (or free population, or voting
population) and Catholics and slaves were excluded from the vote, it would place
power into the hands of the northern colonies.
As those were partly dominated by religious abolitionists, they might try
to ban slavery, which might spark off the civil war too early.
Both Britain and France would be tempted to intervene.
I suspect that the power of the federal government would be more
circumscribed in ATL.
If Canada is not a British territory, most of the impetus
behind the War of 1812 is gone with it. Part
of that war was outrage at the seized seamen, but most of it was a land grab.
Further, if thereís no invasion of Canada, the British have no cause to
invade Washington, which was done in revenge for the burning of a Canadian town.
More likely, without that cause for conflict, the Americans might become
British allies, invading French and Spanish territories with the British and
forming an economic community.
If Canada does become an American state or two, it will
have interesting effects on the civil war, assuming everything goes as OTL,
which id think unlikely. More free
states would lead to the slave states being held back earlier and perhaps even
challenged to get rid of slavery or keep it in its current borders. This might lead to an early end to the civil war, or even
avert it entirely.
Your AH did give me some interesting ideas.
For example, what if the French demanded Canada back as the price for
their assistance? The Americans
would be in a position that would be worse than pre-seven years war, with a
possibly hostile power sitting on the border.
Or, that might give the British and Americans some good cause to make a
peace that satisfies both parties. Perhaps
an arrangement in which the Americans contribute to imperial defence, but run
their own internal affairs.
Rasputin Have Prevented the First World War?
First, I think this
is an excellent idea, although not taken as far as Iíd like (any change of
further development?). I like the
idea of Rasputin convincing the Russians to stay out of the war (there is no
question that the Tsar had the authority to do what you suggest), but Iím not
convinced that the Russians would have just abandoned the Serbs.
As far as I can remember, they have an obligation to defend them, so if
they just abandon them without due cause, itíll make them look bad.
alternative. Letís have the
Russians condemn what little the Serb government knew of the plot and warn that
they will only honour their obligations if the Serbs are punished unreasonably.
In OTL, the Austrians demanded stiff terms that would have practically
ended Serbian independence, which they did try to meet to the best of their
ability. Letís have Russia
pressure the Austrians into accepting an apology, some reparations, extradition
of the culprits and perhaps a temporary occupation of Belgrade.
Thatís not inconsistent with the treatment of China after the Boxer
rebellion, so its acceptable to the powers, and it had a defiantly lifetime.
The Russian publicly state that anything over those terms means war.
That leaves Germany
as the problem. In OTL, they
practically signed a blank check for the Austrians. In ATL, would they step back from the brink?
I suspect that they would here, as they would clearly be in the wrong.
This would probably
leave the Russians with extra influence in Serbia, which might prove grounds for
another war in the Balkans. Further,
it would allow them to reach Greece, which might well embroil them with Britain.
The Germans would have an extra year or so to build up their forces
before the war broke out, if it did.
This does offer an
interesting suggestion. What if the
Germans arrange an Ďincidentí in Belgium or the Netherlands.
They therefore demand similar recompense from them, including military
occupation, colonial concessions and money.
This puts them in a very strong position in lands that are geographically
very important strategically. They
can then keep putting up the prices until the Belgiumís try to evict them,
which provides an excuse for parmerment occupation.
The British would hesitate to interfere if they suspected that the
Belgiumís had brought in on themselves, which would let the Germans have time
to dig in and hold the smaller nations.
There is one
problem with the Alternate History and the long-term survival of Russia.
Rasputin was deeply unpopular with the court and the nation, so there
will be other attempts on his life, and he will continue to make the Tsarina
look ridiculous. I know people who
would plunge whole nations into war, merely because their opponents wanted
peace, a description that might fit the aristocrats of Russia.
Glad to have you
back with us, Scott, and as always you give us something interesting to argue
about. My own thoughts on FDR tend
to be somewhat contradictory: I consider him an idealist who was often unaware
of the consequences of his actions. Note
his refusal to support British imperial pretensions that would have kept East
Asia stable, contrasted with an indulgent attitude towards the French empire and
the USSR. How different, I wonder,
would history have been if he had backed a consistent anti-imperialist policy
from the start, convincing Stalin not to practically annex Eastern Europe and
forcing the French out of Indochina? How
much grief would have been avoided if he had done so.
To be fair, FDR did
have to sneak though his amendments to the US that were meant to tackle the
Great Depression. The
fear of communism that gripped the upper classes (in the US case managers and
owners) made tax relief, subsidies and fixed wages difficult to force through.
Many of the richer people were able to face the depression with equimaity;
sure, theyíd be hurt, but they would not be forced out on the streets.
Iím not convinced that FDR really managed to halt the depression, it
may have been averted, as you suggest, by the flow of war orders from the allies
when the war began.
I agree with your
POD as a convenient source of domestic work.
Iím a little surprised that nothing particularly concrete or
anti-Japanese came out of the incident in the first place, I mean, Pearl Harbour
was less shocking than an attack on a neutral ship. This does provide a way of
encouraging rearmerent at an increased pace, but something would need to come
out of it. In a recent
CTT issue, I speculated that one of the reasons that the Atomic Bomb was used
was to justify, in ways that could not be disproved, how important the extremely
expensive atomic project was. Having
built up a fleet, there would be some incentive to use it, perhaps as another
Ďgreat white fleetí or something similar.
If the US protests and does its build-up, and Japan continues to rape
china, some parties in the US who supported the build-up as a way to help
china wonít be impressed by the Japanese blithely continuing.
The problem with
using the USN to run a RN blockade is that it would be suicide for Britain to
allow the US to convoy to Germany unopposed.
In reality, the Germans wonít be able to buy much and FDR wonít be
enthusiastic about sending anything to them anyway, but it still weakens the
British position. Even if all the
US sends is Food, it helps out Germany a lot.
It might be easier to send supplies to nations like Finland (against the
USSR, which is another excuse to expend military production), but if any go to
Germany, there will be a falling out with Britain. A quick and insightful Japanese politician could then see a
way of carrying out your Victorious Japanese Arms (version one) and unite with
One a different
note, FDR could launch a gunrunning plan that involves the US producing war
material at cheap rates and selling them to the allies.
This has the advantage of expanding US production plants and rearming the
allied forces against Germany. If
the French had a few thousand more tanks, might they not defeat the Germans?
Or, what if those tanks were sent to China instead or as well.
A stronger Britain
means a shorter war. If Britain is
still strong after Mussolini declares war, they can polish of Libya as soon as
he does, which means no African front and consequently more troops to go to
Singapore. A British victory there
shores up the British Empire, opens other channels to china, and other
Something I would expect to come out of your AH that you
donít mention is a stronger China. The
Japanese held much Chinese territory, but the Chinese were very good at slipping
though Japanese lines and hitting them in raids.
If the US is taking a stronger line against the Japanese, they may supply
the Chinese with weapons and advice. That
wonít, I admit, improve the Chinese situation until they fix the problem with
the command policies, (Stilwell had hardly any influence over a corrupt and
idiot command system in OTL) but if the Americans start demanding results from
the Chinese in exchange for supplies, they might have to buck up a bit.
Few other odd points.
John Rabe, a German in Nanking, did wonders to get Chinese non-combatants
out of danger. Hitler might be
impressed by his antics in this TL as a way of integrating himself with the US.
Funny article on a changed Monty. I donít know how much effect that would have, I mean, Monty
won the 2nd battle of El Alimain, so he was clearly important.
Incidentally, if he is an irresponsible drunkard, I find it hard to
believe that he stays in the army during the harsh years of 1920-32, they need
good officers and a drunkard, no matter how much of a hero he is, is not the
sort of person youíd want at your back.
The main part, I gather, is without Monty, Armhem is a
success. That opens up some
interesting post-war implications, as all the German defences would have been
outflanked, although Hitler might consider a variant on the Bulge plan that
involves trapping the allies in Holland. It
would probably be as successful as the bulge plan, but it might be interesting.
Further, the allies would improve their supply lines (Britain-Holland as
opposed to Britain-France-Holland) and would have less incentive to keep the
French happy. Further, without the
bad Rhineland terrain to fight through, the allies might end up in a better
position, vis-ŗ-vis the USSR, after the war.
Interesting idea. Iím
not convinced that Caesar was a republican at heart, few generals are, but it
might have been possible. However,
if you give the lower orders some influence in Roman politics, you get a system
thatís more stable as there are fewer grounds for revolution.
However, what about the slaves? The Romans were slightly more honest about the slaves than
the Americans were, and when a slave was freed, they got proper civil rights.
However, a republic does start to wonder, at some point, why they are
keeping slaves when they are free. Further,
what about the important families?
On a final note, a lot of people were suspicious about
Caesar in Rome anyway. This attempt
on his life might have failed, but unless he shows immediate contrition, he may
face other attempts on his life.
History of the American Revolution
Nice idea, though I wish there was
more detail on how the Americans lost the first revolution.
To get what you imply, I would suggest no French entry after Saratoga,
which needs the French occupied elsewhere.
If the French get knocked out early, the Americans will be demoralized.
If the French donít suffer serious problems, the king may not need to
call the estates-general and start the revolution.
Incidentally, do you think you could do a timeline in which the French
Revolution births a stable state, instead of the directory and then Napoleon?
The main problem with the beginning is not the plausibility
Ė nappy was known for difficult (which is being charitable) naval plans Ė
but the ability of the French to convoy ships to America. Could they have slipped even a single ship past the British?
The adventure might come to a quick end with general Bonaparte sitting in
a British jail.
The problem with a liberated America in this situation is
that I would expect civil war to break out at once. Americans donít, it appears, sit well for people tormenting
them, so I would expect the loyalists and state-rightists to form armies and
offer resistance to Bonaparte and the American revolutionaries.
Again, I would expect a coup attempt to be the cause of
disintegration, rather than unity. If
the coup plotters come down with a heavy hand, theyíll face revolts (I mean,
would you like to be told that your propertyís being confiscated just because
your state does not supply an army) and a soft hand would leave them in the same
position. America is not a nation
in which all property does not belong to the people who use it.
There was even some armed resistance to creditors during the great
depression, and those impoundations were Ďrightí, if such a term can be
Nice touch with nappy freeing the slaves, but its not in OTL character, though I suppose that America might be having an effect on him. In Russia, he did not free the serfs, which might have got him victory, nor did he free slaves in Egypt. Cutting the ground from under the south is not a bad idea, but would the soldiers follow him to do that? Of course, black troops would be the most loyal in his forces Ö.
This is a very good TL, but Iím not sure if the outcome
is completely valid. I also found
it a little difficult to understand at first, so readers may benefit from
several read-throughs. I agree with
you discussion of how important the war was to the WW2 following it, although
you donít mention the positive effects for Germany (good training + secure
western flank) or the negative effects for Italy (bad reputation, loss of
possible ally, loss of considerable amount of military machinery and loss of
funds sent to Spain.)
Iím not sure that Franco was quite as important as you
suggest, but, rereading my books on the matter, Iíve decided you have a point.
Franco had no real political allegiance (apart from himself, if that) and
could therefore unite a nationalist front that was almost as divisive as the
republicans. The POD is a valid one
and quite effective, although, it you dislike determined events, you could have
a republican ship shoot the aircraft down.
Without the Army of Africa, the forces in Spain will find
themselves in trouble very quickly, although a smaller nationalist zone is a
possibility. It would need some
luck and co-ordination, but it could be done.
Without the army of Africa, is an attack on Madrid even possible?
I would think that, with victory apparently round the corner, the
communists would wait to win before trying to seize control, but they did an
even stupider thing in OTL, so it is possible.
The idea that either Germany or Italy could outright invade
Spain, Iím afraid, is impossible. Neither
power has the resources to invade and run the nation, while it would almost
certainly provoke international intervention.
There is no way the Italian or German navies could run a RN blockade,
while France is in the path of any land attack.
What I suspect you meant was that the two sides seek to use the groups
theyíre backing as pawns and later puppets.
The stalemated war and de facto partition of Spain is the probable
outcome of this policy. That assumes, of course, that the German resources hold up
under the new demands from Spain and the little remuneration they receive.
Without a non-aggression pact between Hitler and Stalin, it
is unlikely that Hitler will crush Poland.
If he attacks, he runs the risk of Stalin either supplying the poles or
allowing his forces to destroy the poles and then hit Germany while itís
weakened by the war. I strongly
suspect, however, that Hitler will offer the Poles some kind of alliance, based
perhaps on mutual Jew-hating and fear of the USSR, while building up his own
forces for an attack on Russia, if that happens. If Stalin hits first, it gives the west a fig leaf for
allowing Hitler to fight Russia, supplied by the west.
Allow me to suggest a more plausible method of getting a
partitioned Spain. Allow events to
run as OTL until the first battle of Madrid, which was won mainly because of the
supplies sent by Stalin. Fear of
communism was a powerful motivator in those times, so lets have the British and
French declare an end to foreign interference Ė and install a blockade.
The RN alone could block both sides from transporting supplies in ships,
while the French could seal their borders and close off the land and air routes.
The French might be reluctant to cooperate, but if the British make it
clear that France will face Germany alone unless they do, theyíll fall in
Which of the Spanish sides would have the advantage?
The republicans would hold most of the factories, the navy and have a lot
of people who have a real reason to believe in a republican victory, but they
would have the communists either acting to subvert the war or sharpening their
knives until the war was over. The
nationalists would have better aircraft and the main body of the army, but lack
real popular support and many supplies for their advanced weapons.
If they fight with abandon, theyíll soon run out of weapons and fight
on the same level as their opponents, with consequently, a drop in morale.
Franco was not a particularly bright general, as generals go, so he might
decide to withhold offensives for the time being.
So, after a year or so of uneasy truce, thereíll be a
semi-formal partition of Spain. The
war will probably break out again when Ė if Ė WW2 does, with Hitler
supplying the nationalists again after France falls.
See What if the Spanish Civil War Lasted Longer
for my development of this idea.
See What if the Spanish Civil War Lasted Longer for my development of this idea.
Republic and Empire
Well, John, Youíve done it again. Whetted my interest in a part of history I know little about.
Keep up the good work.
First, always a good idea to mention mistakes made by other
members. Second, as far as I know,
your POD scans. It seems logical,
while not changing too much of OTL. That
said, Iím not sure that theyíd look for new blood in areas that they had
previously shunned. (If thatís
what they did, I would like clarification and my reference books donít cover
this area.) I canít see the grand
masters, accustomed to wielding power, giving up most of it (de facto if
not de jure) to their underlings or councils, its just not in the mindset
of the time. This also, as youíve
noted, destabilises the relationship between the Knight grand master and the
Pope. I suspect that the pope would
rule that the grand master need not consider himself bound by his oath, and
gamble that the master would win the resulting row/dispute/civil war.
In your AH, Iím assuming that the grand master either
lost or did not get involved in disputes to whom he really had power over.
That means that there will be a constant period of trying to slip out of
the Popeís control, while maintaining the power of the council.
I did get two ideas from your AH. 1) Would it be possible to end up with a complete theocratic
state covering most of Europe? 2)
Would it be possible to remove the Pope or reduce him to complete insignificance
earlier than OTL?
England is ours
I agree with your basic idea, although it would be a very
near run thing. I think that if the
British knew that they were facing a more competent foe theyíd leave nelson
with instructions not to go too far from Britain, although nelson was not known
for his following of instructions. Yes,
the militia would be of dubious value against the Grande Armiee.
Regarding the peace terms, I would expect nappy to keep
Gibraltar for himself (its too valuable a naval base to give to the Spanish) I
canít see America allowing the French to reoccupy Canada (remember, one of the
reasons for the American Revolution was the fear that the British intended to
bring Popery back to America.), therefore theyíll take it themselves, possibly
with the contrivance of the British authorities. I donít see nappy keeping the British set at twenty ships,
while the British could try to set up base in India or Canada and keep fighting
from abroad. That would be a very
interesting story to do at some point.
Without Britain stirring the pot, I expect that most of the
Eastern Europe nations would make whatever terms they could get with Napoleon.
It was British money that kept them fighting, far more then British
support, even the navel side.
Troops from abroad in England? Where from? America
canít send an army to England at this time, even if they joined the war at the
same time. On the other hand, if
Nelson has holed up in the Caribbean or Canada or somewhere and then seized
control of the channel again, it might be doable.
That would, of course, mean that Nappy could not resupply the troops in
Incidentally, if France got the 100+ ships that they took
off Britain, how useful will they be? France
did not have a huge body of seamen to use, so would nappy just break them up or
sell them to Denmark or somewhere?
Like the other AHs, you did give me ideas.
What if we have Nappy abandon the idea of taking England by force and
instead expand upon the Orders in Council to make any British ship a legitimate
target. Then use the French navy
for commerce raiding, rather than futile lunges at Britain or the British navy.
This might distress the British more than laws that canít be enforced.
Or, if you want a real world-changer, what if you have the invasion happening in the time of the early French revolution? There was a lot of anti-establishment hatred building in Britain during those years, so what if the French invade and are welcomed or ignored?
Survival of Nazi Germany Ė Comments
This is probably unique in my experience. Most TLs that include a nazi survival tend to have Hitler defeat Russia in 1941, although that would be difficult for the Nazis to pull off. Anyway, on with the comments
Norway: I agree with you on this one, a success would keep chamberlain in power and provide the allies with a real morale boost. That said, if the British do arrive first, they might be attacked by Norwegian forces, which would either see them pushed back (and feeling unwilling to assist the Norwegians when Hitler strikes) or them occupying Norway themselves, which would give Hitler a considerable propaganda tool. However, even if we have the brits launch a day or so before Hitler, which lets them get troops near Norway (rather than on land) and powerful naval forces nearby, weíd probably see the brits smash the German destroyers that carried the northernmost prong of the German force, but the Germans would probably manage to land the southern forces and occupy Denmark anyway.
France: However, when Hitler was desperate in OTL, he tended to try desperate measures, such as the famous Manstain Plan. (Correct me if Iím wrong, but did they not lose the plans before Norway? Iíll check.) Even with the original plan, Iíd still bet on the Germans, even through the campaign would be longer and bloodier. If the French stay in the fight longer, Hitler might well consider occupying ALL of France, particularly if the gems of the French forces, (mainly the navy) is either part of the free French (or a French govt. in exile) is in allied hands and thereís no point in enforcing neutrality over the French mainland.
If Italy does get involved in this WW2, the French and British colonial forces in Africa would overwhelm Libya, well before the Germans can send some equivalent of the Afrika Korps to aid the dumbos. The Brits can then finish off the remaining Italian colonies at leisure. This has interesting effects in that more French and British troops will be available to go to the Far East, which may deter Japan from occupying Indochina and threatening the Empires in the Far East.
If Musso is not dethroned for this little screw-up, heíll be forced to shift his politics into a very firm German orbit, which will add some forces to the German forces. Perhaps not of that much value, but, without the Italian borughcraticy, they might be able to contribute something helpful to the Germans.
The stalemate is the probable end result of this war. The British and French fleets would be able to defeat the U-Boats (extra escorts = less chance of a U-Boat getting close). On the other hand, Germany would be absorbing the French, Italian (and perhaps Spanish) industrial bases, and perhaps developing the small craft needed to invade Britain. This TL might see a German Sealion in 1942, although, in OTL, Britain was impregnable by then.
Iím not sure I see the treaty that you describe as the logical outcome. Britain and the exile French canít hope to retake Europe, while Germany canít crush them without nukes (which might see more nazi concentration on obtaining them). I suspect that the Germans will spend most of 1941-42 preparing defences for the eastern front, formatting discontent in the colonial empires and developing their industrial base.
My outcome of this TL would be an agreement to return nominal sovinitnity over most of mainland France to the French, but with strict limits on the French forces allowed on the mainland and the retention of the economic links between Germany and France. Franceís colonies get unlimited immigration from the mainland and real independence.
Another possible outcome is the Germans making a deal with the Turks, or Stalin, or both, to invade the Middle East through Turkey. Many of the Balkan states would be looking desperaly for a protector against the USSR, so they might well be amiable to an agreement alone those lines. In which case we get a German takeover of the Middle East and the collapse of much of the old empires.
USSR: I donít think that the USSR would become a great (ok, greater) power in this timeline. While they had a large army and airforce (and extra time after the Finland debacle), they were handicapped by having Stalin to lead them. There is no reason why he should not have considered another purge, absent a threat from the west, which might see Zhukov and the other winners of OTL killed. Further, the USSR of 1945-1980 drew heavily on German scientists, who wonít be available in this TL. A German invasion might be unlikely, but the danger might cause problems for the Soviets, who will always need to stand on guard. Incidentally, Stalin could attack the Japanese once the German threat recedes in 1941.
British Empire: This half-victory in no way solves the problems that bedevilled the British in 1940 and therefore the collapse of most of the empire is certain. That said, if there are more troops available, the transfer of power to Indians might be more peaceful. However, if there is a powerful nationalist Asian state in the wings, Japan, it may be difficult for the Indians to keep their new independence.
Long-Term: Toltarenian regimes donít tend to last long, in a general sense. Germany will probably slowly slip back towards democratic, as Hitler deteriorates from Parkinsonís disease and frustration at the disruption to his plans. However, unless the Germans ship all the Jews to Madagascar or Palestine or some other hellhole, theyíll be exterminated or absorbed. If the German public learns of this, how will they react if thereís not an obvious war going on? Further, if the Pope does nothing to condemn it, (most of the pathetic excuses that he used in OTL donít apply here), the Catholic Church could and probably will lose much of its prestige. As the British/Free French/Americans/etc will be broadcasting the truth about the Nazi arocratis, it would be hard for them not to condemn the church for doing nothing, while those who hate the church on general principles could probably push for a renunciation of the Vaticanís special status.
The USSR will probably collapse much sooner than OTL. Without a German invasion to unite them behind Stalin, and to Ďjustifyí Stalinís own misdeeds, rebellion is a serious possibility. Food riots did in the Tsar after all. The Germans would probably fuel the fire with arms supplies to Ukrainian and Russian freedom fighters.
When Nukes get invented, theyíll change the whole balance of power. If the Germans get them first, I canít see Hitler not bombing Britain at once and demanding surrender. If the brits get nukes first, they might use them (although chamberlain would probably not allow it) or just have a MAD-style scenario. But if the USSR does not get them (which is likely in the short term), Stalin might try a pre-emptive strike on Germany.
Anyway, I hope you like these comments on a very good AH.
The Royal House of Cromwell Part II
Iíve enjoyed reading this Alternate History, but I rate it as not particularly plausible.† The POD and some of the developments are valid and interesting, but I disagree with the main points and the Alternate world, which seems to be practically identical to OTL, just different players.
I tend to disbelieve that any king could lope off half the kingdom, even the practically worthless (or so people believed at the time) American colonies and grant them practical independence.† Its not a kingly act and I canít think of any comparable act that did happen in OTL.† Even if the king did want it to happen, the people might not go along with the idea; it would be like Britain pushing Sussex out of the UK.† That said, I see nothing wrong with the establishment of an American Parliament, which would give the Americans some autonomy, while maintaining free imperial trade, mutual defence and a common ground.
Iím not sure if you mentioned it, but is Canada part of the American kingdom?† If so, there will be problems with the French population.† They were concerned about becoming part of the OTL USA, while the Americans wanted the Canadian lands for reasons that frankly escape me.† If the king does anything equivalent to the Quebec Act, the population will be seriously unhappy, while I canít see an American parliament passing the act.†<![endif]>
In circumstances where America did develop an astrocraticy, the slave trade would be harder to stamp out.† Remember that the US was unable to stop slavery without a civil war, while Britain could only stop it with great difficulty.† An alliance of the American and British aristocrats would mean that many of the people who held money and slaves would be making the decisions.† If they hold out for compensation, it would have a serious effect on the economy, while angering people who donít own slaves, but are already worried about competition from newly freed slaves.†
Incidentally, in any timeline where Britain is a close ally of the United States, the CSA doesnít stand a chance.† Instead of the hope of British recognition, the British navy would make the blockade even tighter, while preventing France or Germany from interfering in Mexico.† The war would probably last no more than a year.† Of course, if France is not occupied in Mexico, they might notice the Prussians soonerÖ..
In the 1800ís, Britain rarely gave back territories or made them independent.† Yes, there were places where such a solution would have been very effective, but they did not do that.†
The First World War would not last four years if America was in the war from the start.† If we assume the British and American navies to be the same as their OTL equivalents, theyíll be more than capable of destroying the German navy or even risking one of the harebrained schemes that Churchill came up with, such as the naval attack on Denmark, or a close blockade.† The American manpower could provide a vital boost to the BEF, while American industries might well develop tanks before OTL.† The joint forces could also sweep Germanyís colonies up before Japan or China could become involved.†
No king of Britain could order the use of Nazi-type polices.† They could suggest them, such as Victoria suggested polices, but they could not order them.† Nor could the parliament force the king out merely for liking the foe Ė King George of OTL, who was delighted that the French were no longer in the war, was not forced out.†
Something that did interest me from this AH was the possibility of a global British monarchy.† I have tinkered with such an idea, but youíve given me a better one.† Letís say that the Parliament of America is set up like Britainís, but has the heir to the throne as viceroy.† Someone to serve as a focus for public loyalty, while being unbribeable and a distraction from the business of government.† This idea could also allow the British to absorb monarchies from India when they take over there, which would involve Indians in the highest levels right from the start.†
A Continent Divided
This is a genuinely interesting idea.† I donít see why the four nations did not unite, but the United Kingdom did not become united until the pressure to do so was overwhelming and there was STILL opposition to the union, although very uncoordinated.† That said, there would be lots of cross-border trade, which would be very difficult to stamp out, so the pressure for union might increase constantly.†
There have been definite attempts in Britain, from which Australia was born, to accommodate the needs of ethnic minorities with language signs.† Unless there was a strong current of anti-German feeling, I donít see why the request to have a two-language nation was denied.† If such a current did exist, we might expect South Australia to follow the Japanese path and be openly hostile or neutral in the World War Two equivalent.
Iím not convinced that the four nations would not form some kind of constant defence force, regardless of their differences.†† If Japan or China managed to overwhelm or suborn one of the nations, the others would be in serious trouble.† This would also have the advantage of making it difficult for the nations to fight each other, while sharing the costs of weapons.† The existence of one of the states holding nukes and the others not strikes me as odd.† If England and Scotland were separate after WW2, I would expect us Scots to be very leery of English nukes within easy range, even given a history of friendship.† A joint nuclear force is a much more logical option.
I liked the idea of the formation of Sud Australia.† I donít know if youíve ever heard of the Planetary Graphic Novels, but one of them had the hero discovering a similar conspiracy by some of the most famous characters of the era, Holmes, Dracula and Wells among them.† A summery of the issue is available here: http://home.earthlink.net/~rkkman/frames/summaries/S13.htm.†
Texas Łber Alles
Glad I provided the inspiration for this timeline.† I was surprised to discover that this had really come close to happening, but history is funny sometimes.†
I do think that British support would not have mattered as much as you suggest.† The British would have had awesome difficulty in supplying an army in Texas; they might well have only meant to keep the US busy.†
The Germans would have been wiser to free the blacks and allow them to live as citizens.† This would not only encourage more blacks to settle, work and pay taxes, but keep the US north and South at loggerheads over the issue.† The North was historically unwilling to allow the south to add more slave states, so they might not support a war to recover those slaves.† Furthermore, if the blacks had a real chance at freedom, I would expect them to become very loyal servants of the German King.†
If the USCW occurs in this timeline, I would expect that the Germans help out the confederacy, or, failing that, at least supplied them with weapons and volunteers.† That said, less CSA states means that theyíll have less manpower to draw on for the war.† I donít think that the civil war would have happened with a predatory state in the south and perhaps in the north.† Incidentally, it would be easier for thousands of blacks to move to Texas after the war finished.†
I did have one other POD coming from this idea.† What might have happened if the Germans had launched their coup Ė and then the US invaded, overthrew the coup-plotters and annexed Texas?† There were in OTL hints of a growing German-American agonistism, here, Germany would have a very good reason to hate the US.† This might well mean that the US would be forced to ally with Britain in 1914, assuming that it happens.† Republics donít bear grudges, but empires do.†
``So You think you've got Troubles?íí
I would like to think that British troops would try to separate Catholics and Protestants, but they would be very temped to just let them kill each other.† I canít see any Irish leader deciding to try to retake the north anyway; it would be suicide against the more powerful Britain.† Worst Case: Britain crushes the Irish and takes over again.†
In this situation, I could see the British demanding that the Irish renounce their claim to the Whole Island Ė never mind Ďaskingí.†
The problem with this part of history is that I donít know enough to make really intelligent comment.† I could make lots of unintelligent comment if you want, but I think thatís not particularly helpful.† What are do have are general observations.
First:† my compliments on not keeping your empire around till the present day.† That is a problem in Alternate History, so well done for avoiding it.
I would expect an empire to have a succession crisis in such a situation.† The son would have to fight off any contenders, rebellious viceroys, even members of his own family.† The limited communication in that era would make it tricky to respond to a revolt before it had really taken root.† Look at the problems the British had in 1777.†
Rereading, itís apparent that youíve noted that fact.† A mercenary revolt was a constant threat.† The Spanish and French had problems with the Swiss, while Carthage had just made peace with Rome and then was threatened by a mercenary revolt.†
I canít, offhand, remember an OTL time in which the qualities that youíve ascribed to Dionysius, ďbigoted instead of tolerant, philistine instead of cultured...and a brilliant and determined general instead of an ineffectual and irresolute commanderĒ were really part of an emperor.† Hitler, to whom he may be compared, was definitely not a brilliant general, although he embodied the other traits.† Worse, from this era, a really disliked king would face revolts across the empire.† If Dionysius was a conqueror, its unlikely that he would have stopped and offered Egypt autonomy.†
(Rethinking this, the French Victor Huages, who ran the French west Indies during the French revolution, did embody the traits you describe.)
Incidentally, I would expect Dionysiusís son to be ineffective.† Dionysius came to power by overthrowing his father, he must be aware that it could happen to him.† The son will be either weak or have a hero-worship complex about his dad.†
PS, is there any chance of maps?