A USA Less World
By Michael W Moore
As 1914 dawns the European alliance situation is pretty much the same as OTL. The butterflies flapping around this USA Less World have not really started to impact Europe proper that much.
The main difference in this TL is a greater German colonial expansion started by a fortuitous acquisition of Mexico from France.
This has brought Germany into more direct competition with the other colonial powers, especially Britain and France.
This competition has stimulated a naval race between the powers sooner than in OTL. Germany, France and Britain are the main competitors and this race has strained the treasuries of all three countries, particularly France and Britain’s.
All the navies are considerably bigger and more deadly this TL.
Britain’s is almost 50% larger, France 25% larger, and Germany is almost twice the size of the OTL Krigsmarine.
Jan. 1914, Kaiser Wilhelm II is very annoyed with the British who he feels are being obstructionist to German colonial expansion. Twice, once in 1898 and again last year in 1913, an arrangement had been worked out for a British/German division of the Portuguese colonies. Both times the deals had come to naught for the Germans.
While attending a Dec. function at the Japanese embassy in Berlin, a German diplomat who spoke Japanese had a rather boozy conversation with a Japanese member of the consulate.
The subject of the conversation was the expansion of both their virile Empires. Specifically, colonial expansion and at whose expense it would occur.
‘Why we ought to just divide up the world my Japanese friend’, says the German.
‘Why not’, replies the Japanese? Indeed why not?
From this discussion comes more formal and secrete talks between the two powers.
A secrete alliance is signed in early Feb. between Germany and Japan to facilitate their colonial ambitions. Its objective was take over the colonies of Europe’s smaller countries, those of Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands.
This audacious plan called for the creation of several incidents between these proposed victims and Germany and Japan.
Using these incidents as pretext, they would reveal the German/Japanese pact and declare war, then seize the colonies in total. Thereby presenting the world with a fait a comply that they gambled would not ignite a general war.
March 3rd, a Japanese destroyer intentionally collides with a Dutch coastal freighter near Jakarta. The collision badly damages the bow of the Japanese ship but sinks the small freighter. Both countries accuse the other of fault.
March 10th, off the Canarys, a German war ship fires on a Spanish fishing boat sinking it. The German Captain claimed the fishing boat closed on his ship without permission and refused to stand off, this was denied by the rescued Spanish fishermen.
March 11th, a border incident occurs on the Angolan & Gr. Southwest African border. German troops fire on the Portuguese border guards, who return fire. Each side accuses the other of opening fire first. There were no casualties.
March 12th, the Japanese first detain, and then confiscate, a Dutch merchant ship in Nagasaki. They claimed the ship was carrying contraband. The Netherlands denies the charges and demand the return of its ship and crew. The Dutch make a formal diplomatic protest.
The rest of the world is beginning to notice something is going on but what?
March 15th, a German merchant ship, visiting Barcelona, is blown up in the harbor by its crew who claim Spanish sabotage. Germany makes a formal diplomatic protest.
March 18th, a second, and more serious, border incident occurs in Africa. This time after both sides exchange gunfire a German soldier is dead. In reality this was a corpse planted by the Germans themselves.
The Germans demand the arrest of the Portuguese soldier responsible. The Portuguese commander refuses.
The Germans who had a contingent of soldiers ready, cross over the border and capture the Portuguese border guard unit after killing several of them. Portugal makes a formal diplomatic protest.
Britain, March 20th, offers to mediate the problems between the Germans, the Portuguese, and the Spanish.
The offer is rebuffed by the Germans, who accuse the Spanish and Portuguese of collusion against Germany.
Collusion of what many ask?
Britain and France assume that Germany’s actions are somehow connected to its desire to acquire the Portuguese colonies, but make no connection between this crisis and the Japan/Dutch flare up.
This ATL Germany is not looking for its place in the sun; it has found it, if it can hold onto it!
So when the Archduke is assassinated the Kaiser and his Govt. do every thing they can to keep the lid on the volatile situation. Far from egging the Austrians on they insist on a restrained response and get it.
The situation is settled with some timely Serbian groveling and everybody heaves a sigh of relief and gradually settles into a new reality.
So as things wind down to the end of 1914 what does this world look like?
Well Italy and France are much the same in this TL.
The Czar still rules in Russia and Austria/Hungary, along with the Ottoman Empire, is still with us.
OTL- Poland, Finland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, the Balts, and Yugoslavia were never born.
China is still the plaything of the European Powers.
The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, and Portugal have been shorn of Empire.
Japan has added the Philippines, the Asian Portuguese holdings, and the Dutch East Indies to its Empire and for the time being is satiated and working on absorbing its new territories.
With more natural resources, including the Indies oil will Japan be much more dangerous in the future?
Germany, the big winner so far, has a large chunk of the North American continent in its pocket in this TL, as well as extensive holdings in Africa.
Britain is bigger and better, but falling behind a bigger and better Germany faster in this ATL.
The North American Continent is a crazy quilt of countries.
Canada has been augmented by the addition of Alaska and the Oregon country.
Where the USA used to exist there are now 11 different countries. Also some parts of OTL USA are now a part of Canada or German America. Most of the American countries have had little impact on the world stage at this point except in matters of trade.
This ATL managed to avoid WWI, so far anyway.
End Part 3
Where does this USA LESS WORLD go from here?Comments?