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Old 04-13-2014, 01:34 PM   #61
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Try this idea, Franz Joseph trips down the stairs in May of 1914. He spends the summer slowly withering away. The Arch-Duke never goes to the parade. The Russians fearful of Austria getting a rational pro-British leader decide to explain to the Brits that they are terrified of the Truks getting Dreadnoughs (the fear of the Truks getting a better Black Sea fleet push the Russians to mobilise in the Summer of 1914). The Brits cancel the sales of the Dreadnoughts to the Turks by damaging both ships and blaming the Germans. The Germans make a case to the Ottomans and the whole thing fizzles, but not Russian greed for territorial expanion. The war comes later....

From there it's just a matter of what tech level you want to put together with La Belle Epoch social cultural norms. Myself I'd wait the war until the 1950s and mix TL7+1 and TL7+2 goodies in a fight to control the Moon! But go with your own tastes for a delayed WWI.
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:17 PM   #62
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William Dudley Pelley gets a useful second wife around 1925 who can keep him focused on practical matters and prevailing hygiene standards, and he convinces another man from Asheville, NC - Senator Robert R. Reynolds - to throw his hat in the ring for President in 1932 (with Pelley as campaign manager, of course). Since the ticket must obviously consist of a New Yorker and a Southerner, Reynolds convinces Garner to endorse him at the convention in exchange for a cabinet post, takes FDR as VP, and easily wins the general election. Pelley is, of course, the President's Chief of Staff, and begins handling all too much of the administrative business of the Democratic Party 1933-40 while keeping the administration loudly isolationist and quietly pro-Nazi.

The British, French and Soviets take down the Nazis anyway, but it takes longer and the price is greater. The USA's banking collapses again as its loans to Germany, Italy and Japan are defaulted on by the victors. The result is a Soviet Union, a grimly socialist and desperately poor Western Europe, and a USA that's an international pariah - Americans are routinely denied entry visas to the rest of the 'civilized' world, and largely cut out of international trade. The British Empire, the world's sole nuclear power for the moment, imposes harsh trade penalties on the USA for its financial support of fascism. When the USA and Soviets get the bomb in the 50s, the USA turns inward altogether, becoming something like North Korea on a massive scale.

This is an attempt to recreate the "American Bund" timeline from Cowboy Angels. There are two obvious holes - the Dear Leader and Family who lead postwar America are never named and I don't have too many good candidates. I don't even have a good transitional president to follow Reynolds picked out. The other is America's land borders - is paranoia and misinformation really enough to keep poor and terrified Americans from fleeing to the neighboring countries? Perhaps we can throw in an invasion of Mexico that Britain et al intervene on the Mexican side, resulting in a Great Wall on the southern border, but any such event with Canada seems implausible (if only because not even America's crazy leaders could convince themselves that the international community would leave Canada to twist in the wind).
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:32 PM   #63
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Rasputin

Rasputin may have been a con man, but he did give the Romanovs exactly the right advice on the biggest issue of their lives: Don't go to war with Germany. What if they'd taken his advice?

This isn't as flashy a way of stopping or delaying the Great War as saving Franz Ferdinand, but it has a better chance of delaying the blowup longer. Serbia is going to keep on provoking Austria-Hungary, so a Third Balkan War is going to happen. What turns it into the Great War is Russian support for Serbia. If the Tsar won't extend this support as far as war, the Third Balkan War happens in the Teens or the Twenties.

Other possible features of Reality Rasputin:
  • Troubles in Ireland: There actually was an incipient uprising in Ireland by protestants in protest of the new Home Rule bill. Without the Great War, Ireland gets a different version of its civil war.
  • Mussolini stays pacifist and Socialist.
  • Hitler decides to give America a try, and ends up as one of Disney's top animators.
  • Lenin stays in Zurich long enough to get shot by a mistress he didn't get to in our history.
  • Igor Sikorsky remains in Russia, and develops working helicopters by the early Thirties.
  • With no cheap surplus Jennies available from WWI production, there is no barnstorming era in the US. Charles Lindbergh and James Doolittle both become famous race car drivers. (Eddie Rickenbacker was already a famous race car driver.)
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:53 AM   #64
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Any way you slice it. Delaying WWI by two or three decades gets you an interesting Espionage and/or war game setting. And oldgringo2001 is right to focus on Russia as the key to delaying the war.
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Old 04-18-2014, 03:36 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patchwork
The British, French and Soviets take down the Nazis anyway, but it takes longer and the price is greater. The USA's banking collapses again as its loans to Germany, Italy and Japan are defaulted on by the victors. The result is a Soviet Union, a grimly socialist and desperately poor Western Europe, and a USA that's an international pariah - Americans are routinely denied entry visas to the rest of the 'civilized' world, and largely cut out of international trade. The British Empire, the world's sole nuclear power for the moment, imposes harsh trade penalties on the USA for its financial support of fascism. When the USA and Soviets get the bomb in the 50s, the USA turns inward altogether, becoming something like North Korea on a massive scale.

This is an attempt to recreate the "American Bund" timeline from Cowboy Angels. There are two obvious holes - the Dear Leader and Family who lead postwar America are never named and I don't have too many good candidates. I don't even have a good transitional president to follow Reynolds picked out. The other is America's land borders - is paranoia and misinformation really enough to keep poor and terrified Americans from fleeing to the neighboring countries? Perhaps we can throw in an invasion of Mexico that Britain et al intervene on the Mexican side, resulting in a Great Wall on the southern border, but any such event with Canada seems implausible (if only because not even America's crazy leaders could convince themselves that the international community would leave Canada to twist in the wind).
Following Reynolds is President Charles Lindbergh and his Vice-President and good friend, Henry Ford. The twenty-second amendment is never proposed and Lindbergh serves from 1940-1964, being succeeded by his son, Jon Lindbergh. Henry Ford dies in office on V-E Day, 7 April, 1947.

The Supreme Court rules that Sen. John E. Rankin having received the next highest total of electoral votes in the 1944 election is Lindbergh's new Vice-President.

WWII officially continues in the Pacific until V-J Day, 27 Jun, 1954. China continues to fight to expel the Japanese until 1956. Hong Kong and Macau were liberated as part of the V-J surrender terms.

The isolationist U.S. has very few friends in the world. It tries starting a 'Good Neighbour' policy with Latin America but is too closely identified with the United Fruit Growers Company to achieve much success. Mexico and Argentina as nations with pro-Nazi regimes do draw closer to the U.S.

The U.S. is very nervous at the war's end. The world's longest undefended border has been fortified since 1943 and Canada has a formidable military machine which has yet to disband. (IRL Canada ended the war with the world's third large navy and fourth largest air force, in this timeline they each move up a spot). While the Free French performed creditably, the war's most formidable victors are the Soviet Union, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand (Canada and ANZ can't get together without disputing their relative ranking at some point. Generally, Canada gets listed first for the European theatre and ANZ gets listed first for the Pacific.)

Canada and the UK bought up most of the Belgian Congo's uranium supply and Canada refused to sell the US any of its Great Bear Lake uranium, so the US never got the bomb.

With 90% of the world's nickel supply, Canada also refused to sell that to the Americans. Consequently, stainless steel is rare in the US. Lack of nickel also inhibited the development of the alloys required for jet engines.

Hollywood has a very limited foreign market, so it hasn't had the big budgets to develop special effects that are seen in the films of the UK, France, the Soviet Union, India and the nascent Canadian film industries.

Operation Paperclip didn't happen for the U.S. German rocket scientists captured by the allies, such as Werner Braun, work at the British space centre at Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Castro's uprising against the Batista still came off on schedule but he was not called back home from his victory tour in this timeline. He was welcomed and feted at Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver. Canada rather than the Soviet Union financially supported him, not that the Americans claimed there was much difference between the two.

Tim Buck, leader of the Communist Party of Canada was rehabilitated to a greater degree than in our own timeline as he had a longer period to support the war effort. US isolationism coupled with Canada's anger over American support of the Nazis leads Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent to not invite American union organizers to set up in Canada as opposition to Tim Buck's communist unions. All Canadian unions are communist and by 1959 only Canadian farmers and the civil service are not unionized.

Americans with Canadian relatives can sometimes get work permits in Canada. Those whose parents moved south during the Great Depression can claim Canadian citizenship though the process can take two or three years.

The US largely finds itself on a cash basis with the rest of the world and is slowly drawing down Fort Knox to pay for its wants and needs.

The US never gets a pirate copy of Lord of the Rings, so Frank L. Baum's Oz stories remain the pinnacle of American fantasy.

Jack Shuster leaves the US during WWII and is sponsored for Canadian citizenship by his cousin Frank. Jack brings Superman with him and from 1944 on two rival Supermen are published, one by DC comics in the US and another by Bell Comics in Canada. Oddly, both characters have an evil identical twin.

Jon Lindbergh is not looking forward to the 1968 party nomination as his leading rival is Jack T. Chick and Lindbergh doesn't particularly want him as his Vice-President.
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Old 04-19-2014, 04:41 AM   #66
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There's an old Pyramid article (well, it's old enough that the full text is available on the sjgames.com website), called Time On Your Hands?, by Thomas Devine, that has a few interesting jumping off points. It's written for Timepiece/Stopwatch games, but it could easily be adapted for IW games, and events similar to those suggested could have happened without outside intervention.

Here's one that I find particularly interesting:

Quote:
Extend Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Life to Cover the Negotiations at the End of World War II

Franklin Delano Roosevelt's (F.D.R.) final illness caused America to be represented by a dying man at Yalta and an inexperienced man at Potsdam. In spite of Truman's many virtues, the only advisor he trusted in foreign policy, a field Truman didn't know, was a military man who saw the world in only military terms. Joseph Stalin easily had the upper hand diplomatically.

But if you could get a TL8 doctor into the White House, FDR becomes a vital force at both key conferences. Stalin, faced by an energetic FDR, who might have let himself see more of Stalin's very real evil, would have had to make a few more concessions. Eastern Europe's history would have been far less brutal, and some nations, especially Czechoslovakia, might have stayed democracies in the same way Finland did. FDR would still have left the presidency to Truman. It is known that he wanted to retire for reasons of health. The Truman presidency would have had FDR's advice to aid the transition.
Even without a TL8 doctor, it's possible for FDR to just have taken longer to decline, so that he has another couple of years left. Then, you get about the same effect, and an interesting divergence.
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Old 04-19-2014, 01:27 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Following Reynolds is President Charles Lindbergh and his Vice-President and good friend, Henry Ford. The twenty-second amendment is never proposed and Lindbergh serves from 1940-1964, being succeeded by his son, Jon Lindbergh. Henry Ford dies in office on V-E Day, 7 April, 1947.

WWII officially continues in the Pacific until V-J Day, 27 Jun, 1954. China continues to fight to expel the Japanese until 1956. Hong Kong and Macau were liberated as part of the V-J surrender terms.

The isolationist U.S. has very few friends in the world. It tries starting a 'Good Neighbour' policy with Latin America but is too closely identified with the United Fruit Growers Company to achieve much success. Mexico and Argentina as nations with pro-Nazi regimes do draw closer to the U.S.

The U.S. is very nervous at the war's end. The world's longest undefended border has been fortified since 1943 and Canada has a formidable military machine which has yet to disband. (IRL Canada ended the war with the world's third large navy and fourth largest air force, in this timeline they each move up a spot). While the Free French performed creditably, the war's most formidable victors are the Soviet Union, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand (Canada and ANZ can't get together without disputing their relative ranking at some point. Generally, Canada gets listed first for the European theatre and ANZ gets listed first for the Pacific.)

Canada and the UK bought up most of the Belgian Congo's uranium supply and Canada refused to sell the US any of its Great Bear Lake uranium, so the US never got the bomb.

With 90% of the world's nickel supply, Canada also refused to sell that to the Americans. Consequently, stainless steel is rare in the US. Lack of nickel also inhibited the development of the alloys required for jet engines.

Operation Paperclip didn't happen for the U.S. German rocket scientists captured by the allies, such as Werner Braun, work at the British space centre at Montego Bay, Jamaica.
A number of good ideas in your post; Lindbergh really wasn't the level of evil I was going for, but he makes a good transitional (I fully expect him to step down in '48, he backed a loser and will catch the blame for the new depression). I think I've found our guy though: David Curtiss Stephenson. Never goes to prison here, wins election in '48, takes credit for the US nuclear program (there's enough uranium in Arizona and New Mexico that it can't really be prevented), and stays in office until his death in '66, at which point the sons he didn't have IRL take over.

Would there be a Paperclip with a longer war without American leadership? I fully expect von Braun and his colleagues to be in an unmarked grave in Germany.
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Old 04-19-2014, 01:50 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
There's an old Pyramid article (well, it's old enough that the full text is available on the sjgames.com website), called Time On Your Hands?, by Thomas Devine, that has a few interesting jumping off points. It's written for Timepiece/Stopwatch games, but it could easily be adapted for IW games, and events similar to those suggested could have happened without outside intervention.

Here's one that I find particularly interesting:



Even without a TL8 doctor, it's possible for FDR to just have taken longer to decline, so that he has another couple of years left. Then, you get about the same effect, and an interesting divergence.
Thanks for the complement to my old article.
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Old 04-19-2014, 09:32 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patchwork
...Lindbergh really wasn't the level of evil I was going for, but he makes a good transitional (I fully expect him to step down in '48, he backed a loser and will catch the blame for the new depression). I think I've found our guy though: David Curtiss Stephenson. Never goes to prison here, wins election in '48, takes credit for the US nuclear program (there's enough uranium in Arizona and New Mexico that it can't really be prevented), and stays in office until his death in '66, at which point the sons he didn't have IRL take over.

Would there be a Paperclip with a longer war without American leadership? I fully expect von Braun and his colleagues to be in an unmarked grave in Germany.
Lindbergh wasn't chosen for his level of evil but because a) he was a popular figure who promoted isolationism (and liked most of what he saw of Germany's development) and b) because you can easily find the names of Dear Leader's descendants down to today (and he actually has descendants today) online. Still, picking someone else is no big.

Thinking about it, Lindbergh might not be too crazy about J. Edgar Hoover as Director of the FBI. President Lindbergh might have pushed for Hoover's removal early on. An FBI with Melvin Purvis as Director and Elliot Ness as Assistant Director, or vice versa?

In the 1950s, the US will probably make the effort to locate uranium in Arizona and New Mexico. Before then, the only uranium available amounts to about 180 tons, a little more than half the quantity the Manhattan Project used. Unless someone remembers the big, lovely pile of uranium oxide purchased from the Belgian Congo in 1939 that's still sitting on the docks at Staten Island.

It probably won't be called Operation Paperclip but the Commonwealth are almost certainly going to want von Braun and company alive and working for them. Especially since an extended war will likely see the deployment of the V-3 and maybe even a V-4. The space race is going to start off with boosted tech in all likelihood.

Militarily, the US is going to look rather different. Never having entered the war, the US doesn't feel a need to create a commando force (the U.S. Rangers), Underwater Demolition Teams (UDTs, forerunners of SEALs), never has a combined US-Canadian Special Forces unit which develops a counter-insurgency mission in occupied Germany vs. a possible Soviet occupation (leading to the Green Berets and indirectly to Delta Force). It doesn't develop paratroopers after seeing some disastrous deployments (Crete, in particular). The US Marine Corps is the US' only elite fighting force.

The US hasn't experienced the disastrous in-fighting among the service intelligence agencies yet, so it doesn't see a need for a CIA to co-ordinate. 'Wild Bill' Donovan gravitates to the counter-intelligence desk at the FBI instead.

Radar was a closely guarded secret throughout WWII. Most US technical information on the subject comes from Germany which convinces the US that "radar shorter than 10 cm is an impossibility."

William Stephenson sets up a spy ring in the US which successfully steals the secrets of ENIAC and UNIAC from IBM.

The US remains comfortable in its own little bubble during the war. Chaffee and his friends play with their armoured cars, but as Patton bully-rags Congress, "Soldiers, real soldiers, ride into battle on horses, damn it! Our problem right now is that people aren't taking the current shortage of horses seriously. Within the next five years, if this Congress fails to act, we'll be like the damn Soviets. Trotting along, slapping our backsides, with a 2x4 marked 'horse' between our legs."

Meanwhile, Soviet, Axis and Commonwealth military equipment begin to converge in terms of design. Everyone adopts the Nazi J- and P-barrel extensions that let rifles shoot around corners. Assault rifles and SMGs become the norm for personal weapons, though officers continue to use pistols. The Commonwealth abandons the revolver for the automatic pistol. Everyone has a 'potato masher'-style grenade.

Liz Taylor, Roddy McDowell and Angela Lansbury never come to the US becoming 'Home Children' in Canada during the war. Liz Taylor's breakthrough role was in 1944's Beautiful Joe.

The US is much longer adopting TV after the 1932 decision to only issue experimental, non-commercial licenses. The CBC adopts 560i/PAL as its broadcast system while the US adopts NCTS, resulting in mutually unwatchable programming. The CBC supplements its own broadcasting with imports from Europe, reducing the similarities in culture.

Disney invests no money in the UK during the war and therefore doesn't get caught in the currency restrictions of the postwar years which prevented him from bringing the money home IRL. Disney doesn't branch out into live action films and doesn't bring Sean Connery (Darby O'Gill and the Little People], Julie Andrews [Mary Poppins], David Tomlinson [Mary Poppins; Bedknobs and Broomsticks] or Patrick McGoohan [Doctor Syn] to American attention.

When US TV does take off, it runs very heavily to westerns. Lon Chaney, Jr. plays Tonto to Clayton Moore's Lone Ranger.

Jay Silverheels appears as Chingach**** [the filter has a problem with Wikipedia's spelling of the name] with Lorne Greene as Hawkeye in The Pathfinder a TV series adaptation of James Fenimore Cooper's novel, produced in Ontario from 1957-1960.

Last edited by Curmudgeon; 04-19-2014 at 09:34 PM. Reason: added emphasis
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Old 04-20-2014, 08:06 AM   #70
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More as an amusing afterthought than because it has any real chance of flying, even in game:

Someone at External Affairs presents the argument that the Navajo and Apache are Dene and all the other Dene peoples live in Canada, therefore the Apache and Navajo are really two lost tribes of Canadian Indians who wandered really far south. As Canadian Indians, their reserves really belong to Canada and should be administered by Indian Affairs.

It won't fly but if it did it would cut off U.S. access to uranium in both Arizona and New Mexico.

On a more serious note, the Navajo will probably face worse working conditions in the mines than they did in real life.

Alaska is still a territory prior to 1959. Lying smack between the Soviet Union and Canada, the U.S. sees it as a liability that attracts covetous attention from both powers. The U.S. sells it to Canada for $10 million dollars, figuring it has done well out of the deal, having gotten all the significant gold out during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898 and made an $8,000,000 profit over what Seward originally paid for it.

During the war, the St. Lawrence River was closed to U.S. shipping and foreign shipping aimed at the U.S (game event only). Initially, this didn't have much effect since shipping could only travel upriver as far as Montreal. During the war, Canada built an extensive canal and locks system along the St. Lawrence which deepened the river and built the New Welland Canal to replace the old, the new again being significantly wider and deeper. Canada's stated attention with the new system was "to allow ships the size of the Queen Mary to sail directly as far as Lake of the Woods while leaving room for expansion when newer, larger ships are available."

The U.S. insisted that Canada abide by the Rush-Bagot Treaty of 1818 throughout WWII (essentially what happened IRL until the US entered the war), so Canadian warships built on the Great Lakes sailed with their firing pins removed until they reached the St. Laurence. The U.S. regards the Canadian expansion as provocative and worries that Canada means to arm the Great Lakes after the war ends. Given current Canadian military shipbuilding in the area, the U.S. finds itself in a quandary. If it were to pre-emptively start building military ships in the Great Lakes area, Canada might see that as a provocation, especially given U.S. insistence that Canada abide by Rush-Bagot. Canada is certainly in a position to arm its ships and destroy any American shipbuilding facility with relative impunity. OTOH, not doing military shipbuilding at this time leaves Canada with a free hand to rearm the Great Lakes.

In a North Korea moment, Dear Leader has Yousuf Karsh kidnapped from his home in Ottawa on 3 Dec, 1959 to take Dear Leader's portrait. A tense week follows with the Royal Canadian Navy advancing towards Washington, D.C. to retrieve Karsh against Dear Leader's 'ring of steel' thrown up by the U.S. Navy. Karsh is returned by the State Department but no official apology is ever made. (Yes, Karsh did take the portrait. He considered the picture among his very best for revealing 'the inner man.' Dear Leader tore it up sand had the negative destroyed.)
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