Ghastly Victories: The United States in the World Wars

Yeah, I find it unlikely that the Germans and Americans would fight alongside each other barring some kind of extreme situation, but the somewhat friendly depictions of Germany we've gotten so far do have some interesting implications.
It could be a pure Pacific war with an invasion of Japan, with the US bluntly telling the uk, they aren't going to be suckered into another one.
 
It could be a pure Pacific war with an invasion of Japan, with the US bluntly telling the uk, they aren't going to be suckered into another one.
Maybe, but the title of the thread does imply some form of involvement, even if not the same sort as in OTL (of course, we might not be disagreeing: by 'another one,' did you mean 'another European war' with the US being the ones fighting a purely Pacific war? your phrasing and my tiredness makes it hard to tell).
 
Maybe, but the title of the thread does imply some form of involvement, even if not the same sort as in OTL (of course, we might not be disagreeing: by 'another one,' did you mean 'another European war' with the US being the ones fighting a purely Pacific war? your phrasing and my tiredness makes it hard to tell).
Yeah i meant that they would only fight in the pacific - Ittl, a lot of american boys have died for what a lot of them think were British lies, and the Rich greed.
So when those same actors tries to fudge the rules and aid the UK, there might be a revolt and half of congress is replaced with a very simple message, No selling anything to anyone at war, even if they pay in cash.
 
Or it could just be that the US still allied to some alliance with the UK & France in the alt WWII (for whatever reasons) but the war itself being a much more morally grey affair with an ending that didn't really have a closure... and then a WWIII in which the US allies with different powers. So basically 3 doses of disillusionment instead of the 1 OTL.
 
Yeah i meant that they would only fight in the pacific - Ittl, a lot of american boys have died for what a lot of them think were British lies, and the Rich greed.
So when those same actors tries to fudge the rules and aid the UK, there might be a revolt and half of congress is replaced with a very simple message, No selling anything to anyone at war, even if they pay in cash.

More likely sell to anyone FOR cash on the barrel head ONLY! The problem is the US needs the cash and frankly we can afford to supply everyone in the war, (we did so OTL for at essentially a high loss in terms of actual money) and make a lot of money but at the cost of being 'targeted' by everyone as well. "True" neutrality is the most likely policy, selling to anyone who can actually pay, no credit and no preference. Of course that means building an military during the inter-war that can enforce that on both sides AND protect American trade and interests which is a major departure from OTL itself.

Randy
 
I just caught up while I read to fast and missed some. Is there a quick summary of the changes from OTL in 1920?
An interesting twist that chemical weapons were truly decisive ITTL. Hard to see them not used next time.
 
Part 3-12
…With the Great War over the Navies of the World were able to focus on the longer term, rather than the immediate needs of the war, subject to certain limitations. Germany under the straight jacket of Versailles was incapable of major changes for years. Russia still had a civil war to fight, with her capital units sitting dockside. France and Italy were beggared and thoughts of completing units delayed by the war were immediately dismissed on financial grounds. Britain while not as destitute as France and Italy still had to accept that financial limitations would mean lean times for the Royal Navy. Only the United States and Japan were truly able to think about the long term, not that the war had stopped Japan from doing so anyways…

…By war’s end both the United States and Japan were building or had ordered four 16” armed battleships. Japan however had during the war ordered an additional 4 battlecruisers of the Amagi class, with 10 16” guns. This, along with the possession of 10 16” guns on Kaga and Tosa rather than 8 on the American Battleships, left the USN at a potentially large disadvantage in modern units. Thus President Marshall, as part of his desire to carry out Wilson’s intentions, was successfully able to lobby Congress to finally order the remaining 12 capital ships of the 1916 program in the fall of 1919, along with 6 large scout cruisers to replace the old armored cruisers as station flagships and the conversion of a second collier into an aircraft carrier.

The Battleships of the South Dakota class and Battlecruisers of the Lexington class had both seen significant changes since authorization. Both classes had grown to nearly 45,000 tons, held there mainly be a desire to avoid spooking congress. The South Dakota class gained a knot of speed, lost the 600 ton gyrostabilizer, torpedo tubes and 4 6” secondaries and gained 4 additional AA guns and improvements to her TDS and deck armor. The Lexington class lost 3 knots of speed, her torpedo tubes and two 6” guns, and gained substantially increased amounts of belt and deck armor.

The Scout cruisers were a 12,000 ton, 34 knot design with 8 8” guns and well protected against 8” fire…

…The ordering of 12 new Capital ships with 16” guns moved the shoe to the other foot, now it was Japan who looked to be facing a deficit in the number of modern ships. The IJN and the Japanese government knew that they could not afford to match the United States in pure numbers. However they had determined that a fleet 70% that of the USN would be sufficient, thus they needed 12 ships for parity, 16 was desired as a number to account for American follow-ons to the South Dakota and Lexington class. In early 1920 the Diet authorized the additional ships, 4 uparmored battleship versions of the Amagi class as the Kii class, and 4 18” armed, 30 knot, 50,000 ton super battlecrusiers as the projected #13 class. This made the Eight-Eight fleet a reality once more…

…The passage of the Eight-Eight Fleet did not go without a response in the United States. The USN proposed that starting in FY ’23 a five-year building program similar to the 1916 program be put into place. The USN desired for 6 Battlecruisers, 8 Battleships and 2 large Aircraft Carriers, along with 9 large scout cruisers, 9 light cruisers, 10 destroyer leaders, 20 destroyers, 30 submarines, 12 gunboats and 20 auxiliaries. The Battlecrusiers were to be a 55,000 ton design, only capable of 30 knots but with armor superior to the British Admirals and 12 16” guns. The Battleships were to be split between 4 48,000 ton slightly improved South Dakotas, with turreted secondaries and 26 knots of speed, and 4 substantially improved 18” armed vessels of 52,000 tons with greater armor.

With the election of President Wood the Navy presented the plan to him. However to win his support they offered to trade certain parts of the plan for enlargements to the army budget, if the whole plan was approved by Congress and Wood’s army budget was not. This middle case plan dropped 2 of the 18” Battleships, 3 large scout cruisers, 10 destroyers, 6 submarines 2 gunboats and 2 auxiliaries.

A minimum requirement of 4 16” battleships, 4 Battlecruisers, 2 large aircraft carriers, 3 large scout cruisers, 6 light cruisers, 10 destroyer leaders, 15 submarines, 6 gunboats and 12 auxiliaries was established. This was what the USN though necessary to keep an adequate lead over Japan and discharge its current requirements. It would be a variant of this plan that was ultimately approved by Congress in 1922…

…Britain looked on the race between the United States and Japan with alarm. Both powers were ordering 16” ships when Britain had none on order. Furthermore ship size had increased from just over 30,000 tons to almost 45,000 tons in the new orders, with rumors of super battlecruisers of 50,000 and 55,000 tons in the works. The Royal Navy was afraid of being left in the dust. Only the 4 Battlecruisers of the Admiral class promised to be relevant in this new world, everything else they had was obsolescent if not obsolete.

Overtures to join this race were firmly rebuffed by the Treasury. Funding would be found for 4 battleships to replace wartime losses, with a possibility of another pair of battleships and a pair of battlecruisers in the second half of the decade. This was considered it as far as the treasury was concerned, any further capital ships would require a sea change in public opinion or deep cuts to other parts of the Royal Navy. Almost as importantly those capital ships would be limited to 50,000 tons or less, the most current British naval infrastructure could handle without undue difficulty, as the money was not there for expansion.

Almost as important was the developing aircraft carrier race. Japan had laid down a purpose built one, the Houshou, and was planning a second preliminarily named the Eishou. The United States had one collier conversion under construction, another authorized and was planning two large purpose-built vessels of almost 40,000 tons. Britain for her part had a conversion of the Italian liner Conte Rosso, HMS Argus, two cruiser conversions, the 10,000 ton Cavendish and 8,000 ton Egeria and the purpose-built 11,000 ton Hermes on the way. Plans to convert the large light cruiser Courageous foundered on the costs of repairing her structural damage from the last battle of the war. While Britain might be able to afford more carriers in the mid-term, it would only be a few more and not particularly large ones.

Thus it behooved Britain that if she could not win the coming naval races, to ensure that they were not run…

…With the war ended Chile was allowed to purchase back her two Almirante Latorre class Battleships, along with the two surviving Almirante Lynch class destroyers. The possession of two superdreadnought battleships in some way made the Chilean Navy the most powerful in South America, being superior to the pair of 12” Dreadnoughts operated by Argentina and Brazil. Not wanting to be outgunned both sides looked to try and acquire another battleship.

Brazil went to her traditional naval supplier of Great Britain. Some thought was made on restarting Riachuelo, however the Brazilian government balked at the cost. Britain was however willing to offer them their choice of 10 of the Royal Navy’s dreadnought capital ships. Focus quickly turned to the most powerful of the ten, HMS Erin and HMS Agincourt. HMS Erin’s 10 13.5” gun armament was judged weaker than the 10 14” guns carried by the Chilean ships, whereas HMS Agincourt’s 14 12” gun armament was considered equal or better by the Brazilian Navy. Agincourt also had the advantage that Brazil already used 12” guns, and that she was perfectly adapted to the Brazilian Navy, having been ordered to Brazilian specs as the Rio de Janeiro. Thus Brazil agreed to purchase her, for less than her incomplete hull was sold to the Ottomans for.

Argentina meanwhile briefly considered exercising her option for a third American built battleship, but the American yards were full of their own ships. However her traditional naval supplier of Italy approached her with an offer. Italy had started building 4 15” armed 31,000 ton battleships of the Francesco Caracciolo class during the war. The needs of the war had prevented their completion, but work had already progressed to a degree. Completing Francesco Caracciolo would cost less than building a new ship from scratch and end up with a vessel far superior to the Chilean ships. Thus Argentina agreed to buy and complete her as Veinticinco de Mayo, with an option put out for her sister Cristoforo Colombo…

…Flush from the glory at Kandira the Hellenic Navy looked for a replacement to the armored cruiser Georgios Averhof as their flagship. Proposals to complete the battleships Salamis or Vasilefs Konstantinos were not considered due to the fact that materials for both ships had been cannibalized during the war, thus resulting the cost of doing so too great. The Hellenic Navy thus turned to Britain to see if they could get a used capital ship at a reasonable cost, alongside buying back the two cruisers and four destroyers Britain had compulsorily purchased from them during the war. Britain for her part had a non-standard battleship that she was looking to get rid of, and an agreement was quickly made to purchase one her. Thus HMS Erin became HS Nika, named after the recent victory against the Turks…

…The Great War had been very disruptive to Spain’s building program. The third of the Espana class battleships had taken until 1920 to complete due to delays and the three larger battleships of the Reina Victoria Eugenia class had to be cancelled due to inability to acquire key materials from abroad. With the end of the war Spain’s neutrality had left her in a position to afford new construction. A plan for four 30,000-ton battlecruisers was considered to replace the three cancelled 25,000-ton battleships. This was ruled as too expensive.

However talks with France had produced an alternative. France had found itself unable to afford the completion of its five Normandie class battleships, but certain items had been ordered. Among these were the quad 340mm gun turrets. France proposed a discount sale of these weapons to arm new Spanish construction. Plans were thus made for three 28,000-ton battlecruisers with two turrets each. Realities with the Cortes soon made it two 26,000-ton ships, with the turrets both located forward to save weight. The outbreak of the Rif War would delay the completion of the Castila and Aragon to 1931…

-Excerpt from Naval History Between the Wars, Harper & Brothers, New York, 2007
 
Huh, seems we might not get a naval treaty in TTL, or at least get it much later than OTL. Between that and Britain's worse finances, it seems that the Royal Navy's rule of the waves will be quite contented. As for Japan, they'll be stronger but I worry this naval race will wreck their economy.

It sounds like the Rif War will longer than OTL if it delays the constructions of the spanish ships to 1931, when the war ended in 1926 OTL.
 
Huh, seems we might not get a naval treaty in TTL, or at least get it much later than OTL. Between that and Britain's worse finances, it seems that the Royal Navy's rule of the waves will be quite contented. As for Japan, they'll be stronger but I worry this naval race will wreck their economy.

It sounds like the Rif War will longer than OTL if it delays the constructions of the spanish ships to 1931, when the war ended in 1926 OTL.
We don’t know how the Kanto earthquake will impact this TL building yet, so that will for sure impact things like OTL.
 
I honestly wonder where this naval race is going. Or if its the British that get the Washington Naval Treaty ITL off the ground and how that would effect things here. That said the Japanese can't afford this building program without some umm how to I say this, fun, yeah that's the word I'm using, effects on their economy.
 
Part 3-13
…The expanded Red Army first launched its offensive against the stalled out White Armies in early December of 1920. The target was the Army operating out of Finland. Using tactics more sophisticated than the Red Arm had used since 1919, it took the White forces north of St. Petersburg by surprise. Despite that they were able to put up a strong resistance for almost a month. Despite calls from both the commander of the Finnish front and the government in Omsk the Baltic Army did not move, preferring to husband resources for their own decisive offensive against St. Petersburg.

Denied reinforcements and supplies, or even a diversion, the remains of the Finnish prong of the White offensive were forced to retreat into Finland by mid-January. Trotsky attempted to pursue into Finland, but was met by substantial resistance from the German trained Finnish Army and orders from Lenin not to provoke them. Instead Trotsky pivoted to the South. The Baltic Army, having refused to help the Finnish based White Army found itself facing three times the forces it had previously and was overrun by the Spring thaw. Again the impetuous Trotsky attempted to advance, and was again restrained by Lenin.

The White forces out of Poland attempted to go on the offensive as soon as the snows melted, but found themselves unable to advance due to the spring mud. This gave the Bolsheviks time to move Trotsky’s Army from the Baltics to Belarus. It also gave them time to amp up their propaganda efforts to such levels that by the time the mud dried out whole formations simply defected to the Reds. The third White army evaporated upon contact with the Red Army and with it any hopes of even a limited White Victory.

Trotsky and the Bolsheviks followed this up by a Summer Offensive against Omsk, taking the city by September they continued to advance along the Trans-Siberian railroad. Only the winter snows and contact with the IJA stopped them from further advances along the shores of Lake Baikal…

…Despite the hay made of it in Soviet Propaganda the thrust up the Don was only a secondary White effort. That it managed to advance up to Kalach on the Don and advance on Tsarityn occurred only because of the lack of effort made by the Bolsheviks in the secondary theatre. Stalin’s presence at Tsarityn, rather than being a decisive factor preventing the city from falling, was merely a matter of propaganda made from a secure city during his brief falling out with Lenin. Notably the so called siege was abandoned as soon as the Bolsheviks were able to send in a cavalry division to harry the White supply lines in August…

…With the core parts of Russia no longer threatened the Bolsheviks were able to free up forces to use in lesser theatres. The Caucuses were one such example. While fighting had never really stopped there it was usually left to local forces to put pressure on the Armenian, Georgian and Azeri states. When significant forces arrived in September of 1921 the Caucasian states were rapidly overrun, forming the Armenian, Azeri, Georgian and Pontic Soviet Socialist Republics…

…Violence in Ireland continued to escalate after the New Year. Lloyd George was increasingly determined to win the war without negotiating with the Irish and resorted to progressively heavier handed means. Trials by Jury were replaced with military courts. Military Court Martials were allowed to use execution and internment without trial. All payment to local governments not firmly supportive of the crown were ended. Martial Law was expanded to all the island save Ulster.

Rather than cow the Irish this had the opposite effect. Executions merely hardened resolves and IRA actions only increased. This culminated in the brief seizure of Dublin Castle in April, the British recapture of which leveled much of central Dublin.

Violence continued at a high pitch until July when moderation came from an unexpected source. King George V, speaking at the Imperial Conference, made a call for negotiations and a peaceful end to the conflict in Ireland. In this he was supported by the opposition, the trade unions and most of the Dominion leadership. Under intense pressure Lloyd George was forced to give in and announce a ceasefire in preparation for peace talks.

The Irish Republicans were enthused, having been near the end of their logistical tether this was exactly what they needed. However Ulster was on the edge of rioting as the Protestants were enraged that the government was giving up like that, and worse possibly having them subject to an Independent Irish Republic. Thus a month into the peace talks Parliament passed an act governmentally separating six of the nine counties of Ulster from the rest of Ireland.

This immediately caused peace talks to collapse, as the Irish found it unacceptable for the unity of the island to be violated in this manner. The fighting quickly resumed, if with less intensity than before. The IRA however knew that it could not afford to fight conventionally for much longer and began to strike at targets in Britain with asymmetric tactics. The upper echelons of the IRA, along with certain members of Sinn Fein, started to worry that much of the leadership of the Irish Republic might agree to a treaty that would see part of Ireland become a British Dominion while Ulster remained part of the UK.

The President of the Dail, Sinn Fein leader Eamon de Valera organized a meeting with others opposed to a compromise with Britain in Waterford on September 11th to plan political strategy. Among the attendees were Liam Lynch, Cathal Bruga, Austin Stack, Frank Aiken, Rory O’Connor, Todd Andrews and Sean Lemass. Unaware of the purpose of the gathering, British Army intelligence found out about the number of Republican Army commanders meeting in Waterford. Determined to retaliate for IRA bombing in Britain, the British decided to respond with a bomb of their own.

Approximately a ton and a half of TNT was loaded into a van and parked in front of the pub where the meeting was taking place. Roughly 200 died in the blast, most of them civilians, but among them were the highest echelon of the opponents to a compromise peace. The bombing inspired outrange in Ireland, sympathy abroad and galvanized domestic opposition to the war in Britain. The IRA retaliated with a wave of attacks, most famously the assassination of James Craig and Henry Hughes Wilson.

Outrage could only bring the IRA so far, and with supplies running out they recommended the Dail ask for peace again in October. In a weak position the Dail was forced to accept a hugely unfavorable compromise for peace. The Irish Republic was forced to dissolve and accept a Free State of only 26 counties that was to be a British Dominion. Members of the Irish Parliament were required to swear an oath to the King and the treaty was to supersede Irish law where relevant. The British would be allowed to occupy a number of Irish ports for military purposes and Ireland would have to assume a portion of the British debt.

Under threat of a renewed war from Lloyd George the Dail reluctantly agreed to the treaty. There was a great deal of scattered violence against both the British and the new Irish government, but without coherent leadership it amounted to nothing in the long run. However the Irish would neither forgive nor forget the bombing of September 11th and the ratification of an unfavorable treaty at swordpoint…

-Excerpt from European Wars for Americans, Harper & Brothers, New York, 2004

 
I was hoping to see the Bolsheviks collapse, but that doesn't look like its happening.

But why do I get the feeling Ireland is going to be a problem for the British next time around?
 
I guess hoping for Armenia to survive was foolish... though, with the Turks already getting beaten down by Greece, what will become of Western Armenia? Might the Bolsheviks try to (re) take Kars to ensure the Turks can't walk away with any land as "victors"?
 
Well, that's about what my great-great grandparents thought would happen. They fled Ireland after the Easter rising, figuring that the UK would respond to Ireland with the normal tender mercies.
 
Well, that puts the wolves among the Goats; there’s gonna be a lot of song sung and weapons bought and hidden for future adventures; but without cell leaders with training it’s gonna be Lone Gunmen attacks like the current US school/mass shooters versus the IRA of OTL.
 
Part 3-14
…With the end of the War the US Army looked to the future. Having been ill prepared to fight in the Great War, the leadership of the Army wanted to avoid a repeat of that fiasco. Thus with the support of newly elected President Leonard Wood a massive transformation in the nature of the US Army was proposed. Rather than a prewar skeleton force of under a hundred thousand as before the war, the Army wanted 400,000 Active Duty Personnel, 500,000 National Guardsmen and 100,000 Reserve Officers. The Active Duty forces would handle anything less than a repeat of the Great War, and serve as a first echelon and training center therein. The National Guard would be the second echelon in such a war, and the Reserve Officers would be the skeleton a third echelon could be raised around, allowing a million-and-a-half-man expeditionary force to be raised in a year.

Included in this would be a robust R&D budget to develop the weapons to fight the next war, rather than have to rely on others. To build them an industrial planning apparatus was made to smooth industrial mobilization and funds were laid out to subsidize firms in creating the capacity to rapidly fill wartime orders. This was combined with an oversized management apparatus to handle a massive expansion in scale. A robust staff was set up to develop and write the doctrine that would govern the new force…

…Congress of course, despite the urging of President Wood, thought this was unnecessary, far too expensive and Unamerican in character. Congress had no intention of getting dragged into another Great War and saw funds spent on preparing for one to be worse than useless in that by being prepared they may increase the likeliness of America being involved in one. Certainly the founders had warned of the dangers of large standing armies, preferring to rely on citizen soldiers of the militia. Such an approach was both cheaper and less politically risky, making it natural for Congress to look at.

When all the Congressional wrangling and compromises were done the Active-Duty strength of the Army would hover between 150,000 and 190,000 for most of the interwar, usually at just under 170,000. The size of the Reserve Officer Corps was set at 50,000. Finally the National Guard was authorized to be at the full 500,000, though never reached more than 300,000.

Despite the great loss in strength the important parts remained. The large R&D, industrial planning, management, and doctrine development apparatuses remained, as did the industrial subsidies. The Army could still lay the long term groundwork needed to prepare for another Great War…

…The most important achievement of the Army in the immediate postwar period was the reorganization of the Quartermaster Corps into the Logistics Service. This change broke up the old Congressional fiefdoms that had a stranglehold on US Army procurement…

…The Army primarily looked at planning and procurement for two very different scenarios. The first and more likely was a colonial conflict, either a conflict in Latin America or with Japan in the Pacific. The Second was a repeat of the Great War, with the United States forced to deploy large numbers of troops to fight one or more of the Great Powers. For the former it was expected that it would be fought by the peacetime Regular Army and with predominantly smaller and lighter formations. The latter would require both the National Guard and newly raised divisions and was envisioned to need multiple Armies if not Army Groups…

…For Small Arms the Army had determined that the M1911 Pistol needed only minor modifications and should replace the current revolvers in service. Similarly the M1897 and M1912 Trench guns were found sufficient for the task with only modest changes desired. For most other small arms this was not so…

…The M1903 was considered fine for the moment, but it was still a bolt action rifle, when semi-automatic rifles had already been deployed in the closing days of the war to great success. The Pedersen device was insufficient, being both awkward, heavy and required a second set of ammo to use. A new semi-automatic rifle was needed, for the regular army it was to remain in .30-06 as it was determined that the full range of the rifle was usable by long service regulars in a colonial environment. A version in a smaller caliber, determined to be .24-.28, was proposed to equip the National Guard and newly raised units for a second Great War. In such a scenario the marksmanship training to make use of the greater than 1000-yard range of .30-06 would be unavailable, and a lighter cartridge that used less brass and propellant would serve as well for the less trained troops in a more constrained heavy weapon dominated environment…

…The Thompson Sub-Machine Gun was found to have several flaws. It was heavy, prone to excessive recoil and difficult to manufacture. A simpler, lighter submachine gun with a muzzle brake was judged to be necessary…

…The Army’s light machine guns were found to be totally inadequate. The Chauchat and Benet-Mercie were considered excessively unreliable and were much hated by everyone. The BAR was adequate in a limited sense but still needed improvement. Rather than adopt the Lewis used by the Navy and Army Air Corps it was recommended that the BAR be modified into two versions. The first would be a shorter, lighter version for use in colonial conflicts. The second would be a version with a heavier, quickly changeable barrel and a larger magazine for replacing the Chauchat and Benet-Mercie in the infantry support role…

…The Army’s M1917 and M1919 machine guns were found to need only minor changes and should fully replace the M1915, M1914 and M1895 machine guns remaining. The development of larger variants of the two in .50 caliber were to continue to produce weapons that could adequately engage tanks and armored aircraft that .30-06 had proven insufficient to deal with…

…The development of a new bolt action rifle in the new .50 caliber cartridge under development was recommended to deal with the proliferation of tanks…

…The final phases of the war had shown that the French designed 37mm infantry guns that the US Army used were both too heavy to keep up with an attack and too weak to provide adequate support. Similarly the US flamethrowers were found to be too heavy and too short ranged for the purpose. To replace them further development of Robert Goddard’s infantry rocket, briefly deployed in May 1919 was recommended, with the primary requirement being an increase in caliber to 3” to fire an adequate explosive round for demolishing infantry strongpoints…

…The British Stokes Mortar used by the Army was seen as adequate, but a lighter 2”-2.5” version was thought necessary for Colonial conflicts in difficult terrain…

…United States Artillery was found to be inadequate. The mixture of American, French and British calibers proved difficult to supply and coordinate. As French calibers were the most common they would be standardized on. Furthermore development of prime movers and carriages to handle high speed road towing and low speed rough terrain crossing was to be conducted. The new carriages would also have higher elevation to extend range…

…For a mountain gun the British 2.95 inch would be replaced with a 75mm design. This alone among the new guns would have a provision for animal towing. It would be a lightweight high elevation weapon firing a low velocity shell that could be easily moved and disassembled…

…The Great War had shown that for destroying fortifications, outside of short-range direct fire, 75-85mm rounds were inadequate. A minimum caliber of 95mm was determined by US experimentation to be required for field guns. As 105mm was in limited service this was chosen as the basis for a new field gun. It was to also double as a howitzer and be the divisional weapon for US artillery…

…For higher echelons the army requested a 120mm gun and 155mm Howitzer on a common carriage for Corps Support, a 155mm Gun and 203mm Howitzer for Army support and a 203mm gun and a 240mm Howitzer for Army group level support…

…For heavy siege work a rail mobile version of the M1919 16” coast gun was recommended. This was ideally to be supplemented by a short barreled howitzer version, possibly bored out, and a long barreled version sleeved down to 8”-10” for extreme range shelling…

…The 3” AA gun was considered adequate for anti aircraft work at present…

…The Chemical Corps determined that it needed a better way to deploy gas than canisters, Livens Projectors and Conventional Artillery shells. Mortars were thought the best compromise between range and efficiency. They recommended the development of mortars in the 4”-5” range, 5.5”-7’ range and 8”-10” range for providing various levels of support…

…In general the Army wanted to replace horses with motor transport. Shipping fodder was both volume and mass inefficient compared to fuel and horses had been shown to suffer excessive attrition in modern combat…

…The Infantry, having received the Tank Corps found the requirements for two types of tank to replace their existing stock. One was a large tank with a 75mm field gun equivalent in a turret with several machine guns, armored against 13.2mm machine gun fire. It was not required to be fast but was required to be able to cross trench lines. It would have a gun large enough to destroy infantry strong points, previous 57 and 37mm guns being found inadequate for this task, and machine guns to suppress enemy infantry.

The other was a small tank for colonial service, armored against armor piercing rifles and armed with many machine guns for suppressing infantry. It would again not have to be fast, but would need to be very reliable…

…The Cavalry branch, not being allowed true tanks, wanted a rough terrain capable armored car. It would need multiple machine guns for fighting infantry and a turreted gun for destroying enemy tanks and armored cars while scouting. It would need armor against rifle caliber bullets and a fairly high speed for scouting as well as an onboard radio…

…The biggest issue within the Army was the Air Service. Its membership chafed at the restrictions of the Army and wanted an independent Air Force in the model of the RAF, one that would include not just the Army Air Service, but the Navy’s as well…

-Excerpt from Forging Columbia’s Sword, The United States Army between the Wars, Norwich University Press, Northfield, 2009
 
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