Ghastly Victories: The United States in the World Wars

What is the TL;DR of this timeline?
World War One and Two, but as bloody and horrible as possible. Possibly in an effort to make the Entente pay just as much for winning WW1 as the CP did losing it? Or to disillusion America of the erroneous idea that any of the European powers are their friends, and not competitors who don’t care about them. Not 100% sure yet.
 
World War One and Two, but as bloody and horrible as possible. Possibly in an effort to make the Entente pay just as much for winning WW1 as the CP did losing it? Or to disillusion America of the erroneous idea that any of the European powers are their friends, and not competitors who don’t care about them. Not 100% sure yet.
Which war are we on by now?
 
You know given what the TL is going for I just realized we should likely expect Japan getting invaded by the US alongside getting nuked.
 
I mentioned this in another thread about 'bad outcomes' which have ill effects on the US but again it fits here so...

There's a fan-theory for Star Trek that postulates that the "Terran Empire" is the result of very disillusioned and cynical US figuring that gaining and sustaining hegemony over the entire Earth and all it's nations is the ONLY way they will get some peace and quite and thing rather snowball from there. I can see that happening here... Kinda :)

Randy
 
I mentioned this in another thread about 'bad outcomes' which have ill effects on the US but again it fits here so...

There's a fan-theory for Star Trek that postulates that the "Terran Empire" is the result of very disillusioned and cynical US figuring that gaining and sustaining hegemony over the entire Earth and all it's nations is the ONLY way they will get some peace and quite and thing rather snowball from there. I can see that happening here... Kinda :)

Randy
Sounds like how Klaus Wulfenbach got started on his empire - as best I can tell from the comic, his neighbors were raiding his lands, and so he conquered them to make them stop. Then his new neighbors raided the lands he just conquered, so he invaded them, too (I am oversimplifying this a bit). Eventually it got to be something of a habit.

"So I stopped it. And I did it my way this time. No more negotiating. No more promises. No more second chances. And I did it alone. Because I had to. And it worked."
 
Sounds like how Klaus Wulfenbach got started on his empire - as best I can tell from the comic, his neighbors were raiding his lands, and so he conquered them to make them stop. Then his new neighbors raided the lands he just conquered, so he invaded them, too (I am oversimplifying this a bit). Eventually it got to be something of a habit.
Last place I expected Girl Genius to be referenced.
 
Last place I expected Girl Genius to be referenced.

No one every expect the GG references :)

Eh, it just fits this specific conversation pretty well, you know?

It does in fact because it's actually an issue the US has with on-again/off-again "Imperialism" that could, with the right circumstances turn into REAL Imperialism as in out-and-out "Empire". In OTL the idea that twice in one generation (relativity) was enough to drag the US out of isolationism as a national level "preference" to embracing "internationalism" and hegemony over the "Western" world. Which is exactly the opposite of the National Zeitgeist from founding till the the late 1940s and pretty much inconceivable in prior eras. America was one of the few nations to "start" along the path of empire several times and then turn around and voluntarily give it up, (much to the confusion of the other Empires out there :) ) by popular opinion but the "chance" that would have continued is and always has been there.

Randy
 
It does in fact because it's actually an issue the US has with on-again/off-again "Imperialism" that could, with the right circumstances turn into REAL Imperialism as in out-and-out "Empire". In OTL the idea that twice in one generation (relativity) was enough to drag the US out of isolationism as a national level "preference" to embracing "internationalism" and hegemony over the "Western" world. Which is exactly the opposite of the National Zeitgeist from founding till the the late 1940s and pretty much inconceivable in prior eras. America was one of the few nations to "start" along the path of empire several times and then turn around and voluntarily give it up, (much to the confusion of the other Empires out there :) ) by popular opinion but the "chance" that would have continued is and always has been there.
Honestly, it reminded me of a quote from the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie:

"War starts in Europe, how long before it crosses the Atlantic?"

The US knows this, and having it proven, twice, in one generation, like you said, does wonders for making the idea sound a lot more appealing.
 
Honestly, it reminded me of a quote from the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie:

"War starts in Europe, how long before it crosses the Atlantic?"

The US knows this, and having it proven, twice, in one generation, like you said, does wonders for making the idea sound a lot more appealing.

Especially if you end up with someone other than Truman post-war as he was, while considered an "internationalist", more "isolationism-light" in international leanings. He supported the UN and the Marshall Plan for the obvious reasons of post-war European stability but his fiscal and military policies were isolationist in keeping the US pretty much unable to 'intervene' without using nuclear weapons. Someone who supports and expects a more 'confrontational' opposition to Stalin and expanding Communism is going to also keep a higher budget for an active military that can support such policy and that in and of itself is going to have some significant post-war butterflies.
(Odds are that means the US is the ones to develop and deploy the first ICBM's and satellites for example)

Randy
 
This is intriguing, and overall believable. Keeping Hitler makes sense from a storytelling point of view; I'd be tempted to as well.
Followed!
 
Part 5-4
…President Roosevelt’s priority on taking office was on the depressed US economy. His first acts dealt with the banking system. The Emergency Banking Act of 1933 declared a bank holiday and authorized the Federal Reserve Banks to issue more currency backed by good assets. The proper Banking act then created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to guarantee bank deposits and separated commercial and investment banking. The Securities Act of 1933 and of 1934 created the Securities and Exchange Commission and increased regulation and disclosure of investment. Finally he temporarily suspended the gold standard for the duration of the crisis.

Further effort was spent on putting people to work. Organizations such as the Public Works Administration, Civil Works Administration, and the Tennessee Valley Authority. The latter in particular was important beyond its limited size in its role as an integrated development agency for a whole region.

Other programs were launched as party of the New Deal aimed at improving the life of Americans. Rural Electrification brought power to those without. The Agricultural Adjustment Act expanded on Curtis era programs and brought price growth and stability to farmers. The National Recovery Act established a minimum wage, a 40 hour workweek and ended Child Labor. Finally the repeal of Prohibition allowed Americans to drink again and ended the costly enforcement of the unpopular law…

…Along with his reforms Roosevelt made one key error. He made it a policy to balance the primary budget, the New Deal programs were considered temporary emergency relief and were excluded, but a balanced budget was the long term goal. Thus Roosevelt slashed government and military spending to balance the primary budget. Some of this was clawed back by using the Public Works Administration to fund capital projects, like buildings and warships, but in general there was a real decline in resources available that proved actively of harm…

…Roosevelt’s New Deal saw the economy begin a rapid recovery. By the end of 1933 Unemployment had dropped from just over 20% to under 17%, hitting 14% at the end of 1934. This recovery meant that despite opposition from conservatives who derided the program as socialism, Roosevelt was able to secure a solid congressional majority to back his work in 1934…

-Into the Abyss: The leadup to the Second World War, Harper and Brothers, New York, 2009



…Further defining the timeframe of the Great Depression runs into the issue not just of the origin but the recovery. Most place it as beginning due to the New Deal of President Roosevelt. However careful analysis of the key metrics shows that the recovery began in the latter part of 1932 under President Curtis. Unemployment had peaked at the beginning of 1933 before Roosevelt took office. The Stock Market had bottomed out the week before he was elected. Other metrics similarly showed a recovery had begun in the last days of the Curtis administration.

Thus the question regarding Roosevelt’s New Deal is not if it started the recovery from the Great Depression, but how much it aided, impeded it or allowed it to continue…

-Excerpt from Revisionist Viewpoints in History Volume X, University of California Press: Berkley, 2000





Okay it's a short update, it's also finals week, I'm working overtime, I'm stressed out enough I bought my aunt an extra set of presents and a card by mistake, and I'm dreaming about tax law, be glad there is an update at all
 
I knew the US military uptake had to be coming to an end soon, but balance budget? Why does that always pop up in the US?

Also take it easy, because tax law is no joke. We can wait
 
Part 5-5
…The next fateful step on the road to the abyss of another European War occurred over Austria. An ethnically German state elements in Austria had long wanted to unite with Germany, such a union was effectively only stopped by the desire of Otto von Bismarck, who did not want more Catholics in the new German nation, or a rival center of power to Prussia. In the immediate aftermath of WWI there was such an attempt at unity, one immediately banned by the Entente powers. This ban was written into the constitutions of both Germany and Austria, no union between the states could be permitted, no matter what the people of those states may desire. This ban was not seen as particularly onerous compared to others the states suffered other, and was at the bottom of the list for revision if on the list at all.

When Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany, Germany had a leader who was not only interested in and willing to revise Versailles, but also willing to pursue an Anschluss, as the union between the realms was called. Most other far right leaders were unwilling, as they saw more Catholics in Germany as undesirable, or were afraid of a dilution of their powerbase. For Hitler, who was himself an Austrian, an Anschluss was a necessity to show that his Germany was truly a Greater Germany on par with the Holy Roman Empire.

This of course ran into the issue that Austria’s fascist leader had no intention of letting his country disappear on him. Engelbert Dollfuss had taken over the country after a brief socialist uprising, enabling the president to give him the authority as Chancellor to rule by decree. Dollfuss then took steps to build a fascist system of government modelled on Italy. A staunch Catholic he had no desire to allow his country to be absorbed into an officially secular greater Germany.

His attitudes however were not universal and following the formation of the SVP, an Austrian branch of the organization took hold and grew. In November 1934 it had grown large enough that Hitler thought it had a chance of taking over Austria. The plan was for a unit of SVP volunteers who had infiltrated the paramilitary Heimwehr to take Dollfuss and President Miklas into custody while another unit of SVP volunteers would take over the radio station an announce the transfer of power to Austrian SVP leader Alfred Proksch. Simultaneous “spontaneous” uprisings would occur throughout Austria to allow the takeover of government to occur without interference from outside Vienna.

Almost immediately the plan went off the rails. The organizers of the coup were unaware of the post-Kaiderhof bombings changes to the security of the Chancellor’s and Presidents residence and were stopped at the outer perimeter. Forced to then fight their way in, they were delayed long enough for the President and Chancellor to escape. Dollfuss and Miklas were able to rally troops and crush the Volkists in Vienna the next day, with the risings elsewhere dealt with over the next few days.

Hitler attempted to rattle sabers in order to intimidate Dollfuss into a favorable solution. Sanna however was having none of that and ordered elements of the Italain Army to the Austrian border in order to respond to any breach of Austria’s territorial sovereignty. He made that point quite clear to Hitler, any attack on Austria would be treated as an act of war against Italy itself. Not expecting such a vociferous response Hitler backed down, knowing Germany could not defeat Italy at this juncture.

The whole incident however had left Sanna worried. He had no desire for an Anschluss to occur, a greater Germany would have both the motivation and will to seek to regain the Austrian territories lost to Italy over the years. At the same time he was wary of the cost of preventing such. The mountainous terrain of Austria and South Germany meant that any Italo-German war over Austria would be long and grueling, something to cause high causalities and worse enormous financial costs that could cripple Italy for a generation. Sanna thus had to avoid both outcomes.

Thus he turned to diplomacy, inviting the leaders of France and Britain to a Conference at Florence. The goal of the Conference was to created a United Front against German expansion. With the unraveling of its alliance with the smaller nations of Europe, France saw this as a chance to contain Germany on the cheap. With both France and Italy involved Britain figured that it could also deter Germany from any bad behavior by simply signing the agreement. Both nations thus saw the Italain offer as a godsend.

At the conference however Sanna played hardball. His assurance of security to Dollfuss was not publicly known, thus he acted as if he could be persuaded to accede to an Anschluss in exchange for valuable enough concessions from Germany. To prevent that he subtly asked Britain and France for concessions of their own. Sanna however was careful to keep this maneuvering outside the conference itself to ensure the optics remained good for the British and French publics.

His demand was simple, the acquiescence of Britain and France to Italy settling a particular matter of honor. Italy would be given free reign to avenge her most infamous defeat of the 19th Century with no actions by Britain and France. Of course this could not be put in writing, the British and French publics would not stand for such a thing. Sanna however wanted an express verbal guarantee of non-interference.

After much consultation the British and French agreed to Sanna’s desires, assuming that they could always deny any such agreement had been made. Sanna however had thought of that and asked the Hungarian ambassador to attend as a “secretary” as a personal favor while wearing a false moustache and glasses in order to provide an independent witness.

The British government to this day denies or evades discussing their acquiescence to Sanna’s proposal. However postwar interviews with French and Italain diplomats, along with the Hungarian ambassador in question all agree on the Franco-British accession to Sanna’s demands. Actual confirmation of this will only come when British records of the conference are declassified on January 1st 2056, as neither French nor Italain records survive…

…With this agreement in place the Florentine Front could be put into place. Britain, France and Italy all agreed to commit to the independence of Austria and to treat any German attempt to revise her borders with force as an act of war. Furthermore the three parties would oppose any further attempts by Germany to alter the treaty of Versailles. Thus Hitler was faced with a united front and forced to abandon his plans to remilitarize the Rhineland and push for the Sudetenland…

…For Sanna the Florentine Front was a major victory. Now if Hitler acted up, as Sanna thought the man would, Britain and France would also be involved in dealing with him. Given the relative nature of the terrain that made up the national borders, much of the fighting would of nature have to be done by the French, the Alps giving Sanna a ready made excuse not to push hard against Germany. Thus France would be disproportionately weakened in such a war, giving Italy an opportunity to expand in the Balkans in the aftermath…

…The First blow to the Florentine Front came from the British. Fearful of the Germans building a navy of Pocket Battleship raiders backed by U-Boats the British agreed to a naval agreement with Germany to prevent this. The November 1935 Anglo-German Naval agreement stated that Britain would not object to Germany building a navy provided that it did not exceed the size of the force allotted to the French in any one category, or completed any Pocket Battleships beyond the four already laid down. The problem was not so much the agreement itself, but that the British had made it without telling the French or the Italians.

In France its existence was one of a number of factors that led to the collapse of the government that signed the Florentine Front. In Italy it was less consequential, unlike the French Sanna saw no threat in a large German navy, rather he was angry at not being consulted. Despite this he was willing to hold up his part of the bargain as long as the British and French held up theirs, something that would be quickly tested…

-Into the Abyss: The leadup to the Second World War, Harper and Brothers, New York, 2009
 
The British government to this day denies or evades discussing their acquiescence to Sanna’s proposal. However postwar interviews with French and Italain diplomats, along with the Hungarian ambassador in question all agree on the Franco-British accession to Sanna’s demands. Actual confirmation of this will only come when British records of the conference are declassified on January 1st 2056, as neither French nor Italain records survive
Oh, dear.

Well, we knew it was going to be bloodier than in OTL, but that has pretty nasty implications anyway.
 
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