Who should win the 1920 election?

  • Charles Evans Hughes (Republican)

    Votes: 36 87.8%
  • James Cox (OTL Democratic nominee)

    Votes: 4 9.8%
  • Other Democratic nominee (please specify who!)

    Votes: 1 2.4%

  • Total voters
    41
Place In the Sun Christmas Special
Kaiser Wilhelm II's 1917 Christmas address. The bold parts were not scripted and were ad-libs.

“Good day to you all. Today, 25 December 1917, marks the birthday of the Prince of Peace. All around the world, people of Christ stop on this holy day and offer thanks. The German people are united in theirs, for the past two years have been fateful in every way imaginable. Envious rivals in London, Paris, and Petrograd forced the Fatherland to take up arms. And you, German people, have conducted yourselves with nobility and honour beyond any calling, and now you are reaping the reward owed to you. Having won their place in the sun by force of arms, the German people and their monarch bask in the glow of victory. Our heroic Deutsches Heer stands from Amiens to Minsk, our long-cherished colonial dreams fulfilled in Morocco and Mittelafrika. Tsar Michael in Petrograd and David Lloyd George in London have repented of their error and granted us the peace we deserve, and for this I thank them wholeheartedly. The international conspiracy to wage a war of aggression against the Vaterland failed, and we are all the stronger for it.
1917 has been a year of thriving and of new heights for the German people which not even the most base and rank of our rivals can deny. Brave men in feldgrau have quelled the dark depths of Mittelafrika and brought liberty to Mitteleuropa. Yet our achievements have not been purely in the martial sphere- under the leadership of our fine Foreign Minister Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, standing just to my right, German diplomacy has advanced a hundredfold, convincing friend and foe alike that our old promises still hold true, that we mean others no ill-will and stand for what we have always stood for.
In 1914, as the fateful hour ticked closer and the German state hoisted its sword, I promised a general, liberal election once peace had been achieved. That hour came in October when the German veteran went to the polls to use the freedom he fought with all his being to defend. Once again, I extend my most heartfelt congratulations to Ernst von Heydebrand and the rest of the Conservative Party for their success. I have every confidence that the German people will thrive under the leadership which they selected in October for years to come.
Economically, we have thrived. Unlike certain states surrounding Germany, the mark has remained remarkably free of inflation, while our relationship to foreign creditors leaves nothing to criticise. The indomitable efforts of our economic bureaux have made this so. No depression, no wave of poverty, has crashed over our victorious people. Indeed, the German man returning from his service to the Fatherland finds things better than ever before in his beloved hometown; the international dreams of wrecking the German state have been foiled.
A year may have passed since our people conquered what was rightfully theirs, but true peace has yet to come. 1917 has been a violent year for the world’s people. Crude terrorists east of the Meuse River have butchered patriotic Germans in Nanzig and elsewhere. Madmen in the pay of the Russians have wracked the Kingdom of Poland with their savagery, attempting to deprive the Polish people of the peace German arms have rightfully carved for them. Germany’s loyal ally, the United Empire of the Danube, fought through the Great War with commendable steadfastness, but has been pushed to a low ebb by the savagery of the Hungarians. Karoly Kuhen-Hedevary and his mob have crossed the laws of war. Vienna, the glorious city at the heart of Europe and a centre of tranquility, is now nothing more than a heap of ash crushed under the cruel Slavic heel of the Hungarians. To the young Otto von Habsburg and his steward Regent Maximilian, I say this: Germany is with you! Now, there is a greater crime still than the atrocities of Vienna, one barely days old. Speaking in the name of humanity, I must criticise with all the force in my being the savagery committed by the British Empire in India, against noble freedom fighters seeking to revive a great and nationally conscious state. India has committed no crime and is merely justifying itself on the world stage, while England is showing herself to be the same warmonger careless of the lives of her colonial subjects. The massacre of Sindh was a greater crime than anything which the European continent has seen since the Thirty Years War!
Yet, it is not only thoughts of war and of bitterness which consume me. For today is of course Christmas Day, the birthday of our Lord and Saviour. And there is a moment surrounding this great event which our empire’s height reminds me of. In the first twelve passages of the second chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, it is detailed how the three Magi proceeded from that same India which is even as I speak being ravaged by the British Empire, to pay homage to that divine Infant. And as I think of those men crossing the desert upon their camels, reliant upon nothing save their strength and convictions, I am reminded of nothing so much as our camel cavalry keeping order in Mittelafrika, or of the same use which our valiant Ottoman Turkish comrades have for the beasts. Let this memory be etched in the minds of each and every one of you. Despite the international plans of those who wished to see our glorious empire ground to the dust, Germany is on top once more, and I can only hope and pray that 1918 brings us more heights still. Thank you, and may God bless our place in the sun!

Screen Shot 2020-12-24 at 12.01.55 pm.png

A very happy Christmas to all my readers! Thanks for making Place In the Sun possible! Hope you all have an excellent day.
-Kaiser Wilhelm the Tenth​
 

bguy

Donor
What I'm saying is that since the US is already militarised for war with Mexico, Irish volunteer units form for that war, and then later reorganise to help their cousins out on the Emerald Isle.

Interestingly enough there was a St. Patrick's Battalion in the Mexican-American War that was largely made up of Irish immigrants that defected to the Mexicans.


(Though if Hughes plays up the strong anti-clerical provisions in the new Mexican constitution there probably won't be nearly as much sympathy from Irish-Americans for Mexico in the current conflict as there was in the First Mexican-American War.)
 
Seeing what's happening in Ireland, it makes me as an Englishman feel incredible shame that my own nation would treat its own neighbor like dirt like that, and also incredibly thankful that Anglo-Irish relations Post-Troubles are as good as they are now. Not perfect, but stable

Also, since my last post, I've stopped getting alerts from this thread. Anyone understand why?
 
Seeing what's happening in Ireland, it makes me as an Englishman feel incredible shame that my own nation would treat its own neighbor like dirt like that, and also incredibly thankful that Anglo-Irish relations Post-Troubles are as good as they are now. Not perfect, but stable

Also, since my last post, I've stopped getting alerts from this thread. Anyone understand why?
i do know i have to click on the little alerts icon to see my new alerts, for a while now it no longer highlights when there are new alert.
also for some reason if you haven;t been active in a thread for a while it stops alerting, make a new post in said thread and it should be ok again
 
AFAIK the coding can only juggle about 5 or so threads at a time. So if you've got alerts for threads A/B/C/D but not E/F/G/H, go back and check the old ones for activity, then the site will give you E/F/G/H alerts again... aaand forget all about A/B/C/D.
 
Oh, see the fleet-foot hosts of men who speed with faces wan,
From farmstead and from thresher's cot along the banks of Bann.
They come with vengeance in their eyes; too late, too late are they,
For young Roddy McCorley goes to die on the bridge of Toome today.
 
A year may have passed since our people conquered what was rightfully theirs, but true peace has yet to come. 1917 has been a violent year for the world’s people. Crude terrorists east of the Meuse River have butchered patriotic Germans in Nanzig and elsewhere. Madmen in the pay of the Russians have wracked the Kingdom of Poland with their savagery, attempting to deprive the Polish people of the peace German arms have rightfully carved for them.
Will be interested to see how this timeline handles Poland and other central/eastern European states, particularly in how Poles, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, etc., deal with German domination.
 
Kinda surprised WIlhelm didn't flip things; certainly for Germany, the Hungarians are a much more immediate and obvious evil, marching and looting through the German(-Austrian) city of Vienna, than whatever the UK is up to whereever in India.
 
Kinda surprised WIlhelm didn't flip things; certainly for Germany, the Hungarians are a much more immediate and obvious evil, marching and looting through the German(-Austrian) city of Vienna, than whatever the UK is up to whereever in India.
this is about family, the fleet thing was because he wanted to compete with his relatives. i guess he always felt like being the redheaded stepchild
 
this is about family, the fleet thing was because he wanted to compete with his relatives. i guess he always felt like being the redheaded stepchild
I mean when your British mom hates you, your siblings and your entire country, while really likely being a traitor, ut leaves an impression
 
Interestingly enough there was a St. Patrick's Battalion in the Mexican-American War that was largely made up of Irish immigrants that defected to the Mexicans.


(Though if Hughes plays up the strong anti-clerical provisions in the new Mexican constitution there probably won't be nearly as much sympathy from Irish-Americans for Mexico in the current conflict as there was in the First Mexican-American War.)
A Second Saint Patrick's Battalion? Sounds fun.
However, I should point out that we're rewinding time a bit here; this chapter will actually take place before the Second Mexican War.
Seeing what's happening in Ireland, it makes me as an Englishman feel incredible shame that my own nation would treat its own neighbor like dirt like that, and also incredibly thankful that Anglo-Irish relations Post-Troubles are as good as they are now. Not perfect, but stable

Also, since my last post, I've stopped getting alerts from this thread. Anyone understand why?
Indeed. I'm half-British myself and doing research for this TL doesn't make me proud. But every country has its black marks in history.
Let's hope that the North stays the way it is now... while knowing that the Place In the Sun alt-Troubles will probably be worse...
Oh, see the fleet-foot hosts of men who speed with faces wan,
From farmstead and from thresher's cot along the banks of Bann.
They come with vengeance in their eyes; too late, too late are they,
For young Roddy McCorley goes to die on the bridge of Toome today.
Very nice! :)
Will be interested to see how this timeline handles Poland and other central/eastern European states, particularly in how Poles, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, etc., deal with German domination.
I'm planning a chapter about the Eastern European states... it's on the to-do list...
Kinda surprised WIlhelm didn't flip things; certainly for Germany, the Hungarians are a much more immediate and obvious evil, marching and looting through the German(-Austrian) city of Vienna, than whatever the UK is up to whereever in India.
But talking about India gets Wilhelm noticed more and that's what he was after!

Update below (or it will be in five minutes)
 
Chapter 32: The Saint George's Day Riots
Chapter Thirty-Two: The Saint George's Day Riots
"We're not going to do this bloody dance again."
- David Lloyd George's first response to hearing about the St. George's Day Riots

"If the limeys were to root out every single suspect behind this bombing, they'd have to arrest every Irishman in Belfast. And they're doing just that, God help us."
- Diary entry of Michael Collins, 25 April 1917. Collins was in a British prison cell at the time.

"What the feck have we to lose?"
-Question posed to an American correspondent by an Irish rebel in Belfast, 27 April 1917

Ireland had done poorly in the Great War. The country had chafed under British rule since the twelfth century. Cognisant of this, British politicians had proposed various schemes for “Home Rule”, and a compromise had been set to go into effect in the summer of 1914… just in time for the Great War to derail plans. Initially, this wasn’t a problem as vast numbers of Irishmen placed their loyalty to the King above local nationalism- many posters survive exhorting the Irish to do their bit for King and Country, just like everybody else. Catholics served alongside Protestants and Irish was spoken alongside English. This deeply offended many Irish nationalists, who viewed it as collaboration with the enemy and argued that now was the time to seize independence with both hands. However, the Irish people, while sympathetic to the nationalists’ goals, wanted to achieve them through peaceful cooperation with London and thus disdained rebellion in their own homes. With mounting commitments in the trenches and revolt in South Africa, Britain was glad that at least one potential trouble spot remained quiet.

It wasn’t to last.

By spring 1916, the Central Powers were rolling towards victory with Italy and Romania on-side. As Easter approached, Verdun had fallen to the Germans while the Italians were cracking through the Alps. If a revolt was to take place, now was the time. So, the Easter Rising went ahead in Dublin… and crashed and burned. Many of the four thousand Irish Volunteers contributed little to the fighting, and the British rushed thousands of men to the city. With the Entente position on the Continent deteriorating, saving the British Expeditionary Force from capture became a priority. Thus, surplus British troops were evacuated to the “safety” of Ireland in the last week of April 1916. Ironically, they only arrived on the Emerald Isle after the fighting was over and had they been present on the Continent, they might’ve prevented the German victory at Third Ypres. (1) Furious at Ireland’s “betrayal”, the British placed the country under military rule. General John Maxwell, who had quelled the revolt, was appointed military governor. His regime included the six northern counties, but the British yoke was much lighter there, and outspoken Protestants got on quite well with the authorities.

Throughout the spring and summer of 1916, Britain viciously rooted out any hint of trouble in the Emerald Isle, arresting over three thousand ex-rebels; they executed ninety. General Maxwell (2) offered a tacit olive branch by only executing ringleaders while commuting the sentences of many ordinary Irish. Nonetheless, the people of Dublin heard far too many firing squads to think that the British were being kind. Many have speculated that British heavy-handedness in Ireland was a reaction to the loss of the Great War- if nationalist anger could be turned on the Irish, it would distract people from their country’s failings on the Continent. Thus, Britain kept Ireland under martial law “until such time as the rebel menace has been eradicated.” Since most of the Easter Rising’s leadership was now pushing up daisies, this claim of a “rebel menace” had no basis in fact, but the British would use it as a fig leaf for their occupation of Ireland for years to come.

After Operation DYNAMO had retrieved a sliver of the Army from the Continent, Irish soldiers were given priority for demobilisation; this was not out of kindness, but out of a desire not to have guns in the hands of well-trained minorities who’d proven their untrustworthiness. When these men returned to their homes, they found a bitter experience waiting for them. Soldiers in the same khaki uniform they’d worn till recently patrolled the streets, treating them and their families like dangerous enemies. They had fewer freedoms than they’d had in the trenches, and being able-bodied young men constantly had to prove that they weren’t rebels in disguise. The Irish had done their patriotic duty and were being rewarded for it not with Home Rule but martial law.

It didn’t take long for people to start making plans.

The failure of the Easter Rising had dealt the Irish nationalist leadership a nasty blow. Many leaders were now dangling from the end of a rope, Michael Collins surviving only by chance; only his American citizenship saved Eamon de Valera. The Irish rebel cause was a long way from dead, but when the inevitable next round took place, different men would lead it. One such man was Arthur Griffith, whose party Sinn Fein had become deeply associated with the revolt despite Griffith’s tendency towards compromise. However, these men were all hampered by their intellectual nature. They were politicians whose dreams of an independent Ireland involved them running it from behind a desk. Some, such as Collins, wanted a second Easter Rising; others, such as Griffith, wanted to compromise with the British. Physical disunity and martial law made it extremely difficult to communicate, and the rest of 1916 passed with little official action being taken. When the Germans hung Ireland out to dry at the Treaty of Dresden, the imprisoned rebels could do nothing but bemoan in their diaries. However, plenty of unofficial action was taken in the latter half of 1916.

As mentioned above, plenty of ex-soldiers were roaming around Ireland, and they rapidly grew sick of being treated like the enemy. The countryside was large and the British couldn’t afford to occupy every single hamlet. Thus, plenty of veterans found it easy to congregate at a friend’s house, bringing a bit of supper, and talk sedition. None of these men had MI5 files or criminal records beyond the odd bit of petty crime, and on the off-chance a soldier came knocking they could easily change the conversation. These people all knew how to handle weapons, and it was easy enough for them to hide the odd Mills grenade in the cowshed.

Several important facts stick out about this Irish resistance. For a start, it was de-centralised. Michael Collins in his Welsh prison cell may have been a popular martyr, but his real influence over events was nil. Arthur Griffith was free and had a theoretical mouthpiece in Sinn Fein, but the British were watching him like a hawk. Sensibly, Griffith kept his head down and waxed non-committal about Irish nationalism throughout late 1916. There was no central dissident group to issue instructions to cells; it was up to every Irishman to do what he saw fit. This was an advantage in that arrested people knew little and could thus tell their captors little, but it was a disadvantage in that the Irish could not do more than mount supply runs and mug the odd British soldier. The second important thing is that British and American propaganda aside (the British claiming it to be a bad thing while the Americans lauding it as a virtue), the Irish people were far from united in their path of rebellion. Many identified as subjects of the Crown similar to how a Canadian or Australian identity, linked with but separate from the “mother country”, persisted. Plenty of Irish troops had spent the past two years living and dying alongside people from Pembrokeshire, Newcastle, and Hull, people who spoke with the same accents as the occupiers. The Great War had taught them that the British didn’t have horns and were mostly decent people- lashing out at them would be murder. A more practical aspect was at play: going into revolt means putting one’s wife and children on the front lines and turning one’s hometown into a battlefield. The Easter Rising, after all, had been conducted by a relatively small republican clique, not by the masses taking to the streets. While the harsh reprisals had alienated many from British rule, they’d also served their purpose; many who loathed the British were too afraid to act. The fact remains that whether out of affinity for the British or simple fear, the vast majority of Irishmen took no part in the postwar unrest, preferring to stay at home and open a new chapter in their lives.

They weren’t to get their wish.

Christmas and New Year’s were subdued affairs. Church services still took place- under the scowls and watchful eyes of British troops- but there were no parades or public festivities (barring a few put on by Protestants in Ulster). This wasn’t out of spite, rather a fear that letting the Irish Catholics publicly celebrate their way would give nationalism a shot in the arm. Thus, anybody planning to chuck a bomb at a Christmas parade was out of luck. However, Britain’s great mistake was to treat Ulster far lighter than the south, and Irish nationalists began planning.

Craig Farthwynd wasn’t on any watch list, nor should he have been. Farthwynd was a sales clerk born in Limerick who’d moved to Belfast with his son after his wife died a few years before the Great War. He’d turned to the bottle to cope, giving the neighbours an endless supply of gossip. Both he and his son had joined the Army in the Great War- he in Libya, his son in France- but his boy had never come home. This drove Farthwynd deeper into depression and he became a recluse after the war, no longer socialising with his colleagues or even going to church or to the pub. Deciding that life wasn’t worth living, he began thinking about suicide in spring 1917- but not before taking revenge for losing his son. Farthwynd began toying with explosives, building home-made bombs based on what he’d learned in the Army. He was remarkably good at covering his tracks, only working in the evening when he could draw the curtains and have the lights on without arousing suspicion, and fixing the light bulbs in his house to provide a plausible cover story. There was nothing in his public behaviour to suggest that he was a danger to others and no grounds for intervening save to prevent suicide. With the anniversary of the Easter Rising fast approaching and many known subversives at large, no one in authority thought to keep an eye on old Craig Farthwynd.

Their complacency would end up killing dozens.

Disguised as “the man about the boiler”, Farthwynd (4) snuck into Saint Aidan’s, an Anglican church in his hometown, on Saint George’s Day 1917- a year to the day after the Easter Rising. Two hours later, the reverend was preaching to a hundred people when Farthwynd’s device exploded; eighteen were killed and another thirty-one injured.

Although no one knew it, the Long War had just begun.

St. Aidan's in Belfast (colourised). The Anglican church was destroyed in 1917 and the site today is a memorial to the Long War.
staidans.jpeg


Belfast’s fire brigade quickly descended on the smoking ruins of Saint Aidan’s but were overwhelmed. Since Farthwynd had placed the bomb next to a gas heater, a great deal of carbon monoxide had been released and many victims had suffocated- the firemen had to wear their gas masks. The explosion had damaged Saint Aidan’s foundations, and the ruins were eventually pulled down. Civilian police and a few soldiers rushed to the ruins and quickly began searching for who might’ve done this. Eventually, they established that no one had recognised “the man about the boiler” who’d come a few hours ago. It wasn’t much, but it was a start. Policemen and soldiers collaborated in vicious sweeps, as anyone who might conceivably have been involved found armed men knocking on their door. These people were totally bewildered and terrified that British would execute them for a crime they hadn’t committed. Ulster was nominally under martial law so this was all legal, but it won the British few friends… especially since not a single Protestant received anything more than a polite inquiry. Surprisingly, no one died on the first day- this was because the suspects were too stunned to fight back. That said, plenty of people got a truncheon where they could afford it least or had serious damage done to their property. All told, the British arrested six hundred Irishmen in Belfast on Saint George’s Day.

Meanwhile, that snake Farthwynd had gotten away. No one really remembered enough about him for the police to construct a detailed profile- their response to this was simply to arrest as many people as possible and hope they got him. This was of course no way to run an investigation, and it failed miserably. While innocent men and women were being arrested for the crime of having red hair, Craig Farthwynd was hiding in the village of Boardmills. When the Royal Irish Constabulary raided his house, they found a journal detailing his suicidal thoughts, a heap of electrical equipment… and Army-issue gunpowder.

Now it all made sense- but it was too late; Farthwynd had killed himself that same day.

The Saint Aidan’s Bombing could have been an isolated event. The Royal Irish Constabulary could’ve immediately told their superiors they’d found the culprit; said superiors could’ve immediately and publicly cancelled the sweeps and released all prisoners. However, by that point it was ten PM and the police and Army were preparing for bed. Night patrols had already been assigned, and some altercations between soldiers and locals continued past dawn. Neither the soldiers nor the Irishmen knew that the culprit had been identified.

They were determined to keep the fight going.

24 April- the one-year anniversary of the Easter Rising- started off with a bang. The Belfast jail was full to the brim, and none of these people were keen on their captivity. At six AM, one man whose name has not survived was being brought his breakfast when he made a break for freedom, attacking the guard. Prison guards seldom go anywhere alone and the man was rapidly killed, but the damage was done. Innocent prisoners wanted their freedom back and wanted to see their families; thus, they quickly mobbed the surviving guard and nicked his keys and weapon. Fighting broke out all across the Belfast jail, and by dawn a prison riot was in full effect. Soldiers and policemen from all across Belfast were called to the city jail, which limited their ability to control the streets. Many of the city’s Irishmen decided that the past day’s events meant that the British were going to treat them like dirt no matter what they did and that they needed to strike back. Thus, as the church bells struck nine, they turned on the occupiers, crying “freedom or death!” The commandant of Belfast frantically explained that he’d found the culprit of the bombing and that the sweeps would stop in exchange for the people calming down, but it was too late- most believed that he was trying to trick them into surrendering.

24 April 1917 saw Belfast explode into revolt. A mob which stormed the jail at ten AM was repulsed with heavy casualties; they returned a few hours later with reinforcements and were more successful. Convinced that the Irishmen had gone mad and were trying to murder them all, the city’s Protestant majority struck back. They shared race and religion with the occupiers and so had hardly suffered under occupation; they were now to take advantage of that good standing in the worst way possible. Mobs of Scots-Ulstermen and Britons, some armed, charged into the streets, setting upon anybody with red hair. Vicious street battles consumed Belfast as years of tension came to a boil. Police and soldiers turned a blind eye to the Ulster mobs while landing on Irishmen with both feet. Churches were particular targets for both sides, as were businesses owned by one side or the other. The only significant places spared damage were military facilities; soldiers deployed to Belfast Harbour had no qualms about using lethal force to stop any attempt to damage the Royal Navy fleet stationed there. As it turned out, their presence there was superfluous; when a gang of Irish looters tried to break aboard a destroyer, a blast from the ship’s guns turned them to jelly. Following this, at about two PM, the warships put to sea for their own safety- they would not return for a week. The other place where security was maintained at a cost in human life was the Harland and Wolff Shipyards. A centrepiece of Royal Navy construction, these were far too important to risk being damaged and so Regular Army soldiers were stationed all around the perimeter, armed with rifles, bayonets, and very loose rules of engagement. Crawford McGullagh, Lord Mayor of Belfast and an unabashed Unionist, was killed when somebody chucked a rock through his window at just the wrong moment. This didn’t actually make much difference since Belfast was under martial law, but the propaganda value of the thing was immense.

General John Maxwell’s dreams of a quiet St. George’s Day had died a bloody death… along with a hundred inhabitants of Belfast.

Armed with stolen British kit, rebels in Belfast pose for a picture before going into action on the city's streets.
irishrebelsbelfast.jpeg


As with many revolts, the first twenty-four hours were critical. Unlike the relatively well-planned Easter Rising, the St. George’s Day Riots (as they would come to be termed) were a spontaneous affair and a genuine expression of popular loathing for the British. Had it exploded into a pan-Ireland revolt, the British would’ve been hard-pressed to put it down, especially with India on edge in the wake of Bonar Law’s assassination. To everybody’s relief, while Belfast remained both literally and proverbially on fire, the mess didn’t look likely to spread to the rest of Ireland, or even to the rest of Ulster.

The reasons for this are many.

Out of all the cities of Ireland, Belfast was most on edge. This was due to the fact that the military authorities massively discriminated between Protestants and Catholics, leaving the latter with a massive- if justified- chip on their shoulder. Since this double standard didn’t exist in the south, the people there were ironically less bitter. Second, the sweeps to find the Saint Aidan’s bomber had been confined to Belfast; the British rightly assumed that the bomber had planned his operation in that city. Thus, Limerick, Cork, Dublin, and Derry (5) had all been spared the intrusive and maddening police sweeps. Finally, the events of 23 and 24 April had moved so swiftly, the rest of Ireland hardly knew what was happening. Lacklustre communications and British censorship meant that no hard, concrete facts about the Saint George’s Day Riots reached the south until it was all too late. Rumours swirled, and a few isolated muggings took place, but there was nothing even resembling a full-scale uprising anywhere else.

Having managed the immediate crisis, it was time to put a lid on the bloody thing.

General John Maxwell had fewer men than he might like; approximately fifteen thousand Regular Army soldiers or the equivalent of an over-strength division. (6) The Royal Irish Constabulary, the peace-time police force, had a similar number of men. Crushing the Belfast rebels wouldn’t be such a challenging task in and of itself, but what would be harder would be putting down the revolt without enraging Irish public opinion and setting off a larger uprising. Maxwell employed regular Army men for the task; the Constabulary weren’t trained soldiers and would be out of their depth in urban fighting. Thus, Maxwell spent 26 April in his Dublin office surrounded by armed-to-the-teeth soldiers, scraping away a company here, a battalion there. Orders went out the next day for the “Belfast Brigade” to assemble at Derry with all due haste.

Considering the state of the roads in rural Ireland, 1 May was as good as could have been hoped for.

Meanwhile, Belfast continued to burn. The rioters never formally declared themselves in revolt, but this had long since moved past civil unrest. After the initial rush of fighting on the 24th, both sides had cooled off somewhat. Plenty of combatants- both Catholics and Protestants- had grown tired of the fighting and returned to look after their homes and families. Aside from key points such as the Lord Mayor’s home and the shipyards, British control over Belfast was gone, and this left the Protestants to fend for themselves. Revisionist historians have attempted to turn the St. George’s Day Riots into a club with which to beat Catholicism; none of that is true. Archbishop Michael Louge, Primate of All Ireland, condemned the “senseless, anti-Christian violence” on the 26th (though admittedly this was a statement the British would’ve wanted him to make), and many Irish parish priests did the same. British conspiracies about a “Papist plot to steal Ireland” were flat-out lies and must be treated as such.

Sadly, many of Belfast’s Catholics spent the last days of April 1917 doing things the Pope would’ve frowned at, to put it mildly.

Convinced that they represented a fifth column (7), Belfast’s Catholics set upon their hated Protestant neighbours. Quite unjustifiable behaviour took place as acts of murder, arson, and even torture took place. This version of Magdeburg quarter was met with a reply Gustavus Adolphus would’ve been proud of: the Protestants fought back. Acting with the knowledge and at least tacit approval of the authorities, gangs of Ulstermen struck back against the Catholics. Blow for blow, eye for eye, wife for wife, child for child, all throughout the last days of April. From John Maxwell’s perspective, however, this was ideal. The enemy in Belfast was divided and focussed upon their Protestant neighbours… and there were a lot fewer loyal Protestants to worry about when the shooting started.

Said shooting began on 2 May at seven AM. The Belfast Brigade had assembled at (London)Derry the previous day and spent much of the night riding commandeered lorries to their target. The brigade had been quite haphazardly thrown together and lacked much modern equipment, but there was more than enough steel and cordite to go around. Aided by the Royal Navy flotilla ejected from the city on the 24th, the Brigade pushed its way into the western suburbs while the sun lay low and pink in the sky. Irish militiamen used to street fighting lacked machine-guns or any kind of reliable logistics and so couldn’t hope to resist for long. Finding themselves out of their depth, they retreated further and further east as the morning drew on, often taking their wives and children with them. Protestants often cheered the approach of British troops and acted as local guides. By noon, the British and their Ulster allies had reached the Lagan River, and by day’s end the Union Jack flew over Belfast.

The St. George’s Day Riots were over at last…

...but the Long War had only just begun.

The United States of America was none too pleased at the events of April 1917. Britain’s failure to pay back its Great War debts (8) had strained relations between the two and damaged the American economy; Anglophobia was on the rise with many criticising the “lousy bums” on the other side of the “pond” who lost the war and couldn’t pay back their debts. Now, the powerful Irish American lobbies in the country screamed bloody murder. J Hamilton Lewis, Senate Minority Leader, delivered a speech on the seventh to a number of his colleagues vituperating the British over the “bloody Belfast massacre”. Mobs in Boston and New York burned King George and General John Maxwell in effigy. Charles Francis Murphy, leader of the powerful Tammany Hall machine in New York City and one of the most influential Irish-Americans, collected several million dollars in May 1918 for a “Rebuild Belfast” fund- while some money went to humanitarian causes in the city, thousands of dollars went missing; coincidentally, the number of American-made guns floating around the Irish countryside increased greatly in the summer of 1917. Despite being in the private sector, these efforts enjoyed quiet yet substantial federal backing. President Charles Evans Hughes had won New York, Massachusetts, and other states with high Irish populations in 1916, and so it made sense for him to court them here. Summoning the British ambassador to his office on 5 May, he gave the man a thorough dressing-down, criticising the “un-European” nature of the fighting in Belfast. However, Hughes offered the British an olive branch by phrasing his criticism very specifically to make it clear that he objected to violence against white, Christian Irishmen, and said nothing about the recent reprisals in India for the murder of Bonar Law. Hughes then trumpeted this to the Irish community as a triumph, and they responded with support.

Political analysts all across the States pondered if the Republicans might win the Irish vote in 1920…

Meanwhile, the British made bloody sure that the St. George’s Day Riots couldn’t be repeated. The Protestants of Ulster were put to use serving the occupiers, as an “Ulsterman’s Home Division” was formed in summer 1917. The size of a normal British Army division (9), this force would be used to keep order in Ulster. The idea was that many men could serve in their home cities, conducting martial-law patrols while being able to pop round to the wife and kids on Sunday. Since they were Ulster Protestants just like the civilians, the latter wouldn’t feel oppressed by military occupation- while they’d also be able to bring the boot down hard on Irish Catholics. The programme was never a complete success- low wages drove many off- but it reduced the burden on the British. Territorial Army officers were shipped over to Ireland in summer 1917 to train the Ulsterman’s Home Division, who were outfitted with Great War surplus. The overall effect was to reduce the burden on British manpower while also increasing the standards of living in the nominally-occupied North. In the rest of Ireland, fifteen thousand Regular troops backed up by some Territorial Army volunteers (10) and the Constabulary ruled with an iron fist.

There would be no pan-Irish uprising for some time… but the Long War had just begun...


Comments?

  1. See Chapter 10: Britain Quits.
  2. Obviously a completely different person from the Maxwell in chapter 31. I do hope this doesn’t get too confusing.
  3. Very much fictitious.
  4. I’m not a Game of Thrones man, but isn’t there a character by this name? Either way, if there is, it’s just coincidence.
  5. Derry? Londonderry? Which ought I to use?
  6. There were approximately 20,000 British regulars involved in the OTL 1921 war so this seems reasonable to me… the Internet and my reference books couldn’t give me a number because that would be convenient. If any of you have any ideas, please share and I’ll happily retcon!
  7. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but since the Spanish Civil War as we know it is heavily butterfly-impacted, this phrase will never be a ‘thing’ ITTL. Does anybody have an interesting in-universe phrase akin to it?
  8. See chapter 15
  9. According to this (https://www.wesleyjohnston.com/users/ireland/past/protestants_1861_1991.html#distribution_ni,Appendix A) there were approximately 300,000 Protestants in Ireland in the 1911 census, so recruiting 10,000 doesn’t seem unreasonable.
  10. Emphasis on the word “volunteers”- TA units couldn’t be forced to serve abroad in peacetime if I’m reading my sources right.
 
Last edited:
Since Farthwynd had placed the bomb next to a gas heater, a great deal of carbon monoxide had been released and many victims had suffocated- the firemen had to wear their gas masks.
gasmasks using activated coal only stop carbon-monoxide for a very limited time, it tends to saturate the filter very quickly. to the point that use is only suggested for escape, not work.
especially since it is hard work, which gets even harder wearing an old fashioned gasmask, i expect that several firemen would have been overcome by the carbon-monoxide.

for those wondering where the carbon-monoxide came from, this is not natural gas, but something called towngas, which is made from coal.
 
gasmasks using activated coal only stop carbon-monoxide for a very limited time, it tends to saturate the filter very quickly. to the point that use is only suggested for escape, not work.
especially since it is hard work, which gets even harder wearing an old fashioned gasmask, i expect that several firemen would have been overcome by the carbon-monoxide.
I imagine some were, yes.
What would be a more appropriate protection?
 
I imagine some were, yes.
What would be a more appropriate protection?
in this era not available i think, you would need a bottled oxygen based airsupply and enclosed mask.
it simply isn't portable enough yet.
Plus belfast wouldn't be top priority for newest gear

and don't forget, carbon-monoxide is odourless, they initially would just handle it as a normal fire.
 
Last edited:
I imagine some were, yes.
What would be a more appropriate protection?
in this era not available i think, you would need a bottled oxygen based airsupply and enclosed mask.
it simply isn't portable enough yet.
Plus belfast wouldn't be top priority for newest gear

and don't forget, carbon-monoxide is odourless, they initially would just handle it as a normal fire.
I imagine that the best solution would be to valve off the gas supply and let the fire burn itself out. Self contained breathing apparatus wasn't available yet for carbon monoxide.
 
I actually like how this foray into rebellion was a relatively "small event" compared to the chaos of India. Yeah it was horrible and thousands died but it's nice seeing a more nuanced affair because its more realistic. The British are not all complete monsters and the Irish are not all fanatical rebels willing to die for freedom - almost everyone in Ireland and in Britain just wants to go to work and live with their families in peace.

It's inevitable that Ireland, much like India, is a cauldron waiting to boil over, but the factors are not quite there yet for a successful rebellion.
 
Top