WHumboldt

Banned
Probably weaker than OTL, since the war ended before the Balfour Declaration could be issued.
Why would it be weaker though? All the power structures, that made the declaration, and enforced it, are still occupied by the same Jews and philosemites. The zionist Blackstone Memorial was penned and signed in 1891 by people John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, Cyrus McCormick, senators, congressmen, and over 400 people of note in America.

It was a project with tremendous institutional, and financial backing across the US and European nations.
 
Why do I have the feeling the US is just gonna repeat the Veracruz landings and march to Mexico City? Everything seems to be pointing to it, like how Carranza somehow forgetting that's how the US won the first war

It also helps that if the war plans stated are true, then I guess what works works.
 
Why would it be weaker though? All the power structures, that made the declaration, and enforced it, are still occupied by the same Jews and philosemites. The zionist Blackstone Memorial was penned and signed in 1891 by people John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, Cyrus McCormick, senators, congressmen, and over 400 people of note in America.

It was a project with tremendous institutional, and financial backing across the US and European nations.

But there's no Balfour Declaration; the UK hasn't given its official support to a Jewish state in Palestine. No government has, as of TTL 1917, committed itself to "a national home for the Jewish people".

Granted, Zionism is still a force, and many Jewish intellectuals support it, but no government has yet to throw its weight behind the movement.


However, Zionism and Jewish history are in no way my specialities, so please forgive my ignorance (and as always, any ideas/suggestions are more than welcome!)
 

bguy

Donor
All of which matters zilch, compared to politicians deciding the army needs to go on the offensive against the enemy NOW. A landing to take Vera Cruz followed by a campaign against Mexico City would take months of preparation. There's no way politicians would accept the army taking a defensive stance until then. Digging in after a "proper city" like Monterrey is taken, rotating out the Veterans for the planned main campaign and replacing them with garrisons from the National Guard and green troops is ok. But they needed to do something tangible first before digging then can be justified as needing to catch your breath before renewing the offensive.

1. Hughes isn't an idiot. If his military people tell him that an advance on Monterrey will delay being able to carry out the real advance on Mexico City and thus will end up prolonging the war and leading to more American casualties, he is likely to listen.

2. The occupation of Vera Cruz itself can be done very quickly after war is declared. To give you some idea of the time frame involved in the US being able to move on Vera Cruz, on April 9, 1914 9 US sailors were arrested in Tampico. On April 19, 1914 Wilson broke off negotiations with the Mexican government and asked Congress for the authority to take military action against Mexico. On April 21, 1914 US forces landed in Vera Cruz. Months of planning were not required. 12 days from when the crisis began (and 2 days after Wilson had decided on military action), US marines were in Vera Cruz. Thus even if you want quick action to satisfy the voters, Vera Cruz is still the better option than Monterrey.

Now the follow on advance on Mexico City would certainly take some time to prepare, but you yourself are arguing that the American people would be ok with the US digging in to catch its breath after taking a "proper city." If that's the case then the American people should certainly be satisfied with an opening move that captures Vera Cruz. It is by every measure a much more important city than Monterrey. Not only is it much closer to Mexico City but it is Mexico's principle port (and thus the Carranza government's main source for customs revenues.)

And of course holding Vera Cruz is also much easier for the US than Monterrey since US forces in Vera Cruz can be resupplied by sea (which the Mexicans have no ability to interdict) rather than having to be resupplied overland (where their supply lines will be subject to attack by Mexican guerrillas), and any US force in Vera Cruz will be protected by the heavy guns of the US Navy. (A huge force multiplier that obviously is not available to US forces in Monterrey.)

Kaiser Wilhelm the Tenth said:
And in the year 1917, a cross-Caribbean amphibious landing would've been no mean feat...

Except the US did it just three years previously without much difficulty.
 
I am retconning Chapter Nineteen to centre around a Veracruz landing.
I seldom do this, but deem it necessary here.

The new version should be up in two or three days, and I might just toss in a little narrative on the side...
I will retain the old version, but it will be de-threadmarked.
 
Chapter 19- Mexico Resists
Chapter Nineteen- Mexico Resists
"The honour of our nation has been besmirched one too many times. In his pursuit of the now-deceased bandit Villa, killed by Yankee bullets, President Hughes has crossed a line. After his latest incursion upon our sovereign territory, we must show that we too have honour and rights. Mexican people, I call upon you in our hour of need to fight to the bitter end..."
-
Excerpt from Venustiano Carranza's declaration of war against the United States, 11 August 1917

"Let's see the little men fight us once we get in gear. The American eagle is about to knock their scrawny bird out of the sky, make no mistake. Zach Taylor's smiling up in Heaven, that's for sure. We're gonna finish what he started"
-
General John J. "Blackjack" Pershing, 15 August 1917.

"Force of arms would always go the American way. In the autumn of 1917, the only army which could've faced the United States toe-to-toe was that of Kaiser Wilhelm, and that would never happen. Carranza, like David against Goliath, used what he had. The United States could take Veracruz- but once they had to face deep, impenetrable jungle with the Mexicans fighting tooth and nail, there would be problems with laying a siege to the capital..."
-Irish military historian Robert FitzGerald, The Great War for Civilisation, 1998

Neither side was well prepared for the Second Mexican War. America had been at peace for twenty years, and a strong culture of isolationism had pervaded the nation since its conception. A quick, victorious campaign against Spain notwithstanding, the United States had been at peace since the Civil War. Thus, what the media quickly dubbed “Hughes’s War” was seen as peculiar at first. There was some panic amongst white Southwesterners, with some quite racist fears and rumours spreading during the summer of 1917- were the Mexicans in town trustworthy? If they were Mexicans, surely they had to be in league with the enemy! Race riots occurred in El Paso, Albuquerque, and elsewhere, with “patriotic militias” attacking the “internal enemy”- or, white men too old or too young to fight beating up defenceless Mexicans in the streets and bullying anyone speaking Spanish. In California, Governor William Stephens sent state militias around the big farms on a search for Mexican citizens, whether or not they were in the country legally. However, this effort failed because the large farmers of the state shielded their useful employees, and only a handful of arrests occurred.

Despite these acts of racism, the outbreak of war didn’t radically affect the average American’s views on his Mexican counterparts. No great anti-Spanish violence had taken place in 1898; none took place in 1917 outside the Southwest. As one commentator for the New York Times wrote “by going about the streets of the city, even moreso than during the Spanish war of twenty years past, I get the feeling that people are going about their business. Mexico is a world away, and the good people of New York know that they have never, in most instances, seen a Mexican man with their own two eyes, nor will they see a Mexican man setting foot in anger in this city.” Another speculated that the upcoming World Series was of greater interest to the people of his town than the war, which either spoke highly of the American public’s love of baseball or of the overwhelming isolationist sentiment in the country. (1) Across the Rio Grande, Venustiano Carranza was, to put it mildly, questioning the wisdom of his decision to declare war on the United States. National honour demanded it, he told himself, but could the battle against los Yanquis really be won? After all, unlike the Americans, Mexico was a deeply divided country. Four days after the declaration of war, he issued a statement. If the Zapatistas- peasant rebels based in the south- wanted to lay down their arms to fight the Americans together, Carranza would be willing to let them. Their leader, Emiliano Zapata, scoffed at the offer. He had been fighting his war against the central government for over a year; even if Zapata didn’t particularly like the Americans, they distracted Carranza from him and that was what counted right now.

Mexico’s greatest advantage was its terrain. Hundreds of miles of arid desert separated the Americas from Mexico City, and only one town of any worth- Monterrey- stood in the north. This wasn’t like the 1840s when Zachary Taylor had marched deep into the country; a modern army’s supply lines couldn’t be stretched over such a vast expanse of desert. As Venustiano Carranza put it, “let the Yankees try to take our capital after having lugged every gun and every man across five hundred miles of our country, and the results will surprise them!” Besides, the prospect of attempting to hold down the peasants of Sonora and Chihuahua, with plenty of guns and few compulsions about using them, appealed to no one.

Fortunately, there was a way around this for the United States. Three years ago, as the world descended into madness, nine American sailors had been arrested by the Mexican government. This had infuriated the United States- who were the Mexicans to tell their men what to do?- and then-President Wilson had ordered retaliation. American marines had landed at the port of Veracruz within days and occupied it for six months. Now, Hughes wanted to repeat his predecessor’s move. He summoned General John J. Pershing to the Oval Office on 12 August, the day after war was declared. If he could land a suitably large army in close proximity to the capital, he might intimidate the Mexicans into ending the war before it could drag on, thus giving the American public the limited war Hughes had promised them. General Pershing was none too keen on this idea- he wanted glory. The past two conflicts had seen him leading cavalry across the Mexican border to fight Pancho Villa- who had been killed in the first battle of the war. A landing at Veracruz would involve cooperation with the Navy and reliance upon the Marines, both of which would diminish his personal lustre. He hadn’t got to where he was today, with these straps on his shoulders, by giving his inter-service rivals pride of place in a military operation! Hughes let the general simmer for a bit before presenting him with an ultimatum. He could either meet with Admiral Henry T. Mayo- commander of the Atlantic Fleet- later that day, or he could leave his stars on the desk as he left. When Hughes phrased it like that, Pershing agreed with the President.

War Plan Green Two entailed an amphibious assault on the Mexican port of Veracruz, and from thence an advance to the capital. Pershing stayed up late into the night drawing up notes for his meeting with the admiral tomorrow. The main thing he wanted from Mayo was ships to get his men across the Caribbean as soon as possible. Prewar studies based around the 1914 operation estimated that 150,000 men would be required for War Plan Green. How soon could Mayo get transport fleets amassed in Miami, New Orleans, Mobile, and Galveston? Not much had changed since the previous occupation of Veracruz in 1914, and the Americans could land a significant number of troops within two or three days. Of course, this was a full-on war and an army big enough to take the capital would have to be landed; thus, Mayo would need to spend considerable time ferrying troops across the Caribbean. He estimated that it could take up to six weeks for 150,000 American boots to be placed on the ground. This was unacceptable to Pershing. How was he supposed to establish a beachhead from which to expand when all the Navy could do was drip-feed him men? Admiral Mayo retorted that only 2,000 men had been needed to capture Veracruz in 1914. That was true, replied Pershing, but 1914 had been a limited intervention, not a full-scale war. If the Americans went in with that few men, the Mexican Army would besiege and crush them. And what about the northern border- if too many men were stuck in New Orleans waiting to cross the sea, couldn’t that give the Mexicans an opening to raid the Southwest? Pershing also argued that the whole idea of a strike in the south was besides the point- since Mexico’s valuable oilfields were in the northeast, an attack towards Monterrey made more sense. The two debated for several hours that day before deciding to take it to Hughes.

President Hughes’ decisions were deeply frustrating to Pershing, but he had his reasons. He was a man of his era who believed in American dominance in the Western Hemisphere. However, the one thing unacceptable to him was conscription. The Democrats, led by Wilson, howled about it from the rooftops. The American public’s relationship with forced service had always been a hostile one; in 1863, massive draft riots had swept the country, and that was in the middle of a great civil war. President Hughes, aware that his election had been razor-thin, didn’t want to blow his party’s political capital on a conscription measure. Hughes had portrayed himself as a liberal, progressive candidate who cared about the ordinary man. And, as evidenced by the New York Times commentator above, the average American didn’t much care about the war, and certainly didn’t want to be dragged off the streets to go fight. Some men would sign up out of patriotism, of course, and the National Guard would be heavily tapped, but snatching men off the streets and sticking uniforms on their backs would be political suicide. Thus, no conscripts would fight in the Second Mexican War. This ran into the fact that the US Army was extremely small- as of 1916, there had only been 108,000 men under arms- fifty thousand fewer than War Plan Green called for. An advance on Monterrey and campaign in the northern desert would only prolong the war, forcing Hughes to enact a politically disastrous conscription bill.

The old dividing line between politicians and generals had reared its ugly head, clouding Pershing’s vision.

United States Marines landed at Tampico that same day. The entire Marine Corps- some 10,000 men- had been sent to New Orleans the day before war broke out, and was in barracks on standby when Carranza declared war. Two days later, on 13 August, three thousand men landed at the Mexican port town. Their goal was less Tampico per se than the oilfields surrounding town. The Marines liked to boast that they were the toughest soldiers in the world, and that not even Kaiser Wilhelm’s Sturmtruppenkorps could beat them. We shall never know whether or not that is true, but the second-rate defenders of a sleepy Mexican fishing town certainly weren’t up to the job. The Marines took the town within two hours, losing only four men and establishing an unofficial new slogan- “from Tripoli to Tampico!” (1) From there, they fanned out along the coast of Tamaulipas province, after the black gold under the surface. A handful of Texas National Guard cavalry assisted them, and within a week the oilfields of the province lay under the Stars and Stripes. However, the Mexicans, having expected something like this, had taken the precaution of sabotaging the fields, blowing up equipment, dispersing workers, and making themselves scarce. Not until after the war would the Americans get any value from the fields. In the meantime, 3000 US Marines were left on garrison duty on the east coast of Mexico. Using such prime fighting troops for garrison duty was about as efficient as sending a battleship out to catch fish for the Navy cooks. They would later be replaced with Texas National Guardsmen, but the inefficiency would cost the United States in the short term.

The Marines had wasted their time, and men who could’ve made a valuable contribution to the fighting in Veracruz were stuck hundreds of miles north.

Meanwhile, the main show went ahead. Naval action preceded infantry landings; sweeping aside the Mexican navy, Admiral Mayo’s ships pounded the Caribbean coast while Admiral Austin M. Knight’s Pacific Fleet did the same on the opposite shore. As dawn broke on 15 August, Carmen, Campeche, Coatzacoalcos, and Veracruz on the east coast felt the wrath of the US Navy, while Tijuana, Ensenada, and Cabo San Lucas met the same fate in the Pacific. Once the battleship smoke had cleared, a 2,500-hundred-strong advance guard from 1st Infantry Division set foot in Veracruz, trading shots with the stunned town militia. Those who remembered the 1914 occupation and had anticipated a repeat had fled, but most of the city was caught off-guard. Civilians hid in their homes or shops, some grabbed knives or guns and gave the Army a hand. This wasn’t like 1914 when the Mexicans had acquiesced peacefully; this was a full-on war and the defenders were bolting and barring the door- a door which the Americans broke down. By nightfall, half of Veracruz lay under American occupation, but the Mexicans still held out; one American journalist compared it to the fighting in Dunkirk in spring 1916. Three thousand Americans arrived the next day and pushed a little further, but Mexican reinforcements had arrived as well. Unlike in the north, where he had planned to trade space for time, Venustiano Carranza was fighting in his country’s heartland and wasn’t prepared to cede an inch without making the Yankees pay. If the Americans could be hurled into the sea, Mexico’s position would greatly improve- and that was to say nothing of the effects it would have on morale. Thus, throughout 16 August, Mexican troops threw themselves forward in localised counterattacks. The Americans, still disembarking and small in numbers, lacked machine-guns, artillery, or barbed wire and thus couldn’t repel the foe as though this was the Western Front. Three thousand more men landed on the 17th and went straight into action.

An American rifleman lies low to reduce his profile in the Battle of Veracruz.
battleofveracruz.gif


By now, Pershing was apoplectic. A few days of fighting had failed to accomplish anything, and only half of 1st Infantry Division was ashore. He wasn’t going to let his men get chewed up in Veracruz and have the campaign bog down. Pershing was motivated by concern for his soldiers, of course, but there was a less altruistic motive at play; if the invasion of Veracruz failed, he would go down in history as the idiot who bungled it. In a telephone call to President Hughes from his headquarters in New Orleans, he emphasised that the Navy’s performance was inadequate and that his men were getting chewed up. If something didn’t change, the assault on Veracruz would fail. The President was understandably concerned and telephoned Admiral Mayo to see what could be done. Mayo’s response was that he was getting every troopship the US Navy could send his way, but with the war only a week old he hadn’t received many yet. As it stood, only three thousand or so men could be sent from the United States to Veracruz every day, meaning that 1st Division would be fully landed within a week. Mayo understood the pickle Pershing found himself in, but there was nothing he could do. However, the President had the power to do something. Telephoning Major-General George Barnett of the Marine Corps, Hughes ordered the seven thousand Marines left in New Orleans to proceed to Veracruz with all due speed; Admiral Mayo was to give these men priority in transport.

At dawn on 18 August 1917, three and a half thousand United States Marines boarded the transports and landed several miles north of Veracruz, at the town of Zempoala. Like the defenders of Tampicos, the Zempoala garrison was wholly unprepared to face the power of the United States Marine Corps. Combat ceased within hours, and by the end of the day the Marines were pushing southwest. They worked their way around the back of Veracruz during the night, attacking Mexican reinforcement and supply columns. Shortly before one AM on the nineteenth, they entered Soledad de Doblado, another hamlet to the west of Veracruz. Ten hours later, the other three and a half thousand Marines landed to the south of Veracruz at Anton Lizardo, working their way northwest throughout the afternoon. The day was hot and sticky, with rain coming down in buckets, but these were Marines, the best of the best, and they managed well enough. Shortly before sundown on 19 August, while the men of 1st Infantry Division fought their way through the streets of Veracruz, the Marines rendez-voused a little southwest of the city, cutting it off from the rest of Mexico. From there, they turned on the supply columns, fighting to keep reinforcements from getting through. Meanwhile, American troops landed at the towns the Marines had secured. The results were telling; on 22 August 1917, deprived of reinforcements and supplies, the defenders of Veracruz threw up their arms.

The Battle of Veracruz had been long and bloody. Whereas 1914 had seen a quick, simple occupation with little bloodshed, here the Mexicans had forced the Yankees to pay for their tickets to get in. It wasn’t so much that the Mexicans were strong, it was that the Americans were at a logistical disadvantage; had the Americans been able to get the entire 1st Division ashore within a day, the fighting would’ve been much quicker. Despite the cost in blood, the Americans had achieved a very substantial victory. The road to the capital had been torn open and the Mexicans deprived of one of their largest ports. Coupled with the Marine landing at Tampicos, the fall of Veracruz had secured the eastern coast of the country; the valable oilfields now lay in range of American forces. With US troops only two hundred miles away from his office, Venustiano Carranza became more determined than ever. He had united Mexico behind him, and had not spent all that time and energy to have the Yankees destroy his united nation. The Mexican troops guarding the roads from Veracruz to the capital were placed on high alert- the enemy would be en route before too long. Carranza doubted that Mexico City could push back a full American column, but he could take advantage of the American logistical issues to make a push on the capital unacceptably expensive.

In the American camp, Pershing saw only trouble in the wake of victory. 1st Division had bled very heavily in the capture of Veracruz and would need weeks to recover, while the pace of reinforcement to the forces in Mexico was not increasing by anywhere near enough. Since War Plan Green estimated that edit later divisions would be necessary for an assault on the capital, it would be weeks before such an operation could be mounted- time which Carranza could use to fortify the capital. Since the defences of Veracruz had held the Americans up for days and required battleship bombardments to subdue, the inland defences of the capital would be a nightmare. The Americans had their beachhead, but they couldn’t do much with it.

With the military sphere having stalled, President Hughes turned to diplomacy. Cuba had spent hundreds of years as a Spanish colony until the American invasion in 1898, and the country had enjoyed nominal independence since. However, like the rest of the Caribbean, the island was under American sway. President Mario Garcia Menocal was acutely aware of his country’s position, and was determined to curry favour with the Americans so as to provide him with an argument to use with Washington- that he was a loyal puppet and should be rewarded. Thus, on 1 September 1917, Cuba declared war on Mexico. It was decided to send 12,000 Cuban soldiers to Mexico over the next few months, while plans were made for an additional 25,000 should the need arise. (2) What was more useful, however, was the Cuban Navy. As an American puppet, the island nation lacked a significant combat fleet, but it possessed a large number of transports. If these ships could be sent to New Orleans, it would greatly aid the Americans in sending their men to Veracruz. Cuba was not the only Caribbean nation to throw its weight in with the overlord, however.

To the south of Mexico, Guatemala also took a keen interest in the war. Unlike most of the Latin American states- who were sick to death of the Americans- Guatemala actually wanted to move closer to Washington. The reason for this was that German immigrants and businessmen held a great deal of sway in the country, and with the German Empire triumphant, many Guatemalans feared puppetisation from Berlin. The Monroe Doctrine, however, would provide a first-class shield against such a thing; thus, the Guatemelans aimed to please the Yankee giant. Of course, there were other motives at play; annexing a slice of southern Mexico seemed rather appealing to many in the country. A declaration of war was presented to the Mexican ambassador on 29 August. Of course, the small Latin American state’s military wasn’t large and had little ability to conquer, but they did force the Mexicans to divert troops. Similarly, Haiti and the Dominican Republic- both American protectorates- declared war on Mexico. Their militaries were minimal, but their shipping capacity came in handy and their presence helped bolster the American narrative about leading a “Caribbean anti-Carranza coalition for freedom”- transparent nonsense, but good propaganda.

American infantry prepare to disembark at Veracruz harbour, September 1917. The month saw a lull in the fighting as the United States brought in troops.
ustroopship.jpg


September dragged on. Men died of malaria and snakebite as a lull came in the fighting. Carranza was busily rushing every man he could to protect the approaches to the capital, leaving little for Mexico’s other fronts. Skirmishes took place on the American and Guatemalan borders, but they were inconsequential- while the villages located right on the northern border changed hands, the Americans were stretched far too thin to even contemplate approaching Monterrey or Hermosillo, or to advance down the sunbaked Baja peninsula. In the south, the paltry state of the Guatemalan Army was matched only by Carranza’s inability to dispatch troops to fight them. Pershing still advocated sending forces north to take Monterrey, but that was more out of a desire to win a victory independent of the Navy than anything else, and the city wouldn’t hear an American bullet for the entire war. American troops occupied a strip on the eastern coast stretching from the Texas border to Veracruz; the 41st Infantry Division from North Carolina occupied the towns and loosely manned the frontier. There as everywhere else, fighting was limited by the lack of manpower. Most of the action was centred around Veracruz, where American and allied ships brought in man after man after man, eventually reaching almost two divisions a week. Trenches which would’ve been recognisable on the Western Front were dug by both sides as the Mexicans sought to keep the foe from breaking out of the city perimeter. If they could do that, eventually the Americans would get tired and withdraw.

By 28 September, the Americans were ready. The US Navy and her allies had worked overtime to ship almost 150,000 men to Mexico, and upwards of eight divisions were concentrated in Veracruz. Thus, at five AM, General Pershing gave the final go-ahead orders. American artillery pounded the entrenched defenders outside the city, and four hours later, the men went over the top. Either they would capture Mexico City or die trying… and a lot of Yankees would die trying regardless.

Pershing enjoyed a numerical superiority over the Mexican defenders. They were holding back substantial reserves for the defence of the capital, while Pershing had almost 150,000 men involved in the first wave. The Americans were lacking in artillery, but the Mexican shortage was far worse. All this to say, Pershing’s plan was near perfect, except for one thing…

...it was bloody predictable. Ever since Veracruz itself had fallen, Carranza had been painfully aware that the Americans would try and break out to take the capital. Mexico didn’t have a lot of modern defensive weaponry, but one of the great things about such weaponry was that one didn’t need a lot of it- two or three machine-guns, a bit of barbed wire, and a sprinkling of landmines could stop an attacker dead in his tracks- literally. Thus, when the Americans climbed out of their trenches at nine AM, they were met with heavy resistance. The topography of southern Mexico didn’t lend itself to a military advance under the best of conditions; by contrast, the defenders had ample cover. American troops were brave, but they weren’t well-experienced. The country had been at peace since 1898 and had spent the past half century prioritising the Navy over the land forces; the few men who were veterans had never faced anything more difficult than a few Spanish cavalrymen in Cuba. Officers anticipated a re-run of the Spanish-American War, not modern warfare like this. Cavalrymen found themselves obliged to dismount before they were shot out of the saddle; the horses were used to bring up supplies, and sentenced to death from unfamiliar tropical diseases. Of course, the Mexicans had their problems (3). Peasant conscripts from the north didn’t give a monkey’s about expelling the Americans from such a far-off place, and wanted to get back to their families. Some men panicked and fled to the rear, while none had much experience with modern warfare. Malaria affected the defenders just as much as the attackers, while the Mexican supply system was, to put it mildly, lacklustre. Yet, it rapidly became apparent that the march on Mexico City would come to resemble nothing so much as the fighting on the Western Front- the front line wouldn’t be shifted by much, while both sides would pay a ferocious cost in blood. Pershing was furious at the lack of progress, and jotted down some profane remarks in his diary that night. Not without reason, he feared that Hughes would sack him if the offensive didn’t get going fast. Yet… he was fully committed. Most of the USA’s military manpower was under arms in those trenches. If Hughes wouldn’t turn on the tap of conscription and escalate the war effort, there was nothing Pershing could do.

A propaganda poster from autumn 1917 exhorting Americans to buy Liberty Loans. These helped finance the war without driving the country deep into debt, although the recession limited the American public's ability to purchase.
Screen Shot 2020-10-21 at 7.21.36 pm.png


The general’s environment wasn’t conducive to planning, either. Pershing had moved from New Orleans to Veracruz three days before his offensive went off, so as to be closer to the fighting; he had set up shop in the gutted post office. The American general lived in fear of the locals. He naturally had a large security force, but there was always the risk that things would go wrong, that someone would chuck a bomb through a window or “accidentally” run him over. The fears were reasonable enough- occupied civilians have never loved their conquerors- but they distracted Pershing from his task and that wasn’t helping anybody. Sitting in his rubble-strewn office, eating whatever the Army cooks turned out, relying on coffee to keep him running for eighteen hours a day, and listening to the rumble of gunfire outside the city all took a toll on Pershing. This wasn’t what the war was supposed to have been like! When he got the news of war after the Battle of Los Lamentos, he had imagined a third Punitive Expedition, leading men through the desert on a latter-day Crusade; Mexico City substituting for Jerusalem. Like so many generals of the era, John Pershing was discovering what modern war meant.

Disgusted, General Pershing cancelled his attempt to break out of Veracruz on 3 October. His men had achieved only minor advances, and had incurred almost two thousand casualties in five days. This led to much celebration on the Mexican side of the lines- los Yanquis had been given a bloody nose! Of course, they had bled excessively too, and Carranza was none too keen on sending them precious reinforcements. Repelling a second American attack would be much harder. Yet, the propaganda victory was undeniable. However, three days after the end of the American offensive, a volunteer infantry regiment disembarked in Veracruz. This was of course nothing unusual in and of itself, but these men were about to become the stuff of Venustiano Carranza’s nightmares. The regimental commander paid a call on General Pershing, who out of respect for the man’s seniority, agreed to grant him a greater deal of autonomy than most men of equivalent rank. After all, how many former Presidents of the United States were in the front line?

Mexico was about to get Rough Ridden on.



  1. The USMC’s first combat came against Barbary pirates in Tripoli in 1798, rescuing American civilians.
  2. Akin to Cuba’s actions in OTL WWI.
  3. Unbeknownst to the Americans, they’re putting the cream of the crop in terms of men and equipment into the Veracruz perimeter. It won’t always be this hard, rest assured.
Comments?
 
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I kind of want to see Mexico win this, if only to discourage the US from making so many interventions south of the border, whether that be TR-type blatant imperialism or Wilsonian "making the world safe for democracy."
 
I kind of want to see Mexico win this, if only to discourage the US from making so many interventions south of the border, whether that be TR-type blatant imperialism or Wilsonian "making the world safe for democracy."
I'm really hoping for this to be a Vietnam, where the US stays for ten years and just... fucking gives up.
 
Even though the US will definitely struggle with this, I have a hard time seeing them lose outright and become overly embroiled in the fighting. I doubt Mexico has the production base to equip a large modern army for significant periods of time, and given the lack of foreign backers (like the Vietnamese had), it seems unlikely that they will be able to sustain a force large enough to hold off the US Army for a significant period of time. Additionally, even if the country is relatively united at the moment, fissures within Mexico will likely grow the longer the war lasts. If Hughes does decide to implement conscription, then the Americans will be able to overpower Mexico given enough time (even with the significant problems posed by equipping the AEF IOTL). If he decides not to, then the US may find it harder to win outright (depending on how many volunteers can be recruited and how much luck the Mexicans get), but either way it won't turn into a quagmire of Vietnam-esqe proportions given that both sides would have a heavy incentive to cut a deal which left both with their honor intact (the American public isn't crazy about the war and the American occupation and the financial burdens on Mexico will incentivize both sides to seek honorable terms). The Americans will doubtlessly struggle in the first few months of the war given the need to rapidly increase the size of the army and iron out all of the issues with outdated tactics and complex supply chains in addition to the issues of terrain and disease. That being said, the Mexican army in 1917, however inspired it may be in defense of its homeland, isn't a first-rate force in either training, morale, or equipment, and its hard to see how it could win against a far larger neighbor who has complete control of the sea and access to domestic and foreign sources of modern equipment (and whose war aims are likely fairly limited).

Where things are likely to get ugly for the Americans will be if they attempt to maintain some level of control over Mexico after the war, with some sort of insurgency like in Haiti being entirely possible. Even with a relatively cheap (at least in comparison to the slaughter of WW1) and victorious war, the American public would likely be turned off of foreign entanglements (and the Hughes administration to boot) by the loss of life and financial expense (and even more so if conscription is enacted). Basically, you don't need to make this war that much of a bloodbath or want the Mexicans too much in order to bring isolationism back to the fore in the US (the undercurrents are strong there anyway). Turning them off small-scale police actions in the Americans may be a bit harder though.

On another note, I'm looking forward to seeing TR ride again for one last hurrah (if it has to be fatal, I hope it's in the blaze of glory befitting a legend like him).
 
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Even though the US will definitely struggle with this, I have a hard time seeing them lose outright and become overly embroiled in the fighting. I doubt Mexico has the production base to equip a large modern army for significant periods of time, and given the lack of foreign backers (like the Vietnamese had), it seems unlikely that they will be able to sustain a force large enough to hold off the US Army for a significant period of time. Additionally, even if the country is relatively united at the moment, fissures within Mexico will likely grow the longer the war lasts. If Hughes does decide to implement conscription, then the Americans will be able to overpower Mexico given enough time (even with the significant problems posed by equipping the AEF IOTL). If he decides not to, then the US may find it harder to win outright (depending on how many volunteers can be recruited and how much luck the Mexicans get), but either way it won't turn into a quagmire of Vietnam-esqe proportions given that both sides would have a heavy incentive to cut a deal which left both with their honor intact (the American public isn't crazy about the war and the American occupation and the financial burdens on Mexico will incentivize both sides to seek honorable terms). The Americans will doubtlessly struggle in the first few months of the war given the need to rapidly increase the size of the army and iron out all of the issues with outdated tactics and complex supply chains in addition to the issues of terrain and disease. That being said, the Mexican army in 1917, however inspired it may be in defense of its homeland, isn't a first-rate force in either training, morale, or equipment, and its hard to see how it could win against a far larger neighbor who has complete control of the sea and access to domestic and foreign sources of modern equipment (and whose war aims are likely fairly limited).

Where things are likely to get ugly for the Americans will be if they attempt to maintain some level of control over Mexico after the war, with some sort of insurgency like in Haiti being entirely possible. Even with a relatively cheap (at least in comparison to the slaughter of WW1) and victorious war, the American public would likely be turned off of foreign entanglements (and the Hughes administration to boot) by the loss of life and financial expense (and even more so if conscription is enacted). Basically, you don't need to make this war that much of a bloodbath or want the Mexicans too much in order to bring isolationism back to the fore in the US (the undercurrents are strong there anyway). Turning them off small-scale police actions in the Americans may be a bit harder though.

On another note, I'm looking forward to seeing TR ride again for one last hurrah (if it has to be fatal, I hope it's in the blaze of glory befitting a legend like him).

This pretty much sums up my views on the war. America will win with a black eye and a bloody nose but they'll win nevertheless and it'll probably turn the American public off to foreign entanglements to both America's and other countries' benefits.
 
This pretty much sums up my views on the war. America will win with a black eye and a bloody nose but they'll win nevertheless and it'll probably turn the American public off to foreign entanglements to both America's and other countries' benefits.

Though given the situation, I have the suspicion that that state of affairs won't last.
 
This pretty much sums up my views on the war. America will win with a black eye and a bloody nose but they'll win nevertheless and it'll probably turn the American public off to foreign entanglements to both America's and other countries' benefits.
Thirded. If there was a counterpart to the USSR here, that would generously supply the Mexicans with Machine Guns, Field Artillery, Barbed Wire and the like then Mexico might be able to bleed the US beyond the public's willingness to support the war. But without it'll be a more expensive victory for the US than planned, but they'll almost certainly win.
 
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