*Of course, we are talking about OTL... How strongly are the butterflies flapping their wings in TTL?

My view on the butterflies is that if I can't trace a reasonably clear path to the PoD or to anything in the TL, I'll take it as OTL. Huerta died in January 1916, and for that matter JFK was born in 1917 in Boston... because the butterflies don't cancel it. However, different people will occupy different slots as time goes on, and by the 1960s or so, TTL will be occupied mostly by fictitious characters. (So no President Kennedy ITTL)...
And Huerta is dead. Rest in peace.
 
More like rot in peace. Huerta was just... fuck. I have more respect for Porfirio Diaz and even Bernado Reyes than I do Huerta, the drunken pos.
 
Chapter 21- The Noose Tightens
Chapter Twenty-One: The Noose Tightens
"Thanks to the policies of President Hughes, my people were given a chance to show their worth in the field. And it paid off for them. Black people all around this country will remember the Houston Hellfighters."
- Colonel Emmett Jay Scott, speaking on behalf of President Charles Evans Hughes in the 1920 US election

"If that swine Emiliano Zapata and that swine Charles Hughes can agree that I am a bad man, it flatters me. I must be important for those two to team up against me!"
-
Venustiano Carranza, commenting on the bizarre alliance of convenience established during autumn 1917

"Damn that pendejo Obregon! I trust a man; he plunges the knife into my back!"
-
Venustiano Carranza, commenting on the betrayal of General Alvaro Obregon.


Venustiano Carranza had never been a religious man. Unusually for a ruler of Catholic Mexico, he had always held a secular outlook, and once he came to power, had severely curtained Church influence. Yet, in the wake of the US Army’s failed attempt to break out of Veracruz, he had to have thought of David and Goliath. John J. Pershing was landing three thousand men a day in occupied territory. The Yankees had undisputed control over the seas and had aligned most of the Caribbean against Mexico. The oilfields of the east coast and Mexico’s largest port were both gone. All that… and the Americans hadn’t even introduced conscription.

By contrast, Mexico was rushing every man and every gun it could get its hands on to the Veracruz front. The social and economic implications of this were immense; every conscript sweating away in the trenches of the south was a man who wasn’t bringing in the harvest up in Sonora, or working in a copper mine in Chihuahua. Mexico’s population outside the major cities had never been high, and there was a genuine worry that there weren’t enough hands left to get everything done which needed doing. Carranza knew all of this, but he didn’t see what choice he had. With the Mexicans fighting so deeply out of their weight, every resource had to go towards victory. They could repair economic damage after expelling the Yankees. Of course, there was the risk that the Americans would win, thus leaving the economy in even worse shape… but worrying about that would do no one any good. However, there was some good news- from a military perspective, the war was at worst a stalemate. As it stood, the Mexicans had the US forces penned in in Veracruz, while no one had enough force to do anything in the north or on the Guatemalan front. Carranza’s goal was simply to maintain the status quo, beat back whatever sorties the Americans launched, and wait for Hughes to get sick and tired of the war. Time would tell…

Ironically, General Pershing was no happier. He had achieved substantial victories in the first three months of the war, yes, but they weren’t his victories. Were it not for the Navy ferrying every single one of his men across the Caribbean, and had the US Marines not launched powerful flanking maneouvres against the Mexicans, the supply columns to Veracruz couldn’t have been severed and the defence would not have faltered. Admiral Mayo and the Marine commander were boasting about their roles in the capture of Veracruz, and leaving Pershing out of the limelight- all because 1st Division had done the unglamourous but essential work of driving the Mexicans out, street by street, of Veracruz. To top it all off, ex-President Theodore Roosevelt was now at the front with a volunteer regiment and the rank of honourary colonel, and was trying to order Pershing about. It was monstrously unfair and he was going to do something about it!

General Pershing’s desire to prove himself as a great hero all his own was going to lead to a lot of lives being lost.

The Mexican defenders of the Veracruz perimeter had an advantage in terms of defensive weaponry. Machine guns, land mines, and barbed wire were all hell on an advancing army, and Pershing had stuck his hand in the meat grinder. The question of how a backwards country such as Carranza’s Mexico had gotten its hands on such weaponry was of course on many minds in October 1917, but as it wasn’t relevant to the military aspects facing Pershing it shall be ignored for now. (1) Like the Allied generals of 1915, launching failed offensives on the Western Front, or like Cadorna in Savoy, General Pershing had learned what modern weaponry did against an old-fashioned advance- and Joffre and French had not had to do their bloody work in tropical jungle conditions. He had gone in hard, when what was needed was a smart advance. But what did ‘smart’ look like?

Proud defenders: Mexican troops pose for the camera before going into battle, October 1917
secondmexicanwar.jpg


While Pershing was trying to figure out how to break open the road to the capital, he had to deal with Theodore Roosevelt. The ex-President was busy making a thorough nuisance of himself. Almost every day, Roosevelt visited the former Veracruz post office to badger Pershing. By God, he’d come to Mexico to fight, to excel, and to have one last hurrah, not to sit around in these miserable trenches all day! Roosevelt paid little heed to the fact that he was a mere regimental commander while Pershing was commander of all the Americans in Mexico. The former President was of the opinion that his experience and stature- which already made the men look up to him greatly- entitled him to a say in command and that, in his own words, “if we spent less time pussyfooting about and went after the enemy like a man, we would surely be celebrating in Mexico City at this moment!” Every time, Pershing- while showing all due respect to the man protocol still required him to address as “Mr. President”- escorted the Rough Rider out of his office. This was a frustrating modern war and Roosevelt’s desire to relive the campaigns on the Great Plains one last time wasn’t helping. Tensions between the two would remain a source of friction throughout the entire campaign. Roosevelt wasn’t the only man to irritate Pershing, however- President Hughes was about to go over his commander’s head in a way that would lead the United States closer to victory but would be seen postwar as a snub to the general.

Following his declaration of war on the United States back in August, President Carranza had called for a “united front” against the invaders- for the bandits and rivals in the countryside to throw down their arms, and for his opponents in the capital to not scheme against him. Of course, Carranza was not naïve enough to believe that they would accept long term, but he emphasised that they were all Mexicans and no one had anything to gain by letting Hughes win. In the south, peasant rebel Emiliano Zapata responded with a two-fingered salute, as he had spent the past year fighting Carranza. If federal armies were busy keeping the Yankees tied up in Veracruz, they weren’t fighting him- a state of affairs he liked just fine. The war had proved a boon to Zapata, whose disorganised army had spread out, and by mid-October controlled much of the aptly named Guerrero province. His forces were snaking closer and closer to Mexico City, and were in fact much closer to the capital than the Americans- however, they were far too small to pose a serious threat to the city. As of October 1917, the Zapataistas were a nuisance to Carranza, nothing more. The gentlemen in Washington DC frowned on Zapata’s movement, as the Mexican rebel’s practice of redistributing land to the peasants and radical rhetoric made some in Washington fear that he was a communist. (2) “What use would it be”, one congressman queried, “if American money were spent propping up a Julius Martov in the backyard of this fine republic, when this war is meant to show the world who is the sovereign of this hemisphere?”

However, the US Army’s failure to break out of Veracruz left President Hughes frustrated. He was doing his utmost to win this, yet the country was putting everything it had into this war. If he could not win quickly, Hughes would have no choice but to enact conscription and increase the government’s control over the economy… steps which he was loath to take. Zapata’s base was in exactly the right position… if supporting him would end the war quicker, Hughes would worry about the consequences later. Pershing and the conservatives in Congress would pitch a fit if they found out, so Hughes bypassed them. As Supreme Commander of the military, he didn’t have to defer to anyone in military matters. With a war on, no one would ask too many questions here and now, when it counted most. Thus, on 15 October 1917, Hughes summoned Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby to the Oval Office. The President ordered Colby to head to Zapata’s base in Morelos province to see what the rebel leader needed. The anti-Communist Secretary of State was none too pleased to be negotiating with a peasant rebel but he was both an utterly devoted Secretary of State and personally loyal to Hughes, and promised to do his utmost. The President, who had expected nothing less, informed Colby that he was to proceed immediately to Baltimore, where a small flotilla waited. Hughes handed Secretary Colby a letter marked “to Mr. Zapata” and sent him on his way with a firm handshake. At Baltimore harbour, Colby boarded one of the waiting destroyers and headed south.

As the US diplomat steamed down the East Coast towards the Panama Canal, John J. Pershing received a boost from an unexpected quarter. President Hughes had, acting in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the US military, ordered full integration not long before war with Mexico broke out. After the declaration of war, African-Americans had volunteered at a rather higher rate than their white counterparts had expected- some estimate that one in four enlistees in the Second Mexican War were black. Most were Southerners desperately looking for better conditions than the sharecropping life could provide, but there were plenty from all over the country. However, while Hughes could force recruiting officers not to discriminate, he couldn’t change hearts or minds and many acts of racism against African-American enlistees occurred. White lieutenants always just so happened to assign them demeaning chores day after day- or worse, sent them forward on reconnaissance patrols that didn’t have a prayer of coming back intact. With the cynicism only experience could breed, many patriotic African-Americans had anticipated this, and one of them came up with a novel solution. Emmett Jay Scott was a prominent disciple of Booker T. Washington and admirer of President Hughes, and at the outbreak of war had been offered the position of Special Advisor of Black Affairs to the War Department. (3) Now, disgusted by the issues men of his race had to overcome to serve their country, he stole half an hour of the President’s time. When he came out, he had swapped his lavish office job for a colonel’s commission. Returning to his home city of Houston, Texas, he raised his banner and called for volunteers from all across the country. Of course, there was no law preventing whites from enlisting in his regiment- ironically, he would’ve fallen foul of Hughes’ desegregation law had he tried- but few white Texans would have cared to enlist in a regiment run by a black colonel. Thus, the Fourth Texas Volunteer Regiment was composed almost entirely of African-Americans. They came from all across the country to enlist, and before long, a lack of supplies forced Colonel Scott to start turning them away. Unsurprisingly, his regiment quickly acquired a memorable nickname- the “Houston Hellfighters”- white troops labelled them with several less savoury descriptions. (4) General Pershing- whose appellation “Black Jack” came from his willingness to treat African-Americans as the equals of white soldiers- loved the idea of an all-black regiment, as did President Hughes, and in a cable to Scott asked if he couldn’t raise a second regiment. Furthermore, since the Hellfighters were already based in Texas, why not use them to shore up the Rio Grande front, which had until now remained very quiet? Of course, this idea was not entirely because of strategic interests- there was morale amongst white troops to consider, and many would be aghast at fighting alongside African-Americans. Colonel Scott was not a stupid man and surely noticed this, but for the sake of diplomacy he kept mum. A second all-black regiment would be raised in January 1918 in Nashville.

Men of the Houston Hellfighters pose in their hometown before shipping out, November 1917.
houstonhellfighters.jpg


At any rate, Pershing now had a brainwave. When Theodore Roosevelt paid one of his customary calls to the general’s headquarters on 12 November to complain of boredom, Pershing asked how he’d like to take his regiment north to reinforce Scott’s troops in Texas. “Why, General”, replied the President, “that would be bully!” From Roosevelt’s perspective, a transfer to the Rio Grande front would grant him the freedom of maneuver he had long desired, while Pershing would finally have the old warhorse out of his hair and Colonel Scott would gain precious reinforcements. The symbolism of a former President volunteering to fight side-by-side with an all-black regiment was not lost on Hughes, who played the image up as an example of the success of his integration policies. Thus, Roosevelt’s regiment spent the last week of November 1917 in transports taking them through the Panama Canal to San Francisco, and thence to the front. Officially, the two units were merged as the Fifteenth Independent Brigade, but in practise they retained very separate identities and loyalties to their commanders.

Colonel Emmett Jay Scott, who achieved fame as the best-known African-American regimental commander in the United States.
emmettjayscott.jpg


Meanwhile, Hughes’ bit of diplomacy with Emiliano Zapata went ahead. Secretary of State Colby landed at Acapulco (5) on the last day of October- under heavy guard, of course- and was met by several Zapatistan soldiers. The American destroyers remained off the coast to ensure his protection- their standing orders were to bombard the town to smithereens if anything happened to the Secretary of State. Colby’s party was led through the impoverished Mexican town to a back alley where three rusty motorcars of American make sat. The Army bodyguards made it very clear that they would not tolerate being blindfolded or disarmed, and the Mexican Zapatistas, not wanting to become intimately acquainted with American bayonets, respected their wishes. As the sun went down, the three cars drove through the dirt roads of rural Morelos, Colby’s teeth clicking with every bump and pothole in the road. His nerves weren’t helped when someone pulled out a bottle of cerveza, but no one was harmed. Finally, at ten PM, the party reached its goal- the remote village of Taxco. The place was so out of the way that few civilians resided there, but it was crawling with Zapata’s men. Colby and his bodyguards were led out of the car to an abandoned building and there, sipping on water with lime and surrounded by armed men, was Emiliano Zapata. The moustached Mexican warlord smiled carefully and shook Colby’s hand, the ambassador’s coat and tails seeming very out of place in this dusty town. As one of his men translated, Zapata welcomed Secretary Colby and thanked him for coming. Those hard Mexican eyes searched the polished ambassador’s face, sizing him up. His mission, Zapata declared, was to bring freedom and well-being to the people of Morelos- just like George Washington had fought as a guerilla for years to bring freedom to the people of the East Coast. It was an imperfect analogy, but it got the job done and helped dispel fears in Colby’s mind that Zapata was a “Martovist”. The guerilla leader scoffed at that; what did an uprising in a frozen city a year ago, halfway across the world from Mexico, have to do with anything? There were obvious ideological differences between the Americans and Zapatistas- to the former, the warlord was a dangerous far-leftist while the latter saw los Yanquis as continuing a century-old tradition of expansion against Mexico- but both sides papered them over as they had a powerful incentive to reach an agreement. Zapata wouldn’t entertain the thought of US troops setting foot on his soil, fearing- not without reason- that Hughes would use that as an excuse to dominate the movement. This was rather fortunate as the Americans lacked both warm bodies to land in the west and the transports to get them there. However, Zapata was very interested in the possibility of procuring American arms. They didn’t have to be the most modern ones- all the different Mexican factions were using equipment that any European state would’ve been ashamed to hand out. While Secretary Colby lacked the authority to authorise anything, he did promise to take the matter up with Hughes. No one spoke for a few seconds before Zapata removed his sombrero and began toying with it. Looking Colby straight in the eye, he pulled a notecard out of his pocket and read out, in broken English, “Would the United States agree to grant diplomatic recognition if my men take control of all Mexico?” This was an ambitious prospect to say the least and Colby was left unsure of what to say. Eventually muttering some platitude about America’s desire for “free will and self-governance amongst the Mexican people”, he hastily beat an awkward retreat out of the building and along the winding road back to the destroyers.

Zapata would receive his American supplies, but the axis of convenience between the two would never develop into anything of substance and neither trusted the other.

At the same time, Colonels Theodore Roosevelt and Emmett Scott were preparing for their march south. Together, they commanded some three thousand men, mostly infantry. Having moved from Houston to Tucson, the two regiments were as ready to invade as they ever would be. The great German commanders would’ve laughed themselves silly at the idea of two regiments posing a substantial threat to a country, especially when multiple divisions couldn’t advance out of the Veracruz perimeter. Yet, northern Mexico was such a vast expanse of territory so neglected by both sides that such a thing was possible. Military historians would subsequently see the coming campaign as something of a last hurrah for the nineteenth-century modes of war; cavalry sweeps across the desert, men surviving on the hardtack they carried on their persons, and no pesky machine-guns or trenches. An amused German reporter would refer to it as the “Anachronismus-Feldzung”- the “Anachronism Expedition”- in his report back to the Fatherland. Outdated or not, when the Rough Riders and Houston Hellfighters set off on 1 December 1917. Unfortunately, the cynics were rapidly proven correct about one thing; that two regiments couldn’t accomplish much in real terms. The two regiments immediately came across the Mexican town of Nogales, one of the few towns of substance in the north. Having made most of its money from cross-border trade, the war had not been kind to the town and most of its inhabitants had long since fled to safer parts of the country. As such, the town garrison was minimal- only a hundred men- and they surrendered within a day, much preferring the rations and warm beds of a Yankee prisoner camp to the danger and loneliness of midnight watch in the frigid desert nights. Roosevelt and Scott called a halt for the day, and the brigade spent the night of 1-2 December pillaging everything they could find in the village.

It was to be one of their last tastes of civilisation for quite a while.

As the men marched across the deserts of northern Mexico, they soon found themselves faced with a very different foe than General Pershing, but one that was no less deadly. Whereas Pershing had machine-guns and barbed wire holding him up, Roosevelt and Scott had to contend with the terrain. During the 1920 election, one witty satirist (a prerequisite for the profession) in the pay of the Democrats would crack jokes about “a walking tour of Northern Mexico, paid for by you, the taxpayer, with all the lizards and scorpions the eye can take in!” He was of course exaggerating, but the first week of the campaign felt odd. With Pancho Villa- previously the biggest danger in northern Mexico- killed in the first battle of the war and most of the local bandits knowing they were out of their depth, the march across Sonora was missing one thing- the enemy. In a few places, town militias dug their old rifles out of the cupboard and took a few potshots at the invaders, but they invariably threw up their hands after a few hours. Opportunistic bandits sometimes liberated the contents of a field kitchen, but it was always for their own good, not to harm the invaders and save their country. In the first week of the war, heatstroke was the number one cause of fatality amongst the Americans, with snakebites and scorpion stings coming second. Enemy action took third place. It was the antithesis of the fighting on the Western Front. Instead of men and guns packed so tightly together that advances were measured in yards not miles, soldiers could spend a day marching down a dusty road without glimpsing the enemy once. Both commanders grew restless for different reasons. Colonel Scott resented the fact that the first all-black regiment in American history was reduced to tramping across northern Mexico doing nothing, not giving his men the chance to prove themselves in combat as the equals of their white counterparts. By contrast, Roosevelt was simply bored. There were hardly any Mexicans in his way, nor was there any sort of big game worth shooting at. Depression consumed the old American warhorse as the brigade trooped west. Far from being the glorious adventure both men had hoped for, the march across the desert was turning into a colossal waste of time. What on earth were they doing in Sonora?

As it turned out, President Hughes had had a purpose for putting men into the northwestern corner of Mexico beyond getting Roosevelt out of Pershing’s hair and tucking the Hellfighters in a safely obscure place where they couldn’t arouse too much popular anger. For the past seven years, Mexico had been a deeply divided country, with regional strongmen paying lip service to the central government while running their own independent kingdoms. And the two regiments just so happened to be trooping through the home country of one such strongman, Alvaro Obregon.

Obregon’s relationship with Venustiano Carranza had always been long and complicated. They had fought side-by-side in the Revolution of 1910, but had broke in December 1916, after which Obregon returned to his native Sonora. When the war broke out, Obregon- a Mexican patriot at heart- had offered his services to Carranza. The President, seeking to pursue a united front in the wake of the Yankee goliath, had enthusiastically agreed and accepted Obregon back into the army. However, he didn’t completely trust his former rival and assigned him to the defence of the north. The hope was that by keeping him busy away from the scene of the fighting, Obregon would be left unable to pressure Carranza.

It was a grave mistake.

Alvaro Obregon, the Sonoran warlord who aligned himself with the United States. This action would subsequently earn him the sobriquet "Betraying General".
alvaroobregon.jpeg


Alvaro- now General Alvaro- Obregon had few men at his disposal; the country needed every resource to pad the lines at Veracruz. Carranza might’ve wanted him to lead cross-border raids into Mexico, but he lacked the resources for such an operation. This actually suited Obregon fine- he was content to manage his troops from his Hermosillo townhouse and grow chickpeas. (6) Of course, when he wasn’t on his hands and knees in the garden, Obregon was focussed on strengthening his position in Sonora. He commanded few men and wanted to make sure that what he had was loyal to him personally. This led to little irregularities taking place in the books during the first months of the war- funds used to pay the troops were not sent directly to them, but rather routed through Obregon’s personal account. Unlike most such cases, there was no actual skimming-off of funds, but the upshot of it all was that the men believed that Obregon was paying their wages out of his own pocket. Additionally, the men in Sonora were all peasant conscripts, and they were bloody grateful to be stationed within a hundred miles of their farms and hometowns as opposed to being sent down to the trenches of Veracruz. Obregon played this up amongst the men, telling them that it was because of his magnanimity that they were staying close to home, and that Carranza wanted them to fight and die in the south! It was not exactly a lie, but it stretched the truth- the fact was that there was a need for a scratch force at the border and that it was simpler and much cheaper to use local men for the task. Similarly, officials in Sonora deemed too loyal to Carranza personally had a way of suffering tragic accidents in the first months of the war- either that, or Obregon gave them a rifle and sent them to Veracruz- after all, the country needed them where the fighting was thickest! Carranza knew what his old rival was up to, of course, but swallowed quite a lot because he wanted Obregon’s cooperation in the anti-Yankee front.

All this to say, when Colonel Roosevelt and Colonel Scott went to the Rio Grande front in autumn 1917, President Hughes saw a way to put them to cunning use.

The Yankee incursion into Sonora had disturbed Obregon, but there was little he could do. He had only a few thousand men, and what was most important was retaining their loyalty- this entailed protecting their farms and families. However, spread-out as his own forces were, he lacked the capability to defend all his men’s farms. Thus, he promised to cover their losses out of his own pocket, and told his men to move their families to the major cities. Given that the Americans barely had three thousand men under arms, they had no chance of conquering Hermosillo, Guaymas, or Caborca if he attempted to defend them. However, on 10 December, a message from Washington reached the American colonels: they were to offer to negotiate with Obregon.

Theodore Roosevelt was furious over this. He had come to bang heads together and find one last bit of glory. The only negotiations he wanted to conduct with the enemy were to accept his surrender! Colonel Scott, however, counselled prudence. They were military men and had orders from the President; to not carry them out would be an ill-advised move. Eventually, the headstrong Rough Rider agreed. Leaving handpicked subordinates behind, the two colonels proceeded on horseback to the hamlet of El Cesar under heavy guard. It would’ve surprised many had a hundred people lived in the town before the war; as it was, Scott and Roosevelt found it depopulated. The suspicious Rough Rider kept his pistol drawn as he walked into the town, men from both American regiments shielding him. If Obregon had planned an ambush, well, a lot of Mexicans were going to go down with the two Yankees. But there was no trap, just a portly Sonoran warlord and his bodyguards waiting for them. Clean-shaven, cigar in hand and wearing a light grey suit, Obregon would’ve looked at home in the New York Stock Exchange. His English was first-rate, but as neither Scott nor Roosevelt knew a word of Spanish, he used an interpreter. Retrieving the message from Hughes, Colonel Scott explained that the Americans wanted to work with Obregon. He had had his differences with Carranza in the past, and they wanted to help him properly resolve those differences- in exchange for some help, of course.

If Alvaro Obregon would turn his guns on Carranza, the United States would de facto recognise his control over Sonora and commit to backing him postwar.

Obregon was a fierce Mexican patriot. He had no love for los Yanquis, whom he viewed as having treated his beloved motherland like dirt since its conception. Collaborating with the invaders ran counter to everything he believed in. Yet… he shared that trait common of all warlords, pragmatism. He may have never heard the phrase, but the Americans were offering him a massive gift horse and he wasn’t about to look it in the mouth. Thus, Alvaro Obregon agreed to work with the Americans… for now. Scott and Roosevelt promised to wire Hughes about sending supplies to Obregon, who reciprocated by promising the American brigade free passage through his territory- in exchange for the United States returning all the land it held to Obregon’s control. The Americans retired to the town of Santa Ana, while the Mexican warlord pondered how to present this to his men.

In President Hughes’ quest for an anti-Carranza coalition, he had lined up an African-American radical-cum-officer, an ex-President of the United States, a left-wing insurgent in the southwestern mountains, and a cynical Sonoran warlord. War makes strange bedfellows.

When Venustiano Carranza heard the news, he was apoplectic. He had given that swine Obregon the benefit of the doubt, and what had he done? He had gone and climbed into bed with the enemy! The President’s health was declining precipitously. The strain of leading his country in war for four months had taken its toll- Carranza had lost weight and his famous moustache now drooped. He spent far too much time in conferences with his generals or ministers, seeing how the war was taking its toll on the country- there were not enough imports getting onto the Pacific ports, the economy was shaking as too many men were absent from their tasks for too long, and worst of all, there were rivals waiting in the wings to destroy his regime. The Mexican president wanted to end the war- he would even accept Yankee control over the oilfields- but knew that to do so would invite his violent removal from power and subsequent execution. Carranza lived in fear of a coup, or of the news that the Americans had burst out of the Veracruz perimeter. Yet, the news which would topple his government came not from any of these things, but from the sinking of a Peruvian-flagged merchant ship off the Sinaloan coast...


  1. Please, guess as you see fit! And we will return to this subject…
  2. Obviously not an accurate guess, but in the wake of the September Revolution in Russia, TTL’s intelligence advisers look at anything even a little to the left of what they’re used to and think “Communism! Julius Martov!”.
  3. As OTL.
  4. Just shaking things up a bit.
  5. Captured by Zapataistas during the war when Carranza, er, had other things to worry about.
  6. An OTL hobby of his, apparently.
Comments?
 
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So post war Mexico will be split between a U.S. supported Obregon in north and Zapata in the south with most of locals supporting his cause since Obregon would be a traitor in the eyes of most Mexicans for supporting and joining the USA in the war
 

bguy

Donor
Admiral Mayo and the Marine commander were boasting about their roles in the capture of Veracruz, and leaving Pershing out of the limelight- all because 1st Division had done the unglamourous but essential work of driving the Mexicans out, street by street, of Veracruz.

May I suggest John Lejeune for the Marine commander. He's the right rank to be commanding a brigade of Marines in 1917 (IOTL he was promoted to Brigadier General in August of 1916), and he participated in the 1914 occupation of Veracruz, so he's familiar with the area.

Every time, Pershing- while showing all due respect to the man protocol still required him to address as “Mr. President”- escorted the Rough Rider out of his office.

From what I understand in his post-presidency life TR actually greatly preferred to be addressed as Colonel. (Indeed TR would probably feel it was an insult if Pershing did address him as "Mr. President" since that would imply that Pershing didn't think he was a real soldier.)

Roosevelt wasn’t the only man to irritate Pershing, however- President Hughes was about to go over his commander’s head in a way that would lead the United States closer to victory but would be seen postwar as a snub to the general.

Given how the campaign has gone so far Pershing should just be glad he hasn't been sacked in favor of Leonard Wood yet.
 
Lines like this are why I love this site.

Excellent chapter :)
Thanks very much!
May I suggest John Lejeune for the Marine commander. He's the right rank to be commanding a brigade of Marines in 1917 (IOTL he was promoted to Brigadier General in August of 1916), and he participated in the 1914 occupation of Veracruz, so he's familiar with the area.



From what I understand in his post-presidency life TR actually greatly preferred to be addressed as Colonel. (Indeed TR would probably feel it was an insult if Pershing did address him as "Mr. President" since that would imply that Pershing didn't think he was a real soldier.)



Given how the campaign has gone so far Pershing should just be glad he hasn't been sacked in favor of Leonard Wood yet.

John Lejure? Thanks- I'll bring him in.
Colonel Roosevelt? Will retcon when I get a chance, thanks for pointing that out.
Pershing is sweating away...
So post war Mexico will be split between a U.S. supported Obregon in north and Zapata in the south with most of locals supporting his cause since Obregon would be a traitor in the eyes of most Mexicans for supporting and joining the USA in the war
Very possibly... Zapata will find an unlikely ally later on...
 
Why was Pancho villa killed in first part of the war instead of letting him live since it would make for a more interesting war and more difficult for the USA to invade Mexico from north?
 
Why was Pancho villa killed in first part of the war instead of letting him live since it would make for a more interesting war and more difficult for the USA to invade Mexico from north?
During the Third Punitive Expedition in August 1917, Pershing chased Pancho Villa to the town of Los Lamentos. Unbeknownst to him, federal Mexican troops were also present, fighting the bandit. The Americans and Mexicans clashed, and at the end of the day both the Villistas and Carranzas were dead, with Los Lamentos under US occupation.

This was too big a snub for Carranza to take, and thus he declared war.
 
During the Third Punitive Expedition in August 1917, Pershing chased Pancho Villa to the town of Los Lamentos. Unbeknownst to him, federal Mexican troops were also present, fighting the bandit. The Americans and Mexicans clashed, and at the end of the day both the Villistas and Carranzas were dead, with Los Lamentos under US occupation.

This was too big a snub for Carranza to take, and thus he declared war.
I mean why not let Villa escape the battle somehow and rally more men to fight the US Army during the war to make it harder for the USA to successfully invade northern Mexico
 
I mean why not let Villa escape the battle somehow and rally more men to fight the US Army during the war to make it harder for the USA to successfully invade northern Mexico
I could've done it that way, but I didn't, and... here we are.
The man's luck had to run out eventually...
I wonder how many pieces Mexico will be left in after the war?
It's got some rough times ahead.
 
I understand why Carranza declared war when he did, but I suspect that Mexican historians will take a very dim view on him after the smoke clears from this debacle. Thanks to his bullheaded decision, Mexico will certainty lose to the USA in a bad way. America will likely claim most, if not all, of the Mexican oil-fields and perhaps Baja (which barely has any inhabitants) from Mexico. The nation will also be forced to cede Sonora and will be thrown headfirst into a civil war against the Zapatistas who now have American weaponry. There's also Guatemala having fun at the south at Mexico's expense. Talk about a miserable year.

But in the same time, Carranza's hold on power would have become quite fragile had he not done anything against the Americans for killing federal troops during the whole bandit situation - either way he was doomed no matter what he did. I guess this whole event will be remembered as yet another unfortunate event in the long series of unfortunate events that Mexico has been through.
 
I don't think Zapata or Obregon is gonna come out looking good in the long term.

My guess is actually that seventy years from now, Carranza is gonna be a martyr, celebrated.
 
Chapter Twenty- The Fall of Vienna

I think we can expect mass execution of anyone connected to the Hungarian government, when the Austrians wins. But there's also another problem even many of the Hungarians will be shocked over this, and I expect Hungary will need a dose of internal terror to keep people in line. I could see the Transsylvanian Hungarians decide to throw their lot with Danubia pretty much seeing what way the winds blows with the death of the emperor.

I don't expect all Hungarians to be ethnic cleansed, but I expect that the Austrians will set up a buffer zone east of Vienna after the war, how far I don't know, But I wouldm't be surprised if everything west and north of Lake Balaton will be ethnic cleansed of Hungarians, you could theorectical create a line from the Slovene-Croat border to Balaton to Budapest. Maybe the Danubian Swabian will be relocated to this region and the Hungarian population resettled in their former settlements. I could also see Budapest being spared but the population being resettled afterward and Budapest being left little more than garrison ghost town on the border between Austrian and Hungarian federal states populated by a small population of Germans until they slowly repopulate it. The Austrians simply seeing taking Budapest the pride of the Hungarians from them as a fitting punishment for the Rape of Vienna.

As for other groups would react, I think the Austrians will be given a lot of leeway by the other groups after the Rape of Vienna and the whole killing the emperor. I think most will be okay with the creation of such a buffer zone.
 
I think we can expect mass execution of anyone connected to the Hungarian government, when the Austrians wins. But there's also another problem even many of the Hungarians will be shocked over this, and I expect Hungary will need a dose of internal terror to keep people in line. I could see the Transsylvanian Hungarians decide to throw their lot with Danubia pretty much seeing what way the winds blows with the death of the emperor.

I don't expect all Hungarians to be ethnic cleansed, but I expect that the Austrians will set up a buffer zone east of Vienna after the war, how far I don't know, But I wouldm't be surprised if everything west and north of Lake Balaton will be ethnic cleansed of Hungarians, you could theorectical create a line from the Slovene-Croat border to Balaton to Budapest. Maybe the Danubian Swabian will be relocated to this region and the Hungarian population resettled in their former settlements. I could also see Budapest being spared but the population being resettled afterward and Budapest being left little more than garrison ghost town on the border between Austrian and Hungarian federal states populated by a small population of Germans until they slowly repopulate it. The Austrians simply seeing taking Budapest the pride of the Hungarians from them as a fitting punishment for the Rape of Vienna.

As for other groups would react, I think the Austrians will be given a lot of leeway by the other groups after the Rape of Vienna and the whole killing the emperor. I think most will be okay with the creation of such a buffer zone.
Starting to envision a Hungarian diaspora... with many "Little Hungarys" forming all over the US
 
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