The Rainbow. A World War One on Canada's West Coast Timeline

Driftless

Donor
(snip)
On the other hand, I would bet on Canada potentially doubling the troop totals committed to the war. This isn't a British war anymore, but a personal, Canadian, war.

I agree with the gist of the post - no clue on details.

This is an open question on my part, as my knowledge of the Canadian military in 1914 is very limited..... On the last point in the quote above, would the Canadian volunteers skew towards the Navy or the Army, after the results of the raids? (I'd guess the volunteers get steered towards where they're most needed and where the Canadian military has capacity for billeting and training - which may be different than the volunteers first choice)
 
Well that was one ballsy move by the Tug boat. I can see many a future thread on TTL's AH.com about "What if the tug boat succeeded?"

Might seen an increase in Canadian efforts in the war or could just divert those to maintaining defenses on the Canadian Coasts. "If there Germans could here once they could get here again!" Regardless of how little chance of that happening in the future.
 
Remember the USA in WWII and how much effort they put into defending the west coast.

And for the other topic there are some threads about it already.
 
The only thing Canada gets out of these attacks are more political/public support for actions. Canada was unable to effectively produce basically any warships and honestly, everything else that was done IRL would likely not change even after the events here. In the end, Canada was a major power but already did largely everything it had in it's power in the first place.

Oh ye of so little faith! :)

"My word... what is that thing?"
"HMCS Canexploitation Overkill, sir"
"It's... It's... My god it's made of WOOD???!!!???"
"Yes sir. Several forests I"m told and when they sailed it around the tip of South America there were concerns it might get stuck..."
"What, no strike that HOW do they power it?"
"Several thousand ferryboats and tugs a couple of Liners and it seems two submarines they.. ehm, purchased from the Yanks"
"But what is it doing in the Channel for God sake?"
"Well sir even though it carriers a regiment or three of artillery... Hmmm, and I'm told every muzzle loading cannon from every courthouse and town square in Canada, well it really doesn't have the range or ability to actually DO anything a proper war ship could do..."
"So?"
"So the Admiralty suggested 'parking' it in the Channel and chopping ports in the English and French sides of the.. er.. 'vessel' and simply driving supplies and men through the ship from here to the front. Seems to have worked out somewhat"
"Anything else we should know?
"Well sir, there seems to be some complaints that in all the rush to get it to sea and into the fight there may have been some, er, errors made. It seems at least two tribes of natives were included along with the forests in which they lived. There are at least 14 crews of lumberjacks who seem to have missed the memo on the vessel sailing and are still operating at least two woodmills and processing operations. It seems that at least one if not two of the "liners" are crewed by German sailors who are still wondering what the hell just happened and why they can't see the sky anymore. Oh and there may be one or two American warships lost in the interior but as the forepart of the ship has not talked to the aft in about three months the reports are a bit dated..."
"The Canadians are never going to let us hear the end of this you know"
"Quite, quite..."

Randy
 
Oh ye of so little faith! :)

"My word... what is that thing?"
"HMCS Canexploitation Overkill, sir"
"It's... It's... My god it's made of WOOD???!!!???"
"Yes sir. Several forests I"m told and when they sailed it around the tip of South America there were concerns it might get stuck..."
"What, no strike that HOW do they power it?"
"Several thousand ferryboats and tugs a couple of Liners and it seems two submarines they.. ehm, purchased from the Yanks"
"But what is it doing in the Channel for God sake?"
"Well sir even though it carriers a regiment or three of artillery... Hmmm, and I'm told every muzzle loading cannon from every courthouse and town square in Canada, well it really doesn't have the range or ability to actually DO anything a proper war ship could do..."
"So?"
"So the Admiralty suggested 'parking' it in the Channel and chopping ports in the English and French sides of the.. er.. 'vessel' and simply driving supplies and men through the ship from here to the front. Seems to have worked out somewhat"
"Anything else we should know?
"Well sir, there seems to be some complaints that in all the rush to get it to sea and into the fight there may have been some, er, errors made. It seems at least two tribes of natives were included along with the forests in which they lived. There are at least 14 crews of lumberjacks who seem to have missed the memo on the vessel sailing and are still operating at least two woodmills and processing operations. It seems that at least one if not two of the "liners" are crewed by German sailors who are still wondering what the hell just happened and why they can't see the sky anymore. Oh and there may be one or two American warships lost in the interior but as the forepart of the ship has not talked to the aft in about three months the reports are a bit dated..."
"The Canadians are never going to let us hear the end of this you know"
"Quite, quite..."

Randy

You win, sir. :) :)
 
Oh ye of so little faith! :)

"My word... what is that thing?"
"HMCS Canexploitation Overkill, sir"
"It's... It's... My god it's made of WOOD???!!!???"
"Yes sir. Several forests I"m told and when they sailed it around the tip of South America there were concerns it might get stuck..."
"What, no strike that HOW do they power it?"
"Several thousand ferryboats and tugs a couple of Liners and it seems two submarines they.. ehm, purchased from the Yanks"
"But what is it doing in the Channel for God sake?"
"Well sir even though it carriers a regiment or three of artillery... Hmmm, and I'm told every muzzle loading cannon from every courthouse and town square in Canada, well it really doesn't have the range or ability to actually DO anything a proper war ship could do..."
"So?"
"So the Admiralty suggested 'parking' it in the Channel and chopping ports in the English and French sides of the.. er.. 'vessel' and simply driving supplies and men through the ship from here to the front. Seems to have worked out somewhat"
"Anything else we should know?
"Well sir, there seems to be some complaints that in all the rush to get it to sea and into the fight there may have been some, er, errors made. It seems at least two tribes of natives were included along with the forests in which they lived. There are at least 14 crews of lumberjacks who seem to have missed the memo on the vessel sailing and are still operating at least two woodmills and processing operations. It seems that at least one if not two of the "liners" are crewed by German sailors who are still wondering what the hell just happened and why they can't see the sky anymore. Oh and there may be one or two American warships lost in the interior but as the forepart of the ship has not talked to the aft in about three months the reports are a bit dated..."
"The Canadians are never going to let us hear the end of this you know"
"Quite, quite..."

Randy

I read this as a Blackadder skit and couldn't lift my coffee for a bit.
 
Schlangen und Leitern
Aug 21, 1045, Britannia Beach, Howe Sound

The most striking feature at Britannia Beach was the Concentrator Mill building. This massive structure was built against a rocky hillside spur of Mount Britannia, up a slope of 45 degrees. A progression of stepped metal shed roofs marched up the mountainside, making a building with an overall height of 20 stories or so. A timber trestle structure sat like a hat at the summit of the mill building. As Von Schönberg watched through binoculars, a mechanism picked up an entire ore car and dumped the contents into a chute, raising a cloud of dust. The ore cars arrived through an inclined railway that led to the top level of the mill. An aerial tramway descending from a valley high above brought hopper cars of ore.

Wide swaths of forest had been flattened to make way for the tram and railway. An electric locomotive pulled a line of cars into a tunnel on a rail grade cutting across the slope midway up the height of the mill building. Pipelines and conveyors ran downhill on spindly trestles, and stairways, power lines on poles, and a funicular crisscrossed the site.

Schlangen und Leitern,” said Von Schönberg.

The wharf at Britannia adjoined a giant warehouse, and a loading gantry was pouring concentrated ore into the forward hold of a steam freighter of about 5000 tons, raising another cloud of dust. As Nürnberg continued to approach, Von Schönberg read Glencluny – Glasgow, on the freighters stern. Also tied up at the wharf were a pair of scows converted from grand old sailing ships, one apparently heavily loaded, the other empty and waiting its turn. A small coastal freighter of around 1000 tons was just pulling away from the wharf.

“That is the Venture, of the Union Steamship line,” said Mueller. “I served on her as a second officer, some years ago. The lifeline to so many coastal towns. It would be a shame to sink her.”

“She looks like she has passengers aboard, who I would rather not be troubled with,” said Von Schönberg, looking through his binoculars, “and we are in a hurry. Sound the siren. Guns, fire a warning shot off the mill. Keep your shot a good distance away from that coaster.”

Nürnberg drew closer to the mill town, and the angle of the coast changed so that more of the mill site was revealed. To the north of the mill was a large company store, and some administrative buildings. Then a residential neighborhood appeared, following the now familiar plan of company town with scores, if not hundreds of small, identical, peaked roof wooden houses, and several hotels and bunkhalls. Looking up the steep slope, Von Schönberg followed the path of the aerial tram, and could see a loading terminal suspended in a high valley and glimpses of the buildings of another town site.

The number two gun fired, and a water column rose in the bay.

“The Canadian coaster is trying to surrender, sir,” reported the signal officer.

“Send her on her way,” ordered Von Schönberg.

CLEAR THE AREA, signaled Nürnberg by semaphore. The Venture turned away and steamed north.

Nürnberg fired a second warning shot, right off the loading wharf. Her siren rang off the mountains, but the rumble of the mill machinery and crashing of the loading ore competed for attention. Gradually, response to the German’s arrival became visible ashore. A firebell began to ring, then another, and another. Men on the wharf ran about. Most ran away and toward the town site, but some ran seemingly in circles or on some errand. The loading gantry stopped pouring ore into the freighter. The trains and aerial tram came to a halt. The crew of the Glencuny abandoned ship, onto the dock, and away. Workers emerged from the giant mill building at ground level, up top onto the railway line, and at various levels in between onto precarious timber stairways. The fleeing workers ran both north and south, whichever was the shortest path to get away from the mill, and many went along the railway grade into the hauling tunnel and entered into the shelter of the depths.

Von Schönberg watched with irritation at the time it took the Canadians to evacuate. “Guns, fire some warning shots across the inlet towards that pulp mill. Let’s get them started. This is taking too long. You would think the employer would have their men better practiced at fire drill.” A gun on Nürnberg’s port side fired, and a waterspout rose off of the Woodfibre mill, at a range of 5000 metres.

Finally, the flood of men from the mill buildings trailed off, then stopped, and the evacuees had disappeared into cover.

“Fire,” ordered Von Schönberg.

After the first few salvos produced destruction but no fire, Von Schönberg considered that a mine, its product being essentially rock, was much harder to set alight than a pulp mill. Then shellfire on the middle section of the mill produced a flood of grey foaming slurry that burst out of windows and collapsed walls at ground level. A long single story building topped with transom windows to the left of the concentrator building produced a flood of water when it was hit, and all of the fire bells stopped ringing at once. Nürnberg ultimately expended more ammunition on the mill than Von Schönberg had hoped, but eventually the concentrator building and wharf loading facilities were burning, the Gluncluny was capsized alongside the burning wharf, and the two scows were sitting on the bottom. The mill operators had stopped the aerial tram during the evacuation but an exploding shell had caused it to run away, and the laden ore buckets ran downhill at an ever increasing pace, piling up on the loading structure below and leaving several kilometers of cable in a giant rat’s nest. A torrent of water continued to burst from the smashed pipes of the hydro electric plant and run down the step bank.

“Ahead one half,” ordered Von Schönberg. “Helm, take us across to the pulp mill at Woodfibre.” Viewed from a range of 5000 meters, the pup mill town was a much smaller operation than the Britannia Beach, but it still did rank a deep water wharf, where a stream freighter of around 3000 tons was currently being loaded. The freighter had Sailor Prince painted on her bow and flew the red ensign. The pulp mill buildings stood to the left of the freighter, amounting to an 8 story concrete tower and some large equipment halls. To the right of the freighter was an older looking sawmill, its boiler producing clouds of steam and smoke, with a number of ramps running into the sea. The periphery of the settlement was ringed with residential houses in the tidy, cookie cutter style of a company town. The valley behind the town was bounded by tall mountains, and at its end loomed a taller craggy peak, with its own glacier.

“That is Mount Sedgwick,” said Mueller. “It was first climbed in 1909.”

“Fire another warning shot on the pulp mill,” ordered Von Schönberg. The shell landed, a waterspout rose, an a moment later on distant Mount Sedgewick, a puff of white appeared, which then tracked down high on the steep side of the mountain. “What do you know. We made an avalanche.” He searched the town with his binoculars.

The workers and residents of Woodfibre and the crew of the freighter had just watched Britannia Beach be systematically destroyed moments before, so they had already fled into the relative safety of the forest. Von Schönberg saw some movement from the residential parts of town towards the trees, but no movement in the industrial areas or on the ship.

“Fire, ordered Von Schönberg. He realized that in his impatience to leave these confined waters and feel ocean swells under his feet again, that he was finding the bombardment of industry to have become dull and repetitive. After two broadsides the Sailor Prince was listing and on fire. Three broadsides fired into the pulp mill buildings produced steam, flames, and chemical smoke. Another two broadsides set the sawmill on fire. The sound of the gunfire echoed around the inlet.

“Cease fire,” ordered Von Schönberg, “Helm, bring us about.” Nürnberg turned. To the east, rising above the estuary that formed the end of the Sound a mountain rose with a sheer granite face at least 700 meters tall. “That looks like the Eiger-Nordwand” said Von Schönberg, referring to the famous peak in the Bernese Alps.

“Yes,” answered Mueller. “The Stawamus Chief. Not as tall as the Eiger, but this cliff is rising straight from the sea. The local Squamish people say the mountain is a longhouse turned into stone, by a supernatural being.”

“The supernatural beings in this part of the world are fond of turning things into stone,” observed Von Schönberg.

“Look around!” answered Mueller, gesturing at the skyline. “How could they not be?”
To the north of the impressive rock face, Howe Sound ended in a braided muddy river estuary. Upstream sat the roofs of a town. Where the river met salt water lay a steamer wharf, and railway transfer wharf. The hapless Venture was lining up to dock at the steamer wharf, but on seeing Nürnberg the small steamer again attempted to surrender. A locomotive and tender painted with PGE sat idling on a long timber transfer wharf, presumably waiting for the rail barge that was now resting on the bottom of the Sound.

“Was that suicidal tug captain working for this railway?” Von Schönberg asked.

“The Faultless is owned by the Westminster Towing and Fishing Company,” answered Mueller. “A subcontractor to the PGE.”

Von Schönberg mulled the value of destroying the transfer wharf, versus the expenditure of ammunition. “Range to the transfer wharf?”

“5000 meters, sir,” answered the gunnery officer.

“How many shells to wreck that wharf at this range?” asked Von Schönberg.

“No more than 4 or five broadsides, sir,” the gunnery officer replied. “One or two high explosive hits should get the creosote timbers burning.”

“Blow up the wharf if you want to,” said trade commissioner Meyer, who was still on the bridge watching the drama. “But I tell you that railway will go bankrupt, sooner rather than later.”

“Twenty shells,” Von Schönberg considered. “That is fair. I have developed a grudge against this railroad. I can’t spare the time to reduce the range. Make your first ranging shot a warning shot.”

A waterspout rose short, and towards shore from the end of the wharf, where the locomotive sat. The water rose brown into the air. Through his binoculars, Von Schönberg watched the engineer and fireman jump down from the locomotive’s cab and run down the track towards land. When they were safely distant he ordered, “Fire.”

Nürnberg fired two-gun ranging salvos. The first pair of shells fell short. The second went long. The third straddled the wharf. The forth salvo was fired from four guns. One shell struck a piling. The fifth salvo straddled the wharf. One shell hit the roadbed on the landward side of the locomotive, throwing ties and a rail in the air, and starting a fire. Another shell hit the locomotive directly in the boiler. The explosion of the high explosive shell released a blast of steam, and caused first the locomotive and then the tender to tip over, off the rails, and fall into the shallow water and mud. Only the tops of the drive wheels and the tender hitch remained above the surface.

“Helm take us south, back to Georgia Strait. Full speed.”

“Good shooting. Fifteen shells,” said Von Schönberg to his gunnery officer. “Very economical. Counting those last shells, we have expended four hundred and twenty two shells today, and four hundred and ninety one since we arrived on this coast.”

“Let me consult my ledger sir,” said the gunnery officer. He retrieved his book, and leafed through the pages, hindered by the inch-diameter hole left by a Shrapnel ball. “As you say sir, we have thus far fired four hundred and ninety one main battery shells. We lost another eight in the propellant fire on the number four gun. That leaves us with…”

“Nine hundred and sixty-nine shells,” answered Von Schönberg. He began to rapidly tap his finger on the chart table.

Nürnberg steamed south, retracing her path back down Howe Sound. Smoke from the burning mill at Britannia blanketed the water, reducing visibility. Looking back at Britannia, the Germans saw that among the other fires, the timber loading trestle on top of the concentrator mill was now fully in flames, and was shooting fire and sparks like the top of a volcano. Fire hoses from the town were attempting to save some of the administration buildings from the spreading fire.

After fifteen minutes, Von Schönberg noticed the tug Faultless aground on a gravel beach on the east shore of the Sound, apparently to stop her from sinking. He looked at the chart.

“Helm, take us to the west of Anvil Island,” said Von Schönberg. I want to keep clear of those army guns when we arrive back in the Strait of Georgia. Does that make sense, Mister Mueller?”

Mueller consulted the chart. “Yes, that course will work just fine.” Nürnberg rounded Gambier Island and steamed west into Thornborough Channel. The cruiser passed the cannery town of Longview and an excursion hotel at Seaside Park, where vacationers watched curiously from balconies, float houses, and the decks of moored yachts. The brick chimney of a mill towered over the shoreline trees to the west, and soon a another cluster of industrial buildings served by a deep water wharf could be seen.

“That is the pulp and paper mill at Port Mellon,” said Mueller. “I believe it is derelict.” Indeed, no smoke rose from the mill’s stack and no activity was visible on shore.

“The owners keep talking about a new secret buyer for the mill, or some new financing scheme,” said Meyer. “I suppose it could open again, what with the war.”

“I am not slowing down to bombard that mill,” said Von Schönberg. “But we can take it under fire as we pass. Sound the siren. Guns, fire a warning shot.”

The siren produced no response from the mill site. A warning shot directly off shore caused the appearance of a watchman from a shed, who looked groggily about, then ran for the trees when he saw the racing cruiser. Nürnberg fired 5 broadsides as she passed, from a range of 500 metres. This left the main mill buildings partially collapsed and on fire. The cruiser turned south to follow the channel, and the burning mill drew astern. As one of the warehouses became fully involved, tall flames of brilliant blue, and green rose high into the sky in Nürnberg’s wake.

“What did they produce at that mill?” asked Von Schönberg, looking at the colourful flames.

“Decorative wrapping paper,” said Mueller. “Apparently the owners overestimated the demand in Vancouver for decorative wrapping paper, and the cost to ship further afield was not economical.” Meyer paused to consider. “I suppose His Majesty's navy would not consider that product to be a vital war material.” He paused again. “But the flames are pretty.”

Nürnberg continued to run south at full speed. Directly ahead they could see a gap to the open waters of Georgia Strait, past the wharves of the towns of Gibsons, Grantham’s Landing and Hopkin’s Landing. “That pass is too shallow,” said Mueller. Nürnberg turned east, then south, to pass through Collingwood Channel to the west of Bowen Island.

At 1200 hours Nürnberg left the waters of Howe Sound and emerged into Georgia Strait.

“Ship!” called a lookout. “Warship headed on an intercept course at high speed!”

“Range 15,000 meters!” announced the gunnery officer.

“Most likely, that is Haun and Leipzig,” said Von Schönberg calmly. A few moments passed.

“Ship is flying the Imperial Ensign,” called the lookout. “I identify her as SMS Leipzig.”

Britannia Beach:



SS Glencluny:


Woodfibre


SS Venture:


Port Mellon :


Seaside Park:

 
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WOW! I sure don't blame him for keeping track of every shell; there are no more. I just can't get enough of this timeline. The local knowledge you bring to it is amazing, and just adds to an already impressive tale.
 
Great line!

Schangen und Leitern = Snakes and Ladders

Yeah it's quite the sight. The mill building is still there thought the whole site is a museum now and most of the mill equipment is gone. Well worth a visit. Don't know if they still do it but years ago they would put you into a small mine train and take you underground where there were demonstrations of mining machines.
 
Alright, now both cruisers are sailing together. That's not a very good thing if Rainbow is to run into them. Although of course I suppose the subs are a wild card here.
Now that I think of it, it's been a while we haven't heard from the Canadians...
 
Yeah, I was thinking that for all that this thread is called "The Rainbow", we haven't seen much of that ship lately.

Yes it’s been quite awhile before our titular character has shown up however in the grand scheme of the story, it hasn’t been too long. The story’s methodical pace and point of view changing makes it seem like quite a long while but it hasn’t been too long in the timeline since rainbow has been directly relevant. Hopefully she’s back in action soon.
 
Yes it’s been quite awhile before our titular character has shown up however in the grand scheme of the story, it hasn’t been too long. The story’s methodical pace and point of view changing makes it seem like quite a long while but it hasn’t been too long in the timeline since rainbow has been directly relevant. Hopefully she’s back in action soon.
Hopefully for the Canadians Rainbow can engage in the closer, confined coastal waters that the Germans are in now. Close ranges and less maneuvering, combined with the shore being withing swimming distance, are the best bets for the Canadians.

In fact, if She catches the German cruisers together, she could well inflict mission ending damage on both of them before going down. For purpose built warships it tends to take a lot more gunfire to sink or even disarm then it does to cripple, and crippled German cruisers will be eaten up be the Izumo.
 
In fact, if She catches the German cruisers together, she could well inflict mission ending damage on both of them before going down. For purpose built warships it tends to take a lot more gunfire to sink or even disarm then it does to cripple, and crippled German cruisers will be eaten up be the Izumo.
If Izumo has a highly publicized success, that could have post war butterflies in the form of better relations with Japan. If the USA doesn't get into the war, even bigger butterflies!
 
In fact, if She catches the German cruisers together, she could well inflict mission ending damage on both of them before going down. For purpose built warships it tends to take a lot more gunfire to sink or even disarm then it does to cripple, and crippled German cruisers will be eaten up be the Izumo.

If hurt like that, I would expect the Germans to intern in the US. Regardless, we might get a furball with submarines, German cruisers, and the Rainbow...where no one wins...
 
A draw ends the campaign though. If Rainbow is lost along with the Subs... it's not like they matter to the later war anyways.
If hurt like that, I would expect the Germans to intern in the US. Regardless, we might get a furball with submarines, German cruisers, and the Rainbow...where no one wins...
 
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