Discussion:
The British Empire; Max and Min
(too old to reply)
SwimLFS
2004-06-17 03:40:53 UTC
Permalink
In some ways, this is a rehash of Mike Ralls' thread a two years ago.

However, his thread had a much broader scope, starting with the
failure of the Spanish Armada and moving forward to present day, in
order to establish whether or not the OTL result was maximal, minimal,
or average, given the various alternatives Britain could encounter in
backing into/establishing its empire.

The timeframe he suggested is massive, and a lot of information and
results would almost certainly get lost in the hash and noise of
alterations made to the TL that don't necessarily relate to the
British Empire.

So, let's narrow the field quite a bit. Most, if not all of the
foundations of the British Empire, were built by 1815. So, starting
with the defeat of Napoleon, what can be done to maximize the British
Empire, minimize it, or get roughly the same result?

Looking at Britain, it's been through the first wave of the industrial
revolution, but not the demographic transition. How do one or the
other relate to empire, or do they, at all?

Though dynastic politics are no longer as large a factor as sixty
years ago, or even longer, the King or Queen has a lot of influence
through society and money and at least some theoretical constitutional
power at the start of the era--all of these diminish as time goes on,
which may relate to the growth of Empire in some places, but not in
others.

North America is gone, but the EIC is still running? Is Britain's
informal empire "better" in that it is more effective, or would early
direct rule be better--eg William IV, Emperor of India.

Finally, I think the trends in Asia, Africa, and the Pacific should be
considered seperately, though not for purely geographic reasons, but
rather the reason d'etre and the style of expansion.

Cheers

L
Demetrios Rammos
2004-06-17 04:45:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by SwimLFS
So, let's narrow the field quite a bit. Most, if not all of the
foundations of the British Empire, were built by 1815. So, starting
with the defeat of Napoleon, what can be done to maximize the British
Empire, minimize it, or get roughly the same result?
To broadly interpret the maximize part one might wonder why Britain
preffered the dominion system from making the dominions integral parts
of metropolitan Britain by providing for Canadian, Australian and NZ MPs
in London. And by extension whether that was seriously considered the
dominions started coming to being.

Demetrios
Lee Ratner
2004-06-17 10:20:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Demetrios Rammos
Post by SwimLFS
So, let's narrow the field quite a bit. Most, if not all of the
foundations of the British Empire, were built by 1815. So, starting
with the defeat of Napoleon, what can be done to maximize the British
Empire, minimize it, or get roughly the same result?
To broadly interpret the maximize part one might wonder why Britain
preffered the dominion system from making the dominions integral parts
of metropolitan Britain by providing for Canadian, Australian and NZ MPs
in London. And by extension whether that was seriously considered the
dominions started coming to being.
The problem is that even with modern ships and the telegraphs it
would take to long to communicate with Canada and the other white
colonies so giving the white colonies representation in Parliament is
out of the question.
Alistair Davidson
2004-06-17 14:32:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lee Ratner
Post by Demetrios Rammos
Post by SwimLFS
So, let's narrow the field quite a bit. Most, if not all of the
foundations of the British Empire, were built by 1815. So, starting
with the defeat of Napoleon, what can be done to maximize the British
Empire, minimize it, or get roughly the same result?
To broadly interpret the maximize part one might wonder why Britain
preffered the dominion system from making the dominions integral parts
of metropolitan Britain by providing for Canadian, Australian and NZ MPs
in London. And by extension whether that was seriously considered the
dominions started coming to being.
The problem is that even with modern ships and the telegraphs it
would take to long to communicate with Canada and the other white
colonies so giving the white colonies representation in Parliament is
out of the question.
Could a stronger federal structure that might hold together be arranged?
--
Alistair Davidson
remove the bringer of doom from my email to send stuff...
Lee Ratner
2004-06-18 10:39:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alistair Davidson
Post by Lee Ratner
Post by Demetrios Rammos
Post by SwimLFS
So, let's narrow the field quite a bit. Most, if not all of the
foundations of the British Empire, were built by 1815. So, starting
with the defeat of Napoleon, what can be done to maximize the British
Empire, minimize it, or get roughly the same result?
To broadly interpret the maximize part one might wonder why Britain
preffered the dominion system from making the dominions integral parts
of metropolitan Britain by providing for Canadian, Australian and NZ MPs
in London. And by extension whether that was seriously considered the
dominions started coming to being.
The problem is that even with modern ships and the telegraphs it
would take to long to communicate with Canada and the other white
colonies so giving the white colonies representation in Parliament is
out of the question.
Could a stronger federal structure that might hold together be arranged?
What about a POD where the Britith pound is the only currency
allowed in the UK, the Dominions, and Colonies?
Noel
2004-06-17 15:54:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lee Ratner
Post by Demetrios Rammos
Post by SwimLFS
So, let's narrow the field quite a bit. Most, if not all of the
foundations of the British Empire, were built by 1815. So, starting
with the defeat of Napoleon, what can be done to maximize the British
Empire, minimize it, or get roughly the same result?
To broadly interpret the maximize part one might wonder why Britain
preffered the dominion system from making the dominions integral parts
of metropolitan Britain by providing for Canadian, Australian and NZ MPs
in London. And by extension whether that was seriously considered the
dominions started coming to being.
The problem is that even with modern ships and the telegraphs it
would take to long to communicate with Canada and the other white
colonies so giving the white colonies representation in Parliament is
out of the question.
---Actually, Lee, that's incorrect. Google "Imperial
Federation" for more on that, or simply consider trans-
Atlantic transit times v. transcontinental ones.

The reason Imperial Federation never happened is that
the dominions didn't want it. They got a subsidized
defense from Great Britain, and free access to the
British market with the ability to impose tariffs on
British exports to them. What's not to like?

Make sure you know what you know before posting. It's
tripped me up many a time.

Best,

Noel
Lee Ratner
2004-06-18 11:15:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Noel
---Actually, Lee, that's incorrect. Google "Imperial
Federation" for more on that, or simply consider trans-
Atlantic transit times v. transcontinental ones.
The reason Imperial Federation never happened is that
the dominions didn't want it. They got a subsidized
defense from Great Britain, and free access to the
British market with the ability to impose tariffs on
British exports to them. What's not to like?
Make sure you know what you know before posting. It's
tripped me up many a time.
Best,
Noel
Thank you for corrcting my mistake. I confess to be no real expert
on the creation of the British Dominions, what I know about them comes
from reading on the British Empire and most of those books focus on
the more common type of colonies like India and Hong Kong. I should
have realized that the reasons for not granting the White Dominions
membership in the British Parliament were more complex than I thought.
Again, thank you very much.
SwimLFS
2004-06-17 17:01:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lee Ratner
The problem is that even with modern ships and the telegraphs it
would take to long to communicate with
A "to" "too" confusion. For shame. You're over 15, aren't you?

Canada and the other white
Post by Lee Ratner
colonies so giving the white colonies representation in Parliament is
out of the question.
No, it's really not. The problem is that the transport and communication
infrastructure available in the 1815-1840 timeframe is slow, and by 1840,
seperate identities have developed in the colonies.

Additionally, as I discussed upthread, adding colonials opens the can of worms
of parliamentary reform.

Remember to look before you leap.

Cheers

L
SwimLFS
2004-06-17 16:58:17 UTC
Permalink
Demetrios Rammos wrote:

For maximize, I meant for the maximum possible territory--one fourth,
OTL--could we get it up to one third or more, or just increase it marginally?
Post by Demetrios Rammos
To broadly interpret the maximize part one might wonder why Britain
preffered the dominion system from making the dominions integral parts
of metropolitan Britain by providing for Canadian, Australian and NZ MPs
in London. And by extension whether that was seriously considered the
dominions started coming to being.
This is a pretty good question. Considering it, I'm thinking of two things.
First, prior to 1783/1832 any sort of introduction of new members to Parliament
would've almost certainly brought the reform issues to a head. That's why the
sugar islands bought corrupt seats in Parliament, and perhaps why other
colonies could do the same.

But the Dominions that were historically created were created after the Great
Reform Act--Canada being the first in 1867--though Australia and New Zealand
became dominions in 1907, after all reform acts had passed, and South Africa in
1931.

So, the idea of metropolitan reform being a colorary to colonial integration
might work in one cases, but not all four, though the first case may cause the
latter three.

The second issue that relates to dominion status is transport and
communication, which also relates to the EIC. When they were settled, Canada,
Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa were far enough from Metropolitan
Britain in terms of travel time and communication that they developed a
seperate identity, and some government needed to be delegated into local hands.

So we need to ease the difficulties of space and time, and possibly deal with
the reform of Britain's own parliament perhaps to reduce some of the issues
relating to the dominions. The only problem is that at least some of those
changes would predate 1815.

I've raised some of those ideas before at:
http://makeashorterlink.com/?A15664798


Cheers

L
Tony Bailey
2004-06-17 18:31:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by SwimLFS
Reform Act--Canada being the first in 1867--though Australia and New Zealand
became dominions in 1907, after all reform acts had passed, and South Africa in
1931.
Australia was 1 JAN 1901 - the local pollies after all could count and new
it was the first day of a new century and decade.

But you have to remember that the individual colonies that became states had
already been self governing in most matters anyway - in the case of NSW for
about 50 years- in fact the Victoria and NSW had virtually opposite policies
on trade tariffs.
--
Tony Bailey
Mercury Travel Books
Demetrios Rammos
2004-06-17 19:28:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by SwimLFS
But the Dominions that were historically created were created after the Great
Reform Act--Canada being the first in 1867--though Australia and New Zealand
became dominions in 1907, after all reform acts had passed, and South Africa in
1931.
So, the idea of metropolitan reform being a colorary to colonial integration
might work in one cases, but not all four, though the first case may cause the
latter three.
I would think that if you had a call it United kingdom of England,
Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Canada as of 1867 instead of a dominion of
Canada the precedent created would be followed for Australia and New
Zealand.

So probably you need a pod between 1832 and 1867. As long as as Canada
has come to being as a dominion as Noel points elsewhere the dominions
have no real reason to join any imperial federation sheme.

Demetrios
JoatSimeon
2004-06-18 19:59:13 UTC
Permalink
the dominions have no real reason to join any imperial federation sheme.
-- opinion was divided on the issue. The New Zealanders were most enthusiastic
for it; the Canadians, least, with the Aussies in the middle.

Not coincidentally, the Kiwis were most directly dependent on a simple exchange
with Britain of farm products for manufactures.

Some of the Australian colonies were free-trading and some protectionist.
Canada was mostly protectionist, and until the great wheat boom of the pre-WWI
decades had much closer economic links with the US than with Britain.

Also, the settlers in Australia and NZ tended, especially after the 1860's, to
be very nervous about defense issues, and they knew they didn't have the
manpower or money to defend themselves. By the 1880's, it was obvious that
Canada was indefensible in the event of war with the US.
mark edelstein
2004-06-18 20:48:04 UTC
Permalink
Actually imperialism in Canada is quite interesting, bu completely
impossible without drastic alterations because Quebec would not
tolerate closer imperial ties. English Canadians (at least a good
chunk of them) were fairly warm about the idea prior to World War I.
My sophomore Canadian political history course had a couple units
dealing with such issues.
SwimLFS
2004-06-19 03:21:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Demetrios Rammos
I would think that if you had a call it United kingdom of England,
Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Canada as of 1867 instead of a dominion of
Canada the precedent created would be followed for Australia and New
Zealand.
Quite. However, this wasn't what I was looking for.
Post by Demetrios Rammos
So probably you need a pod between 1832 and 1867. As long as as Canada
has come to being as a dominion as Noel points elsewhere the dominions
have no real reason to join any imperial federation sheme.
Yeah, of course. However, I wasn't looking into federating the British empire,
so much as changing the size of it. While federating, rather than
dominion-ating might relate to this, it's not exactly what I was looking into,
unless you want to argue that the devolution of the white colonies into
dominions changed the empire in such a way that it precluded further growth.

Cheers

L
Demetrios Rammos
2004-06-19 04:16:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by SwimLFS
Post by Demetrios Rammos
So probably you need a pod between 1832 and 1867. As long as as Canada
has come to being as a dominion as Noel points elsewhere the dominions
have no real reason to join any imperial federation sheme.
Yeah, of course. However, I wasn't looking into federating the British empire,
so much as changing the size of it. While federating, rather than
dominion-ating might relate to this, it's not exactly what I was looking into,
unless you want to argue that the devolution of the white colonies into
dominions changed the empire in such a way that it precluded further growth.
There is call it experimental evidence to the contrary given British
colonial expansion in the 1880s ie post the dominion of Canada. On the
other hand I am willing to claim that it precluded keeping the gains in
the long run, a United Kingdom including Canada and Australia today
would be one of the largest states on the planet. Making it the maximum
long term surviving empire if you will.

Demetrios
JoatSimeon
2004-06-21 22:55:45 UTC
Permalink
Could the dynastic union of Hanover and Britain be turned into a political
union?
jlk7e
2004-06-22 07:03:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by JoatSimeon
Could the dynastic union of Hanover and Britain be turned into a political
union?
No. The British were not interested. The Salic Law was
undiscardable, and militated against it. Even if the monarch felt the
strong desire to do so (and none of the OTL Hanoverian monarchs seem
to have - they enjoyed their absolute rule in Hanover, and didn't want
to dilute that into British parliamentary control), this is pretty
much impossible to accomplish.
JoatSimeon
2004-06-18 19:53:14 UTC
Permalink
Canada being the first in 1867--though Australia and New Zealand became
dominions in 1907

-- that's January 1st, 1901, for the Aussies. The _term_ Dominion became sort
of official at the Imperial conference in 1907.
after all reform acts had passed, and South Africa in 1931.
-- that's 1910. You may be thinking of the Statute of Westminster for 1931.
The Horny Goat
2004-06-20 04:17:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by JoatSimeon
-- that's January 1st, 1901, for the Aussies. The _term_ Dominion became sort
of official at the Imperial conference in 1907.
Maybe but Macdonald (1815-91) had been using Dominion to describe
Canada pretty continuously since 1867. As to when it became official I
couldn't say.
Errol Cavit
2004-06-20 08:50:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by JoatSimeon
-- that's January 1st, 1901, for the Aussies. The _term_ Dominion became sort
of official at the Imperial conference in 1907.
Maybe but Macdonald (1815-91) had been using Dominion to describe
Canada pretty continuously since 1867. As to when it became official I
couldn't say.
There was a newspaper founded in NZ on Dominion Day, and named after it (now
merged into the Dominion Post). I can't remember the date, but 1907 sounds
about right.
--
Errol Cavit | ***@hotmail.com | "If you have had enough, then I have
had enough. But if you haven't had enough, then I haven't had enough
either." Maori chief Kawiti to Governor George Grey, after the Battle of
Ruapekapeka 1846.
JoatSimeon
2004-06-18 19:34:40 UTC
Permalink
So, starting with the defeat of Napoleon, what can be done to maximize the
British
Empire, minimize it, or get roughly the same result?

-- up until the 1870's, roughly, the British had a pretty free hand in the
Afro-Asian world.

They could have snaffled off a lot more territory; they didn't because they
preferred "informal empire" to the more expensive and troublesome direct rule.


Eg., the Sultan of Zanzibar exercised a vague sort of rule over coastal East
Africa; and the British, by treaty, economic pressure and the occasional
gunboat had an informal protectorate over the Sultan.

OK, for Africa: have the Kimberly diamond deposits and the Witwatersrand gold
deposits discovered earlier.

Say in the 1850's for the diamonds and the 1860's for the gold. There's no
reason they couldn't have been; it was pure serendipity.

British settlers pour in and overwhelm the Griqua and Boer claimants (the
Afrikaners were much weaker in the interior than they would be two generations
later).

In the early 1870's, South Africa becomes a Dominion. It launches an
aggressive policy of territorial expansion before the other European powers
come forward to divide Africa, rather like Cecil Rhodes but earlier and with
better financing. Its borders stretch up to the Equator or somewhat beyond.
SwimLFS
2004-06-20 15:12:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by SwimLFS
So, starting with the defeat of Napoleon, what can be done to maximize the
British
Empire, minimize it, or get roughly the same result?
-- up until the 1870's, roughly, the British had a pretty free hand in the
Afro-Asian world.
They could have snaffled off a lot more territory; they didn't because they
preferred "informal empire" to the more expensive and troublesome direct rule.
Right, which begs the question, what would cause an earlier shift to
formal empire, and how would it change things. Surely, the result
would be smaller, but formal empire over, say, Zanzibar starting in
the 1850s/1860s, would change the way that Zanzibar is today.
Post by SwimLFS
Eg., the Sultan of Zanzibar exercised a vague sort of rule over coastal East
Africa; and the British, by treaty, economic pressure and the occasional
gunboat had an informal protectorate over the Sultan.
OK, for Africa: have the Kimberly diamond deposits and the Witwatersrand gold
deposits discovered earlier.
Say in the 1850's for the diamonds and the 1860's for the gold. There's no
reason they couldn't have been; it was pure serendipity.
This I can agree on.
Post by SwimLFS
British settlers pour in and overwhelm the Griqua and Boer claimants (the
Afrikaners were much weaker in the interior than they would be two generations
later).
Where are the British settlers coming from? Does this shift numbers
away from Australia and Canada? If so, how many, and how does it
change those colonies?
Post by SwimLFS
In the early 1870's, South Africa becomes a Dominion.
Why? This is a remarkably rapid time frame for a Dominion to be
created, even presupposing that South Africa gets a substantial enough
British population to equal that of Australia or Canada, or meet some
bare minimum level.
Post by SwimLFS
It launches an
aggressive policy of territorial expansion before the other European powers
come forward to divide Africa, rather like Cecil Rhodes but earlier and with
better financing.
What motivates it to do this as an official policy?

I'll concede that Buchanaland would be an easy enough target, as would
the coast of Nambia and parts of OTL's Rhodesia, but South Africa
would find itself hemmed in by the Kalhari desert, the Portuegese
holdings in Angola and Mozambique, and the disease enviroment of the
jungles it would be thrusting toward.

Aside from that, why would the Dominion of South Africa, if it would
be such, bother? It's sitting on a bunch of gold and diamonds and good
farmland. Why bother mucking around up north? It costs a great deal of
money and all that. Though I think it could occur following explorers
and missionaries, that would be a much more gradual process.

I think the big thing to address in British expansion into Africa
would be to give them quinine and other things earlier. The issue is
how much earlier, and how plausibly that could be done. Given the 1815
limit on divergences, I've no idea.

Cheers

L
Charles Talleyrand
2004-06-21 05:11:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by SwimLFS
I'll concede that Buchanaland would be an easy enough target, as would
the coast of Nambia and parts of OTL's Rhodesia, but South Africa
would find itself hemmed in by the Kalhari desert, the Portuegese
holdings in Angola and Mozambique, and the disease enviroment of the
jungles it would be thrusting toward.
The Portuguese sold the rights to administer Mozambique to British
commerical interests. The Germans requested the British to take over Namibia
to spare Germany the cost of running it (and the Brits declined).

Charles Talleyrand
Who wishes people had read his "Chamberlain" thread. Ce est la vie!
JoatSimeon
2004-06-21 22:29:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by SwimLFS
Where are the British settlers coming from?
-- Britain, mostly.

22 million people left the British Isles between 1815 and 1914; something like
500,000 went to Australia in the four years after the discovery of gold there.

Big pool to draw on. The primary effect would probably be to divert some from
the US, which was the destination of the majority before the 1890's. Or
possibly to increase the total a little.
Post by SwimLFS
Why? This is a remarkably rapid time frame for a Dominion to be created
-- because the British government actually tried to get the South African
colonies to federate as a Dominion (the term wasn't in widespread use yet) in
the 1870's.

The attempt failed, but given a couple of hundred thousand extra Brits, would
probably have suceeded.

(The white population of Southern Africa was less than 300,000 in OTL in 1870,
btw. It roughly tripled in the next three decades, partly due to immigration
after the diamond and gold discoveries, partly due to very high birth-rates.)
Post by SwimLFS
gets a substantial enough British population to equal that of Australia or
Canada

-- oh, not on that scale. The native population filled up too many of the
unskilled-labor positions.

Say about 1,000,000 whites all up by the 1880's, max -- something like 3x the
OTL level.
Post by SwimLFS
What motivates it to do this as an official policy?
-- land hunger, hope for more mineral discoveries, and an insatiable need for
unskilled labor for the mines.

Pretty much as in OTL, but without the intracolonial and British-Boer rivalries
that slowed things down in OTL, and with a lot more money.

There's an awful lot of gold in the Witwatersrand, but in 19th-century terms it
was extremely labor-intensive. You need hundreds of thousands of workers, and
South Africa south of the Limpopo couldn't supply that many.

I'm assuming someone would come up with the cyanide reduction process a little
earlier, but that's a good bet, with the demand requirements.
Post by SwimLFS
It costs a great deal of money and all that.
-- not really. Most of tropical Africa was conquered on a shoestring -- for
example, what's now Malawi was taken in by a single company of Sikh mercenaries
operating on a budget of about 40,000 pounds a year.

The IBEA in Kenya/Uganda was only a bit better financed, and ditto Goldie's
West Africa company.

One of the major reasons Africa was partitioned was that, for the most part, it
was so _easy_.
Post by SwimLFS
I think the big thing to address in British expansion into Africa would be to
give them quinine and other things earlier.

-- see Curtin's "Death by Migration". Quinine treatment became widely known in
the 1850's.
JoatSimeon
2004-06-18 19:45:54 UTC
Permalink
So, starting with the defeat of Napoleon, what can be done to maximize the
British
Empire, minimize it, or get roughly the same result?

-- OK, moving on to Asia.

In 1815, the British decide to keep the Dutch East Indies, which they seriously
considered but decided against in order to strengthen the new Belgian-Dutch
kingdom.

They'd occupied the area during the Napoleonic Wars and it was one of the
richest colonial possessions going. The usual process of border friction,
"incidents", disorder, etc., drives the conquest of the outer islands and then
of the Malay peninsula.

Then the Russians are more aggressive on the northern border of China during
the early to middle 19th century.

In response, instead of establishing the Treaty Ports system during the Opium
Wars, the British simply annex a bunch of coastal cities and their immediate
hinterlands, rather than restricting themselves to Hong Kong.

They're stronger in East Asia generally already because of their control of
Java, which gives them a closer base and source of troops.

(In OTL, one reason they _didn't_ annex the ports, apart from fear of expense
and inconvenience, was that they expected such a move would suck them into the
Chinese interior in the long run, as similar establishments had in India.)

There's certainly nothing the Chinese could have done to stop them, if they'd
been prepared to go to the trouble.

This PO's the French, but they're bought off with British recognition of French
rights in Indo-China. In any

In the standard British fashion, the annexed territories are made financially
self-supporting by local taxation and sepoy-style military forces under British
officers are raised.

As the Manchu state decays, border clashes repeatedly lead to further
annexations, often against London's expressed wishes. If the Taipings happen,
they end up fighting the British, and virtually by default the British take
over their territories.

Eventually there's a de facto partition, with Russia getting Mongolia (outer
and Inner), Manchuria, and Chinese Turkestan, perhaps with some other interior
provinces. The Brits get the coast and the Yangtze valley. Queen Victoria
becomes Empress of China as well as of India. Given this scenario, Japan and
Korea would be up for grabs too.
Jedidiah Stott
2004-06-19 11:20:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by SwimLFS
So, starting with the defeat of Napoleon, what can be done to
maximize the
British
Empire, minimize it, or get roughly the same result?
-- OK, moving on to Asia.
In 1815, the British decide to keep the Dutch East Indies, which they
seriously considered but decided against in order to strengthen the
new Belgian-Dutch kingdom.
They'd occupied the area during the Napoleonic Wars and it was one of
the richest colonial possessions going. The usual process of border
friction, "incidents", disorder, etc., drives the conquest of the
outer islands and then of the Malay peninsula.
Then the Russians are more aggressive on the northern border of China
during the early to middle 19th century.
In response, instead of establishing the Treaty Ports system during
the Opium Wars, the British simply annex a bunch of coastal cities and
their immediate hinterlands, rather than restricting themselves to
Hong Kong.
That is certainly very possible, though I think it would require a
different set of Ministers at Whitehall. One factor in the slow growth
and decay of the Empire was that a lot of English politicians either were
actively opposed to it (the "Little Englanders") or indifferent.An
England interested in aggrandisement would certainly have held on to the
DEI. England could easily have justified it at Vienna,since she, the only
country that had fought Napolean "all the way through" actually came away
with almost nothing at the conference (with one exception, Heligoland, of
which more below)

And once Britain was esconced in Java, an earlier progression to China is
very probable. As you say, that country was pretty much "up for grabs"
for anyone who wanted to move in. The reason it wsn't seized by a
European power was that Britain didn't want it (for the reasons you
note), but did make sure that no *other* power was going to get it.

I suspect that the overall answer to the question "How to maximise the
British Empire" is : " Arrange for the British to actively *want* an
Empire"

OpWI: Heligoland is a group of two small islands lying off the mouth of
the Jade. It was seized by Britain in 1807, and retained by her until she
ceded it to Prussia in 1890. The main island posseses an excellent
harbour, capable of holding large warships, and the island was heavily
fortified, first by the British then by the Germans.

Possesion of Heligoland has the effect of making a serious German navy
difficult if not impossible (it commands the entrances to the Elbe, the
Jade, and covers the route to the Straits). So in 1890 Germany, realising
this ) put some heavy pressure on Britain to hand it "back". Britain
agreed - at that time German naval power was not such an issue and it
didn't seem worth fighting over.

What if Britain had said "No, we're sticking to it" - and stuck to it.
And based a significant squadron there to back that up.

Germany would have been very cross, but would the Kaiser have been
willing to fight a war over it, in 1890 ? Or would the (consequent)
impracticality of the Big Navy dream, have turned his fancy elsewhere?

I rather suspect it might have. Wilhelm was not the most consistent of
chaps, and I don't think that in 1890 the Naval Dream had seized Germany
to the extent it later did. And, there is really very little that a non-
Naval Germany can do to actually attack Britain.

Tirpitz would have been furious, but the General Staff probably,
secretly, quite pleased - they didn't like the Herr Admiral. I don't
think Wilhelm would have been determined enough to push it anywhere near
war - probably just use it as a bargaining counter for some colonial
possessions in Africa.

Remove the Naval Race and the path up to the Unfortunate Event becomes
very different.

(Though, Fashoda was not that much later. In this TL would Germany even
have bothered with Fashoda.)
AlanWilliams
2004-06-19 13:38:51 UTC
Permalink
[snip]
Post by Jedidiah Stott
Possesion of Heligoland has the effect of making a serious German navy
difficult if not impossible (it commands the entrances to the Elbe, the
Jade, and covers the route to the Straits). So in 1890 Germany, realising
this ) put some heavy pressure on Britain to hand it "back". Britain
agreed - at that time German naval power was not such an issue and it
didn't seem worth fighting over.
Britain gained a lot in Africa from giving Heligoland to Germany, see:

http://africanhistory.about.com/cs/eracolonialism/a/Heligoland.htm

[snip]

Alan
Jedidiah Stott
2004-06-20 11:15:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by AlanWilliams
http://africanhistory.about.com/cs/eracolonialism/a/Heligoland.htm
Very true. Actually, I spotted that when checking on the history of
Heligoland. GB certainly got Germany to agree to a free British hand in
central Africa. But, whether that gave Britain all that much which was
really valuable is, I submit, arguable. I have always thought that most
of the British African colonies were hardly worth the cost of maintaining
them. Nigeria, yes, the Cape and surrounding lands yes (including the
diamond and gold fields). And Eygpt and the Sudan for strategic reasons.
But the rest, it might be that it would have been better to let Germany
distract himself there, whilst GB concentrated on carving up China and
the Dutch East Indies (thus bringing me back to the original WI)

On a high strategic level I would argue that British policy in late 19C
early 20C was flawed.(Hardly original, I know) For most of the 19C
Britain took an approach of keeping out of European affairs as much as
possble (eventually made semi offical as Splendid Isolation). But, that
policy should have meant that she also kept out of WW1. Since by the
1890's far sighted folk were thinking (if not saying) that Splendid
Isolation was looking tarnished, it would have been better strategy for
Britain to forgo some largely uneconomic colonies, give Germany a stage
to strut on, and retain an extremely important strategic naval asset
(important if GB was going to play a part in European affairs).

Mssr.Tallyrand's post contempory to this, regarding Joe Chambelain and a
German agreement in Africa dovetails nicely with this, I suggest.
JoatSimeon
2004-06-21 22:35:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by AlanWilliams
Britain gained a lot in Africa from giving Heligoland to Germany, see
-- true. As Carl Peters (once described by Hitler as a "model, if stern,
colonial administrator") said with some bitterness, Germany traded three
kingdoms in Africa for a bathtub in the North Sea.

The really ironic thing is that Sultan of Zanzibar practically _begged_ the
Brits to take the _whole_ of East Africa in 1877.

William Mackinnon, a Scot who had vast shipping interests in the Indian Ocean,
cooked up a deal with Sultan Bargash to have a British-financed chartered
company take over everything between Somalia and Mozambique.

The Sultan was terrified by Egyptian expansion on the Bernadir coast and in the
Lakes country and thought the proposed company would protect his (vague and
weak) claims to the interior.

The British government officially approved of the deal, although noting that
they would contribute no public funds. Unofficially, Salisbury, already a
power at the foreign office under Disraeli, quietly scuppered the company
because he feared the British government would be drawn into the interior if
it went broke.
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2004-06-20 11:57:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jedidiah Stott
(Though, Fashoda was not that much later. In this TL would Germany
even have bothered with Fashoda.)
Fashoda was a French effort, I think you are confusing this with the
German intervention in Morocco.

Ken Young
***@cix.co.uk

Those who cover themselves with martial glory
frequently go in need of any other garment. (Bramah)
Jedidiah Stott
2004-06-20 12:38:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Post by Jedidiah Stott
(Though, Fashoda was not that much later. In this TL would Germany
even have bothered with Fashoda.)
Fashoda was a French effort, I think you are confusing this with the
German intervention in Morocco.
Yes. You are right. <hangs head in shame>. I *meant* Agadir of course
Charles Talleyrand
2004-06-21 04:56:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jedidiah Stott
the Jade. It was seized by Britain in 1807, and retained by her until she
ceded it to Prussia in 1890. The main island posseses an excellent
harbour, capable of holding large warships, and the island was heavily
fortified, first by the British then by the Germans.
Possesion of Heligoland has the effect of making a serious German navy
difficult if not impossible (it commands the entrances to the Elbe, the
Jade, and covers the route to the Straits). So in 1890 Germany, realising
this ) put some heavy pressure on Britain to hand it "back". Britain
agreed - at that time German naval power was not such an issue and it
didn't seem worth fighting over.
What if Britain had said "No, we're sticking to it" - and stuck to it.
And based a significant squadron there to back that up.
Germany would have been very cross, but would the Kaiser have been
willing to fight a war over it, in 1890 ? Or would the (consequent)
impracticality of the Big Navy dream, have turned his fancy elsewhere?
I think I can answer this.

Heligoland is a granite bolder less than one mile square. The UK
had never fortified it, believing that to do so would needlessly
provoke Germany. Quoting Prime Minister Salisbury (the guy who
traded it away)


The island is a very recent conquest.... Why it was retained
no one knows....No authority has recomended it be fortified
and no House of Commons wold pay for it's fortification.
But if it is not fortified and we quarreled with Germany it
would be siezed the day she declared war.

The Queen herself was against this trade. She thought this trade
might set a precedent for trading away future lands. Also, both
the German and British public thought the other got the better deal.

No matter who held Heligoland both Kaiser Wilhelm and von Turpitz
were going to be "big navy" people. It was in their blood in an
unchangable way.
Jedidiah Stott
2004-06-21 08:40:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charles Talleyrand
I think I can answer this.
Heligoland is a granite bolder less than one mile square.
About the size of Gibralter ;-) ? A mile square battleship outguns
anything afloat.
The UK
Post by Charles Talleyrand
had never fortified it, believing that to do so would needlessly
provoke Germany.
The British allowed the early fortifications to decay - in the absence of
a German High Seas Fleet, there did not seem anyone to fortify against.
The Germans certainly fortified it very heavily once they got their hands
on it.

Retaining and fortifying it would certainly provke Germany.That is the
risk to be taken. If Germany is really furious, then we have a WW1 lineup
- GB, France Russia vs Germany,A-H.But at least a Germany with a crippled
Navy. (or else the mother of sea battles when the Germans push on anyway
with a High seas Fleet,and try to sieze Heligoland a coup de main.)

Or else Germany splutters, the Kaiser rants, then swallows his pride and
goes off to listen to the Generals instead of the Admirals
Post by Charles Talleyrand
No matter who held Heligoland both Kaiser Wilhelm and von Turpitz
were going to be "big navy" people. It was in their blood in an
unchangable way.
Tirpitz - yes. Nothing would sway him. But Willy was a play sailor. He
never really understood naval power. He wanted a big navy as a trophy,
but if he couldn't get it I think he'd have turned to another trophy -
like a big colonial empire for instance.

Salisbury saw no point to holding Heligoland because he he did not see GB
as a major European player. Which is fine, but it left GB in a bad way
when she decided 14 years later or so that she *did* want to be a
European player. Britain as a protagonist on the European stage (as
opposed to Splendid Isolation) needs to maintain control of the North
Sea. That means either persuading Germany not to pursue Naval ambitions
or forcing a German navy back into the Baltic. A British Heligoland makes
that possible. A German Heligoland makes it impossible. Castlereagh
understood this (he had spent his life manoeuvering GB as a European
power) - that is why GB hung onto Heligoland in 1815. And why Tirpitz
wanted it so much. Salisbury didn't subscribe to the European view .If he
had lived it is quite possible that GB would have remained neutral in
1914, and the absence of Heligoland would not have mattered. But he
didn't and Britain did decide to reclaim her credentials as a big
European player - and not having Heligoland made a (bad) difference.
Charles Talleyrand
2004-06-22 03:05:31 UTC
Permalink
The question at hand is this: How useful would British possesion of the
Heligoland have been in 1914. I've added sci.military.naval since
they have knowledge of naval tactics.
Post by Jedidiah Stott
Retaining and fortifying it would certainly provke Germany.That is the
risk to be taken. If Germany is really furious, then we have a WW1 lineup
- GB, France Russia vs Germany,A-H.But at least a Germany with a crippled
Navy. (or else the mother of sea battles when the Germans push on anyway
with a High seas Fleet,and try to sieze Heligoland a coup de main.)
I don't understand how fortifying Heligoland is going to bottle up the
German fleet. The UK could not base the British fleet at Heligoland.
The German fleet could sail for and reach Heligoland way before the
British fleet could intevene. Therefore the fortifications of Heligland would
have to withstand the force of the main German fleet. That's a LOT of expensive
guns.

Heligoland can be useful to the Germans. They can place light forces (scout,
torpedo boats, mie warfare, etc) there knowing that the island cannot reasonably
be attacked by the main British fleet without the chance for a German fleet responce.

Basically, I don't see what the British can do with it besides get their butt kicked.
Remember it's less than one square mile.
Jedidiah Stott
2004-06-22 09:22:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charles Talleyrand
The question at hand is this: How useful would British possesion of
the Heligoland have been in 1914. I've added sci.military.naval since
they have knowledge of naval tactics.
Good thinking.
Post by Charles Talleyrand
I don't understand how fortifying Heligoland is going to bottle up the
German fleet. The UK could not base the British fleet at Heligoland.
The German fleet could sail for and reach Heligoland way before the
British fleet could intevene. Therefore the fortifications of
Heligland would have to withstand the force of the main German fleet.
That's a LOT of expensive guns.
Heligoland can be useful to the Germans. They can place light forces
(scout, torpedo boats, mie warfare, etc) there knowing that the island
cannot reasonably be attacked by the main British fleet without the
chance for a German fleet responce.
Basically, I don't see what the British can do with it besides get
their butt kicked. Remember it's less than one square mile.
Basically, same as a fortress on land. A general can't just ignore it,
cutting across his communication and supply lines and risking an attack
in the rear. HL is only 1 sq mile, but think of it as a granite
battleship - that's a big ship.And it's unsinkable.

The fortifications are of course for the same purpose as any
fortifications. To delay and damage an enemy attack. They can be reduced
in time, but it's going to take time, and the attacker will take damage.

HL covers the mouths of the Jade and the Elbe, the mouth of the Kiel
canal, and lies athwart the route to go around the top of Jutland. If
you're a German High Admiral, you need to control the North Sea. (If you
don't your fleet isn't going anywhere- coastal defense only. Apart from a
Baltic fleet)

HL has a good harbour. Quite adequate to contain a destroyer flotilla
(later) some subs, and if things are looking dodgy a cruiser squadron.
Even a battleship if things are really shaky.

Can you Herr Admiral, risk coming out to sea, possibly encountering the
British fleet, and having that in your rear ? Not if you're wise. Imagine
Jutland if Jellicoe had had a cruiser squadron *behind* the German fleet,
right from the start.

So the Germans have to reduce and seize HL. That can be done but strong
land batteries are hard to take - the RN couldn't manage to knock out the
Turkish forts in the Dardanelles, and I think we can assume that the RN
shore stations would be even tougher.

Long before then the Grand Fleet will have arrived - to fight an already
damaged German fleet , with (possibly , depending on how damaged it is:
but, the more damaged the RN cruisers, the more damaged the Germans, )
that cruiser squadron still in their rear.Maybe the cruisers slip out of
port before the firing started to cut up the German flanks etc, but
they're still going to be a menace.

Having a base like HL (or Gibralter) doesn't obviate the need for a kick-
ass fleet. Any more than having land fortresses means you don't need an
army. But it can be a big help to a fleet in the vicinity.

That's not to mention the possibilities of trade interdiction, cutting
out expeditions etc.


Disclaimer: All this is just my (entirely amateur) opinion. And I'm very
willing to be shown the errors of my ways. Hopefully some real naal
experts may comment.
Juergen Nieveler
2004-06-22 10:27:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jedidiah Stott
So the Germans have to reduce and seize HL. That can be done but
strong land batteries are hard to take - the RN couldn't manage to
knock out the Turkish forts in the Dardanelles, and I think we can
assume that the RN shore stations would be even tougher.
Of course, Germany might have invented the concept of airborne troops a
bit earlier then... Helgoland is big enough to land a good amount of
airborne troops, and parachutes had already been invented before WWI.

Imagine a Zeppelin full of troops doing a night jump against Helgoland,
landing on the huge flat area provided by mother nature ;-)

Juergen Nieveler
--
Sex is hereditary. If your parents never had it, chances are you won't
either
Jedidiah Stott
2004-06-22 22:43:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Juergen Nieveler
Of course, Germany might have invented the concept of airborne troops a
bit earlier then... Helgoland is big enough to land a good amount of
airborne troops, and parachutes had already been invented before WWI.
Imagine a Zeppelin full of troops doing a night jump against Helgoland,
landing on the huge flat area provided by mother nature ;-)
Juergen Nieveler
Yes , that would be interesting. Generally naval land stations don't have
a lot of troops. And there wouldn't be any air defences of course. If
paratroops landed at night (difficult though, that), and managed to
capture one of the shore batteries, they could turn it on the fleet in
the harbour- which would be devastating - then launch the sea attack in
the confusion. Very possible, though whether the German high Command
would have been so imaginative is dubious. On the other hand I'm certain
that the British High Command would not have been imaginative enough to
think of putting in counter measures
Juergen Nieveler
2004-06-23 21:22:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jedidiah Stott
Post by Juergen Nieveler
Imagine a Zeppelin full of troops doing a night jump against
Helgoland, landing on the huge flat area provided by mother nature
;-)
Yes , that would be interesting. Generally naval land stations don't
have a lot of troops. And there wouldn't be any air defences of
course. If paratroops landed at night (difficult though, that), and
managed to capture one of the shore batteries, they could turn it on
the fleet in the harbour- which would be devastating - then launch the
sea attack in the confusion. Very possible, though whether the German
high Command would have been so imaginative is dubious. On the other
hand I'm certain that the British High Command would not have been
imaginative enough to think of putting in counter measures
I know it's a very unrealistic what-if - however, it would make a
smashing movie. Bruce Willis as captain of the Zeppelin? :-)


Juergen Nieveler
--
Man who drive like hell, bound to get there.
Peter Kemp
2004-06-23 23:07:15 UTC
Permalink
On 23 Jun 2004 21:22:46 GMT, Juergen Nieveler
Post by Juergen Nieveler
Post by Jedidiah Stott
Post by Juergen Nieveler
Imagine a Zeppelin full of troops doing a night jump against
Helgoland, landing on the huge flat area provided by mother nature
;-)
Yes , that would be interesting. Generally naval land stations don't
have a lot of troops. And there wouldn't be any air defences of
course. If paratroops landed at night (difficult though, that), and
managed to capture one of the shore batteries, they could turn it on
the fleet in the harbour- which would be devastating - then launch the
sea attack in the confusion. Very possible, though whether the German
high Command would have been so imaginative is dubious. On the other
hand I'm certain that the British High Command would not have been
imaginative enough to think of putting in counter measures
I know it's a very unrealistic what-if - however, it would make a
smashing movie. Bruce Willis as captain of the Zeppelin? :-)
Or Mel Gibson - except then he'd have to be aving HL form the eeeeevil
Brits.

Peter Kemp
Oliver Neukum
2004-06-23 06:14:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Juergen Nieveler
Imagine a Zeppelin full of troops doing a night jump against Helgoland,
landing on the huge flat area provided by mother nature ;-)
I guess, it would have been easier to land it. AAA wasn't invented in
1914 and the flat "Oberland" of Helgoland has plenty of room to land.
Landing a gasbag filled with hydrogen on an island with a lot of
artillery? Don't bother with fuel for the return trip and cremation
is compulsory.

Regards
Oliver
Brad Meyer
2004-06-23 06:36:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Oliver Neukum
Post by Juergen Nieveler
Imagine a Zeppelin full of troops doing a night jump against Helgoland,
landing on the huge flat area provided by mother nature ;-)
I guess, it would have been easier to land it. AAA wasn't invented in
1914 and the flat "Oberland" of Helgoland has plenty of room to land.
Landing a gasbag filled with hydrogen on an island with a lot of
artillery? Don't bother with fuel for the return trip and cremation
is compulsory.
You might shoot it out of the air, but cremation is far from
manditory. Rather the opposite in fact. Hydrogen is lighter then air
and burns up and away from the passangers. Take, for instance, the
Hindenburg. All the passenger deaths were those who paniced and
jumped. Those that stayed aboard were injured, but survived.
Jedidiah Stott
2004-06-23 09:09:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Juergen Nieveler
Imagine a Zeppelin full of troops doing a night jump against
Helgoland, landing on the huge flat area provided by mother nature
;-)
I guess, it would have been easier to land it. AAA wasn't invented
in 1914 and the flat "Oberland" of Helgoland has plenty of room to
land.
Hm - one point does occur to me. This island is only a mile wide, and
islands are traditionally windy. You'd need a dead calm night to do it or
all your troops might end up in the briney!
T. Fink
2004-06-23 12:40:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jedidiah Stott
Post by Juergen Nieveler
Imagine a Zeppelin full of troops doing a night jump against
Helgoland, landing on the huge flat area provided by mother nature
;-)
I guess, it would have been easier to land it. AAA wasn't invented
in 1914 and the flat "Oberland" of Helgoland has plenty of room to
land.
Hm - one point does occur to me. This island is only a mile wide, and
islands are traditionally windy. You'd need a dead calm night to do it or
all your troops might end up in the briney!
Yup, but the same applies to a landing with parachutes (or even more
because you would like to keep your troops closely together rather than
having one third spread across the "Oberland", another third landing on
"Unterland" where the village is and the dune, and the last third
swimming in the North Sea).

CU

Torsten
John Lansford
2004-06-23 10:23:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Oliver Neukum
Post by Juergen Nieveler
Imagine a Zeppelin full of troops doing a night jump against Helgoland,
landing on the huge flat area provided by mother nature ;-)
I guess, it would have been easier to land it. AAA wasn't invented in
1914 and the flat "Oberland" of Helgoland has plenty of room to land.
Landing a gasbag filled with hydrogen on an island with a lot of
artillery? Don't bother with fuel for the return trip and cremation
is compulsory.
He said a night parachute jump, with troops "landing on the huge flat
area", not a Zeppelin landing on Heligoland.

John Lansford
--
The unofficial I-26 Construction Webpage:
http://users.vnet.net/lansford/a10/
T. Fink
2004-06-23 12:43:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Lansford
Post by Oliver Neukum
Post by Juergen Nieveler
Imagine a Zeppelin full of troops doing a night jump against Helgoland,
landing on the huge flat area provided by mother nature ;-)
I guess, it would have been easier to land it. AAA wasn't invented in
1914 and the flat "Oberland" of Helgoland has plenty of room to land.
Landing a gasbag filled with hydrogen on an island with a lot of
artillery? Don't bother with fuel for the return trip and cremation
is compulsory.
He said a night parachute jump, with troops "landing on the huge flat
area", not a Zeppelin landing on Heligoland.
Hmm, thanks for the defence, but I actually meant landing the whole
Zeppelin, i.e. using it as a large helicopter.

CU

Torsten
david
2004-06-24 18:04:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by T. Fink
Post by John Lansford
He said a night parachute jump, with troops "landing on the huge flat
area", not a Zeppelin landing on Heligoland.
Hmm, thanks for the defence, but I actually meant landing the whole
Zeppelin, i.e. using it as a large helicopter.
You are bringing a Zeppelin low enough to allow troops to disembark
(sliding down ropes, whatever). Given the size of the island, the size
of the Zeppelins, the number of Zeppelins necessary to land a sufficient
number of troops (with built-in redundancy, as one has to allow for a
number of losses en route, even if just through mechanical faults), the
time taken to disembark the troops, then I don't think that the Germans
are going to achieve tactical surprise.

Without tactical surprise, the operation described faces one or two
technical problems. Disembarking troops are fairly vulnerable, and it is
not going to take a tactical genius on the British side to work out
where the German troops are arriving. A couple of Very flares to give
illumination, and the German attack is getting messy.
--
David Flin
Daniel Silevitch
2004-06-24 18:33:43 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@flin.demon.co.uk>,
david <***@flin.demon.co.uk> wrote:

[Night-time Assault landings from Zeppelins]
Post by david
where the German troops are arriving. A couple of Very flares to give
illumination, and the German attack is getting messy.
One suspects that after the first flare hits a Zeppelin, illumination will
be provided by the Germans.

-dms
T. Fink
2004-06-23 12:36:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Oliver Neukum
Post by Juergen Nieveler
Imagine a Zeppelin full of troops doing a night jump against Helgoland,
landing on the huge flat area provided by mother nature ;-)
I guess, it would have been easier to land it. AAA wasn't invented in
1914 and the flat "Oberland" of Helgoland has plenty of room to land.
Landing a gasbag filled with hydrogen on an island with a lot of
artillery? Don't bother with fuel for the return trip and cremation
is compulsory.
The landing would be at night, surprising the garrison and all artillery
would have been aimed to the sea anyway. I don't think the Brits would
have installed artillery turrets which could turn 360 degrees, so i
don't see a big danger for the landing site of being shelled by shore
artillery. It might be different if the destroyers in harbour had some
warning, but on the other hand I think they would have needed to leave
the harbour first and make some distance to the harbour to attack the
"Oberland" of Helgoland effectively (I am not sure about the maximum
angle a WW1 ship could raise its guns but I guess not more than 45
degrees). By then the Zeppelin(s) would have been gone again already. Of
course there would have been the risk of igniting the gas filling with
small arms fire but I guess the risk of jumping at night with
not-too-reliable parachutes on an unsually windy island would have been
much greater.

CU

Torsten
T. Fink
2004-06-22 20:45:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Juergen Nieveler
Imagine a Zeppelin full of troops doing a night jump against Helgoland,
landing on the huge flat area provided by mother nature ;-)
I guess, it would have been easier to land it. AAA wasn't invented in
1914 and the flat "Oberland" of Helgoland has plenty of room to land.

CU

Torsten
Larry M Headlund
2004-06-23 16:14:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Juergen Nieveler
Imagine a Zeppelin full of troops doing a night jump against Helgoland,
landing on the huge flat area provided by mother nature ;-)
I guess, it would have been easier to land it. AAA wasn't invented in
1914 and the flat "Oberland" of Helgoland has plenty of room to land.
Krupp started selling "anti zepplin cannon" in 1909. They were
bought by France, Russia and GB. Sans butterflies, I would expect
H* to be supplied with them.
--
--
Larry Headlund ***@world.std.com Mathematical Engineering, Inc.
(617) 242 7741
Unix, X and Motif Consulting Speaking for myself at most.
T. Fink
2004-06-23 18:21:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry M Headlund
Post by Juergen Nieveler
Imagine a Zeppelin full of troops doing a night jump against Helgoland,
landing on the huge flat area provided by mother nature ;-)
I guess, it would have been easier to land it. AAA wasn't invented in
1914 and the flat "Oberland" of Helgoland has plenty of room to land.
Krupp started selling "anti zepplin cannon" in 1909. They were
bought by France, Russia and GB. Sans butterflies, I would expect
H* to be supplied with them.
I have never heard of them. How accurate were they at night?

CU

Torsten
ANDREW ROBERT BREEN
2004-06-24 15:53:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by T. Fink
Post by Larry M Headlund
Krupp started selling "anti zepplin cannon" in 1909. They were
bought by France, Russia and GB. Sans butterflies, I would expect
H* to be supplied with them.
I have never heard of them. How accurate were they at night?
Probably good enough to hit a Zeppelin which was attempting
to hold position at a low enough altitude for troops to
descend by rope ladder and which was illuminated by
searchlights.

Come to that, I'm sure some hero could have got creative
with a Very pistol in those circumstances. VC, posthumous.
--
Andy Breen ~ Interplanetary Scintillation Research Group
http://users.aber.ac.uk/azb/
"Time has stopped, says the Black Lion clock
and eternity has begun" (Dylan Thomas)
david
2004-06-23 05:14:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Juergen Nieveler
Post by Jedidiah Stott
So the Germans have to reduce and seize HL. That can be done but
strong land batteries are hard to take - the RN couldn't manage to
knock out the Turkish forts in the Dardanelles, and I think we can
assume that the RN shore stations would be even tougher.
Of course, Germany might have invented the concept of airborne troops a
bit earlier then... Helgoland is big enough to land a good amount of
airborne troops, and parachutes had already been invented before WWI.
The trouble is, if HL is about a mile square (as has been stated
upthread), then in any sort of wind, your estimated drop zone is
actually significantly larger than the patch of land in question.
Post by Juergen Nieveler
Imagine a Zeppelin full of troops doing a night jump against Helgoland,
landing on the huge flat area provided by mother nature ;-)
If jumping at night and in any sort of wind, that huge flat area
provided by mother nature is called the Sea.
Post by Juergen Nieveler
Juergen Nieveler
--
David Flin
Juergen Nieveler
2004-06-24 10:03:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by david
The trouble is, if HL is about a mile square (as has been stated
upthread), then in any sort of wind, your estimated drop zone is
actually significantly larger than the patch of land in question.
Yes, that really would be a problem. Pity that gliders weren't
available back then, or rather tow-planes to tow them to Heligoland.


Juergen Nieveler
--
Two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts do
ANDREW ROBERT BREEN
2004-06-24 12:09:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Juergen Nieveler
Post by david
The trouble is, if HL is about a mile square (as has been stated
upthread), then in any sort of wind, your estimated drop zone is
actually significantly larger than the patch of land in question.
Yes, that really would be a problem. Pity that gliders weren't
available back then, or rather tow-planes to tow them to Heligoland.
Tell the truth, the allies probably had more chance at that game in
1914. One of the big Sikorskys might /just/ have been able to handle
a small glider. Maybe. Just.

But not a Gotha-Ursinus. No way.
--
Andy Breen ~ Interplanetary Scintillation Research Group
http://users.aber.ac.uk/azb/
"Time has stopped, says the Black Lion clock
and eternity has begun" (Dylan Thomas)
Juergen Nieveler
2004-06-24 14:03:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by ANDREW ROBERT BREEN
Post by Juergen Nieveler
Yes, that really would be a problem. Pity that gliders weren't
available back then, or rather tow-planes to tow them to Heligoland.
Tell the truth, the allies probably had more chance at that game in
1914. One of the big Sikorskys might /just/ have been able to handle
a small glider. Maybe. Just.
But not a Gotha-Ursinus. No way.
Hmmmm.... Lilienthal-style gliders launched from a platform on top of a
Zeppelin? ;-)

Juergen Nieveler
--
Aural sex produces eargasms
ANDREW ROBERT BREEN
2004-06-24 15:54:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Juergen Nieveler
Post by ANDREW ROBERT BREEN
Post by Juergen Nieveler
Yes, that really would be a problem. Pity that gliders weren't
available back then, or rather tow-planes to tow them to Heligoland.
Tell the truth, the allies probably had more chance at that game in
1914. One of the big Sikorskys might /just/ have been able to handle
a small glider. Maybe. Just.
But not a Gotha-Ursinus. No way.
Hmmmm.... Lilienthal-style gliders launched from a platform on top of a
Zeppelin? ;-)
Could be possible.. OTOH stalling and nosing through the envelope would
make you unpopular.
--
Andy Breen ~ Interplanetary Scintillation Research Group
http://users.aber.ac.uk/azb/
"Time has stopped, says the Black Lion clock
and eternity has begun" (Dylan Thomas)
Juergen Nieveler
2004-06-25 08:04:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by ANDREW ROBERT BREEN
Post by Juergen Nieveler
Hmmmm.... Lilienthal-style gliders launched from a platform on top of
a Zeppelin? ;-)
Could be possible.. OTOH stalling and nosing through the envelope
would make you unpopular.
We could turn it into a sequel to the infamous "Biggles"[0] movie :-)

[0]http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090729/

Juergen Nieveler
--
Why is it called "rush hour" if it's so damn slow?
Oliver Neukum
2004-06-24 21:40:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Juergen Nieveler
Post by ANDREW ROBERT BREEN
Post by Juergen Nieveler
Yes, that really would be a problem. Pity that gliders weren't
available back then, or rather tow-planes to tow them to Heligoland.
Tell the truth, the allies probably had more chance at that game in
1914. One of the big Sikorskys might just have been able to handle
a small glider. Maybe. Just.
But not a Gotha-Ursinus. No way.
Hmmmm.... Lilienthal-style gliders launched from a platform on top of a
Zeppelin? ;-)
Why on top? Just drop the glider like a bomb.

Regards
Oliver
Joe Osman
2004-06-24 16:41:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Juergen Nieveler
Post by david
The trouble is, if HL is about a mile square (as has been stated
upthread), then in any sort of wind, your estimated drop zone is
actually significantly larger than the patch of land in question.
Yes, that really would be a problem. Pity that gliders weren't
available back then, or rather tow-planes to tow them to Heligoland.
Juergen Nieveler
--
Two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts do
The drop zone on Corregidor Island in the Phillipines was about that size
and the 2nd Battalion of the 503rd PIR successfuly landed on it in WWII.

Joe




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Jedidiah Stott
2004-06-24 21:39:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe Osman
The drop zone on Corregidor Island in the Phillipines was about that size
and the 2nd Battalion of the 503rd PIR successfuly landed on it in WWII.
Joe
Would the drop zone be smaller for troops jumping from a stationary
Zeppelin at quite low altitide , as opposed to a relatively fast moving
aeroplane ?
Paul Krenske
2004-06-24 23:56:03 UTC
Permalink
On 24 Jun 2004 10:03:00 GMT, Juergen Nieveler
Post by Juergen Nieveler
Post by david
The trouble is, if HL is about a mile square (as has been stated
upthread), then in any sort of wind, your estimated drop zone is
actually significantly larger than the patch of land in question.
Yes, that really would be a problem. Pity that gliders weren't
available back then, or rather tow-planes to tow them to Heligoland.
Juergen Nieveler
--
Two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts do
Why bother with a Glider its not like the light planes of the time
couldn't just be landed directly with a pilot and 1-2 others on board.
A hundred small planes puts 300 lightly armed men men on the island.

Personally with the level of observational difficulty in light mists
etc over that area of the north sea I think a number of partly
disarmed older torpedo boats would be able to use direct delivery
methods to get several thousand men a shore quite quickly and in what
could be called surprise. 150-200 men per boat 10-15 old boats and 1
mile visability or so with the mist burning off by 9am. Hit in the
early morning and have some slower merchant/barge landing vessels
arrive a little later with most of the German fleet standing off and I
suspect most of the action could be over by midday.

The defences effectively ignored much in the way of an actual on
ground fight and were instead centered around anti shipping etc.


Mind you I think that by the end of the Boer war the british willhave
either decided to handover the island anyway or actually massively
reinforced it. One costs little, the other costs a lot trying to
support 3-5000 personnel on the island will be diificult to justify
but that would be what would be needed to properly man defences. To
make it impregnable it would need another 2-4000 for land actions
which is a huge pile of marines or a number of standing regiments of
army troops who really would not want to be there.
jedidiahstott
2004-06-25 04:29:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Krenske
On 24 Jun 2004 10:03:00 GMT, Juergen Nieveler
Personally with the level of observational difficulty in light mists
etc over that area of the north sea I think a number of partly
disarmed older torpedo boats would be able to use direct delivery
methods to get several thousand men a shore quite quickly and in what
could be called surprise. 150-200 men per boat 10-15 old boats and 1
mile visability or so with the mist burning off by 9am. Hit in the
early morning and have some slower merchant/barge landing vessels
arrive a little later with most of the German fleet standing off and I
suspect most of the action could be over by midday.
The defences effectively ignored much in the way of an actual on
ground fight and were instead centered around anti shipping etc.
That was pretty much the Napoleonic War RN approach to shore batteries.
Land as many Marines as you could round up and attack them overland from
the rear. Often worked. Moral: Support your shore batteries by close in-
shore patrol craft, or mines.
Charles Talleyrand
2004-06-23 05:57:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jedidiah Stott
Basically, same as a fortress on land. A general can't just ignore it,
cutting across his communication and supply lines and risking an attack
in the rear. HL is only 1 sq mile, but think of it as a granite
battleship - that's a big ship.And it's unsinkable.
It's a big ship next to the main German battleship and without British fleet
support. It's toast. It's gravel. It's a dust-cloud-to-be.

Seriously, how the heck are the British suppose to defend this?
Post by Jedidiah Stott
HL has a good harbour. Quite adequate to contain a destroyer flotilla
(later) some subs, and if things are looking dodgy a cruiser squadron.
Even a battleship if things are really shaky.
Now it's gravel with metal flakes.

The British have a flotila of destroyers in the harbor.
The German fleet begins.
The British begin to raise steam.
German shells begin to land. The fortress fires back.
German shells destroy everything including British ships.
British fortress guns land a few hits in return. Those ships withdraw
to be repaired.

Now, if you had a squadron of torpedo boats at Heligoland .... Have battleship
fleets every faced torpedo boats? Remember that it's not just battleships, it's
battleships with destroyers protecting them.
Jedidiah Stott
2004-06-23 09:28:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charles Talleyrand
German shells destroy everything including British ships.
British fortress guns land a few hits in return. Those ships withdraw
to be repaired.
Perhaps, but I doubt it. The RN battleships in WW1 could not, despite
their best efforts, reduce the Turkish forts in the Dardanelles. I doubt
the Germans could have done any better than the RN. And the Turks didn't
have the Grand Fleet in the background, likely to come steaming in to
join the fun at any time.

I doubt the OC of any squadron in harbour would have just sat at anchor
and waited to be blown up. Tactics for a fleet involved in an enemy
attack on a land station would have been well known to any senior officer
:(I guess) haul off, send messages, harass the rear and flanks and wait
for the Grand Fleet.Or for the enemy to give up and go home. It takes a
*long* time for ships to reduce well equipped and manned shore batteries.
(Actually I wonder if the Germans would have run out of ammo first)

Even in the Napoleonic War, general practice for dealing with well found
(the distinction is important) shore batteries was not to try to bombard
them, but rather to land a landing party and try to attach them overland.

Shore batteries have the advantage of larger guns, on a steady platform,
firing over known ranges, at very conspicuous targets , and can take a
lot more damage (no worries about sinking, taking on water, or bursting
boilers) - why would the attacking ships land so many more shells that
the shore batteries ?(Granted that here the shore does not have the
advantage of dropping fire)

Given time, yes, any shore installation can be reduced. But it takes a
lot of time, and a ability to take a lot of damage, and the Germans don't
have either.
John Lansford
2004-06-23 10:22:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jedidiah Stott
Post by Charles Talleyrand
German shells destroy everything including British ships.
British fortress guns land a few hits in return. Those ships withdraw
to be repaired.
Perhaps, but I doubt it. The RN battleships in WW1 could not, despite
their best efforts, reduce the Turkish forts in the Dardanelles.
Incorrect. The RN did reduce the fixed fortifications fairly easily in
the Dardanelles. Their trouble began with the mobile guns, not the
ones in the forts.

The British would have found it extremely difficult to keep Heligoland
supplied during WWI. Subs and light forces from German ports could
have operated off the island with impunity outside the gun range,
keeping all supply ships from getting there. If the British sent
larger ships to escort a convoy, then the HSF would sortie to destroy
the isolated portion.

John Lansford
--
The unofficial I-26 Construction Webpage:
http://users.vnet.net/lansford/a10/
Jedidiah Stott
2004-06-23 11:07:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Lansford
The British would have found it extremely difficult to keep Heligoland
supplied during WWI.
Yes, supply might have been a problem. Eventually the Germans could have
starved it out. No fortified place (land or sea) can be maintained
indefinately in the absence of supporting forces, if the enemy is
determined to take it. But the length of time required to starve it out can
well justify the fortifications existence. Surely no worse than the supply
route to Murmansk and Archangel in WWII?
T. Fink
2004-06-23 12:51:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jedidiah Stott
Post by John Lansford
The British would have found it extremely difficult to keep Heligoland
supplied during WWI.
Yes, supply might have been a problem. Eventually the Germans could have
starved it out. No fortified place (land or sea) can be maintained
indefinately in the absence of supporting forces, if the enemy is
determined to take it. But the length of time required to starve it out can
well justify the fortifications existence. Surely no worse than the supply
route to Murmansk and Archangel in WWII?
Could the Germans have used Helgoland as a bait to get the Grand Fleet
into a U-Boot trap? I just think of this situation: Helgoland is
starving and because of the threat of the German Fleet, Britain must
send her Fleet or at least parts of it to escort the supply convoy. Of
course, the Germans know this and concentrate submarines around
Helgoland with the order to ignore small ships and go instead for
capital ships. The Germans lose some submarines but I guess even 2 or 3
subs lost on one side for every heavy cruiser, battleship or dreadnaught
on the other is quite a good deal.

CU

Torsten
Nik Simpson
2004-06-24 15:38:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by T. Fink
The Germans lose some submarines but I guess even 2 or
3 subs lost on one side for every heavy cruiser, battleship or
dreadnaught on the other is quite a good deal.
U-Boat traps in WW1 proveed pretty inneffective because for three main
reasons:

1. Finding the fleet. The U-boats have to operate submerged while hunting
for the resupply convoy, and that severaly limits both their range and their
effectiveness in looking for the convoy. Unless they find it very early in
the operation, they probably can't concentrate sufficient force to be
effective.

2. Unreliable communications. U-Boat radio sets were notoriously unreliable
so the chance of one U-boat finding the fleet and reporting its position to
others successfully is pretty slim.

3. Even on the surface U-boats were slow, so the chances of U-boats being
able to respond in a timely fashion to a sighting report from another U-Boat
are low.

In addition, if you did have to resupply the island then the Germans have to
know you are coming in order to set the trap. That's not easy, by the time
the Germans are aware of the operation its probably too late to interdict
with a U-Boat trap, best you can do is sortie the HSF for a general fleet
action.

Note, I'm not in anyway suggesting that keeping HL would have been a good
thing, just that preventing its resupply given the communications &
intelligence obstacles would have been difficult.
--
Nik Simpson
The Horny Goat
2004-06-25 02:33:47 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 24 Jun 2004 11:38:38 -0400, "Nik Simpson"
Post by Nik Simpson
In addition, if you did have to resupply the island then the Germans have to
know you are coming in order to set the trap. That's not easy, by the time
the Germans are aware of the operation its probably too late to interdict
with a U-Boat trap, best you can do is sortie the HSF for a general fleet
action.
Wasn't that precisely what Jellicoe spent most of the war up to
Jutland trying to do?

My understanding was that Jellicoe was convinced the Royal Navy would
win a general fleet action and was doing all in his power to seek
battle. Seems to me that what you're suggesting is a pretty good way
to bring that about.
Peter Skelton
2004-06-25 08:30:21 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 25 Jun 2004 02:33:47 GMT, The Horny Goat
Post by The Horny Goat
On Thu, 24 Jun 2004 11:38:38 -0400, "Nik Simpson"
Post by Nik Simpson
In addition, if you did have to resupply the island then the Germans have to
know you are coming in order to set the trap. That's not easy, by the time
the Germans are aware of the operation its probably too late to interdict
with a U-Boat trap, best you can do is sortie the HSF for a general fleet
action.
Wasn't that precisely what Jellicoe spent most of the war up to
Jutland trying to do?
My understanding was that Jellicoe was convinced the Royal Navy would
win a general fleet action and was doing all in his power to seek
battle. Seems to me that what you're suggesting is a pretty good way
to bring that about.
You have a serious need to read Jellicoe's memoirs.

Peter Skelton
Nik Simpson
2004-06-25 11:02:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Horny Goat
On Thu, 24 Jun 2004 11:38:38 -0400, "Nik Simpson"
Post by Nik Simpson
In addition, if you did have to resupply the island then the Germans
have to know you are coming in order to set the trap. That's not
easy, by the time the Germans are aware of the operation its
probably too late to interdict with a U-Boat trap, best you can do
is sortie the HSF for a general fleet action.
Wasn't that precisely what Jellicoe spent most of the war up to
Jutland trying to do?
My understanding was that Jellicoe was convinced the Royal Navy would
win a general fleet action and was doing all in his power to seek
battle. Seems to me that what you're suggesting is a pretty good way
to bring that about.
Jellicoe wanted a full fleet action if he could get one on his terms,
Heligoland was too close to Germany to have suited Jellicoe regardless of
whether Helgoland itself was under RN or German control at the time.
--
Nik Simpson
Nick Pedley
2004-06-27 22:20:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by T. Fink
Post by Jedidiah Stott
Post by John Lansford
The British would have found it extremely difficult to keep Heligoland
supplied during WWI.
Yes, supply might have been a problem. Eventually the Germans could have
starved it out. No fortified place (land or sea) can be maintained
indefinately in the absence of supporting forces, if the enemy is
determined to take it. But the length of time required to starve it out can
well justify the fortifications existence. Surely no worse than the supply
route to Murmansk and Archangel in WWII?
Could the Germans have used Helgoland as a bait to get the Grand Fleet
into a U-Boot trap? I just think of this situation: Helgoland is
starving and because of the threat of the German Fleet, Britain must
send her Fleet or at least parts of it to escort the supply convoy. Of
course, the Germans know this and concentrate submarines around
Helgoland with the order to ignore small ships and go instead for
capital ships. The Germans lose some submarines but I guess even 2 or 3
subs lost on one side for every heavy cruiser, battleship or dreadnaught
on the other is quite a good deal.
CU
Torsten
Why use the fleet? Why not send a few long range bombers (or airships) to
drop off a few tons of food supplies every so often?
A submarine resupply could have been done on a weekly basis with a supply
convoy every few months. Hey, why not use the convoy as bait for the German
fleet and sink a few of their ships?

Nick

Charles Talleyrand
2004-06-26 03:34:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jedidiah Stott
Post by Charles Talleyrand
German shells destroy everything including British ships.
British fortress guns land a few hits in return. Those ships withdraw
to be repaired.
Perhaps, but I doubt it. The RN battleships in WW1 could not, despite
their best efforts, reduce the Turkish forts in the Dardanelles. I doubt
the Germans could have done any better than the RN. And the Turks didn't
have the Grand Fleet in the background, likely to come steaming in to
join the fun at any time.
The RN had a reasonable time reducing the fixed Turkish defenses of the
Dardanelles. The entire German fleet is larger than the RN squadron that
attacked the Dardanelles and would have more room to manuever.
Post by Jedidiah Stott
I doubt the OC of any squadron in harbour would have just sat at anchor
and waited to be blown up. Tactics for a fleet involved in an enemy
attack on a land station would have been well known to any senior officer
:(I guess) haul off, ...
Given typical North Sea weather, firing range is at least as long as visible range.
By the time the British saw the German fleet, the Germans would be working
firing solutions.

Any British fleet in the Heligoland would have to raise steam before it could
sail and that would take some time.

It would be easy for the German Fleet to surround the Heligoland
before ever being spotted.
Post by Jedidiah Stott
Shore batteries have the advantage of larger guns, on a steady platform,
firing over known ranges, at very conspicuous targets , and can take a
lot more damage (no worries about sinking, taking on water, or bursting
boilers) - why would the attacking ships land so many more shells that
the shore batteries ?(Granted that here the shore does not have the
advantage of dropping fire)
The German High Seas fleets would have a 10x ratio in guns and
men and shell-weight/hour over any reasonable fortification.
mike
2004-06-23 15:29:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charles Talleyrand
Post by Jedidiah Stott
Basically, same as a fortress on land. A general can't just ignore it,
cutting across his communication and supply lines and risking an attack
in the rear. HL is only 1 sq mile, but think of it as a granite
battleship - that's a big ship.And it's unsinkable.
It's a big ship next to the main German battleship and without British fleet
support. It's toast. It's gravel. It's a dust-cloud-to-be.
Seriously, how the heck are the British suppose to defend this?
compare with Corregidor and esp. Fort Drum, the 'Concrete Battleship'
in Manila Bay in 1941

the USA built Fort Drum, 1909 to 1919, but capping an island with up
to 36 foot of concrete with battleship turrets ontop.

The Japanese were shelling Fort Drum from late January, till the day
of the surrender on May 6th when General Wainwright gave the orders to
cease fire.

The Japanese were unable to knock the main guns of Fort Drum out,
after trying 105mm, then 155mm, and lastly 240mm howitzers from
concealed land batteries.

This went on for *months*.

And they had total command of the Sea, with plenty of Battleships
afloat with not much else to do. They did not risk engaging
the 14" guns and 12" mortars.

'Fort Heligoland' could hold even more batteries, being a little larger

The Japanese tried landings that were _very_ costly on Corregidor,
and many more guns were knocked out there vs. Fort Drum, being not
as well protected.

Now Fort Heligoland couldn't be shelled from land batteries
like Fort Drum and Corregidor was,being 40 some odd miles away
and WWI theory on landings from the sea was very lacking.

So you are looking at a blockade.

It would not be out of the question for Fort Heligoland to be
well supplied for that.

And the RN started WWI with more than twice as many subs as the
Germans- Fort Heligoland would be a fine sub base, should the
High Seas fleet come out to play.

**
mike
**
Robert Shaw
2004-06-23 18:30:21 UTC
Permalink
compare [Heligoland] with Corregidor and esp. Fort Drum,
the 'Concrete Battleship' in Manila Bay in 1941
The Japanese were shelling Fort Drum from late January, till the day
of the surrender on May 6th when General Wainwright gave the orders to
cease fire.
'Fort Heligoland' could hold even more batteries, being a little larger
The Japanese tried landings that were _very_ costly on Corregidor,
and many more guns were knocked out there vs. Fort Drum, being not
as well protected.
Now Fort Heligoland couldn't be shelled from land batteries
like Fort Drum and Corregidor was,being 40 some odd miles away
and WWI theory on landings from the sea was very lacking.
So you are looking at a blockade.
It would not be out of the question for Fort Heligoland to be
well supplied for that.
And the RN started WWI with more than twice as many subs as the
Germans- Fort Heligoland would be a fine sub base, should the
High Seas fleet come out to play.
Also, Germany wasn't planning for prolonged wars.

If, say, they expected to win any war within three months, but that
it would take them six months to take Heligoland, there wouldn't
seem to be much point to trying since the war would be over first.

No doubt the fort couldn't hold out for ever, but being able to
outlast the expected duration of the war should be enough to
change German policy.


--
'It is a wise crow that knows which way the camel points' - Pratchett
Robert Shaw
Charles Talleyrand
2004-06-22 03:14:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jedidiah Stott
Tirpitz - yes. Nothing would sway him. But Willy was a play sailor. He
never really understood naval power. He wanted a big navy as a trophy,
but if he couldn't get it I think he'd have turned to another trophy -
like a big colonial empire for instance.
Kaiser Wilhelm did understand the usefulness of a large navy. Yes, he was
a yacht-club sailor, but he also had an understanding of Mahan and _The
Influence of Sea Power Upon History_. He used to run around telling people
how he worshipped the book.

Of course, the Kaiser could be kind of a putz. But the basic ideas that only a
navy larger than your enemies would allow one to keep colonies in wartime
was correctly understood by him.
Post by Jedidiah Stott
Salisbury saw no point to holding Heligoland because he he did not see GB
as a major European player. Which is fine, but it left GB in a bad way
when she decided 14 years later or so that she *did* want to be a
European player. Britain as a protagonist on the European stage (as
opposed to Splendid Isolation) needs to maintain control of the North
Sea.
Salisbury definitelty saw the UK as a major player on the world and European stage.
Splendid Isolation was just a way of keeping flexibility so that the UK could
have freedom of action. The UK was in no way isolationist.

The UK has felt the need to control the North Sea for many many generations
before, during, and after Salisbury. Salisbury completely agreed with this
vital goal.

He just didn't think the Heligoland was useful for the task.
Post by Jedidiah Stott
If he (Salisbury)
had lived it is quite possible that GB would have remained neutral in
1914,
That's an interesting question. I don't know what he would have done.
The Horny Goat
2004-06-22 06:26:57 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 21 Jun 2004 23:14:40 -0400, "Charles Talleyrand"
Post by Charles Talleyrand
The UK has felt the need to control the North Sea for many many generations
before, during, and after Salisbury. Salisbury completely agreed with this
vital goal.
He just didn't think the Heligoland was useful for the task.
So what you're saying is that Salisbury thought what the Germans were
offering was worth more than he was giving. Probably true though
Churchill no doubt thought differently in 1940.
Charles Talleyrand
2004-06-23 05:49:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Horny Goat
On Mon, 21 Jun 2004 23:14:40 -0400, "Charles Talleyrand"
Post by Charles Talleyrand
The UK has felt the need to control the North Sea for many many generations
before, during, and after Salisbury. Salisbury completely agreed with this
vital goal.
He just didn't think the Heligoland was useful for the task.
So what you're saying is that Salisbury thought what the Germans were
offering was worth more than he was giving. Probably true though
Churchill no doubt thought differently in 1940.
I'm definitely saying that Salisbury thought he was getting more than he
gave. Both British and German popular opinion thought the other
side was getting the better deal, if that helps.

What would Churchill have done with the Helioland in 1940?
He withdrew from the Channel Islands in the face of German forces,
and the Channel Islands were much more defendable than Heligoland.
Mike Ralls
2004-06-24 18:25:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charles Talleyrand
Kaiser Wilhelm did understand the usefulness of a large navy. Yes, he was
a yacht-club sailor, but he also had an understanding of Mahan and _The
Influence of Sea Power Upon History_. He used to run around telling people
how he worshipped the book.
Of course then you get into the issue of "What Mahan Got Wrong."
Quite a lot really. Wasn't he a big reason it took so long for
convoys to get going?

--
Mike Ralls
mike
2004-06-25 03:02:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Ralls
Post by Charles Talleyrand
Kaiser Wilhelm did understand the usefulness of a large navy. Yes, he was
a yacht-club sailor, but he also had an understanding of Mahan and _The
Influence of Sea Power Upon History_. He used to run around telling people
how he worshipped the book.
Of course then you get into the issue of "What Mahan Got Wrong."
Quite a lot really. Wasn't he a big reason it took so long for
convoys to get going?
Well, he was on target, if a Navy was limited to the tech of
1660–1783 that he wrote over.

He did not see what the modern tech was doing to his ideas.

Steam,Iron, Shellgun and Torpedos voided much of it,
and Railroads allowed easy shipping of goods, that years before would
have needed water transport: resulting a strong navy to protect,
control of commerce. With RR you are not as bound to the sea.

However, many missed what Mahan was getting at, beyond the 'He with
the most big floating things, wins':that was not his point, but
like the Jominian thoughts that Diplomacy and Military power worked
together for a Great nation, not War being the ultimate result of
Diplomacy, the Clausewitzian theory. Also in Mahans works is a point
on its not the best tech, but the Man. The Meat made the win, not the
Machine.

Kaiser Bill missed all that. A big Navy does not make for a great
Country,but a Great Country/Power will probably have a big Navy
to protect its commerce, provided thats its Markets be transoceanic
in nature,and if it was threatened.

Before 1900, there was no threat, the RN ruled the waves, to
the advantage of the other countries. The US coasted on RN
goodwill from the ACW till the War with Spain.
A smart Kaiser would have done the same.

ObWI Kaiser Bill a Railroad nut. Berlin-Baghdad and with Containerized
Freight with Diesel Power in 1912, and Germany has nothing afloat
bigger than 2nd rate Colonial Cruisers.

**
mike
**
Charles Talleyrand
2004-06-26 03:22:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by mike
However, many missed what Mahan was getting at, beyond the 'He with
the most big floating things, wins':that was not his point, but
like the Jominian thoughts that Diplomacy and Military power worked
together for a Great nation, not War being the ultimate result of
Diplomacy, the Clausewitzian theory. Also in Mahans works is a point
on its not the best tech, but the Man. The Meat made the win, not the
Machine.
Kaiser Bill missed all that. A big Navy does not make for a great
Country,but a Great Country/Power will probably have a big Navy
to protect its commerce, provided thats its Markets be transoceanic
in nature,and if it was threatened.
Kaiser Bill thought his nation was a Great Nation and therefore needed a
Great Navy. He believed that Germany had achieved Great Nation-hood
first, and the Great Navy was a natural follow-on.

Now his understanding of subtle diplomacy .....
Post by mike
Before 1900, there was no threat, the RN ruled the waves, to
the advantage of the other countries. The US coasted on RN
goodwill from the ACW till the War with Spain.
A smart Kaiser would have done the same.
Yep. This is one of those moments in history that EVERYONE
agrees how it should have gone, yet it went the other way.
Post by mike
ObWI Kaiser Bill a Railroad nut. Berlin-Baghdad and with Containerized
Freight with Diesel Power in 1912, and Germany has nothing afloat
bigger than 2nd rate Colonial Cruisers.
A better Balkan economy for one. No (or much much delayed) Anglo-
French Entente in 1904.
SwimLFS
2004-06-20 15:25:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by SwimLFS
So, starting with the defeat of Napoleon, what can be done to maximize the
British
Empire, minimize it, or get roughly the same result?
-- OK, moving on to Asia.
In 1815, the British decide to keep the Dutch East Indies, which they seriously
considered but decided against in order to strengthen the new Belgian-Dutch
kingdom.
What do the Dutch get instead? South Africa back? Though I know
they're in no great position to put up a fight, I don't think the
British can just aggrandize themselves without someone crying foul.
Post by SwimLFS
They'd occupied the area during the Napoleonic Wars and it was one of the
richest colonial possessions going. The usual process of border friction,
"incidents", disorder, etc., drives the conquest of the outer islands and then
of the Malay peninsula.
Then the Russians are more aggressive on the northern border of China during
the early to middle 19th century.
Why? Wouldn't the Russians have their hands full with the Caucaus and
Central Aisa. Speaking of which, with the British having South Africa,
India, and Indonesia, wouldn't it distract some from expanding into
Central Asia, giving the Russians a relatively better hand there.
Post by SwimLFS
In response, instead of establishing the Treaty Ports system during the Opium
Wars, the British simply annex a bunch of coastal cities and their immediate
hinterlands, rather than restricting themselves to Hong Kong.
I'm not sure I'd follow this. The British have acquired South Africa
and Indonesia and are paying to govern them, and now this? I think
that the Victorian army is going to need hella lot of reforms to do
this, or find itself with a bunch of ugly defeats. Besides, outright
annexations of Chinese territory are going to get the Chinese moving
in the direction of revanache and reform.
Post by SwimLFS
They're stronger in East Asia generally already because of their control of
Java, which gives them a closer base and source of troops.
(In OTL, one reason they _didn't_ annex the ports, apart from fear of expense
and inconvenience, was that they expected such a move would suck them into the
Chinese interior in the long run, as similar establishments had in India.)
There's certainly nothing the Chinese could have done to stop them, if they'd
been prepared to go to the trouble.
This PO's the French, but they're bought off with British recognition of French
rights in Indo-China. In any
In the standard British fashion, the annexed territories are made financially
self-supporting by local taxation and sepoy-style military forces under British
officers are raised.
As the Manchu state decays, border clashes repeatedly lead to further
annexations, often against London's expressed wishes. If the Taipings happen,
they end up fighting the British, and virtually by default the British take
over their territories.
Eventually there's a de facto partition, with Russia getting Mongolia (outer
and Inner), Manchuria, and Chinese Turkestan, perhaps with some other interior
provinces. The Brits get the coast and the Yangtze valley. Queen Victoria
becomes Empress of China as well as of India.
I think that all this attention shifting to East Asia and China would
preclude any sort of Empress of India deal, because the British have a
limited, rather than infinite amount of resources, and each new colony
would cost them a substantial amount of cash.

Cheers

L
jlk7e
2004-06-21 00:28:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by SwimLFS
Post by SwimLFS
So, starting with the defeat of Napoleon, what can be done to maximize the
British
Empire, minimize it, or get roughly the same result?
-- OK, moving on to Asia.
In 1815, the British decide to keep the Dutch East Indies, which they seriously
considered but decided against in order to strengthen the new Belgian-Dutch
kingdom.
What do the Dutch get instead? South Africa back? Though I know
they're in no great position to put up a fight, I don't think the
British can just aggrandize themselves without someone crying foul.
They did aggrandize themselves - in Ceylon, in the Cape, in the West
Indies - and nobody cried foul. They could've kept the Dutch East
Indies if they'd wanted to, and Willem I (and the French) would've
been in no position to argue (and the Austrians, Prussians, and
Russians, wouldn't have cared)
Post by SwimLFS
Post by SwimLFS
They'd occupied the area during the Napoleonic Wars and it was one of the
richest colonial possessions going. The usual process of border friction,
"incidents", disorder, etc., drives the conquest of the outer islands and then
of the Malay peninsula.
Then the Russians are more aggressive on the northern border of China during
the early to middle 19th century.
Why? Wouldn't the Russians have their hands full with the Caucaus and
Central Aisa. Speaking of which, with the British having South Africa,
India, and Indonesia, wouldn't it distract some from expanding into
Central Asia, giving the Russians a relatively better hand there.
The British didn't do much expanding into Central Asia. Their primary
attempts, in Afghanistan 1839-42, and again 1878-80, ended rather
badly. Distracting them from doing that can't hurt.
Post by SwimLFS
I think that all this attention shifting to East Asia and China would
preclude any sort of Empress of India deal, because the British have a
limited, rather than infinite amount of resources, and each new colony
would cost them a substantial amount of cash.
Well, the Dutch East Indies generally brought in more than they cost,
like India. So ruling them will give the British more resources, not
more liabilities.
Jedidiah Stott
2004-06-21 08:13:21 UTC
Permalink
***@aol.com (SwimLFS) wrote in news:***@posting.google.com:

[..]
Post by SwimLFS
Post by JoatSimeon
In 1815, the British decide to keep the Dutch East Indies, which they
seriously considered but decided against in order to strengthen the
new Belgian-Dutch kingdom.
What do the Dutch get instead? South Africa back? Though I know
they're in no great position to put up a fight, I don't think the
What do the Dutch get? Well, firstly, as one of Boney's allies, they
needn't get anything. But if a sweetener is needed - why, they get
Belgium !
[..]
Post by SwimLFS
I'm not sure I'd follow this. The British have acquired South Africa
and Indonesia and are paying to govern them, and now this? I think
that the Victorian army is going to need hella lot of reforms to do
this, or find itself with a bunch of ugly defeats.
Answer to that one - The China Seas Company. No "official" annexation -
just lots of merchants , lots of private armies (a very familiar concept
in China) and eventually a CCS (China Civil Service) to maintain order -
probably at the invitation of the Chinese.
Post by SwimLFS
I think that all this attention shifting to East Asia and China would
preclude any sort of Empress of India deal, because the British have a
limited, rather than infinite amount of resources, and each new colony
would cost them a substantial amount of cash.
China certainly ought to be able to made self financing. On opium alone ,
if nothing else.
JoatSimeon
2004-06-21 22:46:10 UTC
Permalink
I don't think the British can just aggrandize themselves without someone
crying foul.

-- actually, in 1815 they could; due to Napoleon's stubborness in fighting to
the last, France had lost any ability to rival Britain in the naval/colonial
sphere, and none of the other Powers were in the race either.

Fear of exactly this outcome is why the Austrians and Russians had wanted to
make a deal with Napoleon which left France in control of Antwerp and strong
enough to balance Britain on the seas.

Britain came to Vienna in a position to dictate the settlement outside Europe;
the only counterbalancing factor was the need to use some colonial chips as
quid pro quo material in European diplomacy.

Thus Senegal was given back to France; and as I mentioned, the East Indies were
returned to the new Dutch-Belgian kingdom.

But the British kept whatever they wanted -- Ceylon, for example, and the Cape,
both of which were strategically valuable.

So was Java, given the importance of the China trade through the Straits of
Malacca, and Java produced a revenue surplus and was a valuable market. The
decision to give it to the Dutch was by no means unanimous.
The British have acquired South Africa
and Indonesia and are paying to govern them, and now this?

-- South Africa was a revenue sink until the mineral discoveries, but as I
mentioned Indonesia was a profitable colony.

In other words, the Indonesians would pay for the privilege of having the Brits
govern them, just as the Indians did. Empire pays for Empire.
Besides, outright annexations of Chinese territory are going to get the
Chinese moving in the direction of revanache and reform.

-- the Manchu weren't _capable_ of reform, IMHO. Some of their Chinese
provincial governors did make efforts in that direction, but it took more than
having the red-haired barbarians beat them up to get a real fire lit under
them.

The sheer conservatism of the Chinese scholar-gentry has to be studied to be
believed. Their general attitude was that while being conquered by barbarian
foreigners was bad, anything that required substantial social change ('reform')
was worse.
JoatSimeon
2004-06-21 22:51:39 UTC
Permalink
I think that all this attention shifting to East Asia and China would preclude
any sort of Empress of India deal, because the British have a limited, rather
than infinite amount of resources, and each new colony
would cost them a substantial amount of cash.

-- the better colonies, like India, were self-financing and produced large
surpluses. They provided additional resources rather than consuming them.

India, for example, had annual tax revenues equivalent to the entire British
budget.

Indian taxes supported 1/3 of the _British_ army and of course the whole of the
Indian army, as large the British, was locally financed and was available for
use throughout the Empire. Indian troops were deployed all the way from Cyprus
to China.

So India didn't cost Britain a penny -- on the contrary, it financed better
than half the Empire's military spending.

Indonesia would probably be, in proportion, at least as productive.

That's not to mention the profits of trade and investment, of course.

Quite a few of the colonies the British acquired in the late-19th century
scramble were revenue sinks, albeit on a small scale -- nobody made much money
out of what's now Tanzania, or Bechuanaland. But those weren't the axis of
main effort.
The Horny Goat
2004-06-22 06:24:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by JoatSimeon
Quite a few of the colonies the British acquired in the late-19th century
scramble were revenue sinks, albeit on a small scale -- nobody made much money
out of what's now Tanzania, or Bechuanaland. But those weren't the axis of
main effort.
Why would Britain care about what we know as Tanzania now? Wasn't that
the old Tanganyika aka German East Africa? Isn't that the reason why
Von Lettow-Vorbeck is one of the patron saints of SHWI?

The others sure Britain cares about them but not that particular one!
Jack Linthicum
2004-06-22 15:07:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by JoatSimeon
Quite a few of the colonies the British acquired in the late-19th century
scramble were revenue sinks, albeit on a small scale -- nobody made much money
out of what's now Tanzania, or Bechuanaland. But those weren't the axis of
main effort.
Why would Britain care about what we know as Tanzania now? Wasn't that
the old Tanganyika aka German East Africa? Isn't that the reason why
Von Lettow-Vorbeck is one of the patron saints of SHWI?
The others sure Britain cares about them but not that particular one!
For an interesting little time capsule of this question and the larger
one of this thread try reading Neville Shute (Norway)s In The Wet. The
book was written in 1953 before Mau Maus and the other break-up
forces. The Commonwealths of Australia and Canada give the Queen
aircraft for the Royal Flight in an AH 1980. She asks that the crews
be from the Commonwealth donating the plane. Shute takes two
characters, a part aborigine (Stevie/George) dying in "The Wet"
Queensland's rainy season and a RAAF pilot (David 'Nigger' Anderson)
also of part aboriginal descent who dreams of the first character, to
illustrate an Imperial relationship gone sour. The end is that England
(Britain?) becomes a Dominion too. Kenya is considered a viable part
of the Commonwealth system in a future 1980 or so.
James Nicoll
2004-06-22 15:29:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jack Linthicum
For an interesting little time capsule of this question and the larger
one of this thread try reading Neville Shute (Norway)s In The Wet. The
book was written in 1953 before Mau Maus and the other break-up
forces.
After Indian independence, though, which seems not to have sunk
in for Shute.
Post by Jack Linthicum
The Commonwealths of Australia and Canada give the Queen
aircraft for the Royal Flight in an AH 1980. She asks that the crews
be from the Commonwealth donating the plane. Shute takes two
characters, a part aborigine (Stevie/George) dying in "The Wet"
Queensland's rainy season and a RAAF pilot (David 'Nigger' Anderson)
also of part aboriginal descent who dreams of the first character, to
illustrate an Imperial relationship gone sour. The end is that England
(Britain?) becomes a Dominion too. Kenya is considered a viable part
of the Commonwealth system in a future 1980 or so.
Interestingly, in one scene they tot up the population of the
Empire and use two count: one total and one just counting the whites.
--
"The keywords for tonight are Caution and Flammability."
Elvis, _Bubba Ho Tep_
Faeelin
2004-06-20 21:15:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by SwimLFS
So, starting with the defeat of Napoleon, what can be done to maximize the
British
Empire, minimize it, or get roughly the same result?
Eventually there's a de facto partition, with Russia getting Mongolia (outer
and Inner), Manchuria, and Chinese Turkestan, perhaps with some other interior
provinces. The Brits get the coast and the Yangtze valley. Queen Victoria
becomes Empress of China as well as of India. Given this scenario, Japan and
Korea would be up for grabs too.
Why would Japan be up for grabs? This doesn't change the factors that
motivated the US to open Japan.
JoatSimeon
2004-06-21 22:54:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Faeelin
Why would Japan be up for grabs?
-- if the British controlled Indonesia and had large territorial possessions
along the coast of China, they'd be in a better position to intervene in Japan
if they wanted to.

And all the Western powers were getting cheesed off at Japan's isolationism and
lack of commercial cooperation by the 1850's. The British sent people there
too.
Ernest Cline
2004-06-19 02:55:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by SwimLFS
In some ways, this is a rehash of Mike Ralls' thread a two years ago.
However, his thread had a much broader scope, starting with the
failure of the Spanish Armada and moving forward to present day, in
order to establish whether or not the OTL result was maximal, minimal,
or average, given the various alternatives Britain could encounter in
backing into/establishing its empire.
The timeframe he suggested is massive, and a lot of information and
results would almost certainly get lost in the hash and noise of
alterations made to the TL that don't necessarily relate to the
British Empire.
So, let's narrow the field quite a bit. Most, if not all of the
foundations of the British Empire, were built by 1815. So, starting
with the defeat of Napoleon, what can be done to maximize the British
Empire, minimize it, or get roughly the same result?
Looking at Britain, it's been through the first wave of the industrial
revolution, but not the demographic transition. How do one or the
other relate to empire, or do they, at all?
Though dynastic politics are no longer as large a factor as sixty
years ago, or even longer, the King or Queen has a lot of influence
through society and money and at least some theoretical constitutional
power at the start of the era--all of these diminish as time goes on,
which may relate to the growth of Empire in some places, but not in
others.
North America is gone, but the EIC is still running? Is Britain's
informal empire "better" in that it is more effective, or would early
direct rule be better--eg William IV, Emperor of India.
Finally, I think the trends in Asia, Africa, and the Pacific should be
considered seperately, though not for purely geographic reasons, but
rather the reason d'etre and the style of expansion.
Well, I think that if you are going to try to establish
a unified British Empire that would exist unto the present
day and contain most of the Commonwealth you would need a
POD before 1701 that had a different Act of Union. One that
established the Empire of Britain at a level above its
constituent parts, the Kingdoms of England, Ireland, and
Scotland, the Principality of Wales, and perhaps also
establish the Duchies of Normandy (Channel Islands) and Man
(Isle of Man) I don't think that trying to incorporate the
overseas colonies into British Empire directly would make
sense at that time, because of their status and the
difficulties of communication, but it would provide a model
that would make adding non-Briish realms to the Empire
possible when communications would make it feasible or
politically necessary.

However, you've stated 1815 or later which complicates things.
The Congress of Vienna is the obvious starting place. If
Hanover was amde slightly larger, that would give it a good
starting place for being more involved on the continent.
Then assume that the child of Edward the Duke of Kent instead of
being the future Queen Victoria was the future King Edward VII,
King of Great Britain and Hanover. This could cause Britain to
become more involved in the breakup of the Netherlands in 1830
than in OTL, leading perhaps to leading to the Kingdom of Hanover
acquiring Luxemburg. With Hanover as a strong third kingdom in
the German Confederation, that still retained its connection
with Britain via the personal union under Edward VII, Prussia
would be unable to establish dominance within the Confederation
and Germany would never have established its overseas colonies.
They would have largely fallen into British hands. Not only
that, but as long as Britain has an interest in Germany, a
raproachment with France is unlikely. Instead the Crimean War
is likely to turn into a general European war. Since the goal
is a max Britain, I'll have a Franco-Russian-Danish-Portugese
alliance lose that war to a British-Prussian-Turkish-Spanish
alliance. Britian gains the Faeroes and the Danish West Indies
from the Danes, Angola from the Portugese, and the minor
French and Portugese possessions in India. With Angola in
British hands, they get into the Congo before Leopold ever gets
the chance.

While this does get a British Empire that at its largest will
certainly be larger than OTL, as I said before, I don't think
it can keep it using a Britain and the colonies model. Setting
up independent dominions and the process of decolonialzation
would still be inherent, and sooner or later there will be
a British queen that causes Hanover to be disunifed from Britain.
SwimLFS
2004-06-19 03:34:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ernest Cline
Well, I think that if you are going to try to establish
a unified British Empire that would exist unto the present
day and contain most of the Commonwealth you would need a
POD before 1701 that had a different Act of Union.
This is not my interest or objective, at least with this thread; I was
interested in the post-Waterloo growth of the British Empire, and how that
relates to the various trends at home and in the divergent locales abroad, if
those trends could be amplified or dampened. While a unified empire would
relate, it's not what I'm interested in right now.
Post by Ernest Cline
If
Hanover was amde slightly larger, that would give it a good
starting place for being more involved on the continent.
I'm afraid I'm confused as to how this would help enlarge the British Empire.
Though it would literally give it more landmass on Europe, the crowns were held
by a personal, rather than political union, and such expansion would only
distract Britain and anchor it more in Europe and keep it there--one is
reminded of the Seven Years' War and the like--and so expanding Hannover
wouldn't help.
Post by Ernest Cline
Then assume that the child of Edward the Duke of Kent instead of
being the future Queen Victoria was the future King Edward VII,
King of Great Britain and Hanover.
Or that anyone from Wales to Kent, or Cumberland to Cambridge, was the one to
produce the male heir.
Post by Ernest Cline
, leading perhaps to leading to the Kingdom of Hanover
acquiring Luxemburg.
This is interesting, but why would Hannover want to acquire Luxemburg? It's
Catholic, IIRC, and I don't think the electors have a claim; quite the
contrary, it may belong to a Stuart descendant of some sort.
Post by Ernest Cline
They would have largely fallen into British hands.
Why all this elaborate footwork to gain basically worthless territory? While I
understand that presumably a united Germany is a long term threat to British
interests, as long as some sort of British-ruled Hannover exists, it would bog
down unifiication, so there's no need to do all the footwork you suggest, which
would only distract from British overseas expansion.
Post by Ernest Cline
Not only
that, but as long as Britain has an interest in Germany, a
raproachment with France is unlikely.
For heavensakes, why? A continuation of the personal union would probably push
the British into some sort of camp with the French, as the two try and increase
leverage in Bavaria against Austria, while Prussia leans on Russia but gets
pulled toward Britain.
Post by Ernest Cline
. Instead the Crimean War
is likely to turn into a general European war.
That's quite the intiuative leep.

And while the war could result in British gains, this is a long and scenic
route to achieve something that doesn't require a larger Hannover and a
European war. Wouldn't it be easier to introduce Quinine earlier, as well as
telegraphy, and have greater expansion that way? You're using a bludgeon to
create the result, when I think we could do less, though, like the Baby Boom
thread a few months back, it requires some thought.

Cheers

L
jlk7e
2004-06-21 00:32:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by SwimLFS
In some ways, this is a rehash of Mike Ralls' thread a two years ago.
However, his thread had a much broader scope, starting with the
failure of the Spanish Armada and moving forward to present day, in
order to establish whether or not the OTL result was maximal, minimal,
or average, given the various alternatives Britain could encounter in
backing into/establishing its empire.
The timeframe he suggested is massive, and a lot of information and
results would almost certainly get lost in the hash and noise of
alterations made to the TL that don't necessarily relate to the
British Empire.
So, let's narrow the field quite a bit. Most, if not all of the
foundations of the British Empire, were built by 1815. So, starting
with the defeat of Napoleon, what can be done to maximize the British
Empire, minimize it, or get roughly the same result?
I think "roughly the same result" is the most likely if you limit
yourself to 1815 - by that time Britain has no real European rivals
for Empire, and can do what it likes. You could, as others have
suggested, do things like take the Dutch East Indies, but beyond that,
I'm not so sure. If you can somehow entirely prevent the Scramble for
Africa, that would ensmallen it.

The best way to mess up the British Empire is in the late 17th/early
18th centuries, and to make the French more successful, I think.
SwimLFS
2004-06-21 05:41:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by jlk7e
I think "roughly the same result" is the most likely if you limit
yourself to 1815 - by that time Britain has no real European rivals
for Empire, and can do what it likes.
This is more or less what I thought. Of course, variations on the
theme of empire, such as a thoroughly formal one, might prove
interesting. F'rex, abolishing the EIC in 1827 rather than after the
Mutiny or suchlike.
Post by jlk7e
You could, as others have
suggested, do things like take the Dutch East Indies, but beyond that,
I'm not so sure. If you can somehow entirely prevent the Scramble for
Africa, that would ensmallen it.
I was thinking about shifting the scramble. A Britain that gets a
larger, or differently oriented informal empire ends up with a
different peice of the pie. Or Britain decides to meet Russia
somewhere north of Samarkand.

Those resources would shift things elsewhere.
Post by jlk7e
The best way to mess up the British Empire is in the late 17th/early
18th centuries, and to make the French more successful, I think.
Agreed.

Cheers

L
Nathan Leahy
2004-06-21 22:43:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by SwimLFS
Post by jlk7e
I think "roughly the same result" is the most likely if you limit
yourself to 1815 - by that time Britain has no real European rivals
for Empire, and can do what it likes.
This is more or less what I thought. Of course, variations on the
theme of empire, such as a thoroughly formal one, might prove
interesting. F'rex, abolishing the EIC in 1827 rather than after the
Mutiny or suchlike.
As has been pointed out elsewhere on the thread, after Waterloo just
about the only thing stopping the British having a much bigger Empire
was the lack of a desire for one. A _maybe_ possible POD would be a
religious/political/ideological tract written sometime before
Waterloo, so as to have time to capture British public imagination,
but late enough not to butterfly out a *Waterloo. This tract inspires
something like the American concept of Manifest Destiny in the
British, and in a moment of popular enthusiasm, a Cabinet post is
created responsible for expanding and integrating the Empire. Given
the British fondness for making the Empire pay for itself this is more
or less formalised.Britain does all the things Joatsimeon mentioned in
his post, keeps Indonesia, Treaty Ports China and has mission creep
there, and more or less takes everything on the West side of the
Pacific Rim that isn't actually Russia. I agree that Korea could be
taken, but he is mistaken in thinking Japan would be taken, as that
would be a "real war".
(Question for those who know. Would Korea resent madly being classed
as "China" in the way Burma felt about India. IIRC there was political
as well as cultural Sinophilia in Korea, and there was an awful long
gap between the invention of hulang and it's replacement of Chines
ideographs. Also China currently holds large non Han areas that seem
more or less accepting being Chinese.)
Even with India, Malaysia and Indonesia Japan would not be conquerable
in the same way as China would, as it had a real working nation state
structure, so bits could not be chewed off, piecemeal.
Post by SwimLFS
Post by jlk7e
You could, as others have
suggested, do things like take the Dutch East Indies, but beyond that,
I'm not so sure. If you can somehow entirely prevent the Scramble for
Africa, that would ensmallen it.
With India, and Great Malaysia might they not use these troops in the
Scramble for Africa? Even crappy colonial troops are going to kick
arse in Africa most of the time. They'll come up against the Zulus
eventually, but they'll destroy them too, might suffer greater losses
and defeats, although I suspect that it'd be like any meatgrinder war
in that competence would emerge eventually (IIRC Indian colonial
troops in WW1 took a long time to be brought up to a standard where
they weren't just slaughtered.
Post by SwimLFS
I was thinking about shifting the scramble. A Britain that gets a
larger, or differently oriented informal empire ends up with a
different peice of the pie. Or Britain decides to meet Russia
somewhere north of Samarkand.
Yeah, and takes Tibet.
Post by SwimLFS
Those resources would shift things elsewhere.
Keeping NEI would actually increase the resources to play with, not
decrease them. As others have mentioned the NEI were like India. They
financed their own government, and they provided troops and fleet to
play with, supporting British interests and the only cost to the
British taxpayer is those young, well educated officers and civil
servants getting killed


So, give the British "Manifest Destiny"
The Horny Goat
2004-06-22 06:20:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nathan Leahy
So, give the British "Manifest Destiny"
Not too difficult to imagine if you can picture Wilberforce saying
"You know they still have slaves in Africa, wot?" That's if you want
an 18th century POD.

Later it's not difficult to imagine how Evangelical zeal (and by that
I don't just mean the Baptist David Livingston type either) could get
worked up REAL quickly at this point.

Later yet, Rudyard Kipling writes "The White Man's Burden" when he's
20 (1885) rather than in 1899?
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2004-06-23 08:28:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Horny Goat
"You know they still have slaves in Africa, wot?" That's if you want
an 18th century POD.
OTL Britain was concerned about the African slave trade. Anti-slavery
patrols by the RN were maintained of both the East and West coasts of
Africa and subsidies paid to African chieftains who refrained from the
trade.

Ken Young
***@cix.co.uk

Those who cover themselves with martial glory
frequently go in need of any other garment. (Bramah)
Mike Ralls
2004-06-24 18:31:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by jlk7e
I'm not so sure. If you can somehow entirely prevent the Scramble for
Africa, that would ensmallen it.
No British invasion of Egypt delays the Scramble for a while and also
leads to the Ottomans being neutral in WWI which leads to Brtiain
having essentially no Middle Eastern colonial Empire. A fairly big
reduction.
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