Discussion:
WI - The Trent Affair and the First World War
(too old to reply)
Daniel Duffy
2003-09-24 10:47:50 UTC
Permalink
Suppose both American and British diplomats bungle the Trent Affair of
November 186. This leads to a shooting war, first on the Atlantic and then
along the Canadian border by early 1862. Napoleon III, an admirer of the
Confederacy, joins in as Britain's ally.

Prussia sees a golden opportunity to accelerate the process of German
unification by taking advantage of France's preoccupation with America.
Spurred on by Bismarck and other German nationalists, Prussia brings
military and diplomatic pressure on the smaller German states. This raises
the ire of the vainglorious Napoleon III who believes France is strong
enough to handle both Americans and Prussians. War results between France
and Prussia by mid 1862.

Russia, looking for revenge for its defeat in the Crimea, joins Prussia and
declares war against France and Britain.

Austria-Hungary, having recently lost a war to France and Piedmont/Italy -
yet fearful of Prussian advances in Germany, remains on the sideline for
now. Turkey and Japan also remain neutral.

Piedmont/Italy loyally joins France.

So the Trent Affair (like the assassination of an archduke more than 50
years later) triggers a world war . By mid 1862 the line up is:

USA/Prussia/Russia vs. CSA/Britain/France/Italy

So what happens next?
Andrew Vallance
2003-09-24 12:52:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daniel Duffy
Suppose both American and British diplomats bungle the Trent Affair of
November 186. This leads to a shooting war, first on the Atlantic and then
Well the USA and Britian didn't want to go to war in 1861, so it takes some
bungling (have Prince Albert drop dead a week earlier might do it)
Post by Daniel Duffy
along the Canadian border by early 1862. Napoleon III, an admirer of the
Confederacy, joins in as Britain's ally.
Not so much an admirer of the Confederacy as seeing the opportunity for some
colonial aquisitions in the Americas
Post by Daniel Duffy
Prussia sees a golden opportunity to accelerate the process of German
unification by taking advantage of France's preoccupation with America.
In 1861, Prussia's prime opponent in German unification is not France but
Austria (the 1866 war has not taken place yet)
Post by Daniel Duffy
Spurred on by Bismarck and other German nationalists, Prussia brings
military and diplomatic pressure on the smaller German states. This raises
the ire of the vainglorious Napoleon III who believes France is strong
Nope, it raise the ire of the Austrians who see it as a direct challenge to
their attempts at German unification.
Post by Daniel Duffy
enough to handle both Americans and Prussians. War results between France
and Prussia by mid 1862.
No, Prussia won't enter, it still has to knock Austria out of the race.
Post by Daniel Duffy
Russia, looking for revenge for its defeat in the Crimea, joins Prussia and
declares war against France and Britain.
Well, Russia was solidly pro-USA, seeing it as a break on the British and
French, so this ones closer. But if the war doesn't spread to Gemany, Russia
won't enter.
Post by Daniel Duffy
Austria-Hungary, having recently lost a war to France and
iedmont/Italy -
Post by Daniel Duffy
yet fearful of Prussian advances in Germany, remains on the sideline for
now. Turkey and Japan also remain neutral.
If the Prussians attempt to make a serious move towards unification in 1861,
the Austrians will oppose it.
Post by Daniel Duffy
Piedmont/Italy loyally joins France.
Absolutely no reason to. The Risorgimento is just about complete and only
Austrian Vence and the Papal States (under French protection) remain outside
Piedmont control. France is now a barrier to its completion.
Post by Daniel Duffy
So the Trent Affair (like the assassination of an archduke more than 50
USA/Prussia/Russia vs. CSA/Britain/France/Italy
More likely USA vs CSA/Britian/France
Post by Daniel Duffy
So what happens next?
The Royal Navy quickly sweeps the US fleet from the seas and opens the
Confederate ports. Canada was already being reinforced in response to the
crisis and the Milita was being raised even before it had been resolved. The
British hold the US in Canada while the Confederacy (probably with French
allies) inflicts several sharp defeats on the US. The British (who really
don't want to be in this war) will bail at the first opportunity, which will
probably come fairly quickly as the US realises that with British and French
support it has no chance of winning. The French won't continue the war on
their own but might extract Mexico as their "price".

The real effects of this senario would be the lasting bad blood between the
US and Britain. The post Civil War development of the US was financed with
British money. This won't be coming, but may well get funnelled into the
South. Napeoleon III really can't capitalise on his position much as the
British don't want him expanding in the Americas. Look for a pro-British
Confederacy industrialising with British money and another war over the west
within the next few decades.
Wesley Taylor
2003-09-24 14:49:19 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 25 Sep 2003 00:52:45 +1200, "Andrew Vallance"
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Daniel Duffy
Suppose both American and British diplomats bungle the Trent Affair of
November 186. This leads to a shooting war, first on the Atlantic and
then
Well the USA and Britian didn't want to go to war in 1861, so it takes some
bungling (have Prince Albert drop dead a week earlier might do it)
No, Prince Albert dying is not going to be enough. Britain does not
want this to escalate and Palmerston will hadle things just fine. To
get a war with the US you have to blindside him, not expect him to
just bumble into it.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Daniel Duffy
along the Canadian border by early 1862. Napoleon III, an admirer of the
Confederacy, joins in as Britain's ally.
Not so much an admirer of the Confederacy as seeing the opportunity for some
colonial aquisitions in the Americas
And I doubt he would join so much as use it as further excuse for the
Mexican Expedition.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Daniel Duffy
Prussia sees a golden opportunity to accelerate the process of German
unification by taking advantage of France's preoccupation with America.
In 1861, Prussia's prime opponent in German unification is not France but
Austria (the 1866 war has not taken place yet)
Actually, I believe it is still Denmark, not yet Austria.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Daniel Duffy
Spurred on by Bismarck and other German nationalists, Prussia brings
military and diplomatic pressure on the smaller German states. This raises
the ire of the vainglorious Napoleon III who believes France is strong
Nope, it raise the ire of the Austrians who see it as a direct challenge to
their attempts at German unification.
Post by Daniel Duffy
enough to handle both Americans and Prussians. War results between France
and Prussia by mid 1862.
No, Prussia won't enter, it still has to knock Austria out of the race.
Post by Daniel Duffy
Russia, looking for revenge for its defeat in the Crimea, joins Prussia and
declares war against France and Britain.
Well, Russia was solidly pro-USA, seeing it as a break on the British and
French, so this ones closer. But if the war doesn't spread to Gemany, Russia
won't enter.
Russia has other problems to deal with, such as the Polish unrest.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Daniel Duffy
Austria-Hungary, having recently lost a war to France and Piedmont/Italy -
yet fearful of Prussian advances in Germany, remains on the sideline for
now. Turkey and Japan also remain neutral.
If the Prussians attempt to make a serious move towards unification in 1861,
the Austrians will oppose it.
Bismark was nowhere near ready and knew it. No Prussian move yet.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Daniel Duffy
Piedmont/Italy loyally joins France.
Absolutely no reason to. The Risorgimento is just about complete and only
Austrian Vence and the Papal States (under French protection) remain outside
Piedmont control. France is now a barrier to its completion.
Italy is at this point far more interested in finding a way to oust
Austria.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Daniel Duffy
So the Trent Affair (like the assassination of an archduke more than 50
USA/Prussia/Russia vs. CSA/Britain/France/Italy
More likely USA vs CSA/Britian/France
No, two wars, US vs CSA and US vs Great Britain.

Possible France vs Mexico
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Daniel Duffy
So what happens next?
The Royal Navy quickly sweeps the US fleet from the seas and opens the
Confederate ports. Canada was already being reinforced in response to the
crisis and the Milita was being raised even before it had been resolved. The
British hold the US in Canada while the Confederacy (probably with French
allies) inflicts several sharp defeats on the US. The British (who really
don't want to be in this war) will bail at the first opportunity, which will
probably come fairly quickly as the US realises that with British and French
support it has no chance of winning. The French won't continue the war on
their own but might extract Mexico as their "price".
The real effects of this senario would be the lasting bad blood between the
US and Britain. The post Civil War development of the US was financed with
British money. This won't be coming, but may well get funnelled into the
South. Napeoleon III really can't capitalise on his position much as the
British don't want him expanding in the Americas. Look for a pro-British
Confederacy industrialising with British money and another war over the west
within the next few decades.
The timing could be very interesting and very critical. Aside from
that, the British Army had not a hope in hell of doing more than
hoding out in Canada. The US army will jump by a good 300,000 men with
the war with Britain happening and the 'other arm' comes out from
behind the back. Those extra troops are enough to allow the
destruction fothe Canadian areas rather cleanly by mid year. Enough
extra will be available to allow the speeding up of the destruction of
the Confederate West. (Nothing short of a spine transplant could have
gotten MacClellan to speed up)

Simultaneously to the land war is the release of probably over a
hundred privateers to do to the UK what the CSN had been trying to do
to the US. In a few months the only British flagged ships safe will be
those in convoys, tying up a fair number of RN ships. Second, the RN
has a problem operating her heaviest units in North American waters.
The new Heavy Armored Frigates are restricted ot using Halifax as a
base as they cannot use the Bahamas or the Carribean ports due to
draft. Without these usits the RN has a bit of a problem starting in
March or so when they begin standard proceedure of demonstrations
against the ports of the US.

Finally, you both assume a UK/CSA alliance. Trent will almost
certainly NOT produce such an alliance. The UK has no interest in its
war with the US in a CSA victory, but it might use some joint
operations to put pressure on the US to appologize. And there is the
core problem of the what if: The US has to have screwed up a lot as
well as the UK to get this war and Lincoln would ONLY accept having to
get into war with the UK as an extreme last resort. Only a direct
threat to the US war aims or other vital interests would suffice and
they do not exist in this situation.
david
2003-09-24 17:16:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Taylor
The timing could be very interesting and very critical. Aside from
that, the British Army had not a hope in hell of doing more than
hoding out in Canada. The US army will jump by a good 300,000 men with
the war with Britain happening and the 'other arm' comes out from
behind the back. Those extra troops are enough to allow the
destruction fothe Canadian areas rather cleanly by mid year. Enough
extra will be available to allow the speeding up of the destruction of
the Confederate West. (Nothing short of a spine transplant could have
gotten MacClellan to speed up)
Of course, it is an interesting question as to which general Lincoln
would choose to send to deal with the Canadian front. Britain is going
to be acting defensively, and by early 1862, it seems that there are two
main contenders for Lincoln's nomination.

There's Little Mac (unless Little Mac has already been given the Army of
the Potomac). He had a good reputation as a result of his swift
movements in West Virginia (as it was to become), receiving praise for
his decisive and bold actions.

Or there is Burnside, who was in good favour as a result of the Roanake
expedition, which demonstrated that he could handle an independent joint
command in difficult terrain.

If Little Mac goes, he will be making steady progress against the large
British force, and is probably about ready to enter Toronto round about
now.

If Burnside goes, I am sure he will come up with a Cunning Plan that
will unravel into disaster just as soon as someone actually has to
implement the plan (Burnside as Baldrick?).
--
David Flin
Abraxus
2003-09-25 17:09:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by david
Post by Wesley Taylor
The timing could be very interesting and very critical. Aside from
that, the British Army had not a hope in hell of doing more than
hoding out in Canada. The US army will jump by a good 300,000 men with
the war with Britain happening and the 'other arm' comes out from
behind the back. Those extra troops are enough to allow the
destruction fothe Canadian areas rather cleanly by mid year. Enough
extra will be available to allow the speeding up of the destruction of
the Confederate West. (Nothing short of a spine transplant could have
gotten MacClellan to speed up)
Of course, it is an interesting question as to which general Lincoln
would choose to send to deal with the Canadian front. Britain is going
to be acting defensively, and by early 1862, it seems that there are two
main contenders for Lincoln's nomination.
There's Little Mac (unless Little Mac has already been given the Army of
the Potomac). He had a good reputation as a result of his swift
movements in West Virginia (as it was to become), receiving praise for
his decisive and bold actions.
Mac was assigned to the AoP the day after Bull Run. He's definitely
out of the picture.
Post by david
Or there is Burnside, who was in good favour as a result of the Roanake
expedition, which demonstrated that he could handle an independent joint
command in difficult terrain.
The Roanoke expedition hadn't happened yet, and if Britain uses her
navy aggressively, it almost certainly won't happen at all.


The field isn't very large at this juncture, so it's anybody's guess.
Hunter might be tossed about, possibly Rosecrans. The problem is that
there just hasn't been that much action yet, with few individuals
having demonstrated their abilities (or lack thereof) in independent
command.
Wesley Taylor
2003-09-25 20:46:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by david
Post by Wesley Taylor
The timing could be very interesting and very critical. Aside from
that, the British Army had not a hope in hell of doing more than
hoding out in Canada. The US army will jump by a good 300,000 men with
the war with Britain happening and the 'other arm' comes out from
behind the back. Those extra troops are enough to allow the
destruction fothe Canadian areas rather cleanly by mid year. Enough
extra will be available to allow the speeding up of the destruction of
the Confederate West. (Nothing short of a spine transplant could have
gotten MacClellan to speed up)
Of course, it is an interesting question as to which general Lincoln
would choose to send to deal with the Canadian front. Britain is going
to be acting defensively, and by early 1862, it seems that there are two
main contenders for Lincoln's nomination.
David, You clearly missed my main point. Trent is a shitty POD. There
is not realistic POD from Trent that I have ever seen that can yeild
a war. Both sides are being very careful to avoid just exactly that.
There is no real opportunity to make the needed mistep. The points
above were well known to the UK in 1861/2 and constitute part of the
reason the that the Trent affair has not hope of transforming into the
war that proponents of the POD want. And even if there were, it is
more likley to kill the CSA quickly than what most are interested in,
the saving of the CSA.
david
2003-09-26 06:04:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Taylor
Post by david
Post by Wesley Taylor
The timing could be very interesting and very critical. Aside from
that, the British Army had not a hope in hell of doing more than
hoding out in Canada. The US army will jump by a good 300,000 men with
the war with Britain happening and the 'other arm' comes out from
behind the back. Those extra troops are enough to allow the
destruction fothe Canadian areas rather cleanly by mid year. Enough
extra will be available to allow the speeding up of the destruction of
the Confederate West. (Nothing short of a spine transplant could have
gotten MacClellan to speed up)
Of course, it is an interesting question as to which general Lincoln
would choose to send to deal with the Canadian front. Britain is going
to be acting defensively, and by early 1862, it seems that there are two
main contenders for Lincoln's nomination.
David, You clearly missed my main point. Trent is a shitty POD.
As I think I mentioned in a different post, I agree, and made that very
point myself.

What I said was: "As far as I can tell, the general consensus is that
neither Britain nor the USA have a great deal to potentially gain from
continuing or extending the war, and a great deal to potentially lose
from a continuance of this war. As a result, there is massive pressure
for the conflict to just fizzle out, and there is massive pressure not
to allow the war to expand." Which is, of course, pretty much the point
you are making, only you make it with greater clarity than I did.

Basically, I was just running with the thought experiment that said:
"For unexplained reasons, war develops out of the Trent crisis. The
Americans have a large advantage in numbers, but who is likely to be
commanding those numbers?" It is simply that there are a lot of Union
generals around who can squander a strong position, and I'm not sure of
how many (and which) generals are around and who would be noticed (too
early for Grant and the Westerners) who could make good use of the
situation.
--
David Flin
Abraxus
2003-09-26 19:39:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by david
Post by Wesley Taylor
Post by david
Post by Wesley Taylor
The timing could be very interesting and very critical. Aside from
that, the British Army had not a hope in hell of doing more than
hoding out in Canada. The US army will jump by a good 300,000 men with
the war with Britain happening and the 'other arm' comes out from
behind the back. Those extra troops are enough to allow the
destruction fothe Canadian areas rather cleanly by mid year. Enough
extra will be available to allow the speeding up of the destruction of
the Confederate West. (Nothing short of a spine transplant could have
gotten MacClellan to speed up)
Of course, it is an interesting question as to which general Lincoln
would choose to send to deal with the Canadian front. Britain is going
to be acting defensively, and by early 1862, it seems that there are two
main contenders for Lincoln's nomination.
David, You clearly missed my main point. Trent is a shitty POD.
As I think I mentioned in a different post, I agree, and made that very
point myself.
What I said was: "As far as I can tell, the general consensus is that
neither Britain nor the USA have a great deal to potentially gain from
continuing or extending the war, and a great deal to potentially lose
from a continuance of this war. As a result, there is massive pressure
for the conflict to just fizzle out, and there is massive pressure not
to allow the war to expand." Which is, of course, pretty much the point
you are making, only you make it with greater clarity than I did.
"For unexplained reasons, war develops out of the Trent crisis. The
Americans have a large advantage in numbers, but who is likely to be
commanding those numbers?" It is simply that there are a lot of Union
generals around who can squander a strong position,
In fairness, this was something common to both the British and the
Confederates as well.
Post by david
and I'm not sure of
how many (and which) generals are around and who would be noticed (too
early for Grant and the Westerners) who could make good use of the
situation.
Grant is actually just two months away from winning the first major
victory of the war at Donelson, and Thomas is even closer to winning
his fight at Mill Springs. Whether the increased pressure of fighting
Britain as well brings these two to the fore closer is an interesting
question, and one not easily dismissed.

With a two-front war, there's no chance Lincoln could tolerate either
Halleck's or McClellan's sluggish movements with anywhere near the
same degree of patience exhibited OTL. Halleck is going to be under
substantial pressure after the victory at Donelson to *move* (his
attempts at shelving Grant at this point might work strongly against
him, as Grant was recommending rapid forward movement at the same time
Halleck was counseling caution. Given the administrations decreased
patience for the latter and increased desperation for the former, that
could have interesting consequences for the command structure in the
West).

Buell, who has neither McClellan's base of political support nor
Halleck's skill at political infighting, is almost certainly gone from
the scene sooner. Likely replaced, in this event, by Thomas isntead of
Rosecrans (a *very* good thing for the Union).
Alexander Malinowski
2003-10-11 23:03:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Taylor
On Thu, 25 Sep 2003 00:52:45 +1200, "Andrew Vallance"
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Daniel Duffy
Suppose both American and British diplomats bungle the Trent Affair of
November 186. This leads to a shooting war, first on the Atlantic and
then
Well the USA and Britian didn't want to go to war in 1861, so it takes some
bungling (have Prince Albert drop dead a week earlier might do it)
No, Prince Albert dying is not going to be enough. Britain does not
want this to escalate and Palmerston will hadle things just fine. To
get a war with the US you have to blindside him, not expect him to
just bumble into it.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Daniel Duffy
along the Canadian border by early 1862. Napoleon III, an admirer of the
Confederacy, joins in as Britain's ally.
Not so much an admirer of the Confederacy as seeing the opportunity for some
colonial aquisitions in the Americas
And I doubt he would join so much as use it as further excuse for the
Mexican Expedition.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Daniel Duffy
Prussia sees a golden opportunity to accelerate the process of German
unification by taking advantage of France's preoccupation with America.
In 1861, Prussia's prime opponent in German unification is not France but
Austria (the 1866 war has not taken place yet)
Actually, I believe it is still Denmark, not yet Austria.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Daniel Duffy
Spurred on by Bismarck and other German nationalists, Prussia brings
military and diplomatic pressure on the smaller German states. This raises
the ire of the vainglorious Napoleon III who believes France is strong
Nope, it raise the ire of the Austrians who see it as a direct challenge to
their attempts at German unification.
Post by Daniel Duffy
enough to handle both Americans and Prussians. War results between France
and Prussia by mid 1862.
No, Prussia won't enter, it still has to knock Austria out of the race.
Post by Daniel Duffy
Russia, looking for revenge for its defeat in the Crimea, joins Prussia and
declares war against France and Britain.
Well, Russia was solidly pro-USA, seeing it as a break on the British and
French, so this ones closer. But if the war doesn't spread to Gemany, Russia
won't enter.
Russia has other problems to deal with, such as the Polish unrest.
In 1862 Count Aleksander Wielopolski was the Prime Minister in the
Russian occupied Kingdom of Poland. The unrest started in the
beginning of 1863, as the result of the conscription, that was planned
to eliminated the most important members of the independence
conspiracy.

Obviously, one or both the 2 parallel conspiracies, Whites and Reds,
could have been financed by foreign superpower and organised unrest in
1862.

I am not sure whether the menace of the uprising would influence the
decision of Tsar to go to war. During the unrest, most of the Russian
army had to be sent to Poland. If the uprising happenned, when Russia
was at war, it could have had a chance of success.
Post by Wesley Taylor
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Daniel Duffy
Austria-Hungary, having recently lost a war to France and Piedmont/Italy -
yet fearful of Prussian advances in Germany, remains on the sideline for
now. Turkey and Japan also remain neutral.
If the Prussians attempt to make a serious move towards unification in 1861,
the Austrians will oppose it.
Bismark was nowhere near ready and knew it. No Prussian move yet.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Daniel Duffy
Piedmont/Italy loyally joins France.
Absolutely no reason to. The Risorgimento is just about complete and only
Austrian Vence and the Papal States (under French protection) remain outside
Piedmont control. France is now a barrier to its completion.
Italy is at this point far more interested in finding a way to oust
Austria.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Daniel Duffy
So the Trent Affair (like the assassination of an archduke more than 50
USA/Prussia/Russia vs. CSA/Britain/France/Italy
More likely USA vs CSA/Britian/France
No, two wars, US vs CSA and US vs Great Britain.
Possible France vs Mexico
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Daniel Duffy
So what happens next?
The Royal Navy quickly sweeps the US fleet from the seas and opens the
Confederate ports. Canada was already being reinforced in response to the
crisis and the Milita was being raised even before it had been resolved. The
British hold the US in Canada while the Confederacy (probably with French
allies) inflicts several sharp defeats on the US. The British (who really
don't want to be in this war) will bail at the first opportunity, which will
probably come fairly quickly as the US realises that with British and French
support it has no chance of winning. The French won't continue the war on
their own but might extract Mexico as their "price".
The real effects of this senario would be the lasting bad blood between the
US and Britain. The post Civil War development of the US was financed with
British money. This won't be coming, but may well get funnelled into the
South. Napeoleon III really can't capitalise on his position much as the
British don't want him expanding in the Americas. Look for a pro-British
Confederacy industrialising with British money and another war over the west
within the next few decades.
The timing could be very interesting and very critical. Aside from
that, the British Army had not a hope in hell of doing more than
hoding out in Canada. The US army will jump by a good 300,000 men with
the war with Britain happening and the 'other arm' comes out from
behind the back. Those extra troops are enough to allow the
destruction fothe Canadian areas rather cleanly by mid year. Enough
extra will be available to allow the speeding up of the destruction of
the Confederate West. (Nothing short of a spine transplant could have
gotten MacClellan to speed up)
Simultaneously to the land war is the release of probably over a
hundred privateers to do to the UK what the CSN had been trying to do
to the US. In a few months the only British flagged ships safe will be
those in convoys, tying up a fair number of RN ships. Second, the RN
has a problem operating her heaviest units in North American waters.
The new Heavy Armored Frigates are restricted ot using Halifax as a
base as they cannot use the Bahamas or the Carribean ports due to
draft. Without these usits the RN has a bit of a problem starting in
March or so when they begin standard proceedure of demonstrations
against the ports of the US.
Finally, you both assume a UK/CSA alliance. Trent will almost
certainly NOT produce such an alliance. The UK has no interest in its
war with the US in a CSA victory, but it might use some joint
operations to put pressure on the US to appologize. And there is the
core problem of the what if: The US has to have screwed up a lot as
well as the UK to get this war and Lincoln would ONLY accept having to
get into war with the UK as an extreme last resort. Only a direct
threat to the US war aims or other vital interests would suffice and
they do not exist in this situation.
mike
2003-09-24 23:07:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Daniel Duffy
Prussia sees a golden opportunity to accelerate the process of German
unification by taking advantage of France's preoccupation with America.
In 1861, Prussia's prime opponent in German unification is not France but
Austria (the 1866 war has not taken place yet)
As had been said by another, don't forget Denmark.

Hard to declare War when they relied on the Austrian Navy at this time
to help them out.

Bismark was many things, dumb wasn't one of them. They do as OTL,
offer to sell guns, to both sides.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Well, Russia was solidly pro-USA, seeing it as a break on the British and
French, so this ones closer. But if the war doesn't spread to Gemany, Russia
won't enter.
Correct. They sit it out: though Yankee traders probably reflag to
that of the double-headed chicken.
Post by Andrew Vallance
The Royal Navy quickly sweeps the US fleet from the seas and opens the
Confederate ports.
Easier said than done: most of the RN ships that would be of use
in blockade busting, have too deep a draft to stay at those ports.

The USN Merrimac class Frigates authorized pre-war, just happened
to draw too deep for southern ports: a feature, not bug, to get the
votes thru Congress
Post by Andrew Vallance
Canada was already being reinforced in response to the
crisis and the Milita was being raised even before it had been resolved. The
Any Militia is crap until they get a few battles in-- BNA,CSA,USA:
doesn't matter: they all suck till they seen the Elephant.

The learning curve is deadly, and the boys in Red up North are behind
that curve.
**
mike
**
Andrew Vallance
2003-09-25 08:52:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by mike
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Daniel Duffy
Prussia sees a golden opportunity to accelerate the process of German
unification by taking advantage of France's preoccupation with America.
In 1861, Prussia's prime opponent in German unification is not France but
Austria (the 1866 war has not taken place yet)
As had been said by another, don't forget Denmark.
With all respect to the plucky Danes, reclaiming the Dutchies was just a
matter of waiting for the right excuse and making sure nobody backed the
Danes. The Slesvig War is important only in that it provides the pretext for
the ultimate showdown between the Prussians and Austrians.

[snip]
Post by mike
Post by Andrew Vallance
Canada was already being reinforced in response to the
crisis and the Milita was being raised even before it had been resolved. The
doesn't matter: they all suck till they seen the Elephant.
The learning curve is deadly, and the boys in Red up North are behind
that curve.
Yes, but the British have a standing army of (IIRC) around 160,000. Even
allowing for the 65,000 tied down in India, putting together a force of
50,000 to 80,000 would not be too difficult (the British had already sent
about 10,000 regulars to Canada in response to the crisis). And those
regulars most definitely aren't behind on the curve.
Abraxus
2003-09-25 17:17:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daniel Duffy
Post by mike
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Daniel Duffy
Prussia sees a golden opportunity to accelerate the process of German
unification by taking advantage of France's preoccupation with
America.
Post by mike
Post by Andrew Vallance
In 1861, Prussia's prime opponent in German unification is not France
but
Post by mike
Post by Andrew Vallance
Austria (the 1866 war has not taken place yet)
As had been said by another, don't forget Denmark.
With all respect to the plucky Danes, reclaiming the Dutchies was just a
matter of waiting for the right excuse and making sure nobody backed the
Danes. The Slesvig War is important only in that it provides the pretext for
the ultimate showdown between the Prussians and Austrians.
[snip]
Post by mike
Post by Andrew Vallance
Canada was already being reinforced in response to the
crisis and the Milita was being raised even before it had been resolved.
The
Post by mike
doesn't matter: they all suck till they seen the Elephant.
The learning curve is deadly, and the boys in Red up North are behind
that curve.
Yes, but the British have a standing army of (IIRC) around 160,000.
I don't have the figures handy, but I believe this is an exaggerrated
number.
Post by Daniel Duffy
Even
allowing for the 65,000 tied down in India, putting together a force of
50,000 to 80,000 would not be too difficult (the British had already sent
about 10,000 regulars to Canada in response to the crisis). And those
regulars most definitely aren't behind on the curve.
Closer to 8,000 and, IIRC, mostly engineers and support troops.
Considering the size of the US Army well exceeded 600,000 men at the
time, it was, even as gestures go, particularly empty.
Andrew Vallance
2003-09-25 20:57:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
Yes, but the British have a standing army of (IIRC) around 160,000.
I don't have the figures handy, but I believe this is an exaggerrated
number.
132,000 in 1854, enlarged after Crimea and absorbed the HEIC European troops
in 1857
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
Even
allowing for the 65,000 tied down in India, putting together a force of
50,000 to 80,000 would not be too difficult (the British had already sent
about 10,000 regulars to Canada in response to the crisis). And those
regulars most definitely aren't behind on the curve.
Closer to 8,000 and, IIRC, mostly engineers and support troops.
Mostly artillery actually
Post by Abraxus
Considering the size of the US Army well exceeded 600,000 men at the
time, it was, even as gestures go, particularly empty.
Uhmm no. The US army in 1861 was 16,000. Lincoln raised 75,000 in early 1861
and another 150,000 after First Bull Run (and had to scrape the bottom of
the barrel to equip them). The US army would grow to about 500,000 in 1865.
Wesley Taylor
2003-09-25 23:52:32 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 26 Sep 2003 08:57:45 +1200, "Andrew Vallance"
Post by Andrew Vallance
Uhmm no. The US army in 1861 was 16,000. Lincoln raised 75,000 in early 1861
and another 150,000 after First Bull Run (and had to scrape the bottom of
the barrel to equip them). The US army would grow to about 500,000 in 1865.
Sorry, no. The maximum US Army size was closer to 1.1 million men
under arms. Something like half of those, possibly a bit more, was in
garrisons and other such.

Now if you are talking US Army as opposed to Militia/Volunteer
formations, you may be right. The regular army saw a considerable
expansion in this period, but including all formations it well
exceeded the half million you quoted

One estimate, from, IIRC, was that the total Union enlistment/draft
amounted to something like 4.5 million man years. As the war went on
for about 4 years this yielded an enlistment estimate of about 1.1
million men on average under arms. I do not remember where I saw this
off hand but you might want to check out McPherson, Battle Cry of
Freedom and the OR. (OR stands for Official Records, for those who do
not follow ACW historiography. Very useful and can be searched on line
at the web pages of the North and South magazine).
Andrew Vallance
2003-09-26 01:18:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Taylor
On Fri, 26 Sep 2003 08:57:45 +1200, "Andrew Vallance"
Post by Andrew Vallance
Uhmm no. The US army in 1861 was 16,000. Lincoln raised 75,000 in early 1861
and another 150,000 after First Bull Run (and had to scrape the bottom of
the barrel to equip them). The US army would grow to about 500,000 in 1865.
Sorry, no. The maximum US Army size was closer to 1.1 million men
under arms. Something like half of those, possibly a bit more, was in
garrisons and other such.
Quite possibly my figures (from a pbs website on the US army) are
inaccurate. However the point remains. In 1862 the superb Union army of
1864-5 doesn't exist yet. What you have in 1862 is basically an mass of new
recruits that are stretching the limits of the US to equip. Simply raising
more troops at this point is not feasable. One of the main reasons for war
being avoided in 1862 (and why Trent is such an unlikely PoD) was that
Lincoln et al were very well aware that they couldn't fight the Confederacy
and the British at the same time.
Abraxus
2003-09-26 14:53:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Wesley Taylor
On Fri, 26 Sep 2003 08:57:45 +1200, "Andrew Vallance"
Post by Andrew Vallance
Uhmm no. The US army in 1861 was 16,000. Lincoln raised 75,000 in early
1861
Post by Wesley Taylor
Post by Andrew Vallance
and another 150,000 after First Bull Run (and had to scrape the bottom of
the barrel to equip them). The US army would grow to about 500,000 in
1865.
Post by Wesley Taylor
Sorry, no. The maximum US Army size was closer to 1.1 million men
under arms. Something like half of those, possibly a bit more, was in
garrisons and other such.
Quite possibly my figures (from a pbs website on the US army) are
inaccurate. However the point remains. In 1862 the superb Union army of
1864-5 doesn't exist yet.
Well, that's all a matter of definitions. A case could be made that
the Army of West Tennessee of April 1862 was very much the superior of
the April 1864 Army of the Gulf or Army of the James.
Post by Andrew Vallance
What you have in 1862 is basically an mass of new
recruits that are stretching the limits of the US to equip.
If we were talking about the summer or fall of 1861, I'd agree. But
circumstances are fairly well changed by winter. For one thing, even
if war were to break out in December of 1861, no actual fighting could
begin until *at least* April on the Southern front. Likely much later
as far as the Canadas are concerned.

By that point, the Union armies were fairly well organized and
equipped. Granted, not quite so well as they would be later on, but
the material difference would be almost entirely to the cavalry (which
wasn't properly organized at this point anyways).

The only weaknesses are in command. Grant holds the Mississippi
command, ensuring firm management in that sector, but the others are
far shakier. McClellan and Buell are simply inadequete, and Halleck is
still spreading his poison.
l***@geocities.com
2003-09-26 17:09:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Taylor
Sorry, no. The maximum US Army size was closer to 1.1 million men
under arms. Something like half of those, possibly a bit more, was in
garrisons and other such.
Now if you are talking US Army as opposed to Militia/Volunteer
formations, you may be right. The regular army saw a considerable
expansion in this period, but including all formations it well
exceeded the half million you quoted
?

~31 regular infantry battalions.

The Regular US Army fielded:

6 Cavalry Regiments (of 12 troops)
5 Artillery Regiments
19 Infantry Regiments (10 with 1 Battalion, 9 with 3 slightly smaller
Battalions):

6 Cav, 5 Arty, 28 Infantry Battalions

2.1 million saw "some military service" which for many would have been
militia duty in their home town. Military strength peaked at 1,000,516
men in 1865, and dropped almost immediately when the 800,000 militia
sent home to leave the ~200,000 hard core.

The fact that the size of the real core of the army is 200,000, and
the British 250,000 is more or less in lines with their populations
(Britian having a larger population than the US).

Bryn
mike
2003-09-26 21:58:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by l***@geocities.com
2.1 million saw "some military service" which for many would have been
militia duty in their home town. Military strength peaked at 1,000,516
men in 1865, and dropped almost immediately when the 800,000 militia
sent home to leave the ~200,000 hard core.
The fact that the size of the real core of the army is 200,000, and
the British 250,000 is more or less in lines with their populations
(Britian having a larger population than the US).
That 'Core' excludes units like the Wisconsin Iron Brigade, 69th New
York- the Irish Brigade,the Garibaldi Guard, Wilder's Lightning Brigade
Berdan's Sharpshooters,and my personal fav, the Chicago Board of Trade
Artillery Battery,for a short list of Volunteers that made a difference
here and there.

**
mike
**
l***@geocities.com
2003-09-28 10:44:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by mike
That 'Core' excludes units like the Wisconsin Iron Brigade, 69th New
York- the Irish Brigade,the Garibaldi Guard, Wilder's Lightning Brigade
Berdan's Sharpshooters,and my personal fav, the Chicago Board of Trade
Artillery Battery,for a short list of Volunteers that made a difference
here and there.
Yes, the volunteers that would, if we were playing a wargame, be
classified as "regular".

Bryn
Abraxus
2003-09-28 21:41:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by l***@geocities.com
Post by mike
That 'Core' excludes units like the Wisconsin Iron Brigade, 69th New
York- the Irish Brigade,the Garibaldi Guard, Wilder's Lightning Brigade
Berdan's Sharpshooters,and my personal fav, the Chicago Board of Trade
Artillery Battery,for a short list of Volunteers that made a difference
here and there.
Yes, the volunteers that would, if we were playing a wargame, be
classified as "regular".
By 1863, pretty much all the volunteers would fall under this classification.
Post by l***@geocities.com
Bryn
Andrew Vallance
2003-09-29 10:34:05 UTC
Permalink
I've checked the archives and this has all been argued many times before and
tends to get quite heated. Hopefully this can be avoided.

The Trent affair (as is) was very unlikely to lead to war because both sides
realised that they had nothing to gain and much to lose. The US realised all
too well that it could not hope to fight the British and the Confederacy at
the same time and the British realised that at that time the US was the
second largest market (or even largest, since the "largest" was actually the
various German states) for British goods.

However if push had come to shove, what were the actual facts of the matter?
In 1861 the northern states of the US had a population of some 19 million.
The British population at the same time was 28.7 million. In industrial
power the best measure is iron and steel production. I don't have the
figures for 1861, but in 1880 (after massive post Civil War expansion,
financed mostly by British money), the respective figures were USA: 3.84
million tons, Britian 7.75 million tons. Clearly US industrial power was
simply not in the same league as Britain in this period.

In naval matters, again the US just isn't in the same league. The British
shipbuilding industry was the largest and most efficent in the world into
the 20th century. It is true that the US and British *wooden* shipbuilding
capacities were similar. This was because the British had largely abandoned
it in favour of iron (not due to a shortage of timber, but because iron is a
superior material for building ships with).

In marine engineering, no US ship in this period made its design speed (most
failing by 25% to 50%) and US marine engineering would not be a match for
the British until after the 1st World War. Likewise the US was unable to
forge large armour plates of a single thickness and had to rely on single 1"
plates bolted together for armour (a very inferior solution). The US 15" and
11" smoothbore guns (standard US naval armarment) was an good example of
iron gun casting but had inferior armour penteration (as did all
smoothbores). It is true that the British Armstrong rifles were dangerous,
but at most they only represented 50% of any ship's armarment, there were
ample stocks of smoothbores (with the same proviso as the US smoothbores) to
replace them temporarily and the weapon that would replace them (the
Woolwich muzzle loading rifle) was already in production (as were a number
of other fine naval rifles such as the Lancaster, Scott and Whitworth).

It is true that many of the current RN iron clads would have had difficulty
in the shallow waters off the southern US coast. However, the RN had some
well over one hundred shallow draft gunboats (twelve of which are armoured
and armed with Lancaster MLRs) built for service in the Crimea and Baltic
(some in commission, most in ordinary). These were not ocean going warships,
but considerably more seaworthy than the US monitors and sufficent to
enforce a blockade of the US coast.

The US would quickly resort to commerce raiding, as it had done in 1812. The
results are likely to be similar to 1812 as well. The US would acheive some
spectacular local successes up until all the raiders had been hunted down or
blockaded in US ports. In 1812 it took the British about a year to do this
(whilst simultaniously maintaining a blockade on Europe). The RN in 1861 had
135 cruising ships in active commission with another 188 in ordinary. So the
raiders would inflict some annoying and even painful damage on the British,
but hardly fatal. Remember in 1861, the RN has a *huge* reserve pool of
ships to draw on.

When ones comes to the respective armies, ones finds a closer match. The
British standing army at this time was some 200,000 troops in India (more
than enough to deal with any colonial unrest that could arise in Asia) and
approximately 100,000 held in reserve in the British Isles (plus some other
scattered colonial garrisons, totaling less than 15,000). These troops were
well equiped and well trained regulars with experience from the Crimea and
India. The British also had an ample cadre of experienced officers and (more
crucially) NCOs to expand around. The US army at this time was some 600,000
(my earlier figures were incorrect, my apologies) strong. However, most of
these were still poorly equiped raw recruits. None of these new units had a
cadre of prior experience (the pre war US army was only 16,000 strong and
its officer corp had been hit heavily by defections of Confederate
sympathisers). The US could (and indeed did) build a world beating army, but
Britian could easily deploy 50,000 to 80,000 troops to Canada at short
notice and raise more than sufficent troops to hold the line against any
conceivable US assault.

Manpower. The US would mobilise some 11% of its population during the war.
The usually accepted figure for full mobilisation is 10%. You can go over
this (indeed the Confederacy reached some 13% mobilisation), however their
are significant costs in doing this; both in terms of long term damage to
your economy and the quality of the additional manpower you are raising.

Logistics. The British were past masters at preparing and supporting large
overseas expeditions. They organised and dispatched a force of over 30,000
troops for immediate deployment to India within a month of the outbreak of
the great mutiny in 1857. Again there is no reason to suspect that the
British could not support a signficant (hundreds of thousands of troops) to
Canada, more than sufficent to defend the Maritimes and Quebec (the regions
of Canada that are worth a damn). Likewise, the British could have quickly
raised and supplied an expeditionary from India to invade California. This
would have been just slightly more worthwhile than a US invasion of Upper
Canada (but not by much).

And finally, would the British have allied themselves with the Confederacy
in any hypothetical war? The evidence points very strongly in that
direction. Palmerston's comments at length in his diaries about how a war
would force Britian into the dubious moral position of defending and
preserving slavery. It seems clear that he was in no doubts that war would
lead to alliance with the Confederacy.

The bottom line is that in 1861 the US was a respectable middle rank power
(roughly on a par with the UK now), Britian was the world's current
superpower. If push came to shove the result is quite easy to determine,
Britian would have won. It wouldn't have been a walk over, but the outcome
would not have been in doubt. Lincoln and Seward were well aware of this
reality, which is one of the major reasons why the PoD is so unlikely.
Abraxus
2003-09-29 18:54:13 UTC
Permalink
<snips fore and aft>
Post by Andrew Vallance
When ones comes to the respective armies, ones finds a closer match. The
British standing army at this time was some 200,000 troops in India (more
than enough to deal with any colonial unrest that could arise in Asia) and
approximately 100,000 held in reserve in the British Isles (plus some other
scattered colonial garrisons, totaling less than 15,000). These troops were
well equiped and well trained regulars with experience from the Crimea and
India. The British also had an ample cadre of experienced officers and (more
crucially) NCOs to expand around.
The Crimean war, while it did provide experience, demonstrated
startling weaknesses in the British officer corps. The contrast to the
US's advernturism at the same time (Mexico) is quite striking.
Post by Andrew Vallance
The US army at this time was some 600,000
(my earlier figures were incorrect, my apologies) strong. However, most of
these were still poorly equiped raw recruits. None of these new units had a
cadre of prior experience (the pre war US army was only 16,000 strong and
its officer corp had been hit heavily by defections of Confederate
sympathisers).
Ahem, but virtually all of the upper echelons (army, corps) of the US
Officer Corps were West Pointers, the large majority of whom had
combat experience in Mexico.

I must concede, though, that at the lower levels (brigade, regimental)
your claim has substantially more validity.
Post by Andrew Vallance
The US could (and indeed did) build a world beating army, but
Britian could easily deploy 50,000 to 80,000 troops to Canada at short
notice and raise more than sufficent troops to hold the line against any
conceivable US assault.
Provided they get there before the Americans do. More on that below.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Manpower. The US would mobilise some 11% of its population during the war.
The usually accepted figure for full mobilisation is 10%.
As you have made haste to point out elsewhere, the figure of 11%
applies to the US *over the course of the war*. In December 1861, the
figure was a bit under 3%.
Post by Andrew Vallance
You can go over
this (indeed the Confederacy reached some 13% mobilisation), however their
are significant costs in doing this; both in terms of long term damage to
your economy and the quality of the additional manpower you are raising.
Logistics. The British were past masters at preparing and supporting large
overseas expeditions. They organised and dispatched a force of over 30,000
troops for immediate deployment to India within a month of the outbreak of
the great mutiny in 1857.
In October 1863, after Rosecrans' defeat at Chickamauga, the Army of
the Potomac transferred approximately 20,000 men of the XI and XII
corps to his assistance in under a week. As fast as the British
response time may be, it doesn't get much faster than that.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Likewise, the British could have quickly
raised and supplied an expeditionary from India to invade California.
I doubt it. The supply line is simply too long for anything resembling
a "quick" invasion.
Post by Andrew Vallance
This
would have been just slightly more worthwhile than a US invasion of Upper
Canada (but not by much).
I doubt this as well. The US's supply lines are incredibly shorter,
enjoy the advantage of rail transport and, at least locally and
temporarily, naval superiority.
Wesley Taylor
2003-09-30 03:50:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
Logistics. The British were past masters at preparing and supporting large
overseas expeditions. They organised and dispatched a force of over 30,000
troops for immediate deployment to India within a month of the outbreak of
the great mutiny in 1857.
In October 1863, after Rosecrans' defeat at Chickamauga, the Army of
the Potomac transferred approximately 20,000 men of the XI and XII
corps to his assistance in under a week. As fast as the British
response time may be, it doesn't get much faster than that.
In Winter of 1861/2 the Birtish tried to send 10,000 troops to Canada.
Tehy got about 5,000 there by sledging them from Moncton to Quebec in
the freezing cold. Teh rest were shipped, after the crisis, via the
railway from Portland Maine to Quebec and then to posts west. Until
nearly April the port of Quebec is closed in this era due to the Saint
Lawrence freezing and the presence of very dangerous ice blocks.

Remember, the Little Ice Age is still ongoing for 20+ more years.
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
Likewise, the British could have quickly
raised and supplied an expeditionary from India to invade California.
I doubt it. The supply line is simply too long for anything resembling
a "quick" invasion.
Agreed, at least 6 months due to supply considerations. And the West
Coast is not defenseless.
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
This
would have been just slightly more worthwhile than a US invasion of Upper
Canada (but not by much).
I doubt this as well. The US's supply lines are incredibly shorter,
enjoy the advantage of rail transport and, at least locally and
temporarily, naval superiority.
Andrew Vallance
2003-10-03 14:41:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Taylor
In Winter of 1861/2 the Birtish tried to send 10,000 troops to Canada.
Tehy got about 5,000 there by sledging them from Moncton to Quebec in
the freezing cold. Teh rest were shipped, after the crisis, via the
railway from Portland Maine to Quebec and then to posts west. Until
nearly April the port of Quebec is closed in this era due to the Saint
Lawrence freezing and the presence of very dangerous ice blocks.
Found a facisinating article on the deployment to Canada, makes for some
interesting reading

http://www.lightinfantry.org.uk/regiments/Canada/can_trent.htm
Andrew Vallance
2003-09-30 10:43:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Abraxus
<snips fore and aft>
Post by Andrew Vallance
When ones comes to the respective armies, ones finds a closer match. The
British standing army at this time was some 200,000 troops in India (more
than enough to deal with any colonial unrest that could arise in Asia) and
approximately 100,000 held in reserve in the British Isles (plus some other
scattered colonial garrisons, totaling less than 15,000). These troops were
well equiped and well trained regulars with experience from the Crimea and
India. The British also had an ample cadre of experienced officers and (more
crucially) NCOs to expand around.
The Crimean war, while it did provide experience, demonstrated
startling weaknesses in the British officer corps. The contrast to the
US's advernturism at the same time (Mexico) is quite striking.
No, it demonstrated a startling weakness in intendance and supply (both
rectified after the war) and that appointing senior officers on the basis of
their political connections might not be the best option (a problem that the
Union and Confederacy would see their fair share of too). The actual
performance of the regimental officers was on the whole quite professional.
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
The US army at this time was some 600,000
(my earlier figures were incorrect, my apologies) strong. However, most of
these were still poorly equiped raw recruits. None of these new units had a
cadre of prior experience (the pre war US army was only 16,000 strong and
its officer corp had been hit heavily by defections of Confederate
sympathisers).
Ahem, but virtually all of the upper echelons (army, corps) of the US
Officer Corps were West Pointers, the large majority of whom had
combat experience in Mexico.
Most of those senior officers had previously commanded maybe a brigade.
Plenty of theory, short on practical experience
Post by Abraxus
I must concede, though, that at the lower levels (brigade, regimental)
your claim has substantially more validity.
[snip]
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
This
would have been just slightly more worthwhile than a US invasion of Upper
Canada (but not by much).
I doubt this as well. The US's supply lines are incredibly shorter,
enjoy the advantage of rail transport and, at least locally and
temporarily, naval superiority.
*Upper* Canada (you don't need naval superiority to invade Manatoba,
Saskatchenwan etc). The point is, that even if the British did invade
California, it would be a monumental waste of time on a par with a US
invasion of Alberta (yes they could do it, but why would they want to).
Abraxus
2003-09-30 22:44:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
When ones comes to the respective armies, ones finds a closer match. The
British standing army at this time was some 200,000 troops in India
(more
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
than enough to deal with any colonial unrest that could arise in Asia)
and
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
approximately 100,000 held in reserve in the British Isles (plus some
other
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
scattered colonial garrisons, totaling less than 15,000). These troops
were
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
well equiped and well trained regulars with experience from the Crimea
and
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
India. The British also had an ample cadre of experienced officers and
(more
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
crucially) NCOs to expand around.
The Crimean war, while it did provide experience, demonstrated
startling weaknesses in the British officer corps. The contrast to the
US's advernturism at the same time (Mexico) is quite striking.
No, it demonstrated a startling weakness in intendance and supply (both
rectified after the war) and that appointing senior officers on the basis of
their political connections might not be the best option (a problem that the
Union and Confederacy would see their fair share of too).
So the officer corps wasn't weak . . . it just had the wrong officers?
That seems like a bit of a convoluted argument.
Post by Andrew Vallance
The actual
performance of the regimental officers was on the whole quite professional.
The performance of the regimental officers in the Army of the
Tennessee was quite professional as well. That didn't change the fact
that that army lost dern near every major battle it fought, and that
-- outside of a few bright lights at the divisional level --
practically everyone at the upper echelons of command ranged from
marginal to monstrously incompetent.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
The US army at this time was some 600,000
(my earlier figures were incorrect, my apologies) strong. However, most
of
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
these were still poorly equiped raw recruits. None of these new units
had a
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
cadre of prior experience (the pre war US army was only 16,000 strong
and
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
its officer corp had been hit heavily by defections of Confederate
sympathisers).
Ahem, but virtually all of the upper echelons (army, corps) of the US
Officer Corps were West Pointers, the large majority of whom had
combat experience in Mexico.
Most of those senior officers had previously commanded maybe a brigade.
Plenty of theory, short on practical experience
While that is true, it doesn't seem to have made an impact on a great
deal of the officers. Grant, frex, had virtually no command
responsibilities in Mexico, and at the time of Trent was only three
months away from capturing/destroying an army of 15,000.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Abraxus
I must concede, though, that at the lower levels (brigade, regimental)
your claim has substantially more validity.
[snip]
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
This
would have been just slightly more worthwhile than a US invasion of
Upper
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
Canada (but not by much).
I doubt this as well. The US's supply lines are incredibly shorter,
enjoy the advantage of rail transport and, at least locally and
temporarily, naval superiority.
*Upper* Canada (you don't need naval superiority to invade Manatoba,
Saskatchenwan etc).
I may be revealing ignorance of Canadian geography, but doesn't Upper
Canada include Ontario?
Post by Andrew Vallance
The point is, that even if the British did invade
California, it would be a monumental waste of time on a par with a US
invasion of Alberta (yes they could do it, but why would they want to).
Oh, certainly. My point was simply that a US invasion of Quebec,
Ontario and New Brunswick would be substantially more
feasible/strategic than a British invasion of California.
Jamie McDonell
2003-10-01 02:09:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Abraxus
I may be revealing ignorance of Canadian geography, but doesn't Upper
Canada include Ontario?
Nope. Ontario includes Upper Canada.
Andrew Vallance
2003-10-01 12:02:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Abraxus
The Crimean war, while it did provide experience, demonstrated
startling weaknesses in the British officer corps. The contrast to the
US's advernturism at the same time (Mexico) is quite striking.
No, it demonstrated a startling weakness in intendance and supply (both
rectified after the war) and that appointing senior officers on the basis of
their political connections might not be the best option (a problem that the
Union and Confederacy would see their fair share of too).
So the officer corps wasn't weak . . . it just had the wrong officers?
That seems like a bit of a convoluted argument.
Nope, while the British weren't immune to the phenomina of appointing senior
officers for their political connections rather than their ability, there is
no evidence to support the premise that this was more prevalent than any
other nation. The US had its fair share of political hacks too (indeed much
of the poor performance of the early Union armies can be attributed to
this). In this respect the British are no more burdened than the Union or
Confederacy

[snip]
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
*Upper* Canada (you don't need naval superiority to invade Manatoba,
Saskatchenwan etc).
I may be revealing ignorance of Canadian geography, but doesn't Upper
Canada include Ontario?
Part of it yes. However in 1861 the "important" bits (ie those worth a darn)
are Quebec and the Maritimes
Wesley Taylor
2003-10-01 16:19:59 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 2 Oct 2003 00:02:15 +1200, "Andrew Vallance"
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Abraxus
The Crimean war, while it did provide experience, demonstrated
startling weaknesses in the British officer corps. The contrast to the
US's advernturism at the same time (Mexico) is quite striking.
No, it demonstrated a startling weakness in intendance and supply (both
rectified after the war) and that appointing senior officers on the
basis of
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
their political connections might not be the best option (a problem that
the
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
Union and Confederacy would see their fair share of too).
So the officer corps wasn't weak . . . it just had the wrong officers?
That seems like a bit of a convoluted argument.
Nope, while the British weren't immune to the phenomina of appointing senior
officers for their political connections rather than their ability, there is
no evidence to support the premise that this was more prevalent than any
other nation. The US had its fair share of political hacks too (indeed much
of the poor performance of the early Union armies can be attributed to
this). In this respect the British are no more burdened than the Union or
Confederacy
[snip]
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
*Upper* Canada (you don't need naval superiority to invade Manatoba,
Saskatchenwan etc).
I may be revealing ignorance of Canadian geography, but doesn't Upper
Canada include Ontario?
Part of it yes. However in 1861 the "important" bits (ie those worth a darn)
are Quebec and the Maritimes
No it was not. Quebec is in Lower Canada. The maritimes are seperate
conlonies for several more years.Nova Scotia and New Brunswick had a
seperate colonial administration as did the various islands.
Wesley Taylor
2003-10-01 16:24:36 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 2 Oct 2003 00:02:15 +1200, "Andrew Vallance"
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Abraxus
The Crimean war, while it did provide experience, demonstrated
startling weaknesses in the British officer corps. The contrast to the
US's advernturism at the same time (Mexico) is quite striking.
No, it demonstrated a startling weakness in intendance and supply (both
rectified after the war) and that appointing senior officers on the
basis of
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
their political connections might not be the best option (a problem that
the
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
Union and Confederacy would see their fair share of too).
So the officer corps wasn't weak . . . it just had the wrong officers?
That seems like a bit of a convoluted argument.
Nope, while the British weren't immune to the phenomina of appointing senior
officers for their political connections rather than their ability, there is
no evidence to support the premise that this was more prevalent than any
other nation. The US had its fair share of political hacks too (indeed much
of the poor performance of the early Union armies can be attributed to
this). In this respect the British are no more burdened than the Union or
Confederacy
Actually the Brits had institutional practices that were not abolished
until the 1870s that made promotion even more on non-military lines
than mere political appointment. Purchase System. So yes, political
generals existed in the US Army in the ACW but Raglan, Cardigan and
their ilk existed in the British Army. The US Army had ways of getting
rid of them. The British Army did not have as easy a time of it.
Andrew Vallance
2003-10-02 13:52:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Taylor
On Thu, 2 Oct 2003 00:02:15 +1200, "Andrew Vallance"
Post by Andrew Vallance
Nope, while the British weren't immune to the phenomina of appointing senior
officers for their political connections rather than their ability, there is
no evidence to support the premise that this was more prevalent than any
other nation. The US had its fair share of political hacks too (indeed much
of the poor performance of the early Union armies can be attributed to
this). In this respect the British are no more burdened than the Union or
Confederacy
Actually the Brits had institutional practices that were not abolished
until the 1870s that made promotion even more on non-military lines
than mere political appointment. Purchase System. So yes, political
Under purchase an officer had to at a minimun attend Sandhurst, pass a
review board and then serve in a regiment and work his way up (ie you
purchased in at the bottom). Under the US system of political patronage, you
could go directly to a regimental command without any military experience
whatsoever.
Post by Wesley Taylor
generals existed in the US Army in the ACW but Raglan, Cardigan and
their ilk existed in the British Army.
As did Scarlett, Cambell, Outram, Napier and their ilk. (BTW, there is
nothing to suggest that Raglan was incompetant, mediocre perhaps, but
nothing like Cardigan).
Post by Wesley Taylor
The US Army had ways of getting
rid of them. The British Army did not have as easy a time of it.
The British Army had exactly the same method of getting rid of them, nothing
about the purchase system prevented an officer from being removed, cashiered
or even court marshalled for incompetance.
Andrew Vallance
2003-10-02 14:00:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Taylor
On Thu, 2 Oct 2003 00:02:15 +1200, "Andrew Vallance"
Post by Andrew Vallance
Nope, while the British weren't immune to the phenomina of appointing senior
officers for their political connections rather than their ability, there is
no evidence to support the premise that this was more prevalent than any
other nation. The US had its fair share of political hacks too (indeed much
of the poor performance of the early Union armies can be attributed to
this). In this respect the British are no more burdened than the Union or
Confederacy
Actually the Brits had institutional practices that were not abolished
until the 1870s that made promotion even more on non-military lines
than mere political appointment. Purchase System. So yes, political
Under purchase an officer had to at a minimun attend Sandhurst, pass a
review board and then serve in a regiment and work his way up (ie you
purchased in at the bottom). Under the US system of political patronage, you
could go directly to a regimental command without any military experience
whatsoever. I fail to see how the British system can be described as less
military than that.

Plus in 1857 the British army absorbed the entire Indian army officer corp
(which was completely without a purchase system).
Post by Wesley Taylor
generals existed in the US Army in the ACW but Raglan, Cardigan and
their ilk existed in the British Army.
As did Scarlett, Cambell, Outram, Napier and their ilk. (BTW, there is
nothing to suggest that Raglan was incompetant, mediocre perhaps, but
nothing like Cardigan).
Post by Wesley Taylor
The US Army had ways of getting
rid of them. The British Army did not have as easy a time of it.
The British Army had exactly the same method of getting rid of them, nothing
about the purchase system prevented an officer from being removed, cashiered
or even court marshalled for incompetance.
Wesley Taylor
2003-10-02 17:10:38 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 3 Oct 2003 02:00:23 +1200, "Andrew Vallance"
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Wesley Taylor
Actually the Brits had institutional practices that were not abolished
until the 1870s that made promotion even more on non-military lines
than mere political appointment. Purchase System. So yes, political
Under purchase an officer had to at a minimun attend Sandhurst, pass a
review board and then serve in a regiment and work his way up (ie you
purchased in at the bottom). Under the US system of political patronage, you
could go directly to a regimental command without any military experience
whatsoever. I fail to see how the British system can be described as less
military than that.
Only in the event of a major expansion of the armed forces. And the
system involved political patronage, it was not based on it. Further,
after mid war the state control of regimental command appointments was
seriously eroded. The regimental commanders also did not tend to last
long if they were not at least minimally competent. Removing an
officer from such a post was not that difficult.

By contrast removing an incompetent officer from command in the
British Army was somewhat more difficult. First you had to deduce his
incompetence. Given that much of that army was not under fire for a
considerable length of time before Crimea I suspect that there were
more than a few Cardigans, just none quite so spectacularly revealed.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Plus in 1857 the British army absorbed the entire Indian army officer corp
(which was completely without a purchase system).
They did not so much absorb it as ingest it and get a tummy ache.
Large minorities of officers and men refused to be transfered in,
refusing to serve under a woman (Queen Victoria) and were either
discharged or, if the protest was done wrong, shot or otherwise killed
as mutineers. over 10,000 men left the Army in India for home in 1859.
(including the 1000 sent home on the Great Tasmania with inadequate
food, clothing and medical care, 50 of whom died on the trip).

10k is something like one trooper in six of the India Army's total
European complement.

The Indian army had, until the 1870's, a seperate promotion list and
were undergoing a overhaul of the remaining rather confused force
structure. An overhaul that was not done for several years.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Wesley Taylor
generals existed in the US Army in the ACW but Raglan, Cardigan and
their ilk existed in the British Army.
As did Scarlett, Cambell, Outram, Napier and their ilk. (BTW, there is
nothing to suggest that Raglan was incompetant, mediocre perhaps, but
nothing like Cardigan).
Britain has some excellent officers. Many will not be available for
service in the US or will be lower ranked and not in charge. The army
has other commitments many of the better officers are involved in
(they did tend to get used a lot more in Victoria's Little Wars than
the home troops. Not terribly fashionable, those little wars).

As for Raglan, he was not incompetent, he tended to let emotion and
social rank interfere, however.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Wesley Taylor
The US Army had ways of getting
rid of them. The British Army did not have as easy a time of it.
The British Army had exactly the same method of getting rid of them, nothing
about the purchase system prevented an officer from being removed, cashiered
or even court marshalled for incompetance.
They can be. However, they need to
a) commit some act bad enough for the army to act on (often very
difficult to have happen)
b) Have that heinous act become public, at least in some circles,
c) have the incident actually get to court martial or other official
action.

Cardigan is a prime example, not only surviving decades in service,
but the entire Balkan and Crimean campaigns. It was only when the
public outcry at home was great enough that he was dealt with. In the
US Army the man would have been removed, as were countless other
officers for being incompetent and removed much faster. Only if he had
a previous military reputation might he get a second chance (and
Cardigan did not).

BTW, comparing the US Army and the British for 'patronage' in officer
placement is a bit disingenuous. Massive expansions, such as the
mobilization of the US Army in 1861/2 tend to such things before
modern reserve and militia systems. Britain had a standing army and
the mobilization plan was to expand by promotion and replacement. This
make the British retention of so many ill suited officers more a
problem and indicitive of removal dificulties.
david
2003-10-02 14:50:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Vallance
(BTW, there is
nothing to suggest that Raglan was incompetant, mediocre perhaps, but
nothing like Cardigan).
I think that the order(s) Raglan wrote that led to the Charge of the
Light Brigade has to classify as incompetance.
--
David Flin
President Chester A. Arthur
2003-10-02 18:13:27 UTC
Permalink
Subject: Re: WI - The Trent Affair and the First World War
Date: 10/2/2003 10:50 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Post by Andrew Vallance
(BTW, there is
nothing to suggest that Raglan was incompetant, mediocre perhaps, but
nothing like Cardigan).
I think that the order(s) Raglan wrote that led to the Charge of the
Light Brigade has to classify as incompetance.
And then there's the bit where he kept calling the Russian "The French."

ObWI: Michael Faraday an amoral bastard. "Poison gas for the Crimea? Sure, why
not?"


----

"What a shame wood doesn't grow on trees, otherwise you could burn that
for warmth."
-Syd Webb
Andrew Vallance
2003-10-03 04:10:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by david
Post by Andrew Vallance
(BTW, there is
nothing to suggest that Raglan was incompetant, mediocre perhaps, but
nothing like Cardigan).
I think that the order(s) Raglan wrote that led to the Charge of the
Light Brigade has to classify as incompetance.
Actually Raglan was quite clear with Nolan as to which guns he ment, it was
Nolan's transmission of the order that lead to the mistake.
david
2003-10-03 04:53:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by david
Post by Andrew Vallance
(BTW, there is
nothing to suggest that Raglan was incompetant, mediocre perhaps, but
nothing like Cardigan).
I think that the order(s) Raglan wrote that led to the Charge of the
Light Brigade has to classify as incompetance.
Actually Raglan was quite clear with Nolan as to which guns he ment, it was
Nolan's transmission of the order that lead to the mistake.
The order as written was ambiguous. If Raglan was relying on a messenger
to clear up ambiguities in the written order, then Raglan was displaying
incompetence. Nolan may or may not have known which guns Raglan was
talking about, but Nolan was not the one who had to implement the order.
It is right and proper for Nolan to add any observations he might have
to Lucan, should Lucan request such extra information, but the chap
writing an order should try to ensure that there is no need for this.

It is not as though it would have been difficult for Raglan to have
written the order in an unambiguous fashion. Rather than simply
referring to the guns, he could have referred to recapturing the allied
guns on the hill.
--
David Flin
Robert A. Woodward
2003-10-04 07:34:24 UTC
Permalink
<Snip re: Charge of the Light Brigade>
Post by david
Post by Andrew Vallance
Actually Raglan was quite clear with Nolan as to which guns he ment, it was
Nolan's transmission of the order that lead to the mistake.
The order as written was ambiguous. If Raglan was relying on a messenger
to clear up ambiguities in the written order, then Raglan was displaying
incompetence. Nolan may or may not have known which guns Raglan was
talking about, but Nolan was not the one who had to implement the order.
It is right and proper for Nolan to add any observations he might have
to Lucan, should Lucan request such extra information, but the chap
writing an order should try to ensure that there is no need for this.
The story I heard was that Nolan was not the only messenger; he was the
last messenger and he was carrying the "Go" command. An earlier
messenger carried the command which described which guns were to be
attacked. But Nolan took a short cut and arrived before that earlier
messenger.
--
Robert Woodward <***@drizzle.com>
<http://www.drizzle.com/~robertaw
l***@geocities.com
2003-10-05 11:30:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert A. Woodward
Post by david
The order as written was ambiguous. If Raglan was relying on a messenger
to clear up ambiguities in the written order, then Raglan was displaying
incompetence. Nolan may or may not have known which guns Raglan was
talking about, but Nolan was not the one who had to implement the order.
It is right and proper for Nolan to add any observations he might have
to Lucan, should Lucan request such extra information, but the chap
writing an order should try to ensure that there is no need for this.
The story I heard was that Nolan was not the only messenger; he was the
last messenger and he was carrying the "Go" command. An earlier
messenger carried the command which described which guns were to be
attacked. But Nolan took a short cut and arrived before that earlier
messenger.
The order wasn't ambiguous, Nolan had the guns pointed out, and
carried the order, but from the position of the Light Brigade NEITHER
battery could be seen. As the brigade crested and could see the guns
they were heading for the Russian battery (on the left from the LB's
point of view). Nolan cried "three's right" in order to try and
redirect the charge, but was hit before he could explain.

The "massacure" of the light brigade really wasn't. They lost only 200
(killed, wounded and seperated) out of 600 in the charge.

Bryn
david
2003-10-05 16:07:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by l***@geocities.com
Post by Robert A. Woodward
Post by david
The order as written was ambiguous. If Raglan was relying on a messenger
to clear up ambiguities in the written order, then Raglan was displaying
incompetence. Nolan may or may not have known which guns Raglan was
talking about, but Nolan was not the one who had to implement the order.
It is right and proper for Nolan to add any observations he might have
to Lucan, should Lucan request such extra information, but the chap
writing an order should try to ensure that there is no need for this.
The story I heard was that Nolan was not the only messenger; he was the
last messenger and he was carrying the "Go" command. An earlier
messenger carried the command which described which guns were to be
attacked. But Nolan took a short cut and arrived before that earlier
messenger.
The order wasn't ambiguous,
The order was misunderstood by the people having to carry out the order.
The people carrying out the order did their best to carry out the order
as written. Since they made a balls-up of this, then the order in
question must, by definition, have been inadequately explained.

If a general writes an order, and the people carrying out the order do
so to the letter and to the best of their ability, and if they then do
not do what the general wants, then the general cocked up. Admittedly,
it is customary to blame the dead for making a mistake, so that the
living can maintain their careers (me, I blame the scapegoats). However,
if they do not carry out your instructions, then you didn't explain
yourself properly.
Post by l***@geocities.com
Nolan had the guns pointed out, and
carried the order, but from the position of the Light Brigade NEITHER
battery could be seen.
And people writing orders should have the wit to realise that the
viewpoint of the people receiving the orders might be different. "Right.
We're up on this hill with a wonderful view of the whole battlefield.
That's why we're up here, to get this good view. Now, I want to give
orders to those chaps down there in that valley, and I want them to go
round the corner of the valley and do some careful manoeuvres to attack
this group of guns and not that group of guns. I wonder if I'll need to
spell things out for them so that they don't make a mistake. No, I can
rely on the intelligence and clear-thinking of Lucan and Cardigan."

The order as written reads: "Lord Raglan wishes the cavalry to advance
to the front, follow the enemy and try to prevent the enemy carrying
away the guns. Troop horse artillery may accompany. French cavalry is on
your left. Immediate." Well, the guns that Raglan wanted the cavalry to
deal with were not to the front of the cavalry, but the guns they
actually charged were. Horse artillery would not be of much use on the
slopes that Raglan wanted them to be used on, and they might be on the
target that the cavalry actually charged.

Since the customary use of light cavalry in a battle is in pursuit of a
retreating enemy, and since Raglan refers to a retreating enemy, the
error made by Lucan and Cardigan is not merely understandable, it is
almost pretty bloody inevitable given the circumstances that they could
see.

But the gist of the whole thing is that Lucan and Cardigan didn't do
what Raglan wanted them to do, although they tried their best.
Therefore, by definition, Raglan didn't explain himself clearly enough,
and Raglan alone carries the blame for that.
Post by l***@geocities.com
As the brigade crested and could see the guns
they were heading for the Russian battery (on the left from the LB's
point of view). Nolan cried "three's right" in order to try and
redirect the charge, but was hit before he could explain.
The "massacure" of the light brigade really wasn't. They lost only 200
(killed, wounded and seperated) out of 600 in the charge.
The number killed in the blunder is frankly immaterial.

Of course, Raglan's record in the Crimea was not exactly stellar. Alma
was a slugging match that only the incompetence of the Russians
prevented the British and French forces getting a severe mauling. At
Balaclava, he left an inadequate protection, which was only prevented
from being turned into a massacre by the thin red line. If the Russian
cavalry had infantry or artillery support with them (even a small group
of horse artillery), then history would have recorded the Russian
victory in the Crimean war, Inkermann was a battle won by soldiers
blundering about without any clear direction from anyone. It was all a
bit sad from the point of view of professional competence, and the
Russians lost because their commanders were even more useless than the
British commanders.
--
David Flin
Andrew Vallance
2003-10-04 11:11:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by david
The order as written was ambiguous. If Raglan was relying on a messenger
to clear up ambiguities in the written order, then Raglan was displaying
incompetence. Nolan may or may not have known which guns Raglan was
talking about, but Nolan was not the one who had to implement the order.
It is right and proper for Nolan to add any observations he might have
to Lucan, should Lucan request such extra information, but the chap
writing an order should try to ensure that there is no need for this.
It is not as though it would have been difficult for Raglan to have
written the order in an unambiguous fashion. Rather than simply
referring to the guns, he could have referred to recapturing the allied
guns on the hill.
The competance of any officer should be judged on their entire performance
rather than any individual action (if you were to judge Lee by Gettysburg he
would be rated as one of the worst military commanders of the ACW). When
Raglan's record in the Crimea is examined you find that his actual
performance was generally speaking adequate. Certainly nothing to write home
about, probably best described as professional but mediocre, but definitly
not incompetant.
Jamie McDonell
2003-10-02 02:38:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
*Upper* Canada (you don't need naval superiority to invade Manatoba,
Saskatchenwan etc).
I may be revealing ignorance of Canadian geography, but doesn't Upper
Canada include Ontario?
Part of it yes. However in 1861 the "important" bits (ie those worth a darn)
are Quebec and the Maritimes
In 1861, Canada West (the former Upper Canada, or southern Ontario) had
about 250,000 more people than Canada East (the former Lower Canada, or
Laurentide Québec) - approximately 1.4 million population to
approximately 1.15 million.

It also accounted for most of the industry in the United Canadas
(Montréal, near the Upper Canadian border, accounted for the rest). It
was as well a major exporter of food to the US and (even post Corn Laws)
to the UK, accounting for about 65 percent of the country's agricultural
production.

The upper province also had most of the country's railways. (The lower
province had the St-Laurent.)
Wesley Taylor
2003-10-01 07:38:02 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 30 Sep 2003 22:43:35 +1200, "Andrew Vallance"
<***@nospam.netaccess.co.nz> wrote:
[snip]
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
This
would have been just slightly more worthwhile than a US invasion of Upper
Canada (but not by much).
I doubt this as well. The US's supply lines are incredibly shorter,
enjoy the advantage of rail transport and, at least locally and
temporarily, naval superiority.
*Upper* Canada (you don't need naval superiority to invade Manatoba,
Saskatchenwan etc). The point is, that even if the British did invade
California, it would be a monumental waste of time on a par with a US
invasion of Alberta (yes they could do it, but why would they want to).
At the time Canada consisted of the inhabited strips of land along the
Saint Lawrence and Great Lakes. That part now in Quebec was French
speaking Lower Canada. The part inside what is now Ontario was English
speaking Upper Canada. The names were the official desgintions of the
areas that became Quebec and Ontario later. The provinces you mention
were part of the semiorganized British North America, but not of
Canada at that time.

Does this make some of the comments clearer?
Wesley Taylor
2003-10-01 16:32:24 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 30 Sep 2003 22:43:35 +1200, "Andrew Vallance"
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Abraxus
<snips fore and aft>
The Crimean war, while it did provide experience, demonstrated
startling weaknesses in the British officer corps. The contrast to the
US's advernturism at the same time (Mexico) is quite striking.
No, it demonstrated a startling weakness in intendance and supply (both
rectified after the war) and that appointing senior officers on the basis of
their political connections might not be the best option (a problem that the
Union and Confederacy would see their fair share of too). The actual
performance of the regimental officers was on the whole quite professional.
If by after the war you mean 15 years afterwards, yes. The report from
the committee noted that, among other changes the Purchase System
needed to be abolished. This did not happen, along with most of the
reforms indicated, until the 1870's. In 1861/2 the British army is
exactly the same one that did so poorly in Crimea.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
The US army at this time was some 600,000
(my earlier figures were incorrect, my apologies) strong. However, most of
these were still poorly equiped raw recruits. None of these new units had a
cadre of prior experience (the pre war US army was only 16,000 strong and
its officer corp had been hit heavily by defections of Confederate sympathisers).
Ahem, but virtually all of the upper echelons (army, corps) of the US
Officer Corps were West Pointers, the large majority of whom had
combat experience in Mexico.
Most of those senior officers had previously commanded maybe a brigade.
Plenty of theory, short on practical experience
And had shown a remarkable ability by the end of 1861. They learned
very fast, considering the changes since their time at the point and
especially the past 4 years.

They are not hampered by the entrenched and virtually impossible to
remove problem children of the purchase system. When a Union officer
screws up he can be removed if that is the best course. The British
problem child cannot anywhere near as easly.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Abraxus
I must concede, though, that at the lower levels (brigade, regimental)
your claim has substantially more validity.
[snip]
Andrew Vallance
2003-10-02 13:21:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Taylor
On Tue, 30 Sep 2003 22:43:35 +1200, "Andrew Vallance"
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Abraxus
<snips fore and aft>
The Crimean war, while it did provide experience, demonstrated
startling weaknesses in the British officer corps. The contrast to the
US's advernturism at the same time (Mexico) is quite striking.
No, it demonstrated a startling weakness in intendance and supply (both
rectified after the war) and that appointing senior officers on the basis of
their political connections might not be the best option (a problem that the
Union and Confederacy would see their fair share of too). The actual
performance of the regimental officers was on the whole quite
professional.
Post by Wesley Taylor
If by after the war you mean 15 years afterwards, yes. The report from
the committee noted that, among other changes the Purchase System
needed to be abolished. This did not happen, along with most of the
reforms indicated, until the 1870's. In 1861/2 the British army is
exactly the same one that did so poorly in Crimea.
And the US system of political patronage was better? Even at its worst, the
purchase system ensured that an officer had to successful complete Sandhurst
and actually serve in a regiment until a space for promotion opened up (15
to 20 years to get to battalion command). In the Union army with the correct
political connection one could easily (and frequently did) jump straight to
a regimental colonalcy without the encumberance of any military training or
experience what so ever. Even most West Point trained officers had served a
only a few years before leaving to pursue a civilian career.

However, in 1861, the British Army was most definitely not the same army as
Crimea. Intendance and supply were completely overhauled in the immediate
wake of Crimea, in 1857 the army aborbed the entire Indian officer corp
(which was completely without purchase), and no officer could purchase a
promotion when a more senior officer existed in the regiment (essentially
making purchase only relevant for junior position).

[snip]
Post by Wesley Taylor
They are not hampered by the entrenched and virtually impossible to
remove problem children of the purchase system. When a Union officer
screws up he can be removed if that is the best course. The British
problem child cannot anywhere near as easly.
The British could and did remove problem officers quite effectively (both
Lucan and Cardigan were removed after Balaklava). The purchase system did
not prevent removing bad officers. Cardigan and Lucan you can also match
Napier, Rose, Campbell, Outram, Gough, Scarlett etc.
Wesley Taylor
2003-09-30 03:35:56 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 29 Sep 2003 22:34:05 +1200, "Andrew Vallance"
Post by Andrew Vallance
I've checked the archives and this has all been argued many times before and
tends to get quite heated. Hopefully this can be avoided.
I hope so, but some of todays posts leave me wondering.
Post by Andrew Vallance
The Trent affair (as is) was very unlikely to lead to war because both sides
realised that they had nothing to gain and much to lose. The US realised all
too well that it could not hope to fight the British and the Confederacy at
the same time and the British realised that at that time the US was the
second largest market (or even largest, since the "largest" was actually the
various German states) for British goods.
I would characterize it more that both sides saw that there was no
good reason to go to war at that time because

a) The UK stood to gain next to nothing save an apology and risked
losing a great deal, including face, if the US managed to beat them,
and

b) the US had no interest in fighting a second war that would entail
additional risks without contributing to the governments one overiding
goal, putting down the rebellion.

Neither side had any interest in war and solid reasons for wanting to
avoid unpleasantness. Especially as both sides were slowly moving to a
position that would evolve into the 20th Century defacto
Anglo-American alliance.
Post by Andrew Vallance
However if push had come to shove, what were the actual facts of the matter?
In 1861 the northern states of the US had a population of some 19 million.
The British population at the same time was 28.7 million. In industrial
power the best measure is iron and steel production. I don't have the
figures for 1861, but in 1880 (after massive post Civil War expansion,
financed mostly by British money), the respective figures were USA: 3.84
million tons, Britian 7.75 million tons. Clearly US industrial power was
simply not in the same league as Britain in this period.
Actually the 1860 population was, IIRC, 22-3 million in the North
(31-2 million nationally, 9 million int he CSA). As for industrial
power, Kennedy's book Rise and Fall has relative industrial production
figures and for 1860 they show the UK at 19.9% of the global output
and the US at 7.7%. Whike the British industrial economy is three
times bigger, it also is a peacetime economy. The US is, oin 1861/2, a
partially mobilized war economy. The ability of the UK to actually
mobilize that economy depends on the nature of the war and the reasons
for entering it. I can find no conceivable way to achieve that popular
war without a massive ASB incursion into the scenario.
Post by Andrew Vallance
In naval matters, again the US just isn't in the same league. The British
shipbuilding industry was the largest and most efficent in the world into
the 20th century. It is true that the US and British *wooden* shipbuilding
capacities were similar. This was because the British had largely abandoned
it in favour of iron (not due to a shortage of timber, but because iron is a
superior material for building ships with).
Actually, the US had, according to Stephen Inwoods book "A History of
London", the lead in shipbuilding and was not surpassed until around
1855-60. Part of the reason, I might add that the US did not retaike
that lead until after 1900 was the effect of the civil war on the US
merchant marine. However, in 1860 the US and UK shipbuilding
industries were of similar size and, as the US proved in the war, the
making of iron hulled ships could be expanded quite rapidly.
Post by Andrew Vallance
In marine engineering, no US ship in this period made its design speed (most
failing by 25% to 50%) and US marine engineering would not be a match for
the British until after the 1st World War. Likewise the US was unable to
forge large armour plates of a single thickness and had to rely on single 1"
plates bolted together for armour (a very inferior solution). The US 15" and
11" smoothbore guns (standard US naval armarment) was an good example of
iron gun casting but had inferior armour penteration (as did all
smoothbores). It is true that the British Armstrong rifles were dangerous,
but at most they only represented 50% of any ship's armarment, there were
ample stocks of smoothbores (with the same proviso as the US smoothbores) to
replace them temporarily and the weapon that would replace them (the
Woolwich muzzle loading rifle) was already in production (as were a number
of other fine naval rifles such as the Lancaster, Scott and Whitworth).
Several mistatements in the above.

1) It is rather difficult to make design speeds when the ships engines
keep getting reduced by design board review. That problem was not one
of capacity but of the idiosyncracies of the officers involved.

2) I keep hearing this stuff about plates and the 1 inch thickness.
Interesting that the USS Puritan and Dictators armor used 2" plates
and others used thicker plates. It turns out the 1" plates some assume
were all the US could produce were used by design, not neccessity.

3) the numbers do not bear out the claim that 11 to 15 inch dahlgrens
had "inferior armor penetration". Using the same kind of shot that was
used by the RN (and was used vs armored targets by the USN) The XV
Dahlgren was capable of punching through 5 to 8 inches of iron plate
at 100 yards. This is superior to anything the RN had that did not
have a breech seal problem, and superior to anything the RN ran
otherwise.

4) The RN smoothbores mentioned are the 64 pdrs in the vast majority
of cases. They are next to useless against armored targets. Adequate
for wooden ones however.
Post by Andrew Vallance
It is true that many of the current RN iron clads would have had difficulty
in the shallow waters off the southern US coast. However, the RN had some
well over one hundred shallow draft gunboats (twelve of which are armoured
and armed with Lancaster MLRs) built for service in the Crimea and Baltic
(some in commission, most in ordinary). These were not ocean going warships,
but considerably more seaworthy than the US monitors and sufficent to
enforce a blockade of the US coast.
Again, several problems with the above. First, the armored shallow
draft boats refered to were less well armored than Warrior. Warriors
armor is inadequate for the kind of gunfire that New York harbor, for
example, would put out. The ships you refer to would not last under
fire from the batteries there. And that is precisely where RN doctrine
would send them.

Second, lumping the seagoing characteristics of all monitors into one
lump indicates you know very little about them. They ranged from the
river monitors that I would barely trust in a largish lake to the
Passaics, one of which weathered gale force winds off Charleston to
the USS Dictator, which sailed thru a hurricane after the war. Ocean
going monitors, as most of the coastal ships were, were vefry
seaworthy. Only 2 sank not from combat damage and one was the
prototype. The other sank due to an open hatch in a storm. This is
equivalent to diving a sub with the deck hatches open.
Post by Andrew Vallance
The US would quickly resort to commerce raiding, as it had done in 1812. The
results are likely to be similar to 1812 as well. The US would acheive some
spectacular local successes up until all the raiders had been hunted down or
blockaded in US ports. In 1812 it took the British about a year to do this
(whilst simultaniously maintaining a blockade on Europe). The RN in 1861 had
135 cruising ships in active commission with another 188 in ordinary. So the
raiders would inflict some annoying and even painful damage on the British,
but hardly fatal. Remember in 1861, the RN has a *huge* reserve pool of
ships to draw on.
Actually far worse than in 1812. The number of raiders will be much
larger. 150 initial surge, with the potential for a fair number more
as the war wears on. As the USN found out with a larger number of
ships for blockade, it is not possible to stop commerce on that scale
of a coast. The second wave will include a larger number of purpose
built raiders, on the type of Alabama but possibly larger. Add better
armament than the CSA had and you have a real problem. Further, the
spectacular successes you allude to could have crippling effects on
the British home situation.
Post by Andrew Vallance
When ones comes to the respective armies, ones finds a closer match. The
British standing army at this time was some 200,000 troops in India (more
than enough to deal with any colonial unrest that could arise in Asia) and
approximately 100,000 held in reserve in the British Isles (plus some other
scattered colonial garrisons, totaling less than 15,000). These troops were
well equiped and well trained regulars with experience from the Crimea and
India. The British also had an ample cadre of experienced officers and (more
crucially) NCOs to expand around. The US army at this time was some 600,000
(my earlier figures were incorrect, my apologies) strong. However, most of
these were still poorly equiped raw recruits. None of these new units had a
cadre of prior experience (the pre war US army was only 16,000 strong and
its officer corp had been hit heavily by defections of Confederate
sympathisers). The US could (and indeed did) build a world beating army, but
Britian could easily deploy 50,000 to 80,000 troops to Canada at short
notice and raise more than sufficent troops to hold the line against any
conceivable US assault.
Manpower. The US would mobilise some 11% of its population during the war.
The usually accepted figure for full mobilisation is 10%. You can go over
this (indeed the Confederacy reached some 13% mobilisation), however their
are significant costs in doing this; both in terms of long term damage to
your economy and the quality of the additional manpower you are raising.
At peak the US mobilized something like 5 to 6% of it's population in
the ACW. This could have been boosted to 8% or so and not done major
damage. This would have boosted the army by a third. More than enough
to take Canada and the rest of BNA and shorten the war with the CSA.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Logistics. The British were past masters at preparing and supporting large
overseas expeditions. They organised and dispatched a force of over 30,000
troops for immediate deployment to India within a month of the outbreak of
the great mutiny in 1857. Again there is no reason to suspect that the
British could not support a signficant (hundreds of thousands of troops) to
Canada, more than sufficent to defend the Maritimes and Quebec (the regions
of Canada that are worth a damn). Likewise, the British could have quickly
raised and supplied an expeditionary from India to invade California. This
would have been just slightly more worthwhile than a US invasion of Upper
Canada (but not by much).
Actually there is good reason reinforcing Canada could have been very
difficult. . At the height of the Trent affair it was discovered that
the army could not reinforce Canada with significant numbers rapidly.
The reason was the frozen state of the Saint Lawrence. Troops had to
be landed in Halifax, railed to Moncton and sledged over the rest of
the route to Quebec.OTL something like half the reinforcements were
sent via Portland Maine after the crisis was over because a direct
rail link existed from Maine to Quebec.
Post by Andrew Vallance
And finally, would the British have allied themselves with the Confederacy
in any hypothetical war? The evidence points very strongly in that
direction. Palmerston's comments at length in his diaries about how a war
would force Britian into the dubious moral position of defending and
preserving slavery. It seems clear that he was in no doubts that war would
lead to alliance with the Confederacy.
Actually the evidence points strongly to Palmerston doing all he could
to delay that 'inevitabilty' for as long as possible.
Post by Andrew Vallance
The bottom line is that in 1861 the US was a respectable middle rank power
(roughly on a par with the UK now), Britian was the world's current
superpower. If push came to shove the result is quite easy to determine,
Britian would have won. It wouldn't have been a walk over, but the outcome
would not have been in doubt. Lincoln and Seward were well aware of this
reality, which is one of the major reasons why the PoD is so unlikely.
In 1861 the US was the Premier North American regional power. No
Superpower existed. The UK was a Great Power. The difference is that
the US today can pretty much do what it wants anywhere. The UK then
could not. Also note that the only reason the US was not a Great Power
in 1860 was a serious disinclination to play the game. The US had as
much industrial might as any power other than the UK. The US had as
much population as several of what were soon Great Powers.

No, the war would not have been a walkover. And the potential for
disaster was well known on BOTH sides, for both sides.
Andrew Vallance
2003-09-30 10:14:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Taylor
On Mon, 29 Sep 2003 22:34:05 +1200, "Andrew Vallance"
Post by Andrew Vallance
I've checked the archives and this has all been argued many times before and
tends to get quite heated. Hopefully this can be avoided.
I hope so, but some of todays posts leave me wondering.
So far seems to have been quite a civil discussion :*>
Post by Wesley Taylor
Post by Andrew Vallance
However if push had come to shove, what were the actual facts of the matter?
In 1861 the northern states of the US had a population of some 19 million.
The British population at the same time was 28.7 million. In industrial
power the best measure is iron and steel production. I don't have the
figures for 1861, but in 1880 (after massive post Civil War expansion,
financed mostly by British money), the respective figures were USA: 3.84
million tons, Britian 7.75 million tons. Clearly US industrial power was
simply not in the same league as Britain in this period.
Actually the 1860 population was, IIRC, 22-3 million in the North
(31-2 million nationally, 9 million int he CSA). As for industrial
power, Kennedy's book Rise and Fall has relative industrial production
figures and for 1860 they show the UK at 19.9% of the global output
and the US at 7.7%. Whike the British industrial economy is three
times bigger, it also is a peacetime economy. The US is, oin 1861/2, a
partially mobilized war economy. The ability of the UK to actually
mobilize that economy depends on the nature of the war and the reasons
for entering it. I can find no conceivable way to achieve that popular
war without a massive ASB incursion into the scenario.
Very much depends. To get a war from Trent, you have to make Trent
significantly worse (have a couple of civilians shot in the boarding to
start with, but thats probably still not enough). So even at the very start
we've got a very different situation. However the mood in Britain in the
winter of 1861 was very much pro war and pro Confederacy. On top of Trent,
you've got a serious economic downturn in the midlands caused by disruption
to the cotton trade (this would be reversed as the British started to export
large quantities of munitions and supplies to both sides, but thats a way
down the track in winter 1861). Adams (the US ambassador in London) summed
up the situation as "19 out of 20 men would opt for immediate war".

However, if the British economy was three times the size of the US, then
they wouldn't need to fully mobilise it for war to match the US.
Post by Wesley Taylor
Post by Andrew Vallance
In naval matters, again the US just isn't in the same league. The British
shipbuilding industry was the largest and most efficent in the world into
the 20th century. It is true that the US and British *wooden*
shipbuilding
Post by Wesley Taylor
Post by Andrew Vallance
capacities were similar. This was because the British had largely abandoned
it in favour of iron (not due to a shortage of timber, but because iron is a
superior material for building ships with).
Actually, the US had, according to Stephen Inwoods book "A History of
London", the lead in shipbuilding and was not surpassed until around
1855-60. Part of the reason, I might add that the US did not retaike
that lead until after 1900 was the effect of the civil war on the US
merchant marine. However, in 1860 the US and UK shipbuilding
industries were of similar size and, as the US proved in the war, the
making of iron hulled ships could be expanded quite rapidly.
Uhmm, I think your source is in error. According to "British Shipbuilding
Industry 1870-1914" (Pollard and Robertson) in 1870 Britain launched over
four times as many vessels (military and mercantile) than its nearest rival
(the US). So unless the US ship building industry had suffered a
catastrophic decline or the British a remarkable expansion, I would regard
your source as suspect.

As to iron hulled ships according to Conways the USN built 6 during the
civil war (one schooner and five iron hulled monitors). Hardly a sign of
rapid expansion.
Post by Wesley Taylor
Post by Andrew Vallance
In marine engineering, no US ship in this period made its design speed (most
failing by 25% to 50%) and US marine engineering would not be a match for
the British until after the 1st World War. Likewise the US was unable to
forge large armour plates of a single thickness and had to rely on single 1"
plates bolted together for armour (a very inferior solution). The US 15" and
11" smoothbore guns (standard US naval armarment) was an good example of
iron gun casting but had inferior armour penteration (as did all
smoothbores). It is true that the British Armstrong rifles were dangerous,
but at most they only represented 50% of any ship's armarment, there were
ample stocks of smoothbores (with the same proviso as the US smoothbores) to
replace them temporarily and the weapon that would replace them (the
Woolwich muzzle loading rifle) was already in production (as were a number
of other fine naval rifles such as the Lancaster, Scott and Whitworth).
Several mistatements in the above.
1) It is rather difficult to make design speeds when the ships engines
keep getting reduced by design board review. That problem was not one
of capacity but of the idiosyncracies of the officers involved.
Uhmm, the reason why the design board kept reducing the power was because
the required power could not be reasonably fitted into the ships given the
capacity of US marine engines. The best US ship in this period was the
Wampanoag class. This dedicated 30% of its displacement to machinery and
failed to make its design speed (16 knots). The British equivalent (Reed's
Iron Frigates) on a similar tonnage dedicated 18% of their displacement to
machinery and exceeded their design speed (16 knots).
Post by Wesley Taylor
2) I keep hearing this stuff about plates and the 1 inch thickness.
Interesting that the USS Puritan and Dictators armor used 2" plates
and others used thicker plates. It turns out the 1" plates some assume
were all the US could produce were used by design, not neccessity.
To quote from Conways (p114)
"A serious difficulty was that there was little capacity in the USA for
making heavy wrought iron plates or forgings, and it was considered
dangerous to rely on manufacture in Britain... As a result most of the US
monitors had their armour built up from 1" plates bolted or rivetted
together. very much a second best alternative to having the entire thickness
in one plate"

So yes, the decision to use multiple plates was by sort of by design, the
USN elected not to rely on foreign imports.
Post by Wesley Taylor
3) the numbers do not bear out the claim that 11 to 15 inch dahlgrens
had "inferior armor penetration". Using the same kind of shot that was
used by the RN (and was used vs armored targets by the USN) The XV
Dahlgren was capable of punching through 5 to 8 inches of iron plate
at 100 yards. This is superior to anything the RN had that did not
have a breech seal problem, and superior to anything the RN ran
otherwise.
Again from Conways
"For armarment the principle weapon was the 15" smoothbore gun, a very fine
example of iron casting but an inferior armour piercing weapon for its
weight of 18-19t".
And again, the Woolwich rifle (the 6.3" [weight 3.6t] would penetrate 7.7"
of armour at 100 yds, the 9" [12t] pentrated 11.3") already existed and was
in production (though not yet fitted to any ships). The weight issue is
critical as it determines how strong the ships framing has to be (especially
important for the US since most of their ships are wooden) and how many you
can carry.
Post by Wesley Taylor
4) The RN smoothbores mentioned are the 64 pdrs in the vast majority
of cases. They are next to useless against armored targets. Adequate
for wooden ones however.
Uhmm, the US had exactly two armoured ships in commission in the
spring-summer of 1862 (one of which was a dismal failure) with another six
commissioning at the end of the year. The primary combatants in this
hypothetical conflict would be wooden. As to the replacement of the
Armstrong, there were ample choices already in
existance and they could be refitted quickly in a crisis.
Post by Wesley Taylor
Post by Andrew Vallance
It is true that many of the current RN iron clads would have had difficulty
in the shallow waters off the southern US coast. However, the RN had some
well over one hundred shallow draft gunboats (twelve of which are armoured
and armed with Lancaster MLRs) built for service in the Crimea and Baltic
(some in commission, most in ordinary). These were not ocean going warships,
but considerably more seaworthy than the US monitors and sufficent to
enforce a blockade of the US coast.
Again, several problems with the above. First, the armored shallow
draft boats refered to were less well armored than Warrior. Warriors
armor is inadequate for the kind of gunfire that New York harbor, for
example, would put out. The ships you refer to would not last under
fire from the batteries there. And that is precisely where RN doctrine
would send them.
Again no. RN doctrine was not to engage forts with ships (Lord Nelson aside,
had been so since the 18th century). The gunboats would have sat off New
York, not sailed into the harbour.
Post by Wesley Taylor
Second, lumping the seagoing characteristics of all monitors into one
lump indicates you know very little about them. They ranged from the
river monitors that I would barely trust in a largish lake to the
Passaics, one of which weathered gale force winds off Charleston to
the USS Dictator, which sailed thru a hurricane after the war. Ocean
going monitors, as most of the coastal ships were, were vefry
seaworthy. Only 2 sank not from combat damage and one was the
prototype. The other sank due to an open hatch in a storm. This is
equivalent to diving a sub with the deck hatches open.
Seaworthy as in able to fight in some kind of a seaway rather than simply
not sink in a storm. And we've not even gone into the monitors low rate of
fire, their inability to take direct aim due to the design of the Erikson
turrets, their appalling lack of reserve boyancy or their heavy roll due to
low metacentric height.
Post by Wesley Taylor
Post by Andrew Vallance
Logistics. The British were past masters at preparing and supporting large
overseas expeditions. They organised and dispatched a force of over 30,000
troops for immediate deployment to India within a month of the outbreak of
the great mutiny in 1857. Again there is no reason to suspect that the
British could not support a signficant (hundreds of thousands of troops) to
Canada, more than sufficent to defend the Maritimes and Quebec (the regions
of Canada that are worth a damn). Likewise, the British could have quickly
raised and supplied an expeditionary from India to invade California. This
would have been just slightly more worthwhile than a US invasion of Upper
Canada (but not by much).
Actually there is good reason reinforcing Canada could have been very
difficult. . At the height of the Trent affair it was discovered that
No, they discovered that reinforcing Canada at the height of winter was
difficult. One presumes the US would be wise enough to realise that invading
Canada in the middle of winter is somewhat harder still :*>
Post by Wesley Taylor
the army could not reinforce Canada with significant numbers rapidly.
The reason was the frozen state of the Saint Lawrence. Troops had to
be landed in Halifax, railed to Moncton and sledged over the rest of
the route to Quebec.OTL something like half the reinforcements were
Nope, land in Halifax, rail to Moncton, route march to Trois Pistoles
(approx 200 miles) and then rail to Quebec. Difficult in December/January,
considerably easier in Feburary/March.
Post by Wesley Taylor
sent via Portland Maine after the crisis was over because a direct
rail link existed from Maine to Quebec.
The other 5,000 were shipped through Maine exactly because the crisis had
passed (Mason and Sidwell were released on 1st January 1862).
mike
2003-09-30 20:55:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Wesley Taylor
merchant marine. However, in 1860 the US and UK shipbuilding
industries were of similar size and, as the US proved in the war, the
making of iron hulled ships could be expanded quite rapidly.
Uhmm, I think your source is in error. According to "British Shipbuilding
Industry 1870-1914" (Pollard and Robertson) in 1870 Britain launched over
four times as many vessels (military and mercantile) than its nearest rival
(the US). So unless the US ship building industry had suffered a
catastrophic decline or the British a remarkable expansion, I would regard
your source as suspect.
The US iron industry did draw down in the 1870s, as the only
protectionist deals I recall was that RRs that got Western LandGrants
had to use some % of US iron, otherwise the pricewars between Sweden
and the UK kept worldwide prices pretty low, and there were no other
restrictions on Imports. The US iron industry was v.healthy till
1867 or so: just too lazy to dig out the info for US production,
as my copy of_ A Nation of Steel_ isn't handy.
Post by Andrew Vallance
As to iron hulled ships according to Conways the USN built 6 during the
civil war (one schooner and five iron hulled monitors). Hardly a sign of
rapid expansion.
It leaves out many that were built from 1845 onwards, as they
weren't combat vessels. Harlan & Hollingsworth and Pusey & Jones
built scores of fast iron Steamers prewar(and during the war)
but the USN didn't want that. H&H built Monitors, but iron
hulls weren't in the contract.

Ever notice that the majority of the Iron hulled ships were in the
various River Squadrons, or the North Atlantic?

Iron hulls weed up fast in warm waters, and that marine growth
slows the ships by a large margin: drydock time is the result,
as careening an iron hull on a beach somewhere isn't recommended,
unlike wood.

To get around that, many Iron ships that were to spend a lot of time
in tropic waters, away from regular drydocking, were wood sheethed
then copper bottomed.

Also, a 1/2 to 3/4" thick hull is not very damage resistant
to gunfire, and not as easy to patch. Insert vauge memory of some
early RN ironhulled (not armored) warships getted downrated to
being transports.

At this time, iron alone wouldn't do, too brittle:needed thick
wood backing.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Wesley Taylor
1) It is rather difficult to make design speeds when the ships engines
keep getting reduced by design board review. That problem was not one
of capacity but of the idiosyncracies of the officers involved.
Uhmm, the reason why the design board kept reducing the power was because
the required power could not be reasonably fitted into the ships given the
capacity of US marine engines. The best US ship in this period was the
Wampanoag class. This dedicated 30% of its displacement to machinery and
failed to make its design speed (16 knots). The British equivalent (Reed's
Iron Frigates) on a similar tonnage dedicated 18% of their displacement to
machinery and exceeded their design speed (16 knots).
Similar? HMS Inconstant was 5780T, W was 4215: about 200 tons more,
for machinery, but that accounts for the gearing,superheaters and
additional coal bunkerage on W--Steaming at 11 Knots W could go 4000
miles, while Inconstant could only go 2700 at 10 knots. W did 17.75
Knots
on trials, and 11 on Sail in 1868. Please don't cite Conways on Shah's
range, as she was 10 years newer and 2000T heavier than W, and
nearly 500T heavier and 7 years newer than Inconstant. A whole
different
era.

For gunpower, W had (10) IX Dahlgren and (3) 60 pdr Parrotts,
while Inconstant had (10) 9" MLR and (6)7" MLR. W had plenty for a
Raider, as Alabama did well with a single 100 pdr Rifle, a 68 pdr
SB as Pivots and (6) 32 pdrs in broadside.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Again from Conways
"For armarment the principle weapon was the 15" smoothbore gun, a very fine
example of iron casting but an inferior armour piercing weapon for its
weight of 18-19t".
Until the method of plate mounting was changed post ACW, racking
was the way to hurt Ironclads. See CSS Atlanta.
Post by Andrew Vallance
critical as it determines how strong the ships framing has to be (especially
important for the US since most of their ships are wooden) and how many you
can carry.
Iron strapping and diagonals were not unknown to USN Frigates and
Sloops.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Uhmm, the US had exactly two armoured ships in commission in the
spring-summer of 1862 (one of which was a dismal failure) with another six
commissioning at the end of the year. The primary combatants in this
hypothetical conflict would be wooden.
An advantage to the USN 9 and 11 inch shellfire.
Post by Andrew Vallance
fire, their inability to take direct aim due to the design of the Erikson
turrets, their appalling lack of reserve boyancy or their heavy roll due to
low metacentric height.
Heavy roll with Monitors?!? Better doublecheck your math on Roll
Rates,
and how Monitor Hull/Deck interation acted like a blister to effect
Roll.

Then compare with oh... HMS Captain.


**
mike
**
Andrew Vallance
2003-10-01 11:59:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by mike
Also, a 1/2 to 3/4" thick hull is not very damage resistant
The importance of iron hulls is not damage resistance, it that you can build
the hull longer, carry more weight and that have watertight subdivision in
an iron hull
Post by mike
to gunfire, and not as easy to patch. Insert vauge memory of some
early RN ironhulled (not armored) warships getted downrated to
being transports.
Yes, those built before the 1860s
Post by mike
At this time, iron alone wouldn't do, too brittle:needed thick
wood backing.
True until the improvements of the Bessmeir proccess, which is why the RN
didn't start building iron warships until the 1860s

[snip]
Post by mike
Similar? HMS Inconstant was 5780T, W was 4215: about 200 tons more,
for machinery, but that accounts for the gearing,superheaters and
additional coal bunkerage on W--Steaming at 11 Knots W could go 4000
miles, while Inconstant could only go 2700 at 10 knots. W did 17.75
Knots
The Wampanoag used 1200 tons to raise 4100 ihp, the Inconsistant used 1000
tons to raise 7600 ihp. (BTW the figures don't take into account bunkerage)

[snip]
Post by mike
Post by Andrew Vallance
critical as it determines how strong the ships framing has to be (especially
important for the US since most of their ships are wooden) and how many you
can carry.
Iron strapping and diagonals were not unknown to USN Frigates and
Sloops.
Even with iron framing there is an absolute limit to the length you can
build a wooden hull and to the weight it can bear. These limits were being
reached in the 1860s
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2003-10-01 13:45:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Vallance
Yes, those built before the 1860s
He is thinking of three iron frigates that were ordered before firing
trials. They were built of IIRC 0.75in plate. They were relegated to
transports because firing trials indicated that iron produced worse
splinters.

Ken Young
***@cix.co.uk

Those who cover themselves with martial glory
frequently go in need of any other garment. (Bramah)
Wesley Taylor
2003-10-01 16:38:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Post by Andrew Vallance
Yes, those built before the 1860s
He is thinking of three iron frigates that were ordered before firing
trials. They were built of IIRC 0.75in plate. They were relegated to
transports because firing trials indicated that iron produced worse
splinters.
No, they were relegated to transports because the iron hulls were seen
by the conservatives in charge as more vulnerable to sinking. Some
comments about wood swelling up and sealing holes were made.
(Noseworthy, Bloody Crucible of Courage, pg 117 gives a good account
of the set of incidents, including a reference for a November 1860
article by an individual who assured his readers that he had seen
holes from 3 inch shells seal themselves over the course of a few
hours. )
Andrew Vallance
2003-10-02 14:22:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Taylor
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
He is thinking of three iron frigates that were ordered before firing
trials. They were built of IIRC 0.75in plate. They were relegated to
transports because firing trials indicated that iron produced worse
splinters.
No, they were relegated to transports because the iron hulls were seen
by the conservatives in charge as more vulnerable to sinking. Some
comments about wood swelling up and sealing holes were made.
(Noseworthy, Bloody Crucible of Courage, pg 117 gives a good account
of the set of incidents, including a reference for a November 1860
article by an individual who assured his readers that he had seen
holes from 3 inch shells seal themselves over the course of a few
hours. )
According to "Fighting Ships in the Royal Navy 987-1984" (Archibald) pp96
"Iron hulls for fighting ships were, indeed, positively discredited
following firing tests against a lightly-built iron vessel called the Ruby
in 1840. The results were most disquieting; the Ruby's sides shattered under
the blows, sending showers of lethal splinters round the interior, to a much
worse digree than was found with an equivalent wooden ship... though as a
result of the Ruby experiment the four iron frigates then building were
converted into transports before going into service"
Wesley Taylor
2003-10-02 17:12:53 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 3 Oct 2003 02:22:32 +1200, "Andrew Vallance"
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Wesley Taylor
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
He is thinking of three iron frigates that were ordered before firing
trials. They were built of IIRC 0.75in plate. They were relegated to
transports because firing trials indicated that iron produced worse
splinters.
No, they were relegated to transports because the iron hulls were seen
by the conservatives in charge as more vulnerable to sinking. Some
comments about wood swelling up and sealing holes were made.
(Noseworthy, Bloody Crucible of Courage, pg 117 gives a good account
of the set of incidents, including a reference for a November 1860
article by an individual who assured his readers that he had seen
holes from 3 inch shells seal themselves over the course of a few
hours. )
According to "Fighting Ships in the Royal Navy 987-1984" (Archibald) pp96
"Iron hulls for fighting ships were, indeed, positively discredited
following firing tests against a lightly-built iron vessel called the Ruby
in 1840. The results were most disquieting; the Ruby's sides shattered under
the blows, sending showers of lethal splinters round the interior, to a much
worse digree than was found with an equivalent wooden ship... though as a
result of the Ruby experiment the four iron frigates then building were
converted into transports before going into service"
Looks to me like our sources disagree.
phil hunt
2003-09-30 18:46:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Taylor
On Mon, 29 Sep 2003 22:34:05 +1200, "Andrew Vallance"
Post by Andrew Vallance
I've checked the archives and this has all been argued many times before and
tends to get quite heated. Hopefully this can be avoided.
I hope so, but some of todays posts leave me wondering.
Post by Andrew Vallance
The Trent affair (as is) was very unlikely to lead to war because both sides
realised that they had nothing to gain and much to lose. The US realised all
too well that it could not hope to fight the British and the Confederacy at
the same time and the British realised that at that time the US was the
second largest market (or even largest, since the "largest" was actually the
various German states) for British goods.
I would characterize it more that both sides saw that there was no
good reason to go to war at that time because
a) The UK stood to gain next to nothing save an apology and risked
losing a great deal, including face, if the US managed to beat them,
and
What if the UK had decided it wanted to uphold the principle that
British merchant ships could trade whereaver they wanted to, without
being harrassed by foreign warships? Is it plausible that (a) the UK
would feel this was a desirable goal, and (b) would be prepared to
use force to do anything about it?
Post by Wesley Taylor
b) the US had no interest in fighting a second war that would entail
additional risks without contributing to the governments one overiding
goal, putting down the rebellion.
Indeed. Although some might look at all the lightly-defended ground
in Canada and decide they could grab it; this would be more likely,
the better the war with the CSA was going.
Post by Wesley Taylor
Neither side had any interest in war and solid reasons for wanting to
avoid unpleasantness. Especially as both sides were slowly moving to a
position that would evolve into the 20th Century defacto
Anglo-American alliance.
Maybe, bgut I don't think that was obvious in the 1860s.
Post by Wesley Taylor
Actually the 1860 population was, IIRC, 22-3 million in the North
(31-2 million nationally, 9 million int he CSA). As for industrial
power, Kennedy's book Rise and Fall has relative industrial production
figures and for 1860 they show the UK at 19.9% of the global output
and the US at 7.7%.
Is that including the CSA or not?
Post by Wesley Taylor
Whike the British industrial economy is three
times bigger, it also is a peacetime economy. The US is, oin 1861/2, a
partially mobilized war economy. The ability of the UK to actually
mobilize that economy depends on the nature of the war and the reasons
for entering it.
This is a good point. British public sentiment didn't favour the
CSA, because of slavery. If the CSA did give up slavery (which was
very unlikely), UK public opinion would probably see the CSA as an
underdog which only wanted freedom from the tyranny of the USA. So
the only way the UK govmt could get support for a war is if the USA
is clearly an aggressor, which is unlikely to happen unless a minor
US army or navy officer goes loony and commits atrocities.
Post by Wesley Taylor
I can find no conceivable way to achieve that popular
war without a massive ASB incursion into the scenario.
WI slavery had gradually ended by the 1830s, and wasn't an issue,
but (for other reasons) parts of the USA tried to secede anyway?
Post by Wesley Taylor
Actually, the US had, according to Stephen Inwoods book "A History of
London", the lead in shipbuilding and was not surpassed until around
1855-60. Part of the reason, I might add that the US did not retaike
that lead until after 1900 was the effect of the civil war on the US
merchant marine. However, in 1860 the US and UK shipbuilding
industries were of similar size and, as the US proved in the war, the
making of iron hulled ships could be expanded quite rapidly.
And expanded more quickly in the UK than USA because (1) the UK's
GDP was bigger, (2) the USA was putting most of its resources into
fighting a land war, (3) naval supremacy was a very high priority
for the UK govmt.
Post by Wesley Taylor
Again, several problems with the above. First, the armored shallow
draft boats refered to were less well armored than Warrior. Warriors
armor is inadequate for the kind of gunfire that New York harbor, for
example, would put out. The ships you refer to would not last under
fire from the batteries there. And that is precisely where RN doctrine
would send them.
Presumably the RN would change their tactics if it failed. They
could, for example, land men at lightly-defended parts of the coast,
attack economic targets such as railroads, then withdraw. This would
force the USA to garrison a long coastline, tying up troops.
Post by Wesley Taylor
Ocean
going monitors, as most of the coastal ships were, were very
seaworthy. Only 2 sank not from combat damage
Some discrepancy in those two statements, I think.
--
"It's easier to find people online who openly support the KKK than
people who openly support the RIAA" -- comment on Wikipedia
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2003-10-01 00:19:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Taylor
It turns out the 1" plates some assume
were all the US could produce were used by design, not neccessity.
Still inferior to a single thickness though.
Post by Wesley Taylor
The XV
Dahlgren was capable of punching through 5 to 8 inches of iron plate
at 100 yards.
See answer to 4.
Post by Wesley Taylor
Passaics, one of which weathered gale force winds off Charleston to
the USS Dictator, which sailed thru a hurricane after the war. Ocean
going monitors, as most of the coastal ships were, were vefry
seaworthy.
Well the Dictator was not commissioned until November 1864, besides
the question is not whether or not they could survive in high sea
states but whether or not they could fight,
Post by Wesley Taylor
4) The RN smoothbores mentioned are the 64 pdrs in the vast majority
of cases. They are next to useless against armored targets. Adequate
for wooden ones however.
About 4 inch penetration against wrought iron, at likely combat
range, (800 yards) which is why Warrior got 4.5 inches. British firing
tests indicated that wood backing to the belt was essential.

Ken Young
***@cix.co.uk

Those who cover themselves with martial glory
frequently go in need of any other garment. (Bramah)
Wesley Taylor
2003-10-01 07:29:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Post by Wesley Taylor
It turns out the 1" plates some assume
were all the US could produce were used by design, not neccessity.
Still inferior to a single thickness though.
Inferior for what? And by what assumptions. That is part of the
problem. Was single layer armor better than laminate/mulilayer in the
ACW period ? Yes, for stopping a single shot. No for stopping
ratcheting of the armor.
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Post by Wesley Taylor
The XV
Dahlgren was capable of punching through 5 to 8 inches of iron plate
at 100 yards.
See answer to 4.
Post by Wesley Taylor
Passaics, one of which weathered gale force winds off Charleston to
the USS Dictator, which sailed thru a hurricane after the war. Ocean
going monitors, as most of the coastal ships were, were vefry
seaworthy.
Well the Dictator was not commissioned until November 1864, besides
the question is not whether or not they could survive in high sea
states but whether or not they could fight,
No actions in the kind of rough weather you are talking about occured
in the ACW and most navies tried to avoid them for combat at all
costs. However, the lessened roll the Monitor design provided meant
that, with the turret only open for a few moments to fire, that a
monitor probably could fight in most seas it could sail in. Only the
worst, which would likely have had rolls to sever for the regular
ships to fight in, would have precluded fighting.
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Post by Wesley Taylor
4) The RN smoothbores mentioned are the 64 pdrs in the vast majority
of cases. They are next to useless against armored targets. Adequate
for wooden ones however.
About 4 inch penetration against wrought iron, at likely combat
range, (800 yards) which is why Warrior got 4.5 inches. British firing
tests indicated that wood backing to the belt was essential.
As I said, useless against armored targets. The Warrior armor was 4.6
inch wrought iron equivalent. The Passaics ended up with something
like 6 inch equivalent and other monitors were as heavily armored or
worse. And 4.5 inches will not stop full power XI Dahlgrens. At those
impact levels the backing the RN insisted was essential was found, in
the CSA ships using the technique, to be a ready source of crew
fatalities and injuries beyond that of the shell/shot itself.

By contrast the unbacked armor of a monitor required only the addition
of a screen inside to stop rivets sprung lose by impact.
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2003-10-01 13:45:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Taylor
However, the lessened roll the Monitor design provided meant
that, with the turret only open for a few moments to fire,
Provided they did not have to traverse the turret. The Erricson
turret could not be traversed while in contact with the deck. To
traverse it had to be jacked up on a central spindle. This would be
dodgy to say the least with water coming over the deck. Even Dictator
only had 16 inches of freeboard,
Post by Wesley Taylor
As I said, useless against armored targets. The Warrior armor was
4.6 inch wrought iron equivalent.
4.5 inches of wrought iron backed by 18 inches of wood. This was what
was required to be sure off stopping penetration by a 68 pdr shot at
800 yards. Britain did extensive firing tests before deciding on the
armour scheme. The gun mountings were an advance on anything the RN
had used before with muzzle pivoting and friction recoil plates. Rate
of fire was something like 2-3 rounds a minute compared with the
Dalgren's what?
Post by Wesley Taylor
At those impact levels the backing the RN insisted was essential was
found, in the CSA ships using the technique, to be a ready source of
crew fatalities and injuries beyond that of the shell/shot itself.
Confederate armour did not use techniques comparable to the RN the
Confederates did not have the industrial capacity for that.



Ken Young
***@cix.co.uk

Those who cover themselves with martial glory
frequently go in need of any other garment. (Bramah)
Wesley Taylor
2003-10-01 16:16:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Post by Wesley Taylor
However, the lessened roll the Monitor design provided meant
that, with the turret only open for a few moments to fire,
Provided they did not have to traverse the turret. The Erricson
turret could not be traversed while in contact with the deck. To
traverse it had to be jacked up on a central spindle. This would be
dodgy to say the least with water coming over the deck. Even Dictator
only had 16 inches of freeboard,
You just demonstrated that you do not know the design. The problem is
exactly the reason on all monitors after the first there is a sheath
on the outside of the turret base higher than the turret needed to be
raised. This drastically reduces the amount of water that could get in
and would, again, be something that could be dealt with with pumps.
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Post by Wesley Taylor
As I said, useless against armored targets. The Warrior armor was
4.6 inch wrought iron equivalent.
4.5 inches of wrought iron backed by 18 inches of wood.
Yes. Based on the Okun data that is the armor equivalent of a single
4.6 inch wrought iron plate. That is why I noted 4.6 inch *equivalent*
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
This was what
was required to be sure off stopping penetration by a 68 pdr shot at
800 yards. Britain did extensive firing tests before deciding on the
armour scheme. The gun mountings were an advance on anything the RN
had used before with muzzle pivoting and friction recoil plates. Rate
of fire was something like 2-3 rounds a minute compared with the
Dalgren's what?
You really are not getting it. At the level the plates on the USN
monitors were at the 68 pdr will not only not penetrate it will not
ratchet the armor either at an apprecialble rate. Passaics withstood
such fire for 4+ hours in Charleston harbor, being hit hundreds of
times. The armor had to be reworked afterwards but it did not, based
on the reports, come near failure.

On the other hand, armor whose effective thickness was near that of
Warriors, in the battle of Mobile Bay, was hit by a XV Dahlgren (one
shot) and had a hole 3 ft across in it.

Rate of Fire is only important when dealing with effective shot.
Against heavily armored targets the 68 pdr is not effective.
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Post by Wesley Taylor
At those impact levels the backing the RN insisted was essential was
found, in the CSA ships using the technique, to be a ready source of
crew fatalities and injuries beyond that of the shell/shot itself.
Confederate armour did not use techniques comparable to the RN the
Confederates did not have the industrial capacity for that.
The backing does not require the industrial capacity you are worried
about. The point shown repeatedly was that if the armor came near to
breaking the backing becomes shrapnel or worse in the gun compartment.
There are numerous incidents of damage from large spinters (including,
IIRC, one decapitation) following a hit that ruptured or cracked the
plates.
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2003-10-01 17:37:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Taylor
This drastically reduces the amount of water that could get in
and would, again, be something that could be dealt with with pumps.
I will take your word for this, though I seem to remember that only
one class got this bulwark and it was intended to protect the base of
the turret not keep out water. In fact unless it was higher than wave
height all it would do would be to concentrate water around the base
of the turret, there were reasons for Britain building Breastwork
Monitors. However wet gunpowder does not function that well.
Considering that all British ships were faster than the US ones under
all conditions a battle at sea would have allowed the UK fleet to
dictate fighting range. Mind you much of this is academic. For most of
1862 the only monitor the US had was Monitor. The first Passiac to be
commissioned was in November 1862. Mine prepared plans for a war
against the US, he envisaged operating from Bermuda, Havana and the
West Indies with a force of about 60 steam ships mounting 1,273 guns.

The US would probably be able to protect it's ports, but would be
unable to maintain the blockade of the South and was likely to be
blockaded it's self. For an account of European plans see Ironclads at
War page 108-117.
Post by Wesley Taylor
There are numerous incidents of damage from large spinters
(including, IIRC, one decapitation) following a hit that ruptured or
cracked the plates.
The problem of splinters was well known to the RN. After all it was
the major cause of casualties during all previous naval wars. Unlike
the confederate ships the armour of the Warrior was not iron on a
wooden hull. It was iron on a wood backing fitted to a separate iron
hull.


Ken Young
***@cix.co.uk

Those who cover themselves with martial glory
frequently go in need of any other garment. (Bramah)
Andrew Vallance
2003-10-02 14:32:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Post by Wesley Taylor
This drastically reduces the amount of water that could get in
and would, again, be something that could be dealt with with pumps.
I will take your word for this, though I seem to remember that only
one class got this bulwark and it was intended to protect the base of
the turret not keep out water. In fact unless it was higher than wave
height all it would do would be to concentrate water around the base
of the turret, there were reasons for Britain building Breastwork
Monitors. However wet gunpowder does not function that well.
Both the Passaic's and Canonicus's had the turret skirt (5" thick and 15"
high). Added as a result of experience gained in the fighting around
Charleston.
Andrew Vallance
2003-10-02 14:09:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Taylor
You really are not getting it. At the level the plates on the USN
monitors were at the 68 pdr will not only not penetrate it will not
ratchet the armor either at an apprecialble rate. Passaics withstood
such fire for 4+ hours in Charleston harbor, being hit hundreds of
times. The armor had to be reworked afterwards but it did not, based
on the reports, come near failure.
In this highly hypothetical war, what restricts the British to 68 pdrs? The
Woolwich rifle existed in 1861, as did the Lancaster, Scott and Whitworth.
The replacement of the Armstrong BL proceeded slowly in OTL because there
was no great pressure to replace them quickly, one can safely assume that
such a circumstance would not apply if there was a war going on.
Andrew Vallance
2003-10-02 14:45:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Taylor
You really are not getting it. At the level the plates on the USN
monitors were at the 68 pdr will not only not penetrate it will not
ratchet the armor either at an apprecialble rate. Passaics withstood
such fire for 4+ hours in Charleston harbor, being hit hundreds of
times. The armor had to be reworked afterwards but it did not, based
on the reports, come near failure.
In this highly hypothetical war, what restricts the British to 68 pdrs? The
Woolwich rifle existed in 1861, as did the Lancaster, Scott and Whitworth.
The replacement of the Armstrong BL proceeded slowly in OTL because there
was no great pressure to replace them quickly, one can safely assume that
such a circumstance would not apply if there was a war going on.
Post by Wesley Taylor
On the other hand, armor whose effective thickness was near that of
Warriors, in the battle of Mobile Bay, was hit by a XV Dahlgren (one
shot) and had a hole 3 ft across in it.
The armour of the Confederate ships at Mobile Bay consisted of railway iron
over a wooden hull, hardly comparable with the single plates used by the
British.
Andrew Vallance
2003-10-02 15:01:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Taylor
You really are not getting it. At the level the plates on the USN
monitors were at the 68 pdr will not only not penetrate it will not
ratchet the armor either at an apprecialble rate. Passaics withstood
such fire for 4+ hours in Charleston harbor, being hit hundreds of
times. The armor had to be reworked afterwards but it did not, based
on the reports, come near failure.
In this highly hypothetical war, what restricts the British to 68 pdrs? The
Woolwich rifle existed in 1861, as did the Lancaster, Scott and Whitworth.
The replacement of the Armstrong BL proceeded slowly in OTL because there
was no great pressure to replace them quickly, one can safely assume that
such a circumstance would not apply if there was a war going on.
Post by Wesley Taylor
On the other hand, armor whose effective thickness was near that of
Warriors, in the battle of Mobile Bay, was hit by a XV Dahlgren (one
shot) and had a hole 3 ft across in it.
CSS Tennessee (2nd), armoured with layered iron plates unlike the single
thicknesses used by the British and hit at extremely close range
Wesley Taylor
2003-10-02 16:34:02 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 3 Oct 2003 03:01:53 +1200, "Andrew Vallance"
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Wesley Taylor
You really are not getting it. At the level the plates on the USN
monitors were at the 68 pdr will not only not penetrate it will not
ratchet the armor either at an apprecialble rate. Passaics withstood
such fire for 4+ hours in Charleston harbor, being hit hundreds of
times. The armor had to be reworked afterwards but it did not, based
on the reports, come near failure.
In this highly hypothetical war, what restricts the British to 68 pdrs? The
Woolwich rifle existed in 1861, as did the Lancaster, Scott and Whitworth.
The replacement of the Armstrong BL proceeded slowly in OTL because there
was no great pressure to replace them quickly, one can safely assume that
such a circumstance would not apply if there was a war going on.
Nothing, however, in the first round of fighting they do not know the
RBL's have major flaws and will be using them initially in addition to
the standard 68 pdr. This situation will last for several months and
likley at least one incident of major gun failure in combat.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Wesley Taylor
On the other hand, armor whose effective thickness was near that of
Warriors, in the battle of Mobile Bay, was hit by a XV Dahlgren (one
shot) and had a hole 3 ft across in it.
CSS Tennessee (2nd), armoured with layered iron plates unlike the single
thicknesses used by the British and hit at extremely close range
The Tennessee II carried 6 inches of such plates. I assumed they were
1 inch and calculated out the effective thickness using the Okun
formula and it comes out to 4.8 inches equivalent simgle plate.
Warrior, including the backing comes out as 4.6 inches equivalent.

Yes it was close range. So were most of the battles fought in this
era. Often at point blank ranges. The opening of the ranges on such
battles is a few years away just yet.
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2003-10-02 20:58:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Taylor
Nothing, however, in the first round of fighting they do not know
the RBL's have major flaws
Interesting considering the problems found were not with RBL. Rifled
Breech Loading Guns were introduced because of problems with Armstrong
breach loading guns. That and the fact that the Armstrong system was
known not to be able to take the charges required for AP shot. The
earliest RBL dates from 1864.

Ken Young
***@cix.co.uk

Those who cover themselves with martial glory
frequently go in need of any other garment. (Bramah)
Andrew Vallance
2003-10-03 03:57:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Taylor
On Fri, 3 Oct 2003 03:01:53 +1200, "Andrew Vallance"
Post by Andrew Vallance
In this highly hypothetical war, what restricts the British to 68 pdrs? The
Woolwich rifle existed in 1861, as did the Lancaster, Scott and Whitworth.
The replacement of the Armstrong BL proceeded slowly in OTL because there
was no great pressure to replace them quickly, one can safely assume that
such a circumstance would not apply if there was a war going on.
Nothing, however, in the first round of fighting they do not know the
RBL's have major flaws and will be using them initially in addition to
the standard 68 pdr. This situation will last for several months and
likley at least one incident of major gun failure in combat.
Actually, the Armstrong's failings had been recognised as early as 1860
(during the fighting in China). But regardless, the Armstrong's failings
would show up well before the US could have deployed significant numbers of
monitors.
Post by Wesley Taylor
Post by Andrew Vallance
CSS Tennessee (2nd), armoured with layered iron plates unlike the single
thicknesses used by the British and hit at extremely close range
The Tennessee II carried 6 inches of such plates. I assumed they were
1 inch and calculated out the effective thickness using the Okun
formula and it comes out to 4.8 inches equivalent simgle plate.
Warrior, including the backing comes out as 4.6 inches equivalent.
The Tennessee (2nd) carried 6" on the front, the casemates that were
penetrated where only 5".
Post by Wesley Taylor
Yes it was close range. So were most of the battles fought in this
era. Often at point blank ranges. The opening of the ranges on such
battles is a few years away just yet.
Again, British doctrine was to fight at longer ranges (they considered 800
yards optimum). Given that the British would have universally faster ships
(markedly faster), they would dictate the range of engagement.
mike
2003-10-04 02:42:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Vallance
Again, British doctrine was to fight at longer ranges (they considered 800
yards optimum). Given that the British would have universally faster ships
(markedly faster), they would dictate the range of engagement.
Sounds like what HMS Shah tried against the turreted Huascar.

Struck with between 40-80 hits from 64 pdr,7" and 9" MLR shot and shell
for nearly three hours, out of over 400 fired.

Huascar sailed off after it was too dark to continue battle, barely
scratched. One killed, five wounded.

Less armor than most USN types, too, except the Eads Milwaukee river
Monitors, which the Huascar was sorta similar to.

I think the RN would have to try to Plan B.

**
mike
**
l***@geocities.com
2003-10-04 09:58:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by mike
Post by Andrew Vallance
Again, British doctrine was to fight at longer ranges (they considered 800
yards optimum). Given that the British would have universally faster ships
(markedly faster), they would dictate the range of engagement.
Sounds like what HMS Shah tried against the turreted Huascar.
Struck with between 40-80 hits from 64 pdr,7" and 9" MLR shot and shell
for nearly three hours, out of over 400 fired.
Huascar sailed off after it was too dark to continue battle, barely
scratched. One killed, five wounded.
Less armor than most USN types, too, except the Eads Milwaukee river
Monitors, which the Huascar was sorta similar to.
I think the RN would have to try to Plan B.
Better armour though, it was British homogenous backed plate, 4.5
inches thick on the belt (the same as Warrior). Her 5.5 inch turret
(with the usual geometric advantages that it's sloped almost
everywhere) was 5.5 inches ISTR, which is equivalent to about 8-9
inches of US armour.

Monitor turrets got tougher than this, the hulls were much weaker.
Replace Huascar with a US Monitor, and she loses any chance of
maneuver (Huascars 12 kts vs a US Monitors 6-8), and the weaker US
hulls are likely to be pierced at the waterline.

Translating the % of hits at 800 yards (say 15%) and using the fact
that 10% of Virginias rounds hit the 1" deck (no idea about the
sides), using http://www.wargames.co.uk/RandomS/Library/Warrior.htm ,
Monitor would have (on average) been pierced on the deck 3 times while
crossing to effective range and sank.

Bryn
mike
2003-10-03 02:28:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Taylor
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Post by Wesley Taylor
As I said, useless against armored targets. The Warrior armor was
4.6 inch wrought iron equivalent.
4.5 inches of wrought iron backed by 18 inches of wood.
Yes. Based on the Okun data that is the armor equivalent of a single
4.6 inch wrought iron plate. That is why I noted 4.6 inch *equivalent*
A few things left out. the circular form of the turret adds to
the resistance, offsetting the downside of layers.

One other benefit of layers, is minimizing flaws.

All iron has a grain structure, that isn't always uniform,
even on well hammered wrought iron. With 1860's idustrial
tech, there are a lot of impurities and flaws, too.

Guns were proofed to weed out the really weak ones, but thick
armor had to wait for xrays.

that grain stucture specs out to how the material will shatter,
or crack or spall:a 5" plate may of have the resistance of 4", forex.

layered reduces this, as the chance of weak spots laying overone
another is slight, plus holes driled thru at intervals is just the
thing to stop
a stress riser from cracking further.

Boiled down, don't get worked up. The best crafter of wrought iron
chilled shot and bolts in the South, Quinlivan, when fired thru Brooke
Rifles- more than the the equal of a UK MLR, did not penetrate, even
at
'Battering' levels of BP used.

Beat the hell out of them at Charlestown, yes, but not thru: even
though
adding up the FPS and do the math of all the formulas should have
resulted in holes.
Post by Wesley Taylor
ratchet the armor either at an apprecialble rate. Passaics withstood
such fire for 4+ hours in Charleston harbor, being hit hundreds of
times. The armor had to be reworked afterwards but it did not, based
on the reports, come near failure.
As above.

All the broadside Dahlgren IX fire at Mobile bay against a single
casemate ironclad wasn't what did her in, but the XI and XV fire.

The IX Dahlgren, with heavier shot,even when overcharged well past
the 68 pdr loadings, still couldn't do the job, against 'crap'
Southern armor


**
mike
**
l***@geocities.com
2003-10-01 16:41:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Taylor
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Post by Wesley Taylor
It turns out the 1" plates some assume
were all the US could produce were used by design, not neccessity.
No, where possible plates were hammered and forged into a single
thickness (i.e. New Ironsides, and the 15 inch thick turrets on the
later monitors had a 5 inch forged layer and 10 1 inch rolled layers.
This is equivalent to 10 inches of single thickness, which is exactly
the armour UK turrets had).
Post by Wesley Taylor
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Still inferior to a single thickness though.
Inferior for what? And by what assumptions. That is part of the
problem. Was single layer armor better than laminate/mulilayer in the
ACW period ? Yes, for stopping a single shot. No for stopping
ratcheting of the armor.
Inferior for resisting penetration by shot, by every means applicable.

The rule of thumb that 3 inches of laminated 1" = 2 inches of solid
plate is actually slightly generous. When worked out, Monitors turret
gives less protection than Warriors 4.5 inch belt. (and Viginia has
less than 4 inches, even taking the slope into account).

The 6" of 1" iron used in later CS ironclads, which could withstand
overcharged XV at 30 yards is less protection than Warriors belt
(about equiv to 6" of solid plate).
Post by Wesley Taylor
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Post by Wesley Taylor
The XV
Dahlgren was capable of punching through 5 to 8 inches of iron plate
at 100 yards.
No, it wasn't. It was just about capable of 3.9" (single thickness
equiv) at 30 yards, but not 5.9" (single thickness equiv, less than
Warrior) at the same range. That's from battle experience, not
calculation.
Post by Wesley Taylor
No actions in the kind of rough weather you are talking about occured
in the ACW and most navies tried to avoid them for combat at all
costs. However, the lessened roll the Monitor design provided meant
that, with the turret only open for a few moments to fire, that a
monitor probably could fight in most seas it could sail in. Only the
worst, which would likely have had rolls to sever for the regular
ships to fight in, would have precluded fighting.
However, they couldn't turn their turrets without sinking.
Post by Wesley Taylor
As I said, useless against armored targets. The Warrior armor was 4.6
inch wrought iron equivalent.
Nope, 5 and 1/8 inches of iron, and 18 inches of wood = about 6 inches
equivalent single sheet (the wooden sidewalls of most RN Battleships
were equivalent to about 2" of iron).

The Passaics ended up with something
Post by Wesley Taylor
like 6 inch equivalent and other monitors were as heavily armored or
worse. And 4.5 inches will not stop full power XI Dahlgrens. At those
impact levels the backing the RN insisted was essential was found, in
the CSA ships using the technique, to be a ready source of crew
fatalities and injuries beyond that of the shell/shot itself.
http://www.geocities.com/Area51/9292/HOSI/ACWArmr.htm
Post by Wesley Taylor
By contrast the unbacked armor of a monitor required only the addition
of a screen inside to stop rivets sprung lose by impact.
Monitor armour was backed, by 6-8 inches of wood normally.

Bryn
Wesley Taylor
2003-10-01 23:40:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by l***@geocities.com
Monitor armour was backed, by 6-8 inches of wood normally.
Bryn
And with a single statement, Bryn demonstrates that he is doing what I
was afraid he was. Spewing or repeating nonsense. Care give a cite for
the monitor type ships havign wooden backed armor? I have seen no
source that agrees with you. The battle reports also indicate that
such was not the case.

Just by way of reference, whenever ship listings, such as Conways.
list armor backing they list is as the Dunderberg entry for the
casemante, 4.5 in with 3 ft timber backing. The entries for the
monitors do not have such a note. Neither does Silverstone . All list
it as just x in of plate or as a x b in plates.
mike
2003-10-03 01:35:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Taylor
Post by l***@geocities.com
Monitor armour was backed, by 6-8 inches of wood normally.
<snip some nasty bits- play nice, M'kay?>
Post by Wesley Taylor
Care give a cite for
the monitor type ships havign wooden backed armor? I have seen no
source that agrees with you. The battle reports also indicate that
such was not the case.
You two are talking past each other. No thick timber backing in
the turret, of course. Hulls a different matter.
Passaics had that 6-8" on the deck, with iron layed ontop,
and the hull itself had Iron armor, backed by 10-12" of timber,
all bolted thru to the inner iron framework.

**
mike
**
l***@geocities.com
2003-10-03 16:29:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Taylor
Post by l***@geocities.com
Monitor armour was backed, by 6-8 inches of wood normally.
Bryn
And with a single statement, Bryn demonstrates that he is doing what I
was afraid he was. Spewing or repeating nonsense. Care give a cite for
the monitor type ships havign wooden backed armor? I have seen no
source that agrees with you. The battle reports also indicate that
such was not the case.
http://www.hazegray.org/navhist/battleships/us_mon.htm

"Canonicus class monitors

Displacement: 2,100 tons
Dimensions: 225 x 43 x 12.5-13 feet/68.58 x 13.2 x 3.78-3.96 meters
Propulsion: Ericsson VL engines, 2 boilers, 1 shaft, 320 ihp, ~8 knots
Crew: 100
Armor: Iron: 3-5 inch sides, 1.5 inch decks, 10 inch turret
Armament: 1 dual turret with 2x15 inch Dahlgren smoothbore
Concept/Program: An improved version of the Passaic class, taking into
account war experience. Four units were incomplete at the end of the
Civil War.

Design: Designed by Ericsson. Significant changes from the Passaic
design included heavier deck armor, ******better internal backing for
the armor*****, uniform main batteries, and heavy armor around the
turret base. As in the previous classes, they were highly vulnerable
to mines. The design speed of 13 knots was not met. "

That was just the first web hit. I read it on some book on Civil War
ironclads sitting in Liverpool Central Library now...

Bryn
Wesley Taylor
2003-10-02 00:15:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by l***@geocities.com
Post by Wesley Taylor
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Post by Wesley Taylor
It turns out the 1" plates some assume
were all the US could produce were used by design, not neccessity.
No, where possible plates were hammered and forged into a single
thickness (i.e. New Ironsides, and the 15 inch thick turrets on the
later monitors had a 5 inch forged layer and 10 1 inch rolled layers.
This is equivalent to 10 inches of single thickness, which is exactly
the armour UK turrets had).
Post by Wesley Taylor
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Still inferior to a single thickness though.
Inferior for what? And by what assumptions. That is part of the
problem. Was single layer armor better than laminate/mulilayer in the
ACW period ? Yes, for stopping a single shot. No for stopping
ratcheting of the armor.
Inferior for resisting penetration by shot, by every means applicable.
Single shot, as I noted. Not for stopping ratcheting of armor.
Post by l***@geocities.com
The rule of thumb that 3 inches of laminated 1" = 2 inches of solid
plate is actually slightly generous. When worked out, Monitors turret
gives less protection than Warriors 4.5 inch belt. (and Viginia has
less than 4 inches, even taking the slope into account).
Actually the rule is somewhat more complicated and depends on the
interplay. In some cases the rule you quote is too generous, in others
too conservative.
Post by l***@geocities.com
The 6" of 1" iron used in later CS ironclads, which could withstand
overcharged XV at 30 yards is less protection than Warriors belt
(about equiv to 6" of solid plate).
Based on the Okun formula that would be 4.78 inch equivalent.
Accounting for the 30 degree slope that becomes5.52 inches of
effective armor on Tennessee II when she was hit in mobile bay. Note
that Warriors armor does not slope and the Okun formula gives Warrior,
with wooden backing, a 4.6 inch equivalent. Tennessee was thus less
well protected than a ship a XV punched a rather large hole in.
Post by l***@geocities.com
Post by Wesley Taylor
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Post by Wesley Taylor
The XV
Dahlgren was capable of punching through 5 to 8 inches of iron plate
at 100 yards.
No, it wasn't. It was just about capable of 3.9" (single thickness
equiv) at 30 yards, but not 5.9" (single thickness equiv, less than
Warrior) at the same range. That's from battle experience, not
calculation.
Specifics please. What battle and what ships. An XV put a hole in
Tennessee at about 100 yards (and not a small one). Based on Okun and
the geometry this was 5.5 inch equivalent. Warrior was the equivalent
of 4.6, or about 83% of Tennessee's armor.
Post by l***@geocities.com
Post by Wesley Taylor
No actions in the kind of rough weather you are talking about occured
in the ACW and most navies tried to avoid them for combat at all
costs. However, the lessened roll the Monitor design provided meant
that, with the turret only open for a few moments to fire, that a
monitor probably could fight in most seas it could sail in. Only the
worst, which would likely have had rolls to sever for the regular
ships to fight in, would have precluded fighting.
However, they couldn't turn their turrets without sinking.
No, that is not correct.
Post by l***@geocities.com
Post by Wesley Taylor
As I said, useless against armored targets. The Warrior armor was 4.6
inch wrought iron equivalent.
Nope, 5 and 1/8 inches of iron, and 18 inches of wood = about 6 inches
equivalent single sheet (the wooden sidewalls of most RN Battleships
were equivalent to about 2" of iron).
Conway is capable of messing up, but not to this extent. They give the
armor belt as 4.5 inches of armor with 18 inches backing. Okun
formulae, with the wood accounted for yields 4.60 inches of wrought
Iron equivalent.
Post by l***@geocities.com
The Passaics ended up with something
Post by Wesley Taylor
like 6 inch equivalent and other monitors were as heavily armored or
worse. And 4.5 inches will not stop full power XI Dahlgrens. At those
impact levels the backing the RN insisted was essential was found, in
the CSA ships using the technique, to be a ready source of crew
fatalities and injuries beyond that of the shell/shot itself.
http://www.geocities.com/Area51/9292/HOSI/ACWArmr.htm
Your calculations, unsourced are not a reference. What are you drawing
the data from? What assumptions are you making for using Okun's
formulae? If you are still assuming that the monitor armor is made
from cast iron, your numbers are seriously wrong. If you are still not
using the full okun formula, your numbers are wrong.

For what it is worth, Okuns formulae is worked as follows:

A) raise each thickness (adjusted for material) to the 1.4 power.
B) add the results of A
C) take the result of B to the 0.71 power
D) set the result of C aside and add up the raw adjusted thicknesses.
E) Average the results of C and D to get the Okun equivalent.

The adjustments are for material type and depend on what you are
converting into. If the material is all homogeneous you can ignore it,
such as in Monitors plates, all being wrought iron. Wood has its
thickness multiplied by .01 to get the equivalency.
l***@geocities.com
2003-10-03 16:39:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Taylor
Post by l***@geocities.com
The rule of thumb that 3 inches of laminated 1" = 2 inches of solid
plate is actually slightly generous. When worked out, Monitors turret
gives less protection than Warriors 4.5 inch belt. (and Viginia has
less than 4 inches, even taking the slope into account).
Actually the rule is somewhat more complicated and depends on the
interplay. In some cases the rule you quote is too generous, in others
too conservative.
True.
Post by Wesley Taylor
Post by l***@geocities.com
The 6" of 1" iron used in later CS ironclads, which could withstand
overcharged XV at 30 yards is less protection than Warriors belt
(about equiv to 6" of solid plate).
Based on the Okun formula that would be 4.78 inch equivalent.
Accounting for the 30 degree slope that becomes5.52 inches of
effective armor on Tennessee II when she was hit in mobile bay. Note
that Warriors armor does not slope and the Okun formula gives Warrior,
with wooden backing, a 4.6 inch equivalent. Tennessee was thus less
well protected than a ship a XV punched a rather large hole in.
Well, you've missed the armour quality factor, which for US iron is
ISTR 0.83 (I could be wrong, but this is ballpark, it's buried in one
of Okuns articles), while British iron is the standard 1.0 (the
stanard on which the scale is based).
Post by Wesley Taylor
Post by l***@geocities.com
Post by Wesley Taylor
As I said, useless against armored targets. The Warrior armor was 4.6
inch wrought iron equivalent.
Nope, 5 and 1/8 inches of iron, and 18 inches of wood = about 6 inches
equivalent single sheet (the wooden sidewalls of most RN Battleships
were equivalent to about 2" of iron).
Conway is capable of messing up, but not to this extent. They give the
armor belt as 4.5 inches of armor with 18 inches backing. Okun
formulae, with the wood accounted for yields 4.60 inches of wrought
Iron equivalent.
Over a 5/8ths thick iron hull. Using Okun, almost all British
ironclads of this period have an equivalent of 5" (6" was incorrect
and I appologise).

I converted some British and all American ironclads for
http://www.geocities.com/Area51/9292/HOSI/HOSI3.htm
Post by Wesley Taylor
Your calculations, unsourced are not a reference. What are you drawing
the data from? What assumptions are you making for using Okun's
formulae? If you are still assuming that the monitor armor is made
from cast iron, your numbers are seriously wrong. If you are still not
using the full okun formula, your numbers are wrong.
Okuns formula with *all* the factors, including plate quality.

Bryn
Abraxus
2003-09-26 01:33:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
Yes, but the British have a standing army of (IIRC) around 160,000.
I don't have the figures handy, but I believe this is an exaggerrated
number.
132,000 in 1854, enlarged after Crimea and absorbed the HEIC European troops
in 1857
I stand corrected.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
Even
allowing for the 65,000 tied down in India, putting together a force of
50,000 to 80,000 would not be too difficult (the British had already
sent
Post by Abraxus
Post by Andrew Vallance
about 10,000 regulars to Canada in response to the crisis). And those
regulars most definitely aren't behind on the curve.
Closer to 8,000 and, IIRC, mostly engineers and support troops.
Mostly artillery actually
Post by Abraxus
Considering the size of the US Army well exceeded 600,000 men at the
time, it was, even as gestures go, particularly empty.
Uhmm no. The US army in 1861 was 16,000. Lincoln raised 75,000 in early 1861
and another 150,000 after First Bull Run (and had to scrape the bottom of
the barrel to equip them). The US army would grow to about 500,000 in 1865.
Sorry, but now it's your turn for a helping of crow. Lincoln issued
multiple calls for troops after First Bull Run, successively
increasing the troop quotas. As of January 1st, the US Adjustant
General reported the army at an aggregate strength of 575,917 men.
This would be increased to 918,191 by the end of 1862. By war's end,
the tally would exceed one million.
l***@geocities.com
2003-09-26 16:55:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Vallance
132,000 in 1854, enlarged after Crimea and absorbed the HEIC European troops
in 1857
This is just the number of infantry.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Abraxus
Considering the size of the US Army well exceeded 600,000 men at the
time, it was, even as gestures go, particularly empty.
Uhmm no. The US army in 1861 was 16,000. Lincoln raised 75,000 in early 1861
and another 150,000 after First Bull Run (and had to scrape the bottom of
the barrel to equip them). The US army would grow to about 500,000 in 1865.
Even at this growth rate, and importing vast quantities of weapons
from elsewhere (mainly Britian) they couldn't keep up. There were US
regiments at Gettysburg with old pattern muskets!

Bryn
Abraxus
2003-09-27 14:00:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by l***@geocities.com
Post by Andrew Vallance
132,000 in 1854, enlarged after Crimea and absorbed the HEIC European troops
in 1857
This is just the number of infantry.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by Abraxus
Considering the size of the US Army well exceeded 600,000 men at the
time, it was, even as gestures go, particularly empty.
Uhmm no. The US army in 1861 was 16,000. Lincoln raised 75,000 in early 1861
and another 150,000 after First Bull Run (and had to scrape the bottom of
the barrel to equip them). The US army would grow to about 500,000 in 1865.
Even at this growth rate, and importing vast quantities of weapons
from elsewhere (mainly Britian) they couldn't keep up.
Most British exports went to the Confederacy, actually.
Post by l***@geocities.com
There were US
regiments at Gettysburg with old pattern muskets!
Among them the men of Solomon Meredith's Iron Brigade. It would be
quite a challenge to find any troops on the field, of either side, who
did better service.
mike
2003-09-25 17:50:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Vallance
With all respect to the plucky Danes, reclaiming the Dutchies was just a
matter of waiting for the right excuse and making sure nobody backed the
Danes. The Slesvig War is important only in that it provides the pretext for
the ultimate showdown between the Prussians and Austrians.
Saxony and Hannover didn't want the Danes to hold those three.
They weren't too hot on the Prussians having them either, and if
Austria stays out of it,or opposes it, The Prussians won't start
it, as without the hope of the Austrian fleet(and lesser extent, troops)
lifting the blockade of thier Baltic Ports, its just too chancy.

Gets more interesting if Saxony and or Hannover picks up two
out of the three themselves, while Bismarck glowers to the East.
Post by Andrew Vallance
Yes, but the British have a standing army of (IIRC) around 160,000. Even
allowing for the 65,000 tied down in India, putting together a force of
50,000 to 80,000 would not be too difficult
But the British Army wasn't exactly overstaffed. Thin down the troops,
and what happens when the Chinese, Maori and Pathans decide to act uppidy
again- which they will, as soon as troop levels drop?

Maybe Frederick Townsend Ward decides to help the Chinese do it in
late '61.
Post by Andrew Vallance
(the British had already sent
about 10,000 regulars to Canada in response to the crisis). And those
regulars most definitely aren't behind on the curve.
2million Men in the Union Army. Even saying that if that wouldn't grow
from more enlistments(like more Irish) about 2/3rd of it could
stay on defence with the CSA, send the rest to clean out British
North America, then finish off the CSA. That happens while the UK wonders
why grain price skyrocket without Midwestern 'King Corn', and investers
in LLoyds pray insurance losses stay low from USN Raiders.

Just too little to gain, too much to lose in this fight, for both sides.

**
mike
**
mike
2003-09-26 18:59:01 UTC
Permalink
The Maori were engaged in the Taranaki War at the time and this was being
fought without Imperial Troops.
but the 2nd Maori war was ongoing, and troops had to stay nearby,
much like why the US had to keep troops out in the Great Plains:
they fought few battles in Garrison, but had to be there.
The Pathans were amply matched by 65,000 British and 158,000 native
troops in India, and British possessions or
Right: as shown by the punitive Sikkim and Umbeyla Expeditions.
Just don't pull troops away if you expect the Passes to stay open.
interests in China were minimal at this stage (and if troops were required
in China they came from India)
Other than the after effects of the 2nd Opium War, right? Troops
go away, and the Chinese 'forget' about the Treaty of Tianjin.
I don't think the Crown wanted to lose those Treaty Ports, right?
The Total mobilisation of the Union in the entire civil war was 2,000,000.
The actual size of the army at any one time never got over 500,000 and in
1861 the US was struggling to equip the troop it had raised. Raising more
will not help.
bit more #'s than that. The Union never fully mobilized.

Another refight of the ARW or 1812 with the old enemy, and I
don't think is out of reason to get the same % of Troops as France
did in 1914, about 16.5%, or 3.6 million troops in Blue total.
Having about 2/3rd of them under arms at the same time isn't out of
the question.

The Union could arm that many, without much more effort
http://groups.google.com/groups?&selm=95cb6530.0307092309.297095b7%40posting.google.com
The British were exporting food themselves at this stage (dependence on food
imports come much later).
but they can't feed Europe with thier surplus, and the Euros will get
unhappy
that thier imports of grains are blocked by the RN.
Again, these raiders need to be built and outfitted and the British
shipbuilding capacity will far outstrip anything the US can hope for.
Sure, the RN will eventually track all the USN raiders down, but
that takes time. During this era, the US surpassed the RN in wooden
ship building. That thier timber resources were declining was one
reason for the big shift to iron for them.

One raider can do damage, see SMS Emden or CSS Shenandoah

**
mike
**
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2003-09-27 17:42:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by mike
Other than the after effects of the 2nd Opium War, right? Troops
go away, and the Chinese 'forget' about the Treaty of Tianjin.
I don't think the Crown wanted to lose those Treaty Ports, right?
Check it out. I think you will find the troops did go away. It was
the British Naval presence that was important.

Ken Young
***@cix.co.uk

Those who cover themselves with martial glory
frequently go in need of any other garment. (Bramah)
mike
2003-09-27 22:58:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
Check it out. I think you will find the troops did go away. It was
the British Naval presence that was important.
They probably will be busy chasing USN raiders, blockading US ports,
or running convoy escort.

Depends what Ward does after securing the Shanghi area. The strong
Unionist he was, he could cause serious trouble.

Easier to keep ground forces nearby in garrison, when the RN is
needed elsewhere.

**
mike
**
Abraxus
2003-09-27 12:38:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by mike
Post by Andrew Vallance
(the British had already sent
about 10,000 regulars to Canada in response to the crisis). And those
regulars most definitely aren't behind on the curve.
2million Men in the Union Army. Even saying that if that wouldn't grow
from more enlistments(like more Irish) about 2/3rd of it could
stay on defence with the CSA, send the rest to clean out British
The Total mobilisation of the Union in the entire civil war was 2,000,000.
The actual size of the army at any one time never got over 500,000
Not according to the office of the US Adjutant General.
and in
1861 the US was struggling to equip the troop it had raised. Raising more
will not help.
Nonsense. There was a plethora of arms available by the war's first
winter, just not all of them were of the highest quality. Garrison
troops, troops who were not likely to see combat but whose very
presence had to be taken account for, would likely be equipped with
these weapons so as to free up the first-rate stuff for the line
units.
Post by mike
North America, then finish off the CSA. That happens while the UK wonders
why grain price skyrocket without Midwestern 'King Corn', and investers
The British were exporting food themselves at this stage (dependence on food
imports come much later).
But importing almost 40% of their own food. Now, they may well be able
to *feed* their own population, but not anywhere near as cheaply.
Abraxus
2003-09-27 15:25:04 UTC
Permalink
The Maori were engaged in the Taranaki War at the time and this was being
fought without Imperial Troops. The Pathans were amply matched by 65,000
British and 158,000 native troops in India, and British possessions or
interests in China were minimal at this stage (and if troops were required
in China they came from India)
Everything from East Africa to the West Coast of America was the
province of the Indian Army. They repeatedly demonstrated Corps+
crisis deployments within this sphere.
The arrival of 30,000 Indian Troops in California, with no effective
opposition....
A) The length of time it take such an expedition to be outfitted,
supplied, and dispatched (IMHO, at least 6 months) would give the US
more than enough time to take measures to receive it.
B) Suppose the Indian troops do land in California, find it totally
undefended, and take San Francisco, San Diego, and everything else
under the sun. Just occupying that much territory would consume a
sizable portion of the invasion's manpower. Add to that the fact that
an advance is logistically impossible, and such an expedition would
serve to rather little gain.
The Total mobilisation of the Union in the entire civil war was 2,000,000.
The actual size of the army at any one time never got over 500,000 and in
1861 the US was struggling to equip the troop it had raised. Raising more
will not help.
It did go higher, just over a million towards the end, but only ever
about 200,000 were involved in the real fighting armies.
That depends on how you define "the real fighting armies". Are you
excluding the troops of the X and XVIII corps in the Dept. of the
South, whose operations were (until 1864) confined to little-known but
significant engagements along the Atlantic seaboard? Or the troops of
the XIII and XIX Corps, who ended up sitting out the early stages of
the 1864 campaigns because of Banks's bungling on the Red River? Would
you count the IV Corps, which spent most of 1863 marking time under
John Peck, aside from a brush with Longstreet's Army in the Suffolk
campaign?

If you're only counting the Army of the Potomac, the Army of the
Cumberland, and the Army of the Tennessee, the numbers probably do
stay fairly well around 250,000. But that leaves out *A*LOT* of other
troops that were performing necessary, if less glamorous roles.
FWIW, the US
mobilised half of its military population during the war. That leaves
essentially no room for further expansion.
Umm, no.

The US mobilized half its military population *at one time or
another*. This discounts the distorting effects of furloughs, bounty
jumping, casualties and so on. Moreover, it fails to account for the
fact that the South mobilized over 90% of its military population,
although some of those went to the Northern ranks as well.
david
2003-09-28 06:24:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Abraxus
A) The length of time it take such an expedition to be outfitted,
supplied, and dispatched (IMHO, at least 6 months) would give the US
more than enough time to take measures to receive it.
How long would it take for the USA to send supplies and reinforcements
to California? We can probably assume that the RN could interdict
shipping (no-one has really argued that the USN could compete with the
RN in blue water affairs); there's no railroad to California as yet.
Marching a supplied force of, say, 50,000 troops to California across
the Rocky Hills would not be a light undertaking.

My guess would be that peace would break out long before anything much
happened in California.
Post by Abraxus
B) Suppose the Indian troops do land in California, find it totally
undefended, and take San Francisco, San Diego, and everything else
under the sun. Just occupying that much territory would consume a
sizable portion of the invasion's manpower.
These comments could also apply to a US occupation of Canada.
Post by Abraxus
Add to that the fact that
an advance is logistically impossible, and such an expedition would
serve to rather little gain.
Why would the British particularly want to advance from California? I
can see two reasons for taking California. (1) As a bargaining counter
to get Canada back. (2) As a useful bit of real estate in its own right.
It has got some good harbours, natural resources, and some seriously
defensible borders. Call it the California Empire, appoint Norton as the
Emperor, and everyone (1) is happy.





1. Everyone being, of course, latter-day alternate historians.
--
David Flin
mike
2003-09-29 09:01:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by david
Post by Abraxus
B) Suppose the Indian troops do land in California, find it totally
undefended, and take San Francisco, San Diego, and everything else
under the sun. Just occupying that much territory would consume a
sizable portion of the invasion's manpower.
These comments could also apply to a US occupation of Canada.
Well of all the bits, the San Fran area actually had decent forts
and Garrison.

http://groups.google.com/groups?&selm=95cb6530.0107260735.787dd797%40posting.google.com

The RN could land troops, but it would be a Siege
operation, and Cali at this time has a low enough pop. density
I don't think you could have 30k 'Live off the Land'
Trans Pacific supply lines would suck, and the Pacific is pretty
vast to close off from USN Raiders

**
mike
**
david
2003-09-29 16:36:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by david
How long would it take for the USA to send supplies and reinforcements
to California?
It took something under a month for the US to reinforce Canby's men at
Valverde during the Confederate invasion of New Mexico in 1862.
IIRC, wasn't Canby's force on the east side of the Rockies? If so, then
while this reinforcement is an impressive feat, it isn't a clear guide
to how long it would take to get people and kit all the way past the
Rockies and the rest of the terrain between them and the relevant parts
of California. It is likely to be the case that the force that the US
could send would be rather light on artillery. Which may or may not have
much of an impact.

It is also the case that maintaining a supply line over an extended
campaign (1) would be easier for Britain than the USA. This, of course,
changes once the railroad is built.
So
taking into account the presence of Regulars and Western Volunteers
already serving in the west, I'd guess that the US could have the
coast fortified within a couple of months.
Reinforcing it would no doubt take still more time, but the point is
that the US would have more than enough time to ready the coast for
invasion. Britain might get their hands on San Francisco, but it
wouldn't be an easy fight, and it would be only a tenuous foothold.
1. A monstrously implausible event.
--
David Flin
Abraxus
2003-09-30 16:30:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by david
Post by david
How long would it take for the USA to send supplies and reinforcements
to California?
It took something under a month for the US to reinforce Canby's men at
Valverde during the Confederate invasion of New Mexico in 1862.
IIRC, wasn't Canby's force on the east side of the Rockies?
Yes, but the forces which came to his aid were not.
Post by david
If so, then
while this reinforcement is an impressive feat, it isn't a clear guide
to how long it would take to get people and kit all the way past the
Rockies and the rest of the terrain between them and the relevant parts
of California.
That's why I'm doubling (or tripling, if you prefer) the length of
time required to send reinforcements.
Post by david
It is likely to be the case that the force that the US
could send would be rather light on artillery. Which may or may not have
much of an impact.
It is also the case that maintaining a supply line over an extended
campaign (1) would be easier for Britain than the USA. This, of course,
changes once the railroad is built.
Granted, the US isn't exactly in the best position to re-supply the
West Coast, but British supplies have to come from India (assuming
that India is indeed the production center for uniforms, rations,
ammunition, artillery, etc. and not Britain, which would a few
thousand more miles to the journey) all the way across the pacific
ocean. Water transport is typically your better bet, but this seems a
bit far-fetched.
Post by david
So
taking into account the presence of Regulars and Western Volunteers
already serving in the west, I'd guess that the US could have the
coast fortified within a couple of months.
Reinforcing it would no doubt take still more time, but the point is
that the US would have more than enough time to ready the coast for
invasion. Britain might get their hands on San Francisco, but it
wouldn't be an easy fight, and it would be only a tenuous foothold.
1. A monstrously implausible event.
Much like this entire WI.
david
2003-09-30 17:29:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Abraxus
Post by david
Post by david
How long would it take for the USA to send supplies and reinforcements
to California?
It took something under a month for the US to reinforce Canby's men at
Valverde during the Confederate invasion of New Mexico in 1862.
IIRC, wasn't Canby's force on the east side of the Rockies?
Yes, but the forces which came to his aid were not.
In which case, it's a very valid example.
Post by Abraxus
Post by david
It is likely to be the case that the force that the US
could send would be rather light on artillery. Which may or may not have
much of an impact.
It is also the case that maintaining a supply line over an extended
campaign (1) would be easier for Britain than the USA. This, of course,
changes once the railroad is built.
Granted, the US isn't exactly in the best position to re-supply the
West Coast, but British supplies have to come from India (assuming
that India is indeed the production center for uniforms, rations,
ammunition, artillery, etc. and not Britain, which would a few
thousand more miles to the journey) all the way across the pacific
ocean. Water transport is typically your better bet, but this seems a
bit far-fetched.
Britain supplied by sea over considerable distances for any number of
campaigns. Mostly, they tended to be small-scale affairs when fighting
natives armed with mangoes. I grant you that supplying across the
Pacific is further than most, but the thing about shipping is that once
the system is in place, you can get a regular supply line going, albeit
one that is slow to respond to changes.
Post by Abraxus
Post by david
1. A monstrously implausible event.
Much like this entire WI.
Yes, although it has produced the interesting thought that British
involvement as a result of the Trent affair might conceivably (and, in
my opinion, probably - should the situation arise) cause the Confederacy
to collapse sooner rather than later, through getting the Union to get
its act together with regard to getting its weight applied and acting
with some urgency. Britain and the USA would quickly come to a peace
arrangement, leaving the CSA well stuffed. It's another nail in the
coffin of the "The CSA could have won if only..." discussions.
--
David Flin
Wesley Taylor
2003-09-27 15:30:11 UTC
Permalink
The Maori were engaged in the Taranaki War at the time and this was being
fought without Imperial Troops. The Pathans were amply matched by 65,000
British and 158,000 native troops in India, and British possessions or
interests in China were minimal at this stage (and if troops were required
in China they came from India)
Everything from East Africa to the West Coast of America was the
province of the Indian Army. They repeatedly demonstrated Corps+
crisis deployments within this sphere.
The arrival of 30,000 Indian Troops in California, with no effective
opposition....
First, they have to supply that many troops at the end of a supply
chain that stretches across the Pacific. Second they have to do so in
the face of local opposition. Opposition in an area the locals know
and can run real guerrilla in. They could control San Francisco and
other ports, but patrols in the valley, for example, will get
bushwhacked. The fact that they are using non-white troops is going to
mean that even the local pro-Confederate populace will not help.
Further, grabbing the area is of no military value and of very limited
political value.
The Total mobilisation of the Union in the entire civil war was 2,000,000.
The actual size of the army at any one time never got over 500,000 and in
1861 the US was struggling to equip the troop it had raised. Raising more
will not help.
It did go higher, just over a million towards the end, but only ever
about 200,000 were involved in the real fighting armies. FWIW, the US
mobilised half of its military population during the war. That leaves
essentially no room for further expansion.
Odd considering the CSA mobilized closer to 105 % if its military
population in the war, I guess they did not know that you can not do
that.
Post by mike
in LLoyds pray insurance losses stay low from USN Raiders.
Again, these raiders need to be built and outfitted and the British
shipbuilding capacity will far outstrip anything the US can hope for.
The USN is pushed to try and maintain a blockade against the CSA, the
West Indies Squadron (with it's reinforcements from the Med Squadron)
has 4 Armoured Frigates, 1 Armoured Battery, 10 Steam Battleships and
~9 Steam Frigates. This is probably sufficient to take on the USN.
Bryn
First, the USN is going to be abandoning the blockade if serious
attempts are made to break it. Second the USN is not the primary
source of raiders. Remember, the US is NOT signatory to the treaty
that outlaws privateers. England and France refused, in 1861, to allow
the US to sign on until the ACW was over. Expect between 100 and 150
ships ranging from Alabama or better type raiders to armed fishing
boats to start preying on UK shipping. Convoys will help, but not
enough. Lloyds will be hit with claims levels not seen in 50 years. If
the Brits adopt the plans for California you talk about the war will
last long enough for purpose built cruisers to be finished and then
the raids get worse.

Further, the RN has a serious problem in dealing with the USN on the
US coast. Much of the area the RN has interest in it cannot use its
big ships, the draft is to large. This is especially true of the HAF's
like Warrior. The ships they are facing may be smaller but they are
better armed. This is especially true as the problems with the RBL
guns has not become apparent (and did not historically until 1863 in
Chinese waters).Odds are good that Monitors will be built a bit
earlier, given that the USN is likely to feel even more desperate than
they did OTL when hey heard of CSN Virginia's conversion form
Merrimac.

Add to the above that the US ship building industry is roughly the
same size as that of the UK and you begin to see the UK problem. Add
the fact that the US is already fortifying it's harbors in a fairly
rapid pace and has had a good 3-4 months before the RN arrives to work
on the holes and any harbor attack (a favorite RN tactic) is going to
face some rather nasty problems.

The fortifications of the attacked places are going to be a problem
the RN has not faced in decades. The worst of the recent Crimean
forts appear from the reports to have been under powered, with shots
not large enough to penetrate wooden hulls,. This is not the case
with, for example, the New York fortifications with her 250+ gun
fortifications. Some of those are 10+ inch Dahlgrens or Rodmans and
are going to inflict severe damage on anything they hit. Other major
US ports are going to also be well defended.
Wesley Taylor
2003-09-30 03:43:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Taylor
Add to the above that the US ship building industry is roughly the
same size as that of the UK and you begin to see the UK problem. Add
the fact that the US is already fortifying it's harbors in a fairly
rapid pace and has had a good 3-4 months before the RN arrives to work
on the holes and any harbor attack (a favorite RN tactic) is going to
face some rather nasty problems.
?
Although merchant tonnage is fairly large, I count 9:1 superiority in
actual shipbuilding.
Based on what ? Military builds? What sources do you have for this.
Inwood, in his London history, indicates that the industries were
about the same size. And that is what I was talking about being equal.
Post by Wesley Taylor
The fortifications of the attacked places are going to be a problem
the RN has not faced in decades. The worst of the recent Crimean
forts appear from the reports to have been under powered, with shots
not large enough to penetrate wooden hulls,. This is not the case
with, for example, the New York fortifications with her 250+ gun
fortifications. Some of those are 10+ inch Dahlgrens or Rodmans and
are going to inflict severe damage on anything they hit. Other major
US ports are going to also be well defended.
10+ inch Dahlgrens. Not a particularly worrying piece to be honest....
Then you are not really paying attention. Go back and look at the
numbers for double loaded XI Dahlgrens.
Britain has dealt with some much heavier defences recently, and,
against France, planned to assault Cherbourg (one of the heaviest
defended places on Earth) and HAD the the forces to do so.
Bryn
No, Britain has not dealt with 'heavier' defenses recently. The
Crimean forts were reasonably well laid out, but the guns were grossly
inadequate. As for the planned Cherbourg run, it did not happen, so we
do not know how the plan would have worked, do we?
l***@geocities.com
2003-09-30 15:54:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wesley Taylor
Based on what ? Military builds? What sources do you have for this.
Inwood, in his London history, indicates that the industries were
about the same size. And that is what I was talking about being equal.
No, iron building capacity. You were talking wood? Oh, in that case
you may be right, as a lot of the civilian industries had converted to
iron.
Post by Wesley Taylor
Then you are not really paying attention. Go back and look at the
numbers for double loaded XI Dahlgrens.
Impressive, as good as a 68 pounder at 100 yards, but these low muzzle
velocity weapons fall off so quickly. No shell gun was an effective
weapon against a ship outside of close action range. How could a fort
close the range?
Post by Wesley Taylor
No, Britain has not dealt with 'heavier' defenses recently. The
Crimean forts were reasonably well laid out, but the guns were grossly
inadequate. As for the planned Cherbourg run, it did not happen, so we
do not know how the plan would have worked, do we?
We planned for it, and had the ships for it.

250 guns isn't particularly impressive. A few years later a British
fleet smashed Alexandria (defended by over 2000 guns) for no major
damage.

Comparing Portsmouth or Cherbourgs defences to a American fort is like
comparing the 1st Cavalry Division to A company, Lake Superior
Scottish.

Bryn
l***@geocities.com
2003-09-26 16:52:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Vallance
Post by mike
doesn't matter: they all suck till they seen the Elephant.
The learning curve is deadly, and the boys in Red up North are behind
that curve.
Yes, but the British have a standing army of (IIRC) around 160,000. Even
allowing for the 65,000 tied down in India, putting together a force of
50,000 to 80,000 would not be too difficult (the British had already sent
about 10,000 regulars to Canada in response to the crisis). And those
regulars most definitely aren't behind on the curve.
The immediately mobilisable force is about 850,000, including roughly
250,000 regulars, >200,000 militia and >200,000 rifle volunteers in
Britian (can't remember the no. of yeomanry), 65,000 Canadian militia,
220,000 Indians (after the mutiny) and sundry other colonials (70
years before hand the West Indies added about the equivalent of 1 US
Corps on mobilisation).

The British retained 120,000 regulars in Britain for deployment. Given
Rapprochment with France these could certainly go. In fact, the
deployment would probably be very similar to the Boer War for the
first year (348,000 deploying from Britain). All told it was well
within British means to put a 500,000 man army (approx the no. sent to
South Africa) into Canada and thrust south.

Bryn
Stuart Wilkes
2003-09-24 15:55:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daniel Duffy
Suppose both American and British diplomats bungle the Trent Affair of
November 186. This leads to a shooting war, first on the Atlantic and then
along the Canadian border by early 1862. Napoleon III, an admirer of the
Confederacy, joins in as Britain's ally.
<snip>
Post by Daniel Duffy
Russia, looking for revenge for its defeat in the Crimea, joins Prussia and
declares war against France and Britain.
No way. At most, they take advantage of British distraction and tear
up the Treaty of Paris. They build a new Black Sea Fleet, and start
new fortifications there. And that's about the maximum.

<snip>
Post by Daniel Duffy
Piedmont/Italy loyally joins France.
Are you <sure> there's nothing from France that they want? ;)
Post by Daniel Duffy
USA/Prussia/Russia vs. CSA/Britain/France/Italy
Not hardly.

Stuart Wilkes
david
2003-09-24 12:33:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daniel Duffy
Suppose both American and British diplomats bungle the Trent Affair of
November 186. This leads to a shooting war, first on the Atlantic and then
along the Canadian border by early 1862. Napoleon III, an admirer of the
Confederacy, joins in as Britain's ally.
This has been examined several times in my short sojourn on the
newsgroup. As far as I can tell, the general consensus is that neither
Britain nor the USA have a great deal to potentially gain from
continuing or extending the war, and a great deal to potentially lose
from a continuance of this war. As a result, there is massive pressure
for the conflict to just fizzle out, and there is massive pressure not
to allow the war to expand.

The war itself would have started over an incident of maritime protocol;
Britain's war aims are to ensure that its views on maritime protocol are
the ones that matter, and not to lose Canada.

Meanwhile, the war aims of the USA are to beat the Confederacy, and
getting involved with a superpower while at the same time trying to
conduct offensive continental scale military operations against a foe
roughly one-third your size (1) is not usually terribly wise.

While diplomats can mess up, and while one can armwave a war into
existence, actually continuing that war is going to be a major activity.
I can also see Britain being more than a little unkeen for France to get
involved in helping out in Canada. The war would be a limited one, with
tight objectives and budgets, and French adventurism into Canada would
be regarded as something of a two-edged sword.
Post by Daniel Duffy
Prussia sees a golden opportunity to accelerate the process of German
unification by taking advantage of France's preoccupation with America.
Spurred on by Bismarck and other German nationalists, Prussia brings
military and diplomatic pressure on the smaller German states. This raises
the ire of the vainglorious Napoleon III who believes France is strong
enough to handle both Americans and Prussians. War results between France
and Prussia by mid 1862.
Russia, looking for revenge for its defeat in the Crimea, joins Prussia and
declares war against France and Britain.
Austria-Hungary, having recently lost a war to France and Piedmont/Italy -
yet fearful of Prussian advances in Germany, remains on the sideline for
now. Turkey and Japan also remain neutral.
Piedmont/Italy loyally joins France.
So the Trent Affair (like the assassination of an archduke more than 50
years later) triggers a world war .
Of course, in the early 1900s, the world was dividing up into two armed
camps to create the stability based on bipolar forces. In the 1860s,
there were a lot more competing interests, and less tendency for
countries to jump on a bandwagon.
Post by Daniel Duffy
USA/Prussia/Russia vs. CSA/Britain/France/Italy
So what happens next?
1. Given that the standard force ratio for offensive versus defensive is
typically 3:1, a 3:1 discrepancy in manpower is not as one-sided as it
first appears. Obviously, issues like industrial muscle and financial
clout also have an impact...
--
David Flin
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