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European intervention in the US Civil War, Crimean War style

Vashon

Active member
Banned

Like this, but not entirely stupid

The British look at the ACW as a wonderful opportunity to cut the US down to a more manageable size, and manages to acquire some allies in doing so. We'll say France and Prussian Germany and their immediate vassals.

They come to this conclusion in May, and start the process of gathering allies and supplies in June of 1861. The plan is to reinforce the CSA directly and also build up forces in Canada. The goal is a CSA thats independent, as well as "negotiating" other potential territory away, say on the West Coast.

The American goal is the same as it was, preservation of the Union. With similar political will as original. Things can change as a reaction to the situation.

Nobody is mindlessly marching to the hilt, but neither is anybody giving up easily. This goal for Britain and friends will take priority over most of what happens in the Balkans or the Ottoman empire. If anything happens.

Well, what do you think happens, and what are the longterm consequences up to 1950?
 

Rufus Shinra

Well-known member
Do we get Dr. Loveless' giant mechanical spiders to support our forces? :p

More seriously, that'd be a pretty difficult endeavour on every level, with many, many points of failure that the Union could and would try to exploit. The UK/FR/GE alliance would be extremely tenuous at best, both in its relations and in the popular opinion of it: a war to preserve slavery would be extremely hard to sell to the populace there, so at the very least, the Empires would need to force the CSA to move away from slavery as a prerequisite to get support. Then the logistics of supporting large forces fighting against a Western tech-level military across the Atlantic... that would be painful. Even in the case of an Imperial victory, any long-term success would require massive investments on the occupied territories or a constant effort to balkanize North America, possibly on ethnical immigrant lines. An option could be to seriously uplift the remaining natives and try to push them as independent industrialized nations for 1900. Get the tribes to become strong enough vassals that the Western expansion is terminated hard, keep tensions high between a slave-less CSA, the Union, a few ethnical countries and the industrialized native territories? There can be a pretty big mess in North America for a while.
 

Eliar

Well-known member
If i remember correctly the Crimean War was a complete and utter Nurgle infested mess for everyone involved.

A direct amphib assault in Washington would be the logical move to try and force a quick resolution, "short victorious war" and all that jazz but if Ms Cholera comes along for the ride it has the potential of becoming the biggest joke of all ages.
 

Vashon

Active member
Banned
If i remember correctly the Crimean War was a complete and utter Nurgle infested mess for everyone involved.

A direct amphib assault in Washington would be the logical move to try and force a quick resolution, "short victorious war" and all that jazz but if Ms Cholera comes along for the ride it has the potential of becoming the biggest joke of all ages.
That is an amazingly stupid idea, and it would shock and appall all future historians. But its likely to be approved by the same people who thought Elphinstone was a cheery ol chap. It could also only work very early war, because later, Washington DC became a stupendous fortress that would only be taken by a severe and long siege, or armies of Uruk Hai and Jaffa numbering at half a million.
 

Eliar

Well-known member
That is an amazingly stupid idea, and it would shock and appall all future historians. But its likely to be approved by the same people who thought Elphinstone was a cheery ol chap. It could also only work very early war, because later, Washington DC became a stupendous fortress that would only be taken by a severe and long siege, or armies of Uruk Hai and Jaffa numbering at half a million.
We are talking about the very same people that thought attacking Crimea was the way for a quick victorious war and actually lost around a quarter million men most to cholera and cold, because of course spending 3 years in the Russian Winter is the Best Idea Evah! so yea such an Op would be par on course.
 
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Vashon

Active member
Banned
Just one strong kick in the door and the whole house will go down, can't fail this time!
Burning it down again will be as easy and consequence free as the last time!
 

AllenWalker

Active member
Author
The whole thing is when this happens? Early in the war america didn't have much of a military and what they had was ripping itself apart. The arrival of hardned experienced european military forces attacking from confederacy terretory, canada and possible amphibious landings plus equipping and training confederate forces could very well knock out the union in a couple of months. If the intervention happens later or the union manages to halt the pushes things become a lot dirtier
 

Timewinders

New member
Even if all those nations did intervene they would still lose. 1860s America wasn't the world's sole superpower at the time but it was far from a pushover either, it would have the homefield advantage, an ocean separating it from the European powers, and the Union was economically advanced. US Civil War tactics ended up being the basis of modern warfare doctrine in WW1. Also, despite being a major naval power, there's no guarantee that even the UK could match the US navy since at the time there was a major transition to the ironclad warship doctrine, and the Union was one of the first countries to build those on a large scale. The UK would have to rebuild its navy for it to be truly useful, just as the Union did, and it would have no real advantage there.

Plus, there would be enormous civilian pushback against significant support of the CSA with actual troops. The UK had already abolished slavery after all, and had more economic ties with the Union with the CSA. The closest US cities to London are in the northeast such as Boston and NYC after all. The UK government would be criticized severely by both abolitionists and business people. Even if the UK did end up sending some forces, they would likely be token since after all the UK still had to garrison its own colonies as well, and the other European nations also had their own colonies to be concerned with.

I think overall it would just drag the Civil War out longer than in OTL, the Union and CSA would both be more heavily damaged leading to worse relations during Reconstruction. The UK would take significant military losses and its empire would fragment a lot earlier than in real life.

Also, the US would not help the UK in WW1 and possibly even WW2 for obvious reasons and would likely just sit the wars out. Without US aid the European nations would destroy themselves even more than they did in OTL since the war would get dragged out, and without any post-war US aid they would be even less significant on the global scale after world war 2, though arguably the US would also be less influential in that it would be even more isolationist than in OTL.
 

Vorpal

Administrator
Administrator
Historically, the UK wanted to be pro-CSA but backed off due to various factors, primarily USA's alliance with Russia. Both Lincoln and Alexander II were portrayed as oppressors in UK papers—Lincoln of the Southerners, and Alexander II of the Poles. Naturally, both of them ended slavery or serfdom in their respective countries, but both UK and Russia had other interests than the slavery in the USA.

Although yes, supporting someone in war is one thing, but bleeding for them Crimea War-style is quite another. The anti-USA alliance would indeed be very unstable outside ROB fiat. ... By the way, the man who actually secured the USA–Russia, Cassius Marcellus Clay, saw the danger as coming from UK, France, and Spain (rather than Germany), so I guess that would make slightly more sense for a hypothetical anti-USA intervention.

I don't think that following this scenario, USA would sit out the World Wars. At least not the second. The American role was not some purely benevolent help, but also a successful bid for control over Europe. During it, its behaviour toward the British Empire was already very hostile, essentially obligating the UK to systematically destroy its empire, but also explicitly designed the post-war economic system in such a way that the UK would go bankrupt if they tried to keep it. ‘Help’ to the UK came with many strings attached, which is notable because no analogously heavy conditions were present for either Soviet Union or China. It was very anti-British specifically.

Nothing personal, just business. And American involvement in WWII was quite possibly the most successful business in the history of the world, or at least a strong contender for such.
 

Timewinders

New member
Historically, the UK wanted to be pro-CSA but backed off due to various factors, primarily USA's alliance with Russia. Both Lincoln and Alexander II were portrayed as oppressors in UK papers—Lincoln of the Southerners, and Alexander II of the Poles. Naturally, both of them ended slavery or serfdom in their respective countries, but both UK and Russia had other interests than the slavery in the USA.

Although yes, supporting someone in war is one thing, but bleeding for them Crimea War-style is quite another. The anti-USA alliance would indeed be very unstable outside ROB fiat. ... By the way, the man who actually secured the USA–Russia, Cassius Marcellus Clay, saw the danger as coming from UK, France, and Spain (rather than Germany), so I guess that would make slightly more sense for a hypothetical anti-USA intervention.

I don't think that following this scenario, USA would sit out the World Wars. At least not the second. The American role was not some purely benevolent help, but also a successful bid for control over Europe. During it, its behaviour toward the British Empire was already very hostile, essentially obligating the UK to systematically destroy its empire, but also explicitly designed the post-war economic system in such a way that the UK would go bankrupt if they tried to keep it. ‘Help’ to the UK came with many strings attached, which is notable because no analogously heavy conditions were present for either Soviet Union or China. It was very anti-British specifically.

Nothing personal, just business. And American involvement in WWII was quite possibly the most successful business in the history of the world, or at least a strong contender for such.
The US was hostile to all colonial powers due to both ideological differences and wanting access to their markets. The UK just happened to lose them during peace rather than war, and got some good diplomatic and security gurantees out of it. But I don't think a British Empire weakened by WW1 would be able to hold onto its colonies.
 

Timewinders

New member
And a bit of jealousy in not having colonies yet, something it soon solved by acquiring some.
Yeah, like all those colonies that the U.S. has now...oh wait. And before you claim that free trade or supporting favorable regimes is "no different" than having colonies, need I remind you that the Bengal Famine killed literally millions of people under the UK's watch right after WWII? Meanwhile the U.S.-led liberal order has lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty and have created an era of unprecedented peace between global powers.

Frankly, Europe got off too easy, especially the UK. The European empires were almost as bad as Hitler.
 

Vorpal

Administrator
Administrator
What were the Phillipine Islands, Panama Canal Zone, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, etc.? The US started building a colonial empire for itself from about the 1890s and went very into it under Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson especially, and continued after them as well.

Strangely enough, right about when the US was losing its grip on the Philippines, which was its major colony in the mid-1930s (and also Haiti), it then started deciding that colonialism was very bad and shouldn't be around anymore. Which isn't they're particularly wrong about, mind, but it's amusing how the timing works out.
 

Timewinders

New member
What were the Phillipine Islands, Panama Canal Zone, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, etc.? The US started building a colonial empire for itself from about the 1890s and went very into it under Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson especially, and continued after them as well.

Strangely enough, right about when the US was losing its grip on the Philippines, which was its major colony in the mid-1930s (and also Haiti), it then started deciding that colonialism was very bad and shouldn't be around anymore. Which isn't they're particularly wrong about, mind, but it's amusing how the timing works out.
I already agreed that the U.S. ended colonialism for selfish reasons and sure, it had colonies in the past, but I was talking about history around the WWII era. I just find it irritating that people like to cry about U.S. imperialism in the modern era when it is 1000x better than what the world was like under European control. Even with the possibility of China, an authoritarian state, becoming a superpower soon (which I am not happy about) I do not expect even the CCCP to stoop to the levels of sheer evil that the Europeans committed when they were given a chance at being relevant.
 

Vorpal

Administrator
Administrator
@Timewinders Well, that's more fair enough if we limit the time period (sorry, potentially misunderstanding there). I don't think there's any real question that US-led order is in many great ways better than what came before. And like I said, the US wasn't wrong to dismantle the British Empire either. But I wasn't making any moral point about the US.

The issue that started this was that the US hated the British Empire in OTL already, and that didn't prevent them helping the UK in WWII—they just did it in a way that destroyed the empire. Hence, in this hypothetical timeline, it doesn't seem to follow that just because the US has an additional grudge against the UK, they would sit out a WWII-analogue. Rather, they'd probably follow their interests, which involves making a big play for Europe and could very well involve similar ‘help’ to the UK that happens to ensure the British Empire's demise.

I'm not condemning the US for having done this. Rather, I was noting that there are similar factors that don't go away in the alternative timeline that would still make a US involvement in a WWII-analogue still very profitable to them. That was the relevant part for the discussion at hand: what would it make sense for them to do or not do, not how moral or immoral they are if they do it.

...

Although if we're going to seriously go into the moral weeds, it would also much more fair to note that there was nothing like a singular European colonial policy, as e.g. French colonies were administered much differently from UK ones and informed by very different ideologies, and those ideologies were also not static in time.
 

Timewinders

New member
@Timewinders Well, that's more fair enough if we limit the time period (sorry, potentially misunderstanding there). I don't think there's any real question that US-led order is in many great ways better than what came before. And like I said, the US wasn't wrong to dismantle the British Empire either. But I wasn't making any moral point about the US.

The issue that started this was that the US hated the British Empire in OTL already, and that didn't prevent them helping the UK in WWII—they just did it in a way that destroyed the empire. Hence, in this hypothetical timeline, it doesn't seem to follow that just because the US has an additional grudge against the UK, they would sit out a WWII-analogue. Rather, they'd probably follow their interests, which involves making a big play for Europe and could very well involve similar ‘help’ to the UK that happens to ensure the British Empire's demise.

I'm not condemning the US for having done this. Rather, I was noting that there are similar factors that don't go away in the alternative timeline that would still make a US involvement in a WWII-analogue still very profitable to them. That was the relevant part for the discussion at hand: what would it make sense for them to do or not do, not how moral or immoral they are if they do it.

...

Although if we're going to seriously go into the moral weeds, it would also much more fair to note that there was nothing like a singular European colonial policy, as e.g. French colonies were administered much differently from UK ones and informed by very different ideologies, and those ideologies were also not static in time.
Fair, but I think you're underestimating how hard it was for FDR to get the US involved in WWII even in OTL with all the benefits from it that are clear now in hindsight. People were very tired of war after WW1. Perhaps in this timeline people would be less war-weary assuming America stayed out of WW1, but the US would still have a little less incentive to help the Europeans considering the antagonistic history and lack of alliance commitments of any kind. It would still be beneficial to the US in a realpolitik way, and the US would of course continue to provide indirect aid to its preferred side in the war, but the kind of long-term realpolitik risk/benefit analysis you're suggesting just doesn't sway voters in a democratic country, especially in a historically isolationist country like the US where other continents are seen only as a source of trouble and war. Certainly some presidents like FDR were ambitious but it wasn't up to just them.
 
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