Diesel punk alternate history

  • So, I'm working on a little alternative history for a diesel punk setting. Part of the inspiration was how I wanted to use DF Les Grognards, and my being slightly bored with all the Weird War 2 stuff. I mean, do we really need more nazi zombies? Don't answer that.

    Anyway, it's the 1920s the Great War hasn't ended, and is being fought in nearly every corner of the earth with weapons that may rival what we have today. It's an age of great empires and quickly shifting alliances. 

    Much of Europe's history has roughly followed a similar trajectory of events as we know them, though the Tsar is still in power in Russia. However a key difference is Charles Babbage unveiled a fully functional analytical engine in the 1850s. No one really knew what to make of the device, until inevitably an enterprising artillery officer used one of Babbage's devices to calculate gunnery solutions, kicking off a revolution in computerised warfare.

    In 1905 Percy Ludgate a young Irishman introduced the world to the first analogue electric computer, building on Babbage's work in a novel way. Leading to a second electronic computer revolution. by the 1920s The Ludgate and Babbage companies are the dominant analytical computer manufacturers in the world. 

    Some of the most divergent events are in the Americas, with the Mexican empire being established in 1821, and not being overthrown after 2/3 years. The Empire of Brazil dominates South America and both the Brazilian and Mexican Monarchies are still largely in power at the outbreak of the Great War. The Brazilian empire is a major player on the geopolitical stage, and supported the Confederacy during the ACW, to ensure a weakened northern neighbours in the Western Hemisphere.

    North's America is geographically dominated by Mexico and British Canada. With the USA and CSA dividing up the eastern seaboard. Columbia District(Oregon, Washington and British Columbia) was sold to the Empire of Japan in 1918 by the British to fund war efforts against their enemies. Alaska is still Russian America. Slavery is still legal in the CSA.

    In Europe, Ireland never launched it's war for independence, as the Great War is still going on. Switzerland isn't neutral, having sided with Germany and Austro-Hungarian empires. Many countries that were on the map a few years ago only exist in memories. In some ways you might say Germany has won, but the Austro-Hungarian empire has imploded into civil war. Much of the western front is still an active warzone, with new innovations rarely making much of a long term difference. 

    The modern battlefield is dominated by terrifying new war machines, automatic repeating guns and the smell of diesel and poison gas.

  • I always find alternative history concepts interesting intellectual exercises. 👍

  • @Grumpy Gnome it's definitely entertaining. I was mostly just trying to come up with a scenario that would increase the technology and prolong the war and add possible interesting new factions. Babbage is pretty low hanging fruit, had he gotten his designs finished we would probably be living in a very different world. Prolonging the war is pretty easy, I know a lot of arm chair generals like to downplay the US's impact on the Great War; but I'm of the opinion that Germany came closer to winning than we realise.

    New factions is a bit tougher, historically there's lots of nations involved in the conflict that we normally don't really think about. What I want is the option to field different forces with a similar military capability. The way I see it, in this setting you have.

    • Britain 
    • France 
    • Germany 
    • Ottoman
    • Ethiopia
    • Russia
    • Japan
    • Brazil
    • Mexico

    There's still room to have US troops if you really wanted, but they're just not a major player. In my mind Mexico sided with Germany, providing much needed strategic support. Leaving Brazil and Japan siding with Britain and France. Russia still had a civil war, but the Bolsheviks lost and fled to Russian America. 

  • Portugal still had a massive set of colonies during WW1, what happened to the Portuguese in this setting?
    The country might not have a huge military but it still took part in the war.

  • I can see Mexico siding with Germany. And I agree with you regarding US involvement in our timeline. The effect was not so much military as it was political. Had America for some reason sided with Germany... well... who knows what could have happened. Lots of German immigrants in US at the time. 

  • The whole setting is reminding me of Castle Falkenstein (especially Babbage)....with a touch of Southern Victory aka Timeline 191. But no Verne Interballistic Cannons... Oh did I miss the point you said II Reich did win the war?

    Switzerland is working as a direct democracy confederacy between french, italian and german townships/cantons.. so it should have imploded way before Austria-Hungaria in quite a bloody Alpine civil war before being able (if ever) to rejoin German Alliance during WWI. 



  • @GreenScorpion Portugal and her Colonies are very relevant, but it's part of the Brazilian Empire. The Portuguese court transferred to Brazil in 1808(or something, I'm not going to look up the exact date) but is still based Rio De Janeiro for my timeline.

    A notable peculiarity of Brazilian military apparatus is the Lisbon based Royal Military Order of Christ (Ordem dos Cavaleiros de Nosso Senhor Jesus Cristo) the successors to the Knights Templar in Portugal. Members of the fiercely loyal order are granted officers commissions by the Brazilian Crown, and given a free hand to pursue the Crown's interest on and off the battlefield. The order fulfills something of a special operations role for the Brazilian Empire, even employing it's own intelligence network. Individual Knights are issued mechanised heavy armour(think Iron Core Valkir) and usually operate with a squad of handpicked soldiers in support. 

  • @Steven StGeorges I actually had to look up Castle Falkenstein, played a lot of Cyberpunk over the years, but don't think I ever leafed through the pages of CF. Same for timeline 191, familiar with the author and some of his books, but never read it. I'm apparently not much of an alternative history buff I guess. 

    Yeah I wouldn't say that Imperial Germany could declare victory outright, as hostilities are definitely ongoing, but they've occupied enough of France and Belgium. Frankly I didn't think much on the situation in Switzerland(c'mon who really thinks about Switzerland though?), but you're right, Switzerland would have broken up. With German speaking cantons joining the central powers and the French and Italian generally going the other way. 

    The key problems for Germany at this point are that, Russia has quelled most of it's domestic unrest and is gearing up to return to hostilities. Meanwhile the AHE is breaking up under it's own weight, requiring Germany to redraw the map of central and eastern Europe installing loyal regimes. Meanwhile the French are constantly trying to take their lost territory back. The British also a constant thorn with their newfangled battle automata and walking tanks.

  • @Alex M

    Okay thanks for such useful tip... and what about the Ottoman Empire, since they did side with Central Empires during WWI, they should have a place in the setting.. like looking to take back Egypt and Sudan from Britain.. and why not threating the Indies?

  • I think this is a very interesting and appealing concept but there is so much actual history that took place after the war and already forgotten that if we readdressed it feels like an alternate history. Stuff like the Banana Wars, Franco-Turkish War, Greco-Turkish War, the Rhur Rebellion, anything involving the Freikorps, the Polish-Ukrainian War, and the list goes on, all of this happening in the shifting loyalties and politics immediately following the war. I don't mean to put a damper on anything said or what you're trying to do, merely making the point and hopefully offering some more information that you can work with for your idea. For my own part I'm trying to build up models for a lot of these post war conflicts right now.

  • @Daniel Broaddus personally, I'm mostly interested in a diesel punk weird war setting to accommodate models I already own, or am slowly(sigh) acquiring. I already had more than a few British WW1 "themed" miniatures, before I stumbled on the Death Fields line. Les Grognards quickly joined as French unit, I also already had an option to use for Weird Great War Germans, picklehaubes and all. Some WW1 style walking war machines from Codename Colossus and the odd kitbash monstrosity. All that got me thinking it's unfortunate all the weird war stuff is always built around WW2, as I would love to have a Great War setting, that was diesel punk, pulp and weird.

  • @Alex M 

    Maybe you could convert some models from GW Adeptus Mechanicus since that range is quite weird, pulpy and whatever-you-want punk 

  • @Steven StGeorges hahaha, literally what I was doing over my coffee this morning. It's funny I don't think I've actually bought any GW models for over a decade, but I buy plenty of bits, Mechanicus, GSC and anything Necromunda are go-to for me. GW has just become a bits bin, kinda conflicted about that.

  • My friend, you have my attention.

    I am also a fan of alternative history, my own personal alternative history project involves a 20th Century world is the result of an alternative scenario that started in 387 BC.

    I like what you've written so far, particularly with the Confederate States surviving - that will change the balance of power significantly. In your setting this could easily end up with a sandwich scenario where the German-supporting USA (because in our timeline the US was planning to side with Germany until the sinking of the Lusitania) is squished between the CSA (who would likely be pro-British, given that at one point in our timeline Queen Victoria was planning to send British troops to help the Confederacy), the Japanese American territories and Canada, and similarly the CSA is sandwiched between the USA and Germany-allied Mexico, meaning there would likely be a lot of fighting across the North American continent as well as Europe.

    I'm also interested in what sort of 'Weird War I' units can be developed for the different factions. In the case of the British, for example, the Konflikt '47 Automated Infantry would fit equally well in this setting, as would WGA's Lizardmen as a jungle-dwelling race that the British Empire has made first contact with.

    Alternatively this DeviantArtist has developed a lot of great artwork for Dieselpunk WWI military units where the European nations have been inspired by their Medieval past, perhaps his work may inspire you:



    Do you plan to write your own rules for your setting, or use existing ones with new faction rules? 

  • @Caratacus So for starters, I'm definitely not a game publisher or anything like that. I was just putting this together for myself and thought I would share, a hack-able setting that lets you use DF or any miniatures that you want. Now, I'm not a big rules guy, a lot of my enjoyment in this hobby is converting and painting, so I was eventually going to ask for input on free or "open source" miniatures agnostic rules that could be used. So if anyone has thoughts, I would definitely love to hear it.

    For units, a personally example of one of the units I've got are some Blightwheel war robots that are very WW1, I figure the brits would call them Tommy Bots. I've also got some walker/mechs from Codename Colassus that are kinda on the upper end of what I think would be fielded on a table. I'm also looking at WGA's Lizard Men, but I was thinking of making them ancient and more technologically advanced but in decline..

    The British force I'm working on are 17th lancers that have been reorganised to be modernised "new doctrine cavalry" that fights combined mounted and unmounted. My French and German forces have their own automated units, cavalry and walkers. Special units like Canadian veteran trench raiders or Portuguese knights with maybe some kind of chainsaw Montante, the possibilities are endless.

    I hadn't really spent a lot of time on the US and CS yet, but I think you're probably correct the US would probably side with the Central powers and the CSA joining the Entente. I think the situation in NA will have as much conflict as Europe. I can see a tense almost Cold War between the USA and CSA in the run up to the outbreak of the war in Europe. I can see Mexico having to invade it's breakaway Texas region, who's separatists are backed by the CSA(wanting a buffer with Mexico). CSA territory currently includes the Islands of Cuba, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico: these islands were taken by the CS in the 1890's War of the Caribbean between Spain and the CSA.


  • @Grumpy Gnome

    Well, that by itself would actually be interesting and a more likely setting in some respects than one with a divided America that still has a Southern half practicing slavery (which besides being kinda of done to death seems very unlikely by the 1910s unless the South got a whole lot less picky about skin color and used war captured whites as the main slave stock after the ACW since I think the Atlantic Slave trade was already dead or dying by the US Civilwar’s outbreak, thank you Wilberforce and the British Navy🤣).

    But in general if the US had sided with Germany, it would likely have been at an earlier date in the war (when the British Empire blocked US shipping to Germany) so England and France would have missed out on key development for tanks, etc. Germany would not have. And lets not forget to mention Canada's resources would  be tied up fighting the US and that would likely have not gone down well for either side at the time.

    Also even if say Japan (the key Asian ally of the Entente in WW1) got talked into remaining neutral the whole Pacific would be a bigger warfront due to US holdings vs. UK & French holdings action and it’s quite possible Japan would have joined the central powers if the US had done so earler, meaning mainland Asia would have been a bigger battlefield as well.

    Then there is Ireland, the US would likely have either "liberated" Ireland early on and used it as a base of attack against the British or at the very least actively encouraged resistance there.

    At the end of the war the Entente forces would likely lose big due to things like the Germans getting tanks first and the seas of the world becoming unsafe for Entente shipping, not mention the possiblity of US backed colonal uprisings everywhere.  As it stands if the US had simply remained neutral in WW1, there are some who think it is debatable if the Entente forces could have won WW1 in real life (seems unlikely that would lose to the Centeral powers but who knows).

  • @Brian Van De Walker If the US had sided with Germany earlier on in WWI, how would that have allowed Germany to develop tanks first, given that you already say Britain had blocked American shipping to Germany? Germany would have been no more well off in terms of resources and the outcome would have barely changed. Britain developed tanks through its own initiative as a need to break the stalemate of the Battle of the Somme, which they did contribute to achieving, and at that point the Entente had forced Germany onto the back foot and the few months of American involvement in our universe simply added more fuel to an already existing fire. Not to mention that the first German tank, the A7V, was a shoddy design to begin with, if it had been the first to have been developed its impact would have been significantly less than that which the more reliable British tanks had achieved.

    Additionally, you forget that in this alternative universe the power of the US is much less given a lot of states have seceded to the CSA, who themselves would likely have aided the Entente, meaning the two American powers effectively cancel each other out, particularly as they would also be tied up fighting Canada and Mexico respectively. It's also unlikely Japan would have considered joining the Central powers because it had already signed a treaty with Britain in 1902 to prevent Russian expansion into the East and was after German territories in China.

  • So the US doesn't have a pacific presence like it did in our timeline. Hawaii for example is an "independent kingdom" though is host to a large Japanese naval base. The Philippines are still part of Spain, which we haven't touched on yet. I see Spain as a late arrival to the war, joining the central powers after being attacked in the pacific. 

    A key point is that the US isn't a major player in this setting, having no access to the pacific or really any holdings west of the Rockies, with antagonistic neighbours to the north and south, the US has much more of a fight in it's own backyard. The Mexican empire is much more of a powerhouse, controlling a swath of land from Northern California to Texas and south to Panama. 

    For the US to "liberate" Ireland, it would need to have it's house in order on a level I don't see being possible. I mean how do you liberate Ireland if the Canadians are invading Michigan? I can see Mexico liberating Ireland, but not the US. A lot of this thought excersie kicked off when I wondered what if the US hadn't stolen a bunch of land from Mexico. You end up with a much weaker US by the time the Great War rolls around. 

    I don't see how the British or French would miss out on tank development, as they pretty much invented tanks. In this setting the British have nearly 50 years of computational advancement pushing them quickly to create new types of war machines. A bigger problem would be access to steel and petroleum, which brings us to a new faction. The Empire of Ethiopia, and the expanded war around the Suez Canal. 

    In 1916 the king of Ethiopia was deposed, but instead of largely sitting out the war, Ethiopia's new pro British Regent joined the Entente to fight the Ottoman Empire which had taken the Suez Canal from the British and was moving south threatening Ethiopia. Ethiopian troops collaborating with their allies retook the Canal on December 5 1917, less than a year after it was seized by the Ottomans. Much of Ethiopia's involvement in the war was focused on fighting the Ottomans, Ethiopian troops did see deployment all over North Africa and the Mediterranean.

  • Some thoughts on possible units.

    Apache mercenaries, the Apache fighters cemented their fearsome reputation fighting in conflicts throughout the Americas. I think this would be an interesting unit to kitbash, Native American fighters with some high tech armament. 

    Californio Lancers, Mexico's elite lancer regiment were traditionally irregulars and still enjoy a special consideration in their traditionally flamboyant uniforms. I'm thinking monowheels, machine guns and ridiculously stylish headwear.

    The Serbian Iron Regiment, Commanded by Milunka Savic she just needs grenades, lots of grenades. A real life regiment would make a great inspiration for a conversion.

    Tengu Teishin Shudan, Japan's elite airborne assault troops. Mythical Tengu are often rendered as anthropomorphised crows in samurai armour, Tengu Teishin Shudan are scarier because they're real. They drop right out of the night sky into defensive positions, eliminate targets and rocket away before anyone can react. 

  • @Alex M 

    Just for the fun.. and what's about Telsa and his inventions especially his famed Death Ray? 😉


  • @Steven StGeorges Yeah, Nikola Tesla is such a mainstay of the genre, I've been wondering about what to do with him, in our world he went to the US. The question is, if the US isn't such an attractive destination, what destination would lure Tesla, would he stay in Europe or go to Rio or Mexico City? Tesla spent some time in Paris working for Edison Europe, would he have stayed in Paris? What would Tesla have achieved in Japan, or if he stayed in Europe would he have used his genius for the Central Powers? He was born in the Austrian Empire after all.

    Lots to consider, I'm leaning towards Tesla being a allied with a Central Power, if for no other reason than to balance the advantages the British have in Analytical Engines and automatons. 

  • Tesla seemed to be opposed to the Nazi annexation of his homeland and didn't like that European powers let it happen. I'm not sure what he thought of pre-Nazi Germany, but I can't imagine he would be impressed by their occupation either.

    Maybe he could be used to add a twist to the Argentinean Nazi conspiracies. With secret labs up in the mountains. Could be fun.

    I like using "elaborate" conspiracies as fiction fodder. And on that note has this alternate timeline kicked off the moon race early? Or are they to busy with the ongoing wars?

  • If I'm reading Alex's description right, Nazis haven't happened. Fascism was basically a post-WW1 movement, so if WW1 is still being fought into the 1920's there's no reason for it to have arisen (Nationalism on the other hand would be alive and well).

    You could do whatever you like with Tesla. His life was such a series of false starts and lucky breaks that he could have ended up anywhere. Historically, he nearly died of cholera, dodged the draft, failed to complete technical school (possibly due to gambling and womanising), went to Prague to start university but couldn't because he lacked Greek and was illiterate in Czech, then started working with technology companies, ending up at Edison Continental in France. 

    Also, the USA being a reduced world power may not have had much effect on the likes of Edison as an individual industrialist and inventor. Edison might even have emigrated to England or France himself if there were better opportunites, or his European operation may have become his main focus.

  • @William Ings It's important to remember that part of the core concept for this setting is that the Nazi party and the socioeconomic situation that brought it about wouldn't really exist, at least as we know it. That doesn't mean fascism doesn't exist, or that there isn't organisations with questionable motivations and goals. This setting is the early 1920s, the war is ongoing. There's nothing I like better than punching Fascists for fun and entertainment, but there's soooooo much weird war two and I just want something different. 

    So, Tesla's concerns about Nazis aren't an issue, nor was Croatia a recently annexed state, it had been part of the Austro-Hungarian empire since 1102. The real question is where does Tesla go, and how does his work help the central powers? In a way the US could still work, maybe the lure of NYC is still big enough even though the US isn't a major power.

  • Historically he was brought to the US by the Edison company in 1884 when their European manager Charles Bachelor moved back. Even with a smaller USA, it's still quite likely to have happened.

  • @Mark Dewis hmm, that's good enough for me. The US really needs something like a group of motivated industrialists, whose work keeps the country competitive when surrounded by so many unfriendly neighbours. I can see this version of the US being an libertarian(Land of the Free, Home of the Brave!) dystopia of a state, an extreme response to it's southern neighbour's lack of universal freedom. 

  • So just a quick note on the ACW or American War of Secession as it's know. The southern part of Maryland joined the confederacy leaving Washington D.C. completely surrounded by enemy states. The Union Capital was moved to Philadelphia, but the early sacking of D.C. and capture of President Lincoln was a blow to the Union war effort and moral. The war was shorter but no less brutal, leaving deep psychological scars on both the north and south. 

    Post war, the trend for the US has been for more innovation and industrialisation. The US has taken the ideals of freedom to heart, granting women the right to vote only 5 years after the end of the war. 

    Meanwhile the CSA has remained a largely agricultural nation, but one that has struggled to find trading partners due to many nations heavily taxing if not banning imports produced with slave labour. 

    US and CSA troops seem to love to fight each other, as if they're still fighting the Old Secession War. US and CSA commanders are known to enthusiastically argue to have their troops deployed so that they'll be able to confront each other on the battlefield. Most European generals are resigned to let them brutally murder each other in the trenches, as they seem to fight more ferociously against each other than anyone else. 

  • An interesting take, having Lincoln captured and women getting the vote so early. Are you thinking hypercapitalist, anti-Union Rockefeller dominated economics for your dystopian libertarian US? 

  • @Alex M Hawaii was under British sovereignty before it was sold to the Americans as the newest state to join the United States to this day in our universe - even now it still has the Union Jack on its state flag. Therefore I would think that it would be a British territory in the Pacific rather than an independent kingdom, probably a centre of collaboration between Britain, Japan and the CSA.

    Apache mercenaries using more new tech would be great as a unit, offering a lot of conversion opportunities and perhaps serving as a unit available to both Mexico and the CSA as different bands would sell their services to the Entente and the Central Powers.

    Regarding Tesla, I agree that the Central Powers should have something to balance out the Entente advancements, so him joining either the Germans/Austro-Hungarians or the Central Power-allied US would work. I'd personally say Germany or Austro-Hungary because of their greater size and power, and I could see Tesla wishing to lend his aid to these countries to level the odds against a highly technologically-advanced Britain (and her allies as Britain would likely share its tech). @William Ings Nazism only rose up in Germany as a direct consequence of Germany's humiliation in the First World War in our universe, and certainly if the First World War is still going on it wouldn't be likely to show itself while the Kaiser is still in charge, so Tesla's dislike of Nazism wouldn't play a part in this alternative universe.

    @Grumpy Gnome given that the US's obsession with capitalism and money plays such a big part in our world, I wouldn't be at all surprised if such desire was accelerated in the alternative universe by humiliation in the American Civil War at the hands of the Confederates and continual threats from Canada, as the States attempt to grab as much money as possible, by whatever means necessary, to afford enough troops and munitions simply to survive its war on two fronts.

    I could also see Al Capone and similar gangsters becoming much more of a force to be reckoned with in this smaller, weaker US, perhaps even taking over government of some states by force if the existing governments were becoming too limp-wristed in the eyes of the people? Perhaps Dieselpunk Mobster Gangers could become an actual unit in the US Army, as contributions from the gangsters to protect their own assets against the Confederates and Canadians?

  • And what if.... Natives decided to gather together (as in Castle Falkenstein sourcebook for Northern America Six-guns & Sorcery) into a Twenty Nations Confederation allied to Britain to resist any extension project from the western USA? 

    I am a bit unable to understand how CSA had been able to win a war against Spain. In Real History, CSA could be compared to any British dominion so almost now real organized railroad network, no real industrial sector but a barely practical subsistence-oriented agriculture. As a matter of facts, CSA Navy is utterly unable to fight against what left of the once mighty Spanish Armada: without any foundry, it is almost impossible to build a fleet of CSA Virginias or of CSA Merrimacks. With France out of the Game and Britain heavily taxing her products -so cotton, CSA is fairly unable to sustain a permanent army to keep figthing the USA and Spain at the same time.

    So to my mind, Mexican Empire should have been more eager to take over all former spanish holdings in the Caribbeans.. to cement its position as a power-that-be. Unless Spain and her former dominion did achieve some understandings about Cuba, Hispanoila and Porto Rico considering them as Mexican protectorates. 

    Regarding Telsa, I think considering what happened to the USA, he could have reconsidered his desire for change and so did not move there. Maybe (if Wilhem the Second is as mad and paranoid as he was in Real History) Kaiser' secret services kidnapped him and forced him to work for Central Powers or he could have been willingly offered his services to ward off Continental Europa against British's abominations (clockwork tanks, airplanes and dreadnoughts to name a few). 

    Nazism should be removed from the setting even if antisemitism was quite common in most of Western countries back to the late XIXth century. Without the Treaty of Versailles, no Diktat; so no need to put the blame onto German-based Jewish communities. Fascism, on the other way, could be a more interesting option, especially thanks to its Futurism elements. So you could use Verne's 1860 "Paris in the 20th Century" for a vivid postwar depiction of the country.

    Regarding the Pacific, Britain could have taken over French Polynesia -including New Caledonia- and kept a firm hold on Sandwich Islands. 

  • @Caratacus not to get too pedantic, but Hawaii was an recognised independent kingdom, from 1795-1893 when it was annexed by the US. Feel free to check the Hawaiian Kingdom entry on ol'Wikipedia. Not sure why there's a Union Jack on the flag, and it doesn't have any bearing. Without the US to throw it's weight around and effectively steal the archipelago in a wholly non-democratic process. Seriously, U.S. Congress simply passed some legislation in 1898 that said Hawaii was a US territory without asking any Hawaiians if it was a good idea. So, we have an independent kingdom that's largely a Japanese(it's their backyard) client state, and host to a leased Japanese naval base. 

    For our purposes, I don't think it really matters which country Tesla ends up in, as long as his work helps balance technological advancements on the battlefield. I personally don't laud Tesla or his achievements, the guy was his own worst enemy. Honestly, Tesla canons just sound cool and converting miniatures with retro sci-fi electro guns is all the excuse I need. 

    I had a funny thought about Al Capone being president or a senator, but he's in his early twenties at this point, might even be fighting in the war. With the libertarian politics, I don't think an 18th amendment is realistic. A lot of the powerful gangsters built their wealth on Prohibition, so really these guys will need to be industrialists if they want to leave their mark on history. 

  • @Grumpy Gnome Exactly, the US is some kind of Randian State, where the rich get richer and the poor have "freedom"

  • @Alex M 

    ⚠️ I do remember that Any Rand left Russia with her family following the October Revolution. In your setting only February Revolution did happen, since Wilhem II never used Lenin as a secret weapon of mass disruption against his beloved cousin Tsar Nicholas II and the Kerensky Government, ferrying him from Geneva to St.Petersburg. So Objectivism is null and void as a concept.. excepted if Rand applied her ideology to the new Russia, in the case Nicholas II was re-established as Tsar of a new constitutional monarchy. Interesting twist to my mind. Instead of the traditionnal American "Go-West", we have a Russian "Go-East", including Alaska. So a Russian influenced Yukon Gold Rush could be a proper idea.

    Without Randian concept, the USA could have been less proned to defend a free entreprise industry, ethical/rational egoism and laissez-faire capitalism ... and instead more eager to defend New Republican Party and New Englander neo-Puritanist Protestantism (so religious freedom, altruistic society, anti-slavery politics, Women vote... and Prohibition).

  • @Steven StGeorges Native Americans uniting to carve out their own territory would make for an interesting campaign. 

    So the CSA is definitely not our Confederacy, they had to develop a better military capability during the war and post secession, if for no other reason than to discourage the US from attempting a reunification invasion. Though the CSA has difficulty trading internationally it does have trade partners, it's not a pariah to every nation. Finally they have access to free labour, which is not something that can be dismissed. 

    For all practical purposes the CSA has ironically become a pseudo-fascist militarised police state. With a large enslaved population to keep under control, the CSA has been slowly adopting strong central government to maintain its status quo. In many ways the CSA society is an informal caste system, with wealthy whites controlling the government and society in general and poorer whites encouraged or conscripted to join the ranks of the police and military.

    Spain was in a weakened position going into it's war with the CSA, with Mexico and Brazil(to Spain, both nations are peers) already carving chunks out of it's empire in the America's. The CSA took advantage of fighting between Brazil, Mexico and Spain to invade Hispaniola; initially to acquire and enslave the Haitian population, but kept grabbing all the land it could. 

    The war between the CSA and Spain took place over a two year period in the 1890s, around the same time as the Spanish American war. The resulting occupation has been brutal on the population of all three islands. The CSA has been bogged down fighting highly motivated US and Spanish backed insurgents.  

    I see the liberation of the Caribbean islands as a possible major front in the great war, with Mexico looking to expand its sphere of influence, the US itching for any chance to give the CSA a black eye and Spain looking to liberate her former colonies.

  • @Alex M 

    So some kind of modern avatar of Spartian Regime? 

  • @Steven StGeorges oh man, I shouldn't have written anything referencing Ayn Rand. I think you're correct that there's going to be a strong New England influence(women getting the vote so early), but you don't need Ayn Rand to have strong liberal capitalist influence. I think it's an inevitable development of industrialisation and the concentration of wealth. I'm not advocating anything here, just playing out the thought exercise. 

  • @Alex M 

    ..But the very idea of a Go-East Russia is quite interesting a twist 😁

  • @Steven StGeorges Spartans? Man, I don't know. If you take an unglamourised look at the Spartans as a society, then the CSA is probably their full on spiritual successor in setting. In real life I would probably point to some fascist state, the Spartans would be terrible neighbours. 

  • @Steven StGeorges Russians go east exactly, the Bolsheviks fled to and control Russian America(Alaska) and have established their own communist state, though it's not recognised by many. I imagine the Yukon wars between British Canada and the USSR(?) would be interesting with all the winter themed conversions out there.

  • @Alex M 

    Let me summarize a bit: a caste system depending of a very strong agrarian sector (cotton and subsistence-oriented agriculture; so technically a minority (here The Whites) depending on quite a large number of slaves (so modernday Helots) living in a permanent state of war (Proles aka poorer white men must serve)... more or less a Spartan-like society. Real-life Sparta was closer to what we could call a Dystopian Society (Gregory Claeys' Dystopia: a natural history is quite a good book about such a subject) so no need of The uber glamourous 300 very alteration of facts .. unless CSA gvt created its own Ministry of Truth 😁

    Vladimir & Co. living in Alaska? Why not... but personally I would have removed the Bolcheviks from the setting... or maybe turned them as nomadic knaves roaming both Siberian and Alaskan wastes with Josef Ironman as a leader.

  • @Steven StGeorges Yeah, sorry I didn't follow what you were getting at, but you're 100% on the money with the Spartan analogue.

    I'm just using Bolsheviks as a shorthand for the Russian revolutionaries defeated by the Tsarist forces and forced to flee east.

  • @Alex M 

    No more nitpicking.. but be sure I am going to keep on lurking around. 🧐

    I like the setting so I am quite eager to read your upcoming ideas/creations ... 👌

  • In regards to Prohibition, it could go either way. But I doubt the lack of it would have had had much effect on the organised crime situation - opportunites would be found elsewhere, as they were prior to it. Young Al (age 20) was bought to Chicago in 1919 by Johnny Torrio to dodge murder raps in NYC.

    The Mob would likely have gotten into wartime racketeering, as they did in WW1 and WW2.

  • @Alex M I certainly like the idea of a little separatist Communist Alaska making a nuisance of itself against both British Canada and reformed Russia, as upon being defeated by Nicholas II the Bolsheviks would have to have somewhere to go. Another member of the Central Powers I would presume, though in such a bleak landscape and with a relatively small population it wouldn't be able to bring many big guns against either of those much larger powers.

    So to summarise, we have thus far:


    • Britain (and commonwealth territories)
    • France
    • Belgium
    • Holland
    • CSA
    • Brazil/Portugal
    • Japan
    • Russia
    • Ethiopia

    Central Powers:

    • Germany
    • Austro/Hungary
    • Spain
    • Mexico
    • USA
    • Communist Russian America/Alaska
    • Ottoman Empire


    My next questions then:

    • What about China? In our world China joined the Entente despite its conflicts with Japan, would this still be the case in the alternative universe or would China consider joining the Central Powers if Japan got too aggressive?
    • Also would the other South American countries form an alliance against Brazil that is in league with the Central Powers and has a lot of ties with Mexico? Certainly with Argentina being the biggest of those I could see them taking over every territory that Brazil hadn't reached and unifying them all as a Spanish-speaking rebellion against Portuguese Brazil.

  • @Caratacus Exactly, you got there right before I did. In this setting China would probably try to stay neutral but Japan is already a major belligerent and it's unlikely that China would be able to remain neutral for long. Britain and Brazil are the two other powers with an interest in China, are allied with Japan and unlikely to intervene as long as Japan respects those interests. China needs allies that are happy to supply them with weapons they can use against Japan, central powers(Mexico specifically) are the best candidates. 

    Right again: Argentina, Chile and Uruguay have started a sort of southern NATO that I haven't gotten around to detailing. In my thinking up till now they've been able to avoid being drawn into the conflict but will eventually have to side with the Central powers against their powerful neighbour.

    The communists in Russian Alaska are not a major player, but attempts to take Alaska from them will be brutal. The region has become a safe haven for the like minded and is attracting radicals and revolutionaries from around the globe. They'll need to acquire weapons from somewhere, but they're motivated and dug in. The capital Sitka itself already has an estimated population of around 80k, but might be as high as 100k and is growing quickly. It's a bleak and hard life, but for many new arrivals it's better than what they left behind. 

  • @Mark Dewis oh yeah organised crime is definitely a part of everyday life. Regardless of whether prohibition passes or not, on the battlefield the US like the CSA is still a relatively minor fixture, both countries militaries combined are a smaller force than Mexico's might. 

  • The best thing about alternate history is it's alternate. If your computer gunnery interupts the franco-prussian war, germany would be in a different state in 1915-45. In addition, revolutions may be caused as outdated governments are overthrown (like the russian revolution on a larger scale) and acsess to computers may change civilian life too. 

    Loving the setting so far and hope to see more lore for it.

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