Decades of Darkness Footnotes

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[1] A belief which is generally inaccurate by 1900, but which lingers in parts of Ireland.
[2] Within New York of this period, “Yankee” is often used to be synonymous with “white”, or more precisely mostly Protestants of north-west European ethnic heritage who have been living in the country long enough to have no recognisable connection to other ethnicities. For example, the early German immigrants during the 1850s were originally described as “German” rather than as “Yankee”, but by 1900 most of them would simply be considered “Yankees”. This applies in lesser degree to Scandinavians. Irish immigrants, especially Catholic Irish, are usually not considered Yankees, in this sense. (Not looked down so much as viewed as different, although there is a little lingering anti-Irish prejudice in some social circles).
[3] A cocktail made with rum and lime juice, similar to an OTL daiquiri.
[4] Naturally, a cocktail including rum and orange juice. And a splash of bitters.
#109: The Use Of Forbes
[1] Vanguard is the first *Dreadnought, built in the USA.
[2] The closest swing states in the last few New England elections had been Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Hudson. Maine had not been as close, but the delegates hoped that Hale’s personal following could deliver that state too.
[3] The precedent is that new states send only one Representative (and two Senators) until the next reapportionment, which would be in 1910 in this case.
[4] As in OTL, areas with higher Catholic populations tend to be opposed to Prohibition, and Dominica is substantially majority-Catholic.
[5] In the *USA, the traditional date for the State of the Union Address is 22 February, George Washington’s birthday.
[6] i.e. Mitchell wants Britain et al to return escaped slaves and peons.
[7] The informal name for the N.E. President’s residence; formally it is called Federal House.
[8] Historians have long debated whether Mitchell’s statements in a private letter representative of his true views of Britain, or whether he did not believe this but kept on repeating the same reason which he had provided for public consumption, perhaps because he feared that his correspondence might be publicly revealed.
[9] The ATL U.S. Department of the Interior has little relation to its OTL counterpart, being mostly concerned with internal security which is not deemed to require military mobilization. It also regulates the peonage and slavery systems, insofar as these are monitored at a federal level.
#110: Opening Moves
[1] Strictly speaking, of course, Napoleon V is not his recognised title in France or any other nation. His proper name is Prince Charles Jean Louis Napoleon Bonaparte.
[2] This is an ATL brother of Colonel General Helmuth von Moltke (Moltke the younger) who won several crushing victories in the Second Napoleonic Wars and is one of Germany’s most respected military figures.
[3] Even in OTL, there were pre-WW1 generals who predicted a long war. This didn’t mean that they were heeded, or at least not enough.
[4] Von Moltke’s population figures are largely estimates, as all of the nations in question had had censuses in 1900-1901, and thus population figures were slightly out of date.
[5] Von Moltke is underestimating their growth in population, which is closer to 40 million than 35 million.
[6] There were some shell and other munitions shortages during the Second Napoleonic Wars, which were averted through increasing production, and this is enough to let military establishments around the world know to stockpile enough materiel to supply considerable action.
[7] The USA built more Vanguards earlier than the UK, but Britain has laid down and is building more than the USA. There are a further 2 Vanguard-class ships in Britain due to be commissioned within the next month, and more following. New England, which had long tried to maintain naval parity with the USA, fell behind during the late 1890s with spending focusing more on social issues (pre-1901) and land defence (post-1901), although it has further Vanguards laid down.
[8] While von Moltke compares only capital ships, both sides also obviously have considerable numbers of cruisers, destroyers and smaller ships. Britain has a slightly higher proportion of destroyers and cruisers, although the USA also has a fair number. Von Moltke has also completely ignored the possibility of *submarines and torpedo boats, although these were not so well-known to a man who was after all a general, not an admiral [9].
[9] Not that admirals of the time necessarily thought much about *submarines and torpedo boats, either.
#111a: Kings Gambit Accepted
[1] Not much like OTL’s Custer in personality, for which his troops should be extremely thankful.
[2] Due to the absorption of lessons from the Third Mexican War in particular, and to a lesser degree earlier wars as well, U.S. commanders at all levels are encouraged to show individual initiative. This flexibility can sometimes cause chaos, but usually allows better exploitation of local opportunities.
[3] The number of wounded is generally proportionately higher ITTL than in OTL. Both sides have greater experience in military medicine than in OTL, and thus are able to save a greater number of lives.
[4] A right which will be, in practical purposes, impossible to exercise unless there are outright massacres of Christians. Which won’t happen anyway, for other reasons.
#111b: Four Knights Game
[1] The Cumberland is an American-designed early automatic rifle, similar to OTL’s Cei-Rigotti. It is too cumbersome and unreliable for regular army service, but sees occasional use amongst the Jaguars and other irregular military forces.
[2] While informally known as the Jaguars since the 1850s, they did not formally receive this name until 1904.
[3] Something of an exaggeration on Bautista’s part. Mitchell waited a year or so in office before beginning to make aggravating noises against Britain. Of course, his private wishes were another matter.
[4] Those members of the people who were already legally free citizens, that is.
#111c: English Opening
[1] King George I is using a quote attributed to former U.S. President Thomas Corbin.
[2] ATL brother of U.S. Nobel Peace laureate Elihu Root.
[3] The USA was also under heavy political pressure to make its own foolhardy attacks during the same period, but these happened on the New Jersey front, to be covered in post #112.
[4] i.e. because every man in uniform is being sent to the New Jersey front.
#111d: Modern Defence
[1] American slang expression meaning roughly ‘true’ or ‘’right’ or ‘I agree’. Derived from Spanish verdad, ‘truth’.
[2] Named after the first President, not the former capital.
[3] Who once had a surname of Alvarez, but found it politic to change it.
[4] A relative of Richard Montgomery of ARW fame, although not a direct descendant.
[5] The main Canadian transcontinental railroad runs further north, through Selkirk [Winnipeg], but there is a feeder line to *Grand Forks.
[6] At this stage in the war, the U.S. high command was still of the opinion that the war could be won quickly in the east, and viewed any adventures further west as a distraction and in which any needless American defeats could boost the morale of the Allies.
[7] Since the 1880s, American shipbuilding has gone for fewer and heavier guns with a slower rate of fire than their New England and British counterparts.
#112: Guns of the North
[1] The same Mt Mitchell as in OTL, but where in our history it was named for the professor who surveyed it, ITTL it was renamed, extremely controversially, for President Lewis Mitchell.
[2] A suburb of Acapulco, and the main centre of the American film industry.
[3] i.e. a variety of Spanish words were beginning to become widespread within American English.
[4] And thus freed up American troops for other fronts, of course.
[5] In some of the omitted sections of this chapter, it describes how Ninth Army, which had captured southern New Jersey, was reformed into some units who went into Fifth Army, and others which were reassigned to other fronts. The original plan of moving it north to help push on Jersey City had long since been abandoned.
#113: The Fakes That Launched A Thousand Ships
[1] The USA has declared a sea blockade of all of New England’s main ports, and declared that any ship approaching these ports is a target of war. Merchant ships are in fact usually warned; warships aren’t. The exception is when there are too many enemy warships around, in which case the U.S. submersibles do not give warnings.
[2] Warships, unlike regular merchantmen, even Herschel would sink without warning.
[3] The battle was in fact fought further out to sea, but was named for the straits.
[4] Conveniently forgetting that the British were not even on Trinidad in any numbers.
[5] Anglicized version of the surname Montoya, and no relation of General Edward Montgomery of the U.S. Eighth Army.
[6] i.e. the Empress of Brazil.
#114: From A Distance
[1] The USA had not managed to capture *Winnipeg by September – the British had reinforced it from the east – but they had reached the shores of Lake Manitoba further west, cutting the transcontinental railroad.
[2] “Tranquil”, in *American English, has shifted slightly in meaning under Spanish influence, meaning roughly “quiet” rather than “peaceful”.
[3] “Hed” means roughly “stink”, from Spanish hedor, “stench”.
[4] Short for ARmoured LAnd Cruiser. TTL’s equivalent of the tank.
[5] The New England built Arlac here is similar in many respects to OTL’s British Mark I “rhomboid”. It has 2 6-pound guns and four cylinder guns (machine guns), and a crew of eight people: four drivers (including the commander) and four gunners. But it doesn’t have the same steering wheel attached to the back. Also, since it is steam-powered, the engine is somewhat quieter and the interior of the compartment doesn’t stink quite as badly. It’s still quite unpleasant to be inside, though.
[6] The frontline in the eastern part of New Jersey runs roughly east-west from New Providence to Scotch Plains to Westfield to Picton, then runs more south-east toward Woodbridge and the coast. Rahway is near the turning angle of the frontlines.
[7] OTL’s San Juan del Sur - just south of the Pacific end of the Nicaragua Canal.
#115: The Soft Underbelly
[1] “Con” is an American epithet for Australians (i.e. convicts).
[2] “Greaser” in early twentieth-century American slang has come to refer generically to people of Latin American descent who are not under U.S. rule. (In this case, meaning Colombians). It is also used occasionally to refer to non-citizens of Latin American descent.
[3] Corinto, Nicaragua, is the state’s major Pacific port, including its only usable deepwater harbour.
#116: Middle Game
[1] After some analysis, I’ve decided that a North Manitoban Railroad, while it would have been useful, would probably have been too expensive for Canada to build pre-war.
[2] Given that Chief Seattle was born pre-POD, I think it’s still likely that the city could be named after him in the ATL, particularly since Canada ITTL is similarly respectful of the First Nations.
[3] After New York and Boston, in industry, and also after Detroit, in overall population.
#117: Winning the Exchange
[1] Clément could be said to have employed perhaps a little dramatic licence.
[2] Of course, it could also be argued that it was better to use the battlecruisers in a fleet action than to let them rust in port, as they would be useless if the battle was lost, too.
[3] Leahy’s tactics are in some respects similar to those adopted by Vice Admiral Scheer of the High Seas Fleet in trying to win the Battle of Jutland. The similarities are because I think that faced with a similar situation – defeating a larger enemy force – Leahy would perforce adopt the tactic of trying to lure the enemy fleet into a trap. The difference is that Leahy had the confidence – or the foolhardiness – to try to engage the entire enemy fleet.
[4] This could be referred to as the ‘sanitized’ version of what MacDougall said.
[5] i.e. the battleships are turning one by one to the north, in a near U-turn, which means that for a time they are vulnerable, but offers the best chance of breaking out of being caught in a “T”.
[6] One of the points which the ATL authors don’t really catch, not having a point of comparison, is that fleet engagements ITTL are generally closer than they were in OTL Jutland, closer to where they were at the Battle of Tsushima. This generally means that more ships on both sides are more heavily damaged or sunk than happened at Jutland.
[7] When picturing Lewis Mitchell, the best comparison in appearance – although not in personality – is Huey Long in his early fifties.
Interlude #5: On A Night Like This
[1] Rufus King was a leading New York Federalist shot in rather suspicious circumstances during the War of 1811. See post #9.
[2] Communications Review Board, the euphemistic name for one of Australia’s leading intelligence agencies.
[3] Department of Foreign Security, one of the two chief New England intelligence agencies. (The other being the Technical Classification Board).
[4] In other words, what can Andrew say when others might read his letter before it arrives at its destination.
#118a: Fading Like A Flower
[1] Makhpyia-luta, or “Red Cloud” as he is usually called by English-speaking Canadians, was named for one of the Lakota (Sioux) chieftains who scored a stinging victory over the US forces near the Black Hills, although eventually forced to seek sanctuary in Canada by the pressure of American numbers.
[2] Without the development of incendiary bullets, no fighter pilot has yet shot down a cloud-ship, although several have damaged them.
[3] TTL’s version of the Hall-Héroult process for aluminium production.
[4] The modern American spelling of aluminum appears to have been due to Charles Martin Hall preferring that spelling over aluminium when he first patented and popularized the Hall-Héroult process. Without him, the spelling aluminium remains the standard in the United States as well as internationally.
[5] Or more precisely, Harrison supplied the metal and money and found designers to build cloud-ships for him.
#118b: Mein Herz Brennt (My Heart Burns)
[1] ITTL, the ‘Great Game’ refers to the unofficial struggle between Britain and Russia over a larger scale than in OTL – from Persia to China.
[2] Count Viljo Kallio, the Russian ambassador to Britain.
[3] This date, and the other dates quoted in this section, is in the Gregorian calendar.
[4] There was in fact more continuity in national leadership than Maritz acknowledges. For instance, both Richard IV of the United Kingdom and Holy Roman Emperor Frederick IV continued on as rulers past 1906. However, Maritz views them as ceremonial figures rather than national leaders, viewing Bismarck as the great German national leader of the nineteenth century, and a variety of British Prime Ministers as being the national leaders of that country. Peter IV, on the other hand, came much closer to the conception of an absolute monarch.
Decades of Darkness #119a: Fire & Ice
[1] Pearl, Indiana is located in what OTL is Jeffersonville, Indiana. With the more southward-looking focus of Indiana ITTL, it has become a major city and is a twin city alongside Louisville, Kentucky, rather than being an effective suburb.
[2] The *U.S. equivalent of West Point, located near OTL Woodstock, Virginia.
[3] See post #111d.
[4] i.e. the engineers.
Decades of Darkness #119b: Zugzwang
[1] Depending, obviously, both on how long a generation is defined to be, and when the war is considered to end. Turteltaub considers twenty years to be a generation, more or less.
[2] Which the USA didn’t have, of course, but it sometimes seemed that way to the Allies.
[3] In some of these areas, the Allies are up to a 1917-equivalent use of artillery technology – although not quite 1918 level, except for mortars. In some areas, however, they are further behind, e.g. they have not really developed any effective artillery shells to cut wire.
[4] The Collins mortar is more or less equivalent to the Stokes mortar of OTL.
[5] Which is, in comparative terms, most like the Somme offensive of OTL. The difference here is that European and American armies have had experience of the futility of major head-on assaults even before this war – during the Second Napoleonic Wars – and it means that they are quicker to learn the lesson that ‘big push’ strategies need to be conducted with slightly more finesse. This doesn’t remove the pressure to attack, but it means that they are less likely to set goals like “next month in Columbia”.
Decades of Darkness #119c: Riposte
[1] The American artillery is using a “chequerboard pattern” of having some squares heavily bombed with gas and regular shells, while others are left untargeted. This is designed to maximise the disruption to the enemy lines but still leave some areas less ruined and easier to move forward through.
[2] Choke troops, so named by Alvar O’Brien, which comes from an anglicising of choque, a Spanish word can variously mean “shock”, “surprise” or “crash”, as in automobile crash. The ambiguity of the phrase is probably why O’Brien chose it; he was unsure whether the new tactics would succeed.
[3] O’Brien had the advantage of recognition for his success at Mt. Bethel; most other majors trying such a meeting would be rather out of luck.
Decades of Darkness #120: Midnight
[1] Abraham Myers of South Carolina, who became U.S. President in 1863 after the assassination of Jefferson Davis, and who was elected in his own right in 1864. He was a few years ahead of Benjamin Disraeli (who was first made British Prime Minister in 1868 in OTL, and 1869 ITTL).
[2] An ATL science fiction/fantasy author with a rather grim view of the future; a bit like the darker half of H.G. Wells. See post #94a.
[3] i.e. the Principal Private Secretary, Disraeli having more than one.
[4] Esperenza, Sonora is located approximately at OTL Los Mochis, Sinaloa. Founded in 1866 as a new city and port at one end of the South-Central Pacific Railroad (New Orleans to Esperenza – the other main spur of the railroad connected to San Francisco), Esperenza is a major agricultural and tourist centre, as well as the site of Fernan Cortes University.
[5] Yes, this means that Jamaica remains as the only British possession in the Caribbean. It is, however, considerably larger in population than the rest of the ceded islands.
[6] Or, more precisely, the United States was going to demand such territories, come what may, and Britain and Canada managed to negotiate no reparations in lieu of territories which the USA was going to take anyway.
[7] This is proportionately about one-fifth the size of the Versailles obligations on Germany post-WW1.
Decades of Darkness #121: That Quiet American
[1] Of course, turning down the offer would end his chances for promotion just as surely.
[2] The Liberian Constitution is actually modelled on the New England Constitution, which includes the Bill of Rights within the main articles rather than as amendments.
[3] Liberians classify people within their country into three broad groups: the children of the First Exodus, the children of the Second Exodus, and the natives. The First Exodus represents the largely English-speaking descendants of freed slaves from the USA and New England who travelled to Liberia between 1820 and 1857, when the last free ‘blacks’ within the United States were expelled. The Second Exodus refers to a mixture of Spanish, French, and Dutch speakers who either escaped or were exiled to Liberia after the United States began to expand into the Caribbean with the invasion of Cuba in 1857-8. “Natives” refers to a variety of peoples – mostly Ovambo and Ovimbundu – who lived in Liberia before the First Exodus. Besides these groups, there are also a small number of ‘foreigners’, and some Portuguese-speaking former Brazilian slaves who have settled in Liberia.
[4] Duo, i.e. a descendant of the Second Exodus. Usually, but not always, Spanish-speaking. (Most of the former French and Dutch speakers have taken up either Spanish or English).
[5] Co-ops, or co-operatives, are communal Liberian farming enterprises established in the hinterland. Operating cooperatively both allowed them greater physical security at a time of some danger and also to recapture some of the economies of scale which they had seen on plantations. The co-ops emphasise communal child-rearing, strong education (mostly practical), and have a reputation for pushing Liberians to greater heights.
[6] The Visionists are the closest thing that Liberia – which, like New England and the United States, has a constitutional separation of church and state – has to a national religion. Born out of a religious revival in New England during the 1840s, Visionism had far more success in Liberia than in their own homeland. The sect’s beliefs include recognition of a number of leaders who are believed to receive divine visions, and regular speaking in tongues from most of the church members.
[7] The Visionists celebrate Communion four times per year, on the final Saturday of March, June, October and December, with a ceremony which includes ritual foot-washing as well as consumption of unleavened bread and wine.
Decades of Darkness #122a: Battle Lines Being Drawn
[1] Thomas Dombeck, who can be seen in post #95, “On Wisconsin”. He was a labor organizer in the Upper Peninsula of Wisconsin and was elected to represent the city of Escanaba in the Provincial Parliament. He has became a prominent member of the Wisconsin and Canadian Labor Parties.
[2] Canada, especially in Wisconsin, has large German and Scandinavian populations, who have brought their Christmas traditions with them. Such traditions have not penetrated into much of the United States, however, which has its own Christmas traditions.
Decades in Darkness #122b: This Summer I Hear the Drumming
[1] Mathew Dombeck Jr., the son of Matt Dombeck from #122a, and the grandson of Thomas “Dynamite” Dombeck, current MP for Escanaba.
[2] With apologies to William Butler Yeats.
[3] An allusion to a passage by Konrad Dahl, an ATL Danish author. The passage Dombeck is alluding to is usually translated as “Unhappy is the land with no heroes? No, unhappy is the land that needs a hero.”
[4] See #119c.
[5] Matthism is the closest ATL equivalent to Social Darwinism, and is explicitly racist and elitist. It is most commonly identified with the *USA, but it also has adherents (in modified form) in many other nations.
[6] In *Canadian Parliaments, the government of the day – the largest party, or a coalition, as it may be – sit on the right-hand side of the chamber (as seen from the Speaker’s chair). The second-largest party forms the Opposition, and its MPs sit on the left of the Speaker’s chair. The minor parties sit in the benches in between (the cross-benches). At this time, the Whigs formed the Wisconsin government and were on the right, Labour formed the Opposition, and various Tories, Socialists, Republicans and other radicals sat on the cross-benches. Tom Dombeck is thus getting most of his support from Labour and a few Socialists.
[7] The Labour Party had been reasonably successful in Wisconsin since 1892, with the election of the first Labor premier, Charles “Fighting Chuck” Nowinski. But after Nowinski died of a heart attack in 1898, his successor Robert Leinenkugel proved less adept at holding the government together, amidst the backdrop of growing fear about American militarism. In 1903, the Whigs gained narrow control of the Wisconsin Parliament and remained the governing party throughout the war.

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