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-   -   2300AD/2320 What If: Manchuria wins the Central Asian War (http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Discuss/showthread.php?t=15238)

rfmcdpei March 11th, 2008 03:25 PM

2300AD/2320 What If: Manchuria wins the Central Asian War
 
Continuing a theme ...

The Central Asian War (2282-2287) was the biggest war fought by humanity before the Kafer Wars. Waged over Manchurian influence in the Central Asian Republic, the conflict seemed to go fairly well for Manchuria, which was able to sponsor and even supply the Elysian war of independence deep in the French Arm at the same time that it steadily pushed back the Franco-Russian-led coalition opposing Manchuria. From what little I know, the Manchurians had apparently managed to push deep into European Russia before a Japanese intervention broke the offensive (i.e. deus ex machina was created to preserve balance in the Great Game).

Let's say that hadn't happened. The Manchurians successfully take Moscow, and the European coalition responds by negotiating an end to the war. In the post-war settlement, Manchuria is able to impose a protectorate over the Central Asian Republic, and who knows what will happen in Russia (a Korea-style protectorate? protracted occupation? demilitarization?). In the coming years, Manchuria starts to surpass a humiliated France.

What next? Does human space become considerably more militarized? Does the defeat so discredit the future junta that the French republic survives, if barely? Would the powers head for a rematch?

epicenter00 March 11th, 2008 05:37 PM

The entire Central Asian War and it's outcome is pretty fishy to me - almost as bad as an independent Texas or how long it takes MilGov and CivGov to reconcile their differences. Or how nothing particularly thunderous occurs to Canada after the Twilight War and they really don't do a thing. Or how the South American giants powerful enough to challenge the combined might of the ESA's member nations ... do little after that.

* Given the high-tech nature of France's fighting forces and the universally "soot-belching-1960s" backwardness of the Manchus, why was France having such a hard time? The weapons given in 2300's sourcebooks for the Manchus aren't any good at all, quite honestly - all of their equipment is outdated and exemplars of archaic or poor design. The CAW isn't some insurgency where the Manchus can hide amongst the civilians and strike at French PKFs, it's out-and-out war, where Manchuria can challenge France both on Earth and is able to even strike into the French Arm - while fearsome Manchu warriors might count for a lot, I have a lot of difficulty believing that the Manchus, as presented in 2300, could have stood a chance against the French to that extent.

* Japan, as presented in 2300, is a second or third-rate power, technologically behind France. I don't see how the wealthiest, most powerful, and most technologically advanced nation in 2300, France, would need to solicit satellite intelligence from the Japanese to win a war. Japanese satellites would probably be a full generation behind French stuff. Even if you take into account Manchurian ASAT technology, the country that can make a Beanstalk isn't going to be impressed - they could just toss more satellites into orbit.

Given that, I usually revise Manchurian technology up - they're nowhere near as primitive as they are presented in 2300 (which of course, also means their off-world colonies would be better provisioned) - at most they could only be a decade behind the French (I personally like to believe the Manchus are actually ahead of the French in some areas). A decade behind with a larger population and equally robust industrial base would make for a war-winning combo, I think if taken in light with French bureaucratic inefficiency. With the 1800s nature of the 2300 world, I don't actually think the Manchus would need to actually take Russia (though I think I recall the comment about the Manchus driving deep in into Russia). This is a colonial contest at its core - if the Manchus defeat the Russian occupation forces and field armies and look to threaten Russia, Russia would probably sue for peace and pull out. Manchuria would probably have its hands full with France so would accept.

I'm not even sure if Japan would intervene into the CAW - if they do, they'd probably have to intervene with a lot more than just satellite recon. To win the CAW, the Manchus would have had to defeat France and Japan. Fortunately, this leg is probably a lot easier to solve - simply say that Japan doesn't intervene in the CAW. With it being a purely French vs. Manchu contest, it's also more believable that the Manchus might win.

If the Manchus win a victory:

* The primary change would be that the War of German Reunification would happen a lot sooner, I think - perhaps within a year of the French defeat.

* A larger Manchu investment/presence in Joi as well. Perhaps Manchu vessels in orbit over Joi to guarantee Joi's independence (which would probably be looked at with resentment by the Elysian rebels) - the situation might be pretty similar to Adlerhorst. If the Japanese fought on the side of the French and lost, Joi would probably be the biggest powderkeg in the human sphere, making Adlerhorst look like a picnic. An independent but Manchu-backed Elysia sharing a world with a Japanese colony in the middle of an arm dominated by French interests.

* Given the 1800s nature of 2300 again, France would certainly be spoiling for a rematch.

* With the steadying hand of the French hegemony crumbling after two decisive defeats (German War of Reunification and Central Asian War), more French colonies may be restive and many of the other powers, long suppressed by France would probably be looking to get a their "rightful" piece of the pie, while French voices would be carrying less weight in the universe. Then the Kafers show up...

deadlock March 11th, 2008 06:28 PM

Here's my .02 Lv on the subject. I can agree with most of what epicenter00 has typed.

Japan: Personally, I think Japan would surpass France in some technologies, remain neutral during the CAW, and possibly sell some of those techs via a third party to Manchuria.

Russia: The country would want the territory back that was conquered by Manchuria. It makes me think of their defense against the Germans during WWII. They would make holding that territory deadly and/or expensive.

France: It would side with Russia and help it reclaim its lost territory. It would also seek some form of vengeance against Manchuria.

mbrinkhues March 11th, 2008 06:39 PM

Basically agree with one exception:

IMHO even the war of 2290/91 went off "half cocked" on the German side (similar to 1870/71(1)) and I am not sure they would be ready so shortly after the French-Chinese thing. I could see them stiring up more rebellions to keep the French Navy busy and, depending on the final losses of the French, actually DELAY the war another 3-5 years, getting a few more Hamburgs and Sachsens


(1) I.e the Germans had just selected a new and superior rifle (Mauser 1871) shortly before the war but only managed to introduce it after the war

rfmcdpei March 11th, 2008 07:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mbrinkhues (Post 252609)
Basically agree with one exception:

IMHO even the war of 2290/91 went off "half cocked" on the German side (similar to 1870/71(1)) and I am not sure they would be ready so shortly after the French-Chinese thing. I could see them stiring up more rebellions to keep the French Navy busy and, depending on the final losses of the French, actually DELAY the war another 3-5 years, getting a few more Hamburgs and Sachsens

(1) I.e the Germans had just selected a new and superior rifle (Mauser 1871) shortly before the war but only managed to introduce it after the war

Were any of the German states involved in the Central Asian War?

One thing that occurs to me is that France could lose its outposts on the approaches to the Chinese and American Arms, Serurier, D'Artagnon, and Davout. (The last is shared with the Japanese, so perhaps not.)

A permanent Manchurian presence on the French Arm around Joi is an interesting idea, although supply lines would be a problem. The biggest impact would probably be during the Kafer War, when the Manchurians would be involved from the start.

mbrinkhues March 11th, 2008 09:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rfmcdpei (Post 252610)
Were any of the German states involved in the Central Asian War?

One thing that occurs to me is that France could lose its outposts on the approaches to the Chinese and American Arms, Serurier, D'Artagnon, and Davout. (The last is shared with the Japanese, so perhaps not.)

A permanent Manchurian presence on the French Arm around Joi is an interesting idea, although supply lines would be a problem. The biggest impact would probably be during the Kafer War, when the Manchurians would be involved from the start.

The Thiving Hill Tribes where involved as good French Toadies that they where. But the "so short after the war" was a reference to the German nations not being in a position to start re-unification, re-integration of the wayward Bavarian tribes and doing some Frenchie gutting(1) in 2286, so they could not, as epicenter00 suggested, take advantage of the French weakness. IMHO even the 2291 start was more a "if we must" than a "because we can". I.e Starcruiser states that the Hamburg-Class CCG's where "recently completed" in the French-German War scenarios.


(1) As the old WWI saying goes: "Jeder Tritt ein Brit, jeder Schuss ein Russ, jeder Stoss ein Franzos" - "Each kick (gets) a Brit, each shot a Russian and each Bayonet-Stab a Frenchman"

rfmcdpei March 11th, 2008 11:08 PM

[QUOTE=epicenter00;252605]The entire Central Asian War and it's outcome is pretty fishy to me - almost as bad as an independent Texas or how long it takes MilGov and CivGov to reconcile their differences. Or how nothing particularly thunderous occurs to Canada after the Twilight War and they really don't do a thing. Or how the South American giants powerful enough to challenge the combined might of the ESA's member nations ... do little after that.

Quote:

* Given the high-tech nature of France's fighting forces and the universally "soot-belching-1960s" backwardness of the Manchus, why was France having such a hard time? The weapons given in 2300's sourcebooks for the Manchus aren't any good at all, quite honestly - all of their equipment is outdated and exemplars of archaic or poor design. The CAW isn't some insurgency where the Manchus can hide amongst the civilians and strike at French PKFs, it's out-and-out war, where Manchuria can challenge France both on Earth and is able to even strike into the French Arm - while fearsome Manchu warriors might count for a lot, I have a lot of difficulty believing that the Manchus, as presented in 2300, could have stood a chance against the French to that extent.
Bureaucratic inefficiency, as you suggest, probably plays a major role. I'd also suggest that internal French divisions also played a role in limiting the scope of the French military response. "Faut-il mourir pour Alma-Ata?", that kind of thing. In the canonical 2300AD timeline, the cost of the Central Asian War prompted the military coup. In this timeline, with the war quite visibly and massively lost, what mightn't the military do? A dirty war on the Argentine model might even be possible.

Quote:

With the 1800s nature of the 2300 world, I don't actually think the Manchus would need to actually take Russia (though I think I recall the comment about the Manchus driving deep in into Russia). This is a colonial contest at its core - if the Manchus defeat the Russian occupation forces and field armies and look to threaten Russia, Russia would probably sue for peace and pull out. Manchuria would probably have its hands full with France so would accept.
All true, but out of late 19th century warfare there's nothing more dramatic than the siege and eventual investiture of Paris in 1870-1871.

Quote:

* A larger Manchu investment/presence in Joi as well. Perhaps Manchu vessels in orbit over Joi to guarantee Joi's independence (which would probably be looked at with resentment by the Elysian rebels) - the situation might be pretty similar to Adlerhorst. If the Japanese fought on the side of the French and lost, Joi would probably be the biggest powderkeg in the human sphere, making Adlerhorst look like a picnic. An independent but Manchu-backed Elysia sharing a world with a Japanese colony in the middle of an arm dominated by French interests.
To say nothing about the presence of Halbinsel. Britain and Azania were neutral, right?

epicenter00 March 12th, 2008 03:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mbrinkhues (Post 252609)
Basically agree with one exception:

IMHO even the war of 2290/91 went off "half cocked" on the German side (similar to 1870/71(1)) and I am not sure they would be ready so shortly after the French-Chinese thing. I could see them stiring up more rebellions to keep the French Navy busy and, depending on the final losses of the French, actually DELAY the war another 3-5 years, getting a few more Hamburgs and Sachsens

I don't think that's quite necessary - I think Germany would seize the initiative after a crushing French defeat in the Far East. The situation I think would be quite similar to the opening moves of WW2. The French actually had some better equipment than the Germans during that period, however, superior German tactics and logistics neutralized such superior equipment handily. Kicking a guy while he's down might not be sporting, but it's good way to win a fight. I think a similar situation would occur in a hastened War of German Reunification - as the Reunification War was very much an Earthside contest. It wasn't fought on both Earth and in space.

* The Bavarians would probably be much less reluctant to side with the Hannover camp given how their French benefactors just got their rear ends handed to them in Asia.

* The German states would have probably watched the CAW very closely (in fact the entire world probably would have) - the CAW would very much have been the an earthshaking war - as far as I can tell in the 2300 history, it was fought both on Earth and in space with the French making strikes in the Chinese Arm and the Manchus going so far as to make a base in the French Arm to raid the French - it's serious business and probably a lot more bitter than the sanitized text in the rulebooks would suggest. After the French defeat, I think the Germans would have gone "half-cocked" as they'd have seen the French war machine humbled and demoralized and felt confident they could win.

* Given the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" attitude (as evident in Grosshiddenhafen), even if the Sternmarine wasn't up to snuff yet, the Manchus could have probably made "guarantees" or having an "understanding" for various colony worlds should the French start acting up - the Manchus were able to supply Elysia in canon 2300 history and that's with the Manchus losing. With the Manchus winning, Tunghus and whatever classes of ships that didn't appear in the various sourcebooks could have kept French navy at bay.

Also, I've always thought that 2300 would be more interesting with a Manchu victory in the CAW, personally. It'd break the Eurocentricism of 2300's history quite nicely (American and Canada being "European" powers in case).

dan891 March 12th, 2008 08:25 AM

Should the Manchurians have managed to sieze Moscow - there would have been an armistace at the least and as you say the CAR falls into the Manchurian sphere.

Occupation of Russia would have been problematical and really not in Manchuria's interests. Garrisoning would have been a nightmare and insurgency would rear its head sooner rather than later. The Manchurians could try to force demiliterisation on Russia but would have to occupy to do it whith the problems outlined above.

In addition to which you will still have a large number of pro-Russian CAR citizens to worry about, not to mention the wild card of the Islamic forces as well, which wouldn't be easy bedfellows with the Manchurians.

France would still have its military coup, and continue its military reforms. It would probably be involved in supporting any insurgency in the CAR. It is, along with Russia, probably itching for a second round. It might also take harder measures in Elysia, which isn't settled by now.

You also have problems of scope with the Central Asian War. It appears to be a limited war - like a massive Korean War - as it is confined largely to the Central Asian Republic. No sign of French strategic airpower hitting the Manchurian coastline from New Caledonian bases of the French and Japanese navies in blockade. No Franco-Bavarian occupation of Tunghu. etc

Manchurian support for the Elysians really is small beer - its dropping weapons to the resistance because you aren't strong enough to launch Overlord. Given French space power I would think the Manchurians are conducting a fleet in being strategy in the Chinese Arm with economy of force raiding/privateering in the French Arm. A Manchurian victory on Earth wouldn't change that preponderence of French space power in the colonies.

Would militerisation increase? Probably more on Earth than in the colonies but you might get a space naval race between France and Manchuria.

An early WoGR? Well Bavaria was a major participant in the war, probably not able to jump into a war with her ally straight away. And it is Bavaria France goes to war over not the unification of the other states You have the remaining German states without any recent experience against a very battle hardened French Army. (That said Germany has the advantage of interior lines, compact air defence against French strategic air and a French Army more set up to do sweeping combat on the Steppes than in the urban sprawl of the Rhine - but heavily outnumbered if France has mobilised the Empire which would be the assumption soon after the CAW.)

Quote:

Originally Posted by rfmcdpei (Post 252598)
Continuing a theme ...

The Central Asian War (2282-2287) was the biggest war fought by humanity before the Kafer Wars. Waged over Manchurian influence in the Central Asian Republic, the conflict seemed to go fairly well for Manchuria, which was able to sponsor and even supply the Elysian war of independence deep in the French Arm at the same time that it steadily pushed back the Franco-Russian-led coalition opposing Manchuria. From what little I know, the Manchurians had apparently managed to push deep into European Russia before a Japanese intervention broke the offensive (i.e. deus ex machina was created to preserve balance in the Great Game).

Let's say that hadn't happened. The Manchurians successfully take Moscow, and the European coalition responds by negotiating an end to the war. In the post-war settlement, Manchuria is able to impose a protectorate over the Central Asian Republic, and who knows what will happen in Russia (a Korea-style protectorate? protracted occupation? demilitarization?). In the coming years, Manchuria starts to surpass a humiliated France.

What next? Does human space become considerably more militarized? Does the defeat so discredit the future junta that the French republic survives, if barely? Would the powers head for a rematch?


mbrinkhues March 12th, 2008 08:50 AM

Population figures between Earth-based French and German citizens don't differ that much so (assuming conscript armies) the manpower should be similar. And while the French Army might have recent combat experience, tey also have just suffered a lost war. And this normally includes lot of destroyed equipment and personal losses.

Another question is what some of the 2nd and 3rd tier nations with a grudge would do if the Germans really decide to go after France in 2287. I.e Italy has been slighted by France early in the Stutterwarp-Era and has no colonies because of that. Will they use the weakness to get revenge on France or will they repeat the Twilight war and go after Bavaria?

And if we Krauts really for France in 2287 this will happen in the middle of the military coup. Will this affect the French Army? What will some of the colonies do?


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