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View Full Version : What-if... the British Empire, US Civil War, and Canada



Ironduke
25 Oct 03,, 04:14
A what-if, bolded is reality, italics is not.

During the US Civil War, the British supply the Confederacy with substantial amounts of arms, including rifles, cannon, naval ships, and other war goods.

Britain extends diplomatic recognition to the Confederacy. A number of border clashes occur on the US-Canadian border. A few naval skirimishes take place on the high seas between US and British ships. A number of British merchant ships carrying arms trying to get through the naval blockade around the Confederacy are captured by the Union.

In April 1865, the Union Army crushes Lee's army at Appomattox. The South surrenders, ending the 4-year long US Civil War.

The following spring, the US concentrates 400,000 troops on the Canadian border across from Upper and Lower Canada, and invades. Opposing them are about 25,000 Canadian irregulars and 10,000 British soldiers.

What happens next?

Does Britain send large numbers of troops to Canada?
Does the Union ferment rebellion in the British colonies?
Does the US take Canada, and how easily does it do it?
Do the British attempt a land invasion of the United States?
Does the Union try to mount invasions of British colonies in the Carribbean?
Do the British try to create a guerilla movement in the recently defeated South?

Anything you can think of.

ZFBoxcar
25 Oct 03,, 06:10
This isnt quite an answer to your questions, but I recomend you read the books The Guns of the South. Its a 'what if' series of 4 books (i think) in which Britain and France put an ultimatum on the US, to grant Confederate independence. Then in the books the Great War, following the same story line, WWI breaks out and the US sides with Germany.

Ironduke
25 Oct 03,, 15:00
Is that the one where the South had AK-47s?

Stinger
25 Oct 03,, 15:18
Guns of the South had the AK-47's It was not a part of the series that extended in to WWI.

that series started with

How Few Remain: Britain and France recognize the South and Lincoln is forced to end the war, In 1888 (or there abouts) a second war begins. It is a very different 1888 than we know of.

American Front: is the begining of the first WWI. The US is allied with Germany while the CS is Allied with France and Britain(including Canada)

Walk In Hell: still in WWI

Breakthroughs: WWI ends

Blood and Iron: I haven't read this title or any after it. takes place several years after Breakthroughs

The Center cannot hold: Continuation of Blood and Iron

The Victorious Opposition: I believe he is writting these in threes, so this would be the conclusion.

Return engagements: not yet published.

Praxus
25 Oct 03,, 15:19
I think it would be more Plausible for the US to take Canada then Britian to be able to amass a large ammount of troops in Canada.

ZFBoxcar
25 Oct 03,, 18:02
well what happend in the book was that with British aid, Canada held out for a few years, and with very very high US casualties. US was also hindered by it being a 2 front war (Confederacy and Canada).

Stinger, youre right, i got the books mixed up. I read Blood and Iron, the Socialists win the US elections and govern for 3 turns...until the great depression happens. Then they lose and the democrats are back in. The US and its ally le Republique de Quebeque continue to supress Canadian nationalists. One of them tries to take out Custard but fails. Facists take power in the Confederacy under the name of the Freedom Party, led by Sgt. Featherstone. And for some inexplicable reason the newly contructed Japanese carriers attack LA. The Socialist administration bungles the war and it sort of goes nowhere with an eventual ceasefire occuring and nothing accomplished.

2DREZQ
26 Oct 03,, 00:34
Far more terrifying, and more plausible because it almost happened.

Lee takes Jefferson Davis approach and takes to the hills with thousands of faithful followers. Lincoln cannot let guerilla warfare go unchallenged, and war stretchs on for years. westward expansion is hindered, industrialization slowed. The forces that created WWI are unchanged, but europe's war cannot be affected by the efforts of a weakened and divided U.S. Hatred and bitterness in the conquered south reaches the blood-feud levels we see the the balkanized tribal rage that infects eastern Europe today. beyond about 1920 the future becomes to complex to even guess at, but it wouldn't have been pretty.

TopHatter
26 Oct 03,, 00:49
Regarding Ironman's scenario...
I have two thoughts regarding the US fighting in Canada. First of all, after 4 years of bloody warfare and half the country in ruins, I don't know if the average soldier would even want to stay in the army or conversely invade yet another country
HOWEVER....
If they did mass those troops on the Canadian border, I wouldnt want to be the Canadians. These would be battle-hardened Union soldiers equipped with combat-proven weaponry.

Officer of Engineers
26 Oct 03,, 01:53
It almost happenned. The Fenian Invasions by Irish Civil War veterans plummelled the Queen's Own Rifles but the lack of stomache on the American side after so many years of war left the Fenians isolated and without support.

Ironduke
13 Nov 07,, 11:54
Bump, in case anybody wants to flesh out, discuss, or toy around with this hypothetical scenario. :)

astralis
13 Nov 07,, 15:47
a fun scenario.

however, the break here has to be in late 1861, early 1862, most likely with the trent incident- after antietam and the emancipation proclamation, nothing short of a major, major confederate strategic victory (say the seizure of washington, DC) would have brought the UK on to the confederate side- far too unpopular at home.

i wonder what that would have been like- it was the beginning of the war and people were pretty hotheaded. lincoln probably would have been able to score political points on this and raise a larger army faster than he did in our timeline, and perhaps shunt off his more incompetent generals there- the canadians simply didn't have the numbers to put up that kind of fight.

svs
17 Jan 08,, 19:37
It ultimately wouldn't have changed the outcome very much, just mybe prolonged the bloodshed. The South was hampered by a lack of significant manufacturing and a much weaker Navy than the North. The basic Anaconda plan the strangle the South would still have happened. Although winning Virginia was very difficult and bloody for the North the much more important war in the West went the Union's way from the beginning. Sherman still would have marched to the sea and the South was doomed to defeat from the beginning.

I really doubt the British would ever have considered sending in troops on the Confederate side particularly since they had just finished with the Crimean war and the Sepoy rebellion and had their hands full. I don't think the British would have felt they had ships to spare for the Confederate Navy either.

gunnut
17 Jan 08,, 21:51
On a related note, anyone read "Night Probe" by Clive Cussler?

WW1 Britain was desperate for cash so Canada was sold to the US. In a series of unfortunate, or fortunate events, the copies of the agreement were lost.

astralis
18 Jan 08,, 02:55
svs,


I really doubt the British would ever have considered sending in troops on the Confederate side particularly since they had just finished with the Crimean war and the Sepoy rebellion and had their hands full. I don't think the British would have felt they had ships to spare for the Confederate Navy either.

the british probably wouldn't need to, and the confederates would probably not have wanted that (they didn't want to be the british plaything, either).

all they had to do would be to bring part of their navy over, defeat the union navy (the US would probably put up a fight and lose), and then begin to blockade or shell the ports. that would play merry hell with the union war effort, and might tip things over politically.

b_stoner66
18 Jan 08,, 07:23
You should visit Galveston Island Texas and speak to the southern underground there.

clackers
18 Jan 08,, 12:03
It's an interesting scenario for sure, Ironduke.

Under Madison, the United States invaded three times in the War of 1812 but was beaten by Canada and the British Army on all occasions.

But it's unlikely an army of (more realistically) 100,000 could have been stopped ... not just the raw numbers, but all that recent extensive combat experience and the outstanding generals who had risen to the top of the tree after four years ... imagine having to take on Sheridan's cavalry along with either Sherman or Grant in overall command of the rest! :)

Achilles
24 Jul 08,, 06:56
I think some important forces are being over look in this scenario. The native people had also been hardened and many good military leaders had moved north after the American / Indian wars for British protection about that time. They had been discounted during the War of 1812 and they were responsible for much of the success. There are also the French Catholics that were quite unhappy with anyone siding with Napoleon at the time. Remember it's only an 11 years until the Battle of the Greasy Grass in 1876. The Native contingent at the time was well armed and had no were else to go in most cases. So you can add an additional 60,000 to 85,000 to the defending numbers if they were given some time to rally both groups. Add that to the 25,000 and the 10,000. Plus as was pointed out the US could not have pulled more that 100,000 to 125,000 away from the main difficulties with the south (troop suppretion, running down those that refused to surrender, it took up alot of man power for quite some time). Then although the British could not really send any reinforcement but they could have sent some of there smaller ships in support the fight starts to look a little tougher but still on the US side. But the bigger question is would they commit to that and what would be left after? Both countries utterly decimated and open for possible expansion pressure from Spain to the south, and Russia in Alaska?

zraver
25 Jul 08,, 09:01
A what-if, bolded is reality, italics is not.

During the US Civil War, the British supply the Confederacy with substantial amounts of arms, including rifles, cannon, naval ships, and other war goods.

Britain extends diplomatic recognition to the Confederacy. A number of border clashes occur on the US-Canadian border. A few naval skirimishes take place on the high seas between US and British ships. A number of British merchant ships carrying arms trying to get through the naval blockade around the Confederacy are captured by the Union.

In April 1865, the Union Army crushes Lee's army at Appomattox. The South surrenders, ending the 4-year long US Civil War.

The following spring, the US concentrates 400,000 troops on the Canadian border across from Upper and Lower Canada, and invades. Opposing them are about 25,000 Canadian irregulars and 10,000 British soldiers.

What happens next?

Does Britain send large numbers of troops to Canada?
Does the Union ferment rebellion in the British colonies?
Does the US take Canada, and how easily does it do it?
Do the British attempt a land invasion of the United States?
Does the Union try to mount invasions of British colonies in the Carribbean?
Do the British try to create a guerilla movement in the recently defeated South?

Anything you can think of.

Canada's screwed and will soon be spelling armour as armor. The Union navy at the end of the civil was was huge, big enough to swallow the RN by sheer numbers. Canada is effectively cut off if the US adds a blockade effort. This means you have a very small number of British troops who might or might not have combat experianced leaders facing off against a massive vetern army equipped with the latest in technology and backed by years of war time production and a war economy in full swing. Even falling back on a city (Quebec or Toronto) to try and wait out a seige and hope for relief is out. The Union Army had learned how to breach the defenses around cities and assumign Grant or Sherman was in the lead there is an added fear factor. Grant because he just won't stop, and Sherman for what he did on his march.

Ading to Canadas dificulties are the Britsh possesions in the Carribean. So the RN has to missions protect them, strike at the US and reach Canada. Adding further to Britian's woes is India. Following the Mutiny of 1857, Britian was doing a major overhaul in India and a general war with the US would take funds and manpower away from that.

But assuming the US invades, I would probalby punch four armies into Canada, with a 5th in reserve. Going left to right. Montreal (1st) and Quebec (2nd) each at 70,000, and a blocking force on the St Lawerence of about 50,000 (5th) with naval support to keep the British out and the Canadians in. A naval assult of PEI by 20,000 and Nova Scotia 20,000 (3rd in 2 corps) obviously with naval support. Thats 250,000 troops. Once PEI and Nova Scotia are subdued the blocking force can be sent to them or used to help vs either Quebec or Montreal. The remaining 150,000 are on the US East Coast to prevent a second burning of Washington in 5 corps of 20,000 for Baltimore, New York, Charlston, Florida, and Boston with 50,000 in Washington. 4th army I send west to Seattle (20,000) for a grab at Vancouver Island

My imediate goals are Canadas big population centers and access points to Canada itself. Once I have that I will see if Britian wants peace in order to retain the remainder (until choked off as it now is it falls to the US as time passes. If Britian doesn't then I begin re-inforcing the 3rd with parts of the 2nd army in prep for a grab at Newfoundland so that I can grab the fishing and whaling grounds parts of the 1st army not needed for occupation get sent west to secure the Great lakes region.

clitifad
28 Jul 08,, 13:07
Nice try zraver, but totally wishfull thinking, take the facts into account, British were very highly practiced in defence, check out the failed attempts in 1812, Britain, if felt the need tactically would play for a war of attrition which would be completely outside US Constitutional thinking due to civil war just completed, high casualties etc. Britain historically protects colonial possesions vigorously with/without the RN, witness Anglo/Boer war. Additionally US national forces no where near prepared for a war of conquest/high mobility so forementioned is wishful thinking although Union Navy would be the only effective threat, that is true, doesn't however always equate to total superiority, too much sea mass to cover.

Anyway spelling armour the way is spelt works fine for me and driving on the left - COOL!!

Officer of Engineers
28 Jul 08,, 15:28
The Queen's Own Rifles dismal performance against a Fenian invasion force means that the conquest would be over before the Empire can ship enough regiments over.

astralis
28 Jul 08,, 17:01
col yu,

couldn't the british try a reverse D-Day? in other words...anything that would prevent the Empire from striking back? :biggrin:

Officer of Engineers
28 Jul 08,, 17:58
Against the largest standing army in the world that happens also to be combat tested? And with a technological navy (Ironclads) that is far superior to anything the RN has?

The only saving grace would be that Celine Dion would be borned American.

astralis
28 Jul 08,, 18:29
col yu,


Against the largest standing army in the world that happens also to be combat tested? And with a technological navy (Ironclads) that is far superior to anything the RN has?


wouldn't that depend on how fast the US could get people moving? the eastern coastline, now including large stretches of canada, would be hard to defend all at once. what would prevent the royal navy from sailing up to NYC/Washington DC, landing its entire force there, and burning it down?

speaking of ironclads, i wonder how a fight between the merrimac vs the HMS warrior would have turned out- that oughta be interesting.

zraver
28 Jul 08,, 18:44
Nice try zraver, but totally wishfull thinking, take the facts into account, British were very highly practiced in defence, check out the failed attempts in 1812, Britain, if felt the need tactically would play for a war of attrition which would be completely outside US Constitutional thinking due to civil war just completed, high casualties etc. Britain historically protects colonial possesions vigorously with/without the RN, witness Anglo/Boer war. Additionally US national forces no where near prepared for a war of conquest/high mobility so forementioned is wishful thinking although Union Navy would be the only effective threat, that is true, doesn't however always equate to total superiority, too much sea mass to cover.

Anyway spelling armour the way is spelt works fine for me and driving on the left - COOL!!


The Scenario was 400,000 vs less than 50,000. And those 400,000 are combat tested, superbly equipped and led by some of the most ruthless generals America ever had. They had just completed a war of conquest unlike any the world had seen since the fall of Rome. Under Sherman it was a war of mobility. And under both Grant and Sherman a war of aiming for nerve centers. They are backed by an industrial nation nearly as large as England and a whole lot closer to the front and with fewer distractions (the west being guarded by galvanized Yankees). In 1812 none of those conditions existed on the American side. Also not existing in 1812 were modern cannon and rifled guns that could and did make short work of defenses built above ground. Remember also that the last part of the American Civil War in the East was effectively trench warfare due to the increased lethality. American's knew how to fight this kind of war as well. Britian did not if we take its most previous and next major wars as examples- Crimean and WW1.

Finally as for guerrilla warfare. If some one tried that stunt against Sherman the results would have been the same as in the south scorched earth and mass graves. Guerrillas were very common in the American Civil War, some like the bands out of Missouri and Kansas had been fighting for years before the war. Also that type of warfare requires mobility. How much of the British force is mounted and equipped with repeatign carbines? The Union has whole corps of Cavalry. If to much of the Britsh force is mounted then it cannot stand and fight vs an infantry army icne it has to leave 1/4 of its force unused in any combat for a man to hold 4 horses, or it cannot stand and fight. Also the massive imbalance of force means I can be strong everywhere. The British forces can almost match any one army if they concentrate, but that leaves the rest of my objectives uncovered.

Finally if you look at a map you see I am blocking the exits/entry into Canada and going after the population centers. How exactly are you going to raise and equip an army of liberation domestically with no arms or production? It means the British have to come in with a counter invasion vs the Union Navy. They have two options if they can push the Union Navy out of the way. Invade the US itself which they cannot do beyond a local level America is just to big. Or try and open the St Lawrence Sea Way and take PEI and parts of Nova Scotia as a base of operations. There is no other route to the Canadian Population centers. If you go for a northern march across Canada either far north via Hudson Bay/James Bay of even NE from Newfoundland winter will kill your army's supplies. The campaign season in the south begins before the ice melts and ends after the ice has refrozen.

In the West I am going after Victoria Island. Granted I have fore knowledge of the Klondike, but more importantly I want the Empresses of India's Island as a political jab in the eye and as a safe guard to any surge into Puget sound so that it cannot in turn be used as a staging base for the RN against California and the gold mines and mints in San Fransisco and Virginia City.

Johnny W
28 Jul 08,, 21:57
Against the largest standing army in the world that happens also to be combat tested? And with a technological navy (Ironclads) that is far superior to anything the RN has?

The only saving grace would be that Celine Dion would be borned American.

I would think that the Brits would still have a advantage on the open seas. If memory serves, the Monitors were good at coastal defense, but not as great on the open seas. In fact, a lot of the Union Navy was designed for coastal and river warfare. The US could protect its ports and waterways fairly well, but on the Open seas, the British would still have the advantage. And the Union Army would definitely have an advantage.

zraver
28 Jul 08,, 22:34
I would think that the Brits would still have a advantage on the open seas. If memory serves, the Monitors were good at coastal defense, but not as great on the open seas. In fact, a lot of the Union Navy was designed for coastal and river warfare. The US could protect its ports and waterways fairly well, but on the Open seas, the British would still have the advantage. And the Union Army would definitely have an advantage.

The problem for the British navally is the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the St. Lawrence itself. It is ideal for the bulk of the monitors. On the open seas only the ocean monitors area threat and the Union did not build many of them. But crossing the Atlantic with ease means nothing if you can't win the fight at the end of the journey. Plus even if the British win at sea and bottle the Union navy up in the Gulf, that fleet can be supplied and re-enforced from the interior thanks to the Great Lakes. In the end who ever controls Canada's great river controls Canada.

Achilles
29 Jul 08,, 04:16
OK there are a few other things to keep in mind. At this time one, the French had just installed a new puppet empire in Mexico and unchecked (they had been hoping the civil war would keep the American armed forces busy until they could take over completely) would have increased there 25,000 solder force to a much larger number say 100,000 to 150,000 over the next few months with a good bit of there navy already on the way and taken over the 80,000 to 95,000 solder Mexican army (once the warlords had been brought under control) and were moving a large number of the ships to support this, something they would not let happen, second and this I quote from historical text "The American military might in being in May 1865 was ephemeral, for the volunteers wanted to go home and Congress wanted to decrease the size of the Army. Because of the needs of occupation in the South and the French threat in Mexico, demobilization was spread over a period of eighteen months instead of the three in which it could have been accomplished. Nevertheless, it was rapid. On 01 May 1865, there were 1,034,064 volunteers in the Army, but by 15 November 1865, at least 800,963 of them had been paid, mustered out, and transported to their home states by the Quartermaster Corps. A year later there were only 11,043 volunteers left in the service, most of whom were United States Colored Troops. These were almost all mustered out by late October 1867." the problem being that first the volunteers wanted to go home, second, some of the army and navy had been recruited from the British Army and Navy, and as much as 100,000 Canadians joined the war as well and I don't think they would have stayed on. Third from the assessment of the Navy at the time and again I quote a historical article “Certainly, Union privateers would be able to cause a certain amount of harm at the outset, but they would hardly be able to keep it up for very long. After four years of war, the Union treasury was almost bankrupt; annual production in the North could not possibly have replaced the capital expended so unproductively. Furthermore, their Navy today consisted of a few undoubtedly formidable ships and a large number of aged and unserviceable vessels." In this they are talking about an extended war with France in Mexico. The North had expended most of it's treasury during the 4 years, the south had expend everything it had, and Congress was pushing for as fast an end to the Army as it could get as they could not maintain it at that level much longer. And 4th England made up 15 to 30% of all imports to America and almost the same of its exports. So a war would have hurt the post civil war economy a great deal.

Now that being said you can not judge the whole of a defense force from the poor actions of a single unit;
QUOTE "The Queen's Own Rifles dismal performance against a Fenian invasion force means that the conquest would be over before the Empire can ship enough regiments over.
__________________
Chimo”
is far from accurate, firstly almost all of the raids were repelled without much difficulty and the largest of them being the one you speak of there were over a 1000 raiders with Calvary and cannon support and the Canadian militia after assembling with other units from the province and marching all night, the Canadians advanced on the Fenians the next morning at Ridgeway, a small hamlet west of Fort Erie. The Canadian militia consisted of inexperienced volunteers with no more than basic drill training and primarily Enfield rifled muskets comparable to the armaments of the Fenians. A single company of the Queen's Own Rifles had recently been armed with Spencer repeating rifles, but had never been given the opportunity to practice with them. The Fenian forces were mostly battle-hardened American Civil War veterans, armed with weapons procured from leftover war munitions, also Enfield rifled muskets or the comparable Springfield. A total of the on the British side was less then half at 400+ and after Fighting for hours (and yes mistakes were made) the British forces retreated in broken ranks, taking their dead and wounded with them. In all 9 dead on the British side and 37 wounded. they reformed with British regulars and still just over 800 strong and the Fenian broke and ran for the border where they were arrested by American naval personnel and they surrendered (they did have a second engagement at Fort Erie, and they captured 22 local militia without firing a shot) Hardly a terrible defeat, and it was the biggest raid they ever launched.
And as far as defence of this nation goes British and Canadian forces have time and again stepped up to what ever was offered no matter how over whelming the odds. I do not say this to diminish or underestimate the Union solders, not at all. In this setting it would be a war weary and home sick army, attacking men defending there homes and families. This can never be underestimated.
Now as far as the Navy goes there were a grand total of 35 union Iron clad ships supported by as they described them at the time consisted of “a few undoubtedly formidable ships and a large number of aged and unserviceable vessels.” and the Dutch, French, and British had Iron clad programs in the works as early as 1853, so the British has a number of working designs at the time to bring to bare, the warrior and her sister ship were the very first Iron clad and both bosted 34 68 pounders that were with a single shot as efective as 6 32 pound shots of other ships at the time, that was in active duty in 1861 and then Britain built the 50-gun Minotaur class, single-decked, ironclads, that were launched in 1863 and it producted quit a few and they were shallow hulled for use in large rivers, the british had at the time the largest Navy of any county in the world and had been at was with Russia in Naval battles for some time and a very large Navy in the Caribbean at the time with a few Iron clad monsters in port to keep the confederate and Union ships from bringing the war into British waters, and with only a short jump to support there new "Allies" now in Mexico, the French who just happened to also have a large number of iron clad ships on there way to Mexico. And so what we are looking at here would have been a much earlier World War. As with the blockade of the confederate ports Brazil would have jumped in too (at the very least supplies and ports on the Pacific ocean), as would have Spain as a way to try and regain some sway in Mexico.

Edit : please don't take this as a rant, I find the topic really very interesting and have spent some time reserching it. I like to be as complete as possible but I'm quit willing to take any points I may have been incorrect about, and try to improve my arguements. and please excuse and gramatical errors I normally post at 1 to 2 in the morning after my wife and kids are in bed :-)

Officer of Engineers
29 Jul 08,, 05:48
MCpl,

Your recant goes against the official history of the Toronto Brigade.

Official Site for the Queen's Own Rifles (http://www.army.dnd.ca/Land_Force_Central_Area/32_Canadian_Brigade_Group/Queens_Own_Rifles_of_Canada/history/ridgeway_e.html)

It is extremely clear that training, experience, and leadership was extremely lacking in what was our best regiment at the time.

Achilles
29 Jul 08,, 06:29
You are correct my numbers were off as were some of the important details (I blame Google ... and not checking my sources). I could not get your link to work but I found an other way to the info on the Canadian Forces web site Canadian Military Heritage (http://www.cmhg.forces.gc.ca/cmh/en/page_490.asp)
Quoted - Approximately 850 Fenians led by General John O'Neill crossed the Niagara River and approached Port Colborne. The 2nd and 13th battalions of Canadian volunteers, along with the York and Caledonia rifle companies, totalling some 900 men, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Alfred Booker, intercepted the small Fenian army at Ridgeway on June 2. The battle went well for the Canadian volunteers, who, in spite of their inexperience, had been advancing and firing in sequence - until they were ordered to prepare to receive a cavalry charge! The order caused alarm in the ranks and confusion soon spread; the volunteers became frightened and fled. Nine Canadians were killed and 32 were wounded, with 10 Fenians killed and a few wounded.
There was a second battle the same day at Fort Erie, where the steamship W. T. Robb, crewed by the Dunnville naval brigade, landed the Welland Canal Volunteer Artillery Company. Soon afterwards, O'Neill's victorious army arrived and there was a heated exchange of gunfire. Some of the volunteers were able to re-embark before withdrawing. Six Canadians were injured and 36 were taken prisoner, but there were nine Fenians killed and 14 wounded. These Fenian victories did not, however, lead to anything more, because other Canadian troops and part of the 16th and 47th British regiments arrived. O'Neill and his men returned to the United States and were disarmed by detachments of the American army.
A few days later, on June 8, a second small army of Fenians crossed the border near Huntingdon, south of Montreal. Several corps of volunteers had already been posted nearby but excitement had reached a peak in the Montreal newspapers. The Gazette even reported that the number of invaders was around 5,000, when in reality there were only 1,000, and they advanced only a few kilometres into Canadian territory - when they saw that there were several thousand British soldiers and Canadian volunteers converging on them from all sides they beat a hasty retreat. But the British and Canadian troops caught up with approximately 200 Fenians as they were leaving Pidgeon Hill. The Royal Guides, a Montreal volunteer cavalry company, charged them with swords drawn and captured 16. After this episode, the Fenians suspended their attacks for a few years.

But I could not find the Queen's own's involvement?

Officer of Engineers
29 Jul 08,, 06:37
This is the DND reference

The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada

The Fenian Raid 1866

In the fall and winter of 1865 and the spring of 1866 there were rumours in Toronto of an imminent invasion of Canada by the Fenian Brotherhood. The militia were put on a hightened state of readiness and the Queen's Own were called to active service on March 7th, 1866, in anticipation of a St. Patrick's Day attack. They stayed on active duty for three weeks until the threat of invasion subsided. This was the beginning of the Feinian Raids.

The Feinian Brotherhood was an Irish American organization that was dedicated to freeing Ireland from British rule. Many of them were Civil War veterans who believed that if they captured Canada they could use it as a bargaining tool against Britain. In the fall of 1865 they organized themselves into an army and began their preparations to invade Canada. In March of 1866 they met in Cincinati and formulated their plan. Unfortunately their security was not very good and both the Canadian authorities and the American government knew what they were planning.

In April, an invasion of New Brunswick was halted when American officials seized a shipload of arms headed for waiting Fenian troops in Maine. The American government would not permit a violation of the Neutrality Act.

On June 1st, 1866, the Fenians invaded Canada. With 1500 men they crossed the Niagara River just north of Fort Erie. Upon landing they established a defensive position and sent out patrols. Their first operation was to occupy the town of Fort Erie where they demanded food and horses from the citizens. They offered Fenian bonds as payment but the Canadians refused to accept them. Telegraph wires were cut and railroad tracks were torn up.

The Fenians issued this proclamation;

To the people of British America:

We come among you as foes of British rule in Ireland. We have taken up the sword to strike down the oppressors' rod, to deliver Ireland from the tyrant, the despoiler, the robber. We have registered our oaths upon the alter of our country in the full view of heaven and sent out our vows to the throne of Him who inspired them. Then, looking about us for an enemy, we find him here, here in your midst, where he is most vulnerable and convenient to our strength. . . . We have no issue with the people of these Provinces, and wish to have none but the most friendly relations. Our weapons are for the oppressors of Ireland. our bows shall be directed only against the power of England; her privileges alone shall we invade, not yours. We do not propose to divest you of a solitary right you now enjoy. . . . We are here neither as murderers, nor robbers, for plunder and spoliation. We are here as the Irish army of liberation, the friends of liberty against despotism, of democracy against aristocracy, of people against their oppressors. In a word, our war is with the armed powers of England, not with the people, not with these Provinces. Against England, upon land and sea, till Ireland is free. . . . To Irishmen throughout these Provinces we appeal in the name of seven centuries of British inequity and Irish misery and suffering, in the names of our murdered sires, our desolate homes, our desecrated alters, our million of famine graves, our insulted name and race -- to stretch forth the hand of brotherhood in the holy cause of fatherland, and smite the tyrant where we can. We conjure you, our countrymen, who from misfortune inflicted by the very tyranny you are serving, or from any other cause, have been forced to enter the ranks of the enemy, not to be willing instruments of your country's death or degradation. No uniform, and surely not the blood-dyed coat of England, can emancipate you from the natural law that binds your allegiance to Ireland, to liberty, to right, to justice. To the friends of Ireland, of freedom, of humanity, of the people, we offer the olive branch of these and the honest grasp of friendship. Take it Irishmen, Frenchmen, American, take it all and trust it. . . . We wish to meet with friends; we are prepared to meet with enemies. We shall endeavor to merit the confidence of the former, and the latter can expect from us but the leniency of a determined though generous foe and the restraints and relations imposed by civilized warfare.

T. W. Sweeney.
Major General commending the armies of Ireland

From Fort Erie, the Fenians marched north along the river toward the town of Chippawa. They realized that the Welland Canal was the most important strategic asset in the area. Chippawa controls the north end of the canal.

Meanwhile the alarm had sounded in Toronto and across the province. Thousands of militiamen were called out. The Queen's Own Rifles paraded 450 men at 20:00hrs on June 1st. They boarded the steamer City of Toronto and sailed for Port Dalhousie. From there they travelled by train to Port Colburne and waited three hours while orders were prepared.

The plan called for Col Booker's column to travel by train to the town of Ridgeway and from there march north to meet Col Peacocke's column in the town of Stevensville. In Ridgeway they made their first mistake of the day. As they assembled at the station the train blew its whistle an buglers sounded assembly calls. This noise was heard by the enemy who took it as a warning and prepared to fight.

Marching north out of Ridgeway that morning, Col Booker had under his command the Queen's Own Rifles of Toronto (that was our name at the time), the 13th Battalion (who later became the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry) and the York and Caladonia Rifle companies. They marched up ridge road with No 5 Company of the Queen's Own leading. Local inhabitants had warned Col Booker that the Fenians were near but he dismissed the reports because his intelegence told him that the enemy was camped at the Black Creek the night before.

Indeed, on the evening of June 1st the Fenians had been camped at Black Creek, but when they learned that Peacocke's force was already in Chippawa, they decided to move against Booker's weaker column. The Canadians had conveniently divided their forces so Col O'Neil chose to defeat them in parts rather than allow them to unite into a stronger body. To this end, the Fenians broke camp at 03:00 on the morning of June 2nd and marched south along Ridge road. When they heard the train whistle and bugle calls coming from Ridgeway they prepared a hasty defense.

It was hot that morning as the Queen's Own marched through feilds of new corn. As they approached Garrison Road, No 5 Company came under fire from Fenian skirmishers; the battle had begun.

The Battle

Initially the Fenian skirmishers fell back. They wanted to draw the Canadians toward their main line of defense. No 5 Company kept up the pressure as Col Booker deployed the rest of the column.

The Adjutant of the Queen's Own was Captain William Dillion Otter. This was his first battle. He went on to found the School of Infantry (later the Royal Canadian Regiment) and to lead a column in the Northwest Rebellion. He led the Canadians in South Africa and was Canada's first home grown General. In the official account of the battle he wrote;

Second June, 1866 (Saturday), paraded at Port Colborne at 12:30 a.m. and marched to a train, on which was the 13th Battalion of Hamilton and the York and Caledonia Rifle Companies, who had arrived the night before. At 4 a.m. a detachment of a 125 officers and men of our own corps arrived from Toronto.

It was intended that the force should leave at 2 a.m., but further orders detained us til 5 a.m.. These orders were from Colonel Peacock, H. M. 16th Foot, who was to be in command, and was brought by Capt. Akers, R. E.

At 5 a.m., in obedience to Colonel Peacock's orders, the force left Port Colborne, the strength being, Queen's Own 480, 13th Battalion, York and Caledonia Companies about 400, in all say 880, under the command of Colonel Booker, 13th Battalion. Moved to Ridgeway station on the B & L. H. Railway, where we left the train and marched toward Stevensville, for the purpose are forming a junction with Colonel Peacock's column.

No. 5 Company, Q.O.R. (armed with Spencer repeating rifles), formed the advance guard, followed by the remaining companies of the battalion, the 13th Battalion and York Company, the Caledonia Company finding the rear guard. In this order the column moved about two miles, when at 7 a.m. the Fenians were discovered to our front. The advance guard was immediately extended from its centre, Nos. 1 and 2 on its left and right. No. 3 centre supports, No. 4 left, No. 7 as a flanking party to the left, supported by No. 8, and Nos. 6 flanking to the right, No. 9 and 10 in reserve. After an advance of say half a mile, No. 6 was sent as a support to No. 2 on the right, immediately the Fenians, who were extended behind the fences, their main body being well posted in a wood, opened fire, which was immediately returned by our men, who continued steadily advancing. The firing became general, being heaviest on our centre and right. At almost the first fire Ensign McEachren was hit in the stomach, and being taken to the rear, died in twenty minutes.

We continued driving them for about an hour, when our skirmishers being reported out of ammunition, Nos. 9 and 10 companies were sent to the right, and the 13th Battalion order to relieve us, which they did by sending out three companies to skirmish, and who had not being engaged fifteen minutes, when the cry of "Cavalry" was raised at seeing two or three Fenian horsemen advancing towards us. Colonel Booker ordered the reserve (Queen's Own) to "Prepare for Cavalry" and the companies forming it, viz.: Nos. 1,2,3,5, and 8, formed square. The mistake was immediately seen, the order given to "Reform Column" and two leading companies (Nos. 1 and 2) to "extend." On re-forming, the reserve being too close to the skirmish line, was ordered to retire, the left-wing of the 13th who were in our rear, seeing our men retire and thinking we were retreating, broke and retired in a panic, on seeing which our men also broke and ran. Just previous to this the retire was sounded to Nos. 1 and 2 of the Queen's Own, who not seeing the necessity of the order, disobeyed, until it was again sounded, when they reluctantly moved to the rear,the remainder of the skirmish line doing the same, though not understanding the reason of their recall, but on seeing the reserve in disorder, they too became demoralized and fled. The fire of the now pursuing Fenians became hotter than ever, and the volunteers being crowded up in a narrow road, presented a fine market to their rifles, causing are poor fellows to fall on all sides.

It was in vain the officers endeavored to rally the men, several times squads, and even a company were collected, but never in sufficient force to check the pursuit, though a constant fire was kept up until the Fenians ceased following. For the first two or three hundred yards it was a regular panic, but after that the men fell into a walk, retiring in a very orderly manner, but completely crestfallen.

The enemy followed to Ridgeway Station and there gave up the pursuit, moving onto Fort Erie. We've returned to Port Colborne, arriving at about 1 p.m. very tired and hungry, not having had any sleep the previous night nor any food that day.

Had the "retire" not been sounded we should have beaten them in 10 minutes more, for part of their force was actually retreating before we commenced to retire.

General O'Neill in command of the Fenians, and other officers of their force, owned to some of our wounded whom they captured (owing to our not having ambulances or vehicles of any description) that we "behaved splendidly and were mistaken by them for regulars, owing to our steadiness, and that we had fought five minutes longer they must have succumbed, as their men were fast becoming demoralized."

The cost of the battle was;

KILLED
Private Wm. Smith No. 2 Company
Lance-Corporal Mark Defries No. 3 "
Ensign Malcolm McEachern No. 5 "
Private Alderson No. 7 "
Private Tempest No. 9 "
Private McKenzie No. 9 "
Private Mewburn No. 9 "

Total seven.

WOUNDED
No. 1 Company Ensign Wm. Fahey knee
No. 1 " Private Oulster leg (calf)
No. 2 " Sergeant Hugh Matheson thigh (died on the 11th inst.)
No. 2 " Corporal Wm. Lakey mouth (died on 11th inst.)
No. 2 " Private Wm. Thompson neck
No. 3 " Captain J. B. Boustead contused
No. 3 " Lieutenant J. H. Beaven thigh
No. 3 " Private Chas. Winter thigh
No. 4 " Chas. Lugsdin lung and arm
No. 5 " Chas. Bell knee
No. 5 " Private Capp wrist
No. 6 " Lieutenant W. C. Campbell shoulder
No. 6 " Corporal Paul Robins knee (since amputated)
No. 6 " Private Rutherford foot
No. 7 " Sergeant W. Foster side
No. 9 " Private E. T. Paul knee
No. 9 " " R. E. Kingsford leg
No. 9 " " E. G. Paterson arm
No. 9 " " W. H. Vandersmissen groin
No. 10 " Color-Sergeant F. McHardy arm
No. 10 " Private White arm (since amputated)

Total twenty one.

tankie
29 Jul 08,, 07:30
col yu,

couldn't the british try a reverse D-Day? in other words...anything that would prevent the Empire from striking back? :biggrin:

May the force be with you :biggrin:

clitifad
29 Jul 08,, 07:53
To Officer of Engineers and Astralis, I think you pair need to grow up and do a diaper check, but the EEEEGGGOOOOO'S !!! geeez,what a pair of BONEHEADS !! you waffle on about the Crimea war and World War 1, World War 1 which found the British Army specifically a smaller force than the French or German Imperial armies, was not ready for a european conflict. Germany with all this going for her with a war mongering leader such as The Kaiser, who actually wanted to create a German Empire the short route,quick time, did not succeed and was infact held short of Paris which was his goal and ultimate failure. Britain and France wanted to maintain a balance of power in europe that would be beneficial for europe as a whole, this was primarily to prevent situations such as Napoleons visions of a French or Napoleonic empire - again serving his own ambitions, the Kaiser was trying to make like Napoleon - to keep it brief. So the notion that British forces didn't perform well is really CRAP!!, you forget about the Lancer regiments and many of the county regiments that had much experience from the time fighting against the French Imperial Army, all over Europe including Portugal and Spain and this other BS that that had it not been for Blucher and his Prussians all would be lost, Wellington had already been making his mark against Napoleons Imperial forces in Portugal and Spain where they were defeated.
North American Armies were still very much at the militia stage, this doesn't mean to say that they were substandard but much of the States in America were still divided in their allegiance, or even willingness to get involved in a war of conquest, this was not what they wanted for their country, so put the ego's away !! they have no relevance.
You also forget that there were many Irish Foot regiments in the British Army
who coincidently thoughout the Empire gave a good account of themselves,
transversely a volunteer Irish nationalist group that wanted to get back at the British came over to the Boer side and did absolutely abbismally, they had no effect on the outcome of the conflict at all and their profanities and drinking binges offended many boer settlers moralities, being very religious.
These ego stroking flight's of fancy and wishful thinking are pathetic!! The British Army has a very proud history as a soldiering force Historically and for it's small size, distinguished itself well, I also have much respect for the Canadian forces who I have personally worked with in BAOR Germany and their history in WW1 and 11, which I have read much about, not fantasy. YEAH ! I'M PISSED OFF !!!
I don't listen to the banterings of CHILDREN who live in a fantasy world stroking there ego's and talking K-A-K !!!!!!!! The others who put up very good plauseable points, made more sense. Yes I know your response, " we are entitled to our opinions on this site - banter, banter, banter (YAWN!!) But at the opportunity to knock the British forces I notice, always the case in North America. One wanders why they ever felt the need for having any allies at all.

Not gonna answer the responses from Engineering Officer & Astralis, they're a waste of rations.

zraver
29 Jul 08,, 08:03
Achilles, under this scenario it is the US vs the UK not the UK and France. Also the Union had been war weary for some time but went on fighting. A third point is that the South was fighting for their homes and families and had far more in the way of domestic production and manpower than Canada could muster and it didn't save them.

In a situation where the US decides it wants war in Canada at the end of the ACW then Canada is all but doomed. The Union has all the advantages- manpower, equipment, production, leadership, interior lines of supply and communication. The only way for Britain to support the war is via the St. Lawrence which via the Bay of St. Lawrence is ideal monitor country. Once the Union controls that river Canada is as good as cut off as any place on earth at the time. Can the Union seize that river and the gulf it empties into?


Yes the British had Ironclads but they were for the most part laid out in a conventional design and made for ocean use. The high sides meant the weight of armor was spread over a much greater area. The Warrior was 5 or 6 times as heavy as the USS Monitor but had half the armor thickness and then only over the batteries. The turreted monitors (up to 3 turrets) could pack more armor for the same weight and had as a result of the low freeboard very small target aspects. The USS Monitor was only about 2.66m high.The USS Monitor also fired a shell that weighed 133.5 pounds and would have stove in the hull of any RN ship. Later vessels had even heavier rifled guns that would ahve drilled anything the RN had. The Monitors also had armor twice or more as thick as the HMS Warrior. Even the case mate Ironclads are have thicker armor and bigger guns. If Britain builds a ship to match the US classes it either gives up seaworthiness like the US and can't reliably cross the Atlantic or is to heavy and thus cannot be used in the river.


But lets add France to the equation. Say France has 100,000 troops in Mexico. Obviously the Union is not going to demobilize facing a 2 front war, so its not hard to believe the US could have put 150,000 troops in Texas and a couple of quick reaction corps on the Gulf Coast. What exactly is France going to do? Cross the Rio Grande? And go where? Mexico at the time did not have the industrial base to support the French Army. Plus how many of the French troops have to detailed off to fight rebels who can be easily supplied with cast off obsolete US muskets and Confederate prizes including field guns. Although a French distraction in North America will make Prussia happy. Herr Bismark would only be to happy to see France distracted as 1866 begins his quest to form a united Germany under Prussia.

Finally lets talk economics, as broke as the Union was it was illusory. The only thing standing between the Federal Government and Solomon's mines is a couple thousand Indians who only lasted as long as they did for lack of offensive effort by the US government. During the ACW the western forts were garrisoned by confederate POWS who joined the Union army on the promise they would not fight in the ACW: they were called galvanized Yankees. If the Union decide on a swift campaign to force open the Bozeman trail then the $400 million in silver in Virginia city is close at hand ($600 billion in todays dollars). War with Britain or Britain and France almost insures that the "final solution" to the Indian problem will a massive campaign by Indian war standards so that the US can ship its gold and silver overland to avoid the Royal Navy. 10,000 walks-a-heaps and a few thousand horse soldiers and its all over for the Souix and Comanche who ironically would have fled to of all places Canada.

zraver
29 Jul 08,, 08:17
To Officer of Engineers and Astralis, I think you pair need to grow up and do a diaper check, but the EEEEGGGOOOOO'S !!! geeez,what a pair of BONEHEADS !! you waffle on about the Crimea war and World War 1, World War 1 which found the British Army specifically a smaller force than the French or German Imperial armies, was not ready for a european conflict. Germany with all this going for her with a war mongering leader such as The Kaiser, who actually wanted to create a German Empire the short route,quick time, did not succeed and was infact held short of Paris which was his goal and ultimate failure. Britain and France wanted to maintain a balance of power in europe that would be beneficial for europe as a whole, this was primarily to prevent situations such as Napoleons visions of a French or Napoleonic empire - again serving his own ambitions, the Kaiser was trying to make like Napoleon - to keep it brief. So the notion that British forces didn't perform well is really CRAP!!, you forget about the Lancer regiments and many of the county regiments that had much experience from the time fighting against the French Imperial Army, all over Europe including Portugal and Spain and this other BS that that had it not been for Blucher and his Prussians all would be lost, Wellington had already been making his mark against Napoleons Imperial forces in Portugal and Spain where they were defeated.
North American Armies were still very much at the militia stage, this doesn't mean to say that they were substandard but much of the States in America were still divided in their allegiance, or even willingness to get involved in a war of conquest, this was not what they wanted for their country, so put the ego's away !! they have no relevance.
You also forget that there were many Irish Foot regiments in the British Army
who coincidently thoughout the Empire gave a good account of themselves,
transversely a volunteer Irish nationalist group that wanted to get back at the British came over to the Boer side and did absolutely abbismally, they had no effect on the outcome of the conflict at all and their profanities and drinking binges offended many boer settlers moralities, being very religious.
These ego stroking flight's of fancy and wishful thinking are pathetic!! The British Army has a very proud history as a soldiering force Historically and for it's small size, distinguished itself well, I also have much respect for the Canadian forces who I have personally worked with in BAOR Germany and their history in WW1 and 11, which I have read much about, not fantasy. YEAH ! I'M PISSED OFF !!!
I don't listen to the banterings of CHILDREN who live in a fantasy world stroking there ego's and talking K-A-K !!!!!!!! The others who put up very good plauseable points, made more sense. Yes I know your response, " we are entitled to our opinions on this site - banter, banter, banter (YAWN!!) But at the opportunity to knock the British forces I notice, always the case in North America. One wanders why they ever felt the need for having any allies at all.

Not gonna answer the responses from Engineering Officer & Astralis, they're a waste of rations.

goodbye, I see a ban coming.

I like how you dodged all my points. So where was the fighting British spirit at Kandahar, Kabul and Karthoum? Tribal armies have inflicted defeats on the British, quite often in fact. The British are not unbeatable, especially when fighting a much larger better equipped better led combat tested industrial army of conquest, and that is exactly what the Union Army was at the end of the ACW.


So once again

1- how is Britain going to force open the St Lawrence?

2- How do less than 50,000 poorly equipped non-combat vets with no hope of reliable resupply stop 6 times their number of better equipped, ruthless combat vets?

3- How do the UK/Canadians fight on assuming a guerrilla war with access to the outside world cut off?

4- How do you eqaulize the American supply advantage since their source of industry is thousands of miles closer and not dependent on a single entry/exit point and not affected overmuch by ice.

zraver
29 Jul 08,, 09:52
Did some digging, near the end of the ACW the Union navy was about to launch some heavy sea going Monitors that had dual turrets up to 15" of armor and mixed 11" Dalghren smooth bores and 8" parrot rifles which fired a 150lb shell up to 8000 yrds. One design even called for a 22" gun and 1 of those guns was actually cast.

clitifad
29 Jul 08,, 10:24
Zraver - Ban away, must I break out into rash !! British forces had faught many conflicts over and above that which you are talking about, far more than the US had at that stage, oh and by the way lets not forget Gen Custer's last stand at Little Big Horn, as you are so keen on talking about native armies defeating a well oiled invincible machine. Any way who else amongst the world's armies had the Union army faught and defeated, pure assumption on your part. I make no assumptions that the British forces were unbeatable,the British had been assessed as losing the battles but winning the wars - on analysis, have seen this written many times.
While your at it let me mention Spions Kop, Magdeberg amongst others in the Boer war which was as great a war of attrition as the civil war had been, which were tactical defeats for Britain, but they learned and addapted and moved on to the defeat and surrender for the Transvaal boers at Paardeberg. Co-incidentally, that did not end matters there.
To give you some ideas, many armies have copied the methods, regiments, structure and soldiering system the British forces used. They are skill at arms and tactical development,particularly when learning directly from the mistakes made, witness the Malayan emergencey which the US FORCES failed
to use or even try to adapt to their efforts in South East Asia in the 60' and 70's, that has even been mentioned during officer training at West Point. The all conquering forces you talk about had not faught any other force outside it's own borders, your comments about "best, most well equipped, all conquering army of conquest" is the most blinkered and I might add mis-informed analysis I've heard yet, the Union Army also experienced high casualty rates as did the Confederates, hardly all conquering by analysis.
Make your analysis based on un-biased facts and not your allegiances and assumptions.

Lets leave it at that!!

zraver
29 Jul 08,, 10:59
Zraver - Ban away, must I break out into rash !! British forces had faught many conflicts over and above that which you are talking about, far more than the US had at that stage, oh and by the way lets not forget Gen Custer's last stand at Little Big Horn, as you are so keen on talking about native armies defeating a well oiled invincible machine. Any way who else amongst the world's armies had the Union army faught and defeated, pure assumption on your part. I make no assumptions that the British forces were unbeatable,the British had been assessed as losing the battles but winning the wars - on analysis, have seen this written many times.
While your at it let me mention Spions Kop, Magdeberg amongst others in the Boer war which was as great a war of attrition as the civil war had been, which were tactical defeats for Britain, but they learned and addapted and moved on to the defeat and surrender for the Transvaal boers at Paardeberg. Co-incidentally, that did not end matters there.
To give you some ideas, many armies have copied the methods, regiments, structure and soldiering system the British forces used. They are skill at arms and tactical development,particularly when learning directly from the mistakes made, witness the Malayan emergencey which the US FORCES failed
to use or even try to adapt to their efforts in South East Asia in the 60' and 70's, that has even been mentioned during officer training at West Point. The all conquering forces you talk about had not faught any other force outside it's own borders, your comments about "best, most well equipped, all conquering army of conquest" is the most blinkered and I might add mis-informed analysis I've heard yet, the Union Army also experienced high casualty rates as did the Confederates, hardly all conquering by analysis.
Make your analysis based on un-biased facts and not your allegiances and assumptions.

Lets leave it at that!!

And you dodged the question yet again. How is your force going to get supplied? Canada in 1865 has only 1 route to Britian.

Now lets address the rest of your post. The Little Bighorn saw the loss of part of a regiment due to an idiot leader. The sheer scale is different, no US Army has ever been wiped out. The Union army lost a lot of battles and retreated all the way to Appomattox. You can't stop an army that won't admit its beaten.

The US Army in 1865 had better rifles, better cannon, more horse, way more infantry, combat experience and generals who had just subdued an enemy nation. What can Canada call on to counter this that the Union Army has not already faced in spades in the South?

Lets move on to the Boer Wars, as brutal as it was it lacked one key component- a threat to the British ability to ship in men and supplies. For all of their modern weapons the Boers were a colonial army with colonial limitations.

In the posed scenario the British position is untenable. It lacks the mass to do a stand up fight. If it tried to pick on a Union army the artillery advantage the US enjoys would make any battlefield win a Pyhrric victory at best and ultimately play into the US's strengths with their ability to reinforce and resupply at will. If the British split their force in order to wage a 5th column war then they lack the mass in any one area because the Canadian country side in the 1800's cannot support a large Partisan movement. Not to mention the US advantage in mounted troops means the British ability tom hit and fade is seriously compromised.

About the only viable option is a retreat into Nova Scotia to defend the Bay of St Lawrence and hope the Royal Navy can bottle the USN up in the river itself long enough to ship over an army. But again given the US advantage in coastal waters combat that is unlikely. Even if Britain gaisn control of the bay it now has to fight its way upriver with ships whose armor cannot stand up to American artillery or Iron clad rams and spar torpedo boats. There is simply no way for Canada to win against 400,000 troops. The geography and logistics dictate how such a war would be fought. Its a stacked deck in favor of the US any way you cut it. But you know that which is why your dodging the questions.

I like your example of Maylasia BTW. But thats a two way street. The UK's soft approach in Iraq was ignored as well. Guess who is winning the war now, and who got all but forced out of Basra? Beign right once, or even 1000 times does not mean your always right.

But lets drive the stake into your heart just a little bit deeper. Once again I will ask you to answer the questions. You'll dodge them as usual cause your a fraud.

How do you force open the St Lawrence and resupply? After all a nation is its people and the US would have firm control of the bulk of the population so Britian has to stage and support a large invasion just to reach the population. How do you counter-act the American logistics, Climate and manpower advantages?

And yes you have to go up the St Lawrence. An Overland route has to cross to many easily defended tributary rivers and the lack of roads means bulk transport must be done by ship.

glyn
29 Jul 08,, 11:32
Can I join in? There are only 2 things necessary to wage war. The will and the means.
Did the US have the will to wage war on a neighbour at this time, having just endured a bloody civil war within its own borders? Did they have the means to prosecute war bearing in mind that warfare is the most expensive pursuit a nation can indulge in and the coffers were hardly bulging? Can anyone afford to ignore bellicose action from the other countries that consider they have a claim on portions of American soil? :confused:

clitifad
29 Jul 08,, 11:40
zraver - ' This mindless one sided drivel, look - find your own answers to the hypothetical question of the POSSIBLE outcome not assured outcome.

Never had any interest in the American civil war as it was a terrible waste of life as was WW1.

What soft touch !! Your pushing too far my friend as I have friends over there in regiments ! Your jibe at the current situation in Iraq is in very poor taste and is going too far,as Britain has supported the US effectively and still remains in Basra - the Basra area has to be handed over to the Iraq's, that is the correct way to do things.

The POOR manner in which US Ground/air co-ordination has been handled has been a concern at senior US command levels for some time,this is not my opinion, the abortive Iranian hostage rescue, Grenada and beyond and the high casualty rate in the region since 2001/2, 4138 - OUCH !!! A lot of the casualties caused by, yes you've guessed it - poor ground/air co-ordination. I've watched some of the operations and was unimpressed ! I'll tell you about my experiences in Fort Lewis (Washington State)one day, a real EYE opener I can assure you, I'm not talking about anything positive let me assure you.

Are you a serving soldier, airman or ex, just a point, would be interesting to find out ??

astralis
29 Jul 08,, 14:29
clitifad,


To Officer of Engineers and Astralis, I think you pair need to grow up and do a diaper check, but the EEEEGGGOOOOO'S !!! geeez,what a pair of BONEHEADS !!


Not gonna answer the responses from Engineering Officer & Astralis, they're a waste of rations.

believe me, no one's forcing you to respond-- not that you'll get the chance now. take a month's break.

zraver
29 Jul 08,, 23:59
Can I join in? There are only 2 things necessary to wage war. The will and the means.
Did the US have the will to wage war on a neighbour at this time, having just endured a bloody civil war within its own borders? Did they have the means to prosecute war bearing in mind that warfare is the most expensive pursuit a nation can indulge in and the coffers were hardly bulging? Can anyone afford to ignore bellicose action from the other countries that consider they have a claim on portions of American soil? :confused:

Well the scenario means America has found the will. The army and navy provide the means. The remaining questions are the economics. How long will the war last? The Conquest of Canada should not take to long. The wild card is the UK's reaction. Will they attempt a counter invasion or settle for a longer and ultimately more costly naval war trying to force the Union into bankruptcy as its merchant fleet is slaughtered and it tries to build a blue water navy.

How aware was the UK of the sheer wealth of Virginia City and the Comstock Lode?

Is Canada (of 1865) worth a major war? Especially with Prussia on the move and the Great Game raging with Russia.

Besides the soon to be completed ocean monitors, how much damage can Union Warships who had been hunting commerce raiders, but who are now raiders themselves due to the British merchant fleet?

Will France help Britain?

Achilles
30 Jul 08,, 03:13
This is the DND reference

The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada

The Fenian Raid 1866

In the fall and winter of 1865 ...

Sir, I have to agree with you in this case, it was a very poor report at the time. I have found at least 6 "Offical " versions at this time and at least half do not even mention the QOR. But with this being the unit's own accounting of the event's I understand it is the closest to cannon we will get without being there. I am sorry for not just asking for the source ealier on it would have saved time.

Shek
30 Jul 08,, 12:44
clitifad,

believe me, no one's forcing you to respond-- not that you'll get the chance now. take a month's break.

Free upgrade.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/9b/Aerosmith_-_Permanent_Vacation.JPG

ArmchairGeneral
30 Jul 08,, 14:37
Now that's modding with style.

glyn
30 Jul 08,, 16:29
Well the scenario means America has found the will. The army and navy provide the means. The remaining questions are the economics. How long will the war last? The Conquest of Canada should not take to long. The wild card is the UK's reaction. Will they attempt a counter invasion or settle for a longer and ultimately more costly naval war trying to force the Union into bankruptcy as its merchant fleet is slaughtered and it tries to build a blue water navy.

How aware was the UK of the sheer wealth of Virginia City and the Comstock Lode?

Is Canada (of 1865) worth a major war? Especially with Prussia on the move and the Great Game raging with Russia.

Besides the soon to be completed ocean monitors, how much damage can Union Warships who had been hunting commerce raiders, but who are now raiders themselves due to the British merchant fleet?

Will France help Britain?

Your scenario means that you have glorious victories one after the other - and you win!
Your scenario also means that your opponents will suffer defeat after defeat - and they lose!

Officer of Engineers
30 Jul 08,, 16:31
Glyn, I don't see it would not be defeat after defeat. We've had months of warning of a possible Fenian strike and the dismal performance of the Queen's Own Rifles was anything but awe inspiring and that was a force less than a division in size.

I dread what would have happened if the Fenians ever had amassed a corps size force.

zraver
30 Jul 08,, 16:50
Your scenario means that you have glorious victories one after the other - and you win!
Your scenario also means that your opponents will suffer defeat after defeat - and they lose!

Its not my scenario. The invasion routes will dictated by the geography and the population centers, and the forces were set by Ironduke. Given the 6 to 1 advantage given the US by Ironduke and the nature of those 6 and 1 in regards troop quality, equipment and leadership how does Canada win?

Irondukes force levels means the British did not respond or respond in time when the troops started massing on the border so there are no more troops to use. Any response from Canada/UK is thus going to be post invasion. Either a counter-invasion and fight for the St Lawrence or a more indirect approach. Either path the British choose means the time delay alone dooms Quebec and Toronto to being starved out if nothing else.

Canada itself is screwed. The only supplies on hand one the American's cut the St. Lawrence and encircle Quebec and Toronto is what they have on them and there is no more coming. You might be able to get a few mule or wagon trains worth during the summer via the Hudson Bay or Newfoundland but thats it. Enough to arm an insurgency but not support an Army big enough to take on 400,000 troops.

Likewise the superiority of the monitors in enclosed waters, the internal lines of communication and supply are not advantages I just gave the US they really would have existed. Britains supply stretched across the Atlantic back to England thousands of miles away. American industry is just a few hundred miles away in New York and New England by rail. American movements are also initially at least south to north meaning fewer rivers to cross while and non-St. Lawrence route for the British faces numerous tributaries to cross.

Finally the two obvious American commanders Grant and Sherman are experts at sieges and reduction of an enemies heartland respectively.

Oscar
30 Jul 08,, 17:14
1865-Britain's power is at its height. Bismarck wants Napoleon to look the other way and gave his blessing for the mexican adventure. So why protesting if France, who is actively courting Britain at this time, attacks the federation ? The british and French fleets are the two most powerful navies by far. And the US looks more like post civil war Spain (who had able commanders and battle hardened troops too) than an iron willed giant who can defy the first two superpowers of the time.

And Canada being for the most part, directly ruled by Britain it would mean a direct agression from the US.

TopHatter
30 Jul 08,, 18:21
Now that's modding with style.

That's why we're paid our weight in Cheetos ;)

zraver
30 Jul 08,, 18:51
1865-Britain's power is at its height. Bismarck wants Napoleon to look the other way and gave his blessing for the mexican adventure. So why protesting if France, who is actively courting Britain at this time, attacks the federation ? The british and French fleets are the two most powerful navies by far. And the US looks more like post civil war Spain (who had able commanders and battle hardened troops too) than an iron willed giant who can defy the first two superpowers of the time.

And Canada being for the most part, directly ruled by Britain it would mean a direct agression from the US.

Ok, I am not contesting any of that. But how does and in what form does Britain translate that into a response? That the American Merchant fleet is dead is a given. As is the likelihood of an effective naval blockade and maybe even raids on the major cities which is why I left some of the 400,000 troops alloted to the US side on the Eastern seaboard.

So instead of talking about how strong and mighty Britain is, show how they would use that muscle.

Now back to France. Even if they get 100,000 troops into Mexico not all of them can be used to invade Texas or California they have a hostile country side to deal with. Texas doesn't go anywhere in so far as it's loss cannot reduce the American ability to wage war. New Orleans the and Mississippi might but its a long march from Texas to New Orleans through very hostile country in the Summer. Plus there is a good chunk of the Federal Army in the south following Appomattox.

California might be a better bet even with the hundreds of miles that have to be crossed to reach San Fransisco. I've already alluded to a western Campaign in both the attempt to get Victoria Island and against the hostile Indians to open a safe overland route for the gold and silver. A French invasion of California is an even bigger threat and has a direct bearing on the US ability to wage war. Even though the French army won't be much more than 20,000 max- that is massive by western standards and is about as big a force as the US can get together and supply as well.

One thing I don't see France or Britain doing is given enough aid to the Confederate die hards. Those people want a return to the antebellum status quo and the French and British publics will not stand for open support of a group who wants to re-instate slavery.

Achilles
31 Jul 08,, 06:43
OK so here is something to think about and I think my last post was to long for it to come through. One, 100,000 Canadians served in the civil war over 80,000 with the union, and according to records just over 50% survived and came home. If that is true I think of the 50,000 at least 40,000 are not going to invade there own home land, and will return to defend it.

Second the US recruited 60,000 British navy and army officers, solders and sailors, and some 1/3 survived, again I do not see them staying on to attack there homeland's colony and say 15,000 of that 20,000 would actively defend it.

Third ( I was wrong in my first post or more to the point I did not explain correctly) over 250,000 to 300,000 Native People moved north into British North America During the ACW and so at least 60,000 to 80,000 experienced and armed native warriors that the British had experience turning out as scout, skirmisher, and irregular shock troops.

Add that to the 25,000, plus 10,000 and the force may not win but could at the very least hold out for a while.

Now well I will say that the Monitors all 35 of them (that’s all there were at the end of the civil war) were some of the finest ships at sea, the British Navy had thousands of ships as did the French, they had colonies all over the world. If they were facing an all out war with the US they would park dozens of ships off shore of every major US port city and after giving fair warning start leveling them.

Now the Monitors were more then a match for the Warrior Class like the HMS Warrior and the Black Prince in close, the later ships like the Defense class, the Hector class, the Prince Consort class, the Lord Clyde class the Minotaur class, were closer to a match, mainly because the Minotaur class was the fastest Ship at sea at the Time and had a low single deck with 50 guns, and it was designed and armed to deal with both the French and Russia Ironclads so yes they could deal with Armoured Ships. Then there were the central-battery ironclads like the Royal Alfred, and the Zealous. At the Time "Britain Rules the Waves" was not just a song, they were the greatest Navy on the seas at the Time, and at least third if not second was the French.

Now yes, back to the French, I did not bring them into this on a whim, less then a year before the British, Spanish, and French, sent a delegation under Arms to Mexico to try and help bring peace to the area, but the French then brought in more troops (about 25,000) and put an Austrian on the throne and Called him Maximillia the first of Mexico. They had a large Navy and more troops on the way, but had wanted to keep Britain as an ally (they had hoped the ACW would go on long enough for them to take control completely), if the US started a war with Britain by invading Canada at the time the French would have had no choose but to support in the very least by offering Mexican Ports to the British and French Ships to the blockades.

Now even with the 35 monitors (at least some of then holding the Saint Laurence) the rest of the Union Navy was in very Poor shape, with obsolete ships and in poor condition. Would holding on to Canada at the Time have been worth it? And the 4,000,000 dollars in silver you spoke of? Would cover the cost to rebuild what? Two, maybe three, major cities?

So if the motley crew of defenders could hold out a few weeks it would become way to expensive to continue even if the cities fell and the defenders fell back in full retreat and waited. Now that’s not getting into them mobilizing Land forces and getting them moving and trying to take them back by force of arms weeks later. With France and Britain involved that would be a long hard fight, and at the time would Canada have been worth continuing this fight?

Edit - I will be gone on Vacation for the next 5 days starting tomorrow so I will continue to post once I return. Have fun every one.

Achilles
31 Jul 08,, 06:55
Oh and as a side note, Astralis and Shek just wanted to say thanks for the Moderator action there, I’m really enjoying this discussion and the name calling and such just seems so uncalled for. If you disagree, post a retort, or don’t read it.

Officer of Engineers
31 Jul 08,, 06:55
MCpl,

Please break your post into paragraphs.

Achilles
31 Jul 08,, 07:05
MCpl,

Please break your post into paragraphs.

Done.

Blademaster
31 Jul 08,, 07:06
Glyn, I don't see it would not be defeat after defeat. We've had months of warning of a possible Fenian strike and the dismal performance of the Queen's Own Rifles was anything but awe inspiring and that was a force less than a division in size.

I dread what would have happened if the Fenians ever had amassed a corps size force.

But surely Canada had enough strategic depth to regroup and learn the mistakes and do better next time. Even if Fenians manage to put together a corps size, it is still limited by its greatest weakness, lack of a sustained base to support its logistics since the nation hosting the Fenians do not support the Fenians.

Officer of Engineers
31 Jul 08,, 07:59
Hitesh, every major Canadian city is within 100 miles of the American border.

Oscar
31 Jul 08,, 14:37
[QUOTE]Ok, I am not contesting any of that. But how does and in what form does Britain translate that into a response? That the American Merchant fleet is dead is a given. As is the likelihood of an effective naval blockade and maybe even raids on the major cities which is why I left some of the 400,000 troops alloted to the US side on the Eastern seaboard.

Actually it's tricky for the us since its northern and southern borders are sealed, it is under a very hurtful naval blockade, especially when you have already endured a bloody civil war, its army is on the defensive, dragging a dead body (the South) and the British and French can strike whenever and wherever they want (Canada, Mexico, East Coast). The US public opinion is tired of war, so time is on the Brits' side.


So instead of talking about how strong and mighty Britain is, show how they would use that muscle.

I think the Europeans will try "to give them a lesson" and not actually re-occupy the states. The model would be the second opium war or the sino-french war with mainly naval operations and a deep incursion on enemy territory to give the final blow, like The ransacking of Washington (again) and the occupation of new york. This scenario will only need a franco british expeditionnary force of 20 000 men. They will be few compared to the federates but they have the decisive advantage of landing fresh on the battle field they have previously chosen while the Americans will never have the initiative, invading Canada would only weaken them further on their soil.

But a gathering of force like the Brits and French did during the crimean war (600.000 men) for a land invasion of the US is very improbable. And there are only 40.000 French soldiers in Mexico, dealing with an insurgency.

Maybe a mix of these two scenarii:a naval operation for a landing of an important expeditionnary force in Louisiana and following up north the Mississipi (possible supply line) to reach the great lakes/Canada and cut in half the us. Any serious attempt to stop them would entail a mock landing and/or naval bombings from the European navies on the east shores "to let them worry about their back".


One thing I don't see France or Britain doing is given enough aid to the Confederate die hards. Those people want a return to the antebellum status quo and the French and British publics will not stand for open support of a group who wants to re-instate slavery.

Since America is the agressor my guess is that there will be no problem with the British public opinion. For the French, it's a good opportunity for Napoleon to play the catholic card, an electorate he lost with his wars in Italy, i.e the greedy northerner protestant shopkeeper vs the Southerner Gentleman.Even if both were protestant the conservative Catholics tended to support the confederates.

zraver
31 Jul 08,, 16:26
OK so here is something to think about and I think my last post was to long for it to come through. One, 100,000 Canadians served in the civil war over 80,000 with the union, and according to records just over 50% survived and came home. If that is true I think of the 50,000 at least 40,000 are not going to invade there own home land, and will return to defend it.

Second the US recruited 60,000 British navy and army officers, solders and sailors, and some 1/3 survived, again I do not see them staying on to attack there homeland's colony and say 15,000 of that 20,000 would actively defend it.

I'd cut those numbers down. Given only 50% and 33% respectively survived, that doe snot include the maimed. So lets call it a corps of 20,000 Canadians organized as regulars plus the British troops and the irregulars for a total force of 45,000 regulars and 10,000 irregulars. What about artillery? I don't think the naval officers will have much bearing on the land fight, but they surely give the British an even bigger edge on the open water able to call up more of the reserve fleet..


Third ( I was wrong in my first post or more to the point I did not explain correctly) over 250,000 to 300,000 Native People moved north into British North America During the ACW and so at least 60,000 to 80,000 experienced and armed native warriors that the British had experience turning out as scout, skirmisher, and irregular shock troops.

I think that number is way way to high. The large remudas of horses, need for hunting and tribal conflicts all cut away at the on paper maximum. 5 or 6,000 is probably your max and then limited to central Canada. Granted that a large force and able to play hell with states like Michigan and Minnesota. Co-ordination with the British will also be difficult. But still, in all probability the reserve army I allotted is going to be gutted at the least to defend the Midwestern border states.


Add that to the 25,000, plus 10,000 and the force may not win but could at the very least hold out for a while.

But where? Assuming the native troops are in the interior, that leaves the whiteman to make a stand outnumbered in men and more importantly artillery.


Now well I will say that the Monitors all 35 of them (thatís all there were at the end of the civil war) were some of the finest ships at sea, the British Navy had thousands of ships as did the French, they had colonies all over the world. If they were facing an all out war with the US they would park dozens of ships off shore of every major US port city and after giving fair warning start leveling them.

A couple of issues here.

1 British cannon at sea at the time are out ranged and out weighted by modern shore guns. The big Dalghrens and Parrots would make any bombardment costly.

2 Will the British level major cities full of civilians?


Now the Monitors were more then a match for the Warrior Class like the HMS Warrior and the Black Prince in close, the later ships like the Defense class, the Hector class, the Prince Consort class, the Lord Clyde class the Minotaur class, were closer to a match, mainly because the Minotaur class was the fastest Ship at sea at the Time and had a low single deck with 50 guns, and it was designed and armed to deal with both the French and Russia Ironclads so yes they could deal with Armoured Ships.

Do you have the armament and armor specs for those classes? Some Monitors had armor upto 15" thick.




Now yes, back to the French, I did not bring them into this on a whim, less then a year before the British, Spanish, and French, sent a delegation under Arms to Mexico to try and help bring peace to the area, but the French then brought in more troops (about 25,000) and put an Austrian on the throne and Called him Maximillia the first of Mexico. They had a large Navy and more troops on the way, but had wanted to keep Britain as an ally (they had hoped the ACW would go on long enough for them to take control completely), if the US started a war with Britain by invading Canada at the time the French would have had no choose but to support in the very least by offering Mexican Ports to the British and French Ships to the blockades.

Now even with the 35 monitors (at least some of then holding the Saint Laurence) the rest of the Union Navy was in very Poor shape, with obsolete ships and in poor condition. Would holding on to Canada at the Time have been worth it?

That is the question.



And the 4,000,000 dollars in silver you spoke of? Would cover the cost to rebuild what? Two, maybe three, major cities?

Not 4 million, 400 million in actual dollar terms for the time (6-800 bilion of todays dollars)


So if the motley crew of defenders could hold out a few weeks it would become way to expensive to continue even if the cities fell and the defenders fell back in full retreat and waited. Now thatís not getting into them mobilizing Land forces and getting them moving and trying to take them back by force of arms weeks later. With France and Britain involved that would be a long hard fight, and at the time would Canada have been worth continuing this fight?

Thats a political decision for the President and Congress.

Oscar,


Actually it's tricky for the us since its northern and southern borders are sealed, it is under a very hurtful naval blockade, especially when you have already endured a bloody civil war, its army is on the defensive, dragging a dead body (the South) and the British and French can strike whenever and wherever they want (Canada, Mexico, East Coast). The US public opinion is tired of war, so time is on the Brits' side.

But the time Britian has to wage war is not unlimited. American commerce raiders are going to slip out. These won't seriously hurt Britain's merchant fleet but they will drive up insurance rates and create headlines. Likewise the monitors and forts pose a serious risk to the Royal Navy's aura of invulnerability. Again even a string of victories wont change the balance of power, but they will generate headlines.

The blockade will also be expensive and be coming on the back of 2 other recent military adventures. Britain is rich, but not bottomless. The size of the blockade fleet is a huge expense.


I think the Europeans will try "to give them a lesson" and not actually re-occupy the states. The model would be the second opium war or the sino-french war with mainly naval operations and a deep incursion on enemy territory to give the final blow, like The ransacking of Washington (again) and the occupation of new york. This scenario will only need a franco british expeditionnary force of 20 000 men. They will be few compared to the federates but they have the decisive advantage of landing fresh on the battle field they have previously chosen while the Americans will never have the initiative, invading Canada would only weaken them further on their soil.

I left a goodly number of troops in the major US cities for that eventuality. 20,000 is simply not enough to occupy, or even raid Washington which has twice as many defending. Plus the loss of a British army of that size would be the death knell of the British war effort. If there is going to be raids (plural) they will be aimed at maximizing value and reducing risk. Such as burning the whaling fleet at Nantucket, slipping arms to Southerners, raiding federal depots in Florida etc.


Maybe a mix of these two scenarii:a naval operation for a landing of an important expeditionnary force in Louisiana and following up north the Mississipi (possible supply line) to reach the great lakes/Canada and cut in half the us. Any serious attempt to stop them would entail a mock landing and/or naval bombings from the European navies on the east shores "to let them worry about their back".

I can see the possibility of taking New Orleans but not much else. Now your adding weight to the Union's naval power by bringing its large fleet of riverine ironclad rams into play. The rivers are one area where the Union Navy will reign supreme. Also taking New Orleans opens the allied army to defeat. A second battle of New Orleans to either defeat the attack or recapture the city could stoke the publics imagination and give the war a patriotic flavor it might otherwise lack.


Since America is the agressor my guess is that there will be no problem with the British public opinion. For the French, it's a good opportunity for Napoleon to play the catholic card, an electorate he lost with his wars in Italy, i.e the greedy northerner protestant shopkeeper vs the Southerner Gentleman.Even if both were protestant the conservative Catholics tended to support the confederates.

I still don't think they will give enough aid to the confederate die hards to do more than be a nuisance. They could not recognize the South before because of slavery, and cannot do so now.

In the end I think we agree the Union can take South Eastern Canada and Victoria Island and keep the St. Lawrence closed. But that is not enough to force Britain from the war. We also agree the Royal Navy is going to win 9 of 10 fights outside of the rivers and make life hell on the US Eastern and Gulf coasts. But is that enough to force the US from the war? American History is full of long wars and bloody wars. America can probably go 8-10 years from the opening shots of the ACW to total exhaustion. It depends on several factors like how well the public rallies to the cause, and what victories if any the US is able to eek out on the high seas or in defending its coasts. A British/French occupation of a northern city or a John Paul Jones/USS Constitution media darling type situation and America might go the full 10 years. This buts up against the Franco-Prussian war and a heating up of the European situation. While the war won't even come close to bankrupting the English unless they decide on a massive land campaign it will be expensive. How much is Canada worth? three major wars in just a few short years is a strain on anyone. And again in 1870 France may well be forced out by its own troubles.

Long term I think there will be a political settlement. The US will keep at least a token part of Canada and Britain will get renumeration for it aka Mexican War. The obvious choice for the time would be Victoria island and maybe parts of British Columbia or parts of the midwest west of the Great lakes or the movement of the US borders north to the St. Lawrence.

Albany Rifles
31 Jul 08,, 19:55
Actual points to remember as we go into this never never land


1. When the Civil War ended, Phil Sheridan was sent to Texas w/ 25,000 veteran troops to keep an eye on the French. The French took note and realized that they needed to stay south of the Rio Grande and Napoleon abandoned Max to his own devices. During Reconstruction there was always a large force in Texas.

2. King Wheat and King Corn. Per Jim McPhersons' Battle Cry of Freedom and a few other sources you can readily find on line you have to realize France and Great Britain had to be extremely careful from antagonizing the US post 1862? Why? Because Europe had seen widespread crop failures in the early 1860s. Fully 50% of the grains (corn & wheat) consumed in the UK and 39% of the grains in France came from Northern farms. Much more of the UK's came from Canada. Any open war in 1865-1866 would have cut off those foodstuffs to the populations of Europe.

3. The merchant fleets which would have been toast? What do you think they were carrying? That's right, corn and wheat as well as whale oil. So disrupting the merchant fleet would hurt GB more. Also, since 1859, kerosene was replacing whale oil in the US economy so most of the whale oil harvested was exported to.....Europe!

4. Okay, a little something about the US & CS manpower systems of the Civil War. The Union Army was made up of units which, mostly, enlisted for 3 years of service. The Confederates did the same but then froze everyone in place starting in mid 1862. The Union actually had units leaving the army daily in 1864 as their enlistments ran out. The Confederates did not have this issue. Most were happy to get home at the end of the war. The vast majority of units were mustered out of service by SEP 1865.


So the scenario now says that that the US (not the Union) has 400,000 men under arms. Let's look at this a little more. This means that the will and the means which Glyn mentions has occurred. And while there were plenty of veterans from both sides willing to sit this one out, the Union experience in 1864-1865 showed that a lot more were bored when they got home and reenlisted. Read up on the designation Veteran Volunteer for Union units. Also look at the rosters of the high numbered Union regiments from fall 1864 - 1865. They were chock full of combat veterans.

I believe Achilles mentioned the 80,000 Canadians who served in the Union Army (thanks BTW), 40,000 of whom would answer the call to Queen and colors. Seems realistic. Okay, now think of this. How many Confederate veterans, returning to a land which was devastated and an economy wrecked, would answer a call to serve their reunited country? Before you dismiss it out of hand, look at the migration of Southerners to the West as well as to the North to escape economic privation. Realistically, I would expect out of a approx 450,000 veterans who were paroled at the end of the war, the US could have put 10% 45,000 in uniform...and imagine 45,000 of Lee's & Johnston's hardcore troops, formed into their own field Army, led by John B. Gordon, Billy Mahone, Allegheny Johnson, backed up by the logistics and artillery of the US Army (:eek:!!!) Okay, so that is an evening of the numbers.

And I haven't even considered the 127,000 USCT veterans into the mix...as well as the suddenly 4.5 million freemen due to the end of slavery.

5. The blockade and the US Navy. At the start of the war there 57 ships in the US Navy; by 1865 that number was over 700. And those were men of war, not supply steamers and transports. The US Navy knew every nook and cranny along the coast of the US and knew where a ship could and could not put in. While it was mostly a brown water navy, that is what would be needed for any kind of coastal defense or attack up the ST Lawrence. And as for the Great Lakes? Access could come through the Erie Canal from the Hudson and onward to the Atlantic. Not to mention that everything being built along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers could have been built in Cleveland. Every major coastal city, North and South, had heavy defenses and ample artillery. Good luck against that force with a blue water navy and ample land forces to stop any invasion attempt.

6. A good friend of mine is a business professor and he often says the Union fought the War with one arm tied behind its back. The Homestead Act of 1862 exempted anyone from military service who was willing to move out west and expend the frontier...no service and free land! The economy never mobilized as it could have. It was a total guns and butter economy. A war of this scale would have called for a mobilization.


I have no doubt the Canadians and British would have fought valiantly but they would have been doomed (ask Robert E. Lee and Joe Johnston about that). Britain would have had some local success but with no real telling effect (no burning of Washington this time...maybe a few minor coastal towns, thatís it). Britain's army was just too small to force the issue. The RN would have some notable victories but those same raiders the Confederates had used would be put to good use attacking the British merchant fleet. And the British government would fall when food stuffs and inflation started to destroy the British economy. The US government would have bought up the grain surplus to keep the farmers happy...we had already done deficit spending during the Civil War and we knew how to do that.

astralis
31 Jul 08,, 20:27
AR,

no one's answered my old question of earlier. what is the feasibility of the RN conducting large scale raids along the east coast? would it be possible to land the Royal Marines, say at NYC, and burn it to the ground before regulars arrive?

while i can't see the british holding onto canada, if this type of strategy is feasible, then the brits at least could make the cost of war for the americans go up- especially if the brits don't stay long enough to really fight it out.

Albany Rifles
31 Jul 08,, 20:42
AR,

no one's answered my old question of earlier. what is the feasibility of the RN conducting large scale raids along the east coast? would it be possible to land the Royal Marines, say at NYC, and burn it to the ground before regulars arrive?

while i can't see the british holding onto canada, if this type of strategy is feasible, then the brits at least could make the cost of war for the americans go up- especially if the brits don't stay long enough to really fight it out.

The feasibility is almost nil because of

1. the extensive fort system which ringed New York by the time of the US Civil War.

NY State Military Forts (http://www.dmna.state.ny.us/forts/maps/fortMapC.html)

and the entire coast

American Coast Defense Forts (http://www.geocities.com/~jmgould/seacoast.html)

From Maine, through Boston, New York, Baltimore around to the West Coast the US was ringed with forts to protect harbors.


2. the US Regulars were there already. And as for state troops...don't think militia. Think of units like the 43rd New York Volunteer Infantry (Albany Rifles) which mustered into Federal service in SEP 1861 and mustered out in SEP 1865 after fighting in every major battle in the East. Its units made up of these kind of veterans which would man the field. If there were problems maneuver forces would back up all of the forts above.

3. And how are you going to land your forces against the US Navy...New York City had 3 Navy Yards. Boston had 2, Philly 2 and so on.

Oh, and by 1866 which of the worlds navies had the most experience attacking and siezing major port cities with modern defenses? I'll give you a hint....it wasn't a European country. The USN & US Army had been doing it for over 3 years.

zraver
31 Jul 08,, 22:16
AR,

no one's answered my old question of earlier. what is the feasibility of the RN conducting large scale raids along the east coast? would it be possible to land the Royal Marines, say at NYC, and burn it to the ground before regulars arrive?

while i can't see the british holding onto canada, if this type of strategy is feasible, then the brits at least could make the cost of war for the americans go up- especially if the brits don't stay long enough to really fight it out.

The big Northern coastal/industrial cities all had forts and assuming my layout would match what the Union would do pretty sizable garrisons and Washington more so. But there are a lot of smaller cities and targets that could deal a great deal of pain. Florida with its large stores of naval provisions is one, Nantucket is another (although AR says that would hurt England more) plus the smaller coastal cites could be burnt, decimation of fishing fleets etc. In the former confederate states there is less to burn (that is burnable after Sherman) but less in the way of fortifications thanks to the Union's guns like the Swamp Angel.

The other problem for the British outside of the garrisons and forts in so far as anything bigger than a medium sized city goes are the rail roads. The Union can shift troops up to a corps in size pretty fast and this includes artillery something the Marines will be light on if they leave sight of the ships. They can afford an open fight with regulars.

There is one exception. If a French or French/British force off the west coast of Mexico can take San Fransisco they capture a loaded mint and any gold or silver trapped there by the outbreak of war. The Presido and Alcatraz had a garrison but it wasn't overly robust and there is no help anywhere close. Again assuming my deployments meant to counter a British only threat the closest help is in Seattle where I sent a corps sized formation, but even then no real warship support just a few gunboats to cover the landings on Vancouver Island.

Even expecting a war with France and Britain there is not much that can be done to protect California. Maybe drop off a few gun boats and a brigade or so as the invasion force sails north. But without a continental rail line modern heavy artillery will be in short supply. At most a few thousand more men for the garrison and a few parrot guns. Enough to make a raider pay, but not enough to really stop a determined attacker.

Oscar
31 Jul 08,, 22:58
Another possibility for the British and French would be to disembark their troops (massive French troops, british ships-look how it happened in Crimea-) on the East coast south of washington and go north along the coast, (instead of entering the hinterland, by this way the supply problem would be solved) and cherry picking the coastal towns with the help of the French and royal navy til NY, then establishing strong garrisons in the occupied ports/cities but never too far from the protection of the allied fleet.

The crusaders did that against saladin, facing him when he tried to stop them and then continuing their march up north, taking back all the ports that had fell into his hands, a few years after hattin.

zraver
01 Aug 08,, 00:41
Another possibility for the British and French would be to disembark their troops (massive French troops, british ships-look how it happened in Crimea-) on the East coast south of washington and go north along the coast, (instead of entering the hinterland, by this way the supply problem would be solved) and cherry picking the coastal towns with the help of the French and royal navy til NY, then establishing strong garrisons in the occupied ports/cities but never too far from the protection of the allied fleet.

The crusaders did that against saladin, facing him when he tried to stop them and then continuing their march up north, taking back all the ports that had fell into his hands, a few years after hattin.

A nifty idea but there are limits. Parts of the US Eastern seaboard are protected by barrier islands that make ideal hunting grounds for monitors. Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia are also protected by being slightly inland. That leaves Boston or New York as the obvious targets, and New York presents the problem of getting off Long Island. That makes Boston the most likely target, and it gives them the ability to pluck several medium to large cities and threaten New York. It would force the Union to pull troops out of Canada thats for sure. But once Quebec and Montreal fall all you need is occupation troops, and your blocking force on the St Lawrence. Plus you can leave most of the invading US cavalry in Canada to hunt partisans and Indians.

Finally IIRC Boston and New England did a lot of industry so it strikes right at America's ability to wage war. Although the US has ample stores on hand they are not unlimited.

The biggest problem once the allied navy has defeated the defending flotilla* and allied troops are past the cities forts, garrison and hastily called up but veteran militia will be the full conscription of the US who has hundreds of thousands of veterans who can be called back. In attempting to stay under the guns of the ships the lines can't be pushed out very far and any US counter attack that breaks through could strand a goodly sized chunk of the allied force and force a Dunkirk type operation. If they push the lines out farther to gain depth they lose the naval support and mass at any one location- a catch 22. Unless they want to loot and burn Boston and the other New England Coastal cities. But this brings up Albany's point about grain exports. Be too violent and the long term risk to future trade becomes an issue. Plus atrocities tend to spark the American imagination like nothing else.

But seizing and holding such an important American city and countryside and defeating the first couple of US counter-attacks and coupled with a humane occupation might be enough for a return to antebellum status.

It also offers up the hope of victory in Canada. If the US pulls its monitors on the St Lawrence into the open sea and the fleet gets caught in a Nor'Easter then the US is as sunk as its warships. But this is a slim hope, by 1865 the US knew how bad the monitors did in rough seas and would be unlikely to risk the ships to mother nature.

Also how big is the invasion fleet and how many warships guard it? While in the open water the RN is king, a Crimean war type invasion requires a lot of transports crossing the Atlantic with supplies. Even given that most of the US 's ships are wooden and not capable of more than harbor defense. There are some ships such as those used to hunt Confederate raiders that can easily be used to harass British and French shipping so not all the British of French navies can be off the US coast.

*I expect as soon as one city is attacked, other cities will begin building Iron clad rams to supplement the gunboats assigned to the city as guardians. With so many gunboats at the ed of the civil war any thought of war with England means the least sea worthy will be assigned harbor defense. While not able to take on Ironclads they are a danger to transports and can delay any attack long enough to give the city time to call up the militia and maybe even bring in troops and guns by rail.

Albany Rifles
01 Aug 08,, 02:19
1. Zraver, stop saying Union. It is the United States, not just the Union.

2. Gee, we are going to war and we are going to leave all of our money in San Francisco uncovered? Don't think so. Its gone before much happens.

3. Really look at the defense systems in place by 1865...the 3rd System. No one is getting at Boston, or New York, or Philly, DC, Hampton Roads, Charelston or Savannah. Anywhere else doesn't matter.

4. I think you are giving too much credit to the French / British alliance. Prussia was causing too much consternation in 1866 (wasn't that the Austro-Prussian War timeframe). The Brits are thinking about Bermuda (which REALLY pissed us off due to its role in the blockade running) and they were spending a lot of resources to defend it against us (visit some day and you will be stunned how fortressed it is).

5. The riverine forces were perfect for shallow water combat. The Mound City class would do a fine job against any landing force, not to mention the Onondaga monitors, and the steam screw frigates could cause havoc as raiders.

I really can see no scenario where Britain wins...as I said their government would fall due to the food embargo. Canada was pride...India was the Empire.

zraver
01 Aug 08,, 03:02
1. Zraver, stop saying Union. It is the United States, not just the Union.

No sir it isn't, the Confederate states had not been re-admitted and were under occupation.


2. Gee, we are going to war and we are going to leave all of our money in San Francisco uncovered? Don't think so. Its gone before much happens.

A couple of problems here. Gettign out before hand means shipping it around the Horn so delays the onset of the war into 1866. How is the Government going to justify keeping the army under arms? If the war is going to go off, it has to be 1865. Perhaps alleging Booth got help from Canadians or in this scenario he fled north or some such. Either way that gold is in California until the army can push a column across to bring it back. Even then the mines are not going to stop. All that gold still needs to be converted to a more transportable form and the mint is the obvious place to do so. The Carson City Mint is still 5 years away in 1865.


3. Really look at the defense systems in place by 1865...the 3rd System. No one is getting at Boston, or New York, or Philly, DC, Hampton Roads, Charelston or Savannah. Anywhere else doesn't matter.

No fort is unbreathable, or immune to siege. As much as I agree with you that the forts would be a massive obstacle they are not impervious. Forts at the time were masonry. Modern cannon used near the end of the war did horrible things to them. Look at Ft Sumter after the Confederate Bombardment and after the Union bombardment. A 10" Parrot gun could blow through 7 feet of Masonry.


4. I think you are giving too much credit to the French / British alliance. Prussia was causing too much consternation in 1866 (wasn't that the Austro-Prussian War timeframe). The Brits are thinking about Bermuda (which REALLY pissed us off due to its role in the blockade running) and they were spending a lot of resources to defend it against us (visit some day and you will be stunned how fortressed it is).

Bermuda gives the RN a base. Prussia was still telling the French sweet nothings.


5. The riverine forces were perfect for shallow water combat. The Mound City class would do a fine job against any landing force, not to mention the Onondaga monitors, and the steam screw frigates could cause havoc as raiders.

None of that is being denied. But much of the force is in Canada and or on the Mississippi for obvious reasons. The Royal Navy has the advantage at least in so far as since it choose the target, it can mass its force.


I really can see no scenario where Britain wins...as I said their government would fall due to the food embargo. Canada was pride...India was the Empire.

Perhaps, I agree with you. But taking Boston and/or the Frisco Mint is the best of the bad options the British face.