DrYuriMom

Effects of Belles on developing history

65 posts in this topic

It occurs to me that the ships manifesting Belles are some of the most important in WWII. For example, in the first eight months of the war for Britain, from Sept 1939 to April 1940, things were not going well on the seas for the UK. Subs were breaking through into Scapa Flow and sinking battleships. The Battle of the Atlantic was going extremely poorly. The RN couldn't keep the German fleet from skittering all over the Skaggerak and even the North Sea. In fact, for the First Lord of the Admiralty, a certain Winston Churchill, it didn't look good at all. But one bright spot shone for Winnie during this time. 

The sinking of Graf Spee. 

Without that win, it is entirely possible that those who favored the defeatist Halifax, including the King himself at the time, might have sued for peace with Hitler. 

What does it mean for history if Graf Spee is a Belle and her defeat cannot give Churchill that critically timed boost in popular British opinion?

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While I have my reservations about discussing the sinking of my glorious honorable lady, I believe that the negative impacts of her lack of sinking are moot when you look at the positive impact of her becoming a belle and no longer being able to Attack non-magical ships and freighters.  Knowing the actions of the Captain of the Spee at the time, he'd be more than happy to oblige any Gentleman's agreement about not attacking non-belle ships.  I believe that the impact of Spee would be minimal.  Some other issues come in along the same line of thinking, though.
 

For example, the Hunt for the Bismarck.  Imagine if Britain was not allowed to utilize Ark Royal or Hood when trying to take down the biggest and best Germany had to offer?  Imagine if key ships like that were no longer usable by each navy in the war effort.  What if they weren't allowed to even attack Bismarck because she became a belle?  Then they would have Germany's most powerful warship prowling their North Sea with nothing they could do against it. (following the terms they agreed upon, that is.)

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Well at the same time, the emergence of Belles rapidly depopulating the Kriegsmarine and Royal Navy may well leave a very different situation for Churchill to start with, and with the emergence of a new threat from the sea, gods only know how the people will react.

The Battle for the North Atlantic will be heavily affected which could easily lead to the defeat of the Soviet Union when Barbarossa launches, and could possibly lead to Britain being militarily knocked out of the war. 


The Morgana battle for the Pacific may well ease or even erase tensions between the United States and the Empire of Japan, and even if they don't, you can't strike Pearl Harbor the way the Japanese did in our time line during war time. Even if you catch the defenders napping, which you probably won't in wartime, the bulk of the US Pacific fleet is going to be deployed, likely working with or at least coordinating with Japanese strike groups to contain the Morgana! Hitting battleship row will mean hitting concrete moorings and piers, not the bulk of American naval power in the Pacific. Considering the sheer scale of the Pacific war, it's quite possible there might not be much of a Japanese or American navy besides a few nationalistic belles that don't mind ditching their neutrality stripes. Which is a possibility for conflict against belles during the course of the game, and could make for some interesting plot. 

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Pac, I think you may be minimizing just how close a thing it was that Churchill became PM in early May 1940 and not Halifax. True, perhaps Graf Spee wouldn't have been the threat she was if she were Belle, and I agree her RL captain would have been a superb Belle captain, but without that win for Winston, the UK may have sued for peace. 

That said, I agree.  Without doing a thing except manifesting, Belles change history in so many ways. It's delicious to think about. :-)

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That's Dr.McNinja's point though. Without the Spee in the war, and the Kriegsmarine likely losing a good number of ships to the Morgana due to combat and awakening, Britain may well not be in the same dire straights that had people actively pondering surrender. The Morgana threat in the North Atlantic will make life harder as said, but it will also bring the Americans into the war, at least to the INPF, a couple years early. 

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Which does make you wonder if Churchill will still become Prime Minister or stay where he is at. Personally I would think he'd still come into power, this time rallying for fighting the Morganas but also keeping a close eye on the Fascists everywhere else

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I absolutely love the potential dynamic between Japan and the US for reluctantly (or enthusiastically) working together to hold the Pacific.   It's such an massive ocean with such important interests for both nations, they'd be foolish to not join arms at least against the Morgana.  The implications of no strike on pearl harbor for the war effort of the European nations is incomprehensible.  Without pearl harbor, and with the Morgana appearing, the US might be ready to shrink back far more than anyone could have imagined into their isolationist paradise, unwilling to assist other nations in the war against the Morgana, and light years away from assisting even their close allies in some unrelated war in Europe.

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So far only one of the 60 odd U-boats that started the war will be Belles. I doubt many more will be. It was the U-boats that almost brought Britain to her knees. 

Not sure if the US would start screening against mundane threats early.  Interesting question and one I plan to take on in my fic. :-)

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You can handle that one, DrYuriMom, as I'll be busy in my fic with potential relations between America and Japan.  It might be minor at first, but I'd love to explore the idea of a Combined International Pacific Fleet further.  It's just too juicy to ignore.  As far as U-boats, I think at least one more will be present there's no way they'd leave out U-47.

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I believe we most also keep in mind the Men and women these Belle follow loyally. Belles have turned the command and power structure of these services and nations on their heads. Suddenly a young man from Manchester would have as much power at his disposal as a senior admiral from the Royal Navy. A woman from California can now match the strength of the entire US Pacific fleet. There could quickly dawn a new "Age of the Great Person", allowing these individuals to change the course of history at that pivotal time.

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13 minutes ago, RockyArby said:

I believe we most also keep in mind the Men and women these Belle follow loyally. Belles have turned the command and power structure of these services and nations on their heads. Suddenly a young man from Manchester would have as much power at his disposal as a senior admiral from the Royal Navy. A woman from California can now match the strength of the entire US Pacific fleet. There could quickly dawn a new "Age of the Great Person", allowing these individuals to change the course of history at that pivotal time.

Last I remember John Falshaw was in his 30s and from Yorkshire :P

I will also be tackling British naval reactions and such to Belles in my fic, including my takes on Churchill and such

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30's is young. :P

Maybe Falshaw and Stirling will meet at Placentia Bay when Churchill and Roosevelt have thier first summit off Newfoundland. :-)

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2 minutes ago, Wellington99 said:

Last I remember John Falshaw was in his 30s and from Yorkshire :P

I will also be tackling British naval reactions and such to Belles in my fic, including my takes on Churchill and such

I originally had Liverpool written down but once I mentioned a woman from California it gave me the idea and I made a quick change ☺

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18 minutes ago, DrYuriMom said:

So far only one of the 60 odd U-boats that started the war will be Belles. I doubt many more will be. It was the U-boats that almost brought Britain to her knees. 

Not sure if the US would start screening against mundane threats early.  Interesting question and one I plan to take on in my fic. :-)

All it takes is mist exposure so far as we know. Likely the wolf packs will be the most vulnerable to this type of awakening as they forward deploy to engage trans Atlantic shipping. Plus Morgana practice ASW too. I'd guess a lot of the hulls that don't become Belles won't become Belles because they were sunk before they even had the chance to awaken. 

16 minutes ago, RockyArby said:

I believe we most also keep in mind the Men and women these Belle follow loyally. Belles have turned the command and power structure of these services and nations on their heads. Suddenly a young man from Manchester would have as much power at his disposal as a senior admiral from the Royal Navy. A woman from California can now match the strength of the entire US Pacific fleet. There could quickly dawn a new "Age of the Great Person", allowing these individuals to change the course of history at that pivotal time.

We have always been a species that loves our paragons and heroes, our great villains and brilliant minds. The Belles select men and women worthy to command them by whatever intangible means they possess to do so. A potent reminder that the potential for greatness can be immediately around you. The old Fishing Trawler captain You (as in the player avatar specifically) met at your very abbreviated OCS as they tried to make you at least look like an officer and get you running on how to command a warship or flotilla was chosen too. So is the housewife and mother of four who's left her children with her sister to join the war. Another is a cop. A former janitor. A WW1 vet short a leg and with shaking hands. They all have something in them that means they were chosen. It will be interesting to see what form that takes in terms of gameplay. Especially as we meet other belle captains in our adventures. 

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5 minutes ago, TwoHeavens said:

All it takes is mist exposure so far as we know. Likely the wolf packs will be the most vulnerable to this type of awakening as they forward deploy to engage trans Atlantic shipping. Plus Morgana practice ASW too. I'd guess a lot of the hulls that don't become Belles won't become Belles because they were sunk before they even had the chance to awaken. 

We have always been a species that loves our paragons and heroes, our great villains and brilliant minds. The Belles select men and women worthy to command them by whatever intangible means they possess to do so. A potent reminder that the potential for greatness can be immediately around you. The old Fishing Trawler captain You (as in the player avatar specifically) met at your very abbreviated OCS as they tried to make you at least look like an officer and get you running on how to command a warship or flotilla was chosen too. So is the housewife and mother of four who's left her children with her sister to join the war. Another is a cop. A former janitor. A WW1 vet short a leg and with shaking hands. They all have something in them that means they were chosen. It will be interesting to see what form that takes in terms of gameplay. Especially as we meet other belle captains in our adventures. 

Exactly, and there's no telling how these people will effect the war and beyond.

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10 minutes ago, DrYuriMom said:

30's is young. :P

Maybe Falshaw and Stirling will meet at Placentia Bay when Churchill and Roosevelt have thier first summit off Newfoundland. :-)

Who knows. It would be interesting to have them interact with each other. (Actually he is 43 as of 1941)

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Be interesting if your Belles can/or will tell you at some point why they selected you, and if it'll be anything more than a generic "Something something greatness, something something Uncle Ben speech." 

 

That said with Belle captains coming from all walks of life, and Belle capabilities meaning they can survive some xxx ups, thus ensuring the turn over rate in Belles and Captains isn't super high, I think it means the INPF will be a very resilient military force. A captain with the equivalent of a modern carrier battle group under their command might be an experienced naval officer, or a aging gardener from New Jersey. I think these individuals will be more likely to fight for and aggressively maintain the neutrality of the INPF, and better communicate the direness of their mission to the folks back home. More so than a naval officer who but for some notable examples, would likely be feeling a bit torn in loyalty to their parent service. Of course in the pool of "non naval officers" you can also find Soviet zampolit and fanatical SS officers, among other flavors of extremist and patriot. So that's not a hard and fast theory by any means.

That does lead to an issue with this topic though. Some of it depends on You. You will be in a unique position to change the course of history like Heracles diverting a river. Your choices will impact millions of lives, never mind the men and women under your direct command relying on the skipper and the belles to see them through.

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39 minutes ago, Ninjapacman said:

I absolutely love the potential dynamic between Japan and the US for reluctantly (or enthusiastically) working together to hold the Pacific.   It's such an massive ocean with such important interests for both nations, they'd be foolish to not join arms at least against the Morgana.  The implications of no strike on pearl harbor for the war effort of the European nations is incomprehensible.  Without pearl harbor, and with the Morgana appearing, the US might be ready to shrink back far more than anyone could have imagined into their isolationist paradise, unwilling to assist other nations in the war against the Morgana, and light years away from assisting even their close allies in some unrelated war in Europe.

On the flip side, Japan could also claim that thanks to a lack of naval parity due to the treaty years, she has no forces to spare defending anywhere that isn't part of her own territories/interests.

The military warhawks could even go as far as accuse the Americans and British of having advanced knowledge of the Morganas and intentionally sabotaging Japan's ability to defend herself now.

The Pacific would be in a precarious position, with each side potentially trying to encourage a let's-you-and-the-Morganas-fight, holding back resources until the other country's navy has expended itself against the Morganas. Add to that the Morganas providing immediate, unrestricted warfare on Japan's supply lines, and  I'd say the powerkeg's timer just got advanced by a couple of years.

Would a strike on Pearl Harbor be different?  You bet, when all the IJN has to do is look the other way so a Morgana fleet rolls over Hawaii, the Philippines and the rest of the Pacific. 

 

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It's easy to imagine that the Japanese think that.  I love the thousands of potential scenarios this idea creates, as I said.  I wouldn't be so sure about the Morgana rampaging across the pacific unchecked.  America has a hell of a navy, and they'd be doing their patriotic best to keep the new sea threat down.  Another point of note is that with how amazing america's shipbuilding industry became due to the threat of the Japanese Navy, imagine the potential that could be drawn out of it with a threat to the world's oceans?  It would be a threat to every single US outlying port, not to mention all their allies and interests at sea.  The US would become a monster, just as they had, but with a much different focus.

A thought just came to mind though.  What would happen to ships such as Midway (later known as St. Lo) and USS The Sullivans, who were named for events and people from the war?  If the Juneau becomes a belle and doesn't sink, or is sunk in safe waters because of a different deployment, and so many of her crew are rescued, The Sullivans would have no reason to be named as such.

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The thought occurs to you because Panay mentioned it just a little while ago. :P

As far as the rest, I would suggest a book called "Those Angry Years". Don't underestimate the intensity of US isolationist thought in the pre-Pearl Harbor years.  In 1939 the US didn't have allies as such. We were positively allergic to "foreign entanglements" because of how WWI started. That's why despite coming up with the idea the US never joined the League of Nations. 

I can sympathize with the desire to wax poetic about Japan, but don't forget that the Rape of Nanjing has already happened. The whole fabricated incident at the Marco Polo Bridge has already happened. The abuse of thier mandates in the western Pacific has already happened. Japan had already chosen thier path by 1939. While it is true that Roosevelt was the ultimate pragmatist, he was also very much a Sinophile. It's hard to imagine a scenario where "That Man in the White House" doesn't let Japan stew in thier own juice until they at least withdraw back to Manchuria if not all the way back across the Yalu. 

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5 minutes ago, DrYuriMom said:

The thought occurs to you because Panay mentioned it just a little while ago. :P

As far as the rest, I would suggest a book called "Those Angry Years". Don't underestimate the intensity of US isolationist thought in the pre-Pearl Harbor years.  In 1939 the US didn't have allies as such. We were positively allergic to "foreign entanglements" because of how WWI started. That's why despite coming up with the idea the US never joined the League of Nations. 

Heck the US in the 1930s was considering War Plan Red: An invasion of Canada and attacks on territories of the British Empire, so much so that it was fully planned out in the US, Canada and UK how to deal with it were it to happen

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I would like to mention that that was not the only reason the US didn't join the league of nations.  Congress was quite adamant that they were not willing to give up their sovereign right to declare war.  I think that the china situation's development is something we'll just have to see about in game, although I love to speculate about it here.  There's so many possibilities.  I don't think the US, despite it's love of power projection, would be willing to go to war with Japan over the incidents in China, especially due to their isolationism and the new Morgana threat.  They're not going to send a large fleet far across the pacific while the Morgana are a threat. 

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10 hours ago, Wellington99 said:

Heck the US in the 1930s was considering War Plan Red: An invasion of Canada and attacks on territories of the British Empire, so much so that it was fully planned out in the US, Canada and UK how to deal with it were it to happen

Well they at least did Indigo. ;) But...hm... now I know what to talk to them about. B)

Also I think some speculations are from my perspective.... wild.... to put it mildly. I.e. Churchill got no nayes in the house when voted for. Right after british norway invasion failed like it was gallipoli 1916 all over again. And now guess who planned that invasion..... who gave a rats ass about a single overestimated german battlecruiser 6 month ago? And Halifax said no himself. Because he knew appeasement wasn't an option anymore. He was not up for voting. And the Morgana threat is very much a total war situation. Just don't let Churchill talk you into any land invasions of ANY kind. 

And it probably should be kept in mind
1) we are talking VB here not "VBs of Iron - hyperspeculative history edition", so influence choices will probably be limited to naval war and some obvious consequences. Remember you start as a captain. Not supreme ruler of the INPF or something
2) I don't think you will have that much variety in background of the captains. 90% will be seamen already because how should a ordinary baker in Denver/Stuttgart/Orléans/Moscow/Milano/Harbin/Dehli get into contact with a belle in a port town (or elsewhere)? In fanfic you can put some variety in*, but I doubt ingame will be more variety than "which branch of seamen are you?" and then choose your shirt color. But who am I to talk.

So yeah, the pacific will be heavily influenced, while in europe alea acta est. The questions seem smaller, not so fundamental. Will Italy attack france? What about operation Barbarossa? But everything else is in motion. And yes if you can somehow influence the germans to make peace with that aircraft carrier just north of france.... chamberlain may remain until a normal general election. But why cease to steamroll all of poland, france, netherlands and belgium? It's a landwar. And in the cases of belgium (no belles yet) and poland (yes, even if the whole polish navy turns into Belles defending the homeland......) the Belle argument is.... weak? 

But just to entertain myself and maybe some of my fellow captains:
I talked aboot the fokker Churchill above already. But the RN has the hardest time.

Pacific:
Japan and US.... well I think you get a cold war situation with them. They try to push the threat of Morganas into the waters of the other. But at the same time they try to maintain the balance of power between them. See the funny dance?
And the US has to care for the atlantic theater as well. And now tell me dear american captains: How about Japan "offers" you to take care of the pacific, so you can strong arm the Morganas in the atlantic? 
Only if that fails after months or years they will cooperate. As spain showed: "Neutral" can be up to interpretation. I even think both Japan AND the US will consider and maybe try negotiations with the Morganas. Just think about a Pearl Harbour or Midway situation with added Morganas in the battle, fighting for one side.
And please don't forget three other Belle-navies also play a part there: the lovely royal navy, being in the Morgana buisness worldwide, sometimes as sole force.... the soviet navy, directly on the other sides of Nihon. And little dutchland, cranking it up in the dutch indies. Their role will be fun. They are "in touch" with the japanese, the US and the royal navy there. But also share borders with france (in the carribean) and germany. "The Netherlands: Half the navy, thrice the fight."

Indian ocean: Good luck RN. India (and everyone else) could get cut off for real and just go all independent way before 1947, when you fail to secure them or their seas. They already drew a lot of forces from there to fight against the nazis when having the luxury to remove forces from there, but now you have to stay weaker in the north sea and atlantic or risk losing colonies. And france faces a similar problem. Italy too, but as mentioned has the luxury of committing to the INPF and thus securing Abessinia, because EVERYONE concerned needs the red sea secured. Can you feel the amore Italy?

Atlantic:
The northern part is juicy and full of navies. And if you mix in the colour plans of the US for inva..... securing carribean isles, party starts real good.
But the south? Just Graf Spee and her suitors/punters/hunters. Also south america without Belles and some colonies in danger to get cut off and independent.

Special case soviet union: Three small seas (baltic, black and japanese), in all three theaters an "ally" in the fight against the Morganas (Germany/Poland?, Turkey and Japan). Smells a bit too easy for me, but it gives the opportunity to aid far away.... with the Morgana and capitalist thread alike.
 

And now, due to my obvious bias, my two cents on the weimar republic, currently under nazi management, also known as germany, the nazi reich, the third reich, the german reich or just "The Reich". (Reicht's jetzt? Ja, es reicht.)
Yeah, the logical choice is to sack poland. According to updates, the INPF forms on 28th of September. Germany literally sacks warzaw that day and meets the soviets halfway through poland. I can't possibly imagine how a single Belle captain changes the course of a campaign only slightly concerned by sea war. Also the Mists calm down the thread of the royal and french navy (probably busy on their own). And now we can talk peace. Or cease fire or not. Because: Land borders! Big juicy land borders. Denmark, Netherlands (special case, because of the Belles and neutral), Belgium, France..... Paris, here we come. French and british supply lines are on the seas, germans... not so much. The Kattegat has to be fought and kept open for nordish supplies and in the baltic sea: Our new "friend" soviet union and the Kriegsmarine have a lot of ships and a comparably small sea with their Walküren to patrol for Nixen. So yeah.... let's grab what's healthy and ripe and then peace... sure, why not.
That's the "logical" choice. It's nearly as boring as the "100% peaceful" choice (which is highly unlikely, but maybe possible). But what if you get out the nazi megalomania "fight them all"? Welcome to hard mode I guess? So yeah, I speculate germany is the only country with three predictable difficulty settings. 

*DYM's example is impressive and conclusive. Just saying.

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I've been mulling it over and perhaps Mussolini would come to an agreement with Britain. I mean he wants the Mediterranean as his private lake but with the Morganas running loose, the Brits have the only ways into the Med. He and Italy should know that if the Brits don't hold Gibraltar and the Suez, Italy is done for. It'd be beneficial to agree to something

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Pac, I didn't say the US would go to war with Japan over China. Far from it. If the US had been interested, it would have happened in RL. No, we weren't going to war over anything except an attack against us. But to my mind there's little chance of a US-Japan alliance of anything but passing convenience as long as Roosevelt is in office and Japanese soldiers are up the Yangtze. For better or for worse he was a hopeless romantic over the Chinese. China owes its seat on the UN Security Council to Roosevelt's insistence, Stalin's indulgence, and Churchill's impotence. 

Korky, as much as I will agree that Churchill has a chequered past (pun intended), I still laud him as the single most important person of the 20th century. Without him, Britain would have sued for peace with the collapse of France and Hitler could have taken the USSR with only token forces holding the north and west and with a Luffwaffe full of planes that hadn't been frittered away over English skies. Rarely do you have a moment where history pivots on one man, but in May 1940 it happened. 

And danke for the nod to Rep Stirling. I'm glad you like her. :-)

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