USN and RN clash in WW1

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Roddoss72
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USN and RN clash in WW1

Post by Roddoss72 » 16 Jul 2010 00:45

Here is a scenario that is pure fiction, please don't take it seriously, it is written as a story, but i welcome any comments.

Try to keep all comments civil.

So what i understand of those posters above is that Britain can do as she pleases, even going to a point of firing at US Merchant ships if they don't stop. Ok here is another what if, just say the above mentioned ship does what i have indicated and the RN is forced to fire at the ship, but miscalculates the warning shot and hits the ship, and the ship sinks with more than a few American crew lost.


The US Government protests to Britain, and decides that she will no longer abide by the British Blockade, and begins to send armed convoys to Germany. Britain responds that she will enforce the blockade, regardsless. The US does what it threatens to do and sends an armed escorted convoy to Germany, with strict orders to break the blockade. As the convoy reaches mid Atlantic there is a confrontation, nobody knows who fired first, but a naval firefight breaks out between the USN and RN, luckily no ships are sunk, but some are heavily damaged, especially those of the USN. President Woodrow Wilson, already seething over the British attempt at using passenger liners as gun runners order the expulsion of the British Embassy, freezes all British assets and place a full embargo on Britian. In turn the US begins to place their own blockade on Britian, this is helped by the addtition of the German navy and the Germans and American begin to work in co-operation with each other.

Britain is beginning to feel the effects of the US/German blockade, something must be done to force the issue, but at this point the US is still technically still neutral, but is a belligerant neutral. The Admiralty decides to withdraw almost all naval units within the Atalantic and Mediterannean. There by the grace of Allah, Britain launches an all out offensive against the US/German navies, Britain has decided that if the US wants war she'll get a war to remember.

To be continued.

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Roddoss72
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Re: Franz von Papen hits pay dirt.

Post by Roddoss72 » 16 Jul 2010 00:52

Terry Duncan wrote:
What if we had an incident that a US Registered and flagged merchant vessel transporting goods to Germany. It is intercepted, but the captain refuses the RN to board to inspect his ship and tells the RN to go to hell. Citing that as far as he is concerned that the ship is US soil and any attempt to board is an invasion what then.
As others have pointed out, this captain would be well on his way to getting his ship sunk if he continued with such sillyness. Navies have a right to stop and search any vessel in their waters, in a war zone, or suspected to be bound for a hostile destination, and merchant captains are supposed to follow the guidelines set down for such times. Failing to stop would instantly invalidate the ships insurance - some very happy owners will ensure the captain never works again - and place the ship in the position of acting in violation of the law. Ships do stop for a reason in these circumstances, and not just fear, they are required to do so. As to the status of 'US soil' he could always apply to the US government to become a floating embassy, but until that was granted he enjoys no immunity from the laws that require him to submit to search for contraband.
If a ship is in international waters and is forced to stop, whatever the circumstance, boarded and cargo seized and crew captured, could anyone conclude that is an act of piracy, what happens if the US Government decides that the actions of Britian is international piracy and firing on any US Flagged and registered ship that is prepared to break the blockade is an act of belligerence and will not be tolerated. Especially tagged onto the after effects of knowing that the RMS Lusitania was been used as an illegal gun runner.

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Re: Franz von Papen hits pay dirt.

Post by Terry Duncan » 16 Jul 2010 01:36

So what i understand of those posters above is that Britain can do as she pleases, even going to a point of firing at US Merchant ships if they don't stop
No. All navies can do this, it is how anti-smuggling and anti-piracy patrols work even today. Whilst some US posters online think the US is not subject to international laws such as this, they do still apply.
the RN is forced to fire at the ship, but miscalculates the warning shot and hits the ship, and the ship sinks with more than a few American crew lost.
A first warning shot would be fired a long way wide, a second would be across the bows. Even so, the first is a signal that if you do not comply, force will be used. If the captain refuses to stop he is forcing the issue with the warship and making her fire. This is why everyone will blame the captain in your scenario.
If a ship is in international waters and is forced to stop, whatever the circumstance, boarded and cargo seized and crew captured, could anyone conclude that is an act of piracy
Only if the correct procedures were not followed when the vessel was docked and the case brought before a judge.
what happens if the US Government decides that the actions of Britian is international piracy
The US alone did not make international law, so this would not happen, no matter how unjust the US felt the seizure.
firing on any US Flagged and registered ship that is prepared to break the blockade is an act of belligerence and will not be tolerated.
The US has the option of A - joining the conflict, B - telling its merchant captains to follow international law, or C - escorting any ship that wishes to sail on a route likely to be blocked by warships that could involve the US in hostilities. Guess which all nations will opt for.

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Re: Franz von Papen hits pay dirt.

Post by phylo_roadking » 16 Jul 2010 02:26

Roddoss, remember that the United States was a signatory to Hague, Geneva, Paris etc. and thus both accepted the right of stop-and-search AND had the ability to enforce it themselves if they were at war :wink: That's why this...
what happens if the US Government decides that the actions of Britian is international piracy
...would not happen; America would have to formally remove itself from various pertinent treaties and conventions and thus no longer enjoy their protections.
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Re: Franz von Papen hits pay dirt.

Post by BDV » 16 Jul 2010 03:40

Terry Duncan wrote:
what happens if the US Government decides that the actions of Britian is international piracy

The US alone did not make international law, so this would not happen, no matter how unjust the US felt the seizure.
But neither did England decide what the law WAS, neither did France, or the totality of the Entente, for that matter. And historically US did protest against a number of English actions. And Sweden's interpretation of the laws at the time was also never proven wrong, except by force of arms.

So yes, US could have taken other tack to the RN blockade. That would have required a different historical setting, but it would have been physically possible, as opposed to AlienSpaceBats.

And I should reckon that USofA did at one point tell the limeys and frogs to do a goon recall, in 1956.

The US has the option of A - joining the conflict, B - telling its merchant captains to follow international law, or C - escorting any ship that wishes to sail on a route likely to be blocked by warships that could involve the US in hostilities. Guess which all nations will opt for.
No, there are many other options. Like not backing the AngloFrench debt. Or extending the courtesy to Germany. Building merchant submarines of its own (especially for trade with neutrals). And so on and so forth.

Also for point B, again, it's "international law" as interpreted by the US government, not the British government.
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Re: Franz von Papen hits pay dirt.

Post by Tim Smith » 16 Jul 2010 07:38

Might makes right. But 1915 America was not as powerful as 1956 America.

In 1915, America is only a Great Power, not a superpower. And in 1915, Britain is a Great Power too. The two are roughly equal.

So just as America in 1956 could not impose its will on Russia, 1915 America cannot impose its will on Britain. Britain at this time is too powerful to be bullied into changing its policies.

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Re: Franz von Papen hits pay dirt.

Post by LWD » 16 Jul 2010 13:36

I believe there was a Japanese ship stopped by the British in the Pacific prior to PH. The British removed several German nationals and the Japanese protested via the international court system. I believe the decision was in favor of the Japanese. Looking up the details of this incident might be helpful to show how a similar real case developed.

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Re: USN and RN clash in WW1

Post by Andy H » 16 Jul 2010 13:56

this thread is split off from the Papen thread.

Roddoss wrote:
In turn the US begins to place their own blockade on Britian, this is helped by the addtition of the German navy and the Germans and American begin to work in co-operation with each other.
I would be interested in seeing your logistical planning by the USN for supplying its blockading forces some several thousand miles from its home bases.

Regards

Andy H

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Takao
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Re: USN and RN clash in WW1

Post by Takao » 16 Jul 2010 14:31

LWD,

That was the Japanese liner Asama Maru, stopped by HMS Liverpool. Here is the thread on it. http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 1&t=162253

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Re: USN and RN clash in WW1

Post by BDV » 16 Jul 2010 14:49

Andy H wrote: I would be interested in seeing your logistical planning by the USN for supplying its blockading forces some several thousand miles from its home bases.
The mouth of Saint Lawrence and Vancouver are "several" thousands of miles away from US bases?!?

You don't say! :P
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Re: USN and RN clash in WW1

Post by Baltasar » 16 Jul 2010 14:51

BDV wrote: The mouth of Saint Lawrence and Vancouver are "several" thousands of miles away from US bases?!?

Erm... May be I'm misreading something here, but....
Roddoss wrote: In turn the US begins to place their own blockade on Britian, this is helped by the addtition of the German navy and the Germans and American begin to work in co-operation with each other.
I would be interested in seeing your logistical planning by the USN for supplying its blockading forces some several thousand miles from its home bases.

Regards

Andy H

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Re: USN and RN clash in WW1

Post by Roddoss72 » 16 Jul 2010 15:10

Andy H wrote:this thread is split off from the Papen thread.

Roddoss wrote:
In turn the US begins to place their own blockade on Britian, this is helped by the addtition of the German navy and the Germans and American begin to work in co-operation with each other.
I would be interested in seeing your logistical planning by the USN for supplying its blockading forces some several thousand miles from its home bases.

Regards

Andy H
I have just seen a site which indicates that as of August 1914 the USN can supply at least 12 Battleships, 20 Cruisers and 20 Destroyers, these ships would operate out of Germany and work with the Imperial German Navy.

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Re: USN and RN clash in WW1

Post by BDV » 16 Jul 2010 15:19

Baltasar wrote:"BDV"
The mouth of Saint Lawrence and Vancouver are "several" thousands of miles away from US bases?!?


Erm... May be I'm misreading something here, but....

I meant, there is blockade of the British Empire work to do for the USN that does not involve proximity to the British Isles.
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Re: USN and RN clash in WW1

Post by Baltasar » 16 Jul 2010 15:22

Roddoss72 wrote:
I have just seen a site which indicates that as of August 1914 the USN can supply at least 12 Battleships, 20 Cruisers and 20 Destroyers, these ships would operate out of Germany and work with the Imperial German Navy.
And that source is where exactly?

Not to mention that the US would have no intend at all to put their ships under German command. They'd rather try to annoy the Brits (and possibly French) where they could hurt them easier. Carribic sea, South American outposts, the Far east. It would simply be more sensible to to that instead of trying to get into a fight with what was probably the single most powerful navy in the world at that time, let alone in their home waters.

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Re: USN and RN clash in WW1

Post by Baltasar » 16 Jul 2010 15:26

BDV wrote:
Baltasar wrote:"BDV"
The mouth of Saint Lawrence and Vancouver are "several" thousands of miles away from US bases?!?


Erm... May be I'm misreading something here, but....

I meant, there is blockade of the British Empire work to do for the USN that does not involve proximity to the British Isles.
It seems that the northern provinces were granted independence almost fifty years earlier already. Unless the mounties want to escalate the quarrel between the US and Britain, there'd hardly be anything to do for the US forces there.

But it'd be interesting to see how it'd reflect on the commonwealth forces based in France. The 1st Canadian Division embarked for France in early 1915 with the 2nd and 4th Division making ready to depart for France in mid-late 1915, while the 3rd was being formed in France by December 1915. With tensions rising between the US and Britain, I can hardly imagine Canadian forces involved in operations abroad, which in turn would deprive the Entente of 60,000+ men. May be this would be the case for ANZAC forces, too.

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