William Walkers Nicaragua
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Author:  seeker36340 [ January 25th, 2017, 11:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: William Walkers Nicaragua

The chance of a Walker government siding with the Union is pretty slim ... ilibuster)

Author:  RegiaMarina1939 [ January 26th, 2017, 1:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: William Walkers Nicaragua

seeker36340 wrote:
The chance of a Walker government siding with the Union is pretty slim ... ilibuster)
Yeah I know, but there were imperialist elements of the American government at the time that wouldn't have frowned upon an American client state/colony in Central America, and that is what we have here.

Author:  Tobius [ January 26th, 2017, 5:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: William Walkers Nicaragua

Since he was shot in 1860 by the Hondurans, it might as well be AUed that he was shot instead by the infuriated "Abolitionist Faction" of his Filibuster when he tried to introduce slavery into Nicaragua. Then a sort of Liberia kind of evolution of the "colony" (or use the Haitian example if you want the more RTL dark chapter realism in Central American history to play out), can be speculated with a "fugitive slave haven" being created for runaways from Brazil and the US.

Americans show up in either case to dig a big ditch, (make sure you account for the earthquake, yellow fever and French Imperialism).

Voila, Walker's Nicaragua... without Walker. But with Harlock the Pirate!

Author:  RegiaMarina1939 [ March 30th, 2017, 1:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: William Walkers Nicaragua

The Walker:

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Design: With recent acquisitions of modern warships by multiple nations, and the inflated state of the United States Navy after the Civil War, the Nicaraguans were worried about their own security and economic share in the Caribbean. To that end, they approached the British (the world's top builders of warships for foreign nations.) The design agreed upon was based on preliminary design studies for British colonial gunboat monitors, and displaced roughly 3,500 tons. At 225 feet, she was a stubby little craft, but a stable gun platform in the relatively calm waters off the Nicaraguan coast. In fact, her maiden voyage across the Atlantic for delivery was the most harrowing ordeal for her crew. She was, for a while, the most powerful warship in the service of any Central or South American nation, and even the Americans were eager to observe her on maneuvers. That being said, she was also extremely costly for the navy, and a strain on national resources, despite the nation being in a relative industrial boom time as a result of the Civil War and the economic improvements that resulted from it.

Armament: The Walker carried an armament of 4 main guns of 10-inch caliber, arranged symmetrically in twin turrets fore and aft. Manufactured by the Royal Arsenal in Great Britain, they fired
a 400-pound (181. 4 kg) shell to a maximum range of 6,000 yards (5,500 meters) at a muzzle velocity of 1,364 feet (416 meters) per second. The turrets were revolved by steam machinery powered by the engines, and the guns could be withdrawn into the turret and depressed to reload through the muzzle via hydraulic ramming. Secondary armament consisted of nothing but a pair of 12-pounder smoothbore muzzle-loaders that were mounted upon arrival in Nicaragua, replaced in the 1880's by a quartet of Gatling machine guns for defense against the emerging threat of torpedo-armed boats. Defense against this threat was strengthened again in the 1890's with the replacement of the Gatling guns by 6-pounder Hotchkiss guns and the addition of a pair of 3-inch swiveling guns.

Armor: Armor was based on the same scheme as contemporary British monitors, with the waterline belt armored with around 6-8 inches of steel, the breastwork being approximately 10 inches thick, and 10-inch armor on the turrets as well. She was also fitted with an armored deck of 1.25 inches thickness. Armored shutters 2.5-inches thick closed over the gun ports during reloading and non-combat situations, and gratings in the funnel prevented any debris or shrapnel from crippling the boiler plant below. One of the biggest design faults was that the deckhouses on the uppermost deck were completely unarmored and vulnerable to enemy fire, an issue made even more grave by the fact that the command staff used these structures during combat situations.

Machinery: Propulsion was based around a steam plant manufactured by Maudslay Son and Field, and consisted of a pair of compound steam engines. These were driven by 4 coal-fired rectangular boilers, also manufactured in England. The machinery also served to drive the revolving mechanisms for the turrets. She could make 10 knots under good conditions, with 7 being the economical steaming speed. In total, the plant developed 1,750 horsepower driving two shafts.

Service history: The ship was delivered in 1871, and after a harrowing voyage across the Atlantic to reach Nicaragua, she engaged in a cruise around Central America, the United States, and the Caribbean. Her service career was quiet for the initial years, after which she was called into action to shell coastal towns in Honduras. For the rest of the war she served as a support vessel for landings on the Honduran coast, and even housed the Nicaraguan admiralty command staff during amphibious operations. After this, she was refitted at the Naval Yard in Puerto Cabezas, receiving the aforementioned Gatling guns on her uppermost deck around the funnel and deckhouses. She remained in this state until the 1890's, when she was fitted with new machinery and a larger funnel, as well as 4 x 6-pounder Hotchkiss QF guns and a pair of 3-inch guns on her lower deck to port and starboard. She was maintained in service until 1910, when she was deactivated and placed on reserve. By now the guns had been replaced with 8-inch guns of American make in new twin turrets. She was grounded on a sand bar outside Puerto Cabezas in 1917 when Nicaragua joined the USA in the First World War. In this position she acted as a stationary battery, and her masts and funnel had been cut down and replaced with a single larger mast amidships for carrying the gun directors. After a few years in this position, anything of value was taken off her and she was blown up by the Engineer Corps.

---The refitted version of the Walker will be posted as a separate entry.---

Author:  RegiaMarina1939 [ March 31st, 2017, 10:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: William Walkers Nicaragua

The Abolition of slavery:

-The government of Nicaragua was well aware of the conflict that would soon erupt in North America, and they were aware that the Union would put pressure on them soon to end slavery within their own borders. This seemed simple in theory, but the government new it would take a serious campaign to fix the issue of slavery before American pressure was put on them. They knew they had to start small. In 1858, the Servitude Limitation Act was passed by Nicaragua's Congress. This act placed serious limits on the amount of slaves imported, and the figure was cut back to around 30 slaves a month, as compared to the nearly 100 before the act was passed. It was a major victory for the abolitionists, and for other politicians, who were on the Union payroll. Next came the big plantations. A 2.5% tax was placed on slaves being bought and sold, and all slave sales had to be registered in a government office. Government railroads also ended service to plantations, making it more costly and difficult to bring in new slaves and export goods. Plantation owners fought back, forming the Nicaraguan Agricultural Society, a political lobby group who payed their own lawyers and politicians to confront the European/American-backed abolitionist movement. Several lawsuits were filed, but the majority of them were resolved with little consequences for either side.

-In 1860, some serious change arrived. William Walker was shot while on a visit to Honduras. It was a major public upset, and nearly resulted in a national tragedy when the government was deadlocked in proceedings. However, a new president was chosen in a rather-rushed public referendum. His name was Jose' de Santa Maria, and he was far more liberal than Walker. While sticking to traditional constitutional principles, he advocated for the advancement of blacks and the abolishing of slavery. Financed by foreign powers, he was able to pass more laws that completely banned the importation of slaves to Nicaragua. Plantation owners were incensed at this decision, and often chose to import the slaves secretly through Honduras. This was, however, very costly and time-consuming, and not very effective. Santa Maria soon learned of these activities, and the army began construction of a series of forts and outposts to watch the border for slave convoys. Cavalry patrols were used to monitor activity and trade. Later that same year, another law was passed. The Logistical Slavery Act of 1860 placed a 5% tax on slaves being transported via private railroad, which made them unprofitable to carry for some railroads. The Second Servitude Limitation Act was passed in 1861, just before the start of the war. It completely banned all transport of slaves on private railroads and ferry lines, and placed a 1.5% tax on all products produced with slave labor. The Industrial Labor Act of 1861, passed just a few months later, banned slaves from working in industrial facilities and in construction. The number of slaves in the nation had fallen from 3,500 in 1855 to just 1,000 in 1861.

-In 1861, the American Civil War started with a Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. In Nicaragua, pro-slavery militias formed, financed by private interests, mostly plantation owners and railroad companies. Government troops clashed with these groups several times, resulting in over 50 deaths in some engagements. The border was put on high alert, with the forts being readied with stocks of ammunition, and having their weapons replaced with modern artillery. Troops were again stationed on every railroad and every train, to seize cargoes of slaves. The Human Rights Act of 1861 banned slavery completely, declaring it a "barbaric and primitive institution" and stating that all slaves were to be set free. The country was largely pacified through use of government troops, leading to a major public outcry in several places. The Confederate Government declared a boycott on Nicaragua, and Nicaragua declared war on the Confederacy.

-During and after the war, the former slave labor force was starting to be employed in construction and industry, but the vast majority of them remained in the agricultural sector. Low wages due to discrimination, indentured servitude, and American-style "sharecropping" plagued the nation during this time. Some issues were resolved by legalizing voting rights for former slaves and setting up social programs, but they remained near to the bottom of the social hierarchy. Many of them moved to bigger cities and towns, were the population was more accepting, but most still were confined to poor conditions in the countryside. These problems would continue to plague the nation for years to come, and would take serious government action to resolve.

Author:  RegiaMarina1939 [ April 1st, 2017, 6:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: William Walkers Nicaragua

-Basic history of Nicaragua 1859-1865:

Industrialization and the Economy: Throughout the period immediately before the Civil War, Nicaragua's economy grew to include many primitive industries. The sugar business was still the nation's main employer, with over 8,000 people working on the big plantations on the East Coast alone, but it took a serious hit after the anti-slavery laws were introduced. In the major cities like Puerto Cabezas and Potosi (which were also the nations main naval bases) there were several large firms devoted to heavy industrial practices. Among these were the Puerto Cabezas ironworks, which operated a massive facility equipped with British-made hydraulic presses, rolling machines, and enormous furnaces. The works produced boilers, plating, agricultural machinery, rolling stock, and ships. Some of these were sold around South America and Africa, making Nicaragua the first industrial exporter in Central America. Demand for Nicaraguan sugar and cotton rose during the Civil War, especially in Europe and the Northern States, due to the unavailability of Confederate products. Industries boomed with war production, and the railroads also experienced considerable growth with government money to transport soldiers and military freight. The economic prosperity experienced during this time continued for several years after the war ended, with the nation supplying industrial products and other goods to a war-torn America.

Politics: In 1859, president Walker experienced a significant popularity drop due to the introduction of his new anti-slavery laws, something that pained him to do. However, he was removed from the equation in 1860 when he was shot and killed on a visit to Honduras. His successor, Jose' de Santa Maria, annihilated the institution of slavery altogether, and pushed the country into the modern age. Public opinion was largely in favor of his decision due to the constant anti-slavery propaganda that was paid for by foreign-backed abolitionists. Small resistance groups backed by plantation owners and more conservative elements of the public were defeated at the hands of the army. Following these events, the nation joined the Civil War on behalf of the North.

Participation in the Civil War: With the declaration of war in 1861, Nicaragua was at first divided. Should they join the war and fight alongside the Union, or should they keep to themselves? They were eventually pushed into helping by Union pressure, and the first Nicaraguan forces arrived in the Gulf of Mexico that same year. Their first major battle occurred in 1862, when Navy ships accompanied the Union forces in the attack against New Orleans. The Granada-class steam sloops fired hundreds of shells at the city, and escorted Union supply and transport ships throughout the battle. A task force of Nicaraguan sailing vessels patrolled the seas around Cuba and Hispaniola, and successfully captured 12 or more blockade runners and merchant ships destined for Confederate ports or carrying Confederate cargo. Two years later, they again took part in a battle. Five Nicaraguan ships took part in the attack on Mobile, Alabama, shelling Confederate forts and landing over 100 marines that helped the Union forces storm Fort Morgan. After the war, Nicaraguan forces continued to occupy Southern ports and cities. They were withdrawn completely by 1875, being re-routed to places in the Caribbean that needed policing and defense.

Author:  RegiaMarina1939 [ April 25th, 2018, 2:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: William Walkers Nicaragua

I know this thread has been dead for a while, but its time for me to revive it!

Updates and history, immediately after the U.S. Civil War:

Economy/Industry: Due to a combination of government incentives and foreign investment, as well as war stimulus, the Nicaraguan economy was in a bit of a golden period at this time. Most of the major national ports on both coasts had been outfitted with steam cranes, and featured rail connections to the rest of the country. Railroads had been a major part of government economic policy during the war, as a modern rail network was very important to running a country in wartime. The first trans-national railway was built by U.S. contractors and connected Puerto Cabezas (the nations foremost port and industrial center on the west coast) and the Capital of Managua. Construction started in 1858 and finished in 1863. At the same time, roads were being paved in the more densely-populated areas. While the interior featured rail links to most places, its roads were still rugged and unpaved. Despite all this development, however, the nation still remained primarily agricultural economically. Sugarcane was the dominant crop, and it alone brought in more income than all the industry in the country combined in 1860. By 1868, most of the nations sugarcane farming was controlled by a single firm, Azucar Nacional de Nicaragua (National Sugar of Nicaragua.) Formed by a government board in 1867, it was an effort to centralize sugar production into one entity. The government paid various companies to merge together and focus their management into one central office. This lead to better logistics for sugar production, maximizing profits. This was further helped by the company taking over sugar processing after the harvest, and paying to connect plantations and refineries to the rail network. As for heavy industry, it primarily remained focused in the major population centers and towards the coast. Heavy industry was mostly owned by foreign interests, and consisted of several ironworks, including the famous one in Puerto Cabezas which was built by British investors, as well as the government-owned Navy yard and ironworks in Corinto. However, by 1875, most of the economic boom had settled down, and the economy began to level off. Citizens became more careful with their spending, and overall growth began to slow. The nation began to focus its efforts more on social policies and bettering itself intellectually and politically from this point on.

Politics: In 1868, president Santa Maria finished his second term, his successor was the less liberal Jorge Hidalgo. Hidalgo's campaign was largely backed by corporate interests and American investors. His platform centered around better education, infrastructure, and restructuring of social codes and laws to streamline them and remove racially-based laws. While Hidalgo himself was a former slave owner, and wasn't pleased about the legislation put in place by the previous administration, he realized that those times could never return and the nation must move forward. He claimed that he would reform election laws and other legislation to remove any racial bias, and did actually fulfill this promise. However, he couldn't take the stereotypes and predetermined notions away from the people, and the bias remained for a while after. On the other hand, his education reforms did a lot of good for the people. A dedicated public education system was set up, funding was increased, and government universities for intellectual studies were created in the capital and several other cities. At the same time, government action created vocational training schools for the common man, helping to create a skilled workforce for the country. Increased funding for infrastructure also helped improve roads and railroads around the country, and increased the port capacity on both coasts.

-More drawings are coming, as is navy and other armed forces history!

Author:  RegiaMarina1939 [ April 25th, 2018, 3:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: William Walkers Nicaragua

All drawings have also been redone and re-uploaded!

Author:  RegiaMarina1939 [ November 12th, 2018, 7:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: William Walkers Nicaragua

Found some material I did a while back and forgot to post, so here it is!

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-Ever since the Nicaraguan Government had established it's navy, it realized it could not possibly hope to compete with any major nation in terms of capital ships or fleet size. Thus, the naval staff adopted a doctrine very similar to that known to the French Marine Nationale as "Jeune Ecole." This doctrine was made even more efficient and practical by the invention of the torpedo boat. The fleet was therefore focused around a core of torpedo boats and coastal defense ships, backed by coastal guns and naval mines, and eventually submarines. To this end, the fleet was allowed to order a set of 4 experimental torpedo craft from yards in England. The class, known as the DESTRUCTOR class, was ordered from Vickers in London. Equipped with the latest in propulsion technology, they were propelled by a pair of triple expansion engines driven by a quartet of coal fired boilers that could push them to a top speed of 21 knots. Armament consisted of 47-mm "1-pounder" QF guns on the bow and stern platforms, as well as a center rotating 17.7-inch torpedo tube, and another fixed bow tube of the same caliber. Each had a single reload and fired Whitehead explosive torpedoes. There was no defined command or bridge structure, the Captain led the crew from the bow gun platform area. With very limited crew quarters and no provision for long travel, the vessels had to return to shore and could not sustain themselves for long voyages. This was perfectly fine, however, as there intended area of operations was extremely limited. Laid down in 1881, they were commissioned just the following year. They served without incident until 1889, when war broke out with Honduras and they were deployed as part of a task force to the Honduran coast to support amphibious marine landings. They came under fire from entrenched coastal artillery and took moderate damage, but due to the lack of a Honduran navy, they made it through the war without major incident. After the war they were placed on reserve, patrolling the coast and training new sailors. In 1908, ANIQUILADOR ran aground while on a coastal patrol and was disarmed and gutted on site, the hulk being used for target practice. The remaining 3 ships of the class were on patrol duty during WW1, converted to minelayers and eventually decommissioned and scrapped in 1919.

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-While the DESTRUCTOR class had many benefits and brought a new dynamic to Nicaraguan naval forces, they did have a few shortcomings. Chief among these was the lack of a command structure and limited space for carrying torpedo reloads. The much larger FUROR class was ordered as an improvement on the previous set of ships in 1884 (commissioned in 1885), marked by a pronounced command bridge forward. They again had the traditional arrangement of 2 deck guns and 1 fixed + 1 rotating 17.7 inch torpedo tubes. Gun power was increased to help deal with threats from other torpedo boats, replacing one 47mm deck gun with a 6-pounder 57mm with a better firing arc. But the real benefit for these ships was the additional torpedo storage for 3 more reloads. The enhanced seakeeping ability afforded by a larger size, combined with more armament and ammunition made them much more fit for long-term combat than their predecessors. Still, they were powered by the same triple expansion engines, which while reliable weren't the most powerful and the ships experienced no significant improvement over their predecessors in terms of speed, although bunker space was larger than on the DESTRUCTOR class. They also were deployed to Honduras during the war, accompanied by the preceding class on the same missions. They suffered no real damage during the war, supporting marine landings and occupying Honduran ports, and served peacefully until WW1, when they sailed to the Gulf Of Mexico to escort shipping, and defended oil operations in the Caribbean Sea. FUROR was torpedoed by a German U-Boat in 1917, and was ripped in half by a violent explosion caused by ignition of the ammunition storage lockers. All hands were lost. The rest of the class was retired between 1919 and 1921, to make way for newer and improved light combatants.

Comments/Questions Welcome!

Author:  eswube [ November 14th, 2018, 10:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: William Walkers Nicaragua

Nice, but I think that Furor is missing some details, both below and above the waterline. ;)

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