British Win Big At Jutland (May 31-June 1 1916).
Europe Fights Out WW1 Without U.S. Involvement.
The Finally Victorious Allies Allows the U.S. No Say At Versailles.
In early 1915, before his dismissal from the Admiralty over the Gallipoli quagmire, Winston Churchill has a dream or epiphany regarding naval aviation. Aircraft with wheels will have more range and performance than float equipped aircraft. He wants to fly aircraft off the flat foredeck of a ship and land back along side via flotation airbags. The reason for this is that floatplanes need a rather calm water surface to take off and land. The main theater for the British and German Fleets is the North Sea. The weather conditions can be horrible with heavy seas and mist and fog even in the Summer months. The German Zeppelins fulfill reconnaissance duties for their fleet, with near impunity. However, the British chose to concentrate on the Aeroplane, chiefly float equipped. These have little chance of climbing to attitude or speed to catch the Zeppelins. or to carry a pilot and observer with a heavy arc style wireless transmitter.
The Point of Departure in this universe is to form a team to make the First Lord’s (mythical) vision become reality. The team consists of a 46 year old Royal Navy captain by the name of Edgar Trent, who is an excellent “Blue Sky” theorist and able to grasp several threads of a problem at once. His assistant and former graduate student is a 31 year old Scot by the name of Aaron Tompkins. Tompkins hails from Aberdeen and is in exceptional physical condition. A man of action, he is also Trent’s best student.
The pair set preliminary plans in motion; mainly accelerating the development of needed specialized equipment. The first story opens in Zanzibar where a British victory over a stranded German light cruiser is being celebrated by the local sultan…