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A Brief History of the 20th Century: An Alternate timeline

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Tzar Alexander II of Russia was one of the most extraordinary monarchs in history. He abolished Serfdom, granted increased rights to the middle class, and looked well on the way to making Russia a democracy. And then, in 1881, he was assassinated.

History hinges on a moment. What if Alexander survived? He brings democracy to Russia. Among this timeline's oddities will be: Nazi France, Commie USA, Russo-German Alliance, and much more craziness.

The story of this alternate universe will be presented in the form of a history textbook. Overall events will get a small amount of detail put into them. However, if a specific event is important enough, I will go into more detail. Feedback will happen in this thread. Expect the first chapter tonight.

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Part One

8 Years of Peace

Chapter One

State of the World, 1900, and Introduction

Of all the centuries in the history of the world, the 20th century was probably the most momentous, and the most exciting. The world suffered through two World Wars, one Cold one, and a myriad other smaller conflicts. Empires rose and fell, ideologies battled it out to see who was right, and whole social classes were wiped out. However, before we begin, it is important to do a general survey of the world at the dawn of what would come to be known as the German Century.

Europe

United Kingdom

Starting our list today is what was then recognized as the greatest power of the age: The British Empire. Ruled by the aging Queen Victoria, the sun would never set on its majesty for a little while longer. It was in decline, but it still had the largest navy on Earth, and ruled over vast swathes of Africa, maintained total dominance in India, and ruled its dominions, Canada and Australia, with a firm hand. It was engaged in a rather humiliating war against the Boer states in South Africa, but there was little doubt about its ultimate victory.

However, Britain faced many internal threats. In the British Raj, an Indian intelectual named Mohandes Gandhi was inciting revolt. Closer to home, Ireland was rebellious and rife with tensions between Catholics and Protestants. In Britain itself, the ideology preached by Karl Marx, Communism, was gaining strength. There were many threats from the outside, too. The royal navy was facing a new challenger to its might, the greatest threat since Napoleon. That brings us too

Germany

The German Kaiserriech was most powerful nation on mainland Europe. Its spike helmeted, disciplined troops had no equal. Its former Kaiser, Friedrich III, was a reformer who introduced full democracy to the country. His son, Kaiser Wilhelm II, was an aggressive, expansionistic monarch, but formed an alliance with Russia and saw it through to rival the UK as a naval power. Despite the size of the Navy, Germanys colonial empire remained rather small, limited to just a few pacific islands and some outposts in Africa.

Germanys rivalry with France over the regions of Elsass- Lotheringen is one of the most important things to know of in order to understand the geopolitical climate of 1900. After Germanys conquest of the region following the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71, France had built up an alliance with the empire of the Hapsburgs, the old enemies of Prussia. Fortunately for the Kaiserriech, German Chancellor Bismarck was a master of diplomacy, netting Germany several allies. Foremost among these was

Russia

The Tsardom of Russia, in another world, may have collapsed into anarchy and civil war, and be ruled by a psychotic dictator who killed millions of his own people. As it stood, this was not to be the case. This was largely due to the reforms of one man: Tsar Alexander II. Alexander ascended to the throne in the ashes of the disastrous Crimean War. Immediately, he passed sweeping reforms, such as the abolition of Serfdom, and even a constitution after a failed attempt on his life. Due to his reforms, Tsarist Russia entered the 20th century as a stable nation.

Russias foreign policy was very much influenced by the policy of Pan Slavism, or the belief that all Slavs should be united under one ruler- namely, current Tsar Nicholas II. Nicholas was a man of only reasonable intellect, but he was sufficient to control the Empire. Russias other main interest sphere was the Far East. It had Korea in its sphere of Influence, and had largely brought resistance in Siberia down. However, Russias position in the East was being menaced by the Rising Sun of Imperial Japan. Japan was not Russias main rival, however. That honor went to

Austro-Hungarian Empire

Of all the dynasties of Europe, the Hapsburg dynasty of Austria-Hungary was the oldest . It was also the one nearest to collapse. Their empires Slavic people were getting restless under the yoke of Vienna. Not only that, their military was in sorry shape. Ethnic differences, outdated equipment, and general incompetence all were symptoms of having a military that was practically the poster child for Paper Tigers everywhere.

The Hapsburgs had had a rough century. From having their armies smashed by Napoleon, to being humiliated by Italian nationalist Guiseppe Gabrialdi, to surrendering leadership of Germany to the Prussia of Otto von Bismarck, the Austrians needed allies if they were to get revenge on Germany and defend against Russia. Fortunately, they found one in the other country humiliated by Bismarck: their former enemy

France

The French Third Republic was a nation born out of defeat. Their former Emperor, Napoleon III, had waged a foolish war of aggression against Prussia, and been disastrously defeated. Their government, while democratic, was militaristic and essentially devoted to revenge on Germany. They found fine bedfellows, then, with the Hapsburgs. Both shared a common enemy, and both were prepared to wage a war of aggression against the Huns to retake what they viewed as rightfully theirs.

The Republic had actually had many successes in the 29 years since its inception. The French Tricolor flew over most of Northwest Africa, and the colony of French Indochina continued to be a source of income for the Republic. The French army, humiliated by the Prussians, had taken steps to correct its mistakes, and now boasted one of the finest armies in Europe. They would need it, for tension was growing in the

Balkans

If war in Europe ever breaks out, said German Chancellor Bismarck, It will be over some damn silly thing in the Balkans. This was an accurate assessment if there ever was one. Religiously divided due to centuries of control by the Muslim Ottoman Empire, the Balkan States, largely funded and protected by the Russians, were at once threatened by and planning revenge against two empires: Austria-Hungary and Ottoman Turkey. The Serbs, motivated by a dream of a Greater Serbia, continued to antagonize the two giants, to the exasperation of Petrograd. Greece and Bulgaria, meanwhile, both wanted Macedonia from the Turks, but once one got it, the other was sure to reply with war. Bulgaria also had designs on territory from Romania, who themselves wanted Transylvania from Austria! Russia, meanwhile was allied, to varying degrees, with all of these squabbling principalities. Growing up in this climate was a young Serb named Gavrilio Princip, who will play a very important role in our journey through history later. In the meantime, we will journey from the Balkans to tie up loose ends.

Italy, Spain, Scandinavia

Scandinavia can essentially be summed up like this: Its really cold and no one ever goes to war and everything is happy! Oh, and Norway will revolt from Sweden in a few years, but thats about it.

Italy, meanwhile, was on the rise. It was the last part of the Triple Alliance with Russia and Germany. It had recently suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Ethiopia, but it remained strong at home. It and its two allies caught Austria-Hungary in a vicegrip, surrounding it on all sides. Italy had claims to South Tyrol from Austria, and to Savoy from France.It also had its eyes on Libya from the Turks, and had many directions in which to expand.

Spain was once a Great Power. Dinosaurs were also once alive. Spain had lost its Mainland colonies to revolution, Cuba and the Philippines to the U.S., and Gibraltar to Britain. It was in a sorry state, and was now merely seeking to survive. Whether it could do even that remained to be seen.

The Americas

There is only one country in the Americas with any sort of influence worldwide: The United States of America. The U.S. defeat of Mexico in the Mexican-American war removed the only power that could hope to challenge their American sphere of influence. The American Civil War was another threat to the Union, but ultimately, the Confederacy was defeated, returning peace to the continent. Since then, nothing has really been able to stop the U.S. in her own backyard, as the policy of Manifest Destiny has lead to the assimilation of Native tribes, the annexation of Hawaii, and the in- progress Spanish-American war, which America seems poised to win, removing some of the last European presence from what has increasingly been the playground of the Bald Eagle.

As for the other American nations, they all essentially bent the knee to Washington. The U.S. has gone to great lengths to extort money from states such as Mexico, Honduras, and Columbia. South America is a little less Hegemonic. Both Britain and France maintain a sphere of influence on the continent, and they are joined by the Netherlands in having colonial holdings in Guyana. Britain also has Belize in Central America, and, of course, the Dominion of Canada. Canada is the only power really capable of challenging America, and that is mostly because of its alliance to Britain. Most of Europe maintains a presence in the Caribbean, but not enough to threaten the dominance of the White House.

The main threat to U.S. dominance comes from within: namely, the Proletarian Revolution. Communist and socialist leaders have been agitating for reform for years, while capitalist Robber Barons such as Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller maintain monopolies over their respective industries, and are able to treat their workers however they like. The working class, meanwhile, toils away in backbreaking conditions, with their safety at risk, and no insurance for their family if something were to happen to them. It is clear that some change must come to the United States, but whether that change will come through democracy or the Revolution remains to be seen.

Asia

Japan

Of all the nations to whom the Industrial Revolution brought change, in the Empire of Japan, one would observe the most dramatic alterations. Japan entered the 19th Century a feudal nation in a modernizing world, where the Emperor, theoretically the leader of the nation, held little sway over the courts of the feudal lords, or daimyos. The Samurai, meanwhile, were bands of warriors bound by the honor code of Bushido, and were largely responsible for keeping the nation in the grip of feudalism. Japan was isolationist, backwards, and reactionary, and refused to even trade with the gaijin, or westerners. This all changed when American admiral Matthew Perry forced Japan to open its ports to western trade. From there modernization was inevitable, and in 1869 Emperor Meiji fully modernized Japan, ending feudalism and even bringing limited democracy to the nation, in what became known as the Meiji Restoration. The Samurai, of course, were not pleased, but in general katanas do not function too well against Gatling Guns.

Japan truly had come a long way from its roots. It even defeated China, traditionally the most powerful Asian nation, in 1895, gaining control of the island of Formosa as a result. However, It would be a mistake to think that Japans imperial ambitions are sated. The Empire of The Rising Sun looks hungrily at the Russian protectorate of Korea, at the U.S. territories of Hawaii and the Philippines, and at the British Indian Empire. It is not a question of if Japan will strike, but at whom.

China

As Japans fortunes have as of late risen astronomically, so have Chinas fortunes plummeted beyond the point of no return. The China of 1900 is a far cry from the glory of the Han dynasty. It is a feeble, backwards country, whose armies make the Austro-Hungarians seem like an unstoppable force of pure badassery by comparison. Suffering immense defeats at the hands of the United Kingdom in the Opium wars, China, with its immense population and massive potential for industrial expansion if it would modernize like its smaller, island neighbor has done. Unfortunatly, this does not seem likely to happen on the watch of the woman behind the throne, Empress Dowager Cixi. Cixi has ruled China with an iron fist under the pretense that she was doing it in the name of her son, the Tongxi Emperor. She has resisted all notions of modernization. Chinas Qing Dynasty is dying. The only question that remains is: what will replace it?

Ottoman Empire

China is not alone on the list of once great Asian Empires that have fallen on hard times. It shares this title with the Sick man of Europe itself, the Ottoman Empire. The influence of the Turks has dropped dramatically, losing control of Serbia, Bulgaria, Egypt, Hedjaz, and parts of Persia. In addition, the Balkan States needed only one excuse to try to take back the portion of their territory still controlled by the Turks and any conflict with the Balkan States was likely to bring the Russians to the defense of their allies. Meanwhile, the Kingdom of Italy looks hungrily at Turkish Libya.

Ethnic and religious tensions still tear the Empire apart. Orthodox Christians in the Balkans and Armenia suffer from a tax levied against non-Muslims. Meanwhile, the Arab subjects of the Empire maintain resistance under the banner of the House of Saud. The Ottoman Empire would require a miracle from Allah himself to survive much longer. The Sick Man of Europe is about to get a tumor.

European Colonies

India. Australia. Indochina. Indonesia. These areas have all fallen under the control of the European colonial empires. They transfer massive amounts of capital to the capitols of Europe. States with less colonies, like Germany, are at a disadvantage. However, there is a massive amount of unrest brewing in the colonies, and one of the main platforms of the socialist movements is the abandonment of the colonies. Although it may not seem like it, the world is entering the twilight of Imperialism.

Edited by blah2127

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If this is the introduction to an alternative history mod playthrough of victoria II I am highly interested.

If I make a mod out of this, it will be for HOI, because the World Wars era is were most of the action happens. Are you familiar with Kaiserriech?

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I know it exists but I don't play HOI to begin with. I was thinking of vicky because it's the game that models social change, which seems to be the appropriate thing.

Edit: as far as I know, war in HOI or at least kaiserreich is an all or nothing affair, win and annex or lose an get annexed. I understand you're going for a world war, but I'd like to see the social changes you've been hinting at to get their moment in the spotlight.

Edited by Gyarados

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I know it exists but I don't play HOI to begin with. I was thinking of vicky because it's the game that models social change, which seems to be the appropriate thing.

Edit: as far as I know, war in HOI or at least kaiserreich is an all or nothing affair, win and annex or lose an get annexed. I understand you're going for a world war, but I'd like to see the social changes you've been hinting at to get their moment in the spotlight.

All of this will come in good time. This, however, is an alternate history set in the World and Cold wars era, so there will be plenty of politics in the second half.

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Chapter 1



The Rise of the Bald Eagle



The United States ended the 19th century a relatively weak at ion, but it had several factors in its favor. It boasted considerable military might once mobilized, and had a massive industrial base. The beginnings of the American Empire came with the U.S. victory in the Spanish-American War.


The Spanish-American war (I really shouldn’t have to tell you who the belligerents here were) largely caused by the Monroe Doctrine (The doctrine that the U.S.A should limit European influence in the Americas as much as possible) that had been adopted by the U.S. government. The last European holding in the Americas (besides Canada, and even the most nationalist Americans were not prepared to pick a fight with the British Empire) was the Spanish colony of Cuba. When Cuba entered into revolution, tensions between America and Spain rose. All it would take is a spark to set the Caribbean aflame.


That spark came when the American ship the Maine sank on April 25, 1898. President William Mckinley was not actually prepared to go to war, but news magnates such as William Randolph Hearst blew the incident way out of proportion. They claimed the Spanish blew the ship up.(In reality, it was most likely a problem with the boiler). The American people would not accept anything less than total war after hearing that information.


The war would see Spain’s colonial empire destroyed. On Cuba, American troops landed and immediately set about occupying the island. Spain’s garrison tried to fight back, but they were simply outmatched by the American army. At the battle of San Juan hill, American troops under the command of one Theodore Roosevelt made a name for themselves with a charge up the hill. The Spanish were unable to in any way prevent the seizure of the island.


In the Pacific, meanwhile, the American objective was to capture the Spanish colony of the Philippines. The U.S. navy steamed out of port and crushed the Spanish fleet in a series of engagements. Following this, they landed on the archipelago. It was there that they faced their first difficulty in the war: Guerrilla warfare. The Filipinos, as it turned out, were not all that eager to exchange the mastery of Madrid for the mastery of Washington. Even as the Americans cleared the island of their Spanish foes, the natives of the island were preparing to fight for their freedom and independence. What happened next would stain the good name of the “Land of the free” forever.


American troops responded to the uprising brutally. Natives everywhere were rounded up and put in concentration camps. Rebellion was suppressed by U.S. troops using the time-honored “Massacre Method”. Cultural assimilation was attempted, but it never really worked. For all of the U.S. government’s rhetoric about “freedom” and “equality”, it was clear that the Philippines were nothing more that a labor colony.


3 months after it started, the war was over. It had been a total American victory. The Treaty of Paris, which marked the end of the war, saw the final remnants of Spain’s empire destroyed. Cuba was granted independence, Puerto Rico was ceded to the U.S., and the Philippines were made an American client state. All that remained of the once mighty Spanish Empire were its colonies in Morocco.


The war at once showed that Europeans were not as dominant as they once were and fed the appetite for American Imperial expansion. Spain was humiliated, and the U.S. established itself as a great power. Washington had officially gained dominance in Latin America. Cuba was firmly in the American Sphere of Influence. The Americans, however, wanted more.


Enter Theodore Roosevelt. The hero of the Battle of San Juan Hill, Roosevelt looked to have a bright political career ahead of him. However, when he became William Mckinley’s Vice President, it was a leap even for him. When Mckinley was assassinated by an anarchist in 1901 leaving Roosevelt as President, it was an even bigger leap. Roosevelt was prepared to implement his expansionist doctrine.


His targets were the Central American states. Using the methods of “Gunboat Diplomacy”, Roosevelt used the United State’s considerable military might to extort various supplies, specifically bananas, from the Central American republics. Those that resisted were set upon by U.S. marines, who quickly set up glorified puppet governments in their capitols.


Roosevelt’s greatest coup, however, came in 1903. Connecting the continents of North and South America was a thin strip of land in Panama. This land meant that ships would have to sail around all of South America if they wanted to reach Asia. Teddy Roosevelt sought to change this, using a method that the British Empire had already employed in Egypt: a canal.


The Suez Canal was constructed by the British Empire in their colony of Egypt. It was constructed to provide easier access for the British to their colony in India. Before the construction of the canal, the British had to sail around Africa to get to India. Roosevelt intended to do the same thing with the Panama Canal.


There was one problem with this plan: Panama was under the control of Columbia. To remedy this, Roosevelt enlisted the help of France. He engineered uprisings in Panama, and essentially forced Columbia to allow Panama independence. There was no real reason for independence. Panama’s rights were not being trampled on. And yet, they broke away from Columbia at Roosevelt’s urging.


Panama was essentially America’s puppet. And so, it was rather easy to convince the young nation to allow American builders to build their canal. The Panama Canal was a long project. Ultimately, it firmly established American dominance in Latin America. It would not be completed until 1914. But it did not matter. America had proved to the world it was a nation to be feared.

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Why would the Americans not want to mess with the British? The British navy was huge don't get me wrong, but their army size was quite small.

Also, how much do you think the American racism affected what happened to the filipinos?

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Why would the Americans not want to mess with the British? The British navy was huge don't get me wrong, but their army size was quite small.

Also, how much do you think the American racism affected what happened to the filipinos?

A lot of this chapter was taken from actual history (I really don't think my POD would change the Spanish American War). The American treatment of the Filipinos, as well as the fear of the Brits, was historical.

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Chapter 2


The Rise of the Triple Alliance and the Entente


Wilhelm II, by the Grace of God King of Prussia and Kaiser of Germany (and so many other titles that this book would double in length by mentioning them all) had what contemporaries call “Mommy Issues”. His mother, Victoria (daughter of the more famous queen) did not treat him very well. He was born with a shriveled arm, a disability that, while in any semi-normal mother would lead to increased care, in Victoria it lead to her treating him coldly throughout his childhood.



kaiserwilhelmii.jpg



​Kaiser Wilhelm II



Anyway, Wilhelm, as Kaiser, was very hostile to Britain due to his abuse. This feeling was shared by Edward VII, Britain’s king. The British Empire had long been the dominant sea power, but Wilhelm managed to gather their ire by (the fiend!!!!!!!!!) having a navy! Wilhelm sought a colonial empire for Germany. Unfortunately, Germany only had a few corners of Africa and some pacific islands to its name. Wilhelm, seeking to beat the British at their own game, began to build up a massive naval armada to beat the British at their own game.


Russia was another country with a bone to pick with Perfidious Albion. They almost had a border with the British Indian Empire. The two great powers competed for influence in Persia and Afghanistan, the countries that separated their respective Empires. This diplomatic conflict, going on since the 1830’s, was called the “Great Game”.


Germany and Russia, in general, had no real quarrel with each other. They did, however, have a common enemy: Britain. As such, in 1903, the first bit of the alliance that would change the course of the century was signed: The alliance of the Eagles. This alliance, named after the Romanov and Hohenzollern crests, stated that, if Britain declared war on either of the powers, the other would come to the rescue.


Russia and Germany were already closely connected. They had many trade agreements, and their emperors were close friends. Wilhelm and Nicholas both harbored ambitions against Britain in their respective interest spheres. However, this alliance put Britain on the alert. The Royal navy was increased even more. Britain was now enemies with Germany and Russia.



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The Kaiser and the Tsar, now sworn allies



Germany and Russia had another common enemy: the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Hapsburgs had suffered many humiliations at the Hands of the Hohenzollerns. They had lost Silesia to King Frederick the Great of Prussia, and been crushed by Prussia in the contest for leadership of Germany in the 7 Weeks War. In addition, Russia was opposed to the Dual Monarchy. Tzar Nicholas II envisioned a Pan-Slavic state, something that Austria-Hungary stood in the way of. One year after the initial alliance, the two empires expanded the terms of the alliance to include attacks on either nation by any power.


The alliance would face its first test sooner than expected. Japan had been eyeing the Kingdom of Korea, which was in Russia’s sphere of influence, hungrily. Russia also held the Sakhalin Islands, which Japan considered its territory. Japan’s Emperor Meiji, who had brought about the Empire’s modernization, felt the time was right to strike and obtain the first conquest in Japan’s path to dominate Asia.


On February 8, 1904, Japan struck. The Japanese Army landed in Korea, and quickly overcame the Kingdom’s army. Meanwhile, the Imperial Japanese Navy destroyed the small Russian Pacific Fleet at Vladivostok. The Russian Army, while large, had a relatively weak presence in the Far East, and was unable to assist the Koreans. Meanwhile, parts of the Russian East European Army loaded up into trains on the Trans-Siberian Railway to reinforce the Far Eastern Army. However, the Japanese had control of the Pacific, and so had a huge advantage in supplying their beachhead on mainland Asia. Fortunately, the Russians had a huge ally on their side in the form of the German High Seas Fleet.



220px-Black_and_white_photo_of_emperor_M



Emperor Meiji of Japan



Kaiser Wilhelm jumped at the chance to help his ally against the “heathens”. He called the war “The climactic struggle between Christianity and Buddhism”. After the Far Eastern Fleet was destroyed, Russia sent its Baltic Fleet around Africa, in the hopes of setting up a blockade of the Home Islands of Japan. Wilhelm sent part of the Imperial German Navy- Including one of the new, powerful Dreadnought class Battleships, the SMS Bradenburg- under the command of Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz. The Tzar placed his fleet under Tirpitz’s command. Tirpitz had one job: destroy the IJN.


Tirpitz planned to set up a trap for the Japanese. Reaching the waters around Japan on May 27, 1905, he deliberately sent out hospital ships to lure the IJN out of hiding. Japanese admiral Togo took the bait. His fleet sortied, engaging the Russo-German fleet.


The Battle of Tsushima, as it came to be known, was a complete disaster for the Japanese. The allied navy surrounded the Japanese as they prepared to demand the surrender of the hospital ships. The Bradenburg was far more powerful than anything the Japanese had to offer. It commanded the waves, crushing all that opposed it. By the end of the day, Russo-German dominance of the sea had been achieved.


The Japanese stubbornly refused to surrender. Their now poorly supplied armies launched a desperate Banzai attack against the Russians. The Far Eastern Army was pushed back- until reinforcements from Europe came rolling in on the Trans Siberian Railway. Outnumbered, outgunned, and undersupplied, the Japanese fought to the last Man. However, the destruction of their army in June, combined with the German storming of Taiwan, forced the Emperor to the negotiating table in July of 1905.


In the peace deal, Japan would give half of its navy to Russia. In addition, it would pay reparations to both of its foes, and cede Taiwan to Germany. Japan’s imperial ambitions were crushed, its fleet lost, its honor tarnished. For the victors, however, life was never better. Wilhelm II and Nicholas II both called for national celebrations. Germany had proved the might of her navy. Russia had asserted its dominance in the Far East. And Britain, so sure of her navy’s ability to meet Germany head on, now felt a little less secure.


The Kingdom of Italy, meanwhile, viewed all of this with a mix of apprehension and opportunism. Italy had come into being in 1860, with the unification of Italy under the Kingdom of Piedmont due to Guiseppe Gabrialdi’s Expidition of the Thousand. Since then, their principal foe was the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as Italy seized more and more of the land that they considered theirs from Austrian “occupation”. In 1905, Italy had one bit of land left to take: South Tyrol.


Italy, Germany, and Russia all had one thing in common: their rivalry with Austria. Germany wanted to annex Austria’s German speaking parts to form what they called “Greater Germany”. Russia desired Austria-Hungary’s Czech, Slovak, Polish, Croatian, Romanian, and Serbian citizens to be either under direct Russian rule or parts of states within the Russian sphere of influence. Italy wanted South Tyrol and the Dual Monarchy’s Mediterranean coast(This conflicted with Russia’s aims, which will be important later on when a certain Italian Duce named Benito Mussolini comes to power). Italy, in late 1905, would be the final signatory of an anti Austro-Hungarian alliance: if the Hapsburgs did anything against the interests of any of the three states, the other two would declare war. The Hapsburg Empire was surrounded on all sides by states that would be absolutely delighted to see the demise of the Empire. The seeds of the First World War were set.


Austria-Hungary’s very existence was threatened by the Triple Alliance. It was surrounded on all sides, and had little hope of successfully prosecuting a war against all three powers. Knowing this, Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph turned to the only power who could give his enemies a real problem: France.


Of all the powers of Europe, France was without a doubt Germany’s biggest rival. Her politics were dominated by the concept of revanchinism, or the belief that a defeated country, in this case France, needed to restore her former glory. The object of that restoration was Elass-Lotheringen, a province of the German Empire that, until the Franco-Prussian war in 1871, had been part of France, as Alsace-Lorraine.


The Franco-Prussian War had seen France humbled and humiliated. Her army was shattered, her land conquered, and her Emperor banished. France and Germany had been, and to some extent still are, enemies since the concepts of France and Germany existed. They were, in the views of French President Armand Fallieres, destined to fight. Unfortunately for France, Germany had a great many friends as of late. Italy threatened the French southern frontier, and Russia could crush France under the weight of her massive army. Fallieres, as such, jumped at the chance to have an ally on Germany’s southern border. Germany and Italy were now themselves surrounded by enemies.


Fallieres and Franz Joseph met in the city of Vienna in March of 1906. It was there that they signed the pact that would cause the alliance in opposition to the Triple Alliance to come into existence: the Entente Cordiale. According to the terms of the alliance, Austria-Hungary would support France in a war against Germany and her allies, with the reward being the reclamation of Silesia, and France would support all Austro-Hungarian action in the Balkans. A new power block was born.



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French President Armand Fallieres



The British Empire was quick to align itself to the Entente, but it was a tenuous alignment. The British and the French had many grievances with each other, from tension in Africa to competing for control over Siam. The British were also involved in a naval arms race with the French as well as the Germans. For the moment, the British remained neutral.


The Triple Alliance, meanwhile, responded with paranoia. Now, any war that involved the Great Powers would plunge the whole continent into war. Europe was a tinderbox, and it would only take a spark to set the continent ablaze.


Edited by blah2127

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Apologies for the delay.

Chapter 3

China Rising

China had fallen far. What was once the cultural, economic, and scientific capitol of the world was now a backwards, corrupt, despotic state plunging into what seemed to be perpetual decline. China, ruled by the Qing Dynasty, had suffered defeats against the British in the Opium wars, lost control of Indochina to the French, and were beaten by Japan in the contest for Asian Hegemony. If China wished to survive, it would have to change.

The last straw was the Boxer Rebellion. In 1899, angry peasants took to the streets, slaughtering the westerners whose playground China was rapidly becoming. After some deliberation, China’s Empress Dowager Cixi supported the rebels, banishing the westerners from China.

The_Ci-Xi_Imperial_Dowager_Empress_(5).J

​Empress Dowager Cixi

The response of the Great Powers was immediate. A coalition consisting of France, Germany, Britain, Russia, the USA, Italy, Austria-Hungary, and Japan all declared war on China. The Chinese Army never stood a chance, and China was forced to accept western domination. It was clear that modernization for China was the only option.

Unfortunately, Empress Dowager Cixi was not in the mood. She was the regent for her adopted son, who was weak willed and pathetic. Cixi violently resisted any attempts at modernization, and, with her absolute rule over China, the Middle Kingdom’s prospects looked bleak. However, there was a group of people looking for reform. The leader of this group was Chinese nobleman Kang Youwei.

Kang was a reformer who had watched the rise of Japan, combined with the humiliation of China, with a mix of admiration and envy. He had several progressive ideals, such as more rights for women, and democracy. Up until the Boxer Rebellion, Kang was willing to reform China from within, and without violence. However, after seeing Cixi’s callousness in regards to the Boxer Rebellion, he concluded that a coup was needed to save his beloved China. However, his faction did not have enough men to pull off a coup against Cixi. To get more manpower, he turned to another reformer, albeit one more radical: Sun Yat Sen.

Sun and Kang agreed about only one thing: the need to modernize China. Sun was a republican, while Kang supported monarchy. This divide made it imperative that the two reformers could reach a common ground if either of them were to succeed in their goals. Kang travelled in secret to the United States in 1902 to meet Sun in the hopes that the two reformers could work out a common plan for China.

Both Sun and Kang had the same general plan for modernization: a slow but steady approach, using the army to keep the reactionaries in line. What they could not agree on, however, was the government of the new China. Sun favored a Republic similar to the United States, while Kang desired the Monarchy under the Qing to continue. Ultimately, after much deliberation, the two men decided on a compromise: constitutional monarchy. The constitution would be based on the German system, with the Emperor retaining significant powers, but power also being delegated to democratically elected ministers. However, for this plan to work, it needed the approval of one man: the Emperor.

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Sun and Kang, the architects of modern China

The Guangxu Emperor was nothing more than a puppet for his adoptive mother, Cixi. He had come to the throne at the age of four, and had no real power. However, he was not blind. He saw what was happening to China. He wanted China to join the modernized world, but had no power to make it happen. And so, it was an easier task that Kang Youwei had expected to convince the Emperor to support his and Sun’s plans for modernization.

On January 1, 1903, two elite assassins, hired from the fortune of Kang, snuck into Cixi’s quarters and killed her as she slept. By morning, the coup had been completed, the Emperor had been restored to power, and Kang and Sun were made his chief advisors. Sun began to draft a constitution, Kang prepared the country for modernization, and China’s future looked bright. Unfortunately, it would not be that easy. Across the country, reactionary warlords rose in rebellion against the Government.

Against the Chinese Empire were the Warlord forces of Guangxi, Shanxi, and the Ma Clique. In addition, Mongolia and Tibet declared independence from the Empire. Kang mobilized the portion of the army that was still loyal to the Emperor, and moved to meet the rebels. His plan was to use the Imperial Guard to meet the only warlord who could threaten Beijing in battle, Shanxi, to buy time for the main army to be given modern weapons.

Kang met the Shanxi forces in battle near the city of Hohot. The Shanxi were advancing on Beijing to stop the process of modernization. Looking to the example of the American Civil war, Kang dug some very primitive trenches in the path of the Shanxi, and armed them with newly imported Gatling guns. The battle would be joined on March 3, 1903.

The Shanxi soldiers charged the trenches, many of them armed with melee weapons. They expected to triumph, as they outnumbered the Imperial Guard by around 3 to one. However, they proved unable to get past the Gatling Guns. Hundreds of thousands of rebels died on the field that day, and the rest were run down by cavalry. The superiority of modern weapons had been proven, and the Shanxi threat to the capitol had been eliminated.

For around a year, Kang continued to defend the capitol in this manner. Then, finally, the weapons imported from Germany arrived. Kaiser Wilhelm II recognized the potential of China, and allied with China in exchange for weapons. The troops, thanks to German advisors, were finally ready to go on the offensive. So was Kang.

Kang gathered his massive, modern army and marched against the Shanxi. The majority of their soldiers routed following the first volley of rifle fire. The Shanxi capitol was taken On February 20, 1904. The threat to the modernization was essentially over. However, there was still much work to be done.

To the south, the Guanxi and Ma Cliques had been wreaking havoc. They raided southern China, terrorized their citizens, and spread propaganda. The elite forces of Guanxi were a cabal of Kung-Fu masters, called the Shaolin Monks. Kang marched his army south to meet the Guanxi, who had launched an offensive north, in conjunction with the Ma, in a last ditch effort to take Beijing.

The Battle of Nanjing marked the last bit of organized resistance to the modernization of China. Many of the poorly armed, outnumbered, and poorly trained warlord forces simply gave up. The only ones who offered any real resistance were the Shaolin Monks, who were gunned down as they charged the Imperialist line. Their last stand was depicted in the film “The Last Shaolin Monk”, starring Tom Cruise.

After the annihilation at Nanjing, warlord residence melted away. The Guanxi were beaten by the end of 1904. The Ma followed shortly after. Tibet and Mongolia were reconquered by 1905. China now faced the task of industrialization. The main population centers of the country were connected by Railroad by 1907. China was building a modern fleet, forts lined its border, and it could call upon a massive army of modern soldiers. Soon, the government of Chancellor Sun Yat Sen turned their focus towards the West. Britain and France had humiliated China, but now China could fight back. It would soon get its chance, too, as a result of some damn silly thing in the Balkans.

Edited by blah2127

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Chapter 4


Some Damn Silly Thing in the Balkans



The Ottoman Empire was falling. It was only able to maintain control over its Muslim territories, and even in those, sectarian violence was high. In the Balkans, it had slowly been losing holdings over the course of a century. Greece, Serbia, and Romania all had full independence. The Turks maintained a hold over the Principality of Bulgaria, which was a vassal state. In addition, it had control over the region of Bosnia. For the time being, the Turks looked able to survive. Then, on October 5, 1908, Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria declared the Tsardom of Bulgaria independent. Austria-Hungary, seizing its chance, annexed Bosnia the following day, which they had their eye on for quite some time.


The Germans and Russians immediately protested this move. Serbia also had claims on Bosnia, and Tzar Nicholas II had no intentions of allowing yet more Slavic land to fall into the hands of the Hapsburgs. On October 7, Serbia demanded Austria-Hungary hand over control of Bosnia to it. Russia supported it(no one actually asked the Bosnians what they wanted, of course). Germany joined Russia on October 10. All these powers began to mobilize, to be joined by Italy on October 11. Russia sent an ultimatum to Vienna: leave Bosnia by November, or else. Then, France declared unconditional support for Austria.


France mobilized its army and divided it into two parts: the Army of Alsace-Lorraine, with the objective to retake Alsace Lorraine, and the Army of the South, with the objective to quickly defeat Italy. It was by now obvious that Austria-Hungary would not surrender. Full mobilization was enacted in all countries.


Britain watched this all with trepidation. There were some, such as First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill, who favored immediate action against Germany. Others wanted to do nothing. King Edward mobilized the army and ordered the Navy into action, for use against either side. Britain could not remain in splendid isolation for long.


As the nations of Europe prepared for war, their citizens were whipped up into a jingoistic fury. Signs that read jingoistic messages were everywhere. “On to Paris”, On to Berlin”, “On to Vienna”. No one seemed to realize the horrors that awaited them.


By October 28, most of the soldiers were deployed to where the fighting would be. Russia and Austria prepared to settle the issue of Pan-Slavism once and for all in Galicia. France sought revenge against Germany in Alsace-Lorraine. Austria prepared to defend what it had left against Italy, and to take revenge against Germany. Britain watched the whole crisis unfold with trepidation.


At precisely 12:00, on November 1, 1908, guns all across Europe opened fire. There were many names for the conflict that had just begun. The Great War. The War to End all Wars. The First World War. The Kaiser’s War (the identity of said Kaiser depended on what side you were on). Whatever anyone called it, one thing was sure: This war would change the world.



End of Part One

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Part Two


To End All Wars


Chapter One


Opening Moves



Germany had known a war on two fronts was coming ever since it came into being. It had, quite naturally, planned for this eventuality. The General Staff considered France to be a greater threat that Austria-Hungary. As such, they planned to attack France in a quick, devastating strike that would capture Paris in 42 days. The problem was simple: the French had greatly fortified their border with Germany. It would take 42 days to get past the initial fortifications, never mind to reach Paris.


The solution to this problem was proposed by General Alfred von Schlieffen. Germany was to bypass the French fortifications completely by moving through neutral Belgium. It might anger the United Kingdom, who was obligated to protect Belgium under the terms of the 1839 treaty of London, but surely they would not go to war over a “Scrap of paper”, as Germany’s foreign minister put it. And so, at midnight of November 1, Germany launched a surprise attack on Belgium.



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The Schlieffen Plan as outlined by the German general staff



As it turned out, Britain cared very much about this “scrap of paper”. An ultimatum was sent to Berlin, demanding withdrawal from Belgium within 24 hours, or war would be declared. Germany ignored the message. On November 2, 1908, Britain joined the Great War on the side of the Entente. Her army, called the British Expeditionary Force, loaded up on ships bound for Belgium. They reached the coast by November 4.


Meanwhile, Germany mercilessly advanced across Belgium. Outnumbered and out powered, Belgian troops were unable to put up meaningful resistance. The real challenge, however, was yet to come. British and German troops met each other on November 7. The result was the rout of the BEF. Brussels fell on November 15. French soldiers moved up into Belgium from the south, but were pushed back. Germany reached the French border on November 20. Belgium fell that same day.



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German troops advance through Belgium



However, the Germans quickly ran into a problem: winter was coming. As it got colder, the advance became harder. On December 20, the Germans were finally within 50 kilometers of Paris. However, the British and French had dug in with trenches to better defend the city. Germany responded with trenches of her own. As 1908 turned to 1909, the two sides faced each other in trenches at the gates of Paris.


Meanwhile, the Russians marched into the Austro-Hungarian province of Galicia. The Hapsburgs were using troops with terrible morale and led by absolutely stupid generals. The Russians faced only token resistance. They were, however, delayed until winter, where they faced the powerful Austro-Hungarian Carpathian line. The Russians had experienced what the Germans were feeling.



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Russian troops in the Carpathians



Austria-Hungary had an ambitious plan to march north through Saxony to threaten the German flank in France. Lead by Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne, the Austro-Hungarian First Army- the Austrian elite- marched towards Dresden. They were faced by German conscripts. The only thing between Franz Ferdinand and Berlin was German Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg.


Hindenburg had an audacious plan to save Germany. He would use a small amount of his conscripts to hold off the Austro-Hungarian advance, and demand troops from the Western Front be pulled back to reinforce his troops. Kaiser Wilhelm II didn’t like it, but he was forced to accept that he could not take Paris if he wanted to keep Dresden. It has been speculated by some that had the Austrians not launched their offensive, Paris may have been taken.


The Battle of Dresden has been recognized as one of the most heroic defenses in history. Through courage and determination, the Germans fought to defend their home. The battle, which started on November 10, lasted until January 5, 1909, when the battle hardened German reinforcements arrived. At risk of encirclement, Franz Ferdinand retreated. He wrote in his diary “No Austrian would ever stay and fight when the risk of encirclement was so great.” The units from the Western Front would join with the conscripts to form the Army of the South, under Hindenburg.


In the Balkans, Serbia launched an offensive against Austrian controlled Bosnia, the cause of the whole war. Austro-Hungarian soldiers, however, held their own. The Hapsburg troops in the Balkans were unable to advance against Serbia because they needed reinforcements from other fronts, but the Serbs were not able to advance against their enemy, because their army was too small. It was a stalemate.


Italy preformed extremely poorly in the first months of the war. It launched an offensive against both France and Austria-Hungary, but both offensives failed miserably. The Austrians dug in at the Isonzo River, repelling any and all attacks that year, and the French, while they were pushed back a few miles, dug trenches before the Italians could do any real damage. The real problem facing the Italians, though, was that the British controlled the Mediterranean, using the two chokepoints of Suez and Gibraltar to sink almost every ship headed for Italy. To remedy this, Italian troops launched an invasion of British Egypt.


The attack was a disaster. The Italians initially created a beachhead, but the British destroyed their fleet on November 25, 1908, causing the beachhead to become a pocket. The Italians surrendered a week later. All in all, 10,000 troops were lost.


As news of the German attack on Belgium reached Moscow and Delhi, the capitol of the British Raj, both Russia and Britain mobilized their armies in the region. The Russian Central Asian army relied greatly on native cavalry and infantry, an army suited to the open landscape of Central Asia. The British used Indian conscripts, or Sepoys, supported by a core force of mercenaries in the service of the East India Company. On November 3, 1908, both of these forces declared war on Afghanistan, with the intent of marching through the nation to face each other.


The two armies met at the city of Kabul on November 20, 1908. The British troops were more numerous (It took the Russians longer to mobilize) and the Russian Troops retreated across the border. The British, however, did not advance further, because winter was coming and they did not want to invade Russia under those conditions. The Russians dug defensive formations, and the British prepared to attack.


1908 had ended, and the war was by no means decided. Germany and Russia had had some success, but Italy had had nothing but failure. France and Austria were both far from collapse, and Britain was wreaking havoc in the German colonies. German and French troops prepared to go “over the top” in the west to be slaughtered by the thousands in the hopes of gaining a small amount of ground. Hindenburg prepared his offensive in Bohemia, the objective being the capture of Prague. The British Indian Army prepared to advance into Central Asia. Russia prepared for a massive advance into Hungary.


It would be a bloody spring.


Edited by blah2127

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Chapter 2


The Austro-Hungarian Front


As the Western front shifted to Trench Warfare, the German high command decided to shift their attention to the Austro-Hungarians. The commander of this front was Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg, who, over the winter, had been shifting German troops and mobilized reserves to Saxony, to create a new army group of around 500,000 men. His ambitious offensive’s target was the province of Bohemia, in Austria-Hungary. Taking Bohemia would allow Germany to threaten Austria itself.


Facing Hindenburg was the elite Austrian army, under Crown Prince Franz Ferdinand. These men were the best the Austro-Hungarians had to offer. The rest of their army was a melting pot of Austrians, Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, Serbs, and Croatians. They were poorly trained, often disloyal, and many spoke a different language from their officers. The Austrian Army was 300,000 strong, and consisted of only the best trained, most loyal Austrians. Hindenburg would not run into the same token resistance that the Russians had the previous year in Galicia.


Hindenburg, however, had a secret weapon. His name was T. G. Masaryk. Masaryk was a Czech politician who had been campaigning for independence. Upon the outbreak of war, Masaryk fled to Berlin, where Kaiser Wilhelm II promised him Czech independence should the Triple Alliance win the war. Masaryk rallied support in Bohemia for Czech nationalism. Riots broke out in Bohemia, disrupting Franz Ferdinand’s supply lines. He advised restraint in putting down the riots. Emperor Franz Josef was having none of it. He ordered the police to fire on the protesters. The riots developed into a revolt.



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T. G. Masaryk



It was at this moment that Hindenburg chose to strike. German troops surged forwards along the line. Franz Ferdinand decided that it would be better to defend a solid line against the Germans, meet them in battle, and rout them. He chose a city north of Prague, Karoly Vary, to make his stand. Karoly Vary was built by Charles IV, one of the most famous kings of the Czech Kingdom. On March 10, 1909, its fields would become soaked with blood.


The Battle of Karoly Vary set the mood for the rest of the war. Soldiers charged against each other’s trenches constantly. Hindenburg needed someway to bypass the Austrian trenches. As such, he, instead of launching a massed assault against the whole front line, he focused all of his troops against a specific part of Franz Ferdinand’s line. The final assault of the battle began on April 1, 1909. It ended in success, with the Austro-Hungarian army being pushed from Karoly Vary.


The rest of the offensive went very well for the Germans. The Czech people, unwilling to see Prague destroyed by street fighting, pushed the Austrians out of the city. Hindenburg and his men received a hero’s welcome. The Austro-Hungarians were pushed out of Bohemia by July 14, 1909.


Meanwhile, the Russians prepared to push into Slovakia, the next on their “to take” list of Slavic provinces controlled by Austria-Hungary. However, they faced the Austro-Hungarian “Carpathian Line”, a system of fortresses on the Carpathian Mountains that were the last line of defense before reaching Hungary. They were defended by mostly Hungarian soldiers, so that the disloyal Slavic soldiers would have a minimal opportunity to mutiny. On March 5, 1909, the Russian offensive began.


Thousands of Russian troops surged towards the Carpathian line. They were stopped by one of the most deadly defenses in history. Russian numbers were almost useless against the mountainous forts. The Russians took terrible losses. They managed to take parts of Slovakia, but the offensive, which ended on August 12, 1909, was a dismal failure.



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Russian forces in their trenches, Carpathian Mountains, 1909



Both the Russian and German high commands agreed that the best course of action was to take out Austria-Hungary first, and then deal with France. However, Italy would not cooperate with this course of action. They wanted to take the Suez Canal, and deny the British supplies from Asia. However, as British troops gained total control of the Mediterranean, Italy prepared to comply with the wishes of the Kaiser and the Tzar.


Italy planned to land on Austria-Hungary’s Adriatic Coast and link up with Serbia. From there, they would drive north, to Vienna, hopefully in conjunction with the Germans. It was an ambitious plan. However, it was to be thwarted by what was becoming the bane of Italy’s existence: the Royal Navy.


Italy needed naval supremacy in order to pull off the invasion. The Regia Marina (Italy’s navy) steamed out of port towards Egypt, hoping to give the British Mediterranean Fleet a nasty surprise. However, Italy’s fleet was blown out of the water by Britain’s navy, which received reinforcements from the Indian Fleet. Half of the Italian Navy was sunk, with almost no British ships being sunk. Italy’s offensive had failed before it had even begun.


Serbia was being held off. Russia was concentrating its full might against Austria-Hungary. Italy was… Italy. It was obvious to Paul von Hindenburg that Germany could not continue to fight a two front war with Austria-Hungary. He also knew that any offensive would have the most effect if it was coordinated. To that end, he met with Russian High command, and the Italians, to organize a very ambitious offensive: the 3 nations Offensive. The Objective: The capture of Moravia and Tyrol, the cutting off of Austro-Hungarian troops in the Balkans, the capture of Slovakia, the encirclement of Vienna, and the invasion of Hungary. Each nation would have to do its part for the invasion to work, but if it did, it would mean the death of the Dual Monarchy. Hindenburg pulled even more troops from the Western Front to launch the offensive.


It was at that moment that Britain and France struck.


Edited by blah2127

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Chapter 3


The Western Front


The Western Front in the Great War was massive. It stretched from the English Channel at Calais, to the gates of Paris, to a small sliver of French controlled Alsace. All of this land was lined with trenches, massive formations designed to halt enemy assaults wherever they may occur. Between the trenches was No Man’s Land, an area lined with fortifications that soldiers would have to cross to reach the enemy trenches. Across No Man’s Land, the Entente and the Triple Alliance faced each other.



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A map showing the extent of the Western Front



The Western Front was a stalemate. The utter military genius of the generals in charge of the front led them to see fit to launch massive charges against heavily fortified enemy positions over and over. In some cases, thousands of men would die just to secure one mile of ground. France and Britain, however, received the worst of it. After Germany decided to focus on Austria-Hungary, it in general only defended.


France and Britain would launch a series of offensives in 1909, but none of them would actually come to fruition. Generals John French and Philippe Petain, the two main generals for the Entente on the Western Front, favored direct assaults. The Germans were no better. Even though they didn’t actually launch any offensives, whenever they lost ground, they were willing to do whatever it took to take it back. Countless German soldiers were lost in counter attacks before the land was finally retaken. By 1910, the people of Britain and France were desperate for victory.



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French troops cut down in yet another offensive, Western Front, 1909



That victory was planned to be the 1910 Spring Offensive. As Germany shifted even more troops to fight the Hapsburgs, the Entente saw their chance. On March 10, 1910, the guns on the Western Front opened fire. British and French troops surged from their trenches. A miracle occurred: a breakthrough was achieved. Entente forces swept aside their badly outnumbered German Opponents. The Enemy was pushed past Calais by the end of March, and from Paris in Mid April. The pre-war optimism was returning to Britain and France.


Germany, meanwhile, was in a panic. More and more German soldiers were being shifted back to the Western Front, to hold back the advance. Helmuth von Moltke, the German chief of staff, resigned in shame. He was replaced by Erich von Falkenhayn. Falkenhayn would appoint an up and coming general to the position of commander of the Western Front: Erich Ludendorrf.


Ludendorff and Hindenburg were notable for their ability to work together. They managed to convince Kaiser Wilhelm II that, despite the Entente’s offensive, the Triple Alliance retained the advantage. The only thing stopping Russia and Germany from bringing their full might to bear against Germany was Austria Hungary. As such, the two argued, the only realistic chance that the Entente had to win was to knock Germany out of the war. Germany’s strategy should be to destroy Austria-Hungary, while protecting Germany from France and Britain.


There was one problem with this plan. In order for it to work, the Entente actually had to be stopped. That task fell to General Ludendorff. Ludendorff first ordered a fighting retreat to the German and Belgian border. While this was going on, he constructed a massive line of fortifications along the entire front, called the Ludendorff Line. The Entente reached the line on May 1, 1910. Now was the moment of truth. The Battle of the Ludendorff Line had begun.


It was in this moment, it has been argued, that the German Army evolved into a modern force. It’s spiked Pickelhaubes became modern Stanhelms. The trenches employed by the Germans were far superior to their British and French counterparts. Above the battlefield, planes flew, scouting, bombing trenches, and even strafing enemy troops crossing No Man’s Land. The Germans, however, were about to introduce a new weapon to the battlefield, one that would help them win the Battle of the Ludendorff Line: poison gas.


As the Entente began their offensive, one that John French boasted would “Win the war against the Hun and the Bear”, the Germans readied the gas. As hundreds of thousands of Entente troops went “Over the top” into No Man’s Land, they suddenly found that they were unable to breath. The gas entered into their lungs, their eyes, every part of their body was dying. Many soldiers turned and ran the moment they saw the telltale cloud of gas coming towards them. The offensive was a dismal failure.



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A German soldier in the trenches, 1910. Note the Stahlhelm helmet and the gas mask. These weapons won the Battle of the Ludendorrf Line



The higher ups in the Entente were devastated by the defeat. Troop morale sunk to an all time low. The Franco-British High Command desperately scrambled for a defense against the gas. As they prepared to try to hold on to what they had gained in the offensive, Wilhelm II demanded a counter attack. Ludendorff and Hindenburg, however, advised against it. The German objectives remained unchanged.


Austria must fall.


Edited by blah2127

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Chapter 4


Hapsburgian Twilight and the Rise of Tanks


On June 1, 1910, German troops surged into the Austro-Hungarian provinces of Moravia and Tyrol. Meanwhile, in the Alps, the Italians launched their own assault on South Tyrol, an area of Austria-Hungary that was ethnically Italian. In the Carpathians, Russian artillery opened fire on Austro-Hungarian forts as their army launched a massive human wave assault. In the Balkans, a new nation entered the war: Romania desired to take Transylvania, which was ethnically Romanian, from the Hapsburgs. Finally, Serbia launched what its commanders hoped would be its final offensive into Bosnia. The June Offensive had begun.


Austro-Hungarian high command were unprepared for the ferocity of the assault, or to deal with pressure from all sides. In addition, her troops were badly spent after years of fighting, and many of the Dual Monarchy’s Slavic subjects were tired of fighting what they viewed as a pointless war. The offensive had a devastating effect on the morale of the Austro-Hungarian army. Moravia fell on July 1. The Russians crossed the Carpathians on July 15. Bosnia, the cause of the war in the first place, was liberated by Serbia on August 1. Even Italy wasn’t suffering too many disasters, so that was something.


The Western Allies knew that if Austria-Hungary fell, the war was lost. However, all of their offensive capabilities had been exhausted by the costly Spring offensive. In addition, their troops were almost unwilling to fight after the gas attack. However, the Entente did have one last card to play, one final gambit to save their ally, one which would become very popular in another global war years later: Tanks.


Tanks were first developed by the British in 1910. Their purpose was to break through trenches and leave the way open for Infantry to take and hold positions. Their tracks were designed to tear through barbed wire, clearing away that major annoyance. Around ten British and French tanks were initially produced, and deployed to the Western Front. They were to see use in yet another Entente offensive, aimed at dislodging Germany from Occupied Belgium.



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A typical British tank that saw action in Belgium



Unfortunately for the Entente, the tanks were not used to great effect. They were not used in a single cohesive offensive, but rather assisted the foot soldiers in breaking through the German trenches in several key areas. However, this left the tanks vulnerable to artillery fire, which took it’s toll on the assaulting force as usual. In addition, they broke down frequently, and the soldiers that the tank supported were often not enough to hold what they had taken against the German counterattack without the aid of the tanks. Overall, the tank was a disappointing failure for Britain and France.


With yet another Entente offensive stalled, Germany could concentrate fully on the destruction of Austria-Hungary. On September 1, German troops in Moravia met up with Russian troops in Slovakia. By the fifth, German and Italian troops had secured Tyrol and were advancing on Vienna. Serbian troops took Croatia, and were fighting in Slovenia. Emperor Franz Josef considered suing for peace with the Triple Alliance, but when he did, the German and Russian diplomats put terms on the table that were unacceptable for the Hapsburgs.


Austria and Hungary would separate. Galicia would be annexed into Russia. Serbia would receive Bosnia and Croatia. Romania would receive Transylvania. Czechoslovakia would be granted independence, with Germany annexing the Sudetenland. Italy would receive South Tyrol. Finally, the part that was most unacceptable to the Hapsburgs: Germany would annex Austria as a province of Germany, with the Hapsburgs demoted to Archdukes. These terms were unacceptable to Emperor Franz Joseph, who refused to surrender his empire under any circumstances. As long as there was a fighting chance, the Austro-Hungarians would fight on.



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Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph



From Moravia, the Germans advanced into Hungary, meeting the Serbians by the end of the year. As 1910 turned to 1911, the Austro-Hungarians were reduced to Austria itself. However, defending Austria was one of the most formidable defenses in history. Emperor Franz Josef refused to surrender, in his fanatism. Franz Ferdinand, however, was more willing to work with the Germans. Wilhelm II considered him the next duke of Austria. However, across the Atlantic, the United States of America was stirring. The election campaigns were beginning, and Woodrow Wilson, an erudite school teacher turned politician, had a platform based around an assault on Germany and Russia…


Edited by blah2127

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Chapter 5


America Joins the War and the War in Asia


Historians have long considered Woodrow Wilson one of the worst presidents in American history, and with good reason. Wilson made one of the most disastrous decisions that any president ever has made, and declared war on Germany and Russia. And yet, in 1911, as Wilson began his campaign for President of the United States against William Howard Taft, his platform seemed appealing to American jingoists. Wilson argued that the United States had a duty to “make the world safe for democracy” or some bullcrap like that. In reality, both Germany and Russia had constitutions and allowed the voices of their people be heard, but, as far as Wilson was concerned, having a king automatically made you a despotism. Unless, of course, you were Britain.



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President Woodrow Wilson



The U.S. had, since the start of the war, been drifting ever closer to the Entente. Britain and France were important American trade partners, and the war had not stopped the U.S. from trading. However, as the Germans began their submarine campaign against Britain, more and more American shipping was hit. This outraged many American hawks, with conservative elements of Congress calling for war. However, one incident would solidify Wilson’s election campaign.


On April 1, 1912, the British liner Titanic was launched with much fanfare as the largest ship that the world had ever seen. Despite the ongoing war, it was about to begin it’s maiden voyage to New York City. However, the Titanic in reality had a darker purpose: it was to carry weapons of war to the U.K. that it bought from America. The German government warned anyone who was going on the ship’s voyage that they were making themselves targets. Almost no one listened. As such, when the Titanic set sail from port, a German U-boat slipped out after it. On April 15, 1912, the Titanic was torpedoed and sunk.



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An artist's rendition of the sinking of the Titanic



Never mind that the ship was going to carry weapons to the British government. Never mind that Germany warned the world not to go on the ship. Never mind that the U-boat guided the ship’s lifeboats to the nearest land mass. In his speeches, Wilson denounced the Germans as barbarians, demanding that America declare war on them and “Their Mongoloid allies” (the Russians). In the elections of 1912, Woodrow Wilson emerged victorious, and his first act as president after being sworn in was to ask Congress for a declaration of War on the Germans and their allies. The motion passed. On February 1, 1913, the United States entered the war on the side of the Entente.


America’s new allies could certainly use the help. 1912 had been a year of failure. After 2 months of resistance, Austria-Hungary finally surrendered, Emperor Franz Joseph dying the day the treaty was signed, some say of a broken heart. Preliminary plans to set up an independent states from the wreckage of the Empire were already beginning. Meanwhile, Austria formally became a member state of Germany, with Franz Ferdinand becoming Archduke. He would play an important role in healing the wounds between Austria and the rest of Germany. The former Austrian army was absorbed into the German army, with one soldier, Adolf Hitler, distinguishing himself with great bravery, taking a tank shell for his squad. He was posthumously awarded the Iron Cross.



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Corporal Adolf Hitler in uniform



In Central Asia, the Russian Army, after defeating the British invasion in 1909, pushed into The British Raj. The Russians reached the Indus by 1910, but were stopped by the staunch defense of the British Indian Army. Countless Russian soldiers were lost attempting to cross the river. However, in 1911, a massive amount of Russian soldiers were transferred to India from Europe as a result of the Austro-Hungarian collapse. General Pyotr Nikolaevich Wrangel, commander of Russian troops in India, launched a front wide offensive against Raj positions on the Indus, crossing the river and pushing deeper into the Subcontinent. Delhi fell by the beginning of 1912. Throughout the rest of that same year, the British Indian army fell into a state of collapse. Many Maharajas switched sides, seeing the way the wind was blowing. Many Indian soldiers simply deserted, seeing no reason to die for their colonial oppressors. The British Raj surrendered independently from the British Empire in August 1912.



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British Indian troops withdraw from combat with the Russians, July 1912



Meanwhile, the newly westernized Chinese Empire was seeking to flex its muscles and prove to the world it could defeat a European power. German foreign minister Arthur Zimmerman would give them that chance. In the Zimmerman Telegram to Beijing on March 13, 1912, Germany promised China the German colony of Taiwan as well as the opportunity to do whatever it pleased with any Asian colonies it captured so long as it declared war on the Entente. Sun Yat Sen accepted.


Chinese troops stormed into the British colony of Hong Kong on March 15, 1912. The following month, they turned south, invading the colony of French Indochina with a stunning speed and ferocity. Chinese marines stormed the British colony of Malaya, and they invaded Burma in June, linking up with Russian troops in Bengal in August. In a few months, China had subdued the Entente’s far eastern colonies. Only Australia and New Zealand remained.



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Chinese General Yuan Shikai, who commanded the Chinese army in the Great War



At the beginning of the year, it had seemed as though the war was winding down. Austria-Hungary was falling, and the other fronts were being closed one by one. The entry of America, however, gave Paris and London new hope. It would be in 1913 when the decisive battle would occur.


Edited by blah2127

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Chapter 6


The War against the Ottomans


The Ottoman Empire was a nation on the decline. In the 1870s it had suffered a disastrous defeat against Russia in the Russo-Turkish war, where they had lost territory in the Caucasian Mountains to Russia. In 1808, the Principality of Bulgaria declared independence. It was technologically backwards, and there were Arab and Slavic nationalists threatening the Empire’s integrity. In 1910, however, with its arch enemy Russia engaged in a war with Austria-Hungary, the Turks saw their chance to strike.


It was not merely opportunism that lead the Turks to go to war. They had had strong economic ties with the British ever since the Germans had joined with the Russians. A British soldier, T.E. Lawrence, was training Turkish soldiers to Fight with modern weapons. When Britain joined the war, they demanded that the Turks join them. The Turks proposed a bargain: The British would make for them two Dreadnoughts with which to fight the Russian Black Sea fleet. In 1910, these dreadnoughts were completed. As a result in August of 1910, the Ottoman Empire declared war on the Russian Empire, the German Empire, and the Kingdom of Italy.



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T. E. Lawrence, Ottoman Empire, 1910



Ottoman troops advanced into the Caucasian mountains. However, the region was mountainous enough that the Ottoman offensive stalled, and the Russians were able to bring reinforcements in time to stop the assault. On September 1, the Russian counteroffensive started. It too, however, was stalled by the mountains. The Caucasian front was a stalemate. It’s only practical effect was to force the Russians to divert troops from the offensive against the Austrians, allowing the Hapsburgs to hold on.


Ottoman soldiers also pushed into Russian occupied Persia. This was the Turk’s most threatening offensive, as they could encircle the Russian forces fighting in India. The Russians were forced to dispatch soldiers to block the Turks. While successful, this operation forced the Russians to let up their offensive in India.



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Ottoman troops on the offensive, Caucasian Mountains, 1910



In the Balkans, the Russians had a trump card. At the urging of the Russians, Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria declared war on the Turks, and by extension the Entente. In Greece, King Constantine was all too eager to aid Kaiser Wilhelm, who was his brother in law. These two nations were in a position to threaten the Turkish capitol of Constantinople.


Their offensive, however, would be stalled by an individual who will become very important later: Ottoman general Mustafa Kemal Pasha. Kemal, using British equipment, was able to successfully defend most of Rumelia against the Greeks and Bulgarians. This defense continued well into 1912.



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Mustafa Kemal Pasha



In Libya, the Italians launched an invasion with the aim of taking the region. This invasion, however, was complicated by T.E. Lawrence, who had taken command of Ottoman troops in Libya. Lawrence did an excellent job of rallying the people of Libya to the Ottoman cause. Though the Italians did take Tripoli, Lawrence’s troops kept them from taking Bengasi, Libya’s other major city, and the Libyan countryside was filled with Arab militias. Libya, like the rest of the war, was a stalemate.


In August 1911, the Russians transferred a huge amount of troops into Persia for an offensive against the Turks. The offensive was successful, and by October the Ottomans were pushed out of Persia entirely. The Russians then moved on to Mesopotamia. However, they were stopped at the Tigris River in November, before taking Baghdad. This offensive also allowed the Russians to go on the attack in the Caucasus, taking Armenia in late November. The Ottoman Empire was coming apart.


In 1912, after two years of trench warfare, a combined Bulgarian, Serbian, Romanian, Greek, Russian, and German offensive finally broke the stalemate in Thrace. On June 2, 1912 the offensive began, capturing Gallipoli and putting Constantinople at risk. Despite the best efforts of Mustafa Kemal, Constantinople fell, for only the second time in five centuries, on July 5, 1912. The Ottomans sued for a separate peace the following day.


The terms of the Treaty of Constantinople were harsh. Turkey would cede northern Thrace to Bulgaria, Southern Thrace to Greece, and Macedonia would be divided between the three. It would also cede Constantinople and the Greek parts of Anatolia to Greece. Armenia would go to Russia. Finally, a Russian administered protectorate would be established in the Holy Land, and the Kingdom of Iraq would be placed under Russian protection. Finally, and true to form, the Turks would pay reparations.


Like most of the treaties ending the Great War, the consequences of this one would be disastrous. The territorial disputes over Macedonia and Thrace, particularly between Bulgaria and Greece, were many. All across the world, though, Orthodox Christians took the moment to celebrate what was to become a new holiday: Reconquest Day. King Constantine was crowned Emperor of all the Greeks in the newly restored Haiga Sophia in Constantinople. Many Orthodox Christians moved to the new Russian protectorate in Palestine, to the chagrin of Palestinian Muslims. Tzar Nicholas II also allowed Jews to move to the Holy Land, perhaps in an attempt to make amends for centuries of Pogroms. In the defeated Ottoman Empire, dissatisfaction with the monarchy reached an all time high. Mustafa Kemal, meanwhile, had become enamored with the ideology of Communism. He began to advocate for a dictatorship of the Proletariat, with himself at the helm, of course.


Edited by blah2127

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Chapter 7


The Final Year


The entry of America into the war threw a wrench into Germany’s plans to end the war. They had intended to divert all of their troops to the Western Front, but there were several areas of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire that they had to pacify. In newly independent Hungary, for example, Communists under Bela Kun attempted to set up a “Dictatorship of the Proletariat”. Austrian nationalists also tried to restore an independent Austria, led by Karl Renner. These insurrections failed, but many German troops were tied up.



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German Imperial Stormtroopers prepare to take a French trench, 1913



It was thus rather difficult for Germany to bring adequate force to bear against the Entente. Using their new “Storm Troops”, or elite soldiers trained to take and hold trenches, the Germans began the Ludendorff Offensive on March 29, 1913. By April, they had reached Rhiems, north of Paris, but the first American troops were arriving to bolster their faltering allies. The German army was the best in the world, but soon the American numbers began to show. Troops from the British dominions of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand helped as well. By May, the Germans were being pushed back. By June, the Entente offensive had reached the German border.


The Entente commanders, John Pershing from America, Douglas Haig from Britain, and Philippe Petain from France, planned a massive offensive to capture the Rhineland and knock Germany out of the war. The Germans would be overwhelmed with numbers alone, and the war would come to an end. However, the Germans had their own allies. As the Indian front closed, hundreds of thousands of Russian troops, under Alexei Brusilov, arrived at the front. The stage was set for the decisive battle of the First World War.



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Top: Entente commanders John Pershing, Philippe Petain, Douglas Haig


Bottom: Alliance commanders Alexei Brusilov, Erich Ludendorff



In Asia, meanwhile, Chinese troops invaded Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines. The Chinese fleet clashed with the American navy around Hawaii and Midway, and battled with the Royal Navy around Indonesia. In all of these engagements, the Chinese proved themselves the equal of the westerners. A new order was rising over Asia. Germany and Russia had unwittingly created a powerful enemy… one with its eyes set firmly on Siberia.


Asia, however, was a sideshow compared to the European Front. The Pershing Offensive,v the Entente’s last, best hope, began on July 4, America’s independence day. Entente troops crossed into the German province of Elsass-Lotheringen, gaining some ground as they did. However, the German and Russian commanders, Hindenburg and Brusilov, decided to cause as much casualties as possible to the attacking forces. After a week of fighting, the Entente had reached the city of Metz, but their divisions were badly mauled. Then, the Russian reserves arrived in force.


Millions of battle hardened Russian troops smashed into Entente lines. They were supported by highly trained German Storm Troops, who blew holes in the enemy lines for their allies to exploit. By the end of July, the Entente had been pushed out of Germany. The speed of their rout would only intensify as the year continued.


All through August, Entente forces fell back. To the north Belgium was reconquered by Russo-German troops on August 10. The German morale was returning, as the Entente morale reached an all time low, being forced to pull out of the land that they had fought so hard for. The French army began to mutiny, returning home from what they knew to be a losing war. The Anglo-American expeditionary force was strong, but it could not fight without the French to back them up.


On August 15, the German fleet felt confident enough to try to break the British blockade on their trade. They sallied out of port, engaging the enemy at Jutland. With the aid of the Russian Baltic Fleet, the Germans scored a decisive victory, destroying half of the British fleet. Britannia no longer ruled the waves. This defeat led to a large amount of anti war strikes in Britain itself, and the British government began to contemplate an armistice.



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Artist's rendition of the Battle of Jutland. Note the Russian fleet in the background



On the battlefields of France, the German technological expertise was proving itself. The German tank, the AMV, was proving superior to the British and French tanks. In the air, German fighters defeated their Entente counterparts at every turn. Spearheading the German war effort in the air was Manfred von Richtofen, whose red fighter earned him the name of the Red Baron. The twenty year old ace would go on to accomplish great things in German aviation.



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Manfred von Richtofen, the Red Baron



In the south, the Italians, who had been fighting the French in Savoy since the beginning of the war, finally were winning victories. As August began, the Italians launched an offensive into Provence, capturing the city of Marsielles. By the end of August, the Italians were advancing almost unopposed across Aquitaine, as the French pulled troops for the desperate defense of Paris. Truly, the war was reaching its close.


By the end of August, the Russo-German forces had reached Paris. The British, Americans, and French dug in, prepared to fight. On August 25, the battle of Paris began. Fighting mostly occurred around Paris, with the final days of trench warfare taking place. On September 1, Paris was completely surrounded. Five day later, the fighting reached the outskirts of the city itself. On September 6, 1913, Paris fell. France surrendered that same day. On September 9, Britain surrendered. Finally, on September 11, 1913, The United States surrendered, followed by every other Entente nation. The war was over.


Edited by blah2127

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Chapter 8


The Treaty of Potsdam


The First World War had been the bloodiest war the world had ever seen. Millions died, and nations were devastated. An entire generation was lost. And so, as Tzar Nicholas II, Kaiser Wilhelm II, and King Victor Emmanuel III prepared for the peace conference at Potsdam Castle, just outside Berlin, they had one thing on their minds: vengeance for a war that they felt had been started by Britain, France, and Austria-Hungary.



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Wilhelm and Nicholas at Potsdam. Wilhelm is wearing the uniform of a Russian Cossak, while Nicholas is wearing the uniform of a German Hussar. This was a sign of friendship between Russia and Germany.



The only other person at the conference who would have any effect on the proceedings was U.S. president Woodrow Wilson. The U.S. was the only Entente belligerent that still had a capacity for large scale war. Indeed, American and Chinese marines were still heavily contesting the Pacific, with heavy fighting in Guam and Midway in particular. The U.S. army, meanwhile, had many more soldiers that it could ship to Europe. Even though it wouldn’t do much good, with France devastated and the Royal Navy no longer able to protect the American transports, if America wished it, America would fight on.


Unfortunately for Wilson, America did not wish to fight on. Only he did. There were many protests in America for peace, and the army refused to fire on the protestors. Wilson’s presidency, and the United States itself, would be in danger if he did not push for peace.


At the conference, Wilson introduced his Fourteen Points, a hugely unrealistic proposal that called for non harsh terms to be imposed on the defeated powers, and for Russia and Germany to actually lose territory. This unrealistic proposal was laughed off the table by Kaiser Wilhelm II, who informed Wilson that the conference was for the defeated powers to be informed of the conditions under which they would surrender, and surrender. If not, Germany and Russia would be happy to occupy France for a while.



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Wilson with his allies at Potsdam. Wilson was the first American President to travel to Europe while in office.



The Treaty of Potsdam has been heavily criticized by historians. They claim that Britain and France would never have imposed such harsh conditions on Germany! Nope, never. Not at all. Anyway, the following is a copy of the Treaty of Potsdam in paraphrased format, with my own analysis when appropriate.


Firstly, The Entente would be officially dissolved, with no alliance between the defeated powers permitted ever again. An interesting question is how exactly the victors intended to enforce these terms, but whatever. Secondly, France and Britain would have to pay out a total of 100,000 German Marks each to all of the victors, each. Finally, in terms of military: Britain would limit her navy to 100 ships of any kind except dreadnoughts. France could not have an army of over 100,000, and was forbidden from having a navy or Air Force. America was forbidden from moving its navy beyond Hawaii in the Pacific and Iceland in the Atlantic. These were the non territorial terms.


The peace terms imposed by Russia were mostly directed against Britain, specifically related to the “Great Game” between the two that had been going on for decades over dominance of Central Asia. Iran and Afghanistan were to accept sole Russian overlordship. Iran would cede a port to Russia, so it would have access to the Indian Ocean. The British Raj was to grant independence to Pakistan, which would become a Russian protectorate. Finally, The British Raj was forbidden from recruiting any native Indians into its army. Russia had triumphed. It had won the Great Game.


China’s demands were spearheaded by Kang Tongbi, the daughter of Kang Youwei and one of the first female diplomats. China desired to reestablish her sphere of influence over East Asia. To this end, Malaysia, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam were all given independence from their colonial overlords, only to be made tributaries of China. The Philippines was also made a tributary. China received Hong Kong from Britain, and, as promised, German Formosa. Finally, all American Pacific possessions except Hawaii were ceded to China. The Middle Kingdom had reemerged on the world stage.



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Kang Tongbi, the only woman to lead a delegation at Potsdam



Italy probably did the least of any of the European power to win the war. All it did was tie up Austro-Hungarian and French troops. However, it was payed its due. Italy received several border regions from France, including the city of Nice. It also received Corsica and all French African colonies north of the Sahara. Italy, however, was not satisfied. In the breakup of Austria-Hungary, Serbia (now the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) received several Border regions that Italy felt rightfully belonged to it. This led to many Italian Irredentists forming the Fascist party, a party devoted to nationalism and dictatorship, under the leadership of the charismatic Benito Mussolini.


Austria-Hungary fell apart. Austria was annexed directly into Germany, along with the German speaking parts of Bohemia, the Sudetenland. The Kingdom of Czechoslovakia, under the German prince Waldemar, now Vladimir I of Czechoslovakia, was formed. Romania received Transylvania, and Serbia received all of the Empire’s South Slavic provinces. The “Kingdom” of Hungary, under the dictatorial regent Miklos Horthy, desired to reunite Austria-Hungary.


Finally, Germany. Germany lost the most troops in the war, and suffered more than any of the other victors. It was compensated with a number of French border regions, including Verdun, and occupation of a strip of French land stretching from Calais to the Swiss border, to be in an optimal position in the next war. From Belgium, Germany received some border regions, and put Prince Albrecht on the throne as Albert II, making Belgium a German puppet. In addition, Germany received all sub Saharan British and French African colonies, except the Dominion of South Africa, which gained full independence, and British and French East Africa, which went to Italy.


The Treaty of Potsdam was a disaster. It castrated the defeated powers, and gave rise to new, aggressive ideologies (which will be discussed later). However, the disaster would not end there. As he was leaving the castle after signing the treaty, Kaiser Wilhelm II was murdered by Gavrilio Princip, a Slavic nationalist, as revenge for the German “occupation” of the Sudetenland, on January 5, 1914. His son, Wilhelm III, was crowned the next day. Few people have been less suited for dealing with some of the most ruthless dictators ever to rule. The consequences of Princip’s actions would be terrible.



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Gavrilo Princip, murderer of Wilhelm II


Edited by blah2127

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Quick question, please respond: I've been thinking of moving this to the role play section, where each person could play as a nation in this timeline. If I was to do this,,how many people would actually play it? If there are enough, there are still a few chapters to go before it would start.

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Welp. It looks like no one is interested in role playing. As such, here is the update:

Part 3

Interbellum

Chapter 1

An American Revolution

Many historians have said that the rise of Communism in America was inevitable. America, certainly, was very susceptible to it, certainly more so than Russia! It is certainly true that American democracy was what made it so vulnerable. The example of the United States proves that pure democracy, without the wise, just hand of a monarch to guide it, is bound to end as America’s did: bloodily.

American Democracy was in reality a fluke. The economy was controlled by “Robber Barons” who had a massive amount of control over the economy. The Robber Barons each controlled a business that had complete control over a market. This was called monopoly, and it meant that the owners of the business could charge however much they wanted for the service they provided, because there was no competition. This led to a few businessmen having complete control over the economy, which meant they also controlled the government. The last major attempt to block the Robber Baron’s stranglehold on power came from President Theodore Roosevelt, but all of his measures to stop the monopolies were stopped by the Congress for being “unconstitutional”. So it was that Republican Democracy went the way it always does: Oligarchy.

The Robber Barons were not unchallenged, however: the Socialist Party, led by Eugene V. Debs, sought to create a nation where the state controlled the means of production. They argued that only in this way could the rich be prevented from exploiting the poor. Socialism, however, did not seem like it could ever be elected to power-not with the Robber Barons controlling everything.

1913, however, would change all of that. That was the year when American soldiers would be cut down by the thousands in a pointless war started by President Woodrow Wilson. After the war, Wilson barely managed to avoid being impeached. However, the Democratic Party took a severe popularity hit because of the debacle. The Republicans were no better. Into this void stepped the Socialists. In the 1916 election, it looked as if the Socialists would finally win an election. It would not, however, be through democratic means that the Socialists would come to power. They would dominate politics through revolution.

In the 1916 campaign, Eugene Debs toured across the Northern industrial cities. He had the votes of the workers for the election. The South, meanwhile, would be the hotbed of the resistance to Socialism. However, it was divided between William Jennings Bryan and Woodrow Wilson. That meant that Debs had the advantage in terms of votes. Or at least he would, if he survived to the election. However, on a fateful day in February, the Ninth to be exact, Eugene Deb’s New York rally was fired upon by police, and Debs was killed. It would be the second shot heard round the world, and it would lead to the beginning of the Second American Revolution.

The response of the workers, as well as that of Deb’s former lieutenant Jack Reed, was immediate. All across the industrialized North, the workers rose up, seizing most of the cities. In the following weeks, they would spread out and seize the countryside around the cities, and many units in the US army would switch sides as well. By April, the communists controlled everything north of a line stretching from the Great Lakes to Baltimore, Maryland. Communist troops were also on the offensive in the Midwest. From April to July 15, 1916, heavy street fighting would take place between the Communist forces and Federal troops throughout Maryland. On July 15, after a week long battle, the bedraggled US army surrendered the city. From the steps of th White House, Jack Reed proclaimed the foundation of the United Socialist States of America, whose constitution would be determined at a later date.

Despite all of this the war was far from over. Woodrow Wilson had fled to California, where the US army had succeeded in stamping out Communist partisans. Once there, he, along with General John Pershing, formed a defensive line along the Rocky Mountains with the remnants of the US army. The “Pershing Line” would be a tough nut to crack for Communist forces.

It would be in the South, however, where the Communist’s greatest task lay. Civilian militias, consisting primarily of poor whites, had been mobilized by William Jennings Bryan. Now, they prepared for the onslaught to come, as the Communists prepared to pacify the South. They did not have long to wait.

On August 1, 1916, Communist troops crossed into Virginia. They were met with stiff, fanatical resistance from the militias. Long after Virginia had been pacified a month after the start of the campaign, the Red Army was facing a huge amount of guerrilla resistance from the “rednecks”. Reed ultimately decided to impose draconian measures on the occupied South, including nationalization of farms. The resistance, however, never ceased. Despite all of this, the Communist advance continued, however slowly.

After two years of long, bloody conflict, the South was finally subjugated. However, America’s neighbors were also eager to capitalize on her weakness. The Canadians sent troops to occupy New England, one of the more industrialized regions of America, as well as Alaska. In the Pacific, Japan, which had been quiet since the humiliating defeat by Russia and Germany in 1905, took control of America’s Pacific possessions, including Hawaii (where it installed a daughter of the last Queen as monarch) and the Philippines. The Japanese had democratized, but now looked once again towards China for expansion. Reed was forced to accept all of these losses.

In June of 1919, the Communists had secured the South, had the Northeast under their complete control, and were advancing in the Midwest. All that was left was to cross the Rocky Mountains and deal the remnants of the Federal Government one final blow. The Communists took many losses crossing the mountains, but by the end of June, they had crossed them, advancing into Oregon, Arizona, and Washington State.

As the Red advance rolled through New Mexico and Arizona, the Middle and Upper class of America finally saw the writing on the wall. A Communist takeover in America was inevitable. A mass exodus of the rich occurred, as many prominent Americans, such as William Randolph Hearst and Henry Ford, fled from an America that was becoming increasingly hostile. The former “Robber Barons” fled with them, taking with them their vast wealth and a good portion of the American economy. A large amount of refugees, however, particularly those who were not particularly rich, were turned back by the countries they fled to (particularly Australia, Canada, Russia, New Zealand, China, and Japan). Woodrow Wilson was among them, boarding a ship to Australia before the Communists had even entered California. His ship, however, crashed on Tazmania and he was eaten by Tazmanian Devils, a fitting end for such a terrible person.

On August 6, 1919, from Alcatraz Island, the last piece of land that the Red Army captured from the now defunct USA, Jack Reed proclaimed the formation of the USSA (United Socialist States of America) with himself as President. The USSA had mandatory Socialism in all of its states, with governors and Party Council, or Politburo, members being elected as well. However, the Politburo alone elected the Premier, who had absolute power. Free Speech was also greatly curtailed. Clarence Darrow, an American defense Attorney living in exile in Australia, commented that “Never has so good a cause led to such disastrous results.” Unfortunately, the situation in the USSA would not get any better. Reed was an aggressive, authoritarian ruler, and he was determined to spread Communism, whatever the cost.

AN: Why no, I don't like Woodrow Wilson.

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Chapter 2


The Spread of Communism and Fascism


By 1920, Jack Reed, premier of the USSA, had fully consolidated the Communist Party’s rule over America. He followed a set of beliefs that said that Communism should be spread across the world covertly, using agitators to convince the population to rise up in rebellion. He called his ideology the “Reed Doctrine”, after the famous Monroe Doctrine, which essentially claimed the Americas as the US’s sphere of influence, and his first target was Mexico.


Mexico was an exceedingly corrupt dictatorship ruled by Victoriano Huerta. However, the country was in the middle of a violent civil war, with Communists and Republicans both fighting against Huerta’s regime. The Americans sent advisors and weapons to the Communists, led by guerrilla leader Doroteo Arango, better known as Pancho Villa. With American help, Villa was able to take control of all of Mexico in 1921. Mexico would be the first stepping stone to Communist domination of the Americas.


Throughout the 1920’s, Communism spread from Mexico, to Central America, Cuba, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile. Not all American attempts to spread Communism were successful, however. In Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Bolivia, the right wing dictatorships in power crushed all Communist sentiments, and formed a coalition against Communism in Latin America. Conflict seemed imminent. In addition, Canada continuously resisted all attempts to incite a revolution.


In some countries, America did not need to agitate for revolution. The British Raj was greatly weakened by its defeat in World War I, and advocates for Indian independence saw their time to strike. The Communist Party of India, however, were in the best position, as they reminded the common Indian people of their crushing poverty, and the fact that the Indian nobility actively collaborated with the British. In 1925, led by Shripad Amrit Dange, the Indians rose in revolt with the goal of installing a Communist state in India, led by Communist leader Shripad Amrit Dange.


At first, the revolt was only a guerrilla war, with rebels controlling the jungles and striking against the British whenever they had the chance. However, in 1926, British troops massacred peaceful Indian protestors, including intellectual Mohandas Gandhi. Gandhi’s death convinced the British Sepoys, or native Indian soldiers, to join the rebels. At this point, the British Indian Army was badly outnumbered, and could not fight against so many rebellious subjects. In March 1927, the British withdrew from India, and the Indian Democratic Republic was declared by Dange in Delhi.


The IDR followed an aggressive foreign and internal policy, threatening the Russian protectorate of Pakistan, and prosecuting any “enemies of the people”. In India, a state campaign to abolish Hinduism was mostly successful, with many of India’s poor subscribing to Dange’s cult of personality. In addition, many of the old Maharajas who were unlucky enough to fail to escape India were murdered along with their families after show trials, with their property being redistributed by the state.


In the Ottoman Empire, Communism was strong as well. In the past century, the House of Osman had failed in every way to reverse the decline of the Turkish nation. Practically every aspect of society at this point called for the deposition of the Sultan. In 1921, Communist aligned soldiers, led by Mustafa Kemal, stormed the Imperial Palace in Ankara, the new Ottoman capitol, and butchered the Sultan and his family. They then proclaimed the Middle Eastern Worker’s Republic, a Communist State with claims to the entirety of the Middle East.


The response from the European Right Wing was to be expected. Across Europe, the right rallied behind demagogues who railed about the “Red Hordes” and the need to “Defend Western Civilization”. Chief among these demagogues was the Italian Benito Mussolini. Mussolini, angered by the fact that a good portion of the land tally had been promised from Austria-Hungary had gone to Yugoslavia instead, at Nicholas II’s insisting, claimed that the Triple Alliance had stabbed Italy in the back, and urged it to leave. This, combined with Communist unrest in Italy as well, encouraged King Victor Emanuele III to appoint Mussolini as Italy’s Prime Minister in 1919. Mussolini immediately cracked down on leftist movements, and slowly centered the state around himself. By 1925, he was the undisputed dictator of Italy. Mussolini called his new ideology “Fascism”.


Fascism quickly became a catch all term for far right ideologies in Europe. In Britain, the public psyche was shocked by the loss of the war, as well as India and Ireland, which, after a bloody rebellion, declared independence in 1917, taking the whole of the Island. British firebrand and politician Oswald Mosley formed the British Union of Fascists, a group desiring to restore the British Empire’s former glory and get revenge on Germany and Russia. Mosley’s party, however, did not get far until 1930, when King George V died. His son, Edward VIII, had fascist leanings, and appointed Mosley as Prime Minister. Mosley was quick to reign in the autonomy of the British Dominions, and they soon became Fascist leaning, too. Not all Britons supported Fascism. Some of the more notable were Winston Churchill, former first Lord of the Admiralty, and Prince Albert, Edward’s brother. They would go into exile in Germany.


In China, the young intellectual Wang Jingwei coined the ideology of “Sinocentrism”, an ideology similar to Fascism but was different i n that it called back to China’s glory days instead of looking to the future. China, Jingwei argued, was rightfully the Middle Kingdom, the center of the world. All of Asia should be reorganized into Chinese tributaries. Jingwei viewed it as a disgrace that Korea, rightfully a Chinese tributary, was in the Russian Sphere of Influence. He also wished that Japan, closely aligned with Germany, should be brought into the fold. Finally, Jingwei wished for an end to all European control of Asia. This meant the conquest of Russian Siberia and Central Asia, as well as the Dutch East Indies. Indochina and Malaysia were already Chinese tributaries. Jingwei became Prime Minister of China in 1930.


Fascism did not triumph everywhere. On June 5, 1930, Tzar Nicholas II of Russia died due to Lung Cancer, caused by excessive smoking. His heir used to be Tsarevitch Alexei, but Alexei had died years before due to Haemophilia, a disease common in European royal families whereby it was extremely difficult to stop blood flow. This meant that Nicholas’s eldest daughter, Olga, would be crown princess. Since her brother’s death, she had been groomed for the position, but she was known for being a liberal. This, along with her gender, did not sit well with the more right wing elements of the Russian Army, who supported Grand Duke Mikhail, Nicholas’s brother. At Olga’s coronation ceremony, the day after her father’s death, Russian troops led by Denkin stormed the cathedral where the coronation was taking place, declaring Mikhail Tsar and the constitution abolished.


Fortunately, the majority of the Russian Army remained loyal to the legitimate government. Within an hour, liberal general Pyotr Nicholaevitch Wrangel gathered together a tank regiment and stormed into the cathedral. Denkin ordered his men to take Olga hostage to stop the tanks, but the Russian rebel soldiers surrendered after being promised amnesty. Denkin and Mikhail were arrested, and the constitution restored. The incident had two effects: one, it made Russia firmly opposed to Fascism, and two, it led to Wrangel being promoted to Field Marshal and later chief of the Imperial Russian Army.


Finally, the most infamous example of Fascism was France. France was devastated by the First World War. It’s army was destroyed, its industry was devastated, and its colonial empire was reduced to a rump. France had a certain tradition that comes with losing a major war. That tradition is based around a certain dynasty: the Bonapartes. In 1799, Napoleon Bonaparte had seized power from the French Republic, declaring himself Consul and later Emperor. In 1848, Louis Napoleon Bonaparte became President of the Second French Republic, later crowning himself Emperor Napoleon III. In both of these cases, the French would lose a major war, leading to the Emperor’s dethronement. Charles Napoleon Bonaparte hoped that the third time’s the charm when he ran for President of the French Third Republic in 1926.


The election was a landslide victory for Bonaparte, whose talk of restoring France’s glory and his family’s prestige resonated with the defeated French populace. Bonaparte’s power was further compounded when right wing politician Charles Maurass became Prime Minister in that same election, leading to a parliament dominated by the right. In 1927, Bonaparte announced a referendum to decide if he was to be crowned Emperor of France. The motion passed. On October 24, 1927, Charles Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned Emperor Napoleon V of the French. Later that month, he invited Oswald Mosley and Benito Mussolini to Paris to discuss a potential alliance. On November 5, 1927, the Paris-London-Rome Axis was signed. The road to the Second World War had begun.

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I've only had time to read the first and last few and skim the ones about the war, but this is very interesting.

I would definitely be up for this becoming an RP, but participation may be a problem, and I'm also unsure as to how it would run. Would the SF member act as the state as a whole, or just the leader?

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Yeah, at this point it being a role-play is kind of out, based on the lack of support for it. In the event of a RP, though, each player would play an entire nation.

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