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Thread: Two Alexanders: Greece in the Age of Conflict

  1. #1
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    Two Alexanders: Greece in the Age of Conflict






    The Beginnings

    July 17th, 1967 - A school in Athens..

    "Every tale has a beginning - that is what my father always said, and Hellas too had a start.

    Some would say that the beginning of Hellas was thousands of years ago, led by men named Leonidas, Pericles, Themosticles and Demosthenes. Others would say that Hellas as we know it began only a hundred years ago, with small bands of freedom fighters harassing their powerful Turkish lords.

    I think something different, young children, and so would many of your fathers and grandfathers. Hellas began to flourish twice, and both times, she was led by a man named Alexander. Let me tell you a story..."

    Coming soon...
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    Blasted Conniving Roman General_BT's Avatar
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    This is the result of my recent purchase of HOI: Doomsday and the resultant HOI mania - I couldn't leave it well enough alone, so I made a mod of my own. Brief summary - in this alternate history, King Alexander of Greece did not die from a freak monkey bite in 1920, and Greece won her 1922 war with Turkey, realizing the Megali idea by force. Prime Minister Venizelos, who had dominated the King for years, fell ill and died in 1928, meaning that Alexander, a playboy who was not expected to succeed, has been relatively on his own since - with interesting results. A full explanation, including other changes to the history will precede the AAR itself.

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    The primary goal for Greece in this campaign will be survival - Greece starts far stronger than she did historically, but no matter who she sides with in the upcoming conflict, there's going to be a lot of steel headed her way. However, at points I'm going to let you, the readers, decide on the future course of the Greek nation.

    The first such point is now.

    With the realization of the Megali Idea, the goal to unify all Greek-speaking peoples of the Mediterranean and Black Sea coasts, Greece has come into possession of the Queen of Cities, Constantinople. With this comes a choice - should the Greeks, before 1936, have:

    1) Remained the Kingdom of Greece
    2) Raised Alexander to the rank of Autokrator ton Romanion, recreating Byzantium and possibly frightening/enraging her neighbors (implicitly such a claim means Greece claims overlordship of Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslava, the rump of Turkey, etc. etc.) Mussolini might not like the idea of someone else claiming to be Roman, as well.
    3) Raise Alexander to some intermediate position, such as Emperor of Constantinople (Autokrator ton Konstantinopolis), with less of a chance of offending the neighbors.
    4) Alexander shouldn't let the Prime Minister worry about titles, and instead should worry about marginalizing the Prime Ministers of Greece and take real power.


    The map as things stand on January 1st, 1936
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  3. #3
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    Good luck!

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    I always thought it would be interesting to have the Megali idea come to fruition, good luck.
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    Strategy Cognoscenti Demi Moderator Myth's Avatar
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    are you offering us a choice of where to go with this aar? 'cause I think that the second option would be the most interesting
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Myth
    are you offering us a choice of where to go with this aar? 'cause I think that the second option would be the most interesting
    I would have to second Myth on crowning Alexander emperor of the Romans; it just sounds so much more ambitious, and I've always had a fondness for recreating the Roman Empire.
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    Romanorum Imperator Augustus asd21593's Avatar
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    I vote 2, only if the capital is Constantinople, let's bring back the Roman Empire

    were by any chance influenced by my Greek AAR? lets be the most belligerent nation in the Allies and rid the earth of Huns, Mongols, Japs, and Italians!

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    Looks good. Subscribed. I vote 2 as well;recreating the Roman Empire from Constantinople sounds fun.
    All the common people want is to be left alone. All the ordinary soldier wants is to collect his pay and not get killed. That's why the great forces of history can be manipulated by astonishingly small groups of determined people.

  9. #9
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    So far the consensus appears to be to go for broke, claim the title of "Roman Emperor" and screw whatever the Italians or anyone else might say. If there's differing opinions, there are still several posts of background history to get through before the decisive moment, so let me know!

    I'm also trying to pick what flag will represent Greece (should we go the Roman course, which looks increasingly likely). I have the following two designs -


    Design A, based off the Byzantine flag, but with H's for Hellenes, as well as the white and blue cross of Greece. Or


    Design B, based on the old Imperial Macedonian starburst in the background, with the Byzantine eagle in the foreground - kind of a combination of the two Imperial moments in Greek history.


    And finally, to the next update:











    Otto I - 1832-1863


    King of the Hellenes, of the House of Wittelsbach


    The Kingdom of Greece, like most of the Balkan nations, was born in the blood-soaked years of the 19th century, amidst wars that historians in England and France lost between the triumphs of Napoleon and the Great War of recent memory. Throughout the 1820s, tensions between Greeks and their Ottoman Turk overlords grew and finally boiled over, and with the help of friendly Western powers, Greece was able to gain her independence in 1832 under the Convention of London. Along with her independence came a foreign prince, Otto of Wittelsbach, who would take the throne as the first "King of the Hellenes" in 1832 to much merriment and rejoicing. The king was still a minor at that point - and few had any idea what was in store when he finally took the reins of power for himself.

    The celebrations proved short lived, as Otto came face to face with the chief problem that inevitably faces a new country - finances. The Greeks were soon taxed to an even greater extent that while under the Ottoman rule to repay British and Rothschild loans, and various factions within the Greek government, each backed by a different Great Power, made politics a fractitious endeavor at best. To further complicate matters, the Greeks took ecclesiastical matters extremely seriously, and were naturally opposed to many of the pro-Roman Catholic policies of the Bavarian Otto.

    The straw that broke the camel's back came in 1855. With Russia at war with Turkey, the Greeks cried for their king to join the Russians and strike at the Turk to regain more lands held by their kin. Instead of acting swiftly and promptly, Otto vacillitated for several months, struck out halfheartedly with the army, and accomplished little. The distracted Turks offered the Greeks a paltry sum - Larissa and parts of Epirus, and a combined fleet of British and French ships arrived off Piraeus and compelled the Greeks to accept those meager terms. Had Otto marched sooner and in force, there was a good chance he could have made impressive gains against the distracted Turks. As it stood, a little territory was gained, as well as a great deal of embarassment at Greece's predicament once the Allied fleets arrived.


    Otto board a British warship to go into exile - 1863


    Discontent with Otto's rule reached a crescendo in 1867, after the King attempted to rule by decree, a combination of parliamentarians and military personnel overthrew Otto, and appealed to the West to send a new ruler. The man that Greece recieved was perhaps the greatest ruler of the modern Hellene Kingdom - Prince Wilhelm of Denmark, a descendant of Byzantine Emperors, better known in Greek as Georgios I.

    Georgios I - 1863-1913


    Georgios I, King of the Hellenes


    Prince Wilhelm of the House of Glucksberg was originally suggested by the Great Powers as a replacement for Otto because they assumed Wilhelm would be more firmly under their control - France and the UK especially remembered Otto's erstwhile defiance during the Crimean War, a destabilizing factor they'd managed to only partially mitigate. Wilhelm was well connected to the European monarchies (his elder brother was King of Denmark, one sister was married to the future Edward VII of Britain, the other to the future Alexander III of Russia). To make things even better, he was only 17 when elected, and no doubt the Great Powers hoped to mold him into the pawn they wished him to be.

    This was not the case.

    From the beginning, Georgios was passionate about the needs and desires of his new populace. Adopting the motto, "My strength is the love of my people," he began an aggressive program to curb corruption in the Parliament, streamline the government, and solve Greece's fiscal woes. He was the first Greek monarch to swear an oath to defend the Greek Constitution, extended universal male suffrage to the population, while promoting ties with the Great Powers of Europe, especially England, without remaining under their thumbs. This unexpected independence streak struck hard in 1877, when the still young Kingdom faced its greatest test to date.



    The Russo-Turkish War

    Turkish divisions march to their doom against the ferocious fire of the Greeks at the Battle of Kilkis, 1877


    Relations between the Turks and the Tsars of Russia had always been hostile at best, with the ever weakening Turk in constant fear of a powerful and conquering RUssian Empire to her north. Georgios as well knew about Russia's tendencies, and through his brother-in-law Alexander, he goaded the Russian Tsar Alexander II into issuing a series of ultimatums to Turkey that the Turks could not accept. War was the result - a war Georgios was ready for.

    As a Danish prince, Georgios was on a path towards naval command, service as a cadet in the Danish Navy. Despite his change of position, his love of the sea remained, and Georgios invested the profits of his intense governmental reforms into a small but modern navy, as well as a better trained army. This discipline paid off handsomely - waiting for the Turkish forces to deploy north against their larger and better equipped Russian enemies, the Greeks struck rapidly on two fronts - an expeditionary force of 8,000 troops landed in Crete, occupying the island, while the 36,000 soldiers of the Army of Macedonia, Georgios at its head, marched north, conquering and laying waste.

    The Ottomans scrambled what they could, but on the banks of the Kilkis River near Salonika, the Turkish reserve army under Mehmet Pasha was crushed by a better equipped and better led Greek force. Salonika fell to the Greeks after a brief siege on the 19th of October, and by November the Turks, whose armies were crumpling on all fronts, rushed to the negotiating table.

    Turkey ceded Macedonia, Salonika, Crete and the Aegean isles to Greece, as well as giving into Russian demands and freeing Bulgaria and Wallachia as independent nations.Greatly enlarged, Georgios and the new Greek state set about modernizing their new conquests, and by 1885, the "minor miracle" of Greece was being spoken of in business circles. While the refining of agricultural products were the first industries to be built in Greece, these first steps expanded into steel production, mining, and localized shipbuilding.

    Greece's military grew even more, and the confident Georgios had no trouble gathering together collections of Balkan nations in 1898 and 1906 to peck away at the reeling Turks once more. Greece had the lion's share of gains, her lands encroaching ever closer to their goal.



    The Megali Idea


    The generally agreed upon extent of ethnic Greek homelands, according to the Greeks themselves


    The Megali (literally "Great Idea") was the idea of national unity that permeated through the politics of Greece in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Like Germany and Italy, there was an idea within Greece that the borders of the Greek state should encompass all ethnic Greeks living in historically Greek territory. As "Greece" as a unified state had not existed ever before, arguably, the exact boundaries of these lands varied, but through the 1880s a general consensus emerged that "Greater Greece" extended across the Aegean to the Anatolian coast, Crete, Cyprus, and most precious of all, Constantinople.

    Of course the Megali caused immense consternation in Turkey, especially considering the repeated Turkish losses to the Greek military. Turkey was far larger, and in theory had more resources to deploy to battle, but her government was ineffecient and corrupt, with repeated reforms only appearing haphazardly. After every war, it seemed, the Greeks grimly reformed their armies, built their navies, and prepared to strike again. Each war, the only thing that saved Turkey from complete destruction was the intervention of the other Great Powers. Despite this, within the halls of Westminster and in the Kaiserplatz, a general, grim assessment was made of the Turkish chances - it was almost inevitable, it seemed, that Greece would take what she wanted.

    The Turks realized this as well, and through the first decade of the 20th century, desperately sought to find an ally to help prop up their cracking regime, yet the Great Powers did not listen - by 1900 the Balance of Power in Europe had already been broken by the unification of Italy and Germany, and in the West there was a blatant bias in thought that Greece, founder of Western political and philosophical thought, should triumph over the weak and oriental Turks. Turkey consequently sought an allegiance with the U.S., but this too came to deaf ears. In 1909, a cabal calling themselves the Young Turks took control of the government, and sought to strengthen the Turkish military by what means they knew against the oncoming juggernaught. The 1906 war had seen Greek troops actually pitch their tents within sight of Constantinople, and everyone knew what would happen next...

    Despite his dreams of national glory, Georgios would never live to see the Megali Idea fulfilled. The King of the Hellenes was an extremely popular man - one of the reasons being his habit of walking amongst his people, without bodyguard or escort, talking, encouraging, and learning. On the 18th of June 1913, he was conducting such a walk through the city of Adrianopolis (lately Edirne), only seven years removed from Turkish rule. A young Turkish nationalist named Kemal Yavuz approached the king and fired five shots into him at point blank range.

    A near disaster ensued, for the throne suddenly was in the hands of the King's son, Constantine...
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    What a great idea. I was so surprised to see this AAR, never saw it coming

    Look forward to seeing the rest of Greece's struggle to glory.
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    Brilliant AAR, i also vote for number 2, but that first flag looks gorgeous!

    I will be reading *subscribed*

  12. #12
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    2 and 4. It's not much good to be an emperor if your country is still run by other people.
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  13. #13
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    *Subscribes*

    And go with the sunburst flag.
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  14. #14
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    Excellent start! And I vote for the Sunburst. It looks awesome.
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    Interesting.

    1. Walking among the people may seem like a good idea, but this IS the age of public political assassination by random strangers...

    2. I liked it how you said "according to the Greeks themselves" because of course there were more Greeks in Alexandria or even Crimea than in say, Adana.

    3. You can always count on the Russians to spoil for a fight against the Turks, so - good call on Georgios' part.
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  16. #16
    Revolutionary Leader VILenin's Avatar
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    I vote that prior to 1936 Alexander only be Emperor of Constantinople (option 3) but leaving the possibility to declare yourself the [/I]Basilea ton Romaion[I] at some point in the game. The first flag's more appropirate but I love that second flag!

    I, too, have always wanted a greater Greece coming out of WWI (not surprising, given my Byzantine sympathies). Looking forward to more.
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    I vote the first flag

    and it would be very interesting to have a showdown between the western Roman empire (with the Duce), and the eastern roman empire (you)
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  18. #18
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    Looking good!

    As a big fan of the Hellenes, I'm a bigger fan of the Megali!

    I vote on 3, since I think that the Hellenes should forget their silly Byzantine ties and go further back to a truly Hellenistic Hegemony.

    Out of the flags, I think I'll go with the 2nd one, since its less Byzantine..
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  19. #19
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    great concept, ill be following this as well as your other aar. I say go with 4. An actual byzantine empire would be somewhat of a joke in 1936 I think, and remaining the kingdom of Greece with a man named alexander at the head cant be a bad Idea. As for the flags I say go with the starburst one.
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  20. #20
    Blasted Conniving Roman General_BT's Avatar
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    So it appears by far that the second flag is the preferred choice, as well as the idea that Alexaner should, somehow, claim the Byzantine throne - and I have an idea that will appear in the next AAR update that will make the idea more palatable in the modern world.

    Also there seems to be an idea that Alexander should have some personal power, so this too, will get incorporated into the next update!
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