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Thread: The United States: 'Prophets of a New Order'

  1. #1061
    Field Marshal GhostWriter's Avatar

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    TC Pilot: ...While he doesn't have to really contend with allied powers at the negotiating table, he still has to bring back a treaty 2/3 of the Senate will approve.

    do i sense a UN in this timeline ? ?

    TC Pilot:
    ...Shangqing China, Japan, Russia, and Canada.

    interesting set of nations ! !

    do they become the next "great powers" ? ?

    TC Pilot:
    ...Hardly a master of foreign affairs, President Truman was certainly not keenly aware of all these various nuances...

    not so sure about that... Truman was a sharp cookie ! !

    TC Pilot:
    ...As the kings, princes, generals, ministers, priests, and union bosses slowly gathered in Washington in anticipation for the start of the humbly-named Washington Peace Conference, one could only guess how the interplay of such a bewildering mixture of countries, ideologies, and personalities would affect the outcome.

    certainly should be interesting to watch it unfold ! !

    awesome updates ! !
    B an 0:-), make someone happy, :-) GhostWriter :-)

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  2. #1062
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    What happened to the German colonies in the east?
    France annexed them?
    Or Mittelafrika?

  3. #1063
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    Seeing the German colonies in China reminded me, are they still fighting on from Mittelafrika? Kind of surprising we haven't heard anything about them recently, or even in relation to the peace conference. I imagine the German people would be itching to have their Kaiser back after the brutal Syndicalist occupation, so you can't very well ignore him without setting up a complete puppet state.

  4. #1064
    The bit about Sternberg made me chuckle. Sounds about right for him. I could almost imagine him thinking that Truman himself was laying for him with a pistol.

    Splendid updates, as always.
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  5. #1065
    Kurt's Best AAR Reader Viden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metroid17 View Post
    The bit about Sternberg made me chuckle. Sounds about right for him. I could almost imagine him thinking that Truman himself was laying for him with a pistol.

    Splendid updates, as always.
    Von Sternberg in the USA? Too many Jews for him! All good people know that the USA is modern Babylon, from where evil emanates!
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  6. #1066
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Viden View Post
    Von Sternberg in the USA? Too many Jews for him! All good people know that the USA is modern Babylon, from where evil emanates!
    You're forcing me to look up the meaning of the word "emanates". Now that is evil.
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  7. #1067
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Madien View Post
    You're forcing me to look up the meaning of the word "emanates". Now that is evil.


    What's special with that word?
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  8. #1068
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Madien View Post
    You're forcing me to look up the meaning of the word "emanates". Now that is evil.
    I had to check it too.
    I love these forums, you learn new English words all the time.

  9. #1069
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Viden View Post


    What's special with that word?
    I had no idea what the word meant. I have never heard it before.
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  10. #1070
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Madien View Post
    I had no idea what the word meant. I have never heard it before.
    Google told me it's correct. I hope it is.
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  11. #1071
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    Yeah, 'emanates' is a fancy word all right, very useful in the right circumstances!

    I'm in two minds as to how readily the German people would accept Wilhelm III back to head a re-formed Kaiserreich. On the one hand, he bravely refused to give up Alsace-Lorraine (or should it be Elsass-Lothringen in TTL?!) and vowed to keep fighting against the Syndicalist oppressors.

    On the other hand, he and his generals; while undoubtedly skilled, got fairly trounced in Europe and failed to make any headway or even stall the Internationale in Africa. While one could put this down to most of the Heer being mashed in Flanders and Germany, it could also be wondered whether that string of defeats reduces the Imperial government's military and political credibility (as with most things, the two are usually intertwined).

    Could the USA and other delegates decide that, because the Imperials failed to defend Germany in the first place, they shouldn't get it back? Or maybe they will take the longer-term (and maybe more sensible?) view that Wilhelm should be given another chance to do right by the German people. Certainly, some pressure to get Heinrich Bruning or Konrad Adenauer as a moderate Chancellor (anyone but Papen!) from the Americans could be expected, and maybe even welcomed by the German public.

    In any case, Germany is going to have to work out a place for itself in a New World Order where it isn't the top dog...
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  12. #1072
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    A Constitutional Monarchy with a minimal role for the Kaiser (like OTL's monarchies) would do great to utilize the Kaiser yet provide other groups with sufficient leeway to do their political work.
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  13. #1073
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ciryandor View Post
    A Constitutional Monarchy with a minimal role for the Kaiser (like OTL's monarchies) would do great to utilize the Kaiser yet provide other groups with sufficient leeway to do their political work.
    That's a good point. Germany could be transformed into OTL United Kingdom and Japan.
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  14. #1074
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ciryandor View Post
    A Constitutional Monarchy with a minimal role for the Kaiser (like OTL's monarchies) would do great to utilize the Kaiser yet provide other groups with sufficient leeway to do their political work.
    That would probably be the best solution if it worked out, but it does require the Kaiser and what's left of the Prussian elite to accept that the old Kaiserreich is gone and they have to work with the new democratic system.

    I'm not sure how keen the Kaiser would be to be restored by American bayonets and have to actually listen to the common rabble, although of course it'd be his only chance of getting his country back so he might be inclined to be cooperative in the short term at least.

  15. #1075
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zhuge Liang View Post
    That would probably be the best solution if it worked out, but it does require the Kaiser and what's left of the Prussian elite to accept that the old Kaiserreich is gone and they have to work with the new democratic system.

    I'm not sure how keen the Kaiser would be to be restored by American bayonets and have to actually listen to the common rabble, although of course it'd be his only chance of getting his country back so he might be inclined to be cooperative in the short term at least.
    They could leverage their remaining influence to secure themselves among the political elite for some time... it has happened that way in some places. Being a noble does give you some privileges.
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  16. #1076
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    Just a head's up to everyone: I'm working on the next update, the long-awaited Washington Peace Conference. It's mostly written at this point. I just have to edit and proofread it a bit and get together suitable pictures and screencaps to go along with the text. Hopefully the custom events I made are also working properly too. Expect the update to be done sometime on Friday.

  17. #1077
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    Prophets of a New Order - Part VI

    -----

    Continental Memorial Hall, the site of the Washington Peace Conference, in the 1920's, much as it would have looked at the time. Situated just a few blocks from the White House and Capitol Building, the hall was one of the few locations in the capital suitable for a long-term, large-scale diplomatic gathering.


    For a gathering of such distinguished representatives for such an ambitious project, the Washington Peace Conference began on November 20, 1946 with comparatively little fanfare. Twenty-six years prior, as German soldiers stood triumphant in Europe end-to-end, the Berlin Peace Conference had been a magnificent spectacle to behold, even as so many dreaded what terms the victors might impose upon the defeated nations. Though he would later deny it, one cannot help but imagine that, as President Truman began his speech that would begin the conference, he deliberately avoided the same sort of triumphalism and barely-contained glee of Kaiser Wilhelm II subjected his audience to. Indeed, the President kept his message simple and terse, but at the same time neither naive nor blunt. 'There are three principles that must serve as the guideposts of this meeting,' Truman explained: 'Self-determination, free trade, and peaceful co-existence. Only on such a foundation might we establish a peaceful future.'

    But the issues and crises standing in the way of any lasting settlement were anything but simple. The task of reordering nations was no small task, but, in control of nearly all of continental Europe, the United States was faced with the unenviable responsibility of crafting a workable post-war state of affairs that balanced American interests and ideals with European realities. Bound together by centuries of history, the fate of each defeated country would be impossible for the United States to compartmentalize; how Truman and his advisors decided to address one issue or question in the conference would inevitably impact other, perhaps equally important problems. This dilemma, which we may be fortunate the President certainly recognized, would plague the peace conference throughout the months of sometimes heated, sometimes tedious negotiations. All the various intrigues and events that transpired over the course of the three-month long peace conference would fill multiple volumes. Only an outline of the challenges Truman faced and their results need detain us.

    Two closely-linked questions dominated the proceedings from the very start: the fate of Germany and France. For the past seventy years, it had been the squabbles between these two chief nations that had spawned virtually all tensions and fears of war in Europe. The focal point of this decades-old animosity lay in Alsace-Lorraine, the catalyst of the last great conflagration. Annexed to Germany following its victory in the Franco-Prussian War, it was nevertheless a source of great instability for the Germans, and had 'returned' to France following the Syndicalist victory in 1942. Truman believed that, if France were ever to abandon its aggression, Alsace and Lorraine must remain in French, rather than German, possession.

    For several weeks in late November and early December, Truman and the American delegation even considered whether there ought to be a French and German state at all; drawing inspiration from the French handling of the defeated Germans, plans were drawn up for a three-way division of the French country into three separate state: Occitania, Normandy, and Burgundy as they were fancifully called. Meanwhile, the four-state solution would be retained in Germany. But Truman recognized such a state of affairs would be completely untenable and serve only to poison relations with either peoples. As a consequence, France would emerge from the war largely as it was in '42, but Luxembourg would be taken away, as would the Romandy province coerced from Switzerland in '39.


    France's new borders, 1947.


    The fate of Germany stymied Truman for much of the conference. Certainly, Germany had disrupted the European balance of power since its very birth, and had proven in the Great War that it could achieve mastery of the continent under the right circumstances. Moreover, German behavior in the 20's and early 30's had shown the consequences of the Kaiserreich's unchecked and reckless ambition. Amongst the American people, Germany was largely recognized as the progenitor of nearly all the most serious problems in the world, including the economic depression and the World War. Inevitably, territory was sheered away when and where it could: in the north, Northern Schleswig was returned to Denmark following the results of a plebiscite. In the east, predominantly non-German territories were given to the new Polish nation, and a 'Polish corridor' was established by which Poland would gain access to the sea, cutting East Prussia from the rest of the country in the process.

    But by far, the 'German Question' that most haunted Truman was the status of Austria. It was clear to all that the Austro-Hungarian Empire was dead and could never be revived; the role of policeman of the Balkans might yet fall on the Hungarians' shoulders, but certainly not Austria. A union between Austria and the rest of the German lands had gained increasing popularity in Europe since it became clear France would be defeated following Operation Sherman. The problem, however, was that such an 'Anschluss' might empower a revived German nation and be an even greater threat to the security of Europe; on the other hand, refusing to permit a plebiscite on the matter would almost certainly embitter the German people, and provoke such a union by force in the future. A compromise whereby Catholic Bavaria might secede from Germany and unite with Austria was then brought forward, but rejected as unfeasible. Moreover, some questioned whether or not Austria could sustain itself in its reduced state. Finally, it was concluded that the United States could not in good faith debar such a union, but left it up to the German people to decide for themselves.

    The status of Poland was, besides Germany, easily the most potentially disruptive element of the peace conference. The existence of the 'Polish Corridor' centered around Danzig would be a bitter pill for the Germans to swallow, but Russia too would likely find Poland's expanded borders objectionable. Besides the German lands returned to Poland in the west, the Americans expected plebiscites in southern Lithuania would push Poland's north-west border up to Syndicalist Russia. Tsereteli aired the possibility of a partition of Lithuania which Truman flatly rejected, while the Lithuanians themselves demanded access to the sea, preferably by way of German Memel, as compensation for any territory that might be ceded to Poland. Ultimately, Truman gambled that the fate of Lithuania was immaterial to Russian interests and Lithuania, following what was deemed the inevitable results of the plebiscite, would eventually merge with the Polish state.


    Poland and Eastern Europe, 1947. Territory to undergo a competitive plebiscite highlighted in red.


    Italy's territorial status was far easier to conclude: the northern and southern halves would remain united, and the lands taken from Austria in the war - Venetia, South Tyrol, Trieste, and Istria - would be maintained. Ultimately, it was the status of the Pope, Julius IV, a notoriously autocratic and anti-liberal man of German origin, that proved the most troublesome. Restoring the Pope to power in Rome, and inevitably, leadership of Italy, was deemed problematic, given the supreme pontiff's role is spiritual leader for millions around the world and the presence of the Catholic Church as a supranational institution. Although left to his own devices Julius would probably never return to power in Italy, an itinerant Pope was unacceptable, as was removing him from Rome or forcing Julius to abdicate. Ultimately, it was stipulated that the Pope would be allowed to return to Rome under U.S. protection, but would be barred from seeking political power in Italy 'without the explicit consent of the people of the nation of Italy so expressed through free and unimpeded vote.'

    Technically, Great Britain was still under American military occupation and Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Acland civilian administrators, but these were by November '46 mere formalities that hardly matched the reality on the ground. Nevertheless, it was these formalities upon which Mackenzie King hoped to salvage something to King Edward VIII's benefit in the feud within the House of Windsor. Though the President privately hoped the exiled King would never reclaim his rights to the throne, he recognized that, stubborn as the King was, this dynastic squabble threatened to seriously disrupt Canada politically and socially. Beleaguered at home, the Prime Minister was desperate for some miracle, and Truman sought to provide him one. The President made it known that, though the United States opposed monarchy on principle, there was no basis by which Edward, or any British émigrés, might be barred from returning to Britain. The President was thus providing King with a convenient way to salvage his Conservative government while at the same time forcing Edward to return to Britain.


    Prime Minister King, center-left, and the Canadian delegation were desperate for some success.


    The Balkans was an area in which Truman struggled greatly to craft a workable settlement. Though 'Iron Guard' Romania had elected to dispatch a representative in the form of Foreign Minister Ion Antonescu, the Romanians nevertheless demonstrated a great reticence to cooperate with the President. In possession of a modest empire that included Serbia, Albania, and Bulgaria, Romania still coveted Transylvania, which was under American occupation, and, were it not for the presence of American soldiers, would likely seek to invade the territory in the near future. But the source of Romania's successes was also the root of its weaknesses; having expanded in all directions at the expense of her neighbors, Romania was politically isolated and faced hostile neighbors: Greece, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire. With little risk to American prospects elsewhere, Truman boldly threatened Antonescu that the United States would liberally supply not just Greece, Hungary, or the Turks, but would actively support 'freedom fighters' in the conquered lands if the Romanians did not consent to plebiscites. In exchange for Romanian compliance, the President assured the Foreign Minister that Transylvania would be 'returned' in full.

    The last major issue to hound the peace conference was the tensions in the Far East. The Shangqing demanded the return of the Shandong Peninsula and the so-called 'Legation Cities' established by the Germans following their intervention in China during the Tirpitz's tenure as Chancellor. To these demands, the United States was more than happy to comply. But, much to the American and Japanese delegations' great disappointment, Sun Suzhen went further, demanding the immediate withdrawal of Japanese forces from Manchuria. This Foreign Minister Nagata could not accept, and warned that it would provoke war. Russia, scenting blood in the water, vigorously pressed the Japanese to cease in blocking the long-awaited plebiscite in the Transamur, the result of which would almost certainly favor a return to the Russian fold. Realizing than neither Sun nor Tsereteli would back down, Truman sought to turn the impasse to his advantage. Japan, he proposed, would consent to both the withdrawal of military forces from Manchuria and the plebiscite in Transamur; in exchange, the Shangqing would not seek to forcibly bring Manchuria back into the Chinese orbit, and a multi-lateral guarantee of Japan's colonial holdings in Korea would be assured. Even more isolated than the Romanians, Japan had little alternative but to accept and take solace from the fact they might retain their economic concessions in Manchuria for awhile longer.

    In other matters, the United States acted in a high-handed manner befitting the nation's dominant position in the world. Europe's, and especially Germany's, colonial empires were to be utterly dismantled. In preparation for independent government at some undetermined later date, practically the whole of Africa was to be placed under U.S. stewardship. Marshall Petain, hoping to salvage an empire for France, had flown to Washington just after the conference began and girded himself for a confrontation and rallied Canadian support for his cause. But a mutiny by the remaining 'National' French forces sheltered in Dakar cut the legs out from under the old French Marshall's ambition. Egypt was promised the Suez Canal, Libya was to be granted its independence immediately following the withdrawal of Spanish and British forces, as was Liberia, and Ethiopia was to be granted ownership of German Somaliland. In the Pacific, Germany's colonial holdings were to be apportioned out in equal measure. Besides its Chinese holdings, Vietnam and Laos were to be released as independent nations, Papa New New Guinea handed over to Australasia, and its Oceanic possessions put under American authority.

    For all the territorial rearrangements and plebiscites toward that end reached at the Washington Peace Conference, not a single provision of the finished product stipulated any prohibitions on the form in which the states of Europe reorganized their governments. For all of the President's distaste of monarchy or Syndicalist rule, Truman recognized early that any government established on the barrel of an American tank would not be accepted by local populations. With this in mind, the American President hoped to guide the defeated states of Europe toward liberal, democratic government by subtler means. There was to be no reparations or purge of Syndicalist elites. Truman gambled that the forces of conservatism epitomized by the Kaiser and radical sentiment in the form of Syndicalism were thoroughly discredited, and democratic or parliamentary government a natural product of a just and equitable peace.

    After just under three months of intense and heated negotiations, on February 9, the Washington Peace Conference came to a close with all representatives present signing the document amidst even less fanfare than had signaled the start of the conference. The final product was decidedly favorable to the United States; war in the Far East had been avoided, Canada had been largely placated by empty gestures, and plebiscites, though accepted only grudgingly in some instances, would take place within the next few months.

    Though the strength of America's military and economy in comparison to the other powers of the world certainly played a large part in ensuring this result, other, less overt factors also contributed. The United States' years of isolation ensured a remarkable level of detachment from the web of international diplomacy; with few commitments to any one party, the United States was free to play one power off against another and compromise just enough to ensure success. Equally, the President's own personal ability impacted the results; though usually presenting himself as humble, honest, and plain-spoken, Truman could nevertheless call upon a resolute determination, even aggressiveness, and impose American demands when necessary, or draw upon a terse eloquence. The President could manipulate complex, multi-faceted issues into stark choices: crisis in the Far East over Japanese and Chinese security interests was transformed into a choice for Japan between total diplomatic and strategic isolation, or withdrawal of an expensive and unnecessary military presence from Manchuria; the centuries old ethnic conflict in the Balkans became for Romania a question of retrieving long-coveted national territory or retaining rebellious foreign conquests.

    Having emerged from three months of strenous international negotiations with dozens of foreign powers, Truman had good reason to be proud of the work he had accomplished. But there were still hurdles the President had yet to overcome. For one, it remained to be seen whether or not Truman's gambles in the peace conference would pay off in the long-term. But, more immediately, though the President had affixed his signature to the treaty, the Treaty of Washington still had to be ratified. The United States Senate awaited.



  18. #1078
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  19. #1079
    hooray for germany they will take memel most likely

    too bad about danzig

  20. #1080
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    I cannot believe it.
    Two years and we have a new world war, 'Danzig ist Deutsch'.
    The ground is very ripe for Hitler atm...
    Everyone in the end is angry in Europe, whatever a politician might try.
    Therefore better be, no borders were.

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