Hey everyone. This is my first AAR, so bear with me. I've already finished the game and taken all the screenshots, but I don't have time to write the whole thing in one sitting so expect updates as my time permits. At no point in this game did I use any cheating or switch to another country in order to achieve my diplomatic or military goals.
I've lifted some sections of text out of the Kaiserreich wiki at the beginning just to give some background on Canada in that timeline. This will be mostly big-picture gameplay with narrative, but if you enjoy alternative history, you will definitely be interested to see how this one plays out. I've always found the Entente to be the underdogs of the Kaiserreich timeline, so I thought I'd give Canada a shot to see if I could do any better than the computer. Events certainly didn't go the way I expected. I hope you enjoy it.
Grand Entente: Kaiserreich Canada
Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
Kaiserreich Version 1.0
From Confederation to the Great War
Canada automatically entered the Weltkrieg in 1914 with Britain's declaration of war, sending volunteers to the Western Front who later became part of the Canadian Corps. The Corps played a substantial role in the Battle of Vimy Ridge and other major battles of the war. The Conscription Crisis of 1917 erupted when conservative Prime Minister Robert Borden brought in compulsory military service over the objection of French-speaking Quebecers. Proudly serving the Home Isles with Men, Weapons, Food and Material to feed her growing war industries as a loyal Dominion. Canadians were distraught by the retreat from the continent and greatly embittered by the dominance of the German Empire after the Peace with Honour Accords signed by the British and German governments.
Canada after the Great War
Canadian troops returned to their country after the conclusion of the Peace with Honour treaty in 1921. Canadian Prime Minister Robert Laird Borden received column of troops headed by the tenacious and well-beloved Canadian general Sir Arthur Currie, who was esteemed heavily by both the Allies and the Central Powers for his brilliant leadership of the Canadian Corps.
PM Borden, dogged and tired after holding a Union Government together for the duration of the war, appeared visibly strained and prematurely aged as he proclaimed: "I welcome you home from the fields of war, from which you knew no defeat!" Canadian attitudes to the war were divided. While Patriots and Imperialists took comfort some comfort in the fact that the Empire had not been defeated per se, the fact that the war ended in a unfavourable "draw" heavily in Germany's favour kindled great resentment, especially in Quebec where conscription riots and opposition to the war seemed to be justified in the light of German dominance of the European continent.
Upon conclusion of the war, all the Union liberals who had not left the government yet quickly rejoined their fellow party members in the opposition and the government fell apart, divided as to how to take Canada into the future. Former liberal PM Sir Wilfrid Laurier's optimistic prediction that the 20th century would be Canada's century seemed laughable now to most Canadians. Laurier himself had passed away during the war, seemingly taking with him to the grave the sunny prosperity that had affected Canada during his leadership in the late 19th century. Shortly after calling the election, PM Borden lay in his room at the Chateau Laurier and passed away. His last words were of regret that he had never returned to his native Nova Scotia to rejoin the Celtic Diaspora. With many of the heavyweights of the old 19th century and pre-war political traditions dead, Canada weaved in and out of political obscurity and a deep sense of national malaise. All of this would be grimly impacted by the loss of the Home Islands to the 1925 British Revolution.
Canada, leader of the Entente
Syndicalist takeover in the Home Isles proved to be the determining factor in Canadian foreign and internal policy. As expected, thousands of members of the British nobility, businessmen, right-wing politicians, as well as ordinary but wealthy people, frightened by the prospect of radical purges and violence like in France, went into exile in Canada, the only place of the British Empire that was not touched by the revolutionary waves unlike India, Africa and Australasia. Along with the exiles, the elements of the Royal Army that had not mutinied crossed the Atlantic as well. This resulted in Canada quickly taking the role of leader of the Remnants of the Empire such as the Caribbean Federation and Delhi
The arrival of the exiles caused a great upheaval in Canadian political life. After PM King's refusal to let the British government in exile replace the Canadian government, the office of Governor-General and the Senate were abolished, replaced respectively by King George V himself and the former British House of Lords. The Canadian and Royal Armies were merged under mixed Anglo-Canadian leadership: Canadian politics shifted strongly to the right, the Progressives being accused of Syndicalist sympathies and Liberal PM King blamed for having lost most of the Empire to Syndicalist, nationalist or German takeover. Moreover, the King and the British exiles were quickly accused of interference in Canadian politics, directing them into a rearmament and offensive program conceived for preserving the unity of the Empire and preparing the reconquest of the Home Isles. Canadians, who were only beginning to claim their independence in the aftermath of the Great War, viewed with great discontent the Exiles' influence on their politics, stressing the declining health of King George, and would rather see their country as the peacekeeper of troubled America, a role that has been abandoned by the isolationist United States. However, all the hopes are now concentrated on the Prince of Wales, who would be the first truly Canadian monarch... or nothing less than the British King-Emperor in exile.
Canada is a confederal parliamentary monarchy ruled by the King of the United Kingdom (as the office of Governor-General of Canada was abolished in 1926, its last occupier having been the Baron Byng of Vimy). Parliament is made up of the Crown, an elected House of Commons and an appointed House of Lords (the former Senate that now hosts the British House of Lords in exile). Each Member of Parliament in the House of Commons is elected by simple plurality in an electoral district or riding. General elections must be called by the Prime Minister within five years of the previous election, or may be triggered by the government losing a confidence vote in the House. The House of Lords is comprised by British or Canadian hereditary or appointed members.
The main reproach made to the Canadian democratic system is the influence the British Exiles have taken since 1925, officially by the arrival of the King and the Lords in the Upper House, unofficially for the shadowy but effective influence of the Royal Councilliors, the Club members or exiled politicians, all driven by the perspective of a reconquest of the Home Isles and the rest of the Empire or, as PM King dubs it, "The Anglo-Saxon World". Attempts have been made by King so Canada can stay fully Canadian, such as decreeing that Cabinet members had to be absolutely members of the Lower House and nullifying the Upper House, but many fear that Canada become an authoritarian monarchy with the appearance of parliamentary democracy, like Germany. Other reproaches come from the French-speaking inhabitants of Quebec, worried by the growing influence of the British, fearing a confederal system disadvantageous to them, and a lowering influence of Roman Catholics.
The current leading party is the Canadian Liberal Party, which has urged a peaceful foreign policy based on mutually dependent, integrated economies within the Anglo-Saxon World. The current Prime Minister, Mackenzie King has implemented a strong anti-Syndicalist policy. The main opposition party is the British-backed Conservative Party, which positions itself as the party of Imperial unity. The Conservative Party supports a more aggressive foreign policy bent on retaking the British home isles and is endorsed by King George V.
George V's Political Cabinet
The Entente, as the name suggests, is a military alliance formed out of the remnants of the Entente powers of the Weltkrieg. The alliance consists mostly of former British and French colonies and after the revolutions in Britain and France, the former governments fled to the colonies, vowing to return one day.
The current members are:
1936 is headed for a turbulent year. Alexander Kerensky, first President of democratic Russia, has been assassinated. In response, the Left-SR Mensheviks have taken control of Russia. The former Entente ally appears to be headed down the path to Syndicalism! These are truly dark times.
Russia response to Kerensky assassination.
Russia has appointed a Syndicalist Prime Minister. So far they have maintained the trappings of democratic government, but it will only be a matter of time before they succumb to the violence of populist demagoguery.
Russia appoints Syndicalist Prime Minister.
From bad to worse. King George V has died. The nation enters a period of mourning. However, perhaps from this great tragedy an opportunity for change will arise. In his speech to the people, Edward VIII promises a new era of prosperity and hope. The Prince of Wales, Edward is forty-one when he takes office but brings a youthful energy and vigor often ascribed to a much younger man. Edward has always advocated a strong control of the Monarchy on the Dominions. Although a darling of the Canadian media, he has a sour relationship with the current Prime Minister, the Liberal Mackenzie King.
Death of King George V.
Upon assuming the throne, Edward makes an important decision with regard to his cabinet. Recognizing that his relationship with the Liberal Canadian leadership is his biggest weakness, and hoping to reset deteriorating British-Canadian relations, Edward decides to embrace the elected Canadian council. This move is unanticipated, shocking political pundits that expected the new King to continue to buck the elected Canadian officials. In way of explanation, the Edward gives a public speech calling for unity. Behind the scenes, he meets with Bennet and the other leaders of the British-exile faction, telling them that he will need local support for the trying times ahead and asking for their unwavering loyalty. Grudgingly, Bennet accepts this decision, recognizing that he has no choice.
Edward VIII's Political Cabinet
Edward has decided that the Entente must be expanded. A coalition of conservative democracies must be assembled to counteract the force of the Syndicalist revolution and the German sphere of influence. Japan, as one of the beneficiaries of the Weltkrieg, but an enemy of Germany during the war, offers an opportunity to boost the Entente’s naval prowess and challenge Germany’s presence in Asia.
At the beginning of the negotiations, the Emperor and his cabinet are skeptical. Japan has always fiercely maintained her independence, and is wary in becoming involved with a disgraced people exiled from their homeland. The British-Canadian government is perceived as, at best, defeated warriors. However, the Canadian ambassadors are persistent, arguing that the Japanese cannot hope to challenge the German sphere of influence without outside support. Edward’s government offers a vision of an Asia dominated by the Japanese Empire in return for their military assistance in defeating first the Syndicalists and then Germany and her puppets.
Canada notes the outbreak of violence in Africa as the established German authorities contest Portugal’s colonies. However, Germany has maintained its neutrality, leaving the smaller powers to battle it out. Within weeks, Portugal’s defenses are overrun and the disgraced government is forced to sue for peace and surrender their African colonies.
After finishing upgrading its army, Canada begins producing three mounted divisions. Edward notes, with mounting concern, the increasing instability in its American neighbor. These troops will help secure the border. After their construction, Edward shifts his focus to increasing Canada’s lagging industry.
Edward, seeking to maintain the political peace, elects to keep the current chief of the navy rather than bringing in a perceived outsider.
In an effort to counterbalance recent efforts, perceived by the public as favoring the Canadian natives over their British residents, Edward elects to support the British research teams.
After months of delicate negotiations, Edward announces a major breakthrough in diplomatic relations. In return for Canada’s recognition of the greater Japanese sphere of influence, Hirohito and his advisors have agreed to bring Japan into the Entente! This is a major step in Canada’s future ascendancy.
Inviting Japan into Entente.