+ Reply to Thread
Page 62 of 66 FirstFirst ... 12 37 52 60 61 62 63 64 ... LastLast
Results 1,221 to 1,240 of 1306

Thread: Siegerkranz - Germany's Place in the Sun

  1. #1221
    Grumble grumble grumble.

    No promises, but the Moscow Treaty has been brewing in my head for a while now. I'm out of the habit of writing Papen and Wilhelm III as characters, but we shall see.
    HoI2 AARs: Eine Geschichte des Grossdeutsches Reich - Siegerkranz - Germany's Place in the Sun - The Prophet Unleashed
    EU3 AARs: The Lion and the Lily
    Awards:
    Third Recipient of KaiserMuffin's Cookie for Services to Syndicalism
    Showcased AAR for Week of 9 April 2010
    Character Writer of the Week, 27 May 2010, 17 April 2011, 19 December 2011
    Writer of the Week, 14 November 2010

  2. #1222
    Have been on road for a few weeks. Good news is that next scene has grown well in the meantime. Hopefully I'll get it posted this week.
    HoI2 AARs: Eine Geschichte des Grossdeutsches Reich - Siegerkranz - Germany's Place in the Sun - The Prophet Unleashed
    EU3 AARs: The Lion and the Lily
    Awards:
    Third Recipient of KaiserMuffin's Cookie for Services to Syndicalism
    Showcased AAR for Week of 9 April 2010
    Character Writer of the Week, 27 May 2010, 17 April 2011, 19 December 2011
    Writer of the Week, 14 November 2010

  3. #1223
    117. Cities and Thrones and Powers

    Over St. Petersburg
    German-Occupied Russia
    13 March 1946


    The seaplane was a wonder of its kind, six-engined, long-legged, and capable of carrying a hundred men in cramped conditions. Today, it was not so heavily laden, nor had it flown to its limit. It winged over the Neva, droning out over St. Petersburg on its approach. Below, icebreakers were in position to ensure that the harbor was completely clear; it was late in the season, but there was no point in taking chances. The aircraft's pilot stretched, rotating his neck to relieve the strain, and glanced over at the copilot with a quick nod. The copilot, prematurely balding and wearing a plain blue naval coat without badges, shifted in his seat, and the pilot returned his attention to the approach.



    Peter Volkmann owed a tremendous deal to the Crown Prince, not least that the prince had allowed him to remain on flight status by choosing the Wiking as his preferred transport. He had once asked Ludwig Ferdinand why, and the prince had shrugged, given that half-smile of his, and commented that Uncle Heinrich had been a pilot and a Navy man, so why not? Still, Peter was glad to remain airborne, and would be damned if he would repay that debt by a foolish mistake under the circumstances. The last thing the prince needed was to be injured, or worse, embarrassed. He shook himself loose from this musing and eased back on the throttle, nose up, and let the seaplane float downward.

    He had plenty of practice at this. The riverfront was slightly choppy, and the first contact could sometimes be a shock. Instead, the most that the passengers and crew registered was a hissing, grating sound as the hull scraped the water, followed by a moment of buoyancy as the water, not the wings, took the plane's weight. He feathered the four outboard engines and used the inner pair to steer the aircraft toward the shore. Beside him, the prince pulled off his headset, clapped him on the shoulder, and stood to move aft. Peter nodded, then busied himself with the myriad tasks of preparing to dock. Crewmen aft were already preparing lines to throw to shore at the Winter Palace, and he glanced up. What he saw made his stomach turn.

    SMS Franz von Papen hung at anchor in the middle of the Neva between the Trinity and Palace Bridges, where the channel was at its widest. The ship was massive, dwarfing even the imperial complex surrounding it, a hundred thousand tons displacement and more than three hundred meters from stem to stern. The lessons of a decade at war showed in its design: three massive turrets, two forward and one aft, allowed space for a small flight deck, and a Drache was indeed tied down astern. The guns were already turned shoreward, facing the palace, and he noticed the tompions were out. The Chancellor wasted no opportunity to make an impression, he thought. He turned anyway, calling back over his shoulder, "Highness, you will want to see this."

    Ludwig Ferdinand came forward again, grunting at the sight. He offered no more comment than that, but a woman's head pushed forward of the curtain. A disadvantage of dealing with royalty, Peter reflected, was that "Highness" could attract more than one person. Kira Kirillovna was not the willowy beauty of eight years prior; six children and a taste for food had padded her figure considerably. She looked out at the city she had last seen at the age of eight and frowned at the battleship. "That man will arrive at the gates of Heaven itself strutting like a peacock," she said, pausing for a long moment before adding, "And likely will receive a salute from the Devil himself shortly thereafter." Her mouth tightened, and she turned away from her first view of Russia since childhood.

    As the plane docked at the old Admiralty building next door to the Winter Palace, Peter finally left the cockpit. The engines were powered down, the plane warped in against the dock, and he heard the sound of a motor buzzing toward them from the river. A platoon of blue-clad Russian sailors snapped to attention, white-gloved hands slapping against the buttstocks of twenty Mosin-Nagants, as he stepped from the plane, and he blinked in surprise. He realized the problem immediately: His coat had all the markings of a German officer, making him look far more the peacock than his charge. He straightened and tried to imitate the instructors at Stendal, drawing in a deep breath and bellowing, "His Imperial and Royal Highness, the German Crown Prince and Prince of Prussia Ludwig Ferdinand!"

    The Prince stepped out, blinking in the early-afternoon sun and raising his hand in greeting. A feeble cheer went up from dockside. Most of St. Petersburg had no idea of his arrival; they were watching the battleship. The Crown Princess joined him, frowning slightly at the complete lack of recognition. They proceeded together down to the shore, followed by a pair of silver-breasted Garde du Corps officers in ceremonial dress. Ludwig Ferdinand's distaste for ceremony made their lives harder, but they too had their instructions, and tried gamely to follow them.

    The insistent sound of the motor caused them to look to the east. A black-painted barge was tied alongside the Winter Palace, on the other side of the Palace Bridge from the Admiralty. The Prince glanced at the gathering there in irritation, pulled out a pocketwatch, and muttered to Peter, "Are we not lodged in the Admiralty? What is going on...?" His face fell, and he muttered one word. "Papen."

    The Chancellor was resplendent even from here, in the full uniform of a Generalleutnant of the Garde du Corps - black-enameled iron cuirass, red coat with white cloak, bronze eagle-crested Pickelhaube, and saber. He glittered and caught the light, far outshining his companion. Kira's mouth twisted still further in displeasure at the sight. Vladimir Kirillovich Romanov, Grand Duke of Russia, was dressed, apparently deliberately, in a dark-blue coat trimmed in gold, far less flashy than Papen. It was doubtless the uniform of some Imperial regiment or other, but the effect was as if placing alump of coal beside a diamond.

    The two of them were ringed by black-uniformed Leib-Husaren, a phalanx of ceremonial uniforms that explicitly tied Papen to that regiment's colonel-in-chief, the Kaiser. As they moved down the quay, the Grand Duke stayed a step behind Papen, apparently cowed by the Chancellor. They stood, forgotten even by the Russian marines, watching the Papen parade move from quayside to Hermitage palace. Eventually, the Garde du Corps officer gently took the Prince's shoulder and murmured, "Come, Highness, we are in this building."

    It was an inauspicious beginning to the momentous task of clearing the rubble of two years of war and the wreckage of thirty years of Bolshevism.
    HoI2 AARs: Eine Geschichte des Grossdeutsches Reich - Siegerkranz - Germany's Place in the Sun - The Prophet Unleashed
    EU3 AARs: The Lion and the Lily
    Awards:
    Third Recipient of KaiserMuffin's Cookie for Services to Syndicalism
    Showcased AAR for Week of 9 April 2010
    Character Writer of the Week, 27 May 2010, 17 April 2011, 19 December 2011
    Writer of the Week, 14 November 2010

  4. #1224
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
    200k clubHoI AnthologyArsenal of DemocracyDarkest HourHearts of Iron III
    Europa Universalis IV

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    The Dalek Empire
    Posts
    9,025
    I'm still not convinced that a German-impost Tsarist Government would work long-term.
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
    "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." - Carl Schurz
    Against all Odds: The British Empire in World War Two (ongoing) Last updated 03/22/14 Index - Index 2 - Index 3 - Knowledgebase -
    Inkwell Entry - Now with added obscure Doctor Who references - Visit the Dictionary!

    Possibly the world's most British German as awarded by El Pip here.

  5. #1225
    It won't. I don't plan on it working long-term, for a couple reasons.

    1. The Grand Prince of the Ukraine
    2. The Patriarch of Belarus
    3. The Prince of Transuralia
    4. The Grand Duke of Siberia
    5. The Grand Duke of Primorsk
    6. Pan-Turkism

    Basically postwar Russia is a deliberate house of cards. Papen's motivation in setting this up is that Germany will be safe from that direction so long as the various players are at each other's throats, and it is unlikely to come back to bite Germany in his lifetime.
    Last edited by c0d5579; 29-08-2012 at 04:44.
    HoI2 AARs: Eine Geschichte des Grossdeutsches Reich - Siegerkranz - Germany's Place in the Sun - The Prophet Unleashed
    EU3 AARs: The Lion and the Lily
    Awards:
    Third Recipient of KaiserMuffin's Cookie for Services to Syndicalism
    Showcased AAR for Week of 9 April 2010
    Character Writer of the Week, 27 May 2010, 17 April 2011, 19 December 2011
    Writer of the Week, 14 November 2010

  6. #1226
    Captain GulMacet's Avatar
    Hearts of Iron IIIVictoria 2

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Vienna, Austrian Imperial Remnant
    Posts
    401
    You appear to have two fives in your list there. Other than that, I agree.

  7. #1227
    Two fives? I have no idea what you're talking about.
    HoI2 AARs: Eine Geschichte des Grossdeutsches Reich - Siegerkranz - Germany's Place in the Sun - The Prophet Unleashed
    EU3 AARs: The Lion and the Lily
    Awards:
    Third Recipient of KaiserMuffin's Cookie for Services to Syndicalism
    Showcased AAR for Week of 9 April 2010
    Character Writer of the Week, 27 May 2010, 17 April 2011, 19 December 2011
    Writer of the Week, 14 November 2010

  8. #1228
    Alien Space Bat PrawnStar's Avatar
    Crusader Kings IIEuropa Universalis: ChroniclesEU3 CompleteHearts of Iron IIIEuropa Universalis: Rome
    Victoria 2EU3 Collectors EditionEuropa Universalis IV: Pre-order

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Leicester, England
    Posts
    3,914
    I confess I've lost track, whose are the Baltic Republics?


    Apparently I need to buy some more gravel.


    My AARs: EU3 England, Golden Horde, France, Iroquois, Castile / EU2 Finland / My Inkwell

    "Sunset Invasion isn't ASB - it's just Prawnstar playing CK2" Athalcor
    "If EU3 had exiled prawn-like aliens he'd be the first one to do a WC with them..." aldriq
    "You were prawn under a conquering stAAR!" Arakhor



  9. #1229
    Germany's. They're the one "prize" that Papen claims from the war, given the strong German minorities in the region before World War I. That way, he gets to be a statesmanlike liberator, what with the Ukrainians and Siberians, rewards his Turkish allies, AND goes down in German history as the man who reclaimed the territories of the German Order. There was an argument a couple-score pages back about whether this will work long-term. Since the Soviets invaded the Baltic before declaring war on Germany, I'm assuming perhaps more depopulation than is strictly required.
    HoI2 AARs: Eine Geschichte des Grossdeutsches Reich - Siegerkranz - Germany's Place in the Sun - The Prophet Unleashed
    EU3 AARs: The Lion and the Lily
    Awards:
    Third Recipient of KaiserMuffin's Cookie for Services to Syndicalism
    Showcased AAR for Week of 9 April 2010
    Character Writer of the Week, 27 May 2010, 17 April 2011, 19 December 2011
    Writer of the Week, 14 November 2010

  10. #1230
    118. Out of the Spent and Unconsidered Earth...

    The Winter Palace
    St. Petersburg
    German-Occupied Russia
    15 March 1946




    The Winter Palace had seen more history than most buildings, even in a city like St. Petersburg. Its current situation was doubly ironic - it had been built by a woman widely viewed as a German interloper. It had been the last seat of the Tsar, then of the provisional government. Now it was the seat of a man widely viewed as a provisional Tsar propped up by German interlopers. That the St. Petersburg Treaty was being negotiated in the Malachite Room, where the Provisional Government had sat until arrested by Lenin, with the Papen swinging at anchor in place of the Aurora, filled some of the Russian observers with bleak humor. General Anton Denikin, bald and goateed beside the tsar-presumptive, muttered as much to his superior, who glared at him in response. Vladimir Kirillovich apparently knew who held his leash.

    At least so thought Franz von Papen, who, for the second time in his life, sat upon the high dais with the "peace commissioners." The great U-shaped table arrangement showed who truly had the power at the table: ranged from Papen's right hand were the younger Horthy, the Sultan's representative Alparslan Pasha, and Mannerheim of Finland. Papen liked Mannerheim; he was a soldier who had decided to play politics, and since Finland was as likely to be a threat to Germany as Tibet was, that Mannerheim, like Papen, had a vast vision for his minor country appealed to Papen. The old Finnish marshal had been all but acclaimed president; it seemed likely that at least part of the reason that he was here was to keep him from meddling in Helsinki against the Ryti government. Alparslan Pasha was a minor officer in the Sultan's army, but one of the leading proponents of the ridiculous idea that everyone who had a moustache was a Turk - hence, after Guderian's magnificent offensive, a prime mover in Turkish foreign policy. Miklos Horthy the younger was here to take the first steps from the nest, so to speak: most of the old Admiral's hopes were pinned to his son Istvan, not his younger son. Each of them came with their countries' appetites fully whetted, the knives sharpened after years of German largesse.

    Along the left leg of the U, from where Papen sat, were the Grand Duke and Denikin, representing the last of the White emigres, and Vlasov, representing the "new" loyalists. Next to the Russians were the Ukrainians, led by the onetime Austrian officer Andrei Melnyk and the much more radical, much younger Stepan Bandera. Papen preferred Melnyk - if he was no gentleman by blood, he at least behaved like one. Next was the serene, unconcerned Metropolitan Bobkovski of Brest-Litovsk, who had privately assured Papen that the Grand Duchy of Ruthenia had no interest in the proceedings... save to sever the Patriarchate of Ruthenia from the east. Since there was no Patriarchate of Ruthenia yet, Papen saw very little to which to object. He was surrounded by a gathering of clerics; Ruthenia showed every indicator of being a new, eastern, and far more radical Vatican City. Past the Ruthenians were a motley collection of other, more exotic, ethnicities, arranged in regional groups. The Siberians viewed everyone around them with suspicion, and with good reason: both the Transuralians and the Primorski had made very public demands that would cut into Siberian lands.

    "Gentlemen," he began with a sharp rap of his gavel, "we hereby convene this first session of the Saint Petersburg Conference for the Resolution of the Territories of Russia." He smiled, glittering white teeth caught by the camera, and continued his address. "The Joint Commissioners of Hungary, Germany, and the Sublime Porte have previously agreed to the justice of the claims of the Grand Duchy of Ruthenia, and its regent, Patriarch Venedikt of Minsk." A sharp gasp came from the Russians - the first salvo fired, and a hit. He hid a spur of glee at their discomfiture. He was unsure why, but he simply didn't like the Russian delegation, especially the upright, spare Denikin. He continued, gesturing as he did so. "So, too, with Grand Prince Andrei of Kievan Rus." The name "Kievan Rus" had been the subject of intense negotiation; he had finally insisted on it, weakening as it did the claim of the Romanovs on "all the Russias."

    "What remains, then, is the disposition of lands previously occupied by the illegitimate Soviet government and the determination of legitimacy for the governments which have been established severally at Sankt-Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Novionikolaevsk, and Vladivostok." The old-style names were again a deliberate choice, and even Vladimir Romanov glanced at Denikin in confusion over Novionikolaevsk. "Present are the interested powers, with their duly accredited representatives." Not present, or even invited, was the Empire of Japan; the Kaiser had developed a mania on the subject since their snub of Heinrich Pu-Yi. "Let us commence..."

    The silver head swiveled, the gavel banged, and the discussions began. Reporters and stenographers recorded every word, Papen set his mark deeper in the history books, and the map was slowly, arduously redrawn. In the German delegation, the Crown Prince sat silently, listening to the deliberations rather than contributing. Papen would occasionally consult with him on some small point, like coal and wheat subsidies from the Ukraine to Russia, but always seemed to return to Oskar von Hindenburg, smirking and giving Ludwig Ferdinand a significant over-the-shoulder glance. Once, the Crown Prince heard the muttered comment "Not really a serious man, Oskar." The prince, of course, ignored this.

    Throughout the remainder of March and the beginnings of April the delegates argued by day and socialized by night. The difference between St. Petersburg, even wrenched and wrecked by artillery, and Wilhelmshaven was night and day. Halls that had not seen balls or soirees since Nicholas II resounded to orchestras put together apparently from nothing by the various Russian successor states; the "true" Russians had an edge from their long Parisian exile, and French musicians were no more enamored of starvation than anyone else in France. The few decisive moments in the conference were as often as not overlooked; when Mannerheim, for instance, presented Finland's claims on old Russia, they slid through Papen's immaculate hands, and by magic blossomed from a simple claim on Karelia to include the Kola Peninsula, pushing Finland's eastern border to the White Sea. It was completely overlooked in the face of Kira Kirillovna appearing with a magnificent Faberge necklace presented by Denikin himself - though Papen could hardly miss the none-too-subtle signal that the Crown Prince was in the Russians' camp in the negotiations.



    By the middle of April, Papen had had his way, and the partitions had all been agreed. All of the decisions were concluded in time to sign the Treaty of St. Petersburg on April 23, the Feast of St. George, and it simply remained for Papen and the Crown Prince to attend the coronation of the Tsar of All the Russias - a cruelly ironic title in the end.
    HoI2 AARs: Eine Geschichte des Grossdeutsches Reich - Siegerkranz - Germany's Place in the Sun - The Prophet Unleashed
    EU3 AARs: The Lion and the Lily
    Awards:
    Third Recipient of KaiserMuffin's Cookie for Services to Syndicalism
    Showcased AAR for Week of 9 April 2010
    Character Writer of the Week, 27 May 2010, 17 April 2011, 19 December 2011
    Writer of the Week, 14 November 2010

  11. #1231
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
    200k clubHoI AnthologyArsenal of DemocracyDarkest HourHearts of Iron III
    Europa Universalis IV

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    The Dalek Empire
    Posts
    9,025
    Oh curses! My favourite Cold War Novel needs another setting now. I mean, how many boomers, captained by a balt, will the Finns have?

    That being said, their defensive position has just improved massively.
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
    "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." - Carl Schurz
    Against all Odds: The British Empire in World War Two (ongoing) Last updated 03/22/14 Index - Index 2 - Index 3 - Knowledgebase -
    Inkwell Entry - Now with added obscure Doctor Who references - Visit the Dictionary!

    Possibly the world's most British German as awarded by El Pip here.

  12. #1232
    Every possibility that Marko Ramius will be running from Danzig to the US instead - the Baltic states are German now.
    HoI2 AARs: Eine Geschichte des Grossdeutsches Reich - Siegerkranz - Germany's Place in the Sun - The Prophet Unleashed
    EU3 AARs: The Lion and the Lily
    Awards:
    Third Recipient of KaiserMuffin's Cookie for Services to Syndicalism
    Showcased AAR for Week of 9 April 2010
    Character Writer of the Week, 27 May 2010, 17 April 2011, 19 December 2011
    Writer of the Week, 14 November 2010

  13. #1233
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
    200k clubHoI AnthologyArsenal of DemocracyDarkest HourHearts of Iron III
    Europa Universalis IV

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    The Dalek Empire
    Posts
    9,025
    Mind you, you have to put Subs into Polyarny.

    But please, no sci-fi doctors in supporting roles for the movie version.

    As a hard-core trekkie, for me Gates McFadden ( = Doctor Beverly Crusher) should always be wearing Science Blue.
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
    "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." - Carl Schurz
    Against all Odds: The British Empire in World War Two (ongoing) Last updated 03/22/14 Index - Index 2 - Index 3 - Knowledgebase -
    Inkwell Entry - Now with added obscure Doctor Who references - Visit the Dictionary!

    Possibly the world's most British German as awarded by El Pip here.

  14. #1234
    119. ...The Cities Rise Again



    Cathedral of the Dormition
    Moscow
    Tsardom of Russia
    23 April 1946


    Vladimir Kirillovich Romanov's official title had been a subject of great and acrimonious debate. He would not be Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias; Papen had been adamant about that, and Wilhelm had agreed. Still, there was too much in the title of Tsar for it to be abandoned. Russia had been humbled geographically to an extent not seen prior to Ivan IV - Terrible or Great, depending on the translator - so it seemed only fitting that the nation be reduced to its old title: the Tsardom of Russia and Grand Duchy of Muscovy.

    "O Lord our God, King of kings and Lord of lords, who through Samuel the prophet didst choose Thy servant David and didst anoint him to be king over Thy people Israel; hear now the supplication of us though unworthy, and look forth from Thy holy dwelling place and vouchsafe to anoint with the oil of gladness Thy faithful servant Vladimir Kirillovich, whom Thou hast been pleased to establish as king over Thy holy people which Thou hast made Thine own by the precious blood of Thine Only-begotten Son. Clothe him with power from on high; set on his head a crown of precious stones; bestow on him length of days, set in his right hand a scepter of salvation; establish him upon the throne of righteousness; defend him with the panoply of thy Holy Spirit; strengthen his arm; subject to him all the barbarous nations; sow in his heart the fear of Thee and feeling for his subjects; preserve him in the blameless faith; make him manifest as the sure guardian of the doctrines of Thy Holy Catholic Church; that he may judge Thy people in righteousness and Thy poor in judgment, and save the sons of those in want and may be an heir of Thy heavenly kingdom."

    "For Thine is the kingdom and the power, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and forever, amen."


    Wilhelm had arrived in St. Petersburg in time for the planned coronation, only to learn to the general dismay of the German delegation that the coronation of a Tsar was only conducted in Moscow. Vladimir needed every bit of legitimacy that his backers could grant; it was one thing to make Otto von Habsburg King of Austria, a title which had never existed. Vladimir had been stripped of many of posterity's titles, given an "empire" that was rotting from thirty years of Bolshevik rule and shorn of most of its lands, and thrust into place by a foreign occupier. Only a cloak of tradition might give him the start he needed as a beginning.

    "Bow your heads unto the Lord."

    "To Thee alone, King of mankind, has he to whom Thou hast entrusted the earthly kingdom bowed his neck with us. And we pray Thee, Lord of all, keep him under Thine own shadow; strengthen his kingdom; grant that he may do continually those things which are pleasing to Thee; make to arise in his days righteousness and abundance of peace; that in his tranquility we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity. For Thou art the King of peace and the Saviour of our souls and bodies and to Thee we ascribe glory: to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen."


    A special train had been arranged on the twentieth; all of the delegates had rushed from St. Petersburg to Moscow. The Germans were uncomfortably aware of the further irony of a Russian ruler being rushed to his destiny by a special train by the Kaiser, but there was nothing to be done about it. They had arrived in time to make hasty arrangements, the Patriarch accepting the duty of crowning a Tsar as none had done since Peter the Great. Security was lax, of course - there had simply not been time to rush through it all - but this was widely agreed to be the only way of achieving what Papen and Wilhelm wanted achieved in Russia.

    "Present the Crown of Monomakh."

    The Imperial Regalia had been part of the special train, brought from St. Petersburg and kept in a sealed car, the only truly secure part of the train. A small, hasty council of experts and heralds had debated the exact procedure to be followed; it was eventually decided that, if the true goal was to legitimize the Tsar, the oldest of the imperial crowns should be used, that which tied Moscow to Constantinople. Thus, the jeweled, furred cap known as the Crown of Monomakh had been very carefully, gingerly, brought out, hastily braced, and placed at the Cathedral, awaiting the hand of the Tsar.

    "Most God-fearing, absolute, and mighty Lord, Tsar of Russia, this visible and tangible adornment of thy head is an eloquent symbol that thou, as the head of the whole Russian people, art invisibly crowned by the King of kings, Christ, with a most ample blessing, seeing that He bestows upon thee entire authority over His people."

    The Tsar was unique among European monarchs, with the sole exception of Bonaparte, since the fall of Constantinople in 1453: the Tsar did not receive the crown from the Patriarch, but rather took it from his hands to set upon his own head. In the West, it was implied that the monarch was ordained by God through his representative, the Church. In Russia, the monarch was ordained by God Himself by birth, and the Church was merely the keeper of the crown until it was time for the Tsar to place it upon his own head.

    "God-crowned, God-given, God-adorned, most pious and great Sovereign, Tsar of Russia. Receive the scepter and the orb, which are the visible signs of the autocratic power given thee from the Most High over thy people, that thou mayest rule them and order for them the welfare they desire."

    Wilhelm recalled his own coronation - barely a decade passed now, in Berlin. It was hard not to contrast the two, the Berlin crowd delirious, the Moscow crowd not merely sullen but obviously apprehensive. After twenty years of Stalin, who would not be? Such were Wilhelm's thoughts. The truth was that Stalin was remembered fondly by those below the dais. He had, by main force, made a modern nation out of the black soil and the red. That said nation had been built on famine, on fear, and on the bones of the very laborers he claimed to represent was conveniently blocked out by two decades of adoration. Could Wilhelm but see the future, Oprichniki dead in alleys with "Za Stalin!" in blood on the walls above their corpses, he might have been less satisfied that day.

    "Grant long life, O Lord God,
    to our most pious Tsar Vladimir.
    O Lord, preserve him,
    unto many years."


    The bells of Moscow began to toll, their peals rolling out over the city in an eerie echo of the crescendo of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, the musical evocation of Moscow burning in defiance of a foreign invader. The surly crowd hardly contributed to a festive mood, even when greeted by the traditional Russian sign of celebration. Row upon row of guns captured from the Soviets belched out their salute to the new Tsar - one hundred and one blank rounds, the smoke roiling and billowing up toward a greasy sky, dark gray on light.

    Finally, the youthful Tsar of Russia - not yet thirty, handsome, clean-shaven, far more at home in the West than here in Moscow, turned and spoke into a microphone. His words carried to every corner of the city and to every corner of his diminished patrimony, courtesy of German signal officers.

    "Lord God of our fathers, and King of Kings, Who created all things by Thy word, and by Thy wisdom has made man, that he should walk uprightly and rule righteously over Thy world; Thou hast chosen me as Tsar and judge over Thy people. I acknowledge Thy unsearchable purpose towards me, and bow in thankfulness before Thy Majesty. Do Thou, my Lord and Governor, fit me for the work to which Thou hast sent me; teach me and guide me in this great service. May there be with me the wisdom which belongs to Thy throne; send it from Thy Holy Heaven, that I may know what is well-pleasing in Thy sight, and what is right according to Thy commandment. May my heart be in Thy hand, to accomplish all that is to the profit of the people commietted to my charge and to Thy glory, that so in the day of Thy judgment I may give Thee account of my stweardship without blame; through the grace and mercy of Thy Son, Who was once crucified for us, to Whom be all honor and glory with Thee and the Holy Spirit, the Giver of Life, unto ages of ages. Amen."

    He stumbled over some of the words, but, Wilhelm thought, carried it off well enough, all things considered. The poor boy had never even set foot on Russian soil, born in Finland in the terrible days after Uncle Nicky fell from power. He was a nice boy, a reformer, English-educated, even worked in a factory for a while. Well - no matter, no need to hold that against him, Wilhelm thought during the anointing. Might even be good for Russia, a Tsar who, like Peter, could claim to have worked, after being ruled by a seminarian who had never labored with his hands save to make a bomb, but claimed to be "of the people." Not that a proper monarch could or should claim to have been a manual laborer. A distance between ruler and ruled was essential, and lessening that gap was dangerous. Too much gap... well, one wound up like Uncle Nicky.

    Thus Wilhelm thought while the Patriarch anointed the new Tsar of Russia again and again - eleven times in total. He was startled when the guns and bells gave voice again. He had been woolgathering through much of the ceremony, and could not even see Vladimir. That was because the Tsar had vanished through the Royal Doors of the Cathedral, an aide murmured in his ear as he noticed the Kaiser's confusion. He was taking Communion, and the ceremony was almost over. "Thanks be to God," Wilhelm murmured, a remark that gave vent both to his relief at removing his braid and medal-encrusted uniform, and to the coronation itself.

    The canopy finally began to proceed back to the Palace, halting at Red Square. Vladimir self-consciously turned to face the crowd and bowed. The ritual prescribed three times; the new Tsar paused at three, stretched out his arms to his new subjects, and bowed twice more. For the first time, the Muscovites roared their approval, and the Semyonovsky Guards, new-constituted and under Vlassov's command, barely held them back as they reached for him. The spectacled Vlassov, as uncomfortable as Wilhelm, barked out his orders according to the old Soviet drill manual, not the new-old Romanov. The soldiers obeyed well enough.



    It was, all in all, an acceptable day; the sky mercifully held back its threat until the new-crowned Tsar was safely ensconced in the Palace, and the celebration began. The War was over, the injustices perpetrated on the Romanov family in 1917 had been erased, and new injustices perpetrated. The silver-sleek fox Papen took his place with his Kaiser, and the sun set for the last time on the brief Soviet experiment, to rise once more on the morrow on a Tsar.

    HoI2 AARs: Eine Geschichte des Grossdeutsches Reich - Siegerkranz - Germany's Place in the Sun - The Prophet Unleashed
    EU3 AARs: The Lion and the Lily
    Awards:
    Third Recipient of KaiserMuffin's Cookie for Services to Syndicalism
    Showcased AAR for Week of 9 April 2010
    Character Writer of the Week, 27 May 2010, 17 April 2011, 19 December 2011
    Writer of the Week, 14 November 2010

  15. #1235
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
    200k clubHoI AnthologyArsenal of DemocracyDarkest HourHearts of Iron III
    Europa Universalis IV

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    The Dalek Empire
    Posts
    9,025
    Oh dear. Looks nice on a map, but I predict the following:

    1) The eastern-most state falls into the Japanese sphere and goes down when their system collapses, either under the weight of Her Majesty's Navy or it's own.

    2) Siberia..Well, if they can survive, they might make a lot out of resources.

    3) Transural, or the yellow one in the middle, well, they will either seek union with Siberia to ward of the Euros or collapse in a BCF of their own.

    4) Russia.. Well, it depends, how long will ze Germanz have troops in St.Petersburg?
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
    "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." - Carl Schurz
    Against all Odds: The British Empire in World War Two (ongoing) Last updated 03/22/14 Index - Index 2 - Index 3 - Knowledgebase -
    Inkwell Entry - Now with added obscure Doctor Who references - Visit the Dictionary!

    Possibly the world's most British German as awarded by El Pip here.

  16. #1236
    Actually, the only one of those predictions I can answer with absolute certainty is Primorsk. Primorsk has claims on Japan (and Italy, but that's another issue I should have just load-fixed, and might explain why my OTHER Siegerkranz save has Primorsk as one of the player states). The other issue with Primorsk is that Japanese attention is focused exclusively southward. By the time of those screens (1953 game-time), the British Army is on the Chinese-Vietnamese OTL border. There is a titanic naval battle at some point in the late '40s that effectively reverses the outcome of our Leyte Gulf when the British get overconfident.

    The answer to the rest, with as little hand-waving as possible, is that future German conscription classes are going to be giant construction gangs for a few years - kind of like the current US Army Corps of Engineers Engineering Districts in Iraqistan, with (hopefully) more long-term success. Since Denikin is the prime minister of Russia until his death in '47, Russian internal policy is to wean themselves of German aid. This is made more difficult by a Tsar who has never been in Russia.
    HoI2 AARs: Eine Geschichte des Grossdeutsches Reich - Siegerkranz - Germany's Place in the Sun - The Prophet Unleashed
    EU3 AARs: The Lion and the Lily
    Awards:
    Third Recipient of KaiserMuffin's Cookie for Services to Syndicalism
    Showcased AAR for Week of 9 April 2010
    Character Writer of the Week, 27 May 2010, 17 April 2011, 19 December 2011
    Writer of the Week, 14 November 2010

  17. #1237
    Alien Space Bat PrawnStar's Avatar
    Crusader Kings IIEuropa Universalis: ChroniclesEU3 CompleteHearts of Iron IIIEuropa Universalis: Rome
    Victoria 2EU3 Collectors EditionEuropa Universalis IV: Pre-order

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Leicester, England
    Posts
    3,914
    Right oh, the red bit has got all the people hasn't it - so I would imagine the moment the Germans aren't looking it's time to march to the Pacific and put the Russias back in the Tsar!


    Apparently I need to buy some more gravel.


    My AARs: EU3 England, Golden Horde, France, Iroquois, Castile / EU2 Finland / My Inkwell

    "Sunset Invasion isn't ASB - it's just Prawnstar playing CK2" Athalcor
    "If EU3 had exiled prawn-like aliens he'd be the first one to do a WC with them..." aldriq
    "You were prawn under a conquering stAAR!" Arakhor



  18. #1238
    Can't wait for the reunification wars.

  19. #1239
    120. At War's End

    State Arsenal
    Vienna, German Empire
    7 May 1946


    It was a beautiful spring day in Vienna - clear skies, sunny weather, even birdsong. One man noticed none of it, instead staring up at a marble statue in the inner courtyard of the Arsenal. He wore a faded, mottled jump smock open at the throat, an equally faded field blouse under it, and a dark-green beret, and an expression of near-collapse. "It should have been me, Otto," Wilhelm Volkmann muttered at the statue, unable to take his eyes away.

    Otto Skorzeny would have been proud of his memorial - four meters and a pedestal of marble, sculpted to commemorate the man who had died, in the Kaiser's words, "with the last shot of the last battle of the last war." That it was here, in the military heart of Austria, was perhaps fitting; some had proposed putting it at Kyffhäuser with the other memorial statues, but Otto von Habsburg had intervened. Otto Ritter von Skorzeny would be commemorated in his homeland. Here he was as Hercules, clad in a lion skin, foot astride the neck of a bear. It was incredibly pompous, and it captured the dead man perfectly for that very reason. Despite his black mood, Wilhelm smiled at that fact. It was not much of a smile, but today was a year to the day since he had sent Skorzeny's company east to their fates. Of that company, a dozen had come back fit for duty. Perhaps another twenty would eventually recover enough to serve again. He had seen the look on their faces before - he thought of it as "the Reims look." He could not ask men who had been through that fire to serve further, and at war's end, what need was there?

    A gendarme approached, tapping him on the shoulder with a baton. "Excuse me, there is no loitering here," the guard said stiffly. Wilhelm half-turned, taking him in with a glance. Stiff posture, clean white gloves, polished helmet and gorget. Chain dog, NCO candidate by his sleeve... so not a first-year conscript. No war on his chest, just the usual "I was in uniform when..." ribbons. This man had spent the past few years comfortably "fighting" from Vienna, doubtless. The man's face paled slightly when he saw the subdued rank on Volkmann's own sleeve and the blue enamel cross at his throat. When he registered the expression on Wilhelm's face, he turned bone-white. "Er, excuse me, sir, I thought..."

    "Why, corporal, would a vagrant be in the inner courtyard of the Arsenal?" Volkmann asked quietly. The corporal had come to rigid attention now, the parade soldier's instinctive response to challenge. Wilhelm shook his head in disgust. "Go away," he grunted, waving at the courtyard portico. The man gratefully spun on his heel and marched, bandbox-perfect, out of the courtyard. Wilhelm returned to his consideration of the Skorzeny statue. "I'm so sorry, Otto," he murmured once more, extending his hand to rest it on the head-level top of the pedestal. "I thought you'd outlive all of us."

    ---

    Main Cadet Center Lichterfelde
    Berlin, German Empire
    28 May 1946


    Johann Volkmann was back in Berlin, after what seemed like forever in increasingly dismal quarters in Russia. He would have loved to stretch gloriously, spend the day tinkering with his motorcycle, or just lazing about, but instead, duty had called him here. He was a Lichterfelde man, a bona-fide war hero, and an example of what luck and a couple of wars could do for one's career, so when he returned in time for the Lichterfelde graduation, he had been dragooned onto the stage, handing out officers' swords and commissions, smiling, and doing his best impression of Manstein. That Kleist had been barely suppressing a grin the whole time did not help at all. When new-minted Leutnant Zimmern finally left the stage and the band played them out, he took a deep breath, flexed his right hand, and erupted, "Thank God! I was afraid my arm would fall off from all that saluting!"

    Kleist responded with a deep laugh, the stress of the last few years uncoiling and sliding off of them, it seemed. "Yes. Another few of them, and we'd have been able to qualify as loaders again. Arm feels like it's England all over again!" He realized what he had said, and a quick look of horror crossed his face. Johann shook his head. "Relax, it only hurts when I use the arm," he said, waving with his right arm both to dismiss the reminder of his wound, and to show that the arm still worked properly. "So what shall we do now?" Kleist asked, gesturing toward the parade ground exit. Johann shook his head, smiling. "Not we, I'm afraid. I have someone I need to visit, just me." Kleist grinned, slow and sly. "Is it that Ilse girl, the one you wrote all those letters?" Volkmann blushed slowly, his tanned features turning pink, then red, and he spluttered for a moment. Kleist clapped him on the shoulder. "Good luck, Hans."

    From Lichterfelde to the Institute was a short journey for someone who had just come from Siberia. The journey from the world of cadets to the world of Ilse Klein was infinitely longer. She had returned here and was, wonder of wonders, teaching physics at the Technicsche Hochschule. She was not expecting him, and it showed when he stepped into her office after a very perfunctory knock. She was lovely, he thought, blonde hair catching the sun, piled on the back of her head and emphasizing her glasses, but then, he was hardly fit to judge - the few women he had seen in the past year had been in occupied Russia. Still, when she saw him, she lit up. "Hans! I didn't know you had come back!" She rose to meet him, but there was surprisingly little passion in her embrace, a quick, tight hug followed by a step back while she considered him. "You're looking well, the war apparently agreed with you." The smile was still genuine, at least. "Thank God it's over."

    "Ah, Ilse..." He took her hand, clearing his throat, nervous. "I came to see you to ask..." He fumbled for a moment, beginning to drop to his knee, encumbered by his dress sword.

    "Of course I will, since you asked," she said, voice calm and matter-of-fact. "Now get up, you silly man. That nonsense is for romances and operas." She turned away once more, slipping behind her desk. It was, he realized, a very small, crowded office. "Now you will just have to get a post in Berlin, because I'll be damned if I'm going to chase you garrison to garrison." He realized that his mouth was hanging open, and she smiled, covering it with a hand. "Oh, Hans. It's very sweet of you, and yes, of course I will marry you. You're adorable, you know."

    "'Adorable' is hardly the word one usually uses to describe an Oberst of the Totenkopfdivision!" he protested, stuffy even to his own ears. She smiled sweetly. "Of course not. But I'm not marrying an Oberst of the Totenkopfdivision, Johann Volkmann, I'm marrying you, and if you can't figure out the difference, I can certainly change my mind." He had no response to that, and she showed mercy on him. She rose from behind the desk, coming around and taking his hands. He followed her from the office, still dumbstruck, and barely remembered to grab his shako as they went. "Come on, I'm starving, the faculty club suit you?" she asked over her shoulder. "That's... that's fine," he replied in a daze.

    ---

    Building 1
    Bad Schlema, German Empire
    6 June 1946


    Generalleutnant Ernst Baron von Volkmann sat behind a desk that would have been the envy of any engineer he had known in the '20s and '30s, in an office overlooking a vast industrial plant. He had come as far as it was likely for an engineer to come in the Reichsheer, had rubbed elbows with Nobel winners, and had been instrumental in winning the war. The question was... now what? The Bad Schlema laboratories were running more or less on their own now; no new construction was planned for the foreseeable future. The civil applications and power generation systems were slowly progressing, despite the obvious ineptitude of Professor Einstein as an administrator. Most of that work was handled now by Professor Diebner, who had more interest in the day-to-day work than any of the theoreticians and, at this point, more than Ernst himself. After five years of administering this project, after the test and Valkyrie, he was ready for a change.

    He swiveled in his chair to look out the great windows behind him. The windows here looked out over the plant to the mountains and the mines. On the other side of the building, he could have seen the river, but the plant was why he was here, so he had chosen to watch it instead. He stared out over the long, marching ranks of whitewashed wood and fogged-over glass, brooding to himself. The buzzer on his desk went off, interrupting his reverie, followed by the intercom. The new secretary was a Reichsheer man, one of Becker's star pupils, a Hauptmann Wenger from Berlin. He was a poor substitute for Ilse Klein, but Ilse had drifted out of his office and into the laboratory years ago, and no one quite made up for her. He sighed as Wenger reported. "Sir, a special courier from the Bendlerblock. Generalmajor von Stauffenberg, to see you."

    "Send him in."

    Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg was a perfect soldier - upright, handsome, and decorated with the Pour le Merite and the Red Eagle, atop other awards. When he raised his right hand in salute, Ernst saw that it was missing the last two fingers, and that the others were unusually stiff. "Herr General," he said, voice crisp, and Ernst returned the salute before standing himself. Ernst gestured at a chair before speaking. "Please, sit, we're a touch more informal here than in Berlin. Can I get you anything to drink? Tea? Coffee? A bit early for much more than that, I'm afraid." Stauffenberg nodded and sank into the chair. "Tea, please." Ernst jabbed the intercom, speaking sharply into it. "Wenger. Two cups of tea please. Now, General, what brings you to Bad Schlema?"

    Stauffenberg reached inside his blouse, drawing out an envelope. "Orders for you, sir. I am to deliver them personally and ensure that you understand them." He fumbled for a moment with his mangled hand before handing the buff envelope across. Seeing Ernst's involuntary look at his hand, he shrugged. "Caucasus. I tried to catch a bullet." A smile crept across his face, almost involuntarily. "It didn't want to be caught." Ernst felt himself smiling despite himself at this young man, scarcely older than his own sons. He decided that he liked the messenger from the Bendlerblock.

    The orders, though... whether he would like them was another question. He broke the seal, untwined the thread holding the envelope shut, and signed the distribution list on the back side before sliding the thin sheaf of papers out of the envelope. Stauffenberg sat and stirred his tea while Ernst sank back into his chair, chin on his chest and eyes on the cover page. He finally glanced up. "Let me see if I understand this. If I'm reading this correctly, General Thomas wants me to leave here to become... a railroad president?" he asked in incredulity. Stauffenberg shrugged. "Not exactly a railroad president. Do you have a map?" Ernst gestured at a pull cord on one wall, and Stauffenberg pulled down a transparency screen, followed by a map of Europe to the Urals. Red stickers marked it, showing the location of Europe's uranium deposits. Stauffenberg ignored those and instead gestured at the northern half of Germany. "A line from Berlin to St. Petersburg, and from Berlin to Moscow along the line Minsk-Smolensk-Moscow, and a line from St. Petersburg to Moscow... and here, in the south, Vienna to Kiev. These northern and southern lines to converge at Volgograd, here, then east, and the old Moscow-Chelyabinsk line of the Trans-Siberian rail. All of that to rebuild the Trans-Siberian line to Vladivostok in standard gauge." Stauffenberg smiled. "For the man who built the Berlin-Baghdad line and the works here, it's hardly a challenge, is it?"

    Three major trunk lines from the Reich into the Soviet successors, and the longest rail line in the world to be rebuilt under primitive conditions to the Reich standard gauge... it was certainly a challenge, but... he finally nodded in acceptance. "All right. I'll come up to Berlin and we'll talk about it, see what we can lay out. Do you have a car?" Stauffenberg's face split in a grin when he replied. "Drache." Apparently the man had pull at the Bendlerblock, Ernst mused. He stood, grabbing his coat. "Well, let's not waste any time then, lead the way."

    ---

    Chateau Lassan
    Outside Rouen, Kingdom of France
    28 June 1946


    Annelise de Lassan was the only foreigner in the house, unless a Flemish veteran who spoke fluent French counted as a foreigner. She and the children stayed out of sight, the children asleep, her post unobtrusively sitting in a salon next to the drawing room where a half-dozen men had gathered. They were a curious collection of men: monarchist to a fault, military officers almost all of them, the types who should have been bound to the House of Bourbon by both tradition and personal inclination, but the Bourbons were now tainted. They also tended to be tall, moustached, and frowning, and almost to a man, the soldiers among them were tankers - save, again, for the Flemish veteran in his white kepi, who looked uncomfortable and nervous.

    Some of these men she knew on sight: her husband, her father-in-law, General de Hautecloque, General de Gaulle. The Flemish Legionnaire, she did not. Nor did she recognize the thin, severe man in white naval uniform, though his rank was apparently some sort of flag officer - his driver was lounging in the servants' quarters. She also had no clue who the full-faced man in a business suit was, only that he spoke with an American accent and was equally amiable with her, his valet, and the assembled officers. The six of them sat around the great table dating back to the Sun King, and, befitting his position as the host, the Vicomte spoke first. "Gentlemen. Thank you for joining me here, I am sorry that you had to make such roundabout travel arrangements. Most of you are acquainted, I believe. For those of you who are not - well, perhaps introductions should wait on your own discretion, as this is, I am afraid, treason in the legal sense of the word."

    De Gaulle tilted his head back and looked down his nose, a feat he seemed tailor-made to perform. "And why should we trust a man with a German daughter-in-law?" he asked, glancing at the door - the wrong door, as it happened. "Because," the Vicomte replied, "I have a French son, and the Germans have seen fit to place Rouen practically upon the border, and I have given my life to the same army as you."

    "So it is to be the army you are rushing to save?" the admiral sneered. "It is not to be France, as I had hoped? The army did a fine job of preserving us from where we are now, non?" His voice was as sharp as his features, and she could almost feel de Gaulle prickling at the remarks. "That was not the army's fault, but the high command's failure to understand that times had changed, and Belgium could not be relied upon as a shield!"

    "Gentlemen," Hautecloque said, voice soft, hand raised as if to separate the two men, "we are not here about the past. We are here to deal with the present, and the future. We are here for the future of France, not the fleet, not the army. France."

    "To France." The others lifted their glasses, and Hautecloque stood before concluding the toast. "To France, and the Third Empire."
    HoI2 AARs: Eine Geschichte des Grossdeutsches Reich - Siegerkranz - Germany's Place in the Sun - The Prophet Unleashed
    EU3 AARs: The Lion and the Lily
    Awards:
    Third Recipient of KaiserMuffin's Cookie for Services to Syndicalism
    Showcased AAR for Week of 9 April 2010
    Character Writer of the Week, 27 May 2010, 17 April 2011, 19 December 2011
    Writer of the Week, 14 November 2010

  20. #1240
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Questing for the Black Shine...
    Posts
    17,850
    Blog Entries
    20
    Another war is on the making, perhaps?
    Fan número uno de Ailee para el resto de la eternidad y un poco más.
    "Pequeño Padawan Kurtizacoal, por qué me has salido tan cabrón?" - me dijo mi Maestro.
    Palo Dixit: posible Anticristo, vacalentacialanonanista, Culé y Salido que provoca manifas por donde pasa.
    Palo Dixit redux: Escatológico bipolar

    AARs en curso o acabados -Ongoing and finished HoI2 AARs-
    WritAAR of the Week:16-03-07/5-04-09/13-09-09/19-09-10/28-10-11 - Fan of the week 25-03-07/29-10-07/06-04-08/29-12-08/13-09-09 - Canonized 02-12-07 - Best Character WritAAR of the Week:03-04-09- Showcased 01-05-2010/10-12-2010 - Mi blog: Confesiones clandestinas: El baile del hombrepanda [Actualizado 11/04/2014]

+ Reply to Thread
Page 62 of 66 FirstFirst ... 12 37 52 60 61 62 63 64 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts