Love this! I'm Following! Viva Italia!
Love this! I'm Following! Viva Italia!
"The option of war might seem a priority to be the swiftest. But let us not forget that having won the war, one has to build peace." -Dominique de Villepin, French Prime Minister
Ideology: Social Democracy
Social: Pluralism, Laïcite
I just had to scramble to remember my login details to praise you on the wonderful story. I've eagerly devoured it in one sitting, tremendous work!
This is extra sexy. By all means do continue good sir.
I AM THE YAK
This is by far the best written and most engrossing AAR I've ever read on these forums, keep it up!
Sorry for the delay, this came a day later than I hoped. Anyways...
@de Walle: Thanks for your comments so far
@forkboy: I'm happy to hear you felt it was good enough to post. That is great!
@OVG: Glad to hear that from you.
The Gathering Storm
The end of the Civil War in the United States marked the end of an era in the western hemisphere. Canada was now the premier power in the west, and would surely be boosted by the emigration of businessmen and other elites out of the former United States into Canada, or at least those that could not reach the Pacific States of America.Originally Posted by Nestor Makhno, “Summons”
Within the Combined Syndicates, it was a great period of upheaval and strife. The integration of former elements of the American Union State was difficult, with its former citizens resisting the Combined Syndicates where they could and making things difficult for party cadres as they attempted to restructure the economy of the south. There was also the question of racial integration, one that the Syndicates began to enact but gradually, rather than quickly, due to uncertainty of its potential backlash.
Politically, the divides between members of the Combined Syndicates of America that had until then been voluntarily been suppressed and ignored in favor of unity in face of the American political system. With this obstacle gone, the group began to question exactly where the policy of the new order would lie. On one end were the Anarcho-Syndicalists, led by the German émigré Rudolf Rocker , who desired to break apart the developing system in Chicago in favor of a decentralized system syndicates across the land. On the other, William Z. Foster advanced Totalism, and already started to envision what government would take hold in the lands from the occupation of Washington D.C.
President Reed seemingly rejected and accepted both simultaneously, attempting to incorporate some of their concepts while not accepting either wholly. He seemed to rely more on the trade unionists in the end, creating a more traditional syndicalist structure that had taken root in France and Italy in the early years.
One of the first signs of this odd mixture was the direction that the new government took towards farming and the banking sector. In the countryside, cadres were already busy reorganizing the rural regions of the Combined Syndicates, breaking apart the old sharecropper system that dominated much of that region. Reed rejected suggestions to collectivize the agriculture as well as allowing a degree of market influence in agriculture, and rather chose the more orthodox syndicalist approach in forming farmers’ syndicates. This was more or less the position of the Anarcho-Syndicalists, who wished to devolve greater autonomy to workers.
This seemed a victory for the Anarcho-Syndicalists, but they scrapped ideas of Reed’s possible sympathies with him when the banking question came up. There was a significant banking sector originating in the former United States that the Combined Syndicates now controlled, and its function now came into question. The Anarcho-Syndicalists demanded the whole industry be dissolved at once, arguing that money should have had no reason to exist in the new society. The Totalists on the other hand desired a nationalization of the banks, reasoning that it would be necessary in the construction of socialism in the Combined Syndicates. Reed took the position of the later, but more due to the convincing of the Secretary of the Continental Chamber of Syndicates, Max Shachtman, who had already oversaw the nationalization of other industries of the United States to begin the ‘transitional’ period.
The final step would be the question of the ownership of the means of production. There were increasingly loud demands by hardline supporters of the Combined Syndicates to implement its most essential component- the abolishment of private property . This position essentially meant that the major factories, productive plots, other means of production would be transferred to the control of their local Syndicates, and large tracts of land in the country side would be seized and given to the farmers.
This was in part a culmination of the American Revolution, and the nations of the Syndicalist International, in particular those who contributed men and women to the International Brigades, watched closely for what choice it would take. Reed did not disappoint, and decided to sign the provision into power.
The move was received warmly by the nations of the International, who felt that this represented the Combined Syndicates had become one of them and would become a reliable partner in economic, political, and hopefully, military, concerns.
Reed’s next line of action was the fate of Washington D.C., the capital of the United States. The city was wrecked by the three-way fighting by the Combined Syndicates, the United States, and the American Union State. It was then under reconstruction, and those that visited the city during the Congress noted that even nearly two years after its fall, the city still showed the scars of war.
The other consideration was exactly what Washington D.C. stood for- and for Reed and the Combined Syndicates it was the ‘den of the bourgeoisie’. With these concerns, the government did not want to move the capital back to Washington and rather kept it in Chicago, the birthplace of the revolution. More importantly, it was the home of the Haymarket Massacre, the event that started the tradition of May Day and by extension, the Syndicalist movement.
With initial affairs taken care of, the Combined Syndicates dealt with its problems around itself. The first was the two governments in exile, both claiming to be the legitimate government of the United States. The first was MacArthur and his junta operating in Canada, and the second was Huey Long and the America First in Cuba. Both established front organizations, the Committee of Free America and the Free America Committee respectively. Creativity of the names aside, both manipulated global media where they could about the horrors of the Combined Syndicates. In particular, the ‘abolishment’ of private property excited their media wings and soon Canadian and German publications made a daily feature of the ‘horrors’ in the Combined Syndicates.
All in all though, they did not present a significant threat to the new Combined Syndicates. Particularly the former elements of the American Union State, who despite taking a significant portion of the AUS bank with them, had no chance of staging a revolt in the South .
The two biggest concerns for the Combined Syndicates were the Canadians and the Pacific States. The monarchists in Canada had opted not to intervene in the Civil War were busy fortifying their border with the Combined Syndicates and bolstering New England. Across its significant border with the Combined Syndicates, fortifications that started near the beginning of the Civil War neared completion and was followed up with a build up in Canada’s military forces.
The border between the two nations was a closed one. No trade or exchange of any sort took place between the Combined Syndicates and Canada, and the only activity occurring between the two were attempts by the elite and resistors to the Combined Syndicates remaining in the United States to smuggle themselves into New England or Canada.
It was the Pacific States of America that troubled the Combined Syndicates the most though. If a war was to result with Canada, nothing would prevent the PSA in joining ranks with Canada and opening another front.
There was also the long standing feud between the industrialists that resided on the west coast and those in control of the Combined Syndicates. During his presidential campaign, Reed found strong opposition and harassment of his supporters across the west coast, and found that it was endorsed by figures like Howard Hughes and William Randolph Hearst, both significant figures in the PSA . This was a feud that ran long before the presidential elections; the west coast went through a period of prosperity while the rest of the United States was mired in economic depression, and as such it used its political leverage to oppose anything that might hinder that.
The unclear border between the PSA and Combined Syndicates was tense as it is, and it was not long before war broke out between the two nations. There was no plausible way they could both exist in the same continent, with their systems so opposed to one another. On July 24th, two months after the end of the Congress and the Civil War, another war began in the Americas.
Italy was concerned by these turn of developments, though the leadership of the republic recognized the importance of neutralizing the PSA from the Combined Syndicates’ perspective. Still, they viewed this more as a sign of aggression, and filed a petition to the Syndicalist International to recall the International Brigades from the Americas, stating that their job was done there and they had no reason to fight in the war with the PSA. As the combined statement from the Council of the Republic stated, the Combined Syndicates was more than capable on its own to deal with the Pacific States- and any threat for that matter- as it had significantly built up its military and industrial capacity since the beginning of the war.
For once, much of the International agreed with Italy’s perspective, and the Combined Syndicates recognized that the International Brigades had already done their part for the revolution. The International Brigades were taken to the coast where they departed back to their respective countries, and on August 10th the Garibaldi and Mazzini Brigades returned back to Italy, docking at the port of Naples where they were received by energetic crowds.
In Rome, a grand parade was held to welcome back the volunteers, some of whom like Niccolò Gallo had spent nearly two and a half years fighting in the American war, notably the Battle of New York and the Georgia campaign. President Togliatti gave the opening address to the gathered people and the members of the Garibaldi and Mazzini Brigades, congratulating them on their hard work and sacrifice. All members of the brigades were decorated by the staff of the military and even Giuseppe Garibaldi, Jr . He also allowed for Gallo to make a statement on behalf of the brigades, where he recounted the sacrifice and pain of the divisions. He invoked the memories of much of his fallen comrades, among them Italians like Armando who died during the Battle of New York, and Americans like his friend Mark who died in the defense of Chicago from General Patton’s assault on the city.
The crowd did not expect the speech that Gallo gave, a break from the more ‘patriotic’ tone of the speeches beforehand. Unsure how to react after saying he would hope there would be no more war, they applauded him anyways and the delegate from the Mazzini brigade was quickly rushed on to the stage, who did not disappoint the crowd’s expectations.
It was a far less enthusiastic welcome for the captured members of the Papal divisions who had volunteered for the American Union State. As they were processed and sent off to where appropriate, the Italians still found themselves with a major piece missing- the ‘leader’ of the Papal brigades. The man had evaded capture and had more than likely fled with the rest of the American Union into Cuba. His identity was still unknown- a source of major discomfort for the republic.
It was a mere two months later when the Combined Syndicates, sensing the weariness of its own populace for war, approached the leadership of the PSA with an offer of peace, arranging a conference at St. Louis where they could decide on the future and border of their two nations.
Much to everyone’s surprise, the PSA rejected the call for peace harshly, demanding that President Reed would be made to ‘suffer’ for his belligerent acts and destruction of the United States. Refusing to even attend the summit, Reed’s request for peace was shot down.
It could be said that the whole situation played right into Reed’s hands. Reed knew that the war with the PSA was unpopular with much of the citizens, and they had enough to deal with on account of resistance from those who rejected the new order emanating from Chicago. Possibly he hoped that by offering peace in such a way that the PSA would reject it anyways, he could try and maneuver himself back in a more favorable light and, hopefully, cut down on the dissent from people opposing the war. This, of course, is speculation, but it is the only plausible explanation that could explain Reed’s quick turn to seeking peace merely two months after declaring war.
Meanwhile, in Portugal, the CNT-FAI’s attempt to agitate the UAP worked wonderfully, but took a turn for the worse. Rather than overthrowing the government as they hoped, the regime lashed back with fierce reaction, brutally scattering demonstrators in Lisbon and elsewhere.
Not wanting to see its interests collapse, the FAI decided to declare war on Portugal on July 15th to defend the UAP.
The war was a small one and could easily be handled by Spain alone. Portugal now found itself attempting to scramble its colonial forces back home to fight off the Spanish invasion. Its divisions in Mozambique, fending off South African assault, were now utterly broken as the chain of command in Portugal’s African colonies began to rupture.
Mittelafrika, remembering Portugal’s rejection of offer for its African colonies before, exploited the situation and moved to occupy the colony of Angola.
Mittelafrika also attempted to occupy what it could from Mozambique, but found that South Africa was more or less complete with it conquest of that colony, so it backed off. The FAI however found itself having to abandon its plans for Morocco, leaving the rebels to fend for themselves once the German colonial forces reacted to their uprising.
Portugal itself did not fare well from the onslaught of the war, however. Its colonial adventures overextended its military capabilities and left itself vulnerable to the Spanish invasion. Portugal fell just two months later in September when Spanish forces entered into Lisbon, causing the regime to capitulate and enter into exile.
This caused a scramble for Portugal’s colonies- East Timor was occupied and taken over by the Dutch in Indonesia, and its Indian holdings around Goa were taken over by the Princely Federation. South Africa had already taken Mozambique and Mittelafrika had annexed Angola as a part of its authority. Southern Africa then found itself divided between two powers- the radical government of South Africa and the colonial administration of Mittelafrika.
Two powers now controlled Southern Africa.
As such, Mittelafrika treated South Africa as an even larger threat than the National French to the north, and began to concentrate its forces along the border with South Africa. Attempts to bring South Africa into the military wing of the Syndintern by France failed again as South Africa was worried that a war with Germany would give Mittelafrika the excuse it needed to fire up its war.
In Central Asia, the nation of Alash Orda collapsed on September 10th, unable to hold back Russia from the north and Turkestan from the south. It was thought within Italy that Russia would then turn its attention to Turkestan and solidify its control in Central Asia, but according to intelligence reports much of the Russian military was now building up in its western borders, in particular Ukraine, as well as a smaller force along the border with Transamur.
Turkestan, for whatever reason, simply wasn’t on Russia’s radar. Even after its government declared its intentions to “restore” the Caliphate of old, conflicting with some of Russia’s annexations of Alash Orda, the Russian military did not take the threat seriously.
Indeed, it was thought that Turkestan would more than likely turn its attention southward to the vulnerable and isolated nation of Iran. Iran had received a degree of independence after the fall of the United Kingdom and found itself in a convenient location of neutrality, but suffered militarily. It attempted to remedy this with the Treaty of Saadabad, securing non-aggression and independence guarantees from its neighbors of Azerbaijan and Afghanistan.
It was only 20 days later, as September drew to a close, that Turkestan declared war on the Imperial State of Iran.
Afghanistan and Azerbaijan both honored their agreements and joined Persia in its defense against Turkestan, who in turn was joined by their allies in Mongolia. The ordinarily sleepy region now found itself engulfed in war.
The Ottoman Empire found itself unable to deal with increasing dissent. With agitators trained within France returning to the Middle-East, Arab nationalists began to cause more and more trouble for the Ottoman Empire’s attempts to control its territories outside of its core region in Turkey. On the 25th Anniversary of the entrance into the Great War by the Ottoman Empire, a revolt kicked off across the Arab-speaking portions of the region.
Much to the disappointment of the Commune of France however, its agitators did not succeed in encouraging Republican movements in the region to plague the Ottomans, but rather gave pro-Hashemite tribes in Kuwait and the northern reaches of the Arabian Desert in the Ottoman Empire the signal to rise up and cause trouble for the weak border divisions.
The Ottoman Empire responded swiftly and deployed the military to the troubled regions, bringing to bear its full wrath to squash the rebellion. As the military poured into Kuwait, it discovered evidence of Hashemite agitation and as such, the Ottoman Empire declared war on Hashemite Arabia.
This declaration of war led the Kingdom of Egypt to honor its arrangements with Hashemite Arabia from the Arab Congress, and it in turn declared war on the Ottoman Empire.
Now the Middle-East was engulfed in war, with the Ottoman Empire re-asserting its dominance in the region and hoping to take down the source of much of its troubles once and for all, while the two Arab nations hoped to gain in power at the expense of the Ottomans.
It was not the outcome the French- or the Italians, or anyone else in the Syndintern, for that matter, desired but it did occupy the attention of the Ottoman Empire and by extension, Mitteleuropa. With Bulgaria collapsing and Romania, Serbia, and Greece hoping to pick up the pieces, a reliable corridor between the Middle-East and Germany was falling apart and leaving the Ottomans with no land route to reach Germany if a war occurred.
Germany was occupied with its engagements in Asia, and could not bring itself to intervene in the Balkans and leave its border with the Commune of France vulnerable. However, much to its relief (and the anger of the Syndintern), a breakthrough finally occurred in its so far disastrous war with Japan when German marines landed in its colonial capital of Tsingtao in the summer and began to repulse Japanese forces, giving the besieged Qing forces relief from advancing enemy forces.
The German landings on the Shandong Peninsula
Its war against Vietnamese guerrillas were also proceeding smoothly, though it still failed to break the guerillas who were able to evade crushing defeat, employing highly mobile and quick tactics to harass the German forces there.
Within Italy, as the rest of the world found the flames of war going across the world, it busily reinforced its border with Austria. This was mostly achieved with significant garrisons built up in each major city along the Austrian border, along with heavy concentrations of artillery and anti-air.
One would be correct in assuming the Italians were opting for a defensive approach rather than an offensive one. The Italian industry or manpower could not match what the Austro-Hungarian Empire possessed and a full-on assault would be more damaging to the Italians than Austria.
As the French representative discussed in the Rome Congress and since expanded- save for the occasional disputes that blew out between Mankho and the Italian leadership- the Unified Syndicalist leadership saw Italy’s purpose as only preventing a Mitteleuropan drive and protecting France’s vulnerability in its southern regions. Once France completed its sweep through Belgium and hopefully into Germany, pressure could be applied on the Italian end to make Austrian divisions return to their home and thus weaken the German front to even more attacks.
That was how it was hoped it would occur in the event of a war, anyways. At any rate, Italy’s role was more defensive than offensive, and it fulfilled that role accordingly.
The border with Austria at the end of 1939
Italy had also managed to construct two armored divisions which were now integrated into the defensive positions. Air divisions were beginning to expand, at that point consisting mostly of fighters and interceptors, with orders for Close Air Support being filed at the end of the year to supplement the ground forces.
As 1939 drew to a close and the world entered into 1940, few places could say they had peace. War seemingly engulfed the entire world. In North America, the Combined Syndicates and the Pacific States of America fought for the inheritance of the title of ‘America’, and the Canadians were looking on with interest. In Central America, the rivalry between Centroamerica and the United Provinces was becoming more and more dominant as the two took to war to assert their dominance over smaller neighbors in preparation of a war with one another. In South America, Brazil and Bolivia continued their war with Argentina, one that would determine the future of that region.
In the ancient lands of the Middle-East, the Ottoman Empire reacted against Arab opposition to its rule. In Iran, it held off the fanatical forces of Turkestan as the old rivalries of Iran and Turan came to modern times. The fractured land of the Chinese was engulfed in war as Germany and Japan fought for colonial domination, and in the Indian subcontinent the three rivals for India’s future moved closer and closer to war. In Africa, a war seemed to be fast brewing between South Africa and Mitteleruopa, both claiming to hold the future for the development of that land.
In Europe, storms were gathering in every corner of that continent. From his throne in Moscow, the Tsar looked westward to reassert the power of Russia, and behind him the words of his marshal was guiding his attention. From his throne in Berlin, the elderly Kaiser saw the possibility of finally putting in the coffin the ‘nightmare’ unleashed by the French Revolution of 1789 upon the monarchies of Europe. From Paris, the desire to reclaim Alsace-Lorraine and spread the revolution across the continent. In Rome, the desire to free people still living under the yoke of Austrian oppression.
Everything was converging again on that strip of land, Alsace-Lorraine, as it was in the Great War, as German and French forces stared down each other across the border. All the peoples of the world turned uncomfortably in their sleep, fearing the day they would wake up and see that the world was engulfed in war, and when they would be called to ‘sacrifice’ for their country.
In an address to the House of Commons on New Years Eve as war became more and more likely, many commented on the similarities between their current situation and that of the Europe before the Great War. Driven by revenge, ideology, and the desire to 'free' peoples living under another nation's control- this was seemingly the "Great War Redux".
Déjà vu indeed.
 Rudolf Rocker was born into a Jewish family in Mainz, Germany, in 1873, and became a socialist at an early age joining the SPD. Discouraged by the lack of energy from the social democratic parties at the time, in particular towards the Imperialist adventures of their respective nations, Rocker began to increasingly associate with Anarchism and the works of Mikhail Bakunin.
In 1893 he left Germany to explore socialism in France and to avoid conscription by the German military, and later journeyed to London to explore anarchism. He began to associate with Syndicalism, and further broke with Marxists over the question of the Russian Revolution. In particular he was disgusted with the behavior of some of the reformists in supporting the Great War, and the inability of the Second International to oppose the war in a meaningful way. Due to his German heritage and political beliefs, he was detained as an ‘enemy’ in the United Kingdom and was not released until the event of the war.
After the events of the Great War, he helped operate in the Free Association of German Trade Unions (FVdG), which later merged with the FAUD. Anarcho-Syndicalism received a great boost with the success of the Commune of France and the Socialist Republic of Italy, and later the Union of Britain.
The crackdowns on the FAUD in the 1930s led Rocker to immigrate to the United States, where he made an acquaintance with the Anarchists Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman. He was an influential member of the Combined Syndicates of America and the most influential proponent of Anarcho-Syndicalism, despite his advanced age, being 66 during the political debates of the Combined Syndicates in the aftermath of the war.
 By “private property”, the intention was often referring to the means of production as well as the ownership of land, not so much private residences, apartments, and possessions the governments of exile of the United States and the American Union State accused.
 Despite this, the Combined Syndicates often accused the America First of funding anti-Syndicalist forces in the South who often opposed attempts to racially integrate the region with violence.
 Peppino Garibaldi, the grandson of Giuseppe Garibaldi, was often known as Giuseppe Garibaldi II or Jr. depending on the text. He fought in the Mexican Revolution, though on the side of the army of Francesco Madero rather than Zapata or Pancho Villa. After serving in the Great War on behalf of Italy and witnessing its break up into the Confederation, and later the secession of the Socialist Republic of Italy, Garibaldi largely withdrew from public life.
After the unification of Italy, he remained in the country and offered his services in the military, attempting to make overtures with the political leadership of Italy, who distrusted him due to his support for the Great War and opposition to socialism. He was even accused of being the organizer of the Papal Divisions for the American Union State, a charge he denied vehemently, rather putting his support behind the Italian contingents of the International Brigades. His situation could be seen as similar to that of T.E. Lawrence in the Union of Britain.
A pic of the Russian Empire?
Theft is a monarchical custom, but Bourbons exaggerate it.
Will you be fighting a static war against Austria or will you work to push the Reactionaries out of Venice and take what rightfully belongs to Italian Labor?
"Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy." - John Quincy Adams
Each time I revisit this aar, I'm amazed at how well written and presented it is. Good work, again!
Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. -Isa 41:10
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. -John 3:16
My machine specs: i7 2600 @ 3.4 GHz, 16 GB DDR3 RAM, Radeon HD6870 with 1 GB RAM, Windows 7 64-bit
Very good Bravo ! take back the italian land from the evil austria !
Yes! An update!!!
"Become what you are." -Friedrich Nietzsche
@Baron: That'll be in the update. But just to give you an idea of how nuts it has been going, it has a belligerence of 95!
@Lafayette: I'll see how things go. Problem is I don't have good manpower (or growth) currently, so running straight into Austria wouldn't be a good idea.
@Cuban and Kryten: Thanks
And So It Begins
Compared to the previous year, 1940 opened with much of the world on edge. As massive military build ups began on either side of the French-German border, the world was watching in fear to see when it would all start.Originally Posted by Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck on the Marxist-Anarchist split of the First International
It wasn’t a question of “if” anymore, but rather “when” the first shots would be fired. The tensions between Germany and France had always been tense since the revolution that overthrew the French Third Republic, but in the past few years events had exacerbated it to the boiling point.
In particular, the German Empire was disgusted by the foundation of the Third International, and was pointing out its declarations as proof of the French government’s desire for war. The assassination of Ambassador Albert Dufour-Feronce did not help matters either, especially due to the fact that the suspect who was later executed was a French anarchist, Gustave Bouvet.
Calls within France had been increasing to finish the ‘reactionaries’ across the border once and for all, viewing the war as an inevitable matter that should be taken care as soon as possible to prevent the Germans from preparing.
In the last two congresses at Rome and New York, French delegates had already been working to secure more members into the Syndintern’s military wing as they prepared for war. Within the country there was nationalist discontent brewing over the question of Alsace-Lorraine, and with reports of German crackdowns on radical and French organizations within the Empire, hysteria grew to the point that pleas for pacifism were drowned out.
In a way, the Communal government, usually disdainful of stoking nationalist sentiment, was using the very same sentiment to ramp up support for its policies among those who opposed the Syndicalism. The Communal Army swelled to a large size as eager recruits entered into the military to fight in the inevitable war.
Italy could not avoid the same sentiments either. While it took care not to stoke Italian nationalism like the French were doing across the border- much to the chagrin of the National-Syndicalists and Mussolini- it saw that the former supporters of the papal government had become less troublesome and even willing to cooperate with the socialists in Italy.
Like France, the Italian populace was excited with the prospect of reclaiming lost lands under Austria- in particular the city of Venice and its surroundings. However, calls were also made to incorporate other parts of Italy that were not even part of the Kingdom of Italy, and once again these calls came from the National-Syndicalists. Within the pages of Il Popolo, Mussolini outlined his idea of a “Greater Italy” that would not stop merely at reclaiming Venice and its surroundings but extend itself to claiming South Tirol, the Istria Peninsula, and the whole of the Adriatic Coast from the Austrians.
According to Mussolini, these lands rightfully belonged to Italy, as they should have been from the very beginning. This idea had been eagerly accepted by his platform as well as some within the population- and it was known that Mussolini desired Corsica, Savoy, and Nice as inclusions into Italy if the war ended favorably to the Syndintern.
For fear of causing a diplomatic incident between Italy and France however, he left those plans out of his article.
Mussolini’s “Italia Irredenta”  plan
What Mussolini did not know was that Italy’s territorial ambitions were already determined nearly two years ago at the Rome Congress. While it was known that the immediate aftermath of the unification saw Italy extending its claims into the Istria peninsula, closed-door discussions between French and Italian delegates saw changes to the plans.
It was no secret that France desired to unite the chaotic mess in the Balkans to be formed into a Yugoslavian state- and in the most preferable case a Balkan Federation. It found that its meetings within potential leaders of such a state- Tito among them in Italy- conflicted with Italian claims on Istria.
The Anarcho-Syndicalist government in Rome was not aggressive in pursuing the claims on the Istria peninsula, mostly due to the Internationalist outlook of nearly every grouping within the platform, from the Marxists to the Anarchists.
However it was feared that the populace would not see the territorial negotiations in the same way, and as such the proceedings were kept secret during the Rome Congress.
Italian and French surveys recognized that in 1910 that Istria had significant Italian populations, but only along its western coast with the Adriatic. The interior of the peninsula had a smaller presence of Italians, ranging from a small minority to almost negligible. The same case was repeated further along the coast.
It was known that in the years after the Great War, a number of Italians were encouraged to move from Istria into the Italian Federation. As such it was unknown if the census from 1910 was even accurate anymore- it was safe to assume though that the numbers more than likely decreased in the subsequent 28 years up to the Rome Congress of 1938.
The plan between Yugoslavian revolutionaries and the Italian government saw Istria divided between the two. The Italian People’s Republic would receive the vital port city of Trieste, while the rest of the peninsula would be incorporated into the Yugoslavian federation.
Claims as determined by the 1938 Rome Congress
However, this was all still tentative and depended on whether Yugoslavia could be formed in the first place. In the event that it was not possible to form Yugoslavia, the whole of the Peninsula would pass to Italy until “such time was possible for the formation of Yugoslavia”.
In any event though, this fell far short of Mussolini’s extravagant ideas. Most of the populace did not seem to care much for his claims on the Adriatic Coast, but the question of Istria would be a far more controversial one on account of lingering sentiment from the Kingdom of Italy’s involvement in the Great War. As such, any post-war plans were kept under wraps, with the government busily reminding people that a war had to be won first before such plans could be made.
The Council of the Republic held a meeting over the Balkans situation, with the attendance of Tito and the rest of the Yugoslavian delegation. From his connections inside Serbia, Tito confirmed Syndintern suspicions that the Balkan War had definitely turned in favor of Serbia, with Bulgaria unable to fend off the combined assaults of Serbia, Romania, and Greece. More recently, the stagnation that defined the Greek front ended when Greek forces broke out and seized control of some Bulgarian provinces and annexed the whole of Albania, sending King Zog and his court into exile in the Ottoman Empire. This left the remains of Albania to be divided between Serbia and the Greeks.
Serbia meanwhile pushed southwards, reaching the coast of the Aegean and creating two pockets of Bulgarian forces, one along the border with the Ottoman Empire and another in the mountains of Macedonia.
For all intents and purposes, the end of Bulgaria was nearing. In its place, as Tito was concerned, would be an emboldened Serbia. For his part Tito suggested that resistance against the Austrians and Hungarians in Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia could be channeled to make Yugoslavia, though in a smaller form with the absence of Serbia. Tito also warned that the King of Serbia would more than likely be eying a Yugoslavian entity of his own, one under the domination of Serbia and the royal crown though.
Italy stated they would honor their agreement with Tito and the rest of the revolutionaries in any event- but recognized that the monarchists in Serbia would be a significant obstacle in successfully creating a Syndicalist Yugoslavia.
Serbia’s issues tied itself into the bigger picture of the Russian Empire and its pan-Slavic agitation across Eastern Europe. The Kingdom of Serbia was making numerous overtures to the royal court in Petrograd hoping to secure the blessings and protection of the Russian Empire against the ambitions of both Mitteleuropa and the Syndintern.
The Russian Empire had changed a lot in the past four years, successfully establishing the return of the Tsar and burying the Republic underneath it. It turned to the weak nations around it as it re-asserted its sphere of influence and former territories, and as such it conflicted directly Mitteleuropa in time. It began to turn its gaze more and more towards Europe rather than its former territories held by the Transamur Republic, and in particular Ukraine was a prize it much desired.
Western portions of the Russian Empire
It had a formidable military, though most of it was focused into infantry with only one division of light armored vehicles. However, it appeared that the Russian Empire was more focused on attacking and exploiting the dire straits of nations around it as opposed to directly fighting another nation. It was believed among the Syndintern nations that if the war proceeded in their favor, the Russian Empire would be moved to seize the United Baltic Duchy, Ukraine, and White Ruthenia to check the advance of Syndicalist forces moving from the west.
It appeared in either event of a defeat or victory- the Syndintern would really be no more secure than it was before. There would still be a powerful foe on the continent in any event, one that had no common ground at all with their aims.
Russia’s actions showed this with a larger concentration of its forces in its western borders rather than the eastern frontier. It also began to see into exploiting the ongoing war between Persia, Afghanistan, and Azerbaijan against Turkestan. It moved its gaze to Azerbaijan, in particular the rich oil fields of Baku, and made plans to seize the country.
The German Empire was aware of the storms over Europe and was moving quickly to end its engagements in Asia before a war broke out with the Commune of France. Its war with the Japanese Empire to save the Qing Empire seemed to have turned in their favor, with Germany successfully establishing a beachhead on its colonial possessions and applying pressure on the Japanese from the east while the remnants of the Qing military would move in from the west.
German forces in China
Towards Indochina, German marines managed to push back Vietnamese rebels into the north and into the jungles. The situation looked grim for the revolutionaries, though Germany still found itself falling short of crushing the rebels. It found that even as it successfully seized provinces and went northwards, guerilla fighters would still emerge and harass their supply lines and troop movements northwards.
The Vietnam War
However, the war was in Germany’s favor. It would have been excellent had it not been for Japan’s exploitation of the war, capturing Germany’s garrisons in Hainan and moving towards its holdings in South China.
The war, even though not proceeding as the Japanese hoped, was still proving to be an embarrassment for Germany. Despite Japan having far less industrial capacity and military prowess, it still showed its strength with its navy in the region and was still proving to be troublesome for Germany’s hopes of ending the war before it got tied up in Europe.
South Asia found itself unable to escape the firestorm of war either. The Princely Federation was finding itself dealing with agitators leading rebellions across its territories against the nobility demanding land reforms and greater rights to the commoners- in particular an end to the caste system. What was more worrisome to the Princely Federation though was that many of these agitators were socialist in orientation and as such sympathetic to the aims of the Bhartiya Commune. In past years socialist groups had been a minor force, but increased support and strength of the Commune led to an explosion of activity among agitators.
The Princely Federation’s suspicions of the Commune’s involvement was confirmed when soldiers from the Bhartiya Commune proceeded over the border into rebellious regions of the Federation to aid the uprisings.
The Princely Federation now saw a direct threat to its sovereignty. With demonstrations gripping the major cities and soldiers from the Commune coming over the border, there was a direct threat to the very foundation of the Federation.
With that in mind, the Princely Federation mobilized its forces and made crackdowns on the demonstrations in the major cities. The military was also deployed to tis border with the Commune to halt the attempted infiltration by the Bhartiya Commune.
War broke out between the Bhartiya Commune and the Princely Federation shortly afterwards, the first major confrontation between the powers of the fragmented South Asia. Delhi opted to stay out of the war, but kept its forces along the border in any event. Delhi more than likely hoped that in the aftermath of the war, both nations would be weakened to the point that it would not prove difficult for their forces to annex both nations.
In the Middle-East, the war between the Ottoman Empire and the forces of Egypt and Hashemite Arabia moved into a stalemate. The Ottoman Empire focused on containing Hashemite Arabia while eliminating Egypt first, as the Kingdom of Egypt possessed greater industry and military than the small, mostly cavalry, forces of Hashemite Arabia.
Despite an advance by Egypt into the Sinai, its forces were repulsed by Ottoman forces brought in from the Iranian border back across the Suez Canal. However, the Ottoman Empire found itself unable to advance any further, and naval landings to come in from behind Egyptian forces were thwarted each time by the Egyptians.
The war ended up with both forces staring at each other over the canal, with the war now focusing on air and naval superiority. In that respect, the Ottoman Empire could easily outlast both Egypt and Hashemite Arabia.
The question though- did the Ottoman Empire have the luxury of time on its side?
With much of its forces moved to its borders with the Hashemite and Egypt, its garrisons could very well be unprepared to deal with uprisings by Arab nationalists in the major cities of the Mashriq , in particular Baghdad, Damascus, Jerusalem, and Beirut. Moreover, indications were emerging that Kurdish nationalists were also beginning to cause problems, and the Ottoman Empire could very well be dealing with rebellions exploding across the region.
So the Ottoman Empire found itself in a conundrum. The easiest way to win the war was to outlast Egypt and the Hashemites- but in doing so the Ottoman Empire would leave itself vulnerable to uprisings that would inevitably blow out.
The Ottoman Empire was often referred to as the “Sick Man of Europe” in the days before the Great War, and clearly it had not been able to move beyond that problem despite attempts by the Young Turks to modernize the nation and move beyond the traditional styles of governance that had encouraged tribalism and regionalism.
It would be in May though that the final piece of the wars engulfing all of world would come full circle. May, traditionally a month of happiness and celebration among the nations of the Syndintern, would find itself interrupted by the culmination of the Commune of France’s plans in the past two decades.
It was almost as if Germany and France had practiced for a play beforehand. On May 24th, 1940, a high-level communiqué from the Commune of France arrived at the Imperial Court in Germany. The French demanded Alsace-Lorraine and threatened Germany with war if they did not turn it over.
France very well knew Germany wouldn’t recognize its claims and move to war- it counted on it. Almost as swiftly and abruptly the French sent the initial demand, the Germans sent back their response. They had both been waiting for this opportunity for a long, long time.
War began between the Commune of France and the German Empire, and with it much of the Syndintern and Mitteleuropa would be dragged into it. The flames of war engulfing the world now were joined- a “World War” had begun.
An emergency session of the House of Commons was convened as the Council of the Republic met to finalize their entry into the war. In rapid communications between France and Rome, the hastily formed Syndicalist High Command ordered the Italian forces to be prepared for the inevitable entrance of the Austrians into the war, and to prevent any attempt by Mitteleuropa to storm in through its vulnerabilities in its southern front.
The war saw the more dedicated members of Mitteleuropa and the Syndintern join in on behalf of the German Empire and the Commune of France respectively.
The Union of Britain, traditionally isolationist in its standpoint, decided to join the Syndintern in defense of the revolution. This decision was not without controversy, with the CTU’s emergency meeting filled with debate and emotions. Many within the Union of Britain wanted to continue its isolationist policies, and it was only narrowly that the CTU cleared the government to enter into the war on behalf of the Commune of France.
In Italy, mobilizations took place to supplement the existing forces on the contested border with Austria, and the Austrians themselves were doing the same as they prepared to enter the war.
The government entered into a wartime footing as it instituted the economic policies planned out with France, Spain, and the Union of Britain to pool their resources and industrial strength into the war. Command of Italy was integrated with the rest of the Syndintern as the Commune of France opened up hostilities along the border with Flanders-Wallonia.
Italy got its first taste of war as German bombers attacked factories in Milan and Turin, which was only partially repulsed by anti-air emplacements and interceptors from the air force.
It was on May 22nd though that Italy got its first contact with Austria, as massive artillery strikes poured over the border, hitting emplacements of the People’s Army and cities as far as Milan. War had begun between the two enemies, and Austria joined itself to Germany once more for this second Great War.
Only four years ago did the first meeting of the Third International took place in Paris, with the members of organization recognizing and committing to an inevitable war with the reactionaries and bourgeoisie. All the events after that Congress had in one way or another led up to this point- and it was one they had all come to expect.
All the unresolved questions and lingering resentment of the Great War would be resolved once and for all with the Second Great War, the World War that now engulfed every nation. Soon, more nations would join in, hoping to correct wrongs they felt they had been dealt, or to seek revenge on nations around them.
After all, much of the Austria’s partners in the empire had yet to join in, and the Ottoman Empire had yet to commit to the war. The Combined Syndicates position towards the war was unknown, with its commitments occupied with the PSA and Canada. And of course the nations of the Entente were seeking to exploit the war to their own benefit.
The participants of the war on May 25th
”Unredeemed Italy”, referring to lands that still laid outside of the unified Kingdom of Italy following the Risorgimento in the late 19th century.
Mashriq referred to Arabic-speaking regions of the Ottoman Empire, mostly in what was referred to as Mesopotamia and Levant in antiquity.
Omg omg omg gl!!!
Owner of a Imperial Socialist P Ribbon ●
Ägare av 196 soos-minnesmärken av 12 graden!
Winner of Preussen 1825 with my Vereinigte Preussische Partei!
Winner of Britain 1950 with my Communist Party of Britain!
Winner of Denmark 1900 with my Tyskliberala Monarkistpartiet.
Paradox Games Cult - Xfire
A Town We Never Forget! My newest AAR
"We don't do marxistic historical games, where its mandatory that some countries will always fail." - Johan
Are you a leftist too? ->Join the Red Paradoxians!<-
And now French AI will kill the AAR.
Nationality: 75% Spanish, 25% Colombian
Current Work: None
Issues: Full Citizenship/Good Healthcare
mmm... that is Morocco?
Hopefully, the Balkan alliance will end with Bulgaria and enter in war with Austria. Meantime maybe you can send an expedition to Crete and your guys see some action. xD
Theft is a monarchical custom, but Bourbons exaggerate it.
Funny thing in my Kaiserreich games as Union of Britain, Germany fought alone, maybe it was because Italy was still divided at the time of the war.
We still managed to lose though so you are in for a very though fight, be careful of the North African provinces used as bombing bases.
Nice as always man.
I was wondering, am I the only one who wants to take Dalmatia and Istria anyway? I mean, Tito can get all the rest, but the adriatic should be an italian lake.
Ammo pusato chitarre e tamburo
pecché 'sta musica s'adda cagnà
simmo briganti e facimmo paura,
e cu a scuppetta vulimmo cantà
I would take Istria, Lugano and Malta and give Dalmatia to Yugoslavia.
Theft is a monarchical custom, but Bourbons exaggerate it.
And so it begins. Godspeed and good luck to your arms!! May the nonexistant atheist deity bless your war, and Saint Marx and Saint Lenin stand at your side!