Sweet ghost of Lenin, that's some serious rebel problems the Ottos are facing. However, the collapse of the Caliphate's army will open up a path for Italian strikes into Russia by the Caucasus. Soon Tsaritsyn shall be draped in red banners.
Sweet ghost of Lenin, that's some serious rebel problems the Ottos are facing. However, the collapse of the Caliphate's army will open up a path for Italian strikes into Russia by the Caucasus. Soon Tsaritsyn shall be draped in red banners.
Bishamon - a Magna Mundi AAR
- Writer of the Week 17/11/2011 -
Paris isn't worth a mass! The Rise of a Huguenot France
Won EUIII History Book ACA - Q3 , Q4 2008 and Q1, Q2 2009
AARwarded a Lord Strange Cookie of British Awesomeness ●
Glorified October 2008 - Writer of the Week 6/11 2008 -Weekly AAR Showcase 4/3 2009
- Best Character Writer of the Week 24/4 2009 - Fan of the Week 7/7 2009 -
Aww. A shame the CSA isn't doing anything.
I am therefore officially rooting for a Franco-German strike on Russia, prompting the Soviets to strike back with their hitherto secret nukes. This will serve as a salutary lesson to all involved and leave everyone suitably chastened.-El Pip
Great War: The American Front: Can the United States defeat Britain and its Confederate Lackeys? Or will the CSA defend its freedom against the Yankee Menace?
Awesome read. Can't wait to see the next chapter.
Sorry for the delay gents (and ladies?). Next chapter.
The Italian war effort in the Middle-East was proceeding smoothly against the Ottoman Empire, as expected. The Imperial Army was on the whole greatly behind recent advances in technology, with some divisions still wielding Great War era technologies. The main issue in the war would be attempting to take down the empire before the killing blow would arrive from the Russians attempting to enter from the Caucasus, preventing the creation of friendly nations to the Syndintern.Originally Posted by The New York Liberator, August 10th 1944
August would bring another blow to the nobility of the Ottoman Empire, much like what the German Empire experienced as the forces of the Syndintern smashed through their defenses. On August 24th, Ottoman presses revealed the death of Sultan Abdul Mejid II, the ruler of the empire for much of its post-Great War time.
The kingdom’s rule passed to the next in line for the Ottoman throne, who would take the title Ahmed IV. This would not amount to much however- with the Empire teetering on collapse from advances by the Balkan Pact, the Russian Empire, and the Italians, most choices passed to the generals leading the desperate defense.
The Empire had however managed to keep the Russians breaking through from the Caucasus, and maintained a defensive line against the Balkan Pact which prevented the Imperial capital from being threatened. The military threw its weight into dislodging Italian forces from their beachheads along the Mediterranean Coast and crushing the Kurdish and Arabic insurrections that ravaged Mesopotamia.
Moving swiftly through southeastern Anatolia, scattering Kurdish militias that stood in their way, the Ottoman Imperial forces now directly threatened the center of the revolutionary Kurdish state in Mesopotamia, focusing on its capital of Erbil. The defenders, their numbers swelled by retreating Kurdish forces ahead of the Imperial forces, now engaged in a hurried defense, depending on the intervention of the Syndintern progressing through the Levant to cross the Euphrates and enter into the warzone.
Syndicalist forces aided the Kurdish rebellion through the use of air power and a handful of airborne divisions until the bulk of the invasion force could join up with the defenders. The Italian forces now proceeded east to the Mosul Vilayet where the Kurdish insurrection was focused, and north towards the Diyarbakir Vilayet to disrupt supply lines to Imperial forces fighting in Erbil.
The first major obstacle would be the city of Deir el Zour on the banks of the Euphrates, where forces of the Ottoman Empire were determined to prevent a crossing by the Italian forces. While the battle would take a while- surprisingly long by the timetable estimated by war planners- the Italians ultimately managed to overcome the hurdle and crossed the Euphrates on August 20th, 1944.
On September 2nd, Italian forces finally reached the city of Mosul and prepared for their entrance into Erbil to aid its defenders. A few days later on September 5th, the other branch of the Italian forces entered into the outskirts of Diyarbakir, brushing aside the defenders there.
The fall of Diyarbakir resulted in the encirclement of a few divisions within the Mosul Vilayet, further damaging the Imperial army and increasing the burden on those holding down defensive lines along the Caucasus and Balkan fronts. The Italian army proceeded to clash with the reinforcing brigades, attempting to drive northwards all the while to secure the border with the Russian Empire. ̇
Back on the European continent, the war with Russia proceeded slowly and began to run into problems. Divisions were beginning to stretch and the demands the war was making on the Syndintern’s manpower- already adding to the significant toll of the war with the German Empire- made it difficult to effectively reinforce existing divisions against the Russian war machine. With the winter fast approaching, it was unclear if the Syndintern could carry the war all the way to the end.
Eastern Front, mid-September 1944
The Syndintern had however managed to capture much of the Baltic coast, cutting off important shipping lanes for the Russians. The capture of Riga eluded the Syndintern though, with Russian divisions holding out despite being surrounded by French forces. The French also proceeded eastwards towards Moscow, though found that they were proceeding ever slower with each passing week. The Syndintern was already redeploying many divisions that were stationed across Europe to the frontlines, and abandoned its commitments in Africa to focus on the greater threat of the Russian warmachine. For that reason the Syndintern leaned on Italy to make way to the Caucasus as quickly as possible to strike Russia from the south and relieve pressure from the French.
The Combined Syndicates, basking its small time of peace with the flight of the British monarchists to Australasia, found that it was once again roused to war; not with the Russians, but rather closer to home. On October 2nd, a visit was undertaken by representatives of President Reed to the island of Puerto Rico, meeting with revolutionary leaders there to determine where that Island’s future would lay.
As signs grew that Puerto Rico would be accepted as a member of the Combined Syndicates, some discontent grew from nationalist groups that desired independence, and saw that the Civil War should have been used as an opportunity to leave, rather than siding with MacArthur’s junta. Despite the Combined Syndicates’ confidence that these groups were irrelevant, they were shocked when an armed uprising on October 6th ousted the newly formed councils and killed both the leading revolutionary figures on the island as well as two of the visiting delegates from President Reed.
The Combined Syndicates was unsure how to respond. It had championed itself as promoting self-determination for various minorities within the United States- embarking on various drives to end discrimination against African Americans as well as Asian and European immigrants, as well implementing comprehensive autonomy for Native American tribes. The Combined Syndicates was sure that the tensions in Puerto Rico were instigated by an outside force.
Shortly afterwards President Reed released a statement blaming the Puerto Rico uprising on ‘reactionary’ elements, and pinned the American Committee for Freedom and Democracy on Cuba for the ‘crime’. As it set out to consider its possible options, the navy was moved on high alert and surrounded Puerto Rico, with orders to intercept any shipment originating from Cuba.
It could be said that in a way, the Syndintern viewed the situation as beneficial. It would force the Combined Syndicates to realize it could not stay in a state of isolation for too long, without being rudely awakened to the realities of the world. 
The collapse of the operation in Mesopotamia resulted in encouragement to the Balkan pact to try and break the Ottoman Empire’s remaining defense forces and reclaim captured Balkan territories, and potentially control the Bosporus and prevent the Syndintern from threatening Russian interests in the Black Sea. Initial gains from the Ottoman Empire were rolled back in time and the Ottomans found themselves reduced to the territories they started with before the beginning of hostilities with the Balkan Pact.
The Balkan Front of the Ottoman Empire
The situation was favorable to the Syndintern, with much of the Imperial Army unable to abandon commitments it had started before the Italian invasion of the Middle-East. This meant that for the most part, only the terrain was a challenge to the Italians who tried to speed across the Empire as fast as they could.
By the beginning of November, Italian forces had conquered much of Anatolia, seizing control of Ankara in the process. This left only the western seaboard of the Empire, with the path to Istanbul exposed to Italian forces.
Italian forces nearing the capital, November 1944
However, Italian attempts to take control of the Red Sea coastline along the Arabian Peninsula were frustrated by the slow rate of progress through the undeveloped region. With much of their forces focused on the Ottomans further north, the territories, now under rebellion, were eyed by the Hashemites. Appealing to Arab notables in the region, the Hashemites announced they were going to reclaim their ancestral lands and intervene on behalf of fellow Arabs, to ‘liberate’ them from the Ottomans and protect them from Syndicalist intrigue.
Even though the rebellion gripping the coast, which was focused and Medina, was a result of the Arabian uprising instigated by the Italian uprising, it had remained aloof of developments from Arabs further north. This provided the opening for the Hashemites to usurp control of the popular movement to reclaim their former lands of the Hejaz. This meant that they now had access to the Red Sea, and most importantly, control of the holy city of Mecca. Such an outcome was undesirable to the Italians, but felt that they had bigger problems with the Russians once the Ottoman Empire fell.
For the Hashemites though, it was a time to celebrate. With the Ottoman’s having essentially ‘lost’ the right to be Caliph, the Hashemites awaited for the opportunity to take the title themselves. A lavish ceremony in Medina also saw the attendance of the King of Egypt, who along with the King of the Hashemite Arabia told of their desire to provide a bastion for Arab culture and protection of religion, against ‘certain’ developments in the rest of the Middle-East.
At the beginning of December, following a lengthy summit with Syndintern foreign delegates in Philadelphia, President Reed formally submitted a request for the Combined Syndicates to be accepted into the International. The Commune of France accepted quickly- this was definitely a beneficial turn of events for the French, with the substantial industrial power of the Americas now solidly behind the war against Russia.
The participation of the Americans now meant that the substantial naval assets of the Combined Syndicates lay available for operations in the Pacific for the purpose of attacks against the Australasians. However, beyond that the Combined Syndicates had no feasible means to cross the substantial distances of the pacific. For that purpose the Combined Syndicates focused on Hawaii, a breakaway polity from the Civil War which had entered into agreements with the Entente.
The ‘Kingdom’ was essentially run as a personal corporation by landowners focusing on the fruit industry on islands. This created discontent workers- and thus an opening for the Syndicalists. The Combined Syndicates for that purpose began to look into fomenting rebellion among the workers to provide an opening for greater action in Hawaii.
Hawaii’s main threat in the meantime was that it provided a base for the royalist navy to menace the west coast of the Combined Syndicates. The Combined Syndicates was pressing for the rebellion to overthrow the government on its own- but it knew the Australasians would prevent such an event from occurring. The other major concern was the Japanese, who undoubtedly might capitalize on the chaos to further expand their sphere in the Pacific.
All things considered, the Combined Syndicates would have to take a more active involvement in the islands if the need arose. But in the meantime divisions were massing in ports in the northeast, preparing to board ships to depart for battlegrounds in Europe. The decision was controversial for the Combined Syndicates- rumors of rioting and protest against entrance into the Syndintern was observed in some cities, with some notable disturbances in southern cities .
President Reed was committed to justifying entrance into the Syndintern, but he knew that it would be unlikely he could be president following the events of the war. It was, however, the necessary conclusion to the November Revolution of 1936 to join ranks with their comrades in Europe who had helped them out.
For the Italians though, the entrance of the United States made no real difference to their efforts in the Middle-East. It was known that in the end they would be sent to Europe and fight with the Russians in the east, rather than coming to help the Italians. Not that they necessarily needed it- the Ottoman Imperial Army was too weak to face the Italians.
The important part for the Americans entrance for the Italians meant that it could potentially provide a counterweight to the Commune of France’s overbearing dominance in the body to that point. Along with the (mostly) unified Germany saved from partition, it could potentially check interests of the Commune of France in Europe. Italy hoped in particular that this protect in particular the Marxist remnants in Italy from political manipulation in Italy on behalf of the more anarchist-inclined segments of the Anarcho-Syndicalist bloc and prompt a split, leaving the destination of future policies in jeopardy.
By the end of the year, much of the Middle-East was under the control of the Italians, with only the capital remaining to them. Time was on them to capture the Bosporus before the Balkan Pact, and fight back against the Russians once their battle lines collided in northeast Anatolia.
The Middle-East at the end of 1944
In the meantime, the Syndicalists called a meeting of their Arab allies to Damascus to determine the fate of the Arab-speaking lands to counter propaganda from the Egyptians and Hashemites.
 Despite this, there were conspiracies afterwards that the incident was provoked by the Combined Syndicates and even France in order to create more pressure and reason to join the Syndintern.
 The Combined Syndicates of course attributed this to ongoing propaganda from the American Committee for Freedom and Democracy which painted the war in Europe as part of a vast new world conspiracy initiated by certain elements of society.
Damn the Russians are going to be quite a pain of ass to deal with specially with your low manpower. Hopefully the CSA will send their division your rescue.
Also you have some repeated pictures.
And so falls the Ottoman giant.
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
I'm really liking how this AAR has kept developing. Do you plan on continuing play even if peace comes? You seem to be setting it up somewhat with all the powerplay stories within the International. A couple of requests:
It seems that you're troops are not participating in too many battles, but could you still include some more in depth battle play by plays with soldiers and generals, like from the Austrian campaign. Those were some of my favorite updates. Don't drop any of the grand strategy and big picture stuff, but don't let the personal portions die either.
Could you post a world map or short update on the various non European theatres? The short segues help, but a picture would be great.
Thanks for a great AAR.
But I see the partisans attacking the Hashemites, right?
Theft is a monarchical custom, but Bourbons exaggerate it.
I also fixed a broken image in the last update.
As thekonkoe requested here are shots of major regions in the world. Again I note that since this game is now running on my laptop I'm unable to capture as much as I used to on my desktop. But I think you'll get enough of an idea. This'll be out of character.
First off is North America. Nothing much going on here. The Combined Syndicates has eliminated all threats to its existence and you can plainly see the rump Canada along with Quebec. Mexico to the south is socialist though not involved in any wars so far. Centroamerica is sitting around and doing nothing. Not pictured is the United Provinces's pointless war with Panama, what is now the longest ongoing war, because the AI can't pull off a land invasion due to the Panama canal owned by CSA and the AI not attempting any naval landings whatsoever. The Syndicates have mostly wiped the ground with the weak Caribbean Federation while Cuba has remained neutral. There is the independent Puerto Rico as well as Dominican Republic and Haiti, which never seemed to have their Parsley War.
In South America the major event is the long running South American war between La Plata and Brazil/Peru. For what ever reason the AI went against the decisions that would have let La Plata and Chile enter into alliances with one another. The war was going poorly for the Syndies at first, but with Germany eliminated as a major player it essentially cut off the support La Plata was getting from them. Still though, it hasn't had any major breakthroughs. La Plata's drive early on managed to grab some southern provinces f Brazil and then stagnated into a sitting war as the two argued over who makes better empanadas. Brazil has managed to make its first breakthrough into Argentina- but I imagine the problem here is from manpower. Again this is an older version of both DH and KR, so the gameplay mechanics are different from what is in game now. You can also see CSA occupied provinces of the Caribbean Federation. For some reason Bolivia has a social liberal government instead of the syndie one it got through events- I'm not entirely sure why it did that.
The Grand Map of Europe. Not much has changed beyond the fronts in the east. German Union has repaired damages to its infrastructure and factories and is now at a good level of productivity. France is back to its normal shape plus Luxemburg, and a resurrected Belgium along with Netherlands with their normal territories. Denmark got back South Jutland. Oddly though due to the way the game mechanics work, the radical socialist government liberated by UoB has resulted in King Christian still being there as HoS along with the SD PM. Maybe I'll adjust that but for the time being consider it to be a revolutionary government >_> Also seen is my Czechoslovakia and chubby Poland, as well as the rump Yugoslavia and the big Kingdom of Serbia. What was Bulgaria is essentially cut up between Greece and Romania, which also grabbed Bessarabia from the destruction of Ukraine.
Now we have Africa. You can see the Brits' beachhead over in the southwest as well as National France and Egypt breaking into Germany/Mittelafrika. Libya has been split up between National France and Egypt. I might consider making events though to stimulate peace between Egypt and Germany as well as with the Entente or we might end up with some messed up borders later on. Ethiopia has control of Germany's former possessions in the Horn of Africa. I couldn't fit South Africa or Madagascar here though. South Africa hasn't done much though beyond annexing Portuguese Mozambique and is now just spamming divisions (or at least to the extent its manpower allows it) on the border with Mittelafrika. It may be recalled that South Africa has a syndie-friendly government. Madagascar is still controlled by Germany.
In the Middle-East the Ottoman Empire is collapsing. You can see with the exception of western portions I have most of the territories under my control. Russia hasn't broken through from the Caucasus yet and soon it'll be my responsibility to face them. I have the Sinai and prevented Egypt from breaking through. Kurdistan will probably be in place to be significantly enlarged with the fall of the Ottomans, and the remaining Arab territories will be the concern of the conference I mentioned earlier in the last update. You can see the rebels over in Hashemite Arabia though they probably won't last long. Further south, which couldn't fit in here, is Oman and German-controlled Yemen. Nothing has changed there. You can also see an effect of the long-running Turkestan/Persia War which I'll get to in the next map. Greece managed to grab some of the smaller Aegean isles along with Rhodes, though I have control of Crete and Cyprus. Not sure what I'll do with those two islands- naturally there exists an option to liberate Cyprus but then I'll be stuck with Crete. There's no Cretan state in this early version of Kaiserreich, but I could jury-rig one into the game like I did with Czechoslovakia. Maybe some sort of Mediterranean Greek Syndicate state to rival the one on the mainland that incorporates both Crete and Cyprus.
Next is Central and South Asia. You can see that most of Central Asia is controlled by Turkestan and it has overrun and annexed Afghanistan. It has however not managed to break the back of Iran- they've mostly done back and forths over that province that Iran is currently occupying. Turkestan has managed to break through one Persian line and occupied one of its port provinces, though I'm not sure if it'll give it any opening to do something. In South Asia revolutionary India's war with the Princely Federation has become a back and forth like in South America, though it seems in this case the Princely Federation has the leg up, since syndie India has been moved to a defensive role to prevent its industrial provinces from being endangered.
In East Asia Japan is the dominant player. The Fengtian Republic has become slightly larger with some provinces like Beijing that Japan gave to them but the rest of the Qing Empire is still occupied by Japan. The Millenarian Kingdom is still there doing nothing and will probably be irrelevant for the rest of the game. Xibei San Ma never got assaulted by Mongolia and conquered like I've seen in most of my KR games- in fact the Madman of the East Roman von Sternburg has been surprisingly tame in this particular game. The German company to the east is still sitting their doing nothing- I might be moved to stimulate a Republican revolution there. Legation Cities still exist. In recent versions of KR there are event chains to deal with this where Germany is imploding to make them 'independent'. Formosa hasn't done much for the cause of socialism. Further south in Indochina you'll see revolutionary Vietnam in the north with Japan occupying the German provinces in the south that it occupied during its response to the independence of Vietnam. Thailand is still the same, and the Philippines is doing nothing.
And finally Oceania. Japan has pretty much taken control here too, sitting on the ruins of Germany and Netherland's colonies here. Australasia still holds the same provinces and New Zealand is still there, just not pictured. The entrance of the CSA may change things here, but that depends on the AI.
Look for a proper update on Wednesday or Thursday.
Owner of a Imperial Socialist P Ribbon ●
Ägare av 196 soos-minnesmärken av 12 graden!
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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
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King Christian is probably still there because he was beloved by the Danish people at the time and was a very liberal thinker.
I watched Doctor Who before it was cool.
I got an AAR too: The Kingfish - A Fascist United States AAR
For those with lighter tastes: They'll Probably Take Our Freedom - A supposedly comedic Scottish AAR
If King Christian can be tolerated why not make some grand bargain with the Greeks Serbs and Romanians. The Serbian and Greek Kings keep their thrones but without power in exchange for unified leftist states. Serbia-Yugoslavia and a Greater Greece. It might seem harsh from their point of view, but maybe they'd go along if it looks like Russia may lose the war. It would save a lot of bloodshed and so long as the rest of the class system is dismantled, let the people have their figurehead kings until they are voted out of existence in some near future, or through some soon to come coup. As for the Romanians, as quasi-fascist and unified they might not go along, but one enemy is better than three. The Bulgarians could be set up as a more completely Communist or Syndicalist state to keep neighbors honest. Perhaps you should wait till the occupation ends before moving.
I think you know when you liberate a nation in the game, the ministers are filled by those with ideologies as the same as yours. So if you were a "Syndicalist" government, the spots would be filled accordingly with "Syndicalist" ministers. But what if there are none in that particular position? HoI just goes to the next closest one. With respect to the Union of Britain, which is "Radical Socialist" (LWR in the game files), there are no HoG or HoS that are Radical Socialist/LWR (though they are in other positions). The only ones are actually Totalist/ST but since the game takes those that are the 'closest' with respect to the sliders (without going more 'extreme'), this means that Social Democratic ministers would fill those HoG/HoS positions instead of the Totalist ones. This is probably just more a consequence of the Denmark minister file being the same as in HoI, which had these ministers mainly for the (ahistorical) situation if the Soviets end up liberating Denmark as a Stalinist government.
I suppose I just found it humorous is all that the Union of Britain, having been founded on "Republican" principles, would end up sitting on a monarchy. One of the main issues I've always had with the political slider system in HoI2 and associated titles, but all things considered it works for the game's mechanics, I suppose.
It seems that is the case, in a Qing game I made, I was allied with Japan and we were liberating the asia from Europe influence. When Japan released Indonesia to my surprise the head of state was still the queen of Netherlands.
Ooh, not read all the posts due to time constraints, but this seems a like a great AAR! What modifications did you use? Customized KR right? I'm not familiar with some events, and especially some flags in the game.
Kaiserreich's Baby Developer. No, not baby making.
Want to have a leg up in your Darkest Hour games while in your darkest hour? Then try some of the adapted cheats from Hearts of Iron II!
The Dream of Peace: A Soldier's Story (KR-UoB) AAR
Woot finally caught up to this great AAR, good work!
Changing one's stAARs- A Brazil AAR
Fan of the Week 7/17/06-7/24/06
The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. -Benjamin Franklin
It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried. -Winston Churchill
Courage is doing what you are afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you are scared. -Edward V. Rickenbacker
I prefer the mess in Africa than peace between Entente-Germany-Egypt. It adds more 'action' to the game.
Theft is a monarchical custom, but Bourbons exaggerate it.
@Liam: I had originally been using a regular version of the very first version of Kaiserreich for Darkest Hour. I eventually coded some events for the sake of convenience with regards to messy borders or being able to liberate certain countries (like Yugoslavia) despite the lack of certain provinces like Belgrade. With the help of HabemusZlatan, I introduced some more appropriately "Italian" things, like the different flag. A lot of the other flags are different too- the ones for Austria and Hungary for example I added. Thanks to the new flag extension code in Darkest Hour, it's possible to switch flags on the fly with events or save editing.
@Terraferma: Glad to hear
@Baron: Very well. We'll see how it goes.
The Damascus Conference
1945 opened to a vastly different Middle-East. Only a year before the Ottoman Empire had seemed to think that possibly the International might decide to ignore it, if not offer peace, while focusing on the ‘greater threat’ of the Russian Empire. It now dawned to them that this may be the end of a long-running fixture in world politics. Dissent steadily rose among its nobility who trembled at the prospect of a socialist revolution in the former realms of the Ottoman Empire. With the Russians, even with an inevitable territorial concession along its northeastern front, the nobility could at least be content with retaining their privileged position. With the Italians it was a different story all together- they would have no way to maintain their positions, and that made them worried the most. Secret channels opened with the Russian Empire in a last-ditch effort to secure peace and recall troops tied up along the Caucasian Front to defending the Imperial capital at Istanbul.Originally Posted by L’Unita January 15th 1945 Special Feature: Syndicalism in the Middle-East
While skeptical at first, the Italians were amazed that their use of the Iranian border worked as well as it did with the return of revolutionaries before the landings along the Mediterranean. The proximity of Kurdish regions to the border with Iran greatly benefited their ability to quickly organize and kick off a rebellion when the time came, more easily than the Arab ones at least that ended up isolated from one another.
In the Eastern Mediterranean seaboard, Italian forces had already established syndicates from areas they had successfully wrested control from Imperial administration. It was a troublesome process though in cities like Beirut which had fallen to the Italians first, more time was available to transition to a structure appropriate for socialism. Commentary Comrade Gallo once more with his progress up to Istanbul:
It may be worth adding an important event that Gallo had neglected to remember. He does mention in passing the attempts by the Greeks to seize control of the Ottoman Aegean provinces which the Italian navy had prevented, though not before they had been able to capture some of the small isles from the Ottomans. More concerning, if not embarrassing, was the loss of Crete to the Greeks. The Italians had entrusted a small British garrison to secure the important naval base, though had not anticipated an internal rebellion fostered by the Greek Kingdom. Nationalist cells desired unification with Greece and had been fighting the Greek garrison with the assumption that their countrymen on the mainland would come and aid them – needless to say they were not happy to see that the Italians were the ones to capitalize off the unrest. The Union of Britain was already committing much of its effort in West Africa where it tried to attack National France from its vulnerable and lightly defended southern regions.In a way, fighting our way into Beirut was easier than what we were asked to do later. The initial landings up and down the coastline were not difficult- trying to convince the people we weren’t here to stay was another thing all together.
If I may go into a tangent, I want to say how I’m still surprised by how crude the defenses were along the coast were. I’m not sure if this was because much of their forces were tied up fighting the Russians or guarding coastlines closer to their administrative centers. Beirut however was an important city in its own right- I’m simply not sure how we were able to take it as easily as we did.
Early on I was not pursuing my duties with much energy, since I felt the ‘real war’ was occurring against the reactionaries of the Russian Empire. I did not see the value in what we were doing in the Middle-East and I was not the only one shocked when we were told to return back to Italy and prepare to board transports leaving Taranto for the Middle-East. In hindsight though, I feel this prevented many of us from dying a brutal death trying to break Russian lines in Riga, Moscow, or St. Petersburg as was the fate of many brave workers of the International.
Beirut was a lovely city – it fit nicely in to the ‘Mediterranean’ niche that I grew up with in southern Italy. The problem with the city was in the way it reeked bourgeois influences. From what I was told Beirut was one of the more “open” cities in the area, having been exposed to influences from Europe that embraced concepts of its culture and mannerisms, much like the Imperial capital in Istanbul (or ‘Constantinople’ that the European aristocracy always referred to it by). With that of course was the concept of business and finance had taken root, and as such not everyone would welcome the red flag with joy.
Beirut in the early 1940s
We had been told ahead of time of the religious differences in the city- given a few lessons on how to deal with both the various Muslim, Christian, and smaller groups like Jews and Druze that we come into contact with and how to avoid angering them. Despite that a few of us seemed to miss the point entirely and caused friction between the locals and the army when we made missteps in our conduct towards the populace.
We had an odd assortment of people come about a week later once the front lines pushed towards the Kurds holed up in Arbil. On one end we had political specialists from the France and Italy giving training and overseeing the establishment of councils as well as land reform and expropriation of nobility, and through those partners they found a way to communicate to the Muslim clerics. On the other end there some Italian priests- the government finally finding a role for them to do- used them as a way to connect to the Christian clergy in the city. Knowledge of Arabic was not strong in our group beyond a few specialists in the whole city- we relied on whatever French and Italian was known. Our lessons with the Arabs here helped with our operations in Damascus, Jaffa, and Jerusalem later on.
I did not stay the whole time- I eventually left with the rest of the troop convoys moving towards the Mosul Vilayet. We did however establish promising foundations for workers’ councils that we hoped to replicate elsewhere. The people interestingly had no problem with the values and ideas we were encouraging- but simply put years of attacks on ‘socialism’ from both the government and religious sources resulted in such a smearing of the concept that some thought what we were doing as nothing less than a betrayal to humanity.
The soldiers ahead of us had already managed to cross the Euphrates at Deir ez Zor and smashed through the light defenses at Mosul and secured the crossing over the Tigris there as well as blocking the stretch of the railroad that linked the empire to Baghdad  - it was a clear road east to our destination. I had originally been tabled to join forces proceeding north from Deir ez Zor across the plains to Anatolia proper, the heart of the empire, but was recalled with forces moving to Arbil.
When we finally broke the siege in Arbil it finally let us link up with the Kurdish forces that had waited for our arrival when they launched their rebellion. Arbil itself was a smaller city than Beirut, but still sizable in its own right. Like many of the cities in the Empire it was ethnically mixed, hosting Kurds, Turkmen, and Christians in appreciable numbers. The city’s most defining feature was its ancient citadel perched on top of a hill, which had shown signs of damage from both disrepair and artillery from the recent siege.
The Kurdish population had been ‘instructed’ by the agitators sent out in advance that we were ‘allies’ and they welcomed us accordingly. There was less of a barrier of mistrust to get over with them than what we experienced on the Mediterranean coast, and we saw that they had already gotten to work establishing a system of governance- albeit crude- that closely resembled what we had in Italy. Like in the Arab areas, there were problems though with some of the tribal leaders throwing their lot in with the Empire, rallied to arms to ‘defend the Caliph against the invaders’. But for the most part our contacts enabled us to have the advantage in getting support from many elements of the population who have chafed under the Empire’s centralization drives and corruption. Still, it was a problem that would plague us in the aftermath of the war once our goals became apparent.
The camp of the Kurdish rebels was in fact further north, tucked away in the mountains and valleys north of Arbil, eventually heading close to the Iranian border where Rawanduz, untouched by the Ottoman advance, was located. It was to here I was sent along with a small squad to escort an operative from the Foreign Affairs Commissariat to the camp of the rebels. There we met the self-appointed general of the Kurdish forces, Mustafa Barzani, and ‘our man’, Qazi Muhammad . They had apparently decided to switch appearances- The former was an established rebel though from a strong tribal family in the area, and chose to wear the traditional Kurdish clothing in the area ordinarily. The latter was among those who was trained in Italy and wore clothing not at all dissimilar to what President Togliatti or Chairman Bordiga wore in Italy carrying out their duties. Now, Qazi was wearing a more traditional garb while Barzani had taken advantage of the more 'European' uniforms from the People's Army. It was a bit odd, to say the least.
Qazi also served as our interpreter, carrying out apparently the directives given to our Commissar which essentially consisted of them agreeing to move along with the Italian forces into Anatolia, but setting a western boundary a little beyond “Diyarbakir” and a northern one at Van where they were ordered to set up defensive lines and hold down the fort. This was both so as to not antagonize potential Turkish allies. The Commissar also attempted to ascertain as to what extent both men were familiar with socialism. Barzani seemed to be of a more conservative populist type and not much into socialism, while Qazi, despite being educated in Italy, still seemed to our Commissar ‘tainted’ with social democracy which he blamed on ‘social-reformist’ domination of the education system in Italy.
Qazi Muhammad (L) and Mustafa Barzani (R)
Mustafa Barzani seemed to agree with this and we left without incident. However our Commissar seemed to be worried about what would occur afterwards. Barzani, like much of the landscape in Kurdistan, was from a tribal background. The resulting Kurdish state would be leaned upon by the Internationale to implement land reform that would essentially undercut and destroy the tribal structure and disrupt its religious framework. Our Commissar felt that despite Barzani’s lack of commitment to socialism he could be pacified with a position in the Kurdish military and not resist in the aftermath. It was the multitude of other tribes however that would present a problem, but our Commissar merely shrugged and said history was on our side.
For the most part, our entrance into the heart of the Ottoman Empire was without incident. Kurdish rebels followed our directives and no longer travelled with us once we captured Diyarbakir, though with a considerable amount of difficulty. The garrison that had been driven out of the southern vilayets had attempted to rally outside the old walls of that city, but they melted away in face of armor and artillery. I remained two days in Diyarbakir helping set up revolutionary councils as we did in Erbil, and then followed along with the convoys which had started along on the roads to Ankara.
The Ottoman preference for its Turkish population became more apparent as we moved westwards towards the Imperial capital. Provinces began to show better infrastructure and industry, allowing us to move much more quickly in those regions than we had been able to before in the largely underdeveloped Arab interior and mountainous Kurdish regions. Indeed much of Germany’s aid to the Ottomans seemed to have been invested in this area and maintaining the railroad that ran down to Baghdad.
Ankara was probably the most difficult battle until then. The Ottomans hoped to halt our advance there and give themselves time to regroup. Much of the military command was there, attempting to assure the Sultan in Istanbul they would not abandon the city without a fight. They held true to that promise, but there was simply too much momentum on our end for them to overcome. The defeat of the Ottomans was now only a matter of time. Our naval forces maintained a strong blockade in the Aegean Sea to prevent escape from the doomed empire, as well as what little supplies the Ottomans were trying to get from the outside. I later learned this served another purpose all together- the Greeks had apparently attempted to capitalize on the imminent collapse of the empire by seizing control of certain coastal provinces which it claimed rightfully belonged to Greece  and already we had a near declaration of war when we fired on a flotilla attempting to run the blockade.
The final battle took place at Bursa, right outside the road to the Imperial Capital. It was an odd path I had taken so far from Beirut seemingly looping around the empire to this destination, but it was to be expected. Landings on western coastlines closer to the imperial capital had been attempted for a few times in the weeks before, and it ended in failure every time.
The Imperial forces deployed new weapons against us that we had not seen before, more than likely German armaments that had been sent to the Ottomans in the end of the war on the continent. It mainly consisted of armor and certain field pieces that were much more modern than what the majority of the military was equipped with. We had complete dominance in the air- a very welcoming reprieve for us from the difficulties we experienced against the German and Austrian air forces in the early years of the war. This allowed us to outmaneuver the Imperial Army and take advantage of their disorganization and morale collapse, despite their greater numbers.
The conclusion to the battle resulted in the military breaking apart completely. The conscripts melted away, presumably back to their homes to protect their communities from the chaos as the centuries old order was nearing its end. The path to Istanbul lay clear to us and the war’s end was imminent.
Istanbul in the 1940s
Istanbul, the Constantinople of old, Rome’s sister city of the east, was occupied by the Syndintern without incident on April 10th. Much of the city that remained hid indoors, only a few venturing to crack their windows open slightly to see us go around the city on our patrols. The normally bustling bazaars were eerily quiet; the only sounds I heard came from our footsteps and those of the sea and birds. Our diplomats were at Dolmabahçe Palace, negotiating the surrender and final end of the old empire. Sultan Ahmed IV was among the few who had remained behind with a few of his trusted ministers- much of the nobility had simply disappeared in the chaos after the defeat of the Imperial army at Bursa. The popular speculation was that they had boarded boats to the Crimea and hoped to put themselves at the mercy of the Tsar, hoping to get appointments to rule the Empire’s Muslim-speaking territories in Central Asia and her future ambitions in Turkestan. Others went to Turkestan itself, hoping to get appointments to the newly annexed territories of the Persian Empire, while others chose to flee to Egypt and Hashemite Arabia desiring the same. The surrender to Italy was almost immediately after we entered the ancient capital.
This agreement was to acknowledge the end of the Ottoman Empire and for the remaining nobility to agree to the first wave of land reforms that would create a common law between the masses and the ruling class. All titles of nobility were immediately abolished in exchange for guarantees of their safe being. The terrain was also set up to gradually decentralize the monolithic religious structure, starting with the end of the Sultan’s claim to the title of Caliph, closely based off the struggle against the Roman Catholic Church in Italy . The main debates over the future of the region itself would be decided at the Damascus Conference being held in the ‘liberated’ zone.
I don’t do enough justice I think in showing just how difficult a terrain new had to work with. Religion was a powerful force in this part of the world- regardless if you were looking at the Muslim, Christian, or other groups- and the removal of a large polity that had been a fixture for years would no doubt bring to the surface tensions that had been simmering for centuries. Thankfully, the common threat in the form of the Russian Empire in the Caucasus served as a common pole for all parties involved to work with one another.
The Union of Britain in Africa
The small British garrison quickly withdrew to Cyprus once the revolt got out of hand, and the Italian high command grudgingly decided that the Greek monarch might be placated with the island after his utter failure to reclaim the western Aegean, and not engage in hostilities with the Syndintern while they were occupied with Russia. It seemed to have worked for the most part- most of the Greek divisions that had been deployed along the Ottoman Empire’s European provinces withdrew to the interior of the country, leaving only a small border contingent.
While Niccolò Gallo and his comrades were in Istanbul preparing to move to the Caucasus front, the delegates of the ‘liberated’ peoples of the Middle-East gathered in Damascus. The occasion was important enough for Director-General of Foreign Affairs Pietro Nenni to be present in person on behalf of Italy and the International. T.E. Lawrence, coming off his successes with the RED, also demanded to be present in the conference, citing his prior experience with the region’s people long ago. The conference itself lasted nearly a month as arguments raged over the exact formation of the new Middle-East, taking up much of May.
The embarrassing fact for the Italians was that there were few socialist radicals, much less those from the ranks of the working class that they felt comfortable working with. There were sympathies to some aspects of socialist thought, though at best it could be described as a form of social democracy mixed with a crass form of nationalism. Many of those who were acquainted with the different socialist camps of the International came from areas not typically looked upon highly by them- military officers and educated radicals from the small middle-class.
The French in general developed strong ties with the Arab delegates from Levant (it may be recalled that originally the French were responsible for those zones), in particular Damascus and Beirut, owing to the influence the French Republic once had in those areas before the Great War. Among those the French seemed to put a lot of weight in was a radical from Damascus, Khaled Bakdash, from a notable Kurdish family that had more or less integrated into the Arab society of Damascus who was to serve as the Kurdish ambassador to the Arabs in any future arrangements. Another was a Christian Arab, Michel Aflaq, who had a much stronger inclination to nationalism than Bakdash but like him was among those who could see socialism as a viable step forward for their region. Similar intellectuals were Zaki al-Arsuzi, Sati' al-Husri, and Salah al-Din Bitar, with the same concerning inclinations towards nationalism . Many other perspective Arab delegates were drawn from the Ottoman military- some of whom had led their regiments to defect as Italian forces landed on the Mediterranean Coast. They had, as a consequence of their military education, been exposed to some of the beliefs of the International and were open to progressive ideas, though not necessarily socialism. Among these many young officers included Adnan al-Malki and Abdul Karim Qasim, who would assume importance later on in the history of the region.
The young officer al-Malki
A similar scenario was repeated with Turkish delegates, with a good chunk in fact being former ‘Young Turks’ who felt that the full impact of their ideas could now be implemented without the burden of making it work with the old Empire. Like with the Arab officers they could be described as vaguely progressive, though their nationalism was even fiercer and seemed to have a discontent for the concept of class struggle. Others were drawn from the leadership of small, clandestine parties that were established in the Ottoman Empire and drew support from the Industrial cities on the west coast of the empire.
The Kurdish delegates were probably the worst off politically. Much of Kurdish society was still rural and tribal-bound, and a working class didn’t really exist, not even to the extent that was seen in some of the better developed cities of the empire. Those who were ‘socialist’ were those that the international had established ties with, like Qazi Muhammad and the younger Ibrahim Ahmed whose occupation in society were more intellectual than working class. The others were those that the operatives had formed connections with- mostly tribal elements- who had been able to rally large amounts of the Kurdish population to the side of the International during the war- like Mustafa Barzani who were ultimately conservative, along with others that had sided with Sheikh Barzanji’s failed uprising years before. Like the cities of other liberated zones, it was decided that some overtures be made to the administrators of the cities in order to ease the transition to the creation of the new governments.
The proposal favored for the region closely followed the desired line in other areas- keep as few states as possible. The first suggestion was to merely replace the Ottoman Empire with a regional syndicalist federation. This was favored by some of the city administrators who felt it would be the least amount of disruption to the structure of life that had prevailed in the region for some time.
Predictably this proposal fast ran into problems. The inevitable accusations of one group being able to dominate the other came up, with the usual problems of distrust arising between the parties. A week into this proposal Nenni decided to abandon it and instead focus onto dividing what realms of the old empire that the Italians controlled.
The region contained numerous groups, but the three largest were the Turks, the Arabs, and the Kurds. Whatever would happen, the states formed would probably be along those lines. With that in mind the debates turned to the exact borders of the states. The most difficult issue was with the Eastern Anatolian areas where the Turkish, Arab, and Kurdish zones seemed to collide. Nenni worked night in and night out to ensure an agreement was reached, covering not only the formation of the states but guarantees of cultural rights for the various minorities in each state . Despite demands to integrate the island of Cyprus to Turkey, the island state was kept separate from the rest of the Middle-East and more closely aligned with the Italian People’s Republic, presumably to maintain the important naval assets there separately from the troublesome situation in the rest of the Middle-East.
The final week ended up with a road map to eventually have the three states enter into a federation in the future, similar to the plans for a loose union of Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Hungary in Europe. The plan was to be visited every five years with the intent of greater integrating the economies and policies of the three states with one another and that of the international, and forming their defense policies towards a potentially Turkestan-occupied Iran and the imminent danger of the Russian Empire from the Caucasus.
The new Middle-East, Summer 1945
With that the formal division of the old empire was created, in its wake creating Kurdistan, Turkey, and the Arab Syndicalist Union. The attention of the Syndintern now turned to the Caucasus Front which Italian divisions had so far been able to hold back attacks from the Russian Empire. For the time being it was directed to hold defensive positions to such an extent to draw forces away from the fierce European front. The progress through the Caucasus would be difficult though- it would probably be ultimately a defensive war. The Italians had enough on their hands with the Middle-East to further commit resources to helping potential Syndicalists startup governments in the Caucasus .
In the Eastern Front the Syndintern faced a significant setback in its drive towards Petrograd, losing much of the Baltic coastline to Russian forces. As Gallo alluded to in his recollections, the fighting in the eastern front began to heat up significantly by this point, and by the summer of 1945 Syndintern command began to commit more forces to the Baltic while tying up Russian forces in Ukraine. In a matter of weeks, the encirclement around Riga was broken and the Russian defenders there relieved, in the process decimating a number of Italian divisions which were participating in the battle. Italian divisions were quickly sent to reinforce those lost on the Eastern Front while bolstering defenses in the Caucasus. Syndintern Command wanted to at least take a major industrial center in Russia before the winter came, but the likelihood of that became increasingly unlikely with the Baltic Theater thrown into disarray.
Loss in the Baltics
 The Baghdad-Berlin Railway saw a great deal of investment on the part of the Germans in better developing their access to the emerging resources of the Middle-East, in particular oil.
 It may be recalled that Qazi Muhammad was among those Kurdish trainees who received political training. Qazi however was originally from the Kurdish territories in Iran- his leaving the Imperial State of Iran in the first place was unclear but it is believed to have had something to do with increasing centralization of the empire in the new bureaucracy at Tehran. Qazi had attempted to help the Kurdish uprising under Sheikh Barzinji in the Ottoman Empire earlier, and it was after this failed uprising that he arrived seeking safe refuge in Syndicalist Georgia, which allowed him to be sent to Italy from there.
 Greece’s declaration of war on the Ottoman Empire was partially motivated by this desire to reclaim territories it claimed was part of a ‘Greater Greece’, citing the long residence of Greeks on the Aegean coastline before their expulsion following the end of the Great War.
 This was in contrast to the more strongly state atheist slant of the Commune of France. The position held by Italy believed that their fellow partners in the Middle-East would be better able to deal with the population with a careful and calculated secular drive during their land reforms, much like Italy and the Latifundia.
 This included various smaller groups, such as the Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Maronites, Alevis, and Alawis, among many others. The Armenian delegation had attempted to get approval for a state made from some of the Ottoman Eastern Provinces, but was unable to do so due to much of their inhabitants being moved to the Armenian client state in the Caucasus, which was formed by the Ottomans following the Great War from former Russian territories. That state now was annexed into the Tsarist Empire, which by extension now lay claims on parts of Greater Armenia in Anatolia.
 Accordingly these ideologues found common ground with Totalism- in particular the National-Syndicalists in Italy, as well as the nationalist currents within the Sorelians in the Commune of France and the Maximists of the Union of Britain.
 Despite the long time presence of the Georgian Democratic Republic, Syndicalist spies operating behind the front lines reported little energy on part of the inhabitants to try and channel a national liberation movement to resurrect it- local Georgian landlords had greatly benefitted from the collapse of the Menshevik government and their ties with the Tsar. Former Mensheviks were nowhere to be found- leading Italians to fear for the worse as to their fates.