Here's the first chapter, Part I on my amazing 4-part autumn surprise.
Chapter 0: The Fall of Austria-Hungary
1914 proved to be a turning point for the Austro-Hungarian Empire as it allied with the German and Ottoman Empires in what would be known as the First World War. Even though it had survived since the Ausgleich of 1867 and the foundation of the modern state, it still had its problems. One problem was the multiethnic status of the empire, where despite its compromise with the Hungarians, various non-German, non-Hungarian ethnic groups vied for autonomy, even independence. And although Austria-Hungary was on the winning side of the conflict, it served to weaken the Empire more. Once the conflict ended, the various nationalities tried once more to gain their independence. Meanwhile, the economy of the Empire began to decline in the early 1920s, as nationalist groups encouraged people to conduct nationwide strikes.
Kaiser Otto I of Austria, shortly before Hitler's rise to the chancellorship
By the time Karl I died in 1922 and Otto(then 10 years old) became the next Kaiser, Austria-Hungary was in what many called the "ash-heap of history". Factories that came from the dominant power, Germany, were outcompeting Austrian industries. On top of all that, a growing Sudeten German insurgency was ravaging the industrious Bohemia, while in the south, the Montenegrins opposed years of Austrian occupation. Meanwhile, conservatives and a new group (known as the "fascists" after the Roman fasces), began to call for the reversal to the Ausgleich of 1867 and the restoration of the Austrian Empire. Finally, the day came for delegates to come to Vienna to discuss the oncoming Ausgleich of 1927, and the result was a shock to everyone. The negotiations ended with the Austrians leaving behind a broken empire, with Bohemia, Hungary, Croatia-Slavonia, and Bosnia basically granted independence under heavy Austrian influence. Many Austrians were angered that the Kaiser had agreed (reluctantly) to this arrangement, and began to turn to a man who they believed was Austria's hope and salvation: Adolf Hitler.
A portrait of Adolf Hitler 2 days after he became chancellor
Born in 1889, Hitler once believed that Austria should unite with the German Empire, and even joined the German Imperial Army before the outbreak of hostilities in 1914. But, after an incident which left his entire unit killed by French snipers, Hitler became disillusioned with the Germans. Even after peace was signed with the Entente after surprising victories for the Central Powers (renamed MittelEuropa(Middle Europe), after their central position in the continent), he began to see the Germans with contempt. The Sudeten Insurgency of 1923, most likely financed by the Germans, proved to be the final straw for the former pan-German nationalist. On 19 July, 1926, Hitler established a new party called the "Österreichschish-Ungarische Vaterland Arbeitsfront (Austro-Hungarian Fatherland Workers Front)", whose main goal was establishing world hegemony for Austria-Hungary, and of course, the Habsburgs. The Ausgleich of 1927 changed all that, and this event becamed the spark of what happened next.
Thousands of Austrians took to the streets in support of Hitler and his ÖUVAF despite the Kaiser's call for order.
On New Year's Day 1929, Hitler and his fellow party members (some 15,000 strong) marched from their party headquarters in Branau-am-Inn to the Austrian capital 304 km east, at Vienna. Along the way, thousands greeted them, even giving them flowers, some even joining the march. By the time they entered, the Viennese, as well as all of Austria, was calling for the Kaiser to fire his prime minister, Eduard von Böhm-Ermolli. Meanwhile, senior members of the General Staff and the Imperial Government from all across Austria and the former Empire began defecting to Hitler's party, incuding Miklós Horthy de Nagybánya of Hungary, and even Albert Mendsdorff-Pouilly, who even stated that it was better if Austria-Hungary stayed together and united. Finally, von Böhm-Ermolli resigned on 27 February, 1929 , and Hitler became Chancellor of the Austrian Empire. Quickly, he began to eliminate all opposition across the Empire, and began preparing its industries for eventual war with the whole world.
But Austria has many challenges ahead. The rise of Leftist Syndicalism in Britain and France, and the self-imposed exile of many royals and conservatives from these lands, is not forgotten in the minds of Hitler's new government. And he has certainly not forgotten the dominant position Germany and Russia has on the Eurasian landmass, and the crumbling United States. But despite these challenges, Hitler is confident that one day, the Austrians will fulfill the slogan once used by the Habsburg emperors of old: Austriae Est Imperare Orbi Universo(It is Austria's destiny to rule the whole world).
It is not a matter of if, but a matter of when.
And so concludes this chapter.
NOTE: This is only Part I of my amazing four-part surprise. This surprise will be held across autumn, and the schedule goes as follows:
PART I: The Prologue of UPadS -DONE-
PART II/III: An anouncement on a brand new mod for Victoria 2
PART III/II: Another update of RotE (this covering the begining salvos of the Russo-Philippine War)
PART IV: (The Finale) A Grand update of PNW for DH.
Please take a note of this schedule, as I will post updates on the release of each part of the surprise.