+ Reply to Thread
Page 6 of 7 FirstFirst ... 4 5 6 7 LastLast
Results 101 to 120 of 139

Thread: In the Age of Superpowers

  1. #101
    The 45 Tommy4ever's Avatar
    Arsenal of DemocracyCrusader Kings IIDiplomacyEU3 CompleteDivine Wind
    Hearts of Iron IIIHeir to the ThroneRome GoldVictoria 2Victoria II: A House Divided
    Victoria II: Heart of Darkness500k clubEuropa Universalis IV: Pre-order

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    St Andrews/Dundee
    Posts
    4,346
    Nice AAR and an interesting, and not especially harsh, post war settlement. For some reason I always enjoy the part after the big war in AARs more, seems I jumped on this at the perfect time.

    Seems that the Ottoman Empire will likely collapse, but I wonder how the post-war revolutionary wave is going to affect this Europe. Ireland will surely gain independence from a downhearted Britain, Italy and France are both likely to come under governments of the far left or far right (a fascistic government essentially being impossible without a genuine but failed attempt by the working class to seize power) - which way they swing will obviously be very important. I can see A-H facing some very tought times, even in victory they are likely going to be shaken to the very core, if the Empire is to survive its going to have to turn very authoritarian in the short term and liberalise in the long term. The Russians are going to have an even harder time than they did historically, I would expect Soviet Russia to collapse in this TL. Hows the Russian CW going btw?

    Interested.

  2. #102
    NK Foreign Minister Sakura_F's Avatar
    Crusader Kings IIDarkest HourEU3 CompleteDivine WindFor the Motherland
    Hearts of Iron IIIHOI3: Their Finest HourHeir to the ThroneVictoria: RevolutionsSemper Fi
    Victoria 2Victoria II: A House DividedVictoria II: Heart of DarknessV2 Beta500k club
    EUIV: Call to arms event

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,813
    I think Austria should collapse a bit like it does in Kaiserreich. Even with a massive victory, A-H would have eventually caved in (and it usually does in normal DH 1914 scenario, even with CP victory)
    NK Foreign Minister Comrade Anastasia Ivanovna Petrova in Avindian's Soviet Union Interactive AAR.
    Otto von Bismarck, Stadtholder of Leipzig, Reichskanzler, Party Leader of the New Society in Avindian's Sonderweg oder Anderweg Interactive AAR.
    Unable to start or complete any of his AAR's.

  3. #103
    Major GulMacet's Avatar
    Hearts of Iron IIIVictoria 2

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Vienna, Austrian Imperial Remnant
    Posts
    521
    What happened to Belgium, apart from the loss of the Congo? Also, I don't believe Austria will last long... Before the war, they already resorted to stationing their army units in different parts of the empire than they were raised in, for fear of revolt if they were in lands of the same ethnicity as they themselves were. Now, they have much more area to patrol, war unhappiness, and socialist/democratic activities to contend with!

  4. #104
    Imam Of The House in Imp. Off. Herbert West's Avatar
    Crusader Kings IIDarkest HourEast India Company CollectionEuropa Universalis: ChroniclesHearts of Iron III
    Majesty 2March of the EaglesVictoria: RevolutionsVictoria 2Mount & Blade: Warband

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Hungary (aka Carpathian Wastelands) Forget that, its Trondheim, baby!
    Posts
    2,453
    Blog Entries
    4
    And now, the Red and the White.


    Also, France got of incredibly easy.

  5. #105
    Lt. General Kaiser_Mobius's Avatar
    Darkest HourHearts of Iron III

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,644
    Add to all that is the fact that AH is now trying to incorporate millions of pissed off Serbs and Albanians into its multiethnic mix. Im expecting to see some kind of very stubborn insurgency not only from Serbia and Albania but from other portions of the empire until dramatic changes are made. Perhaps the idea of the United States of Greater Austria could be implemented? Or more likely than that, some form of decentralization? I guess we shall have to wait until the 1920's to see how this all unfolds.
    In Defense of Freedom, A US Kaiserreich AAR Complete. Awarded Weekly AAR showcase, March 15th, 2010
    Rebirth of the Japanese Empire, A Japan MDS 1.6 AAR Complete, Awarded Weekly AAR showcase, February 5th, 2012
    The Return of The King: A Canadian KaiserReich DH AAR Complete, Awarded Darkest HeAARt Award, April 2014
    The Dual Monarchy at War A 1914 Austria-Hungary DH AAR Complete, Awarded Weekly AAR showcase, March 9th, 2014
    Awarded WritAAR of the week: February 14th, 2010

  6. #106
    Basileus Romaion Nikolai's Avatar
    Hearts of Iron 2: ArmageddonCrusader Kings IIDarkest HourDeus VultEU3 Complete
    Divine WindFor The GloryFor the MotherlandHearts of Iron IIIHeir to the Throne
    Europa Universalis III: In NomineMagickaMarch of the EaglesEU3 Napoleon's AmbitionVictoria: Revolutions
    Europa Universalis: RomeSemper FiSengokuSupreme Ruler: Cold WarVictoria 2
    Victoria II: A House DividedVictoria II: Heart of DarknessRome: Vae VictisMount & Blade: WarbandCK2: Holy Knight
    EU Rome Collectors EditionEU3 Collectors Edition500k clubEuropa Universalis IV: Pre-orderEUIV: Call to arms event

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Bergen, Hordaland, Norway
    Posts
    9,936
    Blog Entries
    1
    All hail mighty Germany. I wonder how things will develop in the puppet states in the east.
    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

  7. #107
    i see- kaiserreich

  8. #108
    Kurt's Best AAR Reader Viden's Avatar
    Arsenal of DemocracyCrusader Kings IIDarkest HourDeus VultEuropa Universalis 3
    Divine WindFor the MotherlandHearts of Iron IIIHOI3: Their Finest HourHeir to the Throne
    Europa Universalis III: In NomineIron CrossEU3 Napoleon's AmbitionVictoria: RevolutionsEuropa Universalis: Rome
    Semper FiSword of the Stars IIVictoria 2Victoria II: A House DividedVictoria II: Heart of Darkness
    Rome: Vae VictisPride of Nations500k clubEuropa Universalis IV

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Barcelona, IB, Europa
    Posts
    8,298
    France keep her colonies in Asia? what kind of sissy is Wilhelm II?
    Province: 559
    Nationality: 75% Spanish, 25% Colombian
    Religion: Catholic
    Ideology: Socialist
    Current Work: None
    Issues: Full Citizenship/Good Healthcare
    Militancy/Consciousness: 12/15
    Awarded Fan of the Week: 7. October 2011

  9. #109
    Field Marshal TC Pilot's Avatar
    Crusader Kings IIDarkest HourDeus VultEuropa Universalis 3For The Glory

    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Somewhere
    Posts
    2,783
    Sakura_F: Yeah, I had a sinking suspicion the moment I typed that it was from there...

    Kaiser_Mobius: Heh, but the question is, where and in what dosage?

    Onni_Manni: The maps aren't that different, actually, with the exception of Longwy from France. Most of the rest of the changes to the Kaiserreich timeline occurred later, when France/Britain collapsed. As for Finland, their independence was guaranteed under Brest-Litovsk, but German troops never got that far, so the Finns largely got to where they are through their own efforts. For now, they're independent.

    casual: Welcome!

    Tommy4ever: The Russian civil war is still going, and likely will continue for some time. I'll touch on that subject a little bit in the future.

    GulMacet: Belgium only lost Congo in the war. Anything more would likely have been seen as too punitive, since Germany pretty much did invade them with absolutely no justification.

    Viden: DH's 1914 scenario gives only three treaty options. None of them include taking Indochina, sadly.

    -----


    Chapter II - Hail to Thee in Victor's Crown - Part III

    The end of the Great War was an epochal moment in the history of not just Europe but also the wider world. The war itself, more so than the peace treaty that followed the conflict, irreversibly altered the political, military, and social fabric of Western civilization. Over 17 million people, civilian and soldier alike, were killed as a result of the conflict, a staggering total for a world accustomed to wars that barely reached quadruple digits, and more than 20 million wounded. An entire generation of people had been devastated. These men and women, growing up in an age of “civilization” and optimism for the future that science and progress could bring, were thrown without mercy into an inferno of death and destruction made possible by the industrial power that made their society possible. Those who escaped death were left deeply disillusioned, not just with the politicians and generals who allowed this catastrophe, but with the basic principles of the 19th Century and the Victorian Age as well.

    The Treaty of Versailles silenced the guns across Europe, but it did not bring peace by any measure. In Russia, the civil war between Whites and Reds continued, though with the reactionaries in the north contained to Murmansk and Archangelsk and their armies in the south holding a line running from Rostov-Tsaritsyn-Astrakhan, the peril to the Bolshevik regime was largely passed. In China, though General Li Yuanhong had succeeded in overcoming the imperial pretensions of Yuan Shikai, discontent, embodied by Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s ‘Constitutional Protection Movement’ in Guangzhou, remained widespread. Mexico too remained embroiled in chaos, despite, or indeed because of, American intervention. Even Latin America was restless; in September 1918, Chilean officers backed by Argentina overthrew the elected government. Elsewhere, in the colonies and closer to home, nationalist movements, socialist agitators, and ambitious generals plotted their actions. The old methods of political action were rapidly being replaced by extremism and a willingness to employ violence against the status quo, fueled by economic uncertainty and an underlying anger for the system that had allowed the Great War to happen. For many years to come, instability and radicalism became acceptable and expected.

    President Wilson returned home from Europe to an unwelcoming political situation. Though he had succeeded in achieving his stated goal of preventing the dismemberment of France, Wilson faced a strong backlash from members of both parties who questioned the effectiveness of his negotiating strategy and of his conduct in foreign affairs in general. Spearheaded by former President Theodore Roosevelt and Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, many Republicans accused Wilson of having kept America out of the war – an easy accusation, since it was Wilson’s slogan in the 1916 election – and consequently being responsible for the Entente defeat. At the very least, Wilson’s policy had been weak, ineffectual, and vacillating. In hindsight, few Americans could avoid noticing the contradiction between Wilson’s high-flown rhetoric and the United States’ negligible contribution to the war.

    For the President’s perceived failings, the Democrats paid a heavy price in the midterm elections. Nor did Roosevelt and Lodge, themselves the effective architects of America’s prewar foreign policy, relent in their attacks. Foreign policy troubles continued to hound Wilson’s administration, even as the Treaty of Versailles was ratified by the Senate by a wide margin. In large part, it was to do with the Mexican intervention, which ended on September 19, 1919 after a ceasefire was brokered with the pro-republican forces. U.S. troops had been committed for many months to an invasion across the southern border, leaving the United States in possession of Baja California. Yet the intervention had been carried out seemingly without direction or any clear goal in mind.

    Matters grew no better when Wilson suffered a stroke in the summer of 1919, leaving him paralyzed and his administration effectively decapitated while Wilson’s wife headed a sort of regency council in the White House. But matters had already slipped out of the President’s hands by then. The economy was already showing worrying signs of a slowdown, owing to uncertainty and fears of further instability in Russia and France, and there was already talk of who would succeed Wilson after the 1920 election.

    The field of candidates was wide open in both major parties as election season rolled in, but it rapidly narrowed as time went on. The economy had not yet declined to such a point that it could be made a campaign issue, and the Progressive reforms Wilson had enacted enjoyed wide support, thus foreign policy was the key issue in Republican minds. The field was reduced to two major contendors for the nomination: Leonard Wood and Frank Lowden. Wood, a former Rough Rider, Army general, and friend of Teddy Roosevelt, boasted solid credentials for the sort of ‘touch’ foreign policy many Republicans were now demanding, though he was handicapped in many respects by his harsh anti-socialist stance. In contrast, Lowden, Governor of Illinois, was the more Progressive of the two, while still being able to promise the sort of coherent world policy lacking in Wilson.

    The Republican Party met in Chicago on June 8, 1920 for the nominating convention. For the first several ballots, Wood and Lowden remained roughly equal, both enjoying large numbers of votes but nevertheless well short of a neccesary majority. The only two other contenders were Hiram Johnson of California and Warren Harding of Ohio. After the third inconclusive ballot, Wood, who had the most votes, began to lose ground as Harding gained on the assumption he could serve as an adequate compromise candidate to avoid an embarrassing deadlock. But it soon became evident that the Ohio Senator was virtually the least qualified man to be president, and by the sixth ballot, his support had dwindled down to nothing. Finally, Wood managed to secure the support of the bloc around Calvin Coolidge on the seventh ballot, unleashing a stampede of support for the New Hampshire general, By the eigth ballot, it was over and Leonard Wood was the Republic presidential nominee, and Coolidge his running mate.

    The Democrats gathered in San Francisco three weeks later with no clear frontrunners. Treasury Secretary William McAdoo and son-in-law to the President, struggled to gain momentum, owing to an unexpected fued with the President. Party elders like William Jennings Bryan, meanwhile, remained aloof, hoping for the slim chance at a nomination. The balloting went on for days with no clear leader, but at last, on the thirty-seventh ballot, Governor James Cox of Ohio emerged the nominee, with Assisstant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Roosevelt as his running mate. Cox, an internationalist, a progressive, and an Ohioan, was hardly a weak candidate, and by nearly all measures the race would be a close one, especially given the uncertainty raised by the prospect of the massive influx of women voters following the implementation of the 19th Amendment.

    Ultimately, the handicap of Wood’s political inexperience was not enough to nullify the foreign policy debacle of the Wilson camp. Cox and Roosevelt simply could not detach themselves from the White House sufficiently. On November 2, the Republicans cruised to a comfortable, though hardly overwhelming, electoral victory. Cox swept the traditionally-Democratic South, but failed to make significant inroads elsewhere, with the notable exception of Pennsylvania, Ohio, California, and West Virginia. With a roughly 55-40 percentage split between Wood and Cox, Wood scored an impressive majority in the Electoral College and would enter the White House with the happy prospect of a friendly Congressional majority. Of greater concern for Wood, however, was the fact the nearly five percent of the votes, over one million, had gone to the Socialist candidate, Eugene V. Debs, the party’s best showing to date.



    In Germany, electoral issues also took center stage. For much of the war, Germany had effectively been governed by a military dictatorship headed by Hindenburg and Ludendorff and administered by a loose coalition of military officers and civil service bureaucrats, leaving both the Reichstag and Kaiser marginalized. With the generals returning home victorious, the power of this dictatorship was at once stronger and weaker than before. Hindenburg and Ludendorff were national heroes largely credited with the triumph over the Entente, but they could not horde the victory laurels exclusively to themselves, nor was their extra-constitutional governance justifiable now that the war was over. The Kaiser, politically active for the first time in a decade, began cultivating the National People’s Party (DNVP), newly-formed out of the old conservative parties, as the ‘Party of the Kaiser’ and the bedrock for a rapprochement between the Reichstag and the Throne. It was Wilhelm’s hope that the sense of national unity and goodwill born in 1914 could be preserved, and that voters would flock to this new party out of renewed patriotism in the 1919 Reichstag elections.

    The parliamentary elections, held on January 19, 1919, proved a bitter disappointment for Wilhelm’s political hopes and expectations. The new DNVP managed to secure barely fifteen percent of the vote, largely at the expense of the friendly National Liberals and Progressives. Meanwhile, the Bavarian Centre Party and the Social Democrats remained largely untouched, leaving them with a combined majority in the Reichstag. Socialist at heart and hardly sympathetic to the aims of the Kaiser, the Social Democrats would never consent to be a mouthpiece for the monarchy. A union of the conservatives and liberals was within Wilhelm’s grasp, but to have a Reichstag majority, the Bavarian Catholics were essential. After much careful negotiating, a deal was brokered, uniting the Centre, DNVP, and National Liberals into a unstable coalition and placing Constantin Fehrenbach, a leading Centre politician, into the Chancellery. Wilhelm II had his union of Kaiser and Reichstag, but as an instrument for long-term political action, the coalition was doomed almost from the start. Yet, in the interests of continued national unity and political stability, it was a price worth paying for the time being.

    Britain, meanwhile, was gripped by a political crisis of a different and far older sort. The question of Irish Home Rule had preoccupied Parliament since before the outbreak of the Great War. For many, it was an issue worth fighting for. On the one side, Irish nationalists continued to hope for a repeal of the Act of Union that had merged Ireland into the United Kingdom, while others wished for complete independence. Against this was an energetic Conservative opposition, and the fears of the Protestant population of Northern Ireland of political marginalization and persecution at the hands of their southern brethren. In 1916, the issue had exploded violently with the Easter Rising, which saw Irish nationalists briefly seizing control of London, only to be bloodily repressed by British regular army units.

    The failure of the Easter Rising did not end the violence. Indeed, with the rise of Bonar Law to the position of Prime Minister, the chance for a renewal of the Home Rule debate had all but evaporated, and violence was the only outlet the Irish had left. Their ranks filled by disgruntled Irishmen and supplied with money and weapons by their sympathetic American cousins, Irish rebel bands began springing up across the country, unleashing a wave of bombings, murders, and other violent acts against bastions of British authority. By the start of 1920, four army divisions had been sent to maintain order, but the violence showed no signs of abating.


    British soldiers in Dublin, 1919.


    ‘Disorder and lawlessness,’ Law vowed in an address to Parliament, ‘shall not be permitted to spread from the Continent to Ireland.’ In this, he was referencing developments unfolding in France that had caught the attention of the whole globe. The Third Republic was facing a political crisis such as it had never endured since its birth a half century earlier. It was clear to all that France was on the verge of an explosive change, and by 1921, the fuse was ready to be lit.

  10. #110
    Second Lieutenant Dofon's Avatar
    Darkest Hour

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Suburbia, Ohio
    Posts
    154
    So many Ohioans! I didn't realize that being a swing state brought that kind of perks.
    Beautiful AAR!

  11. #111
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Questing for the Black Shine...
    Posts
    17,963
    Blog Entries
    20
    It seems as if France is going to explode in revolutionary anger...
    "Pequeño Padawan Kurtizacoal, por qué me has salido tan cabrón?" - me dijo mi Maestro.
    Palo Dixit: posible Anticristo, vacalentacialanonanista, Culé y Salido que provoca manifas por donde pasa.
    Palo Dixit redux: Escatológico bipolar

    AARs en curso o acabados -Ongoing and finished HoI2 AARs-
    WritAAR of the Week:16-03-07/5-04-09/13-09-09/19-09-10/28-10-11 - Fan of the week 25-03-07/29-10-07/06-04-08/29-12-08/13-09-09 - Canonized 02-12-07 - Best Character WritAAR of the Week:03-04-09- Showcased 01-05-2010/10-12-2010 - Mi blog: Confesiones clandestinas: La sombra de un secreto (8) [Actualizado 01/09/2014]

  12. #112
    American Union State President SovietAmerika's Avatar
    Victoria 2

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Illium
    Posts
    2,297
    I see Harding is thrown out in favor of Wood if Willie wins the Great War instead of the Entente. Oh well.

    And you know, a Nazi France would be entertaining.

  13. #113
    NK Foreign Minister Sakura_F's Avatar
    Crusader Kings IIDarkest HourEU3 CompleteDivine WindFor the Motherland
    Hearts of Iron IIIHOI3: Their Finest HourHeir to the ThroneVictoria: RevolutionsSemper Fi
    Victoria 2Victoria II: A House DividedVictoria II: Heart of DarknessV2 Beta500k club
    EUIV: Call to arms event

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,813
    Quote Originally Posted by SovietAmerika View Post
    I see Harding is thrown out in favor of Wood if Willie wins the Great War instead of the Entente. Oh well.

    And you know, a Nazi France would be entertaining.
    Adolphus Hillier? :P
    NK Foreign Minister Comrade Anastasia Ivanovna Petrova in Avindian's Soviet Union Interactive AAR.
    Otto von Bismarck, Stadtholder of Leipzig, Reichskanzler, Party Leader of the New Society in Avindian's Sonderweg oder Anderweg Interactive AAR.
    Unable to start or complete any of his AAR's.

  14. #114
    Kurt's Best AAR Reader Viden's Avatar
    Arsenal of DemocracyCrusader Kings IIDarkest HourDeus VultEuropa Universalis 3
    Divine WindFor the MotherlandHearts of Iron IIIHOI3: Their Finest HourHeir to the Throne
    Europa Universalis III: In NomineIron CrossEU3 Napoleon's AmbitionVictoria: RevolutionsEuropa Universalis: Rome
    Semper FiSword of the Stars IIVictoria 2Victoria II: A House DividedVictoria II: Heart of Darkness
    Rome: Vae VictisPride of Nations500k clubEuropa Universalis IV

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Barcelona, IB, Europa
    Posts
    8,298
    Quote Originally Posted by SovietAmerika View Post
    I see Harding is thrown out in favor of Wood if Willie wins the Great War instead of the Entente. Oh well.

    And you know, a Nazi France would be entertaining.
    France has more options of going fascist rather than pure nazi.
    Province: 559
    Nationality: 75% Spanish, 25% Colombian
    Religion: Catholic
    Ideology: Socialist
    Current Work: None
    Issues: Full Citizenship/Good Healthcare
    Militancy/Consciousness: 12/15
    Awarded Fan of the Week: 7. October 2011

  15. #115
    Field Marshal TC Pilot's Avatar
    Crusader Kings IIDarkest HourDeus VultEuropa Universalis 3For The Glory

    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Somewhere
    Posts
    2,783
    Dofon: Oh sure. During the Guilded Age, Ohio was an absolutely critical state in any presidential election.

    Kurt_Steiner: Now, whatever gave you such an idea?

    SovietAmerika : You sound disappointed. I'm surprised.

    Sakura_F: Well, this is an alt-history...

    Viden: France has tons of options. You have Legitimists, Orleanists, Bonapartists. There's always someone ready to take over.

    Chapter II - Hail to Thee in Victor's Crown - Part IV

    A government is only as strong as the people's willingness to obey it; when that obedience is gone, so too is the government's legitimacy and power. The French nation's Third Republic never had an easy time winning the people's support. Since its creation, the new republic had lurched from one political crisis to the next, governments rising and falling with dizzying rapidity. Such was the nation's revolutionary legacy, a century-old process wherein forces at all points along the political spectrum and social order battled for preeminence or outright dominance. To the Right, the Third Republic faced the monarchist pretensions of three separate claimants, while from the Left, threats arose from the socialists and communists who still remembered the bloody suppression of the Paris Commune.

    At the outbreak of the Great War, however, all such political squabbles were set aside for one brief moment of national unity. The so-called union sacrée left the workers and leftists honor-bound to refrain from any strikes, while all nationalists and revanchists could dream of the day Alsace-Lorraine was restored in full to the French people and Germany humbled. This moment of unity did not last long in the face of the bitter disappointment of military defeat and the trauma of foreign occupation. For the second time in the living memory of many Frenchmen, German arms stood astride the country, leaving it at the mercy of a soldier's bayonet. Thanks in great detail to the energy of President Wilson and the mercy of Kaiser Wilhelm II, France at least departed Versailles intact, but the effect upon morale was devastating. Defeat in the Great War was a national humiliation.

    Such a defeat was bound to shake even the strongest of governments to its core, and the Third Republic was never truly secure in its place. Georges Clemenceau returned from the peace conference the second most despised man in France, rivaled only by General Gallieni. And yet, Clemenceau was the only man holding the whole edifice of the republic together. Defeat had discredited much of the French political realm, and the defenders of the republic were few and far between now. Worse, as millions of Frenchman returned from the front lines, having either deserted or been discharged, and German prisoner camps, the economic picture boded ill. Unemployment climbed rapidly and shortages of basic consumer goods became commonplace, exacerbating the crisis of war refugees displaced by the fighting already present. And with the magnitude of the German war indemnity, even the most optimistic outlook was bleak. No longer bound by the 'sacred union,' workers began going out on strike in great numbers, accelerating the economic crisis toward a head-on collision.

    Faced with growing public discontent and internal disorder, Clemenceau turned to the only option still available to him: the army. Though badly bruised by the war, France's armed forces remained strong and cohesive enough to serve as an emergency police force, and France's officer corps was more than happy to employ force to stamp out any threat of Bolshevism. By 1920, it had become commonplace for soldiers to be dispatched to break up strikes, usually violently. But the spiral of economic misery and violent repression served only to spread and ingrain radicalism further. Officers began speaking of socialism and communism like they were an insidious plague to be quarantined and then purged. Right-wing radicals saw it as an opportunity to reestablish a conservative system based on order and anti-communist principles, Catholicism and monarchism specifically, while leftists looked with encouragement to the final defeat in July 1920 of the 'White' Volunteer Army against the Reds in Russia as a sign of their inevitable triumph. But regardless of political outlook or ideology, there was at least one consensus: the Third Republic was too weak to survive.


    Soon after the end of the war, unrest began to grow greater in France.


    The crisis might have remained a simmering instability were it not for the German determination to receive its reparations. The first payment, a grand total of two billion marks, was due in mid-1921. But, having funded the war on tax increases and its industrial sector devastated by the war on French soil, the nation's economy could scarcely collect such a sum. Determined to make good on the promises made at Versailles or risk a renewed German invasion France could not possibly defend against, Clemenceau made the fateful decision to begin buying up foreign currency to meet Germany's indemnity. France's foreign currency reserves were rapidly depleted, and it soon became a race to purchase it at any available price. The value of the franc against the dollar - the United States being the only large-scale creditor left in the world - plummeted rapidly. By the end of 1920, the exchange rate stood at 9000 to 1, and it continued to accelerate until France was gripped by an unprecedented hyperinflation of the currency.

    Hyperinflation added a new dimension to France's economic woes. Wages could not possibly keep up with the printing presses. The hard-earned savings of millions in the middle classes was wiped out in the span of months. Goods already hard to find now disappeared from stores entirely. The whole nation's economy had collapsed into a state of disarray, but efforts spearheaded by American banker J.P. Morgan to negotiate some accommodation between France and Germany came of nothing, succeeding only in causing another spike in the rate of inflation. Riots and acts of violence became a daily occurrence, and strikes and walk-outs grew both in their size and the intensity of their suppression. By now, Clemenceau's authority had long since drifted away from constitutional bounds and rested almost exclusively on the support of Generals Foch and Petain and the personal authority they enjoyed in the army. By the start of 1921, however, both generals had become increasingly convinced that the Third Republic was no longer tenable, and that to save the nation from anarchy, a strong hand needed to take power before it was too late. This, of course, would have to preclude Clemenceau.

    On February 12, 1921, the crisis entered into a critical phase. Clemenceau's Prime Minister Aristide Briand was shot dead outside his home by a lone gunman, who escaped in the commotion before police could apprehend him. Eye-witness accounts proved contradictory. Some attested that the man wore a workman's uniform, while others insisted he had shouted 'traitor to the nation' before firing the shot, no doubt referencing Briand’s support for a closer accommodation with Germany. Both the Left and the Right were thus implicated, but Foch used the murder as a pretext to begin a suppression of the trade unions and socialist organizations throughout the country. This was enough to finally push the various disparate socialist organizations into concerted action. To both protect themselves against military crackdown and to impose some degree of control over the increasingly chaotic and militant working class, the SFIO, PCF, and CGT formed a temporary united front, announcing a General Strike to begin on March 1.

    With the situation as desperate as this, workers embraced what amounted to a call to arms with remarkable enthusiasm. La Marseillaise and L'Internationale echoed through the streets of working class neighborhoods and along the assembly lines of the great factories. At a stroke, the whole country was paralyzed as workers shut down factories, coal mines, railroads, leaving all sectors of the economy except those of basic necessity shut down. Coupling nationalist fervor with socialist idealism, the united front demanded an end to the military persecution, a cessation of indemnity payments, and massive economic and political reforms designed to transform the Third Republic into a socialist state and hopefully restore the economic situation. Germany remained aloof, hesitant to meddle in France's domestic politics at such a volatile moment, but Foreign Minister Kuhlman nevertheless aired hints of the possibility of a German invasion to extract the war indemnity in kind, that is to say, German soldiers would seize the factories and mines and use their production to pay off the debt.

    Clemenceau had lost all control of the situation and ceded virtually all authority to the military dictatorship of General Foch. At his and Petain's insistence, Clemenceau agreed to promulgate a series of emergency orders authorizing the army to suppress the General Strike by any means at its disposal. The generals moved with frightful energy. Troops were called in to all the major cities, clearly intended to crush the strikers by force like so many times before. But neither the strikers nor the socialist leadership flinched from the confrontation. For three days, the army and workers looked nervously across their barricades and barbed wire at one another. At last, on March 5, the order arrived from Foch's headquarters to break the strike. Soldiers began moving into action, and the workers braced themselves for whatever might come.

  16. #116
    Not a Sahib Milites's Avatar
    Darkest HourDeus VultEuropa Universalis 3For The GloryHeir to the Throne
    Europa Universalis III: In NomineEU3 Napoleon's Ambition

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    In the shade of the Buland Darwaza
    Posts
    1,678
    Oh boy, tension is rising dramatically in poor France. With Foch and Petain apparently moving to placate Macmahon, they will have to have the inequivalent backing of the armed forces. Is Maurice Sarrail about to make an appearance? Will he counter the attempt to break the general strike with leftist units of the army? Or will the reactionary generals reinstate either the bourbons ir the Bonapartes to enforce legitimacy? I can't wait to find out!

  17. #117
    American Union State President SovietAmerika's Avatar
    Victoria 2

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Illium
    Posts
    2,297
    What do you mean by me sounding disappointed?

    Oh, and nice French Civil War. Can't wait to see which faction wins. Of course, either way, they will taste the Kaiser's boot.

  18. #118
    Lt. General Kaiser_Mobius's Avatar
    Darkest HourHearts of Iron III

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,644
    France is turning into a chaotic basket case. Can't wait to see who prevails in the end. Im kinda putting my bets on a Socialist/Communist victory, I somewhat doubt that those soldiers would be willing to fire upon their fellow working-class Frenchmen.

    Great update. I look forward to further developments.
    In Defense of Freedom, A US Kaiserreich AAR Complete. Awarded Weekly AAR showcase, March 15th, 2010
    Rebirth of the Japanese Empire, A Japan MDS 1.6 AAR Complete, Awarded Weekly AAR showcase, February 5th, 2012
    The Return of The King: A Canadian KaiserReich DH AAR Complete, Awarded Darkest HeAARt Award, April 2014
    The Dual Monarchy at War A 1914 Austria-Hungary DH AAR Complete, Awarded Weekly AAR showcase, March 9th, 2014
    Awarded WritAAR of the week: February 14th, 2010

  19. #119
    Basileus Romaion Nikolai's Avatar
    Hearts of Iron 2: ArmageddonCrusader Kings IIDarkest HourDeus VultEU3 Complete
    Divine WindFor The GloryFor the MotherlandHearts of Iron IIIHeir to the Throne
    Europa Universalis III: In NomineMagickaMarch of the EaglesEU3 Napoleon's AmbitionVictoria: Revolutions
    Europa Universalis: RomeSemper FiSengokuSupreme Ruler: Cold WarVictoria 2
    Victoria II: A House DividedVictoria II: Heart of DarknessRome: Vae VictisMount & Blade: WarbandCK2: Holy Knight
    EU Rome Collectors EditionEU3 Collectors Edition500k clubEuropa Universalis IV: Pre-orderEUIV: Call to arms event

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Bergen, Hordaland, Norway
    Posts
    9,936
    Blog Entries
    1
    Awesome update! Held my breath all through.
    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

  20. #120
    Lt. General NapoleonComple's Avatar
    Cities in Motion 2Crusader Kings IIDarkest HourHearts of Iron IIIMarch of the Eagles
    Supreme Ruler: Cold WarVictoria 2

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    An Evil Lair in Taiwan
    Posts
    1,505
    One thing's for sure; this is gonna end badly.

    Brilliant AAR. Can't wait to see how the inter-war years play out.

+ Reply to Thread
Page 6 of 7 FirstFirst ... 4 5 6 7 LastLast

Posting Permissions

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