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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
Chapter 1: Setting

Augenis

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A Paper-Thin Kingdom

Lithuania After Action Report
(Darkest Hour Kaiserreich 1.9 + Submod)

Preamble:

This is an AAR of my Lithuania game in Darkest Hour Kaiserreich alongside an extensive selfmade submod to enhance the Lithuania experience and add a lot of new events, concepts, decisions, etc. for the country. Despite having dabbled in the Kaiserreich team a couple of times in the past (and having applied to join the DH KR team recently), I'm not considering to try to push this submod to be integrated into DH KR, as it completely rewrites the lore for Lithuania and is not canon with Kaiserreich lore for either Darkest Hour or Hearts of Iron IV.

I may post a download link for the submod sometime in the future, but I am currently still tinkering with it and adding new content, so "sometime in the future" is the emphasis there.

This is also my first AAR on this forum, so I hope you all enjoy it.

-----

Chapter 1:
Setting

The Kingdom of Lithuania was proclaimed with the Act of Independence of Lithuania on December 11th, 1917, by the conservative elements of the Council of Lithuania led by Antanas Smetona, the founder of the Lithuanian Nationalist Union, while at the same time declaring it to be tied to the German Empire with a political and economic union. This decision immediately caused a severe rift within the Lithuanian independence movement and caused several members of the Council of Lithuania, all representatives of the Social Democratic Party, to resign in protest.

For a few months, the Kingdom remained without official leadership or a government, the Council of Lithuania in a state of flux and the possibility of Lithuania being integrated straight into the German Empire, much like its neighbour to the north, was an encroaching possibility. However, the reshuffling of the government of the German Empire in late 1918 and their impending victory in the Weltkrieg led to the Act of Independence remaining in place and the Council of Lithuania reshuffled with conservative elements.

In accordance with the Act of December 11th, Duke Wilhelm of Urach was invited to take up the Lithuanian throne as a constitutional monarch, an offer he took willingly, despite dissatisfaction from the Kaiser who preferred a different candidate, and took on the regnal title Mindaugas II. The Constitution of 1920 affirmed Lithuania's status as a bicameral constitutional monarchy, one of the most liberal in the Mitteleuropa, with universal male and female suffrage, land reform, and the civil rights of citizens safeguarded. Despite this, the Social Democrats boycotted the election, only entering electoral politics in 1928, which meant that the next eight years were marked by supermajority rule by the Christian Democratic Party.



Mindaugas II von Urach, the first King of the restored Kingdom of Lithuania (1919-1929)

The Act of December 11th also required the newly established Lithuanian state to establish close economic and political ties with the German Empire, including the adoption of the German Reichsmark as the nation's currency, a free trade area between the two countries and a military alliance. These ties were solidified and put into force upon the coronation of Wilhelm von Urach as the King of Lithuania in 1919 and the establishment of the German-Lithuanian Trade Area (Deutsch-Litauische Handelszone) on the same year.

During the eight years of Christian Democratic rule, through pressure from the German government, businesses and Prussian Junker magnates, Lithuania increasingly opened itself up to further investment from its western neighbour and its laws began to reflect the necessity of easing German business, such as requiring all Lithuanian imports to travel through Memel (Klaipėda), or enforcing German as a mandatory second language for all Lithuanian pupils. Because of the significantly greater resources which German companies can put in expanding their operarations and engaging in price wars, local Lithuanian companies are consistently driven out of competition and the larger onglomerates, such as the food processing plant "Maistas" or textile manufacturer "Drobe" have been bought out by German industrial associations entirely, enshrining Lithuania's status as a German puppet, only barely more independent than the United Baltic Duchy to the north.

In the general election of 1928, the Social Democrats alongside the liberal Popular Peasants Union and "Santara" Party swept into the lower house of the Seimas, putting Kazys Grinius as the new Prime Minister. The Social Democrats entered the national stage on a program of combating German influence in the Lithuanian economy, structural economic and social reforms and greater funding for social programs as opposed to the military. A year later, the "People's King", Mindaugas II, died, replaced by his reluctant son Karl Gero, crowned as Mindaugas III, who held high contempt for the left-wing government in power. In 1930, he gave the green light for the Senatas, the upper house of the Seimas, and conservative officers in the Army to enact a self-coup and put the pro-German leader of the Nationalist Union, Augustinas Voldemaras, as the new Prime Minister, who immediately suspended the Constitution and passed through several acts against perceived leftist subversion. The Kaiser in Berlin could only approve of the strong stance against socialism and Syndicalism in their puppet state.



Mindaugas III von Urach, King of Lithuania (1929-)




Augustinas Voldemaras, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lithuania (1930-)

For the last six years, Lithuania has been managed as a democracy on paper and a dictatorship in reality, backed by the newly formed National Conservative Party - a merger of the Christian Democrats and several right-wing parties - but Voldemaras's popularity is starting to reach rock bottom and both the left and the right are starting to radicalize...




The Kingdom of Lithuania on January 1st, 1936

Much as described previously, Lithuania starts out as a "paper democracy". Though theoretically one of the most liberal states in the Mitteleuropa due to its Constitution, it is effectively a dictatorship run by Augustinas Voldemaras and the Lithuanian right-wing. However, this order is doomed to not last - the popularity of the current government is at a record low, there are open protests against the regime and many in the National Conservatives believe that a return to democracy is long overdue. Because of the German-Lithuanian Free Trade Area, there is little government intervention in the economy and most of it is managed by German industrialists. Though Lithuania is fairly mobilized for a minor state, mostly to feed the German army in any impending conflicts, it does not have an independent foreign policy and thus, for all intents and purposes, cannot use that mobilization meaningfully.

The current King of Lithuania is Karl Gero of the House of Urach, referred to by his royal name Mindaugas III (b. 1899, Authoritarian Democrat - German Aristocrat). The second son of Mindaugas II, Karl Gero had never planned to be the King of a distant country and had been working as an architect in Munich at the moment of his father's death - but as his elder brother Wilhelm had married morganatically, the crown passed on to him. Having little interest in the affairs of a state he had never spent more than a few months in before, Mindaugas II approved the coup d'etat of 1930 and has ruled as a monarch in a paper democracy since. Though not a very competent or talented ruler, Mindaugas III is dedicated towards anti-Syndicalism and serves as an important anchor for the pro-German right wing.

The current Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lithuania is Augustinas Voldemaras (b. 1883, Authoritarian Democrat - Flamboyant Tough Guy). A professor of history who spent his early career as a lecturer in Perm, Russia, Voldemaras was appointed as the first Foreign Minister of Lithuania in 1919, where he negotiated the establishment of the German-Lithuanian Free Trade Area. During the 1920s, he gained notoriety as an eloquent speaker and strong anti-Syndicalist, pushing him to become one of the main leaders of the Lithuanian right and, from there, invited by the Senate and Lithuanian military to replace Kazys Grinius as the third Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lithuania, a position which he has held for the least six years. A man opposed to socialism and Syndicalism of all forms with a known authoritarian streak, Voldemaras has stabilized the country only to send it careening towards instability yet again.

The current Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Lithuania is Stasys Lozoraitis (b. 1898, Authoritarian Democrat - Ideological Crusader), a protege of Voldemaras who entered foreign affairs service during his time as Foreign Minister. Having close ties to Germany and once served for many years as the charge d'affaires in Berlin, Lozoraitis is a strong supporter of Lithuania remaining in the Mitteleuropa and following the German lead.

The current Minister of the Economy of the Kingdom of Lithuania is Leonas Bistras (b. 1890, Social Conservative - Laissez Faire Economist), a long time influential member of the Christian Democrats and a representative of the moderate wing of the National Conservatives. Bistras is a supporter of government non-interventionism in the economy and cooperation with German businesses to ensure the nation's well-being, while at the same time a strong advocate of restoring the suspendd Constitution of Lithuania. It is believed that he is considered as a potential successor to Voldemaras if he were to leave office one way or another.

The current Interior Minister of the Kingdom of Lithuania is Ignas Musteikis (b. 1890, Authoritarian Democrat - Efficient Sociopath), an officer in the Royal Lithuanian Armed Forces and a close ally of Voldemaras from the military, appointed as the leader of Lithuanian law enforcement after the 1930 coup d'etat. During the following six years, he loyally organized mass persecutions against the syndicalist movement in Lithuania and the implementation of anti-democratic laws and orders.

The current Chief of the Department of National Security of the Kingdom of Lithuania is Dovas Zaunius (b. 1892, Authoritarian Democrat - Political Specialist), a politician from German-held Lithuania Minor who emigrated to the Kingdom upon its restoration and entered diplomatic service, before moving on to heading Lithuania's foreign intelligence department.



The state of the Royal Lithuanian Armed Forces in January 1st, 1936

The Royal Lithuanian Armed Forces are by no means a joke - holding seventy thousand personnel in five divisions and equipped with forty five fighter planes, it is a reasonable force for a minor nation with only three million inhabitants. However, the military is equipped with outdated weaponry, does not have sufficient air power and practically no navy, and it is trained by German officers with the Lithuanian ones often taking a back seat. The German military mission is headed by Major General Adrian von Renteln and Lieutenant General Wilhelm Kube, the latter also offering his services as a land doctrine researcher.

The current chief of the Royal Lithuanian Armed Forces is Stasys Raštikis (b. 1896, Paternal Autocrat - Fire Support/Elastic Defence), formerly a low ranking Lithuanian army officer and former priest who swiftly rose through the ranks thanks to his role in the coup of 1930, up until the rank of Lieutenant General. This speedy rise to power has fostered the general's ego and there is no question that Raštikis holds considerable political ambitions, being a supporter of much stricter iron-fisted rule than that of Voldemaras's informal dictatorship, though there is no indication of him taking arms against the government for the time being.

With the tensions on the planet starting to build up, however, it seems that the Royal Lithuanian Armed Forces may soon see their first experience in battle...





The German Empire, the Russian Republic and the Commune of France, the three countries most relevant to Lithuania at the time being.
-----
 

AvatarOfKhaine

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Wow, a pro-German Voldemaras?

Also, there better a Silver Knight easter egg if you can manage it!
 

Augenis

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Wow, a pro-German Voldemaras?

Also, there better a Silver Knight easter egg if you can manage it!
Indeed. Voldemaras was actually a pro-German politician in OTL and many of his supporters would later end up collaborating with the Germans during WW2. In OTL, he turned towards fascism and extreme nationalism in the 1920s (which is why, I presume, Kaiserreich uses him as the leader of the nationalist Lithuanian rebellion) by taking an example from Mussolini's Italy, which did not take place in Kaiserreich, so he is less nationalistic and more just a pro-German authoritarian.

I'll see if I can find the place for it! :p
 

stnylan

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Welcome to AAR writing. I hope you enjoy the experience. Will follow with interest.
 

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Always good to see more AAR's for Darkest Hour :)

Best of luck with it and I look forward to seeing what happens next
 
Chapter 2: Beginnings

Augenis

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Chapter 2:
Beginnings

The Lithuanian R&D department is small and far from the capacity of the Western nations, which is why by 1936, the Kingdom has been left hopelessly behind its peers in all forms of technology. Though belated, the first steps are being taken towards amending this gap. With German support and blueprint provisions, the Central House of Commerce and Industry of Vilnius (CCI) will take up on research into modern production methods, while the branch of the German industrial and weapons manufacturing conglomerate "Rheinmetall" in Lithuania will work on modernizing electronics and census tabulation machinery.



The first proposal on the desk of the Prime Minister of Lithuania this year comes from Poland. The Polish-Galician joint owned agricultural corporation, owned by the Zamoyski family, is spreading its wings across the Mitteleuropa and searching for beneficial trade deals through the Polish government. Though most Mitteleuropa states agree to the deal, Lithuania opts out - its budget is nowhere near being able to afford such a deal.



Entering the year of 1936, Lithuania is far from stable. The agreement known as the Deutsch-Litauische Handelszone (German-Lithuanian Free Trade Area) strangles the life out of the country, while two separate movement operate in the fringes of radicalism, outside of traditional politics. The Morning Star movement is the closest thing Lithuania has to a homegrown Syndicalist movement - originating from nationalist student movements of the 1920s, it grew increasingly radical during Voldemaras's paper democracy period, uniting many dissatisfied with the eroding democracy and German control over the country, looming over the Kingdom like a hydra with a thousand heads. The Ramovė, or the Vilnius Officers' Club, is a much more intimate stab in the back - a discussion place of nationalist Lithuanian officers, it may be a source of anti-Syndicalist thought in the country, but its relations with the Voldemaras government is far from positive. Many of their members participated in the coup of 1930, but have since grown disillusioned with the ineffectual civilian government and seek for an alternate, nationalist approach.

Both of these radical movements will have to be kept in check, and German influence combated at every step, for Lithuania to be able to survive the unfolding years.



As the first months of 1936 unfold, significant political realignments take place in the neighbourhood. In early January, the world is shaken by the sudden assassination of the longtime President of the Russian Republic, Alexander Kerensky, at the hands of an unidentified assailant. The resulting chaos in the country leads to it taking a sharp turn to the left - the Left Social Revolutionaries and Mensheviks secure control of the lower house of the Duma, orchestrated by the leader of the former, Viktor Chernov, and the new coalition makes an alliance with the Bolsheviks led by Nikolai Bukharin in a popular front government.

To the south, the years of the "Eternal Regency" in Poland come to an end at last - there will be no King of Poland at all. Chaos in the Polish countryside and instability in the government have led to the Regency Council being dissolved and a constitution for a Polish Republic drafted - a move which has been welcomed by Poland's neighbours as a way to ensure stability in the heart of Mitteleuropa, even if losing the ability to influence Poland through a friendly King is a downer. The first democratic election in Poland sees the centre-left People's Coalition sweep into power, led by Gabriel Narutowicz - interestingly enough, a man of Lithuanian birth.





But that pales in comparison to what takes place in the last days of winter.

After years of impressive growth, stock market speculations and instability in the German government, the house of cards collapses in what is now known as Black Monday. The stock market crashes, dozens of banks and companies declare bankruptcy in a matter of days, and the German economy suddenly contracts. With Lithuania's increasing economic reliance on the German Empire, it is not left out of the resulting aftershocks. The loss of the largest trading partner by far is a heavy blow to the Lithuanian economy alone, and the local branches of German conglomerates establishing here either folding or significantly reducing operations, thus relieving local workers, does not do any good either.

The already unstable Kingdom has received a new blow in the gut.



The situation in the country is critical. Industrial production is barely a third of the country's maximum capacity. There is open unrest in the streets, and the coffers are empty, the kingdom's debt growing with each passing day.



Exactly the worst time when we could be having problems with the Syndicalists. The Lithuanian writing community is stirring up trouble and it's very obvious who is behind their backs.



While Lithuania suffers and stumbles, the rest of the world moves on. Herman Goring's colonial fief in Mittelafrika expands, making a deal with Portugal over the transfer of Angola and Sao Tome and Principe to the German hands. While that's one place where our suzerain's influence expands, Romania is where Germany receives a sudden setback - the National Populist government of the Balkan state, aiming to bite at the Kaiserreich while they're down, remilitarizes the region of Oltenia and promptly follows it up by nationalizing the Ploesti oil fields. Germany can only respond with lodging diplomatic protests.




Early April sees a sudden influx of German colonists into Lithuania, mostly from the nearby region of East Prussia - spurred by unemployment back home and cheaper living costs in their eastern neighbour, they have opted to set up shop in the country. Following the terms of Lithuanian-German agreements, we are forced to accommodate these new settlers despite public protests against their arrival.



This, in total, is the backdrop by April of 1936. There are open protests and clashes between civilians and law enforcement in the streets. The trust in the government of Augustinas Voldemaras is at a record low, and not even the most hardcore supporters of the current dictatorship can find the situation tenable. All, except Voldemaras himself, who still hopes to remain in power.

However, for once, both the Germans in control of the country and the National Conservative Party have raised opposition. With the international Syndicalist movement growing more belligerent with each day and Russia already fallen to the left, Germany's interest is to keep its backyard secure and prevent any more dominoes falling to Syndicalism. Seeing that Poland's reform to democracy has quelled unrest there, the Kaiser's representatives in Vilnius recommend the same to Voldemaras's regime. Meanwhile, the National Conservatives, their liberal wing led by Economy Minister Leonas Bistras, argue that throwing a few bones to the people and restoring the suspended Constitution of 1920, and then promptly legitimately winning the election later this year, would restore the faith of the people in the government and allow the cabinet to enact sweeping reforms to lead the country towards economic recovery and perhaps political independence.

Swayed by the arguments presented, Augustinas Voldemaras opted to concede, the incumbent cabinet publishing a declaration calling for a restoration of the suspended Constitution into effect the following day.

What could go wrong?

 

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Interesting to see colonists arrive when they don't in vanilla, though I include such things in my personal KR.

I always find the Lithuanian situation in ME the most unique of all the various puppets and especially given its relative uniqueness in terms of your "favourite" von Urachs and the general independence movement there and how the Germans interacted with it.
 

stnylan

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Well, it seems as if the world is going to hell right on schedule.
 
Chapter 3: Action

Augenis

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Chapter 3:
Action

April sees the conclusion of one conflict and the beginning of another. At the beginning of the year, the death of King George V and increasingly common skirmishes on the Indian-Afghani border led to the monarch of Afghanistan rallying his nation to war in order to try to repeat the success of 1926 and gnaw away even more territory from the Dominion of Delhi. However, Afghanistan must have forgotten that their success only came as the result of the Indian Civil War which took place as the aftermath of the British Revolution during that time, and eleven years later, they were facing an organized, rearmed and strengthened opponent. The result of the war was thus fairly obvious.

Somewhat more to the north, a series of border conflicts and incursions led to the warlord Ma family in northwestern China lose their cool and declare war against the Mad Baron's, Roman Ungern von Sternberg's, fief in Mongolia. With Russia looking inward due to the instability after Kerensky's assassination, the reactionary Baltic German warlord is able to expand his realm unabated, for now. In fact, the millenarian stronghold in Shaanxi, the Shangqing Tiangguo, even took this as an opportunity to strike the Ma family in the back and claim the city of Lanzhou.




Somewhat closer to home, two major geopolitical events take place in May of the year. Sensing weakness in the Ottoman Empire and its continued strangle hold over the Middle East, Egypt invites representatives from other Arab countries such as the Hashemites in Mecca, Yemen, Oman and Tripolitania, as well as from the Arabs living under various colonial powers, to Cairo in what is dubbed as the Arab Congress. Though officially merely a cultural event, celebrating renewed Arab traditions and cultural life in the post-Weltkrieg era, tensions are in the air, and these tensions are directed towards the Ottomans. As instability continues to reign the Middle East, the possibility of an outright war breaking out between the vestigial empire and a coalition of Arab states draws closer.

Meanwhile, in Paris, delegates from Syndicalist parties across the entire planet gather in the First Congress of the Third International, organized by the Commune of France and the Union of Britain, the two premier powers in the International. During the following weeks, the Syndicalist representatives will decide on the policy line of the Third International for years to come.




The chairman of the Comite de Salut Public, Sebastien Faure, opens the Congress with a speech calling for the use of any possible action to overthrow the international bourgeoisie - especially that of the Germans, whose influence continues to reign over millions of proletarians across the planet. Immediately when the press reported on the resolution of the Congress, disgust and uproar broke out among the German population.

The Lithuanian syndicalist movement, small but vocal, was represented by the journalist and left-wing ideologist Justas Paleckis, who had been residing in exile in Denmark at the time of the Congress. Before the Syndicalists of the rest of the planet, Paleckis briefly summed up the situation in the Kingdom of Lithuania, the struggles of the Lithuanian worker and called for the International to cooperate with the left-leaning Russians and work for an overthrow of the puppet regimes in the eastern Mitteleuropa.





Justas Paleckis speaks before the delegates of the International

What Paleckis spoke of might not be as far from reality as we might want it to be.

Having safely entrenched themselves in power, the Russian popular front under Nikolai Bukharin continues to reform the Russian nation towards revolutionary Syndicalist lines. With workers openly protesting in the streets and calling for an end to the "Kerenskite bourgeoisie regime", the political capital is there to pressure the Duma into following the will of the socialists. The Senate has been forced to acquit and elect Nikolai Bukharin as the new President of the Russian Republic, while Irakliy Tseretliy of the Mensheviks has assumed his former position of Prime Minister. The Soviets and village communes have been legalized and openly recognized as legitimate forms of political expression, while the rest of the world, and especially the Mitteleuropa, watch with worry over a possible second front against the Syndicalists.



Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, the Liberal government of Mackenzie King in Canada is going through troubles of its own. Guided by the new revanchist monarch, Edward VIII, the Parliament begins draft a bill of national mobilization, Bill C-7, to prepare the remnant of the British Empire for a final struggle with the Syndicalists in the British Isles - however, several concerns over proposed conscription laws, protests from the French-Canadian parliamentarians, and partisan struggles have led to the bill being killed in the House of Lords.

Having lost the faith of both the King and the Parliament, the government of Mackenzie King opted to resign and a snap election was called, which saw the legislature sharply lurch to the right. The Liberals have ended up in the minority and the Conservatives, in a coalition with the right-wing Social Credit Party, espousing a radical new economic policy of a "National Dividend", have emerged victorious. King Edward VIII has congratulated the leader of the Conservatives, R.B. Bennett, and given him the right to form a new cabinet.



Significant political changes take place in our German neighbour and suzerain, too. The increasing activity of the suffragist movement due to the developing Black Monday recession has led to the government of Franz von Papen to make a few concessions, despite protests from the conservatives in the Reichstag, and allow women citizens to vote in all local assembly elections.

The Kingdom of Lithuania can only wave on to its western neighbour from their plateau, as the right of women vote had been enshrined in the Constitution of 1920, sixteen years before Germany finally took steps in the right direction. Despite this, however, female electoral turnout in Lithuania has always been considerably lower than male electoral turnout due to the highly conservative countryside.



1936 seems to be a year of political realignments. The years of military authoritarianism in the French republican remnant in North Africa seem to be over, as in a surprising act, the Lion of Verdun, Philippe Petain, has made the decision to dismiss his Prime Minister, Alphonse Juin, and replace him with the more liberal Paul Reynaud, while also declaring the restoration of the suspended Constitution, much like Lithuania had a few months prior.



Of course, sometimes these realignments can be the last thing which we might want to see. Facing public pressure due to the declining economy after Black Monday, an agricultural crisis in the countryside due to a sharp fall of demand for local produce, and the growth of the local Syndicalist movement, King Vasily I of Ukraine has opted to dismiss the long time Prime Minister of the country, Pavlo Skoropadsky, and replace him with the leader of the Ukrainian syndicalists, Nikita Khrushchev, immediately implementing sweeping economic reforms and enabling Syndicalist movements in the rest of the Mitteleuropa, while remaining under Germany's wing.



All while Germany seems to be completely unaware of what's taking place, more interested in trying to bite Japan by supporting Korean rebels rather than intervening in Russia or Ukraine.



A few days after Khrushchev's assumption of power in July, the Lithuanian working classes organize several protests in support of Ukraine's path towards Syndicalism and call for similar reforms to be implemented in the Kingdom as well. Fearing an even worse rebellion breaking out, the Voldemaras government opts to not make military action against the protesters and they eventually disperse.

The situation in Lithuania calms down a few days later once news break out about the release of a new hit book. The "History of Lithuania", edited by the young historian Adolfas Šapoka, is considered to be the cornerstone work of the Lithuanian nationalist movement, their 'bible', glorifying the ancient Lithuanian grand dukes and kings and portraying the conflict with the Teutonic Order as a heroic struggle against a Germanic threat.



Just a time for the public anger to pick up yet again once the Lithuanian press publicizes news about an another major German settlement campaign in Samogitia, drawing the ire of the same nationalists who had just been calmed down by the release of the book.



At least one place on this entire planet sees the Syndicalists face a strong opponent. The ongoing instability in the United States of America, stretching for the past eleven years, ever since the beginning of the Great Depression, has led to the government of Herbert Hoover to grab onto the last straw and cancel the elections of 1936 entirely, instead inviting the military under Douglas MacArthur to assume power and bring stability to the state. For now, MacArthur's authoritarian regime seems to have control of the situation, organizing crackdowns on the Combined Syndicates and the America First Party, but who knows how the situation will develop in the future.

Meanwhile, an another nation does hold elections during this time - the Union of Britain, whose annual Trade Union Congress sees a victory for the radical, centralist Maximist faction, espousing the recent ideology of Totalism and under the wing for former Minister of Economy Oswald Mosley, who has now been elected the new Chairman of the TUC.



And this is the background for the election to the Lithuanian Seimas in 1936, the first free election to the legislature in the last eight years, the campaign starting on October of 1936.

Immediately, an issue arose - the election may be already planned and the campaign already taking place, but what should be done about the parties of the radical left? Though the Morning Star movement and their magazine remain banned and their leaders facing a crackdown, it is an open secret that parties such as the Lithuanian Labour Federation are at least influenced by the radical Syndicalist movement, if not outright serve as their legal arm. The tide of Syndicalism waving across Europe, naturally, made the incumbent Voldemaras government highly wary about the possibility of something similar taking place here, even if it meant violating the same Constitution which he had just reestablished.

However, this is where the moderate wing of the National Conservative Party, under Leonas Bistras, made an argument which convinced the unsure dictator for the other direction. At the end of the day, the radical socialists and the more mainstream Social Democratic Party compete for the same urban, labourer, minority and non-religious peasant voter base - if the LSDP targets that demographic alone, they are sure to overwhelm the National Conservatives and assume power after the election, while the radical socialists would be able to afflict a spoiler effect and thus pave the way for a Conservative victory.



However, the National Conservatives underestimated two things - the amount of hatred and dissatisfaction which the Lithuanian voters feel towards the incumbent government, and the fact that the Social Democrats knew very well about the possibility of a spoiler effect dooming them in the election itself. Orchestrated by the leader of the LSDP, Steponas Kairys, the Social Democrats and the Labour Federation formed an electoral pact and swept the urban districts and eventually the entire lower house of the Seimas.

With 69 of the 150 seats in the newly formed parliament held by the LSDP, it was obvious that the gambit was successful, and the hopes of the National Conservatives left for naught. From there, the choice of a coalition partner was obvious - styling themselves after the popular fronts of Ukraine and Russia, the LSDP and Kairys at the forefront presented their proposal for a few cabinet for the Kingdom, with the veteran politician as the new Prime Minister and several seats in the cabinet given to the radical left. The possibility of moderating and joining forces with their longtime partners, the liberal "Santara" party, was swept across the window during the high of victory.





Steponas Kairys, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lithuania (1936-)

Only one last challenge stands in Steponas Kairys's way. King Mindaugas III.

In accordance to the Constitution of 1920, any new cabinet of ministers in the Kingdom of Lithuania needs to be approved by the King of Lithuania to operate - for the first time in Lithuanian history, the King has withdrawn this assent, declaring that he will not work with a political party which threatens the fabric of the state as a whole, immediately sending the Kingdom careening towards a political and constitutional crisis.

Steponas Kairys, however, declined offers to moderate and remove the Labour Federation from the cabinet to instead run a minority government with the backing of independents, minority representatives and Santara. In response to Mindaugas III's denial of royal assent, the left-leaning Seimas released an act declaring that assent to an incumbent government can be granted either by the King or by a majority vote in the parliament, which the Seimas promptly granted - causing unforseen uproar among Lithuanian society and especially the conservatives.

But for now, the Popular Front stands.

 

Augenis

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Lithuania is kind of a new topic for AARs as far as I've seen. Will be following this.
Also, your in-game minister pic of Voldemaras looks really different to me for some reason.
What do you mean? It is indeed different from the vanilla portrait, but it's the same as it is in base Kaiserreich.
 

stnylan

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Domestic furor is exactly what Lithuania needs :D
 

stevefitz744

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Great update once again, these extra events for Lithuania are making things very interesting and I look forward to seeing what happens next

Also, just letting you know that I've nominated this AAR for the Weekly AAR Showcase - congrats and keep up the great work :)
 
Chapter 4: Reaction

Augenis

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The Social Democrat-Labour Federation-Communist popular front government on October 22nd, 1936.

Prime Minister - Steponas Kairys (b. 1879, Social Democrat - Ambitious Union Boss), a former member of the Council of Lithuania before the leftist resignation upon the Act of December 11th, and a long time leader of the Social Democratic Party after the 1930 coup d'etat. A strong supporter of democratic socialist reformism and a notable voice for Lithuanian labourers and peasants alike, he is far from the most liked man in Lithuania, but a man dedicated to his ideology nonetheless.

Foreign Minister - Vladas Požela (b. 1879, Social Democrat - Ideological Crusader), a lawyer and public defender who served as the Vice-Chairman of the Social Democratic Party during the Voldemaras dictatorship period, a man burning with socialist fervor just as his superior.

Minister of the Economy - Julius Vaišnoras (b. 1911, Radical Socialist - Administrative Genius), a young engineer from the Lithuanian Labour Federation.

Minister of the Interior - Domas Rocius (b. 1905, Radical Socialist - Efficient Sociopath), a member of the Communist Party of Lithuania and a man with a criminal record during the Voldemaras dictatorship - needless to say, his relationship with the extensive Lithuanian law enforcement services is at a record low.

The replacement for General Stasys Raštikis for the chief of the Royal Lithuanian Armed Forces is Mj. General Antanas Sidabras (b. 1896, Social Liberal - Armored Spearhead Doctrine), one of the few notable commanders in the Lithuanian military not completely disgusted with the Popular front government, and a supporter of modern mobile army doctrine.

Immediately as the new government assumes their seats, they have plenty of reason to worry about losing them. The German Empire is far from happy with the prospect of a potential fifth column taking power in their puppet state.



The brief Ukrainian stunt with Syndicalism seems to have come to an end. A combination of influence from the German overlords and dissatisfaction from the upper classes has forced the government to compromise - a more moderate, though still reformist Vladimir Vynnychenko has been appointed as the new Prime Minister, and a democratic, constitutional monarchy established. The Mitteleuropa can take an easier breath.



On the other side of the Atlantic, the hell bottled up in the United States during the last ten years has finally broken loose. The unpopular military dictatorship of Douglas MacArthur has fractured the country, the southern states under Huey Long and the Industrial Belt under Jack Reed have broken away, into the American Union State and the Combined Syndicates of America respectively. The Second American Civil War has begun.



The next few days are some of the fastest in the history of the United States, numerous of countries forming up and fading away at a moment's notice while all of the nations surrounding the United States, clearly having prepared for the possibility of a second American Civil War and set their plans in motion accordingly, take away bits of America's territories for themselves.



As of November 18th, the last major territorial change - Mexican annexation of the southwestern United States - the map of what once used to be a "United" States of America now looks like this.



The Popular Front came into power in Lithuania carrying significant political capital thanks to the ongoing Black Friday recession in the country, and the very first thing on their agenda is, of course, the direction of the economy. The influence of urban voters on the Social Democrat voter base swiftly won over - citing that the current economic downturn in the country came due to a lack of domestic demand for goods and the reliance of agriculture, the coalition in the Seimas implemented several long-term construction plans and economic reforms aimed at rejuvenating and improving the Lithuanian industrial sector, though this has seen significant protests from farmers and conservatives.

One of the first directives under the package of reforms is the foundation of the Vilnius Royal Engineering Institute, a specialized higher learning institution directed towards the research of new industrial technology and time-saving procedures, among others.



It is December 11th, and 19 years have passed since the declaration of the independence of the Kingdom of Lithuania from the Russian Empire. For once in this unstable year, the country can stand united together and rejoice in one more year of freedom from the eastern oppressor...



Only for this unity to swifly fade away as soon as the festivities end. The first days of January see a wave of nationalist protests opposed to not just German influence in the country, but the incumbent socialist government, whom they see as weak and spineless, along with this pathetic excuse of democracy in general.



Taking a small break from domestic affairs and looking outward, the Americas is not the only region which sees civil wars and instability at this time. Widespread dissatisfaction at German colonial, corporate rule in southern China, the republican elements in the region have taken up arms to lead a so-called "Chongsha Revolution" against the German forces.



It is safe to say that the nationalist dissatisfaction with the incumbent government has landed, because a special session of the Seimas on early January raised the question of Lithuania's fate in the Mitteleuropa as a primary one. A consensus on the top was not easy to find - the National Conservatives were highly iffy on the issue of trying to strengthen Lithuania's position in the Mitteleuropa and thus try to peacefully rid it of German influence, seeing loyalty to the Kaiser as paramount, while radical members among the Popular Front were a shoe step away from demanding a violent revolution and hanging all the Germans they can find on the nearest tree branches. Eventually, however, a consensus was reached that Lithuania should seek to self-strengthen, or else it will struggle to remain a sovereign state for long.



Somewhat to the south, German financial problems have led to them opting to give away some of their least valuable colonies, such as Crete, which they had been occupying since the Weltkrieg. After some consideration, the Germans opted to hand it over to the Ottoman Empire, which has installed a puppet state on the island.



The next region to heat up is Northwestern Europe, in the form of two subsequent, though unrelated events - a declaration of war on Ireland by the Union of Britain, and socialist reforms in the Kingdom of Norway, to the point where the nation has even chosen to join the Internationale. Though definitely dissatisfied with both, the German Empire can only shake its fist at the events taking place in its neighbourhood - and worryingly eye its own puppet monarchies, one of whom has open radical socialists in their government as we speak...




These news have, obviously, made the Social Democratic government highly worried about the possibility of military action against the incumbent Popular Front government, too. This is where the new chief of the Royal Lithuanian Armed Forces, Antanas Sidabras, has jumped up with a suggestion. The Vilnius Officers' Club, or the Ramove, has historically always been a source of anti-Syndicalist sentiment and a backbone of Lithuanian nationalism and authoritarianism in the military, breaking it apart might turn the military more malleable towards the incumbent government.

Despite protests from moderate members of the coalition who fear that agitating the military and causing it to radicalize will backfire, Prime Minister Steponas Kairys has agreed to Sidabras's offer, a network of informants being built up within the Ramove as the likely source of any future coup attempts...



To the far south, the Middle East, an anti-Ottoman alliance betweem Egypt and Arabia has been founded, serving as a further source of destabilization and potential conflict in the region.



Slightly more to the north, the Balkans, a yet another eternal regency has been put to an end - this time in Serbia, not Poland, and ending not with a republic, but the assumption of the throne by Crown Prince Aleksandar, much to the surprise and chagrin of the Austrians. The return of the Serbian monarchy has served as a unifying factor in the heavily armed vestigial Serbian state, fostering further revanchist sentiment.



And just in time, perhaps, as the decentralized, barely chugging along Austro-Hungarian Empire has finally collapsed, with a bang and the War of the Danube between the Austrians and Hungarians. Central Europe has been thrown into bloodshed. The Italians have thrown away their Habsburg monarchy, Bohemia has declared its independence and became a sea of neutrality, while the rest of the Empire has been torn apart between the Hungarians and Austrians.



All while the Commune of France finally shows its ambitions, threatening to break up the nearby state of Switzerland through syndicalist victories in local Romandy elections and-



Something's not right.



Oh. A mistake.

It turns out that the moderate Social Democrats were right after all, perhaps the military shouldn't have been touched after all.

Although, who could have guessed? After all, the mastermind between this coup was not even the Ramove, like Steponas Kairys and Antanas Sidabras assumed.

 

JodelDiplom

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Oooh exciting! I like it when DH AARs develop a plot like an Eric Ambler thriller :)
 

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The thing about revolutions is that they revolve. It is part of the name. Rare is the revolution that doesn't over-reach, and in the over-reaching revolves