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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Awesome. Are you going to use the Victoria to HoI2 converter? :cool:
 

SirCliveWolfe

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anonymous4401: No worries mate... happens to me all the time. :D

therev: It is the MOD is compleatley diferent... it was a total pain in the @rse! :( But i'm play testing it at the moment... I'll package it and upload it soon if anyone is interested.

Lord E: Thank you for your king words, I too hope I can keep the quality up! :D

Earth's Savior: Fraid not... the game is actually a HOI2 mod, but I used Viki's 1914 map as its quite accurate. Once the AAR actually starts I'll be posting lost os screnshots (I know you like them). :)

cthulhu: Thank you sir... :)

The next update should be today, we'll have a Russian revolution among others and the entry of the Ottoman Empire (realy bad timing). Now I've got to go to a job interview... be today I'll post an update... Cheers Guys! :)
 

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The Great War
1917 – Part One: The Ottomans come, Russia crumbles and Serbia falls.


Throughout the war so far feverish negotiations had been commenced between Paris and Petrograd and the Ottoman capital of Istanbul. France and Russia saw that if they did not get the Ottomans on their side there was a distinct possibility of the joining with the Central Powers and ‘Flanking’ Russia. The Empire was a former shadow of it’s self and looked to the war as a way to re-bind the empire together and to win back some of it’s lost lands after the Balkan War of 1910 to 1912.


The former glory of the Ottoman Empire 1481 - 1683

The fact that France and Russia wanted to have the Ottomans in their alliance shows that they were desperate. Bringing the Sultan into the war they risked the fact that the whole of the Balkans may look to Germany and Austria for protection and escalate the conflict, however, in March 1917 the Ottomans joined the alliance.

Germany seized upon the opportunity to help their Austrian allies who had been stalled in their attempts to crush Serbia. With a large shipment of money, small arms and supplies Germany bought an alliance with the Greeks, although it was at first kept secret. A large expeditionary force from Austria, containing the whole Fifth Armee, was despatched to Greece with the intention of flanking Serbia as soon as possible.


A young officer in the Greek army

Many contemporary historians saw the Ottoman declaration of war against Greece on the 7th April 1917 as the beginning of the end for the alliance. With hindsight and the availability of de-classified military documents from the modern day state of Austria we can see that this is not true. What was not shown at the time was that Greece was to declare war in May of that year, when Austrian and Greek forces would spill over the borders to rush Serbia and hopefully march on Istanbul.

What the Ottomans actually did was extend the Balkan conflict by being ready for a Greek campaign. When the First, Second and Third Kolordu spilled over the border and overwhelmed the Greek defenders and Austrians preparing for their own invasion forces from the Serbian Expedition (roughly two thirds of the Austrian army in Greece) had to be diverted making the flanking of Serbia all the more difficult.

A Night view of modern Thessaloníki, where the Austrian army landed in secret​

Up to the ‘Greek’ invasion the Serbs had been putting up a defence both heroic and efficient. From the opening battle at Cer on 12th August 1914 up to the 7th April 1917 the Serbs had taken defensive positions awaiting Russia or France to crush the German and Austrian allies. The most devastating fact that still leads to animosity between Serbs and Turks is the fact that there was no warning of and invasion of Greece by the Ottomans and so the southern border had been left almost defenceless.

The result was inevitable and on the 19th May the Serbian government formally surrendered to Eugen, Archduke of Austria and Generalfeldmarschall. The ‘chain reaction’ for the Alliance powers was devastating. Russia was crumbling and their reason for was had now been lost, the timing of the Ottoman’s joining the alliance could not have been worse.


Eugen, Archduke of Austria and Generalfeldmarschall of Austrian forces

 

SirCliveWolfe

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Hey guys... the Velvet revolution to come. Oh and by the way the Greek Officer is actually a WWII solider as I could not find any photos of the Greek army 1914-1918.

Sir Clive.
 

SirCliveWolfe

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The Great War

Russia aned the ‘Velvet Revolution’


One of the most interesting parts of history is ‘what might have been’ or counterfactual history. They stir the imagination and the possibilities are endless. What if Kaiser had ignored Belgium neutrality? One of the most talked about periods in history, however, is the Russian revolution.



Lenin. Many ask what could have been

What would have happened if Lenin had not been assassinated at the Finland Station? We may have ended up with another bloodier revolt and maybe an extremist Marxist government.

First, however, lets us remind ourselves of what did actually happen in those precarious days of provisional government.

The abdication of Czar Nicholas II on 2nd March 1917, in favour of his brother Michael, who refused, brought to an end the rule of the Romanov dynasty for the moment. In place was created an uneasy dual authority of two distinct bodies. The first was the Fourth Duma’s Leaders’ Committee, which became the executive of the state and a provisional government. The second was the Petrograd Workers’ and Soldiers’ Soviet. Although the Provisional Government initially had the upper hand a power struggle was always a possibility.


Czar Nicholas II and his brother Micheal, neither wanted the job anymore.

Under the presidency of Prince Georgi Lvov the Provisional Government contained a wide and diverse array of liberal, moderate, socialist and constitutional monarchist ideas. The prince took the interior portfolio with A I Guchkov the Moscow landowner and industrialist became Minister for War, Pavel Milyukov, a history professor and constitutional monarchist, took the Foreign Affairs Ministry. M I Tereshchenko was made Finance Minister and most prominently Alexander Kerensky, the firebrand socialist orator took the Justice portfolio.


Prince Georgi Lvov the first and last president of Russia
It was Kerensky who very early appreciated the need for the proletariat to be shown that their best interests were in the Provisional Government, so as to diminish the chances of a violent and bloody struggle with the Soviet.


Kerensky "The amn who saved Russia"

With German forces pushing on Petrograd (re-named from St Petersburg as it was thought to sound too German), Prince Lvovs’ Government decided that the war was what had created Russia’s problems and its ending would solve much of its problems.


A map showing the peace settlement of Brest-Litovsk and the Train Station where informal negoations had started

The anger at the harsh terms of surrender subsided almost immediately, when soldiers came flooding back to Petrograd and Moscow. Frances threats of recrimination were largely ignored as she was in no position to do anything.

Kerensky wanted to introduce sweeping social reforms within Russia but knew that many Czarists and right-wing reactionaries would not be happy and may even rebel in a counter-revolution, without reforms, however, the proletariat may try the same thing. A solution which pleased both sections of society was needed and Kerensky delivered it in emphatic style.

So on the 19th September 1917 a message was read to the people;

Prince Lvov said:
“Brothers of Mother Russia! We stand here on the cross roads in our history. We need social change to create greater equality and justice for all, however, the nation needs a unifying force! We need to show ourselves and the world that Russia is a country where the people are united! The government will be re-ordered therefore into a new parliament into which we invite the Petrograd and Moscow Soviet’s and at it’s head will be Czarina Anastasia, bound by a new constitution!”
In one fell swoop Kerensky had plicated the right of his country and forced the Soviet’s to accept a new social-liberal government. The Mensheviks and the majority of the Bolsheviks formed the main opposition party (The Soviet Party) which was strong until Leon Trotsky resigned when offered the post of Commander in Chief of all of Russia by Prime Minister Kerensky.


Czarina Anastasia, was a reason for the Strength of Russia

Trotsky’s appointment was a timely on with Russia being threatened by radicals in Ukraine wanting to bring about a Anarchic Eastern Union. Trotsky re-organised Russia’s army and defeated the Ukrainian army at Sevastopol. This re-gained the Black Sea port from Germany’s rogue puppet.


Trotsky a military genius picking up the nickname Anastasia's Napoleon

It is easy to see that if Lenin had not been shot by Lev Harveivic Oswalt, that Lenin would have radicalised the party his April Thesis showed such a desire. We can only imagine what sort of regime would have been created and be happy in the knowledge that Russia never went through what could happened.


Lev Harveivic Oswalt
 

SirCliveWolfe

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Pacer said:
Nice update
Thank you very much! :)

Still to come;

French Desperation, The British Join, Syria and Palistine invaded and The fall of France.
 

Lord E

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Nice updates there, so here Lenin has been killed and there isn’t really a Soviet revolution… interesting, also will be interesting see what the Germans will do now, when they have crush the Russians I guess the French will be destroyed within weeks as well, now that is one interesting though. Good work, keep it up :D
 

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Lev Harveivic Oswalt. Nice touch. :D

Maybe he visited America for a few years in his youth and then came back to Russia to hand out pro-Poland pamphlets in the streets of St. Petersburg?
 

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Very nice AAR.

Very nice mix of history, alternate hist and inside humor. Interesting developments in First World War, especially Russia with its turmoile.
 

SirCliveWolfe

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Pacer: Thank you glad you enjoyed it.

Lord E: Soon it will be answered.

anonymous4401: Maybee :D

Oranje Verzet: Thanks, and yes it will be interesting. What I will say is that Russia will be spared a lot of what realy happened.

cthulhu: Again thanks for your words.

Woodtopian: Thank you, although most of the AAR will be written like this it will be interspersed with narrative when I finaly get to 1936. :wacko:

Today France will fall and we shal;l have the aftermath... then I may finaly be able to play the game :rofl:
 

Hardstuff

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Derek Pullem said:
If India gets its own MPs then presumably Canada and the ANZACs will too. An Imperial parliament will be interesting - as will the "Irish" question.

Presumably Ireland will still be part of the Empire if it is a more liberal entity with no WW1 to foster the Easter Rising etc?

Mind you - if there is an Irish Independence movement which does gain its own state I wonder what the other colonies will do with the same status in Parliament.

Ahh... Speculation about "What could have been" in Irish history, it has so many posibilities, complications and is always interesting.


Realistically, without WWI, I can tell you, straight away what comes to mind is the Third Home Rule Bill (Act), (Irish) Home Rule Act 1914, or The Government of Ireland Act 1914. It was postponed due to WWI, so, could it have been possible? Ireland would have been part of Britain, but with a domestic government (Interesting; In studying Parnell, he advocated total seperation many times, but he wrote letters to Cecil Rhodes, assuring that total seperation would never occur, was this the mind of a clever political tactition, trying to gain support, was he a liar, or was it all for personal gain? So much speculation, that alternate Irish history is very interesting, yet not easy to do! lol)

At that, the Physical Force Unionist orginisations would have opposed it, the army in Ireland at the time purposly disobeyed orders and allowed arms to reach Unionists, publically stated they would disobey the Imperial Government, and set up their own parliament in Belfast.

I can go on and on, the above barely touched it, as you can see. :p


But yes, interesting AAR, I shall be sticking to this one.

(Yes, ye Americans should spell properly. :p )
 

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The Great War

1918 –The Empire goes to war

Paris was by now in disarray, although the war had thus far only lightly touched on the French the ‘heat’ was now to be brought to bare. The collapse of their erstwhile ally Russia and subsequent surrender left the French government in a state of near panic and many Frenchmen calling for retribution towards the Czarina and the Russian people. The wrath of which was to be felt later on in the new century.

The question was now what to do with the Ottoman at first successful attacks grinding to a halt Greece and now the Austrians preparing for an amphibious operation against the ‘soft underbelly’ of Syria things looked grim to the high command. Their first task was to see if any other nation would support their cause, this was not a possibility after rejections from the Japanese and isolationist Americans there was no hope of any of the other European nations coming on board.

Very briefly the French did draw up plans to punish Russia with an amphibious landing near Petrograd but these were quickly seen as ridiculous. There were only two options therefore. The first was another attempt to smash the German fortifications in Alsace and Lorraine, the second to ignore Belgium neutrality and push through, thus ‘flanking’ the German forces on the border. The latter option was seen as a last resort as it would almost certainly bring the British into the war, and so Joseph Joffre was tasked with breaking through the Hindenburg Line.



French forces relax before they try to storm the German positions

At midnight on the 4th March 1918 the mighty French field guns opened up upon the German trenches and forts, the bombardment was to last some 36 hours and included the first uses of mustard gas. In retrospect this was a mistake when reports came from the front both public opinion across The Empire and MP’s in Westminster were horrified and turned decidedly Francophobe. When at midday the shrill sound of whistles sounded and many a brave Frenchman climbed from the trenches and spilled out into ‘no-mans land’ in front on the German positions.

At first the illusive ‘breakthrough’ seemed possible and even likely the German troops in defensive positions had been shaken greatly by the huge French barrage and they were uncomfortable fighting in gas masks. Also the new French technique of a ‘moving barrage’ laid down an effective screen for French forces. In the end, however, not enough of the Allied positions were overrun and slowly but surely the brave Frenchmen were driven back by the Allied German and Austrian troops and the horrific casualties.

The Allies immediately committed massed reserves to a counter attack that ultimately failed. At one point a single section of German troops managed to storm a lightly defended fortete* and held out heroically until they were eventually, and inevitably subdued. A little known corporal by the name of Adolph who laid down his life trying to save some of his squad was posthumously awarded an Iron cross for his valour on that day along with two other soldiers.


The only suvivor of the heroic attack on the French Fortete

France was now in turmoil and when the news came that their ally the Sultan was being pushed back towards Istanbul both the government and High command pushed the ‘panic button’ and immediately drew up plans to invade Belgium. With the German forces having fallen back to their trenches and ‘licking their wounds’ at 9am on the 1st May French forces crossed over the border into neutral Belgium and things quickly escalated.

On the 4th May of that year the French ambassador was expelled from his Embassy in London and Lloyd George addressed the Imperial parliament to announce that the Empire was going to war.

Lloyd George said:
It is with a heavy heart and after much thought that I today come before this parliament and ask for a declaration of war against the perfidious French. Their conduct of this war has been dishonourable and a shames all peoples who would call themselves civilised. The time has come gentlemen we shall now strike down the evil foe and The Empire shall quickly bring them to account, I ask you when you vote to remember this parliament’s motto libertas, commercium et humanus!
With the rousing speech still ringing in his ears the members of the parliament went and voted 503 to 65 with 25 MP’s abstaining. So the contingency plans drawn up by Field Marshall Lord Kitchener were put into action. The BEF (British Expeditionary Force) had been founded by the British war minister, Richard Haldane after the Boer War and by 1918 had swelled to some 170,000 men. The First Army commanded by Sir John French with some 60,000 men was detached to Belgium to try and stop the French and would latter be joined by their German and Austrian allies. The second army of roughly the same and commanded by Sir Douglas Haig was to be landed on the lightly defended Normandy coast so reversing the process of some 800 years earlier. The remaining 50,000 were sent to Egypt where they were to acclimatise and then land upon the coast of Palestine in co-ordination with Austrian troops already massed to land in Syria. There would also be 150,000 Indian troops landing in Mesopotamia after the Indian parliament put its weight behind The Empires effort.


A destroyed French home after the sweep of allied forces have come through

The French were shocked with the speed of the BEF, which was already across the English Channel and into Belgium before the French Navy could even put to sea. When the second wave headed to Normandy the French new they would have to put to sea and face the glorious Royal Navy commanded by the dashing and Nelson-esk Admiral Beatey. The following battle at Graviline was a utter disaster for the French when a rear-admiral uttered the immortal words;

Theres quelque chose mal avec nos bateaux aujourd'hui
The campaign in France was quite straight forward after both the Italians and Spanish declared war upon the crippled nation. The most notable thing was the rapid assault on French forces in Belgium and the first use of a new invention of The Empire the Tank. These startling machines quickly broke through the French hastily constructed lines and headed to encircle the positions at Verdun. With Belgium, Empire, German and Austrian forces attacking from the east and Normandy and Spanish and Italian incursions to the south the result was a forgone conclusion and on the 14th July 1918 on Bastille Day the Commander-in-Chief of the French forces Joseph Joffre signed the document of French surrender.


An example of the hastily prepared French defences that sprang up all over the country

Not long after when the Third British army and Austrian Sixth Armee met up with the 1st Indian army the fate of the last of the of the former allies fell and the modern state of Turkey was set up, ceding Mesopotamia and Palestine to the British and Syria to the Austrians. And so on the 11th day of the 11th month the Great war was finally concluded and the foreign ministers of the victors dictated terms to the vanquished in what was to be known as the Treaty of Strasbourg.

* A fortete was a small (company sized) fort hastiley constructed to suppliment the 'Verdun Line'
 

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AARlander
Jun 12, 2003
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Those French got roundly whipped, yup yup. :nods: