• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Smokez83

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Disclaimer
This is my first HoI4 AAR. For background my previous AARs have been in Stellaris, which is the PDS game I have played the most, followed closely by CK2 and then HoI4. I am not an expert at the game by any means and as such am likely to make a few mistakes or decisions that are not considered best practice. However, I hope that you all enjoy this and I do welcome any advice and feedback as we go.

Game Setup
I will be playing as the German Reich (initially).
The game rules are as follows:
Difficulty: Regular
No Major Nation buffs
AI Behaviors all on default
Wargoals: limited
Military Access and Docking Rights: Free
Release Nations: Free
Production Licenses: Free
Lend Lease: Limited
Volunteers: Limited
Guarantee Independence: Limited
Revoke Guarantees: Allowed
Leave Faction: Allowed
Kick From Faction: Allowed
Take Over Faction Leadership: Allowed
Coups: Free
Boosting Party Popularity: Free
Paradrops: Allowed
Maximum Fort Level: Default
All Colonisation Status: Default
All Fragmentation Status: Default
Ironman Mode off
Historical AI Focuses off

With all that done, let's get into the game!
 

generalis Julius Caesar

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Nice. I'm looking forward to another one of your great AARs.
 

Surt

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If I knew what it meant i'd be impressed :) so your making a standard start I guess.
 

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Will follow
 

Nikolai

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I'm in. :)
 

Smokez83

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Katharina looked at the pile of books in front of her. Her assignment seemed impossible, but she was determined to try. How was Germany shaped by the events of 1936 onwards into the modern state. She sighed as she watched the cursor blinking on her computer, the essay title all that was on the document. 'Well, staring at the books won't get the work done' she said to herself. She reached to the first one reading the title: Minutes of the Hitler Cabinet January - February 1936. Sighing she opened the book and began to read:

Friedrich Hoßbach opens the cabinet meeting. The minutes of the previous meeting are read out and discussed... Katharina let her mind wander as she read...

'The German Reich is Strong!' Wilhelm Frick's voice rang out across the room. 'Our industry improves each day as we show the world how to recover from this economic crevice that the world was plunged into. The old powers collapse into themselves, but we are guided by the Führer, in his infinite wisdom, who has risen Germany up above all others! Our next step is to further improve our production. We look to make new advances in electronic mechanical engineering, utilising new technologies and paving the future. We also look to improve our production by modernising our construction methods.' he bowed his head to the top of the table before sitting.

Hitler motioned towards Friedrich Hoßbach. He stood and turned slightly so he was speaking directly to the Führer 'With regards to our military, we have identified a need to improve our artillery. Whilst we are exploring several new models but a decision has yet to be reached. We will therefore look at improving our existing models, ensuring they are ready for the modern war. Our brave men and women are not to be forgotten! Whilst the MG 08 is an older gun, production was halted at the end of the Weltkrieg. We must bring these back into production, giving our heroes something whilst we await the Fürer's decision on the next generation of infantry equipment' Friederich bowed his head to the top of the table, before he sat down. Hitler nodded to him, slowly standing. 'Thank you all' Hitler looked around the table as he spoke. 'We must now look to the future. We have slowly cast off the shackles imposed upon Germany by that diktat! Now, we must work towards reuniting our country! Too long have foreign powers told us what we must do with our own land, where we may go! Too long have they imposed this upon us! We will retake the Rhineland!' As cheers erupted across the table, several military officers exchanged glances...

upload_2020-3-19_18-35-32.png
upload_2020-3-19_18-37-1.png
upload_2020-3-19_18-41-28.png

Our initial research Initial construction First focus

Katharina rubbed at her eyes. She had established that German production was strong, that seemed obvious from the minutes of the cabinet meetings. It was, however, very dull reading! She put it to one side and picked up the next one, Moving in the Shadows: Activities of the Abwehr vol. 1 (1936 - 39). This should be more interesting! She thought to herself. Spies always interested her, tales of their daring exploits as they moved behind enemy lines. Though originally formed in 1921, the Abwehr were subverted by several high ranking German military officers into acting against Hitler's dictatorship. Driven by a desire to avoid unnecessary war, these officers utilised the Abwehr to ensure their activities remained undetected. They did not play an active role in the civil war that followed, however, leading to some scholars suggesting that the organisation may have been playing both sides as they waited to see who would emerge victorious. Katharina was disappointed, to say the least. It was hardly the tales of daring that she was hoping. She put it to one side. Maybe it would be more helpful once she had gotten past the civil war.

upload_2020-3-19_18-53-26.png

The Abwehr may prove vital in the future.

We had to move quickly. Hitler had support in much of the army and many men would be swayed to his cause if we were not decisive. The situation was delicate. As I looked about the table I realised how few of my colleagues I could trust. Even those that were there, I was uncertain if they could be swayed. Many of them refused to meet my eyes as I spoke to them. Men will die unnecessarily! I told them. It seemed to move a few of them, Erwin in particular. He had always been a man to lead from the front, to support his troops and was loved by them in return. I noticed the glances that flowed between him, Kurt and Albert. These three... If I could convince them, we had a fighting chance. I looked at the time, conscious that several close allies should be meeting with leaders of the Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe as well. A silence had fallen around the table, dragging into being uncomfortable. A small cough made me lift my head, Erwin had leaned forward and finally met my eyes. I can trust my troops, he had told me. I let out a sigh of relief, I remember that much. Kurt began to unroll a map as Erwin spoke, a silent decision seemed to have been reached between them. I thanked them and, almost as one, the twenty five of us that I trusted, so few in the grand scheme of things, but we had a chance. Alea iacta est. Katharina lowered the book, carefully putting a post-it note to mark the page. She had heard of von Mackensen, of course, everyone had. The man that had engineered and led the rebellion against Hitler. Several admirals and generalobersts had also joined, bringing their vital support into the war, though it was on land that the war would be fought and won. Managing to rally a large support of the population Mackensen was supported by Generalfeldsmarschall Günther von Kluge along with Generals Erwin Rommel and Albert Kesselring, among others. She put the Mackensen's diary to one side. It was definitely an interesting read.

upload_2020-3-19_19-44-17.png
upload_2020-3-19_19-44-24.png

We are now at war! Our next focus, whilst we prosecute this war

With Germany embroiled in a bitter, ideological war, the rest of the world seemingly took it as a sign of changes to come. It was shortly after the start of this war that Great Britain decided to look at their imperial policies. The Empire had suffered great financial strain following the end of the Great War. Though the various treaties that had ended that war included a series of payments from the defeated powers, Hitler's rise to power had seen an end to these payments. Whilst the loss of these payments had little initial impact, the Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression that followed on from it had hit the Empire hard. The suffering that had followed led many to campaign for equality for all peoples of Empire and, finally, this had been heard by Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, who had hoped that the former subjects would join a new Commonwealth of Nations. Ah, yes, Baldwin's Great Plan. Though initially this had little effect on Germany, it would come to affect things in the future. Katharina put the book, The destabilisation of Europe in the mid-twentieth century, to her read-later pile.

upload_2020-3-19_20-0-0.png

What will happen next for the UK?

Katharina looked over her work so far: Whilst the war in Germany raged on, Britain had taken the move towards decolonisation, looking to establish the former Imperial subjects as independent nations. On the first of May 1936, the Second London Naval Treaty was signed. Despite an agreement eventually being met, the meeting turned heated and revealed tensions hidden just below the surface, with France, Britain and the US clashing with Italy over Ethiopia and Japan over their ambitions and desires to be recognised as a equal power. These two events would later have repercussions. The London Naval Treaty was short sighted at best, with the hope of avoiding a war as ruinous as the Great War to be short lived, despite the best intentions of the signatories. It was also widely debated at the time as to how strictly the signing countries actually stuck to the restrictions placed upon them. She pondered the paragraph. It would suffice for now, though further research may well mean she will have to edit it later.

upload_2020-3-19_20-22-39.png

Luckily, we in Germany are not constricted by such worries.

Mutter, I hope this finds you well.
Katharina read the letter, written by gefreiter Wolfgang Spörrer in May 1936. We have fought hard in the south, and won many victories. I am currently sat just outside of Munich, remembering when you took me there as a child. It looks so different now. General Rommel gave us a rousing speech after we took the city, promising how it would be rebuilt as a testament to freedom when we had won this war. He then showed us some of the new equipment that we had secured with the city, some new maschinengewehr and upgrades for our artillery. This will greatly aid us in the war. As we have almost finished in the south, the General sent some to those fighting in the north, currently holding the line until we can join them. It was also during this time that we heard of the fall of Ethiopia. I worry what this will mean. We fight for a Germany safe from war, yet all around us conflict rages. Maybe that is our destiny, to fight an endless war, our punishment for not turning away from sin. Be safe, back home, mutter, give my love to Elise, tell her I fight in our father's memory and I will see her soon. The enemies of Germany will not last long against us. Love from your Son, Wolfgang, Gefreiter 3. Kompanie, 2. Armee. She looked at the date again. The war had gone well, so far, for the German Military Junta, she noted. However, what was interesting to note was the date, when the news had broken about Italian victory in their war against Ethiopia. Italy was fast becoming a rising star at this point, poised to aid in the rapid destabilisation that was about to happen in Europe.

upload_2020-3-19_20-55-4.png

The fall of Ethiopia.

Katharina picked up Mackensen's diary once more. It was at this point that we decided it was best to tackle the growing problems of fascism and communism. We were embroiled in a war with the fascists, but much of the population we had liberated still believed the lies spouted by the NSDAP or had turned towards the propaganda that came out of the Soviet Union. We believed there was a core that held on to democracy. We were fighting to establish a fair and true German state, and it was for the greater good that we took the decisions we did. Those few soldiers we could spare were sent out among the populace to raid properties, with orders to destroy propaganda related to those ideas that slowly poisoned our society. We also took the decision to ban fascism, breaking up meetings and rallies. We stopped just short of martial law, the people had to have freedom, but the German state had been dragged down by extremism and we would never allow such a thing to happen again. We had risen up to once again establish a democratic state and, as such, were we not justified in being the agents that decided what that state should be? The entry was dated 20th May 1936. She pondered how to use this information, those that rebelled against Hitler's rule believing they were acting on behalf of a greater good.

upload_2020-3-19_21-30-51.png

Taking the Anti-Communism, Anti-Fascism and Ban Fascism decisions to get an early boost to democratic support.

The US firmly believed in isolationism to the point that they made the decision to pass the Neutrality Act on the 23rd May 1936. This act was designed to ensure that the US would not get actively involved in any brewing European conflict, an indication that the US had foreseen what was to come. The reality would, as always, be different from the intentions. By this act, the US instead aided in the coming conflict. Many countries in Europe were relying upon the US to support their independence. The news that the US would not, in fact, support them led a power vacuum within the region. An argument could be made, however, that the perceived promise of support from the US would make little difference in the long run. There was little to stop the US going back on that promise and, even if they should support it, the promise of support did not deter the German Empire from invading Belgium in 1914, whose independence was guaranteed by the British Empire. The US, however, felt secure in their belief that this act would keep them out of the war. Katharina was pleased with her work here. She paused after reading it, pondering if it was too narrative driven rather than analytical. She sighed, pushing her hair back with both hands. 'I'll have to see how it reads at the end, when it's all put together' she said aloud.

upload_2020-3-19_21-46-5.png

Indeed, how well did neutrality defend Belgium?

It is with pleasure that I can inform you that we have liberated Berlin. That heinous criminal, Adolf Hitler, did not even attempt to face us. It was reported to us early on in our attack on the city that he had committed suicide and I was most pleased to discover that this rumour was true. We found him in his private bunker, shut away from the rest of the population. The people he had abandoned seemed cheerful to see us, the hardships that they had endured at last over. I have no doubt that there are individuals who still side with the NSDAP, and we will ensure that they are routed out. Heinrich Himmler now leads, though we know that the end is near for them. The importance of radio could not be underestimated. Katharina knew that it's use as a propaganda tool was unparalleled in the wars that followed its invention. It was surprising to her, though, that one of the first uses as a military communication tool was to announce the death of Adolf Hitler. Rommel's early adoption of it to communicate to his troops aided in his future successes. She made some notes on her paper pad about this, noting the book, The use of radio as a military tool, as she did so.

upload_2020-3-19_22-6-28.png

(Didn't get the screenshot of Hitler's death, however Himmler is now in charge)

'What you reading?' Karl sat down next to Katharina. He looked at the spine of the book 'Ah, the race for Austria. It's an interesting book I found.' Katharina nodded slightly, lost in her paragraph. The book discussed the return of the Habsburgs to power, with Otto von Habsburg being crowned on the 9th October 1936. With Germany still stuck in their civil war, they were unable to look beyond their own borders. Whilst it was the ambition of many a German politician to unite with Austria as part of a Greater Germany. Katharina finished her paragraph then looked up at Karl. 'Yes, very interesting. Dr. Patricia Fitzsimmonds manages to highlight the complexity of the issue, whilst keeping the overall analysis quite simple.' Karl smiled as she spoke, nodding slightly. 'Yes, she's very good at explaining things. I managed to catch her lecture at the Humboldt Museum, it was brilliant. I really recommend it.' Karl looked at her piles of books. 'Anything good?' he asked, pointing at them. She shrugged, sighing. 'There is, but this essay is killing me! It's so vague a question and the word count!' Karl laughed in response. 'I know. Hence, I'm here to join you. I seriously need to knuckle down on this myself. I'll be back, see if I can find anything more' he wandered off as he spoke, leaving Katharina to continue her book.

upload_2020-3-19_22-39-12.png

Well, this is annoying...

3rd November 1936. We had won the war, but the country needed securing. Despite our best efforts, many still clung to Hitler's promises and beliefs. Many more, however, were glad of our victory. There were celebrations in the streets of the major cities, many going on for several days. During this time, the military leadership met several times. Whilst I was content to lead an interim government, I was too old and too set in my ways to be able to offer what was needed by the people of Germany. They needed a fresh perspective. We punished those that had pushed us to this, perhaps judging many too harshly. What began as a series of trials soon turned into summary execution, crowds baying for blood. Looking back on it now, it was almost frightening. I have fought in wars for my country, faced enemy soldiers, but those early days chilled me to my core. We all got caught up in it, I am ashamed to say. I do not doubt many of those deserved their punishment, but it haunts me to consider how many innocents may have gotten caught up in it all. Still, we must now look to the future. I write this looking out from the Kroll Opera House at the ruins of the Reichstag. Such a building should be restored, a symbol of our commitment to our people. I do not know my future, or the future of Germany, but I trust that the dark days are behind us. We must now build a time of peace. Katharina looked up as she finished the entry, looking out of the window. From the Library of the German Bundestag, she looked over the Spree at the Reichstagsgebäude, the glass dome reflecting the sun onto the river. These diaries were definitely something she would seek out on completion of her assignment. Still, the early research was complete. She read through her opening paragraphs, quickly chronicling the civil war and other significant global events. Yes, she thought to herself, a definite start to her work.

upload_2020-3-19_23-2-0.png

The end of the civil war.
 

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Smokez83

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If I knew what it meant i'd be impressed :) so your making a standard start I guess.
Yes, sorry! In my early days of reading AARs I noticed people listing what the game rules where at start, so I started to do it as well. A standard start, but without historical focuses and no ironman mode.

Nice. I'm looking forward to another one of your great AARs.
Will follow
Many thanks guys, glad to have you here! :)
 

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So who is in power now? the Paternal Autocrates or some slightly more democratic government?
 

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At the moment it is still August von Mackensen, who leads the German Military Junta. The next few focuses will then decide what form of government the state will take on.
 

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Good to get rid of that Hitler guy. He seemed fishy...
 
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stnylan

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With the Nazies defeated though which way will Germany turn?
 

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'The assignment clearly states how the events affected Germany. Why are you looking at the Spanish Civil war?' Karl was looking over Katharina's shoulder as he spoke. She looked up at him, turning her head slightly as she did so. 'Ernsthaft?! It was one of the defining moments, the actions that were carried out by other countries had knock on effects. Yes, ok, Germany at the time was busy recovering from their own civil war, but the Spanish Civil War had far reaching repercussions' Katharina explained, exasperated. Karl struggled to keep a straight face as she spoke, leaving her feeling foolish. He was obviously winding her up. She threw the book she was reading at him, earning a stern 'Stop!' from the librarian. Karl chuckled as he picked the book up, handing it to her. 'You're so pretty when you're mad!' She laughed then, putting the book to one side. 'Besides, it was side reading. I was getting bogged down in research and couldn't remember when the war actually be-' '17 November 1936' he didn't even miss a beat. She stared at him, amazed. Once again, he couldn't keep a straight face, soon breaking into laughter. 'I just read it over your shoulder!' He struggled to contain his laughter. The librarian glared in their direction once more, making them both chuckle as they returned to their research.

upload_2020-3-20_16-54-10.png

Such a surprising event!? :p

'See! I told you! Hitler's successor was Konrad Adenauer!' Karl excitedly pointed at the screen, his internet search of Germany's first Bundeskanzler post 1936 giving him the answer. Katharina sighed, forcing herself to smile. 'Yes, I know that. Everyone knows that! But, first off, Hitler's successor was Mackensen. He led the Military Junta that was the official government until the hand over of power from the military on 20th May 1937. And, additionally, you miss the fact that the reformed government was a constitutional monarchy, modeled on the Empire of Great Britain. Yes, Konrad was the first Bundeskanzler once free elections had been re-established, but Wilhelm III was the Kaiser. And that is what I said. So, you are actually wrong, and I will take my winnings now!' She picked up the cupcake that Karl had saved for his afternoon treat, savouring the taste and staring at him as she ate it. Karl was torn between admiration and annoyance. He was really looking forward to that cupcake...

upload_2020-3-20_17-55-56.png

Bundeskanzler Adenauer

As agent Wolf, I was sent to several locations. Though I had been recruited during the German Civil War, the policy of the Abwehr at the time meant I saw little action. No, I was recruited in preparation. When they sent me for the first time, I assumed it was the reward they told me. A trip to Lake Garda, what was I supposed to think? Of course, on my return, I was debriefed, I should have realised what was happening. It was the second 'holiday' that I had won that highlighted it to me. Same place. It wasn't until I met up with the same talkative Italian guy, Andrea Bianchi, that it really hit home to me. So I understand. I am more than willing to serve, but I ask, why the subterfuge? I am your employee!
Katharina read the passage, caught up in the tale. This Agent Wolf! What he must have seen! Even declassified information doesn't openly discuss what the Abwehr did at the time, but this passage hints that they were sent to Italy, presumably with the plan of building a network. However, she was unable to establish what it is that he did there, the transcript shown not offering any other information of his activities, merely serving as evidence that often the agents themselves were not aware of the tasks before them. An intriguing tale! She thought to herself.

upload_2020-3-20_18-18-30.png

'I'm sorry, you want me to go on holiday and meet people? Ok then!

Katharina sighed, throwing her current book to one side. Karl looked up on hearing the book hit the table. 'I see you fancy on really upsetting the librarian today' he said, trying to keep the tone light. It was clear that she was getting stressed and he didn't want to have her direct that stress his way. Still, she may as well have thrown knives at him... What was that British expression? Ah yes, stare daggers... He left his comment unspoken, putting down his own book. 'Eugh!' She sat heavily with the... well, noise, he supposed, that came from her. 'I don't understand it. Our lecturer said, time and again, that the re-organisation of the armed forces was an important stepping stone in the creation of the modern German state. Yet it doesn't seem to matter what book I read, nothing makes more than a passing reference to it. We know that the number of soliders in a division increased and, obviously, with that increase in numbers led to an increase in equipment. However, despite this being a well known event, there is no evidence of when it happened or, more importantly, why this happened!' Karl tilted his head slightly, pondering the question. 'An interesting point' he said, considering what she said. 'I recall...' he began typing on his laptop, doing a quick search. 'Ah, here it is! Dr. Kindenburg suggests that, despite a lack of evidence, a search of numbers of military personnel indicates that the reformation of the army was a show of demilitrisation without making any soldiers unemployed.... The Civil War... recruitment... loyalty to those that had served.... Here, I'll send you the link' he said, scanning through the article he had found. A short 'beep' indicated she had the email. 'Still, it is interesting that there is no official record of this. It is almost as though the government knew what was coming...' Katharina opened the E-Mail and clicked the link. At least Dr. Kindenburg had some answers...

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(Templates based on 20W.)

Naturally, the alliances that had formed between the various factions soon splintered. It was only natural, afterall. When the royalist, or Carlist faction if you will, realised that the Nationalisits were aiming more towards a fascist regime on par with with the NDSAP or Italy they were bound to react. Neither truly wanted a monarch to be interested in what they were doing. Even in Italy, by this stage, the king had become a figure head and little more. It was also evident that the various factions on the Republican side would not be able to maintian a semblance of order, particularly with regards to the Anarchist faction. The splinters that erupted between the various factions happened almost simultaneously, though we are unlikely to know what event truly gave them the clarity of vision that led to the events that followed. Deciding they had taken enough of their respective leadership, both the Carlists and the Anarchists decided to pull their support away from their respective factions. This event split Spain even further, the creation of an additional two fronts stretching the resources of all sides to the maximum. It was at this stage that the international support became the most important factor in the war, with many nations scrambling to ensure that their chosen faction would emerge the winner of this newly opened tournament. Katharina finished reading aloud, her smug expression never leaving her face. Karl shrugged when she had finished, adding to her anger. 'So what? Still this event has yet to affect Germany. Yes, we all know how the war ended. But the assignment is on Germany itself. At this stage the country had not long finished rebuilding' he stated. Katharina was annoyed. 'Can you seriously not see the connection!?' She almost shouted at him. Karl looked at her quizzically. 'I get that the Spanish Civil War was important, nobody is denying that. But is there really that much difference between the factions? Ok, so the Republicans and Nationalists both had splinter groups. The ending would have been the same, regardless.' He replied, shaking his head and attempting to return to his book. Katharina was shocked at his words. She opened and closed her mouth several times before she replied. 'You... You really don't get it, do you? This splitting of factions split the support. The end result was a direct result of this, it threw the various countries that had tried to gain some control over Spain into disarray!' Karl tilted his head the other way as he considered her point. 'I suppose you are right. But, be honest, nobody at the time could realise how important this really was. By this stage each country was still merely playing games...'

upload_2020-3-20_20-31-15.png

The split between the factions...

The mid-twentieth century saw a shift in focus. Whilst many could argue that there was much going on in the East during the Classical age, there can be no denying that the First World War saw a move in global politics away from Europe. For centuries, this continent had dominated and decided global policy. However, the war had ruined their economies, damaged reputations and left them begging for support, either openly or behind closed doors. Britain, for example, had put so much financially into maintaining their colonies, that many were left wondering the worth of it all. The economy of each country had been tied to global affairs. Even Germany, who was swift to recover from the Wall Street Crash and Great Depression that followed, was still tied into global affairs. It was little wonder, therefore, that questions were asked when Mexico decided to have their own civil war. The US in particular began a noticeably shift in resources. Whilst many historians can, and have, argued the importance of this war, the timing alone marks it as an important moment in the lead up towards the Second World War. With so many countries involved in the Spanish Civil War, either openly or secretly, this new front of a global ideological war opening up asked the question as to where each country was prepared to draw their own lines. Katharina read the passage again, almost stunned by what she was reading. She knew there had been a war in Mexico, but to suggest that Europe was not as important as it had always been...? She looked again at the title, The decline of European power 1800 - 1945, it provided an interesting look at things from a perspective outside of Europe. She was not surprised to see that the author was from Washington. As much as European authors tended to big up European events, the authors from the Americas tended to focus solely on what occurred in the west.

upload_2020-3-20_22-1-27.png

Will it really have an effect...? It remains to be seen...

Katharine looked up at Karl as she read the paragraph. 'Everybody knew that Germany would emerge as a major power. However, what was not expected by the current powers was that they would form their own alliance. Instead of yielding to Allies or taking their former place with the Axis powers, Germany chose to focus on Europe itself, with the creation of the Central European Alliance . This shift of power created an unexpected vacuum, leaving Italy as the more powerful Axis nation in Europe and Britain splitting their focus between the Allies and their own imperial concerns. How these events would be shaped by the Spanish Civil War remain to be seen.' Karl laughed at the end. ' I get it! I really do! The Spanish Civil War is important! You don't have to harp on about it. But, did it really, truly shape how Germany is today? Can you truly argue that the CEU would have evolved without the Spanish Civil War?' He asked. Katharina swore under her breath, slamming the book she had quoted from down onto her pile. 'Can you argue it would not have?' she asked, evoking the most famour argument of historians the world over... What if...?

upload_2020-3-20_23-47-15.png

Germany have forged an alliance. Where will this lead...?

Katharina shook her head. 'No, you are completely wrong!' Karl laughed in return. 'That is what it says! And I quote: despite British efforts, many of the newly released nations chose not to join this Commonwealth of Nations.' Says it right here!' Katharinia struggled not to shake her head. 'I am not debating the events of Aug 1938. I already agreed they happened, that is not the argument.. Yes, the decision by the former British Empire to decolonise weakened them. But the question is regarding Germany. And you cannot deny that this event affected what happened next...
upload_2020-3-21_0-8-23.png

These events alter the global dynamic
 

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MachopPower69

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A democratic Germany, a Habsburg Hungary, a cracking British Commonwealth, what next? Fascist France? A Yugoslavia-Croatia alliance? Communist Poland? Rebirth of the Portuguese empire?
 

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I am so tempted to make a game, with the game rules set so as to ensure civil war everywhere.
 

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That's some Kaiserreich worthy destabilization going on...
 

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Whilst most countries were focusing on the Spanish Civil War, Russia turned their eyes towards events in France. The Fourth International, held between the first and second of September, could be considered a great success for supporters of Trotsky, but it drew the ire of Stalin. Seeing his rivals star back on the rise, Stalin withdrew, his paranoia leading him to dark places. Stalin's actions destabilised much of the Soviet Union, leading many to ponder if another civil war was approaching. This relieved some of the pressure off of the Baltic states, notably Finland, Estonia and Latvia. Karl read the passage several times, shaking his head as he did so. 'Stalin. What that man did was truly appalling.' Katharina looked up briefly from her own book as he spoke, nodding in response before returning her attention back to her work.

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What will Stalin do next...?

'How important do you think it was for Austria to join the CEA?' Katharina asked Karl, looking up from several books she had spread out in front of her. 'I mean, Dr. Fitzsimmonds argues that the events that followed would never have happened had they remained out of things. She bases her argument on what happened to Czechoslovakia when they chose to remain neutral. She believes that the inclusion of Hungary was also important, noting the tensions between Germany and Hungary at the time were somewhat solved by their acceptance as well' she continued. Karl tilted his head to the side as he considered her question 'However, Liebermann states that things would have ended up the same for Austria. Neither Germany or Hungary were letting up the diplomatic pressure, trying to sway them to their respective sides. This is, to a point, backed up by Dr. May, though she argues that had it not been for their membership in the CEA, Austria would have ended up being swallowed by Hungary, either by force or, eventually, the diplomatic pressure.' Katharina continued. 'Well, the aim of this is to prove we are capable of putting forward our own opinions, so what do you think?' Karl asked her, unable to think of an answer that would solve her dilemma. Katharina slumped back, letting out a big sigh as she did so. She picked up one of the books and began to read.

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Will Germany win the race for Austria...?

Karl continued to read about the openings of the Russian Civil War. 'Hey, do you think the Russian Civil War had an impact on Germany's development?' He didn't even look up as he asked, continuing to read about Andrey Vlasov, who led the fight against the Soviets. 'I imagine it would. It could be argued that the German Civil War gave those that followed the inspiration to overthrow their own oppressors. Additionally, the events of that war helped to shape the future of the German army, as well as pushed leadership into looking at the state of the Kriegsmarine. The hulls for the first Type VII-B submarines were laid down shortly afterwards.' Katharina replied, looking up the model number. 'Knowing that any attempt to build up their surface fleet would draw unwanted attention from the British, the newly designed Type VII-B had improved engines and torpedo capabilities over the VII-A, apparently' she read off her screen. 'Of course, that's unlikely to be of much use to you regarding Russia' she looked over at Karl 'So yes. The main issue so far is that all these events connected to each other and determined what followed. There's just too much!'

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Well, that's new...

And so, on the 27th November 1938, the Austrian people had voted to unify with Germany, coming together as a Greater Germany. Many politicians would spend years afterwards claiming that the Austrian people had been duped, with claims that the ballot had been fixed, Germany had influenced the vote and even that there had been Italian interference (May, 2001). On the other side of the argument, many claimed that Hungary had attempted to stop the unification, threatening to leave the Central European Alliance with several key Hungarian politicians stating that war was not off the table in order to claim what they saw as their historical rights (Liebermann, 1954). Germany, however, had won the race for Austria and was able to placate the Hungarians with promise of support with regards to their other former territories. Realising that having Germany support them could make the difference, the Hungarians relented, for the most part at least. Katharina stopped typing, reading over what she had written. She was pleased with how she had managed to deal with the Unification, a subject that entire books had been written about.

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They said yes!

We were unable to land on the intended day. The Captain was able to wait and the weather had improved by the next morning. We disembarked from the submarine and came ashore to a deserted beach. We set up camp there, the five of us, without a fire to avoid detection, though keeping that decision was not easy with the cold January air blowing onto the shore. Our intelligence indicated that Wolf would be passing through this area as he was moved to a more secure location. We waited on that beach for three days before we heard the sound of the trucks. The commandos that were with me moved quickly and quietly into position. A small explosive device took the first truck out. We moved quickly then, not stopping to see if there were any survivors. Machine gun fire raked across the sides of the second truck, screams confirming that the targets had been hit. Whilst the commandos were keeping the guards busy, I rushed to the middle truck shouting 'Neider, neider!' as I pulled the flap back, shooting upwards. Wolf had hit the floor, using his legs to tackle several of the guards down. I jumped in the back and, between us, we managed to kill the four guards in there. I quickly unlocked his cuffs from his wrists, the chain falling to the bed of the truck that it had been bolted on, and we made our way out. The commandos were ensuring the other guards were all dead and we signaled to the submarine. By early evening we were back on board, the submarine heading back to port. The Italians had no idea what had hit them. Katharina lay her head on her pillow, putting the book down on her chest. She had taken the book, Moving in the Shadows: Activities of the Abwehr vol. 1 (1936 - 39) out of the library, her fascination with spies getting the better of her. It had been a good day of study, and she was looking forward to researching more tomorrow.

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Foolish wolf... he shouldn't have gotten captured!

'The opening movements of the war did not indicate what was to come.' On the screen, tanks rolled over the battlefield with soldiers running next to them. 'Italy moving against Yugoslavia was unexpected by most. Following their war with Ethiopia, Italy had gone quiet, seemingly content to look into their own affairs. The sudden attack forced the hands of many other countries in the region, pushing them into alliances.' The scene shifted, showing planes taking off from aircraft carriers and airfields, videos of bombing runs over Yugoslavian cities. The lessons of the Great War had been learned well, Italy prosecuting a hard hitting, fast moving attack in order to try and breach the Yugoslavian defence. They hadn't counted on Germany, however, who moved swiftly when the news reached them. Knowing they could not just declare war on Italy, they claimed that a delegation was already looking at Yugoslavian entrance into the Central European Alliance. Yugoslavia accepted very quickly, not even pausing to negotiate any terms, driven solely by a desire to survive. It was soon apparent that Germany had been looking to the South for quite some time, their armies moving swiftly into position.' Katharina paused the film, making notes on her pad. She sat on the sofa, feet tucked up under legs as she leaned on the arm of the chair. Once she had finished writing, she unpaused the video, the narrators voice continuing the story of the Italian - German war.

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It basically makes Italy free real estate...

It is important to remember that the Spanish Civil War was still ongoing at this stage, as was the Russian Civil War. The German - Italian war had pulled in all the Central European Alliance, which by this stage included Hungary, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Dutch East Indies, Sweden, Denmark, Yugoslavia and Romania. With much of Europe involved in fighting their own wars, or trying to manipulate one of the ongoing ones, the idea that fighting would spread elsewhere was not even considered. All of the former British colonies had opted to go completely alone, rejecting the offer to join the Commonwealth of Nations. Whilst this may have seemed a good idea at the time, each nation standing on their own, this also left them isolate. For some countries, this presented an opportunity to settle old scores. The world was shocked, then, when Pakistan declared on India, and the world moved closer to all-out war. Karl wrote some notes off of Emily Hunter's The march to a second world war. The Pakistan - Indian war broke out 15th February 1939.

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A local conflict? Or a new front in a rapidly developing situation?
 

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Smokez83

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A democratic Germany, a Habsburg Hungary, a cracking British Commonwealth, what next? Fascist France? A Yugoslavia-Croatia alliance? Communist Poland? Rebirth of the Portuguese empire?
Honestly, this is why I love this game and PDS games in general - you just don't know what will happen.

I am so tempted to make a game, with the game rules set so as to ensure civil war everywhere.
Chaos! Chaos everywhere! Of course, if you change the rules to ensure civil wars, you just know the game will make sure everyone get's along!

That's some Kaiserreich worthy destabilization going on...
Great mod! This has been the most unstable game I've played. Not sure if they have done some focus balancing work, but a few things that have never happened for me before.
 

stnylan

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Well now it remains most interesting.