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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Smokez83

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Further escalation of conflicts were bound to happen sooner or later. With war raging in Europe and India it came as little shock that other nations saw the chance to further their own ambitions. Japan had, for many years now, been aggressive in their tone towards other nations. Seeing the opportunity created by the growing chaos in the rest of the world they seized the chance, seeing Chinese disunity as a weakness to be exploited. As such, the world moved a step closer towards global war, the individual conflicts creating sparks that edged closer to the powder kegs. Katharina read the passage quickly. Karl held the book as she did. 'So, would you agree that the wars in Asia had an impact on Germany?' he asked. 'It's a tough call. What we do know is that the various conflicts emerging at this time were not directly connected. At the time that Japan declared war on Communist China, it was merely another war. Yes, this soon escalated as Japan declared war on the other Chinese factions. There are some scholars that argue there was no world war, but a series of localised conflicts, often aided by foreign powers. Many would call that a world war, however.' Katharina rubbed her chin as she answered 'It would not hurt to mention it. It certainly had an impact in terms of the Kriegsmarine at least, an argument being made by Admiral Lütjens that the German surface fleet would need as much investment as the submarine fleet had been getting...' She rummaged through books. 'Ah! Here! "It is with regret I look out at the once proud Hochseeflotte, the cruisers left to rust alongside, their crews moral low. This issue is compounded even further with the advent of the new unterseeboots, our underwater cousins seemingly receiving all the current funding. With the situation engulfing the world now, we will need to support these new vessels. As things stand, German interests outside of Europe are not being represented. This great, proud nation is marginalised and ignored. I therefore plead to the Reichstag that we invigorate the fleets. We have new technology, plans and designs that are left unused. Let us implement them. We stand ready for the reply" which he didn't have to wait long for.' She read the open letter to the Reichstag out loud. 'I don't understand, what does this have to do with Japan?' Karl asked. 'Well, that's easy. Germany followed Japan's example and looked at aircraft carriers. Though it would take some time before they came in, the Reichstag gave the Kriegsmarine approval to begin researching designs for them following Lütjens' letter.' Katharina returned to her own books. It was a tenuous link, at best, she reasoned, but sometimes that was all there was to it.

upload_2020-3-22_15-27-39.png
upload_2020-3-22_15-44-1.png

Took longer than normal...

The Soviet Union had clearly not expected the impending war. It highlighted the leadership issues suffered by the regime, nobody wanting to commit without first getting Stalin's leadership. Eventually, it was sheer manpower that won the war. Stalin was content to throw men at the problem and many, despite the harsh lifestyles they had led under the Soviet regime, were more than willing to die for the Motherland. Though the military leaders that led the rebellion had some early successes, they soon suffered from their losses, falling back bit by bit. Eventually Stalin managed to win the war, though many authors from Russia had praised the bravery of the rebels, though they were careful not to do it in Stalin's lifetime. Ultimately, instead of removing Stalin from power, the war had the effect of solidifying his hold over Russia. 'Here' Katharina passed Mikhail Zemskov's History of the Soviet Union to Karl. 'It talks about the end of the Russian Civil War and the events that followed. There's likely to be something there that can help.' Karl looked up, nodding in thanks, before returning back to the book he was engrossed in.

upload_2020-3-22_16-5-17.png

Took the Soviet Union longer than I expected.

At the war's end, Mohandas Singh said 'It is with great pleasure we announce the end of this war. India and Pakistan have always been strong neighbours and it is clear that misunderstandings in the past have harmed both great nations.' as he stood next to his Pakistani counterpart. It was clear form the recordings of the press conference following that there was still tension between them, the handshakes and smiles forced. The 'misunderstandings' that they each referred to were historical claims. Both sides had fought hard and both sides made little ground. It was not an understanding that had brought them to the table, but a lack of supplies. Pakistan had hoped to emulate the lighting warfare that was becoming more common in the European wars and instead found themselves bogged down in trench warfare similar to the First World War. That this war was rapidly descending into a war of attrition was the biggest factor in getting both sides to agree to a peace. Katharina looked at her notes. She tore the page, crumpling it before throwing it at her bin. They were good notes, but the essay was supposed to be about Germany. She looked at the blank page in front of her, sighing. She began to write once more; The war with Italy was going well. In terms of the global conflict, a surprise end to the Pakistan - India war...

upload_2020-3-22_16-46-52.png

Well, that was anti-climatic...

Following victory in their own civil war, the Soviets were free to shift their focus towards expanding their influence. Pushing vast resources into the Republican forces, they were not only able to influence their victory but, in addition, exert some control over the new Spanish government. Many have attributed this to the lack of interest shown by the US following their neutrality. How this would affect European relations would remain to be seen, but by this point Germany in particular was once again speaking out against the communist threat. Still embroiled in their war in Italy, however, there was little they could do to influence things. Katharina grabbed a post-it note, placing it on the page she was reading of Monica Patrova's Spanish Civil War and the rise of communism. It was truly at this point that many believed changed the dynamic in Europe. Katharina picked up her notepad and began to write some notes. She knew Germany had felt threatened, with communists to the East and West and only Poland and France, respectively, as a buffer. She cross referenced with Antonio Valerairo who had written When the Spanish Civil War ended, further indications of German imperialist dreams manifested. Not content with their attempts to annex Italy, then saw the rise of communism as an opportunity to once again poke the Russian bear, looking to force the Soviets into being the aggressors in a war that only Germany wanted. A different perspective, she supposed, and it was unlikely the Italian would be kind in his words towards Germany.

upload_2020-3-22_18-9-56.png

The long war in Spain is over.

'Hey, check this' Karl read aloud from his book 'There was a great deal of dissatisfaction within the Indian population. Not content with the reasons given why the war with Pakistan had to end, the people of India became split over the future of their country. Mohandas Singh struggled to maintain control over the country until, inevitably, another war broke out. Communist forces calling themselves the People's Republic of India surged from the South of the country. Once again, Germany was very vocal in their condemnation of the Soviet influence in this war, though many nations merely turned a blind eye' He finished reading, looking up at Katharina. 'I didn't realise the Soviets had so much influence over the Indian wars! The author even credits Soviet influence as to be the true cause of the earlier war with Pakistan.' Katharina stood, stretching as she did so. 'It's a good point' she replied 'though I doubt there's much evidence. My eyes are starting to blur. Shall we grab lunch? Bearing in mind we have class in-' she looked at her watch 'an hour' Karl nodded and helped her gather the books.

upload_2020-3-22_18-53-4.png

Yeah, that won't get confusing...

'I just don't understand it.' Katharina said to the lecturer. 'You say in one breath that Germany was looking at liberating the Italian people from the horrors of a fascist regime, similar to how they themselves had recently managed. Yet the terms of the peace conference were terrible! The German government took most of Italy, leaving the new democratic government as a puppet state under German control. France either took the Italian overseas territories or released them as puppet states. So how were the Italian people liberated?' The lecturer smiled before speaking. 'Yes, it is a slightly more complex issue than it is portrayed. Many believe that the subjugation of Italy was the first step of German imperial policy, but others argue that, in order to tackle the growing threat of communism, Italian resources were required and, by creating a puppet state out of what remained, they limited their future threat.' Katharina was making notes as the lecturer spoke. 'But what of the evidence at the time?' She asked. The lecturer leaned on their desk as they considered the question. 'I suppose that depends on who you wish to believe. Many Germans at the time spoke of friendship, of unifying against the Soviet threat. However, many Italians saw Germany's actions as occupation, that they had swapped one dictator for another.' She waited till Katharina had finished writing before looking around the rest of the class. 'Are there any other questions?'

upload_2020-3-22_19-42-40.png

Our Italian friends
 

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stnylan

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Ah Katharina is getting a lesson on "liberation" as opposed to liberation.
 

Smokez83

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Are you planning on forming the European Union?
I might do, but I suspect that it won't be possible. As far as I'm aware there is no current peaceful way of forming the EU, only through conquest and I'm allied with Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. But, never say never...

Ah Katharina is getting a lesson on "liberation" as opposed to liberation.
:eek: Are you suggesting that Germany does not have the best interests of their new Italian citizens at heart? We have clearly liberated the Italians. Whether they wanted it or not is not the point...
 

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Did you actually "liberate" south Italy and north Italy, leaving central Italy a puppet? Teh borderz...:eek:
 

Smokez83

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Did you actually "liberate" south Italy and north Italy, leaving central Italy a puppet? Teh borderz...:eek:
I know... To my shame, I did. But if I didn't puppet them at that point, then France would have done and I'd have lost the chance to put them under my benevolent guidance...
 

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At least the north Italians has the benefits from the Holy Roman Empire again!
 

Smokez83

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The Indian Civil War ended nearly as suddenly as it had begun. With the border with Pakistan secured, for now, the Indian army was able to swing round and swiftly, mercilessly, crushed the rebels in the south. Whilst there is little direct evidence, many at the time pointed towards the Soviet Union as the cause of this revolution. The Republican forces were clearly expecting support from somewhere which never came. If this was from the Soviets, the sudden revolt of more Soviet officers against Stalin's rule could offer an explanation as to why this rebels were left to defend for themselves. Poorly equipped and with little to no training, it was no surprise that the Indian military was so quick in putting down this revolt. The civil war in the Soviet Union also allowed Germany some breathing space at this time. having finished their war with Italy, Germany took the time to modernise and rebuild her forces, whilst also building up her submarine forces. Moving most of her forces back into her core territory, Germany left only small units behind to aid in the integration of the new provinces. They also looked at their new ally, Italy, and how best to integrate them closer into the Central European Alliance. Katharina read the passage through several times. Carlos Sidnare's book, European History, offered some examination of the the brief peace, however, she found herself frustrated by the lack of evidence of the actual politics of the time. Some historians had suggested that many politicians around the world did not want to leave any physical evidence that could be used by future generations to condemn their actions. Whatever the reason, it had led to many speculations, Carlos' being one of the few balanced views that she had found so far.

1590916839011.png

It appears Stalin is really not a popular leader... Who knew!?

One piece of evidence of German Imperialism at this time can be seen with the way they dealt with their allies. Germany had opted to further integrate Hungary and Romania, effectively creating puppet states out of them. Whilst they had done this, they quietly annexed what remained of Italy, bringing them into a 'Greater Germany'. Many use this to argue that the Germans had this in their mind from the start, expanding their territory under the pretence of securing democratic rule. To other countries, Germany made the impression that the Italians had invited them to take full control, though evidence of any such statement is noticeably lacking. However, this decision appears to have not upset Romania and Hungary, who both accepted their new role within the alliance willingly. It is of little doubt that, at this stage, Germany was eyeing their territories for themselves. Katharina threw the book down. Gianna Esposito was scathing in her condemnation of Germany. She picked the book back up again, making some notes. It was history. Everyone knew that the Italians were suffering and Germany had the economic power to build them up. That was why they were invited to take full control. That it happened at the same time as German-Hungarian-Romanian relationships grew closer was merely coincidental. It spoke more of Germany's democratic nature that they took no action without others first agreeing. Still... She took a deep breath. She was an historian. She was dispassionate. She began to write... Gianna Esposito raises some interesting points regarding German activities as this time. The lack of evidence could certainly be used by nationalistic elements to condemn German actions, however, the evidence is clear in the way they treated Hungary and Romania...

1590919488943.png

More allies wanting German 'help'

Karl looked up from his book, rubbing his neck as he did so. He felt stiff, having been sat there for over an hour reading. 'There is little within the actual Soviet rebellion that is likely to help us. Once again, Stalin crushed it quickly.' Katharina looked up from her own book. 'Yes, that is what I am finding as well. It appears that the breathing space wasn't enough for Germany. They took no action immediately, it seems. Of course, they had their new territory to integrate properly. There is also the issues with France and Poland at this time that must be considered.' Karl nodded, making notes from a different book as she spoke. 'Yes. Also it appears that there was pushes once more for more build up of the Kriegsmarine. With the Italian integration, the Mediterranean was now open and many felt that this needed exploiting. Talks of a third carrier, more battleships... The usual. Listen: "Calls in the Reichstag were fierce. However, many felt that Germany was not ready at this stage. It was proposed that this argument should be looked at once more in a years time." So this is where we can see the start of the creation of the Mittelmeerflotte.' Katharina made a quick note. 'Yes. That could come up later, when we look at the naval supremacy elements' she replied. She went back to her book, Karoly Orsi's Hungarian and Romanian Integration, 1939 - 1940. It offered a more balanced view as to how Hungary and Romania became integral parts of Germany.

1590920389199.png

So, he may not be popular, but he sure knows how to crush rebellions!

'Freedom? We have not! Liberty? We know not! Equality? We see not! How much longer must France Suffer under the rule of elites? Their wars, their needs, their demands! Did our ancestors not fight against such rule? Did they not die so that we may all be free? Why then, do we swap one ruler, one king, for many? All that has changed is the number of masters that hold their yokes over our heads! I walk, yes comrades, walk through the fields surrounding Paris. I see those of greater means than me riding in their motor vehicles. Speeding past me, blowing dust into my face! And I weep. Not from the dust stinging my eyes. But from what I see when I turn from the road to those fields. I see labourers. I see peasants. I see serfs. I see good people of France toiling in fields so that their masters may benefit from their efforts! Whilst those same masters sit and drink and eat, all in excess, all off the backs of good Frenchmen! Freedom? If we want it, we take it! Liberty? We demand it! Equality? We will make it!' Katharina watched rewound the video. It was a speech by Nicolas Vienue, a French communist who helped ignite the fury in the workers hearts before the revolution. It was certainly stirring stuff! She made some notes. It was clear, even without knowing the history, that Germany would not tolerate a communist influence so close to their borders.

1590921596210.png

Well, looks like we go west before we look east...

(I would like to take the opportunity to apologise for this taking so long. Unfortunately, work has been very busy lately, as well as finishing off the first year of my MA. However, I hope that I will be able to get back to regular postings. I thank you all for reading and hope you keep enjoying this series)
 

stnylan

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No apology needed.

So kind to offer Hungary your "helping hand" :D
 
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Nikolai

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No worries. Write at the pace you can. :)
 
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guillec87

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subbed!
 
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Smokez83

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'As the armies march through Budapest, there is cheering from the crowd. The population have come out in droves to celebrate this union. The Austro-Hungarian Empire may be no more, but the unification of Hungary and Romania with Germany has led to a stronger, more powerful empire than any previously seen in the region. With the growing threats of communism to the East and West, the central states find themselves trapped. Only together can they stave off the threats. Truly there are dark times ahead. Yet, throughout this, Germany stays strong, a lit torch in a darkening world.' Katharina made some notes on the news reel. You could see the cheering crowds, but there was no noise of them. It was clear, however, that the population were happy with the integration with Germany. It offered an interesting counter-point to Italy that still suffered from unrest at this time. She made a note to get in the comparisons between the willingly integrated states and those that had become parts of Germany through conquest.

1592036240983.png

A bastion against Communism!

It was the same old argument Katharina wrote, the clicking as she typed the only noise in the otherwise empty library. Each time Germany or France grew in power, the other would attempt to move to strike them back down. In this instance, with France having turned to communism, it becomes unclear who exactly made the first move. Whilst France certainly were the formal aggressor, making claims towards the Rhineland, German speeches against the evils of communism did not help to calm the situation. It was never a question of if war would come, but only a matter of when. Both sides armed and trained as they prepared to take their ideological differences to the ultimate forum - the battlefield. She leaned back in her chair, reading over the paragraph. She sighed as she did so. It was difficult, sometimes, to be balanced. France made the first move, claiming territory that was German by rights, but she could not just outright state that. Germany had made inflammatory speeches that had them condemned in France, the Soviet Union, even Poland and the USA were distancing themselves from Germany and getting closer relations to the Soviets. Still, France did make the first move...

1592039554481.png

So, war becomes inevitable, it appears...

And so it was, despite Polish misgivings regarding German actions, when the Soviet Union declared war on them, they went running to the only power that could save them. Weakened by the series of civil wars that had plagued the Union, they were no less a powerful foe to face. Germany would be hard pressed to combat them, even with their allies, especially with France threatening them in the West. Despite this, they realised the threat that having the Soviets on their doorstep posed and they agreed to aid Poland. This was how Poland joined the Central European Alliance, a desperate gamble in defending their homeland against the Red Menace sweeping in from the East... Dr. Jarosław Kowalski's book on Polish diplomacy 1918 - 1945 was certainly a dull read in parts, but this passage contained some interest. Much of the book was a series of diplomatic communiques and attempts to find some pattern in their actions. It appeared that Poland had been trying to play both sides, cosying up to Germany and the Soviets in an attempt to avoid war. Katharina made a quick note regarding this failure. Of course, she mused to herself, this would not be the only role Poland would have to play in the events to follow...

1592042587372.png

Well, that was unexpected!


'We will not be bullied by our neighbours in to adopting their twisted and misguided visions! They say they seek equality, but all that can be seen is a different foot on the boot that pushes down on the necks of the workers! There is no equality in those countries! The ideology they throw out is the same twisted rubbish which we fought to free ourselves from! Those that claim they fight for a more equal future ignore the plight of the common man! If they want equality, where are their votes? Where is the representation? Why is it, in their equal society, that no man may better himself, but instead is forced to labour, supposedly for the good of all, whilst those in charge style themselves as kings or princes? Oh, they may have taken a different title, but the end effect is the same! One man, placed above all others, able to do as he pleases when he pleases! There is no equality there! France has demanded that we submit the Rhineland to them, to "free" our workers from our tyranny! I say no! We will not subject our people to that plight and instead we shall fight to keep them free! We shall show the world that liberty and freedom is found in our democratic society!' Katharina watched, inspired. The teacher paused the tape as she turned back to the class. 'We can see, then, that Germany had been given an ultimatum. It is often believed, incorrectly, that France attacked, trying to catch the Western Divisions by surprise. However, the slow build up to this war involved much posturing by both sides. France certainly must have believed that Germany was weakened with the war in Russia, that their Western front would be poorly defended, but that was not the case. Erwin Rommel, hero of the Italian Campaign, was there with his Panzer divisions. Of course, this is just the beginning of the war.' Katharina made some notes to research further the opening salvos of the German-French War.

(I didn't get the screenshot, but the gist was the French joined Comintern and joined the war)

Karl looked up from his book. 'Hey, listen to this, this guy writes history like it's a novel!' he said, his tone amused. 'A series of tough skirmishes opened up what led to be a long and grueling war, for both sides. With France joining the Soviets and entering the war to attack the German West, many believed that Germany would be the one to lay in ruins. However, swift attacks using armoured units and mobile infantry led the Germans to victory, though losses were heavy. France could not keep up with the German advance and it was not long before several divisions were encircled and forced to surrender, though some decided instead to go down fighting. The Germans kept up this swift attack, pushing deep into France, taking Paris before the year was out. The French government, shocked by the way the war was going, a war they thought would be easy, soon threw in the towel and capitulated to the Germans. One of the Soviets allies now out of the war, the path was open for Germany to march on and take out another Soviet ally, Spain...' he stopped reading and looked at Katharina. 'I don't see it as a novelisation of the subject. It is clear he's trying to make it entertaining though' she replied. Karl laughed at this, 'Seriously?' he asked, regaining his composure 'This sort of passage would make for the opening lines of several science fiction novels I've read!' Katharina chuckled at him turning back to her books 'Maybe if you read more history and less science fiction, you would be further along in your research...' Karl grinned at this and went back to his own pile of books. I'm doing fine, he thought to himself, reading about the German advances in to Communist Spain.

1592045867087.png

That was a lot of micromanagement! But we got there in the end!


Katharina rolled her neck, feeling the stiffness there. She pushed back from the desk slightly, picking the book up as she did so. Balancing the chair on 2 legs, she stretched out her own legs before putting the chair back on all four, careful not to let it bang down. She read the passage in front of her, a summary of the war in Spain: The proof of the ineffectiveness of communism can be found in many places, but it is shown best in Spain. Despite the years between the Spanish Civil War and the Soviet-German War, the Spanish armed forces remained little more than a marginally well equipped police force. Rommel himself remarks at the ease with which his divisions rolled through Spain. In places, it appeared that there was little to no resistance at all. Whilst it is not well recorded as to why this is, there are several theories. The swaying of the military was a major part of the Spanish Civil War. Therefore, when the communist faction won, they feared a strong, organised military could attempt to seize power for themselves. A series of budget cuts and slashing the manpower made certain that threat would never materialise. It seems as though Spain also looked towards the Russian Civil Wars and decided that the Generals also posed a threat. This led to several assassinations and the discrediting of key Generals, placing their own puppets in place. Unfortunately for Spain, whilst these puppets may have been loyal to the new regime, they were not military leaders. Conflicting orders and indecisiveness crippled the Spanish defence against a strong, unified German force. And, thus, with Spain's capitulation, the war in the West of Europe was pretty much over. Rommel turned his tanks around and began the long journey to join the Eastern Front... Katharina used several post-it notes to highlight some key points in the passage. She was expecting the Spanish Front to hold a similar tale to that of the French, with them being so close. Is it worth including this, she thought to herself, before making a note of the reference. It was all relevant. Looking at her notes she had to agree. Sometimes, however, there is too much that is relevant!

1592047636615.png

Well, that was disappointing! Rolled through Spain in a couple of months!
 

stnylan

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You get yourself worked up and all it turns out to be a damp squib. Very frustrating.
 
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Nikolai

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Ah, but an easy war is a win in every way! Less manpower and resources lost. Less heartbroken mothers and wives.
 
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Smokez83

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There is nothing like the feeling of being at sea, at night. The way the sea breeze lightly blows your hair, the stars twinkling. And such stars! With the increase in electric lighting, the cities now wash out the stars. But at sea... Well, those stars are both guide and friend, showing us the way and keeping us company. Never have I felt so small than when looking up at the stars at night. The Prinz Eugen is sailing into the Mediterranean as we speak, part of the Hochseeflotte. The French Commune are causing problems there. Despite their government surrendering, their navy wishes to continue the fight. Never mind their limited resources. So we are going, a show of power, to crush them once and for all. The Mediterranean is no longer, England's pond to play in. It is German now. And no French, Spanish or Russian fleets will challenge us there. As I write this, sat on the aft end of the ship, I look around me and spy the running lights of the other ships in the fleet. The Graf Zeppelin, Germany's first aircraft carrier, is central, with the rest of the fleet spread around her, the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau to either side. But it is ourselves, the Prinz Eugen, that leads. To serve on such a ship, the Pride of the Fleet, is truly an experience. Gunfire echoes in the distance. Is it the enemy? Or one of our own conducting night exercises? I look around, but I cannot see the flash. I must go on watch soon, back up to the bridge. The enemy is ever closer, and we need to be ready. Katharina put the book to one side, letting out a soft sigh. The diary of Karlotto Flindt, Oberleutnant zur See at this time, was well written and had an almost romantic air about it. The passages she was looking at covered the Mediterranean front in the German-Soviet war, when the French fleet began attacking German shipping in the area. Admiral Günther Lütjens commanded the fleet that was tasked with the complete eradication of all opposing forces in the region. Apart from clearing the Mediterranean and making it safe for German convoys and merchant shipping, it was also designed as a show of German strength, a warning to Britain to stay out of the German sphere of influence. She made some notes on the writing pad next to her before picking up the book again. The next passage was a write up of the first battle Karlotto had fought in...

1593942963033.png

The Hochseeflotte moves into the Med.

The sudden awakening of Japan in the East surprised many people. They had seemed content to watch as the rest of the world went about destroying each other, perhaps waiting for their enemies to weaken sufficiently. It may well be that this was the case, that Japan looked to the West and saw the opportunity they were waiting for. The Soviets seemed more surprised than anyone. Hard pressed as they were, being pushed back on their Western Front, they must have believed their Eastern Front was secured by their allies there. Japan quickly corrected that notion, declaring war on the Soviets and then, shortly afterwards, accepting an alliance offer from the Germans. Some have put forward the theory that this was Germany's plan, offers and deals being made to draw the powerful Empire into the war, splitting Soviet forces. Others argue it was an alliance of convenience, the enemy of my enemy etc. It is doubtful we will ever know. Any documents that may indicate how long negotiations between Japan and Germany were going on for are missing, if they even existed in the first place. What is clear, however, is that this alliance spelled the end of the Soviet Union. Karl quickly copied the important points there. 'What do you think, regarding the alliance between Germany and Japan?' he asked Katharina. She looked up from her book and tilted her head as she pondered the question. 'There can be no doubt it was effective. Japan had designs on that region, they always did. But was it part of a German plan to draw the Japanese into the war, ending it quicker? I don't think so. The war was going well as it was, the Soviets being rolled back and Germany advanced quickly enough. All this meant was another nation looking for gains at the table at the end. And Germany wanted the resources. Of course, there is also the aftermath of the war to consider.' She replied, making some notes from her book as she spoke. She turned to her laptop and began typing. Karl nodded as she spoke. Yes, he thought to himself, the aftermath of the war was definitely something that needed considering when discussing this alliance.

1593944710215.png

The enemy of my enemy...

The war was over. It had been long and bloody, for all sides, but Germany emerged not only victorious, but also the strongest of the nations that fought in the war. As a result, they were able to dictate the terms of the surrender, taking the largest chunks of territory. The German Republic now stretched all the way across the old Soviet territories. Japan had been successfully sidelined in the negotiations, making do with only one additional territory. The Japanese Emperor stopped just shy of openly criticising the German treatment of their allies. Poland, likewise, did not gain much territorial gains, though Belgium managed to get hold of some of the overseas territories that had belonged to the old empires. Germany was please, the new resources being put straight to good use. However, the resistance to German occupation would prove to be problematic and one that Germany would have to turn to quickly in order to solve it. Higher numbers of military police began to show up on the streets of occupied territories. Germany was preaching freedom and democracy, yet many criticised them of building their own, European empire. Britain, in particular, looked to the South with concern, concentrating on their navy, ready to use the Channel to aid in their defence once more. Germany, however, was preoccupied with the fallout of the German-Soviet War. The network of alliances that had weaved their way through the conflict resulted in some battles still ongoing. The main leadership was defeated, but now Japan and China were engaged against each other, dragging in elements of their own respective alliances. Though the main belligerents in this war were both focused on the control of the East, Germany, perhaps to keep the Japanese happy following their lack of gains in the recent peace treaty, sent their military might against the combined Chinese forces. Dr. Alexandra Mezinsky, Polish scholar, had a critical view of German activity following the end of the German-Soviet War, Katharina noticed. It is true, the Japanese and Polish did not get out of the war as much as they desired, but Germany had done the bulk of the fighting! If Germany had not gotten involved, Poland would have been overrun! Katharina paused in her own writing. She took a deep breath, ripped up her page and started afresh. 'It will not do to get angry and patriotic. People have different opinions. Read the evidence, analyse it and draw conclusions, dispassionately' she muttered to herself. Yes, she thought, Germany had been unfair in how they dealt with their allies in this instance. But, what if those were the terms on which Germany entered the war in the first place?

1593948341266.png

The main war is over. Now to sort the Eastern problems...

Katharina shifted in her seat. The lecturer looked out across the class as she read from the book she held in her hands: 'And so the resulting war was short. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Chinese factions had lost their greatest ally and supporter. Japan pushed in from the East and Germany, their forces now freed, pushed from the North and West. The Chinese factions were caught in a vice, one that was quickly squeezed, as the allies used their momentum, moving as quick as lightning, in a blitzkrieg fashion. German tanks rolled through the Chinese countryside, their troops following behind, securing the objectives. Japanese planes bombed enemy positions, radioing in the location of the forces so they could be mopped up by the advancing ground units.' She looked about the class, putting the book down on her desk. 'The combined allied forces of Imperial Japan and Germany quickly swept aside the Chinese forces. Germany, it seems, wanted to end this war quickly. Internal matters required their attention and they needed to set up governing their new territories.' As she spoke, Katharina made some brief notes. 'If we compare the end of this war to the end of the German-Soviet war, we can see a counter-argument to what several have claimed regarding the treatment of German allies.' Katharina paused in her writing, looking up. Yes, she thought to herself, this could be the other side of any secret German-Japanese deals. Japan helps Germany gain access to the supplies in Russia and, in return, Germany makes very few claims on Chinese territories. 'However, it is interesting to note that, for the first time, Japan and Germany now had shared borders. The two allies had worked well together, so far, and German interests lay in Europe. With Communism in Europe now defeated, the world looked towards the ever-powerful Germany and what they would do next...'

1593951895773.png

Well, that did not take long at all!
 

stnylan

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A very swift conclusion to Eastern matters - but I do wonder if they aren't uneasy bedfellows.
 

Nikolai

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Quite some powerful enemies laid low...
 

Smokez83

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The teacher paused in her pacing. 'So, the fact is we are unlikely to know what compelled Poland to act this way. One moment they are friends with Germany, then they start making moves towards war. Germany was weakened, it is true. The war with the Communists had drained much of their resources. However, they had not yet demobilised, their forces were still making their way back from the East. Poland must have known this was not in their best interests. We will likely never know why their government chose this course, but they whipped the Polish people into an anti-German frenzy. Many at this time believed that Germany would not be happy with their current holdings. Perhaps Poland believed that they would get some strong allies from somewhere. There are as many theories as their are those who write on the subject. Germany, of course, professed they only wished for peace, yet they moved their armies to surround Poland all the same.' Katharina made notes as the teacher talked. It did seem crazy, though she had started to understand a few things now. Perhaps Poland was right. Maybe Germany was setting themselves up as an Empire...

1596821967021.png

So, Poland wish to challenge themselves...

Polish aggression continued, baffling the Germans. They had arranged their forces along the Polish border, expecting them to back down, yet all it seemed to do was increase their anti-German rhetoric. Germany had drawn up plans for the invasion of Poland, and had made public that they were prepared to defend themselves if needs be, yet still Poland continued on their course. Katharina finished the page. She stood up, placing the book down and pinched at her nose between thumb and forefinger. She looked out over the city, the lights starting to come on. She rolled her shoulders back as she did so, before turning back to the pile of books on her desk. Her small room was covered in notes and books as she worked on her project. She returned to her seat and looked at her notes. Sighing, she picked the book up again, reading further about Polish aggression.

1596823274693.png

It seems Poland is clear about their course... Wonder why they think they can take on the might of Germany?
 

stnylan

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Poland is certainly getting somewhat cocky