dinofs

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Austria, as expected, is stronger than all the others put together. Still, I think that Poland, Greece, and Germany should be more than a match for Russia, since Austria can beat Italy and France, and still have enough men to send a few to help out against Russia if necessary. The real problem is GB. If they come in, the fighting might get uncomfortable.
 

Tommy4ever

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... Order of Battle Continued

Entente
Members: France, Russia, Italy and Ruthenia
Strength: 9,700,000
- Regulars: 5,880,000
- Reservists: 3,426,000
- Cavalry: 394,000

Italy
Strength: 1,500,000 (3 Armies)
- Regulars: 800,000
- Reservists: 670,000
- Cavalry: 30,000

17 - Esercito della liberazione italiana – (1st and 2nd Armies)
Strength: 1,000,000
- Regulars: 600,000
- Reservists: 380,000
- Cavalry: 20,000

18 – Esercito di riserva (3rd Army)
Strength: 500,000
- Regulars: 200,000
- Reservists: 290,000
- Cavalry: 10,000

France
Strength: 3,500,000 (7 Armies)
- Regulars: 2,300,000
- Reservists: 1,160,000
- Cavalry: 40,000

19 – Armée du Nord (1st and 2nd Armies)
Strength: 1,000,000
- Regulars: 700,000
- Reservists: 280,000
- Cavalry: 20,000

20 – Armée du Centre (3rd and 4th Armies)
Strength: 1,000,000
- Regulars: 700,000
- Reservists: 280,000
- Cavalry: 20,000

21 – Armée des Sud (5th and 6th Armies)
Strength: 1,000,000
- Regulars: 700,000
- Reservists: 300,000
- Cavalry: 0

22 – 7th Armée
Strength: 500,000
- Regulars: 200,000
- Reservists: 300,000
- Cavalry: 0

Russia
Strength: 4,600,000 (9 Armies)
- Regulars: 2,700,000
- Reservists: 1,580,000
- Cavalry: 320,000

23 – Baltic Front (1st Army)
Strength: 500,000
- Regulars: 300,000
- Reservists: 150,000
- Cavalry: 50,000

24 – Northern Front (2nd and 3rd Armies)
Strength: 1,000,000
- Regulars: 600,000
- Reservists: 350,000
- Cavalry: 50,000

25 – Byelorussian Front (4th, 5th, 6th and 7th Armies)
Strength: 2,000,000
- Regulars: 1,200,000
- Reservists: 650,000
- Cavalry: 150,000

26 – Caucasian Front (8th Army)
Strength: 600,000
- Regulars: 400,000
- Reservists: 150,000
- Cavalry: 50,000

27 – Reserve Army (9th Army)
Strength: 500,000
- Regulars: 200,000
- Reservists: 280,000
- Cavalry: 20,000

Ruthenia
Strength: 100,000 (1 Army)
- Regulars: 80,000
- Reservists: 16,000
- Cavalry: 4,000

28 – Ruthenian Army
Strength: 100,000
- Regulars: 80,000
- Reservists: 16,000
- Cavalry: 4,000

Countries Aiming to Join the Entente ASAP: Britain and Scandinavia
Strength: 550,000
- Regulars: 470,000
- Reservists: 50,000
- Cavalry: 30,000

Great Britain
Strength: 300,000
- Regulars: 275,000
- Reservists: 0
- Cavalry: 25,000

British Expeditionary Force
Strength: 200,000
- Regulars: 180,000
- Reservists: 0
- Cavalry: 20,000

Territorial Army
Strength: 100,000
- Regulars: 95,000
- Reservists:
- Cavalry: 5,000

Scandinavia
Strength: 250,000
- Regulars: 195,000
- Reservists: 50,000
- Cavalry: 5,000

Royal Nordic Army
Strength: 200,000
- Regulars: 195,000
- Reservists: 0
- Cavalry: 5,000

Scandinavian Reservists
Strength: 50,000
- Regulars: 0
- Reservists: 50,000
- Cavalry: 0
 

zagoroth

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You cannot win a land war in Russia, and their presence in the Entente is troubling.

In fact, I would go so far to say that any military alliance that includes Russia has the upper hand (as they have a high population plus Russian Winter).

The Germanic nations loose ground in WWI and fight to regain it in WW2? (hopeful). ;)
 

dinofs

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You cannot win a land war in Russia, and their presence in the Entente is troubling.

In fact, I would go so far to say that any military alliance that includes Russia has the upper hand (as they have a high population plus Russian Winter).

The Germanic nations loose ground in WWI and fight to regain it in WW2? (hopeful). ;)

Nah, as long as the Quadruple Alliance can hold them off until the other nations have been finished off, they don't need to invade.
 

zagoroth

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Leaving Russia alone would result in Greece getting their whole bodies handed to them, at least their Black Sea colonies.
 

Tommy4ever

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August 1912 – January 1913

map117.png


The Great War opened with several bold, perhaps foolhardy, moves. The Quadruple Alliance had pinned most of its hopes of victory upon The Austrian offensive through Wallonia towards Paris – it was hoped this would knock the mighty French Army out of the war, allowing Austria to shift its entire focus Eastward towards Russia. The Entente meanwhile pinned their hopes upon a general Russian offensive and an Italian invasion of Lombardy removing pressure upon France.

The Western Front

map118.png


The Battle on the Western Front was not nearly as decisive as Austrian commanders had hoped. Despite major victories in August the Austrian were beaten back from their advance on Paris in September at the Battle of Noyon. Through October and November the Austrians then launched another offensive and at great cost took control of the key French cities of Lille (the second largest industrial concentration in France), Dunkirk (the base of the French Channel Fleet) and Calais (the main ferry route between Britain and France).

BattlesofWallonia.jpg


For an army that planned to receive a large scale attack from a more powerful foe the French army seemed totally unprepared for the Austrian attack in August 1914. Under the seemingly incompetent command of General Faidherbe the French army was a shambles. The Armee du Nord included 1,000,000 men and was faced with the Heeresgruppe Nord who had twice that number. Yet what should have been a hard battle for the Austrians turned into an utter rout. After facing a significant defeat in the centre of his Front Faidherbe, fearing an Austrian breakthrough that would leave his army exposed to encirclement, began to withdraw his army deeper into Wallonia. However the constant pressure of the Austrian advance coupled with a totally ineffective system of communications left what was supposed to be a strategic withdrawal as a confused amble. At least 100,000 French soldiers were captured during this period whilst those that did avoid the Austrians were left scattered and unorganised.

austries.jpg


Had Heeresgruppe Nord advanced more aggressively, as its command Marshal von Falkenhayn had wished, the Austrian flag might have flown above Paris by the start of September. Yet a French counterattack into Alsace-Lorraine left High Command in a panic. They knew fine well that by advancing so deep into French territory the army’s supply lines were dangerously exposed and overstretched, Falkenhayn lost weeks worth of advance due to orders calling for caution. However it is also arguable that had Falkenhayn had his way the entire Heeresgruppe Nord might have been lost and Austria separated from the best part of her army.

On August 10th Britain entered the war on the side of the Entente and quickly sent the BEF across the Channel in hopes of saving France from destruction. The following day Scandinavia entered the war. The delays in the Austrian advance allowed the French and their newly arrived British allies the time required to muster a resistance to the Austrian advance on Paris and on September 12th around 1,300,000 Entente troops engaged 1,700,000 Austrians at the Battle of Noyon.

French_soldiers_ditch_1914.jpg


Between September 12th and the 24th the Battle of Noyon raged. The French fought for the survival of their nation, the British for the freedom of their comrades and the Austrians for total victory. A defeat for the Entente meant the fall of Paris and almost certainly the fall of France, a victory would save the city and the war effort. The Battle was amongst the most bloody and certainly the most decisive of the entire War and was the first example of the human wave tactics that would be used so extensively throughout the war on the Western Front. The Entente invested everything they could afford into this one offensive and convincingly trounced their Germanic opponents as they were forced to withdraw from the battle and abandon hopes of taking Paris in 1914. Around 400,000 Entente soldiers and 350,000 Austrian soldiers died during the 12 day Battle.

Following Noyon the two armies began to form a series of trenches, especially in the area closest to Paris. However the Austrians were able to muster the troops to continue their offensives – this time towards the Channel. Having drawn so much towards Noyon to save Paris the French defense of French Flanders was extremely weak – most of the troops were tired troops from the Battles for Wallonia and newly conscripted greens. Taking advantage of this weakness the Austrians attacked with around 800,000 men (most unused during Noyon) and slowly made their advance towards the coastline. By the fall of Calais on December 3rd (around 2 months after the start of the advance) both the Entente and Austria had trebled the number of troops in the theatre and had suffered around 600,000 losses between them (the majority of those losses being Austrian).

With both armies suffering appalling casualties and neither side securing a decisive advantage both settled into their trenches and prepared for the Spring.

Italian Front

map119.png


There is a moral to be found somewhere in the Italian Offensive of 1914. Perhaps that moral is that Italy should never attempt a major military operation – it will only end in disaster.

Italy had had assurances from France that some sort of attack would take place in the Alpine Front (French troops did outnumber the Austrians 2-1 there). However early success of Austria to the North quickly ended any hopes of a French attack as their men were sent streaming towards the Western Front. It was reckoned that in order to be sure of victory in the Alps the attacker would require 3 times as many men as the defender, neither Austria nor France wished to risk attacking the other’s Alpine fortifications without those numbers and neither had them.

Italian_troops_at_Isonzo_river.jpg


The Austrian Esercito Lombardia was 1,000,000 men strong, the entire Italian army was 1,500,000 men strong and that included their reserve army. Hopes of a quick liberation of Lombardy (a land totally opposed to unification with the South) were never based on facts and realism but rather emotions and fantasy. The Austrian commander Marshal Volta had been given strict instructions to avoid advancing into Italian territory (High Command wished to keep its commitments in the Italian theatre light) but his utter annihilation of the Italian army between August and early September convinced him to advance without orders and seize the Italian border forts. Now without a defensive line to fall back on the withering Italian army was highly exposed to Austrian attack. Initially High Command had wished to remove Volta for disobeying order, however being the only ethnic Italian in the Austrian Army to hold the title of Marshal gave him political protection from any such dismissal.

Black Sea Front

map120.png


The Battle for the Black Sea went largely as was expected. The Russian Black Sea Fleet was confined to its harbours, the Crimea was safe behind its defences, the 4 Greek cities of Circassia were under siege but safe (supplied by the Greek Navy and guarded by fortifications), the Circassian countryside had been largely abandoned with only token Greek resistance and the Caucus line (a line of powerful forts between Cricassia and Pontus through the Caucuses) was simply too strong for Russia to contemplate an attack.

The Eastern Front

map121.png


In the Eastern Front the Russian Army had preformed above all expectations. Following defeat in their defence of Riga in August and the worrying Polish defeat at Kowel much of the German army was shifted away from Prussia to prevent Poland from collapsing. This in turn left Prussia exposed to the Russian invasion in September and October.

The Polish plan of quickly occupying Ruthenia was initially very successful as in just two weeks the country’s two largest cities (Premzyl and Lvov) fell. However on August 23rd disaster struck.

koweldisaster.jpg


At the Battle of Kowel a full ½ of the entire Polish Army was killed or captured as the Russians launched a large scale invasion of Poland. With its own armies in tatters the Poles sent a plea to their Austrian and German allies, 100,000s of troops from those two armies soon moved into Poland to shore up the front.

However following the loss of Riga the Germans had pulled back into East Prussia (leaving their non-German Baltic lands). Only the Prussian Army, the most elite fighting force on earth, defended the Eastern outpost of Germanic culture in Europe.

A Russian Army thrice the size of the Prussian Army launched an invasion of East Prussia in mid-September, having been halted in Poland.

The two sides met at the crucial Battle of Tannenberg. Facing such a numerically superior force Max Hoffman (General of the Prussian Army) would have been required to show outstanding command to save his army. That was something he lacked and the Prussian Army was utterly destroyed.

tannenberg1.jpg


Around half of the Prussian Army was captured by the Russians, the cream of Germany’s officer core and ground troops were now lost. Over the course of the next couple of weeks the Russians went on to seize the psychologically significant cities of Konigsberg and Memel.

On October 4th Marshal Hindenburg was lured out of retirement after the German Kaiser sent a personal plea to his former General to come to save the Northern Reich. Hindenburg was given command of the remnants of the Prussian Army, much of the Reserve Army and around 100,000 Austrian soldiers with which he was tasked with preventing the Russians from taking advantage of their victory in East Prussia and pushing deeper in German lands (and therefore outflanking Quadruple Alliance forces in Poland). Hindenburg atleast ended hopes of Russian advances by defeating them at the Battle of Elbing between October 19th and 22nd.

The Rest of the World

Elsewhere the Jutland Peninsula was taken over the course of a couple of weeks in August. The Italians advanced around 100 miles into Egypt from Libya before being forced to stop having outrun their supply lines. In East Africa both British and French colonies were occupied. Britain also saw their lands in India and Patagonia occupied by soldiers loyal to Vienna. However in the wide front between the opposing sides in Central Africa and South West Africa there was little fighting. Many skirmishes took place but no real effort was made to launch an invasion.
 

dinofs

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Hmmm, it seems like Russia will be more important than I thought.
 

Tommy4ever

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1913

map122.png


After a frustrating opening to the war the Quadruple Alliance looked to strike decisive blows against the Entente in the West and in the East. In France Austria attempted to ‘’bleed France white’’ in the horrific ‘’meat grinder’’ of Verdun whilst in the East attempts were made to reclaim East Prussia and force the Russians out of Poland. At the same time the Entente developed the strategy of ‘Guerre Mondiale’ (World War) in which they attempted to strangle the Austrian Empire. This was done by disrupting Austrian maritime supply lines and launching an attack towards the precious Suez Canal. It is also notable that during 1913 Serbia and Bulgaria entered the war on the side of the Entente.

The Western Front

map123.png


Austrian High Command felt certain that 1913 would be the year in which the war would be won or lost. The superior naval firepower of the Entente meant that it was only a matter of time before Austria became cut off from her colonial Empire entirely – without the Empire Austrian hopes of victory would suffer tremendously. Therefore High Command invested everything in launching offensives in both the West and the East on an unheard of scale. Since entering the war with a 6 million man army in 1912 the Austrian army had ballooned and by the start of 1913 numbered 14 million in Europe alone (including 2 million Indian soldiers and around ½ a million from the Dominions). High Command was obsessed with defeating France in 1913 and invested everything in an assault on the city of Verdun.

The realities of trench warfare had damned rather early upon the Austrians – Marshal Falkenhayn (now supreme commander of the entire Western Front) had theorised that although breakthroughs would now be virtually impossible to achieve France could still be defeated if Austria was to inflict a sufficient number of casualties. France’s small adult male population compared to Austria meant that she simply could not accept losses on the same scale as Austria therefore each dead Frenchmen was much more damaging to Entente than each dead Austrian was to the Quadruple Alliance. The brutal pragmatism of Falkenhayn was accepted by High Command – the Austrians then chose to throw all their resources at Verdun – not aiming to capture the historic city but to force France to defend it. Falkenhayn knew that the French would sacrifice everything in order to hold onto the historically important city and he hoped to take advantage of this by destroying the will of their army.

In the first week of January a huge offensive by Austria allowed them to advance their trenches several miles forward to secure a broader front over Verdun. Then on February 3rd the Battle began.

artillery.jpg


The Austrians began the battle with almost a week of incessant artillery barrage. At the time artillery had never been used on such a grand scale and the French were unprepared to deal with it. As their precious city was torn to shreds thousands of French soldiers were killed and their fortresses weakened.

BattleOfVerdun.jpg


From mid February the battle began in earnest as wave after wave of Austrian soldiers went over the top and crossed no man’s land towards the French positions. The battle seemed to be having just the effect Falkenhayn had hoped for – the French pinned everything on holding the city and sent constant reinforcements towards Verdun. Between February 16th and 28th around 60,000 soldiers were killed from both sides.

German-soldiers-at-Verdun.jpg


Slowly, one by one, the French forts that surrounded Verdun fell to the Austrians as casualty rates continued to spiral out of control. Through the Spring the Austrians looked to be approaching the brink of victory, it seemed that the more France linked the survival of the city with the continued existence of the French nation the more every dead Frenchmen who sacrificed himself for Verdun hurt. On June 29th General Philippe Petain issued the order ‘’Ils ne passeront pas’’ this official order simply reads ‘’They shall not pass’’ and was issued the day before a crucial engagement in which the Austrians launched a massive assault on Fort Souville – the French won and Petain’s spirit seemed to revive French enthusiasm. Verdun was France, as long as the city held France would do likewise, if the Austrians captured it the war would be over.

Yet Petain knew he could not hold it much longer with such intense Austrian pressure and requested that the Entente powers launch an offensive elsewhere. This is what led to the St Ammand Offensive to the South-East of Lille. Here an army (roughly half British and half French) launched a large scale attack against the Austrian trenches aimed at taking the railway line that connected Lille and the Austrian occupied North Sea Sector with Austria itself. The Austrians would be forced to defend the region due to the simple fact that the loss of the railway (around 50 miles behind the trenches) would make it impossible for Austria to continue its occupation of Lille and the North Sea Sector.

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The St Ammand Offensive became a symbol of the futility of trench warfare. On July 4th (the first day of the battle) over 100,000 casualties were suffered by both sides making it one of the bloodiest days of warfare in history. Worse still progress on that day was measured in yards and not miles. However St Ammand did achieve its primary goal – relieving pressure on Verdun. Austria was forced to divert hundreds of thousands of soldiers from Verdun to St Ammand however being on the defensive proved a distinct advantage as on average 2 Entente soldiers died for every Austrian whilst at Verdun it was around 1 for 1.

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Both battles raged on into the Winter. On November 27th the last British attack in St Ammand ended in failure. St Ammand had seened the Entente suffer around 1,000,000 casualties whilst the Austrians suffered around 600,000. The Entente had advanced a total of 8 kilometres meaning 125 Entente soldiers were lost for every 1 metre of land gained. The Battle of Verdun came to an end on December 20th a total of 1,300,000 French casualties had been suffered to 1,200,000 Austrian casualties. Yet Verdun still lay in French hands.

The Italian Front

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The Italian army and military failure are two things that go hand in hand. In the Spring of 1913 (whilst Verdun raged to the North)Marshal Volta was told by High Command that he had permission to advance in Italy at will however he would receive only one reinforcement for every two casualties suffered. With these limited resources and against a much larger Italian army Volta should have struggled to hold his defensive line yet he crushed the Italians and took both Romagna and Tuscany. Quite simply the Italian army was of a very low quality. Stories emerged of armies being sent into battle with one rifle for every two men and of beardless boys striding into battle alongside elderly men. Lacking in everything required for a successful war effort the Italians lost the best part of their army to Volta’s offensives in May and June when several hundred thousand soldiers were captured. Without an elite core the Italian military withered away.

The Eastern Front

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1913 was the year in which the Quadruple Alliance fought back against the Russians. Through the Summer of 1913 much of East Prussia was reclaimed and Konigsberg brought under siege before the retaken lands were lost in the Autumn. However the lands taken in Poland proved to be more permanent victories as a significant amount of territory ended the year back in Quadruple Alliance hands.

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The Russians seemed to be rather unprepared for the large scale Quadruple Alliance attacks on 1913. In Prussia their hard fought gains were lost as despite a great numerical advantage Hindenburg’s army crushed them. The Russians did manage to maintain control over the important city of Konigsberg which remained supplied by the Russian and Scandinavian fleets – German attempts to blockade the port saw much of the German fleet sunk.

To the South in Poland the Quadruple Alliance Armies hoped to force a general retreat by driving a single almighty blow through the centre of the Russian lines. The Russian lines were broken but the Alliance armies were never allowed to exploit their breakthrough. The Russians used a rotational system to ensure the Alliance army was always engaged by something – this meant that the momentum of the advance was soon lost despite the millions of soldiers involved in the attack.

As the advance in Poland came to an end in early September the Russians prepared for their own offensive. In that same month they launched a quick campaign that forced Hindenburg back to his January position of trenches. Much had been lost and little gained.

Casualty figures for the Eastern Front in 1913 are vague but are believed to be around 1,500,000 casualties for the Russians and around 1,200,000 for the Quadruple Alliance. Although land was gained and the Russians had lost more than the Alliance 1913 was considered to be a disaster for the Alliance. Much had been gambled on a decisive victory and that had not come. The Alliance would never again be able to launch an offensive on a similar scale in the East. This only highlighted the importance of victory in the West.

Balkan Front

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The Russians had hoped that by unleashing their Balkan lapdogs the Greek Empire would be forced to withdraw from its campaigns in the Black Sea. Instead Serbia gained some rather unimportant territories and the Bulgarian army suffered heavy defeats. By mid-Summer another system of trenches had opened up – this time from the Adriatic to the Black Sea.

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The Balkan states entered the war together in April with high hopes of quick victory and territorial gain against an old enemy. Instead they found trench warfare and heavy sacrifice. In late April the Bulgarians were decisively beaten at the Battle of Adrianople following a vain attempt to attack directly towards Constantinople, this was followed by a major counterattack into Bulgaria. The Serbs actually achieved a few early victories in April and even into May before the Greek finally organised their Macedonian defences. By late June the front had stabilised as both sides settled into their trenches.


The Rest of the World

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The Entente strategy to hurt Austria was to command the seas. Franco-British naval power was significantly superior to its Austro-Greek opponents. This gave the Entente a distinct advantage. The Austrian fleet was stretched to the limit holding down the supply lines to its colonies – if the Suez was lost this already straining system would surely collapse. Instead of passing to India through the Suez and via Aden Austria shipping would have to travel around the Horn of Africa, past dozens of Entente ports. Therefore this is where they concentrated their policy.

In mid August British marines seized control of Aden – therefore denying the Austrians an important port on the route to India but worse was still to come.

map127.png


In 1912 the Italian army had put up an uninspiring showing and had advanced a short way into Egypt. With the arrival of the first Anglo-French units in February the Entente felt it was time to attack again. This time their advance was halted after a severe defeat at El Alamein (the last major chance to defend Egypt East of Alexandria. However Entente forces continued to arrive in the Libyan Desert and in a 2nd Battle of El Alamein in early August the Austrians were badly beaten. The Entente then raced across Northern Egypt taking Alexandria and Cairo before capturing the Suez Canal on August 29th.

The Entente governments touted the capture of the Canal as the beginning of the fall of the Austrian Empire.
 

dinofs

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Why are the Italians still attacking Africa? They should send everything they have to defend the homeland!
 

Tommy4ever

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Why are the Italians still attacking Africa? They should send everything they have to defend the homeland!

Many of the soldiers involved in the attack on Egypt would have been French or British. Remember that to the Entente Suez is considerably more important than Italy itself. Therefore the Italians may have been bullied by their Allies into keeping soldiers in Egypt.

Sounds to me either Italy is going to be conquered by Austria or become communist like Russia did in World War I.

Italy isn't too important. But if Naples comes under threat I'd imagine the Western Entente would send some troops and guns to stop a total collapse.

Well, Australia, India, South-Afrika, Silberfluss and California can defend themselves. But I worry about the rest of the colonies.

Yes, but now these important colonies will struggle to assist Austria in Europe.

I can see the Scandinavians seizing the German part of Denmark in exchange for war against Russia.

Scandinavia is already at war with the Quadruple Alliance. Jutland is occupied by the Germans. Thousands of Scandinavians are serving on the Western Front, at sea and in the colonial conflicts.
 

Tommy4ever

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1914

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After 1913, a year in which the Quadruple Alliance went for an all out offensive 1914 was the year for the Entente to do likewise. Major military offensives were launched by the British and the French on the Western Front and the Russians in the East in the form of the famed Brusilov Offensive. At the same time the Austrian Empire was left to effectively fend for itself whilst countries both entered and exited the war.

The Western Front

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By 1914 the British had roughly 2/3s the number of soldiers in France as the French Army. Therefore in the Battle of Calais they were given responsibility to launch a large-scale operation for the first time without the involvement of any French troops. At the same time the French launched a counterattack against the Austrians in the 2nd Battle of Verdun in which they attempted to push the Austrians away from the immediate vicinity of the now safe city.

IndianArmyMGCrewFlanders1914-15.jpg


The Battle of Calais was India’s great contribution to the war effort. Out of a total of 2 million soldiers in Europe 3/4s of Indians served on the Western Front and the main concentration of Indians soldiers was in the North Sea Sector. Here an army with a mixed Austro-Indian leadership, commanded by Indian Generals held a stretch of frontline from the Channel to just a few miles from the site of the Battle of St Ammand. After two weeks of heavy artillery bombardment the British began their attack directed at the port of Calais on May 29th.

tanks.jpg


The Battle of Calais is famous for being the first Battle in history in which tanks played a major role. The Austrians, British and French had experimented with tank warfare during the Battles of St Ammand and Verdun but only in small numbers. At Calais the British employed 140. Believing that these heavily armoured behemoths would be the solution to the deadlock in France the British hoped that tank warfare would allow them to punch through the Austrian lines at Calais and relieve the vital cities of Dunkirk, Lille and of course Calais itself.

WW1Tanks.jpg


That is not how things turned out. The Battle of Calais lasted from May 29th until August 17th. British casualties were estimated at somewhere between 300,000 and 500,000 with Indian casualties being slightly higher. The British advanced barely two kilometres. Although showing glimpses of their worth the tanks proved unreliable and failed to give the British Army the punch it required to break through the Austrian trenches. However it was believed that with minor adjustments the tank could still prove an invaluable tool for ending the stalemate in the trenches.

BattleOfVimyRidge.jpg


The 2nd Battle of Verdun was another bloody affair that cost hundreds of thousands of lives. Whilst not nearly as terrible as the 1st Battle of Verdun the previous year the 2nd Battle was still a major bloodbath with both sides registering hundreds of thousands of casualties over the Battle that lasted from June 18th until September 23rd. The French were much more successful than the British at Calais although they were unable to fully relieve the city of Verdun as the Austrian maintained dangerous positions to the North-West of the city.

The Italian Front

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1914 was another successful year for the Austrians in Italy. Despite extremely limited resources Marshal Volta and his Esercito Lombardia continued to overcome the larger Italian Army. From August British, French and Scandinavian soldiers started to arrive in Italy as fears arose that the entire nation would collapse under the pressure of the Austrian advance.

The Treaty of Smyrna

treatyofsmyrna.jpg


On March 5th 1914 after 19 months of war Greece threw in the towel. The Greeks had lost much of their fleet and several hundred thousand military men. Continuing the war offered the Greek Empire little and cost them a lot. However leaving the war made them extremely valuable to the Entente who were willing to offer light terms.

Greece occupied a large amount of Entente territory in East Africa – this land was passed directly to its previous owners thus giving the Entente another route of attack in Africa. The Greek fleet had played a major role in keeping Austria’s supply lines to her Empire open, without it the Empire was even more vulnerable. Whilst Greece had fought the only routes for Entente aid to Russia had been either via the frozen ports of the White Sea or via the Trans-Siberian Railway, now Greece agreed to open the Bosporus allowing for direct supply via Odessa and Azov. Greece also agreed to release around 300,000 POWs (mostly Russians and Bulgarians). Around 2 million Russian, Serbia and Bulgarian soldiers were now free to fight on other fronts. Greece also agreed to transfer a total of around 1.5 million ethnic Serbs and Bulgarians from their traditional homes to Bulgaria and Serbia (at the request of their governments).

Greece had escaped from the Great War with its Empire very much intact, even if its reputation was now tarnished.

The Eastern Front

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Entente military thinking had always maintained that the war would be won and lost in the East. In 1914 Russia looked to guarantee that. In the Great Brusilov Offensive the Quadruple Alliance experienced its greatest military disasters as two entire Armies were captured by the Russian attack (one of which was Austrian the other German) whilst great swathes of land were lost. As the bloody attack calmed down in July both sides seemed to settle down. However in September, following the Hungarian entry into the war and the arrival of reinforcements from the former fronts with Greece, the Russians and their allies launched the September Offensive.

russianinf.jpg


The incredible success of Brusilov’s attack against an army that was almost the same in terms of numbers and superior in terms of equipment relied on the innovative tactics of the Russian General. Brusilov pioneered the creation of shock troops that moved fast and provided breakthroughs by attacking weak points in the Alliance lines and passing behind them. Using these infiltration tactics Brusilov was able to surround two entire Alliance armies within the first three weeks of the offensive. These incredible reverses in Poland coupled with the relentless continuation of the offensive forced the Alliance Generals to err on the side of caution – they often withdrew rather than risk encirclement.

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On June 19th the offensive claimed its greatest prize as Warsaw fell to the Russian Army. Victory bells rang out across the Entente for the first time in years. In Moscow citizens lined the streets in celebration and praise for the Tsar. Just a few months before in the Winter unrest had been simmering as the supply of food to the cities became strangled but the opening of the Bosporus to grain shipments had ended fears of shortages. The Tsar had not been so popular in years.

rare-pictures-photos-ww1-first-world-war-russia-russian-soldiers-009.jpg


As the offensive reached into July early success started to reverse. Having come accustom to the new Russian tactics Alliance Generals began to launch large scale counterattacks using similar tactics. This led to major Russian defeats as they attempted to advance towards Danzig in the North and defeats in Central Poland to the South. It was during July that the majority of Russian losses were suffered. By late July the Offensive had come to an end.

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It didn’t take much to convince the Hungarians to enter the war on September 1st. Promises of vengeance against Austria, territorial acquisitions in Sopron and Slovakia and crucially a second Russian military offensive in 1914 were more than enough.

On_Maginot_Line_532a.jpg


The main aim of the Hungarian army was to launch a quick attack to take Vienna – hopefully ending the war. However this plan totally ignored the Sopron line which was undisputedly the most formidable line of fortifications of earth. Ever since the Hungarian betrayal in the War of the Third Coalition Austria had been paranoid over the possibility of a Hungarian attack on Vienna. Therefore for the past century the Austrian Empire had been building up ever greater fortifications directly to the East of its capital. Hungarian attempts to attack in this sector did not last long.

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With the failure of the attacks on the Sopron Line the Hungarian, Bulgarian, Serbian and Russian Armies focussed their offensive on Slovakia and Southern Poland whilst a secondary attack was launched to the North. By this stage the Quadruple Alliance was badly outnumbered having lost as many as 2,000,000 soldiers (killed, wounded or captured) during the Brusilov Offensive whilst the Russian (who suffered comparatively light casualties) had received heavy reinforcements since then the Alliance had not. They were totally unprepared for the large scale attack. Nethertheless a combination of Autumnal rainstorms and hard fighting forced the Entente to halt its attacks in late September.

The Rest of the World

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In early 1914 Austrian High Command decided to delegate authority in its colonies. In the Americas an American OKH was formed in California with responsibility over everything West of the Atlantic, in Calcutta the High Command of the Indian Armed Forces was given responsibility for everything East of Cape Town.

During 1914 the Austrian Pacific Empire fell as the isolated and undefended isles were quickly occupied following the Japanese entry into the War in February 1914. Meanwhile in Africa Austria continued to lose ground following the fall of Egypt in 1913.

However following a treaty signed between the Indian Empire and Siam that allowed for the movement of Indian troops through the Kingdom French Malaya was invaded between September and December. Singapore (the greatest port in Asia) fell on Christmas Eve 1914.

As of New Years Day 1915 the two sides in the Great War were:

Quadruple Alliance:
Austria, Germany, Poland and India (given full admittance as an Alliance member)

Entente:
France, Russia, Britain, Serbia, Bulgaria, Scandinavia, Italy, Hungary, Ruthenia and Japan
 

Enewald

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Brazilia joined Entente?
Everyone wants their share of Austrian meat... but soon the Little Austrian corporal will have his vengeance...
Für Gott und Kaiser!
 

dinofs

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Greece! :eek:

That is not good. Austria will need to pull soldiers out of the Western Front and towards the Slavic offensive.