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Centurial

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Apr 29, 2017
375
118
Welcome to the Hearts of Iron IV branch of Baltic Lightning. This story has followed the country of Livonia from its small tribal origins 1000 years ago to its current position as a global empire about to enter another World War.

The focus for this AAR has been on creating an interesting alternate history while roleplaying realistically - that means no blobbing and powergaming (Otherwise there wouldn't be much of a world war to be had by this point).

The previous branches of this story can be found below, although it isn't necessary to read them as I will summarize the world's situation below. To really understand more detail if you're starting here, beginning around the "Great War" period in Victoria 2 will give most of the context of this era.

CRUSADER KINGS 2 BRANCH
EUROPA UNIVERSALIS 4 BRANCH
VICTORIA 2 BRANCH


Questions and comments are appreciated; I hope you enjoy :)


TABLE OF CONTENTS:

The World in 1936
Strategic overview of 1936
Chapter 1: The War Machine (Jan 1936 – June 1937)
Chapter 2: Buildup and Proxy Wars (June – Oct 1937)
Chapter 3: Precursor Wars (Oct 1937 - Oct 1938)
Chapter 4: Mutual Aggression (Oct 1938 – Aug 1939)
Chapter 5: The First Major Engagements (August 1939)
Chapter 6: Desperate Escalation (Late Aug – Mid September 1939)
Chapter 7: The Contest for Europe (September - November 1939)

Chapter 8: Deadliest Winter (November 1939 – January 1940)
Chapter 9: Severe Developments (January – March 1940)
Chapter 10: Tragedy (March – August 1940)
Chapter 11: Supply and Demand (August 1940 – January 1941)
Chapter 12: Retribution (January – April 1941)
Chapter 13: Stretch (April - July 1941)
Chapter 14: The Strains of Modern War (July – December 1941)
Chapter 15: The Last Distraction (December 1941 – May 1942)
Chapter 16: Tremendous Cost (May – August 1942)
Chapter 17: The Great Advance (August – December 1942)
Chapter 18: Isolation (December 1942 – May 1943)
Chapter 19: Retribution (May – July 1943)

The Treaty of Gdaņska


Chapter 20: Dawn of the Pacific War (December 1942 - July 1943)
Chapter 21: The Dust Settles in Europe (July - December 1943)
Chapter 22: Long-range Warfare (July – December 1943)
Chapter 23: The European Revival (Dec. 1943 - 1944)
Chapter 24: Dominion (January - May 1944)
Chapter 25: Homeland (May 1944 – September 1945)
Chapter 26: Entropy (September – December 1945)
Chapter 27: A New Era (1946 – 1950)
Epilogue: Warfare and Diplomacy in the Atomic Age (1950s and 1960s)
 
Last edited:

Centurial

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Apr 29, 2017
375
118
The World in 1936:



It has been just over 35 years since the Great War ended, and ever since then the political situation of Europe had been going downhill. A series of minor wars, coups, civil wars, as well as economic disaster and the meteoric rise of fascism have transformed Europe into the unstable state it is in 1936.



Western Europe is composed of three states:



England had been devastated in the Great War of the 1900’s – losing its colonies, its men, and much of its infrastructure during the invasion, which eventually plunged the suddenly isolated country into economic disaster. In 1922, the Fascist party was elected, and soon Chairman Louis Radford dissolved parliament and transformed the country into a fascist dictatorship. After recovering from the economic crisis, England has been massively increasing the size of its military, developing some of the world’s best tank armies and covertly building a state-of-the-art navy.

Aquitaine to the south is a powerful and prosperous democracy, but the rise of fascism all around the country has been a very serious concern. Friendly to none of its neighbors, Aquitaine relies on their alliance with Livonia and Al-Turkis to discourage any invaders, as well as a large standing army and widespread fortifications on multiple borders.

Finally, Isbania lies on the Iberian Peninsula, extending into North Africa as well. They had been part of England’s Western Pact in the Great War, eventually being overrun and losing valuable land to Aquitaine. Shortly afterwards, an enormous civil war plunged the country into chaos for years, with its current conservative republic eventually taking control. The country has struggled financially since then, but never fallen into complete disaster. The fascist movement across Europe has spread to many of Isbania’s citizens as well, forming a large minority within congress, but the fascists were still only one of the three political factions within Isbania.



Central Europe is in worse shape:




The North German Union, originally created as a way to divide the old Empire of Brabant after the Great War, was later transformed by a Fascist coup and reunified with its brother state. For the last 15 or so years, the Union had fought constant wars against its neighbors, eventually annihilating most of Pomeranija in the east and fighting back and forth with Bavaria, although the extent of their territorial claims on the latter haven’t yet been reached. German society was heavily militarized, with many industries directly owned by the state to supply the huge standing army.

Bavaria is in a state of disaster yet again. Long ago the dominant country in Europe, Bavaria has now been carved up and devastated. The current borders were only a fraction of what they once were, after losing land recently by both invasion and ultimatum to Italy, Genoa, Al-Turkis, Czechia, and the North German Union. While initially one of the first countries to outright ban Fascism, the party was now active again after the recent ultimatum by its two Fascist neighbors, and concerns of popular revolt. The Bavarian situation was very complicated – many of the country’s nationals harbored intense resentment towards its Fascist rivals of Italy and the NGU, but the country’s own fascists hope to cleanse the bloated republic and align with its longtime rivals instead.

Genoa exists in a strange location between Aquitaine, Bavaria, and Italy. During the modern era, the country managed to rise from an obscure country to two empires. They became one of the most prominent Communist states of the 1900s following the defeat of the Second Empire in the Great War, but the government proved to be repressive and deeply unpopular, eventually leading it to be overthrown by Fascism only a few years ago after three attempts. However, ideological similarities hadn’t been enough to reach peace with their rival Italy, who invaded the country along with Aquitaine in 1933 as a response to Genoa’s massive expansion into Bavaria. Ambitions of a third empire flow strongly throughout Genoa, although it’s uncertain where they lie with Italy.

Italy is the final major Fascist power. Livonia had long been ally of the Italian people in the past, instrumental in the independence and eventual unification of the states after they initiated the Great War. They remained allies for the next few decades, but constant diplomatic incidents and disagreements with the Italian Government strained relations. After the Fascists took power, Livonia maintained the alliance briefly, but another diplomatic betrayal and Livonia’s own political shift to the left eventually led the two to cut ties, leading to Italy’s participation in the Fascist Union instead.





Eastern Europe is dominated by the Livonian Empire (Shown on the map as Liivimaa) and its allies, but there are other notable states outside of its influence.



Norvegija has a complicated history with Livonia, but had generally been content to spend the last century as a neutral nation. Recently though, the right-leaning government of Norvegija fought alongside the Germans against Pomeranija, despite their different ideologies. The rising militancy of Norvegija was concerning, although it was unclear where the country lied diplomatically.

Loyal Livonian satellite states surround the empire, forming a powerful economic and military bloc. Farthest away is Danija, a dense and prosperous country with important control of access to the Baltic Sea. Kuyavia was the most valuable satellite, with its huge mines and industry which fueled much of the greater economy. Kiev in the south was more agrarian in nature, but also benefited from economic cooperation and Livonian investments.

Al-Turkis spans the Balkans and Anatolia. While historically one of Bavaria’s major rivals, the decline (and recent collapse) of the state has allowed the Turks to expand in the Balkans. Decently industrialized but still lagging behind Europe, Al-Turkis relies on its large army and decent navy for security, as well as its alliance.



Other minor states in the area include:

Pomeranija – Formerly Livonia’s most recent satellite, Pomeranija later broke from the country’s influence and grew to become a very wealthy nation, before their more recent conflicts with the Germans led to most of the country being lost.

Czechia - A breakaway state from Bavaria, they have mostly remained isolated. After the recent shift in Livonian politics, the country recognized the Communist government of the Czechs and promised to defend the country against the spreading influence of Fascism.

Bulgaria – Amazingly, this state has managed to survive for centuries despite neighboring large, expansionist empires. Bulgaria remained neutral in most wars, although they had recently seized land from Bavaria along with the Czechs. There is a decent amount of oil within the country, attracting far more trade and interest from countries than before.

Karenia - The massive and multicultural state on the edge of Europe, Karenia has been a Livonian ally for decades, finally pacifying what had been a treacherous set of borders for hundreds of years. Industry is very weak, primarily existing on the border with Livonia, but the country’s access to resources and Asian trade helps fuel its economy.







The Americas are home to many countries, but the major player here is the Kingdom of America (despite the traditional name, the state functions as more of an authoritarian democracy in modern times).



During the Great War, America had been the first to join the Coalition, and was largely responsible for its control over the Atlantic after destroying most of England’s navy. In the aftermath of the war, America’s colonial empire was formed when they annexed land in Africa and Asia. Colonial ambition in Asia continued after the war, while at home a powerful economy was developed. America’s diplomatic situation is rather enigmatic – they have no formal ties to any European nations, so it is uncertain how they might react to the outbreak of another major war.

The Empire of Haiti dominates the Caribbean, fueled by a strong economy and heavy American investments. Their dominion over the coast of South America has a complicated history, but now after several advances in recent years they have pushed back Colombie to a tiny amount of land near Peru, while the rest of the region conquered from Colombie and Bresil exists as a semi-autonomous province within the empire.

Off the northeast tip of neutral Canada is Livonian dominion Newfoundland, which was originally established as a coastal trading post to the colonies back in the age of sail. In the northwest is Beixue, the former Chinese colony which now sits within Japan’s sphere of influence. Finally, Livonia owns the last direct western colony in Guyana, home to valuable aluminum mines and a naval base.





Africa is home to three independent nations and four sets of foreign colonies.



Aquitaine and Italy’s colonies were established after the Great War when England’s empire was dismantled (along with minor extension of Livonia’s colonial borders), while America annexed the valuable former Isbani protectorate of Zaya in the north. The state of Misr was overtaken by Communists after the disastrous aftermath of their fighting with the Coalition, while Ethiopia was freed and turned into an Italian protectorate during Misr’s period of transition.

Finally, the independent state of Khalij occupies the south, formerly a colony of both Isbania and Aquitaine. They were an important ally to Livonia in the Great War, but ultimately were defeated by the English advance and given nothing at the end of the war. Now, the state remains strictly neutral.





Southeast Asia was a more recent target of colonialism.



Livonia occupies the valuable colonies of Malaya and Barusiak (Philippines), while the rest of the islands were split between Aquitaine and America after the war. The island nation of Java remains independent after aligning with the Coalition during their fight for independence against Isbania in the Great War. More recently, the American colony states of New Virginia and Concordia were conquered a few years after the war ended, while Indochina was partitioned by Livonia, Italy and Japan.



The rest of Asia had a few major states:



Japan is the greatest independent Asian power, after eventually managing to rise after the colonial race of the Indies opened up European trade on a large scale. Japan now dominates northeast Asia with its puppet states of Korea, Manchukuo, and Buryatia. Recent expansionism against Xi granted Japan the island of Taiwan, but imperialists within Japan have further ambitions.

The Xi Dynasty of China has existed for quite a while, relatively untouched by the colonial powers due to their previous alliances and massive population. Regardless, the state has failed to modernize and now is at great threat of invasion as their heavily decentralized government fails to reform itself in the face of great foreign power.
 
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Centurial

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Apr 29, 2017
375
118
Strategic overview of 1936:



Alliances:

There are two mains sets of alliances in Europe at this point – the more formal of the two is the Fascist Order, made up of England, the North German Union, and Italy. Together, they form a powerful group with formidable navies in both major European seas and huge standing armies. Fearing direct war with Aquitaine and Livonia, the powers have been working to gain the upper hand by supporting Fascism abroad and expanding their armed forces.



On the opposing side are the more tentative “Allies”. The core of this group is the triple alliance of Livonia, Al-Turkis, and Aquitaine, although Livonia separately holds alliances with Karenia and Japan as well. However, there aren’t many prospects for additional members to the group – Livonia’s empire is unpopular around most of the world, and the non-aligned countries of Western Europe tended to favor the Fascists more. In addition, there is little chance of a ‘coalition’ as had formed in the Great War, since there are no overseas colonies to pass out and no outstanding territorial claims against the Fascist powers (other than the countless claims of Bavaria).

Finally, America has their own sphere of influence, with no obvious interest in either of the other alliances. Its only direct alliance is with the Empire of Haiti, but combined with America’s colonial empire and vast territory at home, there is more than enough power available for the American Bloc to be a serious force.





The navies of the world are also important to note; naval superiority was crucial in winning the Great War, and since then most of the major powers have been building all kinds of powerful warships:

England’s navy has been building up for around a decade now in great secrecy. While outside countries are aware of the naval program, none of them are aware of its extent. As of January 1936, England has 11 Battleships, 50 Cruisers, and 52 Destroyers, all relatively modern given the recency in which they were constructed. They have the largest number of destroyers in the world, and currently are devoting the most resources to naval expansion in the world.

Aquitaine has also constructed quite a powerful navy after their victory in the Great War – composed now of 8 Battleships, 34 Cruisers, and 31 Destroyers. Aquitaine is also investing quite a lot of resources into naval expansion at the moment in reaction to the rearmament of England, although with the additional threat of Italy to worry about, Aquitaine’s navy is falling behind.

Italy’s navy is made up of 3 Battleships, 14 Cruisers, and 25 Destroyers – a slow work in progress after losing most of their early postwar navy to Aquitaine during a minor war, the current Italian ships are generally modern. The ideal for Italy is to create a navy strong enough to defeat Aquitaine in the Mediterranean, since that country’s navy wouldn’t have the forces necessary to control both of its coasts. In reality though, the majority of Italy’s budget has been devoted to their massive army, causing the navy to fall short of its ambitions.

Al-Turkis has actually developed a decent navy in recent years, although their ships are generally outdated. They have 1 modern Battleship, another older one, 10 Light Cruisers, and 20 Destroyers.

Genoa has a tiny navy with only 8 destroyers – the country is far too small to control the sea alone, so their primary focus is on commerce raiding, with a submarine program underway as well.

The North German Union has no major navy to speak of – their relatively recent unification and constant wars meant resources and money were needed elsewhere, since the massive size of both England and Livonia’s navies would be impossible to match.

Livonia’s Baltic Navy ruled the seas during the Great War, although it hadn’t encountered much opposition. Since then, financial crisis and political turmoil resulted in a reduction of its size and a halt to modern expansion, but for several years now rearmament has been in progress. The navy consists of 7 Battleships, 67 Cruisers, and 5 Destroyers. Almost all of those cruisers are decades old, as the first priority for expansion has been focused on Capital ships and Destroyers.

America’s geographical position requires a separate navy for each ocean. In the Atlantic, their fleet had been responsible for defeating England in 1900, but many of its ships were also destroyed in the process. Since then, the fleet has been reconstructed into its modern composition: 8 Battleships, 35 Cruisers, and 36 Destroyers.

In the Pacific, the US fleet was generally more outdated, as the only major naval presence in the area was Japan, whose fleet was generally considered to be backwards and of poor quality. The US Pacific Fleet has 3 Battleships, 19 Cruisers, and 20 Destroyers.

Japan’s navy was growing quickly, but the quality of their ships was weak compared to the Western powers. In addition, relative scarcity of resources meant the majority of ships constructed were small in size – there were 5 Battleships, 42 Cruisers, and 50 Destroyers.







In terms of industry, the largest civilian industries belong to America, Livonia, Isbania, and Aquitaine. The fascist countries of England, Italy, and the NGU also have significant industry, although far more of their factories were devoted to the military – especially in the NGU, which produces a disproportionately huge amount of weapons for their size.

Vital resources were distributed as follows:




(Note that export numbers here are skewed by trade laws, meaning most countries are producing more than is listed – especially in members of the Fascist Union who have poor trade relations with Livonia)

The largest producers of steel are America and Aquitaine – Livonia also produces some steel, but steel production in Kuyavia alone is almost just as much. It is also produced in good numbers among the Fascist Union countries, with the weakest being Italy. Worth noting as well are the many mines of Bavaria, which would bring an abundant supply to whoever they aligned with.







Aluminum is abundant among the Allies (Livonian production was the second greatest after Aquitaine), while America’s bloc produces large amounts as well. Countries in the Fascist Union are generally lacking here – while there are small amounts being made in Italy and England, building a large air force will require imports.






Chromium, valuable for naval construction, is most abundant in Livonia and Al-Turkis. Other countries around the world have decent numbers, although those with large navies like England import most of theirs from Norvegija and Asia.





Tungsten is most common in Livonia and Isbania, although decent reserves exist in enough countries to make it available to most by trade.





Rubber is essential for many vehicles, and the vast majority of it was produced in the Asian colonies. By far the largest producer was Livonia, especially in Malaya. Other large producers include Aquitaine and Java, while small amounts are extracted in Italy and America. The Allies generally have a crucial monopoly over rubber though, leaving the only other options as importing from Java (whose seas would be contested by the Allies in the case of war) or developing synthetic rubber.





Finally, one of the most crucial resources of the 1930s is oil. Just as the Allies have a monopoly on rubber, the American Bloc controls almost all of the world’s oil, with the only other major producer being Iraq. Oil is the greatest weakness of the Allies – despite the large empires of Livonia and Aquitaine, neither produces any significant amount of oil. America’s control gives them crucial leverage over both European factions.
 
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Centurial

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Apr 29, 2017
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Chapter 1: The War Machine (Jan 1936 – June 1937)



Livonia’s Master of Parliament is also its king – Klavess II, heading the Socialist party. The Socialists held the largest majority in Livonian history ever since the political crisis of 1925, when the growing Fascist party was banned after Klavess made use of emergency powers to take temporary control of the government during a coup attempt. Ironically, the country which had led the anti-communist movement of the 1900’s was now dominated by socialists, who were leading an even stronger coalition against Fascism.



The country had gone through a lot of turmoil in the 1920’s, but now Livonia’s economy was in great shape once again. However, the military has fallen behind after cuts in spending during that period, prompting a large rearmament program which had been in progress for years now. Most urgently in need of attention was the Baltic Navy, which hadn’t seen any serious expansion since before the Great War. Recent programs had outfitted the navy with new Battleships, and designs for a set of Aircraft Carriers had also been finalized at the end of last year, so the primary agenda of 1936 would be a massive naval expansion.



The country’s current orders were for 2 Aircraft Carriers and 5 Battleships – the navy seriously lacked destroyers as well, but shortcomings in current designs led to production being halted while a new modern set of ships were being developed. Since destroyers were far smaller and quicker to produce than the capital ships, they were planned for the later phase of the year’s navy plan.

The army of Livonia within Europe wasn’t very large either compared to the massive standing armies of the Fascist countries. Currently, Livonian army doctrine was focused on two main ideas: Defensive, fortified infantry (based on lessons from the Great War and subsequent conflicts), and air superiority. Livonia had perhaps the most advanced air force in the world, and experience in Bavaria and Iraq during the 1920s had helped the air force to design state-of-the-art bombers. At the moment, much of Livonia’s military budget was being allocated to airplane construction across a variety of roles, including new planes for long-range strategic bombing and torpedo attacks. The country had experimented with tanks in the interwar period after great success by Bavarian and Italian armor, but limited resources meant that other vehicles took priority.

Livonia’s overseas empire and sphere of influence meant that resources were readily available in most cases, with the key exception being oil, which needed to be imported from Bulgaria and America to support the naval and aerial expansion.



On May 14th, the North German Union announced a defensive alliance with Norvegija and strengthening of economic ties, provoking a great panic in Livonia. There was much reason to be afraid – Livonia’s valuable overseas state of Stockholm had long been a source of resentment between them and the Scandinavians, as well as the country’s economic dominance over the Baltic Sea.



In reaction, Klavess II’s opening address for his reelection in May 20th was aggressive – calling for defense against all potential foes and the containment of Fascist influence. The naval plan was of course already in progress, but army expansion would need to happen after in order to deter any further Fascist aggression.



Meanwhile in Bavaria, the government’s grasp over its own internal affairs was quickly fading, after a number of incidents involving public protests and violence. It was at this time that the North German Union began arming the militant fascists within the country, hoping for a coup in the near future.



In July, the new Livonian destroyer design was finalized – meanwhile, massive expansion to the country’s naval dockyards was underway. An order for 50 destroyers was placed, taking priority over the battleship construction. In the meantime, the majority of naval production was still being devoted to the aircraft carriers.



Following the Norwegian scare in Livonia, Klavess passed a bill transferring control of several key industries to the government to assist with rearmament. While this would create scarcity in some civilian goods, the expansion in both industry and the army itself did help reduce unemployment within the country.



Later in the year, the first research into modern motorized and armored forces began, although there were no plans to use them yet.

In September, Haiti launched its final invasion of Colombie, quickly taking over the tiny amount of land that remained independent and annexing it into their South American province. As always, they were supported by America, so none of the other local countries dared to intervene.



By December of 1936, the dockyard expansion was mostly complete, while construction of the Navy’s new warships was in full swing. Next would be the expansion of Livonia’s air force, which was key to the country’s war strategy. Large amounts of oil were being imported already in order to support these expansions, causing concern over costs and the potential for loss of supply during wartime.





That next January, Italy began working with the Germans to support the Fascists within Bavaria. Most of the people in the region bordering Italy were opposed to Bavaria’s core government in the north, so Italian agents and munitions were in some instances able to cross directly over the border into Bavarian territory.



However, Bavaria wasn’t the only country where conflict was brewing – Japan informed Livonia of their plans for a full invasion of China in spring and requested support in doing so. An expeditionary force was sent to assist Japan in the northern front, while armies already stationed in Malaya were moved to Japan’s colony at the southern border of China.



Now that the expansion of the air force was given priority in Livonia, this seemed an excellent opportunity for the country’s pilots to gain experience and develop bombing tactics. At the head of Livonia’s air force was Alberts Simanis, a proponent of close air support style bombing. In anticipation of war in China, production of these planes was ramped up significantly, as there was almost no threat of Chinese resistance against the bombers.



In April, experiments into synthetic oil began in Livonia – the expansion of the air force would only increase oil demands further, and Livonia would need to at least partially sustain itself if it were to reliably wage war with these new vehicles.



It was now June of 1937, and it seemed all of Europe was preparing for war, although neither side was yet ready to enter it. Covert operations in Bavaria by the Fascists would certainly become a point of contention soon, but the Japanese invasion of China was also going to demand Livonia’s attention. In the meantime, the Baltic Navy was growing the fastest it had in a very long time, and warplane production was ramping up. The only weakness was in the army itself, which still needed time to grow if it were to defend against the massive Fascist hordes.
 
Last edited:

ThetrueColt

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Very informative and interesting writeup about the state of the world, I wonder if the Americans will be up to some shenanigans now.

The balance of power in Europe seems quite delicate, especially with Norvegija and Bavaria aligning themselves closer to the Fascist Order. Any news on what Isbania is going to do?

It's also 1937 already and World Tension is quite high, maybe a big war will break out sooner than in OTL?
 

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It is most excellent to see the HoI4 section of this AAR. begin.
 

Centurial

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Apr 29, 2017
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Very informative and interesting writeup about the state of the world, I wonder if the Americans will be up to some shenanigans now.

The balance of power in Europe seems quite delicate, especially with Norvegija and Bavaria aligning themselves closer to the Fascist Order. Any news on what Isbania is going to do?

It's also 1937 already and World Tension is quite high, maybe a big war will break out sooner than in OTL?

1) No news ;)
2) Define "a big war"

It is most excellent to see the HoI4 section of this AAR. begin.
Glad to finally start putting this up again after so long.
 

Jan Zizka

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Feb 5, 2018
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I've read through the entire series, and I gotta say, fantastic job.

Can't wait to see how the war begins.
 

Centurial

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Apr 29, 2017
375
118
Chapter 2: Buildup and Proxy Wars (June – Oct 1937)



On June 7th of 1937, the Japanese declared war on China’s Xi Dynasty, bringing in Livonia and Karenia as well. The heaviest fighting at the onset of the war was in South China, where Japanese forces defended the mountainous region while another army moved to push up the south coast, supported by Livonian forces.



Large detachments of the Livonian Air Force were already stationed in Asia – in the south, a Japanese airbase right near the border stationed Livonian close air support, while in the North the nearest airbase was in Korea, where long-range bombers were stationed.



Meanwhile, Livonia’s two aircraft carriers were finished, although they were not yet equipped with airplanes. Destroyer construction was ongoing, while most of the now-freed shipyards were devoted to new battleships.



In order to assist with the monumental task of invading such a large country as China, Japan was organizing multiple naval invasions to support the advances. The first of these came from Taiwan within a few weeks of the war’s onset, as Japanese soldiers landed in South China to support the advance up the coast.



While Livonia was distracted by the war in China, the Fascists had prepared to flip Bavaria to their side. On July 10th, the fascist populists of Bavaria initiated their coup, supported by Italian and German agents and armaments. During the event, they managed to take control of the majority of Bavaria’s actual territory, while the loyalists maintained control of the capital region bordering the NGU, where the majority of the army had been stationed.



Despite the fascist Union of Bavaria controlling the majority of the country’s actual land at the beginning of the coup, the Blaus’ army (named after the blue checkered flags traditionally associated with Bavaria which were used by loyalist armies) was nearly 50% larger in numbers.



Immediately, the Allies denounced the fascist meddling in Bavaria’s government. Livonia and Aquitaine began sending military equipment to the loyalists, while Al-Turkis would eventually send army forces to assist. However, Livonia was still in no shape to risk war over Bavaria – the army was still much too small, and China was ultimately more valuable than Bavaria. It wasn’t certain how long the fighting in Bavaria would last, so for now both the Allies and the Fascist Union watched closely, while secretly supporting their sides in the conflict.



The fighting in China continued in the meantime, going generally well for the Japanese. Livonian air assets had mixed results – the close-range bombers favored by LAF Chief Simians were quite effective in bombing entrenched Chinese positions in the south, but the long-range bombers in the north weren’t as effective. Strategic bombers were very ineffective, as China lacked in heavy industry to begin with and navigating over the vast and poorly mapped country was difficult.



The advance into the south was going well, but the Japanese landing force was struggling to hold against a sudden Chinese counterattack, forcing the army nearby to rush to their support. In the North, another landing force launched from southern Korea, while the northern advance continued slowly.



There was also minor fighting along the vast border with Karenia, but poor infrastructure and supply difficulties made large operations impossible.



In the first month of the Bavarian Civil War, the government forces advanced quickly out of Nuremburg, far more organized than their rebelling opponents. Their goal was to rush forward to the industrial center around Munich and restrict the Fascists to operating in the countryside. The small fascist exclave near the border of Aquitaine was quickly taken by government forces as well.



In August, Italian army forces were spotted in China as the southern army advanced - it seemed the Fascists were concerned about a Japanese acquisition of the area. Regardless, the advance continued, supported by Livonian planes as the Chinese forces besieging the Japanese began to be attacked from both directions.



Later in August, the Bavarian civil war began to develop a more solid front line as fascist forces formed a defensive line to stop the advance into Munich. Concerned about advances by the Blaus, “volunteer” forces from Italy and the NGU were sent to assist in the defense of the city.



By the end of the month, the fascist support was bolstered significantly when English armor was spotted in Bavaria, apparently being sent into the country through Italy’s borders By this point, nearly two months into the war, Fascist casualties were double that of the Blaus, who now also held a majority of the country’s industry. Loyalists forces had also been bolstered to be nearly double the size of the Fascists’, although with significant foreign volunteers flooding into the south, it was uncertain how many men were actually defending the south.



In September, the South China army managed to link up with the Japanese marines, and the combined forces now pushed to take control of the valuable iron mines in South China – these were the key strategic goal for Japan and the war’s primary goal.



Fighting in the poorly-roaded and mountainous terrain of South China alongside the Japanese helped the Livonian army staff to improve supply lines – a seemingly minor change that would actually be very important for future operations.



By late September, the Blaus had advanced a decent amount into Fascist territories, despite the foreign volunteers. However, it seemed unlikely that they could keep up the momentum, although a defensive stance would still give them the upper hand.



1937 was nearly over, and there were now two wars: in China and in Bavaria. Both the Allies and the Fascists were involved in each war to varying degrees, but neither side was willing to directly confront the other yet. Livonia’s naval expansion program was bolstering the Baltic Navy every month, while the war in China taught both the air force and the army valuable lessons.
 

stnylan

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The Bavarian civil war on Livonia's doorstep has to be rather uncomfortable.
 

Narvait

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Subbing for my very first HOI AAR to read!
 

Centurial

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So Bavaria is this timeline's Spain...
Fun fact - in one of the early drafts for deciding how HOI4 would play out, I considered giving Isbania a civil war since their ideology in Vic2 was almost perfectly split. I decided against it though as it wouldn't make much sense for a country that already had a brutal civil war not too long ago, and was reasonably prosperous. Also it would be too similar to vanilla.

Or i could just do it like Kaiserreich and give half of the countries in the world a civil war :p

The Bavarian civil war on Livonia's doorstep has to be rather uncomfortable.
Definitely. Of course there'll be more on that in the next chapter.

Subbing for my very first HOI AAR to read!
Welcome to the madness :)
 

Capage

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this is super cool, I loved genoa's exploits and I hope to see more from them.
 

Centurial

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Chapter 3: Precursor Wars (Oct 1937 - Oct 1938)



At the start of October, the northern advance in China saw great progress as the Japanese marine forces linked up with the main push, cutting off the Shandong peninsula. The majority of Chinese forces in the north were caught up along the northeast Karenian border, leaving the coastline weakly defended against the sudden surge of invaders.



Meanwhile in Bavaria, the Fascists were pushing back in the northeastern region, thanks to foreign volunteers – especially the English tanks. Fighting near Munich was still stagnant, due to the heavier concentration of forces and more defensible terrain.



By mid-November, Japan was negotiating with the local Chinese viceroy ruling the occupied southern region, in an effort to establish an independent puppet state. Meanwhile, two coastal city provinces in the south were transferred to Livonia to serve as trade ports. Immediately, the Livonians worked to construct an air base to support the advancing forces, who had advanced past the range of the Indochina airbase.



While the Fascist forces advanced in the northeast of Bavaria, coming dangerously close to Nuremberg, the Blaus broke through in the south, themselves coming dangerously close to Munich. Even though they were up against several foreign volunteer forces, the loyalist armies were performing quite well – and the foreign rifles being imported from Aquitaine and Livonia helped raise a larger army.



By the end of 1937, months of warfare by the Livonian Air Force in China had helped the country develop better tactics, especially with the longer range tactical bombers used in the north. Only one month later, a new set of improved airplane designs would begin production based on lessons from this war.

As January rolled around, China was in bad shape – only a third of their coastline remained under their control against the rapidly advancing Japanese armies from both directions, and pressure by Karenian armies meant that much of the army had to be devoted to the defense of the north as well.



In Livonia, 1938 would be a year of massive military expansion – new military factories were constantly being built for Klavess’ new state-controlled industry plan, and propaganda campaigns helped bolster army volunteer numbers – it was easy to convince Livonians to come to the country’s defense with the Fascist threat in Bavaria and the possibility of war with Norvegija. The first batch of new army recruits were ready in January, and the majority of them were placed on the various borders to the north, which had generally been undermanned against the surprisingly large Norwegian forces stationed there.



In January, the momentum in Bavaria was mirrored when the Blaus managed to push back the northern push, while themselves being forced to fall back from the outskirts of Munich.



And by March, the Chinese coastline was just weeks away from being completely cut off – and the Japanese front line on the entire Chinese inland was advancing. The provisional capital of Xi was very close to the front, so it seemed that they would have no choice but to surrender soon.



Just over one month later, on April 19, the Xi Dynasty did surrender to the Japanese. Japan had no intention of dominating the entire Chinese region – even the Xi government was incapable of doing so. Instead, their main focus was the southern mines, which they took control of under the puppet Min dynasty. Elsewhere, the rest of China was split up into three independent cliques in order to permanently weaken the country, with the Xi keeping control of their heartland. Finally, the Manchurian borders were extended past Beijing, while Karenia took a decent chunk of land along their border.



In May the Blaus were doing well, pushing back the northern advance completely and remaining on the outskirts of Munich, but only a month later they were pushed back once again, as foreign forces concentrated near Nuremburg.



Livonian army expansion was ramping up quite a bit at this point, with significant resources being pumped into defensive military equipment and several newly-improved warplanes – mainly fighters, which were crucial to the strategy for air superiority. Mass recruitment was also underway, as public zeal against the fascists spread through Livonian society – especially among the growing workforce being employed by the country’s military expansion program.



New synthetic oil refineries were also planned to enter construction soon, in an attempt to cut down the costs of foreign oil imports and leave the country some assurance if foreign supplies were cut off.



In August, the Fascist advance proved to be too much for the Blaus, despite several successful defenses before. There was now fighting in the city of Nuremburg itself, while the northeastern land had mostly been lost. It seemed the Loyalist armies were running out of steam against the huge support by all three members of the Fascist Union.



Over the next month, the advance did not halt. Nuremburg fell to the Fascist armies, and the advance continued further to the outskirts of Bavarian territory. To their credit, the Loyalist armies refused to surrender, fighting to defend every piece of land they maintained in the vain hope of more direct military intervention by the Allies.



However, neither of the Allied powers were ready to engage in the war – Aquitaine was still desperately expanding its army and Navy to keep up against the English, German, and Italian militaries, while Livonia’s army expansion would need several more months if they were to confidently wage war. Privately, the allies agreed that even with a fascist takeover of Bavaria, the country posed little risk in the short term – after being devastated by civil war, the already weak country wouldn’t be able to defend itself against a massive front line on both the Kuyavian and Turkish borders.

On October 20th of 1938, the Union of Bavaria seized the remaining loyalist strongholds, officially taking control of the entire country. However, in exchange for their support in the war, the North Germans demanded that the remainder of their territorial claims (which had been part of loyalist territory to begin with) were annexed into the country. The rebels had little choice but to agree.



It had been an important year. Bavaria, after much devastation and fighting, had fallen into the fascist sphere of influence, and served as a live training ground for the Fascist Unions’ soldiers and tanks. In Asia, Japan managed to secure a steady supply of iron to support its growing navy, while the Livonian Air Force gained valuable experience.

Now though, there were no more wars, and no distractions for the two major factions of Europe. Livonia’s military expansion was still underway, but waiting too long would give Bavaria time to heal. Both sides were fearful that waiting any longer could be fatal, so it was only a matter of time until tensions exploded.
 

Capage

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I love how Japan is not very different from this world's Japan, but somehow ended up on the good side.
Next on: Union of Bavaria crushing Czechia. I wish there were at least one primary or secondary communist power at the end of game.
 

Centurial

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I love how Japan is not very different from this world's Japan, but somehow ended up on the good side.
Next on: Union of Bavaria crushing Czechia. I wish there were at least one primary or secondary communist power at the end of game.
Heh, well Japan hasn't had much time to diverge - the main difference for them is that the country was later to westernize due to less European presence in Asia. Really their position right now is very similar to RL Japan's position in WW1 (minus the whole invading china part)

As for the second bit, that would definitely make sense, but Livonia has been guaranteeing Czechia's independence for ~ 10 years now.
 

stnylan

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The Wars in China and Bavaria are over - the War of the World is about to begin :D