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Black Lotus

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Chapter 1: Renaissance

HMS_Howe_in_Suez_Canal_1944sized-1.jpg

A British Battleship Passes Through the Suez Canal

The 1930's would not be ideal times for the British Empire, especially during the wake of the Great Depression, the increased militarization of fascists powers, and the ever increasing failure of the League of Nations. With domestic dissent from governmental instability growing, and its resources dwindling, Great Britain is an island nation with many duties to fulfill, but less manpower available as time goes on. It is in these times where “Isolation Politics” will be used to deal with the various problems arising so that Britain can build up and bring herself back to the diplomatic table with increased prestige and power. One thing was clear however that demanded future observation; the rise of fascist nations such as Germany, Japan, and Italy, with a lesser extent to the Balkan nations of which have began to dabble in more authoritarian governments. Nothing could be done for now, but this is were diplomacy shines best when other moves require too many resources. With Britain ruling the seas, a standing professional army, and the increasing attention given to aircraft and radar counterparts, who would dare challenge the majesty of Britain? That question would be put to the test in the coming years, and it would be a true awakening to everyone around the world that would come in a price of human life.

1936JanuaryOverallMapIndustryFigure.jpg

An Overall Strategic Map of Europe

Looking at home, Britain has numerous home guards to defend her shores, and has begun to modernize the air force and related sections such as radar and flak batteries. The navy is large, however becoming more and more obsolete as time passes, special attention must be given to adequately equip the backbone of British power. In foreign regions, Britain is spread out and has few forces in any region to meet the needs of any increased aggression. Egypt and Jerusalem are especially vulnerable with not even more than 50,000 men for the entire region, a low number despite the massive importance of the Suez Canal and Mediterranean operations. India and the Far East also suffer from a lack of manpower overall with barely any naval forces to sustain a future war of aggression from foreign powers. With this in hand, the British government concluded that it would be best to split up their attention to all three areas of the military, which would dictate their building policy.

FormationsPlan36-38Base.jpg

British Building Policy for 1936-1938

1936JanuaryResearch.jpg

Beginning Research for 1936

In Europe, Britain would continue to utilize the League of Nations to resolve diplomatic crisis' and to further the pacification of Europe. With the Ethiopian venture of Italy and German rallies for the militarization of the Rhineland, Britain must be on guard to deal with future aggressive involvement with these nations, but refrain from another Great War, no one wanted to even mention a full war with either of these nations. Something dark was coming, a new time period and Britain would be at the forefront of this new age ready to take the lead.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Author's Notes: Hello everyone, this is my second AAR featuring Britain which I intend to lead from 1936 to hopefully 1964. However, there are a few notes I'd like to say.

  • I am playing with the mod Experience of WWII: The World in Flames 1.0 Beta with the Armageddon attachment
  • Please stop by Fernando Torres' mod page if you're interested in the mod, the current public version is 0.6
  • I am also playing with the mod's unit limitation aspect, so there won't be 250 vanilla infantry divisions since Britain never had that, or 50 division of tanks
  • Even though the mod has gone through several versions, there are still some English grammatical errors (The mod is bilingual, French and English) so please no hate on the custom events of world news
  • I intend to mostly lead a historical game, with of course a few ahistorical choices but all of them will be historically backed up
 
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SirCliveWolfe

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Very interesting... I wish you good luck :D
 

Miihkali

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Good luck, looks interesting!
 

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Looks pretty sweet. I've gotta keep my eye on this one.
 

Black Lotus

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Massive update everyone tomorrow concerning the rest of 1936.
 

Black Lotus

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Chapter 2: Intervention and Upheaval

GeorgeVPic.jpg

One of George V's portraits

1936 would start off with the death of King George V on January 20th, a true blow to the British Government and the populace. Throughout his life he would work tirelessly to make the British empire prosper, leading the people through the Great War and being a great negotiator at home, setting up the Irish Free State in 1922 and four years later help ending the General Strike in Britain. His legacy would forever remain in the hearts of the British people, and as Edward III took the throne he hoped to be as great as his father both politically and militarily.

4thWinterGames.jpg

The Winter Games begin!

The next two months would have surprising events as well throughout the world. On February 7th Germany would host the 4th Winter Games in preparation of the Olympics later in the year. Norway, Germany, and Sweden would take the most gold metals back home, with Finland finishing 4th overall. On February 18th the Popular Front would win the election in Spain, which would cause some eyebrows to raise in the Intelligence Ministry. The Popular Front was a socialist party in Spain that proposed new ideas such as collectivization of farms and businesses and the dissolution of the church itself, nothing good come out of this. However it was concluded that it would be better to watch from a distance. The Popular Front though socialist wasn't too radical and Edward III would state that he would rather not get mixed up in foreign affairs at this time. A week later news came from Italy that the Ethiopian campaign had come to an end with the capture of Abbis Ababa, the capital of the fledging nation. British intelligence from the forces in the region reported that the Italian's performance was lackluster and that their army overall had significant trouble against Ethiopia. Though the League of Nations failed to stop the invasion, Britain would direct the 5th, 6th, and 7th British African Infantry Corps to take up perimeter observation around Ethiopia in case of mass migration from Ethiopia to British Africa to escape the Italian Army. Japan would itself as well face revolution with an attempted coup in the coming days. The conservative hardliners, mostly made up army officers and associated infantry corps would be stopped, and the Japanese government would have some shuffling in its cabinet.

LocarnoPact.jpg

The Locarno Pact is signed

On February 27th the Locarno Pact would be ratified between Britain's continental ally France and the Soviet Union to the east. The pact was intended to be a defensive entente aimed against German aggression, though Hitler would protest and claim that Germany was no long in the previous pact signed in the 1920's. In other news, Chiang Kai-shek's government would finally conclude a peace with the communist forces of Mao in the northern regions. Peace would finally come to Asia and it was reported that Hong Kong would most likely see an increase in economic growth due to the tranquil times coming.


RemilitarizationoftheRhinelandedit.jpg

The Reoccupation of the Rhineland

The British Home Fleet would go to alert status on March 7th with the reoccupation of the Rhineland by Hitler's army. The history of the agreement traces back to the end of the Great War with the idea in mind that if another Great War was to be fought with Germany, that France could invade Germany and all of the collateral damage would be on German soil rather then French. It was also aimed at German aggression in France, but Hitler decreed that Germany has the right to occupy its own soil. Official protests would be sent out to Germany, denouncing them for violating the Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Pact.

RemilitarizationoftheRhinelandMap.jpg

A map of German with the Rhineland shown in red

The area in question was the strip of land between the Rhine River and the Franco-Belgium border to the west in red. Many major cities and industrial areas are in this region including Cologne, not to mention the numerous raw materials as well that inhabit the area as well. France would back off from the reoccupation, not wanting to risk war while back home the public unanimously agreed that Germany has the right to occupy its own territory as Hitler stated before. Though this was a clear violation of the treaty, risking war over this trivial matter would never get the backing of public support so the British government turned away to more important problems.

GeneralStrikeFinal.jpg

A time line of the events of the general strike in France

Like Britain 1926, France too would face a general strike due to the unsatisfactory position of workers and their rights in French industry. Starting on May 11th, the strike would cripple French production and negotiations would begin rather quickly. By the time the negotiations started, over one million were on strike. The French government would agree to the following conditions and terms:

  • The legal right to strike
  • The legal rights to form unions
  • A blanket 7-12% increase of wages for all workers
  • Paid vacations for workers
  • The idea and use of collective bargaining
  • The repeal of the 1935 decree-laws concerning the wages of public servants and the taxes on World War I veterans' pensions
The strikes would end on June 22nd and a small increase in the economy would be observed by French industrial specialists. These strikes however would have an impact on Britain after witnessing its closest ally become weakened by domestic unrest. Britain had always been mostly conservative, but there needed to be room for more left wing policies, especially in economics to combat the fear of general strikes. This would be answered with the outlawing of some of Parliament's most right-winged members due to their extremism on July 8th , making Britain overall a little more social liberal. This news would be a welcoming change of pace for the British people due to the news several days before that the Guangxi Clique declared war on Chiang Kai-shek's China, renewing the general state of civil war in Asia and hampering the growth of Hong Kong.

GermanandAustriaAgreementedit.jpg

The agreement signed between Hitler and Austria

Several days later Hitler would make amends with Austria with his meddling in Austrian sovereignty. This new was a welcoming headline due to the recent reoccupation of the Rhineland, and the overall pacification of Europe. Austria was made a separate entity after the Treaty of Versailles and reunification was banned entirely with Germany. Some members of Parliament have been quoted in saying that the Auschluss issue was far from over, but a majority agreed that at least progress was being made.

TheSpanishCivilWar.jpg

The Spanish Civil War begins!

On July 18th what Parliament feared most occurred in Spain shortly after the general elections. A civil war has erupted between socialists and fascists which has greatly impacted the climate of Europe in terms of interventionism. Intelligence reports that shortly after the election of the Popular Front, that the collectivization of land and assassinations of political enemies arose which have greatly damaged the domestic balance in Spain. These new acts of terror and political instability have caused the national army and conservative catholics to form a resistance, dubbing themselves the “Nationalists” lead by the generalissimo Fransisco Franco primarily. Opposing them are the “Republicans” of the Popular Front and hardliner socialists. Parliament has overestimated the ramifications of having socialists in power, and is in a huge debate of what the first course of action should be to address the problem. One of the main “solutions” is to simply ignore it due to engaging the populace in another war, even if involves simply sending supplies to aid the Republicans to restore order. Parliament must act fast too, reports are coming in that Hitler and Mussolini have pledged support to Franco, sending them money, military supplies, and volunteers for their cause.

SpanishCivilWar-InterventionFinal.jpg

The effects of intervening on behalf of the Republicans

On July 15th members of the left wing in Parliament brought up the issue that if Franco wins the civil war, their closest ally France will be surrounded by the fascist nations of Germany, Italy, and Spain. Due to the fact that the left wing has gained more power in Parliament because of the recent overall shift to a more social liberal view, their voice has carried more weight in the debate. With no right wing extreme members to oppose them, the issue of actually intervening on behalf of the Republicans has now become the dominate issue, rather than just turning away. With the League of Nations as well letting Ethiopia fall to the Italians, many members of Parliament now view that something must be done to retain British integrity and prestige, and show that the League's members are not afraid to take the initiative.

SpanishCivilWarFinal.jpg

The strategic map of Spain during the civil war

It was decided on July 23rd in Parliament that the fledging Republicans needed supplies, manpower, and money to regain control and bring peace to the region. Thousands of tons of military supplies would ship from Britain to the major ports still in Republican control, which included Valencia and Barcelona. In addition Britain would send 15,000 “volunteers” to aid the Republicans, equipped with British weaponry. The volunteers would be chiefly made up of the Scottish reserves in the north since they had the best performance record overall for 1936. Only 15,000 would be sent to avoid Parliament to get the appearance of being warmongering so quality had to make up for quantity. France would back out of sending any men or materials to the Republican cause due to the fear of getting associated in any conflict that may bring them into another Great War.
 
Last edited:

Black Lotus

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Scotland.jpg

Scottish troops on the docks before their departure to Spain

The intervention force would leave within the month, heading to northern Spain to aid in the Republicans in defending the strategic mountains. The expeditionary army would be escorted by the HMS Resolution Surface Task Force lead by Grand Admiral Forbes, who would command the operation overall and have the naval task force remain in an observational role. Shortly after the British pledge to support them, the Republicans gave independence to Euskadi, the Basque state that many people in the region have dreamed of before. Euskadi would be a democratic state that would help Parliament back up their decision in sending troops to Spain, claiming that the Iberian Peninsula will become more democratic overall after the civil war. There would be considerable dissent after this move because coincidently after pledging support to the Republicans and the democratization of the region, the Soviet Union would send the socialists manpower and materials as well. The political landscape would be a mess now even if the Republicans won now with Soviets in the region, who would most likely support the return of a more socialist Spain. But as Julius Caesar said hundreds of years ago, “The die is cast” meaning there was no turning back now, if Britain left the war now she would be humiliated in the eyes of the world.

OlympicGames.jpg

The 11th Olympic Games begin!

On August 3rd the 11th Olympic Games would commence with Germany being the host this season. Many critics were skeptical of the Olympic Games being held in Nazi Germany due to anti-semitism, but surprisingly everything went well. Germany would take home 33 gold medals, with the United States and Hungry coming in 2nd and 3rd. Britain herself would unfortunately come in 10th, but it was something for the population to take their minds off with the war in Spain, so in any case it was a good way of diluting the people.

AbdicationofEdward.jpg

Edward VIII Abdicates

Unfortunately the year would not end peacefully with the Olympic games, Edward VIII would abdicate the throne to his brother who would take the title as George VI. The abdication itself revolved around the issue of his future wife, the American Wallis Sampson who would bring shame to the Monarchy. After attempts of trying to persuade Stanley Baldwin, his prime minister, of letting her obtain a lesser title rather then queen he had no choice but to abdicate rather than bring a constitutional crisis to Britain. And so on 10 December 1936, in the presence of his three brothers, The Duke of York, The Duke of Gloucester and The Duke of Kent he abdicated the throne, with his brother Albert taking the title as King.

The year of 1936 would be a tumultuous year for Britain with three different kings, a political mess in Spain, and the increasingly daring policies of Hitler and Mussolini. With France going through turmoil herself and a divided Parliament, everyone questioned what would 1937 bring. Britain would now be lead by George VI, a benevolent gentlemen who will hopefully guide Britain on the right path toward greatness. Many challenges awaited Britain and one could only hope that she could meet the problems head on without getting into too much trouble that she was already in.
 
Last edited:

Black Lotus

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Any feedback?
 

likk9922

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Good updates, of course. Everybody just does the exact same thing in '36-'37 (actually, really into '39).
 

Black Lotus

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  • War of the Roses
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  • Mount & Blade: Warband
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  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
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  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
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  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
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  • Stellaris: Necroids
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  • Darkest Hour
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  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
Chapter 3: Violence And Variations

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Some of the British volunteers fighting in northern Spain

1936 as stated before was a rude awakening for the Empire with three different kings, a stagnant war, and with the resurgence of military aggression in Europe, many members of Parliament feared what would be in store for them in 1937. Militarily it was decided that Britain has too few manpower reserves to begin building up an army to meet the needs around the world. Behind close doors it was discussed that Britain actually only had 125,000 available for recruitment meaning that any future war would be devastating with the lack of materials and able bodies to use those manufactured weapons of war. However, it was passed that the Empire would begin to modernize the military branch to quell the complaints for an increased defense budget. In detail, these expenditures would mean equipping the navy with the latest radar, fire control systems, and anti-aircraft guns. The Home Island would also expand in the number of flak batteries, radar stations, and the building of more strategic infrastructure.

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Overall Strategic Map for 1937

British Intelligence would release this map to the military and political leaders of the nation for further evaluation for the new year. Industrial specialists have concluded that Germany and the Soviet Union have vastly increased their military industries in preparation for most likely a future conflict. Upon closer look, it appears that Italy herself is running into trouble in maintaining her industry with important resources such as metal, rare materials, and energy. Her industrial figures show she has decreased more than 30% in overall industry, way too big for a natural recession in the economy. France's industry has remained the same for the most part, but that was to be expected due to the general strike the previous year. British industry has increased overall with the increased aggression of Hitler in the Rhineland and of the increased expenditure for the war in Spain.

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The situation in Spain

The meeting then turned to the situation in Spain, of which was positive to say the least. The Republican forces, backed by Britain and the Soviet Union are holding onto the key cities of Madrid and Barcelona and are begin to focus on the north. The British Expeditionary fleet has reported that Euskadi is holding, but is running low on strategic materials so resupplying them should be the first priority. If Euskadi falls, Parliament will not be able to guarantee return of democracy to Spain, which may cause a general uproar against the government. Finally, it appears that Nationalist forces are digging in the south, and intend to hold out until the situation changes.

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The Anti-Comintern Pact is signed

Throughout the early months of 1937, the European populace would regain some notion of a return to normalcy. However on April 7, Hitler would sign the Anti-Comintern Pact with Italy and Japan, causing the British Parliament to raise an eyebrow on the increased aggressive policies. The pact in detail would be aimed against the Soviet Union as the three powers agreed to share any intelligence related to containing the communist influence on the world. Nobody in Europe particularly liked the Soviets so Parliament and George VI would pretend not take notice of this pact since it targeted one of their enemies, besides the situation of Spain was more demanding.

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Euskadi Falls

The British involvement in the Spanish Civil War would get more complicated as word from the Expeditionary Fleet lead by Grand Admiral Forbes reported that Euskadi had fallen, leading to the annexation of in into Nationalist Spain. This was one of the worst possible scenarios British military leaders had envisioned and had hoped that the Scottish volunteers could hold that area. It was reported however that most of them escaped annihilation and they would continue to fight in northern Spain. The British government could no long promise a more democratic Iberian Peninsula, which has had great ramifications with the public at home. Many have called for a return of British intervention forces though leaving now would only cause more problems. In any case it appears that the Republican forces are on the edge of victory however the northern regions of Spain are causing problems in terms of any offensive movement in the region. It would be best to settle the matter once and for all and negotiate with the Republican government for more democratic policies.

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Guernica is destroyed

Hitler would not be idle to the British expeditionary force located in northern Spain and would instruct his volunteer air force under Franco to completely destroy the town of Guernica. Over 70% of the city would be destroyed and be recorded as one of the first major incidents of “terror bombing”, which aimed at the civilian population. Many western democracies would denounce Hitler for his actions calling them “ruthless and unnecessary”.

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The Marco Polo Bridge Incident

One theater that was overlooked by British Intelligence was the increase of militarism in Japan and their wish to create their own imperialistic empire in the Pacific. The British would no long doubt their capacity for war and the Marco Polo Incident would be proof of their aggression. On July 4th the Japanese government hastily declare war on Chiang Kai-shek's China and the various warlords throughout the region. The incident would revolve around the Marco Polo bridge where a simple border dispute turned into a full fledge war between the two major powers. Japan's ambitions in Asia was no secret due to their quest for more resources to fund their increased industrial policies. Looking at a map hastily put together by British Intelligence reporting from our base in Hong Kong, military experts believe that the main attack will come from Japanese Manchuria in the north. Naval blockades around major cities are expected as well, along with small aircraft attacks on logistical areas. Chiang Kai-shek condemned the Japanese government for not negotiating under peaceful terms and has begun to talk to the various warlords throughout China in hopes of forming a united front against Japanese aggression.

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The Rape of Nanjing and intervention from foreign powers

By late October British Intelligence had once again overestimated the Japanese tactical mastery and would inform Parliament and subsequent important military leaders the ever increasing trouble in Asia. The Japanese would capture over ¼ of China in the opening months with coordinated naval landings and aircraft attacks on front line Chinese command centers and supply depots. Numerous Chinese divisions would also be enveloped by the Japanese as indicated on the map which would cause massive holes in Chiang Kai-shek's defense plan. The rapid advancement of the Japanese has also forced Chiang Kai-shek to pull key industry centers from their original areas and reconstruct them in the interior of the country. On the brighter side however Chiang Kai-shek was successful in uniting the country against the Japanese and now has most of China under his control to fight against the Japanese. The key moment in the uniting of the country was with horrible incident dubbed the “Rape of Nanjing” where Japanese naval troops entered the capital almost unopposed and began vicious atrocities to the local population. This sent a message to the warlords of China that the Japanese were never going to show mercy and that they must be stopped from committing further acts of terror. In response to the relatively fast invasion of China, the United States has passed the Pitman act, allowing Chinese silver to be exchanged for gold. The act also allowed more trade agreements to aid the Chinese obtain the resources they'll need to fight the Japanese. The Soviet Union has also launched their own intervention force dubbing it “Operation Zet”, sending the Chinese supplies, aircraft, and military advisors. Hopefully this will help the Chinese defend more efficiently against the Japanese. Britain for a change will remain in observation from Hong Kong since they were already involved in Spain.

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The Panay Incident

By the end of the year, almost half of China would be Japanese hands, causing an increased concern with the involved nations of the United States and the Soviet Union. The reasons for the recent halt of Japanese offensive movement is most likely due to partisans and supply problems in the rear, but Chiang Kai-shek isn't faring too well regardless. He has implemented a mountain defense policy as indicated on the map and intends to hold until the situation improves. Finally the northern city of Beiping is under siege from Japanese forces and expectations look grim to the defenders with no relief force in sight. One other matter that must be addressed is the Panay incident which was a Japanese attack on the neutral America ship named the Panay. Apparently the attack was never officially issued though local commanders probably ordered the attack due to the Pitman Act aiding the Chinese. The Japanese government would send an official apology and pay for the damages. President Roosevelt in response has stepped up intervention aid to the Chinese in hopes of convincing the Japanese to leave China.

The year of 1937 would be more peaceful in terms of British domestic trouble though the situation in Spain looks unstable due to the surrender of the Basque people in the north. However the economy is healing and the war in Asia is a distant worry, only coming up on the back pages of newspapers. Hitler's and Mussolini's ambitions as well seemed to have decreased but 1938 would prove this wrong and even more shocking events would arise in Europe that would reveal Hitler's true motives.
 
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