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Timotheos

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Prologue - An Unstable World

The Great War may have ended with the 11/11 ceasefire but its immediate aftershocks lingered on well into the 1920s. Britain, like most of the other nations, had to deal with the demobilisation of thousands of servicemen. France was staring at the shattered remains of its north-eastern lands and planning new defences to prevent Germany ever invading again. Germany itself faced a collapse of its entire economy and the Weimar Republic would not recover until well into the decade. Meanwhile in Italy the first signs of the new era appeared with the rise to power of one Benito Mussolini and his fascist party. However for many at the time the main area of interest was in the east and the Russian Civil War. Since the October Revolution Russia had been in anarchy as the rival factions fought for control. The Bolshevik ‘Reds’ were the most united of the factions but faced numerous opponents.

The Bolshevik unity might well have proved the decisive factor, had it not been for the actions of Alexander Kerensky in the weeks following the October revolution. Putting aside his dislike for man of the ‘White’ generals he used a combination of personal charisma, determination, fear of Bolshevism and political concessions to forge an alliance, albeit a tenuous one, against the Reds. With support for them coming in from other countries who worried about the Red Menace, they were able to muster a strong front. And at first it seemed to be enough…just. Over the course of 1918-1920 White forces slowly pushed back the Red armies until all of Siberia, the Ukraine and Caucasus regions were under their control, as well as scattered enclaves along the Baltic and the Barents Seas. However their the line stabilised. The industrial heartland of Russia remained in Bolshevik hands, including St. Petersburg and Moscow. After months of stalemate it soon became clear that the White alliance was fracturing. In desperation Kerensky and several other top men in the movement turned to Poland - the only nearby nation with significant military power - for help. The Agreement of Lvov, signed in December 1920, saw Russia recognise the Baltic States and Ukraine as being in the Polish sphere of influence and agreed to hand over western territories claimed by Poland from its heyday in the 16th century. In return Poland intervened militarily in the war. In September 1921 Moscow and St. Petersburg fell and the Civil War was over. On the 12th October the Russian Republic, with Kerensky as President, proclaimed itself. It was much weakened compared to Imperial Russia. Not only had the Ukraine been lost but independent states had also sprung up in the Caucasus and central plains of Asia. Within a few months the government faced a coup attempt by Admiral Kolchak. It failed but with Japanese support Kolchak was able to set up a regime in Transamur while Mongolia, led by the erratic (some would say insane) Baron Von Sternberg, seized control of the Trans-Siberian railroad.

Somehow Kerensky’s Russia managed to hold together. Slowly its economy began to rebuild. The rest of Europe was also recovering as well and a new era of peace was arriving. The mid 1920’s were viewed as a Golden Era as people celebrated the end of the turbulence that had plagued Europe for a decade. In 1923 Russia joined the League of Nations and in 1926 Germany was allowed in, both states becoming permanent members of the League’s Council. Across the Atlantic the USA too flourished in its isolation. Then came the Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression. Once more the world plunged into economic darkness. A common feature of the next years was the rise of nationalistic right-wing (or sometimes left-wing, such as in Georgia) movements, many of whom came to power. The most successful was Hitler and his Nazi party who came to power in Germany in 1933. In Japan the right-wing army began to assume greater and greater authority. Meanwhile in Italy Mussolini solidified his control of power and began considering an overseas war as a way to distract his people from the economic hardship at home. In Russia Kerensky faced both right and left wing opposition in the period 1929-35 but it was disunited and lacked leaders and so once more he pulled though. With the increasingly nationalistic and isolationist stances being taken increases in tensions and disputes between nations were inevitable, especially combined with a desire by many to overturn the Treaty of Versailles. In Asia Japan had conquered Manchuria in 1933 and the lukewarm response from the League of Nations only encouraged other would-be aggressors. A brief unity was shown in 1935 when Britain, France and Italy formed the Stresa Front to resist German rearmament and attempts to unite with Austria. However the unity was soon stretched when Britain and Germany signed the Anglo-German Naval Agreement in June. It was finally broken when Italy invaded the African state of Abyssinia without warning on October 3rd 1935. Italian forces soon established control of Abyssinia’s border regions and prepared to strike deeper in.


Europe in 1936



East Asia in 1936
 

Timotheos

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On a more practical note a few points should be made before I go any further:
1) I am using HOI2 v1.3b with the ‘All the Russias’ mod (v0.4).
2) Although I am playing as Italy the style of my AAR will probably mean that I focus quite a bit on other countries at times, just as Russia was especially important in the prologue above.
3) Frequency of updates will vary of course, depending on how busy I am. It could range from one a day to one a week. I plan to at least post one a week though, no matter what (well, maybe if get hit by lightning I might have to stretch it to one per fortnight…).
4) I have no idea how long this AAR will be, nor how long it will last. That depends on how much I end up writing and when I feel a suitable ending has been arrived at.

I’d also like to take the opportunity to thank Sarmatia1871, the creator of the All the Russias mod. Those interested in finding out more now can go here
 

unmerged(17581)

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A non-Russian All the Russias AAR! Interesting!
 

unmerged(60155)

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Italy, without the SU... The 'All the Russias' part made me think you were playing as one of the Russian states. Anyway, *subscribed*.
 

GeneralHannibal

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I am guessing you are going with the path that will not involve allying the Germans, but I don't want to say to much, seeing as how that would ruin a surprise :cool:.
 

AOK. 11

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This is definitely an interesting set-up. I will be reading.
 

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Looks interesting. Always nice to see AARs played with various mods.
 

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Thanks for the replies and interest. I hope I live up to, or exceed, your expectations.


Chapter 1 - The Game begins

As the New Year arrived the eyes of the world were fixed on the new Italian offensive in Abyssinia. Yet just three days into the year the offensive had become old news. Why? Because at 2:35 on the morning of the 3rd January 1936 President Kerensky of the Russian Republic was shot while being driven home from his office. He died before medical aid could arrive, leaving Russia facing new chaos. New elections were soon called for in the Duma (Russia’s lower house) and various factions jockeyed for position. The leading party was the Mensheviks representing the left-wing members. However more shocks were to come. Baron Petr Wrangel, Chief of Security Forces made a bid for power. It appears from the evidence that he had already being planning possible coup attempts and had managed to gain the support of many radical army officers and hard-line right-wingers fearful of Menshevik dominance. It proved enough and on the 5th January Baron Wrangel proclaimed himself President, having seized control of both Moscow (the capital) and St. Petersburg. The army soon sided fully with him, swayed no doubt by his promises to protect Russia from the (unspecified) ‘New Red Threat’. Wrangel soon began to solidify power both in the centre and in the peripheral regions. The Duma was dissolved on the 17th leaving Wrangel in sole command and plans were put into motion to revamp and centralise the bureaucratic system. There were signs of minor unrest in the eastern and southern regions but no organised opposition movement or leader sprang up.

Meanwhile Italy, now no longer the focus of the world, continued its conquest of Abyssinia. Their new offensive proved a resounding success and Addis Ababa fell on the 27th February. Two days later Victor Emmanuelle III of Italy was proclaimed Emperor of Ethiopia. The war had also triggered a slow but steady upgrade in Italian military strength, both in training and equipment. A secondary aspect of these changes came about in June. The fascist government of Armenia headed by Andrenik Osanien had long looked to Italy for protection (during the 1920’s they were the only major fascist government after all). This was moved to a new level when on the 12th June Italy concluded a trade agreement with Armenia in which it would supply them with several thousand tons of modern military equipment and certain key technological advances.

Germany too had seen its chance and in early March broke yet another Versailles Treaty clause by reoccupying the Rhineland. France and Britain accepted the move and while there was some suggestion of involvement in Poland the government itself was much more concerned at this point with its eastern neighbour.

By the middle of the year though Europe seemed to be settling down - unlike Asia where the Nationalist Chinese government continued to struggle with various southern warlords. Russia itself was stabilising as Wrangel’s control became firmer, Italy’s Abyssinian War was long over and peace seemed to be settling. Then, in mid July, a major coup attempt by the army and right-wing parties in Spain led to the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.


The beginning of the Spanish Civil War - the Nationalist coup only partially succeeded. Most notably only Valencia and Seville of all the major Spanish cities fell, although Nationalist control of Cadiz would allow the veteran Morrocan forces to be transferred over in the first days of the war.
 
Last edited:

GeneralHannibal

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You should help Armenia conquer the Caucasus and the rest of "Greater Armenia"
 

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Lots of fun and games on the international front.
 

unmerged(17581)

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Things seem to be going normal.
 

Timotheos

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Thanks for the support everyone. Now, do you mean normal for HOI2 or normal for ATR? The former will certainly change and I'm not sure its possible to define normal for the latter. Anyway, next update in a moment.
 

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Chapter 2 - War in the West, War in the East.

In Spain the Nationalists and Republicans quickly began scrapping with each other, trying to consolidate and secure control of their respective lands. Britain and France moved to block foreign intervention in the war, with the League of Nations proclaiming a Non-Intervention Agreement. However, when early strikes by the Nationalists seized Barcelona and Bilbao Germany quickly decided to support them, seeing the opportunities open to them. Mussolini in Italy took longer to decide but he too eventually chose to back the Nationalists. The Republicans on the other hand stood isolated - only Mexico was prepared to openly support them and they could do little while Britain and France maintained a blockade around the peninsula.

The Nationalist’s early aims were to crush the Basque forces in the north and relieve Valencia. The Republicans tried to secure Madrid and regain control of Valencia. Fierce fighting around Valencia ensued until eventually the Nationalists retreated. Republican forces entered Valencia on the 4th August. This gave time however for the Nationalists to crush the last Basque resistance and thus move their forces southward. The front line began to stabilise.


The Spanish Civil War at the start of September. The front lines have been soldified. The Republicans hold more ground but have several units tied up by the forces in Seville.

Soon after the Nationalists launched a new offensive in the north, making use of the help from the fascist powers. In the centre only slow progression was made - the Republicans defending Madrid fiercely. However along the flanks the Nationalists pushed their enemy back. Valencia was retaken by the Nationalists in mid November and Salamanca in the west fell soon after before Republican counter attacks halted the advance.


The Spanish Civil War in early December. Nationalist attacks have pushed down the flanks but are unable to drive on Madrid.

In contrast the rest of the world seemed a lot quieter. Even the interminable wars in China had died down. Germany continued its rearmament process and other nations began to get in on the act. Italy for example began work on a new battleship - named the RM Littorio - in December. The new ship broke the Washington Naval Treaty restrictions and included several new design features and a high speed. Once completed it would be the most advanced battleship in the world. Plans were also being made for more ships of this calibre. Meanwhile in the USA Franklin Roosevelt was re-elected as US President in November. The most startling event of this period outside of Spain came from Armenia however. In a rather daring move they pointed to recent discoveries by Armenian archaeologists claiming that Armenia had once dominated the Caucasus and began stating claims to the region. Not surprisingly most of Europe thought the exercise was some sort of joke, though a few observers wondered at what role Italy had played in this affair.

Come 1937 however and the matter was soon forgotten as other events intruded. On the 2nd January Turkestan, a right-wing theocratic nation in central Asia, declared war on the Kazakh Republic, its northern neighbour, claiming that the latter was mistreating the Turkomen peoples in its territories. Turkomeni armies began pushing north along the entire front, making slow progress throughout the next 5 months. Russia, possibly feeling threatened by the war on their southern borders began a new process of rebuilding their army, which had been sorely depleted since the end of the Civil War. Meanwhile in Spain the Nationalists began a new offensive, codenamed Operation Isabella. They had used the time since the last offensive ended to build up their forces and have many of them trained by Italian and German observers. Plans were laid for a combined northern and southern attack this time, whereas previously it was only on the northern front that attacks occurred. When the new offensive finally began it achieved early successes. Guadalajara fell in January leaving Madrid almost cut off. The Republican government made plans to flee the capital. Soon however the offensive began to bog down. Valencia itself fell once more to a Republican counter-attack and the central thrust to unite the two separate Nationalist enclaves failed, resulting in the surrender of several Nationalist divisions at Albacete. For a time it looked as though the Nationalists had been stopped. However by this time Republican forces were in trouble. Under supplied and lacking both equipment and morale they were beginning to crumble. The flight of their government to Valencia in March further shook their confidence. Soon Nationalist forces were once more gaining ground and this time they kept on going. Badajoz fell and soon the entire Portugese border was taken. The Republican government had to flee south from Valencia and then flee north once more to Madrid - a move that provoked several scathing comments in newspapers around the world. The last of the southern enclaves fell in mid-April and only Madrid was left. Before the end of the month it too had fallen and the Civil War was over. General Franco, head of the Nationalists, became the effective dictator of Spain. Both Italy and Germany began trying to win him over to them.

And so the rest of Europe began to relax, hoping that peace would reign once more. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be. Italy’s relations with Armenia had grown closer and it was now proposed that Count Ciano, Mussolini’s foreign minister, would fly to Armenia himself to speak to Osanien. The move would be of great propaganda benefit, highlighting the recent developments in the Italian airforce. It was also hoped by many that a formal alliance would be signed by the two nations at the meeting. Indeed such an alliance was signed, although news of it didn’t leak out straight away. Indeed the whole event seemed a great success at first - Ciano’s plane landed to cheering crowds in Armenia and talks appeared to go well. Ciano left Armenia on June 1st and headed home. Then, that afternoon, while flying over Turkey, his plane crashed in mysterious circumstances. Upon hearing the news Mussolini immediately sent an ultimatum to Turkey, demanding a formal apology for “the hostile action undertaken by that nation”. Turkey responded by denying all involvement in the crash, and claimed that their investigators suspected a mechanical failure to be to blame. It was the wrong answer to give. On the 2nd June 1937 Italy declared war on Turkey, a declaration followed a few hours after by a similar one from Armenia. Once more war had emerged in Europe.


The Eastern Meditteranean at the start of the Italo-Turkish War.

No screenshots of the Turkestan-Kazakh Republic War yet I'm afraid.
 

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Also, is everyone happy with the screenshots? Its my first time posting images up so I just want to check that no ones having problems with them now before I get any deeper into the AAR.
 

unmerged(44118)

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No problems with the screenies
Kinda strange that mussolini would let his son in law (Ciano) crash to attack turkey
 

Timotheos

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Who said he let him crash? Actually there is an option to shoot the plane down yourself if it gets back to Italy safely. In this case it didn't make it that far though, and I don't think I'd have picked that option if it had.

Anyway, Mussolini certainly did not let his son-in-law crash just to attack Turkey. But once it did happen he made use of it for his own reasons...
 

stnylan

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Screenshots look good.

Ahh, a wonderful casus belli against Turkey. Roma aeterna et triumphalis! (and yes, I know my Latin is execretable)
 

GeneralHannibal

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Yay, Armenia will rise to greatness along with it's small, unimportant ally Italy of course :D.