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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

El Pip

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Seems that way old chap. The tragedy is as discussed above, there doesn't seem to be a way out of this mess, even for just one of the powers.

EDIT: Ok, I'm not quite ready to let this go yet because the alternative is fightinf world war one. Is there no recourse of delaying this at least a little bit? Have an internarional summit or something? This would probably be possible if the US president wasn't such an isolationist...

Saying that, I suppose there wouldn't be that much to discuss, but it might work just as a chance for everyone in europe to meet up and try to convince countries to back their side before the shooting starts? Germany especially kind of needs some friends here.
Austria-Hungary wants the war, as shown the ultimatum to Serbia was deliberately crafted to provoke a war, short of a major change in government or losing the German blank cheque they are going to push for it.

Germany, for reasons discussed, thinks if there is to be a war earlier is better. The German general staff are over-confident in their plans, under-estimate how fast the Russians can mobilise and Kaiser Wilhelm is a catastrophic idiot. Not much chance of them cancelling the blank cheque, though undoubtedly they should.

Russia is probably the weak link, if they just told Serbia "Sorry, you aren't worth a war" then maybe the whole thing fizzles out into 'just' the Austro-Hungarian conquest of Serbia. You could try for a conference to achieve this in a less violent way, but I severely doubt the Tsar would politically survive not backing Serbia. This is all very similar to the Bosnian Crisis of 1908 where Russia did back down and let A-H annex Bosnia, one of the consequences was Russia hastening her railway building, modernisation and mobilisation plans - they were not going to be forced to back down again. Now arguably the Tsar backing down, getting deposed and then being replaced with a more competent Romanov (i.e. almost any of them) would be mostly excellent for everyone - A-H collapses due to the strain of running so many places that hate Vienna, a Germany without allies is forced to avoid incidents or it will face a war it can't win, Butterfly away the Soviet Union, etc. But it is a tad unlikely and could all go wrong in many horrible ways.

Everyone else, well once you have Germany, A-H and Russia in war then France has to join (to avoid seeing Russia knocked out and because of treaty), the Ottomans are itching to join and will find an excuse and then the British will feel obligated to do so.
 
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J_Master

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Russia is probably the weak link, if they just told Serbia "Sorry, you aren't worth a war" then maybe the whole thing fizzles out into 'just' the Austro-Hungarian conquest of Serbia. You could try for a conference to achieve this in a less violent way, but I severely doubt the Tsar would politically survive not backing Serbia. This is all very similar to the Bosnian Crisis of 1908 where Russia did back down and let A-H annex Bosnia, one of the consequences was Russia hastening her railway building, modernisation and mobilisation plans - they were not going to be forced to back down again. Now arguably the Tsar backing down, getting deposed and then being replaced with a more competent Romanov (i.e. almost any of them) would be mostly excellent for everyone - A-H collapses due to the strain of running so many places that hate Vienna, a Germany without allies is forced to avoid incidents or it will face a war it can't win, Butterfly away the Soviet Union, etc. But it is a tad unlikely and could all go wrong in many horrible ways.
The French and Russians agreed at the beginning of 1914 that they would stand behind Serbia, they both felt that they were strong enough, especially with British backing, that they could take on Germany and Austria-Hungary (Italy was already seen as a unreliable ally). If there is one power that could have stayed out of the war, it was Brittain. It had somewhat commited itself to France and Russia, but this didn't extend to Serbia, so if the war began over Serbia, she could easily say "not part of the deal" and stay out of it. Thing is, it would pretty much mean letting Germany become the continental hegemon (something that would become clear during the 2nd year of the war), and a unified European power was never in the British interest. At that point, it might already be too late to overcome the Germans.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Russia is probably the weak link, if they just told Serbia "Sorry, you aren't worth a war"
At that point, it might already be too late to overcome the Germans.
We don't necessarily want to stop the war bexaude i think we've all demostrated it's going to happen...the idea was to delay it for as long as possible, or even just a little bit. If Russia decides not to intervene then Austria goes ahead with an invasion that goes really poorly for them, whilst russia faces internal crisis. This would perhaps be enough for at least Germany to rethink their situation, as russia and Austria are in chaos and they aren't even at war with each other. France too might get cold feet at this point, because germany isn't doing anything and neither is russia, aside from civil strife, and Austria is getting a bloody nose in the balkans. The whole thing starts to look like a dumlster fire that the international community wants to stear clear away from.

Now at this point, several things might happen. Austria might win on their own (which they did...eventually, in serbia) the ottomans join in to help them in exchange for their ambitions, russia gets a new tsar,l etc.

These things would be enough for everyone to start getting really worried again. Russia has to get involved if both turkey and austria are dicking around in serbia (who has fought valiantly alone), which means germany declares war (new better tsar in postion to outflank austria? Not good) which means france attacks and we are off.

But everyone got a bit of time to think about what they were going to do/plan ahead etc.

Idk. I think the war will probably start on time if russia does what it said it would. But there is that potential there...
 

MacGowan

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MID WEEK Q&A

Wow, so much feedback, I love it! Thanks for reading the chapters and jumping in the trench with me.
I'm putting up this mid week Q&A now, but I believe it'll take a few more chapters before we're in the regular weekly schedule. Especially leading up to the declaration of war.

We should probably make a list of things we absolutely must try to change.

1) the entire year of 1916 (especially for the British)

Since we're doing Britain, how are you going to be handling the imperial crisis at this time, since it is still salvageable in summer 1914 (espeically Ireland and the dominions) if you handle it right. Indeed, if you avoid too much damage and expenses in this war you might come out on top! I suppose it depends, as it always bloody does, on what france does.
As with AAWWII we'll take the casualty numbers pretty serious. If anything this war will be about playing a bad hand well. However, I don't blindly follow the ideology that WWI was a war of "Lions lead by donkeys", either. It's not all stalemate trench war and christmas truces, and France is─as always─very much in danger.

But as Britain always does; we will wait, and we will react.

I haven't played the 1914 scenario all that much, so I'm not sure how balanced it is. My hunch is that Russia will be battered this year.
I missed the previous version of this somehow, so I'm delighted to have caught this at the start.
You had my curiosity, but now you have my attention XD

But really this AAR is gonna be awesome and definitely liking the possibility of seeing many different parts of the world through POV's...best of luck :)
Thank you, guys :). I'm having fun with the POVs and hopefully we can create some characters we're invested in. would be interesting to have a POV character join a certain division and let the game and battles decide his fate. That way it wouldn't just be a number when the battle of fill-in-the-blanks happen, it would be our very own and dear POV laying it on the line.
I've not played the DH WW1 mod
This is the DH 1.5.05 Full 1914 vanilla scenario.
the German AI cannot/does not do fleet in being. Typically t he High Seas Fleet sorties from port fairly rapidly and starts prowling around the North Sea, to face them you had better bring the entire Grand Fleet or risk defeat in detail. While this is certainly a risk, think Jellicoe being the only man who could lose the war in an afternoon, it is also a massive opportunity.
Very interesting. I haven't done much military wise (except setting up research, etc) as the diplomatic crisis is still ongoing. But I'm thinking we need to reorganise the homeland Royal Navy into a few heavy hitters.
If you can sink most of the HSF by early 1915, and I strongly suspect the Germans will give you the opportunity, then a world of amphibious options open up. It is amazing what you can achieve when the Grand Fleet is supplying shore bombardment support.
Well from what I've read the amphibious options in this scenario is a damn nightmare, so we'll need all the help we can get if we plan on landing on any beach.
This seems terrific.

I loved your WW2 Britain "Realtime" AAR.

Why was the WW2 one cancelled again.
Thank you :) I appreciate that!
AWWII was cancelled because the AI couldn't keep up with the complexity of the Alt-timeline, a triangle war and US not knowing how to island hop in the pacific.

Hopefully this time around the simplicity of WWI will keep the AI under control.

The Baltic Project was a key bit of Fishers big strategy, like Kitchener and most of the rest of the professional military he believed it would be a long war, several years minimum and planned accordingly. Fisher, and Corbett who was working with him, saw a parallel with the Seven Years War and so looked at the point where Prussia came closest to defeat - the Russian naval invasion of Kolberg and the resulting siege of Berlin.

Fisher correctly believed the German high command would not have forgotten this either and the plan was built around their assumed reaction to it, not an attempt to recreate it. Fisher knew the Grand Fleet wouldn't be much use, and was required to counter the HSF, so wanted to build a 'siege fleet' of shallow draught monitors, minesweepers, the Large light cruisers and some landing craft. In the short term the monitors of this force, in co-operation with the Army was to contest the Flemish coast and retake it, all aimed at pushing the Germans back into the Baltic.

At this point the newly completed shallow draft fleet could sneak into the Baltic on the Swedish side (Swedish objections would be ignored), Zealand fortified if required (it was expected Germany would invade Denmark if they felt the Baltic was threatened, so the British planned to send an army to secure it once Denmark asked for help. If the Germans didn't invade, Zealand stayed neutral and so could be ignored. ) and the British would control the Baltic and complete a total blockade. The intervention of the HSF was expected and hoped for, because it would finally bring them to battle.

Best I can tell Fisher never intended to actually invade the North German coast as he was aware of the issues. I think it was mostly a threat, Fisher put great store in trying to manipulate the enemy into making mistakes, in this case terrify the Germans into thinking a naval invasion of the coast near Berlin is coming and they will panic; pulling troops of the front lines and weakening the front, finally committing the HSF despite unfavourable odds, etc.

All of this would have taken time, 12-18 months to get the siege fleet built, and the cabinet kept to it's delusion that it would be a quick war. So, tragically, the generals who wanted a mass conscript army won out and Britain abandoned her traditional way of warfare and committed to the 'continental' strategy of the Western Front. Which went well. Churchill, who was as bad as any other politician in thinking it would be a quick war, bullied through the Dardenelles 'plan' over Fisher and Corbett's strong warnings, because he wanted the fleet to be doing something and wouldn't/couldn't wait for the Baltic Project to be ready. Which again, went well.

Fisher had his faults, but he did at least have a coherent strategic vision and almost no-one on the Allied side had that. Fishers grand strategy for the war had been planned for years, took account of the enemy's priorities and reactions, and was based on thinking that had worked before. The Baltic Plan was risky certainly, but the risk were calculated and it played to Britain's strengths and the enemies fears and weaknesses. Plus it didn't involve throwing the youth of the Empire at machine guns and hoping to win the resulting battle of attrition. From a summary the Baltic Plan does look like madness, but when you look into the detail is an utter tragedy it was never implemented.
Wow, this was an absolute treat to read!
Fascinating. I think another thing to note about this war was how ill-thought out the allied plans were. Aside from that naval plan, the RN didn't enter the war with a strategy at hand, and the army was designed to defend the empire, not fight a massive modern war.

Hence why whilst the troops were at first the finest on the western front and suprised the germans with how good their rifle fire was, the army didn't have the guns, shells or men for a long war. This wasn't helped by every politician ignoring every military officer warning of a long war.

I mean, this plan would have been fascinating to put into action, and was well thought out. Possiblely relied too much on prussian reaction but good that it took it into account. Better than the western front strategy anyway...but then again, without the british there, could the french hold for the first year and match the German race to the sea?

I think the author should certainly put serious thought into going the baltic campaign. It's what i would do ingame, not knowing anything about ww1 strategy. With this otl stuff though, it would be criminal not to at least consider trying it.
Hah! how British of me to say we will react. Perhaps we do need a grand strategy of dealing with the Germans.
If a war between the great powers breaks, whoever wins will control the world for the next century. But to win, they'll have to fight and win an even larger war than a century ago! Millions of soldiers and countless civilians from all over the world! Machines that can kill thousands in minutes! Worse still, not one of us is going into this fight secure and unified. The Hapsburgs hate almost everyone in their empire, and are hated right back. The Russians despise the Tsar and their entire system of governance. France has been a seething bed of socialism for decades. Italy is a mess. The Ottomans are even worse. The Germans are raring to kill something, anything. And we are facing very difficult and pointed questions from the dominions, especially Ireland and India. We're haemorrhaging money, the working classes are getting more and more radicalised, and the army is designed to fight small colonial revolts, not the might of industrialised Europe. You take it from me lad, this world of ours is in the deep, fucking shit!
Someone get this man a scotch!
I know technically the bill passed but was delayed by the war, or that was the excuse, in otl. Does that mean you've decided to get it out of the way before the war begins? Very wise if so, if a little unorthodox considering contemporary politics.
Ireland has not been liberated. The question of home rule will be discussed at buckingham palace next week I do believe. In any case war will postpone it.
Well, I would recommend not doing that...since if you were the first to start doing so, not only would you look like war-mongering, paranoid lunatics but you'd encourage all the war-mongering and paranoid lunatics in the other GPs to start mobilising too! But yes, it is a big logistical problem. At least GB can rest easy on that score, since they have barely any army to move around or much ammunition for them, there isn't that much to ship to France should the needs must.
No Commonwealth forces have been mobilised as of now. We will make some movement within the British Isles with troops and navy over the next week, but nothing major. Nothing that will set off any alarms. Cecil might be on to the Germans, but the PM and Churchill is not.
the infamous blank cheque. How are you handling this in this timeline? Did they actually mean it or did the Austrians just feel emboldened by vague language?
Blank cheque has been given.
QUOTE="Specialist290, post: 25618152, member: 54304"]You can cut the tension with a knife...[/QUOTE]
This was a good update to demonstrate the anxiety of the British looking on as Europe suddenly got very tense (having previously just been rather tense) due to several extremely smug and almost suicidally overconfident pricks in weird hats deciding that they can definitely take Serbia.
Not to mention silly mustaches. my god, the silly mustaches.

Thank you btw, I'm pretty nervous about August.
All in all, there's probably little to nothing that Britain can actually do to prevent the war -- at this stage it's basically going to be damage control, mitigating the effects of all this madness to their own interests in the Continent.
Yes, the first few weeks will most likely be very similar to OTL.
Huh, so Hartwig's heart attack was real. I thought that was a little drama you cooked up!

Truth is stranger than fiction as they say.
Right? I found several of these small stories that seem too crazy to be true. the early-19th century was a wild place.
Urgh...they kind of fucked themselves here, didn't they? No wonder the Entente were so cocky going into the war, they were 'going' to win. They just forgot that they actually still had to fight a war and minimise losses of men and resources on their own side.
"In war and in chess, the victor is the one who makes the second-to-last mistake."
Yes, there are plenty of ways for the Central Powers to win this war. or rather, for the Entente to lose it. Make no mistakes, gentlemen, this will not be a predetermined walk-over.
Is there no recourse of delaying this at least a little bit? Have an internarional summit or something? This would probably be possible if the US president wasn't such an isolationist...

Saying that, I suppose there wouldn't be that much to discuss, but it might work just as a chance for everyone in europe to meet up and try to convince countries to back their side before the shooting starts? Germany especially kind of needs some friends here.
IIRC, there actually was an attempt OTL in June to do so by the British and American (?), Germany declined.
Out go the lamps
England expects.
 

stnylan

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Well international summits, of course, are not unknown in this period. Indeed Britain tried to host one during the July Crisis in real life, but the idea never really got off the ground. Both of the alliance sets (France/Russia and Germany/AH) were too committed to war.

Here is one suggested - note suggested way forward.

Wilhelm II was very enamoured of being part of European royalty, and was very proud of his British connections. He was also somewhat mercurial. An impassioned plea by George V to his cousin to allow the summit to go forward might, with the right flattery, appeal to the German Kaiser. And where Germany goes, so goes Austria.

Getting the French to agree might be even easier. The French were hoping for British help despite the Entente Cordiale not being a formal alliance, and Britain was under no precise obligation. In real life it was the invasion of Belgium that tipped the scales finally for Britain. What if Britain said that if the French did not agree to the conference they would blockade the French coast? The French Navy by this time has long given up seriously trying to contest the Royal Navy. Perhaps add to this an agreement that if the Germans do not turn up they will form a defensive alliance, so it is not just threat but carrot too.

Once you get these guys to the table ... well, European Congresses of major powers had a history of setting things for the benefit of the major nations and ignoring the wishes of the minor nations (ie Congress of Berlin), at that point anything can happen.

It does require a more interventionist UK, and Grey was not really the Foreign Secretary to pull something like this off, but in your timeline who knows :)
 

J_Master

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I haven't played the 1914 scenario all that much, so I'm not sure how balanced it is. My hunch is that Russia will be battered this year.
The Central Powers, Germany especially, are overpowered in the 1914 scenario. But, that never includes a UK actively in the land war in Europe. Having played the WiF2 WW1 scenario, I must say it is much better balanced. Speaking of the vanilla 1914 scenario, Germany is actually capable of doing the other alternatives besides the historical "limited Von Schlieffen". I've seen them do a full Von Schlieffen and Rupprecht (invasion of switzerland). If you want a certain scenario, check up on where the AI is deploying forces, since this is descided at the beginning of the game
 

El Pip

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Wilhelm II was very enamoured of being part of European royalty, and was very proud of his British connections. He was also somewhat mercurial. An impassioned plea by George V to his cousin to allow the summit to go forward might, with the right flattery, appeal to the German Kaiser. And where Germany goes, so goes Austria.
You might get Kaiser Wilhem to attend, but he would only interpret the plea as a sign of weakness and ramp up his demands accordingly. I'm thinking of the Haldane Mission, the British attempted to negotiate a bilateral naval treaty to limit the naval arms race (Britain could and did win said race, but the government would rather spend the money on other things). Wilhelm saw even the attempt to talk as a sign of surrender so put forward his latest naval bill for extra battleship construction on the day Haldane arrived. Then the Kaiser proceeded to demand 'global naval equality' between the British and German fleets and that Britain stay neutral in any future European war and guarantee all German imports would be convoyed past French raiders. Amazingly this wasn't accepted.

Getting the French to agree might be even easier. The French were hoping for British help despite the Entente Cordiale not being a formal alliance, and Britain was under no precise obligation. In real life it was the invasion of Belgium that tipped the scales finally for Britain. What if Britain said that if the French did not agree to the conference they would blockade the French coast? The French Navy by this time has long given up seriously trying to contest the Royal Navy. Perhaps add to this an agreement that if the Germans do not turn up they will form a defensive alliance, so it is not just threat but carrot too.
By this point the Agadir Crisis has happened so Britain has already guaranteed to the French that in the event of war the Royal Navy will protect the French north coast, allowing France to concentrate in the Med against the assumed Italian / AH threat (when everyone thought Italy might stick with the Triple Alliance). Britain certainly believed this applied even in she wasn't in the war, OTL the fleet was mobilised in July and the promise to protect the French coast repeated.

Of course Britain could go back on this and start threatening France, but it requires London to burn a great deal of trust and credibility and all it will achieve is getting Germany into a room where the Kaiser will make unacceptable and humiliating demands. This seems a bad plan.
 

stnylan

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You might get Kaiser Wilhem to attend, but he would only interpret the plea as a sign of weakness and ramp up his demands accordingly. I'm thinking of the Haldane Mission, the British attempted to negotiate a bilateral naval treaty to limit the naval arms race (Britain could and did win said race, but the government would rather spend the money on other things). Wilhelm saw even the attempt to talk as a sign of surrender so put forward his latest naval bill for extra battleship construction on the day Haldane arrived. Then the Kaiser proceeded to demand 'global naval equality' between the British and German fleets and that Britain stay neutral in any future European war and guarantee all German imports would be convoyed past French raiders. Amazingly this wasn't accepted.
As regards to Wilhelm that is why I mentioned his mercurial nature. He can and did sometimes do some quite extra-ordinary things on the basis of personal connections. I don't suggest the above scenario is at all likely (there is a reason a summit never happened irl after all), merely that given the character of Wilhelm it is conceivable. Of course the other way is to have Wilhelm suffer a heart attack and die on July 6th or something like that. :D

Of course Britain could go back on this and start threatening France, but it requires London to burn a great deal of trust and credibility and all it will achieve is getting Germany into a room where the Kaiser will make unacceptable and humiliating demands. This seems a bad plan.
Britain is quite capable historically of going back on its sworn word if it considers it in the national interest. As for the Kaiser, well, the entire scenario is predicated, as mentioned above, on Wilhelm's mercurial-ness coming to the fore.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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However, I don't blindly follow the ideology that WWI was a war of "Lions lead by donkeys", either.
Indeed. It is a bit mean to suggest the british were so poorly led considering what the ottoman and austrian commanders were like (so bad the forum rules dictate I can't describe it accurately), or even the french to be honest. Kitchener and his officers at least sometimes got stuff right.

Someone get this man a scotch!
I just had the horrible idea of two or three men sat in a room and slowly getting further and further depressed as they realised the full extent of how utterly screwed everyone was.

In any case war will postpone it.
Bugger.

It does require a more interventionist UK, and Grey was not really the Foreign Secretary to pull something like t
Hmm. Holding a gun to France's head whilst begging the germans to visit london sounds...um...wrong?

Of course Britain could go back on this and start threatening France, but it requires London to burn a great deal of trust and credibility and all it will achieve is getting Germany into a room where the Kaiser will make unacceptable and humiliating demands. This seems a bad plan.
That doesn't mean someone wouldn't suggest it. I just think, or hope, someone higher up would have the sense to sack that person and quash this particularly bad idea. The trick would be to get Germany and france there without threats or bribes/begging. Cos both countries hate each other and want to fight each other, and both know Britian doesn't really want to fight either of them.

Of course the other way is to have Wilhelm suffer a heart attack and die on July 6th or something like that. :D
That may or may not help. The military might choose that point to declare an emergency and just take over like they did otl later on. I suppose if the heir was particularly competent and popular then it might help germany at least, and if he had any sense about him he would at least probably at least try to keep Britian out of the war for at least until the war with France was either over or stalemated.

I don't know. I'll look up who the heir was and check back in.

Edit: the heir was a pro-war and expansionism imperialist guy so debatable what the impact would be.
 
Last edited:

Rifal

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Edit: the heir was a pro-war and expansionism imperialist guy so debatable what the impact would be.
Crown prince Wilhelm was certainly pro German imperialism. But it is unlikely he desired a all encompassing European war, more like he wanted germany to expand its colonial empire at the expense of various native tribes much like Britain did.

In October 1914 he gave an interview in English where he stated: "Undoubtedly this is the most stupid, senseless and unnecessary war of modern times. It is a war not wanted by Germany, I can assure you, but it was forced on us, and the fact that we were so effectually prepared to defend ourselves is now being used as an argument to convince the world that we desired conflict."

Then again it is possible that he was trying to come off as sympathetic and a victim of French and British aggression. In the end I believe that avoiding the great war is much more likely with Wilhelm III than with Wilhelm II. Go go heart attack.
 

MacGowan

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Here's a quick question: I'm thinking about avoiding using screenshots of the game for this AAR.
Instead I'll draw up the map, etc.
I want the AAR to be more immersive, easily readable to people who aren't that familiar with DH, and maybe force people to think less gamey and more military?

What do you guys think? Or do you love to see the IC, TP, Sliders, etc?
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Crown prince Wilhelm was certainly pro German imperialism. But it is unlikely he desired a all encompassing European war, more like he wanted germany to expand its colonial empire at the expense of various native tribes much like Britain did.

In October 1914 he gave an interview in English where he stated: "Undoubtedly this is the most stupid, senseless and unnecessary war of modern times. It is a war not wanted by Germany, I can assure you, but it was forced on us, and the fact that we were so effectually prepared to defend ourselves is now being used as an argument to convince the world that we desired conflict."

Then again it is possible that he was trying to come off as sympathetic and a victim of French and British aggression. In the end I believe that avoiding the great war is much more likely with Wilhelm III than with Wilhelm II. Go go heart attack.
Indeed, the Germans are not great traditional competitors to the British. Their colonial empire is small, and if they weren't constantly threatening the royal navy by building stupid amounts of ships they didn't need, then I suspect the British would be more friendly. They certainly were in previous decades before Wilhelm II. But the thing is, Germany has the High Seas fleet now, so even if they change a monarch and he puts out feelers to the British for colonial negotiation (presumably at the expense of the French), it is unlikely how far the Foreign office would believe him.

Having said that, yes, the sudden death of the Kaiser might well put a halt on the war just because there would be uncertainty about the blank cheque to Austria, Britain suddenly has an opportunity (however small) to dismantle the high seas fleet with diplomacy, and Russia just got some breathing space (because if Germany is now focused on colonial matters, they can't afford a massive eastern push). That being said, again, Germany did end up basically being ran by the military so they might press on regardless, especially with a new and untested Kaiser. I'd need more people to weigh in on this before I myself could decide what could happen.

Here's a quick question: I'm thinking about avoiding using screenshots of the game for this AAR.
Instead I'll draw up the map, etc.
I want the AAR to be more immersive, easily readable to people who aren't that familiar with DH, and maybe force people to think less gamey and more military?

What do you guys think? Or do you love to see the IC, TP, Sliders, etc?
Maps are going to be nicer for the most part, but please put maps of game regions/counties up if they are important. Real-world maps will suffice for the strategy and overall AAR but for tactical battles and locations, we'd need to see what the 'game' says is the county and battleground, not the otl map.

Other than that, yes, I wouldn't show the game at all unless it is particularly relevant (a buff, de-buff, event chain, battle results etc) or particularly interesting (the game does something truly fascinating or astoundingly stupid).
 

El Pip

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I want the AAR to be more immersive, easily readable to people who aren't that familiar with DH, and maybe force people to think less gamey and more military?

What do you guys think? Or do you love to see the IC, TP, Sliders, etc?
If you can, the real maps would definitely be better.

I'm also going to have to disagree with my associate TBC and suggest even for tactical battles and locations don't show the game, they aren't really required if you have a decent map drawn up and can see the frontlines. All it will do is introduce gamey elements like trying to game the multiple-province attack stat or muck about with exactly where is or isn't a river province. Just things that will break the immersion in my view.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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I'm also going to have to disagree with my associate TBC
A profoundly rare occurrence, I must say.:p

'Cept all those times,..

I agree with El Pip though in that if it's possible to not have the game at all, and perhaps refer to it in notes if something really out of the blue happens with a screenshot, then it should be tried at least. The only problem with it really is that you have to make sure the real world map synchs up to the game's trench lines, but this can be done. Upon reflection, unless the game throws a big curve ball, and if the tactical maps can be as accurate as the strategic view, then no game footage should be required. It's not really what we're here for in this aar.
 

MacGowan

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APPENDIX

PEOPLE OF IMPORTANCE (1914)


BRITAIN:

His Majesty, King George V:

When Queen Victoria died in 1901, George's father ascended the throne. A reign that proved rather short-lived for the longest-serving heir-apparent in British history; ruling for only 9 years, before passing the throne to George V in 1910.

During his reign, George V has seen the rise of anarchism, socialism, communism, fascism, Irish republicanism, women’s rights, and the Indian independence movement, all of which has radically changed the political landscape.

King George V shares striking resemblance to his cousin: Nicholas II, Tsar of Russia.

------------------------------------------------


Prime Minister, H.H Asquith:

in 1908, Prime Minister Campbell-Bannerman resigned—dying only days later—and Labour politician Asquith took over the position. He appointed David Lloyd George to the Exchequer and made Winston Churchill president of the Board of Trade.

In order to finance ambitious welfare legislation and the building up of the Royal Navy to counter the perceived threat from Germany, they introduced a radical budget called the 'People's Budget' in 1909.

The House of Lords rejected it and Asquith announced a plan to limit their power. The resulting Parliament Act, passed in August 1911, ended the Lords' veto over financial legislation passed by the House of Commons.

In 1912, Asquith renewed attempts to introduce home rule in Ireland, provoking fierce opposition from the Conservative party. In early 1914, the conflict in Ireland nearly led to civil war.

------------------------------------------------


Foreign Secretary, Edward Grey:

Grey was the eldest of seven children. After the early death of his father, Edward was raised under the influence of his grandfather, prominent politician George Grey on the family estate in Northumberland.

He was duly elected as a liberal party candidate in 1885 and, at 23, became the youngest MP in the new House of Commons. When Campbell-Bannerman formed a government in 1905 Grey was appointed Foreign Secretary.

Grey’s period in office has been marked by the management of international crises and of rivalries in great power relations, such as the naval race with Germany. In cabinet, he defended increased estimates for the navy. He consolidated his predecessor’s entente with France and in 1907 secured an agreement with Russia, settling colonial disputes in Africa and Asia respectively.

------------------------------------------------


Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Lloyd George:

A Liberal politician of advanced views. His father died when he was young and his mother took him to Wales to be raised by his uncle. David Lloyd George acquired his vivid speaking style from Welsh churchgoing and his radicalism from his uncle who oversaw his education.

He earned notoriety throughout Britain when he publicly opposed the Second Boer War, and acquiring a reputation as a social reformer through his work as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Lloyd George's 1909 budget was called the 'People's Budget' since it provided for social insurance. The budget was rejected by the House of Lords. This, in turn, led to the Parliament Act of 1911, by which the Lords lost their power of veto financial legations.

At the start of 1914, David Lloyd George was a staunch pacifist.

------------------------------------------------


First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill:

From a young age, Winston Churchill displayed the traits of his father, a British statesman from an established English family, and his mother, an independent-minded New York socialite.

He graduated from the Sandhurst military academy and embarked upon a dizzying army career. He served in India, and Sudan, reported news from Cuba, and South Africa. Where he was captured by the Boers, and completed a daring escape.

Now a war hero, government posts came to Churchill almost automatically. Unconvinced that the Conservative Party was committed to social justice, he “crossed the floor” to the Liberal Party. There he introduced several important social reforms, also assisting in the passing of the infamous 'People's Budget'.

In 1911, Churchill was named First Lord of the Admiralty. He helped modernize the British Navy. He was one of the first to promote military aircraft and set up the Royal Navy Air Service. He was so enthusiastic about aviation that he took flying lessons to understand firsthand its military potential.

------------------------------------------------


Chief of the Imperial General Staff, General Charles W. H. Douglas:

Born in South Africa and educated privately, Douglas was commissioned as an ensign in the 92nd Highlanders in 1869.

He served in the Second Afghan War, the Suakin Expedition, the First Boer War, and Second Boer War, and has been Mentioned several times In Dispatches.

In 1909, Douglas was made general officer commanding-in-chief, southern command. Having been promoted lieutenant-general in 1905, he was made a full general in 1910.

In 1912, he was appointed inspector-general, home forces, and proved so conscientious that his staff tours are regarded as models of their kind. Naturally shy and reserved, Douglas gives the impression of being a hard man who can be abrupt and overbearing to subordinates. Yet he has a unique knowledge of the details of all army matters, and so his appointment as chief of the Imperial General Staff after Sir John French's resignation in 1914 was widely acclaimed.

Lately, Douglas, has not been in the best of health.

------------------------------------------------


Field Marshal Herbert Kitchener:

Born in Ireland, and educated at the Royal Military Academy, London. Kitchener joined in the Royal Engineers in 1871.

In 1890 he became commander in chief of the Egyptian army. Fluent in Arabic, Kitchener preferred the company of the Egyptians over the British. He began the reconquest of Sudan in 1896, culminating in the Battle of Omdurman and the reoccupation of Khartoum in 1898. He was then made governor of Sudan, having become a national hero.

In 1900, Kitchener was appointed chief of staff to Lord Roberts, British commander in the Boer War. When Roberts returned to England, Kitchener was left to deal with continuing Boer resistance. His ruthless measures—including the use of camps to imprison civilians—were much criticised.

Kitchener was promoted to the highest Army rank: Field marshal, in 1909, and in 1911, he became the proconsul of Egypt, serving there and in the Sudan.

------------------------------------------------



FRANCE:

President Raymond Poincaré:

Conservative leader, committed to political and social stability. Born in Meuse, Raymond Poincaré was the son of a deeply religious mother and a distinguished civil servant.

Educated at the University of Paris, he became the youngest lawyer in France. He successfully defended Jules Verne in a libel suit. At the age of 26, he became the youngest to be elected to the Chamber of Deputies.

In 1902, he co-founded the Democratic Republican Alliance—the most important centre-right party—, before becoming Prime Minister in 1912.

He attempts to wield influence from what is normally a figurehead role, being noted for his strongly anti-German attitudes, visiting Russia several times to repair Franco-Russian relations, which has become strained.

Poincaré is noted for his lifelong feud with Georges Clemenceau.

------------------------------------------------


Prime Minister, René Viviani:

René Viviani was born in Algeria to a family of Italian immigrants. At an early age he associated himself with the Socialist party, soon becoming one of its most brilliant orators and prominent leaders. When the party was reorganized in 1904, Viviani, stayed outside, and thenceforth called himself an Independent Socialist.

In the spring of 1914 an exceptionally radical chamber was elected, and for a while it seemed that they would not be able to agree upon any one for Premier, but finally, he was appointed Prime Minister, by President Poincaré. He received a vote of confidence of 370 to 137.

He seeks to protect the rights of socialists and trade union workers.

------------------------------------------------


Former-Prime Minister, Georges Clemenceau:

His mother was Protestant; his father was an atheist. After his studies in the Lycée, he went to Paris to study medicine. In 1876, He stood for the Chamber of Deputies, joining the far left. His energy and mordant eloquence speedily made him the leader of the radical section.

In 1898, Clemenceau published Émile Zola's letter on the front page of his newspaper. Which would become a famous part of the Dreyfus Affair. In the letter, Zola addressed the President of France and accused the government of anti-Semitism and the unlawful jailing of Alfred Dreyfus.

In 1906, the ministry fell as a result of civil disturbances. The new government led by Sarrien appointed Clemenceau as Minister of the Interior in the cabinet. He proved to be a tough leader, ordering the military against the miner’s strikers in Pas de Calais. When the Sarrien ministry then resigned in October, Clemenceau became Prime Minister.

During his office, he led the development of a new Entente cordiale with Britain, which gave France a successful role in European politics.

He was defeated in 1909 in a discussion in the Chamber of Deputies on the state of the navy, Refusing to respond to technical questions, Clemenceau resigned.

------------------------------------------------


Commander-in-Chief, General Joseph Joffre:

Born in Rivesaltes, near the Spanish frontier, Joffre graduating from the École Polytechnique. During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, he fought in the defense of Paris. Commissioned in the military engineers, he’s served mainly in colonial postings in Indochina, West Africa, and Madagascar.

In 1903, he returned to France from Madagascar to command the Thirteenth Brigade. 8 years later he was appointed chief of the French general staff, and thereby commander-in-chief in the event of war.

His limited command experience and the fact that he had never attended the École de guerre (School of war), virtually required for those who aspired to senior rank, made Joffre a surprise choice for commander in chief in 1911. He owed his promotion to his proven organizational abilities and the fact that his main rivals were eliminated for reasons of age or political opinions.

------------------------------------------------



RUSSIA:

His Imperial Majesty, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia:

Nicholas was born in the Saint Petersburg, the eldest child of loving parents; Emperor Alexander III and Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia.

When his father died young an unprepared Nicholas became Tsar of Russia. He took the crown in 1896 and continued many of his father's conservative policies, including an alliance with France.

Determined to expand his empire in Asia, his efforts provoked Japan who attacked Russia in 1904. The Russian Baltic fleet was annihilated, the army was defeated and Nicholas was forced into peace negotiations.

In 1905, thousands of poor and starving workers organized a march to the Tsar's palace. As the marchers peacefully advanced, soldiers from the army stood guard and tried to block the bridge approaching the palace. The soldiers then fired into the crowd.

In the wake, the Russian people began to revolt against the Tsar's government. Forcing him to create a new government with an elected legislature, called the Duma.

------------------------------------------------


Prime Minister, Ivan Goremykin:

Ivan Goremykin was born in 1839 into a noble family. A Russian lawyer with extreme conservative political views, Goremykin is a loyal supporter of Nicholas II and the autocracy.

He served as interior minister from 1895-99, showing little initiative in any of his posts, preferring inaction or delay on most policy matters, until he was forced out of office.

In April 1906, Nicholas II briefly appointed him chairman of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister). The Tsar viewed Goremykin as a loyal functionary who would support the throne in dealings with the newly created state Duma. Having served his purpose, Goremykin was then dismissed.

In 1914, Goremykin is 74 and generally thought to be senile, Nicholas reappointed him chairman of the Council of Ministers, in which he obediently follows the orders of the Tsar.

------------------------------------------------



AUSTRIA-HUNGARY:

His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Franz Joseph I:

Since his uncle, Emperor Ferdinand I was childless, Franz Joseph was groomed as heir-presumptive. his childhood was brief—at age 13 he had already taken up the position of colonel in the Austrian army, for which he fought on the Italian front. Before becoming Emperor at the early age of 18.

Austria lost the Second Italian War, and then the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, a defeat that helped trigger the Empire’s downfall. This resulted in the Emperor and Hungary forming a state of dualism, leaving Hungary’s internal issues to itself, and transforming the Austrian Empire into Austria-Hungary.

Having been pushed out of Italy and Germany, Austria-Hungary became increasingly active in the Balkans. This policy, however, placed them on a direct collision course with Russia, forcing them to seek support in Germany.

Franz Joseph has suffered numerous personal tragedies: The execution of his brother, the Emperor of Mexico, the suicide of his only son and heir, and the assassination of his wife.

------------------------------------------------


His Imperial Highness, Archduke Franz Ferdinand (DECEASED):

Franz Ferdinand was born in Graz, Austria, the eldest son of Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria—the younger brother of Emperor Franz Joseph I.

In 1889, Franz Ferdinand's life changed dramatically. His cousin Crown Prince Rudolf committed suicide at his hunting lodge in Mayerling. This left Franz Ferdinand's father, Karl Ludwig, as first in line to the throne. Karl Ludwig then died of typhoid fever a few years later. Henceforth, Franz Ferdinand was groomed to succeed the throne.

Franz Joseph I had little affection for his nephew, Franz Ferdinand, disapproving of the man himself, and of his marriage, which he considered below Ferdinand's rank.

On Sunday, 28 June 1914, Franz Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated in Sarajevo, the capital of the Austro-Hungarian province of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

------------------------------------------------


Foreign Minister, Leopold Berchtold:

Born in Vienna on 1863 into a wealthy noble family. Count Berchtold is of wealthy means, owning tracts of land in Hungary and Moldavia; he is reputed to be one of Austria-Hungary's richest men.

In 1906, Berchtold was appointed as Ambassador to Russia. He served with distinction for five years in St. Petersburg and experienced Russia's distrust and fear of Vienna.

He held this post until 1911, when he became foreign minister. Berchtold has tried to maintain good relations with the Russian government, but the growing rivalry between the two powers over the Balkans undermines his efforts. Initially he looked for a peaceful solutions. But the growing aggressiveness of South Slav separatists, and Russia's increased efforts to eliminate Austria-Hungary's influence from the Balkans has forced him to reconsider his position and to listen more attentively to Conrad von Hötzendorf.

------------------------------------------------


Chief of the General Staff, Field Marshall Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf:

Conrad was born in Vienna, to an Austrian officers' family.

After graduating from the military academy in 1876, he transferred to the General Staff Corps of the Austro-Hungarian Army.

By the time of his appointment as Chief of Staff for the Armed Might of Austria-Hungary at the suggestion of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, in 1906, Conrad had established a reputation as a teacher and writer. Like other Austro-Hungarian officers of his generation, at the start of 1914, he had little direct combat experience, but had studied and written extensively about theory and tactics.

For years he has repeatedly called for preemptive war against Serbia to rescue the multiethnic Habsburg Empire, which, he believes, is nearing disintegration.

------------------------------------------------



GERMANY:

His Imperial Majesty, Kaiser Wilhelm II:

Born near Berlin in 1859, to Frederick III and Victoria, Queen Victoria of England's eldest daughter. Wilhelm was the Queen’s first grandchild and was genuinely fond of her; in fact, he was holding her in his arms when she died.

He was an intelligent child, but also possessed a violent temper. A difficult birth left him with a withered arm, which he always tried to conceal.

In 1888, the Year of Three Emperors, His grandfather and father both died, making Wilhelm emperor. He dismissed the country's famous chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, in 1890 before launching Germany on a bellicose "New Course" to cement its status as a respected world power. This alienated Britain with its naval build-up and a policy of aggressive colonial expansion.

Wilhelm's most damaging personal blunder cost him much prestige, when he in a tactless interview with the Daily Telegraph, claimed that the Germans didn't like the British.

Germany is now surrounded by potential enemies.

------------------------------------------------


Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg:

Born in 1856 to a Prussian political banking family, Bethmann Hollweg studied law before entering the civil service.

From 1905 to 1907 he served as Prussia’s Minister of Interior and took over a similar role for the whole of Germany in 1907—a post he held until 1909 when he was appointed Chancellor of Germany.

Bethmann-Hollweg is a loyal supporter of Wilhelm II and an experienced bureaucrat. However, he finds it difficult to control the admirals and generals who seemed to dominate the political scene.

------------------------------------------------


Chief of the German General Staff, General Helmuth von Moltke the Younger:

von Moltke, born in 1848, was named after his uncle, renowned Prussian general von Moltke the Elder, a hero of the Unification of Germany.

He started his military career in 1869 and took part in the Franco-Prussian War between 1870-71.

Moltke rose rapidly in the German army, becoming adjutant in 1882 to his uncle and namesake, who was chief of the General Staff. On the death of his uncle, Moltke became aide-de-camp to Kaiser Wilhem II, thus becoming part of the Emperor's inner circle.

The personal friendship to the emperor, coupled with his great name, elevated him to offices for which he is completely unqualified. In 1903 Moltke became quartermaster general; three years later he succeeded Alfred von Schlieffen as chief of the General Staff.

------------------------------------------------


Prussian Minister of War, General Erich von Falkenhayn:

Falkenhayn comes from a West-Prussian Junker family, where the military plays a dominant role. He entered cadet school at the young age of 11.

Having joined the army early Falkenhayn served as a military instructor to the Chinese army in 1899, where he remained until 1903. During the Chinese Boxer Rebellion he was a member of the German General staff, seeing action when the Allies marched to relieve besieged Peking.

Upon his return to Germany, Falkenhayn continued to serve on the German General staff, and was appointed Prussian Minister of War in 1913. In this role he and Helmuth von Moltke, frequently clash.

------------------------------------------------



THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE:

His Imperial Majesty, Sultan Mehmed V:

Mehmed V has lived in seclusion for most of his life in the Topkapı Palace in Constantinople. For nine of those years he was in solitary confinement. During that time he studied poetry and is an acclaimed poet.

Mehmed Reşad became sultan after his brother was forced to abdicate in 1909 after the Young Turk Revolution—which restored the Ottoman Constitution and Parliament. He is largely a figurehead with no real political power as a consequence. Especially after the 1913 Ottoman coup d'état—which brought power to the Three Pashas.

His reign has been marked by the cession of North African territories and the Dodecanese Islands, in the Italo-Turkish War, and the loss of almost all of the Empire's European territories west of Constantinople in the two Balkan Wars.

------------------------------------------------


Minister of war, General Ismail Enver Pasha

On 1881 Enver Pasha was born of a Turkish father, and an Albanian mother. Joining the military, he was posted to Salonika, where he joined a secret antigovernment group.

In 1908, Enver, was one of three leaders of the Young Turk movement that rebelled against the Ottoman Sultan, joining General Şevket’s 'Army of Deliverance' in marching upon Constantinople. Forcing the Sultan to restore the constitution and abdicate.

The Young Turks established a government under Şevket but were nearly overthrown in 1909. Enver participated in both movements before returning to Berlin, where he had been serving as military attaché. He was awed by Prussian militarism and left in 1911 to join in the Turkish defense in Libya against the Italians.

Back in Constantinople, Enver lead the coup d’état of 1913, bringing full power to the Young Turks. A major purge followed, with Enver dismissing over 1,200 officers in one day alone. By 1914, he has made himself minister of war, a strategic position from which he enjoys immense power.

------------------------------------------------



ITALY:

His Majesty, King Victor Emmanuel III:

Victor Emmanuel is the only child of Umberto I, King of Italy. On 29 July 1900, at age thirty, he ascended the throne following his father’s assassination. His early years showed evidence that he is a man committed to constitutional government.

Victor Emmanuel plays an important role in military affairs and foreign politics. He supported the campaign in Libya in 1911 and, despite reassuring Berlin and Vienna of Rome’s commitment to their Triple Alliance, he’s promoting a gradual reconciliation with the powers of the Entente.

The Italian monarch has a personal antipathy for Wilhelm II, and he does not trust the Austro-Hungarians either, feeling treated more like a client than an ally.

------------------------------------------------


Prime Minister, Antonio Salandra:

Born in Troia to a wealthy family, he graduated from the University of Naples in 1875 and became instructor and later professor of administrative law at the University of Rome.

As a conservative, he rose to become minister of agriculture in 1899 and finance minister in 1906, before taking office as Prime Minister in the spring of 1914, in the wake of a political crisis and with shortages that was caused by the Turkish war of 1911-12.

Salandra is seen by many as merely a stop-gap premier.

------------------------------------------------


 
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TheButterflyComposer

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During his reign, George V has already seen the rise of anarchism, socialism, communism, fascism, Irish republicanism, women’s rights, and the Indian independence movement, all of which has radically changed the political landscape.
His descendents were similarly struck with such change.

The Parliament Act 1911 established the supremacy of the elected British House of Commons over the unelected House of Lords.
I think it was said the king stacked the upper house and told them to vote the bill through or he'd stack it even more.

King George V shares striking resemblance to his cousin: Nicholas II, Tsar of Russia.
He really does. Bit weird.

and made Winston Churchill president of the Board of Trade.
Oops.

At the start of 1914, David Lloyd George was a staunch pacifist.
Regrettably, not a good thing at this time.

He graduated from the Sandhurst military academy and embarked upon a dizzying army career.
...sort of. He was quite a good war correspondent and journalist, and saw action in the second boer war and the relief force in sudan. Very critical of the army both times, come to think. Kitchner didn't rate him much, and Churchill had to do some jobbing, including going to number 10, to get a postion in his column.

Now a war hero,
...mmm, I mean, famous at the time for the war reporting yes, and the daring escape thing. But he wasn't much of a soldier or fighter, and remained rather firmly against the army in this period.

government posts came to Churchill almost automatically
After he narrowly won his election, he was rather popular in the party, but had some really weird policies and beliefs for a tory that meant he was often at odds with the leadership. When the party said he wasn't going to be supported for the next election, he switched sides to the liberals. I think he said the reason he didn't do this sooner was their support of home rule for ireland, which Churchill didn't like. That being said, he wasn't a classical imperialist because he also wanted free trade and reparations to the boer republics...and eventually tried to convince everyone to have two goverments in ireland, one for ulster and one for the rest. That really didn't work, but was what basically ended up happening anyway.

he “crossed the floor” to the Liberal Party
He did. Proceeded to be a pain in the butt there too. It's sort of his thing.

He went on holiday in the recess and visted pretty much every big name in europe. Rothschilds, the kaiser of Germany (apparently got on well enough for a photograph at least) and went big game hunting in Kenya. Wrote a book on it called My African Journey, I think.

He helped set up the South African government at his time in the colonial office, and was quite even handed to the boers, british and native populations. He also started to phase out froced chinese workers in the colony.

In 1911, Churchill was named First Lord of the Admiralty. He helped modernize the British Navy. He was one of the first to promote military aircraft and set up the Royal Navy Air Service. He was so enthusiastic about aviation that he took flying lessons to understand firsthand its military potential.
He loved the navy, and all to do with it. Constantly opposed army funding to get it more attention (which pissed off the tories) and the fleet seemed to love him right back.

However, twas not so simple. In his time on the board of trade he championed the rights of workers a lot (which is good) and opposed warship funding to pass unemployment insurance and work limitations. He also proposed removing the house of lords from the system of government, abolishing them, when the people's budget was rejected (a reminder that though he is best remembered as a tory, in this period he was at times astonishingly leftist) out of fear of starting a class war in Britain.

As Home Secretary, which he was in 1910, he proposed a referendum (!) on women's suffrage, having uncertain feelings about it himself. This was rejected.

When tensions between france and germany escalated in 1910, he changed his mind about that whole war thing and began looking to (of course) expand the navy. He decided to build two for every one german battleship and seriously increased spending on submarines and seaplanes, the name he coined for naval planes.

Very interesting man in this period. Possibly more so than later on, where he gets a bit obsessive and high handed/minded.
 

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King George V shares striking resemblance to his cousin: Nicholas II, Tsar of Russia.
I have seen it argued that this is not due to the Queen Victoria connection, but the Danish one. Their mothers were sisters, both daughters of Christian IX of Denmark. Who had half a dozen children and got them all married well across the continent. If Victoria was "The grandmother of Europe" then Christian IX was "the father-in-law", most of the currently ruling houses of Europe have some link back to him.

There is probably a comedy AAR in that, how Christian IX gets his extended family together and smacks them around the head until they agree not to start WW1 and apologies for the mess they have made.
 

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I have seen it argued that this is not due to the Queen Victoria connection, but the Danish one. Their mothers were sisters, both daughters of Christian IX of Denmark. Who had half a dozen children and got them all married well across the continent. If Victoria was "The grandmother of Europe" then Christian IX was "the father-in-law", most of the currently ruling houses of Europe have some link back to him.

There is probably a comedy AAR in that, how Christian IX gets his extended family together and smacks them around the head until they agree not to start WW1 and apologies for the mess they have made.
I forget which AAR it was, but I suspect it was For King and Country, that pulled upon these royal connections to get a mass North Sea Scandinavian British alliance out against the Nazis and the communists. Then George VI flies a spitfire and wins the Battle of Britian (it was that kind of AAR, for people who haven't read it).

I would support a short story aar about Denmark kicked the poop out of Europe collectively for being jerks/idiots and focusing on the real enemy here: the Americans.

...

Also, since you're here, I was going to ask the author about putting a Kitchener profile on the appendix of important people (because he's generally considered at least as singinfcant if not more so than Churchill) but wanted to ask your opinion of him, because there is quite a mix of it. Was he a really good poster? A significant war leader? Or so instrumental that the British would have been screwed in France had he not been there? I've seen all these views...
 

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IAlso, since you're here, I was going to ask the author about putting a Kitchener profile on the appendix of important people (because he's generally considered at least as singinfcant if not more so than Churchill) but wanted to ask your opinion of him, because there is quite a mix of it. Was he a really good poster? A significant war leader? Or so instrumental that the British would have been screwed in France had he not been there? I've seen all these views...
The Kitchener poster was good, British propaganda of that era was pretty damn good and it helped that Kitchener was seen as a proper old-school hero of the Empire by much of the public.

As a war leader he was one of the few on the British side to realise that it was going to be a horrific, grinding war of attrition which would drain everyone's money and manpower down to the last drop. The fact Britain had the New Armies ready to deploy from 1915 onwards was mostly down to him pushing it through and he was realistic about them - he didn't think the New Armies would be ready for combat in 1915 (they were rushed into action to relief the pressure on the Russians and it didn't got well). He also warned that the plans to expand munition production were risky and difficult but had to be done, so it was somewhat unfair when he was blamed for the shell crisis (mainly because Lloyd George and French were both briefing against him).

That said he got quite a few things wrong, and seemed to get worse the more power he got. Multiple sources state he was a terrible Secretary of State, fundamentally unsuitable for the role. That said he was a victim of being an advocate for the peripheral strategy (proposed Alexandretta invasion, Balkan opeations, properly resourced Baghdad expedition, that sort of thing) at a time when the rest of the Army Council were committed to the Western Front and hurling bodies in front of machine guns till the Germans ran out of bullets. So the rest of the Army were solidly briefing against him and it's unclear how much of the damning reports about him are driven by politics (and the annoyance that he was right about it being a long war and all the Generals who said 'it'll be over by Xmas' were wrong).

If he had been more instrumental, or better if it has been the Kitchener / Fisher dream team running grand strategy (assuming those two egos could even fit in the same room, let alone work together) then I seriously think the war would have been much shorter. No massive armies sent to the Western Front, a peripheral strategy in the Balkans / Near East that forces the Central Powers to divert troops that way and then the New Armies (after they had been fully trained up) supporting the Baltic Option Campaign in 1916.

Indeed if they go Alexandretta and not Gallipoli (something both Fisher and Kitchener wanted initially) then you could see Greece enter the war on the Allied side, the Ottomans out of the war by the end of 1915 (OK a bit optimistic, but not out of the question) and Russia being able to stay in the war till the end. Which would be in 1917 at the latest.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Well that's certainly something to try and go for, providing of course that France can hold out the first year by themsevles.

I suppose it depends on whether the British could be bothered to gather everyone in one room before the war starts, and slowly get the western front idea dismantled by...well...facts. Or someone could play dirty and get the press and public on side to force the issue one way or another (I suspect it wouldnt be hard to convince people that going to France to die for the French against the Germans was a bad idea). If they could get some more naval people into their pact, Churchill for example, and convince them that the navy doing surgical strikes supported by a proper army is the way forward, I think quite a few nava, chaos who don't like the Army would join them. And that's more than enough political power to push their agenda becaus at the end of the day if the fleet decides, Britian goes.

The rub is getting that done within a few months. Difficult, but if they can simply agree to try the baltic campaign, I think the results should encourage further actions like that (or more depressingly realistic, inertia will keep everyone trying that idea over and over again) in the Middle East and maybe the Balkans. The French won't like it to begin with, but since the British going to the western front means giving overall command and credit to them if the war is won by xmas, then I suspect a few glory hounds in the army might be rung into this as well. But who knows, this could just be wishful thinking.

I do think though, as one of the few nations with the option of picking a different strategy to prolonged trench warfare, we have a somewhat moral obligation to at least try to see if one of these campaigns would have worked.