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TheButterflyComposer

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Taste. What you are detecting is hints of taste and discernment.
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DensleyBlair

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I've had a very similar experience while trying to catch up with bits of your Echoes of a New Tomorrow. So I both feel your pain and feel you deserve experiencing it yourself. ;)

I walk into that one, granted. With the one caveat, perhaps, that when you log off of an evening you can thank your lucky stars that Britain under Chairman Mosley, at least, was never even close to real.:p
 
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Specialist290

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I have to admit that some of the finer details of the financial arrangements went over my head, but the general gist -- that most of the world's trade runs through London, and thus anything that stops the dynamo causes the whole machinery to seize up -- came across pretty well.
 

Director

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"The teller-windows of Europe are closing. We shall not see them re-open in our lifetimes."

British credit and finance were large factors in British victories in the French, Dutch and Napoleonic Wars. We shall have to hope that this war is sufficiently slow to develop that they can play a decisive role in this war, also. If France is rapidly overrun and/or Russia knocked out then I think it will be a very long war, or a very short one.
 

BigBadBob

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Will take in the latest update a bit later on when I have the time to wrap my head around it, but in the mean time:

And very welcome you would be, too.

Yes, Christ. Nostalgia for Danny Boyle’s 2012 exists at the absolute nadir of the British cultural imagination. (I can’t decide whether it’s better or worse than nostalgia for 1997…)

It is such a great institution. And the songs!

Will do!

I'm going to go with worse, as at least 1997 marked concrete changes, instead of just being a feel-good event.

Ghosts, by the Horrible Histories lot, has been quite enjoyable on the BBC.

Ahh, there is no crisis so damaging as a crisis of confidence.

Just as one can 'fake it till you make it.' one can very much 'fall apart till it falls apart.'

Except Canada, the Caribbean, the colonies they still possessed in South amercia, along with supreme investments and controls over most of South amercia's economies.

But yes, the british did indeed conceed to basic amercian supremacy in the amercias...except everywhere where they still were interested.

When you're supposed to be the untouchable superpower, having to accommodate instead of dismiss still stings.

Oh, dear...a world war with such a centralized trading economy is sure to make the conflict quite a lot more problematic in the early stages.
I suppose that the outcome of the war will decide whether or not we will see a multipolar system in the twenties or if the City will hold onto her crown.

The City has a very narrow strait to navigate, requiring not only victory on the field, but the right decisions afterward by No 11, the Treasury, and the Bank.

Finally found the processing power to get through this, @BigBadBob! Very well written as ever, even if much of what you were writing about made me want to prise my eyes out with a rusty chisel. :p

I refuse to believe that this photo and caption have not been lab-grown by experts in answer to the problem: What is the fastest way to make Densley violently and exceptionally ill with disgust?

I promise to pay the bearer… I understand well enough, but as for the rest of it— money machine goes brrrr.

Not to be too cynical, but judging by the handful of Etonians I've encountered in my days, I imagine this assurance would comes with a hefty side order of caveats end exceptions for the average punter.

Bring on the interbellum and the red tide, I say! Up with the anarchist unions! :D

I'm going to echo Pip with a 'doesn't feel so good, does it?'

To be honest, I've never fully managed to wrap my head around the Bill of Exchange, so trying to explain what went on in a manner that wasn't pure gobbledygook to readers not interested in Turn of the Century financial services was 'fun.'

Well, yes, but why worry about the side order when you probably can't even pay for the mains?

Well, that, or this AAR will continue to slowly morph into the Bastard Mirror Universe of Echoes.

Taste. What you are detecting is hints of taste and discernment.
Z3wSg01.gif


I've had a very similar experience while trying to catch up with bits of your Echoes of a New Tomorrow. So I both feel your pain and feel you deserve experiencing it yourself. ;)

While an interesting bit of writing I feel the author of that essay is perhaps over-stating his case. The whole point of the post-1866 Bank of England was that it had learnt the lessons of Overend Gurney (which remains an amusing name for a failed bank) and more importantly everyone else thought so to. It's not that the BoE was conservative by nature, it was that it didn't need to be interventionist because milder measures and it's reputation would get the job done cheaper and with less disruption. But when those measures didn't work it would rapidly intervene, as indeed it has here.

Given your many ominous warnings I fear for the City in the post-war world, mostly because I have very severe doubts the rest of the economy is capable of picking up the strain should the City stumble.

Ah, yes, that's what that was.

Yes, an excellent point. One could say the author is talking about it in a sort of 'if a tree falls in the woods' manner. If the Bank is interventionist, but never intervenes, is it interventionist? Certainly, it's fortunate that Governor Clarke understood why the Bank didn't often intervene post-Overend Gurney, rather than turning practice into dogma.

If the City has something going for it ITTL that it did not IOTL, it is that the US isn't quite as far down the road of becoming an unstoppable economic power as it was in 1911 IOTL, and Britain is somewhat stronger. This means New York won't be quite as natural a place for all the money to flow if the war begins to eat as deeply into Britain's position as a creditor nation as IOTL.


You realise you sent me on an hour-long Pinafore binge with this, don't you?

I walk into that one, granted. With the one caveat, perhaps, that when you log off of an evening you can thank your lucky stars that Britain under Chairman Mosley, at least, was never even close to real.:p

That does tend to be the first thing I do after reading an Echoes update.

I have to admit that some of the finer details of the financial arrangements went over my head, but the general gist -- that most of the world's trade runs through London, and thus anything that stops the dynamo causes the whole machinery to seize up -- came across pretty well.

As noted in my reply to Densley, even I'm not as confident with the Bill on London as I'd like to be so, if I got the general gist across, I'm very happy.

"The teller-windows of Europe are closing. We shall not see them re-open in our lifetimes."

British credit and finance were large factors in British victories in the French, Dutch and Napoleonic Wars. We shall have to hope that this war is sufficiently slow to develop that they can play a decisive role in this war, also. If France is rapidly overrun and/or Russia knocked out then I think it will be a very long war, or a very short one.

As in the military and industrial spheres, it's very clear that one side needs a short war, and the other needs a long one, even if both sides drastically underestimate just how long a long war will be.
 
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BigBadBob

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THE LAMPS GO OUT
The September Crisis of 1911
Stephen Collins-Wood

The September Crisis lives on in the popular memory as a small event cascading uncontrollably to general war; a perfect storm in which the statesmen and people of Europe were caught up with little to no control over what happened. The Great War as a whole becomes something more akin to a natural disaster visited upon an unsuspecting world. This is ultimately a comforting myth, developed in hindsight, that allows for the participants to absolve themselves of the choices they made. Those choices, very much consciously made, can be clearly seen in both the public declarations of the powers and classified and private conversations released in recent years.

In order to understand how Austrian Slovakia could cause such a devastating conflict, there must first be an understanding of the situation in the lands of the Austrian Crown in mid-1911. What had once been one of the Great Powers of Europe and arbiter of the post-Napoleonic Congress of Europe, had slowly, over the course of the previous half-century, been reduced to a twilight existence. After the humiliation of the Austro-Prussian War, Hungary, the largest of the non-Austrian holdings of the Habsburg Monarchy, had been granted co-equal status with Austria by the Compromise of 1871.

This arrangement itself collapsed spectacularly. The Hungarian War of Independence (1894-98), precipitated by an attempt of Emperor Franz Joseph’s to reunify the two crowns, ended in a forced settlement after German intervention. Hungary, Bohemia, Banat, and Galicia-Lodomeria were given autonomy to an extent that practically detached them from the Habsburgs, becoming essentially German satellite states. Austria also lost Croatia to Italy. Most could tell that this was an unstable settlement; Hungary was missing land it considered its own, and Slovenia and Slovakia remained under direct Austrian control.

This was the context for the protests that roiled the last of these territories in Summer and Autumn 1911. Faced with demands for autonomy similar to that in Bohemia and Galicia-Lodomeria to the north, Franz Joseph decided to respond with troops. The protests thus escalated further towards violence, until 10 people were killed in Bratislava on September 12th, when Austrian troops fired on the crowd. The resulting three-day riot caused another 23 deaths.


austria 1911 - Copy.jpg

The Former Habsburg Empire, 1911
The long decline of the Habsburgs would eventually provide the spark that ignited a European powder keg

It was this that brought the Germans in, being the self-appointed guarantors of the 1898 Settlement, demanding the Slovak demands be met.* Franz Joseph’s initial, outright refusal on September 16th was based less on discussions with the UK and Russia than it was blind faith in the Anglo-Russian Convention. It was later that week, in conversation with British Foreign Secretary Austen Chamberlain and Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Bezukhov, that Austrian Foreign Minister Leopold Berchtold was told support was not entirely unconditional.

Chamberlain did not believe that the British public, much less the American public, would support a war to defend Austrian absolutism. If, however, Austria were to offer a more liberal constitution and concessions to the Slovaks, perhaps along the lines of Britain’s own fledgling Imperial Federation, and Germany still maintained its maximalist position, then the insincerity of the German demands would be clear; this was not about self-determination, but about control of Central Europe. Despite initial resistance from Franz Joseph, he was forced to cave by Chamberlain’s insistence that it was this or nothing. Without Britain, Russia’s guarantee would also fall by the wayside, and so Austrian defeat would be assured.

The counteroffer was received in Berlin on September 19th. For the Entente, there followed a week-long silence, as Germany apparently evaluated the merits of the proposal. It has later become clear from the private correspondence of Kaiser Wilhelm II and his government, with both each other and their allies, that the proposal had been, in fact, rejected as early as the evening of September 20th. That week was, in reality, taken up with the German government receiving assurances from Spain, Italy, and the Ottomans that, should the Entente choose to stand by Austria, the Germans would not be alone. Finally, there were the German allies swearing nominal fealty to the Habsburg Crown; all were made promises about Russian and Austrian territory.

The response on September 26th was simple and clear; all or nothing. The same day, the German Armed Forces were ordered to mobilise. In response, so did the Austrian and Russian armies. Over the next three days of frantic correspondence, Chamberlain confirmed with the two Western members of the Entente that they remained committed to the treaty.** The French already had their mobilisation orders ready, and President Roosevelt confirmed that a declaration on either ally would result in his triggering the relevant provisions of the Entente Cordiale.


mobilisation - Copy.jpg

Russian Troops, September 1911
The mobilisation of the various armies in the East led to the final overtures for peace from Germany

It was the mobilisation of the Russian Army that prompted Kaiser Wilhelm II to open a private correspondence with his cousin, Czar Nicholas II. While Chamberlain desperately confirmed the commitment of the French and Americans, Wilhelm attempted to convince Nicholas that this was not his fight. ‘It is between Germany and Britain; why should Petersburg suffer for London’s hubris and arrogance?’ he pleaded. Apparently, the Kaiser had already forgotten the words of the Czar when the latter had pulled out of the Emperors’ Pact, which stated that it was Germany which seemed to be engaged in the exercise in hubris.

September 29th, when that correspondence came to an end, can thus be seen as the point of no return. From then on, war in the east, at least, was guaranteed. What remained was to see if the West European powers would join. Certainly, based on his correspondence with the Czar, the Kaiser expected the British to join. The mobilisation of the French army, despite protestations by Paris that it was merely in response to the general rise in tensions, implied that they were about to join as well. Upon hearing the news, the Pact decided to strike first, rather than risk being caught out by a French declaration of war.

The Cadorna-Moltke Plan - formulated by German and Italian High Command in the three years between Russian withdrawal from the Pact and the outbreak of war - called for feinting attacks by the Italian and Spanish armies to open the war. These, though likely to fail as real offensives due to the terrain of the Alps and Pyrenees, respectively, would draw French troops south. This, in turn, would allow German troops to attack weakened positions in Northern France. The coupe de grace was that these armies would advance through Belgium and Luxembourg, bypassing the heavier fortifications on the Franco-German border, and also cutting the Calais-Dover route for British armies to quickly deploy on French soil. With France swiftly decapitated, and England cut off from the continent in a manner not seen since the days of Napoleon, Germany could turn its attentions to the traitorous, as Wilhelm saw it, Russians.


cm plan - Copy.jpg

The Cadorna-Moltke Plan, 1911
Hoping to bring overwhelming force to bear in the first phase of the war, the Pact would put cut France off from Britain, before advancing from its positions into Central France had the French not accepted the Kaiser Pact victory as a fait accompli

The German, Spanish, and Italian declarations of war on France on October 1st set the final wheels in motion. While Parliament and Congress might have been able to block support of Russia (such was the risk of the majority of provisions in the Anglo-Russian Convention being secret), they could not ignore an invasion of France. On October 3rd, upon receiving the official letters from the French embassies in London and Washington activating the mutual defence clause of the Entente Cordiale, the United Kingdom and United States declared war on Germany and its allies.

With reports of German and Hungarian troops crossing into Austria that same day, Russia (along with Romania and Bulgaria) also declared war on the Pact. On October 6th, as the first battles were taking place in Belgium and the Italian Alps, the Ottomans and Italians declared that the general instability taking place in the Balkans and Europe required a police action in the vulnerable Balkan states. Greece, Serbia, and Albania naturally declined to allow a joint Ottoman-Italian force to de facto occupy them. War as police action began the following day.

The Great War lasted so long, cost so many so dearly, and changed the world so much, that by November 1917 it must have been impossible to believe such horror could be inflicted upon the world over something trivial. Worse yet is the idea that it could have been a deliberate choice to go to war. And yet, when a protest in Austrian Slovakia turned violent on September 3rd, 1911, few but the most paranoid would have said war was the inevitable result. Despite the web of alliances so often blamed for the descent from regional unrest to general war, it required the conscious decisions of many statesmen to trigger these alliances.


Wilhelmgenerals - Copy.JPG

Kaiser Wilhelm II with General von Hindenburg, October 1911
Throughout the September Crisis, and even more so once mobilisations began, it was the German Emperor and his government that chose to escalate

There are those who place the blame on the secret nature of so many of the understandings that underpinned this web; the German September Ultimatum thus becomes a terrible mistake. This, however, is an interpretation that requires one to believe Germany and her allies were blind to the well-known contours of European power politics. Though the terms were not public, it was well understood that the Anglo-Russian Convention was not a mere declaration of goodwill. Indeed, the Convention itself required meditated aggression against the Balkan countries involved, and both the UK and Russia signalled the consequences of such aggression early.

There is the argument that both sides were itching for a war. The advocates of this viewpoint point most of all to the fear in London that President Roosevelt’s successor would withdraw from the Entente, and so the British government actively encouraged brinkmanship in September 1911. They point also to the tripwire nature of the British alliance system, which was bound to bring a general war. This, however, fundamentally ignores that no nation did as much to attempt mediation in 1911. As late as September 26th, Lloyd George and his government were still contemplating potential ways to resolve the crisis; the preferred method was to ask for Swedish mediation.***

Throughout the crisis, there was one side that consistently chose war. Kaiser Wilhelm II and his government, with the acceptance and support of the other members of the Pact, maintained a maximalist position on Austria despite the Entente outright forcing Emperor Franz Joseph to offer a compromise. The Kaiser Pact chose to escalate the war, not only by invading France and removing the last chance that Britain and the US might stay out.**** The Kaiser’s correspondence with the Czar only further emphasises that the Pact wished to finally have out the confrontation that had been building between it and the Entente for over a decade; Russia was not asked to stand down to avoid war, but to avoid a two-front war for Germany.

The common delusion that this would be a short war may perhaps alleviate some of the burden, but a short war was still expected to be bloody. More importantly, not everybody believed this was to be a short war. Entente planning in the West was certainly set to begin on the defensive. Even those not entirely attuned to the nature of modern war could see something terrible coming. On the evening of October 3rd, as the British War Cabinet assembled for the first time, Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Sir Edward Grey remarked that ‘the lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.’ He was wrong only on one count; the lamps were going out far further afield than Europe alone.


* There has been persistent speculation that the Germans had planted agitators in the midst of the crowd in Bratislava. No evidence has been found for this; German internal correspondence shows clearly that they expected the protests to eventually provide an appropriate pretence of their own accord.

** He also confirmed with the French that they still intended to mobilise the moment hostilities broke out between Russia and Germany.

*** The British Ambassador, Sir James Carson, was in the process of negotiating the mediation with the Swedish government and Crown when news arrived that Germany had declared war upon France, officially inaugurating the war.

**** There is some evidence that the German government failed to appreciate how fragile American support for European war was, or even that the Anglo-Russian Convention would still require a Parliamentary vote to join the war in London. Despite this, it was Germany’s invasion of France which made the war real, even as the latter still maintained a defensive posture. Though this was a part of the Entente tripwire, as with Austria, it was predicated on German aggression, and would not work without it.
 
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slothinator

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Dear god, that is the worst Habsburg explosion I’ve ever seen!
The opening moves of the war sound interesting and I worry that France will buckle under this assault. it will probably take some time to receive British and Russian support given how elaborate their mobilization must be.
The closing line is quite ominous indeed, how long will it take for the lamps to be reignited once the ash has settled?
One of the things I love most about Vicky is that you often get into these titanic wars over a nothing which matches OTL so well
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Ghosts, by the Horrible Histories, lot has been quite enjoyable on the BBC.

Have expressed interest. Must watch.

I'm going to go with worse, as at least 1997 marked concrete changes, instead of just being a feel-good event.

Super majority labour gov across the UK is a big moment, sure. Defiantly ushered in a new wave of politics too. Birth of the 21st century and all that.

When you're supposed to be the untouchable superpower, having to accommodate instead of dismiss still stings.

The sooner both the US and UK get out of the splendid isolationist mindsets, the better for either country.

Well, that, or this AAR will continue to slowly morph into the Bastard Mirror Universe of Echoes.

What, landed aristocracy slowly get more power, the liberals return en mass because the king is in danger, the unions dissolve in favour of feudalism and the empire keeps expanding?

If the City has something going for it ITTL that it did not IOTL, it is that the US isn't quite as far down the road of becoming an unstoppable economic power as it was in 1911 IOTL, and Britain is somewhat stronger. This means New York won't be quite as natural a place for all the money to flow if the war begins to eat as deeply into Britain's position as a creditor nation as IOTL.

Especially if the federation is open for business and expanding, which it definitely looks poised to do, especially in the Pacific. Its also a way to invest in South amercia without going through Washington...

You realsie you sent me on an hour-long Pinafore binge with this, don't you?

point Bob?

This arrangement itself collapsed spectacularly. The Hungarian War of Independence (1894-98), precipitated by an attempt of Emperor Franz Joseph’s to reunify the two crowns, ended in a forced settlement after German intervention. Hungary, Bohemia, Banat, and Galicia-Lodomeria were given autonomy to an extent that practically detached them from the Habsburgs, becoming essentially German satellite states. Austria also lost Croatia to Italy. Most could tell that this was an unstable settlement; Hungary was missing land it considered its own, and Slovenia and Slovakia remained under direct Austrian control.

Jesus christ...that is awful.

austria 1911 - Copy.jpg

The Former Habsburg Empire, 1911
The long decline of the Habsburgs would eventually provide the spark that ignited a European powder keg

Italy is huge! Hungary tiny...Serbia big too. How are the ottomans?

The Cadorna-Moltke Plan - formulated by German and Italian High Command in the three years between Russian withdrawal from the Pact and the outbreak of war - called for feinting attacks by the Italian and Spanish armies to open the war. These, though likely to fail as real offensives due to the terrain of the Alps and Pyrenees, respectively, would draw French troops south.

That might actually work, unlike the otl plan. Attack from three directions all at once would probably work anyway, to be honest. At the very least, makes the naval war a LOT more complicated than otl.

the Ottomans and Italians declared that the general instability taking place in the Balkans and Europe required a police action in the vulnerable Balkan states. Greece, Serbia, and Albania naturally declined to allow a joint Ottoman-Italian force to de facto occupy them. War as police action began the following day.

Huh...Italians budding up with the ottomans. Interesting. Also, very silly excuse. So the balakns are all in the war and need to be protected? That might be a problem. The naval war just got even worse for the entente, for sure. At least gallipoli can't happen...no nations to impress to bring into war, and the balkans are already in the war.

it was the German Emperor and his government that chose to escalate

Ooo...war blaming already? Thats not good for future relationships...

More importantly, not everybody believed this was to be a short war. Entente planning in the West was certainly set to begin on the defensive. Even those not entirely attuned to the nature of modern war could see something terrible coming.

The amercians at least should know it'll be bloody and horrible. Hopefully they told the british so we can make enough shells this time.
 
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J_Master

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austria 1911 - Copy.jpg

The Former Habsburg Empire, 1911
The long decline of the Habsburgs would eventually provide the spark that ignited a European powder keg
That's not even a Hungary, that's a Principality of Transylvania!

For the rest, the whole story presented does indeed present the happenings as Germany constantly choosing to go to war, but at the same time we must realize the bias of the narrator/perspective as it's obviously Anglo in nature. Once again very finely written!
 

DensleyBlair

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Ghosts, by the Horrible Histories, lot has been quite enjoyable on the BBC.
Have expressed interest. Must watch.

It’s magnificent. Like the grown-up show you always sensed Horrible Histories was skirting around. Lady Button’s Chatterley subplot made me howl with laughter; the Captain’s forbidden romance wracked me with sorrow.

This arrangement itself collapsed spectacularly. The Hungarian War of Independence (1894-98), precipitated by an attempt of Emperor Franz Joseph’s to reunify the two crowns, ended in a forced settlement after German intervention. Hungary, Bohemia, Banat, and Galicia-Lodomeria were given autonomy to an extent that practically detached them from the Habsburgs, becoming essentially German satellite states. Austria also lost Croatia to Italy. Most could tell that this was an unstable settlement; Hungary was missing land it considered its own, and Slovenia and Slovakia remained under direct Austrian control.

Sounds like preparation for Anschluss if ever I heard it.

The Great War lasted so long, cost so many so dearly, and changed the world so much, that by November 1917 it must have been impossible to believe such horror could be inflicted upon the world over something trivial.

Bloody hell, is this thing going to last six years?!?!

Terrific portrait of the futility of war (GCSE English teachers, rejoice!) and a continent basically conspiring to magic a barney out of thin air. We better get a pretty god damn explosive postwar out of this.
 

HIMDogson

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My god, a WWI that lasts for six years... this really isn't going to be pretty. Honestly I'd be incredibly interested in how this impacts the US; they'll be at war here longer than they were involved in OTL WWI and WWII combined, and presumably with significantly less glory to be won. This will have a massive impact on American culture, economics, race relations... really everything.
 

stnylan

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Plenty of shoulders able to bear a portion of responsibility for the coming slaughter I feel.
 

DensleyBlair

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Plenty of shoulders able to bear a portion of responsibility for the coming slaughter I feel.

This puts me in mind, fittingly, of pall-bearers.
 
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stnylan

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The one bright spot is that the French aren't ignoring invasions elsewhere in order to charge into Alsace-Lorraine.

But... attacked from three directions? That is so - so - not good. Whatever the final result of the war, a strong France will not be one of them.

I'll be interested to see what the Super Entente does. They can't get to Austria except through Russia, so will they pour their armies into France, strike into Spain and/or Italy, or try all of the above?

One thing is for sure. As bad as 4 years of otl WW1 was, 6 years is going to be far, far worse.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Everyone involved was collapsing at year 3 otl. Doubling that...the populations of europe must be experiencing a famine en mass. No way around it.

This is the death knell of pretty much everyone involved. Either they fall in the war, or soon after, or get irretrievably changed and altered by it all.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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We better see one hell of a revolutionary wave post-1917. Mirror-image of Echoes or not. :p

Yup. Lots and lots and lots of fascist nationalism, from the looks of things.
 

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I think that you portray the sense of doom (with occasional sparks, quickly extinguished, of optimism) remarkably well. I sense that you have 'dialled up' the real Kaiser's erratic nature, and that of his staff, more than OTL, and I agree with it; your Britain is more overtly allied than in reality (where the depth of Britain's commitment to France wasn't really understood by many). One also gets the sense that, to misquote Blackadder, it was just too much like hard work to not have a war. Gripping stuff.
 

BigBadBob

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That's not even a Hungary, that's a Principality of Transylvania!

For the rest, the whole story presented does indeed present the happenings as Germany constantly choosing to go to war, but at the same time we must realize the bias of the narrator/perspective as it's obviously Anglo in nature. Once again very finely written!

You want to know what's truly terrible? I had to console command various border provinces, and even an Austrian enclave in the Serbia-Hungary-Banat triangle, to get it to 'just' this level of cursed.

Thank you. In the relevant chapter in For All We Have and Are, while still on the British side, I've hopefully managed to convey a less charitable view of Her Majesty's Government's reluctance to go to war, both in the underlying motivation and its consequences. As a whole, this essay and the aforementioned chapter also look better for Britain by virtue of focussing more on the chain of events in the September Crisis, rather than the genesis of how such an escalation was even possible. The UK, I would say, shares more of the blame for pre-war ramping up of tensions than IOTL.

It’s magnificent. Like the grown-up show you always sensed Horrible Histories was skirting around. Lady Button’s Chatterley subplot made me howl with laughter; the Captain’s forbidden romance wracked me with sorrow.

Sounds like preparation for Anschluss if ever I heard it.

Bloody hell, is this thing going to last six years?!?!

Terrific portrait of the futility of war (GCSE English teachers, rejoice!) and a continent basically conspiring to magic a barney out of thin air. We better get a pretty god damn explosive postwar out of this.

I particularly enjoy Julian Fawcett MP. Everyone else is a recognisable stereotype from a well-known period of history (Pat just seems quite contemporary), but post-Black Wednesday Major Government Tory MP is gloriously specific.

Yeah. The German government weren't exactly being subtle about their aims here.

I spent a long time contemplating when I was going to reveal the length of the war, and decided it should be very near to the end of 1901, so the expressions of shock are music to my ears, so to speak.

Thank you. Don't worry, there's a reason FAWHA goes up to 1920 (and things are, arguably, further from resolved than if it ended with armistice).

My god, a WWI that lasts for six years... this really isn't going to be pretty. Honestly I'd be incredibly interested in how this impacts the US; they'll be at war here longer than they were involved in OTL WWI and WWII combined, and presumably with significantly less glory to be won. This will have a massive impact on American culture, economics, race relations... really everything.

This is an excellent point. Even if the Civil War was as long and bloody as it was IOTL (haven't decided yet), being part of this Great War from day one means it could surpass the former as the deadiest war in US history. Certainly the famous statistic about more American soldiers dying in the Civil War than all other American wars combined will not apply ITTL. Even if the US turns deeper into isolationism as a reaction than in IOTL, instead of embracing its new world power status earlier, the sheer effort required to wage this war will transform the relationship between federal and state government, public and private sector, citizen and state on a level to rival the combined effect of both World Wars IOTL.

Plenty of shoulders able to bear a portion of responsibility for the coming slaughter I feel.
This puts me in mind, fittingly, of pall-bearers.
That is the sort of image I had in mind, yes.

Indeed. The term that came to mind for me was 'depraved-heart murder,' for even if the parties didn't intend to go to war, they certainly acted with a callous indifference to the risk of all this leading to war.

The one bright spot is that the French aren't ignoring invasions elsewhere in order to charge into Alsace-Lorraine.

But... attacked from three directions? That is so - so - not good. Whatever the final result of the war, a strong France will not be one of them.

I'll be interested to see what the Super Entente does. They can't get to Austria except through Russia, so will they pour their armies into France, strike into Spain and/or Italy, or try all of the above?

One thing is for sure. As bad as 4 years of otl WW1 was, 6 years is going to be far, far worse.

The French ITTL definitely know that their objective for the first phase of the war is singular and simple; survive.

With the Italians and Ottomans bringing in the Balkans, they could theoretically try to create a Greece-Vienna corridor, but that is risky, and requires far more secure control of the Mediterranean than they will have in the early war. Even more so than in OTL's Great War, this is about the Eastern Allies being able to hold on until the weight of French and English-speaking industrial might can bring itself to bear on the Western Front.

Everyone involved was collapsing at year 3 otl. Doubling that...the populations of europe must be experiencing a famine en mass. No way around it.

This is the death knell of pretty much everyone involved. Either they fall in the war, or soon after, or get irretrievably changed and altered by it all.

I'm working out some explanations for how the main combatants can stay in the field a further three years. Some of it will rely on the idea that agriculture is a bit more productive than IOTL, and some of it will come from other combatants being in truly dire straits due to their food being redirected to the big players. For the UK and France though, the US being committed from day one will certainly help, even without any other butterflies.

We better see one hell of a revolutionary wave post-1917. Mirror-image of Echoes or not. :p
Yup. Lots and lots and lots of fascist nationalism, from the looks of things.

They'll never stop 'The Europeans!'
Have no fears,
We've revolutions for years!
France becomes a Commune,
Maybe Russia goes full fascist,
Has Germany ever had a civil war?


I think that you portray the sense of doom (with occasional sparks, quickly extinguished, of optimism) remarkably well. I sense that you have 'dialled up' the real Kaiser's erratic nature, and that of his staff, more than OTL, and I agree with it; your Britain is more overtly allied than in reality (where the depth of Britain's commitment to France wasn't really understood by many). One also gets the sense that, to misquote Blackadder, it was just too much like hard work to not have a war. Gripping stuff.

Thanks. Yes, with Anglo-American commitment to the Entente, the Kaiser needs to be a bit more hubristic than IOTL (which says a lot).

Since we're reaching the end of 1901 with today's remarks, some housekeeping:

Next Friday will probably be an intermission of sorts, if only to provide some time for me to try and power through the early naval war (which is not really my forte, and so proving a little difficult to write. My apologies to the naval enthusiasts for what you are about to read). I'll try to post something in the way of a preview though, to prepare for a shift to a 'book' that is perhaps more reminiscent of an HOI AAR than a Vic II one.
 
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