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RedTemplar

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So while a few people wanted to see an Italian Alliance AAR, and I'm keeping that idea on the shelf for a future effort, the overwhelming votes went to a Fascist / Communist France and, well... Fascism seemed a lot more fun. So this is an alternate-history AAR, in which France will turn Fascist and attempt to rebuild herself and carve out her identity, oppose Germany, and generally kick butt without the aid of those sissy Allies.

The basics:

- HoI2 Arma w/ DAIM
- Normal/Normal, Tech Team Takeover on, democracies can start war
- Will be written as a combination of history book events / narratives, with plenty of screenshots during wartime
- To keep things neat and orderly, I may use some minor cheats / savefile modding, but only to keep things running smoothly, never to gain an advantage; once France turns Fascist, I'll especially be editing the savefile like heck to work in some new ministers

First gameplay update will be up tonight or tomorrow afternoon, depending on how long I have before I fall asleep... >.>
 

RedTemplar

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January 1936
The beginning of the story

The First World War ended in victory for the Entente, but it was not a victory won without a steep price. France, especially, had suffered immensely during the Great War. Even in January of 1936, France was feeling the aftereffects of the war, as the country was struggling economically, immersed in political division, and facing the challenge of modernization leading into a new era.

The French economy, while stably producing most of its own resources, was sorely lacking in rare materials. In order to make up for this deficiency, France was forced to engage in heavy trade with the United Kingdom and Spain. This effectively stabilized the French economy, though many legislators and citizens were unhappy with France’s necessary dependence on economic partners.

The French Cabinet

The cabinet of French President Albert Lebrun in January of 1936, six months before the 1936 elections.

Albert Lebrun, elected in 1932, held office as the President of France, supported by a left-leaning democratic government. Lebrun himself, somewhat of a moderate, helped to balance the more liberal agendas of Parliament lawmakers against the increasingly conservative sentiments being aroused among the French people.

Army and Technology

At 46 divisions, France's army boasted a great deal of manpower for a country so harshly impacted by the Great War in recent memory. Despite its size, however, the French army was painfully outdated -- many of its soldiers were still using guns and artillery from World War I, and would take significant time to be sufficiently modernized. No new regiments were planned for 1936 -- instead, the army's focus would be on equipping its current divisions with new weapons and vehicles.


The deployment of the French army in early 1936, with the majority of its forces concentrated along the Maginot Line at the German border.

With its resources focused on upgrading rather than building, France launched into an aggressive series of research projects, covering everything from industrial efficiency to aerial combat doctrine to new weaponry.


France's main research projects & goals at the beginning of 1936.

At the dawn of the new year, the situation in France was conflicted, tense, and perhaps even volatile, but business nevertheless went on as usual despite emotions and political sentiments running high. By the end of 1936, however, world events would send France down a very different path...

================
Just a little basic setup and teaser here, nothing major... It's 3:30am here, so I'm not about to get into the good stuff. For now, France is still where it was historically at this point, with the Allies. However, tomorrow's update will take us through 1936, and that will start France on the lovely road to Fascism!
 

Battle bunny

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Looks good, though it looks like you'll need some time before France can go down the path of the radical right wing.
 

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Good luck to you! :)
 

Small

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Fasscist France!!!!!

oooo How i have been waiting for something like this
 

RedTemplar

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January - July 1936
Waning confidence in international powers

The first half of 1936, leading up to France's June elections, saw a rapid rise in political discontentment within the country. Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia had been met with little real resistance from the League of Nations, and already in January and February newspaper editorials were railing against the League, calling it, in the words of one Parisian newspaper, "an unsightly and purposeless decoration" for its unwillingness to exercise the power it had supposedly been given.

This feeling was greatly compounded in March of that year, when Adolf Hitler ordered the reoccupation of the previously demilitarized Rhineland, placing German army units on the French border in a move that worried some politicians, and terrified others. Rapid appeals were made to the League of Nations but, as with the Abyssinian war, Germany's move was given only a token condemnation at best. Frustrated, President Lebrun turned directly to British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, only to have his pleas for assistance fall on seemingly deaf ears. Lebrun returned from his April visit with Baldwin both feeling at once furious and dejected, and Germany's military buildup was allowed to continue unchecked.

Defense Policy Debate

All of this led up to France's first political shift when, in May, a heated Parliamentary debate over French defense policies erupted, sparked by discussion of Germany's buildup on the border.



The more left-leaning members of Parliament argued that diplomatic action was the key to a safe and secure France, but the growing uneasiness within Parliament made it difficult for their argument to stick. Conservative Parliament members succeeded in pushing through legislation to increase the size of France's standing army, planning for a significant troop buildup to begin in January of 1937, the details of which would be worked out by the appropriate military subcommittees.

1936 Elections

When French voters went to the polls in June, every major newspaper poll showed that "national defense" was at the top of voters' priorities for the election. The result was an election that tended strongly right, replacing several key positions, not the least of which was a change at Head of Government, with Albert Serraut being replaced by Pierre Laval, and a reshuffling of key military leadership positions. The newly reorganized cabinet vowed to focus all efforts on the strengthening of the French army and the country's defense, promising to remain strongly committed to the army buildup that had been promised in May.


The reorganized Parliamentary cabinet following the June 1936 legislative election

The new legislature's mettle would soon be tested, as the unrest in Spain would soon come to a head and result in a bloody civil war...

=======
So there's the first six months, leading up to the Spanish Civil War. I'd like to intervene militarily, but that would require bringing the whole of the Allies into the war, something which I'd like to avoid... But sadly, I can't DOW without dragging them along, so I may have to just write in support for the war, and just accept that I can't reflect it in gameplay.

Thanks to all of you who've tuned in so far! I'm excited to see where this goes.
 

OLDTIMER

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Hi,

wanna intervene in Spain alone?

A piece of cake really, just leave the Allies and run your own show.

Rgds, Oldtimer
 

RedTemplar

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Well the plan IS to break away from the Allies... But it hasn't totally come to fruition yet. Rather than have France wake up one morning and give the collective finger to the Allies, I planned on having them break away officially sometime around 1938, possibly with the second set of elections that take place then.
 

c0d5579

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Break with Britain over Czechoslovakia, perhaps? A fine, overblown speech about Chamberlain's policy of appeasement being a policy of weakness in a moment where France needs strength?
 

RedTemplar

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That's what I was thinking... Either the Anschluss or Czechoslovakia would be the breaking point for France when they finally part ways with the Allies. Jean de Bourbon is the Paternal Autocrat leader if I elect right in '38, but I can't seem to find any concrete historical data on him... Maybe I can mod in some of the Vichy France leaders to take things over once war starts?

Also, update will come tomorrow night -- Valentine's Day got in the way of this one :p
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Interesting. Let's hope you manage to get things running before the blitz falls over your head.
 

c0d5579

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I'm fairly certain that the Paternal Autocrat in question is the Bourbon-Orleans claimant to the throne, Jean, duc du Guise. Problem is that he dies in 1940.
 

Timmie0307

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Phillipe Petain of course! :D and please let de Gaulle stay in this new France...give him some nice shiny tanks ;)
 

c0d5579

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I dunno, I like the idea of a restored French monarchy focused on a Gaullist "Glory of France" agenda. In the fascist spectrum, they'd have a lot more in common with Italy than Germany, with a figurehead king and one strong man in charge. Jean and his son Henri might not be bad choices in that world for the figurehead. Just imagine, a coronation, the return of the king to Versailles, a long column of SOMUA parading down the Champs Elysee...
 

Battle bunny

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Hmm, am I the only one who thinks that the "restore strong monarchy from weak democracy" idea has been overused and isn't that great to begin with? I would prefer a modern state with a modern autocrat - like Hitler, who didn't need a Kaiser to rule.