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diskoerekto

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I'm also rooting for the Danzigers going their own way.

This world needs yet one more big war (to end all wars :D ) so that the issue of Central Asia and Indian subcontinent is resolved and last remnants of Radicalism is eradicated from the world. And maybe a warm sea port for the new Tatar country to come?

The new political parties didn't make me very happy, the majority is still very right-leaning. It's like 2 monarchist and a reactionary party out of 4 total. Totally rooting for the DPF!
 
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eoncommander

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Up Gdansk!

There's a lot of unrest and violence in various parts of the (just about defunct) empire; unlike in OTL, the occupation of the entire country is unfeasible.

This world needs yet one more big war (to end all wars :D ) so that the issue of Central Asia and Indian subcontinent is resolved and last remnants of Radicalism is eradicated from the world. And maybe a warm sea port for the new Tatar country to come?

Can't bring myself to root for this - the world has seen enough bloodshed, and a fourth world war is likely to see significant nuclear exchanges.

The political situation definitely has the ring of the pre-Radical era, only minus the now-independent Tatars. I hope that the Kadets can pull down a majority and institute a westward-gazing regime. I fear the consequences of pushing away the liberal western tradition yet again.
 

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If there is one thing we don't need right now, it's a war to end all wars.

(Well, maybe just a little class war… As a treat. :p)
 
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diskoerekto

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If there is one thing we don't need right now, it's a war to end all wars.

(Well, maybe just a little class war… As a treat. :p)
Can't bring myself to root for this - the world has seen enough bloodshed, and a fourth world war is likely to see significant nuclear exchanges.
Yeah that was more a joke than a serious idea about what I think the world needs. Although, one way or another radicalism must disappear from the world. Maybe embargoes and sanctions will work :)
 

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The new political parties didn't make me very happy, the majority is still very right-leaning. It's like 2 monarchist and a reactionary party out of 4 total. Totally rooting for the DPF!
I mean, the Kadets seem constitutionalist, which isn't right leaning, it's advocating for a return to the pre-Radical status quo. They're centrists.
 

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I am of the feeble hope Poland will not get too reduced in size. This proud country deserves more.

But I wonder, what happens to Israel in all of this?
 

Ebanu8

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Well, it's official. Russia is finished. Now we can only hope there's a silver lining to all this.
 

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Those Danzigers are indeed interesting folk, hope they get what they wish for, and presumably without further bloodshed. Poland's future meanwhile is still grim, but I'm hopeful they can get themselves back to their feet, and this time shun Radicalism for good. Won't want to have it be repeated now yeah? That'd be awful, for the Polish and for everybody.
 
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Tommy4ever

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I was initially planning on covering the peace treaty in just the one update, but there are so many theatres to cover we will have to wait to the next update to cover Europe.

There didn't seem to be a consensus among the readers on the fate of the would-be Tsar - making the decision on whether he comes back all the harder! :D

Very depressing to see how rightward the post-Radical coalition remains. My sense is that we are headed towards a sort of ‘old Poland v.2’ where the former conservative powers basically get a mulligan and try not to hand power to the fash this time. Particularly given what seems to be the developing consensus of ‘the Radical state went too wide are too deep to truly root out, so let’s just go for the head’. Sounds like we’re about to have pre-war leaders coming back with a whole load of bottled up trauma. Which is going to play out very well I’m sure.

The powers of conservatism can still rely upon their legions of faithful voters to keep them afloat, but we will how postwar Polish politics develop in the years ahead. And on De-Radicalisation - more to come on that ;).

In fairness to the new order, there seem to be far less minorities to victimize this time around. I also think that the individual take of Yaroslav himself here could be interesting. After all, the Radicals murdered his family when he was a child, and that kind of trauma doesn't really leave someone. I'd say it's likely that he'd be rather more in favor of "hang the Fascist scum by their entrails" than pretty much any of his centrist supporters. It could be an interesting dynamic.

I will go into the demographics in a later update (we don't even know Poland's final borders), but this new state is not going to be majority minority like the old one, for sure. And on Yaroslav ... we shall see if he can make the comeback he aspires to, and what influence he has. I'm still not 100% sure on his future myself yet.

Just managed to get caught up. A very interesting tale. I also have to commend the willingness to have the possibility of defeat.

The post war looks like it'll be incredibly difficult and frankly how it'll turn out will depend on a lot. How the Americans assist in reconstruction will probably be the biggest factor, but then I imagine Western Europe is going to get the bulk of that unless there's another reason. Hopefully they'll deploy food aid since Poland is no longer embargoed by the world.

I wonder about the fate of the old North American colonies. Will the Americans let the Danish Canadians have then, annex it for a Pacific coast to support Siberia, or maybe make a new state for all these refugees to immigrate to. The new world will likely see a lot of that though. A diaspora of sorts.

I can't help but feel that the Chinese radicals will be embarrassed by the war. There was a point they may have been able to annex an Arctic coast and Siberia, but instead they left frozen bodies and ended up only getting their traditional claims because the Americans didn't decide to stop them.

I'm glad you have been enjoying it! :)

Poland is certainly not anyone's favoured country right now, and they will have a hard time getting much of a hearing - but we will see what their fate is in the next update.

Grigoria is set to become an independent state. An odd country with a Russian plurality (of migrants from the past century) with a large and established Chinese and smaller Malay one alongside the Native Americans. We didnt have much time to dwell on it in the update.

The Chinese ended up pretty underwhelmed. They had dreams of imperium over everything east of the Urals at their high point, but ended up with only more localised gains. This is still the strongest any Chinese state has been since the Ming - if we can remember back to the war Poland fought with them over the Mongol lands 500 years ago!

Overall, this peace seems quite lenient on Poland, but we will have to wait to see what happens in Asia to see the full extent of the bill. All in all, China and India does not seem ready to settle with the Western protocols.

The Chinese and Indians have joined the peace conference, but are by no means reconciled to the American-led world order. While we saw here that Poland will lose all its sprawling Asian lands, the final peace will be outlined in the next update.

The JDU is fundamentally compromised by the fact its core was not actually opposed to Radicalism, so much as to the fact the leopards ate their face.

The MPP is essentially sectarian.

The less said about the communists - who seem to think 'ah, but the Radicals mean that the VSVR wasn't literally the worst' is a valid argument - the better.

Onward, the Constitutional Democrats! Westward ho, Poland!

We shouldn't forget that a big chunk of Polish conservatism was happy to link arms with Makarov in the 1910s and into the 1920s, only going into opposition once the leopard did indeed turn on them as well. Once wonders to what extent those old instincts will be fully purged.

The MPP is indeed more of a sectarian entity than a specific regionalist one - a good chunk of Muscovites are not Olegite but Orthodox Jews or Christians, while much of the areas they inhabit have either Ukrainians or Ugric peoples there (or both) as large minorities. They are inextricably tied to about 1/2 the population in Muscovy and the Far North, not the area as a whole.

The Kadets start from a somewhat weaker position than their rivals - being a bit top-heavy and exile-focussed rather than having the same roots on the ground. Time will tell if they can ride the wave in these unstable early years and become a driving force in Polish politics.

...This update has made me realize how much of my dislike for Poland was directed at the Radical Party, not the nation itself. I hate to see it get torn up so much :'(

I can see a lot of conflict developing in the Balkans and Old Poland. Maybe a civil war amongst the Khazars, a pro-independence faction versus a pro-union-with-Russia/Poland faction. Maybe it'll become a proxy war, with the new Polish/Russian state supporting one faction against another.

I've also somehow got a soft spot for Gdańsk/Danzig now. I hope it becomes its own state. My linguist brain wants to pick apart and detail the Danziger language.

Have we got more ethnic/political maps coming in the next update?

And Poland will certainly suffer out of all this, time will tell what sort of country comes out the other end.

The linguistic aspect of the Danzigers would be beyond me, but my vision would be for them having a somewhat distinctive North German dialect as a base - but with large amounts of Slavic and Baltic scattered throughout.

This update and next will be heavy on the maps as we set up what the world's borders will be in the peace treaty. I've also got my calculator out to do some demographic stats for postwar Poland, which will probably be included in the next couple updates after that.

I'm also rooting for the Danzigers going their own way.

This world needs yet one more big war (to end all wars :D ) so that the issue of Central Asia and Indian subcontinent is resolved and last remnants of Radicalism is eradicated from the world. And maybe a warm sea port for the new Tatar country to come?

The new political parties didn't make me very happy, the majority is still very right-leaning. It's like 2 monarchist and a reactionary party out of 4 total. Totally rooting for the DPF!
If there is one thing we don't need right now, it's a war to end all wars.

(Well, maybe just a little class war… As a treat. :p)

You guys are bloodthirsty! :p Twenty years of wars and revolution and still raring for more ! :D :p


Up Gdansk!

There's a lot of unrest and violence in various parts of the (just about defunct) empire; unlike in OTL, the occupation of the entire country is unfeasible.



Can't bring myself to root for this - the world has seen enough bloodshed, and a fourth world war is likely to see significant nuclear exchanges.

The political situation definitely has the ring of the pre-Radical era, only minus the now-independent Tatars. I hope that the Kadets can pull down a majority and institute a westward-gazing regime. I fear the consequences of pushing away the liberal western tradition yet again.

There's a whole load of overlapping claims and populations caught in the wrong places here. Focussing just on Asia, the new Turania itself will have an interesting balance to keep. Even with the Russians expelled from their lands, they have lots of minorities (principally Persians and Indians) in Central Asia, others in the Caucuses on top of the central link between the Muslim Tatars and the much less numerous Hindu Mongols to maintain. In some ways it is a lot easier joining together to fight an enemy regime than it is to work side by side to build a new nation.

We will have to wait to see which way the new democratic regime goes, but the most immediate concern will be concluding the peace and finding some stability after all these years of war.

Yeah that was more a joke than a serious idea about what I think the world needs. Although, one way or another radicalism must disappear from the world. Maybe embargoes and sanctions will work :)

The far right Asian states are strong enough to stand on their own two feat - even if international isolation will hamstring their hopes of economic advance. They are likely to be rivals of the American world order for some time to come.

I mean, the Kadets seem constitutionalist, which isn't right leaning, it's advocating for a return to the pre-Radical status quo. They're centrists.

Yes, they are the inheritors of the liberal tradition - all free markets, secularism and westward facing politics. All parties are working together for now, but once we move into a more normal political environment, interactions among one another may change and develop. In the old Tsardom, through twenty odd years of mass politics, the liberals were quite torn a lot of the time on whether to form a 'progressive' camp with the left and minorities or a 'national' camp with the moderate conservatives, we will see how all these forces interact in the new Poland going forward.

I am of the feeble hope Poland will not get too reduced in size. This proud country deserves more.

But I wonder, what happens to Israel in all of this?

We've seen partly the fate of Poland, or at least its Asiatic lands - all now lost. Israel had actually come out of the war in good shape. Its kept the best part of its territory, including contested regions around Damascus and Lebanon that it has ruled for centuries. Hope for Poland?

Those Danzigers are indeed interesting folk, hope they get what they wish for, and presumably without further bloodshed. Poland's future meanwhile is still grim, but I'm hopeful they can get themselves back to their feet, and this time shun Radicalism for good. Won't want to have it be repeated now yeah? That'd be awful, for the Polish and for everybody.

The Danzigers have proven a hit with the readership that's for sure!
 
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1953 – The New East

1623846385489.png

Seeking bolster its legitimacy at home, in May 1953 Poland’s interim government announced the country’s first election in thirty nine years – with voting taking place across the territories under the authority of the government in Kiev. With a low turnout and all parties bound together in coalition, it was an inauspicious revival of Polish democracy, but a revival nonetheless. At the polls, the Prime Minister’s conservative Jewish Democratic Union and the leftwing Democratic People’s Front emerged, as expected, as the two largest parties with four fifths of parliamentary seats and three quarters of the vote. However, within Muscovy it the regionalist MPP went toe to toe with the two largest parties, winning a sizeable phalanx of deputies by dominating among Olegite voters. The Kadets, lacking the deep social roots of the other three parties, nonetheless registered more the registered more than four million votes, demonstrating its ability to compete.

1623846401813.png

One of the great dramas of 1953 were the Kazan Trials of dozens of senior Radical Party figures, symbolically held in the capital of the newborn Tatar nation. The trials were something of an innovation on world history, pioneered by the Americans with the staunch support of newly independent Turania, they sought to establish a basis for international justice. Among the victorious powers they were highly controversial in both their scope and nature. The Asian states of China and India, both of whom professed regimes that were directly inspired by Russian Radicalism with the Indian ruling party having only dropped the title ‘Radical’ after declaring war on Russia in 1952, were implacably imposed to their very existence and refused to have anything to do with them. Indeed, India in particular would become the safe haven that many ex-Radical outlaws would seek to flee to in order to escape justice in the years ahead. Even among the western Allies there was division, with the Europeans preferring to focus on Radical atrocities committed beyond their borders and during the war years, while the Americans wanted to included domestic crimes within the trials purview. In the end a compromise was reached, with only the most terrible of Radical crimes from the pre-war years – namely the Felaket – being addressed.

The trials themselves were, in truth, show trials of a victorious power in which the outcome – execution for some, lengthy prison sentences for others – were a forgone conclusion. Where they succeed was in providing a platform to describe in lurid detail the horrors of Russian Radicalism – from Tatar and Mongol communities wrenched from their homes, to the millions murdered and the millions more enslaved to Russian ends. However, the Kazan Trials were little more than a sideshow in comparison to the significance of the peace conference that got underway in the Persian city of Isfahan in early June 1953 – drawing together diplomats and leaders from all of the victorious and defeated powers to shape the postwar world.

1623846533383.png

As the world’s leaders gathered in Isfahan for the peace conference, one figure towered over all others – Mesut Beyraktar. Serving an unusual third term in office as the President of the United States, he had been the man responsible for leading his country into a collision course with Russian following his first election in 1944. Now victorious, he bestrode the world as its new master with no other nation on earth capable of competing with American power. The Asian states were still developing, the Poles now destroyed and the Europeans enfeebled by war. No one else would have so great a role in shaping the outcome of the peace conference.

1623846520443.png

With the end of the Third World War, boundaries across Europe and Asia were under question. The Isfahan Peace Conference would produce a series of formal peace treaties that settled these disputes and established the new world order over the course of 1953. Through the summer months, the conference primary focussed on Asia – producing peace treaties covering the continent’s various theatres over August and September. During this period, the Americans would face one of the largest rebellions against their vision of the future from an unexpected coalition of Persia, a key member of the Western Alliance, India, the far right state, and the deposed, formerly Russian-aligned, Khans of the eastern Steppe – a tripartite front of Hindu interests. They questioned the very idea of Turania – the pan-nationalist idea of a Tatar-Mongol state stretching from the Chinese frontier to the Volga Basin, in the minds of contemporary Turanists imagined as a democratic federation in the style of the United States. With deep hooks in the US administration, the American President himself being a Polish-born Tatar, and a proud war record, the Turanists expected to achieve their aims.

The idea of Turanism had been born in the multiethnic context of late nineteenth century Muscovy, where the Hindu Mongols had found it only natural to band together with Muslim Tatars against the shared threat of Jewish power. Even after the Felaket destroyed this community, the expellees from European Poland mostly settled in the Volga-Ural, where the Mongols continued to act as a fraternal minority. In the the east, the situation was different. Through much of the eastern and southern parts of Central Asia, Hinduism was the leading faith – with sizeable Persian and Indian populations in urban areas and some of the river valleys and Mongol majorities in much of the the countryside with Muslim Tatar groups present in smaller numbers. East of the Altai mountains the situation was even more stark, with Hindu Mongolic peoples completely dominant. In these areas, Turanism had weaker roots and many favoured either local Khanates based on individual ethnic groups, or a pan-Mongolic state. It was this position that the Hindu grouping pushed for in Isfahan.

Diplomatically, the Hindus gathered widespread backing – the Chinese favouring a weaker western neighbour rather than a continent-spanning Turanist state and many of the Christian states were supportive. Even defeated Poland’s delegation spoke favourably of a division of the Steppe. However, with this point being of existential importance to the Turanist government, already established in Volga-Ural before the end of the war and rapidly spreading its tentacles eastward since the armistice, their American backers, flexing their muscles as the global hegemon, were unwilling to compromise on Turania. The only morsel they provided to the Hindus was to deny Turania the most heavily Persianate portion of Transoxiana, which had sizeable Tatar and Mongol populations but a Farsi-speaking majority, and instead award it to Persia.

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The dispute over Turania was one of the most prominent bones of contention in the Asian peace settlement, but one of dozens of areas under discussion. The Indians left Isfahan largely satisfied. For little loss, having entered the war so late, they annexed the remaining Indian-majority lands outside of their rule – principally on the northern part of the Indus valley. Their greatest feet was in successfully negotiating the trade of Persianate Kabul, which they had occupied in the last days before the armistice, for the far wealthy and more populous, and racially Indian, port of Karachi that had been taken by the Allies during the war.

The Persians were another major winner of the conference held in their own capital city – doubling their territory with their eastern annexations alone. Their sizeable territorial aggrandisement was built upon their government’s insistence that the patchwork ethnic and tribal allegiances of the peoples to their east were outweighed by their shared linguistic and culturally Persianate connections, with Farsi operating as a lingua franca across the area, Persia’s cultural pool dominating and the peoples of the area sharing their Hindu religion. Their diplomatic successes were boosted by their agile ability to balance the Indians and Americans, the two parties most interested in the region, against one another – playing the card of Hindu solidarity when it suited, while warning the Americans of the need for a counterweight to Indian power within the region and broader Hindu world.

The Chinese were somewhat more aggrieved. Having sacrificed so much, including being the victim of nuclear and rocket attacks, and at the peak of their strength during the war coming close to conquering all of Siberia and much of Central Asia, their eventual gains were underwhelming. With the final treaty placing the border very close to the line of control at the time of the armistice, China annexed the Beijing and Manchu Khanates, Tibet and Burma – gaining recognition for significant territorial expansion and the final reunification of the long-divided Han nation.

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Perhaps the most prominent area where the Chinese were frustrated was Siberia. In this, they were far from alone with a number of states greedily eying the rich resources of the sprawling region. Much of the Siberian Far East had, for a time, been ruled by China at the height of the Ming Empire, before the Poles seized it during their collapse – and reclaiming these lost lands were seen as a part of China’s national reawakening. Equally, the Koreans had ruled Kamchatka around the same period and, unlike the Chinese, their ethnic kin were still a sizeable minority there. At their most imperial, the Turanists too hoped to take Siberian land and potentially even find an outlet to the sea at Okhotsk. Many Tatars had migrated to Siberia in the late Tsardom, and the restriction of their movement and eventual ban on settlement in the region had long made its way on to the long list of Tatar-Russian grievances.

None of these states would have their ambitions realised. The Western Allies were, unsurprisingly, unwilling to entertain Chinese fantasies of reconquering the Ming colonial empire, while the Koreans had lost the goodwill that might have seen them take Kamchatka through their early abandonment of the war effort in 1949. Having staked a sizeable amount of political capital on enforcing the union of the Altaic peoples, the Americans were not ready to back a Turanian annexation. Instead the large, but sparsely populated, ethnic-Russian land was to remain under a combined Allied military occupation – with a view towards eventually becoming an independent state. A similar fate awaited Grigoria, which was to remain under occupation and Allied tutelage for an unspecified period before an eventual transition towards independence.

Another major point of consternation for the Asian states, above all China for whom anti-western imperialism had long been a major facet of their nationalist ideology, was that, despite the dramatic retreat of European colonialism over the past two decades, the Papacy and Skotland were unmoved by calls for them to offer independence to their South East Asian colonies. Neither were they pressurised to do so by the United States, who otherwise adopted a hostile stance towards colonialism during the peace conference – likely influenced by the fear of far right anti-colonial movements filling the vacuum. The continued presence of the, much diminished, European empires in East Asia was to be a point of tension for years to come.

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Frustration at American silence on South East Asia was heightened by the contrast to their actions in the Middle East. As an Islamic society, and one in which Arab immigrants and their descendants played a similarly prominent role as the Tatars, the United States was highly sympathetic to the plight of the Arabs and hostile to the Papacy’s creaking empire in the Middle East – that had already been badly damaged during the Second World War. As hundreds of thousands of Arabs served in Allied armies, and tribal and religious leaders cooperated with the anti-Radical war effort, promises were made to indigenous leaders over a future Arab state. In such a powerful position at war’s end, the Americans were determined to make good on these assurances. From the early stages of the war it was clear that the Papacy had little hope of regaining the lands that had been occupied by the Russians at the end of the Second World War, with these territories earmarked for a future Arab nation alongside Arab-speaking provinces in the Russian and Serbian empires. In the last days of the war the Americans escalated their demands – applying tremendous political and economic pressure on their Papal ally to surrender their prized colonial possession in the Arabian peninsula to the new Arab state. Although this aggressive action did much to alienate the European colonial powers, the Papacy, increasingly tired of the responsibilities of empire, ultimately acquiesced and gave up all its Arab lands.

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Even after the principle of a sprawling Arab Federation had been established, its boundaries, and those of the wider Near East, remained hugely contentious. Anatolia was a particular case in point. Previously divided between Serbia and Crusader Anatolia, the peninsula was a cultural melting pot. Its two largest groups were the Greeks – predominant in the west, but with minorities stretching into the east, and the Arabs, the largest group in the east but equally with minorities as far as the Aegean coast. On top of these larger group, the peninsula was filled with Armenian, Kurdish, Sephardic Jewish and even Slavic minorities – the latter a legacy of the years of Serbian rule. Meanwhile, the Queen of Cities herself, Constantinople, was even more polyglot – three quarters of the population were divided between roughly even numbers of Greeks and Arabs, with the remainder including large numbers of Jews and Bulgarians, with smaller but still considerable Serbian and Armenian communities. The peace conference’s solution was to divide Anatolia between a Greek west and an Arab east, with both the new Greek and Arab states expected to protect the rights of minorities, while Constantinople was to be made a Free City under Allied protection.

The Caucuses were a typically confusing morass in which it was only a slight exaggeration to claim that there was a different culture in every valley. The region was home to Christian, Muslims and Hindus, several large ethnic groups and dozens of smaller ones. Providing independence to every individual people would be impractical, but the conference committed to create a number of viable states based around the larger national groups. In the west, the Christians of Armenia and Georgia were given independent states for the first time in many generations. Neither were clean-cut nation states, with Georgia in particular inheriting large minority populations on its north-eastern frontier.

Further north lived the Alans. As a Muslim people that had long lived a similar lifestyle to the Steppe peoples and shared a history of oppression within the Polish and Russian empires, the Turanists had long claimed the Alans as a part of their wider Altaic family. The Alans themselves were never wholly won over to this vision, and despite the lobbying of Kazan, the peace conference was inclined to side with their representatives and seek to establish an independent Alania. Although the majority of Alans would find their home in this new nation, many were left across the border in Turania. In the stretch of land south of the Volga, along the western shoreline of the Caspian, the Tatars were only a plurality even after the expulsion of Russians from the area. The region was home to large numbers of Alans in the north and Arabs in the south, but also a mosaic of smaller Caucasian tribes and peoples that were deemed to small for independent statehood, most of whom were bound together by a shared Islamic faith.

This finger of Muslim civilisation was divided from the Arab lands of Tabriz by Farsi-speaking Baku. Despite Persian hopes of claiming the oil-rich territory, Baku’s physical separation from the rest of Persia made its annexation impractical and it was instead established as an independent state. Its presence was the reason why certain Arab-majority valleys in the northern Caucuses were awarded to Turania rather than Arabia. The new boundaries left many people and tribes on the wrong side of the border, or under the control of a foreign people group – storing up great tensions in a historically tempestuous region that would periodically flare up in political grievances and often low level violence for many years to come.

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The final major area of dispute was the Kingdom of Israel on the Levantine coast. Although Israel had always been a reluctant part of the Radical Russian world, it was nonetheless a core symbol of Jewish power in the Middle East. Many of the players at the peace conference hoped to see it dismantled. Indeed, the most extreme proposal – backed by an unlikely partnership of the Papacy and the Arabs – would have seen Israel reduced to the densely populated Palestinian coastline with the rest of its lands going to the Arabs and a multiconfessional Muslim-Jewish-Christian administration established Jerusalem as a Free City. Israel itself had fallen to the Allies in the first months of the war in 1948, achieving a modicum of self governance early the following year following the restoration of Yaroslav Zvenislava, grandson of the last Polish Tsar, to the throne as King, and subsequently played an important part in rallying the Polish exile community and offering what support was possible to the domestic opposition. At the peace conference in 1953, the charismatic young King travelled to Isfahan to fight the cause of his people and stand as a lonely voice in favour of a softer treatment of his Polish motherland.

While the latter cause would have to wait would have to wait until later in the peace conference to see whether its aims could be achieved, the former goal was notably successful. Yaroslav’s strong relationship with the Americans, a country where he had spent much of his life, and agile diplomacy saw Israel preserve the large majority of its historic territory. As expected, it lost the parts of northern Syria it had briefly annexed after the Second World War, as well as the Negev and borderlands on the eastern bank of the Jordan that had solidly Muslim populations. However, Lebanon and Damascus – both home to very small Jewish majorities alongside very large Arab populations, mostly Christian in the former territory and Muslim in the latter. Yaroslav had secured them for Israel by pushing for popular plebiscites, which subsequently returned majorities in favour of remaining within the Kingdom. Meanwhile, Israel escaped most other repercussions, accepting only light reparations and compromises on its sovereignty – with the establishment of an American military base near Beirut. The light treatment of the Israelis would raise hopes in Poland that their own peace deal might be less punishing than first feared, as the struggling nation awaited the outcome of negotiations in Isfahan.
 
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diskoerekto

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As the world’s leaders gathered in Isfahan for the peace conference, one figure towered over all others – Mesut Beyraktar. Serving an unusual third term in office as the President of the United States, he had been the man responsible for leading his country into a collision course with Russian following his first election in 1944. Now victorious, he bestrode the world as its new master with no other nation on earth capable of competing with American power. The Asian states were still developing, the Poles now destroyed and the Europeans enfeebled by war. No one else would have so great a role in shaping the outcome of the peace conference.
:cool:

This finger of Muslim civilisation was divided from the Arab lands of Tabriz by Farsi-speaking Baku. Despite Persian hopes of claiming the oil-rich territory, Baku’s physical separation from the rest of Persia made its annexation impractical and it was instead established as an independent state. Its presence was the reason why certain Arab-majority valleys in the northern Caucuses were awarded to Turania rather than Arabia. The new boundaries left many people and tribes on the wrong side of the border, or under the control of a foreign people group – storing up great tensions in a historically tempestuous region that would periodically flare up in political grievances and often low level violence for many years to come.
What is the dark blue country between Persia and Turania (which also holds Bandar Abbas)?





The peace conference is shaping out to be quite interesting!
 
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Nikolai

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Very satisfied with Israel's fate here. :)
 

InvisibleBison

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I'm kind of disappointed that there weren't more plebiscites held to resolve the fate of some of the more questionable areas. Not surprised, mind you, but a little disappointed.
 

eoncommander

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However, the Kazan Trials were little more than a sideshow in comparison to the significance of the peace conference that got underway in the Persian city of Isfahan in early June 1953 – drawing together diplomats and leaders from all of the victorious and defeated powers to shape the postwar world.
Not sure if this has been noted already, but this really feels much more like the post-WWI settlements. Here's hoping the world is truly fatigued of war for decades to come.

China annexed the Beijing and Manchu Khanates, Tibet and Burma
What's the big chunk of purple in SE Asia next to Burma?

Instead the large, but sparsely populated, ethnic-Russian land was to remain under a combined Allied military occupation – with a view towards eventually becoming an independent state.
This doesn't seem like it would last. Independent Siberia would need to be a part of a NATO-like umbrella to defend itself, but with the American centerpiece lacking its own presence in the Pacific I don't know how that would happen.

Although the majority of Alans would find their home in this new nation, many were left across the border in Turania.
The whole Caucausus region seems dangerous, but this bit most of all.

The light treatment of the Israelis would raise hopes in Poland that their own peace deal might be less punishing than first feared, as the struggling nation awaited the outcome of negotiations in Isfahan.
I fear this will raise the specter of anti-semitism in the future as well.

For some reason, despite all the good news with the fall of the (Russian) Radicals, I've turned out to be very pessimistic about the future!
 

DensleyBlair

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As others have said, it feels like there is still plenty of potential for future conflict with the provisions of this treaty. No settlement would have ever been able to satisfy everyone at once, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that there are a lot of sticking points in this new order.
 

Theaxofwar

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I’m hoping for the Tsar to be restored, at least. Of course I doubt he’d have much power, but it’d only feel right to end the game with the monarchy still existing in some form.
 
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Tommy4ever

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1953-54 – The Diktat

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While all the great powers had gathered in Persia through 1953, on the ground events did not halt ahead of their decisions. In the Baltic, interethnic violence seriously intensified over the course of the summer of 1953. After months of low level skirmishes, the Russian militias took the lead with aggressive action. Having benefited from the demobilising Polish army secretly leaving them behind large weapons dumps, the Russian militias launched offensives in several areas – taking control of most ethnically mixed regions.

The most important battle was the siege of Riga, lasting from June to September. The countryside around the city was dominated by Russians, as were most of its industrial suburbs, while the city centre was mostly Estonian. This allowed the Russians to surround the invaluable port and pound the Estonians into submission. Elsewhere, there was heavy fighting around Kaunas and Vilnius, cities with very large populations of Ashkenazi as well as Russians, as the Lithuanians desperately fought to claim control of their would-be capital city, to no avail.

Although the Baltic states received military supplies from the Allied powers, they were clearly on the back foot. It is notable that this period saw a significant degree of ‘unmixing’ occur throughout the region, as Baltic peoples left the Russian controlled regions and Jews correspondingly fled the Baltic controlled territories under mutual fear of violence. Hoping to gain legitimacy, these militia states each in turn declared their independence as the Republics of Livonia, East Lithuania and Klapedia during the autumn months.

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While the Allies sat on their hands over the east Baltic, to the west there was no indecision. In April, Pomeranian nationalist militias had invaded the contested Gdansk Strip, claiming it for any future Polish state and sending the local poorly equipped and organised Danziger defence forces fleeing back to their city, which the Russian militias proceeded to pound with artillery fire. Pomerania itself was, infamously, the birthplace of Russian Radicalism and was among greatest of strongholds, and there was little surprise that there appeared to be a strong Radical influence on the militias in the Strip. Concerned by both the aggression of the militias and the potential from Pomerania to develop into a revivalist Radical hotbed, the Americans spearheaded a unilateral extension of the Allied zone of occupation – invading both the Gdansk Strip and Pomerania in May, defeating their enemy with overwhelming forces within weeks as their tank divisions obliterated their ragtag opposition.

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In Old Poland, the primary territorial dispute, over the mixed city of Lodz and its surrounds, was settled in a more peaceful and democratic fashion at the ballot box. Demographically, the area appeared to be favourable to the Polish side of the debate – around half its population being Russian, a little under a tenth Ashkenazi and just over 40 per cent Krakowian. However, the Krakowians, aided by the inclinations of the occupying authorities and hefty financial support from New Cordoba, ran an impressive campaign – claiming that a return of Polish rule would mean instability, isolation and economic ruin while a future with Krakow would bring integration with the west and material prosperity. With Catholic turnout running exceedingly high, this campaign clearly also won over a sizeable number of Jewish voters. In the referendum held in July 1953, 55% of Lodz voters cast their ballots in favour of joining the new Republic of Krakow. While many Poles claimed the vote had been manipulated, the result all but sealed the fate of the area in the minds of the diplomats in Isfahan.

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At the peace conference, more time would be poured into decisions over the future borders of Europe than anywhere else. In Western Europe, where most borders had been decided at the end of the Second World War, little changed aside from the restoration of Sardinian independence after the islands brief, and unhappy, union with Italy in the 1940s. In the north, Danish rule over Scandinavia was restored after two decades of socialist and later Russian control, although without the Kingdom’s eastern provinces granted their independence as Finland. In the North Atlantic, there was a three sided dispute over Iceland – as both Skotland and Denmark coveted the Nordic cultured island, while its local inhabitants tended to favour independence. In the end, the Skots, having made such a sizeable contribution to the war effort over the past two decades, had more than enough credit in the bank to secure it for themselves.

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No nation in western Europe saw as great a transformation in its fortunes as Germany. As the instigator of two world wars, first as an imperialist conquering and then as the heart of the worldwide revolution. At the end of the Second World War the victorious powers had agreed to splinter Germany into half a dozen states. Although the Allies welched on this deal at American behest, four separate German states still emerged. Throughout their sacrifice in the final battle against Radicalism, proportionally far greater than any other European power, and the horrors of being the first and most badly effected victim of nuclear war, their global image had turned from being Europe’s villain to something of a Christ of Nations. Capitalising on great international sympathy, the German government won the great prize of the unification of the German lands, and promises of ambitious aid programmes funded by the United States and Polish reparations to rebuild their smouldering nation.

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In south eastern Europe there were dramatic territorial changes as the Allies chose to dismantle the old Serbian empire and replace it with a collection of smaller nation states. This was a pitiful reward for a country that had ratted on its alliance with Russian in 1948 and then joined the fight against them the following year, only to be quickly rolled over by Kiev’s superior arms. The Serbs were a victim of the prevailing mood in favour of nation states built on popular consent. The old Serbian empire had been built upon a hierarchy of ethnic preference – with the Serbs most favoured, followed by other south Slavs in the Croats and the Bulgarians with the eastern Anatolian peoples little more than colonial subjects. This somewhat archaic entity, held together by force for many years, was divided into a flurry of new independent nations in Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Wallachia. On the Adriatic coast, the Dalmatians were unified with Italy after rejecting the prospect of independence in a referendum. It was something of an irony that the Greeks, a long term ally of the Poles and Russians after them, came out of the war enlarged while their ancestral Serbian rivals had been so humbled. To the north, the old Russian satellite in Pannonia gained control over all of the Greek speaking lands of the Danubian Plain and Carpathian Mountains, including in eastern Slovakia, as the Allies sought to build up a strong state on the Polish frontier.

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The final treaty agreed as Isfahan was its most consequential, deciding the fate of European Poland. Few in Poland were prepared for just how crushing the terms would be when they were published on October 28th 1953. The eastern frontier with Turania had largely been established, and its populations ethnically sorted, long before the final peace deal – but in many other areas there were a series of unpleasant surprises, with millions of ethnic Russians setting to awake as minorities in foreign lands.

In the far north, the historically Finnish territories of Outer Karlia, Murmansk and Finnmark that had been annexed by Poland in the final days before the rise of Boris Makarov forty years before were lost to the newly independent, and greatly enlarged Finnish Republic. With the previously extremely barren territory having acquired a Russian majority over the decades of Kievan rule, Poland had expected to retain it. Henceforth around a tenth of Finland’s population would be Russians.

On the Black Sea, there was horror as the Khazar Republic of Crimea, Dobruja and South Kuban was created. Most importantly of all, despite making use of plebiscites in many other areas, the Allies forbade a referendum on the new Republic’s independence, denying the sizeable local pro-Polish movement an opportunity to contest the state’s creation.

The most explosive territorial decisions were made in the west. Firstly, the result of the Lodz referendum was confirmed, with Krakow annexing the contested city. Secondly, the Gdansk Strip was granted to an enlarged Free City of Danzig. The Free City in turn agreed a treaty for the free movement of goods with Krakow – in effect giving the landlocked state economic access to the sea and removing its core dispute over the Gdansk Strip. Further to this, Danzig’s security was supported by defence treaties with Germany and a permanent German military base on its soil. Combined, these agreements sought to bind the Germans, Krakowians and Danzigers together and resolve many of the tensions between them.

Much worse than this, from a Polish perspective, was the fate of the Pomeranians. The perennially isolated, but militantly Russian nationalist, Baltic enclave was hived off to become an independent state. Seen as the greatest hotbed of Radicalism of all the Russian lands, a joined American-German occupation authority would retain administrative control over the area for a further five years in order to take the lead in the region’s De-Radicalisation before independent democratic institutions could be restored.

In the eastern Baltic, any recognition of the facts on the ground, with half the region under the control of ethnic Russian partisan republics and home to nearly as many Jews as indigenous Balts, was ignored. Instead, the Allies approved the territorial claims of the Baltic state in full – giving them sovereignty over all the areas controlled by the militias and denying any possibility of their union with the Motherland. The Baltic states were to each agree to a spate of minority rights, but few other concessions were offered to the Jews of the region. Indeed, the Americans had offered assurances that they would increase their military support to the Baltic states to enforce the treaty.

All told, Poland was to lose half her population and the large majority of her territory – shrinking to a smaller land area that she had controlled for half a millennium.

Just as exacting as the territorial losses were the demands made of Poland’s sovereignty and finances. Poland was deemed liable to compensate the victims of Radical Russia for the damages causes to them. This predominately consisted of two large sets of reparations. The first of these was to countries that had been badly damaged during the Third World War, with the battles of the Second War conveniently forgotten, and the chief beneficiary of this was to be Germany, victim of three nuclear attacks. The second set of reparations would primarily focus on the victims of the Felaket and their families – offering compensation both for the hardship of the atrocity and for properties destroyed or expropriated. Combined, the Allies had calculated an astronomical sum to be repaid that would weight down the Poles with a heavy economic burden for generations to come.

The Allies would also place significant limits upon the Polish state’s freedom of action. Poland was to be forbidden from possessing an armed navy or airforce, and allowed only a modestly sized army for the purpose of domestic security – strictly forbidden from ever taking part in any operations beyond its borders. Regular Allied inspections of the country for illegal weaponry and nuclear technology were to be legally enshrined. Finally, the Americans in particular had grown frustrated at the slow pace of De-Radicalisation within Poland and demanded the creation of a new institution – the International Board for De-Radicalisation and Democracy. This body, the IBDD, would be controlled cooperatively by Western states and hold political authority on Polish soil to direct and administer the De-Radicalisation of Polish society, capable of overriding the will of the national government if need be.

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Throughout the peace conference Polish representatives had not been permitted to attend in Isfahan, and as such even the government was not prepared for the harshness of the terms of peace. Among the public howls of anger washed over the country as bubbling tensions over the still unresolved refugee crisis that saw millions living in shantytowns, the dire economic situation that, with winter approaching, was starting to see many go hungry on a daily basis, combined with the national humiliation of the treaty into a nationalist rage. However, with much of the country still occupied, the Allies insisting on withholding access to the international markets Poland needed to reach to revive her ailing economy and even feed her own people, and the every present threat of a resumption of hostilities, the government was hopelessly cornered. After a few short weeks of obfuscation and attempts to negotiate with the Allies that were met with stony silence, the government was under great strain. Elements of the coalition were becoming unnerved, with some backbenchers, particularly in the JDU, growing unruly while restlessness afflicted the country as a whole.

Seeking a public buy-in for any agreement, Sidorov informed the Allies that he could not sign the treaty without a popular mandate – calling new elections to form a constituent assembly that would ratify the peace treaty and form a new constitution. Although frustrated, the Allies agreed to facilitate this, allowing for voting to take place in the Polish provinces still under their occupation.

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Although many members across all four main parties opposed signing the treaty, at the very least until it could be renegotiated, the governing cabinet had reluctantly agreed to the necessity of making peace, by extension ensuring that the leaders of the JDU, DPF, MPP and Kadets were all running on a platform accepting the treaty. Into this breach emerged a new, stridently anti-Isfahan organisation – Solidarity. The group had originated as a representative body for the millions of ethnic Russian refugees left destitute across Poland, advocating for their interests and the interests of all Russian that now found themselves isolated from the Motherland. This had intertwined them with nationalist causes across the crumbling empire, and made them the most passionate supporters of the Baltic Russians in Poland. In the days after the elections were announced, they scrambled to establish themselves as a political party with candidates across the country – demanding the rejection of the treaty, social support for the refugees and direct intervention to safeguard Russians abroad. They were the party of no. Those who would not put up with the humiliations and capitulations that had beset the Russian people over the past year. With its distinctive stance, and willingness to tap into the nationalist rage pouring over in Poland, Solidarity caught fire during the election campaign – causing grave fears among the coalition parties that could disrupt their hopes of peace as the vote approached in January 1954.

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Solidarity did indeed come very close to causing the feared breakthrough, finishing only narrowly behind the second place DPF in the popular vote with more than a fifth of all ballots cast. They won widespread support across the nation, capturing other parties’ voters and luring in those who had shunned the 1953 ballot. Indeed, many observers noted that a class of voter who had been quietly dismayed by the 1952 revolution and the fall of Russia saw their interests represented in the new movement. The two largest parties were hit the hardest, each losing swathes of support and dozens of seats. However, the anti-Isfahan party fell just short of the level of support it needed to genuinely upturn the election, winning less than half the left’s seat tally despite running them so close in voting, with near misses in constituencies across the nation. The smaller parties of the ruling coalition fared rather better than their stronger compatriots. The Kadets saw their vote share fall in eastern Poland, but compensated this with strong results in the occupied western territories – marginally increasing their seat tally as they benefited from the weakness of their larger rivals. The MPP largely maintained its level of support among Muscovites in the north, although the community’s electoral weight was reduced by addition of the occupied territories to the electorate. Despite seats being reallocated away from Muscovy, the party was still able to make gains – hitting an electoral sweet spot as the two largest national parties lost support to Solidarity, but the newcomers failed to make serious inroads themselves.

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Re-elected, Sidorov’s government duly proceeded to sign the treaty, accepting Poland’s humiliating surrender but regaining control over the occupied territories and ensuring peace.

With the treaty agreed, albeit with bitterness, the government turned towards the future and the question of the constitution. Divided between the monarchism of the Jewish Democratic Union and the Kadets, and the republicanism of the Democratic Peoples Front, and the Muscovite regionalists suspicious of both camps, it was decided that the only way to resolve the question of the Tsardom would be to hold a referendum. The people would decide whether the Fifth Polish State would be a Tsardom or a Republic.
 
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Tommy4ever

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:cool:


What is the dark blue country between Persia and Turania (which also holds Bandar Abbas)?


The peace conference is shaping out to be quite interesting!

That is Merv, which along with Fars - now Persia - was one of the two main Persian-speaking states of the V2 era. They managed to avoid being annexed during the 19th century by either Poland or the Papacy and then kept their heads down and avoided any involvement in any of the wars of the 1930s-50s. One would think at least some there would dream of reunification (if only to deal with the ugly exclave on the Gulf!)

Very satisfied with Israel's fate here. :)

They have come out of this much better than Poland did - with large areas with Russian majorities now ripped away and a crushing peace enforced.

I'm kind of disappointed that there weren't more plebiscites held to resolve the fate of some of the more questionable areas. Not surprised, mind you, but a little disappointed.

Plebicites seem to have been used in a rather cynical and inconsistent way - where it suited the Allies' wider objectives or the issue was not fundamentally important strategically (it would have made little different to the West if Lodz was Polish or Krakowian - but denying Poland access to strategic sites like Riga and Sevastopol would have been a bigger concern).

Not sure if this has been noted already, but this really feels much more like the post-WWI settlements. Here's hoping the world is truly fatigued of war for decades to come.


What's the big chunk of purple in SE Asia next to Burma?


This doesn't seem like it would last. Independent Siberia would need to be a part of a NATO-like umbrella to defend itself, but with the American centerpiece lacking its own presence in the Pacific I don't know how that would happen.


The whole Caucausus region seems dangerous, but this bit most of all.


I fear this will raise the specter of anti-semitism in the future as well.

For some reason, despite all the good news with the fall of the (Russian) Radicals, I've turned out to be very pessimistic about the future!

That chunk in SE Asia is the remains of Papal South East Asia (which used to include all of Burma as well).

Siberia is a big question. The US will have trouble projecting power all the way out there in the medium term, while Australia is probably too small to really be the leading occupier. That may allow the Turanists to increasingly take the lead there - an outcome which could make the local ethnic Russians rather nervy, considering the Tatars have eyed up the land for themselves at times. That is before we even think about the Chinese potentially flexing muscle in the years ahead.

The Caucuses as well are predictably difficult, somewhere where it is impossible to create functional nation states for every group considering how small some of them are and how jumbled up the mix of ethnicities can be. On top of this it finds itself at the confluence of 3 of the massively strengthened new middle weight powers of Western Asia - Turania, Persia and the Arab Federation - who may all want to fight for influence over the small states even if they are all at present allies, and Poland not too far away to get in on the act too.

The fall of Radicalism has certainly left a big old mess for the world to deal with!

As others have said, it feels like there is still plenty of potential for future conflict with the provisions of this treaty. No settlement would have ever been able to satisfy everyone at once, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that there are a lot of sticking points in this new order.

There are a whole load of potential future flashpoints. The Baltics most obviously still have an ongoing war. What if pro-Polish forces gain the ascendancy in the new Khazar state? What about the Russian majorities in 'Outer Finland'? Or if the Jews around Lodz start agitating? Will America remain heavily involved in global affairs to hold up all this settlement? Will they have the capacity for global power projection without a Pacific presence and few true friends in Asia? Will Poland be able to sustain the heavy exactions on her?

I’m hoping for the Tsar to be restored, at least. Of course I doubt he’d have much power, but it’d only feel right to end the game with the monarchy still existing in some form.

The update after this is going to be a bit of an in depth look at the demographics of the new Poland in these shrunken borders, particularly at religion. We've gone from a <50% Judaeo-Russian state to a 95% one, so we'd best get a bit more familiar with it!

After that, we shall see the outcome of the referendum on the monarchy and what our constitutional future is!
 
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eoncommander

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The territorial settlements in Europe seem... mostly stable? Despite the active fighting in certain areas, the Americans and Germans are on hand to step in when things start to get too hairy. Germany, though, probably can't do it alone, what with their own first priority being reconstruction. So the biggest question is, are we going to get OTL interwar isolationist America, or an America that takes seriously its role as a guarantor of the new order?