• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

EmperorofMordor

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I had a much more vital target to seize first especially when I could just bomb britain into the ground.
Because that worked so well the last time a Germanic empire tried it.
 

zenphoenix

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Heidenplatz, in front of Schloss Anniona, Vienna - 3 March 1941

Otto von Hohenzollern, wearing a nondescript overcoat and fedora, trudged through the rain, walking
across the Heidenplatz. Nobody paid much attention to him as he approached the statue of Field Marshal Friedrich Walther on horseback, which faced the palace. Without breaking a sweat (though it was hard to tell with the wavy rain) he pulled himself up onto the statue's base and sat down, gazing over at the palace.

It all looked so peaceful. Rain cascaded down from the heavens, showering the imperial capital in cleansing water. The air was fresh and clean. He saw lights flicker on in some rooms d the palace. Octavia was probably going over the war plans with her generals.

Whoever lived here in the films didn't seem so lucky. Last week, he watched the latest film he had recieved. He saw shots of Constantinople being bombed flat and himself being dragged out of the ruins of the palace there, brought before the
film's version of his friend Markos, and shot in the head. It was the scene of his own death which caused him to reconsider the mysterious man's offer. In addition, the film was dated a month into the future. If he could get over there he realized he could save his counterpart.

A couple days later, he had found a package at the front door of his (state-provided) apartment in Vienna, with the following note attached to it: "You'll know what to do when the time is right. The statue at the Heidenplatz, March 3."

Inside was a small vial containing a luminous cloud of gas that looked like light...or was it light that looked like gas?

He was at the specified meeting place, but the man hadn't shown up yet. Was this some kind of a joke?

A car pulled up to a nearby curb, and Markos got out.

"Otto!" Markos said. "What are you doing here?"

"Meeting someone," Otto replied.

Markos looked over his shoulder. "It's no longer safe here," he whispered, "They're onto us. They got Otto von Habsburg just yesterday. God knows what they're doing to him now. Get out while you still can. I don't have much time before--"

Otto heard the sound of tires screeching, and three cars with the Anniona eagle on their sides rounded the corner, rapidly closing in on them.

"I don't know why you're still here," said Markos, "But I think I'll run for my life!"

The priest ran off in the opposite direction.

Otto didn't run. Instead, he instinctively took the vial out of his pocket and clutched it tightly. Light began seeping out of his fist, and he felt a wave of calmness overcome him. As the police surrounded the statue, rifles pointed at him, while other policemen pinned Markos to the wet grass-covered ground, his vision blurred, everything he saw becoming duplicated. The shouting seemed far away now. He closed his eyes and relaxed as the world fell away from him.


Markos managed to twist his head in Otto's direction as the police put handcuffs on him. However, he saw nobody sitting on the base of the statue. The police surrounding the statue were similarly perplexed.

"Otto!" Markos shouted before one of the policemen struck him with the butt of his rifle, and he blacked out.


---

Heidenplatz, in front of Schloss Hofburg, Vienna - 3 March 1941

Otto von Hohenzollern opened his eyes. The shouting was completely gone. The rain had stopped, and the whole plaza was dry, although the sky was still overcast.

Although everything else at first glance looked identical, upon further inspection he found subtle and not so subtle differences. He looked at the plaque on the base of the statue. Fortunately it was still in German, but instead of Friedrich Walther the plaque read "WOLFGANG LUDENDORFF, LIBERATOR OF VIENNA, DEFENDER OF THE REICH, HERO OF THE MAXIMIST WAR."

He didn't know anybody named Ludendorff back home.

What really caught his eye were the two flags fluttering over the palace. One was red and was the "not quite Anniona" flag he had seen in the films. The one flying above it was a black version of the Greek republican eagle.

The palace and the plaza both showed signs of heavy damage. Craters and rubble dotted the plaza, while bullet holes were scattered all across the front of the palace. The statue he was sitting under was also slightly damaged, with part of the horse's head and body blown off and the man's outstretched sword arm completely missing.

He looked around him and noticed that the plaza was completely deserted. That was a good thing. At least he wasn't being pursued by the Annionas anymore.

Otto got to his feet and walked away, quickly blending into the crowded streets of Vienna. Fortunately his outfit managed to draw attention away from his face. Now to find out where his counterpart was in this foreign world...
 

EmperorofMordor

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If he could get over there he realized he could save his counterpart.
Are you planning on integrating this with your actual AAR? Are we going to have two Ottos running around fighting Angeloi?
 

zenphoenix

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Are you planning on integrating this with your actual AAR? Are we going to have two Ottos running around fighting Angeloi?
Yes. I was planning on uploading the next chapter to my AAR simultaneously with this short story but I ran into some writers' block and decided to just post this one first.
 

dragoon9105

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Clearly Angeloi will escape his eventual fate by jumping into this world while having a double stage a suicide. :p

Because that worked so well the last time a Germanic empire tried it.
Good thing we are a 'Roman Empire' :D Besides, I've successfully invaded Russia in Winter, I think the probability field for this universe has now been solidly broken.
 

EmperorofMordor

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Good thing we are a 'Roman Empire' :D Besides, I've successfully invaded Russia in Winter, I think the probability field for this universe has now been solidly broken.
Fair enough, particularly if you bomb them into the dirt with nuclear fire...
 

zenphoenix

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Clearly Angeloi will escape his eventual fate by jumping into this world while having a double stage a suicide.
Implying he's incompetent enough to lose to the Hohenzollerns at this point.:p
 

Forster

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Nice interlude.
 

TheAnguishedOne

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Nobody messes with Bad Kitty.

As for the special with our guess writer, good to see Markos failing Otto in all timelines.
 

dragoon9105

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Chapter 13: Right behind you

(Continental Tank Crew awaiting orders to move north to dresden)
Victories on both the Eastern and Western Front had finally enabled the last piece of Empress Octavia and the military leadership's plan for the war. Currently, the only Fascist country left on continental Europe was the North German Union that divided Scandinavia and the Holy Roman Empire. The North Germans had stayed neutral in the current conflict due to mutual hate of all three belligerents in the war. As the Axis power in europe continued to wane however the North Germans had proving to be growing increasingly nervous, drawing up treaties with Sudamerika for military aid as well as pledging to send supplies over the channel to the Celtic Union.


Leaving a hostile power in Europe while the Empire waged war in Russia, The Middle East and China was simply unacceptable. Despite the North German State taking no hostile actions against the empire for the duration of war documents were fabricated detailing a Celtic and North German plot to land millions of troops in the Netherlands and push south for Vienna and Prague. These papers were then fed to the media, who predictably ran with them giving the government more than enough excuse to go to war.​


Unlike the Celtics or even the Russians the North Germans were already preparing for the eventuality of war. The Germans unfortunately simply did not have the numbers or supplies to effectively resist the coming invasion. By Late May the border had already been overrun, North Holland was cut off and Holy Infantry were marching more or less unopposed into East Prussia.


Such success was proof of the ever advancing Holy Roman military doctrine. Tanks and other armor had proved to once again be a vital part of the army, allowing well prepared defenses to be effectively crushed. It was only natural that the idea to also reinforce defensive lines with faster and more mobile vehicles such as tank destroyers and light tanks was put into practice just as cavalry had been in the past.​


News from the Zululand Test Airstrips in spring had provided surprising results. Previously dismissed as a viable means of propulsion due to cost and complexity, Deutschland-Braun had successfully flown both a primitive rocket and jet fighter aircraft for several minutes. Performance for both the DB-200R and the DB-201A were superior to top of the line Prop Aircraft currently in service.

(The DB-201A 'Heron')
Jet and Rocket engines brought an entirely new host of problems, the most significant being that the engines had a nasty tendency to explode while spooling up. They also far less fuel efficient and due to how they were mounted significantly hindered the maneuverability of the aircraft while also requiring longer runways and maintenance crews specifically trained in the new Engine. Not seeing the benefits outside of specific circumstances the DB-201 was ordered back into development.


The IAF of course had its priorities on other things. Under pressure and complaint from the Navy the Holy Roman Empire still did not have an aircraft suitable for use on the new Carrier 'Claudius' or it's sister ship the 'Tiberius' both due to be launched later that year. There was of course significant argument to simply modify DB109's that were now being phased out of service for use, which the Navy adamantly rejected to, seeing them as inferior. The Navy also demanded that any such aircraft needed to be able to carry rockets and a notable bomb load for use in Ground support operations, which effectively eliminated every Holy Roman fighter currently in service.


(The Lt-91 'Sea Wolf' later designated the IFN-42)
Frustrated the IAF passed the contract to the smaller Lucius Tank aircraft design company. Headed by Lucius Tank himself the company had previously specialized in producing specific civilian aircraft for crop dusting and other services. The company's first military design, the Lt-90 was rejected due to being too late into the competition to compete with the likes of the DB109 and the Fe-40. The Lt-91, Tank changed to be primarily for Naval Combat, adding a tail hook and more powerful Radial engine for takeoff from short runways.

Upon seeing the aircraft's performance the Navy immediately accepted and ordered both Naval and ground based designs in bulk. The numbers demanded far exceeded Tank's own production capabilities, and so the Navy doing what it had been doing push pressure on the IAF and the Government to free up other potential aircraft factories for production. The IAF was furious as the Navy had now effectively negotiated a production contract by going directly to the Empress and attempted to sabotage the effort.

After a month of infighting with no advancements whatsoever the Empress ordered an investigation, and later officially divorced the Naval Air branch from the IAF as well as ordering the arrest of several high ranking IAF members that conspired to sabotage the carrier effort.

Now free to pursue their own Air contracts, the Imperial Navy finally ordered the Lt91 into mass production under the designation IFN-42.


There was a few reasons why the Leadership had favored the Navy enough to cause the IAF an eternal headache over the year. The Navy was of course a more established branch, had a string of decisive victories in just the current war alone and had a well entrenched leadership despite reform efforts that still held connections across the empire.

Then there was Ryu Yamamoto, otherwise known to many as 'The Sea Devil'. In the navy for most of his life Yamamoto had revolutionized Imperial Naval Doctrine since his rise to leadership. Unlike more conservative commanders who favored battleships alone and less experienced commanders who thought themselves more revolutionary for favoring submarine, destroyer and cruiser investment Yamato had a faction all his own designed around the idea of a 'Grand Battlefleet' consisting of both Battleships, Aircraft Carriers and Heavy Cruisers, escorted by destroyers and other craft.


(The Imperial Super Heavy Battleship and Ryu Yamamoto's command ship 'Gisela' leaving for the Atlantic for the first time)​

Under Yamamoto's command at Gallipoli these tactics had been proven with the destruction of over 100 Axis regiments. Though Carriers were not present, Yamamoto's point had been made and the young Admiral found himself appointed commander and Chief of the Imperial Navy by 1941. From there Yamamoto had continued to campaign for the construction of carriers and their aircraft as well as an Invasion of Mainland Britain. He would eventually be given both the Carriers and the Aircraft by 1942, but Britain would be repeatedly put off, officially being canceled by the Fall of 1942 mostly in due to the reversal of the North African front, and Yamamoto's own marine campaign for Tangiers.


With Gibraltar open, and the Imperial Navy free to bombard the government in Exile in the Canaries the Spanish surrendered, followed by the Portuguese, Austria's enemies were now dropping like flies. With the Invasion of Northern Germany, and Sudamerika now promising to come to their aid, This war still far from over. The Holy Roman Empire would now be fighting a Global War, in Europe, Asia and now America on Land, Sea and Air.


 

TheButterflyComposer

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Ryu Yamamoto, fighting Fascist admiral Ken?
This war just got ten times as awesome! Especially as super battle ships could actually have been made and supported by such a powerful industrial empire as the Austrian one. Impracticality yes but when you have enough resources to build everything, why not?
 

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With this, the HRE has yet another fashion of war to excel at. Hispania's fall clearly shows progress.

Ryu Yamamoto, fighting Fascist admiral Ken?
Well, that beats my fanfic.
 

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Chapter 14 Mighty Mighty Man

(German Tank crew in a field outside Brunswick, 1942)
The War in Northern Germany was in many ways a continuation of the current style of warfare on the Russian front. Outside of urban areas advancement was steady but not overwhelming. Particularly in Poland and East Germany there was little resistance. In the more Urban west progress was significantly slower as cities such as Brunswick and Amsterdam had managed to hold against the initial Holy Roman Assault. Elsewhere progress steamed along without stopping.


Initial success in the campaign had freed up Tiger and Puma divisions for better use on the eastern front. While the extra armor support would have been appreciated in germany, ever rising numbers of chinese on the Eastern front were considered more of a concern. Still with only infantry, mechanized and light tank support advances continued.


The city Magdeburg would inevitably be the hardest nut to crack in Germany, while not the capital the city had seen Imperial occupation now countless times in the past and had been well prepared for the eventuality of invasion from the south. Imperial Army command was of course, not amused with the Idea of yet another Lenningrad, and the city was ordered to be surrounded, and heavily bombed.


In the East the Spring and Summer of 1942 the army advance would be known as the 'Second Invasion'. After the borderline stalemate at Moscow dozens more divisions from the front, as well as extra pressure on the Crimea had weakened the Russians considerably. Almost the entirety of Russia under occupation and Volgograd now within sights things were starting to look very grim.


In the Middle East the Holy Roman Army finally celebrated the liberation of Jerusalem, and the liberation of the southern half of Israel. The Chinese which now garrisoned the middle east in force prepared to dig in along the border as well as Gaffa and Acra. The Israeli Government in Exile was very pleased and though Jerusalem was still a warzone made a symbolic return to Ascalon.



By August 1942 Holy Roman Soldiers had met with Scandinavians from the North over the River Elbe. The North German Union, determined to fight until the end had fortified Stade and Lubeck and were prepared for lengthy sieges.

The Holy Roman Empire had learned from the disasters of 1941 in Biscay. The Days of prolonged infantry siege and conflict were now well into the past. Superior Armor and Air Power had won the day in Biscay, Leningrad and Israel and would now be the primary focus of armored doctrine. Medium and Heavy Tanks were phased out of infantry supporting roles entirely in favor of 'Wolf Packs'. Infantry now would support tanks through use of Mechanized vehicles and clear buildings and other obstacles that Armor was unable to deal with. The Tanks of course, would handle the rest.​


(The Gepanzerten Trägerfahrzeug 260 or Gpz.Tf-260, 1941)
In the Later half of the War in Germany heavier tanks were of course a rarity, and so armored Vehicles, namely armored cars and halftracks had filled the role. With the North Germans low on any anti armor weapons to speak of these vehicles alongside Light tanks and heavy close air support had managed to make full use of the new Spearhead doctrine to devastating effect.


By September Magdeburg, the last major strong point south of the Elbe was under siege from all sides. The arrival of a Tiger division ultimately would be the final straw, and the remaining city defenders would surrounded and the remaining city defenders would surrender on the third of November.


News of the fall of Magdeburg was but the final blow to a series that had been delivered upon the Holy Roman Empire's northern brethren. With news of Tigers on the front what remained of the North German Leadership officially surrendered.​


Continental Europe, in It's entirety now once more belonged to the Holy Roman Empire. The Borders of the Original Empire of Christopher, were restored and more and the work to rebuild the Empire, The True empire was now beginning.



Upon hearing the news of the German Union's surrender Chairman Liao reportedly said "The Phoenix has Risen, And now, The True War begins, Not just for our World, But for our Peoples, Our Future, and the Heavens themselves"

 
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dragoon9105

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So 'Small' announcement. After much deliberation, two test games and some light modding.

We will indeed, be taking this game into Stellaris and this will indeed by a Five part megacampaign. As for the 1960's-2000's they will be covered in Epilogues here, 2000-2300 will be covered in an Interlude in Stellaris.

This war just got ten times as awesome! Especially as super battle ships could actually have been made and supported by such a powerful industrial empire as the Austrian one. Impracticality yes but when you have enough resources to build everything, why not?
Indeed, Though my Empire started very small considering the sheer size of most of the Megacampaign Empires that make it this far, after all we were 'just' Austria-Hungary, the Balkans and Italy combined with most of my colonial holdings as satellites so it wouldn't have been viable at the start to mass produce this stuff.

With all of Europe now firmly under boot however, Any sort of massive pet project is feasible. After all why let a little practicality get in the way of some awesome toys?.
 
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zenphoenix

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So 'Small' announcement. After much deliberation, two test games and some light modding.

We will indeed, be taking this game into Stellaris and this will indeed by a Five part megacampaign. As for the 1960's-2000's they will be covered in Epilogues here, 2000-2300 will be covered in an Interlude in Stellaris.



Indeed, Though my Empire started very small considering the sheer size of most of the Megacampaign Empires that make it this far, after all we were 'just' Austria-Hungary, the Balkans and Italy combined with most of my colonial holdings as satellites so it wouldn't have been viable at the start to mass produce this stuff.

With all of Europe now firmly under boot however, Any sort of massive pet project is feasible. After all why let a little practicality get in the way of some awesome toys?.
Glad to hear this will be going into Stellaris. Good luck on reclaiming the rest of the old empire! Will you try to conquer the world in-game or leave that to the interludes?

Speaking of interludes, would you mind if I had several chapters for my AAR set in your universe during the 1960s-2000s? Just wondering so I don't cause any continuity issues in my updates.
 

HIMDogson

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You should have given Pommerania to the Scandinavians to reward them for being such good allies in the fight against Totalitarianism. Ah well, the Eagle and the Dragon are all that remains. This gun be good.
 

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Glad to hear this will be going into Stellaris. Good luck on reclaiming the rest of the old empire! Will you try to conquer the world in-game or leave that to the interludes?
Since its going to technically be, like 250 years between 1950 and 2200?, Might not be so straightforward ;)

Speaking of interludes, would you mind if I had several chapters for my AAR set in your universe during the 1960s-2000s? Just wondering so I don't cause any continuity issues in my updates.
By all means. I think everyone's been enjoying them so far, including myself.

You should have given Pommerania to the Scandinavians to reward them for being such good allies in the fight against Totalitarianism. Ah well, the Eagle and the Dragon are all that remains. This gun be good.
The War is technically still Ongoing, As Sudamerika, a Major, joined the war to defend the North Germans just as it was ending. (I gave them a this or that focus choice for an Alliance with the NFG or the Celts)

Only issue is their AI is a bit, wonky, as they didn't even so much at march on Panama before the USA, Mexico and California flooded it with troops. They did send expeditionary forces emasse though, first to the Germans, then later to the Chinese.
 

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Ah, so good to have the original borders back again under your control. It's been a long time coming.

Glad to hear about the Stellaris plan as well.
 

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'Small announcement' of Stellaris means that soon you are going to have to find a way of not only figuring out how to end the war but also how to unify the planet (at least to the extent that you don't have to talk about it so much). Good luck with that...

So are we sticking with absolutism IN SPAAAAAACE!!! or are you going to combine the HRE (somehow) with the American ideas about democracy?