germandjinn

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J_Master

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So you'll start with the ULSR on the east bank of the Rhine, and the forces of the Vozhd in Berlin? And I guses some British beach head in Bremen or something?



Oh, how far the mighty have fallen...
 

Vlad_Dracul1989

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Having anecdotal evidence from a comedy book, a few newspapers, and an old professor whos father lived under Franz Josef in no way replaces the real, concrete research going on in this field. This isn't just economic stuff (in fact, the economic stuff is barely being touched on at this point, and that's one deficiency I seek to correct after my PhD studies), but most of the work has been on the political, social, and cultural areas.

These were just examples: I say you can't really understand part of history without, what I call, deep understanding. Historical research, which will show you politics or economic numbers, is just one part of it. You should talk to people, read newspapers, hell even try to eat war rations for just two months, or dress as Austrian soldier, I done that too :) besides, parodies and satire which was created in that era also offers you insight you can't find in 'serious historical research'.

But if you want a true academic debate...

PhDr. Petr Proks CSc. from Charles University, Faculty of Philosophy, in 2015 criticised U.S. writer David Good and others about claims of 'prosperous' Austria-Hungary: he's also member of Historical Institute in Science Academy of Czech Republic and wrote to this day nine books about Great War, dissolution of A-H and fall of German Empire.

From his point of view, none single cause was strong enough to destroy Habsburg realm: several causes and fails are to blame, economy, nationalism, ideology etc. some more than another, but still, single reason is impossible to find. Central Powers and Entente had both concerns about future A-H, and generally every power feared that Habsburg empire won't last, if nothing happens - Germany's MittelEuropa would primarily created stronger bond between Austria and German, with Germans strong enough and able to keep it in one piece.
Entente's members, although agreeing that A-H needs to look differently, were also against A-H end, especially British and Americans, who considered balkanization of Central Europe as catastrophe and destabilization of entire region. Independent national states were literally the last resort for them too.

But these concerns were more about geopolitics and balance of power: in practice, preservation of this rotting Empire would cost a lot.
For example, economic growth, as described by Good, says nothing about actual level of living for Habsburg subjects - GDP of A-H in 1913 was almost same as France's (10/11% of whole Europe), but per person, it was 93% in A-H's case, France 129%. The difference was even greater in British and German case, 181 and 139 %. So this 'economic growth' don't say much.
Before the war, Habsburgs used massive foreign loans, especially from French banks, for rearmament (including Tegetthoff-class battleships) and to keep working massive police-bureacracy apparatus, with little to none investments to infrastructure or factories - preservation of German-Hungarian dualism/domination had absolute priority. So loans were squandered, without creating new values.
Therefore, Habsburg realm was really in debt trap, which was solved only by Great War: in case of victory, they won't have to pay them. Before the war, they had to already take a new loans to pay for old loans, so an Empire's bankruptcy in near future was not only possible.

One would say, vast realm with 50 mil. of citizens can growth with such massive inner market: that would be true, if there wasn't dualism: tariffs imposed by Hungarians and refusal to invest anything in deeply impoverished parts like Galicia or Carpathian Ruthenia, where hunger was usual and not many subjects were able to buy anything but food to survive, caused just more problems.

Should I continue?
 

LoneStar Prussian

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Ironheart 7.png


Epilogue IV: The Great War Over


"We fought like lions and they fought lesser. Regardless, there is a peace. More importantly, there is a future beyond this war." -Rheinhard Kraushaar, German Soldier in London, 63. Hamburg-Division.


----------------------------------------------​

June 8th - August 7th, 1917

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A soldier sits in the ruins of London, June 28th, 1917.
The day the Entente surrendered was a good day to be alive, for everyone mind you. The terrible and vicious Great War, or Weltkrieg, was over. The Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Switzerland, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire had won. The men of these nations fought on many diverse fronts against a determined enemy. There were many losses, many sacrifices, and many noble deeds. This war was not that of sunshine and rainbows, contrary to how it was perceived during the war's beginning. Three Years of brutal battles, from the Battle of Sarny to the Battle of Zurich, the Battles of Lugano and Salandra's Wall, the Battle of the Sinai and the Battle of Paris. All were over, and now it was time to rebuild. However, while the conflict was won in the end, it was at a cost. Over 3 million (3,648,883 to be exact) died during the war for the Kaiserbund, for their people. The Entente fared much worse, almost exactly 5 million (5,004,160) losing men lost their lives against the might of the Fatherland. Overall, 8.5 Million (8,653,043) Soldiers died in the Weltkrieg. 1.7 of them being German. This of course did not include civilian deaths, from bombing raids and those caught in the crossfire during urban battles, such as the Battle of Paris and or the Battle of London.

As an armistice with the British Empire continued, the Royal Navy, after being battered by the German and Austro-Hungarian Navies during the war, lifted its blockade of the Central Powers, along with its 'quarantine zone' (a blockade in all but name) that restricted the neutral nations of the war. Trade was reopened with the Americas and within Europe, and once again money, along with food, began to hustle back into the European Continent, this time centered around Berlin, not London. In addition to this relieving feat, the people of Persia were rejoiced to hear that both the Ottoman and British Empires would be pulling out of their country, like the Russians before them. The armistice was temporary though, the war was not officially over. A new treaty needed to be signed to end the War to End All Wars. In due time...

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As the time flew by during the weeks of June and July, the German Empire, as well as everyone else in Europe, commissioned a demobilization of their armies. The war was over and many soldiers were eager to return home to their families. Germany was at peace, even if it was an unstable one. While it would take three months or longer, the period of demobilization was relieving to say the least. Huge population pressures at home, such as empty stores and factories were remedied by the return of the working man. To add onto that, the small but crucial Chinese Labor population made their way back to the Middle Kingdom, seeing as their work in Germany was done.

This was not the end of domestic affairs within Germany or it's spheres of influence. Harkening back to the Treaty of Alexander Palace, one would remember the problems Germany faced with the newly appointed leaders of Ukraine and White Russia. While the Ukrainians were actually open to the idea of a German/Austrian King, the country of Byelorussia was unfortunately not. They were nothing but a petty dictatorship clinging on to a false pretext of independence, and soon, if allowed to continue, this nation's government would end up biting the hand that fed them. Thus, with imminent invasion if refused, the Belorussian Republic was declared over, and a new, Kingdom of White Ruthenia was made. The Kaiser's younger brother Henry Hohenzollern was made the new ruler of White Russia, thus securing a new direct puppet for Berlin. While most plans for German Colonization were directed toward Crimea, Lithuania, and the Baltic Duchy, the German Empire was open to the idea of some sort of settlement in the land of the White Rus'.

Onward to Poland. The German Empire had a bustling population eager to move east, but some areas weren't as appealing as the industrial sectors of the new Kingdom of Poland. The nation was still under regency with no clear monarch looking to take power. Sure there were some houses that Piast roots, but really it would either be a Habsburg or a Hohenzollern, and god forbid that incestrial dynasty expand further. Anyway, the Poles were made to cede more lands to Prussia, the German Empire taking pretty much everything west of Warsaw. Only the Austrians were in opposition to this, but they would rather lose Poland than start a war over it.

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Now, onto the main event. The War to End All Wars, the War of Nations, the Great War, the World War, the Weltkrieg, whatever you wished to call it, the war officially ended on the day it began, August 7th. Three years later, in 1917, Europe had changed, for better or for worse. In the East, there is no antagonistic Russian Empire, but a broken republic founded in Tomsk. The Russian Motherland has been pushed out of Europe, its Eastern Territories now forever aligned with that of the Germans. Russian Rule in Finland was over, as well as the Caucuses and Central Asia (for the most part, Central Asia was de facto independent). In the South of Europe, The Tsardom of Bulgaria was the preeminent power of Balkans, Austria-Hungary largely turning inward. However, tensions were rising along the Hellenic and Romanian Borders. Austria-Hungary as said before was turning inward, reflecting on itself. Realistically, the Austro-Hungarian Empire could no longer fit in a world like the modern one. Nationalism was arising, the people, while humbled, still held dissenting thoughts to the Habsburg Empire. A crash was coming for the nation should it abandon its Dualist system and establish an actual brotherhood across the Danube, otherwise there might be a day when Austria or it's successor has no sway in the politics of Europe.

In the defeated West, France was humiliated, facing local uprisings, and was even more sick than the Ottoman Empire. Italy wasn't much different, nearly a million of their men had died in the war, and their army was almost non-existent due to the Third Battle of Salandra's Wall/Brescia. Both in the North and in the South, the Italian People were tired of their perfidious Savoy Monarch, an appeal to Socialism found it's way in the hearts of Rome and Paris. In Portugal, much was the same as France and Italy. While they weren't directly invaded or occupied, Portugal was one of the main defenders of the Western Front, pulling the weight that Britain refused to do. Their people were no longer in support of a regime that sent thousands of their boys off to die in a fleeting war, and as socialist uprisings began to spread across a disenfranchised Spain, so too would they in Portugal.

That left the British Isles. The German Empire won the war against the United Kingdom, battling the British from London to Glasgow, from Cardiff to Norwich. The British Empire agreed to an armistice with the Central Powers, and on the 7th of August, the Treaty of Balmoral Castle was signed by the victorious German General, Paul von Hindenburg, and the British Prime Minister, David Lloyd George. Drafted and signed in the Scottish Castle, the Kaiser imposed harsh conditions upon the United Kingdom. While no where near as destructive as the Treaty of Versailles or Treaty of Alexander Palace (as the Kaiser had a soft spot for Britain) the British Empire would be cut down to size. It's African holdings would be limited to Egypt-Sudan (not given to the Ottomans as they never conquered it, only Sinai would remain in Turkish hands) and South Africa. The entirety of Ireland, besides Belfast, was given independence for their valor during the Dublin Rising. Yemen was reestablished as an Ottoman Client State, and the British were removed from the Middle East. All of their holdings being transferred to Istanbul or it's client states. The United Kingdom would also hand over all occupied colonial territory back to the Kaiser's Germany. Most damaging of all though, was the forced transferring of the Royal Navy. Britain at the end of the war was left with 10 Destroyers, 0 Submarines, 0 Dreadnoughts, 0 Light Cruisers, and 0 Heavy Cruisers. Britain's Mastery over the Seven Seas was over, handed to the Germans.

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The war was over, and with an Ironheart, the German Empire became a World Superpower

The World had achieved peace once more, and with it, it could rebuild.

With this peace, the soldiers of the Entente and Central Powers went home to put away their rifles, hopefully to never use them again.

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The End

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

End of Ironheart: A Darkest Hour AAR
Well, that's it. Seems like it was yesterday I released the first update, oh how far ago was that. There was a time when I wanted to discontinue this AAR actually, but I always remember my promise I made to you all - to stick with this toward the end. Of course, I never wrote this just to get it out, only as a hobby, thus I kinda took a little while. My next AAR (Ironheart II, but maybe I might do something else with the explosion of new KR AARs) will not be in this style, but something a bit more to my liking. Anyway, it was a good run, this AAR is over, and I hope you all enjoyed it. Thank you to everyone who read and to everyone who commented and what-not. Thank you to the Darkest Hour developers for creating a fun strategy game, and my thanks go out to this community. Goodbye, have a nice day or night, and like an Edelweiss, blossom and grow forever. Until I write once more, goodbye again.
 
Last edited:

Viden

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Nice to see this achive it's ending so well. :)
 

Rifal

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So how many ships did Germany get from the Royal Navy?
and will they appear in Ironheart II?