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stnylan

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Yes, the empire is really too geographically diverse and communication and travel technology not yet up to the task to allow a truly unified civil service, but something with more networking between services (which seems to be the practical result of the above) is surely to be welcomed.
 

vyshan

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Yes, the empire is really too geographically diverse and communication and travel technology not yet up to the task to allow a truly unified civil service, but something with more networking between services (which seems to be the practical result of the above) is surely to be welcomed.

Indeed, the Empire is quite vast, and the technology is just not there yet. Not to mention the various Domains were a bit wary of being fully integrated and giving up control. But the advantages of the more integrated and the ease of movement for the civil service across the various domain is still a welcome result.
 
Chapter 14: The Powder Keg Erupts

vyshan

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Chapter 14: The Powder Keg Erupts

While the British Empire celebrated the glory of their empire, the rest of the world teetered on destruction and Chaos. In China the centuries old monarchy of the Qing Empire was overthrown which lead to a period of chaos and turmoil in China known as the Warlord period. However it was not that longer later that in Europe the tensions and conflict would explode. A crisis in June of 1915 would lead to one of the bloodiest wars that the world has ever seen.

Chaos in China
1910 would be the last year for the Qing Empire. Facing numerous revolts, It would finally be overthrown bringing the Monarchy to an end. To many it was regarded as something that was expected to happen. China had been unable to modernize and with the Great Powers of the world taking slices of china, it meant that the Qing government did not have the willpower to modernize. In the end the ideals of radicals and revolutionaries would change everything.

Xinhai Revolution
Xinhai_Revolution_in_Shanghai.jpg

[Shanghai after the city went to revolt]

The revolution began with the Wuchang uprising on the 10th of October 1910 that took place in Wuchang, hence the name. The uprising originated from popular unrest about a railway crisis. The new Qing army, called the New Army, would turn on the Qing and lead an assault on the residency of the Viceroy who quickly fled from the area. With that victory won it brought about a spreading wildfire throughout china as countless more uprisings began.

As the uprisings spread throughout China other parts of the Qing empire broke away from the Qing hegemony, notably Mongolia and Tibet. The rebellions had drawn Qing troops away from the borderlands and this allowed Mongolian and Tibetan nationalists to help take over and assert their independence.

On December 29th 1910, the Sun Yat-sen, Yuan Shikai, Huang Xing, among other Chinese leaders formally established the Republic of China. However emperor Puyi had yet to officially abdicate the throne, thus on February 12th, Puyi would be pressured to abdicate by Yuan and the Dowager Empress. His abdication brought down the Qing empire and more broadly ended Imperial rule over China.

The Warlord period begins
jeqkub4.jpg


The victory over the Qing was meant to bring about a new glorious era for China. Sun Yat-Sen’s concepts of the three principles of the People were meant to guide China to a new society free from the shackles the Qing. This dream did not last long. It lasted nearly a few months if at all before the country exploded into violence.

The first divisions were obvious, Sun and Yuan were rivals from the very beginning. They were less on the same side and more fighting the same opponent. It was no surprise that in the North in what would be known as the Beying Government, Yuan Shikai set up his base of operations while Sun Yat-Sen relocated to the South. Fighting broke out almost immediately between the forces of the two presidents.

Yuan though had dreams of establishing an empire and being emperor himself. At the time it was not known that the Xinhai revolution would have brought about the end of imperial rule all together but some thought it could have been just a switch to a new dynasty. However Yuan’s attempt at establishing a new dynasty backfired in his face. The brief nationalist protection war that occurred in 1912 saw Yuan have to abdicate shortly after he made himself Emperor.

This little war however showed how weak the so called central government was. Local governors and warlords no longer started to follow their own interests. Numerous warlord cliques started to appear throughout China and blood flowed throughout China as the warlords sought to establish control.

Opportunism of the Great Powers
As chaos spread throughout China the great powers of the world looked to increase their power and influence in the region. The events in the past where the Great powers looked to carve up China was greatly accelerated by this chaos. It of course fueled anti-foreigner rhetoric among the various rival claimants for who is the legitimate Chinese Republic, but they were busy killing each other to fight the great powers.

The independence of Tibet got the interests of the British Empire who moved to bring it under their sphere of influence. It would thus become a British protectorate and British influence started to flow into the isolated mountain country. The British would also move more troops to Hong Kong and other ports along the Chinese coast that were under their influence. As there was a concern that the chaos could spiral over to Hong Kong.

Russia would move her troops into parts of Mongolia and bring it into her Empire. At the same time the Japanese decided to support Zhang Zhoulin of the Fengtian clique and moved troops into Manchuria in order to bring it under their protection and more importantly sphere of influence. The Japanese were also planning soon to go after France and thus spied a golden opportunity to bring Manchuria under their control and be prepared for their war.

The french meanwhile decided to go after the kingdom of Thailand. While Thailand was not experiencing the same chaos as China, the chaos in china meant that fewer eyes were on the rest of southeast Asia. Thus with a brief war, kingdom of Thailand saw its independence come to an end.

Impact on Canada
japanese_1907.610.jpg

[A store damaged in part of the race riots]

The chaos in China had impacts throughout the world among the greater Chinese Diaspora. This included within Canada. While there was a ‘head tax’ on the Chinese designed to reduce Chinese immigration from China, that did not stop Chinese from immigrating to the Kingdom of Canada, it did however mean that there tended to be more well off and educated or had connections with the Chinese diaspora in Canada. It also lead to the fact that far more Chinese men than women immigrated to Canada.

The Head Tax was despised by the Chinese community in Canada. The Canadian missionary George Leslie Mackay spoke out against the tax in 1894 and would push the Presbyterian Church in Canada to adopt a resolution opposing the tax. His work lead to other churches to speak out against it. However, by the 1910s the policy was still in place. There was also some pressure to change it into a full on Chinese exclusion act, however the Canadian government refused to go that far. It helped the fact that the head tax brought quite a lot of money in for the Canadian Government.

This was especially noted with the number of societies that were dedicated to reforming China. Be it by revolution or reform, a republic or an empire, there were a number of societies that were raising money to push for reform. With the outbreak of the Warlord era most of these societies tended to follow Sun Yat-Sen’s faction in the civil war.

There was however a darker aspect to the reaction in Canada about China. As the civil war started to bring in a number of refugees to Canada who were seeking to improve their lives. However this was not well received at all in Columbia, where a number of race riots were sparked by the immigrants from China.

The Powder Keg Explodes
Tensions had been brewing throughout the 1900s, and a number of smaller crises had arose that were able to be successfully negotiated and dealt with. The formation of the Entente Cordial between Russia, France, and Austria-Hungary would prompt the Germans to form an alliance with the British Empire and with Italy.

The Assassination of Franz Ferdinand
Since the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Venice and the Veneto region was under the rule of the Austrians. This though never sat well with the Venetians nor the Italians. In 1848 they would revolt against the Austrians, and later on in the 1870s there would be another uprising both were crushed by the Austrian Army. However the dream of unification with Italy and independence from Austria remained strong in Venice even as the 20th century dawn.

Enter the Carbonari. The Carbonari were a society dedicated to Italian unification and nationalism. As a secret society they played a role in pushing most of Italy to unify. However in Veneto the cells had become associated with terrorism as they sought to bring Venice into Italy.

In May 28th of 1915, Franz Ferdinand visited the city of Trieste. When he was there after meeting with the Town Mayor he would be met with bombs and assassinations as the Carbonari moved into action to assassinate the Archduke. The death blow would be dealt by Nazario Sauro would pull the trigger that ended the Archduke’s life.

The June Crisis
The_Outbreak_of_the_First_World_War%2C_1914_Q81755.jpg

[A German officer reading the declaration of war]

The assassination of the Archduke began the June Crisis of 1915. The Austrian-Hungary government took time to decide if it wanted to go to war or not with the Italians. The French would give the Austrians a blank check to deal with the Italians, partially because the French thought it would be a short easy war, but also because that they were also dealing with the Carbonari.

This brought the Germans to offer their protection for the Italians. The German Kaiser, Heinrich, sought to try and defuse the conflict. However the anger and desire for war by the French and Austrians proved to be too great. The Austrians thus presented 21 demands to the Italians in order to bring them into line. The Italians would agree to all but one of the terms, namely the point that the Austrians police could operate in Italy.

The refusal of this demand blew the crisis open into war. The Austrians would declare war on Italy. The Germans would move some of their troops to the southern border with Austria as they prepared for War with the Austrian-Hungarians. In turn the French would answer the call of the Austrians and support them against the Italians and the Germans.

The French would declare war on the Belgians as they began to implement the Joffre Plan, which would involve the French attacking through Belgium to reach Germany while the Austrians and Russians moved in from the south and east. This gave the British Government the casus belli to help go to war for their German ally. Canada and the rest of the dominions as dominions were automatically dragged into the conflict.
 

Specialist290

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And so the world marches off to war once more -- a War to End All Wars (or so the story goes). Hoping for a quick victory for the Anglo-German Alliance, but of course we all know how promises of ending the war by Christmas and such-like tend to go...

Out of curiosity, is the breakup of China into the various warlord cliques part of the stock game, or something added by the HFM mod? It's been a while since I've fired up my copy of the game myself.
 

stnylan

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A Great War with a somewhat different and interesting lineup. I look forward to seeing how this all pans out. I think Germany's strategic position is quite unfortunate.
 

vyshan

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Specialist290: I think it is something that HFM adds. There were more Cliques when the Warlord period began. The Sichuan, Anhui and Xianjing in the screenshot above had eaten a few smaller cliques by then. Also some cliques can become the KMT with the nationalist flag.

Stnylan: yea, Germany is in a tough spot being invaded in three separate locations.

HIMDogson: Actually Russia is on the Side of France, not sure if I made that clear. In my next update I will have a map of the combatants, as more minor players jump in the fray, such as Spain.
 

RossN

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Wow... a very interesting alternate Great War! :confused: I wonder if the French Canadians will be all that enthusiastic about fighting France?
 

vyshan

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Riotkiller: yea, its a mess of a great war. As for the saying, well as the motto of the Yorkshire regiment of the British Army, victory shall be ours! :)
RossN: Yea, it is quite the interesting alternate great war. As for the french Canadians, that among the other home front matters will be covered in a later chapter. :)
 
Chapter 15: The Great War begins

vyshan

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Chapter 15: The Great War begins

As the great war began it started with the ambition Joffre Plan in order to take control of Belgium and outflank the Germans. 1915 was the year that saw the Canadians begin to prepare for the crossing into Europe as well as occupying French American territory. It also would amplify a cultural movement going on in Canada. The year would end with the various fronts of the war begin to form/

The Joffre Plan and the Rape of Belgium
189776.jpg

[A propaganda poster in Britain using the rape of Belgium to encourage recruitment]

The Joffre plan, so named because of Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre who was in charge of the French Military, was designed to bring the front to the Rhine as soon as possible. It should be noted that the French were aware of the British ties to the region and sought to deny the British a staging ground for an invasion of France.

The plan thus called for a coordinated attack to strike through Belgium and Luxembourg into Germany in order to outflank the German Army. The Belgians while they had a decent army, they were not able to hold the advance of the the French forces, and it wasn't long before the vast majority of the country was occupied. The Belgians were reduced to just holding onto the provinces of Amsterdam and Hasselt.

However, a combined force of Germans and British would stop the French at the Battle of Moselle, also known as the Miracle of the Moselle(Wunder der Mosel). The battle of of Moselle stopped the French Advance, giving the Germans time to recover and bring the force of the Germans against the French. However while it did stop the French for a moment it was clear that the french occupied a good chunk of western Germany. It was from here that the Western Front and Trench warfare became the rule of the day as the Germans fought to push the French back and out of Germany.

The actions of the French in Belgium attracted widespread attention, particularly in Neutral countries. While the Entente proclaimed it all as allied propaganda, it didn’t change the fact that the British and German press were using and exploiting it for their side, denouncing it as the Rape of Belgium.

It was also this act that allowed the Spanish to join in, While the Spanish were strongly aligned with Germany, they had not yet entered the war till the occupation of Belgium began. Their entrance into the war allowed Spain to bring their forces to the Pyrenees to attack the French.

The fall of New France
8039416638_6328d59ed3_z.jpg

[Members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force in Canada before the set out for the war]

The first action the Canadians would see in the war was rather small, the occupying of various islands in North America. This included St. Pierre and Miquelon the last remnant of New France. By the end of 1915 all French territory in the Americas would be occupied. While the occupation of these islands was not that glamorous it was of vital impact to the war as a whole for a few reasons.

First, it locked out the Entente from North America. This would play a role in reducing the supplies going to and from French Asia as it would force supplies to go near enemy waters to get there. Second, it also gave the Canadians some combat experience. While not as much as they would experience in the Western Front, it was important nonetheless to help prepare the soldiers for the war that they were now in.

Third and probably the most important was the access to the Franco-American diplomatic telegraph cable. The British were able to successfully intercept the messages that France was sending its agents in America, as well as denying the French information. This was vital in keeping America isolated and out of the conflict. Which was of great concern to the Canadians due to the good relations between the French and Americans.

The War and French Canadians
The War brought many concerns for French-Canadians, as many of them did trace ancestry to France. Moreover there was rising tide of Anti-french attitudes throughout the British Empire and Canada was of no exception. However, the French-Canadians had fought hard for their rights and they weren’t going to let this War destroy all that they fought for. The war propelled and strengthened the Quebecois/Canadien movement that had been growing even before the war.

In Quebec even before the War, there was a turn towards the legacy of New France. More so than other provinces, Quebec had their own customs and culture that traces back to the Colonial days of New France. The phrase Pas français mais Québécois(Not French but Quebecois) became symbolic of the Cultural movement that arose before the war. The Québécois were doing everything to emphasis that they were not like France. Traditional dress and dance became all the rage in Montreal and Quebec City. Meanwhile there was pride in the fact that Quebec French was a bit distinct from Metropolitan French.

It is the last point that became emblematic for the French Canadians. The term French Canadian was the most common term for the French community in Canada. Due to the war, the terms Canadien instead became far more common as a way to distinguish themselves from the French.

As they looked back to the past, they worked to revive old titles that existed or conjure up brand new ones if none suited their purpose. A few of french titles had noble families that were using them in the 1910s such as the Baron de Longueuil and Comte de Saint-Laurent. Others like the Comte d'Orsainville, Marquis de Lotbinière, and Baron de Poboncoup would be revived by giving the titles to those in Canada that were both noble and had done work on behalf of Canada. Other Titles were made up in a romantic fervor to show that they had a heritage that France has destroyed.

Of particular note is the Title of Duc de Québec/Duchesse de Québec, which would be given to Queen Helene as a show of their faith in the British Monarchy. This would in turn establish a tradition that the Spouse of the British Monarch would hold the title of Duke or Duchess.

Part of the reason for the support in the British Monarchy was that it was seen as a supporter of French rights in Canada. The french culture in Canada was far more supporters of the monarchy and were generally against secularism; due to the fact the Catholic Church had a lot of influence in the French-Canadian Community.

The last point would be used throughout Canada as a propaganda rallying cry for the French. For the French Parliament had passed a number of acts in the later part of the 1900s and early 1910s that would spark intense outrage throughout the french-Canadian community.While all of them were considered outrageous in Canada, it was the 1910 act that sparked the most outrageous. The 1910 law established State Secularism as the official policy of France.

When the war arrived these laws were waved and pointed out how France was there to destroy the Catholic Church and should they win the war, this law would be the law throughout Canada. It was also the war that made the Carillon Sacré-Cœur become one of the more common flags associated with French Canadians, and more specifically Quebec. Whereas before the war you tended to see either the old french monarchy flag or the French Tricolor flag, the adoption of the Carillon was yet another way for the French Canadians to proclaim that they were distinct and different from France.

However despite all of this it should be noted that there were concerns in fighting overseas against the French. There was still a large amount of concern over fighting against the French for the Canadiens. There were still quite a number of ties especially among those that arrived at the turn of the century from France. The bigger impact was their commitment to no conscription. While there was a regiment of the Canadian Expeditionary Force formed entirely from Canadiens, the vast majority of the French-Canadians viewed the concept of Conscription as negative. Though in 1915, it seemed like there was no need for conscription as the ranks of soldiers joining the Canadian Army were swelling every day.

The Fronts of the War at the end of 1915
TDDRBMC.jpg

[A map of the Allies and Entente in 1915. Red for the Entente and blue for the Allies]

By the end of 1915, It was quickly proving that this war would not be the same as previous wars. The dream that it would be over by Christmas was proved to be just that a dream, as the war would continue onto 1916 with several fronts starting to be formed up. While the Entente advance was halted it had made significant gains on the west.

The Western Front
The western Front was the main front where the Germans and British fought the french. It would be fought principally in Alsace-Lorraine during 1915. Nearly all of the fighting in 1915 was taking place on the German side of the border as the French began their assault. While the Battle of Moselle would lead to the assault being halted along the Moselle River, the french were able to make considerable advances nonetheless. It is here Trench warfare quickly became the standard of the day. The Western front was where the bulk of the Canadian Expeditionary Force was being shipped out to as 1915 ended.

Italian Front
The Italian front, arguably the first front of the war was split into two sections. The first being the French side which was fought along the French and Italian Alps. This would be similar to the other mountain fronts such as the Pyrenees. Then you would have the Austrian section located in the Veneto region. Both of them would be fought in the trenches.

As 1915 was ending, the Italians were holding but barely. There was concern among the allies that if that something was not done to relieve the pressure off the Italians, that it was just a matter of time before one section broke.

Eastern Front

The eastern Front in 1915 was the primary focus for the German Army, it was believed that the Russians and Austrians would be a bigger threat to the German Empire thus the focus on attacking them as soon as possible. Most of the fighting in 1915 was centered around Russian Poland. While the Germans were focused on the east, there strategy called for a bit of caution in order to avoid extend their lines.

This was specially true in regards to the Austrian side of the Eastern Front. If the Germans perused the Russians too far it would allow the Austrians to strike closer into Germany. Thus the strategy of the Germans was to focus on marching through Bohemia towards Vienna. However, here they would be forced at every turn to fight the Austrian army. The Austrian army for their matter sought to break the German line and then move to link up with the French.

Pyrenees Front
The entry of Spain into the war following the invasion of Belgium, turned the Pyrenees into a front of their own. The Pyrenees Front was rather similar to the Western Front, as it was also characterized by Trench Warfare. However there was the added effect of fighting in the Mountains. As such French and Spanish troops would have to fight in the freezing cold while dealing with avalanches often deliberately caused by the artillery being shot not at the soldiers but at the Mountains in order to make a breakthrough.

While as mentioned most Canadians would be arriving for the Western Front. Not all regiments of the Canadian Expeditionary Force would be going to that front. Another good chunk would be sent to the Pyrenees front as an attempt to push up from Spain into the belly of France.
 

stnylan

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This war is just a complete mess by the looks of it. So many fronts. Germany's position is absolutely horrid though, as is France's.
 

Specialist290

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I believe that this war is largely going to turn on France and Germany -- namely, whichever one buckles first will throw the conflict almost by default to the other party.

On the one hand, I'd say that Germany probably has the upper hand from a positional point of view -- they at least have a relatively secure opening to the sea (and thus access to the greater world market) through the North Sea, shielded by the British. France is much more vulnerable -- if Britain can maintain a blockade of the Atlantic coast while her allies lock down the Med, then they can slowly starve the French out of existence.

On the other hand -- as noted in the chapter -- Germany has that massive eastern border to defend, while all of France's land borders are either on or within range of the classic "natural borders" of the Rhine, the Alps, and the Pyrenees.
 

KingJerkera

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Now that is a great war. However to be honest it is probably winnable for the Allies mostly due to the fact that Britain is basically in the position to choke out all her enemies and supply her allies. That said I hope that the AI is capable of handling this.
 

vyshan

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Stnylan: Yup its a total mess and is about to get messier.

Specialist290: Yea, the main theater of the War is the French-German conflict, though don't forget about the Spanish. but yea, the eastern front is huge to deal with. The blockade will talked about in the next chapter.

KingJerkera: Britannia Rules the Waves. and tbh the AI was a bit stupid so I had to do a bit of handling Britain myself(ie don't keep doom stacks in Britain, just move them over to Germany)
 
Chapter 16: Canada goes forth

vyshan

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Chapter 16: Canada goes forth

As 1916 dawned, it was clear to many throughout the world that this Great war was not going to be ending any time soon. It was also when the war started to have a noticeable effect on the Home front. In Europe the Italians would fall back to Lombardia where it would turn into a killing field. While in the Far East, the Japanese Empire would decide to pick a side.

The Home Front
When Canada entered the war, it had a small public service, no income tax, and few forms of direct government involvement in the Economy. The federal government had no experience in running a large war and assumed, as did most Canadians, that a “business as usual” attitude would suffice in organizing the country for the struggles ahead. However, the nature of the war would lead a profound impact on the governing and day to day life of Canada and the Canadian people.

Victory Gardens
One of the more obvious impacts to Canadian society came in the form of agriculture. A good portion of the Kingdom was rural and lived off of agriculture. The prairies of Canada were described by some as the Breadbasket of the British empire and thus vital to the empire and the war effort. However as the war went on and more and more men went to the front that would force the Canadian Agricultural industry to adapt.

The first was in mechanization. Before the war mechanization had started to come to the prairies but it was a slow process. The demands by the Canadian government for more wheat to feed the Empire brought about an increase in mechanization. The Canadian government would provide assistance to farmers seeking to mechanize their farmers. This support was how many farmers throughout Canada would get their first tractors.

However, mechanization was not enough as many of the people that worked on the farms volunteered for the war effort. To that end The Women’s Land Army was created which organized women to join a ‘land army’ to help provide agricultural duties for the country. It brought many women to do farm work, this also included newly arrived immigrants.

Under the Ministry of Agriculture's campaign, "A Vegetable Garden for Every Home", residents of cities, towns and villages utilized backyard spaces to plant vegetables for personal use and war effort. In Seattle, Victoria, Montreal, Toronto and other cities in Canada, lady organizations brought expert gardeners to schools to get school children and their families interested in Gardening. In addition to gardening, home owners were encouraged to keep hens in their yards for the purpose of collecting eggs. The result was large production of potatoes, beets, cabbage and other useful vegetables. The other result was that these Victory Gardens became popular with the Canadian people, and a number of Canadians would continue to keep their victory gardens following the end of the War.

Censorship and Propaganda
flat,550x550,075,f.u1.jpg

[One of the many Propaganda Posters that were produced to support the War effort]

The control of sensitive military information was a wartime necessity, but the government’s role in information management extended far beyond the surveillance and editing of soldiers’ letters from the front. An official censor in Canada monitored newspapers and other publications for material that might harm the war effort, while federal officials threatened editors and publishers with jail time if they failed to comply with warning notices.

Large-scale propaganda campaigns became a part of everyday life. Posters urged enlistment and other forms of war support, and asked citizens to contribute to charitable campaigns, buy Victory Bonds, or ration scarce items such as meat or fuel. Their imagery relied on patriotic symbols, recognizable icons, and historical figures to identify the war with popular and worthy causes. Public parades, rallies, and charitable events encouraged voluntary contributions and the shaming or embarrassment of those who were not “doing their bit.” The biggest organization being the Canadian Patriotic Fund.

Women in the Factory

At the same time, the booming war factories were in desperate need of skilled tradesmen, too many of whom had been allowed to enlist before their greater value at home had been recognized. One result was that large numbers of women were brought into war factories, and "aliens"— immigrants who were often unacceptable for military service because of their nationality — took factory jobs. Another result of the labour scarcity was that wages rose, although not as much as the cost of living. Yet because conditions in the plants were often terrible, Labor unrest was common. That said a number of Labor Unions had agreed to a no-strike pledge for the duration of the war. Though more radical socialist and anarchist unions denounced such agreements.

It was also because of the war that the income tax in Canada was implemented. Before the war, the lack of an income tax was used as a method to attract immigrants to Canada. However the economy of the Kingdom was not prepared for the war. However as the war dragged on parliament would pass an act to create an income tax. It was designed to be a temporary act to be repealed after the war ended, however, that would prove not to be the case after the war.

As the war went on the social demands of Prohibition and Women’s suffrage became increased. Prohibition was pushed and supported as another ration to deal with for the sake of the country. While women’s suffrage got support due to more and more women entering the factories and were picking up the slack for the men who left for the front. This would result in limited women’s suffrage during the 1917 Election as women relatives of servicemen overseas were given voting rights.

The Battle of Diekirch
19710261-01611.jpg

[A painting of the second battle of Diekrich]

While the Canadians were in the western Front since the beginning of the War, it would be with the Second battle of Diekirch where Canada would have its first major battle. This battle would earn fame throughout the World for their actions on the field of battle. The battle took place on the Western front near the the town of Diekirch in Luxemburg.

Canada was largely untested by this battle, despite the combat experience they got in the Caribbean, they were largely unprepared for the trench warfare of the Western Front. The French started their offensive of the battle that day by releasing 168 tons of Chlorine gas onto the allied position. The gas swept over the German Colonial troops killing or forcing the retreat of thousands of troops and left a huge hole in the Allied lines. The Canadians would close the Gap and then held the line against the Advancing French troops, taking heavy losses in the following action at Bamerdall and a second attack at Gilsdorf. Bamerdall would mark the first time that a European Colonial force defeated a European power on European soil, and after

For holding the line amid the gas attacks of the first critical four days of the battle, the Canadians were praised for their courage and tenacity, a reputation that would grow as the war continued. The price, however, was high. Overall, British forces lost 59,000 men — dead, wounded or captured — in the month-long battle. More than 6,500 of those casualties were Canadian, including more than 2,000 Canadian dead.

Bloody Lombardia
In Italy, a french Breakthrough in Savoy would see the Italian front and advance into Veneto utterly collapse. It forced the Italian army back into Italy with the front being moved to Lombardy. The Italians had been sensing that there was a chance that they might need to fall back due to the two pronged assault they were facing and thus built defenses and trenches in Lombardy and most of Northern Italy for this occasion.

The new front of of the Italian Front would turn out to be one of the bloodier fronts of the War. The Battles of the Po would be occur throughout the war as the French and Austrians throw themselves at the Italians. These battles began in 1916 but would continue for most of the war as the Italians managed to hold on despite the overwhelming pressure being applied to them. By the end of the war there would be 15 battles of the Po.

The Maritz Rebellion
The end of the Boer war in 1904 did not sit well with many of the Boers. Especially the efforts to enforce English culture on them, notably the enforcement of English as the official language and the language that would be taught in schools. Many Boers held a grudge since the end of the Boer War and all these efforts to anglicize South Africa, just inflamed the Boers anger.

The start of the Great War lead to the beginnings of planning a second Boer War in South Africa. The efforts would be spearheaded by Manie Maritz. The Boers established contacts with the French. They sought weapons, supplies, and if possible actual aid. In return they promised that they will establish a South African Republic that will join in on the side of the Entente.

On April 18th 1916, they launched their rebellion against South Africa. The rebellion would last about half a year in South Africa. While they established control in the former Transvaal and Orange free State relatively quickly, they soon found that that were not getting the weapons and supplies from the French. They also found out that the British were far more not as caught off guard at fighting the Boers as they were in 1904. More over, there was no where near the same number of men who signed up to fight for Independence in 1916 as there was in 1904. For a good number realized that as much as they may hate the British, they could not win against them in an all out war.

The Rebellion ended any hope for an independent Afrikaans South African Republic. The leaders of the rebellion would be executed for treason and while this did not make people happy, the military might of the British Empire had shown that there was little that they could do against them.

The Blockade of France
British-blockade.jpg

[British Ships blockading France]

While naval battles had begun almost as soon as the war started, and there were some blockades in place. Many had assumed that the war would be over by Christmas or failing that not long into 1916, so there was no need for a focused blockade of a France. However as 1916 rolled around it quickly was proving that was not going to be the case. Thus the admiralty in Britain agreed upon a course of blockading France to isolate the leader of the Entente.

The effects of the blockade would have greatest impact in 1918 and 1919 of the war, but the most immediate effect was isolating the French in Asia and in Africa from the Metropolitan. This allowed the colonial troops of the allied powers to gain the upper hand in Africa and Asia. This also would be one of the things that helped convince the Japanese to join the war.

The Allies Expand
Tropas-rumanas-c%C3%A1rpatos--rumaniassacrific00neguuoft.png

[Romanian troops in the Carpathian mountains]

Throughout 1915 and most of 1916, the British were focused on bringing in further allies to fight against the Entente. By the end of 1916 two new countries would join the allies fighting against the Entente: Japan and Romania.

The outbreak of the Great War was met with great enthusiasm by the Japanese. While a number in the war wanted to align with the British in 1915, the government was a tad more cautious believing they wanted to see if this would be a short war or not. As 1916 rolled around it was proving that it was not the case. Thus on March 3rd, Japan agreed to join the Allied Powers. The principal reason was to expand their influence in Asia, be recognized as a great power by the Europeans, and expand their colonial empire. The Japanese were particularly interested in taking control of Korea that was controlled by the french.

The Romanians were linked by blood to the German Royal Family and by marriage to the British Royal family. Moreover there was a nationalistic feeling in Romania that wanted to claim Transylvania that the Austrians controlled and the rest of Moldova that Russia controlled. However, the Romania government cautioned neutrality as if they joined the war they would be surrounded. The British worked throughout 1916 to change their feeling and on the 18th of November 1916 they managed to bring Romania onto the allied powers.

it wasn’t long after Japan declared war on the Entente that their troops were in Korea, Vietnam, and the Russian Far east. The entrance of Japan greatly expanded the scope of the Asian theater of the war. Meanwhile the entrance of Romania brought relief to the Germans as Russia and Austria had to march south to fight them. It also brought internal concerns to the Austrians for there were a few divisions of Romanians fighting for Austria that outright deserted to the Romanian side, and more that sought to be moved to other fronts in order to avoid shooting their countrymen.
 
Last edited:

stnylan

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Canada, one feels, is being truly forged in the fires of war. One supposes the same happened in our time as well?
 

RossN

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Things are getting very messy I see...

Does Canada have any warships herself or is the Royal Navy so overwhelming none are needed?