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I already made the mistake. Why didn't you tell me sooner!? :(

Because you told us about Spain only six hours left. :p

Anyway, at least you did not put Spain in Argentina... Right?
 

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It is impossible to describe the events leading up to the Second Weltkrieg without first describing my particular theory of human progression: history is merely a game of rivals. Although castigated throughout our past as barbaric and shameful, the overwhelming communal effusion of hatred for others has spurned the fiery conclusion of war. Even those once regarded as serene might be converted by the seductive solidarity deployed by individuals or factions consumed by zeal. The calm majority are always swarmed, perhaps unwillingly, by the tenacious ambition of stalwart leaders and their revulsion towards enemies. Renzo De Felice, an Italian historian and vocal supporter of Filippo Turati, declared (to immense fame) in his writing, Il Nostro Destino: Never in human history - to unmoved assurance - has our fate [as a species] been so dependent on the compiled futures of the French and German nations. When once before the national ambition aligned with conflict, the domestic populations that inhabit Europe marched off to repugnant massacre. But that age was drowned in unrestrained nationalism and imperial desire. We can no longer boast that baffled division of competing interests - let it thus be clear - the Great War was not a battle of ideal. Monarchism, Democracy, Socialism, and all the rest - did not come into conflict. And while the current European composition is a direct result of the warring done two decades ago, it did not motivate the previous conflict. Now, however, a virulent struggle is in sight and the wrathful devotion of idealism threatens to compel the very thoughts of humanity into battle. We have seen this pattern - an ideological battle - few times in history. Once before, in the Republic that claimed dominion over Europe, the ideological divisions of two groups, matched only by the truculent rivalry between its leaders, ripped the great nation to pieces. We often hope our fates are not designated to the rival squabbles, as it was under Marius and Sulla. But alas, our savage nature has permitted two modern rivals, in the shadow of the wicked duo, to decide the European destiny. The Optimates and the Populares have arisen once more - just this time they speak German and French.


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Marius (left) and Sulla (right) - were two Roman politicians and generals that dominated the Republican governmental sphere during the late 2nd century BC. Marius and his Populares - "favoring the people" - were in consistent conflict with Sulla and the Optimates - aristocratic supporters. Both Generals' established dictatorships in their times of political triumph, often purging the opposites supporters with extreme cruelty to solidify their rule. Their rivalry is among the most terrible in human history and one of the key reasons in the transition from Republic to Empire.

In 1936, as Mosely plotted his unwavering scheme to dethrone the Socialist aristocracy, the French Commune hurried to their own electoral predicament. Although the particulars of the election were nothing groundbreaking, the Communal policy regarding their approach to Germany remained a perplexity. Radical Syndicalists, Sorelians (Maximists), and Jacobins were intent on diffusing the polemical debate and installing an aggressive radical in the foreign office. Determined to maverick the opposition until they were jarred, obstinate delegates instigated internal debate within the leading Travailleurs faction. Angelo Tasca, an Italian emigré and vocal Totalist, obstreperously demanded an unconditional concession of the foreign office to the Sorelians. His irascible behavior caught the attention of the entire legislature - pacifist anarchists and moderate Syndicalists attempted to hamper the shockingly militant behavior pursued by the zealous left. Despite warnings from the Chairman of the Bourse Générale du Travail, Sébastien Faure, the stubborn desire for vengeance against the Germans consumed the present delegates. On February 5th, Tasca was appointed the Foreign Minister, prompting immediate outrage from the Auswärtiges Amt (German Foreign Office). Border controls were tightened further and the last few modes of connection between the two nations became disconnected - only a single emergency line between the foreign offices was retained.

The appointment of Angelo Tasca to the Département des Affaires étrangères would prove to be the first stride in the disintegration of relationships between Mittleuropa and the International. Tasca would put his vengeful pursuit above all other foreign issues - determined to achieve his personal vendetta against the German lion. Unrestrained in his methods, Tasca launched a vicious public campaign and applied serious pressure on the other governmental wings to clamp down on any internal dissent. Although he was overstepping his bounds, Valois and Tasca had reached an apogee of public appreciation - civilians blindly supported his 'suggestions,' often protesting when his demands were not met. For example, when the Committee for the Organization of the Spartakiade inquired as to the location of the games (having already suggested several cities in central and western France) - Tasca offered his alternative. He demanded the games be held in Dijon, intending to vocally slander the Germans and parade their sovereignty with fierce pride. Opposition could not surmount the atypical public approval - compelled to concede another diplomatic victory to the Sorelians. The German reaction was ruthless - announced as a direct sanction, the German Kaiser ordered the Feldgendarmerie to repress the "Free Workers Union of Germany"[1] with extreme virulence. Much to the French dismay, the FAUD had been one of the largest espionage rings for Communal spies, and its destruction marked a major setback for Syndicalist intelligence. Despite a minor investigation into the apparent blunder, Tasca's influence continued to multiply, and by the time of the International, the Chairman declared his full support to overthrow "the international bourgeoisie." By any means necessary.

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Delegate Angelo Tasca of the Département des Affaires étrangères would prove to be the most 'jingoistic' member of the French government in a time when relations between the Internationale and Mittleuropa remained terribly tense. Exiled from the north by Papal enthusiasts, his lust for revenge became the driving force behind French diplomacy until his eventual replacement.


Due to the lackluster communication exchange between Germany and France, it was not until a month later that the full extent of the FAUD repression trickled its way to Paris. Friedrich Werner von der Schulenburg, the German Foreign Minister, gleefully handed reports detailing the extent of the crackdown to Tasca. French spies and other intelligence officials had been arrested in the dozens, charged with espionage, conspiracy, and treason. Many were facing execution or life-sentences and with the proper diplomatic channels closed by the French, their fate was sealed. Fearing the blame would fall on his shoulders, Tasca diverted government attention and demanded that war be declared on the Germans. His demands were swiftly closed up by more sane members in the executive, but the outcry had sidetracked any official intent to investigate Tasca's involvement in the affair. Pampered by political success, the Sorelians embraced a pompous approach to enhance their authority within the Syndicalist network - yet their prodigal attitude towards resources reversed the popularity that previously won the radical group their respect among the masses. Driven into political penury by a vast political opposition (including the government), the militaristic radicals were made mendicant - only Tasca remained the ostentatious magnate among the official ranks.

International diplomacy was lively during the '36 summertime - despite the economic calamity that had been lionized in the capitalist world. The Germans pursued a vigorous foreign policy, investing equipment and funds into the asian markets and their respective conflicts. They seemed strangely unmoved by their indigent fiscal situation, perhaps due to the grandiose German aristocracy, whom refused to allow their nation to sink into ignominious disrepair. Their gaudy public displays and opulent affairs distracted the public from the purseless condition of the German economy. Despite all the regional stinginess and aristocratic rapacity, Imperial nationalism was multiplying in force. Anti-Syndicalist demonstrations were frequently more common than employment protests, spurned by the manipulative German media. The nationalistic outcry was short-lived in the Kaisereich, but its effects swiftly spilled into neighboring countries - pampered by Imperial diplomatic desires. In Italy, for example, both the northern Kingdom and the southern Republic were auspicious of a future conflict between the local rivals. A bout was fiercely encouraged by jingoists in both France and Germany - both wishing to see Italy become the future Sarajevo. Government officials, hailing from all across western Europe, were determined to curt the interbellum and commence the inevitable conflict between great opposing ideologies. On August 27th, spurned by a small protest in Anzio, Italian Republican forces marched into Anzio and seized the region, blocking off all border passes that remained. Despite orders to stand down, the erratic behavior of the zealous Royalist forces refused to be occupied, especially during such a blatant act of aggression. Thus ensued a brief skirmish at Anzio - fortuitously catching the attention of Europe, disturbing the uneasy peace that had reigned on the mainland since 1919.

King Joseph Ferdinand of Italy (Archduke of Austria) signed the official declaration of war on the same day - after the ephemeral conflict had reared its ugly face, Republican delegates rushed to send telegrams to Paris. Tasca did not dawdle on his repose and authorized a general mobilization as an allied partner bound through treaty. Overwhelmed with national pride, none in the executive mentioned military restraint - Syndicalism was destined to strike its first blow. At 4:30 in the afternoon, Chairman Sébastien Faure called the Chief of the General Staff, Marshall Marcel Bucard. He ordered Marcel (the only other Totalist in the cabinet excluding Tasca) to unleash the Communal Air Force on King Joseph's and Pope Stephen's airfields. From Paris orders were dispatched to General Antoine de Saint-Exupery [Chief of the Communal Air Force] with specific directives to commence bombings in Milan and Genoa. Three hours later, strategic bombers struck targets all across Northern Italy as the Republicans launched a renewed strike on Anzio. The Kaiser, who was watching a new Hans Albers film, remained ignorant of these actions until the evening hours. The information deficiency is attributed to stringent steps taken by the French to avoid early detection by outside powers - only when German spies filtered the news back to Berlin was the government notified. When the Kaiser failed to present himself, Reichskanzler Franz von Papen and von der Schulenburg [2] made the executive decision to send an immediate ultimatum to Paris, simultaneously directing Field Marshal August von Mackensen to prepare the troops for battle.

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Republican troops move into Anzio during the early hours of the conflict.

The following morning, Paris received the full context of the ultimatum and was disturbed by the response. The Germans and the Italians had been estranged for decades and had established no public treaties that could threaten the French. French officials were forced to conclude that the Kaisereich was playing a twisted game of realpolitik and political containment, determined to restrain the French ambitions. Yet despite the surprise, Tasca was radiant with joy. Although the result was unexpected (even to Tasca), the Foreign delegate paraded this intervention as a great victory. He bragged about the victory to come and almost declared Berlin "the workers property to which France shall gift," before he was interrupted by military reports. But Tasca's arrogance would come to be his downfall. Soon after reports confirmed a German order for mobilization, Chairman Boris Souverain accused Tasca of purposely provoking war in Europe and designing the conflict as a personal conspiracy to further his glory. These accusations, although extreme, appeared completely in reason to the legislature and executive - both having witnessed Tasca's "madness." Following a forced vote in the CGT, Tasca was removed from power and censured by an executive majority.

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King Joseph Ferdinand of Italy was the Austrian installed 'dual'-leader of the Kingdom of Italy, along with the Papal See. He would be the instrumental force in escalating the conflict between France, Germany, and the Italian states.


Tasca was replaced by Amédée Dunois - a passionate, ideological, militant Syndicalist. Dunoise, although firm in his hatred for Capitalism and Imperialism, accepted the German ultimatum and withdrew the intervention from Northern Italy. The Southern Republicans abided by the French example and agreed that a white peace without territorial concessions would be in the interest of all the participating nations. Modern historians, working under the evidence provided by the AUS Commission, have generally concluded that the accusations against Tasca were forged in order to rid the executive of Totalist influence. His replacement in comparison, although similar in his hatred, was more pragmatic in his approach and understood that the Germans retained a substantial advantage in military numbers. For example - when the Second Russian Civil War broke out in September [3], Communal sympathizers were cautions with their provision of aid to the Soviets, contrary to the British approach under directive by Chancellor Mosley and Arthur Horner. In many ways, Dunois was a man under extraordinary scrutiny, challenged with keeping the peace and expanding Syndicalist influence. As the Germans airlifted soldiers to the AUS, the Commune could only provide equipment to the CSA without provoking a harsh retaliation from Berlin. This was the delegate's curse - European peace hung in the balance but the slightest misstep would shift the scales.

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Amédée Dunois is among the most divisive figures in modern history - his devotion to diplomacy saw France surpass the geo-political position of Germany - although his advances would eventually end the peace in Europe.

Although Dunois's maneuverability was severely restricted, he nonetheless conducted his duties with a graceful inclination. Brushing aside criticism of fragility, Dunois was instrumental in the December Revolution and the re-establishment of the military-industrial complex. [4] Meanwhile, in the Reich, the Germans were pursuing a vigorous policy of international solidification despite the Ukrainian loss in the December Revolution. Geared toward a special Asian focus, von der Schulenburg supported rebellions in Korea and Taiwan, determined to secure the German colonies in the east. But the German populace was growing agitated by the concentrated attention on affairs a world away - especially as the economic recovery remained sluggish. Contrary to the Totalist "Nationalism" that gripped Albion, the German people were exhausted by the conflict and the consistent threat of war. The leading Junkers comprising the Deutschkonservative Partei sought to put aside this weariness and replace it with passionate hatred towards the French. But von Papen was unable to hold back the tide of change - in the March 1937 elections, the DKP was swept out of power by the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD). Mistrust between the Kaiser and the SPD (which contained elements ranging from Social-Democrats to Marxists) spurred the appointment of Kurt von Schleicher to the Reichskanzler. As a result, von der Schluenburg was replaced by Hans Vogel as Foreign Minister. Vogel, an established compromiser, promised detente with the Commune as a means to conclude the rivalry. But Dunois perceived the switch as motion for weakness - during the Second International Congress, France announced its attention to provide resources, machinery, and weapons to the CSA in spite of previous threats engraved by Schluenburg. Vogel's aspirations for peace were swiftly diminished - afterwords he turned his attention to the protection of likewise nations, most notably: Austria, Italy, and the Netherlands.

Whereas previously the Germans had fearlessly launched into intervention in the months preceding, the altering political landscape changed the German attitude towards foreign matter. As public opinion was largely in opposition, Vogel obliged to his electors by refusing to send any aid to the Spanish during their own Civil War. On the opposite side, the French practically lent armies to the FAI in order to battle the Carlists and the Loyalists. Although the Carlists and the Syndicalists would continue to do battle for many years afterwards, the German-"supported" government was decimated by their isolation and doomed to concede all but Sevilla, Huelva, Cadiz, and Northern Morocco. In the summer of June, 1937, massive protests were convened across Germany in favor of Vogel's 'home-first' policy. They demanded social reforms, better working conditions, and other such frivolities unrelated to world affairs. For Dunois, these demonstrations gleamed opportunity - a chance for vengeance after the political embarrassment in Italy just a few months prior.

Switzerland was a nation very much divided in the years following the Great War. In the west, French-speaking workers had aligned themselves with the Socialist policies of the Commune, while the eastern Germans and Italians remained steadfast in their conservative opinions. Throughout the post-bellum period, Syndicalism in western Switzerland had evolved into the most formidable force in the political sphere - stealing consecutive elections throughout the late '20's and 30's. But the Confederation could only consume so much radicalism - by the twilight of the 30's, Albert Meyer, the leading Conservative candidate in Switzerland had wrestled absolute Council control and assumed the technocratic President of the Swiss Confederation position. Alongside his cabal, the Free Democratic Party of Switzerland, Meyer made his allegiances clear. While nominally neutral, Switzerland struck the Syndicalist foundations on a political and civilian level, often aided by the Kaiser's secret police. The attacks were no secret to the French, who went through great pains to accumulate damning information against the Confederation. Paris received constant petitions for aid - delivered by Francophiles in Switzerland and intensified by Syndicalist officials in Geneva. Delegate Dunois perceived this caucus belle as the perfect opening to strike a blow at the German diplomatic line. On the day of American independence, Dunois' underlings delivered a list of grievances and demands from the local Romandy population. When Meyer refused to hold conference with the delegates, Dunois vastly escalated the situation by demanding that the province of Romandy be seceded to the French as a means to protect the local population from political repression. Meyer did not delay. Within the hour, Schleicher, Meyer and Vogel were contacting each other through encrypted messages. Meyer cried for aid - Schleicher and Vogel accepted the challenge, presuming that another ultimatum would put the French back in their place. Chairman Souverain - more inclined to support war with Germany than ever before - gave Dunois permission to refuse the ultimatum (only after being assured by Marshall Bucard that the Communal Army was in adequate state for combat.)

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Albert Meyer (left), was committed to protecting the territorial integrity of the Swiss nation following demands that the French dominated region (shown right) be annexed to the Commune.

Much to the Delegate's delight, Vogel withdrew his ultimatum after the French assured the Auswärtiges Amt that the Syndicalists would not back down. Vogel was tied to peace by the mob - his withdrawal was not surprising to the government but nonetheless, it was politically destructive. Kaiser Wilhelm requested Schleicher resignation, albeit with the utmost honors. Obliged to accept, Schleicher stepped down from government - he was succeeded by Paul von Lettow Vorbeck, one of the most successful German generals in the Great War. Vorbeck, unlike his predecessor, was not frightened by the prospect of conflict with the International, despite his supervision over a Socialist cabinet. He once said when an American reporter inquired into the loyalty of his cabinet: "I do hope that Socialists are good at killing Socialists. Otherwise, I'll have to ask the Kaiser to do it by himself." The actual extent of the leftist presence in the cabinent was far greater than previously conceived. Schleicher had shamelessly traded away the traditionalist military rulers for Social-Democratic officers in exchange for political concessions from Otto Wels. Hans Speidel, Oskar Hansen, Conrad Patzig, and Josef Kammhuber, all members of the SPD, subsequently monopolized the General staff - led by Field Marshall Spiedel. But Vorbeck was unmoved by this powerful presence - he was comforted by Speidel's successful support in Russia that brought an end to the Soviet regime. Emperor Dimitri V bestowed countless honors on Speidel for his excellence in the Civil War, despite Speidel's severe doubts regarding the Tsarist establishment. His loyalty was to his Kaiser first and foremost.

As Dunois basked in his victory, occupied by the burdens that the Phalanstere Internationale presented, Vorbeck was gearing his country to war. With the financial sphere improving at last, Wilhelm and the Junkers awoke the sleeping giant of German nationalism with tremendous parades and celebrations. The agitating populace was unexpectedly drowned out by the cries of former veterans and officers, urging the German people to "shake off the Schlafsand." The drums of war, although faint, were beating once more.



[1] The Free Workers Union of Germany was an anarcho-syndicalist trade union in Germany. It was concieved from the Free Association of German Trade Unions (FDVG) which combined the Ruhr region's Freie Arbeiter Union on September 15, 1919. Following the French Civil War, the FAUD became the primary French espionage ring in the Kaisereich.
[2] Franz von Papen served as Reichskanzler (Imperial Chancellor of Germany) from 1934 to 1937, leading the aristocratic Deutschkonservative Partei into its final dominance. Other famous Reichskanzler's include Grand Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz and General Oskar von Hutier.
[3] The Second Russian Civil War was a brief domestic conflict between the Russian Republic and the Soviet Commune's. Aided by German weaponry, the White Armies prevailed a second time over the Soviets in a matter of months, despite the temporary loss of Moscow and St. Petersberg. Following the civil war, President Dimitri Romanov was crowned Tsar of the restored Russian Empire.
[4] Led by noted Socialist, Nikita Khrushchev, the December Revolution was a period of rapid social and political reformation within the Ukrainian nation. Although the German-installed monarchy was maintained as a means of sustaining balance, the nation distanced itself from the Reich until it finally broke off all ties with the Kaiser the following year.
 
Last edited:

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SPD party members as general staff officers?? What is going on in this Germany. Have they already dethroned the Kaiser, and thrown the original Prussian officer corps into Gulags??? That's a penetration of the innermost power circles of the Reich which not even the Nazis achieved in OTL.
 

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SPD party members as general staff officers?? What is going on in this Germany. Have they already dethroned the Kaiser, and thrown the original Prussian officer corps into Gulags??? That's a penetration of the innermost power circles of the Reich which not even the Nazis achieved in OTL.

Madness, I know. Kaisereich does what it wants - and you have to go with the flow. :happy:

No Sorelians in France? Bah!

I'm always disappointed when they don't win everything. :laugh:

Seems Dunois is a little too clever for his own good. What, prey tell, is Britain's response to all this skullduggery?

Oh, you shall see. You shall see indeed. ;)
 

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The end of the Russian Civil War in July concluded the tumultuous summer of 1937. Thereafter, the International and Mittleeuropa maintained a delicate balance on war's edge, each side managing to avert further conjectures for another six months. The brief ease permitted the involved countries to look inward, but in doing just that, antagonisms were elevated; military spending increased by an average of 20% in Germany and the Commune. But perhaps more impressive than the expenditure spikes, were the joint-industrial operations carried out by Britain and France. Attracting the attention of all the Socialist countries, the International produced enormous material for allied countries and provided base industrial infrastructure for two dozen International members. These programs were so successful that the French economic minister was forced to refuse requests for further investment on the grounds that Communal unemployment had reached a virtual zero. Despite the real economic outcome, the Phalansetere International proved to be a frightful operative to the reeling German Empire. In any case, the German Lion attempted to rebuke the program by investing in alike infrastructural developments for Tsar Dimitiri's Russia, but unconvincing economic reports in February forced the program to close on the account of reducing a growing national debt. Junker cynicism as to the public confidence in the new Russian Empire produced an aura of antagonism between the two countries; the resulting effect was the loss of a prospective ally in the East.

The Ides of March​
Although fragmented, the Austrian Empire remained an important economic partner to the German Empire, despite the severance of confederated ties with Germany in 1927. The price rejuvenation of Austrian products in 1937 provided a slight relief to the Lion's import economy - and this precise international support quelled Syndicalist hopes that the German Empire remained solitude on the world stage. Nonetheless, contemporary historians predicted that the confederated power of the Empire would last only as long as the Hungarians were willing to permit; the affability between Austrian and Hungarian was quickly diminishing. The young Emperor, Otto I, berated these assumptions and charged himself with becoming a figure of universal popularity for all the nationalities within the Empire. After refusing moves to centralize the federated Empire, Otto contrived to establish his power by endorsing particular Ministerial candidates in each respective region during the '37 elections. In Hungary, the National Conservative candidate, Kálmán Darányi, received the Imperial endorsement and scored an overwhelming victory. The trends were parallel in Austria, Bohemia, Croatia, Bosnia, Galicia, and even Serbia - conservative politicians assumed control of every national legislature with the unofficial endorsements of the Hapsburg Emperor. The conservative victory in Austria prompted an official congratulation from Reichskanzler Vorbeck[1], who declared that a reformation in Central European politics was inevitable. Minster-President (of Austria) Ernst Rüdiger Starhemberg, gathered with Vorbeck and the German ambassador, Albert Dufour-Feronce. The triumvirate believed that a vast reformation in German relations was needed to stabilize Central Europe and deter the Syndicalist threat. When Vorbeck departed Vienna to speak with the Kaiser, Ambassador Feronce assumed the responsibilities of the Reichskanzler and became the most outspoken supporter of a renewed Central Alliance. The declarations of Feronce teetered on Pan-Germanism - claims that worried Austrian nationalists and syndicalists.

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Ernst Rüdiger Starhemberg (left), Emperor Otto I van Hapsburg (center), Paul von Lettow Vorbeck (right).


Vorbeck was charged to return to Vienna in March, intending to put the Imperial signature on an alliance written by Feronce, Darányi, and Starhemberg. But opposition to the treaty was loud and clear, at home, the SPD (and thus most of the government) was reluctant to comply with the bill. On the insistence of the Emperor and Reichskanzler, the government permitted Vorbeck to affix the Imperial consent to the bill, but only after two weeks of consideration. The Reighstag ruled that the bill would be signed on the 15th of March, and any final disparages would be submitted prior to that date. No such denigrates were put forth to the Reichstag, and as such, the treaty was expected to be signed. On the 13th of March, Vorbeck departed from Berlin and arrived in Vienna the following day, greeted by crowds of supportive Austrians. Vorbeck met with Feronce at the Hotel Imperial and reviewed the content of the treaty, before departing to a concert conducted by Gustav Holst. The next morning, Vorbeck was called to the Hofburg to be received by Otto and Starhemberg. As he was walking through Mariahilferstrasse with a procession of assistants, Vorbeck was struck down by two men wielding daggers. Before their blades could pierce him, Vorbeck took hold of a collapsed music stand (an orchestral gathering had been playing Mozart's Requiem Mass) and distanced himself from his attackers. With the help of two other citizens, Vorbeck disarmed the criminals and restrained them. The Reichskanzler was rushed back to the hotel by local officials, mortified by the unraveling events. When it was discovered that Feronce was missing, the Emperor fled the city for his country house.

Albert Dufour-Feronce was found dead by German policemen at his home in Munich; Bavarian officials assumed that he had been kidnapped from Vienna and shuffled across the relaxed border overnight where he was presumably murdered. When news of Feronce's death struck Berlin at 11:30 via telephone, Wilhelm ordered Vorbeck to return to Berlin without signature, until the situation could be resolved. The Reichskanzler departed without notice and boarded a train towards Berlin, due to arrive near midnight. Meanwhile, Bavarian officials investigated Feronce's murder and carried its operatives with information by phone calls from Vienna. The Vienna police reported that Feronce had not returned to the Hotel Imperial on the 14th. Instead, Feronce departed from the Vienna State Opera with a Monsieur Bescond, a young French exile who had reportedly inherited a sizable French corporation from his father prior to the Civil War. But upon further investigation, the Munich police concluded that the identity of the émigré was questionable. By 4:30, Vienna officials uncovered that Bescond had boarded a train for Munich early on the 15th, presumably alone. As the only Frenchman of considerable note in Munich, it was again determined that the suspect had taken another train to Berlin, but this time, under the name Valeryie Bouvet. Panicked Munich officials warned Berlin that Bouvet was likely in the city; Imperial officials meticulously searched the railways for Bouvet [2] and blocked off roads, jamming automobiles for miles. After hours of searching, Bouvet was finally discovered on a train preparing to leave for Bucharest at 9:00. Upon capture, Bouvet confessed his full name "Gustave Bouvet" and candidly declared his anarcho-syndicalist sympathies.

ki4YEo2.jpg

Albert Dufour-Feronce (left) with Eric Drummond, British émigré and the 16th Earl of Perth (right) - taken two days before the assassination.

The confessions of Bouvet shook Berlin into a frenzy - the cabinet was hastily called together at 10:30 (with Vorbeck still absent), intending to address the issue. At first, the cabinet agreed that the trial of Bouvet would be enough to satisfy the people - but upon receiving news that Bouvet had intended to murder Vorbeck and Otto, the mood of the room was reversed into a Jingoistic fervor. The SPD lost their pacifist convictions and quickly adopted a melodramatic and odious response to the provocation. At 11:30, the listless Vorbeck arrived in Berlin and was hurried into the Stadtschloss. Greeted by pungent exclamations of "German honor," the cause to eradicate anarcho-syndicalism elevated into an indictment of France. The Kaiser declared war on 11:59, without a hint of legislative disapproval.

Europe Unravels​
France received news of the declaration of war early on the 16th from internal sources. Amédée Dunois, self-flagellating the blame for war, submitted his resignation to Chairman Faure. The Chairman refused to accept the resignation, reportedly saying: "If you claim this to be your design, then claim it in full." With his sins annulled, Dunois picked up his phone and called London. Phil Piratin, the new Commissary for Foreign Affairs, received the message from his comrade in Paris. After talking for nearly thirty minutes regarding the specifics of the incident, Piratin ordered the Redshirts to "awaken our great city." The wails of mothers and the hopeful jeers of their sons consumed the city; great flags, bleached in red, were paraded around as the clock struck 25:00[3]. Mosley was awoken by the Socialist hubris outside his mistress's residence at 10 Downing Street. The General Secretary emerged from the den at 25:15, and walked without guard or procession to his office. Gathered around by exuberant crowds, he fearlessly paraded to war "like a God." [4] The Union of Britain declared war on Germany at 26:00 - similarly to the Kaiser, Mosely did not consent the CTU before affixing his signature to the declaration of war.

E4UyDUy.png

European combatants participating in the first week of the war.


Bouvet's Ambition​
Despite a 60 year gap between the assassination of Feronce and the present day, the motives of Bouvet are still an issue of major contention. The entire debate seems rather silly to me - Bouvet practically published his violent incentives before his execution.

iDMX8VI.jpg

The young Gustave Bouvet.

Feronce's assassination, although complicated, was achieved masterfully. Assisted by renegade and romantic German Anarchists, Feronce was smuggled into Germany as a way of allowing Bouvet to avoid detection immediately. If Feronce had been murdered in Vienna, Bouvet's mode of escape would have been jeopardized by rapid institution of martial law. Instead, Bouvet forced Feronce into a crate of merchandise (following the concert) that Bouvet had purchased under his esteemed alias. Upon arrival, Bouvet moved Feronce to his house of residence and shot him in the heart with a Walter P38. After the assassination, Bouvet intended to flee to Iron Guard Romania, where tensions between Germany and Romania were still reasonably high after the oil conflict of 1936. The assassin believed that even if his identity was unveiled, the Romanians would not extradite him on political grounds. Thereafter, he planned on crossing the Black Sea into Georgia, where Syndicalism was alive and well. Bouvet orchestrated the assassination to stop the signature of the treaty and frighten the Germans into retracting any future diplomatic missions with prospective countries. But even more idealistic was his plot for Vorbeck, which he planned to be as public as possible. His aspirations in Vorbeck's death was to literally inspire the proletariat into revolution against the licentiousness of the aristocracy. Likely, his personal ego and desire to be lionized drove him to these actions more so than any other motive. These ambitions were partially fulfilled - Bouvet became a magnate for socialists around the world and a martyr in the midst of the war.




[1] The congratulation was severely delayed because Vorbeck's government, mostly Social Democrats, was reluctant to provide a formal congratulation to a Conservative administration in Vienna.
[2] Bouvet had been hiding in the train bathroom, excusing his long-term presence in the restroom as "a digestive unpleasantness."
[3] You blood Europeans and your weird time.
[4] The aforementioned quotation is a line from an editorial published in "The Red Times" by Clive Staples Lewis.


 

LordTempest

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Is this the part where we get to sing "Die Wacht am Rhein?" :p

Great to see this back BTW, it really makes me want to go back and write another update for my Canadian AAR.
 

Nikolai

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It's back! After this long I was afraid it was dead. So war it is, eh. Long live Mitteleuropa! :p
 

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subbed
 

Dr.Livingstone

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Forward!
 

Metroid17

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This is really well written! Kudos!
 

99KingHigh

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It's back! After this long I was afraid it was dead. So war it is, eh. Long live Mitteleuropa! :p

Bloody traiter! Mosley disapproves. :p

Is this the part where we get to sing "Die Wacht am Rhein?" :p

Great to see this back BTW, it really makes me want to go back and write another update for my Canadian AAR.

Now, Now. One update at a time.

You need to get past 20 years in any of your AAR to switch to another one. ;)

It lives!

Wonder when we'll get to the actual "civil war" bit :p

Just a logistical anecdote: The first couple of chapters were actually played before I started writing the AAR. For the purposes of getting to the prelude to the Civil War and than the actual Civil War, the next chapter will be one mega-war update (and maybe one short interlude chapter.) The chapters afterwards will be in the flow of the Civil War. So 2-3 chapters more.



Forward!

Much glory.

This is really well written! Kudos!

Your avatar has been approved. :p
 

LordTempest

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¿25:00? ¿Can you explain how does this work?

I think he means 1:00 AM. IIRC it's easier for some people to view the early hours of the morning as still being yesterday night, so instead of saying 1, 2, 3, 4:00 they say 25, 26, 27, 28:00, etc.
 

Viden

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I think he means 1:00 AM. IIRC it's easier for some people to view the early hours of the morning as still being yesterday night, so instead of saying 1, 2, 3, 4:00 they say 25, 26, 27, 28:00, etc.

Really? I have never heard about that before. In fact, I tought it was an invented revolutionary clock (like the French one) until I read the footnote. It seems incredibly confusing. :confused:
 

LordTempest

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Really? I have never heard about that before. In fact, I tought it was an invented revolutionary clock (like the French one) until I read the footnote. It seems incredibly confusing. :confused:

Honestly, the only place where I've seen people do that is Japan; and even then it's very much a minority thing. It could be a revolutionary clock, I suppose, but I'd have thought that any rev clock would have only 10 hours like the French one had.
 

NikephorosSonar

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I suppose it's not that important, but shouldn't a Kaiser-imposed Prime Minister be von Papen again? I don't remember Vorbeck being an option.