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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

99KingHigh

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Mega War? Sounds fun, I'm caught up and ready for more High King.

¿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.

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.

I was just playing with clocks - I'll move either into military time or glorious American 12-hour time. Given the yet unrevealed background of the narrator, it may end up being the latter.

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.

I'm afraid I wasn't paying attention to the German politics so specifically - but one way or another - Vorbeck ended up leading a cabinet of social democrats.
 

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I was just playing with clocks - I'll move either into military time or glorious American 12-hour time. Given the yet unrevealed background of the narrator, it may end up being the latter.

American 12-hour time? Do you realize 12-hour clock is also used in Europe? And that there is no 25-hour clock at all?
 

99KingHigh

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American 12-hour time? Do you realize 12-hour clock is also used in Europe? And that there is no 25-hour clock at all?

Most European countries utilize military time (24 hour clock) although a few outliers use the 12-hour.

And its not a 25-hour clock, its an obsolete Japanese timing table that I thought I'd play around with.
 

Viden

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Most European countries utilize military time (24 hour clock) although a few outliers use the 12-hour.

And its not a 25-hour clock, its an obsolete Japanese timing table that I thought I'd play around with.

Not in Spain. We use both times interchangeably. And the same goes to Germany. About other countries I have no clue.

BTW, I never have seen the 24h being called "military". Searching in the wikipedia it seems to be an Anglo North American thing. Interesting.

PS: Happy Christmas for you all!
 

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It's called "military time" in the US because most people don't use it unless they are military, police, some other things. It isn't in common American usage.
 

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Only just seem the most recent update, and it's been an excellent return! Looking forward to war, and the triumph of Syndicalism ;).
 

99KingHigh

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R527N3e.png




The Empire Strikes Back

Mosley's triumphant stroll through the streets of London received a panegyric reaction across the Socialist nations. But as public perception turned from the plight of the Proletariat to the remarkable character of Britain's charismatic leader, moderate Syndicalist parties that had previously restrained their respective democratic nations from war-intervention withdrew their support from the increasingly Totalist bloc. Clumps of social democratic factions joined alliances with regional war-hawk representatives, acting as vital coalition partners across the globe. When conflict finally erupted in Europe, the revived Entente, aided by moderate leftist support, burst into a fury of sagacious discourse. Luckily for the revanchist jingoists of the former British and French Empires, the atmosphere for military intervention could not have been better. Canada, the undisputed leader of the Entente, rallied behind the recently elected Conservative, R.B Bennett. Bennett's fire-eaters managed a dominating majority in the Canadian House of Parliament, endorsed silently by the beloved Edward VIII. The Canadian ally in Africa, Le Directoire Français (commonly called "Nationalist France")[1], was no less inimical to the International. The regime of President Philippe Pétain and Director-Admiral François Darlan energetically pursued the militarization of the French Empire to strike back at the entrenched Commune. Only the departure of Australasia from the Entente under the populist Labor politician, John Curtin, concerned the Imperial remnants. But the Tories in Ottowa found a new ally among the ruins of the American states - The Republic of New England, spurned by the Anglophile attitudes of its Supreme Tribune, Joseph P. Kennedy, and the Republican President, Percival Baxter. United by the industrial and financial prowess of New England's market economy, the Entente found compensation for the eastern colonies departure. James Langstaff Bowman, the Speaker of the House of Commons, called the debate for a declaration of War on March 22nd, days after the famous Metal Crossing.

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R.B Bennett was the Prime Minister of Canada during the Second Weltkrieg. As a Tory, Bennett supported reconquest and was a vital acolyte to the King.

Among the most powerful political forces in interbellum Canada were the British émigrés, whom had imposed themselves as a vital electorate. As an aristocratic and wealthy group, Liberals and Tories courted them fervently to secure hefty monetary contributions. Without doubt, the primary concern of this exiled middle and upper class was the reconquest of Britain and Empire. But many Canadians were less than willing to bleed their nation dry for the lands of others - Canadian Nationalists demanded British integration and Quebec nationalists refuted any association with the wealthy immigrants. Canadian support for reconquest remained a slim plurality, but open endorsement for the British émigrés would undoubtedly alienate many of the Nationalists who formed integral electorates in the nation. Bennett and the Tories welcomed the British reconquest and more importantly, their monetary support. The Liberals were far more reluctant to endorse the exiles - William Mackenzie King favored a loose alliance between Canadian moderates and the middle-class exiles whom had formerly represented part of Lloyd George's support. This was the Liberal alternative - an alliance of level-headed moderates that sought to restrain the Imperialistic dreams of the Tories. This policy ensured that the Liberals would remain a cohesive force, bound together in opposition to the romantic enterprises that Bennett sought to pursue. In the the 1935 general election, Bennett's party had emerged with a slim majority, dethroning the Liberals after 10 years of leadership. The Tories open endorsement for reconquest proved to be the new contour of Canadian politics; the Liberals would follow suit several months after, albeit with an internal election that nearly saw King abdicate his leadership.

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Sir Alfred Dudley Pickman Rogers Pound represented the interests of the British émigrés and was the foremost supporter of reconquest.

Despite the concentric endorsement across both party lines, the March 22nd debates unveiled the reluctance of many members in both parties. Conservative and Liberal M.P's from progressive urban regions reflected their regions's hesitation to spend Canadian lives in another European conflict. The attendance of many British aristocrats at the debates intensified matters - Liberals became concerned that they would alienate the British support if the more nationalist elements were allowed to voice concern. Luckily for the Liberals, King had fallen very ill that same morning - Louis St. Laurent, the Minister of Justice, was designated by King to lead the debates. St. Laurent was a vicious anti-communist and repressed all nationalist sentiment in the backbenches. In a silent agreement with Bennett and Bowman, the notable nationalist M.P's were not chosen to voice their concerns in the debate and the entirety of the morning was spent in general agreement with positions for reconquest. The following day, Canadian Parliament passed the declaration of war by a vote of 199-46. The bill was thus passed to His Majesty, and signature was awaited.

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William Mackenzie King served as Canadian Prime Minister from 1926 to 1935. As a Liberal, Bennett hesitantly endorsed reconquest and paid the price during the 1935 election.


King Edward VIII

When President Enoch Morrell, Vernon Hartshorn, and Secretary Thomas Richards of The South Wales Miners' Federation called together a petty strike in South Wales over falling coal-mining wages, the United Kingdom was already consumed by political crisis. The famous revolution that emerged out of this minor incident in Wales would end the Monarchy in Britain, and change the course of history; but the nation's truce in the First Weltkrieg had already spurned tremendous controversy.[2] At the forefront of leftist blame was King George V, who was viewed by the Syndicalists as the universal symbol of opulence, excluding perhaps the Kaiser himself. When the Royal Navy mutinied in 1925 following the General Strike, George V considered abdicating in favor of his eldest son, Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David of House Windsor. Edward had gathered popularity for his participation in the War, which although limited by the late Lord Kitchener, was notable enough to capture the hearts of a diminishing right. Educated at Oxford, Edward flaunted a subtle charisma and public charm that entranced even those aligned with the trade unions. Walter Citrine, the first General Secretary and the founder of the Federationalists, once commented: If there was one person to calm the public fury, it was the Prince of Wales. But George's chance to save the Empire died when his intended abdication proved too late - the Royal Family evacuated to Canada and pledged their return amid a dying Kingdom. When the Royal Family docked at Newfoundland, King George V emerged with an illness that would plague him for the rest of his life. Visibly distraught by the Revolution, George V fell into the shadows of Rideau Hall. His absence allowed the sentiments of Canadian nationalism to ferment and grow - the assassination of David Lloyd George by a Quebec nationalist ended the "war generation" (Asquith was murdered during the Revolution.)

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King Edward VIII (circa. 1920).

King George kept a silent watch over his crumbling Empire until late 1935, when Edward was appointed Regent. The death of King George on 20 January 1936 is marked in Canadian history as the start of the Silent/Mature generation - Edward held his coronation the following day amid thousands of cheering exiles. Proving to be the new William IV of politics, Edward conjured up démodé powers entrusted into His Majesty, and became the first "true" King since the 18th century. Contrary to Unionist propaganda across the Atlantic, the Canadians did not hiss at the ascension of this new Authoritarian Democrat. His charm and ambition proved to be enough to saturate the revanchism of the Canadian people and their exiled brethren. For two years, Edward made a copious selection of speeches pledging to retake the homeland and reclaim the Empire. Opposition to the warmongering proved most effective in Montreal, where Separatists argued that R.B Bennett and King were simple puppets of the young King. But Edward struck back in a series of radio speeches - pledging his support for Bennett and the exiles. The Canadian people were so electrified by this new figure that they bestowed upon him a new media title: "The Prince of the People," despite of course, the reduction of civil liberties. With the benefit of hindsight, the claims of the Separatists appear more and more justifiable when the agenda of King Edward is compared with the legislative record of Bennett. When King Edward pushed for a massive legislative bill that would gear Canada to war in the spring of 1936, Bennett responded by proposing C-7: a bill that reorganized the entire economic, military, and security standards of the Canadian nation. Included in C-7 were motions for economic nationalization, military mobilization, war-time censorship powers (in peacetime), and administrative restructuring in favor of His Majesty.

King's support of C-7 forced the leftist M.P's in the Liberal Party to split off from the party and establish the Progressive Party. Edward's vocal opposition to the new party nearly destroyed the creation; many M.P's returned to the Liberals after electoral polls saw their individual support waning following the King's condemnation. The temporary loss of parlimentary support did not slow the construction of the bill: the newly created Ministry of Security was to spearhead the implementation of C-7. On Edward's suggestion, Robert Manion, a vocal supporter of His Majesty and homeland reconquest, was confirmed by the "Canadian" Commons and the "British" Lords as the new Minister. Manion and the former Liberal, C.D. Howe (Minister of National Defense) enshrined a special clause in C-7 that would elevate Lt. General Kenneth Stuart to the Chief of the General Staff. Stuart deemed an invasion of the isles a certain possibility with the aid of their French allies in Africa; his position was deemed favorable to Edward and Bennett. When the bill was finally put before Parliament, C-7 pushed through with a slim majority due to heavy Liberal backbench opposition. But the House of Lords passed the new act with a near unanimous approval, as the House was gifted new powers that would make it a political powerhouse (or rather, a royal puppet.)

When the declaration of war arrived at Rideau Hall, there was little time for consideration. Canada's implementation of C-7 had taken barely two years and had transformed Canadian society into a militarized powerhouse. Edward's total consideration took less than three minutes.



The Metal Crossing or The First Battle of the Channel

History remembers the First Weltkrieg as a war of prolonged immovability that was perpetuated by the belief that modern conflict could be handled with an expeditious flare. The haste to blindly rush into enemy territory without foresight ended the ephemeral period of rapid conflict and ushered in the infinite stalemate of trench warfare. Contemporaries criticized the war for its military mismanagement and public ignorance - both of which played heavily into the surprise that the war would not be a quick one. The dilatory procedure of the first war undoubtedly created the absolute desire to avoid a static conflict in the new one. Syndicalists depicted this war as the long-awaited global revolution; but the possibility of trench-warfare could destroy this aspiration. Because this attrition warfare consequently allowed the opposite nation to embrace fortification, the possibility for total Syndicalist annexation would be destroyed by the invariable conflict, even if the Syndicalists achieved a tactical victory. Therefore, it was all the more vital that the Second Weltkrieg be fought with the technological nimbleness that the previous war could not produce. The strategy of speed was the primary concern for the International forces - but the industrial meltdown meant the availability of mechanical warfare was dim. Germany, France, and Britain alike had few quantities of tanks and movable military artillery, demonstrating their continued dependence on infantry. But the evolution of infantry had been altered to compensate for the lack of tank divisions. By 1938, the majority of infantry divisions traveled along with speedy automobiles and were armed with powerful sub-machine guns (notably, the MP 38, the Thompson, MAS-38, and the Sten.) In addition, most infantry divisions were accompanied by small, but powerful, artillery guns (notably, the 4.5 inch Mk 1, Canon de 105 court mle 1935 B, and the 7.5 cm Infanteriegeschütz 37.)

The prioritization of speed warfare in early 1938 became the most vital tenant to Chief of General Staff of the Republican Army, Tom Wintringham (the Last Federationalist.) Wintringham and Fred Copeman, Commander-in-Chief of the Republican Navy, developed a rapid mobilization system intending to transport as many troops as possible across the channel as quickly as possible. When the possibility of war was made known to cabinet, Wintringham and his new subordinate, William Alexander, ordered thirteen infantry divisions (the intended invasion force) to gather at Devonport within the next 36 hours. Grand Admiral Andrew Browne Cunningham and Rear Admiral Max Kennedy Horton prepared the Channel Republican Fleet and loaded the transports with 169,000 soldiers, 65,000 horses, 2951 artillery pieces, and 2600 transportation trucks. At 03:00 (March 17th), the Republican Fleet reached the Straits of Dover, intending to make landing at Calais. Two German light cruisers, the SMS Deutschland and the SMS Fredrick, made brief contact with the Republican fleet and sent word to the German Air Base in Bruges. Ten minutes after contact, the Republican fleet opened fired on the two cruisers as they withdrew from patrol, sinking the SMS Deutschland in a matter of minutes. But the first shot of the war did not do without response.

kBk1Eqn.jpg

Grand Admiral Andrew Browne Cunninham was the senior naval official in the Union of Britain alongside Real-Admiral Max Horton.

Anyone that has crossed the English channel will describe the trip as a little more than an hour from Dover to Calais. The March 17th crossing of the English channel took nearly 4 hours and became known as the Metal Crossing. When the SMS Deutschland sunk into the Channel and its crew hurried to swim back to shore (most perished in the journey), Josef Kammuber, the Commander of the Luftstreitkräfte, had already ordered a massive air contingency of bombers and fighters to intercept the Republican fleet. Launching from Bruges, dozens of Junkers Ju 88 bombers unleashed a fire storm over the Republican fleet. Unprepared to handle aircraft [3], the Republican navy pushed on amid continuous fire from the sky. Desperate to protect the army, Cunningham ordered each transport to position itself behind two larger ships, preferably a battleship or heavy cruiser until the Carriers arrived. As the fleet released a barrage of primitive anti-aircraft fire, German dive bombers or (Junkers Ju 87's) launched devastating attacks on the RNS Inflexible and the RNS Tiger - two battle-cruisers defending nearly seven transport ships. Although neither ship was sunk, nearly 120 sailors were killed by the low-flying airstrikes. When the German air force prepared for a secondary attack, Republican cruisers unleashed their air capabilities; the ensuing dog-fight allowed the fleet to avoid further destruction, but the Republican Air Force was beaten down by the numerical superiority of the local Luftstreitkräfte.

xu3ffzG.png

Images from the crossing, 1938.



The Siege of Mons (March 15-April 1), the Battle of Sedan (March 18-March 27)

The commonality between the French and British military prioritization is shocking - both nations mobilized their armed forces even before the official notice of war had been publicized. In the Isles, the Republican Navy was on the move when Mosley took his stroll through London. In France, the Chief of the General Staff, Marcel Bucard (and also the ideological successor to Angelo Tasca) ordered General Jacques Duclos of the 2eme corps d'armée to strike at Mons, before the morning was finished. Nearly 200,000 Germans and Flemish soldiers were positioned in Mons - air support from Bruges was also available to strike the attacking force and protect reinforcements from Brussels. But Duclos possessed a numerical advantage and the effect of a midnight surprise attack. He struck German positions west of Mons at midnight with artillery barges and swift infantry movements across borderlines. Local German officers attempted to force trench positions until the numeral advantage could be pressed, but French mechanized infantry divisions arrived too soon for the fortification to be finished. The Germans abandoned their initial defensive positions and prepared to resist at the city. As the Germans constructed further fortifications around Mons, Duclos ordered Lt. General Charles Delestraint to attack the municipality of Dour, just five miles outside the city limits of Mons. The 17eme corps d'armée (78,000 soldiers) assaulted Dour on the 18th, but German fortifications forced the French assault to a halt. Duclos requested heavy artillery, but was initially denied the request as the Communal artillery was invested in the protection of the Maginot line. To compensate for the mechanical deficit, Duclos and Delestraint pushed east of Dour, intending to surround the German fortifications. But the attack plans were halted by the arrival of German reinforcements under Gustav Anton von Wiestersheim, General der Infanterie. Wiestersheim attempted to shatter the siege by launching a counter-attack through Dour - the attack was defeated and Delestraint reasserted his offensive. With approval from Paris, Duclos was given support from the largest bombing fleet in the world - the 5th Bombardment Group - numbering 464 tactical bombers. The 5th group laid waste to Mons, and shattered the diminishing morale of the defensive German Army. On March 26th, Dour fell to French forces and five days later, the final defensive remnant of the local German Army fled Mons. French troops entered the city on April 1st.

8Hyh6Le.jpg
sGnTyMJ.jpg

General Jacques Duclos (left) and Lt. General Charles Delestraint (right).

At Sedan, the Meuse Line consisted of a strong defensive belt 6 km (3.7 mi) deep, organized according to the contemporary principles of zone defense on slopes overlooking the Meuse valley and strengthened by 103 pillboxes, manned by a local fortress division. The deeper positions were held by the 15th Infantry Division. This was only a grade "B" reserve division. On the morning of 15 March, the 71st Infantry Division was inserted to the east of Sedan, allowing 55th Infantry to narrow its front by one-third and deepen its position to over 10 km (6.2 mi). Furthermore, it had a superiority in artillery to the German units present. On 15 May, the German XIX Korps forced three crossings near Sedan, executed by the 1st, 2nd and 10th Infantry Divisions, reinforced by the elite Großdeutschland infantry regiment. The Germans concentrated the majority of their air power (as they lacked mobile artillery forces) to break a hole in a narrow sector of the French lines by carpet bombing. As the Germans unleashed the force of the Luftstreitkräfte, General Oskar Hansen ordered 9 of his 18 infantry divisions to assault the weakening defenses. The German intention was to break a wide hole in the Meuse Line and force a redistribution of French manpower from Flanders-Wallonia to Alsace-Lorraine. Some of the forward pillboxes were unaffected and repulsed the crossing attempts of the 3rd Panzer division. But the French supporting artillery batteries had fled, and the infantry was ill-prepared to deal with the onslaught of German tanks. Anti-Tank guns were rushed from local fortifications and hurried to reinforce the deep defensive line, despite the steady pounding of the German Airforce. General Francois, one of the General Staff members, called for infantry aid to assist his humble defensive divisions. Général de corps d'armée Miask Manochian, Pegur, Andre Malraux, and Georges Blanchard departed from their reserve positions with 117,000 soldiers and patched the breach in the Meuse Line. Despite sustaining heavy casualties, the combined German Air and Land assault ended on March 27th.



The Battle of the Meuseland (March 18-May 8th)

In 1938, Field Marshall Nestor Makhno was the highest-ranking military officer in France - excluding Marcel Bucard who was holed up in Paris. The former Ukrainian revolutionary was determined to drive the war into German lands, and insinuated that capturing Nancy would provoke a double envelopment from the German high-command. From there, the French armies in Verdun and Belfort would intercept the pinching armies and score a stinging victory around the Rhineland. Chairman Sébastien Faure was worried that the operation resembled Plan XVII too much and tried to resist its implementation. But the persistence of Bucard and Makhno forced Faure to concede his reservations and allow the plan to become an operational possibility. When war first broke out, Makhno had been entrusted with the largest army in France at 29 divisions - a massive 377,000 man invasion force. When German forces invested into their assault at Sedan, Makhno and his forces darted across the Maginot Line intending to strike at Imperial Nancy. Heavy German artillery brought the French to a standstill - but German inability to launch a counter-attack [4] allowed Makhno and his corps to engage the reserved German Army. After days of fighting in the province, the Germans withdrew, although nearly 30,000 French soldiers had been killed-in-action and thrice that number had been wounded. The losses did not concern the Field Marshall - the French army was divided and nearly 11 divisions were selected to drive the attack into Metz, the base of Rhineland Luftstreitkräfte activity. The attack on Metz was technically a renegade move as it acted contrary to the plan Makhno had proposed to Faure, but no objections were received in Paris. The Battle of Metz lasted little under a week, and concluded in a triumphant French victory. Although Makhno was outnumbered by 13,000 soldiers and hundreds of artillery units, much of the Army in Metz was the remnants of the Battle at Nancy. Their weak supply lines and lack of aerial support made the victory in Metz a decisive one for the Field Marshall.

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Field Marshall Nestor Makhno, one of the most famous military officers of the 20th century.

Meanwhile, the French victory at Sedan had been an unmitigated disaster for the Deutsches Heer. The High Command was more infuriated than usual - the vast majority of German resources had been invested into breaking the line - and its failure permitted the French to slip into Imperial territory. General Hansen withdrew to Arlon, leaving five divisions behind at Longwy. Like the German Army at Metz, most of the 65,000 defenders were starved veterans from the Battle at Sedan. Miask Manochian swiftly seized the opportunity and drove 19 divisions across the Meuse. German fortifications along the river were well manned, and the French took casualties in the ten-thousands every day. Several French aireal divisions, primary close-air support and tactical bombers, provided what support they could despite the nearby presence of the Luftstreitkräfte. After eight days of the most intense fighting since Sedan, the French army made a sustained crossing and shattered the supply lines of the German Army. Capturing dozens of supply horses and ammunition trains, the French Army surrounded the German (culturally French) town of Longwy and "recaptured" the vital Lorraine mining industry. The fall of Longwy, however, was an expected conclusion to the High Command. Instead, the Kaiser's military advisers put their glare on Nancy, where Makhno's overstretched line of defense was beginning to show cracks. Determined to score a victory, Paul von Lettow Vorbeck appointed the ruthless General Franz Ritter von Epp to lead 182,000 soldiers (including 20,000 Gardekoprs) against Makhno's former contingency in Nancy. With Makhno still defending Metz, the German High Command believed that a victory in Nancy would lead to the encirclement of Metz and the fall of the largest French Army.

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General Franz Ritter von Epp, the leading operational general for the Deutches Heer.

During the afternoon of April 9th, the attack by the German 1st Panzer brigade and the 61st, 34th, and 11th division was progressing north from Strasbourg. The Panzers were numerically superior to the sparsely available French Renault R35's and could be seen moving in large formations while the French operated in small groups and fired more slowly. From 15:00 to 15:48 the 1st Panzer Brigade issued repeated, urgent calls for anti-tank units and the Luftstreitkräfte to deal with French tanks. The 11th division, and the 32nd division, still opposite Nancy, suddenly found itself attacked in the flank and rear by "superior" French armored forces. Colonel Dodart des Loges, commanding the northern sector of the front, ordered a retreat when the Panzer division arrived to aid the 11th and the 32nd. The retreat of the R35's allowed the bulk of the German divisions, around 12 of them, to relieve the the attacking front. After numerous Feuerkampf , supported by mechanized tank divisions, the German Army occupied the vital positions around Nancy after 15 days of battle. The city was occupied and Mokhno's southern supply lines were cut on the 21st of April.

When reports of the German victory at Nancy reached Paris, the mobilization of the French nation was near completion. Elements from all fronts, including divisions from the victorious army of Mons, gathered for an offensive against Arlon, in order to widen Makhno's razor thin routes of escapes. A massive army of 520,000 soldiers under the command of General Conde, overwhelmed the nine defending divisions at Arlons on the 23rd by sheer force of arms. But the relief appeared to come to late - General Ritter had already begun his attack on Metz during the Battle of Nancy and was determined to break Makhno's remaining 11 divisions with 15 divisions. During the first two battles, French forces proved relentless - denying the German Schützenkette skirmish lines to form by unleashing vast unending barrages of machine gun fire. This tactic became exhausted when the policy was forcibly retracted after ammunition reserves diminished. All the meanwhile, von Epp's divisions pushed through the French fortifications and broke the remaining lines of armored power. Concerned that the entire 143,000 man army would be forced to surrender, Makhno ordered a general evacuation into Longwy. The evacuation proved successful - almost the entire army remained organizationally intact. However, the fall of Nancy and Metz seemed to reverse the fate of the battle.

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The Communal Armies sought to compensate for their defeat in the south by launching a daring attack on the German XX Corps - the Corps was protected by armored divisions and the hilly terrain of Luxembourg. The French Army, notably of equal size to the one defending Luxembourg, was seriously disadvantaged in all military essentials. Initial attacks on Luxembourg from Arlon proved just as disastrous as projected - the French were torn to pieces by Heavy Artillery and native German infantry squads. But on April 26, after 48 hours of fighting, Major General Eric Dorman-Smith, the operative commander of British forces in France, arrived from the completed Belgian campaign and provided much needed assistance to the dwindling French army. Smith had rushed between German occupied Liege and French Arlon with the intention of opening another front to divert the XX corps. The Unionist reinforcements proved to be the final element for victory in Luxembourg - the German Panzer divisions were routed by French R35's supported by British anti-tank guns lodged in the low-mountains of the local terrain. The victory at Luxembourg gave the defeated French armies a much needed morale boost. In Nancy, Lt. General Cornille led a surprise counter-attack on Nancy and won in five days - in Liege, the massive French Army, now at 585,000 soldiers, crossed into Liege and broke the German Army in six days - and in Metz, Makno rallied the victorious forces from Metz and Luxembourg and double enveloped General Franz Ritter von Epp remaining armies. Von Epp's retreat from Nancy on May 8th is considered the end of the long and bloody, Battle of the Meuseland.

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Fall of Flanders-Wallonia (March 29-April 20)

Duke Adalbert of Flanders-Wallonia presided over a delicate nation of conflicting nationalities - the Flemish and their desire for Dutch integration - and the Walloons and their Syndicalist leanings. Adalbert tried with the utmost commitment and compromise to ensure balance between the nations, but his ambition to preside over one country fell far short when the Syndicalist International crossed the Flemish border during the aformentioned Battle of Mons. Attempts to mobilize the nation following the invasion were similarly marked with failure; Walloons rejected the draft in numbers and only a half of the Flemish cooperated with the pseudo-Germanic authorities. During the last month of the Duchy's existence, German administration became the effective method of governorship, and the Deutsches Heer became the only true military organization willing to protect the "territories". The defense of the former Belgian nation was taken up by the Chief of the General Staff, the assertive Leon Degrelle. Degrelle demanded that the Germans launch an immediate counter-attack on Bruges, which had fallen to General Bernard Montgomery and his elite Red guards. Generalfeldmarschall Ernst Busch took command of the operation, and attacked Montgomery in a bold assault against Bruges. But Montgomery's troops were subsidized by the 5th French Air Fleet, which had decimated Mons during the battle. Unionist troops repulsed the German counter-attack and joined forces with Duclos and his victorious 2eme corps d'armée. The Syndicalist forces occupied Antwerpen on April 2nd and began the push towards Brussels. Busch attempted to diffuse the attack from the east, launching assaults from Namur to Mons. These attacks proved decisively in favor of the Germans, and the Syndicalist push west from Antwerpen south to Brussels was temporarily halted.

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The famous 5th French Air Fleet - the largest air-contingency during the war.

Busch was recalled from the Flemish front to the South, and was replaced by Generalfeldmarschall Gerd von Rudenstedt. Rudenstedt inherited his predecessors position without notice of diminishing ammunition carts - the realization forced Rudenstedt to order a withdrawal from the offensive and prepare for a resupply in Brussels. As nearly 143,000 German soldiers regrouped in Brussels, Duclos and Montgomery launched a large-scale offensive against the capital region. British divisions struck from the east and Communal divisions attacked from the north, forcing the Germans to compensate for a wider front. A further 11 divisions from Lili and Mons provided supportive assistance and artillery barrages as the German divisions battled fiercely for every inch along the border. As rumors of an encirclement maneuver at Namur began to circulate, Rudenstedt ordered his troops to abandon Adalbert's nation and hurry to Namur in order to prevent their own encirclement. The evacuation was strategically sound; if Namur had fallen with German troops still occupied in Brussels, Rudenstedt and 200,000 Germans would have been utterly surrounded. Additionally, the relocation to Namur ensured that the combined forces of Duclos and Montgomery would still be statistically inferior to the 300,000 Germans in Namur.

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General Bernard Montgomery surpassed his operational commander and became the most-influential British General during the war.

Determined to turn the Schlieffen Plan on its head, Duclos sought to break the tenuous fortifications along the northern border. The rutted defenses were repleted with German soldiers but remained structurally flimsy. Rudenstedt neglected to invest time into relocating his forces within the region, and divulged his tactical formation into a series of broken bunkers and flushed trenches. Syndicalist sympathizers acted as reconnaissance spies to the International forces and returned information of the paucity of quality fortifications to Montgomery. As a myriad of reports flooded into Brussels, Duclos and Montgomery designed an elaborate attack plan, while Rudenstedt prepared for his counter-attack on Brussels. On April 12th, the German XV Corps stormed out of their fortifications and engaged the International in the eastern green-lands of Belgium. When the superior German forces pushed their advantage into the west, well organized DFP's broke down the integrity of the German infantry. Lacking sufficient tanks, the Germans withdrew to their fortifications, intending to draw the International into a massacre of defensive positions. But the 5th French Air Fleet had already dropped hundreds of tactical ammunition on the abandoned defenses. The German XV Corps returned to the former fortifications with little protection - Anti-Aircraft guns and heavy artillery had all but been destroyed and the Franco-British forces were a mere three miles behind the German bulk. Rudenstedt, sensing utter defeat, conceded Namur to the enemy, thus ending the campaign in Belgium after nearly a month of conflict. On April 20th, Wallonia was officiailly integrated into the Commune of France and Flanders was provided with an "independent" Syndicalist government.



March to the Rhine

As the springtime drew to a close, and the regions of the Alsace and Lorraine returned to French administration, the Second Weltkrieg rumbled on with the same ferocity as it had the previous two months. With Plan XVII fully operational, the French command in Paris cast their eyes on Straousberg in the South, and Eupen and Aachen in the North. This ambition was furthered by the prodigious desire of Field Marshall Makhno who's glare fixed upon the famous German Rhine. Alongside Bucard, Makno enacted a military plan that would launch a three-pronged assault on the German positions between the Meuse and the Rhine - the northern front aimed at Cologne - the central front aimed at Trier - and the Southern front aimed at Mainz. Inspired by the surprise British defense at Luxembourg and General Conde's victory at Colmar, the French Army departed from Nancy to Strasbourg and began the hundred mile journey into deep German territory. The Imperial High Command, under Generalfeldmarschall Hans Spediel, arranged "a wall of steel" behind the Rhine. Heavy Artillery lined the banks of the river, protected by hundreds of foxholes, bunkers, and shallow trenches. Makhno's army marched for three days towards the city, which bordered the Rhine - German artillery and river war ships docked at the Port Du Rhin bombarded the encroaching French Army. On May 11th, after a few hours of fighting inside the city, the German Army crossed the River Rhine and destroyed the crossing bridges, forcing the occupying army to endure the weight of the continuous German bombardment. With Stausbourg and the Rhine the clear divide between France and Germany, speculators began to predict that trench warfare would resume along the lengthy river.

With the fight in the Lowlands over, General Duclos marched to Liege and awaited orders from Makhno. The Field Marshall refused to concede stalemate, and ordered Duclos to push to the Rhine from the North. Although the German High Command was prepared to concede the land west of the Rhine, von Epp's aversion towards Makhno was too great to allow the Ukranian to simply frolic into German lands. Ignoring the French numeral superiority west of the River, von Epp utilized all his available resources to make the French march to the Rhine an utter hell. Epp and his 208,000 German defenders prevented Duclos' army of nearly 455,000 from moving a mere 25 miles in 5 days. After thousands of French casualties, Duclos arrived in Eupen, his army utterly exhausted. The brilliance of the ruthless German did not end at Eupen; when Makhno tried to push North along the river, hoping to relieve the pressure of bombardment on Strasbourg, Epp crushed the attacking French army outside of Mainz. Only was the French advance briefly relieved when General Montgomery and the Unionists crashed through German defenses at Aachen on May 21st. Montgomery, under orders from Wintringham at the War Office, suggested that Makhno scrap his second attempt at Mainz and instead concentrate his arms at Saarbruken. With infantry support from the Brits in Southern Luxembourg, Makhno occupied the region, but only after 23,000 crack German divisions attempted to take back the city from 28 French divisions. [5]

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By the 27th of May, it became apparent that the weakest river defenses, those around Freiburg, were soon to break under repeated French attacks. When the southern defenses of the Rhine burst open, von Epp turned his strategy into an all out offensive in the North. Epp hoped to force the French to extract their offensive divisions in the South to deal with a renewed German offensive in near Liege. The Kaiser gave Epp control over Operation Maas, a military offensive that aimed at driving Duclos and Montgomery back over the Meuse river in order to stall the broken Freiburg front. Only 32 hours after the fall of Freiburg - von Wiestersheim, Epp, and 10 German divisions from Koblenz launched a surprise attack on Eupen, supported heavily by the Luftstreitkräfte. The French Army was routed in less than a day, washing away the gains previously achieved at the expense of thousands of Frenchmen and Brits at the First Battle of Eupen. The victory was massive - the German army not only punched the first hole into the French offensive, but also had managed to surround the entire British Army in Aachen. Montgomery attempted to break free on the 29th of May, but was defeated by the better supplied German army. Historians generally regard the subsequent move as Epp's greatest mistake: instead of finishing off the encircled Republican Army, von Wiestersheim was ordered to attack the French VI Corps in Liege. General Epp believed that the reserve army in Cologne would deliver the final blow to the British Syndicalists, but unfortunately, the reserve force had become the official target of the 5th French Air Fleet.

The German Army defeated the VI Corps in Liege on the 1st of June. With only the city of Arlon standing between Epp's war machine and the undefended Meuse, Paris erupted into panic. Fewer than 10 divisions stood between Arlon and Paris, and draftable manpower had become tremendously exhausted. But the once energized German Army was similarly phased; Wiestersheim had fought six battles in just as many days and was low on replenished supply. Nonetheless, pressure from Epp convinced Wiestersheim to push onto Arlon, where several thousand Frenchmen in the treasonous spirit of Petain and Verdun, recited the words that were irrevocably declared on that battlefield two decades before: Vous ne les laisserez pas passer, mes camarades! The following battle required none of the same inspiration - the winded Germans were utterly defeated by the fresh reserve army on the defensive. The "Massacre at Arlon" ended Epp's aspirational offensive and made the reconquered Liege a vulnerability to the Germans. Despite stacking odds, Wiestersheim was able to defend Liege against Duclos until the 6th of June, when Duclos circumvented Liege and relieved the Unionists in Aachen on the 13th after the reserved German Army in Cologne had finally assaulted. With Epp's unable to save the Southern Rhien by punching a hole in the Meuse, the German defensive line in the South collasped and the march to the Rhine ended.



Lawrence of Germania

A month after the Republican Navy suffered its first devastating naval defeat at the hands of the Kaiserliche Marine, British morale in the war turned sourly low. With the Royal Fleet and the Imperial Germany Navy patrolling the Channel in numbers nearly twice the size of Cunningham's domestic fleet, the transport of further soldiers became an increasingly difficult operation. Shamed by their low participation on the continent [6] (although vital participation), public confidence began to wane in Mosley's commitment to the war-effort. Even when Major General Eric Dorman-Smith announced victory in Flanders, the homeland reception was luke-warm at best. Ironically, the British isles seemed to becoming more and more distant from the continental war - as the possibility for a general mobilization waned due to the impossibility of transportation, public interest returned to domestic issues. Although industry boomed to support the war-effort, the labor and the conflict were estranged in all degrees. For Eric Blair, or more commonly known as Comrade Orwell, this arrangement was a blissful compromise. Blair argued to Oswald that public content was a far better system than public engagement - especially if the war turned sour. Mosley was compelled to agree, but found his ideological dreams for a united revolution beneath his personal leadership slipping away. As a matter of fact, Montgomery, Smith, and Duclos received more media attention than the Chairman, who despite his efforts, was feeling the effects of irrelevance. But the ingenious of the shrewd politician still jolted out developed plots to ensure his own leadership remained firm and unchallenged. Mosley recognized that the public, since 1914, was presumably more consumed with the martial figures of the nation than their own national figureheads. Douglas Haig, T.E Lawerence, Ferdinand Foch, and Hindenburg were more recognizable names than Asquith, Poincaré, or Bethmann-Hollweg. Similarly, Montgomery and Epp's were at the forefront of dozens of newspapers, while Mosley and Wilhelm were shifted to the third page.

In early April, Mosley sought out to forge a cult of personality on an unprecedented scale. London quickly developed into a construction center of towering statues and overpowering murals of the most "honorable" Chairman. So large was Mosley's mid-war endeavor that when GDP reports were delivered by economic adviser, Christopher Hill, the main manufacturer of the recent growth was reported to be not military-industrial production, but domestic construction; undoubtedly attributed to Mosley's operation. Yet the completion of the project was still months away. Furthermore, homeland anticipation for British victories grew at an astounding rate - Maximists rallies cheered on the British forces and unforgiving revanchists yearned for another battle at the Marne. Moderate Syndicalists neglected the self-obsessed image of Mosley and embraced the pragmatic approach of Britain's lovable mute, Clement Atlee. After just two weeks of general construction, Attlee applied to Mosley for increased military investment, contrary to the advice proposed by Blair. The Chairman was reluctant to concede funds as his personal design was under development, but agreed to receive any alternative methods of investment. On April 20th, Mosley, Attlee, Phil Piratin, Bill Alexander, and Hill convened at Mosley's private residence - the cabal determined to restore Mosley's promised "British pride" alongside their guest, T.E Lawrence. Lawrence presented himself as a man of upstanding integrity and choice words. He appeared unusually gentle and frail - withdrawn from the discussion and yet very much involved with his mere presence. When Piratin asked if Lawrence was prepared to sacrifice himself for the Revolution, Lawrence responded with "Mr. Commissary, I am prepared to sacrifice myself for Britain." Disturbed by the response, Piratin poked around Lawrence's intentions further, but found only what seemed to be an impatient warrior stirring for his return to the battlefields.

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Mosley's cabinet during the war.

The "wandering agitator" used his experience as an epistolary to begin the global recruitment campaign for Lawrence's new organization, The Revolutionary Exportation Directory (RED). Lawrence intended to rally Syndicalists from around Europe to stir the German people into rebellion against their authoritarian Kaiser. His personal sentiment towards the British Armies in Aachen moved him to request permission from High Command to prepare an operation of strategic value in the highly industrialized Rhine and Saarland regions. Despite the enthusiasm of Mosley and Attlee, Piratin and Orwell remained hesitant; Orwell once commented "where are his Socialist credentials?" Mosley's response was short and conclusive: "Our veterans do not look towards Edmund Allenby for inspiration!" With approval from London, Lawrence and the RED's were airlifted into eastern France - French parachute planes, under shadow of night, shuttled the division of agitators over Epp's armies and into the industrial Rhineland. After the drop-off, Lawrence and nearly 400 of his RED practically vanished without another word. William Alexander suspected that the Feldgendarmerie had captured and executed the intruders without further investigation. Mosley was almost relieved by these suspicions, content that his attempts at reviving military interest had flunked and the people would return to their economic indulgences.

On May 11th, a surprise report emerged out of newly liberated New York City - directly from MacArthur's Office. The report was swiftly shuffled through the censorship departments and delivered to the New York Times - the report had been sent from Lowell Thomas, the American reporter that had made Lawrence famous. The forty-six year old reporter told President-General MacArthur that he was presently in western Germany; Thomas described the destruction of three mega-industrial complex's in Frankfurt. Furthermore, hundreds of Syndicalists had marched out of conscription centers in protest of the War, decrying the SPD as traitors to their largely pacifist electorate. When news of the incidents filed back to London, Orwell's Ministry of Truth was reluctant to publish the news to the state media. But when General Montgomery demanded to know of any changing military circumstances, Orwell was obliged to submit the reports to the General and pre-approved war-reporters on the front-lines. Finally, on May 16th, the Red Times' triumphantly published their headlines to the world: Lawrence of Germania! Suddenly, the British people were awake.

Unconfirmed reports continued their stream of information, first through the New York Times, then through the war-reporters, and ending in London with a series of speculative headlines. But the gravity of Lawrence's success was not underrated - dozens of military-industrial producers were destroyed, infrastructure was irrevocably damaged, and officials were assassinated in droves. As the Germans lost control of Frankfurt to four-hundred madmen and their idealistic traitors, Berlin buzzed with fear. When the German media reported "T. E Lawrence is back and raising hell," the Kaiser was infuriated. He ordered increased security in the city and hiked bounties for Lawrence's head. RED departed the city on June 1st and traveled North, destroying dozens of German supply routes. With the March to the Rhineland fully underway, the demand for supplies burst through the roof and Lawrence intended to deny the western armies any relief. For the following two weeks, Lawrence battled with German reinforcement squads and supply caravans, hindering the forward movement of the entire German army. After Lawrence was defeated in a brief skirmish, RED fled the region and presumably assimilated into local towns, awaiting its next undefended target. Mortified by the Syndicalist victories, the Kaiser called upon Wilhelm Frick, the director of the Feldgendarmerie. Frick proposed an elaborate plan designed to end Lawrence's campaign and terminate the activities of his ideological legion. Frick and Wilhelm organized the plan based off reports that Lawrence was moving East, presumably to Breslau.

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The only surviving image of T.E Lawrence in Germany.

On June 22nd, German state media reported on the war-time economic recovery that had lifted the Reich out of the recession. Citing the rejuvenation of advanced technology research facilities and large military industries in the city of Dresden, German authorities drew RED's to the trap by publishing the report to the public. Predictably, Lawrence and RED moved through the country and arrived in Dresden several days later, intending to sabotage the several local financial complexes. Dresdner Bank, one of the oldest private banking institutions in Germany, proved to be the Lawrence's target; the bank was showing signs of recovery, stimulating the economy through private initiatives across Germany. Although the bank operated in Berlin, Dresden, and Frankufrt, its investments were most heavily concentrated on the city. As the largest and most prosperous factory in Dresden, the Fredrick Audi complex provided employment for thousands of workers. In order to stir sufficient economic concern in the Dresdner Bank, Lawrence launched a sabotage campaign on the manufacturing plant. At first, RED purchased the loyalty of local workers - sympathizers with the Syndicalist movement were quick to buy into small Unionist organization with financial returns. But the Feldgendarmerie's intelligence reached deep into the conscious of the workers - many reported to German authorities the presence of RED - including details of sabotage and future attacks. When Lawrence finally secured himself inside the factory, preparing to destroy the entire complex, Syndicalist patrol guards were ambushed by elite German soldiers. Trapped inside, Lawrence sought escape through underground industrial tunnels, but was cornered by several officers. After several minutes in captivity, Lawrence was eventually liberated by agitated workers, who turned against the attacking Feldgendarmerie. But Lawrence's luck ran dry - and after several hours of battle - Lawrence fled the battlefield with a bullet lodged above his knee.

Lawrence abandoned his German campaign and was smuggled North by the the surviving RED sympathizers. British newspapers adulated the bravery of Lawrence, declaring his valor as the epitome of true British bravery. He returned home a wounded hero; his days of agitation finished, but his time as an adored national figurehead just beginning.



The Summer War (June 11th-August 15th)​

When the uncomfortable summer humidity returned to the European continent, the Second Weltkrieg was the onerous concern of the world. The pungent smell of decaying bodies across the Rhineland and in Southern Germany drove stationed armies into listless masses. The inexorable armies of Makhno and Duclos had finally faced their most irritating challenge at the Rhine, and with Germans galvanized at the river, French fear of total blunder became more and more acerbic. Both generals understood that a single error would allow the Kaisereich to reclaim its lost territory and turn the commanding officers into lampooned fools. In the north, the Syndicalist armies were still locked behind the largest German armies - unable to reach Cologne and break the river defenses. But Makhno's victories in the South had shattered the defenses in Baden-Württemberg and allowed Syndicalists to seize the regional capital at Stuttgart. Philipp Albrecht, Duke of Württemberg, and General Epp's coordinated a counter attack on June 12th, after Makhno was unable to capture Nuremberg. The Duke personally took command of the army, and undermined the fawned success of Makhno's Corps with a surprise victory at Stuttgart. Albercht restored King Ulrich of Württemberg to his throne and began to prepare for a deft counter-attack towards the Rhine.

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In the North, Duclos' gaze was set on the relief of the British Army in Aachen - which depended on the 78,000 German soldiers striking across Northern Luxembourg. The Germans deployed some of the heaviest artillery barrages towards Arlon, where the bulk of the French Army was stationed. On June 5th, after the 5th French Fleet was defeated in the air by the 11th Luftstreitkräfte fleet, Duclos attacked the German VIII Corps in Southern Liege with the entirety of his army. With the impending threat of a Luftstreitkräfte bombing campaign, Duclos demanded all of the available resources that Paris could provide for the battle. Luckily, an isolated Syndicalist riot in the city of Liege distracted the main contingency of the German Army. After two days of intense urban warfare, supported by the approaching French Army, the VIII Corps was entirely surrounded and compelled into a general surrender. Meanwhile, Albertcht's Offensive towards the Rhine was stalled at Konstanz. His German Army, which outnumbered Makhno by nearly 100,000 soldiers, became entangled in a French attempt to force trench warfare rather than surrender the eastern Rhine. After initial advances, the overextended German Army prepared their own defense in under three days, content to stall the French advance. On June 24th, Makhno shipped several divisions from the Koblenz peninsula across Lake Constance. As German engineers began construction of their defensive line, the French marine divisions blitzed across the eastern lake bank and shattered the German attack. With the Germans deploying hussars and thousands of infantry to the eastern bank, the entrenched French Army lept out of their trenches and charged across no-man's land. Provided with mobile sub-machine guns and capable barriers, the attack proved an astounding success for the attackers - practical trench warfare was official obsolete. The ability of the offenders to utilize machine guns and speedy squad assaults deprived the Germans of their traditional defense.

The fall of Liege created a linear offensive front for the French and British armies to utilize in coordination. Ignoring cynicism of Makhno's original plan, German positions in the Rhine were quickly overrun by the unrefined power of pure manpower. Most notably, the city of Mainz, long the bane of General Montgomery, fell to Lt. General Delestraint on the 4th of July, following a ten-day infantry battle involving 500,000 infantry soldiers and hundreds of regiments. When news of the victory at Mainz reached Makhno, the Field Marshall concluded that another Southern Offensive was in order. He informed Paris of his decision, despite more vocal opposition from the traditional militarists who objected to his alternating war-plans, and prepared to beat down the upstart Duke. On July 2nd (when the city of Mainz fell to Duclos), Makhno's subordinates scored a decisive victory in Stuttgart - King Ulrich was murdered by the disheveled French Corps as the army entered into the regional capital. To the west, Makhno seized Karlsruhe four days after the capture of Sttugart with support from the baffled 5th Air Fleet. The counter-attack in the South provided ample time for the Northern Armies to prepare for their ultimate assault on the Rhine. Duclos and recently appointed General André Corap launched two separate spearhead attacks on Cologne and Frankfurt, respectively. The two attacks were of massive importance to the war; Cologne and Frankfurt were two of the largest cities behind Berlin and provided immense financial support to the Kasisereich. The Kaiser's orders were simple - defend the cities at all costs.

The Battle of Frankfurt am Mein began on July 7th with the crossing of 221,000 soldiers across the Rhine. Ginsheim-Gustavsburg, positioned on the eastern bank of the Rhine, acted as the main German defensive position. Lined with batteries, bunkers, minefields, and landing craft obstructions, Gustabsburg was a defensive fortress. As the Rhine defense extended for dozens of miles to the South, the attack on Ginsheim would have to depend on the slight French numerical advantage, not the tactical ability of General Corap or von Rundstedt. During the afternoon of the 7th, the French 3rd fleet attempted to soften the German defenses by performing a series of bombing runs on the eastern bank, but Anti-Aircraft guns forced the fleet to return to base after only 15 minutes of bombing. The failure of the bombing run only alarmed the German Army - defenses were fully manned by 4:30 and the Luftstreitkräfte was prepped for attack. The French crossing fleet arrived around 5:00 after sustaining heavy losses due to the German air response - ships were overcrowded with the survivors of bombed ships. The French Army unloaded with the utmost speed, and hurried across the minefields in utter distress. Explosions and gunfire set the battlefield alight; chary French officers tried to restrain their troops from reckless charges, but the impending threat of an audacious German attack spurred the apprehensive army into action. An estimated 221,000 French soldiers dashed across the field, faced with the most intense German fire witnessed during the entire war. After an hour of close-quarter combat, the French Army secured a foothold near one of the river's branches. Utilizing their northern hold as a base for a further offensive, French regiments swung south and captured Bischofsheim, pinning the German defenses between Bischofsheim and the Rhine. German soldiers were routed from their defenses and fled south, exposing the town of Russelsheim to the east. For the next two days, until the 9th, French and German soldiers engaged in urban warfare over the township. French officers, separated from Corap's orders, were driven to break through Russelsheim and strip the German air-superiority by occupying the Frankfurt Rhein-Main Airport and Airship Base [6]. On the 10th, German reinforcements from the city joined the army in Russelsheim and shattered the French attackers in the town. But further support from the reserves did not arrive, and the Germans were caught attacking without sufficient manpower. The German counter-attack withered away and the French Army seized the airport the following day, ousting the German air-force from the city. After two days of limited fighting in the city, von Rundstedt abandoned the city, despite the orders of the Kaiser, and withdrew into the east.

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The Battle of Cologne, which began on July 8th and lasted until July 24th, is generally considered by contemporary and modern historians as the bloodiest battle of the war. Fought entirely within the city limits of Cologne, the battle lacked traditional strategy and order - urban fighting became the only tactic that both sides could deploy in the absence of reinforcements. Militarists upbraided Duclos' approach to the battle - tactics that included the intentional destruction of civilian residences in order to widen the zone of combat and exploit his numerical advantage. The German Army prioritized narrow avenues and smaller combative ranges, where the limited numbers of the army could be utilized to the same efficiency as a larger force. As casualties exceeded a hundred thousand by the end of the battle - French morale was replenished by their massive losses. Thousands of veteran soldiers perished in the collapse of the city bridges and the dense fighting near the Cologne Cathedral [7]. When German soldiers finally evacuated the city after weeks of combat, the French Army of 312,000 had been reduced to 199,000 soldiers, while the German Army was essentially destroyed by casualties. Left in smoldering ruins, the city was abandoned by many civilians in the subsequent months, seeking refuge from the unaccountable damage.

Throughout the duration of the Battle of Frankfurt and Cologne, Makhno had not remained idle. In just under two weeks, the Field Marshall fended off two attacks on recently acquired Würzburg and Bayreath. Also expecting a counter-attack in the North, Makhno ordered two of his four corps to reinforce Frankfurt in the North, due to worries that the city would not be able to fend off another attack. As Makhno had suspected, Frankfurt came under fire from the 19th of July to the 3rd of August. Avoiding the urban warfare of Cologne - Corpas utilized Makhno's reinforcements to keep his outnumbered forces away from the city. Instead of provoking total German commitment, Corap left several regions exposed to German attack in order to draw the army away from Frankfurt. His plan proved a strategic success, although von Rundstedt made tactical gains in the east. These gains were erased on the 15th of August, when Duclos captured Dusseldorf and endangered the integrity of von Rundstedt's army.



Deutsch Untergang (August 20-September 29)

As the Northern Rhine was burst open after the battles at Cologne and Frankfurt, Makhno prepared his final offensive against the German Lion. The Field Marshall and his armies would march through the lands of King Ruppercht, and turn northward towards the Elbe. Simultaneously, Duclos and the British Army would unleash a new strategy during their march to the eastern banks of the Elba: lightning warfare or Blitzkrieg. Although the official tactics of such a conflict were not yet determined, Makhno believed that any delay would alarm the eastern allies of the German Empire, and possibly draw the Austrians into the war. When Marshall Bucard completed a revised version of Makhno's operational war-plan, preparations for the final attack had already been complete. Operation Deutsch Untergang was rubber-stamped by Faure on August 5th and Mosley on August 6th - approved by a war-time convention of the CTU.

On August 7th, Pierre Monatte, the Delegate to Internal Security, received intelligence from moles inside the German Army, reporting that General Epp intended to launch an attack from Landshut to recapture Munich. The French Army in Munich numbered around 52,000 men - awaiting the main contingent of the French Army to arrive from Nuremberg. Forward command, located in Munich, was under threat from compromise if an attack reached the city. Due to the short proximity between the two armies (72 kilometers or 44 miles), an attack from Landshut would take less than two hours to develop. Fearing the loss of their forward command center, Général de corps d'armée Armingeat made a brazen decision to turn the tables and launch his own attack on Landshut. Astonished by the attack, stalwart German defenders previously united in collective solidarity were shattered by the peculiar military tactic. The outnumbered French attackers, stormed across the 44 miles between the two cities, winning a string of victories on the road to Landshut. When Guillaume arrived in the city on the 10th, the German defenders were quickly crumbling, many simply refusing to return to the fight. Epp's vanguard corps was encircled on the 11th and forced into a surrender. Makhno arrived in Landshut with reinforcements on the 11th, and grouped Armingeat's divisions into his Corps, driving the army a further 61 kilometers towards Regensburg. The undefended city was occupied on the 13th after German engineers failed to detonate the bridges across the Regen river.

Makhno spend four days in Regensburg before departing the city with 25 divisions. On the 17th of August, the French VI Corps began the long journey towards Bayreuth in northern Bavaria. Epp's sallied forth from the city and confronted Makhno across nearly 100 miles of vertical battlefield, exposed to German squad formations and upgraded Panzers. With cover from the hills, the German Army harassed Makhno's divisions as it pushed along the main roads - traps and artillery fire made the road to Bayreuth a living hell. Finally, on the 22nd, Epp's desperation to stop Makhno culminated in an open battle 23 miles south of the city. His unwillingness to utilize urban warfare to lessen Makhno's manpower advantage proved detrimental; on the open field, Makhno outmaneuvered Epp's and drove him east, away from Bayreuth. Unable to support any further defenses, Epp abandoned the prized city of Leipzig, which fell to Makhno's armored divisions on the 25th of August.

The "eastern blitz" began on August 8th with Duclos' attack from Frankfurt to Fulda. Provided with heavy mechanized and armor divisions, German armies were taken aback by the lighting strikes of Duclos' mechanical divisions and were driven to a near immediate retreat. The 5th French Air-Fleet, replenished, now provided the ground-work for Duclos' offensive; German defenses in Kassel were torn to pieces by a coordinated strategic bombing campaign. As the air-force provided strategic support, mechanized divisions raced to the city and crushed the sizable infantry divisions that defended the road to Kassel. Due to the lack of anti-tank artillery, German infantry depended on their outnumbered Panzer's to handle the incoming French armies. But this dependence proved detrimental - the British Army was equipped with the largest contingency of anti-tank guns and destroyed an average of ten Panzers every day. Unable to stop the unmatched wave of steel, the Germans conceded Kassel on the 16th, Bielefeld on the 23rd, Essen on the 24th, and Muenster on the 30th. On the 26th, British infantry crossed the small Gera River and were joined by Duclos' mechanized contingency - the combined army was the largest of the war; 56 infantry divisions with nearly 728,000 soldiers. General Montgomery smashed through 130,000 river defenders in under four days - capturing Erfurt on the 30th. Meanwhile, the 3eme Groupe de Chasse attacked the airfields of Wilhelmshaven with 556 fighters, laying waste to a key Luftstreitkräfte supply center and opening the war to the coast. The army in Muenster followed the air-force and secured the city on September 15th after two weeks of fighting with von Rundstedt's army.

The victory at Erfurt brought utter panic in Berlin. Duclos and Makhno were now joined by a united front and could utilize their combined force of arms to smash through the remaining obstacles on the way to Berlin. Reichskanzler Vorbeck departed from Berlin and relieved Epp of his command, assuming direct control of the remaining German armies in a desperate attempt to protect the Elba. But the German numbers had withered away beyond salvation - the French and British armies bore down the total might of the combined Syndicalist nations as air-control was asserted in totality. Makhno defeated Vorbeck at Magdeburg and stormed to the North, determined to pin the largest German army in Jutland. As Cottbust, Dresden, and Hannover fell to Montgomery and the British Corps, Duclos crossed the Elbe and prepared to encircle Berlin. On September 24th, Frankfurt an der Oder's defenses were shattered by dozens of French infantry attacks. Fearing capture, the German government fled Berlin and evacuated to Danzig, while the Kaiser was airlifted to his cousin's (Duke Adolf-Fredrich I of the Baltic) palace in Riga. In the north, Makhno scored victories at Bremen and Luneburg, pinning von Rudenstedt's 17 divisions between the French line in Holstein and an unfriendly social-democratic government in Denmark.

On September 23rd, as a territorial envelope surrounded Berlin, General Montgomery and General Duclos launched their combined attack on the German capital. Duclos attacked from the north-east, at Ebersalde, and Montgomery attacked from the south-west at Potsdam. The British divisions cut through the suburbs of Zehlendord, Dahlefm, and Schmargendorf with support from the Fifth French Air-Fleet. Simultaneously, Duclos hurried south and seized the township of Bernau bei Berlin, directly threatening the north of the city. As both the French and the British armies raced towards the Reichstag, the British mechanized tanks laid waste to thousands of residences. The German resistance was intense; French infantry struggled to make it across the river under heavy urban fire from nearby residences. The Spree river proved to be the greatest challenge for the French army; German civilians destroyed the bridges and actively resisted cooperation with their conquerors. But the crossing at the Spree did not matter for the British Army, which was already positioned on the southern bank of the river. Montgomery entered the ruined Reichstag on September 27th as the battle raged to a conclusion.

e37Ie4N.jpg
British soldiers hoist the international syndicalist flag above the Reichstag after the Fall of Berlin.



[1] Nationalist France occupied the majority of the Imperial French colonies and was centered around Algiers. Wealthy exiles, aristocrats, and democratic Republicans composed the vast majority of the French population.
[2] For more information, please read: Loyal we Began, Loyal we Remain: A History of the British Empire
[3] British anti-aircraft guns were still in the preliminary stages of official development and were not yet manufactured on an industrial scale.
[4] This inability is often regarded as the turning point in the war; hundreds of alternate histories have been written regarding the peculiar incident.
[5] Historians still contemplate why the Germans attempted such a foolish brazen assault when German manpower was diminishing.
 
Last edited:

Scrapknight

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Now that was an update! Great writing, and can't wait to see what happens in the aftermath.

What happened with Russia, anyway? They seem awfully quiet...
 

LordTempest

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Awesome update! It appears that this Weltkrieg (or the war against Mitteleuropa at least) really will be over by Christmas! :)

(also you linked to my AAR so doubleplusgood.)
 

99KingHigh

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Awesome update! It appears that this Weltkrieg (or the war against Mitteleuropa at least) really will be over by Christmas! :)

(also you linked to my AAR so doubleplusgood.)

Indeed. Twas a surprisingly swift victory over those Germans! And yes, I quoted you again. Just make sure you repay the favor. :p

That was intense. :blink:

Certainly was! Wrote that update for nearly 11 hours straight! ;)

Good update!

Much obliged. :)

Now that was an update! Great writing, and can't wait to see what happens in the aftermath.

What happened with Russia, anyway? They seem awfully quiet...

Russia's just sitting around, staring down a massive Siberian state and doing the general nothingness of comfortable Tsar's. If something happens, I'll be sure to drop a line!


Much glory to supreme invincibile socialist ideal.



Well, I hope you enjoyed the update, it certainly was hell to write. So...many...battles... :blink:

Anyway, I've got mid-terms this upcoming week. And although mid-terms usually delay AAR's, because I'm off from school the days after, I'm hoping to get the postbellum updates up quickly. Depending on my mood, the next two updates will hopefully bring us up to the start of the Civil War. Until then! :)
 

LordTempest

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And yes, I quoted you again. Just make sure you repay the favor. :p

I might not be able to, sadly. I certainly hope the UoB in my game will go down the Maximist/Mosley route, or failing that at least the Federationist - but by God if they go Autonomist I'll smash their sorry asses before you can say 1st People's Popular Militia of Penmynydd, Llangefni and Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch!
 

Scrapknight

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I might not be able to, sadly. I certainly hope the UoB in my game will go down the Maximist/Mosley route, or failing that at least the Federationist - but by God if they go Autonomist I'll smash their sorry asses before you can say 1st People's Popular Militia of Penmynydd, Llangefni and Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch!

...so you'll beat them within four years, you mean? :p
 

LordTempest

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...so you'll beat them within four years, you mean? :p

And if the Germans beat me to it, I'll break them up into a bunch of tiny states instead! *shakes fist*
 

99KingHigh

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And if the Germans beat me to it, I'll break them up into a bunch of tiny states instead! *shakes fist*

And what if the Congregationalists under glorious Annie Kennedy triumph?
 

LordTempest

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DensleyBlair

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I might not be able to, sadly. I certainly hope the UoB in my game will go down the Maximist/Mosley route, or failing that at least the Federationist - but by God if they go Autonomist I'll smash their sorry asses before you can say 1st People's Popular Militia of Penmynydd, Llangefni and Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch!

...so you'll beat them within four years, you mean? :p

No, it will obviously be an immensely swift victory. :p

This thread seems to have somehow slipped from my subscriptions, so I've spent the past few days catching up with my acquired reading deficit. Great stuff as ever, King. The journey to the oncoming civil war has indeed been most exciting to read about.