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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Dofon

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Poor Mosley; always getting arrested in 1940 or so, convergence is painful innit. Nice to see Wintringham and especially Lawrence execute a nice seizure of power... but I repeat an earlier question, Where are Lawrence's Socialist credentials?
edit: d'oh, 1938; being in the spotlight is just bad for ol' Os!
 
Last edited:

99KingHigh

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Gripping stuff, but that's not much of a civil war! I imagine it all goes down hill from here :p

Also, is that beginning section meant to imply the Union State won the second American civil war? If so, that'd be a refreshingly rare result!

Oh yes. Everything goes down from here. ;)

And at the present, the AUS looks set to win the ACW.

And so it begins.

And so it does!

Very nicely written, it's like a combination of the Thermidorian reaction and a successful operation Valkyrie.

So Lawrence has got Mosley secured and seemingly taken control over the country, the Oxford armies have been turned around. It all seems to fit too nicely, I'm scared that someone will cock up and allow the Red Baronet to escape and gather further support.

Also, Monty saving the day by talking to the press and giving interviews about himself, who'd thought! :D

Yes, I certainly hope that doesn't happen... :)

And TTL Monty has an ego. ;) As if he didn't have one in OTL. :p All hail the Spartan General?

Do the RED even have an ideology anymore, or do they just follow Lawrence?

Good question. I shan't spill a word. :p

Poor Mosley; always getting arrested in 1940 or so, convergence is painful innit. Nice to see Wintringham and especially Lawrence execute a nice seizure of power... but I repeat an earlier question, Where are Lawrence's Socialist credentials?
edit: d'oh, 1938; being in the spotlight is just bad for ol' Os!

And a fair question to ask.... :p
 

LordTempest

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DensleyBlair

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Lawrence seems like just what the UK –or UB, I suppose – needs at the moment. (Well, maybe not exactly, but he's good enough given the other candidates.) I say let's let him get on with his work and allow events to unfold in a similar pleasing fashion.
 

Viden

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It is obvious that Lawrence is the Royalist mole the AUS is talking about. I hope Maximist loyalists put a decent counterattack.
 

99KingHigh

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Too early? :p

Yes, too early.

Lawrence seems like just what the UK –or UB, I suppose – needs at the moment. (Well, maybe not exactly, but he's good enough given the other candidates.) I say let's let him get on with his work and allow events to unfold in a similar pleasing fashion.

Typical Whiggish moderate. :p

It is obvious that Lawrence is the Royalist mole the AUS is talking about. I hope Maximist loyalists put a decent counterattack.

Shoo with your theories! :p


Some event files sorcery told me so ...

Burn the witch!
 

DensleyBlair

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NikephorosSonar

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Whigs would adopt anything as long as you can convince them that it's the future :D
 

99KingHigh

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DensleyBlair

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Nikolai

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It occurs to me it's been all too long since I last commented on this AAR. Still following and enjoying the writing a lot.:)
 

Tommy4ever

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I forgot how excellent this AAR was! The war update for great, I loved seeing the LOL playing a role and whole update leading up the the coup was amazing!

You really are a great writer, looking forward to much more. :)

Write on Comrade!
 

99KingHigh

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p0lHF9v.png


To declare that Lawrence's administration incurred a great movement of Liberalization upon the British isles would be a gross overstatement. Delirious with the rapid success of his campaign against the Maximist cabal, the victorious General concluded that his reign would circulate around a "restoration of normalcy." His inheritance, however, was not one of democratic values or any degree of normalcy - only the Armed Forces and the subdued minorities found great cause to be enamoured with Lawrence upon his ascension. For the time being, Lawrence remained occupied with bureaucratic concerns and the formation of a sustainable cabinet. Mosley's control had altered the British constitution (or rather, a loose collection of Mosley's edicts) to such an extent that the very words of the new constitution (again, Mosley's edicts) could be considered null and void by his mere deposition. Lawrence decided to interpret his constitutional role as Mosley's direct successor, assuming the absolute responsibilities of central authority for as long as order would permit. Although this interpretation centralized total authority around Lawrence, the ambition to rule with decree was not compatible with his ideological position to reorganize the political system. Acting in his capacity as General Secretary, Lawrence dissolved Mosley's loose mélange of executive edicts, composing the constitution, and restored the former constitution that had been established after the Revolution. The constitutional restoration threw Mosley's institutional creations into utter dismay - any remaining establishments that claimed loyalty to the deposed leader were deprived of justification by the edict revocations. By restoring the old constitution, Lawrence had forged himself an image as a reformer, and crushed sporadic loyalties to the fallen leader. Many believed these early actions would pave a path to a partisan declaration of allegiance, but Lawrence's commitment to government remained firmly away from factional divides. Despite his administrative reforms and aloof attitude to parties, Lawrence's regime was gripped around a fist of military iron - lacking all the components necessary in traditional liberalization.

Lawrence's first days in official government were defined by three edicts passed immediately preceding his reformation. The first two edicts were enshrined into the old constitution as part of the third, which integrated selected orders from Mosley's regime and Lawrence's pre-reform regime into the restored constitution. While many were skeptical that Lawrence was draping his authoritarianism in so called "polis reformation," most were satisfied that at the least, the bulk of the original constitution would be restored. The first edict to be integrated (according to the third), gave the General Secretary his immutable choice in regards to his cabinet. This edict superseded the legislative process that had dominated the previous CTU convention - and empowered the General Secretary to form his coterie without congressional approval. Lawrence's hostility towards the wavering legislative process was reinforced by his criticism of the CTU's intense partisanship. The second edict manifested this powerful skepticism; political parties were once again banned and all nominations were submitted as purely independent candidates. These acts weakened the restored CTU to levels of diminished authority unheard of during most of Mosley's regime. Delegates tried to entice Lawrence with promises of legislative loyalty, but the General's faith was invested into military government and military government alone. These motions seemed more as promises of decisive action rather than ideological alignment. With members of the political elite on all sides questioning Lawrence's socialist credentials, the General rushed to provide a cabinet that would put the issue to rest. Caught between military loyalties and socialist exemplars, Lawrence unswerving pursued the former. He asked General Wintringham to accept his appointment as General Secretary, while Lawrence assumed the traditional leadership title as Chairman of the Congress of Trade Unions. The renewed split of the General Secretary and the Chairmanship formulated a clear division of power - but Lawrence's hegemony over Wintringham was an unspoken commandment. As the Chief of General Staff of the Republican Army and the General Secretary, Wintringham at last rose from his solemn title as "the Last Federationist" to a powerhouse position in government. Indeed, Lawrence's assumption of power deviated from traditional Maximist thought, although neither did his actions align with Federationist principles. It appeared that Lawrence had created his own ideology, constructed around law and order, and a profound reluctance to return democratic power to the masses.

uJ8DnU5.jpg

The famous British propaganda poster enticing liberated workers to "Vote Labour." Although it was neither an elective season nor a party with ties to the former Labour Party, the phrase "Vote Labour" came to mean support for the government.

Lawrence and Wintringham, still lacking a finalized cabinet, nonetheless pursued a comprehensive agenda, aided by the (now advisory) Central Committee. With domestic gaze returning to Bristol, the "dual-generals" sought to establish their decisive itinerary by repressing the conflict with all due haste. Furthermore, Lawrence hoped that a crackdown in Bristol would quell concerns that his socialist allegiance was thin at best. During his first address to the public, Lawrence promised a pragmatic government determined to not only restore constitutional normalcy, but also civilian normalcy. His first step was to empower the divisions surrounding Bristol, and to initiate a city-wide crackdown across the city. While many feared that Lawrence's government would appear preferential to the Yellow-Banner, Wintringham ordered Lieutenant-General Rickerby of the XXV Corps to subdue the unrest in the city. Although the local garrison had not been evicted from the town, and the violence remained concentrated to roaming partisan street gangs, the disorder reflected badly on the administration. Only three days after the the November 15th Coup, British soldiers poured into Bristol and unleashed a storm of repressive artillery and gunfire. Gathering crowds were dispersed without a thought for ideology - both Maximists and Yellows were shot down in rows if they dared to resist the 39,000 soldiers that occupied the city. The Maximists, more so than the Yellows, resisted the supression. They believed that a successful resistance in Bristol could force a counter-coup and return the nation to Mosley's control. Stafford Cripps, the ambitious leader of the local Maximists, declared himself the legitimate successor to Mosley's government and sought recognition from the surrounding regions. But the ruthless persecution of Rickerby's legions was too much for Cripps to resist; 2,100 dissenters and local civilians were killed and almost 500 garrisoned militias lost their lives as well. While some believed that the Maximist resistance would invoke a sense of martyrdom, the return of order in Bristol was enough to calm the people's heart. It was more than evident - the British people were tired of war. But the people soon realized that conflict was to become an integral part of their lives; Canadian bombers and the continuation of the war in Europe pestered the people of Albion to no end. Only the perception of serenity could soothe the people into comfortable normality.

SMzR0zA.jpg

Street fighting before Rickerby's intervention in Bristol.

Lawrence believed he could ease the British mind by showing the strength of his cabinet. With Morrison and Phiratin absent from London[1], Lawrence forced Wintringham to appoint John Strachey as Commissary for the Exchequer: Strachey appeared a civilian with a textualist approach to Marxism. However, his internal loyalties were to the military. As a former serviceman, Strachey was the perfect selection - a civilian on the outside, and an old soldier on the inside. Despite an uncomfortable connection to Mosley's government, Strachey became the spiritual successor to Attlee's Five Year Plan. He relaxed previous dependence on forced labor, but intensified governmental concentration on military-industrial complexes. Strachey operated with a blank check from Lawrence, and tried to prove that his Marxist loyalties were indeed pure - uncorrupted by Mosley Maximism. He strove to close the labor camps, and after only two weeks in office, succeeded in his endeavor. Thousands of yeomans, Federationists, and Royalists were liberated from their camps and let free. But the liberation proved an administrative disaster; Royalists targeted local townships as revenge for their lengthy imprisonment and Federationists attacked central officials in droves as retribution. The arrival of soldiers only intensified the imprisoned hatred - they had once been thrown into jail by these same soldiers and now were determined to resist another suppression. Concerned that the situation could spill into the main production facilities and endanger the nearby population, Lawrence asked Strachey to contact the retired Blair and the resting Montgomery. Both, having withdrawn from the public scene in the weeks following the coup, returned to London and convened with Lawrence to resolve the issue. The men were of a most liberal mind - they advised the Chairman to appease the agitators with sufficient compensation. Blair especially believed that this motion could soften the public view of Lawrence and win over new support from an infuriated mass that had been contained by Mosley. The General heeded the advise of Blair and offered the liberated masses immediate employment and free housing. Exhausted by their years of toil, the liberated populace quietly accepted the offer from London and resumed their lives. Many would return to the camps and work the facilities as they were transformed into massive industrial powerhouses. Given the delicacy of the situation, contemporaries believed that Lawrence had handled the situation with the most shrewd procedure. They admired his "liberal" advancements, and ignored his repressive programs in favor of those that made the newspaper headlines. But Lawrence's image of a reformer, an image that many still hold today, was a hushed deception. A desire for vengeance consumed Lawrence.

tuIG1P1.jpg

Liberated workers from former camps are employed as experienced workers in military-industrial complex's, often their former camps.

If there was one issue that Lawrence could not be swayed, however, it would be the judicial concern of Mosley and his government. During the antebellum, Mosley had allegedly stacked the Supreme Workers Court with his own representatives. But due to confidentiality regulations regarding the SWC, the allegations could not be confirmed unless the SWC published an internal report. These regulations, drawn during the Revolution, ensured that partisanship remained entirely divided from judicial rulings. In order to protect the separation of powers, the identities of judges were held in absolute confidentiality - only could a selective congressional committee, sworn to secrecy, replace a judge upon his retirement or death. The selection process, above all, would endure intensive scrutiny; sitting judges would determine if the congressional selection was sufficiently non-partisan or if another candidate would have to be selected. These rules had proved fool-proof during previous administrations, but Mosley's reign of constitutional neglect, which branched into all spheres of British society, could not be trusted to have respected the integrity of the judiciary. With no official recognition that Mosley had violated the constitution while it was still in effect, no one could confirm if the allegations were justified. Because the identities of the judges remained purely confidential, the only way that Lawrence and the executive branch could uncover the truth would be to interpret judicial rulings and look for ideological leanings. The indications of partiality first emerged on November 25th, when a judicial ruling acquitted Mosley's Chief of Staff and three undersecretaries. The trend continued the following day, as accelerated trials produced sham results with an obvious bias towards the defeated regime. Because there was no proper procedure to deal with partisanship in the judiciary, Lawrence sought to circumvent the constitutional law of non-intervention and rescue the nation from a possible disaster: Mosley's acquittal.

Lawrence approached his own cabinet first, hoping to distance himself from the dirty-work that he knew would follow from this illicit endeavor. With the utmost reverence to his schemes, the Chairman requested that Eric Blair, now Commissary for the Home Department, entice support to uncover this assured conspiracy. Commissary Blair, with aid from Fleming, the Director of the Secret Service Bureau, amassed a sophisticated domestic spy network to uncover the identities of the Supreme Justices. They operated through intense interrogation of imprisoned Mosleyites, but this approach proved unworkable, as the prisoners refused (likely on legal advise) to avoid the inquiries of the authorities. This general trend only elevated suspicions that the judiciary was a pocket defense by the former regime. Still unable to uncover the hidden identities, Blair and Fleming pursued the members of the former regime who had already been acquitted. Specifically, the duo targeted William Edward David Allen, Mosley's Chief of Staff. Allen, upon receiving his freedom, self-exiled himself to France with permission from Dunois. As to ensure that the interrogation did not harm ties to the French, who were skeptical of unstable British politics and the new government, Blair and Fleming urged Lawrence to appoint a persuasive and forceful Commissary for Foreign Affairs. Lawrence appointed General Montgomery with little hesitation, and ordered the Commissary to fulfill the requests laid out by Blair and Fleming. Montgomery and his under-secretary, James Maxton (an Autonomist), departed to Paris, where they urged Dunois to allow British intelligence to investigate William Allen. Dunois approved the notion, not on the brash insistence of Montgomery, but on the elegant and educated modus operandi of Maxton. The undersecretary proved himself valuable to Lawrence, securing Allen's temporary extradition back to the Isles. Once returned, Allen was tortured into confession - he admitted that Mosley had stacked the judiciary and slipped the name of one of the judges, Frank Soskice. As the son of an exiled Russian Revolutionary, Soskice was no surprising appointment by the Maximist administration - although his youth made Allen's confession doubtable. But upon further inquiry, Soskice was discovered and forced to admit his participation in the stacking scandal. Like a stretch of dominos, each Judge quickly acquiesced his involvement in Mosley's maneuver and submitted to the SSB's judgement. None survived Lawrence's wrath; the RED promptly executed all the judges without trial and silenced any witnesses. To further diverge from history's profession of Lawrence as a liberal, for the rest of his tenure, Lawrence refused to submit any judicial nominations, but told Congress and the public that in fact, Mosley had not stacked the judiciary. Henceforth, all major judicial decisions were made by a quiet cabal of Lawrence and his supporters with the myth of a judiciary.

These decisions did not bode well for the former Maximist cabinet. The imprisoned, including Mosley himself, were well aware that Lawrence's public show was a clever sham. Mosley could not get expect to receive a fair trial, and despite his protestations, he was thrown before a kangaroo court (with a hidden Lawrence as the presiding judge) and sentenced to death. His testimony was undermined by the requite of Nye Bevan, who had emerged from the November Coup as a changed man. Bevan had publicly denounced his former master's political repression and felt personally betrayed by Mosley's deception; his change in direction was so profound that Bevan had actually aided his former enemy, Blair, as one of his "hosts" in the weeks preceding the coup. Bevan's testimony put the final nail on Mosley's case, but to take his hatred for Mosley as an acceptance for the present government would be a great wrong. With the state media once again liberalized and diversified[2], Bevan transformed the Red Times into a Lawrence-skeptical tabloid machine. Nonetheless, the Times proudly declared as its headline, on December 7th, Lawrence of Brittania executes Mosley! Rejoice! Indeed, the reign of the tyrant had finally come to a total end.

The Reykjavík Crisis
Few countries, not even the Swiss Confederation, could claim the total irrelevance of nations that Iceland had managed to attain in the 20th century. An isolated island of particular value, but of no conflict or claim, the Icelandic people enjoyed the benefits of true neutrality - no envious nation looked upon the Iceland and hungered for concession. Iceland's interaction with the foreign world remained firmly financial in essence - and these amicable relations shielded the financial system from high volatility due to its small size. But as the European market became more internalized, thanks to socialist influences, and alliances began to centralize finances within their own confederations, Iceland's fishing industries and other services were replaced by more accessible options across the globe. Iceland was able to endure the economic shift and pursue economic independence with a system of privatizations and selective interventions that promoted investment from the Western Hemisphere. As the economy diversified, industrial prominence increased, but so did demand for fuel and energy. With the natural resource economy based entirely around fisheries, imports from the German Empire and the United States became the most valuable foreign commodity to help fuel the industrializing process. This change to industrial and resource focus did not produce the desired effect of economic autonomy, as the nation now depended on external oils, rather than external products. Such a delicate system of reliance could not sustain for long - Civil War in America and the Second Weltkrieg all but cut off Iceland's imperative ties to the fuel-supplying nations. Industrial products exploded in price as the cost of production rose in value, due to the scarcity of fuels. The situation was not aided by unavoidable fluctuations in fish prices; some nations achieved nutritional independence while others struggled to feed their own nation. The unreliable cost of fish and its production created a general sense of unease as local economies began to suffer from foreign imprint.

Throughout the duration of the conflict, initial Canadian optimism about the tempo of the war began to wane as time proceeded. King Edward's only great achievement of the Second Weltkrieg had been nearly a year earlier, when the Royal Navy decimated the Republican Fleet in the English Channel and halted the flow of British reinforcements into France. Grand Admiral Ernle Chatfield, 1st Baron Chatfield, the most recognizable Canadian military figure, had been restrained to merely keep the remains of the Republican fleet ported at Cherbourg. With Canadian manpower still unable to match that of the Republican Army, and the Germans in total withdrawal, Canada guarded its remaining manpower. Ernest Charles Ashton, the Chief of the General Staff and former war-hawk, reluctantly held Canadian forces in the homeland; the Royal disaster of the Marseillaise landings and the capture of 100,000 Canadian soldiers in June had wrecked popular morale and weakened the prospect of a British landing. At the same time, political reluctance was seeping through the veil of wartime commitment - three by-elections all produced Liberal victories in solid Tory territory. Prime Minister Bennett, despite the criticism, remained dedicated to the war-effort. Meanwhile, shifts in public opinion meant opposition to the war was no longer a political pariah - opposition leader William Mackenzie King bluntly stated that he believed the war had been handled out of sentimental discourse and not pragmatism. Furthermore, tensions between the Canadians and the British exiles were building along similar political grounds. Local nationalists were infuriated that the largely upper-class British exiles could avoid the war-draft, while middle to lower class Canadians were enlisted into the Armed Forces. These enlistees were fighting a cause for the British, not for themselves, and this served only to worsen morale and intensify animosity between the nationalities.

The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, a democratic socialist political party, led by J. S. Woodsworth, first compared the domestic conflict between the wealthy exiles and the modest Canadians as early signs of a class struggle. This vision caught the attention of Canada's social-liberal darling, Joseph E. Atkinson, who sought to turn Woodsworth's exclamation into a speculative declaration. Atkinson published a series of worrying articles in his newspaper, the Toronto Star, which put further strain on the delicate national relationship. Atkinson's publications drew the interest of the Clerico-nationalists, right-wing québécois nationalists who opposed aiding the British on religious context. Among the clerico-nationalist ranks was Henri Bourassa, the owner of the Quebec newspaper, Le Devoir. Bourassa and his editors used Le Devoir to organize massive anti-draft protests against the government. The protesters, many of them staunch québécois nationalists, gripped the national eye and reminded the Prime Minister that his government had lost popular consensus. Not only did the nationalists demand the end of the draft, but they demanded Quebec autonomy as compensation for thousands of lost "French" lives. Concerned that the political unrest could endanger the restoration, King Edward called upon his political pet to discuss methods of relieving the national anxiety. Prime Minister Bennett and Sir Dudley Pound arrived at Rideau Hall determined to resolve the crisis. Edward understood that much of the criticism of the war was grounded in the belief that support for the conflict was purely sentimental. With his ambition to reclaim his father's crown unchanged, Edward ordered Bennett and Pound to organize a "mini-cabinet" of British émigré intellectuals who could launch a pragmatic campaign against war-skepticism. As Pound was far too associated with unconcealed partisanship, the admiral refused participation in the new cabinet. However, Pound did agree to work with the Prime Minister to find an appropriate list of British politicians, economists, and thinkers who could spearhead a new wave of pro-British sentiment.

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J.S Woodsworth, leader of the Socialist Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (left). Joseph E. Atkinson, prominent editorial writer and social-liberal political thinker (centre). Henri Bourassa, leader of the clerico-nationalist movements (right).


Leadership of the new Committee was devolved to three political giants: Lord Beaverbrook, Viscount Herbert Samuel, and Sir Halford Mackinder. The three representatives were men of the elderly physique (Beaverbrook was the youngest, at 59), but were known for their vivacity and commitment to their specific cause. Beaverbrook was the classical example of the ideal émigré - he had built himself a vast media Empire before the Revolution and was an experienced war veteran, both honors which were stripped by the Socialist Revolution. The old Lord had drummed up war support by warning Canadians that their own accomplishments would be stripped away by Syndicalist influences if they did not commit to reconquest. A favorite among war-hawks, Beaverbrook's appointment to the Restoration Committee was an undoubted nod to loyal Conservatives who maintained their support to the war-effort. In contrast, Viscount Samuel's appointment was a move of appeasement to the Liberal Party. Lord Samuel was the only British émigré in the House of Lords to serve as a Liberal, and had come to represent a war position similar to the opinion of Louis St. Laurent's. Staunchly opposed to Communist encroachments, Samuel had supported the war but opposed C-7 on ideological terms. He rebuked the Liberal's growing base as a home for "Canadian Nationalists and Anti-British sentiment" and pledged to represent the opinions of all residents within the Dominion. To balance the obvious distinction between the Liberal Samuel and the Tory Beaverbook, Pound and Bennett concluded that the Chairman of the new Committee would be a moderate pragmatic. Sir Halford Mackinder, aged 77, was selected to be the middle ground. A noted economist and geopolitical historian, Mackinder had been one of the founders of the London School of Economics and its Director from 1903 to 1908. Furthermore, Mackinder had served as a Scottish Unionist M.P in Glasgow before the Revolution and was noted as one of the most influential early 20th century intellectuals. Because Mackinder's position was moderated between the opinions of Beaverbrook and Herbert, Mackinder was the simplest choice to maintain stability in the new Committee. After Parliament approved the charter for the new institution, the triumvirate prepared for a publicity campaign to restore faith in the war effort.

Beaverbook initiated the media campaign with a systematic process of endorsements from local politicians in the conservative constituencies of Alberta. The empowered local party, the Alberta Social Credit Party, threw their support behind Beaverbook and paved the way for an eventual endorsement from the Social Credit Party of Canada leader, John Horne Blackmore. Meanwhile, Samuel advertised his position in the progressive Canadian provinces, such as Quebec, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia. Viscount Samuel's role in the campaign was far and beyond, the most important; his constituents were most skeptical of the war and most in need of persuasion. He campaigned alongside the Duke of Gloucester, who carried much of the weight of his brother's popularity. As one of the leading military minds in the country, the Duke of Gloucester would often approach concerned mothers and console them - offering personal gratitude for their sons brave service. Although the extent of Henry's and Samuel's impact is ambiguous, active resistance to the draft began to diminish and life in the liberal communities returned to normalcy. Only Quebec, still determined to advance its Catholic nationalism, refused to back down from Ottawa's fierce demands. While Beaverbook and Samuel won over the nation, Mackinder carefully monitored the international situation.

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Sir Halford Mackinder (left), Lord Beaverbrook (centre), and Viscount Herbert Samuel (right).


In early December, Bjarni Benediktsson, the Icelandic Foreign Secretary, arrived in Ottawa to speak with Bennett and C.D Howe. Although such a meeting was not to be considered a major issue, both the Prime Minister and the Minister for National Defense attended the meeting with their corresponding agenda's. Benediktsson, a member of the right-wing Icelandic Independence Party, had been sent by President Ásgeir Ásgeirsson to negotiate terms of an economic deal that would allow massive importation of Canadian and American fuel into Iceland. President Ásgeirsson's conservative agrarian Progressive Party, Prime Minister Stefán Jóhann Stefánsson's centre-left Social-Democrat Party, and Benediktsson's right-wing Independence Party, were concerned that the worsening financial situation would expose their loose coalition to attacks from the People's Unity Party, a Socialist party with ties to the British Federationists. Benediktsson and Ásgeirsson were also under fire from the popular far-right Nationalist Party, which demanded authoritarian policies and economic autarky. Before Benediktsson and the Prime Minister could complete an easy trade deal, Mackinder demanded that the Prime Minister stall the negotiations and meet with the Committee. Bennett agreed and left the negotiations, urging Benediktsson to remain in the capital until the issue of concern was resolved. When Bennett inquired as to why he had been dragged out of the negotiations, Mackinder informed Bennett that an amicable alliance with the Icelandic government and a more lucrative trade deal could provide the Canadian Army with a base to threaten the Union. Once Mackinder had provided the same information to the King, Mackinder assumed control of the negotiations with Benediktsson and overhauled the original agreement. Halford proposed that the Icelandic government concede naval and fishing waters near Greenland to the Royal Navy, and offered Benediktsson with more fuel than he had previously requested. The Chairman believed that this first step would pave the path to a full political and military alliance - capable of turning the tide of the war against the British. Benediktsson agreed without contention and returned to Reykjavík with the treaty.

When the treaty was presented before the government, Ásgeirsson expressed his execrable contempt for the treaty. The naval agreement would, effectively, be a territorial concession to Canada that would strip the fishing rights of thousands of fisherman. Although Stefánsson and Benediktsson believed that Iceland was bound to continue its conversion to an industrial economy, especially with the new fuel supply, the President's Progressive Party was far too dependent on its fisherman and agrarian electorate to permit the treaty to be presented before the Althing. But the Independent Party and the Social Democratic Party relied on an industrial base that exceeded that of the Progressives, and although the President's party was the largest in the legislature, an angered industrial workforce would decide the fate of future elections. Unable to compromise, the Prime Minister threatened to propose the treaty without the President's consent. Fully aware that the combined members of the IP and the SDP would be large enough to pass the bill with scattered PP support, Ásgeirsson submitted his resistance and threw his full support behind the treaty. When the document was first revealed to the public, the fastidious coastline people decried the fallible legislation. Fishermen across the nation departed from their normal activities to protest the legislation put before the legislature. The protesters flung insults at the government, and called them malefactors and traitors to the very center of the Icelander economy. Meanwhile, the Socialist Party, formed from the Communist Party of Iceland and splinters from the SDP, received cross-benches as SDP members defected from the government. Hard Nationalists and committed Progressives also abandoned the government as the coastline protests continued to swell.

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Foriegn Minister Bjarni Benediktsson (left), President Ásgeir Ásgeirsson (centre), and Prime Minister Stefán Jóhann Stefánsson (right).

On December 29th, Einar Olgeirsson, a prominent Socialist, organized the first anti-government protest in Reykjavík. Urban protesters, guided by the People's Unity Party (Socialist Party), marched in solidarity with their fisherman comrades. They accused the government of choosing a lethargic option, rather than pursuing more advantageous deals with the Canadians. As the insidious agitation bubbled into wide-spread resistance, concerned Icelander politicians began to reconsider the agreement. But when the opposition proposed a formal bill to block the treaty, free-market entrepreneurs and industrial social-democrats accelerated the bill and passed it through the Althing with a slim majority. Almost immediately, sentiment in the streets of the capital burst from passive resistance into violent chaos. Soldiers were sent to calm the crowds, but the armed forces were overwhelmed in the face of civilian disobedience. As the streets radicalized, Olgeirsson began to call for open Revolution against the government; his suggestions were met with emotional praise and conviction. President Ásgeirsson, fearing the worst, placed an emergency call to the Iceland embassy in Ottowa. The ambassador, Thor Thors, convened with the Prime Minister, Mackinder, and General Ashton. The ambassador made an official plea for military aid and a gentle alteration in the treaty's context. Thors suggested that the fishing rights granted to the Royal Navy be revoked and that instead, the Canadian Army and Navy would be allowed to port in Reykjavík. His offer was nothing short of a full alliance. Mackinder, startled by the turn of events, agreed to the compromise and asked the Prime Minister for the King's consent. When Bennett agreed, Ashton sent word to Admiral Chatfield to abandon his action at Cherbourg and maneuver to the Artic Sea to guard the Canadian transport fleet. Chatfield responded with haste, and departed from the Channel. This surprising action stunned the Republican Fleet at Cherbourg - naval officers in the Republican Fleet sent word to London that the Royal Fleet had broken the siege and maneuvered away.

Commissary Montgomery demanded information on the Royal action, and requested that General Secretary Wintringham permit several submarines to trail the Canadian fleet. When Lawrence was informed, he made no fuss, despite the advice of his advisers who recommended decisive action. Lawrence's coterie became impatient with his decorum and circumvented the Chairman for the General Secretary. In fact, Wintringham was the first informed when it was determined that the Royal Navy was moving to Iceland and that several transport planes had already landed in Reykjavík. Wintringham believed that an embargo, enforced by the entirety of the Supreme Republican Navy, would provoke either a confrontation or a Canadian withdrawl; British airbases and ports in Scotland were closer to Iceland than Canada's military bases. Greater proximity to the engagement would make all the difference, as the Republican Navy and Air Fleet could resupply the ships and planes faster than the Canadians could in Newfoundland. On the other hand, if the Canadians recognized that an embargo would be strategically flawed, the Royal Fleet would withdraw without a conflict and the Revolution in Iceland would be allowed to continue. Therefore, the fates of Ásgeirsson and other Icelander politicians would be tied to the rising swell of Imperial Nationalism in Canada. Lord Beaverbrook described the mood in Canada as one of "revived encouragement" that had increased with pro-reconquest propagandist sentiment. With Stefánsson's Government convening in the Ráðhús Reykjavíkur (City Hall), government loyalists had even more reason to worry about a possible revolution. The government's move to Reykjavíkur, further inflamed the revolutionary optimism that had forced out Parliament in the first place. But with Canadian troops parachuting in from North of the City, revolutionary governance would have to replace the present anarchism in order to regain control. Partisans mobilized against the government sending out decrees from Reykjavíkur without proper consent from Parliament - Olgeirsson prepared to declare a Revolutionary Council the instant the Unionists provided their support.

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Elinar Olgerisson, Icelander Marxist and Revolutionary.

But Lawrence refused to send the navy, despite the sincere insistence of his entire cabal. Lawrence, who had left London for the countryside, told his war-hawks that the British people were finished with conflict. He insisted that the Canadian's military capacity to wage proper war paled in comparison to the International Armed Forces, and any such incursion, even as close as Iceland, was a petty publicity stunt. Furthermore, Lawrence deflected his cabinet's urges by refocusing his agenda on the Stuttgart talks. As Franco-British troops pushed into the Baltic, the German High Command and Royal Family had fled to Mittelafrika, the new center of Imperial command. This departure meant that the occupation forces were justified in establishing a Revolutionary Government. Lawrence insisted that the Germanic nation be partitioned into manageable puppets - he wildly advocated for a divided Germany in order to avoid further conflict. But the French opinion was different; Parisian revolutionaries - supported by internationalist councils across Europe - were prepared to strike if Germany was to be divided. These internationalists believed that the Syndicalist cause was an unbreakable bond, and as such, a powerful revolutionary Germany would the next step in facilitating worldwide Revolution. Although Dunois was skeptical, the French government was prepared to concede to the internationalist demands, despite the protestations of Lawrence. In any manner, the rising issue in Germany was enough for Lawrence to put the issue of Iceland to rest. He refused to blockade the Royal Navy, in spite of the move's unpopularity, and continued to rebuke the generally supportive conception of a united Germany.

The Royal Navy, upon its arrival, would suppress the diminishing revolution with all due haste. The sitting government was restored to Parliament, and the modified treaty was ratified by a legislature that excluded members of the People's Unity Party. Radicalized by the riots, Icelandic political parties would endure a general shift to the left in order to compensate for their populace's altering views. But these changes would not stop the eventual establishment of a substantial Royal presence in Iceland. After just one week - Mackinder arrived in Reykjavík and established a committee presence in Iceland. The British economist brought an intellectual set of geopolitical theorists to Iceland to serve on his staff. Among his ranks was prized economist, Lionel Robbins - media magnate, John Reith - young intellectual, Hugh Trevor-Roper - and Prince Henry. Later, the "unofficial British government" would be joined by the young Lord Mountbatten and the air-force extraordinaire, the Duke of York.

Cavaliers and Roundheads

Lawrence's docile approach to the Reykjavík Crisis alienated the political elite from the administration. Whereas previous administrations had operated as an effectual system to benefit the socialist workers and respective party-members, Lawrence's attitude to Royalist meddling appeared aloof and pacifistic. The rancorous purge that Blair had organized under Lawrence's watchful gaze was not replicated in response to the advances of the Royalist foe. In fact, the Chairman treated the northern incursions as petty and isolated incidents. The withdrawn approach made Lawrence the subject of ridicule by the 'elitist urban proletariat' and promoted the tabloid skepticism that Bevan's media outlets endorsed. The Red Times and its editors found Lawrence as an arrogant and distant leader, bothering himself with German affairs in the countryside while the Royalists encroached on Unionist territory. But general opinion of Lawrence remained indifferent; only extreme ideologies were becoming radicalized. With building intelligence regarding growing numbers of Royalist organizations in the rural west, and extreme Maximist corporations in industrial Manchester, the slacken technique proved to be precisely moderate. The dichotomy in Lawrence's administration was beginning to show - Secretary Wintringham embraced the quotidian affairs of state while Lawrence negotiated with foreign dignitaries in Wales. The disconcerted division of authority in the government created a dual ideological system of governance. Lawrence's pragmatic techniques came in frequent conflict with Wintringham's socialist passion and desire to call together the first Congress since Mosley's Totalist coup. But Lawrence was reluctant to even entertain the idea of calling together the Congress. He found governance far more suitable without the restraints and apprehension of a democratic legislature. As the political scene craved for a new invigorated face to challenge the standing government, Bevan returned to the public scene with full intention to become an ideological crusader against Lawrence.

Bevan's public opposition was the first national competition that Lawrence was set to encounter. The die-hard reformer launched a notional campaign against the apathetic sitting government, with unusual contempt for Lawrence and admiration for Wintringham. In order to vanquish the seemingly dispassionate Lawrence, Bevan needed to amass a camarilla of intellectuals and dedicated theorists. The opposition scored points when it attracted the admiration of Foreign Undersecretary, James Maxton. Maxton resigned his position beneath Montgomery and offered an official endorsement to Bevan in an editorial in the Daily Worker. But Maxton did more than merely provide an endorsement - he ruthlessly probed Lawrence and wrote inquiry's that boarded on treason. His famous final line in the editorial, "Where are his Socialist credentials?" prompted speculation that Lawrence's apathy was more than a mere expression of fatigue. The administration, increasingly under fire from the entrenched elite, was elicited to call together a new electoral cycle. But even this motion could not pass through Lawrence's closed agenda, despite constitutional obligated that would soon compel him by law to call together Congress. Blair, Fleming, and Wintringham concluded that their political careers were endangered by Lawrence's demeanor. His resistance to initiate an Icelandic blockade began to be associated with possible sympathies outside the domestic realm. Although Maxton and Bevan did not go so far as to accuse the Chairman of Royalism, the implied message that all urban socialists were meant to contemplate was as clear as day. Conspiracies and plots to demand Lawrence's resignation began to circulate, in spite of data that implied Lawrence's profound popularity among the rural and more moderate populations. In fact, confidential polls revealed that Lawrence's approval rating was the highest compared to any other potential leader. However, Lawrence's approval among the most active voters, the urban proletariat and the intellectual syndicalist elite, lingered at numbers below fifteen-percent.

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Nye Bevan (left) and James Maxton (right) - the "unofficial opposition" to the government.

Lawrence and the RED departed for Germany on January 14th, intending to resolve the Stuttgart negotiations that had stalled after Maxton's resignation. French dignitaries, most notably Dunois, had befriended the revolutionary German, Ernst Thälmann, and his comrade, Eugen Leviné. The two Germans had reached consensus with the French government; all territory west of the Rhine would be annexed to the French Commune, although freedom of movement and internationalist policies would diminish the divides between the two united Republics. Lawrence, for reasons unknown to his government, despised the leniency of the agreement and demanded that the French revoke their preliminary agreement in favor of one of total German servility. Chairman Lawrence argued his position as the natural course to avoid a third conflict. He saw the only foreseeable solution as the total and permanent dissolution of the united German nation. But Lawrence was in little position to demand strident international reforms. The French occupation was total, and therefore the final decision rested within the legislative powers of the General Confederation of Labour. Aided by endorsements from the executive, the proposal for unification passed the GCT and was put into effect almost immediately. Lawrence, visibly distressed, nonetheless welcomed the new government. Later during the visit, Acting-President Thälmann would commemorate the brave actions of Lawrence and RED, before sending the leader on a plane back to London.

Lawrence and his supporters returned to London with little recognition of the new political atmosphere. Although the group had only been gone a week, Lawrence's calls to his cabinet were ignored and he was unable to schedule a meeting with the General Secretary. Concerned that something was wrong, Lawrence fled to his countryside residence, where he awaited information from his political advisers. At long last, Lawrence was visited by ambassadors from the Secret Service Bureau and the Home Department. The dignitaries expressed concern that Bevan might have discovered proof of correspondence between the American Union State and Lawrence's private office. Although he insisted that the correspondence was purely diplomatic, the dignitaries reminded Lawrence that under the constitution, diplomatic relations with "Imperialistic states" are a punishable offense. They departed without a word of criminal charges, but informed Lawrence that the London administration would soon be in contact regarding the issues at hand. It was not until February 1st that Lawrence received more information. This time, Wintringham arrived without warning at Lawrence's residence and demanded a conference with the Chairman. As General Secretary, Wintringham demanded that Lawrence call together a new electoral cycle or endure a public resignation and criminal trial. Unaware that Lawrence had rigged the judicial system to his own advantage, the General Secretary gave Lawrence seven days to finalize his decision. Without a hint of hesitation, Lawrence refused to submit and promptly contacted his judicial experts whom he had hoisted up as "judges." The day after Lawrence's deadline expired, Wintringham and Blair filed a formal prosecution against the sitting Chairman with the intention to convict him of treason. Lawrence's popularity immediately skyrocketed as he returned to London to face the prosecution. The General Secretary and Commissary Blair argued their case to the confidential judges based on several internal reports by two undersecretaries. The reports confirmed the existence of a series of letters between an unknown office in the American Union State, and Lawrence's private office. Wintringham and Blair expected Lawrence to argue his defense on the fact that the letters were not available and thus their existence could not be confirmed - this approach, they believed, would have led to a battle of discredit - one that Lawrence could not win. But the Chairman did not resign to follow this path, and instead, acknowledged the existence of the correspondence. However, Lawrence invoked the constitutional regulation that the leading executive is entitled to take whatever diplomatic mode is necessary to preserve British lives. Lawrence argued that the correspondence had fed the Republic vital information on Royal Navy maneuvers. His justification of why the American's were willing to concede this information was far more flimsy, although the Chairman's lawyers tried to argue that Huey Long had a vested interest in undermining their Canadian neighbor.

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Lawrence (portraiture) and Wintringham (right).

After six days of procedure before an accelerated jury of judges, Lawrence was acquitted (10-1) of all charges and allowed to depart in peace. The case, which was widely publicized, drew all eyes to political maneuvers in London. Knowing he could destroy his former allies, Lawrence hinted to several state media outlets that he was considering pressing civilian libel charges against his government. In any case, Blair and Wintringham were astounded. Although Blair and Fleming had conducted Lawrence's actions against Mosley's judges[3], the duo had believed that Lawrence had indeed submitted true judicial applications to fill the stands as Mosley's replacements. When Lawrence announced his intention to dissolve the government and call elections, Wintringham and Blair scrambled to discover if Lawrence had cheated his case before their jobs were forfeited. Upon illegal inquiry, which became known to the public, Blair discovered information that led Wintringham to believe that the judiciary was entirely centralized around Lawrence. It was almost as if Lawrence intended to destroy the government. All newspapers, excluding Bevan's, flaunted their headlines with scandalous reveals of Blair's illegal investigation and Lawrence's nefarious intentions. On February 17th, Wintringham submitted 11 juridical applications to formulate the basis of a new Supreme Worker's Court. This submission was, in all regards, a coup. With judicial recommendation restricted to the Chairman's powers, the old General had effectively stripped Lawrence of his Chairmanship. Infuriated crowds of Royalists, moderates, liberals, social-democrats, and discontented workers, marched through Lawrence's private residence in Exeter, and demanded that the retired General respond to the coup with force. He took his long awaited podium, on February the 18th 1939, and declared his devoted allegiance to King and Country. He passionately vowed to crush Syndicalism in Britain and end the cycle of chaos that had gripped the nation. This was to be Britain's Fort Sumter.

The Civil War had begun.



[1] Morrison and Phiratin would remain in retirement until the outbreak of the Civil War.
[2] Private newspapers with state authorized approval would be allowed alongside the traditional state-media outlets.
[3] Blair and Fleming both resigned interaction with the centralization of the judiciary before Lawrence lied to the public regarding his new appointments.


 
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Great update, looking forward the actual Civil War!
Especially liked the Canadian and Islandic part.

"The three representatives were men of the elderly physique (Beaverbrook was the youngest, at 659), but were known for their vivacity and commitment to their specific cause."
I would call that elderly, yes :p
 

99KingHigh

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Great update, looking forward the actual Civil War!
Especially liked the Canadian and Islandic part.

"The three representatives were men of the elderly physique (Beaverbrook was the youngest, at 659), but were known for their vivacity and commitment to their specific cause."
I would call that elderly, yes :p

Haha, fixed! :p

Quite elderly indeed.
 

Nikolai

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So he was a Royalist all this time? That came as a surprise to me.:eek:
 

Viden

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I knew it!

It is a shame what happened to Mosley. He would have made things a lot more interesting.

PS: BTW, is it me or do you actually included our comments in the chapter as theories among the British public?
 
Last edited:

99KingHigh

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I knew it!

It is a shame what happened to Mosley. He would have made things a lot more interesting.

PS: BTW, is it me or do you actually included our comments in the chapter as theories among the British public?

Tis indeed a shame. The game actually kills him off during the coup, but I decided to wring him out a little longer.

And indeed, I do. :p

So he was a Royalist all this time? That came as a surprise to me.:eek:

Sorpresa! ;)
 

Tommy4ever

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Canadians in Iceland, Mosley executed, Civil War in the Union - what's happening to Britain? :eek: