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Dr.Livingstone

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

In one word, I believe the answer to be simple, Revolution! Viva la Britain!
 

99KingHigh

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

Obviously, the terribleness of Clement Attlee and all the socialist ideals you stand for! :p

In one word, I believe the answer to be simple, Revolution! Viva la Britain!

More Revolutionaries? Where? :p



Thank you all for the feedback - updates from now on will be concentrated on the Civil War, which I have yet play. So we are officially live.

I'd also just like to remind everyone that they should go and vote in the End of the Year Awards. Especially, take a vote in the History Book AAR of 2014. I'm not going to tell you who to vote for, but I will kill off all the characters you like if you don't vote for Lawrence. :rofl:
 

Tommy4ever

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You had my vote weeks ago ;).
 

99KingHigh

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Hello everyone, just a hint of bad news.

So I'd written up most of the next update on the old forums and completely neglected to save it to drive or anything. Serves me stupid. Therefore, I'll have to write up the update again this weekend (assuming of course, that Paradox changes the 10 minute edit rule.)

Have a great week!
 

Korona

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I just binge-read this AAR (If binge-reading is a thing), and I can say that I'm loving it! If only I could actually play DH/KR on my machine, then my life would be complete. Nice job.
 

99KingHigh

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I just binge-read this AAR (If binge-reading is a thing), and I can say that I'm loving it! If only I could actually play DH/KR on my machine, then my life would be complete. Nice job.

Haha, I'm glad you're enjoying the AAR! :p

----
So apologies, I was unable to work on the AAR this week due to a bunch of things, namely University searching, school work, and a High School Presidential election. Whenever the first opportunity strikes, I'll be sure to resume work.
 

Tommy4ever

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Are you the President now?
 

99KingHigh

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Gorganslayer

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Well i must say so far this has been an amazing AAR. May have to try kaiserriech myself ;)
 

99KingHigh

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Alright everyone. Apologies for the long wait. Second Semester 11th grade is far too busy and its been a pain to find any time at all. With school elections finished, I now have to begin finals and SAT II studying. The next update will likely be after these; around the 7th of June.
 

99KingHigh

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9PWREVG.png


George Lansbury, a relatively unknown member of the Board of Education, returned home late the same night of Lawrence’s declaration. He wrote in his journal, upon his return, that the entire city of London had been captivated by Wintringham’s apparent triumph; political elites cussed away Lawrence’s “treacherous regime” and openly endorsed the return of the traditional Socialists. Lansbury remarked, in a brief digression, that “the people of London blow their champions like a kite in Buteshire. Is our new leader to be just another interim placeholder?” Lansbury’s sentiments are notable in the sense that his opinions were widely replicated by others in public office. Officials were cautious to dedicate themselves to any particular faction, as committed loyalists to any fallen regime were doomed to political ruination. Even the remarkable circumstances of the shock political consolidation around the old conservative socialists could not sway the proclivities of the officers to declare their allegiances. The vast and overextended bureaucracy was entirely dependent on Wintringham’s whims - many administrators believed that their employment was eradicable. But the political elite and public officials, for the first time in the nation’s history, diverged in opinion. Northern workers, primarily coal laborers, and industrial employees found a vivacious enthusiasm for a return to the utopian idealism of Phillip Snowden and Arthur Horner. Although both men had unequivocally renounced their partisan zeal during Mosley and Lawrence’s reign, General Wintringham acted as the ideological successor to the duo that had formerly dominated British politics. The “Last Federationist” had finally ensured that the acerbic rhetoric against the old British socialism was swept away - he was emotionally invested in the welfare of the working man and sought a return to the grassroot beliefs of Keir Hardie. But Wintrinham’s grasp on the actual machinations of British politics was naive at best. His opposition, the public officials and comfortable London laborers, galvanized their support behind Nye Bevan, perceived to be more sympathetic to the status quo of post-Mosley Britain. Whereas Wintringham was committed to a general restructuring of the vast bureaucracy, Bevan (through his publications in the Red Times) explored ways to expand the administrative capacity of the nation and continue the Five Year Plan. Wintringham was seen as too reactionary, and a threatening force to the post-Mosley consensus of rapid industrialization.

PRFXNqX.jpg

An image of the typical London establishment, among them, George Lansbury.

Bevan’s opposition to Wintringham, who was the temporary holder of both the General Secretary and the Chairmanship of the CTU, reversed the national ambivalence towards the General. Lawrence’s relaxed laws on press publication allowed Bevan to launch a series of brazen attacks on Wintringham, and especially, his romantic idealism. The old Federationist’s response was calculated and pragmatic; Wintringham offered to resign as Chairman of the CTU, and endorse Bevan for the position, on the condition that Wintringham would retain the position of General Secretary. The willingness to concede the nation’s most powerful position shocked Bevan - and the media attacks came to a screeching halt. Instead, the media reevaluated their position and began to assess the likelihood that such a coalition between Maximists and Independent Federationists could survive. Unwilling to wait for another opportunity, Bevan snatched the deal, and formed an effective coalition with the old General. The coalition was warmly received, especially because the deal repaired the strained relations between the traditional socialists and the public officials. Equilibrium, however, depended entirely on the government’s ability to engender a proper cabinet. Due to Lawrence’s pre-constitutional edicts, the Constitution vested the ability to appoint in Bevan’s authority. To Bevan, this amendment worked to all his advantage, but he encountered strict reluctance from Wintringham to even abide by this constitutional amendment. The General proved himself recalcitrant in these early weeks, determined to retain his integrity and political life alive in the face of a coalition government. His rare pugnacious attitude towards executive power frustrated Bevan’s plans within the first few days of office; Wintringham demanded that Bevan return to the power of cabinet confirmation to the legislature. But the idea was unpopular, even in the CTU, which had devolved into a scrambled mess of Bevanites, Federationists, and a remnant of Mosleyites. When Wintringham tried to oppose Bevan’s rapidly assembled cabinet, he was turned away by the ambivalence in the legislature. Wintringham felt compelled to resign, but refused this urge and embarked on the long journey of persuasion and compulsion in the Congress.

Bevan’s new cabinet was an entirely personalized cabinet. He appointed his closest political ally, James Maxton, the celebrated diplomat, as the Commissary for Foreign Affairs. As described in the previous chapter, Maxton and Bevan had acted as Lawrence’s “unofficial opposition” and were lauded once Lawrence’s treachery was unveiled. Furthermore, few could contest Maxton’s prudence in external affairs - General Montgomery, his former employer, was especially enthusiastic about Maxton’s rapid political rise. But Bevan’s choice for the Home Department was less straightforward. Bevan preferred the hard Maximist, Kim Philby, for the position, yet was deeply considerate of Barbara Castle. But Wintringham objected to both candidates, and put forth the Federationist, Sydney Silverman. A fierce opponent of the death penalty and other excesses utilized during the previous administrations, Silverman was viewed as a radical option. Yet the loud protests of Wintringham and Bevan’s personal phlegmatic reaction put Silverman to the forefront of the competition. The radical Federationist proved a brilliant orator, and threatened to take his campaign for the position to the streets, but Bevan conceded, and offered Silverman the position with overtones of conciliation to Wintringham. The concession was not entirely an act of goodwill; Bevan sought to shield the position of Commissary for the Exchequer from Wintringham’s influence. With John Strachey compelled to resign from the position, after his close affiliation to Lawrence, the position was left vacant. The expected candidate was David Kirkwood, a leading Glasgow socialist during the Red Clydeside era. Kirkwood was a personal friend of James Maxton, and a well known economist during the golden era of the Unions. He had another rare feat - he had retained official partisan neutrality during the last three years, and was one of the very few to keep their hands clean during the purge years and Lawrence’s administration. Kirkwood’s only drawback, however, was a profound lack of public experience. He was viewed by the former Mosleyite electorate as too green for public office. Independent socialist newspapers gave a lukewarm reception to Kirkwood as a possible candidate to Britain’s second most prestigious ministerial position. Following the mediocre reception of Kirkwood, Bevan quickly scrapped his original plans and appointed Kirkwood as a Commissary without a Portfolio. Determined to be the face of a pragmatic and industrious government, Bevan invited Clement Attlee to serve as Commissary. Attee had survived Lawrence’s purge of Mosley’s cabinet in a most shrewd conduct - and had walked away untainted. But Attlee and Bevan had always been at odds, especially when both men were competing for Mosley’s favor. The distrust between the two, however, was superseded by a desire to run an effective government, one that could at last fulfill the Five Year Plan to its original design. After just four days, Bevan had formed a government, contained Wintringham, and constructed a cabinet.

LpW4Vj1.png

Bevan's Republican Cabinet

Out of the Wilderness

The reader, at this point, will have noticed that this history has taken no mention of Lawrence and his rebellion. Fear not, this exclusion is entirely intentional. Much like the reader, at the present moment, the politicians in London, and perhaps, indeed, the general population, could not conceive that Lawrence’s insurrection would amass any support. In fact, his declaration of Royalism was viewed almost as a self-destructive resignation - the very thought of Royalists even living in the Union of Britain was entirely foreign to the entire political establishment. There was not even a hint of anxiety regarding Lawrence’s insurgent activities, especially after General Rickerby’s draconian crackdown in Bristol. To be fair, the government and its people had reason to be skeptical. Lawrence had vanished into the crowds of the South-West and it looked as if his secretive tactics justified the popular dismissal. But Lawrence’s own designs proved to his own advantage; especially as retreating crowds of the Yellow affiliation returned to the west from Bristol. With Rickerby’s regiments remaining in Bristol, the crowds returned home unguarded by the Republican Army. This disturbing amount of autonomy delegated to the obviously rebellious crowds triggered a sense of opportunism. In the days preceding Lawrence’s declaration, during the Bristol suppression, local politician and Republican Officer, Harold Frankyln, sponsored a brief resolution condemning government policy and General Rickerby’s suppression. This condemnation was the first act of insurrection against the central government by local authority, at least since the Revolution. General Claude Auchinleck, to the outrage of Bevan’s new government, had been a signatory to the condemnation. A charismatic figure and a wise tongue, Auchinleck recognized the inevitable relaxation of prosecutorial techniques under Commissary Silverman. He refused to concede his position and was, in accordance with army policy, stripped of his command.

yiBea5O.jpg

General Claude Auchinleck, a Royalist leader and noted commander.

Auchinleck’s martial reduction sparked agitated feelings among the returning crowds and the South West, a nominally Royalist and Conservative area. Whereas Bevan and his cabinet were oblivious to the local maneuvers in the South-West, Auchinleck and Frankyln realized that the disheveled hordes returning from Bristol could be quickly rallied into a formidable force. On February 18th, several hours after Auchinleck was stripped of his command, General Frankyln and his garrison in Plymouth occupied the local council and declared the region loyal to King Edward. The regional garrison was quick to follow the pledge of allegiance, which proclaimed the small divisional force subject to General Auchinleck’s command. In shocking succession, every town from Okehampton to Penzance ejected their Syndicalist sympathies and sanctioned the rebellion. As the insurrection spread over a matter of hours, terrified Republican officers pleaded for aid from General Hastings Ismay, in Exeter. Colonel Albert Middleton, the son of the famous Syndicalist elitist, James Middleton, conveyed an aura of paranoia to entrapped regiments in Cornwall. But their vulnerability was betrayed by Ismay’s disdain for the present system, and perhaps an admiration for his the world of his father, who had been old royal gentry. Leading with extemporaneous expedience, General Ismay forfeited Exeter to the Union Jack and took up arms with the Royalist wave that was sweeping across the east. The fortuitous stream of defections formed a line of anti-republican forces alongside the highway from Exeter to Bristol. In the port of Weston-super-Mare, General Rickerby’s primary naval appropriation, inspired crowds overwhelmed the garrison and seized the port. General Rickerby, victim to the Syndicalist neglect, was slow to respond to the threat - hesitation and patience would end any hope for a swift triumph. His temporized approach allowed Auchinleck and Ismay to launch an offensive with their meagre garrisons.

Operation Hastings

Granted a fortuitous window for a brazen assault, General Auchinleck ordered Mj. General Mosley Mayne, the commander of the largest Royalist force (13,000 soldiers), to seize the ships in Weston-super-Mare. As the only Royalist regiment with some resemblance of order, Mayne was able to amass his forces quickly as they boarded fishing and transport ships. The regiment rushed across the Bristol Channel and landed at the Cardiff dockyards. With a very scarce defensive force in the region, the Republicans were swiftly routed from South Cardiff. Concerned that more Royalists were on their way, the Republican garrison withdrew to Newport, while shocked Welsh citizens watched in awe as Mayne’s regiment occupied the Welsh capital. Although the Royalists were certainly no champions to the Welsh, the abuses of the previous decade had left the entire community, even the infamous coalminers, with a sour affection for Syndicalism. Without a definitive response from the occupied population, General Rickerby evacuated Bristol and hurried to Gloucester, which he intended to use as his headquarters to relieve the Republicans in Newport. But Rickerby had fallen into Auchinleck’s trap; swiftly organized volunteers of the revived Royalist army poured into Bristol, and prepared to pinch him between Gloucester and Bristol. Meanwhile, Ismay landed in Swansea, and delivered a token garrison to preserve order in Cardiff. The arrival of reinforcements allowed Mayne to launch an attack on Newport, which after a brief skirmish, proved a decisive maneuver. With the Rivern Severn controlled on both shored by Royalist troops, the two armies (one in Bristol and the other in Newport) marched North to strike at Rickerby’s troops in Gloucester. Even before the arrival of the Royalist Armies, Rickerby’s army was torn apart by internal mutinies, driven mostly by the surfacing of Royalist Armies. Just two days after Auchinleck declared rebellion, Rickerby conceded Gloucester and gave way for total Royalist domination in the east.

KOATVxO.jpg

Royalist troops land three miles east of the Cardiff Dockyards

In Wales, now the epicenter of Royalist control, public opinion on the occupation was notably divided. Without contention, Wales had been the catalyst for the Syndicalist revolution nearly a decade before, and had, quite comfortably, supported the London government until the ascension of Mosley. Their loyalty was very much dependent on the government’s inclusion of Niclas y Glais, the prominent socialist and welsh patriot. Glas’ confidence in the old Federationist administration had translated into a cooperative alliance between the Federations and Autonomists during the early years of the decade. But Wales was not merely a pendulum that swung according to Niclas’ governmental inclusion. Much of Wales, in no particular geographical manner, was still Royalist and loyal to the old Union. These potential voters, especially in 1936, had contributed to the Maximist victory, likely as sentiment for old British patriotism encouraged votes for Mosley. But after two years of Maximist government, both the old socialist Federationists and ‘36-Mosley voters, found only contempt for the London bureaucracy. The ascension of Wintringham, however, made the Royalist invasion more difficult for the Welsh consciousness. The old General galvanized that Federationist spirit and revitalized the Welsh confidence in the London government - but even these aspirations were sapped by Bevan’s rapid ascent to power. Weary of further political distress, the Welsh people acquiesced to the Royalist occupation, even if public sentiment remained fiercely divided. But for some, the abuses of English domination were far too many to be simply forgotten. In the College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, three Welsh nationalists and socialists, David John Williams, Saunders Lewis, and Lewis Valentine, torched the Royal Standard and the Republican Union Jack before the incoming Royalist troops. All three men were subsequently arrested by the military forces, but none were ever prosecuted for the action. Saunders Lewis, already a well known literalist, would later coin the act of disobedience as “The Red Dragon’s first contest” in his famous poem: llosgi cotwm wawr yn (Dawn’s cotton burning).

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Saunders Lewis gives an oration several weeks before his arrest in Cardiff

The fall of Wales was an almost fantastical military strike; in just over twenty-four hours, an untidy shackle of Royalist citizens and disgruntled Republican soldiers had seized the Welsh capital by sea and surged through the countryside. With conservative sentiment in Birmingham culminating in a swift transition of power, Manchester, the heart of Republican sentiment, was under attack from three divisions amassed in England’s second-largest city. Absolute euphoria consumed the West Midlands - tens of thousands of vengeful citizens, many of whom had been constrained to the camps, rushed to take up arms with the few Royalist divisions. Those families who were known to have connections with London were driven out of towns, threatened with imprisonment or execution from the growing mob. The conundrum thus presented to Royalist leaders in Britain and Canada was to manage a vague popular uprising that if manipulated correctly, could pose a substantial threat to the Republican government. General Auchinleck eventually established contact with Lionel Robbins, through an agent in Carlist Spain who was employed in Robbins’ vast media empire. Robbins urgently called for Halford Mackinder, who was directing the Icelandic Committee. Mackinder’s sense of urgency to aid the Royalist army prompted him to instruct fellow committee-member, Colonel Harold Alexander, to fly to Birmingham and support the rebels. Lacking royal approbation, Mackinder had taken the initiative without Canadian support, arguably acting as the first actual Royal official since the Revolution. Pressured by the members of the committee: Mackinder, John Reith, Robbins, Hugh Trevor-Roper, and the Duke of Gloucester - King Edward called together an emergency cabinet meeting. King Edward asked for Prime Minister Bennett’s resignation as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, which Bennett conceded. But when confronted as to who could receive the title of Premier, there was much concern.

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John Reith and Hugh Trevor-Roper

The immediate candidate for the position would be Mackinder, as the figure most identifiable with the political reconquest of the British isles. Mackinder, however, insisted that the Premiership be bestowed upon the absent Lawrence, who had not been seen since his declaration. Mackinder argued that Lawrence’s absence could be Nonetheless, influenced by the committee, including the reluctant acceptance of Lord Beaverbrook and Viscount Samuel, King Edward appointed T.E Lawrence as the first British Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in fifteen years. This was not to say, if anything, that it was business as usual. Mackinder, in the absence of Lawrence, absorbed the duties of state and quickly rushed through a cabinet. Mackinder’s number two and notable economist, Lionel Robbins, was appointed as Chancellor of Exchequer. Join Reith was appointed as Home Secretary and Hugh Trevor-Roper as an extraordinary Director of His Majesty’s Secret Services. The Duke of Gloucester insisted that himself and his royal military friends, notably Lord Mountbatten and Prince George, serve as the respective Chiefs of the Royal Army, Navy, and Airforce, in order to instill a regal loyalty among the uprising. With no objections from Auchinleck, ever the field commander, King Edward consented to this most unusual cabinet and military composition. Mackinder, effectively running a government without any real bureaucratic authority or parliament, was both all-powerful and feeble. As the self-appointed Foreign Secretary, Mackinder’s government wielded absolute power, but with little power to enforce the law aside from the military’s whims. Determined to organize the formation of a functional government, the “seven cavaliers” flew to the Royalist capital in Plymouth.

Mackinder’s civilian government operated out of Plymouth’s Great Hall, while the regal military leaders relocated to a forward command base in Portsmouth. Mackinder’s first priority, obviously, was to organize the rebel forces into some resemblance of order. Near Manchester, Colonel Harold Alexander lead over 40,000 troops in the Royalist march to seize the socialist heartland. In Bristol, the VII Royal Corps, the V Royal Corps, and the II Royal Corps, numbering well over 100,000 men, were presently under the command of an overwhelmed Brigadier General Henry Maitland Wilson. As eager British émigrés were scurried back into Britain for enlistment, the need for sterner minds rapidly grew. General Auchinleck, commanding nine divisions in Portsmouth, requested that Mackinder send for Lord Stonehaven, the former Governor-General of Australia. Although the Viscount had little experience in command, he was a noted bureaucratic who had an excellent sense of organization. Furthermore, the Lord Stonehaven was a raving anti-communist, and would eventually prove to be the most aggressive general deployed in the field of battle. Upon his arrival, John Baird, the 1st Viscount Stonehaven, was appointed to command an amalgamated V Royal Corps, which now contained the bulk of those 100,000 soldiers. With Baird firmly in command at Bristol, the Duke of Gloucester and General Auchinleck devised a simple but brave plan to defeat the stunned Republican government before it could even mount a counter-attack. Named Operation Hastings, the plan called for a three pronged attack to divide the Republican nation and pin the government forces into two pockets. General Auchinleck would attack Sussex from Hampshire, with the goal of occupying the entire southern coastline of England. The operational endpoint for Auchinleck was the eastern port-town of Dover. In the North, General Harold Alexander would occupy Manchester, and set up a defensive barrier as to prevent the Republican forces from breaking through from North-East England or from an amphibious landing from Scotland. With only three divisions to spare, a single division would strike across the undefended East Midlands. The single division would defend for as long as it could, allowing Lord Stonehaven to strike at Oxfordshire and pin London between Auchinleck and Stonehaven.

In Plymouth, Royalist supporters beyond the age of service were employed into governmental work. Hoping to develop civil services, John Reith employed thousands of disaffected workers with Canadian and aristocratic money to repair infrastructure, maintain electricity, and ensure that a breakdown in public services did not occur. But the work proved to be extraordinarily difficult. Having effectively destroyed the preceding bureaucratic presence in the region, Mackinder’s government was building something from nothing. Entire naval ports, damaged in the rebellion, needed repair and management, while the preservation of the few airports was a top priority. Prince George, the Chief of the Air Staff, urged the return of exiled British air pilots and Canadian veterans. The Royal Air Force was hopelessly outnumbered by the Republican war-machine, but Canadian support could provide the defense needed until the rebel government reinvigorated the military-industrial complex. For the moment, Operation Hastings could not rely on sound industrial facilities, air-support, or naval aid. Instead, the Duke of Gloucester believed that Manchester could provide the industrial support needed to win the inevitable production war, assuming that Operation Hastings did not deal a killer blow to the Republicans. But the Duke’s assumptions were based off public cooperation with the Royalist army. Practically undefended, Manchester was seized by Colonel Alexander and his three divisions, but the occupation was certainly not a welcome sight to the local population. As the industrial capital of the North, Manchester was not a timid supporter of socialism. Proudly Federationist, the worker population of Manchester was fiercely anti-Maximist, and viewed the London establishment with disdain. But as long as Wintringham tempered the Maximist influences of Bevan, Manchester would not budge as to its ideological loyalties. When Alexander entered the city, unopposed by a single Republican soldier, workers took arms under the leadership of William Wedgwood Benn, a former airman and officer in the RAF. Benn had also served as a radical Liberal MP, and later, a Manchester Labour MP.

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Royalist troops cheer as they enter into Manchester.

Benn’s rebellion against the regal occupation inspired local unions, mainly centered around the coalmines. These regional organizations refused to work, and an even greater proportion armed themselves against the Royalists. In just the first sixteen hours of occupation, nearly forty-three soldiers had been killed - the city screeched to a halt. But with no further directive or military command, Colonel Alexander was able to concentrate his time with the repression of these acts of defiance. He occupied pubs, stormed union houses, and even burned down a cotton factory after it was discovered that the workers were all participating in Benn’s unrest. But the Duke of Gloucester did not want a civil repression in Manchester, he wanted heavy industry producing the arsenal of war. On the request of the Duke, Mackinder authorized Colonel Alexander to offer peacetime wages to the workers and a binding contract that insured that these wages would not be cut for the subsequent decade. Yet even these demands could not persuade the entire population to return to work, and for the duration of Royalist occupation, Manchester and Benn would remain a prickly thorn in the side.

With Manchester occupied, General Auchinleck launched his attack at one of only two deployed Republican armies. The First Battle of Sussex tested the metal of the paralyzed Republican army, which was all but incapacitated by the sudden destruction of the Union. Only RAF bombings executed by Wintringham’s military proved successful during Operation Hastings. Despite the infrastructural damage, however, the strikes could not delay the storming advance of the Royal military. The East Midlands were the next to fall to Royalist attacks, with the sparse Republican garrisons withdrawing in both directions in a matter of hours. The entire Royalist nation believed, given victory at Oxfordshire and Sussex, that the war would be completed in a week’s time. Operation Hastings had been a brutal awakening for the Republican government, and their response would either spell total defeat, or salvation, for the socialist utopia.

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Viden

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Disaster! The Army of the People must react quickly and destroy those rotten traitors!
 

Santander

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I, for one, root for Lawrence. Long live King Edward!

Great AAR, by the way.
 
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Comm Cody

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LONG LIVE THE KING EMPEROR!
 

LordTempest

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All Glory to the Monarchists!
 

der Kriegsherr

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It always does my heart good to see a people being true to their sovereign, especially when it ends with red traitors ending up like Mussolini! :p
I'm kind of late, but this AAR has me glued to the screen.
 

99KingHigh

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As the winter months turned into the March springtime, the Republican Union of Britain seemed on the brink of collapse. Although the fractured leftist factions had displayed a rare inclination to defy traditional divisions, the partisan unity of the Republic meant little in the presence of an impending Royalist triumph. To put it bluntly, the Syndicalists were left in a state of total bewilderment. Whereas but a few weeks prior, the very thought of a Royalist movement was somewhat of a distant dream, the Republicans now had to confront the possibility of a restored Monarchy. In London, government officials scrambled to respond to the impending threat. James Maxton, concerned that the government’s position was unsustainable, scurried off to Calais to secure military support from the French. Other officials, most notably Commissary Silverman, were dealing with a flood of panicked citizens and a refugee wave from the west. In nearly all divisions of government, the immediate concern appeared to be the sustainability of the Republic. Simultaneously, affluent London citizens, comprising the bulk of the Republican bureaucracy, prepared to flee the country for Paris. These issues, conjoined, were dropped on the desks of Bevan and Wintringham - their Socialist realm on the brink of destruction.

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Clement Attlee (left) and Nye Bevan (right), the political titans of the War-Time Republic.

The fall of Manchester, however, was a godsend in disguise. Wintringham’s Federationist position was severely weakened by the loss of the Labour heartland, but this unfortunate was attenuated by a solidification of authority by Bevan’s Hawks. Now firmly in control of the government, Bevan sought to provide a Maximist solution to the rebellion. But this solidification of power proved petty, as Bevan’s responses to the crisis were far too lame and reliant on the French. By February 26th, Edward’s forces were poised to land a decisive blow to the Republic. Desperate and shaken, Bevan turned to his old adversary, the Commissary for the Exchequer - Clement Attlee. Bevan’s distaste for Attlee’s style of administration was not a secret; the two had clashed repeatedly during the previous two administrations. To put it lightly, Bevan’s sentimental and vocalized leadership did not complement Attlee’s timid and pragmatic conduct. But Attlee was a political titan, in spite of his reserve. He demonstrated a deep knowledge of the nation’s finances and military organization, not to mention its vast industrial complex. With logistical support from his undersecretary, James Chuter Ede, Attlee prepared to introduce a series of immediate reforms that would reverse the Republican fortunes.

Twelve Days in March

Attlee believed that the Republic’s best chance for grinding the Royal advance to a half was invested in the absolute exploitation of the Union’s industrial advantage. The Commissary was determined to prove that his Five Year Plan, long the topic of controversy, could be utilized for the support of the Republican Army. But the Republic’s chances of a manufactured wartime military depended on national continuity - a continuity that was blocked by the Royalists occupation in Lincolnshire. Chuter Ede and Attlee pressured Bevan to inform the Republican Chief of Staffs of the impending disaster if Lincolnshire was not recaptured. Yet even Wintringham’s command was static - the very location of the Republican armies was unknown, as communication lines were devastated. This misfortune was not enough to stall Attlee’s conviction. He persuaded Supreme Admiral Copeman to order the Republican fleet to occupy Immingham Port, the largest naval and commercial establishment on the eastern shore. This encroachment into Royalist Lincolnshire startled the garrisoned troops, but did not force them to evacuate their new ground. However, the fleet’s occupation of the port proved sufficient enough to encourage the isolated Northern armies, blocked from communication with London, to launch an attack at Grimsby. Led by General John Vereker, the disinherited Viscount Gort, Republican troops swept the small Royalist defense at Immingham and established communication with London via the fleet. Wintringham did not delay - the old General sacrificed his defensive position in Dover in order to launch an attack at Lincolnshire from Norfolk. General Dorman-Smith, called from his defensive position along the Southern shoreline, stormed North on Attlee’s vast railway networks. Within several hours, General Vereker from Sheffield, and General Dorman-Smith from Norfolk, were putting strong pressure on the single Royalist division. After Vice-Admiral Bruce Fraser’s submarines torpedoed four Canadian supply ships, the Royalists retreated to Nottingham, where they were decisively defeated by Vereker’s army.

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John Vereker, a former Viscount, and Republican Officer

The reconquest of Lincolnshire ended the split of the Republic - infrastructure from Scotland to London was repaired and communication lines were reconnected. But more importantly, the Syndicalist heartland was secured. And from this Scottish heartland, volunteers and reserves, many of them recent veterans of the European War, were called forth to join the Republican defenses. These aged participants of Red Clydeside, although opposed to that Great War, were eager to take arms in the defense of the revolutionary ideas. This new class of warrior, the sons of the radical era and veterans in Germany, poured out to greet their Royalist foe. Attlee was eager to harness the optimism of the Scottish revolutionaries - he forced General Wintringham (the most beloved political figure for the Scots) to appoint General Walter Kirke as Field Marshall. General Kirke, serving in his capacity as the highest ranking officer in Scotland, would be elevated to help decentralize military command in Scotland. Attlee hoped that this ambiguous wave of autonomy would satisfy the Scottish regionalists into supporting the London cause. The plan proved leaky, and largely ineffective, but Kirke did not await for moral approval to launch his cause. The Field Marshall ordered General Alan Cunningham to rally his 60,000 Scottish troops and launch a counteroffensive against the Royalist position in North West England.

Compared to the thin Royalist lines in Lincolnshire, the Royalist Army in the North West was far more secure. General Harold Alexander’s forces intended to fight for each scrap in Manchester, as the possession of the city also determined the fate of the West Midlands and Northern Wales. Alexander’s Royalist lines occupied the external metropolitan area of Leeds, primarily in Huddersfield, around ten miles west of the city. A second line of infantry, approximately 16,000 men, occupied a line from Blackburn to the outskirts of Manchester. Royal Northern Headquarters, located in Liverpool, contained a further stack of several thousand reserve soldiers. General Cunningham loaded his armies onto trucks in Carlisle, while General Duncan-Smith prepared to attack from Doncaster. A final army, under Vereker’s command, was poised to strike from York, which would become the operational HQ of the entire Republican Army. The new HQ, under the overall command of Field Marshall Kirke, would become the centralized command base of the attack for the duration of the battle. Kirke’s experience was faced with an exceptional dilemma - Alexander’s army was arranged in a three tier formation that could easily receive the brunt of a singular attack from either direction. An attack from all three directions, would allow Alexander to deploy his reinforcement lines to outflank the assault by a counter-attack at Sheffield. To overcome Alexander’s defense, Kirke would need to deploy the full brunt of the Republican war machine.

In order to recapture the Syndicalist birthplace in England, the Field Marshall deployed the assistance of the eager Commissary. Clement Attlee had spent the previous five days directing the swift production of aircraft supplies - specifically, fuel processing and weapon upgrades. The rapid upgrade of the RAF had vindicated Attlee’s faith in the Five Year Plan, but whether these new tools could be fully utilized had yet to be proven. Kirke’s dilemma provided the perfect challenge for Attlee’s grand industrial plan. With support from the Supreme Air Commander (and Manchester insurgent), William Benn, Clement Attlee quickly plotted a vast logistical strike at the Royal Army. Under the command of Air Marshall Hugh Dowding, who commanded the largest Air Fleet in the Republican Air Force, the Syndicalist forces would launch its largest air strike in history, utilizing small airports (a component of the Five Year Plan) for quick repair and launch. In total, Dowding’s fleet comprised of 500 fighters, and 300 strategic bombers (under the separate control of Mj. General Arthur Harris). Furthermore, Prince Henry, and other Royalist officials, were unprepared for a coordinated combined attack, especially after the Republicans’ poor performance in the previous weeks. And thus, with an industrial edge, and the benefit of surprise, Attlee was prepared for a turnaround.

On March 1st, General Alexander ordered his line, in Huddersfield, to march and occupy Leeds. Their objective was unoccupied by other side, however, Republican operatives were present in the city, and alerted HQ that the Royalist forces would be in town in just a few hours. General Cunningham was the first to respond - he occupied his army in the Yorkshire Dales and stormed towards Keighley, just west of Leeds. Alexander’s army abandoned its march towards the total occupation of Leeds and marched North, towards Bradford. From Bradford, the Royalists began to march towards Keighley, but their advance was checked by the full brunt of Cunningham's Army. In the fields of West Yorkshire, thousands engaged in a brutal firefight across the English countryside. Several Royalist brigades slipped East, and threatened to outflank Cunningham - but the Republican forces only extended pressure on the Royalist center, and threatened to snap the regal force in two. General Duncan-Smith, after reviewing the battlefield, saw an opportunity to encircle the Republican force. From Doncaster, Duncan-Smith planned to move his army towards Bradford from the South, catching Alexander’s forward line between Cunningham in Keighley and Duncan-Smith in Bradford. But destroyed infrastructure forced Duncan-Smith to walk his troops North, a two-day journey. Similarly, in York, Vereker’s plans for an immediate reinforcement of Cunningham’s army were hindered by sporadic Canadian logistical strikes.

Early in the morning of the second of March, Dowding’s fleet unleashed its wrath in West Yorkshire. Hundreds of Fighters tore down Canadian air support, while a mass of strategic bombers thrashed holes in Alexander’s lines. The devastation was so profound that Alexander’s troops were forced into close combat with Cummingham, preventing the RAF from risking Republican collateral damage. But the bombers were unforgiving - and launched another set of raids on Alexander’s second line, positioned between Blackburn and Manchester. Anti-Aircraft Guns were the primary target - and were swiftly discarded by an overwhelming force of aerial firepower. Now aware that the Republicans could indeed utilize their Air Force in conjunction with their Army, Alexander was forced to play an early hand and begin to call forth his second and third line. The Royalist second line was forced to march forty miles, under air bombardment, to join the frontline in Keighley. Meanwhile, under cover of darkness, the third line drove to Manchester, and began to make defensive preparations for the city. In HQ, the Field Marshall, extremely pleased by the Republican progress, decided to rework his offensive in order to expand the success of his operation. Kirke relieved Duncan-Smith of his Northern command and sent the general to lead a new London Army, which would be instrumental in halting the Royalist advance. On March 3rd, with Duncan-Smith’s former army approaching Bedford, and Vereker’s already reinforcing Cunningham, Alexander was routed from Keighley. His retreat towards Manchester was marred by the intense bombardment from the RAF, equipped with Attlee’s industrial-grade ammunition. In a relentless campaign, General Alexander’s first and second line faced two days of hell as it was pursued by the Republican armies.

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Walter Kirke, Field Marshall of the Union.

In Oxfordshire, Kirke’s plan to launch a combined arms counter-attack was received by General Duncan-Smith - now in command of a fresh London army numbering nearly one-hundred thousand soldiers. With Northern factories pumping out supplies, the army was supplied for attack on the 4th, and initiated its own operation on the same day. Smith’s objective was to dislodge the aggressive Royalist officer, Lord Stonehaven. Lord Stonehaven’s army occupied the West Midlands with nearly five divisions, and was itching to press its conquests towards Oxfordshire. The noble Lord lined his artillery from Warwick to Northampton, determined to protect Birmingham from a Republican attack. However, it was Lord Stonehaven who would make the first move, and on the 3rd of March, began to shell Banbury. The following day, with Duncan-Smith’s army now prepared to go on the offensive, the Republican armies departed from Oxford and seized Banbury, turning their own guns towards Stonehaven’s position. The Viscount swiftly counter-attacked, and overwhelmed the Republican forces in Banbury, forcing Duncan-Smith to regroup in Bicester. But Stonehaven’s attack on Banbury had exhausted his supply reserves. With supplies having to be transported from Canada, Stonehaven’s position was severely weakened. He relayed his difficulty to General Auchinleck, who commanded the largest Royalist army, and was poised to launch a strike on London. Stonehaven pleaded that Auchinleck distract the Smith’s army in Bicester by initiating the assault on London, but when Auchinleck attempted to take action, London artillery guns shattered his supply trains and forced the army to a halt.

In the North, General Alexander’s position was becoming more and more tenuous. Some officers believed that Manchester would be the most defendable location, while others stressed that support from the Royal Navy in Liverpool would be the most effective way to protect against Cunningham. It was Attlee’s idea to make the choice for General Alexander; Republican bombers laid waste to Liverpool’s ports, long a mark of the local community. In Congress, Maximist grandee and Bevan’s mentor, Ernest Bevin, lauded Attlee’s decision. With Bevin’s support, Nye’s political security began to be disturbed - Attlee was the shining star and Bevan was the crumbling titan. With General Alexander pummeled by the Republican Air Force, the fall of Manchester seemed imminent, as did Attlee’s Syndicalist canonization. Royalist resistance in the North appeared doomed, and from a strategic perspective, the chances of victory were slim. As Alexander’s forces limped back into Manchester, the Royal Army found itself confronted with a force nearly four times its own size. During the early hours of March the Fifth, Cunningham's Army reached the outskirts of Manchester, and dispersed several Royalist units along the urban area. The swift advance forced Alexander to make a definitive decision on his next move - convinced that a defense would cost him his army, the Royal Army scurried out of North West England with all haste.

Lord Stonehaven was far less eager to perform a tactical retreat from the West Midlands. He now, however, faced a new Northern front from General Vereker and Cunningham, and could not hope to match the manpower of the combined front. Unable to receive reinforcements from the thinned Royalist lines, Stonehaven aggressively pushed the bulk of his force to confront Vereker near Derby. The Royalists’ sudden show of force caught Vereker off guard - his army recoiled from a brief succession of skirmishes outside of Nottingham and pulled him back North. Stonehaven’s incursion to the North was not without its consequences, as Duncan-Smith inched closer to Birmingham. Making special usage of the Bren light machine gun, the Republican soldiers occupied Warwick just as the Royalist troops returned from Derby. Field Marshall Kirke, under order from Wintringham, assumed general command of the Birmingham theatre - a two-pronged assault from Warwick and Nottingham, with support from Cunningham, was the main operational strategy of the Republican Army. In addition, Harris’ bombers would initiate a campaign against the Royalists regional HQ in Birmingham. A combined assault, Attlee argued, would incapacitate Birmingham’s industrial production - particularly if the city was to be a battleground of frequent contention. Kirke launched the assault during the late hours of the 5th, with RAF bombers performing scout runs over the city.

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Republican soldiers seize Warwick, with extra assistance from the Bren light machine gun.

The Royalist defenders had no intention to straggle - soldiers occupied QF AA guns and responded to the RAF’s assault with their own salvo. Throughout the evening, the fighters were dispersed by an advanced Anti-Aircraft complex that made aerial assault a dream. Nonetheless, Smith and Vereker pushed their divisions forth, while Cunningham sent supply trains from Manchester to meet the offensive armies. Stonehaven divided his five divisions into two separate units, sending one to hold off Vereker, and another to defend against Smith. Early in the morning, the Royalist Southern Unit engaged in heavy fighting just South of Birmingham, in Redditch. Close quarter combat gave the Royalists a defensive advantage, but artillery support tore apart the Royalists’ quarters. For a full day, the Republican troops poured in around the suburb, pinching the Royalists away from the city. As the day progressed, the Royalist position deteriorated; the Southern Unit was flushed away from Birmingham, and the Northern Unit (untouched by combat), withdrew into the city in order to prevent encirclement. Convinced that the position was unsustainable, Stonehaven withdrew the Northern Unit before Vereker could arrive, and abandoned the Southern Unit to confront the Republicans. The Southern Unit, deprived of central leadership, was routed by the 7th of March, and abandoned the West Midlands for a better position in Wales. Birmingham had fallen, and with it, Northern England.

Bevan and Wintringham were eager to continue the offensive, but Kirke was uncertain about the immediate extent of Attlee’s operational facilities for supply and ammunition. The Exchequer agreed, as it would take several more weeks for the full bulk of the Five Year Plan’s industries to be transferred for war purposes. The mere survival of the RAF was enough to satisfy Attlee’s anxiety - it had proved immensely effective, bar Birmingham, in the campaign’s counter-offensive. But the continuity of the war-effort, especially confronting the Royal Canadian Navy and other North Atlantic support, would prove a daunting task. Much of the Republic’s success had to be invested in French assistance, which was the occupational concern of Commissary Maxton. The young diplomat, determined to ease the pressure on the Union’s awakened army, pressured Dunois into sending support into the Isle. Two days after the Battle of Birmingham, two French divisions landed at Lowestoft, prepared to lend aid to their wounded allies. Yet they arrived to a nation preparing for a long conflict - defenses, barricades, wires, and trenches - this would be the new mark of the war. Attlee had preserved the Union, but the upcoming conflict would require an unrecognizable resilience, to stand against a continuous barrage, and defend the ideals of Syndicalism, or crumble before Edwardian Monarchism.

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British Civil War, March 10th, 1939
 
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NikephorosSonar

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Very riveting. I don't see how the Royalists are going to prevent a collapse of their entire position.