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aar1y.jpg


15 November 1863: Copenhagen, Denmark, Amalienborg Palace

Frederick Charles Christian; otherwise known as King Frederick VII of Denmark, lay still upon his bed, his last breath having escaped the lips of his 55 year old body. By his side stand his third wife, Queen Else Marie, his son Frederik Carl, and his adopted son Carl Christian; whose parents, Carl Berling and Louise Rasmussen had been killed in a carriage accident in 1842. As they mourned the passing of the King, the cogs of politics were all ready being put into motion; just as they had countless times going back as far as the Cnut the Great in the 11th century; the passing of the crown from father to son.

Three days later, the King having been laid to rest, 20 year old Frederik Carl Christian was crowned King Christian IX of Denmark. In his coronation speech to the Rigsdagen he took his father’s motto, “The People’s Love, My Strength”; to heart and spoke of the glories of Denmark’s past. In the years that followed, he worked dutifully to win over the hearts and minds of the people and encourage a sense of national pride; and instilled in the minds of his children that Denmark’s future and prosperity lay in the reunification of Scandinavia. Even Denmark’s defeat in the Second Schleswig war in 1864, with the loss of territory to Prussia and Austria, only served to add strength and vigor to the movement.

Christian IX wouldn’t live to see his plans put into full force, and neither would his son Frederick VIII; for it would take nearly 72 years of slow, methodical, planning and recovery before Christian X would be prepared to put the plan into action.

Historical Note:

King Fredrick had no official heir with a legitimate claim to the Danish Throne. His third wife was actually Louise Rasmussen, who had had an illegitimate child; Carl Christian, with the King’s close friend, Carl Berling.

In two books, one from 1994 and another from 2009, the claim is made that King Fredrick did in fact have a son in late 1843, although out of wedlock. The boy’s name was Frederik Carl Christian Poulsen and his mother was Else Maria Guldborg Pedersen. The book’s author, who claims to be King Fredrick’s Great-Granddaughter, states that she has four letters from the King to Else, one of which acknowledges the boy’s paternity. No other evidence is known to exist and even if true, a child born out of wedlock was and is still not a part of the line of succession.

When King Fredrick died in 1863 bringing an end to the older branch of the Oldenburg line of Danish Kings, the crown passed to his uncle Christian who became King Christian IX. Christian IX is sometimes referred to as the “Father-in-law of Europe due to family ties to many of the Royal Families.

This AAR is based on a change of events so that Fredrick marries Elsa instead of Louise and thus Frederik Carl Christian Poulsen is born in wedlock with a legitimate claim to the Danish throne. This means that the historical succession crisis which led to the Fredrick’s Uncle being named heir by way of legislative changes in 1854 does not occur. The royal line that follows sees Fredick VII’s great-grandson become King Christian X in 1912; a King with designs of rebuilding the Kalmar Union.

Also changed in this alternative history is the aftermath of the Second Schleswig war which historically humiliated Denmark and convinced its people that it simply couldn’t maintain its survival through the tools of war. In fact, Denmark didn’t participate in another military conflict outside of its own boarders until the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999. In this AAR, Denmark’s defeat has the opposite effect, putting Demark on a similar path to that experienced by Germany after WWI. However it would take Denmark far longer to prepare. All other events between 1864 and 1936 occur in relative historical fashion.

Modification Notes:


This AAR uses the standard game with Simper Fi, updated to the latest patch. No mods were used.

The following modifications were made to accommodate the changes to Denmark’s history.

Denmark’s starting Neutrality lowered from 90 to 70.

Head of State, Christian X changed minister type to “Danish Unionist” which provides a bonus to the lowering of Denmark’s neutrality. Also provides a small bonus to ruling party support.

Traded colors with USSR.

Objectives:

The goal of this game is to expand Denmark’s territory through annexation of Norway, Sweden, and Finland; while defending itself from any possible German (or other) aggression. It is also planned to remain unaligned as long as possible.

Contents

--1936--
Chapter 1 - Preparations for War - Jan 1st 1936
Chapter 2 – Spain and Ethiopia - Jan 1936 - May 1936
Chapter 3 - Blood Steel - May 28th 1936
Chapter 4 - Making Waves - July 4th 1936
Chapter 5 – Spain United – August 17th 1936
Chapter 6 - The End of '36 - September - December 1936

--1937--

Chapter 7 - Situation Report - Jan 1st, 1937
Chapter 8 - Contacts Grow Cold - Jan - Feb 1937
Chapter 9 - The Plan Revealed - March 5th, 1937
Chapter 10 - The Dogs of War - April - July 1937

--Operation Slartibartfast - Norway - August 13 to September 17, 1937--

Chapter 11 - Operation Slartibartfast - August 13th 1937
Chapter 12 - The Race to Oslo - August 1937
Chapter 13 - The Lillehammer Armistice - September 1937

--Operation Steel Rat - Sweden - February 1 to ??? 1938--

Chapter 14 - The Next Great Adventure - September to December 1937
Chapter 15 - Charge of the Steal Rat - February 1938
Chapter 16 - Cat and Mouse Calamity - March 1938

Web Resources

History of Copenhagen
Maps
Danish Royal Navy
Danish Military History
1937 Danish Calendar
Public Holidays in Denmark
 
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Chapter 1 - Preparations for War

1 January 1936: Copenhagen, Denmark; Christiansborg Palace

Having come to the conclusion that it was too late to head home the night before, Stefan Jorgenson had found his way to a small storage room where he had a cot set up for just such a necessity, where he had laid down, surrounded by stacks of office supplies and drifted off to sleep.

The next morning, Stefan awoke to the sound of someone rapping at the storeroom door. When he stood and opened it he was greeted by the smiling face of Almar, the 13 year old office boy that often ran errands for Stefan and others. “Sleeping in the closet again?”

“Obviously,” Stefan replied.

“It’s nearly 6 o’clock. Would you like me to run and get you some breakfast from kitchens? Anne is probably all ready got some eggs cooking.”

“That sounds like an excellent idea ‘mar. I’ll be at my desk.” The young lad smiled again before turning around to disappear down a flight of nearby stairs. Stefan straightened out his clothes and hair and headed down the hallway to his office. Despite the New Year’s holiday the day was expected to be a very busy one. As he sat down at his small oak desk he looked across the room at the grandfather clock. He only had about an hour to get ready for the King’s morning briefing.

Stefan quickly opened the night safe and pulled out a large file of papers and began thumbing through the reports from the various government ministers. He was just starting to read through the first report, which was from the Chief of the Army, Erik With; when Almar entered the office with a plate of eggs and bread.

“Thanks ‘mar.” Stefan said as the plate was sat down in front of him.

The boy smiled again before running off to begin his own duties for the day. Stefan took a bite of the eggs as he read through the army report. The country’s two divisions were still very undermanned, but they were slowly and quietly recruiting. The Army’s command restructuring was also nearly complete. This would make the army more efficient and better able to take on the logistics of the significant force expansion that was planned. By this time next year there would be at least two more divisions ready for service, with another two divisions in training.

aar2.png

Along with the expansion of the army, four troop transport ships were now under construction, the building contracts having been won by Stuhr Engine and Ship Construction at the Aalborg Shipyard. Stefan’s older brother worked as a master welder at the yard. If future plans held true, there would be a lot of work heading for the yard in future years. The local newspapers had commented heavily on the ship building initiative, although someone from the government had told them that they were simply cargo ships.

productionlist.png

By the time Stefan began reading the next report, this one from the Diplomatic Corps, he had finished off his eggs and was now nibbling away at his toast. The report covered the Ambassador’s initial success in strengthening Denmark’s ties with Great Britain and her allies. By the time Britain learned of Denmark’s ambitions it would most likely be difficult for them not to back us.

aligntobritian.png

The next report from the head of the Science Academy and indicated a need for improved construction techniques, Agriculture, and Industrial efficiency. Stefan expected the King would give his support to these endeavors and that the Folketing would provide the needed funding legislation.

techlist.png

Finally, the last report to be added to the King’s briefing was from the intelligence services Minister, Erik Mertz. His report detailed the focus of the service toward internal information dissemination and the increased threat perception of Norway.

intela.png

Stefan shuffled together the stacks of reports and requests, placing them in a file folder before closing it and tying the string around the latch. He then placed the file into his top left desk drawer and locked it with a long brass key. He turned out the light as he slipped the key into his coat pocket. He stepped out into the hallway and then closed the office door behind him.

Play notes:

Not much going on at this point. This entry is mainly a setup post to lay the ground work. The next few posts will cover the events of 1936, which includes the Spanish Civil War and will have more screen shots.

Index
Chapter 2 – Spain and Ethiopia - Jan 1936 - May 1936
 
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Automedon

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Interesting choice. Are you going to restore Daneverk and fight off ze germans or just align with axis?
 

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Interesting choice. Are you going to restore Daneverk and fight off ze germans or just align with axis?

I'm actually aligning toward the Allies but I don't plan to join them unless I'm attacked by Germany. I figure at some point I'll irk off at least one of the factions enough that I end up in the main war. If I join the Allies I have a better chance of keeping my ill gotten spoils.
 

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I'll be following :)
 

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Chapter 2 – Spain and Ethiopia

Note: I’ve converted the game to SF 2.04f. Since I’m not very far in at this point it made sense that now is the time to do so.

From the front page of the Copenhagen Dispatch:

spainheadlinecopy.jpg
spaincivilwar.jpg

Tensions among the various factions had been growing for months and finally they had erupted. Within a couple of days, Germany, Italy, and the Soviet Union would choose to intervene. The Nationalists made significant gains at first, but by April the front lines had ground to a stagnate halt.

spain11236.jpg
spain4136.jpg

Meanwhile in Eastern Africa the Italians forced the unconditional surrender of the Ethiopians on the 24th of February. A new government, that was little more than a puppet, was quickly established.

ethiopiasurenders.jpg

Back home in Denmark, the preparations for war were moving forward as planned.

On January 18th the Basic Mobilization of the economy was completed. On March 10th the nation’s industries were retooled from being mixed, to being Consumer Product Oriented. While this is seemingly contrary to the nation’s goals, making it take longer to produce the needed war materials, it would actually free up some industries.

basicmobilization.jpg
consumerproductorientat.jpg

On the 13th of May, just 3 days after having signed the order to add 5 artillery brigades to the armed forces, the economy was fully mobilized.

artilleryq.jpg
fullmobilisation.jpg

Index
Chapter 1 - Preparations for War - Jan 1st 1936
Chapter 3 - Blood Steel - May 28th 1936
 
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Chapter 3 - Blood Steel

Aalborg - May 28th 1936

The weather in Aalborg had turned unseasonable wet and cool as a group of men huddled around a fire that was burning in a large metal drum. Jacob held out his hands rubbing them to stimulate circulation. The group was waiting for the rest of the union workers to emerge from the nearby brick union hall. A strike vote was being held and most expected that they would soon be walking the picket lines. When the large green double doors of the hall opened and Hans Jorgen stepped out, a large grin stretching across his face, Jacob and the rest of the gathered steel workers had their answer. The strike was on.

workersstrike.jpg

Everyone quickly gathered up the picket signs and banners that had been made over the last week. They then formed up, with Hans and several other union leaders at the head of the column and the whole group began marching down the street to the Steel fabrication plant that provided almost all of the steel used by the Aalborg shipyard.

strikeli.jpg

The police had also gathered, the government having expected the strike vote, but they let the strikers move down the street and take up position in front of the entrance to the steel mill. Jacob and the other strikers began their procession, marching up and down the sidewalk, chanting about their wages that barely kept a roof over their heads and food on their tables, not to mention the horrendous working conditions. As the sun set, the temperature dropped even more, and the clouds over head opened up, pouring down on the strikers.

The next morning when Jacob returned to the mill to take up his strike shift, the workers had blockaded the street.

danishstrike.jpg

“What’s going on” he asked to the crowd, which was busy trying to strengthen the barricades, but before anyone spoke up lines of police and even a brigade of army troops showed up in formation. Jacob had his answer. The government needed the steel to build their ships. The strike was going to be put down. The police and army marched steadily for the barricades. Strikers picked up rocks and sticks in a feeble attempt to protect themselves. When the troops reached the barricade they began to pull it down, strikers yelling at them to stop, to no avail. Jacob didn’t see who started it but all of a sudden the gates of hell erupted.

The battle couldn’t have lasted more than a few minutes. Jacob had taken a blow to the head. Blood caked the side of his face as he ran down an alleyway, ducking into a open warehouse door. Later that night he would learn that several of the union leaders had been arrested. The strike was over. The workers didn’t have much choice but to return to work the next day.

arestp.jpg

Index
Chapter 2 – Spain and Ethiopia - Jan 1936 - May 1936
Chapter 4 - Making Waves - July 4th 1936
 
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Go Denmark go! I'm a dane, so i'll have to follow this one :)
 

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Might be risky going the Aliies...

Good luck!
 

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Chapter 4 – Making Waves – 4 July, 1936

Stefan stood on the wooden platform that had been built at the bow of the ship that sat neatly in the drydock where it had been constructed. The black paint on its hull still looked as if it hadn’t yet finished drying. Stefan wrestled with the urge to reach out and touch it to test its tackiness.

shipdrydock.jpg

The small plaque that had been placed on the temporary wooden bow cover proudly proclaimed the name of the ship as the Odin. The name had been picked by a local group of school children, many of whom were now gathered with the various minor dignitaries that had gathered for the christening. Stefan was present as a representative of the King. It was a low key affair. The ship was officially nothing more than just another cargo ship built to ply the seas and expansion of Denmark’s market share. In reality, the type of expansion it would help usher in for the Danish people was of a much different, and preferably more permanent sort.

The shouts and cheers of the crowd increased to a steady roar as a woman in her late 50’s was led up the stairs of the platform by yard master that had overseen the ship’s construction. Behind her followed a couple of select students and several of the yard’s workers, including Stefan’s brother, Lorens.

Stefan stood quietly idle as a series of quick boring speeches were given by men he didn’t care to know the names of. Local politicians and shipping related businessmen mostly. Stefan was grateful that he hadn’t been called on to add to the monotone waste of time. Finally, after what had felt like an eternity, the old school teacher turned toward the bow of the ship, raised the bottle of cheap French wine and swung it, striking the bow cover, the bottle breaking, spilling its contents.

With the festivities over, Stefan made his departure, satisfied in the knowledge that the ship would be pushed out of drydock and into the harbor in the morning; the first of a fleet of transport ships that would be used in the planed invasion of Norway next year. Over the din of the crowd the sound of hammering and welding could be heard coming from other parts of the yard.

Index
Chapter 3 - Blood Steel - May 28th 1936
Chapter 5 – Spain United – August 17th 1936
 
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Avindian

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I can't believe I haven't commented here yet :eek: A really fascinating approach; not sure what your plans are for expansion, but I hope you fortify southern Denmark like nobody's business, if you've got the IC. Keep up the good work!
 

Danmark Rising

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good to see Denmark taking its preparations for war seriously ... like the way you're building this up

Thanks. I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

I can't believe I haven't commented here yet :eek: A really fascinating approach; not sure what your plans are for expansion, but I hope you fortify southern Denmark like nobody's business, if you've got the IC. Keep up the good work!

Welcome. My ultimate goal is to unite all of Scandinavia under the Danish flag. Norway, Sweden, and Finland. I'm sure sooner or later I'm going to run up head first into one of the major powers. If Germany attacks I'm not sure trying to defend Jutland is really all that viable but we'll see. There will be a post or two that sets out the story for my defensive plans.