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G.K.

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Monarchy over the Danube - Austro-Hungarian AAR

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This is my second attempt to write an AAR, this time I chose Austria-Hungary, using my own little mod. My goal is to reconquer all the previous lands + maybe something more. I'm planning to use quite similar narrative/historybook style like during my previous Bulgarian AAR. I hope You'll like this one, too!

New Imperial Anthem: http://www.twschwarzer.de/kaiserld.mp3
Gott erhalte, Gott beschütze
Unsern Kaiser, unser Land!
Mächtig durch des Glaubens Stütze
Führ´ Er uns mit weiser Hand!
Laßt uns Seiner Väter Krone
Schirmen wider jeden Feind:
Innig bleibt mit Habsburgs Throne
Österreichs Geschick vereint.

In Verbannung, fern den Landen
Weilst Du, Hoffnung Österreichs.
Otto, treu in festen Banden
Steh´n zu Dir wir felsengleich.
Dir, mein Kaiser, sei beschieden
Alter Ruhm und neues Glück!
Bring den Völkern endlich Frieden,
Kehr zur Heimat bald zurück!




List of Chapters:

Chapter I - Prologue
Chapter II - The Beginning
Chapter III - Back at Piave River
Chapter IV - All Quiet on the Southern Front
Chapter V - Seven Hills of Rome
Chapter VI - First Victory
Chapter VII - Looking North
Chapter VIII - Great Crusade, Part One
Chapter IX - Great Crusade, Part Two
Chapter X - Light of Democracy
Chapter XI - Storm in Europe
Chapter XII - Alliance of Freedom
Chapter XIII - Stalemate
Chapter XIV - Rendez-Vous
Chapter XV - Right Bank
Chapter XVI - Day of Victory
Chapter XVII - Everlasting Peace
Chapter XVIII - New World Order
Chapter XIX - Grand Final
Chapter XX - Epilogue
 
Last edited:

G.K.

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Chapter I - Prologue

This story starts far behind the game’s timeline. Actually, it starts during the Great War on 21st of November 1916, when Franz Joseph I. passed away after nearly 68 years of reign. He left no male successor; his only son Rudolph committed suicide in 1889.Therefore, Charles I., his nephew, became the last emperor of the Empire.

The Empire was in a war it couldn’t handle. Despite the situation on the front wasn’t so bad, the internal problems were endangering the very basics of Austrian state. The Empire became a vassal of Germany; as our armies were in a very bad condition; our participation was dependant on them. It shown to be a wrong choice – despite efforts of Charles I. to get the Empire out of war, it ended with defeat and dissolving of the Monarchy. Charles I. tried to get his throne back 2 times, but he failed. He spent the rest of his life on Madeira, where he died in 1922. During the last moments of his life he was enclosed by his family – his wife, Zita, and his son, Otto, aged 9.

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Three generations – Franz Joseph, Charles and Otto

Young Otto became the head of House of Habsburgs. During his early life he studied social sciences in Belgium at Leuven, finishing the studies in 1935. In the same year, Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg revised the content of Habsburg Law, which forced Otto’s family to leave the country. Despite being prohibited to participate in politics, Otto could return home now... And change the history.

People of Austria never accepted the Austrian first republic. Former superpower is now, in 1935, just an ordinary mid European country without any power, stuck by the economic crisis from the 30s with unpopular chancellor and endangered by National Socialism. Overall situation is unstable, as many people want to see Austria back in its former glory. Mussolini, who supported fascist Austria for most of its existence, is now busy with shelling Ethiopian spear-armed tribesmen with artillery grenades. Austrian republic is now weaker than ever.

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Otto as a student, accompanied by one of the conspirators

While he was studying in Leuven, a group of Austrian politicians around diplomat Guido Schmidt, close friends of the Chancellor himself got in contact with him and offered him a chance to get back his rightfully demanded throne of Austria. Otto didn’t trust them at first, but when the things started to move and when it became clear that neither the Entente nor Mussolini is going to intervene, he accepted. When Otto and his new companions, Guido Schmidt and Eduard Baar-Baarenfels, former members of Schuschnigg’s cabinet, returned home, the government ordered police to act as they realised it was a huge mistake, but it was too late. The arrival of Crown Prince Otto was the last drop. Police officers sent against Otto refused to comply Chancellor’s orders; some of the military commanders joined Otto against the Fascist government. President Miklas and Chancellor Schuschnigg decided to prevent any violence or a civil war and both resigned on 29th September 1935. Otto was then crowned as Emperor of Austria on 1st October in St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. The Monarchy was restored.

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Place of the ceremonial – St Stephen’s Cathedral | Imperial Crown

But this wasn’t the end of Otto’s plans. He wanted to reunite the monarchy in its borders from 1914, but he knew this target is almost impossible. To achieve it, he would have to balance between Nazi Germany, which wants to return Austria “Heim an Reich”, and between the Allies, who managed to destroy the monarchy in 1919 in St Germain. Most of the sovereign nations will be opposing his plans – namely Czechs, Serbs, Romanians and others. The only possible allies are friends from the times of Dual Monarchy – Hungarians. Hungary was also in a difficult situation. Economically weak, encircled by Little Entente, violated by Trianon treaty. In autumn 1935 Otto ordered his diplomats to start negotiating with Admiral Horthy, Regent of Hungarian Kingdom, about a federation of Austria-Hungary.

“We can’t give you any certainty – we can only offer war and risk, but we promise you to get all the Hungarians under the Crown of St. Stephen like before. The world is changing – old alliances are broken, new war is closing. We have a unique chance to change status quo in our favour – to create a new Austria – federation of cooperating nations, living in peace and secure from brown or red totalitarian systems.”

This is what Otto said to Horthy during a personal meeting in Schönbrunn. Except for all Hungarian lands, Horthy was also offered to be a Prime Minister in the new state. Therefore, after long negotiations, he accepted in early December. Both states were formally unified, despite not recognized by any major power, on the 1st January 1936. As discussed before, the new Austria will be a federation – all the nations will get their rights to live in peace within the monarchy. The new constitution was prepared and also a new flag, using the colours of Habsburg dynasty and symbol of Schmidt’s monarchist group was made a state symbol. The new Coat of Arms represents the historical tradition of the Monarchy and even sovereignty of (future) nations of our federation.

So this is how the first 2 federative states – Kingdom of Austria and Kingdom of Hungary – were created. Now it’s time to return the Monarchy back to its lost glory...

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Flags of 2 Kingdoms of the Federation - Kingdom of Austria and Kingdom of Hungary
 
Last edited:

Tommy4ever

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Good luck!

I assume that your going to have to form a 4th block in order to achieve your aims. Will, after securing the Habsburg territory, form an Austrian dominated sphere in the Balkans?

It would also be awesome if you claimed Constantinople. :D
 

vitcash

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Restore the empire! then face the soviet hordes?
 

G.K.

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Chapter II – The Beginnings

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The first cabinet council had many things to discuss. First, foreign minister Schmidt, referred to Emperor Otto I. about the situation:

“We still failed to force any majors to accept us as a new state. The only European state to do so is still only Bulgaria. The good news is that neither Germany nor Entente considers us as an enemy or thread. We have also decided which lands we should inherit if possible.

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Basically, we used the old lands from 1914 plus some others, namely Serbia and Montenegro as we need to keep Balkans more or less stable and willing to cooperate, Veneto, as it is our historical land lost not even 100 years ago and also Silesia, which used to be our land until 1740. I understand, My Lord, it might seem unrealistic – it really is unrealistic, but we must try to gain as much as possible. This’ll be easy with Little Entente if they won’t cooperate, slightly more difficult with Poland as their military power shouldn’t be underestimated, and very difficult with Italy or Germany. We must therefore act carefully.”


After Minister Schmidt has ended, Emil Dobricek, Czech living in Austria since 1918, now minister of Armament, stood up:

“Our factories are now working hard to reinforce K.u K. Army; namely we are training an infantry brigade to reinforce one division, but most of our potential goes into heavy guns. We have modernised our old 149mm Škoda guns, and as we know those performed quite well during the test. Rearming all the divisions will take some time, but till 1937 our army will be ready, I can guarantee that.”

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The third one was the most expected. It was Field Marshall Gustáv Henneyey, Chief of Staff. He was supposed to tell which country will be the first to face Austria-Hungary. Before, there’ve been a lot of speculations about who’s going to be the first. The discussers soon splat into 2 parties – the first one led Otto himself, which thought it is going to be Czechoslovakia because of its industrial power, and the second one led by Horthy, which thought it is going to be Yugoslavia because of its size and sea access. The anticipations when Henneyey stood up were at maximum Otto and Horthy even made a bet on which country will be the first!.

“The first step in our war has a great advantage over the others. The victim won’t expect being attacked, especially if you choose your target carefully. Most of you chose Czechoslovakia as the target – and I must say it is a wrong choice (All the ministers noticed the smile on Horthy’s face in this moment and Otto prepared himself to pay a bottle of Champagne...). Their armed forces are modern, but unprepared, thus being an easy target. Yugoslavia is weakened by internal problems similar to ours – Rezsó Andorka (Chief of Intelligence) informed me that most of the Croats would join rather federative Austria than centralist Yugoslavia, ruled by Serbs. Therefore, it isn’t our target, too. ”

After hearing this, Admiral Horthy’s face turned back to normal, but now it was full of disappointment, the same way as the faces of others. Henneyey continued:

“Therefore, I chose the country that stuck a knife into our back in 1915. Country, which is now busy with recovering from the last war. I chose... Italy.”

There’s been deadly silence in the hall of Schönbrunn for some time.

“Italy? Is that a wise choice?” Asked Andorka with a disappointed voice

“Indeed risky, but necessary. Remember, we must show the others who we are, that we are ready to sacrifice something. Hitler up there in Germany wants to annex Austria into Germany and Mussolini will most likely support him after Schuschnigg’s regime is over. If we defeat Italy, we might get not only sea access, but even their navy, their colonies, reparations and Veneto. If we act fast, we might stop them from forming an alliance with Germany. If we let them to sign it, Austria-Hungary will be doomed.”

“Are you sure our army is ready for this? Italians will overnumber us; they’ll have advantage in technology, industrial potential, manpower, they also have tanks, motorised units, they’ll absolutely dominate the skies with their airforce. Do we even have a chance?”
“We have, the surprise if what makes us the winners. The plans were made and the troops are getting ready. I’m sure Austrian soldier will soon be marching near Colosseum. Very soon.”


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The last one was Minister Eduard Baar-Baarenfels, Minister of security. Despite being important, too, most of the ministers were busy thinking about Henneyey’s plan rather than paying attention to his speech:

“The overall situation in our federation is better than we could expect. There have been some efforts from the left to attack the new state using illegal newspaper, but those were stopped in the very beginning. We haven’t punished the authors, we’ve just warned them from continuing, as we can’t afford to have internal enemies now. But still, we have many supporters who are willing to die for our country if needed.”

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By the autumn, all necessary rearming was done and Austrian industry now focused on the air units. Our scientists also helped our effort by developing some new features for our 1-seated aircraft and some infantry weaponry, too. István Shvoy has also ordered the Armament Ministry to build the first Austro-Hungarian tanks, using Hungarian designs of a planned light tank. Now, K.u K. Army had no armoured vehicles, only cavalry forces. The air force consists of 1 FTR and 1 TAC unit, mostly outdated planes from early 30s. A transport fleet is being built in American shipyards, too.

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Mannlicher M95, the main rifle used by our army

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Fiat CR-32, backbone of our fighter forces in 1936

Schmidt managed to handle some problems with his ministry, but this was considered pretty unimportant in the atmosphere of incoming war.

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At the same time, Andorka’s intelligence service did quite well in Italy. The ethnic and political conflicts in South Tyrol were escalating and war was now quite close. Hopefully, the Italians wouldn’t ever guess that much weaker Austria-Hungary would ever DoW them, but still kept strong forces on its northern border. Emil Dobricek as the armament minister decided to nationalize strategic factories as a preparation. Soon after, government issued a decree of mobilization. 19 divisions, including one cavalry division and a mountain division, were ready to smash the Italians.

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Last edited:

Rensslaer

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Fascinating scenario! I've always wanted to do an Austro-Hungarian WW II. Even wrote a little scene about it once.

I'll keep an eye on this!

Rensslaer
 

TheBromgrev

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The borders you picked are a little different from what I normally use in my personal A-H mod. I use this map for the borders of the 1914 nation, which are basically what you have plus a few more Romania provinces. Also, unless you make some province changes, your leadership will be pathetic at 9 or 10-ish before laws.

Regardless, looking forward to how you play this out. All of the other A-H AARs died out around this point, and I'd like to see one finish :)
 

G.K.

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TheBromgrev: I agree, but the map in Romania is quite inaccurate, e.g. look at the Carpathian mountains - they aren't surrounding Beograd in RL nad many historical regions of Romaina are now deformed, but the current state is sufficient more or less.
I think I'll let the leadership be, hopefully I can live with it.
 

sprites

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interesting idea , i'll follow
 

G.K.

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Chapter III – Back at Piave River

In the evening of 26th of November 1936, Otto put on his military uniform and entered the general staff to see the preparations. Start of military actions was set on midnight 27th.

hoi31464.png


Field Marshall Henneyey began to explain his plan to the Emperor:

“ Our army is divided into 3 groups with different strategic objectives. Group West will be attacking the area around Lake Garda and after its shores are secure and other starting objectives are completed, its main forces are going to attack in southwestern direction and won’t stop their advance until they reach the sea and cut off Lombardy and Savoy from the Italian peninsula. In final, they are supposed to clear those regions from the remaining forces. Group Center will avoid fighting in the mountains and will have to leave a division or 2 in Austria to defend our borders. The remaining forces will advance to the northern Adriatic coast and after reaching the sea their main target will be Venice. After securing Veneto, Group Center will be advancing into Tuscany and secure West’s right flank from ambushes. In the last phase, Center will be advancing to the South towards the capital. The last one, Group East, was ordered to secure the coast and destroy any resistance in Trieste and surrounding provinces. After that, their main forces will serve as a reserve for Group Center.”

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This is a plan for a minor to defeat a world power. Just after the war was declared, new laws were enacted:

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The first hours of war found the Italians unprepared, but still defending quite well because of the mountain positions. The first success was achieved by K.u K. Cavalry forces, which surprised the enemy in the west and made him retreat. Meanwhile, eastern divisions were closing to the sea. It took them a few days, but still the resistance was weaker than expected. The Istrian Offensive was ready to start.

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In the middle of December, the advance on the West was stopped, meeting a heavy Italian resistance. However, Fascists were on retreat in the East; troops defending Trieste and Venice were now retreating into the cities. Meanwhile, the Italians made the first major counterattack in the West, greatly complicating our situation. Italian air force also dominates the sky and our pilots are, if not absolutely necessary, sitting on the ground. We have also met Italian armored divisions.

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In the end of December, Venice became the frontline. The city itself was declared an open zone, but Austrian army had to fight its way through the coastline to the left bank of the Po river. At the same time, battle of Trieste was already raging with undecisive results. Meanwhile, in SU, Stalin became mad and begun to slaughter his own generals. Trieste finally fell in January 1937 and Italian troops in the area retreated to Yugoslavia with silent support from their government. Despite issuing a protest, there was no change and Italian units continued attacking back from their land. This will not be forgotten.

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Italian offensive in the west didn’t pushed our forces from South Tirol, but at least took back Vincenza and Garda before we could stabilize the frontline. The battle of Venice was in the beginning. As long as we secured Trieste and Istria, we could depart more forces to help at Venice. The remaining forces have started an attack in the middle, trying to secure Verona.

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On the 23rd of January we finally won the battle of Venice, leaving more than 2 000 dead soldiers on the battlefield. In the west, Italian troops situated north of Garda didn’t secured their backs and our armies tried to encircle them with a risky maneuver. While some limited forces pinned down Italian reserves at Brescia, our troops took Salo and encircled Italian Bersaglieri units.

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In February, the frontline was more or less stable with intense fighting in the west and defence on the Po river, as the Italians were quite serious in their attempts to take back Venice. Either way, the first phase of war was a success, securing all the major targets. Now, our forces have to regroup and proceed to Rome. But the Italians are now mobilising their reserves and elite units to stop us...

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TheBromgrev

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Well done so far, although it looks like your line is under a lot of pressure. Do you think you'll be able to break through? Your MP is a lot lower than Italy's, and they have more troops than you, so are you going to try and get a cease fire to grab your cores and stop?

You made me want to play my own personal A-H mod (using the HPP as a base) again, to try taking on Italy first. I normally do it after Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, and aim for a peace treaty after grabbing the cores. One thing I did was to give Vienna more leadership. It starts off with 0.8, which is pretty pathetic. In comparison, Budapest has 2.00. Since Austria is supposed to be annexed during the course of a normal game, I'm assuming the low leadership is to nerf Germany.

On a side note, if you haven't already, do NOT research the terrain equipment techs (arctic, mountain, jungle, desert), as they are broken and actually increase attrition. The paratrooper and amphibious techs work as intended though, and the 2 attrition-related techs in the industry tab work fine as well. The terrain equipment bug will be fixed in the next patch, according to its bug report.
 

G.K.

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Chapter IV - All Quiet on the Southern Front

In February, Kaiser Otto visited his soldiers in Venice to boost their morale against attacking Italians. The situation was getting much more complicated and it was now obvious that a fast victory is not possible as the Po river was a big obstacle for any attackers. In the western front our troops were under heavy pressure, too. Encircled units were still refusing to surrender and fresh troops from Lombardy were trying to save them from captivity.

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Meanwhile, there has been a rebellion against the government in Spain. After consulting the situation with foreign minister, Otto decided that country should remain neutral and do not support the government nor the rebels. As expected, SU, Italy and Germany intervened.

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While the Italian divisions in the pocket were almost defeated, our troops failed to hold Saló and the enemy got a chance to escape. To prevent this, our troops attacked from Brescia to the North and cut off the enemy again. Our lines were now stretched too much and we had no reserves, so we lost Brescia soon after, but the division held it so long that before Italians could reconquer it, their troops at Saló were forced to surrender.

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Meanwhile, there’ve been problems on the eastern front. The offensive, started in early February, attempting to secure a bridgehead, now failed and our troops were pushed back behind Po. The city of Vincenza was then attacked and was saved only thanks to our reserve divisions.

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But after victory at Saló, the front collapsed on the west and our armies launched an attack against Milano. The city surrended before the end of February. Only 6 men were killed during an assault. The overall situation was now improving as our troops were closing to French borders without any resistance. The bridgehead at Modena was in danger, but despite Italian effort, Austrian reinforcements forced them to stop the attacks.

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According to our plan, Group West begun its voyage to the sea. While cavalry troops were flanking the main forces and soon conquered Torino, infantrymen have crossed the Po river and started an attack against La Spezia. Meanwhile, our troops have finally crossed the Po and conquered Ravenna, but soon were pushed back again.

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La Spezia fell in March and enemy divisions in Savoy were now encircled. We also secured the western front. This might be the turning point in the war. Soon after, our troops in Istria finally broke Italian resistance and forced them to retreat on the islands. From now, they aren’t considered a threat anymore.

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While the offensives in Tuscany and Savoy were under way, Italians crossed the Po and returned to Vincenza. Our troops are planning to encircle them as their flanks are vulnerable. In the west all the work is almost done as the last resistance around Genoa is now getting weaker every hour.

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The Austrian Navy also made the first operation after WWI; transport of soldiers from Istria to Venice. No enemy ships were encountered.

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Our troops from Group West are now moving along western coat as the resistance in Savoy is almost destroyed. Italians are still defending in the east, but our troops are now advancing towards Florence.

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GulMacet

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Not to be a stickler for detail here, but the ships and units of the Austro-Hungarian Empire should have German names (after all, it is a multiethnic affair now, but still led by the German-speaking parts of the Empire). Other than that: Bring back my Empire! Go for it! Crush! Conquer! Restore!