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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

The B

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I wonder how the world will be at the end of the war. There isn't a clear ideological divide like our Cold War and I fear the victors will be too harsh in their terms to really maintain peace. Also with Germania and the UK still great powers decolonization will be hard to achieve in Africa.
Depending on who wins - victory is not certain. Britain and Germania are not the greatest allies and won't fall out, but won't work together with the greatest efficiency.

The northern US is a hotbed for communist activity, and it won't be a surprise if they rise if the nation is defeated. That will not be the greatest result. Russia is also looking shaky, and fascism may also survive the war.

Would it be too OTL ironic to give Stuttgart the title of Hero City? ;)

Also I think the awards established for Stuttgart should be:

Defender of Stuttgart (Land), 1st and 2nd Class (For civilians and soldiers who showed immense bravery and valour during the battle for Stuttgart)

Stuttgart Cross, 2nd Class (For civilians and soldiers who suffered one or two combat injuries fighting in and around Stuttgart)

Stuttgart Cross, 1st Class (For civilians and soldiers who suffered three or more injuries fighting in and around Stuttgart)

Defender of Stuttgart (Air), 1st and 2nd Class (For airmen who showed immense bravery and valour in dogfights or other air force-related activities during the battle for Stuttgart)

And Imperial Unit Citations should be handed out to all units who fought in the Stuttgart area, with special mentions given to troops whose actions stood out from the battlefield.

Also (I have to ask) what is the state of Albania and Albanians in general in this AAR? And how progressive socially is Germania?
I agree with these awards! Many shall be awarded!

Albania is a neutral country in the sphere of Hungary (I think), although it does flicker between nations. It is stable and slowly developing rather than going to war. I think it is a monarchy, although I'll have to check.

The socialist movement in Germania is strong, and the Socialists are in charge. They have rolled forwards several reforms, the maximum workhours have been lowered to 12, everything else is on about level 4 I think - again I'll have to check.

I'm churning out an update now so don't fear!
 
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shade55

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Depending on who wins - victory is not certain. Britain and Germania are not the greatest allies and won't fall out, but won't work together with the greatest efficiency.

The northern US is a hotbed for communist activity, and it won't be a surprise if they rise if the nation is defeated. That will not be the greatest result. Russia is also looking shaky, and fascism may also survive the war.



I agree with these awards! Many shall be awarded!

Albania is a neutral country in the sphere of Hungary (I think), although it does flicker between nations. It is stable and slowly developing rather than going to war. I think it is a monarchy, although I'll have to check.

The socialist movement in Germania is strong, and the Socialists are in charge. They have rolled forwards several reforms, the maximum workhours have been lowered to 12, everything else is on about level 4 I think - again I'll have to check.

I'm churning out an update now so don't fear!
Glad to know there'll be a new update soon. On the edge of my seat wondering how this war will end!
 
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HIMDogson

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Rereading this, I was quite impressed with how much the writing had improved. It went from merely above average narration to what could pass for a textbook in this alternate world! Again, nicely done.
 
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att

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When is the next part coming out?
 
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RepublicanIV

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When is the next part coming out?
When the fighting in Germania has subsided enough to allow the chroniclers to order the chaos.
 
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71,247,479 people voted in that election. Mein gott.
 

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It has been a tough few weeks hasn't it? For me at least. But never fear, remember what I said earlier. I do apologise though.


Expect an update soon - on the last section or two now!
 
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The B

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Looking forward to it :)
Thanks. I do always feel immensely guilty though, for it seems whenever I get any momentum going I am rendered through one thing or another unable to write. And I mean unable - unfortunately for me, I find it impossible to write in short periods, and the long hours required for me to write have not been forthcoming. The actual amount of time I've had I could have written much more, it's just all split up into small sections.

Anyway, enough rambling. The picture is a hint by the way.
 

HIMDogson

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If I'm not mistaken that's the Column of Victory. I predict splendid things for Germania!
 
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Thanks. I do always feel immensely guilty though, for it seems whenever I get any momentum going I am rendered through one thing or another unable to write. And I mean unable - unfortunately for me, I find it impossible to write in short periods, and the long hours required for me to write have not been forthcoming. The actual amount of time I've had I could have written much more, it's just all split up into small sections.
Don't worry, if you can't write, then no problem, it's not like you have obligations to write your story of Germania :p
 

guillec87

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take the time you need TheB... if someone should be asking sorry, it would be us for taking your time into this amazing AAR
 

Nikolai

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#drools#

Take the time you need though!:)
 
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I just started reading this AAR. I have spent the past 8 hours doing so. It is now 5 am. This is the best AAR I have ever read. On the edge of my seat waiting for the update. Nice job.
 
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I'm not sure of how to subscribe to this, but I assume you have to comment. I've been a long time reader of this thread and I glad its still being worked on and that I've found it again!
 

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LIX - The Seat of Empire
July - December 1929

The Prussian Herald, July 25th 1929


For several weeks the citizens of Ingria have gone to bed in the knowledge that, when they awake, it is entirely possible that their home nation may no longer exist. This morning, that fear became reality. A final agreement on Ingria's sovereignty resulted last night in the leaders of the tiny state signing over control to Prime Minister Kolchak. At five o’clock this afternoon, Russian troops tore down border checkpoints and stormed through the small villages to Petrograd (also known by its old name, St Petersburg). Rather than a greeting with guns and artillery, their march through the old Russian capital saw huge crowds turn out to greet them. Women wept and threw flowers, whilst children ran to the soldiers in awed curiosity. Needless to say, the large opposition to Russia's entrance were not making themselves prominent today. Resistance was very limited, but around lunchtime several leading members of the local communist and socialist parties were captured including Vladimir Lenin, whose Bolshevik party has been polling upwards of 20% in Ingrian elections.

At the time of going to press, voices of protest had already been heard from several governments across the world. The Germanian Chancellor Karl Renner dismissed Kolchak’s move as “an irresponsible, undemocratic violation of the Treaty of Konigsberg.” This sentiment was seconded by the Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who is currently meeting Renner in Toronto, although no official statement has yet to be released from Downing Street.

But it remains to be seen how the Great Powers will react to this sudden turn of events on the diplomatic stage; where strong words will simply not suffice. If the Germanians follow the treaty, they will declare war on Russia along with Britain. With a ferocious battle over Italian-occupied Bavarian and Austrian land in the south, and a hellish American front, declaring war on Russia now would be a guaranteed defeat.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Kolchak had called Germania’s bluff: it seemed to have worked. Any resistance in the city was quickly extinguished. In fact, Kolchak could find significant support from the middle and upper classes in Germania, who largely sympathised with at least his territorial demands. “Since the creation of Lorraine many decades ago,” wrote one journalist “the Germanian elite have felt that they can simply carve out new nations, for obvious geopolitical gain, from unwilling populations. Kolchak has shattered that illusion.”


Jubilant crowds gather in Petrograd.


Initial reaction amongst the government was terror as false information spread that Russia was planning on joining the war alongside the US and Italy, but this was quickly found to be unlikely. Although Russia had been fermenting trouble in the Slavic areas of Hungary, their plans had not been met with much success, and instead the Hungarian army had held on. Alongside some tacit support for the US, the Russians appeared quiet. Kolchak insisted he had no desire to participate in the war on either side.

And yet, along the 40 or so mile border with Germanian Estonia, the tension was felt in the cool northern air. Though the Russian soldiers guarding the border points were the same people in different uniforms, they grasped their weapons tighter, their previously relaxed hours inside chilly huts replaced with a constant scanning of the landscape. Germanian soldiers, now more numerous, jumped at small bangs and treated passing travellers with even more suspicion.


In this icy atmosphere, Renner agreed to meet Kolchak for a brief day-long meeting, in Berlin. Kolchak had the advantage of having planned exactly what he was going to say: Renner had had little preparation. The Austrian peasant, tired and stressed, appeared small compared to the Admiral Kolchak and his co-negotiator, the “Black Baron” Wrangel. Renner’s small group of timid Social Democrats nonetheless held their corner. The Russians knew that threatening military action would be risky and, regardless of the outcome, costly.

Renner tried his best to give the Germanians the edge in a bizarre game. He ordered the radiators be turned up when the Russians went to rest. He fed them heavy foods and hot drinks. He bored them with long, detailed speeches. Eventually, a begrudged agreement was struck. Germania would accept Petrograd as Russian territory, recognise the successful Russian plebiscite in Sakhalin and withdraw the remaining small presence in the Russian mines they had occupied. In return Russia would limit the amount of troops placed on the border and stop funding rebels in Hungary and other Slavic lands. It was an uneasy agreement that left much to be settled. Renner viewed it as a victory.

But he had larger worries. In August soldiers in the stagnant west of the New England front were woken by a huge artillery barrage which continued for two hours. Encouraged by their victories against the Dixies, in August the United States launched another major offensive into occupied territory to the north, now led by General Summerall. By this point both the Americans and the Europeans had realised the importance of New York to their war efforts. If the city fell it would be a huge blow to not only American prestige but also their industrial output. It was vital that with the Germanians held up to the east, that they be distracted in the west to alleviate pressure on the city.


General Summerall: possibly the greatest American general
in the war.


General Summerall was a skilled strategist who had become the bane of the British and Germanian attack into New England. Von Seekt made moves to try to counter his latest moves, but never had the old Prussian looked so out of his depth against the modern American.

Von Seekt would receive some relief when his old ally and friend von Mackensen was finally moved over to America, as the government in Norway offered unconditional surrender and the last few northern towns finally gave up their resistance. Like with Sweden, a number of troops now highly experienced in mountain combat could be directed to the south. High Command was reluctant, however, to allow Swedes and Norwegians into the army, whereas Renner and numerous members of his government were enthusiastic. A compromise was reached where the Scandinavians would have to undergo tough recruitment tests to ensure their loyalty to the Reich.

Norwegian nurses recently admitted to the Germanian army.


Pushing forwards, the Americans outmanoeuvred the Germanian and British forces in the west, retaking the now smouldering town of Erie and pushing onwards around the Allegheny forest. Only a well-timed arrival of reinforcements from Canada was able to halt their advance, instead pushing them into the forest; the exact area Summerall wished to avoid.

Chaotic scenes ensued. The Americans continued onwards, enjoying numerical advantage in both artillery and infantry, but the Luftwaffe and RAF would punish them without mercy. The aeroplanes not only were remarkably useful for spotting Americans in the forest, but were superior to their American counterparts and thus were able to block their enemy counterparts.

But unseasonably poor Autumn weather rendered air support difficult if not impossible to rely on; many planes were grounded. The Americans, having more advanced knowledge of the forest, bloodily forced their way out. On the 5th of October, defences in the town of Kane were abandoned and the British forces which had been drafted in to hold the position were forced to flee. The key chokepoint having fallen, the Americans were now able to seize the roads into the forest and begin to circle round to the north. The Europeans were forced to withdraw. Only a small group of disorganised British infantrymen, now cut off, were left in the town of Sheffield. In the face of complete annihilation, they defended the city and the appropriately named road 666 to the south for three days.

“When their ammunition ran out,” claimed one newspaper, “they were reduced to throwing tin cans and pretending they were grenades in order to make the enemy back off.” Despite a quickly-grown legend, none of these reports would ever be verified by the men themselves, because on the 11th of October American soldiers finally broke into the town and executed every last prisoner.


Prussian soldiers retreat in the icy forest.


Summerall knew he was now in control. The Americans quickly moved on to take Warren, intending to meet up with forces along Lake Erie to the north. General Patton led a broad move to the east, intending to circle around the difficult forests to the south-east, but faced harassment by European artillery as he attempted to spread out along route 86. It would be Craig’s troops, however, that faced the toughest defences as they tried to crack the town of Salamanca and, with it, a crucial part of the Germanian supply line. Despite dramatic fighting holding up Craig’s timetable by a whole two days, Salamanca finally fell on the 21st of October. With it, a large number of European forces were now facing shortages of supplies.

The following day, taking advantage of what they believed to be thin Germanian defences, American forces along Lake Erie attacked with the intention of taking the northerly towns of Fredonia and Dunkirk. They were immediately punished; von Seekt had expected the attack and positioned Spanish and Portuguese soldiers to counter it. Sumerall was forced to move troops from the east to counter but it was too late: the attack was routed.

Summerall’s offensive had been devastating to European positions but it was fragile, and within days it was clear that failure was inevitable in the west. The cold weather, whilst being of assistance, had also created problems with the American army itself and had softened the blow. The Iberians under General de Freitas had not only fought defiantly against the Americans in order to stall their attack, but now held firm against further incursions. Germnian and British troops now made dramatic progress across the rough terrain of the centre lands, where the Americans had been content to sit and defend. Such a sudden defeat was unravelling the offensive.

November revealed these weaknesses in the American attack. Now having seized the initiative for a short time, Von Seekt realised that this opportunity was a thin one. He ordered General Droste and the 3rd Army to march on New York from their position from Bridgeport in the east and the Palisades cliffs in the west. The British were ready in the north under General Birdwood and, for the first time, the Japanese promised reinforcements as their campaign in China allowed the release of troops to other duties.

On the 2nd of November, New York experienced the largest air raid since the outbreak of war. Hundreds of bombers and fighters flew over the city and relentlessly sent their targets into blistering fireballs. The following morning, long-range artillery pounded the outskirts of the city indiscriminately while the firemen were still at work, supressing the responding American artillery.

Droste did not have time to play the long game. The army was quickly moved forwards, meeting with the American forces along the lower Hudson, just on the outskirts of the city. An intense firefight followed over several miles, before the Germanians prevailed after a long 30 hours. Quickly, pontoon bridges were set up along the river.


A Germanian pontoon bridge across the thinnest part of the river within reach.

Eventually, they reached the outskirts. It seemed, for every house, there would be a soldier or civilian waiting for them, armed and prepared. It was madness-inducing. The clean plots of suburban houses were deliberately burned in order to make the advance easier; soon, several huge infernos were visible from even from Manhattan.

“A soldier, a civilian, what is the difference?” wrote one Dutch infantryman in his diary. “We take a street, we try to treat the civilians there with tact, and then one starts shooting us. We enter a house and someone is hiding in the roof and then we have several dead and injured troops.”

The majority of the army remained dedicated to cutting off the roads and destroying supply lines. Droste knew that to directly assault the centre of the city was suicidal. The water supplies in the north of the city were destroyed and re-routed to assist the invading army. The railways, which had brought in food for much of the war, were torn up along with the bridges connecting Long Island with the city.

At the coast, British ships began to close around the harbour, staying far enough away to avoid the artillery but close enough to prevent any supply ships arriving. By the middle of November, the Japanese and British had pushed south-west from Morrison to Bridgewater, before pushing towards Raritan Bay. Attacked by American fighters and without significant anti-air guns, hundreds of them were slaughtered, but the Americans were not able to launch a great enough ground attack to push them back. The encirclement was complete.


New York upon completion of the encirclement (click to enlarge)
Red = British, Purple = Iberian, Blue = Germanian

Dotted areas = areas of heaviest bombardment.


In the city centre, the anarchists and other rebels spread chaos, making it almost impossible for the authorities to assert order. The under-construction Empire State Building burst into flames after a suspected arson attack, although the Americans blamed a Germanian shell. They almost did not need to bother, however, as the lack of food and water caused discontent amongst the population. Cholera began to spread quickly, whilst the black market began to flourish. Shopkeepers with German-sounding names had their shops smashed, were beaten up, or even murdered.


The Empire State Building burns.

By November the 29th the writing was on the wall. The city had no water; even with rationing. Ammunition amongst the garrison was running low. The few tanks they had were either destroyed or out of fuel. Summerall ordered the defenders of the city to surrender. They complied.

When Droste entered the city he requested a meeting with the militia groups he had secretly negotiated with. When their leaders turned up at the outer-city hall they had agreed upon, they were calmly escorted into a dining room by Germanian soldiers, who then promptly executed them. When Droste heard that partisans were organising in the subway, he ordered the destruction of the pumps that prevented it being filled with torrents of water. Hearing that shots could be heard from one of the many skyscrapers, they were ordered to be set on fire and allowed to burn.

The occupation was a joint affair. The British and Japanese took the west, the Iberians the north and the Germanians the east. Many areas in the city were still off-limits, but the siege was largely over.

The victory in Stuttgart had hugely boosted the morale of the troops fighting in New York. Throughout the course of the remaining year, further victories filtered back. The invaders were driven from Ulm, then Kolmar, followed by Ingolstadt. Their defences around the major cities that drained so much morale, however, remained strong. The bitter early winter arrived in Europe, killing many troops and making travel much harder. The Alps were impenetrable.

“Italy is like a lobster,” mused Renner. “One we defeat the tough defences on the outside she will be helpless.”

Indeed a fresh Italian offensive even once the snow had melted looked unlikely. Dissent in Rome was starting to boil to the surface; Christmas festivities were low-key. One reporter noted “the ridiculous elephant in the room” destroyed any Christmas spirit.

The Germanians were starting to feel something they had not felt in maybe years: hope. National unity began to re-emerge; rumours of uprisings in the Netherlands and Poland faded. The new year was welcome and, for once, looked forwards to.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________


“What are they doing Private? What are the lights?” The Major looked across at his subordinate, who, in the absence of binoculars, nervously squinted off towards the American camp.

“They’re… celebrating Sir. Listen, you can hear them.” The sounds of chatter and song drifted across the frosty grass, having no competition on the still winter night. An owl hooted, making the pair jump.

The Major sniffed and looked through his binoculars. “Singing eh…” He muttered to himself. “Becker, go and get the men. They should be ready already.”

“N..now Sir?”

“What do you think we are here for boy? We’re not out to admire the view. Go!” Becker saluted, turned, and reluctantly walked off towards the group of hidden Bavarian soldiers. A bottle of alcohol vanished off the table as several of suddenly looked up.

A ragged-haired, clean shaven soldier sighed and put it back. “Come to welcome the new year Becker?”

“I wish, Otto.” Becker looked to the ground. “It’s already the new year in Munich…” he muttered.

“Well?” The group looked at him expectantly. A few came out of their hastily erected tents, a man cleaning his rifle threw down his rag and listened.

“Brandt wants to launch the ambush now.” A disgruntled sound erupted from the group. Without realising a man sitting on the ground started chewing his pipe. A pack of cards was thrown onto the table.

“What the hell?” hissed Otto. His face screwed up into a mix of anger and fear. “Now? That dusty old fool wants to go now?” Becker nodded. The bottle was thrown angrily into a tent as people began to collect their equipment.


Within a few minutes the group was gathered around Major Brandt, some already red faces evident from drinking. Alcohol, however, could not disguise the clear nervousness. Brandt remained oblivious, his round wiry glasses probably insufficient to distinguish if the soldiers were Germanian or American anyway.

“This is a brilliant opportunity to create havoc. These are highly trained soldiers, cut off from their main force, and they don’t even know we’re here.”

“Major, isn’t this… it’s midnight… is this right?” said a young private.

The old man’s mood changed immediately. He brought his face up to the boy’s, his finger pointed at his chest. “Would you like to run this yourself private?”

A hearty cheer rang up from the American tents. A few soldiers looked over.

“Mark my words. If they win the war, you will not be thanking yourself that you decided not to fight just because it was a special evening. The guilty feeling of your cowardice will eat into you until you die. Do you understand?”

Becker could hear a few snippets of the Americans' song.

“We twa hae run about the braes, and…” He strained to listen as the Major’s rambling temporally drowned out the singing.

“...Auld lang syne?”

He noticed the other soldiers were starting to listen too.

“…The guard in the nearest watchtower has obviously been disposed of, and will probably not be noticed for the next hour, but we must do it soon…” A soldier at the back took a swig from a hip-flask before praying, leaning against the bank of earth they had dug to hide themselves.

“…But seas between us braid hae roar'd… and…”

“… remember the past. This is for the Fatherland.” The private nodded shakily.

“And there’s a hand my trusty fere! And gie’s a hand o’thine!” A soldier at the back started humming the tune absent-mindedly.

“On my whistle. No prisoners are to be taken. Happy new year men.” The Major held the dreaded metal whistle like a weapon. He took a deep breath. The most prepared soldiers braced themselves.

“…for auld lang syne.”
 
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