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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Gerulus Sum

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Foreword: This is a game played on regular difficulty on Ironman mode with historical focuses on. Updates will be released every day until the game is concluded.

The Phoenix Rises: Fascist Greece AAR


Chapter I - The Drums of War

"A small rock holds back a great wave." - Homer

August, 1936:

The world is in turmoil. Germany and Italy, ruled by fascist dictators Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, are worrying the democracies of the West with their expansionist goals. Civil war rages in Spain, and Japan, ever in search of natural resources, is expanding into East Asia.

Few, however, are aware of the fury that is about to be unleashed from the Balkans.

A new day has dawned in the National Union of Greece. The Ethniki Enosis Ellados have seized power from the complacent Ioannis Metaxas, promising to restore Greece to its rightful glory. Georgios Kosmidis, a trader who was forced to flee Anatolia during the Greco-Turkish wars, has become the leader of the nation. He has adopted the simple title of Archon.



On the morning of August 11, Georgios Kosmidis marched into Athens to cheering crowds. Standing on top of the Acropolis, he delivered a speech that was to go down in history:
"Today marks the beginning of a new era for our people! For years, our nation has fallen victim to the imperious whims of foreign powers. We suffered for centuries under the cruel yoke of Turkish masters, only to kneel before the British, who saw fit to dictate the nature of our government. We cowered before Turks, Slavs, and Bulgars, allowing them to defeat us due to our own disunity. No more, I say, no more! The barbarians who surround us will soon fear the might of people! We will make Greece great again!"

That afternoon, the first army, under the command of General Markos Drakos, a key member of the coup against Metaxas, moved to the Bulgarian border in Thrace. Following Kosmidis' speech, Turkish and Bulgarian troops were redeployed to the Greek border for fear of an attack.



The National Union of Greece is preparing for war, and Archon Kosmidis has set his sights to the north.
 
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Sancronis

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Subbed, certainly interested to see where this goes and if you can restore the Byzantine empire.
 

Nikolai

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Looking forward to see the greek empires of old restored. :)
 

Gerulus Sum

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Chapter II - Sons of Achilles

"Dulce et Decorum est pro Patria Mori" - Horace

August, 1937:

The previous twelve months had witnessed a series of military reforms, spearheaded by General Markos Drakos. Greek factories had been producing artillery at a steady rate, and every infantry division had been equipped with two artillery battalions. Georgios Kosmidis, with the assistance of Propaganda Minister Demosthenes Nicoladis, had been rallying the Greek people against the Bulgarian Menace to the north.



The Greek general staff had spent months preparing a battle plan against the Bulgarians. Four divisions would attack in the west, pushing into Sofia before the Bulgarians can mount a counteroffensive. The Mountaineers, assisted by artillery-equipped regular infantry, were to pin the Bulgarian forces down in the mountains and push into Plovdiv. After the loss of those two cities, the barbarians would surely capitulate.



On August 3, Bulgarian forces were awakened by the roar of Greek artillery at 07:00.



By 01:00 on August 6, the Greek divisions on the left flank routed the Bulgarian defenders, pushing towards Sofia. In spite of enemy air superiority, Greek forces were inflicting heavy casualties on the Bulgarians on all fronts. On the right flank, two Greek divisions were holding the line against an attempted counteroffensive by four enemy divisions. The Bulgarian army, lacking the Thumos of the superior Greek fighters, was nearing collapse.



Greek forces entered Plovdiv on August 11, 20:00. The attack against Sofia, momentarily delayed by a desperate enemy counterattack, was progressing well.



On August 16, just after midnight, Greek forces entered Sofia. The next day, Bulgaria capitulated. The war had lasted only two weeks. The Greeks suffered fewer than 400 casualties, while the Bulgarians has suffered over 11 thousand.

The treaty of Varna, as it came to be known, resulted in the full annexation of Bulgaria by the National Union of Greece. Greece gained 10 civilian factories, four military factories, and over 5 million new subjects. The Athenian newspaper Kathimerini gave General Drakos, by then a national celebrity, the nickname Boulgaroktonos, or Bulgar-slayer, originally given to Basileus Basil II for his brutal conquest of Bulgaria in the eleventh century. Other outlets were proclaiming the restoration of the Roman Empire, with one going so far as to annoint Georgios Kosmidis as "Constantine XI returned."



In the rest of the world, the Greek triumph was not nearly as well-received. The British ambassador to the League of Nations said "It is clear that Greece poses a significant threat to the independence of many states in the Balkans, and I urge all nations to condemn these atrocities." Georgios Kosmidis had only a short reply: "Come and stop us." No foreign intervention occurred.



After delivering a victory speech in Sofia, Archon Kosmidis sat down with his high command to discuss the outcome of the campaign. They wasted no time in shifting the topic of discussion to the next conquest.

General Drakos: "We were victorious because our enemy was weak and ill-prepared. However, their dominance over the air slowed our progress. If we are to fight the Turks or the Slavs, we must build an air force. Otherwise, our armies will stall and every mile gained will cost hundreds of men."

Evripidis Bakirtris, Minister of Industry: "To build an air force, we will require more oil than our nation can spare. As it is, we barely have enough to construct our current line of destroyers. Unless you wish to trade away what few factories we have, it cannot-"

Georgios Kosmidis: "The Romanians have enough oil to fuel our war machine. Evripidis, build as many planes as you can muster with what resources we have. 100 fighters will be enough to crush them in the air. Drakos, prepare your men for an amphibious assault. Within a year, we will cross the Danube."
 
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germandjinn

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subbed
 

Lordban

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How's the post-war World tension? Those brits have an unfortunate tendency of issuing a bunch of guarantees of independence when it grows past 25%, and you basically have to wear them down by fabricating on too many countries for them to keep up before you can get to fabricating on your real target...
 

volksmarschall

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Well on your way to a Balkan restoration, and restoring the Patriarchy to its proper seat under Greek rule! :cool:

Cheers!
 

Gerulus Sum

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Thanks for the support everyone - a new episode will be released later today.

How's the post-war World tension? Those brits have an unfortunate tendency of issuing a bunch of guarantees of independence when it grows past 25%, and you basically have to wear them down by fabricating on too many countries for them to keep up before you can get to fabricating on your real target...
In my experience, France is a bigger problem than the UK in the Balkans. I'll wait for world tension to die down a bit before fabricating on Romania. My military needs some time to prepare anyways, as Romania is actually pretty tough.

EDIT: Just a tip for everyone, you don't have to worry about the allies guaranteeing your enemies so long as they have a positive opinion of you. As long as you haven't caused greater than 90% world tension, you should be able to spend political power to avoid an early conflict with them.
 
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Gerulus Sum

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Chapter III - Might Makes Right

"Right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must." - Thucydides

June, 1938:

The annexation of Bulgaria served only to whet the Greek appetite for war. Before the bodies were finished being buried, Georgios Kosmidis began speaking out against the Romanians. Due to emissaries sent to the United Kingdom and France, the powers of the West did little to guarantee the independence of the Romanian people, worried as they were by the war in Spain and the ambitions of Germany.



After months of industrial and military buildup, the Greek army was twice as large as it had been before, numbering over 300,000 men divided among 25 divisions, all of which were concentrated at the Romanian border. The newly minted Greek air force, the Hikanatoi, numbered 130 fighters, more than double the Romanian number. The public, sensing an imminent war, were confident in the ability of the Hellenic military to crush the inferior peoples to the north. Among the high command, however, tensions ran high. The Romanians had, according to some counts, as many as 64 divisions in their army. Some of the generals feared that Kosmidis' ambitions were leading the nation into a war it could not win.

General Drakos, the hero of the Greco-Bulgarian war, was less concerned. He believed that the Romanians would leave far too many divisions on the Hungarian border for fear of an attack, allowing the Greeks to crush the garrisons to the south before the rest of army became a factor in the war. Still, the issue of the Danube remained, as the Romanians were strongly entrenched behind the river, protected against a direct attack by their engineer companies. His plan was to send a strong right hook towards Constanta, which would then move west into Bucharest. Meanwhile, General Themistoklis Danglis would hold the land west of the Olt river with a smaller force.



The Greeks attacked on the evening of June 22. As soon as reports of fighting north of Varna were reported, the incompetent Romanian generals decided to leave their defensive positions and cross the Danube during the rain, breaking themselves on the Greek defenders.



The Greek advance quickly crushed the Romanians, and Constanta was captured by June 24. Meanwhile, Greek divisions were crossing the Danube, pursuing the Romanian forces, which had been decimated by their foolish counteroffensive.



By June 26, fighting had reached the outskirts of Bucharest. General Danglis, who had not expected the Romanians to be so foolish, took advantage of their weakness and crossed the Danube, easily pushing back what Romanian forces remained. In the air, Greek fighters had achieved air superiority, further deflating Romanian morale.



On June 27, the Battle of Bucharest had begun. Six infantry divisions assaulted the city under the cover of constant artillery bombardment. Another division launched a diversionary attack on the Muntenian Airbase, preventing the infantry there from reinforcing the capital. The Romanian defenders, in complete disarray, fled the city upon seeing the fearsome Greek army.



On June 29, Bucharest had fallen. By June 30, the Hellenic Army had pushed into Ploiesti, an important city just north of the capital.



On July 4, after a constant advance, Brasov fell to the Greeks. Capitulation became imminent.



On July 10, with its military on the verge of collapse, Romania capitulated. According to the terms of the Treaty of Cluj, Romania was annexed by The National Union of Greece. As Romanian corpses decorated the countryside, crowds celebrated in Athens. In Thessaloniki, crowds, rumored to be incited by a local EEE party leader, starting chanting "Greece is strong! Remove the Turks!" These chants quickly turned into riots, and by the next morning, several Turkish businesses had been looted. 19 were killed, and over 30 were wounded. No arrests were made.



The National Union of Greece had now become the dominant power in the Balkans. France and the United Kingdom could no longer be persuaded to turn a blind eye by Greek diplomats. Neither could the growing might of Germany and Italy be ignored. Additionally, Georgios Kosmidis also had cause to fear the Soviet Union, as Stalin had Balkan ambitions of his own. A new era of warfare was on the horizon, and the whole world knew that Greece would play a pivotal role.

 
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Nikolai

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And so the Great Powers take note. I guess it's going to get harder now.
 

Gerulus Sum

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Chapter IV - Constantine's Justice

"As Greeks, we should not be slaves to barbarians" - Alexander the Great
December, 1938

Months of speeches, rallies, and newspaper articles had swept the National Union of Greece into an anti-Turkish uproar unlike any seen the Greco-Turkish war. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the president of Turkey who permitted the genocide of Greeks during the previous conflict, called on the League of Nations to denounce the Greek rhetoric. The League of Nations, having failed to prevent Japanese aggression in China, did little. Likewise, France and the United Kingdom, concerned by German expansion into Czechoslovakia, did not want to get involved in another war in the Balkans. And so did the world watch and do nothing as Greece prepared for her greatest war yet.

The Greek General Staff knew that the war against Turkey would be far more difficult than those against Bulgaria and Romania. Anatolia, being a mountainous region protected by straits, is exceedingly difficult to invade. Even if a force could establish a beachhead, advancing would necessitate attacking into mountains with no flanking support. This is the lesson learned by the Entente at Gallipoli, and the Greek generals were not eager to waste precious manpower by advancing into a meat grinder.

The invasion plan called for a three-pronged attack. The First Army, led by General Markos Drakos, would take Constantinople and eliminate the Turkish forces in Europe. The Second Army, led by General Themistoklis Danglis, would invade the port north of Duzce, allowing the First Army to cross the heavily-defended Bosporus strait with flanking support. General Nikolaos Altanis would defend the Aegean Islands and push into Bursa and Izmir.



On February 23, A Turkish mob lynched a Greek man who protested the Turkish sovereignty over the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. Georgios Kosmidis, upon hearing the incident, delivered a speech to the Greek people.

"Our nation is ancient and strong, yet in Turkey, our brothers and sisters are relentlessly persecuted by an evil government bent upon the Turkification of good Christians. Anathasios Diakos, the martyr who chose to die rather than give up his faith and language, did not fight for a Greek state so that thousands of others could be repressed by barbarians! It is our duty, as Greeks and Christians, to save our brethren from this evil."

That afternoon, Ataturk received an ultimatum from Greece, demanding Constantinople and Izmir, both of which had large Greek populations. After deliberating with his Cabinet for three days, he sent a curt reply:

"The might nation of Turkey will not cower before the threats of upstarts. Istanbul is ours."

Greek armies attacked just after midnight. The war had begun.


Eleven divisions attacked from the north. The Turkish defenses crumbled before the firepower of Greek artillery. Drakos ordered his other 13 infantry divisions to advance slowly, pinning down the enemy at Edirne while the main push attacked Constantinople. Meanwhile, the first Greek forces landed on the beaches at Akcakoca, the port north of Duzce. Pouring out of landing craft, they secured the town's main dock and the downtown area, but a quick Turkish response pinned down the Greek soldiers, slowing the advance.


As the amphibious landing stalled, an failed Turkish attack on Lesbos gave the Third Army the opportunity to establish a beachhead in Anatolia by March 3.


On March 4, Hellenic forces broke through the Turkish defensive line, bringing them in sight of Constantinople. The army at Edirne did not move to defend the city.


Constantinople, the city of the world's desire, was reclaimed on the evening of March 7, 1939. For the first time since Constantine XI made his last stand, a Greek flag flew over the Hagia Sophia. Hellenic forces marched through the city in the fashion of a Roman triumph, and at home, Greeks rejoiced. The rest of the world was stunned. Greece, once a pawn in the schemes of foreign imperialists, had become powerful enough to retake the city of Constantine.


General Drakos wasted no time on celebration, as he saw the chance to permanently cripple the Turkish army. He left one division in Constantinople, and ordered the rest to encircle Edirne. By March 12, 24 enemy divisions were surrounded. Low and morale and lacking the artillery needed to mount a sufficient counterattack, they surrendered they next day and were taken prisoner. The Turkish army had been cut in half.




On March 17, Akcakoca was fully secured by the Greeks, allowing them to assist the forces attacking across the Bosporus.


On April 2, the First Army reached Anatolia. While the rest fought the Turks over a wide front, Drakos took the main portion of his army and pushed towards Ankara, seeking to end the war before mountain warfare cost too many casualties.


On April 14, the Turkish government fled Ankara while under heavy artillery fire. After several hours of brutal house-to-house combat, the superior Greek forces entered the city, tearing down monuments of Ataturk and suppressing crowds of protesters.


Eight days later, the Second and Third armies attacked Bursa, the final point dividing the two front lines. The battle raged for two days in the hilly terrain, as the Turks knew that Bursa would be their final stand.


Bursa fell on April 25. The government in Izmir, knowing that the city would be the next to fall, decided to surrender unconditionally. According to the terms of the treaty, The National Union of Greece absorbed all of Turkey. "Sultan Mehmed," laughed Giorgios Kosmidis, "is rolling in his grave."


Upon hearing the news, the rest of the world was incredulous. "The whole country!" exclaimed Neville Chamberlain, choking on his afternoon tea, "You mean to tell me that those bloody Greeks annexed the whole damn country?!"

On April 30, in a ceremony conducted on the steps of the Hagia Sophia, Ecumunical Patriarch Benjamin I anointed Georgios Kosmidis as Basileus Georgios I, Emperor of the Romans and Heir to Augustus. While the rest of the world scoffed at, in the words of Mussolini, "this feeble imitation of the great Roman Empire," the people of Greece knew that they were the true inheritors of Rome, and the world seemed ripe for a restoration of the ancient imperial borders.

 
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Gerulus Sum

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You'd think the Greeks would invoke Alexander's empire instead of Rome.
The Byzantine Empire was culturally Greek by the reign of Heraclius in the 7th century CE. The Byzantine considered themselves Romans to the end, and many Greeks view the fall of the Byzantine Empire as a catastrophic event as it resulted in subjugation by the Ottomans, who, among many things, treated Greeks as second-class subjects and forced them to give up young boys who would then be castrated and forced to serve in the military. Hence, there was a strong longing for the days of the Roman Empire, even though it was not originally founded by the Greeks. Additionally, many Hellenic Kings following Greek independence stylized themselves in the same manner as Byzantine emperors. Greek nationalism isn't rooted in just ancient or classical history, but rather the long history of Greece's cultural and political achievements. They could've invoked Alexander instead of Rome, but given the primacy of Constantinople and the history between the Byzantines and the Turks, I felt it made more sense to base it off of Rome.
 

Falllen_Empire

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nice to see another greece play though though i feel i should stop mine as our goals are som ewhat similar lol
 

Sancronis

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Bravo on defeating the Turkish, it seems like nothing can stop the Greek advance.
 

BPM

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Very Impressive stuff. I will be keeping an eye on this one
 

Nikolai

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Great work!
 

Henry v. Keiper

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I'm subbin' this suckah.