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The Third Empire - An Imperial France HOI1 & HOI2 AAR

The Third Empire

napvflag.gif

The Personal standard of Emperor Napoleon V

Recognition:

* WritAAR of the Week (February 27, 2005)
* People's Choice AwAARds: Best narrative (or novella) AAR (July 25, 2005)
* Weekly AAR Showcase (July 31, 2005)
* Best Character Writer of the Week (July 17, 2006)


For those of you who wants to get into the story quickly or just need to refresh your grasp of the storyline - here's a summary of the story so far (graciously provided by VILenin):



Table of Contents


1936

1937

1938

1939

1940

1941

1942



A regularly updated pdf file version of the AAR can be found here















1940

- * -

Part XXXVII - A New Year / The Haunter In The Dark

Part XXXVIII - The War In The Air / Operation 'Hansa' / A Counter Attack

Part XXXIX - The Grand Army To The Rescue / Operation Wittelsbach / Another Failure In The Alps

Part XL - Landsberg Prison

Part XLI - Diplomacy / Bregenz / An Irresistable Offer

Part XLII - Innsbruck / Le Club des Feux de l'Enfer

Part XLIII - The Battle Of Vienna / A New Axis Member & The Ambitions Of Governments In Exile

Part XLIV - A Presidential Coup / The Battle Of Bratislava

Part XLV - Indochine

Part XLVI - The End Of An Army Group / Field Marshal Mola

Part XLVII - The House of Austria

Part XLVIII - Haddo's Plantation

Part XLIX - The Machinations of Admiral Horthy / Operation 'Tilsit' / The Reichstag

Part L - In The Rain Forest / The Crime Syndicate Falters

Part LI - The resurgence of Hermann Göring

Part LII - France Triumphant!

Part LIII - Rise Of The NDVP / The Peace Negotiations

Part LIV - The Treay Of Strasbourg

Part LV - America 1936 - January 1941

Part LVI - The Enemy Within Part I

Part LVII - The Enemy Within Part II

Part LVIII - The Enemy Within Part III

- * -



1941

- * -

Part LXIX - A New Year / Christmas In Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

Part LX - The Provisional Russian Government

Part LXI - The General Directorate for External Security

Part LXII - Negotiations With Romania

Part LXIII - The National Council of Austria / A Letter From An Old Friend

Part LXIV - A Meeting At The Soviet Embassy / Italy Declares War / A Midnight Call / Murders

Part LXV - Abandoning The Playground / Beyond Time And Space

Part LXVI - Vital Information

Part LXVII - The Capture Of Crete / That Accursed Vessel

Part LXVIII - The Patient

Part LXIX - The War In Greece / Two New Ministers / The ‘Cape Ann’ incident

Part LXX - The Souma S40 / Old Man Waites / French Air Power In Bulgaria

Part LXXI - A New Shadow Over Innsmouth / Bulgaria Invades Greece / German Elections

Part LXXII - A Tragedy At Devil’s Reef

Part LXXIII - The Reich Reborn

Part LXXIV - Offerings To The Daemon Sultan / Axis Advance In Greece

Part LXXV - The Black Man

Part LXXVI - Victory In Greece

Part LXXVII - A Meeting In Washington Part I

Part LXXVIII - A Meeting In Washington Part II

Part LXXIX - The Emperor Of The House Of Austria / Reichsmarschall

Part LXXX - Washington D.C. Infested / Finland

Part LXXXI - Haddo Returns

Part LXXXII - The Two Werners

Part LXXXIII - Trains...

Part LXXXIV - American Madness Discussed

Part LXXXV - En Route To Cherbourg

Part LXXXVI - The Iron Commissar

Part LXXXVII - Metamorphosis

Part LXXXVIII - Imperial Order #411

Part LXXXIX - The World at the brink of the Second Great War

Part XC - The War Economy Committe

Part XCI - Operation Martel

Part XCII - The Opening Blows

Part XCIII - 'The Man of Steel'

Part XCIV - A Monster is Slain

Part XCV - The Seer

Part XCVI - The New Leader Of America

Part XCVII - Soviet Justice

Part XCVIII - Second Phase of Operation Martel & The Fall of Finland

Part XCIX - The Huntsman's Pain

Part C - The Japanese Government

Part CI - A Hero Falls

Part CII - Paganon Furious / Riga

Part CIII - The Baltic Offensive

Part CIV - Autumn & Winter in Europe / Winter Offensive

- * -







Background

After the Great War France was one of the victors and the main proponent of the harsh peace terms imposed on Germany. However France had been almost mortally wounded by the appalling losses of men in the conflict and was in turmoil. Just hours after the peace treaty was signed chaos enveloped the republic as communists and socialists whipped the people and many soldiers into a frenzy. Several regiments joined the insurgents and seized control over many cities. The government fell and as parliament argued, order dissolved in the streets and soon the situation in Paris could only be described as pure anarchy.

A new government was hastily appointed but was rejected by the insurgents. After six weeks the general staff decided to act before the situation deteriorated into civil war. It ordered the regiments assumed to be still loyal into the streets and they fought bloody street battles to regain the capital. The General Staff then dissolved parliament and arrested the government. Order was restored to rest of the country within a month. All left wing politicians and agitators were arrested.

The military rule did not become the stabilizing force the General Staff had hoped. A cabal of younger officers overthrew the new government. They wanted to reform France and reclaim its past glory. But they only ruled by force and lacked legitimacy and at the same time they didn’t want to return to the hated republican system that was seen as the root of evil. After heated discussions it was decided to restore the Imperial Monarchy. The crown was offered to Charles Bonaparte* the son of Eugene Bonaparte (aka Napoleon IV).

Charles accepted and received a hero’s welcome by the enthusiastic crowds at his arrival to Calais. The new constitution of 1923 gave the head of state vast powers including the appointment of ministers and the right to dissolve the Senate. Charles was crowned Napoleon V Emperor of the French in December 2nd 1924 in ceremonies at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. Exactly 120 years after his ancestor Napoleon I was crowned.

In the beginning of 1936 France has a vibrant economy and powerful armed forces protecting it. Democracy is emulated by the elections to the mostly powerless Imperial Senate and rigorous rules for the press keep unwanted views of opinion out of the papers. It’s a “successful” Paternal Autocracy. It has rejected Britain and its democratic ideals and built its own alliance to contain Germany and further its foreign policy goals: The Paris - Rome Axis with ties to Imperial Japan. The relation with Tokyo has been very cordial since the successful French state visit of 1933. The Emperor married Sophia* of Habsburg in 1927 and has two children: Louis Eugene and Pauline.

More to come soon.

* This of course is a character of fiction
 
Last edited:
May 18, 2004
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Nice start. This is very intresting. Il keep an eye out for this one.
 

cthulhu

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Cabinet Meeting
The Palace of Versailles, The French Empire
January 7th 1936


Mannfred von Habsburg, aide de camp of the Emperor, stepped out of the citroën limousine wearing a French general’s uniform and started to walk up the stairs into the palace. The Imperial guardsmen saluted him but he was lost in his thoughts and hardly noticed his surroundings. He was in a pretty foul mood. Everything had been easier back in the "happy days" at Sandhurst and later as a British officer stationed in Singapore. Charlie had gone to India but they’d kept their friendship alive with letters.

God! The things Charlie used to write about…his time in asia had been wild. What was he thinking when he introduced him to his cousin Sophia? Mannfred didn’t realize he smiled for a second as he passed another imperial guardsman in one of the outrageously luxurious corridors on the way to the conference room.

He had been the serious of the two and more focused back then. But these days it seemed Charlie was the one who worked hardest of all in France. It was utter madness to appoint himself Chief Of The Army! Luckily for Charlie Mannfred was all but in title the Prime Minister of France and in that capacity took care of most cabinet meetings. His foul mood returned as he entered the conference room…damn this Congo business! It was too risky!

cabinet1.jpg

He nodded to the ministers as they rose from the table and screamed "Vive l’ Empéreur!" extending their arms in roman salute. "Yes, yes, please sit down gentlemen we have much to discuss.” Mannfred sat down and the ministers followed suit. "Maret, would you be so kind to inform us how ambassador Villneuve’s meeting with the British foreign minister Anthony Eden went."

Alexander Maret looked down on his documents as if to memorize some facts and then started to report. "Villneuve thinks we can reach an agreement if we are prepared to put into writing that we will return the Congo to Belgium within 24 months…"

Yes the bloody Congo…Mannfred had argued against it but to Charlie it had been the perfect opportunity to expand the Empire’s African holdings. The insurrection had started in Stanleyville in March and by June the Belgians had lost all but the coast province and barely holding on to Leopoldville. France had intervened in October and was first hailed by the Belgians as their saviors. It wasn’t until Christmas day when the French forces reached Leopoldville and disarmed the remnants of the 1ste Kolonial Garde that they understood what had just taken place. But Britain had been cautious from the beginning and now it could spin out of control…Mannfred suddenly realized that he wasn’t paying attention to Maret’s report at all. "What was that Maret?"

prewarafrica.jpg

"As I said Sir, Villneuve thinks the that the risk of the United Kingdom going to war over the Congo is very low but it could lead to a closer relationship between Germany and them in a longer perspective."

"That is troubling, but I assure you gentlemen we will keep Britain and Germany separated. Maret please instruct Villneuve to offer the British a withdrawal in 48 months and settle for 36 months if need be. Any other developments?"

"Well as you know our erratic ally Mussolini is invading Ethiopia. My staff believes the reason is that he resents our occupation of the Congo."

Mannfred looked troubled. "I’d laugh if we weren’t allied with him. We’ll have to keep an eye on our Italian friends, eh Paganon?" The minister of Intelligence nodded. "Now Berthier please inform us about the state of our production and development programs. This is most important."

budget1937.jpg

Berthier lay down the folder he had been browsing through and started. "The modernization of the Army and Air Force continues with frenzied intensity. As you know Marshal de Gaulle is highly involved in the development of several new tank prototypes and it looks very promising. If we can keep this pace without overheating our economy we will be ready for general war in 1940 as directed by the Emperor. "

IC1936.jpg
 
Last edited:

Zuckergußgebäck

Den ökända hästen från Troja
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May 18, 2004
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With all the encouragement i can muster after watching my national England go out to Portugal i say-Keep up the good work. Ill be rootin for yer! :)
 

cthulhu

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Zuckergußgebäck: Certainly not Charlemagne's, not so much Napoleon I's either, but some nostalgic similarities will arise if all goes well. Next update tomorrow.
 

unmerged(26088)

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Spooky!

I just put a post in the Fascist France AAR about Prince Louis Napoleon (the heir/head of the Bonaparte family) in WW2, and now here's this AAR! And you've even brought back (sorta) the trusted Berthier to serve as armaments minister for the 3rd Empire. Huzzah! This should be fun. :)

Good job so far!
 

unmerged(24142)

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I just tuned in...

You can count me as another follower. This looks really interesting.
 

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rhineland1.jpg

German Armored Cars
Entering The Rhineland At Night



von Habsburg's Residence
Paris, The French Empire
Early morning, 19th January 1936



The phone had been ringing for quite awhile before Mannfred woke up. Groggily he rose and walked over to the phone. “This better be good….”

“Sir, this is General Paganon's secretary calling, will you accept the General's call”

“Absolutely, that’s why I’m here…” Where the hell was his robe? He was freezing his behind off in the huge and very cold bedroom.

“One moment.”

He looked out the large windows down on the courtyard. Was that a deer to the right of the fountain? “Paganon here Sir, I’m sorry to wake you at this hour but I have grave news.”

“What is it?”

“Sir, german forces just entered the Rhineland…its clear violation of the…”

“Of course it is! I’ll need everything you got so I can brief the Emperor immediately.”

“I understand Sir and that’s why I took the liberty to send a courier to your residence. He should be there in a short while. We don’t have much more to give you at this point, but we estimate around 20.000 Wehrmacht troops, acting on direct orders from President Beck. We don’t think Reich Chancellor Goerdeler was informed in advance. We would have most likely known if he had known…”

“Yes…thank you Paganon, I must get moving. Good bye.”
 
Last edited:

cthulhu

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De_Gaulle1.jpg

Charles De Gaulle, Marshal Of France

The French Response

The United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Belgium all strongly protested Germany’s behavior via their ambassadors in Berlin. The Reich Chancellor was almost embarrassed but defended the acts of the President vigorously: “Germany’s days in chains are over. We are a sovereign nation and the home of all Germans.” The last sentence was very controversial and reactions in Vienna were not positive.

The French Imperial government was eerily quiet until the 23rd of January. Europe was astonished when the French sixth army under the command of Charles de Gaulle, Marshal Of France, crossed the border and rolled into Luxembourg. The French foreign office declared: “The aggressive act of Germany that clearly violates the Versailles treaty has forced France to act in self defense. Luxembourg will be under the protection of the Empire as long as German troops remain in the Rhineland.” Britain, The Netherlands and Belgium vehemently condemned France and called home their ambassadors from Paris for consultations.
 
Last edited:

cthulhu

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Thanks for reading everyone! :)

elbasto: I'm using CORE 0.82 and yes both French IC and MP has been improved to reflect the success of the Imperial government from 1920 to 1936. Still the MP is low and I'll guess it'll be a challenge further on.

McHeinrich: I didn't know about Prince Louis Napoleon when I started this. Got to do better research next time. :) Maybe I'll use his picture to represent Napoleon V.
 
Last edited:

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February 1936

The optimism and exhilaration of the French leadership after the bloodless seizure of Luxembourg soon faded away. Armament minister Berthier’s staff informed him that serious shortages of raw materials were to be expected as early as April. Most probably the result would be that French industrial output would be reduced by a third until new sources could be found. Berthier informed the Emperor and after deliberations it was decided that the only solution to reduce the problems was to occupy Belgium as soon as possible. There was a slight problem though: Brussels were part of the allies and London would not take kindly to the violation of its neighbor. France would wait for the right moment to strike.

March 1936

An oil shortage hit France earlier than expected. The Emperor refused to ration civilian use of fuel so it was decided in desperation to decommission a substantial amount of older naval vessels and highly reduce the use of the rest of the fleet until the situation improved.

May 1936

Raw material shortages forced the French economy to slow down as predicted.
 

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napv.jpg

Napoleon V



The Palace of Versailles, The French Empire
18th July 1936


The midday sun was shinning brightly through the large windows into the relatively small bedroom. Lying in bed was a pale, sweaty and sick 8-year-old girl. She was mumbling something incoherent while struggling with some fever-induced nightmare. She was Princess Pauline of France and the concerned man sitting beside her in a French general’s uniform was the Emperor himself. He didn’t feel like a powerful monarch right now, in fact he felt powerless. For months now his daughter had been plagued by a vicious cycle of sickness. She would become seriously ill, then recover after a few weeks just to become sick again. The doctors were useless; they had no idea what was wrong! Last time she had been cured, was with the help of that English quack to whom his beloved wife had gone to read her fortune while she lived in London. Sophia had called for that man again imploring him to help their daughter. The most suspicious thing about the man was that he didn’t ask for any payment. Charles, the Emperor never thought about himself as Napoleon, had to talk to Paganon about this Oliver Haddo, have him check his background again and dig deeper than the standard screening process for visitors to the palace did.

He wiped his daughters forehead again, removing the small pearls of sweat from her brow and kissed her gently on the cheek. He had to attend an important meeting about this ruckus in Spain. Charles rose, opened the door and walked out of the room after one more concerned look at his daughter.


* * *​


Lieutenant De La Croix opened the limousine’s right passenger door and let out Empress Sophia’s guest. A very large man with a huge belly and dressed in an impeccable white summer suit and holding a large black leather bag stepped out of the car. The man’s face still bore witness of once being finely sculptured, but was now broad and fat. His mouth was large with fat wet lips. The neck was broad as a bull’s and his head almost totally bald. De la Croix, never a sensitive man, had problems meeting the guest’s gaze. The eyes were remarkably bleached blue and a bit confusing, as their pupils were parallel.

The man said in perfect French “Thank you Lieutenant, my name is Oliver Haddo and I’m expected by the Empress.”

“Yes, of course Monsieur Haddo, right this way.” De La Croix made a sweeping gesture that stopped with his left hand pointing to one of the rather modest servant’s entrances to the palace.


* * *​


Field Marshal Maurice Gamelin Chief of The General Staff, Charles de Gaulle, Marshal Of France, Commander of the sixth army, inspector general of French army and Foreign Minister Alexander Maret sat at a 17th century gilded coffee table and was drinking tea in a large room with a splendid view of the palace surroundings. There had been an uneasy silence since the formal pleasantries had been taken care of, now just the noise of silverware and fine porcelain being used. But then to their collective relief the Emperor arrived. His face bore a troubled expression that they all knew had nothing to do with his duties as a monarch. The all rose and extended their arms in roman salute and said in a loud unison voice “"Vive l’ Empéreur!" The monarch returned their salute with a bent elbow salute. “Thank you gentlemen, please sit down.” They all sat down and the officials waited while a servant poured their leader some tea. “That’ll be all for now Francois, thank you.” The servant made a slight bow and exited the room, closing the beautiful double doors after himself.

“Please begin by reporting the latest development in Spain would you Maret?”

“Yes, majesty. As you are aware of, the Spanish military high command has expressed great displeasure with the leftist republican government. That displeasure turned into open revolt early morning today Sire. Leaders are believed to be Francisco Franco, Emilio Mola, Juan Yague, Gonzalo Queipo de Llano and José Sanjurjo. Most senior of them are Mola and Franco. A majority of Spain’s armed forces seem to be on the generals’ side but the government has popular support. Nationalist strongholds are the northwest, Spanish Morocco and the Canary Islands. Paganon’s people have been in contact with Franco for some time but we didn’t know that they’d strike so soon. We are expecting a request for some kind of support shortly.”


franco.jpg

General Francisco Franco


mola.jpg

General Emilio Mola


The Emperor turned to Gamelin. “The Army Of the Alps has been in position for some time now. How soon can they be ready General?”

The 64-year-old General looked tired. “They can march tomorrow morning Sire.”

“Who’s commanding them now?” de Gaulle demanded to know.

“Lt. General Gonzalez de Linares. He was selected not only because of his impressive service record but also because of his command of the Spanish language.”

“Excellent choice.” De Gaulle looked pleased.

The Emperor spoke. “This is a great opportunity to rid ourselves of a hostile government. I want us to give them full support and tell de Linares to march as soon as our Spanish friends are ready for them. Maret you will handle the formalities and contacts.”

“Yes majesty. I’m sure our friend in Rome will come to Franco’s aid as well, now that Abyssinia has been conquered.”

“Good. I see a future Axis partner in Spain if we succeed. Will anyone oppose us except those pesky Soviets?”

Maret finished his cookie and said “No Sire.”

“Then it’s settled. I ‘m sure our young and promising Lt. General de Linares will give the republicans a hard time. Now please if you will Marshal de Gaulle report to me about the progress of our tank development program.”
 
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Zuckergußgebäck

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Is the daughter really sleeping in the night? She can suffer from rediuced immune defence due to her body focusing on staying awake(trust me, I suffered from a similar problem not long ago).

On the other hand, this is great!
 

cthulhu

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cagliostro1.jpg

Comte de Cagliostro - Magician, healer,
necromancer and self-proclaimed chief
of the Rosicrucians


The Palace of Versailles, The French Empire
Early morning, 19th July 1936


“The fever has broken.” Albert Murell, the Emperor’s personal physician, looked astonished and annoyed. It was the second time this Haddo character had shown up and seemed to have cured what ailed the Princess. According to the servants’ gossip Haddo and her majesty had spent the night sitting at the girls side. They also said that he had administered some weird dark blue liquid to the patient and later they had heard some strange chanting through the door…

“Of course it has doctor, I TOLD you it would, didn’t I?” Haddo sneered and looked at Murell with loathing. “Now let her sleep, the poor girl needs her rest.”

Empress Sophia’s beautiful face looked absolutely radiant. The happiness of seeing her child recover made Doctor Murell almost forget the insults of the large and arrogant Englishman. “Please leave us doctor I must speak with Monsieur Haddo alone.”

“As you wish majesty.” The doctor made a slight bow and left them.

The Empress turned around facing Haddo. Her hair was golden blonde and the eyes strikingly blue; she would have looked like a fairy tale princess if it weren’t for the modern blouse and trousers she wore. “Thank you Oliver! We’ve been so worried for Pauline. But how do we know she won’t become sick again soon?”

“Well highness, just make sure that she takes a spoonful of the elixir I gave you until the vial is empty. That should drive the impurities out of her body. I understand the doctor Murell…”

“Yes I’m sorry about that Oliver, but both the doctor and Charles were very skeptical. It won’t happen again. I’m so thankful, is there anything we can do for you besides…”

“Highness the key and the document we talked about should be quite sufficient I’m sure.”

“Yes of course. I’ll have it sent to you later today. You know, only one man has entered the Monvoisin mansion since the “La Voisin” scandal in 1680. Maybe I should arrange for some guards to accompany you?”

“That won’t be necessary highness and your quite right. One man is known to have been in the Mansion since it was sealed up by royal decree. The infamous Comte de Cagliostro. However that was a long time ago and the place is probably ransacked, but with luck I’ll find some of the tomes I’m looking for.”

“I would hate for something to happen to you Oliver.” The Empress was obviously very concerned.

“Fear not highness I can take care of myself. Now I must bid you adieu.” Haddo bowed dramatically, picked up and closed his big black leather bag and left the room.
 
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cthulhu

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Zuckergußgebäck: She was pretty much sleeping all the time during her sick periods. Her problem is of a different nature than yours was though.

BTW, I am glad you're better now and thank you for your comments. :)