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    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


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Antonine

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VIVE L'EMPEREUR
The Rise of the Third French Empire
(A Kaiserreich National France AAR)


Table of Contents

Prelude
Premise
Introduction
The Instability of '36
The Italian Crisis
Science, Industry and Politics
Interlude the First
The Liberian Campaign
The Civil Wars
The Death of the Republic (and Interlude the Second)
Preparing for the Restoration
The Imperial Restoration
The new Imperial Foreign Policy
Domestic Troubles
The Spanish Wars and Airplanes
The Tuareg Revolt
The Empire Strikes Back
Ending the Rebellion
The Fall of Darlan
The Empire and the Catholic League
The Second Weltkrieg: Sicily
The Second Weltkrieg: The Return to France
The Second Weltkrieg: The Death of the Commune
A New Age
The Libyan War
Interlude the Third
Preparing for war
The Invasion of Egypt
The Occitan Wall
The Fall of Egypt
The Cold War Deepens
Interlude the Fourth
The Campaign in the Levant
The Elections of '42
The Birth of the Arab Federation
The World in 1942
Interlude the Fifth
The Light Briga
The Savoy-Corsica Plebiscites
The League of Nations
The Collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire
1944
Interlude the Sixth
The Rise of the Soviet Union and the Bombing of Britain
Portsmouth
Manchester
The Midwinter Offensives
In the Balance
Birth of the Ordinateur
The Fall of Britain
Occupied Britain - Part I
Occupied Britain - Part II
Occupied Britain - Part III
The Atomic Age
The Brief Peace - Part I
The Brief Peace - Part II
The Pressac "Massacre"
The First Day
The Vernichtung
The Failure of the De Gaulle Plan
Knife Edge
Comic Interlude
Crossing the Seine
The Second Battle of Paris
The Third Battle, and Liberation, of Paris
Advances in France
Verduns, Colons and the Rhine
Crossing the Rhine
Flanders and Potsdam
Interlude the Seventh
The Bombing of Paris
The July Offensives
August 1951
The German Empire on its knees
The Partition of Germany
The African Campaign
The Soviet Phase of the Third Weltkrieg
The War in the Pacific
Dirigisme
The Treaty of Bruxelles: Part I
The Treaty of Bruxelles: Part II
Post-Bruxelles Europe
Eurafrica
The Quebec Crisis: Part I
The Quebec Crisis: Part II
Armistice in Scandinavia


Prelude

Algiers, Capital of the French Fourth Republic (National France), 1936

A young officer in the uniform of the French Foreign Legion looked out across the Bay of Algiers. Scorning the boats in the harbour, he looked northwards, across the Mediterranean, towards his home, his motherland, France.

Fabien Lebeau had been a mere boy of seven when metropolitan France had fallen to the Communard revolution. His family had been one of the lucky few to escape the Communards and so Fabien had grown up with the other children of the Exiles, in Algeria.

Four years after coming to Algeria his father had died. A proud military man, Pierre Lebeau was broken at seeing his homeland, the land he had fought to defend and seen comrades die defending, overrun with the foul Germans and fouler Communard traitors. He had died of a broken heart and, on his death bed, had made twelve year old Fabien promise to return his bones to France once the Communards had been defeated.

That was a promise which had haunted Fabien and all his life. As soon as he had turned sixteen Fabien had joined the Armée de Terre. Being French rather than a native, he had become an officer and now, at the age of 21, he was a Capitaine of the Foreign Legion, commanding a company of eighty legionnaires, all of them loyal to Fabien, to the Legion and to France.

Looking out over the see, Fabien repeated his old promise under his breath, "Je vous vengerai, mon père, I will avenge you my father," he whispered. "Nous allons libérer la France et votre âme repose en paix. We will liberate France and your soul will rest in peace. Je le jure. I promise it."
 
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Antonine

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Premise

This will be an AAR written in a historical style with occasional interludes of prose concerning various minor characters. I will be playing this game as I write the AAR but the basic premise is that I will be playing as National France and that I intend to opt for the event which restores the heir of Napoleon to the throne of National France.

I'm afraid my French isn't that good so I will be relying on google translate and wikipedia. If I make any truly hideous mistakes then please let me know.

The first proper update from the game will be posted later this evening.

EDIT: I should point out that I'm an Englishman who really doesn't like the French that much, so this AAR should be an interesting one XD
 
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son of liberty

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Best of luck, or should I say Bonne Chance.
 

General_Hoth

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I suscribe!!! And I can help for anything in french or history on Napoleon :p
 

Antonine

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Introduction

Following the defeat of France at the hands of the Central Powers during the Weltkrieg, France entered a short and brutal civil war between the syndicalist movement and the forces of the Establishment.

Facing mutiny in the army and the navy, defeat at the hands of Germany and the capture of Paris by the Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT), the old regime was forced to flee. Decamping first to Marseilles, and then across the Mediterranean, the remnants of the forces loyal to the old government, ended up in Algeria.

Protected by the bulk of the Weltkrieg era French Navy, the political refugees decided to start from scratch. In 1922 the leaders of the exiles proclaimed the Fourth French Republic, uniting the former French african colonial possessions, and creating the nation which most of the world would refer to as National France, the French government in exile.

The exiles were single-minded in their determination to reclaim France from the Communard menace. As such, the society of the French inhabitants of the industrialised north african coast became highly militaristic, with both the loyalist elements of the French Navy and Army coming to occupy powerful positions in society.

But after only a few years, the republic was effectively suspended with the rise to power of a military junta, with the support of the authoritarian and nationalist politicians who had come to dominate parliament.

Marshal Ferdinand Foch led the junta which seized power. The only people with the political right to object, the French exiles and colonials (the native inhabitants of National France were strictly second class citizens), remained silent out of a mixture of consent and fear.

In 1929 Foch died and was succeeded by the Hero of Verdun, Marshal Philippe Pétain. With the support of his protégé Admiral Darlan, Pétain's regime saw National France become ever more nationalist and witnessed the return of the royalist Fleur-de-Lis - something which hinted at the radical change that was to come in National France's near future.


The government of National France in January, 1936

By 1936, National France was firmly established. The tendency towards plotting short-term, impossible schemes to regain mainland France, "by Christmas", had gradually been abandoned in favour of more long term planning. This was essential to the survival of the nation, as the French exiles possessed an army of only 165,000 men to control a country of 8 million square kilometres and 27 million increasingly restless natives.

If National France was to survive, let alone reclaim the motherland, it would need more than an obsolete, Weltkrieg era navy and an army whose capabilities only just about extended to protecting the French nationals in Algeria from the hostile Tuaregs to the south.


The extent of National France, 1936

Aware of his increasing age, Pétain's main desire was to bequeath a strong starting position to his successor to enable him to achieve the liberation of France. Who that successor would be was a decision his papers show he had not yet made, but, in January 1936, he ordered a massive expansion of industry, both on the Algerian coast and in the Dakar shipyards, and an increased emphasis on modernising the equipment used by the army.


Marshal Pétain's 1936 industrial expansion plans

The other primary goal of the junta was to begin to make up for years of falling behind in technological development. To this end, the junta initiated research programmes aimed at improving industrial efficiency and modernising the outdated armed forces. To speed this process, National France also began reaching out to its allies in the remains of the Entente - primarily Canada, which hosted the British government-in-exile, and the Australasian Confederation.


Scientific research focused mainly on developing a more mobile army and modernising outdated manufacturing processes.

With these changes implemented, the Marshal could begin to focus his attention more on the political future of National France.
 
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Antonine

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This is going to be good. Subbing right away. XD
Hehe. I reckon you're going to love what I've got planned for the death of Francois Coty... XD
 

unmerged(166917)

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Pretty interesting premise. Not enough National France AAR's here.
Subscribed. :D
 

Ivir Baggins

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Hehe. I reckon you're going to love what I've got planned for the death of Francois Coty... XD
You putting Louis Napoleon IV in charge of France? Good. He might be an Autocratic Charmer, though - if he is, change that to Stern Imperialist.
 

Antonine

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The Instability of '36

Throughout the first half of 1936, the position of National France began to strengthen. The programme of military modernisation and upgrading gathered pace - mainly due to the constant flow of donated blueprints and scientific papers from the other members of the Entente, all of which were years ahead of the Fourth Republic technologically speaking.


This was fortunate as the world was rapidly becoming a more unstable place. On the 1st of March King Alfonso XIII of Spain died. Following his death political instability grew in a country that was not known for stability at the best of times. In the north of the country the Carlists plotted to return the man they saw as the "rightful" King of Spain to the throne and in the east the syndicalist CNT-FAI continued to gain influence amongst the workers in the major cities.

Instability in Spain did not present a direct threat to the Fourth Republic, in many ways it offered the potential opportunity for the French to acquire some of Spain's african colonial possessions. The real threat was what it indicated about the global situation. In Spain, in the USA, in Russia and in Brazil the forces of syndicalism were strong and could, conceivably, come to power. The spreading the "Communard menace" to these countries would further strengthen the position of a Commune of France and the syndicalist Internationale which were already benefiting from the economic troubles spreading throughout the capitalist world.


In February, Black Monday hit the German Empire. The German banking crisis turning into an economic crisis that spread throughout the world - first across eastern Europe and then to Russia and America.

The only western nations spared the impact of the economic crisis were those nations which were isolated from the international economic system - namely the countries of the Internationale and National France. The syndicalist, state and trade union run economies of the former nations meant they were protected from the impact of Black Monday. The latter, due to its membership of the Entente, had been locked out of the German dominated economic sphere and thus was too isolated to be impacted significantly. Perhaps the only member of the junta to be concerned by the crisis was Premier François Coty. A former perfumer turned politician, what remained of his once global company was shattered by the crisis, wiping out much of his personal fortune, of which he had already been forced to abandon a significant chunk when he fled France following the Communard revolution.

However, this was not the primary concern of the junta. Coty was still wealthy enough to continue his infamous love of wine, women and song, despite the continued drain on his purse of his many virulently right wing newspapers and magazines. Much more concerning were the events in Cairo, site of the Second Arab Congress.


The Second Arab Congress was inspired by the 1913 Arab Congress which had aimed to improve the lot of the Arab subjects of the Ottoman Empire. But with the victory of the central powers in the Weltkrieg, the Ottoman Empire had put down the First Arab Revolt and apparently stabilised what had seemed to be an empire on the verge of collapse. But all was not as it seemed and, in 1936, Arab political and religious leaders from across north African and the Middle East attended a second congress with aims similar to the first.

Whilst the congress failed to achieve anything substantial, it did awaken a renewed sense of Arab nationalism. The Arab population of National France was not exempt from this and in the aftermath of the Second Arab Congress there was a noticeable increase in the tension between the French Pieds-Noirs and the Arabic speakers of Algeria.

But of perhaps the greatest concern of all was the outcome of the Third International, held in Paris.


Hosted in Paris in May 1936, the Third International is considered a key moment in the history of the world.​

Amongst the other items discussed at the International, including the new, militant Totalist school of syndicalist thought, was an agreement to challenge and fight " reactionary and imperialist forces" throughout the world. This declaration was viewed with alarm in Berlin, Toronto and Algiers.

The true implications of this new, interventionist shift in international syndicalism became apparent only one month later when, on the 27th of June, the theocratic Italian Federation declared war ("Crusade" was the term used by Pope Julius IV) upon the Socialist Republic of Italy, which was allied with France.

 

Davisx3m

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Good Luck! And Viva le France!
 

Antonine

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Good Luck! And Viva le France!
Thanks :) This is the first time I've seen this chain of events occur and I was so wtf? when I saw it that I ended up reading the event files. It's a pretty cool chain of events just to be tucked away like that so I ended up writing the next post almost entirely about it - I just need to add screenshots so it'll be posted tomorrow.


Incidentally, I'm very glad that quite a few people have wished me luck - playing National France I'm pretty sure I'm going to need it XD
 

Antonine

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The Italian Crisis

Following the death of Pope Pius XI, the man who had led the Holy See to take over the government of the Italian Federation (at that time controlling the northern half of Italy), the Papal Clave elected Theodor Cardinal Innitzer as the new head of the Roman Catholic Church. The man who became Pope Julius IV was an outspoken opponent of syndicalism, committed to obstructing its spread for what he saw as the sake of Christendom.

The Socialist Republic of Italy (the syndicalists controlling Naples and Sicily) responded by condemning the election Pope Julius IV, stating that religion, and the Catholic church in particular, was the enemy of the proletariat. The papacy responded by issuing an Encylical against syndicalism, causing unrest amongst the Catholic believers in the SRI.

The socialist authorities responded by seizing and nationalising church property throughout southern Italy. This triggered the Exodus, where thousands of devout Catholics emigrated for the Italian Federation. Alarmed at this turn of events, the syndicalists closed the border with the Italian Federation and sealed off the port of Anzio which had been the main artery of the Exodus.

Violence broke out throughout the port as the masses of fleeing Catholics fought against the syndicalist troops. Unwilling to stand by, the Papacy and the Italian Federation sent troops across the border, seizing Anzio and declaring war on the Socialist Republic of Italy. As the SRI was a member of the syndicalist Internationale military alliance, the Italian Federation was now technically at war with France. With both Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire having strong interests in the Federation not falling to syndicalism, the rapidly escalating situation appeared to be on the verge of plunging Europe back into war.

Across the Mediterranean in Algiers the Fourth Republic watched events with alarm. If Italy was to fall entirely under the control of the syndicalists then the navies of the Internationale would be perfectly placed to dominate the Mediterranean, placing the very survival of the Fourth Republic in jeopardy. However, there was nothing that Pétain or his junta could do to intervene. Any attempt at military involvement would only inflame the situation and most likely result in active hostilities between themselves and the infinitely more powerful Communards.

Instead, National France was forced to watch in impotence as the Italian Crisis developed and pray for deliverance.

Then, on the 28th of June, a miracle occurred. The Germans had delivered an ultimatum to France - back down, or face war. Everyone had expected the Communards to refuse the ultimatum, setting Europe on the path to bloody carnage once again. But, instead, the Commune of France backed down, and both syndicalist and papal troops returned to their bases. In the space of two hours the Italian Crisis was averted and the status quo preserved - German military might managing to preserve the peace in Europe for a few years more.

 
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Lanassa

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Oh you cocktease you <3
 

Milites

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I always thought that German interference in the Italian War (particularly when the North started it) to be silly. Oh well, those Prussians and their crazy shenanigans... Hopefully, a new Napoleon will make up for the mistakes of the last.

Boy that skin is old. Fond memories :,)
 

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Right, I promise to do an update tonight. I'm going to try and fit in the start of the ACW, technological progress and the beginning of the war with [censored].
 

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Science, industry and politics

The remainder of 1936 was peaceful throughout Europe and North Africa, belying the violence that was to erupt in the next year.

On the other side of the Atlantic, however, the situation was rapidly deteriorating. In early November the Democrat candidate John Garner had been elected President of the USA. But the votes had been split almost equally in four ways between the Democrats, the Republicans, the America First Party and Combined Syndicates of America. John Garner could hardly claim to be the choice of the people when only just over a quarter had voted for him.

And, just a few days after his election, the CSA contested the election results in the courts - alleging that curfews and other "dirty tricks" had been used to prevent their mainly working class supporters from voting. The political situation rapidly polarised and the slow fuse to the Second American Civil War was started.


John Garner is often unfairly called the worst president in American history - in reality he was merely the victim of circumstance.

However, while America might have been heading for one of the bloodiest chapters in its history, National France was going from strength to strength.

Thanks to blueprints from its allies in the Entente, the Fourth Republic's military technology had rapidly advanced. Just a few months after the modernisation programme began, the army was capable, on paper at least, of equipping and training soldiers which would be the equal of any other in the world.

But, perhaps more importantly, a small but significant chunk of funding had been allocated to 'outlandish' projects. Though some of the projects would prove to be a waste of both time and money - such as the attempt to design a flying armoured car -two projects which were to prove vital to the survival of National France were also funded.

Despite grumblings about the waste of resources from more traditional members of the military, the decision was made to invest in developing the "radar" technology that the Canadians had been experimenting with and also to begin work on a primitive rocketry programme. Though the latter was at that time limited to a few wild scientists and engineers in the desert to the south of Algiers, it marked the beginnings of what would become the vehicle of choice for the most feared weapons in the modern world.


However, none of that mattered to the junta at that time. Of far greater interest was the completion, in November, of new factories across the Algerian coast. With more factory building due to be complete in spring next year, National France was beginning to build an industrial base capable of equipping an army that might actually be able to stand a chance of retaking the homeland.


Politically, despite the turmoil elsewhere in the world, such as Brazil falling to a trade union takeover, things at home remained relatively stable. The only change in the composition of the junta was the appointment of Joseph Barthélemy as the new security minister as a replacement for Deloncle who had proved himself deeply unpopular with the native population. With the pieds-noirs still worried about the implications of the Arab Congress it was felt that a gentler touch was needed in order to keep the peace. Despite the discontent in the junta amongst Deloncle's supporters at this decision, a far greater debate centred on the state of the navy.

The war hero and member of the junta, Admiral Darlan, had long argued for the need to modernise the navy and had protested strongly at the allocation of resources to modernise the army which he feared would provoke the Communards whilst leaving National France with a navy too obsolete to defend the regime. The arguments over this was a battle by proxy between the caution of Darlan and the impatience for the liberation of the homeland by de Gaulle, who was highly influential among many of the army's younger officers.

Wary of splits and division, Marshal Pétain was finally forced to intervene to settle the dispute. Whilst he refused to revoke his earlier programme of modernising the army, he authorised the dedication of the Dakar shipyards to designing aircraft carriers, with the hope that they could then be produced for the navy with first potentially entering service as early as 1938. This satisfied Darlan as it would finally remove the risk of his beloved navy being annihilated by planes launched from carriers of the Communards without ever even seeing the enemy fleet. De Gaulle was also satisfied as he felt confident that modernisation of the army would not be jeopardised by Darlan's caution.


Though the Foudré class would have looked more in place amongst a pre-Weltkrieg fleet it sill marked a substantial advance for the National French navy

Given that, within a year, the army would be fighting its first war since the end of the Weltkrieg, this was probably for the best.
 
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Antonine

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I'm afraid I wasn't able to get round to the war with Liberia in this update but I hope to get round to it soon.

The next update will be an interlude with Fabien Lebeau and (new character) his friend Georges Leblanc. I'll use it as a way to provide updates on the situation in northern europe, spain and america and also a bit of a flavour of the political scene in National France. That should bring me up to March 1937 and Liberia so, by the end of this week, I should actually have some proper military action for you :)
 

Antonine

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Milites

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Not from yours truly. The VIC skin you're using was, as a matter of fact, the first one I ever made :) Although I really should get back to KR skin-making.
Regarding the update, you seem set on a pretty solid course. That extra industry you've constructed coupled with the 5 bonus ones you'll get from Liberia should boost your overall IC nicely. Nat. France is always in a tricky situation regarding the navy/army dispute prioritize the first and you'll never get more than a rump part of the motherland back, but invest too predominantly in the latter and you'll have British troops in Algeria quicker than you can say "revolution" :D
 
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