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gll25

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Well, this is my first project of a really narrative AAR. In the first post you can find links to all chapters and updates. It will tell the history of the 20th century in an ahistorical way, starting in the middle of the Great War, going all the way up to the end of the century, crowded with revolutions, conflicts, treachery and much more.







This AAR is brought to you by:

 
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gll25

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The allied artillery ceased, and the shrill sound of sirens took the skies. It was time to move forward. The soldiers leave their trenches and run, as fast as they can toward the enemy lines. Successful or not, the end of the day hundreds of bodies were lying in no man's land, with the ravens having a party. This was the routine of thousands of soldiers who occupied the muddy trenches of kilometers over the front, this was the routine of the Great War.

The year 1917 is considered by any educated person a year of extreme importance to the Twentieth Century. Both alliances fighting for world domination (indeed European) entered the year in a difficult position. While in Germany, the British economic blockade finally begun to bear fruit, the Habsburg Empire was facing the wrath of nationalism within their lands, and the Russian hordes on the front line. The Entente, because of the Somme, came to the obvious conclusion that frontal attacks would cause countless casualties for little gain. To make matters worse, Russia, which had seemed an unbeatable giant, inside was a state ravaged by agrarian revolution.

The Germans started the year surprising the Tsarist forces. Quickly, the morale plummeted, and riots, harshly repressed, began popping up throughout the country. In March, Russia collapsed. Czar Nicholas II was forced to abdicate, and a provisional government led by Alexander Kerensky was formed, but this government was short-lived, for in October was overthrown by the Bolshevik Revolution, which later will be discussed, and a humiliating peace treaty was signed with the Central Powers.

Desperation took over the leaders of the Entente. Germany, since the conflict started, had given no reason for the United States to leave it's neutrality, and the victorious Central Powers troops were marching "en masse" towards the Western Front. The numerical superiority of the enemy became increasingly evident. The Entente had to act soon, and this is exactly what they did.

In early 1918, French and British, in a desperate move, moved their last reserves to the Italian front, where the army of that country, only now recovering from the humiliating defeat at Caporetto, maintained a line of defense near Venice. The idea was to launch a surprise offensive, wich would rapidly take Vienna and knock Austria-Hungary out of the war.

The offensive started well, with the harsh Austro-Hungarian defeat at River Piave, where they suffered almost 150,000 causalties. However, the tide turned in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. The troops of the Entente planned to encircle tens of thousands of enemies in a salient in the Tyrol. he Italian divisions begun advancing trough the flanks of the opponent, but found stiff resistance. Meanwhile, the newly created German Stoßtruppen, , using tactics of infiltration and with the help of tanks and planes, attacked the center line of the Entente, which collapsed. To make matters worse, the soldiers of the Entente who were advancing on the flanks, because of a radio problem, did not received the order to retreat, and, in April 1918, Italy, humiliated again, had nearly three hundred thousand soldiers stranded in two pockets in the Tirol.

The surrender of Italian troops was fast, and already in May, German forces attacked the taut lines of the entente on all sides: Italy was lost. In what was considered an act of treason, the remnants of the Franco-British armies retreated to the French Alps, and Italy surrendered quickly after the fall of Rome. While the Treaty of Florence was negotiated, the Entente generals were preparing as they could, because everyone knew that the Germanic hordes would soon be attacking with full force.

They were about two and a half million men, determined to cross the no man's land and end this war once and for all. In the other side, a few hundred thousand die-hard soldiers, ready to defend to their last drop of blood ... Well, they did not really knew for what they were fighting about. What is known is that the Germans pierced the line with deadly ferocity, from the port of Ghent in Belgium to the border with Switzerland in the south. Fifteen days, fifteen days of desperate resistance, but all in vain. Paris fell on July 17, 1918. The next day, the Hochseeflotte der Kaiserliche Marine left the port of Kiel to end the British blockade, but after a long battle the best they achieved was a bloody stalemate, with the loss counted in the dozens of ships on both sides. The British Isles were saved, but even so, the two sides sat down to negotiate, in Versailles.
 

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gll25

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Peace returned to Europe in the form of four treaties: Brest-Litovsk, Florence, Sofia and Versailles. Extremely punitive, they were also flawed. As the American president Woodrow Wilson said: "This paranoid German fear condemns to a dark and violent future that the destiny reserved humanity."

The treaty of Brest Litovsk ended the so-called Eastern Front. It was with the Bolsheviks that Germany negotiated, with Leon Trotsky. The soviet resisted, but there was no other way. On March 3, 1918, the treaty was signed. The terms were: The territory of Estonia and Latvia would form the United Baltic Duchy and Lithuania, White Ruthenia and Poland would be declared independent states in the German sphere of influence. Finland received a Germanic monarch and became independent. The Russian side of the region of Galicia-Lodomieren would be annexed to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Ukraine received independence as a satellite of the Habsburg monarchy. Germany and its allies would recognize the Bolshevik government as the official in Russia.

The treaty of Sofia was blatantly Bulgaria's revenge over the other Balkan states that attacked her in 1913. By the treaty, Greece, Romenia and Serbia would pay large war reparations to Ferdinand I's country. Also, Bulgaria annexed Macedonia, Edessa, Salonika and Constanta to it's empire.

The treaty of Florence devastated Italy. In fact, the sixty years old nation vanished. It was divided, for "security purposes". In the north, Austria created the Italian Federation, a Pope-government puppet, and in the south, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was reestablished. The Italian Federation would receive the French Alps.

The treaty of Varseilles did the largest territorial changes. In Africa, Germany received the Belgian Congo, Rodhesia, and most of French Equatorial Africa. In Europe, the germans annexed the rest of Lorraine and Luxemburg. Also, Belgium lands east of the River Meuse would be "temporarily occupied" by Germany, and Belgium itself would be dissolved. In it's place the german puppet Flanders-Wallonia was created. Still, that wasn't the most punishing part of the treaty. Germany limited the size of the French army to 100,000 active troops, and the French weren't allowed to have any airforce and blue-water navy. Also, the French had to pay gigantic war reparations, and had to admit they caused the war.



Map of Europe after the Weltkrieg​
 

gll25

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In the beggining of 1917, the Russian Empire was falling apart. Suffering defeat after the defeat, with german armies everyday closer to Moscow. The number of wounded soldiers returning home was enormous, and thus the ranks of several revolutionary groups were growing rapidly every day. It was clear revolution would come. In February, the powder keg exploded.

The February Revolution broke out spontaneously, without any real leadership or formal planning. The tensions that had built up for so long finally exploded into a revolution, and the western city of Saint Petersburg became the focal point of activity. Tsar Nikolay II was forced to abdicate, and the Romanov dinasty ended. Russia was a republic.

A Provisional Government was formed as an alliance between liberals and socialists who wanted to instigate political reform, creating a democratically-elected executive and constituent assembly. Headed by Alexander Kerensky, the government initally colaborated with the Petrograd Soviet, but relations with Bolsheviks were never good. Also, the government, under hard Entente pressure to keep the troops fighting Germany in the frontline, caused the popular support to drop sharply.

The Kornilov Affair, in August 1917, was an attempted coup d'état carried out by the then Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Army, General Lavr Kornilov, decided to depose Kerensky and install a military dictartoship. It failed, but the government was left in such a weak position, it was clear it would not last much longer.

In October 23, 1917, the second phase of the revolution began. The revolution was led by the Bolsheviks, who used their influence in the Petrograd Soviet to organize the armed forces. Bolshevik Red Guards forces under the Military Revolutionary Committee began the takeover of government buildings on 24 October. Resistance was pratically inexistent, as the few troops loyal to the government deserted. The Winter Palace, seat of the Provisional Government, fell the next day, and the Bolsheviks completely secured the town by 7 November.

Of course the revolution was not accepted completely. President Kerensky managed to miraculously managed to escape Petrograd. Several generals and cossack leaders formed resistance armies, called "White forces". In April 1919, the White Generals met at Omsk, and it was decided they would all unify under a single banner, a single organization, led by Alexander Kerensky, aiming to resist against the Bolshevik danger. This unified front was called "The White Army". The bloodiest civil war of all times had began, one that would change the world dramatically.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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It seems that Russia is in a more distressing situation than usually in the KR world.
 

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Russia seems like a giant clusterfuck. :eek:
 

gll25

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The Russian Civil War was fought by four large factions, altough only two were "russian":

The Soviets, headed by Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, Nikolai Bukharin and Joseph Stalin, was the only Russian state recognized by Germany. Encompassing all the radical leftist factions, it was leaded by Bolsheviks. It was also the strongest faction, controlling the Russian industries and most major cities.

The White Army, headed by Alexander Kerensky. Composed of Fascists, Social Democrats, Conservatives, Monarchists... Well it was basically composed by people who were deeply against a Bolshevik state. The military was leaded by old tsarist leaders, such as Anton Denikin and Petr Wrangel.

The Don-Kuban Union, a cossack nationalist organization that established itself south of the rivers that give a name to the Union. It was leaded by Petr Krasnov. Also, the Union had a fragile alliance with the Alash Orda, for survival.

Alash Orda occupies the lands of the former Steppe General Governorship of the Tsarist Empire. During the chaos of the civil war, a party of Kazakh nationalists declared independence, albeit granting considerable concessions and leeway to large numbers of ethnic Russian settlers in the region, and granting considerable autonomy to the Cossack garrisons.

The first large battles of the Civil War happened during the White Summer Offensive, aiming to capture Moscow. Denikin commanded the offensive, that started well. For a time, it appeared that the White Army would succeed in its drive, but Leon Trotsky, as commander of Red Army forces, hastily concluded an agreement with Nestor Makhno's anarchist Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine or 'Black Army', for mutual support. Makhno duly turned his Black Army east and led his troops against Denikin's extended lines of supply, forcing him to retreat.

After the soviet victory against Denikin, Lenin sent Stalin and Lavrenti Beria to Georgia, where they would get people's support and expand the revolution. The two georgians immediately started offensives against the Cossacks, in a not very wise move, because it freed white troops to advance against St. Petersburg, under the leadership of Yudenich.

Meanwhile, Anton Denikin went to Ukraine, were he would strike a bargain with the German Empire, that was afraid of the expansion of communism in Russia. The deal was quite simple: Alexander Kerensky and his allies would recognize the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, while the Germans would help in the civil war.

In March of 1920, with the battle for Petrograd still raging, 300.000 german soldiers left Ukraine, and marched towards Tsaritsyn, where they would meet Denikin forces. In it's way, the germans crushed Makhno's black army, and when they arrived, they found Leon Trotsky defending Tsaritsyn with half a million men. That was going to be the decisive battle of the Civil War.

Six months. Six months of bloodbath that decided the winner of the Russian Civil War. The germans and white russians surrounded Tsaritsyn, and furiously advanced trough all sides. The city square changed sides more than a hundred times, and by September 1920, both sides were exhausted... and the soviets still controlled the city. The Red Army had been victorious in Petrograd also, and reinforcements would soon arrive to break the siege of Tsaritsyn. Wilhelm Groner, the german commander, ordered his troops, defeated, to retreat back to Ukraine. The white movement would soon perish, and Kerensky escaped to Germany.

The war ended in October 1920, exactly two years after it began. The Don-Kuban union was destroyed, and a peace treaty was signed with the Alash Orda. Tsaritsyn was renamed Trotskygrad, as an homage for the heroic resistance, and Germany, by the end of the year, found itself with a red giant in her backyard.
 

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I like the premise of the AAR and you're developing it well- it started off rather like KR but you've quickly gone off that track with the changes in Russia and I'm looking forward to seeing what else you'll do with this timeline.
 

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Yes I am enjoying it a lot so far, I can't wait to see what you'll do with the rest of the timeline.
 

gll25

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It is a much debated question wich was the first socialist state: France or Russia. Altough the October Revolution happened two years before the French one, the first successful socialist revolution happened in France. The Treaty of Versailles was extremily humbling and government has lost what little credibility and support they had left. The weak French democracy did not last even one more year.

Everything began because of a major strike in Lyon. The workers demanded larger salaries and less working time. The pressured government ordered the army to quell the resistance, and what a mistake was that. The soldiers had no reason to have loyalty for the government , and most of the troops defected. Exalted by the Communist Party, a General Strike was called. The government was on its knees, losing power everyday. In November 17, 1919, French generals made a coup d'État and installed a military triumvirate, composed of Ferdinand Foch, Philippe Pétain and Joseph Joffre.

The Civil War itself started when the PCF called all french civilians and soldiers to resist the government oppresion, and an armed resistance began. Almost half of the army defected to the revolutionaries, and only Pétain troops, due to his care for the lives of his soldiers, remained completely loyal.

Altough the conflict was relatively short, it was very bloody. The French Army managed to secure some of the major cities, but it was impossible to hold against such a mass of revolutionaries. The military never really stood a chance. Already in March of 1920, they were trapped in Brittany and some areas of Normandy. The army leaders managed to achieve support of parts of the navy, and escaped to what was left of the African colonial empire, togheter with almost half a million soldiers. In June 22, 1920, was proclaimed the creation of the Fédération des Communes de France. Germany did nothing, as the pressure for peace inside the country was large, and the first socialist state was born.
 

tuore

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I like it, but please don't drag our LR politics in. :D
 

unmerged(166917)

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Interesting, I'm in !