Smyg wrote:The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of Gesar coping with being a total fucking a-grade revolutionary thinker
Serenissima wrote:It doesn't come from there, it comes out of Paradox actually. The AH people just kept trying to 'correct' it.
Smyg wrote:vote Seren/Zar 2016
- While visiting Sarajevo on the 28th of June, Archduke Franz Ferdinand is assasinated by Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip. In response, Austria-Hungary sends an ultimatum to Serbia, whose contents are deliberately made unacceptable to the Serbs. Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia shortly after receiving German backing. Russia, in turn declares war on Austria-Hungary and Germany, dragging France into the war as an ally of Russia and to recover Alsace-Lorraine.
- When Germany invades Belgium to execute the Schlieffen Plan, the British Empire declares war on Germany in defence of Belgian neutrality. The German advance to Paris is halted at the Marne and a series of flanking attempts, known as the Race to the Sea, prove unsuccessful. The war in the West grinds down to a halt.
- The Germans are much more succesful in the East, repulsing the Russian invasion of East Prussia and defeating the Russians at the battles of the Mazurian Lakes and at Tannenberg. The architects of these victories, Field Marshall Hindenburg and General Ludendorff, would play key roles in the final German victory.
- The Ottoman Empire joins the Central Powers later in the year, seeking to gain territory in the Middle East and from their hated enemy, Russia, with the pretext of British seizures of Ottoman ships and the guarantees of German support as encouragement.
- Almost all German colonies are occupied before the end of the year, besides German East Africa. Here General Lettow-Vorbeck will play a game of cat and mouse with the allied forces until the end of the war.
-* On 22 September 1914, three obsolete British cruisers, without their escorts, on patrol in the Broad Fourteens are sighted by U-boat U9. The brave U-boat commander launches a daring attack and surfaces his craft to fire a torpedo at HMS Aboukir - a strike which would have devastating consequences. The torpedo, however, turned out to be a dud - a common failing in such weapons at the time - and merely struck the Aboukir with a resounding clang. Without any possibility of its torpedo attack being mistaken for a sea-mine, and being at a point-blank distance of 500 yards, U9 is swiftly sunk by the firepower of the three cruisers while it attempts an emergency dive. With the loss of a third u-boat, for no successes in return, in the first six weeks of war, the German navy begins to reconsider their u-boat strategy, with the pre-war strategists' ideas that the submarine would never be an effective weapon of war seeming to be proven correct.
-* In November-December 1914, the Imperial German Navy conducts highly effective surface raids on the coastal towns of Yarmouth, Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby in England, causing 137 deaths. This grants a large morale boost to the German Navy and a prestige blow to the Royal Navy, which failed to adequately respond to or prevent the attack. The supremacy of surface vessels is confirmed to both sides, as HMS D5, a Royal Navy submarine assigned to protect Yarmouth, is sunk without any effect on the German attacks at all.
- In the West, the trench lines remain static, but the fighting increases in brutality, with chlorine gas being first used during the Second Battle of Ypres on 22nd April.
- In the East, Russia is pushed back by the Germans, but manages to hold on to Galicia.
- Bulgaria joins the war on the side of the Central Powers; Serbia becomes the first Entente nation to be defeated.
- Italy joins the war on the Entente's side, hoping to claim the Illyrian provinces of Austria-Hungary. Their campaigns are unsuccessful, and harsh mountain fighting ensues with high casualties for the attackers.
- In an a poorly-prepared attempt to knock the Ottomans out of the War, Entente troops land near Gallipoli, hoping to gain control of the vital Dardanelles. A British invasion on Mesopotamia is repelled and the remaining troops retreat to Kut, where the disastrous siege of Kut begins.
- A German submarine sinks the Lusitania. A severe backlash in the United States leads to Germany abandoning its unrestricted submarine warfare policy, which had hoped to starve the British out of food and resources. With submarine warfare only appearing to have had negative results, without any great propaganda successes, German planners instead increase their efforts to bombard Britain from the air and sea, as advised by rear-admiral Paul Behncke, who gains the ear of the Kaiser after the final failure of Tirpitz' submarine plans and the Lusitania scandal.
- German surface raids continue on British coastal towns, becoming increasingly bold. The town of Clacton-on-Sea is almost completely destroyed by incendiary bombardment by German warships. Royal Navy Admiral Jellicoe becomes increasingly politically hard-pressed to catch the German fleet, resulting in several inconclusive fights between battlecruisers, in which both sides take losses. While the Royal Navy comes out of these combats more victorious, when they are able to catch the German raiders at all, they are unable to prevent the bombardments in the first place. The dashing Admiral Beatty, commanding the Royal Navy's battlecruisers, becomes increasingly popular as a public hero for his chase-battles against the raiding ships, despite his well-known incompetence within the Navy itself.
- The Battle of Verdun begins, with the Germans attempting to bleed the French army dry. In reality all sides bleed equally in a battle which soon loses its military objective. An attempt by British forces at the Somme to relieve the pressure on Verdun is even more disastrous, with inexperienced British troops ordered to simply walk towards the enemy lines, assured by their commanders that artillery will have destroyed the enemy before they arrive. With fifty thousand casualties a day, the British attack soon peters out, and dissenting talk becomes common among the lower ranks of soldiers, feeling, quite accurately, that they are being used as cannon-fodder by their generals.
- On the Eastern Front, the Russian Empire launches the Brusilov offensive. While very successful at first, the offensive doesn’t manage to knock the Austro-Hungarians out of the war, nor drive Germany from Poland.
- German zeppelin bombing - militarily ineffectual, but with a significant morale effect - is supplemented by strategic bombing by German aeroplanes in quantity for the first time. Invasion paranoia - unfounded, but just as real in the fear regardless - sweeps the country, with the traditional shield of the Navy seeming ineffective and the Army heavily deployed overseas, while the German aerial attacks continue seemingly unopposed by the British aircraft. British morale at home begins to suffer, as it does in the Army, who feel their homes are threatened while they are away.
- The British troops at Kut are forced to surrender, dealing a heavy blow to British prestige. The Ottomans are being pushed out of the Caucasus and Armenia by a successful Russian campaign. The Sharif of Mecca sparks a general Arab revolt against the Turks.
- After another major German surface raid on the British coast, intercepted with advance warning British naval intelligence, the First Battle of Jutland ends in a tactical German victory, but a strategic British victory. Both sides learn lessons from the battle, but with the submarine offensive halted and its resources rediverted, the German High Seas Fleet resolves to continue its duel with the Royal Navy.
- Romania tries to profit from Austria's setbacks and invades Transylvania. An Austro-German counterattack smashes the ill-prepared Romanians, with Bucharest being taken by August von Mackensen within the year. Further south the British and French take up defensive positions around Salonica, their last redoubt in the southern Balkans.
- British Prime Minister Asquith is toppled by a vote of no confidence at the end of the year after a significant political crisis, with the three major political parties unable to come to a settlement. The Liberal Lloyd George is invited by King George V to form a second coalition government, but loses the support of most of his own party, keeping only a hair-thin majority mostly comprised of Bonar-Law's Conservatives. With this major split in hand, Arthur Henderson, leader of the Labour Party, becomes the head of the Official Opposition, backed by the larger faction of anti-war Liberals. Henderson calls for a general election, but the King and new Prime Minister refuse to dissolve Parliament. Membership of the Labour Party begins to increase significantly as they conduct a recruiting campaign among disaffected soldiers in France and disgruntled workers in Britain.
- In Germany chancellor Von Bethmann-Hollweg is forced to resign, being replaced by Georg Michaelis. It was soon clear that Michaelis was little more than a puppet for Hindenburg and Ludendorff.
- On the Western front the heavy French casualties at Chemin des Dames lead to a strike among the French soldiers. This would paralyze the French Army until the end of the year, giving Germany a chance to recover from the Brusilov Offensive. French politics remain in turmoil, but all parties are united to a greater degree than in Britain by hatred and fear of Germany.
- Due to the low morale thanks to years of endless defeat, and the divided British government's continued lack of effective reassurance and action, the French Army strike spreads to the British forces, though not the Commonwealth troops. This fosters resentment, particularly between the British rank and file and the Canadian rank and file, with the latter - whose homes are not under threat - being seen as lacking in solidarity by the British soldiers.
- Pressed for a victory to boost morale at home, and with naval intelligence again providing accurate reports, Admiral Jellicoe's Grand Fleet sallies out to confront Admiral Hipper's battlecruisers before they can bombard Whitstable. With both sides eager for a decisive battle, for their own reasons, the High Seas Fleet under Admiral Scheer responds, resulting in the second great naval battle of the war. With both sides pressing the attack and the lessons from the Battle of Jutland having been learned, casualties on both sides are severe, forcing them to break off battle by nightfall. While the German forces come off worse, the British people's propaganda-aided expectations of an annihilating, Trafalgar-style victory are not met, and Jellicoe is forced to resign after vicious rumours are spread by his subordinate Beatty, being replaced by the publicity-oriented Beatty as commander of the Grand Fleet.
- Russia collapses into anarchy, with the Czar abdicating early 1917. A provisional government is formed under Alexandr Kerensky. Russian military efforts stall due to the political turmoil and large-scale desertion. Kerensky's government begins to secretly put out feelers for a status quo ante bellum peace with Germany, recognising the growing Bolshevik threat. The Germans, however, are uninterested for the time being, preferring to take advantage of the situation to consolidate their territorial gains in Eastern Europe.
- Given the chaos on other fronts and Austria-Hungary's constant cries for assistance, Germany is able to devote a significant force to the Italian front, sending von Mackensen's fresh Romanian campaign veterans to spearhead the attack in addition to the existing German and Austro-Hungarian troops. The Caporetto Offensive, as it becomes known, beats the Italians back to the Piave river. In a significant blow to Italian morale, the city of Venice falls to Austrian marines capturing the naval base there; though the mainland around Venice remains in Italian hands. While the Austrian marines were later forced to retreat, the port of Venice remained disabled and out of use for the rest of the war, severely damaging the success chances of the Italian navy.
- In the only success story of 1917 for the Entente, both Baghdad and Jerusalem are captured by the British Empire's - largely Indian - forces, in conjunction with the growing Arab revolt. With most of the Ottoman troops being pulled back in an attempt to deal with dissent behind the lines and the backlash for their call for Jihad, the Middle Eastern front appears to be going the Entente's way, and provides a rare moment of positive propaganda for their side.
-The situation in Russia goes from bad to worse at the end of 1917 for the Entente, as Lenin's Bolsheviks seize power, beginning the Russian Civil War. De facto, if not de jure, Russian involvement in the Weltkrieg against the Central Powers ends.
- In early January the Peace of Brest-Litovsk is signed between the Germans and the Bolsheviks, freeing up hundreds of thousands of German and Austro-Hungarian troops. The Bolsheviks, unable to hold onto these territories against the White Armies in the first place, surrender significant territories to the German sphere.
- All is not well in the Central Powers, either. Mass hunger bites even further, with promised food supplies from the grain-fields of the recently-captured Ukraine not materialising due to a lack of available workers to sow or gather in the harvest. Famine begins to kill thousands, particularly the young and the old, with food supply priority - what little there is available - going to men under arms. Hatred, in particular, is largely directed towards the British, whose blockade is the architect of this starvation - and who, while being bombarded and raided, have not wanted for material goods or food throughout the war thanks to the lack of a significant u-boat offensive. Calls for further revenge on the British and French grow louder and louder, and the German High Command fears a revolution at home while their troops are at the front.
- General Allenby and the Arab forces manage to pull of the last Entente victory of the war, encircling and capturing a large force of the Ottoman Army and capturing Damascus. Before these gains can be pressed, however, his forces are withdrawn to the Western Front, including significant Indian Army forces, in a desperate effort to shore up the Entente's failing position.
- With only the Arab Revolt forces remaining in the Middle East, the Ottomans begin to rally, holding their lines and making a few small gains while heavily suppressing internal dissent with further, even more genocidal methods.
- Italian forces manage to hold the Piave River line, with the Germans and Austro-Hungarians being too but their army is increasingly untrained and suffering from desertion rates second only to those of the former Imperial Russian army, with little discipline preventing the soldiers from the rural south - unable to avoid conscription, unlike the men of the wealthy, industrialised North who remain in the factories - simply walking out of the line and heading home to their families and the harvest. This creates significant mutual dislike, aggravating the existing divide. Anti-royalist sentiment begins to be heard loudly.
- With dissent still rife among the Entente's forces on the Western Front, there is no hope of the planned Spring Offensive - aiming to gain a better position before German reinforcements from the East arrive - to occur. With Russia out of the war and Serbia already conquered long ago, the peace movement gains increasing steam in Britain and France, with the leaders coming under increasing pressure from their own civilians, as well as the military.
- Hopes that the United States might join the war in support of the Entente, bouyed by the news of the genocides in the Ottoman Empire and widespread moral outrage, are dashed when President Wilson is unable to secure a vote for war in the Senate, the general opinion suggesting that the United States has problems closer to home.
-* By September 1918, the Luftstreitkräfte's deadly plan is finally ready to take revenge on the Entente for the famine in Germany. Having gathered several hundred twin-engined bombers in occupied Belgium, and armed them with hundreds of the new B-1E Elektronbrandbombe - a small but devastating incendiary device that cannot be extinguished until it burns itself out - the German raids target first London, and then Paris the next day, in massive raids. Overwhelmed by thousands of fires sweeping through the cities, significant proportions of both London and Paris are devastated by the attack, with the sky over Western Europe glowing orange for several nights as both great cities, particularly their working-class districts and slums, burn. Casualties are relatively few, as the incendiary bomb used allows people to flee their homes, but morale is dealt yet another crippling blow.
- The ailing British government stubbornly remains in London, taking over neighbouring Westminster Abbey as a new chamber after the Houses of Parliament are cored out by fire, but are unable to prevent the Royal Family evacuating themselves to Balmoral in Scotland after Buckingham Palace is struck with an incendiary bomb - a move which, though intended to be a secret, further damages morale in Britain when it is revealed.
- With plenty of preparation and full reinforcement from the East, and with a dire need to end the war as soon as possible, the Germans and Austro-Hungarians launch their Great Offensive in April 1919. A two-pronged spearhead is launched, using the new 'Sturmtruppen' tactic, with the northern attack coming at St. Mihiel, south of Verdun, while the southern attack comes at Brescia, driving towards the sea and aiming to trap the Italian forces around the Veneto.
- Despite widespread dissent and strikes among the French forces, the feeling of genuine threat to the nation's survival encourages the French Army to rally, losing significant ground and the town of Nancy to the massive German push, but inflicting crippling casualties on the Germans in the process. Reims and Chateau Thierry fall after heavy fighting, but the German offensive against the French runs out of steam by the end of May, with Paris in tantalising distance. With the burned ruin of Paris threatened, and preparations being made for a withdrawal to the Seine, the French Third Republic 'temporarily' withdraws to Orleans - never to return, as it turned out.
- British forces in the north, homesick, low on morale and manpower, and with increasing distrust of the government, fight significantly less well, other than the doomed heroism of the Indian and Canadian forces at the holding actions of Vimy and Albert. Incorrect British tactics to respond to the manpower shortage and the lack of discipline had involved spreading out troops in penny-packet defensive positions along the line, allowing the German troops to simply bypass them and race successfully to the sea. While it is a tenuous and symbolic victory, German forces from the railhead at Lille reach the English Channel near Montreiul at the beginning of June, splitting the British force in half, with the majority now behind the Lys and the southern contingent holding the Somme. While the German troops soon retreat from this untenable position, the British forces are unwilling to counterattack.
- In Italy, the Central Powers' plan goes somewhat better, with the majority of Italian forces trapped in a major pocket around the Veneto, leaving the way open for a lengthy slog down the peninsula to Rome for the Austrian forces. Rome is taken without a fight in August after the King of Italy's departure overseas, with the Pope commandeering authority for himself and surrendering the city in order to 'save the people suffering and preserve the Holy City'. Two German divisions attempt to invest Marseille, beginning heavy fighting in the south of France - a propaganda victory more than a military one, given the length of supply lines required.
- With the war clearly lost, and stirrings of revolution beginning to emerge, the Entente sue for an armistice in late September, with all the plans for last-ditch offensives fortunately shelved. The Germans play for time, quibbling over armistice terms and spending a month solidifying their gains before accepting the armistice on the thirtieth of October at 3pm.
- The terms of armistice, authored by Erich Ludendorff, included the cessation of hostilities, the immediate withdrawal of British and Commonwealth forces to the British Isles and their respective Commonwealth dominions, a promise of severe reparations by the Entente, and the disarmament or internment of the Entente's warships in Germany. Unwilling to act as an occupying force any longer, and rightly concerned with the prospect of Entente-style mutinies, German forces were to withdraw to an agreed line themselves once the peace treaty was concluded, except for garrisons posted immediately as 'caretakers' to former British and French overseas possessions, most importantly the Suez Canal.
- With starvation conditions only just beginning to lift among the Central Powers, and Germany feeling themselves the confident masters of Europe on a steady rise since 1870, the peace treaty writing and negotiations drag on well into 1920. Germany and Austria’s political leaders - by this stage essentially Hindenburg and Ludendorff - under significant popular pressure to punish Britain and France to prevent another war, push for harsh terms.
- In the Entente powers, meanwhile, political turmoil continues.
- Russian Civil War goes the way of the Whites because German sticks its nose in, also after those 6 years of gruelling war in Europe, because apparently they had manpower, money, and will to spare. And then they win because fuck the Russians, they lose every war every single time someone invades.
Huojin wrote:... AND YET. It's worth noting that despite all this, I'd still play a reworked version of this world. Or maybe just a Central Powers victory game of some sort.
Smyg wrote:The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of Gesar coping with being a total fucking a-grade revolutionary thinker
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