The Gathering Storm, Redux - Gameplay Thread (WW2 - Early 1940)
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  The Gathering Storm, Redux - Gameplay Thread (WW2 - Early 1940)
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Author Topic: The Gathering Storm, Redux - Gameplay Thread (WW2 - Early 1940)  (Read 28311 times)
Lumine
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« Reply #425 on: March 12, 2023, 09:58:52 PM »


EVENT

Sino-Japanese war expands!
Soviet intervention leads experts to talk of "Great East Asian War",
Tannu Tuva joins war, Ma Zhongying murdered, Xinjiang overrun,
Zhang holds the line in Manchuria, Chinese sacrifices slow down Japan

FOR: USSR, CHINA, JAPAN

The first half of 1938 - coinciding with the winter and spring fighting seasons - has resulted in the significant expansion of the Sino-Japanese war, which has grown in carnage, participants and proportion to the point of perhaps morphing into something new. Indeed, a number of US-based historians have already begun describing what they consider to be a three-way "Great East Asian War", pitting the Nationalist regime of Chiang Kai-shek and the various Chinese warlords (who have now closed ranks behind Chiang); against the separate forces of the Comintern and the Empire of Japan, both of which are now locked in what is rapidly descending into total war.

Far to the East, Xinjiang warlord Ma Zhongying fell victim to an assassin, identified as a local member of the CCP. With their leader dead, the 36th Division nonetheless made a final stand outside of Urumqi, keeping the Red Army - which had found partial success in recruiting minorities into its ranks - at bay for several weeks. However, the disparity in resources and the death of Ma undermined the Nationalist position, and the battle of Urumqi ended up as a Pyrrhic victory for the Soviet Union as several thousands of its troops were incapacitated. This, in turn, meant that subsequent efforts against the Ma Clique - shortly after local warlord Ma Lin survived another assassination attempt were easily repelled, forcing the battered Soviet troops back into Xinjiang. In the meantime, General Ishaq Beg Munonov ascended to the leadership of the Xinjiang People's Republic, turning Urumqi into a new haven for the remnants of the CCP.

Across Manchuria, Field Marshal Zhang redirected his forces to face the Mongolian Army, whose offensive had previously stalled. Taking advantage of superior experience by his men, Zhang overwhelmed the Mongolian lines to strike deep into Mongolian territory, only for a new wave of Soviet-led reinforcements - including cavalry from Tannu Tuva, which also declared war on China - to halt his advance. Further attempts only resulted in heavy casualties for the Northern Coalition, which has nonetheless turned the tables on the Mongolians. To their east, the Japanese took advantage of the distraction to renew offensive efforts, seeking to expel Zhang from Manchukuo. Field Marshal Sugiyama led the way with a clever use of cavalry to make up for the difficulty of the terrain, forcing Zhang to withdraw his forces. Zhang, however, rebuilt his defensive lines on the mountains, preventing Sugiyama from outflaking him as the campaign soon turned into a battle of attrition. Although the danger to Manchukuo has been blunted, Sugiyama is reported to have suffered horrific casualties in the process.

In the south, Japanese forces mobilized from the coastline in three main directions. To the north, a methodical advance with tank formations and coastal landings struck at the Shandong Peninsula, with the goal of seizing the key port of Qingdao. After several weeks of fighting, the IJA overran the entire peninsula and secured the port, only for the Chinese forces to stage a successful withdrawal with their forces virtually intact. In the center, the Japanese moved to threaten Nanjing directly, forcing the NRA to throw everything at them. After a prolonged struggle, the Japanese have been stopped a few kilometers from the city, at the cost of heavy Chinese attrition. And, in the southern-most theatre, Japanese forces stuck to the coast as they attempted to close all Chinese ports, securing Fuzhou in a bloody struggle before getting bogged down by the forces of the Southern Coalition (with Guangzhou now the only open port), in what is reported to be mutual carnage.

Reporters have noticed a continued upsurge in Chinese morale and national resistance, with anger at the Soviet Union and Japan overcoming any concern over recent loss of territory. Indeed, there are reports of the start of partisan action behind the lines, with several Japanese food aid convoys being intercepted only for Chinese resistance units to provide the food to the locals themselves. However, in what is believed to be one of the first hits to morale, Field Marshal Zhang and several members of his staff were attacked in an assassination attempt, leaving Zhang - increasingly a national hero - wounded and out of commission for the following months.
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Lumine
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« Reply #426 on: March 12, 2023, 10:20:27 PM »


CRISIS

Serbo-Bulgarian war resumes!
Two years of uneasy truce end as Bulgarian Army resumes operations,
Air power opens the door to Skopje, regional capital seized,
Serbians regroup, trench warfare emerges across Macedonia

FOR: BULGARIA

Against all expectations, the truce between Greater Serbia - then Yugoslavia - and Bulgaria had held for almost two years, creating a tense peace across the divided region. As paranoid Serbian and Bulgarian commanders saw the spectre of renewed enemy offensives at every turn, both sides entrenched themselves, with the Serbian forces doing its best to fortify the besieged regional capital of Skopje despite the inability to get war material into the city. And as the rest of Europe burned, Tsar Boris III appeared to have decided that the time was right. Following a breakdown in diplomatic communications between Belgrade and Sofia, the Royal Bulgarian Army threw itself at the frontlines, in a move that, perhaps surprisingly, had been forseen by the Serbian forces. Indeed, the Serbians had established several defensive lines with the limited material available, forcing the Bulgarians to storm trench after trench with significant casualties.

Indeed, the first few weeks of renewed hostilities have seen Bulgaria gain only limited ground, only for the Serbian Army to fall back and regroup in consistently decent order. In contrast, Skopje turned into a debacle for the Serbians, as the Bulgarians - having acquired a significant number of planes - gained air superiority over the city and used it to bomb the enemy as mercilessly as possible. After a few days, and with all hope of relief gone, the local Serbian commander committed suicide and authorized a surrender, enabling the Bulgarian Army and the IMRO militias - with Ivan Mihailov at their head - to enter the city, a key propaganda boost for Sofia. Thus far, there has been silence from Belgrade aside from condemning Sofia, with Regent Nedic being conspicuously absent from the public.
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Lumine
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« Reply #427 on: March 12, 2023, 10:42:16 PM »

MID YEAR NEWS - with Radio Crusader


"Pope Pius XI has issued a public call for peace from Vatican City, expressing extreme concern at what appears to be a rising state of war in Europe. His Holiness' call has been echoed by other pacifist leaders..."

"Isolationism on the rise as US midterm elections approach, several candidates adopting a line of strict non-intervention in European conflicts to appeal to..."

"President Atatürk tours Latin America in historic visit, received by welcoming crowds in Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela and Brazil. President Vargas has hailed his counterpart as a "true statesman"..."

"Former Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald dies aged 73, leaving the opposition Progressive Coalition in danger of splintering..."

"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premieres in the United States to great acclaim. Walt Disney's innovative approach to animated motion pictures has earned him support from critics and audiences..."

"Vyacheslav Molotov and Marshal Semyon Budyonny sentenced to death in Soviet treason trial, following reports of a purge of Stalin's closest allies. Marshal Voroshilov's funeral after his unexpected death to be held soon. Nikita Khrushchev's continued disappearance sparks speculation as to his fate..."

"Following stirring call for action by Duce Benito Mussolini, thousands of anti-Communist volunteers are reported to be reaching Bucharest to fight against the Red Army. Volunteers are reported to be organizing themselves as International Legions. Italians take the lead as the most prominent..."

"Australian Parliament passes emergency bill enacting the Statue of Westminster with support from UAP and Country Party benches. This, in turn, enables the Commonwealth of Australia to declare war on its own, a power previously under doubt..."
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YPestis25
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« Reply #428 on: March 12, 2023, 10:51:50 PM »

Newswire from Le Monde



….With imminent prospect of war, Premier Daladier announces the creation of a Popular Front Government….PRRRS, SFIO, PCF receive cabinet posts….left wing independents represented…Premier calls it “the best hope for the preservation of republicanism against the forces of authoritarian monarchism…”
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YPestis25
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« Reply #429 on: March 12, 2023, 10:55:42 PM »
« Edited: March 12, 2023, 10:59:29 PM by YPestis25 »

Daladier Announces a Declaration of War against Germany
Source: Past Daily
Quote
Men and Women of France,

Since the beginning of this week, Czechoslovakia has been the victim of the most brutal and most cynical of aggressions. Her frontiers have been violated. Her cities are being bombed. Her army is heroically resisting the invader.

The responsibility for the blood that is being shed falls entirely upon the Kaiser’s Government. The fate of peace was in Hugenberg’s hands. He chose war. France and England have made countless efforts to safeguard peace. This very morning they made a further urgent intervention in Berlin in order to address to the German Government a last appeal to reason and request it to stop hostilities and to open peaceful negotiations.

Germany met us with a refusal. She had already refused to reply to all the men of goodwill who recently raised their voices in favour of the peace of the world. She therefore desires the destruction of Czechoslovakia, so as to be able to dominate Europe quickly and to enslave France.

In rising against the most frightful of tyrannies, in honoring our word, we fight to defend our soil, our homes, our liberties. I am conscious of having worked unremittingly against the war until the last minute.

I greet with emotion and affection our young soldiers, who now go forth to perform the sacred task which we ourselves did perform before them. They can have full confidence in their chiefs, who are worthy of those who have previously led France to victory.

The cause of France is identical with that of Righteousness. It is the cause of all peaceful and free nations. It will be victorious.

Men and women of France!

We are waging war because it has been thrust on us. Every one of us is at his post, on the soil of France, on that land of liberty where respect of human dignity finds one of its last refuges. You will all cooperate, with a profound feeling of union and brotherhood, for the salvation of the country.

Vive la France! Vive la Republique!
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YPestis25
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« Reply #430 on: March 12, 2023, 10:57:05 PM »

Montpellier Pact

Quote
The French Republic, and the Kingdom of Italy, hereafter the Signatories, bound together by common interests and friendship agree to the following:

1 . The Signatories agree to consult one another on all relevant security concerns in the Western Mediterranean Sea.
2 . The Signatories agree to undertake all efforts to preserve freedom of movement and transit in the Western Mediterranean Sea.
3 . The Signatories reaffirm their commitment to the Locarno Treaties.
4 . The Signatories reaffirm their commitment to the preservation of stability and peace in North Africa.
5 . The Signatories reaffirm their commitment to the preservation of their respective national sovereignty and independence.

xÉdouard Daladier
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« Reply #431 on: March 12, 2023, 10:58:35 PM »

Montpellier Pact

Quote
The French Republic, and the Kingdom of Italy, hereafter the Signatories, bound together by common interests and friendship agree to the following:

1 . The Signatories agree to consult one another on all relevant security concerns in the Western Mediterranean Sea.
2 . The Signatories agree to undertake all efforts to preserve freedom of movement and transit in the Western Mediterranean Sea.
3 . The Signatories reaffirm their commitment to the Locarno Treaties.
4 . The Signatories reaffirm their commitment to the preservation of stability and peace in North Africa.
5 . The Signatories reaffirm their commitment to the preservation of their respective national sovereignty and independence.

xÉdouard Daladier

X Il Duce Benito Mussolini
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Lumine
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« Reply #432 on: March 12, 2023, 11:38:47 PM »

World War II



List of Conflicts:

Czechoslovakian War: Republic of France, Czechoslovak Republic vs. German Reich, Kingdom of Hungary (1938 - Present)

Serbo-Bulgarian War: Kingdom of Bulgaria vs. Kingdom of Greater Serbia (1938 - Present)

Soviet-Eurasian War: Soviet Union vs. Eurasian Alliance [Turkey, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Romania] (1938 - Present)

Great East Asia War: Republic of China and Warlords vs. Empire of Japan and Manchukuo vs. Comintern [Soviet Union, Mongolia, Tannu Tuva, Xinjiang] (1937 - Present)
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Lumine
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« Reply #433 on: March 12, 2023, 11:39:20 PM »

July 1st, 1938


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LAKISYLVANIA
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« Reply #434 on: March 13, 2023, 03:28:27 AM »

Statement of Mikhail Tukhachevsky to the Slovakian Republic

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics admires the bravery of the Slovak people to resist the internal destability, the usurper and foreign powers invading the country, and therefore will announce that they'll recognise the independent republic of Slovakia, controlling an area from Bratislava to Kosice
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« Reply #435 on: March 14, 2023, 12:47:55 AM »
« Edited: March 14, 2023, 09:22:23 AM by Devout Centrist »

View on China: Zhang Holds Strong, Chiang Pulls Back! (1938)

Quote
You are listening to the East Asian Broadcasting Company, the voice of the people.

We have news for you regarding the ongoing Great East Asian War. Offensive operations have come to a halt in Inner Mongolia, where Marshal Zhang Xueliang has managed to stall Japanese counterattacks after weeks of gains for the Rising Sun. The young Marshal, who is currently recovering from wounds received in a recent assassination attempt, has earned respect from friend and foe alike. Many have come to admire the Marshal’s confident and calculating style of leadership. Indeed, one Japanese major had this to say about Marshal Xueliang’s skills in battle: “He is like the samurai of old, courageous to a fault, and a worthy opponent. He is nothing like the other Chinese commanders we’ve faced, the ones who protect Chiang and his band of gangsters who cower in Nanking.” The office of Marshal Xueliang did not respond to our request for comment on this story.

Meanwhile, in Central China, the National Government has ceded yet more territory to the Japanese. The Shandong Peninsula, which was until recently under NRA control, has fallen to the invading Japanese without much of a fight. Local commanders report that an order to retreat was issued directly from Nanking, a statement with KMT officials have disputed. One NRA soldier reported that he was “angry” that his family’s farm had been given away to the Japanese without a fight.

“I grew up there! My parents have evacuated to Binzhou, but their home is gone. It’s all gone. My whole battalion was ready to stand and fight at Qingdao when the enemy arrived, but our officer told us to fall back to miles behind the front. I was deeply shaken by this. Why aren’t we fighting them? Why are we running?”

More stories coming up at the top of the hour. Once again, this is the East Asian Broadcasting Company, the voice of the people.
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YPestis25
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« Reply #436 on: March 14, 2023, 09:35:56 PM »

Tokyo Accords

Quote
The French Republic, and the Empire of Japan, hereinafter the Signatories, bound together by common interests, agree to the following:

1 . The signatories reaffirm their commitment to the preservation of their respective national sovereignty and independence.
2 . The Signatories agree to consult one another on all relevant security concerns in East Asia
xÉdouard Daladier
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« Reply #437 on: March 14, 2023, 09:37:20 PM »

Tokyo Accords

Quote
The French Republic, and the Empire of Japan, hereinafter the Signatories, bound together by common interests, agree to the following:

1 . The signatories reaffirm their commitment to the preservation of their respective national sovereignty and independence.
2 . The Signatories agree to consult one another on all relevant security concerns in East Asia
xÉdouard Daladier
x Matsuoka Yosuke, Foreign Minister for the Empire of Japan
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« Reply #438 on: March 15, 2023, 04:33:17 PM »
« Edited: March 15, 2023, 06:07:49 PM by Devout Centrist »

Quote
Soviet-Japanese Trade Treaty

1. The Soviet Union shall lift all quotas and export restrictions on the export of coal, iron ore, tin, steel, scrap metal, copper, rubber, cloth, chlorine, petroleum products and distillates, aluminum, grain, salt, magnesium, chromium, cobalt, and other rare earth metals to the Empire of Japan

2. The Empire of Japan shall compensate the Soviet Union by providing technical and industrial assistance for the purposes of supporting mass industrialization in the Soviet Union.

X Matsuoka Yosuke, Foreign Minister for the Empire of Japan
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Lumine
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« Reply #439 on: March 15, 2023, 11:30:13 PM »

The World War
July to September 1938 (Part One)


"For years, we have wondered whether mankind would learn its lesson, whether the horrors of the Great War would be avoided, whether we would have the wisdom not to put this world of ours through it again. We know now that, on this task, we have all failed. And if the reports I bring today, dear listeners, are to be believed, a long night awaits for millions of unfortunate souls. Once again, we can never be too grateful to live away from barbarity in our United States. But we must inevitably wonder... for how long?"

(William Shirer, CBS News, reporting from Europe)

Baltic Front

Invasion of Lithuania

Ever since the Polish–Lithuanian War concluded with a Polish victory eighteen years ago, the spirit of revenge was alive and well within the Republic of Lithuania. Having lost its ancestral capital of Vilnius, it had refused to acknowledge territorial changes and to have any sort of diplomatic relations with its neighbor, a notion that enraged Polish nationalism and, particularly, the Sanation movement of Pilsudski and Koc. Following a border incident at the end of 1937 that left two dead, calls grew for confrontation between both nations, with Warsaw finally concluding that the time was right to put an end to hostility from Kaunas.

With the eyes of the world leaving the Baltics behind following tensions in early 1938 over supposed Soviet - and/or German - plans for the region, observers were surprised by the news that the Polish Army, led by Marshal Rydz-Smigly himself - had crossed the Lithuanian border and was engaged in a shooting war. Over the next few weeks, President Smetona did its best to mobilize the smaller Lithuanian Army to resist the Polish invasion, which claimed to be motivated by a desire to restore democracy in the small Baltic nation. Despite early setbacks for the Poles, Warsaw used innovative tactics to maneuver around the Lithuanian forces, with General Stanislaw Maczek becoming a hero overnight as his 7TP Polish-made tanks encircled Kaunas and stormed the city.

Almost two thirds of the country have been occupied, with Smetona fleeing to the coast to continue resistance as he appeals for international aid. In the meantime, in Memel, local ethnic Germans have started to issue calls for Germany to reoccupy the territory, not being keen on Polish domination.

Balkan Front

The Macedonian Trenches

The fall of Skopje had been a tough blow for the Serbians, who risked losing yet another military conflict as the IMRO mobilized further local resistance to Belgrade. Amidst reports of Regent Nedic being sidelined and power moving into the hands of the younger hardline Colonels - with Defence Minister Mihailovic cited as the new leading man -, the Serbians launched a special "cleansing" operation across the areas of Bosnia still in revolt. Although accounts are sparse, there is talk of significant ethnic cleansing against the Bosniaks who have refused asylum into Bulgaria and Turkey, and unconfirmed reports suggest Greater Serbia has declared full military victory against the Bosniak revolt, a move that will likely allow for greater concentration of force to the south.

In the meantime, buoyed by their recent victory, the Bulgarian forces pushed ahead, taking significant precautions against potential drastic escalation by Belgrade. Supported by increased local assistance and collaboration with the IMRO, as well as with their key advantage in superior air power, the Bulgarians stormed the new temporary defensive lines of the Serbians, but were only able to push them back after significant effort due to a much stiffer resistance than expected. Soon it became clear that the Serbians had been buying time to further enhance several fortified "lines" built during the truce, and subsequent Bulgarian assaults crashed against a wall as trench warfare much akin to the Western Front in 1915 emerged.

Although the Serbs have been almost expelled from Macedonia, they still retain a significant part of the region, and casualties on both sides are rapidly expanding.

Czech Front

A Nation Rises, Another Survives

In many ways, the outbreak of war between Paris and Berlin came as a blessing to General Syrovy's beleaguered regime. Although hoping for long-term resistance against the Reich was always going to be a difficult objective to accomplish, it provided a chance to be seized, and Syrovy did his utmost to really the battered Czechoslovak Army and restore its confidence. Having already suffered through endless defections of ethnic officers and troops, the remaining core stabilized its numbers, and a decrease in Communist activity - as they have gone into defensive positions - allowed him to regain focus. Though lacking new reinforcements, the German armored spearheads hurled themselves in a race towards Prague, hoping to encircle the capital and end the campaign.

What followed was a complex series of battles as the Czechoslovak Army staged a successful fighting withdrawal, trading territory for the integrity of its forces. Having thus conserved strength, they went into counterattack at the end of September, right as the German columns approached central Bohemia. For over a week the battle raged, with German panzers approaching the outskirts of the city. Against the odds, a final Czech counterattack broke the German lines, delivering a humiliating victory and forcing the enemy to fall back. In contrast, far greater success for the German-Hungarian cause was to be found eastwards, as several Czech pockets of resistance collapsed and Bratislava was relieved by the Royal Hungarian Army.

Despite the sudden death of Slovak national leader Andrej Hlinka, shot dead while giving a speech in liberated Bratislava - though to be the work of Czech sniper -, his successor Jozef Tiso delivered a rallying cry for an independent nation, proclaiming the Republic of Slovakia that same day. By and large, Czech resistance has collapsed in Slovakia proper, isolating their forces in the Subcarpathian Rus as the Hungarians have secured virtually all ethnic-Hungarian territories. Still, Czechoslovakia and General Syrovy live to fight another day.

Western Front

Dash through Belgium

Amidst grumblings of dissent with the German General Staff, Chancellor Hugenberg had made up his mind on how to fight the war against France. And in what can only be described as a major gamble, the Chancellor decided to fight as ruthlessly and recklessly as possible to deliver the killing blow that had evaded Germany in the summer of 1914. Shortly after the declaration of war, the already mobilized Reichswehr crossed the Belgian border once again, breaching Belgium's neutrality for the second time. Walther von Reichenau's Army Group A found the Belgian forces unprepared and underdeveloped, resulting in the rapid seizure of forts and destruction of their first line of defence even as Georges Blanchard's French 1st Army Group entered Belgium to take positions around the Meuse River.

Planning for long-drawn battle across the Meuse, Blanchard took immediate precautions against chemical warfare, fearing a repeat of the nightmare of the Great War. For two days - as Reichenau massed his forces - Blanchard saw no columns of poisonous smoke. The next morning, parts of the front started to fall silent. Shortly after, Army Group A threw itself at the rapidly collapsing French lines, as several units panicked upon noticing signs of gas poisoning despite wearing gas masks. Shortly after, the Battle for the Meuse turned into a full-blown debacle, forcing the Belgian government to evacuate to Ypres and the French to withdraw.

Gotterdammerung in the Netherlands

Having taken even less precautions than the Belgians and being even more unprepared for war, the Netherlands had clung to the sort of neutrality that was becoming increasingly out of fashion due to the actions of multiple belligerent countries. The entrance of the German Army into Belgium led to immediate preparations for partial mobilization to deter aggression, only for Amsterdam to learn that their country hadn't been deemed a target for occupation. It had been, however, a target for neutralization. Before preparations could be completed, the Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe began intensive bombardments, all of them targeting the dikes that sustained the Netherlands in its eternal battle against the sea. Not all of them were destroyed once the operation was finished. But enough of them were.

The scale of the damage is as of yet undetermined, but the death toll climbs at the very least to the tens of thousands as Amsterdam is utterly overwhelmed in trying to respond to this unprecedented disaster. Large parts of the country are reported to be now under the sea - in some cases flooded by a small margin, in others, potentially gone forever - as millions of refugees struggle to escape, causing chaos in intact parts of the Netherlands and collapsing the parts of Northern Belgium that remain free. What the response from the Dutch government will be remains to be seen, but there are already reports of German refugees being lynched in the streets. Kaiser Wilhelm II, living in exile at Doorn, barely escaped with his life by fleeing back into the German border. Most of his staff were not so lucky.

Battle at the Saarland

Though comparatively a secondary theatre of operations, the original Franco-German border did not go unnoticed, with the French 2nd Army Group launching an immediate offensive from the occupied Saarland into the Rhine. Their initial strike proved eventful, rapidly crashing into a German force marching towards the Maginot Line and forcing the French to resume defensive positions for a few days. Having eventually discovered it was a feint due to aerial reconnaissance, the 2nd Army Group threw itself at it and caused heavy casualties on the decoy German force, only to crash into significant fortifications - the so called Siegfried Line - previously built under Hugenberg's forces - that forced the French advance into a halt. To their bitter disappointment, territorial gains were limited, preventing them from reaching the German industrial heartland.

The Race to Paris

Leaving the battered remnants of the Belgian Army and the 1st French Army - separated from its Army Group - isolated in Western Belgium -, under Günther von Kluge's Army Group B, Reichenau led its consolidated forces on the next stage of the battle: the dash for Paris. Once again chemical weapons featured heavily as much as seemingly limited stocks permitting, killing comparatively few French soldiers whilst still sowing terror and chaos due to the ineffectiveness of masks. It appears evident that a new sort of agent is at hand. Despite Blanchard's skillful withdrawal, Charles Huntziger's 2nd Army became encircled before it could crossed the Somme. Unwilling to suffer being gassed into submission, Huntziger surrendered. With his defensive preparations shattered, Blanchard used his reserves to blunt the spearhead towards Paris, throwing Henri Giraud's 7th Army at the enemy to stop their advance.

Ruthless use of the new chemical - whose use appeared to be lessening in quantity - eventually disrupted Giraud's attack, but he had inflicted significant casualties on the German lines for the first time. More importantly, he had bought time for another army, Corap's 9th, to join forces already stationed to defend Paris. Here the final battle of the summer was fought at the Aisne and Oise rivers, with a particularly grueling tank encounter at Compiegne looking like the start of a French comeback before the German armored spearhead broke through again. With the French withdrawing back to the Marne river, Paris is now vulnerable to attack. Perhaps ironically, the German advance stalled entirely at this point. There is significant speculation as to why the Germans have halted, but not immediate explanation.

Daladier's luck runs out

Shortly after Germany invaded Belgium, a powerful declaration arrived from London by Prime Minister Halifax and King Edward - though the latter focused more on being sorrowful about the eventual hardships that lay ahead -, declaring war on Germany and announcing an immediate expedition to assist Britain's allies. Despite the limited time to organize a British Expeditionary Force, the first divisions landed in Belgium in August, where they have taken position alongside the Belgians. Additional forces landed in Normandy in September, aided by a giant Entente naval mobilization across the English Channel, and which may well be in position to assist the defense of Paris. All of this, in turn, may have been sufficient to bolster French morale. But it was not to be.

Édouard Daladier had shown his resolve by promoting the once unthinkable: a Popular Front government to battle the war resolutely. In ditching a national unity government, he ensured rapid coherence, even at the cost of furious press and parliamentary assaults on the participation of Maurice Thorez and the Communist Party. And had he had a chance at a victory, it is likely that the shaky foundations of the government would have held, allowing Daladier to, once again, cheat political death and survive after such an unprecedented period in power. Alas, the disasters in Belgium and Northern France badly shook national morale and confidence. Even as a large part of the nation rallied behind its Prime Minister and the war effort, another sank deeply into pessimism, defeatism, or outright panic.

With the Germans approaching Paris, the right and the center decided they'd had enough. In a subsequent vote of confidence, Daladier's 10 seat majority evaporated as his internal right-wing critics in the PRRRS panicked and bolted. Having lost a vote of confidence, President Lebrun was forced to dismiss him from office. At its darkest hour, and with the National Assembly debating how - and whether - to continue the struggle, and whether to abandon Paris, France is to have a new government.
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« Reply #440 on: March 16, 2023, 12:36:33 AM »

The World War
July to September 1938 (Part Two)

Romanian Front

Rise of the International Legions

By an large, and before the atrocities of the Western Front took center stage, the world became
enraptured by Romania's struggle against the Soviet Union. For many, it became the definitive struggle between Marxism and its opposite set of values, taking on an ideological dimension greatly fueled by the bombastic rhetoric of Duce Benito Mussolini. In the coming weeks after the invasion, thousands of anti-communist foreigners did their best to find their way into Romania through whichever means available.

An entire division was formed only with Italian Blackshirts - the First Legion of the Crusade for the Defense of Dacia -, followed by entire regiments or brigades from other nationalities. Many have distinguished themselves in battle, including the American brigade, the Baltic brigade, and most recently, the Brazilian brigade, the result of a personal intervention by President Vargas. However, having smashed the small Romanian navy, and with no Eurasian - or to be more precise, Turkish - vessels venturing themselves out of the Bosphorus, the Soviet Black Sea Fleet has entirely blockaded the Romanian ports, forcing any future volunteers to travel across Poland, Bulgaria and Greater Serbia to get to Bucharest.

The Summer Campaign

Despite its growing unpopularity, King Carol of Romania has been able to stabilize his government by forming a minority government, supported - perhaps surprisingly so - by the previously hostile Iron Guard. The main victim of this has been the Romanian Communist Party, as the government's rapid reaction in establishing martial law and marshaling significant resources to battle the Communists has sapped their strength and drastically reduced the danger of strife behind the lines. Indeed, several top Communist lieutenants are reported to be dead or jailed, with the party General Secretary and the bulk of his comrades forced to cross the Soviet lines to survive. Embracing a defensive stance, the Romanians hoped to survive the summer. This they did, but at a high price.

In the north, Marshal Yegorov fought his way across Bessarabia as the weaker Romanian forces began to collapse under the onslaught of infantry. Despite deficient Soviet performances, Yegorov nonetheless was able to exploit a breakthrough, his forces overrunning much of Moldova and Bukovina after taking Iasi. In spite of this, a final push by Yegorov towards the west was contained by reinforcements, leading to a costly battle of attrition for both sides. In the south, however, Marshal Blyukher's push initially forced the Romanians to withdraw, taking Cahul, only for the situation to turn around as he reached the river Prut. At the battles of Galati and Ismail, Blyukher launched offensive after offensive, wasting dozens of thousands of men and countless armor in trying to unsuccessfully pierce the enemy lines.

This costly failure has crippled the main Soviet spearhead, if at the cost of extremely heavy casualties for the International Legions. Indeed, it is rumored that, unlike Romanian prisoners, the anti-communist volunteers are potentially being shot on sight.

Middle Eastern Front

The Muslim Uprising

Not long after the first Soviet tank crossed the Romanian border. Muslim villagers across Central Asia, the Caucasus and Southern Russia were provided with an odd sight: preachers. Islamic preachers, taking of holy wars and desecration of their faith, preaching against the godless atheism of those in power, and calling on fellow believers in the Prophet to arise. Local Communist officials did not pay much attention at first, and neither did the NKVD. There were, after all, better things to do, and limited resources to waste on a few random priest. And then the attacks began. A riot here. A bombing there. An assassination. A raid. And then an attack on a garrison. The latter, conducted in Chechnya by an organization calling itself the Army of Islamic Liberation, signaled the start of bedlam.

Confused officers have begun calling to Moscow in somewhat of a panic, noting extreme ethnic tension and strife not seen since the civil war. Already there are reports of similar attacks to that of Chechnya in Crimean Tatar areas, in Dagestan, and in Soviet Central Asia. Thus far, unconfirmed reports suggest that the Red Army has rapidly mobilized to contain any escalation of violence, only for the large distances and other demands to prevent immediate results.

Unrest in Turkey

However, it has not just been the Soviet who have experienced sudden ethnic strife. Despite their recent defeat at the hands of the Turkish Army after another failed revolt, the Kurds have seemingly refused to accept their recent state of affairs, and may be sensing hope as a result of the war between the Soviet Union and the Eurasian Alliance. All across the summer, similar reports to that of Russia emerged from Kurdish communities in Iraq and Turkey, leading to multiple strikes, strife in several cities, and most recently, open riots against Atatürk and King Faisal, calling for the establishment of a Kurdish nation. It is the next development, however, that has led to more unexpected consequences.

Despite adopting a defensive stance in Central Asia and the Middle East - much like their Eurasian counterparts - the Soviets launched a major charm offensive for the Armenian SSR, appealing to their sense of hatred and resentment for the Turks. It worked wonders, with thousands enlisting with the appeal of revenge. This led to explosive news emerging, as a number of renegade nationalist leaders came out of hiding with claims that Turkish officials from Ankara had promised to recognize the genocide inflicted upon them by the Ottoman Empire not twenty years ago, making promises of independence, freedom, and a brotherhood between Turkey and Armenia that, by the looks of it, only infuriated them.

Spurning these promises, they proclaimed them loudly and clearly, hoping to embarrass Ankara whilst Armenia committed itself deeper and deeper into the Soviet camp. Atatürk, hailed as a living prophet until a few weeks ago, has experienced the first signs of serious backlash as protests have emerged in Istanbul and other important areas, with nationalist groups racing to denounce this treason, refute the Armenian claims of a past genocide, and demand the immediate invasion and destruction of the Armenian SSR.

East Asian Front

The Fall of Xinjiang

By and large, major operations were suspended during the summer of 1938 in the western-most parts of China, perhaps a wise choice on account of the impossible climate and the impenetrable nature of the desert under such temperatures. This, however, has been enough for the Red Army to consolidate its position in Xinjiang, destroying all remaining major forces and forcing the surviving Ma loyalists into the Ma Clique, which is reported to be furiously fortifying its borders whenever terrain permits.

Carnage at the Gobi Desert

With the front in Inner Mongolia also entering a defensive phase, featuring the arrival of Chinese reinforcements and defensive work by the Japanese, the Mongolian front took priority during the summer. In a curious quirk of fate, both the Mongolian-Soviet and the KMT-Northern Coalition armies choose that season for their offensives, resulting in both cavalry-heavy armies clashing against each other under the scorching heat of the Gobi desert. Thousands have died in bloody, increasingly pointless battles, all while logistical conditions deteriorate close to the breaking point. Very limited ground has been taken by the Chinese, but, to their advantage, attrition has given them a newfound advantage over the smaller enemy force. To make matters worse for Ulaanbaatar, a sudden explosion at the Trans-Siberian Railway close to Irkutsk has temporarily sabotaged the Soviet supply line into the Gobi.

The First Battle of Nanjing

With the southern front also moving into mutual defensive stances, allowing Japan to hold recently captured ground and the NRA to gather more strength, the IJA has resumed its advance after the fall of Qingdao, pursuing the retreating Chinese northwards in an attempt to push towards Beijing. For the most part, the northern offensive has been successful, further clearing sections of the Chinese coastline but failing to capture significant numbers of enemy troops. Indeed, the offensive stalled half-way to Tianjin after the NRA made a defensive stand. Thus, the largest action in mainland China during the summer was, unquestionably, the struggle for Nanjing.

Keeping the bulk of their infantry at the center to keep Chiang's increasingly large forces - having committed most of the NRA's best units - pinned down, two pincers moved into an ambitious encirclement of the capital, seeking to use decisive superiority in tanks - most of them foreign-made - to besiege the key city. A series of violent battles ensued, featuring harsh trench warfare in the center and an auspicious start for both Japanese pincers. The southern pincer, however, was suddenly thrown off-balance by a surprise Chinese offensive into Hangzhou, which threatened to expose its entire flank and forced a withdrawal amidst significant casualties and the loss of heavy equipment. The northern pincer, however, struggle for several weeks before finally breaking through at the end of September.

Collectively, the Japanese forces are ever closer to Nanjing, but the city is far from being isolated in spite of the northern breakthrough. The cost, however, has been grim. And in a development that even defies the recent outcome in Mongolia, Japanese casualties have mounted and surpassed Chinese ones on this season. Not everything, however, is bright for Generalissimo Chiang. Recent reports indicate the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has made something of a comeback, expanding its rural areas of influence and causing disruption in the Chinese rear near Yunnan. Not only that, domestic ethnic strife has also reached mainland China, with several minorities reacting badly to government propaganda calling for "national cohesion".
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« Reply #441 on: March 16, 2023, 12:53:23 AM »


Quote
Soviet-Japanese Trade Treaty

1. The Soviet Union shall lift all quotas and export restrictions on the export of coal, iron ore, tin, steel, scrap metal, copper, rubber, cloth, chlorine, petroleum products and distillates, aluminum, grain, salt, magnesium, chromium, cobalt, and other rare earth metals to the Empire of Japan

2. The Empire of Japan shall compensate the Soviet Union by providing technical and industrial assistance for the purposes of supporting mass industrialization in the Soviet Union.


X Mikhail Tukhachevsky, Chairman of the State Defence Committee to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
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« Reply #442 on: March 16, 2023, 12:58:50 AM »

October 1st, 1938


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« Reply #443 on: March 16, 2023, 07:02:59 AM »

The Prime Minister shall summon an emergency sitting of the Parliament to provide an update on the war in Europe. The Prime Minister forcefully condemns the German invasion of Belgium and France and the assault on the Netherlands as well as the Polish invasion of Lithuania. The Prime Minister will introduce a non-binding resolution to the House of Commons declaring Canadian support for liberal democracy, self-determination, and international norms. The Prime Minister shall whip all MPs to support the resolution.
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« Reply #444 on: March 16, 2023, 07:32:59 AM »
« Edited: March 16, 2023, 07:37:46 AM by Senator Laki »

Mikhail Tukhachevsky on the Polish invasion of Lithuania

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics condemns the Polish invasion of Lithuania as a violation of the principles of international law and an act of aggression. We share the sorrow of the Lithuanian people who have been subjected to such a heavy trial.

We call on all states to take action to prevent such developments, which could lead to further aggression and destabilization in Europe undermining the foundations of international security

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics opens the borders for Lithuanian refugees. We welcome them for the time being, and will support them in taking actions to retake their country and to drive out the Polish aggressor.

Mikhail Tukhachevsky on the Dutch flood disaster

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics condemns the German-made artificial flood in the Netherlands that for no reason caused the loss of many lives. We stand with the Dutch in condemning this barbarian and evil act of violence and we share the sorrow for the great loss of life.

Mikhail Tukhachevsky on the breach of Belgian neutrality

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics condemns the German decision to violate Belgian neutrality once again. The Belgians didn't want to be part of any war, and their decision to remain neutral should have been respected. We regret the loss of many Belgian lives due to German agression.
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« Reply #445 on: March 16, 2023, 11:31:34 AM »

EIAR News Broadcast



Red Army ground to a halt by Chinese heroes....

Chinese soldier replicates feats of antiquity, proves martial valor against red horde...

Bloody urban battle between Chinese and Japanese forces, no conclusive result, thousands dead...

German armored forces overrun French forces in Belgium, drive back Saarland attack....

German bombers deal catastrophic devastation to Netherlands, massive flooding reported, innumerable casualties...

Prime Minister Daladier thrown out of office, French forces in retreat, Paris under threat....

German columns approach Paris, city defenses erected....

There are conclusive reports of the Serbian Army gunning down Muslim rebels in Bosnia by the thousand, men, women, children subject to the unchained wrath of Serbian barbarians. 100 Villages burnt to the ground....

Serbian Army dealt devastating blow by superior Bulgarian forces in Macedonia. Joint Bulgar-IMRO forces win victory after victory, native Macedonians flock to the banner of the Tsar, Tsar thanks Rome for air power sales....

Il Duce warns Serbians, Italy will not countenance their "savagery" and "crimes against civilized existence"....

Bessarabia and Romania a sea of flames of blood. Heroic Italian race leads international army against the Reds. Minor Soviet advances are made with massive casualties, catastrophic loss of life. Major Soviet breakthrough of any kind prevented by United Anti-Bolshevik forces. Blackshirts and Romanian forces drive off Bolshevik madness at Galati and Ismail. Over 60,000 Bolshevik casualties. Fool-Butcher Marshal Blyukher destroys Soviet youth on the rock of the New Fascist Man. Many martyrs, to be published in the papers...

Bolshevik Commissars execute captured Italian Legionnaires on sight, massacre local Romanian population, churches burnt to the ground, villages wiped out....

Madman Tuchachevsky orders destruction of Romanian will to fight, brutal killings of Priests, Farmers, entire families shot to death.....

Il Duce to commence urgent diplomatic discussions with Paris, London, Berlin, seek resolution to European conflicts...
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« Reply #446 on: March 16, 2023, 04:43:43 PM »

Quote
Soviet-Chinese ceasefire

1. The Soviet Union and allies and the Republic of China and allies agree to a temporary ceasefire
2. It allows for the care of wounded soldiers, food relief, and arrival of humanitarian help.
3. During the ceasefire period, neither party shall engage in any military activity or operations against the other party.
4. Both parties agree to resume diplomatic relations for the time being, with the potential of negotiating a permanent end to the conflict.
5. Both parties shall exchange prisoners of war

X Mikhail Tukhachevsky, Chairman of the State Defence Committee to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
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« Reply #447 on: March 16, 2023, 04:47:19 PM »

Quote
Soviet-Chinese ceasefire

1. The Soviet Union and allies and the Republic of China and allies agree to a temporary ceasefire
2. It allows for the care of wounded soldiers, food relief, and arrival of humanitarian help.
3. During the ceasefire period, neither party shall engage in any military activity or operations against the other party.
4. Both parties agree to resume diplomatic relations for the time being, with the potential of negotiating a permanent end to the conflict.
5. Both parties shall exchange prisoners of war

X Mikhail Tukhachevsky, Chairman of the State Defence Committee to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

x Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek
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« Reply #448 on: March 16, 2023, 09:42:48 PM »

Soviet Estonian Non-Aggression Pact

Quote
1. Estonia shall grant the USSR the right to maintain naval bases and airfields protected by Red Army troops on the strategic islands dominating Tallinn, the Gulf of Finland and the Gulf of Riga.
2. The Soviet Union shall agree to increase her annual trade turnover with Estonia and to give Estonia facilities in case the Baltic is closed to her goods for trading with the outside world via Soviet ports on the Black Sea and White Sea.
3. The USSR and Estonia shall defend each other from "aggression arising on the part of any great European power".
4. The USSR and Estonia shall when needed help each other out with military and economic assistance and guidance.
5. The USSR and Estonia shall work together to combat famine and provide food to each nation.
6. In case the independence of Estonia is violated, the USSR shall supply food and military equipment and whatever is necessary to Estonia and protect its people.

Signed,

Konstantin Pats, President of Estonia.
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« Reply #449 on: March 17, 2023, 02:10:30 AM »

Soviet Estonian Non-Aggression Pact

Quote
1. Estonia shall grant the USSR the right to maintain naval bases and airfields protected by Red Army troops on the strategic islands dominating Tallinn, the Gulf of Finland and the Gulf of Riga.
2. The Soviet Union shall agree to increase her annual trade turnover with Estonia and to give Estonia facilities in case the Baltic is closed to her goods for trading with the outside world via Soviet ports on the Black Sea and White Sea.
3. The USSR and Estonia shall defend each other from "aggression arising on the part of any great European power".
4. The USSR and Estonia shall when needed help each other out with military and economic assistance and guidance.
5. The USSR and Estonia shall work together to combat famine and provide food to each nation.
6. In case the independence of Estonia is violated, the USSR shall supply food and military equipment and whatever is necessary to Estonia and protect its people.

Signed,

Konstantin Pats, President of Estonia.

Signed

X Mikhail Tukhachevsky, Chairman of the State Defence Committee to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
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