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 28019 times)
LAKISYLVANIA
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« Reply #450 on: March 17, 2023, 02:13:13 AM »

Quote
Canadian-Soviet Nonaggression Pact

1. The Dominion of Canada and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics agree to enter a five-year period of nonaggression. This shall include avoiding direct ground, air, and naval combat. This shall not including providing arms, humanitarian assistance, or logistic supports to potential combatants.
2. The Dominion of Canada and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics agree that the Arctic shall be respected as sovereign, protected territory of each signatory.
3. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics shall be able to purchase excess grain, as determined by the Minister of Agriculture, from the Dominion of Canada at a rate equal to two-thirds of the standard market rate without taxation.
4. The Dominion of Canada and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics shall avoid engaging in espionage or subversive actions against each other.
5. Either signatory may terminate this Pact unilaterally by submitting a letter to the other signatory.

Signed

X Mikhail Tukhachevsky, Chairman of the State Defence Committee to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
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DKrol
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« Reply #451 on: March 17, 2023, 02:52:48 AM »

Quote
Canadian-Soviet Nonaggression Pact

1. The Dominion of Canada and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics agree to enter a five-year period of nonaggression. This shall include avoiding direct ground, air, and naval combat. This shall not including providing arms, humanitarian assistance, or logistic supports to potential combatants.
2. The Dominion of Canada and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics agree that the Arctic shall be respected as sovereign, protected territory of each signatory.
3. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics shall be able to purchase excess grain, as determined by the Minister of Agriculture, from the Dominion of Canada at a rate equal to two-thirds of the standard market rate without taxation.
4. The Dominion of Canada and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics shall avoid engaging in espionage or subversive actions against each other.
5. Either signatory may terminate this Pact unilaterally by submitting a letter to the other signatory.

Signed

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

x
RB Bennett
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DKrol
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« Reply #452 on: March 17, 2023, 07:41:05 AM »
« Edited: March 17, 2023, 07:45:48 AM by DKrol »

Consistent with his promises during the 1937 General Election, the Prime Minister will introduce the Canadian Electoral Reform Act at the first regular sitting of the new Parliament.

Quote
Canadian Electoral Reform Act
1. Upon receipt of a petition signed by 1,000 registered voters of any riding, or 15% of the total number of voters in the previous General Election in that riding, which ever is greater, the Governor General shall issue a writ of election for an election to recall the duly-elected Member of Parliament for that riding.
1.a. The Governor General shall verify each signature is from a voter presently registered to vote in the riding.
1.b. Any person found guilty by a court of law of forging or coercing a signature on a petition under this Act shall be subject to a fine of not less than $10,000 and/or a prison sentence of not less than two years.
2. A recall election must be held within 45 days of the Governor General issuing the writ of election for the riding.
3. The form of the question on the ballot paper shall be “Should the Member of Parliament elected at the last General Election continue to serve as a Member of Parliament for this riding?”. The options for voters shall be “Yes” or “No”.
3.a. If the majority of ballots cast are marked “No”, the Member of Parliament elected at the last General Election shall immediately cease to be a Member of Parliament.
3.b. If the majority of ballots cast are marked “No”, the Governor General shall issue a writ of election for a by-election immediately. Such a by-election shall be held within 45 days of the writ being issued.
3.c. The Member of Parliament removed by a petition under this Act shall be ineligible to stand as a candidate in the subsequent by-election but may stand as a candidate in the next General Election.
4. No petitions under this Act shall be considered valid if they are received within six months of the last General Election. No petition under this Act shall be considered valid if the date between the first signature and the final signature exceeds 364 calendar days.
5. Each province and territory shall hold a referendum no later than December 31, 1940 on enacting the provisions of this Act for their legislative body and their Members of the Legislative Assembly, Members of the Provincial Parliament, or similar local elected legislature. Such referenda shall require a two-thirds majority of votes to be cast in the affirmative to be considered valid. Where relevant, references to Governor General should be replaced with Lieutenant Governor or similar local representative of the Crown.
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DKrol
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« Reply #453 on: March 17, 2023, 04:29:43 PM »

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Canadian-Italian Nonaggression Pact

1. The Dominion of Canada and the Kingdom of Italy agree to enter a five-year period of nonaggression. This shall include avoiding direct ground, air, and naval combat. This shall not including providing arms, humanitarian assistance, or logistic supports to potential combatants.
2. The Dominion of Canada and the Kingdom of Italy agree that commercial shipping lanes in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea must be preserved regardless of any ongoing or potential conflicts.
3. The Dominion of Canada and the Kingdom of Italy commit to providing safe harbor to refugees and displaced peoples as a result of conflict in Europe, pursuant to specific national statutes.
4. The Dominion of Canada and the Kingdom of Italy shall avoid engaging in espionage or subversive actions against each other.
5. Either signatory may terminate this Pact unilaterally by submitting a letter to the other signatory.

x
RB Bennett
Prime Minister
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KaiserDave
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« Reply #454 on: March 17, 2023, 04:34:55 PM »

Quote
Canadian-Italian Nonaggression Pact

1. The Dominion of Canada and the Kingdom of Italy agree to enter a five-year period of nonaggression. This shall include avoiding direct ground, air, and naval combat. This shall not including providing arms, humanitarian assistance, or logistic supports to potential combatants.
2. The Dominion of Canada and the Kingdom of Italy agree that commercial shipping lanes in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea must be preserved regardless of any ongoing or potential conflicts.
3. The Dominion of Canada and the Kingdom of Italy commit to providing safe harbor to refugees and displaced peoples as a result of conflict in Europe, pursuant to specific national statutes.
4. The Dominion of Canada and the Kingdom of Italy shall avoid engaging in espionage or subversive actions against each other.
5. Either signatory may terminate this Pact unilaterally by submitting a letter to the other signatory.

x
RB Bennett
Prime Minister

x
Benito Mussolini
Il Duce
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DKrol
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« Reply #455 on: March 18, 2023, 06:32:04 AM »

The Prime Minister shall introduce the Emergencies and Disasters Act at the next sitting of the Parliament. The Emergencies and Disaster Act replaces the War Measures Act of 1914.

Quote
The Emergencies and Disasters Act
1. The Prime Minister may, with the advice of the Cabinet and the consent of the Governor General, declare that an emergency or disaster exists in the Dominion.
2. During a period of emergency or disaster the Cabinet may for the common defense make such orders and regulations as they may deem necessary or advisable for the security, peace, order and welfare of the Dominion.
3. A declaration of an emergency or disaster may last for so long as there is a clear and present danger or threat to the security, peace, and welfare of the Dominion. Each six months the Prime Minister must reaffirm that the emergency or disaster is still present.
3.a. If an emergency or disaster exists for more than a year, the House of Commons and the Senate must vote to approve the continuation of the invocation of this Act. If the House of Commons or the Senate fail to approve the continuation, the Prime Minister must end the declaration of an emergency or disaster within six months.
3.b. The House of Commons and the Senate must vote to approve the continuation of the invocation of this Act each year thereafter.
4. Following the end of the emergency or disaster, the Prime Minister shall report to the House of Commons on the invocation of this Act and the House of Commons may pass a resolution declaring whether or not the invocation of this Act was appropriate.
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LAKISYLVANIA
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« Reply #456 on: March 19, 2023, 03:30:57 PM »
« Edited: March 19, 2023, 03:54:03 PM by Senator Laki »

Quote
American-Soviet Nonaggression Pact

1. The United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics agree to enter a five-year period of nonaggression. This shall include avoiding direct ground, air, and naval combat. This shall not including providing arms, humanitarian assistance, or logistic supports to potential combatants.
2. The United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics agree that the Arctic shall be respected as sovereign, protected territory of each signatory.
3. The United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics shall avoid engaging in espionage or subversive actions against each other.
4. Either signatory may terminate this Pact unilaterally by submitting a letter to the other signatory.

Signed

X Mikhail Tukhachevsky, Chairman of the State Defence Committee to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
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S019
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« Reply #457 on: March 19, 2023, 03:55:11 PM »

Quote
American-Soviet Nonaggression Pact

1. The United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics agree to enter a five-year period of nonaggression. This shall include avoiding direct ground, air, and naval combat. This shall not including providing arms, humanitarian assistance, or logistic supports to potential combatants.
2. The United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics agree that the Arctic shall be respected as sovereign, protected territory of each signatory.
3. The United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics shall avoid engaging in espionage or subversive actions against each other.
4. Either signatory may terminate this Pact unilaterally by submitting a letter to the other signatory.

Signed

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

X William Borah, President of the United States
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LAKISYLVANIA
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« Reply #458 on: March 19, 2023, 06:39:46 PM »

Speech by Mikhail Tukhachevsky



My fellow Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Ruthenians, Byelorussians! Today, we face a grave threat to our sovereignty, our freedom, and our very existence. The Polish invasion of Lithuania is a blatant act of aggression, a violation of our rights, and an affront to our dignity as a people.

But we will not cower in fear, we will not surrender to the enemy. We will rise up, we will take our arms, and we will fight for our self-determination, for our independence, for our liberation from the Polish agressor who seeks to enslave us with his lies.

To the Lithuanians within Lithuania, as well as in Poland itself, to the Ukrainians, the Ruthenians, the Byelorussians, the people of the proletariat, I say: join us in the struggle, join us in the fight. Rise up, stand up! Together, we will overcome, together, we will prevail.

Let us not forget that the Polish aggression against our Lithuanian brothers and sisters may only be the beginning. The Estonians and Latvians may be next in line for this imperialist aggression. The enemies of socialism and the working class seek to divide us, to weaken us, and to conquer us.

But we shall not be divided, we shall not be weakened, and we shall not be conquered. The Estonians and Latvians are our brothers and sisters, and we will stand with them, shoulder to shoulder, in the face of any aggression or injustice.

Let us call upon the people of Estonia and Latvia to join us in our fight for freedom and liberation. Let us unite under the banner of socialism, and together we shall defeat our common enemy.

We are not alone in our struggle. The people of the world are watching us, and they stand with us in solidarity. We shall not let them down, we shall not betray their trust, we shall fight on until victory is ours.

We are the vanguard of the proletariat, the defenders of the revolution, the champions of socialism. We will not let our brothers and sisters be oppressed, we will not let our homeland be occupied, we will not let our cause be defeated.

Our victory is certain, our future is bright, our destiny is to build a world without exploitation, without oppression, without injustice. Long live the revolution, long live the USSR, long live the people!
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GoTfan
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« Reply #459 on: March 19, 2023, 08:03:23 PM »

Statement from Prime Minister Hughes

Soon, the Australian Parliament will vote on the issue of going to war.

I will make no attempt to introduce conscription. This was an issue that was defeated decades ago, and I respect the will of the Australian people on the matter.
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NewYorkExpress
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« Reply #460 on: March 19, 2023, 08:08:09 PM »

Abyssinia condemns the horror and violence continuing to sweep Europe, from Lithuania, to Romania, to France. We are especially aggrieved, both by the Polish invasion of Lithuania, and especially by the use of poison gas in France, which has caused untold suffering among French soldiers and civillians. We call these actions what they are, barbaric.

x Emperor Haile Selassie.
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Continential
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« Reply #461 on: March 20, 2023, 06:47:25 PM »

The Union of South Africa will send ships (it shall rent various civilian boats and use some of its navy fleet) to various ports in France for the transport of French, Belgian, and Dutch refugees - and the Prime Minister will make a statement encouraging French and refugees from the Holland to seek a new life in South Africa.
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Lumine
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« Reply #462 on: March 22, 2023, 10:29:29 PM »
« Edited: March 23, 2023, 10:08:03 AM by Lumine »

The World War
October to December 1938 (Part One)


"And so I say to you all that we shall rebuild as a nation. We shall endure this tragedy with our head held high, and come back stronger. And no matter how long it may take, these lands of ours that we have won to the sea, and which we have only temporarily lost due to the deviousness of the Hun, will be regained before long. And the Netherlands shall never, ever forget the arch-enemy of mankind responsible for these unspeakable crimes. To you, Herr Hugenberg, I say only one thing: before long, you will have to answer to God for what has been done to our people."

(Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, speech to the Dutch nation)

Western Front

Britannia Rules the Waves

After the successful establishment of a blockade of the North Sea by the Royal Navy, cutting off a vital lifeline of supplies and raw materials for the Reich's war machine, Berlin decided it was time to strike back. The U-Boat submarine fleet, though limited in numbers, received orders to sail forth and strangle the Empire's commerce with the British isles, hoping to inflict on the British a repeat of the submarine warfare of 1917. However, and despite their best attempts, it was not to be. Despite successfully sinking a handful of cruisers and destroyers, the bulk of the u-Boat fleet was either destroyed or heavily damaged in a series of skirmishes, tightening the British blockade and preventing a German breakout for the rest of the war. To make matters worse, before the Luftwaffe could roar, RAF Bomber Command attempted the first large-scale naval bombing of the war, aiming to strike Wilhelmshaven and its vital shipyards. Despite serious accuracy issues, the raid proved reasonably successful, heavily damaging the shipyards with only a handful of bombers being lost. Ultimately, events in Britain proper prevented further bombing missions.

The Fall of Paris

The fall of the Daladier government led to awkward questions as to who could lead the government, particularly given the controversial nature of the Popular Front. The question was solved by the decision of Maurice Thorez and the PCF leadership to abandon the city to, allegedly, lead resistance efforts elsewhere, a move widely interpreted as an escape from the endangered capital that did much to foster chaos and uncertainty. With the PCF away from the equation, the PRRRS's right-wing roared back after six years of isolation under Daladier. Former Premiers Édouard Herriot and Pierre Laval compromised with the right, forming an Emergency Government with Herriot as Premier and Laval as the new Foreign Minister. Initially resisting talk of relocating away from Paris, Herriot and Laval rejected a peace overture from the Germans, feeling the terms were political suicide.

Shortly after, the Luftwaffe launched a major raid to Paris around the same time that the bulk of Von Reichenau's forces resumed the Battle for the Marne, destroying most of the city's airports, crushing the French Air Force in battle, and sparking panic in a population - and a National Assembly - all too keen to avoid bloodshed in the streets. General Henri Giraud, recently promoted as commander of the new 2nd Army Group - tasked with the defence of Paris - did his best to rally the citizens to arms, only to meet a muted and at times hostile reply. As the German forces broke through the Marne, Herriot and Laval gave up to heavy pressure from the National Assembly, and relocated the government to Bordeaux via a land evacuation. Against Giraud's protests, Paris was declared an open city, with thousands evacuating to the countryside as the German forces approached.

Denied the opportunity to try and hold the capital, heavily damaged after the bombing raids, Giraud was forced to withdraw behind the Seine, having sabotaged as much as he could. Shortly after, the first armored columns entered the French capital, a feat not managed since 1870, and hung the German flag over the Arc de Triumph.

The Ghosts of the Somme

One thing the soldiers of the British Expeditionary Force remembered well thanks to their fathers was the Somme, and the legend associated with it. In a single day of battle, 60,000 British soldiers had been wounded or killed on July 1st, 1916, and the wounds had lingered for years. Now, the rapidly growing BEF was massing on the Pas de Calais for a renewed offensive to threaten the German flanks that approached Paris and provide further assistance to a planned Entente push from Belgium. Lord Gort, head of the BEF led the assault, smashing into Reichenau's right flank, finding stiff resistance. Gort nonetheless soldiered on, expecting his push to eventually breakthrough and/or occupy sufficient German reserves to break the enemy lines elsewhere. Fighting three successful encounters, Gort was finally stopped by constant use of poison gas and a desperate German counterattack near Peronne, bringing fighting in the Somme to a halt with the arrival of winter. The Ghosts of the Somme, however, had not been exorcised. Thousands of British casualties had ensued in the push, far more than those sustained by the Germans.

Breakout at Cambrai

Arguably, Gort's hopes of weakening the German lines became a partial truth. Devoting most of their efforts south, Berlin had left von Kluge's Army Group B as the weakest of the main German formations, and had still entrusted them with the vital task of crushing the newly reformed 1st French Army Group, now encompassing the 1st French Army and the Belgian Armed Forces. To his shock, von Kluge found the Entente forces reorganized and rearmed, their offensive stalling out immediately. His flank now exposed, von Kluge suffered a major debacle at Cambrai at the hands of the Belgian forces, which, led by King Leopold in the field, inflicted a heavy defeat on the Reichswehr. Pushing further south, French commander Blanchard made life even harder for Kluge by breaking out limited supplies of mustard gas. Following the near-capture and destruction of almost an entire German corps, Blanchard had to halt his offensive near St. Quentin, only a few kilometers away from the Somme. This debacle, in turn, directly threatens the delicate German supply lines that sustain the effort against Paris.

Battles of the Marne, Seine and Aisne

Whilst the French command reorganized itself amidst political chaos, von Reichenau's Army Group A resumed its push on the Marne as the supply line became reestablished, taking advantage of remaining stocks of the mysterious poison gas to attempt the crossing of the river. Despite active countermeasures and growing French use of mustard gas, the massive concentration of force and the strife in Paris disrupted Giraud's defensive dispositions, causing a temporary collapse of the front. Reichenau crossed the Marne and declared victory, occupying Paris with his forces and immediately pushing ahead to the next target: the Seine. This time Giraud held his ground, no longer saddled with having to defend the capital. Despite the disadvantage posed by thousands of civilians disrupting the roads, Giraud was able to bring the German offensive to a halt once again, avoiding a German breakthrough that would have left Central France vulnerable. Despite this, losses have been heavy on both sides, a war of attrition that now places Giraud in a major numerical inferiority.

Eastwards, two opposite offensives clashed into the true slaughterhouse of the fall: the Aisne river. Whereas the new 3rd French Army Group, led by Édouard Requin, intended to push towards the Aisne to cut the German offensive on Paris; the new Army Group C, led by Erwin von Witzleben, was meant to drive southwards to encircle French forces in the Saarland. Having almost missed each other, skirmishes soon developed into an intense clash as both Army Groups attempted to encircle their opposite counterpart. An early push by Charles de Gaulle's 1st Armored Corps resulted in the biggest tank battle of the war so far, a debacle for the French after Erwin Rommel cut through the French tanks, encircling and destroying half of De Gaulle's tanks. Soon the battle for the Aisne degenerated into trench warfare, filled with heavy bombardment, chemical warfare on both sides, and mass assaults. With the arrival of winter, Requin was able to halt Witzleben's push. The cost, however, had been crippling, with French losses numbering in the tens of thousands.

Battle of Britain

Just as Germany suffered heavy losses at sea, the outlook in the air was improved to a dramatic degree. Having decided to gamble in a bold manner, the bulk of the Luftwaffe was redirected from the French frontlines to mass on airfields in Belgium and Germany that could reach the British isles. The goal: to break the back of the RAF in a single strike. Over three weeks in December, Luftwaffe Supreme Commander Walther Wever led raid after raid, the parity in pilot skill between the Luftwaffe and the RAF quickly becoming unbalanced due to superior German numbers and the fact that superior British fighters were still coming off the production lines. Before the Germans were forced to call off the raids to prevent major attrition, RAF Fighter Command had taken a serious beating, drastically reducing British air power and raising the awkward question of whether British air resources should be removed from France.

End of the Herriot government

With the PCF and a number of deputies missing, the Cabinet and much of the National Assembly were established in Bordeaux by the end of December 1938. Despite the loss of Paris and the grim news of heavy casualties, the French Army was improving its performance and morale, with the success of Cambrai suggesting that the Battle for France was far from however. This, in turn, intensified the conflict between supporters of resistance until the end, particularly Daladier loyalists; and supporters of an honorable peace, with Laval as their biggest advocate. Herriot appeared to be trying to chart a middle course between both options, an impossible task made all the more impossible due to his failing health. Shortly before Christmas, Herriot suffered a non-fatal heart attack during a Cabinet session. After talks with President Lebrun, Herriot offered his resignation, acknowledging he did not possess the health required for the job. This, in turn, means the National Assembly will be looking for a new Premier...

Eastern Front

The End of Lithuania

Though increasingly a secondary front, the Polish Army did not neglect Lithuania during the end of the year, putting a end to a campaign long desired by the more hawkish elements within Sanation. The departure of Marshal Rydz-Smigly to the south to fight what was intended to be the Ukrainian campaign led to General Juliusz Rómmel assuming overall command, resulting in a firm yet prudent thrust to destroy the remnants of the Lithuanian Army and occupy the rest of the country. Having been unsuccessful in courting foreign support, and having also rejected the one offer of support he received, President Smetona intended to secure exile in a friendly power for his remaining forces to continue the struggle, but it was not to be. He was shot and killed by an assassin, sending the Lithuanian government into chaos. As the Poles advanced, the last remaining stronghold became the port of Klaipeda. Then, the Soviet Baltic Fleet intervened.

Baltic Fleet Strikes!

Arrving on Klaipeda, the Baltic Fleet delivered an ultimatum to the Lithuanian Navy, represented by its only vessel: the minesweeper President Smetona, demanding its surrender. Upon its refusal, the minesweeper was destroyed in a brief encounter, afterwhich the Baltic Fleet evacuated those Lithuanian refugees willing to go to the Soviet Union and then destroyed the port and its installations to prevent capture. Shortly after, the Baltic Fleet appeared outside Gdynia, the far smaller Polish fleet on its sights. After a two-hour battle, the entire Polish Navy was destroyed, its six destroyers far outmatched in number. Having only inflicted moderate casualties on the Soviets, the Baltic Fleet proceded to blockade the entire Polish coastline, cutting off the influx of volunteers for Romania and all supply shipments across the Baltic Sea.

2nd Polish Soviet War

Plainly, neither Warsaw nor Moscow had forgotten the Polish Soviet War, which after almost twenty years appeared to be a distinct case of unfinished business. The irony, perhaps, resides in the fact that both powers choose the exact same season to act against each other. As Marshal Rydz-Smigly led the bulk of the Polish Army in crossing the border with the Ukrainian SSR, fully expecting to cut off the Red Army units fighting in Romania, he found a new Soviet Front massed in front of him. At its head was none other than Field Marshal Tukhachevsky, the new Soviet leader, who had taken personal command of an offensive intended to break into Southern Poland. As luck would have it, both armies had chosen similar areas of attack. The first encounter at the Battle of Mogilev Podolsky proved disastrous for Rydz-Smigly, who committed his armored forces too early as irreplaceable Polish tanks were lost to a heavy concentration of Soviet artillery and anti-tank weapons.

Tukhachevsky, ably aided by Chief of Staff Yan Gamarnik, immediately went into the offensive with his forces, trying to apply new tactics into the battlefield resembling those attempted by Poland in Lithuania and by Germany in France. First at Tarnopol, and then at Lwov, Tukhachevsky achieved two significant victories, further disrupting the Polish Armies as Rydz-Smigly appeared to be outmatched. Having planned to waltz into Galicia, Tukhachevsky expected Przemysl to be an easy target, only for the Polish Army to regroup. Led by General Tadeusz Kutrzeba, the Poles mounted an unyielding defense, forcing them to take on fortifications at a heavy cost. As a final, nasty surprise, the Poles broke out their reserves of mustard gas, inflicting thousands of losses on Tukhachevsky and bringing his Polish dash to an end.

Ethnic Struggle in the East

After only a few weeks, it is clear that the ethnic dimension will be extremely relevant for the Polish-Soviet conflict, as both sides have spared no efforts to try and win hearts and minds for their cause. Within the Soviet Union, a successful rallying cry has led Belorussians to rally behind Tukhachevsky, with thousands of new enlistments preparing to join future campaigns against Poland. This has also been matched by efforts in now occupied Polish territory, with some ethnic minorities joining the Red Army in the struggle against Sanation. However, it is the Soviet Union that has suffered the worst part of it, with the short lived Polish entry into the Ukrainian SSR resulting in multiple uprisings. There are reports of Ukrainian militias - with the organization OUN taking on a major role - multiplying and attacking Soviet supply lines, rallying to the cry of Ukrainian independence against Moscow.

Romania at the Breaking Point

Having started the invasion of Romania with expectations of victory in a few weeks, the Red Army has proved unable to achieve a quick victory, forced instead into a long, bitter slog with horrific losses. By the New Year, the Kingdom of Romania still stands, but after nine months Bucharest is finally within sight. Perhaps the worse development for the Soviets came down south, due to the decision of the Romanian Army to launch a major counteroffensive with all available units against the growing bridgehead at Constanta. Against the odds, the Romanians immediately disrupted a Soviet push aimed at Bucharest, encircling several Soviet regiments and disrupting the enemy lines. Panicking, the Soviet commander was forced to substantially fall back, ending the immediate damage to the capital from the east as the Soviets regrouped closer to the vital port.

As the northern offensive switched into Poland, only limited progress was achieved by the Soviets, finally kicking the Romanians out of Bukovina and Northern Moldova. The main effort, therefore, came at the south. There, Marshal Blyukher immediately send his growing reinforcements to the frontlines, hoping for another dash to finally break the Romanian lines at the Prut River. Facing defeat after defeat on the Second and Third Battles of Galati, a frantic Blyukher was finally able to achieve the long desired breakthrough after an unprecedented use of massed artillery, cementing the breakthrough with a second victory at Braila. The Soviet columns finally left the trenches as they marched southwards, the capital city of Bucharest in their mind. Only a final Romanian counterattack stopped them a few kilometers outside of the capital, ensuring the survival of the nation into 1939. Blyukher has his victory, with rumors telling of crippling Soviet casualties - to the point of endangering his future moves - all the way to Moscow.

The Fall of Czechoslovakia

Much like Romania, Czechoslovakia had also faced an invasion many expected to be short before achieving victory, only for stiff resistance to surprise the world. Unlike Romania, the Czech government was too isolated to hope for long-term victory, an assessment that became confirmed as 1938 drew to a close. A reorganization of the Hungarian and German lines led a joint push by both armies towards Prague, with the experienced Great War commander Archduke Joseph August - who recently joined his distant cousin Otto - taking on a key role. Despite Syrovy's best efforts, the Czechs were at a major disadvantage in terms of air power and lacked the means to properly replenish equipment losses, the twin German-Hungarian pincer dooming the capital of Prague. After two week of fighting across the outskirts of the city, Syrovy was told by his Cabinet that resistance was now hopeless.

Across the east, remaining Czech forces in Slovakia collapsed as Tiso and his rebel forces consolidated control over the region, cementing the Republic of Slovakia. Hungarian forces were quick to march westwards, reaching and occupying the Subcarpathian Rus as the isolated Czech forces surrendered. Although received favorably, there is already tension between the Hungarian forces and the Ukrainian minority, with newly formed militias demanding the declaration of a new Ukrainian state from the liberated region. In Prague proper, Syrovy finally relented to the demands of the Cabinet, formalizing his surrender. Czech armed resistance has for the most part winded down, with a handful of army units refusing to yield the border fortifications and/or disappearing into the countryside to continue the struggle.

Balkan Front

All Hellish on the Balkan Front

Having had their final push on Macedonia stalled by trench warfare, the Bulgarian Army shifted into the defensive for the rest of the year, digging their own trenches in preparation for an eventual Serbian counterattack. This came in November, with a series of mass assaults by newly redeployed units from the Bosnian front that, despite taking on lopsided losses due to Bulgarian air superiority, showed near suicidal bravery that unsettled the Bulgarian frontlines. With their fortifications being only recent, the Serbians achieved an initial breakthrough to cover a few areas of lost ground, only to stall after the Bulgarians regrouped on the next improvised line. This failure, in turn, would have consequences for Belgrade at the end of the year.
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« Reply #463 on: March 23, 2023, 11:11:21 AM »
« Edited: March 23, 2023, 09:52:33 PM by Lumine »

The World War
October to December 1938 (Part Two)

Eurasian Front

The Bosphorus Raid

Upon successfully establishing a blockade of the Black Sea after the destruction of the small Romanian fleet, the next challenge of the Black Sea Fleet became the danger posed by Turkey, whose fleet, while smaller, made for a serious challenger for eventual control of the sea. As the air battles raged across Romania and Poland, demanding the attention of the overstretched Eurasian airmen, several bombing squadrons of the Red Air Force took flight from Sevastopol and Odessa, approaching the skies of the Bosphorus around the same time that the Black Sea Fleet approached it. Over the next few hours, the Soviet squadrons mercilessly bombed the Turkish naval infrastructure and the Turkish fleet, aided by long-range naval gunfire. As columns of smoke reached Istanbul, it became clear that Gölcük Naval Base had been almost entirely wrecked, taking with it a third of Turkish naval strength and heavily damaging the shipyards. The raid has thus cemented Soviet control of the Black Sea, if at a significant cost in bomber crews and with the loss of a couple of ships to coastal artillery.

The Kurdish Revolt

Amidst nationalist protests in Ankara over the alleged dealings with Armenian leaders, President Atatürk scrambled to salvage the situation, trying to deliver a fiery speech to rally the public to his cause and mobilize Turkey for the war against the Soviet Union. In this he was widely believed to have failed, his speech doing little to contain dissent as rumors spread of Ataturk being in increasingly poor health. A similar failure developed in attempts to contain Kurdish dissent, as promises fell on deaf ears. Riots soon turned to uprisings as the Kurdish rebels found themselves increasingly better armed, and then it became outright rebellion. Following surprise assaults on several garrisons, a large mountainous region around Lake Van has been liberated by Kurdish militias led by the brothers Mustafa and Ahmed Barzani. With the most prominent Kurdish leaders in exile or imprisoned in Iran and Turkey, the brothers have declared an independent Republic of Kurdistan, surrounding themselves with what is rumored to be foreign advisors.

Bloodshed in Armenia

By and large, the struggle between the Soviet Union and the original members of the Eurasian Alliance took place in the Armenian SSR, which had answered the call of Marshal Tukhachevsky and rallied to arms for the purposes of revenge. Thus, the Armenian SSR became the staging point for an offensive into Turkey led by a Soviet corps under General Dietary Pavlov, who hoped to enlarge his ranks with Armenian volunteers. To say that his offensive was a disaster would be an understatement, his units immediately ambushed and disrupted by local partisans - thought to be Georgian or Azeri rebels - just as they suddenly had several Turkish and Iranian divisions on their path. At the Battle of Kars, Pavlov suffered a humiliating defeat and took major casualties, being forced to withdraw back to Armenia. Despite the crisis, Armenians successfully rallied behind the Red Army by forming multiple divisions of volunteers. Though short on training and weaponry, high morale and difficult terrain ensured a subsequent push into Armenia by the Turkish and Iranian troops stalled before it could reach Yerevan.

Ufa in Ruins

Despite the best attempts of Soviet authorities to contain Muslim dissent across Central Asia, various appeals proved unsuccessful as guerrilla warfare continue unabated, further disrupting Soviet authority as local officers were forced to rely on the overstretched NKVD and Red Army to maintain orders and battle insurgents in bloody skirmishes. Matters came to a decisive climax within the industrial city of Ufa, in the Islamic-majority autonomous republic of Bashkiria. Following intense street protests and major propaganda warfare, several organizations of Muslim workers rose up in revolt against the "Godless Marshal", expressing a sudden, almost apocalyptic fear of continued Soviet rule. Seizing over the factories and the key railway station, the insurgents have managed to cut the Trans Siberian Railway in a second spot, further complicating Soviet logistics, disrupting industrial production - much of which was to be shipped to Japan - and presenting the largest challenge to Tukhachevsky's regime thus far.

Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan

Having reserved the biggest blows for Poland and Romania, the Red Army nonetheless struck against the Eurasian Alliance in yet another front at the end of 1938, choosing the Kingdom of Afghanistan - arguably the weakest Alliance member - as its target. Taking advantage of the truce with Nanjing, Red Army units were redeployed into a new force across the Uzbekistan and Tajikistan SSRs. Led by Mikhail Kirponos, the Soviet expeditionary corps faced enormous odds despite its clear technically superiority, being severely outnumbered and having a major - some would say unrealistic - goals to clear in a single campaign. As Kirponos met the Royal Afghan Army at Mazar-i-Sharif, Prince Mohammad Daoud expected an easy victory. However, Kirponos won the day, inflicting a crippling defeat on the Afghan Army and seizing control of several northern provinces. Unable to cross the Hindu Kush and move towards Kabul due to limited resources, Kirponos has immediately written to Moscow, urging for mass reinforcements to occupy the country.

East Asian Front

A Desert Covered in Blood

With the sudden arrival of the Sino-Soviet truce, the temporary end of operations in Mongolia made it possible for the NRA and the Northern Coalition to mass troops into Manchuria proper, having chosen to try and push into the jewel of Japan's continental possessions with a pincer movement. At the north, the Chinese cavalry and Zhang's battle-hardened veterans faced Field Marshal Sugiyama, who had been able to spend most of the summer building fortifications and preparing for such an offensive. Despite having the advantage, Sugiyama struggled to maintain logistic support for his divisions, a problem amplified by the impossibility of using tanks in several areas. A crisis ensued in November when the cavalry divisions broke through the main line, threatening to resume the push into Inner Manchuria. Although Sugiyama's men acquitted themselves well, Manchukuo troops fared particularly badly due to low morale, resulting in the slaughter of entire brigades against cavalry assaults.

In the end, Sugiyama plugged the gap with his reserves until the arrival of rain made the terrain even more difficult to cross, putting an early end to the Chinese offensive which, while unsuccessful, forced the Japanese to sustain heavier casualties. A different story took place southwards, as a new Chinese offensive targeted the city of Chaoyang. An inability to seize the city due to the resistance of the garrison resulted in both sides having to escalate and send increasing numbers of reinforcements, turning the entire area into a graveyard of trenches. Wave after wave of Chinese troops crashed against the Japanese defenses, only for every Japanese counterattack against the Chinese positions to be bitterly resisted. As the year drew to a close, the Chinese offensive came to an end, costing upwards of 15,000 men to both sides. On the bright side for Beijing, Marshal Zhang has recovered from his wounds, and is expected to return to the field in January 1939.[/justify]

The Sieges of Beijing and Tianjin

In turn, the main Japanese effort in the north by the end of 1938 was focused on the coastline, aiming to secure the Yellow Sea for good. Victorious in the Shandong campaign, the armies there pushed northwards with significant success, finally engaging the NRA forces that had retreated before by defeating them in the Battle of Canhzhou. Broken, the NRA was forced to move westwards, making it more difficult to reinforce Tianjin and Beijing. In turn, another Japanese pincer moved from Manchukuo after months of careful preparation, destroying an entire Corps of Zhang loyalists and badly mauling several Chinese divisions. Having thus cleared the way up in the north, Japanese forces moved in, encircling both Tianjin and Beijing - whose garrisons refused to surrender - and closing Chinese access to the Yellow Sea for good.

The Second Battle of Nanjing

Having recovered from his wounds after a successful raid on his Manchukuo HQ, General Hideki Tojo found himself the new commander in Central China, tasked with the task of seizing Chiang's capital and capturing a vital region for the KMT. Whilst Tojo planned and prepared for a long-term campaign, a series of probing attacks allowed him to slightly expand his perimeter towards Hefei. Before he could make progress, he was stunned by an unexpectedly fierce KMT offensive, which had committed some of its best divisions - French-trained - to attempt a major push towards Changzhou. Having successfully identified a Japanese feint southwards, General Bai Chongxi committed his forces and led a major breakthrough, defeating and virtually destroying an entire Japanese division at the Battle of Changzhou. Pushing eastwards, Bai reversed recent Japanese gains and provided Nanjing with breathing room, before his offensive stalled due to increasing shortages of supplies, a consequence of the Japanese blockade.

The Civil War Reignited

The revival of the Chinese Communist Party after almost being destroyed had caused alarm in Nanjing, even if a number of factors posed a major challenge in Zhang Guotao's quest to lead a major comeback. Promptly, several Chinese divisions - many of them warlord-led - moved from Anhui to destroy Zhang's second largest Soviet, resulting in the first major battle between the NRA and the Communists since the 1935 campaigns. Over the next three months, most of the "Anhui Soviet" was destroyed, forcing the local Communist forces of Lin Biao to trade territory to save their forces, successfully evading an encirclement to flee westwards. Victory proved costly, with the warlord armies - short on ammunition- performing poorly and suffering heavy casualties, but another potential threat to Nanjing had been removed. Zhang, in the meantime, enjoyed a new base of support in Xinjiang and increasing militia success in Yunnan, but would continue to struggle from the fall-out of the Soviet intervention and the ensuing unpopularity of his cause. Mass appeal for the Communists in China, it seems, will remain an unlikely proposition.
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« Reply #464 on: March 23, 2023, 10:20:11 PM »

January 1st, 1939



List of Conflicts:

German-Entente War Republic of France, British Empire (UK, Australia and New Zealand), Kingdom of Belgium vs. German Reich (1938 - Present)

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

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

Great East Asia War: Republic of China and Warlords vs. Empire of Japan and Manchukuo (1937 - Present)
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« Reply #465 on: March 23, 2023, 11:59:36 PM »
« Edited: March 24, 2023, 06:50:05 PM by Lumine »

End of 1938



In the News:

TIME PERSON OF THE YEAR: Mikhail Tukhachevsky
NOBEL PEACE PRIZE: Not awarded (No suitable candidate)

The Republicans are Back?
Party recovers from 32' shellacking despite House losses,
Isolationism gains strength, America First movement on the rise,
Despite Congressional defeat Borah remains popular, if uninspiring

There are times in which the Republican Party can hardly believe its luck, having come so close to complete obliteration five years before the FDR Administration unexpectedly and dramatically unraveled. Although there are still large parts of America in which a Republican candidate - particularly one linked to Herbert Hoover - can't show up without getting insulted, it is no less certain that the party is electable once again. This, in turn, has been fueled by the continued fallout of the previous administration, a relatively successful consolidation of the isolationist vote, and, perhaps controversially, due to the Borah Administration, which continues to puzzle Republicans whilst showing signs of appeal to the Average Joe. Wisely sidestepping a prolonged fight over the Supreme Court, Borah ensured a subtle turn towards the right while appointing a single conservative and two moderate justices, to the approval of Chief Justice Hughes and the Senate, and the frustration of the conservative wing of the GOP.

Faced with a passionate challenge from Mexican President Cardenas, Borah was quick to institute sanctions that have caused some harm to the Mexican economy and ramp up oil production in the US. While such a response may have disappointed the oil barons, keen to see Cardenas taught a valuable lesson - thus redirecting their funds to the Democratic effort in November -, it certainly did not bother public opinion. Through the year, the White House followed a similar pattern, adopting actions that, while bothersome to specific groups, never courted the sort of controversy experienced by the disgraced FDR, whose ongoing trial and eventual conviction - avoiding, nonetheless, prison time - remained a huge weakness for the Democrats. As November approached, a GOP message of a return to normalcy and civility, appeared to be a winning one.

The only major defeat of the Borah administration has arguably been in the realm of foreign policy, with an American public becoming ever more isolationist after the controversial intervention in the Chaco War and in spite of the arrival of dramatic conflict across Asia and Europe. The non-partisan America First Movement, founded early in the year, has exploded in terms of membership as countless Americans rally against involvement in the present conflicts, supported by a Congress determined to maintain the emasculation of the President's foreign policy powers over the Neutrality Acts. Borah, while taking a firm stance of neutrality and a pledge of no troops sent abroad, chose to pick a fight with the Senate on account of the Pittsburgh Agreement, a proposed loan to the beleaguered French Republic to acquire American tanks and heavy equipment. Despite Borah's every effort, the Senate narrowly voted down the agreement and remained obstinate on its stance that no belligerent country should be armed.

Come November, President Borah suffered reasonable losses in the House compared to his predecessors, with only 11 incumbents going down in defeat. The big story of the night, however, was the Senate. Defending only three seats on account of the dramatic bloodbath of 1932, Republicans could afford to go on the offensive, and they did. Vulnerable seat after seat fell as Republicans won again in previously reliable states lost in 32', stacking up an impressive gain of nine seats that gave them control of the Senate and greatly simplified future confirmations. In spite of this, as much as four to five additional seats - particularly in California and New York - escaped the GOP's grasp, which many blame on partial backlash to the Pittsburgh agreement and support for two isolationist Democratic incumbents.

It was also a big night for the unofficial leaders of the America First movement: Aviator Charles Lindbergh (R), now the Senator from New Jersey, and former Secretary Joseph P. Kennedy (D), the new Governor of Massachusetts.


1938 US Senate Election:
PartySeats
Republican Party50 (+9)
Democratic Party45 (-9)
Farmer Labor Party1 (=)
Total96 Senators

1938 US House Election:
PartySeats
Democratic Party250 (+12)
Republican Party181 (-11)
Farmer Labor Party4 (-1)
Total435 Representatives

The Red Napoleon
Mikhail Tukhachevsky emerges as the new Soviet strongman,
Historic Party Congress embraces the World Revolution,
New Congress of Soviets elected amidst major reforms

It was only a year and a half ago that Marshal Mikhail Tukhachevsky had been branded a traitor by the short-lived General Secretary Kirov, marked for death in an unusually public manner. Nowadays, Tukhachevsky has rapidly and dramatically filled the void left by the missing - officially imprisoned - Josef Stalin. Tukhachevsky, who has earned the nickname "The Red Napoleon" on account of his military background, Bonapartist tendencies - according to his critics - and his reformist drive, has rapidly dismantled the remnants of Stalin's legacy and brought newfound pluralism to the Soviet state, a feat achieved with the rare accomplishment of not giving up much power in the process. Factional strife was brought to a sudden end on the first months of 1938, with Stalin's surviving deputies - led by Vyacheslav Molotov - being systematically purged, tried and for the most part executed, rapidly followed by the bulk of Tukhachevsky's fellow generals: Voroshilov, Budyonny and Timoshenko. The sole prominent Stalinist survivor remains the missing Nikita Khrushchev, whose whereabouts remain unknown.

The purge of the Stalinists, enacted by a rapidly growing NKVD - which alongside the Red Army has become a pillar of the Soviet state - marked an apparent end to the chaos, with the subsequent Party Congress - still formally the one called in 1936 - featuring a dramatic speech by the GKO Chairman. In it, Tukhachevsky extended an olive branch eagerly accepted by the delegates of the Left and Right Opposition, equally delighted and terrified at the purge of the Stalinists who had once purged them. Promising reform and (limited) democratization that appeal to the right, Tukhachevsky won over the left by ditching the concept of Socialism in one country, replaced with Trotsky's old theories of Permanent Revolution. The delegates were quick to catch-on, joining in denunciations of Stalin's autocratic tendencies and praising the Marshal - or Chairman Mikhail, as Mikhail Kalinin called him - for offering a "fresh new start" for the Soviet people and the Soviet state.

In spite of reports that the various fronts and the war mobilization pushed by Tukhachevsky have been unpopular or, at best, received with apathetic disdain by the average Soviet citizen, the Party's elites have been quick to embrace the rhetorical shift, and much propaganda has been spread across the USSR and its Asian satellites calling on workers to spread the revolution - within the accepted definition dictated by Moscow, that is - through their hard work. Perhaps the crowning achievement of the erasure of Stalin's legacy has been the historic return of Leon Trotsky from exile after an invitation from the Chairman. His previous charges for various "crimes" dismissed, Trotsky - who fled Paris before the Germans seized the city - landed on Central M. V. Frunze Aerodrome to adoring crowds and the few of his loyalists to survive, some of them just freed from prison. Although Trotsky is said to have serious policy disagreements with Tukhachevsky, his return has done much to fix the rift within the Comintern, further enhancing the image of a less oppressive Soviet Union.

All of this led to elections in November 1938, organized under a new set of rules which, nonetheless, continued to apply the principle of indirect election to the eventual representatives to the Congress of Soviets. As the public voted on for various electable and non-partisan Soviets, the Soviets elected their own representatives for the Congress in December, choosing solely between Communist Party members or Communist-friendly independents. Although to describe the elections as partisan would be inaccurate, the surviving factions have made efforts to promote friendly candidates, and the major groups are expected to be represented in the new Congress. Turnout was reasonably high in spite of disruption by the war effort, the only major exceptions being areas experiencing major ethnic strife or revolt.

1938 Soviet Legislative Election:
Party   Votes (%)   Seats
Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU)92% 1437
Communist-aligned Independents8% 63
Total1500 Representatives

1938 Congress of Soviets:
FactionSeats

Tukhachevsky Faction744 (49,6%)
Right Opposition289 (19,3%)
Trotskyites168 (11,2%)
New Opposition134 (8,9%)
Ethnic and Regional bloc102 (6,8%)
Independents63 (4,2%)

The Rising Age of Oil
Despite dominance of coal, petroleum rises in importance,
Previous US dominance slowly challenged by emerging powers,
Access to oil may prove vital to current belligerents

Although any economic expert will acknowledge that coal is still the leading energy source for most of the world, and is expected to remain so for several years into the future, the same experts are ever more eager to recognize that oil is increasingly relevant to the modern economy, particularly in light of the start of generalized conflict across Eurasia. And whereas the United States, the British Empire, the Soviet Union and the German Reich continue to lead the way in coal production - followed at a long distance by Japan and France - the club of oil producing countries show more variety, even under the strict dominion of a hegemon. Across the decade and for most the century, the United States of American has reigned supreme in sheer volume, its oil companies amassing wealth beyond the dreams of avarice. However, only in the last decade American oil production - despite increasing - has seen its share of the market drop from almost two thirds to only 55%, a sign of changing times.

Much of this drop can be attributed to the US's three major rivals in oil production: the Soviet Union, which remains a formidable producer despite losing ground after years of political strife; Venezuela, one of the few remaining safe havens for companies wary of nationalization, ever expanding as they avoid drama; and the Eurasian Alliance bloc, which, by pooling together its considerable resources - if under the irony of having their unofficial leader in Ankara being the sole non-producer -has gained significant ground and, for all purposes, become a serious contender by having doubled production in five years. Certain governments have been far quicker to acknowledge the potential importance of this energy source, with the dramatic nationalizations in Mexico and the Middle East providing them with far more control over oil production, at the cost of the sheer anger of major oil companies - which are US, British and Dutch based -, many of them expected to start taking action to correct this major show of defiance as their own governments fail to reverse these developments.

The importance of oil, as leading economists point out in recent publications, is likely to expand significantly as a result of the new conflicts. Although mechanization is very limited in most armies - even in the Soviet and German ones, the latter of which in particular heavily relies on horse transport -, it is rapidly growing, and ever larger airforces, tank divisions and navies consume prodigious amounts. And whereas neither the Soviets nor the Eurasian Alliance have to be concerned about running out of oil, the opposite applies to Japan, China, Britain, France, Italy and Germany, all of which are vulnerable one way or the other. On the brighter side of the equation lay Japan, which has received a major lifeline due to its trade agreements with Moscow; Italy, unaffected by blockades and able to access trade; and the British Empire, which, though now cut off from the cheapest source of oil in the Middle East, can at least pay for American deliveries across the Atlantic.

China, of course, lies blockaded and unable to access major trading powers. And the issue is of special danger to France and to Germany, both of which depend on deliveries of Romanian oil - as the biggest European exporter - to sustain their armies. The approach of the Red Army to the Ploiesti oilfields has already disrupted exports to France almost entirely, which is likely to force the government in Bordeaux to seek immediate replacement. For Germany, blockaded in the North Sea, the challenge is greater still, as oil supplies will be decisive to maintain and win the struggle against the Entente.

Oil Production, January 1939
CountryMarket Share

United States55,5%
Venezuela12,0%
Soviet Union11,1%
Eurasian Alliance11,1%
Dutch East Indies (NLD)3,2%
Mexico2,8%
Colombia1,2%
Argentina1,1%
Trinidad (UK)0,8%
Peru0,8%
Canada0,4%

* IRAN: 5,0% / ROMANIA: 3,0% / IRAQ: 2,8% / EGYPT: 0,3%

A Nation Beneath the Waves
Death toll in the Netherlands reaches 200,000 and counting,
refugees number in the millions, LON mission arrives to provide aid,
Amidst exodus, Queen Wilhelmina inspires a shell-shocked public

As European and American journalists visit partly flooded cities or towns, they have come to recognize a familiar expression in the faces of the Dutch. For those who saw the carnage of the trenches twenty years ago, it is altogether similar to the expression of those had been pushed beyond their mental limit, in what became known as "shell-shock". As the journalists write back to their homes - with the BBC taking on a leading role in denouncing atrocities to the rest of the Commonwealth -, it is difficult to blame them. As thousands remain missing, the Dutch government has updated the death toll resulting from the destruction of the dikes to around 200,000. Half of the population have lost their homes or found them ruined, resulting in millions of refugees struggling to find a place to go. Crossing into Belgium means entering a war zone, and the Belgian Army has had to deploy several divisions - badly needed on the frontlines - to contain people trying to cross the border.

Crossing into Germany, for obvious reasons, is something of a taboo. Only the most desperate refugees do so, and all too often they come back with a mark of shame. Many have fled into Soviet vessels despite their distate for the politics of the Red Napoleon, and many more - perhaps dozens of thousands - fight for a spot in the large South African armada that has arrived to take refugees back to the Cape. Those unwilling to leave behind their nation yet unable to live there have also secured seats in ships traveling to the Dutch East Indies, but only a small minority has braved such a difficult journey. Even with so many Dutchmen fleeing the country, it is a herculean task to keep those left fed and properly housed. In a particularly dark irony, this tragedy has given the still gridlocked and increasingly collapsing League of Nations a rare opportunity to act, having been empowered to work closely with the Dutch government to battle famine and provide assistance. As more LON personnel and volunteers arrive, their presence has already been judged vital to stop the death toll from multiplying due to malnutrition.

Still, it is likely to be the darkest of winters for the nation. Even if a large part of the flooded regions is only under a meter of water, that is still enough to make life impossible. Experts disagree on whether rebuilding the dikes will take years or actual decades. And while the Dutch government has refrained from declaring war on Berlin after the attack due to the impossibility of offering resistance, it is not yet clear whether the nation has escaped the worst. For now, Queen Wilhelmina has emerged as the symbol of the nation, ceaselessly touring affected areas, giving morale-raising speeches, and promising that the nation will be rebuild whatever the cost. Making a personal vow, the Queen has also promised to see that those responsible pay the price for their actions, a pledge which, while popular, appears most unlikely to be fulfilled.
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« Reply #466 on: March 24, 2023, 07:30:50 PM »
« Edited: April 03, 2023, 02:21:46 PM by Lumine »

The Balkan Quagmire, Part II
Bloodless coup firmly pushes Serbia into revanchist camp,
Pavelic embarrassed by local defeats, Communist rebellion starts,
Jozef Tiso survives assassination attempt, NKVD agent caught

On December 24th, 1938, Monsignor Jozef Tito - Acting President of the Republic of Slovakia - delivered a speech on the liberated city of Bratislava, paying tribute to the Slovakian, Hungarian and German forces that freed the town and promising that, at long last, Slovakia would be sovereign and free of any future Czech domination. His speech was interrupted by a powerful blast, which killed two dozen Slovaks and injured Tiso. Agents of the Rodobrana, the new regime's paramilitary force, immediately sprung into action. Three days later, after a shootout in an apartment complex, two men were arrested as having taken part in the assassination attempt. One of them was identified as an agent of the NKVD, who is also suspected of having taken part in multiple operations in foreign soil under Beria and now under NKVD Director Yagoda. Tiso wasted no time in launching a tirade against the Soviet Union, blaming Moscow for the attempt against his life. Anti-Communist groups have been quick to seize on Tiso's words, suggesting that the NKVD has been responsible of a long list of foreign assassinations that may include the successful murder of Engelbert Dollfuss, Andrej Hlinka and Ma Zhongying.

Across the new Italian possessions in the Balkans, some semblance of order was restored to the new Kingdom of Albania, which recognized King Victor Emmanuel III as its sovereign whilst a military occupation secured the populated areas of the country. Skirmishes have been reported between the Italian forces and the militias loyal to King Zog, although neither have the Italians chased the rebels into the mountains nor have the militias managed to gain any ground. The opposite is true within Croatia, as Ante Pavelic's regime appears to be crumbling before the concerned eyes of Rome. Although overtures to the more conservative elements of the HSS have successfully led to their integration within the government machinery, Pavelic's regular forces have been dealt a string of embarrassing defeats, often requiring the intervention of Italian forces. With every defeat valuable equipment has been left behind for the HSS to employ, and, in December, the HSS revolt scored its first major victory, ambushing and destroying an entire brigade of Pavelic loyalists in a mountain ambush.

Another surprise for Zagreb has been the sudden rise of another opposition movement, this time far into the east. Having previously worked with the HSS out of convenience, a series of left-wing militias supported by the new Communist Party of Croatia have seemingly broken with the HSS, forming their own movement and launching a successful uprising in the latter part of 1938. Their leader, Josip Broz, also known as "Tito", has used this victory - mauling another of Pavelic's brigades - to assume the mantle of General Secretary of his party. Framing the struggle against Pavelic as a larger fight against injustice and foreign domination, hundreds of volunteers are said to be joining Tito's ranks, although his true effectiveness as a resistance leader is yet to be seen.

In the meantime, in Belgrade, recent Serbian defeats against the Bulgarian Army have seemingly led the young nationalist Colonels to lose patience with their government. On October 5th, tanks were seen advancing on the streets of Belgrade and driving all the way to the Royal Palace, from which a uniformed man forced to wear a hood was pushed into a tank and taken away. Later that night, it was announced via radio that Regent Milan Nedic has suffered a non-fatal heart attack, forcing him to stand down. The next day, Chief of the General Staff Petar Pesic was announced as the new Regent, the Cabinet being reshuffled to incorporate more military ministers. By all accounts, Pesic has been elevated as a figurehead regent, the true power being in hands of a hardline faction led by General Draza Mihailovic (new Chief of the General Staff); ideologues Stevan Moljevic (Minister of the Interior) and Dragisa Vasic (Prime Minister); and academic Mladen Zujovic (Foreign Minister).

On his first speech to the troops, General Mihailovic has spoken of the need to "finish the job" in terms of rooting out disloyal elements, and has promised to clean Serbia of enemies.

India speaks out!
Failure to call General Election causes fierce backlash,
New INC President Bose calls for mass civil disobedience in India,
Riots leave hundreds dead, leave Viceroy Linlithgow in difficult position

Back in 1935, Ramsay MacDonald's decision to push ahead with a controversial form of Indian Home Rule - which passed narrowly and destroyed the National Government - seemed to offer a way out of the tensions that threatened to engulf the Indian subcontinent in violence. And while certainly dissatisfied with a measure that did not provide them with long-desired independence, Nehru and Gandhi's Indian National Congress (INC) certainly looked forward to showing its strength on the planned General Election for the new Dominion. 1936 went by without the elections being formalized, the outgoing MacDonald choosing to take his time in preparing the electoral background. Then 1937, which saw Chamberlain too preoccupied with the Middle East, around the same time that Indian Muslims saw mass anti-British protest as Muhammad Ali Jinnah's All-India Muslim League (AIML) broke away from the INC and demanded a nation or Dominion of its own for Muslims. And then 1938 came and went. Having had three Prime Ministers in a row refusing or ignoring the calls for the elections to take place proved to be a step too far.

The INC, further radicalized in a way that surprised and stunned the British authorities, had seen an internal struggle of its own, in which hardliner - and avowed socialist - Subhas Chandra Bose succeeded Nehru as INC President, overcoming the opposition of Gandhi himself. Bose, unlike Gandhi, had no determination to stick with a policy of non-violence. Thus, as soon as Viceroy Lord Linlithgow began to take steps to mobilize Indian resources for the war in Europe, Bose struck. Delivering a speech to a crowd in Calcutta numbering in the dozens - perhaps hundreds - of thousands, Bose stated that British promises would no longer be listened to, and British imperialism no longer tolerated. Announcing his intention to boycott any future elections, Bose demanded immediate and total independence for India, marking the start of a "Quit India" campaign with an open call for mass civil disobedience across the nation.

Over the next few days, most of India's largest cities have been paralyzed with strikes and riots as Viceroy Linlithgow and the British Raj administration scramble to maintain control. While not joining Bose on his campaign, Jinnah and the Muslims have also agitated in the own way, denying Linlithgow the support of either community and making his job next to impossible. Hundreds, if not thousands, are dead, and the Viceroy is said to be five minutes away from having Bose and Jinnah arrested in a bid to retain control.

Decisive Times for the Commonwealth
Edward VIII rallies the Empire, calls Dominions to join war,
Australia and New Zealand declare war on Germany,
Canada and South Africa under pressure to join

After several months of tension between King Edward VIII and Neville Chamberlain, observers noted with interest the start of an apparent truce between 10 Downing Street and Buckingham Palace, with the Monarch seemingly cooperating with Lord Halifax in the task of mobilizing the Empire in the struggle against Hugenberg and the Kaiser. In a radio speech subsequently broadcast to the whole Empire, the King-Emperor made a point of denouncing the "Mad Kaiser’s genocide", calling on his subjects and indeed, the whole Empire to resist the Germans and declare war on Berlin. The first to answer the King's call was Michael Joseph Savage, the recently re-elected Labour Prime Minister of New Zealand. Denouncing German aggression with passion in a Parliamentary speech, Savage was received with boisterous cheers as he proclaimed "Where Britain and the King stand, we stand!".

Next came Australia. In contrast to the muted final months of Jack Lang in office, Prime Minister Billy Hughes showed unbridled enthusiasm as his new government, defying its small majority, successfully ditched the NHS pilot, formed a multi-party National Defence Committee, rammed the ratification of the Statue of Westminster through Parliament, and, when the time came, wasted no time in reorganizing the government to meet the challenge. Having failed to attract the support of the Labor Party - which supported the war but refused a coalition -, Hughes was able to use the crisis to counter the distrust of the Country Party leader Earle Page, who finally joined a War Coalition as the new Deputy Prime Minister. With Parliament having voted overwhelmingly for war, a more muted reaction in the streets has been countered by a refusal to enact conscription, which, in turn, might limit the future Australian contribution. For now, it is expected that New Zealand and Australia will be able to send forces to Europe as fast as mid-1939.

This, in turn, left South Africa and Canada, both of which have been subject of intense propaganda from London describing the atrocities in the Western front and playing the King's Speech whenever possible. In the former, few expect Smuts' loyalties to lay anywhere else than with supporting the Empire, but South Africa, otherwise occupied with Dutch immigration and controversial outreach to South West Africa and Rhodesia, is yet to declare war. In Canada, R. B. Bennett has pursued major reforms and large-scale preparation for a conflict, overcoming distrust and dissent though use of carefully built political capital. Most recently, an emergency session of Parliament saw a motion condemning Germany and Poland - the latter over its invasion of Lithuania - pass overwhelmingly. Still, even as the Conservative Party is pressuring the Prime Minister more and more to declare war, opposition is still significant, with Quebec - now the impregnable stronghold of the Liberal Party - standing on the way.
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« Reply #467 on: March 28, 2023, 11:26:43 PM »
« Edited: March 29, 2023, 01:48:45 AM by Lumine »

Turn VII: 1939


The Cast:

German Reich: Chancellor Alfred Hugenberg (Mr. X)
United States of America: President William Borah (S019)
British Empire: Prime Minister Edward Wood, Viscount Halifax (Dereich)
Soviet Union: Chairman Mikhail Tukhachevsky (Lakigigar)
Empire of Japan: Emperor Hirohito (Devout Centrist)
Republic of France: Prime Minister Henri Giraud (YPestis25)
Kingdom of Italy: Duce Benito Mussolini (KaiserDave)
Republic of China: Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek (Kuumo)
Republic of Turkey: President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (Spiral)
Union of South Africa: Prime Minister Jan Smuts (Ishan)
Kingdom of Hungary: King Otto II Hapsburg (AverageFoodEnthusiast)
Polish Republic: President Adam Koc (Windjammer)
Kingdom of Romania: King Carol II Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (Muaddib)
Kingdom of Bulgaria: Tsar Boris III Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (OBD)
Commonwealth of Australia: Prime Minister Billy Hughes (GoTfan)
Dominion of Canada: Prime Minister R. B. Bennett (DKrol)
Zionist Congress: Chairman David Ben-Gurion (New York Express)

Economic Performance:
Polish Republic: High
Kingdom of Italy: High
Union of South Africa: High

British Empire: Moderate
Empire of Japan: Moderate
German Reich: Moderate
United States of America: Moderate
Dominion of Canada: Moderate

Zionist Congress: Medium funds available
Republic of France: Weak
Soviet Union: Weak
Republic of Turkey: Weak
Kingdom of Bulgaria: Weak
Commonwealth of Australia: Weak

Republic of China: Very Weak
Kingdom of Romania: Very Weak
Kingdom of Hungary: Very Weak

Popularity:
Chancellor Hugenberg: Very High
King Otto II: Very High

President Kemal: High
Duce Mussolini: High
Generalissimo Chiang: High
Emperor Hirohito: High
Prime Minister Smuts: High
President Koc: High
President Borah: High
Chairman Tukhachevsky: High

Tsar Boris III: Medium
Prime Minister Bennett: Moderate
Prime Minister Giraud: Moderate
Chairman Ben-Gurion: Moderate
Prime Minister Halifax: Moderate

Prime Minister Lang: Low
King Carol II: Low

Mobilization Level:
Total Mobilization: None
War Mobilization: Republic of China, Empire of Japan, Republic of France, Soviet Union, Polish Republic, Kingdom of Bulgaria, German Reich, Republic of Turkey, British Empire, Commonwealth of Australia, Kingdom of Hungary, Kingdom of Romania
Partial Mobilization: None
Conscription:  Kingdom of Italy
Volunteer Army: United States of America, Union of South Africa, Dominion of Canada
Demilitarized: Zionist Congress

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« Reply #468 on: March 28, 2023, 11:35:27 PM »

German Reich:


Chancellor,

At long last, the black, white, and red Imperial Flag flies over Paris, a feat not achieved since 1871. Over the past six months the Reichswehr has virtually conquered Czechia and battled its way through Belgium and Northern France, and the Luftwaffe has proved itself a worthy challenger to the RAF. Still, as winter arrives, casualties are mounting, the Kriesgmarine has taken a pounding, and the increasing level of involvement of the Commonwealth in support of Britain seems to open up the prospect of another long Great War, the loss of which might prove catastrophic. For now, at least, German military power is at its strongest since 1914, the Reichswehr growing ever larger as mobilization takes place. For better or worse, the fate of Germany rests in your hands, and decisions must be made on the war, on Czechia, on Memel, and such other issues. Can you lead the Reich to the promised land?

With the constitutional four-year term close to expiring, the 400-seat Imperial Diet is up for it second election in October, having served as a reliable rubber stamp with only isolated debate prompted by Goerdeler’s unofficial and “loyal” opposition. In light of the war, you must now decide whether elections should move forward, and whether the present arrangements – under which your German National Front (DNF) is the sole legal party – are fit for purpose. Despite your ongoing popularity in light of the Reich’s exponential growth and success, even within German conservative nationalism there is some dissent. Many Generals, for one, resent the war in the first place. The Kaiser, it is rumored, is beyond furious that his father’s life was endangered by the blowing of the Dutch dikes. And there are quite a few ambitious wolves posing as sheep within the DNF.

The Royal Navy blockade of the North Sea has brought grim memories of the Turnip Winter and the Great War, and German exports are already notoriously down as trade with the United States is the biggest casualty. The blockade certainly isn’t airtight in terms of all the possible routes, but still, it will require creativity to see that the German war machine can access the resources and raw materials it needs to fuel its efforts against the Anglo-French Entente. Ultimately, no issue is as pressing as that of oil. The horse-based Reichswehr may not entirely depend on it, but the Kriesgmarine, Luftwaffe and the Panzers do. For the most part, the Reich depends on Romanian oil to avoid the blockade, a lifeline which is now threatened by the rapid approach of the Soviet armored columns into the vicinity of Bucharest and Ploiesti. How will you keep the Reich supplied with oil?

British Empire:


Prime Minister,

Britain and most of the Empire are now at war. Thanks to your leadership and that of the King, New Zealand and Australia are now formally part of the war effort, but it is unclear whether Canada and South Africa – both vital for different decisions – will join in the struggle as well. Still, no issue is as dangerous to the Empire as that of India, which is on the brink of civil war thanks to Bose and his INC. Viceroy Linlithgow has already written urging you to make a decision, including on whether – as he requests – Bose, Gandhi, Nehru, Jinnah and all the other troublemakers ought to be jailed before things spin out of control. The issue is not an easy one to address, but India’s economic and manpower importance to the war effort, and its emotional relevance to the Conservative Party, all conspire to make it a priority after years of neglect.

The British Expeditionary Forces has acquitted itself well against the mighty Reichswehr, but Paris has nonetheless fallen and the new, untested Premier may not last longer than Herriot. To make matters worse, the daring German aerial raid has battered the RAF, leading to panicked calls in the House of Commons to withdraw resources – particularly planes – from France to further safeguard the British islands. Thus, as 1939 dawns you will have to carefully balance the political vulnerability of the French government with domestic pressure, although with the important benefit of only having – for now – one specific front to deal with. Britain and the Empire will certainly be looking to you for leadership to achieve victory, but can you do better than Asquith and Lloyd George in their day?

As Eden’s profile rapidly grows by account of being the government’s voice in the Commons, parliament slowly starts to take shape after two turbulent years. New Progressive and Labour leaders Archibald Sinclair and Stafford Cripps offer support for the war effort, but have declined to join a coalition unless a firmer offer can be put on paper. Comrade Harry Pollitt champions the virtues of a larger alliance with Moscow to smash fascism, and Oswald Mosley clamours for an anti-Communist front to save Poland and Romania. Lloyd George champions pacifism to whoever will listen. The Conservative hawks are back in the fold, Churchill and Cooper both in the Cabinet, and to the calls for total unyielding war against Germany they add demands for immediate intervention in the Middle East to recover the sources of cheap oil. It will take political talent to dance around these personalities, Prime Minister. Can you do so successfully?

Republic of France:


Prime Minister,

Your fierce – if strategically unsuccessful – performance in the Marne and the successful Battle of the Seine have propelled you from leadership of the 7th Army to the Premiership in an unexpected course of affairs. Now France’s leading military hero, your dark-horse candidacy before the National Assembly suddenly materialized into reality, with the moderate right, the radicals and some socialists voting for you in if only to avoid Laval from taking over. And while your tenacity may have worked wonders on the battlefield, it will be quite a task to mobilize a terrified nation and paralyzed government into action. From Bordeaux, you must now assemble a cabinet and government, restore confidence, decide what to do about the troublemakers, and see if you can outlast Herriot as the Battle of France is quite literally being fought. Are you up to this monumental task?

Although General Elections are not scheduled for another year, 1939 marks the end of Albert Lebrun’s presidential term. The Presidency may not have been of particular importance over the past few years as Lebrun prioritized staying on Daladier’s good graces, but it takes on added relevance as the National Assembly debates the prospect of peace and resistance. Already the Socialists (Albert Bedouce), the Radicals (Henri Roy), and the moderate right (Fernand Bouisson) have broken away from Lebrun to present their own candidates. So will the Communists, if they return to the National Assembly from hiding. To make matters more confusing, Laval – still acting as Foreign Minister - is on maneuvers, talking up the irresistible prospect of Marshal Pétain or even Herriot, still recuperating. How will you deal with this political web of intrigue?

The loss of Paris and the industry in the north is devastating to the French economy, if not entirely crippling. On the bright side, some industries were relocated in time and others build in areas currently free of occupation, but still very much vulnerable to German armored power. On the darker side, the sudden halt to Romanian oil being shipped across the Mediterranean – attributed to the Soviets approaching Ploesti – leaves France with a short term shortage that must be addressed; and the US Senate has rejected a loan that would have been of assistance. It is clear that France will need economic assistance to keep government functioning in the long-term, with many at the Treasury keen to seek such support from London. Others, in despair, talk even of Rome, willing to pay the Duce’s price to keep France in the fight. What will you do?

United States of America


Mr. President,

It is now two years after the Borah administration has taken office, the middle of what should be – in an optimistic scenario – your first term in office. Although the House has seen losses, the recapture of the Senate has showcased that the Republican Party is competitive again, an achievement that offers you a new window of opportunity to push an agenda amidst deep personal divisions in the Democratic Party, and some ideological ones in yours. This, in turn, gives birth to new disagreements. Conservatives and progressives want the White House to use its mandate to make a firmer ideological push. Vice President Roosevelt is pleased with the notion of the return to normalcy, but insists on pushing the administration to mimic Teddy Roosevelt. And Former President Hoover, championing the midterms as the vindication of his legacy, is mobilizing his supporters to return to active politics. How will you navigate these complex political waters?

The Republican capture of the Senate, ironically, is in no way a guarantee of Presidential freedom of action, not when it comes to foreign affairs. The rejection of the Pittsburgh Agreement showcases that Congress is in no mood to return to the Presidency the powers it took under FDR. Not just that, but American isolationism is stronger than ever before, with the non-partisan America First Movement gathering thousands – millions – of followers as ever-growing audiences tune in for Governor Kennedy and Senator Lindbergh’s thoughts on how to keep the nation out of the Eurasian conflicts. Still, it must be said that the interventionist minority has gained some steam after the fall of Paris, and even America First champions a strong national defense. Others, like the oil barons who swung Democratic in protest, would have you stay away from Europe but take a tougher line on Cardenas, Atatürk, and those who have harmed US companies by nationalizing oil.

Perhaps one of FDR’s most controversial and unsuccessful proposals was a drastic liberalization of immigration policies in America, widely credited with helping him lose seats in the 1934 Midterms. After five years, the issue has reared its head again. The outbreak of general war has led to a wave of refugees seeking to enter the United States, adding significant pressure on ports of entry which, operating under the Immigration Act (1924), can only allow small national quotas into the country. Matters are made worse by the fact that total year migration quotas for all of France, Belgium, Romania and the Netherlands – the ones with the biggest flux of refugees – are under 10,000 people. This, in turn, leads to a spirited debate in Cabinet between the benefits of skilled migration and the popularity of current restrictions. What stance will you take on refugees?

Soviet Union


Comrade Chairman,

In what can be described as the most dramatic year in the Soviet Union, Stalinism has been utterly cast aside in favor of a new vision. Although it is perhaps too soon to talk of “Tukhachevsky-ism” or anything of the sort, you’ve certainly left your mark as Soviet citizens have gone to the polls to (indirectly) elect a Congress of Soviets in which your supporters have a near-majority by themselves. Once again, there is active political and ideological debate, if with due deference to the GKO Chairman. The question, of course, is where to go from here. Should the de-facto nature of the State Defence Committee be maintained? Will you seek to assume a different office with more streamlined responsibilities and powers? Or, after such reforms, will you take one step further and reform the Soviet constitution entirely to leave your mark on it?

In accordance to the theory of permanent revolution, the Red Army is now fighting in Poland, Romania, Armenia and Afghanistan, having just recently started a ceasefire across the Far-East. Although losses continue to mount – with Romania in particular looking like a graveyard thanks to Marshal Blyukher – mobilization ensures that there will be no shortage of men, though how they perform and how well equipped they end up being is rather a different matter. The Eurasian Bloc has been dealt an important blow, but it still stands after a year of warfare, and your personal intervention in the Polish front raises the possibility of a major duel of prestige between yourself and President Koc, the heir to your old foe Marshal Pilsudski. Much is at stake. Can you successfully lead the Soviet Union to victory, and thus enhance your status?

The return of Trotsky to USSR – coupled with the reappearance in public life of figures like Nadezhda Krupskaya, Lenin’s widow – has done much to heal the rift within the Comintern, with several Trotskyites allegedly returning to their local Communist Parties outside the USSR to resume joint efforts. Still, years of uncertain leadership and repeated crackdowns have left international Communism in a difficult position. The German communists live in exile, the Czech, Romanian and Spanish have been all but crushed, and only in isolated countries – particularly in South America – one can see much hope for the future. Not only that, the commitment to permanent revolution might well draw a target on their back whilst they look towards Moscow for leadership, and for guidance on how aggressive or cooperative they should be with the fascistic “social democrats” or “socialists”. How should the Comintern act under your new regime?

Kingdom of Italy


Duce,

Europe is at war. The Kingdom of Italy, praise God, has avoided the worst so far, rapidly becoming the strongest European nation not formally at war. It is uncertain, however, for how long can such a difficult stance to be maintained as the conflicts escalate, blockades are put in place, and key resources are placed at risk. Nowhere this is as painfully evident as with coal and oil, the key ingredients to the process of Italian industrialization which, having recently stalled, shows promising signs of picking up again. Still, the Soviet approach to Ploeisti endangers one of the oil routes, and taking sides in dispute could well result in the US, the Eurasians or the British cutting off supplies. A similar issue arises with coal, with Germany being a key lifeline across the Brenner Pass. As you carefully ponder on how to act, can you keep Italy a contender without endangering the key resources it needs?

Much as Italian troops have fought efficiently in the Balkans, it is becoming clear that guerrilla warfare and pacification is an altogether different beast to conventional war, particularly when it comes to Croatia. The Pavelic regime is requiring more and more resources as opposed to being the once hoped for source of further income, and its battlefield and material losses to the HSS and now to the sudden Communist rebellion are forcing the local Italian commanders to risk their own men as the death toll rises. And while Albania may be firmer in terms of control, the mere talk of Italianization has given the pro-Zog resistance a lifeline, which they use to try and hang on. One cannot ignore the events in Belgrade either, the Bulgarian-Serbian stalemate pushing the irrational colonels into ever-increasing depths of revanchist despair. What will you do about the Balkans?

Your international statute rose heavily as a result of your call to action against Marxism and Communism, serving as a prime motivator to the tens of thousands – perhaps as much as 100,000 – of volunteers in the International Legions currently fighting across Romania. And yet, Marshal Tukhachevsky has managed to prevail, slowly and painfully, on the first assault. Sanation and the Soviets trade blows in the Carpathians, Istanbul burns, and the Red Army’s armored columns approach Ploiesti and Bucharest. It is a difficult situation, made worse by the impossibility of Italy to match up in industrial power. And yet, there are those who feel only a bold gamble can spare Europe from the Communist threat, and that only the Duce can lead the Crusade. How will you follow up on your historic speech?
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« Reply #469 on: March 29, 2023, 12:08:48 AM »
« Edited: March 29, 2023, 01:38:35 AM by Lumine »

Empire of Japan


Your Majesty,

After one eventful year at war, the Imperial Japanese Army has gained significant ground, but it has not delivered the knock-out blow many Generals expected and/or even promised. Aside from some significant victories such as the Shandong campaign and the recent triumph near Beijing, the National Revolutionary Army has proved a worthy foe, one capable of inflicting heavy casualties even as their lack of resources starts to show. Nor is Chiang seemingly closer to accepting a diplomatic exit, not even after the Soviet intervention and the pact that has greatly alleviated the Empire’s chronic lack of raw materials and resources. With the coastline all but seized – other than the blockade fortress port of Guangzhou -, and Nanjing resisting, it is time to decide whether the IJA ought to push deeper no matter the cost, or whether the answer to the Chinese campaign lies elsewhere. How will the war be prosecuted this year?

The removal and purge of the Kodoha faction, aside from disrupting the Kwantung Army – which has only now returned to some normalcy thanks to Tojo and Sugiyama – also had the drawback of disrupting the administration of Manchukuo, chaotic as it was. Amidst talk of the new officers sharing into some of their predecessor’s dealings and attitudes, a stream of pleas has continuously flooded the Imperial Residence, all of them straight from the capital city of Changchun/Hsinking. Emperor Puyi, nominally the Emperor of Manchukuo – a title he resents – has been in a frenzy since the start of open warfare against Nanjing, openly lobbying – whenever Sugiyama’s control slips – for an opportunity to regain the Mandate of Heaven and end the Manchurian experiment for good. Crowning Puyi – currently locked in a vicious spat with Empress Consort Wanrong – could certainly be a way to establish a collaborationist regime, but it could well burn any hope of an accord with Chiang. What should be done with Puyi and with Manchukuo in general?

Republic of China


Generalissimo,

It has been a difficult year. Not only have the Japanese gained ground and directly threaten Nanjing, Tianjin and Beijing, but the Communists are back, and the treacherous Soviets have grabbed Xinjiang and openly sided with Tokyo in their imperialistic adventure. And yet, where there is darkness, there is also hope. Marshal Zhang is back on the field, drawing fanatical loyalty from his men. The pressure on Nanjing has been relieved up to a point. An entire Soviet has been crushed. And horrific as Chinese losses has been, the IJA doesn’t lag far behind on casualties. Plainly speaking, the war stands at a decisive moment in terms of the ability of the Japanese to truly penetrate Chinese territory and stay for good… or for China’s ability to strike back against the invader. As Wang and his defeatist faction continue to wallow in pessimism, what are your orders for the 1939 campaign?

The NRA has shocked foreign observers due to its ability to fight back and resist the Japanese, widely attributed due to experience gained in the Civil War and by French assistance in training. However, the Japanese blockade of the seas – with only a handful of blockade runners ever reaching Guangzhou – is placing increasing strain on the army, with the threat of shortages of supplies, weapons and war material ever rising. As Finance Minister H. H. Kung warns, China must find a way through that blockade. With the Soviet routes seemingly closed due to Marshal Tukhachevsky’s hostility, many look towards British Burma or, better still, French Indochina, with either colony having some potential as a supply route. However, it is not entirely clear that London or Paris, both of which are locked in a death struggle with Germany, would want to risk Tokyo’s wrath. Can you find a way through this blockade?

Polish Republic


Mr. President,

Less than twenty years after the first titanic struggle between Poland and the USSR, both nations are at war again. Marshal Pilsudski is no longer with you, but Marshal Tukhachevsky is back on the field as the leading enemy commander. As many point out, either he will have his revenge for the Battle of Warsaw, or you will deliver another Miracle on the Vistula. As the Polish citizenship mobilizes into the Army and the factories do what they can to provide military equipment – a task which demands increasing numbers of raw materials, no longer accessible via sea due to a Soviet naval blockade – you, Rydz-Smigly and the Generals face a mighty enemy, but one that you know can be defeated. What will be your orders for the 1939 campaign? Can you give Tukhachevsky and his “Red Hordes” another bloody nose?

As the Lithuanian government collapses and his few survivors flee into exile, the Polish Army has now fully occupied Lithuania. Much of the nation has been taken intact, but the port of Klaipeda has been utterly wrecked, and the German-majority city of Memel continues to send petition after petition to Berlin to be allowed to enter the Reich. And while Lithuanians may not have started guerrilla warfare yet, it is clear the Polish Army is not received as a liberation. This, in turn, leads to the question of what is to be done about Lithuania. Many Pilsudski loyalists have not forgotten the Intermarium and the old glorious past of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and believe there will never be a better time for annexation and/or federation. Others have grown too fond of Polish nationalism, and would be wary of annexation should it mean empowering the Lithuanians. What will you do with this occupied nation? Or should its fate wait until after the war is over?

Republic of Turkey


Mr. President,

As you survey the burnt remnants of Golcuk Naval Base, it is unavoidable to conclude that Turkey faces its greatest threat in decades, greater still than the – still present – prospect of British retribution over the Oil Crisis. Much of the Turkish Navy has been destroyed. The Turkish Air Force, while showing unforeseen skill in terms of pilots, is starting to experience severe attrition in terms of planes. The Army has acquitted itself well on Kars, but the struggle in Armenia promises to be very bloody. And, from Afghanistan, Zahir Shah begs for equipment and reinforcements as the route to Kabul is being opened by the Red Army. On industrial and military might Turkey may not be able to compare to the USSR, but the nation has gone from strength to strength even against the odds. Even as you feel your health to wane, can you lead Turkey to another victory?

As the Eurasian War takes shape, domestic and international consequences have also shown up. Despite the Latin American triumph, further diplomatic exploits have stalled as potential partners are either fearful of British or Soviet retribution, or recoil at the thought of being dragged into a war. Young Farouk, previously so enthusiastic about the Alliance, grows colder as he reckons with a war he never expected to be a part of. After four years, elections are scheduled for this year, and many wonder if they will be held at all. And most pressingly, the Kurds have revolted again, this time posing a greater challenge than ever before to Faisal and yourself as their militias come armed with modern weaponry. And while not an existential threat, they certainly are a threat to be taken into account as the Soviet borders lie uncomfortably close to the areas under rebel control. Having smashed the Kurds several times in the past, can you do it again?

Kingdom of Romania


Your Majesty,

Against the odds, the Romanian Army has bested the Red Army and held firm for over nine months, quite an accomplish in light of Soviet boasts that resistance would be finished in weeks. And yet, recent defeats in light of overwhelming enemy superiority in numbers and equipment pose an existential challenge, with Blyukher’s armored forces almost on the gates of Bucharest and Ploiesti. There is fear in the capital, and the monarchy’s standing has continued to suffer. Even so, thousands of international volunteers fight like lions, and the Army, forced to bend, has not broken. International aid might be crucial now if Romania is to stand a chance – even with the Eurasian Alliance behind it -, but your conduct may well be of greater importance. Will you defend Bucharest to the last man? Seek a redoubt from where to continue the struggle? Gamble it all on a counteroffensive? Offer terms? Or perhaps, find a gilded cage in exile? What will it be, Your Majesty?

Union of South Africa


Prime Minister,

As ship after ship carrying Dutch refugees arrives in Cape Town, the grim reality of the war in Europe is brought over to the Union. The refugees themselves arrive dismayed regarding the weather, yet grateful for their savior. Their arrival, however, has courted controversy in both parties. Your dominant South African Party has been wrecked by the arrival of thousands of Dutch Jews, with many backbenchers demanding specific limits on their numbers. And the National Party is seemingly split, welcoming the arrival of white European immigrants at the same time it continues to champion immigration controls to prevent the arrival of undesirables. And as the controversy flares up, so does the issue of whether to go to war. The National Party bitterly champions neutrality, rejecting both Britain and Germany. Your own record calls for support for the King and the Empire, but the controversy over Rhodesia and South West Africa makes it a bitter pill to swallow. What will you with the refugees and about the war?

Kingdom of Hungary


At long last, one of the three humiliations imposed by the Third Balkan War has been avenged. Czechoslovakia is no more, Hungarian troops occupy much of Slovakia and Sub Carpathian Rus, and ecstatic crowds – their enthusiasm not diminished by the grim economic outlook – cheer for the King, who has made good on the legacy of his family. Still, tough decisions are to be made. Ukrainian nationalists have started to request the establishment of a Ukrainian state in Sub Carpathian Rus, and while President Tiso may be willing to concede Hungarian ethnic-majority areas of Slovakia due to the reality on the ground, the Slovaks have grown quite enamored of the prospect of autonomy and independence. Not only that, Hungary is now technically at war with the Anglo-French Entente, and the rise of the Soviets in the east and Serbian revanchist in the south all pose problems of their own. How will you handle these developments?

Commonwealth of Australia


Prime Minister,

Although the arrival of war has not been well received thus far, the refusal to institute conscription has certainly lessened the backlash. Not only that, the new Coalition government between the UAP and the Country Party is now established with a solid majority, and even the Labor Party partakes in the National Defence Committee. Australia is therefore at war, but it is no altogether clear how it will contribute to the British war effort. Thanks to current efforts, the military is confident as much as two divisions could be sent to Europe by the middle of the year if its judged safe to leave Australia without experienced units, but forming more will require a significant surge in volunteers and, more important, access to military equipment. Having entered into war only a few months after regaining the premiership, your involvement may well be the issue that defines the rest of your eventful political career. How will Australia fight this war?

Kingdom of Bulgaria


Your Majesty,

As the war with Serbia continues and trench warfare grows bloodier every day, it is now time for Bulgaria to hold a new General Election. With the earlier restoration of democracy in 1934 involving the banning of extreme parties, only two coalitions are to be formally on the ballot: the incumbent moderate-liberal Popular Bloc of Prime Minister Mushanov, who, while relatively subservient, is keen to find a compromise with Serbia; and Atanas Burov's Democratic Alliance-NLP bloc, which is demanding a tougher line on the Serbian war whilst upholding the belief that the Monarch's powers should continue to be restricted. Both alliances, however, are splintered, wth several independents threatening to run, all while the extremist Communist Party and the fascist-leaning Bulgarian National Legion stage protests in Sofia demanding to be allowed to run. As ever, ambitious courtiers urge you to get rid of the whole lot, seizing power in a royal dictatorship to ensure there are no distractions while Belgrade is defeated. What will you do?

Dominion of Canada


Prime Minister,

As the months pass, preparations started years ago start to bear fruit, significantly expanding Canada's ability to withstand aggression as the nation draws closer to war. Thus far, the government has avoided a major controversy - with Parliament quickly passing the Emergencies and Disasters Act amidst Liberal protests and the Electoral Reform Act utterly stalling -, but as the King's speech is re-broadcast again and again and the BBC rallies against Germany and the Kaiser on a daily basis, pressure is mounting from the Conservative benches to declare war. This, in turn, is met with repeated warnings from the Liberal Party and other minor parties, some of which do not appear keen to rush into the conflict. Perhaps more importantly, Quebec is reported to be bitterly opposed to any conflict that might involve conscription, which already threatened to split the nation apart back in 1917. Can you successfully resist the pressure to go to war to pursue other goals? Or, will you take Canada into the conflict and fight the opposition to it?

Zionist Congress


Mr. Chairman,

The struggle for a Jewish Homeland has been a long and bitter one, but years of leadership and your recent tenure as Chairman of the Jewish Agency have led to you and your Labor Zionism tendency being seen as the most powerful voice for the Zionist movement. Indeed, only Ze'ev Jabotinsky's Revisionists (who champion a Greater Israel, through violence if need be) and Chaim Weizmann's Practical Zionists (encouraging immigration to Palestine above all) come close. Several motions regarding a Jewish homeland have been defeated in the League of Nations, and anti-British and pro-Arab riots in 1935 and 1937 have endangered Jewish migrants in Palestine at a time in which the rise of the Eurasian Alliance appears to pose a major threat to a diplomatic solution to the issue. The Soviet Union has recently championed the cause under Marshal Tukhachevsky, but its Jewish Autonomous Oblast is both distant and, some claim, almost inhospitable. As the new conflict offers new opportunities, you must decide how to further your cause and which strategy to follow. What will you do, Mr. Chairman?
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Lumine
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« Reply #470 on: March 29, 2023, 01:43:23 AM »
« Edited: March 31, 2023, 09:26:24 PM by Lumine »

World War II - Early 1939



List of Conflicts:

German-Entente War Republic of France, British Empire (UK, Australia and New Zealand), Kingdom of Belgium vs. German Reich (1938 - Present)

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

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

Great East Asia War: Republic of China and Warlords vs. Empire of Japan and Manchukuo (1937 - Present)

Military Info:

For the purposes of the present conflict, we will be using quality measurement for airforce and navy, and divisions for the land forces. Individual divisions, depending on the country, can field between 10,000 and 25,000 men, meaning that there will always be a fog of war as to actual number of the enemy, and whether these divisions are battered or in top shape. You're always encouraged to leave at least a few units home in case of unforseen developments. At every half of the year (Early and Late) you will have new divisions available depending on your mobilization state, policies, losses and the context of the war.

The Armies of the World:

German Reich
160 Divisions total
100 Division Western Front
50 Division Eastern Front
10 Division Reserve Army
New divisions available: 20

British Empire
32 Divisions total
12 Division BEF
10 Division Territorial Army
6 Division Middle East Command
2 Division Far East Command
2 Division Africa Command
Extra Divisions: 12 Indian Colonial Divisions (can't be shipped away due to strife)
New divisions available: 3

Republic of France
98 Divisions total
90 Division Western Front
4 Division Army of North Africa
2 Division Army of Levant
2 Division Army of Indochina
Extra Divisions: 7 African and Asian Colonial Divisions / 20 Belgian Divisions / 7 Czech Divisions (trapped)
New divisions available: 15

Soviet Union
200 Divisions total
120 Division Western Front
15 Division Caucasus Front
25 Division Central Asia Front
25 Division Far East Front
20 Division Central Front
Extra Divisions: 6 Mongolian, Xinjiang and Tannu Tuva Divisions
New divisions available: 30

Kingdom of Italy
50 Divisions total
12 Division Army of Libya
8 Division Balkan Armies
30 Division Army of Italy
Extra Divisions: 1 Slovenian and 3 Croatian Divisions
New divisions available: 0

United States of America
10 Divisions total
New divisions available: 0

Empire of Japan
50 Divisions total
5 Division Home Army
15 Division Kwantung Army
30 Division Army of China
Extra Divisions: 5 Manchukuo Divisions
New divisions available: 3

Republic of China
250 Divisions total
70 Division National Revolutionary Army
90 Division Warlord Armies
10 Division Ma Clique Army
40 Division Northern Coalition Army
40 Division Southern Coalition Army
New divisions available: 20

Eurasian Alliance
120 Divisions total
42 Division Army of Romania
30 Division Army of Turkey
20 Division Army of Iran
15 Division Army of Iraq
3 Division Army of Egypt
Extra Divisions: 5 International Legion Divisions
New divisions available: 5 ROM / 3 TUR / 2 IRN / 1 IRQ / 1 EGY

Polish Republic
60 Divisions total
45 Division Eastern Front
10 Division Western Front
5 Division Army of Lithuania
New divisions available: 5

Commonwealth Armies
10 Divisions total
4 Division Army of Canada
3 Division Army of South Africa
2 Division Army of Australia
1 Division Army of New Zealand
New divisions available: 0

Kingdom of Bulgaria
20 Divisions Total
15 Division Army of Macedonia
5 Division Home Army
New divisions available: 4

Kingdom of Hungary
30 Divisions Total
20 Division Army of Slovakia
10 Division Army of Hungary
Extra Divisions: 3 Slovak divisions
New divisions available: 3

Kingdom of Greater Serbia
25 Divisions Total
15 Division Army of Macedonia
10 Division Army of Belgrade
New divisions available: 4

The Navies of the World:

British Empire: Carrier-based / Very Large
United States of America: Carrier-based / Very Large
Japanese Empire: Carrier-based / Very Large
Republic of France: Battleship-based / Large
Kingdom of Italy: Battleship-based / Large
German Reich: Battleship-based / Medium
Dominion of Canada: Carrier-based / Small
Soviet Union: Battleship-based / Medium
Republic of Turkey: Battleship-based / Small
Commonwealth of Australia: Cruiser-based / Medium
Republic of China: Destroyer-based / Small
Union of South Africa: Small vessel-based / Very Small
Kingdom of Bulgaria: Small vessel-based / Very Small
Polish Republic: Non-existent
Kingdom of Romania: Non-existent
Kingdom of Hungary: Non-existent


The Air Forces of the World:

German Reich: First-Rate / Very Large
British Empire: First-Rate / Large
Japanese Empire: First Rate / Large
Republic of France: High Quality / Large
United States of America: High Quality / Medium
Kingdom of Italy: High Quality / Large
Polish Republic: High Quality / Medium
Soviet Union: Low Quality / Very Large
Dominion of Canada: Medium Quality / Medium
Republic of Turkey: Medium Quality / Small
Commonwealth of Australia: Medium Quality / Small
Kingdom of Romania: Medium Quality / Small
Kingdom of Bulgaria: Medium Quality / Small
Republic of China: Low Quality / Small
Kingdom of Hungary: Low Quality / Small
Union of South Africa: Low Quality / Small
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YPestis25
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« Reply #471 on: March 29, 2023, 08:46:34 AM »

“La France a perdu une bataille! Mais la France n'a pas perdu la guerre”
General Giraud Addresses the Nation

Source: Wikimedia

I speak to you now from Orleans and as your Prime Minister. President Lebrun has entrusted me with that awesome responsibility in this grave hour. I speak to tell you that the government has not fled the country and that France still stands. France has lost a battle. But has the last word been said? Must hope disappear? Is defeat final? No! France shall fight on.

Believe me, I speak to you with full knowledge of the facts and tell you that nothing is lost for France. The same means that overcame us yesterday can bring us to a day of victory tomorrow. For France is not alone! She is not alone! She is not alone! She has a vast Empire behind her. She is aligned with that great democratic power, the British Empire, that holds the sea and continues the fight alongside us.

Admittedly, before us is an ordeal of the most grievous nature. This war is not limited to the unfortunate territory of our country. This war was not finished by the Battle of the Meuse or the great tank battles on the Aisne. This war is a world wide war. We have already seen suffering which far exceeds our own across Europe. The Netherlands has been subject to an unprovoked attack of the most grievous kind. German barbarity, knowing no bounds, has laid waste to that fair country. The Belgians are once more our brothers in arms, and, despite facing the brunt of the German army, continue to bravely resist for the second time in as many generations. These brave nations, fighting stalwartly against the Kaiser and his Huns stand both as bulwarks for France and as testaments to what awaits France should we meekly lay aside our arms.

We must remember, that all the faults, all the delays, all the suffering, do not prevent there to be, in the world, all the necessary means to crush our enemies. Vanquished for the moment by mechanical and chemical forces of the most grievous kind, we will be able to overcome in the future by a superior mechanical force.

The destiny of the world is here. I, General Giraud, here in Orleans, on the front, invite all Frenchman, with their weapons or without their weapons and I invite the engineers and the special workers of armament industries who are located in French territory or who would come there, to put themselves to the work of defending their homeland and their Republic.

Whatever happens, the flame of the French resistance must not be extinguished and will not be extinguished.

Vive la France!
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KaiserDave
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« Reply #472 on: March 29, 2023, 09:00:12 AM »

THE DAWN OF THE LEAGUE OF ROME




The LEAGUE of ROME

We assembled, the governments of the Kingdom of Italy, Kingdom of Hungary, Tsardom of Bulgaria, Independent State of Croatia, and Republic of Slovenia resolve to an alliance of mutual defense and security for the defense of civilization, the rights of our national communities, and protection of southern Europe from external threats. The Duce of Italy, Admiral-Prime Minister of Hungary, Tsar of Bulgaria, Poglavnik of Croatia, and President of Slovenia recognize one another as invaluable partners in the struggle for the rights of the nation against the forces of terrorism and ultraliberalism. The Tsar of Bulgaria, King of Hungary, and King of Italy recognize one another on the level of their ancient, august, and noble houses as equals and allies in the struggle for God, Fatherland, and Family against encroaching forces of chaos and degeneracy.

Signatories agree to defend each other by force of arms in the case of attack

Signatories agree to coordinate on matters of security and defense

Signatories agree to coordinate and cooperate for matters of mutual economic benefit, and provide preference for one another in trade and international commerce

Signatories agree to cooperate in areas of suppressing internal subversives and malcontents

Signatories agree for joint military planning and cooperation in peacetime

xIL DUCE, Benito Mussolini
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« Reply #473 on: March 29, 2023, 09:30:52 AM »

THE DAWN OF THE LEAGUE OF ROME




The LEAGUE of ROME

We assembled, the governments of the Kingdom of Italy, Kingdom of Hungary, Tsardom of Bulgaria, Independent State of Croatia, and Republic of Slovenia resolve to an alliance of mutual defense and security for the defense of civilization, the rights of our national communities, and protection of southern Europe from external threats. The Duce of Italy, Admiral-Prime Minister of Hungary, Tsar of Bulgaria, Poglavnik of Croatia, and President of Slovenia recognize one another as invaluable partners in the struggle for the rights of the nation against the forces of terrorism and ultraliberalism. The Tsar of Bulgaria, King of Hungary, and King of Italy recognize one another on the level of their ancient, august, and noble houses as equals and allies in the struggle for God, Fatherland, and Family against encroaching forces of chaos and degeneracy.

Signatories agree to defend each other by force of arms in the case of attack

Signatories agree to coordinate on matters of security and defense

Signatories agree to coordinate and cooperate for matters of mutual economic benefit, and provide preference for one another in trade and international commerce

Signatories agree to cooperate in areas of suppressing internal subversives and malcontents

Signatories agree for joint military planning and cooperation in peacetime

xIL DUCE, Benito Mussolini

x Boris III, Tsar of Bulgaria

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KaiserDave
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« Reply #474 on: March 29, 2023, 09:45:53 AM »
« Edited: March 29, 2023, 10:14:21 AM by KaiserDave »



Declaration on the Anti-Terrorist and Partisan Operation



In the view of the deteriorating security situation in the Independent State of Croatia, an ally and partner of the Kingdom of Italy, and the increased presence of Serbian-backed bandits, terrorists, partisans, and Soviet-backed communist elements, the government of the Kingdom of Italy hereby authorizes the anti-terrorist and partisan operation to eliminate the anti-state and anti-Croatia elements from the countryside. The authority of the Poglavnik, the esteemed Dr. Ante Pavelić is supreme and unquestionable, bandits, terrorists, and partisans that defy the authority of the Croatian state are the enemies of Italy, and will be treated mercilessly.

Il Duce tasks Major General Mario Roatta with command of an Army of Occupation of Three Army Corps to take control of the Croatian countryside and towns and eliminate the threat of terrorism and banditry from undermining the authority of the Croatian state.

Amnesty will be offered to those non-communist individuals and groups who submit themselves to the authority of the Ustaše and the Italian Army and agree to work for the improved greatness of Croatia.

For communists, and those who continue to resist the authority of the Ustaše, as well as those groups which have committed treason against the Croatian nation by accepting support from the perfidious Serbs and the barbarian Bolshevik the punishment will be severe and supreme.

IL DUCE, Benito Mussolini
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