“The hound and the hare were both so wearied that the peasant got them both.”
New France Region
The Canadian government, with the conclusion of its role in the Gulf War via the Baton Rouge Accord, turned its attention towards securing the home front which had seen increasing tensions between different political groups. To this end they embarked on a wide program of domestic reforms. Major changes to the tax structure were accompanied by a healthy dose of support for returning veterans. Some of Governor Trudeau’s most enthusiastic supporters remain the nation’s militarists and nationalists and this went a long way to reinforce that. The added spending on social programs was more than offset by the increased efficiencies from the changes to fiscal policy, justifying the establishment of an income tax and corporate tax increases through these popular programs.
At the same time the Canadians also worked to mollify labor and trade groups: a truce was bought with its current neutrality in the conflict that finally erupted centered around the USSA and then renewed with strengthened labor regulations and worker rights. At their heart these groups remain suspicious at best of the Imperialist government, but the passion of their opposition has diminished. The Canadian political scene right now is typified by a general unease: no group is fully happy with government policies but neither is any group outraged. This gives Trudeau wide flexibility in his actions but leaves him vulnerable to a severe setback.
(Canada: +7% National Unity, +4 EP Income)
While the Canadians worked to make peace with their labor movement, the government in Illinois took a different tack. Token labor reforms were accompanied by a persistent crackdown on the country’s labor organizers, splitting many trade unions between moderates willing to accept the government's concessions and hardliners sticking to their principles. The year has left the labor movement in Illinois badly battered and divided, more concerned with internal infighting than accomplishing its strategic objectives. Illinois also made serious, long-term investments into higher education, seeking to develop its own domestic research and technical universities to replace those no longer available in mainland France.
(Illinois: +5% National Unity, +6 EP Income)
The New French governments in Illinois and Canada, after making peace with their enemies on the American continent, pivoted to a more distant conflict. A French-American expeditionary force from both nations departed from New Orleans towards French Africa, escorted by Salaun’s French Fleet, where they were then transplanted overland to the Mediterranean coast and from there to the battlefields of France. This roundabout route, while time consuming, kept them safe from the hostile waters of the North Atlantic, where the naval power of the European Revolutionaries outweighs that of the much diminished Triple Entente. The fighting in France is covered elsewhere, but both provided valuable lessons for both militaries.
(Canada, Illinois: +1 Military Quality, +2% National Unity)
The promised Louisianian elections were held in the aftermath of the Baton Rouge Accord. While some had questioned whether the government would follow through on its promises, they were indeed sincere, opening up the franchise to all adult males irregardless of race. Many of the former colonial power structures were heavily weakened, albeit continuity was preserved with the victory of the Conservative Party, or Blues, which were directly descended from the pre-election government. Their victory was as much due to their superior organization as their popularity: populist candidates of various stripes made strong showings in some constituencies but lacked coordination, a disadvantage that may not remain for future elections. Racial animosity was relatively subdued, as Nova Afrikan backed guerrillas and instigators were appeased by the Baton Rouge Accord. Louisiana’s successful democratization has placed pressure on the rest of New France.
(Louisiana: Change Government to Parliamentary, +10% National Unity) (Illinois, Canada: -2% National Unity)
The French-speaking Frontier held its own elections that resulted in the Native American National Congress formally taking over control of the government. The old colonial administration was dismantled in favor of native organizations, elected on a broad biracial suffrage. Despite the nominal equality between the French and Natives the province was now fully dominated by the native tribes, who had guaranteed representation in the government and took further measures to reinforce their dominance, strategically closing parts of the province to settlement and elevating native languages towards equality with French in education. Despite a slight bias in favor of natives they were able to poach a number of French intellectuals and scientists who were discriminated against in developing Illinois university system because of their leftist views.
(Frontier: Change Government to Parliamentary, Change Ideology to Democratic, +5% National Unity)
Largely negotiated beneath the notice of their national governments, the Treaty of Thunder Bay was signed between New England, Columbia, and Canada this year. It redrew their mutual borders, with Columbia regaining the titular, Anglo-speaking Thunder Bay from Canada and Canada several French speaking towns near the mouth of the St. Lawrence from New England. The territories were minor enough that they resulted in no noticeable changes to taxes or politics, and it was dutifully confirmed by the respective heads of government.
Atlantic Coast Region
For the past two years, the Sword of Damocles has hung over Philadelphia. Since the Communist Revolution of 1925 its neighbors in Canada, the American Republic, and New England have been mobilized on its border, fiercely opposed to the new socialist government. But they have also been distracted: Canada and the American Republic were committed to the Gulf War with New Spain, leaving New England unwilling to challenge the United Socialist States of America on its own. This gave President Hillquit’s new regime valuable time to build up its military and consolidate its control over the country.
By early 1927, the time for consolidation was done. The Socialist Party was unquestionably in control of all the levers of power: those who opposed it had either submitted or fled the country. The army had nearly doubled in size: its air corps had quintupled, its armored forces implemented modern Spanish designs, and its forces massed on the southern border. Because, while the USSA had used the past few years to consolidate, its southern neighbor was militarily and domestically strained. The American Republic was groaning under the demands of a foreign war and a desperate domestic insurgency. The time to strike, the hardliners believed, was now. With little warning, because of the constant state of mobilization for the past year, socialist troops crossed the Mason-Dixon line and assaulted dug in American Republic positions, taking advantage of strategic surprise.
USSA forces were relatively inexperienced compared to their Republican counterparts, and especially compared to the French or Spanish, but they enjoyed several critical advantages. Raw numerical superiority along the border, the first chief element of any offensive, was accompanied with a hearty force of armor and control of the air. The licensed CC25s, in particular, were virtually impervious to nearly any weaponry fielded by the American Republic and they were surprisingly effective in the mountainous terrain of the Appalachians despite being only field-tested in the Texan desert. While the USSA offensive was still slower in the Appalachians, along the Chesapeake Bay they were able to advance quickly, indeed faster than some southern troops could retreat, and northern commanders emphasized that offensive. They succeeded in encircling a significant portion of the defending forces north of Annapolis and compelling their surrender, badly damaging the cohesion of the American Republic’s Army of Maryland. The speed of their advance surprised even the Socialist military planners, who lacked the logistical expertise to maintain the tempo before the American Republic could redeploy troops from Florida and slow them, reinforcements that critically included a number of imported French CA3s that were able to joust with the Spanish-designed armor. With this the northerners ran out of steam south of Richmond: their logistics are strained and they are facing an invasion of their home territory in the north, nevermind the occupation duties of holding an area almost the size of their own country. The rapid pace of the USSA offensive, and relatively minor casualties, has been noted with great interest by foreign observers, with many pointing towards the combined effects of massed armor and airpower.
(American Republic: -8 Divisions, -3 Armored Car Brigades, -1 Carter Recon Squadron, -3 IP, -25 EP Income) (USSA: -5 Divisions, -1 CC25 Brigade, -1 Carter Recon Squadron, +1 Military Quality)
Unfortunately for the USSA, this wasn’t a one-on-one engagement. While Canada, still recovering from the Gulf War ontop of its new European commitment, chose not to respond, New England was mobilized and eager to engage its Anglo rival. The opening salvos of the war came in New York, where New England had spent the last year constructing powerful batteries overlooking the city’s harbor. Faced with certain destruction by the land-based artillery the USSA fleet opted to engage the superior New English navy blockading them: a battle that had but one certain outcome, though several American cruisers managed to escape under the cover of night and relocate to southern Jersey. The USSA army also opted to withdraw many of its assets from New York, though lighter elements continued to garrison the city. It was these forces that the New English army engaged with, in street-to-street fighting in the suburbs, light skirmishing though New England’s strategic commanders had already concluded that a direct assault on New York would be overly costly (the city’s population of four million more than half that of New England as a whole).
Instead, they opted to flank north and cut it off, moving through upstate New York State in twin offensives. The New York campaign would become notable for its tank-on-tank engagements, as the more modern CC25s duelled the lighter Lancaster-Burkes fielded by the New English. Here the New English had numerical superiority, but they lacked the advantages of armor or air power demonstrated in the Chesapeake campaign, and failed to recreate spectacular success there. Combat was more of a brutal slog, they had to maintain the offensive through infantry assaults, as the outgunned American Carters fiercely struggled to contest the air against their more modern aircraft. Facing disputed control of the air, New English commanders found significant issues in the Bulldog Bombers. Fully loaded they would be barely able to take off, let alone defend themselves against interceptors, and many Bomber squadrons would be dispatched with less than half of their maximum bomb load. Meanwhile, the light guns of the Lancaster-Burkes strained to pierce the CC25s armor, needing to get in close and flank the New Spanish designs which prompted heavy casualties among the armored corps. The New English towed artillery was vital to maintaining their advance, letting them succeed in taking Albany and threatening North Jersey, though failing in their goal of cutting off New York City. A small side show would be the New English amphibious invasion of Long Island, successfully capturing it up to Queens.
(USSA: -5 Divisions, -2 Armored Car Brigades, -1 CC25 Brigade, -2 Carter Recon Squadrons, -1 Vaudreuil-Cavagnial-class Battleship, -3 Escort Squadrons, -8 EP Income, -3 IP) (New England: -1 Escort Squadron, -7 Divisions, -2 1924 Pattern Brigades, -1 Sopwith D4 Squadron, +1 Military Quality)
It was in this environment of mixed military successes that Morris Hillquit’s government began to face new domestic dissent. Unlike previously, these came not from the right but from other members of the leftist coalition supporting socialist rule. Social democrats, anarchists, and other nonconforming leftists are increasingly concerned that his government is being dominated by the hardline “Direct Action” faction under Bill Haywood, which had largely driven the general strike that toppled the Free State government. But Hillquit’s government continued the emergency powers it assumed in the revolution, and what was first used against counter revolutionaries was now turned against the moderates within his own coalition. Serious dissent was met with mass arrests, and once arrested an alarming number confessed to being in league with the New England government, working to topple the Communist Regime from within. Critics would say that these confessions were extracted after beatings and intimidation, if there were any critics left. Through overwhelming political power the USSA succeeded in battering down its internal peace movement.
(USSA: +2% National Unity)
While the USSA government silenced criticism at home, the New English government had slightly less efficacy. War with the USSA, while expected, was far from inevitable. Despite the mobilization of the national economy and a significant propaganda campaign, the final outbreak of war between the USSA and most of the coalition opposing it was lamented by the opposition.
(New England: -2% National Unity)
It seems the entirety of the American Anglosphere was wracked with strife this year, as the American Republic held elections in an environment where it was fighting for its life from north and south. It was the first time that the ruling Democratic Party saw a serious organized challenge to their power: radicals in the north had been mounting a coordinated campaign for control of the northern states of Virginia and Kentucky, though the USSA invasion (and occupation of nearly all of Virginia) led to a backlash that saw them routed at the polls. The Democratic Party ran and won on a platform of defending the white race against the twin evils of Communism (from the USSA) and Catholicism (from New Spain), but this victory has its consequences. Large numbers of new congressmen from the south ran as “National Democrats”, a loose movement linked to the local militias and private military groups proliferating among the white population. Democracy in the American Republic remained democratic, despite the limited franchise, but these National Democrats are usually from outside the existing establishment and have taken local political power through widespread voter intimidation, political harassment, and outright murder, to a degree that alarms the already loose norms that had previously constrained American Democracy. They are contemptuous of the previously sacrosanct constitution, of the political liberties that founded the nation, and of the lofty ideals that the government still pays service to. Their rising influence threatens the core institutions of the American Republic, should said Republic survive the war.
(American Republic: +12% National Unity)
The Americans continued their efforts to establish control of their own countryside in the face of radicalized African guerrillas. These guerrillas broadly divided into two groups: the “Greens” who took their directions from the Nova Afrikan government, and the “Reds” closely aligned with the Socialists in Philadelphia. This ideological distinction mattered little when both were in the fight of their life against the American Republic but Garvey’s may not be the sole pillar of African-American government following the war. Meanwhile, the American Republic’s planners in Atlanta continued their ambitious program to concentrate the African population near urban centers where they could be better managed. This program sparked opposition, of course: the American Republic is now forced to effectively militarily occupy a large part of the Deep South to maintain control. Tens of thousands of American troops were deployed internally, alongside private militias, to combat the guerrilla threat, meeting with some success but at the cost of significantly reducing the number of troops available for military operations on the actual borders. Meanwhile, American efforts to establish robust manufacturing among the incarcerated population continued to fail miserably: while on paper the wage-less workers should be immensely profitable, an assembly line had far too many opportunities for subtle sabotage from a hostile population to be effective. The chief American innovation was the continued mechanization of the countryside. Even as much of their rural labor was taken out of the economy they managed to actually increase productivity through the deployment of machinery and labor-saving processes.
(American Republic: +5 EP Income, -4% National Unity) (Nova Afrika: -5% National Unity)
Gulf Coast Region
Armchair strategists looked forward to the third year of the war in Texas, towards what they envisioned as a climactic showdown between the two military behemoths of the American Continent. Is the New French advantage in air power enough to overcome the entrenched positions of the New Spanish Army? Unfortunately for armchair generals, senior government figures on both sides were unwilling to gamble on the outcome and hammered out a tense compromise in secretive meetings in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This Baton Rouge Accord would do little to satisfy the hawks on all sides: New Spain would retreat from some but not all of its occupied territories, preserving Texas as a buffer state, and the American Republic was not a signatory, meaning the conflict roiling the Gulf of Mexico would continue. But domestically across all the signatories it would be widely applauded as “peace in our time”, a demonstration that unlike the self-destructive governments of Europe, North Americans could come together and compromise short of a peace of exhaustion.
(Louisiana, Canada, Illinois, Icaria, Texas: +5% National Unity) (Frontier, New Spain: +2% National Unity)
While the whites make peace, the Africans of the Mississippi continue to struggle against their oppressors. The American Republic had no intention of allowing Nova Afrika to continue to foment dissent among its own African population. Unfortunately for them, military victory would be difficult to achieve: their forces were badly overstretched between internal security duties, holding off the northern invasion in Maryland (and then Virginia), and the brief fighting in Florida. Nonetheless they continued to control the sky, outnumber the Afrikan troops (who suffered from desertions due to lack of pay) and possessed a large and formidable corps of armored vehicles. The Harrison Armored Car was in the element it was designed for: massacring poorly equipped black infantry. It took only a bit longer than a month before American troops were on the outskirts of the Nova Afrikan temporary capital of Gulfport, having overrun all of its prewar territory and mopping up the remnant government holding the Florida Coast.
(Nova Afrika: -6 Divisions) (American Republic: -2 Divisions)
Unfortunately, the Americans would be halted here. In what would surely be regarded in Atlanta as a horrid betrayal, their former cobelligerents in Louisiana and Texas gave permission for New Spanish troops to cross their territory and enter Nova Afrika. While highly tense, the complicated political maneuver went broadly as planned, creating a tenuous connection between the New Spanish and their allies. Massed New Spanish formations, including armor and aircraft, were able to enter Nova Afrika and reinforce the failing defenders. The Americans were now on the backfoot: while military designers had largely concluded the CC25 was undergunned compared to what is necessary in a modern armor engagement, it was capable of piercing the Harrisons, without any way for them to return the damage. The New Spanish Air Corps would contest the skies, though it wouldn’t establish superiority until late in the year as the New Spanish replaced their battered air corps. Outnumbered, compromised in their rear, and with their forces split by the northern front, the Americans were forced to retreat or be destroyed. The Spanish would pursue as the Americans fell back on many of the same tactics and strategies just employed by the Afrikans to slow their advance. Large parts of Nova Afrika were liberated by the end of the year, including the capital at Jackson.
(Louisiana: -1% National Unity) (Texas: -4% National Unity) (American Republic: -7 Divisions, -2 Armored Car Brigades, -1 Carter Recon Squadron, +1 Military Quality) (New Spain: -3 Divisions, -1 Nieuport Squadron) (Nova Afrika: +4 EP Income)
After two years of occupation, peace would come to Texas. The Republic had survived its great existential challenge with the aid of the French-American coalition. But scorched earth tactics in the defense, along with a determined partisan campaign and sustained aerial bombing of critical infrastructure, have left the nation in ruins. A third of the country, the chiefly Spanish-speaking third, had been annexed to New Spain, including the (former) capital at Kerville. There is a long road ahead to recovery: one the Texan leadership hoped to smooth over by soliciting Canadian and German foreign investment. Neither was quite as liquid as hoped, but lines of credit were opened in both Montreal and Hamburg and the petroleum infrastructure torched two years ago by the Texans on the retreat was re-established, though significant work lies ahead to fully recover from the war.
For New Spain, the occupied territories were not the windfall originally hoped for by the regime. The Coalition’s insistence on preserving West Texas as part of the buffer state meant New Spain had to withdraw from the potentially lucrative fields there. The extensive domestic intelligence apparatus established to govern the new territory, and keep an eye on the questionable loyalty of the population, minimized the gains even further, though it succeeded in preserving the stability of the state against the new influx of territory.
(Texas: +18 EP Income, Lose Spanish Ethnicity, +2% National Unity, +1 IP) (New Spain: +6 EP Income)
The massive multi-year renovation of Mexico City finished this year. The winding warrens of narrow streets and crowded tenements have been replaced with broad avenues and magnificent monuments. Decades from now, effete liberals will lament the loss of many historic buildings, but they will do so from a true 20th century capital. Mexico City has become a model for urban planning, inspiring other projects across the world by ambitious regimes. For New Spain, beyond the prestige the chief benefit has been the boom of industry in the new neighborhoods housing the relocated population, conveniently located close to the factories where they now work.
(New Spain: +1 IP, +1% National Unity)
Unfortunately Carvajal would not live long to enjoy his splendid new seat of government or his new conquests. His constant work to reorient the center, and ambitions, of the Spanish Empire around Mexico City would near culmination this year and ultimately clash with the old nobility he had spent the past few years elevating. Unfortunately for him while he possessed overwhelming support within the army, thanks to the Baton Rouge Accord, the most loyal elements were engaged along the Mississippi, leaving his regime vulnerable at its heart. His plan to renovate New Spain into the Dominion of Mexico and replace much of the colonial administration with his new men ran into opposition from that same colonial administration, who launched a desperate overnight coup with the aid of royalist gendarmes. Carvajal was captured, forced to sign (or forged, after the fact) documentation establishing Amadeo II with emergency powers, and then forcibly poisoned. Of course the propaganda said something else about his sudden death.
The reinvigorated Imperialist government faces significant opposition: the army is largely composed of the nationalist mexicanos loyal to Carvajal’s ideas and were they not heavily engaged with the Americans they would be able to swiftly turn south and reinstall their own men once again in Mexico City. Domestically it needs to contend with both disaffected nationalists and opposition on the left, which has yet to coalesce around either the liberal bourgeoisie or radical labor organizers but is definitely worth noting. And underneath it all the great, politically indifferent mass of the Mexican peasantry, who would play kingmaker for any faction that earned their support.
(New Spain: -4% National Unity, Change to Nationalist Ideology Blocked, Change Government to Dictatorship, Change Ruler to King Amadeo II)
The newly proclaimed Seminole Republic did not last long free and unmolested: while a signatory to the Baton Rouge Accord and promised its independence as a result, the American Republic was not included in that treaty. American control of Florida had been an ambition since the nation’s independence and the Seminole were unwilling to submit. Unfortunately for the latter, their nascent military was no match for the remnant American troops in the Peninsula, and Seminole did not last long in the face of the American military before the political leadership fled to Mexico City to continue as a government-in-exile, the first nation in the recent round of conflicts to receive that dubious honor.
(Seminole Republic: -Existence) (American Republic: +5 EP Income)
Pacific Coast Region
California’s submission to the New Spanish government, previously their nominal equals in the Spanish Empire, rankled many. As the Gulf War began to turn against New Spain with the entry of the French-American coalition the Californian leadership took the opportunity to sever ties with Mexico City and proclaim an independent Republic. California had a small, untested army, but Spain’s formidable military was fully grappling with their opponents in Texas. The Californian gamble succeeded: with New Spain’s armies tied down, Carvajal was in no position to contest them and California would secure its sovereignty without firing a shot. While this capitulation greatly weakened his domestic position, likely contributing to the royalist coup that overthrew him this year, in California the Federalists were able to parlay their new political capital into a centralization of the government. Centralization does not necessarily mean reform, however, as the old Imperialist structures remain in place.
(New Spain: -5% National Unity) (California: +3% National Unity, Change Government to Administrative)
The burden of independence comes with the need for self-defense. California’s army expanded rapidly, fuelled by the new nation’s booming economy, as did its industry and dockyards. The Federalist leadership also expanded ties with the Empire of Japan, whose influence was now being felt across the Pacific Rim. Californian diplomats secured an exceptional success when they managed to secure Japanese military advisors, through a mix of the nitty gritty of vague promises, growing economic ties, and showing off their new independent flag. This opens up the reform of the Californian army along Japanese lines, emphasizing light infantry tactics and marines.
(California: Gains Access to Japanese 1925 Doctrine, +1 IP, +1 EP Income)
Columbia continued to expand its fishing and canning operations, but began to run into serious limitations with this strategy. First, supply began to outstrip demand among the relatively small population of the dominion, while the other Anglo Dominions were not able to eat up the remaining supply. Second, Columbian fishing fleets began to clash with Japanese fishermen off the waters of Russian Alaska, where both nations were exerting influence in the absence of any meaningful power projection on the part of the Russian Empire into the area. While remaining nominally allies, Japan’s growing influence in the Pacific and powerful navy lead many to be skeptical of their ability to contest control of the waters. Highlighting this growing distance was not purely negative: the Columbian army began to shape up significantly towards the end of the year as a result of rising tensions and military drills.
(Columbia: +5% National Unity, +7 EP Income, +1 Military Quality)
The Icarians, long a quasi-state among the outskirts of the Spanish Empire, secured their independence with the Baton Rouge Accord. Invigorated by the success, and recognizing the new responsibilities of independence, the Icarian government embarked on a large-scale plan of irrigation and agricultural work along the Colorado. Making the desert bloom is more than a task for just a single year, however: sustained investment will be needed to make the most of it. Their ambition for communally operated factories also struggled: the small workshops developed as a result, in line with Icarian tenets, were not able to emulate the high-power manufacturing that they had envisioned.
(Icaria: +4 EP Income)
Icarian growth was also fuelled by an influx of immigrants because of its new alignment with the French-American concordat. While its exact relationship with the metropole remains undefined, it had significant success attracting leftists from the other French-American states to migrate to its much more receptive environment. Said immigrants did not always gel well with the tenets of Icarianism, as it and mainstream Socialism diverged nearly a century ago in mainland France,
(Icaria: +5 EP Income, -2% National Unity) (Canada, Illinois: -2 EP Income, +2% National Unity)
With the American fleet in control of the Gulf, the Cuban rebels received an influx of arms and advisors as part of the Republic’s war against New Spain. The colonial administration meanwhile, unsupplied and unsupported by the Spanish, crumbled under the pressure, with the American battleship Calhoun dramatically arriving in Havana harbor to compel the city to surrender to advancing rebel forces. The Cuban rebels promptly declared their independence, established a republic under their junta, and announced an alliance with Atlanta. Barring reconquest by Mexico City, another sliver of the Spanish Empire has just slipped away.
(Cuba: Change Ideology to Nationalist, -3 Divisions)
With Cuba’s independence, Puerto Rico remained nominally in Spanish hands. Given the island’s small size it possesses next to no military, chiefly existing as a naval base. Were the New Spanish to regain a working connection to it, through a peace with the Americans, it would likely be annexed in short order, but at the same time the Americans took note of its lack of defences and the unwillingness of the Spanish fleet to contest their control of the Carribean. They occupied it themselves without a shot being fired following the collapse of the Cuban colonial government.
(American Republic: +1 EP Income)
New England’s push to take control of the Anglo colonies in the Carribean was renewed this year, overcoming resistance in the Anglo-Indian government for the incorporation of the West Indies under Boston. Unfortunately, their matching push to take over of British Guyana floundered: partially because of the separate administration, partially because of concerns over war with the loose USSA-New Spanish alliance, which potentially includes the New Granadans. New England will need to demonstrate Guyana’s security against New Granada before its able to incorporate them, but for the moment the New English navy, now the single most powerful naval force in the Americas, can operate out of Carribean bases.
(New England: +10 EP Income) (British West Indies: -Existence)
Meanwhile, the French Carribean Fleet departed to reinforce the Royalist government. Its return is highly dependent on the outcome of that war. For the moment French power in the Carribean is solely carried by the small Louisianian navy.
The moderates in the German military regime consented to holding elections, the first since the war. Despite a biased electoral system that privileges the wealthy and nobility the left-wing social democrats once again secured a popular majority in the Imperial Diet. As is tradition a chancellor was appointed from the right-wing, who wrangled together a minority government that essentially existed to provide cover for the German High Command within the civilian scene. This is altogether not dissimilar to the prewar state, though the margin of the left’s victory is greater. Despite the immense pressure placed on the German state by the war and the peace the kayfabe of German politics seems to be holding.
Across the Rhine, the French Civil War neared its climax. Royalist successes, including the capture of Lyon after heavy fighting, were sufficient that the revolutionary government had no choice but to pull the bulk of the army off the German border to combat them. This was not the turning point they had envisioned, and the white government had feared: many individual units had been slowly detached over the course of the previous year, particularly the best troops. And they were countered by the arrival of regulars from North America, supplied by the colonies in Canada and Illinois. The Germans, despite their posturing, had no desire to directly commit themselves to the French Civil War, but they continued to provide a great deal of indirect support to the Royalists. Unable to quickly break the Marseilles government the revolutionaries are now on the backfoot: Brest and Bordeaux are on the verge of falling and White troops are massing for an ambitious thrust towards Paris.
(Canada, Illinois: -1 Division)
The King of Italy abdicated in March, in what was either a long overdue retirement or a bloodless coup. King Francisco’s 40 year reign had transformed the Italian monarchy, originally just a splinter of the collapsing Hapsburg Empire, into a Great Power in its own right until its recent failure in the Great War. His reign saw the merger of his Milan-based kingdom with the southern Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the Papal States, the establishment of colonies in Africa, a protectorate over Albania, and Italy’s rise towards being the “fourth” member of the Triple Entente. Unfortunately his bid to annex the Italian-speaking Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont would touch off the Great War and end in Italy’s ruination. For the last few years he has been dependent on German-support and on hard-right militarist groups to maintain his control following a nearly successful communist revolution, eroding his own personal power past the point of relevance. His successor is expected to be little more than a puppet for the Germans and the Arditi.
Where Francisco stepped relatively gracefully out of the spotlight, the same couldn’t be said for the Hungarian Chancellor, Istvan Friedrich. His government of the past few years has brought Hungary significant successes on paper, including the annexation of much of its southern neighbor, but the burden of the war and economic stagnation contributed to rising unpopularity of the governing National Union Party. Faced with a looming electoral defeat Chancellor Friedrich declared a state of emergency in response to several South Slavic terrorist attacks and invited the army to assume power over the country. Formally removed from office, he is believed to continue to possess considerable power behind the scenes of the new military government, which has postponed elections until the crisis passes.
The Balkans are a byword for instability as Greece’s own government falls, albeit unlike Hungary not by their own hand. Greece has had a rough few years, more than half of its territory was annexed by its neighbors in Bulgaria and Turkey, including the loss of Constantinople and all of its provinces in Asia Minor. The resulting economic crisis and massive influx of refugees have made it a social stress cooker, culminating in radical military officers overthrowing the monarchy and proclaiming a socialist republic. Its neighbors have condemned the new government in response, under pressure from Germany, and the situation along the border is tense.
Tensions between the Anglo-Indian government and the new nationalist Persian Republic spiked, with Anglo warships blockading Bandar Abbas and disrupting oil exports through the Strait of Hormuz in response to Persian nationalization of foreign petroleum companies in the country. The blockade continued until a Persian torpedo boat launched a daring night attack on the under-escorted battleship HMS Warspite, crippling one of the few remaining Anglo-Indian battleships for some time. The Anglo-Indians have opted to open negotiations in response, ending their blockade.
British India isn’t under pressure only from the north: the relatively amicable relations between it and the former French Deccan dissolved with this display of weakness and the emergence of a new nationalist faction in Hyderabad. Deccani troops occupied Madras following anti-British riots, forcing the evacuation of Anglo-Indian officials and annexing the city to the South Indian nation.
The British are not alone as an imperial power on the retreat: Russian troops withdrew from much of Central Asia and St. Petersburg has signed peace with the new Turani Emirate. This has greatly complicated domestic Russian politics, simultaneously weakening nationalist forces within the Russian government (with the dissolution of the Central Asian Command) and reinforcing its dependence on Germany while also badly damaging the pro-German government's legitimacy.
The possible fate of the Tsarist Regime is laid out in Beijing, where the end of the Qing Dynasty comes not from the rebellions gripping the south but instead palace intrigue. A plot to remove the leadership of the Imperial Army backfired on the Manchu Court, and the army turned on the civilian government and ruthlessly purged it. The remnants of the Qing, including the deposed Emperor, have fled to Manchuria where they have sought shelter with the pro-German Russian Army there, while in Beijing, the head of the Imperial Army has proclaimed the establishment of the Jian Empire, pledging to remove foreign influence from China and defeat the insurrectionists in the South.
Across the Pacific the Californian expedition to support the Peruvian government continued, despite the former’s formal independence and the former’s technical allegiance. Californian troops began a minor campaign to reduce Andean control of the interior, but made little progress against the experienced guerrilla fighters. Andean troops were able to blend into the jungle, or hide among supportive locals, and the Californian resources assigned were far from sufficient to make meaningful progress, especially given the continued ineffective state of the Peruvian army. Military strategists recommend either increased resources, a different strategy, or withdrawal altogether.
South of Peru, the Platine Federation, a breakaway Spanish speaking state controlling much of the former Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata, has been governed since the end of the civil war of the 1880s by the Constitutional Republican Party. But a series of corruption scandals, centering around the establishment of a much-lauded international airport outside Buenos Aires, have badly battered it in and created an opening for the chief opposition, the Radicals, who are mounting a serious challenge for control of the country in the coming elections.
Let me congratulate myself on producing three updates for a game. Age of Supremacy, That Hideous Strength, and Paths of Glory all petered out during the third update. With the tighter scope of this game, we're going up to WW2 baby. Or, like, 4 updates.
I'm reducing the economic penalty for low national unity slightly, to make it symmetrical with the bonus for a high national unity.
I'm setting Wednesday, Midnight, February 19th as the deadline for the next update.
I'll announce a winner for the Founding Father's contest sometime around the 16th. Throw your submissions in before then, I promise not to ruthlessly mock them like I did your flags. And put on your legislators' hats for the next contest.