Look to the West Volume VIII: The Bear and the Basilisk

The Austrian Societists seem smarter and more dangerous than their South American counterparts. Now there are the seeds for a potential schism in the movement.
 
The Austrian Societists seem smarter and more dangerous than their South American counterparts. Now there are the seeds for a potential schism in the movement.
I'd say smarter but not more dangerous. Even if democratic support sets them aside Danubia still lacks the raw power that Zone1 can bring to the world stage.
 
They're smarter, yes, but by virtue of their democratic mandate, probably less directly dangerous compared to the Combine. Any danger they pose would be more insidious.
 
Something tells me the Societists doing things "with the help of the state police" will be a recurring theme from here on out. I mean how does a political party even "help" with something like this unless they have some private armed force/intelligence capabilities?

We've already seen with the Populists that starting out a certain way doesn't say much about how you end up. And maybe the Danubians will retain more consultation in their governance, or allow more concessions to local rule. Maybe they'll develop extremely resilient party traditions/principles like the Vietnamese communist party or the Mexican PRI, that keep power relatively diffuse through the upper levels of the party instead of concentrating it in a single figure. But the fact that they're already considering things like K.u.K. Latin as part of wider educational/administrative policies shows they're thinking in terms of decades of social engineering that won't/can't be left up to chance. The Danubians might well be majoritarian in their outlook, or there may be a shifting coalition of minor parties around the Societists, but I don't think they can strike fear into the Combine, an entity convinced it can wait out any enemy and win out in the end, without taking on an air of permanence itself.

EDIT: In filling out the gaps of army-command Latin to make it a proper language, it's funny to imagine that what looks to be a Hungarian-led party ends up drawing on Romanian to appeal to the renegade easterners, and maybe even succeeds.

EDIT 2: Is Army Latin even real? I remember reading something about it before but it seems like policy in the Austro-Hungarian army was regimental languages at lower levels of command (depending on where recruits are from) and German at levels above, with German commands sprinkled through calls for attendance, etc. at the lower levels. Switch German with Hungarian in certain contexts after 1867.
 
Last edited:
So with Austro-Societism emerging onto the world stage, I wanna take a moment to note that Alfarus' panic makes total sense. The obvious parallel here seems to me to be the SPD-KPD split during and after the First World War, over exactly the question of whether socialism could be accomplished exclusively through revolution or whether democratic elections were acceptable. The problem Alfarus has is that the orthodox societism of Zon1 is ideologically committed to the "doctrine of the last throw" and the idea that electoral democracy will always be too committed to nationalistic delusions to properly act as an instrument of Human governance, but austro-societism throws a total monkey wrench into the works of that. Why do you even need Celatores and Celagii when the people of the nations will, under the right circumstances, voluntarily abandon national identity and gradually work towards human unification?

Of course, by the same token, you can also see why all the modern historians we've seen so far are always careful to emphasize the unexpected degree of the threat austro-societism proved to the Combine, and why the people of the nations would be totally panicking about a Grey Menace. Societism has just scored one of its biggest victories in recent memory, and it's done it at the ballot box and not through Scientific Attack. I dunno when knowledge of the degree of ideological difference between austro- and merido-societism is going to start to get out, but until then it sure looks to outsiders like Alfarus and the Combine's talk of how the people of the nations will throw down their arms and surrender at the first sight of the Celatores when they realize the truth of Sanchezism is far from just talk.

Oh, it's also worth noting, in the future I can totally foresee a conflict between Danubia and the Eternal State, roughly equivalent to the wars in the 1970s and 1980s between Vietnam, China, and Cambodia, having a similar effect of disrupting all notion of revolutionary unity between the societist states.

EDIT: Also, one other thing I should probably note, I've gotta say I find it really interesting that our sources are consistently treating the Russians as irrational actors. I still think they're wrong and that the Tsar isn't acting out of spite so much as out of fear of a loss of credibility, but it's enough to make me worry about Russia. We haven't had a Russian POV for a while, and even the historians we're getting don't seem sure about why the Russians are doing what they're doing, so, is all of this coming from "We lost the records during the Sunrise War, this is our best guess?"
 
Last edited:
So with Austro-Societism emerging onto the world stage, I wanna take a moment to note that Alfarus' panic makes total sense. The obvious parallel here seems to me to be the SPD-KPD split during and after the First World War, over exactly the question of whether socialism could be accomplished exclusively through revolution or whether democratic elections were acceptable. The problem Alfarus has is that the orthodox societism of Zon1 is ideologically committed to the "doctrine of the last throw" and the idea that electoral democracy will always be too committed to nationalistic delusions to properly act as an instrument of Human governance, but austro-societism throws a total monkey wrench into the works of that. Why do you even need Celatores and Celagii when the people of the nations will, under the right circumstances, voluntarily abandon national identity and gradually work towards human unification?

Of course, by the same token, you can also see why all the modern historians we've seen so far are always careful to emphasize the unexpected degree of the threat austro-societism proved to the Combine, and why the people of the nations would be totally panicking about a Grey Menace. Societism has just scored one of its biggest victories in recent memory, and it's done it at the ballot box and not through Scientific Attack. I dunno when knowledge of the degree of ideological difference between austro- and merido-societism is going to start to get out, but until then it sure looks to outsiders like Alfarus and the Combine's talk of how the people of the nations will throw down their arms and surrender at the first sight of the Celatores when they realize the truth of Sanchezism is far from just talk.

Oh, it's also worth noting, in the future I can totally foresee a conflict between Danubia and the Eternal State, roughly equivalent to the wars in the 1970s and 1980s between Vietnam, China, and Cambodia, having a similar effect of disrupting all notion of revolutionary unity between the societist states.

EDIT: Also, one other thing I should probably note, I've gotta say I find it really interesting that our sources are consistently treating the Russians as irrational actors. I still think they're wrong and that the Tsar isn't acting out of spite so much as out of fear of a loss of credibility, but it's enough to make me worry about Russia. We haven't had a Russian POV for a while, and even the historians we're getting don't seem sure about why the Russians are doing what they're doing, so, is all of this coming from "We lost the records during the Sunrise War, this is our best guess?"
The Russian school of Diversitarianism believes that friendship across borders is a form of insanity so what if they're isolationist? Since you need official permission to translate anything...
 
“[He] indicates that such a union requires coercion, which Dostoevsky finds at the heart of the ‘Roman idea’ of ‘forced unity of humanity,’” Blake said. Dostoevsky described this coercion on the part of the Catholic Church with the sentiment: “Be my brother, or off with your head.”
 
Societism sounds less like an interesting ideology, and more like something awful. I think that there should be a book detailing the British Societist League (or whatever it was called), which was suggested to be outlawed in a previous post at one point in history. Also, the book The Giver has somewhat Societist vibes.
 
Societism sounds less like an interesting ideology, and more like something awful. I think that there should be a book detailing the British Societist League (or whatever it was called), which was suggested to be outlawed in a previous post at one point in history. Also, the book The Giver has somewhat Societist vibes.
It's 50's cookie-cutter conformity, it just seems alien because they're speaking garbage latin
 
Russia behaving rationally is not super common, historically. It;s what happens in complete autocracies with no competing power centers or any ability to limit or mitigate an autocrat's whims. Russia, TTL as in OTL, has spend centuries establishing what is possibly the most centralized autocracy that is utterly dependent on one man's whims in human history.
 
284.1

Thande

Donor
Part #284: How the West was Won

“In Fredericksburg, negotiations for the formation of the new Imperial government enter their third week. The latest drama: Mr Rowland threatens to pull his TPV party out of President Miller’s proposed coalition, over a leaked document suggesting that, in the 1990s when she was Lieutenant Governor of Michigan, Mrs White of the Agri-Argent party privately supported a controversial bill by the Milwark Confederal Parliament to cease flying the original form of the Jack and George on military monuments over historical links to slavery. The talks continue, while Liberal and Pioneer counterparts watch like a hawk for the moment when the President might concede to His Imperial Majesty that, though his party finished first in the election, he cannot sustain a governing majority...”

– Transcription of a C-WNB News Motoscope broadcast,
recorded in Waccamaw Strand, Kingdom of Carolina, 24/03/2020​

*

From: “America and the World” by David Browne (1978)—

The Empire of North America’s first year in the war, though reassuringly free from disaster, had not been the cavalcade of quick victories that President Fouracre had hoped for.[1] It is important to recognise the context that America’s military planning in the First Interbellum had focused on the Russians in the Pacific Northwest as now being the nation’s primary foe, so the failure to achieve a quick win was seen as an unpleasant surprise after all that planning. Scratch the surface to dig a little deeper, however, and – as Continental Parliamentary select committees and Imperial Commissions eventually discovered after launching inquiries – the failures of this process became clear.

The first American government to highlight the Russians as the chief threat was, naturally, Lewis Faulkner’s ministry. Faulkner came to power as the ENA had ejected the dying UPSA from North America, occupied Carolina and subdued Mexico and Guatemala. Ties to the mother country had been lost with the Third Glorious Revolution, and Faulkner pursued a policy of drawing down commitments to colonial ventures like Guinea and Bengal, leaving them to stand on their own two feet. Like many American politicians at the time, Faulkner regarded the ENA as a natural fortress, guarded on two sides by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, with the frozen Arctic to her north and quiescent Mexico to her south. She should therefore be easy to present as an impregnable fortress in which her people could live the higher quality of life that Faulkner’s controversial ‘Social Americanism’ policies would strive for, feeling safe and secure from outside attack. The only fly in the ointment to this vision was the fact that the Russians remained in the Northwest, and had even made slight gains at the peace treaties, though hardly sufficient to justify the blood that had been spilt in the process. The old Superior Republic had also been divided and occupied, meaning that America and Russia now shared a much longer border than before.

Not only could the Russians threaten Drakesland, Panimaha, perhaps even Michigan – so long as they dominated the Northwest, they were also in the ascendancy of influencing California. The unstable three-way equilibrium of influence between Russia, America and the UPSA had been disrupted by the latter’s demise. While the Russians were rather less successful in reality at trying to suborn the canny Californians than the Americans feared, it was nonetheless an insult to the still-significant number of American politicians who still enjoyed the unrealistic dream of bringing California into the Empire as a Confederation.

Therefore, beginning with the Faulkner ministry, the Imperial military began planning for a future war with Russia in the Northwest. Some attribute the (partial) failure of this process primarily to the idea that Faulkner had ordered them to make bricks without straw, that he had called on the Imperial Army and Navy to defeat the last frontier whilst simultaneously cutting their budgets. There is a grain of truth to this, although the picture of Faulkner as someone who short-sightedly cut the military is an image largely borne of post hoc propaganda by his political enemies, particularly Tom Gedney and his supporters. For one thing, what budgetary reductions were made fell (if anything) more on the Navy than the Army, leading to the former selling many older ships to other countries – yet when the war came, the Navy enjoyed more initial victories than the Army. We must dig deeper to find the more fundamental reasons behind the early difficulties of the Empire in the war.

One thing that had become very clear in the Pandoric War was that, even more than in the Great American War, railways were crucial to the logistics of modern warfare. Unlike the famed but largely ineffective steerable attacks of the Great American War, aero warfare had advanced sufficiently by the Pandoric War that later steerables and true aerocraft could now effectively bomb enemy railway lines, depots and even trains themselves. This meant that possessing multiple redundant railway routes on a network was a key advantage; many American military theorists drew on mathematicians and solution engines from Harvard, Yale, William and Mary and other universities to use graph theory to optimise their proposed networks.[2] Though many projects suffered from shifting priorities as the presidency passed from Faulkner to Dawlish, Gedney and Tayloe in turn (Tayloe in particular tending to focus more on defence to the south and for his native Cygnia) this was not true of the building of the railway network in the Pacific Northwest. The project was codenamed Rexoc, as a contraction of Rex Occidentalis (‘ruler of the west’ or ‘to rule the west’); it is a striking reminder that, at this time, using a Latin name did not carry the negative connotations of Societism.

Though – like everything – the Rexoc project suffered from funding cuts and loss of workers due to the Panic of 1917, by that point the railway network was almost completed anyway. Why, then, its (relative) failure when war rolled around? To answer this question, we must remind ourselves that generals are always ready to fight the last war. Initially, Faulkner – his mind, as always, on the future quality of life of a hypothetical secure America – wanted the Rexoc network to be built as an extension of the existing civilian railway network. After all, this had been used in the Pandoric War against Carolina. His generals and military advisors, however, warned him off this idea. Unlike the Carolinians, who had deliberately used a different railway gauge even when they had been part of the Empire, the Russians (by coincidence) used a gauge that was close enough to America’s that Russian trains could be used on American railways. A famous (to a select few) demonstration took place in 1902, when Major Jared Reynolds ‘acquired’ a Russian locomotive destined for sale to Siam, and demonstrated it on an American railway track west of Chichago to a sceptical Faulkner and his ministers. The train indeed worked well enough – showing that, if the Russians were able to launch a quick attack and capture the termini of a Rexoc connected to the rest of the Imperial railway network, there could theoretically be nindzhyas pouring out into the streets of Saint-Lewis or Chichago a few hours or days later.

Faulkner was reluctantly convinced, and the Rexoc network was deliberately built to a narrower gauge to deny such a hypothetical Russian takeover. This also meant it did not directly interlink with the rest of the Imperial railway network, with changeover stations being built in Drakesland. Though these were not the first gauge changeover stations ever built, they were more advanced than any elsewhere – reportedly due to the little-publicised use of experienced Meridian Refugiado engineers. The trains would use containers based on the well-established Standard Crate, with cranes capable of transferring them quickly from a wide-gauge civilian train to a narrow-gauge military train on a parallel set of tracks.[3]

So far, so good; and war-game tests in the 1910s showed that the nascent network indeed performed well under the simulated pressure of a war. So why the problems? The answer is that the people behind designing the new network had been working around 1902-1904, their minds full of how the Pandoric War had been fought, especially the Pacific Northwest front. It had largely been miserable trench warfare, particularly on the isle of Noochaland, in which being able to field and supply large infantry armies had been the deciding factor – with the Russians able to maintain links from the sea that were better than the then-limited American land links. This same attitude played a big role in how the Imperial Pacific Fleet was reorganised to focus on cutting said links, but as this reform was much more successful, it has been less analysed post facto.

Regardless, this meant that the Rexoc network was perfectly well designed to send men, infantry equipment, food, and artillery and shells from the rest of the ENA to the Pacific Northwest front. Unfortunately, the world had changed, and those were no longer the only things needed to win a war. The Russians had also been busy developing their new holdings, equipping cities with modern fortifications, land mines, their own protgun (or armart) divisions, and aerobases with steerables and aerocraft. They even had death-luft shells as a last resort, although (following what happened to Belgium) Russian commanders in the theatre elected never to use them.

Of course, the Americans also had all those things, indeed had many more of them in North America than the Russians could possibly ever hope to bring into Alyeska via the sea route. However, the narrow-gauge Rexoc military trains proved inadequate to transport many of those items. The result was that, while the Empire was able to field the large infantry armies that Faulkner had envisaged, she was frequently fighting at a technological disadvantage against the outnumbered Russians. Over the first year of the war, the bright boys (and a few girls, by 1922) in logistics came up with clever workaround ideas, such as protguns and aerocraft engineered to be disassembled for transport and reassembled at their destination. The key mover in this idea was the Scandinavian engineer Ingvar Eriksson, who had initially found himself employed by the Imperial Army designing base equipment (such as barracks) that could be quickly assembled, but swiftly moved on to greater things. These ideas would eventually make the difference, but for much of 1922 and early 1923, the Americans found themselves (in the words of diarist Sergeant Martyn Ball) ‘feeling like primitive tribesmen chucking spears at Roman chariots’.

It is striking to contrast the situation farther south, around the Russian port of Shemeretvsk on the Californian border, which was accessible from the Imperial civilian railway network with its wider gauge. General George Chandler Welch rapidly rolled up the hinterland with his Fifth Army by November 1922, though the port itself fought on – resupplied from Noochaland and farther afield – until General Polyakov finally surrendered in January 1923. In the north, by contrast, General Taft had managed to push the Russians after their half of the Superior Republic and take the coal town of Krasnyy [Redcliff/Medicine Hat], but was still embattled around fortified Tretyakovsk [Calgary]. Though the Americans were able to launch aero attacks on cities such as Baranovsk and Shevembsk [Vancouver and Kelowna] from bases in Drakesland, ironically the limitations of the Rexoc network meant they were unable to bring up aerocraft to attack the more crucial inland front line.

In a dark echo of the political Passeridic management and interference that had become notorious during the Great American War, the Fouracre ministry dismissed Taft in favour of the victorious Welch, who was regarded as a ‘war-winner’ with ‘fire in his belly’ by his partisans at court. However, as said partisans would insist for years afterwards, Welch could not make bricks without straw. Though he did manage to subdue Tretyavosk (which had been weakened by repeated but costly infantry attacks from Taft’s trenches and the ravages of winter) he then was unable to progress further. Partly this was due to said winter grinding both armies to a halt, but there were also other factors that continued to affect the situation even when the climate began to improve. In particular, Welch loudly and publicly demanded protguns; though the Russians lacked many armarts, the small number they possessed were disproportionately effective on this battlefield. Welch was later rightly criticised for not asking for counter-protgun weapons such as the Firefirst or springbomb launcher, which could have been transported more effectively on the Rexoc network, but this was an area that had been relatively neglected by American military research in the First Interbellum. Regardless, the majority of criticism directed at Welch and his supporters was not so accurately grounded, viewing him simply as a figure who had won before and now was not winning, so it must be his fault. American newspapers became particularly vitriolic in this period, not facing the degree of censorship and requirement to be ‘patriotic’ that the more existential threat of the Pandoric War had led to from the government.

Welch successfully taking Tretyakovsk in February 1923 (breaking a bitter winter siege) likely played a role in Tsar Paul’s quixotic decision to declare himself supreme commander of the armed forces soon afterwards, though Russian reversals elsewhere also contributed. By June 1923, Welch had made two unsuccessful attempts at taking the city of Naletsk [Edmonton], founded as a fur trading post and still with a strong economy based on that. He who lives by the sword dies by the sword; Welch found himself dismissed in turn, replaced with General Sir Rodney Dawson, known as ‘Iron Rod’.

The argument between Welch and Dawson supporters would divide military theorists for decades, and shows no sign of cooling any time soon. To Welch’s partisans, Dawson simply cruised to victory off the patient logistical developments Welch had presided over, while to Dawson’s supporters, the charismatic knight of the realm from Comanche, Washington Province, Ohio[4] had swept aside Welch’s dithering in favour of inspiring new leadership and a can-do attitude. There is certainly an argument to be made that, while Welch was able at inviegling himself at court through intermediaries, Dawson was good at appealing to the press and the wider public. Dawson was able to publicise a set of minor but flashy set-piece victories, which many analysts argue did wonders for America’s troubled recruitment strategy. Volunteering had stalled after an initial surge, as reports of the miserable trench fighting leaked out, but now young men were signing up again all across the Empire. Contrary to popular imagery, they did not spread the plague as they travelled to the front line, as it did not even arrive in California until October 1923.[5]

On the other hand, Welch’s men argue that Dawson was only successful because Eriksson and company were able to work out the kinks in their protgun and aerocraft logistics – in part due to pressure and support from Welch himself – by this point. The summer-autumn offensive of 1923 finally broke the back of the Russian forces in Russian America, as it was then known. The balance was tipped and Shevembsk and Baranovsk finally fell, the latter in particular hammered by coastal bombardment to support the Army. While Welch might fancy himself a player at court, it would be Admiral Chamberlain Miller whose name successfully founded a political dynasty (thanks to his opportunistic nephew, Jerome ‘Jerry’ Miller). Having successfully foiled a Russian strike marine attack on his fleet in base in August 1922, Miller led the Imperial Pacific Fleet against the Russians in a series of clashes that helped the papers fill up with victories when the Army was disappointing them. Many argue that Miller’s defeat of the Russian Admirals Yelizarov and Kolomenkin was the most crucial factor to Dawson’s victories, as it finally began to sap the otherwise successful Russian army of supplies.

Following the decisive naval Battle of Cape Denham in April 1923,[6] Miller had effectively reduced the Russian fleet in the area to scattered raiders and ironsharks. Reinforcements were not likely any time soon, as the Russians were reluctant to shift forces from Gavaji lest they lose it once again (the Mauré, now French allies, would go on to make a brief raid on the isles in July). Though Yapontsi workers were welding new lineships as fast as those with the whip hand could make them, for now, America ruled the waves. This also meant that Prince Yelgalychev’s armies were living on borrowed time.

The last of New Siberia was lost in September 1923, but by that point it was already a footnote. The losses of Baranovsk and Shevembsk meant most of the population centres of ‘Russian America’ were now in American hands. In contrast to the lengthy and bitter fighting on Noochaland in the Pandoric War, the Americans largely ignored the island until October, at which point a swift bombardment supported by strike marines resulted in the rapid surrender of the starving Russian forces controlling the northern half. The biggest Russian victory in North America of the Pandoric War had thus been undone overnight.

This success was, not entirely accurately, attributed by Miller to the first combat use of a hiveship, HIMS Cygnia. Originally planned as one of the Confederation-class super-lionhearts, a project scaled down by budget cuts after the Panic of 1917, Cygnia had instead been converted into an experimental flat-topped ship that functioned as a mobile aeroport for dromes. Though this was not the first time aerocraft of any kind had been operated at sea – specialised ships as bases for observation and occasionally attack steerables had been used in the Pandoric War – the effectiveness of Cygnia’s dromes againts the Russians led to a rapid upsurge of interest. Though the powers of the Old World remained sceptical for a while, the Societists in South America had also been working on hiveships in parallel, and their spies began taking notes...

While Dawson and Miller reaped praise from the public and politicians, cooler heads wondered how long the Russians could fight on. Yengalychev had now been pushed back to Frederikyurisk, isolated and stripped of support, yet – inevitably – the Tsar insisted he fight on via Lectel messages.[7] Yengalychev knew what had happened to Privalov in Pendzhab, and was less than inclined to have his men die just for the sake of the emperor’s pride. Despite his aristocratic background, he also owed more loyalty to the RLPC than to Petrograd. In the short term, Yengalychev continued to fight a lukewarm, defensive war while sending out feelers to Dawson and looking for an excuse, as Privalov had, to surrender. He got one in December, when the first reports of the plague spreading from California into Drakesland (and the occupied parts of New Muscovy) began leaking out. Publicly declaring he would not see civilians die for having resources devoted to a now-hopeless war instead of their own medical care, he surrendered his forces in January 1924. Yengalychev’s words would appear, in a highly edited form, repeated in Societist propaganda aimed at Russians for decades later. This doubtless helped continue his reputation as a foul traitor, which Paul was keen to emphasise in the short term; unlike the case with Privalov and the Pendzhab, Paul was more successful at getting the public on his side, at least the public west of the Urals.

As 1924 dawned, then, it seemed as though America had triumphed. The war had been longer and more bloody than the planners under Faulkner and his successors had hoped, but Fouracre could boast that Russian America was now occupied, the last colonial power had been ejected from North America, and Americans now lived in the security that Faulkner had dreamed of. America would fight on, of course, to gain advantage at any peace treaty and to ensure distant Cygnia was defended, but the key victory had been won. Of course, it soon became apparent that Yengalychev’s ‘excuse’ was a very real threat, and much of the ENA’s attention would be directed inwards as the plague spread across her cities, a threat that no amount of military planning could defend against. But the plague would not be the last threat America would face during the Black Twenties, and Fouracre’s moment of triumph would prove short-lived...




[1] See Part #279.

[2] The foundations of graph theory or network theory were made only shortly after the POD of this timeline, with Leonhard Euler’s analysis of the ‘Seven Bridges of Königsberg’ problem in 1736.

[3] Although described as military trains here, there was some limited civilian traffic on the Rexoc trains as well. In Part #277, when Yevgenia Powell talks about the railway gauge changing between New Muscovy and the ENA, she is referring to this.

[4] OTL Paducah, KY.

[5] As addressed in Part #281.

[6] OTL Cape Scott, Vancouver Island.

[7] OTL Prince George, BC. Note that in OTL the town was founded as a fur-trading fort by the Hudson’s Bay Company under the name Fort Frederick George (named after King Henry IX’s older brother) but was later abandoned and fell into the hands of RLPC. The Russians translated the name into Frederik Yuri rather than applying a new one.
 

Thande

Donor
Happy Easter to all my readers; I'm still not quite caught back up again with my buffer, but at least we in the UK get both Good Friday and Easter Monday off work for a four-day weekend, so I have some time to rebuild it!
 
So all of Russian America in TTL and not just the lost American-settled PNW is in the ENA’s hands, eh? Well, that’s a bright spot for the patriotism of TTL me. :p

I cannot see why it would be lost to America by this point or in the future since in terms of isolation it is still more easily accessible by the ENA than Russia. But I incorrectly guessed Carolina would be part of the ENA by the present, yet had an interesting softening of that blow via the American Emperor was also King of Carolina in personal union. And of course, Superia seems to have been spun off again by the 1990s if nothing else. But holding the Mississippi watershed, Great Lakes, and St. Lawrence seaway ensures the ENA can and will dominate the continent as it pleases alongside other sweet spots like most of the eastern seaboard with the bays and harbors (Chesapeake, Delaware, New York) that are really useful and the PNW. I’m curious to see what happens map-wise in the future, even the extent of the confirmed Carolinian and Superian nations.
 
Well, I always root for Russia to get beaten up in this TL. For reasons that escape me, they're very much my least favorite 'character'. (Very much a love to hate thing going on) Regardless, an excellent installment as ever.
 
Y'know, one interesting thing about the Russians here is that a lot of the trouble they're in goes all the way right back to decisions they made during the Pandoric War and the Interbellum. Specifically, they went and took a whole bunch of really advanced positions, right close to the core territories of other great powers, and it's precisely those forward positions that are the battlefields of this war. Belgium is on the opposite side of two potentially neutral or hostile powers from Russia, and while Russian North America is much more accessible, Tretyakovsk/OTL Calgary and Naletsk/OTL Edmonton are both on the opposite side of a stonking huge mountain range from Alyeska and are relatively inaccessible by land from the west except through a series of mountain passes. Honestly the ENA scored a real own-goal with the Rexoc system, if it weren't for that picking off the separate parts of Russian America should've been easy considering the logistical difficulties they'd have supporting each other.

The other interesting thing about the Russians here is, so far it seems to me like most of the reversals they're facing aren't exactly threats to the integrity of the Russian state? Yeah, they're losing in Belgium and New Siberia and Persia, but the only actual danger to Tsar Paul's government - and not his reputation - would be the loss of Czechosilesia, right? We know the RLPC is about to break off and declare independence, but other than that, iirc nobody is about to march into Russia Proper(tm) any time soon.
 
Top