Man-Made Hell: The History of the Great War and Beyond

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Title and Table of Contents


Phase One and Two have now been published as Man-Made Hell: The Modern Tragedy by Sealion Press

~~Phase One~~

Chapter One: All Because of Two Bullets

Chapter Two: Peace For Our Time?

Chapter Three: The Sleeping Giants

Chapter Four: Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité

~~Phase Two~~

Chapter Five: What Madness is This?

Chapter Six: Our Mighty Republics

Chapter Seven: The Setting Sun

Chapter Eight: The Tendrils of War

Chapter Nine: The Eagle and the Dragon

Chapter Ten: The Permanent Revolution

Chapter Eleven: Defend or Die - Part One

Chapter Twelve: Defend of Die - Part Two

~~Phase Three~~

Chapter Thirteen: A Bold New World

Chapter Fourteen: Growing Storm Clouds

Chapter Fifteen: Those Who Escaped

Chapter Sixteen: A Twist of Fate


Interlude One: The Silent Continent

Interlude Two: Glimpse Into the Future One

Interlude Three: Christmas 1942

Interlude Four: The Cabinet of Hiram Johnson

Interlude Five: “Free Our Comrades!”

Interlude Six: Countryball Map of Europe Circa December 1924

Interlude Seven: "He's Liberating Our Isle"

Interlude Eight: Third International Poster

Interlude Nine: Central Powers Poster and the Flags of India and Indochina

Interlude Ten: Map of India Circa August 1927

Interlude Eleven: Europe Circa November 1929

Interlude Twelve: Scrapped Content
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Hey everyone! This is a new timeline I've been thinking of creating ever since I started Dreams of Liberty back in November. What is this timeline about? The big gimmick of this timeline is that World War I goes on for three decades. A bit of a crazy idea, but hopefully I found a way to make it work. Anyway, I hope you enjoy Manmade Hell as much as I enjoy writing it and any feedback or questions would be very appreciated. :)
Chapter One: All Because of Two Bullets
Chapter I: All Because of Two Bullets

“Millions died, generations were lost, empires collapsed, and several kilometers of land, once entire urban centers, were reduced to lifeless wastelands, perhaps condemned to never recover. And all for what? All because of two bullets.”

-US President Earl Long in a state of the union address, circa 1950


The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne.

The Great War was the largest waste of life the human race has ever enacted upon itself, with the death toll exceeding ninety million. No other conflict on Earth, including the recent civil wars in Europe, have come even close to wasting as many lives as the three-decade timespan when the great powers of Europe went for each other’s throats with any weapon they could put together. Children whose fathers had died in Great War would die in the exact same conflict and all the bloodshed carved a new era in human history, the Cold War.

For such a hideous waste of life the Great War had relatively pathetic origins. On the day June 28th, 1914 the heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and his wife, Sophie, were on a tour of the city Sarajevo, which was within territory annexed by Austria-Hungary a few years earlier and, just like much of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, suffered from ethnic unrest. This was what ultimately killed the Archduke and his wife, the Duchess of Hohenburg, and set Europe on fire.

There had actually been several attempts to take the Archduke’s life that grim and fateful day, all of which were planned by the Pan-South Slavic Black Hand, however, only one was successful, the gunshots of Gavrilo Princip. The Archduke’s car took one wrong turn and, as fate would have it, had stopped right next to the food shop Princip had retreated to following the failed assassination attempts. Gavrilo Princip did not hesitate to stand up and pierce Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie with two bullets from his pistol. The Archduke’s last words were, “Sophie! Sophie! Don’t die! Live for our children!” Of course, neither Franz Ferdinand or his wife would live, for their deaths would trigger the largest war mankind has ever entrenched itself within.


New York Times headline announcing the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Sophie, Duchess of Hohenburg.

Can You Hear the Drums of War?

“Let us hope nothing does happen.”

-Austro-Hungarian Finance Minister Bilinski commenting on the assassination of the Archduke and his wife, circa 1914

Following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the Duchess of Hohenburg the Great War was just around the corner. The shock of the assassination quickly spread to all the royal families of Europe even if their people were mostly indifferent to those infamous bullets fired in Sarajevo. Within two days of the Archduke’s murder Austria-Hungary and the German Empire advised the Serbian government to open an investigation into the assassination, however, the crisis in Bosnia did not concern Serbia. Following the conduction of an investigation and the assurance of German support if war must be resorted to, the Austro-Hungarian government issued a formal letter to their counterparts in Belgrade, reminding Serbia of its duty to respect the Great Powers’ decision regarding Bosnia, as well as its duty to maintain good relations with the Austro-Hungarians for the sake of peace in the Balkans.

Said letter, now referred to as the July Ultimatum, also outlined ten demands the Serbian government must fulfill within 48 hours or else the Austro-Hungarian ambassador to Serbia would be recalled, surely a step towards war. These demands were:

1) The suppression of anti-Austro-Hungarian publications.

2) The dissolution of nationalist organizations in Serbia.

3) The elimination of all anti-Austro-Hungarian propaganda in schoolbooks and public documents.

4) The removal of any officers or functionaries named by the Austro-Hungarian government from the Serbian military.

5) The acceptance of Austro-Hungarian representatives in the Serbian government.

6) The trial of all involved in the Archduke’s assassination and the involvement of Austro-Hungarian law enforcement officials in the investigations.

7) The arrest of Vojislav Tankosic and Milan Ciganovic, both of whom were deemed participants in the assassination plot.

8) The end of the involvement of Serbian authorities in weapon trafficking to Austria-Hungary.

9) The distribution of explanations to the Austro-Hungarian government of Serbian officials had expressed hostility towards the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

10) The immediate notification of the Austro-Hungarian government of the execution any of the nine aforementioned demands.

Regardless of what was at stake the Kingdom of Serbia could not accept the demands outlined in the July Ultimatum. Many of the demands were in fact accepted by the Serbian government, however, other demands would simply give up too much of Serbia’s sovereignty to the Austro-Hungarians. Once the Russian Empire had assured the Serbian government of its support via telegram, the Serbians mobilized their military and sent a reply to the Austro-Hungarians. The response of Austria-Hungary? No less than the end of Austro-Serbian diplomatic relations, as outlined by the July Ultimatum. Following a skirmish between Serbian and Austro-Hungarian soldiers along the Danube River the Austro-Hungarian Empire mobilized and declared war on the Kingdom of Serbia on July 28th, 1914, one month after the assassination of the Archduke in Sarajevo.

The Great War had begun.

And all the trauma to come was because one man drove down the wrong road at the wrong time.

The Titans Enter the Arena

“Then I must mobilize too.”

-Kaiser Wilhelm II in response to the mobilization of the Russian Empire, circa 1914

Within the next few days Europe left behind the peace (an uneasy peace, however, peace no less) that had existed between the Great Powers ever since Napoleon Bonaparte’s defeat at Waterloo almost a century earlier and hopped right into the inferno of the Great War itself. Europe was to be stuck in this inferno for over thirty long years and the course of mankind was permanently altered, and yet no one saw that Hell was coming to Earth.

All that could be seen were false promises.

Austria-Hungary aside, the first of the Great Powers to enter the War was the Russian Empire, the autocratic and backwater and yet rapidly industrializing and growing power of the east. Tsar Nicholas II, who had guaranteed Russian support of Serbia when the July Ultimatum was sent just days earlier, had a promise to keep and on July 30th informed his cousin Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany that he had ordered a partial mobilization against the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Wilhelm wrote back that if Russia was to mobilize “then I must mobilize too” and the German ambassador to St Petersburg would later inform the Tsar that Germany would mobilize if the Russian Empire did not cease all military preparations. But this did not deter the Tsar, for the French had promised to maintain their alliance with Russia in the case of war. Therefore Tsar Nicholas II took the fateful step of reluctantly ordering a general mobilization against Austria-Hungary on July 31st, 1914.


Tsar Nicholas II of the Russian Empire.

Now it was the German Empire’s turn to enter the bloodbath.

A day prior the Germans and Turks had signed an alliance in the shadows in preparation of the looming possibility of war with Russia. Upon hearing of his cousin’s order for general mobilization against Austria-Hungary Kaiser Wilhelm II did the same for the Reich. The German Army also made preparations to invade Belgium and Luxembourg in accordance to the Schlieffen Plan, a strategy conceived by Alfred von Schlieffen about a decade prior where the Germans would invade through Belgium to reach Paris and force the quick capitulation of France in the case of war against both the French and Russians, now a seemingly inevitable future. Following Kaiser Wilhelm’s ordered mobilization Germany declared war on the Russian Empire on August 1st, 1914 and on the same day declared war on the tiny Luxembourg.

The mighty German eagle had awoken yet again, for the Kaiserreich had entered the Great War.

France was the next to join the Great War on August 3rd after the German Empire declared war on the French, however, this was not before Kaiser Wilhelm II demanded that Belgium give Germany military access a day prior via ultimatum. Belgium refused, and a day after declaring war on the French Third Republic Germany went to war with Belgium in order to utilize the Schlieffen Plan. This completely violated Belgian neutrality, which betrayed an agreement signed by Germany, France, and, most importantly, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

As the Kaiserreich’s men brought the Weltkrieg to Belgium the British lion watched with pure rage from its throne across the English Channel. Therefore it was no surprise when Great Britain declared war on the Reich just mere hours after the news of the invasion of Belgium had reached London. The Germans tried to prevent the United Kingdom, the global superpower of the 19th Century, from entering the Great War, however, it was just impossible to tame the great British lion.

It would take Mosely to do that.

"To think that George and Nicky should have played me false! If my grandmother had been alive, she would never have allowed it."

-Kaiser Wilhelm II, circa 1914

Just an Adventure

“The guns win in the end and they always will. Not us, not the Germans-the guns.”

-Excerpt from Simon Tolkien’s War in the Morning, published circa 2016


British propaganda poster from Phase I of the Great War.

Within little more than a week not only had the Great War had begun but all of the Great Powers of the European continent excluding the Kingdom of Italy and the Ottoman Empire had joined the war on their respective sides. Within the Triple Entente was Great Britain, France, and Russia and within the so-called Central Powers (originally the alliance had been called the Triple Alliance, however, Italy was the third member and had not yet joined the Great War so the name didn’t really work anymore) was the German Empire and Austria-Hungary.

In those early days of the Great War no one foresaw the conflict spanning three decades, instead a short war akin to the Franco-Prussian War fought over forty years earlier was anticipated. The British were counting on it and were confident that the war would be over by Christmas 1914. Obviously this was not to be, however, the people of the British Empire bought this false pretense and hordes of men signed up to fight over in the western fields of France and Belgium against the Kaiserreich, anticipating an exciting adventure that deviated from the mundane industrialized lifestyle of the 20th Century and nothing more.

Little did these men realize that many of their children would be fighting in the exact same war they thought would end in time for Christmas.


British soldiers walking off to the frontlines of Phase I of the Great War.

In Serbia, where the Great War had first started, the tiny Kingdom of Serbia was doing unexpectedly well against the Austro-Hungarian onslaught. The Serbians did in fact suffer heavy casualties, however, so did their Austro-Hungarian counterparts and following the fall of Belgrade on December 2nd, 1914 Serbian Marshal Radomir Putnik noticed how dangerously overstretched the Austrians truly were. Putnik would order a counteroffensive against the Austrians, who were overwhelmed and retreated back into Austria-Hungary. Belgrade was liberated on December 15th and, for now at least, the people of Serbia could sleep easy knowing that they had beaten the mighty Austro-Hungarian Empire.

On the western front things were less than cheerful for the Entente, to say the least. The claws of the German eagle crushed poor Belgium like an insect and the German Army captured Brussels on August 20th, 1914, less than a month after Germany had declared war on the Belgians. The French initially attempted an invasion of Alsace-Lorraine, which they had ceded to the Reich decades earlier following the Franco-Prussian War, and were at first successful, however, German reserves made sure that France’s victory would not last and following the Battle of Mulhouse on August 7th the French were retreating to the west.

The Germans brutally swept across Belgium by executing civilians and razing villages in what became known as the “Rape of Belgium.” After wiping Belgium off the map Germany was poised to invade northern France, hopefully bringing an end to the Great War, at least on the western front. Battle after battle the Kaiserreich emerged triumphant over the French General Joseph Joffre and his British counterpart John French and the Germans were eventually just 70 kilometers away from Paris, the capital of France itself.

And then all hope for a victory was swiftly and brutally crushed.

From the 6th to the 12th of September 1914 the British, French, and Germans faced off at the Marne River where the Entente managed to exploit a gap in the German forces. The German winning streak was finished and the German Army retreated north where they dug into the ground and the decades-long stalemate that the Great War is so infamous for began.


German soldiers in a trench during Phase I of the Great War.

In the east a different situation was playing out. Advances were not slowing down as men dug into the dirt. At first it was the Russians who were winning, initial progress struck into East Prussia and the Austro-Hungarian Empire failed to defend Galicia. However, the Kaiserreich saw the failure on the Eastern Front and in 1915 German attention was shifted away from France to Russia.

In order to better command the Eastern Front the Austro-Hungarian and German armies began to operate as though they were a single unified entity against Russia and following the Second Battle of the Masurian Lakes in the February of 1915 the Central Powers’ offensive against the Russian Empire became a general advance and the tides completely turned. The Russians were no match in the fight against the mighty German and Austro-Hungarian Empires, for the Russians were lacking in equipment and competent commanders. Therefore, it was no surprise when Germany had completely expelled Russia out of Congress Poland in mid-1915. All fears of a Russian invasion in Germany had dissipated in the crowds of Berlin, instead it was the people of Saint Petersburg who slept uneasy at night, dreading the arrival of the German eagle.

To make matters worse the Ottoman Empire, whose rivalry with Russia (and for that matter, Europe) spanned centuries, joined the Great War on behalf of the Central Powers on October 29th, 1914 following an attack on the Russian naval presence in the Black Sea by the Ottoman naval commander Cemal Pasha (doing so without the permission of the Turkish high command) as well as a growth in relations between the Ottomans and Germans in the days leading up to and months after the beginning of the Great War. Turkey was no threat to the Tsar, if anything it was the exact opposite, however, there was a new enemy force in the Black Sea and British colonial Egypt found itself next to a hostile foreign power, and a large one at that.

Of course, the entrance of the Ottoman Empire into the Great War on behalf of the Central Powers also meant that an invasion of the Sick Man of Europe by the Entente was required. Starting in the February of 1915 the British conducted an offensive with the goal of capturing Constantinople, however, the Gallipoli Campaign proved to be a gruesome failure for the British Empire. Casualties were horrifically large on both sides, and were especially traumatizing for the British dominions of Australia and New Zealand. The Gallipoli Campaign came to an end about a year later in the January of 1916 following increasing complications (such as Bulgaria joining the Central Powers on October 14th, 1915) and an Allied evacuation.

In the Great War not even a war against the Sick Man of Europe would be swift.

The Sleeping Giants

“There is such thing as a man being too proud to fight. There is such a thing as a nation that is so right that it does not need to convince others by force that it is right.”

-US President Woodrow Wilson commenting on the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, circa 1915

In the early years of the Great War two Great Powers were notably absent - Italy and the United States, the latter of which would never join the War. Italy, on the other hand, would join the Great War around the beginning of Phase II only for the Japanese to leave the conflict in its place after years of combat in the Pacific Ocean. US neutrality earned America the nickname “Sleeping Giant” amongst the belligerents across the Atlantic Ocean, a nickname used by the Europeans throughout the Great War.

The Empire of Japan joined the Great War on August 23rd, 1914 on behalf of her British allies in accordance to the Anglo-Japanese Alliance after an ultimatum sent to Germany went unanswered. The Empire of the Rising Sun quickly became a valuable member of the Entente due to its proximity to German Pacific colonies such as Tsingtao, a German port in China and the largest overseas naval base the Kaiserreich possessed. In fact, Tsingtao itself was surrounded by the Japanese as early as September 2nd, 1914, although the port itself would not capitulate to Japan until November after a week-long siege as well months of blockading the Germans.

The Imperial Japanese Navy would also invade German colonies in the southern Pacific as early as October 1914, virtually independent of the civil government throughout the entire fiasco. The IJN barely experienced any resistance whilst seizing the Kaiser’s Pacific territories and in the war against German possessions in China Japan became the first nation on Earth to ever conduct a naval-based air raid against the German Navy, a great feat for the Japanese and a taste of the great power an innovation of the Co-Prosperity Sphere in the decades to come.

As the War in Asia progressed Japan pressured its neighbor China, under the leadership of the warlord Yuan Shikai, to recognize the integration of German colonies into the Empire of Japan, colonies scattered all across China. Initially the demands drafted up by the Japanese prime minister and foreign minister were brutally harsh and if accepted could have potentially reduced China to a Japanese puppet state. However, as Japan’s European allies learned of the extreme contents of the proposed ultimatum the Japanese government revised the document to not be a brutal swat at Chinese sovereignty. Instead, in the February of 1915 the Japanese negotiated the cession of German colonies in China to Japan and, for the time being, left it at that. This wasn’t the end of Japanese expansion into China and within 1915 alone Tokyo would increase its authority in Manchuria, however, it was the beginning of slow and peaceful expansion into China that pleased the Europeans and kept Yuan Shikai from lashing out.

The Empire of the Rising Sun was becoming all the more merciful to those who basked in its rays of red.

As for the United States, the Sleeping Giant itself, entrance into the Great War was never really an option on President Woodrow Wilson’s table. Sure, there was Anglophile sentiment amongst much of the American populous due to the origins of the US as a former British colony and the American public was horrified by the Rape of Belgium, however, the general public opinion was support for neutrality, especially amongst minorities such as German-Americans, Irish-Americans, and Scandinavian-Americans. And President Wilson himself had no intent to declare war on Germany either, instead being keen on keeping the US as far away from the mess in Europe as possible.

Even so, there was one event in Phase I that nearly pushed the US out of its corner of neutrality, the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, on May 7th, 1915. The Lusitania was not a war vessel, but was rather a passenger ship heading from New York City to Liverpool (although the Lusitania was also delivering ammunition on her final voyage), with American citizens on board. However, that did not mean that it was safe from the German war machine. Germany, in an attempt to have an advantage in the Atlantic Ocean, declared the waters surrounding the British Isles a war zone subject to unrestricted submarine warfare where any Allied ship would have to be wary of the dangerous U-boats. And this included the Royal Mail Ship Lusitania.


The sinking of the RMS Lusitania.

The Lusitania set sail in the early days of the Great War, in a time when tactics to evade the U-boats had not yet been properly implemented, thus making the RMS Lusitania an easy target. The majority of the Lusitania’s 1,959 were condemned to Davy Jones’ Locker, an act that outraged the American public. And yet, despite British insistence that the US declare war on the Kaiserreich President Woodrow Wilson chose not to overreact and instead continued to maintain American neutrality. Wilson was still made sure, however, that the Germans would back down from killing more innocent Americans and on September 9th, 1915 Kaiser Wilhelm II ordered that all passenger ships would be left alone to make sure that the Sleeping Giant would not be awoken yet again.

Back in Europe the Kingdom of Italy was in an awkward situation. Italy had in fact been a member of the Central Powers since the declaration of the Triple Alliance in 1882, however, the Italians had always been the odd man out next to the sister nations of Germany and Austria-Hungary. Simply put, Italy had aligned with Berlin and Vienna because it feared the Entente and in a world where it seemed as though France could potentially lose the Great War, or at the very least, by occupied for the foreseeable future, what was the point of sending young Italian men to an early grave?

Worse yet for the Central Powers, Italy strongly desired territory within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, territory that Austria-Hungary stubbornly held onto and the growing Italian Empire enviously eyed land in Anatolia, land under the control of Germany’s ally, the Ottoman Empire. And yet despite all this, the Kingdom of Italy stayed away from the trenches possibly because of one man. This man? None other than Italian Prime Minister Giovanni Giolitti, a staunch neutralist in the face of calls to betray the Triple Alliance, some calls that were echoed within Giolitti’s very own cabinet.


Prime Minister Giovanni Giolitti of the Kingdom of Italy.

Through stalling and outright avoidance of interventionists Prime Minister Giolitti managed to avert any entrance into the Great War, a war that Giolitti argued Italy was not yet ready for. However, there was only so much that stalling alone could do to avoid combat and the popularity of Giolitti was gradually declining while the voices of the right-wing in the Liberal Union Party, voices of intervention, grew. However, Prime Minister Giolitti did find a way to satisfy the interventionists by coming to the negotiation table with Austria-Hungary over disputed land between the empires.

Similar agreements between Italy and Austria-Hungary that had been made in the past were typically not honored by the Austro-Hungarians so to trust Emperor Franz Joseph would be naive on the Italians’ part, however, what was different at the Treaty of Vienna was that the Germans oversaw negotiations as well. The entry of Italy into the Great War on behalf of the Entente could have had disastrous consequences for the Central Powers’ war effort and thus the Kaiserreich was keen on keeping Italy out, regardless of whether or not the Austrians would have to make some concessions. According to the Treaty of Vienna, which was signed on June 17th, 1915, Austria-Hungary would have to cede the area around Trieste and recognize Italian ambitions in Albania by 1920, and the German Empire agreed to make sure Vienna actually went through with the cessions to Italy in five years. There was much heated debate over the fate of South Tyrol, an Austro-Hungarian territory extremely desired by Italy, however, no agreement could be reached so it was decided that in 1920 a final solution was to be found in a second round of negotiations.

While Giovanni Giolitti had averted entrance into the Great War for the foreseeable future he could not avoid his declining popularity within his own administration and was pressured to resign on January 8th, 1916. In his place was another member of the former Giolitti administration and, thankfully a neutralist, Vittorio Emanuele Orlando.


Prime Minister Vittorio Emanuele Orlando of the Kingdom of Italy.

Death is Closer in Reach

“Gas shock was as frequent as shell shock.”

-Excerpt from H Allen’s Towards the Flame, published circa 1934

On the Western Front the combatants of the Great War made one step closer to Hell when the Germans released chemical gases, weapons which were prohibited to be utilized in warfare in accordance to the Hague Conventions, upon the Entente forces during the Second Battle of the Ypres in the April of 1915. As a yellow-green cloud pushed the British, French, and Belgians back in a mass panic the Germans were unprepared for such a success that they were unprepared to even seize the opportunity right in front of them. However, the Battle had proven the capability of chemical weapons and both the Central Powers and Entente disregarded the Hague Conventions by building up their stockpile of chemical arms.


A British soldier equipped with a gas mask.

Not even the sky was safe from the combat of the Great War. Aircraft were a new invention in 1915 and had basically been exclusive for scouting missions, however, in April 1915 the French pilot Roland Garros found a way to create a machine gun within his airplane that could shoot between the propellers thanks to the reinforcement of the blades to deflect bullets. Garros’ invention worked excellently, however, just a few weeks after his breakthrough Roland Garros crashed behind enemy frontlines and his technology fell into the hands of the Kaiserreich. Anthony Fokker, an engineer working on behalf of the Germans, actually improved upon Garros’ original design and the Fokker E.I was eventually shipped out to the frontlines.

In France the Fokkers dominated the skies. Any Allied aircraft was driven from the battlefield during the Entente’s 1915 spring offensive, although the German strategy of staying on the defensive diminished the air superiority of the Reich. Still, the Entente was not winning the Great War. Throughout Summer 1915 the Western Front was stagnant and General John French’s attempted offensive in the fall was a failure, resulting with his replacement with General Douglas Haig as commander of British forces in western Europe.

As 1915 passed into 1916 the situation in France hadn’t changed much. The German Empire seemed to be so very close to victory, however, trench warfare and flawed strategies prevented the Kaiserreich from marching soldiers through Paris. Worse yet for the German war effort, the French were starting to produce their own superior air fighters and the Western Front became a battle between France and Germany for air superiority. Even so, the French weren’t doing well themselves, the Battle of the Somme was a total bloodbath as was the Battle of Verdun, which was just barely a French victory. And in retaliation to Verdun and the Somme (the latter of which was an indecisive battle) the Germans introduced new commanders to the Western Front, such as Paul von Hindenburg, who created a fortification, thus making the situation seemingly even more hopeless of the French.


French soldiers at the Battle of Verdun.

The Eastern Front was even more hopeless for the Entente. Serbia was overrun by the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1915 and even with the entrance of Greece into the war on the side of the Entente there was no stopping the sheer might of the Central Powers. With the Balkans in the iron grip of Vienna and Berlin attention shifted to taming the Russian Bear, which by this point was little more than a paper tiger in the eyes of the Central Powers.

All attempts by the Russians to invade the Austro-Hungarian Empire failed miserably, especially after the victory in the Balkans allowed thousands of soldiers and resources to be relocated to the frontlines against Russia. And forget about an invasion of the German Empire, that was simply off the table, for the Germans had taken Poland with ease, halting a Russian offensive would be even easier. Russia was losing the war, and the people were suffering. The people were suffering because of a war that they did not want, but rather a war that their Tsar had wanted. In the streets of Saint Petersburg discontent with Tsar Nicholas II amongst the Russian people grew and they turned to new radical ideas, never before seen in Russia.

The Russian Revolution had arrived.

1916-Manmade Hell.png

Map of the World circa December 1916.

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And here you go, the first chapter. There isn't a whole lot of alternate history in it and instead just skimmed over everything that went the same as OTL, but that should change in the next chapter.


Fact that I've enjoyed reading so much stuff that I've read many times before (because the first part was unavoidably so OTL) demonstrates your skill as an accessible writer, so I'm very much looking forward to the AH starting.

Fact that I've enjoyed reading so much stuff that I've read many times before (because the first part was unavoidably so OTL) demonstrates your skill as an accessible writer, so I'm very much looking forward to the AH starting.

Thank you! :D

I'm so happy to hear that you enjoy my writing, hopefully things will get more interesting once I reach the parts that are actually alternate history.
So what is the POD going to be exactly?
I actually have several PODs in mind but here's the current list of the ones thus far.

  • Giovanni Giolitti never resigns from his position as prime minister of Italy in 1914. This consequentially leads to Italian neutrality, at least for awhile.

  • The Great War manages to stay out of Africa, that is aside from the occasional border skirmishes. I actually forgot about this POD when writing the chapter, but I'll be sure to mention it in the next chapter.

  • Japan never sends the Twenty-One Demands to China thanks to cooler heads winning out due to European backing. Japan only controls former German bases in China and has expanded its sphere of influence in Manchuria instead.

  • Without Italy entering the Great War Germany and Austria-Hungary don't have to send any soldiers to fight the Italians. This doesn't do much from Germany, only a few more regiments and resources for their other front lines, however, Austria-Hungary is able to actually fend of the Russians, so no Brusilov Offensive.

  • Because the Brusilov Offensive never occurs Romania never joins the Great War. Now poor Greece is all alone in the Balkans fighting the Austrians and Bulgarians.
And here you go, the first chapter. There isn't a whole lot of alternate history in it and instead just skimmed over everything that went the same as OTL, but that should change in the next chapter.

Well Italy sitting out (for now) the big massacre it's a big one, but your premise while interesting well i doubt it's possible, as the various nation can't sustain that kind of conflict for so much time...unless what ITTL it's called as WWI it's like the war of 30 years aka a series of conflict brought together; after all if we consider part of WWI even the east european conflict of the 20's that have their origins in the previous war, she ended in 1923
Well Italy sitting out (for now) the big massacre it's a big one, but your premise while interesting well i doubt it's possible, as the various nation can't sustain that kind of conflict for so much time...unless what ITTL it's called as WWI it's like the war of 30 years aka a series of conflict brought together; after all if we consider part of WWI even the east european conflict of the 20's that have their origins in the previous war, she ended in 1923
Yes, by the 1940s the belligerents will look very different compared to what they do in 1914.

Attention to detail for an amazing chapter opening. Like, WOW.

Thank you so much! That's great to hear! :D
This is a fascinating concept... the US sits out the war completely and playing the role of an arms dealing Switzerland happily depleting Europe of its gold reserves?
This is a fascinating concept... the US sits out the war completely and playing the role of an arms dealing Switzerland happily depleting Europe of its gold reserves?
For now yes, the US is basically doing what it did prior to 1917 in OTL, however, things are going to change in a few years.
The entente without Italy to draw off AH troops and without Romania to draw off Bulgarian and AH troops, wow that is going to hurt them. Bulgaria gets to go full force at Greece which is going to need British and French reinforcements to keep fighting which in turn draws forces away from the Ottomans.

Russia facing more AH troops means more losses and what sounds like a failed offensive which is going to devastate morale. Actually if AH and Germany are pushing the Russians back would Romania try to join the CP in for gaining Bessarabia?

Now if Russia negotiates either before or after the revolution they may end up better as BL was not the initial negotiation point for the Germans.

Hmmm I wonder if we get something that resolves some of the issues but not all and sets up future flashpoints such as the Italy-AH negotiation set for 1920.
Hmmm I wonder if we get something that resolves some of the issues but not all and sets up future flashpoints such as the Italy-AH negotiation set for 1920.

Taking in consideration that everyone in Rome know that A-H word and assurance regarding any territorial cession was basically worthless, it will be very interesting...Wien refusal to uphold the agreement can start a conflict and frankly i doubt that A-H will be in a good shape by 1920. On the plus side, Italy had more time to modernize the army and to pacify Libya, maybe even some inroad in Ethiopia if the civil war there start in 1916 as OTL