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

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Chapter Ten: The Permanent Revolution
Chapter X: The Permanent Revolution

“I must admit that, as terrible as this war waged by the reactionaries is, it has provided our comrades with an invaluable opportunity to emancipate the proletariat. Soon we will paint all of Europe in a vibrant coat of crimson.”

-Premier Leon Trotsky of the Russian Soviet Republic in a letter to General Joseph Stalin, circa March 1926.



A parade in Vienna, capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, following the declaration of war on the Kingdom of Serbia, circa July 1914.

By the time Archduke Franz Ferdinand was killed by two bullets from the pistol of Gavrilo Princip, the Habsburg reign from Vienna was ancient. When the powerful family first came to power, the Old World had yet to come into contact with the Americas, and their empire had survived all of European history ever since, from the brutality of the Thirty Years’ War to the rampage of Napoleon Bonaparte. By the outbreak of the Great War, however, the Habsburg monarchy was, much like its historical Ottoman rival, a dying empire. The ascendance of Prussia and the subsequent formation of the German Empire in 1871 had turned the Austrians, once the dominant power in Germany, into little more than the lapdog of Berlin. Austria had reluctantly given into a handful of necessary institutional reforms since the Treaty of Vienna, most notably the formation of the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy in 1867, however, this did not stop the decline of the domain of what was once Europe’s most powerful family.

In the end, the ethnic strife and discrimination that had been killing the Austro-Hungarian Empire for decades was what ultimately killed the world order that had existed since the defeat of Napoleon almost a century prior. On July 28th, 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia and triggered a domino effect that plunged the entire continent into the single bloodiest war in human history. The Austro-Hungarian war effort during Phase One was more or less a mixed bag. The empire was by no means crippled, but it was apparent that its glory days were well in the past. On the one hand, Austro-Hungarian soldiers successfully vanquished the Kingdom of Serbia in November 1915 and managed to repel General Aleksei Brusilov’s 1916 offensive into Galicia, which in turn briefly boosted the morale of Austria-Hungary. But on the other hand, throughout much of the conflict, Austria was reliant on military aid from its German ally, had in fact been initially defeated by the Serbians in 1914 before emerging victorious a year later, and had been forced to concede territory in order to appease the then-neutral Kingdom of Italy.

By the beginning of Phase Two, however, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was doing decently. Thanks to the defeat of Serbia and the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, Austro-Hungarian territory was no longer ground zero for any frontlines of the Great War, which essentially meant that the armed forces of the empire were to instead be deployed to the foreign frontlines of the conflict to fight on behalf of the Central Powers while a number of regiments stayed behind to pacify occupied territory. The death of Emperor Franz Joseph I on November 21st, 1916 led to the Austro-Hungarian throne being assumed by his great nephew, who took the title Emperor Karl I, at the age of twenty-nine. Thanks to the implosion of Russia and an end to hostilities on the Austro-Hungarian border, Karl started out as a relatively popular emperor. He wasn’t without his controversies, particularly due to his support for a triple monarchy with a Slavic kingdom that would take away Hungary’s access to the Adriatic Sea, but he ultimately began his reign during a time when victory for the Central Powers seemed imminent, with Austria-Hungary even entering into secret peace negotiations with the French government circa early 1917 prior to the success of the Nivelle Offensive.


Emperor Karl I of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

As the reign of Emperor Karl dragged on, so too did the Great War. Austria-Hungary no longer had to fend off foreign invasions and had instead concentrated the bulk of its military resources to frontlines elsewhere across the European continent. By the outbreak of the Phase Two, Austro-Hungarians were fighting in the trenches of France and battling the Red Army in Belarus. The war machine of Vienna kept on churning and not much on the homefront changed. In a similar case to Germany, resources from the Central Powers-aligned states propped up after the implosion of the Russian Empire and the end of the British blockade of the North Sea following the nation’s own descent into civil war prevented a domestic famine, however, rationing stayed in place and no average Austro-Hungarian was anywhere close to living a luxurious life during the Great War. To make matters worse, the cession of Austrian land to the Kingdom of Italy in 1920 in order to appease the great power, which certainly swayed much of the national public opinion against Emperor Karl I. By 1926, anti-war sentiments had grown increasingly popular, especially in Transleithania, where historical oppression of ethnic minorities within the region fueled the flames of anger towards Vienna.

Even as his people took to the streets to protest the continuous slaughter of Austro-Hungarian soldiers in foreign land, including in front of the Hofburg itself, Emperor Karl I continued to uphold his commitments to the Central Powers alliance and deploy more and more reinforcements on the European frontlines. Anti-war strikes and conscientious objection became continuously common, which in turn caused Karl to adopt an anti-union stance, going so far as to make the organizations illegal, first in Cisleithania in January 1925, then in Transleithania in December 1925. While these actions did manage to give the Austro-Hungarian state more authority to crack down on dissent, they simultaneously made the once-popular emperor increasingly infamous amongst his people. Throughout 1925 and early, acts of suppression by both imperial and local forces against dissenters often escalated into riots (the May Day of 1926 was particularly bloody). All the while, the Central Powers, which had once been seemingly guaranteed to win the Great War, were gradually being pushed back in both the east and west by the Third International. Laws censoring negative press coverage of the war effort simply could not prevent the news of socialist victories from reaching the Austro-Hungarian Empire, nor could they hide the rows of coffins flowing back from foreign frontlines.

Continuous losses continued to cripple Austro-Hungarian morale throughout 1926. Voices begging for the withdrawal of the dual monarchy from the Great War grew louder and louder, but Emperor Karl I simply continued to turn a blind eye to the suffering inflicted upon his people. Soviet occupations of northwestern Ukraine resumed attacks directly on Austro-Hungarian territory by the enemy as fighting on the once-quiet Galician frontline began to heat up over border skirmishes in April 1926, which in turn generated yet another reason for the people of Austria-Hungary to despise a war that had consumed their lives for well over a decade. Perhaps the reality of the Great War as an endless bloodbath was a more noticeable reality within the Austro-Hungarian Empire than any other belligerent of the Great War. While the allies and enemies alike of Vienna had undergone revolutions, coups, and periods of ceasefire, for the dual monarchy the Great War had simply been an endless stream of bloodshed as children who had grown up fatherless as legions of men were sent to the frontlines many years prior were now being forcefully conscripted into the war on foreign land that had killed a parent.

The Great War had killed too many Austro-Hungarians to not leave a mark. Now the time had come for the Great War to finally kill Austria-Hungary itself.

The straw that truly broke the camel’s back was not some dramatic defeat that traumatized the decaying empire into self-destruction. Instead, it was domestic politics that had incited internal tensions for many years. By 1927, Austria-Hungary had been occupying Serbia and Montenegro for almost twelve years while continuously having to maintain a military occupation. The region was highly unstable and attempts at either the installation of a puppet regime or annexation into the Austro-Hungarian had failed. In mid-June 1927, however, this changed when right-wing priest Anton Korosec of the Slovenian People’s Party managed to win over a coalition of Slovenian, Croatian, and Bosnian officials to reiterate his 1907 May Declaration, which called for the formation of a unified South Slavic kingdom as a third monarchy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Emperor Karl I, who had long support trialism for his realm and saw Korosec’s plan as a means to make Serbia less of a liability, was on board with the proposal, which meant that it ultimately was up to persuading the Hungarians when it came to determining whether or a triple monarchy would finally be forged. While the Hungarians had historically vetoed such attempts at trialism, the Hungarian Prime Minister Istvan Tisza (who had assumed the position following the death of his predecessor, Sandor Wekerle, in 1921) had become a proponent of the autonomy of Slavic territory in order to maintain the stability of the dual monarchy, especially during the Great War, even if he had historically opposed the annexation of Serbia. Therefore, Prime Minister Tisza would meet with delegations from across the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the city of Sarajevo, where the domino effect that had escalated into the Great War had begun over a decade, in June 1927 to negotiate and ratify the formation of a third kingdom to be ruled by Emperor Karl I.

After lengthy negotiation, it was agreed upon that the Kingdom of Illyria would be formed with its capital situated in the city of Zagreb. The Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia was merged with Bosnia, Slovenia, and what had once been the sovereign states of Serbia and Montenegro to form the territory of Illyria, thus making it an entity that roughly encompassed the vast majority of ethnically Slavic territory under the management of Vienna. While Illyria was, at least officially, intended to integrate the Serbians into the Triple Monarchy, the Sarajevo Convention made it very apparent that the anti-Serbian biases that had plagued the Austro-Hungarian Empire since the outbreak of the Great War were far from gone. Serbian was recognized as a regional dialect, however, according to the Sarajevo Convention, anyone who had served in the Serbian or Montenegrin armed forces during the Great War was barred from voting, any former officials of the Serbian or Montenegrin governments were ineligible to hold public office, and a number of Serbian political organizations were forcefully disbanded. These mechanisms of systemic oppression inherent to the Kingdom of Illyria made it clear that, despite the Serbian Campaign having concluded in an age seemingly long gone,the Austro-Hungarian Empire had not yet forgiven the Serbs for the actions of Gavrilo Princip.

The continued oppression of the Serbian population of Illyria would continue to have impacts going forward, but the immediate consequence of the Sarajevo Convention (ratification on July 28th, 1927, exactly twelve years after the Austro-Hungarian declaration of war on the Kingdom of Serbia) had on the entire realm of Emperor Karl I, which had officially transitioned into the short-lived Austro-Hungaro-Illyrian Empire, came not from Illyria itself, but from Hungary. The formation of the Kingdom of Illyria and thus the Hungarian relinquishment of control over Croatia-Slavonia cut off Budapest from its gateway to the Adriatic Sea, which infuriated many within the kingdom’s domestic government. The Sarajevo Convention had been the last straw for Hungary’s long and strained relationship with Austria. Upon returning from Sarajevo, Prime Minister Istvan Tisza found himself despised, thus resulting in a parliamentary vote of no confidence in early August.

The 1927 Hungarian general election expectedly saw backlash against the ruling center-right National Party of Work, which had been in power since 1910 thanks to backing by both the Hungarian political establishment and Austro-Hungarian government as a whole. The conservative establishment of Prime Minister Tisza was deposed in favor of a government led by the nationalist Independence Party, which upon officially assuming power on August 24th, 1927 selected Albert Apponyi as the new Hungarian prime minister. Apponyi was far from a revolutionary man, however, the rising opposition to Vienna and the Great War that the Austrians had plunged all of Europe into caused a number of MPs from the Independence Party to propose a bill that would sever Hungarian ties with the Habsburg monarchy, thus establishing an independent Republic of Hungary. While vigorously debated and highly controversial, it was clear that public opinion had generally turned in favor of leaving the Triple Monarchy. Therefore, despite threats from Vienna to deploy soldiers towards Budapest should secession occur, the Hungarian declaration of independence passed through Parliament and was subsequently ratified on September 10th, 1927. It would not take long for the news that the Republic of Hungary had been forged to spread throughout Europe as Prime Minister Apponyi found himself leading a nation struggling for peace in the heart of the inferno of the Great War.

And just like that, the end of the Habsburg Monarchy had begun.


Prime Minister Albert Apponyi of the Republic of Hungary.

Shortly after Hungary’s declaration of independence, Budapest telegraphed Moscow and Algiers informing the Third International and Entente respectively of the Apponyi administration’s intent to withdraw all Hungarian commitments to the Central Powers alliance and therefore cease all hostilities and involvement in the Great War. Happy to hear that they would have to fight one less enemy, the two pacts agreed to recognize an end to their hostilities with Budapest, but the Central Powers were infuriated about the loss of a territory as large as Hungary. Emperor Karl I, who believed that he could quickly reinstate his authority over Hungary due to the nation not yet having much in the way of a standing domestic armed force, would not, however, let the Hungarian people escape the nightmare of the Great War and, upon receiving the go-ahead from Berlin, declared war on the Republic of Hungary on September 13th, 1927.

As Austro-Illyrian soldiers crossed into land that had been an integral part of their empire only two days later, Prime Minister Apponyi began to rapidly mobilize domestic infrastructure to conduct a war effort against the Austrians and managed to get Parliament to swiftly pass a conscription act while Hungarian regiments fighting on behalf of the Central Powers on foreign soil made their way back to their homeland to fight against their former allies. As a nation that had recently become in the hope of leaving the Great War to only be flung back into the very same conflict only three days later, but this time as a defensive war on the homefront, it is no surprise that the people of Hungary quickly turned on the Apponyi ministry, who found himself becoming a controversial leader at best as some nationalists rallied to the cause of a war of independence while others believed that this whole mess was more trouble than it was worth. Furthermore, as a government that had little connections with either the Entente or the Third International, the Republic of Hungary was left without allies to rely on in the fight against Austria-Illyria, which made cozying up to the nearby Russian Soviet Republic especially appealing.

Enter the Party of Communists in Hungary (KMP). Formed in 1918 by Great War veteran Bela Kun, the KMP started out as a small party splintering off from the larger and more moderate Social Democratic Party. Over time, however, the KMP grew in popularity, which was fueled by both the increasingly reactionary policies of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the success of the Third International in the Great War. By the time of the secession of Hungary, the KMP still held very little representation in the national government due to intense opposition from the fraction of the Hungarian population that actually held voting rights, but it was a major, albeit controversial, force amongst the general population, especially with non-Hungarian minorities. Having been a prisoner of war of the Russians upon the breakout of the Russian Civil War, Bela Kun had the opportunity to meet Vladimir Lenin himself, although Kun became a supporter of the much more radical wing of the Bolshevik Party whilst in Moscow, advocating for the Soviets to launch a continent-wide international revolution rather than withdraw from the Great War by signing the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.

Eventually, the Soviet campaign for international revolution that Bela Kun had agitated for did of course arrive in the form of the Russian declaration of war on the Central Powers in February 1923, but the sudden descent of Austria-Hungary into war against a communist power caused the KMP to suddenly become a great threat to the national security of the Kingdom of Hungary, thus causing the party to be banned on February 14th, 1923, which was subsequently followed by the arrest of much of its leadership by local authorities. Kun, however, managed to flee to the neighboring and neutral Kingdom of Romania, where he continued to lead the underground KMP in exile. Despite now being violently suppressed by Budapest, the KMP continued to have strong support amongst the working class of Hungary, with it often participating in protests, strikes, riots, and sabotage. This was the situation for the next four years, but upon hearing of the Hungarian declaration of independence, Bela Kun boarded a train to return to Budapest despite the ban of the KMP left over from the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire still being enforced by the Apponyi administration.

With the radical ideals of the Third International booming in popularity in Hungary, the center-right government of Albert Apponyi and the Independence Party collapsing in support, and now the leader of the KMP returning from exile to stoke the flames, an explosion of tensions in the Republic of Hungary seemed inevitable. Surely enough, the return of Bela Kun, who local authorities were ordered not to arrest out of fear of sparking a rebellion, increased KMP activities, particularly within Budapest, where Apponyi and Kun played a delicate game of trying to assert their authority within the city without pushing the other into retaliation. Eventually, it would be Prime Minister Albert Apponyi who would take the step too far when a general strike in Budapest, which was in part coordinated by the KMP, occurred on October 3rd, 1927 and Apponyi, who was facing increasing pressure from the more reactionary members of his government to take action against the communists, used the strike as an opportunity to arrest a handful of KMP and trade union officials. The attempt to suppress the strike’s leadership went horribly wrong, and within a matter of minutes confrontations between law enforcement and revolutionaries had escalated into a full-blown riot.

As both sides of the clash took up arms, more and more revolutionaries took to the streets of Budapest to combat the Hungarian establishment. With the forces of the Hungarian capitalist status quo and the communist revolution suddenly engaging with each other, the match had been lit and the fires of revolution had been ignited. All the while, Bela Kun and his comrades rallied their party members around the red banner, declaring that the time to establish a Hungarian dictatorship of the proletariat had arrived, and effectively mobilized a makeshift revolutionary force within the span of an hour. This makeshift force eventually began to overwhelm Budapest’s law enforcement in sheer numbers alone due to a lack of Hungarian military forces within the city, as Prime Minister Apponyi had long since deployed the vast majority of military forces on the frontlines against Austria-Illyria. The Magyar Revolution would be waged from street to street as the crimson forces that had seized Moscow, Paris, and London gradually seized Budapest as well, another addition to the collection of lands that had succumbed to the forces of the Permanent Revolution. Surely enough, the revolutionaries would eventually raid the government buildings of the Republic of Hungary and capture its executive branch, thus staging a coup.

With both the Hungarian government and capital in its hands, the KMP subsequently went about consolidating power due to much of the undefended domestic authority of Hungary being unable and unwilling to put up a fight against Bela Kun’s provisional communist government. Power was therefore capitulated over to a constitutional committee managed by the newly-formed Budapest Soviet, which went about assembling socialist delegates from throughout Hungary to ratify the new constitution. The diverse committee would base much of its government off of already existing socialist states within the Third International, with local economic and political authority being redistributed to regional workers’ councils. Due to Hungary being made up of many diverse nationalities, these councils would in turn federate into “council republics,” which were effectively provincial governments. These council republics operated within a federalist system, with their local administrations being answerable to the national government, which was named the Federation of Transleithanian Council Republics (FTCR), to reflect the multiculturalism of the world’s newest communist republic.


Flag of the Federation of Transleithanian Council Republics.

Transleithania was officially formed with the ratification of its constitution by the Budapest Soviet on October 12th, 1927, and shortly thereafter a makeshift National Assembly of Councils unanimously elected KMP leader Bela Kun to be the first premier of the FTCR. With Red Army forces already having begun to be deployed in Hungary during the constitutional convention, the Transleithanian entry into the Third International on October 14th was more or less a given. It was, of course, nonetheless a vicious blow to the Central Powers, as a territory that had been fighting on their behalf less than a month prior was now an ally of the Red Napoleon. Not only that, but it was an ally of the Red Napoleon that was dangerously close to the German border. Now more than ever, as the Red Army made its way through Poland, the victory of Leon Trotsky’s Permanent Revolution was in sight.

But first, the revolution had to pay a visit to India.


The East is Red

“You will kill ten of us, we will kill one of you, but in the end, you will tire of it first.”

-Chairman Nguyen Tat Tanh of the Democratic Union of Indochina



New Delhi, capital of the British Raj, circa May 1927.

Before the Great War, there had long been a saying that the Indian Subcontinent was the crown jewel of the British Empire. This was, at least to an extent, arguably still the case in 1927 (the Loyalists certainly defended India like a prized gem), but the war against Subhas Chandre Bose’s Indian Union had drenched the crown jewel into a pool of blood. What had started out as little more than a regional uprising back in 1924 had since escalated into one of the most brutal fronts of Phase Two of the Great War as the Indian Union and Russian Soviet Republic converged upon the heart of the British Raj. The South Asian Front had turned into a focal point of not only the Empire of America, but also the Second Empire of Brazil, whose expeditionary force had a pivotal presence in India. And in June 1927, all eyes of the South Asian Front, be they socialist, imperialist, or otherwise, were locked on Delhi.

The AILA’s final push for Delhi would begin in the aftermath of its victory at the Battle of Aligarh on June 1st, 1927. With just about all Indian territory east of the Ganges River under the control of Bose by this point, the offensive towards western Delhi would be easy enough. It would be the young General Jawaharlal Nehru, who had risen through the ranks of the AILA during the Indian Union’s struggle through independence (in part because of his father’s influence within the Union’s politics), would be the man tasked with leading the final charge towards Delhi. Surely enough, General Nehru would conquer Noida on June 8th, 1927, which meant that the AILA was just outside of Delhi. As the belligerents of the South Asian Front all prepared for the coming storm that would grip the city of Delhi, the Brazilian Expeditionary Force scrambled to deploy more forces in the war against the Indian Union with the hope that a decisive victory could be scored in the upcoming Battle of Delhi that would force the AILA into retreat. General Augusto Tasso Fragoso was still stuck on the Himalayan Front to fend off General Mikhail Tukhachevsky, however, he would participate in the coordination of the distribution of the Imperial Brazilian Air Force (IBAF) out east to defend Delhi.

The next two days would become a brief war of attrition as trenches dug up between Noida and eastern Delhi managed to hold back the AILA for the time being while the Yamuna River served as a natural barrier that prevented the forces of Indian socialism from crossing into Delhi from the southwest. But as more and more AILA reinforcements arrived to fight the demoralized Brazilians and British, a hole was finally punched through Entente defenses on the morning of June 11th, 1927, which subsequently allowed for General Nehru to lead his men in an offensive into eastern Delhi, thus finally initiating the Battle of Delhi. Both sides knew from the get-go that the clash for Delhi would be a pivotal engagement in the Indian War of Independence. For the Entente, the conflict was viewed as the last chance that the House of Windsor had at reclaiming its crown jewel, and for the Third International the conflict was viewed as the moment that the crown jewel would finally be claimed for the people. Therefore, fighting for the city was especially vicious as numerous battalions were concentrated in the Battle of Delhi, and fighting would often go from street to street. Nonetheless, Jawaharlal Nehru managed to pull off an early victory after successfully taking over all of Delhi east of the Yamuna River on June 11th, however, defenses mounted along the river and heavy casualties inflicted during the first day of the battle meant that no rapid offensive to the west would be coming soon.

By blowing up all bridges across the Yamuna River, the Entente had simply bought itself time with the AILA offensive. The IBAF waged relentless bombing campaigns over eastern Delhi for the next few days with the hope that General Nehru’s forces could be uprooted from the territory via obliterating them into ruin, however, the AILA had long since become accustomed to the vicious total warfare unleashed by the Entente, not to mention that Nehru’s infantry was armed with and experienced in the utilization of anti-aircraft guns imported from the Russian Soviet Republic and was therefore able to efficiently repel air raids. On June 15th, by which point much of the IBAF aircraft in the Battle of Delhi had been shot down by the AILA, General Jawaharlal Nehru was able to lead an offensive across the Yamuna River from eastern Delhi into the village of Wazirabad by crossing intertidal islands within the river when the tide was low. With the forces of the British Indian Army (BIA) defending Wazirabad already having succumbed to shelling by the AILA for the last few days, defenses of the neighborhood were weak and Nehru was therefore able to secure a foothold in western Delhi by the end of the day.

From this point onward, the Battle of Delhi would become much more fluid due to the Yamuna River no longer being an effective barrier against AILA forces entering Wazirabad. June 15th saw the total occupation of North Delhi by the AILA as the BIA evacuated into the northwestern and southern reaches of the city. The push towards New Delhi, the capital of the British Raj that had begun construction within central Delhi in December 1911 when King George V laid the foundational stone of the city during the Delhi Durbar, would prove to be much more slow and gruesome than the occupation of the north due to Entente forces being committed to the defense of the capital of the British Raj. The ruinous shelling of Delhi by Entente and Third International forces alike over the last few days had long since forced colonial officials to evacuate to the Gulf of Cambay, which was far away from the terrors of the South Asian Front, but New Delhi nonetheless remained a pivotal point within the wider city of Delhi to capture.

The gates of the ancient wall of Old Delhi, which had mostly vanished over the centuries, would be used in combat yet again when the BIA used the northern gates as positions to blockade off the AILA from occupying Old Delhi. The Kashmiri Gate in particular became an important fortress for the BIA, which was ironic given that the devastation inflicted upon the gate by colonial British forces during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 could still be seen. Nonetheless, the AILA would push through the ancient gates of Old Delhi, thus seizing total control over the oldest and highly commercial segment of Delhi for the Indian Union by the end of the day on June 17th, 1927. From Old Delhi, the attack on northern New Delhi began, which escalated into a vicious battle from street to street. Construction of the capital had been abandoned due to the Battle of Delhi, so the clash for New Delhi was fought alongside both the remnants of old buildings and skeletons of new buildings alike. Like much of the Battle of Delhi, the fight over New Delhi was not a conventional war of raw machinery and might pushing against each other, as had been the case in Europe throughout much of Phase Two. It was instead a furious and spontaneous charge for plots of land where thousands had once lived and worked. Platoons engage with one another over single intersections while artillery was rushed into apartments in order to rain hell upon unsuspecting enemy battalions on the street below.

Despite being an extremely chaotic battle in which the exact frontlines were difficult to calculate, it gradually became apparent that the AILA was winning the tug of war for New Delhi. Perhaps no scene more clearly exhibited this reality when, on the morning of June 19th, 1927, an AILA battalion made its way into the Indian House of Parliament, which had finished its construction just a few months prior in January. As the BIA was pushed out of the new building, it became clear that the de jure center of British Raj political power had fallen into the hands of the Indian Union. Within a handful of hours, the House of Parliament was secure and relatively deep within AILA-occupied territory of New Delhi, and around noon General Nehru personally arrived to congratulate the men who had pierced the heart of colonial authority over the Indian Subcontinent. As Jawaharlal Nehru stood outside the grand prize, soldiers on the top story of the House of Parliament would wave the flag of the Indian Union through a window, in a display that truly symbolizes that the days of British control over India were coming to a close.


The Indian House of Parliament upon the completion of its construction, circa January 1927.

Hours after the fall of the House of Parliament, the remainder of New Delhi would fall under the occupation of the AILA. The Entente defenses of the capital were crumbling, not to mention that these forces were becoming increasingly demoralized. The center of the city (where the Liberation Gate was constructed a few years after the matter) would be the location of the final Entente holdout for New Delhi, as the decisive blow dealt here would be enough to force a general retreat of the BIA and its allies from New Delhi for the southern and western regions of the city of Delhi by the end of the day. With the capital of the British Raj now under the control of the Indian Union, it became apparent that not only was the Battle of Delhi a losing fight for the Entente, but that this would be the case for the South Asian Front as a whole. Rio de Janeiro was becoming increasingly wary of sending military forces to the lost cause maintaining British control over India, and even the Empire of America was beginning to realize that its resources would be better spent on concentrating solely on the Atlantic Front.

With the heart of Delhi under the occupation of the AILA, the end of the battle for the city was in sight. The western reaches of the city were not as densely populated as the interior, which meant that the harsh street-by-street combat that had proliferated throughout the Battle of Delhi thus far had more or less concluded. Surely enough, as the Entente recognized that it had lost its last chance at defeating the insurrection of the Indian Union, thus initiating a retreat towards Cambay, and the AILA presence in Delhi was swelled up in order to secure the vital prize captured by General Nehru, the Battle of Delhi would only last one more day following the victory over New Delhi on June 19th. The push into western Delhi was certainly long and bloody for the AILA, but it was nothing compared to the preceding week of combat and the final hours of the Battle of Delhi composed of a steady retreat for the Entente. Surely enough, as night set in across the Indian Subcontinent on June 20th, 1927, the last forces loyal to the House of Windsor had been uprooted from Delhi, thus ending over a century of British control of the city. The shelling and aerial bombardment of AILA positions in Delhi would continue for many more days, but for all intents and purposes, the forces of General Jawaharlal Nehru had emerged completely victorious at the Battle of Delhi after nine days of combat in one of the single bloodiest battles of the Great War.


Soldiers of the All-Indian Liberation Army in western Delhi following the BIA’s total retreat from the city, circa June 1920.

From this point onward, the defeat of the Entente on the South Asian Front was not a question of if, but rather of when, the white flag of surrender would be raised by the imperialist forces. The Himalayan Front was moving slowly yet smoothly for General Tukhachevsky, although General Fragoso continued to prove to be a difficult rival to defeat. Nonetheless, the Battle of Delhi and the crushing of Loyalist forces in northern India in the process left the Red Army with far fewer Entente forces to confront. Like their Loyalist counterparts, the Imperial Brazilian Army had begun the reconsolidation of its military presence in land to the south of Delhi, which led to an acceleration of the Soviet eastward push. On June 24th, 1927, the Red Army won the Battle of Patiala, which brought the Soviet Republic ever closer to linking up with the Indian Union. All the while, Lieutenant General Ieronim Uborevich, whose affiliation with Tukhachevsky dated back to the days of the Russian Civil War, was put in charge of the Balochistan Offensive into the colonial agency of its namesake.

The capture of the Balochistani capital of Quetta, which was close to the border with the Soviet-occupied Democratic Federation of Afghanistan, back in 1926 did not bring down the colony, however, it was a pivotal blow to the Loyalists on the Himalayan Front. Due to General Tukhachevsky concentrating the majority of his efforts in the eastward push to link up with the Indian Union, the Balochistan Offensive received little aid and was effectively a war of attrition throughout much of 1926 and 1927. But as the frontlines to the north began to accelerate in favor of the Red Army, both Tukhachevsky and Trotsky saw that the opportunity to increase the allocation of resources to Lieutenant General Uborevich was suddenly feasible, which thus led to a number of Soviet breakthroughs against Loyalist forces defending Balochistan circa July 1927. The city of Kalat was occupied on July 7th, 1927, and all the while Uborevich eyed Khuzdar, which lay in the center of the Balochistan Agency. Soon, all of Balochistan would kneel to the flag of the Bolshevik revolution.

A number of waterways throughout central Balochistan would serve as both barriers and supply lines for the defending British India Army, but these geographic advantages were no match to the industrial might of the Red Army. LT-7s would constantly overrun enemy formations, and it became very clear that the realm of mechanized infantry was the one that the Russian Soviet Republic, through having to wage a rapid arms race against the German Heilsreich, clearly dominated over the Entente. This wasn’t to say that the Entente was completely unmechanized on the Himalayan Front, as both Brazil and the Empire of America deployed a number of tanks and aircraft, however, the latter’s production efforts had been crippled due to its loss of Great Britain, which meant that most equipment at the BIA’s disposal was left over from Phase One, and both the Brazilians and Loyalists had already begun the process of focusing their industrial capacities on the Atlantic Front.

Confronted with the much more copious and advanced forces of the Red Army, the Entente forces of Balochistan were swept back, especially once Lieutenant General Uborevich began to adopt the foudreguerre tactics employed by General Commander Boris Sourveraine on the Western Front, which had been working wonders against the German war machine. The Entente was no match to these brutally rapid attacks by the mechanized infantry of the Red Army and was therefore forced into a consistent retreat that was as quick as it was bloody. Casualties inflicted by Uborevich’s foudreguerre campaign were staggering and certainly impressed his peers within the ranks of the Red Army, who saw Souvarine's new tactic as a consistently successful strategy to pursue. This would, of course, have important implications on the Eastern Front going forward, but for the short term, it spelled the victory of the Russian Soviet Republic over Balochistan. Khuzdar was captured on July 17th, 1927, followed by the capitulation of a number of internal factions of the Balochistan Agency. One week later, the Loyalist defeat at the Battle of Awaran on July 24th resulted in the surrender of Balochistan to the Russian Soviet Republic, which resulted in the territory’s total military occupation by the Red Army as Entente forces retreated to the coastline.

Only a few days after the surrender of Balochistan, the South Asian Front would come to an end. The Battle of Rahra on July 26th ended in a decisive victory for Mikhail Tuhkachevsky and a total retreat of General Augusto Tasso Fragoso from the Himalayan Front, which allowed for the Red Army and AILA to finally link up with one another. At long last, all of northern India was under the control of revolutionaries. Seeing that the defense of the Indian Subcontinent was a lost cause, Prime Minister Robert Borden of the Empire of America and Prime Minister Aurelio de Gois Montiero of the Second Empire of Brazil agreed to sue for peace on the South Asian Front. Surrender under the condition that Loyalist authority would be maintained in southwestern India, which had yet to be occupied by enemy forces, was therefore offered and accepted by the Third International on July 27th, 1927. With the war for India now over, the belligerent powers would congregate in Karachi to negotiate a peace treaty.

Even if a rump British Raj would still exist, the Treaty of Karachi was far from merciful towards the Loyalists. The independence of the Indian Union, which spanned from Delhi to Bengal, was recognized, as was its military occupation of the newly-formed Socialist Republic of Burma. In the south, the People’s Republic of Madras was granted military occupation over an independent Travancore, Mysore, and Bastar and had to share joint military occupation of Hyderabad with the Indian Union. In the west, the Russian Soviet Republic successfully pushed for the establishment of its very own satellite states, with these being Balochistan, Punjab, Kashmir, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This secluded the British Raj to a chunk of southwestern India that had yet to be occupied by Third International forces by the time of the ceasefire on the South Asian Front, with the colonial capital being relocated to Bombay, one of the last great trading cities of India to remain under the control of Imperialist forces. The ratification of the Treaty of Karachi on August 9th, 1927 would officially enact the partition of the Indian Subcontinent between the forces of socialism and capitalism. After almost three years of combat, the crown jewel of the British Empire had been shattered.

As the dust settled on what had once been the South Asian Front, so too did the Great War’s rampage in Indochina come to a close. The Democratic Union of Indochina had been waging a fierce guerrilla war in this region since its inception in November 1924, and by the summer of 1927 the last pockets of resistance by the French Fourth Republic within the Cambodian and Laotian interior were being uprooted by an increasingly modernized Indochinese Independence Front, which by 1927 had transitioned from a league of ragtag partisans to a fully-fledged conventional army. The FII would finally emerge victorious over all of Indochina when it fought against the last stand of the Republicans at the Battle of Vientiane on July 12th, 1927. The demoralized French Army was completely outnumbered and outgunned, which therefore made its forces unable to put up a strong stand against the FII despite defending the capital city of the Protectorate of Laos. Upon the victory of the FII over the city, the Democratic Union of Indochina would subsequently consolidate its control over its territory, which had finally accomplished total peace and liberation, as the Republic forces evacuated the former colonial holding.


Indochinese Chairman Nguyen Tat Tanh speaking at the 1927 World Congress of the Third International in Moscow following the recent victory of the FII against the French Fourth Republic, circa July 1927.

As the provisional government of Indochina dissolved itself in preparation of a general election by the end of 1927, a new era emerged over Asia. Gone were the days of colonialism by foreign actors as the dominant political force in the region. In the place of the empires born in the days of Queen Victoria rose a coalition of revolutionary socialist states born in the fires of the Great War. This was a fantastic development for the Third International war effort, which now had some of the most populated regions on Earth on its side, not to mention that a clear supply line had been developed through this region. One could now travel from Minsk to Hue without ever having to step foot in capitalist territory. As Indochina and its comrades in India affirmed their commitment of military forces to the frontlines of Europe at the 1927 World Congress, it became clear that the war effort in Asia had been one of the greatest victories of the Third International yet, however, whether or not this success would translate over to the European nightmare remained to be seen.


Revanche

“After over a decade of warfare with the German imperialists and many decades more of rivalry between the French and German nations, the opportunity has finally arisen for our revolution to liberate the people of western Europe to be freed from the tyranny of Berlin’s fascist grip.”

-General Commander Boris Souvarine in a letter to President Ludovic-Oscar Frossard of the French Commune, circa May 1927.



Soldiers of the Workers’ Model Army fighting in the Rhineland, circa June 1927.

A decade prior to the victory of the Third International on the South Asian Front, it appeared as though the defeat of France was all but guaranteed. This briefly changed with the French victory in the Nivelle Offensive, however, a few years later a second German occupation of Paris seemed likely yet again as the French faced severe defeats in Belgium, which in turn led to a mutiny-turned-revolution amongst the disgruntled armed forces of France. But that age was long gone by 1927. The French Third Republic was no more, for in its place stood the revolutionary French Commune, one of the Third International’s most valuable members. Upon the beginning of Phase Two, the German Empire had made the crucial mistake of going on the defensive against Communard-occupied territory in the hope of securing a quick withdrawal of forces by the Russian Soviet Republic in the east. This strategy, while arguably securing the rapid overrun of poorly-defended German puppet states in eastern Europe, prevented a quick defeat of the French Commune when Germany had the chance, which in turn allowed for the Communards to win the civil war against the Republicans and subsequently consolidate into a legitimate fighting force.

In 1923, it appeared as though the worst consequence of this strategy from the German perspective was extending the duration of the already incredibly lengthy Great War, but by leaving the Communards be, a well-armed and mechanized military force was approaching the Heilsreich’s western border and threatened to actually occupy German territory, something that had yet to occur during the entire Great War. With the victories of the Workers’ Commonwealth and the Socialist Republic of Ireland in their revolutions, the Third International had effectively rebuilt the western Entente, something that the Heilsreich certainly recognized the danger of. Thanks to the combined efforts of Boris Souvarine and Clement Attlee, the Third International had liberated the vast majority of German-occupied French territory by the start of the summer of 1927, which now forced the Germans into a position of defense not out of strategic choice, but out of necessity.

In the middle of May 1927, the momentous news much of France had been anticipating for years finally arrived. On May 11th, 1927, an offensive led by the Proletarian Tank Corps successfully rooted German forces from Sarrebourg, the last holdout of the Heilsreich within France. After numerous years of combat, the Germans had finally been expelled from France, and for the first time since the Nivelle Offensive France would be fighting an offensive conflict into enemy territory. General Walther von Brauchitsch, who was Alfred Hugenburg’s recent choice to command German forces on the Western Front, was thus tasked with implementing defenses against the Third International invasion of western Germany. Unsurprisingly, these defenses were more or less ineffective. Since 1914, German ground forces had been waging trench warfare on the Western Front, a tactic which was relatively successful, albeit extremely prone to stagnation. But foudreguerre was a strategy that the Germans were completely unprepared for, with Armure I model tanks leading rapid and gruesomely efficient attacks on German trench positions. Brauchitsch attempted to counter foudreguerre by mounting mechanized infantry of his own against the Communards, but this makeshift strategy came too little too late for the westernmost reaches of the Heilsreich.

The Battle of Strasbourg on June 5th, 1927 would mark the liberation of Alsace-Lorraine, a territory that had been controlled by Germany since its annexation from France in 1871 following the conclusion of the Franco-Prussian War. After decades of a desire for revenge building up amongst the people of France, the French Commune had finally accomplished what the French Third Republic had failed to do by conquering French territory seized by Germany all those years ago. More importantly from a strategic perspective, the LGPF offensive into Alsace-Lorraine had been conducted relatively quickly without sustaining many casualties. By 1927, France had sustained roughly 4,071,000 casualties (excluding the forces of the Republicans during and after the Second French Revolution), and a draining of manpower due to casualties alone had been an ever-looming threat faced by the Commune since its inception. The conscription of women into the LGPF certainly contributed to a boost in numbers, as did the conscription of many people who had been too young to fight in the Great War when it first broke out, but ensuring that manpower numbers could be maintained was nonetheless a constant struggle for the Communard military.

Foudreguerre proved to be a temporary solution to the French Commune’s manpower shortages. By leading attacks with mechanized infantry rather than footsoldiers, the tactic cost very few casualties for France while devastating German ground units, which were nowhere nearly as technologically as advanced as the Luftsreitkrafte (this force was primarily deployed on the Eastern Front against the Red Army anyway). As the Germans struggled to retaliate against foudreguerre, the French temporarily gained a decisive upper hand, which Boris Souvarine would use in order to stage an invasion of the Rhineland, a resource-rich and highly industrialized powerhouse within the Heilsreich. Capturing the territory would be a devastating blow to Germany, one that could, at least according to military officers of the time period, potentially guarantee the total victory of the Third International in the Great War.

From Alsace-Lorraine, the western Third International coalition of France, Great Britain, and Ireland would begin the Rhenish Offensive, starting with the Battle of Saarbrucken on June 23rd, 1927. By this point, the British and Irish high commands had long since recognized the inherent benefits of foudreguerre tactics and therefore adopted them to engage in the Rhenish Offensive, which went very smoothly for the Third International. The mass allocation of German reinforcements to defend the Rhineland certainly prevented the immediate fall of the territory, however, even this consolidation of defenses was not enough. By the end of July 1927, the Third International had occupied Bernkastel-Kues, and had therefore dug deep into the Rhineland. On August 3rd, the Battle of Dasburg cut off German access to Belgium and Luxembourg, which caused the latter to fall under Communard occupation within less than a week.

The liberation of Belgium was a much more complex affair, but with the region’s puppet administrations cut off from the aid of the Heilsreich, the August Offensive into Belgium was hardly a challenge. Forces currently fighting against German-occupied Wallonia under the command of LGPF Army Commander Edouard Daladier simply waited for the collapse of German defenses along the Franco-Wallonian border following the region’s blockade and then proceeded to lead his forces northwards. Daladier would emerge victorious at the Third Battle of Brussels on August 13th, 1927, at which point more or less all of Wallonia had been liberated from the Heilsreich. From Wallonia, the LGPF would push into the Kingdom of Flanders. The bulk of the Flemish people had long since gradually grown to support the puppet regime of King Charles Augustus I, however, a supportive population was far from enough to turn the tides of the August Offensive.

From Brussels, the French Commune would push towards the Flemish capital of Ghent while British naval forces sieged the coast of Flanders, both to blockade the kingdom and to wear down coastal defenses. The push into Flanders proved to be more bloody, as many supporters of the puppet monarchy resorted to guerrilla warfare and sabotage behind enemy lines, however, these partisans were ultimately no match to the strength of the LGPF. The fact of the matter was that the German occupation of Belgium had come to an end, at least for the foreseeable future. As the gunfire of the LGPF could be heard in the distance, the fifteen year-old King Charles Augustus of Flanders was evacuated from the capital city of Ghent and the city subsequently fell to the French Commune a day later on August 17th, 1927. Only three days later, the last holdout of the Kingdom of Flanders was defeated at Antwerp, thus bringing all of what had once been Belgium under the control of the Communards whilst Germany’s Flemish puppet regime evacuated into exile.


German prisoners of war being escorted in Brussels, circa August 1927.

With Belgium devastated by over a decade of warfare and Wallonia already having a history of potential annexation into France, the French Commune would pursue a policy of integrating the region rather than installing a puppet state. The Treaty of Luxembourg would directly annex Wallonia into the Commune as a collection of communes (just like the rest of France) while Flanders and Luxembourg were integrated as autonomous regions akin to Brittany. Ratified in the middle of September 1927, some new citizens of the French Commune vehemently opposed the Treaty of Luxembourg and would continue to stage sporadic attacks on the occupying forces of the LGPF, however, the vast majority of people were simply relieved that, at least for the time being, the Great War had been pushed out of the Low Countries. It also didn’t hurt that the Central Revolutionary Congress decided against continuing the German policy of conscription within the region, so for many the August Offensive was not the liberation of Belgium from the grip of fascism but simply from the bloody onslaught of the Great War itself.

The offensive into the Rhineland obviously resulted in much more resistance towards the LGPF, but it was nonetheless a success for the Third International, which underwent relatively few casualties during this period. The Heilsreich put up a strong fight against the forces of revolution, however, the far more mechanized Third International coalition continued to overwhelm an army that had been utilizing the strategies of 1910s trench warfare for the past twelve years only a year prior. Simply put, the Germans were not prepared for foudreguerre. The Luftsreitkrafte would cautiously begin to divert manpower to the Western Front, with Goring putting General Ernst Udet in command of aerial forces in the west, but the Third International managed to counter even this via the deployment of its own aircraft (the Workers’ Democratic Air Force was particularly pivotal) and Soviet-model anti-aircraft guns.

Udet became a proponent of dive bomber strategies, but these tactics often proved to be suicidal against the anti-aircraft defenses of the Third International. On September 18th, 1927, the LGPF won the Battle of Nurburg, while the Luftsreitkrafte had failed to halt foudreguerre and had lost many pilots in the process. Fuhrer Alfred Hugenberg remained supportive of Udet and argued that the issue rested in aircraft technology not being developed fast enough to keep up to pace with the ever-changing tactics of the Great War, but Kaiser August Wilhelm I disagreed with his mentor, arguing that dive bombing had proven to be extremely inefficient. Obsessed in his sense of elitism and increasingly reactionary mindset that the purpose of all of Germany was to be of benefit to him, the kaiser pushed for an adoption of total war by the Luftsreitkrafte on the Western Front, in which civilian populations, including those of the German Rhineland, would be fair game for heavy mass bombing campaigns.

August Wilhelm’s proposal was shocking, as it surely meant that thousands of German civilians would be killed by the bombs of the Luftsreitkrafte, but in the eyes of the kaiser, this was a sacrifice necessary for the complete victory of the Heilsreich in the Great War. “What are a few lives, who, as patriotic German citizens, are inclined to unquestionably serve their nation down to the last breath if necessary, compared to a future of unquestionably dominated by our eternal empire?” would be the kaiser’s address to the Reichstag in October 1927 as the presiding fuhrer angrily eyed a man that he had previously believed to be his pawn. Whether it was out of ignorance of his role in Alfred Hugenberg’s pursuit of power or raw machiavellian ambition, August Wilhelm was beginning to step out of line. Nonetheless, the call for total war attracted many high-ranking DVP and military officials, particularly those with more monarchist and totalitarian views that sympathized with the philosophy of the kaiser. Under the constitution of the German Heilsreich, it was Hugenberg who had the final call, but Herman Goring’s announcement of support for the total war strategy on the Western Front meant that the fuhrer had little choice but to give into August Wilhelm’s demands.

The pawn had made his first move against the king.

Ernst Udet would therefore be relocated to the Eastern Front and was replaced with Walther Wever as the commanding Luftsreitkrafte officer on the Western Front. Over the next few weeks, the small dive bomber planes favored by Udet were replaced with larger strategic bombers, and General Wever made it clear that his goal was to annihilate enemy-occupied industrial zones into ruin. A pioneer of strategic bomber development throughout much of the Great War, Wever would prefer the Dornier Do 11 heavy bomber as his aircraft of choice and thus oversaw the mass production of said aircraft. Do 11s were long range bombers and were therefore more capable of staying out of enemy gunfire than dive bombers, which allowed for the Luftsreitkrafte to conduct brutal bombing campaigns over the Rhineland without losing many aircraft. No city was safe, and it is estimated that well over ten thousand civilians were killed by what became referred to as the “Burning of the Rhine” by the end of 1927 alone. Nonetheless, Rhenish industrial capacities were heavily damaged and the Third International’s Rhenish Offensive was stalled as a consequence, and at the end of the day that was all the elite in Berlin cared about.


Dornier Do 11 heavy bomber during the Burning of the Rhine, circa November 1927.

It should be noted that the Rhenish Offensive did not completely stop due to the Burning of the Rhine, but the northwards push by the Third International significantly slowed down and casualties were beginning to stack up. The collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the subsequent formation of a Third International-aligned government in the form of the FTCR resulted in a withdrawal of many Austrian forces on the Western Front, but even then the days of rapid advances by the LGPF were over. The belief that the war in the west was soon to conclude proved to not be true, for its long viciousness simply evolved with the times. With that being said, sooner or later, one force on the Western Front would emerge victorious. The question was, with both factions craving the destruction of the other, who would have their revenge?


The Premier, the Fuhrer, and the Kaiser

“The workings of the Eastern Front of the Great War were certainly a complicated affair, but the whole conflict really boiled down to the policies of three men, those being Leon Trotsky, Alfred Hugenberg, and, of course, Kaiser August Wilhelm.”

-Harvard Professor Robert McNamara, circa 1964.



LT-7 tanks of the Red Army in a parade in Moscow, circa October 1927.

The declaration of the Federation of Transleithanian Council Republics sent shockwaves throughout Europe. The Habsburg Monarchy, once at the heart of the authority of the Central Powers and (ironically enough, given its reputation as a dying empire) the last of the European belligerents of the Great War to not undergo a dramatic regime, was suddenly falling apart as crimson banners rose over Budapest due to a revolution that emerged over a span of weeks. Alone, the FTCR was not an impressive force. But by coming into existence on a pivotal frontline of the Great War, Bela Kun’s republic turned the tides of the Eastern Front simply due to its geographic positioning alone. Central Powers forces in Galicia were effectively encircled, which meant that the region completely fell to the Third International when the Red Army emerged victorious at the Battle of Krosno on October 6th, 1927 (the region was subsequently annexed by Transleithania via the ratification of the Treaty of Krakow on October 16th, 1927).

Following the formation of the Republic of Hungary, the once-mighty Habsburg Monarchy had entered its last days. The so-called Austro-Illyrian Empire (Vienna refused to recognize the secession of Hungary and thus continued to officially refer to the multinational monarchy as the Austro-Hungaro-Illyrian Monarchy) would be little more than a brief final chapter in a story spanning centuries. The reign of the Habsburgs had survived the numerous conflicts of the age of feudalism, the Seven Years’ War, and the wrath of Napoleon Bonaparte, but this ancient reign would not survive through the Great War. The domains of Emperor Karl I erupted into chaos, with riots and the anti-war movement intensifying throughout both Cisleithania and Illyria. In the case of Austrian protestors, many were violently confronted by the wrath of pan-German nationalists, who saw any calls for Austro-Illyrian withdrawal from the Great War as not only a concession of defeat but a betrayal of the German nation.

Regardless of the demands of the typically far right pan-German movement in Austria, Karl I was beginning to see the writing on the wall. The Habsburg Monarchy had been more than willing to aid its allies within the Central Powers when the empire was more or less stable and, at least from the perspective of the aristocracy in Vienna, benefiting from the Great War, but now that Hungary had undergone a socialist revolution and what remained under Habsburg control was plagued with popular discontent, the war that had started all because of two bullets back in Sarajevo all those years ago no longer appeared to be worth the decade-long hassle. Initial advancements by Austro-Illyrian forces into Transleithania held for a while, but by the end of October 1927 the influx of Russian equipment alongside Red Army battalions had turned the tides of this new frontline in favor of the Third International. On November 9th, 1927, the Transleithanian Revolutionary Guard (TRG), the army of the FTCR, emerged victorious at the Battle of Nickelsdorf, thus not only repelling the Central Powers out of Transleithania but making its first foothold into Austria proper.

Vienna was not all that far from the Austrian border with Transleithania. If action was not taken soon, war would soon come to the home of the Habsburgs, and such a clash would likely end in defeat for the Austro-Illyrian Empire. With the vision of LT-7 tanks rolling through a ruined City of Dreams creeping in the back of his head, Karl I decided that now was the time to sue for peace before his family became the most prized prisoners of the Red Napoleon. Therefore, on November 12th, a ceasefire on the Leithanian Front was called upon after both Leon Trotsky and Bela Kun agreed to meet Emperor Karl I in Budapest to hear out proposals for a potential ceasefire. As their monarch rode a train into enemy territory, it appeared as though the Great War had come to an end Austria-Illyria in the form of decisive defeat. Perhaps these negotiations would have begun a pathway to a much earlier peace for all of Europe, but history, of course, had other plans. Much of the Austro-Illyrian public and high command alike was infuriated by the ceasefire. Millions had died in a decade-long war to avenge the cold-blooded murder of the rightful heir to the Habsburg throne, only for the nephew of said rightful heir to capitulate to the enemy.

Suffice to say, many were not happy with the actions of the emperor, particularly those of the far-right. It would be the German Fatherland Party of Austria (DVPO), a fascist German nationalist organization formed as a successor to the far-right German Workers’ Party in 1923 following the Heilungscoup, that would ultimately capitalize on this discontent and quickly organize a coup as Karl I set off for Budapest. After scrambling to seize a handful of weapons, DVPO leader Hans Knirsch led a march of hundreds of armed disgruntled fascists towards Austrian Parliament Building, which was holding a session of parliament at the time, on November 17th, 1927. Only a handful of soldiers guarded the facility, and so within a little over an hour, more or less the entire civilian government of Cisleithania was held hostage by Hans Knirsch. A few minutes later, Hofburg Palace and the Palace of Justice were also overrun by Knirch’s fascist cronies.

The November Putsch had succeeded.


Paramilitary forces of the German Fatherland Party of Austria guarding a makeshift barricade in Vienna, circa November 1927.

With the government of Cisleithania effectively under his control, Hans Knirsch declared himself the acting prime minister, regent, and Minister of War, thus making him the de facto autocrat of Cisleithania. As a pan-German nationalist, Knirsch forced the Imperial Council to renounce Emperor Karl I’s claim to the Austrian throne and offer the crown to Kaiser August Wilhelm I, something that both Alfred Hugenberg and August Wilhelm himself happily agreed to. The November Putsch was very much a makeshift coup, but the assistance of far-right paramilitaries and sympathetic military officers in enforcing Hans Knirsch’s rule maintained control long enough for the German Heilsreich to occupy all of Cisleithania and assert its control over the territory. With the authority of Hans Knirsch and by extension August Wilhelm I via the new personal union enforced over Austria, the Kaiser would arrive in Vienna on November 26th, 1927 to preside over the Imperial Council’s ratification of the annexation of all Cisleithanian internal monarchies into the German Heilsreich.

When Emperor Karl I heard of the November Putsch whilst in Budapest, he packed up his bags in a panic and made his way to the Illyrian capital of Zagreb. Hoping that the Kingdom of Illyria would stick by the side of their emperor as fascism extended its grip over Austria, Karl was instead confronted with the overthrow of his rule yet again when, upon hearing of the usurpation of the Austrian throne by Hans Knirsch, General Oskar Potiorek decided to take action. A man who had been seated in the car of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on that fateful day in June 1914, the last decade of General Potiorek’s life had been overshadowed by the trauma of watching the life of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne’s life be gunned down right in front of him. Perhaps there was not a single human being on Earth who was more personally affected by the outbreak of the Great War than Potiorek, who seemed to be consumed with a survivor’s guilt that drove him to take command of the initial Austro-Hungarian campaign into Serbia.

Despite his burning desire for revenge against the Serbs, Potiorek proved to be an ineffective general and was therefore replaced by Archduke Eugen of Austria in December 1914, an event which reportedly made Potiorek suicidal for a period of time. This would not, however, be the last the world would hear of Oskar Potiorek, who spent the next few years leading anti-Serb Schutzkorps militia’s reign of bigoted terror throughout Herzegovnia. By 1923, Potiorek had begun to admire the views of Benito Mussolini and had gained a reputation as an extremely controversial figure within the Austro-Hungarian Empire due to his leadership of the Schutzkorps, but was nonetheless taken out of retirement in order to command a division of Austro-Hungarian forces on the Eastern Front against the Red Army. General Potiorek had seemingly learned from his mistakes a decade prior and became a valuable asset in the Central Powers’ war of attrition against the Soviets.

A blatant Serbophile, Potiorek was a strong opponent to policies of integrating Serbia into the Habsburg monarchy, which made him a prominent critic of Emperor Karl I. These criticisms continued even as General Potiorek was moved to the Leithanian Front to fight against Hungary and later the FTCR from Illyria, and like many of his peers, Potiorek blamed the apparent collapse of the ancient Habsburg empire on Karl I. After hearing of the November Putsch, Oskar Potiorek decided to take actions into his own hands and snatch away the last outpost of Karl’s reign by directing the Schutzkorps to stage a coup on the Kingdom of Illyria. With the Schutzkorps paramilitary effectively being the dominant military force in Zagreb at the time, the seizure of the Illyrian apparatus of state by General Potiorek on November 20th, 1927 was barely a challenge. Emperor Karl I would never arrive in Zagreb, for Oskar Potiorek, the self-proclaimed military autocrat of Illyria, renounced Karl’s entitlement to the Illyrian throne.

As Karl, who was left without an empire to rule, defeatedly dragged his family into an unexpected exile in the Kingdom of Romania of all places, Potiorek took to writing a new constitution for the Kingdom of Illyria, one that was modeled after the fascist autocracy of Mussolini’s Italy. The short-lived parliamentary democracy of Illyria was replaced with a one party military junta in which all political power was wielded by the voda (Croation for “leader”), who directed all affairs of state, commanded the armed forces, and was the top official of the abruptly-formed United Illyrian Party (UIP), with Oskar Potiorek declaring himself to be the first voda of the Kingdom of Illyria. A constitutional monarch would still exist, with Prince Franz of Bavaria eventually ascending to the Illyrian throne, but the king was effectively a figurehead serving the role of keeping aristocratic traditions from the days of the Habsburg Monarchy alive, something Potiorek viewed as integral to a “civilized and independent Illyrian nation.”


Voda Oskar Potiorek of the Kingdom of Illyria.

Believing the Croatians and Slovenians to have become equals to what fascists considered the other “civilized” people of Europe due to numerous decades of Austrian rule, Voda Potiorek remained vehemently prejudiced against the Serbs and blamed them for the Great War. Serbian was no longer recognized as an official language of Illyria, with Potiorek going so far as to ban speaking Serbian in public, Serbians were forcefully removed from their homes under the direction of the Schutzkorps as settlers pushed in from the north, and Serbian households were forced to pay a steep tax. Simply put, from the get-go, being Serb and expressing Serbian culture were criminalized under the reign of Voda Potiorek. It was, therefore, apparent that fascism had consumed Illyria, just as it had consumed Germany, Italy, and most recently Austria. In a matter of months, the Habsburg Monarchy, the last relic of 19th Century Europe, was no more, for the domains of an ancient family were partitioned between the forces of revolution and reaction.

While both Germany and Italy scrambled to consolidate the presence of the Central Powers on the newly-formed Leithanian Front, it became very clear that the formation of the FTCR was a far greater victory for the Third International than the November Putsch and Potiorek’s coup were for the Central Powers. The forces of the Red Napoleon, which had more or less single-handedly pushed back the majority of German gains made in Phase One, had gained a decisive foothold in Central Europe, one that Premier Leon Trotsky would not let go to waste. As chaos gripped Vienna and Zagreb, an influx of Soviet equipment made its ways into the hands of the TRG as the offensive into Austria continued. The defenses around Vienna were well-maintained, particularly after the annexation of Austria into the Heilsreich, for the fuhrer was keen on preventing the historically paramount city from falling into enemy hands, but the proximity of the city to Transleithania meant that sooner or later, as long as Austria remained a combatant in the Great War, bloodshed would come to the City of Dreams.

Starting in early December 1927, holes were beginning to be punched in German aerial defenses and the first joint Russo-Transleithanian air raids made their way to Vienna. The Luftsreitkrafte remained the larger air force over the city, but it was not an impenetrable shield by any means, and so a handful of Third International payloads made their way into the streets of Vienna. As Third International forces approached Vienna from both the southeast and northeast, it became apparent that a brutal siege of the city was on the horizon. The Transleithanian forces that had captured Nickelsdorf, led by General Matyas Rakosi, would capture Fischamend on December 14th, 1927 while a coalition of TRG and Red Army regiments to the north had begun sieging parts of Vienna to the east of the Danube River on December 16th, thus starting the First Battle of Vienna (first as in the first battle for the city during the Great War).

While certainly a gruesome affair, this conflict wouldn’t last long. As planes clashed in the air, the streets below were consumed by an influx of Soviet tanks overrunning the exhausted German army. After three days of combat, the flags of the Russian Soviet Republic and Federation of Transleithanian Council Republics were waved in unison over the Hofburg Palace, marking the Third International’s victory in the struggle for the City of Dreams. As his men paraded through what had once been the beating heart of Europe, Premier Leon Trotsky had finally accomplished what Sultan Mehmet IV had failed to do many centuries prior back in 1683. On December 19th, 1927, to the dismay of the Central Powers, the joy of the Third International, and the shock of the world as a whole, the Red Army and TRG had won the First Battle of Vienna and now controlled the famed city in the name of the socialist revolution.


Soldiers of the Transleithanian Revolutionary Guard in Vienna, circa December 1927.

The tides of the Leithanian Front were clearly turning in favor of the Third International at this point, and things weren’t much better for the Central Powers on neighboring frontlines. The secession of Hungary had forced the Central Powers as a whole to redistribute forces, primarily from the Eastern Front, to the Leithanian Front, which of course took manpower and equipment away from frontlines where said resources were desperately needed. A mass reconcentration of the Italian and Bulgarian war effort on the Leithanian Front certainly helped prevent German defenses in the east from completely collapsing, however, it was apparent that the Heilsreich was stretching itself thin.

The effects of Hungary’s revolution were felt most immediately by Pavlo Skoropadsky’s Ukrainian State, which had long cut off from Central Powers supply lines as a consequence of Soviet offenses into northwestern Ukraine over the past two years. Hetman Skoropadsky had held out against one of the most brutal offensives waged by the Red Army since his coup on the democratic government of Ukraine in 1923, but not even his pledge to never surrender to the Soviets could not prolong the seemingly inevitable. The provisional capital of Lviv had fallen in December 1925, and two years later the Soviets were converging upon Vinnytsia, the final holdout of the Ukrainian State. The Odessa Offensive of 1924 had cut off Ukraine’s access to the Black Sea, which meant that the nation was completely isolated from foreign aid beyond airlifts, and the fall of Galicia made such campaigns impossible. Simply put, Ukraine was being starved off, and it was only a matter of time before the Russian Soviet Republic’s prey collapsed.

The final defeat of the Ukrainian State, at least for the time being, would come in late December 1927 as the Red Army banged on the gates of Vinnytsia, which had already been bombarded by Soviet aerial campaigns over the last year. Ukraine was in ruins by the end of 1927, and apparently all it took to wipe out the Ukrainian State was the Red Army’s relatively quick victory at the Battle of Vinnytsia on December 28th, 1927. After the fall of the city, what remained of the demoralized Ukrainian armed forces either surrendered en masse to the Russians or mutinied against commanding officers still committed to Skoropadsky’s policy of never capitulating. After four years of combat, the Ukrainian People’s Soviet Republic of Sergei Bakinsky had emerged victorious over the entirety of the Ukrainian nation, which would now rebuild itself in the image of Marxist-Leninism. But the last of Pavlo Skoropadsky had yet to be seen. Even as his military junta disintegrated, the Hetman would gradually make his way to the Heilsreich, where he established a government-in-exile. Upon announcing the formation of his exiled administration to the Reichstag in Berlin, Pavlo Skoropadsky would utter a phrase that would haunt the UPSR for years to come:

“I came through and I shall return.”

Nonetheless, for the time being, eastern Europe was turning to a deeper and deeper hue of red. The offensive into Poland, which had been scarred by well over a decade of warfare, was rapidly turning in favor of the Soviets. Control over the annihilated city of Warsaw had returned back to the forces of General Joseph Stalin at this point thanks to a Soviet victory at the Second Battle of Warsaw circa July 1925, and the territory of the puppet Kingdom of Poland was getting smaller and smaller. Starting in the fall of 1927, the adoption of Boris Souvarine’s foudreguerre tactics on the Eastern Front by some Red Army commanders would contribute to a relatively rapid collapse of what remained of German authority in Poland, with General Stalin’s Fall Offensive across Polish land moving at a decent speed with much fewer casualties than what was typical on the Eastern Front, which was historically a bloodbath. The Battle of Sieradz on January 9th, 1928 would mark the decimation of the last remains of the Kingdom of Poland, with Roman Dmowski following the example of Pavlo Skoropadsky and evacuating into Germany, where he would continue to command Polish forces fighting on the Eastern Front.

The decisive Soviet victory in the Fall Offensive resulted in the return of the Republic of Poland, however, this time it would not be led by Jozef Pilsudski, but was instead ruled by Prime Minister Maria Koszutska, the leader of the Communist Party of Poland (KPP) who had been propped up by Leon Trotsky as the leader of the Republic of Poland-in-Exile. Unsurprisingly, Koszutska’s Poland effectively became a satellite of Moscow, both because the Soviets had made sure that the exiled Polish government would be their proxy and because war-scarred Poland was more or less reliant on Soviet aid to not collapse. Under the guidance of Premier Leon Trotsky, the Republic of Poland fell under de facto one-party rule as Moscow installed KPP leaders at all levels within the apparatus of state, thus turning Koszutska’s rule into a Marxist-Leninist vanguard.

As Poland was rebuilt into yet another proxy of the Red Napoleon, General Joseph Stalin looked ahead. Total Russian occupation of Poland meant that the Red Army now had a bridge that directly led into the heart of the German Heilsreich, and this time the bridge would not be destroyed by a German counteroffensive, as had been the case in 1924. Simply throwing hoards of soldiers at the frontlines would no longer effectively keep back the onslaught of the Russian Soviet Republic, whose tactics and mechanization had finally outpaced the once-invincible strength of Germany. It was apparent to all that, for arguably the first time in the entirety of the Great War, Germany was beginning to lose. Sure, the Germans had certainly experienced their fair share of defeats before (Operation Ascania often comes to mind), but never at any point in either phase of the vicious conflict had the Germans fought a war on their own turf beyond fending off failed offensives into Pomerania and Silesia by the Red Army. Now, the French, British, and Irish were invading Germany from the west while the Russians and their puppets invaded from the east.

On January 13th, General Stalin would emerge victorious at the Battle of Kalisz, thus establishing the first Soviet foothold in German territory and beginning what the Soviet high command had deemed Operation Pontianowski, a broad military strategy outlined in secrecy in coordination between Premier Trotsky and the Soviet armed forces. In this plan, General Joseph Stalin was to lead the bulk of Red Army forces directly towards Berlin while supplemental forces were to overwhelm Silesia and Pomerania to the south and north respectively. Following the fall of Pomerania and East Prussia, an additional dispatch of Red Army soldiers would overrun Lithuania and the United Baltic Duchy, which had been only holding out via German aid through the North Sea (as well as a lack of strategic interest in the region from Moscow) and could therefore be choked off via a Soviet naval blockade once Pomerania and East Prussia fell.

It was believed that by the end of 1928, the flag of the Russian Soviet Republic would be waving over the Berlin Palace. At long last, the wrath of fascism would be vanquished and the end of the Great War would be in reaching distance. This was, at least, the hope, and the Russians certainly had the manpower, resources, equipment, and tactics to pull it off. But in Berlin, as the Red Army charged into eastern Germany, Alfred Hugenberg and August Wilhelm both awaited the coming storm. They were not ready to surrender, not this year at least, and were instead prepared to trudge Germany through another decade of a man-made hell if it served their political ambitions. Even as the clock ticked down to the moment the Eastern Front would make its way across the Oder River, the German war machine continued to churn. The Great War was far from over, but even so, neither Hugenberg nor August could prevent the oncoming battle and neither the Premier, the Fuhrer, nor the Kaiser could predict its outcome.

Nonetheless, the Battle of Berlin was upon the horizon.

January 1928-Manmade Hell (1).png

Map of the World circa January 1928.
 
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Hello everyone! After a few months of tending to this amidst school starting up, Chapter Ten is finally out! Hopefully it was well worth the wait, and I apologize for how long this chapter took to churn out.
 
What's going on in China? Is the third internationale supporting Mao Zedong and the CCP?
I think I briefly mentioned Mao and the CCP in a prior chapter, but both aligned with the Beiyang Government during the Chinese Civil War. Mao in particular will make an appearance later in the TL, but for now the CCP is niche political movement in the Chinese Federation. The Third International isn’t really funding or supporting them, however, due to all of their efforts more or less being focused on the Great War. There aren’t really resources to spare on boosting socialist movements in neutral nations.
 
It will be interesting to see how a divided India develops. Have the Soviets developed strategic bombing? What is the status of rocketry for civilian and military uses?
 
Not looking good for the Empire rn, be interesting to see them pull a rabbit out of there hat or the monarchy remain some how atleast. Anyway great job looking forward to what’s next
 
It will be interesting to see how a divided India develops. Have the Soviets developed strategic bombing? What is the status of rocketry for civilian and military uses?
The Soviets primarily focus on developing ground mechanization (their tanks and anti-aircraft guns are among the best in the Great War), so while Soviet strategic bombing does exist, it's nothing too fancy. Basically, small and quick air raids will be conducted on infrastructure and supply lines close to the frontlines of the war, with light bombers being most prominently used thanks to German aircraft being much more prevalent and therefore capable of efficiently targeting heavy bombers. Modern rocket artillery is still a ways off, but the equivalent of the Katyusha ITTL should be a thing by the early 1930s, as will rocket-powered aircraft, although the Germans will likely have a slight edge with the latter due to heavy investment in aircraft by Berlin.

Not looking good for the Empire rn, be interesting to see them pull a rabbit out of there hat or the monarchy remain some how atleast. Anyway great job looking forward to what’s next
Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed this latest chapter! The Empire of America should get a decent amount of attention next chapter, so all I can say about them is wait and see. With the war in India over, more or less all of their attention has shifted to the Atlantic Front, and with the Brazilians in the same boat, this front is going to get really messy really quick.
 
Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed this latest chapter! The Empire of America should get a decent amount of attention next chapter, so all I can say about them is wait and see. With the war in India over, more or less all of their attention has shifted to the Atlantic Front, and with the Brazilians in the same boat, this front is going to get really messy really quick.

By Empire I had actually meant Germany haha
 
By Empire I had actually meant Germany haha
Ah shoot, there’s too many empires in this TL to keep track of! :p

And yeah, Germany’s essentially in its most vulnerable position encountered thus far during the Great War. It’s still a force to be reckoned with, but nearly all of the gains from Phase One have been undone at this point.
 
Always great to see an update to this timeline! Lots has happened, and there's lots to comment on. While there's a long time between updates, there is plenty of meat to them!

Emperor Karl I, who believed that he could quickly reinstate his authority over Hungary due to the nation not yet having much in the way of a standing domestic armed force, would not, however, let the Hungarian people escape the nightmare of the Great War and, upon receiving the go-ahead from Berlin, declared war on the Republic of Hungary on September 13th, 1927.
Surprised they bothered to declare war, since that implies recognition of their independence. I'd assume they'd just declare them to be a rebellion and treat them like one.
Furthermore, as a government that had little connections with either the Entente or the Third International, the Republic of Hungary was left without allies to rely on in the fight against Austria-Illyria, which made cozying up to the nearby Russian Soviet Republic especially appealing.
Little confused- is Soviet Russia not actually part of the Third Internationale? Why? How well do they get along?

So, with the fall of the last of Germany's puppets, Germany's food situation has to be getting horrible. This is going to hurt them. Meanwhile, Austria has been cut down and the Rhine has fallen. Berlin is still a pretty long ways off though from both France and Germany, and things could see unexpected twists. While the Burning Of The Rhine certainly did stall the French offensive thanks to the logistical impact, it looks like focusing on targeting industry in general was a major strategic mistake for the Heilsreich. Since it's captured enemy territory the Rhenish industry was of limited use to Germany anyway, so a large amount of aircraft and bombs were wasted on targets that didn't really hurt the French too badly. Heh, typical fascists and their obsession with terror bombing.
Foudreguerre proved to be a temporary solution to the French Commune’s manpower shortages.
That "Temporary" is very unnerving. Perhaps it will just barely last until phase 2 ends. Perhaps the Germans will come up with some clever antitank defenses at the worst possible time.

On that note, the demographic devastation will soon reach the tipping point. Up until now you'd have a few hundred thousand new humans reach adulthood every year to plug some holes in the ranks, but in a few years that number will drop sharply as the people growing up are those who were born during the war, and naturally birth rates aren't very high during wartime. I wonder if French tank and plane design places emphasis on making it easy for the crew to bail out in order to minimize the number of men actually lost per vehicle knocked out (like the OTL USA with the Sherman) since they need to preserve their skilled manpower.

Hmm, with France annexing all of Belgium, I wonder if their Revanche is getting them to push for a Rhine border once again?

Those battles for Delhi sounded utterly savage. I actually sorta expected them to last longer, on the order of weeks. We're lucky we didn't get a Stalingrad-like battle. Now, I wonder if/when we'll eventually get one...

Surprised the Indian nationalists would accept a surviving Raj. I guess the stresses of war and Brazilian bombing were just too stressful. Heh, I'm sure Brazil's loony fascists will play this off as a victory "We preserved a foothold in India to serve as a springboard for the future reconquest by European civilization" and all that. Still, with two separate Indian independence movements, Soviet direct control of part of India, and the rump Raj, this is only looking like a temporary peace. A great flashpoint for a future phase of the war, especially if the socialists of the world prove not as unified as they think.

While I'm sure Foudreguerre would be very effective in northern India, I am skeptical that the Russians would be able to supply sufficient fuel and vehicles through the mountains of Afghanistan. On similar note, how were the Soviets supplying AA guns and ammo to the Indians? They didn't initially have a land connection, while the sea routes would be very long and probably swarming with enemy commerce raiders.

I see there's not too much trouble from Partisans in Europe. Well makes sense I guess, most trained men have already been drafted.

Damned DVPO. Count on the fascists to prolong a war to prolong their egos.

Is Illyria fighting on the side of the Central Powers, or is it neutral for now?

Speaking of France, How's the 4th Republic's manpower situation looking? Not that many Pied-Noirs to draw on, and the Africa interlude mentioned persistant small revolts so it sounds like they're not getting much mileage out of integrating the natives. In general that update, read in retrospect, sounds like Africa was going to get chaotic as Phase Two dragged on, so I wonder if things are going to start blowing up soon. Maybe South Africa will get tired of putting out everyone's colonial revolts?

On that note, how much does Britain-In-Exile's middle eastern empire contribute to the war effort? I imagine they're not eager.

I am very surprised that Galicia was annexed to Translethania rather than to Poland, since it has historically been controlled by Poland while Hungary never ruled it. I imagine the Poles will agitate heavily to get it back.

So, even in TTL Stalin invades Poland. This time, he comes as something of a savior instead of a tyrannical conqueror. But the poles may not be receptive to communist rule in the long run.

On a related note, how much are the Middle Eastern puppets of exiled-Britain contributing to the Entente war effort? I imagine they're not too enthusiastic.

It seems the Entente is preparing for an Atlantic campaign subsequent to the fall of India, to blockade all their enemes. I'm sure it sounds nice on paper, with focus on the gallant Royal Navy and air force rather than the poor infantrymen in the mud, little land battles to waste manpower, just a relatively leisurely deployment of raiders, submarines, and naval bombers. Then the clever chaps in Britain figure out ASW equipment and tactics and use their carriers to project air power into the atlantic, and suddenly every month you have thousands of men getting shot down in planes and sunk in submarines, with zero hope of survival because they're lost in the middle of the ocean. The battle of the Atlantic was very harsh OTL, and will too be in TTL.

Wonder if we'll see WW2-style frigates and escort carriers, or Merchant Aircraft Carriers?|

EDIT: I do hope these long comments aren't unwelcome @ETGalaxy
 
Always great to see an update to this timeline! Lots has happened, and there's lots to comment on. While there's a long time between updates, there is plenty of meat to them!
I'm happy to hear that! This update took a uniquely long amount of time and I don't anticipate that continuing, but at this point I'm trying to wrap up Phase Two (I actually plan on having the next chapter be the conclusion to Phase Two), so Chapter Eleven should also be pretty packed.

Surprised they bothered to declare war, since that implies recognition of their independence. I'd assume they'd just declare them to be a rebellion and treat them like one.
I could be wrong, but AFAIK nations do sometimes declare war on entities that they do not recognize the sovereignty of, which is the situation here. If not, that's an easy edit to make, so thank you for pointing this out!

Little confused- is Soviet Russia not actually part of the Third Internationale? Why? How well do they get along?
Nope, Russia and all of its puppet states are part of the Third International. What I'm trying to get at here is that Hungary is not part of either the Entente or the Third International but develops relations with Moscow due to it being the closest power fighting the Central Powers.

So, with the fall of the last of Germany's puppets, Germany's food situation has to be getting horrible. This is going to hurt them. Meanwhile, Austria has been cut down and the Rhine has fallen. Berlin is still a pretty long ways off though from both France and Germany, and things could see unexpected twists. While the Burning Of The Rhine certainly did stall the French offensive thanks to the logistical impact, it looks like focusing on targeting industry in general was a major strategic mistake for the Heilsreich. Since it's captured enemy territory the Rhenish industry was of limited use to Germany anyway, so a large amount of aircraft and bombs were wasted on targets that didn't really hurt the French too badly. Heh, typical fascists and their obsession with terror bombing.
Yep, the next few years are going to be pretty bad for Germany and the Central Powers in general. Overall, as Phase Two comes to a close, the Great War will enter a period where both sides are fighting a war for resources more than anything else. Of course, areas within reach of the belligerents that have untapped resources for their war efforts are stretching thin. As for the Burning of the Rhine, the Communards are definitely utilizing conquered Rhenish resources and infrastructure (especially given that the rapid French push has meant that a lot of land wasn't too brutally damaged as the Germans rapidly evacuated), but you're right to point out that this isn't the smartest long term strategy. At the end of the day, I needed an event to indicate that August is both amassing his own influence within the DVP and is a uniquely evil person, and this seemed like a good enough way to do so.

That "Temporary" is very unnerving. Perhaps it will just barely last until phase 2 ends. Perhaps the Germans will come up with some clever antitank defenses at the worst possible time.

On that note, the demographic devastation will soon reach the tipping point. Up until now you'd have a few hundred thousand new humans reach adulthood every year to plug some holes in the ranks, but in a few years that number will drop sharply as the people growing up are those who were born during the war, and naturally birth rates aren't very high during wartime. I wonder if French tank and plane design places emphasis on making it easy for the crew to bail out in order to minimize the number of men actually lost per vehicle knocked out (like the OTL USA with the Sherman) since they need to preserve their skilled manpower.
Certainly. I'd imagine that a lot of belligerent governments are incentivizing their population to have children as they realize that the Great War will be here for awhile, but something that I might consider bringing up in a few chapters is how there will likely be a noticeable dip in recruitment in the early 1930s as the Great War his its eighteenth war of combat and the belligerents have to pay the price of not seeing the writing on the wall back in Phase One. Foudreguerre has worked as a really efficient strategy for the time being, which has in turn made casualties very low for the Third International as of recently, but, as you pointed out, this trick will only work for so long. Either way, the French in particular have been really keen on making sure evacuation of all wartime vehicles is relatively easy.

Hmm, with France annexing all of Belgium, I wonder if their Revanche is getting them to push for a Rhine border once again?
We'll see, although part of the region Belgium was annexed was because the region was so utterly devastated by the Great War and was therefore pretty easy for the French to simply annex as opposed to going through the trouble of installing yet another puppet state in the region.

Those battles for Delhi sounded utterly savage. I actually sorta expected them to last longer, on the order of weeks. We're lucky we didn't get a Stalingrad-like battle. Now, I wonder if/when we'll eventually get one...
The Battle for Delhi was certainly a huge and devastating affair, but a Stalingrad-level battle is certainly going to happen eventually (this is a TL that can basically be summed up as "the World Wars on steroids," after all), and although I've never written about a battle on that scale, I think I have some decent ideas about how it'll go.

Surprised the Indian nationalists would accept a surviving Raj. I guess the stresses of war and Brazilian bombing were just too stressful. Heh, I'm sure Brazil's loony fascists will play this off as a victory "We preserved a foothold in India to serve as a springboard for the future reconquest by European civilization" and all that. Still, with two separate Indian independence movements, Soviet direct control of part of India, and the rump Raj, this is only looking like a temporary peace. A great flashpoint for a future phase of the war, especially if the socialists of the world prove not as unified as they think.
Neither faction of the South Asian Front really wanted to prolong things any longer than they need to, so both sides basically just took what they could get. What remains of the British Raj is definitely in a weird position and will face a number of challenges going forward, both externally and internally.

While I'm sure Foudreguerre would be very effective in northern India, I am skeptical that the Russians would be able to supply sufficient fuel and vehicles through the mountains of Afghanistan. On similar note, how were the Soviets supplying AA guns and ammo to the Indians? They didn't initially have a land connection, while the sea routes would be very long and probably swarming with enemy commerce raiders.
The mountain ranges in Afghanistan to prove to be a bit of an annoying obstacle, although at this point the nation's pretty snuggly under the control of Russia and supply lines have therefore been developed decently enough. As for early Soviet shipments to India, it was a combination of transportation through neutral East Asia and a handful of naval traversals to Bengal. As you can likely guess, this isn't exactly an efficient way to deploy a lot of equipment, so by 1927 the bulk of Indian weapons based off of Soviet designs are in fact manufactured in India, oftentimes with Soviet engineers providing insight.

I see there's not too much trouble from Partisans in Europe. Well makes sense I guess, most trained men have already been drafted.
Yep, and a lot of people really just want the war to end, which makes domestic uprisings all the less appealing. Overthrowing belligerent governments clearly didn't help the Third International escape the Great War.

Damned DVPO. Count on the fascists to prolong a war to prolong their egos.
Yeah, fascists needlessly prolonging the Great War, be it for egotistical reasons or to accomplish far-fetched geopolitical goals, has been a bit of a running theme ITTL. Recall that it was Hugenberg's invasion of the French Commune that started Phase Two.

Is Illyria fighting on the side of the Central Powers, or is it neutral for now?
It's fighting on behalf of the Central Powers, but has yet to face much resistance from the FTCR due to their attention being poised on Austria for the moment.

Speaking of France, How's the 4th Republic's manpower situation looking? Not that many Pied-Noirs to draw on, and the Africa interlude mentioned persistant small revolts so it sounds like they're not getting much mileage out of integrating the natives. In general that update, read in retrospect, sounds like Africa was going to get chaotic as Phase Two dragged on, so I wonder if things are going to start blowing up soon. Maybe South Africa will get tired of putting out everyone's colonial revolts?
The 4th Republic will get a good amount of attention next chapter as this was something that I couldn't get to this time, but long story short, they are not on the winning side of their war with the Communards. As for the rest of Africa, there was one idea that I have since scrapped that you may be referring to (a lot of side conflicts generally don't make it into the final cut due to them not fitting narratively), but I do hope to give the continent a decent amount of attention in Chapter Eleven.

On that note, how much does Britain-In-Exile's middle eastern empire contribute to the war effort? I imagine they're not eager.
Oil and a handful of expeditionary forces. Other than that, the Empire mostly leaves the region given that the war effort has already ticked off enough of its subjects.

I am very surprised that Galicia was annexed to Translethania rather than to Poland, since it has historically been controlled by Poland while Hungary never ruled it. I imagine the Poles will agitate heavily to get it back.
That was the original plan, but then I realized the Republic of Poland wasn't restored until after Galicia fell. It might be a source of contention, but the Poles aren't exactly in a position to push for territory, especially when the Russians are currently doing a lot of heavy lifting to get them their German-held territory.

So, even in TTL Stalin invades Poland. This time, he comes as something of a savior instead of a tyrannical conqueror. But the poles may not be receptive to communist rule in the long run.
The Soviets are pretty controversial in Poland, to say the least. Division between the Soviets and Germans has left much of the Polish population fractured over which side they support, and the nation has been in a uniquely bad position during the Great War, which has left much of its citizenry pretty angry at both sides. Right now, however, most Poles are just relieved that their nation is taking a break from being a frontline for a bit.

It seems the Entente is preparing for an Atlantic campaign subsequent to the fall of India, to blockade all their enemes. I'm sure it sounds nice on paper, with focus on the gallant Royal Navy and air force rather than the poor infantrymen in the mud, little land battles to waste manpower, just a relatively leisurely deployment of raiders, submarines, and naval bombers. Then the clever chaps in Britain figure out ASW equipment and tactics and use their carriers to project air power into the atlantic, and suddenly every month you have thousands of men getting shot down in planes and sunk in submarines, with zero hope of survival because they're lost in the middle of the ocean. The battle of the Atlantic was very harsh OTL, and will too be in TTL.
What's interesting with the Atlantic Front ITTL is that it really is a push to acquire territory, at least for the Entente, which isn't something that we really saw on this scale in OTL. For all intents and purposes the war in the Atlantic is the priority of a lot of belligerents, but the outcome ultimately depends on who gets overwhelmed first.

Wonder if we'll see WW2-style frigates and escort carriers, or Merchant Aircraft Carriers?|
Ships aren't my forte, but I'm sure they'll make an appearance sooner or later.

EDIT: I do hope these long comments aren't unwelcome @ETGalaxy
I'm always happy to answer any and all questions! I love seeing this sort of interest in the TL.
 
The 4th Republic will get a good amount of attention next chapter as this was something that I couldn't get to this time, but long story short, they are not on the winning side of their war with the Communards. As for the rest of Africa, there was one idea that I have since scrapped that you may be referring to (a lot of side conflicts generally don't make it into the final cut due to them not fitting narratively), but I do hope to give the continent a decent amount of attention in Chapter Eleven.
Interesting. Curious how Africa will play into the end of phase 2. I guess it's inevitable that specific sideplots might get scrapped, but I do hope that the natives get their chance to do something while the European empires are in a weakened state-especially since the Euros are going to have trouble finding people to run their colonies.
Oil and a handful of expeditionary forces. Other than that, the Empire mostly leaves the region given that the war effort has already ticked off enough of its subjects.
Speaking of ticked-off subjects, how is morale in the other white dominions holding out?
That was the original plan, but then I realized the Republic of Poland wasn't restored until after Galicia fell. It might be a source of contention, but the Poles aren't exactly in a position to push for territory, especially when the Russians are currently doing a lot of heavy lifting to get them their German-held territory.
Makes sense. I guess it'll be in the far future that that will cause tensions. Curious how much German territory the Soviets are willing to grant the Poles.
What's interesting with the Atlantic Front ITTL is that it really is a push to acquire territory, at least for the Entente, which isn't something that we really saw on this scale in OTL. For all intents and purposes the war in the Atlantic is the priority of a lot of belligerents, but the outcome ultimately depends on who gets overwhelmed first.
Not sure what "push to acquire territory" means in context of the Atlantic naval war, are you referring to how the Entente ultimately wants to reclaim their homelands?
 
Interesting. Curious how Africa will play into the end of phase 2. I guess it's inevitable that specific sideplots might get scrapped, but I do hope that the natives get their chance to do something while the European empires are in a weakened state-especially since the Euros are going to have trouble finding people to run their colonies.
I'll definitely try to give the natives something to do, and I have a handful of ideas for what that might look like. As an aside, I may one day post a handful of scrapped ideas from the TL, as I always find the process of developing this sorta stuff to be pretty interesting. It might make for a good interlude after Phase Two is over.

Speaking of ticked-off subjects, how is morale in the other white dominions holding out?
The Boers in South Africa are pretty happy they chose neutrality whereas Australia and New Zealand are increasingly frustrated that they've been dragged into such a long and bloody war, but the Great War obviously hasn't impacted this region very directly, so there isn't too much backlash.

Makes sense. I guess it'll be in the far future that that will cause tensions. Curious how much German territory the Soviets are willing to grant the Poles.
Depends on how well the Soviets do against the Germans, but a weaker Germany is always better for the Soviets at the moment.

Not sure what "push to acquire territory" means in context of the Atlantic naval war, are you referring to how the Entente ultimately wants to reclaim their homelands?
Exactly, I'm referring to the push to retake land in Europe, which in the case of the Atlantic specifically refers to the Loyalist push for Great Britain.
 
As an aside, I may one day post a handful of scrapped ideas from the TL, as I always find the process of developing this sorta stuff to be pretty interesting. It might make for a good interlude after Phase Two is over.
It would be cool to see stuff from the "cutting room floor" in interludes, yes!
Exactly, I'm referring to the push to retake land in Europe, which in the case of the Atlantic specifically refers to the Loyalist push for Great Britain.
I see. I wonder if in that regard it can be considered closer to the Pacific War of OTL than the battle of the Atlantic (though it'd be only a rough analogy, no island hopping.)

Speaking of islands, I wonder if there's a risk that the owners of some Atlantic Islands (Denmark, Portugal, Spain) getting dragged into this war in one way or another. Wonder if a Spanish Civil War could happen.

EDIT: What's the status of the Czechs? I'm guessing that Germany is currently brutally suppressing an independence movement?
 
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It would be cool to see stuff from the "cutting room floor" in interludes, yes!
Then I'll be sure to include it in an eventual interlude!

I see. I wonder if in that regard it can be considered closer to the Pacific War of OTL than the battle of the Atlantic (though it'd be only a rough analogy, no island hopping.)
Yeah, I think that's a fair assessment.

Speaking of islands, I wonder if there's a risk that the owners of some Atlantic Islands (Denmark, Portugal, Spain) getting dragged into this war in one way or another. Wonder if a Spanish Civil War could happen.
Portugal was historically part of the Entente and remains part of the alliance ITTL, although it obviously doesn't play that big of a role. As for Spain and Denmark, they're happy to be neutral, but that can obviously change.

EDIT: What's the status of the Czechs? I'm guessing that Germany is currently brutally suppressing an independence movement?
Yep, independence movements are being suppressed by Germany, but German rule over Cisleithania hasn't been around for too long, so not a whole lot has happened with regards to this sort of stuff yet. It's also worth pointing out that the DVP is much more anti-Latin (particularly anti-French) than it is anti-Slavic. This is in no small part because of German allies and puppet regimes being predominantly Slavic while the constant enemy of Germany during the Great War has been France.
 
A pretty well-made map, though if the states in the North-West are Soviet puppets perhaps they should have a color closer to it.

Whats the relationship like between Madras and the other southern people's republics? Are they relatively equal or are the others more like puppet states?

Huh, seems the Soviets set up a puppet specifically for the Khyber Pass. IDK how viable it is, probably pretty lawless when the Red Army's not there.

I imagine Iran is an unintended beneficiary of Russia and Britain-in-exile no longer being allies: Neither party wants to reoccupy Iran, because that would open a front between the Entente and the International. Hmm, perhaps it will flare up again if/when the Heilsreich falls. The British occupation was pretty damaging OTL, if open fighting breaks out Iran will be in a pretty bad place. And even if they don't reclaim their homeland, the Communist threat might provoke Britain's middle eastern puppets into fully committing to the war, providing a substantial injection of Entente manpower. So Iran keeps its neutrality for now. FOR NOW.

An impressive amount of communist countries popping up. For now the workers are elated, but who knows how long before someone tries to pull a very bloodly Stalin/Mao?
 
A pretty well-made map, though if the states in the North-West are Soviet puppets perhaps they should have a color closer to it.
Thanks for the recommendation. I tried to keep a roughly similar color scheme (all of the Soviet puppets are shades of red), but if I ever make a similar map, I’ll try to give the colors a closer shade.

Whats the relationship like between Madras and the other southern people's republics? Are they relatively equal or are the others more like puppet states?
They’re effectively puppet states. Hyderabad’s in an interesting position where it’s under joint Madras-Indian military occupation, which makes it susceptible to influence from both powers but also gives it a bit of leverage in regional geopolitics.

Huh, seems the Soviets set up a puppet specifically for the Khyber Pass. IDK how viable it is, probably pretty lawless when the Red Army's not there.
To be fair, the British did historically have princely states in this region, so autonomy here isn’t unheard of, but I do agree that it’d be a more difficult puppet state to maintain. I’d imagine that the development of infrastructure, particularly for military supply lines, is a priority of the Soviets in all of its south Asian puppets.

I imagine Iran is an unintended beneficiary of Russia and Britain-in-exile no longer being allies: Neither party wants to reoccupy Iran, because that would open a front between the Entente and the International. Hmm, perhaps it will flare up again if/when the Heilsreich falls. The British occupation was pretty damaging OTL, if open fighting breaks out Iran will be in a pretty bad place. And even if they don't reclaim their homeland, the Communist threat might provoke Britain's middle eastern puppets into fully committing to the war, providing a substantial injection of Entente manpower. So Iran keeps its neutrality for now. FOR NOW.
Totally. The British and Russians pulled out of Iran a long time ago, and there isn’t really any strategic benefit to invading Iran at the moment (or at least no benefit that outweighs the cost), so Iran’s in a relatively safe position.

An impressive amount of communist countries popping up. For now the workers are elated, but who knows how long before someone tries to pull a very bloodly Stalin/Mao?
Trotsky sort of already has (it was mentioned a few chapters back that he implemented a very brutal Three-Year Plan), but outside of the Russian Soviet Republic and its puppets, the Third International is pretty democratic, so short of a coup or a big constitutional change, there isn’t really a way for a genocidal demagogue to take power.

Have any of the major combatants offered citizenship for colonial residents or foreigners who volunteer for military service?
Not really, no. Colonial policy has mostly remained the same as OTL (also worth noting that Africa remains neutral in the Great War, so there aren’t many forces from the European colonies anyway), and foreign volunteer forces don’t intend on staying in the nations they’re fighting on behalf of, and typically arrive for ideological reasons instead. It’s also worth noting that being granted citizenship in a nation that’s been embroiled in a really brutal war for over a decade isn’t all that appealing, especially if you come from a well-off neutral power.
 
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