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

Is this a good timeline?

  • Yes, it's great!

    Votes: 132 57.4%
  • Yes, it has a few flaws but is still good.

    Votes: 78 33.9%
  • No, it's very implausible.

    Votes: 14 6.1%
  • No, it's boring.

    Votes: 6 2.6%

  • Total voters
as long as sane democracy-loving people remain in charge of this nation.”

Wow, things are really hitting the fan at this point. To be honest I feel Russia being able to repair itself enough to fight on even ground with Germany within four years of the civil war ending is a little ASB, but it's necessary to keep the TL going at all so I can accept it.

Damn, Germany has indeed gone full evil. Let's hope their overambition gets them into trouble.

With the Reds winning in England and France, even even if Germany ultimately conquers France no way the fascists will give it back to the former owners, Africa is about to become home to three exiled empires. I can see why this will temp them to eventually break the colonial neutrality.

I wonder, did Paul Von Lettow Vorbeck manage to escape to the colonies? I hope he did, only way Germany has a chance if it comes to blow with Britain and France.
I'm not going to say much about the United States for now, but you could say that. Simply put, keep an eye on the Crusader Party.

Wow, things are really hitting the fan at this point. To be honest I feel Russia being able to repair itself enough to fight on even ground with Germany within four years of the civil war ending is a little ASB, but it's necessary to keep the TL going at all so I can accept it.
The way I see it, Russia did have enough time to militarize and industrialize if it was a top priority, which it definitely was with the bloodiest war in human history being fought next door. It's also worth noting that the initial advances of the Red Army were so successful because the Germans were more or less ignoring the Eastern Front, which had been dormant since 1918, in favor of the Western Front.

Damn, Germany has indeed gone full evil. Let's hope their overambition gets them into trouble.
Yup, TTL has its big villain now. The Heilsreich was actually pretty fun to design, so it should hopefully make for an interesting antagonist.

With the Reds winning in England and France, even even if Germany ultimately conquers France no way the fascists will give it back to the former owners, Africa is about to become home to three exiled empires. I can see why this will temp them to eventually break the colonial neutrality.
My plan is for chapter six to be International-focused, so I will explain what the British and French governments are up to then. What I have planned now is that the French Third Republic is exiled in Algiers, if only because it's away from the front-lines of the Great War. The British monarchy has already fled to Canada and the British government probably isn't far behind.

I wonder, did Paul Von Lettow Vorbeck manage to escape to the colonies? I hope he did, only way Germany has a chance if it comes to blow with Britain and France.
Yep, as did Paul von Hindenburg. My plan is for Vorbeck to not stand out too much in Mittelafrika, because being affiliated with Africa would ruin the whole "Lion of Arabia" thing ITTL, but he'll definitely be of some importance to Mittelafrika in the near future.

You can just tell that the Grim Reaper is having the time of his life ITTL.
The poor guy hasn't had a day off in over nine years. :p
Epic update as always! So, I assume the disorganized nature of the French in the West will mean brutal trench warfare can continue against Russia? And the death of Lenin is certainly an interesting twist to things.


I really like this story, although there are a few questions I have. What kind of air power do both sides have? I can't imagine that the vintage Great War biplanes would be able to deliver the devastating air support described, so has aircraft technology been accelerated to the point that aircraft in TTL 1920s are as good as OTL 1930s aircraft?

If Germany wanted Poland to be a German puppet state, why was an Austrian put on the Polish throne? A Wettin or one of the Catholic Hohenzollerns would make more sense, and as a bonus the Wettins had actually been kings of Poland before. Dmowski was vehemently anti-German (and pro-Tsarist Russia, although that's a moot point now). I don't think the German government would support him.

Also, what is Tukhachevsky up to?
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I really like this story, although there are a few questions I have. What kind of air power do both sides have? I can't imagine that the vintage Great War biplanes would be able to deliver the devastating air support described, so has aircraft technology been accelerated to the point that aircraft in TTL 1920s are as good as OTL 1930s aircraft?
Thanks! I'm happy to hear you enjoy this scenario. Aa for your question, I haven't put too much thought into what exactly airplanes look like outside of radial engines being commonplace, but it's suffice to say that in a few years warfare technology will catch up to OTL's 1930s. Even so, German war production has only started to really accelerate recently with the Russian declaration of war, so significant advances are still a few years away.

If Germany wanted Poland to be a German puppet state, why was an Austrian put on the Polish throne? A Wettin or one of the Catholic Hohenzollerns would make more sense, and as a bonus the Wettins had actually been kings of Poland before. Dmowski was vehemently anti-German (and pro-Tsarist Russia, although that's a moot point now). I don't think the German government would support him.
Charles Stephen was a primary candidate for the Polish throne in OTL, being a Catholic and a fluent speaker of the Polish language. Besides, the Polish monarchy, and for that matter the Polish government, was instituted prior to the Heilungscoup, back when Germany's policy in the east was to establish loyal monarchies instead of meat shields against the Red Army.

As for Dmowski, he has become pro-German ITTL due to his respect for Hugenberg (Dmowski ITTL is fascist), and as much as he might dislike German control over Poland, he hates liberalism and communism more. In other words, Dmowski and Germany share a common enemy.

Also, what is Tukhachevsky up to?
I'll either make him an officer under the command of Trotsky or the leader of a potential invasion of British-occupied southern Asia.
Epic update as always! So, I assume the disorganized nature of the French in the West will mean brutal trench warfare can continue against Russia? And the death of Lenin is certainly an interesting twist to things.
I'm happy to hear you enjoyed the update! :extremelyhappy:

Yeah, the Germans are focusing on the mess that is the Eastern Front for now. The Western Front won't by changing much, in part because the French Commune should be easy to defeat after Russia is hypothetically defeated, and in part because the Germans don't want to waste any resources when the Red Army is close to invading East Prussia. And just like in OTL, Trotsky is supposed to be Lenin's successor, but that doesn't mean he won't face opposition.
I'll either make him an officer under the command of Trotsky or the leader of a potential invasion of British-occupied southern Asia.
Given the logistics this won't be a very spectacular career for him. Especially if Britain is able to use Communism as a boogeyman to raise an Indian army.

This reminds me actually, on a scale from "genuine attempt at creating a worker's utopia" to "imitating OTL Joseph Stalin", where are the TTL socialist states?


Given the logistics this won't be a very spectacular career for him. Especially if Britain is able to use Communism as a boogeyman to raise an Indian army.

This reminds me actually, on a scale from "genuine attempt at creating a worker's utopia" to "imitating OTL Joseph Stalin", where are the TTL socialist states?
Yeah, I don't think Deep Battle operations are going to work well in the mountains of Persia and Afghanistan.
Given the logistics this won't be a very spectacular career for him. Especially if Britain is able to use Communism as a boogeyman to raise an Indian army.
Yeah, any Russian invasion of India will be a mess, but I think it would be pretty interesting to see what a Soviet invasion of India would look like.

This reminds me actually, on a scale from "genuine attempt at creating a worker's utopia" to "imitating OTL Joseph Stalin", where are the TTL socialist states?
It varies. The Russian Soviet Republic isn't that much different from the USSR under Lenin in OTL. It's better than Stalinist Russia, but it's still not a great place to live, especially with War Communism around. Soviet Ukraine is worse due to being a frontline against the Central Powers.

The French Commune is a dictatorship for the time, but it's far from authoritarian, with the multi-party system and de jure democratic constitution ensuring that the uncontested reign of Frossard is temporary and respectful of constitutional rights. The Workers' Commonwealth is basically just a trade union federation, so union elections more or less serve as the basis for its system of governance.


Subhas Chandra Bose originally sympathized with the Soviet Union and wanted to ally with them to drive out the British. Could he end up collaborating with the Soviets?
Subhash Chandra Bose originally sympathized with the Soviet Union and wanted to ally with them to drive out the British. Could he end up collaborating with the Soviets?
I home-brew Indian revolution is not completely impossible, and is the only way the Soviets have any real chance of making much headway.

On that note what is the state of Afghanistan? Has it tried using the chaos as an opportunity to break free of British influence?
Subhash Chandra Bose originally sympathized with the Soviet Union and wanted to ally with them to drive out the British. Could he end up collaborating with the Soviets?
That could actually be pretty interesting. As of now, my plan for socialism in India is that a socialist revolution centered around Calcutta takes over Bangladesh and invades neighboring British colonies.
On that note what is the state of Afghanistan? Has it tried using the chaos as an opportunity to break free of British influence?
I know that in OTL the Afghan monarchy had attempted to escape British influence via correspondence with the Central Powers, but on the other hand it borders the Soviet Republic and is basically just sitting tight for now.


That could actually be pretty interesting. As of now, my plan for socialism in India is that a socialist revolution centered around Calcutta takes over Bangladesh and invades neighboring British colonies.
Bose is from Bengal, so he could be a part of the revolution.
Interlude Five: "Free Our Comrades!"
Hey everyone! A few days ago, I posted the latest chapter of my other TL, Dreams of Liberty. That means that work on Chapter Six should begin very soon. In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to make a new map for this timeline, which I submitted for MotF 198: Vae Victis. This map, which I named "Free Our Comrades," is supposed to be Soviet propaganda from the beginning of Phase Two, and is by far the largest and most complicated graphic I have ever made.

Big thanks to @InfernoMole for feedback on the final product and providing a bit of assistance on translation!

Whelp, here's my first ever MotF entry, which I named "Free Our Comrades!" This map is supposed to be a piece of Russian propaganda from my timeline Man-Made Hell: A History of the Great War and Beyond, with the map depicting territory lost by the Russian Soviet Republic in an alternate Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.

The map was apparently too large to upload as a file, so it can instead be found here

Excerpt from National Geographic Society's "The War of Persuasion: Propaganda of the Great War," published circa 1968

From its very inception, the Russian Soviet Republic's history was defined by warfare. The discontent that led to the Russian Civil War emerged from Phase One of the Great War, in which the backwater and extremely aristocratic Russian Empire was decisively defeated by the German Empire and her allies within the Central Powers, and the Soviet Republic itself was forged from a nearly three year-long civil war against the monarchist White Army and the social democratic Green Army.

Therefore, the Russian people were obviously tired of endless warfare by the time the Red Army secured most of Russia west of the Ural Mountains. As Leon Trotsky began his infamous campaign eastward into Siberia, Vladimir Lenin negotiated a peace agreement with the Central Powers in 1918 at Brest-Litovsk that established numerous German puppet states in eastern Europe and recognized the independence of a German-aligned Ukrainian Republic. Handing over some of Russia's most valuable territory to German imperialism was far from popular, however, it was viewed as necessary to end the Eastern Front and pull Russia out of the Great War.

After the Red Army won the Russian Civil War and Victor Chernov's Russian Democratic Federative Republic was exiled to Siberia, the Russian Soviet Republic began to rapidly industrialize under the leadership of Premier Vladimir Lenin. Even if the Eastern Front had fallen silent, the Great War still raged on in the west. The buildup of the Red Army only further accelerated when the Second French Revolution began following the escalation of mutinies in 1921 into a civil war between the French Third Republic and socialist French Commune, and the Comintern continued to expand into the frontlines of the Great War when a trade union strike in Great Britain turned violent in 1922, leading to the formation of the Workers' Commonwealth.

Things only got worse as fascism, a reactionary ideology that served as the antithesis to Marxism, rose in the Kingdom of Italy under the leadership of Benito Mussolini. A ceasefire may have been declared on the Western Front by German forces, who were ordered not to interfere in the Second French Revolution, but Soviet-German tensions were continuing to grow, especially as the fascist German Fatherland Party of Alfred Hugenberg rose to prominence in the Reichstag. In the January of 1923, Hugenberg assumed the position of chancellor, promoted intervention in France, and ultimately declared war on the French Commune. This infuriated the Soviets, who had been building up their military force for four years by this point, thus leading to a Soviet declaration war on the German Empire in the February of 1923 and the beginning of Phase Two of the Great War.

As General Leon Trotsky began his invasion of eastern Europe through the Principality of Belarus, the Soviet war machine was completely mobilized, and propaganda was distributed throughout Russia. This particular propaganda poster (named "Free Our Comrades!") was produced early into Phase Two and depicts German puppet regimes in eastern Europe as oppressive pawns of Berlin, keen on exploiting the East European proletariat, whilst also depicting the Soviet Republic as the liberator of eastern Europe. It is worth noting that the Principality of Belarus is labelled as "West Belarus" to invoke a mindset that Germany split the Belorussian region in two, while Germany is labelled with the more hostile and reactionary name "Imperialist Germany."

Title translation:

"Free our Comrades!
Victims of the Brest-Litovsk Treaty"

Bottom translation:

"Years after vile imperialists forced us to give up a huge tract of land in Brest-Litovsk Treaty for peace, thousands of our comrades have since suffered from German imperialism.

Poland faces a new division between Germany and Austria-Hungary, and further degradation of Polish sovereignty is inevitable ...
Ukraine, once free from German and tsarist oppression, is now ruled by a fascist tyrant...
Our Belarusian comrades lost half of their nation to the German puppet regime ...
The Baltic proletariat is oppressed by the German bourgeoisie ...

We will free our comrades!
We will return what was lost in 1918!
We will always protect the east from imperialism!"
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Chapter Six: Our Mighty Republics
Chapter VI: Our Mighty Republics

“Comrade Leon Trotsky;

You must leave your post in Lithuania and return to Moscow immediately. I am afraid to report that Comrade Vladimir Lenin has died.”

-Nikolai Krylenko’s brief letter to General Leon Trotsky following the death of Vladimir Lenin, circa January 1924.

Premier Vladimir Lenin of the Russian Soviet Republic in a wheelchair, circa September 1923.

There are few figures as influential in 20th Century history as Vladimir Illyich Lenin. Under his leadership, the Bolshevik Party rose from the dying Russian Empire and became the dominant communist force in Europe’s great backwater. While not initiating the Bolshevik rebellion against Aleksei Brusilov, Lenin led the Red Army to victory over both the White and Green army and formed the Russian Soviet Republic, the world’s first truly sovereign socialist state. And through his teachings, writing, and leadership of the Russian Communist Party, Vladimir Lenin created an ideology that shared his namesake, Marxist-Leninsm, an authoritarian communist ideology that would influence Marxist organizations for decades to come.

Therefore, when Vladimir Lenin passed away in the January of 1924, shockwaves rippled throughout the world. Lenin, the scourge of fascism and the de facto leader of the Third International, no longer reigned in Moscow, thus leaving a power vacuum atop a nascent great power in his place. Whoever replaced Vladimir Lenin would not only govern over the mighty Soviet Republic, but would oversee the Russian war effort against both the Central Powers and the Entente in the bloodiest war ever known to man. Simply put, whoever succeeded Vladimir Lenin could very well determine the outcome of the Great War.

Premier Lenin’s preferred successor was none other than the Red Napoleon himself, Leon Trotsky. Once Vladimir Lenin’s right hand man in the early days of the Bolshevik movement, Trotsky continued to remain a close ally of Lenin upon returning from exile in Canada in the midst of the Russian Civil War, and would further gain fame and support amongst the Soviet high command as the top general of the Red Army and the man who drove the Russian Democratic Federative Republic deep into Siberia. Even if Leon Trotsky shared ideological differences with Lenin, with the Red Napoleon being a much stronger supporter of international revolution and workers’ council power than the founder of the Bolsheviks ever was, the longtime Bolshevik Trotsky was nonetheless the heir apparent to a crimson throne.

That wasn’t to say that Leon Trotsky faced no opposition upon arriving in Moscow. While the vast majority of the Russian Communist Party was supportive of Trotsky’s assumption of power, General Kliment Voroshilov, a hardline Marxist-Leninist and advocate for Soviet centralization, would attempt to quickly accumulate allies within the RCP after the death of Vladimir Lenin was made public and before Leon Trotsky returned from Lithuania. During the Russian Civil War and subsequent years of peace in the Soviet Republic, Voroshilov had come at odds with Trotsky on numerous occasions, and Voroshilov’s consistent criticism of his superior officer would eventually cost him a high ranking position on the Eastern Front, only further building up Kliment Voroshilov’s grudge against Leon Trotsky.

General Kliment Voroshilov of the Red Army.

Hoping to overthrow his rival’s position of power within both the Red Army and the Russian Communist Party, Voroshilov would offer to assist Vladimir Lenin after the premier was forced into semi-retirement following a series of strokes in the spring of 1923. In Lenin’s final year, Kliment Voroshilov was one of his primary forms of communication with the RCP, although Vladimir Lenin was sure to not put all of his trust into the obviously power-hungry Voroshilov. By the time Lenin died, Voroshilov had won a decent amount of political power from his awkward relationship with Vladimir Lenin, with Red Army forces and resources in the northern Caucasus being placed under the total command of Kliment Voroshilov, who rose from the rank of colonel to lieutenant general.

By using his newfound influence, Kliment Voroshilov would promote his own interpretation of Marxist-Leninism later deemed Voroshilovism throughout the Russian Soviet Republic, which, among other things, advocated for the abolition of the Politburo in favor of a monocratic military junta, the end of the Soviet autonomous regions in order to accomplish direct rule from Moscow, and the immediate purge of anyone who even barely opposed Marxist-Leninist authoritarianism. In the words of Harvard Professor Robert McNamara, “If Marxist-Leninism is the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, then that makes Voroshilovism the Imperium of the Proletariat.” Even by Vladimir Lenin’s standards, Voroshilovism was extreme and autocratic, and the ideals of this ideology turned Kliment Voroshilov into a controversial figure at best.

Needless to say, Leon Trotsky’s arrival in Moscow reignited the Trotsky-Voroshilov rivalry in a way that had not been seen since their time as peers in the Red Army during the Russian Civil War. As Trotsky scrambled to ensure that his rise to the premiership would be approved by the Politburo as quickly and painlessly as possible, Voroshilov attempted to make lawmaking in Moscow a living nightmare by encouraging anti-Trotskyist marches nearly daily and ensuring that his supporters within the RCP would block any attempt to hand over the Russian Soviet Republic to Leon Trotsky. After a handful of days, however, Trotsky and his allies wore down Voroshilovist resistance by threatening to strip Voroshilov’s allies of their positions of power and often carrying through with these threats. In the end, the inevitable occurred on February 11th, 1924. With nearly total Politburo approval, the Red Napoleon finally had an empire to rule.

Premier Leon Trotsky of the Russian Soviet Republic, circa February 1924.

As Leon Trotsky slipped into his new position of power, his first action was to eliminate any potential opponents, starting with Kliment Voroshilov and his allies. Voroshilov was almost immediately booted out of the Red Army at the beginning of the Trotskyist Era, and his supporters who had contested Trotsky’s assumption of the premiership in the Politburo would subsequently get kicked out of their elite ranks within the Russian Communist Party. Kliment Voroshilov viciously protested his loss of power by spreading pamphlets criticizing Premier Trotsky, but the Red Napoleon took care of Voroshilov before things got out of hand. On February 25th, 1924, an unidentified assassin broke into Kliment Voroshilov’s house and murdered the former revolutionary with an ice axe. The official story perpetuated by Pravda newspapers deemed Voroshilov’s killer on a disgruntled veteran of the White Army, but Soviet documents released to the public in 1956 revealed what had suspected for decades; Kliment Voroshilov’s assassination had been ordered by Leon Trotsky himself.

The reign of the Red Napoleon had begun.


“History shows that there are no invincible armies.”

-General Joseph Stalin, circa March 1924.

Soldiers of the Polish Army in Warsaw, circa January 1924.

When Vladimir Lenin died, the German Heilsreich was facing a potential disaster on the Eastern Front. The stalemate that had held back the merciless Red Napoleon had just been broken by the overthrow of the Polish monarchy, and the non-aggression pact between the Republic of Poland and the Russian Soviet Republic meant that Soviet supply lines were suddenly only a handful of kilometers away from Berlin. Erich Ludendorff had been kicked out of southern Lithuania all the way back to Kongisberg and the Ukrainian State’s only connection to supply lines from Germany was through the increasingly unstable Austro-Hungarian Empire.

But only a few weeks after the declaration of the Republic of Poland on January 8th, 1924, Vladimir Lenin died and the Soviet Republic was left without a head of state. As Leon Trotsky left for Moscow, he ensured that the Red Army was left in good hands by putting the Eastern Front under the command of Joseph Stalin and putting the war in Lithuania specifically under the command of Semyon Budyonny, but even then it would take awhile for the Red Army to adjust to new leadership. General Erich Ludendorff almost immediately took advantage of this instability, and upon hearing of General Trotsky’s departure for Moscow, the Heilsreich led a vicious offensive into Lithuania, and Bialystok fell on February 1st, 1924.

As Ludendorff dug into Lithuania once more, the German invasion of Poland also began with a smooth start. The Polish Army was a decent fighting force, and Jozef Pilsudski envisioned greatly expanding his nation’s military into a force to truly be reckoned with, but Poland was simply no match to the mighty Heilsreich. The moment Germany declared war on Poland, the Luftsreitkrafte, under the leadership of Herman Goering, launched a merciless bombing campaign above Poland. No major Polish city was safe from the bombs of the LK, and Polish civilians perished alongside military and industrial infrastructure, Goering’s intended target.

But even as Poland was demolished by LK bombing runs and Roman Dmowski envisioned the day that he reigned over Warsaw, the Republic of Poland continued to fight on as an island of democracy surrounded by an ocean of tyranny. While many Red Army officers were reluctant to hand over Soviet military equipment to the capitalist Poland, Lieutenant General Stalin was keen on ensuring that Poland, a nation situated in a strategically paramount location between Russia and Germany, would never again fall to the Heilsreich and would hand over Soviet anti-aircraft artillery to the Polish Army even when the Soviet Republic was without a premier.

With the technological and militaristic might of the Soviet Republic on Poland’s size, Pilsudski’s republic had at least bought a bit more time to survive. But even with Soviet artillery, the Republic of Poland was still pummelled by German air raids, for the Heilsreich simply had to increase aircraft production to counter Soviet technology. Furthermore, anti-aircraft guns were not effective against German forces on the ground, and the Red Army was less willing to cede regiments to the outnumbered Polish Army while the Polish government was reluctant to welcome Red Army units into Poland. Under the leadership of Major General Hermann Ehrhardt, the German military would leave from Twardogora at the start of the February of 1924 in what became referred to as the Silesia Offensive, which avoided the majority of the Polish defense by invading from the less guarded southern border of Poland rather than the war-torn and heavily defended border with Pomerania.

Just as the Heilsreich high command had anticipated, the Silesia Offensive was a great success. Weak Polish defenses to the south of Warsaw were easily annihilated by Ehrhardt’s army, and even once Polish reinforcements arrived to counter the Silesia Offensive, Hermann Ehrhardt had already dug deep into the heart of Poland. After nearly a month of fierce combat, the situation in southern Poland got so bad that when Leon Trotsky became the premier of the Soviet Republic one of his first actions in relation to the military was to deploy substantial Red Army forces in the fight against Ehrhardt. By the end of February alone, thousands of Soviet soldiers under the command of General Jukums Vacietis were fighting alongside their Polish counterparts against the German onslaught. Soviet aid stopped the Silesia Offensive, but it wasn’t enough to push back Ehrhardt’s massive invasion force, which not only consisted of German soldiers, but also contained Austrians, Italians, and units from puppet states of the Heilsreich.

It was here in southern Poland where a war of attrition began after the Battle of Sieradz ended in a stalemate on March 11th, 1924. The familiar sight of trenches began to cover the Polish landscape, but much like the frontlines of Lithuania, these trenches were not like those of Phase One in western Europe. Technology had advanced to such a point that war was a total and merciless bloodbath, one that made battles like the Marne look like pathetic skirmishes in comparison. Lewisite, one of the most infamous chemical weapons of the Great War that is as synonymous with Phase Two as mustard gas is with Phase One, was first introduced to the battlefield by German forces at the Battle of Kowale on May 3rd, 1924. As German infantry spewed lewisite upon Soviet and Polish units at Kowale, the effects of this chemical siege were not initially felt, but by night time chemical burns had penetrated Soviet and Polish soldiers, who were demobilized due to severe chemical burns. Unprepared for a large scale offensive after a stalemate that had endured many months, the German army failed to advance far after their chemical attack, but it did allow Kowale to fall under total German control by the next day.

As lewisite was stockpiled and shipped to German infantry across the Eastern Front, the Russian Soviet Republic continued to develop its own wartime technology. Premier Leon Trotsky was determined to ensure that the Soviet Republic would have the most advanced tanks in the world, and in the March of 1924 Soviet engineers developed the first model of the “Lenin Tank” line, which were intended to be fast-moving, albeit lightly armored, machines. By utilizing designs originating from American inventor John Walter Christie, the LT-1 became one of the fastest tank designs produced at the time, and through heavy funding from the Politburo alongside experience on the battlefield, LT tanks developed at a rapid pace, with the highly successful LT-4 model first being introduced to the battlefield in the August of 1924.

An LT-7 model tank in eastern Poland, circa October 1924.

As the Russians deployed LT models across the eastern front and even sent spare tanks to the French Commune and the Workers’ Commonwealth, German engineers were consequently developing their own technology. The Heilsreich did produce a handful of tanks, however, it was impossible to outpace Soviet tank production, which had been a top priority of the Red Army since the conclusion of the Russian Civil War. Instead, the bulk of German engineering went towards building new aircraft for the feared and ever-growing Luftsreitkrafte, and Kaiser August Wilhelm I even went as far as to say, “If Britannia rules the waves, then Germania rules the air.” As biplane models became increasingly outdated and impractical as the demands of the Eastern Front grew, the Heilsreich switched over to using monoplanes as their primary form of aircraft by building off of the designs of Hugo Junkers, which had been in service since 1915. These new airplanes were not only more efficient, but were also capable of flying at higher altitudes, which made them ideal for long-range bombing runs.

And so, the Eastern Front was no longer a clash of men but rather very much a clash of machines. The greatest scientists and engineers at the disposal of any belligerents fighting over Poland were all directed to ensure that their enemy would fall victim to the madness of the Great War and, with funding from their respective governments, were ordered to craft a man-made hell. In the Deutches Heilsreich, scientists, engineers, and for that matter all intellectuals, were not allowed to conduct their work without permission from a DVP official (although in 1927 the distribution of “Intellectual Permits” was placed under the jurisdiction of the German armed forces), which allowed for the German government to more or less manipulate scientific and technological research to their advantage.

In the Russian Soviet Republic, Leon Trotsky implemented the Three-Year Plan in the April of 1924, which put the industrialization and state control of War Communism on steroids with the goal of turning the Soviet Republic into the world’s largest and most efficient war machine, with wartime factories being constructed from Petrograd to Kamchatka and thousands of Russians being forcefully employed by state-owned industry, often via military conscription. By developing a planned economy, the fulfillment of the Three-Year Plan became the top priority of Soviet bureaucracy, which ensured that all of Russia would be primed towards crushing the Central Powers, whether the Russian people liked it or not.

Soviet munitions factory in Saratov, circa May 1926.

Premier Leon Trotsky, who was determined to ensure that Operation Ascania would succeed and set Berlin aflame, would become keen on ensuring the survival of Poland, a nation that was, regardless of its economic philosophy, a paramount Soviet ally due to its strategic importance. While Semyon Budyonny’s war against Erich Ludendorff in Lithuania continued to receive substantial military support, Budyonny had essentially become the guardian of supply lines to the much more crucial war in Poland. In fact, the fight against the Silesia Offensive became such a significant frontline of the Great War that General Joseph Stalin, the commander of Soviet forces on the Eastern Front and prodigee of the Red Napoleon, was ordered by Premier Trotsky himself to relocate from Ukraine to Poland in the June of 1924 in order to preside over the vital Operation Ascania.

Of course, the shift of Soviet attention to Poland did not go unnoticed by the Heilsreich. While Erich Ludendorff had initially been determined to encircle Poland by retaking southern Lithuania and cutting off the Republic of Poland from Soviet supply lines, the Polish military buildup was becoming increasingly threatening to German interests, and so General Ludendorff left from Lithuania at the beginning of the July of 1924 to conduct a new and unforgiving offensive from Pomerania to Warsaw. With two titanic armies converging upon Poland, the young nation would be captured by the evil and merciless talons of the German eagle and, if things ended as anticipated in Berlin, Germany would pull her prey back under the umbrella of German puppet states.

As Ludendorff left for Swiecie to begin the Pomerania Offensive and ensured that the German war effort in Lithuania would be left in good hands by ceding regional command to August von Mackensen, the “Last Hussar,” Soviet reconnaissance began to detect a massive military buildup on the northern Polish border. It was apparent that the Heilsreich was planning some sort of invasion, but with Soviet forces in Poland completely focused on fighting Ehrhardt and supply lines being spread too thin to quickly move in substantial reinforcements, all the Red Army could do was hope that Silesia could fall before Pomerania exploded. But as the Russian and Polish armies fighting in southern Poland became even more aggressive, Ludendorff prepared to pounce. LK airplanes conducted extensive air raids the likes of which had never before been seen, all in order to weaken Poland all the bit more before the Pomerania Offensive began. And then, on July 9th, 1924 the fateful day arrived and General Ludendorff ordered his army to leave Swiecie and invade the Republic of Poland.

The talons had been extended.

With two large armies pushing into Poland, the capture of Warsaw seemed to be inevitable. Even Joseph Stalin, one of the most skilled commanders of the entire Great War, could not stop the two-pronged German invasion. While the Red Army at first continued to push back against the Silesia Offensive even as Ludendorff continued to dig further into Poland, the increased need for resources in the north meant that Soviet advance against Ehrhardt would inevitably have to retreat starting on July 22nd, 1924. After over a month of brutal combat, Erich Ludendorff reached northern Warsaw on August 12th, 1924, where he directly engaged with his Soviet counterpart, General Joseph Stalin. The First Battle of Warsaw, the first of three clashes over the city in the Great War, would last for many days as Soviet and Polish soldiers gripped onto Paris of the North, but Russo-Polish defeat was inevitable. One of the most beautiful cities in all of eastern Europe was turned to rubble by constant German bombing and whatever Polish government officials remained in Warsaw during the First Battle were almost completely killed by some of the fiercest bloodshed in all of the Great War, including Prime Minister Jozef Pilsudski.

On August 16th, 1924, the Deutches Heilsreich completely reigned over Warsaw, and the Republic of Poland had been killed alongside its leaders.

German soldiers in Warsaw, circa September 1924.

As the authority of the Republic of Poland disintegrated in whatever territory had yet to be occupied by the Heilsreich, Soviet military forces served as a replacement. In negotiation with what remained of Polish law enforcement, the Red Army took control of eastern Poland via Soviet military occupation, albeit one that was much more prone to cooperation with locals than that of Lithuania or Ukraine. In the following weeks the Soviet Republic would further cooperate with what remained of the Polish Council of State by establishing a government-an-exile on September 8th, 1924, albeit an exiled government dominated by communist sympathizers backed by the Politburo, with Maria Koszutska serving as the prime minister of the Republic of Poland-in-Exile.

Meanwhile, the Deutches Heilsreich would install its authority over Poland yet again, this time ensuring that fascism would reign supreme over the rubble of Warsaw. King Charles Stephen I was returned to the Polish throne of the restored Kingdom of Poland, however, under the rules of a new constitution that was dictated by Berlin and was ratified on September 3rd, 1924, the Polish monarchy was little more than a figurehead. Instead, Roman Dmowski, the new prime minister, was the true ruler of Poland who would reign with an iron fist via a totalitarian fascist police state controlled by Dmowski’s National Party. And above Roman Dmowski was the authority of the Deutches Heilsreich, which completely controlled Poland’s armed forces and heavily presided over Polish foreign affairs, thus turning Poland into little more than a protectorate of the Heilsreich. It was due to the direct orders of Alfred Hugenberg that the Dmowski regime conducted a merciless purge of Poland almost immediately after the restoration of the Kingdom of Poland in order to eliminate any political enemies that the Great War had not already killed, and it was due to the direct orders of Alfred Hugenberg that Roman Dmowski ceded a substantial chunk of Polish territory to Germany via the Treaty of Poznan on September 14th, 1924.

As trenches were dug in eastern Poland and the stage was set for yet another chapter in the nightmare that was the Eastern Front of the Great War, Premier Leon Trotsky, while frustrated that Poland had been lost, quickly began planning a new plan of attack. The setback in Poland was embarrassing and costly, but in the end it was just that; a setback. The Three-Year Plan had barely begun and soon enough millions of new soldiers would be fighting in the name of the Red Army. The Great War had yet to be lost, Soviet forces continued to push against the Ukrainian State with relative ease, and Berlin was still within reach. And even the tides of the Eastern Front were to turn even more against the Russian Soviet Republic, the Third International was still growing in the west.

Let Them Eat Cake

“Comrades, let it be known to the world that the French Commune is no longer just a mere militia. We are a state built to abolish the state, we are government of the proletariat, we are a force for the reactionaries to fear!”

-President Ludovic-Oscar Frossard addressing the Central Revolutionary Congress at the third annual Address to Congress, circa April 1924.

Soldiers of the Vanguard of the French Proletariat in a trench on the Western Front, circa March 1923.

The French Commune was no Russian Soviet Republic. In its early years of existence, the Commune barely qualified as a sovereign nation, let alone a vast and militarized power capable of taking on the Central Powers. Instead, the French Commune began as little more than an alliance of militias, trade unions, and whatever other radical socialist groups existed in France, only unified by a barely active constitution. But nonetheless, after three years of combat in the bloodiest war to ever scourge the Earth, the French Commune had not only survived in the face of a war with both the Central Powers and the Entente, but had continued to grow. Of course, the Commune primarily owed its survival to the fact that the German policy on the Western Front had been to hold off the LGPF ever since the Red Army had stampeded over German puppets in the east, but the years since 1921 had given the French Commune time to actually develop its war infrastructure from a league of militiamen to a fully-fledged weapon of war.

For example, the Commune would build up its technological stockpile to better wage industrial warfare, which was becoming the normality on every frontline of the Great War, including the Western Front. While a large portion of Communard machinery consisted of copies of Soviet models (by the fall of 1924 LT-7s were just as common on the Western Front as they were on the Eastern Front), the French Commune also constructed its own vehicles of war. After all, the French Third Republic had once been a pioneer in the development of tanks, so the Commune actually started out with some of the best tanks within the Entente’s arsenal. Since the beginning of the Second French Revolution, the LGPF had invested in upgrading the Renault FT model to move faster and have better armor, thus turning upgraded FTs into one of the best armoured vehicles fighting in France and a force for German units to reckon with.

In collaboration with Soviet tank engineers, the Commune would develop the Renault FT’s successor, the Robespierre R24, throughout the spring and summer of 1924. Like the majority of tanks within the Communard arsenal, the Robespierre R24 was a support tank designed to assist in infantry offensives rather than combat against enemy tanks. It was nonetheless a decent light tank, but the Robespierre R24, and for that matter most other tanks in the Communard arsenal, did not hold their own against their German counterparts. This, of course, would not go unnoticed by Boris Souvarine, who was determined to follow the example of Leon Trotsky and industrialize the LGPF into a fierce fighting force in western Europe. A little more than two months after the completion of the Robespierre R24 late into the June of 1924, a subunit called the Robespierre R242 was introduced to battlefields in Germany starting at the beginning of the September of 1924. Boasting a larger and longer gun than its predecessor, the Robespierre R242, while not initially produced extensively, would soon become the preferred light tank choice of Communard officers on the Western Front to combat the constant German onslaught.

A Robespierre R242 model tank in northern France, circa November 1924.

Technological advancements were not the only changes Boris Souvarine made to the LGPF in order to turn his army into one of the best fighting forces for socialism the world has ever known. In the July of 1924, General Commander Souvarine would, with approval from President Frossard, form the Proletarian Tank Corps (CCP) as a section of the LGPF exclusively dedicated to commanding tanks, thus ending the role of Communard tanks as backup for infantry and cavalry. This would subsequently be followed by the formation of yet another corps, the Airborne Vanguard Corps (CDGA), not long after the creation of the CCP, which took over control of all aircraft within the LGPF in order to better counter the infamous Luftsreitkrafte of the Heilsreich. These reforms were successful in combating the numerically and technologically superior forces of Germany, and would truly push the French Commune into the age of industrialized warfare.

On top of the formation of the CCP and the CDGA, General Commander Souvarine would ensure that his army would expand its manpower in a war where soldiers were becoming an increasingly expensive luxury by conducting an extensive propaganda campaign starting in the February of 1924 that specifically targeted young women capable of joining the Vanguard of the French Proletariat. Much like the Russian Soviet Republic, the French Commune had been an advocate for gender equality early into its inception, and the Communard constitution ensured that men and women had equal rights, including when it came to the armed forces, and women had served in the name of the Second French Revolution in the initial days of the overthrow of Paul Doumer via militias.

However, soldiers in the LGPF would continue to primarily be men, conscriptions would almost always be skewed towards young males, and the women that did manage to make their way into the ranks of the LGPF were consistently ignored when it came to promotions. But as the male population of the French Commune continued to decline due to heavy casualties, Boris Souvarine concluded that conscripting women would be a necessity, and thus throughout the spring of 1924 thousands of young women would join the LGPF, be it via conscription or via volunteering, and Souvarine made sure that his lower officers would treat female recruits with equality and respect. While this action earned praise for Souvarine amongst feminists, especially socialist feminists, around the world, when later asked in the October of 1924 by an American journalist for the New York Times about why he encouraged women to join the LGPF, Boris Souvarine merely remarked, “I’m no idiot. My army needed more soldiers, and I wasn’t going to let something as trivial as gender get in the way of something as glorious as the liberation of the working class.”

Nearly all of General Commander Boris Souvarine’s military reforms, be it increased gender equality or the introduction of new corps, proved to be very successful in upgrading the war effort of the French Commune. The Heilsreich continued to be stalled and would continue to lose more and more men, while the pathetic remnant of the once grand French Third Republic continued to be squeezed off of the European continent. After the Soviet Republic first declared war on the Central Powers and German priorities shifted to the east, Boris Souvarine would quickly seize the opportunity presented and went on a rapid offensive against the French Third Republic. As a stalemate initiated on the Western Front, Souvarine resumed his war against the Republicans, which carried along very well throughout 1923, especially once Soviet equipment began to be produced by the Commune.

The Loire River was crossed on March 29th, 1923, when a hole was punched through Republican forces at the Battle of Blois. Souvarine used the defeat at Blois to his advantage to initiate a large-scale invasion of southern France, one that especially targeted what remained of Republican defenses along the Loire. On April 6th, 1923 Boris Souvarine emerged victorious at the Battle of Cheverny, which is usually credited for finally breaking Republican supply lines in northwestern France and forcing Marshal Philippe Petain to reluctantly order a general retreat of Republican forces near the Loire to form a new defensive line of trenches to the south. With many trenches already dug to the south in preparation for a potential Communard offensive, Petain’s army was quickly able to secure territory south of Chevery, however, Souvarine was able to simultaneously adapt to the new situation and accepted that his offensive would remain stagnant for awhile.

Nonetheless, month after month, the LGPF advanced closer to the Mediterranean Sea and the French Third Republic, once the center of European democracy and liberalism, sunk deeper into the dustbin of history. The French Civil War moved slower in the Alpine Mountains, where rough terrain made combat difficult for all belligerents, but in the west things were clearly going in favor of the Communards. While the militias behind enemy lines had died down, thus turning the French Civil War into a relatively organized trench war, the French Commune nonetheless advanced at a decent speed, and on November 12th, 1924 the LGPF sieged Bordeaux, and after numerous hours of constant gunfire exchange, General Joseph Joffre ordered the retreat of Republican defenses from the battlefield, thus handing the rubble of one of France’s greatest cities to the Commune.

By this point, it was obvious that the French Third Republic was doomed. On top of the French Civil War surprisingly going in favor of the Communards, the forces of Benito Mussolini’s Kingdom of Italy were moving further and further east and in the October of 1923 the last soldiers of the British Empire fighting in France were pulled off of the European continent to fight the Workers’ Commonwealth. Paul Doumer, who had become the disgraced leader of a disgraced nation, would resign from the presidency of the French Third Republic on December 1st, 1923 and was succeeded by none other than Ferdinand Foch, the controversial former marshal of France whose aggressively anti-socialist policies were arguably one of the most important factors that led to the Second French Revolution. Nonetheless, with the Republic dying at the hands of a communist revolution, strong military and avidly anti-socialist leadership was needed, and so Philippe Petain ensured that his disgraced predecessor would be leading the Republican government in its darkest hour.

While President Ferdinand Foch could not realistically save the French mainland, or for that matter any French territory in Europe, he could guarantee that the Republic would fight as efficiently against socialist and fascist alike before being forced into exile in Africa. Almost immediately after seizing power, Foch would declare marshal law on December 5th, 1923, which de facto been in effect in numerous rebellious towns and cities since the beginning of the Second French Revolution. Ferdinand Foch would also implement some of the most extreme conscription rates in French history, hoping to achieve, at least for awhile, a numerical advantage over the Commune. In the end, none of Foch’s actions could save the Republican government from exile to France’s African colonies, as had been anticipated, however, Foch is often credited for stalling both the Commune and Italy, especially in regards to the Italian invasion of Corsica, which was held off until the March of 1924 due to an extensive Republican naval buildup. But in the end, the days of the French Third Republic were numbered, and after Philippe Petain was decisively defeated at the Battle of Montauban on March 26th, 1924, Ferdinand Foch was advised to evacuate Europe and set up a government-in-exile in Algiers.

Women evacuated from the French mainland in Tunis, circa May 1924.

Once all Republican forces had fled to Africa and the French Commune officially seized control of mainland France following the Treaty of Toulouse on April 2nd, 1924, Ferdinand Foch truly began the process of forming a colonial provisional regime, one that would be deemed the French Fourth Republic. The old parliamentary system was abolished in favor of a more authoritarian presidential republic in which nearly all executive power was ceded to the president, who was to be directly elected by the people of the Fourth Republic for a six-year term and thus not tied to the new unicameral legislative branch, called the Chamber of Deputies, in any way. Furthermore, with total Chamber approval, the constitution of the French Fourth Republic could be suspended for a predetermined amount of time, thus ceding the presidency total control of the government and turning the position into a temporary autocracy. This clause, deemed the Security Clause, would be immediately enacted for a decade after the constitution of French Fourth Republic was ratified on April 14th, 1924, which would turn Ferdinand Foch into the dictator of the exiled French government until his death in 1929.

Flag of the French Fourth Republic, which had been proposed by Marshal Philippe Petain and was adopted upon the ratification of the new constitution.

Even with the mainland lost, the war between the French Commune and the French Republic was far from over. The coastal region of Algeria had actually been fully integrated into the French Third Republic well before the Great War, therefore meaning that the colonial right to neutrality defined by the Treaty of Bloemfontein did not apply to the Fourth Republic. Communard and Republican forces alike would continue to clash in the Mediterranean Sea for many years to come as the two rival governments built up their navies to prepare for an invasion of the other. And as a revolutionary state not concerned with the imperialist treaties of the past, the French Commune couldn’t care less about the Treaty of Bloemfontein if it meant that comrades across the French colonial empire could be liberated.

Soon, the French Commune would find itself fighting in Indochina.

The Communard key to the Indochinese colonies was a young man by the name of Nguyen Tat Tanh, a native to Annam who had developed revolutionary and nationalist ideals. When the Great War began, Tanh was residing in New York City where he made ends meet by doing an assortment of menial jobs while also making contact with an assortment of regional nationalists, including a group of Korean nationalists and Marcus Garvey, the controversial African-American nationalist and Pan-Africanist who had gained notoriety in the United States by advocating for the movement of African-Americans to the African continent to avoid the discrimination they had undergone in North America for centuries. Ever since moving to the United States from cosmopolitan France in 1912, Nguyen Tat Tanh would quietly watch the world burn from a distance as Europe descended into a bloody war of imperialism and petty disputes.

But then the Second French Revolution erupted, first in the trenches of the Western Front and then across all of northern France. Tanh, still moving along from job to job in New York City and hoping to grab an opportunity in the midst of the revolutionary tide, eagerly set out to fight on behalf of the French Commune as soon as possible, becoming a footsoldier of the young Vanguard of the French Proletariat in the May of 1921. By fighting against the dying French Third Republic for three years, Nguyen Tat Tanh managed to rise through the ranks of Boris Souvarine’s army, and by the time he fought at the Battle of Montauban in 1924, Tanh was leading forces to victory as a division commander.

As the French Commune celebrated the liberation of France from capitalism and turned its attention to the war against the vicious Central Powers, Division Commander Tanh would utilize the relaxed attitude in the Central Revolutionary Congress to his advantage in promoting the ideals of Vietnamese nationalism. In the April of 1924, Nguyen Tat Tanh would submit a proposal directly to General Commander Souvarine that outlined a plan in which Tanh would contact and collaborate with an assortment of Indochinese nationalists to spark a homegrown communist revolution with the help of Communard funding. Souvarine, impressed by Tanh’s thorough plan and admitting that initiating a guerrilla war in Indochina would work to the French Commune’s advantage in the continued war against the French Fourth Republic, would consequently submit what was deemed “Operation Lotus” to President Oscar-Ludovic Frossard, the dictator of the Commune until his mostly free reign expired in the October of 1924. Frossard, trusting his senior military commander’s judgement, would therefore agree to initiate Operation Lotus via approval on April 20th, 1924.

Soon enough, Indochina would know horrors of the Great War.

On May 16th, 1924 the first uprising of Operation Lotus broke out when a militia consisting of hundreds of soldiers occupied Hue, the capital of the Annam protectorate, forcing the unsuspecting French colonial government to flee south to Da Nang. This militia was a part of Nguyen Tat Tanh’s Indochinese Independence Front (FII), a coalition of socialist guerrillas spanning from Cambodia to Tonkin that would begin a bloody front of the Great War defined by fierce guerrilla warfare referred to as the First Indochina War. Only a few days after the Hue Revolution, Nguyen Tat Tanh boarded an airplane and arrived in Annam’s former capital city, now swarming with symbols of socialism and anti-colonialism, to officially seize control of the FII and lead the proletariat of Indochina to independence. In order to further mobilize his comrades and implement an apparent end goal for the FII, Tanh would go as far as to publicly read the so-called Hue Declaration on May 23rd, 1924, which declared that the FII was fighting for the independence of the Democratic Union of Indochina, a socialist federal republic modeled after the French Commune, and in order to further outline his goals, Tanh would describe some basics of the planned constitution of Indochina in the Hue Declaration.

Following his assumption of leadership of the FII, Nguyen Tat Tanh would preside over an offensive to the south in order to link up pockets of Indochinese rebellions. While the unification of rebel pockets would ruin the FII’s ability to wage covert guerrilla warfare in eastern Indochina, urban centers were not as ideal for guerrilla war anyway and conquering the Vietnam region would give the FII plenty of resources to then distribute to guerrilla forces fighting in the interior of Indochina. With the help of Communard aid, the FII’s campaign in the east, called the Thang Sau Offensive, was a massive success in liberating eastern Indochina from the yolk of imperialism, and by the end of June alone the Annam protectorate was no more while Cochinchina was on the brink of collapse, with FII forces capturing Saigon following a bloody siege on June 27th, 1924.

To the north, whatever previously Annamese land that had not fallen under FII occupation was turned over to Tonkin, a struggling colony that would likely be the next to fall after Cochinchina and was already facing internal socialist insurgencies. A final push by the FII in the July of 1924 would lead to the final collapse of Cochinchina once the Battle of Rach Gia on July 14th, 1924 ended in the total defeat of French Republican forces in the Vietnam region, and Nguyen Tat Tanh would send the majority of forces left over from the Thang Sau Offensive to the north to fight against Tonkin. While undeniably outnumbered, the Protectorate of Tonkin would still hold its own against the FII. With the French Fourth Republic focusing the majority of its naval and aerial power on the much more vital war against the French Commune in the Mediterranean Sea, the FII had a better time at defending occupied coastal towns than expected, but whatever naval power was ceded to colonial Indochina in the Great War orbited around the Gulf of Tonkin, allowing for a steady flow of resources from the Fourth Republic.

French Republican warships off of the coast of Hai Phong, circa July 1924.

The Tonkin Offensive lasted for countless months as the two factions clashed for supply lines and valuable patches of land in the jungle. Trench warfare was difficult to conduct in the jungles of Vietnam, and so barricades were only common along roadways and population centers. Instead, chaotic yet planned guerrilla tactics were what the invaders and guardians of Tonkin alike used as their primary form of combat. Both International and Entente forces alike would ship in spare chemical weapons and flamethrowers to their respective allies in Indochina to burn down the jungles of Vietnam and in turn efficiently expose and kill enemy forces.

The bloodbath that was the Tonkin Offensive carried on to the end of 1924, captivating the attention of Communard and Republican media alike, although the latter would ultimately attempt to censor the failing and brutal war effort in Indochina. But the French Commune, on the other hand, was ecstatic about the story of how Nguyen Tat Tanh, a former officer of the Vanguard of the French Proletariat, went from yet another forgotten victim of colonialism to the liberator of the Indochinese people and became the posterboy for socialist anti-imperialism. Month after month, the FII would slowly yet surely advance north. Thanh Hoa fell in August, Ninh Bimh fell in September, and by the end of October the FII was pounding on the gates of Hanoi, the capital of the Protectorate of Tonkin. Finally, on November 8th, 1924, the city of Tonkin would fall to communism following a two day-long offensive, and Republican forces in Honkin, cut off from ports along the Gulf of Tonkin, were forced to retreat into Laos.

After four months of vicious guerrilla warfare, the Tonkin Offensive had concluded and Vietnam was completely in the hands of the Indochinese Independence Front. Of course, the First Indochina War was far from over. The French imperialists still held strong in Laos and Cambodia, not to mention nearby British Loyalist colonies to the south and east alongside the increasingly anti-socialist National Republic of China to the north. But the FII had made rapid and extremely large gains in less than a year, and Nguyen Tat Tanh was confident that he would rule over all of Indochina in the near future. In the meantime, Tanh and his comrades would congregate in Hue in the November of 1924 to finally bring the promised Democratic Union of Indochina into the world. The chaotic and unstable nature of the First Indochina War ensured that a fully-fledged Indochinese communist democracy like that of the French Commune could not exist for the foreseeable future, but a provisional government to control Vietnam and preside over bureaucratic and diplomatic affairs would help Nguyen Tat Tanh for the time being. Therefore, on November 21st, 1924 the provisional government of the Democratic Union of Indochina was declared to the people of Hue, the capital of the Union, with Nguyen Tat Tanh being appointed chairman of Indochina.

Chairman Nguyen Tat Tanh of the Democratic Union of Indochina.

By the end of 1924, a new age of hope was emerging in the French Commune. With the French Civil War more or less over, the French Communist Party and the Travailliste Party agreed that there was no need to continue the suspension of the Communard constitution following its expiration in the October of 1924, thus leading to the beginning of the world’s first true communist democracy. The PCF continued to secure a majority in the Central Revolutionary Congress and therefore Ludovic-Oscar Frossard would keep the presidency for the time being, however, a substantial amount of constituencies in northern France had been lost to the syndicalist Travailliste Party, which was continuing to become an increasingly influential force in Communard politics.

Nonetheless, there was much optimism in the French Commune, regardless of which party one adhered to. While the war against the reactionary Central Powers carried on, German priorities continued to focus on the Russian Soviet Republic and Italy more or less skirmished with the LGPF in the Alpine Mountains. Meanwhile, what remained of the French colonial empire was torn at the seams by native revolutionaries fighting in the name of communism as avidly as their comrades back in cosmopolitan France.

And the colonies of the French were not the only to explode into revolution.

Solidarity Forever

“When the union's inspiration through the workers' blood shall run,

There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun;

Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one,

But the union makes us strong.”

-Excerpt from Ralph Chaplin’s “Solidarity Forever,” written circa 1915.

Comrade Protector Albert Inkpin of the Workers’ Commonwealth and his wife Julia after watching the musical “Julius Caesar the Capitalist,” a comedic parody of William Shakespeare’s “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar” that was popular in revolutionary England, circa October 1924.

Upon its formation, the Workers’ Commonwealth was the black sheep of the Third International. Unlike the Russian Soviet Republic and the French Commune, which were born from violent Marxist retaliation and mutiny, the Commonwealth was forged from the retaliation of organized labor, which had never really sought out triggering a British Civil War, and many trade unions had even been supportive of British involvement in the Great War, at least during the beginning of Phase One. Furthermore, the Workers’ Commonwealth, while under strong influence from Marxism and being a member of the primarily Soviet-led Third International, was not inherently communist in the same sense as Moscow and Lumiere. Even if the Commonwealth mimicked its Marxist counterparts more often than not, political scientists of the time, both capitalist and socialist alike, deemed the Workers’ Commonwealth to be a syndicalist-communist fusion of sorts, with trade unions being the organ of Albert Inkpin’s communist revolution.

As the Second Glorious Revolution spread throughout England and into Wales and Scotland, the libertarian socialist ideology of the Workers’ Commonwealth was reflected in every aspect of society under the flag of chartism, be it military tactics or simply going to the store. Perhaps most noticeably, the Commonwealth, while eventually promoting communist symbolism, was more prone to trade unionist aesthetic. “The Internationale” may have been the national anthem of the Workers’ Commonwealth, but “Solidarity Forever” was a more common sound to be heard in London. Economic management was also collectivized under the control of unions rather than being publicly controlled, as was the case in the Commune and especially in the Soviet Republic. While the United People’s Congress ensured that unions operated to the benefit of the Second Glorious Revolution, worker self-management dominated the Commonwealth’s economy and more often than not exchange value was replaced with inter-union negotiations.

The Workers’ Commonwealth’s method of waging war was also unique and decentralized compared to its less libertarian allies. While the Soviet Republic and French Commune had more or less developed traditional militaries, just with socialist aesthetic, the Workers’ Commonwealth started out with no unified military as the Second Glorious Revolution swept throughout England, instead making ground against Loyalist forces via coordination between makeshift militias and militarized unions. Even once the United People’s Congress did in fact establish an official military for the Commonwealth on June 9th, 1922, called the Workers’ Model Army (WMA), it was apparent from the beginning that this army would not operate like other militaries. As militias and trade unions joined the WMA, this immediately gave rise to an untraditional grassroot model of military command in which local regiments would often develop tactics and only bring “superior” officers into the fold when large-scale coordination was deemed necessary.

Of course, this grassroot military model gave rise to unique tactics, for while the Red Army gained a reputation for its meticulously crafted efficiency, the Workers’ Model Army gained a reputation for its unpredictable spontaneity. Rather than adhere to one coherent plan of attack, each local battalion adhered to its own strategy to combat the vanguard of the crumbling British monarchy. Like any military system, this decentralization had both its pros and cons. Spontaneity made the WMA’s difficult to predict and retaliate against, but on the other hand WMA battalions could only take a few strikes at Loyalist forces before having to fall back due to not having enough men to call upon. Throughout much of its early history, the numerous battalions of the Workers’ Model Army were like bullets. A lone bullet is hard to evade, but it definitely isn’t as lethal as a cannonball.

Over time, the issues of decentralization solved themselves, with divisions eventually taking control of coordinating attacks and often times federating the chain of command to offer unified, yet somewhat decentralized, input as a best of both worlds situation. By the October of 1922, the division-led command structure had become the norm for the WMA and was being promoted by the young Field Marshal Clement Attlee, who more or less served as the leader of the Workers’ Model Army, albeit with limited power. The WMA also started to generate more unified, albeit broad, plans of attack by organizing representatives of divisions every so often which turned the Commonwealth war effort from a fight for the survival of a ragtag revolutionary government in southern England to a force to truly be reckoned with.

1923 was an excellent year for the Workers’ Commonwealth. The WMA made great strides north and union rebellions across Great Britain made war room maps of the British Civil War look like a plague of red was engulfing the island. Just as socialism had infected Russia and France, the British capitalist was now running from what it saw as the disease of socialism, which British revolutionaries deemed not to be a sickness, but rather a cure for the already present disease of capitalism. By the time the news of Vladimir Lenin reached comrades in Great Britain, the Workers’ Commonwealth spanned from London to the Humber River and Scotland was engulfed in a guerrilla war against communist and syndicalist militias alike. At long last, the spectre of socialism was haunting the beating heart of the 19th status quo of European imperialism, and the once invincible British Empire was on its last legs.

But the Loyalists, those who still fought for King and Country, were not defeated yet. Northern England, while sprouting with new revolutionaries every waking moment, was nonetheless a hotly contested battleground between the rising star of the Third International and what remained of one of the world’s largest vanguards of imperialist capitalism. And Scotland, while experiencing a handful of dangerous revolutions in urban centers, was mostly in the hands of the Loyalists. But as Wales was conquered by the Workers’ Model Army in the spring of 1924, with the last holdouts in the region being encircled by the South Wales Miners’ Federated Army at the Battle of Deeside on May 10th, 1924, the entirety of the Workers’ Commonwealth was geared towards a total invasion of northern England.

As the WMA charged into the center of Great Britain, the grave of Northumbria, a handful of individuals would stand out from the crowd of disgruntled revolutionaries, many of whom had never held a gun in their life. One such individual was John Maclean, one of Scotland’s most infamous trade unionists. When the General Strike of 1922 began, Maclean eagerly advocated for the plight of trade unionists, even as violence from local law enforcement and paramilitary groups broke out. But when the Second Glorious Revolution erupted in London, Maclean, despite initially hoping to lead his comrades to victory in Scotland, would eventually find himself at the end of a rifle on June 5th, 1924 when a general strike in support of the Workers’ Commonwealth in Glasgow was fired upon by the Organization for Domestic Security. Maclean survived the Glasgow Massacre, but was imprisoned by law enforcement after local authorities wrestled his custody away from the ODS and had experienced the slaughter of many of his comrades firsthand.

Facing capital punishment, John Maclean only managed to escape imprisonment when the truck delivering him to a more isolated place to be tried and executed hit rough weather on an already poorly maintained road in the countryside, thus causing the truck to fall over and trapping the drivers. After a few hours, Maclean managed to get out of his mobile prison by knocking over a few boards loosened by the crash and limped his way into the countryside, handcuffs and all. By sneaking through farmland and going under a handful of aliases once a socialist factory worker helped take of Maclean’s shackles, the Celtic communist of Scotland evaded Loyalist authorities and militias, eventually making his way into Commonwealth-friendly territory. Being celebrated as a hero of the British socialist movement, John Maclean’s several day-long trip through the middle of Scotlad and across battlefields after surviving the Glasgow Massacre had changed him. Once a relatively peaceful trade unionist with admittedly positive views towards the militant Soviet Republic, Maclean had since become a hardened pessimist with an aggressive thirst for a violent revolution to avenge his fallen comrades.

The Crimson Clydesider had been born.

Upon joining the newly-formed Workers’ Model Army, John Maclean, once underestimated as little more than a revolutionary schoolteacher, would begin to quickly rise through the ranks of the WMA. By the end of the summer of 1922, Maclean was in command of an increasingly notorious battalion, and once the WMA began to centralize into divisions, John Maclean would become the major general of the 19th Workers’ Infantry Division, which would become more commonly known by Maclean’s preferred nickname, the Scottish Liberation Army (SLA). Under the leadership of major General John Maclean, the SLA would campaign throughout southern England, winning nearly every battle it engaged in whilst becoming notorious for brutal guerrilla tactics and raids. By the time the war for northern England was in full gear, the SLA was one of the most renowned fighting forces in all of the Third International and the Crimson Clydesider was ready to wave the banner of the Workers’ Commonwealth over Leeds.

Soldiers of the Scottish Liberation Army following the Battle of Birmingham, crica May 1924.

The Summer Offensive into northern England was perfect for the Scottish Liberation Army. The region had been prone to guerrilla conflict for years by this point, which meant that the SLA would by fighting with its preferred form of combat. Throughout the summer of 1924, the Workers’ Commonwealth stampeded across northern England, and more often than not the SLA was credited for these victories, with Commonwealth newspapers further promoting John Maclean’s profile as one of the greatest commanders in the Third International. Perhaps most notable was the SLA’s capabilities at the Battle of Nottingham on June 19th, 1924, in which the SLA mastered traditional guerrilla tactics in order to surround and crush a large presence of Loyalist soldiers commanded by the Viscount Plumer, an experienced general who had left from France almost immediately after the Second Glorious Revolution conquered southern England. As a veteran of the British Civil War, most had presumed that the tactic of guerrilla infiltration could not sneak past his surveillance, however, John Maclean was keen on disproving this notion.

Starting on June 10th, 1924, more than a week prior to the Battle of Nottingham, Maclean utilized meticulously analyzed information to infiltrate a handful of his soldiers behind enemy lines every so often, all the while attempting to throw Loyalist forces off guard to ensure that Plumer would never be able to pinpoint the enemy army’s location. Meanwhile, the individual SLA soldiers inside Nottingham were tasked with primarily terrorizing military complexes, such as armories, to degrade both defenses and morale, whilst also attempting to subtly boost local opposition to the Loyalist occupation of Nottingham. At first, the Viscount Plumer tried to ignore these mostly minor attacks, but overtime he grew nervous. The effect of the attacks continued to pile up, with resources beginning to be depleted, which caused Plumer to extend his authority to the area surrounding Nottingham on June 19th, 1924, hoping to catch whatever cabal of Commonwealth sympathizers were behind this mess.

But this would ultimately be exactly what Maclean wanted. As Plumer’s army expanded outwards, they further let their guard down, thus allowing SLA battalions to sneak behind enemy lines and wreak havoc across Loyalist, thus officially beginning the Battle of Nottingham. Upon getting news of this massive incursion, Plumer ordered his forces to fall back upon Nottingham to combat the ever-increasing SLA force fighting within the city, but as the Loyalists fell into Maclean’s trap, the disparity between the two forces became apparent. Plumer, who had risen through the ranks of the British Army during Phase One of the Great War, was undoubtedly a skilled commander when it came to trench warfare, but it was apparent that guerrilla warfare was not his forte. Plumer, who was used to the slow pace of the trenches of France, was sloppy when faced with the quick and convoluted tactics of guerrilla warfare, thus allowing the Scottish Liberation Army to surround what remained of the Viscount Plumer’s depleted and demoralized army, which would surrender after only a few hours.

Major General John Maclean’s victory at the Battle of Nottingham crushed one of the strongest Loyalist forces in all of northern England, which paved the way for an inevitable Commonwealth victory in the Summer Offensive. The success of Nottingham was often mimicked by other WMA divisions, which would take advantage of their own armies’ decentralization as well as the Loyalists’ lack of experience in guerrilla warfare. Not long after the Battle of Nottingham, the SLA would conquer Sheffield on June 30th, while WMA forces in the west would simultaneously launch an invasion from northern Wales and conquer Manchester on July 1st. As the Summer Offensive continued, Loyalist armies began to pick up on guerrilla warfare tactics and would often encourage the growth of the ODS to serve as a more decentralized and local paramilitary force, which inevitably did slow down WMA advances. On July 25th, 1924, the Battle of Malton ended in yet another victory for the WMA, with only a few other minor advances occurring before the de facto conclusion of the Summer Offensive once August 1924 began, thus marking the end of one of the biggest winning streaks in the entire British Civil War and ensuring that soon enough, all of England would fall to the Workers’ Commonwealth.

The Crimson Emerald

“If there is one thing the Irish are good at, it’s being a nuisance for the Empire at the most inconvenient of times.”

-Excerpt from the journal of then-Organization for Domestic Security Captain Oswald Mosley, written circa July 1924.

British Army soldiers being inspected in Dublin, circa April 1916.

As the heart of the greatest empire the world had ever seen was crushed by the increasingly strong first of socialism, other corners of the British Empire would also take up arms against their oppressors, which was already planning its exile to the Dominion of Canada following the evacuation of King George V to Ottawa in the March of 1923. The first colony to join in on the revolutionary bonfire engulfing the dying Entente was one of the United Kingdom’s oldest colonies, and one that was just west of Great Britain. The island of Ireland, which had been the target of English and later British expansion since 1171, was technically not a colony of Great Britain, with Ireland being under a personal union with London for most of its history, and the Irish people actually did have representation in the House of Commons since the 19th Century, however, it was apparent that Ireland was not treated equally in the United Kingdom. Even after the Act of Union in 1801, exploitation of Ireland took form numerous times, most notably the infamous Irish Potato Famine, and the Catholic Irish were often the targets of discrimination from both Britons and Protestant Irishman loyal to the United Kingdom, who primarily lived in Ulster.

Even as Ireland was integrated into Parliament, the Irish Home Rule movement would accumulate support since the 1870s, and by the time Archduke Franz Ferdinand was shot and killed on that fateful day in 1914, Ireland was predominantly represented by an assortment of political parties independent of their counterparts to the east. Following the election of 1910, Ireland was divided between the moderate yet pro-independence Irish Parliamentary Party and the pro-British Irish Unionist Alliance, which was most popular in the Protestant north and affiliated with the wider Conservative Party. As the Great War broke out and mobilized the British Empire against the Central Powers’ takeover of the European continent, Irish politics, which were put on hold alongside British politics in general, began to fall under the influence of a new radical independence party, called Sinn Fein, which had existed since 1905 and advocated for a copy of Hungary’s partially attempt at secession from Austrian tyranny in 1867 in which Irish MPs would boycott London and form their own parliament.

It was hoped by both Briton and Irishman alike that the Great War would be a short conflict. The German Empire was to be quelled and life would return to normal, with elections ensuring the fulfillment of domestic ambitions. But as the Great War carried on well past the lies of a war that would end by Christmas 1914 and entered the 1920s with no sign of stopping, it became apparent that no parliamentary election would be occurring anytime in the near future. As Phase Two began as revolution swept across the dying Entente, David Lloyd George still remained prime minister and increasingly important affairs, such as universal suffrage, were stalled off in favor of directing all political attention to the Great War. Even before the Second Glorious Revolution, this neglect of domestic affairs, including the fate of Ireland, caused revolutionaries to turn to more extreme means to accomplish their goals. In Great Britain, this would lead to the Second Glorious Revolution. But in Ireland, nationalists would take matters into their own hands on the Easter Week of April 1916. Across Ireland, militias would fight for independence, proclaiming an Irish Republic, only for the Easter Rebellion to be violently crushed by the British in a handful of days.

Barricade erected in Dublin by secessionist rebels during the Eastern Rebellion, circa April 1916.

From this point on, Ireland would not be winning independence through diplomacy. The brutal crackdown on Irish nationalists proved that if Ireland were to ever break away from British imperialism, the Irish people would have to take matters into their own hands, regardless of what London thought. Following the Easter Rebellion, the radical Sinn Fein grew to become the most popular party in Ireland, even if the IPP still held the majority of seats in Parliament due to the rejection of wartime elections. In 1918, the IPP and Unionists would join David Lloyd George’s wartime coalition alongside the Liberal, Conservative, and Labour parties to the dismay of the Irish masses. This only added fuel to the flames of Sinn Fein, and as long as British soldiers were off fighting in the War to End All Wars, Irish revolution was inevitable. Of course, the stalling of elections would tamper with Sinn Fein’s plan to simply secede from the United Kingdom, but the Great War offered more militant alternatives. At first, as the French military collapsed in the face of a renewed German offensive, a rebellion funded by the Central Powers seemed to be the most reasonable solution. After all, Germany had tried to provide supplies to Irishmen in the Easter Rebellion, what was to stop them yet again, when the Kaiser and his allies were more powerful than ever and on the apparent brink of victory against France?

But an Irish rebellion funded by the Central Powers was also far from ideal. After all, Germany, the nation that would obviously be the top funder of such a rebellion, was in a geographically awkward position in which supplies would have to be navigated around the Netherlands and through the English Channel, one of the bloodiest naval warzones on Earth. And especially after the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, the German foreign policy became more obvious than ever. Germany did nothing on the basis of mutual benefit, but instead made every single international decision based off of personal gain. The Central Powers alliance was not formed to provide protection to allies of the Kaiserreich, but rather ensure German influence through the center of Europe. Any Central Powers-funded rebellion would not be supplied out of the kindness of the Kaiser’s heart, but would instead be fought to give Germany yet another pawn in its global game of chess against its British rival.

But in due time, a radical alternative to Germany would sprout up just across the Irish Sea.

Sinn Fein was left-wing, but never began as a socialist organization. But as “solidarity forever!” rang through the streets of London in 1922, ushering in a new age for the crumbling British Empire, pubs filled with Sinn Fein members celebrated the reports of victories in Cornwall and Irish nationalist newspapers enthusiastically detailed the retreat of King George V to Canada. At first, Sinn Fein was not an ally of the Workers’ Commonwealth due to sharing a mutual ideology, but rather due to sharing a mutual enemy. To nearly every subject of British colonialism, the Second Glorious Revolution meant that the head had been cut off of the British Empire, and with Loyalist forces almost solely focusing on crushing Albert Inkpin’s rebellion, the possibility for revolution was more likely now more than ever. For most Sinn Fein members, the Second Glorious Revolution was the go-ahead that they had been waiting for to begin the fight for independence.

However, while numerous Sinn Fein members were warming up to allying with the Third International, the leadership of the party, including its leader Eamon de Valera, was less willing to endorse rebellion alongside the Workers’ Commonwealth. This caused the organized labor movement to often take control of the push for Irish independence, with the Irish Labour Party leader William X O’Brien, being a strong believer in socialist revolution via democracy, encouraging mass general strikes throughout Ireland in resistance to British rule. Frustrated with the inaction of Sinn Fein, many party members either left for more radical parties or internally drifted towards left-wing ideologies in opposition to Valera. The moment for Ireland to free itself from the British yolk had arrived, and yet no action was taken by otherwise avid nationalists due to a fear of falling into the sphere of influence of socialism. This discontent within Sinn Fein was answered by James Larkin, a prominent trade unionist and former member of the Irish Labour Party who had recently returned from exile only to find that the ILP had new leadership.

This would cause Larkin, a veteran of the Home Rule who was hungry for revolution, to join the increasingly left-wing Sinn Fein upon returning from exile in the April of 1923 and build up party support by agitating for revolution against the United Kingdom. After branding himself as the most hardline advocate for rebellion against the British Empire, James Larkin was able to successfully challenge Eamon de Valera to the leadership of Sinn Fein, and would become the new leader of the party upon emerging victorious on June 2nd, 1923. Under the leadership of James Larkin and socialist in all but name, the Sinn Fein was finally ready to arm itself, ally with the Third International, and fight to the bitter end for the independence of Ireland. In collaboration with paramilitary groups, trade unions, and left-wing parties, the Sinn Fein would coordinate a rebellion against the United Kingdom on June 30th, 1923 in Dublin, thus resulting in the city being seized by the coalition of socialist forces in a matter of hours. A day later, as Ireland was consumed by the flames of socialism that were already burning strongly in Russia, France, and Great Britain, the coalition occupying Dublin declared the Socialist Republic of Ireland, with James Larkin being declared its “taoiseach.”

Flag of the Socialist Republic of Ireland.

As yet another frontline of the Great War opened and the limited British military forces in Ireland attempted to contain an ever-expanding guerrilla war, Larkin tried to get his hands on whatever resources he could to wage a war against the sick titan that was the British Empire. While certainly better allies than the Central Powers in terms of not exploiting Ireland for personal gain, the Third International was much less incapable when it came to the distribution of resources. The Russian Soviet Republic, while filled with valuable supplies, was on the other side of Europe from Ireland, and the Great War turned an already long journey into a dangerous naval trek just north of the rabidly anti-socialist fury of the German Heilsreich. The French Commune and Workers’ Commonwealth were just next door to Ireland, however, both forces were engaged in their own civil wars and thus unable to supply the Socialist Republic of Ireland with much aside from limited spare resources. Without much equipment, the SRI was stuck to a handful of major urban centers in southern Ireland, but otherwise had to fight a vicious guerrilla war against the British Army and the much larger Irish Protection Army (IPA), a paramilitary force founded in the July of 1923 in Ulster.

While the Socialist Republic of Ireland was in many ways fighting an uphill battle for the first few months of its history, with 1923 being little more than a stagnant war of attrition in the middle of Ireland, James Larkin was not deterred. In his eyes, victory against the British Empire had to be inevitable, for the revolutionary society envisioned by the Taoiseach must succeed and comrades across the Emerald Isle would ensure this. Much like the Workers’ Commonwealth, the Socialist Republic of Ireland adhered parts of syndicalism, in fact more so than its British counterpart, with Larkin openly declaring the SRI to be a syndicalist republic rather than a communist regime. The fight for liberation meant the SRI couldn’t establish a fully operating constitution for awhile, however, this didn’t stop Larkin and his comrades from implementing syndicalism across socialist-occupied Ireland. Workers’ councils replaced local governments in socialist counties and trade unions took control of the majority of workplaces, while those that did not collectivize were often de facto self-managed due to extensive collective bargaining.

Taoiseach James Larkin of the Socialist Republic of Ireland.

As the leader of a government born out of both radicalism and nationalism alike, James Larkin was constantly faced with preserving harmony between a convoluted alliance as much as he was faced with overseeing an entire frontline of the Great War that would determine the fate of the Irish people and quite possibly, at least to an extent, the British Empire itself. The taoiseach, while reigning as the head of state of the Socialist Republic of Ireland, was elected by and therefore answerable to the Oireachtas, a unicameral parliamentary legislative assembly supposedly consisting of representatives of Ireland’s constituencies, however, due to elections being difficult to manage during the beginning of the Irish Revolutionary War, the majority of MPs were initially appointed by the strongest founding political parties and trade unions of the SRI.

With many of these founding parties being more conservative than the predominant socialism of the Irish revolutionary government, the syndicalist ideology of James Larkin and his comrades often clashed with moderates, primarily those within Larkin’s own Sinn Fein. More often than not, this translated into minor to decently substantial appeasement for the “moderates” of the Oireachtas, with compensation ranging from the preservation of traditionally Irish symbols and aesthetic by Larkin’s regime as opposed to the socialist symbolism of the Third International to the tolerance of core capitalist institutions, such as private property, exchange value, and contracts. This would often garner discontent from the SRI’s allies, especially once Leon Trotsky assumed leadership of the Soviet Republic, however, James Larkin would ensure his comrades abroad that a more radical revolution in Ireland was inevitable and it would be stupid for the Third International to turn away a potentially very useful ally because of a slight ideological squabble.

Nonetheless, as 1923 came and went and the world ushered in the tenth year of the Great War, thus marking the end to the first decade of the bloodiest war that has ever terrorized the face of the Earth, the Socialist Republic of Ireland directed the majority of attention towards the guerrilla war across the Emerald Isle. While the area surrounding Dublin was a secure fortress of socialism, the remaining urban centers in southern Ireland were far less safe from a potential Loyalist invasion (Galway in particular had been facing a relentless siege by the British Army and IPA throughout the March of 1924), and the southern Irish countryside was in a state of anarchy as local militias, municipal authorities, and warlords all fought for their respective side in the Irish Revolutionary War. And as southern Ireland tore itself apart into a chaotic war of attrition, the Loyalist north sat idly by, only occasionally subduing a local uprising.

In these early months of combat, the SRI’s strategy was to simply hold onto already occupied territory and to accumulate supplies and land whenever possible. Supply lines were forged and armories were raided, but large advancements were more or less impossible, for the heart of Ireland was in the hands of the warlords. But as the industry of the Third International grew, so did the Socialist Republic of Ireland’s chances at pushing the British Empire off of Ireland once and for all. As Soviet machines hissed and factory smokestacks infiltrated the Russian air with smog, new technology was emerging in the east. It was the technology that fought for the survival of Poland that would have to save the Socialist Republic of Ireland. Just as Soviet LT models were sent to the French Commune to be copied by Moscow’s comrades, the same technology would be shipped off to Ireland as soon as production was steady in the summer of 1924.

Without a large industrial capacity, the SRI’s initial lineup of tanks was lacking, however, soon enough the increasingly industrialized Irish Democratic Army (IDA) conquered more urban land in southern Ireland, which would give the SRI more factories to construct more tanks, and thus there were more tanks in the IDA to conquer more urban land in a circle that would surely turn James Larkin into the taoiseach of all of, at the very least, southern Ireland. By the end of the October of 1924, all territory between Dublin and Limerick was the realm of the trade unions and even though Galway fell to the British Empire on April 3rd, 1924, a rematch was inevitable, for in the November of 1924 a quick IDA offensive into the north brought the Socialist Republic of Ireland right next door to Galway, now a grave to fallen comrades. On November 29th, 1924 the Second Battle of Galway would commence as socialist forces invaded east of the city and ended the battle as quickly as it had begun. In a scene that mirrored the increasingly mechanical and souleless Eastern Front, LT model tanks with clairsachs painted on their side charged into Galway, annihilating any Loyalists forces that dared to stand in their way.

By the end of 1924, the politics and warfare of Phase One had truly died out. The world that had gone to war over a mere assassination in 1914 had died after a decade. In its place was a new world, where the greatest military forces ever seen were dedicated to an endless war for the fate of mankind. The myth of a war that would be over by a long forgotten Christmas had become an overused and cruel joke, mocking the old world that had shot itself over and over again until a new world defined by ideology took its place. The 1920s were not like previous decades. Colonial empires did not clash for influence and dominance. Instead, a triumvirate of ideologies fought to the death in a continental arena in which the victor would define the fate of the rest of human history. As imperialist, fascist, and socialist slaughtered for their envisioned world and an entire continent was covered with radicalism and reactionism alike in the place of the Realpolitik of the late 19th Century, one thing was for certain.

The old Europe was dead.

December 1924-Manmade Hell.png

Map of the World circa December 1924.
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