It seems that a dull summer leads to me making boring repetitive series of maps. Oh goody
But yes, there's another one, sorry bout this
"In retrospect it seems rather easy to predict what happened to Russia. With an autocratic tsar reluctant to part with one iota of his power, a dozen feuding nationalities demanding a homeland of their own, a mishmash of destabilising ideologies and the fresh memory of the worst period of bloodshed the world had even known revolution was a near inevitability. Still no one seemed to predict it at the time. Russia had its attentions focused on ongoing undeclared wars with the Chinese and the Turks. The French kept one eye firmly fixed on the Germans and another on their colonies at all times. The British were busy with the ongoing, complex and controversial process of reforming their empire to try and stave off their own revolution. The Italians, Portuguese and the like cared little for Russia’s affairs. And the Americans seldom cared at all about anything that was not in their own hemisphere. So the events of April 17th seemed to catch everyone off guard.
The conflict was planned in advance. In several Russian cities, Moscow among them, uprisings began. These were organised by the banned Russian Workers Party, supported by elements of Russia’s own armed forces (and, less openly, the German Workers’ Republic). Their (somewhat optimistic) plan called for a seizure of Russia more or less overnight. The strategically important positions, major cities, weapons depots and whatever elements of the leadership could be captured were to be seized. If all went to plan Russia would be under a Worker’s Republic within a couple of weeks at the most once resistance was mopped up. This plan proved almost laughable in practice. While the surprise of the uprising allowed initial successes miscalculation, optimism and underestimation of the Tsar’s resolve transformed the uprising into a Civil War. The St. Petersburg uprising was crushed and with the Tsar apparently still in a position to fight for his empire several army units that had been wavering stiffened their resolve. However the RWP weren’t the only ones unhappy with the current order. A dozen different nationalist movements sprang up here and there. Finns, Estonians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Georgians, Azeris, Persians, Kazakhs, Chechens, Ukrainians. The fledgling Polish nationalist uprising was strangled in its cradle by the Communists and their German sponsers. Smaller factions in this civil war had attempted to strike out on their own earlier in the war - republicans, federalists, far right nationalists, social democrats and more besides, but over time these splinters were absorbed into more powerful groups.
As the civil war slides into its second year the loyalists have lost ground and stand on the brink of collapse. St. Petersburg is threatened, most of the other great cities have fallen, the prison camps of the Russian Far East, where the Tsar’s security apparatus shipped “undesirables” have risen up in revolt. There are only two real concentrations of strength remaining to the old Russian order – one in the north-west tasked with the defence of St. Petersburg, the other near Kiev growing closer to encirclement every day. Much of the rest of Russia remains in the Tsar’s hands only because no one has yet tried to take it. And rebels are not Russia’s only concern. In the east the war with China has spiralled out of control, with Russian forces there buckling against individually inferior but numerically overwhelming forces. Mongolia too faces invasion, while East Turkestan has cut all ties with Russia entirely. Kurdistan has done the same, swapping its allegiance to the British. Persian uprisings triggered an invasion by the Shah, aimed at regaining Persia’s “rightful borders”. The Central Asian protectorates broke away when it became clear that they could not be protected. And in the west Germany and Hungary have finally declared war on Russia and crossed the border to support “the legitimate demands of the Russian proletariat”. Czechia has already been annexed, and German arms are pouring over the border.
And Russia are not the only ones facing trouble.
The French found that their estimates of how well the Germany military had recovered were dreadfully inaccurate. While they had attempted to stall, hoping to finish their own rearmament first, Germany’s declaration of war on Russia forced their hand. France, and with them Serbia, Belgium, Catalonia and Euskadi, declared war on Germany and Hungary. That proved a grave miscalculation. The apparent destruction of Germany as a threat had led France’s battered post-war military to atrophy. Unlike the Russians, who had the constant war with the Turks and China to at least keep their forces useable the French let their border defences decay and their army shrink. They attempted to reverse the rot when the German Workers Republic emerged and a newly reunited Germany stood on their doorstop. But there wasn’t enough time. France found their army outmatched technologically, numerically and tactically. Belgium was swept aside, and by the time the German advance began to falter much of north-eastern France was in their grip. And that proved enough to win the Germans a new ally.
Italy had spent much of its time since the end of the Great Imperial War grumbling on the sidelines. Many of the territories it had been promised – Anatolian provinces, British colonies, a sphere in the Middle-East – had been taken away or never given to them to begin with. Relations with France and Russia had turned frosty, and the German Workers’ Republic seemed to offer a means of furthering their ambitions. At first they did not seem natural allies – the Germans hard-line leftists, the Italians a monarchy (and a rather conservative one at that), but the Germans had excellent diplomats and painted a wonderful tale of easy gains and an Italian position near the head of the European table. Once again Italy was swayed by promises of colonies and new lands. Once again Italy fell hook, line and sinker for the promises of a powerful neighbour. Russia’s Civil War seemed to prove the German predictions right, and Italy wanted to be on the right side of the peace agreement.
Soon after Brussels fell Italy declared war on France and its allies. Rather than face the strongly defended Alpine front the Italians went after the more vulnerable foe. The Serbs, massing for a northwards offensive into Germany, were caught offguard by attacks from the west and south. The French and their supporters were now decidedly on the back foot.
This left those on the sidelines in a bit of a quandary. While the Americans were otherwise occupied (mostly fuming at their chosen side’s loss in the Mexican Civil War, with an occasional pat on the back about the incorporation of the newly purchased Danish territories and the in progress Nicaragua Canal) the British and their allies were conflicted. On the one hand Russia and France were their traditional enemies. Britain’s empire was fundamentally opposed to the Russian one (indeed it had taken advantage of the civil war, as seen by Kurdistan’s change of allegiance and Persia’s opportunistic war) and Japan was extremely tempted by even just a few scraps of the Russian Far East. But the Germans were hardly their favourite bunch at this moment in time. The GWP had completely crushed the remnants of their old ally, exiling the German Royal Family (who had until that time been allowed to retire to their old estates) from the country (at which point, interestingly enough, they went to London). And with Russia in chaos and the French facing a string of defeats the Germans seemed worryingly close to crushing to two other main powers on the continent. A European continent dominated by a single power, especially one likely to be hostile to British interests, was not something Whitehall liked to think about. So, as the German armies edged towards Paris, the British grew ever closer to the moment when they too would join the fray..."
As usual the "not overly plausible" disclaimer applies. It's also worth noting that this map was mostly an excuse to do a Russian Civil War map (since I thought it was a fun idea to see just how my unnecessarily large Russian Empire would fall to bits - as you can see the execution didn't quite measure up to the idea). I'm not as pleased with this map as I was with its predecessors, but after a while of poking away at it I decided to just trot it out and post it rather than keep niggling away