Hmmm the Part One(possibly) makes me wonder if the RZ is not really as dead as the dice make them seem... Also it looks like the Pan-Europeans prepared for winter, at least initially.
 
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So I just delivered my letter of resignation to my principal, but said resignation is only effective as of June 30, and she is already taking various petty revenges. I am sort of emotionally exhausted RN, so no new chapter yet, but it will come eventually. In the meantime take a gander at some dice.
Sorry to hear that, Ephraim!
Hope you change to a job more to your liking soon.

Portugal e Sao Jorge! -2
Hope to see Portugal recovering its independence and the Drakians defeated.
 
Sorry to hear that, Ephraim!
Hope you change to a job more to your liking soon.


Hope to see Portugal recovering its independence and the Drakians defeated.
As to the former, it would be pretty entertaining if Rexism triumphs in Spain but a green Portugal survives as the Defense Pact's Cuba analogue. As to the latter I presume the inherent issues in the Societist program will cause Drakia to collapse before the nukes start flying, leaving the world in the grip of a Fascist/Rex status quo.
 
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As to the former, it would be pretty entertaining if Rexism triumphs in Spain but a green Portugal survives as the Defense Pact's Cuba analogue. As to the latter I presume the inherent issues in the Societist program will cause Drakia to collapse before the nukes start flying, leaving the world in the grip of a Fascist/Rex status quo.
Then we'll set for the wonderful world of neosocietism and democratic geoism.
 
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While people are pointing out that this world is comparatively behind OTL in terms of rocket technology for its industrial and technological level you gotta remember their still in the 1930's. So it wouldn't surprise me if they actually end up ahead of us in space capabilities during the 60's & 70's, compared to OTL during the same time period. Actually this world has been described as dieselpunk during the current time so I can see it evolving into a more Cassette Futurism styled world rather quickly after the events of the Eurasian War.

Also for some reason I can see either of this worlds version of Japan or USA getting ISOT to OTL being fascinating scenarios in of themselves.
 
While people are pointing out that this world is comparatively behind OTL in terms of rocket technology for its industrial and technological level you gotta remember their still in the 1930's. So it wouldn't surprise me if they actually end up ahead of us in space capabilities during the 60's & 70's, compared to OTL during the same time period. Actually this world has been described as dieselpunk during the current time so I can see it evolving into a more Cassette Futurism styled world rather quickly after the events of the Eurasian War.
You're not wrong! I think the thinking goes that from what we've been told, there's been little interest among the nations in missile tech at a time when there was at least a few nations trying to put it into practice at the time.

That said, there was little interest in carriers in 1914, and look how the Pacific War turned out in the '40s. So maybe you're right! The only one who knows is EBR.

Also for some reason I can see either of this worlds version of Japan or USA getting ISOT to OTL being fascinating scenarios in of themselves.
If I ever get involved in an ISOT Map game, I'll use one of those two. :winkytongue:
 
Dare I say...

CYBERFUNK?
Drakia USA would be a big improvement in that world which isn't saying much but still...

You're not wrong! I think the thinking goes that from what we've been told, there's been little interest among the nations in missile tech at a time when there was at least a few nations trying to put it into practice at the time.

That said, there was little interest in carriers in 1914, and look how the Pacific War turned out in the '40s. So maybe you're right! The only one who knows is EBR.
Considering the rapid rate of technological advancement in this world it wouldn't surprise me if we see 70's or even 80's styled computers by the 1950's. Especially if they've already developed the transistor and solid state electronics, which wouldn't be surprising.

I'm kinda picturing something similar to Tim Burton's Gotham, Gattaca, Dark City and Sin City. Where you see relatively modern technology existing within a relatively noir-diesel world for the post Eurasian War world. Which could be explained as new wartime technology's rapidly entering the civilian market after the war.

If I ever get involved in an ISOT Map game, I'll use one of those two. :winkytongue:
That would be fun...
 
Drakia USA would be a big improvement in that world which isn't saying much but still...
Actually I'm more interested in a hypothetical Republican Union/Drakia mashup. Even though they're both racist totalitarian continental superpowers with fringe Christian theocratic elements they're basically tailor made to be hideously bitter enemies. The RU is remarkably well adjusted toward Jews and black people while Drakia traces part of its national character to Frenchmen and Southrons!
 
@Ephraim Ben Raphael

So that last die leaves me with three possibilities: the US weighs in to the Drakan-Spanish conflict, the British jump someone, or the Japanese decide to grab the remainder of the Russian Far East. The middle of these is the most likely, given the preoccupation of the other two.

Or am I missing something...?

Brazil snatching Portugal out of the teeth of the Draka?
 
Brazil snatching Portugal out of the teeth of the Draka?
OMG I missed this possibility. That would explain the -5 mitigator. Brazil invading and annexing Iberia before the Drakians can get their grubby mitts on it would be amazing.

The more I think about it the more I believe Japan rolled the 1. Hear me out:

We have to consider the narrative EBR has laid out here. It's designed to be an existential struggle between Drakia and America well into the 50s. To this end, America needs to be distracted during the Great Patriotic War to prevent it from containing the Drakians from Europe.

If America were to lose the Great Pacific War or fight it hard and long, that narrative isn't in jeopardy. However, if Japan were to fumble the war super hard, there wouldn't be much of an excuse for them not to just finish the job the Black Chamber started.

But we shall see. The wait continues.

Edit: The Spanish Republic in exile could also be the ??? roll
 
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Chapter 26
Separated at Birth I Pic CXL.jpg

Chapter 26

In 1938 there were three different Spains.

There was the Spanish Poblado Republic with its capital in Madrid, governing the Iberian Peninsula (including its puppet Portugal) with an iron fist. The Pobladistos advocated a flavor of radical Geoism that was both more moderate than the bloody version espoused in the Rodina Zemlya during the Peremesheniye and more orthodox than the pragmatically authoritarian form it had taken under the National Committee that assumed power later. They were partially deindustrialized, but maintained a basic manufacturing base to meet its military needs plus some additional light industry for other areas. The SPR had been diplomatically isolated since it broke with Moscow over the RZ's decision to sell political prisoners into Bondage in Drakia, but the paranoid leaders of the Partido Suelo Negro had been investing resources into their military since they first took over the country. As a result they had extensive defenses at the Pyrenees in case France tried something, and coastal fortifications along their Mediterranean shoreline. There were about half-a-million active personnel in the Spanish Armed Forces and their drill was on par with most other countries, however the Pobladistos' self-imposed limits on industrialization handicapped Spanish military power, they were technologically behind the rest of the world, and the SPR’s ability to mobilize was limited by the fact that the government didn’t trust many of its citizens with weapons and training. As radical Geoists they held their urban population under suspicion as a matter of course, and like most authoritarian governments were at odds with many national minorities- the Catalans, the Basques, and the Galicians (the Andalusians and the Valencians were pretty supportive of the regime). It insisted that Puerto Rico and former Spanish Morocco were rightfully its territory.

The second Spain was the Spanish Republic-in-exile with its capital in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where the local government and military forces had broken with Madrid after the Partido Suelo Negro proclaimed the dissolution of the Spanish Republic and began purging non-Pobladistos in government. The Republic-in-exile claimed to be a continuation of the original Spanish Republic and the rightful government of all of Spain as it had been at the end of the World War. As a functioning Fascist democracy and member of the Grand Alliance the country of just over two million maintained a professional military with American help, and while it might be smaller than that of the Pobladistos its weapons were state of the art and there were no political officers in its units.

Last but not least were the Spanish Royalists. King Ferdinand IX had relocated to Spanish Morocco with most of his supporters after the Spanish metropole fell to revolution, and when Moroccan rebels threatened to bring down his government he had asked Drakia to intervene. As of 1938 the “Kingdom of Spain” was a province of the Drakian Empire with a ceremonial subnational monarchy under Ferdinand IX’s young grandson King Charles VI. Aurica claimed Spain proper as part of its Spanish province, although for many years that claim had been purely symbolic and Stoker’s regime hadn’t bothered to do so much as mark that claim on government maps (the Spanish provincial government did, but no one else really bothered).

I think you can guess where this is going.

Separated at Birth I Pic CXLI.jpg

Alas poor Spain! So far from god, so close to Drakia. And Pobladisto totalitarianism doesn't help either. At least there's always Puerto Rico.

By the late 1930s Drakia had been reforming its armed forces to be able to face national militaries since the First Draco-American War almost a decade ago and its generals wanted to put their new toys and tactics to use. The start of the Great Pacific War removed American intervention as a factor in a European conflict (provided no one attacked any of the remaining Grand Alliance members in Europe), and the Empire had at least a couple of allies available to help it out. It was stable domestically, recovered from the blood and tears of the Crucible, and Lindsey Stoker wanted a conquest. The Drakian Autocrat had overseen his country’s transition from Dominion to Empire and guided it since 1920, but he was now in his seventies and increasingly obsessed his legacy. Stoker poured resources into huge prestige projects- the Hadrian Plan to dam the Congo River and the “God’s Own Sling” space gun being the most famous- but it was to his frustration that he hadn’t added so much as a single square inch of land to the Empire since he founded it.

Time to change that.

Spain was the perfect target and Stoker began making preparations to invade, unaware as he did so that plans were already in motion against the world’s other Geoist country.

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The next generation of the Blitzsoldaten on the march in Rex Germany. Though the Pan-European Defense Pact was technically an alliance of equals, it was always Germany that regarded itself as the true protector of European civilization.
Prime Minister Bernhard Krauszer of Germany vowed that the social and moral purification of Europe- the eternal goal of the Rex- was nigh. The question was where to begin? America was distracted and weakened, but much as the Rex loved to condemn and violently suppress Fascism and Liberalism, it was obvious to anyone that Societism and Geoism were a greater threat to Europe. War with Drakia could be… dangerous. The Country of the Dragon was too big and mean, and most Pan-European contingency plans assumed a defensive war against a Drakian invasion. Rhomania wasn’t too big, but the alliance between Constantinople and Aurica meant that a war with one Societist country meant war with both. Britain didn’t have an official alliance with its former dominion, but Drakian intervention if the Rex invaded was still a given. Spain was on the other side of France, and France had a fellow Rex government whose alliance with America was still a significant factor.

That left Russia.

The Rodina Zemlya was aligned to Drakia, which meant that its defeat would weaken the Empire, but the two countries had no alliance and it was unlikely that Stoker would come to its aid. The RZ remained weak and under-industrialized despite its efforts to improve with Drakian help, and its military was technologically backwards. That should make it an easy target, and the Pan Europeans had hopes to liberate areas like the Ukraine and White Russia that could then join them as independent Rex countries, expanding the Pact and giving it access to numbers and resources to help it compete with its larger enemies. The plan was for a short war, an offensive to occupy the western parts of the RZ (OTL Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic coast up to St. Petersburgh, a couple of other areas), then hunker down and defend that region from a Geoist counterattack. Once the Pact had demonstrated that they could not be driven from those areas they could force a peace with Moscow that would cede the territories in question in exchange for the return of a demilitarized St. Petersburg and a few other odds and ends. All very simple, a war lasting no more than a year that wouldn’t require the Pan-Europeans to commit too many of their forces east and thus risk leaving themselves vulnerable to a Drakian invasion.

Operation Frederick- named for Frederick II, a Holy Roman Emperor lionized by the Rex Movement in multiple countries- opened on Mayday 1938. There is an ongoing debate as to whether or not it counted as the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, the Pan-Europeans called their invasion “The Purification of the East” at the time and the National Committee of the Rodina Zemlya called it the “May War” in official documents, and some historians argue that Operation Frederick began a separate war that only later merged into the larger conflict (similar to the relationship between the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Second World War of OTL). For our purposes however, we can safely say that the Great Patriotic War began with the Pan-European invasion of the RZ.

Separated at Birth I Pic CXLIII.jpg

And, with the dice on their side- at least for now- the Pan-Europeans push ahead into the Great Patriotic War.

Stoker’s response to the invasion was one of relief- the Pan-Europeans wouldn’t be able to interfere with his plans regarding Spain- and he moved up the invasion of Iberia, which went forward approximately a month-and-a-half later. The Empire began shipping arms and ammunition to the RZ so as to stiffen its resistance, but otherwise remained neutral. Surprisingly, the Drakian strike against the Pobladistos came as somewhat of a relief for Krauszer- it reduced the odds of Drakia getting involved in the Purification of the East. He didn’t give the invasion his “tacit consent” by any means, the Prime Minister condemned it in the strongest terms, opened secret talks with France should the Noble Race push further, and even sent aid to the same Pobladistos he despised. But Germany and the Pan-Europeans were in no position to intervene, and if sacrificing Geoist Spain was the price for victory in Russia then so be it.

The Drakians invasion began with landings in the Balaeric Islands, and once the islands were secure they followed those up with a landing just south of Barcelona where Spanish coastal defenses were weak. The Drakian Navy cleared the ships of the Citizen’s Army Naval Squadron from the sea within the first couple weeks of the war, the Drakian Army achieved general air superiority even faster. When Madrid began shifting its forces to address the invasion there it became apparent that the attack in Catalonia was a feint and the real invasion crashed bloodily onto the shores of Andalucia, where defenses were stronger but now undermanned. The first wave was composed of newly-trained Auxiliaries, green troops composed of Bondsmen promised the erasure of their debts and status as Nationals or even Honorary Whites if they completed their service. The second wave were the shock troops, veteran Auxiliaries and units of Citizen regulars to turn footholds into beachheads and cracks into breakthroughs. The Pobladistos fought hard, but the Empire had them outnumbered, outgunned, out-trained, and even out-led. Once it became apparent that the SPR was losing Portugal erupted in rebellion and even a few remaining Spanish Royalists re-emerged. By early ’39 the fighting was largely over, Spain became part of the Drakian Province of Spain under King Charles VI with about a third of its population receiving Citizenship and Portugal found itself an independent kingdom again... hosting a nice large Drakian garrison to keep a Societist government in power.

The Spanish Republic-in-exile dispatched a couple of destroyers to the Canary Islands within forty-eight hours of the start of hostilities and a the relatively perspicacious Geoist governor of the islands surrendered without a fight, leaving Stoker to gnash his teeth. The Autocrat had planned to take the Canaries too, but as part of the Republic they were now under American protection and he wasn’t ready to take on the Grand Alliance yet.

Separated at Birth I Pic CXLIV.jpg

Stories that Geoist Spain was reduced to using early drachenflieger against modern Imperial jets and helicopters are blown out of proportion; most of the Citizens' Army Air Squadron planes were turbojets that were fuel inefficient, but otherwise quite capable aircraft. But the Spanish government pressed every aircraft it could find into service- including long-obsolete civilian models, and there is at least one reported instance of a Drakian helicopter co-pilot shooting down an 1890s model drachenflieger with an assault rifle. (Just pretend those are Spanish drachenflieger and not North Vietnamese biplanes)

Oddly, while Arthur Klein plaid a major role in formulating the strategy that took Iberia for the Empire, it was then that he fell out favor with the Drakian regime. In November of 1938 he was honored for his role in the invasion, one month later he was accused of treason against the Empire and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Why? Well it may have had something to do with the fact that Lindsey Stoker was 74, his wife, the second Mrs. Stoker, was 28, and Klein remained a very fit 53. It may also have had something to do with the fact that the Drakian dictator had straight brown hair, his wife (like the previous Mrs. Stoker) had straight blonde hair, and his last and youngest daughter (the classically named Fortuna Stoker) had a head of curly black hair just like a certain former fleet admiral.

Friends warned Klein however, and before the Patriotists could get their hands on him, he’d taken a fishing boat, some sensitive documents, and a certain Bondsman of Polish nationality (the Rodinist-ruled part of Poland) and Nationalist politics who had been traded to the Empire by the RZ, and defected to a somewhat bemused Italy. The Italians sent the Pole in question on his way and interned his American rescuer who insisted that he had never actually been loyal to Drakia, and didn’t the charge of treason levelled at him by Aurica prove that? And here was with sensitive documents, a long-lost comrade to the cause, and plenty of expertise on the inner-working of the Drakian Navy (and those parts of the Drakian government with which he was familiar) that he was happy to share. Klein made himself sufficiently helpful that the Italians declined to return him to the USA, and his internment was a very hospitable one.

The Pan-Europeans spared little attention for the single wayward American however.

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The boat that took Klein from Drakia to Italy. He rolled that 19 to make it out- sorry to disappoint the creative alternate ideas.

Operation Frederick had been massively successful, with the forces of Germany and her allies rolling over the Rodinist frontier and its border units almost immediately. Bad infrastructure and communications networks handicapped the efforts of the RZ’s military to co-ordinate and respond effectively to the invasion. The use of Kesselschlacht tactics- mechanized maneuver warfare that built on the tactics used with the Blitzsoldaten in the World War-isolated strongpoints, broke through ephemeral defenses, and crushed isolated Rodinist units. Like the Soviet Union in OTL, the Rodina Zemlya had recruited and promoted its officers more on the basis of loyalty and political reliability than actual skill, with similar results. Also like the OTL Soviet Union, the RZ began discovering good commanders through attrition as capable officers emerged from the dross by virtue of survival. But men like Captain Larionov Lavro Antonovich (then Major Larionov Lavro Antonovich, and eventually General Larionov Lavro Antonovich) could only do so much. Unlike OTL Nazi Germany and the Axis, the German Confederation and the Pan-European Pact weren’t attacking over-confidently after a series of easy victories, although the need to maintain a substantial troop presence in the west in case Rhomania or Drakia tried something did distract them somewhat. The Pan-Europeans were equipped for war in Russia (yes, including winter gear) and were greeted with warm welcomes from non-Russian groups they encountered.

Pan-European “Moral Purification” meant the arrest of Geoist and non-Rex intellectuals, Rodinist government officials, teachers, military veterans, and other suspect groups who were either used as forced labor or simply massacred. It meant the mass destruction of artwork, books, and any cultural expression deemed “decadent”. It meant the renaming of towns, cities, and even common streets, it meant the establishment of schools with strict Rex and religious curriculums. Lithuania subjected Latvians to social policies designed to assimilate the “North Lithuanians” into Lithuanian culture, and kept autonomous Estonia on a short leash. Germany forcibly expelled the Russian community from Crimea and began the ethnic cleansing of Russians from a large exclave that roughly corresponded to the traditional area of Volga German settlement (Krauszer was uninterested in acquiring territory inhabited by too many non-Germans, and was content with hegemony rather than direct rule as a goal over most western Russia). Poland also expelled Russians from the land it annexed, and made a concerted effort to “reclaim” Russians with Polish ancestry as Poles. Jews and Roma (those that were left) were relocated to the crowded Fatherlands set aside for them.

These were not policies calculated to win the adoration of the most Russians, but to non-Russian groups it didn’t matter. The Rodina Zemlya had been pursuing an active program of ethnic cleansing against them before the war, selling large numbers of their members in Drakian slavery in exchange for help reindustrializing, and anything short of that was an improvement. The Ukrainians were pretty enthusiastic about their new Ukrainian Fatherland (even if it was a bit limited in size to start with- Novorossiya was considerably more Russian than OTL thanks to ethnic cleansing, at least the Northeast still had a simple majority of Ukrainians to work with), and the Belarusians were quite happy with their new “White Russia”. The Cossacks hadn’t been targeted for the same kind of systematic destruction as other communities, but they were held in suspicion for their association with the former Russian monarchy and experienced enough discrimination, hostility, and cultural suppression to make the newly established Almighty Don Host supportive of the Pact. The mounting resistance by Russian partisans was unfortunate, as was the unpopularity of the puppet Russian monarchy restored to St. Petersburg, but hopefully that would fade in time.

Separated at Birth I Pic CXLV.jpg

A low-ranking Rodinist party member shoots down a member of the German Feldpolizei coming to arrest him as part of the "Moral Purification" of the Occupied RZ.

The original goal of the invasion had been to just occupy the western parts of the RZ and hold, but mission creep rapidly set in. The Pact achieved its initial war gains so quickly and easily that it proved impossible to resist the lure of continuing to capitalize on its early victories. Why make peace after occupying the Ukraine and Belorussia, when you could make peace after taking Moscow? The RZ’s capital fell at the end of August and the National Committee of the Rodina Zemlya fled to Nizhny Novgorod, prompting another offensive to capture that city, prompting the National Committee to flee again, this time to Kazan, and when the Pan-European captured Kazan they relocated to Perm. Drakia and Britain channeled munitions and equipment to bolster the RZ’s resistance via the Caucasus and the Arctic ports of Archangelsk and Pechora, resulting in yet more offensives in the spring of 1939. The Arctic ports fell, but constant shipments over the border with Drakian Kurdistan kept the Caucasus fighting, even as the Pan-Europeans pushed slowly forward. The fall of Astrakhan cut off the RZ’s ability to move Imperial aid from the Caucasus to the rest of the country over land, but they continued to transport supplies across the Caspian Sea by ship… until uprisings by the remaining Central Asian peoples began to threaten that too.

In November, as cold weather forced a lull in the northern fighting and the Rex turned their attention towards the warmer Caucasus, the National Committee of the Rodina Zemlya abandoned the now-besieged city of Perm and set out for Omsk. Waiting for them at their new emergency capital was General Larionov Lavro Antonovich. The most capable of the Rodina’s military commanders had finally accumulated enough authority, respect, and popularity that when he had the committee members arrested and executed without fanfare his new military government was largely accepted by the rest of the armed forces and what remained of the civilian authorities. Antonovich proclaimed himself the “Vozhd” of a new Russian Empire. Geoism had failed the Russian people, he informed the nation in his first radio address, it was Societism that would be the official ideology of the new state. Those still loyal to the tenets of Rodinism could get with the program or else.

It was a desperate attempt to invite Drakian intervention into the war, and Antonovich let Stoker know as much. By early 1940 the Pan-Europeans had reached the Urals in two places, made contact with the rebels in Kazakhstan, and were advancing into Central Georgia. The narrow channel of aid from the Country of the Dragon that ran across the Caspian Sea and through Central Asia was being cut off. Unless the Empire entered the war directly then Russia would have no choice but to surrender, ceding its heartland west of the Urals in the hope that it would be able to salvage Central Asia and the parts of the Caucasus they still held.

Time for Stoker to make a choice.

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Early 1940, with the Pan-Europeans on the verge of victory over the infant Russian Empire.
 
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