Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Antonio the Komnenoi, Oct 9, 2018.
Err, I don't know how to make a World Map. Besides, there is still a war ongoing.
Just remember that sometimes I end up mixing up the names of the American political parties. Remember:
There are 3 parties: America First, Republicans, and Whigs (That I have so many times confused with the Democrats since they are the OTL Democratic Party). If I get them mixed up, remember that the Whigs=Democrats.
Really? Hmm, could've sworn I once saw that it was 100 million, but that's likely just an error on my part.
Guerre éclair II: Valencia
The Spanish phase of the Mediterranean War lasted until November 1939, it resulted in the collapse of the Spanish Worker's Republic to the combined Anti-Pelletist offensive. It started with the Invasion of Galicia by Portuguese forces, the first moment was a essentially a Hispano-Portuguese War, with Spanish forces attacking the small nation that resisted bravely. Then Spain became the main target of a invasion by Frankish and Roman forces, with the fall of the French forces, Spain was invaded in Catalonia and Navarra, while a Roman invasion attacked Morocco and Granada. That was followed by a counter-attack by Portuguese forces in Andalusia.
The Catalans had a new home after the War, with Valencia becoming an autonomous city-state protected and supplied by the Spanish Republic. After the Pelletist takeover, the Spanish Pelletist party started to exercise their influence over Catalonia, threatening to cut supplies if several reforms favorable to the local Catalan Pelletist Union weren't made. During the 1920s, Pelletist influence grew in the Catalan Parliament, resulting in a coup by the Red Guards and the foundation of the Valencia Commune, under protection of the Spanish. But as the Franks started to push, going past Catalonia and heading to Valencia, fears were rising that a second Genocide was coming, if Delacroix's speeches were any indication. The city was fortified, all men between the ages of 20 and 50 were armed and even children over 12 were put to work in barricades and fortifying the city. This time, they wouldn't go down without a fight.
The Siege of Valencia would last longer than Spain itself, Valencia was called by Prime Minister Chamberlain as the "Most stubborn city of the World". While the rest of Spain was overwhelmed and taken by enemy troops, the city stubbornly resisted to bombardment from Sea and land until the 4th of December. When Madrid fell in October and the Spanish surrendered on the 7th of November, the Valencia Commune tried to negotiate a peace with General Henri Giraud, but he was ordered by Delacroix to refuse it, the Catalans would pay for stabbing the French in the back.
The battle of Valencia started on the 5th of December of 1939, the Frankish Air Force bombarded the city with Mustard and Sarin gas, that was followed by a Roman naval bombardment and the attack of the new Frankish artillery: The "Martel" gun.
((The largest and most powerful artillery piece of the world))
The city was ruthlessly bombarded with gas and guns, indiscriminate civilian air bombardment was made on large-scale for the first time in history. Delacroix said he wanted Valencia "become a crater, sunk in the bottom of the ocean", for 2 weeks it was attacked ruthlessly, until finally a attack started on the 20th of December with Infantry troops. Frankish forces saw children fighting with bolt-action rifles using grotesque piles of dead bodies as cover, Valencia became the definition of hell on earth, but it still continued to fight, citizens from the age of 8 to 80 fought for their own survival during the cold Christmas. On the 1st of February of 1940, the gunfire stopped, the city population either fled as refugees or died in the destruction, with a few thousand survivors in the basements. The Catalans never surrendered, preferring to die before letting the Franks exterminate them, the Catalan people fought against French domination for over a century, and died resisting against the French. Very few prisioneers were taken, and only a handful thousand Catalans managed to escape and disperse across the newly occupied Iberian Peninsula.
Now, Mussolini was the last one left.
Yay ! The mark of 200 was hit ! Vive L'Emperur ! Or should I say, Vive la Frankia !
Happy Bastille day, fellow citizens of the Fatherland, in the name of Karoulos Magnus, we shall strike at the heart of the Pelletist snake, while racing to take the Holy city before that new Crazy Roman guy.
Guerre éclair III
((Remains of a bombed Italian city))
((Roman soldiers pushing against Italian fortifications))
((Julius Evola, Caesar of Rome))
While the invasion of Spain was ongoing, the Alps entered a Stalemate. Despite Mussolini's attempts to push against the Frankish forces, it only led to costly offensives with no gains, the Franks bid their time instead, being satisfied with killing endless waves of Italians for now. Further south, the Caesar of Rome, Gabrielle D'Annunzio, died of natural causes, the Grand Senate in Tunis elected Julius Evola, a radical and unorthodox Ultranationalist. Evola wanted first of all to retake Italy, and for that he mobilized a massive force of half-million men to invade Sicily. The Sicily campaign was what Mussolini feared, he coordinated a defense of the Island as he knew that losing Sicily would mean a Southern invasion, over 240,000 men organized into 8 divisions, would stand against the Romans.
Mussolini quickly discovered that his regime was despised by more than outsiders, when the Rome raids stuck, Roman troops invaded Sicily. Mussolini had centralized the entire command chain in himself, and not just that, he also purged several of his brightest generals, all of that to protect himself from a coup. But as a side effect, the Italian general of Sicily, Luigi Maria D'Ambrosio, couldn't move his divisions to stop the landings, if he moved without permission, he feared that he could get purged himself. As result, the Romans created a bridgehead, and would take Palermo by the 30th of August, and finally taking the Island with 53,000 prisioneers on the 9th of October. General Ítalo Balbo would set his sights on the mainland, while Mussolini's regime was reaching the bottom of it's popularity.
With the invasion of Italy itself on the 25th of October, Mussolini panicked, he saw traitors everywhere, and in his paranoia he would purge the Air Force command and send over 700,000 men to stop the Southern advance, leaving only 400,000 to guard the Franks. Seeing the opportunity, General Charles de Gaulle seized the chance, and with a quick push in Nice, he would break the undermanned Italian defenses and take the city of Turin by the 12th of December. Italian forces attempted a retreat, but the fast Frankish War Trucks would cut off their retreat from the Acosta Valley, these forces bravely tried to fight on, but would surrender on the Christmas Eve of 1939.
As 1940 arrived, Mussolini conscripted from children as young as 13 to elders as old as 70, armed with outdated rifles, and hoped to stop the Frankish advance. Their bodies would only slow down the Frankish War Machine, and when Milan fell, he heard the news: German troops had invaded and occupied Venice, the locals didn't even put up a fight. That was a growing pattern, local citizens hailed the Romans and Franks as liberators from Mussolini's regime, and as a final insult to Mussolini, masses were made every day until the fall of Rome, people celebrating the end of the anti-Christian laws. Thousands of soldiers were defecting, and some officers refused to engage the enemy and instead joined them.
Mussolini's regime managed to alienate all but the most hard-lined Pelletists, and by the 28th of June of 1940, Lazio was the last region left. And Rome was surrounded on the 10th of July, for 4 days, Mussolini's most fanatic followers put up a fight against Frankish forces for 4 days. One of the most remembered events was the battle for the coliseum, where the 4th Guardia Roja batallion ran out of ammunition, grabbing swords and bayonets to meet the Romans in a vicious melee combat. On the 14th of July, it was Bastille day in the Frankish Empire, where parades and displays of nationalism were made as celebration for the end of the Bourbon regime (while all other references of Liberalism and Revolution against the Feudal system were quietly deleted from history) and the beggining of the Rise of Napoleon. On this day, Delacroix announced a telegram of General de Gaulle: The fighting for Rome ended, Mussolini and his family committed suicide, Togliatti ordered the soldiers to ceasefire, and the War was over.
The Treaty of Bordeaux would be signed on the 28th of July of 1940, ending the Mediterranean War. Italy would be split between the Romans and Franks, Venice would be transferred to the German Reich, France would be fully annexed by the Frankish, and Spain would be partitioned. There was a great dispute for the control of the city of Rome as the Lazio was given to the Franks. Evola wanted the city that named his Empire, while it was Frankish arms that took the city. It was decided that the city would be divided by the Piazza Venezia, the North being given to the Franks and the South to the Romans.
((Division of Spain: Blue (Frankish), Red (Roman, including Morocco), Green (Portuguese), Purple (Spanish State under General Franco), Orange (State of Valencia), and Light Green (Basque State under Frankish protectorate).
((Division of Post-War Italy, Corsica and other previously French regions were given to the Franks))
The Fox of the Pampas
Between the end of the Great War in 1916, and the rise of Vargas in 1934, the Brazilian Empire lived two realities. In a starting period , the war fueled the Industrialization of the nation, the threat of British blockade and the mere fact that much of the world market was not accessible forced the nation to adopt a new tactic: Import Substitution. While the nation already had considerable industry thanks for the Mauá family and incentives of the Emperor, it was after the War that it finally started to blossom. Not only that, but thanks to the Amazon rainforest, the Empire controlled a large portion of the World's rubber industry, adding to the rise of automotive industry, the empire had the resources it needed to fuel its Industrialization.
Of course, the more rubber, the better. And that became the main drive of the Brazilian actions against Gran Colombia and Peru-Bolivia in the early 1900s. Between 1890 and 1900, thousands of Brazilians went to the Acre territory in search of rubber, the border was not demarcated due to the nature of the place (literally). In 1901, the Peru-Bolivian government of the recently elected President Martin de Sucre decided to end the Brazilian "invasion". Imposing taxes on the region while sending military units to the area, this provoked a violent reaction of the Brazilian settlers that rebelled against the Peru-Bolivian government and repelled the military units. Under leadership of Plácio de Castro, the Brazilians declared the Acrean Republic, while both Brazil and Peru-Bolivia mobilized for war. Then came the "Rio Branco" or "Rubber" Diplomacy, spearheaded by the Baron of Rio Branco José Maria Paranhos, Foreign Minister of the Pinheiro Machado Government. By appealing to popular sovereignty over the occupied areas, ancient Portuguese forts, and Brazilian force of Arms, the Empire took control of the Acre region in the Treaty of Petrópolis of 1903. Similar events would result in the occupation of Maribatanas by Brazil and it's annexation from Colombia in the Ortiz-Mangabeira Treaty of 1908.
But while the country had an expansionist glorious era without shooting a bullet, in the south, the first signs of Gaucho problems started to arrive, under the leadership of Asis Brasil. The southern states of the republic were ruled by caudillos influenced by Rationalism and Autocratic principles, one of them was called Borges de Mendeiros, the de facto dictator of Rio Grande thanks for electoral fraud and a personality cult that allowed him to be forever reelected. In 1921 it blew up, with the victory in another electoral victory being announced, the opposition leader Asis Brasil refused to accept the clear electoral fraud (in some cities, Borges received a number of votes larger than the double of its population) and started an armed uprising against Borges. The Gaucho Civil War lasted 2 years, covering from the State of Transplatina (also known as Entre Rios) to the city of Desterro (OTL Florianópolis). The revolt ended with the intervention of the Emperor, while Borges' mandate was assured, he would not be allowed to run again. That would soon open the way for the rise of a new name for the "Partido Rio-Grandense": Getúlio Dornelles Vargas.
Vargas was born in 1883 in the small city of São Borja, son of the Platinean War veteran Manuel do Nascimento Vargas of the powerful Vargas family, he was raised in the harsh Gaucho environment, becoming a lawyer and marring Darci Saramanho in 1911. He entered politics in the Partido Rio-Grandense, admiring the Rationalist and authoritarian politics of the party. In 1920, he became a representative of Rio Grande do Sul in Rio de Janeiro, and in 1925 he became minister of economy under the government of Antonio Carlos, leaving in 1927 to run for Governor of Rio Grande do Sul. He would become State President until 1934, when he was called by the Emperor as President of the Coucil of Ministers.
But why did D. Pedro III call him ? Between 1928 and 1934, Brazil had 5 governments (Antonio Carlos, Julio Prestes, Otávio Mangabeira, João Mangabeira, and the military Cabinet of Goís Monteiro) that failed in addressing the increased radicalization and economical crisis. When the Berlin Market fell and brought the world down with it, Brazil's Industrialization came to a grinding halt as several factories and banks closed, a general strike in 1929 caused the downfall of Antonio Carlos' government and the following 2 cabinets failed to address the strikes, only João Mangabeira (known for his Pelletist symphaties) was able to negotiate a settlement with several working rights like 10-hour work limit and paid leave being given in the Ouro Preto agreements. As result, many called Mangabeira as a secret Pelletist that plotted the implementation of a Pelletist Republic similar to the Spanish example, which resulted in his assassination by the Paulista student Carlos Lacerda in 1932.
The assassination of João Mangabeira threw the country into chaos, it represented the increasingly polarization of the Brazilian politics. There was a sharp rise of Far-Left radicals led by an ex military officer called Luis Carlos Prestes, as well as the Far-Right "Patrianovista" movement, led by Plinio Salgado, a movement that desired the creation of a "Organic Empire" with full powers restored to an Emperor guided by a council of like-minded citizens and the Catholic Church, based on the Trinity of "Deus, Pátria, Imperador" (God, Fatherland, Emperor). To prevent these 2 movements from rising, the military (led by General Goís Monteiro), was called to restore order, but even the military cabinet was falling apart due to internal discussions and the increased pressure of the low economy and rising unrest from Gaúchos threatening secession from the Empire. On the 12th of January of 1934, Goís Monteiro went to Petrópolis to talk with the Emperor.
((D. Pedro III, rose to the throne after his father's death in 1921 due to Tuberculosis))
((Goís Monteiro, General and Temporary President of the Council of Ministers))
"Your Majesty, I came here to deliver my resignation." Said the General as he handed his resignation letter to the Emperor, being visibly exhausted of 2 years being bombarded from all sides. It wasn't an easy time to be a Brazilian politician, especially if you weren't one.
"I see, I am not surprised of that General, no one wants to form a government at this time. Maybe it is time to take care of this myself, that's what the "Moderador" power exists, to take care of the country when everything else fails. My father never had to face such a situation, I fear to have the same fate of my Great Grandfather and overuse my powers. This country is falling apart, General, and I honestly don't know what I should do."
"Sire, maybe you know the answer to that."
"I don't want to use the War Trucks, remember what happened in Spain ?"
"If you don't, maybe the fate of Italy will happen. I have asked your majesty to declare Martial Law and crack down on those radicals several times, now I ask again, not as the President of the Council of Ministers or as General of the Army, but as a friend."
"Maybe there is one chance left, there is a Governor in the Rio Grande Province, I don't know how but he not only keeps the unrest low, but he also controls one of the few states that continue to grow even with the crisis. What was his name ? Gerúndio ? Gaucho ? Getúlio ! Yes, I will invite him to form a government, he might be our only hope."
"As you wish, your majesty, but if he fails, the War Teucks will be ready."
"I hopefully he can save us General, but if he doesn't, prepare your men to a war."
And with that decision, the fate of Brazil changed.
Calm before the Storm
((Frankish Troops parade after coming back from the Mediterranean War, in this case is the 27th Infantry))
Between the end of the Mediterranean War in July 1940 and the start of the Second Great War in January 1941, there was a large wave of immigrants to Countries like Canada and Australasia, even Britain and the United States seemed a better destination. Thousands of Germans, Poles, Hungarians, Danes, and several others fled to what seemed to be a timebomb. Military exercises by Frankish and Russian troops, the army expansions ordered by Chancellor Hitler during the Reichspakt meeting in September, and the rise of the Steel Pact in December signaled that 1941 would not be a peaceful year, and History would prove them right.
Hitler watched the Mediterranean War with great interest, the war not only proved that his ideas of Armored Warfare were right, but also that the Franks were armed with some kind of terrible weapon, a gas that killed in mass and couldn't be countered by any known means. He could only hope that Delacroix's speeches of Franco-Germanic brotherhood would mean that he wouldn't use them against the German peoples. But he also had to look on the other side as the Russian Vozhd was expanding his military at an alarming speed, their military maneuvers were becoming more and more audacious, even sometimes with Russian soldiers taunting Polish troops in the border. The lack of German action was seen as a weakness by several of its enemies, when confronted with these reports, the Chancellor arguably said "And what I was supposed to do ?! Help the reds ?!" In response, the Chancellor called for a meeting of several nations of the Reichspakt on the first of September, informing them about the possibility of war and making a demand: "Expand your armies or the German Reich will not only expell your nation from the Pact but will also demand it's loans back. Then you can negotiate with the Bear and the Eagle with empty pockets." He would latter address the Reichstag and demand an increase of the Military spending, he would make sure that Germany would not have to depend on a Heavenly Intervention to save it again.
The Frankish victory only boosted Delacroix's belief of his army's invincibility, he once said to have had a dream that when the Frankish forces declared war on Germany, they all lowered the weapons and joined as brothers. But of course his generals knew that wouldn't happen, even with a large minority of Germans (in fact a majority in the Kingdom of the Rhineland) supporting such a Union, they couldn't count on their desertions and needed allies. There was a obvious one in the Continent: The Russian State.
((Frankish and Russian diplomats sign the Pact of Steel on the 10th of December of 1940))
Their common enemy in Berlin and their shared characteristics as Ultranationalist states made them obvious allies, especially with the Franco-Russian friendship ever since the 1880s. There was still resentment amongst some Frankish sectors about such an alliance, claiming that the Russians had betrayed them and that caused the French defeat in 1915-1916, Delacroix meet these critics with a long speech on how Russia had nothing to do with a war that was sabotaged by the Jews, Pelletists, Monarchies, and Capitalists. But after the Treaty was signed, he is quoted by telling his Chief General Henri Giraud, "You must make sure that we won't be needing them to win the war this time." The Pact of Steel was a 15-Year alliance of the Russian and Frankish States for mutual protection, with a secret amendment planning the Division of Central Europe into Spheres of influence, dividing Germany roughly by the Elbe.
As 1941 arrived, the war came early with one death to start millions. Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany was having a declining health for some years, but he would finally give up on February 3rd, 1941. A period of mourn of a week was called over all the Empire, and Hitler was worried about his political future. The New Kaiser Rudolf I was a more Liberal man than his father that didn't personally liked Chancellor Hitler. On the 4th of February, Rudolf was the Kaiser with grand dreams of reforming Germany, he scheduled a speech to the German troops of the West, giving them a day free from the duty of regularly manning the fortifications. His speech would be held on the city of Nanzig, to a crowd of soldiers and citizens alike. There was a large difference between the German soldiers and the French citizens, with the French remaining silent and some more daring even booing the Kaiser, while the Soldiers gave loud cheers to give the impression that the silent majority was a minority. Soldiers over all the border laid down their guard and listened to the radio as the Kaiser started giving a grand speech about the duty of the soldiers to protect the Fatherland against the "French Hordes" so their families could remain in peace. Until a shot was heard from the crowd, hitting the Kaiser's shoulder. The shooter was subdued but the Kaiser refused to leave, claiming that it was his duty to remain and finish, until he received the news from one menssager: Frankish troops had crossed the border.
Rudolf with your rule so blight, won’t you lose this war tonight? ~
The Sun Rises from the East
((Prime Minister Hosokawa Toyonobu))
As the 30s arrived in Asia, so did a new power, The Japanese Empire raised it's flag above the pacific. The new Ultranationalist government dismantled the old Taishō Democracy and started the Shōwa Autocracy. As the army and navy rapidly expanded, the new Prime Minister Hosokawa Toyonobu started seeking an end to the previous Isolationism, desiring to create the Greater Asian Co-Prosperity sphere. An economical and military union of the Nations of East Asia, centered in the Japanese Empire, that would encompass from China to the Philippines, from the Qing Empire to Indochina.
((Postcard of the Empire showing the Co-Prosperity Sphere))
But the Empire was divided by a mortal rivalry of the Army and the Navy. The Imperial Japanese Army, centered on the figure of the War Minister Hideki Tojo, believed in the "Northern Expansion", proposing a land invasion of the weakened Qing followed by a inevitable "Great Asian War" against the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom. The Japanese still had the trauma of the bloody Korean War, where their forces threw themselves against Qing machine guns and trenches. Toyonobu (A Military man himself) convinced himself to never let that happen again. The army was modernizing itself into a formidable force while their opponents in China continued to stagnate themselves, recruiting foreign advisors and sending their own officers to study in Europe, being observers of the Mediterranean War and the rise of the Frankish "guerre èclair" tactics.
Meanwhile on the other hand, there was the Imperial Japanese Navy headed by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. Yamamoto supported the "Southern Expansion" doctrine, believing that for Japan to be self-sufficient in resources (The final objective of the Prosperity Sphered) it needed to take the Phillipines and the British colonies of Indochina and Indonesia. The Emperor supported such doctrine, being skeptical about the chances of defeating the Taiping in a total war. And because he believed the navy to be the pride of Japan, and that as an Island, it was their first line of defense. Not only the Japanese navy was expanded, but it also invested heavily in the air sector of it, Yamamoto believed that the future of sea warfare was with the aircraft carriers, and the Japanese navy was centered around the carrier groups.
((Propaganda painting of the Japanese Navy))
In 1934 Japan finally made their first move, with a staged border incident as casus belli, the Japanese Army invaded the Qing Empire. The Qing Imperial troops put up a brave fight, but were totally outmatched by the technologically superior IJA forces. And soon, Manchuria fell to the Japanese, Emperor Puyi being made a puppet, and the Qing being the first victim of the new Japanese expansionism that started to look south, to the Pearl of the Orient.
So, how strong are UK and US bonds in this TL? How isolationist are the US? Any chance that they overlook a Japanese extension in south-west Pacific?
I think that the German navy can take down both the French and Russian navy so the British can probably divert 60~75% of their fleet in the Singapore, it's going to be an interesting match-up, Victorious & Illustrious & Ark Royal VS Akagi & Shoukaku & Zuikaku.
Huey Long's America is in a extreme version of Monroe Isolationism, cutting off from most diplomatic ties around the world, and as long as the Japanese don't attack American soil or Huey Long dies, I don't think that's changing.
Britain and Germany aren't allies, they both became rivals after the War of the 7th Coalition, they despise one another and most of the British want to remain Neutral on the European War. Unless Delacroix manages to convince them to join in. Probably there would be just a pacific war against Japan since they aren't officially allied with the Franks... for now.
India got its' independent but did they also got Ceylon and Burma? It's going to change a lot of thing in case of a war in the Pacific.
As for the war in Europe, siding with the French would probably the right option to maintain the balance of powers by ensuring that France is able to recover Flander-Wallonia, Rhineland and Piedmont but not much more, so that it's able to contain Germany in the future.
But Delacroix is following an ideology, not realpolitik, if he wants to restore the Carolingian empire, the British may stay neutral or even help the Germans, especially if they want to partition Europe in 2 with Russia...
Ceylon is a British Island and Burma became a Dominion of the Empire.
IOTL here was the approximate size of the navies by late 1940
Imperial Japanese Navy
Battleships & Battlecruisers:11
Royal Navy: (excluding the loss due to the Germans and Italians)
Battleships & Battlecruisers:18
Both navy obviously have a few more units in construction.
ITTL there may be a few difference such as
- The lack naval disarmament treaty like the agreement of Washington IOTL
- The fact the Japanese can spend more resource in the navy if they are not fighting an attrition war in China.
- The fact that with even more territories in south east Asia, the Japanese are definitely the main opponent of the British who are going to focus on a fleet to fight the IJN
Given how far Indochina is from mainland, it would be impossible to defend for the British (the inland is certainly harder to conquer, so there may be a guerilla)
Next step is Malaya and Singapore but before this Thailand/Siam. I think that neutrality is out of question for Siam and I would say they'd rather fight on the side of the Japanese against the "imperialist white people".
A rush toward Singapore is hard to imagine given that IOTL the British prioritized Egypt and only third rate units and outdated equipment were sent to Singapore. Meanwhile ITTL, the elite of the British and Commonwealth land units are going to be stationed there with modern equipment.
Now assuming that Singapore falls (big IF), unlike OTL the Japanese would probably cut of the British from the Pacific Ocean by securing Burma, Ceylon and maybe the Maldives on their flank before going to the east. I don't see them going farther than IOTL, maybe Port Moresby and Darwin fall but that's it, they can't invade South East Australia, NZ or Polynesia), even with more land units available, their bad logistic can't support a much bigger army. But if they manage to go until there, the British have pretty much already lost.
On sea both opponents are going to seek a decisive battle, the British because they can't afford to keep the Royal Navy too far from the Channel for too long given that Europe is at war and because they can't abandon Singapore with probably between 100 and 200k men. Not to mention their pride and underestimation of the Japaneses.
Which is probably the worst idea against Japan which doctrine is precisely suited for a decisive battle but vulnerable to a long war (lack of convoy escort ships, pilots' formation speed is too slow, relative weakness of the industry as it only produce half of the British mainland steel etc...)
The Japanese have a significant edge as for naval aviation and overall they can match the rest of the British fleet since it must keep a portion of the fleet in Europe. A Pearl Harbor type attack is unlikely since a Japanese approach would be spotted very early but I can easily see the British being way to reckless trying to defend Singapore and suffering some major early defeats before they could even gather their fleet.
That's a good analysis for a Anglo-Japanese war, but there is another factor. The Philippines is a player in the crossroads, hated by both the British and Japanese. While not even close to the other 2, the addition of a couple aircraft carriers, an experienced fleet that's used to fighting in the South China Sea, at least a dozen battlecruisers and several submarines could very well tip the balance of a Pacific War to either side. While Japan has ambitions on the Phillipines, doesn't mean they want an invasion, the Philippines could join by free will into the Co-Prosperity sphere to achieve their ambition of taking Borneo and a possible Pan-Malay Empire. On the other hand, they can see the Japanese proposal as giving up their independence and side with their old enemy to resist against Japan.
A not so Splendid Isolation
((Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, Conservative Party))
In the 1930s, Britain was back to the situation it had to deal with until 1916, dealing with a rival power in the continent. It was with the interest of preventing the German Hegemony that Prime Minister Baldwin allowed the Frankish forces to take Britanny, but by 1940 that attitude changed with the Great Mediterranean War, where the Frankish Empire also became a threat to British interests. As the war started in February 1941, British politics divided between Pro factions for the Germans or the Franks. For the former, it was led by Sir Clement Attlee, leader of the Labor Party, arguing that a Europe divided between two Ultranationalist Superstates would be the greatest threat since Napoleon. For the latter it was Sir Oswald Mosley, Conservative MP, he claimed that German victory would result into a single European Superstate from Britanny to the Urals, and a victorious Frankish Empire has no ambitions on British territory and both Russia and the Franks would turn against one another, preventing any from achieving hegemony.
((Clement Attlee, Leader of the Labor Party))
((Sir Oswald Mosley, Conservative MP in his office))
On the 7th of May of 1936, while Britain still recovered from depression, it received a tragic news. King George VII was dead, victim of an air crash when returning from a trip to Australia. The tragic death of the king was followed by the rise of Arthur I. While his original name was Charles, Arthur changed his name into the legendary Arthurian figure, fully Embracing British Nationalism, believing in a 3rd way: No Huns or Franks, but Albion shall be a third way, a shinning beacon of civilization against a barbaric world.
((King Arthur I, c. 1934))
In December, Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin resigned, claiming it was caused by health issues, his blood pressure and stress were becoming higher due to the pressure he received for not standing up to Brittany and Switzerland. In his place was elected Neville Chamberlain, a strict isolationist that pursued a policy of "Splendid Isolation", claiming that Britain should never again spend blood and money into Continental conflicts. Chamberlain wasn't a popular man, the division between the pro-war factions was the only thing keeping him in power, and his health also started to suffer by 1941. His government is remembered mostly for Britain's lack of intervention on the Mediterranean War and the economical recovery to pre-1928 levels.
On the 13th of June of 1941 he resigned from his position after a sudden bout of illness. After a internal election inside the Tories, the ex-Lord of Admiralty and one of the masterminds behind the Britanny Landings in 1915, Winston Churchill, was elected as Prime Minister and invited by King Arthur to form a Government. Churchill was part of none of the War Factions, instead supporting King Arthur's "Britain First" approach. He said in his inauguration speech, "While Europe is once more destroyed by War, it is within Britain's rights to not join it. Should one of the Parties infringe this right, then it is our duty to deliver our sacred justice against the agressor until we achieve our Final Victory."
((Winston Churchill, British PM, Conservative Party))
((Frankish forces at the border, 4th of February of 1941))
The attack was unexpected for Rudolf, but it wasn't for any of his generals, when Hitler heard that the Kaiser went for the front and demobilized the troops to hear his speech, he had another of his famous angry rants and asked the Minister of War to "Get the mobilization papers ready, for that fool killed us all."
Frankish forces used the German exposure to prepare a killing blow early on the war, launching an attack across the entire border with overwhelming force. While the initial attack was a success, the Germans recovered from the blow and halted the advance, but that was never the real attack, instead it was coming from somewhere else.
The West Bank of the Rhine was in anarchy during the first few days of the war, National Unitarians, both French and German, rioted in the streets against German garrisons. Chancellor Hitler declared Martial Law, sending forces from Bavaria and Austria to restore order. The West of the Rhine provided the lowest amount of troops of Germany, and the locals had to be conscripted into the Army and generally proved to be Disloyal troops.
Meanwhile, the Kaiser proved himself the Frankish's best ally, ordering attacks against the Frankish defenses on the North. The German plan called for a First phase of offensives into Calais, and for that a large amount of troops attempted to press in the Frankish lines on the North. The 2nd Army of General Leclerq held off the German offensives valiantly, but slowly started giving in terrain, but that was a trap. General Charles de Gaulle came from the south, crossing across Wallonia in the forest of Ardennes (believed to be impassable by the Germans), and striking the weak spot of the German line, destroying the flank of General Kesselring and capturing Antwerpen, surrounding almost a whole third of the German Army.
When the news reached Moscow, over 4 million Russian troops crossed the border in the largest military operation in History, Operation "Bagration" name of the General that defeated Napoleon in 1812. But as opposed to the West, Kaiser Rudolf was nowhere nearby, allowing Field Marshall Erich von Manstein full autonomy to lead the outnumbered Germano-Polish forces to defend the East. The first large-scale battle of the Eastern Front happened on the day after the Russian declaration of War on the 28th of February, the First battle of Visaginas involved German armored troops outnumbered 3:1 by the Russians, but thanks to Manstein's "backhand blow" (Which involved infantry troops giving up terrain to lure the enemy in so a Armored spearhead flanked the the back of the enemy army) an impossible victory was achieved with 38,760 German losses for 285,884 Russian ones. A much needed morale boost after the Flandres Encirclement.
((Erich von Manstein))
((Frankish troops in Flandres))
With 30% of the German army surrounded, Hitler meet with the General Staff, proposing to do the same escape that was made by himself during the Great War. But Rudolf intervened, calling the Generals cowards for attempting a retreat, he prohibited his commanders from ordering retreats, claiming that "Not one inch of German soil shall be given to the French Horde." That decision proved a disaster, on the following 3 months the Franks encircled and took the cities of Nanzig, Luxembourg, Strasbourg, and Brussels, also finishing the capture of over a million German troops in the surrender of Bruges, also capturing tons of modern German equipment especially Krupp Heavy Artillery and Porsche Panzers. In every city they arrived, Frankish troops were given a hero's welcome, cheered on the streets as liberators. An increasingly high number of soldiers started to desert to join the Frankish ranks, with the people of the old French regions volunteering in mass. National Unitarian militias joined an army that seemed to increase rather than reduce its numbers. With this situation, several generals, including Hitler himself, planned to prevent the German Kaiserreich from collapsing.
((The April plot on April 9th of 1941))
While in a meeting in Stettin, Kaiser Rudolf I and his son Prince Johann were assassinated by a bomb, planted by a group of military officers led by the Chancellor himself in an attempt to turn the state of the War. The throne ended up passing to his only daughter: Kaiserin Victoria Louise von Hohenzollern, but since she was still 15, a Regency led by Chancellor Adolf Hitler would take the reins, and attempt to prevent a collapse of the Reich.
((Victoria I von Hohenzollern, Kaiserin of Germany))
German Waifu time!
This war is quite fun!
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