The Silver Knight, a Lithuania Timeline

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The 1947 elections to the Rikstag in Sweden were “snap elections” called by the “Congress for National Unitarianism”, Sweden’s ruling party after German trade pressure forced the Coalition on National Unitarianism, a weird coalition of Unitarian and nationalist political parties united by a populist hatred of the elite and resentment of the “mutilated victory” that Sweden recieved after the Great European War and held together by the charismatic leadership of Leonard Ekblad, a Great European War-era hero turned politician, who was already 78 by the time of said election, which was held on May 26, to adopt democratic reforms which rescinded electoral laws implemented in 1936 which benefited the CNU, who won the 1940 and 1945 elections by a wide margin (helped by bribery of opposition figures and some harassment of the noisier opposition).
My god that sentence. Took me three rereads to understand what was being said.
 
Echos of the Brazilian Forces in WWII fighting in the harshest battles in the Italian Campaign?

Really interesting how Swedish government seems to have gone soul searching in the form of implementing an economic and foreign policy that allows Sweden to get through the economic turmoil of the era.

Who is the woman in the photo btw?
 
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Broken Arrows and Plucked Wings
Broken arrows and plucked wings
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The Royal flag of the Crimean Khanate after the events of 1954

At first, for leaders of both Crimea and Circassia, the Crimean war looked like a short conflict. While the Krajinian army did outnumber the combined forces of their alliance to quite the staggering degree, it seemed that the slavs simply weren’t capable of even stopping their foes from advancing. The iron tide of “Griffin” landships and motorized infantry of Crimea swept thru the steppes pushing back the Krajinian army while their Aygheker allies followed behind them taking over various strategically important objects and destroying remaining enemy forces.


The Krajinian situation worsened as parts of their own Tatar population started rebelling and with the help of their brethren formed the “Army of Tatar liberation” under the leadership of Amazat Yakhin, a military officer who previously served in the ranks of the nation he was now fighting against. While the fighters belonging to this organization were far less trained and far worse equipped than the professional Crimean soldiers, they were more numerous and quite knowledgeable in the urban landscapes in which they mostly fought.

For some time it looked like Krajina would simply be overrun. Almost the entire coastal region of Krajina was soon under the control of either Crimeans or their allies. With more and more industry and population falling into their hands the situation looked dire indeed. However with Volga Russia beginning to send supplies and volunteers to their Slavic brothers and Russia entering the war, not to mention the massive problems that the allied army began facing, the scales began tipping into the favor of Krajina.

While the forces of the eastern slavs that were arrayed against them had quite the manpower reserves, the Crimeans were forced to rely on the Tatar population in their occupied territories to replenish their numbers. Conscripting more of the population of the peninsula was impossible due to fears of crippling the industrial capacity which was needed to provide the extremely mechanized army with everything necessary. The Circassians faced a similar problem with lack of reinforcements due to several previously unexpected complications and of course their limited involvement in the Georgian civil war.

Another problem appeared as the war continued on – lack of industry. The Crimean army was highly dependent on their Griffin landships and various transports as possessing numerous such vehicles were necessary for the Yk doctrine to be successful. Of course during the decade of preparation thousands of landships and troop transports were built, but as reports on losses showed, this wouldn’t be enough. While the Circassians did attempt to increase their production, their industrial capacity was simply not enough. Even the occupied territories of Krajina didn’t provide enough industrial might.

With these problems appearing a change in priorities was made. While before the Crimean army wouldn’t assault settlements and industrial centers, leaving such targets to their Circassian allies and the Tatar rebels, only providing support when absolutely necessary. Now however, such targets were made priority as more population and industry was necessary, resulting in a massive slowdown in their advance.

While their enemies started encountering more and more problems the Krajinian situation began improving with Russia joining the war on their side and Volga Russia beginning to send volunteers and equipment. While not that many Volgak and Russian men saw the battlefield, the material support provided gave the Krajinians a new lease of life.

Seeing the worsening situation the military leadership of Crimean-Circassian alliance ordered all forces that aren’t currently engaged to strike at the city of Mariupol. This urban center possessed both quite a substantial Tatar population and enough industrial capability to ensure Crimean victory.

To accomplish this task a substantial force was gathered. The Crimean contingent was led by Field Marshal Alexios Plesoios, the father of the Yk doctrine. Their Circassian allies were led by General Dizchin Sovmen, a man noted for his capabilities of achieving victories in urban battles. This battle was deemed important enough that even Amazat Yakhin himself was sent to lead the troops belonging to the “Army of Tatar Liberation” and the rebels of Mariupol. There were even claims that both “Black Griffin” and “Violet Hyena” were present in the city during the battle. However these are considered but rumors as the typically found signs after an engagement where either of these figures fought aren’t present.

However the Krajinians weren’t going to give up the city easily. Over two hundred thousand soldiers and thousands of artillery pieces were gathered to defend the city. The commander responsible for the operation Alexei Rykovsky drafter a multilayered defensive plan which was supposed to bleed the assaulting force out.

The battle of Mariupol was a bloodbath. While at first Crimeans and Circassians were able to force thru the Krajinian defensive positions and take over parts of the city, they were soon stopped by the determined slavs, forcing their enemies into a brutal and grueling urban battle. And brutal it was. The city was constantly bombarded by both Krajinian and Russian artillery and Crimean and Circassian tanks. Soldiers and guerillas of both sides fought street to street, building to building, sometimes even resorting to melee combat.

As loses stated to pile up both sides began diverting as many forces as possible to the city, with the Crimean-Circassian alliance diverting a half of all the forces available. However, no matter how many divisions they sent to battle, the Krajinian-Russian force was slowly emerging victorious due to both advantage in numbers and the fact that they were able to eliminate massive percentages of Crimean landships, effectively crippling their offensive capabilities.

After five weeks of brutal combat and over a hundred thousand casualties Crimean and Circassian force was finally pushed out of Mariupol. This loss, while gruesome, was still possible to return from. What was happening across the remaining Crimean and Krajinian front was not.

With enemy forces spread thin the Slavic alliance launched a front wide assault, beginning to push back the greatly weakened Crimean army. They even began assaults across Dniepr, an attack which would be suicidal previously, but now was made possible by the lack of any opponent personnel capable of defending the massive territories.

To prevent the Crimean army and Circassian expeditionary force form being destroyed, both Ilfat Karim and Askerbiy Tlebsu agreed that a full retreat is necessary. And so their armies began retreating to Crimea as swiftly as possible, with only several token attempts to stop their enemy.

Of course even with the Crimean-Circassian army in full retreat Khan Iskandar and Amir Ilfat were still searching for ways to gain advantage over their enemies if another there was a chance to counterattack any time soon. With this in mind over 200 000 Tatars belonging to the “Army of Tatar liberation” and members of their families were helped to move to Crimea. This was done in an effort to provide the Khanate with manpower for further campaigns. The remaining Tatar soldiers, those that were impossible to save due to the swiftness of the Crimean retreat, were ordered to scatter and attempt to slip back into the Krajinian society.

In but several months the Crimean and Circassian forces were pushed back to their starting point in the Crimean peninsula, but they weren’t even close to surrendering as they were protected by both the Doros fleet and Iskandar’s wall. No matter how much the Krajinians and their Russian allies tried, they were simply unable to break through such defenses. The conflict became a five year long stalemate.

During these five years both Circassian and Crimean states experienced quite the change with the former transforming the most.

This was due to the fact that the previous leader of the nation Askerbiy Tlebsu died in 1952 due to heart attack. At first it looked like the dictatorial regime in Circassia would collapse due to this, but his position was quickly taken over by his daughter Zulima, also known as the “Violet Hyena” due to her actions during the more active phases of the Crimean war. While at first this nearly caused a civil war within the nation, as the more fanatical Muslim Imams and military commanders were against this, they were swiftly disposed of by the Žʹao, thus solidifying Zulima as the new Uašʺo.
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Zulima Tlebsu, Uašʺo of Circassia

As one of her first actions Zulima reorganized the administrative system of Circassia as it has proven itself to be extremely inefficient during the currently occurring war with Krajina. The main problem was the fact that the government properly controlled only the easily reachable regions and cities, while other territories were barely accessible to the governing apparatus.

Zulima changed this by involving a certain group which was ignored by both the democratic and her father’s governments – the tribal chieftains. Previously, mostly due to how many in the leadership positions were greatly opposed to what they saw as fracturing element of the Circassian people, these leaders and what they symbolized were ignored if not sometimes either fought against.

This stance was extremely counterintuitive as the government, both dictatorial and democratic, while claiming that they were able to properly govern, were to simply put unable to do so in nearly half the country due to difficult geography or the remote locations of these settlements. This was the reason why it was highly difficult for the regime to increase the army of nation as there was a lack of capability to conscript from these remote regions. Even the national survey was only completed due to information provided by the chieftains, showing that such cooperation would be beneficial. This was ignored of course by Askerbiy, but not by his daughter who put great effort into incorporating these individuals into the current government, creating an almost federal model of government.

There were also several lesser changes to the previous order of the nation. In 1952, the same year she became leader, Zulima reformed parts of the law and rewrote the constitution, establishing complete equality between men and women, thus allowing women to begin working in greater capacities and serving in the army. She also had the ratio of government and private owned industries changed to 1/1 as to both control the economy better and ensure that produce, which was deemed necessary, would be available in necessary numbers.

With this increased manpower and industrial pool Zulima was able to create several dozen massive state owned farms, so that they would be able to support their Crimean ally with foodstuffs. These, while encountering several difficulties at first, soon began outputting quite substantial amounts of various edible cultures.

She also encountered problems of course, with the biggest one being the nationalist ruthenian resistance which formed after their brethren in Krajina were attacked. Considering that quite the substantial amount of Circassian population was comprised of east slavs, soon they became quite the problem. They would raid military factories, blow up infrastructure and even attempted to eliminate Zulima and several of the twelve tribal chieftains. Their activities increased exponentially after Volga Russia began sending both supplies and volunteers. While the nation was afraid to join the conflict itself, due to substantial Crimean and Circassian populations, they were quite able in supporting the guerrillas. This movement remained active until the end of the war in 1954.

There were also of course, as mentioned previously, many influential individuals did oppose if not her, but many of the reforms. However, these were swiftly dealt with, as žʹao, reinvigorated by the new reforms, were ordered to exterminate everyone who poses a danger to the new government and everything they stand for. This purge of all remaining political opposition was called teŝaklu or “the hunt”. And was one of the final massive changes before the rule of Zulima was completely solidified. This development also lead to Dizchin Sovmen becoming the new minister of defense, as his previous superior was executed due to attempting to organize a rebellion with several, now purged of traitors, âtӏonéré families.

Crimea didn’t experience such drastic changes in most fields. There was of course the crisis due to the population increasing a substantial amount almost overnight. The state was barely able to sustain itself before this, already being dependant on Circassia for drinkable water, but now it seemed that they would also require their ally to support them with foodstuffs. This was a scary prospect for the leadership of the Khanate as they didn’t wish to become the lesser and dependant partner in this alliance, something, which as time went on was becoming a real possibility. After all Circassia had more population and could sustain much more, not to mention that while previously backwards it was now swiftly catching up to the Crimean level.

However, starving their newly acquired population was not an option, thus with Iskandars order, food begun to be purchased from Circassia. Crimean workers were also sent to help with creating the massive state owned farms envisioned by Zulima.

This decision was also the reason for a series of disagreements between Iskandar and Ilfat, as the later opposed such a choice, due to previously mentioned fears.

Khan Iskandar also copied one reform which was enacted by the Circassian leadership-establishing complete equality between men and women. While quite a few influential individuals in both military and civilian leadership opposed such a choice, they couldn’t really do something as massive amounts of the population were already nearly fanatically devoted to him, especially after over a dozen years of propaganda and how successful were his previous endeavors. Of course there was also the fact that any opponents of such a decision, who weren’t deemed trustworthy simply disappeared without a trace. This reform also resulted in the gap between what Iskandar and Ilfat widening, as the Amir disagreed with such liberal reforms.

Of course, the Crimean war was still going on thru all this time, and while there were close to no battles and the front was stagnant, neither the Khan of Crimean Khanate, nor Uašʺo of Circassia, were ready to give up to their greatest enemies.

Several attempts were made by Alexios Plesoios to break through the Krajinian and Russian lines using substantial amounts of landships, but even with the assistance of “Black Griffon” these attempts proved to be futile as any assault was broken by Russian armor. Due to this reason the Crimean military leadership began reviewing and analyzing every single aspect of their military forces in an attempt to find the reason for current and previous failures.

To the surprise of many, the weakest link of the Crimean and Circassian armies, the reason for their loss, was none other than the “Griffin” series landships which were the pride of the Khanate. As it was found out the light landships, from 3,5 to 5 tones depending on the model, while swift, maneuverable and cheap to produce en masse, were simply too light to posses both the necessary defensive and offensive capabilities to be properly able to engage Russian armor and survive shots from Krajinian, Russian and Volgak artillery.

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Griffin Mk VII

This wasn’t the only problem of course, as after some more research and discussions it was decided that the second greatest weakness of both the Crimeans and the Circassians was the lack of artillery, something which proved decisive during several engagements. While artillery was previously discarded as unneeded and ignored, due to overreliance on landships and a lack of possibility to transport these guns swiftly enough, this changed.

While neither Crimeans, nor Circassians had any expertise in producing medium or heavy landships, they had already produced 6 light landship models, and thus understood the technology behind such weapons. There are also claims, that blueprints and even several models of various Chinese and European landships were somehow made available to the Khanate. Of course, these are considered rumors, though the speed, at which the first successful models of both the medium landship “Vulture” (18 tones) and heavy landship “Ziz” (36 tones) were built, tested and entered production is frightening.

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Vulture Mk I

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Ziz Mk I

The artillery problem remained, but not for long. It is unknown from what source, but at some point the Crimeans purchased several pieces of self-propelled artillery. These were the basis for the “Hippogriff” series of mobile artillery vehicles.

This purchase marked both the culmination of the disagreements between Iskandar and Ilfat and a change in Crimean and Circassian foreign policies. Where these nations were previously mostly isolated from the outside world, believing that everyone around them was an enemy, this changed. The contacts with Shirvan and the need for ways to defeat their enemies forced these states to somewhat open themselves to the surrounding world.

Such a change also, as mentioned previously, was the cause for why the relations between Khan and Amir of Crimea broke down completely, as Ilfat was the one who previously forced Crimea into only cooperating with Circassia. But now as the Khanate was slowly reestablishing diplomatic, if cold, contacts with foreign nations, the previous status quo was slowly being destroyed. Amir Ilfat wasn’t going to allow such an occurrence; the Khan was becoming too ambitious. And so he began organizing a rebellion against the same person he put into power.

Of course, while these new weapons were possibly the upper hand that the Crimeans needed, there was the fact that even together Crimea and Circassia didn’t really have enough industry to produce these new vehicles in significant enough numbers to be truly ready to reinvade Krajina. After all, it took the industry of the peninsular nation over a decade to build the 7000 “Griffins” of various models. Thus if the necessary buildup were to be completed, they would have to wait for quite some more time.

The year 1954 was the year which determined both the ending of the Crimean war and the future of the Crimean and Circassian nations. The first great change was the death of the Amir of the Crimean Khanate Ilfat Karim on the 3rd of May. His body was found collapsed on the floor of his cabinet. A stroke was claimed to be the reason for the Amir’s demise, though some suspected foul play by the Khan. Of course, such claims are dismissed by the Crimean royal family up to this day.

How the late Ilfat met his demise is unimportant to the events that followed, however, as in June of the same year, Khan Iskandar gave himself the vacant title of Amir, becoming the absolute ruler of the Crimean Khanate and its people. While there were attempts to stop this ascent, mostly by the rebel groups organized by the previous Amir, who tried to overthrow Iskandar. They didn’t succeed, as loyalists outnumbered them to quite the extent, and were crushed. The fact that they now lacked any influential figure in their ranks, while Alexios Plesoios and Amazat Yakhin were on the side of the Khan, did not help.

A cult of personality, even bigger than the existing one before, began to be built around Khan Iskandar. More propaganda began to be produced, portraying him as the savior of Crimea. The royal family began openly sponsoring various charities and public events. The Khan even visited the frontline with Krajina several times to inspire the troops. Several liberal reforms were also made, mostly to the system of taxation, which ensured the loyalty of the lower classes, which now lived more prosperously than before.

While Crimea was slowly turning into an absolute monarchy with almost fanatical populace, Circassia was going thru slightly different changes. The previously mentioned Ruthenian guerrilla activity kept on increasing, costing the state more and more resources. No matter what the žʹao tried, they couldn’t extinguish the flames of rebellion. And then, Zulima gave out a single order: every Ruthenian deemed not trustworthy by the leadership was to be either deported or executed, depending on their connections to the guerrillas.

Massive purges and deportation programs began to be conducted, with hundreds being executed, and ten times that being deported. Their property was seized by the state and used to fund further industrial and military expansion.

Of course, such actions didn’t go unnoticed. On the Crimean front the Russian and Krajinian forces increased their activity. But this wasn’t the most important development resulting from this purge. This title goes to the Volgak threats of intervention, during the later months of the year.

With Iskandar and Zulima understanding that they have no chance at victory, the aggressors of the war were forced to sit at the negotiation table. They, of course, weren’t ready to give up, far from it, but they weren’t in the position to dictate the outcome. Somehow, however, after several months of difficult negotiations somewhat of an agreement was reached.

Circassia had to allow any ruthenians who wished to leave the nation to do so, and provide each of them with a substantial sum of money to rebuild their lives. They also had to pay reparations to the relatives of those who suffered under the repressions.

This agreement was not a real peace treaty, however, as both territorial and many other aspects weren’t addressed in it. It was merely a cease fire, meant to give both sides time to prepare for another bloodbath.

During the following years both nations continues on the policies and reforms the governments enacted during the latter years of the Crimean war, of course the forceful ruthenian expulsion from Circassia stopped. Many of the eastern slavs who lived in the territories belonging to the state, however, left, afraid of further possible repressions. This forced the Circassian industrialization to a halt, as massive amounts of money had to be paid as compensation to the leaving ruthenians. The migration was so massive in fact that several taxes had to be raised and budgets of several institutions were greatly cut. Of course, with the Slavic states reaffirming that if the Circassians stop paying reparations the war will blaze anew, they were forced to continue doing so, no matter how much the process was hated by both the leadership and the population.

The Crimean Khanate helped their ally as much as they could of course, but they were also facing some internal problems. One of these was the previously mentioned overpopulation. The inhabitants of the peninsular nation were already dependent on Circassian food and water to survive, something which wouldn’t be possible to sustain with the continued increase of population. Thus an extremely controversial law was established, limiting the amount of children that a family may have to the amount of the adult family members.

Both nations also suffered from political isolation, even more than before. After all, previously there were some diplomatic connections to other nations, such as Shirvan. Now, however, even with both states being more open to diplomacy, not many wished to have dealings with an absolute monarchy and a repressive and increasingly more xenophobic state.

And thus both Crimea and Circassia were forced to wait again, as the world was doused in gasoline and was lit on flames anew. They took great interest in observing the world events, whatever they could, such as the Turkish attempts to reclaim their territories and the brutality of the Second Great War, collecting any possible snippets of information about the ever changing battlefields of the world and military innovations, such as nuclear weapons and jet planes. However, with both nations lacking the necessary resources and specialists they couldn’t even attempt at replicating them, no matter how much they wanted to do so.

Of course with the formation of both the Three Bogatyrs and The United States, a bigger problem arose, in the form of massive military blocks. The existence of these massive alliances meant that the existence of both Crimea and Circassia were in possible danger due to the fact that both of these grandiose pacts had reasons to wage war against and subjugate them. This meant that both of these nations were possibly living on borrowed time, but they couldn’t really do anything at this point. Just wait and observe.
 
Im really hoping that Crimea and Circassia survived the seemingly-inevitable wrath that could be incurred by US/3 Bogatyrs, It would be interesting to see how they managed to overcame their own cricis(or failed)
 
Chapter 110: The Beginning of an End


Chapter 110: The Beginning of an End (Oct 1959 - Jan 1960)

As the fourth year of the Great Asian War was drawing close, anyone who wasn't aware that India was going to end up on the losing side was either dead or too exposed to Indian propaganda. Yes, even the Indian Unitarian Party with Amrit Ahuya at the top were aware that any of their actions from this point onward will only be biding time, slowing the US down, worsen their casualties, but the hope of turning this around, pushing the Westerners to the sea, defeating the Chinese invasion, and eliminating the rebellions in Central Asia was a nigh unachievable probability. Everything would have to go perfect for the Unitarians from this point onward - and the first lesson of life is always "don't expect everything to go perfect"...

But, then an obvious solution may pop into one's head. What about a truce? After all, it's not like the US had not suffered a lot from the war as well. All of Southern China has been turned into rubble, the Westerners are losing hundreds of thousands far from their homeland, and it's debatable if their voter bases will endure this loss for long... If India were to play their cards right, maybe it was possible to negotiate a truce - it would probably involve losing all of their conquered territory and maybe a partial regime change, but it was still a preferable outcome, maybe?.. The problem was that Amrit Ahuya, fearing that any sort of negotiate truce will result in his removal and war crimes trial, had no plans to concede, and he was supported by the radical and conservative wings of the party, as well as many high-ranking generals, who had similar concerns. Peaceful negotiations in Lucknow were not going to cut it and even resulted in the arrest of a few moderate politicians for "weakening morale", so it was up to the Moderate wing of the Party, now led by former Director-General of the Aankhein Prakash Naidu, to resort to the hard option - a coup attempt.

The 1959 Indian coup attempt, sometimes known as "Bloody Sunday", was somewhat similar to the coup which took down the Revivalist regime in Lithuania, in that it was composed of an assassination plan to behead the current government and then have the conspirators take over the government to enact whatever they plan the future of the country be - it even had a war hero endorse the conspiracy, in India's case this being Bajirao Singham, - but it also had a few differences. For on, it was completely unrelated to the weak and disjointed anti-Unitarian dissent in India, and was rather solely the brainchild of the moderates in the Unitarian Party. Second, the Bloody Sunday coup was planned far more sloppily planned and executed, as the conspirators only had about two weeks to plan for this venture. Despite this, and far from everything being accounted for by that date, on November 21st, 1959, the coup attempt began to take charge. Rebellious military units began to surround Lucknow, a prepared "provisional government" with Singham and Naidu in charge arrived to the outskirts of the city, while a trained group of Aankhein assassins traveled to the depths of the capital to take out Amrit Ahuya and as many of his closest allies as possible.

However, loyalists within the Aankhein relayed the information about this assassination attempt to the Netaji hours before it began to take shape, while almost no soldiers in the Lucknow garrison (purposefully as well fed and equipped as possible to maintain loyalty) switched sides, turning the assassination attempt into a brief shootout, killing the three assassins, six guards and wounding Ahuya in the shoulder, while Lucknow itself became a warzone for hours. Indians clashing with Indians, the rebels trying to break towards the city's Sengupta station and postal office - and they succeeded, for half an hour, even successfully broadcasting a message to the city that the previous, "suicidal" government has been overthrown and a provisional government with the immediate goal of seeking an armistice has been formed. However, by then, it was too late to salvage the situation - reinforcements for the loyalists flowed into the city, while the rebels could not respond in kind. The Lucknow Sengupta Station was liberated and a new message informed the populace that stability has been restored in the city and the traitors have been crushed, most of the city blocks were retaken, and fearing capture, the planned provisional government dispersed, fleeing as far from Lucknow as possible. A hunt for the conspirators across the nation began - only a few minor participants successfully reached Arabia, the US front lines or Central Asia, the rest, including both Naidu and Singham, were captured in rural India and sentenced to death. However, the damage of the blow to the government's legitimacy could not be healed.

The late months of 1959, sometimes referred to as the Indian Time of Troubles, was a civil war in all but name. Despite heavy and immediate suppression of information by the Ahuya government, the news about the anti-war coup attempt and the old government's commitment to fighting until the very end spread across the underground like wildfire. This blow to stability coincided with what was perhaps one of the worst famines in Indian history - after a long time enduring the war, the fragile food system of the overpopulated Ganges basin collapsed in what ended up known as the "Doji bara", or the "Skull famine". The destroyed infrastructure of India meant that there was no way for the Unitarian government to quickly distribute food and resources to affected areas, and especially not to the many villages across Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and other areas, where people often died on the roads, dotting the lands with nobody left to scoop them up. Accompanying epidemics and disease were just as deadly as the hunger itself. People demanded answers and solutions, immediately, and the ongoing war was one of the few things they could lash out. Thousands of protesters took into streets in almost all towns across the nation, entire towns would stop working to protest cut wages and dropping living standards, and even those who remained in work would often have to work with little resources at hand - how are you going to bring coal or iron ore when you can barely send a single train? The situation was not much better in the front - entire divisions would desert or disperse, tired of the endless, meatgrinder war. The Indian government held no tolerance for these protests, and resorted to violence - so, in response, protesters, often armed by remnants of the anti-war conspiracy or raiding unguarded weapon stocks, would respond in kind. The biggest example of this was perhaps the city of Varanasi, which ended up completely seized by bands of Hindu extremists in open war against the Unitarian government, and held it for weeks - it took aerial bombardment and an entire landship division to put the rebellion down. Persia, Afghanistan and Baluchistan were fully lost causes - Unitarian officials and soldiers were fleeing those regions in mass to not be lynched or executed by the rebellions taking place.

Perhaps India would have managed to salvage the situation, if they also weren't fighting two fronts at once. Especially when the US was fully aware that this was the time to strike.



A common sight in Delhi, December 1959

China's new military offensive, Operation Trident, had more problems with how to effectively travel from town to town as quickly as possible than with how to defeat the Indian forces before them. The Indians were more busy fighting each other, retreating, receiving no reinforcements and equipment or simply putting down their weapons and surrendering on sight - the situation in Southeast Asia was so critical that the many independence movements and guerrilla organizations sprawling across it could come out of the shadows of the jungle to start retaking their nations, before the Chinese even arrive, one town at a time. Operation Trident, as one might be able to tell from the name, was built upon three invasion spearheads, each one corresponding with a river valley to maximize the impact of the invasion, and leave the jungles and mountains to the resistance forces - these were the Irrawady, the Chao Phraya and the Mekong. Encirclements were planned in the pre-war territory of Lan Xang, Vietnam and Burma, and Yunnan was planned as the source of the operation. Additional air and land reserves were brought to the front to replace the losses taken during Operation Thunderbolt earlier in the year.

The Operation began on November 24th, three days after Bloody Sunday in Lucknow, and was met with immediate success. Chinese landships and hardened divisions spilled into Southeast Asia, defeating the Indian front line units in swift pitched battles and opening a number of gaps in the enemy lines, allowing the mobile divisions to easily encircle the rest, force out surrenders or simply send them fleeing. To many, this was the swan's song of 1940s lightning warfare. To avoid ending up in US hands by the time this is over, Unitarian officials, General-Overseers and anyone else scared of being lynched by angry Indochinese or sent to a war crimes court after the end of the war, fled to mainland India in mass. However, this flight suddenly turned a lot more difficult when on the second week of December, the Chinese broke through Indian, Khmer and Thai collaborator lines in the Battle of Lopburi, paving the way for the 2nd Landship Corps to march towards Ayutthaya itself and thus split the Commonwealth positions in the region in half. The capital of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya fell on December 18th, and in front of the rubble which used to be the Royal Palace, General Dong Zhenya shook hands with a one-armed, scarred Thaksin Thammasak, now the not just the leader of a few thousand rebels, but of a mass popular Thai uprising against the Unitarian regime. The rest of December and the first weeks of January were marked by fierce fighting in Burma and southeastern Indochina - here, the Indians and their allies, mostly their allies, were able to mount a stiff defense against the rapidly advancing, but exhausted Chinese. Now that the front has reached the homelands of the Commonwealth's puppet nations, it was the Unitarians which were on the defensive, and this gave a slight boost to the morale of the people in Burma and the Mekong Union. Still, the latter capitulated on January 15th and the former on the 19th. Bengal was about to be the next.

Success followed the Chinese in the sea as well. The three year long Battle of the South China Sea drew to a combination, as the mounting advantages in favor of the Shun navy simply overwhelmed their Indian opponents. The loss of many naval bases in Indochina, the cutoff of the Malacca Peninsula from the rest of the Indian hegemony thanks to Operation Trident, a constant Allied advantage in air superiority, the Western Allies joining the fight in their navies, all meant that after the last skirmishes in the Gulf of Thailand on November of 1959, the last remnants of the Indian Navy, now composed of only a few cruisers and a handful of auxiliary ships, was forced to retreat back to mainland India. Both sides could recognize that this was huge. For one, the Indian connection to Oceania and Aceh was severed for good - and while the former had only been tenuously supported by the Indians throughout the course of the war and thus did not feel much impact, it was much more trouble to the latter, who was reliant on Indian divisions, equipment and funding to even be able to stand a change against Nusantara by itself. Already, the Chinese were scouting out potential landing spots on Borneo and Sumatra, although defeating Aceh was only secondary importance to them when India was still alive and kicking.



Thai civilians meet the arriving Chinese army in Ayutthaya

Bajirao Singham's unexpected departure to Lucknow and subsequent failed coup attempt, as well as the beginning of the Indian Time of Troubles, sowed trouble and chaos in the Indian lines in the Deccan, and the Western members of the US used this to their advantage. Now with a new supreme land commander, Lithuanian general Henrikas Radauskas, replacing the duet of Franz Berlinger and Damien Robillard, who presided over Spring Thaw and subsequent operations, on September of 1959. Radauskas was a rare example of a Lithuanian general who did not serve as an officer in the Revivalist army - he only became one after the collapse of the totalitarian regime and rose in ranks as a non-political alternative to the many former militarists and Revivalists running around. In the field, he did not differ much from his predecessors when regarding tactics or strategic choices, but as an echo of the events taking place in Southeast Asia, he presented the plan to cover as much ground as possible before India is able to recover or, God forbid, use its nuclear arsenal. After some basic preparations, equipment hoarding and additional supplies brought in through Mogadishu, the Allies began Operation Breakstorm on mid November, in the form of a vast, all-front offensive.

However, the Westerners did not reach such absolute victories as their Eastern counterparts. This was because while India could realistically sacrifice Southeast Asia and keep going regardless, allowing the US to advance through the Deccan and seize core Indian territory was unacceptable. All available loyal reserves which were not busy stamping out dissent or soldier mutinies were sent to the South to stop or at least delay the Western advance - leading to a bunch of battles across Hydebarad, Orissa and Maharashtra, dragging out for weeks and draining the life and momentum from both sides. However, this turned out to be too little too late, and by late January of 1960, Western soldiers marched across the city of Nagpur, the capital of the province of Maharashtra, among the largest in India, and dubbed by Radauskas as "the gate to the Ganges River Valley". Not far was left until Lucknow.

It appeared that the Unified Indian State would be lucky to survive more than a year from here.

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The world on February 1st, 1960
 
The end is coming!

Now that India is well and truly stuffed, it would be interesting to see what nationalist movements China & the US are in contact with. It's clear that India will not be allowed to become a threat ever again. The division of India will have to happen, but it will have to be among ethnicity and groups that have an active interest in not letting India return. The US will probably push for a Democratic Government for the areas they manage, China will probably want client states. Burma won't get larger, but I could see puppet states in Bengal.

I don't think we'll see Pakistan. Religion has been beaten down in India for a while. I'm not sure there will be much of a Muslim ethnicity left at this point to form that nation.
 
Have the Oceanians been taking a page from the East Africans' book and trying to negotiate a separate peace with the US? Also, how thorough have post-Bloody Sunday purges have been? How many people with only a vague connection to the coup attempt if not totally innocent have been purged?
 
Have the Oceanians been taking a page from the East Africans' book and trying to negotiate a separate peace with the US? Also, how thorough have post-Bloody Sunday purges have been? How many people with only a vague connection to the coup attempt if not totally innocent have been purged?
East Africa never negotiated a separate peace with the US, they simply never ended up embroiled in the war against the Western powers thanks to the Gondor Agreement, and their war with EASA had been a paper one since the beginning. Oceania, on the other hand, is in a wildly different position, their war with the US is much more real, so the same book won't work in this situation.

And plenty.
 
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