The Sword of the Vozhd

Battered But Unbroken: Germany After the Third Weltkrieg

Tiburon

Banned
The fifteen year period between 1936 and 1951 was, on many levels, a traumatic one for the German Empire. Between Black Monday and having to fight not one but two global wars, the system was badly shaken. Germany had taken extremely heavy losses in the course of the fighting, Alsace Lorraine and most of the country west of the Rhine was in ruins due to the Internationale invasion, and people were sick of war. The fact that Germany had effectively managed to re-establish itself as hegemon over Western Europe and much of Africa and Asia meant only that the empire’s vast list of commitments had not gotten any shorter. Nationalist sentiment was growing in Africa, the Dutch East Indies and the Arab states which Germany had forced into line—sentiment stoked by an enemy who shared a long border with Germany and its remaining Eastern European allies.



A German soldier holding a MKB42 “stormrifle” somewhere in Wallonia, 1944. The German military was one of the earliest adapters of rifles capable of fully automatic fire, and the MKB42 would be one of the weapons which turned the tide of the Second Weltkrieg. The Entente never really had a weapon capable of countering it in man to man combat, and MKB42 stormrifles were still used by many insurgent groups and minor nations across the globe decades later.

Germany’s own nuclear program had produced its first weapon only three months after the Russians detonated their first bomb over Japan, and more reactors were hastily constructed at a frantic pace to try and produce weapons to ward off the Russian bear. Russian control over Austria—where Fuhrer Stefan Wagner directed vitriolic rants northwards almost weekly and Russian mountain troops routinely conducted exercises—was seen as a disaster, but having taken place during Germany’s darkest hour, when they had been desperately struggling to hold the Rhine line against powerful French armored forces, Germany hadn’t been able to salvage the ruins of the Austria-Hungarian Empire.



A Communard tank crew poses with their Char B2 heavy tank in the Alsatian village of Harkau, 1940. Virtually immune to all but the heaviest of German anti-tank guns for the first two and a half years of the war, and even after that infamously tough to destroy, the Char B2 was undoubtedly the best tank the Internationale had for most of the war. The German military was badly hampered by the Black Monday spending cuts—-described as a “disembowelment” by one historian— and their performance in the early days of the Second Weltkrieg showed it. A determination never allow such a thing to happen again, and the existential threat of Russian invasion, kept the German military budget large even as the nation struggled to rebuild.



A Messerschmidt Me-262 “Shrike” fighter of JG 25, identifiable by the squadron’s swastika insignia painted on the tail— a quirk picked up during the squadron’s time in India during the Third Weltkrieg—sits on a runway somewhere in Eastern Germany. Germany was an enthusiastic adopter of jet fighters and quickly began producing them in large numbers in order to try and counter the large numbers Russian conventional aircraft which were commonly seen patrolling the border—and often launching “intruder” sorties to test German reaction times.
 

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Fair Australasia

Tiburon

Banned


An Australasian "Reaper" heavy fighter prowls the skies over Canberra, 1940. The Australasian government had always been unsteady, despite a great deal of success in helping the nation recover from Black Monday and repairing the damage done during the First Weltkrieg, and in 1939 General Thomas Blamey and Eric Campbell lead a march on Canberra to try and secure power. Blamey and Campbell's movement was composed of many veterans of the First Weltkrieg--including many who had fought at Gallipoli--and the police and military police units which had been deployed to try and stop the march balked at the orders to use force to stop men who had been heroes to many in Australasia. The Guard swept to power as a result, and promptly set about creating a secret police force--the Imperial Australasian Security Bureau---to crack down on "syndicalist activism and subversion". The Guard would send a substantial number of forces to the European theater of the Second Weltkrieg, as well as masterminding the rise of the Hong Kong Business Club to control over the Legation Cities.

Australasia was outraged when the Third Weltkrieg broke out. It had taken a great deal of coaxing to get any level of conscription passed even to fight to reclaim the Home Islands, and people had been ecstatic when the Second Weltkrieg ended, feeling that it would certainly allow them a return to normalcy. The news that they would have to fight another global war so soon after fighting the last one caused riots in many of the major Australasian cities, which the Guard suppressed with incredible brutality. For several years Australasian troops duked it out with the troops of German East Asia in the jungles, capturing a number of islands and even landing troops on Borneo, which was a brutal, bloody slog. Losses mounted quickly and morale was, quite frankly, in the toilet.

Then came the summer of 1945. Reichspakt forces had retaken all of the France and had even managed to subdue the North African territories which had stood against the Communards for so long. The Russians had formally entered the war against the Entente, rumbling over the border from North Norway into Entente aligned South Norway and pushing through the endless Baluchi deserts into the Dominion of India. Canada was threatened by the looming armies of the American totalist behemoth. The war, simply put, looked unwinnable, and the Australasian Guard's endless efforts at calling up more and more men for the war effort was increasingly wearing thin on people's nerves.

Even today, no one really knows if the protests had been planned or not. We do know that there was a bar fight in the city of Adelaide--a stronghold of anti-Guard sentiment--between local residents and a group of off duty IASB goons. The fight rapidly spiraled out of control and into the street, where local dockworkers and Australasian Guard hired thugs arrived and waded into the fray. The local Home Defense Militia troops arrived on the scene but struggled to try and contain the rapidly escalating situation--without any luck. Then things got serious as a platoon of heavily armed IASB troops arrived at the scene. Ordering the locals to disperse "or else" the major in charge of the IASB troops handled the situation rather poorly, something which was made abundantly clear when a local tossed a flowerpot, which shattered at his feet. Startled, way out of his depth---a surviving IASB trooper would admit at his trial that the man had only arrived at their unit three days earlier and was blatantly obviously the product of nepotism, as he had shown no real leadership ability from his arrival onwards--and panicked, the major ordered his troops to open fire on the locals. As rifle shots and bursts of automatic fire from Owen Guns ripped through the night air, the local Home Defense Militia troops went from surprised to shocked to enraged all in a matter of seconds. The IASB troops hadn't bothered to worry about hitting the militiamen, and many of them had had to dive to the ground to try to avoid being hit. Then they started shooting back at the IASB troops, and things began to hit the fan.

Owen-Gun1.jpg


Two Australasian soldiers stand guard with Owen Guns, Borneo, 1944. The Owen Gun was introduced in early 1939 to give the Australasian Army some additional firepower and soon became beloved by the ANZACs, who used it from Italy to New Guinea fighting a wide variety of enemies. It would also be used extensively at home....
 
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