Why the Chinese play cricket (an Imperial Federation timeline)

A very slight alteration to the chapter I just posted

January 1895: The report of the Roberts Inquiry makes a number of radical proposals for reform to the Indian Army. Roberts suggest reorganising the current dual battalion infantry regiments into twenty to twenty five a number large regiments, each to consist of six to eight battalions, with one battalion dedicated to training and recruitment. Additionally he recommends the Viceroy's Bodyguard become a permanent formation with an infantry guards unit formed alongside it. Regarding the Gurkha Regiments, Corps of Guides along with the cavalry and support arms, the report recommends they remain unaltered. Robert's also reiterates Wolseley's proposal to form an Indian Regiment of Artillery. However perhaps his most radical proposal is that a pool of Indian officers suitable for higher command and staff work should be cultivated. Roberts suggests three cavalry, ten infantry, one pioneer battalion, the Madras Sappers and Miners and five artillery batteries should be selected for 'Indianisation.' Under his scheme suitable Indian candidates would be trained at Sandhurst and Woolwich, ideally recruited from those educated at the English style public schools established by Viceroy Temple in 1882. These would then be posted in at the bottom of the command structure and British officers wasted out through natural attrition. Viceroy Lord Wallington moves to institute the Report essentially unaltered. The Viceroy's Bodyguard is expanded to three battalion, one from each presidency, while the Indian Regiment of Guards is formed from the four most senior battalions from Bengal, Bombay, Madras and Punjab, with the remaining 146 battalions organised into twenty two infantry and four pioneer regiments. But perhaps most importantly, a regiment of Indian artillery is finally formed. Despite its acceptance by the Viceroy, the report creates a great deal of controversy in Britain, with many asking questions regarding the 'suitability' of large numbers of Indian officers and the wisdom of allowing Indian troops access to artillery. Nevertheless, Secretary of State for India Lord Ripon approves the program, the only alteration being that as it is considered 'inappropriate' Indian officers train alongside British officers, two Indian military academies are opened. One at Derhadun for service arms and one at Dapodi for technical services.

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Indian Army Regiments as at 1895

Brigade of Guards
- Cavalry
-- Viceroy's Bodyguard = 3 battalions raised 1773
- Infantry
-- Indian Regiment of Guards = 4 battalions raised 1757

- 1st Bengal Lancers (Skinner's Horse) = 2 battalions raised 1803
- 2nd Bengal Lancers (Gardener's Horse) = 2 battalions raised 1809
- 3rd Bengal Light Cavalry = 2 battalions raised 1823
- 4th Bengal Lancers (Hodson's Horse) = 2 battalions raised 1824
- 5th Bengal Light Cavalry = 2 battalions raised 1824
- 6th Bengal Lancers (Probyn's Horse) = 2 battalions raised 1846
- 7th Bengal Lancers (Watson's Horse) = 2 battalions raised 1846
- 8th Bengal Lancers (Gordon's Horse) = 2 battalions raised 1846
- 9th Mahratta Lancers (Fane's Horse) = 2 battalions raised 1846
- 10th Baluch Horse = 2 battalions raised 1849
- 11th Frontier Force Cavalry (Daly's Horse) = 2 battalions raised 1849
- 12th Frontier Force Cavalry (Sam Browne's Cavalry) = 2 battalions raised 1849
- 13th Madras Light Cavalry = 2 battalions raised 1784
- 14th Madras Lancers = 2 battalions raised 1787
- 15th Hyderabad Lancers = 2 battalions raised 1824
- 16th Deccan Horse = 2 battalions raised 1824
- 17th Bombay Lancers = 2 battalions raised 1817
- 18th Poona Horse = 2 battalions raised 1817
- 19th Scinde Horse = 2 battalions raised 1839
- 20th Bombay Lancers = 2 battalions raised 1839
- 21st Bombay Light Cavalry (Jacob's Horse) = 2 battalions raised 1848
- 22nd Central India Horse = 2 battalions raised 1858

- 1st Bengal Regiment = 6 battalions raised 1798
- 2nd Punjab Regiment = 6 battalions raised 1761
- 3rd Madras Regiment = 6 battalions raised 1759
- 4th Bombay Grenadiers = 6 battalions raised 1798
- 5th Mahratta Light Infantry = 6 battalions raised 1768
- 6th Rajputana Rifles = 7 battalions raised 1775
- 7th Rajput Regiment = 6 battalions raised 1779
- 8th Punjab Light Infantry = 6 battalions raised 1798
- 9th Carnatic Regiment = 6 battalions raised 1798
- 10th Jat Regiment = 6 battalions raised 1879
- 11th Baluch Regiment = 6 battalions raised 1798
- 12th Sikh Regiment = 9 battalions raised 1846
- 13th Frontier Force Regiment = 6 battalions raised 1843
- 14th Frontier Force Rifles = 7 battalions raised 1849
- 15th Sialkot Regiment = 6 battalions raised 1857
- 16th Multan Regiment = 6 battalions raised 1857
- 17th Lahore Regiment = 6 battalions raised 1857
- 18th Dogra Regiment = 6 battalions raised 1877
- 19th Royal Garhwal Rifles = 6 battalions raised 1887
- 20th Hyderabad Regiment = 6 battalions raised 1813
- 21st Pashtun Regiment = 6 battalions raised 1888
- 22nd Burma Rifles = 4 battalions raised 1890
- 1st Gurkha Rifles (Malaun Regiment) = 2 battalions raised 1815
- 2nd Gurkha Rifles (Simoor Regiment) = 2 battalions raised 1815
- 3rd Gurkha Rifles (Kamaon Regiment) = 2 battalions raised 1815
- 4th Gurkha Rifles = 2 battalions raised 1857
- 5th Gurkha Rifles (Frontier Force Regiment) = 2 battalions raised 1858
- 6th Gurkha Rifles (Assam Regiment) = 2 battalions raised 1817
- 7th Gurkha Rifles = 2 battalions raised 1880
- 8th Gurkha Rifles = 2 battalions raised 1824
- 9th Gurkha Rifles = 2 battalions raised 1880
- 10th Gurkha Rifles (Burma Regiment) = 2 battalions raised 1880

Other Arms
- Corps of Guides = 2 cavalry, 2 infantry battalions, 1 mountain artillery battery raised 1846
- 1st Queen Victoria's Own Bengal Sappers and Miners = 5 Companies raised 1803
- 2nd Royal Bombay Sappers and Miners = 4 Companies raised 1780
- 3rd Royal Madras Sappers and Miners = 6 Companies raised 1777
- 4th Burma Sappers and Miners = 2 Companies raised 1890
- 1st Madras Pioneers = 4 battalions raised 1758
- 2nd Bombay Pioneers = 4 battalions raised 1788
- 3rd Sikh Pioneers = 4 battalions raised 1857
- 4th Hazara Pioneers = 1 battalion raised 1895
- Indian Artillery Regiment = 19 mountain batteries, 3 field batteries, 1 heavy battery raised 1895

Total = 49 cavalry battalions, 161 infantry battalions, 13 pioneer battalions, 15 engineer companies, 20 mountain artillery batteries, 3 field artillery batteries, 1 heavy artillery battery.
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I like to game out major naval battles ITTL. Sounds fancy but it involves moving little bits of cardboard and balsa with pin flags for ID around the living room floor. My long suffering partner just rolls her eyes at me 'playing soldiers'
How realistic are the engagements?

I have a strange image of your floor littered with blazing and exploding models, all overlaid with wet coal dust.

Next century, the coal dust will be replaced by oil slicks.
February 1895: Since his exile to the US after a long failed rebellion ending in 1878, Cuban revolutionary José Martí has been rallying support for another rebellion in the Cuban exile community. In late 1894 Martí organises three ships to transport weapons and rebels to Cuba. While two of the ships are seized by US authorities, Martí proceeds and begins his insurrection, starting a vicious war in Cuba.
Since you like book recommendations, here's another: Cuba Libre.

A mistake in the book I forgot to mention: the USMC didn't use Krags, but Lee M1895s.
Alongside the new rifle a new 0.303”Mk III round developed at the Dum Dum arsenal in India is introduced. The new round features an exposed point, leading to the bullet expanding on impact, greatly increasing the damage inflicted.
The rounds were tested on prisoners.
The battle will be noted for the last cavalry charge by the British army when the 2nd (Empress of India's) battalion, Prince of Wales Royal Lancers make one of the final cavalry charge of the British army, suffering heavy casualties attacking a force of Mahdist spearmen, not realising their true strength.
Did Winston participate this time?
How realistic are the engagements?

I have a strange image of your floor littered with blazing and exploding models, all overlaid with wet coal dust.
Lol well don't go quite that far, but I did use cottonwool to represent smoke in this battle since the range was so short. However they do involve a lot of shouting and exclamation when one side does something impressive. Perhaps I should go that far, I just don't think my LSP (Long suffering partner) would be appreciative of that all over the living room floor haha.
Next century, the coal dust will be replaced by oil slicks.

Since you like book recommendations, here's another: Cuba Libre.

A mistake in the book I forgot to mention: the USMC didn't use Krags, but Lee M1895s.
I'll check it out at the library. I know about the Lee M1895, far better weapon than the Krag.
The rounds were tested on prisoners.
Yep the wonders of Victorian morality. We haven't heard the last of the British dum dums
Did Winston participate this time?
He graduated Sandhurst in Feb 1895. In the OTL he used his family influence to get combat postings, so I've put him in as a 2lt of the 2nd bn Prince of Wales Lancers (OTL 21st Lancers) rather than the 3rd Hussars (1st bn King's Light Dragoons ITTL)
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The results of the Treaty of Shimonoseki
Sino-Japanese Warr.png

Base maps from Free SVG Maps and used under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution - Non-Commercial 4.0 Intentional
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May-Aug 1895: The delicate art of diplomacy
~May-Aug 1895: The delicate art of diplomacy

May 1895: The ceding of the Liaodong Peninsula to Japan by the Treaty of Shimononseki particularly alarms Germany and Russia, both of whom have designs on northern China. Russia uses its recent alliance with the French to gain their support in what will become known as the Triple intervention. The three Great Powers jointly demand the Japanese give up the peninsula in return for increasing their indemnity from china by 30 million taels {£5,723,560} to 180 million taels {£34,341,358}. The Japanese attempt to gain support from Britain and the US fails, leaving them no choice but to give in to the demands. Having forced the Japanese to back down, the three Great Powers will quickly move to exploit Chinese weakness to extend their influence while cooperating to exclude Britain the the US.

May 1895: With the Imperial government refusing to expand the shipbuilding industry in the Dominions, Canadian Premier Charles Tupper arranges with Vickers to establish a shipyard at Montreal. Much of the funding will be provided via loans obtained under the Imperial Development Act. While the plan is heavily criticised by the opposition Liberal Party as a wasteful extravagance, Tupper claims it will provide an important boast for the economy. The decision to locate the yard in Montreal is political move designed to hopefully increase the Conservative governments support in the province of Quebec.

May 1895: Chinese anger at the terms of the Treaty of Shimononseki leads to the Gongche Shangshu Movement, who present a petition to the Guangxu Emperor. The petition has five major points: the cancellation of the Treaty of Shimononseki, the resumption of war with Japan, the modernisation of the Qing Army, the relocation of the capital to Xi'an and the reform of the Imperial examination system. Dowager Empress Cixi, in capacity as Regent, rejects the petition out of hand. However, while realising the war can not be resumed, the Emperor is highly sympathetic to the leaders of the movement and begins to cultivate them as allies.

May 1895: In an effort to forestall Japanese control of Formosa local Chinese officials led by Tang Jingsong proclaim the formation of the Republic of Formosa with its capital at Taipei. In a critical move Tang is able to recruit Liu Yongfu, a veteran commander from the Sino-French War to head the defence of the Island. One week later the first Japanese troops begin landing. The Japanese rapidly take control of the import port of Keeling, Taipei and Tamsui in the north of the island. With the fall of Tamsui, Tang Jingsong flees the island, leaving Liu Yongfu as de facto leader of the new republic, who relocates the capital to the southern city of Tainan.

June 1895: During Secretary of State for War Reginald Brett's presentation of the annual army estimates to parliament, the Conservatives raise the issue of the continuing issues around British rifle ammunition, citing issues with barrel wear, poor quality ammunition, supposed inadequate stockpile of cordite and the frequent modifications to the new Lee-Enfield rifle. They go on to point to the Goschen Report on the state of the navy in 1889 and the near loss of Egypt in 1893, claiming the Liberals have neglected defence in the pursuit of radical social reform. In what will become known as the Cordite Vote, they move a motion of no confidence. With many Liberal members out of the house for what was expected to be a purely procedural matter, the motion passes by three votes, forcing the government to resign, triggering new elections in July.

June 1895: Seeking to replace their long obsolete 0.45-70”single shot Springfield M1873 rifles with a modern smokeless powder magazine rifle, the US Navy adopts the 6mm Lee M1895 as its standard issue service arm. The new rifle uses a tipping straight pull wedge locking bolt, firing a 6x60mmSR cartridge from a five round en-bloc clip. Unlike the Mannlicher en-bloc clip, the Lee clip falls from the rifle as soon as the first round is chambered and allows the magazine to be topped up with individual rounds when desired. The Lee rifle with it high velocity 6mm round will proved to be reliable and exceptionally accurate.

June 1895: With anti-anarchist 'Lois Scélérates' programs having been introduced throughout most of Europe, many leading anarchists have been imprisoned or even killed, driving the movement underground and drastically reducing its numbers. The only real remaining safe havens are Britain, the Dominions and to a lesser extent the US and Nordic countries. In light of the situation the International Anarchist Conference scheduled for Oslo in September is cancelled, with no future conferences to be held. The International Working People's Association or Black International in London agrees to act to clandestinely coordinate communication between the various surviving anarchist groups in Europe. Over the next five years the crackdown will lead to the movement abandoning classic revolutionary anarchism in favour of labour movement based anarcho-syndacalism.

July 1895: The British general election is fought over the issues of the Liberals radical program of devolution and social reform, along with their policy of increasing self government in India, with the Conservatives claiming it is placing Britain's strategic interests at risk. The Irish Parliamentary Coalition on the other hand campaign in Ireland that the devolution program does not go far enough, calling for full home rule in Ireland. The election is closely fought, but the critical point comes when moderate Irish nationalists William O'Brien and Thomas Russell break from the Irish Parliamentary Coalition to form the Irish National Party, supporting the Liberals program of devolution. While the Conservatives do gain 44 seats to give them 282, and the Liberals lose 29 leaving them with 310, the Irish Parliamentary Coalition only manages to hold 24 seats as against the Irish National Party's 39. Support for devolution is also seen in Scotland and Wales with Lloyd George's Cymru Fydd returning five MPs and the new Scottish National Party under former Liberal Robert Graham having seven. Even Keir Hardie's Labour Party increases its representation to three members. Regardless of the vindication of his policy of devolution, Campbell-Bannerman resigns as leader of the Liberal Party due to allow the more moderate Joseph Chamberlain to lead the party. Chamberlain forms a minority government with the support of the Irish National Party. Despite Campbell-Bannerman's resignation, Chamberlain makes him Home Secretary, moving Charles Dilke to Chancellor of the Exchequer. His own post as Foreign Secretary goes to Herbert Asquith, with former Progressive Lord Lansdowne as Colonial Secretary.

July 1895: Despite the recommendation of President Cleveland and the willingness of the Canadians, the US Congress refuses to implement the second round of tariff reductions in the Gresham-Thompson Treaty. While the move is popular across the political spectrum in the US, it is solidly condemned in Canada, with many believing it shows the US to be untrustworthy and duplicitous. The rejection will serve to further increase support for the Empire with the Canadian public.

August 1895: The British response to the US call for arbitration in the Venezuelan border dispute was broadly favourable, however they have rejected any suggestion it falls under the Monroe Doctrine and insist the start point for arbitration must be the Schomburgk Line. The then US Secretary of State Walter Gresham had let the matter rest, ignoring Venezuela's lobbyist continuing to generate anti-British feeling in the US. With Gresham's death Richard Olney is appointed as Secretary of State and is unwilling to let matters continue. He dispatches a stern diplomatic note demanding British compliance, stating "Today the United States is practically sovereign on this continent, and its fiat is law upon the subjects to which it confines its interposition.” Chamberlain's new government politely dismiss the note, stating “The Government of the United States is not entitled to affirm as a universal proposition, with reference to a number of independent States for whose conduct it assumes no responsibility, that its interests are necessarily concerned in whatever may befall those States, simply because they are situated in the Western Hemisphere.”

August 1895: While the Japanese have quickly taken control of northern Formosa, they are now facing increasingly stiff resistance organised by Liu Yongfu and a campaign of guerilla resistance in their rear, greatly slowing their advance. In the critical Battle of Baguashan the Japanese successfully clear the Formosan forces from the central portion of the island, opening the way for a final advance on Tainan.
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Is there any sort of summary of this TL. Maps, desc of the society?

From the Third iteration (this is the fourth Iteration). Tis was based on development till around the md 30s. The 4th I is already moving along a different path, but its a good approximation.

Pax Imperialis


The World That Was is gone, replaced by the World That Is. Something was changed and the old world was swept away in a trickle which became a flood. This change is known as the Remaking. It must have been a tiny change, almost infinitesimal. A change so seemingly insignificant it can not be found. Even the most skilled in the arcane arts have been unable to pin it down. Most agree it is somewhere early 1868 and late 1872. But exactly what or when nobody knows. However it is also agreed, the Remaking is best left alone, the consequences of another change are unimaginable.

Those few who can see the World That Was, the Sighted, can also see Worlds That May Be. Not one of these worlds ever shows anything other than a black blasted wasteland. So it's agreed, best not to know what was changed. Still there are those want to know, want desperately to know. Because if you can change the world once, you can change it again. And those who want to know are fanatics, certain they can avoid what the Sighted see.

But regardless of what the change was or how it was made, the change was made. And it left behind a new world, a world dominated the Imperial Commonwealth, the successor to the British Empire. The most powerful state the world has ever seen. Of course the Imperial Commonwealth is not really an Empire any more. It certainly has colonies, controlled and exploited, but some are slowly being integrated into the Commonwealth proper, the larger and more strategical located ones. It's a confederation now, the twenty Dominions and five Home Nations all autonomous and equals, united by common interests and a common ideal.

But the Commonwealth is not alone, there are other powers. The Pacific Alliance of Japan and the USA. The Franco-Russian Entente. The Warsaw Pact of Poland and Italy. Of course there are minor members to all the alliances, but they're the core. Then there's China divided in two, Latin America where the cold war between the Commonwealth and Pacific Alliance is fought, the bitter and supposedly broken states of the former Central Powers.

Other things have changed. The dozens of airships which ply this world. Domesticated zebras the size of a horse. The gyrodynes which carry the elite special forces of the Great Powers on their clandestine missions. It's 1938 now, and the clouds of war are gathering. So this is the world one tiny change made. The Pax Imperialis, the Peace of the Emperor, King George VI, the figurehead, the symbol of the common ideal which unites the Imperial Commonwealth.

The Great Powers

The Imperial Commonwealth

The Imperial Commonwealth, usually just called the Commonwealth, is the most powerful state in this world. It's power dwarfs every other state and alliance. Over 400 million people along with another 118 million in the colonies. An industrial base spread over five continents. An economy almost twice the size of its nearest rival. It is not a superpower, it is a hyperpower. But its greatest strength, its reach across the globe, is also its greatest weakness. It has immense power, but focusing that power takes equally immense effort or threat.

Nobody's quite sure when the British Empire became the Imperial Commonwealth. Most go with 1929 when they changed the name. Others go with 1926 when the British Imperial Federation was formed. A handful go with 1934 when the five Indian Dominions took their place alongside the fourteen so called “white” Dominions and five Home Nations of the British Isles. But in reality, the change occurred long before any of those dates. But regardless, the British Empire has fallen and the Imperial Commonwealth, a successor state, now stands in its place.

The Commonwealth grew rich during the Great War. With an established arms industry, the British Isles sat just off the coast of as continent desperate for the tools of war. The orders poured in and massive loans were advanced. The Entente in particular became utterly dependent on Commonwealth industry to fight its war. But British industry alone was unable to cope with the orders. Soon the Dominions and India were drawn in, industrialised to feed the slaughter in Europe. The Commonwealth also took over markets abandoned by the combatants, growing ever richer and stronger. The enormous economic power of the Commonwealth has its roots in the Great War.

The Commonwealth is also is also a democratic socialist state, at least theoretically. It has an elected parliament sitting in Westminster, with a cabinet and Prime Minister who control its day to day affairs. But in reality it's a lose confederation and policy is largely determined through a process of consensus at the annual Imperial Conferences. No Commonwealth government can act without the consent of the twenty five member states and those members have very different agendas which all need to be balanced.

Canada and Newfoundland look warily at their powerful neighbour to the south. The Home Nations are a few tens of kilometres of the coast of Europe and worry about the balance of power there. The southern African Dominions concern themselves mostly with retaining control of the vast African colonies, captive markets and a source of raw materials. The Pacific Dominions look east, focused on Asia and the Pacific. Meanwhile the Indian Dominions in the vast Indian Ocean hinterland are isolationist, seeing no need to the Commonwealth to involve itself in others affairs. Thus the Commonwealth is pulled in so many different directions. A vast behemoth, almost unable to move in a single direction, but if it does, it will crush anything in its path.

The Pacific Alliance

Next in power to the Commonwealth and its only true rival is the Pacific Alliance of Japan and the USA. The origins of this alliance lay in the Great War. While Japan entered the war in 1914, initially their involvement was limited to the Pacific. It was only in 1915, with the entry of the US into the war, that the Japanese fleet joined with the US fleet to gain control of the North Sea. In 1916, a Japanese Expeditionary Force was sent to France. Only a small force never more than ten divisions when others were deploying hundreds. It seemed best for them to serve with the Americans. This forged the bonds of blood which underpin the Pacific Alliance.

The alliance was formalised in 1921 with the Treaty of Kyoto. Since then the two have remained steadfast allies. Their militaries act as one. Japanese interests are the America's and American interests are Japan's. It helps both are solid democracies, maintaining enlightened racial and social policies.

Indeed the US is truly a beacon of racial tolerance. Hundreds of thousands African-Americans gave their lives in France, how could they be anything other than equals? The fight for civil rights took time and on occasions lead to bloodshed. But by 1937, the battle had been won. In social equality too, the US is a world leader. To build a nation 'fit for heroes' after the war, extensive social welfare policies were introduced. No American goes without food, housing or health care, the elderly are provided a pension, workers rights are guaranteed and protected. Great strides have been made in women's and LGBT rights. Even gun control features. All guns are registered and owners licensed.

Japan too is a shining light of democracy. Years of contact the US military embedded a respect for democracy within the Japanese military. When in 1932 a group of nationalistic junior officers assassinated the Prime Minister and tried to stage a coup, the military's response was harsh. The plotters were executed with dishonour. The message was clear, the military would not tolerate any attempt to undermine democracy.

Honour, respect, tradition, family and democracy, these lay at the core of Japanese society. To serve the Emperor is the highest honour, but to serve blindly is not. To give ones life for the Emperor brings honour to your family, but no Japanese would sacrifice their life uselessly, nor would the Emperor ever ask it. An honourable foe is to be treated accordingly, their fallen and captured accorded utmost respect. Neither is there any stain in admitting defeat by a superior foe in an honourable battle The meat grinder of France has driven any thought of mass slaughter from the Japanese mind, Likewise to deliberately treat another disrespectfully for a matter as trivial as race, position at birth, gender or choice of partner is an unbearable shame, bringing dishonour on the entire family.

The Entente

The oldest of the alliances, formed originally in 1904 between the the French Third Republic and Britain. There's a certain irony in this in the light of the long cold war between the Entente and Commonwealth since the early 1920s. Indeed this cold war nearly turned hot in 1925 during the Middle Eastern Crisis.

Russia joined the Entente in 1907. The Balkan's States of Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Montenegro at the outbreak of the Great War in 1913, which also saw the Commonwealth leave when they refused to enter the war. Japan joined in 1914, while the USA and Norway became a members in 1915 when they entered the Great War. Late 1917 saw the creation of a unified military command, after years of poor coordination had led to millions of deaths. Italy joined in early 1918, followed by Denmark later that year, eager to regain the lands lost in the Second Slesvig War of 1864..Finally the newly independent Croatia, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Slovakia in they dying days of the war. Of course the British Empire also joined the war in 1918. But they never placed their forces under the central Entente command, so it can't really be said they rejoined the Entente.

After the war, the Treaty of Trainon formalised the alliance, giving it life beyond the brutal war it had helped start. Japan opted out then, fearful its membership might threaten the alliance they had formed with the British in 1902. Denmark and Norway also opted out, power politics didn't go down well with their electorates But the Norwegians gave the Entente a fifteen year lease on the Bergen Naval base. When the Russian Revolution overthrew the Tsar, the new liberal regime granted Finland and Armenia independence, and the both elected to remain a part of the Entente. This was high water mark of alliance.

The Entente started to weaken in 1925 when Italy left at the height of the Middle Eastern Crisis which nearly brought war between the Entente and Commonwealth. But the rot started to set in soon after. The Great War had unlocked a vast pool of social tension in Russia. In 1922 the Tsar was deposed in an almost bloodless revolution. The new government embarked on a program of reforms. Finland and Armenia were given independence, other minorities autonomy. Russia was on the path to a solid liberal democracy. That changed in 1927 when a reactionary coup overthrew the democracy. The new Russian regimes attempt to reverse the autonomy the previous liberal government had granted Poland, the Baltic States and Moldova, Finland left the alliance.

The rot continued in the 30s with the Great Depression. 1933 Saw the end of the Third French Republic as the pressures of the Great Depression brought a coup and the establishment of the autocratic French State. It was this steady march toward authoritarian dictatorship in France, Russia and the Balkan states drove the liberal Czech and Slovakian democracies out. The new reactionary face of the Entente meant the Norwegians did not renew the Bergen lease in 1934. The same march finally drove the USA to suspend their membership in 1936, leaving the Entente an alliance of reactionary autocracies rife with racism toward its Jewish population.

The Warsaw Pact

The most recent of the alliances. It has its origins in the 1927 Russian coup. Poland and the Baltic States had been granted considerable autonomy in the wake of the 1922 Russian Revolution. The new regime established after the coup attempted to remove their autonomy. In response, Poland and the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania declared their independence, as did Moldova. The Commonwealth provided support and arms. Volunteers from the defeated Central Powers flocked to swell the ranks of the newly formed Warsaw Pact.

The Russians invaded in 1928. The campaign was initially mishandled and Russian invasion held off. But 1929 the Russians tried again. They drove to the very gates of Warsaw. Defeat and the end of the Warsaw Pact seemed inevitable. But the Polish army not only held against the assault, they crushed it. The stunning Russian defeat at Warsaw unleashed all the suppressed opposition to the 1927 coup. Faced with the prospect of revolution, the Russian regime pulled its troops from the Warsaw Pact. Their counter attack not only cleared Poland and the Baltic States, it took Galicia, Silesia and Russian East Prussia before the ceasefire was signed.

A counter balance to the Entente had been created. The ever increasing slide of France and Russia to dictatorship lead to the Pact's expansion. First the Czech Republic and Slovakia joined. The greatest crisis came in 1934 when Moldova and Transylvania united to recreate the Romanian state ripped apart by the Entente in the wake of the Great War. It was US President Garner who averted war and Romania slipped from the Entente grasp to join the Pact.

The growth of the Pact continued when Italy, one of the most prosperous, stable and democratic states in continental Europe, joined in 1935. It now truly rivals the Entente. But there are tensions in the Pact. There is a clear divide between the democracies of the Czech Republic, Italy and Slovakia against the authoritarian states of Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania. However as long as the reactionary Entente exists, so will the Pact.
Is there any sort of summary of this TL. Maps, desc of the society?

A more detailed reply based on the 4th Iteration up to the turn of the century

Maps can be found here

So far there is little change from the OTL in that respect.

Neither has society outwardly changed that much. Noticeable change, Chile has become almost a de facto British Dominion (Blame UA President Bane) and thats about it. Far less noticeable is that Britain is far more liberal, India already has significant measures of autonomy but only at the provincial level, with pan-Indian nationalism being rather stunted. Imperial integration is much stronger, primarily in the economic sphere with an Imperial Common Market for Britain and the White Dominions bang achieved by 1899. However political integration is lagging behind, with only the bare bones in place by 1899. The other change is the US is notably more imperialistic and engaged in foreign affairs. However if you were to look at the OTL and TTL at 1899, you wouldn't see a lot of difference. The big hit occurs with the Great War. I just can't see the Anglo-French Entente forming ITTL which gives a very good chance of an slightly earlier Great War. Also the us are on track for an early entry, though far from guaranteed.
Is there any sort of summary of this TL. Maps, desc of the society?

But a little more ffrom the 3rd Iteration

The Regional Powers

The Nordic League

Located in the far north of Europe, almost forgotten in the brutal multi-polar world which has evolved in the Nordic League. It began as a simple defensive alliance between Denmark and Sweden during the the Great War. Denmark controlled the vital entrance to the Baltic Sea and the Germans had just invaded Norway. It seemed a prudent precaution for the Danes and the Swedes were willing to oblige. Finland joined as the Russians massed their troops to crush the Polish independence movement in 1928. They knew, member of the Entente or not, they were next on the new Russian dictatorships list when the Poles were dealt with. Norway became the fourth member in 1934 when the Entente's Bergen Naval Base was finally closed.

It was Finland's accession which started to change the nature of League. Not one of the members used the same equipment, and the Danes equipment was thoroughly obsolete. A committee was established to select a set of common small arms, along a commitment to eventual compatibility in all military hardware. Funds were limited, so even achieving a common rifle and cartridge took some time. However they were not idle in the meantime, joint military exercises were stages, cooperation and integration improved. By the time the Norwegians joined in 1934, the League presented a credible military challenge for any invader. Nor were politics ignored. A united front was developed for foreign policy. The League leans heavily toward the Warsaw Pact and maintains close ties with the Commonwealth. Never so far as to invite the outright anger of the Entente, but definitely enough to have them listed as 'unfriendly.' A permanent joint military command was established in 1935.

But the League now extends beyond a purely military alliance now. Free trade came in 1931, including Norway. A customs union in 1937 with a commitment for a common currency in due time. Free movement of labour and capital date from 1935 as does a common framework on human rights. January 1938 saw reciprocal arrangements for social welfare. The Nordic League is rapidly evolving from its roots as a simple agreement for mutual defence into a full confederation. And together, they have population and economic base to rival France.

The ABC Powers

The three 'great powers' of South America, Argentina, Brazil and Chile. Though now Mexico should probably be added to the list. But the three ABC Powers are the key to controlling South America. Argentina and Brazil are for the most part neutral in the ongoing South American Cold War between the Commonwealth and Pacific Alliance, Brazil if anything leans toward the Commonwealth, while Argentina clearly favours the Pacific Alliance. The reason is for this is Chile, the Commonwealth's first and strongest ally in South America. Argentina and Chile have some serious territorial disputes around the Straits of Magellan, while Brazil has its own disputes with Argentina, so it is its interests to back Chile.

Chile's alliance with the Commonwealth goes back to the 1880s and in truth, its all one man's fault the alliance exists. Because Chile didn't move into the Commonwealth sphere, the US pushed it in. That man was James Blaine, one time US Secretary of State in 1881 and later President from 1885 to 1888. The Problem started during the Chile's War of the Pacific with Bolivia and Peru. By 1881, the Chileans had crushed their enemies and clearly won..But Blaine was convinced the entire war was a British plot to seize control of South America. He sought to bolster the Peruvians and ensure the Chileans gained nothing in any peace. Peru would keep fighting for anther two years, bleeding the Chilean treasury dry.

The next step came with the Panama Crisis of 1885. Blaine sent US forces to :suppress” a Panamanian revolt against Colombia. Using it as a pretext to separate Panama from Colombia and eventual annexation. The Chileans dispatched a cruiser to Panama. The Captain had orders to stop a US annexation “by any means necessary.” The US had allowed their navy to deteriorate after their Civil War to the point where this one Chilean cruiser could sink their entire navy. The US was forced into a humiliating back down. Now President Blaine again blamed the British, just another part of their plot to replace the US as leader in South America. He embarked on a vengeful campaign to isolate Chile and build a South American bloc to oppose this supposed Anglo-Chilean alliance.

The irony is, he couldn't have been more wrong. The British had been studiously avoiding backing Chile for fear of aggravating relations with the US. The weren't behind the War of the Pacific and they weren't behind the Panama Crisis. But Blaine's actions forced the British and Chileans into alliance. Both Argentina and Brazil were well aware of the importance of British investment to their economies, and had no interest in joining Blaine's proposed anti Anglo-Chilean bloc, so it was still born. Blaine's policies had only two lasting effects. The first was to drive the British and Chileans into an alliance which has persisted to this day.

The second was to save the Brazilian monarchy. While the Brazilians had no interest in risking British anger by joining Blaine's proposed bloc, they were happy to accept a US military mission. They had been having increasing problems with disciple in their army and hoped a US might help. In 1889 the Brazilian army planed a coup to overthrow Pedro II and establish a republic. The head of the US mission became aware of the plot and informed the Brazilian government. As result the coup was foiled and Emperor Pedro III now sits on the throne as a beloved figurehead.

Brazil is now a thriving industrialised liberal democracy, undoubtedly the strongest of the three ABC powers. It does lean toward the Commonwealth, but nowhere near enough to take sides in any war. Chile ranks second. Over forty years of Commonwealth investment have built a strong economy. They enjoy a stable government, which while oligarchic, embraces democracy to a degree They are tied to the Commonwealth by a mutual defence pact, and it is fairly certain they would honour that commitment. Argentina on the other hand is still dominated by autocrats. However it does have a solid economy, running close behind Chile. Faced with a strongly pro Commonwealth Chile and a equally strongly neutral Brazil, the US turned to Argentina. There has been heavy investment since the early 30s and the government definite favour the US. Werther this would draw them into a war remains to be seen. Most likely they would wait to see how such war progresses before making any decisions.


The overused cliché about Mexico is “So far from God, so close to America.” .And in this world, that proved to be tragically true. The Mexican Revolution broke out in 1910, plunging the country into civil war. Inevitably, the chaos drew the US in, they call it imperialism by suction, no state can standchaos on their border. It started with on and off short term interventions to protect US interests. They always withdrew, though the terms of withdrawal were inevitably humiliating for the Mexicans and unsurprisingly anti-American sentiment soon took hold. Small scale US intervention continued on and off for years, until in early 1917 Mexican revolutionaries launched a raid into Texas. The raid only lasted a few days and did very little damage, but the US was now heavily engaged in the Great War. They feared the Central Powers might capitalise on Mexican unrest to disrupt vital US industries near the border. The US 'reprisal raid' amounted to a full scale invasion. The Mexicans fought back, drawing the US deeper and deeper in. Within eight months, the US had occupied all of Mexico and was fighting a bloody guerilla war.

Mexico turned into a bottomless pit which no amount of US troops and resources could fill. By the spring of 1918, 20% of the massive US army was fighting in Mexico. President Roosevelt knew the US needed a way out. He opened secret talks with the Mexican rebels. In August 1918, the ABC powers of South America successfully negotiated an agreement to end the war. There would be a phased US withdrawal, and a new Mexican government would be formed, committed to preventing raids into the US. However some Mexicans still saw the Americans as an army of occupation and the fighting didn't finally stop until the last US soldier left Mexico in March 1919.

The legacy of the Second Mexican-American War was unprecedented levels of hostility and even hatred in Mexico towards their northern neighbour. US investment, businesses and goods were all shunned by the Mexicans and it was a brave American who ventured there in person. Mexico turned to the British Empire as an alternative. The Empire was initially cautious, they were trying to improve relations with the US and hopefully uses them as a moderating influence in the Entente. However the the new US President John Parker, who had assumed the presidency after Roosevelt's retirement, realised there was no chance of the US restoring its influence in the foreseeable future. And well, a Mexico under the influence of what at the time was a moderate state seeking US favour, seemed the best option. Thus Mexico slipped from the US grasp and became a firm ally of the Commonwealth.

The war also united the Mexican people, ending the Civil War. Mexico rallied behind the new government and set about the long process of rebuilding. The Empire was happy to invest, and invest heavily, and the US equally happy to quietly contribute where they could. US intelligence and knowledge smoothed the Empire's path into Mexico. They recognised a stable Mexico under the wing of the Empire could only mean increased security. Subsequent Mexican governments continued the policies of rebuilding and moving closer to the Empire. Mexico would soon be the Commonwealth's second strong foothold in Latin America.

The Great Depression upset the recovery, but by now Mexico was a major trading parter of the Commonwealth. And the Commonwealth had weathered the crash of 1929 fairly well. Soon Mexico recovered and the programs of development resumed. Mexico is now a thriving regional power, with a healthy economy and stable government. Its people still have no time for the Gringos in the north, but the desire for revenge is gone. Mexico is recognised to be one of the Commonwealth's most trusted allies, but everyone knows if war should come, Mexico will probably sit this one out, A Commonwealth allied neutral on the US boarder is far better for both sides than a theatre of war which will consume resources needed elsewhere.


China began to change in the wake of the Boxer Rebellion. The Guangxu Emperor had spent his childhood being educated in Britain, even serving a few years a few years as an officer in the British Army. He had tried to reform the country when he returned, but the conservatives in court staged a coup and placed him under house arrest. He was captured in the relief of Beijing during the Boxer Rebellion. The European powers restored him to the throne thinking he'd be a malleable puppet. They were wrong. The Emperor proved be adept at political intrigue and diplomacy. He skilfully played the European powers off against each other and soon restored his independence. He embarked on an ambitious plan of reform aimed at transforming China into a modern constitutional monarchy.

While the Emperor's attempts at reform attracted many allies, it also created many enemies. In 1905 the Dowager Empress Cixi and General Yuan Shikai staged another coup. This time there was to be no house arrest. The Emperor and his allies fled while the plotters placed the infant Pugong on the throne. There followed a bitter civil war. In 1908 Cixi died. Yuan deposed Pugong and placed a Han on the throne, descendent of the former Ming dynasty, creating the Yao Dynasty. But this new Emperor was just a powerless figurehead, there only as a sop to the traditionalists, and real power remained with Yuan. The civil war dragged on for eight years before exhaustion brought a truce. The Qing were left in control of the south and Yuan's Yao the north.

During the civil war both sides sought allies and mentors. The Qing turned to the Commonwealth, Yuan to the Japanese. The Qing embarked on a program of structural reform, the Yao chose rapid industrialisation. The Yao fell apart when Yuan died in 1915. With no clear successor, the Yao collapsed into a period of warlordism. The Japanese encouraged this, slowly gaining control of northern China's resources while the Yao fought amongst themselves. This changed when the Entente powers sought to capitalise on this chaos to expand their own influence. The Japanese backed the warlord Chaing Kai-Shek, allowing him to gain control of the Yao. He kept the Emperor, it cost him nothing. However, as with Yuan, the real power was in his hands.

In the south stability reigned, well more or less. While the Qing were as Chinese as anyone else in China, the ethnic Han majority still saw them as Manchu, foreigners and wanted the dynasty gone. So the Guangxu Emperor abdicated in 1917 allowing a Han to take the throne, founding the Gaige Dynasty. But the new Emperor was purely ceremonial, the Gaige had become a democracy headed by an elected Grand Chancellor, the Emperors greatest ally, Sun Yat-sen. And the Gaige absorbed much from the Commonwealth. While they remain clearly Chinese and in no way a client, much has been taken from the Commonwealth. Their education system is based around the English public school system as is their government. They even love cricket, one of the top test teams in fact.

But the Grand Chancellor did ignore the former Emperor's talents. He was given a curtsey title, Duke Zaitian Aisin-Gioro of Qing, and appointed the second most import post in the Gaige government, Ambassador to the Commonwealth. A twist of fate brought the now Duke of Qing to the post of Grand Chancellor. The Gaige constitution made the Ambassador to the Commonwealth the successor should the Grand Chancellor die in office. And in 1925, Sun Yat-sen died unexpectedly, leaving the last Qing Emperor as Grand Chancellor of the Gaige Dynasty.

The Duke of Qing proved as adept as Grand Chancellor as he had been as Emperor. Soon the Gaige's structural reforms began to show and their power grew rapidly, rivalling Japan. The Japanese could not tolerate a rival. In 1935 their client, the Yao struck. They would have succeeded but but for the genius of one man, General Sun Li-jen. His brilliant defence of Guangzhou halted the Yao and allowed the Gaige to begin to drive them back. The Gaige are cricket recovering rapidly, the new Grand Chancellor, the Duke of Qing's protégée and former Chinese cricket team captain Zhou Enlai is adept as his mentor. And Sun's army is rapidly gaining the upper hand. But Japan, and by extension the Pacific Alliance, can not allow the Yao to fall. So tensions between the Alliance and the Commonwealth, the Gaige's mentor are soaring.
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Is there any sort of summary of this TL. Maps, desc of the society?


The Central Powers

The former Central Powers, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Romania and Turkey, were crushed after the Great War. Stripped of vast tracts of territory and resources, burdened with immense reparation payments and denied the ability to enter international treaties, they were left broken and isolated. The harsh terms imposed bred bitterness and resentment bordering on pure hatred. When the chance came to hit back at Russia during the Baltic War, hundreds of thousands flocked to the defence of the breakaway states, many veterans of the Great War. Tens of thousands still remain, serving with the Polish Foreign Corps or KC, waiting for a chance to strike again.

The post war world saw unprecedented political instability, with revolutions a constant threat. Austria, Germany and Hungary all fell into civil war. It was only the intervention of the Commonwealth and moderate members of the Entente which allowed stability to return. The restrictions imposed where loosened, Commonwealth loans stabilised their economies and allowed reparation payments to be made. These reparations were in turn used by the Entente to repay their vast war debts to the Commonwealth.

Despite the bitterness bred by the treaties and chaos of the post war period, the Central Powers which retained some independence, Austria, Germany and Hungary have developed into stable democracies. An enlightened few, coupled with the vast investment of the Commonwealth allowed democracy to flourish. Certainly, the Great Depression brought a surge in support for extremist groups, but the slow recovery permitted democracy to survive. By all measures, the former Central Powers stand alongside the Low Countries, Nordic League and democracies of the Warsaw Pact.

The Balkans

The Balkans, German Chancellor Otto von Bismark once said “One day some damn fool will start a European war in the Balkans” and eventually, some damn fool did. The Great War started in the Balkans. It has been the primary battleground of the European Cold War for almost 20 years. Few places in this world have had a greater impact on the history of this world. The Balkans have been dominated by the autocratic regimes of the Entente since the end of the Great War. But even within the Entente their is tension. Nobody was truly happy with the borders created at the of the Great War. Thrace, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, all the Balkans powers eye up territory of their allies. Serbia in particular dreams of leading a Pan Slavic nation. But the threat of the Warsaw Pact keeps these powers in alliance.

But the Balkans are not entirely controlled by the Entente. The Italians were given the bulk of Albania in the Treaty of Sevres, and Albania has thrived under Italian rule. It is not a colony, it's as much a part of Italy as Sicily is. Its citizens vote in Italian elections and a guaranteed the freedoms of any other Italian citizen. Industry has been established and its per capita wealth outstrips any other place in the Balkans. Both Greece and Serbia covert Albania and would seize any opportunity to gain it. Nor are any of the Balkans states quiet. The Warsaw Pact arms and funds guerillas in every single Balkans state. The anarchist HRS-KDS in Croatia and Slovenia, the communist NOV in Serbia and ELAS in Greece. The OF with its broad political base in Bulgaria. The HRS and KDS were once separate groups, but the anarchist HDS seized control of the communist KDS in a purge, uniting both groups.


Spain is something this world has never seen, a state controlled by a left wing revolutionary government. At first it was a moderate democratic government. There were elections, a constitutional assembly. There'd been revolutions before, the establishment of new states from the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of the Great War, Russia in 1922, even Poland, Moldova and the Baltic States in 1927. These had always produced states which easily fitted into the established order. It seemed this little different.

But it was different. The reforms were ambitious and far reaching. Catalonia was granted autonomy and a revolutionary anarchist government elected. In 1937 these anarchists, in conjunction with communists won the election and gained control of the government. Their program of reform was anything but moderate. Land redistribution, state control of industry, the removal of clerical privileges, things which had never been seen before.

Naturally this created immense opposition amongst conservatives, especially with land owners. Everyone knows a civil war is coming. The conservatives are massing their strength and coups are being planned. They certainly have much support in the military. But Spain is a beacon for revolutionaries throughout the world. Already they're flocking to Spain to defend the revolution. As yet the Great Powers have not got involved. But everyone knows Spain is a time bomb. Civil War is coming, the only question is when.

Latin America

Latin America appeared to be a sleepy backwater in world affairs until the US invasion of Mexico. By this point America's focus on the war in France had allowed the Commonwealth to significantly penetrate Latin American markets, replacing the US goods diverted to the war. The Mexican War created vast resentment toward the perceived arrogance of the US for so long. And now there was an alternative, the Commonwealth. Soon some of the smaller states of Central and South America started to court the Commonwealth, seeking to free themselves from US dominance. At first the Commonwealth received these advances cautiously. It was believed, probably correctly, Canada's security was dependent on US good will. This changed in the early 30s. With the Commonwealth now huge economic power the belief Canada could be defended grew and tensions with Japan over China increasing.

In 1930 the decision was made to challenge the US in Latin America, to require them to focus their attention on their own backyard. Latin America is now a battleground in a cold war between the Commonwealth and Pacific Alliance. The US drove Chile into British arms in the 1880s, where it has solidly remained. Mexico had fallen into the Commonwealth in the 20s by default. Resentment toward the US after the Second Mexican-American War was huge. There was no way US influence could be restored. The US and Commonwealth were on cordial terms at the time and Mexican hostility moderated by Commonwealth influence seemed best.

The cold war began slowly. Argentinian and Brazil have been were main battleground in the beginning, The US wasted no efforts on turning Chile against the Commonwealth, they recognised over forty years of close alliance could not be easily undone. Brazil, while leaning toward the Commonwealth, is now clearly neutral, though the Commonwealth have more than sufficient influence to resits US encroachment. Argentina however is equally as clearly in the US camp, though the Commonwealth have been able to limit US influence to a degree via trade agreement. The battleground has shifted to the lesser states.

Colombia, still smarting over the loss of Panama due to US intrigue fell to the Commonwealth sphere almost immediately. Peru and Bolivia, still counting of the cost of their defeat by Chile in the War of the Pacific, naturally fell to the US. Panama too, with its US garrison guarding the canal, remained firmly under US control. With the remainder, intrigue, coups and counter coups are constantly changing allegiances. However in one place Commonwealth and US forces clash. In the jungles of Guatemala and British Honduras Commonwealth SAS and RM Commandos fight US Army Rangers and USMC Raiders.

South East Asia

Thailand, the American Philippines, French Indochina, the Netherlands East Indies, British Malaya and British Borneo. These are the territories which are normally held to make up South East Asia. The first thing you notice is that only one of those places doesn't have the name of an owner in front of it, only Thailand has escaped colonisation and that's really only because the British didn't want the French to have it. The region is rich in resources, nickel, tin, oil but above all rubber. 70% of the world's rubber comes from South East Asia, and as the Central Powers discovered in the Great War, you can't fight a war without rubber. The region Is also one of the most hostile in the world, covered in dense jungle and forests. Here, in those dense jungles, the Sten is king. There are probably more Sten guns in South East Asia than anywhere else in the world.

It's also a vital strategic area. Malaya and Sumatra are the gateway to the Commonwealth's Indian Ocean heartland. So it's the second battleground in the cold war between the Commonwealth and Pacific Alliance, except here the Pacific Alliance are on the offensive. The Pacific Alliance pours arms, equipment, training and money into the Malayan Communist Party like water. And they're supported by the Entente. The conflict between the Commonwealth and Entente in South East Asia goes back nearly a hundred years to the days of Anglo-French colonial rivalry..

Naturally the Commonwealth try to hit back, funnelling support to Filipino and Indochinese nationalists. But the Pacific Alliance has no need of the Philippines other than as a base to strike into the region. Of course the Netherlands are supposedly neutral in all this. Except they're not. There is just no way the Pacific Alliance could break through the Malay Barrier without going through the Netherlands East Indies and everyone knows it. So they too are a battleground with the Pacific Alliance funding the rebels and the Commonwealth subsidising the Netherlands Colonial forces.


As India was the jewel in the crown of the British Empire, it is the cornerstone of Commonwealth power,their hinterland, its security ensured by their control over Egypt, the Cape and the Malay Barrier. Over 60 years of deliberate policy has transformed India. Education programs eliminated illiteracy and industrialisation created a solid urban society as birth rates plummeted. India's huge potential has been tapped and harnessed to form the hinterland of the Commonwealth. Though only a handful of Indian officers have worked their way to the very top of the command structure, Indians now represent the bulk of the Commonwealth army and are heavily represented in both the RN and RAF as well.

To avoid Indian domination, India was admitted to Westminster as five separate Dominions, each independent and autonomous. India is now controlled by a thoroughly Anglicised middle class who have no desire to share power with the disenfranchised lower classes. However the lot of the workers is not onerous. Many move to the cities where they find employment in the booming economy. Even in rural areas, the falling birth rate and migration to the cities has created a labour shortage, forcing up wages and encouraging modern agricultural methods.


The Suez Canal is vital to Commonwealth communications. The Commonwealth first became involved in Egypt in the 1875 with the purchase of a 44% share in the Suez Canal. In 1882, they occupied Egypt making it a de facto protectorate. It became a formal colony in 1899 after the Anglo-Ottoman War. French interests in the canal were purchased in exchange for weapons during the Great War, leaving Egypt solely in Commonwealth hands.

However the problems began in the wake of the Great War. The Commonwealth had championed Arab nationalism and overseen the creation of half a dozen independent Arab states. Arab nationalists in Egypt naturally looked toward independence themselves. With the cold war, the Entente seized on this disquiet. Dissidents were funded and even armed. However, the Entente goal of an uprising or even guerilla warfare remained unrealised.

That was until the Great Depression. Egypt was hard hit. Heavily dependent on exports of cotton and agricultural produce, it was hard hit by the collapse of world trade. The uprising occurred in 1932. There was fierce fighting in the streets of Cairo itself. The Commonwealth garrison was hard pressed to restore order. Reinforcements had to be dispatched from India, Africa and the Home Nations.

But eventually order was restored. The Commonwealth trod lightly. The leaders of the uprising were imprisoned not executed. And many Arab fighters simply released. While this avoided alienating the Egyptian elites, it also encouraged the dissidents and low level insurgency and terrorism remained. It was clear a long term solution was required.

In 1933 Egypt, along with Malaya, Nigeria and the West Indies were set on the same path to autonomy and integration as India had been. But the pace is far faster, it is unlikely the Commonwealth will have the 50 to 60 years it took in India. Egypt is restless. Education programs are in place and some degree of autonomy has already been introduced in the form of local councils. But the Entente and Pacific Alliance continue to feed the unrest.


The one place where the Commonwealth and Pacific Alliance share a common border is Canada. Everyone knows if it comes to war, Canada will be a major battleground, because Canada is a core territory of the Commonwealth and can not be abandoned without a fight. So everyone is preparing for it. The world's longest demilitarised border is still demilitarised, the fortifications are just set further back.

Throughout Canada bridges, transport hubs and choke points are mined and rigged for destruction. Concealed strong points are found everywhere. Hundreds of thousands of militia men have been trained to support the millions of troops expected to fight over Canada. There's also the Special Militia, 15,000 elite Canadian reservists trained for irregular warfare.

And then there are the spies. Some joke you can't turn a corner in Canada without running into a spy. The Commonwealth MI5 and MI6 vie with the US OSS and FBI to unlock secrets on both sides of the border. There are hidden cashes of arms and supplies to uncover, fortifications and troop deployments to map, the technological marvels such as radar to protect. Canada and the US are simply full of spies.
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Is there any sort of summary of this TL. Maps, desc of the society?

The Great Changes

The Great War

The Great War swept away the old world of Emperors, Kings, Princes and national powers. It started in Balkans in the spring of 1913, when Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro and Serbia formed the Balkans League to finally drive the Ottoman Empire out of Europe. The League was backed by Russia, and Austria-Hungary and Germany had no desire to see the Balkans under Russian domination. Ultimatums were issued, armies mobilised, France committed itself to their ally and before anyone had a chance to think the European war everyone had been predicting had started.

Germany open the war by moving troops into neutral Belgium, a flanking move designed to avoid the strong fortifications the French had built on their border with Germany. The French didn't wait for the Belgians to ask for assistance, their troops entered Belgium as soon as the first German soldier set foot in the country. This Britain with a dilemma. They were pledged to defend Belgium, and Belgium most certainly had been invaded, but by who? They hesitated, decided to consult the Dominions before acting, an Imperial Conference was scheduled for London in just a few weeks.

The Belgians reluctantly accepted French assistance against the Germans, and the Belgian forts around Liege gave vital time to organise a defence. The Germans were stopped, but over half of Belgium was occupied and the battles were slaughterhouses with tens of thousands dying in a matter of hours. Despite everyone predicting a short war, the head of the British army Lord Kitchener predicted a long bloody fight. The Imperial Conference decided they wanted no part of such slaughter. The British used the excuse of the French uninvited entry into Belgium as an excuse and stood aside from their Entente with the French and Russians.

The war in the west bogged down into miles of trenches stretching from the Netherlands to the Swiss border. The French tried to break through, but they achieved nothing beyond hundreds of thousands of casualties. In the east, things had not gone well for the Central Powers. The Russians had driven deep into Austria-Hungary and the Balkans League had held off the initial assault. Germany had been forced to divert significant forces from the west to support their ally. Soon the demands of war were outstripping the capacity of the combatants industry. They turned to Britain and Italy, the orders for the weapons of war began to flood in to both.

Despite the British and Italians deciding to sit the war out, the war soon spread. The French offered the Japanese the German Pacific colonies in return for their participation and they happily accepted. On the seas a new weapon was deployed to attack enemy merchant shipping, the submarine. It was these that drew first Norway and then the US into the war. Japan had offered to send troops to Europe in 1914, but the French refused. They offered again when the US entered, and the now desperate French accepted. The Japanese Expeditionary Force was never large, and it was decided it would best if they fought alongside the Americans.

This would be the war for the next three years, a brutal slogging match which went nowhere in the west and a bloody see-saw in the east, which left the Russians teetering on the verge of collapse time and time again. It was one of these which brought Romania into the war as one of the Central Powers in 1916. But Russia held on, a failed German invasion of Norway lead the Danes to reopen the Danish Straits, allowing a vital life line to the Russians to be opened. So the slaughter continued. Both sides tried new innovations to break the stalemate. The Russians developed new infiltration tactics in 1916, which the Germans soon copied. The American unveiled their latest invention, tanks, in 1917. But the lines held.

By the end of 1917, it was clear the Central Powers could not last much longer. The Entente had established a naval blockade in the North Sea using the Norwegian port of Bergen as a base. Germany was being slowly starved into submission. The British knew they had to act, an Entente victory would leave them in control of the Middle East, and the British could not allow that. The Italians too wanted their share of the spoils. So in 1918, both entered the war. The British moved swiftly to secure the Arab world from the crumbling Ottomans. The Entente howled in protest, but there was little they could do. The Italians however, poorly trained, equipped and led, made little headway until the very last days of the war.

The British of course sent some troops to the western front, to fight alongside the Belgians. The Germans, now grasping at straws in desperation threw their remaining reserves in a massive assault against them, hoping against hope that the huge casualties would force the British out of the war and allowed a negotiated peace. It nearly worked, the British bled almost white, but they did not break. By the middle of summer, the Central Powers where spent. US tanks and Russian infiltration tactics finally allowed the German lines to be broken in the west and the liberation of Belgium and occupied France began. One by one Germany's allies collapsed. The Ottomans first, then the Romanians, finally the Austro-Hungarians. Realising their own collapse was imminent, the Germans asked for an armistice. The French wanted to fight on, crush Germany once and for all. But the British threatened to leave the war once Belgium was free. Faced with the prospect of invading Germany alone, the US gave in and forced the French to accept the armistice. On December 24th, the Great War finally came to an end.

The Peace of 1919

After over five and a half years of war, the victorious Entente sought a vengeful peace, leaving no chance their enemies could ever rise again. For the most part, they got it. They sought to break up the Central Powers, in their scheme, Austria-Hungary, Germany and the Ottoman Empire would cease to exist, split into many small nations, never able to become a threat again. It was only the British Empire which stood against them, but there was little they could do. The Ottomans were largely carved up and handed to the victors. Much of Anatolia went to Greece, Syria to France, the rest of the Arab world, the British were able to save, formed into new nations who realising who had saved them, quickly became clients of the Empire. The Armenians got a homeland and the rest of Anatolia became a puppet state under French control.

There was nothing the British could do for the Romanians. Moldova went to Russia and Wallachia became an Entente protectorate, crippled by reparations and forbidden more than an 8,000 man Gendarmarie with nothing more than small arms. Austria-Hungary was dismembered. Independent states with pro-Entente governments were created in Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic in Bohemia. The remainder was split in three, Austria, Hungary and Transylvania. All the British could achieve was that the split would be subject to a plebiscite, but in all independence won.

Germany was intended to suffer the same fate, vast tracts in the east went to Russia. In the west Alsace, Lorraine and the Saar went to France. What was left of Germany was to be split into four new states, Bavaria, Saxony, Prussia and the Rheinland. Once again the British were able to make the division subject to plebiscite, but at French insistence the Rheinland will remain under French occupation and its plebiscite include the option of union with France. It was one man who saved Germany from the same fate as Austria-Hungary, former Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria. He organised loyal forces to defeat the communist revolution which had engulfed Germany in the wake of their defeat. The German Civil War lasted three years and at the end, Rupprecht's personal charisma guaranteed the plebiscites voted to remain united. Even in the Rheinland, where the French delayed the plebiscite until 1931 and engaged in massive intimidation to force a vote for union with France, the vote was for Germany. Thus Germany survived as a single nation.

The Great Depression

Of all events in this world only the Great War rivals the Great Depression. Sparked in many respects by the Baltic War. With the US holding massive Russian debts, the possibility of a Russian collapse led to a fall in Wall Street which turned into a crash. With the long speculative boom of the 20s, the collapse spread rapidly around the globe. As the world financial system imploded businesses failed and unemployment soared. US economic activity fell by 54% and unemployment reached 37%. Only the Commonwealth was spared. The London Stock Market had almost crashed during the Middle Eastern Crisis. Only a massive injection of government cash had prevented it. Banking reforms were enacted in the wake of the crisis. These reforms insulated the Commonwealth from the global financial crisis.

But what the Commonwealth was hit by was the collapse of world trade. A large portion of the Commonwealth economy had always been focused on exports. Another large portion was shipbuilding. As world trade collapsed, so did the market for new ships. The Commonwealth responded with massive government subsidised program of shipbuilding, both to modernise the Commonwealth merchant marine and make it more competitive reducing freight costs, but also to build a strategic reserve of merchant ships. They also aggressively sought free trade agreements, offering access to their vast internal market. By 1934, The Commonwealth was out of the depression with economic activity restored to pre crash levels and growing.

The rest of the world was not so lucky. But also the effects were uneven. Excluded from Entente markets both by policy and prejudice, the defeated Central Powers had become strongly linked to the Commonwealth economy, while the rest of Europe had become intertwined with the US economy and especially dependent on US credit after the Commonwealth financial reforms in the mid 20s. Thus when the US economy collapsed, so did theirs. However Austria, Germany and Hungary weathered the storm far better, beginning to pull out of the depression by the mid 30s.

The depression also saw support for extremist politics soar. Governments were forced to bring in painful and highly unpopular measures to begin a recovery. These extremists offered a seemingly easier way and they also offered scapegoats. The left offered up the capitalist system, the right offered up the Jews.
Is there any sort of summary of this TL. Maps, desc of the society?

The Uneasy Peace

The Middle Eastern Crisis

The Ottoman Empire was one of the defeated Central Powers. As such they were not spared the harsh treatment of the others. They were stripped of vast territories, their military limited and placed under permanent occupation. However in some respects, they escaped the worst. The Commonwealth had far more input into the Treaty of Sevres than any of the other post war treaties. Most importantly, no reparations were imposed. This allowed the Turkish economy to recover far faster than the other defeated stated. Also, while under permanent occupation, the government retained some independence and retained the ability to participate in international affairs.

These were things Mustafa Kemal exploited to the fullest. He manoeuvred the other throw of the last Sultan and establishment of a republic. He negotiated trade agreements with the Commonwealth to strengthen the economy. He slowly began to slip from the Entente's grasp, weakening their grip on his government. He thought he saw his chance in 1924.

Holding Syria had proved difficult for the French. It had been plagued with unrest as Arab nationalism was fed by the independent neighbouring states. A revolt in 1920 had been brutally crushed. The Commonwealth had always supported Syrian dissidents. In 1924 a minor incident lead to a second, far larger uprising. Volunteers from the independent Arab states, armed and equipped by the Commonwealth, poured into Syria. The French were forced to withdraw a significant number of troops from Turkey in an attempt to suppress the revolt. Kemal thought he saw his chance. The remaining French garrisons were overwhelmed. This was the spark for the Middle Eastern Crisis.

The invaded Turkey, the Commonwealth had provided arms and equipment, but the Entente regulars began to push the Turks back. However in Syria the situation worsened when the rebels took the port of Latakia, cutting off the French forces from supply. An amphibious task force was dispatched to retake the port. The Commonwealth Mediterranean Fleet was put on alert. War appeared inevitable.

It was the moderate members of the Entente who forced talks. A deal was hashed out. Under the Copenhagen Agreement the French recognised the Arab world as in the Commonwealth sphere of influence and would withdraw from Syria. In return the Commonwealth recognised Turkey and the Balkans as part of the Entente sphere, ending support for the Turks and Wallachians. This doomed Kemal's revolt. It took a year but Turkey was subdued. The Treaty of Constantinople was as harsh as the Treaty of Neiully. Turkey was reduced to an Entente protectorate and the Turkish Straits stripped off into the Republic of Marmara.

The Turkish War

After the Entente reconquest of Turkey in 1926, the remnants of the Turkish army continued a campaign of guerilla warfare. Initially this campaign was no more than a minor nuisance. However the Copenhagen Agreement had lasted less than a year as the Entente began supporting Abdulaziz Ibn Saud of Najd in his campaign to conquer Hajaz.

With the Copenhagen Agreement violated, the Commonwealth resumed support for both the Turks and Wallachians. Training camps were established in Syria and Mustafa Kemal reorganised his forces as the Free Turkish Army or OTO. Even with this reorganisation and the resumption of Commonwealth support, OTO operations remained only a nuisance to the Entente occupation force for several years.

But as the OTO's numbers and training grew, they became more than a nuisance. By 1930 the Entente was diverting significant forces to suppress the OTO in southern Turkey. Also Entente raids against OTO training camps had become routine with an undeclared quasi war between the Entente and Commonwealth over the camps underway. By 1932, the OTO were operating throughout Turkey and the Republic of Marmara.

The OTO forces were now disciplined and hardened fighters, presenting a serious problem for the Entente. At this point Kemal developed a new strategy to directly challenge the occupation. OTO forces began training for a new form of warfare, partisan warfare. In 1934 the OTO staged an uprising. Guerillas hit Entente communication and command structures throughout Turkey. In the chaos, OTO regular troops entered southern Turkey and overwhelmed the isolated garrisons, allowing the OTO to establish a solid base for operations.

Under Kemal's new strategy small 400-600 man regular 'brigades' are reinforced by local militia to strike at Entente positions. The second line divisions the Entente had committed to the occupation have proved incapable of dealing with this new form of warfare. Now the Entente conducts multi division sweeps with extensive air support. While these always inflict casualties, frequently heavy, the OTO is continuing to grow in strength and is now beginning to engage the Entente in open warfare.

The Wallachian Wars

Wallachia, the sucking wound of the Balkans. Few places in the world are more benighted than Wallachia. In the wake of their defeat in the Great war Romania was split in two. Moldova was given to Russia and Wallachia was effectively reduced to an Entente protectorate. The guerillas sprung up before the ink was dry on the Treaty of Neiully. Thus begun the First Wallachian War. The Commonwealth gladly armed and financed these guerillas. Soon Wallachia was tying down hundreds of thousands of Entente troops. A brutal cycle developed, Wallachian guerillas would strike Entente forces and the Entente would launch reprisals against the local population. This fed support for the guerillas and incited more attacks, inevitably followed by more reprisals.

The Commonwealth had no hesitation in conducting a massive propaganda campaign in the US to highlight the methods being used to fight the First Wallachian War. The American public was outraged, there were even calls for a withdrawal from the Entente altogether. So a compromise of sorts was arranged in the mid 20s. Wallachia got some measure of autonomy, the new liberal Russian government gave up their portion of Wallachian reparations and returned control of the Ploesti oilfields to the Wallachians. The Entente garrison was withdrawn. This quieted things down, the economy improved somewhat and most of the guerillas laid down their arms. But the tiny gendarmarie Wallachia was permitted were never able to deal with the few who didn't.

It all fell apart with the Great Depression. The Wallachian economy was fragile at best. The depression killed it and those few remaining guerillas lead a rebellion which overthrew the government. The Entente responded by occupying the country again. This started the Second Wallachian War. And this would be a very different war.

Unlike the individual guerilla bands of the first war, this time the guerillas were unified. The AER, the Romanian Liberation Army, along with the Turkish OTO, are the model for all future guerilla movements. An anarchist group, it is ruthless, disciplined, organised and driven by a single goal, a united anarchist Romanian state including not only Wallachia, but also Moldova and Transylvania. Its attacks are coordinated and carefully planned. It began OTO style partisan warfare in 1936. Backed by the Warsaw Pact they tie down far more troops than the First Wallachian War ever did. However, despite the backing of the Warsaw Pact, their goal of a united anarchist Romania has not changed.

The Fourth Afghan War

After the Second Afghan War ended in 1881, Afghanistan was reduced to a de facto Commonwealth protectorate. In 1916 the Central Powers began funnelling arms and money to Afghan government in an attempt to keep the Commonwealth off balance. In 1917, the Third Afghan War erupted as the government launched an attempt to free itself from Commonwealth control. The war lasted until 1919 when Commonwealth bribes finally convinced the tribes to cease fighting. At this point Afghanistan became part of the Empire as a formal protectorate. Similarly, Persia had been occupied during the war and a Commonwealth inspired coup also brought it into the Empire.

However Afghanistan remained restless. Controlling the tribes was always difficult, requiring a mixture of bribery and coercion. During the cold war the Entente had been more than willing to stir up trouble. But it was in 1933 things became serious. The US was still a member of the Entente and facing the new cold war in Latin America. They poured money and arms to the tribes and the Forth Afghan War erupted. This was far more than simple local disturbances, the war was full scale revolt which quickly spread to Northern Persia. Two dozen divisions were required to restore control, but this did not end the war. The Entente continued to fund and equip the tribes and a brutal war developed.

Order has been restored to Persia, though the tribesmen of the north remain restless and a large garrison is deployed. But in Afghanistan, the war continues unabated. A curious war, fought as much with intrigue and bribery as with force of arms. Here the elites of both sides clash. The Commonwealth SAS and RM Commandos against French RCFS, RFSM and Russian Yager Kommandos.

The Jewish Diaspora

Europe has always been plagued by racism and prejudice toward Jews. However this soared after the Great War. The horror of the war left Europe in shock, with people desperately seeking a reason for the slaughter. For many the reason they found was the Jews. In the Entente the reason was the Jews had sabotaged the war effort and delayed victory. In the Central Powers it was the Jews had betrayed the army and stabbed it in the back. In both of course, it was the Jews who'd started it in the first place.

Throughout the 20s, while there were always politicians willing to take advantage of this, life for the Jews continued as before. This changed during the Great Depression. Once again someone had to be to blame, and once again it was the Jews. Racism and prejudice, already high because of the Great War, sky-rocketed. Attacks on Jewish businesses, violence against individual Jews all became common place.

But the darkest was yet to come. In 1932, the hero of the Battle of Rheims, Philippe Petáin capitalised on this growing prejudice to gain the Presidency of France. In 1933 far right militias rioted in Paris. Petáin declared a state of emergency and appointment Édouard de Castelnau as Prime Minister. De Castelnau begin a program to exclude Jews from public services and employment.

These laws spread rapidly. By 1935, every state in the Entente except the US had similar programs. And the violence escalated. And it spread to the Warsaw Pact. The authoritarian regimes started with their own programs. Some however stood against it. Former German President Rupprecht Wittelsbach threw his weight against the prejudice. Solely through his force of will the German constitution was amended to provide protection. Italy too brought in laws to protect the Jews.

Nonetheless, faced with this rising tide of persecution, the Jews began to leave. Some fled to the enlightened democracies. The Low Countries, the Nordic nations, Italy, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany. But far more left Europe entirely.

Many fled to the US and Japan, others to Latin America. But by far bulk went to the Commonwealth. To increase the population of the Dominions and provide the core of a skilled workforce in the colonies, the Commonwealth had instituted a program of subsidised migration. Millions of Jews took advantage of this. By 1938 approximately one fifth of the European Jewish population had left. And the flood is continuing. To escape the persecution, millions of Jews are leaving Europe behind.
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Things get both intresting and darker in a lot of ways the only thing I see is that in the Great War that the British didn't have any observers on both sides to see how the war is fought by both sides and adept changes.

I mean if the second Boer War happened as in OTL then the British Military is still undergoing massive reforms.