God Wills It - A HPM Roman AAR - Part 15

Author: ElvenAshwin
Published: 2017-02-06

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God Wills It - A HPM Roman AAR

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Game: Victoria 2

God Wills It - A HPM Roman AAR - Part 14

Images: 57, author: ElvenAshwin, published: 2017-02-06

Europe burns
Revenge is an act of passion; vengeance of justice. Injuries are revenged; crimes are avenged.

The Republic has never forgotten the crimes committed against it in its infancy by the Kingdom of France and her allies. The Republic has never forgotten the betrayal of the Austro-Hungarian Empire as we rose through the ranks of the Great Powers. And now the Republic will do unto our enemies so great a punishment, that we shall fear not their vengeance.

It is time for total war; for the mobilization of all strata of society. It is time for us to put aside our individual conflicts, our individual desires, and unite in the name of the Glory of the Republic. We last stood in such unison when the armies of the French were marching upon Rome; now we stand in unison as Rome marches on Paris.

With the declaration of war on France, Germany reciprocates and declares war on France and Austria-Hungary. Austria-Hungary declares war in defense of the French. Spain declares war on France in our favor within the week, and Belgium joins them soon after. The Dutch declare war on Belgium and the German Axis in support of France.

Russia stays cautiously out of the conflict, waiting for further developments, and the Germans attempt to court the Turkish Socialist Republic to join against Austria-Hungary.
The Battle of Tanta
The first major battle of the war breaks out in Egypt, where the French attempt an offensive in order to seize Cairo and neutralize the armies of Roman Africa. The French are engaged in Tanta by a Roman tank battalion, and troops stationed in Cairo are quickly ordered to move to defend our position.
The Horrors of Chemical Warfare
The Battle of Tanta is disastrous; unlike the complete and utter victories the Republic has been accustomed two in the last few decades, the conflict drags on with heavy casualties. Our initial attack on the French position see a huge number of our tanks destroyed in combat. Our soldiers retreat beyond the Bolbitine, where we attempt to withstand the French counterattack.

Chlorine gas is used regularly, and the soldiers struggle for their gas masks. Those who do not make it in time are relegated to a horrific death, oftentimes shot by their compatriots in a coup de grace.
Tanta Holds!
The French die in droves as they attempt to cross the river, and heavy casualties are sustained on both sides. Eventually, seeing no hope of a successful breakthrough, the French call off the counter attack and withdraw into French Egypt.
The Battle of Mansura
In a horrific miscalculation, the Roman General Lunardi decides against waiting for reinforcements to arrive upon receiving news of a French attack on Mansura.

Our tank divisions, undersupplied and depleted are unexpectedly destroyed in a failed early attack aiming to dislodge the French from their trenches, and our demoralized infantry are quickly overrun on the flanks, allowing the enemy to surround us. The French artillery, placed beyond the river, are untouchable.

Consul Alescio initially orders them not to retreat, ordering them to "die with glory" in the name of the Republic. Our troops withdraw to the city of Mansura - the colonial army, however, is not trained in urban warfare. The city is quickly surrounded by a pincer attack and the French begin their assaul.
Overwhelmed and destroyed
General Lunardi is injured in the midst of the battle, and Roman General di Borbone is placed in charge. In defiance of the Consul's orders, he prepares for an attempt to break out of the pocket and retreat further south with the survivors.

This breakout attempt succeeds, establishing a small corridor but with massive casualties. Of the 55 000 men who arrived in Tanta, 2421 escape. The rest remain stuck in the city, or die in an attempt to hold the corridor in order for their brothers to escape south. Many of our African regiments choose to stay in the city or offer surrender, which the French gladly accept.

The city is left to its own defenses, and the Roman army in Egypt flees to Suhaj, a city further south on the West Bank of the Nile.

Here, reinforcements are to be gathered by the Governors of Egypt, Sudan and Libya.
The European Front
Alescio initially ordered restraint in Europe, believing that the French would come to them, but in the wake of a massive German push into Alsace-Lorraine, and the Austro-Hungarians opting to focus on Germany's south to put pressure off France, the Consul orders for the invasion to proceed.

The Romans attack with incredible caution, always ensuring that there are sufficient reserves behind the frontline to reinforce the legions should the French attack.
Our regiments learn better
We begin to incorporate the latest developments from the field of psychology (and by latest we mean five decades outdated) in order to enhance our teaching.
The Austro-Hungarian Invasion of Albania
The Albanians, our great allies and brothers in arms, attempt to resist against a late Nay Austro-Hungarian invasion of Albania. Despite their valiant stand, they are quickly overrun. Prince William promises not to surrender, but begs Rome for troops and assistance.

The Consul does not respond, focused on the northern Italian fronts and drastically overestimating the strength of his enemies after the failure in Egypt.
The Pyrenees Front
Late May sees the opening of a front in the Pyrenees by the Spanish Republic, whilst the Belgians join the Germans in pressuring the French north-east.

The French now face attacks on all their borders, and issue a plea to the Russians for assistance. They also attempt to court the British Empire into providing military aid.
The Battle of Grenoble
The French attack into our highly entrenched position in Grenoble, attempting to breakthrough our trench lines. This, needless to say, fails due to their lack of artillery. Or overwhelming numbers. Or strategy.

All of which are generally agreed to be useful in war.
The Siege of Cairo
The civilians in Cairo are thrown into fear and darkness, as the city is subject to near constant shelling from the French army. Many begin to question where the Roman Army is - a few who witnessed the Romans flee past their city decry them as cowards.

Meanwhile, further down the Nile, the Governor of Egypt begins coordinating the supply of reinforcements to the Roman Army.
Two Months of War
The first two months of the war see several hundred thousand deaths, but these are largely on the German-French and German-Austrian fronts, and the impact to Rome is minimal outside of news of the happenings in Egypt.

Consul Alescio, desiring a clear mandate for the rest of the war, calls for elections in January 1918, in what is seen to be the first major test of the popularity of the war. With the newspapers printing report after report of atrocities committed by French troops, of scandalous French parliamentary politics, and of how ugly the French King is, Alescio is confident in another record shattering show of support.
Keep going south
The Roman army in Africa retreats even further south, as the reports come in that reinforcements, and new tanks, will take even longer to arrive than expected
A Call To Arms
As July approaches, it becomes known to the German Axis that the Russians are planning an intervention following the failure of the Allies in making major gains in the early months of the war.

Rome hence sends out missives begging for the assistance of Anti-Russian nations in order to turn the war in our tide.
Gee, thanks
The Savoyards promise to aid us against the Russians. We thank them for this completely unexpected event.
TO THE NORTH!
In early July, the Roman Army in Africa, now under intense pressure to turn the tide against the French, decides to begin its attack north upon the arrival of tens of thousands of an initial wave of reinforcments. Alescio approves this, despite warnings from his generals that he should wait for further waves.

Remnants of the original army are not given even a brief respite, and are forced to once more march north to face the French slaughter.
The Russians Posture
Russia announces a formal alliance with France in early July, alongside a renewal of the Anglo-Russian Alliance, but do not issue a declaration of war.

Germany now begins shifting its forces towards the east in the event of a Russian intervention. Meanwhile, the Kaiser and the Consul consider the event of a British intervention in the war. The Empire, whilst a firm critic of Roman expansionism, has restrained itself thus far.

The British Navy continues to operate in the Mediterranean, watching the war develop.
The Filangieri Family
The youngest brother of Nicola Filangieri, Fabio, leads an attack into digne. The French decide to launch a counteroffensive before we can dig in deep.

The Battle of the Gulf of Valencia
The Roman Navy, led by literally all our battleships at once, move to Valencia where a Spanish transport fleet is attempting to flee from the French Navy.
Russia Waits
The Bohemian Front sees neither side gain a significant upperhand, but after the first week of July the Germans gain the initiative and begin closing in on Prague. The city's officials are evacuated to Vienna.
The Western Front falters
The Germans are incapable of fighting on three fronts, with their troops fighting in the Netherlands, allowing for the French to begin pushing into the Rhineland.
Morocco, our great friend!
The Moroccans and the Germans coordinate an attack on French Algeria, and they quickly overrun it, with the French focused entirely on defending the mainland.
The Stakes Are High
With the numbers overwhelmingly in our favor, the Germans now begin to demand the destruction of France as part of any peace deal, and also suggest dividing up the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

This, naturally, alarms the Russians.
Egypt Falling
The main population centres in Egypt fall by the time the Roman Army arrives on July 17, and it attempts to defend Giza from falling to the sustained French offensive.

The French have stretched out their supply lines and suffer from a lack of morale resulting for operational exhaustion, but they come with significantly more divisions.
Our generals look LSD before taking this screenshot
The French continue their attempts to break the front line near Savoy, but fail to make significant gains. Nonetheless, it helps slow down our advance, as we are cautious about removing any armies from their entrenched positions.
Intervention in Digne
The armies of Savoy march towards Toulon, covering our southern flank, allowing our reserves to move to assist the legion in Digne.
This is escalating
As July comes to close, the front with the French appears to be nearly impenetrable, without any major pressure aside from reserve armies that are decimated by our artillery.
A Massive Failure to end the month
Under the utterly incompetent rule of General Lunardi, our once proud colonial legion rushes headfirst into disaster. The French, aware of our approach, manage to dig trenches and establish a strong defensive posture. In order to deal with this, Lunardi attempts to use our clearly incapable tanks to attack the French flanks and surround their forces, and then attempt to pressure them into surrender.

This plan, however, fails as our tanks are operated by the incompetent negroes who replaced the good blood killed in the Battle of Mansura. They are annihilated by the French, which many of the ill-disciplined among our ranks take to be a grave omen. Our troops guarding our flanks desert, and the French abandon their position to launch an all-out offensive, successfully surrounding our forces and forcing many into surrender. As the chain of command breaks down, Lunardi escapes, meeting up with those who deserted earlier and heading south. The Roman Colonial Army is destroyed.

With almost fifty thousand men dead or lost, the Roman Army withdraws. Alescio is enraged upon hearing the news, blaming the Africans serving in that army as being "incompetent".
Roman Navy on the Prowl
The Navy turns around to return to Italy to relieve a blockade of Albania and Greece's western ports by the Austro-Hungarian Navy.
The Greeks are on our side!
The Greeks, long time allies of the German Empire, joined the war on the side of the German Axis, and begin to mobilize. They ask for the Consul to help buy them time to liberate Albania.
Victory at Digne
The French breakthrough attempt at Digne fails miserably, and they retreat with over 80000 men lost. Roman papers use the victory, two days after the disaster at Giza, to distract the public from losses in Africa.

The Consul gives a speech about the "inevitability" of Roman victory, with no Italian troops losing ground against the French.
The Massawa Landings
The French Navy takes us by surprise as a colonial army lands in Massawa, transported all the way from Ivory Coast, in order to hasten the fall of all of Roman Africa.

The Arabians mobilize in our favor, and begin coordinating with the Ethiopian Republic, which affirms that it will defend Africa for the Roman Republic.
Total War
In the fourth month in the war, the momentum has shifted significantly in our favor, but over a million are believed to be dead. As we suffer catastrophic losses for minimal gains, the desire for vengeance and hatred of enemy burns greater than it has ever burned before. All of Rome rallies around the Consul, with the Senate doing little to posit different opinions.

And as August dawns, the Russians continue to be uncertain of their desire to involve themselves in what appears to be a losing war.
The Albanian Capitulation
With Prince William of Albania now certain that Roman help will not be coming, he agrees to surrender to the Austro-Hungarians, who demand the dismantlement of the Albanian army and hash reparation fines.
The Roman Navy Arrives
Four days following the Albanian surrender, the Roman Navy arrives near its coast, engaging with the entire Austro-Hungarian fleet.

Meanwhile, with the Austro-Hungarian withdrawing from Albania, the Greeks have time to gather their forces and mount a defense.
On the edge of victory
The battles of the first few months of the war have swung heavily in our favor, and the allies are retreating on every front. As it stands, the only thing which could stop the Axis would be a British-Russian intervention.
Crushed
The French face disaster on all fronts. Uncontested on the south, the Spaniards push forth, and repeated failed attempts by France to break the Italian front have allowed it to join together with the Germans to the north.
Roman Africa is burning
Despite these great victories at home, the French continue to press forth in Egypt and Sudan, where the broken remnants of an army struggles to recover. The Ethiopians prepare to launch a counteroffensive to assist the Romans in retaking colonial territory.
THE CZAR IS HERE
The behemoth rises from its slumber, ready to crush some overstretched German supply lines.

With August drawing to a close, the Austro-Hungarians lose ground and surrender Bohemia entirely, and in Italy the Roman army marches forth. There is now a significant threat of Vienna falling to the German armies. Meanwhile, the French are entire on the defensive, fighting back on three fronts.

Realizing that the Germans have now spread their forces thin, and that the war is still salvageable if Berlin is seized quickly, the Russians declare war on Germany and the Axis in early September 1917, urging the British to follow suit.
The Lines Are Drawn
The Axis (light blue) and the Allies(red) in early September.

With the British now considering intervention, Consul Alescio invites the British Prime Minister to Geneva for talks. The Brits make it clear that their non-involvement in the war will be determined by the territory seized by the Romans, warning them not to expand on Europe, as well as the terms forced on France and Austria-Hungary, advising against "proliferating rhetoric" that called for a destruction of the latter Empire.

In particular, the British want the Romans to seize no colonial territory whatsoever, lest they further their domination of the Dark Continent.
Do the French still have an army?
We continue overrunning the Southern French countryside, with little resistance. The Germans appearing to be bearing the brunt of French counteroffensives, but even then they have a meagre presence.
The Dutch Surrender
The Netherlands finally surrenders to the German armies, exiting the war, disbanding their army, disbanding their fortifications and agreeing to pay reparations. This frees up the German army to head east, where Russian troops have gathered in Poland, and a few divisions have moved as far west as Berlin.

Several Russian divisions are also sent to Austria-Hungary to stop the progress of the Bohemian front, but their presence is too little, too late.
Close-up of the Polish Front
German armies prepare to move into Poland.
The Big Break: The Battle of Bawiti
In the several months since the disaster at Giza in late July, the Roman Army in Africa has pieced itself together, and now readies itself for a big break: destroying the French armies and freeing the major population centers of Egypt. We choose the desert terrain of Bawiti for this attack, where our overwhelming numbers will be most evident and the French have no means to defend.

We manage to intercept the French as they pass through Bawiti, a desert province, where their supply lines are overstretched and their troops have succumbed to low Morale.
Four Armies in Algeria
The Moroccan and German armies meet in French Algeria. Meanwhile, the Sultanate of Algeria joins the war, invading French Algeria under the guarantee by the Roman Republic and by Germany that their nation will be restored.
General Lunardi is a failure
We take harsh casualties in Bawiti, but also destroy the majority of the French forces, which cannot easily be replenished. This will allow for us to move and retake all lost territory in the north.
The Germans seize the initiative
By the end of October, the Russian forces in Poland have thinned out, and the Russian beast struggles to mobilize and put together a competent frontline. The Germans begin attacking into Poland, and Swedish troops arrive to assist Germany.

Meanwhile, the Czar contemplates an invasion of Sweden to knock them out of the war, and score a moral victory against the Axis.
Import Subsidy cuts
In November, with the war seeming to drag on, Consul Alescio cuts import subsidies in an effort to send our budget into the green. Meanwhile, harsh shortages have hit large parts of our nation as the war takes it toll on the global economy.
Sweet, glorious profit margins
The Military-Industrial Syndicate delivers its biannual report, posting massive profit margins in the wake of the surge of prices of military goods. These profit margins then help keep our economy afloat, generating the revenue needed to sustain failing syndicates, such as those specializing in the production of common clothes.

Consul Alescio uses the war fervour to seize private factories and reorganize sections of the economy under his syndicalism plans. The Senate is unable to stand up against him; vilified as being "against the war" the instant they question him.
This is the hill half of us will die on
The Germans, now rushing towards Vienna with the fury of a thousand suns, add the annihilation of Austria-Hungary to their plans for the future. The Consul passively accepts, able to claim internationally that ultimately, he did not push for Austria's destruction; the Germans did.
The Roman Spear
With France now approaching the status of a failed state, Alescio gets brave, and orders an attack to spearhead deep into northern France, so as to ensure the Roman army will reach Paris before the Germans do.

Meanwhile, Rome has yet to mobilize its reserves. As Europe burns, the Romans watch, and profit.
Up Aswan
The French Army that landed in Massawa several months back and has taken much of Northern Sudan turns to Aswan, where it begins heading up the Nile River. The Roman Army in Africa works to liberate Giza.
Godamnit, France
Meanwhile, another French army lands on the beaches of Egypt, this time in Ras Gharib. Why the colonial regiments are so desperate to defeat us in Egypt whilst France burns is a strategic calculation we will never learn the reasoning for.
Armenia no!
Our friends over in Armenia, a nation we crafted solely to spite the Turks, is invaded by the Russians in November, and by early December 1917 are forced to surrender and disband their military.

This invasion irks the Turkish Socialist Republic as well as the Shahdom of Persia. Mustafa Suphi and Shah Ahmed of Persia both meet Roman and German delegates to join the war against Russia.
The Manchuria Campaign and Korea Campaign
The Japanese Shogunate joined several months ago in our favor (A German Axis with Germany, Rome and Japan. Who could've guessed!), and have seen large successes fighting in Manchuria and Korea. Their gains in Korea are partially reversed in late November, and a large Russian force sent to relieve Manchuria arrives in early December.
The Frontline in France
State of the fronts in western Europe, December 1917. Over 2 million casualties have been sustained thus far.
No more frenchmen
With the French army in Ras Gharib dispatched, the Roman Army in Africa heads south to Baris, where they hope to catch the French in unfavorable terrain.
The Roman Senate
The Senate arranges itself in 1918, now largely deflated of much of its power and influence. Consul Alescio, taking advantage of this, introduces several constitutional amendments granting more powers to the Consul, allowing him to personally control numerous facets of the economy and start wars without Senatorial approval. Finally, he also outlaws the creation of paramilitaries, making the Praetorian Guard the only legal paramilitary in the country as a defense force for the Consul.
Onwards General Filangieri
General Filangieri is ordered to the Eastern Front to assist the Germans, with the war in France largely wrapped up.
The Battle of Bari begins
The fleeing French army is cut off and surrounded, and the Battle of Bari begins.
A fine man
The French force is led by the esteemed General Jaures, a master of defense, who puts up a large fight as the world crumbles around the last major French army.
Turkey and Persia Declare War!
Consul Alescio wins the wartime elections in January 1918, with minimal media discussion of the other candidates. With this mandate, and the Republic solely focused on victory, Alescio leads us forth.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Socialist Republic reluctantly allies itself with us as it declares war on Russia in support of the German Axis in order to settle its personal feuds. Persia declares war on Russia soon after.
Sweet mother of Roman losses
The Romans face another pyrrhic victory (tanks aren't good kids). General Jaures and less than a thousand Frenchmen manage to stumble out of Bari and head deeper into French occupied territory to prepare their final stands.
There are italian people here!
In a meeting with the German Kaiser in Rome, the Consul announces his intention to annex the Austro-Hungarian province of Venetia, which contains a huge majority of Italians. The Kaiser approves; this will be the first Roman annexation on European soil since 1881.
The Bosnia Campaign
The Consul now orders for the occupation of Bosnia, hoping to be involved when the state is carved out of the remnants of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Mass iron shortages
The demand resulting from the war ramps of production of iron-dependant goods, resulting in a massive iron shortage across the Republic's factories.
Another Legion
Another Roman legion is sent to the Eastern Front to help with the push into the Baltics; at this point, it is uncertain what will force the Russians to surrender.
Sabre Rattling
The Romans conduct an assessment of British military power in the event of their intervention, and conclude that we're horrendously fucked.
All Return from France
With France almost fully occupied; with the French government having fled to Normandy, more and more legions are recalled, and re-assigned to the Austro-Hungarian Front, where Vienna has fallen and the Empire is on the verge of anarchy.
Our first battle on the Eastern Front
The Eastern Front continues to see massive casualty counts that were previously only commonplace in the beginning of the war. The Russians have taken to using conscripts and everyday men to serve as the bulk of their forces, resulting in huge deaths and only occasional minimal gains for the Czar.
The French Administration flees
The French King and French Prime Minister flees across the channel into Great Britain, where they're welcomed. The remaining free parts of France fall into anarchy.

The Romans, Spaniards and Germans divide France into administrative zones, to be administered until the end of the war and occupation.
The French Navy Arrives in the Red Sea
With the French retaining complete control over the Suez Canal, we are unable to send our Navy to the Red Sea to assist.
GIVE UP FRANCE
More troops are bussed over from Ivory Coast and land on the beaches of Egypt, awaiting slaughter at the hands of the Roman Army.
A Good Time to be a New World State
As France, Austria-Hungary and Russia burn, many flee to the Americas, where they are promised freedom and liberty for all.

Except the black people.
The War in South America
Unnoticed to the Consul at first, it appears that the South American states have used the war, and their divisions along the German and French axes, to settle their own conflicts.
Indecisive
The war in Peru is largely indecisive, with the Peruvians (allied with us) on the defensive but in a position to quickly overwhelm the smaller armies in their country.
Colony grabbing, why not
The Spanish decide to put in an early request for some West African colony we aren't concerned about.
Romania is on our side!
The Romanians, looking to annex core territory from the Austro-Hungarians, join the war on our side. Their navy is attacked in the mediterranean by the French. The Roman Navy arrives to help
The overall state of the east
You can draw a fairly pleasing curve here.

Whilst the Russians are not yet out, they soon risk being part of the single largest frontline in history, and being left without allies.
Baltic Operations
Our legions arrive in the Baltics, where we are part of the German effort to take the region and then march on St Petersburg.
Goodbye, French fleet
The French fleet is rapidly sunk and destroyed by our Navy.
Here Lies the Roman First Fleet
Victim of my inability to look before clicking.
A Most Precise Science
After over a year of Roman troops dying by the droves and suffocating in the yellow clouds of hell, our chemists finally decide that maybe they should try and do something to stop that. The very first gas masks become available in June of 1918, as the war in the East rages on and over 4 million casualties have been sustained.
The Last of France
The final pockets of French resistance are crushed under the glorious boot of the Spaniards and Romans. France is now a tricolor of Grey, Orange and Yellow, in the least pleasing Republican flag to ever exist. At the very least, it beats the flag of France that we normally see on the battlefield, consisting of a white cross on a white background.
DA JEWSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
The British extend a guarantee of the protection of Israel, now worried of a militant Consul Alescio turning around and destroying the fledgling Jewish state.

This is preposterous, why would we want to deal with more Jews than we have to? It is also definitive proof that the Jews control the British government, according to our Great Consul.
COMMUNIST JEWS COMMUNIST JEWS
HOLY FUCK THEY ACTUALLY ELECTED THE MARXISTS THIS IS OBVIOUS PROOF THAT THEY'RE COMMIES WHY HASN'T ANYONE REPORTED ON THIS THE MEDIA IS OWNED BY THE JEWSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

*Ahem*. The Great Consul condemns the recent election of a Marxist party to the Israelite government, and uses it to vindicate his rhetoric that the Jews were all Marxists waiting to overthrow the Roman Republic.
Here Lies the Austro-Hungarian Empire
By late June, the front line has passed beyond the entirety of Austria-Hungary with some pockets of resistance yet to be crushed.

Plans are made for the division of its corpse, and the Germans now press the Russians to surrender, at little cost to themselves.
Goddamnit, Sweden
The Russians launch a naval invasion of Sweden, forcing the Germans to rush to bail out their incompetent northern ally. This, however, requires capturing Denmark, which had been largely ignored since the start of the war. The invasion of Denmark proceeds in late June as the Germans attempt to save the Swedes before they are forced into surrender.
They took the long route
Meanwhile, other German forces move through Finland without being attacked by a Finnish populace largely angry at the Russian Czar for the minor offence of having and invaded their land and enslaved their people, and begin making inroads into Sweden from the North.
The Germans arrive to bail us out
Tired of continuous incompetence in the Roman North Africa campaign, German units arrive in July of 1918, landing on the shores of French Africa and helping to stamp out the pockets of French and anti-colonialist resistance.
The Austro-Hungarian Machine runs out of steam
A small force sent to occupy and defeat the Greeks makes some early progress in the north, but is depleted by August. The Greeks ready to push back and liberate their country.
No South Italians allowed here?
Apparently, we still don't tolerate the South. Nonetheless, we're all united under the glory of our Consul Alescio
The War in the Middle-East
The Turkish and Persian declarations of war on Russia, made in response to the Russians moving a large army into Armenia in what they saw as a aggressive action, leads to the creation of a new front in the Middle-East.
The Fallout
Despite massive losses in Europe, the Russians see incredible successes in the Middle-East in mid-1918. They overwhelm Tabriz and north-eastern Persia, and begin their attack on the Roman territory of Iraq - a front which we are not prepared to defend.

Meanwhile, whilst the Persians put up a brave resistance, the Turks had their decimated by Alescio only a few years prior, and are unable to stop Russian incursions into Kurdistan.

Consul Alescio declares the Roman Near-East territories as compromised, and orders his generals not to expend resources in their defeat. The Arabians are told to turn their troops around and stem the Russian flow into Roman territory.
The Attack From China
Japanese expeditionary forces launch attacks into Russian central asia from Xinjiang. The Qing allow for the movement of Japanese forces through their territory, much to the dismay of the Russians, who hoped to get them to declare war on Japan, turning the tide in the far east.
The Invasion of Suez
Sixty years ago the French annexed Suez from the Egyptians - now, the Romans return as liberators. Not wanting to anger the British Empire and stoke them into initiating hostilities, the Romans follow German instructions not to directly annex Suez, but rather promise to turn it into a free, neutral state, independent of all European influence.

(sandwiched between the Roman colonial holdings. Totes neutral, though)
Praise Be
Radio begins to be widely adopted across the Roman Republic - Alescio moves quickly and crafts legislation banning "anti-Roman Propaganda" and forcing the registry of all radio stations, under the "Wartime Unity Act". The Consul promises the Socialist Party's leaders that he will act with them as a "Ruling Coalition" - if they help pass the act.

This, Alescio hopes, will let him absorb the Socialist Party into the Roman Front, granting him a majority in the Senate and setting the stage for the final awakening of the Roman people. The Socialists, on the other hand, hope to moderate his stances - the war has been a massive success, and hence Alescio-style foreign policy has ultimately emerged victorious. The Socialists seek to be able to moderate him on social policy, and inject Christian Socialism into Fascism.

And all the while, the Praetorian Guard watches.
The Africa Campaign Ends!
Hostilities in Africa end completely in October of 1918, with the remnants of the French government conceding defeat. French armies - having operated as individual militias with no semblance of a chain of command since the fall of Paris - now fall apart in entirety.

Meanwhile, the Germans begin Operation Winterfell, opening up the largest front in world history as they sweep past Austria-Hungary. Russia now stands alone as its two continental allies remain dead in the water.
The French Swan Song
With the fall of Suez, the French fleet flees into the Red Sea - surrounded by hostile nations, with no friendly ports nearby. Their misery does not last for long, as the Roman Navy, now able to pass through Suez, engages them.

The final vestige of the French Nation, its proud navy that has lasted this long, has met its end. Thousands of French sailors resign themselves to their fate, prepared to meet their watery grave in a final salute to their fatherland.
Peace Talks begin
Consul Alescio rejects the Russian plea for the safe return of the French sailors in return for the disbandment of the French navy. Meanwhile, the Roman armies prepare for an operation to retake the Middle-East.

Russia calls for a ceasefire across Europe.
The Roman Navy Expands
The news of the final battle in the Red Sea, widely publicized across Europe as the final battle of the war, win the Roman Navy great pride and prestige within the Republic. Alescio approves the construction of several cruisers and the replacement of old ships.

Meanwhile, Rome's admirals express worry at the state of the battle.
The hand strikes from the grave
In a surprising, but ultimately pointless victory, the French strike a poetic blow. Even as France remains in anarchy and the state ceases to exist - the French will fight from beyond the grave.

Older Roman ships are routed and destroyed by the French Navy, leaving our battleships exposed. Consul Alescio orders a retreat, during which the RNS Clary and RNS Augustus are both sunk and destroyed by the French fleet, taking thousands down with them.
Replacement fleet
Alescio, embarrassed by the loss, orders for the lost ships to be replaced. Meanwhile, the Russians agree to peace, and exiting the war.
It Was Over By Christmas
In one cold winter morning, news breaks across the Republic: the war is over.

France and Austria-Hungary unconditionally surrender to the Republic and Germany following the Russian surrender, allowing for them to be partitioned as desired. East Prussia is annexed into Germany, and the Romans annex the province of Venetia. Furthermore, both Germany and Rome agree to divide up the French colonies and dissolve the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

All of this, of course, in direct violation of British demands. But the war is over. Seven million men are dead, and two Empires have fallen. Rome, led by her most Magnificent Consul Claudio Alescio have avenged those who have wronged us in the past.

It does not matter what the British think: the Great War is over. Our victory is eternal. Now that our enemies have fallen at our feet and all conflict has been resolved through the might of our Republic and her Consul, we finally have what man has desired throughout the ages:

Peace in our time.

Next chapter:

Game: Victoria 2

God Wills It - A HPM Roman AAR - Part 16

Images: 47, author: ElvenAshwin, published: 2017-02-06

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Rhode Island Bowl - Part 0 - Yo, I heard you liked unhappiness

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