The Foggy Dew

Author: hoyarugby
Published: 2017-06-04, edited: 2017-06-04

Part of the campaign:

The Campaign by hoyarugby

The Foggy Dew - pt 2

Ireland has won a great, shocking victory over the Union of Britain. Despite a population twelve times smaller, with far less industry, wealth, and military power, Irish soldiers have crushed Union armies, capturing hundreds of thousands of soldiers and killing hundreds thousands more.
St. Paul's Cathedral, October 1944

London burns as Mosely's Maximist government falls into a civil war. As the war news from the north went from bad to worse, Mosely cracked down on his increasingly emboldened political opponents, a step that backfired horribly.

Autonomist and Congregationalist workers' militias rose up and battled Maximist troops in the streets of London, and the conflict spread from there to the rest of the country.
Anti-Maximist militiamen fighting in Wales

Although Mosley's troops managed to secure London, the English countryside was falling into chaos. Anti-Maximist militia battled British regulars and other pro-Maximist forces.

With the heavily industrial regions of the north lost to advancing Irish forces, Mosley had lost his base of support.
Anti-Maximist militias being recruited in East Anglia

Anti-Maximist militias and defecting army units then forced their way into London, sending Mosley and his loyalist forces retreating to the south. There, they boarded French ships and retreated to the Commune, vowing to return.
British POWs being marched into temporary camps in the Highlands, before being shipped to the Irish interior

Although the Autonomist and Congregationalist forces succeeded in ousting Mosley, their uprising proved the death knell of the Union of Britain.

With many of the army's regular divisions destroyed in fighting in Scotland and Northumberland, the British army devolved into a dizzying array of militias, volunteer companies, union regiments, home guard forces, and partisans. When the Civil War broke out, these groups fell apart. Militia fought militia, divisions surrendered en masse, other troops took the opportunity to desert, and those that did stand and fight were isolated and unsupported, and were easily defeated.
Irish infantry marching south

After the flight of Mosley, the Autonomists and Congregationalists themselves broke out into infighting, exacerbating the already deteriorating situation on the frontlines. Still, the two parties managed to put together a temporary unity government to try and save the country.

The linchpin of their defense would be the industrial city of Birmingham, the last major city north of London in British hands. Workers would be turned into soldiers, factories turned into fortresses, and the last regular divisions in the army would be committed.

The goal was to draw the Irish into bloody urban combat, draining Ireland's overstretched reserves and buying time for British expeditionary forces and French reinforcements to arrive and turn the tide
British militias defend a ruined factory in Birmingham

It failed. Despite bloody and brutal fighting in the city itself, spearheaded by Ireland's elite marine corps (made up largely of reformed anti-syndicalist paramilitaries, the Blueshirts), Irish armored divisions smashed through the weak defenses in the city's suburbs, surrounding it and cutting it off. After two weeks, the last of the British forces had died, surrendered, or deserted back to their homes.

With the fall of Birmingham, the British unity government collapsed. With Irish tanks less than 100 miles from London, the Autonomist leader and Welsh poet Niclas y Glais formally requested an armistace.

On November 21st, 1944, the Irish government agreed, and the war in Britain was over.
English soldiers in trenches near Glasgow

The war had been brutal. After the shocking Irish success in the Scottish Highlands, the war had devolved into trench fighting, where hundreds of thousands of British troops were killed in frontal assaults on dug-in Irish troops.

Veterans of both the Weltkrieg and the fighting along the Mulcahy Line (named after the brilliant Irish leader commanding) rated the war in Scotland to be worse.
Irish artillery firing in Northumberland

With British troops sucked into the trench fighting in Scotland, Irish troops were able to pull their armored, airborne, and marine forces off the frontlines and prepare a new operation.

As Marine and Airborne forces directly took the ports crucial to supply the invasion, Irish armored divisions landed in the north of England, quickly cutting off the bulk of the British army in Scotland. Irish infantry then surged south from their trenches, catching the disorganized British troops by surprise
Irish marines assaulting a factory in Liverpool

The fighting in Liverpool was particularly brutal. Fanatically anti-syndicalist Blueshirt forces stormed the city, fighting block by block to take the home of the British Revolution by story. They took horrendous casualties, and the city was mostly destroyed, but in the end it fell.
A checkpoint manned by Irish infantry

With the end of active combat operations, life in Britain settled down. With the Irish so completely outnumbered by the British population, the army could not afford to alienate the British population. Although checkpoints were common to visibly display the Irish presence throughout the country, there were no mass executions or arrests like were common in China, America, or Russia.
Female Irish recruits waiting to board a train near Galway

An important factor in the Irish victory was Ireland's female population. Aside from the role they played in operating Ireland's factories and farms with nearly every eligible man in the army, Irish women wore the uniform as well.

In particular, they were assigned to defending Ireland itself against a potential Syndicalist invasion while the Army was in Scotland. By mid-Summer 1944, all six divisions defending Ireland were female. However, as Ireland suffered nearly 200,000 casualties in the invasion of Britain (nearly 10% of Ireland's able bodied male population), the number of female soldiers is expected to grow exponentially.

Female tankers in Scotland

Irish women also fought directly on the front lines in Britain. In particular, women were thought to be especially suitable for service as tankers, due to their smaller stature fitting more comfortably into cramped Irish armor.

Most famously, the commanders of an all-female tank brigade formally accepted the surrender of the 100,000 British troops trapped at Scapa Flow
The war was devastating for Britain. The heaviest fighting took place in its greatest and most prosperous cities, causing massive damage and civilian casualties. The civil war then did terrible damage in the countryside. Finally, as British troops retreated south after the Irish invasion, they blew up bridges, wrecked railways, mined roads, destroyed dams, and did all they could in a desperate attempt to slow the advancing Irish.

British infrastructure will need a massive amount of rebuilding before it can function again.
A railyard in Birmingham, destroyed by retreating British forces
Factories near the Liverpool Docks, three months after the fighting ended

The shipyards and other industrial areas near the Liverpool waterfront were particularly hard hit. They were staunchly defended by workers militias, and despite bringing up artillery pieces to blast the buildings over open sights, Irish marines were still unable to take them.

They only fell after the LE Grace O'Malley, an Irish heavy cruiser, grounded itself in the mud offshore and raked the buildings with its 8 inch guns.
Irish infantry in a ruined factory

Factories were particularly hard hit. The British practice of using unions as the base of many of their infantry formations meant that many factories were turned into strongholds, and often had to be destroyed in order to take them
With the fall of Britain, Ireland was finally able to turn its attention to the rest of the world.

The war in France, like in 1915, was a bloody stalemate of horrifying proportions. Both sides had built extensive fortifications on their mutual border, and when war broke out it quickly settled into a bloody slog.

France and Germany have suffered over 5 million casualties each, and their allies on this multinational front have suffered even more.

Of particular note is the German puppet state of Belgium. Over a million Belgian soldiers alone have become casualties in fighting off the French invasion, totaling nearly 15% of its entire population.

Although the front remains static, privately German forces are very concerned by a French offensive in Alsace that, at horrible cost, has pushed across the Rhine near the Swiss border
A French fortress on the German border. Even when these concrete fortresses and their associated barbed wire, minefields, pillboxes, and other defenses fell, new defensive lines were usually in place. Each mile taken was bought with thousands of casualties
French tanks near Marseilles

The only exception to this grinding war of attrition was the Entente Invasion in late 1942. The Entente (mostly National French) launched a surprise invasion of southern France, overwhelming the Communard garrisons in the region and driving as far north as Vichy.

As German forces launched an offensive in tandem, it appeared for a few months that France would collapse. However, it was not to be. Anarchist Spain joined the war and attacked Entente forces, forcing Canadian and Portuguese reinforcements to be shipped there instead. The German offensive failed, and a Communard counterattack pushed the Entente back into Spain
National French anti-tank guns defending a ruined cathedral in Lyon
Belgian gunners fighting in the Ardennes
German infantry preparing to attack French forces in Lorraine
Exhausted German forces retreat on the Rhine front, past a knocked out assault gun
The war in Spain is a confused mess. The Spanish Anarchists managed to hold out in Barcelona while Entente forces occupied the rest of the country, but even now their situation is precarious. The casualties of the recent fighting and previous Civil War has drained Spain's manpower pool and destroyed much of its industry

Meanwhile, Entente forces are slowly being pushed back on the entire front. With the disaster in Canada and the horrendous casualties suffered by National France and Portugal (the main fighters on this front), the Entente is struggling to hold their positions. In particular, a large number of British troops have occupied northern Portugal, and only the chaos of the British surrender has stopped them from advancing on Lisbon
Anarchist Spanish forces resting after heavy fighting south of Barcelona.

The war in Spain has been notable for heavy use of partisans by both sides, and the war has been brutal toward civilian populations
Algerian Arab forces under National French command in Basque Country

Although National French forces very nearly reclaimed their homeland, it was not to be. After their frontline (and mostly ethnic French) forces were devastated, the French have increasingly turned to their Arab population to fill out their ranks. The Arabs have been given political concessions, but it is unclear how much longer Algerians and Tunisians will tolerate their sons being conscripted to die in Spain for France.
The Italian front is the newest of the war, with Italy only recently entering the war, thinking France exhausted and South Italy poorly defended.

The French border was lightly defended, and Alpini were able to take the passes and allow Italian regulars through. However, southern Italy was much better protected than previously thought. Rome is a frontline city, and South Italian forces have broken through Italian lines near Ancona.

The dynamism of this front is not likely to last. Intelligence estimates have seen the French heavily reinforce their border for a counterattack, and the Italians have stalled the South Italian advance. It's likely that this war, too, will turn into a bloody stalemate.
Italian Alpini in the French Alps

Italy's excellent mountain troops have proved to be instrumental in the Italian war effort thusfar.
Fresh French infantry divisions disembarking trains in Lyon

France has heavily reinforced their front with the Italians, and it is expected that Italy will be pushed back to their border within a month
The war in the east is the only bright spot for Mittleuropa. The Soviet entry into the war was poorly thought out, as large numbers of capable Ukrainian forces were able to stem the tide until German forces could arrive in significant number. Although Estonia and Latvia were overrun early in the war, Ukrainian forces have since pushed deep into the Russian steppe. Mittleuropan troops have nearly reached the Volga, and Moscow will soon be a front-line city.

The war in the East is notable for its multiethnic character. Germany's puppet states in the East have proved tough, reliable troops against the Soviet threat. Early in the war it was assumed that the slavic peoples of the East would flock to the banner of Soviet liberation, but that has not been the case.

Finally, not pictured here is the Finno-Soviet War. The Soviets arrogantly invaded Finland soon after they attacked Ukraine, but have been bloodily repulsed. The Soviets have suffered over a million casualties against tiny Finland, and for their part the Finns have encircled Petrograd. However this has come at a terrible cost, and Finland has run out of men to reinforce its armies. Their only hope in the long term is Mittleuropan forces capturing Moscow
Soviet tanks and infantry make a counterattack near Moscow.

As Mittleuropan troops have been drawn further and further into the USSR, Soviet resistance has hardened, and Soviet heavy tanks in particular have exacted a terrible toll on the lightly equipped Ukranians that man most Mittleuropan lines
Ukrainian infantry march through Tula, near Moscow.

Ukraine has cemented itself as a major partner in Mittleuropa with their effective resistance to Soviet force. However, it is not well equipped with modern logistics and heavy equipment, and the poor Russian roads and rails may defeat Ukraine where the Soviets could not
The war in China is a confused and multifaceted conflict. The Empire of Japan, rather than pick one fight at a time, has decided to fight the entire world. Japanese, Thai, and Manchurian forces have attacked the German possessions in East Asia, including Germany's Chinese allies, the Qing in the north and Republicans in the south.

At the same time, Japan is fighting Soviet forces in East Asia in a bid to conquer Siberia. Japan has allied itself to the Pacific States of America, and help them try to hold out against the CSA's red tide.

Finally, Japan has intervened to destroy the Mad Baron's Mongol Empire.

The war in Asia so far has been a stalemate. Although Thai forces overran German colonial troops in Indochina and have captured Singapore, Chinese forces have thus far held out against the Japanese. The two Chinas together have suffered nearly 1.5 million casualties, but China can afford the losses. However, Beijing is now on the front lines, and Japanese troops have landed in the south near Guangdong
Japanese troops advancing against Qing forces north of Beijing
Chinese Republican forces fighting off the Japanese SNLF troops trying to capture Guangdong
Finally, the war in America has been a disaster for the anti-Syndicalist cause. The Combined Syndicates of America decisively won their civil war, and quickly turned north. They rapidly overran New England, forced their way across the St Lawrence River, and have occupied most of Canada. Only Vancouver holds out, but Canada is exhausted by war. With most of its soldiers killed or captured abroad or during the invasion, it is only a matter of time before Vancouver falls.

What happens when Vancouver falls is the main question. The already battered Entente has already lost India, their hold in Spain is tenuous, and they are mostly out of manpower and industrial strength. If the main unifying force of the alliance falls, it may not survive.

The CSA also has attacked the PSA in the Western US. Although they have not made much progress at the moment, the massive population and industry of the CSA makes the conclusion inevitable, especially as Japan is too occupied in Asia to provide much assistance.

It is the CSA that most concerns Ireland. Once the CSA takes Canada and the PSA, the next place it will look is Europe, to aid their Syndicalist brothers there.

And Ireland is the only thing standing between the CSA and Europe.
CSA troops cross the St. Lawrence river. Once across, Canada would effectively cease to exist
Canadian infantry in the Rocky Mountains

The only thing that has kept Canada alive is rough terrain and poor infrastructure, despite the valor of Canadian soldiers. Once railroads get built and the Americans push through the mountains, Vancouver will fall.
Pacific States infantry fighting in Montana

The PSA's ranks have been swelled by hundreds of thousands of refugees from the former United States. However, even with these men and Japanese support, it is only a matter of time before the Syndicalist conquest of North America is complete
The LE Grace O'Malley, lead ship of the Derry class

The Irish Navy was a small, but elite service. Composed of a mix of heavy cruisers and destroyers, mostly modern, it was optimized for short range operations in coastal waters.

In the aftermath of the surrender of Britain, the fleet was ordered into the English Channel. It was thought that the disruption to Internationale naval planning caused by the surrender could allow the fleet to intercept isolated groups of enemy ships and raid any Internationale shipping caught out at sea.

What they encountered was far more significant: the bulk of the French and British navies, four battleships and a carrier, had been sheltering in Portsmouth, away from German bombers. As Irish troops approached the port it had to scramble to depart to avoid getting shelled by land forces

It was found by the Irish navy. 8 heavy cruisers, most who had never seen combat, surprised four battleships: the Flandre, Duquesne, Robspierre, and Georges Sorel.
The element of surprise gave the Irish a crucial advantage. Their cruisers' 8 inch guns were significantly outranged by the French 13 and 15 inch guns, but the Irish were able to nearly get in range before the disorganized French spotted them.

Irish destroyers rushed ahead of the cruisers for torpedo runs. A lucky hit immediately from the LE Arthur Griffith sunk the lone cruiser escorting the battleships, allowing the destroyers to get in close and draw the battleships' fire. Although four Irish destroyers were sunk, and the rest were badly damaged, they did their jobs: the French battleships were thrown off course and had to concentrate their fire on the smaller destroyers, and late in the battle, the crippled Flandre was sunk by torpedoes as it tried to flee.

While the French battleships concentrated on the destroyers, the Irish heavy cruisers bracketed the French with 8 inch shells, scoring hit after hit. The first ship to go down was the Flandre, whose steering was crippled by a shell, and later sunk by torpedoes from a destroyer. Soon after the Flandre fell out of line, the Robspierre suffered a catastrophic magazine failure and exploded. At this point the Georges Sorel and Duqense tried to flee, but were soon sunk.

The lone French carrier, a small experimental ship whose aircraft had been destroyed previously, was sunk easily.
The French battleship Flandre sinking after being disabled by Irish cruisers and then struck by torpedoes from a pair of destroyers.

The effects of the Battle of Portsmouth were titanic for Ireland. The upset victory was yet another feather in the cap of the seemingly invincible Irish military, and further demoralized the Internationale.

More importantly, it cleared the Channel of enemy ships.
Troops of the 1st Dublin Rifles encamped in Plymouth

Soon, Irish soldiers were pulled off occupation duty across Britain. Hastily assembled units of mostly female military police replaced them.

They all traveled south. Although what they would do next was officially a secret, everybody knew where they were going.
Light tanks of the 6th Flying Column (Cork) driving south

The devastated transport system of England was tested, as thousands of tanks and trucks streamed south, followed by huge stockpiles of food, fuel, ammunition
Paratroopers, supported by glider-borne artillery, make a practice landing

The sky over England was filled with the drone of transport planes and gliders, as Irish airborne divisions made practice landing after practice landing
Rather than feed Irishmen and women into the Belgian and Alsatian meatgrinders, Collins and his generals devised a new plan:

They would invade France.

Next chapter:

Game: Hearts of Iron IV

The Leaving of Liverpool - The Foggy Dew, Pt. 3: an Ireland Kaiserreich AAR

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