God Wills It - A HPM Roman AAR - Part 14

Author: ElvenAshwin
Published: 2017-02-06, edited: 1970-01-01

Part of the campaign:

God Wills It - A HPM Roman AAR

Previous part:

Game: Victoria 2

God Wills It - A HPM Roman AAR - Part 13

Images: 79, author: ElvenAshwin, published: 2017-02-06, edited: 1970-01-01

From Victory to Victory!
1453 was avenged!

The men who once destroyed the Eternal Empire have fallen at the feet of your leader, of our great Consul Claudio Alescio! In his first term he has destroyed an Empire that has lasted six hundred years!

Rome will rise! None shall stand in our way! Today Constantinople - tomorrow Paris - and London the week after! The Empire will be reborn, the Eagle will rise!

All Hail Alescio,
Hail to the man who brought us glory,
Long Live the Consul!

The World shall tremble as it's greatest man steps forth
A mighty nation needs a mighty navy
The Mediterranean belongs to the Romans, and the Romans only. To ensure this is the case, we must establish a strong navy. The Great Consul Alescio commands on March 31 1913 for the construction of two new battleships: the RNS Clary and the RNS Alescio.
The War is Over!
The end of the war brings widespread jubilation to the Roman Republic. Consul Alescio is endlessly praised in newspapers throughout the Republic: including the ones that have yet to be seized by the state! Much of Europe watches on, planning to attend the Constantinople Conference, where the remnants of the Ottoman Empire will be divided.

All of this is in the midst of an election season, where the other parties have effectively conceded any chance to regain the Consulship.
Budget rebalancing
After having sustained a massive deficit for numerous months, the budget is rebalanced for peacetime to allow for the reserves to recover. Consul Alescio also promises massive tax cuts across the board as he campaigns, to the jubilation of Romans everywhere.

Many socialist and moderate voters now begrudgingly begin to respect the man. I mean - sure he's an imperialistic racist autocrat who aims to create a massive cult of personality around himself, but at least the Turks died on time.
British intervention
The British sign the Anglo-Turkish Agreement in May of 1913, as talks continue over the partition of the Ottoman Empire. The Brits promise to protect the Turkish Socialist Republic from all future attacks, and to prevent the Romans from annexing its "core" territory.
The Praetorian Guard
Consul Alescio creates the Praetorian Guard, a paramilitary wing of the Roman Front, so as to "facilitate revolutionary activities" and preserve the spirit of the Republic. He begins to attend events constantly accompanies by the Praetorians. Other Senators begin to express worries that Alescio would use the Guard as an extreme form of intimidation, similar to Socialist tactics under the Primo era.
The First Roman Majority
The 1913 Roman Convention occurs on June 14, where they elect Consul Alescio as Consul of the Roman Republic by a massive margin. Alescio secures the first ever delegate majority since the founding of the Republic.

The elections, while assumed to be a Roman Front sweep from the get go, shatters the Moderate Party, which snatches less than 10% of the delegates, a position usually reserved for extremist parties.
The Benghazi Port
The capture of Benghazi marks a massive foreign policy achievement for the Alescio administration: it now allows for access to Roman Africa without having to pass through French territory. Alescio orders over 200 000 pounds to be placed towards constructing a state of the art port in Benghazi.
On the edge of infamy caps
In a move that dismays Europe's powers, Alescio pushes for all of Libya to be granted to him, as opposed to the partition with Germany. Some begin to suggest that there's no use negotiating with the Consul, but the French foreign minister insists that Alescio can be reasoned with, and should not be made an enemy.
Rome annexes the entirety of the middle-east into Roman mandates, except for Palestine. It instead grants Palestine to several Jewish leaders to craft a new Jewish state, and so that the Romans can finally kick all the Jews out of Italy.

Consul Alescio uses the fact that he returned the Jews to their homeland to prove he isn't racist, as he turns around and tells "the filthy Marxists" to get out of his country.

(I admit I only clicked the Balfour Declaration because it's really tempting to click buttons, and this was a move I gained nothing out of)
This seems perfectly reasonable
One of our mandates, Lebanon, is a mix of Sunnis and Shias, and hence we need to find out how to bring stability to it. Consul Alescio determines that its rulers must be Catholic, as everyone would hate them equally, and so that they can spread the One True Religion throughout the Middle-East.
The Spoils
All of the Turkish middle-east is annexed into our colonial empire, Armenia is released as a large, friendly nation on the border with the Turks, and the Libyan Protectorate is created (with a sliver of land going to the Germans so as to grant them a Mediterranean port).
Are you lot really going to fight a war over this?
Meanwhile, the British and French are too busy occasionally sinking the others' ships over a crisis in Panama to pay attention to our sweeping dismantlement of the sick man of Europe.
The Balkans
Albania is created as a state out of the westernmost Turkish Balkans. Meanwhile, Greece is restored to its maximum extent, and Bulgaria is handed most of the remaining territory west of Thrace.

Some contention exists over the Turkish province of Xanthe (the exclave in the picture). Bulgaria asks to annex it, but Rome desires to turn it into a Roman port in the Aegean.
Join us, Albania
Consul Alescio pays a visit to Albania, which is a ruled by a Prince William. William and the Albanian National Assembly give Alescio a hero's welcome, crediting him for freeing their nation from their Turkish oppressors. Alescio suggests closer integration between Albania and Rome, and signs numerous trade deals.
Fuck yer, yer silly Jews
The newly founded Republic of Israel falls out with the Roman Republic when its leader has to audacity to visit Rome to thank Consul Alescio. Alescio orders him thrown out of the Senate, calling him "unfit to address the poorest Italian".
The syndicalism touted by Consul Alescio has now become accepted among Roman Economists as an effective means of organizing the national economy. Well, except for Bill, who disagrees, but Bill died of a heart attack last week.
The Port of Xanthe
Xanthe is annexed into the Roman Republic in the final round of talks, ending the partition of the Turkish Socialist Republic.
France backs down
Upon being informed that the British have a much larger navy, the French decide to let this whole Panama thing go.
Allies Forever
Albania signs the Roman-Albanian Alliance, now ensuring we'll be friends forever, and most definitely will not suddenly invade them in 1939.

This marks the beginning of Consul Alescio's greater "Balkan plan", which involves converting most of the Balkans to the Roman sphere, thus completing one of the final few stages for the effective restoration of the Roman Empire.
Fascists in Serbia
The Serb government is overthrown by a fascist dictator known to his people as "the Colonel", who is disappointed by Serbia's lack of gains in the Treaty of Constantinople, but is a fan of Consul Alescio.
The West Bank
The Israelites, finding issues with the existing Palestinian population, carve out a mini-state for them in the West Bank. Palestine is largely unrecognized by the international community, and fighting rages on in the Gaza strip, where a separate Palestinian government attempts to establish itself.
Bankruptcy Laws
The Liberal Party, largely quiet on social issues since the rise of Alescio, pushes through Bankruptcy law reforms, allowing people to finally exit the cycle of debt and poverty. They proudly list the bill as a major accomplishment, expecting a reward from the hundreds of thousands of lives it may have lifted out of the shadows. They, instead, get silence, as the populace rallies around a speech decrying the evils of those who oppose the Consul.
The Senators for Sale Scandal
The struggling Moderate party is hit by a major scandal, revealed by the government-owned Roman Times newspaper. It appears that multiple Moderate Senators offered to vote along the Party line of another Party in exchange for monetary payment, in the form of gifts.

Consul Alescio attacks the Moderate Party as "The Party of Whores", and calls moderatism cowardly and "indecisive", with it being only logical for the Roman people to head for the extremes.

The scandal lowers public confidence in all the establishment parties, due to the insinuation that the other parties took up the offer so as to push through legislation.
Out of the colonies
The Liberal Party criticizes government expenditure on maintaining our massive colonial empire, which backfires horrendously as the Moderates, Socialists and Fascists unite in opposition.
Man can reach the sky
Alescio orders investment into the militarization of aircraft, believing there to be large potential for their effectiveness in combat.

The Consul also gives a speech on "reclaiming" Sinai and the northern Egyptian coast. The French Kingdom condemns such rhetoric.
The Fifth Olympic Games
The Roman Olympics begin in Rome 1914. The event sees the entire world congregate in the Grand City. During the opening ceremony, much of Europe's delegates and officials watch on with a mixture of curiosity and suppressed dread as thousands of Romans simultaneously give Consul Alescio the Roman Salute.

The Turkish players are also reportedly attacked by zealous Roman Front supporters, but this is condemned by the great Consul, who asks for "peaceful competition" and for Rome's greatest to be shown to the world.
A Museum of Natural History
Consul Alescio approves the creation of a Museum of Natural History, as part of his greater dedication for improving the arts and sciences within Rome. International observers use these actions as proof that the Consul does not mean to continue his aggressive foreign policy.
Why can't I declare war? You just can't sir
After the Olympic games wrap up, towards the end of the year, the Consul approaches his military leaders, and asks to be briefed on what would occur on the event of war with France and Austria. He then asks for plans to be drafted for an invasion of both, simultaneously, assuming German assistance.
The Collapse of the Saudi Kingdom
A coup is staged in Saudi Arabia, with a military leader assuming control of Arabia. A National Assembly is established, although the country is effectively a Presidential Dictatorship, and elections are a sham.

The Arabians reaffirm their protectorate status and do not do anything to upset the Roman Governor of Arabia. Alescio decides against intervention.
Damnit, Savoy
The Savoyards run into trouble when, in early 1915, they are caught sending democratic agents over into the French Kingdom to instigate a revolution.

The Romans insist they are not responsible for Savoy's actions, despite Savoy effectively be an autonomous sub-Republic of the Roman Republic.

Consul Alescio uses the opportunity to remind the Roman Republic of the "crimes" comitted by the French when they invaded the young Republic on multiple occasions in the 1870s and 1880s. He also now vows revenge.
The Albanians reaffirm their commitment
Albania renews their alliance with us, and in the talk of war with France, affirm their commitment to the "Consul who liberated us all".
The Catanzaro Massacre
Several farmers, on the instigation of a Jewish communist revolutionary, begin rioting in Catanzaro, which quickly spreads into general communist rioting across the province. The government cracks down, sending the province into lockdown as they massacre thousands of suspected communist sympathizers, including numerous Jews that had nothing to tie them to events. The revolutionary is caught and deported to Israel.
Naval expansion
Consul Alescio increases funding to the Navy's R&D, where they begin experimenting with a class of battleships that will eventually become known as Dreadnoughts.
The Alescio tax cuts
In mid-1915, with the Roman reserves now at historic, unprecedented levels, Consul Alescio announces a series of massive tax cuts to the lower and middle classes that pass with Liberal Party support.
A Liberal Party Scandal!
In late 1915, the Roman times reports on what appear to be inaccuracies in the Liberal Party's reporting of campaign contributions to the elections of numerous Liberal Senators in the 1912, 1913, 1914 and 1915 Senatorial elections. The quantities reported for individual donations for each Senator sum up to less than the total reported campaign contributions for the entire Liberal Party in that year.

An investigation into this then finds that the extra money was made by several senior Liberal Party members through the sale of liquor to rich businessmen in Cairo - at several thousand pounds per bottle of liquor.

This culminates a Praetorian Guard raid of Liberal party offices, which leads to the arrest of numerous members of the Party for having, in a veiled manner, accepted several thousand times the campaign donation limit.

The scandal, the second major one in a few years, shocks the Roman public to such an extent they conveniently ignore the fact that a private paramilitary, the Praetorians, led a raid on Senator offices without warrants.

Consul Alescio claims the scandal is "clear evidence" that the Establishment parties cannot be trusted, weakening their influence once more.
A syndicate is created in Rome to control the production of oil from coal, so as to fuel our tanks in the event of a war.
The Establishment Falls
With the most recent controversy damaging all remnants of Establishment support, the pollsters predict as much as a 60% delegate victory for Consul Alescio in the next Roman election.

In the Senatorial races, the Socialists now surge ahead of the Liberals, and the Moderates have been relegated to only 15% of the Senate, in what is effectively their final few years in existence.
Safety Regulations
The Socialist Party uses its newfound strength in 1916 to push through workplace safety reforms, to address the concerns of numerous voters. Alescio quickly attaches his name, and that of the National Front, to the bill, claiming part of the glory.
The Tank Units
Alescio orders the construction of the very first tank division in the Roman Army.

In the meantime, he gathers his generals and announces his desire to invade and destroy the French Kingdom within the next year.
Oh fuck me Poland
Some people in Poland get drunk, things escalate, and now a global crisis is on our hands.

The crisis throws Consul Alescio's plans into jeopardy, as it risks starting a global war not on his terms, and with Russia as the focus as opposed to France.

Nonetheless, he uses the opportunity to give several rousing speeches to the Roman public and on Roman Radio, reminding the people of the "horrors inflicted by the French", of the hundreds of thousands of men who died defending our Republic in its earliest hour. He reminds the people of Dominus Molinelli and Dominus Grifeo, both men who gained their claim to fame fighting the French in the battlefield. He reminds them of Dominus Filangieri, who passed away in 1915, whose nickname "Francicus Maximus" was derived from his victories of the French in battle.

He circulates, via the Roman Times, paintings of the various battles held outside the gates of Rome, where General Filangieri, on several occasions, led a brave and desperate defense of the Republic. He talks about how the French came very close to destroying the heart of our Republic, and how its finally time to strike back.
Side against the Germans
In a shock move, Consul Alescio sides against Germany in the conflict, urging them to stand down. This is viewed as a grave betrayal by Wilhelm II, who demands an explanation. Alescio visits Berlin to explain the issue.
The German Axis remains strong
He notes the collapse of the Russian-French Alliance, and argues that France and Austria-Hungary can more easily be defeated together than with the Russians involved. The Kaiser is not as outraged as before, but given that the Russians now demand the annexation of East Prussia, still has his trust in the Consul shaken.
East Prussia Annexed!
Russian forces move into east Prussia and annex it, as per the Berlin Peace Accords.

Alescio explains his move to the Roman public as being necessary to avoid war with Russia - it is France they want destroyed, not the Russians. Despite the fact that he very clearly dodged a war with France, the Roman public is accepting of this answer.
Socialist Safety Reform
Another slew of new workplace safety measures are introduced in a Fascist-Socialist collaboration in response to a major accident in a Roman artillery factory.
The Glory days of the Republic
Not a single yellow slice of the pie! Luxury among the poor! This is a sustainable utopia!
Reclaim Sinai!
Believing everything to be in order, Consul Alescio now begins an aggressive campaign to promote war to reclaim Roman holdings in Egypt and to end the Kingdom of France.
How cute, you're still above us in ranking
This won't last for long
Prepare the industry for war!
The Roman economy has a strong wartime industry, which should be enough to sustain the war effort (and keep the economy afloat), as we charge headlong into oblivion.
Oh how the middle falls!
The 1917 Senatorial Elections see a major event. The Roman Front surges to 15% of the Senate, putting them, a "minor party" above the 10% of seats the Moderates obtained. This effectively represents the end of the Moderate Party as a relevant force in Roman politics, and leaves the Senate a clash between the Liberal and Socialist Parties.

The Roman Front's 15%, combined with its strict adherence to voting as a united bloc rather than the Moderates who tend to have individual preferences, means that Consul Alescio now has total control over whether Liberal or Socialist legislature passes through the Senate, giving him a surprising level of control over both parties.

Furthermore, his tendency to side with Socialist policies now mean his "bloc" has over half the Senate under its control. Combined with his ability to torpedo all Socialist legislature, this allows him to exercise control over the Socialists and force them into said voting bloc for issues that matter to him.
A Place in the Sun
The calls for France to hand over its colonies meet little international condemnation, with the French foreign minister still swearing behind his belief that the Romans are not serious: a belief supported with Alescio's stance against Germany in the Berlin Peace Accords.
The Republic is ready for war
But even if the world doesn't take Rome seriously, its people are now utterly in love with the notion of the war of vengeance. With the war successfully sold to the Roman public, Consul Alescio gets ready for his final dream to be realized.
The War Taxes Act
The Consul alarms France and Austria-Hungary upon passage of the War Taxes Act in February of 1917, suggesting its immediate mobilization for war.

France and Austria-Hungary pass similar bills and ready themselves for conflict. The French foreign minister visits Rome in order to urge Alescio to stand down. Upon his return, he reports that Alescio appears to be "delirious", as if he were living "in a world of his own, that does not match reality".

The Germans affirm their commitment to Alescio and the Roman Republic, believing that Russia will not intervene in any eventual war.
The Roman Front
A Roman Front politican in Savoy gets elected as President of the Republic, thus putting the Consul in a dominating position over Savoy (whose Upper House is almost entirely dominated by the Roman Front).

War is Coming
In late April, French intelligence reports on the movement of a massive invasion force moved to Cairo, and then moved to the border with French Egypt.

The French Prime Minister, on April 25, orders his troops to mobilize. On April 26, Austria-Hungary and Germany mobilize.
The declaration of war
On early April 27, the Roman Senate gathers in an emergency meeting. Consul Alescio introduces a bill declaring war on France - the bill passes unanimously.

The declaration of war arrives in Paris via telegram.
With the stroke of a pen, and the signing of a bill, Europe is now at war. This is what the Roman people wanted, this is what the Roman people voted for. Thousands gather to greet the Consul as he leaves the building, celebrating the "glorious and great war" with the French.

It is unfortunate then, that as many of them will soon find out, war in the 20th century is anything but glorious and great.

All of Europe plunges into fire, and its inhabitants celebrate.

Next chapter:

Game: Victoria 2

God Wills It - A HPM Roman AAR - Part 15

Images: 105, author: ElvenAshwin, published: 2017-02-06, edited: 1970-01-01