To the Empire Eternal Part Eleven 1944

Author: Electricfox
Published: 2018-11-17, edited: 1970-01-01

Part of the campaign:

To the Empire Eternal

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Game: Darkest Hour: A Hearts of Iron Game

To the Empire Eternal Part Ten - 1943 Part Two Shifting Sands May - December

Images: 20, author: Electricfox, published: 2018-11-17, edited: 1970-01-01

British forces push into Communist Congo
At the dawn of 1944, the war against Hejaz was heading into its climax, with British and French forces pushing into the Arabian peninsula. The Soviet forces had overrun most of eastern Europe, Japan and Italy had fallen to Allied forces and the only enemy left untouched so far was the Peoples Republic of Belgium which continued its struggle from the Congo after the fall of Brussels itself.

The Hejaz forces fought well, but were completely outnumbered and overpowered by the combined weight of the British, French and in some cases American attackers.
In Italy, around the same time, a new government was formed as the state was released from occupation by France.

The new government almost immediately pledged to join the war against Hejaz and Belgium, although it was clear after their major defeat that they wouldn't be in a position to do so for a while, and France would keep the African colonies that it had taken from Italy, which would help create a springboard for operations against Communist Belgium.
In March an unexpected and for many in the UK a saddening event occurred in the war in Hejaz, when during a major battle in El Mukalla, British forces found themselves fighting a familiar face.

It was unknown what had prompted General Lawrence to side with Hejaz against his native kingdom, many in the high command theorised that he had gone native. However we shall never know for he kept his thoughts to himself and died at the end of the battle, leading a cavalry charge whilst riding his motorcycle. His body was returned to the United Kingdom where it was buried with full military honours.
Meanwhile in Europe, more changes to the political system were underway as the Soviet occupation forces began to leave Germany, setting up a new government under a German who had surrendered to the Soviet Union during the battle of Voroshilovgrad. Walther von Seydlitz-Kurzbach was scorned by many in Germany who considered him a traitor to the Third Reich...but Germany was a different country now, the German Democratic Republic would need a firm and hard hand to continue to exist, and soon the borders of French, Holland and Belgium would find themselves under assault by dozens of refugees seeking asylum from an authoritarian Soviet puppet.
Lebanon also emerged from underneath the shadow of French dominance of the Middle East.
Then in April, with its guiding figure of General Lawrence dead and most of the peninsula under Allied control, Hejaz fell.

British forces were stood down and the situation assessed. The colonies in the East Indies were still underneath anarchist control, and this could not be continued, likewise the communist Belgian forces needed to be contained before the Soviets took even more territory.
However, the biggest thing of note in mid-1944 for the United Kingdom was the political and global scandal which drove Prime Minister Mosley from power and saw Britain take a turn to the left away from right wing authoritarianism.
It was the release of footage of the conditions inside German labour camps for Jewish prisoners, and the discovery in a vault in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee of the minutes of a meeting in which the systematic extermination of the Jews was discussed by high ranking Nazi officials.
Following the release of these documents to the world by Secretary von-Seydlitz-Kurbach, most likely done so in an effort to draw a line under his Nazi service and help de-Nazify Germany, the far-right became even more estranged from the general public than it had before, and the viewpoints of Prime Minister Mosley came under increasing scrutiny. Finally he was forced to resign and call a snap election in June 1944 in which Labour candidate Clement Attlee was swept to power.

(Authors note, let that be a lesson to people, you turn your back on politics for five minutes and Mosley takes over)
Following that brief political crisis, British forces returned to the Caribbean, which had been neglected since the social upheaval of the 1920s and 1930s. The scene was not pretty, although also not universal. In some areas the native populace had faired well for themselves, in others there had been savage brutality and infighting.
Many new 'warlords' refused to surrender their power when British forces arrived and so scattered fighting spread throughout the area before it could be pacified.
Then, in October came the final push to end the war, a drive deep into Communist Belgium in the Congo. However the Soviet forces were also there, moving fast, faster than anyone had expected as they too sought their pound of flesh.
On the 5th of November, despite stern warnings from London, the Australian government decided that it had no dog in the fight in Africa and so sought a separate peace with the communist state. Needless to say the UK government was unimpressed but they respected Australia's right of self-determination in this issue.
Later that same month, the forces that Secretary von-Seydlitz-Kurzbach had put into motion became his undoing, as his Soviet masters decided that it would be hard to denazify a country whilst having a member of its armed forces in power. So it looked around for a safer pair of hands and found them in the quiet and unassuming Johannes Dieckmann, who had spent the war in a quiet job in oil and fuel companies. Better still, his brother had been executed for plotting to kill Hitler. He was perfect for the job, and even more perfect for the Soviets was the final annexation of Tannu Tuva into the Soviet Union after months of political and economic pressure.
The I Armoured Corps pushes into Luluabourg, Communist Belgium.
Then, in December it finally happened...

With British tanks pushing deep into the capital of the Peoples Republic of Belgium, and French forces sweeping in from the west. The General Secretary shot himself, and his deputy sought terms of peace with France. Soon the ink on the paper was dry, and what was once the Peoples Republic of Belgium was annexed by France.
The war which had ravaged the whole world was over, and on Christmas day 1944, the church bells all over Britain rang out in celebration, not only of the birth of Christ but also of the end of war and of the de-mobilisation of the armed forces and general public. Thousands of men would soon be returning home to their families, and whilst political shenanigans continued on the world stage, with Communist and Nationalist China at war with each other, and the Republic of Korea leaving the alliance it had with the Allied forces...

but now was the time for peace, and for rejoicing. The world was safe once again...
Un-noticed by those partying in the streets were the absense of several ministers, who had been ferried out to a remote island in the Pacific where the natives had been unceremoniously evicted a few months prior.
These men were sat down in a rather spartan bunker and handed welding masks to wear as a man sat nearby counting down in a monotone voice.
On the 25th December 1944, at 02:00 GMT, the countdown reached zero...
...and the world changed forever.

Next chapter:

Game: Darkest Hour: A Hearts of Iron Game

To the Empire Eternal Part Twelve - The Second World War, and the effect it had on the world

Images: 6, author: Electricfox, published: 2018-11-17, edited: 1970-01-01

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