Death to the West - A Persian HPM AAR - Part 9

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

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Death to the West - A Persian HPM AAR

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Death to the West - A Persian HPM AAR - Part 8

Images: 104, author: ElvenAshwin, published: 2017-02-06, edited: 1970-01-01

Our Darkest Hour
One pull of a trigger is all it takes to send millions of young men to their deaths.

The immediate aftermath of the death of Shah Mofazzar is one of chaos. The French spy was promised by Ghorbani (or, as he would have known it, an unknown informant) that his safety was guaranteed from the balcony he was hiding in.

It must have been amusing then, to Ghorbani, to see the look of confusion as Persian guards,having been tipped off about a potential threat by another "unknown informant" but given slightly inaccurate information, tackled him to the ground. As quickly as the Shah had fallen dead, one of the guards whipped out a pistol, placed it between the spy's eyes and fired.

A crowd rapidly converges upon the body of the Shah. The bullet had gone clean through his head - there was no hope of survival. He is pronounced dead on the spot. Ghorbani is quickly moved away, due to fears of further assassins lurking in the region.

As the news breaks in the radio networks, Persia falls apart. Initial reports indicate the assassin is French - and Ghorbani fuels the fire by claiming that the Russians were involved.

The Persian people are ready for war.
Germany reacts
With the news reaching the world over within the day, Ottoman troops cross into Persia at the order of the German Kaiser. There is a fear that Persia will experience the same level of collapse that it did in the days following the death of Shah Naser al-Din.

The Kaiser immediately phones the British Prime Minister, demanding that none of their regiments cross into Persia, or risk escalation.
Russia moves
Russian regiments in central asia are rushed to the border with Persia following the sudden and unexpected result of the assasination. They were promised by Ghorbani that he would take charge and end the risk of hostilities.

Ghorbani, instead, issues an order for all Persian troops to shoot any Russians without hesitation. He also demands justice for what France has done - leaving the French confused. Until an international meeting convenes, nothing can be certain.
Revolutionary elements organize
Within the day, revolutionaries begin to rise up in Tehran and elswhere. They see the death of the Shah as an ideal time to overthrow the system entirely, and demand a constitution.

Ghorbani reacts harshly. He orders for Persian forces to fire on any suspected revolutionaries, and establishes a curfew. Persia's major cities shut down, and movement between them is heavily restricted. Ghorbani declares a state of emergency, granting himself absolutist powers, in order to maintain stability within Persia.
Death to France! Death to Russia! Death to the West!
Ghorbani issues a national address in the vening. He decries the incident as foreign aggression - the culmination of decades of tensions between Persia and the Russians. Despite the assassin being French he insists that there is intelligence to show heavy Russian influence.

"Something must be done. Persia has been at peace for the last 13 years, but peace cannot remain forever. So as long as there are foreign powers envious of our grand prestige, so as long as there are foreign powers willing to damage and destroy our institutions, there cannot be peace.

So join me, Persia, and begin the final war to end the constant sabotaging of Persia by the west. Join me in the war to end all wars!"
The War Taxes Act
Ghorbani, using his emergency powers, passes the War Taxes Act within the same day, hiking taxes on everyone in society in order to boost the purchase of weapons and supplies. German manufacturies now begin selling weapons to Persia.

The international community sits and waits for the next move.
There must be stability!
Ghorbani addresses a massive crowd gathered outside the palace the day after the assassination. He insists that any revolutionary attempts would weaken Persia as enemy forces sat directly outside our borders, ready to strike. He calls for death to those who oppose the Persian rise, and death to those who stand in the path to glory. Russia will fall - there is no other way.

He says that the next Shah will be chosen directly by him, so as to lead Persia effectively, in a break from traditional succession laws. Until then, he will remain with emergency powers.

It will all be worth it, for there is nothing more important than Persian Glory.
The Conference of Paris, March 13
Three days after the death of the Shah, with Ghorbani solidifying his rule over Persia through the help of his friends in the military, world leaders convene in Paris.

Here, the French accuse Ghorbani of being part of the plot to assassinate the Shah - in doing so, they also fully admit responsibility for the incident, forcing condemnation from the rest of the world powers. Ghorbani decries the claims as "falsifications" and "unrealistic lies" that aim to excuse their heinous crimes. Ghorbani then accuses Russia of continuing to hide their involvement.

The French, and Russians, feeling betrayed, withdraw unilaterally from the negotiations. The Americans begin to campaign on the French side, arguing against a war, stating that the present pro-war rhetoric in Persia was dangerous and destructive. The United Kingdom issues a promise to remain neutral, should a war break out.

Behind the scenes, Ghorbani arranges for additional arms shipments from the British Empire.
The Succession crisis
Back at home, there is trouble as Ghorbani opposes the most obvious successor - Mofazzar's son, Mohammad Ali.

Mohammad Ali, whilst a conservative islamist, refuses to bow down to Ghorbani's demands for additional Prime Minister powers, claiming that Ghorbani intends to seize power in Persia. For these destabilizing comments in Persia's darkest hour, Ghorbani orders on the afternoon of March 13, through phone, for Mohammad Ali to be shot.

The military, firmly allied with Ghorbani, obliges whilst royal officials hesitate.

The final ascension
Rumours are now abound that the military has conducted a coup with its shooting of Mohammad Ali. Numerous prominent generals deny this, and in a desperate attempt to maintain legitimacy decide to pick Ahmad Qajar, the son of Mohammad Ali, as the rightful heir to the throne.

Ghorbani later accepts this decision - Ahmad is young and easily to influence. Ahmad, a notable clock enthusiast, was not expecting to be made Shah. He agrees to the terms suggested, giving Ghorbani complete control over the military and forcing all domestic policies of the Shah to go through Parliament. Furthermore, all foreign policy decisions must be made with Ghorbani's approval, although the Shah will nominally hold complete power.

Furthermore, none of the contents of the agreement are to be made known to the public, leaving the Shah vulnerable to public anger should Ghorbani screw up.

The ascension manages to calm the situation down in Persia, but the international community is now panicked
The Crisis in April
The next two months leading up to the fateful day of May 1 see chaos across the international stage. Ghorbani takes charge of foreign affairs as Shah Ahmad still needs time to get used to affairs. This, however, puts him directly responsible for the future of Persia and its youth.

On March 21, after several calls by the six term democratically elected Russian President Vladislav Notputin to Ghorbani, it becomes clear that the Persians are not willing to negotiate. Notputin hence calls the French Prime Minister and asks him for his support should either Persia or Germany move against Russia.

Persia begins the process of mobilization on the 24th of March, just after the Persian Foreign Minister returns from a trip to Germany where he guaranteed that Persia and Germany would fight any coming war together. Germany, however, hesitates to mobilize, believing Ghorbani's intents to be imperialist and destructive. They still want to maintain a strong international front together with Persia, wary of the Russians invading and toppling their middle-eastern allies.

The British begin arm sales to every party involved.

The Ottoman Sultan is contacted over the phone on April 1st, where he is urged to move his troops towards his borders with Russia. He agrees, however he remains uncertain over whether the Empire wants to join any war.

Germany calls Notputin on April 4th, urging him to pull his armies away from the border with Persia, as Ghorbani insisted that he would not demobilize unless the Russians pulled back.

This move, however, angers the German military. Top officials, now itching for war with Russia and France, torpedo any further attempts by the Kaiser to make peace.

In the meantime, France cracks down on anti-war advocates. The French President begins mobilization and moves troops towards the German border on April 11. The Russians do the same on April 12.

Germany is now at the heart of the crisis. Should war break out, their enemies remain far more prepared than they are. On April 14, the German Kaiser mobilizes his armed forces and commences movement towards the German-Russian border.

With the situation now impossible to defuse, Ghorbani looks for allies. Ghorbani calls upon their long time friend in Sweden, and pressures the Prime Minister to stand with Persia. The German Kaiser rebukes Ghorbani in private for this, but cannot let a hint of weakness be seen by the Russians. The Kaiser, with his military actively working against him, now must make his force so overwhelming that the enemy will agree to stand down. He rapidly accelerates the course of the crisis in the hopes of scaring the Russian-French alliance. The Austro-Hungarian Empire pledges its allegiance to Germany and Persia on April 19.

With the tensions in Europe high, the Americans, who had sided against a war, finally decide to intervene. On April 20 the American President Ronald Trump addresses the nation, where he decries the Germans and the Persians as warmongerers. This speech marks the first time the term "Central Powers" was used to refer to the alliance between Germany, Austria-Hungary, Sweden, the Ottomans and Persia.

Ghorbani and the Kaiser refuse to back down even after the Americans threaten to intervene. The Kaiser's plan of overwhelming their enemy and scaring them by threatening total destruction fails as on April 22, the American President formally aligns himself with France and Russia in the "Defence of Liberty". Ronald Trump justifies his position, stating that the Central Powers save Sweden are all ruled by absolutist monarchs, whereas France and Russia both boast a democracy (granted, the Russians keep electing Vladislav Notputin with approval ratings nearing 120% in certain provinces, but that's just because he's a good leader)

On April 23 a flustered Kaiser issues a call directly to the Shah of Persia, rather than Ghorbani. He insists that, with the Americans joining, there is no hope left for war to be avoided. The Kaiser's strategy of accelerating the conflict has failed. Here he learns that the Shah has been kept entirely in the dark about advancements in the crisis. Ghorbani now rules in Persia.

The next week now stands to be the final chance for the return of peace. A terrified young Shah calls, without Ghorbani's knowledge, the Japanese government. He wants to ensure their participation on Persia's side, alongside their close ally in the Empire of China (North China). Japan refuses this proposal, but guarantees their neutrality. The Empire of China and Nationalist China both refrain from taking a stance.

On April 27, Ghorbani learns of the Shah's exploits behind the scenes. He orders for the Shah to be restrained, accusing him of mental instability. Parliament, now effectively under the control of Ghorbani, approves this move.
The Declaration of War
On May 1, Persia issues the declaration of war on France. Russia and America declare war on Persia. Austria-Hungary, Germany and Sweden declare war on France, Russia and America. The Ottoman Empire refrains from further participation.
The End War Has Come
The dream of many a Qajar Shah has come to fruition, Ghorbani thinks, as the world descends into war. This is the final result of all his efforts. Persia will destroy its mortal enemy, or it will die.
Advance in the Caucasus
Persian troops in central Asia take up defensive positions. Forces in the Caucasus now advance forwards to territory that, a century ago, were distinctly Iranian.

There is little response from Russia. In Europe, the Russians attempt an attack on the German position.
Backwards, Comrades! Wait, what?
Russian forces begin to pull out from Central Asia as it becomes clear that more forces are needed in Europe. Valdislav Notputin believes that the future of Russia would be decided not by the Persians, but the Germans.
Into Turkestan!
Persian forces cross into Russian Turkestan as the Russian defence begins to vanish.
Bloodshed in the fields of Europe
German forces repel the weak Russian assault, and cross into Poland and the Baltics. In Austria-Hungary, the front is significantly weaker as Russian troops spill into Hungary towards the south.

The greatest bloodshed is witnessed in the German-French border. Germany attacks French forces in overwhelming numbers, but the French manage to barely hold on.
Activate my trump card
Ghorbani now begins to call upon all historic enemies of Russia, urging them to intervene and switch the balance of powers against the Allied forces. Now is the time to end the Russian bear, once and for all.
The Empire Stands with Thee
The ancient enemy of the Ottoman Empire now joins forces with the Persian Army, in the Final War to decide the future of nations.
The June Offensive
With little to no resistance in the Caucasus or Turkmenistan, Persian forces advance deeper into Russian territory, abandoning their defensive positions within Persia itself.
The Western Front thins out
By the end of the second month of the war, casualties on the western front have already become horrific. French troops have been pulled back, and there are not enough left oto defend it against the surging German forces.
It really did thin out
Damned duplicates. But yes, so very thin.
Russia falls back on the north
Poland is abandoned as the Russian army struggles to maintain its front line against the central powers.
It'll be over by Christmas
The massive initial successes of the Central Powers have led to the conclusion that the war wil come to an end soon, as Russian and French forces are forced to retreat.
Socialized Healthcare
Ghorbani instructs for a socialized healthcare system, the Imperial Health System, to be implemented in Persia so as to increase support for the government. The war has been easy on Persia thus far, with minimal losses and little to no Russian resistance.
The Second Offensive
With much of Central Asia secured under Persian control, Ghorbani orders for a second wave of attacks outwards.
Russia Finally Arrives
Russian armies have been retreating from Siberia to Europe for months in order to relieve the forces over there. One of these armies are diverted south to Persian Uzbekistan, where they overwhelm local forces.
Surround and Conquer
Persian forces arrive in Bukhara, ready to relieve Samarkand of its siege. The Russians move to relieve parts of occupied Russian Central Asia, unaware that a much larger force awaits them.
Into Europe!
The first Persian forces, to the west of the Arals, move past the Ural river into Europe as part of the greater push north. Ghorbani hopes to cut off supplies to Siberia and then advance on the rest of the Russian region.
A French Breakthrough
The arrival of French conscripts to the western front allows for a breakthrough in the north. The hope is to put sufficient pressure on Germany so as to force them to give up their advance in the south.

In the meantime, French ministers convince the Fins to join the war against Sweden. Russian President Vladislav Notputin gets a guarantee from both Imperial and Nationalist China that they will not attack Russian Siberia. A few days later, both Chinese factions join the war on the side of the Allies.
But... we're helping
Ghorbani discusses the future of Russia with the Germans, however they do not take his requests seriously as they believe that the Persians have contributed comparatively little as compared to the millions of European men already dead.
A Trap
Russian forces engage our armies in Central Asia. Unknown to them a large force is arriving to reinforce. To the south, a separate Persian army moves to lift the Russian occupation of Samarkand.
The SIege of Samarkand
Russian troops withdraw to the ancient city itself, and the Persians commence a siege. The Russians have no supplies and should fall soon. At the same time, however, another Russian force crosses into Qarshi.
Remember Hainan
Chinese troops cross into Hainan, in order to occupy the last remaining Persian territory in China. Here, a small regiment remains. They request evacuation, as there is no hope in defending Hainan from the incoming forces.

Tehran is silent. In one of the greatest PR misplays of Ghorbani's regime, he condemns the regiment defending Hainan to death. The newspapers are ablaze with anger over the decision, forcing Ghorbani to seize control of numerous news companies and ban the remainder. There will be no weakness in Persia.
Disaster Strikes
Soon after the misplay at Hainan, Persian forces attempting to cross the Ural River are surrounded and forced to surrender. They are massacred wholesale immediately after.

It is clear that the Russians will not be kind to Persian forces. And, back at home, Ghorbani vows death for those who desert or turn around.

Not a step back.
Rush to defend the west
After crossing into Turkistan, Ghorbani orders Persian forces to retreat to defend the captured territory to the west of the Aral Sea, asRussia steps up its defence of its central territories.
The Fall of the Russians
The Russian force aimed at capturing Samarkand is hunted down and destroyed in entirety.
Wait, what?
My god why the fuck doesn't this game have supply lines, I can't come up with crap to justify how a Russian army is attacking Persia in Tehran.
The War in the Caucasus
Fighting in the high altitudes of the Caucasus has already claimed many lives. Persia has explicitly avoided offensives into well defended Russian positions. The Ottomans, however, do not seem to care for casualties.

A vastly inferior Russian force attempts to attack one of our entrenched forces. Russians are not well known for military intelligence. Or any kind of intelligence really.
France swings north
German conscripts overwhelm French conscripts. At the same time, America has done little military wise, as boots on the ground are not a very popular notion within America. Ronald Trump, the well known fascist, will not be able to get his war it seems.

The French front line swings further north so as to defend Paris.
The Horrors of Chemical Warfare
The force sieging Samarkand gives up and moves south to defend Qarshi.
The Russians attack our defensive force in Qarshi use chlorine gas, as we have for a while now. Casualties are high on both sides.
The Qarshi Breakthrough
Human testing on Persian soldiers affected by Chlorine gas in Persia (as authorized by Ghorbani) allow for the Persians to develop a means to counter the greatest new weapon of war.

Such a weapon would surely never be surpassed, and bring an end to all war?

Well not as long as Ghorbani has a say in it.
Russians Repelled
The Qarshi Breakthrough allow for the Persians to easily win against the Russian forces, who have no defense against the constant chemical attacks.
Sweet Jesus the Massacre
The Russians attempt a breakthrough in the Caucasus through overwhelming numbers. They are mowed down with our machine guns as our soldiers drink tea upon the mountain tops. Several Persian troops die when they fall down the mountain whilst counting the number of Russian dead.
Why do you still try?
Despite constant defeats in dislodging the army at Ganja, the RUssians try again. The caucasian front has grown to become one of the most devastating fronts. For the Russians, anyway.
Caucasus circa October 1919
A Swedish unit has arrived in the region, covering the coastal parts of the Caucasus. The constant Russian attempts to dislodge the force at ganja have allowed for the Ottomans to advance further. Seeing the losses in the region, Russian troops from Crimea and Ukraine swing south to help defend.
Wait, this is a war?
Some begin to question whether the entrenched position in the mountains of the caucasus are the front line of a war, or a gas chamber where Russians come willingly. Probably to relieve themselves from being Russian.
Ottoman Reinforcement
As Russia brings more troops to liberate the eastern parts of the region, the Ottomans bring a large force of peasants and other such unimportant peoples to push back the Russian forces.
Damnit, will we never be able to play?
The Germans continue to reject our attempts to discuss a division of the Russian Empire. Ghorbani is increasingly worried that this war may just result in what it was initially intended for - a dismantlement of France. Ghorbani doesn't care about the French, he really just wants to set fire to St Petersburg (Notputingrad as it is known now). Or Moscow. Where is the Russian capital again?
Central Asian advance
The Russians move from their position within the forests to the south of the Aral to attack one of our divisions. Unknown to them, a seperate army held back in Persian Central Asia moves to defend their brothers in arms.

As with every single time the Russians have tried to attack one of our positions, it's a trap.

Similarly, another Allied force attacks us to the west, near the city of Nukus. The plan is to repel the wave of attacks and then begin rushing west to Moscow, so the damned Germans will let us negotiate a Russian partition.
Sweet, sweet defensive bonuses
The allies are repelled at Nukus. It appears that their commanders have yet to realize that attacking into a highly entrenched position without overwhelming numbers is not considered sound strategy.
Onwards to the West!
With the offensive (if it may even be called that) repelled, our armies head to the north of the Caspian to the city of Atyrau. Atyrau has long lost its strategic significance, but the Persians will use it, it's port and the Caspian as a base from which they can supply an attack into Russia proper.

Meanwhile, back at home, Ghorbani hears murmurs of the Shah throwing a birthday party for one of his servants. For a party, many of its attendees behave with secrecy. Ghorbani is led to believe it might be a surprise party. When confronting the Shah about it, it appears that is the case, although the Shah seemed nervous about the whole affair.
Who needs men when you have a -6 dig in bonus?
The Russian attack into Khiva fails, but more troops arrive from Siberia and head towards Bukhara and Samarkand. Much to Ghorbani's chagrin, it appears that continues assaults by tiny Russian forces will prevent any major movement of all Persian troops to Russia. He considers a separate line of attack, moving north from the Caucasus, but this will mean finding an opportunity where the Russians are *not* massacring themselves on our machine guns.
Wait, how did you get there?
A brave Russian regiment rushes for the major city of Tabriz, and begins to entrench themselves around it and simultaneously set up a siege because... that makes sense.

Wary of attacking into a defensive position, Ghorbani orders an overwhelming number of troops to be gathered from several newly created regiments, and then to run themselves into the Russians until we win.
The... French are coming?
It appears the French, who are still struggling with their homeland being occupied, were considerate enough to send an army to central asia to deal with the mild threat of Persia.

Either that or some Russians flew their flag sideways after drinking far too much vodka in order to drown the sorrow of being beaten by brown skinned people.
The Caucasian Front
Russia continues to waste huge numbers of men attempting to dislodge our armies in the mountain, despite the fact that we pose no actual threat as we haven't made an offensive manoeuvre in months.

Meanwhile, Ottoman forces have thinned out as they attempted to advance north without our support, and hence Germany has sent an army to join in on the Russian genocide.
Attack in Perovsk
Following the victory in Khiva our armies were sent north to Perovsk, where they were told to hold it against any Russian attempts to take it. Due to the terrain in the region, it would be advantageous to prevent a Russian army from entrenching itself in the province.
Caucasus Circa February 1920
The Swedes have advanced further from Abkhazia and the Black Sea coast as the Russians have begun to run out of men. The war has entered its eighth month, and despite a poor showing from the allies, the sheer number of troops the Russians have raised will make sealing the deal a difficult task. Ghorbani promises the end of the war by this Christmas. This time for real.

Back at the palace, the Shah seems to have thrown numerous more surprise parties. They all seem to have a wizard theme, as everyone tends to show up in cloaks with concealed weapons and nervous looks. It doesn't matter to Ghorbani as a party animal of a Shah is even easier to influence.
The definition of bravery
When Persians are given orders, Persians follow through. An army of nine thousand hold Perovsk against an unexpected attack of 44 000 Russian men. Ghorbani admits he forgot that he ever sent troops to Perovsk, but keeps them there as they're doing a fine job.
The War Circa Yer One
The war is close to finishing its first year

As the death toll passes several million in Europe, the Germans are offended by Persian requests for more negotiating power. Persia's homeland has largely been untouched and it has only lost several hundred thousand men. Their contribution to the overall war effort has been miniscule. As much as Ghorbani may try, history will remember this as a war between Germany and its enemies. Persia was merely the excuse to a war.
The Eastern Front
As evidence to support his claim that Europe has done far more than Persia, the Germany point to the Eastern Front. Here, Austro-Hungarian troops have occupied Ukraine and are heading south to join Persian and Ottoman troops in the Caucasus. The Germans have taken Belarus, Poland and the Baltics, and the Swedes have attacked from the north, taking the Russian capital in St Petersburg.

Despite these catastrophic losses, the Russians show no sign of giving up. Valdislav Notputin has already fled beyond the Urals.
The Scandinavian Landings
An task force of American and Mexican forces, later reinforced by French troops, have landed in Sweden. With German and Austro-Hungarian troops busy in Russia, they intend to quickly take Stockholm and knock one player out of the war.

Meanwhile, the Swedes have taken Denmark but are unable to muster a force sufficient to defeat the allied landings. Germany rushes to try to find men to send north to save their ally.
And we will fight to the end
In France, most of the standing French army has been destroyed and most of the country has been overrun by German forces. A few brave men still try to engage the Germans in the field of open battle, but for the most part the task of saving France has fallen to the French Resistance. France still has overseas divisions assisting the Allies in other operations, but the central government has fled the continent to the United Kingdom, which has made a hefty profit from all sides in this war.

Nonetheless, the UK deciding to host the French has angered the Germans, but no one wants the behemoth of the United Kingdom to join in the war and back the allied forces.

In neutral Italy, a communist revolution has prompted a Central Powers intervention, in the hope of convincing the Italians not to join the Allied Forces.

The main portion of the slaughter has ended, the plan now consists of keeping any more nations from joining the Allies and eventually convincing the US to give up the war.
This is why we don't do offensives
Apparently one of our armies didn't get the memo about how attacking in modern warfare is apparently suicide and they really shouldn't do it.
My god, just die already!
The Germans take over our advance from the Caspian and the Caucasus is largely about to fall. Our troops move past the Volga and assist in occupying much of Eastern Russia-that-is-west-of-siberia.

The government has retreated beyond the Urals and all semblance of central control has broken down in much of the major population centers. The process of occupation consists of little fighting and mostly a behemoth of an administrative task. Ghorbani has become extraordinarily bored.

Meanwhile, the Shah has thrown numerous "the war is basically over" parties, meeting in the cellars slightly past midnight and encrypting their messages in a strange code. It appears that he's joined some kind of Gentlemen's club.

Whilst Ghorbani isn't very concerned, he's also curious and dispatches spies to find out what kind of secret society the Shah is part of.
On to China, we suppose
Ghorbani thinks that if China is broken, the last major armies commanded in the Old World would have fallen, hence forcing the Americans to accept peace.

He begins to host conferences with the Central Powers leaders. The divisions of Russia and France's colonial empire begin to be drafted, and relevant administrative insitutions are established in preparation for when the Americans finally surrender.

Meanwhile, he meets with the Japanese, in order to get their forces on board with the Central Powers, promising to let them annex swathes of Nationalist China and to create a formal Persian-Japanese Alliance.
The Persian people are sick
Much of Persia's industries are still mobilized for war and taxes are excruciatingly high. Yet, the Persian people see little to no progress in the actual war effort. A few Persian expeditions into China have defeated large Chinese forces, but no full scale occupation has been planned. The war has stalled for Persia.

In Europe, the Scandinavian Front has ravaged both sides, with the British reportedly assisting the Americans invade Sweden. Once more their "neutrality" has become worrying.
Denmark surrenders
In order to retrieve Swedish men to fight in Scandinavia, Germany sues for peace with Denmark. Denmark capitulates, allowing Swedish occupying forces to retreat back into Sweden.
Eh, we give up
Whilst the Persians still aren't treated respectfully in the peace deals, it appears as though all their demands have already been suggested by other parties, so it does not matter much.

The Americans are once again contacted with a request for surrender, but their success in Scandinavia combined with both Imperial and Nationalist China still preparing their armies for an attempt to liberate Russia leads to them holding on to hope.

No matter, Persia marches on!
State of the War in July
Ghorbani orders all Persian forces to pull back from all fronts and instead gathered them near the territories controlled by the Xinjian Clique, where any Chinese force may arrive.
Calm the hell down
Public anger with the state of high taxes and the "uselessness" of the Persian military have led to wide scale protests. Ghorbani decides to enact a law granting pensions to families of those who serve in the Persian military, in effort to boost support.

Meanwhile, the rise in discontent has also seen the Shah throwing several more surprise parties, book club gatherings and wine tasting events.
The Eastern Advance
Towards the end of July numerous Central Powers commanders convened in Bukhara to plan the next phase of the war. In order to begin their attack into China, the Central Powers loan several Austro-Hungarians and German armies to the Persians, and Ghorbani begins the August advance.

This coincides with the arrival of the first Chinese army in the region.
This game really needs victory points
Or the US should be removed or something, my god this is terrifyingly boring.
Inching towards victory
The push into Russian central asia is largely meaningless by itself. Russia is now ruled largely by its autonomous republics and at the Oblast level, with all layers of government above that having been destroyed or fled to China, and hence are defunct.

Nonetheless, brave turks in Central Asia hold out against our advance.
At least the Austrians are on board
Austria-Hungary begins the allocation of spheres of influence of the numerous states planning on being carved out of the Russian Empire. The Ukraine Authority has already been established, and work is underway on forming a Polish government.

There are some questions as to whether Poland should be annexed by Germany or crafted as an independent state, but Persia, the Ottomans and Austria-Hungary reject any German attempts to annex the western parts of the Russian Empire.
Surround and prepare
The Persian strategy consists of enveloping the Chinese and baiting them into attacking one of our own armies, giving us the edge in any combat.
Holy crap you still have an army?
With all law and order breaking down in Russia it has been rather difficult to track the movement of armies on Russian soil. The assumption was that the Russians no longer had a force worth considering, however it appears that the Siberian autonomous republics have pieced together a force, the Siberian Liberation Army, that began to make its way to Notputingrad, liberating provinces as it went.

They were engaged by a German-Persian force at Aqtobe in late September.
Victory, and the armies of Russia are gone!
The Siberian Liberation Army, for all its valor, cannot stop the superior arms of its enemies and is forced to stand down. However, despite this great victory the war is not yet over, in early October the American forces begin an attack on Stockholm, having defeated three German armies sent to intercept them. Furthermore, in Central Asia the expedition force sent by Nationalist China attempts to attack us.
The North Falls
The Swedes surrender with the fall of Stockholm on October 7. The Americans have them leave the war as well as pay huge reparations so as to fund the allied war effort.

This forces the Swedish forces occupying northern Russia (including the capital) to retreat from there, giving the Russians a brief moment of liberation. The leaders of the various oblasts begin to coordinate an attempt to raise an army, as German forces move north to destroy this enclave of Russian independence.
Advance repelled
With the Nationalist's army defeated the Central Powers moves further east, their path to China now open. Once again, the Persians attempt to sue the Americans for peace
Sporadic fighting in the Caucasus
Whilst much of Russia has been suppressed, the major oblasts in the Caucasus continue to cause trouble and are the base of resistance operations throughout the country.

Ghorbani is now bittery disappointed with the allies. What happened to the glorious, quick wars of yore that ended with the massacre of your enemies? But nay, the Americans have chose to delay their surrender in the hopes that some underground groups may finish their job for them.
The Italian Regime is destroyed
Whilst the communists did not successfully overthrow the King of Italy, he soon after signed a document guaranteeing his neutrality in the war. With this now guaranteed, no one assisted him when the Jacobins rose up.
The Spanish-Persian alliance
Ghorbani returns to peacetime activities, signing trade agreements with Spain, whose economy has now largely fallen under our sphere of influence.

Meanwhile, protests in the capital against the war taxes continue. The rise of anti-military thought has begun to trouble Ghorbani, who cannot concoct a clever scheme to fuel public lust for war. The Shah himself sends him a seemingly innocent letter, requesting for a repeal of the act, which Ghorbani dismisses brazenly. Who does the Shah think he is? Some kind of absolutist monarch? No, Ghorbani rules in Persia.
The Winter Offensive
Germany signs off an ingenious military operation to lead an invasion of Finland, in the middle of the winter. Because that has never failed before. (dammit this game needs supply lines).

German troops cross over into Finland in late November. The Fins have been supplying the Russian resistance and are the largest allied government still in existence in Europe. The Americans send an army to assist them in repelling the invasion, but the German advance is overwhelming.
The Xinjiang Attack
With the successful invasion of Finland, Persia begins their attack into Xinjiang with assistance from the Austro-Hungarian force under their command. Xinjiang has fallen under the control of the dictatorship in Nationalist China.

With the war now about to spread into China, the Germans contact the Imperial Chinese and offer them a chance to destroy their neighbor and rival once and for all. However, they reject this offer, under instructions from their allies in America.
Peace talks begin
With no resistance facing the movement into China and Finland on the verge of falling, peace talks begin in London. Strangely, the British, who are participating in the talks due to their interest in the balance of powers in Europe, appear to side with the Allies. The German delegation tries their best to avoid annoying the Brits, but they take great issue with Central Power proposals to create huge new republics in the territory of the Russian Empire, and destroying the French colonial Empire, two moves that would give Germany hegemony over Europe.

Ghorbani doesn't particularly care about the balance of powers in Europe, he just wants to see Moscow burn.

What do you mean Moscow isn't the capital of Russia?
Boo! Shanghai
A small French colonial regiment attacks and captures the port in Shanghai, forcing the Persians to begin to plan an expedition to take it back.
Guys, stop acting like you have a chance
At the same time, the communist regime in Portugal joins the allies, and begins to move into Persian egypt.

Ghorbani argues that these moves jeopardize the peace process, but when he requests the Shah to make a speech about it, the Shah strangely declines before convening one of his all too frequent "gatherings".
Oh, that's where the war's been all this time
One of the primary reasons that the allies remain in this was are their recent successes in the campaign for Africa, with the French and Americans seizing most colonies with ease, and now threatening to cross into the territory of the Ottoman Empire.
Go to hell, Siberia!
German forces begin their invasion of the Siberian Autonomous Republic as a counter to the Allied operations in Africa. As opposed to, you know, attacking the Allies in Africa.
Oh, what a beautiful day!
Ghorbani begins to pour state funds into creating camps across Central Asia, detaining numerous Russians and Turks. What exactly these camps are used for are unknown, but there appears to be some kind of power generation going on as smoke can regularly be seen rising from the camps.

The Central Powers do not get in his way.

Strangely, the Shah has his bodyguards removed and replaced, and tells Ghorbani that he plans on replacing bodyguards every week so as to ensure his safety.
German and Ottoman troops arrive in Egypt
Central Power armies arrive in Egypt, liberating the regions taken by the allies, and begin an attack into Ottoman Libya.
The Egypt Landings
In order to reinforce the ongoing battles over North Africa, and American force lands in Persian Egypt where it faces little resistance.

Ghorbani uses it as an excuse to keep the war taxes up, but the population does not buy it. Ghorbani, finally tired of their whining, orders a complete crackdown, conducting mass executions of anyone who might even remotely be related to protests. Ghorbani also outlaws any negative comment about the government.

The Shah enthusiastically signs these laws into action, allaying any of Ghorbani's fears of disloyalty on his part.
An uprising in the camps
A camp in Turkestan rises up against their leaders, using smuggled weapons to seize control of the camp and surrounding towns. The Germans defeat them, and report a horrific sight of malnourished and "mad" prisoners.

Ghorbani tells the German commander who defeated the prioners' army that it was a camp for the mentally ill, and thwarts attempts and further investigation.

Throughout the rest of Russia, the occupying forces begin to thin out. News of the Great Revolution in Turkestan is overblown, but leads many to believe that they too can rise up against thir occupiers.

There is, of course nothing to worry about. There is no large scale network of ideologically motivated terrorists and revolutionaries present in Russia. None at all.
GLOBAL REVOLUTION!
The Spanish communist leader, Francisco Franco, leads a massive communist uprising in Spain, centered in Madrid. The worlds leaders panic, but General Franco promises his regime's neutrality in the Great War, and hence no action is taken against him.

An investigation by the German intelligence services finds that the communist revolt was planned for years, and warns of similar planning going on in other countries, including those in the Central Powers. Ghorbani orders a crackdown on communists, and makes communism and socialism illegal, in addition to other potentially problematic ideologies such as liberalism and democracy.

Spain's government collapses within the month.
The April Revolution
Inspired by the uprising in Turkestan and Franco's revolution in Spain, the Russian Communists who have been lying low for years rise up across the country. They attract supporters of not just communism, but anyone at all who despises the foreign occupation.

The occupying forces, stretched thin, cannot put up a strong fight. Germany, furthermore, has devoted most of their army to fighting in Africa and China.

The Shah has a conversation with Ghorbani, asking about whether he has any personal qualm with liberals. Ghorbani vehemently denies this, stating that his motivations are not personal but for the glory of the state.The Shah smiles, and, the next week, two bodyguards with known liberal sympathies and put in charge of defending him.
Strike While the Iron is Hot
Seeing the occupying forces crumble at the April Revolution, in May Nationalist Chinese divisions, accompanied by another army raised by the Far East Autonomous Republics, cross into Central Asia, with huge numbers of reinforcements travelling from China and ready to spill into Russia.

The Allies have placed their final bet on this push. If the communist revolution combined with a massive Chinese attack is not enough to liberate Russia, nothing will be.

And, unfortunately for them, it was not to be. In early June, the Chinese forces are defeated by an army half their size whilst attempting to break through the Kunlun Mountains.

The Allied machine has run out of steam.
Celebration in Tehran
The Allies order a ceasefire in Africa, and meet in Tehran to discuss the peacedeal. The Persian Empire has finally destroyed Russia, albeit in a long and painful slog.

The negotiations and begin. In the meantime, Ghorbani orders a rapid dismantlement of the camps, liquidation of their inhabitants and removal of any evidence of any Persian... activities.

The Shah secures the release of one of the Kazakhs in the camps, claiming him to be an important individual. The next week, he is added to the roster of Ghorbani's bodyguards.
The War is Over
The exact terms of the dissolution of the Russian and French Empire face huge opposition from the United Kingdom, preventing the full scale of Ghorbani's dismantlement plans from being realized. Furthermore, several states agreed to be in the German or Austrian sphere of influence are instead transferred to Persia's, as Persia is viewed as less of a threat to British interests.

Finally, after two weeks of what seemed to be negotiations with the British moreso than the Americans, the Brits are kicked out of talks and the Americans, on June 19, sign the final terms of surrender.

Several sleepless nights and hours of negotiations have stressed Ghorbani out. He decides to retire to his chambers before reading through the final draft of the peace document.

As he passes through the doors to his chambers he feels uneasy - he glances around. His bodyguards are nowhere to be seen.

No matter, they never did anything important. He sits down on his chair, puts his legs on the table and reclines comfortably. His greatest ambitions have been realized. Persia has emerged victorious and submits to no one but him.

The doors barge open, a stream of people rush in, led by his body guards. Ghorbani yells, asking what they want, but is unnerved by their lack of response. They quickly surround him, as if this had been practiced before, and everyone draws their guns.

As his mind struggled to comprehend what had so suddenly happened, Shah Ahmad walks in, in full royal clothing.

Ghorbani is initially relieved - but the Shah doesn't do anything.

"I announce the immediate dissolution of Parliament and assume full control of Persia. Any agreements made by us before this are now null and void"

Ghorbani, as if by instinct, laughs, rejecting the proposal. "We have won a great victory. You will be more powerful than ever before! What is the matter with you?"

But his laughter is not reciprocated. The Shah waves his hand, and Ghorbani hears several loud bangs, and his world sinks into darkness.

The Shah rules again in Persia.

Next chapter:

Game: Victoria 2

Death to the West - A Persian HPM AAR - Part 10

Images: 90, author: ElvenAshwin, published: 2017-02-06, edited: 1970-01-01

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