Die Kaiserzeit : Chapter 4, Shackled to a Corpse

Author: Mattekillert
Published: 2017-02-01

Part of the campaign:

Die Kaiserzeit

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Game: Hearts of Iron III

Die Kaiserzeit : Chapter 3, The Battle of the Marne

Images: 42, author: Mattekillert, published: 2017-02-01

Following the German offensive code named “Prussian Glory” The Russian forces refocused themselves into Austrian Galicia. While we launched our offensive in the west our Austrian ally has been in a full retreat, having abandoned the Dniester. But fear not, Germany is on her way!

In the east von Francois has drawn up his battle plan. Code named Operation Barbarossa on the insistence of the Advisor for unexplained reasons. The Operation calls for a large scale advance where Germany takes up the bulk of the front line to shield Austria from being mauled by the Russian bear. Even though the Advisor named it he is not overly fond of it. The problems with this operation are the large territory it covers. It would devour our already crumbling manpower over many long and arduous battles while giving us little gain.
Yet it is still 1914 and the year continues with more Russian troops being surrounded.
In the west von Mackensen has set forth his plan for a summer offensive in 1915. Simply named X it plans a strike into the only suitable area for an offensive, between the Marne and the Moselle. There are however many problems with this plan. The closest resource point is on Dijon which is 191 kilometers away from the starting point. The primary objective, to outflank Paris is also a tough task at roughly 350 kilometers away. It also includes the crossing of at least 3 rivers. The biggest problem is however the forests around Orléans which as we learned in the east makes for excellent defensive terrain.
Afghani Militia is encountered in Sanok. Having traveled an estimated 3000km they sure are dedicated to their cause as they die in their thousands in Galicia.
Von Spee continues his battles in the North Sea. Germany will not suffer a blockade from the British!
Augustow, the place of many heroic battles finally falls to a Russian attack, outnumbered 2.5-1 our men put up a good fight.
The USA proclaims peace in Mexico as they leave Veracruz.
“W-w-what…. Austria-Hungary is attacking? I DON’T BELIEVE IT!”
We shall reward good behavior with Storm troopers! Austria-Hungary has taken her first steps in launching an offensive of her own, we shall reinforce this good behavior!
The calm in the west is eerie. After months of crushing battles everyone finally gets a chance to rest. Artillery and sniper fire continues to claim lives but it is nothing compared to the battle of the frontiers.
Our troops move in to liberate Lwów.
Lwów is free!
In a shocking turn of events the Austro-Hungarians pocket a unit almost on their own! Boy do they grow up fast!
Reinforcements arrive in the east to aid in taking the west side of the Neman River.
On the 3rd of December, Italy; the traitor of all traitors joins the Enténte!

A private submitted his reaction to the announcement in an army newspaper.

“When we fought alongside the Italians in the Austro-Prussian war we remained loyal to the end. The Italians have no sense of loyalty. They are a backstabbing menace to the world! We Germans will crush them. We will salt their fields and burn their cities, nothing shall remain of the Italian nation!”

3rd of November 1914, Submitter: Adolf Hitler serving in the west with the 16th Bavarian regiment.

Luckily our troops heading for Beograd got bogged down in the over flooding roads in Belgium and France and were slow to reach Serbia. In the end they are a mere 170km away from the Italian border. While Adolf Hitler seems overly zealous the Italian betrayal is felt by all Germans. We will have our revenge.
The 26th Infantry division, one of the best equipped in the Heer is tasked with taking on Beograd on its own.
With the announcement of Italy joining the war yet another corps is stripped from the west.
Serbian reinforcements arrive just in time to ruin our attempts to take the city. We will have to wait for the rest of the Storm troopers.
Who with the arrival of the VII. Armeekorps in Italy can be deployed to Serbia.
The Ottomans rush across the Suez, undefended by the British. Where are all the British soldiers?
The Russians however have no problem with manpower as their forces rush across the border. Where are all the Ottoman forces?
…Guarding Istanbul.
By using overwhelming numbers and multiple angles of attack we reduce casualties greatly.
The Serbians reach the outskirts of Sarajevo… And here I thought the Austro-Hungarians were learning something.
The Italians grand ambitions are quickly crushed. It would seem they forgot the fact that they are attacking into mostly mountains.
The Advisor insisted that this report make it to the Kaiser personally. One of many victories, perhaps it has some special meaning to him?
The Battle of Siedlce however has no need for an explanation. 22 000 dead men to seize another bit of the western Bug.
The offensive into Serbia has met with smashing success. Ludendorff remarked that he simply kicked in the door and the whole rotten structure came crashing down. The Advisor reportedly found this very funny, having to retire to his quarters from laughter.
And with Beograd lost surely Serbia is lost.
Then another shell drops on us. Greece joins with The Enténte. They cite the need to stop Bulgarian expansionism and to reclaim Constantinople. Yet Istanbul is not Constantinople, and it is nobody's business but the Turks.
Another corps is pulled from France to aid in the taking of Serbia and Greece.
After a bit less than three months The Ottoman Empire is already looking shaky. The Russian forces are advancing rapidly into both Iraq and northern Turkey.
And Germany is not looking a lot better. Heavy fighting has claimed millions of men. How long can we sustain the war to end all wars?
With German troops the Austro-Hungarians rush forward. They seem to only be able to aid us instead of fighting on their own.
The Ottomans continue to secure Egypt against small British forces.
Ignoring the huge amount of Russian troops rushing into Anatolia and Iraq.
The Kaiserliche Marine begins a blockade of its own.
In desperation the Serbian troops flee across the border into neutral Albania.
*Grumble grumble*
The last pieces of the Bug are taken, securing a strong defensive line in the South.
What we once considered a waste of our industry is now put into a testing stage. Perhaps armored cars will be the next big thing? The Advisor at least seems pretty convinced about it requesting them in great numbers. Some even recommended replacing cavalry entirely with armored cars. The Advisor however insisted on them just supporting cavalry since they “have no frontage”.
Our troops take the second large city in Serbia. Doing what Austria couldn’t do since the war started.
Greece is extending pretty far into Bulgaria, seemingly ignoring the German forces. Reports from our intelligence suggest Greek units have an intense hatred for the Bulgarians and refuse to give ground to them to form a defensible line.
Serbia finally surrenders. The Serbian campaign has shown the incompetence of the Austro-Hungarians. Unable to compete against such a small state they lost huge amounts of territory even while Serbia fought a two front war. Some say we are shackled to a corpse that can do nothing but retreat.
With a direct land route finally open we can send aid to the crumbling Ottomans.
The British intercept a weapon shipment we sent to the Irish. Free yourselves from oppression!
Yeah go! Long live free Ireland!
... Can we have just one good ally?
Speaking about allies the Russians are across the Tigris and approaching the Euphrates. The Austro-Hungarian, Bulgarian and Ottoman forces are trying to put up a defense somewhere. Hopefully they will halt the Russian tidal wave.
A lot of troops are funneled into The Ottoman Empire.
Meanwhile the Ottomans stumble into Libya announcing their freedom from Italy, having lost them about 2 years prior.
The dedication of the Enténte forces are astonishing, this Japanese unit has traveled all the way Japan to the Tigris!
As the summer of 1915 approaches it is time to adapt plans made in 1914. Operation X is shelved. The amount of troops taken from the west simply makes the operation impossible.
The campaign into Greece was short and low in the cost of lives. As our troops entered Athens Constantine the first welcomed our troops and thanked us for getting rid of the lunatic Venizelos. He was promptly left to his own devices on the condition that the join the war on our side. Which he did on the 1st of April.

By the 5th the situation in the Ottoman Empire is still desperate. With the finished campaign in the Balkans 10 German divisions are freed up. Should they go and save the Ottoman Empire, or should they go north?
To The Teutonic Storm. Named after the great German crusaders shall drive into the Baltics and Belarus. The plan is more concentrated than Operation Barbarossa while also having the potential for more gain. If we were to succeed we would gain large tracts of lands, which in many places include people who would rather be free of the Russian Tsar. The final goal of taking St Petersburg also has the chance of toppling the Russian regime which has been boiling for some time now.

Whichever path Germany takes 1915 will be the year where the war is decided. Will Germany be ground down or will we crush those trying to keep us from taking our rightful place in the world? The summer of 1915 will decide it all. Join us in the 5th chapter of the Kaiserzeit, the Teutonic Storm.

Next chapter:

Game: Hearts of Iron III

Die Kaiserzeit : Chapter 5, Grand Offensives

Images: 60, author: Mattekillert, published: 2017-02-01

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