DOMINATE OF DRAKIA TIMELINE by Duchess of Zeon and others

1776 -- Outbreak of American Revolution. Nova Scotia succeeds in revolting along with other colonies; the revolt in Nova Scotia is suppressed, but only after very bloody fighting which distracts from the efforts in the other colonies. Major Patrick Ferguson invents early breechloading rifle.

1779 -- France, Spain, Netherlands declare war on Great Britain; British fleet under Admiral Lord Cochrane lands occupying force in Capetown.

1780 -- Colonel Ferguson's loyalists victorious in battle of Kings Mountain. Several Loyalist units, including Tarleton's Legion and the newly formed Ferguson's Legion, re-equipped with Ferguson breechloaders. Savage partisan warfare throughout Southern colonies.

1781 -- General Cornwallis is besieged at Yorktown in Virginia, and surrenders to American rebels and their French allies.

1783 -- Second Peace of Paris. Britain retains Upper and Lower Canada, Nova Scotia. New Brunswick (renamed Acadia) becomes fourteenth state of the union. Loyalty Acts passed by British Parliament: the Cape is renamed the Crown Colony of Drakia, and all colonials who fought or otherwise suffered for their loyalty to the Crown are offered transport and land grants; so are the Hessian and other German mercenaries in British service at the time. Legislative Assembly meets in Capetown. General Patrick Ferguson is first Governor-General. Campaign against the Bantus begins; the Zulus in this period are to disorganized to offer any real resistance.

1783–86 -- 95,000 Loyalists and their families (not including some 10,000 slaves) arrive; 10,000 Hessians soon follow, with relatives and families arriving in a steady trickle from Germany. At this time the Dutch-Afrikaner population is less than 9,000, and is soon assimilated through intermarriage. Volcanic eruptions devastate Iceland from 1783-84. 25,000 Icelanders offered asylum in Drakia, arriving 1783-86.

1783-87 -- Conquest of South Africa; Zulus and Bantus are defeated handily in a series of battles which end in one-sided slaughters, breaking the back of the native peoples in less than eight months. However, enslaving them continues for several more years, with increasingly horrific and cruel measures used. Diamonds discovered in the interior in South Africa in 1784. Gold discovered on Whiteridge (Whitwaterstrand) and in eastern Archona Province (Transvaal) in 1785. First steam engines imported for mine operations. Crown Colony of Drakia sees population boom from immigrants looking for riches in the gold and diamond fields. First great popular-level "gold rush" of the modern era. Founding of Virconium (Durban, South Africa) in 1786, and Venta Belgarum (East London, South Africa) in 1787, along with Archona (Pretoria, South Africa) in 1787. General Banastare Tarleton becomes first Commander-in-Chief of the Colonial Militia.

1787—1795 -- Rapid growth of economy and population. Export trades in diamonds, gold, copper, sugar, wool, salt, hides, ivory, etc., established. Drakian ships active in Atlantic and Indian Ocean slave trades. Free population reaches 175,000; slave/serf 2,000,000. Transportation Directorate established to build road network to mines and settlements of far interior. Drakian Legislative Assembly passes Indentured Labor and Master and Servant Acts, establishing system of debt-peonage for conquered nonwhite population. This rapidly becomes indistinguishable from chattel slavery, which is also practiced. Major slave revolts in 1792 and 1794 brutally suppressed. Immigration from Haiti and France begins after revolutions in those areas.

1795 – 1810 -- Wealth of colony grows massively, new upper classes come to dominate House of Burgesses, industrial investment in Drakia to provide supporting infrastructure for extraction operations. Cape Town Mineral Company chartered by wealthy colonists, becoming an industrial consortium dominated by the large landowners—the beginning of an alliance between the landed class and industry. The CTMC also becomes responsible for most infrastructure development in the hinterland. A major slave revolt of 1795 – 1797 with many atrocities results in beginning of brutal control regime for slave populace that resembles some of the worst excesses of Spanish rule in colonial America in many respects, but does not go beyond it. Slave Code of 1796 (passed during height of insurrection) grants all freemen power of life and death over "slaves and other bondservants." In 1799 the cities of Diskarapur (Newcastle, South Africa) and Shahnapur (Maputo, Mozambique) are founded, while the ties with India through the EIC produces fad for Persian/Moghul artwork.

The corsortium buys a controlling interest in the East Indies Company by 1802 as it gains a veritable glut of capital growth from the mining concerns leading to the South African upper classes becoming thewealthiest in the Empire, particularly with their financial resources needed by Britain to persecute the Napoleonic Wars without falling into debt. The money used to buy out the East Indies Company comes from the calling in of loans to the British government, often at very high interest, that were used to fund the war effort which temporarily ceased following the Peace of Amiens. In 1802 the free population reaches 350,000. In 1804, after the resumption of the war with France, EIC forces annex Dutch Ceylon.

In 1806 Troops of the East India Company occupy Egypt, landing in the Gulf of Sinai, and defeat Muhammad Ali Pasha in the great Battle of Cairo. He retires into the Levant and raises a second army which is again defeated at the Battle of Raphia in early 1807. Shortly thereafter the Royal Navy forces the Hellespont, and forces the Ottomans to abandon Egypt to the EIC in an humiliating peace which also gives large gains to the Russians. But only a few months later, the Russians make peace with France at Tilsit, and the Ottomans find themselves receiving aide from the British in a resumption of their war with Russia as part of English efforts against France and her allies.

The Port of Aden seized to guard supply lines in late 1807. First iron-works, machine shops, shipbuilding yards started as Revolutionary/Napoleonic wars render imports uncertain. Cotton becomes an important crop and cotton growth begun immediately in Egypt. Large-scale public works in roads, harbors, irrigation. In 1808 the French manage to get a force of troops across the Mediterranean according to a special plan by Napoleon to seize Algeria to secure the grain supplies.

The Muslim Beys of North Africa find themselves fighting the French and English at once as the EIC deals with a major revolt in Egypt in 1809. 150,000 Muslim slaves are taken as a retaliation following the revolt, and the Coptic population restored to the first position in the colony. These slaves are deported to work camps to begin the construction of a Nile-Red Sea canal as a destructive measure that will also yield productive results. In 1809 the French enter Constantine.

1810/11 – EIC troops advance across North Africa, defeating the Beys along the way as they seek to engage the French in Algeria. The French seize Tunis in 1810. Muslim forces change from side to side to try and support their own position. In 1811 the French are defeated at the battle of Tripoli and fall back upon Tunis, pursued by the British forces of the EIC.

1812/1814 – with Napoleon's invasion of Russia the Ottomans once again side with France to try and reverse their great defeat by Kuznetsov in Besserabia. To relieve pressure on the Russians the British put together a major offensive with troops of the Bengal Army into the Levant. In the battle of Megiddo in 1813 the Bengal Army defeats the Ottomans and secures the Holy Land for the East India Company. The taxation required for these great campaigns begins to cause discontent in India, however.

In 1813 Napoleon tries to regain his hold on Germany lost after the disastrous Russia Campaign. At the battles of Lutzen and Bautzen the French are victorious against weakened Russians, who must maintain six divisions in Besserabia against the sustained Ottoman threat, and their Prussian allies; at Bautzen Ney cuts the line of retreat for the allies and a great slaughter ensues. These victories result in a brief peace of several months which is quickly broken when the English provide reinforcing contingents to the alliance armed with the new breechloading rifles, which have previously seen service only in very limited quantities by specialist sharpshooter units on both sides. Additional rifles are provided to arm the Prussian and Russian troops.

This English force, including many German mercenaries and Hanoverians, is able to successfully combine with the Prussian Army at Potsdam after the Prussians fall back at Gross Beeran against the advance of the victorious Napoleon, who briefly occupies Berlin. Some Prussian regiments which have already been rearmed with the breechloading “improved Fergusons” as well, and it is this combined force which awaits the arrival of the French in prepared defensive positions at Potsdam. On 6 September the French attack at Potsdam, the Napoleonic columns advancing into the rapid-fire of the Fergusons at extreme range, well-supported by emplaced artillery batteries. The bloodbath continues throughout the day. On the second day of the battle Napoleon is nonetheless on the verge of victory when the Swedes under Crown Prince Bernadotte arrive on the French right flank (their army also being by now heavily equipped with Fergusons). Napoleon extricates himself, but any chance of victory is lost and the French retreat across the Elbe at Wittenberg only with great difficulty. Potsdam costs at least 20,000 casualties to each side.

What follows is the Battle of the Nations, or the Battle of Leipzig, fought from 30 October to 2 November. Napoleon receives only a few thousand men armed with the new rifles, while the allies are continuously fielding more; likewise, only a limited number of his bronze cannon have been rifled, whereas the allies have many more. Yet by great tactical skill he succeeds in extricating his army across the Elster river. The slaughter is still tremendous, with a total of 120,000 casualties on the four days, from armies of 190,000 French and 330,000 allied troops respectively.

This battle, however, sets the stage for the French to carry on a desultory campaign through 1814, another year of senseless bloodshed before Napoleon finally abdicates and is banished to Elba in the Mediterranean. In 1814 the Bengal Army is finally halted at the Battle of Antakya, old Antioch-on-the-Orontes, and retreats back to the Marionite stronghold of Lebanon; with the Napoleonic cause clearly lost, the Russians begin to prepare for a major offensive into the Ottoman Empire, which despite the victory in Syria thus at once seeks peace as well.

Meanwhile, the war of 1812 has been raging in the Americas. The Americans, fully equipped with Ferguson breechloading rifles and early rifled bronze cannon, succeed in driving the British from upper and lower Canada. The British, however, using experience from the Napoleonic campaigns, prepare extensive defensive works across the “neck” of Nova Scotia (imitating those prepared by the British around Lisbon during the Peninsular Campaign), and here they hold the American armies in 1814 repeatedly, creating a stalemate in which the United States' armed forces are bloodily repulsed.

1815/1816 -- The British decide to counterattack with an ambitious campaign up the Mississippi which is defeated by the Americans at the Battle of New Orleans. An armistice is thus forced, which ironically allows the British to withdraw their troops to Europe in time for The Four Months.

On 30 June, 1815, Napoleon—his smaller army now primarily armed with breechloading rifles and rifled bronze cannon like the allies—wins his last victory at Ligny over the Prussians. On the same day, however, the British just barely succeed in checking the French at First Quatre Bras. Two days later the French learn that the equation has fully changed; the British under Wellington have mastered the concept of a defensive strategy, and in addition to breechloading rifles and rifled bronze cannon, every single soldier is equipped with a shovel. The result is extensive entrenchments which inflict terrible casualties upon the French throughout the day, while Marshal Grouchy is thrown back time and time again from similar entrechments thrown up by the Prussian Rearguard at Wavre. Then the Prussian main body arrives at Waterloo, and Napoleon is forced to withdraw back to the strategic crossroads of Quatre Bras, where the Siege of Quatre Bras is fought from 5 July – 1 August, both sides entrenched and steadily more reinforcements concentrating against Napoleon and ultimately encircling his army after a last desperate breakout attempt by the Garde at the Battle of Charleroi. At this point, Napoleon is forced to surrender on 1 August and goes into exile for the last to St. Helena, where he dies.

The Vienna Congress follows. Portguese outposts purchased in Mozambique, Angola at great cost; money used by Portuguese government for recovery efforts after Napoleonic Wars; as compensation, Goa is expanded to the north in the lightly populated Western Ghats to just south of Ratnagir. This unpopular territorial exchange is the first sign of the subordination of the East India Company to the interests of Drakia, and is not well received in India, either. To a certain degree these purchases choke off capital for industrial expansion in the Dominate, slowing development. American control of Upper and Lower Canada confirmed, Britain retains Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward,and Anticosti Islands. Limited expansion to the north follows, mainly to support the fur trade.

The French lose all African outposts, but are able to barter away their continued possession of Algeria and Tunisia to regain various Caribbean and Indian Ocean islands considered more valuable at the time (the “spice and sugar” islands); when combined with the general desire to avoid punitive demands. Control of the Holy Land by the East India Company confirmed (with special international rights for holy sites), along with control of African littoral in Libya. Age of Mediterranean piracy ends. Crusader spirit in Drakia leads to creation of "The Honourable Order of the Knights Templar", a nominally Christian secret society which soon becomes very popular in wealthy classes. With massive membership, this organization is originally Christian but becomes steadily infested by an esoteric and occultist interest in the obsure and lurid tales of the Knights Templar and fuels an interest in Gnosticism and the discrediting of traditional Christianity, which is fueled by the discovery of some Gnostic texts at Nag Hammadi in Egypt. This group ultimately claims to have been founded by the infamous Count St. Germaine, who is supposedly still alive rather than dead, and uses this legend of immortal through ascended mastry as part of its occultic appeal.

1817/1825 -- Drive down the Nile. Starting in 1817, expeditionary forces conquer the Nile valley south of Aswan, subdue Sudan, various native tribes. East India Company follows British lead in Trucial Oman by forcing the Sultan of Oman to sign protectorate treaty giving them control over Zanzibar and the East African coast after a desultory war in 1819 - 1820. Drakian explorers flood north to open up East Africa through the now available coastal ports and fortifications. Parties of often just a few hundred conquer vast tribal lands. In 1825 Drakian explorers arrive up through Uganda at the mud fort of Fashoda established as an outpost of the EIC, thereby completing the union of the EIC/Drakian territories in East Africa.

In 1819 the Republic of Grand Colombia founded with Columbia, Venezuela, and Ecuador as members as a result of the efforts of Simon Bolivar. Construction of Archona–Virconium railway line begins in 1820. General growth of economic Combines, which battle with the vast monopoly of the Cape Town Mineral Company, spurring rapid innovation and industrial growth. Slave labour is used on a vast scale, with innumerable deaths from disease, malnutrition, and overwork, to clear the jungle. Vast canals are constructed (canal building remains preferable to railroads in Drakia for some time) and rivers diverted for agricultural and navigation purposes.

Revolt by the Greeks against Ottoman rule begins, leading to the rise in the Ottoman bureaucratic structure of the cunning Albanian General Muhammad Ali, who ultimately becomes Grand Vizier and commences on a large-scale reformist effort inside the Empire. For the moment the Ottomans, however, maintain a delaying strategy, dealing with the Serbs while they try to contain the Greeks and prevent foreign aide from reaching them, a strategy that ultimately fails.

1825/30 -- Political battles in Parliament over status of slavery in the Crown Colony of Drakia. Massive East India Company lobby prevents abolitionist groups from successfully forcing its end, though cosmetic redeeming (in truth, just renaming) of slaves to "bondserfs" occurs, serfs in short-form. By the end of this period the Crown Colony of Drakia administers East Africa from Uganda to Natal and southwest Africa below the Congo river; regular Camel patrols cross the Kalahari Desert. The East India Company controls the African coast from the Rovuma to Suez and the Nile valley, and from Alexandria to the Moroccan border. Ethiopia remains independent. Oppressive taxation in India to support massive conquests further inflames opposition sentiment to the EIC and spreads the seeds of revolt even as EIC conquests continue in India as much as in Africa. Revolts on Pemba and in the cities of Mombasa and Pate are brutally crushed.

In South America the Cisplatine War lasts from 1825 – 1830. The Argentines are victorious on land in the fight over the contested Cisplatine Province, but the Brazilian naval blockade cripples the Argentine economy. An Argentine peace overture by a new Federalist government in 1828 is rebuffed, and so the Argentines advance deep into Brazil in a desperate attempt to gain victory over the Brazilians and force a peace as the devastating naval blockade continues. Here Dom Pedro musters his forces—restoring the position of the German and Irish troops and pushing aside the opposition of Parliament--and conducts a scorched-earth campaign, ultimately defeating the Argentines at the battle of Vitoria on 8 September 1829, where the Emperor is present in person.

Likewise in South America the Confederation of Gran Colombia is threatened with disintegration when Venezuela secedes in 1828. But Bolivar chooses to abandon his work on an unpopular constitution for Peru and Bolivia, and instead turns to the military profession once more, leading an army to suppress Venezeula, which is victorious the next year (Bolivar dying in 1830). This guarantees the permanence of the Confederation of Gran Colombia.

Intervention by the Powers into the Greek War of Independence leads to the Ottoman loss of Poti and Akhulzikh and the ultimate loss of the principle Greek lands below Thessaly. These losses, however, provide the motivation for the successful and final suppression of the Janissaries by Muhammad Ali and the formation of a fully modern army, along with the start of development and recovery in the Anatolian provinces and the Mespotamian valley (where the last Mamelukes are also suppressed.

1830/45 – In 1830 the Brazilians win a second victory in the Battle of Colonia, ending the Cisplatine War and annexing the Cisplatine province directly to the Empire of Brazil, concluding the first of the great post-independence conflicts of the South American States.

The Greeks receive a new King in the form of a scion of the House of Orleans, ultimately leading to the establishment of a stable Orleanist Dynasty in Greece. The islands of Samos and Crete are added to the territory of Greece proper, though for a while the British retain control of the Ionian Islands, and Greek claims to Chios are rejected.

In 1836 a second great conflict begins on the South American continent when Bolivian Dictator Andres Santa Cruz succeeds in unifying Peru and Bolivia. He is soon opposed by a coalition of Chile and Argentina. This war lasts until 1839, when at the Battle of Yungay the Chileans defeat Santa Cruz, dissolving the union of Peru and Bolivia and forcing the Dictator into exile.

Years of warfare with the al-Sanusi Order in Darfur and the Fezzan for control of the caravan routes across the Sahara. Berber tribes in the trans-Atlas rally under charistmatic Islamic leaders and wage jihad against EIC on African Littoral. By 1845 after more than a decade of constant war the Wadai Kingdom and the al-Sanusi Order are broken, Darfur is occupied and the caravan routes are dominated by the EIC. Resistance continues unabated in Algeria. Drakian campaign against Damascus as part of the allied intervention into the Greek War of Independence is defeated by Ottoman forces. Russia annexes various Ottoman territories as a result of the end of the Greek War of Independence in 1832.

In Drakian occupied territories, the native Muslim populations are enslaved, but the native Christians are simply treated as subjects; in some former Portuguese areas these people are in fact functionally incorporated into Drakian society and like a drop of ink enter unnoticed into the bloodlines of the supposedly pure master-race. The East India Company for the most part leaves the peasants untouched and slavery—save in response to revolts—is rare. The practice, however, is spreading, including in India, which causes further resentment.

1845/55 -- Slave revolts in Drakia continue to be brutally put down, atrocities committed by slaves engender full-scale counter-atrocities, first experimental use of chlorine as poison gas to help suppress revolts. General rise in the occultic interest of the Drakian upper classes. Popularity of secret societies leads to their being generally corrupted by these beliefs. In 1850 cache of scrolls is discovered on the edge of the Munkhafad al-Qattarah at remains of a remote Gnostic community, including many lost writings of antiquity, a complete copy of the Gnostic Bible, and a second 'rosetta stone' translating between Egyptian and Nubian. A classicist rival follows while publication and enthusiastic analysis of Gnostic texts by upper class begins to weaken the hold of Christianity on general populace; for all intents and purposes, Anglicanism in Drakia becomes a Gnostic Church in all but name, and this collapse of the Christian moral consensus allows all sorts of bizarre sects and outrageous behaviour to flourish.

The Bornu Sultanate and other Muslim states around Lake Tchad are crushed, skirmishes with Sokoto Caliphate take place. Weaknesses in Ottoman Empire encourage advance of EIC control as far as the border with Asir on the red sea coast, effectively annexing north Yemen. Fear of igniting general jihad prevents consideration of advance on Mecca. East Yemen is a loose group of Sultanates under British Protectorate. 1848 is the 'year of revolution' in Europe, Napoleon III gains power and after fighting a short intervention in Italy begins French colonialist expansion in Indochina, while attempting to make inroads in British domination of Africa.

Mexico is defeated in the Mexican-American War of 1846 – 1848; the annexation of Mexico by the United States follows appeal by the secessionist government of the Yucatan to become an American state after its cities are besieged by rebelling Indianos. For the moment, Mexico remains a group of territories under the administration of the Federal government.

The annexation Mexico—which is entirely free—provokes a massive crisis in the Great Debate over slavery in the United States. The solution is to expand into the Caribbean, where slavery is still legal. One solution is the Filibuster; in 1851 the Vice President of Honduras is defeated by Costa Rica and Nicaragua in an attempt to seize power, and escapes to the United States. There he enlists the aide of a San Francisco man, William Walker, in an effort to regain power. In 1853 they land with a few hundred men and rally local supporters, defeating attempts by Costa Rica and Nicaragua to drive them back to the sea. The other alternative is more direct: The Ostend Manifesto, drawn up in late 1854, provokes a war with Spain to this intent the following year.

1855/60 – A war between Spain and the United States over Cuba lasts until 1857. The United States is initially highly unsuccessful, but after the old SOLs built in the 1815 programme are modified and fitted with steam engines, a fleet capable of defeating the Armada Espana is collected and succeeds at the battle of Santiago on 10 May1856 in securing American control of Cuba, in which 10 American steam-SOLs defeat 8 Spanish, sinking two and taking four. The conquest of Puerto Rico and annexation of Dominica follows, but this simply provokes a crisis over the admission of these territories as slave states.

By 1855 both Drakia and India are highly industrialized by world standards of the age. While India falls behind in the future along with the UK itself, Drakia's increasingly close connections with the German-speaking world through German immigrants to the territory give it an edge in maintaining industrial innovation and growth tied to that of the rising fortunes of Prussia. Increasingly brutal treatment of natives in India carries over from Drakian practices in Africa, and combined with highly oppressive taxation and the Doctrine of Lapse leads to the "Sepoy Revolt". The forces of the EIC are besieged at every point in India, and Bengal Army troops in Africa revolt and begin attacking white settlements there as well, and freeing slaves who join the mutineers. The EIC is overextended in other areas of the world, particularly Africa, and the Sultanate of Oman and Muscat joins in this revolt and indeed succeeds in gaining independence, though with the loss of its overseas possessions.

Difficulty in suppressing revolt and vital importance of India to the British economy leads to the Viceroyalty Act. The EIC stripped of control of India and British troops under General Sir Henry Havelock arrive to restore situation. With the elimination of the Drakian-dominated EIC, the British easily subdue the rebellion with peaceful measures and the age of the Raj begins. States dispossessed under the Doctrine of Lapse are restored and the conciliation of the Indian population is completed, though the old Mughal Emperor is reduced to the mere Prince of Agra.

Drakia protests quite violently at the lost of India, but receives no sympathy from the prominently abolitionist British public. The final settlement of the Viceroyalty Act places African colonies, stations on Zanzibar and Morocco, and the island of Ceylon under Drakian control as part of a much-reduced East India Company who's headquarters are moved to Cape Town; Sepoy troops in this company are entirely replaced with Janissaries on the Drakian model. The Laccadives, Maldives, and Indian Ocean islands (such as are controlled by Britain) remain under direct British authority or that of the Raj. Bands of Sepoy mutineers and escaped slaves continue to fight with Drakian authorities there for the next fifteen years. Britain does, however, succeed in forcing Russia to back down from a threat of war with the Ottoman Empire.

In the Fraser River Valley confrontation in Pacific Northwest between Britain and United States after Gold Rush there the Americans intimidate the British, caught up in the India crisis and with the dominant land power—the US Army is already fully mobilized for the conflict with Spain and presents an overwhelming strength which might not only take the Fraser but also Nova Scotia—into backing down. The Fraser Valley is ceded to America, and becomes Fraser State during ACW. Vancouver Island, Queen Charlottes, San Juans, and small coastal areas remain British. William Walker succeeds in taking Nicaragua in 1855 after the country breaks down into civil war. In 1856 he carries the war into Costa Rica.

The southerners, victorious in war, ram through the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1857, creating Kansas as a slave state and providing for all of Nebraska Territory and much of the southwest as slave states as well. Following close on the heels of the annexation of the preexisting slave territories of the Spanish Caribbean this brings tension in the United States to a boiling point. The conciliating solution proposed is to admit one Mexican province as a state for each slave state admitted from the Caribbean or the west. It appears as if it will work; but then fuel is thrown onto the fire.

William Walker, completing the conquest of Costa Rica in 1858, pushes the pot over in the American slavery consensusby appealing for the annexation of the three Central American countries he has conquered to the Union—as slave states. This could be matched by the admission of additional states in Mexico as free states, but the fact that William Walker conquered the three Central American countries by brute force is galling to the north, which fears “an Empire of the Americas on Roman lines which would destroy the foundation for democracy”.

Moreover, the consideration of this request by the United States Congress provokes John Brown into launching his famous raid on the Harper's Ferry Arsenal in 1859, presiding over a gang of abolitionist fanatics from Bloody Kansas. The request was about to fail in Congress due to the tremendous opposition against sanctioning Walker's wars of blatant conquest, but ironically the Harper's Ferry raid crystalizes the matter: The southerners dig in their heels, and the abolitionist movement is envigorated by the example of the “martyr” John Brown. It is the last straw; pro-abolitionist organizations in Kansas revolt and establish a 'free republic', and the vigorous effort of the federal troops in the area—perceived to be mainly southerners--to suppress this 'free republic' is the backdrop for the election campaign of 1860, featuring the great abolitionist Abraham Lincoln.

1860/70 – In November of 1860, a French Adventurer named Antoine-Orllie de Touneins proclaims himself the King of Araucania and Patagonia. Over the next six months he establishes his rule as a constitutional monarch over the various Indian tribes of the region, attracting certain adventurers. His greatest success is, however, in appealing for aide from Emperor Napoleon III of France. The Emperor, finding the colonial interests of France greatly constrained by the situation in Africa and the Americas, jumps at this chance to make gains in the later region, and dispatches troops to prop up the Kingdom. In early 1862 the French troops and their native allies fight a short battle with the Chilean Army and are victorious; a quasi-war with several battles (Patagonia and Chile are at war, but the French are not, despite their troops doing the bulk of most of the fighting) hampered by the horrific logistical situation in the territories is maintained until tensions between Chile and Spain build before the start of the Guano War of 1864; Chile, afraid of facing both Spain and France at once, makes peace with Patagonia and recognizes the Kingdom's independence.

Abraham Lincoln is elected President in the hotly contested election of 1860. The south secedes as a result, consisting of all the OTL states of the Confederacy plus the official government of Kansas (already facing a revolt-within-a revolt). Confederate franc-tireurs begin operating in Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, and Delaware as shadow governments declare those states to have seceded even though the majority of the populations remain loyal to the Federal government. Following the disastrous defeat of the Union Army at Bull Run, the rest of 1861 and much of 1862 is spent in campaigns subduing these minor rebellions, and it is in an effort to bolster them that the Confederate Army does battle with the Union forces under General McClellan at the great engagement of Antietam following his lacklustre Peninsular campaign.

Antietam was the biggest single-day battle of the Civil War. It opened with the advance of Union I Corps down the Hagerstown Turnpike. These troops met with an intense fire from Jackson's defenders. The union troops were slaughtered as they advanced. Mansfield's corps moved in to support, and though suffering heavy casualties including their corps commander, appeared to be winning the fight when Confederate General Hood's Texan division was sent in to counterattack. This counterattack was, like the Union attack, bloodily repulsed, and Hood's division sustained some of the highest single-day casualties for a division in the war, but the attack was carried through with enough elan that even in failure it halted the Union drive in that sector. This phase of the battle costs at least 15,000 casualties to both sides.

With the battle stalemated through the mutual exhaustion of units in this area the advance of Sumner's II Corps might broken the Confederate left flank, but the unit is misguided and heads south, where it encounters a strong confederate defence along “Bloody Lane”, a sunken wagon road. D.H. Hill's division defends the sunken road against the attacks of the entire Union II Corps. After three hours of fierce fighting, Hill's men are dislodged from this natural defensive position at horrendous cost. About nine thousand casualties are suffered here by both sides, but a large gap is torn between the center and left of Lee's Army.

The Union might have won a great victory, but McClellan, rather than immediately sending VI Corps wastes hours as the movements of V and VI corps are coordinated; in the meanwhile IX Corps under Burnside is pinned down on a bridge over Antietam Creek, which is fordable, uselessly. The rapid fire of a fairly small number of sharpshooters drives the Union troops back and again and again, and when Burnside finally gets across the creek his troops are taken under the long-range fire of rifled artillery, completely disordering his efforts to form them up for the attack while two of Longstreet's divisions position themselves in strong defensive lines along Burnside's line of advance. Porter, likewise, is pinned on a bridge over Antietam Creek for perhaps an hour, but unlike Burnside is able to find fords to bring his troops across. However, McClellan, on hearing of the losses Porter's V Corps suffered in crossing Antietam Creek again needlessly orders a delay for V Corps to reform.

At last, McClellan orders the attack. It is 3:00 PM in the afternoon; Union V Corps and VI Corps go forward. The Confederate center puts down a vigorous fire against them, causing many casualties, but as Porter pins down the main intact force in the center, Franklin's V Corps exploits the gap between the center and the left flank of Lee's Army, and begins to roll up the center of the Confederate defences. By this time, however, A.P. Hill has arrived with one light division on a forced march from Harper's Ferry. Combined with one of Longstreet's divisions they are thrown in as a last reserve, and counterattack into Franklin's V Corps.

Both divisions are very badly attrited, with casualties in the thousands, but the action buys Lee enough time to extricate his center from the battle; Stuart's cavalry attacking the flank of Hooker's still-disordered men aides in Jackson doing the same on the left. As the Confederates are escaping, Burnside at last attacks “to the sound of the guns” of the heavy action in the center (ironically, for a more southerly attack might have been much more successful) just to find the rest of Longstreet's corps in defensive positions bloodily repulsing his abortive assault. Longstreet then completes the escape of the Confederate Army as night falls. McClellan, despite the vicious losses his troops might have suffered, could have yet pursued the next day, but is so awe-struck by the bloodshed on the field that he decides his army has been rendered all but useless and can be barely convinced to maintain his position in Sharpsburg. It is estimated that the combined armies suffer a total of nearly 32,000 casualties in the action; some sources suggest the figure was actually higher. It is certain that at least one out of every twenty men in Lee's army is killed that day.

Antietam teaches Lee a vital lesson; the level of casualties horrifies him nearly as much as it does McClellan. While the north gains the time needed to control the problem of Confederate franc-tireurs, Lee uses his knowledge of the late campaigns of the Napoleonic Wars to the greatest possible extent to develop very strong defensive positions and tactics; instead of trying a grand offensive into the north, after Antietam his sole interest is in “bleeding the Union white”. Siege warfare thus dominates the eastern front of the war for all of 1863 and 1864. The Union commanders immediately after McClellan try to win by launching frontal assaults with overwhelming numbers against Lee's defences; Meade, however, begins a much more conservative policy which is continued by Grant until the last months of the war, merely pinning down Lee and fighting only when necessary. The war will be won in the west.

The United States Navy remains almost entirely loyal to the Federal cause; this allows a blockade to be quickly thrown up around Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Dominica, and invasions follow, in which native groups—promised statehood and full equality—rise up in aide of the landing Union troops and overrun the tiny pro-Confederate garrisons. At the same time the River Campaign begins on the Mississippi; coming from the north the Union forces advance until they are halted before the Fortress of Vicksburg. In the south the taking of New Orleans is delayed until 5 September 1862 due to the dispersal of naval resources to the Caribbean operations. When Vicksburg falls on 4 July 1863, the Trans-Mississippi is cut off from the rest of the Confederacy and must fight alone. The victor of Vicksburg, Ulysses S. Grant, proceeds to lead his army into Tennessee, evading Confederate forces to effect a union with the Army of the Cumberland, and overruns that state in a series of battles where mass and concentrated materiale overcome tactical skill, and defeats confederate forces in northern Georgia, threatening Atlanta.

In Mexico, loyalist officers and men of the Federal Army there take to the countryside, where on the proclaimation of President Lincoln that the Mexican Provinces shall be admitted as States to the Union, free and on the basis of full representation, they are successful in making a common cause with the native population. Confederate forces in Mexico, crippled by defections of loyalists, melt away as the populace rises up against them; the arrival of additional Union troops at Vera Cruz in May of 1862 finishes any dream the Confederates have of holding onto a vast Central American Empire. However, some Confederate troops retreat to the south and the Central American stronghold of William Walker.

William Walker, commissioned as a General by the Confederate Government, leads an army up through Central America, overruning and conquering Guatemala. He meets up with the remnant of the pro-Confederate forces in Mexico (mostly parts of the frontier armies), devastated by Malarial Fever in its effort to retreat south to him. These combined forces launch a counteroffensive back into Mexico as the Union is consolidating its control over Mexico and raising Mexican army units to carry the war into the Trans-Mississippi. At the battle of Villerhermosa, Walker's Confederates are victorious over the Union Army, and he marches at once for Vera Cruz to seize the crucial port so that the Union cannot throw reinforcements in to Mexico.

Vera Cruz, however, has excellently prepared entrenchments, with dismounted naval cannon of immense size adding to the fortifications around the port. William Walker, who's army completely lacks siege equipment due to the inability to get it through the Central American jungles, is bogged down, unable to take the city, and having difficulty getting supply from the hostile populace around him. After maintaining the siege for several months, General Walker receives word that the new Union Army of Mexico, raised from natives, is approaching from Mexico City. Contemptuous of the troop quality, he breaks off the siege of Vera Cruz and turns to march inland immediately.

The Union Army of Mexico retires rather than face Walker, and he rashly pursues, at last reaching the city of Puebla, deep in the interior, where the Union troops—under the command of General William Tecumseh Sherman (who had been sent to command the Mexican theatre after his bravery at Shiloh)—make their stand on the 16th of October, 1862. For three days, Walker's desperate efforts are bloodily repulsed. On the 19th, Sherman counterattacks and routs the Confederate army; Walker is killed on the field trying to rally his troops, and the survivors of the army surrender when the garrison of Vera Cruz sallies to cut off their line of retreat.

Sherman at once leads the Union Army of Mexico north, even while a second army is being raised to march into Central America and secure it against further Confederate intrigues. In 1863 Sherman, fully prepared, launches the lightning-stroke of the Trans-Mississippi Campaign. For fourteen months Sherman's Mexicans battle their way through the southwest and into Texas, marching impossible marches and defeating the enemy in every engagement. On the 30th of January, 1864, his army enters New Orleans; Confederate resistance in the Trans-Mississippi has been entirely destroyed, with even the Indian Territory pacified, and the radical abolitionists of Kansas given full power in that state. Sherman is at once transferred to Tennessee; General Meade is sent from the east to command the Mexicans and leads an offensive into Mississippi.

Grant, after his victories in Tennessee, assumes total command of the Union Armies, and personally leads the Army of the Potomac in a campaign which keeps Lee pinned down in trench warfare in northern Virginia as Sherman marches on Atlanta. In the meanwhile, the Confederate-backed regime in Central America, much of its fighting strength lost in Walker's ill-fated Mexican Campaign and plagued by revolts, is overrun by Union troops from Mexico aided by the USN. On 1 September, 1864, Sherman takes Atlanta, and in doing so guarantees reelection for President Lincoln. He immediately sets out on his famous “March to the Sea”, which rips the guts out of the South even as Meade doggedly overruns Mississippi with the Mexican troops of the Union Army.

In early 1865, Lee continues to hold Grant in the trench lines in the area of “the Wilderness”, but Union forces under General Sheridan—and under Grant's overall command—are pushing east from West Virginia. An additional Union army raised from Cuban conscripts is now operating in Florida as well. In March these troops begin to march east from Piedmont; Lee is forced to dispatch General Early with two corps (very understrength) to try and halt them, but this makes a continued defence of the trench lines in the Wilderness impossible. Lee is forced to fall back to a second line in the area of Cold Harbor, where he again is able to check Grant. Early likewise checks Sheridan, and for the moment Richmond is safe. In the Carolinas, however, Sherman's aim is to “Whip Joe Johnston”, and he does. Chasing Johnston through the Carolinas, he scarcely halts to invest Charleston with a corps as his vastly superiour army continues the chase.

That is not the case; on 2 May, Sherman finally forces General Joseph Johnston's army in North Carolina to surrender after a last, desperate engagement in which Johnston tries to force Sherman back; Sherman is thus free to march north to Richmond, and Lee must now detail further forces to the Petersburg area to hold against Sherman. For about a month Lee succeeds, but on the 23rd of June, Grant launches a general offensive against the Confederate trenches, which stretch in a grand crescent around Richmond, supported by a massive artillery barrage. Lee's overstretched, starving men cannot hold, and on their general collapse Lee seeks terms of surrender from Grant, which are honourably granted, while the majority of the Confederate government pathetically flees.

They manage to sneak into Cumberland and there hold out for a while, ranting about their intentions to “continue the struggle”. Of the Confederate forces still in the field—which are few—only General N.B. Forrest in Alabama listens and continues to fight Meade. With the fall of Cumberland nearing in late July, however, the Confederate leadership smuggles themselves out to a Drakian blockade runner and escapes. Nathan Bedford Forrest holds out in Alabama against Meade until the 12th of August, facilitating the escape of many wealthy confederates to Drakia in imitation of the leaders, but he, like Lee, scorns the idea of running and finally surrenders to Meade, ending the American Civil War. It cost nearly one million dead. Lincoln will die of pneumonia in 1867 while in office, having battled for a sensible programme of reconstruction against the radical abolitionists until his health gave out.

The Drakian economy nearly collapses in 1860 without the income revenue from the EIC holdings in India, upon which it was highly dependent due to the huge financial costs of conquering and pacifying vast areas of Africa. Expansionism for the moment halts, and Drakia begins to agitate for complete self-rule at the feeling of betrayal by Britain after the Viceroyalty Act and steadily growing cultural distance acerbates the situation. Furthermore, the military situation without the use of Indian manpower resources becomes tenuous for the small number of Europeans ruling over much of Africa in Drakia. Emancipation of women begins due to the extreme necessity of these dangerous circumstances as they are given increased authority and rights in society out of need.

The economic and social theories of JS Mill see a brief surge in Drakian society as this economic downturn suggests slave system defunct. This ultimately produces an elitist backlash and the polarizing controversy contributes to the final collapse of Christian morality in country. Only the American Civil War saves Drakia economically as the conflict allows Drakia to establish a veritable monopoly on the world cotton and textiles markets, and sale of weapons to Confederacy brings in needed capital. Capital flight of wealthy landowners from south to Drakia completes recovery and reaffirms pro-slavery sentiment. The purchase of Danish colonies in Africa follows as the economy rebounds. Full self-government is granted by Act of Parliament in 1866—in part to simply eliminate the continued abolitionist agitation in Britain by eliminating Parliamentary competency over the whole problem. Ironically, the failure of the Confederacy is part of what helps Drakia successfully recover from the economic downturn following the loss of India. Even with the purchase of the Danish colonies in 1864, however, expansion by the Draka in Africa is all but halted until 1871.

The Taiping revolutionary movement is victorious in China with French aide due to an arrangement signing away legal control of Indochina to France and Napoleon III's obsession with pan-Christian missionary work in Asia. This agreement allows the French to assume the “administration” of the Chinese vassals in Indochina, which lets them act with moral and diplomatic legitimacy and some success at co-opting the local elites in moving to establish control over those territories and protect persecuted Christians in Vietnam and Cambodia. The British and Russians, however, support the Manchus, who establish breakaway state in lower Manchuria and Taiwan (protected by British sea power), along with some coastal islands. Alaska is purchased from Russia by the USA to prevent Britain—also seeking to buy the territory--from gaining control of it.

The Drakian armed forces refuse to place magazine rifles in service in this period, preferring breechloading big-bore weapons on the style of the British Martini-Henry, thought most suitable against their colonial opponents. Design proposals for magazine repeating rifles instead adopted by Prussian Army and are used in the victory over the Austrians at the Battle of Koniggratz, restoring equilibrium to the European political scene and guaranteeing the ultimate continental dominance of the German Empire.

In 1864 the Dictator of Paraguay, Francisco Solano Lopez, intervenes militarily in a revolt by the Spanish-speaking Cisplatine Province of the Empire of Brazil. Thus began the Paraguayan War, the bloodiest in the history of South America to this day. In 1865 Argentina was pursuaded to join in the military effort against Lopez, who had briefly occupied the Cisplatine province. After the Brazilian naval victory at the Battle of Riachuelo in June of 1865 on the Parana river, the allies are able to commence to an offensive into Paraguay; but for two years the Argentinans are blocked by the fortress of Humaita in a great siege. In 1866 allied forces, attempting to again press in against Paraguay, meet the Paraguayan Army at the massive battle of Tuiuti, inflicting a severe defeat upon it. The Paraguayans fall back to the fortress of Curupayty where they are able to once more resist this latest allied effort. At last, in February of 1868, Brazilian armoured river monitors break through the defences of Humaita and bombard Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay. Lopez escapes to carry on a guerrilla war until March of 1870; in retaliation, the whole of Paraguay is occupied by Brazil and Argentina, but distrust between the two states prevents a formal peace treaty from being immediately arranged.

Following the second Schleswig-Holstein War of 1864, the situation in Germany is imbalanced. Prussia and Austria via for power over Germany; France, by its possible of supporting national unification in general, has crippled its ability to intervene, a fact which will ultimately lead to the downfall of the French Second Empire. For the moment, then, the question must be decided by the armies of the Hohenzollerns and Habsburgs alone, and decided it is in 1866 in the so-called Seven Weeks War.

The Seven Weeks War was decided by a single battle, the Battle of Koniggratz. There were other engagements throughout Germany, and the Austrians won victories against Italy, particularly at sea in the battle of Lissa, but these did nothing to the outcome of the war. Both sides immediately concentrated as much force as possible for a single decisive engagement, and on 3 July the Prussian army under General Helmuth von Moltke met the Austrians at the place of Koniggratz, or Sadowa, in what remains one of the most geographically concentrated battles in history for the number of troops engaged. The Austrians were armed with breechloading single-shot rifles and rifled muzzle-loading cannon; the Prussians had repeating rifles and breechloading artillery.

Five hundred thousand men and two thousand cannon on both sides fought savagely throughout the day, with heavy losses on both sides. At three-thirty in the afternoon the Austrians, despite all their technological disadvantages, appeared to be winning through the skill of their deployments and the bravery of their men. Then the Crown Prince Frederick appeared on the Austrian flank with a fresh army of 80,000 men. By evening the Austrian army was in disorderly retreat toward Vienna, the Habsburg position in Germany was destroyed in a single day, and the Prussians had made themselves in fact masters of the continent, as would be proven four years later.

1870/75 – The Franco-Prussian War. Prussia and the German states mobilize more than 1.2 million men; the French, though matching the Germans in breechloading repeating rifles and BLR artillery, and even having the new invention of the machine-gun in the form of the Montigny Mitrailleuse, are woefully underprepared in terms of logistics and organization of their system of mobilization. The French army fights valiantly, but is frequently outnumbered more than three to one, losing great numbers of troops as they are defeated in detail when they are thrown forward upon mobilization rather than being properly concentrated. The war ends with Napoleon III a prisoner of the Germans and the German Empire being declared in the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles; the Third Republic follows, after the suppression of the Paris Commune.

The Dominion of Drakia seizes French outposts in Gabbon and the Congo opportunistically during Franco-Prussian War. An international uproar follows this unilateral act—only Germany supports it, and then purely as a matter of convenience. Britain is forced to affirm the effective independence of the Dominion of Drakia as a result of this action, but counts on continued close trading ties and military arranges (Drakia is highly dependant on the Royal Navy for defence at sea, having no navy of its own). The international response, however, causes the Dominate to turn away from most of the English-speaking world and look instead toward Germany, simultaneous to the rise of a virulent strain of militarist racism which comes to completely dominate Drakian society.

The situation only grows worse, however. A cache of papyrus manuscripts found in Western Desert by Drakian Camel Corps patrol. Virtually all lost works of Classical literature and philosophy recovered (e.g., Sappho, Euripides, Aristotle, etc.). The classical revival affects Drakian culture, especially in the military, which adopts ancient military rank structures and organizational names in a rather haphazard fashion. This great effect on Drakian culture however most prominent demonstrates itself in the social arena, where it consumes the Gnosticism which has itself consumed the Christian consensus of the Dominion. The end result is a militaristic society is forming which is totally disassociated with modern morality and regards the world of the secret society, the pact of blood, and the obscene rituals of ancient Gods as ideal, and seeks to emulate the Spartans. Though this attitude is slow to build, by 1875 all the components exist; they need only be assembled.

The remnant holdings of the East Indian Company, which is in theory still administering much of Africa and the island of Ceylon, are nationalized following the fallout from the French annexations; they are now governed directly by the Dominion of Drakia. Caesarea Palestina and Lebanon Provinces given semi-autonomous status to please European States—or, more or less particularly, Germany. Muslims formally enserfed in all areas except Caesarea Palestina, Jews herded in ghettos, Christian natives remain free but have no Citizen privilages. The push across southern Algeria finally succeeds in reducing most of the region. Drakian forces advancing from Senegal meet up with forces coming south from the Atlas in the city of Timbuktu in late 1875.

Drakia is relatively advanced in this period as early experimental inventions (such as steam cars, pneumatic systems, etc) are combined with the new innovations and advanced chemistry theory of the Second Industrial Revolution. Many of these efforts are very primitive, however, and find only limited niche markets. Steam-powered dirigibles see limited service. These early dirigibles, with very heavy powerplants and poor control surfaces, are almost always deathtraps, but are gradually improved throughout this period. By 1875, however, they remain strictly experimental, at best.

Extreme bottlenecks in large-scale production of highly advanced equipment soon become apparent as well, ultimately leading to the gradual establishment of a dual-economic system in the Dominion of Drakia: mass production of very simple items by serf labour while what are essentially partial-production prototypes of highly advanced equipment are built by skilled citizens at the upper end of the spectrum, with little manufacturing in-between those two extremes.

After a war lasting more than half a decade with the Emir of Asir, Drakian forces finally push into that province proper in 1873 from Aden, occupying the critical fortified towns; that just provokes a rallying of the tribes in the area against them, and a guerrilla war that ultimately lasts another nine years before Asir is completely conquered. In the meanwhile the Ottoman Empire is strengthening its control over its remaining territories, a move which prompts alarm from the Russian Empire, which begins to forment revolt among the Ottoman Christians.

In 1870, President Grant succeeds in pressing through the accession of the Republic of Haiti as a State, guaranteeing black representation in Congress. Many poor unreconstructed Confederates (who disdain the plantation life of the Dominion of Drakia) move into Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Costa Rica, where a second wild west develops and reprisals from the anti-Walker natives against both incoming Confederates and his supporters in the governments of these countries force constant interventions by American troops. In the relatively corrupt Grant administration there is a strong press from business interests to annex Central America for the purpose of construction a trans-Isthmusian canal through Nicaragua. Combined with these disturbances which require constant intervention in the affairs of the three Republics, and the precedent of the Mexican claim of sovereignty over Central America, the President finally consents in 1875; Honduras and El Salvador remain independent. The Mosquito Coast—reoccupied by Britain in response to Walker's filibustering expeditions—is acknowledged as part of British Honduras to conciliate Britain to the annexations, which largely conciliates international opinion to the move.The move is unpopular at home, however, even though the Republics are given immediate statehood, and the response is part of the reason that Grant chooses against running for an unprecedented third term. The response from Latin America is also quite negative.

1875/80 – In 1876, relations break down between Argentina and Brazil over the disposition of occupied Paraguay. The two countries mobilize their armies as war is declared; in early 1877 the Argentines advance on Asuncion and a battle is fought with the Brazilians outside of the city. The outnumbered Argentines, to everyone's surprise, succeed in a stunning victory against the Brazilian Army. Brazil has much greater mass, and might have carried on the war, but the military defeat at Asuncion prompts an internal revolt by the Republicans.

In choosing this moment to move, however, they destroy popular support by the appearance of having betrayed the nation in wartime; furthermore, Dom Pedro II, with the army, is able to rally its support. Realizing the severity of the situation at home, Dom Pedro, who has long been a liberalist in sentiments, is able to secure the loyalty of the army, signs an immediate peace with Argentina abandoning all of Paraguay save for border regions which Brazil had disputed before the war, and turns to march against the revolutionary government in Rio de Janeiro. The capital is retaken in 1878; the following year, Dom Pedro declares the liberation of the slaves in Brazil, in the style of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclaimation. This strengthens the resolve of the rich landowners in the regions to resist the Emperor, but allows him to enroll countless freed slaves in the army. At the battle of Uberlandia in 1879, Dom Pedro's army breaks the back of the Republicans, but war will continue for several more years.

In Africa, French advisors aide the Sokoto Caliphate in first major war between the Caliphate and the Dominion of Drakia, repulsing several Drakian columns.Meanwhile, rebellions in the European Ottoman Empire in 1875 and 1876 destabilize that country. The conservative government under Benjamin Disraeli moves to counter Russian intervention in 1877 while simultaneously bringing troops into Afghanistan to defend heart from a Russian advance. Drakia decides to aide Britain by three votes, while the war with the Sokoto Caliphate ends in stalemate. In 1878 war between the Ottoman Empire and Russia breaks out and the Russians cross the Danube and drive south.

The Russian expedition against Herat defeated by combined Anglo-Afghan forces, but the British suffer a shocking defeat by the massively numerically superiour Russian Army in the Balkans. Major Russian naval assets on the Black Sea defeat the Ottoman fleet and aide in the operations. The Quadrangle Forts fall before winter and Russian troops enter Varna, and proclaim Kingdom of Bulgaria. The Ottomans, however, fight incredible delaying action at fortress of Plevna throughout the winter. The next year the British Expeditionary Force under Sir Garnet Wolesley arrives with sufficient strength to defeat the Russian Army in a bloody battle outside of Adrianople in 1879, driving the Russians back to Varna. The Russian fleet is annihilated off Varna later in the year by the Royal Navy, and the British begin to counterattack in the Balkans with the aide of Drakian contingents, while additional British forces are landed at the fortress of Batum in the Transcaucasus to relieve it from Russian pressure and counterattack into Georgia.

In the meanwhile Russian advisors at the court of the Manchus succeed in gaining total influence there with the British and Russians now at odds; they lead the Manchu army south against the Taipings and regain Peking and Tientsin. A sharp defeat at the hands of a British army landed in Tsingtao drives the Manchus back, however. The situation in China is ultimately resolved by the the internationalization of the area immediately around Peking and Tientsin as a buffer zone between the Taiping and Manchu Kingdoms as part of the Congress of Berlin.

The United States purchases the Danish Virgin Islands in 1879 and integrates them into the State of the West Indies, including Puerto Rico. Britain retains control over the Sultanate of Aceh due to lack of interest in supporting the acquisition of Dutch Gold Coast forts by the now-autonomous Drakia. A loose protectorate over Aceh is established, and the area otherwise mostly left alone. The Dutch begin to expand rapidly in Gold Coast as the Drakia begin encroachment into the area, and push to seize the Upper Volta region before Drakia can.

In 1879 the War of the Pacific—later called “The Great South American War”, begins between Chile on one hand and Peru and Bolivia on the other hand over the disputed provinces of the Atacama region of Bolivia. On 14 February, 1879, Chilean armed forces occupy the port city of Antofagasta and Bolivia invokes its secret treaty with Peru. On 15 April, 1879, the war is declared. A month later the Peruvians scarcely stave off defeat in the stalemated naval battle of Inquique, losing the armoured frigate Independencia but sinking the Chilean steam frigate Esmerelda, whose captain, Arturo Prat, famously leaps to the deck of the Peruvian Huascar and, refusing to surrender, charges the helm with his sword to be shot down in a hail of bullets. Five months later, the Chileans avenge Prat at the battle of Angamos, when the Huascar is surrounded by many Chilean ships and bombarded until it surrenders, opening the way for the Chilean invasion of Peru.

1880/85 – In 1880 a series of battles are fought in which the Peruvian and Bolivian armies are seperated by the Chileans and defeated in detail. By October of 1880 the Bolivian army has been completely crushed and withdraws from the war, arranging an armistice with Chile. The Peruvians continue to fight as Chilean troops advance through Peru upon the city of Lima. The City of Lima falls in January of 1881, with the victorious Chilean troops marching through the streets as Chinese coolies loot and burn the outlying areas. Effective resistance by Peru entirely collapses, and Chile pursues a brutal campaign of pacification into the far north of Peru against guerrilla resistance which lasts throughout 1881.

When Chilean troops penetrate as far north as Cajamarca, however, Gran Colombia becomes intensely worried about the prospect of a vast Chilean Empire on its southern border. The government of Gran Colombia—which has remained a fairly stable democracy since the 1840s—votes to intervene in the War of the Pacific. Colombian troops march south against Cajamarca and defeat the Chileans there. Throughout 1882 the Colombians drive south with the aide of the reconstituted Peruvian army, reaching the outskirts of occupied Lima. At this point, Bolivia violates its cease-fire with Chile and also attacks, forcing a Chilean withdraw from most of Peru. Chilean troops remain in Tacna, Arica, and Tarapaca provinces of Peru, and the Bolivian seacoast, and with the Chilean navy dominant at sea, the Colombians and Bolivians cannot dislodge them. A truce on grounds of territory held is concluded but no final peace is reached in early 1883.

In 1880 the allied army in the Balkans counterattacks into Bulgaria and pushes along the Trans-Danubian plain, defeating a Romanian flanking effort and scattering the poorly equipped Russian Army. In the Caucasus Abkhazia is occupied by British-Ottoman forces and an advance on Poti begins. Allied naval supremacy is established in the Black Sea, and the blockade of Sevastopol and Odessa begins. In early 1881, as the main army campaigns against Bucharest inside of Romania, a second British-Drakian Army is landed in the Crimean with the assistance of the Royal Navy, defeats Russian army units in the area, and invests the city of Sevastopol. The campaigns are relatively slow, and for the allies rely on control of the sea and superiour equipment.

Late in 1881, however, Drakian efforts to bring the war to a conclusion backfire drastically. The Dominion conducts the first strategic bombing campaign in history, using chlorine gas and incendiaries against Odessa from experimental militiary airships in early 1881 to cripple Russian supply in the area before beginning of next year's campaigning season. More than five thousand casualties are suffered as a result of the raids. Though not severe in and of themselves, a massive outcry in Europe against the 'barbaric and unchristian act' polarizes public opinion. Bismarck capitalizes on this for the interests of the German Empire and the League of the Three Empires. Germany, Austria, and Italy all mobilize, along with Greece and Serbia.

The immense backlash prompts an immediate response in Drakia, where popular sentiment demands the severing of ties with the "race-traitors" of Germany and Austria who supported the Slav over their Saxon cousins in the Dominion of Drakia. The concept of militarist racial solidarity begins to collapse in favour of an ideology promoting Drakia as standing against the whole world and needing only itself in a mandated imperative of conquest. In practical terms, however, there is little that Drakia can do.

The British public features a sharp turn of sentiment against the war. The Disraeli government falls, and Gladstone forms coalition that seeks peace through Bismarck's 'conciliation' policy, demanding concessions to avert the threat of war after the 'outrage' of Odessa. The Congress of Berlin thus establishes boundaries in Europe largely as historical after OTL Russo-Turkish War, save that Cyprus remains in the Ottoman Empire. Russia does, however, lose Akhulzikh and Poti in the Transcaucasus, going to the Ottomans, and somewhat compensating the Ottoman Empire for the loss of territory in Europe. In 1882, Asir is finally pacified, the Draka expending what little good will they have gained in the Muslim World by joining in the intervention against Russia through its conquest.

The Afghani border is delineated and Drakia receives control of all Africa except for existing Portuguese, Spanish, and Dutch colonies, along with the Sultanate of Morocco which remains sovereign and open to the free trade interests of all nations. The Dutch, however, demand and get a claim to part of the Sokoto Caliphate. Drakia, aided by expanded infrastructure network, promptly invades the Sokoto Caliphate again and conquers it by mid-1885. Several skirmishes with the Dutch colonial army follow as the Dutch enforce their claim to part of the Sokoto Caliphate as per the terms of the Congress of Berlin.

Germany gains a colonial Empire, being assigned the eastern two-thirds of New Guinea, the Bismarck and Solomon Island chains, and rights to the colonization of Samoa; though in the later case the United States of America protests strongly to protect its own interests there. It also gains the city of Tsingtao and most of the surrounding Shandong province in China, buffering the Peking International Zone.

Inroads into the Congo are begun by Drakian adventurers in this period, with military thrusts for collecting slaves soon following. Inside the Dominion of Drakia proper, the free population reaches 10,000,000. The Bondservant Identification and Control Act requires neck-tattooing of all serfs. A Security Directorate is founded as the successor to General Constabulary, a step away from Common Law freedoms and toward a Spartan oligarchic police-state regime. Karl von Shrakenberg born, the Arch-Strategos prominent on the General Staff in the Second World War, while a revolt of serfs in the textile mills of Alexandria is suppressed with 90,000 dead in 1885.

In early 1884, negotiations between Chile and the allies in the War of the Pacific break down. The truce only lasts one year; but as the fighting resumes, Bolivia, Peru, and Colombia discover that during that year, Chile has concluded a secret treaty with Argentina (who's leaders are swelled with arrogance over their capabilities after defeating Brazil in 1877), dividing up both Bolivia and the Kingdom of Patagonia—now struggling to survive with minimal support from the French Third Republic—between themselves. The Chilean Navy is likewise further improved, and sweeps the Colombians and the remnants of the Peruvian navy from the seas as their armies once more drive north, while Argentina pushes into Bolivia through the Chaco Region, and landing parties are sent to secure the coast of Patagonia.

The involvement of Argentina and the sudden revival of Chilean fortunes brings immediate world attention to the conflict. In particular, Spain, which has never concluded a peace treaty with Chile since the Guano War of 1865-66, offers to resume hostilities with Chile in exchange for the original disputed Peruvian islands, while simultaneously planning to occupy and restore to the faded Spanish Empire various remote territories of Argentina and Chile. As 1885 begins, Spanish ships move to reinforce the Colombians even as the Chileans drive northward, once again taking Lima, and Argentina conducts an amphibious campaign up the Paraguay River.

1885/90 -- Staging out of the Philippines, and then Guam, the Armada de Espana finally arrives in the Galapagos Islands in 1886, having to sail the long way around the world due to the lack of friendly ports in South America (the ports of Patagonia having already been occupied). Here it effects a union with the remaining Colombian and Peruvian warships, and sails for the coast of the Colombian State of Ecuador. The situation is very serious. The Chileans have several armoured gunboats, prefabricated in the United Kingdom, which is sympathetic to the Chilean cause, which have been assembled on Lake Titicaca and are aiding the advance of the Chilean Army into the Bolivian Altiplano while another Chilean Army presses north against the Colombians and Peruvians. The Argentines have seized the bulk of the Gran Chaco and their army is now penetrating into lower Bolivia.

The Spanish navy wins a victory over the Chileans in July of 1886, driving the Chileans back to port and clearing the way for a counterattack against the Chilean forces in Peru, while Spanish frigates move to seize Easter Island and other offlying island territories claimed by Chile. The Chileans appeal for the assistance of the Argentine navy against Spain, but as it is the height of the winter storm season in the Southern Hemisphere, the Argentines do not want to risk their fleet in the rounding of Cape Horn, and instead offer to redouble the effort inside Bolivia so that the Chilean Army can safely withdraw there. The offer is accepted, and the Argentines begin a big push in Bolivia, taking the city of Sucre, even as the Chileans secure Lake Titicaca. On the other hand, the Colombian and Peruvian armies recapture Lima for the second time in September of that year.

By 1887 the Argentine navy is in the pacific, and meeting with the Chileans presses north to meet the Spanish-Colombian fleet. A great and inconclusive engagement is fought off Lima; neither side wins the battle, but it saves the Chilean forces in Arequipa, because the flow of supplies is preserved, if tenuously. This allows La Paz, the capital of Bolivia, to fall in February of 1887. The Argentine-Chilean Navy now adopts a policy of merely escorting convoys around the Atacama desert for the Chilean Army, and several inconclusive naval engagements are again fought. In March, the Argentine and Chilean armies meet in Cochabamba, signalling the end of organized Bolivian resistance. In Patagonia, resistance in the hills by the tribes allied to the royal government is maintained, with the King of Patagonia, Achilles I, maintaining himself at the head of his Indianos fighting a guerrilla campaign over the rugged mountains.

In April, the Chilean Army begins an offensive which drives toward Lima for the third time. In June, the Chileans again take the city, employing Maxim guns in combat on a large scale for the first time. At the same time, however, Dom Pedro of Brazil is moving to decisively intervene in the conflict. With the country secure and centralized, the rebelling oligarchs suppressed, he oversees the driving through of a railroad on to the Mato Grasso plateau, suitable as a staging area for Brazilian action in Bolivia. The railroad just barely finished, Brazil declares war on Argentina and Chile in July of 1887.

The Argentine navy is in the Pacific, and for several months until the winter storms subside is stuck there. This allows the Brazilian navy to, unopposed, blockade Argentine commerce, while the Brazilian Army, supported by brown-water naval units, attacks the Argentines on multiple fronts, also heavily equipped with the new Maxim gun. The Argentines fall back in disarray. Desperate, the Argentine government recalls the fleet as quickly as possible to try and break the blockade. In October the Argentine fleet sails back to defend Argentina; the Chileans alone are vulnerable to the combined Colombian-Spanish Navy, though they do their best in the second battle off Lima. Defeated, the Colombian and Peruvian troops drive south, recapturing the city of Lima yet again. Though now with sea power in the Pacific, the Chileans dig in and use their maxim guns to great effect, making further progress exceptionally costly on the part of the Colombian Army.

In December, the Argentine fleet, staging out of the port of Mar del Plata, sorties to break the Brazilian blockade. They are decisively defeated in the Battle of the Plate, and Argentina is forced to sue for peace. Though the Argentines are allowed to retain part of the Gran Chaco, the Amazonian watershed of Bolivia is annexed by Brazil, as are certain border regions of Argentinan Paraguay. The Brazilians cared nothing for the Bolivian cause, seeking only to restore the balance of power.

In January of 1888 the Colombians and Peruvians make one last big push against the Chilean lines in southern Peru. They are driven back, though at great cost to the embattled and starving Chilean army. The mutual slaughter is now so great that the Colombians refuse further operations; Peru must also sue for peace. Peru is forced to also cede Arequipa and the Lake Titicaca region; Chile annexes the Bolivian Antiplano. Spain annexes the Peruvian islands and Easter Isle, Isla San Felix, Isla San Ambrosto, and the Juan Fernandez Archipelago.

Economically devastated, Peru is unable to recover, and in 1889 joins the Republic of Gran Colombia in two states, North and South Peru. Chile is hardly better off; though victorious it takes them two decades to recover fully from the horrific toll of the war. Brazil comes out the best, their position as the leading nation in South America decisively restored. The Patagonians maintain a sad and lonely resistance in the interior for another fifteen years, before the last bands of Indians loyal to the idea of the Kingdom are hunted down and destroyed; King Achilles is captured and exiled to France.

In the Dominion of Drakia there are intense feelings of abandonment by Europe despite Bismarck's conciliatory efforts, due to vast unpopularity of Drakians after the Odessa raids, even in Anglo-Saxon-Teutonic countries. Nietzscheanism gains popularity at the same time as esoteric occultist movements bring about a Neo-paganistic revival from a mix of classical and Wagnerian influences. A simultaneous and cross-influenced Nihilistic movement in response to industrialization of society promotes traditional warrior virtues, rejection of all concepts of morality, an ideology of total war and conquest, shorn of the bonds of even race and without religion: In short, a complete throwback to the days of might-makes-right when each country had its own Gods and one demonstrated their strength over them as much as that foe by their destruction, and the enslavement of the people who had worshipped them. The Dominion of Drakia now spirals irretrievably into madness, becoming in essence a reborn Assyrian Empire, merely ruled by a Spartan warrior caste instead of a despotic Autocrat.

The conquest of West Africa to the limits established at the Congress of Berlin is soon completed. Following the trailbreakers, punitive expeditions into the Congo smash resistance and establish a brutal slavocratic rule. Practice of cutting off left hand and the ears of rebels and resisting tribals is by now a long-standard producure; the conquest of the Congo, however, introduces impalement into popular practice for the punishment of rebels, perfectly in tune with the growing brutality of the culture, and replacing the earlier

Mughal-practice of blasting rebels in two with cannons, which is less suited to mass employment. Yperite is used against native troop concentrations for the first time from more advanced steam-powered airships.

In the city of Odessa, to a young widow who remarried after her husband was killed in the attack on the city in 1881, and a new immigrant to the rebuilt city (on Neoclassical lines, after the conclusion of the war), a wounded-discharge soldier named Boris Stepanov, a son is born who will ultimately become a great foe to Drakia. His name is Ivan Borisovitch Stepanov, and the year is 1885.

1890-1900 -- The Nomenclature Amendment Act makes popular term "serf" for debt-peons official in the Dominion of Drakia. Internal culture of the Dominion begins to develop a form of state-religion in which the collective entity of the state becomes more or less the religious belief of the people; in ideological terms one's existence is entirely consumed inside the state apparatus and the collective spirit of the state, which is the all-powerful deity of the people, who exist for the advancement of the state, each in their own place. In essence the state is one unitary body in which Citizens are the brain cells and Serfs the raw materials of the enhancement of national power and the preservation of the nation in general.

Commercial interests in United States lead to expanding control in Central America; hill tribes in the various states brought under control through methods perfected on the western front. Increasing development by the United States in the area, including the connection of the Yucatan to the wider American railroad network, prompts Honduras and El Salvador to join the Latin Pact of Spain, Argentina, and Colombia for protection against the United States. In response the United States authorizes the construction of a more modern navy and commissions the construction of a sea-level canal through Lake Nicaragua between the Caribbean and the Pacific.

The German Empire has been expanding aggressively in terms of colonial holdings in the pacific, and the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy prompts a crisis. Germany had been influencing Queen Liliuokalani in favour of a German Protectorate to preserve the Hawaiian Monarchy. The American planters react by the overthrow of the government in a coup d'etat. The old German Cruiser Konig Wilhelm is anchored at Maui at the time of the coup and makes full steam for Kaneohe on Oahu, where a few hundred pro-Monarchists have gathered with the intent to march on Honolulu. The American cruiser Charleston in Pearl Harbour, on hearing information of the German approach from Maui, heads 'round the island and catches the Konig Wilhelm in the process of sending out a party of Marines and sailors with landing guns to aide the Hawaiian monarchists.

The Charleston clears for action and sends out an ultimatum to the German cruiser. After a tense half-hour the Germans return the men already landed to the cruiser, averting a conflict, but the Konig Wilhelm remains anchored off Kaneohe. Two days later a contingent of the Hawaiian army under Republican officers arrives to desperse the monarchists holding Kaneohe. This time it is the German's turn to issue an ultimatum—the Konig Wilhelm will open fire on the Republican troops if they attack the monarchist positions in Kaneohe. Both cruisers again clear for action.

This crisis results in a war fever in both Germany and the United States with is scarcely avoided. Neither country is prepared navally for a long-distance colonial conflict. In the end, British mediation allows for a compromise: Hawaiian is to be directly annexed by the United States, as the new Hawaiian republic desires, and Germany will be allowed to establish a protectorate over Samoa, which is also disputed between the two powers. Though the agreement is struck, it is highly unpopular; the compromise results in great dissatisfaction with President Benjamin Harrison; when his party nominates him a second time in 1896 the public dislike for him is so great that his opponent, William Jennings Bryant, is elected (narrowly) despite having an even more negative view on American expansionism. Emperor Wilhelm dismisses Chancellor Caprivi and exbarks on a course of naval construction which is soon matched by the United States, while cultivating friendship with the Latin Pact. Queen Liliuokalani ends up in exile in Germany.

In Drakia an expedition in 1894 to seize the Sultanate of Agadez fails miserably, but the conquest of all Congress-mandated territories in Africa save for Agadez, Ogaden and Ethiopia is completed by 1895. In 1897 the first military expedition into Ethiopia is badly defeated, and a stalemate ensues on the Ethiopian borders. The Dominate responds by a major expedition into Ogaden in 1898 to cut off the supply of rifles to Ethiopia (massive numbers are smuggled from Ottoman territories via Oman to the coast by dhows, a trade which the Dominion cannot stop, and which Britain is disinterested in stopping) which will result in a twenty-five conflict in Ogaden before the whole of the worthless desert territory is subdued, and even then small bands of “bushmen� persist.

In 1895 the Sino-Japanese War begins when an appeal from the King of Korea to the Taipings leads to the landing of Taiping troops in Korea to stave off Russian and Japanese influence; the Japanese take exception to the act and declare war, ultimately defeating the Taiping navy at sea while the Russians play off both sides to consolidate their control of Manchuria. After two years of fighting the Taipings are driven out of Korea and the Kingdom is made a protectorate of Japan.

William Jennings Bryant is elected President by an appeal to Latin voters, and increased Christian moralist segment of populace from radical immigration from Britain in prior decades. Outlaw of alcohol in the United States immediately follows extension of the franchise to women in 1898, contributes to Bryant's massive electoral defeat by youthful, energetic Republican reformer Theodore Roosevelt in 1900. Meanwhile, women given full Citizen rights in Drakia in 1899, and the vote from age 30 in United Kingdom the same year.

Britain provides the vote in national parliamentary elections to citizens of Newfoundland, Vancouver, and the Australian Provinces in the same year, cementing the centralized method of controlling the remaining white colonies which began the reigning integration plan following the increasingly independent actions of the Drakia which now greatly concern British politicians, who have to treat the Dominion as an independent country, making actions against Drakia dangerous due to the vulnerability of the Suez Canal. A national identity slowly begins to develop in the British white colonies, who continue to regard themselves as distictly British and are particularly hostile to the Drakia, further exacerbating tensions. Likewise, on the Drakian border, the Ottomans under Abdul Hamid II begin a major military buildup and effort at fortification of the whole of the border with what is regarded firmly as the primary enemy of the whole Islamic faith.

1900-1905 -- In 1901 the Ethiopian Army is finally defeated by a vast army of Drakian troops armed with new pattern Enfield rifles built on license in the Dominion. Certain members of the Royal Family escape into Ogaden, where they are given refuge by the tribes there still resisting the Dominion. This war leads to the arming of Janissaries with modern rifles, and improvements in the numbers of machienguns and artillery pieces assigned to the Citizens; it also sees the first use of gasoline-powered armoured cars by the Dominion of Drakia's army. The last victory of now steadily dwindling Christian/racist minority in Drakia, however, secures 'protected' status to be extended to Ethiopian Christians and Jews. Muslims in the territory are enslaved, and resistance continues for some time among the Muslim population.

Germany's continued support for the Latin Pact results in a major miscalculation. In January of 1902 the Germans announce that they are going to fund a lock-canal through the Isthmus of Panama in competition with the American sea-level canal through Lake Guatemala. As part of the agreement, the canal is to include a Canal Zone in which German troops would be stationed—effectively a buffer which would prevent American troops from ever attacking the territorial bulk of the Republic of Gran Colombian without going to war with Germany. In February, after a month of debate, the United States issues an ultimatum to Gran Colombia over the canal.

Gran Colombia miscalculates their position; they expect that the Germans will declare war on the United States, as well as Argentina. They refuse the ultimate and appeal for aide from the Latin Pact. Honduras, El Salvador, and Spain join with Gran Colombia, but frantic American diplomacy keeps Argentina out. In March, war is declared. The Germans do not, however, join the Latin Pact countries, citing the fact that Argentina stayed out as their own excuse. They still prove useful, however; they buy the Micronesian islands from Spain in a deal intended to cut off the United States from seizing them as coaling stations in a campaign against the Philippines. In exchange for the islands, Spain receives enough hard currency to fund the war effort, and to buy a large number of armoured cruisers from Italian yards, including some the Argentines—who, though staying out of the war, remain publically sympathetic to Gran Colombia—had ordered but now quietly agree to sale.

With the Micronesian islands in neutral German hands, the Spanish believe any threat to the Philippines to be impractical, and concentrate their naval forces in the Pacific around the Galapagos islands in combination with the Colombian Navy of the Pacific, so they can protect their Guano-rich island possessions off the coast of Chile and Peru from the American fleet. Instead, the Americans launch from Pearl Harbour an expedition under the command of Commodore Dewey in the greatest secrecy to tiny Wake Island, and there establish a base where coal, supplies, and feed water are stockpiled for a fleet to make the run from Wake to Formosa.

Meanwhile, the US Army of the San Juan in Central America stands its ground with the support of the fleet while a massive offensive is launched into Honduras and San Salvador. The armies of those countries, equipped primarily with modern German weaponry, resist bitterly while suffering under the concerted attacks of the much more massive army of the USA, including the first large-scale use of Chlorine and Phosgene in combat (the compounds had been used before in colonial conflicts). Meanwhile, the Army of the San Juan is heavily reinforced by sea whilst the Gran Colombian Navy in the Caribbean remains bottled up in Lake Maracaibo. In early May the Colombians launch a major offensive out of Panama which the Army of the San Juan defeats in seven weeks of heavy fighting. A counterattack is then authorized and the Army of the San Juan pursues the Colombian troops as far as the Trans-Isthmusian Railroad in central Panama by mid-July, where the Colombians are able to establish a strong defensive line.

By this point the American Pacific Fleet under the freshly promoted Rear Admiral Dewey arrives in Formosa. The arrival of the fleet creates an absolute shock; all Spanish naval assets in the Philippines are hastily scraped together in Manila Bay. After refueling the Americans steam on, and on the 22nd of July the Battle of Manila Bay is fought where the Spanish fleet is annihilated and American troops land in Manila. By this point word has gotten out about the American coaling station on Wake Island, and the Kaiser, who believes that Wake is legitimately a part of the territory purchased by Germany, openly threatens war.

Unfortunately for the Latin Pact, the Spanish fleet has already been dispatched to the Caribbean and the Spanish government is unsuccessful in recalling it, which it attempts to do in hopes that a later expedition could be sent jointly by Spain and Germany. Instead, the Spanish fleet under Admiral Cervera is intercepted when it attemps to enter Lake Maracaibo to join the Colombians. On 29 July, Admiral Sampson, with the USN Atlantic Fleet, annihilates the Spanish in the Battle off Maracaibo; the Colombians, sortieing to join the Spanish, steam to the sound of the guns to find the Spanish fleet already annihilated. Sampson outmaneuvres the Colombians on their attempt to get back into Lake Maracaibo and forces a battle in which the Colombian fleet is destroyed as well on the next day. This great victories collapse the move to war in Germany, but a new Navy Law is still passed by the Reichstag even as the German government backs down over Wake Island.

In August the Honduran army is finally broken when the Army of the San Juan launches an offenisve toward the north in combination with the Army of the Usumacinta driving south from Mexico. Honduras is all but entirely overrun and the remnants of the Honduran Army retreat into San Salvador. The Army of the Usumacinta thus begins a grinding military effort to overrun San Salvador, in trench war which wars the world of the slaughter to come in the First World War, where the forces of the Army of the San Juan once again race south on the highly developed railnet of American Central America to deal with a new Colombian offensive to try and drive the Americans out of Panama.

By the end of September the Colombians have been driven back to their lines along the Isthmusian Railroad. The Latin allies, now desperate for a solution in the conflict, plan to sail their Pacific fleet north, with a strong contingent of troops, to conduct landings in the Hawaiian Islands and try to cut off the American Pacific fleet in the Philippines. They sail north from the Galapagos, aided by some private German colliers which were quietly chartered. On 9 October the Spanish-Colombian fleet arrives at the Lahaina Roads and begins to land troops on Maui, which is quickly overrun. Two weeks later, Dewey arrives back from the Philippines. Scouting by Army Airships ensures that he arrives in Kaneohe Bay without being detected by the Spanish-Colombian patrols which are thrown up there and off the mouth of Pearl by the first use of Marconi Wireless Telegraphy in war.

Hasty to rectify their error in allowing Dewey safe harbour to prepare for conflict, the Spanish-Colombian fleet steams off of Kaneohe and blockades the stronger American Pacific Fleet in the harbour, hoping to use the advantage of sea room to gain a victory. The two forces are equal in cruisers and torpedo boats, but the United States Navy has four battleships to the Colombian-Spanish three.

On the 28th of October, Dewey orders a sortie, and the Battle of Kaneohe Bay is fought. Dewey steams straight into the massed guns of the Spanish-Colombian fleet, absorbs the best they can throw at him, cuts their line, and annihilates the combined force. The sole loss of the USN—save for a torpedo boat which is blown up--is the Battleship Guatemala, Dewey's flagship which leads the charge and has the combined fire of three battleships and two armoured cruisers directed against it throughout the charge out of the bay. Dewey, though wounded, transfers his flag to the Oregon and continues to command the fight until his force is victorious. One Colombian and one Spanish battleship are sunk, a third Colombian battleship strikes her colours, and two armoured cruisers are sunk, with another driven aground and set afire and a fourth surrendering.

A week before the Army of the San Juan had launched a major campaign to break the back of the Panamanian defence along the Trans-Isthmusian Railroad. By 1 November the US Army breaks through and pursues the fleeing Panamanians along the Isthmus; they have only one route of escape, a narrow-gauge rail line which punches through the nearly impassable territory seperating Panama from the rest of Gran Colombia, and many are overrun and forced to surrender. By mid-November the United States Marines conduct a series of landings on the peninsulas which define the approaches to Lake Maracaibo and seize and fortify them, while San Salvadorian resistance collapses. Colombia, hearing information that Dewey is now planning an expedition to seize the defenceless Galapagos Islands as soon as the troops on Maui have been forced to surrender, finally gives up and seeks peace.

In 1903 the terms are settled upon. Colombia gives up Panama; Honduras and San Salvador are annexed by the United States; Spain gives up the Philippines. Dewey is a national hero, the sea-power theories of Mahan are vindicated, and President Roosevelt goes on to the largest election victory in American history. The electoral campaign in 1904 is punctuated by the next crisis to come, however, when during the Republican Convention in Chicago the Raisuli Affair breaks. An American Citizen, Ioannis Pedicaris, has been kidnapped by Rif brigands in Morocco. The freshly victorious USN steams there at once to enforce his release, and European capitals are aswirl in rumours that President Roosevelt intends to annex the city of Casablanca as an American naval base in Africa. The Kaiser, smarting from his perceived humiliations over Samoa and Wake, immediately plans to upstage the Americans and split Drakia from the British at the same time. The stage is set for the Morocco Crisis of 1905.

1905/10 -- In 1905 the Kaiser lands at Tangier, and meeting with the Sultan of Morocco proclaims his support for the political independence and sovereignty of that country. It immediately sets off a diplomatic firestorm. Intended to upset both American and French interests in the country, it has the practical purpose of also offending the British and Drakian governments, and even Spain, all countries having conflicting interests in the last independent nation in Africa.

The Kaiser soon finds himself isolated. His move offends the Dominate, which had been previously leaning to Germany (so much so, in fact, that they had commissioned a Mauser-imitation as their main battle rifle under license). Conservatives in the government find themselves supported by the representatives of the Citizen populations of Ceylon, Madagascar, Zanzibar, and Aden; these regions are all vulnerable without sea power and had remained pro-British even in the fallout of the Great Turkish War and the hostility of the Gladstone Administration. They wanted renewed ties with Britain for protection.

With Anglo-French rapproachment already in the offing, it is clear that improved ties with Britain will be at the cost of accepting French political interests in Madagascar. At the Algeciras Conference that followed, Germany was faced with a united front. The Spanish had their control of Rio de Oro and northern territories confirmed; the United States abandoned any effort at gaining a coaling depot in favour of supporting a leading position for France, while President Roosevelt succeeded in exchange to receive a promise from the British government that their claim to the region of the MacKenzie River Delta in the northwestern part of North America would be abandoned in exchange for this support (the issue of territorial boundaries in the Arctic between Britain and America had been a long-term source of tension).

Germany was decisively humiliated in the meeting, and forced to back down from a posture that had nearly led to mobilization in Europe. Though no formal protectorate was granted, France had a "leading role" in Morocco. The last stumbling block was the Dominate—and the conservative—overseas factions succeeded in trumphing in their effort at rapproachment with Britain via abandonment of the Moroccan claims through the expedient of bringing the big industrial combines (which had gained power in the 1870s after the collapse of the Cape Town Mineral Company's monopoly) onboard with the promise of exclusive prospecting rights in southern Morocco, which was believed to be rich in iron ore. This guaranteed the support of enough of the Drakian governing cabinet for the support of the Dominate to seal the cordon against Germany. In March of 1906 the Germans, smarting, nonetheless backed down, and crisis was briefly averted.

By this time a new naval race had begun. Ever since 1893 the Kaiser had been guiding Germany on a course of naval expansionism; the programme was originally intended to assert influence in colonial matters in the pacific against the United States, and the confrontations around the 1902 Colombian War had seen a series of improved measures pushed through. Then in 1905 the British completed a ship, the H.M.S. Dreadnought, with a radical new armament, while two semi-dreadnoughts then under construction were completed to a modified design with all-big-guns as well. The German response was immediate, with a class ships nearing 17,000 tons quickly laid down; these vessels had 8 x 11.1in/45cal guns, all centerline, and 12 x 6.7in secondaries. With reciprocating engines, they were in no way comparable to the the turbine-driven Dreadnought.

Many ships of this type and comparable Battlecruisers followed. Rapproachment with the Dominion of Drakia by the British central government became in this case quite useful; Drakia would ultimately fund the laying down of eight battleships and four battlecruisers over the period of 1906 -- 1916, which were manned largely with Royal Navy crews supported by Drakian land forces acting as marines and gunners (Citizens only). Paid for in gold bullion at artificially inflated prices, the construction of the ships served to provide a considerable boon to the British economy and the large amounts of gold reaching government coffers through the deals served to help stave off the accumulation of debt during the First World War.

In 1907 in the United States the political situation allowed for the repeal of the highly unpopular prohibition. This led more or less directly to Theodore Roosevelt's unprecedented third term as President, with a successful run in 1908 aided by the votes of the people of Chihuahua, Sonora, and Chiapas, admitted as states under his Presidency. Roosevelt also had another important feather in his cap from his second term; he negotiated an end to the Russo-Japanese War.

While the Morocco crisis occupied European governments, a proper shooting conflict in Asia attracted popular intention and military interest. Between 1904 and 1906, the Russian and Japanese Empires fight over control of Manchuria. Tensions had been high since the Japanese gained influence in Korea in 1895, and the hapless Nicholas II of Russia had been easily convinced that his army, a generation away from the defeats of the Great Turkish War, was now quite capable of easily dispatching the Japanese. The Japanese strike first with a raid on the Russian Navy at Port Arthur, and the result is a disaster of a conflict.

As the Manchurian army stands aside, largely due to Japanese bribes to the divisional commanders which led them to ignore all efforts of the Russian-dominated court to aide the Russian troops, the war is waged on Manchurian territory and the Russians are steadily driven back. By 1906 Russia is crippled with the internal dissension of the Peasant's Revolt, a relieving fleet which had to steam two-thirds of the way around the world is wiped out at Tsushima, and Japan has taken control of the Manchurian Imperial family and compelled them to acknowledge Japanese authority and expel the Russians; the Manchurian troops now begin to actively fight against the Russians, who are compelled to seek a peace which leaves Japan in effective political control over Manchuria, with ownership of the railroads and the Russian commercial interests entirely blocked.

Another conflict soon boils over in Asia. The French, 'administering' Indochina for the Taipings under the terms of the agreement that Napoleon III arranged to aide their military campaign in the 1850s, declare war on the Kingdom of Siam after the Siamese refuse to pay the tribute which the French assert they are entitled to under the terms of their agreement with Taiping China. After a short conflict, French gunboats sail up to Bangkok and threaten to fire the city; much of eastern Siam is annexed, and the Siamese are forced to turn to Britain, eager to maintain at least part of the country as an independent buffer state, and exchange their protectorate over the Pattani Sultanate for a large sum of bullion and a series of favourable loans which provide for the financing of industrial development and military expansion while paying off the large sum the French had demanded in exchange for the abandonment of their efforts to enforce the claimed Taiping suzerainty over the rest of the Siamese Kingdom.

Industrially, Drakia edges out Germany as the second largest producer of iron and steel in the world, and firmly establishes itself as second largest oil producer. Germany, however, remains far more advanced in production of complex alloys, electronics, and chemical engineering, a fact which will never change during the existence of Drakia. Militarist, quasi-Nitzschean ideology (in truth having nothing to do with Nietzsche and even having been repudiated by him) come to totally dominate all aspects of the Drakian way of life, an effective "Ersatz Religion" emphasizing the total supremacy of the unitary state.

Meanwhile, native resistance in the Asir area, Ogaden, and the western Sahara region centered around Agadez continue for some time against the Drakia, with Agadez proper holding out against multiple expeditions. However, the Nile valley, eastern African, Mediterranean Littoral, and South Africa (including OTL Rhodesia), are entirely pacified and by now heavily developed; the Congo resembles the worst of the OTL Belgium Congo and is gradually being developed, including work on a great canal linking the Nile and Congo basins which is completed at the cost of tens of thousands of serfs being worked together and perhaps a hundred thousand perishing of disease. The Sudd region of the Nile has, by this point, been largely cleared with the aide of the Jonglei Canal, and the Nile opened for navigation right into OTL Uganda, while the old wetlands of the Sudd are drained and ultimately turned into a great series of rice paddies with a cumulative area larger than the country of Belgium. Already a series of three great hydroelectric/irrigation dams on the Nile have been completed at the First Cataract, and more are planned further up the river.

1910-1914 -- The overthrow of the Portuguese Monarchy in 1910 causes chaos in that country as a new Republic is founded. Drakia opportunistically takes advantage of this event to invade and seize the Portuguese colonies of Cabinda, Portuguese Guinea, and Mauretania, officially to "prevent disorder and revolutionary groups in the Portuguese colonies from destabilizing Drakian territory". The nascent and largely British-crewed Drakian navy does not participate, forcing them to abandon ideas of seizing the offshore islands as well. Popular outrage in Europe follows at the blatant nature of the annexations. Those of "identifiably Portuguese race" are given the choice of becoming Citizens or being repatriated to Portugal; the rest of population enslaved.

The Agadir Crisis follows. Drakian commercial interests in southern Morocco clash with efforts of the German Empire to push through development of the area, which is seen as ideal for European habitation and the development of industry. Popular outrage at the Portuguese intervention is believed by the German diplomats to allow them a free hand to push Drakia out of Morocco, but they complete underestimate the tight political ties now working in the Entente. The arrival of a German gunboat in the port city of Agadir—closed to foreigners—brings about an immediate Drakian response on the behest of the Combines which are now leading development and prospecting efforts in the south. Political instability in Morocco leads the Germans to believe that they can contest the issue, due to the threat against foreigners from the warring elements inside of the country. Britain stands up for Drakia out of strictly economic reasons, causing long-term antagonism with Portugal that leads the former close British ally to stay out of the First World War four years later.

A war nearly ensues as the French align with Drakia, supporting the economic interests of the Combines so they can gain full political control over Morocco themselves. British-German relations are further inflamed by an announcement that the German backed Berlin-Baghdad railroad is going to be expanded to reach the port city of Basrah, which has access to the Persian Gulf along the Shatt al-Arab. Germany's stand for the continued independence of Morocco does not go unnoticed in the Islamic world; Sultan Abdul Hamid II of the Ottoman Empire turns more noticeably toward Britain as the large influx of German capital becomes available and the Kaiser continues to stand, it appears, for the rights of Morocco. Britain's rapproachment with the Dominion of Drakia is not seen favourably, and pushes the Ottomans more toward the Triple Alliance. Drakia, conversely, notices this, and begins to plot against the Ottoman Empire.

The Agadir Crisis, though it drives the Muslim world to a pro-German stance which makes the British very worried in India, serves little of discernable purpose. In exchange for Agadir itself and the Cape Juba region, the Spanish support a full French protectorate over Morocco, which the Combines support as well as long as their commercial interests in the south are protected, in hopes the French will create stability. Germany, facing the prospect of simultaneous conflict with Britain and France, ends up entirely excluded from Morocco. The results are predictable: Tirpitz gets another Navy Law passed, public opinion swings more and more anti-English, and there is a burning determination in the German leadership to force the issue under circumstances where they can expect the favourable support of their allies, or at least an avoidance of a general combination against them. Furthermore, the Germans do succeed in proceeding ahead with the completion of the Berlin-Baghdad railroad as far as Basrah. Now it is simply a matter of putting a spark to gunpowder.

In 1912 President Roosevelt resigns his iron control of the Republican party, and content with his third term plans a great private expedition into China and Tibet to find the source of the Mekong. This expedition will consume the next year and a half of his life, and his health, as William Taft, the former governor of the Philippines, goes on to be defeated by Dr. Wilson in the 1912 Presidential Election.

The spark to the powder of a general European conflict is easily provided by the Balkan War. As Ottoman power clearly increased the Greeks turned to diplomatic initiatives. They gradually built up a coalition of Serbia, Montenegro, and Bulgaria to act for the destruction of the Ottoman Empire in Europe. The Italians, desiring portions of Albania and the island of Cyprus and the Dodekanese chain, ultimately join this secret pact in 1911—they have been entirely denied a colonial Empire of their own, and are very eager to carve one out of the Ottoman territories. Their interests are pushed to the forefront by the fact that the Ottoman Empire is on the verge of complete recovery—economic and industrial reform is yielding results, and two new dreadnought battleships have been laid down in British yards for the Empire. The Balkan states, mutually hating each other, are compelled to mutual cooperation against the Turk not by his weakness but his strength; the Russians send arms and inflame nationalist tensions where possible and nobody really desires to see the impending Ottoman recovery take place.

The final piece is the participation of the Dominion of Drakia itself, eager for the annexation of Syria and of the Hedjaz--the later to provide a rail-link between its Levantine territories and Aden. It is believed, now, that their army can easily scatter the hoardes of Islam; after decades it is excellently optimized as a colonial fighting force. The reality of the situation is drastically different. On October 8, 1912, Montenegrin forces march south across the Ottoman border. The war is on.

Abdul Hamid's main preoccupation is defending the Hedjaz. To this end the Hedjaz railway has been completed for a decade, and since interlinked to the growing Ottoman railroad network via a connection to the Baghdad-Berlin railroad across the northern Syrian plain (the Baghdad-Berlin following the Northern Route through Anatolia), and a second line under construction through Cilicia which is unfortunately unfinished at the time. This is still sufficient, however, for a very strong defence. On 12 November a Jihad is declared against the enemies of Islam attacking from all sides. Several revolts are sparked in the Dominate, and a daring mission by an Ottoman Schutte-Lanz with German crew brings word to the Sultanate of Agadez, from whence the Taureg tribes boil out of the desert to attack surrounding Drakian territories.

The Ottoman Empire resists valiantly. Albanian troops acquit themselves especially well, and the Greek navy is defeated by the Ottomans in the early stages of the war, crushed in an engagement off Athos, the last decisive naval victory of the Ottoman Empire. On land, however, the combined weight of the powers is making themselves known. The Bulgarians are held in the passes of East Rumelia until the spring of 1913, but then finally break through in April; the undermanned Ottomans are forced to fall back and abandon the province.

In the west the Serbians and Montenegrins in the north and the Greeks in the south are held back throughout the winter as well. Then in March the Italians land near Durazzo and take the city. Pushing eastwards they finally overwhelm the outnumbered defenders, who fight with German equipment and German guns, and often the aide of German and Austrian officers; their performance is universally excellent and only their being completely outnumbered allows the fall of the Ottoman Empire in Europe. Resistance in Macedonia and Albania continues until May, when the advancing Bulgarians threaten the lines of supply for the forces there. This, and only this, is finally what requires the Ottomans to fall back to the river Strimon, abandoning Salonika and Macedonia. On the 9th of June the Bulgarians make a big push against Adrianople, but are decisively repulsed. An Ottoman counterattack guarantees the possession of Thrace.

In naval affairs, January sees landings on Cyprus by the Italians which fail; the dug-in defenders repulse the Italians, pinning them on the beaches while winter storms batter their supply vessels. Contained to a narrow beach-head the Italians are ultimately forced to withdraw from the island during the peace. They have more success in the Dodekanese, where on the 20th of June the vastly more powerful Regia Marina brings the Ottoman Navy to battle and defeats it, guaranteeing their seizure and allowing the Greeks to land forces on Chios as well. After a last futile effort against the Strimon line by the Greeks, a general armistice is concluded on the 31st of July.

The reason for the Ottoman loss in Europe can, of course, be traced to the largely disconnected war fought by the Dominion of Drakia in the Levant. Here most of Abdul Hamid's attention has been focused since he took power; extensively fortifications have been constructed wherever possible on the boundary with Drakian territory, the infrastructure improved to support large numbers of troops, and the very best units are stationed. The German trained and German equipped Ottoman army faces a Drakian army which relies heavily on Janissary units armed with nothing more than rifles and Citizen units which still wear redcoats and use old congreve rockets intended to 'spread terror' in the ranks of barbarian armies as a significant portion of their artillery. The one area of advancement for the Drakian Army is in the use of gas; its artillery and airships are equipped with chlorine and phosgene shells and bombs. Unfortunately, the German equipment included for the Ottoman Army includes not only their own gas shells, but gas masks—which are not issued to Janissary troops in the Dominion.

An unparalleled slaughter ensues. The Dominion of Drakia has not fought a modern war in thirty-two years, and its last was against backwards Russia, and victorious, leading to little change in tactics since then, save to refine them against primitive enemies such as Ethiopia and Agadez. Waves of battalions march at the double-quick with poorly coordinated artillery support directly on the primary offensive through the Bekaa Valley against Damascus. The Ottoman defensive positions, prepared with the aide of German engineers, stop the Drakian troops cold. They do not penetrate more than 300 meters inside of Ottoman territory. A diversionary attack against the Golan Heights results in 10,000 casualties, including 3,000 Citizens, before it is called off. An attempt to besiege the city of Tripoli in Northern Lebanon, still held by the Ottoman Empire, is repulsed when the Ottoman division in the area feigns retreat after a short fight and then counterattacks as the Drakian troops invest the city, shattering a whole enemy corps.

Organizational laziness is not the only source of incompetency. The Drakian drive out of Asir against Mecca happens to directly coincide with the Hajj, which has massively expanded since the completion of the Hedjaz RR; this means that from the moment of the declaration of Jihad, the nearly two hundred thousand pilgrims are immediately organized into irregular battalions and issued improvised weapons. These troops, aided the local garrison division, one regular infantry division, and a division of Arab tribal cavalry, prepare extensive improvised fortifications with the aide of so much available labour; after repulsing the Drakian offensive north from Asir, vast human-wave counterattacks are launched. These fail, but divert Drakian attention from a flanking manoeuvre by the line infantry which sends the Drakian troops fleeing back into their own territory in a general rout.

By February of 1913, the Dominion of Drakia has suffered nearly 80,000 casualties in little more than four months of fighting and made absolutely no progress. In March a big offensive is tried across the Jordan river; the Ottomans let them cross under German advice and then attack the flanks of the advance, mauling it and forcing an humiliating retreat during which the forward elements of the Drakian force scarcely escape encirclement and destruction. Before the great summer heat prevents such an operation, an expedition is mounted across the Negev to try and cut the Hedjaz railroad. Armoured trains are brought in to support the defending troops, including a large number of 150mm howitzers mounted on railroad cars, which are raced from point to point on the line to provide massed heavy fire as necessary for the defenders, who are dug in with trenches close along the rail-line from whence they can receive supplies in the scorching desert. With supplies almost impossible to bring in the Drakian forces fall back, with many Janissaries succombing to dehydration and sunstroke on the march back to Beersheba.

A last offensive is attempted along the same route as the first, through the Bekaa valley, in June. By this time the redcoats are long gone in favour of khakis, the artillery has proper coordination with the rest of the force, and the Janissaries are being supported by machineguns and improvised mortars. The attack, doing better than the one before it, is still halted cold, while in the meantime many reinforcements that might have seen it succeed are bogged down in the north and east African territories of the Dominion, dealing with a series of slave revolts that end up leaving 400,000 Muslim serfs slaughtered by the time they are fully suppressed in 1914; these revolts had begun as the proclaimation of Jihad was successfully promulgated through Drakia over a period of months. No breakthrough to Damascus takes place on the main battlefront. When Italy and the Balkan powers agree to a cease-fire in late July the Dominion follows suit; unlike the European countries, however, the Dominion does not consent to a peace treaty. Likewise, the Sultan does not rescind the command of Jihad, a command which remains binding for the next fourty years.

The conflict creates an interesting situation, in which the provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Sanjak of Novi-Pazar, are still Ottoman territory, under Austrian administration, which are no longer territorial continguous with the rest of the Ottoman Empire. Under German pressure (Germany being eager to preserve its position in the Muslim world and to strength ties with the Ottomans even further), the Austrian government declines to annex these days, but instead a joint conference is arranged in mid-1914 for the Austrians and Ottomans, under German mediation, to resolve the status of the territories. The Serbian Black Hand will turn this conference into the start of the First World War.


1914 - The Dominion of Drakia has free population of 27,500,000; serfs, 185,000,000. Total population of U.S. reaches 143,000,000. Women serve in auxiliaries but not yet in frontline combat positions; the Taipings are the only army with a female auxiliary other than the Drakian (excluding nursing corps), and they also allow full service by women. GNP of Drakia 70% of that of the USA. President Wilson admits Panama as a state of the Union. The first part of the year is quiet and peaceful; people will later remember that it was a wonderful summer. The fall was anything but. The old order was to die that year, though nobody realized it immediately.

The world has less than a year of peace since the conclusion of the Balkan War. On 28 June 1914 at a conference in Sarajevo, a powerful bomb explodes below the governor's mansion, site of the conference, killing all participants from Austro-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire, along with a German diplomat who was mediating and the Austrian of the Bosnia-Herzegovinan territories. The Black Hand acted out of fear that the end of the conference would see the Ottoman Empire cede Bosnia-Herzegovina and Novi Pazar to the Austro-Hungarian Empire in exchange for accession to the accords of the Triple Alliance, which would functionally halt further loss of Ottoman territory without a general European war.

Naturally, a general European war is exactly what is started by the act. The Germans themselves react with hostility to the attack; the Kaiser giving his infamous “blank cheque� to the Emperor Franz-Joseph. In later years this event will be seen in a better light, considering the natural provocation of the terrorist attack. For the moment, however, it results in a joint ultimatum from Austria and the Ottoman Empire. The Serbians concede to all conditions save one, which violates their constitution; the result is war, and the Russians find themselves forced to support their Slavic brethren against the combination of Catholic German and Muslim Turk. In five weeks the whole world was at war; the German invasion of Belgian bringing in Britain early in August.

The German Mittelmeer division in the Mediterranean makes its famous dash for the Hellespont, shortly thereafter arriving in Ottoman territory where it begins operations in conjunction with the Ottoman fleet. The Ottoman Empire is already at war with Serbia; the harbouring of the German squadron results in the extension of the war effort by Britain to the Ottomans as well, and the Maltese Regiment along with some Royal Marines are hastily gathered and sent to Cyprus. Though the island was heavily defended in the earlier Balkan War, Abdul Hamid made the strategic choice to sacrifice it here so that troops could be concentrated for a strategic offensive inland from Poti against Georgia. This offensive—beginning on 28 August--overruns almost all of Georgia, induces the Muslim populations of the Transcaucasus to revolt, and is halted only in street fighting on the outskirts of Tblisi.

Because of the death of a German diplomat in the Sarajevo bombing, Kaiser Wilhelm is very open and helpful to the Austrians as the war is prepared; he warns them that Germany is concentrating all her forces to the west. As a result the Habsburgs develop a defensive strategy in Galicia which repulses the Russian offensive there even as the great victories of Tannenberg and Masurian Lakes are being won by the German Army. The Battle of the Marne saves Paris in September; among the troops who acquit themselves well are Moroccan Tirailleurs and a large number of Hmong and Montangard hilltribesmen from Indochina who have also been formed into Tirailleur battalions, along with the famed Foreign Legion (created by Napoleon III to fight in Taiping China, originally).

Ironically the French have little choice but to betray the brave Moroccans in October. The Dominion of Drakia offers to enter the war on the side of the allies; these means the dangerously outgunned Royal Navy will have considerable support from the growing Drakian navy, which is largely British-crewed anyway, and thus reliable, and compatible with the Grand Fleet. Furthermore, Drakia offers to send fifteen Citizen divisions to France; another fifteen, and fourty-five Janissary Divisions, will be committed against the Ottoman Empire. The price is a transfer of the protectorate over French Morocco to Drakia; Drakia promises not to dethrone the Sultan or extend their institutes to Morocco, and under those terms the French accept; and, secondly, that Syria, the Hedjaz, the Nejd, Upper Mesopotamia, and Central Anatolia shall be Drakian possessions as fully integrated administrative units of Drakia upon the successful conclusion of the war.

The BEF, aided by Territorial battalions thrown in piecemail, has barely survived. They aide the Belgian army, which managed to extricate some one hundred and ten thousand men by the controversial move of evacuating the Fortress of Antwerp. It is hoped that the some 270,000 Drakian soldiers to arrive on the Western Front will turn the tide of the war and allow a major counteroffensive. Certainly it will take some of the pressure of the exceptionally badly strained French, who have great difficulty manning their sectors of the line, which has forced considerable overextension from the BEF and the battered Belgians. The first of these divisions (called Legions by Drakia, but organized like British divisions) are thrown into the battle of First Ypres just in time to prevent the total collapse of the BEF on the western front, in what will be the last major battle on the Western Front in WWI, fought even as the Germans are stabilizing the situation in western Poland against the latest Russian offensive; the Russian forces west of the Vistula soon find themselves in a critical position. Serbia continues to fight, with the limited Habsburg offensives holding territory but making little progress.

In the mid-east, Drakian troops try to advance through Golan Heights to capture Damascus. This time they are aided by massed artillery bombardment on a tremendous scale; but the dug-in positions of Ottoman 7th Army's XV and XIV Corps (with the Damascus Jandarma Division in reserve) on the Heights hold easily, just as they did in the Balkan War. Ottoman IX (R) Corps defends the Jordan River line; X (R) Corps defends the Dead Sea -- Aqaba area with a scratch organization of two divisions; both units are supported by the strategic reserve of the Hamidiye Cavalry Corps with four cavalry divisions. One cavalry division is, however, attached to support XVI Corps at Mecca, where two reserve infantry divisions and 25,000 bedouin irregular cavalry support the fortress garrisons of that city and Jeddah (another 20,500 men altogether). Ottoman 4th Army defends the border with Drakian Lebanon with IX Corps and VI (R) Corps; the Army is deployed from Baghdad, leaving only 27th Infantry Division and two fortress regiment to hold the defences of Basrah against a British advance up the Gulf Coast, aided by another 20,000 bedouin irregular cavalry.

For nine weeks massive attacks are staged against the Golan Heights and through the Bekaa Valley toward Syria, and they are repulsed again and again, even as Jeddah and Mecca hold against repeated Drakian attempts to push against them. Standing in extensive fortifications built during the comparative economic prosperity of the last twenty-five years of Abdul Hamid's reign, and many older fortifications built haphazardly since the Napoleonic era (or even earlier) having been upgraded or improved on an improvised basis, the 7 Ottoman Corps and one independent division hold off 13 Drakian Corps and inflict terrible losses upon them. Most of all, though, the successful defence can be attributed to the excellence of the Turkish soldier when fully trained in German tactics.

Exhausted, the Drakian forces fall back to regroup; then Ottoman Fourth Army counterattacks into the Bekaa Valley successfully with an offensive beginning on 23 December. The Janissary units manning the line collapse and the Drakian position in Lebanon is seriously threatened; more than 40,000 Janissaries surrender enmasse. A series of slave revolts in Muslim regions of Drakia are spurred by the Ottoman declaration of jihad against Drakia; these soon grow as news of the successful counterattack into Lebanon spreads. Efforts begin to suppress these revolts, which temporarily cripple offensive operations, with tens of thousands of impalements. The Drakian army is ill-prepared for war, caught in the middle of reform.

By the end of the year 100,000 Citizen and 325,000 Janissary casualties of all types have been suffered by the forces of the Dominion, including casualties suffered in the uprisings throughout the Muslim parts of Drakia (including Morocco) where Security Directorate casualties are counted as part of the total. In addition to the fighting in the mid-east and the aforestated revolts, the casualty count reflects 25,000 casualties to date in the Citizen expeditionary force inside France. These heavy casualties are largely due to the fact that the reforms based on the lessons of the Balkan War have been in the process of being implemented for scarcely more than a year; much work remains to be done, so that the army was hardly ready for the war. It learns fast, and in an effort to make up the severe casualties, women are for the first time allowed in the combat arms as of 1 January 1915. Thus concludes the first calendar year of the Great War.

1915 -- Massed airship raids soften up Mecca and Jeddah in support of growing artillery bombardment, but both cities despite massive destruction hold with every tribe in the area fighting to the death against the Drakian attackers. Throughout January, February, and March the Ottoman troops hold in the Levant, with the Citizen troops of Drakia having been pulled back, leaving the Janissaries to die in great numbers to hold the lines. In the meanwhile, siege artillery is prepared and brought up and the assault forces reorganized. Military railroads are advanced to the Jordan river and through the Negev, while an additional five corps are brought forward as the mobilization is extended.

Throughout this period the city of Beirut holds against the Ottoman efforts to reduce it thanks to the support of the Royal Navy. Finally, in April, a Drakian counterattack is attempted using 15 fresh Janissary divisions in Lebanon. Because of the tenuous position of Ottoman Fourth Army between Beirut and the advancing Janissaries, the Ottoman government chooses to withdraw to the border defences rather fight for control of Lebanon. Tens of thousands of liberated Muslim serfs follow the army; many enlist to fight against their former masters, keeping up the strength of the Ottoman divisions and replacing losses incurred in the fighting to date.

In March, however, Greece is induced to enter the war, an act which saves Serbia from total destruction. Control of the Straits is promised to the Greek government, and the restoration of Constantinople. The entry of Greece allows allied forces to reinforce Serbia and send supplies up the Greco-Serbian portion of the old Berlin to Baghdad line. Belgrade still falls in late April as it is cut off by an advance through Novi Pazar, and the Montenegrins are forced to resort to guerrilla warfare after the defeat of their regular forces in the field, but the Serbians rally in the southern part of Serbia proper as allied armies muster in Macedonia and then advance north to take the line with them.

With the Greek declaration of war they are soon involved against the Ottomans. The remnants of Ottoman Second Army hold western Thrace on a line of prepared fortifications first begun in the Balkan War and since improved, running along the Strimon River. Four divisions hold the line, supported by three brigades of artillery. These forces are mostly comprised of Muslim soldiers in the lands lost to the Ottoman Empire less than two years before. Embittered by the loss of their ancestral homes and massacre of their relatives they fight sternly along the Strimon Line and halt every effort of the Greek army to break through. The Greeks soon begin agitating for a flank assault on the Ottoman position in Europe with a landing at Gallipoli; the Russians, who are scarcely able to keep the Ottoman Armies in the Transcaucasus away from Tblisi, are equally vocal.

In June British troops from the Australasian territories and British North America take part in landings on the Gallipoli peninsula. Just across the straits the French also land, advancing in the vicinity of the ancient city of Troy. The Ottomans are waiting for them; Ottoman First Army in charge of the defence of the capital area deploys sufficient corps to both areas to check the allies and they are soon bogged down in trench warfare, supplied from the sea. The extensive works of fortification on the Narrows themselves prevent the passage of an allied navy, and these fortifications are well-covered against assault from land as well. For another two months the stalemate continues unabated on all fronts, with the Ottomans holding their own and even retaining their gains in Russian Georgia.

Finally, however, the Drakian army is ready for its grand offensive. 12", 10", and 9.2" railroad guns, improvised 16.25in rifled mortars built out of cut-down obsolete coast-defence artillery, massed 9.2in and 8in short howitzers built to native designs quickly authorized after the Balkan war, 7.2in cannon supporting the divisional attacks; all the proper weapons of a siege train are directed against the Ottoman defences with sufficient stockpiled ammunition for a barrage that lasts two whole weeks. As soon as it ends, waves and waves of Janissaries advance against the Golan Heights and through the Bekaa Valley—15 divisions each! The attacks continue through September. These attacks, however, are just a feint.

Janissary units and Citizen units now operate in seperate corps-level formations. In late September, another three Janissary corps are flung at the Jordan, and a further three, across the Negev. Now they are fully supplied by the military railroads; and after they have exhausted themselves in their attacks and established bridgeheads across the Jordan, cutting through the main lines of the Ottoman defences, sixteen full-strength Citizen divisions follow. By early October the Ottoman lines have collapsed. Three Ottoman corps are annihilated and a fourth is cut off in the Hedjaz. The Ottoman Army manages to position three corps to defend Damascus and put together a scratch fourth corps out of the soldiers who escaped the inferno in the south and new recruits, but these are entirely overwhelmed in the defence of Damascus. By the end of October they are in full retreat after having suffered horrific losses, and Drakian armies enter Damascus and sack the city in a three week orgy of looting, rape and mass slaughter.

By November the situation in Mecca is very severe. Ammunition is running low. However, a mass outpouring of support comes following the sack of Damascus. Ibn Saud, the Sultan of the Nejd, leads 35,000 men out of the desert to reinforce the lines. The whole of the male population of the Hedjaz is mobilized and perhaps all of that of independent Arabia; many men in the tribes of the British Protectorates sneak across the border to fight as well. Sheer numbers stabilizes the situation for the moment, even as the Hashemite Sharif desperately tries to stop a push by Drakian units south from the Transjordan against Medina. In a great battle to the northeast of Aqaba, he leads close to 20,000 cavalry in a desperate attack against a Janissary corps pushing south along the rail-line. As many as 15,000 of them are slaughtered as they valiantly charge into the massed guns again and again in a brave but futile effort to stem the tide.

As the winter hampers operations in the Transcaucasus, Ottoman troops withdraw back to the old border, where there are extensive fortifications for defence and where they have been, for the past two and a half months, preparing vast defensive lines. This allows several divisions to be dispatched to other critical areas of the Empire: Mespotamia, southern Anatolia, and Gallipoli. In Cilicia, German Brigadier Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck prepares the defences of the area with a mix of local irregulars, limited numbers of German troops, and scratch units of men collected from the collapsed defences in the south. The passes are dynamited and fortified as possible. In Mesopotamia, Ottoman Sixth Army under Colmar von der Goltz relieves the British siege of Basra, driving them back to Kuwait, and makes preparations to resist the advancing Drakian forces.

Even as the allies hopelessly batter themselves against the Germans on the western front—where the Drakian Expeditionary Force gains a reputation as the best fighters of them all, at the cost of pools of blood, because General Haig uses them as stormers as a result—the Russians finally get their act together in Poland, launching a fall counterattack which saves their position across the Vistula and keeps Warsaw from falling while simultaneously driving the Austrians almost out of Galicia and besieging Premzsyl. As a result of this offensive the Italians enter the war on the side of the Entente on December 20th 1915. With the aide of the Italian army in Albania the Habsburgs soon find themselves again on the defensive in Serbia and the Greeks free up the troops for a major offensive against the Strimon Line early the next year.

1916 -- The Drakian General Staff formulates a plan for the destruction of the Ottoman Army. It relies on simply allowing the Janissary troops to conduct the sack and desecration of Medina and Mecca; it is thus theorized that the Ottoman troops can be lured into wild and suicidal attacks based on religious fervour, collapsing their defence of the Euphrates line which has been established following the fall of Damascus. The allies are warned, and despite their protests the Draka go ahead with this plan, forcing them to take such precautions as they can before these Drakian “successes” occur.

In January of 1916 Medina is taken and sacked by the Drakian Janissaries advancing down from the south. The next month the Jeddah-Mecca defensive line is broken and both cities are besieged. Ibn Saud retires with most of the cavalry into desert and carries on a desperate guerrilla effort to cripple the Drakian forces besieging Mecca for the next two months. When it is clear that it has failed, he leads a desperate mission into the city, somehow escaping with his life and with the Prince Zeid, youngest son of the Sharif of Mecca (who died in action defending Medina). In May at last falls. The survivors are massacred. The Kabbalah is desecrated with the Grand Mosque being destroyed and a pagan temple authorized to be built around it instead, signifying the Drakian triumph over Islam. But the al-Hajjar al-Aswad is not found and taken as booty; a legend soon begins to circulate that Allah took it up to Paradise and will return it when the places of the Hajj have been liberated from the Polytheists. A savage guerrilla war begins all across Arabia which is still raging twenty years later.

Likewise, German and Austrian counterattacks push the Russians back out of Galicia and drive to the Vistula once more, while the Italians begin to launch their disastrous series of eleven offensives against Habsburg forces on the Isonzo river. In April Bulgaria enters the war on the side of the Central Powers and relieves the Ottoman forces on the Strimon, which are on the verge of collapse, and drives into Macedonia. The Serbian army soon collapses, and only by great effort does the majority of it succeed in escaping to Albania and Montenegro, where they manage to hold with Italian aide. Additional British troops are required to stabilize the situation in southern Albania to prevent the Bulgarians from driving on Salonika. Ottoman troops in Europe are hastily sent to Asia while the allies stubbornly maintain the stalemate on Gallipoli.

The only fortunate thing is that indeed the Drakian Army's General Staff is at least partially correct. The Ottomans are goaded into a series of costly offensives in Syria which badly weaken their defence of the Euphrates. This allows Drakian troops to defeat the Euphrates defences in spring of 1916; a crossing soon follows. Though the Draka are successful in breaking across the Euphrates and into the Mesopotamian valley, they do so at a considerable cost to their allies which soon becomes apparent.

In May the Moroccan troops serving in the French army are removed from the front line lest they mutiny at word of the destruction of Mecca. They spend the rest of the war working as scarcely better than prisoners in labour battalions. The loss of these excellent troops to the French Army hurts the French irrepairably in the Battle of Verdun. The city is taken by the Germans, and held, along with the fortress. But the Germans prove unable to advance further, and calls of “Mohammedan treachery” (A rumour is spread that the Moroccans were plotting a revolt when they were removed from the line, which is completely false, as they had not yet heard of the fall of Mecca) stiffen the French spine at the prospect of having lost that mythic battle. Great precautions are taken by the French to avoid additional mutinies, and these barely succeed in averting one the next year. Expeditionary corps from Japan and Taiping China are dispatched to France as well; the Taipings in fact send a whole Army, the Japanese a single corps. These forces help to stabilize the front in the French sectors, which are badly worn down.

Likewise, throughout the British Muslim colonies many schemes are made and revolts attempted. Troops from non-Muslim regions are in place and used to efficiently suppress these efforts before they grow into a greatly feared 'second mutiny' in India. The reliability of the Hindu troops in these operations leads generally to further power being granted to the rulers of Hindu-majority Princely States to induce the institution of the draft there (as it would be to dangerous in the direct-rule provinces), providing additional soldiers from India reliable enough to fight on the western front and simultaneously deal with the threat of the Emir of Afghanistan, who after the sacking of Mecca declared for the Central Powers and invaded Peshawar. The Russians, likewise, are soon tied up with revolts in Khiva and Bokhara, much more serious than the glorified schemes attempted in India. At the same time, extensive levies have been raised from the highly reliable Sikh and Gorkhali troops.

In spring of 1916 a large Drakian force has effected a crossing of the Euphrates in northern Syria and swings around to cut off Baghdad from the rest of the Empire, cutting the Berlin-Baghdad RR just south of Mosul and following it south against light opposition. They soon find out that the Germans have succeeded in restoring order to the Ottoman Army, however, as at the city of Samarrah just sixty miles north of Baghdad, the Drakian troops run into the massed force of Ottoman Sixth Army under the command of Field Marshal Colmar von der Goltz. The two armies are very well matched, with one Citizens' Corps and two Janissary Corps against three Ottoman Corps. Von der Goltz completely outmanoeuvres the Drakian Army, inflicting heavy casualties at Samarrah and then using commandeered steam vessels and local craft on the Tigris (concentrated from both the rivers through the rebuilt Grand Canal at Ctesiphon) to effect a series of tactical landings behind the Drakian forces. As the Drakian troops respond he concentrates his offensive force into a hinge and splits the battered Drakian army in two, pinning the Citizen corps and one Janissary corps against the forces on the Tigris.

Nearly thirty thousand Citizens are trapped along with half of the Janissaries. A relief effort by the British is stopped at Najjaf while the bulk of the forces remain pinned down at Basrah, which does not fall for another six months. With ammunition low and starvation at hand, the desperate Citizens resort to eating the bodies of Janissaries who die from hunger to themselves stay alive. After four months the survivors surrender late October and nineteen thousand Citizens are marched north by Arab jandarma battalions. In captivity they will be ruthlessly tortured and sodomized by their Arab guards, given little food, and forced to work tirelessly in labour units. Less than three thousand of these Citizens survive to be rescued by advancing Drakian forces at the end of the war. June is thus the high point of the war for the Ottoman Empire.

The Russian Empire is soon, however, revitalized by the operations of Brusilov on the Eastern Front. In September he breaks through the Austrian lines in the south and once again the Russians threaten Galicia. The Austrians must abandon all offensive operations in Serbia and rush troops to the east, leaving the Bulgarians to stand alone against the allies in the Balkans. The next month the Russian army succeeds in taking Poti and then presses in against the fortress of Batum. Aided by Armenian partisans, the Russian army also overruns Akhulzikh and soon Kars is also besieged, though this vast fortress holds as it did in the Great Turkish War. It is the last great Russian success, bringing in Rumania on the side of the Entente. But within a few months the Germans and Austrians counterattack, eradicating all of the Russian gains and almost completely overruning Rumania.

Though Basrah ultimately falls, Colmar von der Goltz continues to defend Baghdad and Mosul against Drakian and British attacks. With the Berlin-Baghdad restored, supplies come in from the industrial centres of the Empire, and beyond, and the position remains relatively stable. In Cilicia, Lettow-Vorbeck defends the Syrian Gates against several Drakian attacks, confounding their forces in the rugged terrrain protecting the approaches to the Cilician plain and laying the foundation of his legendary reputation. Drakian units make no progress into southern Anatolia, the exceptionally rugged terrain of the area halting them from the first mile in their efforts to push north and out of the Syrian plain.

His situation is made at once somewhat easier, and more dangerous, by events transpiring in Persia. The pro-Russian elements in the capital face a full-scale revolt after the fall of Mecca, and the religious orders seize control of the Shah and of the country, leading Persia into the war on the side of the Central Powers as well. This immediately demands an expedition of joint British-Drakian forces, which land at Abadan and Bandar-e-Abbas and push up into the country. Persian volunteers, however, relieve pressure on the lines in Mesopotamia and help Von der Goltz to continue to hold for the moment.

Late in the year, reconstituted Serbia forces aided by Italian and other entente troops begin to push back into Macedonia, the Bulgarians being overstretched with operations in Rumania and defending the Strimon Line to relieve the Ottomans. Gradually all the ground lost earlier in the year is recovered, but it is rough going with great casualties, and has set back operations in the Balkans by at least a year. In Gallipoli only limited allied forces remain, being retained there to pin down the Turkish defenders from being transferred south to counterattack the Drakian army in Syria.

By the end of the year the Dominion of Drakia has killed more than one million Muslim serfs over twenty-five months of fighting in an effort to halt the great rebellions that continu to sweep through North Africa, hampering their logistics and the full application of their strength. Unabated thanks to the sack of Mecca these rebellions continue, with many Muslim Serfs escaping to go fight with the remaining Bushmen, and the Rif of Morocco having established their own Republic which has declared its allegiance to the Central Powers and is fending off Drakian efforts to suppress it. Entering 1917, the situation appears—even with the minor successes of late--quite dire for the Entente and its allies.

1917 – Early in the year a major Drakian offensive hits the Mesopotamian position of Ottoman Sixth Army as British-Drakian troops advance through Persia to outflank the Ottoman defenders. Resistance in Persia limited to guerrilla warfare after a few short engagements. By March India is once again peaceful, and the danger of a general insurrection has been averted, whilst the Afghan army is driven back across the Khyber Pass and a major expedition launched to subdue the Afghan Emir in the style of Robert's expedition to Kandahar of the 1880s.

Field Marshal Colmar von der Goltz conducts an excellent fighting retreat to the north, preserving his army even as he is forced to cede Baghdad. To the chagrin of the Drakian Army, the British enter the city first, though Drakian troops occupy Samarra in retaliation for their defeat at that spot the year prior. In the north, Sixth Army forms its shortened lines to defend Mosul, and the Drakian forces swing north to attack. Starting in May a series of great offensives are launched through the next three months, throwing hundreds of thousands of Janissaries against the Ottoman trenches. Every one of these attacks is repulsed.

At the same time, events in Russia are transpiring which portend even worse danger for the Entente. In March of 1917 the Tsar is forced to abdicate as bread riots shake the major Russian cities and a series of brilliant offensives by the Central Powers drive back to the Russian Army in all sectors of the Eastern Front and rebellion spreads in Central Asia. There are considerable fears that the Russian government may soon seek a seperate peace with the Central Powers. Fortunately for the Entente, the Provisional Government of Alexander Kerensky stays in the war and continues to resist the advance of German and Austrian troops, though its efforts become progressively ineffectual as Russia is rocked with constant internal turmoil.

It appears as though, irregardless of the status of the Russian Kerenskyite regime, the Central Powers will soon be victorious. Inside the Dominion of Drakia the government has only finally gained control of the Muslim uprisings by June, with the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of additional serfs. On the western front the nightmare of the Third Ypres Campaign is just beginning, born of desperation and the need to cut off the Belgian sub bases of Germany to save Britain from starvation at the hands of unrestricted U-Boat warfare. In the Balkans, the Bulgars have been driven out of Macedonia but the majority of Serbia proper remains occupied by the Austrian Army, and the Strimon Line continues to hold. In Italy, the continuing series of offensives along the Isonzo River brings nothing but dead men.

There is one ray of hope. As 1917 wears onward, American ships are being sunk by the German unrestricted submarine warfare campaign. There is great agitation—for a declaration of war against both Germany and Britain, the later in retaliation for the harm that the British naval blockade does to American commerce. This all changes when the Germans make their biggest diplomatic blunder, perhaps the largest in the history of the world. Arthur Zimmerman, the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, sends a telegram to the Republic of Gran Colombia proposing an alliance against America in case of war. This telegram is sent over British telegraph wires (!)--and then Zimmerman unbelievably confirms it when it was initially believed to be a trick of British intelligence! The end result is that the anglophile President Wilson of the United States is finally able, on 6 April 1917, to drag the United States into a war in which it is ironically fighting on the same side as the Dominion of Drakia.

For the moment, however, they are no American troops, nor are there going to be any for some time—at least a year, and perhaps longer, though there is hope that if the allies can hold out until 1919 an American army of ten million men can win the war. In the meanwhile, the sixteen Drakian divisions on the western front find themselves the backbone of the British efforts at Third Ypres, slogging their way through a nightmarish general combat to relieve pressure on the French, who are still reorganizing from the loss of Verdun and the Moroccan mutiny and are not really capable of launching any offensive for several more months.

The Russian provisional government is desperate to reopen the crucial shipping lane of the Bosporus. Kerensky transfers General Brusilov to the Transcaucasus Front, where he undertakens offensive operations against the defending Ottoman Armies. Starting in June, Russian artillery commences the month-long reduction of Kars and Batum as massed attacks on all other sectors cut off the forts from reinforcement. In two months of harding fighting the Russians break through and begin to advance along the coast against Trabzon and through the interior against Erzurum. But at the same time as the Russians are winning on the Transcaucasus Front, their armies are in general retreat in the west.

Units are constantly being drawn away from the success to reinforce the failure, though Brusilov himself remains and must press forward with less and less support as the Provisional Government half-heartedly abandons the original aims of the offensive. His situation only grows worse as the Provisional Government asks him to divert additional troops to occupy Persian Azerbaijan, which the allied troops in Persia have been unable to seize due to the excessive need for men to hold down the rest of the country and the constant guerrilla attacks.

In the meanwhile, the British in India push up into Afghanistan, burning Kabul and Kandahar and forcing the Emir of Afghanistan to resort to guerrilla warfare as his armies are defeated the field. The mobilization of Sikhs and Gurkhas each reaches some 100,000 with the bulk of close to two million Indian Army troops being made up of Hindus and Burmese. In addition to fighting on the Western Front, in Central Asia, and against Muslim rebels, the Indian troops are stationed to keep order in Malaya and Arabia and even see service in the Balkans. Many native Indians are promoted to officer rank out of necessity, leading to a core of trained Indian officers that will become useful in the future. Bokhara and Khiva, however, are essentially ignored by the Russian government, which is all but hapless in its desperation to stem the tide of internal revolution and military defeat.

Driving north from the plain of Syria a major June offensive by the Drakian army seizes Gaziantep after seven weeks of bloody fighting. The Drakian troops then push on and try to break through into the Cilician plain via the Amanic Gates in August. Here Lettow-Vorbeck again stops the Drakian army despite being tremendously outnumbered. In total there are 64 Janissary and 16 Citizen Divisions undertaking offensive operations throughout Syria; in addition to operations in the west the fighting around Mosul continues. Here the city is still held, though there is fighting on the outskirts and it remains part of only a small pocket to the west of the Tigris which is still controlled by the Ottoman Empire.

The Baghdad-Berlin railroad, however, is on the east of the Tigris, from Mosul to Kurtalan. The excellent defensive line of the Tigris river makes it impossible, it seems, to cut the supply route for Ottoman Sixth Army. For this purpose a fourty division offensive is conducted between Mardin and Urfa. The goal is to achieve a breakthrough and push on to Diyarbakir, cutting the Baghdad-Berlin railroad where it crosses back over the Tigris. In July the offensive begins with sharp massed attacks. Urfa falls in three weeks and the Drakian forces push forward in the west to the bank of the Euphrates. In the east, however, Mardin holds out, and for the next two months there is a brutal slog north in which hundreds of thousands of Janissaries are wounded or killed, fresh divisions continuously being sent in to replace the ones mauled to pieces by the Turkish defenders.

Finally, on 28 September, the Diyarbakir-Mardin road is cut; the Ottoman defenders of Mardin fall back in a treacherous retreat to the northeast, no longer able to be supplied. The Drakian Army has slogged its way to within twenty-five kilometers of the city of Diyarbakir and the crucial rail link for Ottoman Sixth Army. What follows is a charnal house. For the next month Janissary units are sent over the top in massed assaults on the defences of Diyarbakir as fresh divisions are fed into the fire. A diversionary assault in the west toward Maras brings an even greater effusion of blood for equally little gain. In all, October sees more than 100,000 Janissaries killed or wounded in action.

At the same time, General Brusilov is conducting the last Russian offensive of the war. Halting his troops before the gates of Trabzon and Erzurum, which are heavily defended, he concentrates the majority of his remaining force—including a hundred thousand volunteers of a new Armenian national army, equipped with a hodgepodge of weaponry—and pushes through Azerbaijan in a flanking attack. At the battles of Van and Hakkari the Russians are victorious, and Colmar von der Goltz has no choice but to abandon Mosul and retreat northwards before he is cut off. Brusilov ferries his army across Lake Van and, using boats on it for supply, pushes an offensive toward the southwest to try and cut Von der Goltz off. On the eighth of November he defeats Ottoman blocking units at Bitlis; the next day he is informed that, as of two days earlier, on the 25th of October by the Russian Old Calendar, the Bolsheviks have seized power in St. Petersburg. Immediately he calls off further offensive operations and instead works to begin consolidating his position in the Transcaucasus.

The tattered Ottoman Sixth Army reforms in defensive lines stretching from Erzurum to Diyarbakir, where Fourth Army now stands, with Second and Seventh Armies in the west. The forces are all badly understrength, but their enemies are worse off. During November the German Army begins to disseminate propaganda via aircraft to the Janissary troops. This propaganda is in fact simply copies of Soviet handbills in English which have been mass-produced by the Germans. Some of them contain the fresh information about the communist revolution in Russia. They are distributed, furthermore, among the Janissary slave soldiers, who have suffered tremendously in the war. To date there have been more than 1.1 million combat fatalities in the Janissary forces of the Dominion of Drakia while fighting against the Ottoman Empire and 1.3 million altogether. An additional 1.5 million serfs have been massacred in Drakian Muslim territories to control revolts.

The revolt starts innocuously. On 12 November, an officer of the Janissary corps sees a Janissary collecting leaflets. When interrogated, this Janissary claims to have simply been gathering them so that they could be used to start fires; it is now very cold in Anatolia, with snow on the ground. The Janissary officer refuses to believe this and summarily executes the Janissary in question, who it turns out was a popular veteran NCO, who had indeed been collecting the leaflets to start fires, taking the risk himself for his men. At once the whole Chiliarchy (brigade) is in a tumult. Leaflets are distributed and within an hour several shots ring out in the trenches—Drakian officers being shot by their own men. It is said that the red banners the Janissaries raised were made by soaking the bedsheets of the officers (who slept in finely appointed dugouts) in their blood.

Over the next several days the mutiny spreads. Ultimately, twenty-nine Janissary divisions mutiny in all or in part. Some 300,000 Janissaries are in general revolt. The center of the Drakian line in Anatolia is entirely gone. Close to 15,000 Citizens are massacred in the first week. The Janissaries march south and engage in a series of uncoordinated assaults against units which remain loyal and against Citizen divisions. Fortunately the lack of officers means these are little more than glorified mobs, lacking in supply and ammunition. They are beaten back, but as they go, the Ottomans quickly take advantage of the situation.

In the end very harsh measures are adopted. The families of all the Janissaries who revolt are ordered impaled, and this fate is widely broadcast among the other units, where severe measures with the troops likewise encourage them to remain in their places. The masses of the revolted Janissaries are soon isolated and overcome, even as two British corps advance to aide Drakia on the Anatolian front. These suppresses see the use of Lewisite and Diphosgene, which eat through the primitive gas masks which are issued to the Janissaries, rendering them all but helpless before the gas. This disperses their formations, and massed bombing and artillery soon follow. The remnants of the revolted Janissaries flee for the hills or attempt to join the Ottoman Army.

By the end of the year, the revolt is over, but the damage has been done. Gaziantep, Urfa, and Mardin are all retaken by the Ottomans, who before the revolt appeared to be on the verge of total collapse. Some 50,000 Janissaries are accounted reliable enough to be formed into four new divisions under German and Austrian officers which plug gaps in the lines. With the cessation of activity by the Russian Army as Brusilov consolidates his position in the Transcaucasus, many troops are likewise transferred south.

A solution is needed, or else it is feared that another million, or more, Janissaries will be killed before the Ottoman Empire is defeated. It comes in two ways. The first is that an innovative young Brigadier, Roland Ingolfsson, has developed infantry tactics suited for well-trained Citizen troops to once again be used in the front line of an assault, not merely to stiffen the massed waves of Janissaries in their wave attacks. This tactics are functionally identical to the sturmtruppen tactics the Germans are developing at exactly the same time. Simultaneously, Drakia begins to receive the first of its own Mk.V Tanks, manufactured in the UK. It ultimately receives 925 Mark V tanks of all variants from the UK and builds another 1,000 of native production during 1918. An additional 1,200 Renault FT-17 tanks are built as native production under license during 1918.

With these two resources in hand, one technological and one tactical, the Drakian military is now prepared to integrate Sturmtruppen tactics with the use of tanks, combining the two innovations to break the deadlock by both sides in their own army. In support will be the use of the new gasses tested against the revolting Janissaries, Diphosgene and Lewisite, and the massed use of aircraft. Though initially wedded to the lighter-than-air craft, the Drakian government ultimately began mass production of French and British-designed aircraft and, by January of 1918, stands to use them in an air offensive of unimaginable scale.

1918 -- In January of 1918 a scandal breaks in the British government of very severe proportions. More than fifty thousand revolting Janissaries, unable to reach the haven of Turkish lines, chose instead to try their luck by surrendering to the British forces advancing up the Tigris river to relieve the collapsed Drakian lines. These men are treated the same way as POWs from the Central Powers and shipped to holding camps between Baghdad and Basrah. The Drakian government thinks nothing of it at the time, but in January of 1918 they decide—almost as an afterthought, really—to request that these Janissaries be transferred to them for dealing with.

The British government is aware of the severity of the Drakian regime in Syria and the Hedjaz. The British population is not, due to the censorship and propaganda boards established during the war. The Labour Party—and the Liberal wing represented by David Lloyd-George—have been operating in conjunction with the Dominion of Drakia only under great misgivings. Starting early in the war extensive loans had been taken out with Drakia, as it was considered safer than relying on foreign and neutral countries.

Pro-British elements in the Drakian government also arranged for the purchase of war materials from the UK at greatly inflated prices, which were paid for in gold and silver specie. This served as de facto funding for the British war effort, and the massive quantities of gold, silver, gemstones, and other valuables in the Dominion of Drakia guaranteed them the financial power to serve as the banker for the whole of the Entente. So right up until early 1918 there was little motivation to stand against the atrocious Drakian behaviour in the Near East and quite a lot of motivation to tolerate it. Things change when British soldiers advancing up the Tigris encounter the swathe of Drakian atrocities to their left flank.

It becomes clear that even if censorship efforts can prevent details of Drakian atrocities from reaching the public that if something is not done the whole of the government will be discredited 'when the boys come home'. There is a fear that it could result in a polarization of the population, and especially due to the communist associations of the Drakian Janissary Revolt, a surge in communist activity in Britain. Moreover, the Liberal and Labour Party leaders (and indeed some Conservatives) are deeply troubled morally as word filters out just about Drakian behaviour against those who revolt and resist in wartime on the field of battle, but also about the mass impalements of the families of revolted Janissaries. That is simply to much, even in the height of what is perceived as a desperate struggle for national survival.

David Lloyd-George puts his foot down on the issue. He refuses to turn over the revolted Janissaries, and in fact declares a policy that British troops in Mesopotamia and Central Asia shall provide refuge to anyone fleeing a Drakian-control area. Furthermore, he declares that Britain will seek a seperate peace with the Ottoman Empire on any reasonable terms if Drakia presses the issue, even as fighting would continue unabated against Germany. When these decisions are publicized, a scandal rocks the Entente. With Britain badly indebted to the Drakian government and financial institutions the Drakian threat is very real; they can bankrupt the British Empire, and worse yet, pull more than 300,000 crack troops off the Western Front.

As January wears into February the crisis spreads, with the French socialists demanding that their government likewise repudiate cooperation with Drakia. Handbills are distributed declaring solidarity with 'the heroes of the socialist November revolts of Russia and Drakia.' The Germans smell blood in the water as their armies advance unopposed and occupy vast swathes of Russia. With such dissension among the western allies, the time to strike the decisive blow of the war and finish it there as well is surely close.

Abdul Hamid, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire since 1876, dies on February 16 of 1918. His final hours are filled with hope; German troops are advancing through huge swathes of the Russian Empire. Bulgaria is holding her own in the Balkans. The latest Italian offensive on the Isonzo has failed. The enemy is riven with dissent. Revolt in the Drakian ranks has allowed the recovery of territory in southern Anatolia. For a while, all of these hopes appear like they will be fulfilled.

On 3 March, the war aims of the Central Powers in the East are met. The Red Government in Russia signs the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with the Central Powers, ceding vast swathes of territory to Germany, Austria, and the Ottoman Empire. Immediately troops are shifted west. The long awaited attack is to begin. It will be remembered to history as the Spring Offensive and it will be called by the Germans Operation Michael. Against the British and Draka, who's lines have been maimed and pounded by the futility of Third Ypres and Passchendaele, the Germans will launch the full weight of their eastern armies.

21 March 1918. It is 4:40 AM in the morning when a roar thunders in great rippling tides across the predawn stillness of the French countryside and drifts out across the channel, where it can be faintly heard even in Dover. Six thousand German guns massed along fifty miles of front facing Third and Fifth armies have commenced firing. 2,500 of these guns are of the heavy or superheavy class. The barrage has been carefully planned by Lieutenant Colonel Georg Bruchmuller, a principle German artillery expert. The guns were fired as rapidly as possible: Drenched in sweat the gunners kept ramming shells home into the breeches over and over again at the maximum rate. Only 2,500 British guns are available to reply, and it is the British artillery which is the initial target of the German barrage. For ninety minutes the barrage continued, and then it shifted to the front lines and was maintained against this new target with similar intensity. This barrage was maintained for fifty minutes. Then the guns fell silent.

For two hours and thirty minutes there was nothing. Many commanders on the front line let their men eat breakfast, not expecting an immediate attack as the silence wore on. The Germans did not attack. Then a great roar swept across the torn and shattered land once again. The guns were again firing. But this time after a mere five minutes the 6,000 artillery pieces were joined by 3,600 mortars of all calibers opening fire with high-trajectory shells against the British/Drakan front-line trenches. For a further five minutes the mortars fired as rapidly as the shells could be flung into them even as the artillery pieces also continued to fire, blasting into the British rear areas. At 9:40 the barrage ceased and the Stormtroopers dashed forward.

For the first time since 1914 did most of these men see hand-to-hand fighting as the Stormtroopers dashed into the trenches, shattering the British formations, hurling grenades and firing their rifles and pistols until everyone was dead, stabbing with bayonets in deadly earnest, racing through the British and Drakan lines like a cyclone. Everywhere the British positions collapsed. Men fled to the rear 'by battalions'. Thousands upon thousands of prisoners were taken. A huge rent was torn in the British lines, and the Germans poured through it even as holdouts were reduced, sometimes by field artillery brought to within 60 yards of the British strongholds which fought on surrounded until overcome by a mass of cannon and troops. Fifth Army had ceased to exist. Third Army fought on, but was in a serious position. Three German armies drove forward with 39 more divisions in reserve for follow-up attacks.

The next day the German attack continued unabated. Reserves were brought forward just to find themselves surrounded and forced to surrender from nearly the moment that they had settled in to defensive positions. Four German divisions were soon blasting their way across the Crozat Canal and piercing through the scratch lines formed desperately by III Corps. The day ended with a general retreat of the allied troops. In many places Drakian divisions held up better than their British counterparts, but it was pointless; they were soon surrounded and unable to retreat as they were blasted from every side with field guns and mortars.

On 28 March the British and French agree to American demands of an independent army. They have no choice; there is a great gap in their lines and the threat of total German victory is at hand. The orders for the available American troops to be sent forward are issued at once. As the German advance bogs down before the city of Amiens, six American army divisions and one Marine division advance to plug up the gap. These are mostly units who's ranking long-service NCOs had experience against Colombia in 1902 and have had the most training from French and British behind the lines. More than 400,000 American troops are in France but these are the only troops that Pershing believes ready to fight.

For the next three weeks the Germans continue to attack, but they do not have the vast success of the opening phases of Operation Michael, in which 1,000 guns were captured and 350,000 casualties of all types inflicted on the British, Drakan, and French units. As American troops advance into the fighting the severity of the situation gradually lessens. Right through April and May the fighting continues with a dubious result, but then in late May a definite shift is seen. More and more American troops—150,000 a month—are arriving in France and American numbers on the front swell preciptiously. By July there were will be nearly a million American troops in France. The Germans have thrown their bolt, and now the American Expeditionary Force is here to launch the grand counterattack of the war.

The French Army, revitalized by its general operational rest in the later part of 1917, now conducts a major offensive—the Second Battle of Verdun—which begins in late May even as the Americans arrive in significant numbers to begin to count. By the end of July, after little more than two months of fighting, the French have succeeded in at last retaking Verdun, though the material cost of this offensive is sufficiently great that further French offensives in 1918 must be generally fairly closely coordinated with the Americans on account of limited manpower. The fear of regaining the city fought over for almost all of 1916, in a mere two months of comparatively bloodless offensives, is however a great boost to French morale and a tribute to the continued effectiveness of French Arms.

At the same time, however, the Draka have pulled their troops off the front in west. Savaged, their sixteen divisions on the line took the brunt of the Spring Offensive. Already stung by the criticism of Britain and the outrage of response in the European countries, along with the refusal of Lloyd-George to turn over the Janissaries who surrendered to British troops, the Drakian government decides to completely withdraw from the Western Front. This is the moment of the break; for the rest of the war there is effectively no cooperation between the Draka and the other allies and the feeling of betrayal, heightened by the massive casualties in the Citizen divisions under the command of General Haig, particularly during the Spring Offensive (one out of every six Drakian troops on the Western Front was killed or captured the period of March – May of 1918).

Of course, it scarcely matters. The massive numbers of American troops—including many all-black units of the Negro Corps—are flooding into France and they take up the slack. The Germans launch an attack in mid-July but it fails after two days of fighting. Then the Americans and French counterattack on the 18th. The fighting continues until the 6th of August and the allies advance continuously, retaking Soissons and crossing the Aisne. The direction of the war has been decisively turned, and from now on the allies will only advance and never retreat. There are now more than one million American troops in France, and the allied forces are supported by thousands and thousands of tanks. By the end of August, British offensives have equally netted the capture of 50,000 German POWs and 700 guns. The German Empire has less than three months to live.

Things have changed equally in the mid-east, to the point that one of the factors in the Drakan withdrawal from the western front was to transfer such units as were still fighting fit to the ports of the levantine coast, where they could march north directly into battle, a grusome request for those battered men but one they stuck out through with the customary Drakian grit. On 8 April, even as the German offensive bogs down on the western front, the Draka launch their grand attack against the Ottoman lines. With the death of Abdul Hamid II there is little direction in the Ottoman government, but at least the new leaders are not so paranoid; they pull the last units off the line with Brusilov (who agrees to a cease-fire but refuses to acknowledge the terms of the Brest-Litovsk treaty, which assigns the Transcaucasus to the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans are in to much danger, of course, to challenge this for the moment) and send them south.

Despite this, the Ottomans cannot stop the Drakian offensive. Nineteen Citizen Divisions spearhead the offensive, this time. Spearheading them in turn are Stormtroopers in the German style, and they are supported by 950 tanks of all types. After a brief artillery bombardment the Stormtroopers infiltrate into the Ottoman lines and fight hand-to-hand with bayonets, grenades, and trench guns. They concentrate on weak points and overrun them, isolating the Ottoman strongpoints. Rather than wait to reduce these strongpoints with artillery and numbers as the Germans were forced to do, however, the Stormtrooper units immediately use telegraph wires rolled forward to report on their positions, allowing the tanks to be concentrated against them, crushing them with the massed strength of the tanks before they can do any harm to the infantry which is pushing through the gaps created in the lines.

All along the line the Ottoman defences collapse instantly; in three days of fighting the whole of the lines are general retreat, with thousands of troops slaughtered in the hot fighting in the trenches. Janissaries in the sixty of their divisions amassed simply follow up the offensives, providing mass to them and little more. Within a week the Drakian troops are reoccupying their lines from the limit of their advance the year before while the Ottomans desperately try to rally. Though the Ottoman Army manages to hold Maras, the new tactics make it almost impossible for them to hold Diyarbakir as on the 17th of April a new limited offensive is launched by the Draka, now stormtroopers followed by Janissaries (who's morale is much recovered by the easy successes of the offensive to date) cut through the improvised Ottoman lines again. On the 22nd of April Diyarbakir finally falls to the Dominion's troops.

As more troops are positioned and used to attack, the Draka launch a flanking attack east from the area north of Gaziantep to outflank the Euphrates line. By mid-May the Ottoman troops are again in general retreat as the Euphrates is crossed in several places and Drakian troops continue to advance north and ultimately take Malatya, while in the center additional troops pursue the retreating Ottoman Army toward Elazig. In June the Ottomans try to rally north of Elazig along the Euphrates once more (the river twists through much of Anatolia). Drakian troops pushing north from Malatya, however, make the position untentable and the position along the Euphrates is once again breached, with the two main thrusts of advance of the Drakian army effectively a combination in early July and driving hard toward Divrigi. If they take the city, the rail-line to the major eastern cities of Erzincan and Erzurum will be cut.

The only good news is that Lettow-Vorbeck successfully stops another Drakian offensive at the Amanic Gates. In the meanwhile troops are desperately rushed into the Divrigi area, with every sort of person possible mustered up and armed with anything which can be found. A desperate struggle is fought in the Divirigi area in late July and through August. Even as the tide is turning against Germany so is it turning against the Ottoman Empire. On 20 August, after twenty-five days of the hard fighting the Drakian army triumphantly enters Divrigi and cuts the rail-line east. Desperately the Ottoman commander in the Erzurum area chooses to unconditionally surrender the territory under his control to General Brusilov rather than have it fall to the Draka. Brusilov's troops—rushed forward by Ottoman trains--cautiously meet up with the Draka about ten miles west of Erzincan within the week.

Further west, Goksun has fallen as a secondary offensive opens, pushing north from Maras, while in the center the Drakian troops are driving hard against little opposition—the Ottoman Army in the area being almost totally expended—toward Sivas, and their ultimate goal of Samsun on the coast which will give them control of the Pontus and cut Anatolia entirely in two. Sivas falls on the 3rd of September. The Ottoman Army in Anatolia, now placed under the command of the Ottoman officer Mustafa Kemal Pasha, prepares a line of last ditch defence from Kayseri in the south (where it anchors on Lettow-Vorbeck's impregnable position in Cilicia) through Corum and to the coast just east of Sinop. On this line the Ottoman Army will make its last stand.

The Month of August saw the beginning of what will ultimately be called the “Hundred Days Campaign”. September sees it transform into the decisive turning point of the war. Simultaneous to the grand offensives on the western front, the Italians are attacking in the 11th Battle of the Isonzo, pinning down the Austrians, while in the Balkans a major attack is launched by the Greek Army which finally breaks the Bulgarian defences on the Strimon Line after three weeks of hard fighting. Driving up through Ottoman Thrace the Greek army pursues the retreating Bulgarians toward Sofia while the Serbian, Italian, and allied forces in Macedonia push the Austrian Army back as they press on back into Serbia proper and execute a series of flanking attacks on the Bulgarians, all under the skillful direction of the British General Allenby.

On 29 September the Bulgarians, on the verge of having Sofia occupied, sue for peace. The Germans find out the next day, only to discover a drumbeat of disaster—for two months of allied counterattacks the Hindenburg Line has held. Now, on 1 October, two days after the Bulgarians surrender, the Hindenburg Line is broken. The next fourty-two days are simply a litany of German defeats as the allies steadily push forward on every sector of the western front. Through October, Bulgaria is occupied and Greek troops advance on Constantinople as most of the Ottoman troops in the area are pinned down by the British soldiers who still hold the lines on Gallipoli through years of siege. On 26 October the Greeks attack at Adrianople as the British stage a diversion at Gallipoli, and the French do the same in their small pocket of Anatolia around the site of old Troy.

In six days of fighting the Ottomans around Adrianople are broken and the city is entered and occupied by the Greek Army, which immediately continues to advance on Constantinople. Three days later the Austro-Hungarian Empire concludes an armistice with the allies. Two days after that the Austrians surrender the Ottomans follow suit, with the Sultan Mehmet V being personally forced to sign the articles of surrender; the Greeks enter Constantinople on the 6th of November, the same day that American troops liberate Sedan, and the Sultan and his family and government are carried off into exile. Five days later the Germans quit on the Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month. The Great War is over in the West, but in the East it wages unabated.

The past months have seen foreign interventions and civil war in Russia. The Whites rally in the east and the south as nationalistic revolts take place all over Central Asia. Russian troops refuse to fight against the armies of Khiva and Bokhara, allowing them declare independence and even send troops into Persia over the summer (these expeditions are defeated by the Drakian and British troops in the country) as a Turkish Adventurer, Enver Pasha, raises the Turkomen tribes east of the Caspian into revolt and declares a Turkoman Republic. As White Armies threaten the Volga valley, Ivan Krasnov is soon at the forefront of the efforts of the newly formed RKKA there, conducting the defence of Astrakhan with great alacrity and preserving it for the Reds even when it is cut off.

Leon Trotsky is made Commissar of War by Lenin and conducts operations with great skill despite his lack of experience. The Red Army is reduced to control of very small areas of Russia as the Whites and their intervensionist allies advance, but he quickly organizes counterattacks as the RKKA is organized with the shameless employment of many old Tsarist officers in the ranks. Soon the Whites and their interventionist allies are being driven back on every front inside Russia, but as 1919 begins and famine sweeps Russia it still appears as though the Whites, who are reorganizing and succeed in destroying the Green Army in the Kiev area, have an excellent chance at victory with massive armies still in the field and the vast bulk of the country under White control.

Contrarily the Draka prepare for a finishing winter offensive against the Ottoman lines. With Constantinople and the coast around the Straits cut off, the Ottoman Army in Anatolia, which refuses to surrender, must fight without any supplies of ammunition save what they have stockpiled near the front and no hope of reinforcement or resupply, whilst the Spanish Flu ravages the ranks of starving men in the Ottoman trenches. On 24 November the Drakian offensive commences. Again a diversionary effort is made against the Amanic Gates and again Lettow-Vorbeck easily repulses it without having to recourse to ask Kemal for reinforcements.

For more than a month the Ottomans hold out, but then their ammunition runs out. Kemal has no choice; he orders all organs of the Ottoman government still remaining to surrender to the Greek and allied armies wherever possible. With just two or three rounds per man and less than a shell to the gun he resolves on a last counterattack to perhaps the delay the Drakian army for a few more days to allow the allies to advance further into Anatolia and occupy more of the country: better them than the Draka.

On 28 December this last offensive is launched through the bitter Anatolian snows. In one point where the most men are concentrated the fighting charge at the bayonet and with grenades and captured weapons of the Ottoman troops reaches the last line of Drakian trenches, but is at last repulsed. Drakian troops push through the Ottoman lines in every area. As 1918 ends and 1919 begins, Lettow-Vorbeck is cut off in Cilicia and the Drakian Army advances on Ankara as the Greeks and allies occupy every area of Anatolia that they can; the bitter-enders of the Ottoman Army who refuse to try and reach the allied lines to surrender fall back into Ankara and prepare the city with whatever they can find for a last stand. Kemal, as it is said, 'appears to disappear into the mists of history, fighting alongside his men in the last attack of the Ottoman Army.'

1919 – 1920 -- In January of 1919 the Drakian troops drive onwards to the city of Ankara. It is besieged on 13 January. The limit of the Drakian advance is marked by Inebolu on the Black Sea coast in the north, Ankara in the center, and Konya in the south. Beyond a rough line running for the most part a little more than twenty-five miles to the west, the Royal Hellenic Army is waiting. In the meantime the Draka begin the costly reduction of Ankara and several other pockets. In close-quarters street-fighting the “bitter-enders” hold out for more than two months, with Ankara and Konya being almost entirely demolished in the fighting. The last pockets in Ankara are declared to have been destroyed on 22 March.

In the meantime, Lettow-Vorbeck in Cilicia, now cut off, has been conducting negotiations with the French Government. On 30 January these negotiations are concluded. The terms are simple. Lettow-Vorbeck will turn Cilicia without reservation over to direct French administration. In exchange, the native troops and refugee Ottoman soldiers will be integrated directly at their current ranks into the French colonial formations. Lettow-Vorbeck and his German and Austrian men will be allowed the dignity of returning to Germany with their arms on a German vessel, and they will maintain the defence of the pocket until sufficient French troops can arrive to guarantee it.

Lettow-Vorbeck promptly turns his attention back to the military situation, fighting off a last Drakian effort, this time via the Cilician Gates, to break into the Cilician Plain and put an end to the pocket. The arrival of the French in early March finishes any such hope, and serves to further outrage the Drakian government as to the behaviour of the European powers. Lettow-Vorbeck and his men, including the Austrians, are carried back to Germany on the decrepit old pre-dreadnought battleship Kaiser Wilhelm II. On their arrival in Hamburg, Lettow-Vorbeck is given a hero's welcome, riding a white horse before his men who march carrying their arms from the war, never surrendered. He is soon given command of the Freikorps elements used to suppress the Bavarian Socialist Republic later in the year.

At last, in April of 1919, the guns have fallen silent for the Dominion of Drakia as well as the rest of the world. Drakian troops firmly control perhaps a third of Anatolia, all of Syria, upper Mesopotamia, and the Hedjaz, along with an insecure protectorate over Morocco. Significant members of the 'protected class' in the Dominion—native Christians and ghettoized Jews—remain neither Citizen nor Serf, more analogous to the colonial peoples of the rest of the world. The Dominion's resources in gold, silver, and precious jewels have left it an international creditor as the First World War comes to an end, with its own modern fleet of seven dreadnought battleships (one having been lost during the war) and three older battlecruisers.

The price, however, has been the death of nearly 200,000 citizens in total and close to four million serfs, counting both Janissaries, rebels, and those punished for the Janissary revolt. In exchange the war has led to the conquest of only six million new Serfs, the establishment of a protectorate over Morocco, and a little industry and scarcely 1,000km of badly damaged railroad lines. By any standard, it is a disaster, but it can now at least be said that all of Africa under Drakian control, save for Morocco, is completely pacified and there are no insurgencies in the plain of Syria nor upper Mesopotamia, allowing these regions to be immediately opened for colonization. In Anatolia and the Hedjaz the situation is different, but the initial banditry scarcely portends to the guerrilla warfare which shall steadily arise in severity.

Versailles brings little pleasure and much outrage to the Dominion of Drakia. The USA refuses to allow Drakian annexation of central and lower Mesopotamia and insists that it fall under a mandatory regime to prepare it for full statehood, to be controlled by the central British government. Likewise, the troops of Britain and the Dominion of Drakia should evacuate Persia and the freedom of that country should be guaranteed. French claims to Cilicia are recognized, against last Drakian hopes to the countrary, and the Greeks are confirmed in possessing all of the territory of Anatolia which they have occupied. Rather than forcing Brusilov's Transcaucasian Regime to abandon territory to Drakia, it is recognized by Versailles in an effort to aide the Russian intervention currently under way.

In the meanwhile the majority of the German possessions in the Pacific are annexed by Japan, save for Samoa and south-eastern New Guinea, given to the UK, and the Solomon Islands, given to France, while the German borders are reduced on the lines of the national ethnicities (though in many case the plebiscites are voted down by peoples who actually consider themselves to be German for all intents and purposes) and the Danzig Corridor and Free State created, which helps produce a major revanchist movement in Germany. The Austro-Hungarian Empire is broken up in favourite of Wilson's pet project of the Republic of Czechoslovakia and a vast South-Slav state under the Serbian monarchy which ultimately becomes Yugoslavia. Because the boundary disputes around occupied Bulgaria are difficulty to resolve, a compromise is ultimately reached in which it is agreed to maintain the occupation for ten years while what is essentially a tripartite commission of Romania, Greece, and Yugoslavia squeeze whatever they can out of the occupied nation in exchange for the abandonment of most of the territorial claims which would have otherwise dismantled Bulgaria.

As a result, the Dominion of Drakia simply walks away from the peace conference. There is considerable popular outrage in the Citizen population, and it is combined with a frightening strain of something else—pleasure at war. Though already a harsh and militaristic state, Drakia before this was rather conservative and opportunist. The experience in the trenches has finished off these last vestiges of the old ways. Matched by an equally sinister—but much smaller, and ultimately forgotten—strain in the thought of the men who fought in the trenches of the Western Front for the other nations in the war, there is an outpouring of pleasure at the thrill of combat. Many novels and poems and songs are written by veterans, glorifying the “beauty of no-man's land” and the ecstasy of mortal struggle and the act of the Kill.

In a Drakian society where only 10% of the population still professes Christianity and only 25% any sort of neo-pagan religion, with the other 65% identifying only to the “immortal character of the State”, and where the Citizen population is raised in national boarding schools which are organized on military lines, these ideas that even the sheer brutal grind of industrialized war is glorious and even pleasing find fertile ground. Combined with a belief that their allies have betrayed them, the last bonds are cast off and the Dominion of Drakia sees an upsurge in radical politics which thrust aside the last of the “moderate old men” in the government who seek to maintain economic ties with the United Kingdom.

The second-class subjects of the minority Christian and Jewish groups are a particular target of the outrage and madness which grows in Drakian society. Subjected to even intensified persecution and the looting and burning of their homes and businesses, along with personal threats and sometimes murders, rapes, and beatings which go undealt with by the authorities, many begin to immigrate with the feeling that they must escape while they still can. As those who can leave carry their capital assets out of the country the feeling against those who remain intensifies with the belief that these national-traitors are directly threatening the livelihood of the Dominion, and must be stopped from doing so and prevented from leaving. Agitators begin to demand the enserfment of these protected classes and the confiscate of their wealth by the State.

For two years the Dominion of Drakia shall have peace, but that peace will not last much longer than that. Already the signs of what is to come are building on the fringes. A young British Army officer named T.E. Lawrence resigns his commission in 1919, as an example, and after converting to Islam goes to fight with the Arab tribes which are beginning to raid into the Hedjaz once more in increasing vigour. Other English Arabists follow suit. Lawrence quickly becomes a guerrilla leader there, and before long the Arab tribes are regularly cutting the Hedjaz railroad and attacking detached parties there wherever they can be found. The movement only continues to grow as, despite the horrific slaughter wrought before, during, and after the fall of Mecca the tribes regroup and find the numbers to sustain a much more dangerous guerrilla campaign.

Likewise, the bands of surviving Turks and Kurds in Anatolia who have not been enslaved by the Draka are initially, it seems, concerned exclusively with surviving in the rugged mountains. But gradually the attacks start to mount, as ammunition and guns are stolen, or perhaps smuggled across the border from Russia or Greece or French Cilicia. The months of peace are deceptive, and these first events are consequently ignored by the Draka as the minor and expected depredations of small groups of surviving bushmen, but this will change.

In the Russian Civil War, the RKKA retakes Kazan in the Urals area to the east from the Whites and Czech Legion. Soon after, British and White elements in the Caucasus are defeated in 1919 by Leon Trotsky, the Soviet Commissar of War; however, Trotsky does not advance against Brusilov in the Transcaucasus, judging his position to be to strong and the chance for Drakian interference to great. In the meanwhile, Denikin's White Volunteer Army advances in a grand offensive against Moscow to crush the Reds. Trotsky, who has just overseen the recapture of Perm from Kolchak in the east after rapidly redeploying from the Caucasus, immediately turns his attention and reorients the RKAA to deal with the latest of these continuous threats. In October of 1919 Denikin's troops are defeated at the battle of Orel, and Trotsky's RKKA begins an immediate counteroffensive into the Ukraine which does not stop until 1920 when Denikin is driven back into the Crimean and resigns in favour of Wrangel, who for the moment holds the Crimean.

The indefatigable Trotsky is already concentrating on other fronts. The allied intervention forces are made to withdraw from northern Russia in 1920 and the White Cossacks are defeated in the Gurev region at the same time. Trotsky is everywhere, traveling on his armoured train and organizing defences, attacks, and counteroffensives, handling the logistics and every other form of military work required of the head of the RKKA, who displays an energy and brilliance in his operations which makes many in Europe fear him as the “Napoleon of the Reds”. He is to ideologically pure for that, and at any rate soon has other worries, for in February of 1920 Lenin dies of complications stemming from the assasination attempt against him a year and a half prior (others say it is an advanced case of syphilis, still others a poisoning scheme by the Draka in revenge fr the Janissary revolt, which was believed to be caused mainly by communist agitation).

Immediately several Red officials revolt in an attempt to secure control of the party for themselves. Trotsky, however, retains the total loyal of the RKKA—which now includes more than 30,000 Tsarist officers in its ranks—and mercilessly annihilates the revolting Reds in ten weeks of stiff campaigning. Thousands of executions follow as the loyal Felix Dzherzhinsky, CHEKA head, oversees the repression of the so-called “right-deviationists”. Trotsky's power base is cemented and his total control over the Russian Communist Party thus guaranteed. In Astrakhan, Ivan Krasnov remains loyal to Trotsky and suppresses the efforts of a party official of the time, Iosef Stalin, to seize the city in support of the “right-deviationist” factions. In reward, Krasnov is promoted to Commissar of Transportation and Logistics for the USSR, where he begins to quickly reorganize the railroads to efficiently aide Trotsky's war effort.

Because of the delay required for Trotsky to smash his way through the revolting Red factions, however, both Wrangel in the Crimea and Kolchak in the east have been able to reorganize, and the Poles under Pilsudski have invaded the Ukraine, besieging Kiev and Odessa. Trotsky assigns the redoubtable Mikhail Frunze to drive the Poles back and turns his attention to Kolchak. Through the rest of 1920 he conducts a campaign of movement against Kolchak through the vast distances in the east. In this effort he is aided by the Taipings.

The situation in Taiping China must be here considered for a moment. The initial Taiping economic improvements have been to a degree counteracted by the great difficulty of their agrarian-communalist economy to engage in modernization, and of course by the internationalization of the Peking-Tientsin area in the 1880s and the annexation of Shandong by Germany. At Versailles, the Shandong peninsula is given to Japan, not back to the Taipings, causing great anger. Many Taiping intellectuals advocate closer ties with the new USSR, contending that their Christian-Socialist government is “Socialism in the Chinese Form” and thus perfectly compatible with the USSR due to the nations concept espoused by Lenin.

Trotsky, eternally practical when it comes to war despite his nature as an ideologue, immediately engages in negotiations with the Taiping regime, which has its own serious problems, for the Japanese and White Russians are now aiding a large scale revolt by the Mongols, who have traditionally played the Manchus and Taipings off each other to maintain a degree of independence. A weird mix of Cossacks, Russian Nobles (in particular the Baron Roman von Ungern-Sternberg), Japanese adventurers, and Mongol tribesmen combine to fight the Taiping government and assorted communist elements in nominal support of both Japan and the Siberian White Regime. This simply heightens the Taiping desire to close ranks with the USSR in hopes of being able to regain control over Mongolia.

Trotsky's campaign shocks everyone in its speed and efficiency. Kolchak's forces and his loosely allied Cossack supprters in Central Asia are quickly defeated (in the later case with the aide of Khiva, Bokhara, and the Turkomen Republic, all of which feel threatened by the Whites who indiscriminately raid and fight with them). Kolchak himself is soon reduced to the territory south of the Amur river. Mongolia, however, largely holds out agianst the Taipings, though they have some success with river monitors along the Yellow River in secure portions of Inner Mongolia in particular and thereby securing the whole length of the Yellow for Taiping control, despite the best efforts of the Mongols to retain these areas for their new independent state—which soon accepts a division of Japanese troops to protect it from the threat of Trotsky's forces driving south to link up with the Taipings.

Instead, however, Trotsky waits until the bitter cold of the winter of 1920 has come, and the Amur river is frozen. He engineers the crossing of the Amur over the ice and defeats the last White positions in Siberia. Kolchak flees to seek asylum in Japanese-held Korea and the victorious RKKA enters Vladivostok. Trotsky is already headed west, to where Mikhail Frunze is battling with Pilsudski's Polish troops in the Ukraine. For the moment Central Asia is ignored, save of course by Krasnov who begins to immediately and tirelessly work on repairing the railroad net there. Fighting continues in Mongolia, sometimes between the various factions and sometimes in skirmishing with the Taiping Army.

By 1920 the seperation movement in the Dominion of Drakia has reached critical mass, and in the elections that year the seperatists are swept in complete dominant power, strong enough to even control the constitution. From the moment they take office, independence is outright declared. These ideologues are mostly military people from the plantations who have little economic experience but share the love of modern war and of conquest that has infested the troops in the long terror of the First World War. In their modifications to the Drakian constitution the last vestiges of Westminster-style government are swept away in favour of bizarre neo-classical forms, and the Dominion of Drakia is renamed the Dominate of Drakia, after the period in Roman history with the Emperor was styled the Dominus, or Lord.

Drakia immediately uses the fact that Britain is badly in debt to Drakia to extort the nation, and also to do the same to a lesser extent to France. The French get off by promising to supply to the Dominate new heavy tanks of the Char 2C design and to agree to the direct Drakian annexation of Morocco and abandonment of all French economic rights there; in exchange for this the Drakian government uncritically abandons claims to Cilicia (in public, in private is another matter) and absolves France of her war-debts, a fairly costly exchange. Negotiations with Spain likewise quickly comes to terms; the Spanish are given a protectorate over the Rif tribes, leaving Drakia with the populuous and economically valuable portions of Morocco whilst removing the danger of extended guerrilla warfare with the vigorous tribes of the Rif.

The biggest issue comes with the British, however. Drakia demands at the British turn over al-Hasa, Kuwait, Mesopotamia, al-Hadhramut, Persia, and even Afghanistan to the Dominate, on the threat of war. In late 1920 the Drakian army is mobilized, it appears that the calling in of the debt could totally collapse the British economy; to be blunt about it the Draka have the UK's balls in a vice with the large debt load. Of the British government, Churchill stands alone in advocating War against Drakia. The rest of the government believes the economic and military situation to be impossible, and negotiates. Here the skilled British diplomats prove quite successful in taking advantage of the inexperienced Drakian government.

Central Mesopotamia and Persia are abandoned, but Persian Baluchistan and the offshore islands of the Persian Gulf are retained by Britain, as-is the foritified port city of Basrah and a section of Southern Mespotamia bounded by the Euphrates and the Shatt all-Arab. Kuwait, the al-Hadhramut protectorates, and al-Hasa, likewise, are retained by the British, though they agree not to interfere with Drakian operations in the Nejd. The British will withdraw from part of Afghanistan, but retain the area of Afghani Baluchistan south of the Darya-ye-Helmand river, part of Zabol, Badakhshan, and Ghazni provinces, and all of Paktika, Paktia, Lowgar, Nangarhar, Konar, and Laghman provinces. In exchange, the Dominate of Drakia agrees to absolve Britain of all war debts and to pay a sum (in gold specie) for the concession in Afghanistan, which was after all claimed as a protectorate by Britain before the war.

Despite the comparative success the British have in the negotiations, and the general anti-war sentiment in the immediate aftermath of the Great War, the feeling that they are abandoning many people to slavery is prevalent, and fears of popular backlash obvious to even those who do not care. Therefore plans are made to (for the agreement specifically allows for the British to conduct the evacuation in any way they see fit) guarantee that as much of the population as possible is evacuated, either to other British territories, or via ship, or into the Russian breakaway States, while leaving behind significant quantities of arms and ammunition for those who choose to, or must, stay; this is done under the threat by Churchill that otherwise he will split the Liberal Party and pull out of the coalition government formed due to the economic crisis.

These agreements cause more than a little economic difficulty for Drakia, with both France and Britain coming out with much better terms than Drakia gets. To deal with the loss of economic power due to the absolution of the British and French debt, however, the new Drakian government resolves on a very simple expedient. After the agreement with Britain is concluded on 18 December 1920, the Drakian government rams through a law while sitting in secret session to authorize the enslavement of the “protected classes”, of native Christian and Jewish subjects, while simultaneously confiscating all of their property for the State Treasury. Simultaneously plans are drawn up for the subjagation of central Mespotamia, Morocco, Persia, and Afghanistan, and a punitive expedition into the Nejd to end the raiding by the Arab tribes of the desert. To the General Staff, however, comes an even taller order—from the moment these actions are taken, the Drakian army will not halt at these territories gained by negotiation but instead press on in the Transcaucasus and Central Asia, before the USSR can stabilize to the point that an invasion would result in a long and extended conflict. With less than two years of peace behind it the Dominate of Drakia once again finds itself preparing for war.

1921 – 1924 In Drakia panic ensues as rumours leak of the plans for the enserfment of the protected classes. Members of these classes flee in any way possible; to the Dutch Gold Coast, to the Spanish possessions of Equatorial Guinea and Morocco, and by boat across the Mediterranean or Arabian gulf, or into the territories of the Asian border states. Most who have not left yet are unlucky, however, and enserfed. Some Jewish groups in the mid-east resist with particular violence using smuggled weapons, and kill their own family members and then themselves commit suicide, in conscious imitation of the Zealots on Masada, rather than be enslaved. The properties of the protected classes in general are seized directly by the government, giving a boost to the state and improving the government financial situation even as the end of ties with the UK prompts a more general economic recession.

This action has very severe consequences with the Catholic Church and from Benedict XV. In 1913 Saint Pope Pius X had threatened the action of placing the Dominion of Drakia under a Papal Interdict should Catholics in the former Portuguese colonies be enslaved by the Draka. Moderate heads prevailed in general during the Portuguese colony seizures, and only the pagan and Muslim subjects were enserfed; the Portuguese were repatriated and the converted christians made part of the protected classes. Of course they were now enserfed. At the same time so were all the old levantine and African littoral Christians, and the Christians of Mesopotamia. Many of the Catholics in all of these territories, who had grown wealthy as the middlemen of Drakian society, succeeded in escaping (as did many from the Monophysite and Nestorian churches). Many, equally, did not and were enserfed—on the order of hundreds of thousands.

In particular, the Patriarchs of Alexandria, Jerusalem, and Antioch only escaped with the concerted effort of the Christian communities in these areas, and while under extreme danger. This action against the high-ranking Church fathers, and St. Pius X's promise to place the Dominion under Interdict should it enslave the Christians of the Portuguese colonies, combined with the living example of the worst and beastial lengths which the modernism which the 19th century Popes had railed against had gone to. It was the worst nightmare come true of everyone in the Catholic Church, and though basically pacifistic, Benedict XV felt he had little choice. He placed the Dominate of Drakia under Papal Interdict.

There were of course very few Catholics left in the Dominate in the Citizen classes; they had been rare to begin with, and had grown rarer since then. However, there were about a thousand individuals in total—perhaps slightly more--who made the choice of the Church over the State; they emigrated and in later anti-Catholic propaganda by the Dominate were referred to as “the thousand traitors”. They succeeded in taking with them around two thousand serfs baptized into the Church. A few daring escapes by enserfed Catholics followed; but the numbers were small, perhaps five thousand in all over the next decade in total, with twice that number impaled for attempting to escape. These atrocious actions served only to further harden the opinion of the Church toward the Dominate. In the conservative quasi-fascist Catholic movements of Europe and South America alike, intellectuals began to call for a literal crusade to wrest the Holy Land out of the hands of the “Neo-Pagan Modernists”. Though initially dismissed the concept of conservative mass-action by the world Catholic populace being directed against Drakia was never completely abandoned as an intellectual idea in these groups.

Conversely, because of the example of the Thousand Traitors, the Dominate's government took the action of forcing the union of the remaining Christians (around 9% of the Citizen population), into a "National Christian State-Unity Church" divested of external ties and professing a modified dogma preaching support of the State above all else.

Early in 1921 Trotsky arrives back in the west and immediately launches a counteroffensive against the Poles, driving them clear of the Ukraine in three months of fighting. An attempt by General Wrangel's forces in the Crimea to support the Poles by breaking out of the peninsula and driving north is stalemated by the rising star of Mikhail Tukhachevsky in the Red Army. However, by late March Trotsky has received intelligence that the Dominate of Drakia is planning a major offensive directed against the southern territories of Central Asia and Brusilov's Transcaucasus. In light of this he concludes a cease-fire with Polish general Pilsudski and turns his attention to the south.

Mikhail Frunze is sent to assume the defences of Soviet Central Asia while Trotsky moves to personally meet with Brusilov and come to an understanding, even as a Drakian offensive against Trabzon and Erzincan begins, supported by a secondary offensive aimed at Tabriz in White-occupied Azerbaijan. Brusilov's forces resist stoutly and avoid a breakthrough on the Trabzon—Erzincan Front, but steady progress is made by the Drakian Army toward Tabriz.

In the meanwhile, while Trotsky was diverted with clearing up the Polish War, Drakian troops have seized control in Persia and upper Mesopotamia as their British counterparts in these regions retreated per the Drakian-British borders agremeent for the region arranged in the prior year. They find unexpectedly stiff resistance which delays the planned Central Asian offensive, even as those offensives against Brusilov proceed. The British leave behind much military equipment, allowing those Persians, Kurds, and Arabs forced to remain to fight vigorously and take to guerrilla warfare against the invading Drakian armies. The countryside is hopelessly out of control, though when Drakian army units encounter the enemy on the field they are always victorious.

Trotsky meets with Brusilov in mid-April in Erzincan on the Front. They conclude an arrangement integrating Brusilov's territories into the USSR as the Transcaucasian SSR. All residents of the territory and members of Brusilov's Army are pardoned for “any and all offences” during the Tsarist and Kerenskyite regimes, and Brusilov is appointed as the first Marshal of the Soviet Union, militarily second only to Trotsky himself in the RKKA. With this arrangement the full strength of the USSR can be directed toward defending these territories from the Drakian onslaughter. Air mastery by the Drakian Air Force (formed in imitation of the RAF) forces Trotsky to establish the VVS and attempt to organize a proper Soviet air force of his own; this is the beginning of many quiet Soviet-German ties, as the Soviets opportunistically make arrangements with the German airplane manufacturers who cannot operate effectively in Germany due to Versailles.

Regular troops of the RKKA heading east from the Ukraine (where Wrangel and the White Crimean are for the moment simply ignored, save for a blocking force) are immediately sent south into Azerbaijan to reinforce the situation around Tabriz, which is most critical. Trotsky is fairly pessimistic about holding the current lines in Anatolia, particularly against tanks, as the weather improves. He orders industrial resources be concentrated on a major defensive line incorporating the huge old Ottoman fortress complexes at Batum and Kars, and preparations are made for a fighting retreat to that position, leaving scorched earth in the wake of the RKKA and inflicting as many casualties as possible in the process.

Tabriz, however, might be held in the south, but the situation is critical. In June Trotsky effects the commencement of the fighting retreat, railroads and towns and villages destroyed in succession as the population is evacuated, fields burned, bridges destroyed, tunnels dynamited. In the meanwhile the Drakian armies are for the moment stalled on the outskirts of Tabriz in heavy fighting where one particular unit—the 217th Division of the RKKA—comprised entirely of Janissaries from the 1917 revolt who have served first under Brusilov and now under the USSR, distinguishes itself particularly well; it will be retroactively made a Guard Infantry Division in 1936 when the Guard honorific is reinstated for the RKKA.

Fighting rages throughout the summer in the Transcaucasus as a series of punitive expeditions steadily pacify more and more of Persia and Mesopotamia through extreme measures. A street revolt in Tehran is crushed with the slaughter of tens of thousands as light tanks run through the mobs, breaking through the barricades and crushing hundreds of people under the treads. Gas and incendiaries are also used. Gradually the critical areas are pacified, clearing the way for the offensive north through Persia into Central Asia by autumn. Erzurum on the Transcaucasus Front falls in August; the next month is when the Drakian armies in Central Asia push on against Samarkand.

In September the Drakian Army finally breaks through into Tabriz, and Trotsky grimly carries the fighting into the streets there, a vigorous house-to-house contest with little sign of abating. The Drakian Army now has as many troops mobilized as it did during the First World War. Sheer weight of manpower begins to tell. In October the combined armies of the Central Asian states are defeated around Samarkand and the city is shelled and then sacked by the Drakian Army—though the tomb of Tamburlane is left guarded under the orders of the Drakian commander. The Turkomen Republic is thus cut off from Bukhara and Khiva. Herat falls before the end of the month, but further progress is slowed by coming bad weather.

Throughout the winter of 1921 – 1922 a stalemate is maintained throughout the Transcaucasus and Central Asia, though the Draka (despite interference from guerrillas) advance a railroad toward Central Asia to supply their continued offensive in the coming spring. During the whole of the winter the street fighting in Tabriz likewise continues without ceasing, whereas the Drakian army remains relatively quiet before the great defensive line Trotsky has prepared from Batum through to Kars and then south and east. As Spring comes the first Drakian effort is to end the fighting in Tabriz, which is accomplished with a February offensive in 1922. By March the Draka are ready to resume the offensive in Central Asia, though progress in Azerbaijan further north than Tabriz largely proves impossible.

In 1922 two events of considerable importance happen. Firstly, the British government falls as part of the continuing aftermath of the agreements with the Dominate of Drakia. The multiparty coalition which has lasted throughout First World War and endured the scandals of 1918 and the formation of the Irish Free State, is finally collapsed by a combination of financial difficulties following the raising of tariff barriers by Drakia and the relevations of the terms of agreement with the Drakian state. Though all the parties are effectively equally tainted the Liberals are successful in convincing the public that it is primarily the fault of the conservatives; the last unified Liberal government in the UK is thus formed in the following general elections. Meanwhile, in Italy the first of the Fascist States is formed by Benito Mussolini's March on Rome in that year.

Through the summer of 1922 the Draka drive forward in Central Asia, defeating Bukhara and Khiva in turn and pressing on to take Kabul and Kandahar in Afghanistan. Their progress, however, slows as they encounter Soviet forces in Central Asia, which conduct a fighting retreat as they did in the Transcaucasus, allowing themselves to be pushed back toward Almy-Ata slowly whilst extracting a punishing toll in the Drakian Army. Meanwhile the countryside remains essentially unsubdued, meaning that supplies are under constant threat and the new railroads must be constantly patrolled and supported by armoured trains. In August the Drakian Army attempts a big push in the area of Kars to break through the Soviet lines and enter Georgia. The fighting lasts for eleven weeks at scales fully comparable to the worst of the fighting in the First World War, but the effort fails. Trotsky's preparations and Brusilov's command decisions for the defence prove excellent, and ultimately unassailable. With only limited gains to the north of Tabriz to show for the whole year, the Transcaucasus Front gradually falls silent out of the exhaustion of the Draka there.

Even as more than a million troops are involved in the suppression of guerrilla activities through Central Asia the offensive to the northeast continues in 1923. Here the Draka finally reach Almy-Ata just to be stopped by the prepared defences of the area under the command of Mikhail Frunze. The situation degenerates into static warfare throughout the year. The last battle-lines are drawn through the center of Almy-Ata as the Draka reach the end of their supply lines, and the Soviets rest in excellent position on their own, with the reach of the Central Asian steppe, without supply for modern warfare, largely hindering flanking maneouvres and forcing the Drakian offensive onto a narrow front directly around Almy-Ata.

No more progress can be made, and many more troops are involved in suppression activities than in actually fighting the RKKA. The Drakian leadership decides that for now they have pushed forward far enough. Though not abandoning any conquests nor planning any cessation in the forward advance of the Drakian nation, a respite is planned for recovery from this conflict, and preparation for the next. Offensive operations halt; there is never a formal cease-fire, but Trotsky does not believe the USSR yet capable of an offensive. Aggressive planning is made for a counterattack and the industry of the Soviet state devoted to that purpose. Due to the economic needs of the military effort, the New Economic Policy is never dismantled, despite Trotsky's advocacy that it ought be.

Drakian efforts now focus entirely on the elimination of guerrilla activity in the newly conquered territories. This proves difficulty at best, for the resistance movements are very extensive among the population which did not evacuate. Ultimately large scale massacres are coupled with deportations, and the new farms and industries and mineral concerns formed in the conquered territories are filled with slaves brought up from the secured “police zone” of southern Africa. This process goes on for many years to come and ultimately the areas are never fully pacified, even to the point which the Draka usually consider acceptable (small bands of bushmen), due to the great tenacity of the native populations and their ability to survive in meagre environments and their great skill at the bandit-like tactics of guerrilla warfare.

Another very important event for the Dominate of Drakia comes in 1923, however. A natural disaster in Japan—the Great Kanto Earthquake—kills close to 150,000 people, leaving nearly 2 million homeless, and destroying a significant fraction of the industry of the Japanese Empire. This brings to power radical nationalist politicians as hysteria sweeps the country and and an instant recession follows. Koreans, Manchurians, and Okinawans are persecuted and anarchists and socialists murdered by paramilitary groups. Japan looks about desperately for a means by which to recover from the quake which appears to almost fatally set back their imperialist ambitions.

The solution is alliance with the Dominate of Drakia. Drakia has come to generally somewhat admire Japan as a social model worthy of emulation, and in particular for their race-purity and national unity ideology. It is not difficult for the two countries (and Japan representing her Korean, Manchu, and Mongolian puppets as well) to come to a series of economic agreements. In these, Drakia finds new markets for raw materials which cannot be sold in the UK any longer, and Japan gains the raw materials she desperately needs. Likewise, Drakia gains the mid-level manufacturing resources of Japan by the importation of Japanese goods, which goes a long way to make up for deficiencies in the two-tier system of Drakian industrialization, in which very large numbers of only very poor quality, simple products are available, and then jumping over them are very limited numbers of high-end, refined industrial goods. Now Japanese goods can fill the middle spectrum in the economy even as Drakian raw materials are shipped to Japan.

It is just in time, for that matter, as the European countries and the United States have resolved on an economic embargo of the Dominate of Drakia in punishment for their aggressive acts in Asia. These agreements with Japan prevent the Draka from suffering severely at the hands of this embargo, even though it has extended, by 1930, to include every country in the world save Japan and the Japanese puppets, and Argentina, which is being cultivated by Drakia to cause trouble in the American sphere of influence in the Western Hemisphere (ultimately unsuccessfully, though it does not appear that way at the time).

In a final event worthy of note, a rather harebrained scheme of Erich Ludendorff and a little-known politician named Adolf Hitler, leader of the minor NSDAP in Weimar Germany, comes to naught as the so-called “Beer Hall Putsch” is suppressed in a hail of gunfire on the streets of Munich. Adolf Hitler is seriously wounded in the events of the failed Putsch, and after spending several months recuperating is further sentenced to imprisonment for treason; addicted to morphine and barbituates he fades from power in the NSDAP, allowing the more congenial and compromise-minded Hermann Goering to come to the fore and ultimately in 1924 wrest the party leadership from Hitler's chosen successor after his conviction on treason charges. The party is thus refounded as the NVP—Nationalist People's Party—which ultimately merges with Ludendorff's Deutschvölkische Freiheitspartei.

1924 – 1925 + OVERVIEW:

Again peace is short-lived. The Drakian government, having largely dealt with the situation in Central Asia and added vast swathes of territory and millions more serfs, still has serious problems in Anatolia. The rebellions there are particularly intense, with guerrilla activity continuing unabated in the rugged and mountainous terrain; the only comparable area is in Afghanistan.

There is also a general public perception that the French and Greeks “cheated”, and that the great loss of life by the Draka in France was essentially betrayed by the French seizure of Cilicia and the agreement concluded by Lettow-Vorbeck. Likewise it is felt that the Greeks did not deserve any of Anatolia or even control of the Straits—the last point of which is greatly desired by the Draka for economic reasons. There are however strong arguments against further military conflict. The Drakian nation is in the midst of an extensive infrastructure development programme which is consuming considerable resources. War is felt inadvisable in that context.

The government is however overwhelmingly militarist—to an irrational fault--and decides to attempt expansion simultaneous to the huge government-controlled development projects (which are killing hundreds of thousands of Serfs a year as they are worked to death in massive canal and railroad construction, land transformation, and jungle clearing projects, or likewise killed by disease in the process of those projects). The plan is to first defeat the Greeks and then turn their attention to the French on Cilicia. But the revolts must be crushed first, as much as possible, and those in Anatolia contained. So even as planning continues for these operations the maximum effort is put into suppressing the revolts around the mid-east.

The Drakian Navy is expanding at the same time. Without major shipyards of their own they turn to Japan. The Japanese have two battleships which, due to the damage of the Kanto Earthquake, were to be cancelled and broken up on their slips. The Draka pay for the completion of these ships—at great cost, as they cannot order any from any other nation. The Japanese complete these ships over a very extended period of time and of poor quality, but their powerful 16in guns and great speed and armour make them the most powerful ships in the Drakian navy for almost a decade after their completion. In the longer term, efforts are made to complete the necessary infrastructure for the production of their own large battleships. Carriers are ignored by the Draka, as it is felt that their navy will always be able to operate with at least airship support, and usually in the range of land-based HTA craft.

The war preparations are not ignored by other countries, particularly the USSR. Trotsky concentrates on military expansion, and this obsession will ultimately see the USSR transformed into a largely pragmatic state which due to propaganda pronouncements, in combination with the sole focus on the construction of vast military power, makes it appear much more ominous than it actually is, due to the complete proccupation of the Soviet leadership with the Dominate of Drakia. But the Greeks do not neglect their preparations, either. Their warplan for conflict with the Dominate actually involves an offensive to link up with French Cilicia and establish a shorter and more defensible border, and the greatly expanded Greek nation is able to afford the development of an extensive air force and tank corps to aide in this ambition.

Meanwhile, during 1924 Trotsky conducts the successful siege of the Crimean, breaking through the White defences and pushing on to besiege Sevastopol. The city holds out until early 1925; on the Old Calendar New Year's the Whites conduct a successful evacuation of the city by sea, fleeing to the sanctuary of the Hellenic Kingdom in Constantinople with the remains of the old Tsarist Navy. By this time there are already war clouds gathering in Anatolia as the Drakian preparations are completed, and the modern ships of the Tsarist Navy, with crews, are immediately commissioned into the Royal Hellenic Navy as an emergency measure. At the same time, the bonds between Yugoslavia, Romania, and Greece—as the joint occupation authorities in Bulgaria as well as sharing a common interest in maintaining their respective positions in the Balkans—are strengthened by a series of agreements which bind them into a defensive stance toward Drakia.

(NOTE: Geographical names are OTL for reference purposes in this document) Meanwhile, inside the Dominate of Drakia, a vast infrastructure expansion plan has been carried out since 1919, and is now accelerating. According to this vast effort, the Okavanago River is dammed and diverted, its water pumped through aquaducts to feed the Zambezi-Congo canal which is being completed at the same time. Simultaneously, dams and locks are constructed around Victoria Falls to breach the last barrier on the Zambezi River to navigation. Lake Victoria in upper Uganda is connected into the Nile barge traffic system even as an additional series of dams on the Cataract Nile are built and a canal is driven through toward the Congo.

Equally, the beginnings of a great project are laid. This project will be constructed continuously from 1923 – 1939 and consume a great deal of the government budget of Drakia. It involves the creation of a Second Nile Valley in Egypt by diverting water from the resevoirs of the three Aswan dams through the western desert via a great series of canals and aquaducts, available for both shipping and irrigation, as the oasis add further water, and a series of cross-canals are completed to connect the fertile area of Fayyum (and expand it) into this network. The crowning aspect of the great project is the flood of the al-Qattarah depression into an inland sea. Constant evaporation and replenishment of water will moderate the climate in the area and allow a considerable expansion of agriculture, while the continuous flow of water from the Mediterranean into the lower Qattarah Depression will make possible the generation of stupendous amounts of electrical power.

From 1919 – 1940 these projects change a vast span of Africa. The as-Sudd region is cleared and converted into a series of irrigation and transport canals which make possible the development of a vast area of rice paddies somewhat geographically larger than the nation of Belgium. Parts of the Kalahari blossom, using the remaining water of the Okavanago for the production of grain in an area the size of Iowa. DDT is developed independently in the Dominate and used in massive quantities to control tropical diseases, while the Congo basin is steadily cleared, with thousands of species being entirely annihilated, including all the Great Apes of Africa which are exterminated once they are identified as the source of the bizarre pathogens which have required the extermination of tens of thousands of serfs during several outbreaks. Due to these tremendous efforts, by 1940 the size of the Sahara has been reduced by 20%, and the size of the Congo jungles by an incredible 45%.

Barge navigation is possible from Alexandria to the upper Niger via the Congo, or to the heart of South Africa via the Zambezi, and a series of intracoastal canals connecting the mouth of the Zambezi with the heartland to the south, and the Congo and Niger mouths, the later, though, still requiring a sea voyage around Spanish Equatorial Africa. In total nearly three times as many dams, irrigation, and hydroelectric projects are completed during this period than are completed during the United States during the New Deal (ATL). All of these projects come at great cost, however. An estimated 200,000 serfs a year die during these projects, a total of some 4,200,000 over and above the usual hideous rates of “wastage” in the Drakian serf-society.

Production of cement and iron reach epic heights, with quantities of both being produced reaching 150% of the quantities produced in the USA by 1940. Production of advanced chemicals, alloys, machine-tools, and welded equipment, however, remains exceptionally low. Much chemical production is likewise focused on the pesticides needed for the continuing expansion of civilization into the hostile jungles of Central Africa. The Dominate of Drakia has a new leadership, now, which is not held back by the conservative, and conservationist mentality of the old elitist plantation class—the last representatives of which have died off or retired from the leadership by 1920. The younger plantation owners are much more likely to think more highly of their time as soldiers than as the private feudal lords of their vast fiefdoms, and to regard the idea of the state “marching in unity” as ideal; they seek nothing less than to convert Africa into a vast farm-factory complex which exists as a mechanistically controlled support for the entity of the State.

All opposition to a course of world-conquest in Drakian society has ceased. The only political differences are those between the Ideologues—who believe the social Will of Drakian society can triumph at any odds—and the Pragmatists, who advocate a cautious divide-and-conquer strategy of making small gains over a long period of time (the main difference is that the Pragmatists seek to make amends with the western world so as to destroy communism—and in the process annex most of Russia—whereas the Ideologues are only interested in the alliance with Tokyo, and then only as long as it is strategically convenient). These loose political distinctions are functionally the only ones left in the nominally democratic Citizen society. The Society wholeheartedly supports the goals of its leadership; save for a few singular individuals who defect in the future, the “1,000 traitors” following the declaration of Papal Interdict was the last example of any sort of unified resistance to Drakian policy which will be evidenced inside Drakian society.

Even the dissensions between the industrial classes and the plantation classes—long submerged by the fact that the later effectively controlled all industry for a long time, mingling their interests—are effectively gone. In addition to those older historical reasons, their unity in militarist expansion and the believe in a unitary body of society, in which all parts further the whole, ultimately leads to the forced erasure of these differences and conflicts such that even in politics they rarely exist. Votes and elections in the Drakian equivalent of the Parliament become little more reflections of the mass consensus of the society as whole with little actual competition or doubt over the outcome.

Economic dolldrums in both the Dominate of Drakia and the rest of the world follow the severing of trade ties and the collapse, respectively, of the German currency and of the Japanese Great Kanto Earthquake. As the Soviets open up their markets to the world again, however, on Trotsky's pragmatic evaluation of the need for development so as to face Drakia, this is somewhat alleviated. Combined with the improved British economic situation following the forgiving of most of the British war debt (and the same, to a lesser degree, with France) the world sees an economic surge in the late 1920s which reaches spectacular heights; this bubble, however, ultimately bursts.

The period is a mix of paranoia and indulgence, with materialism rampant in the late 1920s—but traveling side-by-side with equal distrust of “modernism” and “communism”, and low-scale citizen unrest with the governments of the western countries due to associations with Drakia fueling the growth of fairly large socialist minorities, especially as many of the national socialist organizations in the west moderate their own social theories (which may appear similar to those of the Draka, making them vulnerable to attack on that angle) in favour of advocating socialism on strictly economic grounds. In the background is the conflict between the Dominate of Drakia and the Balkan Entente which begins in late 1925.

1925 – 1930 The Dominate of Drakia issues a formal ultimatum (demarche) to the "Little Entente" of Greece, Yugoslavia, and Rumania, demanding that their troops evacuate western Anatolia, Thrace, and all Bulgarian territory as it stood in 1914, turning those regions over to the Dominate wholly intact as 'legitimate' claims by the Dominate to territory earned in WWI. France at this time is not dealt with, the leaders of the Domination hoping to split the opposition to their further expansion to some degree by avoiding immediately taking on French Cilicia and perhaps forcing a voluntary withdrawal by the Little Entente as they succeeded to do when they threatened war with the British in 1921.

It does not matter. Speaking for the "Little Entente", the Greeks give their answer to the Dominate as a single word: OXI; "No". 3,790 Drakian tanks oppose 1,200 of the Little Entente; the Drakian Air Force is four times the size of that of her three opponents. But the Greeks choose to attack in a mix of blustery elan and a canny understanding of the great difficulties the Draka have in preparing their forces in Anatolia due to the action of the Turkish partisans. Before the Domination can launch their own attack, Greek troops in western Anatolia advance down the old Berlin-Baghdad railroad line out of western Anatolia and toward Ankara, brushing aside the Drakian border defences with coordinated tank and gas attacks and rolling barrages.

The world is startled by the image of tiny Greece marching forth victoriously against the

seeming innumerable masses and brutally superiour Citizens of the Domination as the Greeks charge forward through the gently falling snows of the beginning of the Anatolian winter. Many young men from Europe and America, enamoured of "brave little Greece" and her charismatically progressive Prime Minister Venizelos (who was in fact before the war operating in a situation of near-insurrection against the monarchist government, which quickly ended in a rush of patriotic sentiment after the Drakian demarche), rush to join volunteer brigades to fight against the Domination, often referred to as "the land of the antichrist" in churches of the day. Billy Mitchell, disgraced in the U.S. and dismissed from the Army Air Corps due to internal politics, volunteers his services for the Royal Hellenic Air Force.

The Greek troops reach the Euphrates northeast of Malatya and to the east of Divrigi, threatening to cut off the Pontus Euxine Province of the Dominate from the rest of the country. Drakan preparations are finally successfully reoriented to meet the bold Greek thrust and the Dominate's army thus counterattacks from both sides, from the Pontus Euxine and north from the Goksun area alike. The overextended Greek forces make a very good accounting of themselves in the rugged terrain, but faced by massed Janissary waves and tank-supported attacks by Citizen storm-groups on their flanks, and short on supplies, their defensive positions collapse and the Greek army retreats hastily to avoid the entrapment of the forward spearhead—which they do succeed in doing, leaving no Greek troops to be cut off by the Dominate. Drakan propaganda claims following the counterattack that they allowed the Greek advance to weaken their position, but most military experts agree this was not likely. That said, even if it was propaganda, the Draka themselves make an extensive study of the operations in these opening stages the war, and feigned retreat will later become a hallmark of their tactics.

The Greek army completely demolishes Ankara as it retreats, the second time the city has been destroyed in less than a decade. Literally millions of refugees flee with the retreating Greek armies (including hundreds of thousands of liberated serfs), which further hampers their ability to hold onto territory due to saturation of their supply routes with refugees. By mid-1926 the Greeks are driven back to their previous border in Anatolia, where the existing fortifications there repel further Drakan attacks. The Domination builds up and strikes across the border by fall of the year, with Citizen sturmtruppen breaking through weak points as massed Janissary advances pin down Greek reserves, all the while covered by tanks, gas, and rolling barrages. Casualties among the Janissaries are immense, both from Greek fire and from their own artillery landing amidst advancing columns. But the combination of Storm Tactics with these massed assaults makes it impossible for the Greeks to hold any defensive line for long. They retreat, burning everything they leave behind and sending essentially the whole population of western Anatolia fleeing into Europe behind the protective cover of the army. The year ends with the Greeks clinging to the coast of Anatolia as the Drakan offensive slows down in the winter.

In 1926 Trotsky in the USSR dies under mysterious circumstances. Although officially it is ill-health, it is actually generally believed that the anti-interventionist clique in the Soviet government moved against Trotsky before he could intervene in the Little Entente/Drakian conflict. These men felt that an intervention now would be disastrous, before the Soviet Union was militarily ready for it. Trotsky, however, was believed to be prepared to intervene on the side of the Greeks after their initial successes, and the RKKA was actually mustered in the Transcausus secretly to a certain extent. The new regime is for a while without direction, though Mikhail Frunze is appointed as the new Commissar of War, and the position of Ivan Krasnov in the government is considereably increased.

In spring of 1927 the Draka finish driving the Greeks out of Anatolia. At this point the Little Entente comes into effect and more than just volunteers are made available; units of the Romanian and Bulgarian armies are directly stationed in Thrace. The Drakian navy, operating out of Anatolia, threatens the Greek islands of the Aegean with a series of raids and bombardments, diverting attention from the defence of Thrace while a large amphibious armada is built up on the Sea of Marmara. The Drakian goal is to land behind the almost impregnable defences of Gallipoli and Constantinople by crossing the small sea of Marmara with landing craft from one shore to the other. Under powerful aircraft cover—against the valiant but badly outnumbered air forces of the Little Entente, which incur a much better kill rate on the vaunted Citizen Air Force, thanks in part to the efforts of Billy Mitchell—the landings are effected in August of 1927, albeit with a great effusion of Citizen blood. Quickly Gallipoli and Constantinople are cut off by Drakian troops.

For a while the Greeks try to hang on to these fortress-territories behind the Drakian lines through the use of sea power even as the defence in Thrace inflicts hideous casualties on the Drakian Army in this ideal defensive terrain. The Drakian navy, however, is able to block the resupply of Gallipoli such that its ultimate evacuation is forced. After this the Drakian naval elements transit the Hellespont and conduct a bombardment of the forts Constantinople throughout the late autumn, including the use of heavy gas shells. The city is likewise ultimately abandoned with the aide of the Romanian Navy and the Greek ships trapped on that side of the Hellespont after the initial Drakian seizure of the coast; many of the civilians trapped in the city are evacuated along with the soldiers, or escape in small boats (here the Soviet Union sends aide to evacuate the civilians, despite the anti-interventionist clique's desire to avoid involvement, as the risk of offending the Draka is considered worth the great propaganda boost). Several hundred thousand are however captured and enslaved.

After the fall of Constantinople and the enslavement of those trapped in the city, world opinion begins to crystalize. During the winter of 1927 – 1928 the Drakian army is victorious in fighting around Adrianople. At this point the number of volunteers from around the world is greatly increased and the Bulgarian government is reorganized—though in truth far to late—under the Little Entente in exchange for the raising of Bulgarian troops. The Draka are able to seize East Rumelia before these troops can enter action, but throughout 1928 they help to hold onto the rest of the core Bulgarian homeland as savage fighting continues between Yugoslav—Greek elements and the Draka in western Thrace, where the remnants of Wrangel's White Army acquit themselves well against the Draka under Greek command.

It is during this period that an interesting footnote takes place. Leaving the NVP temporarily under the supervision of General Ludendorff, Hermann Goering leads a group of German volunteer aviators—notably, as the only member of Jasta 11 to do so—to Greece to fight for the Greeks against the Draka. This is widely regarded as a publicity stunt, but does result in some improved opinions about Germany, particularly in Britain, and a dismissal of the NVP as a long-term threat by others, while it also serves a bludgeon for Goering's supporters in the NVP to attack their internal party rivals in the Rohm-led SA, accusing them of excessive pro-Draka sentiment.

Despite the best efforts of the Little Entente powers the Draka finally succeed in breaking through to the banks of the Danube in Bulgaria in spring of 1929 and pushing the Greeks back to the old Strymon Line of WWI at around the same time. Stalemate ensues as the Draka build up for further offensives in the Autumn—and it soon becomes clear that as a result of the war they no longer consider the demarche territories (never fully obtained) as being sufficient, but rather intend to fully subdue their enemies. This reality, combined with popular sentiment in favour of the Little Entente, forces the nations to act.

On 4 August of 1929 an ultimatum for a cease-fire is issued by Poland, Czechoslovakia, Italy, France, and Great Britain; the Draka are given ten days. Immediately following this ultimatum Ivan Krasnov makes the famous “reversal speech” before the Soviet Party Congress, declaring that the USSR must support the capitalist powers with the goal of destroying slavocracy. This effectively adds the USSR to the ultimate, which the Dominate of Drakia acedes to via the offices of the Swiss Embassy on 13 August, 1929, ending the war with a cease-fire on the lines of current possession, leaving Drakia with all of the old Ottoman Empire and much of the former state of Bulgaria. The remnants are incorporated into the Little Entente states, and the Greek naval ships stuck in the Black Sea are sold to the Romanians. International aide pours into these countries to help with recovery and the settling of millions of refugees (many who ultimately immigrate elsewhere).

The reversal speech indicates a changing power dynamic in the USSR. After scarcely three years, Ivan Krasnov has consolidated his power. Following in late 1929 and through 1930 begins the so-called “great purge”, with an estimated 300,000 executions and 5 million sent into internal exile, according to independent observation. This clears the way for the final development of the USSR as a primarily pragmatist state which exists to service a military appratus directed against the Dominate of Drakia almost in its entirety, and leads ultimately to the strengthening of an odd alliance of convenience with Weimar Germany even as the capitalist world suffers from the effects of a major economic contraction.

1930 – 1936 Hitler, released from prison, makes a challenge to Goering's NVP with a reformed NSDAP in 1931. Goering responds by forming close ties with the DNVP under Kuno Graf von Westarp and the political general and Hindenburg favourite Kurt von Schleicher. The Bavarian catholics are also drawn into the alliance in a direct effort to attack the refounded NSDAP's base (Goering's NVP has developed more and more support in Prussia while only holding steady in Bavaria). Rohm's defection with many SA members back to Hitler does little to help the NSDAP—Goering launches a vicious campaign attacking Rohm's sexuality and making him into a laughingstock in the German press while simultaneously putting sinister insinuations against him on account of his homosexual and certain pro-Draka remarks which make the NSDAP particularly unpopular among Catholics.

This alliance of the Right essentially completes Hindenburg's long sought-after goal of a unified conservative movement, but it does not have enough seats in the Reichstag to dominate it yet. Hindenburg remains cold to the alliance at first, due to the efforts of Heinrich Bruning to remain in power. Bruning's efforts to secure a majority in the Reichstag, however, fail, when the governing coalition sees a considerable loss in party seats to the far-right Triumvirs (Schleicher creates his own Party List) and the associate BVP. This makes it impossible for Chancellor Bruning to gain the support of the Reichstag, and his replacement is demanded, but the far-right coalition does not itself have enough seats to yet control the Reichstag.

The solution is found by Schleicher. While Bruning continues to rule via Presidential Decree in 1930 – 1931, Schleicher works to split the Centre Party, and ultimately succeeds in inducing the defection of Franz von Papen and a group of right-Centrists to support the Triumvirs. This allows the replacement of Bruning with Papen in late 1931; Goering becomes Interior Minister, Schleicher gets the War Ministry, and Graf von Westarp becomes the Foreign Minister. The coalition is very tenuous, however, as the communists also made gains in the 1930 elections and they only have control of the Reichstag when a coalition of other minor far-right parties decide to support them in votes. The Triumvirs move at once to consolidate power, unleashing their freikorps on the communists and outmanoeuvring Papen's efforts to contain them and cement himself as more than a figurehead.

These efforts finally meet success in 1933 when the NVP wins more than 200 seats in the Reichstag. This cements Goering as the leader of the Triumvirate. Papen is dismissed and replaced by Goering, though he is compensated with the consolation prize of the Interior Ministry of Prussia; Schleicher remains in the War ministry but also becomes State Minister of Prussia, and Westarp receives the Interior Ministry while retaining the Foreign Ministry. The only major opposition comes from the communists, and it is against them that the army is unleashed the next year on the grounds that they are preparing a coup against the government. With the breaking of communist power, the Triumvirate comes to completely dominate the Reichstag and all aspects of German government.

When President Hindenburg dies, however, the possibility of a split in the Triumvirate is quite real. A proposal is circulated to recall Kaiser Wilhelm and have him run for the Presidency of the Republic in the capacity of a private citizen. Wilhelm refuses this as beneath his dignity. In the end, General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck is asked to return from his retirement to serve the nation once again, as President instead of a General, however. Seen as a non-political, heroic figure, he is generally agreeable to the three Triumvirs and is easily elected.

His administration proves to be noncritical of the actions of the Triumvirs and largely disinterested in protesting their highly conservative agenda which restores most of the trappings of the German Monarchy and leads, ultimately, to the remilitarization of the Rhineland in 1936 and the beginning of German rearmament, first in secret, and then openly. The abrogation of Versailles is all but ignored by much of the world, its attention turned elsewhere, and thus the completion of the German normalization of international relationships is effected by armed force rather than the negotiated reduction of the treaty mechanism; it also guarantees the power of the Triumvirs, while Goering looks to increase his own.

British interwar politics have been confused. Churchill and David-Lloyd George lead opposing factions of the Liberal Party; Constitutionalists and Liberals, respectively, creating an effective four-party system in the UK in which the Conservative Party remains dominant. In 1931, following the economic collapse of the late 1920s, however, the three centre-left parties form a coalition government which succeeds in governing for the next six years. This coalition succeeds in passing many reforms in India which are intended to integrate the Raj more strongly into the Empire in the style of the post-Drakian white colonies, with the establishment of various consultative and participatory bodies while encouraging the Princely States to adopt a constitutional rule. These efforts include allowing the Ottoman Caliph-in-exile, at that time residing in the capital of the Muslim King of Xinjiang (an autonomous vassal of the Taiping Emperor), to settle in Delhi and assume control over the Muslim community in India, a move which is successful in largely repairing British-Muslim relations in the country.

At the same time the government begins to pursue a more aggressively anti-Draka policy which was at first established by the conservatives as a general goal during the Drakian-Greek conflict. This includes providing funding and aide to Muslim resistance groups in Central Asia and Arabia and giving control of al-Hasa to the exiled Sultan of the Nejd, Ibn Saud; effectively allowing him, as a nominal vassal of the British Empire, to use al-Hasa as a base for continued guerrilla warfare against the Dominate of Drakia. Other groups in Arabia are equally funded, usually through the services of assorted British Arabists in shadowy positions. Throughout the 1930s these efforts at destabilizing the Drakian position in Central Asia continue, leaving the Draka mired in constant guerrilla warfare. This culminates in 1936 with the first suicide bombing in Caesarea Palestina Province, which has been part of the Dominate since the early 19th century, the first time that the insurgency has spread out of the newly conquered territories of WWI and into the old, established territories, a highly ominous development.

In the USSR, the government of Ivan Krasnov is consolidated and continues a path of aggressive military development, including the buildup of the largest armoured force in the world. The USSR strengthens ties with Taiping China and completes a railroad between Central Asia and the Taiping heartland via Xinjiang, on a southern course to minimize the threat from both the Japanese-backed Mongols and the nationalist partisans of Mao Zedong (who lead a peasant-based uprising in the north of Taiping China, which is predominantly Confucian, and advocate a meritocratic oligarchy based on neo-Confucian principles) who have established themselves in Shaanxi province.

Taiping power is now concentrated around the rapidly industrializing Yangtze valley and the capital at Nanking, where the populace is essentially entirely Taiping Christian. This is in contrast to the northern part of the country, which is still heavily Confucian and has a great deal of foreign influence, in addition to the nationalist breakaway movement in Shaanxi. It created a situation that could be exploited by the Japanese, but only if they were careful to avoid overstretch. They weren't.

In 1931 the Japanese uncovered a plot by a group of Manchurian Army officers to expel the Japanese, whom were felt to be excessively restricting the sovereignty of the Manchurian State. These Manchurian officers desired to create a constitutional monarchy which was entirely sovereign, expeling the Japanese from both Manchuria and Korea and simultaneously annexing the Peking-Tientsin international zone. The Japanese responded vigorously, and as a result established an effective control over the Manchurian state, reducing it to a vassal and integrating its army into the command structure of the Imperial Japanese Army; this was accomplished through control of the railroads, and it was a threat to the railroads which provided the pretext.

In 1935, a General Doihara pressed forward independently using a mix of Buddhist radicals, Mongol and White Russian mercenaries, and Japanese adventurers. He led a force south into the Peking-Tientsin international zone with the tacit support of the Japanese battalion there, and started skirmishing with the nationalists, who were also encroaching on the area, trying to drive the foreigners out and seize control of Peking themselves. These conflicts quickly escalated, and soon Doihara used them to claim (even though he had largely initiated them) that Japanese merchants in the international zone were under threat. This was then used as a pretext for the Japanese occupation of the international zone.

As a result, the United States—under the strongly socialist-leaning President Franklin Roosevelt, who was developing close ties with the moderate USSR of Ivan Krasnov—proceeded to establish an embargo of Japan, forcing them into a stronger and closer alliance with the Dominate of Drakia. The Taipings benefited, however, receiving extensive military aide from the US, USSR, and even the French government in power at the time (a group of German advisors was also retained, despite the great conservatism of the German government, though in retrospect at the fact of the German-Soviet military ties this is scarcely all that surprising). It was soon clear that a showdown in the Far East was only a matter of time.

The Roosevelt Administration's “New Deal” carries the USA into a more socialistic bent, and with Krasnov's diligent efforts to normalize relations with the rest of the world even as he builds up the Soviet armed forces in every way for a major conflict with the Draka, this sees real results in improvements in the Soviet economy; for instance, Grange-style “private land, cooperative industrialization” practices are instituted in farming, where farming equipment is owned by local cooperatives and operated in common but the farmland is divided into privately controlled plots for each peasant family. Both countries exchange advisors on their infrastructure and agricultural projects, as the USA “makes the west blossom” with the great irrigation and dam-building efforts and works to provide all the rural population with electricity and other benefits.

In South America tensions between Argentina and Chile—allies in the Great Pacific War but who have fallen into competition since then—begin to steadily increase in a dispute over boundaries in Patagonia and the Gran Chaco region of the former nation of Bolivia, now divided between Chile, Argentina, and Brazil. With the South American continent at peace for such a comparatively long time, these rising tensions begin to spur badly-needed army improvements on a large scale from all powers, which begin to raise concerns in to the United States, especially combined with reports that the Draka are trying to circumvent the international embargo by illicit trading with South America, particularly to obtain German machine-tools via middlemen; a process which is also reputed to be going on in the Dutch Gold Coast as an effort to appease the Draka who could easily annex the region, to the anger of many Europeans and even Dutch politicians themselves.

In late 1935 Krasnov finally largely succeeds in his effort after the “Sacrifice of Socialism” speech earlier in the year which identifies the Drakian Slavocracy as the priamry threat to the socialist world and an impediment to world revolution which must be removed before revolution is possible; this effectively firmly places the intentions of the Soviet armed buildup against the Draka (who take note of the announcement and plan to soon test the true capabilities of the RKKA) and open the way for agreements with the capitalist powers.

Meanwhile, though the Domiate of Drakia has now been at peace for more than six years the continued insurrections in Central Asia and Arabia have been a constant bleeding wound in the Drakian state. Increasing pressure is put on the military to control them; it soon becomes apparent that this is virtually impossible on the current borders. Some people are seriously suggesting that a withdrawal from Europe might be adviseable. But the ruling government has other ideas. Identifying the Soviets as the primary source of continued insurrections, incitements of slaves to escape, and so on, (the British were almost equally involved in the process, however, but the Drakian government was geared to regard the USSR paranoiacly), it is believed that the only way the Drakian Society can survive in the long run is to conquer and overthrow the Soviet Union and gain its resources to become an ultimate world-hegemon.

1936 – 1940 In July of 1936 the Spanish Civil War begins, pitting the nationalist movement against the Republicans, who are known to have very close ties with Krasnovian communism—which, in the case of COMINTERN, retains a strong pro-revolutionary Trotskyist bent, as Krasnov never regard the COMINTERN leaders as unreliable and retained them from the days of Trotsky's control of the organization. The exact cause of the support by COMINTERN for the Republican war effort is complex; Krasnov had moved against COMINTERN for their backing of the abortive Communist coup in Weimar in the early 1930s, but had not effected a complete purge, indicating the fact that the Soviet leader remained of two minds in regard to the exportation of revolution to Europe.

The half-measures, though, instead of cowing the COMINTERN members, had encouraged them to be more aggressive overseas, perhaps in preparation for a power-play against Krasnov to change doctrine from the “Sacrifice of Socialism” which had expounded in orienting the Soviet military primarily toward the destruction of the Dominion of Drakia and back toward a Soviet effort against Europe and the spread of communism to the capitalist nations as a way of creating a united world-front in the advanced capitalist nations which could easily sweep aside the Drakian slavocracy according to Marxist theory.

As the Republicans try to seize control, the nationalists act. In July, General Franco, temporarily exiled to the Canaries, flies to Spanish Morocco and rallies his troops there, including Moroccan Tirailleurs in the Spanish service, from the Rif. These troops are brought across to Spain as the critical northern port of Ferrol is seized. The other Spanish colonies are also brought under Nationalist control, along with the Balearic Islands, and troops brought forward to join in the fight. Mussolini quickly sends additional aide, though initially the Republicans still have the upper hand in the fighting during 1936.

Goering, flush with the victory of the remilitarization of the Rhineland, turns his attention to supporting the Spanish Nationalists in late 1936. This brings the attention of world on Germany, and many concerns are banded about in regard to his actions. Goering, who fancies himself a second Bismarck, negotiates with the powers in an effort to come to an agreement about the Spanish issue and German rearmament at once. At the same time, however, he is negotiating with Ivan Krasnov over the situation in the east.

Krasnov has problems of his own. Following the defeat of the Imperial Way clique in Japan in 1936 in an abortive uprising in February of that year, the Control Clique—essentially expansionists—plotted to test the strength of the USSR in conjunction with the Dominion of Drakia. This took place with the beginning of the “border battles” in August of 1936. Drakian armoured units clash with their Soviet counterparts in the deserts of Central Asia as Japanese forces engage in similar skirmishing with their Soviet counterparts on the Mongolian-Soviet border. In these clashes the Japanese are defeated in two months, completely outmatched by the USSR's armoured units; this leads to a rush effort to build Drakian-knockoff Hond II tanks. But at the same time, and on Krasnov's behest, Taiping troops quickly overwhelm the autonomous government of Tibet to prevent Drakian penetration in that region through the sparsely controlled Himalayas.

The Drakian Hond II sees action during these border skirmishes, pitted against the T-31. The Hond II is an entirely new tank—an effort by the Draka to create the ideal Citizen tank, combining the speed of the FT-17 derivative light tanks which still remain in Drakian service at that time with the armour and firepower of the Hond I, which is itself an improvement upon the Char 2Cs purchased by the Dominate back in 1920. The German technical mission to the USSR takes special notice of these developments. Though the T-31 is inferior to the Hond II, the LT-1 is capable of withstanding it, though poor in other characteristics. The Soviets themselves are able to hold their own by sheer numbers of both the T-31 and LT-1 types and soon plan the introduction of a new line of tanks improving upon the LT-series—the KS series.

These border battles sputter out in Central Asia with an entirely inconclusive result by the end of January, 1937. The Draka conclude that Central Asia is not developed enough to support a major offensive and turn their attention to the Transcaucasus Front even as they resolve that ultimately a major conflict must be necessary. The new Hond III tank design process is also commenced, reflecting the lessons of the border battles. The Soviets, in the meanwhile, begin extensive upgrades to their armour and start an army reorganization; in the meanwhile, Krasnov looks to clear up the situation in Europe for the USSR diplomatically to allow the full strength of the USSR to be concentrated against the Draka.

In 1937 elections for the Reichstag confirm a majority for Goering's NVP. Goering moves to secure the regularization of the German State with the Four Powers Pact later that year; it regularizes the remilitarization of the Rhineland in the context of Locarno and reaffirms a German commitment to recognize the permanent and sovereign nature of an independent Austrian state, while effectively absolving Germany of further reparations and adherence to the provisions of Versailles. A new naval agreement is negotiated with the UK, guaranteeing that the German fleet shall not exceed 1/3rd of the tonnage strength of the Royal Navy in all categories. Goering then turns his attention east, while simultaneously working to consolidate his power internally. In particular he opens negotiations with the Polish government on the continuing German political sore of the Danzig Corridor and Free State.

In Japan the “attack south” faction of the Control Clique is now in power following the border skirmishes of 1936. An incident around the Marco Polo bridge—probably engineered by Doihara, though it is never confirmed for certain—provides the pretext for the Japanese invasion of Taiping China. Japanese forces strike out of the Shandong peninsula and south from the Peking area, cutting off Taiping forces around the Yellow River Delta when their forces effect a union around the city of Zibo in Shandong Province. The Japanese then drive south, as the Soviets rush large supplies of military equipment into Taiping China proper. Hundreds of T-31 tanks are sent into Taiping China, and then heavier LT-series vehicles arrive. Even old T-35s see action, converted in Taiping factories into tank-killers. This flood of material and weaponry continues until the railroad is cut at Lanzhou in February of 1938. At this point the Taipings begin to send troops west through Tibet—to create a western army in Xinjiang, equipped with Soviet weaponry, which can counterattack.

Shortly after that, the culminating portion of the Japanese drive—an effort to break through the combined Huang-Grand Canal defensive line—is repulsed in the most intense fighting the world has seen since 1918, with hundreds of divisions involved. The new Soviet organizational force of the Tank Army is used successfully in the Taiping Army's actions to repulse the Japanese around Xuzhou in July and August of 1938. Following this success the Japanese are forced to withdraw back across the Grand Canal. A second effort to penetrate into the Sichuan industrial heartland of the Taiping regime fails equally, leaving the Japanese and their vassals bogged down deep in China (Manchu, Mongol, Korean, and White Russian troops are prominent in this operations, along with some Chinese-traditionalist units, though the majority of traditionalists side with Mao in Shaanxi, who continues to resist the Japanese in guerilla warfare for some time, and suffer heavily for it). The Taipings continue to receive limited supplies via Burma, French Indochina, and across Tibet in Soviet airships.

In Germany Goering buys off the support of Graf von Westarp for the consolidation of the Triumvirate into a regime run primarily by himself; the price is in bringing Kaiser Wilhelm back into the country and establishing him with a role in the government. To induce the elderly Kaiser to return and accept the Presidency, Goering allows his negotiations with the USSR and Poland to temporarily stall, intentionally, and then cables the Kaiser that his return to the Germany and accepting the Presidency is vital for the restoration of Danzig to the German State; flattered by Goering, Wilhelm accepts, making a typical speech about the “great sacrifice entailed” in deigning to recognize the democratic institutions for the “greater good” of the German Nation.

Schleicher is thus manoeuvred out of power, allowing Goering to consolidate the state power to himself, with the support of the DNVP guaranteed by the accession of Wilhelm to the Presidency (Lettow-Vorbeck is quite happy to step down)—in what is now, though, essentially a figurehead role to Goering as Reichskanzler. Westarp retires from the political scene as part of the deal and Goering's majority in power is confirmed. He then concludes the Danzig Accords of 1938 with Poland and the USSR, attributing them to Wilhelm as agreed upon with Westarp as the price for the later's aide in pushing Schleicher out, and then voluntarily retiring. The Danzig Accord is established on the following grounds (paraphrased):

1.Germany and the Soviet Union mutually guarantee the Polish borders as established by this Accord.

2.Germany is to receive the Danzig Corridor and the Danzig Free State as integral parts of the German Nation.

3.Germany is to receive the Memmelland of Lithuania as an integral part of the German Nation.

4.Poland shall receive all of Lithuania save for the Memmelland as an integral part of the Polish Nation.

5.Poland shall receive the historic Duchy of Courland out of the territory of Latvia as an integral part of the Polish Nation.

6.The Soviet Union shall receive Estonia and Latvian Livonia, including the city of Riga and environs; these territories shall be organized into the Baltic SSR as part of the USSR.

7.Finland shall be in the Soviet sphere of influence.

8.Germany shall build a first class merchant and naval harbour for Poland on the coast of Lithuania or Courland at a suitable location.

The agreement is announced cannily, when the western powers are diverted in attention by the spectacle of the Drakian military moving against the Spanish colonies which have been denuded of troops for the Civil War. This move, seizing Spanish Equatorial Africa, Rio de Oro, and Spanish Morocco—including the traditionally Spanish coastal cities which have been European for centuries—sparks great popular outrage, but a move on the African continent itself is something that the western countries can scarcely oppose. The British do, however, dispatch ships to defend the Canaries from a Drakian invasion force—standing off at thirty thousand yards the two task forces shadow each for several days in the Atlantic, their guns loaded and dialed in, until the Draka radio a recall.

The French do the same to defend the Balearics. Ironically, with both territories in the control of the Nationalists, this effectively aides the nationalist war cause, which Goering received tacit permission from Krasnov—who preferred to move against Finland rather than bother with distant Spain—to continue to aide. Krasnov then turns and commences the “little purge” of the remaining Trotskyist COMINTERN members, leaving the Republicans dissolute and without support as various communist and anarchist branches fight for control of their leadership.

In the UK the conservative government of Neville Chamberlain, in power since the 1937 General Elections, decides not to oppose the German-Soviet reorganization of eastern Europe, since Polish access to the sea is guaranteed by the agreement (though the Poles themselves feel they had little choice but it to accept it, it does involve the restoration of far more of historical Poland-Lithuania than is lost around Danzig, and so is not all that hard to swallow). The UK does, however, initiate a major military buildup beginning in late 1938, including the construction of a series of very modern ships in response to the Canary Islands confrontation. Fortifications along the border with Drakia in central Asia are improved, and broad-gauge railroads suitable for transporting tanks added all along the border. The United States, on the other hand, refuses to recognize the agreement and declares it illegal, but is alone in doing so.

Most of 1939 is quiet, save for fighting in China. Goering is effective dictator of Germany; old age has mellowed Wilhelm, who after a triumphal parade through Danzig is content to spend most of the next two years alternating between the great health spas and rivera resorts of Europe, and his home in the Netherlands, which he visits frequently and fondly, leaving the Presidential powers which he finds distasteful in the hands of Goering and using his spare time (both at home and abroad) to press for a full Imperial restoration, which is really the sole political agenda he possesses. But the end of the year sees a major Soviet miscalculation. Finnish possession of Vyborg, so close to the old Soviet capital of Leningrad, has always been worrying. The Soviets interpet their agreement with Germany as allowing them to impose terms of the Finns, which they do, demanding the cession of Vyborg in exchange for an abandonment of Soviet claims to the rest of the country.

The Finns refuse. What follows is a general military conflict in which the RKKA—in the process of a general reorganization—performs absolutely miserably, with at one case two Soviet divisions being entirely annihilated while strung out in line of march by a Finnish force of scarcely a division. The terrible losses continue through the winter, and give the Dominate of Drakia a false belief of Soviet weakness, when in reality the poor performance is simply a result of the bad timing of the attack, both in winter and in the midst of an army reorganization. Drakia moves to clandestinely aide Finland, on the advice of the General Staff; the Finnish position is to desperate for them to refuse that offer, with no strings attached.

Drakia feels restrained on every side. Even as the Soviets grind forward and force the cession of extensive territory by Finland in retaliation for the painful losses, with the war concluding in a cease-fire in March of 1940, the Draka have already resolved on war. Their agents are rife in South America, encouraging the Argentines to press war with Chile to distract the United States, and funding Indianos rebels in Costa Rica who have been causing some small trouble for the government in that American State. These operations are seen as necessary distractions for the USA in preparation for war. With continuing guerrilla conflicts throughout Central Asia, the Draka feel that the only solution is to resolve to a great military engagement against the USSR; Communism must be destroyed or else Drakian control of all territory beyond the Suez will be in grave jepordy as more and more Citizens die in the raging guerrilla conflicts there, fueled by long borders with hostile nations.

The decision to strike is thus made. In imitation of Soviet practice, ironically, the Draka have built up an extensive and highly trained Citizen force of three airborne corps in a single Airborne Army. It is now planned to use two of these corps (each with one regular and two reserve legions—the later being activated just for this mission) to seize the passes of the Caucasus Mountains while the third (strengthened by a fourth airborne Legion of activated reserves who have parachute training and further aided by Security Directorate special forces) is used in a vertical envelopment of the Soviet defensive lines protecting the plains of Georgia and Azerbaijan from attack. In all not less than 10 airborne divisions will be used in the assault, plus several infiltration battalions. The go-ahead signal is given by the government, and the date of the attack is set for the night of 21 – 22 May of 1940.

The attacks on the Soviet defensive lines go forward flawlessly. In each breakthrough point more than two legions, complete with airdropped tanks, abruptly arrive behind the Soviet defences. The Draka have by morning established total air superiourity; infiltration units wreak havoc in the Soviet defences and heavy Drakian siege cannon—all of them left over from the First World War—and large explosive mines placed in tunnels dug under the Soviet lines pound at the Soviet defences in a wave of attacks. Specialist units work through the rugged terrain in some areas of the Transcaucasus in Armenia, through impassable, to appear behind the Soviet lines as well and add to the chaos. Through this drives the Drakian Armoured Divisions, spearheaded by the new Hond III model. The effort to seize the Transcaucasian passes—born of a serious overestimation of the capabilities of airbone troops—however, fails miserably, and the Soviet response to the invasion is immediate and professional.

There will be no easy breakthrough, and no quick conquest. The Second World War has begun.

THE SECOND WORLD WAR - 1940 – 1948

1940 A.D.

24 May, 1940 -- USSR declares war on the Draka through diplomatic intermediaries. Soviet forces now in general retreat in Transcaucasus.

25 May, 1940 -- Finland pre-emptively attacked by Soviet forces on the order of Krasnov; intelligence that the Finns are conspiring with the Draka, the official cause of the attacks, is never confirmed by the outside world. This brings Finland in as a co-belligerent of the Dominate, a reluctant position to be sure. This action is also part of what sours the world to joining the war until after the Rape of Rome.

26 May, 1940 -- After desperate fighting in the Caucasian passes, Drakian airborne troops begin to retreat south in isolated groups, having failed at their mission. Many are surrounded and destroyed or captured before they can reach the advancing Drakian columns, however, leading to close to 50% casualties in I and II Airborne Corps.

June 2nd, 1940 -- Neutrality Patrol announced by FDR, USN absorbs USCG to carry out the patrol. USN escorts Soviet squadron out of NYC, along with Drakan Squadron.

June 4th, 1940 -- The Battle of Bermuda Rise occurs, Soviet CA lost, Drakan DD lost, Drakan CAs and BB severely damaged, forced to make port in NYC for repairs.

June 11th, 1940 -- Two Ocean Bill passed by US Congress, authorizing 1.8 million tons of warships, including 15 "Battle" Carriers of the Gettysburg class

June 12th, 1940 -- Tblisi region and Armenian SSR cut off when Drakian units advancing through both Georgia and Azerbaijan link up to the north of the city.

June 13th, 1940: DrakaFic: Operation Noah's Hammer Begins

June 15th, 1940 -- Mother of Georgia statue is assaulted by Drakan forces, only falls after heavy casualties to Janissaries and Citizen forces assaulting, and the Draka survivors are killed in massive explosion by buried explosives in the statue.

June 16th, 1940 -- Tblisi cut off from Armenian SSR by further Drakian advances.

June 17th, 1940 -- 763th Infantry Chilliarchy arrives outside Tbilisi.

June 18th, 1940 -- Fierce fighting in the Dzugashvilli Prospects Machine Tools Factory; 87th Rifle Division renamed 3rd Guards Division; A.I. Rodimtsev named Hero of the Soviet Union, and 763rd Infantry Chilliarchy destroyed in street fighting.

Total Casualties over the Factory: 3,000 Soviet Casualties versus 500 Citizen Casualties, and 13,000 Janissary casualties.

June 23rd, 1940 -- USS Pensacola shells rebel positions in the state of Costa Rica.

DrakaFic: The Caribbean Beat Begins

June 30th, 1940 -- USS Pensacola arrives at USNOD, Guantamano Bay. Russian flagged tankers begin to be sunk all over the world by Drakian submarines.

Month of July 1940 -- Rocket battalions are formed, since the pretense of "Guards Mortar" is no longer needed. However, the Guards Mortar units are retained due to their proud battle honors already earned in Georgia. Siege of Tblisi is maintained as Drakian units are forced to push back up into the Caucasus on ground which should have already been taken by the failed Airborne offensive. In Central Asia the fighting now largely resembles that seen during the Border Skirmishes of '36 - '37, without any major advances.

30 July 1940 -- Ernst Thälmann (recently released from prison as a gesture to the USSR) and Erich von Manstein visit the Kazan proving grounds in the USSR; Tbilisi falls.

2 August, 1940 -- Detachment from USS Pensacola, led by Ens. Michael Gillis seizes trawler smuggling weapons through the Caribbean.

3 August, 1940 -- Three Russian-flagged tankers go down within an hour of each other in the 'Miami Massacre'; oil slicks befoul southern Florida beaches for several months afterwards. Chile and Argentinia begin naval clashes in Beagle Channel and the Straits of Magellan; both countries mobilize their armies; Chilean-Argentine War begins.

6 August, 1940 -- Finnish troops retake Vyborg.

8 August 1940 -- Argentine army reaches Tierra del Fuego.

10 August 1940 -- USS Pensacola is dry docked at the Lonestar shipyard in Galveston, TX for a 5 month yard period.

15 August 1940 -- Front stabilizes in the Caucasus mountains. Defenders of Yeveran in the Armenian SSR continue to hold out, though the situation is now hopeless.

October 1940 -- Britain, Germany, France and USA begin so-called "Lend Lease" aid to Soviet Union. Yeveran falls.

November 1940 -- Drakian coastal advance along the Black Sea halted just to the south of Sokhumi in the Abkhazian Autonomous Territory of the Georgian SSR. This concludes offensive operations in the Transcaucasian Front for the next several years.

2 December 1940 -- Finnish Army commences First Winter Offensive. Finns receive much aide from a Europe which is simultaneously aiding the Soviets, though under the table, as the Finnish cause is perceived as reasonably just and they maintain only a co-belligerency status.

1941 A.D.

30 May 1941 -- Drakian invasion of the Little Entente powers of Greece, Yugoslavia, and Romania. Massed janissaries pin down the Romanian troops in the Transdanube and the Greeks on the Strymon line as Drakian armoured columns push through Macedonia and Nish and airborne troops seize the Danube around the Iron Gates.

2 June 1941 -- Italy declares War on the Dominate of Drakia. The Italian Army is mobilized and ordered into Italian Albania to reinforce the Little Entente.

15 June 1941 -- Advancing Drakian forces break through the Yugoslav-Romanian Army and effect a union with their airborne forces holding the Iron Gates region. Crossing of the Danube begins immediately with Drakian armoured columns punching through the Romanians on the far side of the Iron Gates who, futilely, tried to overrun the Airborne troops before it was to late.

23 June 1941 -- Bucharest falls to the Draka.

25 June 1941 -- Drakian forces breakthrough on the Transdanubian plain and drive toward the Danubian Delta.

26 June 1941 -- The Rumanian government (which has fled to Translyvania) asks the USSR for military aid under limited provisions.

28 June 1941 -- Soviet tanks cross the Rumanian border into Besserabia with eight mechanized corps leading 96 infantry divisions; or more than 1.5 million troops of the RKKA.

30 June 1941 -- Lend-Lease provisions extended to the Little Entente and Italy. Czechoslovakia, Poland, France, Britain, and Germany go to war-footing production levels and industry is placed under national command-control for, however, only limited wartime production rates, though for the moment these countries do not enter the war.

1 July 1941 -- The Drakian High Command begins to react to the Soviet offensive.

2 July 1941 --Heavy fighting between Drakian and Soviet troops begins in the Danube delta. Soviet forces cross the Prut.

4 July 1941 -- Soviet forces gain crossings across the Siret River.

9 July 1941 -- Soviet Armored columns come into contact with Drakian forces surrounding Ploesti.

10 July 1941 -- Soviet Forces enter Ploesti. More and more high-end Drakian fighters appear in the air.

12 July 1941 -- Drakian air power is openly contesting the skies over the Ialomita, and holding it's own against the VVS.

14 July 1941 -- A Citizen Mechanized Corps crosses the Ialomita; headed towards Ploesti

16 July 1941 -- 8th Mechanized Corps of the RKKA engages the Citizen Mechanized corps; losing 150 tanks against 50 Drakian.

23 July 1941 -- Main engagement along the Ialomita results in Soviet breakthrough. Soviet losses over the six days from 18 July to 23 July are less than 100,000 men and 300 tanks; Drakian losses are over 275,000 Janissaries, over a thousand Janissary AFVs destroyed, and two thousand more captured.

25 July 1941 -- The formal Drakian counterattack begins against the Soviet forces in Rumania begins. Soviet forces approach Bucharest.

26 July 1941 -- Drakian counterattacks under Strategos van Hildebrandt begin with Janissary units which have clung to a strip on the north bank of the Danube pressing forward with artillery support.

27/28 July 1941 -- Soviets briefly cut off Bucharest from the rest of the Drakian Army.

29 July 1941 -- Feigned retreats against the Little Entente powers in the western Balkans to lure them into attack as well.

30 July 1941 -- Citizen armour breaks through into the RKKA rear, mechanized forces under Koniev sent to delay them as troops are hasilty shifted back and further Soviet offensive operations halted.

1 August -- 10 August 1941: Desperate Soviet avoids to avoid the surrounding of First Ukrainian Front.

11 August 1941 -- The formal Drakian counterattacks against the Little Entente powers in the Balkans begin.

14 August 1941 -- First Ukrainian Front trapped in pocket by the Drakian Army in the worst disaster the RKKA suffers in the war. Second pocket around Soviet troops in Ploesti likewise forms; many units escape to Transylvania, others fall back to the east under Koniev.

16 August 1941 -- Krasnov asks for the resignation of Marshal Tukhachevsky as Commisar of War and Director of the West Ukrainian Military District. He is demoted and sent to Central Asia. Replaced by Marshal Shaposhnikov. Shaposhnikov authorizes Soviet use of poison gas.

24 August 1941 -- The Rape of Mt. Athos monasteries. Opinion throughout Europe and the Americas crystalizes in favour of War.

4 September 1941 -- The last organized resistance in the Bucharest-Ialomita pocket ceases; with 250,000 Soviet casualties in total from the pocket. Siege of Ploesti sustained - 90 days long in total.

5 September 1941 -- Drakan units from the North African Army, supported by the full strength of the Drakan Navy, stage landings with strategic surprise at Anzio; begin marching towards Rome.

7 September 1941 -- Drakan Navy defeats the Regia Marina in the Battle off Naples. RM falls back to Taranto with many ships lost or badly damaged.

9 September 1941 -- Pope Pius orders the Cardinals of Rome out of the city; others in Italy to escape as best they can. Vatican evacuated except for the Swiss Guard and Nuns of the charitable orders who remain to provide for the women and children which are allowed refuge in the Vatican as the Drakan armies approach.

11 September 1941 -- the infamous Rape of Rome; Drakian Stormtroops assault the Soviet lines at Siret.

12 September 1941 -- Through it's diplomatic mission in London, the Domination threatens an invasion of India through Afghanistan if Britain declares war. In response, Britain secretly begins massive build up in India. This buildup is unbeknownest to the populace, which clamors against Chamberlain's perceived policy of appeasement. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world, there are massive anti-Draka protests in South America, Ireland, France, and the US States of Quebec and Central America, with President Wilhelm Hohenzollern making a speech before the German Reichstag calling for war with the Draka. Almost as an afterthought to all this, Drakian troops break through the Soviet lines at Siret.

13 September 1941 -- German declaration of war delivered to the Drakian embassy. After they are allowed to translate it the embassy personnel, who must be smuggled out of the country to avoid their being torn apart by angry mobs. General mobilization of the German Army begins and orders are passed placing the economy on total war footing.

14 September 1941 -- Spain and Portugal declare war on the Domination. Their economies are moved to total war footings. Meanwhile, in Spain, Franco appeals for "Five hundred thousand volunteers for the martyred Pope". Austria also declares war on this day and opens its railroad system for the German Army. Once again, Austria's economy is moved to a total war footing.

15 September 1941 -- Poland declares war on the Domination, and the Polish government begins full mobilization of the entire Polish Army due to a feared Drakian advance on Lvov, with border units placed on high alert. The Polish economy is moved to a total war footing.

18 September 1941 -- The staff of the Papal Curia reaches Aachen with the holy relics they have managed to save from the Vatican.

19 September 1941 -- The United States issues an ultimatum regarding American subjects in Drakan captivity from the Rape of Rome, (a couple of whom have already been sold into slavery), and over the nuns from the Vatican who have been enserfed by the Domination, due to massive internal pressure from their Catholic population.

20 September 1941 -- Winston Churchill replaces Neville Chamberlain as PM of the United Kingdom, at the head of a national unity government, due to pressure resulting from the Drakian demarche. Instead of entering the war immediately he orders the UK to begin preparations for a surprise attack on the Domination in six months time. Meanwhile, in Germany, Wilhelm Hohenzollern dies from pneumonia contracted during his Reichstag speech, and is given an Imperial funeral.

20 September 1941 -- The full Council of Cardinals convenes in Aachen, choses Liugi Cardinal Lavitrano as the next Pope to replace the martyred Pius XII. He assumes the name Julius III. The Cardinal has only just arrived from the Balkans, to which he escaped from Palermo on Sicily under great danger, as the whole island is now carpeted in constant Drakian air raids.

22 September 1941 -- The Domination of Draka issues a formal threat to the United States Government over American interference in Drakan internal affairs, regarding the OSS' attempts to liberate American citizens in Serfdom. In Aachen, Pope Julius III declares Crusade on the Domination of Draka.

23 September 1941 -- In reply to the formal Drakian threat, the US Congress votes unamiously, except for one vote by a pacifist member, to declare war on the Domination. Elsewhere in the Americas, Grand Colombia, the Empire of Brazil, and Argentinia declare war on the Domination of Draka "for abuses against all mankind."

24 September 1941 -- The French government declares war on the Domination when public opinion becomes unberably in favor of action following the Pope's declaration of a Crusade. Elsewhere in Europe, Belgium, Luxembourg , and the Co-Sovereigns of Andorra formally declare war on the Domination.

26 September 1941 -- The first foreign troops begin entering Italy, mostly light mountain warfare units from Germany and Austria and some French border units, just as a massive Drakian offensive into Southern Italy begins. Stormtroopers break the Italian lines consisting of poorly trained conscripts and are followed up by human waves of Janissaries thrown into Italian positions south of Rome; casualties are horrible; but sufficient follow up waves force a breakthrough toward Naples.

28 September 1941 -- In Switzerland, a petition for an emergency plebiscite on war is confirmed by the Swiss legislature. The German government issues warnings to all remaining neutral states in Europe to halt any and all trading activities with the Domination or else "there will be consequences of a most severe nature." Lichtenstein declares war on the Domination. In the first American strikes on the Domination, outside of seizing what few Drakian ships remain in American ports, two USN carriers strike the Drakian submarine pens at Rabat, destroying most of the support buildings, but doing little if no damage at all to the heavily reinforced pens.

29 September 1941 -- In opposition to Germany's ultimatum, Hungary refuses to allow shipments of men and war supplies on its railroads to Romania and Yugoslavia, citing obligations of neutrality, while the Netherlands refuses to make a reply to the German ultimatum and the mobilization of troops is begun to "defend Dutch neutrality". Meanwhile, French and Spanish aircraft are believed to have sunk the battleship DNS Skadi after it is engaged in a running fight with the Marine Nationale to the north of Oran the day before.

31 September 1941 -- Drakian troops enter Vinnytsia in the Ukraine.

1 October 1941 -- The Netherlands' mobilization is confirmed by German sources. German troops mustering for deployment to Italy quickly begin reorienting on the border with the Netherlands.

2 October 1941 -- Note dispatched to the Dutch government demanding they stand down their armies within 48 hours.

3 October 1941 -- Netherlands appeals to Britain for defense of Dutch neutrality. Drakian northern and central troop columns meet at Uman in the Ukraine.

4 October 1941 -- British under Churchill refuse to intervene.

5 October 1941 --With the ultimatum expired the Dutch government makes a confused attempt to back down from their stance, with monarchist parties supported by the Queen ordering the Army to stand down while the governing coalition continues to prevaricate, but the German army has already been given marching orders. On the night of the 5th/6th German troops cross the border to sporadic resistance by troops unsure whether not they are supposed to fight. Drakian troops enter Chernivtsi in Romania, which had been declared an open city; and proceed to rape and burn their way across it for a week, killing over 50,000.

6 October 1941 -- Drakian forces take Bila Tserkva in the Ukraine.

7 October 1941 -- With serious inroads made in the Dutch resistance the Queen makes a broadcast asking the Dutch army to lay down its arms rather than continue to fight the Germans. Cohesion in the Dutch army breaks down and resistance is limited to small units fighting brave but confused actions. Meanwhile in Asia, British troops are ordered to advance from Aceh into East Sumatra and from Sarawak into East Borneo to "protect British colonies on these islands from disorders in the Dutch territory.". The government of the NEI appeals to Japan for assistance.

8 October 1941 -- Drakian reconaissance forces reach sight of Kiev.

9 October 1941 -- Brazilian troops invade Dutch Suriname. Colombian forces seize Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles

10 October 1941 -- German troops occupy Amsterdam, several regiments of Belgian troops advance up through the Rhine delta. Portuguese troops in East Timor advance into West Timor and seize it.

11 October 1941 -- The Siege of Kiev begins.

12 October 1941 -- All resistance to the German occupation of the Netherlands ceases. In Asia, Japanese troops enter West New Guinea.

13 October 1941 -- The Draka are halted 4 km south of Mazyr in Byelorussia - this is the furthest point of their advance into Byelorussia for the whole war.

14 October 1941 -- Colonial Administrations of the Netherlands East Indies and Dutch Gold Coast declare themselves to jointly be the "Resistance Government of the Netherlands" but do not go so far as to declare war, leaving their status ambiguous.

15 October 1941 -- Drakia open assault on Southern Poland.

16 October 1941 -- Heavy rains begin to fall in northeast Ukraine and southwest Russia, turning all roads into morasses of mud.

17 October 1941 -- Japanese troops begin to occupy rest of NEI "to defend the legitimate claims of the Dutch government to these lands.", while clashes between British and Japanese troops take place on several islands. Britain detects the large IJN naval presence in southeast Asian waters, and the Royal Navy quietly prepares to meet the main line of the IJN in battle.

20 October 1941 -- Japanese issue ultimatum demanding that the British troops in the NEI cease to violate Dutch territory and withdraw immediately behind the colonial boundaries.

21 October 1941 -- British refuse Japanese ultimatum. Churchill forced to delay surprise attacks against the Domination to deal with the now imminent war with Japan.

23 October 1941 -- Goering authorizes support for coup in Hungary to remove obstructionist nationalistic government. Contacts with the Catholic officer corps have already been established and support by the royalist parties is sought. Drakian troops take Ternopol, Poland

24 October 1941 -- Drakian troops take Pryluky.

25 October 1941 -- The French Expeditionary Force arrives in Poland, consisting of 1er Groupement Cuirassé with two armoured divisions, XXIe Corps d'Armée, and XXIIIe Corps d'Armée. They take over the northern approaches to Lvov, allowing the Polish to concentrate on the southern approaches.

27 October 1941 -- Royalist parties tentatively accept German proposals on condition that Otto Habsburg be immediately restored to the throne and present for all operational decisions of the coup. Konotop falls to the Draka.

28 October 1941 -- Austrian officer Otto Skorzeny, currently forming a specialist paratroop unit for the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM) under Papal command, is assigned on the request of the Papal authorities to assemble a handpicked team to seize the Budapest airport for the coup and protect Otto Habsburg during his arrival in the country. In other war news, Japan declares war on the British Empire, and Shostka falls to the Draka.

29 October 1941 -- General combat between Japanese and British troops begins on Borneo, Sumatra, and New Guinea. Rest of NEI already occupied by Japanese troops. Occupation initially on good terms.

2 November 1941 -- Surprise attack by Empire of Japan on the Philippines, with an air attack some 40% larger than OTLs. Heavy damage to dockyards at Cavite and loss of several USN heavy ships at the fleet base there. Sumy falls to the Draka.

5 November 1941: -- Major Drakian offensive against Lvov begins with seven Citizen divisions. Kirovgrad taken by Drakian troops.

6/7 November 1941: -- Battle of the Java Sea. Royal Navy defeated in major line of battle action by the Japanese Combined Fleet with support from IJA aircraft and Dutch ships and aircraft. Though the Royal Navy suffers few ships lost, the amount of damage suffered and the tactical victory by the IJN forces a withdraw back to Singapore. By the time the fleet is repaired Singapore is under threat and Aceh is on the verge of falling, demanding a withdraw into the Indian Ocean or risk loss of the fleet.

8 November 1941: -- Chernobyl taken by Drakian Troops.

10 November 1941: -- First scale tests of 'TALLBOY' bombs begin in Abbotsbury, UK.

12 November 1941: -- First German and French mechanized units begin arriving in Italy, including the 7th Panzer Division under an unknown German general named Rommel. With the situation appearing very grim for the Allies (as they are being called now) on all fronts, the final go-ahead for the Hungarian coup is given.

13 November 1941: -- First air combat between Drakian forces and the Luftwaffe over Poland. First contact between Drakian forces and 2nd Panzer Armee (Panzergruppe Guderian)

14 November 1941: -- Plebiscite held in Switzerland. Swiss people overwhelmingly vote for war with the Domination. Chernihev taken by Drakian troops.

15 November 1941 to 16 November 1941: -- Otto Skorzeny leads handpicked SMOM forces in two airships which arrive at Budapest airport in civilian livery. Otto Habsburg follows in German Condor four-engine airliner. Skorzeny's commandos seize control of the Budapest airport and Otto Habsburg's plane lands safely. The arrival is communicated to the army barracks around Budapest where Catholic officers deploy their troops and lead them against government facilities. Otto Habsburg and the Archbishop of Budapest issue joint radio appeal to the Hungarian people not to resist the coup and read a Papal address supporting the restoration of the Habsburg monarchy. After sporadic resistance from certain army units, police forces, and nationalist fanatics, all government facilities are secured by the evening of the 16th and the army has been brought fully around to Otto's side.

The Drakian government, concerned over the ambiguity of the Dutch Gold Coast's position, begins deliberations on a course of action. The General Staff is in favour of raising a Dutch resistance army and acknowledging the resistance government; but they are overruled by civilian leadership.Contingency plans are then made for the invasion of the Dutch Gold Coast.

17 November 1941: Otto Habsburg secures control of the government of Hungary. German trains are already utilizing Hungarian tracks from the moment of the success of the coup to send supplies and men south. Panzergruppe Guderian retakes Lut'sk.

17 November 1941 to 26 November 1941 -- The battle of Mikolayev between Drakian and Soviet forces.

18 November 1941: -- Otto Habsburg is crowned King of Hungary.

22 November 1941: -- Kingdom of Hungary under Otto Habsburg declares war on the Domination.

24 November 1941 to 9 December 1941 -- Four Drakian corps enter Kursk, leading to the First and Second Battles of Kursk. A slightly larger force commences an extended battle against Third Ukrainian Front under Rokossovsky near Poltava. The Drakian offensive into the USSR is halted in this series of engagements and does not resume until the summer of 1942.

1 December 1941-- Surprise attack by Domination of Drakia on Dutch Gold Coast. Second-line Janissary units used due to commitments on front and difficulty in re-arranging position of troops. Dutch Gold Coast forces already greatly increased by suspicious government playing both sides; resistance is fierce from the start.

4 December 1941 -- Drakan submarines begin the East Coast Massacre of shipping

7 December 1941 to 13 December 1941 -- CARTWHEEL Conference at Karlsbad, Czechoslovakia occurs between the major leaders of the Great Powers and Lesser Powers; the future course for much of the war is determined here.

It is agreed by all powers that the United States, Germany, and Poland will send the majority of their troops in Europe to what is now being defined as the Eastern Theater of Operations, while France, Spain, Portugal and Italy will commit the majority of their manpower to the newly-formed Italian Theater of Operations.

This decision and causes severe dissension within the US War Department, leading to Roosevelt personally intervening and bluntly overriding his service chiefs, making the policy decision that the majority of American forces will be deployed to any front deemed necessary to defeat the Draka, with the Pacific, and by extension, the Phillipine States, taking second seat to the Draka. Accordingly, II Corps, the most powerful unit in the pre-war US Army, consisting of the 2nd and 4th Infantry Divisions and the 1st and 2nd Armored Divisions, has their deployment orders changed from the Pacific to the European Theatre.

The remaining US Ground forces, however, continue to move west for deployment to the Pacific, while what few remaining US troops left are dispatched to Atlantic African Littoral Islands of Spain and Portugal to defend them against possible Drakian amphibious assaults.

The Allied navies agree to pool their escorts under the newly-formed Joint Allied Convoy Command (JACC). At this point, Britain is considered a possible enemy due to their old ties with the Domination and their odd refusal to declare war on the Domination; much war planning centers around how to prevent the Royal Navy from sortieing into the Atlantic.

8 December 1941: -- Pro-allied government organized in occupied Netherlands under German auspices, offers troops to the allied cause.

10 December 1941 -- Organized resistance in the Dutch Gold Coast begins to collapse.

12 December 1941 -- Taiping China begins infiltrating 18 divisions of light infantry into Drakian territory undetected per previous agreements with the USSR which guarantee it post-war control of Mongolia and Manchuria.

18 December 1941 -- Last effective resistance in the Dutch Gold Coast ceases. Atrocities against white population there infuriates people of the Netherlands along with treachery against the resistance government.

27 December 1941 -- Finns commence Second Winter Offensive in an effort to gain as much territory as possible for a favourable negotiating stance in the peace negotiations they now regard as necessary to the survival of the Finnish nation.

28 December 1941 -- Japanese forces depose "resistance" government of the NEI after a series of incidents in which anti-collaborationist officers hamper Japanese operations. Terror against populace begins immediately.

1942 A.D.

(Note: Pacific theatre not covered here due to prior agreements with one of the Drakaficverse authors)

1 January 1942: Drakian Submarines begin actively attacking US-escorted convoys off the US East Coast for the first time in the war; until this point, the Draka had avoided escorted ships and instead picked off unescorted ships. On the same day, the Draka make a bold winter landing in central Sicily, quickly driving north in an effort to cut the island in two. Field Marshal Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck (having been recalled to service at the start of the war) is given command in Italy and begins planning a counteroffensive.

6 January 1942: Japanese offensive halted in eastern Burma by the Indian Army; Rangoon saved from the Japanese. With the threat to Burma halted by the Indian Army, Churchill resets the date for the surprise attack on Drakia to early-April and gives a continued go-ahead for the planning, meaning that the conflict with Japan has caused only a month's delay.

13 January 1942: Sao Tome and Principe fall to the Draka.

20 January 1942: Drakian offensive north from Rome stopped in heavy fighting on the outskirts of Florence. Secondary offensive on the east coast likewise stopped in the so-called Battle of San Marino, centered around that micronation, which is fully mobilized down to the last man.

28 January 1942: Drakian troops split through the last Italian defensive lines in the south, thus pinning the Italian armies in the south into two pockets, one in the Taranto area and one in Calabria.

4 February 1942: Drakian troops succeed in cutting Sicily in two, essentially dooming the western portion of the island, but extensive and prepared partisan warfare confronts them, to be replied to with the usual brutality.

March 1942 -- After a long sea voyage from shipping points in New York and Boston to Danzig, II (US) Corps, under Dwight Eisenhower, arrives in Europe. They are taken by rail to Smolensk and assigned to the 3rd Byelorussian Front, where they spend most of the year working up, and training in preparation for combat.

1 March 1942: Millions believed dead in Drakian occupied sectors of Europe to this date; the western Ukraine is almost denuded of population. Mykolayev, Kryviy Rih, Dneperpetrovsk, Nikopol have all fallen to the Draka by this point as they reduce the great "Bend" in the Dnepr; only Kherson holds out.

10 March 1942: Taiping China launches a surprise attack through the Hindu Kush against Drakian Afghanistan with units hundreds of miles behind Drakian lines, effectively declaring war on the Domination.

16 March 1942: Comoros Islands fall to the Draka.

18 -30 March 1942: Second Battle of Poltava, ends in Drakian victory.

22 March 1942: Drakian offensive with infantry up the central Italian spine repulsed by German troops south of Bologna.

3-4 April 1942: British surprise attacks on the Dominate of Drakia. Three massive air assaults pound the northern coast of Africa during the night of 3-4 April as a Royal Navy battle squadron slips past the Straits of Gibraltar, the Drakian gunners on the south shore still at peace with Britain when they pass, as they shall be for only another three hours. A massive air-raid with twin engine fighter-bombers, torpedo aircraft, and pathfinders hits Bizerte from Malta, doing heavy damage to the Drakian Navy homeported there. As the rest of the fleet sorties, it runs into a submarine trap, losing additional ships.

Meanwhile, a special force of Lancasters using Tallboy bombs hits the al-Qattarah works, severely damaging the sea inlet tunnels for the hydroelectric facilities. Progressive failure ultimately leads to the uncontrollable ingress of the Mediterranean into the Qattarah depression, transforming it into a saltwater sea over a period of weeks as the largest waterfall on Earth briefly exists.

The last of the raids consists of mixed Lancasters, Mosquitoes, and Halifaxes temporarily staging out of Cyprus. This raid of some 750 planes, on the advice of A.T. "Bomber" Harris, strikes the great Drakian industrial harbour and city of Alexandria with a mix of Yperite-laced bombs and incendiaries, trapping the population in gas shelters where they are then roasted alive; some 40,000 are believed to have died in all as a result of the raid. The planes are immediately cycled out of Cyprus after the raid (the supply lines are to tenuous for a sustained campaign). As a result of this raid the Draka declare a policy of skinning captured airmen alive and then impaling them.

On the dawn of the 4th, British 21st Army Group under command of Sir Claude Auchinleck storms across the Drakian/Indian border in surprise offensive, the initial attacks aided by the border fortress guns. An additional major offensive of the Indian Army pushes forward toward Kabul from the Jalalabad area under Bernard Montgomery; the Drakian forces in Afghanistan are pinned down as the main British thrust under General Sir Richard O'Connor races north out of Baluchistan, driving hard to outflank the Drakian armies in Afghanistan.

In Arabia the Long Range Desert Group under the command of General B.H. Liddel Hart spearheads a combined British-Arab drive toward Riyadh, and then Mecca, across the Nejd. At the same time the Imperial Army of Oman, under the command of Glubb Pasha, advances out of al-Hadhramut against the Drakian city of Aden to pin down the Drakian forces there from traveling north to reinforce the defences around Mecca.

18 April 1942 -- Arg-e-Bam, Iran, falls to advancing forces of the Indian Army which are guarding the flank of General O'Connor's drive north. Landings are conducted by the Royal Marines at Bandar-e-Abbas.

19 April 1942 -- Birjand, Iran falls to General O'Connor's troops. 3rd Queensland Armoured Brigade first into the city. Drakian troops in Afghanistan now in severe danger of being cut off.

22 April 1942 -- Taranto falls to the Draka, and the Drakian army advances to the Straits of Otranto, threatening the allied supply lines into Greece (as the Trans-Albanian Railroad begun on an emergency basis by German Engineers in October is not yet finished). Calabria now without easy resupply.

29 April 1942 -- Kerman, Iran, and the major copper mines in the area fall to the advancing forces of the Indian Army after a sharp fight outside of the city. 140,000 serfs liberated.

30 April 1942 -- Drakian High Command orders general retreat from Afghanistan and Central Asia (where Taiping armies and two Russian fronts under Zhukov and Tukhachevsky, respectively, are rampaging about the Drakian rear areas) despite Drakian policy of never permanently abandoning ground; the situation has simply become untenable.

1 May 1942 -- Lettow-Vorbeck commences the allied counteroffensive in Italy, a slow, careful policy of infiltration and concentrated attacks which makes limited but steady progress down the peninsula. Drakian units are forced to head north, temporarily saving Calabria.

5 - 7 May 1942 -- Arab troops under the command of Prince Zeid of the House of Hashem liberate Mecca. Jeddah falls two days later. Aden, under siege by the Omani Army, can now only be supplied by sea.

10 May 1942 -- Drakian offensive into Basrah-Kuwait area commences.

14 - 30 May 1942 -- Battle of Mashhad. Converging Soviet, Taiping, and British forces begin to fight an all-out maneouvre battle with two seperate Drakian armies, one in Central Asia and one in Afghanistan, both being forced to try to retreat through the city of Mashhad. 110 Allied divisions clash with 50 Citizen and 70 Janissary Legions--with many more allied divisions in hot pursuit of those forces, which are retreating--in a series of battles throughout Iran, Afghanistan, and Central Asia spread across hundreds and hundreds of miles, with major battles happening in multiple disparate directions as the various armies converge.

28 May 1942 -- Basrah cut off from main British forces in Arabia.

30 May 1942 -- Allied armies meet in Mashhad, cutting off 120 Drakian divisions in total in two vast envelopments, including more than 300,000 Citizen troops. Only one single Citizen Mechanized Corps (and it already somewhat attrited) remains to the east of the Zagros Mountains; every other Citizen unit in Central Asia has been lost or rendered hors d'combat.

2 June 1942 -- Siege of Basrah lifted as attacking units are rushed to the Zagros to establish a line of defence there against the allied armies which are now driving through Iran toward the west.

6 June 1942 -- Khrakov falls to Drakian forces which are still on the offensive in the Ukraine despite the disasters in Central Asia.

8 June 1942 -- Soviets begin counteroffensive in eastern Ukraine toward Poltava. Diversionary effort leads to Third Battle of Kursk on 11 June 1942; Draka victorious in both engagements, but after this a temporary halt to operations in the Ukraine is called as the Draka try to stabilize the situation in Central Asia.

12 June 1942 -- Main allied offensive into western Iran begins, codenamed (in typical British fashion) VIOLET FRIEND. No effective opposition encountered as allied columns push west.

15 June 1942 -- Pockets continue to hold out in Central Asia and the Herat area of Afghanistan, but they are progressively compressed as hordes of Soviet and Indian troops move against them.

23 June 1942 -- Yazd, Iran is liberated.

24 June 1942 -- Shiraz, Iran is liberated.

25 June 1942 -- Shahrud and Gorgan, Iran, are liberated.

28 June 1942 -- Soviet counteroffensive in eastern Ukraine successfully defeated, Kursk occupied by Drakian Army.

2 July 1942 -- Semnan and Sari in Iran are liberated.

4 July 1942 -- Esfahan liberated.

7 July 1942 -- Drakian commanders in Central Asia regain confidence sufficiently that they move forward to defend Tehran and Qom.

15 -- 31 July 1942 -- Battles of Qom and Tehran, where the Draka finally halt the allied offensive in Central Asia. After the successful conclusion of these engagements the Drakian High Command orders a grand offensive on Moscow to begin immediately in hope that the capture and sack of the city would knock the Soviets out of the war and promote internal dissension. General Staff dissents but is overruled. A Finnish offensive on Leningrad is requested but never materializes, as the Finns are now negotiating their surrender.

5 August 1942: Calabria falls; last organized resistance in Central Asian and Herat pockets collapses.

6 -- 19 August 1942: Draka break through at the battles of Bryansk and Orel.

21 August 1942: Messina falls.

25 August 1942: Battle of the Beograd Salient begins.

27 August 1942: Allied forces stopped by the Draka "within cannon shot of Rome".

8 September 1942: Trans-Albanian railroad completed, tying into the Greek railnet, and thereby saving Greece, Cyprus, and Cilicia from imminent collapse by a lack of critical supplies.

18 September 1942: Draka victorious at the battle of the Beograd Salient.

19 September 1942: Shahr-e-Kord falls to allied armies in Iran.

20 -- 30 September 1942: Flanking drives on Homel and Mazyr to secure the advance on Moscow.

23 - 30 September 1942: Battles around Stariy Oskol and Yelets also to secure the flanks of the Moscow advance; at these battles the Soviets hold.

1 October 1942: Medina falls to British-Arab armies in Arabia.

6 -- 24 October: Drive on Tula commences even as the rains threaten.

24 October to 13 November: Battle of Tula. Heavy fighting in horrific weather conditions all throughout the area around Tula. The Draka succeed in breaking through at the end of the battle--a completely hollow success, for Steppe Front held in the east, and Kalinin Front in the west. Moscow Front had vast infantry reserves dug in before the city itself in elaborate defences which proved impenetrable.

17 - 28 November: An effort at breaking the stalemate before Moscow by a thrust toward Vyazma is defeated by the Kalinin Front outside the city in a great battle.

7 December 1942 -- 1 January 1943: The Third Byelorussian Front under Marshal Koniev counterattacks toward the east from the direction of Smolensk.

Koniev's forces are supported in their attack by sizeable German (under Manstein) and American (II Corps under Eisenhower) forces. Soon a general counterattack begins on all sectors of the front, and the Drakian Army falls back through the winter snows in disarray.

George S. Patton's 2nd Armored Division acting in concert with the Soviet 52nd Mechanized Corps helps turn the tide at a crucial point in the attack with a pincer movement encircling a Corps' worth of Drakian troops -- Janissaries and Citizens both -- in Kozelsk.

During the first large scale operations of American troops against the Draka, the 2nd and 4th Divisions take heavy losses while the 1st Armored Division is essentially pulverized by the heavier Drakian Honds and their more experienced crews. 2nd Armored suffers the least losses, due to Patton's exacting training and leadership making them more ready for battle.

Though the Americans take atrocious losses, Patton prevents them from looking completely foolish by playing the crucial role of being the southern wing of the pincer attack and encirclement, and thus does not protest when Eisenhower receives some of the credit back home. Patton's magnanimity is also helped significantly by his becoming the first American in this war to be awarded the Order of Lenin for his role in the Kozelsk encirclement.

By 1 January 1943, all Drakian gains in the USSR since 30 August 1942 have been recaptured by the Allies, who remain on the offensive after that with prospects looking good for the next year.

15 December 1942: As the Allied blockade of Japan begins to take effect; Japanese leaders predict that at present rates of consumption, Japan will be out of oil and unable carry out meaningful strategic operations by mid 1944. With this in mind, Japanese high command decides on a decisive battle to break the Allied blockade; the operation is titled Ten-gō sakusen (Operation Heaven One).

Virtually all of the IJN will be involved in this operation; the plan is to concentrate the fleet in Hashirajima anchorage and other locations, and then sail it down south, towards the American states of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao; presenting a threat to American interests which cannot be ignored; bringing out the majority of the Allied Pacific Fleet to battle.

Once a decisive victory has been achieved over the enemy fleet; some desultory shelling and airstrikes on the Philippine states will be carried out. With the destruction of their fleet, and several American states at risk to the Japanese, the Americans will press for a negotiated settlement.

(Writer's Note: If this plan sounds a bit crazy, it is. Japanese plans traditionally went like the old joke: Step 1. Defeat Allied Fleet. Step 2. ??????? Step 3. WIN)

1943 A.D.

March 1943: Even as II (US) Corps was tossed into the meat-grinder at Kozelsk, more American troops were landing every day in Memel, Riga, and Danzig. The United States had spent 1942 mobilizing, as well as preparing the large support network which would be needed to support it's units in Russia and now had ten new divisions, five infantry and five armored, ready for combat. The heavy losses in II (US) Corps were more than covered and First Army was activated under Eisenhower's command. Eisenhower, with support from Washington, then promoted Patton to II Corps' commander.

1 July 1943: Operation Ten-gō sakusen begins; Japanese fleet sails from Hiroshima. Despite much traffic being handled by land lines in Japan, and the fact that the new Japanese code is only partially cracked; there is enough of an increase in radio traffic for Allied Intelligence to deduce correctly that a major operation is underway. Orders are issued canceling leaves and ordering steam to be raised on all ships in port in Subic.

2 July 1943: Japanese Fleet passes Okiwana. Major Allied Fleet Units begin sortieing from Subic Bay, Luzon; and pass southwards through the Philippines; to avoid Japanese aviation based in Taiwan.

3 July 1943: Battle of the Philippine Sea begins.

1944 A.D.

1945 A.D.

1946 A.D.

Fall 1946: The Draka have lost their hold over all but Africa and the Palestinia province, where the old defensive lines along the Ottoman border have been upgraded in a mass effort, and the rugged, sparsely developed desert terrain to the east prevents the lines from being flanked, and the Allied forces have come to a halt after their blitzkriegs across Asia Minor in order to rest and refit for the next Grand Offensive, the seizing of Palestina and the forced crossing of the Suez Canal into Africa proper. The Draka have, by this time, finally come to accept that they can't actually win.

At this point in the war, the Janissary Corps has literally been broken by the Allies. x million Janissaries are dead, wounded (wounded is defined as severe enough to require recuperation for beyond six months) or missing. No longer is the Corps the mighty offensive instrument it was six years ago. At this point, the Janissaries are only reliable when on the defensive and heavily corseted by Security Directorate minders.

Normally, the situation would be bleak; but by this point in the war, the Draka are fighting from heavily defended and fortified lines in territory they have held since the 1840s at least; meaning that they can make any advance by the Allied forces a relentless bloodbath, despite the overwhelming firepower the Allies can bring on any point in the battlefield.

One of their generals who has risen up through the ranks in the war and is realistic in the face of experience on the ground against the allied forces, is given command of all remaining armoured forces, which are concentrated in Palestina, and informed of a new weapon -- immense and cumbersome mines of a type which they won't even tell him the exact nature of. Useless except when in prepared emplacements to be detonated in underground tunnels under the enemy lines. But capable of shattering whole divisions in a flash.

By October 1946, the Draka have prepared eleven nuclear devices and the largest stockpiles of gas in the world, including their own hastily deployed nerve gas to finally counter the vast amounts the Germans have used, to support the full strength of their armoured forces. The plan is to detonate the weapons on allied lines after a brief “withdrawal” from their defensive lines to lure the Allies forward, and in the shattered confusion following the initiations, the last crack units of the Drakian Armored Corps drive through the fallout, their tanks and mechanized vehicles buttoned up tight against radiation, driving straight up the Bekaa Valley, to seize Damascus and cut off the Allied armies to the south in an encirclement; with the possibility of taking hundreds of thousands of Allied soldiers as prisoners to force a negotiated peace.

The key to this last gamble by the Draka is their assessment that the allies are exhausted. For five years most of the world has fought against the Draka non-stop in a feast of blood. The US has lost x million, the Soviets x million, the Germans x million; and on the Drakian side, Citizen casualties are equally enormous. x million are blah blah dead, xx percent of the entire pre-war Citizen population. And there's no end in sight. There is a sizable contingent in the northern European nations that is starting to have nightmares about the specter of World War I rising again, and are asking “Why are we still fighting? We've driven them back and liberated Asia, let us make peace.”

[EDITORS NOTE: You might ask; why are they talking about an armistice? Well, that's the thing. In this timeline, Germany did not go Nazi, and the Weimar Republic survived long enough to be co-opted into a sort of quasi revival of the Second Reich by Göring, with Germany as a central pillar of European stability and security; instead of invading and eating their neighbors. So there isn't as much a demand for unconditional surrender in this timeline, without the experience of Nazi Germany.]

The countries which have suffered the most from Drakian depredations in the war (namely Russia and Italy, along with a lot of the Balkans) are still pressing for unconditional victory; although there are signs of cracks appearing in their united facades.

At 0253 hours on October 14, 1946; the button is pressed on Zero-Zero-One; the first Drakian nuclear device ever built; a fourteen kiloton gun-type device weighing some twelve tons by Cohortarch Albert Hougaard in his bunker, where he has spent the last 48 hours watching the Allied units advance past the former Drakian defensive positions. Hougaard is a handpicked volunteer who knows that this is a suicide mission; it doesn't matter, because he lost his entire family in the great RAF raid on Alexandria in April 1942 which opened British participation in the war on the Draka.

Cohortarch Hougaard disappears in a blinding flash in a millisecond; and the first nuclear device initiated in combat wreaks it's havoc on the xxxx Division. Two miles down the old Drakian lines, Zero-Zero-Two follows after a brief delay.

In the confusion following the initiation of the two devices, the 651st Transport Merarchy, having taken off 45 minutes earlier from airbases protected heavily by night intruders, arrives over the battlefield, and from specially modified Hippo A transports, deploys by parachute devices 0-0-3 through 0-1-0; which are “Generation 1.5” gun-type devices, delivering slightly higher yields and weighing slightly less. Only one Hippo survives the mission, and this is due to device 0-1-1; an experimental plutonium implosion device, fizzling due to the high explosive charges not going off with enough synchronization to cause fission. The radioactive material and fragments of the weapon are secured by the US Army's 51st Special Security Squadron, part of the USAAF's Strategic Air Command after the Drakian armored attack has been blunted and ultimately defeated.

By the time dawn breaks, some xxx Allied troops are dead, wounded, and dying of radiation poisoning, while two whole Drakian Armored Corps are rampaging through the shocked Allied rear areas. The first inklings of the disaster which has befallen the Allies reaches SAC

Due to the many thorny political problems involved in a huge multinational undertaking, with no clear overwhelming single contributor (like the United States was in @ WW2); there was no single (Western) Allied Supreme Commander, like Eisenhower was in OTL. However, a compromise was reached with the Eurasian landmass divided up into several “Fronts” each commanded by a Supreme Commander, and it was understood that certain areas would be largely run by certain countries. For example, the Moscow, Don and Ural Front Supreme Commanders (SACMOS, SACDON, SACURAL) were held by Soviet commanders, with one exception. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who became Don Front's commander when Marshal Malinovsky had to be replaced due to medical reasons. Krasnov decided to keep Eisenhower as SACDON, instead of replacing him as was his prerogative.


December 1941 – August 1943: Ernest J. King (US Navy)

August 1943 – June 1945: Andrew B. Cunningham (Royal Navy)

June 1945- September 1947:


December 1941 – August 1943: Erich Raeder (Kaiserliche Marine)


Stood up in December 1941 for Spanish defense; then extended to Moroccan and Tunisian operations in North Africa.




MKSheppard: because they really don't know much about the US program

JamesI Hunter: I thought the Americans had well over 100 by then, preparing to use the... ah

majsvetlanna: Because the USA has been developing the bomb in total secret.

JamesI Hunter: The US is STILL keeping it secret?

MKSheppard: and because their own national programs are small

majsvetlanna: As a security measure.

MKSheppard: can't afford it

MarshalPurnell: Of course, the USSR would know all about it.

MKSheppard: afford to do a US mass production, even with eurpean unity, etc

JamesI Hunter: As if the massive airbases for B-36s aren't clue enough :D

majsvetlanna: Yes, but the USSR isn't going to quit.

majsvetlanna: It's the European countries which might.

MKSheppard: actually, there's probably only a few airbases in this tl

MKSheppard: there's no massive B-36 swarm

MKSheppard: more like 200~ or so aircraft

MKSheppard: which is plenty, though.

majsvetlanna: 350 at the absolute most.

MarshalPurnell: If anything there'd probably be more blatant espionage from the scientists going to the Soviets.

JamesI Hunter: Plenty enough to screen for the B-36s dropping ~112 nukes.

MKSheppard: You know I could probably write up a mash piece

MKSheppard: from some leading european intellectual magazine

MKSheppard: asking the question "should we stop now?"

majsvetlanna: Truman's conundrum is this:

MKSheppard: "We've achieved so much, blah blah, don't want WWI Mk 2

MarshalPurnell: On the other hand, fiction-wise, we were just getting up to 1942.

majsvetlanna: 1. The plan was to build up to nearly 300 nuclear devices before slamming them all onto the Dominate, all at once.

majsvetlanna: Do they stick with it?

JamesI Hunter: A lot of that is being retconned, Marshal.

majsvetlanna: Or do they go with what they have now?

majsvetlanna: No, it isn't.

majsvetlanna: Well, not the considerable particulars.

majsvetlanna: Modifications, but I'd hardly call it reconning.

majsvetlanna: Anyway, the point of the story is that Truman gives the order.

majsvetlanna: While the Drakian armies push for Damascus..

MKSheppard: burn Archon?

JamesI Hunter: Yes, modded.

majsvetlanna: The B-36's are warming up on the runways.

JamesI Hunter: Burn Archona and every other city worth bombing or with an industrial target.

majsvetlanna: 112 devices.

MKSheppard: I actually like this

JamesI Hunter: So, whether the Draka know it or not, their offensive at Damascus is really them blowing their last wad.

MKSheppard: and the US' surprise smash and burn offensive is what revives the allies.

MKSheppard: Can we segue away to a thorny problem that relates to the Pacific War?

JamesI Hunter: Yeah. The Phillipines as a state.

JamesI Hunter: Shep, Skimmer, and I have been bonking heads recently on the subject... and come to the conclusion that there's no real reason the Phillipines should be a US state.

majsvetlanna: It isn't.

majsvetlanna: Luzon is.

MKSheppard: If the PI is a state, it's going to have a very large contigent of everything, especially since we have no WNT limiting fortifications, etc.

majsvetlanna: Nobody would make the whole fucking Philippines a single state.

majsvetlanna: Another Stirlingism.

JamesI Hunter: Uh. Regardless.

JamesI Hunter: Why would Luzon/Mindanao/Visayas all be states of the Union?

MKSheppard: There are problems involved in defending them unless we build up a very large fleet in being

majsvetlanna: Because we've got enough hispanics in the country already that racism is not a big issue?

JamesI Hunter: ....

JamesI Hunter: Well, yes, anti-Hispanic is certainly a huge problem in the USA of our TL.

majsvetlanna: Mexico, Cuba, Central America, Caribbean..

majsvetlanna: They're all part of the USA.

JamesI Hunter: Wage-slavery, pretty much, the way I see it.

majsvetlanna: And the Philippines had a bona fide independence movement.

MKSheppard: So co-opt it by making it a state?

majsvetlanna: The Veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic in 1900

majsvetlanna: were already incensed that we had colonies at all, OTL.

JamesI Hunter: The Phillipines are just too damn far to be a state, and with the independence movement... well.

majsvetlanna: Not in the 1930s, when air travel is a regular occurrence on large airships.

majsvetlanna: Which can cross the Pacific at 90mph.

JamesI Hunter: Making them a state would just make things worse.

majsvetlanna: And carry fast freight.

majsvetlanna: It would meet most of their demands.

MKSheppard: What about defending the state?

JamesI Hunter: They just got out from under Spanish dominion. Why else did we make them independent, if a puppet, in OTL? :P

MKSheppard: Heh, perhaps Luzon could be the main fleet anchorage?

JamesI Hunter: Manila Bay, heh.

MKSheppard: instead of pearl

MKSheppard: as it would be simply closer to the war zone etc

majsvetlanna: Well, that's what I've said all along.

majsvetlanna: That they hit the battle line at Subic.

majsvetlanna: And actually raise and recommission some of the ships sunk.

JamesI Hunter: But with Subic Bay being part of the US, then where will all the sailors get their cocks sucked? :-(

majsvetlanna: Which compensates in a big way in terms of balance to the fortifications

majsvetlanna: of the Philippines.

majsvetlanna: By each other.

JamesI Hunter: So the Japka's steal some Ami ships, huh? :D

MKSheppard: Bwha

majsvetlanna: Just like sailors did it before there were Filipina prostitutes.

MKSheppard: Bwha

majsvetlanna: I suppose the Germans could guess based on what worked against them in WW1, but that's a shitty way to run a war.

MKSheppard: Possibly the germans could get Southlant aka "lets raid the drakian coastline"

MKSheppard: they got plenty of experience *grin*

MKSheppard: *SMS Tirpitz runs up to Drakian coastal city, and pounds it for 30 minutes, before running back out*

MKSheppard: "Murderers!"

majsvetlanna: They would probably start doing that, yeah.