Man-Made Hell: The History of the Great War and Beyond

Is this a good timeline?

  • Yes, it's great!

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  • Yes, it has a few flaws but is still good.

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  • No, it's very implausible.

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Hello everyone, welcome to Phase Three!

First off, I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for the patience over these last few months. As I've previously stated, it's been a really busy time for me recently, and knowing that people continue to be interested in Man-Made Hell even when it's not as active as I'd like has meant the world to me. Y'all are incredible!

Secondly, this chapter proved to be a long one to write and exceeded the 10,000 world limit on the site, which means a second chapter will be posted sometime tomorrow. Hopefully two chapters in one week will make up for a lengthy hiatus. Either way, it's great to be back, and hopefully you'll enjoy these latest two chapters as much as I've enjoyed writing them!
 
Can the Russians still afford the industry to contest Turkey from the CP's? It seemed like that the population is both enthusiastic and scared good of the prospect of CP, let alone National Absolutist victory, and so they'll continue to (want to) toil in those factories. Spain also seemed to be sitting pretty as of this moment, and so does Brazil.

Man, I can't wait for Adolf fucking Hitler to save Germany from the neo-feudal battle royale of the Fourth Phase Germany. They may have distracted and weakened Soviet Russia, but Germany is only digging its grave deeper at this point with all the lurid schemes that they are doing, and consigning away so much, um, rights to the nobility.

Yeah, I'm totally sure that the Heilsreich can survive a succession crisis intact. 🤔🤔😔

On the other hand though, I can only hope that the Western Syndicalists wouldn't be too devastated to recover. They've been a wonderful team for almost two decades already, and so may see each other as outright comrades.
 
In two years, people who were born at the beginning of this nightmare will be fighting in it. We’ve already lost an entire generation of comrades to the imperialists and, as much as I hate to admit it, we’ll probably lose another.
A reminder of how dark things are. The scary thing is, a lot of people probably stopped having children when this war began, so after those two years there is going to be a lot less new cannon fodder growing up per year. I am curious if any governments have contingencies in mind for what to do when that hits?

I know Auggie is a scary person, but even then how did he convince the Reichstag to approve an amendment that basically rendered them pointless?

Well, I know he's got absolute power, but how well can he use it? Stripping all non-nobles from positions of power, on top of purging some actual nobles that opposed him, is going to result in a lack of skilled leadership, and a lot of leadership consumed with outdated and backwards views. And he IS outright called "drunk" with power so that doesn't suggest the most competent decision making. Point is, I expect the Reich's organizational, technological, and military capability to start gradually decaying in a few years due to a prevelance of fascist yes-men in the power structure lacking the ability to innovate or honestly confront/report failures.

And the enslavement of the non-germans (and most of the German poor too, effectively) may bring short-term blood to the factories, but the Heilsreich is basically cannibalizing itself at this point and can't keep that going for long. Contrast Russia, which while badly battered is still able to operate on "normal" wartime communism methods. Indeed, the sun is setting on Europe. Question is, just how much will be lost before it ends?

with many belligerents of the Great War (primarily the British Empire) setting up shop within Anatolia to profit from industries made particularly lucrative during wartime.
Must be real grating for the Turks to effectively become a British supplier so soon after getting crushingly beaten by them. Did these industries fall to Canada after Britain fell?

Glad that the Armenian Genocide is prosecuted in TTL at least.

Despite the historical rivalry of the two parties over the past five years, the leadership of the FAP viewed a government with the TRP as the lesser of two evils and the leadership of the TRP accepted that forming a governing coalition served as a great opportunity to advance much of the party’s platform.
Liberals joining with the bloodthirsty fascists rather than make concessions to the workers. How typical. But even if the TRP gains power I don't see them doing much. The "successes" of fascists are usually built on the foundations made by more liberal regimes, foundations that get eroded the longer the fascists stay in power. And the Ottoman Empire here doesn't have much of a foundation. The whole place does seem like a powder keg rigged to blow alright, but with how long their gridlocked democracy has been ineffectual they'll have a LOT of catching up to do.

I question the effectiveness of the planned Turkish mechanization program, wit the state of their economy. Sure they've got some steelworks, but I don't expect high-quality tanks or APCs.
 
Well, I know he's got absolute power, but how well can he use it? Stripping all non-nobles from positions of power, on top of purging some actual nobles that opposed him, is going to result in a lack of skilled leadership, and a lot of leadership consumed with outdated and backwards views. And he IS outright called "drunk" with power so that doesn't suggest the most competent decision making. Point is, I expect the Reich's organizational, technological, and military capability to start gradually decaying in a few years due to a prevelance of fascist yes-men in the power structure lacking the ability to innovate or honestly confront/report failures.
1) He threatened his opponents and followed through it
2) He gave the remaining nobility... back their rights, so as to say.

Also, he's very much like a more ideological version of Assad at this point.

Can Wehraboos in the United States push fast enough to back CP? I doubt it. That's why CP is going to Brazil:

switch_tan_is_going_to_brazil_by_noh_buddy_de4wwqg.png


It may be the other way though, since the CP's, especially with the National Absolutists, are the bigger kooks here.
I question the effectiveness of the planned Turkish mechanization program, wit the state of their economy. Sure they've got some steelworks, but I don't expect high-quality tanks or APCs.
It's more like a (destructive) distraction to the Soviets, and as well as another scheme for the Brazilian CP's to funnel their pork on. Of course, the German Fuhrer and nobility are too stupid to realise that, but then it's not them that running the shots now, at least not in the Mediterranean.
 
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Chapter Fourteen: Growing Storm Clouds
Chapter XIV: Growing Storm Clouds

“The Turkic Race must no longer be humiliated by incompetent leadership plagued by the decadant lies of liberalism. Friends, it is time for our nation to rise once again!”

-Nuri Killigil speaking to members of the National Turkic Legion prior to the March on Constantinople, circa October 1929.


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National Turkic Legion militia members parading through Constantinople during a Turanic Renewal Party rally, circa February 1928.

The surprise German victory at the Battle of Berlin in March 1929 shocked the world, including the Ottoman Empire, whose leadership had assumed that the Red Army would conquer the Heilsreich’s capital and had thus prepared Turkey’s economy for a post-war scenario by pushing the Turkish arms manufacturing sector towards production for domestic purposes. Germany’s decisive victory over Joseph Stalin, however, proved that the Central Powers were still in the game and the Great War was far from over, which for Turkey meant that arms manufacturing for the belligerents of the Great War, primarily the Central Powers at this point, was to remain a substantial portion of the national economy for the foreseeable future. Economic ties to Germany in particular became increasingly controversial with the implementation of national absolutism, an ideology that made for an almost comically perfect villain for leftists in both Turkey and beyond to condemn, circa August 1929. The exporting of supplies to Europe’s combatants was therefore flung into the spotlight of Turkish political discourse yet again, and it was this issue that the TKP and her allies saw an opportunity in.

The Turkish Communist Party was obviously the major Ottoman political party most openly opposed to Constantinople’s war profiteering on behalf of the fascist Central Powers, and this attitude proliferated to the Confederation of Workers and Peasants (CWP), a labor union formed in 1924 and closely affiliated with the TKP that had since grown into the single largest labor organization within the Ottoman Empire. The CWP had rapidly expanded during socioeconomic conditions rife with widespread unemployment and growing inequality, and the union was prominent throughout all of Turkey by 1929. This had in turn transformed the CWP into a predominant antagonist of the Turanic propaganda machine, and the NTL was frequently directed to attack CWP strikes, meetings, and rallies, often with little backlash from ruling authorities, who generally held a negative view of the CWP. When the Ottoman Empire’s economic ties to the Central Powers were brought into question in the summer of 1929, TKP leader Mustafa Subhi called on the CWP to stage a general strike in order to demand an end to the Turkish supply of the Central Powers’ war effort. Surely enough, starting in late August 1929, the central congress of the CWP voted to conduct a general strike and thousands of workers took to the streets as a consequence.

In the eyes of Nuri Killigil, the TKP’s attempt to mobilize the working class of the Ottoman Empire in opposition to fascism abroad was, ironically enough, the casus belli that his domestic fascist movement required to seize power. To a crowd of thousands of NTL militants on October 1st, 1929, three months into a general strike that many amongst the circles of the Turkish elite had denounced as a fundamental threat to national economic well-being, Killigil declared that the CWP General Strike of 1929 was little more than a communist plot orchestrated by Subhi’s puppet masters in Moscow to overthrow the Turkish government, and went on to insist that the reigning liberal state apparatus of the Ottoman Empire had failed to respond to the communist takeover. Killigil therefore took a page from the book of Benito Mussolini and ordered the National Turkic Legion to march on Constantinople with the goal of overthrowing the constitutional monarchy and installing fascist autocratic rule with himself at the helm, and appointed himself to lead the coup d’etat.

Within mere hours following Killigil’s call to arms against the Ottoman government, plumes of smoke were rising from the streets of Constantinople as the National Turkic Legion descended upon the city. Local police forces and CWP strikers alike fought against the NTL, however, in the end they were no match to the firepower of a militia with membership inherited from the trenches of the Great War, not to mention that pro-Turanic military officers stationed in Constantinople defected to Killigil’s coup attempt, thus disintegrating the city’s defenses. By the end of the day, Nuri Killigl held the entirety of the Turkish legislature, cabinet, and Sultan Mehmed VII himself hostage whereas the Ottoman Empire had declared its recognition of Killigil as the provisional absolute ruler of the Turkish nation, therefore putting him in de facto control over Turkey and spelling the deal knell of an empire that had reigned over Anatolia for over six centuries. In other words, the March on Constantinople had succeeded.

In the subsequent days, now-autocrat Nuri Killigil quickly reorganized Turkey into a fascist republic built around the ideals of the Turanic Renewal Party’s far-right ideology. Given the tenuous situation that the new Turkish regime found itself in due to the continued General Strike of 1929, the new constitution for Killigil’s state was written within a matter of days. The end result, which was unanimously approved by the Turanic Renewal Party’s members of the Chamber of Deputies on October 8th, 1929, officially replaced the ancient Ottoman Empire with the Turkish National State, an authoritarian fascist regime which was declared “the state exclusively of the Turkic Race” within the preamble of its very constitution. The Turkic National State replaced the General Assembly with the bicameral National Assembly, which consisted of a lower house (Chamber of Experts) whose members were various political officials from the Turanic Renewal Party, now the only legal party within Turkey, and the a lower house (Chamber of Security) whose members were all high-ranking and experienced military officers. Like in the Heilsreich, all members of the legislature were appointed directly by the chief executive, titled the Onder, and like in August Wilhelm’s Germany, the Onder (the first of which was clearly Nuri Killigil himself) had the ability to unilaterally implement laws as an autocrat, thus turning the National Assembly into little more than an advisory committee.

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Onder Nuri Killigil of the Turkish National State.

Following the formation of the Turkish National State, Onder Killigil moved swiftly to purge his political opposition, particularly the Confederation of Workers and Peasants, whose militant opposition to the new fascist regime posed the threat of civil war in the eyes of many. The armed forces, local police departments, and the National Turkic Legion were all directed to efficiently arrest CWP leadership and disperse the ongoing general strike through force if necessary. While the now-state-owned media did not report on the various confrontations with those who dared to protest the new regime, the reality was that hundreds of unarmed protesters were killed by the brutal military force of Killigil throughout the fall of 1929 in what the Turkish apparatus of state labeled Operation Asena, which encompassed both the violent destruction of Turkey’s labor movement as well as the mass arrests and assassinations of numerous ex-Ottoman officials from rival parties at the hands of the the National Security Organization (NSO), the military police agency of the Turkish National State that answered directly to Nuri Killigil himself.

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Flag of the Turkish National State.

Within mere months after seizing control of Turkey, Nuri Killigil and the TRP had more or less eliminated all organized opposition by crushing it under the jackboot of fascist tyranny. The rapid implementation of mass remilitarization and industrialization programs in collaboration between the Turanics and the Turkish captains of industry managed to significantly reduce national unemployment levels for the first time since the implementation of the Treaty of Aleppo, which in turn made the new regime relatively popular amongst much of Turkey’s population whereas those who continued oppose the rule of the Onder didn’t dare speak out for fear of the NSO knocking on their doors. As Operation Asena winded down towards the beginning of the winter of 1929, the violence of the Turkish National State was directed at the nation’s ethnic minorities in Killigil’s mad quest for a Turkic ethnostate. The Greek diaspora that resided in western Anatolia was the focus of this ethnic cleansing, with thousands of Greeks being deported, relocated to isolated ghettos, or massacred within the first year of Turanic rule alone, while ethnic Turks colonized what had once been Greek communities, wiped off the map in the name of a demented desire for ethnic purity.

The rise of the Turkish National State may have been a nightmare for many who lived under its newly-established tyranny, however, it was a dream come true for the Central Powers. In the eyes of both August Wilhelm and Benito Mussolini, Killigil’s Turkey was an indispensable opportunity to turn the tides of the Great War in the favor of fascism, given that the Turkish nation was in a strategically critical geographic position in terms of flanking the Russian Soviet Republic, had a pool of manpower that had long since recovered from the Middle Eastern Theater of Phase One, an economy on the precipice of industrialization, and a rapidly growing military. It was thus no surprise when the Kaiser-Fuhrer himself personally reached out to Nuri Killigil circa December 1929, requesting that the Turkish National State declare war on the Soviet Republic in return for recognition of Constantinople’s sovereignty over ethnically Turkic territory throughout West Asia from the Central Powers and post-war aid from the alliance in the conquest of territory historically held by the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East.

Onder Nuri Killigil happily accepted August Wilhelm’s offer, eager to gain support from some of the largest military forces in human history in the reconstruction of Turkey’s vast imperial holdings, and invited representatives of the Central Powers to the ancient city of Constantinople to ratify an official agreement that would bring the Turkish nation back into the Great War on behalf of the Central Powers. Ratified in secrecy on December 5th, 1929, the Treaty of Constantinople brought the Turkish National State under the fold of her former allies, which had, like Turkey itself, been infected with the plague of fascism. Killigil’s Turkish Army would now be put to the test as he prepared to face off against the mighty Russian Soviet Republic upon the waves of the Black Sea. Perhaps his National State was the key to finally ushering in the Central Powers’ decisive conquest of Europe. Or, perhaps Turkey would simply become the latest country to fall to the Red Army.

Either way, the Turkish nation had returned to the arena of the titans.


Cracks in the Armor

“December 7th, 1929: A day which shall live in infamy.”

-Premier Leon Trotsky addressing an emergency session of the Politburo of the Russian Soviet Republic, circa December 1929.


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Red Fleet battleship stationed in the Black Sea, circa January 1930.

Turkey’s re-entry into the Great War was carefully calculated. Turkish intervention would be a greatly coveted asset of the Central Powers regardless of how it was utilized, but the representatives who crafted the Treaty of Constantinople were very much aware that, if they played their cards right, Turkey could be utilized to annihilate the Russian military presence on the Black Sea in one swift blow and therefore force Moscow to focus on two frontlines, both to its west and to its south. The Turkish National State lacked a significant naval presence on the waves of the Black Sea, however, the Russian Soviet Republic wasn’t much better in this regard, having concentrated whatever resources were allocated to the Red Fleet in the Baltic Sea in order to fight off against Germany and her puppet regimes, now long gone following Mikhail Frunze’s campaign to undo the last remnants of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in the prelude to the Battle of Berlin. The Russians had slightly increased their naval presence in the Black Sea following the success of the March on Constantinople and the ascendance of a pro-Central Powers fascist regime in Turkey, however, the Great War had long dictated to all of its belligerents that very few military resources could be spared for security measures against neutral states, and the Russian Soviet Republic did not dare break this doctrine even as Nuri Killigil made overtures to the Kaiser-Fuhrer and Duce.

The delegations of Turkey and her allies therefore concluded that a quick and brutal surprise attack on Sevastopol, the naval base most critical to maintaining Soviet hegemony on the Black Sea, would devastate the Russian war effort against Turkey from the get-go. Even if such an attack was not to be followed by an amphibious offensive into Crimea, a second frontline would nonetheless be opened against the Soviet Republic, and it would be a frontline fought on turf that the Russian armed forces were well-suited for. While it was nothing to balk at, the combined naval might of Turkey and Italy could be enough to divert Russian forces away from the highly-contested Eastern Front and thus give the Heilsreich an opportunity to push eastward across the Oder River. In other words, the Black Sea was the soft underbelly of the Russian Soviet Republic and the Turkish National State had the ability to thrust a knife into said underbelly and make Russia bleed.

The tantalizing prospect of a surprise attack by Turkish forces on Sevastopol was enough to incentivize shrouding the negotiation of the Treaty of Constantinople in secrecy. The arrival of German, Italian, Illyrian, and Bulgarian delegations in Turkey was depicted to the public as little more than a goodwill trip by the Central Powers to the newly-formed fascist government of Onder Killigil, and while the foreign intelligence services of the Third International knew better than to fall for the propaganda machine of their reactionary enemies, there wasn’t really anything that the alliance could do in retaliation to closed door negotiations in Constantinople. Sure, it was a reasonable assumption to make that Turkey was planning an entry into the Great War on behalf of the Central Powers, but what could Russia do about it? A pre-emptive strike over what could have very well been little more than trade negotiations promised too much of a risk to be taken seriously by even the most paranoid Soviet military officer, and an increase of military presence in the Black Sea would take too long to deter any potential Turkish attack, not to mention that it risked taking away resources from the Great War itself to focus on what could, again, prove to not be a threat. For the time being, all Moscow could do was keep an eye on Turkey and wait for Killigil’s next move.

Within the forty-eight hours after the ratification of the Treaty of Constantinople, the Turkish National State moved quickly to ensure the success of its planned ambush on Sevastopol. The Central Powers opted to keep their ambassadors in Turkey during these fateful hours, both to generate the illusion that negotiations with Killigil had yet to conclude and to advise Constantinople on their planned military operation. Several Italian warships patrolling the eastern Mediterranean Sea were directed to move towards the Bosphorus Strait with the understanding that they would soon be called upon to fight in a naval engagement against the Soviet Republic, but for the time being were excluded from the waters of the Black Sea. As for the actions of the Turkish National State itself, Killigil’s military advisors had drafted up war plans for a surprise attack on the RSR long ago, so it was simply a matter of putting these previously hypothetical plans into fruition. The Turkish Aviation Squadrons, aerial units of Turkey’s army and navy (Turkey had yet to develop its air force into an independent military branch), was quietly mobilized along the northern Turkish coastline in preparation for the order to take off across the Black Sea and decimate the Red Fleet. The Turkish Navy began to move forces out of the Mediterranean Sea and into the Black Sea, however, such activities were done subtly so as to not attract too much attention from Moscow.

On the dawn of December 7th, 1929, Nuri Killigil personally ordered General Fakhri Pasha, the officer put in charge of commanding the attack on Sevastopol, to send his warplanes out across the Black Sea. From Kefken to Trabazon, the sky was soon filled with the forces of the Aviation Squadrons, their ranks consisting of various plane models either purchased or copied from the various belligerents of Phase One, departing onto the horizon, armed to the brim with bombs and ammunition intended to lay ruin to Sevastopol. The Turkish Aviation Squadron was far from the most impressive aerial force, and by 1929 much of the aircraft within its ranks was outdated, however, it nonetheless had the numbers, firepower, and presumed aerial superiority on the Black Sea needed to decisively stab the soft underbelly of the Russian Soviet Republic. More importantly than all of these factors, the Turks possessed the element of surprise. Any inkling the Red Army had about an attack on Sevastopol was little more than wild speculation, never amounting to anything that could possibly justify a mass reallocation of troops to some naval port far away from the actual frontlines of the Great War. There was no blockade deterring the Aviation Squadrons. Fakhri’s men would, at least at first, have the sky to themselves, with nothing standing in their way to rain hell upon the unsuspecting Soviet forces.

It took a few hours for Fakhri’s forces to cross the Black Sea, but soon enough, the terror of the Great War would reach the harbors of Sevastopol. A handful of Red Fleet ships patrolling the Black Sea spotted the droves of Turkish warplanes in the minutes leading up to the attack on Sevastopol and accordingly alerted ground bases of the large fleet, however, these ships did not dare fire the first shot in order to avoid starting a war that potentially need not be started, and their alerts to ground forces had come too little too late. As the sun rose over the clear winter sky of Sevastopol, outposts to the city’s south looked out onto the horizon and gazed in horror as countless planes swarmed the sky. Hundreds of Turkish pilots flew over Cape Fiolent without dropping a single bomb onto the terrified onlookers, for arms needed to be saved for the many ships of Sevastopol. Mere minutes later, panicked Red Army soldiers stationed in Sevastopol, whose commanders had begun to realize what was about to befall them as frantic encrypted messages from the Black Sea arrived, saw the very same ocean of warplanes, however, the fleet would not simply continue flying on this time. Once the shipyards of Sevastopol were in range, hundreds of bombs were unleashed upon both military and civilian installations alike.

Sevastopol burned.

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Damage inflicted on a Red Fleet shipyard during the attack on Sevastopol, circa December 1929.

The strategy of the Turkish National State worked excellently. Soviet forces quickly mounted anti-aircraft guns and took to the skies themselves with whatever planes they had, however, the simple fact of the matter was that the Aviation Squadrons easily outnumbered the makeshift Russian opposition. By the time the chaos of the attack on Sevastopol had passed and Turkish forces began to fly back south, the plot of the Central Powers to obliterate the Red Fleet’s Black Sea presence had succeeded. The bulk of Russian naval ships in the region had been destroyed at Sevastopol, now little more than smoldering wreckage sinking to the bottom of Sevastopol Bay. The city of Sevastopol itself wasn’t in much better condition and would burn throughout the rest of the day as a gruesome reminder of what had transpired in the morning. Once the attack had concluded, Nuri Killigil’s voice rang across the radios of Turkey, declaring that “retaliatory measures” had been taken against the Russian Soviet Republic for “subverting the stability of the Turkish National State” by supposedly funding and directing the Confederation of Workers and Peasants’ resistance to fascist rule, thus bringing Turkey into an alliance with the Central Powers yet again.

As the Turkish nation was mobilized in the aftermath of what its leadership insisted was a necessary and glorious victory over the Marxist barbarians, so too did Premier Leon Trotsky address his country. In a public address to an emergency session of the Politburo that was broadcast across the globe in the coming days, the Red Napoleon declared that December 7th, 1929 shall forever live in infamy as the day that the Turkish National State had committed a brutal atrocity against the Russian Soviet Republic. Trotsky angrily announced to the world that the Russian proletariat would soon unleash its collective revenge upon the fascist imperialists of Anatolia, however, behind Moscow’s closed doors, the attitude was much less certain of decisive victory over Turkey. This was, after all, a Russia still reeling from a brutal defeat in Berlin, and it was undeniable that the Red Fleet had suffered heavy losses at Sevastopol that would make combatting the Turks challenging. For the time being, the Soviet Republic was to fight a defensive war against the Turkish National State.

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Premier Leon Trotsky addressing the Politburo of the Russian Soviet Republic following the attack on Sevastopol, circa December 1929.

Once the dust had begun to settle in Sevastopol, the Black Sea Front could truly begin.The growing fleet of Italian ships in the Aegean Sea made their way through the Bosphorus Strait while armed forces of their Turkish allies took to the waves to finish off what remained of the Red Fleet in the Black Sea. Admiral Vasili Altfater, who had been the commander-in-chief of the Red Fleet since the days of the Russian Civil War, was personally directed by Premier Trotsky himself to oversee the Soviet war effort on the Black Sea Front, knowing very well that the new conflict presented a potential turning point in the Great War. The inability of the Russian Soviet Republic to relocate Baltic Sea forces to the war against Turkey and Italy due to Italian dominance in the eastern Mediterranean left Altfater ships in a vulnerable position, thus resulting in the allocation of significant aerial forces to the Black Sea Front in order to compensate for a lack of strong naval forces. Under these directions from Moscow, the Black Sea was soon flooded with Soviet and fascist aircraft alike while mighty warships duked it out upon the waves below.

Leon Trotsky also recognized the need for long term military industrialization, particularly with regards to naval forces, along the coastline of the Black Sea if the Soviet Republic was to ever emerge victorious against the fascist Turks and Italians. Therefore, the Two-Year Plan was introduced to the Politburo on January 1st, 1930 as a program to rapidly construct warships on the Black Sea Front alongside the infrastructure necessary to maintain a larger Red Fleet presence in the area. The Two-Year Plan was in many ways very much a repeat of the Three-Year Plan that had defined the domestic policy of Trotsky’s early reign, with thousands of Soviet citizens being conscripted into the armed forces, not to fight on the frontlines of the Great War, but to instead be forced to work in brutal conditions along the shore of the Black Sea to build numerous ships, factories, and harbors at a rapid pace. Despite the cruelty of the Two-Year Plan, the program was seemingly a success in the eyes of the Soviet bureaucracy, which was more concerned with the military success of its regime than it was with the well-being of the proletariat it claimed to defend. Premier Trotsky therefore pressured People’s Commissar Sergei Bakinsky of Ukraine, who was little more than a puppet of Moscow, to begin a Two-Year Plan of his own, thus meaning that all forces of Leninism on the Black Sea Front would be dedicated to the quick construction of a naval war machine.

As countless workers toiled away, oftentimes to their death, along the northern coast of the Black Sea, citizens of Russia and Turkey alike lived in fear of air raids. Neither the Russian Soviet Republic nor the Turkish National State had impenetrable aerial defenses, which meant that squadrons of bombers sometimes made their way to the enemy’s coast. Their main goal was to target military installations, however, the simple fact of the matter that a world now almost two decades into the Great War knew all too well was that this meant little for civilians, who were oftentimes the victims of indiscriminate bombing campaigns. Cities across the Black Sea burned as replications of the terror inflicted at Sevastopol and the sound of air raid sirens soon became as familiar as the sound of waves crashing ashore.

Despite its catastrophic impact on the lives of the people who lived in the range of its bombs, however, the Black Sea Front was far from fluid in the early months of Phase Three. The Red Fleet may have been significantly weakened by the attack on Sevastopol, but it was nonetheless able to maintain a defense of the Russian coastline, in large part thanks to what gradually translated into Soviet air superiority. The Soviet Air Force may have not been much of a match on the Eastern Front against the feared Luftsreitkrafte of the Heilsreich, but against Turkey and Italy, the SAF was clearly the ruler of the sky. It was primarily for this reason that the Russian Soviet Republic was able to hold back the joint Italo-Turkish naval offensive of the winter of 1930, even as the Two-Year Plan was just starting to take off and was far from recovering Russian numbers from what had been lost at Sevastopol. Furthermore, any amphibious offensive into the Soviet Republic in 1930 was completely off the table, given that establishing a beachhead would almost certainly be put down by the Red Army, which was far larger than either the Red Fleet or Soviet Air Force, but this wasn’t really wasn’t the goal of the Central Powers’ officers. Instead, their priority on the Black Sea was simply to weaken the Russian Soviet Republic on all fronts by diverting away resources.

In this sense, what had otherwise become a naval war of attrition by the end of January 1930 was a success. As the military officers of the Soviet Republic were forced to divert more and more manpower, resources, equipment, and industry to the Black Sea, the fight against the Germans suffered. The stagnant frontline along the banks of the Oder River that had been formed by Erich Ludendorff’s rapid offensive in the aftermath of the Battle of Berlin held for the time being, however, day by day, Russian defenses became increasingly weak. Going into February 1930, it was apparent to German tacticians that the Soviet Air Force’s numbers on the Eastern Front were shrinking as more resources were diverted to the Black Sea Front and the war effort of Joseph Stalin was therefore unable to replenish lost numbers. The Red Army certainly wasn’t on the brink of collapse by any means and the Russian Soviet Republic undoubtedly remained a force to be reckoned with, however, the Central Powers nonetheless noticed that their war effort was beginning to form small cracks in the armor of the Russian bear.


A War of Resources

“The war in Europe, while nonetheless remaining an undeniable struggle between the forces of fascist imperialism and socialist liberation, has transitioned into something fueled far more by pragmatism, perhaps more accurately fueled by a primal instinct bred within mankind after several millennia of warfare amongst ourselves. Simply put, the Great War has transitioned into a war of resources, where whoever boasts the greatest sheer quantity of equipment, manpower, and raw material is favored to emerge victorious.”

-Indian President Subhas Chandra Bose addressing the All-Indian Congress, circa March 1930.


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Petroleum field at Moreni, Romania, circa 1920.

The decisive Turkish victory in the attack on Sevastopol followed by the opening of the Black Sea Front had the potential to bring an end to the war of attrition that had consumed Europe in the aftermath of the Battle of Berlin, however, for this potential to be unlocked, the Central Powers would first have to secure the supplies necessary to maintain a prolonged war effort against the Third International. After all, what’s the point of chipping away at your enemies if you won’t last long enough to see them fall? The loss of Germany’s various puppet regimes throughout the span of Phase Two meant that the resources of eastern Europe were now consumed by the Red Army while the Central Powers were left with smaller and smaller reserves to power their gargantuan war machine.

The Heilsreich domestically produced enough natural gas to power a significant chunk of its war effort, however, by 1930 Italian colonies in North Africa were increasingly becoming an essential source of fuel. The discovery of natural gas in Libya could be traced back as early as 1915, when deep water wells had occasionally uncovered the resource, although it had yet to become a prime commodity at this point in history, not to mention that the then-neutral Kingdom of Italy had no need to fuel the vehicles of warfare at the time. But the world had, of course, dramatically changed since 1915. Natural gas had become a vital necessity for all of the great powers of Europe to power their titanic mechanized war, Italy had succumbed to the plague of fascism and subsequently became an integral member of the Central Powers, and many of the natural gas reserves within Europe’s combatants were drying up after almost two decades of ceaseless combat. The Hungarian secession and subsequent formation of the Federation of Transleithanian Council Republics circa fall 1927, an event that cut the Third International deep into territory historically held by the Central Powers and reinforced the inevitable loss of the energy-rich Ukraine to the Russian Soviet Republic, was the kick the regime of Benito Mussolini needed to look into extracting Libya’s fuel supply, which remained more or less untapped throughout the bulk of Phase Two.

At the personal behest of Mussolini, a massive geological survey was undertaken in the colonies of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica with the hope that new sources of natural gas could be discovered at a time when the Central Powers desperately required a fresh influx of fuel. The General Italian Oil Company (AGIP), a joint stock company created by royal decree to manage all activities relating to the national petroleum industry, was put in charge of the survey and soon dispatched hundreds of workers to colonial holdings in North Africa starting in December 1927. The so-called North African Expedition initially didn’t venture all that deep into the Sahara Desert, however, soon enough oil began to be discovered even in these areas, with Ajdabiya and Brega in particular quickly becoming epicenters for petroleum extraction by AGIP. By the time the first bullets were fired in the Battle of Berlin, oil wells had already been constructed throughout the northern Sahara Desert and barrels of oil were flowing across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe, where they were consumed by the forces of the Central Powers, with decent payment to AGIP, of course.

As millions of liras filled the pockets of AGIP’s leadership, and by extension generated significant profit for the Italian government, AGIP President Ettore Conti decided that expanding the North African Expedition to venture deeper into the Sahara was a worthwhile endeavor. Starting in late April 1928, fleets of AGIP-owned vehicles and aircraft would enter into the harsh Sahara, hoping to strike it rich in the seemingly endless ocean of sand that lay ahead. These voyages ultimately paid off when drilling in southern Cyrenaica discovered a vast oil field in September 1928, immediately prompting the development of the region into a new fuel source for the war effort of the Central Powers. Eventually named the Scipio Africanus Reservoir in honor of the famed Roman general of the Second Punic War, what came to be considered the the largest oil field in all of Libya not only made AGIP remarkably wealthy but transformed the Kingdom of Italy into the primary supplier of natural gas to the Central Powers over the next few months.

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An AGIP-owned petroleum drill site above the Scipio Africanus Reservoir, circa January 1930.

Constructing an oil pipeline from the Scipio Africanus Reservoir to the Mediterranean Sea would be a long and arduous process, so for the time being oil barrels were generally transported out of the Sahara Desert and to Europe via aircraft. This meant that the process of containing petroleum had to be conducted in the middle of the Sahara, where conditions for workers were typically brutal. Not only were the various shanty towns emerging around oil wells effectively isolated from the rest of the world, therefore meaning that accidents could be catastrophic, but the desolation of the Sahara Desert meant that all resources people needed to survive had to be flown in, and in order to maximize profit, AGIP only delivered the most basic necessities human beings need to survive in order to ensure that their workforce wouldn’t be constantly dropping dead like flies. Fresh food and water were especially scarce, and numerous workers died from either starvation or intense dehydration in process, with their bodies oftentimes being discarded in the middle of the desert in order to conserve the little space within makeshift living quarters.

The first workers at the Scipio Africanus Reservoir primarily consisted of AGIP employees from Europe, opportunistic people who had yet to be sent to the frontlines of the Great War and desperately hoped to strike it rich in the Sahara Desert instead (because women were not yet conscripted into the Italian armed forces, this particular group skewed female), and prisoners who were sent to work in the shanty towns as a punishment. Soon enough, however, as labor demands for the extraction of petroleum increased, AGIP turned to exploiting the forced labor of Libya’s local population. The Italian Fasci of Combat had promoted the ethnic cleansing of Libya almost immediately after seizing power in 1922, hoping to convert the colony into an ethnically Italian region. On top of the brutal execution of civilians by Italian forces, thousands of Arabs and Berbers alike were displaced from their homes and sent to concentration camps further within the Libyan interior.

This was yet another crime against humanity committed by the forces of fascism, but in the eyes of the reactionary leadership of AGIP, the horrific repression of Libya’s natives was an opportunity to exploit cheap labor in their oil extraction efforts. In an agreement between Ettore Conti and Benito Mussolini ratified in March 1928, it was decided that AGIP would receive the right to rent out the inhabitants of Libyan concentration camps at a remarkably low price, a system that many journalists in socialist and neutral states alike condemned as a resurrection of slavery. By the beginning of 1929, the relatively cheap cost and abundance of this de facto slave labor had become the primary means by which AGIP petroleum operations in North Africa were conducted, at a nightmarish human toll. Disease often spread through shanty towns and the already remarkably limited resources afforded to workers from Europe were somehow cut down upon even more. Not even the sands of the Sahara could escape the nightmare of fascism.

AGIP extraction operations soon expanded beyond the Scipio Africanus Reservoir, moving westwards to petroleum fields primarily located within southern Tripolitania. With significant investment and support from the Italian government, AGIP’s petroleum industry soon became the dominant economic sector within the country’s North African holdings and made the Kingdom of Italy as a whole an indispensable asset of the Central Powers as a new source of cheap and abundant fuel. Numerous tanks and airplanes from throughout the various belligerents of the Central Powers were powered by petroleum extracted by oil wells in North Africa, and by the time of the German victory over their ruined capital city, the depletion of reservoirs in Central Europe combined with a relatively efficient flow of oil from AGIP operations in Libya had transformed the Kingdom of Italy into the main supplier of the Central Powers’ increasing fuel demands.

The Libyan oil boom obviously made Italy’s North African holdings vital to the economic and strategic interest of Rome, and this therefore called for a reorganization of the territory’s governance. Hoping to bring about a more efficient governance of the region, Mussolini united the colonies of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica into the single Protectorate of Libya in January 1930, and placed none other than AGIP President Ettore Conti in control of the new colonial administration. A close friend of Benito Mussolini, Conti’s appointment to the governor-generalship of Libya was not only a clear move to develop the colonial economy around its paramount petroleum industry but a way for Mussolini to ensure that a well-trusted ally would guard what was increasingly becoming his empire’s crown jewel. As the simultaneously governor-general of Libya and president of AGIP, Conti administered as a kleptocrat where his bottom line was often the priority in colonial policy-making. AGIP was handed over control of vast quantities of Libyan transportation infrastructure, including railways, ports, and aircraft, while tens of thousands of Arabs forced into concentration camps were directed to construct pipelines and refineries throughout the Protectorate.

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Governor-General Ettore Conti of the Protectorate of Libya.

The petroleum extracted through Ettore Conti’s brutal reign of terror was an undeniable lifeline of the Central Powers, however, the alliance could not win the Great War against the Third International via Libyan oil alone. Foreign natural gas corporations from neutral countries, particularly the United States of America, helped keep the fascist war machine churning for the time being, however, the supply from the neutral world was limited, relatively expensive, and oftentimes unpredictable, which made this form of importation unsustainable in the long term. In the eyes of the tyrants of the Central Powers, new reservoirs would need to be brought under their direct rule for a chance at survival for more than a decade, which was approximately how long many military analysts at the time anticipated it would realistically take for the Central Powers to decisively win the Great War.

This brings us to Operation Krum. Originally devised in early May 1929 at the behest of Bulgarian Prime Minister Ivan Valkov, the then-hypothetical military campaign proposed a rapid offensive into the neutral Kingdom of Romania, the largest producer of oil in Europe at the time, through the utilization of widespread aerial bombardment that would decimate the nation. The Central Powers’ situation of barely holding out against the Third International in the spring and summer of 1929 had relegated Operation Krum to a hypothetical for many months, however, as the alliance began to go on the offensive in early 1930, tacticians began to perceive the allocation of resources to an invasion of Romania as worthwhile. Therefore, in private correspondence between the governments of the Central Powers, it was agreed that Operation Krum would be put into effect and Bulgaria was thus determined to bring war to the last neutral realm of the Balkans. An ultimatum was sent by Ivan Valkov to the Romanian government on February 10th, 1930, demanding a total occupation of the country by Bulgarian forces within twenty-four hours in order to secure the country’s petroleum reserves for the Central Powers. The Kingdom of Romania predictably didn’t even bother to respond to the ultimatum, therefore starting the countdown to inevitable bloodshed.

On February 11th, 1930, the Great War arrived in Romania. The bright sky of a winter day in southern Wallachia was soon shrouded by a vast fleet of Bulgarian Air Force warplanes, which unleashed hundreds of bombs on Romanian military personnel assembled along the Danube River. As a nation surrounding by the bloodiest war in human history for over a decade, the Kingdom of Romania had armed itself as a means of discouraging an invasion by any of its neighbors, however, the monarchist regime in Bucharest had anticipated that the Third International would be more willing to invade their kingdom than the empires of the Central Powers, many of which possessed royal families who shared lineage with the Romanian monarchy, itself an offshoot of the German House of Hohenzollern. The Kingdom of Romania therefore amassed much more extensive defenses along its border with Ukraine and Transleithania than it did with Bulgaria and emphasized deterring the armored infantry the Red Army was dependent on in training and military development as opposed to combatting the mighty aerial forces that the Central Powers were dependent on.

Armed with aircraft modeled after German designs, the Tsardom of Bulgaria could easily overwhelm Romanian anti-aircraft defenses without taking heavy casualties. A campaign of poisonbombing, firebombing, and more traditional bombardment alike left Romanian defenses ruined by the end of the first day of Operation Krum alone, making it a relatively easy task for Bulgarian forces to proceed across the Danube River in the coming days. Forces led by General Nikola Zhekov, a veteran of the Great War who had been recalled from the Illyrian-Transleithanian war of attrition by Prime Minister Valkov to spearhead the offensive into Romania, rapidly charged towards Bucharest, facing little resistance in the so-called Wallachian Offensive thanks to the destruction of a large portion of Romanian resistance by the Bulgarian Air Force. On February 19th, 1930, Zhekov engaged with Romanian forces at the Battle of Bucharest, however, a week of air raids had left his enemy in disarray, thus making the conquest of the city merely a relatively quick process of rooting out whatever insurgents held out in the lost cause of defending their capital city. By the end of February 19th, the capital of the Kingdom of Romania had fallen into the hands of the Central Powers.

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Bulgarian soldiers being inspected in occupied Bucharest, circa March 1930.

The Wallachian Offensive brought the Romanian monarchy into an awkward, yet begrudgingly necessary, alliance with the blatantly anti-monarchist Third International. Since 1927, Romania had been the domain of the authoritarian King Carol II of Romania, who had aligned himself with the right-wing National Liberal Party since ascending to the throne following the demise of his father to develop a de facto one-party that silenced opposition, divulged itself in corrupt patrimonialism, and had increasingly centralized power under the monarchy, with Carol having carefully built a sphere of influence amongst the Romanian elite and personality cult to exert control over his country. An outspoken anti-communist with far-right sympathies, Carol II politically resembled the Kaiser-Fuhrer more than he did the Red Napoleon, however, the survival of his rule was his first priority, which brought the despotic king into an alliance with men who had stormed the palaces of kings.

The Kingdom of Romania obviously never joined the Third International, however, King Carol II did permit the entry of its forces into his territory in accordance with the Treaty of Odessa, which was ratified on March 4th, 1930 and established the basis for the socialist-Romanian alliance. Under the stipulations of Odessa, the Third International was permitted to send military personnel into Romania to fight on the Balkan Front against the Bulgarian invasion and could purchase Romanian petroleum free of any protectionist barriers (a complete turnover of the previous Romanian policy towards trade with the Third International, which had embargoed any economic activity with member states of the alliance), and in return the Third International was prohibited from funding any leftist opposition organizations within Romania.

Perhaps no event was more indicative of the transition of the Great War away from a war of ideology to one of resources than the Romanian-Third International alliance. Born purely out of pragmatic realpolitik as opposed to ideological proliferation, the sight of Red Army tanks defending a far-right monarchy indicated that the priority of the Third International had become survival, and to survive a war one requires fuel to power their arsenal. By the time the first Soviet forces arrived in the Kingdom of Romania circa mid-March 1930, however, much of the Wallachian region had already fallen to the Central Powers, thus bringing a large segment of Romania’s petroleum supply under the control of the fascist jackboot. The Russian Soviet Republic hoped that a counteroffensive would quickly uproot the Bulgarian occupation of Wallachia, but the Central Powers recognized the strategic importance of capturing Romania. Expeditionary forces from Germany, Italy, and Turkey were therefore dispatched on the Balkan Front in late March 1930 in order to deter Soviet efforts, therefore creating yet another war of attrition by early April as belligerents got bogged down around Snagov.

While Romania held on in the north thanks to Russian aid for the time being, the Wallachian Offensive did have important benefits for the war effort of the Central Powers on the Eastern Front. As the Russian Soviet Republic reallocated more manpower to the frontlines of the Balkans and Black Sea while more oil flowed to Germany from her allies and occupied territory, the tides on the Eastern Front began to turn in favor of an increasingly more well-armed Heilsreich. Day by day, Russian defenses along the Oder River were weakened, and the forces of Erich Ludendorff simply had to wait for an opening to emerge. This all brings us back to a fateful April day in Swiecko, a humble Polish village scarred by countless years of warfare where Red Army soldiers came to have one last drink before marching into the slaughterhouse. On April 12th, 1930, as Marina Raskova sat in a bar near the easternmost fringes of the village, German forces finally managed to pierce through Soviet defenses at Swiecko, landing troops in the village via paratroopers and amphibious assaults conducted across the Oder River.

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German soldiers leaving behind a burning house in Swiecko, circa April 1929.

The German breakthrough at the Battle of Swiecko would prove to be a turning point on the Eastern Front. The post-Berlin war of attrition subsequently came to an end as General Joseph Stalin frantically attempted to push the Heilsreich back from Swiecko but diverting more and more manpower away from other defensive positions along the Oder River in the process. Within a matter of days, the Red Army’s defenses began to crumble as more weak points were exploited by Erich Ludendorff and his lackeys. By the end of April 1930, the Oder was back under the decisive control of Germany, which had begun a rapid offensive into Pomerania. The Stettin Offensive (named after the city from which the Heilsreich launched its campaign of decimation following its capture from Soviet forces on April 24th, 1930) saw a region just barely beginning to recover from Russian invasion fall victim to brutal tactics devised in the cruel battlefields of Berlin. Heavy poisonbombing was inflicted on Third International forces, successfully uprooting the occupation of Pomerania by the Russian Soviet Republic, but devastating locals, as well as the land and water they depended on, in the process.

The total war campaigns that made little effort to evade civilian casualties and had been popularized amongst the German high command by the success of August Wilhelm’s Burning of the Rhine in 1927 were similarly utilized in the Stitten Offensive, this time focusing on destroying transportation infrastructure and burning Soviet-occupied cities and villages to a crisp. The Red Army had little time to adapt to Germany’s strategy and the targeting of ground transportation, something that the LK bombers paramount to the Heilsreich’s success were obviously not dependent on, proved to be decisive in preventing Stalin from quickly allocating reinforcements to Pomerania. This strategy of simply just cutting off Third International supply lines could not, however, last forever, and the Soviet Republic eventually recovered from Ludendorff’s total war. The Battle of Schneidemuhl, which began on May 25th, 1930, proved to be a conclusion to the Stitten Offensive as the Red Army had finally managed to overcome the German barrage of aerial bombardments and deliver considerable manpower, equipment, and resources to the fluid frontline of the Eastern Front. After six days of combat, a coalition of forces from the Red Army, AILA, and Madras under the command of Jawaharlal Nehru managed to repel the German Heilsreich.

In the aftermath of the Battle of Schneidemuhl, similar victories for the Third International started to sprout up along the Eastern Front, thus gradually producing a stagnant frontline that stretched throughout the plains spanning from the Baltic Sea to the Sudetes mountain range. The war of attrition that Europe had become so chillingly accustomed to returned by mid-June 1930, but the Russian Soviet Republic was well aware that their forces remained at risk of being pushed back further. The Third International did hold an advantage in manpower and resources for the time being, however, the Central Powers were continuously amassing their stockpile and had effectively calculated the division of Soviet forces by opening up new frontlines. Kaiser-Fuhrer August Wilhelm I had made his gruesome tactics of total war apparent to the world with the horrors of the Stitten Offensive, and it appeared as though this quick, relentless, and merciless devastation of any land held by the enemy was the new driving military doctrine of the German Heilsreich. The Great War, once believed to be reaching its end only a year prior, was now poised to last for yet another decade as both factions competed in a game of chess soaked in blood. Phase Three, the War of Resources, had finally begun, and the victor of this era was anyone’s guess.

The storm clouds had not yet dissipated from Europe’s skies.

The storm had only become stronger.

June 1930.png

Map of the World circa June 1930.
 
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Good thing for Turkey that the Entente is out of the war, otherwise they'd be in trouble.

I wonder, what of Transcaucasia? They're probably sitting on a boatload of resources, most definitely including all that Azeri oil around Baku. How are their relationships with Soviet Russia? Are they maintaining stability with how chaotic the world is?
 
This timeline is absolutely juicy so far, and Phase III sounds like it will be the most interesting chapter yet, with America embroiled in civil war and a possible invasion of Iran and/or Transcaucasia by the Russians.
 
Just some idle speculation from my reading so far:
  • It's hard for me to see how the Central Powers are going to turn back the Third International even considering the major German offensive in the east that managed to push the Russians over the Oder and their new-found Turkish ally. Certainly the Battle of Berlin and the offensives following it have been a massive boon to German morale but I can't see Phase III going well for the Central Powers.
  • Although battered and destined to lose the Great War, the Kaiser-Fuhrer's coup will prolong Germany's involvement in the war for long enough such that the Third International will barely have time to take a breather before the Entente decides to retake Britain and France. The western countries in the Third International may not be long for this world, although I do have a lot of sympathy for the Workers Commonwealth in particular.
Onto the Second American Civil War: It will be interesting to see what happened in America with the 1928 presidential election and the years following it, since the war stalling would cause the War Profiteering "stonks" to fall in value, creating a Great Depression-esque crisis localized to the United States in 1929 or 1930, which might be enough to set up the conditions for a civil war.

Setup of the War
  • The war probably starts in 1931 or 1932
  • There are at least four factions: Henry Blood's Western States of America, Pelley's Holy Realm of America, a socialist faction, and the remains of the democratically-elected federal government.
    • I think Blood's government is likely a minor player in the war allied to the rump federal government
Rump Federal Government
  • Initially controls very little territory (perhaps a 100-mile radius from Washington, D.C. and assorted pockets)
  • Will (at least initially) be a democratically elected government which could not manage the economic crisis that triggered the civil war
  • The Central Powers and the Third International would be hostile to them, as the democratically elected government was probably following an isolationist foreign policy which is incompatible with the War for Resources. Their only friends are the East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere and the Entente (particularly the remains of the British government and the Empire of America). Japan is likely interested in saving American democracy and holding up their end of the Special Relationship, whereas the Entente is mostly interested in not having a border with the Third International on Canada's doorstep
Socialist America
  • Likely concentrated in the Northeast and industrial Midwest states
  • Flocks of war-hardened American volunteers who fought in the French Civil War and the Western Front of the Great War will return home, and will have the solidarity of the Third International behind them
  • Foreign support will be mostly limited receiving equipment from the Workers Commonwealth, the French Commune, and the Russian Soviet Republic, with the Indian Union sparing some manpower as it's the furtherest removed from the front lines
  • The western countries in the Third International will have a manpower crisis due to American volunteers going home to fight for their country, and the Germans may take advantage of this and try to regain some ground on the Western Front
  • The Empire of America will not be too happy with a socialist United States next door to them, and even though there is a non-aggression pact between the Entente and the Third International, the Second American Civil War provides them with a tempting opportunity to engage in a proxy war. The Brazilians might not care though, for other reasons I'll describe below.
Holy Realm of America
  • Likely limited to the Deep South states from Mississippi to South Carolina
  • Will get support from the Central Powers for sure (mostly equipment), the Entente will probably be neutral for reasons I describe below
  • In my opinion, this faction has by far the lowest popular support in the civil war, with its support largely limited to the South
The Factions and the 2ACW

This might be the most interesting aspect of the war. The United States is immensely wealthy, with a large manpower pool (even though it is guaranteed that millions will die in the ensuing civil war) and vast natural resources, would be a crown jewel that every faction would covet, and the resources of the United States alone might decisively turn the war, as it did in OTL. Therefore, I expect the Central Powers and the Third International to devote significant resources to their preferred factions in the 2ACW.

Given that the Entente turns from a continental European alliance into what is essentially a Brazilian sphere of influence, and the Brazilians mostly being in it for the glory and the money, might force the Entente to stay neutral for economic profit. After all, even if the armories of America are not taking orders due to the civil war, the Third International and the Central Powers are still buying, and Brazil is well-positioned to profit. On the other hand, the Entente wants to reclaim the entirety of Great Britain and France from the revolutionary socialist governments, and a socialist United States on the side of the Third International would be a serious threat to the Entente.

The Japan Factor

How the Japanese are involved in the civil war will be interesting to see. Given that in this timeline Japan's nascent democracy appears to have been slowly but surely strengthened with the military in check, and with positive relations between the Japan and the USA, Japan seems likely to intervene on behalf of a legitimately elected American government.

My Prediction for the Winner

The best clue we have here is the Christmas 1942 interlude, where Bing Crosby cheers on the communards. This, to me, likely indicates a victory for either a democratic faction that returned to isolationism, or a socialist America. I simply can't see this being broadcast from Pelley's Holy Realm.
 
The biggest winner of this all is Japan and the Asian Union, though it can be tempered when South China decides to do continue the war against North China.
 
Hi everyone, I just want to provide a quick update on the state of Man-Made Hell. Over the past few months, I've been caught between my job, applying for colleges, a variety of side projects, and, more recently, AP testing for my final year of high school. Chapter fifteen is still on its way and should be arriving soon, but obviously there are other things going on as of recently that have taken priority. I want to thank you all for sticking by, and I hope that my workload will be lowered going into the summer, thus allowing for quicker updates, but with transitioning into college on the horizon, I frankly don't know what my personal schedule will look like going into the coming months. Either way, Man-Made Hell is far from dead, and regardless of when it arrives, I'm excited to share with you all everything that's in store for this timeline.

In the meantime, here's a poster for the Second Empire of Brazil to hold over before Chapter Fifteen, itself Brazil-centric, arrives:

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Hi everyone, I just want to provide a quick update on the state of Man-Made Hell. Over the past few months, I've been caught between my job, applying for colleges, a variety of side projects, and, more recently, AP testing for my final year of high school. Chapter fifteen is still on its way and should be arriving soon, but obviously there are other things going on as of recently that have taken priority. I want to thank you all for sticking by, and I hope that my workload will be lowered going into the summer, thus allowing for quicker updates, but with transitioning into college on the horizon, I frankly don't know what my personal schedule will look like going into the coming months. Either way, Man-Made Hell is far from dead, and regardless of when it arrives, I'm excited to share with you all everything that's in store for this timeline.

In the meantime, here's a poster for the Second Empire of Brazil to hold over before Chapter Fifteen, itself Brazil-centric, arrives:

s9pf2fESDao1P1dhE4vNuWQYJ9-_R-qziuZ3HKdgt5ias7REr45TKbIC6rq6tdb3K7Q86ssPS3iujQ53zAMqJ0iGKCdn2_1NDR48yXnCRNwLOWSu2LWukoTCvp7gvHsqx2i_clDp0fRjhjQblw
Sorry to hear about how live has been beating you down. I'm curious about the chapter.... Brazil centric? Sounds like there's quite a bit going down there. I wonder if they'll try invading other parts of south america after their failed attempts to prop up the entente.
 
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