Wow, what a series of responses! :)
I don't think Italy stays on the same side as Austria, however it goes. But at the same time, I don't really see Italy turning on Germany without some serious change, and I don't see Austria turning on Germany either. On the third hand, Italy switching sides is historically emblematic of them and would make sense given where their geopolitical ambitions would likely aim them at this point.

I suspect Japan will be utterly irrelevant, and instead be off doing an unrelated thing, as Japan tangling into the European war in WWII was a fairly unique set of circumstances.

I don't know if I see Britain sticking with france if Britain manages to avoid syndicalist/socialist/whatever revolt. Between that, french feelings of betrayal and the kid gloves Germany treated Britain with? I could see the Germans and Brits being allied against the French and italians, with the Austrians et al being either neutral or ineffectually on Germany's side.

Russia? Well, I don't see them allying with Germany, so they'd probably be on the French side regardless.
Without too many spoilers:
Japan will follow a much more independent path in TTL; they won't directly pick sides in the European war
Russia and France will be allied
Britain, Italy, and America? Time will tell...
German Empire, Danubian Federation, Ottoman Empire are probably the allies communist French, russia will be entente. Itay and Britain are undecided it can go either way depending on a lot of factors we do not know for now but if the brittish empire survives it depends of what America does. Regarding the USA the anglophiles will go where britain goes even if it takes a while.
Agreed, all good points- and Danubia and the Ottoman Empire might have, eh, "internal cohesion issues" (if you catch my drift ;)) when round two breaks out.
My hope is that Italy and Danubia find themselves on the opposite sides. Honestly I can't see Italy wanting to align with France, they know how powerful Germany is all too well. As daunting as Fiume and Dalmatia may be I can't see them trying unless there's some real chance of victory (so, they'll probably pursue the "Holy National Egoism" Again)
"Grenoble is an INTEGRAL part of the Kingdom of Italy!" :)
Pretty sure Italy's got their eyes on Libya and Egypt right now. Danubia shouldn't have problems so long as they keep it that way.
Aah, Libya and Egypt. The former is of course under Italian rule... the latter needs an update before too long. With regards to Danubia, well, the balance of power between Rome and Vienna has been forever altered.
Without the US I do not think that the Entente has got a chance to win a second world war. However at the moment Russia has got more territory than the Soviets had in OTL. If they avoid secession and socialism they could become much stronger than our timeline´s USSR.
Russia still has a civil war to fight first... the Bolsheviks aren't going anywhere fast.
Also, small nitpick (hope you don't mind!): Russia as of 1917 doesn't have more territory than the OTL USSR; it's lost Poland, the Baltics, Finland, and a good chunk of OTL Belarus (including Minsk). So their capabilities are about the same. Sorry, just wanted to make sure we're all on the same page there!

Thanks to everyone for commenting... we should have an update later today...
 
My suggestion for the upcoming coalitions: Don't assume that history is in any way "on rails" regarding them. Much will not depend on sensible calculations of pros and cons by wise statesmen. It'll be rolls of the dice, who likes or dislikes whom personally, who ever slept with someone else's wife, who's friends and enemies domestically would stand to profit or loose from trade or trade breaking down, etc etc.
 
My suggestion for the upcoming coalitions: Don't assume that history is in any way "on rails" regarding them. Much will not depend on sensible calculations of pros and cons by wise statesmen. It'll be rolls of the dice, who likes or dislikes whom personally, who ever slept with someone else's wife, who's friends and enemies domestically would stand to profit or loose from trade or trade breaking down, etc etc.
Oh, absolutely! We're still decades away from GWII breaking out but I'm already giving much thought to the alliances... they will not all be rational actors. History, even alternate history, is never written in a vacuum and there will be plenty of spanners thrown in the works...
 
My suggestion for the upcoming coalitions: Don't assume that history is in any way "on rails" regarding them. Much will not depend on sensible calculations of pros and cons by wise statesmen. It'll be rolls of the dice, who likes or dislikes whom personally, who ever slept with someone else's wife, who's friends and enemies domestically would stand to profit or loose from trade or trade breaking down, etc etc.

Which makes it all the more obvious that France will be gunning for Germany and Italy, given the former lost territory to them. The wildcards of course would boil down to Britain and Russia. Because it's very much possible they could join either side, but also equally as possible that they stay out of that dumpster fire.
 
Wait, the border between France and Italy is set at the Rhone?!? Oh Jesus Christ, now I have to find Italian names for some of these cities...

Grenoble? NO, GRENOPOLI!

I'm a happy sad now. And I don't what to make of it. XD
 
Russia still has a civil war to fight first... the Bolsheviks aren't going anywhere fast.
Also, small nitpick (hope you don't mind!): Russia as of 1917 doesn't have more territory than the OTL USSR; it's lost Poland, the Baltics, Finland, and a good chunk of OTL Belarus (including Minsk). So their capabilities are about the same. Sorry, just wanted to make sure we're all on the same page there!
Ah you are right. I was only thinking about Ukraine while forgetting everything else.
 
Chapter 28: India In Revolt
Chapter Twenty-Eight: India In Revolt
"1917 was the year our people remembered who they were. Without their sacrifice, we never could have done what we have done, never crossed the mountains we have crossed."
-Subhas Chandra Bose, president of the Indian National Republic

Allan Fyfe was sick and tired of this. The nineteenth of June was proving dreadfully hot. “Can’t wait till we get off this bloody duty”, he muttered to himself. He ran a hand across his brow; it came back soaking wet. His uniform clung to his body in the heat; it was awfully stuffy in the khaki cloth. A bead of sweat fell from Allan’s hair to his collar, tickling him as it crept down his back. He thought longingly of cold English winters with not enough coal in the flat, huddling close to the fireplace for warmth. Coal cost money, and to his father that meant it was suspect. Thus, bitter cold had always been the norm. No need to worry about that here, though. Hyderabad in winter was lovely; what passed for cold here was like fine seaside weather in Brighton. In the summer… that was a different story. It felt as though God had put this land on the boil and forgotten about it. Grey monsoon clouds threatened to burst any moment and wading through the humidity took distinct physical effort. Of course, the locals didn’t seem affected at all, but the English suffered.

“How long while we’re done here, mate?” Geoff Whitley was a freckle-faced boy who’d just got out of school. He leaned in close to whisper, “This innaf like a furnace.”

“I dunno how they stand it.” Allan checked his watch. “Twenty more minutes.” His helmet was awfully heavy; his neck was dreadfully sore. The crowd inched its way past his street corner. People yelled, laughed, cried, and spoke Hindustani- Allan had a tin ear for the language.

“I say, my good sir soldier!” A wizened old man in a loincloth tapped Allan’s shoulder. He smelled as though he hadn’t washed in days and had but a few wisps of hair to his name. “Please, can you help me?” His eyes were red and moist.

“Wot d’you want?” Haven’t got any soap on me, mate.

“I am a Brahmin, sir, a priest, and… and one of my cows, my sacred cows, is lost!” The old man’s chin wobbled and his eyes glistened. “It is a great shame, sir, a great shame. As a priest, these animals are my responsibility” He muttered something in his native tongue.

“Alright, sir. You ‘ear that, Geoff? We’ll keep our eyes peeled for it.” The brahmin bowed and walked off, tears dripping down his face. Allan scoffed. “Look for his bloody bovine, my left… What’s so bloody special about them cows anyhow? And hadn’t he ever heard of washing, eh?” He ran his finger along his collar, desperately trying to let in a little air. “You’ve never been in the Army, have you?”

“Me?” Geoff’s face flushed, his freckles disappearing into a sea of pink. “Na. Ne’er fought in the war.”

“Well mate, let me tell you one thing.” Allan leaned in close. “If you had, you wouldn’t ‘ave given that herbert the time of day!” Both men smiled. “Some things just aren’t worth it.”

Later that day, officers assigned the two men to a different patrol. There was an ageing grain warehouse in a back-alley which they were to keep safe from “treacherous saboteurs”. Allan’s opinion was that anybody who tried to rob this dump would have to be truly desperate, but no one seemed to care what he thought.

“What’re they keepin’ that lot in there for anyhow?” Geoff’s face was pink in the heat. “I swear, they coulda given us some of that instead of that dollop from lunch.”

“Aah yes, but there’s a snag. That would be convenient, and we can’t have that!” They chuckled. Suddenly, a noise came from inside the grain warehouse. Allan frowned. There it was again! “I say, Geoff”, he began slowly, “d’you think that… that might be something?” Was someone desperate enough to break into the warehouse?

“Think we’d better go havva look. We was told to protect this, after all.” The two men fixed bayonets and advanced into the warehouse. Once their eyes had adjusted, they saw nothing out of the ordinary; mountains of grain reaching to the stars. Suddenly, the noise appeared again. Both men flinched and swung in the direction it had come from. Despite the heat, Allan was suddenly alert, his nerves tingling. “Advance and be recognised!” It was just like night patrols during the war, when any sudden movement might be your best mate or your worst enemy. Someone was there, alright…

“Flip!” Geoff’s mouth hung open, his eyes wide. Allan could hardly believe it, either. There, munching placidly on a pile of hay, was a cow. A sacred cow. “Daft fella found his bovine, eh Allan?”

“Quite.” He chuckled and removed his helmet, his scalp joyfully soaking up the fresh air. “Erm, Geoff… what do we do now? I mean, if this is the brahmin’s sacred cow, how do we get it to move?” Here was something he hadn’t learned at training camp! Suddenly, an idea popped into his head. “Or do we?” A grin spread across Allan’s face. “I mean, aren’t you getting sick of what the cooks dish out?”
“Bet yer…” Geoff’s face lit up as he realised what Allan meant. “It’s not as if we’ve not got the guns. We’re by ourselves…” The two soldiers stared at the cow; the dumb beast stared back, not knowing its fate.

“Get back, Geoff.” Allan loaded his rifle and fired, the recoil punching his shoulder. The cow crashed to the ground with a scream, blood spreading across the floor. “Now, when we’re back here tomorrow, mate, bring something to cook with and we can have a nice juicy steak dinner…”

20 June dawned. For some reason, Allan Fyfe and Geoff Whitley didn’t have much appetite at breakfast; they left their gluey porridge neglected in its bowl. He nicked a bit of lard from the kitchen, sticking it discreetly in his pocket, and made sure to bring his lighter. It awaited…

From left to right: Allan Fyfe, Geoff Whitley, and an unidentified soldier, showing off the lovely rations and accommodation British troops in India enjoyed. This picture was taken shortly before the events of this chapter.
allanfyfeetal.jpg


It wasn’t to be a good day for Allan and Geoff.

A dreadful stench- that of blood- greeted them at the warehouse. Oh crikey, he thought, the body made a stench. I might’ve known. A crowd awaited at the door, and they were visibly upset. This would not end well, would it?

“There they are!”, one Indian man cried in a thick Hindustani accent. Oh bugger. Ten people rushed up to Allan and Geoff. “Do you know- do you know- what is in there?” He was visibly shaking with fury.

“Er… haven’t the foggiest. But we’re soldiers, and you lot need to…”

“A cow. A sacred cow of the Brahmin! Some suar (1) murdered it! Murdered it!”

“Not just some suar.” Allan had heard that broken voice before. Sure enough, there was the wizened old brahmin. His hair was disheveled and he looked ancient- except that yesterday’s grief was now replaced with fury. “Those suars!” He pointed accusingly at Allan and Geoff. “I told those two Englishmen- those very same Englishmen- that I was missing a sacred cow. And what did you do? You...you…” He dissolved into tears of rage.

“No I didn’t! That’s a bloody lie!” Allan’s voice seemed very small next to the rage of these people. More and more people were gathering, none of them looking too pleased. He felt isolated, overwhelmed. “I didn’t touch that…” He was cut off by a torrent of Hindustani, none of which sounded very friendly. Someone lobbed a rock, and he snapped. Instinct taking over, he fired into the crowd, and someone shrieked, his red guts spilling onto the ground.

It was the last mistake he’d ever make.

The crowd charged, cursing and screaming in their own language. Allan Fyfe and Geoff Whitman fought back, but they were outnumbered and overwhelmed. The mob crushed them to death and broke into the warehouse to salvage the sacred animal’s body.

* * *

Following Allan Fyfe’s murder, the rioting only escalated. People forgot the whys and hows and saw a fine excuse to strike back against their British overlords. Once the cow’s body had been saved, they burned the warehouse to the ground; the blaze spread to nearby buildings. An Englishman called the fire brigade, but the mob attacked them and they had to flee in their truck. When the firemen returned, they were escorted by a complement of armed men, but the street battle continued. The firefighters were forced to do their job while dodging bullets and foul language, and they soaked the combatants as they battled the blaze. They may have quenched the physical flames, but the conflagration of conflict had just begun...

By the afternoon of 20 June 1917, the British had lost control of Hyderabad City. The rioting which had broken out earlier in the day had spread like wildfire, killing not just the offending soldiers but their infuriated superiors too. No one was safe, as tax collectors and other hated symbols of colonial rule were targeted by the mob. Innocent people died as well, in some cases from friendly fire, in others simply because they were the wife or child of a hated figure. The colonial regime ordered militia units belonging to the local nizam to quell the violence, but many men refused, having more in common with the troublemakers than the British. There were many horrifying cases of white men approaching militiamen confidently, only to find guns aimed at their chests… they didn’t have too long to ponder why.

Mob action is never rational and never ends well for its victims.

In Calcutta, Governor Lloyd spent the evening trying to figure out what on earth was happening in Hyderabad City. Reports were often out-of-date by the time they reached him, or the man compiling them had succumbed to panic and gotten a crucial detail wrong. Nonetheless, he remained calm and collected, ordering several regiments of white troops to make their way to Hyderabad with all due speed. They ordered garrisons in the surrounding towns to hold in place and ward off any sign of trouble from the natives, while attempts were to be made to contact the nizam.

Unbeknownst to Lloyd, the nizam was dead.

Asaf Jah VII had been prince of Hyderabad for six years. During that time, he’d followed the policies of his predecessors; he’d cooperated with the British while enriching his kingdom. The result was that Hyderabad’s Muslim elite became fabulously wealthy while the colonisers extracted whatever they pleased; it was the impoverished Hindu masses who got the short end of the stick. The people were used to the status quo but didn’t exactly love it; religion was the bigger issue. Asaf Jah and his court were all Muslims; the people were Hindu. While the rulers had never actively rubbed their religion in their subject’s faces, many associated the economic inequality and British rule with Islam. As the regime’s capital descended into violence, decades of popular exasperation with the nizams and British were about to come to the forefront.

Once it became clear that he could not put the riots down, Asaf Jah departed for the countryside with his ten-year-old heir presumptive and a few wives and courtiers, leaving orders to crush the insurrection in full cooperation with the British. He likely imagined that he’d spend a few days out of the city until things cooled off, before returning and putting this whole mess behind him.

Instead, he was assassinated just as he sat down to dinner.

The nizam, being a Muslim, had no qualms about eating beef, and upon hearing news that the riots were caused by the murder of a sacred cow, quipped “at least they chose a clean animal to murder! I do not think my hounds will get such a response when they go!” Unfortunately, he was overheard by a servant named Aditya Deol, who was understandably quite offended. Aditya was someone who should never have been taken along by the nizam, for he was a proud Hindu nationalist and deeply sympathetic to the rebels. Livid, he slipped something into the royal family’s dinner, and let events take their course. By the end of 20 June, Asaf Jah and his colleagues were dead from poisoning; only the ten-year-old Asam Jah survived as he hadn’t had much appetite.

To think that twelve hours before his death, the nizam’s regime was perfectly secure, until two greedy soldiers set off a chain reaction!

Asaf Jah VII, murdered nizam of Hyderabad. He became famous (or infamous) for his willingness to cooperate with the British regime.
asafjahvii.jpg


Of course, murdering one’s sovereign is seldom good for one’s health, and the palace guard leapt into action. Everyone who’d had anything to do with preparing dinner was interrogated, and Aditya Deol was rapidly put to death. Nonetheless, the damage was done. Ten-year-old Azam Jah was crowned as nizam early next morning in- ironically enough- the city of Nizamabad. However, ten-year-old monarchs seldom make firm rulers. Children lack the force of will to make their imprint on the institutions of state, and the wisdom to lead their country well. The more fortunate ones have honest and skilled regents acting for them- as with young Otto von Habsburg and his uncle Maximilian- and the less fortunate become overshadowed by rapacious, feuding courtiers, shut up in their bedrooms and ignored to the detriment of their countries.

Such was the fate of Azam Jah, Nizam of Hyderabad.

Filling the power vacuum in Hyderabad was essential if some stability was to be maintained. George Lloyd was awoken at two AM with the news; his response was unbecoming of an upper-class gentleman, to say the least. However, he soon recovered his head and, after a hot cup of tea, got busy dictating a telegram to the British commander in Nizamabad. The young boy was to be “introduced” to the British authorities as soon as possible. If Azam Jah could be persuaded to issue pro-British orders, the risk of Hyderabad disintegrating would be much reduced. That done, Lloyd stomped back to bed, hoping against hope to get some rest before dawn.

Of course, he was not the only one hoping to get in the young boy’s good books. His father having expired at ten PM, the sobbing prince was put to bed by his nanny and awoken at six AM on the 21st. His mum- who wasn’t the formal princess of Hyderabad- ate breakfast with him and tried to soothe him, to little avail. The poor child was confused and traumatised, and needed time to process what had just happened.

Instead, he was treated to a revolving-door of dignitaries paying call.

Dulhan Pasha Begum had been the formal Hyderabadi princess until ten PM last night, and she wasn’t about to relinquish power to a little boy who she had no blood connection to. Her clout was largely unofficial but she certainly wasn’t someone you wanted to cross. Dulhan was cool and detached, ignoring the nizam’s sniffles, and asked him to confirm her superior status over his mother. This naturally incensed his mum, and the two Hyderabadi ladies nearly got into a ferocious shouting match in front of the child. In the end, nothing came of Dulhan’s visit- Azam Jah’s mum gave him a document conferring pre-eminence on her, and not knowing what he was signing, the boy obeyed his mum and put his signature on. This left Dulhan livid, and the Hyderabadi court would be dominated by their vendetta for years to come. Once he turned eighteen, Azam Jah would have Dulhan sequestered, but that is for another chapter.

The next guest was the senior British commander in Nizamabad, one Brigadier General Lionel Foxwood. (2) Foxwood came escorted by a platoon of khaki-wearing Englishmen, and received vicious stares from the palace servants. However, sharp steel has a way of getting the unarmed to keep their heads down, and Foxwood came to no harm. He was somewhat more sympathetic than Dulhan had been, and when the young nizam broke down crying in the middle of the audience, he gave him a small pat on the shoulder and said “there, there” in Hindi. As a foreigner and a military man, he was unconcerned with Hyderabadi politics; all Foxwood cared about was quelling the revolt as quickly as possible. He asked Azam Jah to sign a document granting him the right to command Hyderabadi troops temporarily, to help quell the revolt; once more the prince put his name to something he didn’t understand. Satisfied, Foxwood retreated to his headquarters shortly before noon to plan operations against the rebel-held capital.

The nizam had one more visitor.

Sir Kishen Pershad was unusual in that he was a Hindu. This had earned him a few raised eyebrows from the regime’s Muslim elite but he’d never gone out of his way to make it an issue. His faith had made him popular amongst the Hindu masses and many regarded him as a “populist” figure with an ear cocked to their interests. This was stretching the truth, but for obvious reasons Pershad let the misconception flourish. He enjoyed a second advantage in that he’d been a personal friend of Asaf Jah VII and was one of the few court figures to enjoy his son’s trust. Thus, when Pershad and Azam Jah shared lunch on the 21st, the boy opened up for the first time and spoke about his feelings. It was all very emotionally touching, but that wasn’t what Pershad cared about. It was the work of a moment for him to talk Azam Jah into appointing him Grand Vizier, saying that “it’s what your father would’ve wanted.” Exploiting the boy’s emotions for his own ends was morally questionable to say the least, but it was certainly effective. That evening, Pershad addressed the court, thanking Azam Jah for the promotion and asking for “cooperation” from all the men assembled.

Hyderabad was now, for all intents and purposes, his.

While the court had reshuffled itself in Nizamabad, violence had spread across the princely state. Militiamen had pushed out of the city into the surrounding countryside, promising liberation from “Anglo-Muslim domination!” Many poor Hindu villagers had seized the chance to get even with their ex-overlords and happily took up arms. Often, rural villages lacked British garrisons and went over “whole-sale” to the rebels; other times the small British units were overwhelmed and chose surrender over death in the face of impossible odds. Governor Lloyd was still determined to contain the emergency, and ordered white troops sent to crush the revolt. For all the damage they’d done, the rebels still barely controlled two thousand square miles, and their grip over the land they held was far from absolute. Like the fireman who cuts a blaze off from oxygen, he could strangle the rebellion in the cradle…

Mounted rebels in Hyderabad prepare for action...
hyderabadirebels.jpg


...but then he couldn’t. News had spread all over the subcontinent that Hyderabad was in revolt. The regime itself commanded little popular support and the major cities were all under martial law. The last days of June saw plenty of violence in the countryside against both regime and British troops; all too often these were minor incidents such as farmers taking potshots at passing men from the bushes. None of it was enough to pose a serious danger, but it all sent the same unnerving message- the people of Hyderabad wanted freedom. Outside the princely state, the next few days saw plenty of riots and strikes in all the subcontinent’s cities. Many areas were under what amounted to military rule as Governor Lloyd searched for the vast nationalist conspiracy behind all this. Of course, such a thing existed in his mind only, and paranoia drove his every decision. Lloyd’s mood wasn’t helped when someone fired a shot into his study on the 22nd despite the heavy security surrounding his Calcutta mansion; the bullet missed his Bengali cleaning lady by inches. The spread of rebel-held territory in Hyderabad, the constant unrest elsewhere, and an overwhelming fear for his personal safety led Lloyd to make a fatal error. At midnight on 1 July, having given London due notice, he issued a declaration of martial law. This was to apply both in territory under direct British rule and in the princely states. Rules of engagement for British troops were seriously loosened; anyone caught in “subversive” activity could be shot without trial. The hope was that this would make combatting rebels and rioters much more efficient, and cow the local population.

It was like putting out a fire with gasoline.

The order went out in the small hours, arousing officers from their beds at two AM. These men had been working extremely hard lately and an interruption in their sleep wasn’t needed. When they were given such a huge order and so little time to enact it, the groggy officers reacted poorly and didn’t think through the consequences of what could go wrong. Orders reached the average soldier an hour or so later, causing much confusion; how were they supposed to enforce their rule any more than they were already doing? The idea of turning tough and confrontational on the populace literally overnight didn’t appeal to many, as they knew all too well what the backlash would be…

Sure enough, the Indian people were none too amused. Things started to go wrong even before the sun came up; there weren’t enough white troops to conduct security inspections and establish checkpoints, and there were literally hundreds of cases of Indians resisting searches and small-scale fights breaking out. Convinced that they were doing vital work rooting out conspiracies which didn’t exist, officers ordered house raids which did nothing but infuriate the populace. Riots and protests became daily occurrences across the subcontinent, and crushing them- because no decent Englishman could ever bring himself to treat the natives with respect, perish the thought!- sapped morale while costing money and lives. The advent of the monsoon made life more difficult for everyone; both sides were forced to contend with raging floods which made it dangerous to leave town on foot, much less fight a guerilla war. Rations were spoiled in the torrents of rain, and nobody’s temper was improved by getting soaked to the skin day after day. The time-honoured English phrase “bloody weather!” took on new meaning as revolt and monsoon met.

In the princely states, the local rulers lost much of what little autonomy they possessed, as British officials suddenly found themselves able to interfere in the administration of the states. However, the princes acquiesced to this; the only reason they hadn’t been totally subdued was that they’d always toed the British line and there was no reason to stick their necks out now. Nonetheless, some court figures in these states began dreaming of coups d’etat that would topple their British overlords… State militias were under formal orders to stand down, yet many men refused and serious fighting ensued. Some militiamen formed gangs and fled to the countryside, occupying villages and becoming bandits.

All told, Governor Lloyd’s martial law policy was a total failure. The revolt in Hyderabad spread like a cancer on the body of the Raj, while the British grip elsewhere was slackening. Centuries of British rule in India seemed on the verge of coming to a bloody halt...

Comments?

  1. Google Translate tells me that’s the Hindi word for ‘swine’
  2. A fictitious character- I’m sure there’s a real person I could’ve used but I didn’t want to spend an hour combing the Internet for him!
 
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Goodness what a absolute mess...and perfectly fitting for the situation so kudos to you. I consider this to be an improvement over the previous version and more original.

If all it took to start this train of violence were some soldiers eating fresh beef, then Britain was doomed to lose India the second the treaty of Dresden was signed. Well, I guess you could say that Britain was always going to lose the Raj, but being on the defeated side of the Great War only accelerated the matter. Can't wait to see how long the British PM hees and haws before finally realizing the extent of the rebellion.

I don't see the British having a good ending in this situation. Even if they beat back the rebellion (at great cost), the genie is now out of the bottle and can't be put back in. Indian nationalism will only spread and become more embedded into the fabric of Indian society at this rate. Britain's economy already isn't looking too hot and I don't see them being able to afford the cost of maintaining a large garrison sent to control an entire rebellious subcontinent. Something is going to snap and I don't think it will be India.
 
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Goodness what a absolute mess...and perfectly fitting for the situation so kudos to you. I consider this to be an improvement over the previous version and more original.

If all it took to start this train of violence were some soldiers eating fresh beef, then Britain was doomed to lose India the second the treaty of Dresden was signed. Well, I guess you could say that Britain was always going to lose the Raj, but being on the defeated side of the Great War only accelerated the matter. Can't wait to see on long the British PM hees and haws before finally realizing the extent of the rebellion.

I don't see the British having a good ending in this situation. Even if they beat back the rebellion (at great cost), the genie is now out of the bottle and can't be put back in. Indian nationalism will only spread and become more embedded into the fabric of Indian society at this rate. Britain's economy already isn't looking too hot and I don't see them being able to afford the cost of maintaining a large garrison sent to control an entire rebellious subcontinent. Something is going to snap and I don't think it will be India.
That's exactly right... I couldn't have put it better myself. The Raj's days are numbered. Although the rebels only control a pretty small amount of territory, as you said the spirit of Indian nationalism is now alive. This is the first step on a dark road for the British Empire.
Glad you like the chapter... thanks for offering useful feedback!
 
If Britain's about to lose the Raj this quickly after losing the Great War, i can see two options happening:
A) Self reflection among the populace as to whether the Empire was ever worth the cost
or B) Civil unrest so severe that it risks revolution
 
If Britain's about to lose the Raj this quickly after losing the Great War, i can see two options happening:
A) Self reflection among the populace as to whether the Empire was ever worth the cost
or B) Civil unrest so severe that it risks revolution
Aren’t they using the Raj as a captive economy to sell their products? And without said captive economy, there’s definitely going to be a massive depression?

I forsee the British investing heavily in India to keep their investment. To do otherwise would be a death kneel of the British Empire... So instead it would be slow drawn out death, as Britain becomes the Old Man of Europe...
 
If Britain's about to lose the Raj this quickly after losing the Great War, i can see two options happening:
A) Self reflection among the populace as to whether the Empire was ever worth the cost
or B) Civil unrest so severe that it risks revolution
Aren’t they using the Raj as a captive economy to sell their products? And without said captive economy, there’s definitely going to be a massive depression?

I forsee the British investing heavily in India to keep their investment. To do otherwise would be a death kneel of the British Empire... So instead it would be slow drawn out death, as Britain becomes the Old Man of Europe...

India was absolutely essential to the British Empire for many reasons. It was a source of cheap manpower which served in many large imperial projects throughout the empire like building important railroads in Kenya and South Africa. A million Indian solders served in the Great war and even the British admit that they wouldn't have won in OTL if it wasn't for the immense Indian support they got in the battlefield. Lastly, India was a huge captive market for British industry as you mentioned. On top of that, India was also a major supplier for cheap raw materials like cotton for British manufacturing - this was an inherently predatory relationship where only the British benefitted.

Essentially, if India is lost, then the British are entering a particularly nasty world of hurt. A major pillar of British economic stability would be broken and the entire edifice of the empire would begin to collapse on itself. Britain would lose several important ports in the Indian Ocean and the long term prospects of their Asian colonies like Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong would become quite bleak. Having Japan nearby as a neighbor means that their theoretical independence will never last long if Britain is forced to abandon the region.

Therefore, I don't see the UK giving up the Raj without a fight. India is just too important. But then again, Britain is very low on money so their options will be limited. If they announce a draft to create a army to stop India from leaving the Empire, will the public go for it? I'm leaning no.

Worse comes to worse, Britain could always try to keep some of the Raj while letting the rest of it go free. An Indian republic could form, but maybe some of the southern Princely states like Mysore and the island of Ceylon / Sri Lanka would be kept under British jurisdiction...if only for a few more years before they go rogue as well.
 
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Aren’t they using the Raj as a captive economy to sell their products? And without said captive economy, there’s definitely going to be a massive depression?

I forsee the British investing heavily in India to keep their investment. To do otherwise would be a death kneel of the British Empire... So instead it would be slow drawn out death, as Britain becomes the Old Man of Europe...
I see it not stopping until India is independent. And all the economic collapse that entails for the Brits.
 
If Britain's about to lose the Raj this quickly after losing the Great War, i can see two options happening:
A) Self reflection among the populace as to whether the Empire was ever worth the cost
or B) Civil unrest so severe that it risks revolution
That's exactly right. Great Britain can't afford to lose the Raj right now... it has to put everything it has into this fight or it won't survive as a Great Power
India was absolutely essential to the British Empire for many reasons. It was a source of cheap manpower which served in many large imperial projects throughout the empire like building important railroads in Kenya and South Africa. A million Indian solders served in the Great war and even the British admit that they wouldn't have won in OTL if it wasn't for the immense Indian support they got in the battlefield. Lastly, India was a huge captive market for British industry as you mentioned. On top of that, India was also a major supplier for cheap raw materials like cotton for British manufacturing - this was an inherently predatory relationship where only the British benefitted.

Essentially, if India is lost, then the British are entering a particularly nasty world of hurt. A major pillar of British economic stability would be broken and the entire edifice of the empire would begin to collapse on itself. Britain would lose several important ports in the Indian Ocean and the long term prospects of their Asian colonies like Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong would become quite bleak. Having Japan nearby as a neighbor means that their theoretical independence will never last long if Britain is forced to abandon the region.

Therefore, I don't see the UK giving up the Raj without a fight. India is just too important. But then again, Britain is very low on money so their options will be limited. If they announce a draft to create a army to stop India from leaving the Empire, will the public go for it? I'm leaning no.

Worse comes to worse, Britain could always try to keep some of the Raj while letting the rest of it go free. An Indian republic could form, but maybe some of the southern Princely states like Mysore and the island of Ceylon / Sri Lanka would be kept under British jurisdiction...if only for a few more years before they go rogue as well.
I fully agree. Britain survived losing the Great War as a Great Power; losing India would be much more devastating. Where will they get cheap cotton from? How will they project power into the Far East or Persian Gulf? A collapse of the Raj would be a permanent strategic defeat for London. But at the same time, their budget is stretched fairly tight; the last thing they can afford is a Vietnam scaled up to 11.
With regards to a "partitioned" India, there I disagree. If one part of the subcontinent broke away the others would follow; some of it might be princely states, others might be popular uprisings, but I just can't see the British hanging on in a "rump Raj".
I see it not stopping until India is independent. And all the economic collapse that entails for the Brits.
It's all or nothing, that's for sure!

Thanks for the comments everyone, and again for helping me retcon the chapter!
 
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