(for instance, I love the Normanism chapters about CoCaro in the EU, and Normanism of a flavor will appear in the main TL, but not entirely as written in the EU as I have... plans for CoCaro... very interesting plans...).

Oh boy.... I can't wait to see what you do with it! Honestly, I'm just flattered that you like it enough to include it in some fashion. I'm 100% sure you'll find a way to make it better than it was originally. Hark the Sound! A few other notes/ideas/questions:

First, to reiterate what everyone else has said, take a bit of time off! Enjoy some fresh air, some down time, maybe spend some quality time with the girlfriend! I'd rather wait a while for a rejuvenated Napo than have stuff sooner only for you to burn out. I'm sure we'll find ways to keep the place humming, lol.

Second, I'm very curious about Norway. They're very close to the Nordreich, but at the same time are an RU inspired republic if I remember correctly. Will they be firmly for the Kaiser due to practicality and proximity, or is it possible that after a possible weakening of the Reich, they split with Berlin and join the Fascist sphere? And if so, how will that jibe with the English? I could imagine the two would have overlapping ambitions.

Third, what's the possibility of seeing an RU aligned State of Israel down the line? Whether it's just a state in the Union or an "independent" ally, it would be incredible (and mindbogglingly insane). If such a nation came to pass, there would have to be a drive for a Greater Israel, and maybe even a Jewish AFC equivalent. "Our God Jehovah christened the Prophet Burr, and gave him the Books of Manifest Destiny just like he gave Moses the Ten Commandments. Only when a Pure Greater Israel is formed will the Messiah finally come, beginning a Fascist Messianic Age for all God's Pinnacle Men. ALL HAIL!" *firebombs Arabs in Hebrew*

Finally, I'm still hoping that whatever occurs with Steele's rise to power is much more of a bloody and spectacular event than Classic. Even if he doesn't overthrow dear old "dad" after the Great War (something I'd still love to see) I really do hope that Teddy tries to block him. You can tell based on the powerful mustaches they both possess that any fight between them would be a truly epic clash of Pinnacle Men. Even the Good Colonel, God Rest His Soul, would have been intimidated!
 
Finally, I'm still hoping that whatever occurs with Steele's rise to power is much more of a bloody and spectacular event than Classic. Even if he doesn't overthrow dear old "dad" after the Great War (something I'd still love to see) I really do hope that Teddy tries to block him. You can tell based on the powerful mustaches they both possess that any fight between them would be a truly epic clash of Pinnacle Men. Even the Good Colonel, God Rest His Soul, would have been intimidated!
"You know how this goes Steele, there can only be one pinnacle man" Roosevelt rips shirt off
"Oh yes, it's going to be me after I've finished you and father off" Steele rips shirt off. Cue ridiculous macho fight with various ORRA soldiers taking bets.
 
Second, I'm very curious about Norway. They're very close to the Nordreich, but at the same time are an RU inspired republic if I remember correctly. Will they be firmly for the Kaiser due to practicality and proximity, or is it possible that after a possible weakening of the Reich, they split with Berlin and join the Fascist sphere? And if so, how will that jibe with the English? I could imagine the two would have overlapping ambitions.
a dictator sure there in all but name I am pretty sure.
@Napoleon53 what going on in Iceland and Greenland right now? I asssume nothing but just curiousause it been a while since last mentioned
 
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I just thought about an amazing way the Carolinas could be brought into the Great War, that mirrors OTL's America. When the fighting breaks out, Carolina declares neutrality and begins selling arms. In reality, they heavily favor the Nordreich and the Union because of their Protestantism, and in the case of the Union, possible coercion. The Europans start targeting Carolinian shipping in retaliation. For a while, the Carolinas suffer in silence out of a desire to maintain neutrality. However, anger and war fever is growing among the population. Finally, it all comes to a head when the Union, perhaps desperately trying to stem a massive Europan counteroffensive, forges a telegram which appears to indicate that the Europans were planning on recruiting Carolinian blacks as a fifth column, and promised revolutionary groups support for a "New Africa" in Carolina. Needless to say, this doesn't go over well with the Carolinian population. War is quickly declared, and the surplus of Carolinian troops helps the Union hold the line against Europa. Maybe they can get Hispaniola out of the deal, to the upset of the Union.
 
Further cementing the bond between Carolina and the RU, there has to be a lot of strong family ties. Discounting the common language, history, ethnicity, and religion (to some extent), there seems to have been considerably migration between the two states, so many families could likely have members on both sides of the border. Furthermore, I imagine that there are many companies that operate within both countries, and both nations are exposed to more or less the same (non-political) media, such as literature and plays. Cuisine is probably fairly similar (though Carolina is more fried food and the RU will have more New England and German influences).
 
though Carolina is more fried food and the RU will have more New England and German influences
That does make me wonder about food in French California; probably be a real melting pot of Mexican, Italian and Chinese restaurants in cities with immigrants (probably some Japanese restaurants created in recent years too from a small number of Japanese refugees that made it to California). Also there would be French restaurants for the upper class. Probably be diners that serve a mix of American and European food (Coffee, Eggs and Panchetta followed by a pan au choclat)
 
THE FIRST DOMINO: THE GREEK CRISIS
THE FIRST DOMINO:
THE GREEK CRISIS

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King Iason I of Greece, the heirless head of the Marinos House


- THE MARINOS FAMILY CURSE -

The Greek Crisis was the first domino to fall that would lead to the bloody horrors of the World War. The proud, but short, line of men and women who had descended from Lavrentios Marinos, first King of the Greeks, had, after the long life of its founder, proven very unlucky, to say the least. Lavrentios was born in 1808 and when he was crowned King of the newly-independent Greece in 1846, he already had had two sons, Alexander (b. 1830) and Iason (b. 1833). While he felt certain Alexander would lead Greece to Empire, just as his namesake, it was not to be. Alexander was born with a heart murmur, and he passed at age 12. This left only Iason left to carry on the family line.

When King Lavrentios died in 1893 at age 85, Iason ascended to the throne. He had married a minor Italian noblewoman named Maria, and together they had a son, Lavrentios (b. 1854), a daughter, Eleonora (b. 1856), and another son, Lazaros (b. 1860). However, unfortunate events would follow, with some labeling it the "Marinos Family Curse." Lavrentios died in 1875 after a hunting trip gone wrong that ended with him being mistakenly shot. Next, Lazaros most certainly did not rise again after suffering a heart attack in 1900. This left only Eleonora to continue the family line upon her father's death. She was married to a Bavarian duke and had several children of her own. This was not exactly optimal, however, for the Greek Constitution denied the throne to a woman. When Iason died of old age in 1905, Eleonora's firstborn son, Alexander (b. 1876), was singled out by many as the true heir to the throne, but was not widely liked and was seen as far too friendly with the League of Tsars. Then there was a certain Vasilios the Bastard (b. 1881), the alleged son of King Iason and a Prussian mistress who held himself up a populist man of the people. He received large financial backing from the Hohenzollern-Wettins and wanted to follow a "third way," bypassing joining the League or Europa and aligning with the Nordreich in an alliance conjectured as the "Central Powers."

As could be imagined, this was a confusing mess for everyone involved. While Vasilios did not have a legitimate claim to the throne, the Constitution did not say that if the only remaining heir was female that her son could have the throne by default. The Greek Koinovoúlio (Parliament) called for a Grand Session to decide once and for all upon the matter of succession. As if things weren't bad enough at this point, a third noble threw his hat in the ring. It was Alexander's own brother Aniketos, who vowed neutrality and declared his brother a traitor to the Greek nation and a Russian agent. This was about all the Parliament could take. On May 10, 1906, Parliament announced the monarchy dissolved.

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Prince Alexander Marinos

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Prince Aniketos Marinos the Usurper

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Vasilios the Bastard

- THE GREEK WAR OF SUCCESSION -

Violence erupted immediately. Prince Alexander rallied his forces and marched on the Parliament, announcing he would crown himself King of the Greeks. Parliament was declared to be "a mustering of traitors to House Marinos" and he ordered the surviving members locked in the darkest prison he could find. Alexander was now King Alexander, and he quickly brought Athens under his control. But this seeming victory was merely the first shot in a blood civil war. In the countryside near he ancient Greek capital, Vasilios the Bastard proudly proclaimed he would restore Parliament and in return expect the crown for himself. After an initial failed assault on Athens, Vasilios withdrew and set up a revolutionary government in Corinth. Meanwhile, Alexander's brother Aniketos was busy at work, as well. Despite his very vocal calls for neutrality in Europe and Asia, he was in actuality being funded by Europan handlers who wanted him to keep Greece neutral but friendly in the event of any large war. With Europan coins heavy in his pockets, Aniketos set off to Thessaloniki. The Greek Civil War (sometimes called the Greek War of Succession) was well-underway, and the confusing, messy nature of it was only a sign for the path the World War would take some years later. Thousands would die fighting for royal heirs just as they had in the 19th century, and every century before that. Though this war was fought with grinders and aeroships, the reasons were the same as the Austrian War of Succession in the 18th century.

On the topic of the weapons this war was fought with, this was the first European war to see the use of aeroships in combat. On August 28, 1906, one King Alexander's aeroships, the Silver Prince, originally a Swedish vessel purchased in 1904, broke through the clouds over the Battle of Megara. Vasilios had attempted to push east toward Athens once again and had been routing Alexandrian forces in the area. The arrival of the Silver Prince changed everything, however, as its mighty arsenal opened fire from above, raining down death and destruction upon Vasilios's Parliamentarian Army. In almost no time at all, Vasilios was forced to retreat and flee from the massive aeroship.

This was not sitting well at all with the Bastard. Almost out of nowhere, several small aeroships, made by Von Kohler Industries of Berlin, were suddenly flying the Parliamentarian colors and were spearheading a new assault from Corinth. The Second Battle of Megara saw the first true aeroship battle in history (not counting the Imperial Japanese use of the captured Union Sky Titan against the Pride of the Buckeyes, the Presidentia, and the Uncle Sam in 1897). After over an hour of hard pounding, two of the three Parliamentarian ships were burning wreckage, but the mighty Silver Prince was also barely still in the air. Most of the crew was dead and the main drive shafts for the rudder-like propellers were shattered, leaving the ship in a bad way altogether. The once mighty vessel flew right into range of the Parliamentarian heavy artillery, which blew massive holes in the side of it and sent it careening toward the earth. As the Royalist aerocrewmen threw themselves out of the inferno hurtling toward the ground, cheers went up from the Bastard's forces, and they surged forward, bayonets fixed and flags high. Interestingly, even in the age of aeroships and grinder guns, there still were drummers beating their hearts out over the chaos and ear-rupturing noise of war. The Royalist forces flew into a rout, cut down all the way by Vasilios' men.

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Parliamentarian aeroships drop bombs on Royalist positions

Two days later, the Royalists regrouped at Diodia. The Parliamentarians looked forward to another victory, as they were certain nothing could keep them from Athens now. However, the last remaining aeroship was forced to land for repairs. General Charalambos Antonis, "The Bastard's Right Hand," was forced to make a decision: he could either press on without support from the air or he could hold his men back and wait. Although the Bastard was furious and wanted to keep moving, Antonis refused orders to advance without air support and ordered his men to dig in. This would be the last time the lines would move until the next year.


- THE PRINCE ANIKETOS AFFAIR -

During the winter, Aniketos, widely known now as Aniketos the Usurper, was plotting in Thessaloniki. He contemplated a bold strike in the middle of winter at Athens, as most of the Royalist army was on the Diodian front and along the Gulf of Elefsina. This was not to be, as the world would soon find out. On January 19, 1907, Alexander's younger brother was found shot to death in his bedroom. What was even unfortunate was that his papers were stolen. This became the Prince Aniketos Affair shortly after as his stolen documents were leaked to the press. The whole world knew now that he was a Europan agent. Even worse, new evidence was pointing toward his death being the result of Russian spies.

This served to greatly ratchet up tension between Russia and Europa. The news outraged the populace of both empires. Before long, a group of Russian spies, led by Greek Army officer Stamatis Mihail Giannopoulos, were arrested and executed for the death of the prince. Shortly after this, though, Aniketos' army seemed to be falling apart, since his death obviously meant he would not inherit the throne. However, this was not the end for the Usurper faction. Instead, rabid anti-Russian sentiment boiled over as many accused Prince Alexander of orchestrating his brother's death. Now they rallied behind General Petros Floros, Aniketos' right hand, and declared him to be King of the Greeks. By spring, the Usurper faction was known as the Florosians, and they were largely openly pro-Europan and despised the League of Tsars.

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General Petros Floros


- THE SPRING OFFENSIVE OF 1907 -

The spring of 1907 saw the bloodiest fighting in mainland Europe since the Balkan Wars of Independence and the Fall of the Ottoman Empire in the mid-19th century. Part of the reason for the heavy casualties was the fact that much of the weapons and equipment used by the warring factions was vastly more innovative and deadly than it had been ever before, but the armies' hierarchies refused to adapt to the impact these weapons were making. In 1907, a full century since the glory days of Napoleon the Great, armies were still advancing in rigid columns with drums beating and flags held high. Though they were using bolt action rifles, the men would still charge into grinder fire because their commander told them too.

What would change the way the war was fought came in the August of 1907, at the Battle of Pyli. Alexander's forces were in a slugfest with Florosians some thirty miles outside of Athens. The extremely short distance between the three capitals of the warring factions made the areas in between bloody no-mans-land for everyone, and the war was reaching a crescendo of violence. The Royalists shelled the Florosians with shells filled with chlorine gas, a Russian invention. This decimated the Florosians who saw massive losses in the thousands. Panicked and shocked at their brothers-in-arms keeling over, gurgling like stuck pigs, the Florosians retreated. This, while it should have been the end of the battle, was not. Ignorant of their new secret weapon, many of the Royalists cheered and began to give chase. This was a fatal mistake as they began running through their own poison gas, falling over and desperately trying to breathe. Their Greek Cross flag fell, and the Royalists in turn began to fall back themselves.

Realizing what was going on, the Florosians rallied once more, covering their faces with wet cloths, and turned around to attack. In the ensuing mayhem and hand-to-hand combat could be seen a glimpse of the Great War to come. Men shoved bayonets into other men's chests. Some grappled and threw each other down, pulling out daggers and knives to stab and cut their opponents to pieces. Others, with no time to reload, used rocks and their bare hands to brutal effect. The complete disorganized slaughter of the battle secured its place in newspaper headlines around the world. What was the most ironic part of all, however, was that neither side won. The Royalist side endured some eight thousand casualties, and the Florosians seven thousand. The Florosians were repulsed from any possible route to attack Athens, but they had never really had that as their aim anyway. Meanwhile, the Royalists were to weakened to to do anything but barely hold their ground.

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Photograph taken from a Royalist observation balloon of the deployment of chlorine gas against the Florosians

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Florosian troops lay asphyxiated in a dugout

Though the gas had been effective in its use, it had been too effective. The Royalists had no idea it was going to be so deadly, and they committed the gross error of not telling their troops to hold back until it dissipated. The quick discovery of water- or urine-soaked rags over their faces for protection was a genius move by the Florosians, but the brutal slaughter that followed eliminated either side's advantage. But now that gas had been used by the Royalists, the Florosians were quick to pick the stuff up as well. When the Europans came through with supplies of chlorine gas shells, they also brought military advisors. For the first time, Europan officers were on the frontlines of the Greek Civil War. The Russians weren't far behind.

- THE FALL OF ATHENS -

Now that the Royalists had been badly bloodied by the Florosians, the Bastard made his move from Corinth. Some 20,000 troops rushed to assault Athens. The Third Battle of Megara began on September 2, 1907, and saw the Bastard's Parliamentarian forces finally break through the Royalist lines and hurl themselves toward the Greek capital. By September 10, Athens, the famed pinnacle of antiquity, was under siege. This is where things went off the rails. The Reich had long-backed the Bastard as "their man" in the conflict, and had supplied him with weapons and equipment. They did not, however, supply him with chlorine gas. Some have said that he raided a shipment from Russia bound for the Royalist army. At any rate, he fired chlorine shells into Athens itself. The utter pandemonium that ensued was unspeakably horrible on an almost impossible scale. Citizens trampled each other, trying to escape. The shelters underneath the wartime city were created to protect the women and children from artillery, but now served as murderholes for the gas to descend into. Over 6,000 men, women, and children were killed in just two days. Athens was crumbling. In the midst of the city, Prince Alexander was fleeing. His face covered in rags, he was being sped out by autocarriage. Once he arrived at the city docks, he boarded a fast ship and began his escape to Constantinople.


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Florosian officers stand in front of the ruins of an Athenian streetcorner

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Florosian troops fire into Royalist defenses during the Fall of Athens

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Royalist artillerymen defend Athens

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Vasilios the Bastard enters Athens in this propaganda painting

The Bastard's Parliamentarians quickly occupied the city but then finally saw the carnage his chemical attack had caused. He reportedly told his generals to never again utilize gas against an area with innocent civilians. He justified the attack, however, as a "reasonable price to pay to break the stalemate which would have continued to see many more lives lost." With only scattered resistance from the old Royal Army still opposing "King Vasilios I," the Parliament was restored as a bootlicking rubber-stamp for the Bastard. General Floros considered a "march of liberation" to free Athens from the Parliamentarians, but decided to hold off, as winter was coming before too long and his troops were utterly exhausted. The war would enter its final stage.

- THE STALEMATE -

With only two factions in the fight now, the war entered stalemate. No more roaring offensives were undertaken. No more daring aeroship fights and bombing runs. No more cavalry charges. Instead, a huge network of trenches were dug in between Athens and Thessaloniki, largely centered around the city of Larissa, with each side constantly chewing up the other every time they attempted to advance. The generals, with the exception of the use of gas, refused to innovate. And with all aeroships in the country destroyed or grounded, there was no way to counter the brutal fire of the grinder nests and deadly artillery barrages. Greece as a country was on its last knees. Every day, hundreds more men would die. Royalist extremists would assassinate figures in King Vasilios' government and in the Parliament. No one was safe. Over the next several years, until the outbreak of the Great World War, this would simply continue. And then, from seemingly out of nowhere, Prince Alexander would return again, with the full support of the League of Tsars and Mad Czar Viktor himself...
 
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Enjoy guys! I really like how this chapter showed the still very Victorian mindset of this world. Yes, they will totally fight over which sibling gets a throne, and yes they will totally destroy the entire country if it means their guy is on it.

Also, I plan on creating non-numbered "special chapters" on the "Faces of the World War." Among them will be Winston Churchill, Midas Goldstein, and others. :D
 
Oh boy, Greece really fucked itself up here. The combination of early 20th century weaponry with early 19th century tactics was never going to be good. Also this could have all been avoided if they had decided to have a Queen, let's hope the other Kingdoms and Empires learn from that mistake at least.

Also that ending line, I'm imagining the Mad Tsar Khan literally riding into battle on horse but I know he isn't that bonkers.
 
I'm imagining the Mad Tsar Khan literally riding into battle on horse but I know he isn't that bonkers.

Bold assumption you made there.....

But holy mother of God, the Greeks really screwed the pooch huh? A royal war of succession? Bad. A royal war that's a proxy war for foreign empires? Worse. A royal war that's a proxy for foreign powers that winds up gassing unsuspecting civilians? Worst!
 

Worffan101

Gone Fishin'
They have to be suffering serious mutiny rates by this point, even with the insane levels of mindless cult-like nationalism that most WMIT countries rely upon. Also, airship battles? Would that even work???
 
They have to be suffering serious mutiny rates by this point, even with the insane levels of mindless cult-like nationalism that most WMIT countries rely upon.

Also, airship battles? Would that even work???

Oh yes, I would imagine mutiny is quite common, although the things I described aren't much worse than OTL WWI, just confined to smaller numbers and armies. The rest of the Greek Civil War, the stalemate, is likely just commanders desperately trying to keep their men motivated and battle-ready. Help from their foreign advisors and suppliers is probably key.

It's all hypothetical. Of course, aeroship warfare will likely stop during or after the Great War, but I believe, without planes, it is indeed possible, though probably not as cool sounding or interesting as I make it out to be. Considering it never really happened OTL, there's no way to tell what a society with a long history of aeroships could devise (though again, much of it will likely go obsolete when planes go mainstream).

Also that ending line, I'm imagining the Mad Tsar Khan literally riding into battle on horse but I know he isn't that bonkers.

Literally couldn't finish reading that without humming one of my favorite ditties to myself:

 
THEN I LOOKED, AND I HEARD AN EAGLE CRYING WITH A LOUD VOICE AS IT FLEW IN MIDHEAVEN, "WOE, WOE, WOE TO THE INHABITANTS OF THE EARTH, AT THE BLASTS OF THE OTHER TRUMPETS THAT THE THREE ANGELS ARE ABOUT TO BLOW!"

*chants in American whilst lint-rolling Council of Jehovah Klansmen outfit*

I know airships are cool and all but really no planes? At some point someone would figure out heavie then ait flight you would figure.

They have! Planes just aren't common yet. I'm probably going to use Traian Vuia instead of the Wright Brothers. Traian I believe has created flight in every single one of my major timelines, going back to American King if I recall rightly. It's kind of a weird signature of mine.
 
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They have! Planes just aren't common yet. I'm probably going to use Traian Vuia instead of the Wright Brothers. Traian I believe has created flight in every single one of my major timelines, going back to American King if I recall rightly.
Can't wait to see which nation realizes the advantages planes have over airships and goes full bore on them. Be even better if they kept it a secret and were able to fully surprise the world.
 
"We shall never surrender"
-General Winston "The Bear" Churchill to his troops during the Battle of London in 1912 as the joint Europan-Welsh forces besieged the city.
 
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