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Eastern Front (Napoleon's America)

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Russian infantry

Soviet Russian infantry preparing for the impending enemy attack.

The Eastern Front, also known as the European East, or the Russian Front was a theatre of war during World War I. The Eastern Front was the place where the Great War started, it was hotly contested between Soviet Russian and later Mexican troops and League of Steel countries.

The German and Austrian empires, as well as the Balkan Confederation faced off in the costliest front in terms of human and material losses. The conflict started when a group of Austrian immigrants (or fugitives) escaping into Russia illegally were fired upon by a nervous border guard that mistook them for an Austrian scouting party.

World War I
Eastern Front
Date December 28, 1908-October 1, 1918
Location Soviet Russia, German Empire, Austrian Empire, and Balkan Confederation.
Result

Allied Victory.

Breakup of the Austrian Empire.

Territorial
changes
Austria is divided into several smaller successor states.
Belligerents
  • Soviet Russia
  • Mexico
  • German Empire
  • Austrian Empire
  • Balkan Confederation

1908-1909

The war started with the shooting of four (ten according to some sources) Austrian immigrants or fugitives. These men were escaping into Soviet Russia from Austria. In a new and relatively isolated border outpost. A young guard saw the men through his field glasses and confused them for an Austrian scouting party (how this happened is not yet known). When the men were close enough, the guard opened fire on them with a Pulemyot Maxima machine gun, quickly cutting them off and killing them. Because there were some doubts as to whether the men had been shot when they were already in Soviet Russia or if they were still in Austria, the incident was harder to smooth out.

After the Austrian government had demanded an outrageous sum of money for damages, the Soviet Russian government refused and said that the men were invaders and deserved to be shot. Since both countries were at odds with each other since the Russian Revolution overthrew the Tsardom and communism was instated as the main form of government, both didn't really try to avoid war. After a deadline was met and the Soviet Russian government still hadn't paid the fine, the Austrian Empire declared war on Soviet Russia.

Combat started when the 199th Balkan Rapid Strike Force attacked the Russian territory, the strike supported by planes and trucks mounted with machine guns, succeeded in penetrating deep into the Russian homeland. After having gone more than 300 miles into Russian territory without any enemy resistance and having stopped right before reaching the city of Chişinău in Moldova, (just 50 miles outside of the Ukraine), the 199th spread out and formed a line of sorts to fend of any Russian attacks and to allow reinforcements to arrive without any major threat. As soon as the 199th received reinforcements, they continued with their attack.

The Balkan Army continued their push towards the important city of Kiev without any major Russian resistance, since the large Russian Army was unorganized and spread out all over the border and as far east as the Magadan province.

When the Russian Army was finally able to execute coordinated actions and retreat to defend the important cities of Kiev and Minsk, it had already been two weeks and the German and Austrian armies had also attacked them and penetrated deep into their territory. The Russian Army was able to reach Minsk and Kiev before the League of Steel did, but weren't able to stop the advancing armies as they attacked Kiev and Minsk.

In the Battle of Minsk, the German and Austrian armies advanced on Minsk in January 30, 1908, just a month after war had officially been declared. They were terribly unprepared for the hell they would face for little less than a year. The Russian Army soldiers had a deep love for their Rodina, they prided themselves in never having been invaded. The people of Russia also prided themselves in that fact and fiercely fought the invaders with homemade weapons. Soviet Russian partisans and soldiers even invented the Wilhelm Cocktail (Molotov Cocktail) as a way to intimidate and damage the League of Steel.

In Kiev, the Balkan Army attacked the city after bombarding it heavily with artillery and sometimes even using planes. They attacked in the same day the city of Minsk was attacked as part of a coordinated war effort between the League of Steel. They were also surprised by the fierce Russian resistance and suffered massive casualties the first month of the battle. After having adapted to the clever Russian urban combat and terror tactics, they employed similar methods to slowly push the defenders back and outside of the city. They informed their allies in Minsk of what was needed to defeat the Russians and which methods were effective to battle in the streets. The shared information between the League of Steel enabled them to fight the defenders and push them out of the cities after almost a year of fighting. The city of Minsk was declared to be under League of Steel control in December 12 and the city of Kiev fell in December 20.

The League of Steel kept advancing and after a few miles they received Soviet Russian messengers to accord what would become the first Christmas Truce. After the truce ended and war continued, the Russians fought desperately to halt the invaders.

1910

After having lost two major cities to the invaders in less than a year of fighting, the Russians decided to fight differently, using hit and run techniques and rarely engaging in major confrontations (although there were some). The Russian Army succeeded to slow down the enemy advance considerably, but continued to loose ground and troops at the seemingly unstoppable enemy.

After the League of Steel advanced deeper into Soviet Russia, and the German Army fielded their first tanks, the Russian defense was even further outmatched. As the League of Steel advanced, the front widened and it was impossible to keep a defined or even a stable front, since units were always advancing and attacking from behind. The Russians decided that all troops were needed to defend the capital city of Moscow, and were withdrawn from the cities of St. Petersburg (former capital of the Russian Empire) and Volgograd. The cities were left to the League of Steel as Moscow was heavily fortified.

1911

The small part of the Russian Army that wasn't pulled back to defend Moscow (50,000 troops) fought fiercely and constantly harassed the invaders, they effectively became saboteurs and "dirty fighters." They halted the enemy advance during some months due to lack of ammunition. The soldiers became known as the Red Fury (red relating to the Soviet Russian communism) and were actively hunted down. After some 2000 soldiers were captured in a clever move by the Austrian Army, they were all executed and the remaining members of the "Red Fury" (12,286 soldiers) were ordered to return to Moscow. In July 22, the advancing League of Steel met with the defenders of Moscow in the Battle of Moscow.

Soviet propaganda poster

A Soviet Russian propaganda poster stating "We will defend Moscow!"

After the League of Steel reached the outskirts of Moscow, they started their advance. The Russians were relatively well prepared but still surprised by the speed which the invaders reached Moscow. Moscow was surrounded by three defensive rings and deep anti-tank trenches. The League of Steel advanced after a massive and week long artillery bombing. They were surprised when the Russian forces in the first ring pushed them back. They bombed and harassed the first ring of defense for around a month before they massed their forces and attacked. They succeeded in taking it but suffered heavy casualties and still had two more similar battles to fight before even reaching Moscow.

After some time of resting and relative quiet in the front, the german Luftwaffe bombed Moscow mercilessly to demoralize Russian troops, immediately after the bombing stopped, the second ring was attacked. After two months of small offensives and raids, the second ring was weakened enough to be attacked in a similar way to the first one. League of Steel succeeded in capturing it with less casualties than before, but still suffered heavily. They now only had one final ring to defeat, three miles away and right outside of Moscow.

By early november 1911, the Russians were desperate to receive aid or push the League of Steel back. Civilians in Moscow volunteered by the thousands to defend their homes, they were often sent to the front with only instructions to follow their leaders' orders no matter what. After some two weeks of no enemy attacks on the third ring of defense, the defending Russians started getting nervous, and with a good reason, because on November 17 the League of Steel attacked.

Around 150 German tanks advanced upon the empty stretch of land that separated the second and third rings of defense, following them were at least 10,000 infantry soldiers advancing slowly or in trucks. They were accompanied by some aircraft as well. The Soviet Russian Army, however, was prepared for this, as German tanks closed in on the defenders, an artillery barrage so intense that it was described as:

"An artillery barrage of such intensity that not even the enemy aircraft could escape it."

by a Russian colonel. The description is accurate as some 5 to 7 League of Steel planes were downed by the massive barrage consisting of all the artillery pieces and mortars that the Russians had at their disposal, there were even some catapults and slingshots used by soldiers in the front line.

The casualties of the advancing invaders were devastating, almost no soldiers which entered the no-man's-land survived, and it would only get worse after that, since the Russian defenders, following trench warfare doctrine, attacked immediately after the strike stopped. Officers, seeing that they could not stop the anxious and vindictive soldiers from charging, urged them to join the charge. Within minutes, the Russian charge swelled to at least 19,000 soldiers (numbers vary according to the source, but 20,000 is the usually accepted number). The charge quickly forced the League of Steel soldiers, now without their tank support back some 10 miles. After that, the Soviet Russian High Command decided to organize the charge into a more effective "push." After just three weeks, the Russians had managed to push back the enemy from the land that they had gained over the course of three years. The massive advance that would become known as the November Charge would stop right at the border with the German and Austrian empires and even went two km into the Balkan Confederation.

The Russian morale flew through the sky after their very successful counter-offensive, they quickly started building trenches and re-arming former border posts as they prepared to continue the war.

1912

In early 1912, after the Russians stabilized the front and only exchanged gunfire during short periods of time, but very intensely. Mexican soldiers started being sent to Russia in January 30 of that year, and by February 14, over 10,000 Mexican soldiers were leaving for Vladivostok every day. From there, Mexican soldiers were transported through train and truck, they were sometimes even were forced to walk or use horse-drawn carriages for a while due to the lack of transport for such a large force.

By May 1st, there were over 3,000,000 Mexican soldiers in Russia, with more being sent in bi-weekly shipments. There were 1,504,928 Mexican Army soldiers serving in the front at the time, and there were even some planes as well. The advance on enemy lands started with a promising surprise attack of the League of Steel trenches by the Mexican and Russian troops in May 5. The attack startled the defenders and the cities of Sofia and Königsberg were taken by Mexican and Russian troops respectively by June and the defenders seemed to be fighting a war that they would quickly loose.

After the loss of the city of Debrecen to the Allies in August, the League of Steel's defense solidified, the trench network that had been dug during the quiet months of January through April, which had seen little fighting, was put to effective use. These trenches were strengthened with machine guns, mortars, troops, and sometimes even mines. The Russian and Mexican soldiers faced tough opposition after August and would not see a major victory or take an important city until next year.

1913

Start of the "Five Long Years" advance towards the German, Austrian and Balkan capital cities. This year continued what late 1912, had started, the Allies on the Eastern Front pushed forward very slowly and both sides sustained heavy casualties during the advance/retreat. In late January, the Mexican TM-2 tank was fielded, its design was based on specifications of the Russian T-1 tanks shared with the Mexicans as well as from data gathered by Mexican soldiers that had fought German LK tanks.

The year was relatively quiet in terms of battles, but since the whole Allied advance was one large battle, it wasn't so quiet in terms of casualties. The towns Slovenské Nové Mesto and Sátoraljaújhely were captured early in March by Mexican troops as were many minor towns in the German Empire and Balkan Confederation.

The war proceeded in a similar fashion for most of the year, until in late October, the League of Steel unveiled their "secret" weapon; gas attacks.

1914

In this new year, there were few eventful battles, but the Allies responded the initial League of Steel aggression with gas attacks of their own. After various setbacks and many backfires because of the nature of the new weapon, gas is finally places in artillery shells and gravity bombs.

The Allies use gas designed to incapacitate enemy soldiers so they require medical care and are pulled back from the front line to both shrink enemy numbers and to take a toll on the League of Steel countries respective economies, since a wounded soldier costs more to maintain than a healthy one. The League of Steel, however, used gas with the purpose of killing and demoralizing enemy troops in an effort to win the war of attrition that they were fighting against two countries with a larger population and which had their factories and civilian centers far away from the front line.

T34-88r

A Soviet Russian T-1 model tank. It was the deadliest and most effective tank of the war and the years after it, it was ahead of its time and was a marvel of engineering at the time.

In April of 1914, the Soviet Russian Army first fielded their masterful T-1 tank design. This tank, working with Mexican TM-2's proved to almost completely neutralize the German and Austrian tank fleets as well as made the current bunkers ineffective since they weren't thick enough to withstand the heavy shells of the tanks for long.

The war continued in a similar way, with heavy trench warfare and a few attempts to take enemy trenches a week, with the Allies succeeding sooner or later and the ever dwindling League of Steel soldiers being pushed back. The war started looking bleak for the Balkan Confederation, whose army, although strong and well-armed, were relatively small compared to the Mexican forces they were facing, who also happened to be very well armed and trained as well. The Balkan Confederation Army was defeated in the Battle of Athens to an Allied assault soon after they had lost the region of Macedonia to the advancing Mexicans in September.

1915

War went with few changes in the northern and central reaches of the Eastern front, but war in the Balkan Confederation intensified as the Mexican Army approached the capital city of Belgrade with every passing day. Belgrade was reached and partially surrounded by Mexican troops in July, and the Russian Navy sent gunboats through the Danube river to aid the Mexican infantry and air force. After a few months of heavy urban fighting and facing some civilian resistance as well, Mexican troops reached the Stari dvor in a quasi-surprise attack in November 27th. The Balkan government was captured and quickly surrendered to the Mexican Army. The Balkan Confederation was officially left out of the war and quit its League of Steel membership in December 1st and it remained under occupation by Mexican and some Russian forces until November 11, 1918, when the Treaty of Lisbon was signed.

The Soviet Russian Army fighting in the German Empire and Austria, as well as Mexican troops fighting in the Austrian Empire closed in on the capital cities slowly but surely.

1916

This year was the quietest of the whole war in the Eastern Front, after the Balkan Confederation was knocked out of the war, Germany and Austria were able to recall their troops serving there before they were captured by the Mexicans. After thousands of troops returned to their homeland, the front was fought for even harder, but the Allies kept advancing.

1917

After a relatively quiet year, on both casualties and advances, the Allies massed their forces and reserves were called to the front, after two weeks of this, they attacked German and Austrian trenches with artillery and aircraft support. The Allied advance regained speed and they started closing in on the capital cities of Vienna and Berlin.

The Allied High Command decided to allow Mexican and Russian troops to work together because of their different specializations. While the Russians used tactics comparable to a hammer striking a nail, the Mexican attacks usually consisted of sabotage, shelling, and demoralization of the enemy followed by massed attacks. This combined strategies proved to be very effective for the Allies, after small Mexican units infiltrated enemy trenches during the night, they would plant some timed dynamite, or leave timed gas grenades, sometimes even silently killing as many enemy soldiers as they could before retreating back, the Russians would attack after the Mexican sabotage succeeded (which was not always the case).

After months of using this tactics and with the defenders fighting more desperately and fiercely by the hour, the cities of Berlin and Vienna were within Allied reach. Vienna was completely surrounded by Mexican and Russian troops, while Allied forces camped 15 minutes outside of Berlin.

1918

War was bleak for Austria and Germany, they were both surrounded and their capital cities were under threat. Vienna was completely surrounded by the Allied armies and with Berlin within shelling distance of the Russian and Mexican forces.

The allies bombed strategic and military targets in both capital cities with the purpose of debilitating the military infrastructure and causing casualties on high-ranking officers. Despite the effort to avoid civilian casualties (they didn't want resistance from civilian population), many innocent people were killed by the barrage that kept hitting Vienna and Berlin for months until they surrendered.

Vienna

The Allied armies in and around Vienna were in a favorable position, they had the city completely surrounded and no supplies could get in or out. After discussion between the Russian and Mexican generals, it was decided that the city had to be taken by force lest an effective breakthrough could be staged by the Austrian Army.

In January 19, the Mexican II Ukrainian Front and the Russian First Ukrainian Army started shelling the city. Military targets were a priority, although hundreds of civilians were killed by the massive shelling. After having been shelling the city for almost two months, the joint Russian and Mexican armies moved in on Vienna in March 23. They had expected heavy resistance and fierce fighting, but they were astounded by the fierce resistance they faced from both Austrian military and civilians. The Battle of Vienna was the second bloodiest only after the Battle of Berlin, and then only by a few casualties.

The Mexicans advanced from the south and west, while the Soviet Russian Army advanced from the North and East. Both armies saw fierce house-to-house and close quarters combat, they faced entrenched tanks, booby traps, civilian resistance, as well as many other threats.

Mexican troops advanced slowly while clearing every house and every street, the Russians tried using their sledgehammer-type tactics only to suffer from resistance and sabotage in their rear guard. Soon after the advance started, the battlefield became a big mess, there were Mexican and Russian forces all over the place while the Austrians were surrounded by them or surrounding them. Most units fought simply to survive and to regain contact with the main push.

Small units engaged in fierce CQ combat, and after a while, tanks were forced to march down the cities streets and bombard suspected refuges of soldiers or resistance groups. There were a few organized counter-attacks, the Russians were once pushed back as far as the Danube, but these rare Austrian offensives always proved to fail.

After six months of fighting, a brilliant strategist in the Mexican Army decided to use all the tanks that were available to them to allow their forces to reach the Austrian Parliament Building (where most of the government was). The TM-2 tanks were used to clear all Austrian resistance down a single street that lead to said building, after clearing a block, two tanks would remain at an intersection, where they would prevent the Austrians to retake the street and allow Mexican troops to pass, forming a wall of sorts. After the odd and unexpected tactic succeeded, the Mexican High Command sent thousands of troops down the "alley" and onto the Parliament Building. There they faced heavy enemy resistance, but after a few hours, the Austrian Parliament Building was taken and the remaining members of the government surrendered the city and the Austrian Empire to Mexican troops in September 31.

Berlin

The Allies weren't as conveniently placed in Berlin as they were in Vienna, they were only facing the city from the East and there was numerous German presence in the outside of Berlin.

The Mexicans were tasked with defeating the German 3rd Panzer Corps and the 7th Cavalry to the north and south of Berlin respectively, the Russians were to attack the city head on with their large numbers and effective tanks.

Mexican troops were sent to the north and south of the city where they engaged in heavy trench warfare with the defenders. They Mexicans in the north focused their assaults in the northern edge of the defensive line, that way they would surround the Germans and force them to retreat to the city after suffering heavy casualties. The Mexicans in the south would do likewise, but with the southern edge of the line.

The Soviet Russian Army shelled the Germans and attacked with over half their available forces. They bypassed the first lines of defense easily as the German Wehrmacht retreated after seeing such a large force of tanks and infantry charge at them, but once inside the city, German LK tanks hidden or entrenched ambushed the Russian T-1's and inflicted heavy casualties on them. Despite having lost much of their tank force, the Russians also completely destroyed the remainders of the German tanks.

Once they were deep inside the city, the Mexicans succeeded in pushing the defenders into the city, where they would be forced to fight in their own home. In cooperation with the Russians, the Mexican Army pushed deeper into Berlin, trying to reach the Reichstag. The Russians kept troops coming in and were dangerously close to reaching their target, when the Germans unleashed the deadliest gas attack of the whole war.

The Germans gassed the allied armies with mustard and chlorine, as well as with a newly developed nerve agent called Tabin. The gas attacks were released simultaneously on Allied forces. They were attacked with weapons ranging from glass containers with gas inside of them to heavy artillery positioned far from the frontline. After thousands of soldiers dropped dead from no apparent cause, the Allies were forced to retreat up to a mile to avoid the gas. The Mexican and Russian armies were taken by surprise since they didn't expect that the Germans would gas their own capital city.

After the Gassing of July, the allies were forced to halt their advance for around a month. That month didn't go without military action, however, as the Soviet Russian government decided to gas the city indiscriminately. Thousands of shells containing gas rained upon Berlin, thousands of soldiers and even more civilians died. After the deed, planes dropped pamphlets threatening to use this terror tactics again if the Germans were to release the smallest amount of gas on any allied forces.

In mid-august, the allied troops resumed their advance, now clad with gas masks and sporting caged rabbits or birds to detect gas attacks. After just two weeks of fighting, with the German Army and the civilian population heavily demoralized, the Russians reached the Reichstag.

The Reichstag was heavily defended since most of the German leadership was there. The Russians tried to penetrate the heavy German defense and failed. The Battle of the Reichstag ensued. The Russians fought the surviving German defenders while the Mexican forces eliminated or forced to surrender the surviving German forces outside of the Reichstag in Berlin. They also effectuated police duties. After fighting the Germans and failing to see any results, the Soviet Russian government ordered the Reichstag to be gassed (tear gas was used, as they didn't want to risk a last minute reprisal). The Soviet Russian Army did so and launched a major offensive immediately after that. The Germans were so surprised because they thought that gas warfare had ended that they didn't even had time to use what few gas masks they had left. The Russians easily entered the German building and killed the defending soldiers, the majority of the German leadership (including Kaiser Wilhelm II) were captured in the early morning, and by 9:02 PM, the German Empire had officially surrendered to Russia and Mexico.

Aftermath

The German Empire escaped heavy punishment with clever political maneuvering and managed to keep all of their pre-war territory. They were forced, however, to pay heavy fines to Soviet Russia and Mexico as compensation for the war. Despite not having restrictions placed upon them, the German Empire Armed Forces were almost completely destroyed, there were less than 500,000 troops in the proud army that had once managed to have over 10 million troops serving during the war. The Luftwaffe had been destroyed by the Mexican and Russian air forces over the course of ten years, and the Navy was less than half its pre-war size.

Austria faced even harsher sanctions, the country was forced to pay heavy fines, and soon after that, it collapsed. The former Austrian Empire was degraded from a once proud world power, to a bunch of small nations. These nations suffered in their first years as they faced the alienation of their fellow European countries and Soviet Russia took advantage of their weakened state and installed pro-communist puppet governments in many of the successor states to the Austrian Empire.

The Balkan Confederation, since it was defeated earlier, didn't face the problems that Austria and Germany did, they were forced to pay heavy fines, but they had a few years to rebuild their damaged country under the watchful eyes of occupying Mexicans before the war ended. Since many Balkanians cooperated with the Mexicans by aiding them with supplies and ammunition, they were looked upon with a positive eye by the allies. It can be said that the Balkan Confederation "won" the war as well. They had the gratitude of their former Russian and Mexican enemies, and were now the most powerful country in Europe, since all other powers were destroyed, whether they were Allies or League of Steel.

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