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Timeline (Axis Reign)

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Walter von Brauchitsch

Field General Walter von Brauchitsch was the architect of both the Blitzkrieg of France and the events of October 7th.


1940

July to September: Luftschlacht um England. The Battle of Britain is coming to a close. The Luftwaffe is on the verge of establishing air superiority while the Kriegsmarine has been astoundingly lucky in its recent victories. Adolf Hitler has ordered the commencement of Operation Sea Lion on September 19. The German High Command, which had been skeptical of the invasion’s success, unenthusiastically gathers landing craft.

September 15: Victory at Home! The Kriegsmarine, in an audacious attempt to wipe the Royal Navy off the face of the earth, attacks Scapa Flow. The battle ends in the destruction of most of the German navy, including the sinking of the KMS Graf Spee and the KMS Triptz and the wounding of the KMS Bismarck. Admiral Charles Forbes then orders the bulk of the Home Fleet to the Channel.

September 16: Carnage at the Channel. Landingcraft carrying five divisions of German soldiers embarks from French and Belgian ports. They will be the first wave in the coming assault against the English shore. Due to bad weather, the Luftwaffe remains on the ground, although this raises little opposition to the invasion. The Home Fleet, in the meantime, sees the motion and informs the British military of the invasion force. The British coast slowly becomes covered with artillery and troop emplacements. Shortly before the scheduled landing, the Home Fleet engages the German landing craft. The few German ships protecting them are easily sunk. Before long, five divisions are gone.

September 17: Opposition. As soon as word is received that five divisions have been lost in Operation Sea Lion, the OKW calls off the rest of the operation, much to the surprising dismay of Hitler. He even threatens to make himself the Commander-in-Chief of the Wehrmacht to make sure that no future military operation would fail. This, along with Hitler's insistence for an invasion of the Soviet Union as early as 1941, causes many German generals to forsake Hitler, with the exclusion of Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel. A secret military opposition to Nazi Rule is shortly established under Walther von Brauchitsch. The majority of the OKW drafts plans for a coup to eliminate both the Führer and the SS.

September 27: A Pact with the Devil. The Tripartite Pact is signed by Adolf Hitler of Germany, Galeazzo Ciano of Italy, and Saburu Kurusu of Japan. The OKW, however, is wary, considering the rising tensions between the Empire of Japan and the United States of America.

September-October: Stalemate. With the Royal Navy now free, the Kriegsmarine is in dire straits. However, due to the over-extension of the British war machine, German U-Boats remain a terror. But the situation for the United Kingdom is still dismal, as the Luftwaffe maintains air superiority. Meanwhile, Field Marshal Brauchitsch, commander of the Heer, and Grand Admiral Raeder, commander of the Kriegsmarine, lead the resistance against Hitler. Eventually, they find a date for the coup. Four men are particularly scheduled to die that day: Adolf Hitler, Hermann Göring, Wilhelm Keitel, and Heinrich Himmler.

October 7: Der Führer ist tot! Field Marshal Brauchitsch calls for a meeting of the German High Command and Hitler himself for his plans for Operation Barbarossa. At 12:30 p.m., the room contains mostly conspirators. In the middle of one of Brauchitsch’s explanations, two Heer soldiers burst into the room, unloading a round into the Führer’s back. Hermann Göring and Wilhelm Keitel each meet a similar fate. Moments later, the meeting was adjourned. Warrants for the arrest of top Nazi leaders, especially in the SS, are circulated throughout the Wehrmacht. However, Heinrich Himmler is missing. Minutes after this is discovered, Brauchitsch receives a call from Reinhard Heydrich, Director of the RSHA and the Gestapo as a result. He informs the Field Marshal of two things. First, that he is currently holding Himmler along with other Nazi officials. Second, he will cease any actions against the German military in exchange for his life, his promotion to Reichsführer-SS, and a considerable amount of power in the New German State. Field Marshal Brauchitsch, wanting to meet as little resistance as possible, gives in to Heydrich’s demands.

October 8: Aftershocks. Going before the German people, Field Marshal Brauchitsch declares the creation of the Federal German Reich and establishes himself as both President and Commander-in-Chief of the Wehrmacht until the end of the war. After blaming the SS for the assassinations of top Nazi officials, Brauchitsch promises “a new Germany, decisive in deed and pure in principle”.

October 10: Dangerous Japan. President and Field Marshal Walther von Brauchitsch withdraws Germany from the Tripartite Pact, declaring that he is unwilling for “German boys to lose their lives in unnecessary wars”. But, he declared that the Pact of Steel between Germany and Italy would remain in effect.

October 21-23: Second Great Fire of London. Field Marshal Robert von Greim, the new commander of the Luftwaffe, orders the deadliest bombing Europe had seen in this war. For three days, Luftwaffe bombers bombard London with incendiary bombs, setting most of London aflame. Even St. Paul’s Cathedral is not spared.

October 28: An Unfortunate Enemy. A state of war begins between Italy and Greece. This is much to Germany’s displeasure, as Greece is a great trading partner and friend. Field Marshal Brauchitsch declares his possible role as an arbiter between the two sides. But, he soon finds the Italian Army unable to make any significant progress in its invasion.

October-November: A Pact Formed in Hell. Talks between German Foreign Minister Konstantin von Neurath and Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov occur. They result in the following agreements: First, the Wehrmacht is to withdraw from Finland. But, Molotov promises Finnish independence for the time being (which would be until Germany reaches economic dependence on the Soviet Union). Second, Germany is not to resist a treaty of alliance between the USSR and Bulgaria that would result in Soviet military bases in the latter nation. Third, the Soviet Union will be given the Middle East as a sphere of influence. Fourth, a new treaty will be established between Germany, the Soviet Union, Italy, and Bulgaria.

November 18: A New Europe. The Molotov-Neurath Treaty goes into effect. The European Alliance is formed by the Federal German Reich, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Kingdom of Italy, and the Kingdom of Bulgaria.

November 20: The Lion versus the Bear. The Soviet Union declares war on the United Kingdom and Her Empire.

November-December: The Sun Shall Set on the British Empire. The OKW meets with the Soviet General Staff to plan a successful invasion of the Middle East.

December 12: A New Theatre. Preparations are made for the USSR’s Operation Mars. First, Brauchitsch sends Foreign Minister Neurath to Tehran to negotiate the movement of Soviet troops through Iran and into Iraq. Second, Army Group A, commanded by General von Runstedt, is sent to Libya under escort by the Italian Navy. To provide further security, the Luftwaffe nearly blots Malta off of the face of the world. An Italo-German offensive into Egypt, labeled Operation Mercury (Unternehmen Merkur), is to occur in early spring at the same time as Mars.

Bomb Damage Malta

Malta's bombing, along with any British warships around the island, was needed to start Operation Mercury.

December-January: The First Month. Almost immediately after landing, the German Army finds itself in hell. The Italians failure of an invasion has been pushed back into Libya, and it seems as though a British counter-invasion is about to occur. One of the corps commanders, Field Marshal Erich von Manstein, is horrified by the lack of synchronized Italian weaponry. After his first inspection of his Italian and German defenses, von Manstein establishes a universal system of equipment, especially with regards to weapons. Many other German commanders throughout Libya would follow the Field Marshal’s example. Operation Compass is dropped by the British after noticing the recent presence of the Luftwaffe.

1941

January- Der Krieg von England. The Luftwaffe begins the new year by preparing for the Wehrmacht’s coming campaign. London, along with much of southeastern England, is bombed extensively with incendiaries. Pieces of the Regia Aeronautica aid in the bombing. In the Mediterranean, the Luftwaffe pounds Royal Navy bases such as Malta. British positions in Egypt are also bombarded by the German Air Force.

February 6: The Royal Navy skirmishes with the French Navy and the Kriegsmarine off the coast of France. Although the conflict was accidental, Philippe Pétain considers war against the British Empire.

February 14: President Brauchitsch meets with Chief Pétain in Vichy to discuss France’s possible role in the European Alliance. The German Field Marshal offers the prodigal French colonies and limited German occupation in exchange for attacks in the Mediterranean. The meeting concludes with little progress, although Pétain promises to think about the offer.

March 5: German, Italian, and Soviet military leaders assemble to establish the European War Council of the European Alliance in Vienna.

March 15: Soviet Chief of Staff Georgy Zhukov leaves his second office in Vienna unexpectedly and seemingly without cause. Later that day, a Soviet army arrives in Bulgaria to occupy their newly constructed bases.

April 18: Operation Mercury begins. Malta, after being heavily bombed, is taken by the Wehrmacht due to the cooperation of the Heer, Luftwaffe, and Kriegsmarine. Field Marshal Rundstedt launches two Italo-German offensives into Egypt from the EA base at Sidi Barrani. Paulus’ 6th Army spearheads an eastern attack towards Mersa Matruh while Graziani’s 10th thrusts southward, taking Mischeifa. Though the British Army stages a valiant defense, it cannot overcome the overwhelming number of German troops. Meanwhile, the Red Army launches Operation Mars. Marshal Semyon Timoshenko, with the backing of Joseph Stalin in Moscow and Chief of Staff Georgy Zhukov (who should be in Vienna but for some reason is missing), launches three attacks into the British-controlled Kingdom of Iraq. Marshal Voroshilov’s forces travel from Ahvaz in Persia and begin to attack British defenses at Al Basrah; from Mahabad, soldiers under Marshal Kulik attack Arbil; and, Marshal Budyonny’s Soviet troops move from Ilam and lay siege to Al Kut. On the other side of the Mediterranean, the Red Army under Georgy Zhukov invades Greece via recently established military bases in Bulgaria. By the end of the day, Greek Thrace is under Soviet and Bulgarian occupation while skirmishes occur in Macedonia. Greek battalions are withdrawn from the Albanian front.

April 20: Yugoslavia, a member of the European Alliance for the past few months, declares war on Greece. The Royal Yugoslav Army mobilizes. The Greek High Command begins to panic, knowing that the military cannot fight a three-front war.

April 27: Fuka is occupied by the Heer. Field Marshal von Rundstedt reportedly tells his staff that, “The battle we lost at the Channel will be won at the Canal.”

Gerd von Rundstedt

General Rundstedt would gain the title "German Pharaoh" for his management of the war in Egypt.

April 29-30: Due to the failings of the British Army to adequately defend against the Soviet invasion, Rashid Ali al-Gaylani and the Royal Iraqi Army stage a coup d'etat. The State of Iraq is later proclaimed by the Prime Minister.

April 30: Athens is occupied by the Soviet and Bulgarian onslaught. The Greek government relocates to Crete as EA forces push into Corinth and into Peloponnese.

May 3: Germany and Italy (along with the majority of the western members of the European Alliance) recognize Gaylani as the legitimate ruler of Iraq.

May 6-12: Timoshenko, upon orders from Joseph Stalin himself, ignores the change in government and continues the invasion. The Red Army engages both British and Iraqi soldiers.

May 8: Kurdish Iraq is completely occupied by the Red Army. Joseph Stalin hints that he wishes to establish an independent Kurdistan out of northern Iraq and western Turkey. Timoshenko then begins to plan for an invasion of the Republic of Turkey. However, the plan is postponed once Iraqi resistance becomes even higher than previously imagined.

May 9: All of mainland Greece is under the control of the European Alliance. Zhukov plans an invasion of Crete to remove the island’s threat to the war effort. The British defense at El Alamein collapses after a destructive German attack.

May 10-15: The rest of the British Army in Egypt and Iraq is relocated to the Suez Canal to defend against a coming German offensive.

May 12: Baghdad falls. Gaylani and the Royal Army move into western Iraq to halt the Soviet advance and (hopefully) meet a coming German advance into Palestine. Mohammad Amin al-Husayni, the leader of Palestinian nationalism, flees to Berlin.

May 14: President Brauchitsch denounces the Soviet Union’s actions. Stalin reminds the field marshal that Iraq is in the Soviet sphere of influence as found in the Molotov-Neurath Treaty of 1940. Across the Mediterranean, German soldiers take Alexandria after a short battle with the retreating British Army.

May 17-25: Small attacks are conducted by the Wehrmacht on British lines. From bases at Malta, the Luftwaffe attacks British trade and supply ships docking in Egypt.

May 23: The Red Army overwhelms the Royal Iraqi Army at Ar Rutba in western Iraq. The retreating Iraqis are given shelter in Syria where Prime Minister Gaylani promises revenge.

June 2-4: The Battle of the Nile is fought at Banha and Cairo. After several days of fighting, the British Army is crushed.

June 6: Upon hearing of the fall of Egypt, the State of France declares war on the United Kingdom. An urgent meeting is held between President Brauchitsch and Chief Pétain, resulting in the Treaty of Berlin. The Free Zone (the part of France governed in Vichy) is expanded into the regions of Burgundy, Anjou, and Champagne while the limited Army of the Armistice is disbanded and replaced with the new Grande Armée. France’s military commanders began to plot an invasion of Free France’s Equatorial Africa with assistance of other EA leaders.

June 7: The Republic of Turkey declares war on the United Kingdom, and the Federal German Reich and the Kingdom of Italy accept its entry into the European Alliance. Timoshenko’s invasion plans are scrapped.

June 10-16: The Turkish Armed Forces seize Greek-held islands in the Aegean while Cyprus is bombed by the Turkish Air Force. Meanwhile, French soldiers invade Palestine while the Heer moves through the Sinai Peninsula.

June 17: After a bloody invasion and a large battle, Crete is seized by the Soviet military. As a result, Joseph Stalin promotes Chief of Staff Zhukov to Marshal of the Soviet Union.

June 28: Jerusalem is captured by Field Marshal Rundstedt.

July 4: Prime Minister Churchill is removed from power. The new British Government offers to begin peace talks with the European Alliance.

July 5: A joint German, French and Spanish invasion force takes Gibraltar. Soon after, Spain joins the European Alliance.

July 18-27: British representatives meet with the leaders of the European Alliance in Vienna to discuss an end to the war. Both Brauchitsch and Stalin make it clear that the United Kingdom must make major concessions, especially in the Middle East. The meeting also resolved the territorial authority of France, which was partly occupied by the German and Italian militaries. The resulting Peace of Vienna officially overruled the decades-long Treaty of Versailles and created a new order in Europe. Previously British lands (Malta, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Egypt, Palestine, and Iraq) gained freedom from the Empire. The three British islands are annexed by the Mediterranean powers of the EA: Malta is transferred to Italy, Turkey annexes Cyprus, and Gibraltar is given to Fascist Spain. The Republic of Egypt is officially formed, with some of its land conceded to the Italian colony of Libya. The Arab State of Palestine is formed with Mohammad Amin al-Husayni as its leader. Iraq is a totally different case. Most of the European Alliance recognize the Guylani’s government as the legitimate one while the Soviet Union and Bulgaria recognize the newly formed Iraqi Social Republic and the People’s Republic of Kurdistan. Resolving the situation in Greece was next on the agenda. Greek Thrace and Greek Macedonia were ceded to Bulgaria, although a small portion of the former was given to Turkey. Epirus and Peloponnese are ceded to Italy, while the rest of Greece becomes the Soviet-influenced Republic of Greece. In France, the Wehrmacht is given five months to withdraw, with Alsace and Lorraine ceded to Germany. In the south, Italy withdraws from the French Alps but annexes the southern half of Savoy. And, with the signing of the Peace of Vienna, the European War comes to an end.

July 30: The plane carrying President Brauchitsch explodes and crashes in Bavaria with no survivors. Reinhard Heydrich, who gained the position of chancellor in 1940 after the coup, is declared President of the Federal German Reich. He resolves to crush the Soviet Union and Communism in general by the end of the decade. Meanwhile, coup launched by members of Zveno and Bulgarian Communists removes Tsar Boris III from power.

August 3: The German representatives in the European Alliance propose to radically change its structure, in order to strengthen an otherwise loose military treaty. The proposal is met with acceptance by many countries, including Italy and France.

August 7: After endless debates in the European Alliance over the treaty, the Soviet Union withdraws from it and severs relations with Germany. The Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Greece follow suit.

End of the war1941

After the end of the European War, Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East were split between the AEI (blue) and the OKF (red).


August 12: The Alliance for European Integration (AEI) is declared in Vienna. Immediate members are Germany, Italy, France, Spain, and Turkey. By the end of the next day, Yugoslavia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Hungary, Romania, Bohemia-Moravia, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden had joined the AEI.

August 13: In response, the Soviet Union forms the Universal Communist Federation (OKF), dissolving Comintern. The treaty for its creation is signed by Bulgaria, Greece, Kurdistan, and Iraq.

August 17: Palestine and Egypt join the AEI. Fearing a Soviet attack, Alliance military bases are established in Germany, Romania, Turkey, and Syria. Sweden and Yugoslavia take the first steps in modernizing their respective militaries.

August 18: President Heydrich re-establishes relations with the Republic of China. A trade agreement is reached, and Heydrich secretly promises German military cooperation and later, industrialization.

August 23: A combined German and French force departs from Europe, bound towards Indochina, surrounded by naval escort. It consists of the 15th and 21st Panzer Divisions (the so-called Asienkorps) under Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, whose efforts in Egypt and Palestine had been divisive towards the British defenders, and it also consists of the French 3rd Army. However, most of the French force disembarks in Africa to engage Free French forces. The 11th Infantry Division under Henri Dentz remains with the Asienkorps.

August 24: The international reaction to the large force is largely confused. Both President Heydrich and Chief Pétain announce that its only goal is to end the ongoing Franco-Thai War (which had not been mediated due to a lack of Franco-Japanese relations).

September 5-10: During a civil disobedience event in India, a British soldier fires his gun into a crowd, hitting a famous individual. The bullet mortally wounds Mohandas Gandhi. Outrage quickly spreads through India. Subhas Chandra Bose returns to India and quickly gains the support of the masses. The British authorities attempt to arrest him, but the Indian National Army, now a large and powerful force, defends Bose. He declares the independence of India and the formation of the National Republic of India; the War for Indian Independence begins. Germany and Italy begin to secretly fund and arm the INA.

September 14-20: The Asienkorps arrives in Indochina. The Cambodian Offensive begins, as German and French troops take the Thai military by surprise. The Royal Thai Army quickly begins to fall back.

September 21-28: Two Soviet armies, under Timoshenko’s command, invade India. They move with little resistance; only the harsh terrain slows the invaders. However, stiff resistance is encountered at Rawal-Prindi. After the three-day battle, the city is captured. Netaji Bose denounces the Soviet invasion. These are the first days of the Indo-Soviet War.

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