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Point of Divergence: Umberto I in World War I (1900 – 1914)
On 29 July 1900, the King of Italy Umberto I di Savoia manages to escape a murder attempt in Monza. OTL Killer, the anarchist Gaetano Bresci, is been delayed by a random police control and gets arrested.
Umberto I survives and continues to reign, faithfully adhering to the Triple Alliance with German Empire and Austria-Hungary, despite protests of Irredentists, not last his heir Vittorio Emanuele.
No secret agreements with France are signed in 1902. On the contrary, Umberto I supports Habsburgs' interests in Balkan Wars, and receives some aids from Germany, during Libyan War.
On 28 June 1914, following the murder of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum of 23 July, Wilhelm II strongly pressures on Franz Josef, requesting that Trento and Trieste be given to Italy, in exchange for military intervention in any case. Prime Minister Giovanni Giolitti and King Umberto I agree and promises to honour the pact.
On 29 July, Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia. Two days after, Russia starts the mobilization. The day after, Germany declares war on Russia. Umberto I forces the Parliament to enter war together with Central Powers
On 3 August, France declares on Germany, which attacks through Belgium, enacting the original Schlieffen Plan. The day after, the United Kingdom declares on Germany to protect Belgian neutrality, and Italy attacks France.
Chapter I: Triple Alliance wins against Triple Entente (1914)
Italian intervention enables larger maneuver for the Triple Alliance in the Mediterranean. the Austro-Hungarian and the Italian Navies join forces in Taranto with German Black Sea fleet (Goeben and Breslau). Under the command of the Duke of the Abruzzi, they check the British Mediterranean fleet near Cape Matapan and then move to repeal French fleet near Punta Stilo. Austrian and German U-Boot start raiding the Mediterranean.
Italian advance in the Alps is blocked by French with serious losses, while Germany defeats Belgium, wins the Battle of the Frontiers in the first half of August, and heads for Paris. By the end of August, General Luigi Cadorna pushes for the First Offensive towards Nizza (19 August), starting a long and bloody battle.
Lacking the troops employed on Italian front, French line of defense on the Marne collapses, while the German Sixth Army breaks out and enter Paris on 15 September. Then, von Moltke diverts German First Army to race to the sea and cut off the British Expedition Corps, while French troops are encircled in Verdun by an offensive from Alsace. The Battle of the Marne ends on 20 September with 600,000 Allied and 400,000 German casualties. French Army starts panicking and there are mutinies.
The Second Offensive on Nizza reveals a bloody defeat (14 September). In Italy the crowds protest against “German” war. Socialist politician Benito Mussolini is jailed for having called for war against the Central Powers, not on the Entente. On 23 September, some MAS lead by Gabriele d’Annunzio wreck two French battleships in the port of Toulon. The Italians conquest Nizza on 30 September, after three offensives and having lost 100,000 men, whereas Italian Alpini invade Savoy.
Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and France settle for a peace treaty. On 4 October, the Treaty of London is signed.
- Germany annexes Luxembourg and has Grand-Duke William IV of Luxembourg, to become King of Belgium, instead of Albert I.
- Italy annexes Savoy, Nizza, Corse, but it is refused what was promised by Austria-Hungary, i.e. Trento and Trieste.
- the United Kingdom keeps Gibraltar and Malta, as well as control of Suez Channel, but has to accept Boer Republic in South Africa and Egypt to become independent dominions.
- German renounces to Jiaozhou Bay in favour of Japan and to New Guinea and Samoa in favour of the United Kingdom.
- In Africa, Italy is given Tunisia, Fezzan, Gibuti and British Somaliland, while Germany is given Dahomey, French Congo and Walvis Bay.
In this way, the war on the Western Front ends. On the Eastern Front, Germany had already won against the Russians at Tannenberg and Warsaw, but Austria-Hungary was unable to comply with Serbian resistance, having lost at Cer and Kolubara.
Wilhelm II lures Bulgaria and Romania to the Central Powers’ side: on 15 October, Bulgarian and Romanian forces invade Serbia from east, joining the Austro-German invasion from the north. Two days later, Italy lands troops in Albania and Montenegro, on request of King Nikolaj, Italian heir’s father in law, to protect them. In the late October, Russian Army invades and occupies Moldavia, but Ottoman Empire joins the fight against Russia, blockading the Black Sea ports and preparing to invade the Caucasus.
By 3 November 1914, Treaty of Belgrade is signed: Serbia is annexed and divided among Bulgaria (Macedonia and Nis region) and Hungary (Central Serbia, Belgrade, Kosovo). Italy extends a protectorate on Montenegro (including Sandzak) and Albania (including West Macedonia and Metohija).
Now Russia, has to face the whole forces of Triple Alliance and its allies. In the Battle of Carpathians (25 November – 14 December), the joint attack of Hungarians, Italians, Bulgarians and Romanians destroy the Russian forces west of Dniestr, thanks to Italian Cavalry Corps, led by the Duke of Aosta taking over the flank and the rear of Russian Army.
Chapter II: the Fall of Russia (1915)
Ottoman Empire is defeated at Sarikumis in December 1914, but launches another offensive in April 1915. However, it is defeated again in June, in Georgia. At the same time it had begun the Armenian Genocide, intensifying it as the war worsens. About 1,000,000 Armenians are slaughtered, until March 1916, when German pressures force Ottoman Empire to cease the massacres.
On the Black Sea, Hungarian and Romanians forces lay siege to Odessa on 13 March: it will fall after 67 days. On 9 June an Italian expedition corps (Corpo di Spedizione Italiana in Russia) lead by General Armando Diaz lands near Sevastopol and besieges the city. On 15 July, Umberto I dies of old age, leaving the throne to his son Vittorio Emanuele III. Diaz is replaced by Pietro Badoglio on 1 August, Sevastopol falls on 16. By late September, all Crimea is conquered by Triple Alliance and its troops are advancing on Rostov.
In the central sector, Austrian Army, reinforced by German troops, resists the Offensive in the Carpathians in January and advances with spring, entering Lvov on 14 April and starting First Battle of Kiev on 15 June. On 28 September Kiev falls, after three unsuccessful battles, and General von Hötzendorf orders to head towards Carycin.
In the north, German Army, led by Moltke marches as a steamroll, crushing any resistance, thanks to its superior equipment and leadership, and conquering Warsaw (1 April), Brest-Litovsk (2 May), Vilnius (11 May), Riga (15 August), Minsk (27 September). On 3 August, anniversary of the begin of hostilities, Gabriele d’Annunzio, taking off from Königsberg, flies over Saint Petersburg dropping propaganda leaflets. In September, the Germans operate several air bombing raids on Saint Petersburg.
On 6 October, Russian revolutionary forces launch a series of uprisings in all Russia (October Revolution). Bolshevik leader Vladimir Ilic “Lenin” takes the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg and imprisonate the Tsar. Perm, Ekaterinburg, Samara, Kuybishev, Rostov and Dnepropetrovsk falls to Bolsheviks, while Tula, Novgorod, Tver, Niznij Novgorod, Kazan and Moscow are taken over by Mensheviks, and a provisionary government led by Alexander Kerensky is proclaimed on 12 October.
Bolsheviks grew consensus when Kerensky decides to continue the war and launches an offensive on 5 November, trying to detach the German and the Austrian Army, near Vitebsk, but Russian forces, due to desertions from Cossacks scout units, get trapped and encircled in the Swamp of Pripjat, with vicious losses (25 November). Lenin flanks Kerensky government and they agree together to a peace with Germany and its allies.
The Treaty of Smolensk is signed on 30 November.
- Austria-Hungary annexes all Ukraine until the river Dnepr.
- Ottoman Empire annexes Crimea and Transcaucasia (Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan).
- Romania annexes Bessarabia, Bukovina and Budjak.
- The Kingdom of Poland, with capital Warsaw, is proclaimed under the rule of Stefan Karol von Habsburg.
- The Kingdom of Ostland is made from Lithuania and Latvia with capital Riga, under the rule of Kaiser’s brother Heinrich von Hohenzollern.
- The Kingdom of Belarus is established with capital Minsk under the rule of under the rule of Russian émigré and German noble, Charles Michael of Mecklenburg Schwerin.
- Triple Alliance and their allies recognize the new Union of Socialist Democratic Republics (USDR).
Italy had asked for the Crimea, but since it is given to Turkey, its ambassadors forsake the congress and receive nothing. Public opinion in Italy speaks of “maimed victory”. Italian soldiers get in touch with Socialist and Bolshevist ideas and come home in Spring 1916, reflecting about the Revolution.
Chapter III: Europe towards peace (1916 – 1917)
After the Treaty of Smolensk, the Ottoman Empire relocates thousands of Turks in Transcaucasia and starts ethnic cleansing of indigenous Armenians and Georgians. Azeris are regarded as “Turkish brothers” and enjoy good treatment and autonomies, as well as Crimean Tatars. There is a consistent exodus of Greeks and Russians from Crimea. Then pogroms start all over the Empire against Greeks: many are killed and much more forced to flee in Greece, which issues strong protests and gives an ultimatum to Turkey on 25 February.
Ottoman Empire invades Greece (8 March), soon joined by Bulgaria (11 March). Greece defends well but it is overwhelmed. The Battle of Skiros (22 March) opens the way to Ottoman landing in Eubea, whereas Thessalonike falls to Bulgarian troops on 3 April. One week later, Italy enters war to protect Greece. While Italian reinforcements start arriving in Patras and Athens ports. Ottoman General Mustafa Kemal strikes from Eubea, across Beotia and Focis, cutting Greece in a half and defeating Greeks at Delphi (15 April). On 22 April general Pietro Badoglio launches an offensive from Albania through the Pindus, disrupting Bulgarian advances, despite the poor quality of Albanian troops. The Italian fleets destroys the Ottoman Navy in the Battle of Aegean (26 April) and violates the Dardanelli, bombing Istanbul (30 April). Mustafa Kemal is cut off in continental Greece, while Italians prepares to land near Smyrnai.
Vittorio Emanuele III offers peace to Ottoman Empire, and the Treaty of Rome is signed on 8 May.
- Greece becomes a joined British-Italian protectorate.
- Ottoman Empire annexes Greek Thrace.
- Cyprus is handed to Greece, but it maintains British military bases.
- Bulgaria annexes Greek Macedonia, including Thessalonike.
- Albania is expanded to Chamuria, while a Principality of Pindus is created in Northern Greece as an Italian protectorate.
- Italy annexes Ionian Islands and Dodecanisos and occupies Crete and Aegean Islands.
- Georgia is established as an independent state.
In Bloody Easter 1915, Ireland revolts. Irish Republican Army sets guerrilla warfare in all islands. In the summer, Indians revolt in Amritsar and Lahore. Germany strongly supports IRA with money, equipment and specialized personnel. A ambush to British troops near Belfast (Christmas 1916) is the final drop, stirring concern in England and causing British government to recognise Free Irish Republic all over the island on 17 March 1917.
For all 1916, the Russian Civil War rages, while the Central Powers consolidate their conquests. On 21 November, Franz Josef dies of old age. His heir, Karl I ascends the throne. He recognises the independence of Ukraine, apart from Volhynia and Podolia (including Odessa). On the 10 December he passes a law to transform the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the United States of Central Europe (Vereinigte Staaten von Mitteleuropa, VSM), a federation of ethnic states, as to lighten conflicts and give more stability to the Empire.
The 20 States are: German Bohemia (Germans), German Moravia (Germans), Czech Lands (Czechs), German Austria (Germans), Trentino (Italians), Trieste (Italians), Croatia (Croats), Carniola (Slovenians), Hungary, Slovakia (Slovaks), West Galicia (Poles), East Galicia (Ruthenians), Volhynia (Ukrainians), Podolia (Ukrainians), Transylvania (Romanians), Seklerland (Szekely), Vojvodina (Hungarians), Serbia (Serbians), Bosnia (Bosniaks), Siebenburgen (Germans).
On 16 June 1917, Germany and the Mitteleuropa found the European League (Europaïsche Bund), together with Finland, Ireland, Belgium, Ostland, Poland, Belarus, Romania, Bulgaria, Sweden.
On 23 July 1917, France and the United Kingdom answers setting up the Atlantic Alliance, including Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain.
Chapter IV: the Russian slaughterhouse (1916-1917)
Starting from half November 1915, Cossacks desert and revolt to protect their homelands in Southern Russia. They charges over frozen Don and repulse back Austro-Hungarians and Romanians in the Battle of Zaporozh (24 November). Tsarist General Denikin forms a White Army of loyalists and cossacks in Carycin to combat both invaders and revolutionaries. On 25 December, Lenin and Kerensky call for an agreement of revolutionary forces to fight against reactionary forces. Russian Civil War has begun.
In January 1916, Nestor Makhno rebels in Ukraine, leading the Anarchic Black Army against both Russians and Austro-Hungarians. In the Volga region, major peasant uprisings form the Green Army and fight for self-defense. In February, in Siberia, Admiral Kolchak forms a White Army composed by Siberian autonomists and loyalists and defeats the weaker revolutionary forces in the region, marching south to get control of Transiberian Railway.
In Russia, Lenin accuses Kerensky for favouring the revolts and calls for a more socialist state. On 18 February, Bolsheviks revolt and eliminate Mensheviks, taking over the State (February Revolution). The Tsar is imprisoned in Ekaterinburg, whereas Rasputin is able to save Princess Anastasija, crossing the Ostland border and calling for German help. Kerensky and his government, as well as Menshevik leaders are shot, after a mock trial. On 22 February, Trotsky is given the task to reorganize Red Army.
On 1 March, the USDR is renamed as USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). The Red Terror begins, slaughtering thousands of “enemies of the people” and deporting others in gulags. General Judenich became the protector of Princess Anastasija, after Rasputin is murdered in Riga through a plot by White émigrés (13 March). He organizes a White Army of émigrés and Polish, Baltic and German volunteers and invades USSR. General Denikin allies with the Cossacks of Don, Kuban and Volga and strikes against Black, Red and Green Army. General Kolchak cuts the supply lines to Far East. Ungern von Sternberg and Gregory Semenov rebels to USSR in Mongolia.
The situation worsens: as Kolchak nears to Urals, the Tsar is shot by Bolsheviks with his family (8 April), causing the intervention of foreign powers. On 17 April the United Kingdom blockades Murmansk and Arkhangelsk. Finland declares its independence (19 April) and starts heimosodat wars, under the command of General Mannerheim. Estonia declares independence and joins Finland on 2 May, whereas Finnish troops invade Karelia and Ingria. The Regent of Russian Empire, Nicholas Romanov, recognize Finnish independence, and asks Yudenich to collaborate with them to lay siege to St Petersburg.
In the meanwhile, Georgia had rebelled against Ottoman Empire, Georgian and Russian exiles entered the country. After the Treaty of Rome, Josif Vissarionovic Djugashvili “Stalin” takes the power and founds the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia on 15 May, federating it to the USSR.
In May, Denikin peacifies the lower Volga, but he gets defeated by Ukrainians near Kharkov (20 May). French, Canadian and British forces land in Murmanks (18 May) and Arkhangelsk (25 May). In Finland Reds rebel against the Whites: Civil War. Carycin falls to Denikin on 31 May. On 4 June, Japan invades the Far East, laying siege to Vladivostok. They support Semenov and Ungern Khan with money and arms. Ungern Khan conquests Irkutsk on 21 June and moves northwards. Admiral Kolchak conquests Perm and Ekaterinburg in the late June, starting the White Terror against Bolsheviks. In July the siege of St Petersburg begins.
In August, Trotksy’s Red Army becomes fully organized and operative: General Vatsetsis defeats Kolchak near Samara (9 August) and pushes him back on the Urals. The Soviet cavalry, led by Budenny, tries to free St Petersburg, but it is destroyed by German artillery on 30 August. In September, Denikin recognises Black Army and ensures the stability of Caucasian region, except for Georgia which claims independence and detaches from USSR (18 September), allying instead to Ottoman Empire. Josef Stalin fortifies the mountain borders and starts repressing Ossets and Abkhazians.
General Mannerheim ends Finnish Civil War and cuts down on Communists. Finland annexes Karelia, Kola (except for Murmansk), Estonia and Ingria, proclaiming as a Kingdom with Prince Frederick von Hessen as King with the name of Väinö I (30 September). Red Army attacks Kolchak in the Urals and disperses his army (3 October). He is captured, put on trial and shot. Trotsky suppresses the Green armies and restore Soviet sovereignty on great part of European Russia.
Following Finland’s example, Ukraine declares its independence on 13 October, the Black Guard is now free on the eastern side and can attack and push back Austro-Hungarian armies to Podolia and Volhynia. Siberian Independentists leaded by Viktor Pepelyayev declares the independence of Siberia (25 October), profiting by Kolchak’s defeat. The Far East Republic declares his independence under Japanese protectorate and with Gregory Semenov as a leader (3 November). The US Army lands in Anadyr and Petropavlovsk and ensure Chukchi and Kamchatka as a territory of United States of America (17 November).
In December, civil war explodes in Ukraina among Anarchists and Nationalists. On 21 December, Sun Solstice, Ungern Khan declares the independence of Mongolic Khanate. In the Battle of Christmas (6 January 1917), St Petersburg surrenders, after having lost half of his population in a six-month siege, to General Yudenich. On 18 January, Princess Anastasia is crowned Tsarina of Russia in Saint Petersburg. In February, Denikin helps the Nationalist to defeat Black Guards. March sees a series of clashes between Red Army and the joint armies of Ukraine and Denikin between Orel and Kuybishev.
In April, the Spring Offensive begins, with five White Armies marching on Soviets. On 29 April, Trotsky defeats Siberian Army near Kazan, but he is cut off and assaulted on the flank by Denikin on 12 May. In the Battle of the Volga, Trotsky is finally crushed by superior number and fresh troops on 25 May. In the meanwhile, Ungern Khan conquests Turkestan with his Mongolian Army, crushing Basmachi Revolt. On 30 May, Yudenich enters Tver. The last Red offensive is repulsed by Ukrainians and Belarusians near to Smolensk. On 22 June, Moscow is laid siege on, the population rebel against the Bolsheviks. The city is taken on 4 July. Lenin and other Bolshevik leaders are all shot, except for Trotsky that flees to Georgia.
On 20 July, the Tsarine Anastasia I signs the Peace of Moscow:
- The Kingdom of Siberia (leaded by Michael Romanov), the Ukrainian National Republic and the Great Khanate of Central Asia (leaded by Ungern Khan and spanning from Caspian to Amur) are independent “dominions” federated to Russian Empire.
- Russian Empire renounces to rights over the Kingdom of Finland, Far Eastern Republic, the US Territory of Chukchi and Kamchatka and the SSR of Georgia.
Chapter V: Rising of Italian Empire (1917 – 1936)
Italy’s casualties amounted to 150,000 in France, 20,000 in the Balkans, 50,000 in Crimea, 25,000 in the Mediterranean and 30,000 in Greece, up to 225,000 dead and 500,000 wounded. War Hero Gabriele D’Annunzio appeals to deluded Nationalists for the “maimed victory”, whereas Socialist leader Benito Mussolini, free after the general amnesty of July 1915, lead the protest of the soldiers who have fall into poverty. On 23 March 1917, Mussolini founds the Fasci Italiani Socialisti di Combattimento. In April, D’Annunzio conquests the State of Trieste, with a force composed by adventurers, soldiers and patriots, where he establish the Free Regency of Carsus, an aestheticist corporativist city-state. Italian Prime Minister Giovanni Giolitti tries to negotiate with Mitteleuropa.
In September, Austrians and Slovenians invade Trieste, ousting D’Annunzio, after harsh fighting. Mussolini protests and founds the Partito Nazionale Fascista (28 October 1917). Socialists breaks out dividing between Fascists and Communists. The country is devastated by opposite squadrism, whereas economical crisis mounts. Giolitti manages to achieve a referendum in the State of Trieste. Mismanagements in elections, masterminded by irredentist leader Cesare Battisti and Mussolini, cause Trieste to vote for leaving Mitteleuropa and joining Italy (24 May 1918). The Imperator Karl I von Habsburg retires the ambassador from Rome. Cold war between Mitteleuropa and Italy.
PNF scores well in the elections of 1918, as well as newly founded PCI (Partito Comunista Italiano). After hard clashes in Parma and Ravenna, Mussolini decides to coup and marches on Rome. Vittorio Emanuele III orders not to stop him, and welcomes him as new Prime Minister (12 September 1918). The Mussolini Government, composed by Nationalists, Populists, Fascists and Conservatives, realizes the Reform of Instruction by Giovanni Gentile, fortifies the eastern border and votes laws in favour of ex-combatants. Sandzak is ceded to Serbia, and better relationships with Mitteleuropa are achieved. In 1920 an electoral law is voted to give 25% seats as majority premium. In April 1921 the elections are a success for PNF, thanks to various intimidation tactics. Giacomo Matteotti denounces this, but he is kidnapped and murdered by Fascists.
Following the Aventine Secession, Mussolini coups and declare Fascist dictatorship on 3 January 1922. Strikes and lockouts and labour unions are prohibited in favour of a socialist corporative state, death penalty and Special Courts are instated, civil and political freedoms are curtailed, political parties are banned and Secret Police OVRA is created. In late ‘20s, Italians eliminate any resistance in Eritrea, Somalia and Libya. Italy co-operates with Egypt (Treaty of the Cairo, 1926), buying oil and offering protection from Ottoman Empire. In 1927 a five-year and a ten-year program of arming are implemented. In February 1929, the Lateran Treaties establish peace between Italy and the Holy See. The Great Depression affects Italy, pushing Mussolini to bent more on Socialism than Capitalism, and to follow autarchical policies. In 1930, Montenegro and Albania are annexed to Italy.
On 4 August 1935, Ioannis Metaxas takes the power in Greece, establishing a Fascist regime, with Italian consensus. Greece becomes independent of Italian protectorates, but Italian military bases remain to ensure protection from Turkey.
On 3 October 1935, Italy invades Abyssinia. General Pietro Badoglio conquers it easily, although using gas and causing concern among international opinion. On 5 May 1936, Vittorio Emanuele III is proclaimed Emperor of New Roman Empire.
Chapter VI: Western Europe in Blackshirt (1918 - 1937)
France was badly defeated again, like in 1871. It has lost 550,000 men on the Western Front, 10,000 in Africa and other 60,000 against Italy, for a total of 620,000 men and many territories. In 1919 elections in France see a parliament divided among Socialists and Revanschists. Major tensions explode and clashes take place. On 28 December 1919, the Second Commune is proclaimed in Paris. Socialist revolution breaks in all France. The Libre Corps fight back, aided by Mussolini’s Italy. Paris is reconquered on 20 August 1920. Leon Blum and other socialist leaders are executed in the White Terror. The Action Français leads a far right-wing coalition to the victory. The Third Republic ends and a new Kingdom of France is proclaimed, with legitimist claimant Jacques I de Bourbon on the throne. Laws on laicity are abolished and Catholicism is newly the State religion. An integrist economy, based on Rerum Novarum, is implemented. In 1921, rearming begins against “heretic Lutheran Prussia”, starting the construction of majestic Charlemagne Line along the Belgian and German border. The Great Depression fails to cause too damage. In 1931, Alphonse I of Bourbon is the new King.
After Irish independence, Great Britain is in deep economical and political crisis. War casualties sum up to 375,000 men (10,000 in Ireland, 15,000 in Africa, 200,000 in France, 150,000 in India). Labour unions are increasingly strong, favouring socialism. Oswald Mosley founds British Fascist Party in 1918, receiving financial aid from Italy. During the ‘20s, GB enforces the control on colonies and the relationships with dominions, except for filo-Italian Egypt and filo-German Boer Republic, while coping with increasing social clashes among the working classes. In 1929, the Great Depression hits GB harder than any European country. Workers riots explodes in all major cities.
The Atlantic League is cancelled. Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands form the North Sea Pact. In 1930 George V abdicates on his son Edward VIII, which sympathises for Germany. Winston Churchill is made Prime Minister and tries to ensure stability, cracking down on workers. Mosley’s BFP, through its support of class collaboration and social reforms gets relative majority at elections and forms an alliance with Churchill, setting an authoritarian, though constitutional, Fascist-Conservative coalition government in 1931.
Spain is occupied in the Rif War, losing it, since French cannot aid, due to internal revolution. The crisis explodes in Spain, too, leading to Miguel Primo de Rivera’s dictatorship in 1923. After the Great Depression, the regime falls (1930), and political crisis heightens. The next year, King Alfonso XIII flees, while Second Spanish Republic is declared.
In 1932, the Axis Rome-Paris-London Pact is signed by Italian Duce Benito Mussolini, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and French King Charles XI of Bourbon (10 May). They agree to prepare a joint rearming program in order to contrast European League. On 29 August, the Steel Pact is formed by the Axis and the countries of Australia, Boer Republic, Canada, Egypt, Greece, New Zealand.
Portugal had come under the dictatorship of Sidonio Pais in 1918, then General Almeyda had established a conservative government in 1920. In 1933, Antonio Oliveira de Salazar takes the power in Portugal and establishes the Estado Novo. He joins the Steel Pact. In 1934, political and social crisis causes the miners of Asturia to rise up forming Anarchist and Communist organizations. At Spanish Republic orders, General Franco repress them violently. Wal Wal incident between Abyssinia and Italia.
In 1936, in Spain the Popular Front wins the elections. The Army revolts with the Alzamiento, starting Spanish Civil War (18 July). Many are massacred for religious or political reasons on both sides. The forces of the Steel Pact invade Spain. French Army crushes any resistances in Catalonia and Basque Country, Italian Navy blockades and lands in all Mediterranean ports, as do British in the Atlantic. Portuguese troops invade western Spain. On 29 September, the King of France dies, and the General States refuse to accept as successor Alphonse II (already XIII of Spain). Louis Napoleon Bonaparte is elected by the National Assembly, Emperor of France as Napoleon IV. In 1937, after Mola’s death, Franco is made Caudillo of the new Kingdom of Spain. Alfonso XIII is crowned again in Madrid. Spain enters the Steel Pact.
Chapter VIII: the rule of the Tsarina (1917 – 1937)
Russian Empire emerges from the Great War, the Revolution and the Civil War as a backward and destroyed rumpstate. Three million soldiers and 7 millions civilians had died, while most of European Russia had been a continuous battlefield. Regent Nicholas I chooses General Yudenich as Prime Minister. Due to high number of Jewish Bolsheviks the fault of the Revolution is attributed to Jews. The government begins to persecute and massacre them. In 1918, several pogroms kill about 600,000 Jews and cause others to flee in European Alliance countries. Economical crisis begins. In 1920, the King of Siberia and Regent of Empire Nicholas forces Yudenich to resign and install General Denikin as Prime Minister.
Ex-Bolshevik leader of Georgia, Josef Stalin, looks for friendly relationships with Russian Empire, and hands Trotsky to Denikin. He starts heavily militarising and industrialising Georgia, building refineries for Ottoman oil and heavy factories.
A Pacific Non Aggression Pact among Russia, Japan and US is signed in 1921. In 1922, Anastasia reaches majority of age. Several proposal of marriage are considered. The mostly agrarian economy of Russia slowly rises again during the ‘20s, while four great industrial complexes are rebuilt in the Ural area, in the Volga area, in the Donbass (Ukraine) and in Omsk-Novosibirsk (Siberia). Prudent social reforms are made to avoid new revolutions. General Kornilov reforms the Armed Forces, imitating part of Trotksy’s organization, and calling them the White Army.
Ungern Khan invades China, profiting by the Warlords period and annexes Inner Mongolia and Eastern Turkestan (1924-1926), heading to the Tibet. In 1927, Ungern Khan, after having conquered Eastern Khams and Amdo, reaches Lhasa, where on Winter Solstice, he is received by Dalai Lama and proclaimed Emperor of Tibet and Mongolia. In 1928, Ungern Khan proclaims Lamaist Buddhism as the state religion his Empire, causing the Muslim Turkestan to revolt. Kornilov leads his troops against Ungern Khan, supported by Siberians and Turks.
Tsarine Anastasja resolve the crisis, separating Mongolia and Tibet under Ungern Khan’s control from Turkestan, under Russian control. In 1930, Louis Ferdinand, grandson of Wilhelm II, marries Tsarine Anastasja, initiating an alliance between Russia and Germany. In 1931, Russian Empire becomes a federation on the model of Bismarck’s Germany, including Russia as a main state and then Ukraine, Idel-Ural, Northern Caucasus, Siberia, Mongolia & Tibet, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uyghurstan. In November 1933, General Kornilov leads a Russian Army in Afghanistan, supporting Zahir Shah as a King. In 1934, Afghanistan joins Russian Empire, opening a crisis with the British Empire, which tightens the control on Persia.
- German Empire (TAH)
- United States of Central Europe (TAH)
- Kingdom of Belarus (TAH)
- Kingdom of Belgium (TAH)
- Kingdom of Bulgaria (TAH)
- Kingdom of Finland (TAH)
- Kingdom of Ireland (TAH)
- Kingdom of Ostland (TAH)
- Kingdom of Poland (TAH)
- Kingdom of Romania (TAH)
- Kingdom of Sweden (TAH)
Pact of Steel
- Italy (TAH)
- United Kingdom (TAH)
- France (TAH)
- Spanish State (TAH)
- Portugal (TAH)
- Greece (TAH)
- Kingdom of Egypt (TAH)
- Boer Republic (TAH)
- Dominion of Australia (TAH)
- Dominion of Canada (TAH)
- Dominion of New Zealand (TAH)