Poll

Please cast your votes

NATION: Maximum Brexit (GB)
9 (14.8%)
NATION: Sleeping Giant (USA)
6 (9.8%)
NATION: Flying Ferraris (ITALY)
10 (16.4%)
NATION: USSSSSSSSR (RUSSIA)
8 (13.1%)
NATION: Zero to Hero (JAPAN)
2 (3.3%)
NATION: Mirage de Baguette (FRANCE)
6 (9.8%)
GAMEPLAY: Let's play format (traditional)
9 (14.8%)
GAMEPLAY: Collaborative format (details TBD)
11 (18%)

Total Members Voted: 26

Voting closed: April 25, 2019, 04:30:47 pm

Author Topic: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]  (Read 51010 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Spoon

  • 212
  • ヾ(´︶`♡)ノ
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
And yes, I know that not having the Suez give you a shorter route is stupid. Personally, I would have split the Indian Ocean into two regions : Indian Ocean and South- East Africa, with the Suez linking to the Indian Ocean. This would have added a month to the circumnavigation route.

That said, Egypt is a moneybin in itself. Even if you disregard the tactical benefits, a 5-value province represents a major income increase.

It still doesn't compare to the 10-point province of Panama, of course. :p ;7
Are you hinting at obtaining control of Panama after a future war with America here?  :p
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 

Offline The E

  • He's Ebeneezer Goode
  • Global Moderator
  • 213
  • Nothing personal, just tech support.
    • Steam
    • Twitter
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
Spoiler:
he already did
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 

Online Enioch

  • 210
  • Alternative History Word Writer
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
And yes, I know that not having the Suez give you a shorter route is stupid. Personally, I would have split the Indian Ocean into two regions : Indian Ocean and South- East Africa, with the Suez linking to the Indian Ocean. This would have added a month to the circumnavigation route.

That said, Egypt is a moneybin in itself. Even if you disregard the tactical benefits, a 5-value province represents a major income increase.

It still doesn't compare to the 10-point province of Panama, of course. :p ;7
Are you hinting at obtaining control of Panama after a future war with America here?  :p

I have no idea what you're talking about.  :rolleyes: :nervous:
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline StarSlayer

  • 211
  • Men Kaeshi Do
    • Steam
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
Speaking of "VotD" can you access fleet logistics through the build/research trees?  I'd imagine if Regina Marina or the Kaiserliche und Königliche have aspirations outside of the Med they would especially need to invest in some logistics ships.
“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world”

 

Online Enioch

  • 210
  • Alternative History Word Writer
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
Not really. There are techs that increase the endurance and range of ships (mostly linked to the machinery tech subtree), but nothing that directly affects logistics forces

To my knowledge, there is no way you can project logistics support for your vessels into a region where you don't have the necessary base infrastructure (unless, of course you ally yourself with another Power, which enables you to use their harbours).
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline StarSlayer

  • 211
  • Men Kaeshi Do
    • Steam
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
Dear RtW2 Devs,

Gib ABSD-1 plz.



I have the honor to be.
 
Your obedient servant,

-Jno. Benson
“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world”

 

Online Enioch

  • 210
  • Alternative History Word Writer
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
Yes.

I mean this is something that strains my suspension of disbelief quite a bit. A large drydock is expensive and rare; which is, after all one of the reasons why the St-Nazaire raid was so devastating to the Germans.

In RTW, once you unlock a drydock level, it is available, everywhere in your  empire. If one of my Zahringens gets torped in the Indian Ocean and needs to spend a couple of months in drydock, it does not need to sail back to Germany - somehow I have a 52k ton drydock ready in Tanganyika!

I mean, OK, I've dropped more than 40 million Reichsmark on upgrading colonial harbour and dock facilities, but still....

Yeah, logistics (including floating drydocks) is something that I'd love to see in RTW in more detail.

(Frankly, though, I'm more excited for naval aviation; if they have to prioriise one of the two, I'd rather see a good implementation of carriers)
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline The E

  • He's Ebeneezer Goode
  • Global Moderator
  • 213
  • Nothing personal, just tech support.
    • Steam
    • Twitter
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
I do wonder though if the carriers are going to be as effective in killing Battleships as a concept as they were in real life. RTW revels in giving big gun boats the battles they never got to fight in real life (and the associated importance), I wonder if introducing carriers will undercut that.
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

  

Online Enioch

  • 210
  • Alternative History Word Writer

 


"Thus do we now and forever entrust this our ship with the memory of our great Reich. Let it be preserved in perpetuity, as a monument to the sacrifice and bravery of the sailors of the Kaiserliche Marine. Let the spirit of the birth of our great nation be enshrined here, for the generations to come to witness and be inspired by."

"With Iron and Blood have we forged Germany; and there is nothing that expresses this more than our fleet. Let us never forget; and if we do, let this proud ship forever remind us. Heil Deutschland!"

-Excerpt from the speech of Reichskanzler Johann Albrecht von Mecklenburg, for the opening of the Deutsches Marinemuseum, Wilhelmshaven




November 1918: And Italy approaches the Admiralität with a proposal for sale of their rather respectable 13-inch rifles.

The Admiralität actually considers it. The fact is that the Zähringens have proven to be an effective design and, with AON armour designs allowing for considerable weight savings in armour, it is conceivable that the new generation of super-Zähringens might be armed with 13-inchers for that extra heavy shotgun approach. And, if the Italian designs were just a bit better-performing, the Germans would have bit the bullet and gone for the deal. The problem is, however, that the deal, as proposed, would drain the Admiralität budgetary reserves by half, in a period where the Admiralität was running a 3-million-Reichsmark monthly deficit.

And that made the deal just a little too expensive for Tirpitz and Galster.





And, of course, German R & D is never idle. Shortly after the Neujahr, new ways to calculate weight distribution and bracing are introduced in German shipyards; and, following that, the new Mk. IV depth charges are issued to the Piepers. Like I said, it's precious seeing the Russians and the Japanese think they can effectively utilise submarines against the people who bloody invented submarine warfare.



Oh. Oh, Nicky. Oh, you shouldn't have.

This the Admiralität cannot pass by. Work on the Bismarck is frozen for a month, just to economise the funds necessary. After all, German Zerstörer are stuck using 4-inch guns, because of the inferior 5-inch designs Germany has to deal with. This upgrade will massively improve German light forces, not to mention the dramatic increase in effectiveness for capital ship secondary batteries.

It also underlines...interesting developments in Russia. Von Mecklenburg is concerned. The British mutiny / revolution is somehow...echoing in Russia; there is considerable unrest amongst the population. Socialist troublemakers are on the rise and the state's coffers are empty. Russia has to sell gun designs to keep her fleet maintained...



Oh God.

Oh-ho-ho-ho. Who needs 13-inch guns, when 12-inchers can now rip through 15 inches of belt armor at 8k yards?



Ahahahaha.

Forget the overland route via Balkans and Austria-Hungary. Germany now owns Gibraltar. Tankers are now a valid option for transporting oil from the Rhodes fields to the harbours of the Baltic; and Germany industry explodes.



Ahahahaha. 1919 and the Italians don't even have directors. No, Spaghettis.

After all, you don't need a navy anymore. Germany is here to maintain Ordnung in the Mare Germanicum. Go have some Pizza or Pasta or something.





FFFFFFfffffffffyyyyyesssss. Dat inclined armour, in particular. Oh mein Gott, das ist wunderbar.





Well, Scheisse.

Germany does not want war at this point. What she wants - what Mecklenburg wants, is to consolidate. By now, he is a tired, worn-out man, exhausted by almost twenty years of the Great Game. He wishes to impose peace, make sure that Germany can dig in, fortify herself and her new holdings; move her economy from a war- to a peace-footing. Deal with the internal socialist threat, even.

But the assassination of the Austrian Ambassador to Serajevo knocks all that out the window.

Emperor Franz Ferdinand is, understandably, livid, but he urges caution. There is potential Russian influence here, he thinks; and it is better to play safe than to rush into a potential war pell-mell. But it is important that Austria-Hungary demonstrates her willingness to pursue justice and to protect her citizens. Demands must be made.

Is Germany - the Power in Europe - willing to stand behind Austria in this matter?

Mecklenburg, sadly, confirms that they are.



Wait, what the ****?

OK, the Russians get prissy, but that's expected. It happens every time someone messes with 'their' Balkans. And the Italians...OK, Mecklenburg had no intelligence reports that might have implied that the Italians may have been involved, but they're, arguably, Balkan neighbours as well; it's understandable that they may wish to capitalise on the situation.

But what has put a bee in the bonnet of the F...?



Could the assassination have been a French-mandated operation?!

Mecklenburg immediately goes to high alert.



If so, this could not have been a more fortuitous timing. Welcome to the fleet, Wettin!





And all of this is, of course, very welcome...



Unffffff.....

Hello there, high-grade optics.



Yes, you bet your ass we want you on the Bismarck.



Well, crap.

In all honesty, the Admiralität are not surprised. The Hansas were a testbed for oil-fired boilers, after all; and it's not unreasonable to experience some teething problems. And 31 knots for a heavy cruiser of their caliber is not bad at all. Welcome to the fleet!



Krupp want to sell guns to the Austrians - primarily 4-, 5- and 6-inch field artillery conversions of the German naval guns. It would be folly to hinder them; Germany now lives and profits off her industry and Mecklenburg has always been a firm supporter of German industrialisation. Plus, Austria-Hungary is a close ally, with a less-than-optimal industrial base of her own. She must be kept supplied, to maintain her grip on the Serbian Beast.



Tensions climb, after the deal is struck; and Mecklenburg confirms that the French are being much too vocal for someone who has no stakes on the Balkans. There are rumours that they are currently working together with the Anglophile Greek Prime Minister, Venizelos, to undermine the position of the German-friendly King Constantine I; this is way too much involvement on the Balkans for Mecklenburg to feel comfortable. His Majesty, the Kaiser, is slowly gearing up his famous anger and gall; Mecklenburg is tearing out what little hair he has left.



But, for a brief few days in September 1919, all this is placed on the back burner. For Tirpitz and Galster, shortly before the former's formal retirement, decide to decommission and scrap the three surviving Victoria Louises: SMS Hertha, SMS Vineta and SMS Victoria Louise.



It is an emotional and sad moment for the Admiralität. These were old and obsolete ships, true; but they had served faithfully for almost twenty years; and they had safeguarded Germany in her darkest hours. Galster is devastated by the imminent scrapping of his old darling, Hertha; in an impulsive moment, he semi-jokingly proposes a public subscription, to preserve the Old Lady.

The response is staggering, and surpasses all expectations. Every officer, every rating, every engineer and dockhand, contribute something to the cause.

But it is an unexpected benefactor who comes to Hertha's aid. His Majesty, the Kaiser, finds out about the scrapping plans. He immediately jumps to action, in a very characteristic, impulsive manner. This time, however, his actions earn him the loyalty of the Kaiserliche Marine for life.

On the 15th of Semptember, His Majesty storms the Admiralität buildings, unannounced.

"By God," he cries, his ire truly something to behold, "by God, you shall not kill my Valkyrie when the Russians, the Italians and the bloody British failed to! "



What follows is a direct order: Hertha is to be spared the breakers. She will be kept in permanent mooring in Wilhelmshaven, maintained by public subscription and funding from the Palace, and she will, eventually, be made into the centrepiece of a new Marinemuseum, to celebrate Germany's sovereignty of the seas.



Let's be honest, the Old Lady is worth it. Her war record is more than impressive; and she is a symbol of the very finest in German naval history.



The decommissioning never takes place. Hertha is kept in active status; the opening of the new Marinemuseum officially takes place on the fourth of October. Let it never be said that Germans cannot move quickly, if the need arises!



...And then, back to the Balkans' hell-pit. Serbia is making angry noises towards both Austria, to the north, and Greece, to the south. Russia, France and Italy all support the Serbs, to varying degrees.



In response, Germany lays down her new superdreadnought.

The Elsass (whoooooo, if that ain't taking the piss at the French, I don't know what is) is a major improvement over everything the Bismarcks are. At 50.5k tons, she is as well armored as her predecessors, with a 17-inch belt and turrets, a 3-inch deck and an 18-inch conning tower; but her armor is inclined, for extra protection (German turtleback FTW!) She bears the same secondary battery as the Bismarcks (German engineers are not as familiar with the Russian 5-inchers as they would like, yet), but her main armament consists of 12 38cm SK L/45 rifles (this being the first time the German 15-inchers are fitted to a ship). The guns can elevate to 35 degrees; they are controlled by the new Improved German Directors; and the secondary battery is built to utilise a secondary director, for increased accuracy.

The Elsass burn oil and can comfortably reach the standard 25-knots of the German battleline. All-in-all, they're beasts, and the final (?) crystallisation of the Bismarck doctrine of 'moving to close range and blowing your ****ing face off, Frenchy'. Two ships are laid down: Elsass herself, and her sister-ship, Schwaben, the name selected to honour the old pre-dread veteran of the Russian and Italian wars.



Damn right.






FFfffffffff.....



FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.....

What the **** do the French care about the Germans putting down a revolution in Tanganyika? Look at the Italians - they don't give a **** (which immediately marks them to Mecklenburg as honestly concerned for the Balkan situation and not as plotting to backstab Germany). But the French, and the Russians (wtf?) and the British.....

Britain. What the hell?.

Mecklenburg begins to draft his first round of responses. He plans to bully Britain into submission (it has been only a year and a half since peace was signed), impose sanctions on Russia and test the waters with France, in order to avoid a war. But he never has the chance to.

On the 14th of December, 1919, his weakened constitution finally fails him. On the way to his office, he suffers a stroke and collapses on the stairs of the Reichstag. He is rushed to a hospital, but predictions are grim.

He still lingers on, until the 16th of February, phasing in and out of consciousness, and ranging from completely lucid to insensate. He is visited by Kaiser Wilhelm on his deathbed; it is never revealed what the two men talk about, but the Kaiser leaves near tears and secludes himself for several months, in mourning for whom he claims to have been "Our only true friend and the best and most loyal German of our time."

In the afternoon of the 16th of February 1920, von Mecklenburg dies of a stroke-induced heart attack, in his Schloss Wiligrad, in Lübstorf. He is only 62 years old.

In his eighteen years of service, von Mecklenburg has taken a promising, rising land power, and developed it into a colonial empire and sea Power to rival and surpass the British. In the best traditions of Bismarck, he has wielded German steel and blood like weapons of peace and war; and he has left his mark on German history.



The funeral procession for the 'Chancellor of the Seas' (Meereskanzler), as von Mecklenburg came to be known, took place on the 18th of February. His body was laid in state; and then, moved to the Doberan monastery, in Mecklenburg, where it was laid to rest with his first wife. His funerary monument is still visible and visitable today; many thousands of Germans pay their respects every year.



...**** you, Americans, we're mourning!




« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 10:05:14 am by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Online Enioch

  • 210
  • Alternative History Word Writer
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
...I HAVE NOTHING.

... :(

A short hiatus for a bit, while I try to power my way through the OTL inter-war period politics and find a worthy / likely successor to von Mecklenburg. If you have any suggestions for interesting events (or if some of you omake-writers wish to burn some of that well-deserved goodwill you have amassed with me to ask for something in particular), feel free to PM me.
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline StarSlayer

  • 211
  • Men Kaeshi Do
    • Steam
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
...and the world held its collective breath, for the mighty German Ship of State found itself without a pilot whilst navigating increasingly troubled waters.  Chancellors Bismarck and Mecklenburg had forged a blade of unparalleled keenness but without a leader with the Fingerspitzengefühl to wield it, their works could easily be unraveled.  In the wake of Mecklenburg's death those powers jealous of Germany's rapid ascent smelled blood in the water and readied to pounce if the Eagle appeared to falter...
« Last Edit: September 26, 2017, 05:02:41 pm by StarSlayer »
“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world”

 
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
Quote
I remember when I first visited Hertha at the new Marinemuseum. I was only 15 years old, and she had only been back home in Wilhelmshaven for four months.

In the galley, I could still smell faint scent of meat and bread. The ceilings still had a faint dusting of flour and sugar.
In the racks, I could still smell the sailors who had lived here for years after years. Some of them had left personal photos and notes stuck to the walls.
In the engine room, The odor of coal fires hung in the air and intoxicated me.

The stories of the sailors and officers I could feel in that ship stirred something in me. The way the staff of the museum stood in honor of Mecklenburg every morning on the deck of the ship, and the sheer presense that Hertha imposed over the harbor set me on a course in life that would change the essense of my being.

     -Nickolaus Kohler, Executive Officer of Light Cruiser Karlsruhe, from the introduction to his memoirs

 
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
The Netherlands de-mobilizes.

After the complete collapse of the UK government in the Ango-German war, The Netherlands has slowly started to reduce it's military readiness. The Netherlands has persued a policy of armed neutrality, fearing that a pacifistic stance would lead to them being invaded by either side because of their strategic and economic position.

Led by a liberal government under Cort van der Linden, the small country has weathered heavy storms and famine during the war. The low lands have recently undergone significant constitutional changes, replacing it's district voting system with a parliamentary system with equal representation, and it has allowed all men to vote and all women to be voted for. Laws allowing all women to vote are in the works, and are set to be put into law this year in time for the next election.

The Netherlands had to negotiate some very tough concessions with both sides during this war. Her politics initially favoured the German side due to the obvious economic ties, both argued for by the shipping companies in Rotterdam and the famous airplane inventor Fokker, but the German's focus on unrestricted submarine warfare has cooled relations considerably. Van der Linden has stated that he is hopeful that they can repair their relationship with the Germans, although it looks as if foreign politics will not be the primary focus of the Dutch government the coming years. Instead, Van Der Linden's government has recently passed the "Southern Sea Law", that allows dutch engineer Lely to conduct a massively ambitious project that involves turning the Netherlands' internal Southern Sea into an internal lake, putting an end to coastal flooding in large parts in the Netherlands by virtue of removing said coast entirely. Additionally, the building of the so called Afsluitdijk (Shutterdike) will allow a significant amount of land to be reclaimed. If any future war should break out, the Netherlands will have a lot of additional farmland that would help maintain it's independence.


Lely's plan. The Afsluitdijk will be built between the (soon-not-to-be) island of Wieringen and the dutch province of Friesland, which will allow further land reclamation projects in the Southern Sea (to be renamed Ijssel Lake)

 

Offline Buckshee Rounds

  • 29
  • Lord Defecator
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
Not really. There are techs that increase the endurance and range of ships (mostly linked to the machinery tech subtree), but nothing that directly affects logistics forces

To my knowledge, there is no way you can project logistics support for your vessels into a region where you don't have the necessary base infrastructure (unless, of course you ally yourself with another Power, which enables you to use their harbours).

Silly question perhaps, but - does this also affect the AI? I've noticed that on occasion the AI will send fleets into areas where they really ought not to be able to support them, sometimes for more than a couple of turns or so.

As an example - playing as Japan I have Formosa in SE Asia, which has a base capacity of 100 at game's start, which is fine but not great. Ze Germans on the other hand, have 3-5 holdings in SE Asia iirc, but their combined base capacity is <30. It bothers me that I have to pull ships back due to lack of base capacity, yet Ze Germans seem to be able to sail massive fleets there with impunity.

 

Online Enioch

  • 210
  • Alternative History Word Writer
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
Yes, this also affects the AI. If the Germans are sending massive fleets to SE Asia without having upgraded their bases there, they are suffering from maintenance and logistics troubles.
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Online Enioch

  • 210
  • Alternative History Word Writer


- PART 6 -
Endangered Legacy


Von Mecklenburg's funeral process in Berlin, prior to his interrement

With the death of His Excellency, a climate of uncertainty descended upon the Admiralität. The situation was not helped at all by my imminent retirement. The succession of command was assured: the reins of the Navy would pass to my good friend, Admiral Galster; and, from there, to the new generation of Staff Officers, such as Admirals Scheer, Hipper and von Görtz. But the political will that had stood behind us for two decades now, and had helped us forge our Navy from a minor fleet to a Power to threaten Britain was lost forever. And, in these uncertain times, with von Mecklenburg's guiding light extinguished, we all feared that His Majesty might not find the best course.

I wish to believe that the decision of General Hindenburg and myself to pursue a political career after our retirement from the Army and Navy, respectively, may have helped to ameliorate the circumstances. We did our best to remain true to His Excellency's memory and carry on his work - to encourage peace with France, who had been our steadfast ally. But we were always organisers and never truly diplomats, unfamiliar with the arena in which he had reigned supreme during his time. We were unprepared for the criminal - I maintain that it was criminal and yes, you may quote me, Sir, black and white, on paper - incompetence of his successor.

-Großadmiral v. Tirpitz, Excerpt from an Interview with Le Temps, 11 May 1927 Issue.

With the death of von Mecklenburg, the political landscape of Germany enters one of its most tense periods in modern history. The Kaiser is mourning, in the emotional, impulsive and passinate manner in which he does everything; and there are many (both inside and outside Germany) who seek to take advantage of this fact for their own ends. In the weeks after the Meereskanzler's death, three major players enter the political battlefield:


   

Left: Paul von Hindenburg, Centre: Franz von Papen, Right: Gustav Stresemann

The first is General Paul von Hindenburg, a veteran of the Russian wars and one of the most celebrated Army officers of 20th-century Germany. The battlefields of the Baltic provinces have molded him into a spartan, serious man, with a talent for multitasking and coordinating. He has, officially retired from the Army, but his influence is still felt in the upper echelons; he is neutral to friendly towards both Tirpitz and Galster; and he is a staunch centralist and conservative. He has often been accused that his loyalty lies with the central authority itself and not with the person of His Imperial Majesty; but those who know him know that his patriotism is beyond reproach.

Tirpitz, now entering military retirement himself, jockeys to support Hindenburg. With Galster still holding the reins to the Admiralität, the military is presenting a unified front, behind the heroes of the Russian and British wars, of Sea and Land. What they are lacking in is any experience in the political game. This was handled by Mecklenburg in the past; without his support, the military men are left without the diplomatic genius they need to move forward.

A second contender is Franz von Papen, backed by many prominent noble families. Like Hindenburg, he is a decorated veteran of the Russian wars, but unlike the General, von Papen does have minimal diplomatic experience, having been sent to Italy and then the USA for a short stint as an Ambassador's Aide. He is also known to the Kaiser, for his near-fanatical devotion to the Crown. He is almost religiously monarchist. In that, he reminds the military camp of von Bülow; however, whereas the Eel only acted in such a way as to ingratiate himself to Wilhelm, von Papen is an ardent believer. He is also very-well networked; well-enough that his appalling lack of skill in the international political game is overlooked thanks to his infuriatingly pleasant personality.

A final 'leg' for the German political trifectum is an (until then) little-known official and aide to von Mecklenburg: Gustav Stresemann. He is a small, sickly man who ardently desired to serve his country in the front, yet was rejected for health reasons. His talent, however, was recognised by von Mecklenburg; and he was invited to participate as a key trusted figure in the German Foreign Ministry. His political beliefs were, originally, worryingly liberalist; but his service with Mecklenburg has led him into a gradual but noticeable shift towards the monarchy.



It is, primarily, Hindenburg and Tirpitz who have the ear of the Kaiser at this time; and it is they who convice Wilhelm to end his self-imposed period of isolation, to put the teetering edifice of the German State back on its tracks. But their impassioned pleas with the Kaiser have an adverse effect: they are kept away from the Berlin political scene for almost two weeks. This is enough for the von Papen bloc to establish itself as a viable alternative to the Old Guard. Von Papen (or, indeed, his supporters, for he utterly lacks the skill to formulate a self-consistent plan and execute it effectively) pushes for a peace-based policy and polarises the Volk against what is perceived to be the Kriegesparteien.

Wilhelm, upon his return, finds himself between a rock and a hard place. He cannot afford to be shown to sideline the Old Guard, not after their meritorious service; but he also cannot ignore the strength of the von Papen bloc.

Hindenburg and Tirpitz believe that von Papen can be controlled; they agree to the formation of a compromise coalition government, with von Papen as Chancellor and Hindenburg as Head of the newly-established Reichswehrministerium. Wilhelm also insists on Stresemann being appointed head of the Auswärtiges Amt and proves unshakeable in this; many suspect that he is following Mecklenburg's deathbed desires.

Stresemann is not impressed; and seeks to warn both Hindenburg and the Kaiser that von Papen is not the easily-controlled pawn that they think he is, but is, in fact, a dangerous fool and open to many influences, internal and external. He fails in this, one of the most critical moments in his career. The new government is sworn in on the 5th of January 1920.



Meanwhile, Galster, now Grossadmiral and head of the Admiralität, tightens the reins and overlooks his domain like a hawk. Expenses are whittled down and fleet-wide gunnery training is re-established. The German sailors have rested enough. Soon enough they might be called to serve again.

The commissioning of the Prinz Adalbert into the Navy is very welcome.



No, 'Murica. **** off. Germany has no desire whatsoever to share her damcon technologies with other nations.



Yes.

Germany knows where progress lies. The U-Boote were instrumental in the last war, and they might prove to be again. They must not be allowed to become obsolete. These new torpedoes will help with this. 5k yards at 37 knots? Yes, please.





March arrives, and the situation is...volatile.

On the one hand, the Bismarcks and the Zähringens finish their reconstruction. They are all provided with the best new FC systems; Galster chooses not to upgrade the Zähringens' artillery yet. That would take almost eight months; and the political situation is...

Well, this is the bad news.

It has been two and a half months since von Papen has assumed the post of the Reichskanzler. In this short time, he has done an utter pig's breakfast of it.

It is a good thing that Stresemann is, officially, the Foreign Minister, for he manages to somewhat put out the flames. But von Papen (and his noble supporters) insist on working behind his back. In an attempt to imitate the Realpolitik sagas of Bismarck and Mecklenburg, von Papen becomes involved in several espionage and sabotage plots against France and Russia. Plots that are executed in the most amateurish and ham-fisted way possible, often behind the back of Stresemann, and often directly against the Reichskanzler's instructions to his Foreign Minister.

Surprisingly, it is the Kaiser who comes to the aid of poor Stresemann. He approaches the Old Guard, with a suggestion for a regatta and a naval gathering. It might help reduce international tensions. It might help defuse the situation with France. But the Ministry of Finance, under von Papen's control, drags their heels; and the situation is urgent. Perhaps the Admiralität...?

Galster meets with His Majesty, Hindenburg, Tirpitz (and Stresemann, who is, of course, included in the planning). Galster, having been brought up to date on the political situation, immediately agrees. The Navy will finance this. The Navy must finance this.



The Wilhelmshaven Review is a great success. Stresemann dances; and he succeeds in convincing British, Italian and Russian delegates that Germany has no intentions to rekindle old emnities. Peace is the order of the day.

Now, if only the Reichskanzler agreed....

The French are not convinced, at all. Two days before the regatta, a German-paid mole was apprehended in Brest, with several secret documents in his possession. One implicated von Papen himself, in a  plot to destroy the harbour infrastructure of the city. The French are suspicious: not so much of von Papen himself (because they cannot believe that someone would be stupid or clumsy enough to allow himself to be implicated in such a way) but of Germany in general.

Tensions stay up.



April. And, once again, news are mixed.

On the one hand, R & D provides Galster with the plans for massive 15-foot rangefinders. These things are absurdly big; and their stabilisation systems are as complex as they are. But they will greatly improve German gunnery and their installation on the Elsass and her sister is immediately planned and executed.

On the other hand...



Admiral Büchsel, the victor of Bornholm, the hero of the Russian wars, dies on the 7th, quietly, calmly, on his bed. He is the first of the Old Guard to go. And his death, after that of Mecklenburg, hits the Admiralität hard. Galster mourns for his friend and warrior brother; Tirpitz leads the Kriegesparteien on a three-day mourning period for the 'Hero of Bornholm'.

Büchsel may not have been as politically active as his fellows; but his contribution to the development of German naval power cannot be underestimated. Whereas Tirpitz was the father of the German battle-line, he was her teacher and guardian. It was his tactics and his strategy that shaped the German way of thinking in naval warfare - and he was the first German Admiral to lead Schlachtkreuzer into battle.



So, when this came to light, the Admiralität had very little patience for it. Neither had the Kaiser.



And then this. This infernal event.

On the 27th of May, the old, glorious Frauenlob is sailing north of Emden, with a training crew of young cadets and hands. At 14:25, an unidentified submarine is spotted on her portside; her captain immediately takes evasive action, but it's too late. A torpedo - a cowardly, treacherous strike - hits her on the bows.

There are three Zerstörer on station; and the submarine is driven off. The Frauenlob floods; but she has six veteran NCOs aboard, that have battlefield experience, two of which were once deckhands on the Moltke. They lead the trainees on a desperate fight to save the old darling. They succeed. Frauenlob barely reaches Emden; but she does, and when she does, Germany explodes. The Germans wanted peace. But others, apparently, did not; and they would strike treacherously, with a dagger in the back, instead of a proud sword.

No. This would not stand.

Stresemann, Hindenburg and Galster race to the Kaiser, going behind the back of von Papen who, like Bismarck of old, insists on being the sole point of access to the Kaiser for his Ministers. They explain to His Majesty, in no uncertain terms, that this is the time of caution. They beg for time, for a chance to investigate, to indentify the attackers, to, perhaps, seek out a diplomatic solution.

It is too late. Von Papen is moving backstage, with all the discretion and care of a bull in a china shop; and he is no Mecklenburg.



On the 29th of May 1920, ultimatums are exchanged. The German and French armies mobilise, along the border lines.

It has been twenty years of peace in the Kerneuropa. These twenty years have been Mecklenburg's life work. He has toiled and worked himself literally to death, to claw these twenty years from war's grasp; twenty years of building the future, pebble by bloody pebble.

It only takes von Papen five months to tear it all down. Less than half a year after von Mecklenburg's death, all that the Meereskanzler has built crumbles and falls into the chaos of war once more.


« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 10:04:52 am by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Online Enioch

  • 210
  • Alternative History Word Writer
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
ATEN'T DEAD.

JUST STARTING WORK ON MY ACTUAL JOB.

UPDATES WILL CONTINUE, DON'T WORRY.

THE_E, LOOK AT WHAT YOU"VE DONE. I HOPE YOU'RE PROUD OF YOURSELF, YOUNG MAN.
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline The E

  • He's Ebeneezer Goode
  • Global Moderator
  • 213
  • Nothing personal, just tech support.
    • Steam
    • Twitter
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
It's beautiful
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 

Online Enioch

  • 210
  • Alternative History Word Writer
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED.

For those who have no knowledge of the interwar German politics, von Papen is widely considered to be the man who allowed Hitler to rise to power, because he thought that he could keep the Austrian corporal under control (all the topkeks, only no topkeks, because that's tragic).

Just to make sure you understand what an utter imbecile the man was: he was a military attache in the US and he spent his time there trying to sabotage the Americans and the British. His plans included an invasion of Canada by an Irish-American and German-American 'cowboy' force; the arming of the Hindus in California as an anti-British force; the dynamiting of a Canadian Pacific Railroad Bridge; the sabotage of the Tampico Mexican Oil Fields (that, hilariously, also supplied the German Navy with oil). All this with an utter disregard for the very basic tenets of operational security. He personally forgot a briefcase full of secret documents on a New York tram.

You can't make this **** up.
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline StarSlayer

  • 211
  • Men Kaeshi Do
    • Steam
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
He is the Crystal Skull to the Kaiser's Temple of Doom.  The former makes the latter look brilliant in hindsight. :wakka:

Also
THE_E, LOOK AT WHAT YOU"VE DONE. I HOPE YOU'RE PROUD OF YOURSELF, YOUNG MAN.

Why is The_E responsible for this dummkopf getting the reigns?
“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world”