1905: A World on the Brink IC/Sign-up

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The Manticoran Empire
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Founded: Aug 21, 2015

1905: A World on the Brink IC/Sign-up

Postby The Manticoran Empire » Sat Dec 09, 2023 5:51 pm

It is the dawn of a New Century. As the 20th Century begins, nations young and old face both old enemies and new foes. In Europe, the competition of colonial empires has created a powder keg that may, at any moment, explode into open war. Young nations in the Balkans and the Aegean seek to expand their power, territory, and influence at the expense of their neighbors. In the factories and universities, new ideas are spread. Subject peoples across Europe’s Empires clamor for statehood while day laborers are intrigued by the writings of Marx and Engels.

How might this new century be shaped? Which nations will weather the storm? And which will be consigned to the dustbin of history, remembered only as lessons for future generations to gawk at?

Major Events:
American Civil War occurring
Franco-Prussian War occurring
Unification of Italy
Unification of Germany
Austro-Prussian War
Boer War
Boxer Rebellion
1st Sino-Japanese War
Russo-Turkish War

The Council:

Chairman/OP: The Manticoran Empire
Co-OPs: Chewion


    1. DO NOT GODMOD! No, but seriously, don’t Godmod, it makes the RP terrible.
    2. The decisions of the Council are final. You will have an opportunity to argue your case but once a decision is made, no further argument will be tolerated.
    3. Abide by NS rules and terms of service, obviously.
    4. Do not mix IC and OOC problems, and please keep it courteous in the OOC and IC.
    5. If you have an issue with another player, please ask the OP or Co-OP to moderate it.
    6. Please coordinate with other players if you want to jointly write a post/negotiate deals.
    7. Posts must be at least two paragraphs long and of good quality.
    8. Be respectful.
    9. Histories can be changed beginning from 1 January 1855 until 31 December 1904. Any changes outside of that period will be considered off limits. Note that historical changes that impact more than one nation will require the cooperation of other impacted players (if applicable). Furthermore, history changes must include a justification. If you are unable to at least explain how and why the change occurs, it will not be accepted. Simply saying, “X person doesn’t get elected” or “Y event doesn’t happen” will not be accepted. Changes to major events will be subjected to increased scrutiny.
    10. Posts can cover a span of up to three months. Each three-month period starts following an IEC post except for the first period. The start date is January 1st, 1905
    11. Players must make at least one post a week, meaning at least every seven days from each post. Extensions may be granted by the OP and Co-OPs on a case-by-case basis.
    12. Any changes to the irl military must be laid out in the military information section, otherwise, the numbers etc will be assumed to be the same as irl.
    13. Join the Discord server. Negotiations, cooperative writing, and generally OOC discussion will largely occur on the Discord.


The IEC (International Entity Council) is composed of the OP, Co-OPs, and anyone else accepted into it. The IEC is responsible for making the IEC post that includes multiple events and members can serve as an NPC nation in conferences so long as they do not have a direct interest in the negotiations.
Last edited by The Manticoran Empire on Sat Dec 16, 2023 5:57 pm, edited 3 times in total.
For: Israel, Palestine, Kurdistan, American Nationalism, American citizens of Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, and US Virgin Islands receiving a congressional vote and being allowed to vote for president, military, veterans before refugees, guns, pro choice, LGBT marriage, plural marriage, US Constitution, World Peace, Global Unity.

Against: Communism, Socialism, Fascism, Liberalism, Theocracy, Corporatocracy.

By the Blood of our Fathers, By the Blood of our Sons, we fight, we die, we sacrifice for the Good of the Empire.

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Founded: Mar 26, 2022
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Shohun » Sun Dec 10, 2023 10:41 pm

Yıldız Palace
Constantinople, The Ottoman Empire
January 1, 1905

As the morning sun rose after a traditional New Year's Eve celebration in the Empire, business was back to usual in the palace. Sultan Abdul Hamid II flipped through intelligence reports from the Yıldız Intelligence Agency while he sipped on a cup of hot tea from the balcony of his palace. As he stared out onto the palace grounds, he considered the state of the Empire. He wasn't a fool. The empire was in decline, and he knew it. If he was going to unite the empire, and have his line hang onto power, he had much work ahead. While the empire was slowly crawling out of debt, it was still lagging behind other powers. The empire had much that needed to be done both internally and externally. His train of thought was interrupted as the door of his office opened, and an aide stepped forward and greeted the Sultan. "Your imperial majesty, the Grand Vizier has convened the cabinet and is awaiting your presence."

"Very well." said the Sultan as he took his last sip of tea and stood to make his way to the meeting room. "Inform the Grand Vizier I will be on my way." .

Entering the meeting room, the Sultan took a seat at the head of the table as his ministers prepared to discuss the most pressing matters. Unlike other sultans before him, Hamid took an active role in these discussions, keen to exercise his powers to the greatest extent.

"Your Imperial Majesty, and gentlemen of the cabinet, I would like to wish you all a very happy new year." said Grand Vizier Mehmed Ferid Pasha, who sat immediately to the left of the Sultan. "I am convening this meeting with a curious start to the new year. I have heard rumors from our intelligence sources that the Kaiser is dead. We don't know the cause as of yet, but I believe if true, the next few weeks in Europe will be very interesting. It is not clear what stance the new Kaiser will take, which is especially worrisome if he chooses to take an aggressive position against our French allies." He paused. "On the other hand, the new Kaiser may be more amenable to distancing Germany from Russia, and abandoning their occupation of the Suez."

"We will see how Europe develops in the coming weeks. And we will have to consult with the French pertaining the new Kaiser. I am determined to show that the Ottoman Empire is not in decline. We can be an equal partner to France and a great power in Europe once again." replied Hamid. "We will not be pushed around by other powers, Russia especially."

"Of course your Imperial Highness." said the Grand Vizier. "Speaking of, I am pleased to report that our debt has fallen to new lows. We are on schedule to have eliminated our debt by 1915, assuming of course we do not take any more on."

"Your Imperial Highness," said Minister of Finance Ahmed Reşad Pasha. "We have been looking into methods we could implement to quickly increase revenue, to end our debt sooner. One of our plans is to increase the rate of transiting the straits from 10 pence to 15 pence per ton, which we believe will allow for a quick increase in revenue that will allow us to chip away at our debts faster. Prices of good may inflate, but we believe the impact on the global market will be limited."

"I am not opposed to bringing such a proposal forward to the General Assembly." said Hamid as he looked to the Grand Vizier. "We are certainly in a troubling position. We must make other efforts to improve our economy organically, however, namely with industrialization and the expansion of technical expertise."

Yıldız Palace
Constantinople, The Ottoman Empire
January 3, 1905

Chief of Intelligence General Kadri Bey sat across from Colonel Ali inside his office, as the two smoked together and went over one of the agency's most secret plans. "General Bey, we are finalizing our plans for Project Qanaa Muqawima to be implemented within the coming weeks. I have already spoken with local leadership and tribes for the establishment of the Fedayeen. Our manpower numbers around 2,000 strong within our Empire, but our agents expect the movement to swell. The initial operation is set to take place next week, in a mostly peaceful demonstration. The hope is that the occupation, given their violent tendencies, will lash out and attack the demonstrators, sparking an outrage that leads to their undoing. Otherwise we will have be begin the second stage of our operation."

"Have we completed the logistics of that?" asked Bey.

"We believe in this sort of warfare, conventional weapons beyond infantry weapons will be vulnerable and expose the Ottoman origin of the efforts. That is why we have been looking into other methods, such as rockets, which can be carried by individual fighters and launched relatively quickly. Our scientists are still working on finishing the first batch of weapons, but by basing the design off of Hale rockets, I believe in concentration we will achieve some success."

"Very good." replied Bey. "I will be discussing with the Sultan, and I will be in contact with our local allies."

Takvim-i Vekayi
تقویم وقایع
"Calendar of Events"

General Assembly Introduces Measure to Increase Tolls for Straits:

January 5th - Yesterday the Ottoman General Assembly introduced a new bill considering increasing the toll for ships utilizing the Turkish Straits from 10 pence to 15 pence per ton, as part of an effort to increase revenue across the Empire. While the measure is still under consideration, it has received widespread initial support, with the measure being backed by the Grand Vizier.

Despite this, opposition figures have expressed concerns that such a hike in tolls could anger the Russian Empire, which utilizes the straits to connect the Black Sea to the rest of the world.
Last edited by Shohun on Sun Dec 10, 2023 10:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Founded: Feb 18, 2011
Left-wing Utopia

Postby NewLakotah » Sun Dec 10, 2023 10:43 pm

Visions of Empire


“You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war” - Napoleon Bonaparte

January, 1905

Saigon, Indochinese Union

Saigon, the Pearl of the Orient, sat perched on along the Mekong Delta. Once it was the capital of Indochina. However, that honor had passed to Hanoi following its conquest and absorption into the Indochinese Union. Hanoi was inland and up in the mountains, connected via river to the ocean and inland throughout most of northern Indochina up into China. It was an intersection of practicality and strategic importance. Hanoi was situated closer to the major port of Haiphong, where the major of the burgeoning Pacific Fleet was based. It wasn’t quite the vaunted battlefleet that Napoleon IV had wanted, but with four battleships with four older ironclad battleships, it was still a force to be reckoned with. Supported by two armored, four protected, and four torpedo cruisers, as well as 8 destroyers, the Pacific fleet was by no means the largest fleet in the region, but it could certainly stand on its own weight.

Hanoi was also cooler. It had seasons that shifted and up in the mountains the winters were actually nice and cool. Here in Saigon, things were always hot. Sometimes, and very often, it rained. Filling up the air with thick humidity and running down the streets collecting trash and grit along the gutters. Still, the city had become a jewel of French interests in Asia. Strategically, it was still one of the best defended cities in Asia supported by several thousand regular and colonial troops, as well as coastal defences along the ports. Inland, rivers and deltas connected Saigon to the rest of southern Indochina, feeding it regularly with a healthy supply of coal, rubber, rice, salt, timber, iron, and gold. From there, and from other cities across Indochina, these where either exported abroad or feed into burgeoning industries that were popping up along the coastal cities.

These cities has blossomed in the aftermath of the Franco-Japanese Treaty of 1898. Then, they had reached an agreement to facilitate trade between French Indochina and the Japanese Empire. Japan needed the raw materials and France needed the trading partners to feed wealth back into its little corner of Asia. If they were to be successful in their Asian endeavors, then they would need to export.

“We can’t afford to lose out in Asia,” Louis-Napoleon, Emperor of France had told Albert Sinclaire before the man had left on a ship bound for the other side of the world. Sinclaire and Napoleon were an odd pairing, but a very good one. Sinclaire, born in Algiers to a Pieds-Noir family and Napoleon IV, heir of Napoleon the Great and Napoleon III. Sinclaire had joined as a junior officer in the French Army, serving in primarily Algerian units until eventually becoming a major in the Imperial Cavalry. The two of them had met in Africa, serving at first together in the cavalry in Algerian and, later, Tunisian campaigns. From there, the two had been as thick as thieves. Upon leaving regular duty and returning to the continent, Napoleon IV brought Sinclaire with him, to serve on his personal staff as his Chief of the Imperial Staff.

Sinclaire had proven very adequate at this job and it wasn’t long before he was given even better appointments. In 1885, he returned to Africa to oversee yet another campaign to secure territory, this time in the deserts of West Africa as a brigadier general. From there he was an imperial attache to the Ottomans in Constantinople, a diplomat in Cairo, then commander of the French territory of Reunion, and finally, appointed to be the Governor-General of the Indochinese Union. He was, in many ways, the epitome of Napoleon IV’s French ideal of the Internationale.

Sinclaire had returned to Europe for a three month visit before making the trip all the way around the world, through the Suez, stopping in Djibouti, French India, and finally landing in Saigon after an extended three month journey.

“If we do, it’ll be difficult for France to recover anything on the continent,” Louis-Napoleon had continued. “With the Russians and the Germans linking arms, it’ll be a challenge to find a weakness in their armor. Except in Asia. There, things are a bit better suited. At least, suited better for us in the short-term.”

“I’m sure I’ll have my work cut out for me,” Sinclaire had replied, the two were drinking wine in the Emperor’s private lounge at his Corsican residence. Louis-Napoleon often. “But, I have a pretty good idea of what is ahead of me. First is securing our territory. Then it's getting resources onto ships and out onto the seas. The difficult part is going to be keeping those seas secured.”

“Yes, well, that’s not going to be a problem for you too much. At least, there won’t be much you can do about it,” Louis-Napoleon said, smiling. “But our shipyards are working at full speed, or so they tell me. I don't think they would be the first to admit they are not working at full speed and I have no real way of judging except through comparison. We are not comparing well with the British, but they say our industries don’t match the British in the first place. Either way, we aren’t making much headway against them or the Germans. But, like I said, that isn’t really a problem for you to worry about. I’ll worry about the navy and the construction, you worry about Indochina.”

“Well, I can worry about the army, at least,” Sinclaire said. “Our forces there will go a long way in keeping our territory secured and expanding it however we can. Supported with a solid colonial force, just like we have been doing in Africa, and we won’t have to worry about security in Asia. At least on land.”

“Ideally, having potent defensive and offensive capabilities from Indochina will help our case in winning friends and influence. From what I’ve heard, it sounds like Indochina could be a veritable gold mine - literally and figuratively - it’ll come down to ensuring we have the right people in the right places. And enough people. We can’t hope to provide security and development with only several thousand administrators and officials. We need a stronger outflow to produce a bigger inflow.”

That conversation had been in 1897. Since then, things had changed considerably. The British had signed the Entente Cordiale with the French government, signaling a new willingness for friendship on the partners of the two old adversaries. For Emperor Napoleon, he saw it as an opportunity to keep one Lion off his back while worrying about the German Eagle. The British Empire was by far the largest, most developed, and strongest of any Empire in the world. It didn’t make sense to try and challenge British dominance when you had Germans occupying and living in French territory. The British had even been willing to pick up French slack on the Panama Canal, offering to buy up the additional stock and becoming partners. The new joint Franco-British Panama Canal project helped ease at least some of the loss of the Suez.

Even more striking, however, was the start of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904. The writing had been on the wall, but still, the shock of the war had enraptured European interests. France was, of course, strictly neutral at the start, but they watched with a horrified fascination as the two empires, the old Russian Empire and the young Japanese Empire of the Orient battling it out across the Korean peninsula and in the oceans.

For Sinclaire, it was simply a reminder of just how crowded Asia was beginning to feel. There were the Japanese, of course, slowly building out their Empire - mostly at the expense of Qing China. Then the British, holding dominance over the vast majority of the Indian subcontinent, holding Malaysia, Singapore, and of course the great islands of Australia and New Zealand. They were followed by the Dutch of Indonesia and the Americans with their grip on the Philippines and a scattering of islands across the Pacific in their own reach from the New World. Meanwhile, the German Empire had reached out from Central Europe to scoop up a number of islands and outposts across the Pacific in quest of their dream of a Transoceanic Empire. The Russian bear pressed in on Qing China and the Korean peninsula in their effort to full realize their pacific control. And finally there were of course the Chinese and the Siamese Empires. A melting pot of imperial ambition brewing what could only be conflict in the Orient.

The Entente Cordiale had pleased Sinclaire in a number of ways. He had always had to keep something of an eye on the British Raj to the west. Even if they had largely disentangled their colonial struggles a century ago, there were still always scuffles at the margins. More than that, Trade through the subcontinent was always important. It was better to keep the British Lion and his wealth on your side for as long as possible than to keep him and all of his wealth on the outside.

But wealth was hardly a problem for Indochina. Saigon in the south and Hanoi in the north had seen their own booms - particularly Saigon. The Paris of the Extreme Orient was a cultural hub of Francophone interests, even amidst the heat. Under Sinclaire, new economic sectors of resource extraction, agriculture, and manufacturing expanded. With Japanese money soon flowing into Saigon and Hanoi, new investment opportunities opened up. More demand meant more supply. More supply demanded more labor and more experienced managers and officials. New districts soon sprung up across the region. Centered along major rivers, and connected through railways built by thousands of native laborers working backbreaking hours. Sinclaire had seen the importance of rail nearly as soon as he arrived on the continent. By 1905, the fruits of his labor were beginning to be seen.

In the north, Hanoi the capital was connected by two railways running north, both into China and other spur lines heading in all directions to other industrial towns. One line went down to Vinh along the coast, connecting several major industrial districts. And another connecting directly to the port of Haiphong. There was no Saigon-Hanoi Railway. At least, not yet.

That was one of Sinclaire’s primary goals entering 1905. He wasn’t sure how many more years he would be staying in Indochina. He had come to like Indochina, but he was missing home. Home, for him, that is. He was keen on returning to the continent. To Metropolitan France. To stay in the French Riviera, a cottage along the Seine, and, of course, a little place right in Paris. He would have a country place in Algeria, of course. Somewhere out in the country. A vineyard, perhaps. Nearby to Algiers so he could visit the city frequently and get a taste of French metropolitanism while having a retreat to comfort and solitude.

In the flashy indigenous styled sitting room of the regional administrator’s office in Saigon, what had once been Sinclaire’s old office before he’d moved the capital to Hanoi, Sinclaire sat with General Claude Mamot, commander of the French Army of the Orient, and Governor Jean-Baptiste Poincare. It was hot, even though it was January. There was a slightly breeze that flowed in through the windows, circulated by fans.

“As it stands, sir, the current status of the construction has been delayed.” Poincare was saying. The three men were sitting around the room. Each with a cool light drink in their hands. Sweat was pooling around Sinclaire’s forehead. It had been nearly a year since he’d last been in Saigon and God, he’d forgotten how hot winters were. “Poor planning and worse execution saw early delays. We corrected it once we found the problem - young engineers with no experience of running men - and we’ve picked up the pace. Currently, there have been some terrain issues. Some issues, apparently to do with the softenness of the ground. I believe that the colonel put it as something like ‘unable to withstand the weight of a dozen fully loaded freight cars without sinking into the ground’. From there, we’ve been looking at passing through higher ground or building berm.”

“How long do you anticipate a delay?” Sinclaire asked.

“Hard to say, really. I shouldn’t imagine it’ll take them more than a week or so to address the issue and get back to work. So hopefully no more than a month delay at most.”

“Good.” Sinclaire smiled. “This damn climate always has something ready for it. First it's the monsoons wrecking all projects and flooding construction sites. Or its the wetness softening the ground. Well, either way. Once we get back on schedule I’ll be happy. If we are to get a north-south railway we have a lot of hurdles to get through.” He suddenly smiles and with a wistful look on his face says, “Think about it, Saigon to Beijing. And all stops in between. Kunming, Nanning. Our trade network will have expanded tenfold with just a simple connection. Passenger rail could even link with Russian or British rails.”

“Yes, it’ll be something alright,” Poincare said, bobbing his head along in agreement. “Still, our biggest worries are connecting each blip on the map to each other. It’s getting a bit hard to figure out which ones are the biggest priorities. Demand for exports is continuing to go up.”

“As long as Japanese demand continues to go steady, I doubt it will drop anytime soon. What is the news on the war, General? How are our Japanese comrades faring?”

“Difficult to say,” Mamot said. “Battles have been fierce enough. I’ve only read a handful of the reports from the attaches. Most of them report straight to the Imperial Staff. But from what I gather things haven’t been entirely going the Tsar’s way. Long way to go of course and the Russians haven’t gotten their main battlefleets out to the Pacific yet even.”

“Well, I for one won’t mourn the Tsar’s losses.” Sinclaire said. He smiled and the two other men smiled with him. There was no love lost with the Russians. In 1870, in the face of humiliation at the hands of the Prussians, the Russians had swooped in and aligned themselves with the new German Empire and took ownership of the Suez Canal. It had been a very bitter pill to swallow. Since then, Russo-German interests have nearly always seem to come up unaligned with French interests. The 1878 Russo-Turkish War nearly saw Russia take dominance over the Straits and over large swaths of the Caucuses. German colonial interests expanded, increasing their naval production and seeing them build a massive battlefleet that soon outmatched the French. Between the two of them, they boasted a massive standing army and a combined fleet that could match that of the Royal Navy.

“I’ll be happy once we get a proper Pacific fleet,” Mamot muttered.

“It’ll do the trick, our little fleet,” Sinclaire said forcefully. He smiled cheekily at the general. “Once the Japanese and the Russians sink each other’s fleets we’re bound to be at least the second largest fleet in Orient.”

The two men laughed and Mamot said, “I can get behind that, then. If the British somehow lost their fleet in a typhoon or something to go along with, I’d go back to the Church.”

Sinclaire and Poincare both laughed at Mamot’s joke. Poincare, however, laughed much less. The devout Catholic was a bit out of sorts with the two passionate anti-clerics in Sinclaire and Mamot.

“Careful,” Poincare said. “Talk like that will have you exiled to Italy. Besides, didn’t you hear? We’re friends with the British now?”

“A fine friendship it will be, too,” Mamot replied. “As long as the British don’t get wrapped up in another colonial fringe war somewhere in Africa. Or even Asia. The Boers are nearly German, so I’d hate to think that fight has soured them on fighting Germans.”

“Well, with the Germans investing into their own little Oriental Dream we need to keep on our toes. Regardless of the British,” Sinclaire said sharply and very suddenly. “I would hate to think they catch up to us in half the time. We can’t have that.”

Both men shook their heads. “Well, they lack the infrastructure, regardless of what ships they put out here,” Poincare said at last. German Asian colonies were significantly smaller, less developed and more scattered than French or British ones. French held a number of scattered islands - way stations for its oceangoing Pacific fleet - along with a few concessions scattered across China. Beyond that and a few remnants of their dreams of a French India, French interests were largely centered directly around Indochina. Nearly 15 million people lived in French Indochina and its territory was home to a number of natural resources. Yes, the German holdings had their own resources and strategic importance, but they lacked the economic investment and connections.

“From a military perspective,” Mamot said. We are in a perfectly satisfactory position. Our ground forces are well trained and well equipped. Modern formations of French regulars, armed with the best French industry can provide. And our Colonial Regiments. They are equally well-armed and trained by French officers as if it were a Metropolitan regiment. Beyond the territorial soldiers we could call upon, in what varying state we could equip them locally, we can say that we have a sufficient force to deal with any form of aggression from any adversary. Our only major land opponents would be the Qing or the British. Neither I say are very likely adversaries. I see no particular reason we need to anger the Qing. We had a close call with the Boxers, I would hate to cause a worse crisis, allowing more German or Russian concessions. If anything, their modernization efforts seem to be modeled right after the Japanese ones. It seems those are proving most effective.”

“I haven’t yet been to China,” Sinclaire mused. “I need to. I meant to go to Tianjin. I was not able to. But still, I hope to soon. The Emperor said that we cannot afford to lose out in Asia. With the Japanese striking, we have to think short term and long term. Right now, we need to consider our options as far as who we can count on as partners in this mess. Right now, we can trust very few. Opening avenues to the Qing dynasty may go a long way in opening new doors for French commercial interests across Asia.”

“What does the Emperor say?” Poincare asked.

“The Emperor has his full support of any move that would enhance French interests or allied interests. Qing interests are certainly an enigma. I doubt that we are certainly the perfect partners, but from the looks of it, they don’t have many perfect partners to choose from. Now, if their interests are in removing foreigners from their country or building a quality army to defeat the Japanese in a rematch, I believe it is certainly in French interests to know that. And, perhaps, support it if possible.”

“Not at the expense of our relationship with Japanese, surely?” Poincare asked, sounding surprised.

“Perhaps not, no. Depending on Chinese concerns,” Sinclaire replied slowly. He took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Either way, the Qing represent our largest and closest neighbor. It will be a good idea to get to know our neighbors and what they like a bit better.”

Paris, France

Louis-Napoleon sighed. It was a cold day in Paris. Snow had fallen yet again. Three days of almost no sun and snow was enough to put any Frenchman in a bad mood. How did the British, with their weeks of no sun, do it? It stood to reason why so many would flock to the Americas, or to far flung colonies in Asia. Anything was better than France.

Louis-Napoleon had conjoled, implored, decreed, and begged almost since his coronation for Frenchmen to take a bigger interest in going abroad. It had provided only modest results. The hundreds and slowly grown to thousands, but there was no large stream of French emigrants. No matter how beautiful and expansive the French Empire, there was nowhere quite like France.

Today was one of those days that Louis-Napoleon wished that he was in one of France’s far flung colonies and not dealing with snow, dreariness, and the dull boredom of ruling. Life was always boring when ruling, especially as emperor with no really jurisdiction over how the empire was run.

Yes, of course he could intervene in a number of ways. Suggest and even submit certain legislation or issues to vote, or dissolving the government when things got too slow or too virulent. Or too Republican. But beyond that, there was little that he could do but make public addresses and work within the imperial court to do what he could.

Still, it was the New Year. 1904 had come and gone in a flash. War had engulfed Asia and fears of it spreading to Europe were rising. Particularly as news from the front didn’t come back the way most expected. Yes, everyone knew that the Japanese were a quality Empire with a western-inspiried military. But still, no one expected them to manage to hold off the Russian Empire in all of its might for very long. Yet, here they were, a year into the conflict and it didn’t seem like it was going to end anytime soon.

The war was proving to be an interesting one. Tactically and strategically. New weapons and tactics were being employed and tested. Often for the very first time in a modern setting between two modern empires. The reports had been chilling. The losses on both sides were staggering. It had been an alarming wake up call for France in its own efforts of modernization. It had pressed the Generals Staff into examining some of their own principles in light of it.

Today, almost a year since the fighting first broke out, Louis-Napoleon was meeting with Marshal Francois Goiran, Chief of the Imperial Staff. Goiran was an old soldier. He’d fought under Louis-Napoleon’s father during the Franco-Prussian War as a young officer. He’d had a long and fruitful career in the French ranks since then. Serving with distinction in a number of roles before rising to be Louis-Napoleon’s right hand man when it came to running the military.

The distinguished officer entered into the even more regal private office of Louis-Napoleon. He was followed by two senior aides, Colonel Antoine Benedette and Lt. Colonel Louis-Christophe Jacques de Chantilly.

“Marshal,” Louis-Napoleon said as Goiran was announced. He nodded towards the Marshal’s two aides and motioned for the Marshal and his aides to take their seats. An orderly arrived. A tray of drinks in his hands. He was followed by another, this one carrying a plate of fruit and crepes. The small group exchanged quiet pleasantries while they helped themselves to the light refreshments.

“So, Marshal, tell me,” Louis-Napoleon began at last. “From what I’ve been hearing, we’re still on track to launch the last of the Austerliz-Class this year. That’ll equalize our standing with the Germans. But, beyond that our military appears to be lacking in a number of regards.”

Goiran nodded. “Yes,” he said. “The last three ships will be in service this year. That i have been assured of directly by the Naval Department. They said that the ships were looking very good. Should have no issues with these entering service. That would put us in a better position. At least in the Med. Our forces, assembled, constitute the largest fleet by some measure in the Mediterranean. The only real threat to our control of the seas comes from the Austrians. Should they, in the end, fall in line with their German-speaking brethren that would pose some challenges to our authority in the region. Especially coupled with Russian control of the Suez. Thankfully, the British control of Gibraltar should keep us safe on that side.”

“Yes, on the sea we’re looking fit,” Louis-Napoleon said. It had long been a personal ambition to develop the French Navy to be a force to be reckoned with. A formidable fleet that would challenge even the Royal Navy for dominance of the seas. So far, his ambition had resulted in soon to be 24 battleships. A far cry from the British, but enough to remain in contention with some of other largest sea powers of the world - namely the German Empire, the United States, and the Russian Empire. “Our force projection should be right about where we need it. Or at least, what we can get for now. I don’t believe that it will be enough. German industries are continuing to churn out new battleships and the Russian battlefleet, depending of course on the outcome of their little war with the Japanese, isn’t terribly far behind. No, I feel like we have to continue to push if we are to prevent ourselves from falling behind. However, the navy seems in as good of a position as any. If anything, our army is beginning to look a little worse for wear.”

“Our army has suffered from some neglect,” admitted Goiran. “But it is hardly a second-class formation.”

“Not second-class. But our armaments are beginning to show their age. Have you seen the reports from the frontlines in Korea?”

“Of course.”

“Then,” continued Louis-Napoleon. “It shows a clear reliance on what many in the planning staff have been saying. We need a better and stronger corps of artillery. Heavy artillery, light artillery - you name it.”

“More firepower.” Goiran smiled.

“Yes,” said Louis-Napoleon. “More firepower. Machine guns. Our forces are facing down an industrial opponent who is surely viewing the same battles with the same concerns. Our battleplans for a war with Germany rely on French control of the border forts.”

“They are well secured,” Goiran said.

“I’m sure. But unfortunately, the Germans are not likely let that stop them. From what General de Ladébat has told me, the Germans already have a significant advantage in heavy artillery. Our batteries, even with the fort batteries, are severely outmatched. Our battleplans rely on holding those forts with superior control over the terrain through mass formations of infantry and mastery of the artillery battle.”

Goiran nodded again. “Your Majesty, I agree. However, the current battleplans as drawn up by the Imperial Staff remain largely dependent on a number of factors. They rely on formations of independent formations scattered all across the globe. The Grand Army assembles behind those fortifications at the border, allowing time for the Reserve Army to form the rear structure. From there, the might of the French Army will be felt. Massing our formations along the frontlines would undermine that.”

Louis-Napoleon sighed. “The important thing is learn and adapt from this current war. Supply and sustainment of the forward defenses will be critical. Regardless of how long they are supposed to hold for. I’m still worried about our capacity to supply them.”

“Yes,” Goiran said, a strong hint of remorse in his voice. “That will be an issue, of course. Primarily, of course, because of bottlenecking. I’m hoping that we can get a better picture of what’s happening from the Prime Minister.”

“Soon, I hope.” Louis-Napoleon smiled bitterly. His struggles with the parliament over budgetary issues were a long stemming issue and lasting over a number of governments. Even with a Bonapartist Party in power, it hardly mattered anymore. Not with the party splitting along ideological lines itself. Louis-Napoleon took a long gulp from his glass, finishing it, and set it on the table. He motioned for his glass to be refilled as he continued, “I’m hoping for a quick resolution from the winter session. I believe we shouldn’t have too many issues with the current budget. 1904 proved a fair year for returns. We just have to deal with allocating them.”

“Social programs?” Asked Goiran.

“Yes, social programs.” Louis-Napoleon sighed. “Important, I’m sure. But we’re facing multiple threats to the Empire. Threats to Paris herself. And yet the Republicans continue to yield to labor demands. We’ve already given them a number of concessions. Working hours and even an imperial decree on wages. Still, the Republicans would have you believe we need to transform industry all together. All of which requires cuts from industrial grants or whatever program they feel is best this year.”

Goiran watched and listened to the Emperor rant quietly and with a deeply sympathetic expression on his face. It was not the first and likely not the last rant on the parliament he would hear. “Your Majesty,” he said at last. “I’m sure we can get quick approval for most initiatives you have planned this year. As for the strategies, well, we are in dire need of fresh military games.” He gave a wide smile to the Emperor. “Perhaps it is time to give our boys a solid refresher and get our heads together, eh?”

Le Figaro

January 15, 1905

New Year Ushers New Imperial Spending Proposals
Paris, France

Emperor Napoleon IV has sent a new list of directives for Prime Minister Hadicourt’s government to accomplish. These proposals which, according to sources, amounts to over 27 different directives and legislative proposals, are aimed primarily at addressing many of the issues plaguing the French economy. 13 are aimed at addressing poverty alleviation in Paris. 4 are aimed at addressing domestic security, namely dealing with the threat from organized labor and Marxist unions. And the rest comprise directives aimed at the French Empire and Her military.

These proposals were received by Prime Minister Hadricourt on January 7 to which he promised that he would carry out, to the best of his abilities, the wishes of His Imperial Majesty. However, sources from within the party have stated that there are likely to be a number of issues tabled from the parliament aimed at spending reduction. A quote from one Member of Parliament, Jacques-Étienne Frontenac, stated,

“The Imperial Court has impressed upon us yet another call to raise the sufficient funds by which to meet his goals of formulating French power abroad. Yet France power diminishes at home with each Franc spent abroad. We must invest in our Empire. But we cannot forgo the Motherland.”

The parliament is expected to enter session to address a number of these issues. Republicans have issued a number of proposals as part of their yearly agenda as His Imperial Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. Labor rights continue to form a basis of Republican directives along with greater investment into addressing urban issues such as crime and poverty.

Atlantic Fleet To Gain New Battleships This Year, Says Admiral Campion

Admiral Paul Campion, chief of the navy has assured the French government and Minister of War Alexis DuPont that the French Atlantic Fleet will have the Austerlitz Class battleships in its ranks by year end.

The Atlantic fleet boasts a significant power and Admiral Campion was quoted as calling it the “strength of the Empire”. The primary battle fleet, the Imperial Battlefleet at Toulon has 13 battleships while the African Battlefleet has 4. Following the final three ships of the Austerlitz Class, the the Imperial Battlefleet will have 14 and the African 6.

French naval theorist and former captain de vaisseau Bernard de Allard stated this in a response to our newspaper

“The Atlantic Fleet, with two commands capable of defeating any local power and handling threats far and wide, ensures French security in Paris, Algiers, Cayenne, and even Saigon. By French arms on land we can secure all victory and support all of our armies on any continent against any adversary. French sovereignty and prestige may not be questioned when backed with a fleet of warships. This is why our Emperor has deigned to invest so strongly in naval power. Why we will continue to do so. To build our Pacific fleets and our American fleets into a proper international security zone. French commerce, French security, French sovereignty may not be questioned.”

In response to how the French government sees the American and Pacific Fleets, given their current small statures, de Allard replied,

“The ambitions of the Emperor are of national security. Of dealing with an international enemy. The Germans with their alliance with the Russians have spread their web. It is likely that the German Eagle will spread even further. To quell such notions, France needs a fleet capable of such odds. Currently, our fleets are adequate for security. Our fleets in the pacific, whether to match German, Russian, or even Japanese fleets, would need to increase significantly from Madagascar to New Caledonia.

In the Americas, our fleets are mostly engaged in security of the Panama Canal. Our interests there require sharp vigilance, but the region itself currently poses little threat. If any threat exists, it is from the United States. A nation to which we hold no enmity and, we pray, holds no enmity towards ourselves. For security purposes, our purposes require only a modest investment in modern cruisers and destroyers by which we can defend French prestige in Panama as Napoleon III could not in Suez. There, our Emperor Napoleon IV learned of the necessity and the power of the international.

For France to never endure such a calamity, we must remain on guard and ever ready to defend our liberty and our Empire. Our armies remain steady and steadfast. Well prepared for all ahead of them. Our navies must be ready to defend the homeland and the colonies. To which, this has been the goal of Emperor Napoleon IV.”
"How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right." ~~ Black Hawk, Sauk

"When it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home." ~~ Tecumseh

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Postby Tracian Empire » Mon Dec 11, 2023 9:28 am

Empire of the Great Qing


Palace of Heavenly Purity

"This is humiliating. The Russians have been occupying the Three Northeastern Provinces, our homeland, killing our compatriots, and desecrating the graves and holy sites of our Manchu ancestors. Mukden, our dynasty's first capital, is occupied by the Russians and by their soldiers. The Russians! Not the British, whose power has crushed us in battle two times and forced us to realize our failings, not the Japanese, who have taken advantage of our weakness and kicked us out of Korea, not the French, whom we have fought to a standstill, but the Russians! The Russians, whom we have beaten in the 28th year of Kangxi, the Russians who have covered before us in the 10th year of the reign of His Majesty the Emperor, and gave us back the Ili Basin! It is beyond humiliating. The Russians have never defeated us in proper battle, and have only taken advantage of us in our moments of weakness. They took Outer Manchuria while we were fighting the Red Sheep Rebellion, and then took advantage of our trust and hopes for an alliance by using the unrest against the Yihequan to occupy the rest of Manchuria. They think that we are weak, that they can abuse us however they like. We need to show them that they are wrong. We need to prove our people and the foreigners once more that the Mandate of Heaven lies with the Emperor, and our subjects would unite behind His Imperial Majesty in the task of kicking the Russian barbarians out of the Three Northeastern Provinces. "

Several men were gathered in the hall of the Qianqing Palace, kneeling down in front of the Dragon Throne. The Emperor himself was standing on his throne, clad in his golden imperial regalia, with the mahala on his head. A desk stood in front of the elaborate throne, covered with papers and with seals. On the right hand side of the Emperor, also kneeling down, was Empress Keshun, of the Manchu Tatara clan, the Emperor's favorite wife and closest advisor. On the left hand side, kneeling down and dressed in simple clothes, was Prime Minister Kang Youwei. A teacher, the man looked out of place in the elaborate ceremonials of the court, with a simple attire in the style of a Confucian scholar, but he was the head of the reformist movement that for the past 10 years had advised the Emperor and taken on the mantle of modernization from the failures of the Self-Strengthening Movement. The Prime Minister was calm, and the Emperor's expression was emotionless, as the man who had been speaking realized that he might have speaking too loudly, and bowed his head.k He was wearing the gunfu, a back surcoat with an embroidered roundel of a five-clawed dragon with the face to the front, marking him as a higher ranked member of the imperial family - he was Shanqi, Prince Su of the First Rank, the Minister of Internal Affairs and a member of the Aisin-Gioro clan. The man bowed his head so deeply that the guanmao on his head almost fell over.

"I can understand your righteous frustration, Shanqi.", another Manchu man replied in a soft voice. Kneeling of the opposite side, this man was similarly dressed with a blue surcoat, but this one was a bufu, indicating his lower rank, and with embroidered roundels of a five-clawed dragon in profile. He was Zaize, the Minister of Finance, a member of the Aisin-Gioro clan and a Duke of the First Rank. "We must however show patience. We can not rush to war and risk further damage to our state or to our people. I have faith in the New Armies, but Beijing is close to the fighting. We must also be careful to ensure that foreigners do not take advantage of our actions. Were we to enter the war against the Russians, we would help the Japanese, and we do not know the full extent of their ambitions. They wanted the Liaodong Peninsula for themselves after all and I believe that they still want them. We could help defeat the Russians only to afterwards find ourselves having to fight the Japanese without any help. The Japanese have the support of the British, and the Russians are allied with the Germans - we however, are alone. The Germans are friendly to us too, but in a war between Asians and Europeans I do not think that they would support us, particularly against their Russian friends - and this could weaken our efforts at modernization. We must carefully watch the war and choose our actions only as the time is right. How goes the war between the Japanese and the Russians, minister of the army?"

In response to the Manchu noble's question, another official bowed his head. This man, another Manchu by birth, was not a noble, he was just a bannerman, and he was dressed in a modern, European-style officer's uniform. He was Yinchang, Marshal of the Imperial Chinese Army, and Minister of the Army. "Exact details are difficult to come by, but we have the information that we are receiving from our military observers and the Ministry of the Army is actively receiving reports from Manchu and Mongolian bannermen. It seems that so far the battles are going on slightly in the favor of the Japanese, but the Russians have yet to bring their reinforcements. With every passing week however, the danger to the Three Northeastern Provinces increases. I continue to recommend that we call the Houbei jun to arms and that we strengthen our defenses on the approach to the imperial capital. It would not be impossible for the Japanese to consider landing at Tianjin to try to advance from the other side against the Liandong Peninsula, or for the Russians Cossacks to try raids to the south towards Jinxian. We should also order the banners of Inner Mongolia to increase patrols along the borders with the Russian occupied areas and to prepare cavalry units to be used for counter-raids and for scouting if the Cossacks attempt to penetrate our borders. We have also been in contact with Zhang Zuolin and his Honghuzi bandits. He seems to be working as a mercenary for the Japanese, but he and his men could provide valuable information to us. It seems that the Honghuzi have not abated in their guerrila fighting and that they are creating significant issues for the Russians, which could be used for our advantage. The issue however is of course, that the current war is presently being fought at sea. "

Yet another man bowed his head, as if to interject. A Manchu noble, dressed in a black surcoat, the gunfu, with embroidered roundels of dragons viewed from the profile, and the guanmao on his head. Zaixun, Prince Rui of the First Rank, of the Aisin Gioro House, Minister of the Navy in name at least, due to the experience that he had gathered in this grand tour of exploring the navies of the world. "I have recently received a message from Admiral Zhenbing. The progress on the Shi Lang and Zheng He is going well, and he believes that they will be completed within the next few months. This of course would strengthen our position, but we are nowhere close to challenging either Russia or Japan. It would however make our Navy difficult to ignore by either side. It is Admiral Zhenbing's recommendation that we keep our navy in Weihaiwei - the navy being there is close enough to strengthen our position, and the location is fortified well enough to deter any Russian or Japanese preemptive attacks on it - although the measures to strengthen the base's defenses are still ongoing, with the Japanese attack on the Lüshun Port having proved that they are not beyond such tactics. If it would serve to assuage His Imperial Majesty's worries, a portion of the fleet could be brought to Tianjin to defend the approaches to Beijing, but it is his humble opinion that such a move would not be in our empire's best interests."

"What can we expect from the European nations?", the Prime Minister asked, and another official bowed his head. Wearing a dark blue bufu surcout with embroidered round insignia of cranes on it, the man was a Han Chinese official from humble backgrounds who had studied in the Yale University in the United States, and who had, because of his experience, become the Minister of Foreign Affairs. "At this point, it is my humble opinion that none of the great powers will intervene. Germany is bound by alliance to Russia, but it has limited military assets in Asia, so its impact would far outweigh the potential costs. I've made sure that the German ambassador knows His Majesty the Emperor's displeasure with the continued Russian occupation of the Three Northeastern Provinces - what the Europeans call Manchuria, and the German ambassador has been hinting that the German Kaiser might be willing to mediate between us and the Russians, but there is nothing concrete yet. Of course, the Germans are of great importance to us - particularly for the Army and the Navy, but it is my humble opinion in the matter that we are of a greater importance to them - since without our support, German concessions in China could be easily taken over by the Japanese, and the French, hostile to the Russians as they are, might jump at the opportunity to take Germany's role as our most trusted European friend. Regardless, it is my humble opinion that the current relations between China and Germany are strong enough, and we should not see any hostile acts on Germany's behalf. The two main possibilities in which relations between us might deteriorate is if their Kaiser feels honor-bound to come to the Tsar's aid, or if a general European war starts. The French I am unfortunately not sure about - they have been evasive though their hostility to Russia to the Russian occupation of the Suez canal is clear. Their support for the Ottomans in their modernization has paralleled the support that the Germans have given us, and while the French presence in Indochina and potential good relations with Japan could be a threat in the long term, we should take care not too antagonize the French, as good relations would be mutually beneficial. The French however do not have the means or the intentions to directly enter the war, but if we were to move against Japan, it might not be impossible for them to try to take advantage. I will regardless arrange a meeting with the French ambassador in the near future to reassure them of our position. I believe that the French might be persuaded to convert the remaining sum of the indemnities that we have to pay into infrastructure development to be contracted by French firms, particularly in the south which should enhance the trade between China and the French colonies there. The British are mostly neutral - they have no reason to come to either Russia's or Japan's aid, other than sending observers. There is nothing to suggest that the British will be making a move. I recommend that we continue our diplomatic efforts to convince the British that our legal reforms have proved that we can bring an end to the extraterritoriality status of the British subjects in China, and we should allow a British commission to interact closely with the Ministry of Justice under Liang Qichao. The Americans also have no reason to intervene - their Open Door Policy has been supportive of our territorial integrity but the Americans have shown no willingness to directly commit to it, nor can we expect any help from them in regards to the illegal Russian occupation. "

"Thank you, Minister Dunyan.", Kang Youwei replied, before he looked at the Emperor. "What do you think, your Radiant Highness?"

The Emperor, who had been carefully listening to the entire conversation, placed his seal down on the paper. "We thank you all for your contributions to this meeting of council. We agree with Prince Su - the Russian occupation of the Northeast is an insult to Our reign and it brings us shame in front of our honored ancestors. How can We go to the Eastern and Western Tombs, performing the rites to Our imperial ancestors, when the grave of Emperor Taizong himself is under the control of the Russians? However, Duke Zaize is right. We must be cautious and patient when it comes to the Europeans. We must not let anger rule our actions, as Emperor Xuanzong and Emperor Wenzong did. We also hesitate when We consider that the actions of Our subjects might be to the benefit of Japan - as the Japanese have proven themselves to be like the Europeans just 10 years ago. We can not let the end of this war bring Japanese influence and control to the Northeastern Provinces. Perhaps the Russians can still be reasoned with, or perhaps the Japanese will have changed their hearts. We shall watch how the situation develops and make a decision when the time is right. Until then, Liang Dunyan, We shall order you to send another message to the Tsar of the Russians expressing Our great displeasure with the continued Russian occupation of the Northeast despite their promise to withdraw. You shall again ask them to leave, and you shall also tell them that for as long as the Russians continue to illegally occupy Our territory, We will consider the treaties made in the 21st and in the 23rd year of Our reign as nonexistent. You should also propose to them that in light of avoiding the Japanese taking over Lüshun Port, We recommend that they give it back to Us. You shall also contact both the Russian and Japanese ambassadors, and begin negotiating to see what promises they would make in exchange for Our support. Marshal Yinchang, your ideas are sound, and We order you to put them into practice with haste. Prince Rui, We are not afraid for Our own person as We are afraid for the life and happiness of Our citizens - We have not left Beijing even with the Yihetuan revolt, and We will not leave it even if war were to reach it. You can assure Admiral Zhenbing that the survival of the fleet and considerations of tactics and strategy are of the utmost importance, and that We are greatly looking forward to the completion of the new battleships. We hereby declared this meeting ended. "

Empire of the Great Qing

To His Excellency, Count Vladimir Nikolayevich Lamsdorf, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Empire,

Your Excellency,

I have been ordered by His Majesty the Emperor to once again transmit his great displeasure at the continued Russian occupation of the Three Northeastern Provinces, which is in direct contradiction to international law, to the treaty of 1896 in which the Russia had committed itself to maintaining the territorial integrity of China, and to the Boxer Protocol through which the Russian government had promised to evacuate its troops out of Manchuria. It is as such the continued policy of His Majesty the Emperor and of His Government to not recognize the Russian occupation of the Northeastern Provinces, and for as long as this unjustified breach of international law, international treaties and of the relation between China and Russia continues, to stop all payments of loans and indemnities that are owed by China to Russia. It should also be noted that it is the position of His Majesty the Emperor that if Russia wishes to neglect the treaties signed between China and Russia, then China should not be bound to the terms of those treaties any more than Russia is - so in the eyes of the Dragon Throne, the rights granted to Russia and to the Russo-Chinese Bank through the treaty of 1896 and the convention of 1898 are null and void.

It is however the great hope of His Majesty the Emperor that the Russian Government and the Tsar will recognize the error of their ways and will change the situation by withdrawing their forces from Manchuria. It is also the recommendation of His Majesty the Emperor that Russia should abandon Port Arthur and return it immediately to the control of the Chinese forces rather than to allow the possibility of it falling into Japanese hands.

Liang Dunyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Empire of the Great Qing, in the name of
His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of the Great Qing Dynasty, Son of Heaven, Lord of Ten Thousand Years

Empire of the Great Qing

To His Excellency, Pavel Mikhailovich Lessar, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of His Majesty the Tsar in Beijing,

Your Excellency,

I have been ordered by His Majesty the Emperor to invite you to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss matters of great importance to both the Russian Empire and the Empire of the Great Qing

Liang Dunyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Empire of the Great Qing, in the name of
His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of the Great Qing Dynasty, Son of Heaven, Lord of Ten Thousand Years

Empire of the Great Qing

To His Excellency, Baron Hayashi Gonsuke, Minister Plenipotentiary of the Empire of Japan to the Great Qing,

Your Excellency,

I have been ordered by His Majesty the Emperor to invite you to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss matters of great importance to both the Empire of Japan and the Empire of the Great Qing

Liang Dunyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Empire of the Great Qing, in the name of
His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of the Great Qing Dynasty, Son of Heaven, Lord of Ten Thousand Years
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Democratic Socialists

A Meeting with the New Kaiser

Postby Cymrea » Mon Dec 11, 2023 4:04 pm

Babelsberg Palace, Potsdam, Brandenburg, Prussia, German Empire
January 5th, 1905

The crisp morning air whipped outside of the stone castle walls as snow flurries danced around the grounds. The rising sun made the ground twinkle as if a million little suns now danced about.

Inside, Wilhelm III sat reading the Bible. A well known wild child, the last few days had shocked the young man to his soul, and found him redirecting himself into a renewed Christian faith. One that he had for too long neglected.

The past few days had been a blur, busy as the crown unexpectedly found its way to his head. Now, however, the young Kaiser would face his first diplomatic act as the leader of Germany.

In an unusual move, the British Ambassador had been urgently sent for to meet directly with the Kaiser for a matter of urgency.

Now, the Kaiser waited.


An ornate black carriage, pulled by a team of four matching white Friesians, came to a halt in front of the palace. A footman opened the door and a slender, older man in a dark greatcoat stepped from its warm interior. His well-made boots crunched in the snow as he started through the gate, his metal-tipped cane tapping a punctuation to his steady stride. William Horatio Fox, 4th Earl of Ilchester and His Majesty's Ambassador to the German Empire, set a brisk pace, his aide scrambling to keep up.

Lord Ilchester was apprehensive. Germany was a great power, rising in economic and industrial might, challenging the old guard for a place on the world stage, and a vigourous rival to the British Empire. And its sovereign had just died days past. Ilchester was now compelled to meet with the young successor. Compelled by his own sense of duty to King and Country as much as by the young Kaiser himself.

The carriage had been warm, the short walk to the great palace doors frigid, and the palace interior a soothing embrace of warmth again. Despite the tall archways and lofty frescoed ceilings, the heat circulated magnificently. Guided by one of the Kaiser's staff members, Ilchester and his aide were soon brought to the salon and into the presence of Wilhelm III.

Inside, Wilhelm III looked up as an aide knocked and entered saying “Your Imperial Majesty, the 4th Earl of Ilchester and ambassador of the United Kingdom is here.”

Setting the Bible down, the Kaiser stood and adjusted his suit jacket before nodding and saying “Very well. Let’s have him please.”

As the British men entered the room, Kaiser Wilhelm III made his way to them and greeted them saying in English, “Lord Ilchester, how are you this fine morning? Please, take a seat.”

"Mir geht es gut, vielen Dank, Ihre kaiserliche Majestät," replied Ilchester, his accent implying a Bavarian teacher. The diplomat took the seat young Wilhelm had indicated. Behind his right shoulder stood his aide, Andrew Gresham, a young up-and-comer in His Majesty's Diplomatic Service who had schooled at Eton and served a tour in the navy. Because of, or perhaps in spite of his privileged upbringing, the lad had proven eminently capable thus far.

The chair was finely crafted and upholstered, though not entirely comfortable. It was the perfect chair for diplomacy in Ilchester's opinion, refined yet unpretentious without unnecessary ostentation. The expansive table between the two men matched the chairs and was currently decorated only with the Kaiser's bible.

As was proper, Ilchester waited for Wilhelm to speak first.

Taking his seat, Wilhelm smiled as he said, “Thank you for coming on short notice. The last few days have been rather hectic, as I’m sure you can imagine. I want to extend my deepest gratitude to His Majesty, your King, and to your government for their messages of condolence following my father’s passing. Anyways, on to business.”

Pausing for a moment as an assistant brought hot tea to both men, the Kaiser continued by saying, “I called you here today for a few reasons, but notably is to convey to you my vision for the relationship between our nations. Lord willing, it can be reciprocated by London. We have our differences and different desires, that is clear. However, I do not believe we can not or should not work together in a common interest. Britain, it seems, cares very little for the continent, rather you are focused on your expansive Empire. We, however, are more directly concerned with this continent. To that extent, I believe we have a mutual thread in the embodiment of the French. I would like to seek assurances that your government will not side with Paris in a one on one conflict between France and Germany. With my assurances that we do not seek to do anything that would hamper British security or interests.”

Ilchester took a deliberate sip of his hot, unsweetened tea, taking the opportunity to parse the young Kaiser’s words. The act was a reflex built up from years of diplomacy at the highest levels. It surprised Ilchester to find he had done it without conscious thought. The boy had learned his statecraft well; he spoke clearly and articulated the crux of the Anglo-German relations rather succinctly. *He could well be a very good imperator*, Ilchester thought. He chose his words carefully.

“Your Imperial Majesty, I knew your father as well as anyone may know a foreign sovereign. He was a good man of strong conscience and conviction, and with a deep love of the German people. And whilst those qualities made him an extraordinary leader for the Kaiserreich, they are also the very thing that has made relations between our two great powers as strained as we find them to now be.

“I will be candid if I may, Your Imperial Majesty. You are quite right in deducing Britain’s current lack of direct concern over the continent – at least insofar as the central and eastern regions are concerned. Regardless of who rules those lands, British trade will continue to flow into and through the ports, as ever. Over western Europe, His Majesty King Edward is much more attentive. British relations with France have been determinedly enhanced in general and in global trade and security in particular. As such, I fear any direct aggression against France may draw His Majesty’s ire.”

A flash of irritation flashed over Wilhelm’s features. A very brief flash that demonstrated a mastery of emotions and maturity beyond his years. Ilchester’s assessment of the young sovereign ticked up again. He continued.

“Please understand, Your Imperial Majesty, I do not make the statement as a threat of any kind, but simply as a presentation of hypothetical cause and effect. Britain cannot, naturally, have so close a companion nation be targeted for aggression without reply. I humbly implore you on behalf of His Majesty King Edward to reconsider any potential renewed conflict in Europe. The people are weary, Your Imperial Majesty, and deserve to enjoy the peace as it stands.”

Was Wilhelm considering his plea for peace, or calculating Britain’s stance? It was another mark in the young Kaiser’s favour that Ilchester couldn’t tell. He went on, certain that Wilhelm was capable of assessing affairs, he simply needed the unvarnished information.

“However, what concerns Britain most is not so much Germany’s flourishing industry as it is the expansion of the Kasierliche Marine. Far beyond what is needed to adequately defend Germany’s northern shores and her colonies – if you’ll forgive the presumption. This is brought into particularly sharp relief when contrasted with the German armies and their deservedly proud Prussian traditions of excellence.

“If Germany can commit to the current peace, abstaining from aggression against France and perhaps maintaining the navy at a level more commensurate to Germany’s peacetime needs, I believe King Edward will be immensely grateful to Your Imperial Majesty and be much more confident in an enhanced relationship between Britain and the Kaiserreich that will see both our nations to unmatched prosperity.”

Taking a few moments to process the reply, Kaiser Wilhelm III leaned onto his right elbow, resting it on the arm of the chair.

“How can we reasonably be expected to limit ourselves without assurances that your nation will not attempt a blockade of us should war break out? What incentive do we have to do so? As for peace, I do not want war, but I fear the French might be chomping at the bit for one to avenge 1871. That is my fear,” Wilhelm replied, taking a moment to let his words hang in the air.

“Can we at least be assured that London will not, in anyway, back the French in a war of aggression against us?”

Ilchester was pleased to have corresponded so recently with the Foreign Secretary, for the exchange had provided him a ready answer now.

"As much as anyone can counsel a Bonaparte, we are advocating for a non-aggression pact between Britain, France and Germany, one that would ensure that the continent between us remains at peace. Concurrently, we are counseling our French counterparts not to pursue conflict with Germany. Official consultation with France notwithstanding, I believe achieving such a non-aggression pact would fortify all of Europe greatly.

"Germany need not brace for French aggression, and the German Navy can remain a reasonable size and cost to the people."

“If you are successful, then we will be most grateful. I can commit to not starting further large scale naval expansion projects for the near future, but we will finish the one we’ve already embarked on. This holds as long as France does not threaten us,“ the young Kaiser replied before taking a sip of tea.

"Then, if you will, Your Imperial Majesty, I shall make all haste to the telegraph station."

Wilhelm hesitated only a moment before standing, granting an end to the audience and freeing Ilchester to leave. The ambassador stood and bowed respectfully. "This meeting may well be the catalyst to an unprecedented era in Europe. It has been an unmitigated pleasure to attend you today, Your Imperial Majesty. Good health and and good day."

Back in the carriage and headed directly to the telegraph station, Ilchester felt optimistic for the first time in years.
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Capitalist Paradise

Postby Intermountain States » Mon Dec 11, 2023 8:11 pm

Gyeongbok Palace
Empire of Korea

Prime Minister Han Kyu-seol and General Min Young-hwan sat in front of Emperor Gwangmu in the Gyeongbok Palace after just arriving to the throne room. While the Prime Minister was wearing a modern western suit, the Emperor was in the traditional yellow dragon robe befitting of an Emperor based in the East. As Korea moves towards the new year, efforts were made for the public to adopt western style clothing to look more modernized in the eyes of the West. The national military and the Imperial Guards wore western military suits although half of the military of the 8 provinces still wear traditional military attires while still being armed with modern weapons. Urban areas would see more western clothing in daily life, although the suits were more of a status symbol worn by those to showcase either wealth or willingness for modernization.

In the government, the vast majority of the progressive Enlightenment Party wear western suits while just about half of the conservative Royalist Party would still be suited in traditional court garbs. Most of the royalists would keep their sangtu topknots while the majority of Enlightenment Party members hard their hairs cut short. Hairstyle wasn't too much of an issue though, even the Emperor had his hairs cut and many men would follow suit in cutting their hairs. Only the most traditional would keep their hairstyle as what they claim to be maintaining Korea's traditional cultures against the tide of westernization.

As the two visitors made themselves comfortable, the Emperor was the first to speak.

"As we all know, Korea must take a position over the ongoing war between Russia and Japan. Eventually, we'll have to pick a side whether we want to or not."

"The stance of the Enlightenment members is that in the interest of pan-Asian unity, Korea must stand with Japan as a clear message to Russia that East Asia is no longer a playground of the western powers," Han began. "Japan had played a major role in helping this country modernize. It is thanks to them that Korea was able to seize the Gando region and break free from China's outdated tributary system."

"Royalist officials, however, argued that Korea is currently enjoying strong relations with the western powers and for Korea to side with Japan in a risky war against Russia could worsen relations between Korea and the West, especially since there is a chance that Russia could win," Min added, representing the arguments of pro-Russian and American officials.

"That is rather concerning," the Emperor said. Many years, capital, and lives were spent with an effort of modernizing Korea. First came the unequal treaties with Japan and the west. Then came the violent responses to the reforms due to actions of callous aristocrats and officials like the Imo Incident and the Donghak Peasant rebellion. Thankfully, Korea's place in the world had slightly increased with the seizure of Gando from China and Korean involvement in the international relief force. The Gabo Reforms and the Gwangmu Reforms were successful in spite of the challenges. That all of that can change in a blink of an eye. Currently, the Royalist Party has the majority in the Assembly and they have currently taken the position of neutrality. However, that position is only kicking the can down the road that is war.

"What course do you think we should take?" he asked both men. Han Kyu-seol thought for a while.

"Whichever country emerges victorious practically has free reign to influence Korea as they see fit," the Prime Minister responded. "Korea is just part of the wider game of influence between the western powers and the consequences would be worse if we backed the defeated party. We could follow like what the Gabo cabinet did during the Sino-Japanese War where we remain neutral until we supported the winning side with military force.

"Now I would argue that Korea may look to cooperate with Russia against Japan," Min said. "Relations between Japan and Korea haven't always been the best, what with Japan's invasion under Toyotomi Hideyoshi centuries ago and the unequal treaty forced on us in the Treaty of Ganghwa by the Japanese. While Japan did play a major role in our modernization, there is still that ugly history one must take into consideration. In contrast, relations with Russia are rather positive, they haven't really done much to antagonize us and they too assisted in our modernization efforts."

"However, one has right to worry about Russia's imperial ambitions in the East," Han added, making sure to address arguments made by the pro-Japanese officials. "They have yet to withdraw from their illegal occupation of Manchuria ever since China's Boxer rebellion and I severely doubt that Qing is willing to let that slide. The Russians can claim that they have little ambitions in the East but their occupation of Manchuria says otherwise and one must wonder if the Korean peninsula is next in the mouth of the Russian bear."

"But for now, we should look into building up our defenses and to be cautious of the intentions of the major powers," the General declared. "General Yi Yong-ik and a few others are currently on a trip to report on the strengths of both the central army and the provincial forces. We have tens of thousands of faithful subjects willing to defend Korea against foreign invaders, either as part of the military or as irregular militias like the Righteous Armies of the past."

"We will eventually have to pick a side and there is without a doubt that both factions are going to request for this small peninsular country to participate, either through manpower, intelligence, or land access, willingly or not," the Prime Minister said. "Another option is letting Qing take the lead, see what position they would take in this war before we announce our stance."

"Perhaps we would be able to weather the storm or we would be swept along the tides. May the Heavens guide us through these challenges," the Emperor said with some worry in his tone.
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Postby Cymrea » Thu Dec 14, 2023 4:38 pm


3 February 1905


London - Representatives from France and the Ottoman Empire have been invited to London ahead of what is rumoured to be an ambitious diplomatic endeavour. Westminster Abbey is making preparations for the conference, stepping up security for an expected state visit by French Emperor Napoleon IV and Sultan Abdul Hamid II. This on the heels of the recently announce Triple Pact, a non-aggression treaty signed by Britain, France, and Germany. All indications are that His Majesty King Edward is very sincere in his desire to bring the French closer to Britannia.

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Postby NewLakotah » Fri Dec 15, 2023 7:37 pm

Gloire en politique


“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” - Plato

February, 1905

Paris, France

Smoke flowed through the air, choking the men who sat puffing on slim cigarettes or fat cigars. Over two hundred men, sitting in chairs around each other. Huddling and whispering together, their voices and murmurs creating a dull buzz punctuated by sharp coughs. Democracy, at work. Among them, Hadricourt sat primed and eager. He waited for the speaker to recognize him. At last, he did.

“Honorable members,” He began in an authoritative voice. Already there were hisses from segments of the crowd. The Back-Benchers. He could only make out a mass of faces and suits. “His Imperial Majesty has impressed upon his government a new avenue for which our nation must take. For French security, French Imperial strength, our nation must continue with the development of the French Navy.” The hisses and boos grow louder. From the corner of his eye, he can see men rising up to their feet. The speaker recognized one of them. Hadricourt sat.

“Honorable Prime Minister,” the man shouted. “How does His Imperial Majesty wish to pay for his new ships?”

Hadricourt stood. “His government has assured him – as I assure you now – government funds are sufficient to handle the necessary costs and burdens of taking on loans for new construction projects.”

There were more blurs of motion and the speaker recognized another man so Hadricourt sat again. “Honorable Prime Minister,” the second man began. “His Imperial Majesty has consistently run over financial budgets. All to fund His Majesty’s dream of a navy. A navy to fight whom? A navy to fight the British? Or to fight the Germans? Have we not signed a non-aggression pact with the Germans? What is the necessity for such spending now?”

“With the consistent flow of raw materials and our growing industries – we have reduced costs and time. Our navy has perfected their systems and perfected their designs. Already a class of ships is ready to be built. Even more are under construction. This proposal seeks to introduce the new class of high adaptable battleships. The Imperial Navy must rise to face the challenges of the modern world. No longer can France rely on the strength solely on its army and its fervor. Today, it is a metal world and metal battleships that roam the seas demonstrate the strength necessary to control one’s fate. We cannot let any nation – German, British, or other – determine the fate of France.”

There were cheers this time, outnumbering the jeers. Mostly from other Bonapartists and even some of the Legitimists. Republicans mostly stayed quiet. Except a vocal few. Bunched together at the back corner of the assembly. One of the rose and was recognized by the speaker. Hadricourt sat.

“Honorable Prime Minister let me ask you how French prestige will better the lives of those who create it?” The man shook an accusing fist at Hadricourt, buoyed by vocal support from his friends. Hadricourt glared at them. Marxists. He rose yet again.

“Tell me,” He retorted loudly. “How will French labor be benefited by German rule?” There were laughs and cheers from most of the crowd. “Our forces – land and sea – must remain at the pinnacle. Look to the Russian Empire. They are fighting a war on the opposite corner of their vast country. They remain locked in a bitter fight to an oriental empire. Look to the British. Who have fought and lost on the colonial fringes. Look to the Spanish Empire – if you can find it.” More laughs. “Tell me of the successes of their labor, sir, as their Empire crumbled as they grew weak. Or of how well they defended Cuba or the Philippines from American aggression. Tell me of the wealth to be had when the flow of goods stops from our colonies. How will you redistribute nothing, sir?”

Hadricourt sat again.He sat, this time, more assuredly and confidently.

“And tell me, Prime Minister,” The Marxist said, still shaking an accusing finger at Hadricourt. “How is French honor restored as we sign treaties with the Germans? Are we just the lackeys of the British or does his Imperial Majesty no longer care for his subjects under German occupation? How does France claim it is not like the Spanish – a failing empire – with its labor oppressed and its peoples under foreign occupation!”

“You would have us rush headlong into a war in which we are ill-prepared. A war in which we will not win. This is why our Fleet Program of 1904, to issue the production of a new class of Battleships. Along with a new class of Armored Cruisers. A new class of Destroyers.”

Hadricourt was forced to sit again.

“Honorable Prime Minister,” the new voice began, this time from a non-Marxist Republican. “Our fleet has, under construction, a number of battleships, destroyers and other fighting craft. These are necessary to complete. However, the new ships would have our capacities maxed. How does His Majesty’s government intend to pay for all of these new ships.”

“His Majesty’s government has proposed a number of methods to ensure that our budgets remained balanced. The 1904, 1905 and 1906 budgets will see increases from current projections by 14%. Through the collection of tariffs and through the projected funds from tolls and other fees collected from duties from Panama and the expected tax increases from colonial holdings in America offset many of the costs. Through loans collected by the issuing of Naval Bonds, our government has estimated it could raise millions of francs. Necessary to construct and expand our facilities.”

“How does His Imperial Majesty justify the costs to programs to alleviate poverty and hunger. French labor bears the greatest cost of duties. They pay the price for sugar and bread. They pay the tariffs and excises. How does it intend to cover the costs of taxes on the laborer?” The Marxist was back again.

“The government has the necessary funds to ensure the maintaining of all vital programs, sir. Labor will survive and it will endure. Labor will thrive under the flows of commerce. Flows that will grow stronger through the Panama Canal and, one day, again through the Suez. How are we to defend the Canal, sir? With labor? His Imperial Majesty has proposed an American fleet comprised of six battleships. A Pacific Command comprised of twelve battleships. In total, the number of battleships must equal no less than 44. These are necessary, sir. Look to the Russians. Look to the Japanese. Their fleets sit at the bottom of the Pacific while their industries churn out new ones to replace them. The Royal Navy has announced expansion. So too have our allies the Ottomans. The Germans, handcuffed as they may be, will commit to building what they can. Look to the Americans who have long had their eye on the Panama Canal. We will not – cannot -suffer the loss of Panama as we have lost the Suez. How, sir, do you believe we should defend the Canal? With Revolutionary Fervor? By singing La Marseillaise? How well did that serve the Revolution when British and Prussian soldiers crowded Her borders? How was France saved? By Napoleon the Great and his armies! Today, it is necessary to save the Revolution, to save Liberty, to save the Empire through martial strength. Today’s world, an international world, requires strength to defend commercial and competitive interests as well as strategic interests for an international Empire. Frenchmen from Paris to Saigon to Dakar will know they have the security and backing of an International Imperial Army and Navy. French power will not be questioned by Germany or by the English. French security in Asia will be unquestioned, as too will French control over the portal to Asia in Panama.”

Hadricourt sat again as another Republican rose. “Honorable Prime Minister, let the people question yet again, how does His Imperial Majesty wish to pay for these capital ships? Four hundred to five hundred thousand francs per ship, sir?”

“His government,” Hardricourt replied, rising to his feet and buttoning his jacket yet again. “As I have stated will offer proposals by which to pay. These are the offering of a new round of war bonds to the public for the year 1904 with further issuing as needed. The raising of tariffs of competing colonial holdings will supplement – according to our data – 300,000 francs per year in extra revenue. The tariffs and tolls as collected from Panama and the expected increase in revenues from trade and exports from the Americas and Pacific, we expect a 12% annual increase beginning in 1913. These bonds will provide a long term security by which the French government will repay debts to Her citizens. Our deficits will decrease only in losses on repayment of these loans to French loyal subjects.”

“The people, sir, will not take on more debt and more loans to pay for a vanity project of the Emperor.” Another man had risen. “How will this navy be used? We sign treaties of peace with the enemies of the Revolution and of France in Britain and Germany. We build Battlefleet as costing millions of francs to parade in ports. How shall we restore French honor but by French Armies? What will become of the French Army – the Grand Armée – and her Imperial Divisions?”

“Our spending proposals see no cuts to any army funds. Indeed funding for army formations – new formations – are proposed in our 1904 budget. These include increasing the production of heavy artillery to supply 27 new heavy artillery batteries, increasing production of machine guns to equip each battalion with an additional machine gun, further fortifications and improvements around Verdun, Sedan, Amiens, Nice, and Calais. New coastal fortification to be established at Cherbourg. These, sir, are more than sufficient to maintain security for a four year non aggression pact with the Germans. Now, sir, I motion for a vote.”

“I motion Lord Speaker, for a motion to added. A motion from his loyal government to His Imperial Majesty,” a Republican, a large man with a powerful and dominant voice. “That the people of France will not accept to being a vassal state of any Empire – British or German or American. We will not accept - the people and the Will of France will not accept – any loss of territory or any treaty signed with any state that does not recognize the full nation of France. The regions of Alsace-Lorraine that are occupied by Germans will not be allowed to continue by any recognition by His Imperial Majesty.”

“Hear, Hear!” The reply from the parliament came back. The motions were then presented. The naval act was brought forward and was voted upon. The ayes carried it by a clear margin, but Hadricourt requested a proper vote tallied. 54 members voted against while 157 voted vote the Naval Act. Only 13, including Hadricourt, voted against the Resolution of the People of France for His Majesty, Emperor Napoleon IV. The Emperor would have his navy, but he would also have to answer to the people of France.
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Postby Shohun » Fri Dec 15, 2023 10:31 pm

Yıldız Palace
Constantinople, The Ottoman Empire
January 8, 1905

Sultan Hamid II listened in as his top advisors convened a meeting of the Imperial War Cabinet, consisting of the Grand Vizier, the Minister of War, the Minister of Naval Affairs, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Minister of the Interior, joined by the Chief of the Yıldız Intelligence Agency and the Chiefs of General Staff.

"Your Imperial Majesty," began Minister of War Field Marshal Omer Rushdie Pasha, "The war in the East has offered an unprecedented opportunity for our Empire. Our greatest enemy - Russia - is distracted, and possibly even losing the war. We can voice our support for Japan in their struggle, and maybe even send them some aid, but if we are decisive, we can regain the pride of the Ottoman Empire and restore our former territories to Ottoman control. It is a widely held position among senior Army leadership that we can reclaim the provinces in Caucasus that we lost as a result of the war in 1878 by launching a short and limited operation. With their resources and men drawn East, we should achieve victory relatively quickly and by avoiding escalation in the Balkans, force a peace settlement. After all, they cannot afford a two front war."

"But what if they can?" asked Foreign Minister Ahmed Tevfik Pasha. "Or even worse, sign a deal with the Japanese and pivot West? They will see an attack on the Caucasus as being aimed towards their heartland. Korea and Siberia is unimportant in comparison. We are not ready to wage another full scale war against Russia, especially an offensive one where the French and British will not help us."

"The Ottoman Empire has defeated the Russians before. Imagine the humiliation if they are defeated by the Japanese!" exclaimed Rushdie. "They will not pivot towards us. The Russians do not have the troop strength to be fighting in two areas thousands of miles apart, and will not want to divert their resources here."

The Grand Vizier spoke up. "We cannot afford another major war if it can be avoided. While I like the initiative, launching such a brazen attack would be far too risky. We can direct our patrols to skirmish at the best, but anything else is too far."

"What if we pursue something more unconventional?" inquired Chief of Intelligence General Kadri Bey. "Let us not forget about the Russians to our flank controlling the Suez. If we take advantage of their distraction towards the East, we can utilize more covert means to pressure them into leaving the Suez or a favorable diplomatic agreement at the minimum."

"The Suez Canal is very valuable." chuckled Minister of Finance Ahmed Reşad Pasha. "I do not believe they will give it up easily, especially since they have the Germans backing them up."

"Ah yes. The Germans." said General Bey. "We do not need to worry about them. They are the more rational actors out of the two. I believe based on what I have heard out of London and Paris, the new Kaiser does not want another major war in Europe so soon. The Kaiser isn't going to fight a war over the Suez, especially if things get messy for him. Our concern is the Russians. I believe it will take a serious effort, but our operation is prepared for that."

"And what does that entail?" asked the Grand Vizier.

"We will first begin by organizing a demonstration against the Russian controlled Port Said. That will not take much effort, as the local population already views the Russians as an occupying force. Our agents will lead the protests, attempting to gain entry into the city. If successful, then the city will be liberated plain and simple." General Bey paused. "However, given the violent tendencies of the Tsar, the Russians will likely open fire on the civilian protesters, all documented by Ottoman agents. Then the rest comes together quite easily. We let the people take matters into their own hands, and we help them here and there with access to the weapons and resources required to dislodge the Russians from the port. There presence there is unsustainable short of deploying even more troops. Let us take advantage of that."

The Sultan considered the two proposals for a moment. "I am inclined to grant permission to go ahead with Project Qanaa Muqawima. However that is conditional on French approval.We do not want to go against our most import ally's aims for the region."

Yıldız Palace
Constantinople, The Ottoman Empire
January 10, 1905

-Co-write with NewLakotah-

Sultan Abdul Hamid II sat in the reception chamber of the Şale Kiosk, waiting for the arrival of the French Ambassador, who had been called for an urgent meeting to discuss the global situation and the situation close to home. Sipping a cup of Turkish coffee, he looked out the window until an aide approached and informed him, "Your Imperial Majesty, the French Ambassador has arrived."

The Sultan nodded and stood to greet the French Ambassador at the door. "Mr. Ambassador, it is an honor. I am very glad you could come on such short notice."

Ambassador Alphonse Gustave Ozanne smiled brightly towards the Sultan as he was lead into the large reception chamber. It was beautifully decorated and a marvel to behold in a way only the Ottomans really knew how to do. He bowed deeply towards the Sultan saying, “Your Majesty, it is an honor and a privilege. I am at your service.”

With a smile, Sultan Hamid gave a nod and shook hands with the French Ambassador before leading him to a table and taking a seat, with a translator besides him. "Thank you again for coming. Is there anything one of my aides could get you to drink?" he asked as he took a sip of his coffee and warmly smiled before speaking again. "As I'm sure you are aware, I called you here today to discuss the very important current events happening across the globe. We are living during a very interesting time that calls for decisive action for the benefit of our peoples and for the security of our Empires. Accordingly. my government strongly believes that before we take any action, we consult with our most important ally."

Ozanne had accepted the offer of coffee and took a sip appreciatively.

“Of course, your Majesty,” he said.“His Imperial Majesty, Napoleon IV, is just as committed as ever to our mutual agreement. Together we anchor both halves of the great Mediterranean Sea and, internally, we see it as a harbinger for a golden age for the entire region. But forgive me, your Majesty. Was there anything specific you wished to address?” Ozanne asked as he leaned back in his chair.

"My government is particularly concerned about the Russian threat, but is also interested in what the war in the East could mean for Europe." replied the Sultan. "Specifically, my government is interested in undermining Russian control across their stolen territories, including in the Caucasus and the Suez Canal. I believe the war between Russia and Japan presents an excellent opportunity to bring the Russians to the table regarding these territories. One of the proposals I am most seriously entertaining is the utilization of Ottoman intelligence agents to undermine Russian control over the Suez, including, but not limited to protests, discreet sabotage, and if ultimately necessary, action carried out by deniable, non-Ottoman militia forces."

Hamid paused to sip his coffee. "We are nearly ready to begin such an operation, but I wanted to consult you first, given the implications such an operation may cause. While I am of the opinion that the Russians will seek to avoid a direct war, and given their war with Japan, will be more amenable to securing a diplomatic resolution, I wanted to open up to any potential concerns you might have."

Ozanne nodded carefully. “Thank you, your Majesty,” he began. “Russian control over the the Suez is as much a stab towards you as it is us. We certainly don’t wish to involve ourselves in anything - yet. Officially, anyway. But we also won’t stand in the way of anything, either.” He smiled. “With Russian focus on the East, it gives chances to undermine the Russo-German alliance. One step at a time.”

"Excellent." replied the Sultan nodding slowly. "In that case, we will go ahead with our operation in the coming days. If and when it comes to it, I would appreciate French diplomatic and intelligence assistance to pressure the Russian government to make concessions and avoid escalation, if that is possible. In particular, if your government could assist us in urging the Germans to end their support for the Russian occupation of the Suez, that would be greatly beneficial."

"We will provide all the assitance that we can. We do not have very much sway with the Germans, but perhaps we can sway the two of them apart. I will urge the Foreign Ministry to make a public urging at the behest of regional security and on behalf of the peoples of Egypt." Ozanne smiled. "As far as intelligence and other support, we are more than willing to provide the intelligence and strategic support necessary for your purposes. We can have attaches assigned to your intelligence corps. They can pass along all the relevant information that we gather."

"We are very grateful." said the Sultan, returning the smile. "I would like to turn to discuss our military cooperation. France has already done so much for our Navy and ground forces, but I am concerned that our deterrence is not as strong as it used to be. I wanted to request that France join us in small joint naval exercises to demonstrate the strength and resolve of our alliance. And as the situation is, I welcome France to deploy its forces to Ottoman military bases as it wishes."

He paused. "I worry that a great war is on the horizon, and the way that we win is by avoiding it altogether with deterrence. Strengthening our military is good, but I am unsure if that will be done fast enough."

I will pass along that information to our General Staff,” Ozanne said. “I believe a naval exercise is certainly possible. Security on this half of the Mediterranean seems the most dicey and we are willing to commit significant forces in ensuring security on this half. I’m sure we can continue to find ways to improve our standing against Russo-German aggression. For that purpose, the French Army remains committed to securing Asia Minor with a full Expeditionary Army of over 100,000 men. We also hope such a deployment is unnecessary.“

"I too pray that such a deployment will not be necessary. But I am thankful France stands ready to protect stability and peace in the region." said the Sultan. "Was there anything from your end that you wished to discuss with me?"

“Well, if I may, your Majesty,” Ozanne began after finishing the last sip of coffee. He waited politely as the attendant servant filled it quickly with steaming hot black liquid. He diluted it with crème as he continued, “As far as your Empire’s security, how do you plan on proceeding? Russo-German control of the Suez we can jointly work together towards. But how about Egypt? British preeminence has been growing. Beyond that, many foreign powers - even Italian - have eyed Libya with increasing interest.”

With a more grim look, Sultan Hamid leaned in. "Do not consider this the official position of the Ottoman government, but between you an I, I have come to accept that continued control over Libya will be difficult. During certain moments in history, such as your government's ...military movement into Tunisia or the British occupation of Egypt, we have bolstered our garrison of Libya. But now we are in a difficult position. I have drawn down my forces there due to the more pressing fronts in the Balkans and the Caucasus, or dealing with Arabia or the border with Egypt. We have local militias and a few smaller units, but they may prove insufficient." He paused. "I am considering a military expansion, but that could be taken the wrong way by Russia or a host of other neighbors. We will certainly make efforts to expand our presence there, however I am interested in what you have to say about protecting Libya. I would certainly not be opposed to a French military presence in Libya, so long as Ottoman control is respected and it does not turn into another Egypt."

"Speaking of..." he continued, "Egypt is an interesting situation. It is effectively already outside of my control, and I am unwilling to fight a conflict with Britain for it. Local revolt is possible, as we have seen previously, but I doubt one will prove successful in the near future. For the time being, I am pleased with the friendly Khedive in Egypt, who remains loyal to me. That said, my government is currently in top secret conversations with the British government pertaining the status of Egypt. I cannot give away much for I do not want to jeopardize the talks, but relations with Britain are improving at an incredible rate, and I believe that Egypt will remain a part of the Empire for a long time to come."

Ozanne nodded as the Sultan spoke. He thought for a long moment, wondering just where his authority to speak ended. After a moments debate he said, “It is certainly in French interests to prevent the dismantlement of further Ottoman territories. With your permission, I imagine we could assist in any necessary security operations for Libya. I dont believe any state would attempt an invasion - but His Imperial Majesty would not wish that territory to fall into enemy hands.

“As for the British - we certainly see no reason to consider their intentions as ill intended. Naïve, perhaps, but overall I believe they can be a good partner to maintain peace and stability. A counterweight to the chaotic powers of Germany and Russia. I hope relations with the British improve. Security of Asia Minor will be stronger with support from India. And as for any expansion attempts.” Ozanne leaned forward intently. “The French government - assuming obviously it’s not intended towards us or an allied nation-” He chuckled, “would be more than willing to ensure Ottoman success in any operations. Should Your Majesty choose to embark on such a path.”

With a small grin, the Sultan considered what to say next. "I am certainly open to a French presence in Libya, especially a naval one. Please, correspond with your government and I will be happy to grant permission for a French security force."

The Sultan leaned in slightly. "In the future, my commanders have made proposals for the return of territories in Asia Minor and the wider region to Ottoman control. I myself have not decided if those proposals will be enacted in the near future or in many, many years, however we would greatly appreciate French support towards building our capabilities. I am planning to expand my forces, and we could use French assistance in the expansion of our domestic small arms, artillery, and munitions industry. Combined with another purchase of armaments from France, I believe my military will soon return to effective strength to engage in large scale offensive operations once again."

Ozanne smiled and nodded eagerly. “Of course, Your Majesty,” he said. “I can assure you of continued French assistance in regards to your military formations. The continued modernization of the Ottoman army remains as high a priority as ever. And I will pass along the necessary information to His Majesty the Emperor as soon as possible, Your Majesty.”

"I am extremely grateful." said the Sultan with a nod.

Amir Alin Aq Palace
Cairo, Khedivate of Egypt
January 12, 1905

While Egypt was effectively under British occupation, it officially remained as an autonomous state within the Ottoman Empire. While the time of direct Ottoman rule over Egypt was long gone, it didn't mean the Ottomans were powerless in Egypt, especially with the friendly Khedive Abbas II. At the very least, an Ottoman official could find a place to sleep at night - or to plan a protest. Sitting in room smoking after his short journey by boat from Constantinople, Colonel Omar Ali rested his feet on the table as he explained to a group of a dozen senior agents. "Through our diplomatic channels and connections, we have secured the support of the Khedive and his government. It means little, since we know who is actually in charge, but we have also managed to work with local authorities to ensure they do not intervene in our little demonstration. I have received permission from Constantinople, and we are authorized to go ahead."

He stood, pacing in front of his men. "Agents have already begun to scope out the Russian and German positions in Port Said, and have been observing their regular movements. As such, our first effort will be organizing the locals and gathering nationalists supporters to take part in the protest. You will spread the word, and rally the people. We will have assistance with that from local clergy we have enlisted for our operation."

"At the protest itself, you are to help the protesters with tools, knowledge, and by motivating them to continue to march. You will document the event, taking pictures that will later be used for propaganda or newspapers. I am anticipating the Russian barbarians will open fire. Avoid putting yourselves at risk of death or capture. Your job is to motivate, assist, and take pictures, not necessarily take part. Whatever the march results in, we shall go from there. Is that clear?"

The men replied in unison, "Yes, sir!"

Outskirts of Port Said
Khedivate of Egypt
January 20, 1905
8 AM

Co-Write with CSR

A mix of three dozen Ottoman agents of the Yıldız Intelligence Agency were spread out among the crowd of nearly two thousand nationalist demonstrators, who waved signs decrying Russian control over the Suez Canal as well as Egyptian and even Ottoman flags. The loud, sizable crowd was growing anxious as their 'leader' made his way to the front. The previously unknown Egyptian Imam, Hassan al-Tilmisani, handpicked by Ottoman Intelligence, stood defiantly in front of his supporters. "For years, the Russian infidel dogs have occupied the lands of Egypt violating our holy sovereignty and stealing the wealth of the Egyptian people. For too long our Ottoman protectors have been constrained by treaty and obligation to assist us. The people of Egypt can not tolerate this holy injustice any longer! In the name of Allah, today marks the momentous moment in history that we change that. Today, we march to reclaim Port Said! Today, we tell the occupation to get out, and to never return! DEATH TO THE OCCUPATION! DEATH TO THE TSAR! DEATH TO RUSSIA!!!" he shouted as the crowd roared in approval and began to chant, "Death to the Occupation! Death the the Occupation!"

Over the past few weeks, the Yıldız Agency had started a campaign of rallying nationalist sentiment and organizing the demonstration, taking careful precaution to keep local authorities just slightly aware so that they would not intervene. Thus far, it was going perfectly.

Now it was finally time. Now they would march on Port Said. At the front of the group, Al-Tilmisani shouted, "Onto Port Said!"

Russian agents that'd been operating in Egypt managed to catch wind of a plot to lay siege to Port Said with a 'protest', with relative ease, given its nature. As soon as Russia caught news of the upcoming protest, the Russian government began communications with the Egyptian government to be on site to arrest the agent provocateurs. There was no doubt amongst Russian officials that the protest must consist virtually entirely of foreign agents, due to the specificity of its cause which its self made it none to difficult to catch wind of the plot, giving the sheer size of the presence of foreign agents.

There was no legitimate reason that a spontaneous movement of Egyptian nationalists would focus entirely on their Russian occupiers with not even a mention of their German allies. Only one intended on specifically targeting Russia, commanded by people too dimwitted to recognize that such a focus immediately revealed their ruse, would behave in such a manner. Given that, there was little reason to show much restraint with the arriving 'protest', but for reasons of good coverage the Russian would make some preparations to make their reaction as justifiable as possible.

The Russian guards of Port Said, prepared by barricading all feasible points of entry from the outskirts of Port Said territory, with two separate layers. One layer on the very edge of territory and another layer of barricades several meters inward. The first layer had a variety of signs, indicating that those who crossed it would be arrested and detained and that deadly force could be used upon anyone within the area. The second layer of barricades had signs that made it clear, crossing over it WOULD lead to the use of deadly force. These barricaded areas were covered by elevated machine gun nests manned by Russian soldiers, which themselves were matched with smaller infantry detachments. They were given very specific orders.

Individuals over on the on the other side of the first layer were not to be detained or otherwise attacked, even if they'd just fled over from having crossed the first layer. Russian Soldiers were order to, however, move in and detain anyone that crossed over the first layer of barricades, as was feasible to do so with minimum risk of life and limb to soldiers or the riotrs. Individuals who crossed over the second layer, however, would be shot on sight and only detained on the specific discretion of the local commander.

The march continued on towards Port Said as the protesters rallied behind Imam Al-Tilmisani chanting as they made their way through the streets, with some more local even joining them along the way. Approaching a line of barricades with signs that more than a few of the protesters didn't know how to read, Imam Al-Tilmisani shouted as he stepped forward to kick the barrier, "We shall not stop until we are in the very heart of our city! No wall, no barrier, no infidel shall stop us!"

With that, the crowd surged forward, pushing against the barrier and a few dozen hopping over before helping others as well. The Ottoman agents in the crowd proved helpful, offering wire cutters and saws while other protesters who carried sticks or other tools helped to make gaps in the barrier to make it easier to climb over or squeeze through. Once again leading at the front, the Imam rallied his supporters. "DEATH TO THE OCCUPATION! DEATH TO RUSSIA!"

The defiant crowd surged through, wielding whatever they had brought or could find. The more peaceful of the group simply carried their signs, but the more radical members wielded sticks, crude shields, and hammers, or had picked up stones along the way. Chanting as they went, the mass surged forward towards the second barrier, ready to defend themselves against any occupation soldier that attempted to detain a member of their group.

Russian troops surged forward, to capture and detain any individual that crossed over the first barrier that they possibly could, targeting and stragglers and pulling them back over the barrier second barrier, pulling back from those that fought back with the help of their peers.

All the while they used speaking trumpets toward the crowd, repeating the instructions the signs indicated. Crossing over the first barrier meant arrest and detainment, crossing over the second meant death. Once it became clear that the group became too much contain and detain as they approached the second barrier, just as had been previously instructed, Russian troops were instructed to fall back across it. The first rioters whose foot touched the ground to over the second barrier, would be shot at center mass, along with any other protesters that climbed over the second barrier.

The protesters rallied forward, throwing rocks and hitting any Russian soldiers that dared to approach them with clubs as the group moved towards the second barrier. Throwing rocks and anything they could find over the barrier at the Russian soldiers, the protesters defiantly stood beside Al-Tilmisani.

"By the grace of Allah, we shall liberate our sacred territory against the occupation dogs, or we shall die with glory as martyrs. No soldier, no army can stop us. Forward!" cried the Imam. With that, and with a sense of confidence, the crowd continued crashing into the second barrier and surging across.

Behind them, the Ottoman agents lingered back, helping other protesters over the barrier but not climbing over yet themselves, while a few others stood further away and clipped away with the small but potent weapons they had in their coats - cameras.

Just as they were ordered, the Russian machine gun nest shot every single individual that climbed over the second barrier. If they ever needed to reload, the speaking trumpets would again blare with demands restating that any individual who climbed for the second barrier would be shot, with men armed with Mosin–Nagants would pick up the slack immediately afterward.

Imam Al-Tilmisani was one of the first to fall, raked with bullets as his lifeless body fell forward joined by several others in quick procession. A few brave men attempted to drag their bodies away or render aid, only to be ruthlessly gunned down. Dozens now laid dead or dying, torn apart by machine gun rounds. Some more men threw rocks from behind the barricade, but in the chaos, the crowd began to retreat.

All the while, the Ottoman agents snapped pictures. This would be first page news all across the Middle East, and with some effort, in the papers across Europe as well. Mingling with the crowd as it began to retreat, the agents' job was complete.

The emotions of the crowd varied from grief, horror, shock, or rage, but one thing was clear - they desired revenge.

Amir Alin Aq Palace
Cairo, Khedivate of Egypt
January 20, 1905
11 PM

Colonel Ali coldly stared down at the horrifying images of Russian soldiers gunning down unarmed civilian protesters that had been rapidly developed and were already being prepared to be sent to newspapers all across Egypt, Sudan, the Ottoman Empire, and eventually the rest of the world. "This will do the trick." he muttered. "If the Ottoman and Egyptian people did not hate the Russians before, they will now." His cold calculated expression softened for a moment as he said, "However this has come at a terrible cost. Young boys, children murdered by these tyrants."

He slammed the pictures down. "Telegraph General Bey. The first stage is complete. The second stage will begin shortly."

The agent snapped a salute before hurrying off to attend to that matter. A senior agent standing beside the Colonel inquired, "Sir, we lost the Imam. Who will lead the movement now?"

"A new Imam will be appointed, and he will be kept safe." replied Ali. "In our fight for liberation, this is merely a tactical defeat, but a strategic victory. Al-Tilmisani was born to be a martyr. And his name will go down in history because of his bravery today. History will show that the Russian's fatal mistake was firing upon to protesters, for they were not foresighted enough to see what is on the horizon. The Japanese in Asia have started this war for liberation against Russian encroachment. Slowly the Russian Empire will either be forced to adapt, or it shall be tossed unto the dustbin of history." He paused. "We will turn the Germans and Russians against one another, and force the Russians into an isolated position in the Suez. Soon they will have only one choice - to leave the Suez Canal."

Ismailia Square
Cairo, Khedivate of Egypt
January 22, 1905

Imam Shubhi Al-Musawi, the new leader of the self-proclaimed "Egyptian Suez Liberation Organization" stood on a small platform before a large assembled crowd, consisting of nationalist supporters, journalists, and ordinary citizens. On all sides of the platform were a dozen masked men in plain tan uniforms, each with an Egyptian flag patch on their right arm and a patch showing a rifle and sword alongside Arabic that read "Egyptian Suez Liberation Organization" on their left arm. While unarmed, they were clearly security. Armed plainclothes Ottoman agents were spread among the crowd, but in the middle of Cairo, the Colonel was confident even the Russians would not attempt anything even if they found out about the speech.

"Early in the morning, two days ago, 112 men and children civilians were brutally massacred by the forces of the Russian and German Armies occupying the Suez." Al-Musawi began. "As many of you have already read about or heard, these brave souls were martyred by ruthless Russian and German machine guns, who indiscriminately opened fire on them as they peacefully protested the continued crimes of the occupation in the Egyptian Suez Canal. The occupation soldiers fired away as these unarmed protesters attempted to march to reclaim our sovereign Egyptian soil. For far too long, the Russian and German occupation has monopolized the wealth of the people of Egypt, stealing our wealth to line the pockets of the Tsar and the Kaiser! They continue to violate our sovereignty, oppress our peoples, and now openly massacre our innocent brothers, sons, uncles, and fathers. No one, not even a European or Christian is safe from the blood-thirsty savages known as the Russian Army and the German Army. Any step beyond their false line, drawn in our own soil means death from the occupation. We the people of the Khedivate of Egypt, and the people of the world, must not tolerate this injustice for a moment longer. If allowed to go unpunished, the Russian and Germans shall continue to exploit our peoples and endanger the security and flow of trade through the Suez Canal."

The Imam continued. "All of Egypt and the Muslim world is at risk. All of the powers that seek to freely transit the Suez are at risk. The Russians and Germans have made clear; they will choose who utilizes the Suez, and they will only allow those who they see fit. They are fully prepared to close the canal in its entirety to anyone and everyone."

"As such, I call upon the great powers of the world, the French Empire, the British Empire, the United States, the Ottoman Empire, the Empire of Japan, the Qing Empire, and Austria-Hungary to denounce and condemn the terrible Russian and German massacre. I call on these powers to denounce the occupation of the canal by these tyrants, and demand the free passage of trade and peoples through the Egyptian canal. I call on the Khedive and the British Consul, as well as the Ottoman Caliph to take immediate action to protect the Egyptian people and their interests." he paused. "Furthermore, I hereby demand that the Russian and German militaries commit to leaving the Suez Canal to Egyptian and international control within a week from today, or face unprecedented action by the people of Egypt to liberate the Suez. Finally, I urge the Egyptian people to join our organization, and join us in demanding the total end to the occupation of the Suez. Long live the Khedive! Long live Egypt! Down with the Occupation!"

As soon as the speech had begun, it was over. The crowd erupted in cheers and chanting, while the Ottoman agents observed to ensure nothing went out of hand. The Imam was quickly whisked away to safety, flanked by his guards. Watching from further away, Colonel Ali smiled. The liberation of the Suez was near, he could feel it. And if diplomacy failed, the new Al-Tilmisani Brigades would bring swift revenge against the Russian occupation.

Statement from the Imperial Ottoman Ministry of Foreign Affairs
January 23, 1905

His Imperial Majesty, Sultan and Caliph Abdul Hamid II completely condemns the brutal and horrifying massacre of unarmed, peaceful Egyptian civilians carried out by Russian and German soldiers illegally occupying Port Said and the Suez Canal within the Khedivate of Egypt. The images released to the world of the massacre are terrible, and show the shocking disregard of human life and lack of professionalism of the Russian and German soldiers commanded by Russian officers. The Ottoman Empire completely rejects violence against unarmed civilians as a means of governance, and demands an immediate investigation and prosecution of the Russian and German forces involved.

The Ottoman Empire calls on the international powers to join the Empire in completely condemning this horrifying act, and urges the powers in Europe and the Middle East to reconsider the status of the Suez and control over it. Should those in power fail to act to protect the citizens of Egypt, the Ottoman Empire will not hesitate to take necessary actions to ensure the security of its citizens and Muslims everywhere.

The Ottoman Empire does not seek war with the Russian Empire or the German Empire, however the current status of affairs in the Suez and Egypt cannot be tolerated. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a formal protest to the Russian and German Governments. His Imperial Majesty the Sultan urges restraint of the people of Egypt in expressing their righteous anger at the terrible injustice, and joins the people in their mourning.

One week of mourning shall be declared across the Ottoman Empire.

Takvim-i Vekayi
تقویم وقایع
"Calendar of Events"

Russian and German Soldiers Massacre Hundreds of Egyptian Civilians in Port Said:

January 21st - Horror in the Khedivate of Egypt! Early yesterday morning unarmed civilian protesters marching near Port Said were brutally shot and massacred by Russian and German soldiers under Russian Army command. According to first-hand accounts, as the protesters peacefully marched to call for the end of the illegal Russian and German occupation of the Suez Canal, suddenly machine guns began to open fire on the crowd, killing dozens in an instant.

Imam Al-Tilmisani, the leader of the peaceful movement calling for the return of the Suez to Egypt and for international administration of the canal was the first to be shot, in a horrifying display of Russian aggression. As the crowd retreated, the Russian and German soldiers continued to open fire, killing and wounding many. Those who turned back to assist the wounded were immediately gunned down, while the Russian and German barbarians continued to rake those who laid dead or dying with thousands of rounds of machine gun and rifle fire. The protesters, who had not harmed a single soldier, reportedly lost as many as 500 civilians including women and children, although accounts of the event vary.

The Sultan is expected to comment soon, and word of the massacre has already been strongly condemned by the Khedive of Egypt. As horrifying images of the massacre continue to be released, the Ottoman and Egyptian public have been stunned, and it is expected a similar reaction will follow across Europe. Already small protests have occurred outside the Russian embassy in the Ottoman Empire, but the protesters have been kept at bay by Ottoman police. As outrage across the Empire grows, it is expected that the public will call for the Sultan and General Assembly to act decisively to condemn the massacre and take action against the perpetrators.

Ministry of Naval Affairs Announces Purchase of Two Battleships:

January 22nd - Officials within the Ministry of Naval Affairs have announced the purchase of two Belleisle-class ironclad battleships from the British Empire, originally built in 1882 after being sold by the Ottoman Government to Britain while under construction in British shipyards amid the Russo-Turkish War in 1878. The two ships, which have been renamed the Peik-i-Sheref and Bourdjou-Zaffer will reportedly be transferred to Ottoman hands soon, although the actual dates could not be released.

The ships, while older, boast two dual 300 mm guns and a sizable secondary armament, which are expected to bolster the capabilities of the Ottoman Navy which is making efforts to rapidly expand. It is rumored once operational, the ships will be deployed as part of an effort to bolster forces in Libya, although it is said that they may join the main fleet in the Golden Horn.

Egyptian Imam Issues Ultimatum to Russia and Germany to Leave Suez Canal:

January 23rd - Word has reached Constantinople that the new leader of the 'Egyptian Suez Liberation Organization' has issued an ultimatum to Russia and German to withdraw military forces from the Suez Canal, or "face unprecedented action by the people of Egypt to liberate the Suez." (The full speech is available in Turkish, Arabic, and French on Page 2.) Imam Shubhi Al-Musawi, a mysterious leader who has previously voiced opposition to the Russian occupation, has also urged international condemnation of the massacre, calling on the great powers to take action, while also calling on citizens to join their organization to oppose the occupation of the Suez.

While it is unknown if Russia and Germany will actually withdraw, and what will happen if they don't, outrage has quickly spread across the Ottoman Empire and Egypt, and according to Ottoman officials, there are growing concerns of a new conflict in the region.
Last edited by Shohun on Thu Jan 04, 2024 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tracian Empire
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Tracian Empire » Mon Dec 18, 2023 2:54 am

Empire of the Great Qing


Port of the Imperial Chinese Navy
1st of February 1905

Solidify our golden empire,
Follow the will of Heaven

The ceremony had started, with the sound of fireworks filling the air, and with everyone present, from the lowest sailor to Zaixun, Prince Rui of the First Rank and Minister of the Navy, singing the anthem of the Empire of the Great Qing. Sailors and soldiers were arranged around the path covered in red on which the delegation from the Imperial Government had arrived, in order to see the official completion and commissioning of the two new battleships of the Imperial Navy, the Shi Lang and Zheng He.

All of creation will celebrate,
All of mankind will be filled with happiness,
As long as the Qing rules.

The two ships themselves were in the port, raising the golden dragon flag of the empire for the first time. Alongside it, the Shi Lang was rising a blue flag, with the imperial banner in the canton and three white stars underneath it, the flag of the Admiral of the Imperial Chinese Navy, marking it as the future command vessel of Admiral Sa Zhenbing, while the Zheng He was raising a similar flag but with only two stars, marking it as the command vessel of Ye Zugui, Vice-Admiral of the Imperial Chinese Navy. Both officers were old friends, having been among the most promising graduates of the Fuzhou Naval Academy, and having studied abroad in Britain in the Royal Naval College in Greenwich, before returning and serving as officers in the Beiyang Fleet and fighting in the War of Jiawu. After the defeat there, the Imperial Court had finally acknowledged the importance of promoting officers based on merit, not on political influence, and as part of the wide-reaching reforms, the most experienced Chinese officers had been promoted rapidly to important positions, alongside foreign advisors.

May the enlightened empire,
And its vast boundaries be protected.

On the land, singing the anthem in front of the troops, were the two leading officers, and alongside them and the other Qing officers were a series of foreigners, wearing Imperial Navy uniforms. Some of them were signing the anthem, in better or worse Chinese, while others were simply saluting and respecting it. They were Yang Yuan, foreign officers and advisors which had helped the Qing in their quest to develop a modern navy. Two of them were holding tablets, marked with names written in Chinese and English, commemorating two of the Yang Yuan who had died during the War of Jiawu, American officer Philo Norton McGiffin, badly wounded in the Battle of the Yalu River, who had died in 1897, and two British officers, Alexander Purvis and Thomas Nicholls, who had went down with the cruiser Zhiyuan during the same battle. As Li Hongzhang had written to the Emperor after the battle: "They are from overseas, but fought and even died for China. They are brave, loyal and righteous." Among those who were still alive and still serving the Qing were William Ferdinand Tyler, Charles Cheshire, both with the honorary title of Commodores, and William Lang, honored with the title of Rear Admiral for his many contributions. Along them, were new officers and advisors, like Wilhelm Anton Souchon, Korvettenkapitän in the Imperial German Navy.

The sky is high,
The sea is turbulent.

As the anthem ended, the pride was easily visible on the faces of all the Chinese officers, sailors, and soldiers present. A modern navy, one that would once again win their nation the place that it deserved, in both Asia and in the world. A lot of progress had been done in the past decades, only for all that progress to be undone in a single day and a single battle, the Battle of the Yalu River, the darkest day of the Imperial Chinese Navy and the end of the Beiyang Fleet. But much had changed in the last 10 years, and the lessons of that war and of that battle had been well learned. More ships had been bought, more officers were trained, the training and coordination of the crews and ships was improved, and the fleets were reunited into one, single, Imperial Fleet. Although overshadow by its defeat back then, the new Imperial Fleet was ready for a new age.

In a way, this launch reminded Admiral Zhenbing of the arrival of the ironclad Dingyuan in Tianjin back then. The pride that everyone had felt was similar, but the current circumstances couldn't be more difficult. The Shi Lang and the Zheng He were German designs, like the Dingyuan, that much was true, but unlike it, the two new battleships had been built in China, by Chinese hands. The result of the program which had been started with German help, it had given the Qing two slipways, several drydocks, and German assistance in starting a domestic shipbuilding industry that trained and prepared Chinese workers and engineers. While several other ships had been produced in China before, the Shi Lang and the Zheng He were the first two battleships to be built at home - the first of hopefully many. In more than one way, this was the beginning of a new age for China.

Empire of the Great Qing

To His Excellency, Pavel Mikhailovich Lessar, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of His Majesty the Tsar in Beijing,

Your Excellency,

I have been ordered by His Majesty the Emperor to inform you that due to the continued unlawful occupation of the sovereign Chinese territory in Manchuria by the troops of the Russian Empire, and in light of the failure of the negotiations that were mediated by the ambassador of His Majesty the Kaiser in Tianjin, the Empire of the Great Qing considers itself to be in a state of war with the Russian Empire, which will remain until the sovereign territory of the Empire of the Great Qing is fully restored to our rule. We shall maintain our previous refusal to continue paying the loans and indemnities owed to Russia - for the sums of money owed are not enough to redeem the losses of our people in Manchuria and the many innocent civilians who have been slaughtered by Russian forces. From this moment henceforth, we are also stopping all trade with Russia and confiscating all Russian goods, money, and capital within China. We will not require Your Excellency or the personnel of the Russian Embassy in Beijing to leave, but we will be recalling Hu Weide, the envoy of His Majesty the Emperor in Saint Petersburg, and we are expecting the Russian Empire to make all the necessary efforts to ensure the safe return of Hu Weide and of the personnel of our embassy in Saint Petersburg. If Your Excellency and the personnel of the Russian Embassy in Beijing will wish to withdraw, we will guarantee your safe conduct back to Russia. We would also ask you to inform His Majesty the Tsar that the current situation of war between our countries can still be solved by the immediate withdrawal of Russian forces from Manchuria.

Liang Dunyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Empire of the Great Qing, in the name of
His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of the Great Qing Dynasty, Son of Heaven, Lord of Ten Thousand Years


The Emperor, who governs with the Mandate of Heaven, declares that,

For more than 200 years, the Court and Our ancestors have acted with great kindness towards all the foreigners coming from great distances. Among those were the people of Russia. Ever since the beginning of Our reign, we have looked towards the Russians as friends of Our dynasty and of Our people. In the 21st Year of Our Reign, in the interest of protecting our subjects, whom We have always treated as Our own children and grandchildren, We have tasked Our subject, Li Hongzhang, Marquess Suyi, with signing a treaty in the manner of the Europeans with the Russian monarch, through which both We and the Russian monarch committed ourselves to the defense of the borders and peoples of Russia and of the Celestial Empire. To support that, in the 23rd Year of Our Reign, We tasked Our subject, Li Hongzhang, Marquess Suyi, with signing a convention in the manner of the Europeans with the Russian monarch, allowing them to build a base in the port of Lüshun. We have shown friendship and kindness to the foreigners from Russia, and never did the Court offend them. And how have they treated the Celestial Empire? By breaking their written words with Us, by using the rebellion of the Yihetuan as an excuse to occupy the Three Northeastern Provinces of Our territory, by killing Our subjects, blaspheming Our holy men and insulting Our gods. And yet, the Court has shown them patience. The Imperial Court had decided not to send in troops, to not hurt Our good people. We had maintained hope that they would call their soldiers back, that they would ask for repentance and that they would reply to Our kindness with kindness. But this has not happened. The foreigners from Russia continue to be aggressive and unreasonable, occupying Our lands, being ungrateful, and in negotiations with Our subjects Liang Dunyan, the Foreign Minister and Yikuang, Prince Qing of the First Rank, they have tried to blackmail Us and to maintain their occupation of the Three Northeastern Provinces. We have reshaped the universe, our benevolence and good deeds are everywhere, and Our people feel deep in their soul, all Our ancestors agree with Us and all the gods are moved by Us, We have done what no previous dynasty would have done. But our patience has its limits.

We have informed our ancestors in their temples and tombs, that We will not accept to be humiliated for the next ten thousand years. We will recover the Three Northeastern Provinces and show the foreigners from Russia that just because they call themselves part of the foreign nations, and because they think that they have a mighty army, they can not just break their relationship with China and suffer no consequences. We hold the Mandate from Heaven and the support of the heart of the people, and We shall return Our rule to the homeland of Our ancestors. The Imperial Court will generously reward all those who will fight on the front-lines, and execute all the traitors who would collaborate with the enemy. We expect the utmost bravery and loyalty from all Our court officials and from all Our people, to release the combined anger of all the people and of all the gods.

Proclaimed to all under the Heavens, let it be known.
Last edited by Tracian Empire on Sat Dec 23, 2023 6:51 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Newne Carriebean7
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Newne Carriebean7 » Mon Dec 18, 2023 10:25 am


The Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary
Das Vereinigte Königreich Österreich-Ungarn
Ausztria-Magyarország Egyesült Királysága

Vienna, Austria
February 9, 1905

The frigid winter air lent a bitter chill to those clambered aboard a rickety automobile. The bitter squeal of the tires and the hum of the engine adjusting to the cold outside prevented much conversation from occurring, although all eyes were transfixed on the long, winding, dirt road that climbed through the rolling hills of Austria. The driver practically unleashed a volley of spicy sentence superfiers to prevent the 2 ton machine from tumbling down the unguarded and unkept cliffs that loomed over like a lead balloon. Eventually, the sight of hundreds of mother nature’s soldiers, standing at stiff attention although malnourished by the changing season, guarded the approaches to a stone and metal gate.

At least a thousand Imperial and Royal forces, all on the payroll of the Minister-President, lined the route where the procession underwent and undertook. As the automobile came to a halt and the small party disembarked, they took in the imposing sight of the Imperial Palace. A small, old man wearing the uniform of a soldier stood in the doorway, calmly waiting for the party to reach the steps before greeting them.

“Sieg Kaiser!”

“Sieg Kaiser!” Barked the authoritative voice of the seventy-four year old Emperor and King Joseph of the Dual Monarchy. After pleasantries were dispatched with, the party of politicians made their way into the Palace, assembling in a meeting room that had been readied for the Kaiser’s important guests. Bottles of champagne served on ice sat on a table cloth that was as expertly white as the snow that had been falling outside. A quick glance outside the windows shown a few light flurries waltz down on the ground. Marching everyone to their positions, His Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty stared down the still standing guests for a brief moment before Sitting down. Everyone else sat down afterwards and business could be attended to, announced as the Conference room doors were soundly shut by aides. The sound of Oak echoed in the room for a blink of an eye and at least one breath taken before the meeting began.

“Your Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty.” Began the Minister-President Alois von Aehrenthal, slightly bowing as he garnered the attention of the King. “The tantamount issue of today will be our response to events in Constantinople, along with our government’s response to the announcement of the non-aggression pact by Britain, France and.. Germany.” That last word brought some exasperation in Aehrenthal, who had to take a quick sip of some nearby champagne.

“It appears the German Empire has sold us out to be friends with our two rivals.” Began the agitated Géza Fejérváry as he rose to speak, garnering attention from Franz Josef.

“Now, from the wording of the Treaty of the Triple Pact, this is not a military alliance. This is simply a non aggression pact. Although article IV is concerning: It states the following: ‘Britain and France recognize the hegemon of Germany in Central Europe.’ We all know what this means. It means-” The Military dictator of Hungary was cut off by a raspy voice of legislative power.

“It means that the victors of Königgrätz do not intend to let Austrian dreams of a Greater German State come into being. It means that the British and French have all but conceded to a fact that we have reluctantly known for almost twenty years at this point. The Austrian Empire’s glory days are long past us.” Spat the embittered Speaker of the Imperial Council Prince Alfred of Windisch-Grätz.

The mood in the room quickly soured on this note, and discussion continued, with Prince Alfred continuing his tirade against both German, British and French ideas.

“It’s all their fault! While this may not be a military alliance, per say, and there is no wording in the document that would suggest any such thing, the closer ties between all three nations is concerning, is it not? Especially Germany. While we do enjoy economic ties with Berlin, we still have retained an independent foreign policy outlook with respect to Europe. Our only friends are ourselves and by George, the nights get lonely..”

“Lonely nights make great men, Prince Alfred.” Began the Minister for War Konrad Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst, who consoled his bitterly angry opposites on the oak table before him.

“While we may not have any allies, we still, as you say, enjoy close ties with Berlin. It would be utterly foolish to give up German steel and coal just for some Austrian pride. We cannot exactly make a Battleship out of Austrian hopes and dreams now can we? Our ties with the German Empire cannot be understated. While this is a very unwelcome development, they are, as the Prime Minister states, not allies. I predict with absolute confidence that, should Prussian militarism come marching against the French, this whole rotten structure will come crashing down.”

“And plunge Europe into another war.” Heir Ferdinand Maximillian shook his head at the Austrian fantasy. “ That is not ideal. We must maintain the delicate balance of power within the Continent. War must be avoided at all costs.”

“Enough talk! Let us move onto the next course of action. I hear news that the French have started their expansion of the fleet. This is most unwelcome news. However, we are not going to be focused on a grand battle against the French. As far as I am aware, our naval policy is coastal raiding, is that correct, Minister for War?”

The aged mustached figure opposite him shook his head a little bit before correcting the Heir.
“Commerce raiding, not Coastal Bombardment, herr royal. While our new Rapidkruzers easily have the capability of tying down French, Ottoman and Italian warships away from German fleets, they are not line of battle type units. That distinct privilege belongs to our surface fleet. Our kruzers can destroy or disable anything lighter than it, and can speed away before anything larger than them can hope to intercept and sink them. We currently have seven Rapidkruzers. Ideally, we should garner at least seven more warships to better cover our bases and be able to combat more shipping in the Mediterranean should war break out.”

“And what of our main battle fleet? Are they capable enough of defeating, say… the Ottoman Navy?”

“On paper, we have 6 Battleships. The Ottomans have 2 such vessels. They have 9 cruisers, we have roughly ten. We have 32 torpedo boats, the Ottomans have nearly 50 small vessels of the same type. While we do outnumber the Turks in terms of capital ships and are even in terms of cruisers, I would insist at the construction of more torpedo boats. I would authorize the construction of around 18 more torpedo boats. That number will bring us parity with the Ottoman Navy in terms of small vessels.

As for capital ships, I would much rather go with another pair of large warships. This vessel should be around the same displacement as our already existing Habsburg class Battleships. These vessels should have similar armaments, layouts and crew capacity as our previous vessels. This will garner us 8 Battleships to their 2. It shall enable the Navy to have four times the number of heavy warships than the Turks have.”

Franz Josef nodded his head at the Minister for War before turning to the Minister-President, who replied with a curt bow of his features.
“Your Imperial and Apolistic Majesty, I shall instruct my allies within the Imperial Council to prepare legislation to be crafted.” Josef quickly turnt to his Hungarian counterpart, who gruffly nodded his head, not saying anything else. Attention was then robbed from these discussions by the strep throat ridden hack of a dying man.

“Perhaps..” Began the Foreign Minister, one Gyula Andrássy, in between conservative sips of his bourbon. “We should consider turning our attention to matters outside not just Vienna, but outside of Europe as well.” The eighty-five year old calmly set his glass down and unfolded a manila envelope, in which several documents poured out onto the table. Now robbing everyone of their attention, the party of several took a glance at the contents before Andrássy continued speaking.

“Gentlemen, and Your Imperial and Apolistic Majesty, I must draw your attention to matters overseas. Considering the cabinet’s productive conversation on the Triple Pact between our neighbors, I do not feel like listening to regurgitations of the same information. If you would permit me, Your Imperial and Apolistic Majesty, to move onto more unsettling and…disturbing news.”

The first document on the table was a newspaper emblazoned with the provocative headline:


Protestors were allegedly attempting to “break and enter” into the Russian occupied Port Said. Without further warning, German made weaponry barked to life, striking a good many protestors who fell to the ground and fled the scene of the incident.

Ferdinand Maximillian grimaced at the grisly details that were further down in the article, turning a faint shade of emerald before the color returned to his face. He pushed his small glass of water further away from him where he had been sitting, not wanting to parch his thirst at this moment.

“By..By the Gods.. This is horrendous. What kind of trading partners do we have if they are willing to engage in the open-sale slaughter of innocent protestors?!” Barked the heir to the throne, his previous green being replaced by the beat red-ed-ness of a Prussian tomato.

“German ones, that’s who. Apparently Russians as well. I’m sure the Germans sold them those guns. I don’t condone this sort of violence, I don’t think anyone at this table condones such a message.”
Only one head moved from side to side, accompanied with a frown plastered on his face. This was something that everyone was in agreement with… everyone, except for the militant Konrad Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst, who was the lone dissenter.

“Minister for War, have you something to add to our discussions?” Inquired Emperor Franz Josef, who now looked at the man for confirmation. Konrad stood up from his seat and began to speak.

“Gentlemen, while I do share the grief of the protestors, we have to remind ourselves, they were trespassing on European territory.”

“You consider the Russians Europeans? Bah. A bunch of Mongoid Goons with a European Tsar by the looks of it.” Spat the embittered Foreign Minister, who’s peanut gallery comments were ignored by Konrad.

“Regardless of our feelings on the matter, this is not something to be taken lightly. Indeed, I have a heavy soul pouring over the information and making a decision. However, the protestors were in the wrong here. They could have been assaulted by rocks or broken glass. They simply were defending themselves from an assault. Could they have done it in a more peaceful way? I answer that question with a question of my own making. Do you negotiate with a tiger who’s already chewed off your arm? No. You Kill it. Hunt it. Exterminate it like a colony of ants. Stomp out their very existence!! You mow them down, you don’t let a single one of them out alive.” Spoke the Minister for War, whose comments were applauded by the Foreign Minister, although he was in the minority.

Emperor Franz Josef then turns his attention to his Foreign Minister.

“I wish for you to draft a message, jointly with Ferdinand Maximillan. This will be our response to all that has happened. That is all. Now, I shall leave you all to prepare your posts. We have much to do and little time to do it. Better not waste any of it. This meeting is dismissed.” With a solem nod, the meeting of the largest and most powerful movers and shakers in the Austrian government left the room, with some monumental decisions reached in here..


Statement of the Foreign Ministry of the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary, with respect to recent News.
Dated February 9, 1905.

With the permission of His Imperial and Apolistic Majesty, this is the official position of the Austro-Hungarian Government on current affairs including the Formation of the Triple Pact; ‘Incident at Port Said’ and the Declaration of War by the ‘Imperial Court of the Mandate of Heaven’ on the ‘Imperial Court on the Mandate of all the Russian Tsars.’

The formation of the Triple Pact is seen by Vienna as a way to further isolate the Austrians from the affairs of Europe. Our Government fully and unilaterally condemns this violent, militant action undertaken by the governments of London, Paris and Berlin. Some might say this is a way to preserve peace on the Continent of Europe. In the eyes of all leaders and heads of state within Vienna and Budapest, we see this nothing more as a thinly veiled attempt at asserting French hegemony over the Mediterranean waters, British domination of her colonial Empire, not having to concern herself with affairs in Europe. Most concerning of all, is the utter submission of the two aforementioned powers over German Empire’s hegemony of Central Europe. This domain, while bruised following our War against Prussia in 1867, is unequivocally an Austrian domain. We refute and vehemently condemn the Triple Pact in this regard.

With all due respect to the incident at Port Said, it is the position of His Imperial and Apolistic Majesty that we unilaterally condom both sides in the kampf, or struggle. We voice our strong disapproval with the reckless tactics that the Ottoman Empire-backed ‘Egyptian-Suez Liberation Organization’ is nothing more than a terrorist cell. However, we cannot back the wholesale massacre of innocent civilians, even if these civilians were roped into the spirit of jihad by the E-SLO. We shall keep the victims of this weeks events in our prayers, and it is this nation’s fervent believe that further bloodshed will not occur or be necessary. We urge both sides to come to the negotiating table to work out a mutually beneficial agreement that will appease Russians and Egyptians alike.

On a far graver note, we have just received word of the Declaration of War by the ‘Imperial Court of the Mandate of Heaven’ against the ‘Imperial Court on the Mandate of all the Russian Tsars.’. We urge both sides to come to a negotiable cessation of hostilities effective immediately, and to reopen negotiations. Should Austrian diplomats be required to mediate, they shall be sent to both Peking and Saint Petersburg immediately. However, would we be forced to back one side in this fight, we would back the might of the Imperial Court of the Mandate of Heaven. However, we shall make this clear to all, this is not a declaration of hostilities on any such party to this conflict, nor should it be constructed as such.

That is all.
Krugeristan wrote:This is Carrie you're referring to. I'm not going to expect him to do something sane anytime soon. He can take something as simple as a sandwich, and make me never look at sandwiches with a straight face ever again.

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Postby NewLakotah » Wed Dec 20, 2023 7:40 am

Rêve d'une glorieuse conquête


“War is one of the scourges with which it has pleased God to afflict men.” - Cardinal Richelieu

February-March, 1905

Algiers, Algeria

Algiers was in a state of peace. The last insurrection had been suppressed by the Army of Africa. Imperial might suppressing the last vestiges of organized resistance. Hundreds of French soldiers had died. Thousands of rebels had, too.

Notwithstanding this, Algiers was nothing like the war torn fringes of France’s African region. Since its integration, little had been done to better the lives of most of the indigenous Algerians for most of its history. Pied-Noir dominated social and political life – to say nothing of commerce. Wealth had become more and more stratified amongst these groups. Unsurprisingly, this bore conflict.

There had been changes under Napoleon IV. His desire of a fully integrated French Union was a modern revolutionary dream in its own right. Its origins lied largely in Algeria. Improvements via imperial decree and through legislation proposed by the Emperor saw improvements for economic access, legal rights, and corporate rights for native Algerians. Greater access to French and international markets meant greater wealth for local markets. These markets spread deep into the desert. Greater local representation and greater cultural liberties meant these new funds were poured into new mosques in these “Nouvelle-urbain”cities. These cities sprawled and linked with industrial developments for oil, iron, lead, and other resources of the ground. Spices, wine, and crops fueled agricultural estates of grand wealth. Greater protection and legal rights meant it was easier for native businessmen to compete with Pied-Noir or even French businessmen. It made it easier for indigenous lords to own vast estates of their own, mimicking the very own post-feudalistic society of metropolitans.

Emperor Napoleon IV had responded with quick and brutal force when these trade networks were exploited by Algerian nationalists in order to fund their rebellion efforts. Efforts that stretched from Tunisia to Morocco. The threats from Tunisia had been claimed. A quick campaign following by years of occupation forces. Little stations of French soldiers cemented French authority of Tunisia. 4,350 soldiers in all were spread into five camps in Tunisia. Even more were stationed in cities – keeping the peace from any urban disruption

Still, these rebellions at the fringes had largely been dealt with. With the exception of Morocco. That thorn and fat prize had long captured the attention of French imperialists.

“Imagine,” they said. “Casablanca to Algiers to Tunis. One railway. One Empire to protect it. One loop from Dakar all the way around.”

Emperor Napoleon IV had listened. As the Algerian renaissance saw greater wealth and social mobility for Algerians, it also saw increased migration from continental France. New economic opportunities and new ways to make it rich and carve out your little piece of property was too much for many Frenchmen.

Beginning in 1903, this had been expanded to rule of law in dependancies. Through impérial decrees, domestic legislation – in conjunction with colonial legislation – a series of new acts and ordinances were established across the Empire. Greater political rights for indigenous populations and greater access to international markets lead to greater interior economic development spurring greater trade routes to the major cities. Through increased investment into colonial holdings throughout the 1890s and into the 1900s, more industrial output was created in colonial port cities. Rail became more and more important to transport raw materials to their industrial destinations and from these industrial destinations to be bought by the highest bidder. Money flowed from the colonies to Metropolitan France in a new and growing two-way trade.

Integration was becoming a buzzword now. From Oran to Algiers. Algiers to Dakar. Dakar to the Canal. Saigon to Brest. Brest to Paris. All these connections were timed and measured for efficiency. Each second shaved was a franc earned, and with each second lost, another’s business empire folded. Such was the cutthroat agency of business in the imperial world.

Domestic traders from the interior were migrating to the major cities – seeking avenues to trade their weath while French traders moved in land. Conflicts here abounded. Rarely flaming into anything more than a serious legal dispute secured by local gendarmeries. But occasionally skirmishes would leave dozens dead and the army would have to step in to secure profits.

Ships were better than rail, everyone agreed. But not everywhere had good access to water. To get through the interior one needed fast transit. Horses were too slow and automobiles were too inconsistent and couldn’t be trusted. Rail – the old faithful of coal and steel – was king of the interior. French tycoons and government ministers rushed the interiors of Africa and Asia, and even the Americas, mapping and charting terrains to lay their tracks. Thousands of miles of it. Across France, across Algeria, across West Africa, Indochina, and even track in Guyane.

But ports were the real heroes. Here where the great shipping lanes intersected with the great railways. Merging together the great carriers of commerce. Millions of francs followed through these cities each year, building massive infrastructure and urban centers to support this flow of wealth. Dakar, Saigon, Abidjan, Algiers, Brest, Toulon, all saw massive industrialization throughout the early 1900s.

But it wasn’t quite enough. Integration across Africa was proving a problem. The great Sahara desert cut through the center of French Africa, cutting it off as good as any ocean. Great industrialists had called and set about building the great Trans Saharan Railway. Their expeditions, however, had met with massacre or failure. However, the Emperor himself had taken an interest.

With great streams of wealth flowing around Africa, connecting through Africa was a key priority. There were two major ways of unifying French control over Africa and Napoleon IV was set on doing both. The first was the completing of the great Trans-Saharan Railway, connecting all of French Africa and integrated the interior to new pathways of development and commerce would be a boon for all-Africa in unimaginable ways. French control over Africa and the desert would be unquestioned. French wealth would grow and its ability to control the fringes of its domain and to control the great interior would be that much easier. Not to mention the greater access for French missionaries.

The second was the integration of Morcoccan ports and rail ways, not to mention their capital and natural bounties, into the French Empire. In 1904, Britain has signed off on French dominance over Morocco in exchange for France allowing greater British influence over Egypt as the two great powers met to establish the Entente Cordiale the first real attempt to normalize relations between the two great powers. Since then, Franco-British relations had only improved. Improving so much in fact that they would culminate in the Triple Pact – a British-led endeavor to secure peace in Europe through a three-way non-aggression pact between France, Germany, and Britain. And with that, German interference regarding Morocco was out of the question.

So, who would stand for Morocco ? Napoleon IV hoped no one would.

He believed so much, that he sent on February 12th a telegram to both Admiral Charles Aubert of the Atlantic Fleet at Toulon and to Vice-Admiral Eugène de Jonquières of the African Battlefleet at Algiers. The telegram read, "Prepare troops and ships for imminent security operation in Morocco. Vital for the safety of Algeria, Tunisia, and Senegal. Nationalist rebels in Morocco require decisive action. Your prompt readiness is crucial. Engage only if necessary. Await further orders before proceeding.”

Both men knew what this meant so Admiral Aubert found himself in Algiers less than three days later. The two men, along with Field Marshall Augustin Dubail, were meeting to discuss their future. Dubail had recieved his own telegram. His was slightly different. Authorization to secure the western provinces which had long been a sore sport for French control. Morocco would fall through quick action by French security forces. All assuming the peaceful option didn’t succeed. They planned on it not.

“How many soldiers for the ground operation, Field Marshall ?” Aubert asked.

Dubail puffed himself up a bit and said, “no more than a few regiments. Terrain is bad as it is. From the coast we can resupply and launch attacks – but that will be the marines.”

“Yes,” Vice-Admiral Jonquières replied, looking particularly eager. He was a confident man and a noble-born class officer who thrived under imperial bureaucracy. “From the sea we can strike the cities. Take the ports and insert marines to maintain control. It is a police operations and we shall treat it as such.”

With the ground operation handled by Dubail, the question of the sea was all the remained. There was no real threat of a naval battle from Morocco. But still, French marines were necessary and control had be established quickly through the major cities so Admiral Aubert asked Jonquières, “how many ships do you need ?”

Jonquières laughed airily and replied,“How many do I need ? It’s more a question of what message we are sending.”

“How so ?”

“Well,” Jonquières said slowly, “to deliver a message or deliver marines ? All we need is a few cruisers, destroyers. Light ships. There is no naval fleet to concern ourselves. A few battalions of marines can provide all the necessary security. With the few thousand from the Field Marshall, there is no threat of being swamped. But do we need a large fleet or do we want a small fleet to keep the operation small ? Or large to make things clear and French position unquestioned ?”

“Small,” Admiral Aubert said quickly. “Smaller the better. We aren’t looking to make a scene larger than it needs to be. Germans will likely kick a fuss. Russians even may have words. We don’t need an international conference called. It’s a security operation.”

“Then a few cruisers and some ships for transport. Some destroyers to screen, naturally.”

And with that, the first plans of the operation to secure Northwest Africa were set. Orders were dispatched from headquarters in Toulon, Paris, and Algiers out to regiments and battalions on February 23rd. Three days later, three cruisers left Algiers while two infantry regiments and a cavalry regiment departed from camps near Oran. They were to assemble at forward assembly posts in the frontier after one day of marching. The soldiers and the sailors would be ready.

But first, Napoleon IV set about the diplomatic option first. He began, with two decrees.

By decree of His Imperial Majesty Napoleon IV, Emperor of the French, Emperor of Africa, Emperor of Indochina, it is imperative to ensure the security of the realm by undertaking necessary security operations within the Sultanate of Morocco. The sovereign rights and commands of the esteemed Sultan shall remain inviolate within the confines of his domestic domain.

With regard to French nationals, they shall be granted extraterritorial privileges throughout the entire nation, and all missionaries shall enjoy unfettered access across the realm. The port cities of Tangiers and Casablanca are hereby designated for the permanent stationing of French naval vessels, and French military personnel shall conduct security operations therein to uphold law and order, ensuring the protection of French citizens.

In the execution of these measures, it is expressly decreed that the rights and administration of the Sultan pertaining to domestic policy shall remain unassailed. Thus proclamation stands as a testament towards collaboration and unity in North Africa and between the Empire of France and the Sultanate of Morocco.

A decree of His Imperial Majesty Napoleon IV, Emperor of the French, concerning the allocation of private and public funds from the imperial treasury. Funds entitled and entrusted to His Imperial Majesty and the Imperial Court under the Constitution of the Empire of France 1871 and the Tax Law of 1876.

His Imperial Majesty, in a gesture of magnanimity, hereby bestows one hundred thousand francs from His private funds for the advancement of a Trans-Saharan Railway, a grand initiative to interconnect the entirety of French Africa into a cohesive entity.

This substantial investment shall be augmented by private contributions totaling four hundred and forty thousand francs, constituting thirty percent of the Trans-African Imperial Railway's formation. The Imperial Crown Trust overseeing this enterprise shall be under the auspices of His Imperial Majesty, holding fifty-five percent ownership, with the remaining share entrusted to the French public through the Ministry of Commerce.

The disbursement of these funds, inclusive of imperial bonds under the sovereign guardianship of His Majesty, the Emperor, amounts to one million francs. Additional allocations, contingent upon the legislative budget's endorsement in the current session, will be drawn from the Public Infrastructure and Industry Act of 1903, the Algerian Rail Act of 1900, and the National Budget, totaling eight hundred thousand francs.

These financial provisions are designated for the comprehensive exploration of the Trans-Saharan Railway's development and the initiation of its inaugural phases. It is anticipated that the initial stages of this vast project shall culminate by July of 1907, heralding a new era of imperial progress and connectivity for all-Africa and all peoples to freely enjoy and partake of. By this undertaking and through the industrialization and security of the Panama Canal and the restoration of the Suez, the integration of the international French Empire shall have taken a decisive and poignant step into the 20th century.

Imperial Decree from His Majesty Napoleon IV, Emperor of the French

Condemnation Against the Russian Empire for Its Failures in Securing the Suez

It has come to my attention through reports from my foreign ministry that grave incidents have unfolded along the segments of the Suez Canal under Russian control. These reports states, quoting local sources, of extreme violence and atrocities committed by the Russian security command. The Russians, disconnected from their home are forced to use terrible force in order to maintain security. This situation, allowed to exist because of their German enablers, proves to be a question of international security.

The efficacy of Russian control over this vital corridor, stretching from the Baltic coasts to the distant Pacific, is now under question. If they prove incapable of maintaining peace along the world's most significant trade route, then they are failed guardians of the Suez. Their challenges with the Ottoman Empire and the discontent of locals suggest an untenable situation. Isolated from their Motherland, they lack the means to defend this crucial passage that facilitates global commerce from East to West. Without support of their German enablers, their ability to maintain control would be impossible.

How will European commercial interests thrive under the dominion of a frozen Northern Empire that gains little from Suez trade? Will free trade endure when occupied by agitators and local militias? What tolls will be imposed on civilian ships?

Should further threats persist, be advised that the French fleet stands ready to deploy Marines, ensuring the tranquility and territorial integrity of the region. Russian Imperial interests shall find no justification in Egypt.

Napoleon IV, Emperor of the French
"How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right." ~~ Black Hawk, Sauk

"When it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home." ~~ Tecumseh

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Postby Shohun » Thu Dec 21, 2023 4:02 am

Amir Alin Aq Palace
Cairo, Khedivate of Egypt
January 25, 1905

Colonel Ali leaned back into his chair as he sat next to Imam Al-Musawi. "I can arrange for the transportation of some of our Martini–Henry and Snider–Enfield rifles from Ottoman Army reserve stocks in Libya to supply the Al-Tilmisani Brigades. We can bring in trainers as well. Hell, I can even bring in Libyan militiamen or Kurdish tribesmen as volunteers. The military aspect is not a problem. Our goal is for that to not be needed however. The Russians are ruthless but can only go so far. Port Said is an Egyptian city and they only control a fraction of it. Cut off their water supply, cut off their food supply, cut everything off. They will be forced to rely on imports, which will be costly and exhausting. Ratchet up pressure around the bases. Set up a blockade of protesters. No Russians in, no Russians out of their bases. They can fight their way out, but if it comes to that I am confident the British will intervene. We have methods, I am confident they will work." The Colonel paused. "The Russians will shoot at protesters out in the open. But we bring the protests into the city and surround their bases - Port Said is small. Are they willing to shoot civilians in front of European onlookers? Or shoot in the crowded streets? I have my doubts. They may, but they will be under pressure to avoid such a confrontation. At the worst case, we bring our brigades into the city and lay siege. We will shell their ships in the harbor and short of firing onto the city with a very dense population and over ten thousand international citizens, they will be powerless to stop us."

"And what of your government's response?" asked the Imam.

"My government is seeking to avoid a direct confrontation. If all goes according to plan, they will not need to intervene directly." replied Ali. He smiled. "Start preparing your next speech. If the Russians and Germans reject our ultimatum, we will be ready with a day of rage."

Port of Rafah
Rafah, The Ottoman Empire
January 27, 1905

As the cargo ship approached the dock, Major Mehmet Daseem walked forward to embrace Captain Quasem Suleiman as he walked down the plank followed by men carrying large crates. "Captain! It has been a while, my old friend." Shaking hands, the Major continued, "So I hear command in Constantinople has some new surprises for me?"

Suleiman smiled as he waved two of his men to bring one of the crates. Carefully cracking it open, he lifted the cover to reveal a simple looking rocket. "The latest prototypes out of the Imperial Arsenal." he said with a grin. "It took some convincing of the Army command, but these will be perfect for our purposes. We based our designs off the British and American Hale rockets, as well as those that we encountered against the Russians. All you need is a metal tube, and this can go 2 to 3 miles. No need to go through the hassle of bring out the heavy artillery guns which we can only fire a few shells from before we have to retreat. Put a few cheap tubes out, and you can fire 10, 20, even 100 rockets within a few minutes if not a few seconds. And your men can be gone before anyone even notices."

Major Daseem ran his hand down the rocket, admiring it. "And the accuracy?"

"In a sizable enough barrage, accuracy isn't much of a concern. Of course, regular artillery is more accurate, but these rockets are fairly cheap and much lighter. A single man could carry one of these without any help, compared to an artillery piece in which you will need a horse and many men." replied the Captain.

"The Colonel will be pleased." replied Daseem. "Unfortunately these rockets may not see action for some time, as I understand we are pursuing lighter options first. And even if we bring in the big guns, I am told we will be limited to regular artillery for we do not want to accidentally hit civilian homes more than we need to." He said as he gestured for the Captain to follow him as they walked towards the shore. "These rockets will be employed should Port Said be evacuated of civilians, or against isolated outposts. But that is only if things get out of hand."

Daseem paused and the pair continued to walk, now approaching the beach. The naval docks were well guarded, and the sailors guarding the the entrance of the dock saluted as the intelligence officers walked past, now approaching a training area on the beach. As the gentle waves lapped at the sand, around four dozen young men could be seen drilling on the beach, practicing their maneuvers with rifles in hand, as well as firing at targets. "The deadline for the Russians and Germans to leave is the day after tomorrow." said the Major as he paced forward while smoking his pipe and watching the soldiers train. "That said, I am told by command that we will first attempt to utilize mostly peaceful protests, in an effort to avoid violence, retaliation, or possible reinforcement of the Russian and German garrisons. Then we will come in, as well as the brigades being formed in Egypt. These men you see here will be who we are counting on to make a difference. They are mostly local tribesmen and militiamen from the Sinai who know the land well and have some military training. Among the mix are our own agents as well. They will conduct ambushes on the Russian and German patrols, as well as launch sniper attacks or do scouting from the East Bank. We do not want to rush into engaging on the Western bank, to avoid antagonizing our British allies who firmly control the area. The soldiers there will be Egyptian Army veterans, Libyan militiamen, and the quickly trained volunteers. But that is our last resort, short of full intervention."

Captain Suleiman grinned. "And what of my rocket forces?"

"They shall begin training under your command starting tomorrow. For now, you will have 200 men and 25 'officers' at your disposal, consisting primarily of new volunteers and the officers being experienced veterans of Army artillery. If your men prove their worth, I will see about expanding your rocket unit." replied Daseem. "The unfortunate events at Port Said have been good for our recruitment. The men under your command are primarily volunteers with little formal training. Our entire 'brigade' consists of 1,200 militiamen, primarily being part-time volunteers. We expect our numbers to swell to around 5,000 in the Sinai and in the tens of thousands in Egypt proper. If necessary, we will call on our other militia forces across the Empire, allowing our ranks here to swell even further. I am told that our agents in Yemen and Arabia have already been recruiting experienced militiamen to come fight." He chuckled. "But we do not need to worry about that yet. We shall wait until the order is given by the Colonel. Welcome to the Egyptian Suez Liberation Organization - Sinai Brigades."

Yıldız Palace
Constantinople, The Ottoman Empire
January 28, 1905

The turmoil from the events at Port Said had rocked the Empire, in every corner. The public was furious, and demanding action, especially among the nationalists. Protests had erupted in Constantinople at the Russian and German Embassies, which had to be curtailed by the government. They were spread across many major cities, where protesters burned Russian and German flags and chanted against the Tsar and the Kaiser. As tens of thousands of people marched all across the cities of the Empire, it was clear that something beyond just words had to be done.

Sultan Abdul Hamid II rubbed his forehead as his ministers convened their cabinet. "Your Imperial Majesty, and gentlemen of the cabinet," began the Grand Vizier. "The Yıldız Intelligence Agency's efforts appears to have been too successful. The public is outraged, especially with the extensive news coverage and the photographs they have seen. We risk appearing weak before our people and on the international stage if we cannot manage a more substantial response. How can we be seen as a Muslim great power and the defender of Muslims if we do not act? We must be careful to avoid direct escalation with the Russians, but we also must appear to be doing something."

Minister of War Field Marshal Rushdie coughed. "We are certainly in a difficult position. The Russians are unpredictable, and we cannot forget that the Kaiser's allies in Austria-Hungary lie just across the border in the Balkans. Any movements on our part could be interpreted the wrong way, pushing us into an undesirable major conflict. That said, I believe it would be relatively harmless enough to deploy a few small units to the Levant on the border of the Sinai, which will improve our position and readiness there while also publicly showing that we are prepared to act. Sail a few ships out of the Golden Horn to boast our capabilities as well, while not deploying them in a threatening manner."

"That is certainly possible." replied the Sultan. "Have the units come from my Imperial Guards. A show of force with the Sultan's best men. That should quell the nationalist voices at least for a bit. The people are not calling for war - yet. But it is best you get the situation quickly under control, General Bey." the Sultan's eyes narrowed on his intelligence chief. "Capitalize on the people's anger, but remember that we are not seeking to become directly involved, at least without the support of our allies."

"Of course, your Imperial Majesty." said General Bey bowing his head.

"Your Imperial Majesty," said the Grand Vizier, "If I may, I believe this will be an excellent time to bring forth your military reform plan. I would expect it would be swiftly approved by the General Assembly given recent events, and have significant public approval."

"Ah yes." said Sultan Hamid. "You may bring the proposal to a vote next month, once the Ministry of War has finalized the details. We will be in a better military situation once we begin to expand our forces, and improve our equipment even further."

Takvim-i Vekayi
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"Calendar of Events"

Protests Rage Outside Russian and German Embassies, and Across Empire:

January 25th - For the past few days, protests have erupted outside the Russian and German Embassies in Constantinople quickly growing from a few hundred demonstrators to numbering in the thousands in the streets decrying the illegal occupation of the Suez and the horrific Port Said Massacre perpetrated by Russian and German occupation forces which saw over a hundred innocent and unarmed civilians brutally gunned down. Since news broke of the massacre, protesters have assembled outside the embassies to demand a withdrawal of occupation forces, as well as to demand action from the Ottoman government and international community.

Efforts have been made by government officials to keep the protests in the capital peaceful, although they have taken little action to disperse the protests or discourage citizens from participating. Several officials including city leaders up to government ministers have joined the protests, with some even making speeches. The Minister of Finance vowed to protesters, "Allah will avenge the martyrs," warning that "the days of the occupation are numbered."

The government has taken a careful stance as it seeks to avoid a diplomatic incident, going as far as to deploy 2,000 officers from the Gendarmerie after local police were overwhelmed. The officers have surrounded the embassies to prevent the crowd from storming them, and are said to be in cooperation with embassy officials. In addition, it has been rumored that the 1st Division of the Imperial Guard has been mobilized, reportedly in the case that protests turn violent.

All across the Empire, ranging from Libya, to Egypt, to Yemen, to Arabia, in Iraq, and in nearly every major city, protesters have joined in to call for an end to the Russian and German occupation. While it is expected the protests will slow down in the coming days, there have been growing calls for a boycott on Russian and German goods, as well as for young men to assist in the "struggle" for Suez liberation.

Empire Prepared to Confront Aggression, Announces Deployment of Imperial Guard:

January 30th - In response to public calls for government action following the Port Said Massacre, His Imperial Majesty the Sultan has ordered the 5th Brigade of the 2nd Imperial Guards Division to deploy to Rafah according to officials in the Ministry of War. The brigade, which consists of 2,500 of the Sultan's most elite and loyal soldiers, will deploy to the Sinai border to reinforce local units. According to the Ministry of War, once deployed, the force is "fully prepared to defend against any aggression towards Ottoman, Egyptian, and international civilians."

The Imperial Guard brigade, which will be transported by ship, will reportedly be escorted by the older battleship Iclaliye and the new cruiser Mecidiye of the Imperial Fleet Command, joined by a destroyer. The Ministry of Naval Affairs stated this deployment represents the "significant capabilities of the Ottoman Navy," pledging the Navy was prepared to act to defend the Empire and its citizens.

The announcement follows days of protests against the occupation of the Suez and the widespread mobilization of the entire 40,000 strong Gendarmerie to observe the protests and ensure they do not get out of hand. The announcement was praised by the General Assembly and a number of the protest organizers, with the move being labeled as a "proactive and appropriate step."

One member of the Chamber of Deputies summarized the sentiment of the Ottoman peoples, "We do not want war with Russia, we do not war with Germany, we do not want war with anyone. However our Empire should be prepared to act to defend the Ottoman peoples, including the Khedivate of Egypt. I do not believe the current situation requires our intervention yet, but we must strongly demand the full withdrawal of Russian and German forces following their disgraceful and horrific massacre."

His Imperial Majesty the Sultan Departs for England for Diplomatic Mission:

February 1st - Amid an uncertain time in the Empire, His Imperial Majesty has departed Constantinople for London early yesterday to attend an important diplomatic summit set to include French Emperor Napoleon IV and British King Edward VII. His Imperial Majesty alongside the Minister of Foreign Affairs departed the Golden Horn aboard the Sultan Selim III, the Imperial Navy's most modern battleship donated by France and formerly known as the Charles Martel.

With tight security for His Imperial Majesty, members of the Imperial Guard have joined the diplomatic mission, as well as bolstering security around the palace while His Imperial Majesty is away. The Grand Vizier has reportedly been delegated power in the Sultan's absence, with Crown Prince Mehmed V Reşâd having been recalled to the Dolmabahçe Palace.

While the Foreign Ministry has been tight-lipped about the meeting, it is reported that the Sultan is optimistic about the summit and hopes to secure an alliance with Britain and France to secure the Empire's future and security as a great power in Europe. The meeting has been viewed positively among the General Assembly, with both the government and opposition voicing support for improving relations with the United Kingdom and continuing strong relations with the Empire's most important ally France.

Turkish Straits Administration Act of 1905
February 1, 1905

His Imperial Majesty the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, with the consent of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate hereby enact as follows:

Section 1: In order to account for economic inflation, the Ottoman Empire in compliance with the London Straits Convention shall increase the toll on all ships transiting the Bosphorus Strait from 10 British pence per ton to 15 British pence per ton.
1a. All ships of the Imperial Ottoman Navy and the Ottoman Government shall be exempt from this toll.
1b. All ships that have been granted an exemption signed by the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire shall be exempt from this toll.

Section 2: In order to account for economic inflation, the Ottoman Empire in compliance with the London Straits Convention shall increase the toll on all ships transiting the Dardanelles Strait from 10 British pence per ton to 15 British pence per ton.
2a. All ships of the Imperial Ottoman Navy and the Ottoman Government shall be exempt from this toll.
2b. All ships that have been granted an exemption signed by the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire shall be exempt from this toll.

Section 3: Accounting for inflation, additional estimated proceeds shall be allocated to the administration and maintenance of the straits.

Section 4: To achieve the aims of the previous section, the equivalent amount of Ottoman Lira to £50,000 shall be allocated for the maintenance of docks, seaside roads, and the salaries of additional collection agents.

Section 5. To achieve the aims of the previous Section 3, the equivalent amount of Ottoman Lira to £100,000 shall be allocated for the Ministry of War to spend at its discretion towards the construction of fortifications, purchase of armaments, and employment of additional soldiers to defend the straits from attack.

Section 6. This act shall become effective upon its passage and approval.

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Newne Carriebean7
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Newne Carriebean7 » Thu Dec 21, 2023 9:39 am


The Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary
Das Vereinigte Königreich Österreich-Ungarn
Ausztria-Magyarország Egyesült Királysága

Vienna, Austria
Imperial Council of Cisleithania
Kaiserlicher Rat von Cisleithanien
March 1, 1905

Inside a poorly ventilated room, gentlemen lumbered around in a box shaped room. On both sides of the space sat benches that arched higher and higher, seemingly infinitely going into the Heavens above, or in this case, the singular, ornately decorated glass church window, complete with a picture of the Savior himself, arms outstretched as if all too readily on standby to receive such damned souls into the afterlife…

It wouldn’t take a village idiot to figure out exactly why these souls were damned. Over three hundred individuals choked on the scent and overpowering smell of tobacco, all busily puffing away to their own contrition as the wheels of Government turned. But what of the Wheels of Governance? This was spearheaded by a loud march of gaveling whacks to bring authority to the meeting assembled, all under that painting's watchful eyes… A mustached figure approached the stage, feeling all eyes upon him. He cleared his throat and began a brief speech.

“By the grace of his Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty, Kaiser Franz Josef I, has declared that this Assembly, upon the end of this month, is to be dissolved for Elections of a spirited and deliberate manner. Until such time, this Assembly is to remain in session to address His Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty’s wishes and the Dual Monarchy’s national goals and Policy objectives. His Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty also does declare his fervent well-wishes to every single appointment and duly elected official within this chamber.”

Following this dry speech, a cacophony of reactions rang out. An array of Boos and Hisses came hurtling down from the steppes of political wonder, mostly consisting of members of the insurgent and revolutionary Federalist Party. Its larger In- Government rival, the Contextualists, shouted down the green toting members with an array of cheers. As the latter outnumbered the Former by almost two to one, there was a significant amount of cheering in contrast to hissed booes by those within the room. Eventually, order returned to the room, albeit at the cost of a good, wooden gavel who’s grip was well worn from months of abuse. Following the restoration of order, a member of the Government rose, waiting for confirmation to speak. When such permission was granted, the member began his speech.

“By the Grace of His Imperial and Apostolic Majesty, I do have my fervent wish in doing and preforming out utmost duties with respect to the bills laid forward before us today. I shall introduce the Government’s position on the Gesetz zur Erweiterung von Schlachtschiffen Bill, or Battleship Expansion Act.

Gentlemen. By the Grace of the most loyal Government, I must stress the need for a larger fleet. On the other side of the Italian Peninsula sits the French Navy, one of the largest and most technologically advanced fleets in the world. Now we have gotten word from the papers that they have aligned themselves not only with the Germans, but the Britons as well! Their three armadas put together have more men serving on board their fleets than our entire Landwehr fully mobilized! Austria must have it’s fleet. The Kaiser must have his fleet. Our people must have their fleet!

Now, this bill will, as the name suggests, Expand the number of Battleships currently in service with the Imperial and Royal War Navy from its current 6 to 12. Six hulls will be laid down in Austrian shipyards and dockyards and constructed. These ships will be slight variations of the already existing Habsburg class Battleships. The funding for such ships will be directly taken in equal portions from both the the Austrian and Hungarian portions of the Treasury.

I urge my compatriots to vote not only for the security of your homeland and fishing villages, but also for your fatherland and nationhood!”

He ended his speech to a cacophony of applause, intermixed with a cascade of hisses and booes from the green hatted opposition members that he had turnt his back on for the duration of his speech. Already knowing the math and knowing the improbability of the opposition to do much of anything to stop his plans, it was all a mere formality at this rate.

The Speaker banged on his gavel and demanded silence. When the rambunctious and raucous chamber eventually settled down like giggling school children, he opened his mouth to speak.

“The Opposition is recognized to debate the bill. I turn my time over to the Leader of the Opposition.”

More lopsided booes was heard, now emanating from the larger side of the Contextualist controlled, teal blue shaded chamber as the Minority got their five Austro-Hungarian Krone in the door to debate.

The Leader of the Opposition stood with his face confronting his legislative opponents, he made a note of this.

“Now, as much as I like for the Government to debate the merits of his legislation, I would much rather prefer he debate us to our faces.”

The entire legislative chamber interrupted the rebel legislator’s speech as the Speaker hammered away with his gavel in a vain attempt to restore order. Eventually, the rambuckous and righteous members settled down and became rather mellow, albeit for a brevity of breath.

“Now, this bill will expand our navy. I will grant the Government this fact, they did admit that our Landwher is smaller than the Franco-German-Brition fleets. If that’s the case, why aren’t we spending more money on our local militia forces and not giving it to the Imperial and Royal War Navy to go play with boats?! Surely, this seven and a quarter million Krone will have a far better use improving our infrastructure, or strengthening our school networks, or going towards excellent local government services.

But, in the eyes of the Government, we need these boats to defend against our enemies. However, the Government has failed to answer this biting question: Who exactly are our enemies? Who is going to be on the receiving end of our idiotic shells and gunfire? The Americans? Who do we intend to fight? Are we going to war with the Ottomans or Italians? Do we have far fetched colonial ambitions, hell bent on conquering what’s left of Africa? Good luck getting through the Suez to go forth! Until there is a clear answer from this Government, I do not see any reason in giving in an inch to these feckless, waistless muscles that control this chamber with an Iron fist!”

With a cacaopahy of hisses and boos from the Government benches, the Opposition member stood for a solid moment after his speech was over, almost fantasizing about the hatred and obscenities he was receiving. It made it feel like he had made his stand, even if it was a losing battle in the end. He had to fight for something, and it was something well-fought for. Eventually, though, he sat back in his seat, the boos faded away and an eerie, if well-deserved silence hung over the chamber, akin to a stale fart in a meeting room.

The Speaker then banged on his gavel to rob the room of it’s attention. With all eyes now focused on him, he read out a small note that had been passed to him.

“ As Speaker, I declare Debate to be over. I now declare Voting to begin. The Clerk will now read the roll call. Councilors are to reply in the affirmative, negative or abstain from the vote on the Battleship Expansion Act.”

A whack of the Gavel and the shouting of nearly three hundred voices, all taking their turn to give their pound of flesh on the issue. The scene was as orderly as it was now mundane. It was a surreal experience to see grown men only now act like grown ass men and not like pendulant, bratty children. As the sun gradually inched like the movement of tectonic plates across the stained glass window indicating the passage of time in the room, the last vote was shouted, the tally tallied and the small clerk handing the paper to the Speaker, who now donned a pair of spectacles to read off of it.

“Two-Hundred and Twenty-Six Votes in Favor; Eighty-Eight votes opposed, and one Abstention. The Bill, needing a minimum of Two-Hundred and Twenty-Five votes to pass, has met the threshold by one vote. As such, The Imperial Council does declare the Battleship Expansion Act PASSED and sends it to the House of the Chosen Electorate in Budapest for confirmation.

That is all, and this Chamber is to undertake a Five minute recess before moving onto the next item on our docket…”



To: Jacques Frédéric de Reverseaux de Rouvrays; French Ambassador to the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary

From: Géza Fejérváry; Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary

Your Grace,

It is with deep displeasure that I write to inform you of my government’s disapproval, with respect to your Excellency and Imperial Majesty Napoleon IV’s, of your blatant disregard for the status of the Kingdom of Morocco, and of your Imperialist bullying of the Russian Empire. Your actions have jeopardized the peaceful Moroccan populace and have shown no respect for the rule of law. Your Imperial Majesty’s government is wise enough to take advantage of newspapers and reporters flocking to Egypt and the battlefields of Manchuria. That being said, His Imperial and Apostolic Majesty took notice of your little incursion into Africa, and cannot express his vehement disappointment, blind rage and surprise.

While it has been the position of my Government to condemn the brutal massacre in the Khedive of Egypt by Russian Forces, It is also the position of my Government to prevent French Hegemony over Africa. Please, understand good sir, that I write this letter with the hope of an agreement. That agreement being nothing short of the full withdrawal of French forces from the Kingdom of Morocco, and the payment of seventeen thousand Francs to His Imperial and Apostolic Majesty’s private coffers.

Ironic, that Your Excellency has promised to lend your Naval and Marine prowess against the full force of the Russians, with respect to the brutal massacre of Egyptians. This is an area in which His Imperial and Apostolic Majesty would have earnestly liked co-operation, with the expectation of the annexation of the Suez Canal to Austro-Hungarian management. Now our government cannot see that possibility with or worth the faintest chance of acceptance.

As such, I regret to inform you that should you not take the offer, then I shall be forced to recall a portion of the diplomatic staff from Paris, and wish to have a portion of the French embassy here in Vienna reimbursed back to the French Empire.

With my Utmost respect.

G. Fejérváry

Wiener Zeitung, the News of the Austrian People, For the People, By the Government
Proclamation by His Imperial and Apostolic Majesty Franz Josef I

Of grave concern is the ongoing bloodshed with respect to both the situation in the Suez and that involving the French aggression and colonialism of the Kingdom of Morocco. As this government has wished previously for a calm and level-headed solution that will appease both the protestors and those of the Russian troops stationed there. Furthermore, This Government has announced a disbursement of funds to the victims of Russian shot, German manufactured savagery and their bloodlust. Should we receive word of either Russian or Ottoman reimbursement of the family members for funeral and travel expenses, then This Government will not garner the Austro-Hungarian Krone needed to pay the victims twice over.

Under my Authority as the Supreme Warlord, I have ordered the deployment of the Rapidkruzer SMS Seehund to protect Austrian interests in the Suez. Furthermore, I have given written instructions to a portion of the Imperial and Royal War Navy of Austria-Hungary to mobilize and set sail, with the intent on Protecting the Kingdom of Morocco from any more French transgressions and blatant Imperialist actions on the African subcontinent. Let this be a warning to France that the stability of peace is imperiled by His Excellency, the Emperor of the French. Austria demands the neutrality and independence of the Kingdom of Morocco. Should French forces infringe on their national sovereignty or so much as set foot in an aggressive manner, then I shall be forced to take drastic actions to not just protect the citizens of Morocco, but the entire nations of Austria and Hungary against French Imperialism in the Mediterranean Sea and the Coast of Africa.
Krugeristan wrote:This is Carrie you're referring to. I'm not going to expect him to do something sane anytime soon. He can take something as simple as a sandwich, and make me never look at sandwiches with a straight face ever again.

Former Carriebeanian president Carol Dartenby sentenced to 4 years hard labor for corruption and mismanagement of state property|Former Carriebeanian president Antrés Depuís sentenced to 3 years in prison for embezzling funds and corruption

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Iron Fist Socialists

Postby Ormata » Sat Dec 23, 2023 1:21 am


Baltic Confederation
February 1905

Copenhagen, Kingdom of Denmark
Feb 15 1905

The road to the foreign office in Copenhagen, amid the city center, was remarkably clean for the time of year. Citizens walked the cobbled streets, the few automobiles rumbling away in a distance that was muffled by the sounds of common shipping and commerce. It was a clear day, too, thin chimney smoke drifting into the sky before dissipating in a steady breeze. Blue-clad police roamed the streets, an almost suspicious number of them for such a day. There were no holidays scheduled, nor parades, nor great arrivals by dignitaries expected by the common people. No, it was altogether a quiet day.

Of course, three carriages moved through the streets then, traveling down from one of the little homes kept by royalty for their own sanity, their own peace and quiet. As clean as any carriage might be found in the Baltic states, the most important occupant was well-used to such travels. He was quite old for it, the man mused, eyes passing casually over the wrinkles in his hands. He could feel age in his bones, a tired age. They came to a gentle halt, servants clicking open the doors and gently helping him out. He expected that they wouldn't have accepted no for an answer to such help. It was simply how age was.

The guards clicked heels, came to attention at the approach of their King. Christian IX, father-in-law of Europe, passed them by with a light little smile, as dignified a little walk as his old bones allowed, followed close by the foreign minister. There was much, he expected, which would need to be done. The other party would be well on their way, to arrive within the hour or so.

Soon, a strange mechanical sound could be heard coming down the road alongside the clopping of horse hooves standing guard around the mysterious vehicle. Arriving in a four seater and covered Mercedes Simplex 60 hp, Kaiser Wilhelm III smiled as he stepped out of his modern metal carriage. A young man, he had already made a point to show that the Kaiserreich was moving forward into the future.

Entering the ministry, the Kaiser, followed by the foreign secretary, kept his smile as he waited to greet his host.

The room they were led to, with all the appropriate protocols and respects reasonable to such a foreign dignitary of note as the Kaiser, was perhaps as remarkably plain and bureaucratic as one would expect in the foreign office. Carpet covered thick, well-made oak floor paneling, a window was open to bring in the cool breeze, and the lighting was decidedly more subdued than otherwise expected. They did not, however, need to wait long.

A butler spoke as one of the doors opened, announcing the entrance "His Majesty Christian IX, By the Grace of God, King of Denmark, of the Wends and of the Goths, Duke of Stormarn, Dithmarschen, and Oldenburg."

His entrance was, of course, decidedly less extravagant than the title given, walking into the room with the same dignified walk as he had before. Christian IX had the same little smile, too, and he moved the tiniest bit faster at the sight of the Kaiser. There was something to be said for actually getting the chance to do one's job and he had the opportunity before him. Behind him walked the foreign minister, a younger man in a decidedly plain suit whose stiff gait spoke of some accident or another in years past.

"I am most pleased to finally meet you," the King spoke, his German well despite his age, as he approached the younger man.

“Your Majesty, the honor is all mine.” The young Kaiser replied.

“My father always spoke highly of you. And I’m sure you’re aware but your grandson, Christian-Carl, and I have built a friendship in recent years attending various functions as future monarchs. I must admit, I always assumed he would reign before my time started, however, the Good Lord knows best.”

A distant look slightly overtook the young Kaiser’s face for a moment before the smile returned and he replied “Pardon my rambling. Shall we get to business?”

His slight smile grew just a little more at the praise of Christian-Carl. "My grandson...yes, yes. He's a good man. He'll make for a good King."

At the mention of business he slightly deflated in that smile, ever so which would be hard for such a slight man. Small talk would be for after the more important things, the things they had come to discuss. "But yes. Let's." He sat slowly in the chair, leather groaning so slightly under his weight.

"I wished to reemphasize the relations between the Baltic Confederation and Germany, simply put. This...Triple Pact of yours, it is commendable. Truly commendable. Peace in Europe is a good goal for a King, and a hard one to keep once gained. It's not hard to see why, between the Austrians, the French, the British...pride in every heart and the past ties them down."

He paused, eyes watery and in the distance for a moment as though the King was seeing something there, something far off. A butler entered with a tray of dishes, footsteps quiet as he danced a circle about the meeting. Biscuits, jam, cups of coffee were set aside for each man seated, whether they asked or not. Christian IX refocused, smiling again as he took a cursory sip from his cup.

"We wish, God willing, to join in that peace officially. To become a signatory."

Taking his own sip of tea, Wilhelm nodded before saying “Thank you. Thank the Lord that peace could be found. Now, as for you joining the deal, I am definitely in favor of it and you can count on German support of such a move.”

"You understand, though..." Christian IX's mouth went wry, slightly, at the thought. "The likelihood of such ratification in the Landsraad is, at this moment, unlikely. The events as Suez, whatever they were...for I hear conflicted reports, seems to have angered Europe as a whole. Some form of penance would have to be given, by Germany and Russia, to bring you back into a better light. Otherwise they will never give it support, not for several years."

"You understand the issue. Suez has painted Germany and Russia in a poor way. They claim this and that, the Ottomans yell for blood, the Austrians that it is barbaric. That issue...well, is plain to see."

“I assure you, not a single German soldier was even involved in that incident. The Ottomans are intentionally ratcheting up pressure for their own gains. In fact, not a single picture published shows anything besides Russian soldiers. But, I digress, what solution would you have in mind?” The Kaiser replied, taking another sip of tea.

A pause as the King considered the issue. His foreign minister leaned in, filling in portions here and there. It was a weaker piece than he had hoped for, especially the proclamation of pictures. Whoever heard of a protographer in the midst of a protest, peaceful as it may be? Especially one so close to Russians, as the foreign minister said. "I see. Is this the same statement you intend to give to Europe as a whole? No other action planned, such a perhaps a...declaration of Germany's intent to keep trade in the Suez open?"

"If I may, your Majesty, there *could* be a more severe distancing between German and Russian positions, to better distinguish the two."

Christian IX nodded at such a suggestion, turning back to Wilhem. "Could there be?"

“I was already thinking that, to be blunt. I am not sure if you’ve heard but the Russians refused a fair deal that the Qing offered them at negotiations. This added to Suez incident… well… they have frankly grown to be more of a liability. And that is something I wanted to discuss with you, good sir. If, God forbid, we were to find ourselves confronted by the Russians, could we count on your support?“ The Kaiser replied, shifting in his seat.

Christian IX chuckled at that, a dry and light chuckle. "No, I had not yet heard of the Russians refusing a deal from the Qing. Such far places...I do not normally concern myself with. I would think it went poorly the way you've said it, though." He swallowed, nodding to himself.

"Should there be a confrontation, we shall abide by the spirit of the Treaty of Kiel. Hopefully, as God wills it, that would prevent more drastic decisions by the Russians."

“Indeed. Well, was there any other matters you wished to discuss, good sir?” The Kaiser replied, a smile on his face.

"I did. Germany has...carried on the Junker traditions quite well. I would like, very much, to be able to boast an army as proficient as the Prussians. With your permission, I would quite wish to send certain officers to attend your war colleges, as well as possibly send certain officers to act as attaches in a way, learning from those troops already trained. Would this be...agreeable?"

“That would be more than agreeable. It would be our honor to host our noble brethren from the North,” The Kaiser replied, a bright smile on his face.

"Wonderful. I'll send word to begin those preparations. I...truly think this will be the start to a new period of cooperation."

“Lord willing, it shall.” The Kaiser replied, finishing off his tea.

House of Parliament, Gothenburg, Kingdom of Sweden
Feb 17 1905

Speaker of the Landsraad Herman Trier announced in a surprise conference of parliament the signage of the Baltic Confederation to the Triple Pact! Agreed upon by their most august majesties, the ratification has already developed much controversy within the Folketing and Viksdag as members have been quick to point out the inequality inherent in the treaty’s name and the alterations which have been made on behalf of the other powers.

Among the most vocal was Richard Geijer, who declared the treaty to be akin to those made against China and Japan in the far east. "We shall not be the sickly man in the north!" He was said to have stated from the front of the Folketing building in Copenhagen, before then demanding that the wording should have included the original wording of great powers being the signatories. Despite the Baltic navies being far smaller than the other Triple Pact powers, Geijer emphasized the extensive coastal strength of the Confederation and her overall control over the Baltic Sea.

Supporters within the Landsraad have largely dismissed these arguments, in a collective following statement declaring, "Pride cannot prevent us from moving forward. We and God alone know our strength and power. We do not need the confirmation of other powers in this matter. As God wills it, so too shall the triple crowns will it."

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Democratic Socialists

Postby Cymrea » Sat Dec 23, 2023 12:31 pm

London Conference of 1905
Church House, Westminster

Once the dignitaries of France and the Ottoman Empire had arrived in London, there was little time wasted. Brisk meetings with King Edward met the social obligations of statecraft and ended with promises of tours of the British capital. Within days, the plenipotentiaries of Napoleon IV and Sultan Abdul Hamid II were gathered in Wesminster. Observers from the Roman Republic were also present, considering whether membership was in Rome's best interests.

After many grueling weeks of discussion, argument, negotiation, and compromise, Britain, France, and the Ottoman Empire were prepared to sign the Treaty of Westminster, founding the Alliance for Ensuring Global Integrity and Security.

AEGIS was to be a shield in truth, extending and enhancing the Pax so cherished by Britain. With close ally France, and a strong partner in the Ottomans, Europe could remain at peace. Rome was as yet undecided about membership, particularly over the French reaction to the elimination of the papacy, but it was hoped that the republic could be admitted in the near future.

The host British contingent would speak last. The French representative prepared to give a final speech before formally signing the Treaty.

“The nation and people of France are proud to link arms with their new comrades – and old - to face the modern and demanding threats of the 20th century. No longer can any one state stand on its own in the face of a globalized world and an industrial world. As a nation, we are committed to the advancement of security and productivity across Europe. Through cooperation and security through power, Europe can see its full potential realized. Great wealth flows from all corners of the world to this great continent. As brokers of commerce and trade, we must bear that responsibility through wisdom and diplomacy.

"Yet, we must remain committed and capable of security. We cannot have false impressions of our tasks. We must be unified if we are to be able to secure a new era of European security. For this reason, Emperor Napoleon IV and his government have refused to allow the acceptance of the Italian Republic into the fold of AEGIS. Their culture, their beliefs, their views, are inherently unorthodox, unacceptable, and contrary to the very core beliefs of French citizens and this Empire. To the core doctrines of European cultural fabrics and constants. Their views represent a teetering towards the class-war doctrines of Marxists who likewise vomit a godless religion. We, as a people and a state, cannot entangle ourselves with such radicals and heathens.

"We hope, nonetheless, for peaceful cooperation between ourselves and the Italian Republic. We hope and pray for a proper unification of the Republic and a restoration of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, to his Rightful and Righteous position. We equally hope and pray for peace with the Austrian Hapsburgs and their Empire. Their criticism of our domestic security problem with Morocco is unfounded and, quite frankly, out of the blue. Fortunately, we are willing to pursue measures to keep the balance of Europe from teetering into conflict.

"This treaty – for five years – marks one step towards creating a framework for European cooperation. One that can supersede our Concert of Europe that had attempted the same thing without much success. We remain committed, however, to this endeavor and towards working to create a modern Europe.”

An enthusiastic wave of applause rose, ushering the venerable French diplomat off the dais. After a moment, it was the Ottoman's turn.

With a smile, Foreign Minister Ahmed Tevfik Pasha stepped up to the podium with a confident look as he unfolded his speech from the pocket of his suit. He began, "I am very pleased that the Ottoman Empire and its people shall now join its old allies, and new friends, in a formal alliance. For many decades, the Ottoman Empire has been closely linked with France and Britain, in both the good and the bad. My people have relied on your brave and most honorable nations for both defense and trade.

"Now, under the framework of this great alliance and mutual cooperation, the Ottoman Empire has the opportunity to act as an equal partner to contribute towards security and peace in Europe, Africa, and Asia. We shall make every effort to modernize and reform, and take to heart the tenants of this treaty. Alone our states are vulnerable, but together we shall be strong. Together as our nations cooperate in trade and security, we shall all stand to benefit from the great wealth and peace that will prosper.

"That is to say, we will not be without challenge. As we speak, the people of the Khedivate of Egypt are under attack from the brutal occupation in the Suez Canal. Great threats loom in Europe, and war rages in Asia. With this alliance, we shall hope and pray for peace. And we shall hope to expand our cooperation in the near future, with other states that share our values of peace and unity.

"On behalf of His Imperial Majesty, Sultan Abdul Hamid II, I wish to thank the French and British governments for meeting and hosting us, and for the many years of cooperation to come."

Another wave of applause for the Ottoman representative rose and fell as the British secretary of state for foreign affairs, Sir Edward Grey took his place on the dais.

"Europe was some time ago divided into two, I will not say hostile, but certainly not friendly, camps. There has been a tendency to obliteration of the hard-and-fast lines between those two camps. There has been a tendency to more direct inter-communication, more direct settlement; and this has been more favourable to a frank adjustment of the relations between these Powers; and we in our turn have now taken part in making a sort of arrangement with a view to creating greater frankness and friendliness between ourselves and France and the Ottoman Empire. It would not have been possible to establish this Alliance between ourselves and France and the Ottoman Empire some years ago, because the atmosphere between our nations may be said to have been of the glacial epoch. It has happily now changed to a genial epoch.

"On behalf of His Royal Majesty King Edward VII, I welcome the Alliance for Ensuring Global Integrity and Security, and I hope the we will lose no opportunity of making it a working model for other cases where it is possible to do so. I welcome AEGIS because I believe not only will it be a working model for other cases, but because it has in it great possibilities for keeping us in contact with the great powers, with a growth of friendly relations to the advantage of all countries, and the many points of contact in various parts of the world will not, as in the past, be occasion for dispute and debate, but will be so many opportunities for the interchange of international courtesies.

"Now, a word as to our policy. It is not anti-German. But it must be independent of Germany. We wish to keep and strengthen the Alliance as it means good and easy relations for signatory members with Italy and Spain. This means that peace and quietness are assured among the powers of Europe. To complete this foundation, we wish to make an arrangement with Russia, that will remove the old traditions of enmity, and ensure that, if we are not close friends, at any rate we do not quarrel. If all this can be done, we shall take care that it is not used to provoke Germany, or to score off her, if she will only accept it, and not try to make mischief.

"Our treaty is signed, our pact sealed, and our Alliance founded. God save the King, God save Europe. God save our shared world."

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Founded: Feb 18, 2011
Left-wing Utopia

Postby NewLakotah » Sat Dec 23, 2023 9:05 pm

Le bleu et le rouge


“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets. - Voltaire

March, 1905

Versailles, France
Imperial Estate of His Majesty, the Emperor of France

The telegram from a very bewildered Jacques Frédéric de Reverseaux de Rouvrays in Vienna had arrived in Paris late in the afternoon on March 1st. Louis-Napoleon read it and called for an impromptu gathering between his senior advisers. Austro-Hungarian objections had not been seriously considered. So it had come as a great surprise when Kaiser Josef I had responded very publicly and very negatively.

The emperor had quickly issued a stop order to his top commanders. This would require a delay and a chance to make sure they knew what they were getting into. Louis-Napoleon’s senior and unofficial cabinet consisted of a close ring of Bonapartist blue bloods. Such as the ones who had secured Napoleon I during the Revolutionary Wars and propelled his father, Napoleon III, into power and industrialized France. Now, a select few of them were assembling in Versailles, the great imperial estate of Napoleon and of French prestige and grandeur, in order to discuss the situation with Morocco and Austria-Hungary.

“What’s that old man done now?” Prince Victor Napoleon Bonaparte said as he ambled his way through the hall. Louis-Napoleon smiled at his cousin.

“Appears the Kaiser does want war. Just not the one we thought.”

“Well, we take what we get,” Prince Bonaparte said, chuckling. He was followed by Marshal Goiran, and Prince Imperial Alexandre Marie Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, the Prince Napoleon V. Behind them were Paul Fouché, the Duc d’Otrante, Marshal Étienne Jean-Baptiste Marie Bourgogne, the Duc de Tunis, Seigneur de Frontenac, and of course Jacques-Christophe Marie Svetlisky, Duc d’Cayenne. The Prime Minister, Louis-Philippe Hadricourt of the National Assembly and the Seigneur Léon Napoléon Louis Michel Ney, the Prince de la Moskowa of the French Senate were also present. The two of the representing the imperial delegation to the National Government. The representatives of the imperial court, Louis Armand Joseph de Maillé de La Tour-Landry, 4th duc de Plaisance, and Jérôme Louis Marie-Anne Devry, Compte de Algiers finished off the very noble ensemble. Only Prime Minister Hadricourt was not of imperial or even bourbon nobility. Not that he was some commoner. His family were of the baronate d’Hadricourt as created by Napoleon IV himself, through a regent, in 1871. His father had been a prominent official who had been key in supporting Bonapartist regime in France. It had been been Prince de la Moskowa himself who had recommended Marie-Christophe Hadricourt to baronacy. Thus, the grandson of a prerevolutionary peasant sat amongst the nobility of France. Marshal Duc de Tunis was was unique as hailing from Algeria, a native Pied-Noir and bestowed with a title of victory by Napoleon IV himself following the conquest of Tunisia. His Algerian and Tunisian estates were said to be one of the richest in all the empire. A good portion of it claimed during the conquest itself.

“Gentlemen,” Louis-Napoleon said as the men gathered into a long meeting room. A very ornate table sat in the middle. The men had taken their chairs as they had been directed by the imperial staff. Drinks had been served. The Emperor stood before his seated audience. “The situation with the Austrian Kaiser is quite clearly an unexpected threat. Their very public and sudden demonstration of concern in Africa was something none of us expected. That is a mistake we cannot make again. This was supposed to be a fairly simple, straight, and quiet affair. Yet, now, we are forced to draw attention to it and threaten European war at the moment we secure peace with AEGIS.”

“Does this threaten our membership?” Seigneur Plaisance asked.

Louis-Napoleon shook his head. “No, I shouldn’t think so. Our membership isn’t so weak. Still, it is frustrating. And a European conflict is not something to be desired as this stage. Should it come to it, I fully expect the Ottoman and British Empires to come to our aid. But I believe it will not be necessary – and could lead to complications.”

“So what of the orders? To the troops, I mean?” asked Marshal Goiran.

“I say it shall continue,” said Louis-Napoleon simply. “We have not yet crossed any borders and we await a formal reply from the Sultanate. Without which such a war would be unnecessary. With Austria throwing this lifeline I find it difficult to imagine our friend the Sultan agreeing without condition to our little decree. Then it comes down to who else in Europe makes a fuss.”

There was a moment of silence as Louis-Napoleon drifted off. He remained leaning against the table, staring hard at the large map of Europe and North Africa that lay stretched before it. Leon-Napoleon Ney, the Prince de la Moskowa, leaned forward in his seat. He was an old man now, and he had difficulty sitting for long periods on these hard ornate chairs.

“Your Majesty,” he began, a voice deep and raspy. “The real question is how does the Austrian response actually materialize? They have a fleet, yes, but it hardly poses a major threat to our Atlantic Fleet. Why,” he throws his arms out wide, wincing slightly, “their fleets would run a gauntlet rounding the boot of Italy. Hit from two sides from two superior fleets – and that’s not even including our ability to harass them with our light attack flotillas. Submarines and torpedo boats could inflict attacks when they least expect it. Our ability to harass and keep them out of formation will allow our capital fleets easy pickings. We could use the morale boost, quite frankly. Beyond that, they have no way of attacking us or defending Morocco. A quick decisive campaign, a written agreement from the Sultan and we all go home. Perhaps with some real battle experience under our belt even – simply a bonus, Your Majesty.”

There were murmurs of agreement from the others. Or rather, most of the others. Prime Minister Hadricourt hated to be the one, but he felt compelled as representative of the people. So, he cleared his throat.

“Your Majesty, a war with Austria-Hungary is major undertaking – a very expensive undertaking.” He swallowed and felt the eyeballs of nobility on him. He swelled slightly in defiance. “Germany may be bound to non-aggression, but one Kaiser’s call for respect for humanity and self determination may trigger another to rally the banner. They could fall like dominoes. Austria to Germany, Germany to the Baltics – or even Russia. They might see an opportunity to challenge our own declaration against them at the Suez. We can’t appear hypocrites.”

“We are not hypocrites,” Louis-Napoleon replied coolly. He took his seat at last and eyed the room. Most of them men were deeply Bonapartiste. Ney – the son of the great Marshal Ney of France. And of course, Alexandre-Napoleon, his own son and heir at just twenty three years old. Most of them had gained their titles through loyalty to Napoleon I. Some to his father Napoleon III who had restored his Empire. Hadricourt, even being a leading member of the Bonapartist Party, was not deeply tied to his Bonapartist colors. Still, he was a patriot of France, Louis-Napoleon knew that well. The Empire had been forged by these men’s ancestors. Now, here, he seemed to be facing a familiar enemy. A Kaiser from Austria. “But we are not shy to using any possible means to gain our goals. We are not going to commit grave atrocities – like committed under my father. Such would draw too much condemnation and quite frankly worsen the situation more than it would help. Still, I hardly see the valiant German Kaiser turning a blind eye.”

Again, there was a moment of silence. Hadricourt considered speaking again but decided against. So, it was the Duc de Tunis who deigned to speak.

“It is clear, your Majesty,” he began in a high and very harsh voice. “That the Empire faces its first grave threat under your rule.” He smiled warmly at him and around at the gathered aristocracy. “We have been preparing for such a task since you took your throne, Sire. Nearly thirty-five years ago. We are more prepared for a modern industrial war than ever. We understand the task at hand. We understand the costs it will require. I do not believe Austrian resolve will hold. Their bluff must be called. If their warped view of honor forces them into a conflict with the French people, they shall reply. If the German Kaiser chooses to break his treaty, let him and let the balance of power weigh against him. But I do not believe this is likely. Africa – the great continent – can be connected under imperial power in a manor that will bring massive wealth to the continent and to the Empire. We cannot let Central European self-interest become our concern.”

“And if the Russian Tsar replies?” asked Louis-Napoleon.

“If he replies, then let him attempt to draw his fleets through the straits. Or shall we wait for them at the mouth of Gibraltar? No, I don’t believe they will make a fuss, at least not militarily. They remain locked in a conflict with two Asian powers at this time. They can ill afford a two-front conflict at this stage. This trouble with the Suez will draw most of their attention. I imagine they could join in the diplomatic outcry against France. But I doubt they will advance further with the Austro-Hungarians.”

“I agree with the Duc, Sire.” The Imperial Prince was quick. He locked eyes with his father who stared at him blankly. The young imperial prince had spent several years at the best training académie in military arts in France for his schooling years. From there he was commissioned as an officer in the imperial guard, serving as a Calvary officer. Then he went abroad – to London. Serving with the imperial staff as representative of His Imperial Majesty and training under the brilliant eyes of British officers. Learning much in the art of colonial and imperial warfare. He was a man of action and yearned desperately for a combat command. However, since London, Louis-Napoleon had insisted on keeping him close, on the imperial general’s staff, in order to groom him for rule. “The Russians pose little threat in their current state. Should they respond then it will only simplify matters regarding the Suez. If the Austrians choose a path of war, we should be prepared and mobilize the Grande Armée. The imperial fleet can sail to Tunisia – or even Libya under our new terms – and lay in waiting. Our submarines or torpedo flotilla could harass their capital fleet and break up their formations before they even round Sicily. Between the African and Imperial Battlefleets we have very little to be concerned about. On the ground, we could even land troops – take the fight to Austria and show the world French imperial prestige.”

Louis-Napoleon smiled but said nothing. He looked at his son, his eyes blazing for the fight at hand and then around, at the other men. Most of whom seem just as eager to continue their conquest regardless of what the Austrians decided.

“We do not want to raise unnecessary concerns,” said Louis-Napoleon at last, speaking very slowly and clearly and looking mostly to his son. “We will issue a partial order for readiness for all units. The Reserve Army will receive stay orders as well. The Army of Africa shall be fully mobilized however. The state of Algeria is now under threat and should be readied for war. No doubt the Austrian response, the thought of the fight in Morocco and the hope of Europe will spur a stronger response than we had initially hoped for. We should expect it. We have not counted on an Italian or Spanish response in light of the Austrian public declaration, we should maintain alert in those directions. It’s no secret we are not friends to pagan Rome.”

There were nods all around. Louis-Napoleon stared at all them hard. “We will continue our operation, prepare for the worst – but pray for the best.”

Maghnia, Algeria
Headquarters of the French Expedition to Morocco

Brigadier General Antoine Regnier huddled underneath his thick blue overcoat. It was cold. The mountain chill cut deep through his wool uniform. He considered the plight of the infantryman, with thread counts much thinner, and felt pity. Still, around warm fires and drinking rum and brandy into the late hours of the night, the men were hardly complaining. There were just about three thousand with Regnier. The rest were moving about into their own camps and positions along the Morocco border.

The general was sitting in a field tent. A temporary arrangement. Soon he would have a proper field headquarters in a villa on the outskirts of town. But for now he was stuck it a tent. It was a nice tent though. Large and spacious, even with a private area for his cot separate from his main sitting area. Still, in the mountains of Algeria in March – it was cold.

There was a sudden burst of cold air as the tent flap opened and the commander of 6th corps and Regnier’s direct superior entered, Joseph Gallieni, wrapped in an assortment of coats and scarves. He had arrived down from Algiers only yesterday to oversee the dispositions for the expedition into Morocco.

“Are we delayed?” Regnier asked. Major General Joseph Gallieni grinned at him. Gallieni was careerist and verging closer towards his closing years as an officer.
“No,” he said, allowing Regnier’s bat-man to remove his hat and coat. “Did you think the Austrian bluff would sway His Imperial Majesty?”

Regnier sighed. “No, not really,” he said. He picked up the poker and stabbing it into the firepit a few times, shifting the life of the fire back into a full blaze. “Still, I imagine it came as a shock. The Austrians.” Regnier laughed deeply and looked back at Gallieni. “That old man must have lost his old head.”

Gallieni smiled but did not share the younger general's enthusiasm. He stepped closer towards the fire, removing his white gloves slowly. “Don’t speak so confidently, commander. The situation has hardly cleared itself. It just means it won’t be our worry – for the time being. Austrians would take some time to mobilize regardless. Then it comes down to how their Germanic brothers respond. Or perhaps they find common bond with the Italians or Spanish?I should hope the Germans remain committed to their non-aggression pact. Still… we can only hope for the best amidst our current alignment within AEGIS these next five years.”

Regnier looked up sharply. “You seem certain it won’t last longer.”

Gallieni laughed coldly then sighed. “Well,” he said with a sense of sadness. “Unless hell freezes over and Germany cedes the lost territories, what do you expect?”

“I don’t know,” said Regnier. “Should that alone break our alliance?”

“When competing interests diverge, yes.”

“And ours do?”

“Don’t they?” Gallieni smiled sardonically. “Perhaps for now they don’t. But it’s a zero sum game. There are winners and there are losers. Each person’s profit comes at another’s expense. If our empire is to be a premier empire it cannot be second fiddle. Look at this – even Austria opposes our moves in Africa.”

Regnier merely nodded slowly. It was true that competing imperial interests often seemed to be the death of multilateral attempts to create peace and security across Europe. Britain and France had aligned their interests in a number of areas – the Americas being the prime example. But for how long would those bonds hold? Particularly as French development of Africa went into high gear.

There was another burst of cold wind and both men turned to the entrance as a courier – a Captain - wrapped in a dark blue overcoat and dripping wet, stepped in and saluted smartly. Both men returned the salute.

“Message from Headquarters, sir – from General Joffre,” the captain said removing a sealed manila envelope from his satchel. He handed it to Galleni who opened it and read it. He smiled and handed it off to Regnier and dismissing the captain with a “no reply, captain” and a crisp salute.

Regnier read it and smiled. It was a simple message “orders from Imperial Staff – Army of Africa to move to full readiness. Operation to continue as planned regardless of Austrian intentions. No change to orders for now – General Joseph Joffre”

“Well then, sir,” he said, returning to his seat by the fire. “It looks like we’ll be in Casablanca by summer.”

Gallieni smiled. “It’ll be a hell of a lot nicer than winter in Maghnia.”

To: His Imperial and Apostolic Majesty Franz Josef I of the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary

Your Imperial Majesty,

I trust this letter reaches you in good health. In response to the recent events in Morocco, let me affirm that the French unification with Morocco is an unequivocal exercise of our lawful rights. It is a pursuit of stability, progress, and the well-being of the Moroccan people, grounded firmly in international law. Our actions are taken with great care. No offensive actions have thus far been taken and the rights and duties of the Sultanate shall remain intact.

Your expressed concern regarding interference in our affairs is duly noted. However, I must make it unequivocally clear that any attempt to impose external pressure or threats of invasion from Austria shall be met with unyielding resistance. France stands resolute in the defense of its sovereignty and will not falter in the face of such provocations. Any threat towards France or her colonies or any attempt to intercede on behalf of the Sultanate against French troops shall be dealt with appropriately.

Yours faithfully,

His Imperial Majesty, Napoleon IV, by the Grace of God and the Will of the People, Defender of the Catholic Faith, Emperor of the French, Emperor of Africa, Emperor of Indochina
March 3rd, 1905

Imperial decree by His Majesty, Napoleon IV, Emperor of the French

Declaration Against Marxist Philosophers and Their Godless Doctrine

This imperial act, as signed and authorized by His Imperial Majesty and His Lordship Seigneur Léon Napoléon Louis Michel Ney, the Prince de la Moskowa, Seigneur of the Senate declares that the Marxist doctrine is anathema to French honor., Fervent in their conviction, the Marxist disseminates heresy on every corner of our beloved France. Their godless doctrine harbors naught but disdain for France and her Glory, a contempt for peace, unity, law, and justice. The Foundations of our Revolution. Their insidious aims seek to dismantle the very fabric of our nation, presenting an imminent International Threat.

These Marxists, falsely associating themselves with the revered Revolutionaries of France, are not the heroes of past but more likened to the butchers who nearly sabotaged the Revolution. In the aftermath of chaos left by blind leaders during the preeminence of the Revolution, it was the valor of Napoleon the Great that safeguarded France from its adversaries – both internal and external. Our Empire maintains that honor and legacy.

As Legitimists endeavor to subvert the Revolution through Restoration, we, custodians of the Flame of Liberty, Equality, and Brotherhood, established by Napoleon the Great, must not allow these Marxists to seize the sacred symbols of our Revolution. The Flame of Liberty and the Scales of Justice must not fall into the hands of these counterrevolutionaries.

This decree proclaims Marxist philosophy on the state and on God to be inherently anti-French, incompatible with the principles of the modern French State and the Revolution. Their dogma, advocating the destruction of state and property, is deemed treasonous. Their beliefs regarding the annihilation of the nation of France are labeled as traitorous. Such views shall find no harbor within the hallowed halls of His Imperial Government nor be entertained by any loyal Citizen of France.

By the will and decree of His Imperial Majesty,

Napoleon IV, Emperor of the French

By the Imperial Decree of His Majesty, Napoleon IV, Emperor of the French

Let it be known to all within the service of the Grande Armée that, as of March 4th, a state of heightened alert is declared. All leaves are hereby canceled, and all off-duty soldiers are summoned to immediate duty.

Furthermore, the Reserve Army is to maintain a current state of readiness, with mobilization notices reduced to a period of 48 hours. This directive is enacted in the interest of the security and steadfast defense of the Empire following the outrageous condemnation from Kaiser Josef I of Austria.

By the supreme authority vested in the Imperial Throne, let this proclamation be executed with unwavering precision and under my direction as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the French Empire shall the unwavering dignity of France be preserved.

Napoleon IV, Emperor of the French
Commander-in-Chief of the French Imperial Armed Forces

Marshal Francois Goiran, Chevelier de honneur, Marshall of France, Compte de Versailles
Chief of the Imperial Generals Staff

"How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right." ~~ Black Hawk, Sauk

"When it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home." ~~ Tecumseh

Free Leonard Peltier!!

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Democratic Socialists

Postby Cymrea » Sun Dec 24, 2023 10:29 am



To: Commander-in-Chief Gibraltar Station
Fr: First Sea Lord, Admiralty House
Cy: RN026
11 March 1905

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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Newne Carriebean7 » Sun Dec 24, 2023 11:44 am


The Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary
Das Vereinigte Königreich Österreich-Ungarn
Ausztria-Magyarország Egyesült Királysága
Vienna, Austria
March 10, 1905

Outside of the Imperial Palace sat an already substantial number of grim looking soldiers. The March season had resulted in early rains this time around, resulting in the ground of the ornate and elaborately decorated gardens turn into a muddy, swampy soup, much to the Groundskeeper’s chagrin. The hundreds of stiff looking Austrian guards had long since dispersed from their ceremonial duties, now huddling over small fires built to keep themselves warm. The long, lumbering boom of thunder followed the arching cackling flash of lighting in the dark, stormy night above them all.

It was this flash of lighting that illuminated the portrait of Kaiser Francis II, the last Holy Roman Emperor. His face looked solem, almost glancing down at the gathering military and political dignitaries of the Austrian Realm. Kaiser Franz Josef stared up at the painting of his predecessor, almost in reverence before his eyes returned to the high-ranking body of officials that had gathered.

“Sieg Kaiser.”

“Sieg Kaiser!” Everyone else barked out authoritatively and without thinking about it. As easily as one swallows and breaths these men instinctively followed their King. It brought a solemn smile to Kaiser Josef’s features, one that was only present for less than a fortnight before returning to a far more deadly serious expression.

“Gentlemen.” He eyed the blue colored uniforms of the Imperial and Royal War Navy Heads, he took in the sights of the light blue field uniforms of Hungarian and Austrian Generals, and he finally turned his focus to the more civilian attire of Alois von Aehrenthal, the Minister-President of Cisleithania.

He pulled from his jacket a letter he had held onto in his bone shaking hands. Laying it out on the table for all to read.
“It appears I have received assurances from His Imperial Majesty himself. In this letter, he states that he and his forces has, and I quote: ‘Been pursuing stability, progress and well-being of the Moroccan people, grounded firmly in International Law.’ “

Géza Fejérváry, the hawkish Minister for Foreign Affairs rubbed his hands together, trying in vain to warm up from the still bitter March winds in Vienna.

“What assurances do we have from the French? Do you take Roi Napoleon at his word that he will stop his incessant Empire building and enable the Habsburgs to garner their piece of the African pie? All we ask is for the French to stop meddling in Moroccan affairs, and to also stop meddling when we inevitably meddle in Moroccan Affairs.”

“Ah, a very two-faced hope, I see.” Began the antithesis to the hawkish Fejérváry, which was Heir to the throne Ferdinand Maximillian. “How can we expect them to roll over while we go ahead and become hypocrites? No decent Frenchman worth his weight in salt would do such an insufferable and indignant affair.” Maximillan then hoisted a digit and aimed it like one would be a pistol, “shooting” his opposite on the table with the biting accusation:

“You are a mad dog, Géza. A mad dog! You want to plunge this continent into war. I ask, what business does Austria have in the African subcontinent? Can you answer me that question?”

Géza Fejérváry, not one to back down, stood up from the table and threw down his personal handgun.
“ The French are hell-bent on destroying the Habsburgs. They’ve done it before with that tyrant Napoleon, and they’re going to do it again with another one of his descendants! We must strike them before they strike us! I shall serve my quarrel with you, you insufferable, naive, Roi-loving baboon!” Before either men came to further blows, the sharp voice of His Imperial and Royal Apolstic Majesty broke the tension in the room.

“ENOUGH!” Boomed Franz Josef I, slamming his hands on the oak table, shaking all those gathered that had almost brought popcorn to see the two polar opposites come to blows. It was enough to force both quarreling men to retreat back to their seats.

“I will not have my subordinates out killing each other. If either of you have an issue with one another sort your troubles out in your own time.” He turned his head to Fejérváry, with an icy look in his eyes. “If you so much as maime my brother, I will bury you myself!!!! Do I make myself clear!” His eyes were shooting daggers at both men. Like two opposing armies reaching a tenuous ceasefire, both men gradually extended their hands out and met in the middle, shaking only once before retreating, almost as if their hands were now infested with their opponent’s germs and vice filled ideas.

The King took a deep breath as he motioned for refreshments to be served. Cold pitchers of lemonade quickly cooled tensions in the room. After parching their thirsts and calming their nerves, the party then turned to the matter of planning out a potential war against the foul smelling Imperialist building, Moroccan bullying French and their ilk.

Now with freshly lit cigars, the head honchos of Austrian power resumed their meeting, now moving onto the military planning of such a move. It was here the blue uniformed individuals shone out, now having the authority and the floor to speak at length of the military plan in the event of war.

Ferdinand Maximillian, as the Chief of the Imperial and Royal War Navy, was technically the person in command. As he did enjoy the planning of campaigns and strategies, having been a formidable (if dry) bookworm in this regard. He mused over the map and began to address those present in the room.

“Your Imperial and Apostolic Majesty, I propose two Naval strategies in dealing with the numerically superior French forces. One is the deployment of our Main Fleet, with a Convoy of Troop transports following shortly afterwards. This main fleet is to seek out and do battle with the Main French fleet, destroy it, and pave the way for our transports to Land and take over Morocco, this time as an Protectorate of the Habsburg Monarchy.” The heir to the throne coughed and flipped through a prepared notebook, moving onto the second strategy as all eyes fell upon him, only building up the nervousness. Maximillian tried to ignore the piercing glare of the Foreign Minister.

“The second part of this plan involves our Rapidkruzers. We will deploy these forces against French shipping in the Mediterranean. French shipping will be fair game in the eyes of these enterprising individuals. In fact, should the need arise, we can press into service all sorts of rapidly fast ocean liners as commerce raiders, intent on wreaking havoc with enemy shipping and causing quite a stir in Paris. In fact, should these vessels make an escape into the Atlantic or Indian Oceans via the Red Sea, then these ships can extend and make life miserable for French shipping and their merchant and naval fleets. Having to expend substantial resources against just a few of our ships to destroy them, then we can strike hard and fast with our main fleet, occupy Morocco, and declare victory in the war.”

A round of applause broke through the room, marveling at the plan. However, the Foreign Minister looked uncertain about the plan, which was brought to Kaiser Jozef’s attention.

“Géza, have you something to add to our discussions?”

Géza Fejérváry slowly nodded his head, finishing off his cold lemonade before clearing his throat slightly and beginning with his concerns.

“Now, far be for me to argue the soundness of uh… Naval stra-tee-ghee. That being said, while I am no expert in lining up one’s ships for a broadside, I am an expert in the fact that hundreds of ships traverse throughout the Mediterranean. How are we to tell which will be a target and which will not be a target? Proper Identification efforts must be undertaken by all of our korvette-kaptains of the Rapidkruzers.”

For once, Ferdinand Maximillian didn’t hold the look of being peeved at whatever dribble or garbage spewed from Géza’s mouth. Instead, he shone a slight smile, albeit briefly towards his bitter arch-rival both politically and domestically.

“Thank you for your concern, Foreign Minister. I can assure you that all the Korvette-Kaptains will get a proper set of rules of engagement. If it looks the least bit french ,they will be blown out of the water. If it smells the least bit french, it will be blown out of the water. Commerce raiding also serves to tie down French warships, enabling our main fleet to safely dispatch with our convoy of troops and occupy Habsburg Morocco. Once we secure Morocco, then we will have no further need of fighting the french. This entire War can be a simple, sordid, and sorted out affair in less then two months.”

Although Géza didn’t seem convinced by this answer, he relented and agreed to the proposal, adding to himself:

“And I suppose I will be the one directing de Rouvrays to ask for their terms of surrender in a practical manner.” He had to admit, the idea of an Austrian victory did hold some allure, even if Géza had been a Hungarian member of the Austrian dominated cabinet, a necessary concession to prevent Budapest from fleeing the union. “Very well then. But what of our next moves?”

The blinding flash of lighting illuminated the silhouettes of the men within the room, causing those facing the window to squint and wince slightly. Those that held their backs to the window only had the misfortune of their shadows appearing massive to their opposites, albeit for a flash.

“I suppose we need to take some precautions.” Began the other Hungarian in the room, one Birodalmi Hadügyminiszter Hermann Kusmanek von Burgneustädten, who ran his hands through his faded and receding hairline, mostly coming up with bad, bald, dried scalp and hints of blood speckled throughout.
“Shall I cancel leave for all soldiers, sir?” He then eyed his Austrian counterpart Reichskriegsminister Karol Durski-Trzaska, who nodded his head, a stark contrast to the headbutting that had conflicted and confounded both Maximillian and Géza.

“Yes, oh, and instruct the Common Army to start general mobilization. I also expect the Hungarians to be mobilzing too, so I shall seek permission from the Prime Minister of Hungary to mobilize the Honved.”
Géza Fejérváry stood tall and proud, staring into the eyes of both the Hungarian and Austrian war ministers.

“You have my full and binding permission to mobilize the Honved for war. I authorize the transportation of Hungarians to the Realm of Cisleithania. However, this is only for our Hungarians already on active duty. I am Afraid, constitutionally, my authority only extends to active duty personnel. If you wish to mobilize the reservists, please seek out the House of the Chosen Electorate.”

A slight smile came over the Kaiser, who whispered something to a nearby aide, who walked out of the room.

“I shall make preparations at once. I urge all of you to do the same. Under the authority in me as his Imperial and Royal Apolstic Majesty, I hereby convene an end to this meeting.”

One by one, the representatives and ministers bid themselves adieu, rushing forwards to make the needed preparations. Even the hated Prime Minister of Hungary and Foreign Minister made an awkward attempt at national unity, reluctantly holding hands, while still avoiding anything absolutely above the bare minimum in eye-contact with either rival. As the room emptied out, the Kaiser was left alone in the room, now just with the foreboding painting of Kaiser Francis II of the Holy Roman Emperor bearing down upon him.
A loud booming of Thunder was heard outside, or at least, it was hoped it was thunder..

“Reminds me of Cannon Fire…” Replied the Kaiser as the rain continued to pelt down hard on the metallic roof of the Imperial Palace.


Affirmed; that there is a need to defend the nation from a substantial enemy power within our borders, including those of the oceans, lands and seas of our beloved nation. Explaining increased tensions against our opponents in the Mediterranean Seas and on the European Mainland respectively, puts out the following NOTICE to be executed by all soldiers, servants and slaves to their rifle:

Let it be understood by all those within the following branches of military servitude: The Common Army of Austria and Hungary; the Landwehr of the Realm of Cisleithania, The Imperial and Royal War Navy of Austria-Hungary, that MOBILIZATION has been ordered by His Excellency, Reichskriegsminister of Austria Karol Durski-Trzaska, with the approval, permission, and seal of His Royal and Apolstic Majesty, Kaiser Franz Josef.

All soldiers, cooks, mechanics and all others within His Excellency’s military service are to report to their respective military regiments and battalions in an orderly and straightforward manner, to deploy to their respective combat zones and await further instructions.

Let it be understood, that any and all leave that had previously been awarded within the past week has been revoked, and all personnel are expected within 48 hours to locate and join their unit to await further instructions. This notice has been personally approved by the appropriate general authorities and figures within the Government.

All Marshbattalions are to report to their local units and prepare to march to a bordering country as quickly as feasibly possible for their unit, once general readiness is assumed and completed.

Let it be known that the Territorial Sovereignty of the House of Habsburg’s claim on Morrocco will be enforced and executed by the appropriate military, political and extrajudicial means. Let it be decreed, by His Royal and Apolstic Majesty, the proclamation of Das habsburgische Königreich Marokko (The Habsburg Kingdom of Morocco). The Government has appointed Her Majesty, Konteradmiral Wilhelmina Packard, in charge of duly civilizing the crown colony of Morocco, and shall be placed in charge of all Naval forces on a tactical level on the Oceans of Saint Stephens.

Any and all French citizens currently residing in Austria will be granted 9 hours following the proclamation of this document to withdraw themselves from the country. Otherwise, they shall be expected to be treated as enemy combatants, possible sabouters and spies and shall be detained as such, interrogated with the small chance of extra-judical torture and capital punishment such as execution via firing squad. Note, the last punishment will only be used if the person is found guilty by a 1% plurality of any jury of his Austrian peers (and some random British bloke we scooped up) and the Judge recommends either indefinite, indentured servitude towards the Austrian state or the death penalty.

Signed, Reichskriegsminister of Austria Karol Durski-Trzaska on March 10, 1905.

The Imperial Rescript and Manifesto

Ischl, March 11.

Dear Géza Fejérváry:

I have resolved to instruct the Ministers of my Household and Foreign Affairs to notify the Imperial French Government of the beginning of a state of war between the Monarchy and France. I turn to you in this fateful hour, with the need of addressing my beloved peoples with an explanation. I command you, therefore, to publish the enclosed manifesto.


To my peoples! It was my fervent wish to consecrate the years, which, by the grace of Allah (peace be upon him) and God, still remain to me, to the works of peace and to protect my peoples from the heavy sacrifices and the bloody and undue burdens of war. The intrigues of a malevolent opponent compel me, in the defense of the honor of my Monarchy, for the protection of the Morroccan people, and for the safety and security of all those who call me my Imperial and Royal Apolistic Majesty. I owe them a debt of gratitude, and they owe me the security of my realm.

Security, which, as of late, has been threatened by transigent and egregious French actions with respect to Morocco. With a forlorn look in their eyes, the people of Morocco do not wish to be reigned from Paris, but have a secret, long-standing biological desire to be reigned from both Budapest and Vienna. It is within the Moroccan genetic structure and code to be ruled by the House of Habsburg.

Already, there are substantial rallies in support of His Imperial and Royal Apolstic Majesty all through the French occupation zone of Morocco. Busts, portraits and an overwhelming degree of support to be reigned over by a Habsburg. We are a nation of many peoples, I have many peoples within my own realm. All hard working to their oaths and creeds of loyalty to myself. The Moroccan people are simply another one of the Empire’s subjects, all inherently loyal and good people of moral character.

It is with gnawing pain in my heart that I see Pro-Austrian rallies broken up by the savage actions of French and British rifle fire, murdering tens of their fallen brethren and subjects. It aches every part in my body to see such callousness and coldheartedness from a Global spanning Colonial Empire. Our merchants have had their goods seized and ripped apart to garner to the highest colonial bidder. Moroccan citizens harboring good intentions and earnestly practicing the good faith of Roman Catholicsm while praying to His Imperial and Royal Apolisic Majesty, have had their beliefs belittled and their houses of worship torn down to make way for more development. These attacks on the faith of Habsburg Moroccans are unacceptable and an egregious domino on the path to a final ending of this story.

It is unacceptable and dangerous that Roi Napoleon The Fourth, His Excellency of Metropolitan France and his Colonial Holdings of Africa has embarked on yet another case of rapid Imperialism, without so much as considering the opinion or position of the Austrian Government, which I have made myself clear in my Proclamation of the previous few days. The hope that the French Government would appreciate the patience and goodwill of us has not been fulfilled. A conspiracy by a cabal of French aristocrats and her loyal elite minions, hell-bent on encircling the Austrian state with an array of foreign traitors and conspirators, all backed by the armies of even her most long-standing allies, such as the “Victors of Koniggratz”.

It is this position that the Habsburg Monarchy finds itself in, and in a difficult situation. Faced with repeated offenses to the honor of this great nation and of her Sixty million subjects within her borders, I find it difficult to garner some sort of proposal that will not lead to the shedding of blood. France has rejected the just and moderate demands of my Government and refused to conform to those obligations the fulfillment of which forms the natural and necessary foundation of peace in the life of peoples and States. I must therefore proceed by force of arms to secure those indispensable pledges which alone can insure tranquility to my States within and lasting peace without.
In this solemn hour I am fully conscious of the whole significance
of my resolve and my responsibility before the Almighty. I have
examined and weighed everything, and with a serene conscience I set
out on the path to which my duty points. I trust in my peoples,
who, throughout every storm, have always rallied in unity and
loyalty around my throne, and have always been prepared for the
severest sacrifices for the honor, the greatness, and the might of
the Fatherland. I trust in Austria-Hungary's brave and devoted
forces, and I trust in the Almighty to give the victory to my arms.

Last edited by Newne Carriebean7 on Sun Dec 24, 2023 11:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Chewion » Sun Dec 24, 2023 2:35 pm


Chapter 1, Part 1: A Shifting World

Berlin City Palace
Berlin, Prussia, German Empire
January 28th, 1905

Kaiser Wilhelm III set the paper down on his desk as Chancellor Bismarck entered the room. Only having been Kaiser for a month now, the young man stood facing the experienced Bismarck before saying "Lies. The Ottomans continue to spread falsehoods against us Herr Chancellor. Falsehoods that stain our reputation. No more."

Bismarck, for his part, took a seat before saying "Your Majesty, perhaps it is time we hit back then?"

Intrigued, the young Kaiser replied, "How so?"

"A sit-down interview with the British press. It will be worldwide news. In it, you can make all of our positions very clear." Bismarck replied.

Thinking for a moment, the Kaiser nodded before saying "Very well. Let us proceed then."

Berlin City Palace
Berlin, Prussia, German Empire
January 30th, 1905

Kaiser Wilhelm III sat in his office waiting for the British reporter to arrive. A few days before, Chancellor Bismarck had given this idea and immediately, a request for an interview had been sent to British reporters in Berlin. Now, after one had been selected, a Mr. Rhodri "Jolly Rhodri" Evans, the Kaiser had spent the morning preparing him self for a rare, no holds interview. A chance to, Lord willing, endear himself to the British and English speaking people of the world and, through them, many others spanning the globe. (edited)

Saying a prayer, the Kaiser waited for his meeting.

A plain covered handsome cab stopped in front of the palace. No footman attended the passengers, a rented conveyance as it was. Boots well-made if unadorned crunched into the midwinter snow that formed a treacherous layer upon the cobbles. From the cab emerged a middle-aged man in a scarlet greatcoat. He had a British Army swagger-stick tucked under his arm and his coal-black hair was slicked back and tucked under a felt top hat that matched the vivid colour of his coat. A prodigious mustache flowed along his jawline and up into ostentatious sideburns in the muttonchop fashion. His keen grey eyes were locked on the imperial residence as his photographer wrestled a box camera out of the cab.

"You see, Liam? This is what notoriety can bring when wielded properly." And Rhodri "Jolly Rhodri" Evans was indeed notorious, particularly back in London where he was a top reporter for the Empire Dispatch - the newspaper he had delivered as a grubby waif on the streets of Cardiff.

Liam chuffed a terse laugh. "Just go respectful with this one, eh, Evs? Not like you're collecting shiners from European monarchs, right?"

"Hmm," Rhodri replied. "I'll admit I had that one coming to me. Ol' Eddie was not having any of my guff that day."

Liam shook his head. "Ol' Eddie, indeed. That's King Edward to you, guv." Rhodri barked a derisive laugh in response and waved his hand dismissively. "How'd you even get this assignment, Evs?"

Rhodri grinned wolfishly. "You remember the Christmas party? Jameson had that rather buttery tart on his lap?" Liam pursed his lips and shook his head again.

"You know you're a cheeky fellow, yeah?"

His grin widening, Rhodri headed to the guard station at the massive iron gate. "Yes, I am, Liam. Yes, I am!"

Soon the British reporter and his photographer were ushered inside to meet with the young Kaiser.

The Kaiser stood as an aide knocked and entered saying “Your Majesty, Herr Evans and Herr Wickes have arrived.”

“Ahh. Send them in please.” The Kaiser replied

As the two men entered, the Kaiser said in slightly accented English “Thank you for coming in such short notice chaps. Can I offer you any tea, coffee, or snack?”

Rhodri entered the room as though he owned it. As soon as he was announced, he swept off his hat and made a passable if overly theatrical leg. "Your Imperial Majesty, it is a profound honour and privilege to speak with you today." He handed his hat and coat to an attendant and moved to sit across from the Kaiser. "And yes, please. Tea and nibbles would be lovely. Thank you, your Imperial Majesty."

From seemingly nowhere, Rhodri produced a small leather-bound notepad. It was in dire shape, spotted and stained with ink, and had been amongst Rhodri's trade tools for a very long time. The paper within had been replaced innumerable times. Currently, about half the leaves were filled with tiny notes in Welsh.

"How would you like to begin, sire?"

Motioning to the chairs set before them, the Kaiser took his seat before saying “Wherever you would like to start. You, my friend, are the expert in your field. I would like to make sure we touch on the Ottomans, Russia, and the Suez however if possible please.”

A moment later, an attendant entered and set a tray of tea and “nibblings” down beside both men as well as one for the photographer.

"Very good, sire," Rhodri replied. "The situation in Egypt does seem to be a bit of a powderkeg, and everyone holding a lit match. What is the German perspective on the matter?" Before he had finished his question, Rhodri was already scribbling furiously in his Cambrian shorthand.

“That is not a question that is east to answer, I’m afraid. On one hand, I can not help but believe that there was a hand behind that group in the Suez. On the other, well frankly, the Russians overreacted and played into the hands of those that oppose them. Now, there has been much reporting that Germany was involved in this incident. That is simply false. No German troops were active during that period and not a single German rifle was fired. I hope that through you, Lord willing, we can set that record straight.” The Kaiser replied, siping on some tea afterwards.

"Absolutely, sire," Rhodri said, still scribbling. "Now, if I may, the Suez is some three thousand miles away, as the crow flies. I imagine it's telegraph post keeping you informed. May I ask whose account of events in the Suez are you relying upon for your information?"

“A mixture of public reports, reports from our diplomatic corps, and reports sent in from our garrison there.” The Kaiser replied matter of factly.

"Ah, an aggregation of reports, then. And what does Germany make of the Austrian threat to send its shiny new rapidkruzer to the region, where it has no real stake? Or is there a stake for the Dual Monarchy?" (edited)

“Our Germanic Brothers to the South are entitled to ensure whatever interests they might have in the region. I’m not aware of anything specific so I’d have to refer you to Vienna for that.” The Kaiser replied.

"Of course, yes." Rhodri said with a knowing smile and a wink. "Do you suppose your Germanic brethren could use a steadier hand on the tiller, as it were? If you'll forgive the presumption."

Smiling, the Kaiser replied “That is for them to decide.”

"Of course, sire. Of course. His Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty is also threatening to send ships out of the "Austrian Lake" and to intervene in Morocco where, by all accounts, they have no interests or stake - like the Suez. Germany has worked so carefully and diligently to ensure peace in Europe. How tragic to have it shattered by what may be considered rash and impetuous actions of your brethren?

Thinking for a moment, the Kaiser replied “Well, we certainly urge them not to do anything provocative. If they have concerns, those should be voiced to Paris through diplomatic channels.”

"Indeed. Most wise, sire," Rhodri replied with another toothsome smile. "If I may, what are Germany's plans, if any, to help keep the Suez from becoming an even bigger graveyard than it is now?"

“We urge the Ottoman and Egyptian authorities to control their civilians. They are the responsible authorities.” The Kaiser replied.

Rhodri paused in his writing. Frowning slightly, he tilted his head. "Does Your Imperial Majesty not believe the Russians hold any responsibility for the unarmed people they shot and killed?"

“As I said prior, the Russians overreacted. Unfortunately, that’s becoming increasingly the case with St. Petersburg.” The Kaiser replied.

Rhodri pointed his pen at the young Kaiser and nodded firmly. "Just so, sire. If I may be so bold, it is a comfort to hear such a sage assessment. I've interviewed many a dignitary back in London and I daresay such clarity of that particular thought is a widespread phenomenon. The consensus appears to be plain: Russia is an unstable danger to all it touches on."

“Perhaps there is valid reason for that consensus. I can tell you, there certainly many in this government that believe Russia has become much more a liability than a benefit, unfortunately.” The Kaiser replied.

"Quite right, sire. Was there another matter about which you wished to be interviewed? If not, I certainly have more than enough to go on for my report."

“A few topics. One missing piece that I think is too little reported on is the treatment of Christians and others inside the Ottoman Empire.” The Kaiser replied.

Rhodri nodded. "You've been very supportive of the sovereignty of Austria to make its own policies, sire. Would the Ottomans not merit the same consideration? And conversely, if I may be so bold, would Germany care to hear the advice of the Ottomans on treatment of Muslims in Europe?"

“The policies I have said are a matter of Austrian sovereignty do not include the systematic and intentional murder of innocents. The Ottomans have repeatedly, at best, turned a blind eye to the savage murder, rape, and forced conversion of our fellow Christians. They lambast us for unfortunate deaths in Suez yet could not care the less about the murder of men, women, and children simply because they hold to the Christian faith. If the Ottomans point to genocide of Muslims, I will denounce that as well. But I refuse to remain silent while my fellow Christians suffer so greatly. I call on the Ottoman Government to end any and all persecution of minority groups and to enforce protections of all of their citizens. If they wish to be treated as a civilized power, then they must act like one.” The Kaiser replied, sternly and working up a slight red tint in his face.

Taking a breath, the Kaiser continued “I apologize if I got loud. But have you seen the pictures? The reports? They treat Christians like animals. That must end.”

"Understood, sire. Apologies are entirely unnecessary, of course," Rhodri said. "And I'm happy to include your words in my report, but I don't know that the Empire Dispatch has been seconded to His Majesty's Diplomatic Service. With every respect, perhaps this conversation would be better served in Constantinople, Your Imperial Majesty, with professional diplomats."

“Well, Lord willing, that will also occur. But, there is also the matter of the public opinion. Both are important, no?” The Kaiser replied, giving a wink.

"They are indeed, sire. What is your next topic?" he returned to scribbling.

“Lastly, I want to say that we here in Berlin desire peace with all. However, we will be prepared for force. Our door is always open for talks, but so are our armories.” The Kaiser replied.

"A noble endeavour, sire, the pursuit of peace. Like a shield protecting our mother Europe," Rhodri said. Just as the words left his lips, the flash in Liam's hand went off, capturing with his box camera the young Kaiser's reaction to the thinly veiled reference to AEGIS. "Well, I believe that brings our interview to a natural conclusion. Thank you again, Your Imperial Majesty, for the great honour and privilege of this discussion." The British reporters waited for the German sovereign's dismissal.

Standing, the Kaiser smiled and extended his hand saying “The pleasure was mine gents. Thank you for coming and God bless you both.”

Berlin City Palace
Berlin, Prussia, German Empire
March, 1905

Kaiser Willhelm sat in his office looking over the morning paper when suddenly, Chancellor Bismarck knocked and entered into the room saying "Your Majesty, the Austrians seem to be near war with Paris over Morroco."

Setting his paper down, the Kiaser reclined in his office chair before saying "The Austrians are preparing for war with the French... over Morocco? Did I hear you correctly?"

"I am afraid so, sir. The greater concern is this could escalate into a war involving the Turks and Brits." The Chancellor replied.

Sitting stunned for a moment, the Kaiser stood up and prayed in his mind for a moment before saying "Lord Jesus, guide us. It seems this whole world is coming apart at the seams. Well, Chancellor, relay my orders to the Heer that all forces are to prepare for mobilization. I want all units currently along the Austro-Hungarian border mobilized immediately and ready for anything. Recall any military attaches we have to Vienna. Have Abteilung III b start working on anything they have regarding this. Especially any contacts that might desire Hungarian independence from Hapsburg rule or pan-Germanic elements that lean our way. I will prepare some telegrams to be sent at once."

Nodding, the Chancellor made for the door, reaching it, the Kaiser added "And Herr Chancellor, ask for the Austrian, French, and British Ambassadors. The Austrian by himself and the French and British together, please." Nodding, the Chancellor left to go about the work ahead.


To: His Imperial Majesty, Napoleon IV, by the Grace of God and the Will of the People, Defender of the Catholic Faith, Emperor of the French, Emperor of Africa, Emperor of Indochina
From: Kaiser Wilhelm IV, by the Grace of God

My friend,

I have sent this telegram to you upon learning of the growing and unfortunate conflict that seems to be building between Paris and Vienna. I understand you are likely busy at this moment, so I shall be brief.

I ask that you give me, in honor of our previous pact recognizing German hegemony over lands including Central Europe, three days time to see if, Lord willing, a diplomatic end to this growing crisis might be reached. If not, you have my assurances that Germany will not fight against our French cousins. Stability is our aim.

God bless,

March 3rd, 1905

To: His Imperial and Apostolic Majesty Franz Josef I of the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary
From: Kaiser Wilhelm IV, by the Grace of God

My friend,

I have sent this telegram to you upon learning of the growing and unfortunate conflict that seems to be building between Paris and Vienna. I understand you are likely busy at this moment, so I shall be brief.

I ask that you give me three days time to see if, Lord willing, a diplomatic end to this growing crisis might be reached. I have thus, summoned your ambassador for talks. Stability is our aim.

God bless,

March 3rd, 1905
Last edited by Chewion on Sun Dec 24, 2023 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Tracian Empire » Mon Dec 25, 2023 5:24 am

Empire of the Great Qing


North of Chengde
Zhili Province
Fort of the Imperial Chinese Army

The Empire seeks to maintain the peace,
Generals follow the edict to teach these new drills:
First, to pay the debt of gratitude towards the emperor...

The soldiers were marching and singing, the march of their New Army. Ever since the end of the Boxer Rebellion, the Russian occupation of Manchuria had been one of the greatest concerns of the Imperial General Staff, due to the relative proximity of the unofficial border to the province of Zhili and to the imperial capital of Beijing. As such, ever since 1901, the main forces of the Imperial Chinese Army had been focused north and northeast of Chengde, were a series of forts had been built with German support. Now, that war seemed to be close, the forces that were mobilized from the first reserve were also being brought towards the future front - and in many ways, it was a sight to see. Gone were the days where provincial governors would gather up their own militia forces and modernize them however they could, gone were the days of hundreds of thousands olf soldiers from the Green Standard Army marching onward armed with whatever they could find, and gone were the days of the regional modernized armies, which could fight well but were held back by their separate commands. The Imperial Chinese Army was now the New Army, and everyone, from the lowest soldier to the generals in charge - were roaring for a fight. A battle, to end their decades of humiliation and to once again prove the power of China to everyone in Asia and in the world. But against whom would the war be fought? Russia, which continued to occupy the Three Northeastern Provinces? Or Japan, which had humbled the Qing in battle and had taken the island of Taiwan?

Eventually, the soldiers reached their destination and aligned themselves into formation for what they believed would be an inspection. Among them was a Xie junxiao, a second lieutenant, a Manchu bannerman named Nergingge. He was part of the Feimo clan of the Plain White Banner - but that matter little now. The banners were just a name now, their military powers being removed after the War of Jiawu, and their organization broken and tattered after the Russian invasion of their homeland. The banners had been decimated - the bannermen fighting against the stab in the back from their erstwhile Russian allies, the women and children slaughtered by Cossacks. His father had died in the first days, somewhere near the Amur river - and the village where his mother, sisters, and most of the rest of his clan were living had been ransacked, and its inhabitants massacred - he had no idea what had happened to them. He had been in the south back then, studying in the Baoding Military Academy, a young cadet unable to do anything. But now - now there was something he could do, something he could do along his soldiers and his superiors. Like most Manchu, his heart was filled with hatred against the Russians - while most of his Han soldiers were filled with a desire for vengeance against the Japanese. The choice was not up to them - but regardless of what was going to happen, he knew that at the very least they would be able to get back into the Three Northeastern Provinces, one way or another - and maybe he could find out what happened to his family, and to his clan.

As they were standing at attention, a superior officer approached them, with the rank of Xie canling, a major. Ma Jieqin, a Muslim Hui Chinese, was respected by his troops, due to his experience in the War of Jiawu. He was holding a paper in his hands - an edict, and as he began to read the Imperial Edict to the troops, their excitement grew and grew, even as discipline kept them in place. And then, as the officer read the last words of the proclamation, he looked at his men, and his shouted what they had been wanting to shout from the moment they had understood that they were now at war with Russia.


And the men shouted back.

Wansui, wansui, wanwansui!

Empire of the Great Qing

In accordance with the Edict of His Majesty the Emperor

We, the most humble servants of the Son of Heaven,

Hereby announce the confiscation of all assets owned by the Russian Empire within the Empire of the Great Qing, as pursuant to the state of war that has been provoked between the Empire of the Great Qing and the Russian Empire by the actions of the Russian Empire. Officials all throughout the Empire of the Great Qing are hereby ordered to take all necessary measures to confiscate all the assets that will be indicated and to put them at the disposal of the Ministry of Finance, and these measures will be overseen by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

In particular we declare the confiscation of the so called "Russo-Chinese Bank", or more precisely, the confiscation of all the shares of capital held by the State Bank of the Russian Empire held in this bank, in lieu of reparations for the actions of the Russian Empire in the Three Northweastern Provinces, and of all the banks, assets and locations held by this bank in the territory of the Empire of the Great Qing. The shares held by French banks, such as Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas, Crédit Lyonnais, the Comptoir national d'escompte de Paris, and Banque Hottinguer will be guaranteed by the Ministry of Finance. The Bank will be renamed as the Chinese Righteousness Victory Bank (華道勝銀行), and will be placed under the control of the Ministry of Finance. While private interests will not be harmed, the profit of the bank will be directed for funding the efforts of war required to recover the Three Northeastern Provinces.

We also announce the confiscation of the Great Qing Eastern Provinces Railway, that will be placed under the control of the Ministry of Transportation of the Great Qing Empire as soon as control over it is recovered.

Further confiscations will be announced in time.

Shanqi, Prince Su of the First Rank, Minister of Internal Affairs of the Empire of the Great Qing,
Zaize, Duke of the First Rank, Minister of Finance of the Empire of the Great Qing
in the name of

His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of the Great Qing Dynasty, Son of Heaven, Lord of Ten Thousand Years

Empire of the Great Qing

To His Excellency, the Minister of Finance of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,
To His Excellency, the Minister of Finance of the French Empire,
To His Excellency, the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States,
To His Excellency, the Minister of Finance of the Japanese Empire

Your Excellencies,

As per the attached Imperial Edict of War against Russia, and Order on the confiscation of all that belongs to the Russian foreigners in China, in the name of His Majesty the Emperor, the Government of the Empire of the Great Qing has decided to nationalize the Russo-Chinese Bank by confiscating the majority shares held by the State Bank of the Russian Empire, in lieu of reparations for the continued illegal occupation by Russia of Manchuria. The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Empire of the Great Qing have already started to confiscate the assets of this bank within China, which will be reorganized into the Chinese Righteousness Victory Bank. As such, in the name of His Majesty the Emperor, we would like to ask for your assistance in bringing the branch offices of the bank in Hong Kong, Hakodate, Kobe, Yokohama, Calcutta, London, Paris, and San Francisco under the control of the new administration. Your assistance will be most appreciated, and we would like to once again reiterate that the private shareholders of the bank, and the other foreign stakeholders will have their rights guaranteed under the new reorganized bank.

Liang Dunyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Empire of the Great Qing, in the name of
His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of the Great Qing Dynasty, Son of Heaven, Lord of Ten Thousand Years

Empire of the Great Qing

To His Imperial Majesty the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire,

Your Imperial Majesty,

I have been asked by His Majesty the Emperor to send the best wishes of His Radiant Highness to Your Imperial Majesty. The modernization of the Ottoman Empire and its resistance to foreign imperialism has been of great inspiration to the Empire of the Great Qing, and in particular His Majesty the Emperor admires the great resistance that your realm has shown in face of the constant aggression of the treacherous Russians. His Majesty the Emperor will proclaim an edict that will show the Son of Heaven's shock and displeasure to the barbarism of the Russian troops in the Suez and their indiscriminate killing of civilians. His Majesty the Emperor has also tasked me, the humble servant of the Lord of Ten Thousand Years, to make the necessary arrangements for the commencement of diplomatic relations between the Empire of the Great Qing and the Ottoman Empire. It would as such be our desire to send Wang Jingzhai as the ambassador of His Majesty the Emperor to Constantinople, and His Majesty the Emperor sincerely hopes that Your Imperial Majesty will also send an ambassador to Beijing, to further develop and strengthen relations between our two states.

Liang Dunyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Empire of the Great Qing, in the name of
His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of the Great Qing Dynasty, Son of Heaven, Lord of Ten Thousand Years


The Emperor, who governs with the Mandate of Heaven, declares that,

It has come to Our attention, that in the country of Aiji, which is a tributary of the Khungghar of Tu’erqi, the soldiers of the Russians are occupying territory around the grand canal there, molesting the civilians and mocking the authority of the Khungghar. The people there, fed up with this, protested against the barbarity of the Russians, and the criminal soldiers of the Russians open fire on unarmed civilians, killing many. This fills Our heart with sadness. We feel deeply for the people of Aiji and offer Our condolences to the Khungghar, who is called Sultan in his own country. This shows that the foreigners from Russia are the same, anywhere under Heaven. Their brutal occupation of the Three Northeastern Provinces, and the senseless slaughter of Our subjects and Our bannermen is the same as what they have been doing near the Canal.

We condemn, in the strongest of words, the barbarity of the Russian soldiers, and we hope that the gods will bring wisdom to the Tsar of the Russians and make him realize the foolishness of his ways.

Proclaimed to all under the Heavens, let it be known.
I'm a Romanian, a vampire, an anime enthusiast and a roleplayer.
Hello there! I am Tracian Empire! You can call me Tracian, Thrace, Thracian, Thracr, Thracc or whatever you want. Really.

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Postby The Manticoran Empire » Mon Dec 25, 2023 7:30 pm

Washington D.C.
United States
End of January

President Theodore Roosevelt gently placed the morning edition of the Washington Post back on his desk, where it joined several other papers, all saying the same things. In bold, stark type they exclaimed, “MASSACRE IN EGYPT!” “RUSSIA SLAUGHTERS INNOCENTS!”

“How is this playing with Congress?” he asked, looking at John Hay, his Secretary of State. “It's too early to tell. I've got a regular lunch with the chair of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee and you bet your ass I'll be bringing this,” he tapped the Post with two fingers, “up with him. Shelby will have a feel for how the Senate is leaning.”

“What about Robert in the House?” Roosevelt asked. “I don't have a standing appointment with him but I can reach out.”

Elihu Root, the Secretary of War, spoke up now. “The way Congress feels is, quite honestly, irrelevant. What really matters is how this plays with the public at large.” He carefully spread the newspapers out, such that every headline could be read in full. “The Yellow Journalists are out in force, their rhetoric fiery with condemnation and demands for action. If we want the world to take us seriously as a Great Power, we cannot remain on the sidelines.”

William Moody, Secretary of the Navy, spoke up. “Elihu is right. We have to be seen to take action. But we have to be careful about it. Russia has an alliance with Germany while we have no formal ties.”

“Bushwa,” Roosevelt barked, “The Kaiser is a fair man and Americans can deal with fair men. But the Tsar is not. Americans can tell the difference between fair and not, Square Deal or not. So we'll make it clear to the Tsar that he must deal fairly. A Square Deal, whether he likes it or not.”

“That will require some work,” Moody said, “but the Navy could use the practice.”
“I'll wire instructions to Berlin and Moscow, letting our Ambassadors know how to handle this,” Hay said before turning to the President, “What tone should we strike? If we’re not careful about this, we could find ourselves in a heap of trouble we don’t want.”

Roosevelt stroked his mustache thoughtfully for a moment. “A firm stance but one that leaves the Russians with some dignity. I want to make plain to the Tsar that we find his handling of the matter in Said improper, inhumane, immoral, and unbecoming of an enlightened nation. But I also wish to make plain to the Ottomans and to the rest of Europe that we aren’t going to start butting into every European confrontation.” He turned to Moody. “Wire Admiral Cotton. Inform him to take his squadron at once to Suez and make our presence and irritation known. Detach the protected cruisers of the Atlantic Fleet to join him. John, I want a strongly worded message to be delivered to the Russian Ambassador, making our condemnation clear. When you meet with Shelby, arrange to also meet with Robert and get a feel for Congress. We may need of their votes, should things escalate.”

“Given how their war with Japan is going,” Root said, “escalation seems highly probable. There have to be elements within the Tsars court urging him to take fuller control over the Canal as a means to reinforce their imperial ambitions in Asia.”

“Be that as it may, I’d sooner avoid escalation if possible. We must be careful with our wording to allow the Tsar a way to save face. We cannot afford to destabilize such a large nation at such a precarious time.”

A Message of the President of the United States on the Tragedy in Suez

My Fellow Americans, I speak to you today on a matter of great sorrow for all of us. The Russian Empire, in a callous act of imperial brutality, have trampled the rights and dignities of Man with machine guns. To the sensibilities of a modern, civilized Man, such an act can only be met with extreme moral outrage and indignation. To the sensibilities of us, my fellow Americans, with our beliefs in fairness, equality, and liberty, such acts can only be met with the strongest outrages imaginable.

The Actions of the Tsar's Army in Suez were inexcusable, unacceptable, and without justification. I have, this day, instructed our Ambassador in St. Petersburg to deliver to the Tsar a note, detailing our objections and demanding that the Tsar immediately take all necessary steps to reconcile with the Ottomans. I have further ordered the cruisers of the European Squadron to sail for Suez, a show of solidarity with the Ottoman Sultanate and a symbol of our outrage.

To: Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Empire
From: Secretary of State John Hay

Sir, it is my duty to inform you that the United States finds the recent actions of your troops in Suez as inexcusable, indefensible, and immoral. It is our position that the Russian Empire must immediately take all necessary actions to reconcile with the Ottoman Empire and bring the perpetrators of this vile act to justice. Should such actions not be taken, the United States shall adopt harsher measures of condemnation.
For: Israel, Palestine, Kurdistan, American Nationalism, American citizens of Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, and US Virgin Islands receiving a congressional vote and being allowed to vote for president, military, veterans before refugees, guns, pro choice, LGBT marriage, plural marriage, US Constitution, World Peace, Global Unity.

Against: Communism, Socialism, Fascism, Liberalism, Theocracy, Corporatocracy.

By the Blood of our Fathers, By the Blood of our Sons, we fight, we die, we sacrifice for the Good of the Empire.

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Postby Shohun » Wed Dec 27, 2023 9:11 pm

Yıldız Palace
Constantinople, The Ottoman Empire
March 11, 1905

"Your Imperial Majesty, gentlemen, I am convening this war cabinet at this late hour tonight to announce that Austria-Hungary has declared war on our ally France." said Grand Vizier Mehmed Ferid Pasha as he sat next to the Sultan. "Immaculate timing, just as we signed the Treaty of Westminster. As such, we expect the French to soon activate Article Four and request our assistance."

"We do not have much of a choice." said Minister of War Field Marshal Omer Rushdie Pasha. "The Austrians are mobilizing. With them on our border, and already occupying Bosnia Vilayet as well as parts of the Sanjak of Novi Pazar, we cannot wait until we receive notice from the French. We must mobilize as soon as possible."

"I was under the impression this alliance was meant to deter this sort of rash action." said Minister of Finance Ahmed Reşad Pasha. "Another war - especially on the scale this is looking like, likely will set our economy back several years. The return of Egypt is good for our economy, as would be the return of the Suez Canal. But if we are to go to war and neglect our southern priorities, it may undermine our interests against Russia."

"I am under the belief this shall be a short and quick war." replied Field Marshal Rushdie. "The majority of the fighting should be at sea, and I expect after the defeat of their fleet the Austrians will capitulate. Fighting a ground war against the Austrians in the Balkans could prove costly, yet I am convinced if we act quickly, with proper support from our allies, we should be able to swiftly reclaim our occupied territories. That said, I recommend we wait until the French request our assistance to formally initiate hostilities against the Austrians. We should not escalate the situation further if it could be resolved before a shot is fired."

"Of course," said Chief of Intelligence General Bey, "We have been waiting in anticipation of the signing of this treaty to initiate an intensified military campaign against the Russians in the Suez Canal. Our protests have generated international attention, but have proved unsuccessful. In such an endeavor, we risk open war with the Russians. We cannot afford a two-front war with the Austrians and the Russians all at once. And we may not be able to count on as much French or British support."

"We shall move ahead with our planned Suez operation and military mobilization." boomed the Sultan, who had remained quiet taking everything in. "It is important we follow through with our commitments. And if we can use the possible war as an excuse to mobilize our forces ahead of an operation against the Russians in the Suez, we will kill two birds with one stone. Due to the current situation, General Bey you must ensure that our militias avoid direct confrontation with the Russians. Once the war with Austria Hungary is over, we can return to that priority."

He continued, "Our Empire must no longer be seen as the 'Sick Man of Europe.' We must be recognized as a great power that commands respect. This is our opportunity to show it. We will demonstrate it with resounding victories against the Austrian occupation of our land, and with our commitment to our allies. If we must declare war, it must be executed perfectly. Field Marshal, what do you need?"

"We will require a significant boost in funding to the respective branches of the military. An emergency budget so we can ensure all our reserves are properly outfitted would be necessary for now, with other funding passed later." the Field Marshal paused. "We may also be able to receive financial assistance from the French or the British."

"Consider it done." replied the Grand Vizier. "We will convene a special session of the General Assembly tomorrow to approve the spending."

Ministry of War Building
Constantinople, The Ottoman Empire
March 12, 1905

"Admittedly sir, we did not anticipate we would be the ones striking first against the Austrians." said a colonel as he addressed the Minister of War and the rest of the assembled commanders. "However, we are working on a plan to force the Austrians out of Novi Pazar, before initiating and offensive into Bosnia."

"What do you have for us right now?" inquired a general.

"Sir, our general plan involves deploying a sizable portion of the Third Army joined by the 3rd Imperial Guards Division totaling 130,000 men to reinforce our garrisons in Novi Pazar, forcing the Austrians to fall back from their positions there. Five divisions of the Second Army will move into position to reinforce the Third Army's advance, while the First Army will redeploy three divisions into the Selanik Vilayet to be held in reserve and begin building fallback positions should the Austrians manage to defeat our offensive and push back into our Empire. Within a few weeks of fighting, we will be able to redeploy the four divisions of the Fifth Army to act as reinforcements for the 1st Army or deploy to Africa in support of France or to Libya. If absolutely necessary, elements of the Fourth and Sixth Armies can be redeployed to the front, but we assess this will be unlikely." replied the Colonel.

"Can we count on allied support?" asked the Field Marshal. "And what resistance do we expect to face?"

"Sir, it is my opinion that we should not wait for our allies to provide troops. Thus, by the time they are deployed, I expect to have already recaptured Novi Pazar and at least part of Bosnia." he paused. "We will definitely receive support from our tribal allies and Egypt, although I have been informed they are primarily being redirected to other priorities. I have been told the French may be able to provide support for our campaign as well, but that remains unclear if they would join us or launch a landing and ground operation of their own. If we strike fast, sir, we should encounter only minimal resistance. The enemy has no reserves in Novi Pazar, whereas we have ten of thousands of militiamen in the area that will be able to provide support. Austrian light garrisons are vulnerable in our lands. They can be quickly defeated and possibly forced to withdraw without significant fighting..."

"Bosnia will be more of a challenge," said the Colonel as he considered. "We will have some local support, but the Austrians have controlled the land for the past 30 years. It is effectively an Austrian province, and we will encounter stiff resistance. Our concern is that given the Austrians can only deploy a limited amount of troops against Morocco, we will encounter the bulk of their armies still in Austria. While on paper our forces should outnumber theirs, we are a large Empire with our forces widely spread out. We will count on our forces being able to mobilize quicker, seizing Novi Pazar before rapidly advancing into Bosnia. If executed properly, it should be completed before the enemy is able to direct their full force against us, allowing us to dig in and mount a defensive."

"Understood." replied Field Marshal Rushdie, rubbing his chin. "Send word to Third Army command to prepare to begin marching towards Novi Pazar as soon as possible. Elements in Novi Pazar should be ready to commence action at a moment's notice. As soon as they have mobilized their active forces, they must begin their movements. Reserve forces can follow. That way, as soon as we declare war, we will be able to begin our offensive."

"Yes sir, I will see to it at once."

Abdeen Palace
Cairo, Khedivate of Egypt
March 13, 1905

"I have heard from Constantinople that we are unable to proceed at the moment." said Colonel Ali, as he smoked in his new office within the Egyptian capital building, with Imam Al-Musawi and 'General' Hussein seated across from him. "Our near daily protests in Port Said have come along nicely, and their gradual escalation has proved to be perfect for our plans. However, those plans have changed." The colonel stood, pacing about the room. "As you know, a few days ago Egypt was recognized as being part of the Ottoman Empire once again, and has been returned to our control. The Porte has opted to continue to allow the Khedivate autonomy, given the friendliness of the Khedive. Now we can emerge from a shadows a little, and now with the Khedive's backing, we can speed up the process."

Newly appointed 'General' Hussein, who had previously served in the Egyptian Army as a colonel and would now command the Al-Tilmisani Brigades nodded. "When shall we begin our operations? My men grow anxious for action, and our numbers grow by the day. I expect to be able to muster 15,000 militiamen on this front by the end of the month."

"All in good time, General. I have orders from Constantinople to wait until our war with Austria is over. But we shall see if we can act sooner."

Imperial Notice to Soldiers and Sailors of the Imperial Ottoman Armed Forces
March 12, 1905

Soldiers and Sailors of the Imperial Armed Forces, be it known to all within service of His Imperial Majesty's forces that, as of March 12, 1905, mobilization has been declared. All leave is hereby canceled, and all reserve duty forces shall be immediately summoned to active duty.

To engage in military action is the last recourse of our Empire's foreign policy. However, the actions of the Kaiser of Austria-Hungary to order military mobilization and declare war on our longstanding ally the Republic of France merits an appropriate response. In preparation to speedily execute the commitments of the Empire in accordance with Article IV of the Treaty of Westminster, should it be activated by the French Government, and to defend the Empire's borders in Europe, the Empire shall hereby enter a State of Alert.

All soldiers and sailors shall report to their stations within 48 hours of this notice, and prepare to commence immediate combat operations in the defense of the Empire and its allies.

Soldiers and sailors in the Kosovo and Ishkodre Vilayets shall operate under high alert and maintain maximum readiness. Any attempt by foreign forces, excluding those of allied nations, to cross the border into our Empire shall be immediately and fiercely opposed. Soldiers and affiliated militiamen within the Sanjak of Novi Pazar shall ready to commence the immediate defense of their positions against occupational forces, but shall not conduct any other actions or movements unless authorized by His Imperial Majesty's government.

Affiliated forces across the Empire are hereby requested to begin immediate mobilization. These forces shall prepare to conduct combat operations as necessary for the defense of the Empire, and maintain readiness for integration into the Ottoman Armed Forces.

Mehmed Ferid Pasha, Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire

Emergency Military Mobilization Act of 1905
March 12, 1905

His Imperial Majesty the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, with the consent of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate hereby enact as follows:

Section 1. An emergency military budget, in the amount of 2 million Liras shall be authorized for the Imperial Armed Forces, to be used towards the purchase of armaments and the recruitment and deployment of soldiers.
1a. LT 500,000 shall be allocated to cover the cost of reserve mobilization and the purchase of necessary equipment, to supplement funds previously allocated to the Ministry of War.
1b. LT 800,000 shall be allocated for the purchase of armaments and ammunition to be spent at the discretion of the Ministry of War.
1c. LT 500,000 shall be allocated for the construction of new arsenals, in order to produce a greater share of armaments domestically.
1d. LT 200,000 shall be allocated for the expansion of the Imperial Army.

Section 2. All exemptions for conscription, excluding those for settled nomads, shall be completely abolished.

Section 3. Restrictions on volunteer military and police service due to a conviction of petty crime shall be temporarily suspended, for the duration of six months renewable with the approval of the General Assembly and His Imperial Majesty the Sultan.

Section 4. This act shall become effective upon its passage and approval.

Declaration of the Khedive of Egypt and Sudan
March 13, 1905

In light of the horrific Russian Massacre at Port Said, after serious deliberation and consideration, the Khedivate of Egypt and Sudan has determined the Russian Imperial Army no longer has any place in Egypt, having proven itself incapable of protecting the Suez Canal and its inhabitants. By decree of His Majesty the Khedive, the Russian Army is hereby requested to withdraw its forces as soon as reasonable possible. Should the Russian Government fail to withdraw its illegal occupation of the Suez Canal in a reasonable timetable, the Khedivate reserves the right to take all necessary measures, include the nationalization of Russian shares in the Suez Canal.

Furthermore, due to the unjustified declaration of war on the French Republic by Austria-Hungary, and due to our Khedivate's commitment to the Ottoman Empire, mobilization of the Egyptian and Sudanese Armed Forces is hereby declared. All active duty and reserve personnel are to report to their stations within 48 hours, and await further instructions. Soldiers and sailors should be prepared to immediately deploy in defense of the Ottoman Empire and its allies.

Abbas Helmy Pasha II, Khedive of Egypt and Sudan

Statement from the Imperial Ottoman Ministry of Foreign Affairs
March, 1905

His Imperial Majesty, Sultan and Caliph Abdul Hamid II strongly regrets to hear the news of war in the Orient between the Great Qing Empire and Russia. His Imperial Majesty completely condemns the blatant Russian aggression and occupation against the Chinese people, and its warmongering across the globe. The Ottoman Empire stands in solidarity with the Chinese people in their brave resistance to the savage Russian occupation, not dissimilar to their brutal occupation of the Suez Canal.

His Imperial Majesty prays for peace and the efforts of the Chinese people. His Imperial Majesty the Caliph calls on Chinese Muslim to uphold their duties to the Chinese Emperor, and stands with them in their righteous Jihad against the Russian occupation.

Message To: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Great Qing Empire
Message From: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Ottoman Empire
Encryption: Diplomatic

To His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of the Great Qing Dynasty,

His Imperial Majesty the Sultan appreciates greetings from His Majesty the Emperor, and has directed me to send his own best wishes to Your Imperial Majesty. His Imperial Majesty the Sultan has been very impressed by the efforts of China in recent years to modernize and prevent the encroachment of foreign aggressors, and finds the news of war in the Orient most regrettable. His Imperial Majesty the Sultan strongly condemns the Russian aggression against and occupation of Manchuria, and celebrates the efforts of your Empire to resist such evil warmongering. His Imperial Majesty is grateful for your Empire's condemnation of the terrible actions of the Russian dogs in the Suez Canal, and shall soon issue a decree condemning the Russian aggression against China. The Ottoman Empire stands with the Qing Empire in its defiant defense against Russia's barbarianism.

His Imperial Majesty the Sultan shall graciously accept the Ambassador of His Imperial Majesty the Emperor, and will send Hasan Enver Pasha as Ambassador of His Imperial Majesty the Sultan as our two empires develop new relations and jointly confront aggression.

Ahmed Tevfik Pasha, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Ottoman Empire on behalf of,
Abdul Hamid II, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire

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Postby Intermountain States » Thu Dec 28, 2023 12:17 am

Empire of Great Qing
Late January, 1905

OOC: Co-write between Intermountain States and Tracian Empire

In an office within the building of the Foreign Ministry of the Empire of the Great Qing, a man, Liang Dunyan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, was waiting for the arrival of the Korean representative in Beijing. The Korean ambassador to China, Tae Kyung, arrived into the office with just an aide. The envoy was already fluent in Mandarin and could read the Chinese characters so he turned away any interpreters offering their service. The aide, a woman named Kim Hae-young, was only there just to record the meeting as part of her report. Both were in western garbs.

The envoy made his presence known.

“Greeting, Lord Minister,” Tae announced, bowing to Liang Dunyan in respect. “I came to represent the Korean Empire and his Majesty of the Korean Empire wishes the Son of Heaven of Great Qing a long and prosperous reign 10,000 years.

The Foreign Minister of the Qing stood up and also bowed, not as low as the Korean ambassador, but a bit lower than would have been traditional. In contrast to the Koreans, Liang Dunyan was dressed in traditional attires, but his office looked a lot more Western than the buildings of the Zongli Yamen had been. "Thank you for coming here, Mr. Ambassador. I must also transmit the wishes of His Majesty the Emperor, the Great Qing Dynasty, the Son of Heaven, for His Majesty, the Emperor of the Korean Empire, for a long and prosperous reign of 10,000 years."

Returning to an upright position, the Foreign Minister smiled. "Please, take a seat.", he motioned to both the ambassador and his aide. After everyone had been seated, the Foreign Minister took the word again. "As I was saying, Mr. Ambassador, I must thank you for your presence here. I know that the relations between the Empire of the Great Qing and the Korean Empire have been difficult ever since our war ten years ago, but as it has been proven by the reestablishment of relations between our two states and by the granting of an embassy in Beijing to the Korean Empire, it is in the great interest of His Majesty the Emperor of the Great Qing Dynasty to continue to develop friendly relations with the Korean Empire, particularly now that a war is being fought on both our territories."

“Yes, it’s in Korea’s best interest to maintain friendly diplomatic relations with many nations,” Tae replied, nodding. “It does Korea no good to be isolated from the rest of the world. For our national security, strong cooperation between the two nations is absolutely necessary.”

"I am glad that you agree, Mr. Ambassador. In particular as such, I have been tasked by His Majesty the Emperor and by His Excellency the Prime Minister of the Imperial Cabinet, to make a series of proposals to the Government of His Majesty the Emperor of the Korean Empire," the Foreign Minister said. "It is my personal belief that the current war between Russia and Japan is highly dangerous to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of both nations. As such, each nation should consult each other before taking any actions that could lead to their involvement in the war. Additionally, I believe that it would be to the benefit of both nations to guarantee each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty, which would include another confirmation of Korean ownership over Jiandao."

“The war between Russia and Japan is a dilemma in the government of His Majesty,” the ambassador agreed. “There are those who are not satisfied with Korea’s stated neutrality and want the nation to take a side, be it with Russia or Japan. His Majesty fears that the winner of the war may dictate policies for Korea, if not outright annexation or seeking its servitude.”

"We fully understand the concerns of His Majesty the Emperor of the Korean Empire, for similar concerns are present in our own government and in the mind of His Majesty the Emperor of the Great Qing Dynasty. There are those who wish for China to remain neutral and simply watch the war unfold, there are those who wish for China to seize this opportunity and to avenge the humiliations of the War of Jiawu, and there are those who wish for China to liberate the Three Northeastern Provinces by any means, even military if necessary," Liang added. "That is precisely why I believe that a consultation of our nations before any final action is taken should serve to assuage worries on both sides and to prevent the war from escalating out of control. In light of this proposal, I have received the approval of His Majesty the Emperor of the Great Qing Dynasty to inform you, your government and His Majesty the Emperor of the Korean Empire that the Empire of the Great Qing will negotiate the matter of the Three Northeastern Provinces with a Russian representative in Tianjin, under German mediation. We do not yet know how those discussions will unfold, but it is our hope that they will end with a peaceful Russian withdrawal from the Three Northeastern Provinces.

"As for the later part of my proposal, I believe that it should serve to at least partially address the worries of His Majesty the Emperor of the Korean Empire. While this proposal would be short of an actual alliance - because we fully know that it is still too early in our newly redeveloped relations for such trust, we believe that a common commitment to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of both our nations should limit the actions of both Russia and Japan and prove to the international community that we are both sovereign states which do not easily accept foreign involvement in their affairs," the Foreign Minister concluded.

"We wish your government luck in such negotiation with Russia over the Three Northeastern provinces," Tae Kyung said, adding some sympathy to his words. "As for your government's plan, having the governments of the two nations consult with each other before making any such moves in regards to the war does sound like a good idea, it may even draw the two countries closer together in response to possible common foes that could be either Russia or Japan, depending on how the war goes.

"While you noted that this is not an actual alliance, you did mentioned that this plan is to confirm the territorial integrity and sovereignty of both nations. If Japan attempts to land troops at Incheon to take a land route to fight the Russians at Manchuria despite our protest, how would China confirm Korea's territorial integrity as a sovereign nation?" the ambassador asked. "Would it be through diplomatic letters to Japan or by raising troops? Alternatively, say that the future talks mediated by Germany failed and China ends up sending a punitive force to retake Manchuria, how would Korea guarantee China's territorial integrity that was violated by Russian occupation of the Northeastern provinces?"

"Thank you for your wishes," Liang responded. "As for the proposal of consultations, that was in particular what His Majesty the Emperor was feeling - that it would allow for trust to be built between our nations. As for the confirmation of territorial integrity, at the very moment we would simply offer and propose diplomatic letters. Actual military support might be a little early for this stage in discussions. However, what I can assure you and what can be put into writing if you would so prefer, would be that the Empire of the Great Qing, were it to once again military control its border with Korea, would never again attempt to send troops into Korea or to interfere with Korea's sovereignty unless it is asked for help. It would too bold for us at this point in time to promise military help against either Russia or Japan, considering that we are not yet sure what the future will hold."

“I appreciate China’s dedication in preserving both of our nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity but if Korea requests military aid from China against say a hostile Japan or Russia, would China send aid to my nation?” The ambassador asked. “You mentioned that it’s too bold to promise military help at this time but if Korea is threatened and is facing an invasion from a large and hostile power, can it call to China for assistance?”

"That is a bit difficult to say at this time. China would certainly do her utmost to maintain the independence of Korea, but with China herself in the midst of its modernization and with a war being waged on sovereign Chinese territory by two competing powers, we're not sure what will happen. It is the current intention of the Imperial Government to enter the war on either the side of Russia or the side of Japan depending on how negotiations work," the Foreign Affairs Minister answered the ambassador's questions. "If China ends up in an alliance with one of the powers, then we will do our utmost diplomatically to ensure the continued sovereignty of Korea - if the power that is at war with China does end up violating the sovereignty of Korea, in that case we could provide military aid. It is however the hope of the Imperial Government that once the Three Northeastern Provinces will be recovered, we will be in a much better position to take a more active stance towards protecting Korea's sovereignty, and that we will be able to do so either diplomatically towards a potential co-belligerent nation, or through war against the nation we would end up at war with."

“Any efforts to maintain Korea’s independence will always be appreciated, Minister Liang,” Tae Kyung said. “I believe we should officiate this diplomatic treaty among equals if anything else and send to our respective Emperors and/or legislative bodies for ratification.”

"Very well Ambassador Tae, in that case, I will have the Ministry of Foreign Affairs work on a treaty. It will be then sent to the embassy of the Korean Empire for your acceptance, and after that it will be sent to both His Majesty the Emperor of the Great Qing Dynasty and His Majesty the Emperor of the Korean Empire for ratification," The minister agreed.

"That would be grand, Lord Minister," the ambassador said, bowing to the Foreign Affairs Minister. "I am glad that this meeting has been fruitful, let us hope that this continues so for the betterment of both Great Qing and Great Korea."
I find my grammatical mistakes after I finish posting
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"
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