Builds and Disbands
In late summer, President Fierri makes a third attempt at seizing the port of Algiers. This time he is successful: French marines landing along the western coast of North Africa link up with the convoyed army from Marseille, and drive Italian troops back to Tunisia. Desperate Italian attempts to disrupt the invasion are unsuccessful. French troops now occupy the western approaches to Tunis.
To the north, French reinforcements rail into the Marseille to replace the North African expeditionary force. They are unopposed, as Italian and Austrian troops are content to fortify their positions in Piedmont heading into the winter.
Along the Western Wall, Kaiser Brillhelm orders the first German offensive in more than a year. Attacking north from Munich with support from Berlin, German troops break through the allied lines at Hamburg, but are unable to seize Kiel. The British rail in reinforcement divisions from Holland, stabilizing their lines and driving Army Group Mackensen back towards Munich. To the east, Austria carefully marshals its armies in defense of Munich and Prussia.
Meanwhile, Austrian troops fail to complete the occupation of Rumania, leaving it in Russian hands for the winter. Instead they head north into Galicia towards the western front. Russian troops stationed in Moscow rail west to Warsaw.
Fighting rages across Scandinavia into the fall. Led by the newly christened Battleship HMS Henry, the British North Sea fleet attempts to close the trap on the Russian ships in the Skagerrak. They are unsuccessful, as Russian ships leave the strait and make landings along the west coast of Sweden, marching on Stockholm with support from an allied army in Finland. Attempting to move against Finland itself, the British fleet is caught off guard, routed, and the marines there are forced to evacuate by sea. Russian troops re-occupy Sweden.
Further north, socialist troops try to force their way into Norway through the mountain passes near Kirkenes. They are turned back by a British army defending with support from naval artillery in the Norwegian Sea. A British spoiling attack from the Barents Sea has little effect.
Russian troops liquidate the last pockets of Turkish resistance in late September, occupying Smyrna and Ankara. Meanwhile the Austrian fleet leaves a garrison in Constantinople and steams west into the Aegean, where they replace an Italian fleet that takes over the administration of Bulgaria.
Things are looking up for Russian forces in the north, as they save their fleet and retake Sweden and St. Petersburg. The stalemate in Germany continues, while French forces finally seize North Africa, threatening the southern flank of Italy’s empire.
The British fleet in Sweden may retreat to Bal or Bot or choose to disband
Builds will follow on retreat result
Supply center changes:
Austria: Lose one Britain: Lose one if fleet is not disbanded Italy: Gain one Russia: Gain two
With their backs against the Black Sea, the last of Turkey’s forces put up a fierce resistance throughout the winter. Turkish commanders can see the writing on the wall however, and isolated units begin surrendering to Russian troops in May. The Russian fleet skirts south along the Georgian coast to make sure no Turkish partisans escape into the mountains of Armenia.
On the other side of the Black Sea, the Austrian army in Bulgaria moves north to occupy Rumania. Austere, socialist Bucharest is redecorated with the tapestry of empire and the seal of the House of Hapsburg.
Italian and French hostilities resume again in the spring, as French forces make a second attempt to seize the port of Algiers by sea. Despite another bloodletting, neither side is able to gain a foothold in the province. French ships retreating from Algiers still manage to repulse an Italian fleet off the coast of Sardinia in early June.
The stalemate in North Africa has devastating consequences on the rest of the Italian navy’s plans. With Tunisia still supporting an army, ships in the Ionian and Aegean seas are forced to sit idle for months. A disgusted General Barrigus issues the following statement, “The French know nothing of the gastronomic arts. Their food is bland and boring and their wine tastes like vinegar and tears.”
Meanwhile the French fleet mooring off the Spanish coast steams west through the Strait of Gibraltar into the Atlantic.
In early June French troops attempt to force their way through the mountain passes into northwestern Italy. Despite a determined naval bombardment from the Gulf of Lyon, they are repulsed at great cost. Somewhat bizarrely, Austrian high command makes an unsuccessful effort to encourage the attack of one French army upon another. Instead, the French army in Burgundy rails west into Gascony.
To the east, a newly-raised Austrian army in Trieste marches northwest into the mountains of Tyrolia.
The stalemate across Germany drags on into Spring, as neither side attempts any assaults. The front lines remain static, save for the movement of French forces in the Ruhr Valley, who abandon their trenches and march southwest into Burgundy.
British forces in the north stay on the offensive, attacking aggressively with the coming of spring. Troops in St. Petersburg retrace their steps west into Norway with support from battlecruisers in the Barents Sea. Support from Sweden is checked by a spoiling attack from Russian divisions in Finland. Nevertheless, the Russian fleet at Oslo is defeated and its ships driven into the Skagerrak.
To the south and west, British ships move to complete the envelopment of the Russian fleet, occupying Denmark and both the Norwegian and North Seas.
Seeing the British vacate St. Petersburg, Russian troops rush to re occupy their former capital, taking the city unopposed in late spring.
Turkey is eliminated as the rest of Europe settles down into a bitter stalemate. British and Russian troops fight desperately to maintain control over the North.
Retreats!: Russian fleet in Norway may retreat to Skagerrak or disband