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Garlicdesign
Post subject: Thiaria: RebootPosted: April 4th, 2015, 9:46 pm
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Hello again!

With most of Thiaria swallowed by Majhost, it's time to reboot the Thiaria main thread, beginning with the map, general statistics (modern era) and historical overview, now completed all the way through 1945!

Those with more historic knowledge than myself are heartily invited to point out logical holes or continuity errors in the story.

Greetings
GD


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Garlicdesign
Post subject: Re: Thiaria: RebootPosted: April 4th, 2015, 9:47 pm
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Thiaria

[ img ]

Nation
Ardpoblacht na Thiarann (Thiarian High Republic)

Anthem
Cul Din thar Aigean (Sanctuary beyond the Ocean) - sounds very much like the main title of the movie 'Sink the Bismarck' (from 1:02)

Motto
Saoirse, Ionannas, Dluthchomhar (Liberty, Equality, Solidarity)

Capital
Carriolar

Official Language
Thiarian Gaelic (somewhat simplified Irish Gaelic), spoken by 84% of the population

Recognised languages
Portuguese (spoken by 11.0% of the population. 80% of population are more or less proficient in English)

Demographics
Celtic 64.9%
- Irish 35.1%
- Scottish 19.9%
- Welsh 6.3%
- Cornish 3.6%
Portuguese 10.7%
Eastern European 6.8%
- Hungarian 3.4%
- Ukrainian/Galician 2.0%
- Polish 1.4%
French 4.3%
Various African Origins 13.3% (nearly all speak Thiarian Gaelic)

Government
Parliamentary Republic with a very strong Prime Minister (Taoirseach); the Head of State (Airioch, literally 'Caretaker') is a mere figurehead
Current Prime Minster: Donail Trenhaile (Tirghrateoirai)
Current Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs: Ronan o Direann (An Glasrai)
Current Minister of Defense: Aislin Neoniann (Tirghrateoirai)

Parliament
Oireachtas (Congress), consisting of Upper House / Senate (Seanaid) and Lower House / Parliament (Dail)
Major political parties:
- Tirghrateoirai (Patriots) - Conservatives
- Lucht Oibhre (Labour) - moderate Social Democrats
- An Glasrai (The Greens) - Eco-Liberals
- Soisialai Ceilteach (Celtic Socialists) - Orthodox Socialists
Current government:
Coalition between Tirghrateoirai and An Glasrai

Independence
From France: November 14th, 1830

Area
- Total: 803 588 km² (36th)
- Water 1,51%
- Coastline 64.348 km

Population
- 2014 census: 37 117 900 (36th)
- Annual growth: 0,37% (175th)
- Density: 46.2 / km² (164th)
- GDP (nominal) 2014 estimate: Total $1.94 trillion ($ 1.941.922.879.000 / 10th), per capita $ 52.317 (10th)

HDI (2010):
0.903 (8th), increasing

Currency:
Chros (0,88 US-$ as per 01/2015)

Time zone:
GMT-2

Date formats:
dd/mm/yyyy (AD)

Drives on the:
Right

Internet TLD:
.ti

Calling code:
+28

Major Cities
1. Clianmehail (3 455 000)
2. Abersiorrad (1 763 000)
3. Carriolar (1 474 000) (Capital)
4. An Trionaid (967 000)
5. Cairnairn (884 000)
6. An Choidra (832 000)
7. Nuatearman (714 000)
8. Cathair Etheile (691 000)
9. Fomhareas (685 000)
10. Abernenui (572 000)
11. Cathair Riordan (516 000)
12. Arathiar (477 000)
13. Coleraine (411 000)
14. Dundubh (368 000)
15. Firinnea (297 000)
16. Dubhcraig (251 000)
17. Copairgabha (222 000)
18. Corcaigh (196 000)
19. An Thuaidh (188 000)
20. Portlargo (176 000)


Military and Paramilitary Manpower:
Active:
Army: 60.000
Navy: 65.000
Air Force: 40.000
Marines: 15.000
Total: 180.000
Reserve:
Army: 80.000
Navy: 15.000
Air Force: 20.000
Marines: 5.000
Total: 120.000
Coast Guard:
20.000
Police:
80 000
Total:
400.000

Expenditures
Defence Budget:
$ 46.4 billion (2,39% of GDP)


Last edited by Garlicdesign on June 10th, 2015, 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post subject: Re: Thiaria: RebootPosted: April 4th, 2015, 9:48 pm
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A short history of the High Republic of Thiaria (Part 1)

1. Pre-colonial era (about 300 BC – 1568)
The oldest human settlements found on Thiarian soil date back to the 3rd century BC; modern historians generally agree that Carthaginian sailors have reached and settled the Eilean Deilf. They founded a high culture that lasted for nearly a thousand years and created several colonies all across north-eastern Thiaria, although total population remained low due to some in-fighting between independent city-states and an unpleasant habit of human sacrifice. A total of 116 sites on the Eilean Deilf and the Mainland have been discovered, a dozen of them remarkably well preserved including the world's sole still intact temple dedicated to Baal. Between them, these sites generate a considerable part of modern Thiaria's tourism revenue. The high culture went into decline about 500 AD, when the climate became colder for some reason and population began to dwindle after a probable severe outbreak of Ashburn Fever, a highly aggressive hemorrhagic infection with a lethality rate of 50% and a nasty tendency to permanently disfigure the survivors by leaving grey-black scars all over their bodies. Between 400 and 800 AD, native Americans of the Tapuia nation began to settle the archiple. Coming from the west and encountering only rocks and deserts at first, the Tapuia needed a few hundred years to spread over all the islands; from 600 AD, they encountered the pitiful remnants of the Phoenician colonists and conquered them. They then founded a short-living high culture of their own, centered around worship of a deity named Yucamacochtloc, which demanded human sacrifice on a level second only to the Aztec pantheon. Unfortunately, the Tapuia had no servant tribes to sacrifice, and they literally decimated their own population till the high culture faltered about 1000 AD in a bloody civil war that probably killed 80% of the population. After a period of decline into a purely agricultural society, there was an indigenous population of 80.000 in 1550.

2. Portuguese Era (1568 – 1659)
The first Europeans to set foot on Thiarian soil in 1555 belonged to a French expedition under Admiral Villegagnon. He circumnavigated the islands and sent a letter to Paris recommending to quickly dispatch settlers to the eastern part of the Isles and claim them for France before someone else did. The French court was slow to respond, and when the Portuguese attacked all foreign settlements in the part of South America awarded to them in the treaty of Tordesillas, only a few hundred Frenchmen lived on the Isles. After three years of bloody warfare, the Portuguese controlled the entire archipelago in 1568 and started settling, although at first with only marginally more vigour than the French. The unofficial Name Ilhas Oventorosas (Isles of Adventure) described the early part of Portuguese era quite aptly and eventually stuck, because the indigenous population quickly realized that the Europeans meant trouble and initiated small-scale warfare from 1580 onwards. The Portuguese responded with overwhelming military power and fed a considerable number of settlers into the islands; they started to build coffee, cocoa and cotton plantations in the south eastern Isles, and of course they did not forget to infect the natives with a variety of disgusting illnesses which decimated the indigenous population. By 1625, only 5.000 Tapuia were left, facing over 40.000 Portuguese and about 20.000 slaves working the rich copper mines discovered in 1588, and gave up the fight. This did not prevent the Portuguese from harassing them and driving them into the wastelands of the south-west, where the last remnants of the indigenous population miserably perished by 1640. In that year, the Union between Spain and Portugal broke, and the Spaniards, who were in desperate need of income to continue the Thirty Years War, occupied the Islands. They did not reap much from the plantations and copper mines because the Portuguese resisted with guerrilla warfare, and when the French, who had never quite forgotten the humiliation of being driven out of South America by the Portuguese, demanded the Isles from Spain during the negotiations which eventually resulted in the Treaty of the Pyrenees of 1659, the Spaniards were not too sad to concede, expecting the French to fare not much better.

3. First French Era (1659 – 1717)
Unfortunately for the Portuguese settlers, France was at the height of her military and economic power in the 1660s and forced them into submission within five years, renaming the colony to Nouvelle Oultremer. Fortunately for them, however, the French at that time were more interested in developing their interests in North America and India – apart from attacking their European neighbours in the Devolution, Dutch and Reunion wars – so only few settlers arrived. By 1690, the Islands had some 100.000 white inhabitants, of which 70.000 were Portuguese, 20.000 French and the most of the rest German or Flemish, which ironically were refugees from the areas where the French were fighting in Europe. The number of African slaves rose to 50.000 during the French age. Nouvelle Oultremer remained largely untouched by the wars fought by the French, but the waters around were harassed by Dutch privateers during the Dutch war till a French fleet under Châteaurenault defeated them in a series of engagements culminating in the battle of Noyalo in 1677, the largest naval engagement in the South Atlantic for the next hundred years. The year 1691 then marked a turning-point in the Islands’ history, although no-one realized that at first, because at that time the first ship of Irish refugees from the Williamite wars arrived in Nouvelle Oultremer. Word quickly spread in Ireland that this was a place of safety from English oppression; the southernmost islands, modern day Tir Parthas and Tir Sliceann, even resembled Ireland in terms of climate, because it was extremely windy and rained all day. The Irish liked that, and in the following ten years, 40.000 Irish settlers – all of them catholic and staunch Jacobites – left Ireland for a French Colony where the French now were outnumbered 6:1 by Irish and Portuguese settlers. The population reached 205.000 in 1701, which consisted of 70.000 Portuguese, 40.000 Irishmen, 30.000 Frenchmen, 50.000 Africans and 15.000 others. During that time, Nouvelle Oultremer became a major supplier of copper, salt, tin, sulphur, wood, cocoa, coffee and cotton, and despite some heavy-handed taxing by the French crown, the islanders accumulated a modest amount of wealth, which made Nouvelle Oultremer even more attractive to the Inhabitants of war-torn and impoverished Ireland, resulting in another 30.000 settlers between 1701 and 1711, which now also became the majority on the mainland. In that year however, an Asbhburn Fever outbreak of biblical dimensions struck the Isles and killed some 50.000 between 1711 and 1715. The disease would never again break out in this intensity, becoming extinct after 1880, but this time it really swept the country clean. The French and Irish – the latter being considered allies against the English in the war of Spanish succession raging at that time – received what medical attention was possible at that time, but the Portuguese and the Slaves were (literally) left to rot. Such was the situation when the war of Spanish Succession ended in 1713 with the Treaty of Utrecht. Having allied with the winning side, the Portuguese demanded the return of the Ilhas Oventorosas from France, and given the local situation – about which little was known in Europe – the French conceded. Within less than one year, the 40.000 remaining Portuguese re-established their dominance and executed their new power so clumsily that the Irish promptly launched a revolt. Lacking funds and personnel, the Portuguese failed to come to grips with the rebels, and by 1717, there was a real chance that the Irish might drive the Portuguese into the sea. At this point, England intervened, and negotiated the sale of the Ihlas Oventorosas for a ridiculously low sum in the Treaty of Greenwich 1717, with the sole exception of the New Portugal archipelago which remained under Portuguese sovereignty.

4. English Era (1717 – 1783)
This treaty brought the Isles another new name – New Hanover – and a quick suppression of the Irish revolt by rather brutal means; the Brits intended the Islands to become their main penal colony for unruly celts, leaving the healthier North American colonies for proper Englishmen. When order was finally restored in 1720, the population had shrunk to 50.000 Irishmen, 40.000 Portuguese, 5.000 Frenchmen and 15.000 Africans. The Ashburn Fever epidemic had run its course by 1719, and the English went to the task of making New Hanover profitable. Within 20 years, 10.000 English settlers arrived and some 20.000 Scots which had taken part in the Jacobite rebellion of 1715 were deported; the British army maintained a permanent garrison of 5.000 to keep them at bay. Another 40.000 settlers came from Ireland between 1720 and 1750, almost all of them deported. During that time, the plantations and mines were reopened, and by 1740, their output was higher than before the plague. The last Jacobite rebellion in Scotland of 1745 resulted in another surge of about 30.000 Scottish deportees. Apart from that steady influx of deported people, the population of the settlers soared at an annual growth rate of 3% in the years between 1750 and 1770. By 1770, some 60.000 Englishmen – half of which were military personnel – ruled over a population of more than 600.000 Irishmen, Scots and their descendants plus about 80.000 Portuguese and some 100.000 African slaves, and tensions were growing weekly. Uprisings during the Seven Years war were brutally quelled, with thousands of victims, but the situation became ever more dangerous as London – not heeding the warning reports of the local governor – kept feeding rebellious Scots and Irishmen to New Hanover. Such was the situation when Britain’s North American colonies declared independence in 1776. At first, it seemed the English would quickly crush the rebellion, but when the expected victory failed to materialize and France and Spain declared war on Great Britain in 1778 and 1779, a major revolt in New Hanover was only a matter of time. Under the leadership of Liam Dunshayne, a former mercenary in Spanish service, the Irish and Scottish population of New Hanover started their own war of independence early in 1780; it was early in 1781 that the rebels started calling the Isles Thiaria (from Gaelic Tir Thiar, meaning The Land beyond). The French and Spanish saw an opportunity to distract British resources to a backwater area and did their best to aid the rebels. A British fleet carrying another 5.000 troops was intercepted by a numerically superior Spanish fleet under Admiral Cordova in 1780 in the battle of Arrecife (Canary Islands) and turned back under heavy losses; it was the largest Spanish naval victory over England in recorded history (although they needed a numerical superiority of 30 versus 16 battleships to win it). In 1781 then the rebels received direct support by the French when a fleet under Suffren landed 2.000 troops and bombarded British positions, resulting in the rebels gaining control over a part of the southern coast of the mainland; the British however remained in control of all smaller Islands, and Suffren had to proceed into the Indian Ocean after a few weeks. But when the British sent another fleet of 15 ships of the line to New Hanover late in 1782 after their victory in the Battle of the Saintes, Suffren made a surprising return and soundly defeated them in a dawn battle as they were busy unloading troops near Trasolas. The British lost four ships burned or exploded and another four taken prize against a numerically equally strong foe, making this encounter their most demeaning defeat since the Dutch raid on the Medway; it was Suffren’s grandest achievement. When the American war of Independence ended with the Treaty of Paris in September 1783, the British had lost all control over the south-eastern part of mainland New Hanover, and Dunshayne’s army numbered some 10.000 well-armed fighters. Thus, for the third time in their history, the islands were not considered worth the effort necessary to hold them, and ceded to France.

5. Second French Era (1783 – 1808)
The French, after having fought some of their most brilliant actions to gain what now again became Nouvelle Oultremer, did not really seem to know what to do with the Isles after the English retreated their personnel and most of their settlers except some 15.000 who opted to stay. The French assumed formal control, but lacked resources to crush the Celtic rebellion by force, so they entered negotiations and in 1788 granted the Irish and Scots considerable autonomy. They now actually enjoyed more political freedom than the inhabitants of mainland France, which added to the many sparks that started the French Revolution in 1789, as well as attracting ever more refugees from Ireland and Scotland. The British by that time used Australia as their main penal colony and tried to prevent any more Irishmen and Scotsmen to emigrate to Nouvelle Oultremer, but could not effectively control emigration, resulting in another 50.000 new settlers between 1783 and 1808. The French Revolution cemented Celtic autonomy even more; most of the French personnel on the Isles remained royalist, and the Revolutionaries offered the Irish and Scots even more autonomy, bordering on de facto independence, when they aided them in overthrowing the strong royalist fraction on what was now officially referred to as Thiaria even in France. Dunshayne grasped the opportunity and joined the revolution in 1794; the Royalists were quickly overthrown, and many went into Exile to England. By the End of the War of the First Coalition in 1797, only 20.000 Frenchmen remained in Thiaria, along with more than a million Scots and Irishmen, some of which lived there in the sixth generation, plus about 150.000 descendants of Portuguese settlers and the same number of slaves. Unlike the American Revolutionary war however, when both sides had their share of victories and defeats, the naval situation in the French Revolutionary wars was completely lopsided, with Great Britain winning virtually every battle, and after the rout of the Armada in the Battle of Saint Vincent 1798, a huge British under Lord Jervis fleet was dispatched to recapture New Hanover. The British settlers supported their fleet, and practically all the Isles around the mainland of Thiaria were captured with little effort. A major invasion of the mainland however failed, because the British could not spare enough troops to face Dunshayne’s now 20.000 strong militia, most of them experienced in fighting in the local terrain and climate and all of them well equipped by the French. Fighting dragged on till the peace of Amiens in 1802 which restored all of Thiaria to French control. Britain accepted France's demands with surprisingly little resistance, since the mainland – the most valuable part of the Archiple, where all the mines and most of the plantations were located – could not be taken by force, and the rest was considered worthless by the British, who already had bases all around the Atlantic which were easier to hold. With Napoleon quickly raising to power, the French now attempted to consolidate their control over the Islands and some 30.000 Frenchmen arrived within one year, many of which were military personnel. Napoleon detested the privileges the revolutionary government had given to the Celtic population and wanted to turn Thiaria into a French colony like any other; to this end, Irish and Scottish immigration, which had restarted during the brief peace period, was to cease forever. Additionally, Napoleon restored slavery. The result was a revolt of the African population, which at first was fully supported by Dunshayne. But when France and Britain went to war again in 1803, the threat of having the British come back was enough for the now sixty-year old Dunshayne to keep a low profile and pledge full support for France, leaving the Africans to fend for themselves. The British tried to attack Thiaria practically immediately, but an indecisive Battle in October 1803 off Ogleidhras with the French under Latouche-Tréville forced Admiral Carnegie to retreat. During this battle, three Frigates manned exclusively by Thiarians fought alongside Latouche-Treville's fleet, making it the first engagement of the fledgling Thiarian Navy. With no immediate threat of British invasion, Dunshayne quickly started to fight Napoleon's men again, and by publicly pledging to uphold the French revolutionary principles and denouncing slavery, he brought the African insurgents firmly into his camp and added the key element of black emancipation to Thiaria's founding myth. Napoleon's hold on Thiaria quickly crubled thereafter. After Latouche-Tréville’s death and his successor Villeneuve’s humiliation at Trafalgar, the British once again sent a fleet for Thiaria, this time under Admiral Strachan, which arrived in spring of 1807 with 20 ships of the line, 9 Frigates and over 50 troop transports after a rather leisurely advance. His orders directed him to attack the mainland and conquer the Capital Carriolar (no one used the French term L’Aquilon anymore). The French had nothing to offer but a few frigates and corvettes, but a small Spanish squadron of 7 ships of the line including the big three-deckers Mexicano, Conde de Regla and Purissima Concepcion was despatched from the Caribbean to ‘see what they could do`. This turned out to be nothing, undermanned and demoralized as the Spaniards were, and they just dropped anchor under the guns of the fortress of Noyalo, the biggest fortification in all of Thiaria (and, for that matter, the entire southern hemisphere). This was the moment of Sean O Conaire, a former privateer who had fought successfully for the Americans in the war of Independence and decided to come to Thiaria to aid his countrymen in 1798. He collected some 5.000 colonists with naval or merchant marine experience (among them 2.000 former sailors from the Royal Navy and a few from the USN) and captured the Spanish ships after their commander had refused to engage the English. The Spanish crews – mostly pressed native Americans from Mexico – were as unwilling to fight Conaire’s men as they were to fight the Royal Navy and quickly gave up; many Spanish junior officers joined Conaire’s men, as these wanted to fight the British and this was exactly what their original orders had said. Conaire’s force ran into a vanguard of six British ships of the line at June 9th, 1807, in the middle of the Bauaine halfway between Noyalo and An Trionaid, for which city the ensuing battle would be named. The British, who had been made aware of the poor readiness state of the Spanish squadron by their intelligence service, were thoroughly surprised by the offensive spirit and fighting skill displayed by Conaire’s ships. The 74-gun ships HMS Brunswick and HMS Dragon and the 38-gun Frigate HMS Diana were dismasted and captured, and the 32-gun Frigate HMS Alcmene was burned and sunk. Although Conaire had lost the Conde de Regla to a magazine explosion, the battle of Trionaid was a huge success against an enemy with a proven reputation of absolute invincibility. Strachan was reluctant to release his main squadron to chase Conaire because he feared the enemy might also have smaller craft which could attack his troop transports. This fear was unfounded, because the French commanders of the smaller ships refused to leave the security of Fort Noyalo’s guns, but allowed Conaire to escape with his prizes. While the Thiarians, as they had come to call themselves, celebrated Conaire’s triumph, Strachan proceeded to capture the undefended city of Arathiar, sending half his ground forces to attack Carriolar from the land side and planning to join the fray with his fleet as soon as the defenders were distracted by the land assault. This never happened, because the redcoats were intercepted by local Militia and their advance slowed down to a crawl; after three weeks, the flanking force was outnumbered 2:1 by the Thiarians, while the French garrison at Fort Noyalo remained firmly in place, manning some 150 heavy guns. Strachan, who was put under considerable pressure from London, waited till early August before launching an all-out attack. He suffered terrible losses, but eventually managed to capture Fort Noyalo on August 21st. Conaire’s Fleet, still outnumbered 2:1 and in a poor state of repair, left Carriolar on August 22nd in order to distract the British from their main goal, and succeeded. Strachan gave chase and his forces recaptured both ships of the line they had lost earlier and destroyed the old Spanish 74-gun ship of the line Guerrero. The rest of Conaire’s fleet, including five French frigates and ten smaller French ships, safely reached the Bay of Cathair Riordan, where Strachan promptly blockaded them. But in the event, all Thiarian efforts were in vain, because by September, another British fleet with reinforcements had arrived, and Carriolar was finally surrounded in early October. After a three-month siege, the Fortress of Noyalo fell to a final assault on December 15th, and Dunshayne was wounded and captured. Great heroism was displayed by everybody involved, and the Thiarians would celebrate their defeat at Noyalo as a huge moral victory, some kind of Thiarian Alamo. The surviving Militia retreated inward; most remaining French garrisons surrendered by year’s end. Conaire abandoned his ships and led his people to the countryside to fight as insurgents; the British later returned his ships to the Spanish Navy after Spain joined the war against France in 1808. Dunshayne and 18 other Thiarian leaders were publicly hanged on February 4th, 1808, and Thiaria once again was renamed New Hanover. At this point, the British really ran into trouble.

6. Struggle for Independence (1808 – 1816)
London considered the Irish and Scottish inhabitants of New Hanover rebellious subjects of the British crown who had to be whipped into obedience if necessary lest their example inspired their relatives in Scotland or Ireland to rise up. Consequently, compromise was not an option for the new British Governor, General Sir James Craig, himself a loyalist Scotsman who passionately hated the Thiarians and considered them all rebels and traitors. While the British fed more troops to New Hanover in order to root the rebels out, Napoleon, who considered Thiaria lost for good, surprised everyone by granting the Isles full independence on June 30th, 1808; this resulted in many settlers who had kept neutral so far - after all it was Napoleon’s war - joining the rebels. By year’s end, the entire mainland was a war zone, and an untimely outbreak of Ashburn Fever, against which many of the settlers were immune by that time, additionally weakened the British forces. Another strain on their manpower was Wellesley’s Peninsular campaign which consumed most personnel reserves of the British army. So, while the rebels gained strength, the power of the British occupation force could not be augmented any more after 1809. Moreover, the frequent atrocities committed by both sides added to tensions in Scotland and Ireland and created unrest among the considerable number of British soldiers from these parts fighting in Spain; the French did theirs to exaggerate every engagement to a bloody massacre by printing false reports and circulating them in Ireland. By May 1810, no end of the insurgency on Thiaria was in sight, and the burned-out Craig was sacked and replaced by General Slade, who was vaguely instructed to win the hearts and souls of the settlers. He interpreted his orders rather conservatively and did nothing at all for almost a year, allowing the rebellion to spread over the entire archipelago. In March 1811 he was sacked too and replaced by General Erskine, a man of high nobility, but unfortunately clinically insane. He held his position for precisely two years and ordered no less than six major offensives against the rebels, all of which changed their respective objectives several times as Erskine issued increasingly erratic orders; in the end, he too failed to come to grips with the rebels, and by early 1813, the British garrisons were isolated and besieged and could only be resupplied by sea. To add injury to insult, Conaire escaped to the US and volunteered to fight for the US Navy under the anglicised name John O'Connor, directing much of America’s war effort in the war of 1812 towards severing communications between Britain and Thiaria, with some success; ironically, the USN named a Somers-class destroyer for him in the 1930s, which actually fought against Thiaria in the second world war. Erskine was finally sacked in March 1813 and soon after committed suicide by jumping out a window (his last words allegedly were ‘Now why did I do that?’). His successor wrote in his first report that Britain’s cause was quite lost; the Thiarians would never return to British rule and would have to be annihilated, for which he calculated an army of 100.000 would be necessary. The British government actually considered the latter option after the Napoleonic wars had ended, but the Waterloo campaign required every man Britain could muster, and when that last effort had finally succeeded, no-one in Britain seriously wanted to embark on another large campaign that promised to last for decades and cost myriads of lifes. Furthermore, political bias in Britain shifted towards dialogue with the Irish, which was chiefly advocated by Wellington himself, who flatly refused to take command of a possible Thiarian expedition. Consequently, less than a year after Waterloo, Britain formally gave up all claims upon Thiaria in a treaty with the French, who became the Archiple’s owners once again, after all of Napoleon’s edicts including the one that had granted the Thiarians full independence, had been revoked. The French claimed sovereignty over Thiaria until the July Revolution of 1830, but never attempted to enforce it; for all practical purposes, the Archiple was now a free country.

7. Free at last (1816 – 1850)
Thiaria was diplomatically acknowledged by the USA and Denmark in 1815, by Russia in 1817 and by most others including France, Great Britain, Spain and Prussia between 1830 and 1833; the Portuguese took their time till 1886, and Brazil as the very last country did not establish diplomatic relations with Conaire prior to 1975. Being formally a colony of the French crown, the Thiarians resisted attempts to establish a Monarchy of their own, which was seriously contemplated because republicanism was not held in high regard in the general political climate after the fall of Napoleon. They elected one of their most accomplished military resistance leaders to prime minster in 1815, a gruff Scotsman named Craig McIlhany who was succeeded in 1830 after three terms by a shrewd Irish diplomat named Eoain Macanta, who served for four and a half terms and would have been re-elected for a fifth had he not died in 1852 on the height of his fame as the Prime Minister under whose tenure full independence was attained. The first 40 years after de-facto independence in 1815 were thus very stable and quite peaceful, apart from constant tensions with the Spanish and Portuguese, who (with some justification) accused the Thiarians of assisting South American independence movements with money, weapons and volunteers. Especially the Spaniards were close to declaring war upon Thiaria in 1819 during the Argentine struggle for independence, but refrained from doing so, because legally this would require declaring war on France too. After 1840, tensions shifted towards Brazil, whose Portuguese rulers had never given up their century-old claim on Thiaria and kept considering it a territory under enemy occupation to be liberated till 1889. Internally, Thiaria was at that time organized the way it still is today, as a centralist state of the French fashion whose provinces had little executive responsibilities. Population soared again, fuelled by another wave of immigrants from Europe including 200.000 Irish and Scotsmen between 1815 and 1845. The country was less attractive for Continental Europeans for two reasons: First, everyone was required to speak Thiarian Gaelic, which was the sole official language; it was a simplified mix of Irish and Scots Gaelic, but still quite hard to learn for non-native speakers. Second, there was no freedom of religion, with Roman Catholicism being recognized as state religion and practice of other faiths discouraged by a variety of harrassments. This limited non-celtic immigration to 20.000, half of them Hungarians, who were already catholic and whose own language was so alien to most others that learning Gaelic was not much harder for them than learning English would have been. Population more than doubled to little over four million between 1815 and 1850. After full independence was attained, an elected president was installed as a figurehead of the state, but real power remained with the prime minister, who – like the president – was elected directly and then appointed his own government, with parliament being responsible for ratifying the budget and all other fiscal matters. This awkward system was retained till 1919; from then on, the president was no longer elected directly by the people, but by the Senate, stripping that office even from any moral and symbolic power it might have held. Economically, things went uphill throughout the whole first half of the 19th century. Apart from the still abounding copper and sulphur deposits, big deposits of black coal and high-quality iron ore were discovered in the 1840s, and the agriculture – apart from providing complete autonomy in all kinds of foodstuffs – produced a considerable surplus of coffee, rice and cocoa. Meat and milk were produced for the domestic market only; exports did not commence prior to the first world war. By mid-century, natural rubber became another export item, and Thiaria remains the world’s second-largest producer of natural rubber to this day. There was no Thiarian military until full independence from France was gained in 1830, only local militias, which however could muster up to 120.000 well armed infantrymen with considerable artillery assets in 1830. After 1830, the militias came under unified command, but no attempt at creating a true standing army was made until 1916. The navy received more attention; a fleet of a dozen large frigates and some 40 sloops and corvettes was built till 1825 and enjoyed an excellent reputation second only to the US Navy at that time; like the US Navy, however, the Thiarian fleet fell into disrepair during the 1830s and retired its large ships without replacements. Afterwards, the fleet maintained only coastal and fishery protection forces before the early 1880s witnessed the purchase of Thiaria's first ironclads.

8. Industrialization (1850 – 1894)
The industrial revolution hit Thiaria late, but with a vengeance. The availability of coal and iron ore from 1830 spawned a railway construction programme all across the south-east, and punitive customs rates on British textiles made the creation of indigenous textile factories profitable. The first shipyard for iron-hulled ships opened in 1862, and the first Thiarian Steel plant in 1880. Thiaria's Chemical industry was set up in the 1890s and produced fertilizers that increased the already high yield of the Thiarian agriculture even more. The Potato Famine in Ireland brought another surge of immigrants (500.000 within 15 years), and the political situation in central and eastern Europe - especially the crushing of the Hungarian revolt of 1846-1848 and the Polish uprisings of 1830/31, 1846/48 and especially 1863/65 - added immigrants from there too. Improved medical conditions in the second half of the 19th century also helped the population grow, and by 1880, there were fifteen million Thiarians. The original restrictive policy towards languages and religions gradually became more liberal, especially because a growing percentage of Irish and especially Scottish immigrants no longer spoke Gaelic and many former subjects of the Prussian and Austro-Hungarian States shared German as a common language; ironically, not being forced to learn Gaelic motivated most immigrants to do it anyway, and the percentage of non-Gaelic speakers in Thiaria never exceeded 5% before the 1990s (2013: 6,5%). Freedom of religion was finally granted in 1882, but the Catholic Church continued to dominate the country to this day (78% in 2013). In foreign affairs, Thiaria enjoyed a lasting peace till the 1880s. This changed when Thiaria and Brazil were at each other's throats over the New Portugal Islands, which belonged to Brazil since 1821 and where one third of the population was Irish/Scottish and the rest Portuguese. The Portuguese government had not restricted immigration, but the Brazilians feared a hostile takeover and closed the Islands for immigrants in 1846; in 1855, they declared Portuguese the sole language of the Islands and conceived one new way of harassing the Irish settlers every year. The Thiarians at first did not care much for the fate of their Irish countrymen - they were living in a foreign country, after all, and their own immigration policy was rather heavy-handed itself. But a mining company run by Irishmen and owned mostly by Thiarian stockholders started to mine one of the world's largest supplies of Nickel in 1878, suddenly giving New Portugal vast strategic importance. Since the opening of the Nickel mines coincided with the commissioning of Thiarna's first ironclad ships in the early 1880s, Brazil - with some justification - feared trouble and started fortifying New Portugal. The British - always eager to harass the Thiarians - offered Brazil all the warships it might need at a discount price, and Thiaria reacted by ordering more modern seagoing ironclad battleships in France. The Irish population of new Portugal, which had suffered all Brazilian outrages in the last thirty years relatively quietly, became restless in the mid-1880s, fueled by Thiarian propaganda. All the way, a naval arms race was underway. Tensions were already critical when the complacent and ineffective Brazilian Empire was swept away by the revolution of 1889. The republican government needed five years to get a firm hold upon the country; then they nationalized the Nickel and the newly discovered Chrome mines on New Portugal. A few days later, the Thiarians declared war.

9. One war every half-dozen years (1894 – 1908)
The war of 1894 was fought entirely at sea. The Thiarians, who had more cruisers than the Brazilians, established a blockade of the Brazilian coast and intercepted 65 merchant ships in three months, planning to draw the numerically slightly superior Brazilian battlefleet to the open sea, where their ships, most of which had low freeboards typical for British-built ships of that era, would be at a disadvantage. The strategy was sound - all their own ships were reasonably good sea boats with high freeboard - but they failed to anticipate that the Brazilians might come for them on a sunny day during a dead calm, only hours after the Thiarian flagship had hit a mine and was forced to retreat. In the ensuing battle, the Brazilians surprised the Thiarians again by handling their ships well, and the result was a sound defeat of Thiaria's vaunted fleet against an enemy whose reputation had so far equalled the Swiss navy. Rather than attacking New Portugal, they had to fortify their own coast to guard against a Brazilian invasion, which however never materialized due to a lack of transport capacity. After a few months of desultory fighting along Brazil's trade routes, where the Thiarian cruisers proved uncatchable, the war bogged out, and in the US-brokered peace of Boston, the Thiarians renounced all claims towards New Portugal and agreed to pay the quite broke Brazilians an outrageous compensation for their losses during Thiaria's successful trade war. Immediately afterwards, both sides prepared for the next war, with the Thiarians investing considerably more effort; unlike the Brazilians, the Thiarians by that time were already able to order capital ships on domestic yards, while the Brazilians had to make do with second-hand ships handed down from the Royal Navy. As the new fleets neared completion, Great Britain embarked on the Boer war of 1899 through 1902. Although their fleet was still not operational, thousands of Thiarians volunteered to fight the British alongside the Boers. They managed to transport 2.000 volunteers to Namibia clandestinely under the eyes of the Germans, who were sympathetic to the Boer cause as well. The insurgents inflicted heavy casualties upon the rather ineptly led British forces, but failed to remain clandestine for long. The British were outraged and blockaded Thiaria with a dozen battleships and at least 20 cruisers. Although no war was ever formally declared, the Thiarians made several sorties with torpedo craft, all of which retreated after a few warning shots by the British. When the Boers were finally overwhelmed by the British army, the remaining 1.400 Thiarian volunteers dispersed back across the Namibian border and were repatriated by German ships after the war ended. Although they had achieved pretty much nothing at all, just fighting the English had felt fine, and although they had not been significantly hurt by the Thiarians, the British were outraged about their presence in South Africa and were gung ho to invade Thiaria for a few weeks. Emotions finally cooled down when the atrocities committed by the British against the Boers - petty by the standards of the 20th century, but unusually well publicized by 19th century standards and widely despised by the British public itself - became common knowledge. The Thiarians, now holding the moral high ground, came away with paying some modest reparations to Britain, most of which were used to fund additional arms shipments to Brazil. The Thiarians immediately started to build a small professional army of 30.000 around their Boer war volunteers; national defence however continued to rest with the lightly armed militia. Priority lay with the navy. In 1907, the Thiarians finally had their revenge on the Brazilians. The actual reason for the war was the simple fact that both sides wanted war, and tensions erupted over virtually nothing at all. The battlefleets of both sides were ready and prepared, but this time the Thiarians had sufficient naval transport capacity to stage an immediate invasion of New Portugal. Within three weeks into the war, 40 transports sailed, and the two coast defence ironclads stationed in New Portugal were overwhelmed by Thiarian battleships in the port of Naomh Seoirse. The Brazilians were forced to throw their entire fleet at the invasion force. The never learned that the transports were empty until it was too late. As planned, the Thiarian battlefleet - much superior to the Brazilian fleet both in numbers and in quality - maneuvered itself between the Brazilian fleet and their bases, and the transports scattered. The Brazilians were more confident than would have been prudent and engaged the Thiarians on December 18th, 1907, shortly after sunrise while heading to the north-east. They could be clearly seen against the rising sun while the Thiarians were hidden in the dark, and the latter had gotten rid both of the arrogance and the training deficiencies which had doomed them in 1894. The ensuing battle of Tranacorr (Gull beach, 35 miles off the northern coast of New Portugal) was as lopsided as Tsushima. The Thiarians showed a surprised world that French-designed ships could prevail over British-built ones when properly handled, and destroyed two Brazilian Battleships against very few losses. Six weeks later, the invasion fleet sailed again, and this time, it was laden. Brazilian resistance on New Portugal was stiff and occasionally heroic, and their positions were well fortified, but without naval support they were doomed, as Thiarian ships bombarded them into submission at leisure. Ten months after the war had started, New Portugal and the world's largest deposits of Nickel and Chrome were under Thiarian control.

10. Becoming a major player (1908 – 1916)
In 1908, Thiarian population hit 19 million, and the nation's gross domestic product per inhabitant equaled France's. Thiarian industry produced half of France's steel output, at much better quality which rivalled England's, and her merchant fleet was the world's seventh largest. The country was the largest exporter of Nickel, Chrome, Copper, natural rubber and cocoa worldwide, and it was entirely self-sufficient in all kinds of foodstuffs except bananas. Healthcare and education had reached continental European standards; the illiteracy rate - which had been at 75% as recently as 1870 - was down to 15%, and the average lifespan exceeded 65 years. The political situation was stable and the constitution had remained largely unchanged since the 1840s. Freedom of property, religion, opinion and the press was guaranteed, courts were reasonably fair and impartial and the dominant role of the catholic church had gradually eroded, resulting in a much more liberal society. The inferiority complex that stemmed from the defeats against Brazil in 1894 and England in 1902 had been blown away by the victory against the Brazilians in 1908, and further naval construction cemented Thiaria's position as the dominant naval power of the southern hemisphere. Brazil abandoned all moderation in naval spending and bankrupted itself by ordering two dreadnoughts in 1906 and three more in 1910, 1913 and 1914. Thiaria matched this effort hull for hull and then some; they could spend half again as much money on defense as Brazil, but with its tiny army (the militia with its outdated and mostly light armament came virtually for free) 80% of all defense spending went to the navy. After being mostly ignored by foreign powers during most of the 19th century - they had cordial relationships with France and the USA, but no formal alliances - Thiaria now became a force to be reckoned. Their involvement in the Boer war had improved their relationships with the Germans and the Dutch - their relations with Britain could hardly deteriorate any more - and their wars with Brazil had resulted in a formal alliance with Brazil's continental rival Argentina in 1909. Their relations with France and Russia cooled down after 1904; they informed the French that they considered the Entente Cordiale extremely un-cool and actually offered to broker a continental alliance between France and Germany, which left both supposed allies wondering just how much of their excellent domestic whiskey these Thiarian politicians really consumed. Repeated anti-British schemes - in 1912, for instance, the Thiarians tried to get the Italians and the Ottomans to jointly conquer Egypt in case of war, only weeks before both countries went to war against each other - failed quite tragicomically and only worked to isolate Thiaria internationally. By 1914, they had alienated everyone except Germany and Austria. From 1912, Thiarian industry collected major orders for international weapons sales: Turkey ordered a battleship with three 340mm triple turrets (to be named Sultan Osman I) in 1912 and two light cruisers in 1914, and Argentina two light cruisers in 1913. During the first two years of the war, Thiarian deliveries of high-quality steel and heavy guns to Mexico, the Netherlands and Spain enabled those countries to proceed with their domestic battleship programmes. Thiaria's own navy numbered 30.000 personnel in 1914; as Thiaria's four super-dreadnoughts Conaire, Lormaic, Macanta and Dunshayne neared completion, a follow-on class of two giant 24-knot 30.000-tonners with 12 340mm guns each was ordered, with one ship each laid down in 1915 and 1916. In between, three battlecruisers - one of 25.000 tons with 9 305mm guns and two of 30.000 tons with 9 340mm guns - were laid down in 1912 and 1914. None of the Conaire-Class were finished when the first world war broke out in 1914; one commissioned in late 1914, the other three in 1915. The first battlecruiser followed in 1916. With these units, Thiaria all of a sudden had the world's seventh-strongest navy, surpassing Italy and Austria-Hungary, and was as hostile towards Great Britain as ever. With the Royal Navy pinned against Germany's powerful fleet and France's fleet needed in the Mediterranean, Thiaria's might was unchecked except by Brazil's fleet, which was only kept functioning by massive British financial aid.

11. Short and painful (1916 – 1918)
Both Brazil and Thiaria stayed neutral during the first two years of the first world war, but public opinion in Thiaria was openly in favour of the central powers. The Thiarians conceived the whole point of the war as Britain's desire to remove Germany as the first serious threat to their naval supremacy since 1805 and would sympathize with any enemy of the British Empire. As early as 1914, the Thiarians almost came to the aid of Scheer's doomed squadron off the Falklands, but they had only two armoured cruisers available near the battlefield and wisely decided not to start the war with a crushing defeat against two British battlecruisers. Italy's war entry on the Entente's side threatened to free the French fleet for use against Thiaria, but allied naval losses against the Ottomans and the lack of efficiency of the Italian fleet continued to pin it in the Mediterranean. Increasing tensions in Ireland further added to the determination of a major part of Thiaria's population to go to war against Britain; all they needed was a plausible casus belli. The British served them one on a silver plate with their handling of the Easter uprising of 1916, and on April 20th, Thiaria declared war upon them, to the unanimous consent of nearly all her 23 million inhabitants. Their Fleet - consisting of four super-dreadnoughts, one semi-dreadnought, three pre-dreadnoughts, four armoured cruisers, four turbine scout cruisers and four older protected cruisers - was already at peak readiness and immediately descended on British shipping in the South Atlantic, with considerable panache, but no coherent strategy at all. Within three weeks, 80 merchants were sunk or captured and the South Atlantic was effectively sealed off. Britain needed to react immediately and dispatched her four newest and biggest battleships Warspite, Malaya, Valiant and Barham under RAdm Evan-Thomas to Capetown on May 10th. They arrived there on May 28th after having collected a retinue of older vessels to support them, including three pre-dreadnought battleships, four old armoured cruisers and ten light and protected cruisers (belonging to nine different classes). Apart from the four super-dreadnoughts, the British ships were no match for their Thiarian counterparts and Evan-Thomas knew it. He had no chance to reopen the shipping lanes with this force without having defeated the main body of the Thiarian fleet first; only then could he afford to disperse his super-dreadnoughts to hunt down the Thiarian raiders individually. He asked for further reinforcements, but on May 31st, the Grand Fleet finally met the German imperial navy off Jutland in the largest naval battle of the war. The battle - strategically a draw without any influence whatsoever on the course of the war - was a complete disaster for Great Britain, with five of Beatty's ten battlecruisers sunk by their five German counterparts under Hipper. One wonders how the encounter between Beatty and Hipper would have turned out with Evan-Thomas' four super-dreadnoughts attached to Beatty's battlecruiser force, as had been planned before Thiaria's declaration of war; even German and Thiarian historians agree that it would have been nowhere near the walkover for Hipper's battlecruisers as it turned out in the absence of the Queen Elizabeth-class ships. In that sense, the Thiarians had helped cause Britain's worst-ever naval disaster with almost 10.000 casualties. Their own fighting spirit was considerably boosted by the poor performance of the British battlecruisers, and they failed to realize that British battleships were a completely different kind of threat. After June 1st, both the Thiarians and the English eagerly sought the decisive battle, and they found it on June 25th, in the midst of South Atlantic winter near the Islands of Tristan da Cunha, which had been occupied by the Thiarians one week into the war. The results were sobering for the Thiarians. Their ships and crews proved every bit as good as their reputation promised and dealt almost twice the number of hits to the British as they received themselves; their 305mm guns had twice the rate of fire of the British 381mm pieces, and the weather conditions did not allow the British to use their superior range to their advantage. After two hours of slugfest, Warspite was shot up beyond recognition and Malaya was heavily damaged too, with the other two having sustained medium damage. But none was lost, and it was the British 381mm shells that scored the really decisive hits. All Thiarian ships sustained damage, and LT Dunshayne, the newest one, sank on the return leg. Two British ships gave chase, but quickly abandoned it when the Thiarians feinted a counterattack. Within two months, HMS Queen Elizabeth reinforced the British fleet, and Evan-Thomas started to probe near the Thiarian mainland. Tristan da Cunha was retaken in September 1916, and several Thiarian raids against British shipping could be thwarted. In November 1916, the British suffered a setback when three Thiarian pre-dreadnought battleships and two armoured cruisers finally managed to catch a convoy with no British dreadnought anywhere close; the old pre-dreadnought HMS Prince George and the armoured cruiser HMS Kent were lost and the convoy was wiped out. Four Thiarian attempts to repeat that success failed in the following months, although they managed to sink the large protected cruiser HMS Powerful in March 1917. Three weeks before, both main fleets (three Thiarian and four British superdreadnoughts) had narrowly missed each other. The British finally had their revenge in April 1917, when three Thiarian pre-dreadnoughts were intercepted by HMS Warspite and the biggest one was destroyed, along with a large armoured cruiser. After a relatively eventless winter - the British had regained control over the shipping lanes, but had neither plans nor forces to carry the war back to Thiaria, and the Thiarians cancelled two sorties as their newest battleship Crionna (the former Turkish Sultan Osman I) tended to hit solid objects shortly after leaving port practically every time - the Brazilians entered the war. Within days, the Thiarians steamed up and bombarded Brazilian coastal cities, and achieved exactly what they had intended: In early December, the whole Brazilian fleet sortied for a return visit to Nua Phortaingeil. Although the Brazilians operated under strict EMCON, a Thiarian submarine spotted them, and on December 11th, three Thiarian and three Brazilian dreadnoughts met in the Battle of Caitriona. Only one Brazilian battleship made it home; only one Thiarian battleship suffered substantial damage, and the Thiarian commander Neill Trendean was the first Thiarian sailor in history to be promoted to Full Admiral. The British now knew they had to handle the Thiarians themselves (to be honest, they had suspected so all along); the Brazilian fleet was so demoralized as to be completely incapacitated, and the French refused to release their battlefleet for the South Atlantic because they - with some justification - did not trust the Italians to handle the Mediterranean alone against both the Austrians and the Ottomans. To make matters worse, the Thiarians were reinforced with another battlecruiser early in 1918, and with their morale boosted by the battle of Caitriona, they became more active. The British countered by restructuring their entire fleet and nearly tripled the number of dreadnoughts in the South Atlantic. With the US in the war, the Grand Fleet was reinforced by 6 (2 more followed in 1918) US battleships, and the British sent all four Iron Dukes, all four Orions plus Trafalgar, Agincourt, Colossus and Hercules to Capetown. This fleet was augmented by the battlecruisers Australia and New Zealand and the US battlecruisers America and United States; two British and two US pre-dreadnoughts formed the reserve. The Queen Elizabeths were recalled to the Grand Fleet. With such power, the British went actively on the hunt; the new commander Admiral Sturdee, Victor of the Falklands in 1914, developed an ambitious scheme to envelop and annihilate the Thiarian fleet. His plan backfired disastrously in the battle of Craighmiadh (Gaelic for Bad Luck Rock, a tiny island not so far away from Tristan da Cunha) on March 4th, 1918, when the five Thiarian dreadnoughts under Admiral Trendean, victor of Caitriona, managed to engage three of the four allied four-ship squadrons in sequence, sinking three British battleships and an American battlecruiser, then escaped with a loss of one battlecruiser and one armoured cruiser. Sturdee, who was wounded on the bridge of HMS Iron Duke, could not really be blamed, because Trendean would not have engaged any squadron substantially stronger than his own and had to be lured into the engagement somehow. The Thiarian success - like the German success at Jutland - was mostly caused by the resiliency of their ships which proved capable of taking an incredible amount of punishment and still perform a 25-knot dash out of the killing zone, combined with the premature retreat of the allied battlecruiser force after the loss of USS United States. After this battle, although it was a clear tactical success, the Thiarian fleet was reduced to two operational battleships; all other capital ships were so badly damaged they could not be repaired in time before the armistice in Europe. Evan-Thomas returned to command the British South Atlantic Fleet in May, but the only replacement he brought for the loss of HMS Agincourt, Colossus and Emperor of India was HMS Dreadnought herself. With all attention focused on the land war in Europe, the British South Atlantic Fleet was content to protect transports on the cape route; the Thiarians on the other hand were acutely aware how lucky they had been at Craighmiadh and not eager to test their luck again. They made a few limited sorties with their remaining force during the southern winter, but found no sufficiently valuable targets; in late October, they turned away when they sighted all four Orion-class battleships. A few weeks later, the war in Europe was over and the full might of the allied fleets was suddenly available to be thrown at Thiaria. Under these conditions, continuing the war would be suicidal, despite all the successes that had been achieved, and Thiaria finally asked for an armistice on November 24th, 1918.


Last edited by Garlicdesign on February 17th, 2017, 6:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Post subject: Re: Thiaria: RebootPosted: April 4th, 2015, 9:49 pm
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A short history of the High Republic of Thiaria (Part 2)

1. Peace (1918 – 1919)
Under armistice conditions, Thiaria had to surrender all submarines and all seaworthy turbine-powered surface ships of destroyer size and above to the Allies for internment, save only the three survivors of the last batch of D-class destroyers. The ships that were currently non-seaworthy remained at Thiaria for the time being, with the British intending to demand their dismantlement in the final peace conditions. New Portugal was occupied by a British expeditionary force in February 1919 without resistance. The Thiarian government was summoned to peace negotiations at Norfolk/Virginia in April 1919. At the insistence of the US government, which had to respect widespread sympathies for Thiaria among America’s large percentage of celtic immigrants, the peace treaty was more benign than Versailles; the English – like the Brazilians – would have preferred a much harsher treatment (the French participated in the negotiations, but did not really care). The future of New Portugal was to be determined by a plebiscite. The interned ships were to be divided among the victorious powers as reparations; the damaged or unfinished ships remaining in Thiaria however were allowed to be retained and repaired or completed, with the exception of one battlecruiser, which was to be discarded. New battleship construction was limited to replacements for the old pre-dreadnoughts up to a total of 100.000 tons including LT Crionna and Conaire; individual ships were not to exceed 20.000 tons. New cruisers were limited to 6.000 tons and 152mm guns. Apart from the ships, $ 2 billion in reparations were to be paid to Brazil and $ 1 billion to Great Britain, within a timeframe of five years; France and the USA made no monetary claims. The Thiarian merchant fleet was not touched, nor were her ground forces (such as they were) and her fortifications; a clause about moral responsibility for the war was missing from the draft. Military aviation of every kind was prohibited, and all aircraft in Thiaria’s possession were to be surrendered, including civilian ones. Although the treaty terms were much more favourable than those imposed upon Germany, the Thiarians widely resented it, arguing that they had a legitimate casus belli and created much less damage in the – entirely naval – war than they were now ordered to repay. When the conditions of the treaty of Versailles became public in late June 1919, the Thiarians realized how well they had gotten off and immediately signed the Treaty of Norfolk, as it came to be called, on June 27th 1919, two days before the Germans signed the treaty of Versailles. Payment of reparations started immediately, and the interned Thiarian ships were divided, with one battlecruiser going to the USA and both dreadnoughts to Great Britain. The worldwide flu epidemy of 1918/9, which did great damage to the economies of most participants of the first world war, bypassed Thiaria; in 1920, the population stood at 23 million, not counting occupied New Portugal. The reparations could with some difficulty be paid by savings in the defence budget.

2. The fate of New Portugal (1920 – 1925)
The plebiscite on New Portugal was held in July 1920 under British supervision. Preliminary polls indicated that the Islanders wanted to remain with Thiaria or become independent, but not become part of Brazil. Thus the full independence option was added to the range of choices, and the poll eventually produced a result of 19% for Brazil, 39% for Thiaria and 42% for independence. A new state was founded in September 1920 without any clear idea about how the constitution should look, and British forces were evacuated in August 1920 in the midst of utter chaos. Within weeks, civil war erupted over the issue of racial segregation, which was promoted by the mostly white middle- and upper class sympathizers of the independence movement, but violently rejected by both the Pro-Brazil and the Pro-Thiaria fractions. At first, the independence movement seemed to prevail, being supported by several wealthy sympathizers in the USA, but during late 1922 and early 1923, they squandered many sympathies by committing a series of massacres especially among the Pro-Brazilian minority. In November 1923, the Brazilians finally had enough and invaded. Their military crushed all resistance within a few weeks and ended New Portugal's independence for good. Thiaria was powerless to intervene, but there was an almost universal consensus that New Portugal was to be reacquired at any cost, however long that would take. On the Islands themselves, tensions remained high; the Brazilians rode roughshod over the independence movement, driving its more radical members into the clutches of fascism and the moderate ones towards a pro-Thiarian stance. The Afro-Thiarian minority (some 25% of the population) was rabidly and violently pro-Thiarian, as slavery had been abolished there in 1790, and Napoleon's decision to re-establish slavery after the Haitian rebellion was one of the sparks that had eventually brought about Thiarian independence. Brazil on the other hand had abolished slavery as late as 1889, and mistreatment of blacks was still commonplace there. While Thiaria's economy recovered, New Portugal was milked by the Brazilians, and standards of living dropped behind their 1914 levels. By 1925, there was a clear majority in favour of returning the Archiple to Thiaria, resulting in increasing Brazilian military presence and constantly increasing repressions.

4. The Silent Twenties (1922 – 1929)
In the eight years after the peace treaty, Thiaria enjoyed a relatively stable period of slow economic growth under a grand coalition government between the two large moderate democratic parties, the Lucht Oibhre (Labour Party) and the Daonlathas Naisiunta (National Democrats). Although at odds over virtually any important issue, these parties were forced into repetitive coalitions three times to prevent the fascist pan-celtic Uabhar Gael (literally Gaelic Pride, whose core goal was the freedom of all celtic lands - not only Ireland, but Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and Man as well, thus effectively dismembering Great Britain) and the Aghaid Dearg (Red Front/Communists) from attaining executive power. At that time, only very threadbare efforts could be undertaken to rebuild the Navy, including the completion of some unfinished ships and the construction of two small 20.000 ton coastal battleships. Thiarian population went into a steep growth after the war, due to improvements in medical science and another surge of irish immigrants arriving in Thiaria in the wake of the irish civil unrest in the early 1920s. Even more people came from eastern Europe, particularly from the former Austro-Hungarian empire, adding to the already strong Hungarian minority in Thiaria. Population reached 27 million in 1930. The payment of reparations between 1919 and 1931 actually exceeded the sum paid by Germany in that timeframe, but since Thiaria had not as many war debts to repay as well, its economy proved equal to the task. Brazil on the other hand spent the reparations mostly on strengthening her military; money also went into infrastructure projects like roads, railways, bridges, airports and power stations all across southern Brazil. Health care, welfare and education were quite ignored, leading to growing civil unrest in the late 1920s. At the time of the 1930 revolution that marked the beginning of Brazil’s descent towards dictatorship, Brazil’s military was six times (Army) respectively two times (Navy) as strong as Thiaria’s. The discovery of a large Bauxite deposit in Uruguay made that country interesting for foreign powers, and during the 1930s, Brazil, Argentina, the USA, Great Britain and Thiaria were active trying to attain some form of control over Uruguay, with Brazil (a long unprotected border with the largest army in South America on the other side are convincing arguments) coming up first; a Brazilian company started mining the Bauxite in 1935.

5. Recovery (1929 – 1936)
Mere weeks after the outbreak of the world economic crisis, major oil fields were discovered in the southern Thiarian province Tir Nimhniuil, and Thiarian economy, which actually felt a beginning recession at that time, instead went into an eight-year oil boom period from mid-1930, which attracted another wave of immigrants. The oil boom also resulted in a massive increase in the value of the Thiarian Chros relative to Brazilian currency, enabling the Thiarians to finish reparation payments fully and on time in 1931. Just as the new leftist-populist Vargas government of Brazil had finally started to take considerable amounts of money in hand for education, health care and welfare - without significantly reducing military expenditure - its two most important sources of revenue (Thiarian reparations and taxes and customs on Coffee export profits) dried up. Brazil entered a period of recession and started to descend towards dictatorship. While Brazil had its internal problems to deal with, the Thiarian government scored a great diplomatic success by managing to be invited to the 1930 London fleet treaty negotiations. This treaty effectively annulled practically all restrictions imposed upon the Thiarian Navy; they were awarded a quarter of US capital ship, carrier and cruiser tonnage and allowed to build submarines again. In the same year, Thiaria struck a bi-lateral treaty with the USA allowing it to re-establish an Air Force and a Naval Aviation Service; the British and Brazilians never consented, but neither did they contest the treaty. In the following years, Thiaria initiated a steady force buildup. Between 1931 and 1940, they laid down four battleships, four fleet carriers (plus one refurbished old battlecruiser hull), nine heavy cruisers, four light cruisers, four cruiser minelayers and 44 destroyers.

6. Towards war (1936 - 1939)
Brazil observed Thiaria's construction spree with increasing panic, but by that time was starved of funds. They had nearly twice Thiaria's population, but less than a quarter of Thiaria's economy. On New Portugal, resistance against Brazilian (mis-)management erupted into open insurgency during the mid-1930s. At that time, several cases of corruption involving high-ranking Daonlathas Naisiunta officials became public knowledge in Thiaria and caused great scandal. The fascist Uabhar Gael much profited from this development. At the 1936 elections, they achieved 22%, and Lucht Oibhre for the first time became stronger than the Daonlatheas Naisiunta; the Communists ended up rather weak. Not wanting to lose his comfortable Taoirseach's (prime minister) seat to Labour, Mhuraic Neachtain, the leader of the Daonlathas Naisiunta, opted for a coalition with the pan-celtic Uabhar Gael. This mixture was to prove explosive, as the Uabhar Gael, who wanted to liberate every celtic territory from British rule, was openly sympathetic to Nazi Germany and trumpeted its intention to destroy the British Empire at Germany's side at every opportunity. When the war finally came in September 1939, this government ruled 30 million Thiarians, whose military was in its best-ever shape. The Navy had six battleships with two more building, one carrier with two more close to completion, four heavy cruisers with four more building, eight light cruisers, 40 destroyers with twelve more building, and 28 submarines, with a substantial building programme underway as well. In addition, there was a sizeable naval aviation force. Unlike World War I, this time they also had 20 divisions worth of regular land forces with a growing mechanized element, and a powerful air force, although this had grave faults in organization and training. War games were conducted simulating amphibious invasions, with the intent behind them quite obvious. When the Second World War started, the Thiarian government officially condemned the German attack, because Poland was a fervently catholic nation quite like Thiaria itself, and a large number of Thiarians descended from Polish immigrants; there were no such ties to Germany. But it was obvious that the war focused everyone's attention to Europe and thus presented the long-awaited opportunity to strike against first the Brazilians, then the British. Thiarian pre-war plans called for invading and re-conquering New Portugal first, then secure all British-held islands in the South Atlantic, then strike against South Africa, counting on the support of both the radical Boers and the ANC, to both of which secret ties had been woven after 1936. In the event, things would turn out quite differently.

7. Stumbling into the war (1939)
In December 1939, the Royal Navy chased the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee into Thiarian waters after an indecisive battle off the River Plate estuary. Captain Langsdorff had decided to make a run for the Thiarian naval base Abernenui rather than head for Buenos Aires or Montevideo despite the greater distance, because he assumed the Thiarians would be more willing than the Argentines or Uruguayans to bend the rules of neutrality in his favour, if only to piss off the Brits a little. When the British caught up with him on December 16th in waters which were claimed as territorial by Thiaria, but were considered international waters by pretty much everybody else, three Thiarian cruisers were shadowing them. Their commanding admiral, an ardent supporter of the Uabhar Gael, informed the Minister of the Navy, also of the Uabhar Gael, that the British had opened fire - without specifying at whom. Minister Murchada, fully aware that the British were certainly not firing at his ships, nevertheless ordered them to 'return fire', which they did, to devastating effect. His ships sunk two of the three British cruisers and chased away the third; then they escorted the Graf Spee to Abernenui. When the Taoirseach Neachtain learned about the incident, he was furious and immediately sacked Murchada before literally prostrating himself before the British Ambassador abjectly begging forgiveness. Chamberlain was furious, but willing to relent because the European war was more important. Churchill however was more prescient. His assessment was that things would remain quiet in Europe at least till April and the Italians were likely not to stir at all as long as Germany did not overrun France (which at that time was universally regarded as a rather ridiculous notion); this left the Royal Navy four months in which it had little else to do than to descend upon the Thiarians with overwhelming superiority. Chamberlain took his time to react to Neachtain’s apology; on December 23rd, he issued a list of demands that were unacceptable for a sovereign nation. As expected, Neachtain let Chamberlain’s ultimatum of one week lapse without reaction. The Admiral Graf Spee sailed northward on December 29th, just in case, carrying the new Thiarian Ambassador to Germany on board. On January 1st, 1940, Thiaria and Great Britain were officially at war. Thiarian Fascists and Communists celebrated, side by side.

8. Blood in the water (1940)
On January 16th - incidentally the same day the Admiral Graf Spee reached Kiel - the Royal Navy and the Thiarians met in the battle of Portiasc. The Brits outnumbered the Thiarians 2:1, and the result was a disaster, with one Thiarian battleship, two cruisers and two destroyers sunk. Over the next few weeks, the Royal Navy engaged the Thiarians several more time, always with overwhelming force, and sank another battleship, two cruisers and five destroyers. Both of Thiaria's operational aircraft carriers and one modern battleship were heavily damaged. By mid-February, the vaunted Thiarian Navy had been swept from the sea and was hiding in the Bauaine, licking its wounds. Within the next four weeks, the British swept the ocean clear of Thiarian shipping and prepared for strikes against Thiarian Naval bases. Thiarian land-based air was furiously, if ineffectually, engaging the British; grave faults in training and doctrine prevented them from achieving anything. Thiaria had been at war for four months and suffered a resounding, humiliating defeat without any redeeming features; by early April, the Thiarian government contemplated surrender for the first time. But on April 9th, Adolf Hitler, who could not have cared less for Thiaria’s fate, saved them, entirely coincidentally. The events in Norway, the Benelux and France up to the French surrender on June 22nd, turned the naval balance around Europe completely upside down. The Royal Navy quit the South Atlantic bit by bit from mid-April. By mid-May, only a small British task force cruised off Capetown. Mobilizing everything they had left, the Thiarians met the British in the Battle of Poncportan (Crab Cape, a cluster of reeves and small islands halfway between New Portugal and Thiaria) on June 7th, 1940. It was as one-sided as the battle of Portiasc had been, just for the other side. The British lost a battleship, a carrier and a cruiser, the Thiarians lost nothing. After the battle of Poncportan, the presence of British surface forces in the waters around Thiaria had all but ceased.

9. Electing the devil (1940)
The uninformed Thiarian public widely held the opinion that the British had not retreated due to more pressing duties elsewhere, but that they had been kicked out of the southern hemisphere by the Thiarian navy in an epic, decisive battle; scope and outcome of the engagement at Craigportan was wildly exaggerated by the Thiarian media. In this mood, Thiarians were called to elect a new Oireachtas on June 20th, 1940. With the Hitler-Stalin-Pact intact, the Communists campaigned on the same agenda as the Fascists, Nationalists and Conservatives: Get on with the war, take back New Portugal and, as long as we are at it, destroy the British Empire and liberate all celtic peoples. Daonlathas Naisiunta leader Neachtain was successfully branded as a defeatist due to his earlier submissiveness towards Chamberlain, and his party, which was still suffering from corruption charges against some of its senior members, was pulverized in the elections, receiving only 11% of the votes, 3% less than the Communists. The Uabhar Gael attained 38% of the votes, and the weasely Murchada, who had intentionally kindled the crisis in the first place, was the great victor of the elections and now reaped a huge reward for something that was actually an act of treason. With the National Democrats marginalized and Labour unwilling to ally themselves with the Fascists, Murchada formed a coalition with the rabidly anti-british Communists, and on July 9th, 1940, Eoin Murchada - guilty as he was of starting an offensive war all on his own - became Prime Minster of Thiaria.

10. Catching breath (1940)
Ironically, the war bogged down once the warmongers were in power. The Royal Navy, alone against Germany and Italy after France had dropped out of the war, was fully committed all around Europe and taking losses on a previously unthinkable scale, and the Brazilians were busy fortifying New Portugal for the inevitable onslaught. Only the submarines of both sides preyed upon each other, but unlike the first world war, the Thiarians now had a functioning convoy system that helped to limit losses. Their own boats concentrated on British ships collecting Argentine Beef. The Thiarian surface fleet was still licking its wounds. Murchada meanwhile reorganized the Air Force, which had performed poorly so far, firing many senior staff and replacing them with stout party members. The Navy repaired all the damaged vessels till September and also took delivery of several important new ones. In November 1940, the Thiarian Army and Marines reported one ampbibious division each ready for action after an intense training programme. Although Murchada would have just loved to immediately invade South Africa, logistics issues and the trifling matter that Thiaria's sympathizers among the radical boors and the black communists in South Africa were locked in mutual hatred of each other, made sure this was no realistic option. All other Thiarians wanted to go for New Portugal anyway, so for once, Murchada bowed to the will of the majority.

11. Brazil clobbered (1941)
On February 23rd, 1941, the Thiarian fleet launched a carrierborne ground strike against New Portugal's capital Sao Jorge da Mina (with some luck, the Thiarians managed to transmit the declaration of war to reach the Brazilian president Vargas a few minutes before the first bombs fell). The USA protested, but as Thiaria was considered an American nation, it was no case for the Monroe doctrine, much to President Roosevelt's disgust. Brazil's president, who really should have seen it coming, needed a full week to send his fleet, which on March 4th was quite slaughtered in the naval battle of Cairnmallacht Shoals. After the Brazilians had spent their fight to virtually zero effect, landings commenced on March 10th, assisted by a revolt of pro-Thiarian insurgents. Cut off from supplies, the Brazilians managed to defend some of their best fortified strongholds till May 6th. On that day, the last Brazilian resistance ceased, and 28.000 defenders marched into captivity. Although the Brazilians screamed for help during the whole battle, Churchill had none to give.

12. Turmoil (1941)
On May 16th, 1941, Murchada declared total victory and demanded the Brazilians to surrender. Although he genuinely wanted this conflict to end so he could focus his attention against the British and pursue his South African scheme, he dictated very harsh conditions, which the Brazilians rejected. While Murchada pondered what to do next, Hitler invaded the Soviet Union on June 22nd, 1941. This move caused the Thiarian communists to drop out of Murchada's government, all of a sudden demanding Thiaria to immediately change sides or else there would be civil war. During July and August, there were several wild strikes and much rioting, and Murchada replaced the Communists with a three-splinter-party alliance of right-wing conservatives and liberals under the leadership of Mhuraic Conaola. The new government declared martial law on July 3rd. The unchecked violence with which the Communists expressed their new belief in peace and friendship with Brazil and Great Britain cost the Agaidh Dearg many sympathies. Fearing anarchy, most Thiarians were in favour of the brutal crackdown Murchada ordered on August 2nd. Three days after four high-ranking Agaidh Dearg politicians which had been on the NKVD payroll were summarily executed on August 9th, the Soviet Union declared war on Thiaria, thus pulverizing what little public support the communists had left. The armed forces were purged from known communists, which pretty much incapacitated them for the remainder of 1941. The Air Force was politically already on line, but Army and Navy needed till October 1941 to restore discipline. Luckily for Murchada, Great Britain had no assets to spare and failed to take advantage of Thiaria's troubles.

13. Montevideo is burning (1941)
Just as the Thiarians were ready for action again, a wild strike erupted in the Brazilian controlled Uruguayan Bauxite mines. When security personnel shot at strike guards on October 29th, riots broke out, and 180 people were killed, among them 50 Brazilian engineers and administrators. This prompted a Brazilian Army General to send a Brigade of troops across the Border to restore order. Upon learning this, the Uruguayan government asked the Thiarians for help, and Murchada did not need much inviting. On November 8th, the first detachment of Thiarian Marines arrived in Uruguay, and later that day Thiarian carrierborne planes and Brazilian Air Force aircraft clashed over Montevideo. As the Brazilians fed more troops into Uruguay, the Thiarians fortified Montevideo and deployed a five-division mechanized corps, which comprised pretty much their entire active army. This move finally stirred the US government, which issued a warning to both parties to leave the Uruguayans alone at once, but as the Brazilians had been the first ones to invade, Murchada coldly rebuffed Washington that he was only there to help. On November 12th, the Brazilians launched a full-scale infantry assault on Montevideo with five divisions and all artillery and air assets they could muster. All three operational Thiarian aircraft carriers had to be deployed to the River Plate to prevent the Brazilians from attaining air supremacy. The US public and media condemned that move in the strongest words, but President Roosevelt, who realistically viewed Murchada as more dangerous than Vargas had ever been, discreetly made clear that he would not intervene - at least not against Brazil. On November 27th, the Brazilian fleet tried to take advantage from the absence of the Thiarian carriers by attacking a large Thiarian troop convoy with a strong surface force, but the Thiarians intercepted them and drove them off in the Battle off Punta del Diablo (Ponc an t-Aibhirseoir), sinking two Brazilian cruisers. Soon afterwards, the Brazilian offensive faltered.

14. The Rest of Uruguay is burning, too (1941 - 1942)
On December 4th, the Thiarian breakout offensive in Uruguay commenced, now supported by 380 land-based airplanes. Spearheaded by almost 400 tanks, the Thiarians cut off two of the sluggish Brazilian divisions and advanced north-eastward right to the Brazilian border within less than four weeks. To hammer home the lesson, the Thiarians then advanced north-westward along the River Plate and captured the disputed Bauxite Mines on January 17th. They were just regrouping for an advance into southern Brazil proper when they were informed that Thiaria was at war with the USA. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour on December 7th, 1941, the Murchada government issued a communiqué condemning the attack as a barbaric act, believing the issue settled. As there was no formal offensive alliance with Germany or Italy, Thiaria also ignored the declaration of war against the USA by these countries on December 11th. But after the meeting between Roosevelt and Churchill in the last days of 1941 and the issue of the Declaration by United Nations - of which both Britain and Brazil were members - Roosevelt informed the Thiarians on January 3rd that the party was over. Either Thiaria surrendered her entire ground and air force in Uruguay and New Portugal and placed her entire navy under US command for war against Germany and Japan, or the USA would consider itself at war with Thiaria. Time to consider: one week. The Thiarian government was shocked, and many conservatives and moderate nationalists among Murchada's supporters seriously contemplated to acquiesce, but Murchada did nothing, and the ultimatum lapsed. On January 11th, 1942, Thiaria was at war with the USA. A day later, the USA delivered a totally refurbished battleship to Brazil (she had been complete since November, but was held back because of the war) despite their own pressing need for such ships after Pearl Harbour. Roosevelt also offered the Brazilians a ridiculously copious arms aid programme. This only convinced Murchada that he had to move fast.

14. To the limit (1942)
While the Brazilians were straining their underdeveloped infrastructure by moving the rest of their bulky, but sluggish army towards the Uruguayan border for a major counterstrike - by April 1942, ten divisions had been amassed, with only minimal reserves remaining uncommitted - the Thiarians made a move the Brazilians could not possibly counter. On April 2nd, 1942, the Thiarians invaded the Brazilian city of Cricriuma with a division of Marines and a Brigade of paratroops, three hundred kilometers behind the Brazilian lines. At the same time, four Thiarian divisions and three brigades attacked the forward Brazilian lines at the Uruguayan border with the greatest display of air and naval power ever seen in South America. This time the Brazilian soldiers, who had fought bravely so far despite their appalling inferiority in materiel, training and doctrine, lost their nerve, broke and ran. With seven divisions, little more than 100.000 soldiers, the Thiarians conquered a part of Brazil twice the size of Uruguay with poorer lines of communication than deepest Russia, within ten weeks. Porto Alegre was taken without much of a fight on May 16th, and on June 13th, the Thiarians had reached Florianopolis. 80.000 Brazilian soldiers had been taken prisoner; together with earlier losses, Brazil had lost more than half its prewar army, not to talk of half its navy too. To add insult to injury, several thousand German and Italian immigrants in Brazil, who were disgusted by President Vargas' measures to assimilate them and suppress their language, volunteered to fight for the Thiarians. On July 15th, the Thiarians conducted another, smaller scale amphibious landing at Florianopolis; the city was conquered on July 22nd. By early August, it was clear to Roosevelt and Churchill that Brazil was at the brink of collapse and would need immediate help to survive.

15. Arrival of the Cavalry (1942 - 1943)
On September 6th, during an uncharacteristically calm southern hemispheric winter day, the Thiarian Navy, prowling for another allied convoy, was intercepted by a large British fleet. The Thiarians lost one fleet carrier, one heavy cruiser and most of their airplanes, and their newest battleship survived only barely. This token of support did not fail to revitalize Brazilian fighting spirit, and the Thiarian ground offensive bogged down as the Brazilians stubbornly defended the city of Blumenau. In order to tie down allied naval forces elsewhere, the Thiarians reacted with their famous Panama raid and sent a carrier, a battleship and all three operational heavy cruisers to the pacific, where they sunk over 30 unescorted allied transports and advanced as far north as the Gulf of Panama before returning to Thiaria in February 1943. As they refueled in plain sight of Callao from supposedly interned Thiarian tankers, the raid failed to have the desired distracting effect, because it was clear to the Americans that such a stunt could not possibly be repeated. Moreover, as the Thiarian fleet was missing vital assets for nearly five months, the British were able to support the Brazilians by shore bombardments from December 1942. This was too late to save Blumenau, which fell on December 14th; the Brazilian Army had virtually no reserves anymore, and the way to Rio de Janeiro, though still long, was now mostly free of obstacles. Roosevelt now decided to postpone the planned re-occupation of the Aleutian islands and send the troops to Brazil instead. On January 18th, 1943, the first US troops went ashore in Sao Paulo. By mid-February - Thiarian forces had advanced 200 Kilometers along the Brazilian coast meanwhile against virtually zero resistance - three divisions were ashore, complete with over 300 Sherman tanks and 500 airplanes, and moved to the front; first contact with Thiarian ground forces was made on March 10th. More US troops were on the way; Roosevelt had earmarked 100.000 soldiers for Brazil, plus enough weapons to arm the same number of Brazilians, although Brazil no longer had the necessary number of trained reserves. The Thiarians, unaware just how white the Brazilians were bled, tried to take out the Americans by outflanking them by just another amphibious landing.

16. The battle of its age (1943)
When preparations were complete, the Thiarian fleet, now as strong as never before, sailed at full strength on April 26th, 1943. Roosevelt had ruled out any separate peace except by unconditional surrender in February 1943, but if 50.000 green US troops could be taken as POWs, Murchada was quite confident he could blackmail Roosevelt into accepting a separate peace on favourable terms for Thiaria. The British Empire would have to wait till the next opportunity. As more and more Thiarians were discontent with Murchada's total war policy and his unsavoury alliance with Hitler, he also hoped to use the euphoria over another great victory for a new crackdown upon the more moderate elements of his own government. But things did not go well. A large British fleet detected the invasion fleet, but not the covering force; the British ships themselves went entirely undetected. On May 1st, the British wrecked the invasion fleet and forced it to turn back. The Thiarians lost 9.000 crack ground troops and any ability to conduct another amphibious invasion for the remainder of the war. The magnitude of this strategic defeat was hardly diminished by the successful counterattack of the Thiarian covering group, which destroyed two carriers, two battleships and three cruisers. The engagement ended with the British veering away, for the first time in ages quitting the fight and leaving the battlefield in control of the enemy. It seemed as if the battle had been lost by both sides, but the more far-sighted Thiarians knew who lost it more badly.

17. The scales tip (1943)
As if this point needed to be hammered home even more, the Americans went on the offensive on May 7th, commanded by a previously unknown general named Patton. Employing blitzkrieg tactics and superior tanks, he broke through the Thiarian lines, aiming to cut off two Thiarian divisions by retaking Florianopolis. On June 1st, a last ditch counterattack delayed the Americans just long enough for the Thiarians to retreat, but it remained a fact that they had lost half the conquered territory within four weeks. When heavy winter rains rendered mechanzied warfare all but impossible in early July, Patton hat inflicted 20.000 casualties upon the Thiarians for a loss of 4.000; unlike the Americans, the Thiarians could not replace their losses. But then, severe setbacks in North Africa led to Patton being called off to command US forces there, and his more cautious successor Buckner failed to take the opportunity to destroy the Thiarians before they could regroup; he also had considerable trouble with ethnic German partisans behind his lines. By late October, the Thiarians felt they were ready for a final ground offensive, their last chance to encircle the exposed US expeditionary force. But although they fielded new tanks superior to the Sherman, their units were understrength and exhausted. After some impressive initial gains, the Thiarians were stopped cold on November 9th in the largest tank battle ever fought on the South American continent. They inflicted more losses than they took and retreated in good order, but by late November, they had been driven back all the way to square one. Initiative now passed to the Allies.

18. Disaster strikes (1943 - 1944)
In November 1943, the newly raised 4th Marine division arrived in Brazil, along with enough transports to embark it. Buckner wanted to use it for an amphibious invasion of his own, supporting an armoured thrust, but Thiarian reconnaissance anticipated this move, and a major fleet sortie in December 1943 forced the Allied C-in-C Admiral Somerville - whose fleet was much superior to Thiaria's, but who feared to lose the highly vulnerable transports, just as the Thiarians had lost theirs last May - to turn back. Eager to make good his earlier lack of drive, Buckner attacked anyway and suffered a painful reverse against Thiaria's last armoured reserves around christmas. The Allies now decided to take out New Portugal before any new ground offensive. Intense strategic bombing leveled most structures on the Islands during the next four months and forced the Thiarians to retreat all light naval forces based there; their air power was also much decimated, and getting supplies to the archiple usually required an all-out fleet sortie. In April 1944, the Allies were ready. A strong American-Brazilian fleet probed towards the River Plate estuary to lure the Thiarians out while the British-Free French-Recherchean main force prepared to invade. The Thiarians fell for the ruse and engaged the Americans and Brazilians on April 20th. The Allies lost two US battleships, a Brazilian carrier and an US cruiser; the Thiarians lost a battleship and a carrier. Nearly all other ships of either side were damaged to some degree. The Thiarians had won a tactical victory, but their fleet was incapacitated for several weeks. On May 3rd, American and Recherchean Marines started the Invasion of New Portugal; the British Fleet sunk a small Thiarian battleship and over 20 transports in the harbour of Sao Jorge da Mina. Having thrown practically their whole army to Uruguay, the Thiarians had no significant ground forces to defend the archiple. From May 7th, a second wave consisting of a new Brazilian division was brought ashore. Three weeks of desperate fighting later, the Thiarians had lost New Portugal. With their spirits lifted by this success, the Brazilians implored Roosevelt to have Buckner attack and destroy the Thiarians at once, and the US-Brazilian forces launched their all-out offensive in June 2nd. The Thiarians evaded, maneuvering skilfully and extracting a high blood toll from the attackers, but were steadily driven back. While the US offensive was in full swing, a large Thiarian supply convoy, sailing for Montevideo under insufficient escort, was attacked by a superior British-Brazilian fleet on June 22nd and mostly massacred; the Thiarians lost no less than three aircraft carriers. Thiarian supplies now began to dry up, and on July 4th, they were expelled from Brazil for good.

19. Negotiations (1944)
Despite severe media censorship, the Thiarian public was fully aware that the war was about to be lost, and lost badly. Unfortunately, the next elections were scheduled for June 30th, with foreseeable results. On June 13th, Murchada called the elections off infinitely. The public was shocked. The Thiarian catholic church in particular had counted on the elections to replace Murchada with the more balanced and reasonable Conaola in order to get Thiaria out of the war; they were perfectly well informed about the atrocities committed by Thiaria’s German ‘allies’ in eastern Europe and feared to be treated as accomplices if they kept fighting any longer. It was also known both in Thiaria’s government and the catholic church that the USA would be willing to make an exception from the ‘unconditional surrender doctrine’ for Thiaria if they got rid of Murchada one way or the other. On June 29th, the Cardinal-Archbishop of An Trionaid, Thiaria’s highest ranking clergyman, ultimatively demanded the government to either immediately end the war or schedule new elections until July 30th, otherwise the catholic trade unions might call for a general strike. On July 4th, the Pope, no longer in German hands since Rome’s liberation a month before, officially endorsed a separate peace between Thiaria and the Allies. Very secretly, Vice Premier Conaola contacted the US government on July 12th and conveyed a set of conditions: Complete repatriation of all Thiarian troops on the South American continent, no military occupation of Thiaria, no prosecution of any Thiarian citizens as war criminals. Everything else was negotiable, including New Portugal and the Thiarian fleet. A week later, a member of the US embassy secretly conveyed to Thiarian foreign minister Conaola that these terms were considered acceptable if Murchada immediately retired from his office and free elections in Thiaria were held at the earliest date. Or if Murchada was removed from office otherwise.

20. Congratulations (1944)
Vice premier Conaola had been aware of a plot among the German officer corps to get rid of Hitler for some time. His ambassador in Berlin was a personal friend of Admiral Langsdorff, aboard whose ship he had travelled to Germany in 1940, and he knew that Langsdorff had agreed to join the conspiracy. When Count Stauffenberg blew up Hitler's bunker on July 20th, Conaola already had prepared an official statement congratulating the German officers to their successful coup, recognizing them as Germany’s rightful government and expressing his hope that peace negotiations would soon follow. When he learned by the Ambassador that the plot to kill Hitler had failed, the statement was not yet issued, and the failure as not yet public knowledge. Conaola took a deep breath - and issued the statement anyway. On July 23rd, a foaming Hitler had the Thiarian ambassador and some 6.000 further Thiarian nationals arrested; that same day, he declared war on Thiaria on behalf of Germany, the RSI and Hungary. On July 24th, Conaola and elements of the army loyal to him initiated a coup to depose Murchada. Although most of the army was in Conaola’s camp, there were very few regular army units left on the mainland, and a mixture of Marines and Air Force security personnel – both of which were pro-Murchada – thwarted the coup attempt in four days of infighting in and around Carriolar. Conaola was shot, badly wounded and captured on July 30th. Murchada now cracked down big time upon Conaola's supporters and had some 15.000 people arrested within two weeks. An additional 5.000 simply vanished. Among the arrested were some 300 catholic clergymen who had openly called for resistance against Murchada. Of all his blunders, this certainly was the worst.

21. God wants no more (1944)
After this crackdown, Murchada abruptly lost the allegiance of all but his most fanatic supporters. The Army in Uruguay was no longer accepting orders, and the navy was divided. When a Recherchean naval squadron raided Tir Parthas on August 12th, only half the available ships followed orders to engage them; none of the remaining battleships left port. The Rechercheans could be repulsed by three Thiarian carriers with cruiser escort, but when they returned home, things deteriorated even more. When Murchada attempted to have his erstwhile foreign minister Conaola tried for high treason on September 18th, almost a hundred thousand people went on a wild strike and rioted around the courthouse. At that point, the Cardinal-Archbishop of An Trionaid decided he had enough. On September 28th, 1944, he officially excommunicated Murchada for unspecified crimes against God and Mankind. As the Thiarian constitution required the Prime Minister to be Roman Catholic, this move was tantamount to an impeachment, especially as the Pope, who had been secretly informed beforehand, explicitly verified the excommunication on October 3rd. The whole country ground to a halt. A day later, the Thiarian expeditionary force in Uruguay was rocked by a large-scale mutiny, and many units surrendered to the Americans; their total collapse took two more weeks, with some units fighting each other. On the Thiarian mainland, the (anti-Murchada) army was bolstered by most of the Marines, whose commandant joined the rebellion on October 4th, and again turned upon the (pro-Murchada) militia. Conaola was freed by Paratroopers on October 8th and assumed the office of Prime Minister on the same day. On October 11th, army units supporting Conaola routed the last major militia unit on Tir Parthas and assumed full control of that island. That same day, the Navy's fleet commander changed allegiance, and his remaining heavy units left Noyalo and sailed for An Trionaid, where Conaola had his headquarters. On October 18th, Murchada started preparing for evacuation; with the strong navy garrison at Carriolar and Noyalo no longer loyal to him, it was only a matter of time before the rebels assumed control of the capital. On October 22nd, Murchada boarded a long-range submarine with a supposedly loyalist crew, bound for Peru. But even the crewmembers of that submarine were not loyal to a man, because one of them sabotaged the flood valves for the ballast tanks, so the sub could not dive. It was hunted down by a rebel destroyer 30 miles off Naomh Proinsias Xavier. Murchada was overwhelmed by the destroyer’s boarding team without resistance. On November 5th, Murchada was presented to the public in An Trionaid, and Conaola declared a unilateral cease-fire. At gunpoint, Murchada ordered his loyalists to lay down their weapons; the film footage of him showed clear evidence of severe beating. By November 10th, all military activities of Thiarian forces had ceased. On November 24th, an allied fleet entered the Bauaine, which saw enemy ships for the first time since 1815. The armistice was formally signed on November 30th by Conaola for Thiaria and Admiral Somerville for the Allies on board of the battleship HMS Queen Mary off An Trionaid.

25. Co-belligerent (1944 - 1946)
Under armistice conditions, Thiaria was occupied by 60.000 US soldiers, a very threadbare force; Conaola had been secretly in contact with the Americans since June 1944, and they trusted him to keep his country under control. Effective with the Armistice, Thiaria – at war with Germany already – had to declare war on Japan too. Thiarian land forces were reduced to 150.000 and tasked with running down the remaining Murchada loyalists and restoring internal order; they had to surrender all airplanes, their entire artillery over 75mm and all tracked vehicles of any kind. A task force of two battleships, six cruisers and 16 destroyers was put under US command and deployed to the Pacific, where the Thiarians had to prove their goodwill by fighting the Japanese. They saw no action in the Battle in the Philippine Sea in June 1945, but were in the thick of things at Leyte, where they destroyed a Japanese battlecruiser and damaged no less than four Japanese and Kokoan battleships. Thiarian losses were one light cruiser sunk and the flagship very severely damaged. The other Thiarian battleship had fought so successfully that she was allowed to attend the Japanese surrender in September 1945 in Tokyo Bay. The final peace treaty with the United Nations was signed on November 24th, 1946. Thiaria had to surrender all modern capital ships and all carriers, along with all airplanes, but could keep a modest cruiser-destroyer force for coast defence. Eoin Murchada, who had led Thiaria into the war, was the highest-ranking Axis government official to be put on trial for starting an offensive war and crimes against mankind; many Thiarian politicians used their appearance as witnesses to place all the blame on Murchada's shoulders. Murchada was acquitted of crimes against humanity - his forces had not misbehaved in any significant way, unlike the Germans and Japanese - but was sentenced to death for starting an offensive war. The execution took place in the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro on July 9th, 1950, to the cheers of half a million spectators, who still remembered their suffering when Rio was clobbered by Murchada's bombers every forthnight for nearly two years. Conaola held the office of Taoirseach till 1952, then retired as a national hero. When a radical left government assumed power in 1967, he was imprisoned for his role in the 1941 anti-communist crackdown and died in prison at the age of 83 in 1971.


Last edited by Garlicdesign on April 22nd, 2016, 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Garlicdesign
Post subject: Re: Thiaria: RebootPosted: April 4th, 2015, 9:50 pm
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Placeholder: Thiarian history 1945 - today


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Gollevainen
Post subject: Re: Thiaria: RebootPosted: April 5th, 2015, 7:34 am
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really nice. Do we see revisited ships or just reposts of the old?

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BB1987
Post subject: Re: Thiaria: RebootPosted: April 5th, 2015, 9:01 am
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Amazing work GD, wish I had the ability (and patience) of doing a map like yours for my AU too......

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Rowdy36
Post subject: Re: Thiaria: RebootPosted: April 5th, 2015, 9:42 am
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This is incredible work, can't wait for more!

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eswube
Post subject: Re: Thiaria: RebootPosted: April 6th, 2015, 11:26 am
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Fantastic backstory!
Though I quietly hoped for more combat activities in the other areas of South America (or at least for brief description of them happening) - like Argentina vs. Chile, Paraguay vs. Bolivia, possible participation of Peru (on either side) etc.

Also, there are some things related to Poland in the text I could nit-pick about, but that's not the point. ;)

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ALVAMA
Post subject: Re: Thiaria: RebootPosted: April 6th, 2015, 12:29 pm
I will await with much interested to see followed posts!)


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