An out-of-character summary of events. This is Paradox multiplayer gaming at its finest, with backstabs, hidden diplomacy, and unilateral decisions at every turn!
So, I’ll summarise the diplomatic and military events of the week. Everything begins with the Chinese Irredentist War, in which China and France ally against Georgia. Georgia is isolated diplomatically in that Indonesia is bought off with a free hand in Tibet, its ally Finland has only a weak army, and the remaining European powers are un-coordinated. The Chinese and French goals are, respectively, to recover the territories lost to Georgia in the First and Second Chinese Wars, and to cement dominance over the Mediterranean by the acquisition of bases in its eastern half, in particular covering the Suez Channel.
This scheme, however, is abandoned after China’s spectacular and crushing victory in the Transoxiana Campaign, in which the Georgian Army of Persia is surrounded and effectively annihilated after a lightning march by the Chinese First Mounted Infantry Army around their vulnerable northern flank – through unguarded Finnish territory. With organised Georgian resistance practically at an end, and Chinese troops advancing as far west as the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf, China demands the cession not only of the disputed territory and the oil-producing state of Tashkent, but also the creation of a free state of Hindustan in northern India, containing a third of Georgia’s population.
This demand is too much for the neutral powers, however. An Interventionist Coalition is swiftly formed to preserve Georgian territorial integrity; in particular, the American Powers, Norway and Italy, along with Transvaal, Finland, and the two Germanic states, all speak in favour of intervention. To begin with they concentrate on France, as the nearer target and also as a greater threat to the balance of power in Europe, where most of their interests are; in the case of Germany, there had been considerable nervousness about French expansion even before the war. Besides, with half the French army on the other side of a Mediterranean that the Italian and Norwegian navies can dominate, it seems likely that there will never be a better opportunity to trim back French power.
The French, however, prove themselves supple and practical diplomats. Informed of the alliance forming against them, they turn practically on a dime, and scale back their demands on Georgia to merely the city of Rome and environs – whose possession by Georgia is an archaic survival of the middle ages. Suddenly a coalition demand for France to “back down, or else” looks rather foolish. With China partitioning the state for which the Coalition is ostensibly going to war, fighting over a single city would be rather silly. However, not all the coalition members are interested in a war with distant China for the sake of distant Georgia; in particular, Germany feels unsafe in committing troops to far-flung fronts without a guarantee on its Rhine border. Negotiations with France for a neutrality pact or better still an alliance against China begin. France demands concessions from Georgia if it is to actually join the war. Georgia refuses to negotiate, or indeed to communicate.
At this point, in an attempt to create momentum, Norway and Italy jointly issue the American Diktat, demanding that China stand down on pain of war. It is expected that, at a minimum, Finland and Transvaal will publicly support the ultimatum; they do so only through back channels. However, this pressure is enough to force China to the negotiating table. A “Core Hindustan” is mentioned, roughly half the size of the initial demand. It is suggested that Georgia may keep Yumen, with its vast population, while China gains the other disputed provinces as a buffer zone for Beijing. Within the coalition, some favour all-out war to partition China once and for all, but the necessary military support is not available. Conversely, others support the creation of Hindustan but refuse to let China annex the disputed territories. Again, this is a minority view within the coalition; the difficulty in reaching agreement on what, exactly, is being demanded of China makes negotiation difficult.
Next, France agrees to a non-aggression pact, the Asian Neutrality Doctrine, on condition that Indonesia also remain neutral. This will free Germany to openly support the American Diktat, thus putting still more pressure on China. While the treaty is being written, however, Indonesia – incensed by personal drama – declares war on China, thus managing to void the French Addendum even before it is signed, possibly a record in speed of turning solemn treaties into words on paper. Norwegian diplomats are caught between laughing and banging their heads on the table. On the other hand, the Indonesian armies are not inconsiderable.
Between the stubborn intransigence of the Georgians (who throughout have refused to even comment on the negotiations to save their ungrateful skin, much less make any moves towards compensation for the entry of France), sheer exhaustion, and a unilateral declaration of neutrality by Finland, the coalition is at last brought to agree: China may annex the disputed provinces provided it signs a Non-Aggression Pact with the coalition, with Georgia, and with Japan, to last until 1915; and provided also that the coalition powers – not Georgia! – are given compensation from China’s vast reserves of cash. Some diplomats are heard to accuse the coalition of “having sold Georgia for the price of three Dreadnoughts”; which is, if so, an excellent bargain, in that the negotiators have sold something they never had in return for quite physical pieces of silver. And besides, the price is actually more like five Dreadnoughts, each.
Some titles of the notes from the internal negotiations of the coalition:
- Italy to Norway: Germany up shite creek
- Norway to Italy, Transvaal, Finland: Death to France!
- Finland to Norway: Death to France!
- Norway to Italy, Transvaal, Finland: Death to China!
- Finland to Norway: …
- Norway to practically everyone: Death to France? China? Georgia? Someone, anyway!
- Italy to Norway: Death to someone!
- Germany to Norway: War with China
- Norway to everyone: Death to China. Yeah. Our best bet, I think.
- Italy to Norway: War and stuff
- France to Norway: Non-Aggression Pact
- Norway to everyone (after the Indonesian DOW): Aaaaack!
As you can see, we were in a bit of a muddle behind the scenes. 😀