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Hapsburg Eclipse» Forums » General

Subject: What's the deal with the French Flags? rss

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Michael McFall
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I have not learned the game yet. I am also somewhat ignorant about the history of the Serbian Front.

However... What's the deal with the French Armies on the Serbian Front?

I just want to know and hope this isn't somekind of mistake.
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Kevin Fortuna
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Nope, it not a mistake. In WWI the Allies landed a (largely French) force in Salonika, Greece, in a belated attempt to save the Serbians from defeat. They were a few weeks too late, and only came in at the tail end of the combined Austro-German operation that drove the Serbs to Corfu. Thereafter, the force remained bottled up in Salonika until they finally broke out in 1918.
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Wes Erni
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I did some research on the Balkan front during the playtesting of Hapsburg Eclipse. I am reprinting a fragment of one of my e-mails on the subject below.

I had not studied the Macedonian campaign in any detail previously, so I did some reading on this subject. It is hilarious that this front only was opened to give Sarrail some major command that was nowhere near France, for purely internal political reasons (the British were completely opposed). For two years, it wasted hundreds of thousands of troops (largely through disease), violated a neutrals (Greece) territory, and merely occupied the attention of an Austrian corps (and some sundry German and Turkish troops) and engaged the near entirety of the Bulgarian army (there is little evidence that the Bulgarians would have re-deployed very productively, if this front had not opened). Of course, this all got redeemed by the final "Vardar offensive" that cracked the Bulgarian front, and (with Bulgarian National Will gone from the failure of the Kaiserschlacht) proceeded to "knockout" Bulgaria, Turkey, Austria-Hungary, and Germany in domino fashion. Maybe a sub-title to "Habsburg Eclipse" could read "Bulgarian Descent". It is ironic that Serbians (who started this bloodbath of a war) were instrumental in "pushing the first domino" -- and saved the world countless casualties, that a prolonged war would bring.

I can see how HE provides a fairly neat simulation of this rather complicated situation (the Americans were the only major player in WW1 that did NOT deploy troops here -- even a contingent of Czech POW's fought on the Allied side in Macedonia). One change I would recommend for historical (and game-play) purposes would be to have Budapest be the first box on the Balkan front -- but with the Danube as a barrier between Belgrade and Budapest. As the Balkan front approached Belgrade in October 1918, preparations were made to cross the Danube and invade the Hungarian heartland. This invasion was never needed, due to the complete collapse of the Habsburg empire -- but the clear intent was not move sideways against Sarajevo (along poor communications). The strike toward Budapest offered much better communications, and "target value" -- even if it had to contend with the broad, Austrian dominated, Danube River.
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Mayor Jim
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Nice background info...thanks.
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Michael McFall
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Thanks guys. I'm going to have to read up on all this now.
 
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Darin Leviloff
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The Winter 1998 issue of MHQ has a great article on the Salonika Front that I used for my research. I highly recommend it.

The Allied high command was very divided between Westerners who believed the War could be won on the Western Front and Easterners who believed that the War could be won by outflanking the Germans on another front. The Westerners held sway, particularly after the failure of the Gallipoli Front. Nevertheless, the massive attritional battles convinced others that fighting on the periphery was the way to go and the 1917-1918 campaigns in Mesopotamia, Palestine, Italy, and Salonika broke the back of the German allies and put pressure on Germany to bail out their brethren to a point where they could no longer do so.
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Mayor Jim
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Hence the importance of a game such as Ottoman Sunset ...and tying it in with HE.
 
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