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Autumn 1914:
The mighty German scythe fired up, with some 40 divisions moving from Liege to Antwerp and Namur. The German cavalry managed to mop up Luxemburg and the rest German army went west towards the forts of Verdun, Epinal, Maubeuge and Belfort.
The BEF had been troubled by ineffective commanders, which led them to retreat towards Arras & Ypres, instead of standing and fighting.
The French, woefully underprepared for this war, could do nothing more then stand and hope that the first blow wasn’t to harsh to recover from.

Meanwhile in the East:
With Falkhayn’s plan to put the biggest effort in the West in order to execute the Von Schlieffen plan, had left het East front deprived from any particular decent forces, and with there unforeseen speedy mobilization, the Russians where already knocking on the German border, before any effort could be made to stop their advance.
The A-H’s decided to fire Conrad, before the war started and decided that, in correlation with the Germans, their major striking force should be located in the Carpathians, instead of Serbia. Because of this decision, the Russian army had a though time making it into Lemberg and Krakow.



Winter 1914:
The German advance into Belgium and northern France is halted to due severely bad weather, and the mighty scythe that Von Schlieffen had once planned began to crack in the center and south. Falkenhayn had to remove some of his best units from the northern group and move then south in order not to loose Mulhouse and Colmar to stubborn France forces. Belgian forces under the command of the brave king Albert sneaked their way out of Antwerp and where holding the line around the coast, together with the British. Only real danger in these winter months is the big hole in the line behind the fortress of Maubeuge, but the exhausted German troops need their rest, and soon the French Reinforcements from Arras are filling the gap. Fighting is being done sporadically and bloody on the attacker.


Meanwhile in the East:
The unprepared A-H’s are having a hard time to destroy the Serbian army around Belgrado and constant fear of being out-of-supply means that Sarajevo (the only place to get supplies in the vast Balkan landscape) must be protected at all cost. Many pleas to their German allies for help are in vain, as the Russian machine is still pushing against the Germans in the north.
The Germans however are pushing the Russian back around Lodz and Krakow (with some help from the A-H, who are still holding their ground in the Carpathians). Russian command starts to fail and reinforcements need to travel from the Russian motherland, many miles away.


Even further to the East:
The Ottoman troops in Kut are being warned that the British are sending an expeditionary force towards them. So as a diversion the Ottoman send 4 divisions from the Gaza area towards the poorly defended Suez Canal. In the Caucasus they also send their troops towards the Russian border. More a propaganda move to keep their German allies happy, then to really invade the Caucasus, cause snow and rain make this virtually impossible.

Early 1915:
The Italians decided that joining the war would perhaps lead them to some more ground in the Balkans, which they could steal from those pesky A-H’s. So early 1915 they mobilize there northern army and make camp around the north Italian border, therefore threatening Trent and Trieste. The poor A-H’s will have to deploy their fresh reinforcements and replacement on the west border of their empire. When the Italians will start moving, the trouble will be complete for the plagued empire.
The German war machine hasn’t stopped inventing during the winter, and they can now deploy 2 aircraft troops on the west front, which could help them gain enough ground before the Belgian and British start digging in completely. But the time to strike isn’t yet at hand, as a disastrous event has happened on their East front.

Meanwhile in the East:
While the Germans finally decide to sent a sizable force towards the south front in and around Serbia, a lone Serbian cavalry unit sneaks past the A-H units and charged towards Budapest, and finds it uncontested and empty. The A-H government falls and Austria-Hungary collapses. Their troops are rendered useless and their HQ’s begin to dissolve. A massive retreat towards favorable terrain is needed in order to slow the Russian advance long enough for the German Sud-Armee to arrive. All fall back towards the Carpathians and prey for the best. The Serbian front retreat all divisions towards Sarajevo, the place where the world held it’s breath as the biggest armies in the history of the world mobilized.
The German SEF (Serbian Expeditionary Force) has an HQ, which in combination with taking the Montenegrin capital, means they can remain mobile and see if they can finally crush the Serbians. The Austrian Saying “Der serben zollen est verderben” is the new catch phrase in Sarajevo. The German Sud-Armee is waiting in Krakow for the Russians to extend their supply lines and then to counter-attack. Troops around Koningsberg making their retreat back into the fortress so that more troops can be send south, to aid the Sud-Armee.

Even further to the East:
In the near east, it seems that we can speak of a Mexican stand-off. Although Ottoman troops are still moving towards the Suez Canal, the British are deploying an impressive defense force, while still being able to send a sizable army towards Kut in Iraq. But progress is slow in the desert.

Early spring 1915:
German central command (which I suspect, is lead by a communist) decided that they should deploy a new strategy. The flat landscape of Belgium and France is to favorable to the dug in defenders, especially the famous Belgian flood plains around Ypres. So the German troops in the north are creating the so called Devastation Zones in order to create a favorable position for some of their weaker troops to defend. All positions from the Belgian-Netherlands border towards the area around Ypres are destroyed and the German crack troops are sent south towards Arras and Maubeuge. The fresh German reinforcements are being send to Mulhouse in order to create a breakthrough around Belfort. And after 2 attack waves, the Fortress of Belfort and it’s surroundings are completely surrounded by Germans troops. The road to Dijon and Langras is open. With a bit of luck and the use of airplane formations the Germans also create a breakthrough around Sarrebourg, which brings a large portion of the French army in trouble.
The redeployed elite units from around Ghent are now pushing their way in the British defenses. They first succeed in enveloping 3 British divisions and a HQ close to Arras and later succeed in destroying some divisions from the BEF and the Indian Reinforcements, creating a dangerous position for the British army depending on supply from Dunkirk and the Belgian Army with supply lines from Oostende.

Italian front Early 1915:
The Italians, although quick in joining the war, are slow in mobilizing their army towards the A-H borders. The formidable Alps are in the way of their inexperienced troops and after 4 months into the war they still have to reach the first (collapsed) A-H units.

Meanwhile in the East:
The Serbian army is preparing to attack Sarajevo, but needs to keep an eye out in that massive German SEF. Enveloping the SEF is hard due to both limited troops available and the monstrous terrain of the Balkans.
Germany is still sending troops south in order to aid the bleeding A-H’s around Krakow, but for the moment the Sud-Armee can’t do anything but wait. Wait for the massive blow that will come.
Although retreating into the Carpathians did help a little, it’s feared that it was "too little, too late" and now the Russians are making mincemeat out of the shattered troops. Soon there will be no more A-H army, or Austria-Hungary on any level.
With all the aid they are receiving from the German army in the north, even Koningsberg is becoming a liability. Russians have taken a good defensive position around Warshaw and are moving divisions north to prepare for the big summer attack around Koningsberg.

Even further to the East:
The first battle of the Near East is finally a fact. All parties will suffer the consequences in the many decades to follow.
Russian Caucasian troops are attacking the Ottomans around the Caspian Sea and near the village of Van. It all seems in vain in the deserted landscape of the Caucasian front.
The Ottomans near the Suez canal finally meat their opponent, but fail to attack, Waiting for back-up from Jerusalem seems the better option, and besides..Killing British troops doesn’t really help the Germans at this point. They will need more power in Russia in order to stop the Russian advance into Germany and Austria-Hungary.

Conclusion:
The first year had many surprises for both camps. The allies wimped out on the western front, too scared to sacrifice many troops in a war that quickly looked in vain. This in combination with new air tactics and operational aircraft units made the German advance steady, even if they didn’t commit all there troops to it. Belgium is in hurt and will fall in the British don’t start acting soon. The south of France fears a second Franco-Prussian war and even the loss of even more territory.
The early entry of the Italians into the war helped the allies, as the Italians can act as their liaison towards the East front. Speaking of the East front. A massive mistake was made by firing Conrad (who would have thought that?) and not punishing the Serbian for the killing of their heir to the throne. The Serbian warlord Putnik will be a happy man.
The Russian absorbed their initial losses they way only the Russian can. Just keep sending more units towards the front and plow through (Quantity has a Quality of it’s own). Their tactics seem to work at this time, but unfortunately for the Russians, Tsar Michael has assumed command of his armies, which woke up a certain individual in Switzerland. We will cal him Vladimir L. for now. Bolshevik revolution is already lurking in the shadows.

The rest of 1915 and beyond will tell the whole story.

Cheers, Haring

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Larz Welo
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No more stones. No more spears. No more slings. No more swords. No more weapons! NO MORE SYSTEMS!
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Really enjoyed reading this one and looking forward to your next installment.
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Proudly annoying Capitalists since 1959
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Thanks..I'm half way 1915 now

Cheers, Haring
 
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