The Glorious Sixth [Germano-Gallic Theatre]

Discussion in 'The World Stage' started by Engellex, Apr 8, 2011.

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  1. Engellex

    Engellex Well-Known Member

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    GLORIOUS AND GREAT WAR
    FLANDERS-HAINAUT THE ANNEXATION

    Lille, Province of Flanders-Hainaut, Empire of Great Engellex, 22 January 2012

    On the afternoon of 22 January, the day of the Grand Duke’s formal entry and proclamation in the city of Lille, the frosty sun sparkled on the city’s burnt out and frozen rooftops. Three ribbons of fully equipped troops (not ceremonial) bordered the six mile line of march, holding back the crowds. Every balcony and window above the street was jammed with people, not all of them happy, some waved the flag of the defeated Kingdom of Montelimar but had their shouting heavily drowned out. At one o’clock, the first battalions of the 1st Royal Dragoons cavalry rode into the streets, forming the van of the procession. Those watching from above could see flash of the afternoon sun on their golden helmets with the red plumes and cuirasses. The Golds and Royals, the cavalry guard of the Grand Duchy, came next, wearing tunics of black with gold braid beneath their cuirasses, their sabres held out as they marched. Behind the Golds and Royals rode the nobility of Flanders-Hainaut in gold braid and red sashes with jewelled medals sparkling on their chests. Then, on foot, came the Band of the Tenth Great Engellexic Army, playing the Grand Ducal March.

    The appearance of the nobles of Flanders-Hainaut signalled the coming of the Grand Duke. He rode alone, on a black horse. Unlike the lavishly costumed ministers, nobles, and aids who wore medals, the Grand Duke dressed in his ceremonial army uniform with a crimson sash and the medals of orders, rather than military. His face was plump and pale with excitement and he reined his horse with his left hand only. His right hand was raised to his visor in a fixed salute. Behind the Grand Duke rode more cavalry, other dignitaries of Flanders-Hainaut and Wantage. Then came the sound of the roaring motors of an armoured column of fifteen tanks and an overhead flypast but a squadron of F-16s. Suddenly a rumour quickly circulated that a bomb was to go off during and near the procession. People began to run. The lines of troops forming the barriers to keep order were pushed into the chaotic mass before orders were given to fire into the air. Men tripped and stumbled into the gutters. Women and children, knocked down in the mass of rushing, pushing bodies, felt feet on their backs and heads. Their noses and mouths were smashed into the paved ground. Over the mutilated, suffocating bodies, thousands of feet relentlessly trampled.

    By the time the soldiers and police restored calm, the streets resembled a battlefield. Hundreds were dead and thousands wounded. By the late afternoon, the city’s hospitals were jammed with wounded. The Grand Duke was stunned. His first impulse was for the show to go on. He declared that he will still attend the ball being given that night by nobles of Flanders-Hainaut, and the proclamation will be made, his ministers agreed with the course of action suggesting that cancelling events would magnify the disaster. I expected the engagements to be called off, a general remarked back to the Chief of Imperial Staff. Instead it took place as if nothing had occurred and the ball was opened by his Highness dancing a quadrille. The Grand Duke’s first action though was to order a lockdown on reporting the disaster, I am expecting you to control the gossip of Lille, he informed the governor. No foreign journalist can be allowed to enter the city. I also what you to oversee a censor of everything in the press here, the newspapers will only be allowed to print what is decided as the official situation. The governor nodded and carried out the orders.

    At the end of procession, the Grand Duke walked toward the city hall. He climbed the grand steps of the traditional Montelimarien baroque civil building with his wife, turned and with a bellowing voice of typical Wantage accent made the Proclamation of Flanders-Hainaut Annexation that lasted thirty minutes. From the assembled military band roared a mighty anthem of Wantage. From the muzzles of artillery, thunder rolled across the city. Above everything, making it impossible for a man to call out an objection, charged the engines of another flypast. Later that evening, among the three thousand guests who dined at the banquet and ball, among the Grand Duke and nobles, ministers and other officials, were many commoners – industrialists, professors, police chiefs and so on, all from Flanders-Hainaut. They were being honoured as new subjects of the Grand Duke, and the Queen-Empress. At the proclamation ball that night, the town palace in Lille shimmered with lights and music. The gowns wore by the women were considered shocking given the circumstance. There were tiaras, necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings, some with large brilliant stones. The Grand Duchess, the aunt of the Queen-Empress, was covered in rubies. The Grand Duke himself sponsored a large display of diamonds. That night the entire city of Lille enjoyed an unusual effort by the Engellexic military administration. Through the use of the Engellexic Red Cross a ‘bounty’ had been arranged by the Grand Duke – cakes, fruits, sweets – were handed out along with typical rations, a trifle but a significant gesture.

    After the proclamation, the Grand Duke was expected to oversee a ministerial meeting Lille the next day. A Junior Foreign Minister for Danmark had arrived to meet their Engellexic counterpart in Lille to discuss preliminaries between the two countries. The Grand Duke was waiting for the Danish on the steps of city hall with Sir Maurice Crawley, the Engellexic Junior Minister for the Northern Department. Despite the great difference in national and political character, the needs of diplomacy may make economic allies of the liberal Danish and more conservative Engellexic. For Crawley’s part, he hoped to secure commitments on trade, something that was mutual, and his counterpart was in need of assurances with respect to Fontaine-Harcourt. The meeting lasted three hours, in two sessions separated by lunching with the Grand Duke and Duchess before they left for their return to Biden, and achieved preliminary agreements with much mutual inclination. Danmark gained influence where previously it had none, and Great Engellex secured support for its trade initiatives amongst other very important matters for post-war; the Queen-Empress hoped to ensure a legacy of peace to succeed the war in Preuti-Borussia.

    As the remaining divisions of the XIV Corps and XXXIV Corps, of the Tenth Army, moved to reinforce the south against the final push, they found an unbelievable scene of destruction along the motorways that led toward the city of Valmy, Bacle-Duc, and St. Etienne. The Second Air Wing of the Royal Engellexic Air Force had been pounding the three cities all with much destruction since before Christmas. By the time the 15th and 16th Infantry Divisions reached Valmy, the capital city was strewn with the burnt out hulks of thousands of tanks, armoured carriers and civilian vehicles, not to mention the vast number of obliterated buildings in the north and central districts, it was one of the ghastliest scenes of the war. At 13:00 on 22 January the 16th ID, the 28th AD, and the 16th Royal Artillery Regiment started the advance for St. Etienne. Armoured brigades were the first to make manoeuvres south. Two armoured brigades skirted the north-east of St. Etienne, blocking an eastward retreat or, more importantly, a reinforcement, the two other ABs with one infantry regiment conducted a direct assault south into the city and the outer districts, the three other regiments of the 16th ID completed its race to the north-west to screen left flank and ensure the city surrounded. Just inside the orbital road of the city, the direct armoured assault ran into a medium tank force. MLRS units of the 16th RAR were the first units to initiate the artillery barrage that preceded the helicopter support that swept in to aid on the ground. The forward advance pushed seven miles into the districts of the northern edge of St. Etienne. The north-western advance of the infantry regiments pursued slowly on the city. They had to be careful as the area was littered with unexploded munitions and mines. The regiments tried to move in and secure the city’s west, but unexploded cluster bombs and Montelimarien mines held them up. The north-east advance paused, with the need to take stock of the situation. They decided to wait until after dark to continue the assault, as it brought them too close to the Lorrainese border. By mid-night the three fronts connected to form a line surrounding the city that was pushing forward.


    In Valmy, the 14th and 44th IDs had nearly completed their objectives for the capital. There were still a few holdouts in the north-east. The cost of subduing the resistance was a bloody one, mutually so. Casualties were in the tens of thousands, not including civilians, and the replenishment of munitions and tanks forced an urgency to conserve elsewhere, notably in the east where Engellexic lines struggled while additional forces were being deployed from Wantage. However, the XIV Corps now faced a very different situation of greater difficulty – restoring order in the city. Elsewhere the most difficult objective still lay ahead. The Tenth Army had already destroyed vast portions of the Montelimarien defensive line in the east. Engaged and not nearly enough defeated the Montelimariens defending the east attempted to demolish and advance through the Engellexic line west of Nancy. The XXXIV Corps’ sledgehammer was now coming down on the Eastern Line. The soldiers of two freshly deployed infantry divisions and one armoured division, along with two artillery regiments, were about to engage the enemy in the largest concerted advance of the Montelimarien campaign. General Patrice Maurice de Mac-Mahon, the 4th Duke of Montcresson, had manoeuvred his divisions to close in on the enemy positions in unison. The intent was to smash into the centre of their position with such force as to splinter the entire line. As the 17th Infantry Division and the 13th Armoured Division methodically closed in on the enemy positions in the afternoon, the XXXIV Corps’ artillery pounded the Montelimariens. They attacked the enemy with massive artillery and MLRS barrages followed by close air support from the Second Air Wing’s F-16s and Apache attacks. Swarms of F-16s ranged forward of the advancing ground force. The 13th Armoured Division was moving directly toward the centre of the defences, just north-west of Nancy. Farther to their north, the 17th Infantry Division would hit the northern edge of the Montelimarien line, north of Nancy, and envelop them into the armoured advance. Meanwhile, the 42nd Infantry Division raced south-eastern of Nancy to bound forward and push the southern edge of the line toward Fontaine-Harcourt, thus cutting the Montelimarien line in two.

    By the early evening, the entire 22nd Royal Artillery Regiment was refuelling and making preparations to turn south and reinforce the 42nd’s line north of Fontaine-Harcourt.
     
  2. Engellex

    Engellex Well-Known Member

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    THE GREAT WAR & HOME FRONT
    NANCY, FONTAINE-HARCOURT, ST.ETIENNE AND SUTHERLAND

    Sutherland, Empire of Great Engellex, 23 January 2012

    The Lord Grey of Hampstead was appointed Governor of Sutherland in 2009 after his predecessor fell from grace during a scandal of office. As governor he held special powers to maintain the Sovereign’s Peace in this very troubled industrial city. He permitted no political assemblies of any kind, with students restricted to certain districts of the city to prevent political agitation. It was impossible to give a party for more than a few people without having first received written approval from the Governor of Sutherland first. The city was also unique in being one that had the largest percentage (32%) of foreign born people, it was especially unique due to the fact that Great Engellex had low national average for foreign born people. Sutherland’s forty-five thousand coloured people were a special hatred of the city’s establishment. In a bitter cycle of repression and retaliation, coloured peoples were driven in numbers into the ranks of crime and minor terrorism that had become part of the daily life for Sutherland. Under Lord Grey the constabulary were encouraged to turn a blind eye toward acts of racism. On 23 January Lord Grey’s policy led to the most shocking incident of recent history for the city. Despite Great Engellex being one of the largest agricultural producers on the continent, and an exporter, food prices skyrocketed from the war and Parliament refused to do anything about it. The situation proved to become a bomb for social unrest around the country. A mob of several hundred poverty stricken working class men and women formed from the several notable back streets of the inner city public houses and rampaged through the ethnic districts of Brixton Common and Heath. Seventy-three, mostly black, men AND women were murdered with hundreds of terraced housing alight, almost an entire housing estate. The constabulary did not intervene until it was urgently required, for the purpose of putting out the devastating fires.

    Lord Grey of Hampstead was immediately dismissed and later summoned before a Court of the Lords in Dulwich on charges of sedition. The governor’s dismissal did not calm the agitations of the working classes. Lord Grey had much support from the white Engellexic people of the lower order in the Sutherland-Humberside Industrial Area of Went, and with the encouragement of disillusioned constabulary officers and chiefs, a second act of the violent uprising occurred from the neighbouring city of Humberside. The movement was being guided by an array of illegal union officials and armed philosophers. The strategy of the so called intellectuals was to channel the economic grievances away from the state and toward ethnic minorities and the general direction of the Empire's international enemies. The charges against Lord Grey sent a violent wave of protest against economic and social mismanagement. In Humberside, a very significant industrial city, a serious strike at a huge textiles estate escalated to a solidarity movement at a neighbouring industrial estate which in turn was a cause for thousands of disillusioned workers abandoning the factories. This marked the beginning of a period of bitter labour strife that spread throughout many of the country’s industrial centres. Only in the early evening of 23 January did the Cabinet become informed of the masses forming and demanding the release and return of Lord Grey. The ministers met hurriedly at the War Ministry with the Queen-Empress to consider the problem. The Home Secretary, the Earl Grey, noted the serious situation of constabulary numbers in the Sutherland-Humberside area to contain and put down the unrest. The Cabinet and the Queen-Empress could think of nothing to do except deploy two regiments of the Royal Blue Guards – the guards form part of a special military constabulary for this specific purpose.

    By now, the Federation command throughout Europe would have received reports from southern and eastern Montelimar. They should be aware of the fact that the Engellexic forces were sweeping around Nancy, and St. Etienne, and moving against Fontaine-Harcourt. The Montelimariens had been frantically repositioning units in the east. A Montelimarien armoured division had been moved into blocking positions along the motorway from Nancy to Strasbourg. Another division was dug in to its right further north, to protect the northbound motorway from Nancy. The two divisions had extended a new defensive line cutting a speedy advance from Nancy to Strasberg. What was left of the Montelimarien units engaged against the 17th ID and the 13th AD around Nancy occupied hasty positions to the north and north-east of Nancy, supporting the second defensive line. The commanders in Strasberg hoped that the retreating units were able to stop the Engellexic advance long enough for the remaining forces in the north-east – to the far east of Chambery – which were held and not pursued by Engellex, to retreat east by the motorway through the mountains and reinforce the positions west of Strasberg.

    Leading the XXXIV Corps, three hundred twelve main battle tanks and more than three hundred infantry fighting vehicles of the 13th Armoured Division and the 17th Infantry Division rumbled east toward the Montelimarien retreat and western Strasberg. General Sir Patrice Maurice de Mac-Mahon had ordered the XXXIV Corps to advance cautiously. In the early afternoon, the 102nd Armoured Brigade encountered and engaged elements of the retreating enemy from west Nancy before encountering dug-in armour and infantry closer north. At 16:32 the 102nd AB had destroyed five tanks. At 16:00 the 18th Hussars and 104th Regiment were ordered to advance south-west of Strasberg, against the northbound motorway from Nancy into the Montelimarien line; the 102nd and 100th Regiments were order to proceed south-east of Strasberg, cutting across the Strasberg-bound Motorway for the defensive line. As the 17th ID approached the Strasberg Line at the two approaches, the concentration of Montelimarien forces began to dramatically increase. By 16:37, the 18th Hussars had come under fire from the enemy occupying a village west of the northbound. The soldiers returned fire and kept moving forward. Artillery rounds began falling on the 18th Hussars’ advance; they continued to plough forward. At 16:46 the 102nd Regiment approached an enemy bunker that lay directly in its path of advance. As the troops closed in, the defenders, very few of them, dropped their weapons and came out to surrender. The soldiers of the 102nd Reg ignored the surrendering enemy and continued to push forward. The 100th Regiment encountered a line of dug-in tanks just south-east of the 102nd Reg’s advance. The troops moved forward and attacked, partially through a minefield; by 17:01 close air support was being requested as the 100th Reg came under severe resistance. Four F-16s of the Second Air Wing allowed the destroyed enemy tank count to hit thirteen.

    By 17:30, the advance of the 17th ID had destroyed more enemy armour and were attacking their defences north-west and south-west of Strasberg. In the west, behind the 17th ID’s advance the 13th Armoured Division was given the clear to move forward into the more fortified distance between Nancy and Strasberg where the two motorways crossed, the infantry regiments had bypassed them earlier. At 17:45 the main bulk of the 13th AD had smashed through enemy armour and vehicles, moving their position closer to the regiments. The Tenth Army’s helicopters swarmed the enemy lines ahead of the armoured advance and continued an attack against its artillery. Just north of the armour the 18th Hussars and the 104th Reg reached the ordered positions against the enemy line at 18:21. Montelimarien infantry and vehicles were dug in along a stretch opposite the two regiments. The 18th Hussars were the first to open fire with cannon and machine gun rounds that tore into the enemy number. The enemy returned fire, their artillery rounds began to fall around the two regiments, with munitions peppering fighting vehicles across the northbound. At 18:27 the Montelimarien infantry charged forward with few tanks. The regiments held position, mowing them down, but the enemy fire increased with artillery rounds exploding against Engellexic positions. By 18:42 the two regiments were trying to hold ground against a focused enemy advance across the northbound motorway. The 18th Hussars and 104th Reg would hold their ground, just about, with losses in the thousands and severely depleted munitions. In the course of the battle the two regiments destroyed twenty-three tanks and thirty other vehicles. The soldiers had killed or wounded more than an equal number by far, aided by the relentless air support from the Tenth Army’s helicopters.

    Just south of the of the two bogged down regiments the 13th AD was led into the battle at 18:59, smashing directly into the enemy’s centre as the line was showing cracks from the two infantry fronts. The armoured division would have to defeat the centre of the enemy line facing them with frontal attacks and sheer firepower. So, General Sir Patrice Maurice de Mac-Mahon brought his artillery units in close behind the armoured brigades. From there they could stop and deliver massive artillery support to the soldiers on the frontline. East of the armour the 102nd and 100th Regs and continued their advance into the south-eastern line. Their mission had been, like the other two regiments north, to engage and hold the enemy pinned south-west and south-east of Strasberg allowing the armour to hit west and break their line. As the two regiments approached the line at 17:23, the 100th Reg reported enemy infantry and vehicles to its front. With fighting vehicles advancing abreast the regiment opened fire. The Montelimariens returned fire. Suddenly the two regiments were in the midst of the enemy, a situation not too different from the north. They had run into the heavily defended positions. The enemy infantry were in dug-ins and holes. Both sides increased direct fire, and within seconds a major battle was underway by 17:28. To ease the pressures on the three fronts, and to push the Montelimarien defence into a destructive retreat, the 12th and 7th Armoured Divisions of the VIII Corps of the Second Army had been moving from Chambery since 14:00. The two divisions advanced against eastbound motorway through the Blueridge Mountains to Strasberg; at 19:05 the 12th AD was pressing down into the right flank of the Montelimariens.
     
  3. Engellex

    Engellex Well-Known Member

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    THE HOME FRONT & THE GREAT WAR
    HUMBERSIDE & THE MONTELIMARIEN FRONTS

    Humberside, Empire of Great Engellex, 24 January 2012

    Tuesday morning, with a heavy cloud of black smog that failed to filter out an icy wind from the Gothic Sea, the congregation of the restless working classes continued. From the tightly packed terraces of Humberside the social boil of the country was due to burst at the residence of the Governor of Humberside. Under a coloured haze of national flags, political banners, and empty coal and wheat sacks – to symbolise the lack of affordability, dusty and, for the most part, intoxicated men and women locked arms as they streamed violently through the central streets of the city screaming and shouting slogans of protest. Despite the terrifying display of discontent the mass began to sing the Crown Anthem, Zadok the Priest, as they approached the centre. At five in the afternoon the converging demonstrations neared the residence building. There was no immediate confrontation with the troops and police. Throughout the central districts of the city the demonstrators discovered their way blocked by lines of the constabulary and troops of the Royal Blue Guards. Uncertain what this meant, and anxious to maintain the momentum that was in their favour, the people lunged forward against the constabulary and troops in a very violent and bloodied break of the Sovereign’s Peace. In a moment of unprecedented horror, the discontent found the tables turned as the troops opened fire. Rounds of metal slugs peppered into the bodies of men and women with the constabulary at the top of several important streets releasing a fierce and terrifying thunder of icy water from several cannons. If people didn’t die from being shot they surely will so after having to endure the terrible illness they would no doubt suffer from being hit with hard freezing water in such terrible conditions. The official figures would be put at eleven victims and fifty-three wounded; the actual number was considerably higher. In Dulwich the Queen-Empress was stunned when she heard what had taken place.

    Has the Home Secretary arrived? Charlotte queried one of her petticoats. Yes, ma’am, he has been waiting. The Queen-Empress anxiously waved her hand to gesture for him to enter, in which one of them responded by ringing the bell. Charlotte sighed having read over the report on the disturbance, oh my people – your ideas are very good but I lack confidence in that parliament - I shall do my very best, she quietly remarked to herself as the Home Secretary walked in. After a moment, Earl Grey the Home Secretary clicked his heels to have his presence known. The Queen-Empress turned around and smiled, good afternoon. He bowed at the neck and replied, good morning your Majesty. Charlotte slowly approached him and held out her hand to be kissed, thank you for coming Grey. Noticing that the tired looking sovereign seemed unsettled and unsteady while standing the Earl queried her health, by asking if she slept well the night before. No, she replied, I slept very badly. My heart, those people, she said frowning. I won’t have you worry Grey, the deity will look after me. I understand the soldiers were compelled to fire on the demonstrators in Humberside? The Home Secretary nodded, yes ma’am. This riot of sorts is very terrible, from the lack of basic provisions, ma’am. We had no choice but to send troops to disperse it. They were given the opportunity to forget their premeditated violence, however, they insisted on attacking our cautionary lines. The Earl looked up nervously as the Queen-Empress wearily sat down, both knowing that the most difficult news was about to come. Fifty-nine killed. Two hundred and forty-eight were injured, he declared. Charlotte swallowed hard and looked up at the Home Secretary, the colour in her face drained from a twist in her gut. There will be no retaliatory persecutions, ma’am. I have forbade it. She nodded but struggled when finding her words. It is quite distressing, but I am sure the right thing was done. We must be firm.

    Montelimar, 2 February 2012

    For the first week of the final push, the Montelimarien Army in St. Etienne saw little effect of the air war being raged. Supplies had been arriving less regularly, but the battle was primarily a ground engagement. Each day of the second week, more and more airstrikes were directed at the city of St. Etienne and supplies from Lorraine to the east and the coast to the south were declining sharply to mere trickles. On the 2 February the central command of the Montelimarien defence of the southern city lost contact of a western infantry trench line during an escalated engagement. The trickle of supplies were being reduced to a drip, with communications to the other resisting units becoming more sporadic and difficult. St. Etienne was isolated. Food and water would become increasingly short in supply as the Second Air Wing increases the pressure across the battered city. Every day since the 30 January the artillery and helicopter attacks in the west and north-west districts of the city had become more violent. Around 13:00 on the second day of the second month, the advancement of the 16th Infantry Division could be witnessed by the enemy command at the outermost boundary of the city proper to the west for the first time. The 99th Regiment of Foot of the 16th ID and the 27th Armoured Brigade of the 28th Armoured Division penetrated through an artery of the city, approaching the Montelimarien defensive line. Hundreds of armoured vehicles and tanks moved forward as a three mile column not eleven miles from the enemy’s central/north-eastern fortifications. Apache helicopters hovered above in an awesome display. For tens of resistance fighters, the sight provided their last straw. They threw down weapons, made exit from several terraces, and marched themselves onto an adjoining street with their hands in the air. While the war may possibly be over for these few men, the worst was yet to come for all who remained within St. Etienne. For the 89th RoF, in the east, and the 98th RoF, in the west, they replenished with fuel and ammunition, moved battalions of the 16th Royal Artillery Regiment forward, and waited for the order to resume their advance.

    Just before 14:35, the Chief of the Imperial Staff, the War Secretary, received an intelligence report while in Caen that the Montelimariens had begun destroying bridges along three rivers east of Nancy. It was reasoned that the Montelimariens were to retreat and consolidate in a new defensive line just west of Strausberg. It was immediately order at 14:45 that the third phase of the eastern ground attack be moved forward to 16:00. The enemy could not be allowed to renew a defensive effort. The 12th and 7th Armoured Divisions of the VIII Corps were ordered to advance east into the enemy lines and disrupt them into absolute chaos with every sacrifice. At 14:50 the squadrons of the Second Air Wing were ordered to cover the VIII Corps’ advance with intense airstrikes. By 15:45, the 17th ID had brought three field artillery regiments and two MLRS regiments of the 16th Royal Artillery Regiment forward. At 16:00 the 16th RAR started an intense artillery barrage. During the next hour, twelve thousand rounds were fired in preparation for the advancement of the 17th ID and the 13th AD. The expertly orchestrated artillery barrage began by firstly hitting enemy positions on either end of the Montelimarien line, then bring the focus toward the centre of the line with greater intensity for the forward movement of the 13th AD. The 12th AD punched through the Montelimarien right flank by the early evening and then turned and attacked each succeeding position from either the rear or the flank. Close air support from the Second Air Wing continued to saturate the enemy positions. As each new enemy platoon position was reached, the F-16s would disengage from that enemy position and a company sized force then proceeded to engage. At 20:25 the 13th AD plunged into the central breach point again. Having penetrated through the initial position, the division immediately turned south and attempted to advance along the defensive line to rendezvous with the two southern regiments of the 17th ID to form a new thrust against Strausberg. The 13th AD and the 17th ID used their FV180 CETs to breach the enemy defences. Starting at eight hundred meters from enemy trench lines, the FV180 CETs penetrated through enemy minefields, barbed wire, and defensive fortifications. If the Montelimariens returned fire from the trenches and bunkers, a Chieftain MK.11 or FV432s would engage to keep the enemy occupied while an FV180 CET would progress over the trench while the tanks would attempt to pursue directly over bunkers that were low enough. By 22:00 the Imperial Chiefs of Staff were in acknowledgement of reports detailing casualties in the hundreds, the loss of fifty-one tanks – mostly to the 12th AD – and seventy-eight other fighting vehicles. General Sir Patrice Maurice de Mac-Mahon had ordered, before the engagement, that prisoners of war should be kept within the tens, and it was due to this that only twenty-three Montelimarien soldiers were allowed to surrender. Tens of enemy tanks and artillery pieces had also been captured, though, the reports by no means indicated a victorious battle yet despite advancements.

    Farther south, north-west of Fontaine-Harcourt, the sky flashed with fireballs throughout the early start of the 2 February as the artillery of the 22nd Royal Artillery Regiment and attack helicopters continued to engage enemy positions ahead of the 42nd Infantry Division. The division’s engineers worked throughout the dark hours collecting prisoners and cutting, marking, and clearing thirty lanes for the 42nd ID’s passage.

    The evening of that day, in Dulwich, as if domestic circumstances and the war against Montelimar wasn’t enough, the leadership of the isolated and rogue of Europaland decided to sponsor terrorist organisations from Europa City against Engellex causing the prospect of war to loom. The Cabinet had been summoned by the Queen-Empress on the advice of the War Secretary and the Northern Secretary, and as courtiers shuffled out of her Majesty’s presence a lockdown was initiated in one of her drawing rooms for absolute privacy. You have made great changes since you began your reign, ma’am, started the Sir Anthony Pelham-Holles, and I welcomed all of them; but for some time I have become aware that you have secretly arranged for the extension of suffrage to women and men, absolutely, after the war. Immensely frustrated, Charlotte acknowledged him with her back turned, my opinion of that matter has never been a secret. The limits of suffrage are an insult to every principle the Empire stands for. Before the Northern Secretary could approach the Queen-Empress the Home Secretary, Earl Grey, held his shoulder. Grey also supports extension of the franchise. So, it may seem to some, remarked Pelham-Holles as he looked to Grey and removed his hand, but now you must go to war against the feminist bog. She turned, curious at his reasoning, why? At this point the War Secretary intervened, if only to prevent a personal betrayal by one of her Cabinet, because otherwise, ma’am, the Empire will be humiliated before the eyes of Europe. And what Pelham-Holles means, ma’am, is to ask who will pay for it. The answer, of course, are the land owners, most of whom oppose the extension of the franchise.
     
  4. Engellex

    Engellex Well-Known Member

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    POLITICAL STRIFE OF THE HOME FRONT
    WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE & COALITIONS

    Dulwich, Empire of Great Engellex, 20 March 2012

    It was not just in Christianborg that the mood was severe. Dulwich, too, was suffering from the effects of a harsh winter with mixed national opinion throughout; presently the thick freezing fog that gripped the cities of Hammersmith and Vauxhall seemed to echo the air of concern around the country. When the Queen-Empress addressed parliament last week the atmosphere was sombre and concerned, almost as if the succession of social strife had sapped much of the collective imperial will. The handling of thunderous working classes had already attracted steep opposition across the empire with the leading figures of elected opposition monopolising the text of the Old Testament to argue against the positions of the Queen-Empress’ Ministers with great controversy. Charlotte, too, had added her voice indirectly through the encouragement of leading suffrage groups in Engellex, many acknowledged that a statement published by one was clearly written by the Queen-Empress herself, it chided the Northern Secretary for opposing the extension of the franchise. The week before was unpredictable and politically damaging, but despite the attacks, the Cabinet had managed to survive. Cracks already began to show on the Thursday last, and as the conduct of many prominent ministers and politicians opposed to reforms became great public scandal it was to be only a matter of time before the cabinet would change or fall. Sir Anthony Pelham-Holles, the Northern Secretary, had already called for the sacking of the Home Secretary Lord Onslow and his replacement by someone against reform and although the Home Secretary had been saved by strong public (national) and private (the Queen-Empress) support, Pelham-Holles retaliated on Sunday by signalling his intention to resign his office. On Monday 19 March the threat of resignation still hung heavily in the air but the catalyst for the Cabinet’s destruction – or reinforcement, depending on how you perceive the changes – came from not a Cabinet member but a backbench member of the Whigs in the Commons Assembly.

    During the session of parliament on Monday the banker from the city of Bermondsey and member for that city announced his intention to call for the appointment of committee of the Commons Assembly to investigate the conduct of the cause and those advocating the extension of the franchise. The motion will be debated on Friday and has already garnered the support of some members – unknown and respected – from all sides of the Commons. Despite the abolishment of party whips from parliament more than a century before, Charlotte, the Queen-Empress, privately informed the ministers that the retention of their offices was dependent on the inclination of their vote with the motion following the debate on Friday. On Tuesday, this morning, the Northern Secretary Sir Anthony Pelham-Holles carried out his threat to resign, he argued before the Queen-Empress and Cabinet that he could not vote against a motion which supported his belief that the extension of the franchise to all men and women was a bad idea. Sir Anthony Pelham-Holles will put his case before the Commons Assembly on Wednesday with a statement detailing his resignation from office. The resignation illustrated the mortal damage inflicted upon the political class as it struggled to find unity on the issue of suffrage. Following the resignation the Queen-Empress approached the Leader of her Majesty’s Official Opposition, Lord Charles James Somerset Duke of Nonsuch. Charlotte hoped to appoint a coalition from the Peel and Whig parties with those who support the suffrage extension. The Imperial Hope, as it would be termed within the national newspapers for the following weeks, would face a succession of refusals from both parties before Charlotte could formally welcome a new administration. It will become a remarkable point in the history of Charlotte’s reign as earlier events of her reign forced Charlotte to privately make it clear that an irreconcilable gulf existed between her and the Whig party, but to achieve her ambition and declared intention of female equality she was forced to ignore the trials of the Whig members and employ them. With the resignation formal on Wednesday the Engelleux-at-Arms was tasked with forming a Cabinet on 21 March and set out with the difficulty of accomplishing it. Of the old Cabinet only Charles Foster, Earl of Onslow (Home Secretary), Thomas Grey, Earl Grey (Treasury Secretary), the Duke of Rothermere (War Secretary), and the Crown Prince of Walssex-Battent (First Lord of the Admiralty) agreed to serve the new coalition.

    The greatest changes took place within the Northern and Southern Departments where the two departments and the ministerial positions were combined to form the European & Imperial Secretary; the position was given to the Duke of Nonsuch the leader of the Whig party. Other notable changes included giving the Presidencies of the Public Boards, all five, to Whig members, the Archbishop of Southwark was still in discussion with the Queen-Empress on any possible future remaining within the Cabinet as his portfolios had been given to the Whigs. It was an untried team but many politicos in Dulwich suggested the public would love it. Many newspapers would come to suggest the appointment of the Duke of Nonsuch to handle the country’s foreign affairs would restore imperial fortune and respect as the peer had developed a personal and party reputation of believing in a foreign policy of Aggressive Grand Coalitions of Neo-Colonialism. The Countess of Harringbone had received a guarantee from the Queen-Empress, and signed by the two leaders of the Peel and Whig parties, that she would be appointed Justice Secretary and Lord Advocate of the Crown once the negotiations in Christianborg had been completed and peace signed. It would be the first female appointment to the cabinet, and of great significance owing to the seniority of the position.

    In Montelimar the fall of the old Cabinet and the replacement of several ministers was met with concern, uncertainty and opportunity.
     
  5. Engellex

    Engellex Well-Known Member

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    FONTAINE-HARCOURT
    TO CAPTURE AND OCCUPY

    Dulwich, Empire of Great Engellex, 27 March 2012

    Viewed on the maps in distant Dulwich, Fontaine-Harourt looked an easy enough target.

    Lying at the south-eastern edge of the former Kingdom of Montelimar it seemed to be relatively isolated from the larger engagements near Strausberg (sp?) and open to a swift advance from the 42nd Infantry Division. Encouraged by the ground taken and the necessity of not showing to the enemy – Federation and League alike – that Engellex was suffering a desperate state with its armament supplies in the south-east, having spent almost two months continuously bombarding enemy positions with the artillery regiments against Fontaine-Harcourt, the Imperial General Staff were enthusiastic that the naval city could be directly attacked and captured in a grand aerial-land assault. At the same time, though, the IGS were cautious, having acknowledged the warnings, of pressing an assault further east against Strausberg. Great losses had already been sustained, on a scale like – if not more – than Lille. The Duke of Rothermere, the Chief of the IGS, decided against pressing everything in the east against the heavily, and bitterly, defended Strausberg. Fontaine-Harcourt was another matter. There was a powerful Royal Engellexic Air Force which had unopposed command of southern Montelimar; the 42nd Infantry Division was deployed carefully on offensive operations and it was reinforced by a substantial artillery and attack helicopter presence which had together repulsed the enemy from large counter-strike actions north of Fontaine-Harcourt. The combination of these forces and a growing desire to expand the Engellexic naval presence in the south, for the protection of both trade and Empire, made the southern Montelimarien city an irresistible target. As the Queen-Empress had declared in her address to the House of Lords on Engellexic war aims, back in August, Great Engellex was going to war to check and bring balance to the unjust aggression of the European Defence Federation. If that objective were to be fulfilled, the threat posed by Fontaine-Harcourt had to be neutralised; the Federation proved this with their intrigue against Zadar-Istria.

    During a Cabinet meeting in the evening, the Duke of Nonsuch- while demonstrating the greater inclination of the Whig Party for aggressive foreign policy – put the matter into sharp perspective when he argued that the Empire had to reach the Federation a lesson they would not forget. He argued that the capture and occupation of Fontaine-Harcourt would serve a final nail to the Federation’s coffin (at least in continental affairs) and demonstrate to the Germanic League that Great Engellex is unmoved by the schizophrenic passions of Augsburg. After some hesitation the Queen-Empress, too, was prepared to support the proposals; ever since the city of Augsburg usurped Nurnberg’s power in Borussia and has become an ever increasing problem, in a way the Frankish Kingdom never was, Charlotte had been keen to engage the Montelimariens in the south with a last great victory for the Engellexic Army.

    On Wednesday the Cabinet would meet in Battent Palace in Dulwich to authorise a ministerial command to the IGS ordering them to make ready measures and contingencies for the assault against Fontaine-Harcourt, unless, and Charlotte was keen to stress this to the IGS, with intelligence in the possession of the Engellexic Armed Forces, they should be decidedly opposed to the undertaking due to the belief of a reasonable prospect of no success. While the order was conditional in that the IGS was wholly empowered to use its own judgement, the Duke of Nonsuch’s warnings of regret in any delay were dismissed by the Queen-Empress, who believed the capture of the city would make little difference to the peace proceedings and was purely for symbolic reasoning. While the General responsible for the southern engagements was not lacking in courage he had grave reservations about putting the government’s orders into practice. Sitting in Dulwich the Cabinet was happy enough to recommend an assault and capture – in separate letters the Duke of Nonsuch even suggested dates for this to the Imperial General Staff – but in southern Montelimar, without assurances from the imperial metropolis about the diplomatic and industrial home front, the generals thought it risky business. There was also grave concern on the morale of the army in the south-east and about the delays in the delivery of essential replenishment supplies from Engellex. When concerns from the fronts were mentioned to the brass in Dulwich there were unhelpful remarks on replacements should orders not be carried through.

    During the afternoon of 27 March the Duke of Nonsuch reported to the Queen-Empress that, following discussions with Valery Giscard Pompidou of Mormant and the Duc de Fontaine-Harcourt in Dulwich, it was proposed that the Cabinet and Ministers representing the former Montelimar work towards a second conference which would have for its object to discuss and defuse in separate acts the questions of state organisation and reconstruction which is presently referred to and delayed in Christianborg. Throughout March the ministers to the Danish capital worked assiduously to bring about peace on terms which would be acceptable to Dulwich, Nurnberg and Augsburg, with the Marquis of Molesworth informing the new European and Imperial Secretary that he had not ceased to urge upon the conference the importance of a closer union of agreement between the powers represented for the purpose of securing the settlement of peace. This was all very well by Nonsuch was becoming impatient, with typical Whig fashion. Either the Borussian states recognised the new states and participate in the details or they stand idle and witness their own dramatic exclusion from such proceedings. On the 30 March the Cabinet would meet to discuss the Christianborg proposals and delays. The Duke of Nonsuch would press and achieve an agreement for him to pursue the arrangement of a second conference in Dulwich, the representation would be of Dulwich, Mormant, Valmy, and Fontaine-Harcourt. The expectation of the conference would for a fait accompli to be demonstrated to the Christianborg Conference by way of settling the situation of statecraft, and the formation of the Engello-Preutien League between those states.
     
  6. Engellex

    Engellex Well-Known Member

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    THE DULWICH CONFERENCES
    ENGELLEX TO REGAIN THE INITIATIVE OF PEACE

    Dulwich, Empire of Great Engellex, 18 April 2012

    The Preuti-Borussian peace process involved an elaborate exchange of dinners, balls, and of diplomatic statements between the ministers Dulwich and former Montelimar, within cities of Great Engellex, Montelimar and Danmark, with endless discussions hoped to satisfy disagreements in the detail that maintain the interests of Great Engellex and secure the independence of former Montelimar. A culmination of the preliminary activity saw the production of the Biden Declaration drafted by several Montel ministers, the War Secretary and the Grand Duke of Wantage on Monday at an assembly in Biden that started on Thursday and ended on Monday. Like the diplomatic proceedings that then took place after, in Dulwich on Wednesday 18, they were designed to focus on reconstruction, and economic and political recovery between Great Engellex and the successive Montel states. The wording of declaration was intentionally vague :- the plenipotentiaries of Montelimar agreed to implement the introduction of a new era of unprecedented economic co-operation between the Grand Duchy with formal institutions. The European and Imperial Secretary released a circular dispatch to the Engellexic ambassadors around Europe on how they should convey the developments in Biden; basically ambassadors around Europe were instructed to describe the declaration as a diplomatic victory that will ensure the reconstruction of the continent, economically and diplomatically, that will serve the interests of all those who exist within the region and advance, not undermine, the proceedings of the Christiansborg Conferences. A few ambassadors were told to inform the courts they were assigned to that the Duke of Nonsuch will dispatch a letter with greater detail on the implications and intent on the declaration, of those, the courts of Potenza, Vistrasia, Cantigny were included.

    The Biden Declaration was a lengthy text lacking the precise direction of Engellex’ continental policy, The Duke of Nonsuch had outlined his, and the Imperial Cabinet’s, ideal of the result of the war against the Federation in a letter to the ambassadors of the courts of Potenza, Vistrasia, Suionia, and Talemantros – basically those monarchies of central European position that the duke felt the empire could store trust within. The letter described :- Flanders-Hainaut, as re-established, fully restored to the kin. Wantage. Some ceding of territory to Engellex, the kin. Wissemandie with the installation of HM brother. A principality of Frœschwiller-Wœrth established as a barrier between the empire and radicalism. The kingdom of Montelimar wrested from the Federation and placed under Wantage. At the time of Nonsuch’s plans being penned to those ambassadors they had been reluictantly received by the Imperial Cabinet, and with a deal of scepticism, as a few objected to any actions that would encourage a confrontation with the Germanic League. But, now that Nonsuch was the secretary of foreign affairs, the Federation had been relegated to the dusty confines of history and the hardships of winter were coming to an end, the prospect of an expanded war did not seem impossible at all. Behind the scenes of the Imperial Cabinet there were vocal supporters of a broader continental war against the successors of the Federation. Sir George Harringbone, a nationalist member of the Commons Assembly, penned an article for a popular illustrated paper, the Second Holy Germanic Empire, a Successor to the Second Frankish Empire article, which would prove to have circulated widely by the end of May among the educated subjects and foreigners within Great Engellex. Harringbone argued that Engellex should work harder to involve the entrenched enemies in a war against the Second Holy Germanic Empire – a fast growing term, much similar to that for the Federation, to describe the Germanic League.

    The Queen-Empress was generally supportive to Nonsuch’s idea of using the war to wholly redraw the map of Preuti-Borussia. But she was less interested in the anti-Germanic campaign, which could potentially backfire against the Imperial Crown with spectacular consequences. Moreover, her fear of domestic opposition, which had previously risen to alarming levels during the peak of the harsh winter’s pinch, made her wary of committing Engellex to a path of a long and open-ended war. Charlotte wanted to continue the return of Great Engellex to Great Power status, something which had stagnated since the opening shots of the war. She was a strong supporter of a continental empire, believing that the war was an opportunity to re-align imperial interest and position as compensation for the loss of Implaria-Oceania. But above all she wanted the re-establishment of Frœschwiller-Wœrth, the most pressing settlement issue in Engellex, Wantage and former Montelimar. She believed the Germanic League could be found consenting to the independence of that province as a buffer state between themselves and Great Engellex, whose skill for expansion had been demonstrated by this war, that they no doubt took a keen notice of. But Charlotte held reservations that the independence of Frœschwiller-Wœrth would give new energy to the intolerable fanatic republicans in the mountains, the Wendmarkers. All these factors contributed to the acknowledgement of Christiansborg as a failure and the initiative in Dulwich as the last possibility of peace.

    April was decided a very good moment to continue the course of diplomacy. The possibility of stretching the military in to Saamiskavia and the hardships of the winter had dramatically increased the pressures from the Imperial Parliament to find a conclusion to the continental war. The The Lord Commissioner of Zadar-Istria, Lord Byron, in particular, was enthusiastic to encourage the diplomatic possibilities to Dulwich. The Lord Commissioner feared that the longer the fighting continued the greater risk of a second military struggle over the Zadar-Istrian islands.

    The Dulwich Conferences began, as scheduled, at Nonsuch House – the Dulwich residence of the Dukes of Nonsuch – on the Adelaide Embankment in the evening of 18 April. The Engellexic press excelled at raising the profile of the event, by the early afternoon of that Wednesday several large crowds of excited spectators had gathered along the Adelaide Embankment to watch the arrival of the delegates. The congregated had to be kept back by a stiff line of the constabulary and mounted Royal Blues Guards to allow the vehicles of the Montel dignitaries to pass by and enter the courtyard of the grand Dulwich palace. The delegates arrived from three o’clock onwards, each one cheered with cries of peace and imperial pride as their vehicles passed the front gates and out of view. Dressed in morning coats, it was strict policy, the delegates assembled in the magnificent Queen-Empress Dinning Room – built for the stay of Queen-Empress Adelaide in the early 20th century – where a square table that had red leather secured to its surface by brass studs and armchairs around it had been arranged for the opening conference. The hall became a showcase for the fine style of Europe’s most civilised nation. Velvet crimson drapes dressed the tall windows. The only two paintings were huge portraits of two Queen-Empresses, Charlotte and Adelaide, whose dominating gaze was a constant reminder to the delegates of Great Engellex’ want of Great Power position within Europe.

    Peace talks had been going on since the previous winter, and seemed to be reaching progress by way of the Christiansborg Conferences which were failing, by the time the delegates arrived in Dulwich, the majority of the more controversial issues had already been resolved – especially at Biden.

    Events were not just centred on peace negotiations. The Queen-Empress had also been hosting Alexandra of Cantigny and the Chancellor in Battent Palace.

    The door behind the boisterous Duke of Nonsuch slammed hard, the echo filling the cold and quiet Battent Palace, the Queen-Empress sat at the dresser of her private state room attended to by her Lady-in-Waiting. It was a particularly late hour. You have a gentle touch, Baroness, softly spoke the tired monarch. The middle aged Baroness van der Zieten smiled, thank you, ma’am. Charlotte, with her tall slender figure wrapped in pale satin, watched from the many mirrors as the Baroness prepared her hair for bed, I find it very soothing. And I am in need of soothing, she smiled weakly. Having judged the uncomfortable atmosphere of the cold and silent room, Charlotte copped her head to the side and smiled, we are all out of sorts to-night. His Grace is out of sorts because he has reservations towards the Cannies on their engagement with the Wightland islands, their ambitions, how do you feel about that? She asked, looking at the Baroness through the mirror. Should we trust the empowered Cannies or dismiss this delicate imperial association? She continued. The Baroness smiled again, though a bit nervous, I don’t know, ma’am. Charlotte laughed a little seeing how she was obviously nervous answering such questions, neither do I, but it seems that my cabinet is against the privilege of trust. His Grace the Duke of Nonsuch is particularly angry with their conduct, he believes it reinforces his belief that the Cannie Chancellor is trying to bring down the Empire. Charlotte’s smile slowly disappeared as her eyes sunk from the Baroness to the collection of family photographs in very ornate frames on her dresser, there were ones even of Alice of Cantigny. I try not to care a moment for it, she said in an almost whisper, I especially hold suspicion to their motives in which they declare when engaging my people, but I am so sorry to see Europe in so much distress. The Baroness patiently continued, is that why you are so out of sorts, ma’am? Charlotte looked up quite grave, that, and the feeling Alexandra* is now working outside the imperial fold.

    In the early morning of that Wednesday, the 42nd Infantry Division prepared for its final assault of the Montelimar Campaign of the Great Continental War. Around 05:00, the 50th Hussars and the 91st Regiment of Foot advanced from their forward operations bases north of Fontaine-Harcourt to a hundred and two miles of the coastal city. At 06:17, the 50th Hussars attacked an area south-west of their position designated as Objective Henley. The area was largely rural and the most densely populated towns had a lack of armed enemies, the area was quickly secured. Helicopters belonging to the division immediately began ferrying in the supplies needed to support operations of the 91st RoF and 51st Hussars. By 12:00, the 91st and the 51st were conducting operations in a two-pronged launch. The 91st struck seventeen miles into the western suburbs of Fontaine-Harcourt, and the 51st by twenty-nine into the north, disrupting the Montel Army’s last remaining route of supply and escape. In addition, Apache attack helicopters struck in waves all afternoon along three main motorways that connected the city centre to Danmark, Lorraine and central Montelimar, destroying even more numbers of Montel vehicles used for supplies and ferrying. The Apaches extended their range southwards behind engagement lines, in the urban area, searching for more targets. Armoured targets were few and far between in the south following the heavy artillery and air engagement prior to the assault. By now most Montel were departing the southern city for a route to Lorraine or Danmark by land, travel by sea became highly dangerous due to the presence of the Second Air Wing. After several days of fighting and transporting troops, aviation fuel and ammunition became dangerously low. Air operations, for the division’s helicopters, would be suspended on 20 April.

    [[*Crimson Queen Alice - Charlotte refers to her as Alexandra as to not appear familiar.]]
     
  7. Engellex

    Engellex Well-Known Member

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    ADVANCEMENTS OF PEACE AND WAR Pt. One
    FONTAINE-HARCOURT; STRAUSBERG; VALMY; AND DULWICH

    Former Kingdom of Montelimar, 03 May 2012

    Just before 02:00, pilots and flight crew of three F-16s were roused from stand-by and given orders to deliver a mission of close air support in an area of industrial estate near the Fontaine-Harcourt harbour and docklands. They quickly readied their attack aircraft and headed south-east for Fontaine-Harcourt. Within moments of flying over a devastated Valmy, the second aircraft was hit. The F-16 rotated helplessly out of control while falling incredibly fast toward the ground. The clipped aircraft hit the ground hard and bounced back into the air spinning dangerously through rural landscape. When the mangled aircraft finally came to rest, it exploded into a terrible inferno. There were no survivors.

    All artillery battalions belonging to the 42nd Infantry Division had manouvered along three unequal fronts against central and costal Fontaine-Harcourt – they had been pounding the enemy all night. At 03:00 they intensified the barrage. The artillery fire increased in intensity for the next two hours until it reached a thundering crescendo at 05:00. After 05:00 the division’s artillery continued with sporadic and decreased fire up to the 09:30 cease fire. Yes, one event of great political importance to be declared later in the day from the Dulwich Conferences is an agreed ceasefire, negotiated between the Queen-Empress and the Duc de Fontaine-Harcourt. It is hoped it will allow for the process of peace to become certainly easier. Militarily, Charlotte had been persuaded to the scheme on the basis of reducing the burden on Engellexic troops, after all they had more than achieved what they were deployed to achieve, and politically, it would greatly reinforce the European spotlight on the peace conferences taking place within the imperial metropolis and away from the stagnation of Christiansborg.

    At 03:30, General Sir Thomas Delores, 2nd Baron Delores, held a staff meeting with the Strausberg Front commanders over a secure radio net. He commanded the divisions to prepare for the Eastern Line’s last all out attack of the war, to push the Montel Army to the very borders of Wendmark. The ground attack would commence at 05:00 and last until the cease fire at 09:30. The attack would be preceded by a massive artillery preparation and helicopter attack. General Sir Thomas Delores, 2nd Baron Delores, instructed General Sir Roland Gaucher to guarantee the most spectacular hour long artillery preparation from the 16th and 17th Royal Artillery Regiments. The two artillery regiments would be firing on thirty-seven Montel targets. The attack will involve a regular rotation of two-hundred-forty guns and twenty-eight MLRSs that will increase in intensity as earlier described across Strausberg Front, as the eastern engagement has been termed. At 04:30 the artillery regiments opened fire. One-hundred-twenty guns and fourteen MLRS launchers pounded the Montel positions with thousands of rounds before withdrawing for the second rotation of the other guns and launchers, the entire engagement lasted for one hour. Out of the sudden silence at 05:30, twenty-four attack helicopters swooped down on what was left of the target positions. They swept across the eastern lines, bringing destruction on tens of more tanks, and even more of other armoured vehicles. Then at 06:20, the ground forces of the 12th and 7th Armoured Divisions resumed their attack followed by the 17th Infantry Division and 13th Armoured Division advancing forward. The advancements pushed the enemy into two positions :- against the border region of Montelimar and Wendmark, and within the dense urban districts of central Strausberg, until the commanders of the VIII and XXXIV Corps issued the cease fire at 09:10. Elements of the 7th Armoured Division stopped within twenty-nine miles short of the Montel-Wendmarker border, with the whole division being responsible for the destruction of over a hundred enemy tanks and armoured vehicles in the final hour to secure Eastern Montelimar.

    Nearly ten miles ahead of others one regiment of the 12th Armoured Division held blocking positions on a motorway leading north out of Strausberg. Montel soldiers continued to attempt to retreat north along the motor thoroughfares only to find their flight to safety blocked by Engellexic armour and troops. Most of the fleeing enemy surrendered immediately, with no stomach for death. Others skirmished with the soldiers, though some of them, too, surrendered. By 08:00, regiments of the 12th AD around Strausberg had detained over a thousand prisoners. Finally, at 08:45 the same regiments resumed their Strausberg advance, taking objectives within the central districts of the battered city. At the reach of 09:00 the 12th AD remained centred on the city with their earlier achieved positions. They would spend the next two weeks consolidating the defensive position of the Engellexic Army, collecting and administering the prisoners, and begin the restoration of normality to the citizens of Strausberg. As the cease fire came into force, the 17th Infantry Division was still confronted by hostile Montel units. While the orders were to avoid combat as much as is possible, regiments of the 17th ID continued to advance, consolidate the defence of secured positions, and demand the Montel enemy surrender.

    At 10:00, the 42nd Infantry Division was ordered to move on previously established lines to secure every inch of Fontaine-Harcourt. A rifle company of the 91st Regiment of Foot advanced south-easterly toward the city’s administrative centre, its town hall. The area was devastated with wreckage and the building itself had clearly been hit with multiple artillery rounds. A second company moved to secure a zone of the docklands district; just before 10:12 the soldiers approached the said district and encountered, through a mangle of debris and partially damaged complex, a number of Montel soldiers hurrying to man defensive positions including light gun artillery units. Assistance and use of armoured vehicles was called and allowed the company to engage the resistance. The defending Montel soldiers responded with light arms and RPG fire from dug-in positions. Fire was massed on the lasting targets and the enemy was eventually silenced, though, not without losses. Once the defensive positions were overrun, quite a few other Montel troops surrendered from other positions. By 13:00 the 42nd ID cleared much of the city centre and advanced through to establish a defensive encircle of it, with a stronger aim against the docklands approach. As Engellexic forces pushed through much of the dockland industrial estates, they were fired upon at 14:18 while clearing a warehouse complex of an enemy position. They returned the fire in self-defence. By the end of the day the 42nd ID had advanced south-east to secure one of the last remaining fully hostile parts of former Montelimar, Fontaine-Harcourt. The division was ordered to halt and not advance any further than the city-region. They consolidated their defensive position with a series of armoured check points and several zones evacuated of all civilians, notably the city docklands and warehouse districts.

    The Duke of Nonsuch had informed the Press Corps of the Imperial Parliament, who were also covering the peace conferences, that many grand schemes had been signed that day due for announcement by her Majesty at Battent Palace.
     
  8. Engellex

    Engellex Well-Known Member

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    ADVANCEMENTS OF PEACE AND WAR Pt. Two
    THE ERA OF CHANGE

    Dulwich, Empire of Great Engellex, May 2012

    You have no right, was the argument of Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord before 3 May 2012. The Duke of Nonsuch observed bitterly that the minister’s way of looking at the issue was impregnated by a stiff liberalism through the influence of past Nurnberg indoctrination and the poor health of mind having been so closely seated to Preuti-Borussia’s republican bastard – the Free State of Wendmark. This was a very wayward description of the minister’s entirely legitimate argument. He had correctly state the most obvious position. That Great Engellex had no right neither claim to legally administer any policy or law to the territory of Frœschwiller-Wœrth. Nonsuch ran into the opposition of Charles Maurice and immediately blamed the state which embodied all the problems within Preuti-Borussian politics, again, the Free State of Wendmark. Of course, these were private exchanges that took place within the four walls of the Dulwich Conferences. The Duke of Nonsuch, however, had a second strategy in mind to achieve the dictatorship of Dulwich over Frœschwiller-Wœrth and it involved a close association with a superior, the War Secretary – the Duke of Rothermere, who was also the Engelleux-of-Arms, Field Marshall of the Army, and Chief of the Imperial General Staff. The second strategy culminated with the achievements on the ground in Montelimar on 3 May, prior to the pressures of Nonsuch, the Imperial General Staff were quite reluctant to advance any further.

    With the approaching failure of the Christiansborg Conferences, the Duke of Nonsuch, who had become the new European and Imperial Secretary quite recently, decided in exasperation to work with, not against, the Duc de Fontaine-Harcourt at his Dulwich Conferences – he believed it would be a lot easier to work with the Montel duke than build close association individually with all the other representatives. Nonsuch, as said earlier, clashed regularly with Charles Maurice, with the Queen-Empress pressing the duke to promise her he would not call out the Montel gentleman to a duel, something which Nonsuch privately considered to his wife. Charles Maurice had a low opinion of Nonsuch and Great Engellex in general. Despite the relationship between the two, Charles Maurice served Nonsuch’s purposes perfectly. Since the Imperial Cabinet, and the Queen-Empress, now favoured a Engello-Montel power for Preuti-Borussia, they all naturally agreed to Nonsuch’s pressures for the most possible military advances in Eastern Montelimar – rather than keep to some undeclared line of appeasement to the Wendmarkers – not only that, but since the Duc de Fontaine-Harcourt also strongly disagrees with Charles Maurice, Nonsuch was able to secure a cease-fire on terms more preferable to Dulwich with the duke that would serve to permanently alienate the demands and outcries of Charles Maurice that surely come forth when the Engellexic Army advances on Strausberg, which is what happened on 3 May.

    As a prelude to a solid Engello-Montel establishment, and the Peace of Preuti-Borussia, the Queen-Empress invited the Ambassadors and Envoys of Europe, in Dulwich, and extended invitations to those Federation and Germanic Governments to be represented on 3 May, where they previously decided not to, in the imperial metropolis. It will be the first time in quite a while that Charlotte would host such an event for so many such peoples. At a banquet at Battent Palace, before the evenings ball, the Queen-Empress delighted her Lords, Ladies, gentlemen and the Diplomatic Assembly by announcing her intention to appoint several European leaders to positions within the Engellexic Armed Forces; this included the honorary position of Field Marshal of the Engellexic Army to the Grand Duke of Potenza, the Emperor of Wiese, the Crown Prince of Danmark, and the Prince of Fryslan, for the Queen of Suionia and the Emperor of Talemantros the honorary rank of Admiral of the Fleet, and for Alice of Cantignia the special honorary rank of Marshal of the Royal Engellexic Air Force. Such a list of appointments was unprecedented, but Charlotte felt it demonstrated the theme of the era – Change. She was confident they all would be accepted without issue, once the announcement filters back to their capitals. The appointments were in preparation for another unexpected announcement, during a toast by the Duc de Fontaine-Harcourt to the Queen-Empress, which swiftly revealed the extent of puppetry from Dulwich over this Montel figures, he praised her noble spirit for the signing of a ceasefire between Engellexic and Montel forces in Montelimar, though, nobody expected the latter – or what remained of them – to recognise a ceasefire, that came into effect that day at 09:30. Charlotte delighted in it and, too, made a toast to the courage of the Duc de Fontaine-Harcourt, she found the banquet quite discreet and proper.

    Before Charlotte, and her guests, moved from the banquet to the ballroom the Duke of Rothermere and the Duke of Nonsuch took their leave early from the table, with permission, to personally inspect the ballroom. Their heels resonated in the vast hall, even with the orchestra playing. Within tens of minutes from their inspection the Queen-Empress and the other royals of Great Engellex would be dancing the quadrille with great enthusiasm while the hundreds of other guests sat, stood and conversed around the ballroom. There is trouble brewing gentlemen, observed the Duc de Fontaine-Harcourt to a circle of Engellexic ministers. Quite so, replied the Duke of Nonsuch with glee. With careful eyes on the Wieser and Wendmarker envoys, who were clearly irritated at having yet to be spoken to by Charlotte, the Duke of Rothermere reminded the other two that the Queen-Empress would be deeply offended if they left abruptly. The Montel duc raised a brow, the Queen-Empress pays more attention to the Cannie minister than the envoys of Courts with immediate interest. Again, quite so, Nonsuch remarked. She will force those Courts to consider it a formal slight, Rothermere added. Nonsuch queried what they could do, with the Duc de Fontaine-Harcourt suggesting to Nonsuch that you, your Grace, could cut off their departure. Such gentlemen are surely no match for the Grand Whig, he joked. The Duke of Nonsuch barked a laugh and proceeded to do his duty. Eventually Charlotte found her way to them that evening, and discussed briefly in the midst of a waltz behind her the progress of the Dulwich Conferences and her regret at Christiansborg.
     
  9. Engellex

    Engellex Well-Known Member

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    A FONTAINE-HARCOURT CONFERENCE
    CHARLOTTE TOURS THE WAR AND EXTENDS THE HAND OF DIPLOMACY

    Fontaine-Harcourt, Principality of Fontaine-Harcourt, 21st June 2012

    Early in the morning the Queen-Empress, dressed in her freshly laundered and trim uniform of Marshal of the Royal Engellexic Air Force, climbed aboard her designated airplane at a REAF airbase in central Walssex-Battent and headed toward the battered Montel city of Valmy. The day would be quite remarkable, and unprecedented in modern monarchist history. The Queen-Empress, Charlotte, was going to personally lead a meeting with those Montel parliamentarians and ministers still quite loyal to the old regime. The royal aircraft moved swiftly through the bright blue sky, the First and Second Air Wings in full force over Montelimar, with a personal escort from Engellex airspace of twenty attack aircraft. As they entered into central Montel airspace the ground beneath was quite obscured by grey-black smoke from the war devastated urban areas to the west and north of Valmy. It wasn’t long, the captain began the descent for landing at a fully secured and functioning city airport. The Queen-Empress’s plane landed at 07:00 and taxied along the tarmac toward a host of helicopters and an honour guard of five hundred Engellexic regulars who were quite cheered from the presence of their Sovereign; it was a rather odd sight, however, with the soldiers in full combat-camo and armed while the Queen-Empress wore ceremonial uniform. Charlotte could see the burning capital from the tarmac, the former metropolis of the Franks. The Duke of Rothermere, the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, wanted to show the enormity of the Engellexic victory, and assumed the position of an informal tour guide as the helicopters took off. There were twenty helicopters in total, and stretched the resources somewhat, which the underlings of the Imperial General Staff gave criticism of. At about five miles east of Valmy the view of the ground became less obscure. The route within the air would take them past some of the more devastated battlefields, the Duc de Fontaine-Harcourt supported this endeavour as he felt it important that Charlotte appreciate the scale of the destruction that took place. They detoured over Barcle-duc so that Charlotte could see the colourless ruin of the city; after the short tour the helicopters descended on the airfield at Fontaine-Harcourt in the south.

    The Army had moved two divisions into the port city. They set up an impressive array of tanks, armoured personnel carriers, and helicopters to cover the small southern city. The Army had taken over a local government state in the centre of Fontaine-Harcourt. Inside, what they believed was the city hall, a conference environment had been set up with all the fine furnishings the defeated city could offer the Army. Seventeen former and notable parliamentarians, three former ministers, and two representatives of the deposed king were to attend the meeting. They all arrived in their own civilian vehicles from various locations in Montelimar, thought mostly from Valmy, to Fontaine-Harcourt where they were met by the 42nd Infantry Division. A large armoured force awaited the Montel delegation at the city checkpoints. They were all instructed to depart their private vehicles and were directed to proceed within a convoy of armoured carriers. Main battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles escorted the convoy front and rear, with aircraft of the Second Air Wing patrolling overhead. The entire route through the city to the conference was lined with more tanks and armoured vehicles, their crews ready to go into battle with the Engellexic flag fluttering over their hatches.

    The scene in the city centre was just as imposing. Tanks maintained a secure perimeter around the deserted district. A squadron of the Second Air Wing roared above them all. The Queen-Empress met the delegation inside the main entrance, having watched each and every one of them be searched before entering the main building. As the necessary security arrangements had taken place, Charlotte led the way into the room for their discussions.

    The Queen-Empress had discussed the matters with the State Council and the Duc de Fontaine-Harcourt prior to the meeting, who, discreet and astute, grasped the situation immediately and agreed with Charlotte that there was only one way of ensuring permanency within the Montel State and that was to incorporate the vanguards of the former kingdom into the systems of governance. If the former administration were to find itself support somewhere with foreign assistance it would cause a much more serious security problem, that the Engellexic Army does not need, and as the Queen-Empress would have to personally handle the affair it would be a most distressing humiliation for her and a triumph for what remained of the Federation. A strong transition that should involve you all, in some measure, will be for the absolute benefit of Montelimar, said Charlotte to them all. At the Montel side of the table the talk grew more and more animated between them, a great frustration for Charlotte. An aged and quite refined parliamentarian spoke how the treaty establishing the new King of Montelimar had already appeared within the political circles of Valmy and that a copy, which he himself had seen, had that day been forwarded by an appropriate courier to the true King of Montelimar. And why the devil should we accept the Duc de Fontaine-Harcourt? Remarked a former minister. He sacrificed his loyalty to the kingdom for personal gain and I cannot feel enthusiastic for the reign of such a character.

    A representative of the Duc de Fontaine-Harcourt, a stout, tall, military officer, evidently devoted to military service and quite loyal to his master, resented such remarks. It is for the reason of the Montel people, my good Sir, he said, and the former King knows that too. He must place above his personal interest and see without indifference the danger that threatens Montelimar, the security and dignity of the people, by not recognising the impossibilities of his continued hope for continued reign. Then with the unerring formal accent that characterised Charlotte so well as a politician repeated a line from a letter sent by the Duc de Fontaine-Harcourt that addresses the matter which they are sat deliberating on. – and the wish, which constitutes, his Grace, the Duc de Fontaine-Harcourt’s aim – to establish permanent peace and prosperity in Montelimar and Preuti-Borussia on firm and deep foundations – has now decided him to dispatch a representative of himself to the Fontaine-Harcourt Conference and to create a new condition for the attainment of that purpose with the honourable fellows represented there. Charlotte finished, drinking a glass brandy with dignity and looking to the Montels opposite for approval. I am quite of his Grace’s opinion, replied another of the parliamentarian group, turning his papers round and moving his glass about with as much decision and care as though he were at that moment contemplating the fate of something rather significant. I am convinced Montelimar must move forward or perish, he concluded, conscious – as were everyone else – after the words were uttered that his remarks were enthusiastic for what earlier had been called the usurper.

    The meeting was particularly short, not what Charlotte originally expected, but she could see little was to be decided then and there, however the door was open to these educated men of the past and Charlotte was confident they would launch themselves at the bait. For the Queen-Empress, and most of Dulwich, the day marked what would be the formal end of the Engello-Montel War as they now all endeavoured to ensure the success of their post-war strategies, that were largely political and diplomatic.
     

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