Part 34: XXXIII. Martin V 1909-1936 A.D.
The year 1911 saw the beginning of the conflict known variously as the Second World War or the Twenty Years War. Unlike the first Great World War, it was not a single conflict, nor were there clearly defined sides. Instead it was a seemingly unconnected series of battles and individual wars that blended together as most of the worlds great nations jockeyed for position and glory.
Surprisingly, the Kingdom of Jerusalem was not seriously involved. Perhaps it was because there was no clear beginning, end, or focus to the Twenty Years War, which was a label only given to it in later decades. Indeed, many scholars have debated the use of the term, preferring to analyze each conflict separately. In any case, King Martin V was a cautious man, and had not tied Jerusalem to any great alliance. Instead, Jerusalem slowly sunk into isolationism, turning her back on the carnage outside her borders.
The first stage of the Twenty Years War began in 1911, when the Federal Republic of Nicholia forced the C.S.N. to cede large amounts of territory. Leon, the F.R.N.s ally in the conflict gained ports in the north east as well as military control over the St. Lawrence river.
In South Nicholia the war was more of a tossup for the F.R.N. They seized parts of Amazonian and Flemish territory, but were forced to give up much of central Nicholia to the overwhelming power of the Scottish Union.
Jerusalem's focus during this period was to finish their work on the Suez canal, which now allowed their navies to quickly and easily move between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. No longer was a long naval voyage around Africa needed.
The Russian's seized more land from the Chinese, while the Scottish Union crushed the remnants of Germania, turning nearly all the German speaking lands into a Scots-Occupied military district.
In 1914, the keels of three great dreadnaughts were laid in Alexandria, to be the centerpiece of Jerusalem's blue water navy.
Russia's victories against China had overextended her strength. Responding to her aggression in the east, the Byzantine Empire and her new ally, the Scottish Union, smashed Russia, forcing her to a humiliating peace. Some in Jerusalem feared this new alliance between the Greeks and the Scots, but King Martin V dismissed their fears. It would not last, he said, nor did they have any quarrel with the Kingdom.
Also in 1914, Orleans took a huge chunk out of the war-weary Federal Republic's holdings on the east coast of North Nicholia.
In 1916 the first of Jerusalem's dreadnaughts were christened and took to the seas.
In 1917, the Byzantines won a short and bloody war against Italy, finally ending the question of who would be master of the Balkins. Meanwhile, the Kingdom of Leon once again trounced the mighty Scots, pealing away more of their colonial empire. It was said the Scots King was furious and began to draw longer term plans for revenge.
In 1918, the Scots sought out new colonies in the increasingly strife torn territory of the Amazonian Commonwealth.
In 1919, despite having less support then India House, the New Renaissance party won control of the Parliament in Jerusalem. There were many accusations of corruption and vote tampering, but no solid proof was ever found. The disquiet eventually settled down or was dismissed as a conspiracy theory.
The next few years also saw Jerusalem's only involvement in the two decades of blood and horror known as World War II. The tiny, independent rump state of Beroda was portioned between Jersualem and China, and the native dictatorship on the island of Brunei was annexed.
In 1921, Orleans, hoping to further humiliate the F.R.N. invaded them again, pushing towards the Mississippi. But by 1924, Orleans had lost the war and gave back half the territory they had originally taken from the Nicholians.
During this period China suffered a series of wide spread revolts from their efforts to modernize, and lost control over large areas of their nation. The Scottish Union, meanwhile, took their revenge against Leon, invading not their colonies, but Leon itself, forcing the Leonese King to surrender nearly a quarter of his homeland. If they had not been before, the Scots were now the undisputed masters of most of Europe.
By 1925 so many had died across the world that the term the 'lost generation' had been coined.
Formal relations with China began to suffer greatly as preachers and jingoists decried their pagan 'immorality' and strange practices. Behind the scenes, though it was a different story. Russia was, once again, threatening China. Keeping the project as quiet as he could, King Martin V began to send military and technological advice to the Chinese to help them resist the Russians. The Russian's bad luck continued as Orleans trounced them in yet another bloody stage of the Twenty Years War.
In 1928, the entrepreneurs in Jerusalem perfected a method of putting sound to the new technology of motion pictures, perfecting the 'talkie'. The first major movie released with this technology was an epic retelling of St. Louis the Great's crusade against the Mongols. In a world weary of the realities of modern warfare, this chivalrous and idealized retelling found box-office success across the world.
The Twenty Years War was slowly coming to a close. The Confederate States of Nicholia won a great victory against Orleans, taking not only most of their Nicholian possessions, but annexing a large swath of African coast as well.
Not ones to rest on their laurels, the CSN followed up their victory by invading the war torn FRN, taking back the lands they had lost at the beginning of the Second World War, and more besides.
The inevitable Russian invasion of China had wound up being a massive failure. The modernizing Chinese armies pushed the Russian troops back and began to gain increasing ground. In late 1932, Russia surrendered to China and returned much of the lands they had stolen from them over the years. By now the vast, poor, underindustrialized Russians had earned the nickname 'the Sick Man of Europe'. This last conflict was generally seen as the close of the Twenty Years War/World War II.
But the world would not get too long a respite. The seeds of a new and more terrible conflict were germinating…
Several nations, including the Federal Republic of Nicholia sank into the darkness of Fascisim during the early thirties. But the most troubling of these was the Scottish Union.
For years the subject peoples of the Union's European holdings had grown increasingly restive. The people of occupied Leon waged guerrilla warfare against Edinburgh, while the conquered people of Germany and Scandinavia agitated for independence. Even the people of Scottish France, who had been part of the Union for centuries had begun to call for their own state or a union with their brothers in Orleans.
The new Scottish King, James IX, was inclined to listen to their requests. Scotland's overseas territories had become more and more expensive and difficult to maintain. James IX envisioned a sort of Scots Commonwealth, and increased autonomy for the Union's subjects. But the wealthy and powerful of the Scots Union despised this idea, and in the summer of 1933, the Scottish Fascist party seized the government and the King.
James IX was reduced to a purely symbolic role as the head of state, and all real power was taken by the self-styled Laird Mccullough. A new flag, incorporating a stylized Celtic cross took the place of the old Union Jack.
The new Scottish flag
Laird Mccullough began to envision not just maintaining the Scottish holdings, but expanding the Union to a vast and global Scottish Empire. Slowly and surely, Scotland began to draw its plans for World Dominion, and civilization hurtled towards a new and terrible era.
In the summer of 1935, King Martin V breathed his last and was laid to rest with the other Kings and Queens of Jerusalem. His eldest son took the throne and became Baldwin XVI.
King Baldwin XVI
Although disturbed by the rise of the fascists overseas, few in the Kingdom of Jerusalem could imagine the horrors to come. Even King Baldwin XVI, more troubled then most, could hardly imagine the truth…
The Last Days were coming:
OF THE SAGA OF
THE KINGDOM OF JERUSALEM
OF THE SAGA OF
THE KINGDOM OF JERUSALEM
IN HEARTS OF IRON 2