Development Update I: Fate of Nations
Welcome to the first Dev Update for The New Order: Last Days of Europe! This one is light on images and will be more focused on going over the lore of the game, as we’re taking some time to prepare for our upcoming diary: Götterdämmerung where we will be covering Germany in exhaustive, exhaustive detail. It will be by far the largest diary yet, and we may have to delay another week in order to finish it up–we’ll see next week! Nobody should be disappointed when it inevitably drops.
I also wanted to invite you all to our fun little TV Tropes page, here. Feel free to add anything you’ve read about in the diaries!
So, without further ado, I present to you, the map of Europe:
Europe in 1962 is very different than the Europe of previous decades, with Germany having reigned triumphant, the world has changed very much for the worse.
But how did it get here? Let’s begin with a brief history lesson.
The power struggle in the Soviet Union was brutal, nearly bringing the nation to civil war, yet again. However, through the ashes, one contender survived to take power. After defeating Stalin, Bukharin took control, and quickly began a series of free market reforms. These reforms, however, failed and the Soviet economy stagnated and slid into the black, with Russia unable to properly industrialize or form a proper military. The military and politburo remained rebellious, and strong action was never taken, and the Union remained stagnant and on the verge of collapse.
With the Soviet Union in shambles, the decades ahead looked dark for Communism. In the United States, isolationism reigned supreme and never truly lost its hold on the nation. By the outset of World War II, Joseph Kennedy had become president and his anti-war stance greatly slowed the mobilization of the US military, with the US remaining far more neutral than IOTL. In Europe, Germany steamrolled over France and Poland and the Reich saw no need for a pact with the Soviet Union.
Europe stood very little chance against the German colossus and, soon, German tanks were massing on the Soviet border.
In Africa, the situation was just as bad as the Allies faced a string of disastrous defeats that saw the British Army swiftly evacuated from Africa. Claude Auchinleck was blamed for much of it and was to be reassigned to India. When it became more and more clear that England would stand alone however, he was instead called back home, to prepare the final defense of the Isles. The Royal Navy was soon after trapped in the Mediterranean as Fallschirmjäger and Italian Marines captured Gibraltar, leaving England defenceless.
The German invasion came swiftly, and the Soviet Union soon fell back on all fronts. The invasion barely lasted a year and, soon, the Soviet armies had been pushed over the Urals and into obscurity. The Soviet government briefly declared the struggle would never end, before Bukharin and his advisors were arrested after a successful coup and promptly disappeared from the annals of history. Soon after, the situation worsened with Russia falling into civil war and German bombers continually destroying any industry or population centers within the area, quickly turning Siberia into a post-apocalyptic wasteland of bandits, scavengers and mercenaries.
Japan, at the same time, struck at Pearl Harbor. The US was ill prepared for the war, and while the navy was called and the factories soon began churning out materials, the US faced defeat across the Pacific with the military abandoning its bases and holding the line in Australia and New Zealand. Operation Downfall, the proposed last stand defense of Australasia, had undergone preparation in order to hopefully bleed the Japanese dry.
In Europe, American soldiers landed in England to try and reinforce their British allies, but the American soldiers came too late. A German sponsored rebellion in Ireland confused defences greatly and the IRA soon captured several ports which brought German soldiers racing over the channel. What few ships remained to guard the Isles and the RAF bravely defended but did so in vain as German soldiers were swarming over Ireland, and with the defenders reeling to attempt to hold the line, more poured over the southern coast.
The invasion of England ended as the remainder of the British army was forced into Scotland, and Claude Auchinleck surrendered along with his army outside of Carlisle, effectively ending resistance in England.
By 1943, England had fallen, with Scotland, Ireland and Wales soon after declaring independence.
America slowly fell back on all of its fronts, facing complete loss in Europe and Asia. The last hopes fell into holding Australia and finishing its secret Manhattan Project. To the American’s surprise, however, the Germans had built the bomb first. The Japanese allowed a German plane to fly off one of their carriers in the Pacific, straight towards the flag which the Americans had rallied around: Pearl Harbor.
On July 4th, 1944, an atomic bomb fell on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The blast shook the already demoralized Americans to their core. By July 9th, the peace accords were signed, the Pacific was handed away to Japan, along with treaty ports on the Pacific coast, and America was forced to swear neutrality in Europe for the next hundred years.
At first, Germany seemed triumphant. It quickly set upon enacting its many plans, beginning the construction of Germania, the Gibraltar Dam, and other mega projects. The rest of the Axis was forced to bow to the whims of Hitler as he and his Reich turned Europe into a stomping ground for their pet projects. The one project Germany desperately needed work on however, was its economy. Having never been much more than a shoddy house built on unstable foundations, and under the weight of its many projects and its greatly over extended yet ever expanding military, it came crashing down.
The 50’s Crash killed the German economy, and with it, the European one. The Reich soon found itself effectively bankrupt. The Balkan nations, Hungary especially, did not fare any better. The Axis, Italy itself already feeling the strain from the newly completed Gibraltar Dam, spiraled out of control alongside Germany. The alliance soon after disbanded, Mussolini’s last real action as dictator being the welcoming of thousands of ‘undesirables’ from the Reich into Italy as a final insult to Hitler, along with declaring the First Italian Empire.
The German economy was dead, the Axis gone, and Europe reeling. Japan survived, thanks to its economic isolation from Germany, and focused inward, expanding and reinforcing its newfound empire. Germany however was on the verge of a civil war. The banks were privatized in an attempt to right some of its economic woes, and its brutal campaign against the people’s of Europe halted.
Heinrich Himmler and the SS saw this as weakness. The German dream was dying, and Germany seemed to be sliding back into where it was 30 years ago. Fascism, as he knew it, had failed. The killing blow? It had not gone far enough. Creating a new ideology, Ultranational-Socialism, as it came to be called, he and the SS increasingly radicalized and threw themselves deeper into their occultist fantasies.
As the SS armed itself to take the Reichstag by force, a solution was presented. Himmler’s dream of a Burgundian state would be realized, and he and the SS would rule it. The SS would be divided into the German and Burgundian SS, and would remain separate politically, though Burgundy would remain de jure a member of the Reich. The hope was to keep Himmler from German politics, and allow him to entertain his fantasies alone. Himmler accepted.
There was a brief period where it seemed that conflict had been averted, but Reinhard Heydrich’s faction in the German SS soon took control of the organization. Little more than a puppet of Himmler, Germany suddenly found itself in the exact same position. For now, the SS seemed subdued, but there was little doubt that German stability now hung on the whims of Himmler, now ruling from Ost-Paris, the city divided sharply between Burgundy and a furious, and still German reliant, France.
In the Balkans, Hungary was facing near-anarchy as its economic lifeline was soon cut. The Romanians, still lusting over Transylvania, and with the militant Iron Guard and Antonescu ruling, struck a deal with the Reich. Germany would sponsor Romanian and Slovakian intervention in Hungary if Romania ceded Dobrudzja and gave economic assistance to the Reich, the Germans hoping that by sacrificing Hungary, they could satisfy Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania and keep them as allies.
Hungary stood little chance, and Romania was once again whole. The Iron Guard still hungrily stared at the rest of the Balkans, however, and soon after betrayed its alliance with Germany. Romanian troops quickly swarmed into Serbian Banat, seizing the region from the German puppet state. Bulgaria allied itself closer to Germany, fearing further Romanian adventures.
Romania, however, soon saw conflict of its own. While it had expanded greatly, it now faced a guerilla battle against the remains of the Hungarians in Transylvania and the Serbs in Banat, and its economy slowly turned southwards. With the Iron Guard failing to meet this crisis, King Michael I launched a coup along with his supporters, and soon retook control of the Romanian government.
In Russia, as Germany was forced to scale back its bombing campaign and occupation due to the cost, the partisans in Muskowien faced massive success. The A-A Line was abandoned, the Germans falling back and hoping they’d fare better holding on a smaller front. Several Russian states soon began to expand, one of which, the West Russian Revolutionary Front, soon owned most of the border of Muskowien and began launching raids deeper into Germany. Muskowien along with its German garrison soon went to war, and although they were victorious and shattered West Russia, isolating it into Arkhangelsk, the Germans bled heavily for the action, and the eastern garrison never truly recovered.
Germany found a way to right the economy. The massive amount of those it considered to be degenerate were put to use, and turned into slaves. The entire economy became built around them, they would repair wartorn Europe, build German infrastructure, act as worker, servant and soldier where needed. After several years and this slave caste being expanded further and further, the German economy soon stabilized, though remained on life support. The slaves are rebellious, however, and many in Germany fear the day of an organized revolt.
In the United States, meanwhile, politics had greatly changed. The Democrat party was disgraced for the failures of WW2, and collapsed. In its place rose the NPP, the National Progressive Party, a coalition of socialists, liberals and even nationalists. Taking over the old Democrat infrastructure, the NPP represented everything from the American communists to Strasserist-like national-socialists, and soon began challenging the Republicans in national elections. Those Democrats who did not follow these views soon merged with the Republican party, forming the Republican-Democrat party.
As the 1960s began, Richard Nixon of the R-D’s was elected to the presidency. However, American politics has been changing. Revanchism is growing, Americans demanding the return of the ports of Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as Hawaii and the Aleutian Islands, also annexed to Japan after WW2. While Americans are united in this dream, the R-D party has increasingly urged caution, hoping to slowly block Japan and Germany out of the world stage by influencing neutral nations.
Leading the Organization of Free Nations, an alliance of the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Greenland, and Iceland, the United States has slowly began returning to the world stage, trying to find new allies abroad to give it a step against Germany, and, more importantly, Japan, while slowly beginning to rebuild its military. The NPP however demands more urgent action, and has declared that if in power, military expansion and the return of rightful American land will be at the foremost of its goals.
The NPP, while mostly left, has become increasingly influenced by the remains of the German American Bund and a large influx of funding from Germany and Burgundy, steepening the right-left divide in the party, and earning it the nickname, ‘The Radical Party’. While the NPP has not been able to reach enough appeal to challenge the R-D hegemony, the Civil Rights movement has begun in full swing, and many expect it to possibly end up changing the status quo, one way, or the other.
Japan, for its part, has also recognized America’s return to politics and has seen weakness in Germany, and has begun attempting to expand its influence as well. As the US, Germany and Japan have all developed their own nuclear arsenals, the Japanese have moved its navy to station several launchers on Hawaii, which the US Navy has already raced to respond to, beginning the Hawaiian Missile Crisis.
In Germany, while the economy has struggled forward, the nation has fallen behind. The military is in shambles, the slaves increasingly restless, and a generation of Germans has grown up relying entirely on this caste, never having had to work or serve in the military. Influenced by a black market of American music and Italian cinema, as well as large amounts of imported literature banned by the state, they have taken to the streets to vent their frustration against the regime. By 1962, the nation has been locked in almost 6 months of constant protests and riots.
As 1962 begins, Germany soon announced the first good news for the nation seemingly in decades. Its space race with America and Japan, at least according to German authorities, has come to an end. German Raumsonauts have landed on the moon. Despite this, Japan and America both have claimed the space race is not yet over, and have pushed the boundaries, claiming they will achieve things such as the first space station, Lunar colony, and satellite around Mars.
As the celebrations at this victory began in Germania, however, and Germany seemed to face a brief lull in its woes, an assassin struck at Hitler. While the Führer has survived, it seems that the Reich may be facing its greatest challenge yet.
Will Europe survive the aftermath?
I hope you all enjoyed the lore dump and hopefully it helped with answering any questions you may have had! I glossed over a lot of things, places and events, of course, but that’s because I want to save plenty of things for us to show off in dev diaries to come!
Also if the map seems inaccurate in places, it’s because I basically hand drew most of it, so any glaring errors in geography most likely won’t be replicated in game, they simply stem from my struggles when making this. Regardless, I hope you liked it! I may revisit it someday, or make maps for elsewhere, as while I’ve made plenty of maps before, those are normally fantasy ones, and I learnt a lot on this one.
Thanks for reading! And remember, you can find us at our Discord, on Reddit, and the Paradox Forums!
See you either later this month or in January for our largest diary yet!
In which we look at Europe and how exactly Nazi Germany managed to ruin everything.
Posted by AFellowStalker on
Development Update I: Fate of Nations