Getriddia - Articles written by Professor Agua CalienteEdit
Getriddia, Ellistopia and the Aeolian Islands in 1914Edit
In the late 19th Century, these three French Colonies lagged behind France, remaining politically committed to the Third Empire, despite the premature death of the Prince Imperial.
An obscure member of the Bonaparte family, Jean Jacques Louis Marie Joseph Bonaparte had been appointed as Regent of Getriddia in 1870.
Jean Jacques Bonaparte was only 20 years of age when appointed, and he lived until he was 89, dying in Brighton, England on 14th September 1939. He was therefore 64 at the outbreak of World War 1. His administration was not noted for its adroitness in dealing with attack.
The Premier of Ellistopia, appointed in 1869, was Jules Cesar Asteric Francois Petard, Duc du Pomme de Terre. He was succeeded by his son, Alaric Jules Cesar Asteric Petard in 1910.
The Governor of the Aeolian Islands was appointed by the Third Republic of France in 1900 and was the charismatic leader Georges Kerouac de St Yves, Vicomte de Bragalotte.
MapEditThe map on the right shows the country in 1914. The main routes of communication consisted of the Chemin de Fer Getriddien, which was a privately operated railway connecting Cordon Bleu, the capital of Ellistopia, with Port Paris, the capital of Getriddia and the major towns to the north.
It will be noted that the eastern boundary of both countries was occupied by high mountains and was generally regarded as impassable, except where the river from Cordon Bleu flowed in a wide valley from Freiesland.
Armed Forces in 1914Edit
Officially the armed forces of Getriddia, Ellistopia and the Aeolian Islands consisted of the 8th Territorial Army and the American Flotilla.
In practice, both were significantly under strength.
The American Flotilla consisted of two battleships, Trocadero and Ligny, both of which, Naval Historians will be interested to hear, were sister ships to the Grammarian Battleship Paraphrase. In addition there were five gun-boats, each of 2,000 tons, colliers, supply ships and pilot boats.
The American Flotilla was based at Port Oeil where there were fitting docks and workshops. There was also a major railway connection to the coal mines in Ukhanistan to the North.
Ukhanistan and the NorthEditThe map to the right shows Ukhanistan as it was in 1914, with the French names for most places.
The Coal Mines in the Getukh Valley may be seen. They had enormous strategic importance since they are the only coal mines in the French possessions in Aels.
The River Ukhrazy is also shown, flowing from Namijistan through the great Plaine du Nord which provided food for most of the colonies. Houpplande was a vitally important port from which food was exported to America.
The Golfe Josephine provided fish in abundance through the ports of La Longue Plage, L'Ouverte and Sauvetage-au-bord-de-la-mer (On the coast near Sauvetage)
The Northern Garrison (La Garnison du Nord) was stationed at the riverport city of Courgette.
Military Commanders in the FieldEdit
Le Chef en Générale de la Puissance Getriddien (Commander in Chief) Monsieur Timballes Beauvilliers
and his Adjutant-Générale, Generale Croquette de Veau.
Le Chef Générale de L'Armée du Nord (Commander in Chief of the Army) Monsieur Pate de Fois Gras
and his Adjutant, Monsieur Générale Coquilles Saint-Jacques.
Le Chef Générale de L'Armee du Sud, Monsieur Générale Tourte de Truffes a la Perigourdine
and his Adjutant Monsieur Générale Jambon Persillé
Monseigneur Le Grand Amiral, Salpicon de Chou-fleur, Comte de la Squelette and his Chef d’Office (Chief of Staff) Flan de Foies de Volaille Chavette.
The Aolian IslandsEdit
The Aolian islands were originally almost uninhabited, except for a few Tropicopians living on Aolia and Aillette.
They are, for the most part, low lying and unproductive, but latterly they have been improved by the addition of trace elements to the soil.
In 1914, there were four main settlements, Archaia, Ancienne, Aperatif and Accord. Aperatif, on Aolia was the largest and was defended by a stone fort mounting seven 13 pounders. The fort overlooked the harbour, which could accommodate only ships less than 10,000 tons displacement.
The Conduct of the War.Edit
The Northern Front - Azlatanas PassEdit
The first action of the war was the despatch of the Northern Army under General Pate de Fois Gras. The army of 300,000 travelled up the Ukhrazy river into Azlatan and then via the Azlatanas Pass into Tranas, there to meet with the Azlatanian army of 200,000.
Bidet is a French Colonial city on the river Ukhrazy, noted for its fine porcelain. L'Armée du Nord is posted along the river, with divisions at Courgette and Trois Bicyclettes. The Commander in Chief of this Army, Monsieur Générale Paté de Fois Gras, has elegant offices in the Hotel de Ville where he is now sipping his morning chocolate.
There is a tap at his door and his Adjutant, Monsieur Générale Coquilles Saint-Jacques enters.
"Bonjour, M. de Fois Gras."
"Bonjour mon brave Coquilles. Ca va?"
"Monsieur, I have orders from M. le Gouvernor. L'Armée du Nord has the honour to begin the hostilities."
"Excellent!" de Fois Gras tears open the envelope and reads the contents avidly. Then he looks up at his Adjutant.
"Coquilles, we are to mobilise the Northern Army (L'Armée du Nord) and advance up the river Ukhrazy and invade Tranas through the Azlatanas Pass. There we shall rendezvous with our friends the Azlatanians (British?) and Freiesland will fall."
"Immediately, mon Generale! I suggest that we gather at Trois Bicyclettes and march from there. The supplies can be sent up the river by steamship."
"D'accord! Send for the commanders. We will hold a conference in Trois Bicyclettes in five day's time."
Azlatanian border: The men guarding the pass into Azlatan are ordered to prepare to invade. In addition to invading, they will be supplying Namij resistance and recruiting local fighters along the way. But first, a preparatory barrage for one week with heavy artillery will be used before the actual crossing. A message is sent to the Azlatanian embassy in Petoria to be sent to their homeland: Look at what we have done in the Plains of Denethier, if we will do that to people under our own rule, think what we will do to your people. Break off your alliance with Denethier, pull your troops from our border, and do not help our enemies, and we will not attack.
The Azlatian Army watches the bombardment of the Freieslanders with anxiety. The incessant bombardment of the pass has reduced the roadway to rubble and has made the rocky fields almost impassable to motorised traffic or horse-drawn artillery.
The Army, under General Richardson, simply withdrew from the area under bombardment and waited. To avoid their own artillery fire, the Freieslanders could not advance, and when the barrage ended, it was a race to see whose infantry could seize the shattered countryside.
General Richardson had wisely deployed light artillery and machine guns to the sides of the pass and fire from these hindered the Freieslanders. The Azlatians were confident and effectively re-occupied their machine gun posts and trenches, secure in the knowledge that the Getriddian North Army was approaching from the North.
The local Namij population have been leaving the Pass in great numbers. They have seen their farms and homes destroyed by the Freieslanders and, enraged by this treatment, are volunteering to join the Azlatian army in numbers.
It should be noted that the Azlatanas Pass is very wide and is occupied by the headwaters of three rivers. The Ukhrazy, which flows north and west through North Getriddia (Ukhanistan) and the long river flowing south through Freiesland (The Freie River) are the two major rivers.
Freieslander forces at the Azlatanas pass are ordered not to invade. Instead they are ordered to hold their position and make defensive positions.
The Southern Front - Freieget PassEdit
To the south, on the Getriddian border at the southern pass, troops are ordered to do a surprise assault. Within thirty
minutes of receiving their orders, the men are ready, after an hour they are well on their way marching into Getriddia. This offensive has very specific orders, do not harm any civilians who do not first attack you, and fight all the way to the colonial capitol. Soldiers that surrender are to be given quarter, sent on trains to a place away from the fighting. Civilian facilities are not to be harmed, including factories and railways. Every unit they encounter is to be allowed to surrender, and no executions are to be held without due cause.
The sudden attack by the Freieslanders has taken the Armee du Sud by surprise. The invaders have come sweeping down the river valley and are within striking distance of the Capital, Cordon Bleu. The Premier (Alaric Jules Cesar Asteric Petard) has evacuated the government to D'Aggre.
Meanwhile, Le Chef Générale de L'Armee du Sud, Monsieur Générale Tourte de Truffes a la Perigourdine (General de Truffes) and his Adjutant Monsieur Générale Jambon Persillé (General Persillé) have ordered a counter attack.
The defences of Cordon Bleu have been occupied and the 15" gun-howitzers are ready in their concrete bunkers and the battle-cruiser "Sauvetage" has been anchored in the river (OOC: My God! what a stupid idea!)
However, more seriously for the invaders, the Army Division from St Elmo to the north and the Army Division from D'Aggre to the south have attacked ferociously. The Cavalry St Louis executed a magnificent charge and over-ran a Freieslander force near the village of Chouette-de-Bruxelles, although they suffered heavy casualties.
On the southern side of the river, the Infanterie Gras overcame all resistance and reached the river, cutting off Freieslanders who had advanced too quickly. Meanwhile, the Light Artillery and Heavy Dragoons have advanced up the valley towards the Freieget Pass, despite resistance from the enemy.