Here's a new map based on the Monarchy over the Danube AU ( mdc01957.deviantart.com/galler… ), which is in turn inspired by the Hearts of Iron III After Action Report, of the same name ([link]).
While this was the product of several days of after-work editing and tweaking (and for those who've read the fics, it also explains why I haven't been updating them lately), this was originally based on an old world map idea for the AU from a while back that never left the drawing board.
In any case, consider this both a follow-up map to the earlier entries and a remake. As with the previous maps, I took liberties (tweaking the borders and bits of the backstory) from the AAR this was inspired from to make it at more plausible and convincing. Given what happens in the original source (which could be summed up as strange if not "out of character") perhaps it's for the best, no offence to the AAR's author (and thanks once more to him for the inspiration and flag).
Also, this may serve as more of a spoiler and teaser for things to come in the Monarchy Over the Danube AU. As before, I'm very much tempted to called this "Austria and Hungary vs the World."And this time, there might actually be good reason for it.
And as a nod and wink to Hetalia...Just check the descriptions and texts.
Anyhoo, hope you enjoy this!
Over the course of a century, the world has seen changes in everything from technology to politics and society, for better or worse.
But almost no one at the end of the First Great War, let alone at the very beginning of it could have foreseen that their children and grandchildren would bear witness to a new order. One that came from restoring the old one, and from a rather unlikely source: a realm in the heart of Europe along the river Danube.
Here lies the Danubian Federation, still known commonly as the Reformed Austro-Hungarian Empire or simply Danubia. Under the reign of Emperor-King Otto of the old Habsburg dynasty, the first of his name, this self-proclaimed “community of equals” has come a long way from its humble, if relatively dubious and mysterious origins. Since the mid-1930s, its boundaries and lands have grown in a mix of diplomacy, subterfuge and outright war, in an area of the Continent that had seen more than its fair share. But unlike the Empire of 1914, the Danubians had learned from their mistakes.
Almost from the very beginning, reforms and incentives have gradually but surely improved its standing on the world stage. By the time the Centennial Reforms (commemorating the Original Ausgleich) were enacted in 1967, it had in addition to its current name, solidified itself as a genuinely democratic union of realms: a "bastion of order and liberty," as Otto and his compatriots originally envisioned. While the Danubians may not necessarily be the greatest of the world's "great powers" - the Federation's multinational nature has often been described as an confounding political enigma - their economic, cultural and political clout remain influential. In fact, alongside Italy and a revitalized Poland, they are also the primary force behind the Mitteleuropan Bloc, serving as a formidable buffer between East and West. On the other hand, though every Danubian realm is considered equal and their rights - and sovereignty - are respected, it’s long been an unspoken truth that the real power still remains in Vienna and Budapest.
Elsewhere in the Continent, former ideological enemies have long since been welcomed back into the European family. Despite some lingering resentment towards the Danubians, the success of present-day Italy still owes as much to the downfall of Mussolini and his Fascists in the 1930s as to their membership in the Mitteleuropan Bloc. The Germans likewise have long recovered from Hitler and Nazi rule. Although responsible for being one of the main causes behind the Second Great War in 1939, aid from the Entente Cordiale (especially Austria-Hungary) not only allowed the Hohenzollerns to return to Berlin by 1941 but also helped in crushing the last remnants of Nazi influence in the country in the years after; East Prussia meanwhile remained under Polish occupation until the official end of the War in 1950.
The date itself coincides with the official collapse of the USSR, which joined against both the Entente and the so-called Axis Powers in the 1940s. The conflict took its toll on Stalin’s regime as the Soviet regime found itself increasingly surrounded and crippled in a series of propaganda campaigns and battles. This eventually culminated in “warning shots” outside Moscow and Leningrad - now St. Petersburg - in a risky operation involving small, then-experimental atomic bombs. Amidst the chaos, a coup led by remaining Romanovs brought down what remained of the Party’s power; although some still suspect that certain "others" were involved, as in the case of Hitler's downfall there is little proof in the declassified records. Nonetheless, the Russian Imperial Federation has since become a democratic constitutional monarchy, retaining some of the functional elements of the previous Soviet regime although its reputation as a peaceful giant still remains shaken by the persistent “Neo-Bolsheviks” still seeking to revive the Soviet Union in the name of Communism.
Another development over the past decades meanwhile would leave a considerable effect on the world stage. Alongside the United States - which joined the War on the side of the "Allies" though was not formally part of them - the Danube and the rest of the Entente made plans for creating what is now called the Union of Nations (UoN). First announced in Vienna as early as 1940, it quickly replaced the inept League of Nations (LoN) and turned out to be much more effective in both spreading democracy and providing a legitimate, peaceful forum for the global community. The various policies made by many of the Entente to ensure the continued safety of their realms even as they gradually facilitated decolonization - resulting in close alliances and blocs like the British Commonwealth of Nations - also contributed to a more stable international climate. And with the Danubians and their allies comprising the Quorum of Twelve - which later on included China, Russia and Japan - their influence is assured.
But as the 60th Anniversary of Austria-Hungary's “rebirth” nears tensions and problems remain. The French, despite their support during and after the War have once more revived their opposition to the “Habsburg monarchists” and what they see as the systematic perversion of the Treaty of Versailles. They claim how the Federation used its influence and almost fervent battles against the Axis to discreetly remake a large part of Europe and even Turkey in their image, the revolution against Franco in favor of a Spanish King being just one of its alleged efforts. If not for the British and Americans, those tensions would have long broken the balance of power, though this time the republicans in Paris have become much more vocal. Attempts to reconcile and unify Greece with the Bulgarian-led Balkan League have become increasingly worrisome. Switzerland still stubbornly refuses to join the UoN despite Geneva being the official headquarters, considering it to be a glorified “Austrian Congress.” Across the world, reactionaries, radicals and Neo-Bolshevists alike continue to threaten what some are calling the long peace. While closer to home, corruption and "subversives" still keep the Habsburgs and their Evidenzbureau from sitting in their laurels.
More peculiar however are the rumors circulating from the Federation. While rumors suggesting that the aging Emperor-King monarch might consider stepping down from the Throne have proven to be false, the recent marriage of Archduke Karl have once more revived questions as to when the Heir Apparent intends to take his father's place. Hearsay also persist of more esoteric, if not preposterious reasons behind making Sopron, situated between Austria and Hungary as the new Federal Capital. As in the case of the alleged "hidden clause" in the Centennial Reforms, such folk point to the influence of the so-called "Founding Couple," whose kind are supposedly embodiments of their own countries. Absurd perhaps, yet lately, more people seem to be believing these tall tales even as new ones emerge of the Couple conceiving a child. One, it is said, who would personify all of the Danube.
These are interesting times indeed.
Just to play it safe, I don't own Hearts of Iron III or other Paradox Entertainment games for that matter, let along the original AAR.
As always, this is not meant to be a political or ideological propaganda piece. This is a work of fiction. Also, just to make sure, all rights belong to their respective owners...including Hetalia. ----
I really like this setting! Not only does it preserve the multicultural nature of Austria-Hungary and also make it democratic, but its the most interesting and hitherto well-thought out take on a neo-monarchist Europe I've seen to date. Not to mention that neither Stalin's communist nor Hitler's national socialist or even Mussolini's fascist regimes lasted for very long.
Also, pardon me for being picky, but you spelt "Ausgleich" wrong in the text.