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The Beginning of the End


Sarah Tintagyl
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Diet Hall was silent as the fifty representatives of the Haneseatic People sat with only their thoughts to humor them. It was a solemn occasion and everyone knew what it could lead to, maybe that was more what they were concerned about, what would be their decision. In a away, monarchy and despotism was easier at least then it was all on one person. Sarah too, who was standing just outside of the door with a folder of papers in her hands felt the same way, but she had a duty to her people and a duty that she held to her beliefs. They would be defeated, she would be defeated and her destiny was foggy, but Sarah had no intentions of letting the transgressions of European Imperialists go without a fight. She wasn't much of a fighter, but she had honor and that honor was to defend Gebiv from world aggression and from the aggression that would inevitably reach the shores of the Hansa.

The great wooden doors opened and the congregation stood as Sarah walked down and finally settled at the great podium in the center of the hall. She opened up the folder and looked down at the ring on her finger, it almost made her drop. "Larsa." She said quietly. "I love you." Then looking back up at the crowd of politicians and other men who had gathered to here the speech. The Declaration of War on the Greater German Empire and her allies.

"People of the Hanseatic Republic." She began. "Today we have received reports that the Greater German Empire has invaded areas of Gebiv and regions of land that have been given in the dissolution of Gebiv. This is a blatant attack on the sovereignty of the region and imperialism in its purest and therefore worst form. For far too long, Europe has been subject to an oppressive order that seems to be constructing the same state that Martens used to subjugate the rest of Europe. These leaders say that they are attacking Gebiv to wipe the last ghost of Martenism out of Europe, but I ask what is different for what they are creating and what he created years before. Nothing is different and this hypocrisy must and will end and we will begin the fight from Scandinavia."

That was the phrase they had been waiting for, war against the world, it would make a great novel one day. The Hanseatic Republic at war with the world, behind their fearless lady in white.

"The Hansa will honor its treaty with the Gebivans, I...we are not the kind of people to sit back just because of our weakness and let this "peacekeeping" coalition advance their borders only to gain total hegemony of Europe. Therefore I am ordering a complete mobilization of our forces. Twelve brigades and one-hundred tanks will pulled out from the reserves as our military strategists begin to devise a plan for attack." She closed the folder and descended from the podium. "Gentlemen I want to speak with you frankly. I do not see us coming out of this war victorious and I wonder if this is really the right choice for us."

A senator stood and looked Sarah up and down. "No Lady Tintagyl, we understand and the people understand. Come with me." The congregation left their seats as the lone senator lead Sarah down the marble halls of the Diet and out into the plaza. There opening the great doors leading out into Helsinki and there were her citizens, a great throng standing, smiling, and united. "You see Lady Sarah, we would all follow you to hell and back. Their imperialism with eventually lead to the Hansa, let us at least be known as the resistance."

Sarah's eyes welled and she smiled looking over her people. "You are the people that matter, not me, not them!" She pointed at the Diet. "This is your choice!"

"We follow you Lady Sarah!" A man shouted from the crowd. "You're our leader! Not them!"

"Then we fight! Let the world remember this day when our small state declared war against the world! When we honored and died to protect our friends and that we will try and end imperialism in Europe for the end of time!" Those would be the words that would make her immortal.

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In private.....

Somewhere in his bunker under Hawksbill Mountain, the Pope watched the developments in Europe on his ridiculously large screened television. After several hours a report on the Hansa came up, and it was clear to him that their leader had declared war on the Germans. "She choose poorly." were the only words that would come from his mouth.

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President Esparrago mashed the power button on the remote to his office television set, angry with himself for not seeing this eventuality. "Hansa... Our allies..." His eyes darted around the room, searching for an answer, an answer which would never come.

"Sir? Hansa might be our allies, but that treaty only comes into effect if one of us has been attacked. This action doesn't activate the treaty." The aide who said this immediately wished he hadn't, knowing it was the wrong thing to say.

The President didn't snap or snarl. He simply said, "Sir, I would suggest that you remove yourself from this room immediately. Your counsel has ceased to be necessary." The aide fled the room, and as the door whispered shut, Esparrago continued: "Gentlemen, we cannot allow the Hanseatic Republic to fall. In the first days of our nation, it was Hansa that stood with us. In the days of our weakness, it was Hansa which watched over us. Those were our darkest days. These are theirs. And we are obliged to do the same for them." Pausing, he cast his gaze at the desk, seemingly staring at the individual wood fibers. Wordlessly, his lifted his eyes to each of his advisors in turn, fixing each of them with a quiet look. After he had secured the silent approval of each Minister, he lifted his gaze to a painting across the room, a painting of another hopeless fight thousands of years before and hundreds of miles distant. "Brothers and sisters, we face the Thousand Nations today. We will not win this fight. But it is a fight we must enter nonetheless. Today is our Thermopylae."

That evening, Esparrago sat behind the same desk, this time immaculately dressed and facing the international press. Clearing his throat, he began:

"Ladies and gentlemen of the Federacion Iberiana and of the world,

"We are a nation formed of the Empire of Gebiv. In our infancy, we were taken in by the Hanseatic Republic and protected by their forces. We are a proud people, a people of integrity, and we cannot forget the kindness which these nations have shown us.

"These are dark days for these nations. The Empire of Gebiv is under assault by the Greater German Empire and its allies. The Hanseatic Republic, honoring its word even in the face of impossible odds, has cast its lot in with that of Gebiv. Our choice is clear.

"Though we have no document requiring us to act on behalf of either nation, but to do nothing for that reason alone is the path of the coward and the ingrate. We stand for our friends, regardless of circumstance, and that is what makes us friends.

"To that end, I have ordered the full mobilization of the Federacion military. The 22nd, 15th Mountain, and 7th Light Infantry Divisions; the 1st, 2nd, 6th, and 14th Armored Cavalry Regiments; all three Carrier Battle Groups; the 3rd Bomb Wing; the 4th, 5th, 9th, 17th, and 21st Fighter Wings; the Conventional Missile Corps; and the entirety of the Mandato de Operaciones Especiales - in all 425,000 men, 4,250 armored vehicles, 75 squadrons of aircraft, and 47 ships - are hereby ordered to stand in readiness for immediate deployment in support of Hanseatic and Gebivan forces.

"Further, I order the entirety of the government of the Federacion to prepare for civilian emergencies of any variety. We will support and protect our people, first and foremost.

"We are strong. We will stand. Viva la Federacion!"

The camera shut down, and Esparrago sank back in his chair, the full weight of his actions bearing down on him. "Damn. We're at war."

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Among the Camberlainer refugee citizens of Camburic, the call went out. In the bustling city, about two thousand men were marshaled, the initial five hundred of the Humanitarian Mission Guard being joined by soldiers, citizens of Camburic, and travelers of Nordlandic origins. The core of them, the forces of the Camberlain Royal Marine Corps, set about training them to fight in unison and use the tactics of the hardy sea-soldiers. There was far too little time, but most of the men who joined them had been conscripts in the Nordland Army at one point, or at least knew how to shoot a rifle. A week was given over to assigning rank, arranging the formations, and generally drilling into men the sense of unity that it took true Camberic Marines months to grow. But they were brave, and had seen war in many forms, so the 2000 men of the 1st Cambric-Hansean Guard formed their ranks and headed out to serve with their new-found brethren, the heroic Hanseatic League forces.

Commanding Officers Of The 1st Cambric-Hansean Guard, aka, "Das Tiefulhunden":

Commanding Lord-General: Lewis De Luit, Keeper of Camburic

Commanding Officer: Acting General, Captain Turner

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Legal scholars in the Federacion Iberiana have raised an interesting point: In issuing this declaration of war and support, the Federacion has violated the Pillars Agreement, which was recently signed with the United Francoist Empire. While the Federacion will attempt to refrain from attacks against Francoist forces, the international community can safely regard this treaty as null and void.

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Helsinki Harbor was buzzing with movement as Sarah and her general staff walked onto one of the transports that we to be sent across the Baltic in their first invasion of the German homeland. Dressed in the white general's uniform of the Hansa, she saluted General Mieto and Admiral Nyjord as the walked down to a command station on the ship. "Gentlemen, you all realize that we have no air force and virtually no actual navy."

The Admiral smiled. "But we have transports and trading vessels. Milady, the Germans and the Dutch are busy nuking the entirety of Southern Europe. Both General Mieto and I have concocted a plan that though we will lose some soldiers, we should be able to land at Rostock without much trouble. Considering this is borderline a world war, we have taken every possible ship that we could use, every possible ship in the country and we've loaded them with our brave men. When the German air force attacks our ships, not every ship will have soldiers on it and I trust that most of them will be okay after the initial fire. Hopefully they will be able to land on the shores off Rostock and then we can begin our inevitable march to Berlin."

"Berlin?" Sarah said shocked. "I thought the original plan was for Copenhagen and then to move south."

"No. We need to inspire the world to our cause Lady Tintagyl and arriving in the enemy capital would be just the thing to do it. Our decoy navy will be moving full steam south."

She nodded as they left the room and walked back onto the ship's deck. Out to the horizon she saw her grand armada, every ship that had even been used in the country was in front of her and it reminded her of the past age of sail. A great fleet on a great mission and with 28,000 men on board the ships, slowly they began to fill out of the harbor. Slowly at first, then with greater speed, hundreds of ships, some with men, some without men, all forward. Sarah looked on and smiled, they would succeed.

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"We agree with our Scandinavian partners in the Hansa. This act of blatant aggression against a peaceful state will not go unseen. The United Francoist Empire and it's puppets will be seen as the imperialist aggressors, and history will go in our favor. We recognize a state of war with all aggressors."

All avaliable (about 100,000) troops have been placed on the Norsvean-German border, only for defense purposes still.

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The 1st Cambric-Hansean Guard was deployed along with the rest of the Hansa's army...the Royal Marines, the core of the force, looked forward to the beach landing. Already they were prepared to take the shore with maximum fire-power...

*In Europe*

Agents of the Spiderweb had managed to find a home in Europe...the chaos, the constant killing and destruction had drawn them like vultures to a fat corpse. Already they had established a contact with certain parties that would enable them to spread their cloud of anarchy over all of Europe..

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Kiska Atka, Procinctia’s former minister of Foreign Affairs and unofficial representative was trapped in Helsinki. Hansa was supposed to be the new center of peace and international diplomacy, but the recent news said otherwise. Now she was left with an hour to make it from her hotel to wherever the Dranagg diplomatic mission was before things heated up, they had a plan for extraction, and acting fast she might be able to leave while she still could. Edited by Generalissimo
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Behind the Hanseatic forces, fifty thousand troops waited in landing ships to land at Rostock, an hour after her troops landed. An hour later, 10,000 more troops along with 200 tanks would land, leaving 40,000 to defend Malmo.

Haerenmarschall Forsvare stood at the bridge of the RNS Trondheim, watching as his ships entered the harbor. A squadron of Hohlman ASFs ((F-15s with F-22 avionics)) flew overhead, patrolling and providing air superiority.

In the air, a total of 10 ASF squadrons provided air superiority, and 100 An-225 bombers flew overhead to carpet bomb any enemy fleet movements. On the RNS Trondheim, 2 cruise missiles stood ready to be fired upon enemy positions, while 10 more were ready in Malmo to attack either Sjaelland or Rostock, depending on where they are needed.

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Private message to Lady Sarah Tintagyl

While my forces and those of our allies are doing our best to concentrate the focus of the war away from your nation, we cannot guarantee that the enemy will not overrun Hansa. I am sending a transport aircraft, along with a squadron of escort fighters, should you decide that it has become necessary for you to evacuate your territory to ensure the continuity of government. Hansa can rebuild, but it cannot rise to its fully glory without its leader. Please accept my offer of asylum if it becomes necessary.

Signed,

Juan Esparrago

President of the Federacion Iberiana

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Aided by the Norvsean navy and air force, the Hanseatic Transports approached the beaches at Rostock at mid-morning after a long trip across the Baltic. The makeshift fleet harbored a few hundred meters away from the shore as the men began to disembark from the ships. They would need to get ashore using rowboats dropped from the ships, but the sea seemed calm, likewise the shore of Rostock seemed undefended as they began.

"Soldiers of the Hansa!" A voice came in over the loudspeaker as men in gray uniforms shouldered their rifles against their bodies and looked at the columns of rowboats assembled before them. "Never in our nation's history have we been at war, never has a Hanseatic soldier stepped on the grounds of a foreign country as aggressors; until today. Today we begin our campaign to free Europe from the imperial doctrines that it has been encased in. From this point we do not march backwards, only forwards, and one day my brave soldiers we will stand in Berlin and lift high our banner. The banner of freedom and individualism. Lady Tintagyl has entrusted all of us with this duty, including herself and we must not give up on our homeland and our friends when they need our help the most. Godspeed my soldiers, goodspeed."

The loudspeaker shut off and lieutenants with understanding looks began to shuffle their men towards the boats.

ww2-amphibious-assault.jpg

Henrik Tilmann was a clockmaker back in Turku who had left his wife and children to join the fight against the imperialists. He had been in Helsinki to hear Tintagyl's speech and he wanted to serve his country in its dark hour. Standing silently looking at the boat, a lieutenant tapped his shoulder and pointed at the boat. "Get in." Henrik nodded and took a seat next to another young man dressed in the same gray uniform. If the man would have had brown hair they might have been mistaken for twins.

There was a thump and then the ropes began to lower them down to the water, they were dropped with a splash while the boat rocked from side to side. "All right gentlemen, lets pick up the oars and go to Germany!" The wooden oars were raised in the air and splashed down into the water as they slowly began to make their way towards the shore. Uneasy at what awaited them on the shore.

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GTI shall send 15,000 men, 300 tanks, and 14 Apache helicopters to defend its installation within Hanseatic league (in case of defensive war within Hansa).

A GTI official wonders if nations that have GTI factories will defend GTI if GTI looses and war goes world-wide.

Edited by JerreyRough
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**Private to P.M. Tintagyl**

Prime Minister,

I am sorry about the slowness of my senate to confirm and approve your offer to buy our surplus aircraft. If they had moved quicker, you could have used them in advance of your landing. However, the deal is now complete. The first six squadrons of Tyre Mk. IV fighters will be lifting off shortly. They will arrive in Hansa in three hours from takeoff. Following those will be eight squadrons of Jagatai attack aircraft and four of the Xerxes bombers. As agreed, some of our civilian transport pilots will stay over to show your people how they work.

Also, your request for a deal with our Ares Corp. for rights to produce their differing missile typs has been granted. Several examples will be flown over for your people to inspect and test.

If there is anything else you require, please do not hesitate to call.

Respectfully,

Christos DeSchaine

**end private**

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*Offcial Statement from the Estovakia Imperium*

"With the release of the Hansa statement and the movement of their forces her majesty Empress Motoko Kusanagi has released the following statement."

"I Empress Motoko Kusanagi of the Estovakia Imperium hereby pledge our full support for the Hanastic people and its government. If anyone should declare war on them then it shall be a declaration of war upon ourselves to. To this matter we are dispatching an armed force to the Hanastic League to provide their nation with a defensive force whilst they fight abroad to defend their allies".

As ordered a task force numbering 15,000 of the Imperium's best troops have left port on a number of transports heading for the Hanastic League to bolster their defences in case they themselves are attacked.

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**Private**

"A very honorable decision... Lieutenant prepare a message to Lady Tintagyl"

Dear Lady,

While on opposite sides I respect your decision to fight for what you believe to be good. I hope in the future you will survive as the World needs leaders such as you.

Signed on the 15th of Februar,

Viceroy Milliardo Peacecraft

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