Vienna, 1 August 1914, 20:18 hour. Since an hour, there was an air of great excitement in Leopold von Berchtold’s offices. The rattling of typewriters, ringing telephones and smothered squeals of excitement were clearly audible. The news has arrived that Germany is in war with Russia now and many nations, all over Europe, mobilize their armed forces. Then, at 20:20 even more excitement filled the rooms of Austria’s Foreign Office after sectional news arrived from Italy. Raiding the telegram Von Berchtold screamed; “Na so was! … bereits jetzt? … Donnerwetter!” (hell’s bells! … already now! … there there!) The telegram, sent from Austria’s embassy in Rome, reported Italy’s entry to the Central Powers!
Von Berchtold, Austria’s minister of foreign affairs is one of the so-called hawks in Vienna. He belongs together with the Austrian Minister for War, Alexander von Krobatin, and Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf, Chief of the General Staff of the Austro-Hungarian Army, to the main proponents of the war with Serbia. The three Austrian ‘hawks’ came together in Von Krobatin war office the day after Italy’s unexpected commitment to the Triple Alliance. The situation along the southwestern border with Italy is very different now. The Austrian troops there are not needed any more there. The Austrian seventh and eighth armies are free to serve at the Serbian front or to participate in the planned offensive against the Russian armies in the northeast. New battle plans are needed, transport schedules for the 7th and 8th armies to send them to their new positions are also needed and cooperation with the Italian forces on a strategic level need to be discussed with our Italian ally.
My expressed thoughts: Haste trips over its own heels, I hope this saying is not valid for the amazing quick results that I have achieved to play diplomatic poker in combination with the option to cede Trenton to the Italians. Italy is at my side now but I need to play it carefully. In spite of the Italian hawks, shown in my press cutting above, there is in Italy not much support for my war ambition. The pacifistic Italian public opinion want peace, they are as the parliament in Rome pessimistic. Therefore, I shall not make war plans resulting in bloody Italian-French battles. I shall sent detachments of the Firs Italian Army along the coast for an easy catch in Nizza (Nice) if possible. By creating a threat against Southeast France, I hope to distract the French ambitions somewhat against the German positions in the Alsace. That will be the modest Italian contribution to the Great War for the time being. Finally, having Italy at my side now means that the Adriatic Sea is under my control.
Berlin, 1 August 1914. Having a small delay of less more than 3 minutes an international train, originating from Amsterdam, arrived at the Berlin central station. One of the alighting passengers was Anthony Fokker, a young aeroplane manufacturer and show pilot. After a visit to his relatives in Holland he returned just on time at his aircraft factory before the outbreak of the war.
Fokker was born in Java in 1890. At the age of four, he was sent to his family in Haarlem to receive a Dutch education. However, Fokker disliked schools; he did not complete his high school education. As his father also Tony was a self-made man, he started to build an aeroplane that he gave the name “de Spin” (the Spider). On August 31, 1911, during the annual celebration of Queen Wilhelmina’s birthday, Fokker amazed the people of Haarlem with a hazardous flight around the St.Bavo church in his third Spider prototype. Later he would call it the proudest moment of his life. After that performed stunt, Fokker moved to Johannisthal (near Berlin) to found an aircraft factory and a flying school.
My expressed thoughts: I drawn the Fokker event card, kept it and decided to play that card prompt. I did also drawn and kept the Bruchmuller card, when I play it the card will bring Germany major bonuses on all types of bombardments, gas firings and siege operations. However, it is for me not clear if this card is only valid for the turn in were I play I, or valid for the rest of the game. I made the choice not to play this card to find out how this event card works. Finally, the third event card I have kept is the “Double Agent” card. This card is, as I have understood not useful to play it by your self. It is, as far I have understood intended to keep this card in your hand as a defensive move against the “Mata Hari” or “Bolo Pasha” card when played by my enemy.
An in game message informed me that the events phase for early August 1914 is also a diplomatic pre-phase. Just before a lot of ‘ diplomacy’ is forced at the battlefield with a lot of violence I have a last chance to influence a nation toward the Central Powers. Having Turkey as my next ally I have sent a very strong (3) German mission to Constantinople where a French delegation of unknown strength is also available. I have weaker level (1) ambassador sent to The Hague to protect my interests in the Netherlands. German fake missions (0) have arrived in Washington, Bucharest and London. Austria concentrate its diplomatic corps in Sophia to protect my interests in Bulgaria, Vienna has sent fake missions to Brussels and Athens. Italy has no ambassadors available, may-be because they have just joined at my side.
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