Published in Sci-Fi

Gloom Trench 1926 - German Empire

Amidst global upheaval, Germany stands alone, defiant against a multitude of enemies, innovating with laser weaponry as it battles on all fronts.

By Fickle Dice Games

The German and Ottoman Empires were drawn into the World’s War not by territorial ambitions, but by coming to the aid of their ally, the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Now, however, Austria-Hungary has fallen to internal chaos and withdrawn from the war, and the Ottoman Empire—abandoned by its monarchy and reborn as Turkey—is suing for peace. Thus, Germany finds itself fighting alone.

Germany’s western borders are still mired in trench warfare as the British—themselves now locked in desperate combat with their former allies France and the United States—harry and probe the faltering German defences. To the south the Americans—having sliced through Europe’s soft, Italian underbelly and into Germany itself—now besiege Munich. To the East, Germany’s opportunist invasion of Russia—inspired by the sudden withdrawal of the Russian army from the World’s War following the October Revolution—has stalled, blunted by the determined resistance of the Bolsheviks and Grigori Rasputin’s Motherland of Rus. Worse still, the Western Front is now home to the creeping Great Winter and the voracious Scourge it begets.

But, despite being under attack from the French, the British, the Americans and the Scourge, the people of Germany—and their Kaiser—refuse to capitulate. On the home front every capable man, woman and teenage boy has been issued with a gun, a uniform and orders to fight to the last man.

Whilst her conscripted civilians sport only the most basic equipment and are armed with only conventional weapons, Germany’s military are protected by armoured plating and armed with the latest in German laser weaponry. Powered by cumbersome batteries and by no means compact, Germany’s growing cache of laser weapons remain smaller, more powerful, and more effective at a greater range than those developed by that other leading exponent of laser weaponry, the United States. By 1926 these advanced and deadly weapons are not only used by Germany’s infantry, but they are also mounted on her bi-planes, tanks and naval vessels. As the American invasion of southern Germany progresses, the German army has even begun to mount heavy lasers on trains and civilian trucks.

Production of Germany’s tanks—particularly the monstrous K-Wagon variants—has all but been brought to a halt by the material costs involved. Too scarce now are the resources needed to build and maintain its fleet of tanks. Those rumbling monsters have been replaced with light and highly mobile units of Stormtroopers and mounted Uhlans. These units’ only remit is to harass their enemies, retard their progress against Germany, and to seize their weapons, munitions and equipment. Living off the land and engaging in guerrilla tactics, they now maraud the French, American and British forces as well as those of the Motherland of Rus. One particular squad of uhlans operating in the Motherland has achieved a notable success, severely wounding the mad monk himself, Rasputin.

Such tactics are driven by necessity. What Germany boasts in technological innovation and martial prowess it now lacks in raw materials. Encircled by enemies, it is forced to manage its dwindling resources with the utmost care. The navy’s warships and submarines—still active in the Atlantic and European waters—has become modern-day buccaneers, raiding whatever civilian ships they can overwhelm. These German ships fight with the American and British navies when they can. On the whole, however, their captains are far too astute to engage the enemy one-on-one; better to turn tail today and target softer prey tomorrow, after all.

And so, too weak to win, too strong to die, the Germans fights on. And, when the end finally does come, Germany will not be bitter, but proud.

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