Author Topic: 1930/1931 - Munich Conference (6)  (Read 298 times)

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Offline TheDOC (OP)

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1930/1931 - Munich Conference (6)
« on: August 08, 2021, 05:07:19 AM »
Competition for resources fueled wars for as long as mankind existed. As the space race heats up, humanity is once again put to the test. Will men once again kill each other for personal gain, or will diplomacy prevail? Either way, it is certain rules will be needed to manage the competing powers in the solar system.

January 1930:

Germany - Two Blucher Destroyers are launched and begin military maneuvers as part of the training program. Japanese pilots are surprised at the massive (in comparison) ships in orbit, but even more by their speed.  The two DDs match the fighters' speed while outgunning the fighters significantly one on one. Of course the Japanese still possessed a significant numerical advantage, but this would be reduced over time.

February 1930:

Germany - Imperial laboratories produce a working commercial engine, which is immediately fitted to a 10000 ton Colony Freighter design.
The ship will transport the first human colonists on the moon, or so the government hopes.

March 1930:

France - In light of the recent developments, it became painfully clear that the internationale was outperformed technologically by its opponents. A shift in French politics occurred, with an improbable coalition forged out of necessity between the Jacobins (Leninists) and Anarchistes (Anarcho-Socialists).
The government won't last very long considered the differences between the two factions, but its first action was to authorize a more aggressive stance in financing communist parties throughout the world.
These efforts bore fruit when the weak junta ruling Argentina collapsed into infighting, allowing the Argentinian Workers' Party (PTA) to stage a revolution. The party's main doctrine is relatively aligned to the Anarchistes, but few had any doubts they would join the alliance anyways.

April 1930:

UK - Negotiations open with the Dutch regarding a defensive alliance, given the increased belligerence from Japan. Considering the situation in the East Indies, there is some reluctance given the lack of orbital protection by the British in case the Japanese fighters decide to attack.
As things stand right now, no agreement has been reached.

May 1930:

USA - Construction begins for the Hornet class Frigates in the American yards

Hornet class Frigate      904 tons       27 Crew       81 BP       TCS 18    TH 40    EM 0
2230 km/s      Armour 1-8       Shields 0-0       HTK 8      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 0      PPV 4
Maint Life 10.91 Years     MSP 53    AFR 11%    IFR 0.2%    1YR 1    5YR 12    Max Repair 20.16 MSP
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 6 months    Morale Check Required   

Pratt & Whitney  TN-TN IBD "Heracles" (1)    Power 40.3    Fuel Use 145.85%    Signature 40.32    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 130,000 Litres    Range 17.7 billion km (92 days at full power)

Bradwell Advanced Defence Systems 6in VA Plasma Launcher (1)    Range 20,000km     TS: 2,230 km/s     Power 6-1     RM 10,000 km    ROF 30       
Guess-Lenius Electronic Systems Grav-rangefinder CTE 2.5R (1)     Max Range: 20,000 km   TS: 2,500 km/s     31 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cunneen & Townes Turbines PWR D-C Generator (1)     Total Power Output 1    Exp 5%

Krausz-Levay Electronics Active Gravfinder KMS-5 (1)     GPS 30     Range 4.7m km    Resolution 10
Krausz-Levay Electronics EM Sensor EM0.1-0.5 (1)     Sensitivity 0.5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  5.6m km

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes
This design is classed as a d for auto-assignment purposes

Germany - Due to the serious economic strain placed on the economy by the constant industrial development, the empire decides to accelerate integration programs in some of its associate states.

June 1930:

Italy - Most of Madagascar is secured by the Italian troops, the remaining communist guerrilla fighters relocate inland and hide in the mountains and jungle.

USSR - Development of the first STO weapon, the ZS7-O "Tsar", is finished. Production begins in earnest, with 20 emplacements planned throughout the soviet union.

August 1930:

Germany/Japan - Two more destroyers are launched and begin training maneuvers. Given that the German fleet outmasses the Japanese fighters, 5 new Ki-6 hulls are ordered.

Austria - Kaiser Karl spent the majority of 1929 touring the Empire, watching the reconstruction effort and building up his image across the various ethnicities in the Habsburg lands.
Politically, the situation appears to be stabilizing, without the constant bickering caused by the old Ausgleich model. Reforms have been instituted providing local autonomy and representation to several ethnic groups, paving the way for a larger reform of the nation.
The symbol of this new cooperation arrived in August, in the form of the newly delivered K-KMS Franz Joseph, a Brahe-class geosurvey ship purchased from the USA. The empire has already announced it would share survey data with its neighbors and allies in Romania and Serbia, in a bid to foster good will and cooperation.
(Stability: -1 -> 0)

USA - A complete set of survey data of the moon is released by the US government. The move has been considered for a while, in order to put pressure on the Germans and their claims.
The moon houses over 2 million tons of Neutronium, a material which is, to American knowledge, extremely rare in the solar system: only 4 bodies house deposits, and two of those are small asteroids with a combined 1100 tons.
As the deposits on Earth will eventually run out, it is imperative for the USA to form a coalition and prevent a takeover of the moon by any power.

September 1930:

CSA - While most countries increase their efforts on leaving the planet, the confederates keep their focus on earth and land a small expedition in Conakry, intending to claim Guinea.
The territory was under British control before the African collapse, but the UK endorsed the move, as it is currently preoccupied with other matters, as long as the former colony of Sierra Leone is left untouched.

Ottomans - After the recent defeat at the hands of Italy, the Ottoman Empire has suffered under internal unrest and strife. Multiple factions jockeyed for control, with instability growing by the day. Fortunately for the Turks, after months of political maneuvering, the coup was relatively bloodless, with the Young Turks faction taking power under the leadership of Kemal Ataturk.
His faction, formerly nationalistic and espousing the notion of a Turkish ethnic state, has changed remarkably since the Great War, advocating for Turkish leadership of the Arab world in the space race. Moreover, aware of the backwardness of his nation, Ataturk started a project to join forces with other small/regional powers in order to not be left in the dust.
The joint space program, under the umbrella of an accord known as the League of Nations, would put a part of the involved countries' research apparatus, production capabilities and infrastructure into a joint hierarchy. All the ships built would fly the League flag and be allocated for use depending on the contribution of member states.
Moreover, all the League research results would be available to every member. Efforts begin to find partners in this endeavor.
(Stability: -2 -> -1)

USA - The first American frigate (Hornet) is launched. Faster than any other known ship, the Hornet is armed with a plasma carronade.
In theory, its superior speed would allow to control the engagement, while deciding when to move in and fire its powerful 150mm weapon from close quarters.

December 1930:

USSR - Continuing the reclamation of the lands from the Russian empire, the soviets move troops into the territory of the Tuvan people, with very little opposition from Mongolia.
(+0.3m pop)

USA - After years of military occupation, British Columbia and parts of Ontario join the union as the states of Columbia and Huron. Both areas have seen an influx of American immigrants and have been largely pacified. Terrorism continues to be a problem throughout the sparsely populated lands of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
(+3m population, +15 IC, +1 Lab)

January 1931:

World - As the launch of the German colony ship nears, the German government reiterates its intention to claim the moon as territory of the empire. The entire world shows widespread opposition to the proposition, ranging from statements to open hostility by the Japanese.
An Austrian proposal for a second congress of Berlin is rejected by the Germans, who feel they have enough tonnage in space to enforce the claim, and deploy the Blucher to the Moon to enforce the claim.
The following day, American diplomats meet with their counterparts in Moscow to negotiate a joint intervention. Since the US and Germany enjoy good relations, it is imperative for Philadelphia (the capital was moved to Philly after the civil war) to not adopt an extremely aggressive stance or make an actual joint statement, but coordinating some persuasion by the US and some saber-rattling by the USSR could deter the Germans.
At the Soviets' disposal are 8 Tsar orbital batteries, which could fire to any ship attempting to leave Earth, and could be decisive for a blockade or an orbital battle.
The negotiations are successful, and on the 12th of January, the USA announces it won't support German claims on the moon. The announcement implied that in the near future, the US would also try to transport colonists to the moon, and would defend any commercial shipping with the Hornet and its sister ships.
A few hours later, the Internationale announced that, in the spirit of communism and cooperation for mankind, it won't support any imperialist claim on any space body, threatening any such empire with its STO weapons, army and might.
Left without international support and surrounded, the Germans concede and agree to a congress in order to set the rules of space colonization. The congress would be held in Munich at the end of the month, until then no ships of any power were to leave for the moon. (I rolled against diplomacy and militancy and the result was in favor of diplomacy by quite a bit. No destruction in orbit yet, which is fortunate or unfortunate depending on your pov.)

February 1931:

Munich Conference

German Empire
Empire of Japan
Austria (Danubian Federation)
Commune of France

Observers (only non dependent states reported):
Ottoman Empire

The attendees include all the powers which possess a spaceyard, are in the process of building a spaceyard or have the capability to produce a spaceship.
All the observers are estimated to have the capabilities to launch a space vehicle within ten years.
The Internationale is represented by its two foremost powers, which surprisingly joined the conference despite having previously rejected any notion of "a framework that justifies imperialism".

An obvious starting point to the conference was the Berlin conference of 1884, which regulated the scramble for Africa more or less successfully. The USA had lobbied for a similar system since 1927, but it was obvious that some forms of modification would be necessary to adapt the treaties to space travel.

Negotiations began immediately on the lunar question, with the German delegation adopting a relatively accomodating stance.
Considering the strategic situation, only two powers will have the capability to transport freight for the next 2/3 years, those being the German Empire and the USA. Both enjoy good relations with each other and have fought together in the Great War, and it is expected that both will coexist on the Moon.
Most of the powers converged on a simple proposal that was believed to be acceptable, based largely on the "first come, first serve" principles behind the scramble for Africa: the Moon was to be divided in thousands of sectors. All the great powers would be assigned one sector in which to build their colony, then expand outward, with the proviso that expansion was allowed only after a certain amount of population was reached in the inner circles.
All in all, the proposal represented the perfect balance for the two foremost powers. Everyone would be guaranteed space, and blatant violations would be easy to spot. However, pushing the envelope was possible, something the USA and Germany would definitely do with their early advantage.

Following the Moon, Mars was the next topic at hand. Considering its status as the only viable planet not requiring low gravity infrastructure (I play with G settings that limit long term colonization to between 0.3 to 1.7) and the lack of minerals, some proposed to let it be a free settler planet. No power could claim it as their own, but everyone would be allowed to claim land on Mars. This proposal faced some opposition, but was ultimately accepted, with some powers holding their consensus to extract other concessions.

All other bodies were to be open to claims, which would require the claimant power to prove:
1) The presence of a population on the body, or the presence of automated installations
2) The presence of a contingent of troops or armed spaceships able to defend said population or installations
3) Maintaining said presence for at least a year after notifying the conference and other powers of the intention to stake a claim

Additionally, every claim must be accompanied by a survey report, released by the claimant power.

This latest point singlehandedly threatened to cause a war, as multiple powers threatened to leave the conference at various points over the issue of free survey access.

The cause championed by France and the USSR was the subject of lengthy discussions, with ideological arguments, public accusations and private interests all clashing for days. Ultimately, the survey report compromise was reached after lots of bilateral agreements, to the satisfaction of absolutely no one. Left wing countries condemned this solution as the imperial powers using a "bodyguard of lies" to conceal resources, whereas Japan and Germany expressed concern at what is effectively a forced breach of sovereignty.

Nevertheless, an agreement was reached. Sovereignty over a celestial body granted a sphere 100000 Km wide around it to be considered territorial space. If international space were to intersect at any point due to orbital motion, the intersection plane would delimit the space for as long as it persisted.

As the conference ended its first phase, all sorts of treaties and deals were signed in Munich between the attendees, some of which are reported here:

Memorandum #31 of the Internationale on Research and Development - In an effort to shore up the research capabilities of the leftist bloc, advancements in defensive systems, logistics and sensors will be shared between the members.

Anglo-German border talks (Nigeria/Kamerun) - The UK has recently started to mend its relations with the Germans, pouncing on the opportunity created by the conference and the disagreement between the US and Germany. This treaty, they hope, would prevent disputes in the colonial African regions and prevent any flareups which could ruin the progress achieved so far.

League of Nations accession talks

Sweden, Brazil, Spain and the Ottoman Empire had each sent diplomats to the conference, but did not participate in the conference actively as non-spacefaring powers. In order to have any sort of influence, they often banded together and lobbied to other powers who aligned to their positions, ending up actually supporting the Internationale in one occasion.

Given Ataturk's desire to find partners for the empire, this was the perfect occasion to propose the League of Nations' cooperation agreement, an effort to combine the strengths of various minor powers and stand a chance both technologically and militarily. All the powers involved here have seen some form of encroachment on their sovereignty, making a partnership appealing.
After lengthy negotiations, Brazil, Sweden, Spain and the Ottoman Empire agreed to a partnership, starting in late 1930. The League of Nations requires every participant to dedicate 33% of their research capabilities towards League projects and 15% of their industrial capabilities towards building a commercial orbital shipyard.

Other countries were considered for the partnership, like Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway and other Latin American countries. Some of them are stalling at the moment, to see how the situation develops, while others have been vetoed by members of the partnership. Nevertheless, a stable core of nations had been established and the partnership kickstarted.

World Map: February 1st, 1931 available in Menu - Map Bureau

The cooler heads have won the first battle of an upcoming war between peace and strife, ensuring that the fledgling fleets operated as of now would not clash and waste precious resources. With clear rules in place, the whole world can now look up towards the stars, from the greatest empires to the smallest nation wishing to be a part of something bigger. One battle the war does not win, however. Deep in some men's hearts, the feeling that war is on the horizon is still present. After all, mankind did not change: the arena just got bigger.

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