Alcazia and the Thirties

Alcazia is a mid-sized nation in the Western Mediterranean. For centuries it has existed on the edge of Europa's squabbles. 'Too busy with it's own', some would say. And fairly so, for Alcazia is a land of have's and have nots, landed elites and landless labour in the countryside, proletariat and the rising capitalist class in the few industrial cities.  Communications and transportation are not highly developed in much of the countryside, which is governed by a weak central constitutional monarchy and its ineffectual parliament. 

The Great Depression was felt especially harshly in Alcazia. With its already charged political atmosphere it didn't take long before the nation fractured into armed partidos of left and right.  What was elsewhere in the world seen as 'the first cold war' was, in Alcazia, very hot indeed.

The civilian police, outnumbered and outgunned by the warring factions, turned to organised crime for their profits while the heavily armed 'assaulto' units were, as is the way with such things in Alcazia, politicised into factions favouring left and right.  The generals of the Army of the Homeland found that their soldiers were the brothers and sons of peasants and factory workers, and thus, rather than risk mutiny by intervention in the civilian economy, insisted on 'leaving these civil affairs to the police'.  In the resultant paralysis of the state, peasant organisations began to seize the sprawling haciendas upon which previous generations had slaved and a strong worker's movement began a national series of factory occupations.  Together, they called for a general strike.  The old order was breaking down.

To the King and his cronies (and, indeed, the archbishop and most of his priests) it seemed that the darkness of the Germanian revolution had arrived on their doorstep.  Casting around for allies they found only two that offered sufficient force to immediately help them withstand the forces of change, and perhaps reconquer what had been lost into the bargain.  Firstly, although the Army of the Homeland was unreliable and poorly led, its counterpart in the distant colonies (the Colonial Army) was loyal to the old order, well equipped and experienced..

Secondly, the new dictatorships of 'New Europa' were keen to support the international cause of reaction with material and technical support, perhaps even contingents from their own well equipped armies.  The midnight oil began to burn bright in palace and cathedral, while the denizens of desert fort and foreign embassy alike began to lay their plans.

Not to be outdone by its tyrannical neighbors, the Germanian Dictatorship also reached out willingly across the vast distances, to infiltrate and reinforce certain factions within the organisations of the revolting poor.  Unable yet to take on its rivals in the main field, and unwilling to risk the defeat of its own undoubted power, it grasped the one opportunity going for a 'proxy war' against the New Order and began laying aside some of the production of its own advanced heavy industries for possible export purposes, placed various political and techincal cadres on standby for possible deployment overseas.

By 1936 the scene was set for the troubles of Alcazia to boil over into civil war with continental, if not global, implications.  All it would take was a spark.