Alexander Hollande (1 August 1881 - 2 September 1935) was a Burgundian General and Dictator. Alexander was born in 1 August 1881 in Paris. He was raised in a family of devout Roman Catholics who were patriotic and traditionalist, but also quite progressive. His father, Henri Hollande, was a professor of history and literature at a Jesuit college who eventually founded his own school.
His father came from a long line of parliamentary gentry from Burgundy, while his mother, Jeanne (née Maillot), descended from a family of wealthy entrepreneurs from Normandy. Alexander's father encouraged historical and philosophical debate between his children at mealtimes, and through his encouragement, Alexander grew familiar with French history from an early age.
Alexander developed a keen interest in military strategy and endlessly questioned his father about the failures of the brief war at Vionville and Mars-la-Tour and, though a naturally shy person his entire life, often organized other children to re-enact ancient French battles.
Always a voracious reader, he particularly loved to read his father’s books by such writers as Henri Bergson, Charles Péguy, and Maurice Barrès, in addition to the German philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche, Immanuel Kant and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the works of the ancient Greeks (especially Plato) and the prose of the romanticist poet François-René de Chateaubriand.
By the time he was ten, he was reading medieval history, such as the Froissart’s Chronicles of the Hundred Years War. He began his own writing in his early teens, and later his family paid for a composition, a one-act play in verse about a traveler, to be privately published.
Alexander was educated in Paris at the College Stanislas, where he displayed his interest in reading and studying history. Before he could become an officer cadet, regulations which had recently been introduced dictated that he had to spend a year as an ordinary soldier. As an individualist, Alexander was an average soldier. He was promoted to corporal after six months, then to sergeant. He disliked barrack life and what he saw as pointless regulations, not because he objected to military discipline, but because he considered the procedures to be time wasting and out of date to the point of possibly damaging the military potential of the best new recruits.
In 1890, the strong relationship between the French Confederation and Netherlands would be secured with a defensive alliance signed between the two. The new century saw the formation of the Triple Alliance, for the defence of China during a time of increasing tensions with the Japanese, and for the containment of the nationalistic attitudes of Brandenburg. Several crises struck Europe, and in 1903 Confederate troops moved to garrison Denmark, although they were removed the following year, when the Pomeranian crisis receded. However, in 1905 war unexpectedly broke out with the Allies. In the great war, the Confederation's troops - the best trained in Europe - had general success, bleeding the Japanese dry and fending off vastly superior forces in China.
During the war, the 24 years old Alexander was send to China to fight the Japanese. Promoted to platoon commander, Alexander was involved in fierce fighting from the outset and was among the first to be wounded. By the end of the war, he had been promoted to Brigadier general.
However, with the repeated defeat of successive (albeit non-Confederate) Continental fleets by inferior allied navies, the Triple Alliance signed the Treaty of the Tuileries, and ceded its control of China to Japan in 1907. The Triple Alliance collapsed as a result of the war, as the Danes blamed the Confederation and the Dutch for the destruction of their empire while the Dutch receded into neutrality and moved towards unification with Flanders. The Septembrist Party was brought into power, ousting the Party of Order in the elections after the war, and began liberal reforms in Switzerland as well as reform to increase the elected representation of the more populous and liberally minded cities, while gently suppressing rebellious tendencies in Burgundy.
The Confederation sent, in 1915, troops to suppress the American Proletarists in support of the Federal Government. The troops were under the command of Alexander, but the troops were removed upon the formation, in 1916, of the Second Union, which was unwilling to sign the expected alliance with the Confederation.
In the Spanish Civil War in 1918, the Confederation, along with Italy, supported the Republicans and brought about a year's war with Germany. The French were generally victorious, decisively crushing the Spanish Monarchists and bringing Spain, along with Sardinia, into the Pact, although the Germans overran Piedmont and were massing forces in the border with the Confederation. The Germans could prove a great threat to the Confederation and so the Confederate and Dutch governments agreed to give Supreme Command of the German Theater to Alexander Hollande, who was promoted to Field Marshall, and gave him the command to launch a massive offensive against the Germans.
The offensive, which begun in 19 August 1918, was launched by a large Confederate and Dutch army, under the direct command of Alexander Hollande, into the Ruhr Valley, seeking to disrupt the German industrial apparatus. With their armies fully in battle in other theaters, mainly in Italy, the Germans were forced to commit their reserve army, which was outnumbered and without any tanks to counter the Dutch armored forces. They did manage to inflict heavy casualties upon the Dutch tanks, devastating them with artillery fire, but the efforts were not enough to change the tide. The Confederate and Dutch advance successfully smashed into northwestern Germany, leaving the local industrial base under enemy occupation, and pushing apart the German lines. With the ending of the year, the German interior lays came under risk of being totally overrun, as the German armies scrambled to establish new defensive lines. This forced the German government to capitulate.
From 1922 to 1926, the Confederation went again to war against Germany. Alexander was against the war and resigned from the army in protest. He was proved correct, as the Confederation was defeated. All French States that were part of the Confederation gained independence. Alexander was against this and wanted a unified France, but he accepted the position of General in the Burgundian Army of the newly created French state of Burgundy.
The failure of the banking system towards the end of 1932 allowed Alexander to coup the government. The army took action in the Christmas Day Coup, much to the surprise of the elected government. With the support of the armed forces, Alexander marched upon Paris, and rounded up and arrested all members of Parliament. Any supporters of the elected government within the military were executed. Emperor Robert had announced his full support for the military takeover, and came out in favor of the disposal of the old elected government. Martial law was declared, and the army was been given full power in the name of the emperor. But this caused Germany to declare war on Burgundy.
Alexander made peace with Germany, accepting the abdication of Emperor Robert in favor of his son, Joseph and new elections were held in 1933. Alexander formed the New French Party, which called for the restoration of a French state and new power for the people. The elections were handily won by this new party, and Alexander was appointed the Chancellor by Emperor Joseph II. Soon after, emergency measures were passed to prevent unrest and dispute among the masses, helping to maintain order. It was later proved that the New French Party's victory was due to rigging of the election.
Alexander ruled the New French Party autocratically by asserting the "Leader principle". The principle relied on absolute obedience of all subordinates to their superiors; thus he viewed the government structure as a pyramid, with himself—the infallible leader—at the apex. Rank in the party was not determined by elections—positions were filled through appointment by those of higher rank, who demanded unquestioning obedience to the will of the leader. Alexander's leadership style was to give contradictory orders to his subordinates and to place them into positions where their duties and responsibilities overlapped with those of others, to have "the stronger one [do] the job". In this way, Alexander fostered distrust, competition, and infighting among his subordinates to consolidate and maximize his own power.
Meanwhile, in 1933, the troubled Burgundian colony of Gabon in Central Africa faced a full blown uprising as the local population found themselves at last unable to tolerate any further oppression. A declaration of martial law and authoritarian practices at home proved to be the straw that broke the camel's back. The rebellion caught the garrison off guard, as they were unaware of the full strength of the rebel forces. The initial attacks were wildly successful, and many Burgundian forces found themselves cut off and threatened with destruction by rebel forces. The fighting continued throughout the year, culminating in Burgundy's retreat from the colony after major battlefield setbacks. A new Free Nation of Gabon was declared under the rebel leader, Ekene Mba, who pledged to spare the country from further tyranny of European rule.
Alexander Hollande, after learning of the revolt, made a passionate speech against the rebels:
"People of Burgundy!! As the Americans invade the illegal Regime of the Proletariat Sub-humans of UPRA, as the Brazilians fight against the Evil dictatorial Proletarism in Jamaica, we also fight against anarchy and proletarism. The terrorist groups in Gabon terrorize the people and have established a Proletarian Dictatorship! Our Mighty and Glorious armies will end this Proletarian Revolt! Our Army will now have a chance to prove how Great it is. We may have been defeated by Germany thanks to the stab in the back, but France is here again more glorious than ever!! We shall destroy evil Proletarism and end the Gabonian Revolution!!!!!!!!!"
But after pressure from the other French states, he was forced to agree to a peace treaty with the rebels:
Treaty of Gabon:
1. Gabon will allow French businessmen to retain property rights in Gabon.
2. In exchange, Burgundy will guarantee the independence of Gabon and pledge to protect it from predatory nations.
Alexander, wanting to save face, then made a speech to his supporters: "People of Burgundy, today we have made an honorable peace with Gabon. While we could have wiped them off the face of the map, we decided to co-operate so our buisnessmen can continue their work for economic development and civilizing of the Region. We believe that our decision was a historic one. Now, it is time to develop Burgundy and restore it to it's former glory!"
In 1934, Emperor Joseph II was nearly killed by assassins. The assassins were caught, and interrogated, and were found to be members of Dauphine’s secret police force. Using this pretext, Alexander proclaimed that French unification was at hand and declared war upon Dauphine. Occitania immediately declared war in retaliation, and Orleans and Normandy likewise mobilized their forces. The Burgundian attack was a horrific failure, as Occitanian and Dauphine’s planes swatted the invading aircraft out of the skies with ease. The Burgundian forces were badly coordinated and poorly trained, with obsolete equipment, with the sole exception of their Russian-made tanks. These proved effective in engaging Occitanian armor, but were insufficient as their infantry support was quickly defeated. An attempt to take Grenoble was easily repulsed, and Burgundy’s armies were utterly routed by the defending forces.
Meanwhile in Benin, in French Africa, under Alexander's orders the French army began an effort to poison the water supplies and food sources of several key villages and towns. After sickness spread, the Burgundians send the population of black villages to camps to 'protect' them from the sickness. Once they were in camps, the soldiers shoot them, burned them and threw their ashes in barrels at the sea. 100,000 people were killed in this way. Rumors about the atrocities spread, and the black population started to resist and the French were forced to take the direct approach of systematically wiping out villages throughout rural areas, simply by attempting to round up the inhabitants, imprison them, and execute them.
Each village offered resistance, and were often forewarned by sympathetic French soldiers or citizens. This led to the attacks becoming just against villages as a whole, until eventually the local resistance under General Emile Dawon organized their forces and struck back. The rebel forces greatly outnumbered the Burgundian troops, and soon secured much of the Benin interior. They pushed their way south, and eventually took the main population centers, unleashing their rage against both the white population and the soldiers who had attacked their families and homes in the north. This great butchery led to any whites in the area being rapidly slaughtered by a vengeful mob, and many fled where they could, despite fuel shortages. In order to protect the navy of Burgundy from capture, the fleet was scuttled in Lagos harbor, as sailors and soldiers attempted to flee to friendly territories in Britain while they still could. General Dawon proclaimed the Free Nation of Benin, and declared European colonial rule to be at an end. In total, 124,300 people were killed during Benin's war of independence.
As the walls came crumbling down around Alexander, the state of Burgundy descended into state-sponsored anarchy. The secret police had been ordered by Alexander to execute anyone opposed to the government, and military units begun barging through the city looking for deserters and anyone refusing to fight. Blood run in the streets as the city turned upon itself and erupted in flames, as units refused to obey orders. The suicide of Alexander in 2 September 1935 led to a utter collapse of the government, even as forces fell apart on the battlefield. The royal family was killed by unruly mobs. The bloodshed seemed without end, and continued in an orgy of violence and looting until order was restored by advancing Norman and Orleanais armies.
An international force (Occitania, Normandy, Orleans, Dauphine) fell upon the collapsing nation of Burgundy in 1935. With the outbreak of the reign of terror in Paris, much of the army’s command went missing or were executed by rebellious troops. Therefore, when the invasion actually began, there was no coordination or plan awaiting the attack. The few forces that were assembled were easily wiped out by overwhelming airpower and massive force used against them. Most chose to surrender, though in the north, numerous units actually cooperated with the armies of Orleans and Normandy, keeping the roads clear and helping to restore order. The little bit of fighting that took place was bloody, but scattered across the country. In total, 342,800 people were killed during the war.