Author's Note: I am a huge fan of Youjo Senki the anime. I loved its characters, storyline, concept, and art. I have not read the light novels, I gave the manga a try and discovered I didn't care for it. So, I don't know any more than what was revealed in the anime. This story is simply my own creation inspired by the anime. If you are expecting this to be a fanfiction based on the light novels I am afraid you are out of luck. Please don't leave reviews or send me PMs telling me how this isn't what happens in the novels. I don't know how far I will go with this story. It's fanfiction and I am writing it for my own satisfaction. If other people also enjoy it that will be a bonus.
April 22, Unified Year 1940
Kaiserhoff, Prussian Republic
More than two hundred thousand people had gathered together to hear her speak. The front ranks were made up entirely of party members. They were all dressed in the field grey party uniforms that were almost replicas of the old Imperial ones. Most of vast crowd were dressed in ordinary work clothes, some were in little more than rags. The Depression was entering its third year, and things were only getting worse. The common people were suffering almost as much now as they had been at the very end of the Great War. They were hungry, scared, and desperate. They were ready to listen to anyone who could promise them hope.
Up on the wooden stage she strode to the podium. She was in the party uniform. On her collar was the insignia of Reich's Marshal of the Armies. Pinned to her chest was the Silver Wings Assault Badge, the Imperial Cross First Class, the Dragon of Brandenburg, and the Medal of Saint Rupert which all wounded veterans received. She'd earned many more, but those were the only ones she wore in public. On her right hand was a black glove. The mechanical hand it covered worked well and she could even write with it. The right half of her face was covered in burn scars and she had an eye patch. If you stood directly to her left and saw only her profile she was quite a beauty. Many men thought it a terrible tragedy that she'd been maimed and disfigured. She didn't. She understood just how lucky she was to still be alive, and attracting men wasn't something that worried her.
On the stage behind her were her five strongest supporters; Viktoriya Ivanovna Serebryakova, Erich von Rerugen, Matheus Johan Weiss, Hans von Zettour, and Conrad Weilburg. All except for Weilburg were in uniform. She stood before the podium, looking out at all those expectant faces. All those eyes were staring back at her. Two hundred thousand people waited eagerly to hear what she had to say.
"Nine years ago," she began. "The Great War ended. On the tenth hour of the tenth day, of the tenth month of nineteen thirty-one we laid down our arms and agreed to an armistice. Two million brave sons and daughters of the empire had given their lives to save and protect the Fatherland. We won many victories and showed all the world our courage and valor. The imperial armies were never defeated in the field. We yielded only due to facing overwhelming numbers on multiple fronts while suffering betrayal in the rear."
From the crowd came shouts of agreement. Many of them were veterans, many more had lost loved one in the war. None of them wanted to believe it had been a lost cause.
"The Empire never wanted war. I was there in Norden on the day the Great War began. I saw with my own eyes the soldiers of the Entente Alliance invade our sacred soil. We never fought for conquest or power, we only ever fought to defend ourselves and our beloved Fatherland!"
Cheers rained down. The entire rest of the world had blamed the war on the Empire. Their propaganda had painted their nation as aggressive and militaristic, as an evil that had to be destroyed. But the fact was the Empire had never declared war on anyone except the Russy Federation. And even then, it had only been to forestall an attack by them. These people knew the truth, that it had been the rest of the world that had wanted war, not them.
"The Entente Alliance attacked us without reason! The Republic violated an armistice agreement and continued the war after agreeing to peace! The Allied Kingdom blockaded and starved us! The Russy Federation invaded us without provocation! And the United States of America declared war just to make certain they would get their loans back from the Allies! They were always determined to destroy us! From the beginning our enemies were determined to settle for nothing less! And what happened when, after eight years of fighting, after being on the brink of starvation, after the revolts in Ostland, Bohemia, Copenhagen, and elsewhere? When they promised us an honorable peace?"
She didn't have to feign anger or outrage. Even after all this time the thought of what had happened still made her furious.
"Our enemies dictated the terms of our destruction! The Emperor was forced to abdicate! The empire itself dissolved! Where our proud nation had once stood, they carved us up! Ostland, Prussia, Mecklenburg, Silesia, the Duchy of Copenhagen, Bavaria, Saxony, Thuringia, Brunswick, Westphalia, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, and Rhineland were created. The Treaty of Orleans not only dismembered the empire but left us disarmed and helpless! Placed impossible war reparations on us! And even required us to accept all responsibility for the Great War! And when our delegates tried to negotiate they were told to sign or else have the war renewed! This wasn't an honorable peace! It was nothing less than total surrender!"
Fresh cheers roared out and she was again forced to stop for a moment.
"And since that disgraceful day what has happened to us as a people?! Rhineland is occupied by the Republic and is nothing but a puppet. There have been strikes and revolts and hunger riots in every corner of our land. Our money has become worthless, five thousand marks won't even buy you a loaf of bread! A quarter of our people are without work! Everywhere you look the communists shout for revolution and try to sell us to the Rus! Factories are closing! Farms are failing! People who have worked hard their entire lives now have nothing! The illegitimate governments sit on their hands and squabble as the rich grow even richer! And all the while as we suffer, the Allies prod at us and tell us to keep paying or else! Is this what we sacrificed for? Is this what two million of us died for?"
Screams of 'nein' answered her.
"Then it's time to change things!" She slammed her metal fist into the podium. "That is why I am here! That is why the National Union Party exists! We stand for Unity, Justice, and Peace! Tomorrow, on election day, vote for me as President of the Prussian Republic! Vote National Union delegates into the Parlament! We won't just stand about and watch as our home burns down!" She clasped both hands over her heart. "Put your faith in me and I will you give you back everything you have lost and more!"
The crowd surged and she was answered with cries of pure joy. They believed in her and in what she promised. She was their hope for a better future. The random shouts began to shift and take form. The people before her began to chant her name.
Degurechaff! Degurechaff! Degurechaff!
Tanya stood there and drank it in. The adulation, the worship, the love of her people.
What mindless sheep they all are, she thought.
She smiled back and lifted her hands, for all the world as though basking in their cheers.