Wars World Survey: Confederation Spotlight: The Commenwealth of Direnholm - By Abalux

Cultural Basis: Germany
Population (% Military): 22 million (1%)
Government Type: Constitutional Monarchy
Primary Industries: Aerospace, light manufacturing, logging, tourism
Exports: Office supplies, hard woods, planes
Imports: Wheat, fine gems, petroleum

History

After Viccario, Direnholm is the oldest nation in Green Earth. A predominantly German group of colonists founded it at the base of the Dire Range (hence the nation's name). These people were seeking a place that reminded them of their homeland. They found it and immediately began taking advantage of the land's resources.
The nation that would become Direnholm had bountiful resources to draw upon. The forests were thick and fertile, as were the plains. Their fertility allowed the Direnholmians enough food to focus on industrial development. Within thirty years, the nation had developed enough to require the founding of a constitutional monarchy and the establishment of industrial regulations. The emergent Direnholm became the major supplier of industrial equipment to neighboring nations. Trade was lucrative. It made the nation incredibly wealthy, which allowed it to become an educational center as well. This Direnholmian "golden age" lasted for only thirty years.
It ended, of course, with the rise of Viktor Steinhalt. He was a masterful politician and a modernizer of the Direnholmian military. Unfortunately, his ambitions did not include the preservation of democracy. He staged a coup that killed Direnholm's king. Declaring himself Minister-General, Steinhalt went on a crusade to unite Wars World under his command. He would have succeeded, too. It took the first formation of the Allied Nations to defeat, try, and execute the dictator. Afterwards, Direnholm had a massive amount of recovering and rehabilitation to do.
The Direnholmians handled all this stress quite handily. After all, they were still the most powerful nationality in what was becoming the Green Earth Confederation. Their support of its constitution bought many other nations into its membership. Under the observation of the Ring, Direnholm took many steps on the road to recovery. Its people were all right even during the mysterious Orange Star attacks (that got resolved). Then the Direnholmians' worst nightmare returned: Steinhalt. Although he called himself Hawke, he was as deadly as ever. The CDF forces buckled before the reborn dictator's space-suited soldiers and automated war vehicles. Their fear allowed Hawke to reclaim half of his birth nation. Only the arrival of Wars World's other armies saved Direnholm from complete conquest.
Now, Direnholm is understandably anxious. Its people watched the Omega Land conflict with great trepidation. (Orange Star was wise enough not to announce that it was working with Hawke.) One advantage of this anxiety is that it has increased support for Direnholm's budding space program. The Direnholmians want to be sure that they can catch Black Hole before it attacks again.

Geography

About seventy percent of the Dire Range is in Direnholmian territory. The Dire Range itself is a jagged collection of peaks that no doubt reminded the original settlers of old Europe's Alps. It cradles a stretch of land crossed by more than a dozen rivers. These rivers run through old-growth forest in the north and grassy plains in the south. Direnholm's only opening to the ocean sits in the southeast, a tiny delta. The river forming the delta is rather rocky. Foreigners who see it understand why Direnholmians have never relied on boats for travel.
Direnholm's important settlements (for whatever reason) include:
- Stamsburg: As the capital of Green Earth's most powerful nation, Stamsburg has seen many events-the rise of Steinhalt being only the most significant. Scholars and musicians across Wars World study in its many universities and conservatories. The city is also not a bad place for dining.
- Krieghald: This northern village was the only Direnholmian settlement that dared defy Steinhalt. After Baron Richter von Bilstein's famed aerial skirmish, Allied Nations soldiers moved into Krieghald and protected it from retribution. The village is now a center for researchers of the Cosmos War. Jake's parents are among the historians who frequent Krieghald.
- Blaissen: Blaissen boasts the highest urban elevation on Wars World. In addition, it is the headquarters of the Direnholmian air force. The city hosts civilian flyers as well as the nation's famed fighter pilots. Demonstrations of masterful piloting are common among Blaissen's frosty peaks.

Government

Direnholm, just like every other member of the Green Earth Confederation, has a democratic government. The ruler is the king or queen-currently, King Friedrick III. His duties are limited to opening the Nationalversammlung (the parliament) and hosting and visiting foreign dignitaries. Real power lies with the prime minister. This head of state presides over the Nationalversammlung. The first, the Oberhaus (House of Lords), contains one hundred noble representatives of Direnholm's major provinces. They provide oversight for the lower house. This house, the Haus der Leute (House of the People) performs much of the real work. The prime minister is officially part of the lower house. It is a rather contentious place where debate-and, occasionally, fistfights-can break out at a moment's notice. The tension, combined with the prime minister having to deal with the Oberhaus' often eccentric personalities, means a lot of turnover in the head of state's position.
The Direnholmians actually prefer it this way. When Steinhalt took over, the Nationalversammlung held set elections. This procedural choice allowed him to entrench himself as prime minister. It gave him a foothold in dictatorship and a way to bludgeon the Oberhaus into submission. The current system, while somewhat chaotic, doesn't allow such an event to recur.

Military

In many ways, Direnholm's military is the model for the rest of the Confederation. It might be the most balanced force on Wars World. The government tries to keep all the forces evenly supplied and staffed (even the navy). As a result, recruits have no trouble entering and working in their desired branch.
The most prestigious branch is, of course, the air force. It always gets top priority in research. Direnholmians are nothing if not proud, and the air force is too much a source of pride not to keep up to date. The pilots' training is stellar. While other nations' pilots leave their planes' maintenance to others, the Direnholmian Royal Air Force teaches its aces how to care for their fighters. This practice teaches the pilot how much punishment and stress the plane can take. It also fosters a relationship between pilot and vehicle. Direnholmian pilots have even been seen washing and talking to their jets.
The strategies of the Direnholmian military reflect this dedication to air combat. This is the nation where Wars World blitzkrieg was born. Direnholm's standard operations involve ground and sea units moving under aerial cover. Although the air units receive the most glory, the grunts and sailors are just as important. They have to do the truly important jobs of capturing targets, bombarding ports, and harrying equivalent enemy units.

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