WHEN THE HURLY-BURLY'S DONE
The Great War has been raging for eighteen years.
In celebration of Christmas, Tsar Nicholas II attends the theatre in St. Petersburg but he is not to survive the evening.
His successors determine that taking part in the peace talks which Pope Benedict has mooted may well be to Russia’s advantage. After deliberate delays, they travel to Rheinfelden to meet with British Prime Minister Bonar Law, French President Georges Clemenceau and American Prime Minister Woodrow Wilson.
Representing Russia, both Alexander Kerensky and Leon Bronstein make demands which are not acceptable to the Entente powers and the talks break up.
A resumption of war now seems inevitable and, in an attempt to open up a second front against the Russians outside Europe, Bonar Law sets diplomatic and military matters in motion.
T E Lawrence is sent to Kashmir to set the East ablaze, diplomat John Buchan is sent on an international journey to secure a new ally and to re-invigorate American participation in the Great War. Former American Prime Minister Theodore Roosevelt returns to power in what some term a coup d’état.
Subsequently, the Russians come under attack in Uzbekistan, China and Siberia and suffer humiliating losses.
The Western Front will once again, however, become the major area of conflict; British troops on the Somme make progress but only at horrendous cost and Denmark faces new and terrifying weapons as it struggles to halt the Russian steamroller.
Who will emerge triumphant ‘when the battle’s lost and won’?