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Fest steht und treu die Wacht, die Wacht am Rhein!Translation 
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Kaiserreich: Legacy of the Weltkrieg is a popular Hearts of Iron II, Darkest Hour and Hearts of Iron IV Game Mod that is set in an alternate timeline where the Central Powers win World War I. Currently in 1.4 beta for Hearts of Iron II, 1.9 beta for Darkest Hour and 0.9 Alpha for Hearts of Iron IV, Kaiserreich takes many of the same nations in a different direction, while introducing dozens of new countries, ministers and leaders.

During The First Weltkrieg, the German Empire ends their unrestricted submarine warfare after their sinking of RMS Lusitania, preventing the United States from joining the Entente. In 1918, the Kaiserliche Marine defeats the Royal Navy at the Second Battle of Jutland, ending the British naval blockade. With renewed strength, the Kaiserreich launches a great offensive in Spring 1919, pushing the frontline to Paris. With their army defeated and morale destroyed, a socialist revolution founded on the ideology of Syndicalism overthrows the Third French Republic, exiling the government to North Africa and creating the Commune of France.

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On the Eastern Front, the Russian Civil War is in full force, but the Reds are losing. The White Russian forces, supported by German intervention, had regrouped and fought back, defeating the Reds. On the Alpine Front to the South, the Austro-Hungarian Empire defeats the Kingdom of Italy, and the resulting Italian Civil War divides Italy into multiple hostile states.

As the war ends on continental Europe, the United Kingdom cannot afford to continue the war. A ceasefire is declared in 1919, followed by a Peace with Honor peace treaty in 1921. In 1925, a Syndicalist revolution overthrows the British government. The Royal Family is exiled to Canada, and the Union of Britain is declared.

It is now 1936. Germany was the dominant superpower of the world for over a decade, their influence stretching across Europe, Africa, and Asia. However, the global balance is shaking in this turbulent year, with the German Black Monday economic crash creating a watershed moment for global order. Countries are flocking to alliances and preparing for onslaught. Dormant problems are being reactivated and escalating beyond control. A Second Weltkrieg, promising to be several times bigger than the first, seems to lie on the horizon.

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The latest version of the mod can be downloaded here (for Darkest Hour) and here (for HoI 4), the mod also has its own wiki, official subreddit and Twitter. While similar in Broad Strokes, there are some slight differences between the two versions of the mod due in part to different mechanics in the respective base games, slightly divergent development choices and different release paces.

Kaiserreich has also their own spin-off Führerreich: Legacy of the Great War. Two other Cold War-themed spin-off mods set after the Second Weltkrieg are currently under development: Kalterkrieg: Shadow of the Weltkrieg, focusing on a cold war between the Entente and Reichpakt after their difficult victory over the Third Internationale, and Krasnacht: Twilight of the Gods, focusing on a cold war between a victorious Third Internationale and the emerging Savinkovist Saratov Pact.

Compare with The New Order: Last Days of Europe for another Hearts of Iron Alt-History with a German victory on WW2 instead.


This Game Mod provides examples of:

  • 0% Approval Rating:
    • How Leon Trotsky is looked upon by the Socialist nations due to his responsibility in the failure of the Russian Revolution.
    • President Hoover of the USA is so widely hated that his own party has largely disassociated from him.
    • President Kerensky of Russia is disliked by everyone, and is only still President because all the other potential leaders of the country are too controversial. This gets him assassinated at the start of the game, throwing the entire country into chaos.
    • King Vasily of Ukraine’s description states that the only thing Ukraine’s heavily polarized political parties all agree on is that they hate King Vasily.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Germany managing to win the Second Battle of Jutland would be more or less impossible in reality, but is more or less necessary for the entire German victory scenario to happen. The result of a straight-up fleet battle would in all likelihood be more akin to a second Trafalgar.
  • A.I. Roulette: While the AI does have certain biases to event outcomes, most of the time the AI's decisions to events are completely random.
  • Allohistorical Allusion:
    • Black Monday, the inevitable crash of the German stock market in 1936, is a direct allusion to the Wall Street Crash that started The Great Depression. This is Zig-zagged in that the Wall Street Crash did happen in the Kaiserreich timeline, albeit earlier (1925) and didn't have worldwide ramifications thanks to America's isolationism.
    • Leni Riefenstahl ends up directing a movie about Adolf Hitler's heroism and valor combined with a message about German superiority.
    • The American Civil War event chain has an event where FBI director Hoover proposes to the president to assassinate Huey Long (or Reed). This is in reference to the numerous conspiracy theories surrounding supposed government involvement in Long's assassination.
    • Description of one of the focuses for the Market Socialist path for Combined Syndicates of America, "American Syndicalism", says that even though businessmans spilled blood of the American workers for too long, America still can use the American entrepreneurial spirit for building Syndicalism with American characteristics.
    • Philippe Petain and Charles de Gaulle can end up in a ruling coalition among the exiles of Nationalist France; historically they ended up on opposite sides of World War II, with Petain leading the Vichy government for the Axis and de Gaulle leading the Free French for the Allies. Hammering things home, de Gaulle's chief rival for the post is Admiral Francois Darlan, who in our world was Petain's second in command before defecting (along with France's North African colonies) to the Allies.
    • Completing the Public Works focus for Canada causes an event about the creation of the "Queen Mary Way", or QMW, a large highway in Ontario named for Mary, The Queen Mother, King Edward VIII's mother. In Real Life, there is a large highway in Ontario called the "Queen Elizabeth Way", often called the QEW, named for the Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II's mother. They cover the same stretch of land, approximately.
    • One of the militia units for the CSA is the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, unlocked when the civil war begins. In real life, the brigade was one of many formed by the Comintern to assist the Second Spanish Republic, and mainly made up of American left-wingers. Oliver Law is also available in several minister positions for the CSA.
    • If Dmitri Romanov is elected President of Russia after Kerensky's assassination, he will found a political party to support his administration named "Indivisible Russia".
    • One of the Canadian national focuses available after restoring the United Kingdom is to create a holiday to celebrate their country, which they call Canadian Day.note 
    • In addition to the loading screen depicting Russian State troops lifting their flag above the Reichstag, the event for whenever Berlin falls to a foreign invader will mention a squad of soldiers doing the same thing.
    • Syndicalist nations around the globe have the option to attend Spartakiade events, an international sports event exclusive to them. In real life, the Spartakiad is a Soviet-sponsored international sports event for Eastern Bloc countries.
    • If the player decides to keep Russia politically right-wing (either by restoring the Russian Monarchy or having it as a Conservative/Market Liberal republic) and declares war on the Commune of France or Imperial Germany, an event will fire named "The Great Patriotic War against the Commune of France/Germany". (The Great Patriotic War was the Soviet name for the Eastern front of World War 2)
    • Following the end of a Second Weltkrieg where both Reichspakt and the Entente fought against the Third Internationale and defeated them, it is very easy for France to become partitioned into a Reichspakt-aligned "French Kingdom" in the north, and the Entente's National France in the South. This mirrors the partition of Germany following WWII, and the mod Kalterkrieg directly draws upon this parallel as a part of its Entente-Reichspakt Cold War.
  • Alternate History: The basis of the mod, as said above, is a timeline where Germany won World War I.
  • Alternate History Wank: While the German victory scenario that the whole timeline is based around is somewhat impossible due to the necessity for a German naval victory against Britain (see Acceptable Breaks from Reality), the victorious German Empire after WWI subverts this trope. Despite winning, it still lost great amounts of men, was unable to prevent hostile revolutions from breaking out in France and Britain, and has a very unstable colonial empire at the start of the game combined with a huge stock market crash. What legitimate influence they do have in China and Russia is significant, but still not overwhelming.
  • Badass Preacher: If Canada succeeds in retaking Britain, they can get a new generation of Canadian officers. One of them is John Weir Foote, a Canadian military chaplain known in real life for winning the Victoria Cross for his actions at Dieppe. Here, he's a general, but still wears his clerical collar.
  • Balkanize Me:
    • As is in the vanilla game, China is divided into several warlord factions, though this is somewhat of a subversion as the warlords aren't real countries, with most of them recognizing the Qing authority in Beijing.
    • Territory of the former Russian Empire is divided between the Russian Republic, a small Transamur in the Far East, the Don-Kuban Union, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia on the Caucasus, a semi-independent Alash Autonomy and Turkestan in Central Asia, and several German puppets in Eastern Europe. An independent Siberia can also be released if Russia is defeated.
    • India is divided between the Dominion of India, the Princely Federation (which also owns a semi-independent Madras), and the Bharatiya Commune following the collapse of the British Raj, though the three are planning to fight it out to see who gets to reunite it.
    • Austria-Hungary is no longer a big centralized Empire, and is instead five constituent states with one being Austria and four other semi-autonomous territories. The breakdown can go further if negotiations break down into a civil war, while its neighbors all dogpile in so they can settle old scores.
    • Italy got balkanized so hard, you may wonder if the term Italianization is more appropriate in the context of KR. As the game starts, there are 5 states on the Italian peninsula, all created in the aftermath of the Italian Civil War. There's Republican Italy proclaimed by Italian nationalists in Lombardy, the Socialist Republic of Italy created by Syndicalists in the northwest, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in the south that went along with the Austrian plans for Italian Federation (itself a plan to balkanize Italy into pre-Risorgimento Italian states in a loose federation), the Papal State in Latium guaranteed by Two Sicilies, and an independent kingdom in Sardinia, ruled by the overthrown Italian royal dynasty of Savoy-Aosta. Not for nothing is the expansion that introduced this named "Garibaldi's Nightmare".
    • If the Kingdom of Two Sicilies defeats all rivals on the peninsula, it can balkanize Italy even further, re-creating old Italian states, such as Tuscany and Venice. This is a subversion, however, as the peninsula is technically united as a heavily decentralized confederation.
    • If France wins the Germany/France war, Germany can possibly divide into Bavaria, the Rhenish Republic, the Union of Hannover, and Prussia if the Internationale wins.
    • If Germany wins the aformentioned war, France can be partitioned into Normandy, Brittany, Occitania, and North France.
    • If Syndicalist Spain loses to Germany, it can be divided into several nations including an independent Catalonia and an independent Basque Country.
    • The Union of Britain can balkanize itself by electing the Radical Socialists, who favor devolution, which depending on other choices, spins off Wales and Scotland as either subjects of England or fully independent syndicalist nations. A similar balkanization can happen if Britain loses to Germany. Of note is that Ireland had already went independent in the aftermath of Weltkrieg.
    • If Brazil is defeated, it can be balkanized into seven countries, those being Goyaz, Grão Para, Vera Cruz, Pernanbuco, Bahia, São Paulo and Piratini.
    • Deutsch-Mittelafrika. Due to the colossal mismanagement of Mittelafrika, Mittelafrika has a very high chance to spawn several rebellions in 1936 then collapse entirely soon after. The aftermath of the collapse creates no less than 20 countries.
    • If Germany doesn't want Mittelafrika to explode uncontrollably and instead want a controlled demolition, they can manually break Mittelafrika into many smaller colonies. They can also do this as a way of more efficiently administrating its now vastly-expanded colonial empire, making each of its colonies puppet kingdoms that essentially run their own affairs but are vassals of Germany.
  • Book-Ends: If Jack Reed wins the presidency, then the Second American Civil War starts with Douglas MacArthur marching his army on Washington to dispose him. If the CSA win the resulting war and the Totalists seize power, then it ends with Smedley Butler marching his army on Washington to dispose them.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: Invoked by the German Government In Exile focus "Get Out the Museum Pieces", which furnishes the exiled German government with 5,000 Karabiner 98k rifles by scrounging up display and trophy guns from all over the German colonies and pressing them into service for a desperate attempt to reclaim the German mainland.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Liberia, if it sides with National France. Gets thrown into chaos by the U.S Civil War, and if it decides to become a puppet of National France, then if National France gets thrown into chaos. One of the options Liberia can choose from this is even called "Why does this always happen to us?"
    • For the Entente, it's the West Indies Federation, which has neither any real strategic importance nor a starting army (downplayed in that neither do they have any real threats unless the Combined Syndicates win the Second American Civil War or the American Union State does and aligns with Reichspakt). For Reichspakt, it's Flanders-Wallonia (German-puppeted Belgium), sitting as more or less a province away from the French and usually in the first line of fire. It also has a tendency to suffer rebellions that split it into Flanders and Wallonia without any outside influence.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Pops up here and there:
    • Union of Britain doesn't have submachine guns and assault rifles, they have machine carbinesnote  and machine-rifles, while the remnants of the British Empirenote  has auto-carbines and auto-rifles. Germany and Austria also have machine carbines(in German, obviously), though they use the term for assault rifles.
    • Before 0.8, most of the Union's tanks had the same name as they did in real life, and all of Canada's did, but Union called the Churchill the "Mosley", and the Churchill Kangaroo the "Mosley Kangaroo". After 0.8, the Union was given generic mechanised equipment, and all their tanks have different names. However, while most of the Canadian tanks keep their real life names, the Churchill is now called the King.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: Averted. Despite being an RTS that doesn't have religion in mind, events give a lot of flavor on denominational religions.
  • Church Militant: If the Saudis win the Arab unification war, they can either emulate real history and become an absolute monarchy, or they can invoke this trope by declaring a new Caliphate and launching a series of jihadist wars.
  • Chummy Commies: The Syndicalist Internationale is arguably much more democratic and less totalitarian than the Soviet Union in real life. Even if the Totalists come to power, it is possible to vote out the Totalists and becoming democratic socialist or anarcho-syndicalist, by choosing moderate or anarchist factions.
  • Cincinnatus:
    • It's possible for Douglas MacArthur to be this. If MacArthur comes to power through a coup, and wins the civil war, after the war, one of the possible choices is for MacArthur to stand down, set an election, and peacefully hand power over to whoever wins. He literally gets the nickname "American Cincinnatus" for this act.
    • This trope is actually pretty common in Kaisereich. Russia has Wrangel, the Union of Britain has T. E Laurence, the Commune of France has Gamelin, and Spain (ironically) has Franco, each of whom are military men who can take power in a chaotic situation and cede power to a civilian government once stability is restored. Potentially deconstructed as they have the option to never give up power and rule indefinitely.
    • One arguable (and odd) example is an entire country being a Cincinnatus: New England will often ask Canada to occupy them in the event of a civil war, as they are loyal to the federal government, but the division of support leaves them cut off from most of the government's forces by the CSA. Canada can choose to honour the agreement, giving the land back to the US once the war is over. Or they can just keep it.
  • Civil War: Oh so many. It is almost a mod staple at this point.
    • As in real life, China's Warlord era is a very protracted civil war that is still ongoing at the start of the game.
    • The United States of America inevitably collapses into a three-way civil war between the federal government, the Combined Syndicates of America, and the American Union State. It is possible for additional factions to appear (such as the Pacific States of America, Hawaii, New England, and Puerto Rico) depending the path that led to the civil war.
    • Spain has a high chance to fall to a civil war in the late 30s, just like in reality. Unlike reality, the Spanish Civil War in Kaiserreich is a three-way civil war between the Alfonsists, the Carlists, and the CNT-FAI.
    • The collapse of the British rule in India had created a three-way division between the Dominion of India, the Princely Federation, and the Bharatiya Commune, and the three can easily declare war on each other to attempt reunification.
    • Royalist remnants in Iron Guard Romania can precipitate into a full-on rebellion and a civil war.
    • Russia can get a Second Russian Civil War if the leader of the country manages things extremely poorly, and causes the Bolshevik remnants to organize a second revolution in the dissatisfied proletariats.
    • It's one possible outcome for the (already fragile) Austro-Hungarian Empire should its constituent realms turn on one another.
    • Deutsch-Ostasien can get caught up in a native Syndicalist uprising in Vietnam.
    • If Ireland handles its Ulster loyalist tensions poorly, Ulster loyalists will declare independence and begin a civil war with Ireland.
  • Commie Land: Played with. Communism is no longer the dominant ideology of the far/radical left (the defeat of the Russian Reds and the success of the British and French Syndicalists greatly reduced the communists' influence). Instead, most radical leftist movements are Syndicalists, a lesser-known and arguably less authoritarian take on socialism, so every leftist nation that's not ruled by Totalist factions such as French Jacobins and Russian Trotskyists, who still adhere to the Lenin's ideology of the vanguard party, is technically Syndicalist Land rather than Commie Land.
  • Commie Nazis: While almost all Totalists reject democracy and promote authoritarianism, Totalism as defined in the original Totalist Charter also promotes militarism and ultranationalism, in essence combining Leninism with Fascism to create a fleshed out version of national syndicalism. There are only three real followers of this particular branch of Totalism, the original creators of the Totalist Charter: Mosley's Maximists, Mussolini's National-Syndicalists, and Valois's Sorelians. Mosley and Mussolini in real life are both fascists with socialist streaks, while Valois is a socialist with a fascist streak.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • If Soviet Russia rises up, it usually loses due to a lack of starting territory, manpower, and resources, as well as minimal international support.
    • Transamur and Korea can attempt to revolt against the much larger Japanese Empire. Transamur is a tiny puppet state based in Vladivostok that couldn't match Imperial Japan's starting manpower with every recruitment boost available to the Russian pretender state, has almost no industry to its name, and a large, manpower-consuming navy full of obsolete ships that don't have a chance against the Combined Fleet, all while most of their land borders are with Japanese colonies and puppet states. Transamur can attempt to drag fellow disgruntled Japanese puppet Fengtian into joining their revolt as part of the Anti-Japanese Pact, but often by the time they'd get a the event to do it, Japan has already called Fengtian into the war and they can't change sides after joining the war. Korea has much more population than little Transamur, but their complete lack of a starting military and even smaller industry will seem them reabsorbed with almost complete certainty.
    • The second Weltkrieg has at various periods of the mod's history been this. Earlier versions of the mod tended to favor a reverse WWII where the Commune of France, with superior doctrines, would easily roll over Germany most of the time, whereas more recent post-DH versions usually see a fairly easy German victory without Russian or player involvement.
    • The Second American Civil War is usually extremely one-sided. In whose direction it's one-sided varies by release version. In versions of KR4 earlier than 0.5, the Combined Syndicates of America and American Union State crush the USA between them (sometimes the Pacific States also join in on squeezing the USA), and then the CSA uses its superior industry and international backing to roll over the AUS with relative ease. Afterwards, the winner will eventually get a wargoal though focuses on the smaller Pacific States and quickly crush them unless the PSA has joined a faction (usually either the Entente or Co-Prosperity Sphere). It's also possible for the USA to quickly crush the PSA if they act immediately, and turn its resources against the AUS and CSA (and later Mexico if they invade) while leaving the CSA and AUS to waste time fighting each other.
    • If National Populists come to power in Lithuania and declare themselves free from the German yoke, they usually don't last long, since the military powers of Lithuania and the entire Reichspakt are very unequal, not in favor of Lithuania.
    • The battle of 2nd Jutland in the lore is extremely one-sided with the Grand Fleet losing 8 battlecruisers including 3 I class battlecruisers, both Renown-class battlecruisers, HMS Lion as well as two of the four Admiral-class vessels which were present in addition to the dreadnought HMS Monarch, In exchange the High Seas Fleet lost one battlecruiser. The battle decisively breaks the British blockade and helps spur the massive naval race which occurs following the end of the war.
    • The Fifth Anglo-Afghani War between the Emirate of Afghanistan and the Dominion of India almost always ends with the rapid defeat of Afghanistan and them return their conquered territory back to the Dominion of India.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The entire mod counts as one for historical figures in our timeline like Huey Long, John Reed, Nikolai Bukharin, Oswald Mosley and Pyotr Wrangel that never rose to significant prominence despite their potential due to a German victory in World War Inote . Significant figures in our timeline like Stalin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Churchill have downplayed roles or like in the case of Roosevelt, are outright dead.
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • Right-wing Russia might choose to stab Germany in the back cooperating with, or even altogether joining Internationale, in order to reverse Brest-Litovsk Treaty. There is also an option for them to demand part of that territory in exchange for joining Reichspakt, which and it's Germany that makes a Deal with the Devil, abandoning its allies to the Russians to save her skin.
    • Yet another case is that, if Germany is defeated by the Internationale, it is possible for it to join the Entente (and the "Empires in Exile club"), the very same whose exile was caused indirectly by German victory, in order to make their return to continent.
    • And then there is the option for a Germany who has defeated the Commune of France to offer National France the conquered territory (and hence a return to France and Paris without any fighting at all) in exchange for dropping claims on Alsace-Lorraine and defecting to Reichspakt... Alliances in game are as often dictated by Realpolitik as by ideology.
    • In the Second American Civil War, if things are going really badly for both the CSA and AUS, it is possible for Reed and Long to join in a desperate alliance against the Federal government, despite them being on the complete opposite end of the political spectrum, and the leaders of both factions absolutely hating the other on both an ideological and personal level. As one would expect, the alliance will fall apart the moment the USA is defeated.
    • Speaking of which, Huey Long can make an alliance early into the game with Southern white supremacists like the Klan and the Silver Legion to bolster his own power. In Real Life, Long hated the Klan, and they hated him. If the AUS ends up winning the Second Civil War, this alliance of convenience almost inevitably breaks down, with the extremist wing attempting a coup of its own to depose Long and seize power for themselves.
    • In previous versions, Edward VIII may bring the Entente into the Second Weltkrieg against Germany, judging that avenging their initial defeat is a more pressing concern than reclaiming Britain from the Syndicalists.
  • Death by Adaptation:
  • Different World, Different Movies: Several examples are mentioned, and more implied. For instance, in previous versions, J. R. R. Tolkien decides to write The Downfall of Númenor, based on the notebook he kept during the Weltkrieg, instead of The Hobbit in 1938, which ends up merging bits of The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings. He insists it's not a metaphor for the postwar revolutions among the Entente, just as in Real Life he insisted LOTR wasn't an allegory for World War II. However, post-0.8, he writes the Hobbit instead.
  • Dirty Communists: Totalism, short for Totalitarian Socialism, is the far-left ideology of the game, and is generally not portrayed sympathetically. While Totalism as defined in the Totalist Charter is more of uber-national syndicalism, Totalism elsewhere is generally used to simply represent authoritarian socialism, going anywhere from die-hard Leninsts to Stalinist expies, all of whom reject democracy and promote authoritarianism. Purges, work camps, secret police, and socialist reeducation are common in these states.
  • Divided States of America:
    • Unlike in the Vanilla game, this happens via event, courtesy of the Second American Civil War. The factions are the following:
      • The Combined Syndicates of America, formed by radical socialists and syndicalists, are based around the industrial Midwest.
      • The American Union State, formed by Southern populists, corporatists, fundamentalists and National Populists, is based in the Deep South.
      • The Pacific States of America, based on the the West Coast, rebels if MacArthur installs a military dictatorship and present themselves as the last bastion of American liberal democracy. While they wish to sit out the war, they can sometimes get dragged into it, or get caught in a war with Mexico.
      • Sometimes New England becomes its own country, aligned with the Entente, or is absorbed into Canada. And there's a chance that Canada will take Alaska, the Panama Canal, and have Puerto Rico join the Caribbean Federation. However, New England is somewhat unique in that it is loyal to the federal government, it's just that they know that the various loyalties of each state mean that, in the event of a civil war, they'd be cut off from the rest of the loyalist states by the CSA, and unable to defend themselves.
      • Hawai'i and the American Pacific Islands secede as Hawai'i for similar reasons to the Pacific States of America. Unlike the PSA, they never become involved in the war.
      • Finally, the remnants of the United States government desperately tries holding onto everything else, which will likely consist of only the Great Plains, Four Corners, and western South at this point.
    • Additionally, if Douglas MacArthur declares himself dictator for life instead of restoring democracy after the Second American Civil War, the United States will once more disintegrate into several small successor states when he dies to an assassin some time after the Second Civil War.
  • Double-Blind What-If: There are events for two Alternate History novels written In-Universe, speculating about an Entente victory in World War I:
    • The first book is Our Finest Hour by Winston Churchill (in previous versions of the mod named Führerreich or A Third Reich, then written by Erich Maria Remark). In Our Finest Hour, Theodore Roosevelt was elected as the president of the United States in 1912, leading to America intervening in the First Weltkrieg and defeating Germany. The Russian Civil War ends with a Red victory. Postwar, a revanchist German ultranationalist named Adam Dressler mounts a coup in Germany and takes over the country. Dressler leads the German Workers Party, who believe in the national populist ideology of "People's Socialism". The novel ends with the beginning of a three-sided Second Weltkrieg between Dressler's "New Reich", a British-led Western Entente, and a Soviet Russia led by Sergey Kirov. In-Universe, the book was criticized for its flaws in historical logic, but Chruchill defends his story and claims that "something like this could have happened in another universe". This is the book (in particular the pre-retcon Führerreich version of the book) that was adapted into the mod Führerreich: Legacy of the Great War.
    • The second book is The Red Flood by Lithuanian author Ignas Šeinius. In Red Flood, the Entente wins the Weltkrieg after Russia achieves a significantly more successful Brusilov Offensive, capitulating Austria-Hungary in 1916. A defeated Germany becomes Syndicalist, while Kolchak mounts a coup in Russia and turns it into an ultranationalist totalitarian dictatorship. Europe soon plunges into a Second Weltkrieg between Germany and Russia, with Lithuania being the frontlines between the two. The British are also said to be planning a naval invasion, though their target is unspecified. The story is criticized for its horrific descriptions of cruelty and war crimes, but much like Churchill, Šeinius defends his work by claiming "something like this could have happened in another universe".
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: United States, compared to its vanilla game counterpart, receives a heavy Nerf in the form of its inevitable Second Civil War. US's Industrial Capacity and Manpower take a heavy hit until the player completes a long and expensive National Focus tree.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: While Kaiserreich is usually seen as the "What if Germany won WW1" mod, it originally started as a "What if the Whites won the Russian Civil War" in a separate mod called All the Russias in Hearts of Iron II, which featured changes only on the territory of the former Russian Empire. The lore for Russia in Kaiserreich was lifted straight up from this mod.
  • Evil Colonialist:
    • Hermann Göring in Mittelafrika can force the native population to expand the mines of Katanga under horrible labor conditions, displace Africans from their homes during the construction of a power plant, and use forced labor to create weapons for Germany.
    • German East Asia under Admiral Hellmuth von Mücke is very repressive to its Indochinese population, brutally suppressing strikes and enforcing a strong divide between the colonizers and colonized. Unsurprisingly, all this leads to the Viet Cong rising up against them.
  • Evil Counterpart: Iron Guard Romania to Monarchist Romania, if you know anything about what the Iron Guard did in Real Life...
  • Evil Pays Better: Zig-Zagged.
    • Options to be lenient to your enemies are usually just as beneficial as punishing ones, and events like granting women the right to vote, and if you're Russia, not forcing the populace to be Russified are much better than the totalitarian ones. Can be seen as Pragmatic Villainy though. Downright inverted for the Indian integration events, where being as soft and accepting as possible gets you cores and tech-teams much sooner.
    • On the other hand, sometimes it's played completely straight. For example, if Liberia wants to pursue a far-left government, it has two options - elect the Radical Socialists or have a Totalist coup. The Radical Socialist focuses give no benefits other than relatively useless national unity, a paltry increase in daily political power gain (all three other electable parties give a larger boost to political power gain), Internationale membership, and independence from any puppet status Liberia is currently facing (only really useful if Germany bails out the Liberian debt) while the Totalist coup and focuses give a large amount of manpower, free divisions, an ORG recovery buff for all divisions, and the same increase in daily political power gain, independence, and Internationale membership, and may do this more than a year before the 1939 elections could have happened.
  • Evil vs. Evil:
    • Through the game runs on Grey and Grey Morality, it is possible, depending on how the game is played, for it to end with a final showdown between Savinkovist Russia or Militaristic Japan and it's allies and puppet states comprised of repressive National Populist/Corporatism/Pseudo-Fascist/Ultranationalist regimes versus an alliance of equally repressive Totalist nations.
    • Its also possible to have an authoritarian Entente consisting of Britain ruled by an absolute monarch, an absolute monarchy Canada, National Populist Australasia, military junta-run US/National Populist American Union State and other allies or puppet go up against Reichspakt lead by National Populist puppets and an absolute monarchist Imperial Germany.
    • China post-rework can have many different but equally brutal warlord factions going up against each other. War crimes are committed by basically everyone.
  • Expansion Pack: Fans produce a number of flavor pack mods that add onto the KR mod. For instance, one mod allows the Kaiser's daughter, Victoria Louise, to be made Queen of France if Germany defeats the Commune of France.
  • The Federation:
    • The Habsburg Empire became something like this post-Weltkrieg, comprised of autonomous states still under Austro-Hungarian rule. Although it's possible to play it more straight through reforms resulting in the Danubian Federation or restored (albeit totalitarian) Austro-Hungarian Empire.
    • The Princely Federation is an Indian federation of aristocratic governments, but it is possible for it to be reformed into a more democratic Dravidian Federation. The Dominion of India/Delhi government also has some federal elements, but they are less strong and clear than in the Princely Federation.
    • The federal parts of the German Empire's government structure are partly suspended when the game begins as a lingering consequence of the Weltkrieg, but the softer reform path sees one of the key elements of it restored.
  • For Want of a Nail: In our timeline, absolute monarchism and syndicalism became discredited with the collapse of the German/Austro-Hungarian/Ottoman and Russian empires as well as Marxism being the ideology that lead a revolution in Russia. The post-WWII world also saw decolonization and a moving of industry out of the west and into the third world, making a resurgence of monarchism and syndicalism relatively impossible. Thus, the Cold War ensured that Marxism and Capitalism would be the dominant left and right ideologies. In the world of Kaiserreich, Marxism's failure in Russia, but syndicalism's success in France has lead to syndicalism remaining dominant on the left and monarchism still being a viable right wing ideology due to Imperial Germany's dominance, while traditional parliamentary and representative democracy has seen its credibility badly eroded.
  • Four-Star Badass: The Second American Civil War features several Real Life examples of this trope - Douglas MacArthur, Omar Bradley, Dwight Eisenhower, and George S. Patton just to name a few, all fighting against each other.
  • Gambit Pileup: China is an absolutely insane mess of individual gambits crashing into each other into a power struggle of truly insane scale. At the start of the game, China consists of nine warlord factionsnote  and two sets of foreign concessionsnote . The League of Eight Provinces will also inevitably fail and collapse into five more factionsnote . Almost all of those factions, including the LEP collapse factions, have internal power struggles and combine to make a mega power struggle, and things only escalate from here:
    • Qing is divided between the Manchu remnants who want to restore the imperial powers and Wu Peifu's Northern Zhili clique who wants to eventually get rid of the Manchus and make a new Republic loyal to him. Both sides also wants to eventually reunite China. The Germans also want a bigger share of the Qing pie, which may or may not happen regardless of who comes to power.
    • Sun Chuanfang's Southern Zhili clique wants to usurp Wu Peifu's Northern Zhili clique and get more power for himself, though it doesn't last long since Sun Chuanfang dies soon after the start of the game.
    • The Fengtian Government wants to reunite China and restore the Beiyang Republic, but the Japanese are also trying to manipulate it so it eventually becomes a puppet under their rule.
    • Shandong is in a peculiar power balance between three factions: Zhang Zongchang's Fengtian-aligned clique, Zhang Tianran's Yiguandao, and Song Zheyuan's Qing-aligned Society for Restoring Benevolence. All three wants to get rid of each other and secure power over Shandong and possibly expand from there, with Yiguandao notably having ambitions to reunite China under their rule.
    • Yunnan is in an internal power struggle between the current clique leader Tang Jiyao, his subordinates Long Yun and Hu Ruoyu, and the NRA generals Zhu Peide and Lu Han. It's almost a Gambit Pileup within a Gambit Pileup.
    • Liangguang is technically two factions (Guangxi and Guangdong) united into one by personal relations. However, Shanxi clique soon falls into its own internal power struggle after the death of its aging leader, between a KMT aligned New Guangxi Clique and the Old Guangxi Clique led by the leader's ambitious son. Regardless of who comes to power, Guangxi will declare war on Guangdong, which results in Guangdong having its own power struggle to select a leader capable of defending against Guangxi.
    • The Kuomintang is itself divided between a Right wing and a Left wing faction, both of whom have different levels of influence across China, and might conflict with each other after first uniting China under the KMT.
    • Xinjiang harbors significant ethnic tensions between Uyghurs and the Chinese, which soon explodes into a civil war inside a civil war. The Uyghur rebellion is also divided between two factions (the more moderate Kumul Khanate and radical anti-Chinese Uyghur Nationalists) who disagree with each other and actually fight each other. Even then, these three factions also have internal power struggles. A victorious Kumul Khanate for example has the monarchic Nasir Shah competing with Han and Uyghur influence in the Khanate, and if he fails, Uyghur nationalist Hoja-Niyaz, Han bureaucrat Fan Yaonan, or Hui warlord Ma Zhongying might replace him, all of whom have different allegiances.
    • Not even the foreign concessions can escape from the mad power struggle, as the Legation Cities themselves are divided between the different foreign powers, most notably Japan and Germany, who wants more influence over the cities. The Legation city leaders themselves might even decide to undermine the legation council through triads, adding another layer to the complexities.
  • Government in Exile:
    • How the Canadian and Nationalist French work. Both house governments in exile that were overthrown by Syndicalist revolutions in their respective countries.
    • This can happen to the Netherlands or Germany (and in more specific circumstances to Portugal). Netherlands escapes to Dutch East Indies, while Germany escapes to Mittelafrika.
    • There are also more classical cases run independently from another country, although due to game mechanics those only come up in the events about them (a victorious Bharatiya Commune can invite Ho Chi Minh to Calcutta to set up a government-in-exile for a free Indochina, for example).
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Many of the events have words or descriptions in the languages of their respective nations. Not all are grammatically correct.
  • Gratuitous German:
    • World War I and World War II are consistently referred as "the First Weltkrieg" and "the Second Weltkrieg" in Kaiserreich, due to German cultural dominance. (As a note, the actual German name for WWI and WWII are "Erster Weltkrieg" and "Zweiter Weltkrieg" respectively)
    • Old versions of the mod used to have the satellite monarchies of Mitteleuropa named in German, though this was eventually removed for consistency and simplicity's sake. (the only remnant is Mittelafrika, due to it being a geographical descriptor and an outright colonial regime).
  • Grey and Gray Morality: Given the complexities of politics, and the ability to play as any country in the game, most countries in the game are morally ambiguous. Aside from a few unambiguously evil rotten apples (such as most of the national populists and most of the totalists, who are often portrayed as being unambiguously bad), most political paths maintain some form of moral ambiguity, and players can let their own personal politics to decide who is good or bad.
    • The three main alliances all have their own goods and bads, and objectives that can be painted as being either good or bad.
      • Reichspakt is an alliance of German-aligned authoritarian monarchies — but most of them are constitutional monarchies, and not absolute monarchies. Their goal is mutual defense against enemies, a completely justifiable goal to hold.
      • The Entente includes both democracies with flaws and harsh military regimes. Their goal is to return the world to pre-Revolutionary status quo, which can be seen as either reactionary against social progress, or fighting against the totalitarian tendencies of Syndicalism.
      • The Syndicalists ranges from moderate semi-democracies to not all that far from Totalism. Their goal to spread global revolution can be seen as either trying to uplift the world from the bygone ages of Empires, or trying to plunge the civilized world into chaos and implement their radical economic theories.
    • All the civil wars generally run on grey and gray morality, with all the sides capable of committing war crimes, sometimes beyond the control of the player. The Second American Civil War for example:
      • The American Union State under Huey Long wants to pursue a progressive economic agenda that still preserves American market economics. They can also be seen as Southern populists trying to take power from the federal government and create a dictatorship.
      • The Combined Syndicates of America follow a form of workplace democracy, and pursue expanded worker's rights and absolute racial and sexual equality. They can also be seen as radical revolutionaries wanting to bring down the establishment and cause chaos in America.
      • The federal government wants to restore the Union and maintain its traditional mix of democracy and market economics under the Constitution. Or they can be seen as cruel oppressors trying to stop progressive revolutions and hold on to their throne of power.
  • Historical In-Joke:
    • By the start of the game, Mussolini holds the position of the General Responsible for Transports of the Socialist Republic of Italy. His job is making trains run on time.
    • Kim Philby, a British double agent for the Soviet Union in real life, can be a minister for both Totalists and Market Liberals in the Union of Britain.
    • "Syndicalism with American characteristics" is an obvious reference to "Socialism with Chinese characteristics", a phrase which is rather infamous and widely-mocked in leftist circles.
    • Transamur's territory corresponds to the Eastern half of OTL's short-lived Far Eastern Republic. It was a puppet state too, but dominated by Soviet Union instead of Japan.
    • Following updates, Churchill was retconned into the author of the in-universe German defeat alternate history novel Our Finest Hour, instead of Erich Maria Remark's Fuhrerreich. This contains two in-jokes:
      • The title is a reference to Churchill's famous speech during the Battle of Britain,
      • The book itself is not only a reference to the fact that Churchill really did write an Alternate History story (well, essay), but the essay he wrote was about a historian in an alternate timeline writing an alternate history essay about what would happen if the even had happened the way it did in our timelinenote . Amusingly, the essay was part of a collection of Alternate History essays by various leading writers at the time called If It Had Happened Otherwise, and included an essay by Ronald Knox called If the General Strike Had Succeeded, about a timeline where Britain was under Communist rule. Just like what had happened in Kaiserreich, except with syndicalism.
    • In the event announcing the birth of Edward VIII's first child, it mentions that, prior to the birth, his brother would have become king in case of his "death or rather improbable abdication".
  • Icon of Rebellion: The torch and hammer symbol is adopted as the symbol of Revolutionary Syndicalism, replacing hammer and sickle as the worldwide revolutionary symbol.
  • Insistent Terminology: Austria and Hungary have different names for each model of equipment, despite almost all of them being the exact same as each other. For example, Austria has the Karabiner M.24, while Hungary has the 24M karabely. As well, Austria is ruled by Karl I von Habsburg-Lothringen, while Hungary is ruled by Habsburg-Lotaringiai IV Karoly. They are the same person.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • Happens in regards to the deaths of historical figures. Despite their lives changing dramatically as a result of the alternate history, Mustafa Kemal, Kaiser Wilhelm and others all die at or around the same time as in the original timeline.
    • Averted in the case of Mussolini coming to power in Italy. His ideology is so drastically different from real life, that even though he still has his dictatorial attitudes, his actions and their effects on Italy are completely different from real life.
    • Interestingly, Japan can still go to war with the internationally recognized government of China (the Qing Empire) by getting its army to destroy a small section of Japanese railway in Manchuria and blaming it on the Chinese, which leads to a Japanese invasion of China. The Qing can also form a temporary United Front like the Kuomintang did with the other Chinese warlords in the event of a foreign invasion.
  • Invaded States of America: In IV, Canada has various options to approach the Second American Civil War. Some of them include annexing New England and Upstate New York with its permission to protect them, then choose to keep it for themselves, annex Alaska, and annex the Panama Canal, as well as take various sides in the war.
  • Irony:
    • In the Second American Civil War, the faction based in the North has a name that is abbreviated 'CSA', while the faction from the Deep South is called the American Union State.
    • It's also possible for the Bolsheviks to be successful in gaining power in Russia and forge the USSR, given the right circumstances.
    • Muhammad Ali Jinnah is a possible leader for Delhi, and potentially of a united India. In Real Life he was one of Pakistan's founding fathers.
    • The fact that George Orwell (known by his real name Eric Blair in this timeline and mod) can lead a Totalist Britain, even though he warned that Totalism's real life equivalent of Stalinism was a deviation and subversion of true socialism.
    • Speaking of China, the Japanese are still supporting a Manchurian puppet state in opposition to the legitimate Chinese government — except in this world, the puppet's a republican splinter state while China is ruled by a restored Qing Empire under Pu Yi, the exact opposite of the historical situation.
    • In real life, Francisco Franco destroyed the Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War and restored the monarchy in Spain. In Kaiserreich, Franco can abolish the Spanish monarchy and establish a Republic after the Civil War.
    • This loading screen is based on the photo of the Soviet soldiers raising a flag over the Reichstag, which symbolizes the triumph over the Nazi regime. The flag in the screen, however, is changed to the flag of the Russian State which is led by Savinkov's National Populists, the KR version of Nazis.
    • Should the United Kingdom be restored, one of the national focuses they have in the Reconstruction Authority tree in called "Loyalist Propaganda", which gives a national idea called "Agitprop". Agitprop is a Russian term for political propaganda spread to the masses through popular media, such as plays, literature, films, etc., with the political message being explicit rather than subtle. The irony is that, most of the time, agitprop was something the Soviets and other far-left Russian groups used, meaning the United Kingdom is basically using the tools of the syndicalists against them.
  • Istanbul (Not Constantinople):
    • Saint Petersburg is known as Petrograd, like it was called in 1914-1924, since its name was never changed to Leningrad. Similarly, other Russian cities, the names of which were changed during the Soviet period, still have their pre-revolutionary names (like Tsaritsyn instead of Stalingrad/Volgograd).
    • The Falkland Islands are called the Islas Malvinas, with Port Stanley being Puerto Argentino, while South Georgianote  is now Isla San Pedronote 
  • Kaiserreich: As the name may indicate, the triumphant German Empire remains a major player in world affairs.
  • Let No Crisis Go to Waste: A major part of everyone wishing to challenge the current world order, and especially the Entente's plans.
    • Black Monday throws a major spanner in the works of the Imperial German world order and gives the Internationale a chance to build up and strike Germany while it's weak. Similarly, many other regional power blocs use the chance to nibble at Germany's subjects, and its less satisfied subjects might even try to break free.
    • Canada can use the Second American Civil War to seize large amounts of land from the US, including the Panama Canal and New England. Several National Focuses for the members of the Entente require the Internationale to be at war with Reichspakt, using their distraction to make invading them easier.
    • If the Commune of France purges the army under Jacobin rule, National France may immediately invade while the Commune is completely disorganized.
    • If Russia has a second Civil War, Transamur under any rule except Yui Mitsue's may use the chance to start trying to grab parts of the Russian Far East.
    • Germany used the British Revolution as a chance to seize pretty much all of Britain's African and Asian colonies, reorganizing them into Deutsch Mittelafrika and Deutsch-Ostasien.
  • Lensman Arms Race: The world of Kaiserreich never had anything like the London and Washington Naval Treaties of our timeline, and without such treaties and Kaiser Wilhelm's obsession with building up the Kaiserliche Marine into the mightiest navy in the world and Britain's equal interest in ruling the waves, a second dreadnought race kicked off after the Peace With Honor, culminating in monstrous hyper-dreadnoughts that dwarf even Yamato, the largest battleship ever built in our timeline, with armament such as fifteen 18-inch guns and armor against their own weapons. The unsustainable cost of trying to keep up in this was one of the factors that led to the British Syndicalist Revolution, and the first post-1936 dreadnought technology amounts to realizing that this has gotten out of hand and refocusing dreadnought design on their strengths, especially armor, while putting less effort into speed (which is left to the new fast battleships developed to succeed the older battlecruisers) and scaling back the size of the armament to smaller, but higher-velocity 16-inch guns that retain similar performance against armor, resulting in designs that are actually cheaper than their predecessors.
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • Some of the nations can count as this. All the nations that can profit off of the Austria-Hungary war for example, if the war chooses to fire or not.
    • Whether or not the democratic USA can win the Civil War is heavily influenced by three luck-based factors: whether the PSA rejoins the federal government without a fight, whether Mexico attacks the Southwest, and whether Canada occupies New England. All three are out of the control of someone playing the USA.
    • Reclaiming Russia as Transamur is almost entirely luck based. First, Russia has to have a second Red Revolution, which is by no means guaranteed. Second, Japan has to agree to let you actually try to seize chunks of Siberia. Third, Russia or an independent Siberia has to actually agree, as Japan is likely to take the land for itself if they declare war over it. Trying to avert this by declaring independence from Japan is even more luck-based, as Japan is far more powerful than little, manpower-starved Transamur, which will be lucky to even get a division on the Home Islands.
  • Magikarp Power:
    • Out of all three main alliances the Entente starts off the weakest. All of its starting members face the possibility of being overthrown or leaving the alliance, and most of its potential members (like the USA or Russia) are more likely to end up joining one of the other factions. However with the right events it's possible to end up with the US, Russia, a unified India, all the former British Dominions, and even Portugal and Spain to join up to crate a truly unstoppable force.
    • Russia, it starts off with high dissident and the earlier events following Kerensky's assassination will only give more if not handled well, but if you play your cards right, you will be able to restore the monarchy (or the Soviet power for that matter), win a second civil war or prevent it altogether and reunite the former Russian lands.
    • The United States of America is the biggest of them all. They start off with no military power to speak of (they have even less starting divisions than some of the minor countries), huge debuffs on just about everything, and also facing the daunting task of defeating an inevitable, possibly multi-sided civil war. However, with a little skill and luck, it's possible to turn the US into a superpower that rivals Germany, retake all the former lands and have a truly unstoppable force.
    • Transamur is a tiny, weak pretender state that claims to be the legitimate government of Russia. It is one of the weakest nations in the entire game, but with luck and careful planning, they can actually reclaim all of Russia by politics and war, and even eventually become the true, unified Russia, gaining cores all the way and eventually becoming a true major power, even before they're done.
    • The Indochinese Union starts off completely cut off from resources, few factories, and having to get equipment via arms smuggling once Germany slaps an embargo on it. They also have to fend off the superior firepower of the German Empire and naval invasions regularly. But play your cards right, and it's possible to transform a tiny guerrilla force into a formidable army capable of not only seizing back its home territory, but going toe to toe with Siam and fend off any attempts to colonize Indochina again.
  • Mexico Called; They Want Texas Back: As National Populist Mexico, it's possible to take advantage of the crisis brought upon by the Second American Civil War and seize back the states of New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and Southern California from the US, and possibly advance to conquer more of the Deep South with the right strategies.
  • Mêlée à Trois: The three main factions that will almost always be formed over the course of the game are the Ententenote , the Third Internationalenote , and the Reichspaktnote . The Co-Prosperity Spherenote  can also rise to power, and the Belgrade Pactnote  can also manifest in the Balkans. And none of these factions start with anything less than utter contempt each other, which can lead to a three(or more)-way Second Weltkreig.
  • Middle Eastern Coalition: An odd 20th century alternate history example: the Cairo Pact is a military alliance formed by the Sultanate of Egypt, encompassing nations from the Middle East to North Africa.
  • Monumental Damage: If Berlin falls to the Commune of France, the Communard soldiers will blow the Brandenburg Gate, accompanying the destruction of one of the famous German monuments by choir of the Internationale.
  • Morton's Fork: The run-up to Second American Civil War features many options, diverging paths, and possibilities for who gets elected in the 1936 Election, but all of them leads to a standoff and the eventual civil war.note 
  • Multiple Endings: Taken as a whole, the reworked China in Kaiserreich can reunite under a restored Qing dynasty, Wu Peifu or Zhang Zuolin's Republican China, Left wing or Right wing KMT China, or even a United Provinces of China formed by multiple federalist-minded regional warlords. Alternatively, China can end up not being united at all, and all the different warlord provinces hold on to their powers and autonomy.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: In Kaiserreich, Hitler died during World War I, and Mussolini remained a socialist (if a totalitarian socialist). As a result, neither Fascism nor Nazism (and related ideologies like Falangism) exist in Kaiserreich. However, the ideology of National Populism (NatPop for short) becomes their replacement, serving as the analogue for Nazism in game mechanics. Generally speaking, National Populism is more similar to Fascism than Nazism, with most NatPop leaders taking on authoritarian, nationalist, militarist, and traditionalist qualities, while rejecting democracy and socialism. Most NatPop leaders lack the racist qualities that distinguished Nazism (with the Integralists in Brazil in particular outright rejecting racism), but some NatPop leaders like America's Pelley, Romania's Codreanu, and Mexico's Sinarquistas absolutely have racist ideologies to their National Populism.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The developers have admitted that filing Zhang Tianran's Yiguandao movement under the National Populist ideology isn't very fitting, as the Eurocentric view the game's ideologies are based on doesn't work at all with an ideology entrenched in Chinese spiritualism. Regardless, the gameplay mechanics mean that it's the only tag it can possibly fit under.
  • One-Federation Limit: Averted. The Italian Federation (before 0.6), the Iberian Federation (Syndicalist Spain), the Danubian Federation, and the Princely Federation (non-affiliated Indian state) all exist or can be formed during the course of the game.
  • Oppressive States of America: All three of the main factions in the Second American Civil War have an extremist, despotic fringe that may take power under the right circumstances: The Totalist Vanguardist faction for the Combined Syndicates, the National Populist Silver Legion faction for the Union State, and the MacArthur military junta for the Federal government.
  • Orphaned Etymology: While it was more prominent in earlier versions (especially before 0.8), it still pops up from time to time.
    • Before the massive overhaul of the naval tech tree in 0.8, The United States can still develop the Midway-Class aircraft carrier, even though the Battle of Midway is almost guaranteed to not happen.
    • Pre-0.8, Canada could develop the Bren Gun, and Union of Britain could get the Bren Carrier, despite the fact that the Bren would most likely not existnote 
    • Several US tanks are named for American Generals, despite that tradition being started by the British. As well, the Patton tank still exists, even though Patton betrays the United States during the Civil War. This is especially notable, since they do actually take stuff like this into account elsewhere, with the Union of Britain version of the Churchill tank and Churchill Kangaroo APC being called the Mosley and Mosley Kangaroo instead. Even stranger, the CSA also calls it the Patton, despite the fact that it's guaranteed that he won't be on their side.
    • Pre-0.8, the third Canadian light tank is the M3 Arctic Fox, despite the fact that terming things M# is American terminology, and the Arctic Fox is a Canadian design.
    • The pre-0.8 German assault rifle is an odd example. While it is designated the Sturmgewehr 43 instead of 44, there is still the fact that the term Sturmgewehr is thought to have come from Hitler himselfnote . Post-0.8, it is now called a machinenkarabiner (Machine Carbine).
    • A possible name for a Union of Britain armoured division is the 7th "Desert Rats" Armoured Division. Thing is, the real 7th Armoured Division was only formed in 1938, after the war broke out, and only got the nickname while fighting in North Africa
  • Peace Conference: In 1928, after Germany and Japan directly fought each other during the Jade Wind Incident, USA organizes the Shanghai Conference in an attempt to resolve the Gambit Pileup that China had become. The conference established the Legation Cities as Truce Zones for everyone involved, Chinese, German, or Japanese, maintained USA's Open Door Policy on China trade, and organized a ceasefire for all of the Chinese warlord factions.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • It's possible to be extremely lenient to defeated enemies if the player so chooses - playing as the victorious White Russians, for example, one of the choices given fairly early on provides the option to formally recognize the local Soviet councils and essentially integrate the defeated Reds peacefully into the government.
    • If playing an authoritarian-at-start regime with a unique focus tree, it's possible to make concessions by pursuing the branches that encourage reforms, letting the player win back their people's trust while keeping their authoritarian leader in power. Of course, you can always be a jackass and crack down even more in other branches.
  • Point of Divergence: The point of divergence of the Kaiserreich timeline is 8 January 1917, when Kaiser decides to not reenact unrestricted submarine warfare. This decision prevents the US from the involvement in World War I and leads to the following failure of the Allied offensive in the west.
  • Proxy War: China is the site of a proxy war between Germany and Japan. Germany directly supports the Zhili clique (who had under their requests reformed into Qing), while Japan directly supports the Fengtian clique (who under Japanese pressure refuses to recognize Qing and formed their own competing government), who are directly hostile to each other. The Legation Cities are born out of tensions caused by German and Japanese forces scrambling to occupy former British concessions, and as they currently stand are the site of a diplomatic battleground between German and Japanese ambassadors.
  • Puppet State:
    • Much of Reichspakt, along with Germany's territories in Africa and China, are puppets of Imperial Germany, rather than actual independent nations in an alliance.
    • Imperial Japan keeps two puppets in Fengtian, which is a claimant to legitimate rule of China, and Transamur, which makes similar claims on Russia. While they both start under Japan, they can later overthrow the Japanese yoke and unite Russia and China respectively for themselves.
    • Whenever a nation capitulates to another nation or is annexed in a peace deal, there is an event that will let the new occupier choose to either keep the new land for themselves or create one or more puppet nations out of their former enemy.
  • Putting on the Reich: National Populists tend to evoke imagery of real-life fascists, with a general obsession of rallies, insignias, and State Secs.
  • Reality Ensues: As an Alternate History setting, KR allows players to take a large huge variety of actions. However, just because an option is available, it doesn't mean that picking them won't have sometimes unexpected or dire consequences...
    • Since the dominant school-of-thought for the radical left in the setting, Syndicalism, has a much more democratic outlook compared to Marxist Leninism, for a socialist country to take the more authoritarian options that allow for the Totalist to come into power will likely result in massive dissent gains, even leading to an outright civil war.
    • If the Carlists win the Spanish Civil War, King Jaime will have the option to claim the Bourbon Throne and dominion over all of France in addition to just Spain. Doing so will crash Spain's relations with both National France and the Commune of France. And this foreign policy goal is deemed to be so unrealistic that there is a 0% chance of the AI picking it.
    • If Entente managed to retake the British Isles and restore the United Kingdom, and the new government decide to not ban the heavily socialist leaning Progressive Party, they will run in the First General Election, and have the highest chance of winning, due to the British people having lived under a socialist regime for over a decade at this point.
    • Considering Herman Goering's depravities that he uses to rule Mittelafrika, it's not surprising that if he's allowed to remain in power that the natives will get tired of him using them as his personal toys and end up rebelling, leading to the collapse of German dominance in Africa and a huge number of new nations popping up, which then leads to multiple simultaneous wars.
  • Red Scare: Due to the spread of Syndicalism and other radical left ideologies around the world, fear of the Syndicalist revolution is common in capitalist nations.
  • La Résistance:
    • France can cause a rebellion in Wallonia and Alsace-Lorraine once war between Germany and France breaks out, spawning 4 militia divisions. This can really help the Commune if they exploit it well.
    • If the Commune of France loses the Second Weltkrieg and is partitioned between the French Republic and German-occupied puppet kingdom, the former can support an insurgency against the latter. This often leads to a Third Weltkrieg.
  • The Remnant:
    • The Entente is called "The Empire-in-Exile club" because of this. Britain, France and Italy had hostile revolutions that exiled their governments to their colonies, Britain is now based on Canada (Although it still possesses a Vestigial Empire of Colonies), France on Algeria and the Italian House of Savoia only controls the Kingdom of Sardinia.
    • Despite being defeated in the Russian Civil War, Bolshevik Remnants remain under the leadership of Nikolai Bukharin and can restore the USSR if they come to power either democratically or through Civil War.
    • Due to the failure of the first Russian Revolution, Marxist Leninism has been reduced to a fringe ideology within the radical left around the world (even the Bolshevik remnants have moved on to Syndicalism). However, the Leninist will still be represented by the Jacobins in France, and if they manage to win the elections, they will be in control of a powerful industrialized nation that is also the leader of the Internationale faction.
  • Retcon: The lore has been updated many times throughout the development of the mod.
    • The Fuhrerreich Double-Blind What-If in-universe alternate history book was originally written by Erich Maria Remark, and in later versions of the game retconned to Our Finest Hour written by Winston Churchill.
    • In previous versions, there were just two Italian states: the Italian Federation ruled by the Pope in the north, and the Socialist Republic of Italy in the south. This was reworked into a five-way division between the SRI in the Northwest, Republican Italy in the Northeast, Two Sicilies in the South, Papal State in Rome, and Sardinia on Sardinia.
    • In the Garibaldi's Nightmare update. the role of Julius IV, the national populist choice for Pope, is held by Alfredo Schuster, replacing Theodore Innitzer.
    • Baron Wrangel was the NatPop candidate for Russia in earlier versions of the mod. His role was replaced by Boris Savinkov in version 1.8.
    • China received a total lore rework that kept the basic lore framework of German intervention in China leading to the restoration of the Qing, while reworking everything to create a more logically coherent warlord era scenario with significantly more gameplay opportunities. The original lore was some of the oldest content ever created for Kaiserreich, and in retrospect contained a lot of outrageously implausible events (e.g. Chinese republicans inviting Puyi back onto the throne because they were sick with democracy). The rework was one of the biggest development projects ever undertaken in KR development, stretching over over four years of development.
  • Richard Nixon the Used Car Salesman: So many, in part due to the mod's focus of shifting focus away from major 20th century figures to more minor ones.
    • Many of the members of Nazi Germany in our timeline such as Rudolf Hess and Joseph Goebbels serve in various far-right parties, including one led by Ernst Rohm, while there is no event to elect them to power they can be appointed manually as ministers.
    • Reinhard Heydrich is an admiral and a possible minister of military intelligence in Mittelafrika.
    • Nazi leader and ideologue Alfred Rosenberg is a minister in the United Baltic Duchy. Fitting, as he is a Baltic German.
    • Hermann Goering and Joachim Von Ribbentrop administer Mittelafrika for the German Empire — in theory. In actuality they lord over the place like old-school absolute despots, and the Fatherland basically turns a blind eye to their dealings so long as Berlin gets its cut.
    • Joseph Goebbels is a prominent movie critic who writes a favorable review on Leni Riefenstahl's movie about Hitler.
    • Josef Stalin is a Minister of Security for the Georgian Socialist Republic, an inverse of his relationship with Beria in the original timeline. Known by his Georgian name, Ioseb Dzhugashvili, in-universe.
    • Winston Churchill is a possible minister for the Entente-liberated Britain, also if Tsarist Russia decides to join the Entente, Churchill will be sent to Russia as a foreign minister. For extra irony, if the Entente declares war on Germany and not the Syndicalists, he will warn Russia that an "Iron Curtain will fall over Germany if the Syndicalists win".
    • Dwight D. Eisenhower is a general in Douglas MacArthur's Junta that can come to power assuming a dictatorial US Federal government wins the civil war when MacArthur dies.
    • Due to the Nazis never rising to power, Albert Einstein remains in Germany as an armaments minister.
    • Karl I von Habsburg is alive and stays as the emperor of Austria. In earlier versions, he died, like in OTL, in 1922 and was succeeded by his young son Otto.
    • Boris Savinkov (historically a Right-SR who ran its Combat Organization/Terror Brigade, and afterwards opposed the Bolsheviks) is the leader of the most extreme national populist faction in Russia that could take power with Kerensky's death, and arguably takes over the role that Hitler filled in OTL — especially since rather than taking power directly he gets brought in to stabilise a government headed by an old general and assumes full power when the general dies.
    • Nestor Makhno, leader of the anarchist Free Territory of Ukrainian during the Ukrainian Revolution, fled Ukraine to the Commune of France after the defeat of the Black Army and the Bolsheviks by German intervention. In France, Makhno can be elected to power as the leader of the Anarchist faction.
    • Francisco Franco is a major figure in the Kingdom of Spain, he can take power if the king dies from his coma in the Spanish Civil War.
    • Leon Trotsky is blamed by all Socialist nations for the failure of Communism in Russia, forcing him to go into hiding and fade into obscurity.
    • As a result of the disappearance of the above Trotsky, Mikhail Tukhachevsky, who was purged in our timeline by Stalin, becomes the dominant Trotskyist figure (represented as Totalist in-game) with his agenda geared towards permanent revolution by spreading Communism abroad.
    • Nikolai Bukharin is the leader of the Communist remnants in Russia, they can be elected to power and form a Popular Front Government that can restore the USSR.
    • George Orwell, known by his name as Eric Blair can be a head of government for a Mosley-led regime. He can also turn against Mosley if the latter abuses his own power too much.
    • Charlie Chaplin is a potential minister replacement for the Minister of Security for the Combined Syndicates of America, fitting his real-life reputation as a leftist radical. It's mentioned that his film Modern Times is quickly banned in the United States for being anti-capitalist, which actually happened with his film Limelight in 1952.
    • C. S. Lewis: here he is a Composite Character between himself and Aleister Crowley. He's a syndicalist who takes an active role during the British Revolution and loses one eye to a Royalist. He becomes acquainted with Oswald Mosley, and his Totalist inner circle. C.S.Lewis is also an pagan anti-christian activist with an ambiguous homosexuality.
    • T. E. Lawrence of Arabian fame is still living in the Union of Britain, having failed to die in a 1935 motorcycle accident as he historically did, and will volunteer to be sent into the Kaiserreich to raise his own particular brand of chaos on the outbreak of war. He may also rise to power should the military need to step in to restore order. If so, he stands a slightly-less-than-even chance of revealing his monarchist sympathies and using his position as interim chairman to organize a mass Royalist uprising. Or he can rule as a totally-not-Totalist Syndicalist dictator like Mosley did.
    • Pancho Villa remains alive and active in Mexico, leading one of the major factions of Syndicalist Mexico alongside Zapata, and he may come to lead all of Mexico depending on how events pan out.
    • Quentin Roosevelt, the son of Theodore Roosevelt, didn't participate the Weltkrieg and avoided his death and is a prominent Republican politician. In later elections, he runs as the Republican presidential candidate.
    • Clement Attlee is a member of the Federationalist faction in the Union of Britain and a potential Chairman if either his faction wins in the Second Congress after the Second Weltkrieg or if he is elected after T.E. Lawrence's anti-Maximist coup.
    • Prince Albert, The Duke of York, OTL George VI, obviously never becomes King since Edward VIII doesn't abdicate, but after the liberation and reconstruction of Great Britain he can be appointed Governor-General of Canada.
    • Howard Hughes and William Randolph Hearst are potential Heads of Government for the Pacific States. Hughes can also be the Economic Minister and the Chief of the Airforce. John Ford can be the Minister of the Interior or Head of Military Intelligencenote . And Walt Disney is a potential Economic Minister.
    • Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron, is still alive, and is now the head of the Deutsche Luftstreitkräfte (German Air Force).
    • Father Charles Coughlin, Catholic priest, Huey Long supporter, anti-socialist and anti-Semite who has a radio program where he talks about his political ideas, is a possible minister option in the AUS. USA and the Papal State both get an early-game event where Coughlin rants about Syndicalists and Jews on his radio program, claiming that the Jews caused Syndicalism and the Black Monday crash.
    • Mao Zedong is a rural teacher in China with no political desires, i.e. he does not appear in the game at all.
  • Rightful King Returns: Numerous examples.
    • Kirill Vladimirovich, the head of the house of Romanov following the death of Nicholas II, can be restored as the emperor of Russia.
    • Serbia can restore the monarchy with Crown Prince Aleksandar of the Karađorđević house.
    • The Integralists in Brazil can restore the Empire of Brazil and crown Prince Pedro of Orléans-Braganza as the Emperor.
    • National France can restore the monarchy of France as well, in Bourbon or Bonaparte flavors.
    • Canada, which houses the British Royal Family in exile, has the primary goal of trying to reinstall Edward VIII onto Great Britain.
    • Pu Yi, the last emperor of the Manchu dynasty that ruled Qing China before its overthrow, was reinstalled onto a German-backed constitutional monarchy on Zhili Clique territory, which was nominally recognized by all other Chinese warlords due to the Zhili hegemony. He has no actual power as all the real power rests in Wu Peifu's Zhili clique, and must work his way to actually unify China.
    • In earlier versions of the game, Shangqing Tianguo can reinstall Zhu Rongji, a distant descendant of the Ming dynasty (the last Han Chinese dynasty of China before the Manchu minority conquered China and created Qing). The option is removed in the rework.
    • Subverted by the Carlists in Spain, in which Xavier de Borbón y Parma claims the Spanish throne from the crumbling Kingdom of Spain (with the support of Italy and other Catholic powers), yet he's not considered a legitimate pretender by the rest of Spain.
    • In Portugal's backstory, following their defeat in the Weltkrieg, a pro-Monarchist counterrevolution overthrew the republican government and restored the Kingdom of Portugal and the former King Manuel II, who was overthrown in the 1910 revolution. In 1936, Portugal is ruled by Manuel's former competing claimant Duarte II (a.k.a. Duarte Nuno) as a part of the Pact of Dover, a private agreement on Portuguese succession following Manuel's death as he had no heir.
    • Hawaii can restore the monarchy if it gains independence.
    • The Kingdom of Sardinia can unite Italy with the former monarch.
    • Subverted in the cases of monarchies restored by foreign powers after a nation gets conquered, such as Mexico's two monarchy options. In these cases, the restored monarchy is more or less a Puppet King.
  • Serious Business: In IV, Canada is very serious about The Stanley Cup, to the point that a Canadian team losing to an American team causes them to lose some Political Power.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story:
    • In the Union of Britain, the British Civil War can possibly be one, Mosley can abuse his power and become President for Life, which could lead to Blair/Orwell overthrowing him with the help of the military, the military could then declare its intention of civil war to restore the British Empire. If the Union of Britain Wins, it has an election to decide who leads the nation.....and its entirely possible for Mosley's heirs in the Totalist faction to win and take power.
    • If MacArthur reunifes the US after the war and declares himself a President for Life, he will be assassinated and the US afterwards can be disintegrated into the several states again.
  • Shown Their Work: The mod has a ton of nods to real history, along with being based on an incredibly plausible Alternate History.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Poland's text for the end of the Olympics is 'Poland cannot into Olympics,' a play on a popular Paradox forum meme.
    • One of the ministers for the Fengtian Government is named Liu Han.
    • One of the Canadian Generals is named Melchett.
    • One of the units that Mittelafrika starts with is called the Outer Heaven Warlords.
    • One of the focuses in the Long's America focus tree of AUS is named It Can Happen Here. This is quite fitting, considering that Berzelius Windrip, the dictator from the novel, was based on Huey Long.
    • One of the loading tips claims that "Ottoman Empire is the strongest state" on the grounds that it faces great internal and external pressure to collapse, and yet it persists, a shout-out to Europa Universalis where this the Ottomans really are one of, if not the strongest nation in the game.
    • One of the events for Yunarmiya for National Populist Russia has references to the Russian Visual Novel Everlasting Summer in it, including the name of the camp Sovyonok and a reference to the title of the novel itself.
    • The Ottoman Empire have an option to form desert rangers to patrol their "wastes".
    • In the Princely Federation, they have an option to have Osman Ali Khan seizes power from the council and attempts to grab all power for himself. Doing so will result in the Southern Indian states rebelling. What is Osman's reaction when the first state (Mysore) rebels? "It's treason, then.".
  • Take a Third Option: The American storyline has an interesting relationship with this trope. Huey Long represents the third way between Syndicalism and Free Market Capitalism, but his dictatorial methods undermine worker unionism enough to piss off the CSA.
    • The Pacific States and New England both posit liberal democracy if the USA, AUS, and CSA degenerate into military, far-right or far-left dictatorships.
  • The Theocracy:
    • The Papal State, naturally, with it's path decided by which Pope the cardinals elect to replace Pius XI. It can actually become a “constitutional theocracy” if a liberal or progressive Cardinal is elected, who then focuses on ecclesiastical matters and leaves governance to a democratic legislature.
    • There are several other (non-Christian) theocracies in game as well, including Turkestan (radical Islam) and Shangqing Tianguo (Chinese spiritualism).
  • Token Good Teammate: Integralism is an interesting "branch" of National Populism in Kaiserreich, which can come to power in Brazil, Portugal, and Two Sicilies. The Integralists of Kaiserreich are of the Portuguese Integralist type, who are monarchists that advocate for an "organic kingdom". Integralist paths are a weird blend of authoritarian and autonomist policies, creating a corporatist-populist, albeit anti syndicalist, economy. Brazil's Integralist path also take measures to END racism.
  • The Usurper:
    • Both Wrangel and Grand Duke Dmitri (who is also a Romanov though not the legitimate line of succession) can claim the Russian throne for themselves, usurping it from Kirill Vladimirovich, the head of the house of Romanov.
    • Germany can install German nobles as France and Britain's monarchs instead of the British Windsors and French Bourbons/Bonapartes (or Republic if National France decides not to restore either dynasty).
    • The Carlists aspire to have Xavier be this for the legitimate Spanish royals.
  • Velvet Revolution:
    • It is possible for the governments of Portugal and a Totalist Italy to be fully democratized without much bloodshed if dissent is high and the player chooses to cave in to the demands of the protesters. It is also possible for the Russian government to become Communist by simply submitting to the demands of the Bolsheviks without civil war if they revolt.
    • National France (in the state as of 0.8; a rework has been teased) is a military regime, but dissent is rising and calls for a restoration of Republican liberties are being made. Notably, the military regime can't be preserved in its entirety, and the transitions are all peaceful — the closest is mostly restoring the Republic but having Petain remain President until death or a liberation of the mainland (an authoritarian regime can be maintained, but it transfers power to an absolutist monarch).
  • Vestigial Empire: Numerous examples exist at the start of the game.
    • The British Empire has almost completely collapsed. Their overseas territories were either taken by other countries, taken by Germany, or went independent. The remains of the Royal Family and the British government has been sent into exile, operating out of Canada. They have a very loose alliance with only a few of its former dominions/colonies still working with them.
    • Allied to British Canada is National France, the remnants of the old French regime, now in exile in France's African colonies after the Syndicalist revolution in cosmopolitan France. They lost most of their overseas colonies beside the African one, much like Britain.
    • The Austro-Hungarian Empire is slowly sliding into internal tensions, and can easily collapse without major reforms.
    • The restored Qing is technically a subversion. The actual Qing was overthrown during the 1911 Xinhai Revolution, and is pretty much completely dead. The restored Qing is little more than warlord territory with a fresh coat of imperial paint. Puyi is really the only part of the old Qing that survived the Xinhai Revolution, and even after his restoration, he has little to no support within China and is isolated politics-wise, with the Zhili warlords handling most of the daily governance.
  • Victory by Endurance: If the Syndicalists end up winning the Second American Civil War, this is usually how they do it - their territory includes a substantial majority of America's population, industry, and infrastructure, so they can produce more supplies than the other factions involved in the war, muster more troops to fight, and replace losses faster. All they really have to do is fortify and wait while their enemies gradually bleed themselves dry.
  • Videogame Caring Potential: Much harder, of course, but present. Enact major reforms to free your people, save collapsing nations from dying, turn nations on the edge of destruction or despotism into constitutional monarchies, pursue diplomacy over invasion, etc. Probably the greatest example of all would be fully averting the seemingly inevitable Second American Civil War and enacting the Fair Deal to rebuild the American economy.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: Almost more than actual Hearts of Iron. Want to re-enserf the peasantry under a new Russian Empire or create a fascist state out of the ruins of Russia? Create a fully dictatorial Totalist or Corporatist regime in America or thrust it under the rule of a military Junta trampling on constitutional rights? Execute protesters and those who oppose your reign? Make the civil wars of our timeline even worse? And not allow women to vote?! Then come and play Kaiserreich!
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Some of the harsher options have negative consequences that aren't always directly seen upon choosing them. The Dominion of India, for instance, is set up so that the softer, kinder your re-integration of the regions of the other two claimants to the Raj are, the quicker your rule is accepted and you get cores. Be as moderate as possible, and it might only take a few months. Be as harsh and radical as possible, and it might take more than a year.
  • The Von Trope Family: Seeing as Imperial Germany is still alive, Von names are much more in use. Notable example include Roman von Ungern-Sternberg (who is actually Russian, but of German extraction), and Hermann von Göring (who got the noble treatment after Germany wins WWI).
  • We Have Reserves: The Syndicalists in the Second American Civil War have this as their primary advantage, both in equipment and in men - the other factions get better generals (the American Union State)or better-trained troops (the Federal Government), but at the end of the day there just aren't very many of them, while every Syndicalist soldier killed has three more lined up to take his place on the battle line, with the industrial base of the Rust Belt to back it up.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: A fair number of major countries start with leaders who die (or can die) soon after the game starts. In IV, some (such as Canada or Russia) are unable to access most (or even all) of their focuses until their first leader dies.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The American Union State and its related event chains are heavily inspired by It Can't Happen Here, which in turn was itself inspired by the real Huey Long and his "Share Our Wealth" movement.
  • You Don't Look Like You:
    • Leo Stefan I von Habsburg-Lothringen, a child monarch head of state for Ukraine that can appear when King Vasily I gets assassinated (Leo is Vasily's nephew), actually uses an image of a young Otto von Habsburg as his portrait, because the real Leo Stefan has little to no known photographs.
    • The Paternal Autocrat military dictator of Panama, Manuel Pino, uses a picture of real life Panamanian dictator Omar Torrijos as his portrait as Pino has no known photographs.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After the Cairo Pact defeats the Ottomans, Egypt and Iran can limit Arabia's power by not giving the Arabs land, resulting in an outraged Arabia leaving the Cairo Pact.

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