The People's Republic of United Workers (Abr. PUL) is a country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered to the east by the Russian Empire and its remnant warlord states, to the west by Czechoslovakia and Germany, and to the south by Hungary, Romania, and Ukraine. It shares maritime borders with the Kingdom of Dano-Sweden.
The Poland of the end of the Great War was a nation divided, ravaged by both conflict fought by foreign powers over its land and the recent struggles of revolutionaries seeking independence. In an attempt to further turn the war in their favour, the Central powers of Austria-Hungary and Germany formed a regency council in the ailing territory desperate for independence, hoping to institute a friendly Polish monarchy.
The Regency Council, however, was easily seen through by the vast majority of people, sparking sporadic incidences of revolutionary fervour in the country throughout 1919, culminating in the abrupt dissolution of the Regency Council in early 1920. Defying demands made by the stretched-thin Central Powers, the Sejm transformed itself into a more traditional parliament, naming renowned socialist Ignacy Ewaryst Daszyński as its head of government. Already a popular figure on the left that maintained de-facto control over much of Galicia, Ignacy's appointment was seen as a great victory by leftists, though he was thoroughly reviled by the right. Gabriel Narutowicz, renowned expert on hydroelectric engineering and brother of former Lithuanian parliamentarian Stanisław, was promptly made the nation's Minister of Public Works. Even early on, Poland saw mass immigration of Russian socialists, seeking refuge with the relatively left-leaning government.
Ignacy only maintained a short tenure until 1922, however, when socialist Artur Śliwiński replaced him as head of government. Rosa Luxemburg and Leo Jogiches, having fled Germany two years prior, were both elected to the Sejm in the same year, and began campaigning fervently for socialist causes in the upcoming presidential elections.
Rosa proved too extreme to win the Presidency, however, in a country that was largely still in the process of deciding where its political allegiances lied. Narutowicz, more moderate and well-liked by both the Centre and the Left, won the presidency in a landslide. A landslide, however, did not mean a peaceful presidency - soon after his election, Narutowicz was being frequently threatened by far-right groups, and was thus assigned a security detail on the advice of his cabinet. A mere few days after his election, in fact, Eligiusz Niewiadomski attempted to assassinate the freshly nominated President while he was visiting an art gallery, only to be slain by his recently formed, ragtag security detail. Though wounded, Narutowicz was able to recover - but Eligiusz was quickly martyred by numerous far-right groups in the country, seen as a man who attempted to save them from the secular Narutowicz, already loved by many of Poland's minorities. Dissent, however, remained largely underground. In Lithuania, meanwhile, the Lithuanian Popular Peasants' Union, a socialist party formed by merger, won a majority of seats in the parliament, securing control of the government. Poland and Lithuania both saw large influxes of immigrants from the east in the aftermath, largely made up of oppressed minorities and socialists fleeing the Imperial Russian authorities.
By 1927, Narutowicz was ousted in a second round of elections, replaced by the increasingly popular Rosa Luxemburg. Rosa's presidency, however, was immediately met with far more violence that Narutowicz's, quickly erupting into civil war. By this point, however, most of Poland's officer corps was made up of socialists - including Marshal Edward Rydz-Śmigły and Minister of Military Affairs Władysław Sikorski - with Piłudski still held in Magdeburg prison, most of the Polish military, therefore, sided with the socialist government, alongside socialist militias and veterans from Russia. The civil war was thus not bloodless - however, the conflict lasted no more than half a year, with sporadic low-level insurgency continuing until 1928. What the civil war did mean for Poland, however, was the end of organized opposition to an increasingly socialist government - which paved the way for sweeping changes headed by Luxemburg. In particular, seeking to avoid the pitfalls of reliance upon capitalist economies that she feared, Luxemburg sought to make Poland more economically independent from the rest of the world. Nonetheless, she appointed Narutowicz as Foreign Minister, seeking a closer relationship with the smaller Lithuania, already friendly to the current socialist government.
Luxemburg's diplomatic initiative bore fruit not long afterward in late 1928 as the Lithuanian military attempted to overthrow the socialist government. Though by no means the most modern armed force at the time, Poland's military was much larger and better equipped than its Lithuanian counterpart, including a small air force made up of older aircraft headed by General Ludomił Rayski and a small, experimental armored force under Colonel Stanisław Maczek
The Poles were able to achieve victory by mid-1929, incorporating an extremely friendly Lithuania into a new, socialist state.
By 1930, however, the Republic's army saw its first real baptism by fire, intervening in the German Civil War. Maczek's armored force and Rayski's air force, though armed with mostly old, upgraded equipment, proved highly effective in the conflict, leading Sikorski to place modernization of the Republic's military (including an expanded air force and a general push for wider mechanization) as a top priority, largely made possible thanks to continued industrialization inspired by Narutowicz's policy history and industrial assistance from a now-friendly Germany.
The next decade saw extensive industrialization of the country and a push for energy independence, an already socialist nation having seen relatively few ill effects from the worldwide economic crisis. New farms increasingly dotted the countryside, both to feed its rapidly growing population and to supply an increased need for vegetable oils and ethanol, seen as a necessity to avoid depending on capitalists for fuel. Large spaces of land were also being given over to experimental wind farms, parts of the landscape reshaped by Narutowicz's hydroelectric dams. The largest example of Poland's industrialization, however, was easily the Central Industrial Region, a project to transform Warsaw and the region around it into an industrial powerhouse.
Though only part of his career was under Luxemburg, Gabriel Narutowicz remained one of the most popular Polish politicians for decades to come, even after leaving office in 1938 with the end of the Luxemburg presidency, which saw the increased democratization of the country.
Nonetheless, the trend of increased economic independence and industrialization started by the two continued well into the 1940s, bolstered by a robust, freely available education system.
Serving a second term as president until 1943, Narutowicz was followed by Władysław Sikorski, further expanding and modernizing the Republic's armed forces, including expanding Lithuanian ports. Sikorski's most notable action, however, was easily his leading a military intervention in Belarus against an already divided Russian Empire, again on the behalf of friendly socialists. Though the Republic's army wasn't as large as its Russian counterpart at nearly two million men and women strong, its highly mechanized nature made it able to take care of an increasingly divided Russia and force the country into a peace settlement that surrendered Belarus.
Sikorski's presidency was followed by another former military officer, Brigadier General Katarzyna Balchunas, a fervent socialist who saw combat in the German civil war and commanded an armored division in the war against Russia. Even more extreme than most of her predecessors, Balchunas has adopted an unofficial policy of interfering in the favour of socialist and communist revolts across the world, supplying arms and intelligence through her country's increasingly extensive intelligence agencies, whether in the nearby Ukraine or the distant Pacific. Her strategy, however profitable it may prove to be, comes with great risk - though populous and well-equipped to fight a long war, the Republic's navy, though advanced, is small, lacking the ability to project power at great distance and effectively combat what Starosta privately views as the greatest enemy of socialism today - the United States of America.
Nonetheless, Balchunas knows what she must do - she will not rest until every last enemy of the working people rots in their graves, whether at the tip of Polish rockets or by the hands of their own, even if that means she must spend every moment of her life with a pistol and a knife by her side.