Great War II
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Great War II, also called World War II, was a global conflict that lasted from 1961 to 1965. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. Aircraft played a major role in the conflict which included the use of terror bombing, strategic bombing and the only use of nuclear weapons in war. The conflict was one of the deadliest wars in human history–tens of millions of people died, and unprecedented war crimes were committed against civilian populations.
Great War II began on June 21, 1961 with the French invasion of Alsace-Lorraine, a region which was historically French but occupied by Germany since the end of Great War I, and subsequent declarations of war on France by Germany and the United Kingdom. From late 1961 to early 1963, France, along with its main European ally, Russia, conquered or controlled much of continental Europe. France and Russia partitioned and annexed territories of their neighbors in the Low Countries, Poland-Lithuania, the Baltic states, and the Balkans. By 1962, France had conquered much of Western Germany, reaching the Weser, while the Russians had advanced into Eastern Germany, including Prussia, up to the Oder. With Germany forced to fight defensively on the home front, the war in Europe became mostly fought between the United Kingdom and the European Axis powers, with protracted fighting in the Balkans, the Atlantic, and the Iberian peninsula. France planned a land invasion of the United Kingdom but was unable to overcome the latter's naval and aerial superiority, leading to a war of attrition.
In the Asia–Pacific, Japan sought to consolidate its sphere of influence in Asia and the Pacific by ending European colonial presence. It had supported the decolonization of Asia and the various Asian wars of independence, primarily those in Southeast Asia. In French Indochina, the Japanese faced resistance by the Vietnamese, Cambodians, Cham, and Laotians. Japan renounced its military ties with Germany and the United Kingdom, and attacked their Pacific possession for occupation and annexation. The Second Pacific War escalated when Sierra declared war on Japan following the Glasgow incident, when a Japanese destroyer allegedly rammed and sunk a Sierran Royal Navy frigate on international waters. Sierra sought to regain its territories it lost in Great War I and joined the Allied forces by entering the conflict in Europe as well, switching its alliance from France and Russia to Germany and the United Kingdom. Japan and Sierra's reversal of sides became known as the Second Diplomatic Revolution. Japan also engaged in a protracted naval war with China in the Third Sino-Japanese War. India joined as an ally to Japan and the Axis powers when it began sending military aid and supplies to independence movements in Southeast Asia and launched its own military campaign against China in the Himalayas.
After France launched an invasion against the neutral Landonist Spanish Republic, the United Commonwealth entered the conflict and the Anglo-American powers became more involved to assist the United Kingdom. The Allied invasions of Russian-occupied Germany and Russian setbacks in the Balkans, Germany defeating the Russian forces at the gates of Berlin, as well as Allied offensives in the Pacific shifted favorability of the war from the Axis to the Allies. In 1964, the Western Allies invaded France while the Eastern Allies invaded Russia. During 1964 and 1965, Japan suffered major naval losses to Sierra's island-hopping campaigns. Following Japanese defeat in Manchuria and Guam to Allied forces, Japan surrendered to the Allies' conditions to withdraw its military presence in Southeast Asia, China, and Western colonial holdings in the Pacific, while it was allowed to keep the Korean peninsula and Formosa (Taiwan). It was also secretly promised the Kuril Islands and Sakhalin by Sierra through the Visalia Agreement. By 1965, both France and Russia surrendered unconditionally and their Derzhavist governments were dismantled. Following the war, France and Russia were occupied and war crimes tribunals were held against French and Russian leaders. Russia was partitioned, resulting in permanent territorial concessions to several Allied powers (such as Ussuria to Sierra and the Kola Peninsula to Skandinavia), the establishment of new independent states (Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan), and the temporary division of the Russian mainland between Germany, the United Kingdom, Sierra, and Romania. France came under Allied occupation as well, although the French monarchy was allowed to remain in place.
Great War II significantly altered the political and economic order of the world. The League of Nations was strengthened and the victorious great powers–China, Germany, Sierra, the United Commonwealth, and the United Kingdom–became permanent members of the League of Nations Security Council. Among the capitalist world, Germany and the United Kingdom emerged as rival powers, with the former forming an alliance in Continental Europe while the latter formed an alliance with the Anglo-American. Among the Landonist world, China and the United Commonwealth became rivals with their own blocs. In the wake of destruction on the European continent, and the Allied Powers' Pyrrhic victory in the Pacific, decolonisation occurred throughout Africa, Asia, and Oceania. Most countries underwent postwar economic recovery and expansion, and the foundations of the modern global economic system developed based on the Simi Valley system.
Great War I had altered the political landscape of Europe, with border changes and the emergence of several new states. The dissolution of Yugoslavia led to the emergence of independent Serbia, Montenegro, and Croatia, and the creation of a larger state of Croatia at the expense of Serbs created resentment between the two nations. The war itself largely ended in a stalemate with many parties remaining unsatisfied by their gains. The Treaty of Verdun in 1947 created peace between the Great Powers of Europe, returning the situation in Western Europe to the state before the war (status quo ante bellum). France remained dissatisfied with the German possession of the Alsace-Lorraine region, while Russia was forced to give independence to the states of Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, and Ukraine.
Despite the human losses of Great War I leading to a rise of pacifism, the unresolved border disputes led to irredentism and revanchist nationalism to reacquire lost territory. These were especially prevalent in France and Russia, which had either not not regained what they wanted or had lost territory. Russia had already been in political instability since the Russian Revolution of 1923, and this further provided impetus for the rise of derzhavist dictatorship, while in France a similar movement occurred.
Asia and Africa
The process of decolonization was underway starting from the early 1950s, with rebel pro-independent movements fighting insurgences in Africa and Asia against European colonial rule. At the outbreak of the war in Europe, there were insurgencies in British West Africa, German Equatorial Africa, French North Africa, the Dutch East Indies. In Southeast Asia, the First Indochina War resulted in French withdrawal from Vietnam and the dissolution of French Indochina. Various Southeast Asian states formed as a direct consequence to this action, which inspired neighboring colonies under British, Dutch, and German control to achieve their own independence.
Following Great War I, the regional power dynamics coalesced between Western Anglo-America, which was led by Sierra, and Eastern Anglo-America, which was led by the United Commonwealth, and their respective Latin American allies. Both countries and their neighbors suffered significant human losses and infrastructural devastation. The postwar governments on both sides were far more receptive towards reconciliation and diplomatic cooperation in order to avoid another full-blown conflict on the continent. A détente emerged during the 1950s as Sierra and the United Commonwealth increased direct communication with one another. A series of summits were held which resulted in the North American Amity Treaty and the New Orleans Accords, which delineated the emerging great powers' postwar relationship.
Civil unrest in Alsace-Lorraine
Alsace-Lorraine was a region which had historically swapped hands between France and Germany since the Holy Roman Empire and had most recently came under German control in the 19th century. The region was a major source of enmity between the rival neighboring powers. France lost the region during the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 and had failed twice to retake the region during the Franco-German War in 1923 and the First Great War during the 1940s. The First Great War ended in a global stalemate and the French inability to regain a region it long considered as a part of its natural borders was considered a national embarrassment and humiliation. French revanchist nationalism grew following the war and the French civil government came under the control of the rising French Popular Party, a derzhavist political party.
Within Alsace-Lorraine itself, there was a significant minority of French-speaking Alsatians who were resentful of what they perceived as German occupation. The German Empire feared that the region would descend into political unrest if French nationalism was allowed to propagate there. Following the Saverne Affair and the Strasbourg incident, the Germans took increasingly putative measures against the local French population by suppressing the French language and customs, Germanizing French family names, and imprisoning French nationalists and sympathizers through their Germanization policies, which angered the native population and France. In the place of French, Standard German and the Alsatian dialects were promoted instead.
In 1959, Alsace-Lorraine witnessed protests and civil disobedience after German police arrested two French Alsatians for promoting the French language through community plays. While the two Frenchmen were in the custody of German authorities, they were accidentally beaten to death during their interrogation, which caused public outcry. The Francs-tireurs and other French partisans quickly gained support among the French-speaking Alsatians and tensions emerged between them and the German government and German Alsatians.
Unrest and conflict in the Balkans
At the end of Great War I, several new Balkan states emerged following the dissolution of Yugoslavia. Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro gained independence, while Romania annexed the former Yugoslav, Serb-majority Timok Valley (Timočka Krajina). Ethnic and sectarian tensions remained high as the region experienced political volatility from the aftermath of the First Great War's effects and ramifications. The Muslim-majority region of Bosnia, which had previously been under Austrian military occupation, was transferred to Croatia after the war. Bosnian nationalism became widespread due to the cultural and religious differences between the Bosnians and Croats, while the Bosnian Serbs sought to join Serbia.
The accumulative territorial losses which Bulgaria incurred as a result of the Third Balkan War and the First Great War left tens of thousands of ethnic Bulgarians living outside Bulgaria's borders and had greatly reduced the Bulgarian nation-state's prestige. Irredentist and nationalist movements gained traction within the Bulgarian populace, and fears of a Romanian hegemony in the Balkans pushed the country towards derzhavism. In 1948, the Bulgarian Ratniks, a pro-derzhavist movement, deposed the regency of Tsar Boris III, abolished the monarchy, and established an authoritarian regime.
Romania at the end of Great War I emerged as one of the victorious parties of the Triple Alliance, but the Romanian government remained unsatisfied with the minimal territorial concessions it received from the Treaty of Verdun, gaining only Timok Valley. Under the erratic, volatile reign of Carol II, Romania pursued an aggressive expansionist foreign policy. After Great War I, Carol II toured the militarily-occupied Russian territories and encountered the Inochentists, a schismastic splinter group from the Romanian Orthodox Church, which had previously been banned under his reign. The Incohentists, under the leadership of Gheorghe Zgherea, declared Carol II as the "Saviour of all Romaniahood", an action which left the king deeply moved. As Inochentism spread throughout the Russian-Ukrainian territory of Bessarabia, Carol II felt that the presence of Romanian community living between Dneister and Southern Buh in the occupied territory served as a pretext to acquire more territory to compensate Romania's military efforts during Great War I. He decriminalised Inochentism in Romania again, to the chagrin of the Romanian Orthodox Church, which strongly opposed the decision. Romania invaded Bessarabia, starting the Transnistrian War against Ukraine. In 1947, while the war continued, Carol II was deposed, thus ending the Carlist dictatorship.
Tensions in Eastern Europe
Even the democratic post-first Great War Russian Federation had never fully accepted the independence of the Baltic states, Ukraine, and Belarus, and the derzhavist government in Russia increasingly used economic and diplomatic pressure to begin reunifying those two states. In 1956, Belarus came under pressure to enter into a broad customs union with Russia, which included economic and military agreements that would make the two states integrated. Ukraine came under a similar pressure, but concluded economic agreements with Germany in an attempt to remove Russia's leverage. The German-Ukrainian relationship was not enough to make up for trade with Russia, and could not develop further particularly due to Ukrainian resentment for German support for Romania during the Transnistrian War of the late 1940s.
Independence movements in the Pacific
During Great War I, Japan invaded French Indochina and removed the French administration there, replacing it with Japanese client states in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Burma. Although Japan promoted the public idea of Asian sovereignty and independence from European colonial powers, the Japanese administration installed authoritarian regimes which were established for the purpose of resource extraction and economic exploitation (particularly for rubber and oil). Various ethnic groups aspired for outright independence, especially in Vietnam where there were numerous resistance groups including the Viet Minh, Viet Quoc, Mat Tran, and FULRO.
Civil unrest fomented in the region due to the Japanese decision to actively suppress independence movements and its attempt to promote the Japanese language as the working language in the region. Vietnamese nationalists from across the spectrum unified under the command and leadership of Nguyễn Ái Quốc, a French-educated Landonist revolutionary, to resist Japanese occupation.
Creation of the Axis powers
By the late 1950s, tensions between the United Kingdom and Germany on one side and France and Russia on the other had reached a boiling point. In October 1957, French premier Jacques Benoist-Méchin claimed that France must play a leading role in Europe and that the European order needed to be reorganized on the basis of a "Paris–Moscow axis," first coining the term Axis. He denounced the British and German led world order as hypocritical, and said that they intended to cynically keep other powers such as France and Russia from their rightful place. In November 1959 the Axis became formalized in a "Pact of Steel" between France and Russia, which was later expanded to include Hungary, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Turkey, all countries that had lost significant amount of territory in the last several decades largely due to machinations and wars involving Germany or the British Empire. Japan and eventually India would also join the Pact in 1960 for their opposition to British colonialism in East Asia.
Course of the war
War breaks out in Europe (1961–1962)
On 21 June 1961, France invaded the German region of Alsace-Lorraine after French Alsatian partisans staged a false flag border incident as a pretext for invasion. The initial French attack was targeted against German fortifications and defenses in Bar-le-Duc in Meuse. Germany immediately recognized a state of war with France, while its allies the United Kingdom and Romania issued an ultimatum of 72 hours for France to withdraw its troops immediately. After France ignored the demand, the two declared war, while the Commonwealth nations of Astoria, Manitoba, and South Africa followed suit.
As a Pact of Steel member, Russia declared war on Germany and Britain to support France on 27 June. Following mobilization, the Russian military began amassing in Belarus under their union agreement. On 16 July, the Belarusian government fell due to internal disagreements over the union treaty with Russia and was replaced by a new government that wanted to declare neutrality. Russian forces deposed the authorities in Minsk and declared an annexation. On 7 July, Russian troops had entered Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, on 14 July Russia invaded Ukraine following the Ukrainian government's refusal to allow Russian troops passage through its territory. With the fall of the Baltic states by 25 July and the occupation of most of Ukraine by 20 August, Russia turned its attention to the German, Polish, and Romanian fronts.
To avoid getting bogged down in the heavily fortified Saarland and Rhineland regions, the French Army believed it had to strike northwestern Germany, and in order to do that, on 31 August 1961 an invasion of the Netherlands was launched. The French Army advanced quickly through Waloonia and Flanders, approaching the pre-1946 former Dutch-Belgian border by late September. The German Army had mobilized the majority of its troops initially to the Western Front and stopped the French advance near the Franco-German border, and the initial breakthrough in North Rhine-Westphalia from the Netherlands was also stopped at the Battle of Cologne, which became bogged down in urban warfare.
The Dutch Army formed a defensive line mostly being along the former Belgian border, with the land to the south under French occupation. There was limited fighting as the French 10th Army was given orders to keep the northern flank secure, not to go on the offensive against the Dutch. As the Franco-German front stabilized with fighting around Cologne, in the south all of Saarland and parts of southern Rhineland were overrun by the French Army. The Germans executed a fighting retreat, forming a new line from Koblenz to Neustadt an der Weinstraße.
War breaks out in the Pacific (1962)
The First Indochina War broke out between mostly Vietnamese nationalists and the French, with Japan sponsoring the former and Russia assisting the latter. Although Sierra was not obligated to participate, the French government expected some form of Sierran assistance. Instead, Sierra maintained a policy of neutrality, which strained relations between the two states. Sierra and Japan switched sides in the international diplomatic web in what came to be known as the Second Diplomatic Revolution as they realigned themselves with former enemies. Nonetheless, Sierra remained neutral over the wars of independence in British Malaysia and the Dutch East Indies, and did not object to Japanese interference, reflecting Sierra's desire to remain uninvolved in overseas conflicts.
Sierra remained neutral, offering trade to nations and dependencies on both sides of the conflict in the Pacific until April 1962. During that month, a Sierran Royal Navy frigate, HRMS Glasgow traveling through international waters in the South China Sea was allegedly rammed and sunk by a hostile Japanese Imperial Navy destroyer. Over 150 onboard crew members died, while the rest were captured and detained by the Japanese. The naval confrontation, which became known as the Glasgow incident, sparked national outrage. Sierran policymakers and military leadership, hoping to recoup the territories lost in Great War I and to restore Sierran prestige in the Pacific, rallied to declare war on Japan. Without the worry of a two-front war that Sierra had in the previous global conflict, Sierra was able to concentrate the majority of its military projection and war effort in the Pacific. On April 21, 1962, Parliament declared war on Japan, bringing the country officially into the global conflict.
Sierra launched a naval sortie into the South China Sea, raiding Japanese positions in Taiwan and Vietnam, as well as the former Sierran territories of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Retaking control over the latter two islands was deemed a matter of both strategic and symbolic importance, as the islands provided command over the North Pacific Ocean. Meanwhile, Sierran forces were given access into the independent Republic of Tondo which anticipated a potential Japanese invasion. The Sierran moves took Japan by surprise, which had not anticipated a full-scale Sierran offense. Sierra also conducted an air raid on Tokyo, which inflicted minimal physical damage but produced significant psychological damage to the Japanese public psyche. Concerned by the serious threat Sierra posed and its resolve to fight a potentially protracted war, Japan sought to bolster its defenses. The Japanese naval commanders entertained the idea of attacking Pearl Harbor in Hawaii but reasoned that Sierra's land-based airpower there had increased considerably since Great War I.
Western Europe (1963)
Mediterranean and Eastern Europe (1963)
Continental intervention, nuclear deployment (1963)
In October of 1962, the United Commonwealth Commissariat of External Affairs utilized the Lockheed U-2 to uncover an extensive buildup of material north of the Pyrenees and along the French-Italian border. On November 3rd, the Central Committee of the Continetalist Party began to mobilize its forces. First deploying its naval capacity to secure a transatlantic corridor, it began to airlift and ship supplies to Italy and Spain. Continental military officials wanted to prevent any territorial gain over the two major mountain ranges. French and Turkish naval ships detected the mass mobilization of the Continental ships, forcing French forces to initiate a hasty invasion of December 10th, 1963. With Germans forces focused on pushing back the Russians, French divisions were reassigned for deployment into Spain and Italy.
French bombers reached Madrid within a matter of hours, evading much of the Spanish anti-aircraft and dodging the deploying Continental troops in Galicia. During the attack, the Premier of the Spanish Republic, Leonardo Valerio was killed along with his entire cabinet with a special bunker buster utilized by the French Air Force. Although the French utilized conventional weapons in the attack, the Continental Air Force and the United Commonwealth believed that the French processed nuclear weapons and were planning in deploying it against the Spanish capital. Immediately after reports of the strikes, Warren ordered the deployment of three LGM-30 Minutemen missiles directed at the cities of Paris, Marseille and Rouen. The missiles intended for Paris and Marseille failed to reach their targets with only the missile destined for Rouen detonating. Armed with a yield of 1.2 megatons it destroyed the entirety of the Rouen's industrial district, historical downtown and igniting a majority of the city's timber framed houses. 110,000 civilians were killed and an additional 130,000 were injured. Continental nuclear doctrine dictated only retaliatory usage and the government issued an apology shortly after the bombing forcing the League of Nations to initiate an emergency meeting regarding the utilization of nuclear weapons.