Second Great War

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Wars of Ill Bethisad
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Name(s):Second Great War
Start of hostilities:1939
End of hostilities:1949
Winning side:Losing side:
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Allied Powers
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Holy Roman Empire
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Russia
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China
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Scandinavian Realm
Flag ethiopia.JPG
Ethiopia
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Veneda
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Greece
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Japan
Hungary flag.gif
Hungary
Resulting treaty/treaties:Treaty of Visby, Treaty of Copenhagen
Major consequences:Breakup of China, Prussia

Info about the Second Great War is still scattered all over the place, but a more or less consistent description can be found here

Here's the content so that it can be further worked on:

Great War II was essentially a German civil war that indirectly became a world war. It began with the efforts of the German Emperor and his faithful aide Adolf Hessler to create a unified Germany - not by merging the numerous small states into one, but by creating a strong, central power with all the local dukes and princes becoming mere figureheads under the leadership of Prussia, by far the most powerful German state and the axis around which Germany turned. Hessler himself obtained the position of chief of staff in the Prussian army, ultimately becaming more powerful than the Kaiser. In fact, he overshadowed the king to such a degree, that he soon received the nickname “Adolf I”.

Contents

1920-1933

During the 1920s and early 1930s, Prussia gained total control over the Empire, using a combination of military pressure, political machinations, and false promises to local kings, dukes or princes. Anhalt, Braunschweig and Waldeck were incorporated into Prussia with the international community hardly noticing it. Hannover was conquered without much trouble too. Surely, Prussia was not alone in its efforts: states like Hessen, Saxony, Hohenzollern, and the Rheinland supported it. On the other hand, certain North German states were strongly opposed to Prussian centralism, notably Oldenborg and Holstein, states that belonged to the Scandinavian Realm as fiefs of the German Empire, and Mecklenburg, because the Scandinavian queen at the time was the daughter of the duke. It took lots of brutal violence, blackmail, forged elections and the assassination of the Duke of Mecklenburg, before Holstein, Oldenborg, Bremen, Hamborg and Mecklenburg were effectively gleichgeschaltet. Though these Duchies and Principalities were subjected to the German throne, unrest was rampant, especially in Mecklenburg, Oldenburg and Holstein. The Scandinavian queen, who nominally remained Duchess of Holstein was unable to do much against the situation. The aggression was hardly enough to declare war.

Austrian Anschluss and the Helvetian Takeover

And so, when Austria joined the Empire in 1934 (also through political machinations), it became part of a more or less united German Empire under Prussian hegemony. Proud of what he had accomplished, the Emperor then spoke the historical words: “Look boyos, we almost had Paris last go round; what say we give it the old college try one more time, eh, what?”, and in 1935 the Empire attacked Helvetia. Helvetia wasn't exactly popular among the other countries of the world, because in the not-too-distant past it had been quite belligerent itself; apart from a few official protests, nobody interfered and Germany was allowed to do its thing there. Helvetia was conquered and incorporated in the beginning of 1939.

The Großartige Alliance

Germany had become the most powerful country in Europe. This made it particularly interesting for the frustrated SNOR rulers of Russia, who desperately needed some success abroad to justify their not-too-popular interior policy. In 1936 they formed an alliance with Germany, the Großartige Allianz. Other countries joined the German-Russian axis as well; Greece had been itching to move East and go to war with the Turks since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1922, and in 1936, encouraged by the Germans and then allied with them, it finally did so. Hungary, out for revenge for its painful defeat in Great War I, joined the Allianz in 1937, followed in 1939 by Ukraine, Belarus, and the Danubian Confederation.

In March 1939 the Russian leader Vissarionov concluded a secret treaty with Germany, that become known later as the Lipov-Von Korff Treaty. Central and Eastern Europe were divided into two spheres of influence: a part where Germany could do whatever it wanted without Russian interference, and vice versa. A first effect of this treaty was the annexation of Bohemia by Germany: a pro-German coup in the Bohemian Kingdom on 2 April 1939 resulted in Königreich der Böhmischen Kronländer, which then requested and received full incorporation into the HRE. (3)

The War Begins

Großfeldmarschall Hessler (center) with his Staff

Despite the significance of the preceding events, they were mostly neglected and ignored by the Western powers. This would finally change after five months: on 1 September 1939, Germany attacked Veneda on 1 September 1939, and slighly more than two weeks later, on 18 September, Russia invaded Lithuania. In response to these invasions, the Allies (the Federated Kingdoms, France, the Italies) formally declared war on the Allianz, although initially it did not come to any fightings. This marks the official beginning of the Second Great War.

By the end of October, both Veneda and Lithuania were conquered (Lithuania was conquered in the so-called Thunderstorm War). Subsequently, Russia launched an attack on Nassina on 3 November (4), and by June 1940, Nassina, Estonia and Latvia were conquered as well. In 1940, Germany had equally little trouble rolling through Batavia and Jervaine: both were conquered in a few days, despite their fortifications. Germany thus flanked the Maginot Line and moved on to occupy most of Francie (Northern France) by the end of the year. In the same period, Oltenia and Muntenia were conquered and annexed by Hungary, and Moldova by Ukraine.

The German attack on Veneda made more sense than it would seem. It was not merely a matter of Lebensraum; a considerable part of the population of the Venedic Kingdom was (High or Low) German speaking, and many of them would rather join the German Empire than be part of a half-Catholic, half-pagan RTC. Although they invaded one country after another, the Germans were definitely no nazis like *here*. Unlike the Russian SNOR regime they did not carry an ideology (except perhaps for some vague conceptions about Pan-Germanism, Lebensraum, and building up a huge empire), never persecuted Jews, and never shot entire villages as a repressaille for the murder of one German soldier. They were primarily motivated by power, prestige, and economic benefits. Their treatment of subject countries was relatively humane. Although some conquered countries like Bohemia, Batavia, and Helvetia were subjected to forced Germanification, others, like Veneda and Jervaine were largely allowed to keep their own culture. While claims have been raised, the historical record is clear that the HRE never attempted ethnic cleansing.

The actual course of the war can be seen in the Outline of GW2.

Progress of the War & The End of The Allianz

Initially, the Großartige Allianz proved successful. By 1941, it had most of Europe under its control, and China - not officially a member of the Allianz but allied with it anyway - was making similar progress in the Far East (5). All that was left of the Allied Powers were the Federated Kingdoms, Gaulhe, the Italies, the SLC-NAL, Australasia, South Africa, Guyana, and rest of the Commonwealth. Scandinavia and the Iberian countries were still neutral at the time.

Major campaigns and events in the war include:

  • The Thunderstorm War - Russian invasion of Lithuania.
  • The Ethiopian Liberation War - The general term to describe the Ethiopian expansion and subsequent loss (see Panafricanism for the ideology of these campaigns).
  • The French Stalemate - Once the Blitzkrieg into France stalled, what followed was a prolonged series of battles of maneuver, as each side tacitly agreed to "pull their punch" while the other did the same.
  • The Battle for the Channel - the aborted attempt to invade Britain.
  • The Atlantic Air War - in which the Luftwaffe came perilously close to cutting off the chain of supply from the Americas.
  • Operation Rhinegold - The fight for Russia, an epic battle between Field Marshall Rommel's Russian Korps and the White Army under General Zhukhov.
  • The Balkan Campaigns - The gruelling series of battles and campaigns to get at the Holy Roman Empire via the southeast. It probably extended the war by as much as two years.
  • The Northron War - the coordinated series of attacks into the HRE from the SR and Allied Powers.

Two factors would eventually determine the final defeat of the Allianz: mutual distrust between Russia and Germany that would cause a split in the Allianz and finally escalate into a war in 1943, and Germany's failed attack on Scandinavia.

The first signs of a split in the Allianz became visible in 1941, when the Danubian Confederation withdrew from it after some generals had removed the prime minister and abrogated the treaty. This annoyed the Allianz, and soon Germany, Hungary and Greece invaded with Russian support.

Adolf Hessler and an aide pose before the Eiffel Tower.

The Danubian Confederation did not stand a chance; it formally ceased to exist, and in its place several smaller puppet states were established, one of which was the Independent State of Croatia, led Ante Pavelić. This Croatia was rather, or very, fascist, more so than any other member of the Allianz; the Ustaša doctrine regarded all Slavs as subhuman (holding that the Croats were actually Goths who had picked up the language of the local Slavs), and this view clashed heavily with the new snorist regimes of the Kingdoms of Bulgaria and Serbia, which had factually become Russian satellites. As tension between the Croats and the Serbs grew, mutual distrust between Russia and Germany grew with it. By 1943 the Allianz had factually ceased to exist, and in its place two camps stood diametrically opposite each other: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Serbia and Bulgaria at one side, Germany, Hungary, Croatia and a half-hearted Greece at the other. When Russia and Serbia finally invaded Croatia, it took Germany less than a day to respond: from Veneda, it launched a massive attack against Russian-occupied Lithuania, and from there rolled quickly into Belarus and Russia proper. Less than a year later the Baltic states, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, the Crimea, and much of European Russia were occupied by the German-Hungarian armies; the Russian government was forced to leave Moscow and settle itself in Jekaterinenburg, in the Urals.

Hessler's Mistake

Blinded by this success, Hessler, who had become Germany's indisputed leader after the Emperor's death, made a capital mistake: in 1945, he launched an attack on Rygen, which was a Danish fief and thus an integral part of the Scandinavian Realm. From a geopolitical point of view this attack made sense; besides, Rygen had been annoying Hessler for a long time, because most people who managed to escape the country did so by crossing the border with Rygen, from where they took the boat to Denmark, Sweden, or other parts of the world. Indeed preparations for the attack had been made much earlier, but were never realised because of the war with Russia. Nevertheless, the attack was the beginning of the end for Germany, as it turned a neutral neighbour into a powerful enemy. First of all, the attack on Scandinavia caused much turmoil within the north German states, in particular Oldenburg and Holstein, who plainly refused to take part in an attack of their own (still Scandinavian) head of state. Besides, Germany's resources were seriously stretched by now, and they were stretched even further by Mecklenburgish loyalist partisans, who seriously complicated Germany's passage to Rygen. Furthermore, Scandinavian defenses had been beefed up considerably since the 1920s. Between Slesvig and Holstein, there were the Danevirke (a wall running along the border), modernized and ready by the early 1930s. In Rygen, a defensive wall had been built along the Peene and Recknitz rivers (using the rivers themselves as moats) and completed by the late 1930s. In the seas, the Kongelige Skandinaviske Marine (Royal Scandinavian Navy) was by no means an easy target for the German Kriegsmarine either, especially since the Kriegsmarine had only half its strengh (6) and German shipping and ports were constantly harassed by Scandinavian privateers. Thus the attack on Rygen, intended to be a matter of hours by dropping a lot of bombs to clear out the terrain for German ground forces, became a matter of weeks instead. Before Germany had a chance to realise its plans to launch an air campaign against Slesvig and Denmark, a massive Scandinavian counterattack stopped the German troups near the Danevirke.

Germany now had to fight on three fronts, and in addition it had to cope with growing internal opposition. The situation became even worse for Germany when Russia concluded a separate peace with the Allies in 1946. Both sides were tired of the war, and although the Allies were not particularly fond of Russia's SNOR regime, there had never been any direct conflict with it either, which made the alliance significantly easier to swallow for them. And so, when the German war with Scandinavia reached its peak, Germany's progress into Russian territory was finally stopped in the historic battle of Vissarionovgrad. Subsequently, Russia fought the Germans with renewed courage and managed to overrun all the territories it had previously lost to Germany even quicklier than Germany had been able to take them. In the second half of 1947, Russia had recovered all of its own territory, and moved on into Eastern Europe.

European Partition

This time the Russians followed a different strategy: instead of placing every country under direct military command, they granted them renewed independence, thus assuming the image of liberators. However, most of this independence was merely a façade: every “liberated” country was immediately provided with a local, snorist or at least pro-snorist puppet government, backed up by Russian troops and taking its orders directly from the Russian government in Moscow. The first government of this type had been established in Nassina as early as 1940. Now, even Ukraine, which after a coup by pro-Russian, rightist forces had entered the Großartige Allianz as an independent state, became a Russian satellite after it had been liberated from German occupation, and most of its former leaders were either killed or imprisoned and exiled in Siberia. Thus, Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine, the Crimea, Moldova, and Lithuania were turned into Russian puppet states in 1947 and a new state of Skuodia was established. Subsequently, Russia marched into Hungarian territory, and after Hungary's defeat in June 1948 it was divided in five pieces: Muntenia and Oltenia were restored; the Slevanians, a people closely related to the Veneds who had been fighting Hungarian rule for a long period, received their own quasi-independent state; the same happened to the Transcarpathia, a territory inhabited mostly by Carpatho-Ukrainians, or Rusyns; and Hungary proper continued to exist as a rump state. All five received a snorist government.

The new Snorist states were largely federalist, with the new provinces (called "goverorates" after the Russian imperial provinces) corresponding to historical regions or the areas of various dialects of the language. The dialects were made official in the respective governorates and promoted over the standard language (standard languages were not permitted anymore to be used for official purposes in various places). Official explaination for such policy was the supposed liberation of regions from the culture that was supposedly forced upon them by the richer areas of the state. The real reasons were the divide and rule principle (it is easier to rule divided nation), the expectation that eventually the standard languages would fall out of usage completely and thus Russian would become lingua franca even between different regions of the same nation. In addition, such policies helped to secure some support in the areas - the support of the regionalists whose ideas were not supported by the central governments in the interwar. To ensure that the newly formed nations and governorates were ethnically intact and to help the Slavic states to aquire new territories, the Act of Return was passed, which helped to deport many pwople.

Meanwhile, the western Allied Powers (in particular the Federated Kingdoms and France) had liberated Helvetia, Jervaine and the Batavian Kingdom, and subsequently moved on into Germany itself. The Scandinavian armies had finally forced a breakthrough in the north and liberated one north German state after another.

The liberation of Veneda was a more complicated matter. On one hand, Russia's SNOR regime clearly had the intention to add it to its collection of snorist puppet states, and by August 1948 most of eastern Veneda was occupied by Russian troops. On the other hand, Scandinavian forces moved eastward from Northern Germany and liberated the northern part of Veneda (which since the First Great War had been part of Germany), while others crossed the Baltic Sea and landed on Veneda's northern shores. These troops consisted largely of privateers; after the Scandinavian Realm legalised privateering upon entering the war, much of the human resources would come from the newly formed privateering companies who would be employing quite a number of foreigners, including people from Central Europe who successfully escaped their countries and joined the privateering forces in the hope that this would allow them to play a part in the liberation of their countries. The Scandinavian forces were joined by the Venedic resistance, who - with Scandinavian help in the form of supply drops (of food, ammunitions, weapons, new technology, etc.) - also attempted to liberate the remaining parts of Veneda.

The Venedan Resistance

During the whole war, Veneda had a well-organised underground resistance. When Veneda was invaded by the German troups in 1939, its army - despite its poor organisation and its old-fashioned equipment - defended the country vigoriously and heroically. Soon after the capitulation, entire regiments fled the country and placed themselves under FK command, while many other military and non-military groups organised themselves into local partisan groups. Soon a central high command was established, and almost all locally organised groups were transformed into one powerful underground army, the Armia Pąszała. Its head was general Paweł Żaklin. The AP was joined by most of the Lithuanian underground - although other Lithuanian and Belarussian groups, mainly communist and snorist partisans, fought their own battle on Lithuanian soil. It collaborated closely with the Venedic government-in-exile, the armed forces abroad, and the Allied high command.

Venedic political and military leaders, both underground and in exile, had been brainstorming continuously about possible constellations after an eventual liberation. The common opinion was that the RTC should be restored, which basically was a continuation of the policy pursued before the war. Most Lithuanians - both the government-in-exile and those members of the resistance who cooperated with the AP - shared this view, as they understood that Russian hegemony would be the only alternative; only the most radical nationalists seemed to prefer a snorist Lithuania over a restored RTC, but since Lithuanian nationalism had been thoroughly discredited because of its mismanagement before the war, their influence was very limited. Thus, when king Olgierd II the Unforgotten, who had chosen to stay in Veneda and lead the resistance instead of escaping the country, was killed in 1940, both governments in exile elected another Lithuanian, Witold III the Absolute, as the new king ad interim. Witold led the Venedic and Lithuanian resitance abroad and underground energetically. He laid the foundation for the factual restoration of the RTC, and thanks to his strong lobby, the RTC was already counted as one of the Allied Powers before it formally existed, despite the fact that it was occupied.

In several parts of Veneda the AP was successful in expelling the Germans. Russia was far from happy with this: it feared a situation similar to the Danubian Confederation, where local communist partisans under Josip Broz had successfully liberated their country without Russian help. To prevent the AP from liberating Veneda themselves, Russia moved further westwards, whereby it regularly came to fightings with the AP. Those fightings also spread to Lithuania, where the same partisans who had been fighting the German occupant for years now continued their battle with Lithuania's pro-snorist leadership and Russian troops stationed there. Nevertheless, by October 1948 Lithuania and almost all Veneda were firmly under Russian control, except for the northern shores that had been liberated by Scandinavians. The next step of the Russian war machine was setting foot on German soil.

The Final Solution and War's End

At this point, Germany's defeat seemed irreversible and Hessler had gone virtually insane. In an act of utter desperation, he ordered the Luftwaffe to drop a nuclear bomb on the city of Łódź, Veneda's second largest industrial city, where the Russian military headquarters were established, on 18 October 1948. Over 55,000 people were killed, and the city's entire historical centre was devastated. The nuking of Łódź was followed by a vast military offensive, which forced the Russian troops to retreat. However, this would only temporarily delay Germany's ultimate defeat.

Picture of SNORist troops as they captured Łódź.

It had become clear by now that Russia had its own vision about the future of the countries it liberated, and - partly under pressure of Veneda's government in exile - the other Allies decided to interfere. In November a meeting was called in Visby, an old Hanseatic city on the isle of Gotland, where all major Allied leaders - of the Scandinavian Realm, the Federated Kingdoms, France, Veneda, and Russia - were present. After long negotiations, Russia somewhat unwillingly accepted the restoration of the RTC, on the condition that it would become a neutral state. The same went for Nassland. In return however, a large part of Lithuania - territories where the Belarussian population formed a decisive majority - was added to the Republic of Belarus, and Russia was allowed to keep a presence in the other countries it had occupied: Estonia, Latvia, Slevania, Hungary, the Romanias, Ukraine, the Crimea, and Belarus. In the small Carpathian Republic a referendum was scheduled in April 1949, in which the inhabitants could decide for themselves whether they wanted to be part of Slevania, Hungary or the RTC, or remain an independent state.

As a direct consequence of Visby, Russia was forced to withdraw from Veneda and to abandon Lithuania's snorist government; the latter was overthrown quickly by Venedic and Lithuanian partisans. The last remnants of German and Russians occupation were cleared away by a popular uprising. On 4 February 1949, the Republic of the Two Crowns was formally restored. Its western borders were established along the same lines as before 1914, with the exception of a part of Preimern, which became part of the RTC. Furthermore, Germany lost East Prussia, which also become part of the RTC. Lithuania would consist of Lithuania proper, the westernmost part of Belarus, and Volhynia. The Carpathian Republic was added after the referendum, in which 54 % of the population voted for becoming a part of the RTC.

The Second Great War officially came to an end in May 1949, when a new German leadership signed Germany's ultimate surrender. After the capitulation, the Allied Powers decided to deal once and for all with Prussia, in their eyes the “evil nucleus” of the German Empire and the leading force behind all German aggression. All states it had usurped during the 1920s and 1930s were restored: Anhalt, Braunschweig, Hannover, and others. Oldenburg and Rygen were returned to the Scandinavian Realm. Furthermore, Prussia lost large parts of its territory. Westphalia remained occupied and governed by the Federated Kingdoms, until it became an independent republic within the Holy Roman Empire in 1955. The Prussian province of Hessen was incorporated by the Volksstaat Hessen, which came under French administration, also until 1955. Preimern became a separate duchy with a Venedic nobleman as its duke. Prussia proper came under a joint administration of the Federated Kingdoms, France, the Scandinavian Realm and the RTC, which would also end in 1955. Russia attempted to get parts of Germany under its administration as well, but failed. The Holy Roman Empire was transformed into a loose confederation of de facto independent states, and Prussia's dominant role within it was terminated.

List of belligerent nations

Main powers are written in bold. The puppet states and other states purposefully established during the war itself in the occupied territories by the great powers are written in italic.

The Allied Powers:

The Iberian Pact (fought on the side of the Allies, but only in Africa - until 1948, when the Iberian Pact declared war on Germany)

The HRE/Allianz (and its co-belligerents):

The SNORist Coalition (until 1943 fought on the one side with The Allianz):

(6) Only part of the Kriegsmarine was intact during the attack. The Kriegsmarine's Atlantic Fleet was based in Friederichshaven, Oldenburg, while its Baltic Fleet was based in Kiel, Holstein. Part of each fleet had escaped to the SR. This is not so strange as it would seem: Oldenburg and Holstein were Scandinavian states that were also German fiefs, and as part of the feudal service to Germany the Kongelige Skandinaviske Marine served the German Empire as the Kriegsmarine. Except for a few ships, Germany really did not have a navy of its own. Initially, this situation worked in favour of Germany; none of the Allies would have ventured to attack Oldenburg or Holstein, because such an attack would automatically have turned the Scandinavian Realm into a German ally. However, immediately after Germany invaded Rygen, the Kriegsmarine split in half and started to do battle right there in the middle of the naval harbours of Friederichshaven and Kiel. During this battle, the ships that fought on the SR side simply mutineered, dipped the German ensign, and raised the Dannebrog or the Oldenburg Bars. How interestingly a condominium situation between to countries at war with each other can be, is illustrated by the following apocryphal quote from the Duke of Oldenburg: “As of today, a state of war exists between the Scandinavian Realm and the Holy Roman Empire. I have been told that due to our political situation, I will have to declare war on ourselves. Twice.”

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