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The Antarctic Campaign of World War II involved every country and territory on the continent, with the exception of the independent indigenous nations in present-day Ognia. It began on the 3rd of September, 1939; when Britain, the Commonwealth and France declared war on Germany as a result of the Invasion of Poland. At the time, New Swabia was a German puppet-state and had also declared war on Poland (though it did not send any troops to help in the Invasion), and as a result of this, these Allied Nations also declared war on New Swabia.
Fronts of the Campaign
Battle of New Swabia (1939-41)
At first, the New Swabians fought primarily against forces from Eduarda, a neighboring British Dominion; though troops from British Inner Antarctica, the Ross Dependency and New Vestfold were also mobilized to fight in New Swabia early on. In the early days of the Campaign, the French Kerguelen Islands provided no Army personnel to the Campaign; though they did send two Light Destroyers to disrupt New Swabia's (an almost completely Navy-less region) maritime operations.
Santiago and Bellinsgauzenia (1939-41)
- Main article: Bellinsgauzenian-Santiagan War
Yekaterinia Uprising (1939-40)
- Main article: Yekaterinia Uprising
Following the Russian Civil War, the former Russian Viceroyalty of Yekaterinia was occupied by France, and named Adélie. It was governed by a French Military administration, and French settlement of the area was encouraged by the government.
After the federation of Bellinsgauzenia in 1926, a movement began to spread among the Yekaterinians with the goal of overthrowing the French and joining Bellinsgauzenia. Upon the outbreak of the Santiago War in 1939, many Yekaterinians travelled to Bellinsgauzenia to volunteer for service; while many more remained at home and began an armed resistance against the French.
When World War II broke out a few weeks later, Nazi Germany (a close ally of Bellinsgauzenia) encouraged Bellinsgauzenia to join the war against France, and liberate Adélie; but the Bellinsgauzenians were cautious not to violate their neutrality, so rather than declaring war on France, they covertly funded and supplied the Yekaterinian rebels. For several months, the French and Loyalist military fought against Patriot forces, but after the establishment of Vichy France in July 1940, a schism appeared amongst the French military between pro-Vichy forces, led by Major Paul Courval, and anti-Vichy forces led by General Apollinaire Fournier (who was also the Governor of Adélie).
This led to a three-way civil war between the Yekaterinian rebels, the Free French, and the Vichy French. In early August, the Vichy forces led by Major Paul Courval seized control, but they were immediately ordered by Philippe Pétaine (at the request of the German government) to surrender the territory to the Yekaterinians.
The rebels took control of the territory, and shortly signed a treaty which officially federated Yekaterinia into Bellinsgauzenia. At the request of the Vichy Government, the Bellinsgauzenians granted citizenship to the French people who remained in the area. Major Courval, the Vichy leader, became the main representative for the French community in Bellinsgauzenia.
Assault on Kerguelen (1941)
- Main article: Assault on Kerguelen
Following the establishment of the Nazi puppet state of Vichy France in 1940, Kerguelen became a Vichy territory. A large Breton Nationalist movement supported the Vichy regime, in line with their continental French counterparts; and began restructuring the local police and military to support the Axis government. Meanwhile, a resistance movement also developed on the islands, and a conflict began between them. Generally, "battles" consisted of little more than riots, vandalism and/or police brutality; with only very few casualties. However, as anti-Vichy violence began to escalate, the Kerguelaine government began to use more sinister tactics, and many of their most vocal opposers began to "disappear". Estimates of the total number of people killed by the government at this time range from as few as 15 to as many as 200, though it is generally accepted that neither of these extremes are close to the truth.
In April 1941, Kerguelen was garrisoned by a small group of German troops. The nearby Allied forces had generally ignored Kerguelen until this point, as the islands were not seen as a threat (due to their small population; and the fact that many Kerguelaines opposed the Vichy government), but when the German troops were stationed there, the Allies realized that Kerguelen could have been easily adapted into a launching pad for German operations in Antarctica. In May, British and Free French forces based in Eduarda mounted a naval assault on the islands, and they were transferred to the Free French Forces.
Battle of Maudland (1940-41)
The New Swabian war effort remained strong, much to the dismay of Allied leaders. As well as defending their borders against British Colonial forces, and their waters against Free French forces; the New Swabians managed to gain large areas of land in the Norwegian dominion of Maudland. Many have ascribed this success to the New Swabian Luftwaffe, which was the largest Air Force in the campaign (though Bellinsgauzenia's and Byrdia's may have been larger, neither of them were involved in the war). This Luftwaffe was employed against the British in the East, where New Swabia only had a small portion of its ground troops positioned; and the Aerial support proved to be very effective at defending against the much larger Eduardan force.
New Swabia deployed the majority of its Army in the West, with the aim of occupying as much Maudlandic land as possible. The Norwegian Antarctic colony had not fought in any wars since a few minor skirmishes with Antarctic Natives in the 1890s; and the Colonial guard was small and ill-equipped, meaning the New Swabian Army was quickly able to gain vast tracts of land. However, with the German Occupation of Norway on April 9th, 1940, the Norwegian Government and Royal Family formulated a plot to flee Norway and set up a government-in-exile; and by July 15th, they had relocated to Maudland, which became the main base of the entire Norwegian Resistance.
The progress of the New Swabian army into Maudland was slowed, and eventually stopped altogether. In 1941, the situation in Maudland became a stalemate, with neither side gaining or losing much ground; but both were pouring resources into the war effort. The same was true for the New Swabia-Eduarda border war, and the Antarctic campaign became a waiting game, with both sides hoping that the other would soon make a mistake.
Final days and Aftermath
However, with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in December, and the American declaration of War against the Axis; New Swabia hastily surrendered to the Allies. New Swabia returned all conquered areas to their former owners; and (though it remained independent) was occupied by Peacekeeping Allied troops from several Nations who had fought in the Antarctic Campaign.
- McKinley O'Hara, future Director-General of the South Pole. Pilot Officer, Air Force.
- Emmanuel Peláez, future DIN Director. Corporal, Infantry/Military Police.
- Jorje Rosadilla future President of Santiago. Midshipman, Navy.
- Jasper Smith, playwright and author. Sergeant, Infantry/Communications.
- Mike Townsend, Tuzelmann laureate. Aircraftman, Air Force.
- Thobias Mjoen, future Premier of Maudland. Captain, Navy.